Vol. I



The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents

Travels and Explorations

of the Jesuit Missionaries

in New France








Reuben Gold Thwaites

Secretary of the State historical Society of Wisconsin


Thom Mentrak

Historical Interpreter at Ste. Marie Among The Iroquois

Vol. I



CLEVELAND: The Burrows Brothers


¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯



Editor Reuben Gold Thwaites

| Finlow Alexander [French]

| Percy Favor Bicknell [French]

| John Cutler Covert [French]

| William Frederic Giese [Latin]

Translators. | Crawford Lindsay [French]

| Mary Sifton Pepper [French & Italian]

| William Price [French]

| Hiram Allen Sober [French]

| John Dorsey Wolcott [Latin]

Assistant Editor Emma Helen Blair

Bibliographical Adviser Victor Hugo Paltsits




The story of New France is also, in part, the story of much of New England, and of States whose shores are washed by the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River. It may truly be said that the History of every one of our northern tier of commonwealths, from Maine to Minnesota, has its roots in the French regime. It is not true, as Bancroft avers, that the Jesuit was ever the pioneer of New France; we now know that in this land, as elsewhere in all ages, the trader nearly always preceded the priest. But the trader was not often a letter-writer or a diarist; hence, we owe our intimate knowledge of New France, particularly in the seventeenth century, chiefly to the wandering missionaries of the Society of Jesus. Coming early to the shores of Nova Scotia (1611), nearly a decade before the landing of the Plymouth Pilgrims, and eventually spreading throughout the broad expanse of New France, ever close upon the track of the adventurous coureur de bois, they met the American savage before contact with civilization had seriously affected him. With heroic fortitude, often with marvelous enterprise, hey pierced our wilderness while still there were rut Indian trails to connect far-distant villages of semi-naked aborigines. They saw North America and the North Americans practically in the primitive [page vii] stage. Cultivated men, for the most part,—trained to see as well as to think, and carefully to make record of their experiences,—they left the most luxurious country in Europe to seek shelter in the foul and unwelcome huts of one of the most wretched races of man. To win these crude beings to the Christian Faith, it was necessary to know them intimately, in their daily walks. No coureur de bois was More expert in forest lore than were the Jesuit Fathers; and the records made by these soldiers of the Cross,—explicit and detailed, while familiar in tone,—are of the highest scientific value', often of considerable literary interest. The body of contemporary, documentary material which, in their Relations and Letters, the Jesuits of New France have bequeathed to the historian, the geographer, and the ethnologist, entitles them to the enduring gratitude of American scholars. For forty years, these documents have, in part, been more or less familiar to Americanists as a rich storehouse of material. But, hitherto, they have existed only in rare and costly forms, when in print at all,—as original products of ancient French, Italian, and German presses, or as reprints issued in sparse number for small circles of bibliophiles; while many important papers, capable of throwing light upon certain portions of Canadian history hitherto in shade, have as yet remained in manuscript.

We cannot promise for this series the entire 'body' of existing Jesuit documents, either printed or in manuscript, which illustrate the history of New France in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. This would carry us, even were they' all obtainable, far beyond the necessary limits of this series; for the fathers were profuse writers, and their papers are in [page viii] many archives. It is of necessity a matter of selection. We shall, however, reissue all of the documents usually designated as Relations, the Cramoisys, the Quebec reissue, the Shea and O'Callaghan reprints; and to these will be added a very considerable collection of miscellaneous papers of importance, from printed sources and from manuscripts, in order to fill the chronological gaps and round out and complete the story. It is the purpose of the Editor to present this mass of selected material in chronological order, so far as proves practicable, and to furnish such scholarly helps as will tend to render it more available than hitherto for daily use by students of American history. To this end will be given an English translation, side by side with the original text. While translations of many of the briefest documents, and of portions of others, have already appeared in one form or other, this is the first attempt to translate the entire body of the Relations. In many cases, where corruptions in text have crept in, we shall be enabled, by recourse to original manuscripts, to restore correct renderings; this care has been taken, wherever practicable, even to the amination of manuscripts in European archives; but occasionally we shall be obliged to follow our predecessors blindly in this regard, either from inability to discover the whereabouts of the original, or to obtain access to it, when found. In the case of each document, we shall invariably state the source whence we obtained our copy, and shall give additional bibliographical data as to other editions known to us. All maps and other illustrations appearing in previous editions will be reproduced in this; and these will be supplemented by other important [page ix] contemporary aids of like character. At the end of each volume will appear such Notes as seem necessary to the elucidation of the text. The closing volume of the series will contain—and probably will be wholly devoted to—an exhaustive analytical Index, a feature without which the work would lose much of its value. In short, no pains have been, or will be, spared to render all possible service to scholars, in the present work. But the field is wide, the difficulties are many, and the Editor makes no claims to perfection. He will be grateful to any who, in the course of publication,—promising to extend through several years yet to come,—will offer helpful suggestions in any department of the undertaking.

While seeking to reproduce the old texts as closely as practicable, with their legitimate typographic and orthographic peculiarities, it has been found advisable here and there to make a few minor changes. The original printer was sometimes careless,—Cramoisy especially so,—and his proof-reader negligent. The result was that certain typographical errors crept into the original prints,—errors not of the author's making, and therefore not illustrative of his methods. These consist in the main, of: (1) turned letters; (2) transposed letters; (3) slipped letters; and (4) mis-spacings. To these obvious errors may be added such as, e.g., mistaking the verb gratter for grauer, evidently through a failure on the part of the writer to cross his t's,—the context plainly showing what was written; the printing, e.g., of' beauéoup for beaucoup; or the repetition on the next line of a syllable in a divided word, resulting in such a redundancy as, poupouuant for pouuant. Palpable blemishes like these, we have deemed it advisable to [page x] correct without specific mention; in some instances, however, the original error has been retained, and in juxtaposition the correct rendering given within brackets.

Another and more annoying class of errors is, he wrong numbering of chapters and pages in the old issues, chiefly the fruit of carelessness in make-up. We indicate, throughout, the original pagination, by enclosing within brackets the number of each page at its beginning, e.g. [148]; in case of mis-numbering the correct figure is also given, e.g. [150, i.e. 149]. A similar device is adopted as to chapter mis-numbering, e.g. Chapitre XXX. [i.e. XXIX.]

A difference in the typographic style of the documents presented in the present series, will occasionally be noticed. In following originals of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, we have of. course reproduced their peculiarities, such as the long "s", and character diphthongs; but where our sole copy has been a modern reprint, in a modern typographic dress, we have followed its style, deeming it inadvisable, for mere sake of uniformity, to masquerade the document in olden guise.

In the progress of the work, which has now been under way for some sixteen months, many persons beside the present staff have tendered helping hands. To them, the Editor returns, for the Publishers and for himself, grateful acknowledgment. It is impracticable to name them all in this place; but of a few from whom special favors have been received, it is only just to speak: The Reverend Arthur E. Jones, S. J., archivist of St. Mary's College, Montréal, from the first opened his heart to this enterprise, and has not only given us carte [page xi] blanche to ransack his priceless stores, but has contributed invaluable suggestions and data, almost without number. To Wilberforce Eames, librarian of Lenox Library, and his assistant, Victor H. Paltsits, we owe much; for in their institution the greater part of the transcription is being done, and their daily courtesies and kindnesses materially lighten the task. Superintendent Robbins Little, and Librarian Frederick Saunders, of Astor Library, have also been of much assistance in the conduct of the work. To John Nicholas Brown, of Providence, R.I., and to his librarian, George Parker Winship, we are indebted for numerous courtesies and suggestions during the copying and photographing of documents in the John Carter Brown Library of Americana. Similar aid is being rendered by Dr. Justin Winsor, of Harvard College Library, and his assistants, H. Tillinghast and T. J. Kiernan; by the librarians of St. Francis Xavier College, New York, and the Jesuit Colleges at Georgetown, D. C., and Woodstock, Md.; by L. P. Sylvani, assistant librarian of the Library of Parliament, Ottawa; and by C. H. Gould, librarian of McGill University Library, Montréal, and his assistant, Henry Mott. Donald Guthrie McNab, of Montreal, has kindly permitted us to photograph and reproduce his excellent oil portraits of the early fathers; and, in this connection, we feel under especial obligations to Messrs. Notman & Son, of Montreal, for their intelligent advice and patience in photographing paintings and manuscripts for the series. Marked privileges have been granted by the officials of the Bibliothèque Nationale and the Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, of Paris. Numerous antiquarians have rendered generous aid, notably Peter A. [page xii] Porter, of Niagara Falls, N. Y.;. M. Beauchamp,. of Baldwinsville, N. Y.; l'Abbe H. A. B. Verreau; of Montreal; Mgr. T. E. Hamel, of Quebec; and A. F. Hunter, of Barrie, Ontario. Further acknowledgment of assistance will be rendered in the several volumes, as they appear.


Madison, Wis., August, 1896.




General Preface


Historical Introduction. The Editor


Preface to Volume. I





La Conversion des Savages qui ont esté baptizés en la Nouvelle France, cette année 1610. Marc Lescarbot.



Lettre Missive, tovchant la Conversion et baptefme du grand Sagamos de la nouvelle Fräce. M. Bertrand; Port Royal, June 28, 1610



Lettre au T. -R. P. Claude Aquaviva, Général de la Compagnie de Jésus, à Rome. Pierre Biard; Dieppe, January 21, 1611



Lettre au R. P. Christophe Baltazar, Provincial de France, à Paris. Pierre Biard, Port Royal, June 10, 1611



Lettre au R. P. Provincial, à Paris. Ennemond Massé, Port Royal, June 10, 1611



Lettre au T. -R. P. Claude Aquaviva. Pierre Biard, Port Royal, June 11, 1611



Canadicae Miƒƒionis Relatio ab anno 1611 uƒque ad annum 1613, cum ftatu ejuƒdem Miƒƒionis, annis 1703 & 1710. Joseph Jouvency



De Regione et Moribus Canadenfium feu Barbarorum Novae Franciae. Joseph Jouvency


Bibliographical Data: Volume I





[page 7]




Photographic facsimile of title-page, Lescarbot's La Conversion des Savages.



Photographic facsimile of title-page, Bertrand's Lettre Missive



Map of Port Royal (1609), from Lescarbot's Histoire de la Nouvlelle France (Paris, 1612)



Map of "La Terre Nevve, Grand Riviere de Canada, et côtes de l'Ocean en la Novvelle France", from Ibid



Historical map of New France, showing missions, forts, portage-routes, tribes, etc.






by Reuben Gold Thwaites

Doubtless Norse Vikings, venturing far southward from outlying colonies in Iceland and Greenland, first coasted New France, and beached their sturdy ships on the shores of New England. But five centuries passed without result, and we cannot properly call them pioneers of American civilization. Columbus it was, who unlocked the eastern door of the new world. Five years later, John Cabot, in behalf of England, was sighting the gloomy headlands of Cape Breton. Cortereal appeared in the neighborhood, in 1501, seeking lands for the Portuguese crown. About this time, at intervals, there came to Newfoundland certain Norman, Breton, and Basque fishers, who, erecting little huts and drying-scaffolds along the rocky shore, sowed the first seed of that polyglot settlement of French, Portuguese, Spanish, and English which has come down to our day almost uninterruptedly. By 1520, these fishermen appear to have known the mainland to the west; for on the map of Sylvanus, in his edition of Ptolemy, that year, we find a delineation of the "square gulf," which answers to the gulf of St. Lawrence in 1520, Fagundus visited these waters for the [page 1] Portuguese, and four years later Verrazano was making for the French an exploration of the coast between North Carolina and Newfoundland. Whether or not Cartier (1535) was the first to sail up the St. Lawrence "until land could be seen on either side," no man can now tell; apparently, he was the first to leave a record of doing so. Progress up the river was checked by Lachine Rapids, and he spent the winter on Montréal island.

France and Spain were just then engaged in one of their periodical quarrels, and adventurers were needed to fight battles at home, so that it was six years before any attempts were made to colonize the river-lands to which Cartier had led the way. In 1541, a Picard seigneur named Roberval, enjoying the friendship of Francis 1st, was commissioned as viceroy of the new country beyond the Atlantic, with Cartier as his chief pilot and captain-general, and a choice selection of jail-birds for colonists. Cartier started off before his chief, built a fort at Québec, and, after a long and miserable winter, picked up a quantity of glittering stones which he took to be gold and diamonds, and gladly, set sail for home. Tradition has it that Roberval met him near the mouth of the river, but was unable to induce him to return to his cheerless task of founding a state in an inhospitable wilderness, with convicts for citizens. Roberval, however, proceeded to Québec with his consignment of prison dregs, and throughout another protracted winter the flag of France floated from the little intrenched camp which Cartier had planted on the summit of the cliff. Roberval's principal occupation appears to have been the disciplining of his unruly followers, a work in which the Gibbet and [page 2] the lash were freely employed. He also essayed explorations up the river; but the rude task was not to his liking, and, with what remained of his battered band, he followed Cartier to France.

It is commonly said that Canada was abandoned by the French between the going of Roberval and the coming of Champlain. But, though little was done toward colonizing on the St. Lawrence, Newfoundland was by no means neglected. Its fishing industry grew apace. The rules of the church, prescribing a fish diet on certain holy days, led to a large use of salted fish throughout catholic Europe; and, by 1578, full a hundred and fifty French vessels alone, chiefly Breton, were employed in the Newfoundland fisheries, while a good trade with the mainland Indians, as far south as the Potomac, had now sprung up. The island colony proved valuable as a supply and repair station for traders and explorers, and thus served as a nucleus of both French and English settlement in America.

It is difficult for us of to-day to realize that, at any time in the world's history, enlightened folk should have thought good colonists could be made out of the sweepings of the jails and gutters of the old world. But in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that delusion was quite generally entertained by would-be founders of states across sea; it required the lessons of more than a hundred years of disastrous experiments to teach discerning men that only the best of the middle class and the masses, can successfully plant a new community in the wilderness. The experiences of Cartier and Roberval on the St. Lawrence, and of Laudonnière in Florida (1564), were of no avail in influencing governmental policy [page 3] at Paris. In 1590, the Marquis de la Roche was sent out with the usual dissolute crew to succeed Roberval as the king's agent on the banks of the St. Lawrence. Leaving part of his ill -favored gang on the desert Sable Isle, off Nova Scotia (where early in the century Baron de Léry had vainly attempted to plant a colony), La Roche set forth to explore the mainland for a site. A wild storm blew his vessels to France, and the wretched skin-clad survivors of the band which he had left behind were not rescued until thirteen years had elapsed. Their tale of horror long rang in the ears of France.

In 1600-1603, Chauvin and Pontgravé made successful trading voyages to the St. Lawrence. Samuel de Champlain was one of the: party which, in the latter year, followed in Cartier's track to Montréal. The same season, a Calvinist, named De Monts, was given the vice-royalty and fur-trade monopoly of Acadia, and in 1604 he landed a strangely-assorted company of vagabonds and gentlemen on St. Croix Island, near the present boundary between Maine and New Brunswick; but in the spring following they settled at Port Royal, near where is now Annapolis, Nova Scotia, thus planting the first French agricultural settlement in America. Five years later, Champlain reared a permanent post on the rock of Québec, and New France was a last, after a century-of experiments, fairly under way.

Various motives influenced he men who sought to establish French colonization in America. The ill-fated agricultural colony of the Huguenots in Florida (1562-68), was avowedly an attempt of Admiral Coligny to found an enduring asylum for French Protestants. The enterprise of New France, [page 4] on the other hand, was the outgrowth of interests more or less conflicting. Doubtless the court had deepest at heart the kingly passion for' territorial aggrandizement; next uppermost, was the pious wish to convert heathen nations to the catholic faith, explorers like Cartier being authorized to discover new lands "in order the better to do what is pleasing to God, our Creator and Redeemer, and what may be for the increase of his holy and sacred name, and of our holy mother, the Church;" the desire for pelf, through the agency of the fur trade and the possibility of the discovery of precious metals, gave commercial zest to the undertaking, and to many was the raison d'être of the colony; and lastly, was the almost universal yearning for adventure, among a people who in the seventeenth century were still imbued with that chivalric temper which among Englishmen is assigned to the Middle Ages. The inner life of New France, throughout its century and a half of existence, was largely a warring between these several interests.

Missionaries came early upon the scene. With the Calvinist De Monts were Huguenot ministers for the benefit of the settlers, and Catholic priests to open a mission among the savages, or the court had stipulated with him that the latter were to be instructed only in the faith of Rome. But no missionary work was done, for the colony was through several years on the verge of dissolution, and the priests became victims of scurvy. Poutrincourt, who held under De Monts the patent for Port Royal, did nothing to further the purposes of the court in this regard, until 1610, when, admonished for his neglect, he brought out with him a secular priest, Messire [page 5] Jesse Fléché, of Langres, who on June 24, " apparently in some haste," baptized twenty-one Abenakis, including the district sagamore, or chief. The account of this affair, which Poutrincourt sent in triumph to France, is the initial document in the present series.

On the twelfth of June, 1611 there arrived at Port Royal, at the instance of King Henry IV, two Jesuit fathers, Pierre Biard and Ennemond Massé. They were, however, not favorably received by Poutrincourt and his followers; they found great practical difficulties in acquiring the Indian languages, and made slight progress in the Herculean task to which they hod been set. To them came, the following year, a lay brother, Gilbert du Thet, who was soon dispatched to the head of the order, in France, with an account of the situation. In the spring of 1613, he returned, in company with Father Quentin. The little band of missionaries had no sooner established themselves at the new French colony on Mt. Desert Island, than the latter was attacked and dispersed by the Virginian Argall. Du Thet was killed in the fight, Massé was, with other colonists, set adrift in a boat, and Biard and Quentin were taken to Virginia, to be eventually shipped to England, and thence allowed to return into France. Several of the earlier documents of our series have to do with this first: and apparently unfruitful mission of the Jesuits to Acadia.

In 1615, Champlain thought the time ripe for the institution of Indian missions upon the St. Lawrence, a spiritual field hitherto neglected, and introduced to Québec four members of the fraternity of Récollets, the most austere of the three orders of [page 6] Franciscans; these were Fathers Denis Jatnay, Jean d'Olbeau, and Joseph le Caron, and a lay brother, Pacifique du Plessis. To d'Olbeau was assigned the conversion of the Montagnais of the Lower St. Lawrence; Le Caron went to the Hurons, or Wyandots, in the vast stretch of forested wilderness west of the Ottawa River, and before the coming of autumn had established a bark chapel in their midst; Jamay and Du Plessis remained in the neighborhood of Québec, ministering to the colonists and the wandering savages who came to the little settlement for purposes of trade or sociability', or through fear of scalp-hunting Iroquois. For ten years did these gray friars practice the rites of he church in the Canadian woods, all the way from the fishing and trading outpost of Tadoussac to the western Lake of the Nipissings. Barefooted, save for' heavy wooden sandals, coarsely clad in gown and hood, enduring in a rigorous climate, to which they were unused, all manner of hardships by flood and field, they were earnestly devoted to their laborious: calling in a time when elsewhere the air of New France was noisy with the strife of self-seeking trade and Politicians. Yet somehow their mission seem without important result. Even less successful was the enterprise of some fellow Récollets, who, in 1619, began independent work among the French fishermen and Micmacs of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Gaspé, but were forced in 1624, after many disasters, to abandon their task, three of them joining the party at Québec.

The little band on the St. Lawrence, although thus reinforced, felt impelled, in 1625, to invite the powerful aid of the Jesuits, who in the face of great odds [page 7] were just then holding most successful missions in Asia, Africa, and South America. In response to the call, three fathers of the black gown came to Québec this year,Masse, who had been of the old Acadian mission, Charles Lalemant, and that giant among them, in both stature and deeds, Jean de Brébeuf. Immediately the work began to broaden, but the records of the dual mission do not give evidence of many converts,a few Huron youth taken to France, and there instructed and baptized, being the chief gains. The wandering habits of the Indians were not favorable to persistent instruction of the young, and adults were unwilling to commit themselves to the new doctrine, even when not openly opposed to its promulgation. The summer months were usually spent by the missionaries at Tadoussac, Québec, and Three Rivers, where trading parties from the tribes were wont to assemble; and, when the latter scattered for their winter hunts, the missionaries accompanied them, sharing the toils, dangers, and discomforts of the movable camps, and often suffering much from positive abuse at the hands of their not over-willing hosts.

The settlements of Port Royal and Québec were at this time wretched little hamlets a few dozen huts each, surrounded by a palisade, and these fell an easy prey to small English naval forces (1628-29). With their fall, ended the slender mission of the Récollets and Jesuits, who were in triumph carried off to England. For a few months, France did not hold one foot of ground in North America . But as peace had been declared between France and England before this conquest, the former received back al of its possessions, and the inevitable struggle for the mastery of the [page 8] continent was postponed for four generations longer.

With the release of Canada to France, in 1632, the Jesuits were by the home authorities placed in sale charge of the spiritual interests of both settlers and Indians, and the history of their greatest missions begins at this time. On the fifth of July, there landed at Québec, Fathers Paul le Jeune and Anne de Nouë, and a lay brother named Gilbert. Le Jeune was the superior, and at once devoted himself to learning the language and customs of the savages, and so studying the enormous field before him intelligently to dispose of his meagre forces.

The Indians.

The existence of rival tribes among the Red Indians of North America, was, perhaps, the most formidable obstacle in the path of the missionaries. It has always been impossible to make any hard-and-fast classification; yet the Indians presented a considerable variety of types, ranging from the Southern Indians, some of whose tribes were in a relatively high stage of material advancement and mental calibre, down to the savage root-eaters of the Rocky Mountain region. The migration of some of the Indian tribes were frequent, and they occupied over-lapping territories, so that it is impossible to fix the tribal boundaries with any degree of exactness. Again, the tribes were so merged by intermarriage, by affiliation, by consolidation, by h fact that there were numerous polyglot villages of renegades, by similarities in manner, habits, and appearance, that it is difficult even to separate he savages into families. It is only on philological grounds that these divisions can be made at all. In a general way [page 9] we may say that between the Atlantic and the Rockies, Hudson Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, there were four Indian languages in vogue, with great varieties of local dialect:

                                                         I.            The Algonkins were the most numerous, holding the greater portion of the country from the unoccupied "debatable land" of Kentucky northward to Hudson Bay, and from the Atlantic westward to the Mississippi, Among their tribes were the Micmacs of Acadia, the Penobscot of Maine, the Montagnais of the St. Lawrence, the: ill-defined tribes of the country round about Lake: St. John, and the Ottawas, Chippewas, Mascoutens, Sacs, Foxes, Pottawattomies, and Illinois of the Upper Lakes. These savages were rude in life and manners, were intensely warlike, depended for subsistence chiefly on hunting and fishing, lived in rude wigwams covered with bark, skins, or matted reeds, practiced agriculture in a crude fashion, and were less stable in their habitations than the Southern Indians. They have made a larger figure in our history than any other family, because through their lands came the heaviest and most aggressive movement of white population, French or English, Estimates of early Indian populations necessarily differ, in the absence of accurate knowledge; but it is now believed that the number was never so great as was at first estimated by the Jesuit fathers and the earliest English colonists. A careful modern estimate is, that the Algonkins at no time numbered over 90,000 souls, and possibly not over 50,000.

                                                       II.            In the heart of this Algonkin land was planted the ethnic group called the Iroquois, with its several distinct branches, often at war with each other. The [page 10] craftiest, most daring, and most intelligent of North American Indians, yet still in the savage hunter state, the Iroquois were the terror of every native band east of the Mississippi, before the coming of the whites, who in turn learned to dread their ferocious power. The five principal tribes of this family Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas, all stationed in palisaded villages south and east of lakes Erie and Ontario formed a loose confederacy styled by themselves and the French "The Long House," and by the English "The Five Nations," which firmly held the waterways connecting the Hudson and Ohio rivers and the Great Lakes. The population of the entire group was not over 17,000a remarkably small number, considering the active part they played in American history, and the control which they exercised through wide tracts of wilderness. Related to, but generally at war with them, were the Hurons of Canada, among whom the Jesuits planted their earliest missions. Champlain, in an endeavor to cultivate the friendship of his Huron and Algonkin neighbors, early made war on the Iroquois, and thus secured for New France a heritage of savage enmity which contributed more than any other one cause to cripple its energies and render it at last an easy prey to the rival power of the English colonies.

                                                     III.            The Southern Indians occupied the country between the Tennessee River and the Gulf, the Appalachian Ranges and the Mississippi. Of a milder disposition than their Northern cousins, the Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks, and Seminoles were rather in a barbarous than in a savage state; by the time of the Revolution, they were not far [page 11] behind the white proprietors in industrial or domestic methods, and numbered not above 50,000 persons. With them, this story of the Jesuit missions has little to do; the Louisiana mission, an offshoot of that of New France, did faithful work here, but the documentary result was neither as interesting nor as prolific, and necessarily occupies but small space in the present series.

                                                     IV.            The Dakotah, or Sioux, family occupied for the most part the country beyond the Mississippi. They were and are a fierce, high-strung people, genuine nomads, and war appears to have been their chief occupation. The Jesuits worked among them but in slight measure, on the waters of the Upper Mississippi; they met this family chiefly in the persons of the Winnebagoes, one of their outlying bands, which at the time of the French occupation was resident on and about Green Bay of Lake Michigan, at peace and in confederacy with the Algonkins who hedged them about. The mission of the French Jesuits to these widely-scattered hordes of savages forms one of the most thrilling chapters in human history. It is impossible, in this brief Introduction, to attempt anything more than the barest outline of the theme; Rochemonteix, Shea, and Parkman have told the .story in detail, from differing points of view, and with these authorities the student of the following documents in the case is presumed to be familiar. A rapid .summary of results will, however, be useful; and this we may best obtain, at the expense of occasional repetition of narrative, by following the fortunes of the pioneers of the Cross through the several district missions into which their work was naturally divided. [page 12]


This mission was chiefly in Maine and Acadia, and on Cape Breton Island. The Abenakis (or Abnakis) were a strong but mild-mannered Algonkin tribe, settled in villages or cantonments; but, like others of their race, in the habit of taking long semi-annual journeys, each winter to hunt, and each summer to fish. We have seen that the French Jesuits, Biard and Massé, were in the field as early as 1611, soon after the establishment of Port Royal; their predecessor being the secular French priest, Fléche, who had been introduced to the country by Poutrincourt, the patentee. Biard and Masse met with many discouragements, chiefly the opposition of Poutrincourt's son, Biencourt (sometimes called Baron St. Just), who had been left in charge of the colony. Never-the-less the missionaries learned the native language, and made many long journeys of exploration, one of Biard's trips extending as far as the mouth of the Kennebec. They were later joined by a lay brother, Du Thet, and by Fathers Quentin and Lalemant. Joining the new French colony on Mt. Desert Island, in the .spring of 1613, the establishment was almost immediately destroyed by the Virginian Argyle. In the skirmish, Du Thet was killed.

In 1619, a party of Récollects, from Aquitaine, began a mission on St. John River, in Acadia, but five years later, as we have seen above, abandoned the task, the survivors joining the Québec mission of their order, Other Récollects were in Acadia, however, between 1630 and 1633, and later we have evidence of a small band of Capuchins ministering to French settlers on the Penobscot and Kennebec; [page 13] but it is probable that they made no attempt to convert the natives.

A Jesuit mission was founded on Cape Breton in 1634, by Father Julian Perrault; and a few years later, Father Charles Turgis was at Miscou. Other missionaries soon came to minister to the Micmacs, but for many years their efforts were without result; and sickness, resulting from the hard ships of the situation, caused most of the early black gowns to retreat from the attempt. Finally, an enduring mission was established among these people, and, until about 1670, was conducted with some measure of success by Fathers Andrew Richard, Martin de Lyonne, and James Fremin. About 1673, the Récollets took up the now abandoned work, occasionally aided by secular priests from the Seminary of Québec, and Jesuits, until at last the Micmacs from Gaspé to Nova Scotia were declared to be entirely converted to the Catholic faith.

Father Gabriel Druillettes, of the Jesuit mission at Sillery, near Québec, went to the Kennebec country in 1646, invited thither by converted Abenakis who had been at Sillery, and during visits, extending through a period of eleven years, was more than ordinarily successful in the task of gaining Indian converts to Christianity. In 1650, he made a notable visit to the Puritans of Eastern Massachusetts, during which was discussed the proposed union between New France and New England, against the Iroquois. Upon the final departure of Druillettes in r657, the Abenakis were but spasmodically served with missionaries; occasionally a Jesuit appeared among them, but the field could not be persistently worked, owing to the demands upon the order from other [page 14] quarters. The fathers now sought to draw Abenaki converts to Sillery, and later to St. Francis de Sales, at the falls of the Chaudiere, which soon became almost exclusively an Abenaki mission.

In 1688, Father Bigot, of this mission, again entered the field of the Kennebec, at the same time that Rev. Peter Thury, a priest of the Québec Seminary, opened a mission on the Penobscot, and the Récollet F. Simon gathered a flock at Medoktek, near the mouth of the St. John. They were in time aided and succeeded by others: the Jesuits being Julian Binneteau, Joseph Aubery, Peter de la Chasse, Stephen Lauverjeat, Loyard, and Sebastian Rale; the death of Rale, the greatest of them all, at the hands of New England partisans in the border strife of 1724, is a familiar incident in American history. Jesuits succeeded to the Penobscot mission in 1703, and with great zeal, but amid continual hardships and discouragements, carried on the principal work among the Abenakis until the downfall of New France in 1763. The majority of the Kennebec converts, however, emigrated to the mission of St. Francis de Sales, and from there frequently went forth upon avenging expeditions against the New England borderers.


This was centered at Tadoussac, and ministered to the Montagnais, Bersiamites, Porcupines, Oumaniwek, Papinachois, and other tribes of the Lower St. Lawrence and the Saguenay. Tadoussac had, from the earliest historic times, been a favorite harbor and trading-station for the French; for, being at the junction of two great rivers, it was convenient as a [page 15] place of assembly for the natives of the lower country, The first priests in the district had said mass there; but it was not until 1640 that a Jesuit mission was formed by Father Jean du Quen, its sphere of influence soon reaching to the upper waters of the Saguenay, Lake St. John, Hudson Bay, and the coast of Labrador. Du Quen was actively assisted by Charles Meiachkwat, a Montagnais convert, who erected the first chapel, became a catchiest, and made extended tours through the neighboring tribes. In time, there were associated with Du Quen, Fathers Buteux and Druillettes. Protracted missionary tours were made by them, with results which were considered satisfactory as compared with other missions; although they had serious difficulties to contend with, in the prevalent intemperance which the fur trade introduced among the natives, the belief in dreams, the laxity of morals, and the wiles of medicine-men, or sorcerers, as they were called by the Jesuits.

For the first few years, the missionaries spent their winters in Québec, ministering to the colonists, and each spring went down to Tadoussac to meet the summer trading parties; but greater persistency of effort was deemed desirable, and thereafter, instead of returning home in the autumn, they followed the Indians upon their winter hunts, and in the course of these wanderings endured the usual privations and hardships of traveling camps. Bailloquet, Nouvel, Beaulieu, Albanel, De Crepieul, Dalmas, Boucher, Peter Michael Laure, and Jean Baptiste Labrosse, are other names of Jesuit fathers who at different periods were engaged upon this toilsome mission.

In 1670, Tadoussac was almost deserted, owing to Iroquois raids and the ravages of smallpox; the [page 16] Montagnais and kindred tribes were in hiding, through the vast country between Lake St. John and Hudson Bay. They were still followed by their devoted shepherds, whom no hardship could discourage. The following year, Crepieul began a mission on Hudson Bay, and here in 1694 his auxiliary Dalmas was killed. Laure (1720-37) left us a monument of his labors in a Montagnais grammar and dictionary. Labrosse, the last of his order at Tadoussac, instructed many of his flock to read and write, and left a legacy of native education, which has lasted unto the present day; he lived and taught long after his order had been suppressed in New France, and died at Tadoussac in 1782.


These included the several missions at Québec, Montréal, Three Rivers, Sillery, Becancourt, and St. Francis de Sales, which were designed for the wandering Montagnais of the district, those Algonkins of the west who could be induced to come and settle on the lower waters, and in later years such Abenakis of Acadia and Maine as sought an asylum upon distinctively French soil.

We have seen that Recollects were first at Québec, ministering both to colonists and Indians, and that, in 1625, they invited the Jesuits to aid them. In 1629, the joint mission came to a close through the surrender of Québec to the English. When the mission was reopened in 1632, Jesuits alone were in charge, their operations being at first confined to the neighboring Montagnais, although they soon spread throughout the entire Canadian field. In 1658, Bishop Laval founded the Seminary of Québec, [page 17] whereupon the Jesuits resigned their parishes among the colonists, and thereafter confined themselves to their college and the Indian missions. In addition to their parish work, the priests of the seminary conducted missions in Acadia, Illinois, and on the lower Mississippi.

The year following the return of the Jesuits to Canada, Father Buteux, of that order, began his labors at Three Rivers, which was a convenient gathering-place for the fur trade. The village was frequently raided by Iroquois, but remained until the fall of New France one of the prominent centers of missionary influence. The efforts of Buteux, which lasted until His death at the hands of Iroquois in 1652, met with considerable success. His custom, like that of the other missionaries, was to be present at the French posts during the annual trading "meets," and when the savages returned to the wilderness, to accompany some selected band. In thus following the nomadic tribes, he made some of the longest and most toilsome journeys recorded in the annals of the Society of Jesus, and shared with his flock all the horrors of famine, pestilence, and inter-tribal war.

It was soon realized by the missionaries that but meagre results could be obtained until the Indians were induced to lead a sedentary life. Their wandering habit nullified all attempts at permanent instruction to the young; it engendered improvidence and laziness, bred famine and disease; and the constant struggle to kill fur-bearing animals for their pelts rapidly depleted the game, while the fur trade wrought contamination in many forms. Missionary efforts were at first conducive to the interests of the [page 18] fur trade, by bringing far-distant tribes within the sphere of French influence; but so soon as the Jesuit sought to change the habits of the natives, to cause them to become agriculturists instead of hunters, and to oppose the rum traffic among them, then the grasping commercial monopoly which controlled the fortunes of New France, and was merely "working" the colony for financial gains, saw in the Jesuit an enemy, and often placed serious obstacles in his path.

In pursuance of the sedentary policy, and also to protect the wretched Montagnais from Iroquois war-parties, the Jesuits, in 1637, established for them a palisaded mission four miles above Québec, at first giving it the name St. Joseph, but later that of Sillery, in honor of Commander Noël Brulart de Sillery, of France, who had given ample funds for the founding of this enterprise. Here were at first gathered twenty of the Indians, who began cultivation of the soil, varied by occasional hunting and fishing trips, which the missionaries could not prevent. The little town slowly grew in importance, both Algonkins and Montagnais being represented in its population. Three years later, nuns opened a hospital at Sillery, for the reception of both French and Indian patients, and thus greatly added to the popularity of the mission. But in 1646 the nuns removed their hospital to Québec; a few years later, the church and mission house were destroyed by fire; disease made sad havoc in the settlement; the thin soil became exhausted through careless tillage; Iroquois preyed upon the converts, until at last the Algonkins almost entirely disappeared; and although their place was taken by Abenakis from Maine and Acadia, until the attendance became almost solely Abenaki, the [page 19] enterprise waned. In 1685, it was abandoned in favor of St. Francis de Sales, a new mission established at the falls of the Chaudiere River, not far from the St. Lawrence Beyond a monument of later days, to the memory of Fathers Massé and De Nouë, whose names are prominently connected with this work, nothing now remains to mark the site of the old Sillery mission.

From St. Francis, the mission work began to spread into Maine. Of its character and extent there, mention has already been made. St. Francis achieved a certain measure of prosperity, as Indian missions go. It became in time a source of serious trouble to the New England borderers, for many a French and Indian war-party was here fitted out against the latter, during the series of bloody conflicts which marked the three-quarters of a century previous to the fall of New France. Finally, in September, 1759, Maj. Robert Rogers descended upon the village with his famous rangers, and in retaliation pillaged and burned the houses, and killed "at least two hundred Indians." New France soon after fell into the hands of the English, and, the Jesuits being suppressed, we hear little more of St. Francis de Sales.

In 1641, the missionary settlement of Montréal was founded by Maisonneuve. The Jesuits were the first resident clergy, and soon began mission work among the neighboring Indians and those who resorted thither from the valleys of the Lower St. Lawrence and the Ottawa. Soon, however, the Sulpitians, established in Paris by the Abbé Olier, one of the Society of Montréal, took charge of the mission on Montréal Island, which in after years was moved to the Sault au Récollect, and thence to the Lake of the Two Mountains, where there was gathered a [page 20] polyglot village composed of Iroquois, Algonkins, and Nipissings. Upon the opening of the English regime, the Jesuit and Récollect missions were suppressed, but those of the Sulpitians were undisturbed, so that this mission at the lake is the oldest now extant in Canada.

Among the Algonkins of the Ottawa River (or Grande Riviere), no permanent missions were attempted by any of the orders. Long the chief highway to the West, the river was familiar to traveling missionaries, who frequently ministered to the tribesmen along its banks, either at the native villages or during the annual trading councils at the French posts of Montréal, Three Rivers, and Québec.


At the time of the advent of the French, the Hurons (or Wyandots), allied in origin and language to the Iroquois, numbered about 16,000 souls, and dwelt in several large villages in a narrow district on the high ground between Lake Smile and Georgian Bay of Lake Huron. Their dwellings were bark cabins, clustered within stoutly palisaded walls, and near each fortified town were fields of corn, beans, pumpkins, and tobacco. Agricultural in habit, keen traders, and in the main sedentary, these semi-naked savages made short hunting and fishing expeditions, and laid up stores for the winter. They were better fighters than the Algonkins around them, yet were obliged gradually to withdraw northward and westward from Iroquois persecution, and during the period of the Jesuit missions were almost annihilated by the latter. To the southwest, across a wide stretch of unpopulated forest, were the allies and kindred of [page 21] the Hurons, the Tionontates, called also Petuns, or Tobacco Nation, a term having its origin in their custom of cultivating large fields of tobacco, which commodity they used in a wide-spread barter with other tribes. To the southeast of the Petuns, West of Lake Ontario and on both sides of the gorge of Niagara, were the peaceful Atiwandaronks, who, being friends alike of Iroquois, Algonkins, and Hurons, were known as the Neutral Nation. To the east-ward of the Neutrals, strongly intrenched in the interlocking basins of the Genesee and' the Mohawk, lay the dread confederacy of the Iroquois, who in time were to spread like a pestilence over the lands of all their neighbors.

The intelligence and mobility of the Hurons rendered the early prospects for missionary effort among them more promising than with the rude and nomadic Algonkins. But while at first the missionaries of New France were well received, the innate .savagery of these people in time asserted itself. Their medicine-men, as bitterly fanatical as the howling dervishes of the Orient, plotted the destruction of the messengers of the new faith; the introduction of European diseases was attributed to the "black gowns"; the ravages of the Iroquois were thought to be brought on by the presence of the strangers; the rites of the church were looked upon as infernal incantations, and the lurid pictures of the Judgment, which were displayed in the little forest chapels, aroused unspeakable terror among this simple people; finally, an irresistible wave of superstitious frenzy led to the blotting out of the mission, accompanied by some of the most heart-rending scenes in the history of Christian evangelization. [page 22]

It will be remembered that in 1615 the Récollet friar, Joseph le Caron, made his way into the far-away country of the Hurons, but returned in the following year, having learned much of their language and customs. Five years later, another of his order, William Poulin, took up the weary task, being joined in 1623 by Fathers Le Caron and Nicholas Viel, and the historian of the Récollet missions, Brother Gabriel Sagard. All of them soon left the field, however, save Viel, who alone, amid almost incredible hardships, attained some measure of success; but in 1625 , when descending the Ottawa to meet and arrange for co-operation with the Jesuit Brébeuf, at Three Rivers, he was willfully drowned by his Indian guide in the last rapid of Des Prairies River, just back of Montréal. Such is the origin of the name of the dread Sault au Récollet.

In 1626 , the Jesuits Brébeuf and Anne de Nouë, having received some linguistic instruction from Récollets who had been in the Huron field, proceeded thither, with a Récollet friar, Joseph de la Roche Daillon, to resume the work which the Récollets had abandoned. Daillon attempted a mission to neighboring Neutrals, but, being roughly handled by them, rejoined his Jesuit friends among the Hurons. Two years later, he returned to Québec, having been preceded by De Nouë, who found it impossible to master the difficult language of their dusky flock. Brébeuf, now left alone, labored gallantly among these people, and, winning the hearts of many by his easy adoption of their manners, gathered about him a little colony of those favorably inclined to his views. He was recalled to Québec in 1629, arriving there just in time to fall into the hands of Louis Kirk, and be transported to England. [page 23]

When Canada was restored to France, by the treaty of St. Germain, the Jesuits were given sole charge of the Indian missions, but it was 1634 before the Huron mission could be reopened. In September, Brébeuf, Antoine Daniel, and Davost returned to Brébeuf's old field, and commenced, in the large town of Ihonatiria, the greatest Jesuit mission in the history of New France. Others soon joined them. Additional missions were opened in neighboring towns, some of the strongest of these being each served by four fathers, who were assisted by laymen donnés, (or given men); while in the cultivation of the soil, and the fashioning of implements and utensils both for the fathers and for the Indians, numerous hired laborers, from the French colonies on the St. Lawrence, were employed in and about the missions. Charles Garnier and Isaac Jogues, with their attendants, made a tour of the Petun villages; other Jesuits were sent among the Neutrals; and even the Algonkins as far northwestward as Sault Ste. Marie were visited (1641) by Raymbault and Jogues, and looked and listened with awe at the celebration of the mass. In 1639, there was built, on the River Wye, the fortified mission house of Ste. Marie, to serve as a center for the wide-spread work, as a place for ecclesiastical retreat for the fathers, and a refuge when enemies pressed too closely upon them.

The story of the hardships and sufferings of the devoted missionaries, as told us by Rochemonteix, Shea, and Parkman, and with rare modesty recorded in the documents to be contained in this series, is one of the most thrilling in the annals of humanity. Space forbids us here to dwell upon the theme. No men have, in the zealous exercise of their faith, [page 24] performed hardier deeds than the/e Jesuits of the Huron mission; yet, after three years of unremitting toil, they could (1640) count but a hundred converts out of a population of 16,000, and these were for the most part sick infants or aged persons, who had died soon after baptism. The rugged braves scorned the approaches of the fathers, and unmercifully tormented their converts; the medicine-men waged continual warfare on their work; smallpox and the Iroquoiswere decimating the people.

Jogues was (1642) sent down to the colonies for supplies for the missions, but with his Huron companions was captured by an Iroquois war-party, who led them to the Mohawk towns. There most of the Hurons were killed, and Joggles and his donné, René Goupil, were tortured and mutilated, and made to serve as slaves to their savage jailers. Finally Goupil, a promising young physician, was killed, and Jogues, being rescued by the Dutch allies of the Mohawks, was sent to Europe. Supplies thus failing them, the Huron missionaries were in a sad plight until finally (1644) relieved by an expedition" to the lower country undertaken at great hazards "by " ' Brébeuf, Garreau, and Noël Chabanel. The , same season, Francis Joseph Bressani, attempting to reach "the Huron missions, had been captured and tortured by Mohawks; like Joggles, he was rescued through Dutch intercession and sent back to Europe, but Both of these zealots were soon back again facing the cruel dangers of their chosen task. '

A temporary peace followed, in 1645, and the hope of the Jesuits was rekindled, for they now had five missions in as many Huron towns, and another established for Algonkins who were resident in the [page 25] Huron district. But in July, 1648, the Iroquois attacked Teanaustayé, the chief Huron village, and while encouraging the frenzied defense Father Daniel lost his life at the hands of the enemy. He was thus the first Jesuit martyr in the Huron mission, and the second in New France,—for Jogues had been tortured to death in the Iroquois towns, two years before. The spirit of the Hurons was crushed in this bloody foray; large bands, deserting their towns, fled in terror to seek protection of the Petuns, while others made their way to the Manitoulin Islands of Lake Huron, and even as far west as the islands of Green Bay and the matted pine forests of Northern Wisconsin. Here and there a town was left, however, and one of the largest of these, called St. Ignatius by the Jesuits, was stormed by a thousand Iroquois, March 16, 1649. The three survivors fled through the woods to neighboring St. Louis, where were Brébeuf, now grown old in his service of toil, and young Gabriella Lalemant. Bravely did they aid in defending St. Louis, and administering to wounded and dying; but at last were captured, and being taken to the ruined town of St. Ignatius were most cruelly tortured until relieved by death. Early in November, Fathers Garnier and Chabanel met their death in the Petun country, the former at the hands of Iroquois, the latter being killed by a Huron who imagined that the presence of the Jesuits had brought curses upon his tribe.

The missions in the Huron country were now entirely abandoned. A few of the surviving Jesuits followed their flocks to the islands in Lake Huron but in ,(June, 1650, the enterprise was forsaken, and the missionaries, with a number of their converts, [page 26] retired to a village, founded for them, on the Island of Orleans, near Québec. This settlement being in time ravaged by the Iroquois, a final stand was made at Lorette, also in the outskirts of Québec, which mission exists to this day.

The great Huron mission, which had been conducted for thirty-five years, had employed twenty-nine missionaries, of whom seven had lost their lives in the work. This important field forsaken, many of the missionaries had returned to Europe disheartened, and apparently the future for Jesuit missions in New France looked gloomy enough. The Iroquois had now practically destroyed the Montagnais between Québec and the Saguenay, the Algonkins of the Ottawa, and the Hurons, Petuns, and Neutrals. The French colonies of Québec, Three Rivers, and Montréal, had suffered from repeated raids of the New York confederates, and their forest trade was now almost wholly destroyed. In this hour of darkness, light suddenly broke upon New France. The politic Iroquois, attacked on either side by the Eries and the Susquehannas, and fearing that while thus engaged their northern victims might revive for combined vengeance, sent overtures of peace to Québec, and cordially invited to their cantonments the once detested black gowns.


Champlain had early made enemies of the Iroquois, by attacking them as the allies of his Algonkin neighbors this enmity extended to all New France, and lasted, with brief intervals of peace, for over half a century. We have seen that Jogues was the first of his order (1642) to enter the Iroquois country, [page 27] as a prisoner of the Mohawks, the easternmost of the five tribes of the confederacy. Two years later, Bressani, while on his way to the Huron mission, was also captured by the Mohawks, passed through a similar experience of torture, was sold to the Dutch, and transported back to France, and again like Jogues resumed his hazardous task of attempting to tame the American savage. during the first peace ( May, 1646 ), Jogues, now in civilian costume, paid a brief visit to his former tormentors on the Mohawk:, this time conveying only expressions of good-will from the governor of New France. His political errand accomplished, he returned to Québec; but in August was back again, with a young French attendant named Lalande, intent on opening a mission among the Iroquois. Meanwhile, there had been .a revulsion of sentiment on their part, and the two Frenchmen had no sooner reached the Mohawk than they were tortured and killed.

During an Iroquois attack upon Québec, seven years later (1653), Father Joseph Anthony Poncet was taken prisoner by the marauders and carried to the Mohawk, where he suffered in the same manner as his predecessors; but his captors being now desirous of a renewal of peace with the French, spared his life, and sent him back to Québec with overtures for a renewal of negotiations. Early in July, 1654, Father Simon le Moyne was sent forth upon a tour of inspection, and returned to Québec in September, with glowing reports of the fervor of his reception by both Mohawks and Onondagas. It was determined to rear a mission among the latter, and thither (1655),a four weeks voyage,proceeded Claude Dablon and Peter Mary Joseph Chaumonot; while, [page 28] to appease the jealous Mohawks, Le Moyne at the same time reopened a brief but unprosperous mission among that tribe.

At first, Dablon and Chaumonot had high hopes of their Onondaga enterprise; but mistrust soon arose in the minds of the natives, and Dablon found it necessary to proceed to Québec and obtain fresh evidences of the friendship of the French. He returned in the early summer of 1656, accompanied by Fathers Francis Le Mercier, superior of the Canadian mission, and René Menard, two lay brothers, and a party of French colonists under a militia captain, who designed founding a settlement in the land of the Iroquois. By the close of the year, the work was in a promising stage; a number of Christianized Hurons, who had been adopted into the confederacy, formed a nucleus or proselyting, several Iroquois converts had been made, and all five of the tribes had been visited by the missionaries. Fathers Paul Ragueneau and Joseph Imbert Dupéron, who had been sent out from Québec in July, 1657, to assist the Onondaga mission, reached it only after many perils en route; for meanwhile, there had been a fresh Iroquois uprising against the Hurons and Ottawas, in which Father Leonard Garreau lost his life near Montréal, and the entire confederacy was soon in an uproar against the white allies of its ancient enemies. The intrepid Le Moyne joined the party in November, and in the following March (1658), on learning that all of the French had been condemned to death, the entire colony stole away in the night, and reached Montréal only after a long and hazardous voyage. The great Iroquois mission, which had promised so happily and cost so [page 29] much in blood and treasure, was now thought to be a thing of the past. There was, however, still another chapter to the story. In the summer of 1660, after two year's of bloody forays against New France, a Cayuga sachem, who had been converted at Onondaga, came to Montréal as a peace messenger, asking for another black gown to minister to the native converts and a number of French captives in the Iroquois towns. Once more, Le Moyne cheerfully set out upon what seemed a path to death; but he passed the winter without molestation, and in the spring following was allowed to return to Canada with the French prisoners.

It was five years later (1665), before the government of New France felt itself sufficiently strong to threaten chastisement of the raiding Iroquois, who had long been making life a torment in the colonies on the St. Lawrence. The Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Seances sued for peace; but the Mohawks were obstinate, and their villages were wasted by fire until they too asked for mercy and the ministrations of the Jesuits. Fathers James Fremin, James Bruyas, and John Pierron were sent out in 1667; later, they were assisted by Julian Garnier, Stephen de Carheil, Peter Milet, and Boniface, so that by the close of 1668 a mission was in progress in each of the five cantonments. A few notable converts were made, among them Catherine Tegakouita, known as the "Iroquois Saint;" Catherine Ganneaktena, an Erie captive who afterwards founded a native mission village on the banks of the St. Lawrence; the head-men Assendasé, Kryn, and Soenrese. But a great success was never possible; here as elsewhere, the vices and superstitions of the tribesmen [page 30] were deep-rooted, and they had not yet reached a stage of culture where the spiritual doctrines. of Christianity appealed strongly, save to a few emotional natures. The converts were subjected to so many annoyances and dangers, that isolation was thought essential, and there was established for them opposite Montréal the palisaded mission of St. Francis Xavier; this settlement, fostered by the French as a buffer against Iroquois attack on the colonists, was subsequently removed to Sault St. Louis and is known in our day as Caughnawaga. This mission, and that of the Sulpitians on Montréal Mountainlater removed to the neighboring Lake of the Two Mountains,—and at Quinté Bay, were frequently recruited by Iroquois Christians, who were carefully instructed by the missionaries in the arts of agriculture and the rites of the church.

This depletion of the Iroquois population alarmed the sachems of the confederacy. To please them, Governor Dongan of New York, himself a Catholic, introduced to the Five Nations three English Jesuits, who sought in vain to counteract the movement. The French did not abandon the Iroquois mission field until 1687, when the rising power of the English obliged them to withdraw from the country. We have, however, glimpses of occasional attempts hereafter to revive the work, Bruyas being on the ground in 1701, joined the following year by James de Lamberville, Garnier, and Le Valliant, and later by James e d'Hue and Peter de Marieul. The entire party were again driven from the cantonments in 1708, De Marieul being the last of his order to remain on duty.

Thereafter, the Jesuits were chiefly devoted to their mission at Caughnawaga, whither many [page 31] Iroquois retreated before the inroads of Dutch and English settlers 'who were now crowding upon their lands. When the black gowns were at last expelled from New France, secular priests continued their work among the remnants of those New York Indians who had sought protection by settling among the French colonists on the St. Lawrence.


This embraced the tribes beyond Lake Huron,—the Chippewas at Sault Ste. Marie, the Beavers, the Crees, the Ottawas and refugee Hurons on Lake Superior, the Menomonees, Pottawattomies, Sacs, Foxes, Winnebagoes, Miamis, Illinois, and those of the Sioux who lived on or near the banks of the Mississippi. The Ottawas were the first Indians from the upper lakes to trade with the French, hence that vast district became early known as the country of the Ottawas. The Huron mission was the door to the Ottawa mission. Jogues and Raimbault were with the Chippewas at Sault Ste. Marie in 1641; but it was nineteen years after that (1660), before they were followed by another Jesuit, the veteran father Ménard, who accompanied an Ottawa fleet up the great river of that name, through Lake Huron and the Sault, and on to Keweenaw Bay, where he said the first mass heard on the shores of the northern sea. After a wretched winter on that inhospitable coast, spent in a shanty of fir boughs, with savage neighbors who reviled his presence, he proceeded inland intent on ministering to some Hurons who had fled from Iroquois persecution to the gloomy pine forest about the upper waters of Black River, in what is now Wisconsin. In August 1661, he lost his life at a portage, [page 32] thus being the first martyr upon the Ottawa mission.

Four years later, Claude Alloüez set out for Lake Superior, and reaching Chequamegon Bay in October (1665), built a little chapel of bark upon the south-west shore of that rock-bound estuary,the famous mission of La Pointe. His flock was a medley, Hurons and Algonkins here clustering in two villages, where they lived on fish, safe at last from the raging Iroquois, although much pestered by the wild Sioux of the west. For thirty years did Alloüez travel from tribe to tribe, through the forests and over the prairies of the vast wilderness which a century later came to be organized into the North-west Territory, and established missions at Green Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, on the Miami and, with Marquette, among the Illinois at Kaskaskia.

Later, there arrive on the scene Fathers Louis Nicholas, James Marquette, Dablon, Louis André, Druillettes, Albanel, and others. the field of the Northwest seemed at first, as did the Huron mission, highly promising. The missionaries were everywhere greeted by large audiences, and much curiosity was displayed concerning the rites of the church;" but, as usual, the nomadic habits of the Indians rendered instruction difficult. The fathers, with great toil and misery, and subject to daily danger and insult, followed their people about upon long hunting and fishing expeditions; and even hen the bands had returned to the squalid village, life there was almost as comfortless as upon the trail. Among the donnés and the Jesuit coadjutor brothers were skillful workers in metal, who repaired the guns and utensils of the natives, and taught them how best to obtain and reduce the ore from lead and copper deposits. [page 33] We have evidence that the copper region of Lake Superior was at times resorted to by the lay follower and their Indian attendants, to obtain material for crucifixes and for the medals which the missionaries gave to converts; and in the lead mines centering about where are now Dubuque, Iowa, and (Galena, 111., the missionary attendants and Indians obtained lea for barter with French fur-traders, who, like the soldiers of the Cross, were by this time wandering a I over the Northwest.

Marquette had succeeded Alloüez at La Pointe, in 1669 ; but it was not long before the Hurons and Ottawas of Chequamegon Bay foolishly incurred the fresh hostility of the Sioux, and the following year were driven eastward like autumn leaves before a blast. Marquette established them in a the new mission, at Point. St. Ignace, opposite Mackinaw; and it was from here that, in 1673, he joined the party of Louis Joliet, en route to the Mississippi River. The St. Ignace mission became the largest and most successful in the Northwest, there being encamped there e, during Marquette's time, about 500 Hurons and 1,300 Ottawas. The interesting story of Marquette, a familiar chapter in. American history, will be fully developed in the documents of this series; and we shall be able to present for the first time a facsimile of the original MS. Journal of his final and fatal voyage (1674), which is preserved among the many treasures of the Jesuit College of St. Mary's, in Montréal. After the suspension of the publication of the Relations, in 1673, we obtain few glimpses of the Ottawa mission, save in the occasional references of travelers. The several local missions in the district were, in the main, probably more successful than those [page 34] in any of the other fields of endeavor. La Pointe, Green Bay, St. Ignace (later Mackinac), Sault Ste. Marie, St. Joseph's, and Kaskaskia >became the most important of them all; and at some of these points Catholic missions are still maintained by Franciscan friars and secular priests, for reside it French Creoles and Indians. The uprising of the Foxes against French power, which lasted spasmodically from about 1700 to 1755, greatly hampered the work of the Jesuits; they did not, during this period, entirely absent themselves from the broad country of the Ottawas, but conversions: were few and the records slight.

There was, for a time, governmental attempt to supplant the Western Jesuits with Récollets. Several friars were with La Salle, who had a great antipathy to the disciples of Loyola,Father Hennepin's adventures belong to this period of Récollet effort, his colleagues at Fort Crèvecoeur being Brothers Ribourde and Membré; but their mission closed with the Iroquois repulse of the French from Crèvecoeur, and the consequent death of Ribourde. When La Salle retired from the region, Allouez resumed the, Illinois mission of the Jesuits; and soon after there arrived upon the ground Fathers Gravier, Marest, Mermet, and Pinet, who, because of the more docile character of the tribes collectively known as the Illinois,Kaskaskias, Cahokias, Peorias, and Tamaroas,found here a relatively fruitful fields. In time, French settlements grew up around the palisaded missions, intermarriages occurred, and the work flourished for many years. Black gowns visited the prosperous Illinois towns as late as 1781, when the death of Father Meurin closed the work of his order in the Northwest. [page 35]


The Jesuit Marquette was in Louisiana in 1673, but established no mission. Nine years later, Membré, of the Récollects, accompanied La Salle into the region, and instructed natives as far down the Mississippi as the mouth; and with La Salle at his death were Anastasius Douay, of the Récollects, and the Sulpitian Cavalier. In 1698, Francis Jolliet de Montigny and Anthony Davion, priests of the Seminary of Québec, established missions on the Yazoo, among the Natchez, and elsewhere in the neighborhood; to their aid, soon came others of their house,St. Côme, Gaulin, Fonçault, and Erborie, who labored until about 1710, when, St. Côme and Fonçault being killed by roving Indians, the survivors retired to the North. The Jesuit Du Rue accompanied Iberville into the country in 1699-1700, followed by De Limoges and Dongé, of his order, their work continuing until about 1704.

In 1721, Father Charlevoix reported that but two priests were then in Louisiana, one at Yazoo and another in New Orleans; at the latter post, a chaplain of some sort was established throughout the French regime. Capuchins and Jesuits were both admitted to Louisiana, in 1722, the former to serve as priest to the French of the country, chiefly at New Orleans and Natchez, while the Jesuits were restricted to the Indian missions although permitted to maintain a house in the outskirts of New Orleans. It was not long before the Illinois mission became attached to Louisiana, and missionaries for that field usually entered upon the work by way of the New Orleans house. Missions were maintained in the villages of [page 36] the Arkansas, Yazoo, Choctaws, and Alibamons: but the uprising of the Indians in the Natchez district, in 1727, led to the fall of these several missions together with that of French colonies above New Orleans. Father Du Poisson was killed by savages at Natchez, where he was temporarily supplying the French settlers in the absence of their Capuchin friar; Souel fell a victim to the Yazoos, at whose hands Doutreleau narrowly escaped destruction. However, the Jesuits did not despair, but soon returned to the Lower Mississippi, where they continued their labors until about 1770, although the order had in 1762 been suppressed in France.

The Louisiana mission of the Jesuits, while producing several martyrs, and rich in striking examples of missionary zeal, has yielded but meagre documentary results; few of the papers in the present series touch upon its work, and indeed detailed knowledge thereof is not easily obtainable, Severed from Canada by a long stretch of wilderness, communication with the St. Lawrence basin was difficult and spasmodic, and in the case of the Jesuits generally unnecessary; for, having their own superior at New Orleans, his allegiance was to the general of the order in France, not to his fellow-superiors in Québec and Montréal. The several missions of New France played a large part in American history; that of Louisiana, although interesting, is of much less importance.

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A few explorers like Champlain, Radisson, and Perrot have left valuable narratives behind them, which are of prime importance in the study of the beginnings of French settlement in America; but it is to [page 37] the Jesuits that we owe the great body of our information concerning the frontiers of New France in the seventeenth century. It was their duty annually to transmit to their superior in Québec, or Montréal, a written journal of their doings; it was also their duty to pay occasional visits to their superior, and to go into retreat at the central house of the Canadian mission. Annually, between 1632 and 1673, the superior made up a narrative, or Relation, of the most important events which had occurred in the several missionary districts under his charge, sometimes using the exact words of the missionaries, and sometimes with considerable editorial skill summarizing the individual journals in a general account, based in part upon the oral reports of visiting fathers. This annual Relation, which in bibliographies occasionally bears the name of the superior, and at other times of the missionary chiefly contributing to it, was forwarded to the provincial of the order in France, and, after careful scrutiny and re-editing, published by him in a series of duodecimo volumes, known collectively as The Jesuit Relations.

The authors of the journals which formed the basis of the Relations were for the most part men of trained intellect, acute observers, and practiced in the art of keeping records of their experiences. They had left the most highly civilized country of their times, to plunge at once in o the heart of the American wilderness, and attempt to win to the Christian faith the fiercest savages known to history. To gain these savages, it was first necessary to know them intimately,their speech, their habits, their manner of thought, their strong points and their weak. These first students of the North American Indian were [page 38] not only amply fitted for their undertaking, but none have since had better opportunity for its prosecution. They were explorers, as well as priests. Bancroft was inexact when he said, in oft-quoted phrase, "Not a cape was turned, not a river entered, but a Jesuit led the way " The actual pioneers of New France were almost always coureurs de bois, in the prosecution of the fur trade; but coureurs de bois, for obvious reasons, seldom kept records, even when capable of doing s , and as a rule we learn of their previous appearance on the scene only through chance allusions in the Relations. The Jesuits performed a great service to mankind in publishing their annals, which are, for historian, geographer, and ethnologist, among our first and best authorities.

Many of the Relations were written in Indian camps, amid a chaos of distractions. Insects innumerable tormented the journalists, they were immersed in scenes of squalor and degradation, overcome by fatigue and lack of proper sustenance, often suffering from wounds and disease, maltreated in a hundred ways by hosts who, at times, might more properly be called jailers; and not seldom had savage superstition risen to such a height, that to be seen making a memorandum was certain to arouse the ferocious enmity of the band. It is not surprising that the composition of these journals of the Jesuits is sometimes crude; the wonder is, that they could be written at all. Nearly always the style is simple and direct. Never does the narrator descend to self-glorification, or dwell unnecessarily upon the details of his continual martyrdom; he never complains of his lot; but sets forth his experience in phrases the most matter-of-fact. His meaning is seldom obscure. [page 39] We gain from his pages a vivid picture of life in the primeval forest, as he lived it; we seem to see him upon his long canoe journeys, squatted amidst his dusky fellows, working his passage at the paddles, and carrying cargoes upon the portage trail; we see him the butt and scorn of the savage camp, sometimes deserted in the heart of the wilderness, and obliged to wait for another flotilla, or to make is way alone as best he can. Arrived at last, at his journey's end, we often find him vainly seeking or shelter in the squalid huts of the natives, with every man's hand against him, but his own heart open to them all. We find him, even when at last domiciled in some far-away village, working against hope to save the unbaptized from eternal damnation; we seem to see the rising storm of opposition, invoked by native medicine-men,who to his seventeenth-century imagination seem devils indeed,and at last the bursting climax of superstitious frenzy which sweeps him and his before it. Not only do these devoted missionaries,never, in any field, has been witnessed greater personal heroism than theirs,live and breathe before us in the Relations; but we have in them our first competent account of the Red Indian, at a time when relatively uncontaminated by contact with Europeans. We seem, in the Relations, to know this crafty savage, to measure him intellectually as well as physically, his inmost thoughts as well as open speech. The fathers did not understand him from an ethnological point of view, as well as he is to-day understood; their minds were tinctured with the scientific fallacies of their time. But, with what is known to-day, the photographic reports in the Relations help the student to an accurate [page 40] picture of the untamed aborigine, and much that mystified the fathers, is now, by aid of their careful journals, easily susceptible of explanation. Few periods of history are so well illuminated as the French regime in North America. This we owe in large measure to the existence of the Jesuit Relations.

What are generally known as the Relations proper, addressed to the superior and published in Paris, under direction of the provincial, commence with Le Jeune's Brieve Relations du Voyage de la Noevelle-France (1632); and thereafter a duodecimo volume, neatly printed and bound in vellum, was issued annually from the press of Sebastien Cramoisy, in Paris, until 1673, when the series was discontinued, probably through the influence of Frontenac, to whom the Jesuits were distasteful. The Relations at once became popular in the court circles of France; their regular appearance was always awaited with the keenest interest, an assisted greatly in creating and fostering the enthusiasm of pious philanthropists, who for many years substantially maintained the missions of New France. In addition to these forty volumes, which to collectors are technically known as "Cramoisys," many similar publications found their way into the hands of the public, the greater part of them bearing date after the suppression of the Cramoisy series. Some were printed in Paris and Lyons by independent publishers; others appeared in Latin and Italian texts, at Rome and other cities in Italy; while in such journals as Mercure François and Annuæ Litteræ Societatis Jesu, occasionally were published letters from the missionaries, of the same nature as the Relations, but briefer and more intimate in tone. It does not appear, however, that popular interest [page 41] in these publications materially affected the secular literature of the period; they were largely used in Jesuit histories of New France, but by others were practically ignored. General literary interest in the Relations was only created about a half century ago, when Dr. E. B. O'Callaghan, editor of the Documentary History of New York, called attention to their great value as storehouses of contemporary information Dr. John G. Shea, author of History of the Catholic Missions among the Indian Tribe's of the United States, and Father Felix Martin, S. J., of Montréal, soon came forward, with fresh studies of the Relations. Collectors at once commenced searching for Cramoisys, which were found to be exceedingly scarce,—most of the originals having been literally worn out in the hands of their devout seventeenth-century readers; finally, the greatest collector of them all, James Lenox, of New York, outstripped his competitors and laid the foundation, in the Lenox Library, of what is to-day probably the only complete collection in America. In 1858, the Canadian government reprinted the Cramoisys, with a few additions, in three stout octavo volumes, carefully edited by Abbés Lavaliere, Planate, and Ferland. These, too, are now rare, copies seldom being offered for sale.

The Québec reprint was followed by two admirable series brought out by Shea and O'Callaghan respectively. Shea's Cramoisy Series (1857-1866) , numbers twenty-five little volumes, the edition of each of which was limited to a hundred copies, now difficult to obtain; it contains for the most part entirely new matter, chiefly Relations prepared for publication by the superiors, after 1672, and miscellaneously printed; among the volumes, however, are a few [page 42] reprints of particularly rare issues of the original Cramoisy press. The O'Callaghan series, seven in number (the edition limited to twenty-five copies) contains different material from Shea's, but of the same character. A further addition to the mass of material was made by Father Martin, in Relations Inédites de la Nouvelle-France, 1672-79 (2 vols., Paris 1861); and by Father Carayon in Première Mission de Jesuites au Canada (Paris, 1864). In 1871, there was published at Québec, under the editorship of Abbés Laverdiere and Casgrain, Le Journal des Jesuites, from the original manuscript in the archives of the Seminary of Québec (now Laval University). The memoranda contained in this volume,a rarity, for the greater part of the edition was accidentally destroyed by fire,were not intended for publication, being of the character of private records, covering the operations of the Jesuits in New France between 1645 and 1668. The Journal is, however, an indispensable complement of the Relations. It was reprinted by a Montréal publisher (J. M. Valois) in 1892, but even this later edition is already exhausted. Many interesting epistles are found in Lettres édifiantes et Curieuses, écrites des Missions. étrangères, which cover the Jesuit missions in many lands, between the years 1702 and 1776; only a small portion of this publication (there are several editions, ranging from 1702-1776 to 1875-77) is devoted to the North American missions.

American historians, from Shea and Parkman down, have already made liberal use of the Relations, and here and there antiquarians and historical societies have published fragmentary translations. The great body of the Relations and their allied documents, however, has never been Englished. The text is difficult, [page 43] for their French is not the French of the modern schools; hence these interesting papers have been doubly inaccessible to the majority of our historical students. The present edition, 'awhile faithfully reproducing the old French text, even in most of its errors, offers to the public, for the first time, an English rendering side by side with the original.

In breadth of scope, also, this edition will, through the generous enterprise of the publishers, readily be first in the field. Not only will it embrace all of the original Cramoisy series, the Shea and O'Callaghan series, those collected by Fathers Martin and Carayon, the Journal des Jésuites, and such of the lettres édifiantes as touch upon the North American missions, but many other valuable documents which have not previously been reprinted; it will contain, also, considerable hitherto-unpublished material from the manuscripts in the archives of St. Mary's College, Montréal, and other depositories. These several documents will be illustrated by faithful reproductions of all the maps and other engravings appearing in the old editions, besides much new material obtained especially for this edition, a prominent feature of which will be authentic portraits of many of the early fathers, and photographic facsimiles of pages from their manuscript letters.

In the Preface to each volume will be given such Bibliographical Data concerning its contents, as seem necessary to the scholar. The appended Notes consist of historical, biographical, archaeological, and miscellaneous comment, which it is hoped may tend to the elucidation of the text. An exhaustive General Index to the English text will appear in the final volume of the series. [page 44]

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There is a dramatic unity in the Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents, as they will be presented in this series. Commencing with a report of the first conversion of savages in New France, in 1611, by a secular priest, and soon drifting into the records of Jesuit missionary effort, they touch upon practically every important enterprise of the Jesuits, in Canada and Louisiana, from the coming of Fathers Biard and Massé, in 1611, to the death, in the closing decade of the eighteenth century, of Father Well, "the last Jesuit of Montreal."

                                                         I.            The series fitly opens with Lescarbot's La Conversion des Savages. Marc Lescarbot, a Paris lawyer, a Huguenot poet as well as historian, and in many respects a picturesque character in the early scenes of our drama, adroitly seeks in this document to convince the Catholic Queen of France that his Huguenot patrons, De Monts and Poutrincourt, are so wisely ordering affairs in their New World domain that not only will the glory of France be enhanced, but the natives be won to Christ through the medium of the Church; for it was part of the agreement entered into with the Crown, by these adventurers, that while their colonists should be permitted to have Huguenot ministers, the aborigines must be converted only by Catholic priests. To this end, [page 45] Lescarbot describes with unction the sudden conversion by a secular priest, Messire Jessé Fléché, of old Chief Membertou and twenty other Micmacs, and their formal baptism on the beach at Port Royal. the object is, of course, to ward off the threatened invasion of New France by the Jesuits, by showing how thoroughly the work of proselyting is being carried forward without their aid.

                                                       II.            By the same ship which, in the hands of Poutrincourt's son, Biencourt, carries to France this ingenious document, one Bertrand, a Huguenot layman sends a message to his friend, the sieur de la Tronchaie. In his Lettre Missive, M. Bertrand describes the conversion of Membertou and his fellow savages, and speaks with enthusiasm of the new country: as well he may, for in Volume II. we shall find Lescarbot testifying that in Paris the worthy Bertrand was "daily tormented by the gout," while at Port Royal he was "entirely free" from it.

                                                     III.            Lescarbot's fervid description of Father Fléché's conversions did not succeed in keeping the Jesuits from New France. The present document is a letter written at Dieppe, by Father Pierre Biard, of the Society of Jesus, to his general at Rome, telling of the adventures which had befallen Father Ennemond Massé and himself, since they, the pioneers of their order in the New World, had been ordered from France to Port Royal. Certain Huguenot merchants of Dieppe conspired to prevent the passage of the Jesuits to America; but finally the queen and other court ladies, favoring the missionaries, purchased control of the Huguenots' ship and cargo, and the exultant fathers are now on the eve of sailing.[page 46]

                                                     IV.            In this letter, written by Biard to his provincial, a few weeks after the arrival at Port Royal, the missionary gives the details of his voyage, describes the spiritual and material condition of Poutrincourt's colony, and outlines plans for work among the Indians - only Huguenot ministers being, as yet, allowed under the charter to serve the spiritual needs of the colonists themselves.

                                                       V.            In this letter, Biard notifies his general of the safe arrival of Massé and himself.

                                                     VI.            A like duty is here performed by Massé.

                                                   VII.            Father Jouvency, one of the eighteenth-century historians of the Society of Jesus, herein gives an historical account of the Canadian missions of his order, in 1611-13; and, by way of comparison, tells of the condition of the same missions in 1703, ending with a list of the Jesuit missions in North America in the year 1710, the date of original publication.

                                                 VIII.            Herein, Jouvency gives a detailed account of the Indian tribes of Canada,- their customs, characteristics, superstitions, etc. Although not in strict chronological order, these chapters are given here as being from the same work as the foregoing.

In the preparation of several of the Notes to Volume I., the Editor has had some assistance from Mrs. Jane Marsh Parker, of Rochester, N. Y.


Madison, Wis., August, 1896.

[page 47]

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Source: Title-page and text, reprinted from original in Lenox Library, New York; the Register of Baptisms from original in the John Carter Brown Library, Providence, R.I.

Peculiarities In Original Pagination: P. 7, misnumbered 1; p. 16, misnumbered 6; pp. 23, 24, are repeated, except the last sentence on p. 24; p. 49 numbered "."

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during this year, 1610.


of the voyage of Sieur D E



JEAN MILLOT, keeping shop upon the steps of

the great Hall of the Palace.


By Royal License.

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[iii] To the Queen.{1}


God having created me a lover of my country and zealous for its glory, I cannot do less than impart to it whatever affects its interests; and so doubtless it will be greatly encouraged by the tidings that the name of Jesus Christ has been proclaimed in the lands beyond the sea, which bear the name of France. But this news is of especial interest to your Majesty, who, upon hearing it, give evidence of your ,great satisfaction [iv] therein.

The Christian World owes this event to the courage and piety of Sieur de Poutrincourt,{2} who cannot lead a life of idleness amid the peaceful prosperity in which we live through the favor of the deceased King, your Husband, But (MADAME), if you wish to see immediate advancement in this work, you must lend a helping hand. Give it wings to fly over the seas, and to penetrate so far into the lands beyond that, even to the uttermost parts where the West unites with the East, every place may resound with the name of France. I know that there is no lack of goodwill and loyalty in the service of the King and of your Majesty, to the end that (after what is due to God) you may be obeyed by all mankind. And as for me, in all that I have ever done, I have endeavored to merit the esteem of the King and of the public, to whom I have dedicated my labors. [v] If I gather any fruit therefrom, I shall willingly consecrate it, and all the energy God has given me, to the enlargement of this enterprise and to whatever may concern the welfare of your service. Meanwhile, be pleased (MADAME) to accept this little ,gospel narrative (gospel because bringing good tidings), which is published in France under your good pleasure, MADAME, by your Majesty's very humble, very obedient and very faithful servant and subject,

Marc Lescarbot. {3}

[page 55]

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[vi] Extract From the Royal License.

By the grace and prerogative of the King, permission is granted to Jean Millot, Bookseller in the city of Paris, to print or to have printed, to sell and distribute throughout all our Kingdom, as often as he may desire, in such form or character as he may see fit, a book, entitled: THE CONVERSION OF THE SAVAGES, composed by MARC LESCARBOT, Counsellor in the Court of Parliament. And this to remain valid until the expiration of six complete years, counting from the day on which the printing of said book shall be finished. During said period of time all Printers, Booksellers, and other persons of whatsoever rank, quality, or condition are prohibited from publishing, selling, imitating, or changing said book or any part thereof, under penalty of confiscation of the copies, and of fifteen hundred livres fine, one-half of which is to be paid to us, and one-half to the poor of the town hospital in this city of Paris, together with the costs, damages, and interests of the aforesaid petitioner: notwithstanding all cries of Haro, Norman Charter,{4} Licenses, letters, or other appeals and counter-claims, opposed to this now or in future. Given at Paris on the ninth day of September, in the year of grace, 1610, and in the first of our reign.

By the King in Council.

Signed, BRIGARD.

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[7] The Conversion of the Savages who have

been baptized in New France dur-

ing this year, 1610.

HE unchangeable word of our Savior Jesus Christ bears witness to us through the lips of saint Matthew that This Gospel of the kingdom, shall be preached in in the whole world, for a testimony to all nations, and then shall the consummation come. History shows that the voice of the Apostles has resounded for several centuries past throughout all the old world, although to-day the Christian kingdoms form the smallest part of it. But as to the new world, discovered some hundred and twenty years ago, we have no proof that the word of God has ever [8] been proclaimed there prior to these later times; unless we are to believe the story of Jean de Lery,{5} who says that one day as he was telling the Brazilians about the great miracles of God in the creation of the world, and the mysteries of our redemption, an old man told him that he had heard his grandfather say that, many years before, a bearded man ( Brazilians have no beards ) had come among them and had related something similar; but that they would not listen to him, and since then had been killing and eating each other. As to the other countries beyond the sea, some of them have indeed a certain vague knowledge of the deluge, and of the immortality of the soul, together with the future reward of those who live aright; but they might have handed this obscure doctrine down, from generation to generation, since the universal deluge which [page 59] happened in the time of Noah. It remains now to deplore the wretched condition of these people who occupy a country so large that the old world bears no comparison with it, if we include the land which lies beyond the straits of Magellan, called [9] Terra del fugo, extending as far toward China and Japan as toward New Guinea; and also the country beyond the great river of Canada,{6} which stretches out to the East and is washed by the great Western ocean. Dense ignorance prevails in all these countries, where there is no evidence that they have ever felt the breath of the Gospel, except in this last century when the Spaniard carried thither some light of the Christian religion, together with his cruelty and avarice.{7} But this was so little that it should not receive much consideration, since by the very confession of those who have written their histories, they have killed almost all the natives of the country, who, only seventy years ago, according to a certain historian,{8} numbered more than twenty millions. For more than twenty-five years, the English have retained a foothold in a country called, in honor of the deceased Queen of England, Virginia, which lies between Florida and the land of the Aumouchiquois.{9} But that country carries on its affairs with so much secrecy, that very few persons know [10] anything definite about it. Soon after I published my History of New France, {10} there was an embarkation of eight hundred men to be sent there. It is not reported that they bathed their hands in the blood of those people, for which they are neither to be praised nor blamed: for there is no law nor pretext which permits us to kill anyone, whosoever he may be, and especially the persons whose property we have seized. But they are [page 61] to be commended if they show to these poor ignorant people the way of salvation by the true and unvarnished doctrine of the Gospel. As to our French people, I have complained enough in my History of the cowardice of these later times, and of our lack of zeal either in reclaiming these poor erring ones, or in making known, exalted, and glorified, the name of God in the lands beyond the seas, where it never has been proclaimed. And yet we wish that country to bear the name of France, a name so august and venerable that we cannot, without a feeling of shame, glory in an un-Christianized France. I know that there are any number of people who are willing to go there. But why is it that [11] the Church, which has so much wealth; why is it that the Nobility, who expend so much needlessly, do not establish some fund for the execution of so holy a work? Two courageous Gentlemen, Sieurs de Monts and de Poutrincourt, have in these later times shown such great zeal in this work, that they have weakened their resources by their outlays, and have done more than their strength justified them in doing. Both have continued their voyages up to the present time. But one of them has been frustrated twice, and has had heavy losses through too great confidence in the words of certain persons. Now, inasmuch as the latest news of our New France comes from Sieur de Poutrincourt, we shall speak here of what he has accomplished, and we have good reason to praise his courage; for (not being able to live among the crowd of idle men, of whom we have only too many, and seeing our France seeming to languish in a monotonous calm that was wearisome to men of action), after having given a thousand proofs of his valor during the last twenty-four [page 63] years, he sought to crown [12] his truly Herculean labors in the cause of God, for which he employs his means and strength, and endangers his life, by increasing the number of celestial citizens, and leading to the fold of Jesus Christ, our sovereign Shepherd, the wandering sheep, whom it would be becoming to the Prelates of the Church to go out and gather in ( at least to contribute to this end ) since they have the means of doing so. But with what difficulty has he labored in this cause up to the present time? Thrice has he crossed the great Ocean to carry on his enterprises. The first year was passed with sieur de Monts in seeking a suitable dwelling and a safe port for the withdrawal of the ships and their crews. In this, they did not meet with much success. The second year passed in the same way, and then he returned to France. During the third year, we experimented with the soil, which yielded abundantly to our cultivation. This present year, discovering through an unfortunate experience that men are not always to be trusted, he made up his mind to depend upon no one but himself, and put to sea on the twenty-sixth of February; the [13] weather being very unfavorable, he made the longest voyage of which I have ever heard; certainly our own, three years ago, was tedious enough, when we drifted about upon the sea for the space of two months and a half before reaching Port Royal. But this one lasted three whole months, so that one reckless man was about to mutiny, going so far as to form wicked conspiracies; but Sieur de Poutrincourt's kindness, and respect for the place where he lived in Paris, served as a shield to protect his life. The first coast which Sieur de Poutrincourt discovered was port Mouton; there, [page 65] among the fogs which are very common in this sea during the Summer, he encountered serious dangers. principally in the neighborhood of Cape Sable, where his ship came near foundering. Thence, in trying to reach Port Royal, he was carried by violent winds forty leagues beyond, namely to the Norombega river, {11} so celebrated and so fabulously described by Geographers and Historians, as I have shown in my said History, where this voyage may be seen in the geographical Chart [14] which I have inserted therein. Thence he came to the river saint John, which is opposite Port Royal beyond French Bay, {12} where he found a ship from St. Malo trading with the Savages of the country. Here complaint was made to him by a Captain of the Savages, that one of the crew of the said ship had stolen away his wife and was abusing her: the Sieur informed himself about the matter and then made a prisoner of the malefactor and seized the ship. {13} But he released the ship and the sailors, contenting himself by retaining the guilty one, who escaped, however, in a shallop, and went off with the Savages, prejudicing them against the French, as we shall relate hereafter. Arrived at last at Port Royal, it is impossible to describe the joy with which these poor people received the Sieur and his company, And, in truth, there was still greater reason for this joy, since they had lost all hope of ever again seeing the French live among them. They had had some experience of our kind treatment while we, were there, and, seeing themselves deprived of it, they wept bitterly when we left them three gears ago.

This Port Royal, the home [15] of sieur de Poutrincourt, is the most beautiful earthly habitation that God has ever made. It is fortified upon the North by a [page 67] range of 12 or 15 leagues of mountains, upon which the Sun beats all day, and by hills on the Southern or Meridian shore, which forms a port that can securely harbor twenty thousand ships being twenty fathoms deep at its entrance, a league and a half in width, and four leagues long, extending to an island which is a French league in circumference: here I have sometimes seen swimming at ease a medium-sized Whale, which came in with the tide at eight o'clock every morning. Furthermore, there can be caught in this port, in their season, great quantities of herring, smelt, sardines, barbels, codfish, seals and other fish; and as to shell-fish, there is an abundance of lobsters, crabs, palourdes, {14} cockles, mussels, snails, and porpoises. porpoises. But whoever is disposed to go beyond the tides of the sea will find in the river quantities of sturgeon and salmon, and will have plenty of sport in landing them. Now, to return to our story; When Sieur de Poutrincourt arrived [6 i.e. 16] there, he found his buildings entire, the Savages (as these people have been called up to the present) not having touched them in any way, even the furniture remaining as we had left it. Anxious about their old friends, they asked how they were all getting along, calling each individual by his name, and asking why such and such a one had not come back. This shows the great amiability of these people, who, having seen in us only the most humane qualities, never flee from us, as they do from the Spaniard in this whole new world. And consequently by a certain gentleness and courtesy, which are as well known to them as to us, it is easy to make them pliant to all our wishes, and especially so in regard to Religion, of which we left them some good impressions when we [page 69] were there; and they seemed to wish for nothing better than to enroll themselves under the banner of, Jesus Christ, where they would have been received at once if we had had a firm foothold in the country. But just as we were hoping to continue [17] the work, it happened that sieur de Monts, being unable longer to meet the expenses, and not receiving any help from the King, was obliged to recall all those who were over there, who had not taken with them the means necessary to a longer sojourn. So it would have been rash and unwise to administer baptism to people whom it was necessary afterwards to abandon, and give them an opportunity to return to their corruption. But now that the work is being carried on in earnest, and as sieur de Poutrincourt has actually settled there, it is lawful to impress upon their minds and souls the stamp of Christianity, after having instructed them in the principal artides of our Faith. Sieur de Poutrincourt is careful to do this, remembering what the Apostle said, He that cometh to God, must believe that he is; and after believing this, one comes gradually to ideas which are farther removed from mere sensual apprehension, such as the belief that out of nothing God created all things, that he made himself man, that he was born of a Virgin, that he consented to die for man, etc. And inasmuch as the Ecclesiastics who have been taken over there are not [18] familiar with the language of these people, the Sieur has taken the trouble to teach them and to have them taught by his eldest son, a young Gentleman who understands and speaks the native language very well, and who seems to have been destined to open up to the Savages the way to heaven. The people who are at Port Royal, and in [page 71] the adjacent countries extending toward Newfoundland, are called Souriquois {15} and have a language of their own. But beyond French Bay, which extends into the land about forty leagues, and is ten or twelve leagues wide, the people on the other side are called Etechemins; and still farther away are the Armouchiquois, whose language is different from that of the Etechemins, and who are fortunate in having an abundance of vines and large grapes, if they only knew how to make use of this fruit, which they believe ( as did our ancient Gauls ) to be poisonous. They also have excellent hemp, which grows wild, and in quality and appearance is much superior to ours. Besides this they have Sassafras, and a great abundance of oak, walnut, plum and chestnut trees, and other fruits which are unknown to us. As to Port Royal, I must confess that there is not [19] much fruit there; and yet the land is productive enough to make us hope from it all that Gallic France yields to us. All these tribes are governed by Captains called Sagamores, a word used with the same signifination in the East Indies, as I have read in the History by Maffeus,{16} and which I believe comes from the Hebrew word Sagan, which, according to Rabbi David, means Great Prince, and sometimes means the one who holds the second place after the sovereign Pontiff. In the usual version of the Bible it is defined "Magistrate", and yet even there the Hebrew interpreters translate it by the word "Prince".And in fact we read in Berosus {17} that Noah was called Saga, as much because he was a great Prince as because he had taught Theology and the ceremonies of divine service, and also many of the secrets of nature, to the Armenian Scythians, whom the ancient [page 73] Cosmographers called "Sages", after Noah. And perhaps for this very same reason our Tectosages, who are the Tolosains, {18} are so called. For this good father, who restored the world, came into Italy and sent [20] a new population into Gaul after the Deluge, giving his name, Gauls (for Xenophon says that he was also called by this name), to those whom he sent there, because he had escaped from the waters. And it is not improbable that he himself imposed this name upon the Tectosages. Let us return to our word Sagamore, which is the title of honor given to the Captains in these new Lands, of which we are speaking. At Port Royal, the name of the Captain or Sagamore of the place is Membertou. {19} He is at least a hundred years old, and may in the course of nature live more than fifty years longer. He has under him a number of families whom he rules, not with so much authority as does our King over his subjects, but with sufficient power to harangue, advise, and lead them to war, to render justice to one who has a grievance, and like matters. He does not impose taxes upon the people, but if there are any profits from the chase he has a share of them, without being obliged to take part in it. It is true that they sometimes make him presents of Beaver skins and other things, when he is occupied in curing the sick, or in questioning [21] his demon (whom he calls Aoutem) to have news of some future event or of the absent: for, as each village, or company of Savages, has an Aoutmoin, or Prophet, who performs this office, Membertou is the one who, from time immemorial, has practiced this art among his followers. He has done it so well that his reputation is far above that of all the other Sagamores of the country, he having been since his youth a great Captain, and [page 75] also having exercised the offices of Soothsayer and Medicine-man, which are the three things most efficacious to the well-being of man, and necessary to this human life. Now this Membertou to-day, by the grace of God, is a Christian, together with all his family, having been baptized, and twenty others with him, on last saint John's day, the 24th of Jnne. I have letters from Sieur de Poutrincourt about it, dated the eleventh day of July following. He said Membertou was named after our late good KING HENRY IV., and his eldest son after Monseigneur the Dauphin, to-day our KING LOUIS XIII., whom may God bless. And so, as a natural consequence, the wife of Membertou [22] was named MARIE after the Queen Regent, and her daughter received the name of the Queen, MARGUERITE. The second son of Membertou, called Actaudin, was named PAUL after our holy Father, the Pope of Rome. The daughter of the aforesaid Louis was named CHRISTINE in honor of Madame, the eldest sister of the King. And thus to each one was given the name of some illustrious or notable personage here in France. A number of other Savages were about to camp elsewhere ( as it is their custom to scatter in bands when summer comes) at the time of these ceremonies of Christian regeneration, whom we believe to be to-day enrolled in the family of God by the same cleansing water of holy baptism. {20} But the devil, who never sleeps, has shown the jealousy which he felt at the salvation of these people, and at seeing that the name of God was glorified in this land, by inciting a wicked Frenchman, not a Frenchman but a Turk, not a Turk but an Atheist, to divert from the path of righteousness several Savages who had been Christians in their hearts and [23] souls for [page 77] three years; and among others a Sagamore named Chkoudun, a man of great infuence, of whom I have made honorable mention in my History of New France, because I saw that he, more than all the others, loved the French, and that he admired our civilization more than their ignorance: to such an extent, that being present sometimes at the Christian admonitions, which were given every Sunday to our French people, he listened attentively, although he did not understand a word; and moreover wore the sign of the Cross upon his bosom, which he also had his servants wear; and he had in imitation of us, a great Cross erected in the public place of his village, called Oigoudi, at the port of the river saint John, ten leagues from Port Royal. Now this man, with others, was turned away from Christianity, by the cursed avarice of this wicked Frenchman to whom I have referred above, and whom I do not wish to name now on account of the love and reverence I bear his father, but I protest that I will immortalize him if he does not mend his ways. He, I say, in order to defraud this Sagamore [24], Chkoudun, of a few Beavers, went last June to bribe him, after having escaped from the hands of Sieur de Poutrincourt, saying that all this Poutrincourt told them about God was nonsense, that they need not believe it, that he was an impostor, that he would kill them and get their Beavers. I omit a great many wicked stories that he may have added to this. If he were of the religious belief of those who call themselves Reformed, I might somewhat excuse him. But he plainly shows that he is neither of the one nor the other. But I will say, however, that he has reason to thank God for his escape from imminent peril on our [page 79] voyage. This Sagamore, being a Christian, by his good example might have caused a great number of others to become Christians. But I am willing to hope, or rather firmly believe, that he will not remain much longer in this error, and that the Sieur will have found some means of attracting him with many others to himself, to impress upon him the vital truths with which he had formerly, in my presence, touched his soul. For the spirit of God has power to drop upon this field fresh dew, which will bring forth a new germination where all has been laid waste and beaten down by the hail. May God, by his grace, guide all in such a way that it will redound to his glory and to the edification of this people, for whom all Christians ought to make continual supplication to his divine goodness, to the end that he may consent to confirm and advance the work, which he has been pleased to begin at this time for the exaltation of his name and for the salvation of his creatures. {21}


[25] There are in that country some men of the Church, of good scholarship, whom nothing but their religious zeal has taken there, and who will not fail to do all that piety requires in this respect. Now, for the present, there is no need of any learned Doctors who may be more useful in combating vices and heresies at home. Besides, there is a certain class of men in whom we cannot have complete confidence, who are in the habit of censuring everything that is not in harmony with their maxims, and wish to rule where ever they are. It is enough to be watched from abroad without having these fault-finders, from whom even the greatest Kings cannot defend themselves, [page 81] come near enough to record every movement of our hearts and souls. And then what would be the use of so many such men over there at present, unless they wanted to devote themselves to the cultivation of the soil? For going there is not all. What they will do, when they get there, must be taken into consideration. As to Sieur de Poutrincourt's residence, he provided himself at his departure with everything that was necessary. But if a few honest people were seized with a desire to [26] advance the cause of the Gospel there, I would advise them to make up five or six parties, each one having a well-equipped ship, and to go and establish colonies in different parts of New France, as at Tadoussac, Gachepé, Campseau, la Héve, Oigoudi, Ste. Croix, Pemptegoet, Kinibeki, and in other places, where there are assemblages of Savages, whom time must lead to the Christian Religion: unless the head of some great family, like the King, wishes to have the sole glory of peopling these lands. For to think of living as the Savages do seems to me out of all reason. And to prove this, the following is an example of their way of living: From the first land ( which is Newfoundland ) to the country of the Armouchiquois, a distance of nearly three hundred leagues, the people are nomads, without agriculture, never stopping g longer than five or six weeks in a place. Pliny mentions a certain people called Ichthyophagi, i.e., Fish-eaters, living in the Same way. These Savages get their living in this manner during three seasons of the year. For, when Spring comes, they divide intobands upon the shores of the sea, until [27] Winter; and then as the fish withdraw to the bottom of the great salt waters, they seek the lakes and the shades of the forests, where they catch [page 83] Beavers, upon which they live, and other game, as Elk, Caribou, Deer, and still smaller animals. And yet, sometimes even in Summer, they do not give up hunting: besides, there are an infinite number of birds on certain islands in the months of May, June, July and August. As to their beds, a skin spread out upon the ground serves as mattress. And in this we have nothing to jest about, for our old Gallic ancestors did the same thing, and even dined from the skins of dogs and wolves, if Diodorus and Strabo tell the truth. But as to the Armouchiquois and Iroquois countries, there is a greater harvest to be gathered there by those who are inspired by religious zeal, because they are not so sparsely populated, and the people cultivate the soil, from which they derive some of the comforts of life. It is true that they do not understand very well how to make bread, not having mills, yeast, or ovens; so they pound their corn in a kind of [28] mortar, and make a paste of it as best they can, and bake it between two stones heated at the fire; or they roast this corn on the ear upon the live coals, as did the old Romans, according to Pliny. Afterwards people learned to bake cakes under the embers; and still later bakers began to make use of ovens. Now these people who cultivate the soil are stationary, not like the others who have nothing of their own, just as the Germans in the time of Tacitus, who has described their ancient way of living. Farther inland, and beyond the Armouchiquois, are the Iroquois tribes, also stationary, because they till the soil, whence they gather maize wheat or Buckwheat), beans, edible roots, and in short all that we have mentioned in describing the Armouchiquois, even more, for from necessity they draw their [page 85] sustenance from the earth, as they are far from the sea. However, they have a great lake in their country, of wonderful extent, perhaps about sixty leagues, around which they encamp. In this lake there are large and beautiful islands inhabited by the Iroquois, who are a great people; the farther [29] we penetrate into the country, the more we find it inhabited: so much so that (if we can believe the Spaniards ) in the country called New Mexico, a long distance to the Southwest of these Iroquois, there are regularly built cities and houses of three and four stories, and even domesticated cattle, whence they have named a certain river Rio de las Vaccas, or Cow river, because they saw a large number of them grazing on its banks. And this country is more than five hundred leagues directly to the north of old Mexico, being near, I believe, the end of the great lake of the river of Canada which (according to the Savages ) is a thirty days journey in length. I believe that robust and hardy men could live among these people, and do great work for the advancement of the Christian Religion. But as to the Souriquois and Etechemins, who are nomadic and divided, they must be made sedentary by the cultivation of the land, thus obliging them to remain in one place. For any one who has taken the trouble to cultivate a piece of land does not readily abandon it, but struggles valiantly to keep it. [30] But, I think, the execution of this plan will be very slow unless we take hold of it with more zeal, and unless a King, or some rich Prince, take this cause in hand, which is certainly worthy a most Christian kingdom. Great expense and loss of life were once incurred in the re-conquest of Palestine, from which there was little profit; and to-day at slight expense wonders could [page 87] be accomplished, and an infinite number of people won over to God, without striking a blow: and yet we are touched by an inexplicable apathy in religious matters, which is quite different from the fervid zeal which of old burned in the bosoms of our fathers. If we did not expect any temporal fruit from these labors, I would pardon this human weakness. But there are such well-founded hopes of good usury, that they close the mouths of all the enemies of that country, who decry it in order not to lose the traffic in Beaver and other furs from which they gain a livelihood, and without which they would die of starvation or would not know what to do. But if the King and the Queen Regent, his mother, in whom God has kindled a fire of piety, should be pleased to take an interest in this (as she has certainly done in the report of the Conversion of the Savages, baptized through the [31] instrumentality of Sieur de Poutrincourt) and would leave some memorial of herself, or rather would secure for herself the blessedness of heaven by this most godly act, no one can tell how great would be her future glory in being the first to establish the Gospel in such vast territories, which ( so to speak ) have no bounds. If Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine, had found such a field for good work, she would have greatly preferred to glorify God with living temples, instead of building so many marble edifices, with which she has filled the holy land. And, after all, the hope of temporal profit is not vain. For on one hand Sieur de Poutrincourt will continue to be the servant of the King in the country which his Majesty has granted him; where he would afford a rendezvous and give assistance to all the vessels which go every year to the new [page 89] World, where they encounter a thousand hardships and, as we have seen and heard, great numbers of them are lost. On the other hand, penetrating into the country, we might become familiar with the route to China and the Moluccas, through a mild climate and latitude, establishing a few stations, or [32] settlements, at the Falls of the great Canadian river, then at the lakes which are beyond, the last of which is not far from the great Western sea, through which the Spaniards to-day reach the Orient. Or, indeed, the same enterprise could be carried on through the Saguenay river, beyond which the Savages say there is a sea of which they have never seen the end, which is without doubt that Northern passage that has been so long sought in vain. So that we could have spices and other drugs without begging them from the Spaniards, and the profits derived from us upon these commodities would remain in the hands of the King, not counting the advantages of having hides, pasturage, fisheries, and other sources of wealth. But we must sow before we can reap. In this work we could give employment to many of the youth of France, a part of whom languish in poverty or in idleness: while others go to foreign countries to teach the trades which in former times belonged strictly and peculiarly to us, and by means of which France was filled with prosperity; whereas, to-day, a long period of peace has not yet been able to restore to her her former glory, as much [33] for the reasons just given, as for the number of idle men, and of able-bodied and voluntary mendicants, whom the public supports. Among these obstacles we may place also the evil of chicanery, which preys upon our nation, and which has always been a reproach to it. This would be [page 91] somewhat obviated by frequent voyages; for, a part of these pettifoggers would sooner conquer some new land, remaining under the dominion of the King, than. follow up their cause here with so much loss, delay anxiety, and labor. And, in this respect, I consider all these poor savages, whom we commiserate, to be very happy; for pale Envy doth not emaciate them, neither do they feel the inhumanity of those who serve God hypocritically, harassing their fellow-creatures under this mask: nor are they subject to the artifices of those who, lacking virtue and goodness wrap themselves up in a mantle of false piety to nourish their ambition. If they do not know God, at least they do not blaspheme him, as the greater number of Christians do. Nor do they understand the art of poisoning, or of corrupting [34] chastity by devilish artifice. There are no poor nor beggars among them. All are rich, because all labor and live. But among us it is very different, for more than half of us live from the labors of the others, having no trades which serve to the support of human life. If that country were settled, there are men who would do there what they have not courage to do here. Here they would not dare to be wood-cutters, husbandmen, vinedressers, etc., because their fathers were pettifoggers, barber-surgeons, and apothecaries But over yonder they would forget their fear of being ridiculed, and would take pleasure in cultivating their land, having a great many companions of as good families as theirs. Cultivating the soil is the most innocent of occupations and the most sure; it was the occupation of those from whom we have all descended, and of those brave Roman Captains who knew how to subjugate, but not how to be subjugated. [page 93] But now, since pomp and malice have been introduced among men, what was virtue has been turned into reproach, and idlers have risen into favor. However, let us leave these people, and return to Sieur de Poutrincourt, or rather to you, O most Christian Queen, [35] the greatest and most cherished of heaven, whom the eye of the world looks down upon in its daily round about this universe. You who have the control of the most noble Empire here below, how can you see a Gentleman so full of good will, without employing and helping him ? Will you let him carry off the greatest honor in the world when it might have been yours, and will you let the triumph of this affair remain with him and not share in it yourself? No, no, Madame, all must proceed from you, and as the stars borrow their light from the sun, so upon the King, and upon you who have given him to us, all the great deeds of the French depend. We must then anticipate this glory, and not yield it to another, while you have a Poutrincourt, a loyal Frenchman who served the late lamented King, your Husband (may God give him absolution), in affairs of State which are not recorded in history. In revenge for which his house and property passed through the ordeal of fire. He is not crossing the Ocean to see the country, as have nearly all the others who have undertaken similar voyages [36] at the expense of our Kings. But he shows so plainly what his intentions are, that we cannot doubt them, and your Majesty will risk nothing by employing him in earnest for the propagation of the Christian religion in the eastern lands beyond the sea. You recognize his zeal, your own is incomparable; but you must take thought as to how you may best employ it. I commend the [page 95] Princesses and Ladies who for fifteen years have given of their means for the repose of those men or women who wished to sequester themselves from the world. But I believe (under correction) that their piety would shine with greater luster if it were shown in behalf of these poor Western nations, who are in a lamentable condition, and whose lark of instruction cries to God for vengeance against those who might help them to become Christians, and will not. A Queen of Castille caused the Christian religion to be introduced into the lands of the West which belong to Spain; so act, O light of the Queens of the world, that through your instrumentality, the name of God may soon be proclaimed throughout all this new world, where it is not yet known. Now resuming the thread of our [37] History, as we have spoken of the voyage of Sieur de Poutrincourt, it will not be out of place, if, after having touched upon the hardships and tediousness of his journey, which retarded him one year, we say a word about the return of his ship; which will be brief, inasmuch as the voyages from the Western world, this side of the Tropic of Cancer, are usually so. I have given the reason for this in my History of New France, to which I refer the Reader, where he will also learn why it is that in Summer the sea there is overhung with fogs to such an extent that for one clear day there are two foggy ones; and twice we were in fogs which lasted eight entire days. This is why Sieur de Poutrincourt's son, when he was sent back to France for fresh supplies, was as long in reaching the great Codfish Banks from Port Royal, as in getting to France from the said Banks; and yet from these Banks to the coast of France there are eight hundred good leagues; and [page 97] thence to Port Royal there are hardly [38] more than three hundred. It is upon these Banks that a great many ships are usually found all the Summer, fishing for Cod, which are brought to France and are called Newfoundland Codfish. So Sieur de Poutrincourt's son ( who is called Baron de Sainct Just), on arriving at these Banks, laid in a supply of fresh meat and fish. While doing this he met a ship from Rochelle and another from Havre de Grace, whence he heard the news of the lamentable death of our late good King, without knowing by whom or how he was killed. But afterwards he met an English ship from which he heard the same thing, certain persons being accused of this parricide whom I will not here name; for they brought this accusation through hatred and envy, being great enemies of those whom they accused. So in fifteen days Baron de Sainct Just made the distance between the Banks and France, always sailing before the wind ; a voyage certainly much more agreeable than that of the twenty-sixth day of February mentioned above. Sieur de Monts's crew left Havre de Grace nine or ten days after this twenty-sixth of February to go to Kebec, forty leagues beyond [39] the Saguenay river, where Sieur de Monts has fortified himself. But contrary winds compelled them to put into port. And thereupon a report was circulated that Sieur de Poutrincourt was lost in the sea with all his crew. I did not believe this for an instant, trusting that God would help him and would enable him to surmount all difficulties. We have as yet no news from Kebec, but expect to hear from there soon. I can say truly that if ever any good comes out of New France, posterity will be indebted for it to Sieur de Monts, author of these enterprises: [page 99] and if they had not taken away the license which was granted him to trade in Beaver and other skins, to-day we should have had a vast number of cattle, fruit-trees, people, and buildings in the said province. For he earnestly desired to see everything established there to the honor of God and of France. And, although he has been deprived of the motive for continuing, yet up to the present he does not seem discouraged in doing what he can; for he has had built at Kebec a Fort and some very good and convenient dwellings. Here at Kebec this [40] great and mighty river of Canada narrows down and is only a falcon-shot wide; it has as great a supply of fish as any river in the world. As to the country, it is wonderfully beautiful, and abounds in game. But being in a colder region than Port Royal, since it is eighty leagues farther North, the fur there is all the finer. For (among other animals) the Foxes are black and of such beautiful fur that they seem to put the Martens to shame. The Savages of Port Royal can go to Kebec in ten or twelve days by means of the rivers, which they navigate almost up to their sources; and thence, carrying their little bark canoes for some distance through the woods, they reach another stream which flows into the river of Canada, and thus greatly expedite their long Voyages, which we ourselves could not do in the present state of the country. And from Port Royal to Kebec by sea it is more than four hundred leagues, going by way of Cape Breton. Sieur de Monts sent some cows there two years and a half ago, but for want of some village housewife who understood [41] taking care of them, they let the greater part die in giving birth to their calves. Which shows how necessary a woman is in [page 101] a house, and I cannot understand why so many people slight them, although they cannot do without them. For my part, I shall always believe that, in any settlement whatsoever, nothing will be accomplished without the presence of women. Without them life is sad, sickness comes, and we die uncaredfor. Therefore I despise those woman-haters who have wished them all sorts of evil, which I hope will overtake that lunatic in particular, who has been placed among the number of the seven Sages, who said that woman is a necessary evil, since there is no blessing in the world to be compare to her. Therefore God gave her as a companion to man, to aid and comfort him: and the Wise Man says:—Woe to him that is alone, for when he falleth, he hath none to lift him up. And if two lie together, they shall warm one another. If there are some worthless women, we must remember that men are not faultless. Several suffered because of this lack of cows, for when they fell ill they did not have all the comforts [42] that they would have had otherwise, and so they have departed to the Elysian fields. Another, who had been with us on the voyage, did not have the patience to wait for death, but must needs go to heaven by scaling the walls, as soon as he arrived there, by a conspiracy against sieur de Champlein, his Captain. His accomplices were condemned to the galleys and sent back to France. When Summer came, that is a year ago, Champlein wishing to see the country of the Iroquois, to prevent the Savages from seizing his Fort in his absence, persuaded them to go and make war against them; so they departed with him and two other Frenchmen, to the number of eighty or a hundred, to the lake of [page 103] the Iroquois, two hundred leagues distant from Kebec. There has always been war between these two nations, as there has been between the Souriquois and Armouchiquois: and sometimes the Iroquois have raised as many as eight thousand men to war against and exterminate all those who live near the great river of Canada: and it seems that they did this, as to-day the language which was spoken in the [43] time of Jacques Cartier, who was there eighty years ago, is no longer heard in that region.{22} When Champlein arrived there with his troops, they could not conceal themselves so well but that they were perceived by the Iroquois, who always have sentinels upon the routes of their enemies: and each side being well fortified, it was agreed among them not to fight that day, but to postpone the affair until the morrow. The weather then was very clear; so clear that scarcely had Aurora chased away the shadows of the night, than a din was heard throughout the camp. An Iroquois skirmisher having tried to issue from the fortifications, was pierced through, not by one of the arrows of Apollo, nor of the little Archer with the blindfolded eyes, but by a genuine and very painful arrow, which stretched him out upon his back. Thereupon the eyes of the offended were full of ire, and each one takes his place in the line of attack and defense. As the band of Iroquois advances, Champlein, who had charged his musket with two balls, seeing two Iroquois, their heads adorned with feathers, marching on in front, supposed they were two Captains, and wanted to advance [44] and aim at them. But the Kebec Savages prevented him, saying:- "It is not well that they should see thee, for, never having been accustomed [page 105] to see such people as thou art, they would immediately run away. But withdraw behind our first rank, and when we are ready, thou shalt advance." He did so, and in this way the two Captains were both slain by one musket shot. Victory ensued at once. For they all disbanded, and it only remained to pursue them. This was done with little opposition, and they carried off some fifty of their enemies heads, a triumph which, upon their return, they celebrated with great festivities, consisting of continual Tabagies,{23} dances, and chants, according to their custom.{24}


[page 107]

45] Extract from the Register of Baptism in the Church of Port Royal, New France. The day of Saint John the Baptist, June 24.

EMBERTOU, a great Sagamore, over one hundred years old, has been baptized by Messire Jessé Fleche, {25} a priest; and named Henry, by Monsieur de Poutrincourt, after the late king.

2.        Membertoucoichis (called Judas), eldest son of Membertou, over sixty years old, also baptized; and named Louis, by Monsieur de Biencour, after Monsieur the Dauphin.

3.        The eldest son of Membertoucoichis, now called Louis Membertou, aged five years, baptized; Monsieur de Poutrincourt godfather, and named John, after himself.

4.        The eldest daughter of said Louis, aged thirteen years, also baptized; and named Christine by Sieur de Poutrincourt, after Madame the eldest daughter of France.

5.        The second daughter of the said Louis, eleven years old, also baptized; and named Elizabeth by sieur de Poutrincourt, after Madame, the youngest daughter of France.

6.        The third daughter of said Louis, Sieur de Poutrincourt godfather, also baptized, and named Claude, in honor of his wife.

7.       The fourth daughter of said Louis, Monsieur de Coullogne godfather, was named Catherine, after his mother. [page 106]

8.        The fifth daughter of said Louis was named Jeanne, thus named by sieur de Poutrincourt, after one of his daughters. [46]

9.        The sixth daughter of said Louis, René Maheu godfather, was named Charlotte, after his mother.

10.     Actavdinech, the third son of Henry Membertou, was named Paul by sieur de Poutrincourt, after Pope Paul.

11.     The wife of said Paul was named Renée, after Madame d'Ardanville.

12.     The wife of said Henry, sieur de Poutrincourt sponsor in the name of the Queen, was named MARRE, after her.

13.     The daughter of Henry, sieur de Poutrin court godfather, was named Marguerite, after Queen Marguerite.

14.     One of the wives of Louis, Monsieur de Jouï sponsor in the name of Mme. de Sigogne, was named after her.

15.     The other wife of Louis, sieur de Poutrincourt sponsor in the name of Madame de Dampierre.

16.     Arnest, cousin of Henry, sieur de Poutrincourt godfather in the name of Monsieur the Nuncio, was after him named Robert.

17.     Agovdegoven, also cousin of Henry, was by sieur de Poutrincourt named Nicholas, after Monsieur de Noyers, a Lawyer of the Parliament of Paris.

18.     The wife of said Nicholas, sieur de Poutrincourt godfather in the name of his nephew, was named Philippe.

19.     The eldest daughter of Nicholas, the said Sieur sponsor in the name of Madame de Belloy, his niece, was after her named Louise.

20.     The younger daughter of Nicholas, the said [page 111] sieur being godfather for Jacques de Salazar, his son, was named Jacqueline.

21.     A niece of Henry, Monsieur de Coullongne sponsor in the name of Mademoiselle de Grandmare, was after her named Anne.


[page 113]

¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯


Bertrand's Lettre Missive

Touchant la Conversion et Baptesme du grand


Paris: JEAN REGNOUL, 1610


Source: Title-page and text reprinted from original in Lenox Library.

[page 115]

¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯





of the grand Sagamore of New France, who was, before the arrival of the French, its chief and sovereign.





Containing his promise to secure the con-

version of his subjects also, even by

strength of arms.



Sent from Port Royal, in New France, to

Sieur de la Tronchaie, dated

June 28, 1610.





JEAN REGNOUL, Rue du Foin,

near Saint Ives.




With permission






[page 119]

[3] A Letter Missive in regard to the Conversion

and Baptism of the Grand Sagamore of new

France, who was, before the arrival of

the French, its chief and sovereign.

ir and Brother, I did not wish the ship to depart without giving you some news of this country which I believe will be acceptable, as I know that you are a good Catholic. The Grand Sagamore, whom we call in our language Grand Captain of the Savages, and chief of all, was baptized on last saint John the Baptist's day, [4] with his wife, children, and children's children, to the number of twenty; with as much enthusiasm, fervor, and zeal for Religion as would have been evinced by a person who had been instructed in it for three or four years. He promises to have the others baptized, or else make war upon them. Monsieur de Poutrincourt and his son acted as sponsors for them in the name of the King, and of Monseigneur the Dauphin. We have already made this good beginning, which I believe will become still better hereafter. As to the country, I have never seen anything so beautiful, better, or more fertile; and I can say to you, truly and honestly, that if I had three or four Laborers with me now, and [5] the means of supporting them for one year, and some wheat to sow in the ground tilled by their labor alone, I should expect to have a yearly trade in Beaver and other Skins amounting to seven or eight thousand livres, with the [page 131] surplus which would remain to me after their support. am very sorry that did not know before my departure what know now; if had, should have left no stone unturned to bring with me two or three farmers, and two hogsheads of wheat, which is a mere trifle. assure you it is delightful to engage in trade over here and to make such handsome profits. If you wish to take a hand in it, let me know your intentions by the bearer, who desires to return and traffic here in pursuance of what he has seen. [6] shall say no more, except to pray God to give you, Sir and Brother, a long life and perfect health. From Port Royal, New France, this 28th of, June, 1610.

Your very affectlonate Brother and servant,


[page 123]

¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯



Lettre du P. Pierre Biard, au T. R.-P. Claude


Dieppe, Janvier 21, 1611

Lettre du P. Biard, au R.-P. Christophe Baltazar

Port Royal, Juin 10, 1611

Lettre du P. Ennemond Massé, au T. R.-P.


Port Royal, Juin 10, 1611

Lettre du P. Biard, au T. R.-P. Aquaviva

Port Royal, Juin 11, 1611


SOURCE: Reprinted from Première Mission des Jésuites

au Canada, by Auguste Carayon, S. J. Paris: L'Écureux,




[page 125]

¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯



Letter From Father Pierre Biard{27} to the Very Rev-

erend Father Claude Aquaviva{28} General

of the Society of Jesus, Rome.

(Translated from the Latin original, preserved in the

Archives of Jesus, at Rome.)


Dieppe, January 21st, 1611.{29}


The peace of Christ be with you.

Would that I could recount how great and numerous have been the mercies of God, the fruits of his blessing and of our prayers in this our little enterprise; that is to say, how [2] we have emerged from

* We shall add to the letters of our first missionaries to Canada a fragment of a memoir entitled: Records of New France from the year 1607 to the year 1737. - Of the Island of Martinique from the year 1678. - Of the Island of Cayenne from the year 1668.

The translation of chapter 11. of this manuscript, preserved in our archives at Rome, will give a collection of Facts about New [2] France, which are not found in the letters we publish.

Among the gentlemen who offered themselves to Henry the Great, of happy memory, to undertake the colonization of New France, was sieur de Potrincourt. The king granted him all that he asked, but at the same time gave him to understand that he must take with him some religious persons from our Society for the purpose of securing, according to his orders, the salvation of the savages; furthermore, that the expense of this mission would in no respect devolve upon him, but would be provided for from the royal Treasury.

[page 127]

grave and multiplied difficulties, and how, delivered from every obstacle, we depart for New France, the place to which we [3] are bound, as Your Reverence

The Reverend Father Pierre Coton, then confessor and preacher to the king, and who was very highly esteemed by His Majesty, as we know, was commissioned by him to select, from his Society, some men capable of conducting to a successful issue this perilous and holy' enterprise.

Many of our religious offered themselves for this distant mission. Among them was noticed Father Pierre Biard, a man whose integrity equaled his talent, and who then occupied the chair of theology at Lyons. The choice of the superiors fell upon him and upon Father Ennemond Masse, of whom we shall speak hereafter.

They both departed in 1608 for Bordeaux, where they intended to embark, but they were obliged to wait three years. For the gentleman, of whom we have already spoken, postponed his departure; then he offered as an excuse the necessity of making a trial voyage, in order, said he, to prepare a suitable dwelling for the Fathers. In fact he did make this journey, accompanied by a secular priest, who, yielding to a thoughtless zeal, baptized a hundred savages without having sufficiently instructed and tested them. Later, it was discovered that these poor people had not even understood what they had received.

Three years afterwards, on returning from his voyage, sieur de Potrincourt, urged by the queen-mother, undertook to convey our Fathers to [3] Canada. But it was not without great difficulty and much suffering that they reached Port Royal, upon the coast of Acadia.

The year following their arrival, two others of our Society went to join them, namely, Father Quentin and Gilbert du Thet, a Brother-coadjutor.{30} A two years sojourn in Port Royal demonstrated to them the impossibility of making that the center of their mission, either on account of the difficulty of attracting there a great assemblage of savages, or because of the bickerings of those in command. They transferred the seat of their mission to another point upon the same coast, in latitude 45° 30', according to a decree of the king. This settlement received the name of Saint Savior. They had been established there but a short time, when the English, coming upon them suddenly, took possession of the French ship, seized the letters-patent of the commander, and, by a piece of outrageous rascality, treated him as a pirate. At the moment of attack several Frenchmen were killed, and among them brother Gilbert du Thet, a man remarkable for his courage and piety.

[page 129]

knows. For this you may rejoice with great consolation in the name of the Lord.

[4] But it has already struck midnight, and we are to sail at break of day, so I shall give you only a summary of the events which have taken place.

When the heretic merchants saw us at Dieppe, upon the day fixed for our departure, the 27th of October of last year, 1610 (we had, in fact, agreed to

The victorious English, after having pillaged as much as they liked, abandoned part of the French in a miserable bark, and took with them to Virginia Fathers Biard and Quentin. Our two prisoners expected to be condemned to death, especially when, being taken back to Port Royal, they refused to make known the hiding-place of the French who were concealed in the neighborhood. Turning their course a second time toward Virginia, they would probably have met death there, had not divine Providence frustrated all the efforts of the English sailors to land. A violent storm cast them upon the Azores islands, which belong to Portugal; and there, in spite of all their efforts, they were obliged to disembark.

Even the English were forced to admire the loyalty and charity [4] of our Fathers, who, by showing themselves to the Portuguese, might have caused the seizure of the ship, and had the English condemned and executed as pirates. Before entering port they exacted from their prisoners the promise not to denounce them, and to keep themselves concealed during their entire sojourn at the Azores. While the Portuguese were visiting the ship, the Fathers remained in the bottom of the hold, where they escaped observation. This generosity and loyalty in keeping their word so surprised the English that they immediately changed their treatment of their captives, and took them directly to England, where they publicly eulogized them.

The French ambassador, on hearing of their arrival, hastened to reclaim them, and had them taken back honorably into their own country, in the month of May, 1614.

This first voyage of our missionaries, apparently so futile, had, however, fortunate results. Beside the experience acquired, of which good use was made, the zeal of French Catholics, revived by the stories of the Fathers, created new resources; and as soon as the French colony was delivered from the English, the Jesuits resumed their voyages to Canada, where they finally founded one of the finest missions of the Society.- [Carayon.]

[page 131]

sail from Dieppe), they contrived a plan which they considered capable of injuring us. Two of them {31} had made a contract with Monsieur de Potrincourt to load and equip his ship, [5] in which we were to make the voyage. They straightway declared that they would have nothing more to do with the vessel, if it were going to carry any Jesuits. It was a remarkable exhibition of malice, as was easy to prove, especially when the Catholics informed them that they were in duty bound not to reject the Jesuits, since it was the formal order of the Queen.{32}

However, nothing could be gained from them, and the Catholics were again obliged to have recourse to the Queen. Her Majesty writes to the governor of the city, a zealous and pious catholic, and charges him to inform the heretics that it is her will that the Jesuits be received in the ship which is about to depart for New France, and that no obstacle be put in their way.

When these letters are received, the governor assembles what is called the consistory, namely, all faithful disciples of Calvin. He reads the Queen's letters and urges them to be obedient. Some of them namely, those who were well disposed toward us boldly declare that they also are of the same opinion; and they try to induce the merchants to yield. But they declare that for their part they are not the masters. At least they say this in public; but in private one of the merchants who was charged with fitting out the vessel, protested that he would put nothing into it; that the Queen, if she wished, could deprive him [6] of his right, but that he certainly would not yield it otherwise.

What was to be done? In truth, all proceedings [page 133] were at a standstill; for this society had no written contract, .since agreements of this kind among noblemen are not usually put upon paper. Therefore they could not prosecute these heretics.

They address themselves anew to the Queen. In the presence of such effrontery she quoted the words of the proverb: "Never stoop to entreat a churl", and added that the Fathers should go another time.

The dismayed Catholics then declare to the heretics that the Jesuits will not embark upon their vessel, and that consequently they may go on freighting it; and that, in any event, if the Jesuits did occupy a place therein, they themselves would first pay the price of the cargo.

This assurance once given, the malice of these Calvinists was exposed in all its nakedness; for they immediately loaded every part of the ship not only with merchandise, but with all kinds of goods, never dreaming that the Catholics would be able to find the means if paying for all these things.

At this news, the marchioness de Guercheville, first lady of honor to the Queen, [7] was indignant at seeing the forces of hell prevail, and the malice of wicked men destroy one's strong hopes of securing the glow. of God. {33} Therefore, in order to prevent the triumph of Satan and the overthrow' of their hopes of founding a church in Canada, she herself solicited alms from Nobles, Princes, and from all the Court, to rescue the Jesuits from the malevolence of the heretics.

What happened? The ship, already loaded, was about to .sail, when this lady sent to the Catholics 4,000 livres, with other means of assistance. Then, not to be underhand, they go directly to the heretics and say that they want the Jesuits to go with them, [page 135] that such is the will of the Queen; and so consequently they must allow them to embark, or else the merchants must accept the price of the cargo and withdraw. The latter declare that they want the value of their merchandise. (I believe they did not think the Catholics would have enough money, or else they hoped to baffle them by some other means.) They give them the price they asked; and, what no one could have expected, we so completely take their place, that half the ship belongs to us, and we have already means enough to begin [8] laying the foundation, which the Lord, in his generosity and goodness, will condescend to bless.

So now, my Very Reverend and good Father, you see how entirely the malice of the evil one and of his tools has been turned to our advantage. At first we only asked a little corner in this vessel at their price. Now we are masters of it. We were going into a dreary wilderness, without much hope of permanent help; and we have already received enough to begin laying the foundation. We were to enrich the heretics by a portion of our alms; and now they, of their own accord, refuse to profit by an occasion which was to benefit them.

But I believe that the great source of their grief, is nothing else than the triumph of the Lord Jesus; and I may heaven grant that he always triumph!


Dieppe, January 21, 1611.

Of Your Reverence,

The son and unworthy servant in Jesus Christ,


¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯

[page 137]

[9] Letter From Father Biard, to Reverend Father

Christopher Baltazar, Provincial

of France, at Paris.

Copied from the autograph preserved in the Archives

of Jesus, at Rome).


The peace of Christ be with you.

At last by the grace and favor of God, here we are at Port Royal, the place so greatly desired, after having suffered and overcome, during the space of seven months, a multitude of trials and difficulties raised up against us at Dieppe by those belonging to the pretended religion; and after having survived at sea the fatigues, storms, and discomforts of winter, winds, and tempests. By the mercy of God, and through the prayers of Your Reverence and of our good Fathers and Brothers, here we are at the end of our journey and in the long-wished-for place. And I am now taking the first opportunity which presents itself to write to Your Reverence, and to communicate to you news of ourselves and of our present situation. I am sorry that the short time we have been in this country does not permit me to write about it at length, as I was desirous [10] of doing, and about the condition of these poor people; however, I will try to describe to you not only what happened in our voyage, but also all that we have been able to learn of these peoples since our arrival, as I believe all our good noblemen and Friends, as well as Your Reverence, expect .and desire me to do. [page 139]

So, to begin with the preparations for our voyage, your Reverence must know about the effort put forth by two Dieppe merchants of the pretended religion, who were charged with freighting the ship, to prevent our being received upon it. For a number of years past, those who began and continued to make voyages to Canada have wished some of our Society to be employed for the conversion of the people of that country; and Henry the Great, the late King, of happy memory, had set aside five hundred écus {34} for the voyage of the first ones who should be sent there: at this time Reverend Father Enmond Masse and I, chosen for this mission, after having saluted the Queen Regent and learned from her own utterances the holy zeal which she felt for the conversion of this barbarous people, and having received the above-mentioned five hundred écus for our viaticum,{36} ,aided also by the pious liberality of the Marchionesses de Guercheville, Verneuil, and de Sourdis,{36} left Paris and arrived at Dieppe upon the day lay which [11] Monsieur de Biancourt, son of Monsieur de Potrincourt, had designated for our departure, the 27th of October, 1610.

The two above-mentioned merchants, as soon as they heard that two Jesuits were going to Canada, addressed themselves to Monsieur de Biancourt* and warned him that, if the said Jesuits intended to embark upon the ship, they would have nothing to do with it: they were told that the presence of the Jesuits would in no wise interfere with them; that, thanks to God and the Queen, they had the money

*Charles de Biencourt, esquire, sieur de Saint-Just .and son of Monsieur de Poutrincourt. He was then nineteen or twenty years old. (Lescarbot and Champlain.) - [Carayon.]

[page 141]

to pay their passage without in the least disturbing their cargo. They still persisted, however, in their refusal; and although Monsieur de Sicoine, governor of the city, a very zealous catholic, kindly interposed, he could gain nothing from them. For this reason, Monsieur Robbin,† his son, otherwise called de Coloigne,{37} a partner of Monsieur de Biancourt in this voyage, thought he would go to Court and make known this difficulty to the Queen; he did so. The Queen, thereupon, sent letters addressed to Monsieur de Sicoigne, telling him to announce that the will of the present King, as well as [12] that of the late King of eternal memory, was that these Jesuits should go to Canada; and that those who were opposing their departure were doing so against the will of their Prince. The letters were very kind: and Monsieur de Sicoigne was pleased to assemble the consistory, and read them to that body. Notwithstanding all this, the merchants would not yield in the least; it was merely granted that, leaving the Jesuits out of the question, they should promptly load their ship, lest these perplexities and disputes should cause some delay in bringing the succor to Monsieur de Potrincourt, which must be given promptly. Then I almost made up my mind that all our hopes were doomed to disappointment, for I did not see how we were to be extricated from these difficulties. Monsieur de Coloigne did not despair; but, showing himself in his kindness always more eager to pursue the case for us, by a second journey he convinced the Court of an excellent plan for thwarting the merchants; namely, by paying them for their cargo and

† Thomas Robin, esquire, sieur de Cologne living in the city of Paris. (Lescarbot.)—[Carayon.]

[page 143]

thus indemnifying them. Madame de la Guercheville, a lady of great virtue, recognizing the expediency of this plan, and deeming it inconsistent with real piety to allow a godly work to be checked for such a trifle, and thus [13] that Satan should be permitted to triumph, determined to try and raise the sum of money required; and she did so with such diligence and success, through the pious generosity of several Noblemen and Ladies of the court, that she soon collected four thousand livres and sent them to Dieppe. Thus the merchants were deprived of all the rights which they might have had in the vessel, without losing anything, and we were admitted into it.

This, and other incidents interfering with the preparations for our voyage, were the reasons why we could not leave Dieppe before the 26th of January, 1611. Monsieur de Biancourt, a very accomplished young gentleman, and well versed in matters pertaining to the sea, was our leader and commander. There were thirty-six of us in the ship, which was called la Grace de Dieu, of about sixty tons burden. We had only two days of favorable winds; on the third day we suddenly found ourselves carried, by contrary winds and tides, to within a hundred or two hundred paces of the breakers of the isle of Wight, in England; and it was fortunate for us that we found good anchorage there, for otherwise we certainly should have been lost.

Leaving this place we put into port at Hyrmice, and then at Newport; by which we lost eighteen days. The 16th of February, first day of lent, [14] a good northwester arising allowed us to depart, and accompanied us out of the English Channel. Now mariners, in coming to Port Royal, are not [page 145] accustomed to take the direct route from the Ouessant islands to Cape Sable, which would lessen the distance, for in this way, from Dieppe to Port Royal, there would only be about one thousand leagues; but they are in the habit of going South as far as the Azores, and from there to the great bank, thence, according to the winds, to strike for Cape Sable, or Campseaux, or elsewhere. They have told me that they go by w-way of the Azores for three reasons: first, in order to avoid the north sea, which is very stormy, they say; second, to make use of the south wild winds, which usually prevail there; third, to be sure of their reckonings; for otherwise it is difficult to take their bearings and arrange their route without error. But none of these causes affected us, although we followed this custom. Not the first, for we were so tossed about by tempests and high seas, that I do not think we gained much by going north or south, ,south or north; nor the second, because often when we wanted the South, the North wind blew, and vice versa; and certainly not the third, inasmuch as we could not even see the Azores, although we went [15] down as far as 39° 30'. Thus all the calculations of our leaders were confounded, and we had not yet reached the Azores of the great bank when some of them thought we had passed it.{38}

The great codfish bank is not, as I thought in France, a kind of sand or mud-bank, appearing above the surface of the sea; but is a great sub-marine plateau 35, 40 and 45 fathoms deep, and in some places twenty-five leagues in extent. They call it bank, because, in coming from the deep sea, it is the first place where bottom is found with the sounding lead. Now upon the border of this great bank, for the space of three or four leagues, the waves are generally [page 147] very high, and these three or four leagues are called the Azores.

We were near these Azores on Tuesday of Easter week, when suddenly we became a prey to our sworn foe, the West wind, which was so violent and obstinate that we very nearly perished. For eight entire days it gave us no quarter, its vindictiveness being augmented by cold and sometimes rain or snow. In taking this route to New France, so rough and dangerous, especially in small and badly-equipped boats, one experiences the sum total of all the miseries of life. We could rest neither [16] day nor night. When we wished to eat, a dish suddenly slipped from us and struck somebody's head. We fell over each other and against the baggage, and thus found ourselves mixed up with others who had been upset in the same way; cups were spilled over our beds, and bowls in our laps, or a big wave demanded our plates.

I was so highly honored by Monsieur de Biancourt as to share his cabin. One fine night, as we were lying in bed, trying to get a little rest, a neat and impudent wave bent our window fastenings, broke the window, and covered us over completely; we had the same experience again, during the day. Furthermore, the cold was so severe, and continued to be for more than six weeks, that we lost nearly all sensation from numbness and exposure. Good Father Masse suffered a great deal. {39} He was ill about forty days, eating very little and seldom leaving his bed; yet, notwithstanding all that, he wanted to fast. After Easter he continued to improve, thank God, more and more. As for me, was gay and happy, and, by the grace of God, was never ill enough to [page 149] stay in bed even when several of the sailors had to give up.

After escaping from these trials, we entered the ice at the Azores of the bank, 46 degrees north latitude. Some of these masses of ice seemed like islands, others [17] little villages, others grand churches or lofty domes, or magnificent castles: all were floating. To avoid them we steered towards the south; but this was falling, as they say, from Charybdis into Scylla, for from these high rocks we fell into a level field of low ice, with which the sea was entirely covered, as far as the eye could reach. We did not know how to steer through it; and had it not been for the fearlessness of Monsieur de Biancourt, our sailors would have been helpless; but he guided us out, notwithstanding the protests of many of them, through a place where the ice was more scattered, and God, in his goodness, assisted us.

On the 5th of May, we disembarked at Campceau, {40} and there had the opportunity of celebrating holy mass after so long a time, and of strengthening our selves with that bread which never fails to nourish and console. Then we coasted along until we reached Port Royal, where we arrived under good and happy auspices early in the morning {40} of the holy day of Pentecost, the 22nd of May,* the day upon which the sun enters the constellation Gemini. Our voyage had lasted four months.

The joy of Monsieur de Potrincourt and his followers, at our arrival, is indescribable. They had been, during the entire winter, reduced [18] to sore straits, as I am going to explain to you.

* Champlain and Charlevoix, who copied this, were wrong in saying the 12th of June. - (Carayon.]

[page 151]

Monsieur de Potrincourt had accompanied his son a part of the way upon the latter's return to France the last of July, 1610, and had gone as far as port Saint John,* otherwise called Chachippé, {42} 70 leagues east and south of Port Royal. When he was returning, as he veered around Cape Sable, he found himself in a strong current; weakened by hardships, he was obliged to yield the helm, in order to take a little rest, commanding his successor to always keep near the shore, even in the deepest part of the Bay. This pilot, I know not why, did not follow his orders, but soon afterward changed his course and left the shore.

The Savage, Membertou, who was following in his boat, was astonished that Poutrincourt should take this route; but, not knowing why he did so, neither followed him nor said anything about it. So he soon arrived at Port Royal, while Monsieur de Potrincourt drifted about for six weeks, in danger of being hopelessly lost; for this worthy gentleman, when he awoke, was very much surprised at seeing himself in a small boat in the open sea, out of sight of land. He looked at his dial in vain, for not knowing [19] what route his amiable pilot had taken, he could not guess where he was, nor in what direction to turn. Another misfortune was that his boat would not sail on a bowline,** having been somehow Damaged in the sides. So, whether he wished to do so or not, he was always obliged to sail before the wind.

A third inconvenience and misfortune was a lack of food. However, he is a man who does not easily

* Lescarbot says: "His father accompanied him as far as port de la Hève, a hundred leagues, more or less, From Port Royal." This makes it appear that Chachippè, Port Saint John, and la Hève are one and the same place.—[Carayon. ]

** To sail on a bowline means to sail close to the wind. - [Carayon.]

[page 153]

give up, and good luck follows him. Now in this perplexity about the route, he fortunately decided to turn to the north, and God sent him what he desired, a favorable South wind. His thrift served him against the misfortune of hunger, for he had hunted and kept a certain number of cormorants.* But how could they be roasted in a small boat, so as to be eaten and kept? Fortunately he found he had a few planks, upon which he built a fire-place, and thus roasted the game; by the aid of which he arrived at Pentegouët, formerly Norembegue, and from there to the Etechemins, thence to the harbor of Port Royal, where by a piece of ill luck, he was nearly shipwrecked.

It was dark when he entered this harbor, and his crew began to oppose him, stoutly denying [20] that they were in the harbor of Port Royal. He was willing to listen to their objections, and unfortunately even yielded to them; and so turning to the lower part of French Bay, he went wandering away off at the mercy of the winds and waves. Meanwhile the colonists of Port Royal were in great anxiety, and had already nearly made up their minds that he was lost; the savage, Membertou, strengthened this fear by asserting that he had seen him sail out of sight upon the sea; whence it was inferred, since people believe as easily what they fear as what they favor, that as such and such a wind had prevailed, it was impossible for them to escape in such a boat. And they were already planning their return to France. Now they were greatly astonished, and at the same time exceedingly happy when they saw their Theseus return from another world; this was six weeks after his departure,

* The cormorant is a long-necked, high-stepping sea-bird, which lives upon fish.—[Carayon.]

[page 155]

just when Monsieur de Biancourt arrived in France, whose return was expected at Port Royal during the whole month of November of the same year, 1610 But they were very much surprised when they did not see him at Christmas; then they lost all hope, on account of the winter weather, of seeing him again before the end of the following April.

For this reason they cut down their rations; but such economy was of little avail, since sieur de Potrincourt did not lessen [21] his liberality toward the Savages, fearing to alienate them from the Christian faith. He us truly a liberal and magnanimous gentleman, refusing all recompense for the good he does them; so when they are occasionally asked why they do not give him something in return for so many favors, they are accustomed to answer, cunningly: Endries ninan metaij Sagamo, that is to say, "Monsieur does not care for our beaver skins." Nevertheless, they have now and then sent him some pieces of elk-meat, which have helped him to gain time [i.e., to save his own provisions]. But they, the French, had a good chance of economizing when winter came, for their mill froze up, and they had no way of making flour. Happily for them they found a store of peas and beans, which proved to be their manna and ambrosia for seven weeks.

Then April came, but not the ship; now it was just as well that the mill was frozen up, for they had nothing to put in the hopper. What were they to do? Hunger is a bad complaint. Some began to fish, others to dug. From their fishing they obtained some smelts and herrings; from their digging some very good roots, called chiqueli, which are very abundant in certain places. [page 157]

Thus this importunate creditor was somewhat satisfied; I say somewhat, because, when there was no bread, [22] everything else was of little account; and they had already made up their minds that, if the ship did not come during the month of May, they would resort to the coast, in search of ships to take them back to the sweet land of wheat and vines. It was Monsieur de Potrincourt's followers who talked this way; as for him, he was full of courage and knew well how he could manage to hold out until saint John's day [ midsummer ]. Thank God, there was no need of this, for, as has been said, we arrived the 22nd of May. Those who know what hunger, despair, fear and suffering are, what it is to be a leader and see all one's enterprises and hard work come to nought, can imagine what must have been the joy of Monsieur de Potrincourt and his colony upon seeing us arrive.

We all wept at this meeting, which seemed almost like a dream; then when we had recovered ourselves a little and had begun to talk, this question (mine, in fact) was proposed, to wit: Which was the happier of the two, Monsieur de Potrincourt and his people, or Monsieur de Biancourt and his ? Truly, our hearts swelled within us, and God, in his mercy, showed that he took pleasure in our joy; for, after mass and dinner, there was nothing but going and coming from the ship to the settlement, and from the settlement to the [23] ship, each one wanting to embrace and be embraced by his friends, just as, after the winter, we rejoice in the beautiful spring, and after a siege, in our freedom. It happened that two persons from the settlement took one of the canoes of the savages to go to the ship. These canoes are so made that, if you do not sit very straight and steady, they [page 159] immediately tip over; now it chanced that, wishing to come back in the same canoe from the ship to the settlement, somehow they did not properly balance it, and both fell into the water.

Fortunately, it occurred at a time when I happened to be walking upon the shore with Monsieur de Potrincourt. Seeing the accident, we made signs with our hats as best we could to those upon the ship to come to their aid; for it would have been useless to call out, so far away was the ship, and so loud the noise of the wind. At first no one paid any attention to us, so we had recourse to prayer, and fell upon our knees, this being our only alternative; and God had pity upon us. One of the two caught hold of the canoe, which was turned upside down, and threw himself upon it: the other was finally saved by a boat, and thus both were rescued; so our cup of joy was full in seeing how God in his all paternal love and gentleness, would not permit the evil one to trouble us and to destroy our happiness upon this good day. To him be the glory forever. Amen!

[24] But now that we have arrived in good health, by the grace of God, it is time we were casting our eyes over the country, and were giving some consideration to the condition in which we find Christianity here. Its whole foundation consists, after God, in this little settlement of a family of about twenty persons. Messire Jessé Flesche, commonly called the Patriarch, has had charge of it; and, in the year that he has lived here, has baptized about one hundred Savages. The trouble is, he has not been able to instruct them as he would have wished, because he did not know the language, and had nothing with which to support them; for he who would minister to their souls, must [page 161] at the same time resolve to nourish their bodies. This worthy man has shown great friendliness toward us, and thanked God for our coming; for he had made up his mind some time ago to return to France at the first opportunity, which he is now quite free to do without regret at leaving a vine which he has planted.

They have not yet succeeded in translating into the native language the common creed or symbol, the Lord's prayer, the commandments of God, the Sacraments, and other principles quite necessary to the making of a Christian.

Recently, when I was at port Saint John, I was informed that among the other Savages there were five who were already Christians. Thereupon I took occasion to give them [25] some pictures, and to erect a cross before their wigwams, singing a Salve Regina. I had them make the sign of the cross; but I was very much astonished, for the unbaptized understood almost as much about it as the Christians. I asked each one his baptismal name; some did not know theirs, so they called themselves Patriarchs, because it is the Patriarch who gives them their names, and thus they conclude that, when they have forgotten their own names, they ought to be called Patriarchs.

It was also rather amusing that, when I asked them if they were Christians, they did not know what I meant; when I asked them if they had been baptized, they answered: Hetaion enderquir Vortmandia Patriarché, that is to say, "Yes, the Patriarch has made us like the Normans." Now they call all the French "Normans", except the Malouins, {43} whom they call Samaricois, and the Basques, Bascua.

The name of the sagamore, that is, the lord of port Saint John, is Cacagous, a man who is shrewd and [page 163] cunning as are no others upon the coast; that is all that he brought back from France (for he has been in France); he told me he had been baptized in Bayonne, relating his story to me as one tells about going to a ball out of friendship. Whereupon, seeing how wicked he was, and [26] wishing to try and arouse his conscience, I asked him how many wives he had. He answered that he had eight; and in fact he counted off seven to me who were there present, pointing them out with as much pride, instead of an equal degree of shame, has if I had asked him the number of his legitimate children.

Another, who was looking out for a number of wives, made the following answer to my objections on the ground that he was a Christian: Reroure quiro Nortmandia: which means, "That is all well enough for you Normans". So there is scarcely any change in them after their baptism. The same savagery and the same manners, or but little different, the same customs, ceremonies, usages, fashions, and vices remain, at least as far as can be learned; no attention being paid to any distinction of time, days, offices, exercises, prayers, duties, virtues, or spiritual remedies.

Membertou, as the one who has most associated with Monsieur de Potrincourt for a long time, is also the most zealous and shows the greatest faith, but even he complains of not understanding us well enough; he would like to become a preacher, he says, if he were properly taught. He gave me a witty answer the other day, as I was teaching him his Pater, according to the translation made of it by M. de Biancourt, when [27] I had him say: Nui en caraco nae iquein esmoi ciscoi; that is, "Give us this day our daily bread". "But", said he "if I did not ask him for [page 165] anything but bread, I would be without moose-meat or fish.

The good old man told us, with a great deal of feeling, how God is helping him since he has become a Christian, saying that this spring it happened that he and his family were suffering much from hunger; then he remembered that he was a Christian, and therefore prayed to God. After his prayer, he went to the river and found all the smelts he wanted. And while I am speaking of this old sagamore, the first fruit of this heathen nation, I will tell you also what happened this winter.

He was sick, and what is more, had been given up to die by the native aoutmoins, or sorcerers. Now it is the custom, when the Aoutmoins have pronounced the malady or wound to be mortal, for the sick man to cease eating from that time on, nor do they give him anything more. But, donning his beautiful robe, he begins chanting his own death-song; after this, if he lingers too long, a great many pails of water are thrown over him to hasten his death, and sometimes he is buried half alive. Now the children of Meimbertou, though Christians, were prepared to exercise this noble and pious duty toward their father; already they had ceased giving him anything to eat and had taken away his [28] beautiful otter robe, and he had, like the swan, finished his Naenie, or funeral chant. One thing still troubled him, that he did not know how to die like a Christian, and he had not taken farewell of Monsieur de Potrincourt. When M. de Potrincourt heard these things, he went to see him, remonstrated with him, and assured him that, in spite of all the Aoutmoins and Pilotois, he would and live and recover his health if he would eat [page 167] something, which he was bound to do, being a Christian. The good man believed and was saved; to-day he tells this story with great satisfaction, and very aptly points out how God has thereby mercifully exposed the malice and deceit of their aoutmoins.

I shall here relate another act of the same Sieur de Potrincourt, which has been of great benefit to all these heathen. A Christian savage had died, and (as a mark of his constancy) he had sent word here to the settlement during his sickness, that he desired our prayers. After his death the other Savages prepared to bury him in their way; they are accustomed to take everything that belongs to the deceased, skins, bows, utensils, wigwams, etc., and burn them all, howling and shouting certain cries, sorceries, and invocations to the evil spirit. M. de Potrincourt firmly resolved to oppose these <:ceremonies. So he armed all his men, and [29] going to the Savages in force, by this means obtained what he asked, namely, that the body should be given to the Patriarch, and so the burial took place according to Christian customs. This act, inasmuch as it could not be prevented by the Savages, was and still is, greatly praised by them.

The chapel they have been using until now is very small, badly arranged, and in every way unsuited for religious services. To remedy this, M. de Poutrincourt has given us an entire quarter of his habitation, if we can roof it over and adapt it to our needs. But I shall add one more word which will be pleasant and edifying news to many.

After my arrival here at Port Royal, I went with M. de Potrincourt as far as the Etechemins. There God willed that I should meet young du Pont, of Sainct Malo,{44} who, having been for some reason. [page 169] frightened away [from the settlement],* had passed the entire year with the Savages, living just as they did. He is a young man of great physical and mental strength, excelled by none of the savages in the chase, in alertness and endurance, and in his ability to speak their language. He was very much afraid of M. de [30] Potrincourt: but God inspired me with so much faith in him that, relying upon my word, Du Pont came with me to our ship; and after making some apologies and promises, peace was declared, to the great satisfaction of all. When he departed, as the cannon were sounding, he begged me to appoint an hour to receive his confession. The next morning, in his great eagerness, he anticipated the hour, and made his confession upon the shores of the sea in the presence of all the Savages, who were greatly astonished at thus seeing him upon his knees so long before me. Then he took communion in a most exemplary manner, at which I can say tears came into my eyes, and not into mine alone. The devil was confounded at this act; so he straightway planned trouble for us that very afternoon; but thank God, through the justice and goodness of M. de Potrincourt, harmony was everywhere restored.

And now you have had, my Reverend Father, an account of our voyage, of what happened in it, and before it, and since our arrival at this settlement. It now remains to tell you that the conversion of this country, to the Gospel, and of these people to civilization, is not a small undertaking nor free from great difficulties; for, in the first place, if we consider the

* "The year before he had been made a prisoner by Sieur de Potrincourt; And having slyly escaped from him, he had been obliged to wander about in the woods in great misery".—(Printed Relation.)—[Carayon.]

[page 171]

country, it is only a forest, without other conveniences of life than those which will be brought from France, and what in time may be obtained from the soil after [31] it has been cultivated. The nation is savage, wandering and full of bad habits; the people few and isolated. They are, I say, savage, haunting the woods, ignorant, lawless and rude: they are wanderers, with nothing to attach them to a place, neither homes or relationship, neither possessions nor love of country; as a people they have bad habits, are extremely lazy, gluttonous, profane, treacherous, cruel in their revenge, and given up to all kinds of lewdness, men and women alike, the men having several wives and abandoning them to others, and the women only serving them as slaves, whom they strike and beat unmercifully, and who dare not complain; and after being half killed, if it so please the murderer, they must laugh and caress him.

With all these vices, they are exceedingly vainglorious: they think they are better, more valiant and more ingenious than the French; and, what is difficult to believe, richer than we are. They consider themselves, I say, braver than we are, boasting that they have killed Basques and Malouins, and that they do a great deal of harm to the ships, and that no one has ever resented it, insinuating that it was from a lack of courage. They consider themselves better than the French; "For", they say, "you are always fighting and quarreling among yourselves; we live peaceably. You are envious and are all the time slandering each other; [32] you are thieves and deceivers; you are covetous, and are neither generous nor kind; as for us, if we have a morsel of bread we share it with our neighbor". [page 173]

They are saying these and like things continually, seeing the above-mentioned imperfections in some of us, and flattering themselves that some of their own people do not have them so conspicuously, not realizing that they all have much greater vices, and that the better part of our people do not have even these defects, they conclude generally that they are superior to all Christians. It is self-love that blinds them, and the evil one who leads them on, no more nor less than in our France, we see those who have deviated from the faith holding themselves higher and boasting of being better than the Catholics, because in some of them they see many faults; considering neither the virtues of the other Catholics, nor their own still greater imperfections; wishing to have, like Cyclops, only a single eye, and to fix that one upon the vices of a few Catholics, never upon the virtues of the others, nor upon themselves, unless it be for the purpose of self-deception.

Also they [the savages] consider themselves more ingenious, inasmuch as they see us admire some of their productions as the work of people ,so rude and ignorant; [33] lacking intelligence, they bestow very little admiration upon what we show them, although much more worthy of being. admired. Hence they regard themselves as much richer than we are, although they are poor and wretched in the extreme.

Cacagous, of whom I have already spoken, is quite gracious when he is a little elated about something; to show his kindly feelings toward the French he boasts: of his willingness to go and see the King, and to take him a present of a hundred beaver skins, proudly suggesting that in so doing he will make him richer than all his predecessors. They get this [page 175] idea from the extreme covetousness and eagerness which our people display to obtain their beaver skins.

Not less amusing is the remark of a certain Sagamore, who, having heard M. de Potrincourt say that the King was young and unmarried: "Perhaps", said he, "1 may let him marry my daughter; but according to the usages and customs of the country, the King must make me some handsome presents ; namely, four or five barrels of bread, three of peas or beans, one of tobacco, four or five cloaks worth one hundred sous apiece, bows, arrows, harpoons, and other similar articles".

Such are the marks of intelligence in the people of these countries, which are very sparsely populated, especially those of the Soriquois and Etechemins, which are near the sea; although [34] Membertou assures us that in his youth he has seen chimonutz, that is to say, Savages, as thickly planted there as the hairs upon his head. It is maintained that they have thus diminished since the French have begun to frequent their country; for, since then they do nothing all summer but eat; and the result is that, adopting an entirely different custom and thus breeding new diseases, they pay for their indulgence during the autumn and winter by pleurisy, quinsy and dysentery, which kill them off. During this year alone sixty have died at Cape de la Hève, which is the greater part of those who lived there; yet not one of all M. de Potrincourt's little colony has even been sick, notwithstanding all the privations they have suffered; which has caused the Savages to apprehend that God protects and defends us as his favorite and well-beloved people.

What I say about the sparseness of the population [page 177] of these countries must be understood as referring to the people who live upon the coast; for farther inland, principally among the Etechemins, there are, it is said, a great many people. All these things, added to the difficulty of acquiring the language, the time that must be consumed, the expenses that must be incurred, the great distress, toil and poverty that must be endured, fully proclaim the greatness of this enterprise and the difficulties which beset it. Yet [35] many things encourage me to continue in it.

First:, my trust in the goodness and providence of God. Isaiah assures us that the kingdom of our Redeemer shall be recognized throughout the earth; and that there shall be neither caves of dragons nor dens of cockatrices, nor inaccessible rocks, nor abysses so deep, that his grace will not soften and his salvation cure ire, his abundance fertilize, his humility raise up, and over which his cross will not at last victoriously triumph. And why shall not hope that the time has come when this prophecy is to be fulfilled in these lands? If that be so, what can there be so Difficult that our Lord cannot mate it easy?

In the second place, rely upon the King, our Sire. He is a Sovereign who promises us nothing less than the late King, his father, the incomparable Henry the Great. This work began in the latter's reign, and it may be said that in the century since France has appropriated this country, or has so completely taken possession of it, there has not been so much accomplished at any time as since our present ting became sovereign; may God fill his reign with all blessings. He will not permit his name and arms to stand in these regions side by side with paganism, his authority with barbarism, his renown with [page 179] savagery, his power with poverty, [36] his faith with lack of works, nor leave his subjects without aid or succor. His mother also, another Queen Blanche,{45} looking to the glory of God, will contemplate these lately-acquired wildernesses, where in the beginning of her Regency the Gospel plough has, through her instrumentality, created some hope of a harvest; and will recall what the late King, great in wisdom as well as in courage, said to Sieur de Potrincourt when he came to this country: "Go", said he. "I plan the edifice; my son will build it". We beg your Reverence to lay this matter before him, together with the work which might be done by their Majesties in these lands, if it were their good pleasure to endow and to give a fair revenue to this mission, from which all those who would be educated and maintained here might go forth through the whole country.

That is the second resource upon which our hopes are founded; to which I will add the piety and liberality which we experienced upon our departure from the lords and ladies of this most noble and most Christian court, who promised me that they would not fail to assist this enterprise v with their means, in order not to lose what they have already invested in it, which serves them as monuments of glory and of eternal happiness before God. M. de Potrincourt, a mild and upright Gentleman, [37] brave, beloved and well-known in these parts, and M. de Biancourt, his son, who reflects the virtues and good qualities of his father, both zealous in serving God, and who honor and cherish us more than we deserve, also encourage us in devoting all our energy to this work.

Finally, we are encouraged by the situation and [page 181] condition of this place, which, if it is cultivated, promises to furnish a great deal for the needs of human life; and its beauty causes me to wonder that it has been so little sought up to the present time. From this port where we now are, it is very convenient for us to spread out to the Armouchiquois, Iroquois, and Montagnais, our neighbors, which are populous nations and till the soil as we do; this situation, I say, makes us hope something for the future. For, if our Souriquois are few, they may become numerous; if they are savages, it is to domesticate and civilize them that we have come here; if they are rude, that is no reason that we should be idle; if they have until now profited little, it is no wonder, for it would be too much to expect fruit from this grafting, and to demand reason and maturity from a child.

In conclusion, we hope in time to make them susceptible of receiving the doctrines of the faith and of the Christian and catholic religion, and later, to penetrate [38] farther into the regions beyond, which they say are more populous and better cultivated. We base this hope upon Divine goodness and mercy, upon the zeal and fervent charity of all good people who earnestly desire the kingdom of God, particularly upon the holy prayers of Your Reverence and of our Reverend Fathers and very dear Brothers, to whom we most affectionately commend ourselves.

From Port Royal, New France, this tenth day of June, one thousand six hundred and eleven.


[page 183]

¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯

[39] Letter from Father Ennemond Masse to Reu-

erend Father Claude Aquaviva, General

of the Society of Jesus.

(Translated from the Latin original.)


PORT ROYAL, June 10, 1611.


The peace of Christ be with you.

If Your Reverence read with pleasure my letter of October 13th, I felt a great deal more in receiving yours of December 7th, especially as I am the first of the Society to receive from Your Reverence the first letter which you have ever sent to Canada. I take this event as a happy omen, and accept it as coming From heaven, to incite me to run with ardor in the race, in order to merit and receive the reward of this heavenly vocation, and to sacrifice myself more promptly and more completely for the salvation of these people.

I admit to you that I said then freely to God: Here I am; if you choose what is weak and despicable in this world to overthrow [40] and destroy that which is strong, you will find all this in Ennemond. Here I am; send me, and make my tongue and my words intelligible, so that I may not be a barbarian to those who will hear me.

Your prayers, I am sure, will not be in vain, as our arrival here upon the most holy day of Pentecost seems to presage. We are weak in Jesus Christ, but, I hope, we shall live with him by the power of God. It is [page 185] my earnest entreaty that Your Reverence, by your prayers and holy sacrifices, may prevail upon the Lord to accomplish all these things in us.

The unworthy son in Jesus Christ, of the Society of Jesus,


Port Royal, New France, June 10, 1611.

[page 187]

[41] Letter from Father Pierre Biard, to the Very

Reverend Father Claude Aquaviva, Gen-

eral of the Society of Jesus.

(Translated ,from the Latin original.)

PORT ROYAL, June 11, 1611.


The peace of Christ be with you.

After four months of very painful and perilous navigation, we have at last arrived, thanks to the protection of God and to the prayers of Your Reverence, at Port Royal, in New France, the end of our journey.

In truth we left Dieppe the 26th of January this year, 1611, and arrived May 22nd of this same year. I am giving to the Reverend Father Provincial the narrative in French of our whole undertaking, and of the condition in which we found things here. This seemed to me the more necessary and useful, as it was impossible for me to write it at the same time in Latin. I have not yet been settled a week in Port Royal, and all the time has [42] been taken up by continual interruptions and in providing the necessities of life. As to ourselves, Father Masse and 1, we are feeling very well, thank God; but we have been obliged to take a servant to do the drudgery. We could not dispense with one without a great deal of anxiety and trouble.

M. de Potrincourt, who commands here in the name of the King, loves and esteems us in proportion to his piety. [page 189]

We shall take the first opportunity to impart to you what may be, by the grace of God, our prospects of success in this country.

The ship has already gone. I shall be obliged to overtake it in a canoe, that it may not leave without my letters.

I conjure Your Reverence, through the merits of Jesus Christ, to remember us and these solitary lands, and to come to our aid in so far as you are able, not only by the fervent prayers of our Society, but also by the blessing and favor of our Holy Father the Pope (which I have already invoked). Surely we sow in great poverty and in tears; may the Lord grant that we some day reap in joy. Which will come to pass, as I hope and have said, [43] through the prayers and blessings of Your Reverence, which are humbly solicited by your

Unworthy son and servant,


Port Royal, New France, or Canada, June 11, 1611.

[page 191]







SOURCE: We follow the general style of O'Callaghan's Reprint No. 4. The Title-page, Eulogy of Biard, and Table of Contents, are the work of that Editor. The Text, and List of Missions in 1710, he reprinted from Jouvency's Historia Societatis Jeszu (Rome, 1710), part v., pp. 321 - 325, 961, 962; the proof of these we have read from a copy of that work, found in the library of the College of St. Francis Xavier, New York. The bracketed pagination in Arabic figures is that of Jouvency; that in Roman, of O'Callaghan.

[page 193]

¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯




From the year 1611 until the year 1613, with the

condition of the same Mission in the

years 1703 and 1710,

By Joseph Jouvency, a Priest of the

Society of Jesus.




Printed from the History of the Society of Jesus,

Book xv., Part v.


From the Press of Giorgio Placko


[ i ] Eulogy and Life of Father Peter Biard.

CONCERNING Father Peter Biard, who performed so great a part in the establishment of the Canadian Mission, Father Joseph Juvency{48} writes these things in his History, under the year 1622:

"Of all who during the present year have departed this life in the province of Lyons, the most regretted was Father PETER BIARD, of Grenoble, who was taken away at Avignon. With the desire of propagating religion, he had journeyed to the barbarous Canadians, and had been among the first settlers of that country, as has been narrated in the fifth part (of this volume). Upon being driven thence by the heretical English, and compelled to return to France, he entirely devoted himself [ ii ] to the service of his countrymen; and, that he might provide for their salvation, in no respect showed himself deficient either in labor or diligence. His industry, however, was especially enjoyed by the Paray le Monial, in the prefecture of Charolles, which community he long served with the customary ministrations of the order. Finally, the prefect of the district, Marchio Ragne, upon being ordered by the king to lead troops into Campania against Ernest von Mansfeld, {47} who was threatening the frontiers of France, had selected Biard as his companion during the expedition, and as a minister of sacred rites. Upon that occasion one would doubt whether the charity of the apostolic man, or his patience, were the more remarkable. There was in the camp a great scarcity of provisions. Rations were so [page 197] poorly furnished to the soldiers that some perished with hunger. Biard divided among g the most needy of them, both his own allowance and whatever small sums of money he had collected by begging from the more wealthy, depriving himself of daily sustenance, that he might do a kindness to others. He had retired to Avignon, [iii] at last, that he might with a few days leisure refresh his energies, which had been worn out by so many toils. But divining, as it were, that the end of all labors and of life was at hand, he spent all that period in disciplining his spirit by pious meditations among the novices; and, although an aged man who had served his time, so adapted himself to the earliest form of the novitiate, that he omitted none of those exercises by which beginners are educated to a contempt of themselves and of the world. While intent upon these, and already thinking of nothing but heavenly things, death seized him on the 17th day of November".

To these things it will perhaps not seem useless to add what has been written by an earlier author, namely, Philip Alegambe, {48} in the Bibliography of the Authors of the Society of Jesus, under the word Biard:

"PETER BIARD, a French citizen, born in Grenoble, a laborer of great zeal, and of very many laurels which [iv] he first gathered in the dreadful and pathless forests of the Canadian tribes of North America. Although suffering there every extremity, he still experienced nothing more brutal than the Heretics. The barbarous race, forgetting its savageness, was learning to venerate the character of this most righteous man; when, behold, Heresy, hostile to holiness and ignorant of God, burst, together with the English worn, upon the shores of Canada. The reward of a [page 199] very laborious expedition was great, to drive thence the hated Jesuit. For some time he was kept in bonds; and at last, stripped of everything, he was with difficulty restored to France. But meanwhile, until it was safe to return to the wilds of Canada, he took vengeance in a holy manner for the injury inflicted by the Heretics; during the rest of his life he sought with the greatest enthusiasm to win to life those by whom he had been devoted to death. He had formerly taught Theology at Lyons, not without commendation. On his return from the Military Mission, when he had turned aside to Avignon, and, making use of his opportunity, had retired into the Novitiate, in [v] almost the very beginning of his spiritual Exercises, I he was called away to the contemplation of paradise, as we believe, on the 19th day of November, in the year 1622.

Besides a Letter to R. P. General Commander from Port Royal, and An Account of the Expedition of the English against Canada, Father Biard wrote a Book Advocating the authority of the Pontiff against Martinet, a minister. In French, also, he published separately An Account of New France and of the journey thither of the Fathers of the Society of Jesus. Lyons, by L. Muguet 1616, in 12 mo. "-[O'CALAHAGHAN.]

[page 201]

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[vii] Table of Contents.

[The page numbers refer to O'Callaghan's Raprint.]










HE Society of Jesus introduced into Canada or New France

Beginning and first fruits of the Canadian Mission

Settlements and Missions of the Society in New France

The Canadian Mission driven out by the English

One of the members of the Society is killed; the others are expelled from Canada

Missioxs of the Society of Jesus in North America, in the year 1710









[page 203]

An Account Of The Canadian Mission.



ORTH AMERICA is occupied principally by three nations—the Spanish, the French, and the English. Mexico, a part of Florida and of California, belongs to the Spanish dominions. The shores opposite to the rising sun, and stretching Southward, have been occupied at various times by the English, the Swedes, and the Dutch. The French possess the territory which lies between these and the Mexicans, towards the north and west, commonly called New France or Canada. Nothing fouler and more hideous than the savage Canadians could have been imagined, before they began to soften under the influence of religion, as will appear from matters to be presented in the tenth Paragraph. Now, barbarism and the vile array of sins have given place to reason and virtue, which h seems to confirm our faith in this ancient prophecy: * The land that was desolate and an passable shall be glad, and the wilderness shall rejoice, and shall flourish like the lily. [page 205]



















Isaiah, c 35.


THE French had, since the year 1524, often visited the coasts of America opposite to France, but cursorily, and, as it were, while passing by. Finally, at the beginning of the last century, Samuel Champlain, who well deserves to be called the parent of the Canadian colony, entered the region of the interior. Already was the undertaking progressing very favorably, when Henry IV., more solicitous for religion than for commerce, resolved, in the year 1608, to introduce Christian rites into this part of the new World, and asked members of the Society to undertake this Apostolic enterprise. Upon being informed of the plan of the King, and ordered to choose as soon as possible energetic priests who would lay solidly the foundations of so great a work, Father Coton, the confessor of the king, informed the Commander of the Society. From the whole number, not only of youths but also of old men, who sought this laborious Duty, there were chosen Father Peter Biard, of Grenoble, a professor of theology in the college of Lyons, and Father Enemond Massé, of Lyons. The unforeseen death of the King delayed this auspicious enterprise, and diminished the enthusiasm of the friends of the Society, who were providing a ship and other necessaries for the voyage. But the pious Coton, unconquered by adversity, brought in the authority of the Queen, in order that he might overcome the difficulties in his way. As a result, the time was set for their departure, and the Fathers [page 207] hastened to Dieppe, in order that they might sail thence for New France. But, lo! suddenly an unexpected obstacle. Their ship belonged to Poutrincourt, a French nobleman; it was, however, subject to the control of two Calvinistic merchants, since they had incurred no light expense toward providing her with equipments. As soon as they heard that members of the h Society were to be embarked upon her, they refused to allow her to leave the port. The authority of the Queen was invoked; her commands were reiterated, They answered that they would not refuse admission to any other sort of priests, but that they were unwilling to have anything to do with our men. When Coton saw that the stubbornness of the rascals could not be overcome, he approached the matter by another way. There was a lady distinguished not less for piety than for birth, Antoinette de Guercheville. This woman was as solicitous for the interests of the Mission as for her own; and since she had acquired an uncommon influence among many, because of her reputation for integrity, she quickly collected a large sum of money, by means of which the heretical merchants were repaid the amount which they had spent in equipping the ship. So, although the merchants were disappointed

and unwilling, the Fathers were admitted. But, because of the interveriing delay, they did not sail until the 26th of January, when the storms of winter caused a raging sea. On this account the voyage was of four months duration, Although ordinarily of two, and was terrible because of disease within and tempests without. Having entered at last the mouth of the St. Lawrence river on the 22nd day of May, on the holy day of Pentecost, they came upon some traces of the Christian religion, which had been superficially impressed by those [page 209] whom we have mentioned as having journeyed from France into this region. For, since the speech of the people was unknown [322] to them, and they had no certain and fixed residence in this savage land, there was no opportunity for educating those whom they chanced to baptize, and who, plunging again into their former habits, scarcely retained the Christian name, while defiling it with their native vices. The first concern of the Fathers was to build a chapel, to learn the language of the country, and to instruct the Frenchmen who had emigrated from old to new France. A solemn Thanksgiving was enjoined; the figure of Christ, covered with a canopy, was carried about with the greatest possible ceremony; and he came auspiciously into the possession, so to speak, of the happy land afterwards to be frequented by so many holy men. Next, attention was given to laving the infants in the sacred font, of whom some, after receiving the sacrament of salvation, departed to their homes in the land of the immortals, in the name, as it were, of the whole race. A girl aged nine years, afflicted with a grievous disease, had been abandoned by her parents. For since the race is altogether ignorant of the art of medicine, they readily despair of the sick, and neither provide them with food nor care for them in any way. The Fathers asked her parents to give them the forsaken child, in order that they might sanctify her with the water of salvation. She was readily handed over to them; and naturally, inasmuch as she was considered no better than a dead dog. Taking her apart to their hut they gave her assiduous care; she was baptized, and, dying on the ninth day afterward, they introduced her into Heaven. The same charity of the Associates resulted more fortunately in the case of a young boy. His father was [page 211] Membertou, who, they say, in the early days of navigation thither from France, first of all the savages became a Christian; he was an energetic man, and according to the testimony of all his countrymen, far excelled others in vigor of mind, in knowledge of war, in number of dependents, and the distinction of a glorious name, for by public vote he had acquired the title of "Great Chief". This position Membertou held among the Souriquois, who inhabit Acadia about the mouth of the St. Lawrence river. Father Biard visited Membertou's son, who was suffering from a dangerous illness. He was surprised that there was no grief in the

wigwam; no lamentations, no tearful dirges; instead, a feast, a dance, and two or three dogs fastened together. He asked what these things meant. They answered that the youth would die in a short time; that the friends had been invited, and for them the banquet was being prepared; that afterwards a funeral dance was to be conducted; and that the dogs which he saw were to be killed to appease the Spirit of the dead boy. The Father exclaimed that these things were quite unfitting for Christian men, and severely censured the impious custom. The parent of the youth excused his ignorance; he said that henceforth he and his son should be under the Father's direction; he begged him to instruct and command them, and said that they would execute his orders. The Priest forbade the killing of the dogs; he dismissed the rude dancers; a part of the repast he allowed, as not devoted to superstitious rites. He insisted that the patient should no longer be neglected; still more, he persuaded them that the boy should be taken to the dwellings of the French, although these were far distant, saying that he hoped, by the favor of God, for his recovery. The [page 213] priest was favorably heard by Membertou; the patient was brought to us, although the sorcerers and medicine-men, who declared that the unhappy youth could not live, ridiculed this decision, and grieved that such a morsel should be snatched suddenly from their jaws. And indeed he was at the point of death, when; three days afterward, exhausted by the journey and by sickness, he arrived at the French settlement. Nevertheless, by the skill and devotion of the Fathers, and by the kindness of God, he was restored; nor was he alone established in the Catholic faith, but many of his countrymen were inflamed with the desire of adopting it.

Some time afterward, the father of the young man fell sick, and wished to be also brought to us, where, after being received into our hut and even into, the bed of one of the Fathers, he piously departed this life and, what was novel and displeasing to the savages, he was buried among Christian people; for they themselves are very reluctant to be separated from the tombs of their ancestors. His funeral was observed, as far as the limitations of the case permitted, with marked ceremony. Nor was this savage's virtue unworthy in any respect of that honor; for, even before he had learned of Christ, he could not be induced to marry more than one wife, considering this more in harmony with nature and reason. But, after his acceptance of the Faith of Christ, he so lived that he was to the savages an object of admiration, to the Christians an example.

These things were accomplished at home. Then going forth, as it were, from the city walls, the heralds of the Gospel traversed a great part of the country. A godly act was performed wherever

opportunity allowed; hands were laid upon the sick; [page 215] parents and children were conciliated by means or little gifts; services were rendered to the French who were establishing new homes; nor were the seamen and ships passengers neglected. There was not lacking a glad harvest for their patience. Meanwhile, so great a scarcity of provisions existed, that for each week [323] a ration was allotted, so scanty that it was hardly sufficient for one day; namely, ten ounces of bread, half a pound of salted meat, and a handful of peas or beans. In addition to this, each man was his own mechanic, mender, miller, cook, hewer of wood, and drawer of water. There occurred sometimes to the Fathers, in the midst of the miseries, the words of those to whom Moses had given the task of reconnoitering Canaan: * This land . . devoureth its inhabitants; . . there we saw certain monsters of the sons of Enac of the Giant-kind: in comparison of whom, we seemed like locusts. But at the same time there came into mind the speech of Joshua and of Caleb, full of divine trust: The land which we have ,gone rouud is very qood. If the Lord is favorable, he will bring us into it, . . Fear ye not the people of this land, . . the Lord is with us. [page 217]

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*Num. c. 13,14.


ND that the Lord is with his servants and soldiers, the outcome has proved. For, in the beginning of this year 1703, while we are writing these things, there are numbered in this formerly solitary and unexplored country more than thirty very prosperous and well-equipped Missions of our Society, besides the college of Quebec. The first of these, in sight of Quebec, at the tenth mile-stone from the city, is called Lorette. Another is situated in the district of Tadoussac, on the shore of the river St. Lawrence, sixty leagues below Quebec toward the east. Three others, above Quebec itself, extend far into the North about lake St. John; one in that place which takes its name from the seven islands; {49} another in the district of Chigoutimini; {50} the third on the Saguenay River. There they minister to the Montagnais, the Papinachois, the Mistassins, and other wandering tribes. Now, if you journey towards the regions of the setting sun, and the source of the St. Lawrence river, you will find upon its northern bank a district called Three rivers, because there three rivers flow together it is distant of from Quebec seven or eight days journey. Here, there formerly flourished the most successful Mission of the Algonquins; but it has been much weakened through the drunkenness induced by brandy, brought in by European merchants who thus wickedly derive an easy profit. But these losses are compensated by the virtue and piety of the Abenakis. Among them a mission of three stations [page 219] has been established; one located among them, not far from Quebec, on the forty-sixth parallel of latitude, distinguished by the name and patronage of St. Francis de Sales: the other two are more remote, at a place named Nipisikouit. Across the St. Lawrence river, to the South, extend the five nations of the Iroquois. There are among them seven stations of the Evangelists, scattered through a hundred and fifty leagues. Of these, six were destroyed in the war which arose between the French and Iroquois, about the year 1682. Peace, together with the recall of the missionaries, in the year 1702 restored all things to their previous condition. {51} Among these Missions of the Iroquois, that one is especially flourishing which is named for St. Francis Xavier, at Montreal.{52}

Above the Iroquois, toward the west and North, between the fortieth and forty-fifth parallels, one may see two great lakes joined by a narrow strait; the larger one is called the lake of the Ilinois, {53} the other the lake of the Hurons. {54} These are separated by a large peninsula, at the point of which is situated the Mission of St.

Ignatius, or Missilimakinac. {55} Above these two lakes there is a third, greater than either, called lake Superior. At the entrance of this lake has been established the Mission of Ste. Marie at the Sault. {56} The space between this and two smaller lakes is occupied by the Outaouaki, among whom the Society has many stations. Three such citadels of religion (for thus it is proper to call the Missions), whence she leads forth her soldiers and unfurls her sacred standards, have been located about the lake of the Illinois: the first, among the Puteatamis, and called the Mission of St. Joseph; another, among the Kikarous, Maskoutens, and Outagamies, and possessing the name of St. Francis Xavier: {57} the third, [page 221] among the Oumiamis, {58} a has the name of the Guardian Angel. Below the lakes which have been mentioned, above Florida, the Illinois roam through most extensive territories. There, a very large station, named from the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mother, is divided into three Missions, and extends as far as the river Mississippi. Upon the banks of the same river is situated the mission of Baiogula, at the thirty-first parallel of latitude; {59} and it extends down that stream towards the gulf of Mexico. It has seemed best to explain these matters somewhat fully, because the individual facts here specified will be referred to in what is to be hereafter narrated concerning New France.

There remains unknown to Europeans, up to the present time, an immense portion of Canada, beyond the Mississippi river, situated beneath a milder sky, well-inhabited, and abounding in animal and vegetable life; the whole, deprived of true life and of salvation. This region calls to the generous soldiers of Christ. So is it, likewise, [324] with another region far dissimilar to that, around the frozen Hudson bay, from the fifty-fifth parallel to the sixtieth or seventieth; lying at the north, plunged in snows and frosts, it even more justly implores aid, as it is afflicted by more weighty ills. Here the Society, a few years ago, first began to plant its footsteps. That day will dawn, I hope, when it shall break through the barriers of dangers and toils. Not without great exertion are the gates of Tartarus, which hold burdened souls in unmerited bondage, broken down; nor did the Canadian Mission itself, now flourishing with so many settlements, all at once attain its full development. Grievously, through sixteen years did it, so to speak, stick in a rough [page 223] road; indeed, it did not take shape until 1625, when it was extricated from its perplexities by the aid of Father Peter Coton, to whom it owed its origin, as the sixth Part of this History will more fully explain.

Now we return to the natal days, full of hardships and dangers, of the toilsome Mission, which, scarcely born, was almost exterminated in its cradle by the English. [page 225]


O OUR COMRADES residing in that place there had come as a reinforcement, on the 15th day of May, 1613, Father Quentin and Brother Gilbert du Thet, provided with a royal commission, by which they were empowered to establish a new settlement in a suitable location. {60} They found the French intent upon founding a city, and unaware of the danger which threatened. The English, a few years before had occupied Virginia. This eastern coast-region of North America, situated between Florida and New France, is comprised between the thirty-sixth and thirty-eighth parallels. While the English were sailing thither in the summer months of the year 1613, and, having lost their bearings and strayed from their course, on account of the fogs, which usually are very heavy upon this sea in the summer, they were gradually borne to the shore where the French had settled, {61} not far from the port of St. Sauveur. When they learned that a French ship was stationed there, they made ready their weapons and entered the harbor. Meanwhile the French, uncertain whether they should consider as friends or foes those whom the wind was bearing directly towards their position, tremblingly awaited the out-come. Who they were was soon apparent. The English attacked the French ship, {62}' wherein few were drawn up in defense - for the others had departed to work on the buildings - and with no trouble captured her. [page 227]

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N THE FIRST onset, Gilbert du Thet, a household assistant of the Society was stricken with a mortal wound, and on the following day piously departed this life. The rest of the Fathers, who were standing on the shore, were captured by Argall, the English commander.{63} This man, while he was taking an inventory of the plunder and equipment of the French ship, surreptitiously removed from the trunk of Saussaye, the captain of the French vessel, and commander of the expedition, the royal commission upon whose authority all the proceedings of the new colony were based. Soon meeting Saussaye himself, returning from the shore, Argall asked him by what right, by whose authority, he was founding a new colony so near Virginia. Saussaye cited the royal commission, which he asserted that he had, duly drawn up, in one of his trunks. When they came to these, he saw them untouched and locked, and all things disposed in their proper places; but no commission appeared. Thereupon Argall, changing his countenance and voice to severity, pronounced them runaways and pirates, and declared that they deserved death; while at the same time he delivered over the ship to his men to be plundered. Meanwhile the Fathers besought him to adopt mild measures toward the vanquished, against whom no other fault could be charged than that, in a peaceful situation, they had been too careless; they testified that the authority and favor of the [page 229] King of France had certainly been given to the colony. The captain, who was thoroughly conscious of the truth of their statements, listened to them kindly, and gave to all the opportunity of returning to France. The unhappy crowd was placed upon two ,small ships, one of which directed its course straight towards France; the other, with some of the English, sailed for Virginia, thence to depart for France. Fathers Biard and Quentin embarked upon the latter; Father Massé and Saussaye upon the former. The fortunes of these ships were widely diverse. While that which carried Saussaye and Father Massé was coasting along the shore, destitute of provisions, of seamen, and of equipment, she fell upon two ships preparing to return to France. She gladly joined herself to these, and, with her passengers, arrived in a few days at St. Malo, a town of


Meanwhile Argall, the commander of the English fleet, in order that he might conduct Fathers Biard and Quentin to Virginia, as had been resolved upon, preceded them a little with his flag-ship.

Virginia was then ruled by a ferocious Englishman,{64} who was extremely hostile to the French name and to our Society. {325 } When he heard that Jesuits had arrived, he exclaimed that such extremely wicked men, the sepulchers of piety and religion, ought to be destroyed. Argall strove against him, and declared that, while he lived, no annoyance or injury should be offered to the Fathers, for he had given them this assurance; and he produced the royal commission, by authority of which the French colony was brought to New France. Incensed by this commission, the man declared in a rage that the French must be driven from New France. In this decision [page 231] the English councilors agreed. Argall was ordered. to retrace his path; to expel those of the French who remained; to destroy their buildings, and level them with the ground. He returned, burned the forts built upon the Canadian coast, destroyed everything, and seized two ships which he found at Port Royal. {65}

While these things were taking place in Canada, of the English ships which were following the lead of Argall some were driven far from Virginia by the violence of the wind; others were swamped by the waves. One, which the Englishman Turnell {66} commanded, and in which Fathers Quentin and Biard were being conveyed, after being driven continuously for sixteen days by tempests, was quickly borne to the Azores, islands on the coast of Africa belonging to the Portuguese. But here a new danger arose. Turnell, fearing punishment because he was carrying with him and was holding under unjust conditions priests of the Society, who had been torn from their homes and robbed with the greatest brutality, began to consider plans for making way with them. Finally it seemed better to him to take refuge in their clemency and mildness, which he had observed amid the most grievous injuries. Nevertheless, he took measures that they should not enter the port, thinking that while the ship stood ,at anchor he might procure the necessary provisions by sending in a small boat. The contrary to what he had expected happened. For, impelled by an inshore breeze, he entered the harbor, although unwillingly and reluctantly. Our friends, contrary to his deserts, interposed not even a word by which he might be accused, rejoicing because they had, in this manner, saved an enemy. The English captain [page 233] recognized their kindness, and afterwards often spoke with great praise of the Fathers. But this he did much more unreservedly when, borne by a storm to Pembroke, a city of England, he was suspected by the officials of that town of piracy on the high seas, because he was sailing in a French ship and produced no written authority by which he might justify his voyage. When he asserted that he had been separated by a storm from his commander, Argall, no credence was given to him. In this crisis he mentioned as

witnesses the two priests of the Society whom he had in the ship, and whose uncorrupted integrity could be doubted by no one. When the Fathers, on being questioned, had given assurance that the affair was thus, he was released from danger. He made the requital which was due to their kindness, and took care that they should not only suffer no harm, but even that they should be shown honor by the officials. Meantime the ambassador of the Most Christian King, upon being informed of the toilsome voyage of the Fathers, carried on negotiations with the King of England concerning their restoration to France. With his consent, they arrived, in the tenth month after their capture, joyfully and safely among their Brethren at Amiens. [page 235]

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Missions of the Society of Jesus in North

America in the Year 1710. [961]

ISSIONS among the Abenakis.

Mission of the Holy Guardian Angel.

Baiogula Mission.

Chigoutimini Mission.

Mission of St. Francis de Sales.

Mission of St. Francis Xavier.

Huron residence.

Mission of St. Ignatius.

Mission of the Immaculate Conception.

Mission at the Seven Islands.

Mission of St. Joseph.

Missions an among the Illinois.

Missions among the Iroquois.

Mission of Lorette.

Missions on the banks and at the mouth

Mississippi river.

[962] Residence of Montreal.

Nipisikouit mission.

Missions among the Outakouacs.

Saguenay mission.

Mission of Sault de Sainte Marie.

Forest Missions.

Tadousshac Mission.

Mission at Three Rivers.

Number of brethren . . . .

[page 237]

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. 42



e Regione ac Moribus Canadensium


SOURCE: We follow the general style of O'Callaghan's Reprint No. 5. The Title-page, Tabula. Rerum, and Rerum Insignioruim Indiculus, are the work of that Editor. The Text, he reprinted from Jouvency's Historia ,Societatis Jesu (Rome, 1710), part v., pp. 344 - 347; we have read the proof thereof, from a copy of that work found in the library of the College of St. Francis Xavier, New York. The bracketed pagination is that of Jouvency; except in the Tabula Rerum and Rerum Insigniorum Indiculus, which is that of O'Callaghan. [page 239]

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By JOSEPH, JOUVENCY, a Priest of the

Society of, Jesus.

Printed from the History of the Society of Jesus, Book

xv., Part v.


Printing House of Giorgio Placko


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[3] Table of Contents.

[The page numbers refer to O'Callaghan's Reprint.]









RIVERS of New France; nature of the soil; wild beasts, fishs, birds, etc.

Homes and household economy of the Canadians; diseases; treatment of the sick and of the dead

Mode of warfare; weapons; cruelty to prisoners

Mental characteristics; care of the body; food; feasts; household utensils; religion and superstitions






[page 243]

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[344 § X.] Concerning the country and manners

of the Savages of New France.



HERE are two great rivers in New France. One, called by the natives Canada, a name thence extended to the whole country, is now called the River St. Lawrence, and flows in a very broad channel from west to east. The other, named Mississippi, flows from North to South, through vast regions, for the most part still unknown. The rivers of this land are remarkable because in certain places they are precipitated with a great uproar from the higher to the lower levels. The French call those places water-falls. You might justly call them cataracts, such as are famous in the case of the Nile. The water of an entire river often falls in the form of an arch, in such fashion that it is possible to walk dry-shod beneath the stream which rushes overhead. The savages, when they come to such a spot, shoulder their boats, which are constructed of light bark, and carry them, together with the baggage, to the calm portion of the river flowing below. The chief city of new France is called Kebec, and is situated on the St. Lawrence River. The whole country possesses a healthful climate, but is harassed by a cold and long winter. This is caused partly by the frequency of the rivers and lakes; partly by the thickness and great extent of the forests, which diminish the force of the sun's heat; finally, by the abundance of snow [page 245] with which the land, in its most Northern regions, which lie upon the same parallel as old France, is continually desolated for three or four months. The soil is extremely productive of all sorts of trees and plants, especially where the clearing of the forest has furnished additional space for cultivation. The same quadrupeds are found as in Europe; some, as the moose, are peculiar to the country. The natives call it the "great beast". This name it receives because of the huge size of its body, for it is as large as an ox. Its head resembles that of a mule; its horns, hoofs, and tail, those of a stag. The savages hunt this animal with the aid of dogs; when it is worn out they dispatch it with spears and missiles. If hunting-dogs are lacking, they themselves go in place of them. Indeed, they proceed through the midst of the snow with incredible swiftness; and, in order that the weight of the body may not sink their feet too deeply into the snow, they place beneath their soles, and fasten to their feet, broad pieces of network, very similar to those with which players commonly strike the ball. These pieces of network, which cover a sufficiently large portion of the surface of the snow, readily support them while running. But the moose, planting their slender legs deeply into the snow, with difficulty extricate themselves. The savages eat its flesh, are clothed with its skin, and are cured by the hoof of its left hind leg. In this hoof there is a certain marvelous and manifold virtue, as is affirmed by the testimony of the most famous physicians. It avails especially against the epilepsy, whether it be applied to the breast, where the heart is throbbing, or whether it be placed in the bezel of a ring, which is worn upon the finger next to the little finger of the left hand; or, finally, if it be also held [page 247] in the hollow of the left hand, clenched in the fist. Nor does it have less power in the cure of pleurisy, dizziness, and, if we may believe those familiar with it, six hundred other diseases.

Another well-known and common sort of animal there, is the beaver; its skins, which are exchanged for European merchandise, being the basis of almost the entire system of Canadian commerce. Its color resembles that of the chestnut; the shape of its body is like that of a small wether; its legs are short and formed for swimming; its tail, which it uses as a rudder while swimming, is smooth, thick and flat; two teeth, larger than the others, project from its mouth on each side; these, the beavers use like a sword and a saw in cutting g down trees when they build their houses, for in the construction of these they exhibit wonderful industry. They locate them on the banks of lakes or rivers; they build walls of logs, placing between them wet and sticky sods in the place of mortar, so that the work can, even with great violence, scarcely be torn apart and destroyed. The entire house is divided into several stories; the lowest is composed of thicker cross-beams, with branches strewn upon them, and provided with a hole or small door through which they can pass into the river whenever they wish; this story extends somewhat above the water of the river, while the others rise higher, into which they retire if the swelling stream submerges the lowest floor. They sleep in one of the upper stories; a soft bed is furnished by dry seaweed and tree moss, with which they protect themselves from the cold; on another floor they have their store-room, and food provided for winter. The building is covered with a dome-shaped roof. Thus they pass the winter, for in [page 249] summer they enjoy the shady coolness upon the shores, or escape the summer heat by plunging into the water. Often a great colony of many members is lodged in one house. But, if they be incommoded by the narrowness of the place, the younger ones depart of their own accord and construct homes for themselves. Upon the advent of cool weather in autumn, they devote themselves to this task, and lend mutual services in turn, both in cutting and carrying logs, so that many assist at one and the same burden, and thus carry down great branches and logs of forest trees. If they find any river suitable for their purposes, except in having sufficient depth, they build a dam to keep back the water until it rises to the required height. And first, by gnawing them, they fell trees of large size; then they lay them across from one shore to the other. They construct a double barrier and rampart of logs, obliquely placed, leaving between them a space of about six feet, which they so ingeniously fill in with stones, clay, and branches that one would expect nothing better from the most skillful architect. The length of the structure is greater or less, according to the size of the stream which they wish to restrain. Dams of this kind a fifth of a mile long are sometimes found. But, if the river swell more than is safe, they break open some part of the structure, and let through as much water as seems sufficient.

As the forests abound in wild beasts, so the rivers teem with fish. There is one in the lake of the Iroquois, {67} which is not mentioned by early authors. It is called by the natives "Causar", and is eight feet long, sometimes ten. It is as thick as the human thigh; it is dun-colored, approaching white; it bristles all over with scales, so hard and so firmly set [page 251] together that they turn the edge of a knife or the point of a spear. The head is large, and protected by an exceedingly hard skull, like a helmet. Hence the name of "ARMORED FISH" has been given it by the French. It carries on perpetual war with, and feeds upon, other fishes. For a weapon it carries an immense beak, of the length of a man's arm and furnished with a double row of teeth. With this hunting-spear it not only devours other fishes, but also, whenever it wishes to vary its diet, deceives and ensnares birds. For this latter purpose it hides itself among the sedge; it projects its beak from the water and opens it slightly. It thus remains motionless until the birds approach and thoughtlessly perch upon the beak, deeming it a reed or a bush; then the treacherous ensnarer seizes the feet of the unfortunate birds by closing its beak, and, dragging them into the water, devours them. {68}

The birds are fully as abundant as the fishes. During certain months of the year the pigeons sally forth from the woods into the open country in such great numbers that they overload the branches of the trees. When they have settled upon the trees at night they are easily captured, and the savages heap their tables with royal abundance. Besides this, in the huge gulf into which the river saint Lawrence flows may be seen a small island, or rather a double rock; they call it the isle of birds. {69} For so many congregate there from the neighboring ocean that it is impossible to count their numbers. The natives make an easy prey of them with clubs, or by trampling them under foot, and bring back their canoes filled with sumptuous food acquired without price. [345] Everywhere may be seen, sporting in the water, geese, ducks, herons, cranes, swans, coots and other [page 253] birds whose habit it is to seek their living from the waves. A certain peculiarity attaches to one, which is about the size of a cock; its wings are black on the outside and white beneath. One of its feet is armed with hooked claws, the other has webbed toes, like those of a duck; with the latter it swims, with the former it seizes and disembowels fishes. [page 255]

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OW, if you inquire concerning the customs and character of this people, I will reply that a part of them are nomads, wandering during the winter in the woods, whither the hope of better hunting calls them - in the summer, on the shores of the rivers, where they easily obtain their food by fishing; while others inhabit villages. They construct their huts by fixing poles in the ground; they cover the sides with bark, the roofs with hides, moss and branches. In the middle of the hut is the hearth, from which the smoke escapes through an opening at the peak of the roof. As the smoke passes out with difficulty, it usually fills the whole hut, so that strangers compelled to live in these cabins suffer injury and weakening of the eyes; the savages, a coarse race, and accustomed to these discomforts, ridicule this. The care of household affairs, and whatever work there may be in the family, are placed upon the women. They build and repair the wigwams, carry water and wood, and prepare the food; their duties and position are those of slaves, laborers and beasts of burden. The pursuits of hunting and war belong to the men. Thence arise the isolation and numerical weakness of the race. For the women, although naturally prolific, cannot, on account of their occupation in these labors, either bring forth fully-developed offspring, or properly nourish them after they have been brought forth; therefore they either suffer [page 257] abortion, or forsake their new-born children, while engaged in carrying water, procuring wood and other tasks, so that scarcely one infant in thirty survives until youth. To this there is added their ignorance of medicine, because of which they seldom recover from illnesses which are at all severe.

If They believe that there are two main sources of disease: one of these is in the mind of the patient himself, which desires something, and will vex the body of the sick man until it possesses the thing required. For they think that there are in every man certain inborn desires, often unknown to themselves, upon which the happiness of individuals depends. For the purpose of ascertaining desires and innate appetites of this character, they summon soothsayers, who, as they think, have a divinely-imparted power to look into the inmost recesses of the mind. These men declare that whatever first occurs to them, or something from which they suspect some gain can be derived, is desired by the sick person. Thereupon the parents, friends, and relatives of the patient do not hesitate to procure and lavish upon him whatever it may be, however expensive, a return of which is never thereafter to be sought. The patient enjoys the gift, divides a portion of it among the soothsayers, and often on the next day departs from life. Commonly, however, the sick recover, plainly because their illnesses are slight; for, in the case of more severe complaints, these soothsayers are more cautious, and deny the possibility of ascertaining what the patient desires; then they bewail him whom they hove given up, and cause the relatives to put him out of the way. Thus they kill those afflicted with protracted illness, or exhausted by old age, and consider this the greatest kindness, because death [page 259] puts an end to the sufferings of the sick. They display the same benevolence towards children deprived of their parents, whom they prefer to see dead rather than to see them miserable. They believe that another source of disease is the hidden arts and the charms of sorcerers, which they seek to avert by means of absurd ceremonies. Often they expel noxious humors by sweating. They inclose a certain portion of the hut with pieces of bark and cover it with hides, in order that no air may enter. Within they pile stones heated to a high temperature. They enter naked and toss their arms while singing. But, strange to say, they will leave this heat, dripping with perspiration, and in the very coldest part of winter cast themselves into a lake or river, careless of pleurisy.

They never bear out the corpses of the dead through the door of the lodge, but through that part toward which the sick person turned when he expired. They think that the soul flies out through the smoke-hole; and, in order that it may not linger through longing for its old home, nor while departing breathe upon any of the children, who by such an act would be, as they think, doomed to death, they beat the walls of the wigwam with frequent blows of a club, in order that they may compel the soul to depart more quickly. They believe it to be immortal. That it may not thereafter perish with hunger, they bury with the body a large quantity of provisions; also, garments, pots, and various utensils of great expense, and acquired by many years labor, in order, they say, that he may use them and pass his time more suitably in the kingdom of the dead. The tombs of the chiefs are raised a little from the ground; upon them they place poles joined in the [page 261] form of a pyramid; they add a bow, arrows shield and other insignia of war; but upon the tombs of the women they place necklaces and collars. They bury the bodies of infants beside paths, in order that their souls, which they think do not depart very far from the body, may slip into the bosoms of women passing by, and animate the yet undeveloped fetus. In mourning, they stain the face with soot. When informed of a death, the relatives, neighbors, and friends assemble at the lodge where the corpse lies. If the condition of the dead permit, one of their makes a speech, in which he employs all those arguments that the most eloquent speakers are wont to use for the solace of grief. He rehearses the praises of the dead; he reminds them that the latter was born a man, and therefore liable to death; that those misfortunes which cannot be repaired are made lighter by patience; he sets forth other things of that sort to the same effect. On the third day the funeral is held. A funeral feast is provided for the whole village, each individual liberally furnishing his share For this feast they advance three main reasons: first that they may assuage the general grief; secondly that those friends who come from a distance to the funeral may be more fittingly entertained; thirdly that they may please the spirit of the dead, which they believe, is delighted by this exhibition of liberality, and also partakes of the repast placed for him When the feast is completed the master of the funeral, who, in each distinguished family, permanently holds this office and is greatly honored, proclaims that the time for the burial has come. All give utterance to continuous lamentations and wailings. The corpse, wrapped in beaver skins, and placed upon a bier made of bark and rushes, with his [page 263] limbs bent and pressed tightly against his body in order that, as they say, he may be committed to the earth in the same position in which he once lay in his mother's womb, is borne out on the shoulders of the relatives. The bier is set down at the appointed place, the gifts which each one offers to the dead are fastened to poles, and the donors are named by the master of the funeral. The mourning is renewed; finally, boys vie with each other in a mock contest.

Those who have been drowned are buried with greater ceremony and lamentation. For their bodies are cut open, and a portion of the flesh, together with the viscera, thrown into the fire. This is a sort of sacrifice, by means of which they seek to appease heaven. For they are sure that heaven is enraged against the race whenever any one loses his life by drowning. If any part of these funeral rites has not been duly and regularly performed, they believe that all the calamities from which they afterwards may suffer are a punishment for this neglect. They indulge their grief throughout an entire year. For the first ten days they lie upon the ground day and night, flat upon their bellies; it is impious then to utter any sound unless significant of grief, or to approach the fire, or to take part in feasts. During the remainder of the year the mourning continues, but less vigorously. All the duties of politeness, conversation with neighbors, and association with friends, are neglected; and, if a man has lost a wife he remains unmarried until the year has expired. Every eight or ten years the Hurons, which nation is widely extended, convey all their corpses' from all the villages to a designated place and cast them into an immense pit. They call it the day of the Dead. When this has been decreed by resolution of the [page 265] elders, they drag out the corpses from their graves, some already decomposed, with flesh scarcely clinging to the bones, others thinly covered with putrid flesh, others teeming with vile worms and smelling fearfully. The loose bones they place in sacks, the bodies not yet disintegrated they place in coffins, and bear them, in the manner of suppliants, to the appointed place, proceeding amid deep silence and with regular step, uttering sighs and mournful cries. But, in order that the memory of chiefs and of those especially famous in the art of war, who lack off-spring, may not fail, they choose some person in the flower of his age and strength, to whom they give the name of the dead man. The namesake immediately makes a levy of warriors and starts for battle, in order that by the achievement of some glorious deed he may prove himself the heir not only of the name but also of the valor of him whose place he has taken. Names of lesser note are condemned to ever-lasting silence. Therefore, as soon as any one in the village has departed this life his name is proclaimed in a loud voice throughout all the lodges, in order that no one may rashly use it. But if, nevertheless, it be necessary to name the dead man, they use a circumlocution and preface something by which the unpleasant [346] recollection of his death may be softened. If that be omitted they consider it a deadly insult; nor do they think that son or parent can be wounded by more savage abuse than when their dead relatives are defamed before them. [page 267]

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HEY engage in war rashly and savagely, often with no cause, or upon a very slight pretext. They choose as leaders, by general vote, either the eldest members of illustrious families or those whose warlike valor, or even eloquence, has been approved. In civil war they never engage; they carry arms only against their neighbors, and not for the sake of extending their dominion and sway, but usually, in order that they may avenge an injury inflicted upon themselves or their allies. They have obtained swords and guns from the Dutch and English, and, relying upon these weapons, they plan with greater determination and boldness the destruction of their enemies, and even of the Europeans. Sometimes they decide their wars by single combat. Two bands, one of the so-called Montagnais, the other of Iroquois, had met a few years ago in readiness for battle. The leaders had advanced and were already designating the positions for the formation of the lines of attack, when it is said that one thus addressed the other: "Let us spare the blood of our followers; nay, rather let us spare our own. Let us settle the matter with our bare hands, and he who overcomes the other shall be the victor". The proposition was accepted, and the two joined battle. The Montagnais, by means of a combination of strategy and skill with courage, so wearied the Iroquois that he finally hurled the latter to the ground, bound him, and triumphantly carried him off upon his [page 269] shoulders to his own band. They make their shield's of hewn wood, principally cedar, with slightly curving edges, light, very long and very large, so that they cover the entire body. Next, in order that they may not be penetrated and split by spears or tomahawks, they overlace them on the inner side with thongs made from the skins of animals, which hold together and connect the whole mass of the shield. They do not carry the shield suspended from the arm, but cast by a cord over the right shoulder, so that it protects the left side of the body; when they have cast their spears or fired their guns they slightly retire the right side and turn toward the enemy the left side, which is protected by the shield.

In battle they strive especially to capture their enemies alive. Those who have been captured and led off to their villages are first stripped of their clothing; then they savagely tear off their nails one by one with their teeth; then they bind them to stakes and beat them as long as they please. Next they release them from their bonds, and compel them to pass back and forth between a double row of men armed with thorns, clubs and instruments of iron. Finally, they kindle a fire about them, and roast the miserable creatures with slow heat. Sometimes they pierce the flesh of the muscles with red-hot plates and with spits, or cut it off and devour it, half-burned and dripping with gore and blood. Next they plant blazing torches all over the body, and especially in the gaping wounds; then, after scalping him they scatter ashes and live coals upon his naked head; then they tear the tendons of the arms and legs, lacerate them, or, after removing a little of the skin, leisurely cut them with a knife at the ankle and wrist. often they compel the unhappy prisoner [page 271] to walk through fire, or to eat, and thus entomb in a living sepulcher, pieces of his own flesh. Torture of this sort has been borne by not a few of the Fathers of the Society. Moreover, they prolong this torment throughout many days, and, in order that the poor victim may undergo fresh trials, intermit it for some time, until his vitality is entirely exhausted and he perishes. Then they tear the heart from the breast, roast it upon the coals, and, if the prisoner has bravely borne the bitterness of the torture, give it, seasoned with blood, to the boys, to be greedily eaten, in order, as they say, that the warlike youth may imbibe the heroic strength of the valiant man. The prisoner who has beheld and endured stake, knives and wounds with an unchanging countenance, who has not groaned; who with laughter and song has ridiculed his tormentors, is praised; for they think that to sing amid so many deaths is great and noble. So they themselves compose songs long beforehand, in order that they may repeat them if they should by chance be captured. The rest of the crowd consume the corpse in a brutal feast. The chief reserves for himself the scalp as a. sign of victory, a trophy of cruelty. [page 273]

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THUS they treat their enemies; but at home they cultivate peace and carefully avoid quarrels, except those which the fury of drunkenness has aroused. Fortunate would they be if Europe had never introduced this scourge among them! They know nothing of anger, and at first were greatly surprised when the Fathers censured their faults before the assembly; they thought that the Fathers were madmen, because among peaceful hearers and friends they displayed such vehemence. These people seek a reputation for liberality and generosity; they give away their property freely and very seldom ask any return; nor do they punish thieves otherwise than with ridicule and derision. If they suspect that any one seeks to accomplish an evil deed by means of false pretenses, they do not restrain him with threats, but with gifts. From the same desire for harmony comes their ready assent to whatever one teaches them; nevertheless they hold tenaciously to their native belief or superstition, and on that account are the more difficult to instruct. For what can one do with those who in word give agreement and assent to everything, but in reality give none ? They kindly relieve the poverty of the unfortunate; they provide sustenance for widows and old men in their bereavement, except when, with old age, vitality is withering away, or some grievous disease arises; for then they think it better to cut short an unhappy existence than to support and prolong it. Whatever [page 275] misfortune may befall them, they never allow ,themselves to lose their calm composure of mind, in which they think that happiness especially consists. They endure many days fasting, also diseases and trials with the greatest cheerfulness and patience. Even the pangs of childbirth, although most bitter, are so concealed or conquered by the women that they do not even groan; and if a tear or a groan should escape any one of them, she would be stigmatized by everlasting disgrace, nor could she find a man thereafter who would marry her. Friends never indulge in complaint or expostulation to friends, wives to their husbands, or husbands to their wives. They treat their children with wonderful affection, but they preserve no discipline, for they neither themselves correct them nor allow others to do so. Hence the impudence and savageness of the boys, which, after they have reached a vigorous age, breaks forth in all sorts of wickedness. Moreover, they exercise the same mildness which they exhibit toward their children and relatives, toward the remainder of their tribe and their countrymen. If any person has injured another by means of a rude jest (for they are commonly very talkative, and are ready jesters), the latter carefully conceals it, or lays it up, and in retaliation injures his detractor behind his back; for to jest in the victim's presence, or to make a verbal attack, face to face, is characteristic of religion. There is nothing which they are more prone to use as a counter-allegation, when provoked, than to charge a man with a lack of intelligence. For they claim praise because of their intelligence, and not without good reason. No one among them is stupid or sluggish, a fact which is evident in their inborn foresight in deliberation and their fluency in [page 277] speaking. Indeed, they have often been heard to make a peroration so well calculated for persuasion, and that off-hand, that they would excite the admiration of the most experienced in the arena of eloquence.

Their bodies, well proportioned, handsome because of their height, vigorous in strength, correspond to their minds. They have the same complexion as the French, although they disfigure it with fat and rancid oil, with which they grease themselves; nor do they neglect paints of various colors, by means of which they appear beautiful to themselves, but to us ridiculous. Some may be seen with blue noses, but with cheeks and eyebrows black; others mark forehead, nose and cheeks with lines of various colors; one would think he beheld so many hobgoblins. They believe that in colors of this description they are dreadful to their enemies, and that likewise their own fear in line of battle will be concealed as by a veil; finally, that it hardens the skin of the body, so that the cold of winter is more easily borne. Besides these colors, which are usually applied or removed according to the pleasure of each person, many impress upon the skin fixed and permanent representations of birds or animals, such as a snake, an eagle, or a toad, in the following manner: With awls, spearpoints or thorns they so puncture the neck, breast or cheeks as to trace rude outlines of those objects; next, they insert into the pierced and bleeding skin a black powder made from pulverized charcoal which unites with the blood and so fixes upon the living flesh the pictures which have been drawn that no length of time can efface them. Some entire tribes that especially which is called the Tobacco nation, and also another, which is called the Neutral nation practice it as a continuous custom and [page 279] usage; sometimes it is not without danger, especially if the season be somewhat cold or the physical constitution rather weak. [347] For then, overcome by suffering, although they do not betray it by even a groan, they swoon away and sometimes drop dead. They praise small eyes and turned-up and projecting-lips. Some shave their hair, others cultivate it some have half the head bare, others the back of the head; the hair of some is raised upon their heads; that of others hangs down scantily upon each temple. They detest a beard as a monstrosity, and straight-way pull out whatever hair grows upon their chins. The men as well as the women pierce the lobes of their ears, and place in them earrings made of glass or shells. The larger the hole, the more beautiful they consider it. They never cut their nails. They ridicule the Europeans, because the latter wipe off the mucus flowing from the nose with white handkerchiefs, and say: "For what purpose do they preserve such a vile thing ?" In dancing, they bend the body, with the head lowered, in the form of a bow, and move their arms like those who knead dough, at the same time emitting hoarse grunts. They gird the lower portion of the belly with a broad piece of bark or hide or a parti-colored cloth, and leave the rest of the body naked. The women wear skins hanging from the shoulders and neck to the knees. They wear belts and bracelets ingeniously manufactured from Venus shells,{71} which we commonly call porcelain, or from porcupine quills; and necklaces made in this fashion they value highly They make very neat mats from marisco (a variety of marine rush); with these they cover their floors, and also take their rest upon them, or upon the soft furs of the seal or the beaver. In winter they sleep [page 281] about a fire constantly burning in the middle of the lodge, in summer under the open sky.

Neither table nor chair can be seen in the hut. They squat upon their haunches like monkeys; this is their custom while eating, deliberating or conversing. They greet approaching friends with silly laughter, more often exclaiming, ho, hho, hhho. When they eat they do not take beverages with their food, nor do they drink often, but only once after eating. Whoever entertains his friends at a feast neither sits with them nor touches any part of the food, but divides it among the feasters; or, if he has some one act as carver, sits apart fasting and looks on. While eating they keep silence; they reject salt and condiments; they consider it a sin to throw the bones to the dogs; they either burn them in the fire or bury them in the ground. For, they say, if the bears, beaver, and other wild animals which we capture in hunting should know that their bones were given to dogs and broken to pieces, they would not suffer themselves to be taken so easily. They wipe off upon their hair the grease which is collected from fatty foods; sometimes they smear their cheeks or arms for the sake, as they say, of elegance and health; for they think that not only is the skin made resplendent with grease, but that the limbs are thus strengthened. For no other food do they have such fondness as for Sagamita. It is a relish made from flour, especially that of Indian corn, mixed with oil, which as a flavor is held in especial esteem among them. Therefore, in feasts the first course consists of oil or fat, in hard and compact lumps, into which they bite as we do into a piece of bread or an apple. Before pots, kettles and other vessels of the sort were brought to them from France, they used receptacles [page 283] of closely joined bark; but, because they could not place them with safety over the flames, they devised the following way of cooking meat: They cast a large number of flint stones into the fire until they had become red-hot. Then they would drop these hot stones one after another into a vessel full of cold water and meat. In this manner the water was heated and the meat cooked more quickly and more easily than one would suppose. For wiping their hands they use the shaggy back of a dog, also powder of rotten wood. The last-named is used by mothers, in the place of wash-cloths, to clean the dirt from their infants; it is also used as a mattress to support the weary body. They do not cleanse their cooking utensils. The more they are covered with thick grease, so much the better are they, in their judgment. They consider it disgraceful and arrogant to walk while conversing. They dislike the odor of musk, and consider it a downright pest in comparison with a piece of rancid meat or moldy fat.

There are six hundred matters of this sort in which their customs differ very widely from those of Europeans; but they are less removed from the faults of the latter and either equal or excel them. They have received stimulants of the appetite, and drinks hostile to a good and sound mind, from European traders, who think much of profit, even when tainted with the disgrace of a wicked traffic. They continue to exist so long g as they have anything to eat; they store up nothing for to-morrow, or for the winter; nor do they greatly dread famine, because they are confident of their ability to bear it for a long time, In feasts it is the rule, by general consent and custom of the race, that all the food shall be consumed. [page 285] If any one eats sparingly and urges his poor health as an excuse, he is beaten or ejected as ill-bred, just as if he were ignorant of the art of living. The principal article of their household utensils is the pot or kettle in which the meat is cooked. They measure property by the number of kettles, and in the beginning conceived a high opinion of the king of France, for no other reason than because he was said to possess a good many kettles. How great is the impunity and wantonness of licentiousness among men uncivilized and free from all restraint, especially among the youth, may be readily observed; for the elder men confine their lust within fixed limits, after the violence of their passions has subsided, and an erring woman does not go unpunished.

There is among them no system of religion, or care for it. They honor a Deity who has no definite character or regular code of worship. They perceive however, through the twilight, as it were, that some deity does exist. What each boy sees in his dreams, when his reason begins to develop, is to him thereafter a deity, whether it be a dog, a bear, or a bird. They often derive their principles of life and action from dreams; as, for example, if they dream that any person ought to be killed, they do not rest until they I have caught the man by stealth and slain him. It is wearisome to recount the tales which they invent concerning the creation of the world. Soothsayers and worthless quacks fill with these the idle and greedy ears of the people in order that they may acquire an impious gain. They call some divinity, who is the author of evil, "Manitou", and fear him exceedingly. Beyond doubt it is the enemy of the human race, who extorts from some people divine honors and sacrifices. Concerning the nature of [page 287] spirits, they go none the less astray. They make them corporeal images which require food and drink. They believe that the appointed place for souls, to which after death they are to retire, is in the direction of the setting sun, and there they are to enjoy feasting, hunting, and dancing; for these pleasures are held in the highest repute among them.

When they first heard of the eternal fire and the burning decreed as a punishment for sin, they were marvelously impressed; still, they obstinately withheld their belief because, as they said, there could be no fire where there was no wood; then, what forests could sustain so many fires through such a long space of time ? This absurd reasoning had so much influence over the minds of the savages, that they could not be persuaded of the truth of the gospel. For, plainly, in the physical man, as some one from Sts. Peter and Paul says, the entire system of knowledge is based on vision. Nevertheless, a clever and ingenious priest overcame their obstinacy. He confidently declared that the lower world possessed no wood, and that it burned by itself. He was greeted by the laughter of the crowd of savages. "But", said he, "1 will exhibit to you a piece of this land of Avernus, in order that, since you do not believe the words of God, you may trust the evidence of your own eyes". The novelty and boldness of the promise aroused their curiosity. Upon the appointed day they assembled from the whole neighborhood, and sat down together in an immense plain, surrounded by hills like an amphitheater. Twelve leading men of the tribe, persons of dignity and sagacity, were chosen to watch the priest, in order that neither fraud nor sorcery might be concealed. He produced a lump of sulphur and gave it to the judges [page 289] and inspectors to be handled; after examining it with eyes, nose, and hand, they admitted that it was certainly earth. There stood near by a kettle containing live coals. Then the priest, under the eyes of the people at a distance, while the judges were gaping with their noses thrust down toward the coals, shook some grains from the lump of sulphur upon the coals, which suddenly took fire and filled the curious noses with a stifling odor. When this had been done a second and a third time, the crowd arose in astonishment, placing their hands flat over their mouths, by which gesture they signify great surprise; and believed in the word of God that there is a lower world.[page 291]

¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯

[15] Index Of Prominent Topics.

(The Page Numbers Refer to O'Callaghan's Reprint)

lk: Description . . . . . . .

Wonderful Efficacy of Its Hoof . . . . .

The English Supply Swords, Guns And Ammunition To The Savages

Absurd Ideas of Canadians Concerning The Soul . . . .

Birds of New France . . . . . . . .

A Bird of Prey . . . . . . . . .

The Dutch Sell Arms To The Savages . . . . . .

The River Canada . . . . . . . .

Homes of The Canadians . . . . . . .

Tasks of The Women . . . . . . .

Diseases And Treatment of The sick . . . . .

Funerals . . . . . . . .

Wars . . . . . . . . .

Weapons . . . . . . . .

Cruelty To Prisoners . . . . . . .

Character . . . . . . . .

Care of The Body . . . . . . .

Food . . . . . . . . .

Feasts . . . . . . . . .

[52] Implements of The Canadians . . . . . .

Religion And superstitions . . . . . .

Cruel Fate of Prisoners . . . . . . .

Houses of The Canadians . . . . . . .

Corpses Are Never Carried Out Through The Door . . .

Houses of the Beavers . . . . . . . .

The Causar Or Armored Fish . . . . . . .

Shields Of The Savages . . . . . . .

[page 293]

Manner of cookinig in vessels made from bark . . . .

Drunkenness is learned from the Europeans . . . . .

Rites of sepulture. . . . . . . . .

Whatever work there is, is placed upon the women . . . .

Decscription of the beaver . . . . . . .

Peculiarities of the rivers . . . . . . .

Discription of New France, rivers . . . . . .

climate . . . . . . . . .

nature of the soil . . . . . . .

wild animals . . . . . . . .

Why the king of France was qreatly respected . . . .

The Hurons celebrate the day of the Dead . . . . .






20, 46




































Remarkable mortality among infants . . . . . .

Why they bury the bodies near the road . . . .

A priest proves that there is hell fire . . . . . .

[53] The Iroquois conclude a war with the Montagnais by single combat .

Lake of the Iroquois . . . . . . . .

Kebec, the chief city of New France . . . . . .

The Great Beast, what it is . . . . . . .

Manitou, the spirit of evil . . . . . . .

Mississippi river . . . . . . . .

The Montaignais conclude a war by single combat . . . .

Two sources of disease . . . . . . .

Festival of the Dead anmiong the Hurons . . . . .

Canadian.manner of honoring the dead . . . . .

Boats of Lake savages . . . . . . . .

The Neutral Nation . . . . . . . .

They revere a deity with no fixed form of worship . . . .

Innumerable pigeons . . . . . . . .

The armored fish . . . . . . . .

Fathers of the Society of Jesus are cruelly tortured . . . .

Religion of the Canadians . . . . . . .

Network bound under the feet, to walk over the snow . . .

[page 295]

St. Lawrence river . . . . . . . .

Sagamita, what is it . . . . . . . .

[54] Water-falls, or cataracts, in the rivers . . . . .

Gulf of St. Lawrence . . . . . . . .

Ignorant belief in dreams . . . . . . .

They expel noxious humors by sweating . . . . .

Tobacco, the nation of that name . . . . . .

The trophy . . . . . . . . .

Isle of Birds . . . . . . . .






















5, 6









¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯



Our text of Lescarbot's La Conversion follows, to, the close of p. 44 ( original pagination ), the copy at Lenox Library; pp. 45, 46, the "Regitre de Bapteme", follow the copy at John Carter Brown Library, Providence, R. I., as the Lenox copy does not have these two pages.

It is a rare book; the two copies above cited are the only ones known to us, in America. Leclerc, in Bibliotheca Americana (Paris, 1867), p. 206 , says: "Cette pièce est plus rare que l'Histoire de la Nouvelle France", referring to Lescarbot's better-known work. Sabin speaks of it (vol. x., no. 40167), as "probably the rarest of Lescarbot's works".

See further references in the John Carter Brown Catalogue ( Bartlett's Bibliotheca Americana, Providence, 1882), vol. ii., no. 99; Graesse's Trésor de Livres Rares et Précieux (Dresden, 1863), vol. iv., p. 175; Harrisse's Notes sur la Nouvelle France (Paris, 1872), no. 21; Ternaux's Bibliothéque Américaine (Paris, 1837), no. 330; Winsor's Narrative and Critical History of America, vol. iv., p. 299; and Lenox Catalogue of Jesuit Relations ( N. Y. ,1879), p. 3.*

* In order to save needless repetition of long titles, bibliographical works, when once cited in full, will thereafter be referred to by the usual cut-shorts: e.g., the John Carter Brown Catalogue will be hereafter known in our Bibliographical Data as "Brown Catalogue" the list of Jesuitica in Winsor's Narrative and Critical History, vol. iv., as "Winsor"; the Lenox Catalogue of Jesuit Relations, as "Lenox Catalogue"; Harrisse's Notes sur la Nouvelle France, as "Harrisse's Notes", or simply as "Harrisse"; etc., etc. The student who is familiar, in a general way, with bibliographical sources, - and it is presumed that those are whom this series of reprints is designed,—will not be

confused by the customary method of brief citation.

[page 299]

Title-page, This is given in photographic facsimile, in this reissue, The Lenox and Brown copies are alike, in this, It will be noticed that there is no date of publication, this being established from the Privilege.

Collation. Title, I p.; blank at back of title, I p.; dedication " A LA ROYNE, " J pp., signed "MARC LESCARBOT"; privilege, I p., dated "Paris, 9 Sep., 1610", and signed "Brigard"; text, pp. 7-44. Page 7 is misnumbered I. (The Brown Catalogue says: "Page I is misnumbered 7". (This is a misprint in the Catalogue.) "FIN", at end of p, 24; then pp. 23 and 24 are reprinted, all except the last sentence on p,24: "Dieu vueille par fa | grace conduire le tout en forte que la chofe | reüffiffe à fa gloire & à l'édification de ce peu- | ple, pour lequel tous Chrétien doivent faire | continuelles prieres à fa divine bonté, à ce qu'il | lui plaife confirmer & avancer l'oeuvre qu'il | lui a pleu fufciter en ce temps pour l'exaltation | de fon nom, & le falut de fes creatures | FIN."

It is evident that the intention was to have the first leaf (PP, 23, 24) cut out, This duplication of pp. 23, 24 is in both the Brown and Lenox copies,

The "Extrait du Regitre de Bapteme" in the Brown copy (it is not in the Lenox copy ) forms 2 pages at the end of text, The first page of this "Regitre" is not numbered; the second is numbered "- -" (intended for 46), and this ends the [page 300] book. The same "Regitre" appears in somewhat different order in Lescarbot's Nouvelle France, (1612, ed.) pp. 638-640, chap. 5, book v.; also, according to Harrisse's Notes, in chap. 3, book v., of the 1611 ed.


In Bertrand's Lettre Missive, we follow the original Paris edition, in Lenox. It is a rare publication, the Lenox copy being apparently the only one in the United States; Brown has a manuscript copy, made from that at Lenox. Sabin ( vol. x., no. 40682), says: "It is a piece of unusual rarity". Sabin has a previous reference in vol. ii., no. 5025, under caption "Bertrand", wherein a misprint makes him cite the the date of the letter as "28 June, 1618" (eight years later than the actual date); a further misprint causes Sabin to record the pamphlet as having "48 pages or less", the actual number being 8. In his notes, Harrisse omits a line-ending after the second "nou-uelle" in his description of the title-page. See, for further references: Ternaux, no. 329; Winsor, p. 299; Lenox Catalogue, p. 3; Brown Catalogue, vol. ii., no. 103.

Title-page. Given in photographic facsimile, in present volume.

Collation. Title, I p.; blank at back of title, I p.; text, pp. 3-6; dated on p. 6, "Port Royal xxviij. Iuin, 1610," and signed "Bertrand". Blank leaf at end, completing 4 leaves = 8 pp.


In these four letters, by Biard and Massé, we follow Carayon's Première Mission des Jésuites au Canada (Paris, 1864). It is a scarce book, and brought $8 at [page 301] the Barlow Sale, in New York, 1890. See references in Harrisse, p. 285; Sabin, no. 10792; Winsor, pp.151, 292, 300; and Lenox Catalogue, p. 15. The origin of the letters in the volume is found at the top of the first page of each letter; and these data, with accompanying notes by Carayon, are reproduced in the present series, which will, in strict chronological order, contain all of the papers given by that editor; although in many cases we shall follow the original issues of the letters, whenever found. Documents III., V,, and VI. were written in Latin; and Document IV. in French.

Collation. Blank, 2 pp.; bastard title, I p. ; blank, I p,; title proper, I p.; blank, I p. Preface begins on p. vii. (not numbered), and ends on p. xvi. Preface acknowledges indebtedness to F. Felix Martin, S. J., for copying and translating into French (from the Latin) most of the letters in the volume. Text, pp. 1 - 302; Table at end, 2 pp.; the last of these is numbered 304.


We follow the style and make-up of Dr. E, B. O'Callaghan's Reprint (Albany N, Y.,1871) of the Canadicœ Missionis, in Jouvency's Hist. Soc. Jesu, part v., commencing p. 321. In the Lenox Catalogue, it is designated "O'Callaghan's Reprint, No. 4". This numbering of O'Callaghan's reprints, is merely a device peculiar to the Lenox Catalogue, for sake of, easy reference, and has been followed by Winsor; the reprints themselves bear no numbers.

The text of this document, however, we compared with the original folio edition of Jouvency's work, in the library of St. Francis Xavier College, New York, and the pagination thereof is Indicated [page 302] instead of that of the O'Callaghan Reprint., The list, "Missiones Societatis Jesu in America Septentrionali Anno M. DCC. X.", which .O"Callaghan reprints as if a part of the original Canadicœ Missionis, is on pp. 961, 962 of the same volume of ,Jouvency in which the latter appears (part v.).

Title-page. The O'Callaghan Reprint is closely imitated.

Collation of O'Callaghan Reprint. Title, 1 p.; reverse of title, with inscription: "Editio viginti quinque exemplaria. O'C.", 1 p. ; Biardi Eulogium ac Vita, pp. i-v.; blank, 1 p.; Tabula, 1 p.; blank, 1 p.; text, pp. 5 - 33; colophon: "Albaniae Excvdebat Joel Munsellius | Mense Aprilis Anno | CI(?). I(?)CCC. LXXI.", 1 p.; half-title, "Appendix", 1 p.; blank, 1 p.; "Mixsiones Societatis Iexu | in America Septentrionali | Anno M.DCC.X.", 2 pp., the last of which is numbered 38.


We follow the style and make-up of O'Callaghan's Reprint (Albany, 1871), which is numbered 5 in the Lenox Catalogue. The text and pagination follow the original, in Jouvency's Hist. Soc. Jesu, part v., commencing p. 344.

Title-page. The O'Callaghan Reprint is closely imitated.

Collation of O'Callaghan Reprint. Title, 1 p.; reverse of title, with inscription: "Editio viginti quinque exemplaria. O'C.", 1 p.; Tabula Rerum, 1 p.; blank, 1 p.; text, pp. 5-49; blank, 1 p.; Rerum Insigniorum Indiculus, 4 pp.; colophon: "Albaniae Excvdebat Joel Munsellius | Mense Qvintilis Anno. | CI(?). I(?)CCC. LXXI.", 1 p.

[page 303]


(Figures in parentheses, following number of note, refer to pages

of English text

1.        (p, 55)—Marie de Médicis, queen regent, widow of Henry of Navarre; appointed regent by the king, the day before his assassination, May 14, 1610, She was accused of having been privy to his murder.

1.        (p, 55)—The reports of Champlain, and the maps and charts with which, upon returning from his voyage of 1603, he entertained Henry IV., so interested the latter that he vowed to encourage the colonization of New France. To carry on this work he commissioned, as his lieutenant-general in Acadia, Pierre du Gua, Sieur de Monts, governor of Pons, a Huguenot resident at court, and, according to Champlain, "a gentleman of great respectability, zeal, and honesty". De Monts commission is given at length in Baird's Huguenot Emigration to America, vol, i., p, 341; his charter of "La Cadie" embraced the country between the 40th and 46th degrees of latitude, and he held therein a monopoly of the fur trade, J. G. Bourinot, in Canadian Monthly, vol. vii., pp. 291, 292, says the name Acadia (also written Acadie, and La Cadie) "comes from àkade, which is an affix used by the Souriquois or Micmacs, to signify a place where there is an abundance of some particular thing". - See, also, Laverdière's Œuvres de Champlain (Quebec, 1870), p, 115, In 1604, De Monts sailed from France with a colony composed of Catholics and Huguenots, served by "a priest and a minister". Champlain and Poutrincourt were with the expedition, and Pontgravé commanded one of the two ships. The canceling of his monopoly (1607), deprived De Monts of the means to carry on his colonization schemes. The title to Port Royal he had already ceded to Poutrincourt, The king renewed de Monts monopoly for one year, upon his undertaking to found a colony in the interior. Thereupon De Monts sent Champlain to the St. Lawrence (1608), as his lieutenant. Upon the death of Henry IV, (1610), De Monts, now financially ruined, surrendered his commission, selling his proprietary rights to the Jesuits.

"Jean de Biencourt, Baron de Poutrincourt, a gentleman of Picardy, a brave chevalier, had carried arms against Henry IV, in the [page 305] ranks of the Catholics, during the wars of the League. Lescarbot tells how 'The king, holding him besieged in his castle of Beaumont, wished to give him the dukedom of this place in order to attach him to his service'. Poutrincourt refused. But, when the king had abjured his faith, he served this prince loyally and followed him to battle, where he accumulated more honor than fortune In 1603 he lived in retirement with his wife, Jeanne de Salazar, and his children, in his barony of Saint-Just, in Champagne struggling painfully against the difficulties of an embarrassed situation, and striving to improve the tillage and crops of his little domain. It was here that De Monts, his former companion in arms, found him. He knew his courage, his intelligence, and his activity, and did not doubt that a voyage to Canada and an agricultural colony in these distant lands, so fertile and primeval, would appeal to his ardent soul. Poutrincourt, in fact, received with enthusiasm the plan of his old friend; however, before binding himself definitely, he wished to find out, on his own account, something about the state of the country, and for this purpose to make a trial voyage". - Rochemonteix's .Les Jésuites et la Nouvelle France (Paris, 1896), vol. i., p. 11.

Pleased with Annapolis harbor, Poutrincourt decided to settle there with his family, and De Monts gave him a grant of the place. In 1606, Poutrincourt made a second voyage to Port Royal, exploring the coast with Champlain and Lescarbot. After the abandonment of the colony (1607), he went to France, returning to Acadia in 1610, inspired with zeal to convert the savages, but without the aid of the Jesuits. See Parkman's Pioneers of France in the new World (ed. 1885, which will hereafter be cited, unless otherwise noted), pp. 244 - 322; also Shea's ed. of Charlevoix's History of New France, vol. i., p. 260. By the destruction of Port Royal in, 1613, he was the heaviest loser - the total loss to the French, according to Charlevoix, being a hundred thousand crowns. In 1614, Poutrincourt visited the ruins of Port Royal for the last time, thence returning to France to engage in the service of the king. He fatally wounded by a treacherous shot after the taking of Méry (1615) Bard (Hug. Emig., vol. i., p.94), says: "This nobleman, if nominally a Roman Catholic, appears to have been in full sympathy with his Huguenot associates, De Monts and Lescarbot. His hatred of the Jesuits was undisguised". Lescarbot's account of Poutrincourt's dispute with them differs essentially from that given by Biard, post.

3.        -Marc Lescarbot (or L'Escarbot), parliamentary advocate, was born at Vervins, France, between 1570 and 1580. He was more given to literature than to law, and appears to have man of judgment, tact, and intelligence. He spent the [page 306] 1606 - 07 at Port Royal, which Slafter (Prince Soc. ed. of Voyages of Samuel Champlain, vol. ii., p. 22, note 56) locates "on the north side of the bay [Annapolis Basin] in the present town of: Lower Granville; not, as often alleged, at Annapolis". See Bourinot's "Some Old Forts by the Sea", in Trans. Royal Society of Canada, sec. ii., pp. 72 -74, for description of Port Royal which he places on the site of the present Annapolis. In the'spring of 1607, Lescarbot explored the coast between the harbor of St. John, and the River St. Croix. On the abandonment of De Monts colony the same year, he returned to France, where he wrote much on Acadia and in praise of Poutrincourt. Larousse gives the date of his death as 1630. Parkman's Pioneers, pp. 258 et seq., gives a lively account of Lescarbot's winter at the colony. Abbé Faillon, in Histoire de la Colonie Française en Canada (Montreal, 1865), vol. i., p. 91, says he has given us the best accounts extant (in the present document, his Histoire de la Neuvelle France, 1609 and his Les Muses de la Nouvelle France, 1618) of the enterprises of De Monts and Poutrincourt; and that while a Catholic in name, he was a Huguenot at heart.

4.        (p. 57)—Clameur de Haro, Chartre Normand, an expression used in all the privileges or licenses granted by the king to booksellers. The latter phrase refers to a deed containing numerous privileges or concessions, accorded to the inhabitants of Normandy by Louis X., Mar. 19, 1313, and repeatedly confirmed afterward. Haro is supposed to be derived from, Ha Rou! or Ha Roffo! Hence an appeal to Rollo, the first Duke of Normandy.

5.        (p. 59)—The first attempt of the Huguenots to establish a colony in America was at Rio Janeiro, under Villegagon) (1555). A reinforcement was sent thither in ,1557, and among its preachers was Jean de Léri, the historian of the disastrous undertaking. See his Historia Navigationis in Brasiliam (1586), quoted in Parkman's Pioneers, p. 28.

6.        (p. 61)-The St. Lawrence; so named by Cartier (1535), but frequently called "The Great River", "The River of the Great Bay", etc., by early annalists. In the account of his second voyage, Cartier styles it le qrand fleuve de Hochelaga. See Windsor's Narrative and Critical History of America, vol. iv., p. 163; also his Cartier to Frontenac p. 28.

7.        61) Concerning early European aquaintance with American Indians: "In the yeere 1153 . . . it is written, that there came to Lubec, a citie of Germanie, one Canoa with certaine Indians, like vnto a long barge which seemed to haue come from the coast of Baccalaos, which standeth in the same latitude that Germanie doth". (Antoine [page 307] Galvano, in Goldsmid's ed. of Hakluyt's Voyages, vol. xvi., p. 293.)

Harrisse (Bibliotheca Americana Vetustissima, no. 71) cites the Chronicon of Eusebius (Paris, 1512) as having, "under the date 1509, a notice saying that there had been brought to Rouen seven Savages from North America".

The Indians of Newfoundland, when first discovered by the French, called codfish bacalos, which Lescarbot and other early French writers say is identical with the Basque word for codfish. Many evidences led Cartier, upon his first voyage (1534), to believe that the natives had had previous intercourse with Europeans.

8.        61)—Probably André Thevet. A translation of his description of the Isles of Demons (now known as Belle Isle and Quirpon), is given in Parkman's Pioneers, p. 191. Thevet's Cosmographie Universelle (Paris, 1558), and Singularitez le la France antarctique (Paris, 1558), must have been familiar to Lescarbot. De Costa gives a translation of so much of the Cosmographie as relates to New England, in Magazine of American History, vol. viii., p. 130: "The production of the mendacious monk, André Thevet". It seems clear that Thevet never saw the American coast, that his imagination amplified the accounts of navigators who had visited the region, particularly those of Cartier. Priceless as are first editions of Thevet, he has a poor reputation for veracity.

9.        (p. 61 )—The Armouchiquois (or Almouchiquois of Champlain) were, according to Parkman (Jesuits of N. America, p. xxi.), the Algonkin tribes of New England, - Mohicans, Pequots, Massachusetts, Narragansetts, and others, - "in a chronic state of war with the tribes of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia". Williamson, in History of the State of Maine (Hallowell, 1832), vol. i., p. 477), says they were an Etchemin tribe, the Marechites of the St. John River; but Champlain, who had, like Biard, visited the Armouchiquois country, says that it lies beyond Choüacoet (Saco), and that the language is different from those of the Souriquois and Etchenins. Laverdière affirms that "the French called Almouchiquois peoples or tribes that the English included under the term Massachusetts"; and he conjectures that these two names are etymologically allied.-See his Champlain, pp. 200, 205, 206

10.    (p. 61)—Lescarbot here refers to his Histoire de la Nouvelle France. The first edition (Paris, 1609) is a rare prize to collectors, - a London catalogue of 1878 pricing it at, £45. The edition of 1612 is followed in the Tross reprint (Paris, 1866); that of 1618 contains Lescarbot's assault upon the Jesuits. The fourth and sixth books, only, were "translated out of the French into English" by P. Erondelle, 1609. A German version of a brief summary the work appeared in 1613. [page 308]

11.     (p. 67)—The term Norembega, variously spelled, was applied indifferently to the entire range of Acadian and New England coast; but apparently the Penobscot is here meant. See Winsor's N. and C. Hist., vol. iv., index; Documentary History of State of Maine, vol. ii., pp. lii., liii. ; Prince Society's ed. of Chamlain, memoir and index. The claim is made for Bangor, Me., that it is on the site of an ancient town called Norumbega. Much information on this point is given in Maine Hist. Soc. Colls., vols. ii., iv., v., vii., viii., and ix. Sewall claims that the true form of Norumbegua is Arâmbec, and that it was the name of a city of the savages, situated near the head-waters of the Damariscotta, above Pemaquid.—Ancient Dominions of Maine, pp. 30-46. Horsford, in Discovery of the Ancient City of Norembega and Defences of Norembega (Boston, 1890 and 1891), claims, on slender evidence, that Watertown, Mass., occupies the site of an old town of that name founded by Norse vikings in 1000 A.D.

12.     (p. 67)—Bay of Fundy; first shown on map of Diego Homem (1558); named by De Monts Grande Baye Française (shown on Lescarbot's chart of Port Royal); appears as Argal's Bay, on Alexander's map (1624); Golfo di S. Luize, on Dudley's (1647); Fundi Bay, on Moll's (1712); and Bay of Fundy, or Argal, on that of the English and French Commissioners (1755). Bourinot (Canad. Mo., vol. vii., p. 292) says that Fundy is a corruption of Fond de la Baie, as the lower part of the bay was called; he follows here Ferland's suggestion, in Cours d'Histoire du Canada (Quebec, 1861), vol. 1., . 65

13.     (p. 67)—The son of Pontgravé, who, according to Parkman (Pioneers, p. 290) had exasperated the Indians by an outrage on one of their women, and had fled to the woods.

14.     (p. 69)—Palourdes is Breton for a kind of shellfish.

15.     (p. 73 )—The Souriquois, or Micmacs, of Nova Scotia. Champlain's map of 1632 places them east of Port Royal.

16.     (p. 73)—Raphael Maffei, Maffeus Volaterranus, or Raffaello Volterrano, savant and historian; born in Volterra 1451, died 1521 or 1522. Harrisse (Bib. Amer. Vet., p. 88) gives a catalogue of his works, and says, "The Commentary of Maffei has a peculiar interest from the fact that it preceded the publication of Peter Martyr's Decades" (1511-46).

Laverdière (Champlain, p. 70, note) says that sagamo is a Montagnais word; and he cites Laflèche as deriving it from tchi and okimau, meaning "great chief".

17.     (73)—Berosus (325-255 B. C., circa), a Chaldean priest, astrologer, and historian. His best known work is the Babylonica; a history of Babylonia; its remaining fragments have been [page 309] reproduced by several European writers, especially in Richter's Berosi Chald. Historiae quae supersunt (Leipsic, 1825).

18.     (p. 75)—The Tolosains were a tribe of the Volcæ of Gaul. Another tribe of the Volcæ were the Tectosages—so called from their sagum (frock or cloak).

19.     (p. 75)—Membertou was chief of all the Micmac groups from Gaspé to Cape Sable. Champlain writes, that he was "a friendly savage, although he had the name of being the worst and most traitorous man of his tribe". Lescarbot called him "the chef d'œuvre of Christian piety", and Biard had strong faith in him. He claimed to remember the first visit of Cartier (1534).

20.     (p. 77)—Biard, six years later, complains bitterly of this overhaste in baptizing, declaring that these savages, when he went among them in 1611, did not know the first principles of the Faith, and had even forgotten their Christian names.

21.     (p. 81)—In the original edition, pp. 25 and 26, apparently through an error in make-up, are verbal repetitions of the two preceding pages. This duplication has been omitted in the present edition.

22.     (p. 105)—Marked changes occurred in the population of the St. Lawrence valley, between the visits of Cartier (1535) and Champlain (1603). Morgan, in League of the Iroquois (Rochester, 1851), P. 5, maintains the correctness of a tradition that the aborigines whom Cartier found at Hochelaga were Iroquois, and that they then were subject to the Algonkins, whom Champlain found in possession of the valley. Cf. Parkman's Pioneers, p. 208, and Schoolcraft's Hist. of Indian Tribes of the U. S., vol. vi., pp. 33, 188. For further treatment of the migrations of the Iroquois, see Introduction to Hale's Iroquois Book of Rites (Phila., 1883), and Faillon's Col. Fr., vol. i., pp. 524, et seq.

23.     (p. 107)—Tabagié. A feast described fully in one of the later Relations.

24.     (p. 107)—This easy victory of the French and Algonkins over the Iroquois (July 29, 1609), on the western shores of Lake Champlain, cost New France dearly, as it secured for the struggling colony the deadly enmity of the most warlike savages on the continent, for nearly a century and a half. It was impossible for New France to make permanent headway when sapped by such an, enemy. Slafter's exhaustive notes to Champlain's Voyages (Prince Soc.), vol. i., p. 91, and vol. ii., p. 223, make it clear that the site of this momentous skirmish was Ticonderoga.

25.     (p. 109)—Jessé Fléché, a secular priest from the diocese of Langres, was invited by Poutrincourt to accompany the first colony to Acadia. The papal nuncio gave him authority to absolve in all [page 310] cases, except those reserved to the pope.—Faillon's Col. Fr., vol: i. , p. 99. Poutrincourt evidently meant to Christianize Acadia without the aid of the Jesuits. The wholesale baptism of savages by Fléché, before the arrival of Biard and Massé, was, according to Faillon (Ibid., vol. i., p. 100), condemned as a profanation by good Catholics, "tous les théologiens, and notamment la Sorbonne". Cf. also note 19, ante, and Sagard's Historie du Canada, p, 97. He had been at Port Royal nearly a year before the arrival of the, Jesuits. The name is variously spelled: Fleche, Fléche, Flèche, Fléché, Flesche, Fleuchy, and Fleuche; see Sulte's Poutrincourt en Acadié, p. 38. See Bourinot's picturesque description of the baptismal scene, in Can. Royal Soc. Trans., sec. ii., p. 73. Fléché was much esteemed by the Micmacs; his nickname, "Le Patriarch", is still current among them corrupted into "Patliasse", as the name for a priest.—See Ferland's Cours d'Historie (Quebec, 1861), vol. i., p. 80.

26.     (p. 127)—The four letters here given (Biard, Jan. 21, June 10, and June 11, 1611; and Massé, June 11, 1611) are from Carayon's Premiére .Mission des Jésuites au Canada: Lettres et Documents Inédits (Paris, 1964). All of the documents in Carayon's collection will be published in this series, in chronological order, with that Editor's valuable footnotes.

Auguste Carayon, S. J., a leading authority upon the history of his order in New France, was born in Saumur, France, 1813, and died in Poitiers, 1874. His principal works were: Bibliographie historique de la Commpagnie de Jésus; Catalogue des ouvrages relatifs à l'historie des Jésuites depuis feur origine jusqu'à nos jours (Paris, 1686), Documents inédits concernant la Compagnie de Jésus (Poitiers, 1863-1875, 18 vols.); Premiére Mission des Jésuites au Canada (Paris, 1865); Bannissement des Jésuites de la Louisiane (Paris, 1865); Établissement de la Compagnié de Jésus à Brest, ,par Louis XIV. (1865); Prisons du Marquis de Pombal, ministre du Portugal, journal de 1759 à 1777 (1865); Notes historiques sur fes parlements et les Jésuites au dix-huitiéme siécfe (1867). Carayon also edited numerous important historical works, between 1864 and 18471.

27.     (p. 127)—Pierre Biard, S. J., writer of several of the early Acadian Relations, was born at Grenoble, France, 1657, and died at Avignon, November 17, 1622. In 1608, he was called from a chair of scholastic theology and Hebrew, in Lyons, by Father Coton, the King's confessor and preacher, to take charge of the Jesuit mission in Acadia. His several accounts of the colony, with the part taken by himself in notable episodes, do not always agree with the version of Lescarbot. See Parkman's Pioneers, part ii., [page 311] chaps. v.- viii.; also, R. P. Felix Martin's Life of R. P. Pièrre Biàrd, S. J. (Montreal, 1890).

28.     (p. 127)—Claude Aquaviva, S. J., born 1544; elected general of the Society of Jesus, 1581; died, 1615; a Neapolitan nobleman; chamberlain of the Court of Rome; fifth general of the order, and ranked by some historians as its ablest legislator and second founder. See Nicolini's History of the ,Jesuits, pp. 210, 257.

29.     (p. 127)—Fathers Biard and Massé sailed January 26.

30.     129)—Brother-coadjutor. The six classes of the order of Jesuits were: (1) novices, (2) lay-brothers, (3) scholars, (4) coadjutors (5) Jesuits of the Third Order, and (6) Jesuits of the Fourth Order See Thomas D'Arcy McGee's Lecture on the ,Jesuits.

31.     (p 133)—Biencourt and Robin de Coulogne, not having means to equip and provision the vessel which was to convey Biard and Massé to Port Royal, made an arrangement with Dujardin and Duquesne, two merchants of Dieppe, by which the latter undertook to furnish the equipment and supplies in consideration of being admitted as partners in Poutrincourt's fur-trading and cod-fishing enterprise. Concerning this Contract d'Association des ,Jésuites au Trafique du Canada, made January 20, 1611, see Parkman's Pioneers, p. 288, note. Cf. also, Rochemonteix's Jésuites, vol. I., p. 32. These partners, being Huguenots, objected to the shipment of the Jesuits, but finally sold their interests for 2,8oo livres to Madame de Guercheville, whose part in this expedition is related in note 33, post. See Biard's succeeding letter, for fuller details of this adventure.

32.     (p. 133)—Formal order of the Queen. October 7, 1610, the young King, Louis XIII., wrote from Monceaux to Baron de Poutrincourt: "Monsieur de Poutrincourt, as Father Pierre Biard and Father Ennemond Massé, religious of the Society of Jesus, are being sent over to New France to celebrate the divine services of the church and to preach the Gospel to the people of that country, I wish to hereby recommend them to you, that you may, upon all occasions assist and protect them in the exercise of their noble and holy calling, assuring you that I shall consider it a great service".

The Queen Mother also wrote: "Monsieur de Poutrincourt, now that the good Jesuit Fathers are about to try, under the authority of the King, my son, to establish our faith over there, I hereby request you to give them, for the success of this good work, all courtesy and assistance in your power, as a service very near our heart, and very acceptable to us, praying God, Monsieur de Poutrincourt, to keep you under his holy and watchful care".—David Asseline's Antiquitiès and Chronicles of the City of Dieppe [page 312] (Dieppe, 1874; 2 vols. ) The letters are reproduced in Faillon's col. Fr., vol. i., p. 102.

33.     135)—Antoinette de Pons, Marquise de Guercheville, patroness of Jesuit missions in New France, was lady of honor to Marie de Médicis, and accounted one of the most beautiful and zealously religious women of her time. Taking up the defence of the Jesuits against Poutrincourt, she not only bought the ship in which to transport them to America, but the cargo and the royal patent of De Monts, thus succeeding the latter as proprietor of all Acadia, excepting Port Royal, which still remained in Poutrincourt's possession. Concerning her rupture with De Monts, see Shea's Charlevoix, vol. i., p. 274. She resolved to plant a strictly Catholic colony at Pentagoet (site of Bangor, Me.), and sent out, under La Saussaye, some fifty settlers and three Jesuit missionaries (1613). Upon reaching Port Royal, they were joined by Biard and Massé, and thence proceeded to the eastern side of Mount Desert Island. For the location of their mission, St. Sauveur, see Parkman's Pioneers, p. 304, note. The descent of the English under Argall (1613), was the end of Madame de Guercheville's mission. See N. Y. Colonial Documents, vol. iii., pp. 1, 2, concerning reparation allowed her by the government of Great Britain for the loss of her vessel. Cf. Faillon's Col. Fr. , vol. i., pp. 110-117; and Baird's Hug. Emig. , vol. i., p. 103. Upon the queen regent's high regard for the Jesuits, see Col.. Fr., vol. i., pp. 101, 102.

34.     (p. 141)—Several of the old French coins were called écus. They date from the period of Charles VII.,—écus à la couronne, or crowns of gold, from the crown which formed the type of the reverse.—Prime's Coins, Medals, and Seals, p. 150. The écu of Louis XIV. is first given in Dye's Coin Encyclopedia, p. 621; value in United States currency, $1.108. The early écu was equal to three francs; later, to about five.

35.    141)—Viaticum. In Père de Ravignan's On the Existence and Institutions of the Jesuits (Paris, 1862), p. 190, note ii., mention is made of a custom in connection with the viaticum of missionaries, which was frequently observed at this time. The founders or benefactors of missions, in order to obtain with greater certainty and abundance the money which they intended for missionary work in distant lands, charged the merchants, who acted as agents, to sell the merchandise which they consigned to them, and to remit the price of it to the missionaries for their support. Thus Madame de Guercheville furnished considerable money to Biencourt to invest in the fish and fur trade, which he was about to undertake, with the sole condition that, for her share, he should [page 313] Support the missionaries. See Rochemonteix's Jésuites, vol. i., pp. 35-36, note.

36.     (p. 141)—The Marchioness de verneuil furnished their chapel, Madame de Sourdis their vestments and linen, and Madame de Guercheville provided other necessaries.—Anniuœ Litterœ S. J., an. 1612, p. 570.

Madame de Verneuil founded a convent of Annunciades, and gave her declining years to religion. She died at Paris, 1633, aged 54.

37.     143)—In his Relation of 1616, chap. xi., Biard says: "Thomas Robin de Coulogne enjoyed a modest fortune; he had often heard about New France from the Dieppe merchants, and had wished to mingle in this colonization movement. What Baron de Poutrincourt told him about the attempts made at Port Royal pleased him greatly, and he promised to assist him".

The names of Monsieur de Coullogne (Coulogne) and of Madame de Sigogne (Sicoine) appear in Fléché's list of baptisms, ante. Other contemporary spellings of Coulogne are: Cologne, Coloigne, and Coloine.

38.     (p. 147)—This is an interesting, and we believe a unique statement of Biard, that the islands off the Gulf of St. Lawrence were once called the "Azores of the Great Bank". The maps of many early cartographers and navigators represent Newfoundland as a group of islands, or a large island with a circlet of smaller ones, or "almost a single island".—See Winsor's N. and C. Hist. , vol. I., pp 74, 77. 79, 93, 379. As Newfoundland was the first land sighted by voyagers in New France, and as their last sight of land had been the Azores, the naming of the islands of the Great Bank the Azores is in keeping with their custom in this regard.

39.     149)—Ennemond Massé, S. J., born at Lyons, 1574; died at Sillery, Canada, 1646; admitted to the Society of Jesus at the age of twenty, and assigned to a chair of theology in Lyons; in 1608, chosen by Father Coton to accompany Biard to Acadia. He was again sent to Canada in 1625, with Charles Lalemant, Jean de Brébeuf and two lay brothers. During the English occupation of Canada (1629-32) he was in France, but returned with Brébeuf in 1633. Rochemonteix (Jésuites, vol. i., p. 24) says of him: "Of an impetuous and violent nature, he had all he could do to restrain it. But, by vigilance and perseverance, he conquered it so well that he no longer seemed to have any strong impulses or passions. Industrious, unwearying, of robust health, he was prepared for the hardships of a distant mission by a life of penitence and denial, frequently fasting, sleeping upon hard boards, accustoming his taste to everything, and his body to extreme cold and heat. Although innocent as a child, he led the life of a penitential anchorite; in [page 314] 1608, they made him an Associate to Father Coton, then confessor and preacher to the king. But this austere apostle preferred a life of privation and sacrifice to that of the court. He chose Canada." Bressani's Relatione, to be given post, describes the death of Massé, who was one of the most notable of the missionaries of New France. A monument to his memory has been erected at Sillery. There is a difference of usage in the matter of accenting his name: Charlevoix, Winsor, and Parkman do not use the accent; but Champlain, Biard, and Cretineau-Joly do, and Faillon (Col. Fr. , vol. i., p. 101) gives authorities for this usage, which we have preferred to adopt.

40.     (p. 151)—Bourinot (Canad. Mo., vol. vii., p. 292) says Canso is a Souriquois word meaning "facing the frowning cliff"; also, that "the strait was long called after the Sieur de Fronsac, one of the early gentlemen adventurers who held large estates in Acadia". It is shown as detroit de Fronsac on Chabert's map (1750); it is Camceau on Champlain's map of 1632; it sometimes appears as Campceau on old French documents; and is spelled both Canceaux and Canso in the official correspondence between France and England in the eighteenth century. In 1779, the fisheries of Canso were worth £50,000 a year to England. See Murdoch's History of Nova Scotia (Halifax, 1865-67), vol. ii., p. 597.

41.     (p.151)—Lescarbot states that they arrived at night, three hours after sunset.—Relation derniére (Paris, 1612), to be given post.

42.    (p. 153)—(Cap de la Hève, now known as Cape La Have, is the southern point of La Have Island, off New Dublin Bay, one of many indentations of the coast of the township of New Dublin, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia. The cape is a picturesque cliff or bluff rising 107 feet above tide level, and visible a long distance out to ser. When De Monts and Champlain left Havre de Grace, France, in March, 1609, Cap de la Hève, in the suburb of St. Adresse, must have been the last land seen by them; as this cliff off New Dublin was probably the first sighted by them in La Cadie, it was natural that they should name it after the famous French landmark. There are evidences on La Have Island of an early French settlement, of which there appear to be no records; although it is known that Saussaye planted a cross there, May 16, 1632 . De Laet, in describing Cadie (1633) says: "Near Cap de la Hève lies a port of the same name, 44° 5' north latitude, with safe anchorage".—See Des Brisay's Hist. of Co. Of Lunenburg, N. S. (2d ed., Toronto, 1895), pp. 166 et seq. The Editor is also indebted to F. Blake Crofton, secretary of the Nova Scotia Historical Society, for information under this head. [page 315]

43.     (p. 163 )—People from St. Malo, France. Spelled also by Biard, post, Malouines.

44.    (p. 169)—Robert, the son of Pontgravé, who had escaped from custody, and had been in hiding in the forest. See Parkman's Pioneers, pp. 265, 290; also, Lescarbot's reference to him, ante.

45.     (p. 181)—Referring to Queen Blanche of Castile (1187-1252), regent after the death of her husband, Louis VIII, during the absence of her son, Louis IX. (Saint Louis), in the Holy Land.

46.    (p. 197)—Joseph Jouvency (also written Juvency, Jouvenci, and Jouvancy), Jesuit historian, an eminent litterateur of his time. Born in Paris, September 14, 1643; died at Rome, May 29, 1719. In 1659, he was admitted to the Society of Jesus, for many years filling the position of professor of rhetoric at La Flèche, and devoting much time to historical and classical research. After taking his vows in 1677, he was sent to Rome, as one of the staff of writers upon Historia Societatis Jesu

47.     (p. 197)—Count Ernest von Mansfeld, soldier of fortune, conspicuous in the Thirty Years War. Born, 1585; died, 1626, soon after his defeat by Wallenstein at the bridge of Dessau. his great army of mercenaries was, according to Motley (John of Barneveld, vol. ii., p. 32), "the earliest type, perhaps, of the horrible military vermin destined to feed so many years on the unfortunate dismembered carcass of Germany". Cf. Kohlrausch's History of Germany (Haas trans.), pp. 320, 326. Concerning the campaign of Louis XIII., against the Huguenots (1622), and Count von Mansfeld's part therein, see Kitchin's History of France, pp. 497, 498.

48.     (p. 199)—Philip Alegambe, a Jesuit scholar (Flemish). Died in 1652, while superior of the house of his order at Rome. He was the leading writer upon Bibliotheca Scriptorum Sociétatis Jesu (1643)

49.     (p. 219)—Seven Islands. A group at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River, near the northerly shore of the gulf.

50.     (p. 218)—Chicoutimi River, rising in numerous small lakes near Lake St. John, pursues a picturesque course, frequently interrupted by rapids, eastward and northeastward into the Saguenay. At the junction, seventy-five miles above the mouth of the latter, is now the important lumber-shipping port of Chicoutimi, at whose wharves ocean-going vessels are laden. The old missionary district of that name included the rugged country lying south and southwest of Lake St. John.

51.     221)—The French Jesuits definitely abandoned the Iroquois field in 1687, owing to the rising power of the English. In 1701, Bruyas was again on the ground, being joined the year following by De Lamberville, Garnier, and Le Valliant, and later by [page 316] D'Hue and De Marieul. The entire party was driven out in 1708, and many of their Iroquois converts retired with them to the mission of Caughnawaga, near Montreal.

52.     (p. 221)—The Iroquois Mission of St. Francis Xavier was founded in 1669 by Iroquois Christians, - emigrants from the "castles" of the Five Nations. The mission was finally removed to Sault St. Louis, on the St. Lawrence, and called Caughnawaga, from the Indian village of that name on the Mohawk, where had also been a Jesuit mission.

53.     (p. 221)—Lake Michigan. Called Lac des Puants on Champlain's map of 1632, in reference to the Winnebago tribe (Puants) on Green Bay; in several of the Relations, and on Marquette's map (1674), it is styled Lac des Illinois, from the Illinois Indians upon its southern coast; Allouez calls it (1675) Lac St. Joseph, because of Fort and River St. Josephs on the southeast coast; Coronelli's map (1688) honors the Dauphin by calling the lake after him; Hennepin comes the nearest to modern usage, in his name, Michigonong.

54.     (p. 221)—Lake Huron, which has figured under many titles, in the old maps and chronicles. This name has reference to the Indian family upon its eastern shores. Champlain first named it La Mer Douce ("The Fresh Sea"), and later Lac des Attigouantan, after the chief tribe of the Hurons; Sanson's map (r657) names it Karegnondi; Coronelli's map (1688) christens it Lac d'Orleans; Colden in one place gives it as Quatoghe, and in another as Caniatare. Lac des Hurons first appears in the map accompanying the Relation for 1670-71.

55.     (p. 221)—The mission of St. Ignace was founded by Marquette, in 1670, on Point St. Ignace, on the mainland north of and opposite the Island of Michillimackinac (now shortened to Mackinaw or Mackinac, as fancy dictates). The term Michillimackinac, variously spelled, was applied by the earliest French not only to the island and straits of that name, but in general to the great peninsula lying north of the straits.

56.     (p. 221)—The mission of Sault Ste. Marie, at the outlet of Lake Superior, was founded by Raimbault and Jogues in 1640. The place was always an important rallying-point for the natives and naturally became the center of a wide-spreading fur trade, which lasted, under French, English, and American dominations in turn, until about 1840.

57.    (p. 221)—The Western mission of St. Francis Xavier was founded by Allouex in 1669, at the first rapids in the Fox River (of Green Bay), on the east side of the river, in what is now the city of Depere, Wis. An important Indian village had from the earliest historic times been located there. [page 317]

58.     ( p. 223)—Outaouaki = Ottawas; Puteatamis = Pottawattomies; Kikarous = Kickapoos; Outagamies = Foxes; Oumiamis = Miamis.

59.     ( p. 223)—Bayagoulas, one of the Louisiana missions, of which Father Paul du Ru, S. J., was in charge in 1700. Shea's Catholic Missiorns, p. 443.

60.     ( p. 227 )—An anonymous writer in The Catholic World, (vol xii., p. 629) makes the statement that Quentin and Du Thet were sent out to replace Biard and Massé "if they had perished; otherwise to return to France". Contemporary writers, however, speak of their coming as a reinforcement.

61.     ( p 227)—On what came to be known as Frenchman's Bay, on the east side of the island of Mount Desert. Parkman says (Pioneers ed 1865 p 276, note): "Probably all of Frenchman's Bay was included under the name of the Harbor of St. Sauveur. The landing-place so called seems to have been near the entrance of the bay, certainly south of Bar Harbor. The Indian name of the Island of Mount Desert was Penetic. Its present name was given by Champlain".

62.     ( p. 227 )—The "Jonas", conspicuous in the annals of Acadia from the time in which Poutrincourt and Lescarbot sailed in her for Port Royal, in 1606, to her capture by Argall in 1613. Parkman aptly calls her "the 'Mayflower'of the Jesuits".

63.     ( p. 229 )—Samuel Argall, born in Bristol, England, 1572; died, 1639. See Cooke's Virginia (Amer. Commonwealths ser. ), pp. 111-113, for a fair estimate of this tempestuous character. Folsom's "Expedition of Captain Samuel Argal", in N. Y. Hist. Colls. (new ser.), vol. i., pp. 333-342, goes over that ground quite completely.

64.     ( p. 321)—Sir Thomas Dale, the predecessor of Argall as governor of Virginia; he was in the service of the Low Countries, 1588-95, and 1606-10; in 1611, he entered the service of the Virginia Company, where he remained five years as governor of the colony; and in 1619 he died at Masulipatam, while in command of an expedition to the East Indies.

65.    ( p. 233)—The charge was freely made at the time, that Biard and Massé, incensed at Biencourt, who had been unkind to them, piloted Argall to Port Royal. Poutrincourt and Lescarbot, disliking the Jesuits, naturally believed it, and the former addressed the French admiralty court on the subject, under the date of July 18; 1614.—See Lescarbot's Nouv. France, book v., chap. 14. Chaplain discredited the charge, saying that Argall compelled an Indian to serve as pilot. Cf. Parkman's Pioneers, pp. 313 et seq., and Biard's own statements, post (Letter to T. -R. Général, May 6, 1614; and Relation of 1616). [page 318]

66.     (p. 233 )—Argall's lieutenant, in command of the captured "Jonas". According to Parkman (Pioneers, p. 318), he was "an officer of merit, a scholar, and linguist", treating his prisoners with kindness.

67.     (p.251)—Reference is here made to Lake Champlain, the Mer des Iroquois and Lacus Irocoisiensis of the early French cartographers. Richelieu River was at first styled Rivière des Iroquois. In a letter of John Winthrop to Lord Arlington, dated Boston, Oct. 25, 1666, Lake Champlain is referred to as Lake Hiracoies.—N. Y. Colon. Docs., iii., p. 138. See also, Palmer's History of Lake Champlain (Albany, 1866), pp. 12, 13; and Blaeu's maps of 1662 and 1685, in Winsor's N. and C. Hist. , vol. iv., p. 391.

68.     (p. 253)—The gar-pike (Lepidosteus osseus). A picture of this " armored fish " is given in Creuxius's Historia Canadensis (Paris, 1664), p. 50.

69.     (p. 253)—Jouvency plainly refers to what is still known as Bird Island, or Bird Rocks, in the Gult of St. Lawrence, N. W. of Cabot Strait. Authorities disagree in locating the Bird Island of Cartier's first voyage. See Hakluyt's Voyages (Goldsmid ed ) vol. xiii., pt. I, p. 78; Shea's Charlevoix, vol. i., p. 112, note; both indicating that what is now called Funk Island, off the eastern coast of Newfoundland, was the Bird Island of Cartier. Kingsford, in History of Canada (Toronto, 1887), vol. i., p. 3, identifies it, however, with the present Bird Island of the Gulf. Champlain's map of 1613 has a Bird Island near the mouth of the Bay of Fundy. Anspach, in History of Newfoundland (London, 1819), p. 317, says: "Fogo Island [N. W. of Cape Freels] is described in the old maps by the name of Aves, or Birds'Island".

70.     (p. 269)—The Montagnais, a wretched tribe of nomads, were, at this time, chiefly centered upon the banks of the Saguenay River.

71.     (p. 281)—Venus mercenaria, the round clam, or quahaug.

[page 319]



Vol. II



The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents

Travels and Explorations

of the Jesuit Missionaries

in New France








Reuben Gold Thwaites

Secretary of the State historical Society of Wisconsin


Thom Mentrak

Historical Interpreter at Ste. Marie Among The Iroquois

Vol. II



CLEVELAND: The Burrows Brothers



Editor Reuben Gold Thwaites

| Finlow Alexander [French]

| Percy Favor Bicknell [French]

| John Cutler Covert [French]

| William Frederic Giese [Latin]

Translators. | Crawford Lindsay [French]

| Mary Sifton Pepper [French & Italian]

| William Price [French]

| Hiram Allen Sober [French]

| John Dorsey Wolcott [Latin]

Assistant Editor Emma Helen Blair

Bibliographical Adviser Victor Hugo Paltsits





Preface To Volume II






Lettre au R.P. Provincial, à Paris. Pierre Biard; Port Royal, January 31, 1612.



Missio Canadensia. Epistola ex Porturegali in Acadia, transmissa ad Praepositvm Gereralem Societatis Jesu. Pierre Biard; Port Royal, January 31, 1612




Relation dernière de ce qui s’est Pass’e au Voyage du Sieur de Potrincourt. Marc Lescarbot; Paris 1612.



Relatio Tervm Gestarum in Novo-Francica Missione, Annis 1613 &1614.


Bibliographical Data; Volume II





[page 7]




Photographic facsimile of General Map, from Les Voyages du Sieur de Champlain, (paris, 1613)

Facing 56


Photographic facsimile of Map of Port Royal, from Ibid

Facing 118


Photographic facsimile of title-page, Lescarbot’s Relation Dernière



Photographic facsimile of plan of Fort at Port Royal, from Ibid

Facing 192


Following is a synopsis of the documents contained in the present volume:

IX. The indefatigable Biard presents, herein, a graphic recital of his work among the Acadian savages, and particularly his journeys into the wilderness. His report of a trip with a party of Port Royalists to French trading posts on the St. Croix and St. John rivers, to an Etchemin town probably on the site of the present Castine, Me., and to an English fishing station on the Kennebec, is full of interest.

X. Herein, Biard sends to the general of his order a full report concerning: (1) New France, its physical characteristics, and its aborigines; (2) the circumstances attending the opening of the Jesuit mission in Acadia; (3) Fléché's work previous to the coming of the Jesuits; (4) visits to savage tribes by Massé and himself, with descriptions of conversions and baptisms, and a statement of the conditions and prospects of spiritual work among the aborigines.

XI. Lescarbot's Relation Dernière gives an account of Poutrincourt's voyage to New France, in 1610; of the conversion and baptism of the savage chief, Membertou, and others, by the priest, Fléché; of Biencourt's return to France: and of the experiences of Poutrincourt at Port Royal. The writer praises Poutrincourt for his exertions in Canada in behalf of [page 1] both religion and civilization; and urges that he should be aided in his colonial enterprise, as a necessary basis for religious work in this portion of the New World. He gives a list of the Sponsors of the baptized Indians, who included many of the French nobility and clergy. The life at Port Royal is pictured in some detail; its labors and privations are dwelt upon; and the customs of the natives described. Lescarbot does not fail, although Cautiously, to exhibit his dislike of the Jesuits, and endeavors to show that their coming to Port Royal involved delay and expense to the colonial enterprise, thereby injuring Poutrincourt. Our author's closing chapter devoutly catalogues the "Effects of God's Grace in New France;" he describes how Providence cared for the colonists in their distress, saved them from shipwreck, kindly disposed the savages toward them and the Christian religion, and returned to the Frenchmen their ship, in time to prevent starvation. The rescue of Aubry is also mentioned.

XII. The Relation Rerum Gestarum (1613 & 1614) opens with a description of New France, its geography, its climate, its peoples and their customs. The experience of the Jesuit fathers at Port Royal is related at length, from their own point of view. A deseription is given of the settlement of St. Sauveur, on Mount Desert Island, and its destruction by the Virginian, Argall. Then follows an account of the life of the Jesuit prisoners, in Virginia and England. The conclusion is reached that, despite these drawbacks, the Jesuit mission in Canada has made: a hopeful beginning.

Madison, Wis., September, 1896


Lettre du P. Biard

au R. P. Provincial à Paris

Port Royal, Janvier 31, 1612



Source: Reprinted from Carayon's Première Mission des Jésuites au Canada, pp. 44-76.

[44] Letter from Father Pierre Biard to the Reverend Father Provincial, at Paris.

(Copied from the autograph preserved in the archives of Jesus, at Rome.)

Port Royal, January 31, 1612.


The peace of Christ be with you

Were we compelled to give an account before God and Your Reverence of our administration and our transactions in this newly acquired kingdom of the Son of God, this new France and new Christendom, from the time of our arrival up to the beginning of this new year, I certainly do not doubt that, in the aggregate and final summing up, the loss would exceed the profits; the foolish cost of transgression, the goodness and wisdom of obedience; and the reception of divine talents, graces, and indulgence would exceed their outlay and use in the royal and agreeable service of our great and so benign Creator. Nevertheless, inasmuch as ( I believe ) no one would be edified by our losses, or greatly benefited by our gains, it is better that we mourn our losses apart; [45] as to our receipts, we shall be like the unjust steward commended by Our Lord in the Gospels, namely, by sharing our Master's goods with others we shall make them our friends; and in communicating to many what is edifying in these early foundations of Christianity, we shall obtain intercessors with God and supporters of this work. yet in doing this ave shall in no wise diminish the debt, as did the [page 5] wicked Steward, giving out Our Master's goods with profit; but we shall, perhaps, by this prudence acquit ourselves of a part of the dues and interests. So be it.

Today, January 22nd, 1612, eight months have passed since our arrival in this new France. Soon after that, I wrote you in regard to the condition in which we found this infant Church and Colony. Here is what followed:

When Monsieur de Potrincourt went to France last June he left his son here, Monsieur de Biencourt, a young man of great integrity and of very estimable qualities, with about eighteen of his servants and us two priests of the Society. Now our duties and offices, in accordance with our calling as priests, have been performed while residing here at the house and settlement, and by making journeys abroad. Let us begin, as they say, at home, that is, at [46] the residence and settlement; then we shall go outside.

Here then are our occupations: to say mass every day, and to solemnly sing it Sundays and holidays, together with Vespers, and frequently the procession; to offer public prayers morning and evening; to exhort, console, administer the sacraments, bury the dead; in short, to perform the offices of the Curate. since there are no other priests in these quarters. And in truth it would be much better if we were more earnest workers here for Our Lord, since sailors, who form the greater part of our parishioners are ordinarily quite deficient in ants spiritual feeling, having no sign of religion except in their oaths and blasphemies, nor any knowledge of God beyond the simplest conceptions which they bring with them from France, clouded with licentiousness and [page 7] the cavilings and revilings of heretics. Hence it can be seen what hope there is of establishing a flourishing Christian church by such evangelists. The first things the poor Savages learn are oaths and vile and insulting words; and you will often hear the women Savages (who otherwise are very timid and modest), hurl vulgar, vile, and shameless epithets at our people, in the French language; not that they know the meaning of them, but only because they see that when such words are used there is [47] generally a great deal of laughter and amusement. And that remedy can there be for this evil in men Whose abandonment to evil-speaking (or cursing) is as great as or greater than their insolence in showing their contempt?

At these Christian services which we conduct here at the settlement, the Savages are occasionally present, when some of them happen to be at the port. I say, occasionally, inasmuch as they are but little trained in the principles of the faith—those who have been baptized, no more than the heathen; the former, from lack of instruction, knowing but little more than the latter. This was why we resolved, at the time of our arrival, not to baptize any adults unless they were previously well catechized. Now in order to catechize we must first know the language.

It is true that Monsieur de Biancourt, who understands the savage tongue better than any one else here, is filled with earnest zeal, and every day takes a great deal of trouble to serve as our interpreter. But, somehow, as soon as site begin to talk about God he feels as Moses did,—his mind is bewildered, his throat dry, his tongue tied. The reason for this is that, as the savages have no definite religion, [page 9] magistracy or government, liberal or mechanical arts, commercial or civil life, they have consequently no words to describe [48] things which they have never seen or even conceived.

Furthermore, rude and untutored as they are, all their conceptions are limited to sensible and material things; there is nothing abstract, internal, spiritual or distinct. Good, strong, red, Black, large, hard, they will repeat to you in their jargon; goodness, strength, redness, blackness—they do not know what they are. And as to all the virtues you may enumerate to them, wisdom, fidelity, justice, mercy, gratitude, piety, and others, these are not found among them at all except as expressed in the words happy, tender love, good heart. Likewise they will name to you a wolf, a fox, a squirrel, a moose, and so on to every kind of animal they have, all of which are wild, except the dog; but as to words expressing universal and generic ideas, such as beast, animal, body, substance, and the like, these are altogether too learned for them.

Add to this, if you please, the great difficulty of obtaining from them even the words that they have. For, as they neither know our language nor we theirs, except a very little which pertains to daily and commercial life, we are compelled to make a thousand gesticulations and signs to express to them our ideas, and thus to draw from them the names of some of the things which cannot be pointed out [49] to them. For example, to think, to forget, to remember, to doubt; to know these four words, you will be obliged to amuse our gentlemen for a whole afternoon at least by playing the clown; and then, after all that, you will find yourself deceived, and mocked anew, having received, as the saying is, the mortar [page 11] for the level, and the hammer for the trowel. In short we are still disputing, after a great deal of research and labor, whether they have any word to correspond directly to the word Credo, I believe. Judge for yourself the difficulty surrounding the remainder of the symbols and fundamental truths of Christianity

Now all this talk about the difficulty of the language will not only serve to show how laborious is our task in learning it, but also still make our Europeans appreciate their own blessings, even in civil affairs; for it is certain that these miserable people, continually weakened by hardships [enhanée],* will always remain in a perpetual infancy as to language and reason. I say language and reason, because it is evident that there words, the messengers and dispensers of thought and speech, remain totally rude, poor and confused, it is impossible that the mind and reason be greatly refined, rich, and disciplined. However, these poor weaklings and children consider themselves [50] superior to all other men, and they would not for the world give up their childishness and wretchedness. And this is not to be wondered at, for, as I have said, they are children.

Sinces we cannot yet baptize the adults, as we have said, there remain for us the children, to whom the kingdom of heaven belongs; these we baptize with the consent of their parents and the pledge of the god-parents. And under these conditions we have already, thank God, baptized four of them. We instruct the adults who are in danger of death, as far as God gives us the means to do so; and experience has shown us that then God inwardly supplements the defects of his exterior instruments. [page 13] Thus, an Old woman dangerously ill, and a young girl have been added to the number of the children of God. The woman still lives, the girl has gone to Heaven.

I saw this girl, eight or nine years old, all benumbed and nothing but skin and bone. I asked the parents to give her to me to baptize. They answered that if I wished to have her they would give her up to me entirely. For to them she was no better than a dead dog. They spoke like this because they are accustomed to abandon altogether those whom their have once judged incurable. We accepted the offer so that they might see the difference between [51] Christianity and their ungodliness. We had this poor skeleton brought into one of the cabins of the settlement, where we cared for and nourished her as Unwell as we could, and when she had been fairly well instructed we baptized her. She was named Antoynette de Pons, in grateful remembrance of the many favors we have received and are receiving from Madame la Marquise de Guercheville, who may rejoice that already her name is in heaven, for a few days after baptism this chosen soul flesh away to that glorious place.

This was also our firstborn, for whose sake we could say, as Joseph did about his, that God had made us forget all our past hardships and the homes of our Fathers. But in speaking of the Savages abandoning their sick, another similar occasion to exercise charity

* An old word used to signify weakened by hard labor.—[Carayon.]

toward those who are deserted has had a more happy issue and one more useful in undeceiving these people. This Occasion was as follows:

The second son of the grand sagamore Membertou, of whom we shall speak by and by, named [page 15] Actodin, already a Christian, and married, fell dangerously ill. Monsieur de Potrincourt, as he was about to depart for Franee, had visited him, and being a kind-hearted gentleman, had asked him to let himself be taken to the settlement for treatment. I was expecting this suggestion [52] to be carried out; but they did nothing of the kind. When this became evident, not to leave this soul in danger, I went there after a few days (for it was five leagues from the Settlement). But I found my patient in a fine state. They were just about to celebrate tabagie, or a solemn feast, over his last farewell. Three or four immense kettles were boiling over the fire. We had his beautiful robe under him (for it was summer) and was preparing for his funeral oration. The oration was to close with the usual adieus and lamentations of all present. The farewell and the mourning are finished by the slaughter of dogs, that the dying man may have forerunners in the other world. This slaughter is accompanied by the tabagie and what follows it—namely, the singing and dancing. After that it is no longer lawful for the sick man to eat or to ask any help, but he must already consider himself one of the "manes," or citizens of the other world. Now it was in this state that I found my host.

I denouneed this way of doing things, more by actions than by words; for, as to talking, my interpreters did not repeat the tenth part of what I wanted them to say. Nevertheless old Membertou, father of the sick man, understood the affair well enough and promised me that they should stop just where I wanted them to. Then I told him that the farewells and a moderate display of mourning, and even the tabagie, would be permitted, but [53] that [page 17] the slaughter of the dogs, and the songs and dances over a dying person, and what was much worse leaving him to die alone, displeased me very much that it would be better, according to their promise to Monsieur de Potrincourt, to have him brought to the settlement, that, with the help of God, he might yet recover. They gave me their word that they would do all that I wished; nevertheless, the dying man was not brought until two day’s afterward.

His symptoms became so serious that often we expected nothing less than that he would die on our hands. In fact, one evening, his wife and children deserted him entirely and went to settle elsewhere, thinking it was all over with him. But it pleased God to prove their despair unfounded; for a few days afterwards he was in good health and is so today (to God be the glory); which M. Hébert, of Paris, a well-known master in Pharmacy, who attended the said patient, often assured me was a genuine miracle. For my part, I scarcely know what to say; inasmuch as I do not care either to affirm or deny a thing of which I have no proof. This I do know, that we put upon the sufferer a bone taken from the precious relics of the glorified Saint Lawrence archbishop of Dublin in Ireland, which M. de la Place, the estimable Abbé d'Eu, and the Priors and Canons of the said abbey d'Eu, kindly gave us for our protection during the voyage to these lands. So we [54] placed some of these holy relics upon the sick man, at the same time offering our vows for him, and then he improved. Influenced by this example, Membertou, the father of the one who had recovered, as I have said before, was very strongly confirmed in the faith; [page 19] and because he was then feeling the approach of the malady from which he has since died, he wished to be brought here immediately; and although our Cabin is so narrow that when three people are in it they can scarcely turn around, nevertheless, showing his implicit confidence in us, he asked to be placed in one of our two beds, where he remained for six days. But afterwards his wife, daughter, and daughter-in-law having come, he himself recognized the necessity of leaving, and did so with profuse excuses, asking our pardon for the continual trouble he had given us in waiting upon him day and night. Certainly the change of location and treatment did not improve him any. So then, seeing that his life was drawing to at close, I confessed him as well as I could; and after that he delivered his oration (this is their sole testament). Now, among other things in this speech, he said that he wished to be buried with his wife and children, and among the ancient tombs of his family.

I manifested great dissatisfaction with this, fearing that the French and Savages would suspect that he had not died a good Christian. [55] But I was assured that this promise had been made before he was baptized, and that otherwise, if he were buried in our cemetery, his children and his friends would never again come to see us, since it is the custom of this nation to shun all reminders of death and of the dead.

I opposed this, and M. de Biancourt, for he is almost my only interpreter, joined with me, but in vain: the dying man was obdurate. Rather late that evening we administered extreme unction to him, for otherwise he w as sufficiently prepared for it. Behold now the efficacy of the sacrament; the next [page 21] morning he asks for M. de Biancourt and me, and again begins his harangue. In this he declares that he has, of his own free will, changed his mind; that he intends to be buried with us, commanding his children not, for that reason, to shun the place like unbelievers, but to frequent it all the more, like Christians, to pray for his soul and to weep over his sins. He also recommended peace with M. de Potrincourt and his son; as for him, he had affrays loved the French, and had often prevented conspiracies against them. A few hours afterward he died a Christian death in my arms.

This was the greatest, most renowned and most formidable savage within the memory of man; of Splendid [56] physique, taller and larger-limbed than is usual among them; bearded like a Frenchman, although scarcely any of the others have hair upon the chin; grave and reserved; feeling a proper sense of dignity for his position as commander. God impressed upon his soul a greater idea of Christianity than he has been able to form from hearing about it, and he has often said to me in his savage tongue: "Learn our language quickly, for as soon as thou knowest it and hast taught me well I wish to become a preacher like thee." Even before his conversion he never cared to have more than one living wife, which is wonderful, as the great sagamores of this country maintain a numerous seraglio, no more through licentiousness than through ambition, glory and necessity; for ambition, to the end that they may have many children, wherein lies their power; for fame and necessity, since they have no other artisans, agents, servants, purveyors or slaves than the women; they bear all the burdens and toil of life. [page 23]

He was the first of all the Savages in these parts to receive baptism and extreme unction, the first and the last sacraments; and the first one who, by his own command and decree, has received a Christian burial Monsieur de Biancourt honored his obsequies. imitating as far as possible the [57] honors which are shown to great Captains and Noblemen in France.

Now, that the judgments of God may be feared as much as his mercies are loved, I shall here record the death of a Frenchman, in which God has shown his justice as much as he has given us evidence of his mercy, in the death of Membertou. This man had often escaped drowning, and only recently upon the blessed day of last Pentecost. He showed but little gratitude for this favor. Not to make the story too long, the evening before St. Peter's and St. Paul's day, as they were discoursing upon the perils of the sea, and upon the vows made to the Saints in similar dangers, this wretch began impudently to laugh and to sneer, jeering at those of the company who were said to have been religious upon such occasions. He soon had his reward. The next morning a gust of wind carried him, and him only, out of the boat into the waves, and he was never seen again.

But let us leave the water and come on shore. If the ground of this new France had feeling, as the Poets pretend their goddess Tellus had, doubtless it would have experienced an altogether novel sensation of joy this year, for, thank God, having had very successful crops from the little that was tilled, we made from the harvest some hosts [Wafers for consecration] and offered them to God. These are, as we [58] believe, the first hosts which have been made [page 25] from the wheat of these lands. May Our Lord, in his goodness, have consented to receive them as fragrant offerings and in the words of the Psalmist, may he give graciously, since the earth has yielded him its fruits.

We have stayed at home long enough; let us go abroad a little, as we promised to do, and relate what has taken place in the country.

I made two journeys with M. de Biancourt, the one lasting about twelve days, the other a month and a half; and we have ranged the entire coast from Port Royal to Kinibéqui, west southwest. We entered the great rivers St. John, Saincte Croix, Pentegoët, and the above-named Kinibéqui; we visited the French who have wintered there this year in two places, at the St. John river and at the river Saincte Croix; the Malouins at the former place, and captain Plastrier at the latter.

During these journeys, God often delivered us from great and very conspicuous dangers; but, although we ought always to bear them in mind, that we may not be ungrateful, there is no need of setting them all down upon paper, lest we become wearisome. I shall relate only what, in my opinion, will be the most interesting.

We went to see the Malouins; namely, [59] Sieur du Pont, the younger, and captain Merveilles, who, as we have said, were wintering at St. John river, upon an island called Emenenic, some six leagues up the river. We were still one league and a half from the island when the twilight ended and night came on. The stars had already begun to appear, when suddenly, toward the Northwards a part of the heavens became blood-red: and this light spreading, little by [page 27] little, in vivid streaks and flashes, moved directly over the settlement of the Malouins and there stopped. The red glow was so brilliant that the whole river was tinged and made luminous by it. This apparition lasted some eight minutes, and as soon as it disappeared another came of the same form, direction and appearance .

There was not one of us who did not consider this meteoric display prophetic. As to the Savages, they immediately cried out, Gara gara enderquir Gara gara, meaning we shall have war, such signs announce war. Nevertheless, both our arrival that evening and our landing the next morning were very quiet and peaceful. During the day, nothing but friendliness. But ( alas ! ) when evening came, I know not how, everything was turned topsy-turvy; confusion, discord, rage, uproar reigned between our people and those of St. Malo. I do not doubt that a cursed band of furious and [60] sanguinary spirits were hovering about all this night, expecting every hour and moment a horrible massacre of the few Christians who were there: but the goodness of God restrained the poor wretches. There was no bloodshed: and the next day, this nocturnal storm ended in a beautiful and delightful calm, the dark shadows and spectres giving way to a luminous peace.

In truths M. de Biancourt's goodness and prudence seemed much shaken by this tempest of human passions. But I also saw very clearly that if fire and areas were once put into the hands of badly disciplined men, the masters have much to fear and suffer from their own servants. I do not know that there alias one who closed his eyes during that night. for me, I made many fine propositions and promises to [page 29] Our Lord, never to forget this. his goodness, if he were pleased to avert all bloodshed. This he granted in his infinite mercy.

It was three o'clock in the afternoon of the next day before I had time to feel hungry, so Constantly had I been obliged to go back and forth from one to the other. At last, about that time everything was Settled, thank God.

Certainly captain Merveilles and his people showed unusual piety. For notwithstanding this so annoying encounter and conflict., two days [61] afterwards they confessed and took communion in a very exemplary manner; and so, at our departure, they all begged me very earnestly, and particularly young du Pont, to Come and see them and stay with them as long as I liked. I promised to do so, and am only waiting for the opportunity. For in truth I love these honest people with all my heart.

But dismissing them from our thoughts for the time being, as we did then from our presence, let us Continue our journey. Upon our return from this river Saint John, our route turned towards the country of the Armouchiquoys. Two principal causes led M. de Biancourt to take this route: first, in order to have news of the English, and to find out if it would be possible to obtain satisfaction from them; secondly, to buy some Armouchiquoys corn to help us pass the winter, and not die of hunger in case we did not receive help from France.

To understand the first cause you must know that a little while before, captain Platrier, of Honfleur, already mentioned, wishing to go to Kinibéqui, was taken prisoner by two English ships which were at an island called Emmetenic*, eight leagues from [page 31] Kinibequi. His release was effected by means of presents (this expresses it mildly), and by his promise to comply with the interdictions laid upon him not to trade anywhere upon all [62] this coast. For the English want to be considered masters of it, and they produced letters from their King to this effect, but these we believe to be false.

Now, Monsieur de Biancourt, having heard all this from the mouth of captain Platrier himself, remonstrated earnestly with these people, showing how important it was to him, an officer of the Crown and his father s Lieutenant, and also how important to all good Frenchmen, to oppose this usurpation of the English, so Contrary to the rights and possessions of his Majesty. "For," said he, "it is well known to all ( not to go back any farther in the case ) that the great Henry, may God give him absolution, in accordance with the rights acquired by his predecessors and by himself, gave to Monsieur des Monts, in the year 1604, all this region from the 40th to the 46th parallel of latitude. Since this donation, the said Seigneur des Monts, himself and through Monsieur de Potrincourt, my very honored father, his lieutenant, and through others, has frequently taken actual possession of all the country; and this, three or four years before the English had ever frequented it, or before anything had ever been heard of these claims of theirs.'' this and several other things were said by Sieur de Biancourt to encourage his people.

As for me, I had two other reasons which impelled me to take this journey: One, to give [63] spiritual aid to Sieur de Biancourt and his people; the other,. to observe and to study the disposition of these nations to receive the holy gospel. Such, then, were the causes of our journey. [page 33]

We arrived at Kinibéqui, eighty leagues from Port Royal, the 28th of October, the day of St. Simon and St. Jude, of the same year, 1611. Our people at once disembarked, wishing to see the English fort, for we had learned, on the way, that there was no one there. Now as everything is beautiful at first, this undertaking of the English had to be praised and extolled, and the conveniences of the place enumerated, each one pointing out what he valued the most. But a few days afterward they changed their views; for they saw that there was a fine opportunity for making a counter-fort there, which might have imprisoned them and cut them off from the sea and river; moreover, even if they had been left unmolested they should not have enjoyed the advantages of the river, since it has several other mouths, and good ones, Some distance from there. furthermore, what is worse, we do not believe that, in six leagues of the surrounding country, there is a single acre of good tillable land, the soil being nothing but stones and rocks. Now, inasmuch as the wind forced us to go on, when the third day came, Monsieur de Biancourt [64] considered the subject in council and decided to take advantage of the wind and go on up the rivers ill order to thoroughly explore it.

We had already advanced three good leagues, and had dropped anchor in the middle of the river waiting for the tide, when we suddenly discovered Six Armouchiquois canoes Coming towards us. There were twenty-four persons therein, all warriors. They went through a thousand maneuvers and ceremonies before accosting us, and might have been compared to a flock of birds which wanted to go into a hemp-field but feared the scarecrow. We [page 35] were very much pleased at this, for our people also needed to arm themselves and arrange the pavesade. In short, they continued to Come and go; they reconnoitered; they carefully noted our numbers! our Cannon, our arms, everything; and when night Called they Camped upon the other bank of the river, if not out of reach, at least beyond the aim of our cannon.

All night there was continual haranguing, singing and dancing, for such is the kind of life all these people lead when they are together. Now as we supposed that probably their songs and dances were invocations to the devil, to oppose the power of this cursed tyrant, I had our people sing [65] some sacred Hymns, as the Salve, the Ave Maris Stella, and others. But when they once got into the way of singing, the spiritual songs being exhausted they took up others with which they were familiar. When they came to the end of these, as the French are natural mimics, they began to mimic the singing and dancing of the Armouchiquois who were upon the bank, succeeding in, it so well that the Armouchiquois stopped to listen to them; and then our people stopped and the others immediately began again. It was really very comical, for you would have said that they were two choirs which had a thorough understanding with each other, .and scarcely could you distinguish the real Armouchiquois from their imitators.

In the morning we continued our journey up the liver. The Armouchiquois, who were accompanying us. told us that if we wanted any piousquemin (corn), it would be better and easier for us to turn to the right and not, with great difficulty and risks to continue going up the river; that if we turned to the [page 37] right through the branch which was just at hand, in a few hours we would reach the great sagamore Meteourmite, who would furnish us with all we wanted; that they would act as our guides, since they themselves were going to visit him.

It is to be supposed, and there were strong indications of it, that they gave us this advice only with the intention [66] of ensnaring us, and making an easy conquest of us by the help of Meteourmite, whom they knew to be the enemy of the English, and whom they supposed to be an enemy of all foreigners. But, thank God, their ambuscade was turned against themselves.

However, we believed them; so a part of them event ahead of us, part behind, and some in the barque with us. Nevertheless Monsieur de Biancourt was always on his guard, and often sent the boat on ahead with the sounding-lead. We had not gone more than half a league when, reaching a large lake, the sounder called out to us: ''Two fathoms of water; only one fathom, only one fathom everywhere," and immediately afterward, "Stop! stop! cast anchor." Where are our Armouchiquois? Where are they? Not one. They had all silently disappeared. Oh, the traitors! Oh, how God had delivered us! They had led us into a trap. "Veer about, veer about." We retrace our path.

Meanwhile, Meteourmite having been informed of our coming, came to meet us, and. although he saw our prow turned about, yet he followed us. It was well that Monsieur de Biancourt was wiser than many of his crew, whose sole cry was to kill them all. For they were as angry as they were frightened; but their anger made the most noise.

[67] Monsieur de Biancourt restrained himself, and [page 39] not otherwise Shoving any ill-will toward Meteourmite, learned from him that there was a route by which they could pass; that in order not to miss it, he would let us have some of his own people in our barque; that, besides, if we would come to his wigwam he would try to satisfy us. We trusted him, and thought we might have to repent it; for we traversed such perilous heights and narrow passes that we never expected to escape from them. In fact, in taco places Some of our men cried out in distress that we were all lost. But, thank God, they cried too soon.

When we arrived, Monsieur de Biancourt armed himself, and thus arrayed proceeded to pay a visit to Meteourmite. He found him in the royal apparel of Savage majesty, alone in a wigwam that was well matted above and below, and about forty powerful young men stationed around it like a body-guard, each one with his shield, his bow and arrows upon the ground in front of him. These people are by no means simpletons, and you may believe us when we say so.

As for me, I received that day the greater part of the welcome; for, as I was unarmed, the most honorable of them, turning their backs upon the soldiers, approached me with a thousand demonstrations of friendship. They led me to the largest wigwam of all; [68] it Contained fully eighty people. When they had taken their places, I fell upon my knees and repeated My Pater, Ave, Credo, and some orisons; then pausing, my hosts, as if they had understood me perfectly, applauded after their fashion, crying Ho! ho! ho! I gave them some crosses and pictures explaining them as well as I could. They very [page 41] willingly kissed them, made the sign of the Cross, and each one in his turn endeavored to present his children to me, so that I would bless them and give them something. Thus passed that visit, and another that I have since made.

Now Meteourmite had replied to Monsieur de Biancourt that as to the corn he did not have much, but he had some skins, if we were pleased to trade with him. Then in the morning when the trade was to take place I went to a neighboring island with a boy, to there offer the blessed sacrament for our reconciliation. our people in the barque, not to be taken by surprise under pretext of the trade, were armed and barricaded, leaving a place in the middle of the deck for the Savages; but in vain, for they rushed in in such Crowds and with such greediness, that they immediately filled the whole ship, becoming all mixed up with our own people. Some one began to cry out, "Go back, go back." But [69] to what good? On the other hand, the savages revere yelling also.

Then our people were sure they were captured, and there was nothing lout cries and confusion. Monsieur de Biancourt has often said and said again, that several times he had raised his arm and opened his mouth to strike the first blow and to cry out, " Kill, kill;" but that somehow the one consideration that restrained him was that I was outside, and if they came to blows I was lost. God rewarded him for his good-will by saving not only me but also the whole crew. For, as all readily acknowledge at this hour, if any foolish act had been committed none of them would ever have escaped, and the French would have been condemned forever all along the coast. [page 43]

God willed that Meteourmite and some other captains should apprehend the danger, and so cause their people to withdraw When evening came and all had retired, Meteourmite sent some of his men to excuse the misconduct of the morning, protesting that all the disorder had originated not with him, but with the Armouchiquois; that they had even stolen a hatchet and a platter (a great wooden dish), which articles he herewith returned; that this theft had so displeased him that immediately after discovering it he had sent the Armouchiquois away from him; that, for his part, he was friendly toward us and knew very well that [70] we neither killed; nor beat the Savages of those parts, but received them at our table and often made tabagie for them, and brought them a great many nice things from France, for which courtesies they loved us. These people are, I believe, the greatest speech-makers in the world; nothing can be done without speeches.

But as I have spoken here of the English, some one perhaps will wish to hear about their adventure, which was related to us in this place. So here it is: In 1608 the English began to settle at one of the mouths of this Kinibéqui river, as we have said before. They had then as leader a very honest man, who got along remarkably well with the natives of the country. They say, however, that the Armouchiquois were afraid of such neighbors, and so put the captain to death, as I have said. These people make a practice of killing by magic. But the second year, 1609, the English, under another Captain, changed their tactics. They drove the Savages away without ceremony; they beat, maltreated and mis-used them outrageously and without restraint; [page 45] consequently these poor, abused people, anxious about the present, and dreading still greater evils in the future, determined, as the saying is, to kill the whelp ere its teeth and claws became stronger. The opportunity came one day when [71] three boat-loads of them went away off to the fisheries. My conspirators followed in their boat, and approaching with a great show of friendliness (for they always make the greatest show of affection when they are the most treacherous), they go among them, and at a given signal each one seizes his man and stabs him to death. Thus were eleven Englishmen dispatched. others were intimidated and abandoned theirs enterprise the same year; they have not resumed it since, being satisfied to come in the summer to fish, at this island of Emetenic, which we have said was eight leagues from the fort they had begun building.

So, for this reason, the outrage to which captain Platrier was subjected by these English having been committed upon this island of Emetenic, Monsieur de Biancourt decided to go and reconnoitre it, and to leave there some memento in assertion of his rights. This he did, erecting at the harbor a beautiful cross bearing the arms of France. Some of his crew advised him to burn the boats which he found there; but as he is kind and humane he would not do it, seeing they were fishermen's boats and not men-of-war.

Thence, as the season was advancing, it being already the 6th of November, we turned our ships towards Port Royal, stopping at Pentegoët, as we had promised the Savages.

[72] The Pentegoët is a very beautiful river, and may be compared to the Garonne in France. It flows [page 47] into French Bay [the bay of Fundy] and has many islands and rocks at its mouth; so that if you do not go some distance up, you will take it for a great bay or arm of the sea, until you begin to see plainly the bed and course of a river. It is about three leagues wide and is forty-four and one half degrees from the Equator. We cannot imagine what the Norembega of our forefathers was, if it were not this river; for elsewhere both the others and I myself have made inquiries about this place, and have never been able to learn anything concerning it.

When we had advanced three leagues or more into the current of the river we encountered another beautiful river called Chiboctous, which comes from the northeast to discharge its waters into the great Pentegoët.

At the confluence of these two rivers there was the finest assemblage of Savages that I have yet seen. There were 80 canoes and a boat, 18 wigwams and about 300 people. The most prominent Sagamore was called Betsabés, a man of great discretion and prudence; and I confess we often see in these Savages natural and graceful qualities which will make anyone but a shameless person blush, when they compare them to the greater part of the French who come over here.

[73] When they had recognized us they showed their great joy during the evening by their usual demonstrations; dancing, singing and making speeches. And as for us, we were very glad to be in a country of safety; for among the Etechemins, as these are, and the Souriquois, as are those of Port Royal, we are no more obliged to be on our guard than among [page 49] our own servants, and, thank God we have never yet been deceived in them.

The next day I went to visit the Savages, and followed my usual custom, which I have described in speaking of Kinibéqui. But there was more to be done here, as they told me they had some sick; I went to visit them; and as priest, it being thus ordained in the Ritual, I recited over them the holy Gospel and Orisons, giving to each one a cross to wear around the neck.

Among others I found one stretched out, after their fashion, before the fire, wonder expressed in his eyes and face, great drops standing out upon forehead, scarcely able to speak, so severe the attack. They told me that he had been sick for four months and as it appeared, he could not last long. Now I do not know what his malady was; whether it only came intermittently or not I do not know; at all events, the second day after that I saw him in our barque, well and happy, with his cross around his neck. He showed his gratitude to me by a cheerful smile [74] and by taking my hand. I had no means of speaking to him, as the trading was then going on, and for this reason the deck was full of people and all the interpreters were busy. Truly I was very glad that the goodness of God was beginning to make these poor and abandoned people feel that in the sign of the holy and salutary Cross there was every good and every blessing.

Finally, not to continue repeating the same story, both in this place and in all others, where we have been able to talk with these poor gentiles, we have attempted to impress upon them some of the simplest [page 51] conceptions of the grandeur and truth of Christianity, in so far as our means would permit. And to sum it up in a word, this has been the result of our journey. We have begun to know and to be known, we have taken possession of these regions in the name of the Church of God, establishing here the royal throne of our Savior and King, Jesus Christ, his holy altar; the Savages have seen us pray, celebrate the mass, and preach; through our conversations, pictures, and crosses, our way of living, and other similar things, they have received the first faint ideas and germs of Our holy faith, which will some day take root and grow abundantly, please God, if it is followed big longer and better cultivation.

[75] And indeed such is about all we are accomplishing, even here at Port Royal, until we haven learned the language. However, it comforts us to see these little Savages, though not yet Christians, yet willingly, when they are here, carrying the candles, bells, holy water and other things, marching in good order in the processions and funerals which occur here. Thus they become accustomed to act as Christians, to become so in reality in his time.

No need is felt except that we ought to be better workers for Our Lord, and ought not to divert from ourselves and others so many of his blessings by our many sins and great unworthiness. As for me, truly I have good reason to severely reproach myself; and all those who are imbued with earnest charity ought to be deeply touched in their hearts. Stay Our Lord, by his sacred mercy, and by the prayers of his glorious mother and of all his Church, both heavenly and militant, be moved to compassion!

Particularly I beg Your Reverence and all our [page 53] Reverend Fathers and Brothers to be pleased to remember in your most earnest devotions both us and these poor souls, miserable slaves under the tyranny of Satan. May it please this benign Savior [76] of the world, whose grace is denied to no one, and whose bounty is ever beyond our merits, may it please him, I say, to look down with a pitying eye upon these poor tribes, and to gather them soon into his family, in the happy freedom of the favored children of God. Amen!

From Port Royal, this last day of January, 1612. While I was writing these letters, the ship which was sent to our assistance has, thank God, arrived safe and sound, and in it our Brother Gilbert du Thet. He, who knows the dangers and necessities we were in, will appreciate the joy we felt and that we feel at its arrival. God be praised. Amen.

Of Your Reverence, the son and very

humble servant in Our Lord.

Pierre BIARD. [page 55]

[iii] To the Reader.

AFTER the Fathers of the Society of Jesus had overcome the ill-will of their enemies and again been admitted to France, they felt themselves called to other fields for the fruitful employment of their labors.

A rich harvest was offered in New France, where the natives lived almost like animals, without any knowledge of God.

To that country, accordingly, were sent two priests of the Society, Fathers Pierre Baird and Enemond Massé, who reached Acadia on the 22nd of May, 1611. After remaining there seven month, [iv] Father Baird sent this epistle to his Superior.

The letter is divided, as it were, under four heads, and relates:

1.     What New France is, the nature of the country, what tribes inhabite it, and their customs.

2.     In what manner, with what help and with what sucess the Society secured a mission in this country.

3.     In what condition the Society found the Christian religion in this region.

4.     What has been done by the missionaries thus far, or rather what has been attempted.

Although the end of the letter reads: the last day of January, 1611,—either there is an error in the year, or Father Baird wrote according to the old style, for the year ought to be 1612.

[5] Canadian Mission.


The peace of Christ be with you.

The end of this year 1611, which is already so rapidly drawing near, invites me to write to your Reverence in acknowledgment of its beginning, in which our Society first penetrated into this territory of new France. The profusion of blessings and favors which the divine bounty has bestowed upon us while undertaking and sustaining this infant enterprise, requires that in this haven, as it were, of time and of the year we should, reviewing the course of our actions and the occurrences of our voyage, invite our dear Fathers and Brothers to share both in our rejoicing for those things which the hand of God has happily [6] effected through us, and, too, in our mourning and our prayers for our delinquencies and inefficiency in seeking the salvation of souls. The object sought by the Society for a long time previously and with many efforts, that it might in some degree impart help and light to this savage people also by its labors in bringing the Gospel among them, it seems at last to have attained in this year with a small and slight beginning indeed, yet auspiciously and in accordance with its hopes.

This also I must narrate and explain to your Reverence, of what nature and how numerous is this harvest of souls, and what has hitherto been given to us by our Heavenly Father, and what further gifts we may hope for in the future. But to facilitate my [page 63] whole narration, and to obviate the possible omission of many details in its course, I think it best to divide the whole matter under four heads. I shall therefore first describe new France, the country, the natives, and their customs; next, in what manner, and with what help, and with what result, our Society secured a mission to this country; [7] thirdly, in what condition we found the Christian religion in this region; and, finally, what has been accomplished by us thus far, or rather what has been attempted for the glory of God. This appears to me a very convenient and sufficient summary of all I am to tell.

And, in order that I may begin at the begin and explain first what sort of a land New France is the nature of the country and the customs of the natives, I think it will be not only a pleasure for your Reverence, but also a necessity for ourselves that the whole territory be rather accurately described. For, since this is the field assigned to us for our labors, it is certain that your reverence cannot direct us in accordance with our varied needs without a knowledge of the extent of the country, of the impediments to travel, of the distance of neighboring settlements, and of the condition of people and things.

Besides, I find this matter involved in so may error and darkness by the older Geographers, that unless we, who know these things not from hearsay only, but are eyewitnesses thereof, come to the rescue, it is impossible that the mind, in tracing our footsteps and our journeys, should not wander as far away from the truth as it has to do from the body. [8] They speak of a certain Norumbega and give the names of cities and strongholds of which to-day no trace or even report remains. [page 65]

However, let me fulfill my promise. New France, as the French now call it, is that territory across the French Ocean which extends from the forty-first to the fifty-second, or even fifty-third degree of latitude.

I know that some extend the boundaries of this region much farther, while others restrict them more narrowly, but I am not arguing this point; I merely explain what is, as I have said, the prevailing interpretation of them, either because this part of the country has been for many years past particularly explored and claimed by the French, or because the parallels bounding this western region are almost the same as those of old France.

New France has an exceedingly varied sea-coast, indented by bays and rivers, broken and irregular. Where are two principal bays [9] of vast size, one called the gulf of St. Lawrence, the other French bay. Indeed, from the forty-seventh degree as far as to the fifty-first, the land opens its bosom, as it were, to receive the Ocean into it, or to facilitate the outflow of the great Canadian river. This gulf is known as the gulf of St. Lawrence, in the mouth of which lies that enormous island which the French call Newfoundland, the Savages Præsentis [Plaisance]; it is famous for its cod-fishery; the shores of the gulf and the rivers are occupied toward the North by the Excomminqui, or, as they are commonly called, the Excommunicated. This tribe is very savage, and, it is said, is addicted to Cannibalism; although once in very peaceful relations with the French for a considerable length of time, it is now on a footing of irreconcilable enmity. There follow, in the interior, toward the west, the Algonquins; then the Montagnais; those dwelling at the head-waters of this [page 67] same great Canadian river are the Irocois, whose territory also extends far to the South.

These Irocois are known to the French chiefly for the perpetual warfare which they maintain against the Montagnais and Algonquins, allied [10] and friendly tribes. To the South, however, the coast gradually advances up to the forty-third degree, where once more it is interrupted by a very large bay called French bay. This gulf, advancing far into the interiors and bending toward the North and the gulf of St. Lawrence, forms a sort of Isthmus; and this Isthmus is completed by the St. John, a very long river which, taking its rise almost at the very banks of the great Canadian river, empties into this French bay. This Isthmus has a circuit of fully five hundred leagues and is occupied by the Soriquois tribe. In this Isthmus is port royal, where we are now sojourning, lying on the parallel of 44° 40´. But this port (to obviate misunderstanding) is not on the Ocean lying eastward, but on that gulf which I have called French bay. To the West and north, from the river of St. John to the river Potugoët,3 and even to the river Rimbegui,2 live the Etheminqui. The mouth of this river is in latitude 43° 40´. [11] Not far distant is Chouacoët, which is the other shore or arm embracing French Bay. For to the east lies what we call cape sable, while Chouacoët lies toward the West; both are on the forty-third parallel, though they are separated by an interval of a hundred leagues. From the Rimbegui* river to the fortieth parallel the whole country is in the possession of the tribe called the Armouchiquois. Such is the distribution of the territory. The tribes amount to seven in number, differing from each other in language and character: the Excommunicated, the Algonquins, the

*Sic. for Kinibéqui.—[O'Callaghan.]

Montagnais, the Irocois, the Soriquois, the Etheminqui and the Armouchiquois. But of these neither the Excommunicated, nor the Irocois, nor the Armouchiquois are well known to the French. The remaining four tribes appear already to be united in firm friendship and intimacy with them. They stay over night among us; we rove about with them, and hunt with them and live among them without arms and without fear; and, as has thus far appeared, without danger. This intimacy arose partly from association while fishing for Cod, [12]which abound in these waters, and partly from trading in furs. For the Savages, who have neither copper, iron, hemp, wool, vegetables nor manufactured articles of any kind, resort to the French for them, giving in return the only thing of value they have, namely, furs. This whole region is for the most part very cold, owing to various causes. In the first place, the country is a very wet one; for, besides being washed on almost every side by the sea, it abounds in rivers and ponds and large lakes. Islands are so numerous that the whole shore is cut up by a confused procession of them, as it were. Moreover, though a land of frost, it is very windy, the wind being nearly always a cold one. Another cause of cold is the wildness of the country; for, being covered on every side by one continuous forest, it naturally follows that the soil hardly ever becomes really warmed through. A third cause is the mountains, covered with Snow and perpetual frost, which are said to wall us in far away to the North and the West.

We certainly get nothing from that quarter but piercing winds and snow-storms. Elsewhere, [page 71] however, the appearance of the country is very pleasing, and in many [13] places inviting to the settler and quite promising; and, as experience has shown, it is not unfruitful if cultivated. The natives are not numerous. The Etheminqui number less than a thousand, the Algonquins and the Montagnais together would not amount to much more, the Soriquois would not amount to two thousand. Thus four thousand Indians at most roam through, rather than occupy, these vast stretches of inland territory and sea-shore, For they are a nomadic people, living in the forests and scattered over wide spaces, as is natural for those who live by hunting and fishing only. They are nearly all beardless and of average stature, even a little shorter and more slender than we, but not degraded nor ill-favored in appearance; their color is not very swarthy; they commonly paint their faces, and, when in mourning, blacken them. They love justice and hate violence and robbery, a thing really remarkable in men who have neither laws nor magistrates; for, among them, each man is his own master and his own protector. They have Sagamores, that is, leaders in war; but their authority is most precarious, if, indeed, that may me called authority to which obedience is in no wise obligatory. The Indians follow them through the persuasion of example or of custom, [14] or of ties of kindred and alliance; sometimes even through a certain authority of power, no doubt. They wage war as a tribe on account of wrongs done to a private individual. The whole race is very revengeful and, after the fashion of savages, insolent in victory, carrying about the heads of their captives as trophies and spoils of victory.

They are even said to have been addicted to the eating of human flesh, and the Excommunicated and [page 73] Armouchiquois tribes are said to have the same practice even now. Those, however, who are intimate with the French are far from being guilty of so great a crime.

Their whole religion consists of certain incantations. dances and sorcery, which they have recourse to, it seems, either to procure the necessaries of life or to get rid of their enemies; they have Autmoinos, that is, medicine-men, who consult the evil Spirit regarding life and death and future events; and the evil spirit [great beast] often presents himself before them, as they themselves assert, approves or disapproves their schemes of vengeance, promises them the death of their enemies or friends, or prosperity in the chase, and other mockeries of the same sort. To make these complete they [15] even have faith in dreams; if they happen to awake from a pleasing and auspicious dream, they rise even in the middle of the night and hail the omen with songs and dances. They have no temples, sacred edifices, rites, ceremonies or religious teaching, just as they have no laws, arts or government, save certain customs and traditions of which they are very tenacious. If the Medicine-man predicts that a certain person will die before a fixed date, this man is deserted by all; and, in his misery, feeling certain of impending death, he voluntarily condemns himself to suffer hunger and complete neglect, apparently that he may not seem

to contend against fate.

If, however, he does not appear to be in a dying condition by the time predicted, his friends and relatives even hasten his death by pouring jars of cold water over his stomach. Such is the piety of these servants of Satan. Thus, no doubt because he is always deceitful, the soothsayer never appears to [page 75] deceive himself; although this lying race of prophets have lost much of their authority since the coming of the French, and now universally complain that their Devils have lost much of their power,[16] if compared with what it is said to have been in the time of their Ancestors. They so completely bury the very remembrance of the dead with their bodies that they will not even suffer their names to be mentioned afterwards. Of the one supreme God they have a certain slender notion, but they are so perverted by false ideas and by custom, that, as I have said, they really worship the Devil. To obtain the necessaries of life they endure cold and hunger in an extraordinary manner. During eight or ten days, if the necessity is imposed on them, they will follow the chase in fasting, and they hunt with the greatest ardor when the snow is deepest and the cold most severe. And yet these same Savages, the offspring, so to speak, of Boreas and the ice, when once they have returned with their booty and installed themselves in their tents, become indolent and unwilling to perform any labor whatever, imposing this entirely upon the w omen. The latter, besides the onerous role of bearing and rearing the children, also transport the frame from the place where it has fallen; they are the hewers of wood and drawers of water; they make and repair the household utensils; they prepare food; they skin the game and prepare the hides like fullers; they sew garments; they catch fish and gather shell-fish for food; often [17] they even hunt; they make the canoes, that is, skiffs of marvelous rapidity, out of bark; they set up the tents wherever and whenever they stop for the night—in short, the men concern themselves with nothing but the more laborious hunting and the waging of war. For this reason [page 77] almost every one has several wives, and especially the Sagamores, since they cannot maintain their power and keep up the number of their dependents unless they have not only many children to inspire fear or conciliate favor, but also many slaves to perform patiently the menial tasks of every sort that are necessary. For their wives are regarded and treated as slaves. These Savages are extremely liberal toward each other; no one is willing to enjoy any good fortune by himself, but makes his friends sharers in the larger part of it; and whoever receives guests at what they call a Tabagie does not himself sit down with the others, but waits on them, and does not reserve any portion of the food for himself but distributes all; so that the host is constrained to suffer hunger during that day, unless some one of his guests takes pity on him [18] and gives him back a portion of what remains over from his own share. and they have often shown the same liberality toward the French, when they have found them in distress. For they have learned from us that, toward thers than these, whether here or in the ships, nothing is readily given away. They hunt after the Lice in their heads and regard them as a dainty. They are most importunate beggars and, after the fashion of beggars and needy people, they are hypo-eritical—contradicting, flattering and lying to achieve their ends. But when once they have gotten their fill they go off, mocking the French and everybody else at a distance and secretly laughing at everything, even the religion which they have received. They set up their tents easily and quickly in any place with branching stakes, which they cover either with bark or skins or even with mats. The fire is built in the middle. But this is enough, and more than enough, [page 79] regarding the country and the people, especially as I send an accurate Map of the region, a single glance at which will make clear whatever I have said regarding the geography of land and sea.

Now I shall enter upon my second topic and explain by what means the Society finally secured the sending of a mission to this province. It is true that our adherents at [19] Bordeaux, in their zeal for the saving of souls, had looked forward to this, and had aimed at this for many years back, namely, at bringing help to this wretched race. But their pious and ardent efforts. which recoiled before no danger, were long frustrated by lack of means for prosecuting them. When our Society was at last re-admitted into France, they began to negotiate in earnest with Henry the Great, through Father Coton, to obtain permission to labor in these regions also, and the King, so full of good-will toward our Society, espoused this pious and important project; but, nevertheless, the taking of active steps was preceded by a long and vexatious delay. No Frenchmen as yet inhabited this region with the purpose of settling here, and such as had been sent by the King as explorers and in a tentative way, being indifferent to our holy aims, had soon returned to France, leaving these things not only unaccomplished but even almost hopeless. But our Prince, undeterred by these considerations, bade us be of good heart, and promised, if we would but designate those who were to be sent, that he would let us know when he deemed the time opportune; and, as an earnest of his promise, from that time forward he assigned to us a sum of money for the [20] voyage. But at this point, unhappily, occurred the tragic death of the King. Yet at this very season God came to our help. Some [page 81] messengers came to the new king from the man who last year solicited the royal permission to found a colony in this country.

This man is Jean Biencourt, commonly called Potrincourt, of noble birth and a magnanimous man. Accordingly, seizing this opportunity, we made overtures to the Queen Regent, Marie de Medicis, that most pious and exalted lady, begging her to execute what her husband had so piously purposed by giving a place to two of our Fathers in the ship which was to sail shortly for this place. The Queen assented, and responded to our request most liberally. Accordingly one Priest was immediately summoned from Aquitaine, and another was chosen in France. But lo ! Satan rouses himself again, and again interposes new delay. We were to sail from Dieppe, but the ship that was to bear us to this country was so completely under the influence of Heretical merchants that it could not stir without their consent. Accordingly, as soon as they saw our Priests they refused outright to let the ship sail if the Jesuits were to embark in it. The order of the [21] Queen was alleged, and the authority of the Governor was interposed. Recourse was had to the Queen, and letters, and orders were obtained from her; but even Royal authority is, like that of the Church, unable to break or bend heretical obstinacy. This stubborn resistance lent all the more lustre to the piety of our benignant Rulers. For Antoinette de Pons, Marchioness de Guercheville, a most illustrious lady, and governess to the daughters of the Queen, on learning these petty hindrances did not hesitate, in her love for God and for our Society, to ask in his name for aid from some of the greatest men in the council of this realm, that the contumacy of the heretics might [page 83] be subdued and the Jesuits permitted to sail to this land. Nor did she have any difficulty in gaining the good-will of the Catholic Princes, inclined of their own accord to sympathize with this holy cause; in a word, the sum of four thousand livres was collected. This not only put an end to the iniquitous resistance of the heretics, but gave our Priests the influence of Masters rather than of mere passengers in the ship. Thus, no doubt Christ, as usual, has strengthened his own followers through the attacks of enemies; [22] through their iniquity he has furnished aid to his own children and protected them from the darkness find the baseness of their foes, even through their intrigues and insult; his be the glory forever and ever.


We sailed from Dieppe in a most unfavorably season on the 26th of January, of this year 1611 The ship was not large and was insufficiently equipped, the sailors were mostly heretics. As it was winter and the sea was stormy, we encountered many severe tempests and the voyage lasted four whole months, from which it is apparent how many sufferings of every kind we underwent. Indeed, during the greater portion of the voyage one or the other of us lay sick and debilitated. Yet we attempted to discharge the usual duties of our Society. Morning and evening, every day, the passengers were called together for prayer; on holidays certain Ecclesiastical services were held, pious exhortations were frequently made, and sometimes disputations with the heretics took place. The habit of swearing and using obscene language was repressed. Nor were there wanting many examples of humility and of charity.

[23] Finally, with God's blessing, we brought the Heretics, who, evidently through the preaching of [page 85] their own Pastors, regarded us as monsters, to recognize the malice of these impostors in this matter, so that they afterwards on many occasions stood up to proclaim our praises. Such, in brief, was our voyage to this land.

Now follows the third of the topics proposed in the beginning—the setting forth, namely, of the condition in which we found the Christian religion in this country. Certainly before this time scarcely any attention has ever been given by the French to converting the souls of the natives to Christ. There have been many obstacles. For the French only wandered through these regions, but did not remain here, and those who wished to remain were harassed by so many calamities that they assuredly could not give much thought to this matter. Some natives, it is true, were occasionally brought to France and baptized there, but these not being sufficiently instructed, and finding themselves without shepherds as soon as they returned to these shores, immediately resumed their former habits and traditions. We landed here [24] on the 22nd of May, on the holyday of Pentecost of this year 1611. In this very same year Sieur Potrincourt, whom I shall have occasion to mention several times, had come here to establish himself permanently, and had brought a secular Priest with him. This Priest, it is said, baptized nearly a hundred persons during the year, among them one of the most celebrated of the Chiefs, of whom we shall have to speak again later, Henry Membertou, with his whole family, that is, three children already married. But, since neither this Priest nor any one else knew their language, save so far as pertains to the merest necessities of Intercourse [page 87] and trade, the neophytes could of course not be instructed in our doctrines.

They accepted baptism as a sort of sacred pledge of friendship and alliance with the French. As regards Christ, the Church, the faith and the Symbol, the commandments of God, prayer and the Sacraments, they knew almost nothing; nor did they know the sign of the cross or the very name of Christian. So, even now, whenever we ask any one, "Are you a Christian?" every one of them answers that he does not understand what [25] we are asking him. But when we change the form of our question and ask, "Are you baptized?" he assents and declares himself to be already almost a Norman, for they call the French in general Normans. In other respects there is almost no change from the religion of the Gentiles to Christianity. They keep up the same manners and traditions and mode of life, the same dances and rites and songs and sorcery; in fact, all their previous customs. Concerning the one God and the reward of the just, they have learned some things, but they declare that they had always heard and believed thus. We found one little chapel here, a very small and poor one, but the other dwellings also, as is to be expected among new settlers, are by no means large or commodious.

Sieur Potrincourt's family is the only one here; without the women we number twenty. We two of the Society have a wooden cabin in which we can scarcely turn around when we have a table in it. And everything else is certainly in keeping with our dwelling and our vocation in life, that is, poverty. God grant that from these humble beginnings may rise and greatly flourish the work of salvation; [26] to this we bend all our efforts, though, as we are but [page 89] feeble workers, with no great success. What the nature and extent of this success has been I must now relate, since I have already treated my third topic, namely, the description of the state in which we found this vineyard, or rather this wildwood.

We arrived here, as already noted, on the 22nd of May. Accordingly, we have now sojourned here a little more than seven months. During this period we have accomplished some work both at home and abroad. Our first efforts we expended at home, so that, as far as it lay in our power, there might be no interruption of Religious services. For the secular Priest who had preceded us here, immediately on our arrival, of his own free will and in accordance with a long-cherished desire, had returned to France. On Sundays and holydays we celebrate solemn mass and vespers; we preach and sometimes have processions, the boys of our children of the forest carrying before us, when they are present here, tapers and censers and other sacred utensils. For thus, little by little, they become accustomed to our ceremonies. Our procession was, however, a more solemn one on the day of Corpus Christi when we carried about the [27] blessed Sacrament. Sieur Potrincourt himself praised highly our efforts in this, as well as in adorning our chapel as much as we could, in spite of our great poverty. Since we have observed that those who had been previously baptized had gotten scarcely anything else through their baptism than increased peril, we have restrained this eager inclination to administer this sacrament without discrimination, and we insist that no adult person shall receive it until he has the necessary understanding of his faith and his profession. So, as we have thus far been ignorant of the language and have been unable to explain our doctrines through [page 91] any interpreter, or to commit them to writing, howsoever great a labor that may prove—and it will certainly prove a great one—the course of the Gospel is, up to this point, embarrassed by these shoals and quicksands. We try to persuade the savages to bring their babes to us for baptism; and this, with God's blessing, they are beginning to do. We have baptized two boys, and a girl about nine years old. This girl was wasting away as much from hunger and neglect as from sickness; for this people very readily despair [28] of relief in sickness, and, as previously stated, soon abandon those whose recovery is deemed hopeless. Thus, when this girl was given up by her relatives, we asked that she be given us for baptism. They very willingly gave her to us, not only for baptism but to dispose of at our pleasure, as being, they said, no longer of more value than a dead dog. But we, to show them an example of Christian piety, carried her to a separate cabin and there fed her and cared for her; and, after teaching her as much as was necessary for one struggling with death, we cleansed her with the saving waters. On her death, nine days later, we entertained the glad hope that our labor had found some favor in heaven. We soon found opportunity for another deed of charity not dissimilar to this, though its result was more auspicious. This was in the case of the second son of that famous Chief Membertou, whom I have already mentioned as having received our doctrines first of all the Soriquois.

I went to visit this chief's son, who was already at death's door. I found that, in accordance with their old custom, they were holding a tabagie, that is, a solemn feast for the distribution of his property, so that after the entertainment he might, not like Jacob [page 93] give them his blessing, [29] but might bid them farewell, after which they were to bewail his death and then to offer up a sacrifice of dogs. I rebuked as well as I could, through an interpreter, these pagan usages among a people who were already Christians. The father himself, Membertou, answered mildly that they were but neophytes; that I had but to command and that everything lay in my power. I said that this slaughtering of dogs was wrong, as well as this abandonment of the sick man for whom they were mourning; I added that those dances and death-songs in the very presence of the sick man displeased me, though I permitted them to hold their tabagie elsewhere, as well as to visit the dying man and learn his last wishes. All replied that this was enough for them, and that they would dispense with the rest. Moreover, in the name of Sieur Potrincourt I invited them to transport to his house the sick man (who was at a very great distance), and said that we hoped, with God's mercy, for his recovery, so that they might thus learn at last that the predictions of their medicine-men or prophets are false and impious. They obeyed, and the third day after brought to us the sufferer, whose life they had despaired of, in a half-dying condition. God's right hand exerted its power; he did not die, but lived, and now, completely recovered, relates what [30] God has done for him. Moved by this example, the elder Membertou himself, when he began to suffer from that sickness which was to be his last, desired of his own accord to be brought to us and to be received into our own cabin, and even, if it pleased us, to occupy one of our beds. He lay there five days, during which we performed every friendly and even every menial office. But on the sixth day, [page 95] when his wife had also come, and when she saw that there was scarcely room left for one of us to find a wretched couch on the ground in our cabin, he, of his own accord, v ent elsewhere, and there died a pious death. We found, indeed, that this man (the first fruits of the Lord among this people) was, beyond all others, wont to be so wondrously moved within, that he apprehended much more of our faith than he could have learned from hearing us. Thus he used to say frequently that he ardently desired that we might soon know his language. He said that as soon as he had learned them thoroughly he would become the preacher of this heavenly word and doctrine among his people. He himself had commanded that he should be buried in the ancient burial-place of his family, with those who were already dead (who, I knew, had died as pagans). [31] I opposed this, fearing, of course, that the French and even the Gentiles might interpret this as an affront to our faith. But he answered that it had been promised him, before he gave himself to Christ, that this place should be consecrated; and he cited a past example of something of the sort, adding that he feared, on the contrary that if he were buried in our cemetery his people might thenceforth avoid the place and thus never return to us. I opposed all the reasons I could, and so did Sieur de Biencourt, the son of Sieur de Potrincourt, he being almost my only interpreter. I went off sadly, for I had accomplished nothing by arguing. Nevertheless, I did not refuse him the extreme unction, for which he was prepared. The power of the Sacrament manifested itself; the next day he called eagerly for Sieur de Biencourt and myself, and told us in the hearing of all the others that he had changed his mind, and swished to be buried in our cemetery; and [page 97] to teach his people that they should not avoid the place in accordance with their old and erroneous notion, but rather, with the wisdom of a Christian people, should love and frequent it, in order to utter pious prayers for him.

Then he recommended to them again [32] and again to maintain peace with us, and also piously gave his blessing to certain of his people, I dictating the words and guiding his hand. A short time after, he died. We deemed it well to celebrate his funeral with great pomp. And certainly there has for a long time been no Chief of such great authority among these people. What is still more remarkable it that he always adhered firmly to his resolution never to have more than one wife at a time, even before his conversion.

Such are the things achieved at home; let us now consider what has been done elsewhere. I have explored with Sieur Biencourt a large part of this whole region—all that portion, namely, which the old geographers called Norumbega, including the principal rivers. The result is that not only have we come to know the country, but also to be known ourselves, and the savages, who had never before seen a Priest or the rites of our Religion, have begun to learn something concerning it. Wherever and whenever we could do so, we offered the priceless host to the Omnipotent God, so that the altar might be as a seat dedicated to the savior of men, whence he should begin to extend his dominion among this people, while their own hobgoblin tyrants are stricken with terror and driven [33] from their usurpation. The Savages have often been present, always profoundly silent and reverent. Afterwards I would visit their huts to pray and to lay hands on the sick; I gave [page 99] them little crosses of brass, or images, which I hung about their necks, and as far as possible I infused some religious notions into their minds. They received all these things very gladly, they made the sign of the Cross under my guidance, and nearly all ;he boys followed me a long distance in order to repeat it oftener. Once it happened that a savage whom I had visited a couple of days before, finding him sick and almost given up by his friends, as I heard, met me rejoicing and well, and glorying in his cross, manifesting his gratitude toward me with hands and countenance, so that I strongly suspected that he had not only experienced the help of the cross but even recognized it. Whenever we fell in

with French vessels—and this often happened—salutary counsels were given to the men, in accordance with time and place; sometimes, too, the passengers made their confession. Sometimes calamities that threatened the welfare and fortune of many were averted through the grace of God; sometimes, too, [34] certain destruction and the slaughter of no small number. We have also succeeded in reclaiming a certain Young Man{l3} of great courage and hope who, through fear of Sieur de Potrincourt, has roamed about for a whole year with the Savages, adopting theory ways and dress—not without suspicion, too, of something worse. The Lord brought about a meeting between us. I spoke with him, and at last he confided himself to me. I brought him to Sieur de Potrincourt; he did not repent of having placed faith in me; peace was made, to the great joy of all, and next day the young man, before receiving the holy Eucharist, of his own free will begged the pardon of those who surrounded him, for his evil conduct. But as it would be superfluous to speak of the many[page 101] perils so miraculously escaped by our vessels, so would it be to speak of the many sufferings of those who sojourn here. We make no complaint of having to drink water: as for bread, in less than six weeks the supply ran so short that now no more is allowed for a week than formerly for a single day. We are awaiting a ship that is to bring supplies. In the meantime, as Bakers and Artisans, a great and ancient quality withal, [35] we continue living here, but we have each fallen seriously ill; however, the Lord sustained us with his hand. For this did not last long, and whenever one of us was sick the other was well. We feel, indeed, how great a burden it is to attend to all these household duties, in going for wood and water in cooking, in washing and mending our clothes; in repairing our cabin, and in giving the necessary time and attention to other material cares. Thus our days and nights wretchedly slip away; but the hope consoles and sustains us that God, who raises up those who are cast down, will some time in his mercy not despise our unworthiness. Though, certainly, when we consider our lack of resources, the trying nature of the country, and the manners of the natives, the difficulties incident to our undertaking and those incident to the establishing of a colony, the thousand perils and impediments interposed by the sea or by our fellow men, our enterprise seems but a dream and a Platonic idea. I might set forth all these things one by one, if this were not to imitate the Hebrew explorers, and rather with regard to our human strength than to God's help, and no less through the [36] faintness of our own hearts than in accordance with the truth of things, to say: "This land devours its inhabitants; we are locusts, while there are here monsters of the race of Giants." But yet, however [page 103] great these Giants be, that David with the sling and stone shall prevail against them, even he who tramples the earth under foot in his anger, and in his rage strikes terror into the senses of men; that Jesus, the Savior of mankind, who blesses the world and leads it toward perfection in spite of all its short-comings; he, even he, as we hope, will deem it a thing worthy of his love and his power that, as Isaiah prophesied, The solitude should exult and blossom like a lily; even as he deemed it good in his wisdom and his power that, as we see, the most civilized empires in the height of power and glory should receive the yoke of his cross and his humility. Amen, so be it. And may all heaven with its prayers further this, our hope, and above all the glorious Queen of heaven; and my own prayers be aided, too, by the universal Church and especially by that portion of the Church over which, in accordance with God's will, your Reverence has so long presided—the Society; and I also pray and beseech [37] your Reverence to further it with all possible aid, and to be pleased to bestow on us toward this end in all charity your benediction. From port Royal, in new France, the last day of January 1611.

The son and unworthy servant

of Your Reverence

Pierre Biard.

[page 105]

An index of matters, persons and places now for the first time added to this Letter.

[Figures refer to original pagination.—Ed.]

ACADIA, two priests of the Society are sent thither


and arrive there


Algonquins wage perpetual war with the Irocois


a tribe of New France.


and the Montagnais together cannot much exceed a thousand in number


Cannibals, the Excomminiqui and Armouchiquois are said to be

9, 14

Aquitaine, a Priest departs for New France, summoned from


Armouchiquois occupy the region from the Kinibéqui river to the fortieth parallel.


Autmoins, or medicine-men, the Savages consult


Bay of Fundy, vide French Bay.


Baptism is accepted by the Savages as a sign of confederation with the French


Savages, they have neither laws nor magistrates [40]


Savages, how they live


wage war as a whole people


have neither temples nor sacred edifices


bury the name and memory of the dead with their bodies


worship the Evil Spirit


have a slight notion of God


some brought to France and baptized there


a hundred are baptized in New France [page


receive baptism as a sign of confederation with the French.


call the French Normans


sacrifice dogs when one of their people is about to die


Savages of New France, names of the tribes


of New France, their numbers and names

11, 13

hides their only treasure


their faces, color, and manners


in what their religion consists


their custom at their feasts


infants baptized


Father Baird visits their huts


Wars, the Indians wage war as a people


Baird, Father Pierre, is sent to Acadia


visits the huts of the Savages


explores a large part of Norumbega


reconciles a certain young man with Monsieur de Potrincourt


Biencourt, Jean de, asks colonists for New France vide Potrincourt


Biencourt, son of Potrincourt, serves as interpreter


explores with Father Baird a large part of Norumbega [41]


Evil spirit, the Savages worship the


Canada, the Irocois live at the head-waters of the great river of


the St. John river takes its rise near the river of


Dogs, the savages at the approach of death are accustomed to sacrifice


the Fathers of the Society blame this custom


Canoes constructed out of bark


Chart of New France, Father Baird proposes to send [page 109]


Chouacoët is a promontory jutting into French bay


Color of the Savages


Feasts, customs of, among the Savages


Coton, Father obtains permission for the Society of Jesus to labor in New France


God the Savages have a slight knowledge of


Dieppe, two Jesuits go there to embark


and sail from this port


Etheminqui, live between St. John and Kinibéqui rivers


a tribe of New France


cannot number a thousand


Excominqui a fierce tribe and Cannibals


Excommunicated, the, common appellation of the Excominqui


at tribe of New France

9, 11

are said to be Cannibals


Explaination, or heads of this letter


Rivers of New France

9, 10

Women among the Savages


fill the place of slaves


French bay, its position, [42]


French, what country is called by them New France


do not settle in the country of New France


France, Savages brought there and baptized


French the Irocois and Armouchiquois little known to


French their number in Acadia


Geographers old full of errors


Guercheville, Marchioness de, buys a ship for the Fathers of the Society


Gulf of St. Lawrence


Heretics refuse to receive the Jesuits into their ship


Henry, King, gives the Society permission to labor in New France [page 111]


his death


Infants of the Savages baptized


Island of Præsentis [Plaisance], Newfoundland is called by the Indians


Islands are numerous in New France


Irocois located at sources of great river of Canada


wage Perpetual war with the Montagnais and Algonquins


a tribe of New France


Isthmus gulf of St. Lawrence and French bay form Kinibéqui river vide Rimbequi.


Latitude of New France


Leagues, the Isthmus measures five hundred


Language of the natives, the Fathers ignorant of it


Massé Father Ennemond sent to Acadia


Médicis, Marie de queen regent, extends her favor to the Society of Jesus


orders the Fathers to be received into the ship [43]


Mentbertou, Henry chief of the Soriquois is baptized with his family


his son, being sick, is carried to the house of Monsieur de Potrincourt

28, 29

the Chief dies


is buried with great pomp


Codfish Newfoundland celebrated for the taking of


Montagnais where they dwell


a tribe of New France


Mountains of New France are covered with snow and perpetual frost


Manners of the Savages

13, 16

Dead, they bury their memory and name with them


Names of the Savages of New France


Normans, the Savages call the French


Norumbega is only a shadow and a name


Norumbega Father Biard explores a large part of


New France, what sort of a country


number and names of its Savage tribes


why the country is very cold and wet


Society of Jesus obtains permission to labor in


New France, its chart to be made by Father Biard


New France, the Jesuit Fathers land in


Number of the French in Acadia


Provisions at Port Royal become scarce


Priests, the Jesuit live at Port Royal


their needs and cares


Lice, the Indians regard then as a dainty


Peltries, the only treasure of the Indians


Pons Antoinette de vide Guercheville. Potugoët river [44]


Port Royal, latitude and location


the Jesuit Priests arrive here


Potrincourt Sieur Jean de, asks for colonists for New France


arrives in New France


his family is the only one in Acadia


praises the zeal of the Fathers


the sick son of Membertou is brought to his house


Potrincourt, Sieur de, certain young man reconciled with


Præsentis [Plaisance] island


Sable, Cape


Girl baptized


dies in the cabin of the Priests


Religion of the Savages


Rimbequi (or rather Kinibéqui) river


Secular Priest, baptizes nearly a hundred Savages in New France


returns to France [page 115]


Sagamores are leaders in war, but their authority is precarious


St. John river empties into French bay


St. Lawrence, gulf of


French Bay


Society of Jesus, in what way it obtained the sending of a mission to this province


is permitted to labor in New France


summons two priests to go there


the impediments put in their way


the fathers arrive at Port Royal Vide Priests

24, 26

Dreams, the Savages have faith in [45]


Soriquois, their Sagamore Henry Membertou


where they live


a tribe of New France


do not number two thousand


Tabagie, feast among the Indians is called


Tabagie, a custom among the Savages held for the dying


Temples, the Savages have none


Newfoundland, its name among the Savages


Tents, the women set them up


how they are constructed


Medicine-men among the Indians


their power


Aspect of the Indians [page 117]



Lescarbot’s Relation Dernière

de ce qui s'est Passé au Voyage du Sieur de Poutrincourt

Paris: JEAN MILLOT, 1612


Source: Reprinted from original in Harvard College Library .






to New France, twenty

months ago.





Jean Millot, opposite St. Barthelemy, at

the Three Crowns.



Last Relation of what took place in the voyage

made by sieur de Poutrincourt to New

France, twenty months ago.


THE old proverb is true that the Gods sell us all things for work. This may be recognized in many of the ordinary events of life, but especially in the matter of which we are about to speak and for which we have a subject in the incomparable virtues of sieur de Poutrincourt, whose more than Herculean labors have for a long time deserved a very ample fortune, which he might have succeeded in acquiring during our late struggles, had he not been too entirely devoted to the party which he had embraced. For the King, holding him besieged in person in Beaumont castle, [4] wished to give him the County thereof to attach him to his service. Refusing the gift at this time, he nevertheless accepted it freely soon afterwards, when he learned that his Majesty had embraced the faith of the Roman Catholic Church. It is true that our late King Henry the Great had rendered him one service; that is, he had testified with his own lips that he was one of the most honorable and valiant men in his kingdom. Again, after our recent wars, being naturally attracted to difficult enterprises and shunning a life of idleness, he sought some occasion to more effectually show his courage, to honor his Prince, and to glorify his country. This he did by meeting sieur de [page 125] Monts, who, in the year 1603, undertook the voyage to New and Western France beyond the sea; and by associating himself with him, to find a suitable place where he could settle down, and there render service to God and the King. To this end he has labored continually ever since, and would have already greatly advanced the work, had not his amiable nature been imposed upon by dishonest men, who have been the cause of great losses to him in time and money. But, as he was a Gentleman not to be conquered by; hardships, and fearing no dangers, he might have been sure of prompt advancement in his work had he not been hindered by the greed of those who robbed him of the fat of his lands, without making any settlement there. These people, eager to get the Beaver-skins of that country, go there for no other purpose; and so compete with each other, that they have caused every Beaver skin (which is the chief traffic [5] of these regions) to be worth here to-day ten livres, when they might have been sold for one-half that price, if the traffic therein had been limited to one person. In this way the Christian Religion might have also been established there; and it certainly would have been greatly advanced, if such a course had been pursued. Also for the sake of Religion and of permanent colonization, from which France can derive both profit and glory, it is well that those who settle there should enjoy fully and wholly the advantages guaranteed by them; since no one does anything in this direction for the sake of the leaders of the enterprise, who, at the risk of their lives and their fortunes, have discovered coasts and interior lands where no Christian had ever been. There is another consideration which I do not wish to set down in writing, and which alone ought to [page 127] obtain the above-mentioned privileges to those who present and offer themselves to settle and defend the province, and indeed to give assistance to the entire French colony over there. There has always been a complaint that affairs of general importance are ruined by giving too much attention to the consideration of personal interests. It is to be feared this may be the case in the affairs of the new World, if we neglect them, and do not encourage those who, with an unchangeable purpose, take great risks for the welfare, the honor, and the glory of France, and for the exaltation of the name of God, and of his Church.


I related in my history of New France what happened in the first two voyages made by sieur de Poutrincourt to the lands beyond the sea. Here I shall give an account of what took place in the subsequent voyages. Some years ago an inheritance, the Barony of Sainct Just, in Champagne, fell to Sieur de Poutrincourt through his mother, Lady Jehanne de Salazar. The Seine and Aulbe rivers render the situation of this domain as beautiful as it is strong and eligible for defense. Here, in the beginning of February, one thousand six hundred and ten, he partly equipped his ship, loading it with furniture, provisions, and munitions of war; and, indeed, so freighted it down that the sides were only two finger lengths out of the water Mesnwhile, the river had risen until it could no longer be confined in its bed, on account of the long winter rains. Often threatened by floods and by imminent perils in the passages from Nogent, Corbeil, Sainct Clou, Ecorche-veau and other places, where vessels were wrecked before his eyes, he was not in the least [page 129] affected by fear. At last he arrived at Dieppe, and, after a sojourn there, he put to sea upon the 26th of this same month of February. Many people of that city wished him well in his voyage and prayed God for its success. The season was stormy, and contrary winds prevailed the greater part of the time. But we may indeed call a [7] voyage fortunate, which brings us at last safe into port. They were not far away when they met, in the direction of Casquet, a ship of Forbans, a who, seeing that the Sieur and his crew were all ready to defend themselves if attacked, sailed on past them. On the 6th of March they met eleven Flemish ships, and they saluted each go other by a discharge of cannon. From the 8th to the 15th there was a tempest, during which talk Sieur, who was lying down on the poop, was thrown from his bed, over the table, to that of his son. This bad weather made them turn their route more to the South,b where they saw two of the Essores islands, Corbes and Flore; and there they had some fresh food by catching a few Porpoises. And as, according to the old saying, peace follows war, so, after these storms, there were calms more trying than the tempests, until Palm Sunday; for then, although there was rest, there was no satisfaction in it, for the food was being consumed and the good season was passing away; in short, a great calm is a very harmful thing upon the sea. But it does not last always; and sometimes (according to the fickle moods of Æolus) after the calm comes a favorable wind, sometimes a tempest; as happened shortly afterwards (namely, the day after Easter), and this caused a leak in the soute, which is the storeroom for bread or biscuit. Now the ship's carpenter, who went to repair the leak, while doing what his trade demanded, [page 131] interfered with the public prayers which were being offered in the morning, and the Sieur commanded him [8] to do his work outside. He obeyed, and there found the Rudder broken (which is a very dangerous thing); wishing to readjust it, while he was engaged in the work, a he fell from his scaffolding into the sea. And it was well that the weather had moderated; for otherwise there would have been a man lost. But he was rescued by the efforts of the sailors, who threw him a rope by which he saved himself.

On the 11th of May, the sounding lead was cast, and bottom was found at 80 b fathoms, a sign that they were upon the Codfish Banks. There they stopped to obtain fresh food, either fish or birds, which are abundant upon these Banks, as I have described fully in my History of New France. When the Banks were passed, after having encountered several contrary winds, at last they landed in the neighborhood of Pemptegoët, c (the place that our Geographers designate by the name Norembega); and the Sieur caused Mass to be said upon an Island, which he called Ascension, because they arrived there upon that day. Thence they came to Sainte Croix, the first settlement of our French upon this coast, where the Sieur had prayers offered for the dead who had been buried there since the first voyage made by sieur de Monts, in the year 1603. Then they went up the river Sainte Croix, where they found such a great number of Herrings at every tide, that they had enough to feed a whole city. During the other seasons there are other kinds of fish, but at that time it was the Herring season. Also there are trees there of [9] indescribable beauty, height, and grandeur. Upon this same coast, before reaching Port Royal, d they saw the funeral ceremonies over the corpse of a [page 133] savage who had died in the land of the Etechemins. The body was resting upon a plank supported by four stakes, and covered with skins. The next day, a great crowd of men arrived, who performed their customary dances around the corpse. One of the old men held a long pole, upon which were dangling three of their enemies' heads; others carried other trophies of their victories; and thus they continued to sing and dance for two or three hours, chanting the praises of the dead instead of the Libera of Christians. Afterwards each one made him a gift of some kind, such as skins, kettles, peas, hatchets, knives, arrows, a Matachias, and articles of apparel. When all these ceremonies were finished, they carried him, for burial to an isolated island, far from the mainland. And, leaving there, the Sieur sailed for Port Royal, the place of his residence.


Sieur de Poutrincourt had hardly taken breath after so many labors, when he sent for Membertou, chief and oldest Captain of this country, to refresh his memory in regard to some of the principles of the Christian Religion, which we had [10] previously taught him, and to instruct him more fully in things which concern the salvation of the soul; so that, he being converted, many others might follow his example. As in truth it came to pass. For after having been catechized for some time, and his family with him, he was baptized, as were also twenty others of his company, upon saint John the Baptist's day, 1610. I have enrolled their names in my History of New France,b just as they are written over there in the baptismal register of the mother-Church, which is at Port Royal. The Pastor who accomplished this [page 135] master-piece [chef d'æuvre] was Messire Jesse Fleuche, a native of Lantage, in the diocese of Langres; he is a scholarly man, and received his commission a from Monsieur, the Ambassador of the Holy Father, the Bishop of Rome, who was then, and is still, in Paris. Not that a French Bishop might not have given it to him; but, as this one was chosen, I believe the said commission is as good from him (since he is a Bishop), as from another, although he is a stranger. However, I leave the consideration of this matter to those who have more interest in it than I have, it being a question that admits of dispute on both sides since here he is not in his diocese. This Ambassador called Robert Ubaldin, gave him permission confessions from all people over there, and to absolve them from all sins and crimes not strictly reserved to the Apostolic see; and to impose upon them penances, according to the character of the sin. Furthermore, he gave him power to consecrate and bless the chasubles, and other priestly vestments, and the altar furnishings, except [11] the Corporals, Chalices, and Patens. It is thus that I have seen it stated in the credentials granted to the said Fleuche, first Patriarch of those lands. I say patriarch, because that is what he was generally called: and this was an incentive to him to lead a life full of integnty and innocence, as I believe he has done. Now these baptismal ceremonies were not without solemnity. For Membertou ( and conse quently b the others), before being introduced into the Church of God, made an examination of all his past life, confessed his sins, and renounced the devil, whom he had served. Then each one joined heartily in singing the Te Deum, and there was a joyful discharge of cannon, so that the Echoes lingered in Port Royal [page 137] nearly a quarter of an hour. God has shown great mercy in granting that this man should receive the gift of Faith, and the light of the Gospel, at the age to which he has attained, which is, I believe, one hundred and ten years, or more. He was named Henry, after our late King, Henry the Great. Others were given the names of the holy Father, the Pope of Rome, of the Queen, of my Lords and Ladies, her children, of Monsieur the Nuncio, and of other notable personages over here, who haare been, chosen as godparents, as I have written in my History a But I do not see that these godparents have: remembered their children, nor that they have sent them anything to support, aid, and encourage them in remaining firm in the Religion which they have accepted: for, if you give them bread, you can make them believe almost anything you wish; when, little by little, their land [12] is cultivated, they will derive from it their support. But they must be assisted in the beginning. Sieur de Poutrincourt has done this as far as he was able, even going beyond his means, for which he fasted afterwards, as we shall relate elsewhere.


Three weeks after the Sieur's arrival at his estates in Port Royal, he made up his mind to send back to France his eldest son, the Baron de sainct Just, a young Gentleman who is well versed in seamanship, and whom, upon this occasion, Monsieur the Admiral has honored with the title of Vice-Admiral of the Western ocean and its more distant coasts. For, being obliged to furnish food for a great many men at least during the space of a year and more, while [page 139] waiting for the wheat crop, he needed a new supply of provisions and merchandise suitable for general use, both for himself and his people, and for the Savages. So he had him leave on the 8th of July, enjoining him to be upon his return voyage in four months; and he accompanied him in a Pinnace, or large boat, for about one hundred leagues. At this season it is pleasant to sail along the coast, for there are a great many islands in the neighborhood of Cape Fourchu and Cape Sable, which are so full of birds, that all there is to do is to knock them down and reload also, fish are so plentiful, that it is only necessary to throw out the line and draw it in. Contrary winds having several times [13] forced them to cast anchor among these islands, this gave them an opportunity of verifying what I have said. So sainct Just continued to coast along for two hundred leagues, until he had passed Sable island, a dangerous place because it is low and has no safe harbor, it is twenty leagues from the mainland opposite the land of Bacaillos. On the 28th of July, he reached the Codfish a Banks, where he obtained fresh food and met several ships from our French ports, and one English ship whence he received the first news of the death of our great King Henry. This grieved him and his crew, on account of the sad circumstances surrounding the death, and because they feared trouble might arise from it. Sunday, the first day of August, they left these Banks; on the 20th they sighted the land of France, and on the 21st entered the port of Dieppe.


As sieur de Poutrincourt sailed along the coast, while accompanying his son upon his return, he found [page 141] some Savages whom he knew, encamped upon an island and engaged in fishing; they were overjoyed at his arrival, and after some talk about Membertou and others, and about what had taken place at their baptism, a he asked them if they did not wish to be like him, to believe in God and be baptized: this they [14] agreed to do after they had been instructed. And thereupon he sent them to Port Royal, where more time could be given to confirm them in the Faith and doctrines of the Gospel; they went there and were baptized. Meanwhile the Sieur continued on his way, always following the coast, until he came to Cape de la Héve, near which place he consigned his son, sieur de sainct Just, to the care of God and, veering around the cape, he sailed toward the river of la Héve, which forms a port more than two leagues wide and six leagues long, expecting to find there a Chief, whom the French had for a long time called Martin. But he had gone away, on account of the deaths which had occurred there from some form of dysentery. Afterwards, this Martin, having heard that the Sieur had done him the honor of coming to visit him, followed him up with thirty-five or forty men, and near Cape Sable overtook him and thanked him for this visit. The Sieur, who is a pleasant and agreeable gentleman, received him kindly; although some time before, in the year 1607, he had been somewhat angry at him, because when he, (the Sieur), with only a few men, was passing this same la Héve, seeing himself surrounded by three canoes full of Savages, he made them all get in line upon one side. Thereupon, Martin having remarked that the Sieur was afraid of them, the former was, in fact, in danger of seeing that his conclusion was wrong. At this last [page 143] meeting, Martin was treated with great kindness, and invited to become a Christian like Membertou and b several others, and [15] to go to Port Royal to be more fully instructed. He promised to do this and to bring all his company. And, as the Savages never go to visit their friends empty-handed, he went hunting, that he might get some venison for this occasion; meanwhile the Sieur went on ahead, in order to meet them there (i. e. at Port Royal). But near Cape Fourchu, c behold him carried by a land breeze straight out to sea, and so far, that he was six days without food (except some birds caught upon an island, which he still had), and without other fresh water than what he could sometimes catch in the sails; in short, seeing nothing but sky and water; and if he had not had a small compass, he would have been in danger of being carried to the coast of Florida by the violence of the winds, the tempests, and the waves. At last, owing to his good judgment and energy, he was able to land near the island of sainte Croix, where Oagimont, Captain of the place, brought him some sea-biscuits, for which he had traded with the French people. And thence, being familiar with the place, he crossed French bay, about twenty leagues wide here, and reached Port Royal, five weeks after his departure. Here he found his people wondering greatly at his long absence, and already meditating a change, which could not have been otherwise than disastrous. It is thus, at the peril of his life, and with incredible hardships and sufferings, he goes out to seek the lost sheep, to lead them back into the fold of Jesus Christ, and to add to the heavenly Kingdom. And if these people are not converted by the thousand, it must be remembered [161 that no Prince or Lord has, up to the present, [page 145] given any assistance to sieur de Poutrincourt; the avaricious are even stealing from him the wealth of his province, and he permits this in his goodness, in order to do nothing that will exasperate the nobles over here; although, as the King has given him the land, he would be justified in refusing to others the fruits thereof, as well as entry into his ports, and the cutting down of his forests. When he has more ample means, he can send men into the more populous districts, where they must go in strength, and reap a great harvest for the extension of the Church. Put we must first establish the State, without which the Church cannot exist. And for this reason the first help should be given to this State, and not to what has the pretext of piety. For, when the state is founded it will be its duty to provide for that which is spiritual. Let us return to Port Royal. When the Sieur arrived there he found Martin and his friends, baptized, and all strongly imbued with zeal for the Christian Religion, listening very devoutly to divine service, which was usually sung to Music composed by the Sieur.

This zeal is noticeable, not only in the Christian neophytes, as we shall state more in detail hereafter; but also in those who are not yet initiated into the sacred mysteries of Religion. For, as soon as Martin was baptized, there was one who was absolutely fleshless, having nothing left but bones, who, not having been with the others, dragged himself, with great suffering, through three cabins, [17] seeking the Patriarch Fleuches, to be instructed and baptized.

Another living at the bay saincte Marie, more than a dozen leagues from Port Royal, being sick, sent posthaste to the Patriarch, to let him know he was detained by sickness, and fearing that he might [page 147] die, desired to be baptized. The Patriarch went to him, and, with the help of an interpreter, did for him what pertained to his office as a good Pastor.

As to the Christians, one of these Savage neophytes, previously named Acoüanis, and now Loth, becoming ill, sent his son with all speed more than twenty leagues distant, to request the prayers of the Church, and to say that, if he died, he wished to be buried in the Christian cemetery.

One day sieur de Poutrincourt went to see the dismemberment of a Deer which had been killed by Louis, eldest son of Henry Membertou; and, when d all embarked for their return and were riding upon the waves of the broad river of Port Royal, it happened that the wife of Louis was delivered of a child, and, seeing that it was short-lived, they cried loudly to our people, Tagaria, Tagaria, that is, "Come here, Come here." So the child was immediately baptized by the aforenamed Pastor.

This year the country has been visited, here and there, by dysenteric troubles, which have been fatal to those affected by them. It happened that Martin was stricken a week after his baptism with the disease, and died thereof . But [ I 8] it is worthy of being remembered that this dying man always had the sacred name of Jesus upon his lips. In his last moments he requested that when he died he should be buried with the Christians. There was some trouble about this. For the Savages having still some reverence for the burial places of their fathers and friends, wished to take him to Cape Sable, forty leagues distant from the Port. On the other hand, the Sieur wished to have him buried according to his request. Thereupon a dispute arose, and the Savages, seizing their bows and arrows, wanted to take away the [page 149] corpse. But the Sieur placed a dozen arquebusiers under arms, who carried it off without resistance, after he had demonstrated to them that this had been the intention of the deceased, and that, being a Christian, he must be buried with his fellow Christians and so he was, with the usual prayers of the Church. When this was done, they were all given some bread, and went away happy.

But as we are now on the subject of sickness and death, I do not wish to pass over in silence a custom which I did not know about, and which, never having seen practiced, I did not speak of in my History of New France. It is, that when our Savages see a person gradually failing from old age or sickness, h a certain compassion they hasten his death, g him that he must die to procure rest, that. it is a wretched thing to languish from day to day, that he is only a burden to them, and offer other similar arguments, by means of which they make the sick man resolve to [19] die. And then they take away from him all food, give him his beautiful robe of Beaver or other fur, and place him in a half-reclining posture upon his bed, singing to him praises of his past life, and of his fortitude in death; to this he agrees, and replies with his last chant, like the Swan; When it is finished, all leave him, and he considers himself happy to die rather than to linger on. For these people, being nomadic, and not being able to continue living in one place, cannot drag after them their fathers or friends, the aged, or the sick. That is why they treat them in this manner. If they are sick, they first make incisions into their stomachs, from which the Pilotois, or sorcerers, suck the blood. And, whatever the cause, if they see a man can no longer drag himself along, they put him in the condition [page 151] above described, and throw upon his navel so much cold water, that Nature weakens little by little, and thus he dies with great steadfastness and fortitude.

This is the way they had treated Henry Membertou when he was sick. But he sent and asked sieur de Poutrincourt to come and see him that very day, otherwise he would be dead. At this request the Sieur went to seek Membertou at the farther end of Port Royal, four leagues away from his fort; to him the said Membertou related his story, saying he did not care to die yet. The Sieur consoled him, and had him lifted up and taken away with him. Then, when they arrived at the Fort, he had a good fire prepared for him, and, placing him near it upon a good bed, had him rubbed, [20] nursed, well cared for, and doctored; and the result was, at the end of three days, behold Membertou up and about, ready to live fifty years longer.

You cannot all at once eradicate the deep-rooted customs and habits of any people, whoever they may be. The Apostles did not do it, neither was it done several centuries after them; witness the ceremonies of the candles on Candlemas, the Processions of the Rogation-days, the Bonfires of saint John the Baptist's day, the holy Water, and many other traditions that we have in the Church, which have been introduced for a laudable purpose, to convert to a good usage what had only been abused. So, although Membertou's family were Christians, nevertheless they had not yet been taught that it is not lawful for men to shorten the days of the aged, or sick, although they think they are doing right; but rather that they must await the will of God, and leave Nature to do her work. And certainly a Pastor is excusable who fails to do things of which he has no knowledge. [page 153] Something similar was done in Martin's sickness. For they threw water upon him in this way, in order not to see him linger along; during his sickness, when the Patriarch and a man named de Montfort had caught for him, and made him eat some wild pigeon, which he liked very much, he asked them, as they were speaking to him about Heaven, if there would be any wild pigeon there. To which they answered that there was something better there, and that he would be happy. Such is the simplicity of a people [21] more fit to possess the kingdom of heaven than those who know a great deal, and whose deeds are evil. For they believe and carefully observe what is proposed to them, even reproaching our people for their carelessness, if they do not pray to God before and after eating; this was done a number of times by Henry Membertou, who likes to attend divine service, and always wears the sign of the Cross upon his bosom. Furthermore, not being able to formulate suitable prayers to God, he begged the Pastor to remember him, and all his brother Savages who have been baptized. Since the last baptism, of which we have spoken, there were several others, on the 14th and 16th of August, the 8th and 9th of October, and the 1st of December, 1610 And altogether the Pastor calculates that he has baptized one hundred and forty in one year, to whom have been given the names of many distinguished people over here, according to the inclinations of those who held the position of godfathers or godmothers these have given godsons to the following.


Monsieur the Prince de Conde.

Monsieur the Prince de Conty. [page 155]

M. the Count de Soissons.

M. the Duke de Nevers.

M. the Duke de Guise.

M. the Prince de Joinville.

M. the Prince de Tingry.

M. de Praslin.

M. Roger, Baron de Chaouree, son of sieur de Praslin.

M. de Grieu, Counselor in the Parliament of Paris. [22]

M. Servin, Advocate-general of the King in Parliament.

M. de la Guesle, Procuror-general of the King in Parliament.

M. the Count de Tonnerre.

Messire Jesse de Fleuchey, Patriarch of Canada.

M. Belot, called de Monfort.

M. de Jouy.

M. Bertrand, native of Sesane, present and assisting in these baptisms.

M. de Villars, Archbishop of Vienne, in Daulphine.

M. Descars, Bishop and Duke de Langres.

M. de Gondy, Bishop of Paris.

M. Dormy, Bishop of Boulongne.

M. de Braslay, Bishop of Troyes.

M. the Abbé of saincte Geneviefve, son of M. de Beauvais Nangis.

M. the Abbé of Clervaux.

M. de Vausemain, Baron de Chapleine, Bailiff of Troyes.

Brother Claude de Vauvillier, Penitencier of Molesme.

M. Bareton, Canon, grand Arch-deacon and Official of Troyes.

M. Douynet, Canon and Promoter at Troyes.

M. Megard, Canon and Treasurer of sainct Urbain, at Troyes.

M. Megard, Licentiate in Law, Canon in the Church of St. Estienne at Troyes.

M. Fombert, Canon in the Church of Vienne.

M. Guilliet, Canon at Vienne.

M. Bourguignon, pastor of Sainct Estienne au mont, Paris.

M. Daviau, Vicar and receiver of St. Estienne.

M. Rouvre, pastor of Lantage.

M. de Marquemont, auditor of Rothes, at Rome

M. de Savarre, Counselor in the Parliament of Paris

M. Vigor, Counselor in the grand Council.

M. de sainct Just.

M. de Lantage-baratier, sieur of Lantage.

M. Edme baratier, his son.

M. de Lantage Montleliart.

M. de Sainet Simon.

M. de la Berge. [page 157]

M. Auguste du Boullot, sieur de l'Estain.

M. Regnard, Secretary of the King's Chamber and of Monsieur the Procuror-general.

Mons. Symony, Sieur de Rouelle, Advocate at Langres. [23]

M. Fombert, Procuror in Parliament.

M. Davant, President and Lieutenant-general at Troyes.

M. de Bobus, Criminal Lieutenant at Troyes.

M. Bazin, Attorney of the King at that place.

M. Parmentier, Lieutenant of the short robe at Troyes.

M. Jacquinet, master of streams and forests at Troyes.

M. Megard, Lieutenant of Surgeons at Troyes,

M. Martin, Lieutenant-general of the Marquisate of Isle.

M. l'Evesque, Procuror at that place.

M. Iamin, Master of Rolls at that place.

M. de la Rue, Vicar of Virey soubs Bar.

M. Belot, treasurer extraordinary of the wars in Guienne.

M. Belot, military Commissioner.

M. Belot, sieur du Pontor.

M. Belot, Procuror in the grand Council.

M. Hardy, Receiver of taxes at Mans.

M. Marteau, Secretary to sieur Prevost Morel.

M. Bajouë, Master of Rolls at the bailiwick of Monfort Lamaury.

M. de Cresse, Clerk to Monsieur Estienne, Controller of the King's buildings.

M. du Val, Judge and Guard of Justice at Lantage.

M. de la Creuse, Secretary of Monsieur de Chastille.

Jean, Mathieu and Gregoire de Fleuchey, brothers of the Patriarch.

Pierre Roussel, his brother-in-law.

Ferry Roussel, son of Gabriel Roussel, of said Lantage.

Robert Roy, Sergeant Royal, Forester of the forest of Romilly.

Claude Jouguelat.

As to the women, goddaughters were given to the following.

Madame the Princess de Conde.

Madame the Princess de Conty.

Mad. the Countess de Soissons.24

Mad. the Duchess of Nevers.25

Mad. de Guise.26

Mad. de Longueville. [24]

Mad. de Praslain, mother of Sieur de Praslain.27

Mesdemoiselles Catherine. Blanche, and Claude, daughters of sieur de Praslain.

Mad. the Countess de Tonnerre. [page 159]

Mad. Anne de la Val, Lady of Ricey.

Mad. Françoise de Faulch, wife of sieur Delantage Baratier.

Mad. Charlotte, their daughter.

Mad. de Grieu.

Mad. de la Berge.

Mad. de Savare.

Mad. Anne Arlestain, wife of sieur de l'Estain.

Mesd. Philippa and Charlotte de Arlestain, his sisters.

Madam. Regnard, wife of Sieur Regnard.

Mad. Belot (wife of Treasurer.)

Madame Simony, widow of Monsieur Simony, Procuror in Parliament

Mad. de Beaulieu.

Mad. Marguerite Simony.

Mad. Hardy.

Mad. Belot, wife of Monsieur Belot, Procuror.

Mad. Bajouë.

Mad. Jeanne des Marets, wife of sieur Megard, Surgeon at Troyes.

Barbe Ramin, mother of the Patriarch.

Barbe de Fleuchey, his sister.

Jeanne, Clemence Roussel, and Valentine Drouin, wives of said Fleucheys, brothers of the Patriareh.

The above are the extracts I have made from a confused list of godfathers and godmothers, whom I wish to enumerate here so that they may do some good to those who have been baptized under their names, which I am willing to hope for, even from those of humble condition. And if the conversion of these people is not effected by thousands, we must consider the state of the country, in which there are not as many men as in our villages in France. A greater harvest could be reaped by those who could go farther beyond; but we must be willing to do what we can, and pray God that he may consent to do the rest, since men look upon this enterprise with so much contempt.


Sieur de Poutrincourt's piety requires that the first exercise of the day in this country be to pray to God [page 161] like Abel, who ( as Philo says ) offered his sacrifice to God in the morning; which Cain did not do. And sages observe, by citing Jacob, who received Isaac's first blessing, which was stronger than that given to Esau, that those who pray in the morning and receive the first benediction of God, affrays have a greater share in his mercies. Hence an illustrious personage of our times has written, among his moral precepts and truly golden sentences;

With the light thy day beginning,

Then praise the Name of the Eternal One;

Again at evening when thy work is done,

Thus spend the year his praises singing.

The Sieur has done this, having brought here, expressly at his own expense, the aforementioned Patriarch, who, I see from memoranda which I have has never spared himself in the performance of his duties, going sometimes four, sometimes twelve leagues away to baptize some of the children of the Savages, in answer to their requests, saying they wanted to be like Membertou, namely, Christians. Also sometimes he has led his band in a procession to a mountain North of their settlement, upon which there is a square rock [26] as high as a table, covered with thick moss, where I have sometimes enjoyed a pleasant rest. I have called this place mount de la Roque, in the sketch I made of Port Royal in my History, after one of my friends named de la Roque, Provost of Vimeu in Picardy, who desired to take up land there and to send over some men.

The second duty was to provide for the necessities of life, and to this end he employed his people, each according to his trade, as soon as they arrived; some were employed in tilling the ground, some in building. [page 163] some at the forge, some in making planks, etc. The Patriarch took possession of my apartment, and of my parterres and gardens, where he says he found, at his arrival, a great many radishes, parsnips, car- rots, turnips, peas, beans, and all kinds of good and productive culinary herbs. Occupying himself with these things, upon his return (which was the 17th of last June), he left a beautiful field of wheat with fine, well-flowered heads.

Several others were occupied in agriculture, this being the occupation of prime importance, and most necessary to human life. They have now (I suppose ) reaped the harvest thereof, except that of the trees they planted, which are not so prompt in bearing.

As to the Savages, they know nothing about cultivating the land, and cannot give themselves up to it, showing themselves courageous and laborious only in hunting and fishing. However, the Armouchiquois and other more distant tribes plant wheat and beans, but they let the women do the work.

[27] Our people, besides the farm and garden work, passed their time in hunting, fishing, and in making fortifications. Work was not wanting also in repairing and roofing the buildings and the mill, abandoned since our return in 1607. And, as the springs was some little distance from there, they dug a well in the Fort, and found the water very good. So that (wonderful to relate) they had no sickness, although there was sufficient cause for it in the privations they suffered. For Sieur de Sainct Just, son of Sieur de Poutrincourt, having been ordered to return in four months (as we have said above), was expected the last of November, with fresh supplies; yet he did not come until the day of Pentecost, the 22nd of the [page 165] following May. For this reason they were obliged to diminish their rations, of which they had rather a small quantity. To always eat fish (unless it is good and firm) or shellfish alone, without bread, is dangerous, and causes dysentery, as we have observed above in regard to certain Savages who died of it. We can prove this also by Sieur de Monts' men, who died, to the number of twenty, the first year they wintered at Kebec, both on account of their change of dwelling, and because they ate too many eels and other fish. Furthermore, game is not always to be found in abundance in a place where people are obliged to live on it, and where there is a permanent settlement. This is what makes [28] nomads of the Savages, and prevents them from remaining long in one place. When they have been six weeks in a place, they are obliged to leave their habitation. This winter, in the neighborhood of Port Royal they took six Grignaces or Elks, and brought a quarter or half of them to our people. But that did not go far with so many men. On Palm Sunday, Louis, the eldest son of Membertou, was on the trail of one which had reached Port Royal and was just crossing the river, when his wife caused an alarm by crying out several times, Ech’pada, Ech’pada, that is, "To arms, to arms." They thought it might be an enemy, but it was a welcome one. Sieur de Poutrincourt got into a boat to go and head it off, and, with the help of a big dog, made it turn back whence it came. There was some sport in chasing it so near its death. As soon as it approached the land, Louis pierced it through with an arrow, Sieur de Jouy discharged his arquebuse at its head, but Actaudinech’, or Paul, the younger son of Membertou, dexterously cut a vein in [page 167] its neck, which completely finished it. This gave our people some game, and consolation to their stomachs. But it did not last always, and they had to come back to ordinary fare. you must bear in mind that, in this cutting down of supplies, of which we have spoken, there were great responsibilities for the commandant; for mutinies and conspiracies arose; and on the one brand the cook stole a part of what belonged to the others, while a certain one cried "hunger" who had plenty of bread and meat in his [29] cell, as has been proven. Those who carried wheat to the mill, from fifteen bushels brought back only twelve of flour, instead of eighteen. They also took advantage of the necessity of others, in miserly traffic in Beaver skins with the Savages. Nevertheless (through too much kindness), all these faults were pardoned after they had been looked into. Poor fools, who take good counsel so lightly, and do not see what will become of them afterwards, and that their lives call only be assured by a perpetual exile from their country, and from all they hold dearest in the world.

During this scarcity they heard of some roots which the Savages eat in their time of need, and which are as good as Truffles. To seek for these some of the lazy ones, as well as the more industrious, began to dig; and did so well that, by working daily, they cleared about four acres, in which rye and vegetables were planted. It is thus that God can draw good from evil; he chastises his people and yet sustains them with his hand.

When the winter was over and the mildness of the weather allured the fish to seek fresh water, upon the 14th of April, men were sent out fishing. There [page 169] are a great many streams at Port Royal, and among them three or four where the fish swarm in the spawning season. One contains vast numbers of Smelts in April. Another, Herring, another, Sturgeon and Salmon, etc. So some were then sent to the river at the [30] back of Port Royal, to see if the Smelts had come. When they reached the place, Membertou ( who was encamped there ), received them hospitably, regaling them with meat and fish. Thence they went to the stream called Liesse by Sieur des Noyers, an Advocate in Parliament, where they found so many fish that they had to send and get some salt, to lay in a store of them. These fish are very tempting and delicate, and are not so injurious as shellfish are apt to be. They remain about six weeks in this stream; after that there is another small river near Port Royal, where Herring is found, also another to which Sardines come in great abundance. But as to the river of the Port, which is the river Equille, since named the Dauphin, at the time of which we speak it furnished Sturgeon and Salmon to any one who would take the trouble to fish for them. When the Herrings came, the Savages (with their usual good-nature) let the French know it by signaling from their quarters with fires and smoke. The hint was not neglected, for this kind of hunting is much more sure than that of the woods.


It was the 10th of May, when the last bread was baked, that they took counsel about returning to France, if help did not come within a month. This they were ready to do. But on the day of Pentecost (May 22nd] [310 God sent his consoling spirit to this [page 171] company, already so disheartened? and it came to them very opportunely in the arrival of Sieur de Sainct Just, of whom we must say a few words; for awhile ago we left him at the port of Dieppe, and have not seen what he has been doing since. When he was presented to the Queen, she was wonderfully pleased to hear about the conversion of several Savages, who had been baptized before the departure of sieur de Sainct Just, an account of which I published and presented to her Majesty. Thereupon the Jesuits offered themselves to aid in the work. The Queen favored the plan, and recommended them. I should have been glad, if, before their departure, some one had suggested to her Majesty a thing which she would willingly have done; namely, to send some presents of food and clothes to these Neophytes and new Christians, who bear the names of the deceased King, of the Queen Regent, and of my Lords and Ladies, the children of France. But every one looks out for his own interests. Sieur de Sainct Just, after his report had been made, meant to obtain protection for the Beaver trade, believing that considerations of a religious nature would easily secure this for him. However, he could not obtain it. And seeing that the affair was dragging on, and that he must go and relieve his father, having been ordered to so arrange affairs as to be back in four months, he took leave of the Queen, who sent with him two Jesuits for the conversion of the Savage tribes over there. But as sieur de Poutrincourt had taken an [32] able man at his departure, it seems to me that these men (who can be more useful here) were in too much of a hurry for the best interests of the Sieur; because the delay, which took place on their account, was very [page 173] detrimental to him, and caused a dissolution of his partnership. In such undertakings the State must first be founded, without which the Church cannot exist, as I have said before. I expressed my opinion on this subject to sieur de Sainct Just, to the effect that it was necessary to guarantee a living before anything else, to obtain a crop of wheat, to have cattle and domestic fowls, before they could bring these people together. Now this blind haste came very near, besides the above-mentioned losses, reducing the company that was over there to miserly and want as they had nothing left but the one baking of bread, already made and distributed.

Sieur de Poutrincourt had gone into partnership with two Dieppe merchants, who, seeing the two Jesuits,—namely, Father Biar[d], a very learned man, a native of Gascony, of whom Monsieur the first President of Bordeaux has given me a high opinion; and Father Nemon [Ennemond],—ready to embark, they objected, and did not want them to go upon the voyage, saying that they would willingly provide for all other kinds of men, Capuchins, Minimes, Cordeliers, Recollets, etc.; but, as to these, they did not want them at all, and could not consider themselves safe in their company; that if the Queen wished them to go there, let their [the merchants'] money be refunded, and they night do whatever they wished. Now there is a delay. [33] The Court must be written to, her Majesty must be informed of the situation, the money to reimburse the Merchants must be collected, and journeys must be made: meanwhile, the season is passing away. The Queen granted them two thousand écus, in addition to which collections were made from the families of Princes, Nobles [page 175] and people devoted to the cause, whence they obtained a great deal of money. In short, they reimbursed each of the Merchants two thousand livres, and at last set sail, the 26th of January, 1611. The weather was disagreeable, this being the roughest part of the winter. They were some time upon the sea, thinking they would be able to resist the winds, but the were compelled to put into port in England where they remained until the 16th of February. And the 19th of April they were upon the great Cod fish Banks, where they found some Ships from Dieppe and Sainct Malo. The 29th, being between these Banks and the island of Sable, they sailed before the wind a distance of twelve leagues, in the midst of ice, mountain high, upon which they disembarked get some fresh water, which they found good. In emerging from this ice, they met one of Sieur de Monts' ships, commanded by Captain Champlein, whose return we are awaiting to learn of some new discoveries. Afterwards, they continued to encounter other masses of ice, for a distance of fifty leagues, which they had much difficulty in outsailing. The fifth of May, they sighted the land and port of Campseau, the location of which can be seen in the great geographical Chart in my History. [34] Father Biar[d] sang Mass there; then they sailed along the coast, so that the 21st of May they cast anchor at the entrance to the passage which leads to Port Royal.

The same day sieur de Poutrincourt had called his people together to pray to God, and to prepare themselves for the celebration of the Pentecostal feast. And, as each one had placed himself at his post of duty, suddenly, about three hours after bedtime, there is heard the sound of cannon and trumpet, [page 177] which awakes the sleepers. Scouts are sent out; they are found to be friends. Then there is joy and gladness and Thanksgivings to God in a procession the mountain of which I have spoken above. The first question which the Sieur asked his son, was about the King’s health. He answered that he was dead. In reply to further inquiries, he told the story as he had heard it in France. Thereupon, they all began to weep, even the Savages joining in after they had heard about the catastrophe; and they continued to mourn for a long time, just as they would have done for one of their greatest Sagamores.

Sieur de Sainct Just had hardly arrived, when the Etechemin Savages (who love sieur de Poutrincourt) came to announce to him that there were three Ships upon their coasts, from St. Malo and Rochelle, which there boasting that they would devour him as the Gougou would a poor Savage. Upon hearing this, sieur de Poutrincourt would not even wait to have the lately-arrived ship unloaded; but straightway went and anchored opposite [35] these three Ships, and summoned all the Captains to come and speak with him. They obeyed, and the sieur made them acknowledge the authority of his son, as Vice-Admiral the said lands of the West. One of the Malouin Ships, while trying to make some resistance, was taken, but the sieur, with his usual good-nature, released it, after having admonished it never again to come to sea without its Charter-party. There Father Birat [Biard] said Mass, and did all he could to bring each one to a sense of his duty. In particular, he caused a young man to acknowledge his transgressions, who had passed the winter with the men and women Savages: he [the young man] asked pardon from him [Poutrincourt] to whom this was due; [page 179] and received the Communion from his [the Father’s] hand. After this they all returned to Port Royal, with great rejoicing.

In the delay previously mentioned may be found the reason why these ships and others, having arrived before sieur de Sainct Just, took away all that was valuable in the country as regards the Beaver and other fur trade, which would have reverted to Sieur de Poutrincourt’s sailors if his son had returned from over the sea at the time stipulated. And besides, more than six thousand escus [écus] worth of peltries would have been saved which the Savages devoured during the winter, and which they would have come to Port Royal to exchange, had they found there what they needed. A wicked act was also committed before the ship's departure from Dieppe, by the Overseer of the boat, who, being charged to load [enruner] the wheat, appropriated it to his own profit, [36] which contributed to the scarcity which our countrymen suffered over there. And yet God so sustained them, that no one has been sick; even those who have come back, are fortunate in that respect and there is not one of them who would not like to return to that country.



What I have just related may be attributed to the grace of God; as also the roots that were sent them in their need, which we have already mentioned; and furthermore, the exercise given the lazy ones who would not take part in tilling the soil, and who, without intending it, prepared for cultivation a fine field, while seeking for these roots. But more particularly the exemption from sickness, which is a [page 181] very evident miracle. For, as to former sojours, not one has been passed without some deaths, although they were well provided for. And in this one not only the healthy remained well, but also those who were afflicted with ill-health in France have there recovered. A witness of this is a worthy man named Bertrand,{29} who, at Paris, was daily tormented with the gout, from which he was entirely free over there. But since he came back here, the same trouble has returned with more severity than ever, although he takes care not to indulge in excesses.

[37] But who will not recognize God's peculiar graces in the case of Sieur de Poutrincourt and his crew when, upon his return from accompanying his son he was carried by a land breeze out into the open sea, in danger of making a visit to Florida, or of being overwhelmed by the billows, as we have stated above.

I call it also a miracle that these poor people have conceived such an opinion of the Christian Religion, that as soon as they are sick they ask to be baptized; and, even when they are well, they approach it with great Faith, saying they wish to be like us, fully recognizing their own shortcomings. Membertou, the great Sagamore, exhorts every one of the Savages to become Christians. All bear witness that since they have been baptized they are afraid of nothing, and go out boldly at night, the devil no longer tormenting them.

When Sieur de Sainct Just arrived at Campseau, the Savages who had not been baptized ran away in fear. But those who were baptized, about fifty in number, approached boldly, saying, "We are thy brothers, Christians as thou art and thou lovest us Hence we fly not away and are not afraid:" and [page 183] they carried the Sieur upon their arms and shoulders to their wigwams.

Towards the end of Spring, when Membertou's children had gone hunting, where they remained a long time, it happened that Membertou was sorely pressed for food; and in this time of need [38] he remembered that he had formerly heard our people say that God, who feeds the birds of the air and the beasts of the fields, never abandons those who have hope in him, according to the words of our savior.

So, in this necessity, he began to pray to God , after having sent his daughter to see if there were any signs of fish in the mill-creek. He had not been a long time in prayer, when lo, his daughter comes running back crying in a loud voice, Nouchich’, Beggin pech’kmok, Beggin ëta pech’kmok, that is, "Father, the herring have come; the herring have come indeed." And he saw effectually, and to his satisfaction, God's care over his own. He (or some of his family) also had proof of this upon another occasion, in a like time of need, when he encountered an Elk, and another time a stranded Whale.

Who will deny that it was a special manifestation of the providence of God towards his own, when he sent to Sieur de Poutrincourt the desired help upon the day of last Pentecost, of which we have made mention above?

I will not repeat what I have written in my History of New France, book 4, chap. 4, of the wonderful thing which happened, during Sieur de Mont’s first sojourn, to Master Nicolas Aubry, Priest, of a good family in Paris, who w as sixteen days lost in the woods, and at the end of that time was found, very much emaciated, in truth, but still living; and he is liking yet, and is singularly devoted to the [page 185] enterprises being carried on in behalf of that country, whither his [39] desires more than ever attract him, as well as all others who have once made the voyage; these I have observed are almost all desirous of risking their fortunes there, if God would open up the way for them to do something. To this the great do not care to lend their ears, and the small have not wings strong enough to fly so far. Nevertheless there is something strange and incredible the perseverance of both Sieur de Monts and Sieur de Poutrincourt; the former having continued to send expeditions over there for ten years; and the latter, in spite of the difficulties enumerated above, having recently sent over another one, awaiting here the return of spring, to go again to see his people. May God grant to both the means of doing something which may succeed to the glory of his name, and to the welfare of the poor people whom we call Savages.


[page 187]

[40] Extract from the Royal License.

By the grace and Prerogative of the King, permission is granted to Jean Millot, Bookseller in the University of Paris, to print or to have printed, to sell and distribute throughout all our Kingdom, as often as he may desire, in such form or character as he may see fit, a book entitled, History of New France, containing the voyages made by the French to the West Indies, and new countries of New France, and the discoveries made by them in said places. To which are added The Muses of New France. Also a number of Charts in copper-plate, which represent the Provinces, Ports, and other things appertaining to said History, composed by Marc Lescarbot, Advocate in the Court of Parliament. All this to remain valid until the expiration of six full and complete years, counting from the day Upon which said book shall be finished. During said period of time, all Printers, Booksellers, and other persons of whatsoever rank, quality, or condition, are prohibited from publishing, selling, imitating, or Changing said book, or any part there-of, under penalty of confiscation of the copies, and of fifteen hunclred livres fine, one half of which is to be paid to us, and one half to the poor of the public hospital of this city of Paris, together with the costs, damages and interests of the aforesaid petitioner. Notwithstanding all cries of Haro, Norman Charter, Licenses, letters, or other appeals and counter-claims, opposed to this, now or in future And His Majesty also wills that in placing an extract [page 189] from said License in the beginning or at the end of said book, it shall be regarded as a notice duly served, as has been more fully described in the patents of his Majesty. Given in Paris the 27th day of November, in the year of grace 1608, and of our reign the eleventh.

By the King in Council.




Relatio Rerum Gestarum

in Nova-Francia Missione, Annis 1613 & 1614

Lyons: CLAUDE CAYNE, 1618

Source: we follow the general style of O'Callaghan's Reprint No. 6. The Title and Tabula Rerum are the work of that Editor. The 'I'ext is from the original volume of Annuæ Litteræ Societatis Iesu, Anni CID IDC XII, pp 562-605, in the Riggs Library, Georgetown, D. C. The bracketed pagination is that of the Annuæ; that in Roman, of O'Callaghan.


[page 193]




Mission of New France



From the Published Annual Letters of the

Society of Jesus






[iii] Table of Contents.



What New France is






Customs of the people



First exploration of New France



Location, rivers, and inhabitants



The capes; the five settlements of the French



Origin of the settlement of St. Sauveur St. at the mouth of the river Pentegoët



Our fathers land at Port Royal



Labors of our fathers



Their hardships



The Fathers gather roots and fish for the support of the colony [iv]



La Saussaye leaves France for the purpose of establishing new missionary stations, and begins the settlement of St. Sauveur



Attack of the English upon the mission of St. Sauveur, and the destruction of the forts of Ste. Croix and Port Royal



The Fathers are carried to Virginia and thence to England



Summary of occurrences in the mission of New France


[562] The Mission in New France, or Canada.

EW FRANCE, an immense region adjoining the coast of Aquitaine in a westerly direction, is situated between the same parallels of latitude as [563] is our France; and is separated from it by the very moderate voyage of 800 leagues, or, where the ocean is broadest, of 1,000 leagues. Because it is thus opposite and near to our France, our ancestors called it New France; and for this nomenclature another especially appropriate reason occurred in the good fortune by which our French fellow-countrymen were the first to take possession of this hitherto X known region, and visited it in frequent voyages more than a hundred years ago. But the name of Canada, which is commonly given to this entire country, belongs only to that Northern region which is washed by the abundant waters of the river Canada, and of the noble gulf which is called St. Lawrence. Indeed, the whole territory of New France, although flow much more confined than formerly, towards the frontiers of Florida, is nevertheless bounded on the South by the thirty-ninth parallel, and extends many leagues beyond the breadth of our France. Moreover, it stretches with yet unknown limits towards the North, and in vast expanses to the Chinese sea on the West; finally it is bounded Eastward by our Aquitanian and Breton Ocean, lying opposite and between the same parallels [page 199]

There ought to be in that region the same sort of Climate in every respect as that of our France, from the fact, as we pointed out, of its similar situation, and this is actually the case. Moreover, there is no reason why the soil should not be equally fertile, if the cultivation of the plains were long continued upon to lands, and if it were not for the dense shades of the almost unbroken forests. [564] For the subsoil whole country is very rich, as trees of immense size and height readily demonstrate. That the surface-soil is also endued with great fertility is shown by the pleasing luxuriance of the vegetation over all the plains.

The people Comprise many tribes diverse in language and situation, united by no mutual purposes or interests; possessing neither laws nor arts, and knowing no other means of gaining a livelihood than by fishing and hunting; having almost no conception of Deity or concern for salvation; indolent in every occupation, and dull in those pursuits which depend upon talent or memory. On the whole, the race consists of men who are hardly above the beasts. One tribe hardly ever has intercourse with another, either distant or near, except such as may arise in the prosecution of offensive or defensive warfare. Even the members of the same tribe, united by a common location and the vicinity of their dwellings, are seldom accustomed to meet together, except to take measures concerning war against a common enemy. Of foreign nations, the French are almost the only people whom they admit to their harbors, for the sake of disposing of their Beaver skins and other peltries, in exchange for necessary clothing and utensils.

Among French navigators, the Bretons first explored this part of the new world in 1504; after they brought back reports of it, they had in [page 201] subsequent voyages thither, many Companions or rivals,—not only the Normans, but also other dwellers on the Sea-coast of France. In the nineteenth and also in the twentieth year thereafter, John Verazano, [565] a Florentine; and, in the thirty-fourth year thereafter, Jacques Quartier, a Frenchman of Brittany, severe sent as commanders by Francis I., King of France; and, by the occupation of this region under his authority, brought it under the jurisdiction of that King, and also of his successors. Various French expeditions, sent out at intervals, continue to this day to maintain that possession for the Kings of France. Some of our brethren were also sent last year in order, by the authority of Henry IV., to unite the tribes joined in friendship and Alliance with the French, and also the remaining Canadians, by the far holier tie of the Gospel, to Christ, the king of kings. Before rate begin to speak concerning this undertaking, we must, in addition to our general description, explain more fully some matters concerning the country and people.

New France presents to the French, as they approach it, two coasts, one which borders with a narrow frontage upon our Ocean to the East; and another far longer, which extends Southward to the confines of Florida. The former side abounds in bays and estuaries, by which one may readily penetrate the interior; by these routes the French usual these regions; but, since the other coast, lying opposite our France, is rendered almost inaccessible by the intervention of a great island which they call Newfoundland, our people do not approach in that direction. The immense plain in that quarter is watered by a river of vast size and mighty volume, its course directly eastward from almost the farthest [page 203] west, until, by reason of the narrow strait at the island of Newfoundland [566] and the opposition of the island itself, its mouth is broadly curved towards the Southern coast. The native name of that river is Sacqué, the French have called it St. Lawrence: its source the natives seek more than 500 leagues distant, in a lake 300 leagues in width. Into this main stream other noble rivers flow from the North, such as the Saguenay, the Three Rivers,—or three rivers flowing together,—the Algomequi, and many others. these rivers are open for navigation far Northward—the Saguenay five hundred leagues, the Three Rivers four hundred leagues. From the mountains upon the Southern bank of the Sacqué River other notable streams flow across to the Southern coast of the Ocean, and from these the native names for most of the tribes and districts of that region are derived; but upon some of them the French afterward conferred names after their own fashion. The rivers flowing Southward are the St. John, Pentegoët, Quinibequi, Choüacoet,11 and Norembega, which last stream Champlain asserts to be the same as the Pentegoët. The tribes across the Sacqué or St. Lawrence, towards the North, not far from its mouth, are the Canadis and Excomminquis;11 but at a distance from these, on the same Northern shore, toward the west. in the direction of Florida, dwell the Algomeguis and the Ochasteguis. Across the St. Lawrence, on the Southern bank, the Canadi live also, directly at the bend of the great river, which turns from the East towards the South. Beyond them, toward the West, lie the Souriquois, inhabitants of the country of Acadia; thence, toward the Pentegoët or Norembega River, the Pentegoëts;6 [567] to their right, looking Westwards about the fortress at [page 205] Québec,59 the Montagnais; beyond the Pentegoëts, directly toward the Quinibequi River, the Eteminquis; then the Almochiquois, at the Choüacoet River, scattered over a very extensive region; finally. between Florida and the great Sacqué River, the Iroquois inhabit enormous tracts of both level and mountainous country. Many of the remaining tribes of New France. especially those of the North, across the great Sacqué River, our French countrymen know only from hearsay. Among those whom they know, however, they have secured as friends, and almost as allies, the Souriquois, Eteminquis, Montagnais, Almochiquois, Algomequois, and Ochasteguis. The Iroquois, who are deadly enemies of these tribes, prove hostile to the French also, mainly because the latter have waged war against them, in company with their enemies. Certain of these tribes—the Almochiquois, Iroquois, and Ochasteguis—practice agriculture, though unskillfully, and plant Indian corn and the Brazilian bean.

Numerous headlands meet those who approach New France by the Southern coast: Breton, at the very mouth of the great river St. Lawrence; next in order, La Hève, Mouton, Sable, Fourchu, St. Louis, Blanc, Ste. Hélène. Those who coast along the same shore from Cape Breton meet the harbors called Campseau, Sesambre, Port Royal, and Beaubassin. But those who wish to journey inland, beyond the borders of Canada, by way of the Sacqué river, must pass Cape Breton, at the mouth of the St. Lawrence; Cap de l'Evêque, [568] Cap Chat, and some other headlands,—finally reaching Tadoussac bay at the mouth of the Saguenay river, where it enters the Sacqué.

Moreover, in this great extent of territory, by [page 207] means of numerous expeditions and in more than a century, the French have established only five settlements; the first of these was founded by Jacques Quartier during his last voyage, not at the inaccessible narrows and rocks of the place now called Saincte Croix, but in almost the very spot where now stands Quebec, fifteen leagues on this side of Ste. Croix. Another was built by Pierre du Gas, sieur de Monts, in the year 1604, upon a small island, among the Eteminquis, close to their Southern shore, to which settlement and island he gave the name of Saincte Croix. He also in the same year, upon a sort of peninsula on the Acadian coast, near Port Royal, erected a small fort of the same name, defended by a ditch and a rampart. Port Royal, and the fort of the same name as the harbor, are on what is called French Bay one hundred and fifty leagues from Cape Campseau, eight leagues from the sea. A bay among the French, as among the Spanish, is a large indentation in the land at the shore of the sea or of a great river, angular or round in shape, giving the waters entrance to the interior regions. At the head of French Bay is a harbor, reached by a channel three-quarters of a mile long; it is two leagues long and one wide, capable of receiving 2,000 large ships, and because of its majestic appearance was named Port Royal by the Frenchman Champlain. A third settlement was founded by sieur de [569] Monts, four years later, at the point of Québec, on the Southern bank of the Sacqué river, near the isle of Orleans, in the territory of the Montagnais; Champlain, who was in charge of the work, called this fort Quebec, from the name of the district,{41}' and observed that in almost the same place Jacques Quartier's post of Ste. Croix had in former [page 209] days been built. Our Fathers were laying the foundations of the fifth and last French settlement mouth of the Pentegoët river, when they we vented from prosecuting the work by a descent English, and carried off into captivity, contrary to justice and the law of nations. These details Which otherwise would have delayed the orderly narrative of events, having been thus first explained let us devote our pen to the Canadian expedition undertaken by our fathers.

Potrincourt had asked of Henry IV. the fort at Port Royal, because it had been granted as a gift to him by sieur de Monts at the very time of its establishment, which was perhaps the best reason he could give for advancing and maintaining his pretensions, and had obtained not merely a claim upon it, but its possession. Following the grant of this fort, and also the government of a definite territory in New France, to Potrincourt, the King informed Father Coton that he wished to employ the services of our Brethren in bringing the Savages to Christ. He also desired him to write to the general of the Society, in his own name, in order that Fathers might be selected for this undertaking, whom the King himself would take measures to send thither at the first available opportunity, while an annuity of 2,000 livres was to be allowed the Mission. It was during the eighth year of this century when the King made this decision in regard to Canadian affairs. but, in spite of his plans, by reason of more weighty business which called his attention elsewhere, [570] and also the hindrance caused by his death, but especially because of the negligence of those who were managing the Canadian province for the Crown, the departure of our brethren was delayed until the third year thereafter. Moreover, [page 211] either by some accident, or by the purpose Of men, it came to be delayed the entire space of three years, although our brethren were already equipped. Such difficulties, also, suddenly arose as plainly showed that our plans for this voyage were displeasing to the Evil Spirit. The Queen Shad paid over 500 golden crowns, according to the decree of the late King; Mesdames de Vernueil, de Sourdis, and de Guerchevelle had given generous contributions,—one, the sacred furniture of the altar; another, an abundance of linen vestments; the third, a very liberal allowance of money for the expenses of the voyage. Father Pierre Biard and Father Enemund Massé had been selected for the undertaking, and had prepared themselves with great courage, eagerly awaiting their departure. The day for sailing had been agreed upon by them with Biencourt, the son of Potrincourt, and Thomas Robin, the leaders of the expedition, for the 24th day of October, 1610; but, when they arrived upon that day, the ship was undergoing repairs, and that, too, in a negligent manner, upon the land; so far was it from being provided with suitable equipment either for navigation or for the Canadian colony. Two Calvinists had devoted their services and resources to the repair of the ship, and, because Biencourt and Robin lacked means to pay for the work, the Calvinist merchants had contracted for a specified portion of the profits of the voyage. By this right, as masters in the ship, they thought themselves able to declare, in the presence of the Jesuits, that there would be no place for them in the vessel; [571] and they emphatically asserted that, if it should be otherwise, they would straightway forsake the prosecution of the world and all other business in their contract. From this resolution, not even the authority of the Queen [page 213] herself, pronounced with dignity and Severity by Sieur de Cicoigne the royal Governor of the city of Dieppe, could move these servants of Calvin. The matter was apparently in a desperate condition, because only this one ship was that year being fitted out for New France, and the two Calvinists would not permit themselves to be moved in any respect. This difficulty of ours deeply pained Madame de Guercheville, a woman of extreme piety and great spirit; but her ingenuity speedily devised a method by which she might place us on the ship, not as passengers, but as partners, to the exclusion of the churlish Heretics. She therefore collected in a few days, from the leading men and women of the Court, 4,000 livres, as much as was necessary for fitting out the ship; and by raising that sum deprived the two Calvinists of a share in the vessel, establishing at the same time a sufficient capital from which there might each year be paid to the director of the Canadian undertaking an allowance for our Mission. When, therefore, by the diligence of this woman, the obstacles which delayed us had been removed, although nearly three months had been spent in equipping the ship, still, in the eleventh year of this century, on the 24th day of January, we set sail under the leadership of God, from the shore at Dieppe; and, after a voyage lasting in all four months, arrived at Campseau harbor, on the Southern coast of New France; at a distance thence of 120 leagues, either by sea or land, we joyfully entered Port [572] Royal. The exercises of the members of the Society in piety, humility, and kindness toward all manner of men, were especially observed by our brethren during that sea-voyage, because an expedition of great importance was being undertaken, and also for [page 215] the reason that, besides a few Calvinists, we were associated with officers and seamen to whom it was absolutely necessary that we should, on account of our frequent intercourse, give more correct ideas concerning the Institutum of the Society than they had formerly received. When we brought the ship to the Coast of this region, Champlain met us,—a mall renowned not only for his valor in other respects, but also for his voyages in this sea for seven years past; whom, to our utter amazement, we have seen battling against masses of ice. equal in size to great hills upon land, with the greatest courage, and with remarkable activity and skill, sailing forth bravely amid all these dangers. Concerning the St. Lawrence, the greatest river of Canada, this same Champlain writes, in his commentaries upon his voyages, that its surface is frozen to the depth of three entire yards, during January and the two following months, to the distance of a hundred leagues upward from its mouth; and that the freezing of the water does not extend farther, although no part of the river, since it flows directly from west to east, is more Northerly than another, or more protected by mountains, so as to be warmer. He adds also that in the beginning of April, by the melting of so great a mass of ice, the broad mouth of the St. Lawrence is almost blocked with frozen masses, which, he says, are carried forth a long distance into the sea, and usually melt within twelve days, each year.

The arrival of our brethren at French Bay [573] and Port Royal occurred on the 26th day of June, and also,—certainly a most auspicious omen,—the sacred feast of Pentecost. Nothing more Opportune could have happened to Potrincourt than the arrival of Supplies, if only these had been abundant, since his [page 217] privations had compelled him to place a portion or the colony to be supported among the Savages. Moreover, the fact that we had not come well-furnished with provisions was due, not only to the smallness of the ship, which was of only sixty tons burden, but also to the placing of more fishing tackle than provisions in the cargo; then, finally, by thirty-six persons, the number which was on board, there was a great consumption of the ship's stores during four entire months. Wherefore, Potrincourt, almost overwhelmed, at the Outset, by the necessity of maintaining sixty men in this scarcity of provisions, was forced to take early precautions lest the meagerly furnished storehouse at Port Royal should be left bare for the coming winter. As behooved the father of the colony, he took upon himself the burden of managing this business, and resolved that he himself would cross over to France. With about forty of the people at Port Royal, leaving his son Biencourt in command of the fort there, and the rest of the company, he set sail in the middle of July; and, in the latter part of August, he reached the French coast.

Meanwhile, the greatest desire of our brethren, zealously occupied with the performance of their duties, was at the start to know the language of the natives, which the Frenchmen—caring but little for it, with one exception—could not impart by rules, or teach with advantage; so only one method remained, to learn it from the stupid natives, not by lessons, but by constant practice. Consequently, after our associates had made various attempts to conciliate the Savages, by gifts, by friendliness, and by [574] every sort of service, they accomplished little or nothing. For, besides the fact that they employed teachers not it all fitted for instruction! from whom nothing could [page 219] be obtained unless their stomachs Were first liberally crammed, and who, being very impatient of even a short delay, would often be distracted and drawn away from one by earnest inquiry about any subject: the very nature of the language, also, so deficient in words suitable for the expression of even the most common ideas, evaded the eager pursuit of our men, and greatly disheartened them. Of those things, indeed. which fall under sight. touch. and the other senses, the names were obtained from the answers of the Savages in one way or another; but for those things which elude the senses, there is the greatest scarcity of names among that race, and also a profound ignorance of the things themselves. The knowledge of the latter class was despaired of, since the Savages either could not, or would not explain the former; one hope remained, in a young Frenchman, fluent in the native tongue, of remarkable kindness and affability, whom Father Biard also had laid under obligations to himself by no ordinary favors. This was Pontgravé, the son of Pontgravé, an excellent man, who in former years, together with Champlain, represented Sieur de Monts in New France; and this youth, who was preparing to pass the winter no farther than eighteen leagues from Port Royal, at the river St. John, our brethren were anxious to meet, with his own ready consent, and with inconvenience to no one, for the sake of the aid of his instruction in acquiring the Canadian language. Although Biencourt was consulted about this expedition, and also requested by our comrades that they might be allowed by his kind permission [575] to make progress through Pontgravé in the foreign idiom, by their ignorance of which, they were losing all the fruits of their voyage to New France, they did not [page 221] succeed; because such intercourse with Pontgravé inspired suspicion in Biencourt. While our brethren therefore patiently endured their troubles, until some path more suitable to their plans should be revealed, God placed within their reach the desire opportunity, for doing a kindness to Henry Membertou, a Sagamore who was dangerously ill, by caring diligently for the salvation of both his soul and body. Among this people the chief of each tribe is called a Sagamore and Membertou was a Sagamore among the Souriquois, in Acadia, to the St. John river, North of the fort at Port Royal. However, when he began to be afflicted with dysentery, he was residing at Bay Ste. Marie, as they call it, between Port Royal and the Southern coast, whence he had ordered himself to be brought into the fort, in order that he might profit by the care of our physicians. Our fathers received him into their narrow Cabins and, for many days, in the absence of his wife and daughter, by day and night, amid the noxious filth of a vile disease, freely bestowed upon him their services. as most assiduous and exceedingly solicitous attendants. When he had been absolved upon Confession, and anointed with the Holy oil, he arranged with Biencourt about his burial, and said that he wished to be interred in his own ancestral burial place. Biencourt, who did not think the matter of much importance, readily consented, and, upon hearing the objections of Father Biard to his decision, believed that trouble might be prevented if [576] that grave would be blessed according to the Christian rite. This opinion of Biencourt rendered Membertou so much the more steadfast in his resolution; Father Biard declared that he would not agree with them in this, and explained why he would not Consent. There [page 223] was no doubt that, if the Sagamore persisted in his purpose, and Biencourt continued to support him, some offense and disturbance would arise therefrom; but Divine providence prevented this evil. The day thereafter, Membertou of his own accord requested the usual Christian burial, in which resolution he died, evidently purposing by this act to leave his faith attested to all Christians and Savages, and to become a participant in the privileges of the Church. This Sagamore was in every respect a great man, not only in the opinion of his own people but in ours; and the good God seems to have raised this man’s excellent nature high above the ordinary character of the Canadians, in order that he might gather him to himself as the first fruits in righteousness of his race. Out of some 80 natives of New France whom since the beginning of June of the year 1610 a certain Josse, a priest unfamiliar with his duties, had heedlessly baptized, although they certainly had had no religious instruction, Membertou alone, who greatly excelled all his countrymen in acuteness and good sense, had wisely discerned how important it is not merely to he considered a Christian, but actually to live with a character agreeing to the name. And indeed, although the entire remainder of that 80 had continued their brutal mode of life ever since Baptism, this man alone deserved to be called a Christian, and indeed led a praiseworthy life in [577] the midst of dense ignorance, before our brethren had come thither. As he, first of all the inhabitants of New France, was sprinkled with the saving waters, it seems, beyond doubt, that he so imbibed their most potent virtue, that nothing remained for him but to secure those teachers, by whose instructions he would be trained in Christian principles until he should [page 225] become fit to introduce among his Countrymen an Apostolic teacher. Our brethren are competent witnesses of this burning desire; they often heard from his lips these words: "By the immortal God, Fathers, endeavor to quickly learn our language, in order that, after having employed you as teachers, I also, like you, may go forth as a public exhorter and instructor: and by our united labors the entire population of New France may be brought to Christ." This man, who survived hardly fifteen months after becoming a Christian, and was accorded but a few days of our training, was nevertheless rendered illustrious by many virtues truly Christian and belonging to a pious spirit; and, indeed, unique marks of an upright character had presaged in him this fruit which was so rich, a short time previously, while he was still living according to his ancestral customs. By the testimony of all the inhabitants of the province, this one man, in strength of mind, in knowledge of the military art, in the great number of his followers, in power, and in the reason of a glorious name among his countrymen, and even his enemies, easily surpassed the Sagamores who had flourished during many prececling ages. This universal honor and renown he could not have attained, even among Savages utterly untaught, except from an established reputation, the knowledge also of the exceptional justice of his [578] cartacter, and his temperance Indeed, concerning this last virtue, although nothing additional can be cited, there was certainly a distinguished example of a man of great self-restraint in the continual monogamy of Membertou, in Which rank, thus far, New France has recognized him alone as a phœnix indeed. For, though all the rest of the natives, but especially the Sagamores, covet above [page 227] all else from a multitude of wives a numerous train of progeny, and desire them as the especial Support and foundation of their power. Membertou could never be induced to conform to this custom of the race, because, with a certain wisdom deeper than that of the mass of Sagamores, he perceived that the evils arising among the quarreling wives and among the children of these rivals, beneath the same roof, more than balanced the increase of resources and of power that might arise from a large family. It is an observance of that race, from a superstitious rite which all especially revere, to never mention by name any deceased person; but to give each, according to circumstances, an additional appellation, by which they always designate him whenever they mention him. In conformity with this custom, they called Henry Membertou, because he had of late been highly renowned in warlike virtues, by a name agreeing with his reputation, meaning, in their language, Great Chief.

Potrincourt, the father of Biencourt, had sailed for France in the month of July for the sake of procuring supplies, of which there was a great scarcity in the colony at Port Royal; but up to the following month of October no provisions had been sent from France; therefore, Biencourt decided to make a trip, in company with Father Baird, to the Almochiquois, who lived near the Choüacoet river, [579] and had plenty of Indian corn, in order by the exchange of French goods to obtain some food for the winter. But because he turned aside from the journey across French Bay, to the St. John River, in order that he might exact from the young Pontgravé and the rest of the Maclouins a tax Upon their Canadian traffic, and being longer delayed by disputes which arose with that colony, he waited almost beyond the time for [page 229] obtaining corn; and, when he finally returned to that business, deceived by the pretensions of the Indians, who had held out the hope of buying food, he sailed back empty-handed to Port Royal. During this trip Father Biard fortunately Succeeded in reconciling Biencourt to Pontgravé, just as he had lately conciliated Potrincourt, who had been enraged at the same man; and also, by the same office of pacifications in preserving the life of Merveille, the Malouin, who was in great jeopardy on account of Certain suspicions; by which actions he acquired the greatest influence over them both. It was advantageous to our Priest to have men of this character indebted for favors to him, not only for many other reasons, but especially, because he designed to make use of their faithful and effective services in learning the Canadian languages in which Pontgravé was unusually skilled, if they should be allowed to reside together for a few days,or to meet even more frequently. They, of their own accord, took care that Father Biard might not request what he desired, by very politely offering him the privileges of their home; the Father was grateful to them, and for the present returned thanks, requesting them, however, to postpone their kindness to him until that time when it around be proper for him to accept it; for it was not then fitting for him [580] to desert Biancourt, especially when he was engaged in a dangerous journey. Afterwards, while Biencourt was returning from that unsuccessful trip to the Quinibequi for provisions, which we have just described, when they had arrived at the Pentegoët river and the island of Ste. Croix, Father Biard endeavored to persuade him and even begged him, to send him to Pontgravé from that place, which was near at hand, for the purpose of composing a Canadian [page 231] cate chism, which had previously been agreed upon between them. To this request, although most just, and although it certainly made no difference to him, Biencourt would not Consent, excepts under conditions which were both exceedingly unjust and by no means in the power of the Father. Therefore he was disap pointed of the opportunity of learning the language of the natives, and was Compelled to lead an almost inactive existence in the fort, to his great vexation. By the end of November, although the provisions were already almost exhausted, no tidings were re ceived from France; and what aid they might have obtained by hunting was cut off by the deep snow that covered the ground; so it was necessary to exercise the greatest economy, in order that the provisions might last longer. The weekly allowance, therefore of every one in the Colony had finally been fixed at ten ounces of bread, half a pound of lard, three dishes of peas or beans, and one of prunes. And, although the wlole colony was living upon the provisions which once had brough from France for our own use, we were treated with no more indulgence at that time than any one of the servants, nor did we wish for special privileges; although a certain rascal, in a writing published in France, has not hesitated to circulate many statements to the contrary, in the most shameless and calumnious manner. Until the 24th of January, in the year [581] 1612, the scarcity of provisions lasted, upon which day a ship entered Port Royal with a small quantity of supplies, bought and sent over by Madame de Guercheville. This pious lady had paid to brother Robert du Thet, 1,000 golden Crowns, contributed according to the agreement betweent Robin and and the Canadian Fathers, for the purpose of purchasing and conveying [page 233] provisions to the colony at Port Royal; but Potrincourt, by means of his promissory note, straight-way cheated our brother out of 400, as he was not a sufficiently careful guardian of his trust, and so the whole sum was reduced to 600, by means of which a scanty store was provided for us. But not even provisions to the value of that number of Crowns were placed in the vessel, for Potrincourt's naval agent embezzled in France part of the grain purchased; and, of the Supplies carried over, he delivered to the Society at Port Royal is much as he pleased and no more. Our brother Gilbert du Thet, before whose eyes most of these acts had been committed, when he saw that no account was rendered, by the person in charge of the transportation of the supplies, of what had been received by him, in company with Father Biard modestly requested Biencourt that a reckoning Concerning his trust be demanded from the man who, by order of his father, had acted as captain of the vessel; saying that it was to the interest of all the ship's company that it should be made manifest how much had been received and expended by each individual. Biencourt indeed admitted at that time, and often thereafter. that nothing more modest or more just could be asked by any person; but, nevertheless, just as if Simon Imbert, whose account in [532] the matter was desired, had been cruelly accused by our brother, he so represented to the former the request of the latter, that he made him our bitter enemy. Therefore Imbert, in order to make Biencourt his friend and alienate him from us, and to release himself from the necessity of rendering an account, placing an evil interpretation upon the plan of Madame de Guercheville, who had taken occasion to make an agreement between the society and Robin, in order that he [page 235] might more securely guard he interests of our Mission, falsely charged that by means of it a conspiracy of the society was in progress by which the authority of the Biencourts was to be destroyed in the fort at Port Royal and in the whole of New France. From this slander arose those quarrels with Biencourt by which our Services were rendered useless to the tribes of New France, nay, more, to the French themselves, who needed instruction scarcely less than the natives.

It was easy for our brethren to refute the falsehoods of their defamer; and once, twice, and a third time they so plainly and completely disproved them, before Biencourt, in the hearing of the whole settlement, that Imbert was rendered speechless by the final refutation, and was so reduced that he did not hesitate to claim, for the sake of excusing his wickedness, that these slanders had been uttered by him while much intoxicated. Biencourt had been deeply vexed by the news which was brought, to the effect that, even with the knowledge of his father, Potrincourt, the possession and government of the whole of New France from its greatest river, the Sacqué to Florida, except Port Royal, had been granted by a Royal Charter to Madame de Guercheville, and that, by documents under public authority, there had been transferred to her also by Sieur de Monts everything which he had recently possessed in this region by the grant of Henry IV. And, although he could not suppose that these things were done because of our [583] influence, still he thereafter acted towards us just as if he had so believed. The idea of Madame de Guercheville was, indeed, that their respect for her authority might serve as a strong restraint to hold to their duty the Biencourts, both father and son, who up to this time had kept poor faith with us and felt [page 237] little gratitude toward us; but not by any means to deprive them of their right to Port Royal. But these men too fond of their private interests considered as an injury to themselves the solicitude of Others in regard to their own affairs; but because their affairs at home were embarrassed. and they knew no more Convenient source of provisions for Port Royal than Madame de Guercheville, for the sake of our Fathers, they silently smothered their vexation, in order not to lose these supplies. Our brethren very easily exonerated themselves before Biencourt, and when he had for the time being accepted their excuses, and harmony had been restored the Fathers returned with great determination to their purpose of learning, the Canadian language, dividing the business between them, so that Father Massé should go for this purpose to Louis Membertou. son of the late Henry; while Father Biard should have a Savage to teach him the language at home. While Father Massé, with a young French companion, was residing with his host at the St. John river, he fell Seriously ill from long fasting and the continual annoyances of a wandering life; and, although he did not die, he was reduced to the utmost weakness. During this illness a very ridiculous discussion, worthy of a Canadian intellect, took place between Membertou and his guest, the Father. The savage approached the prostrate Father, very anxious and grieved, as his countenance actually showed, because of the Priest’s unfortunate condition [584] whom he addressed with these words: "Hear me, Father, you will surely die, as I indeed anticipate; write therefore to Biencourt, and also to your brother, that you have by no means perished at our hands but been overcome by disease, in order that no [page 239] harm may come to us because of your death." Father Massé answered him in turn: "I shall not do as you advise me and imprudently write to my friends, lest you should become bolder and more careless. because of my lack of foresight and lay violent hands upon me, while nevertheless possessing my letter as proof of your innocence, which would save you from punishment." The Savage, astonished by this Unexpected and keen reply, soon came to himself, as if from a deep sleep, and said with a smile: " Therefore snake Jesus favorable to you by your prayers, in order that he may save you from the danger of death, and no One may lay the blame of your fate upon us." "I am attending to that very thing,'' said the Father, " cease to be anxious. for this disease will not end me." In the calm of Port Royal Father Biard, in the meantime, employed a Savage as teacher, that he might learn the barbarous tongue, which presented itself as the suitable vehicle for the Gospel among this utterly rude people. As long as he had provisions Zenith which to furnish the table for his teacher, he made progress by the aid of his willing and efficient services, but after a few weeks the scarcity of supplies interrupted the course of learning and teaching. By these difficulties our brethren were also hindered in the case of four Savages, whom Father Biard and Biencourt, in a time of peril upon tne sea, had vowed, With the concurrence of the Savages themselves, to make Christians, if they should safely escape from the the threatened shipwreck. When they were delivered from this danger, and had brought the Ship to Port Royal, there was nothing in the Storehouse with which to feed the Savages until they should be suitably instructed in the Catechism; and, because of this poverty of our brethren, the opportunity of [page 241] successfully accomplishing the undertaking passed by and did not afterwards recur.

The twelfth year of this century had already advanced to November, when the fact that the scanty supplies. brought the preceding February, were either entirely consumed, or reduced to extremely scanty remnants, caused Biencourt great anxiety but especially, because no ship was coming from France. There had been sent to our brethren privately, among the preceding February's supplies, four casks of pure wheat and one of barley, which they had laid aside for their own use in the future. This grain, because of the general extremities of the colony, they judged should be added to the Common stock; and gave it ti Biencourt, in order that he might distribute it for the daily needs of the whole Settlement, and give them an equal allowance each day With the rest of the people. By this aid the general necessities were relieved for a time; but for the winter, and among all that crowd of people, although not numerous, this was a Scanty supply, considering the condition of the ground, which presented no opportunity for agriculture, and an uncertain chance for hunting and fishing. Moreover, even if the weather and the accessibility of the places had been every way favorable for fishing, there was still lacking for this pursuit the necessary aid of a fishing boat. Therefore, while the rest of the settlers were slothfully enjoying winter cheer the blazing hearth, as if forgetful of their poverty, our brethren devoted their attention and labor to the construction of a boat. While they were engaged in this sort of work, the whole colony guessed and wondered what men so unskilled in the carpenter's art, unprovided with working tools, and unsupplied with material, were trying [page 243] to do; they talked a great deal before the hearth [586] concerning this novel venture, and flung taunts at these rash Argonauts; but our brethren never left their work, and hurried on the undertaking. In the middle of March, to the amazement of their scoffers, our friends launched their boat, Which endured the violence of the rivers and even of the sea; nor did they fear, in company With their young servant and another of the household, to ascend the river flowing into French Bay, to gather acorns and the Chiquebi root in the forest. The Chiquebi root is peculiar to this coast, and is not unlike our potatoes, but more pleasant and useful for eating; its numerous bulbs, joined by a slender thread, grow deep in the earth. However, our collectors found that all the spots where this root grew had been already visited by the Savages, who were acquainted with the places; so that after long search each one of them could scarcely find a quantity of this food sufficient for one day. From this harvest of acorns and roots, since it was of small importance, they turned their attention to fishing for the Eplanus,{86} and advanced their boat farther toward the head of the river. The Eplan or Epelan is a little fish of the size of the Trichia Rothomagensis, that is, of the fish which is commonly called the Sardine, and, in the beginning of April, it leaves the ocean, and in great shoals enters the fresh-water streams, where it lays the eggs for its abundant young, these streams being very numerous four leagues from the post at Port Royal. Fishing for the Eplanus36 was succeeded by that for the Halecis, and for other sorts of river and Sea-fishes, just as opportunity and suitable place offered for capturing each, up to the month of May; but, contrary to what they most of all wished, our [page 245] fishermen, [587] with the hook or net of the Gospel, took only a very few men in the immense Ocean of the Canadian tribes.

Meantime in France the authority of the Queen w as interposed, that we might at the first opportunity be relieved from our bondage at Port Royal, and that we might be allowed, in any part of New France, either to study the language of the natives, or practice among the Savages what we had already learned by our own right, and seeking the permission of no man. Therefore two of our members, provided with a Royal commission for this undertaking, —Father Quintin, and he who previously had sailed from Port Royal for France, Gilbert du Thet,— safely and joyfully reached the coast of New France in the middle of May of the year 1613. It was provided in the commission that we should be allowed to establish a new settlement in a suitable places, and to have a sufficient number of colonists to protect it; and for its provision there had generously been sent a year's supply of food for thirty persons, and also horses, goats, and other things of the sort. By the kindness of the Queen there were also added weapons for our defense, some supplies, and also four military tents, by which we might be sheltered while our new residence was being built. La Saussaye with a military title and command, was to have charge of the household of colonists, not only while the buildings were in process of erection, but also when they had been completed and fortified, in order that in case of attack nothing might be neglected, but the entire colony should be in a condition of defense, and the buildings in good repair. When the supplies were landed at Port Royal, only five of us were there, out of the whole population, Biencourt [page 247] being absent with the others. When the letter of the Queen, [588] in which were orders for our dismissal, had been read to Hèbert, who represented Beincourt, we were allowed to collect our baggage; having done this, two days later we left Port Royal, with the intention of founding a new settlement in the neighborhood of Norembega. The boatmen had been notified, according to their agreement, to land at Kadesquit, a harbor on the shore of Norembega, in order that the whole colony might there disembark, and auspiciously take possession of a site for the future settlement upon the neighboring hills; but when we had stuck in a bay, this side of that, to which from the favorable outcome we gave the name of St. Sauveur, they declared that they had abundantly fulfilled their agreement, and that they would not continue the voyage any further. During this dispute, we engaged in conversation with the Savages inhabiting the spot, and since they praised their own countryas being far superior to that at Kadesquit, and earnestly solicited us to choose it for our settlement, we conceived a desire to explore it. After we had examined this region, which was heartily approved by all, the whole company turned their attention to selecting a site for the building upon a suitable hill. Therefore, a Cross was erected, by way of consecrating the place; the ground was marked out for the erection of the buildings; the earth was dug up for laying the foundations; and our abode, while still in its infancy, was called by the same name as the harbor, St. Sauveur. La Saussaye, the commander of the colonists, took, from the beginning, so deep an interest in agriculture that he thought of that alone, and neglected everything else; and through his excessive zeal for husbandry, called off a large [page 249] portion of the colony from the work of building, and set them to farming. La Motte, Saussaye's Lieutenant, Ronseraye, the Color-bearer, Joubert, the Drillmaster, and other men of the Company were of the opinion that, postponing all other enterprises, the building [589] ought to be completed, and the energies of the entire Company be devoted to this, until it should be protected by fortifications against hostile violence, and might safely be inhabited. Wherefore, they were greatly displeased because most of the colonists were taken away from building and employed in plowing by La Saussaye, whom they eagerly urged to apply the labors and zeal of all in building, a more profitable undertaking for the present; but it fell upon deaf ears. So, as the views and plans of the leaders were at variance, disputes arose, such as usually take place between those who differ, when each one thinks that what he deems best ought to be preferred to the projects and undertakings of others; the result was, that days were idly spent, away from work, in quarreling. This inactivity, and obstinacy in contrary opinions, so inimical to Christian interests and the Divine worship upon that shore, God seems to have willed to punish by means of an unforeseen calamity.

The English, a few years before, had occupied Virginia, which John Verazano, in 1523, had explored under the authority of Francis I., King of France, and brought under his jurisdiction. It is the portion of the continent between Florida and New France, which, covering the thirty-sixth, thirty-seventh, and thirty-eighth parallels, was formerly called by the name of Mocosa, situated two hundred and fifty leagues Westward from the station at St. Sauveur. From the fort [at Jamestown], which they have held [page 251] for eight years, strongly fortified and occupied by a garrison of soldiers, they make a voyage every summer to the fishing grounds of the Peucoit islands, to obtain fish [590] for food during the coming winter. While they were sailing thither in the summer of this year, they encountered the heavy fogs which commonly prevail upon this sea during these months and while they were thus long delayed, and ignorant of their situation, they were gradually borne by the currents to our shore, not far from the harbor of St. Sauveur. Then, by the information of the Savages, who sinned unwittingly, and took them for friendly Frenchmen, they learned that there was a French ship in the nest bay, and that, too, not a large vessel, nor defended by a numerous crew, and but lightly armed with brass cannon. Of course, no more welcome news than this could come to half-naked men, whose stock of provisions was exhausted—men who, in addition to this poverty, were incited by an inborn love of robbery, and an expectation of greater booty than could have been obtained from the plunder of our ship, to willingly employ violence, even against natural justice and the law of natiqns. So they prepared their weapons, and under full sail, and with decks cleared for action, entered directly into our harborer. When the Savage by whose information we had been especially betrayed perceived from these signs the hostile intentions of the English towards us, he at once recognized his mistake, and with manyv tears declared that he had been at fault toward us whom he thought to please. These lamentations he often thereafter repeated, when he sought pardon from us for his error, even from his Savage countrymen, who considered our misfortune their own injury, and often threatened him with violence. Meanwhile, we were in doubt whether we should judge as friends or enemies those whom an in-shore breeze was bearing straight towards our position; [591] while the pilot of the ship set out to meet and reconnoiter them in a small boat, by a long circuit, however, in order that he might not be left without a way of retreat, but especially because the wind was contrary to him, but favorable to the strangers. But there was no need of reconnoitering, for they advanced, sounding the signal for battle, only reserving their fire until they could use it at close quarters, and aim at the defenders of the Ship one by one. With fourteen great cannon, and sixty guns of the larger size, which they call Mosquets, they made their attack upon our ship, which was unprepared. for sailing because the anchors had not been raised, and was furnished with only ten defenders, while the gunner of the brass cannon was absent; and so the capture of our ship and all of us, whom La Saussaye had scattered about upon the shore, was a matter of no great difficulty. Our brother Gilbert du Thet was assisting in the defense of the vessel, when an especially violent shower of bullets assailed them, in which he was stricken with a mortal wound; and although attended with great devotion by an English surgeon who was a Catholic, on the following day he died most piously, after receiving the consolation of the Sacraments. But all of us had come into the power of the English Heretic, who, being extremely crafty, secretly abstracted from La Saussaye's trunk the Royal commission, upon which authority rested the entire establishment of our colony in New France, in order that he might appear to treat with us not as a robber, but upon an equal footing; and then he began to urge La Saussaye to prove by what right he had planted a [page 255] settlement upon the shores of Canada. When La Saussaye had cited the authority and commission of the King of France, which important document he declared he still retained the keys, was brought and he was ordered to produce it; but when he opened the chest, La Saussaye recognized everything else untouched and in its proper place, but no commission appeared. When this was not forthcoming, the English Commander assumed a severe countenance and tone, and was deeply angered, calling us all runaways and mere pirates, and, declaring us worthy of death, handed over our property to his crew to be pillaged, and, finally treated us as enemies. Now it seemed probable that the English, unless they should quickly be hindered, were about to cover up the outrage which they had already begun, with some greater crime, in order that they might conceal the memory of the previous injury by a fresh offence. Wherefore our brethren approached the Captain; frankly revealed themselves to him, as he was still ignorant of their identity; and begged him not, in elation over his easy victory, to adopt severe measures against their colony; they earnestly warned him to remember the conditions of human life, saying that just as he would wish his own interests mildly handled, if a similar calamity had fallen upon him, so he ought to act humanely in the case of others; moreover, that he should especially consider that he was dealing with innocent men, to whom no fault could be charged beyond the fact that, because of their blamelessness, they had been too careless in a peaceful spot. They were heard somewhat kindly by the Captain, and received with respectful address; the only thing of which he disapproved being that Fathers of [page 257] the Society, who had commonly so good a reputation for piety and wisdom, should be among a band of runaways and pirates. When our brethren had proved by strong evidence the entire blamelessness of their colony, not only in respect to their honorable life in other ways, but also in that which was the subject of the conversation, the Captain seemed [593] to yield his assent, and to find as the only fault in us our neglect to preserve the commission of our expedition. From that time on, he treated our Fathers with great consideration, and received them in all matters with honor, and with kindness at his table. In the meantime he was troubled because the pilot of our ship had escaped, together with a part of the crew; and he feared that harm might in some way fall upon himself, because of the pilot's being free to as announce what had taken place; and the more so, because the latter came in his boat at night to the captured ship and took off from it the rest of the crew. This pilot, indeed, although a Calvinist, came by night to Father Biard, and, taking him by the hand, with many protestations bade him and the other Fathers to expect from him, as far as faithfulness and devotion could go toward another, all the services of a Christian and a fellow-countryman, and to be persuaded that he would neglect nothing which might contribute to their safety; to employ his aid freely, and consider what they should decide upon, as to making their escape. Father Biard thanked him profusely, and promised that he would remember such earnest good-will towards himself and his associates; but added, that he would make no plans concerning him self until he should see the entire colony placed. in safety, and then he would leave to God the decision of his own case; that in the meantime the pilot ought [page 259] to look out for himself, as the English Captain was making every effort to capture him. When the pilot had received these warnings, in order that he might cause the English to think he had gone away, three days afterwards, fearlessly, and with taunting [594] expression and words, he passed in his boat before the faces of the angry English, as if he were hastening to seek refuge with some French ship of which he knew; and, while pretending to go farther, turned about behind a neighboring island and there lay in hiding to observe the Outcome of our capture. While we were wavering between the doubtful chance of either death or imprisonment, our Savage acquaintances, having received the news of our calamity, visited us in great numbers, deeply pitying our misfortune, and most dutifully offering us the use of their scanty resources for the whole coming year, if we were willing to remain among them. However Argall the English Captain, and his Lieutenant Turnell, had decided upon milder measures toward us, in appearance certainly, than we at first expected; indeed, they had agreed with La Saussaye, the Leader of our colony, to send us back to France; but the conditions of return were of such a character that they differed little from our certain destruction. There was allowed to us, although numbering thirty persons, only one boat, which could not hold us all, even if we were crowded together as closely as possible; and these conditions La Saussaye had acccpted, nay, more, he had borne witness with his own handwriting that this had been his preference, which was really the choice of certain shipwreck. However, the efforts of our Brethren prevailed, that the whole colony should not together incur imminent danger and it was allowed that only fifteen should be placed on board the boat, of whom [page 261] one should be Father Massé, while the two remaining Fathers should be carried to the Peucoit islands and entrusted to English fishermen for conveyance to France. The rest of the colonists were, in accordance with their own desire, to be carried to Virginia. Therefore one portion of the settlers, under the lead of La Saussaye, entered the boat to set out for France, although ignorant of the region and of seamanship, [595] and unprovided with charts, to whom God in time sent the Calvinistic pilot, who had taken great pains to observe the fortunes of his countrymen, in order that if any opportunity should offer, he might bear aid to them in their distress. He had landed upon the continent, and in the Canadian manner of life and custom like one of the Savages, was traversing the entire coast, in order to ascertain our condition, when very fortunately he happened upon the boat which had set out. Upon being received on board, he showed himself a truly able leader in their perplexities, and united his boat and fourteen. sailors to ours as comrades in the voyage and its labors. Up to the time the French ships were found, a lucky catch of fish twice assuaged their hunger; they were also aided by various meetings with the Savages upon that coast, of whom Louis Membertou received them, when famishing, with a liberal present of elk meat, Roland and some other Sagamores furnished a supply of bread, and others most generously gave a bountiful provision of fish and birds. But of all blessings, the most grateful was the news, which the Sagamore Roland gave us, that on the neighboring coast, at Sesambre and Passepec harbor, there two ships preparing to return to France. The two boats, quickly directing their course thither, fortunately arrived before the vessels left; and, all having [page 263] been received on board, they made sail and arrived safe and sound at St. Malo, a town in Brittany, where Father Massé was received with the greatest kindness and generosity by the Bishop of St. Malo and the magistrates and people of the town. Moreover concerning Fathers Biard and Quintin, as we have said, it had been decided [596] that they should be conducted to the Peucoit islands, and thence by the aid of the English fishermen, should be conveyed to France; but these plans having afterward been changed, it was resolved that they should be sent to Virginia, they, with five others of the colonists, being placed on board the captured vessel, which was in command of Turnell, while eight other settlers had entered Captain Argall's ship. The governor of Virginia had heard something concerning the captive Jesuits. and was preparing severe punishment for them; this news had come to our brethren and the rest of the prisoners on board the ships, and deprived some of their nightly rest. This report did not rest on idle rumor, for when the ship bearing our brethren had reached Virginia, they mere exposed to his fury. Argall, however, who had given his word to our brethren, boldly and vehemently, as was fitting his name and race, opposed the Governor in his attempt to punish them, and declared that, as long as he lived, no danger should befall his prisoners. But, when the Governor obstinately persisted in his purpose, Argall produced the Royal charter, in dependence upon which our colony had been introduced into New France; and by its authority the Governor was restrained, and dared proceed no farther. In a meeting of the council, therefore, the whole affair was more carefully discussed, and all agreed upon the decision that Argall, with three ships, should take the [page 265] Jesuits back to New France; that he should thence send them and certain other prisoners to France; that he should chastise La Saussaye and his military force, who were said, although falsely, to be in possession of the fort at Port Royal; and that he should plunder and level with the ground all the houses of the French. He therefore returned to that coast of New France occupied by the French, where he despoiled and burned the forts of Ste. [597] Croix and Port Royal, which were bare of defenders, destroyed all evidences of the French occupation, and erected English monuments in various places, declaring the whole coast to be under the sway of the British King. While Father Biard was present during these proceedings, his life was twice endangered, because he had dissuaded Argall with many words from entering Port Royal, on tht ground that there would be no profit in the undertaking, from which they, nevertheless, afterwards obtained an uncommon booty; because he was unwilling to become a guide to those places where plunder was sought; moreover, because slanders had been uttered against him by some Frenchmen in that region; for all of which reasons he offended Argall and Turnell deeply, to his own great peril.

Argall left Port Royal and started for Virginia in the early part of Novrember of the year 1613, but, on the day after he set sail, an exceedingly violent storm arose, by which the ships were driven asunder in very diverse directions. Captain Argall's vessel, indeed, was finally borne to Virginia; the smaller of the two captured ships, with its crew, was never seen thereafter; the larger of these, which Turnell commanded, and on board of which we were, after being dreadfully beaten for sixteen days by continuous [page 267] tempests, had reached almost desperate straits, because of the exhaustion of its provisions, when the storm finally ceased, and we resumed our voyage towards Virginia with a favoring wind. We were distant not more than twenty-five leagues from the coast of Virginia, where the Governor was planning our destruction, and for this reason the voyage was hateful to us; when a contrary wind which suddenly arose turned our bow towards the Asores islands of Portugal, [598] situated at a distance of almost 700 leagues due East from that point. Since the force of this wind did not at all abate, Turnell foresaw that his life would be endangered should he come into the power of the Portuguese, because he was conveying as prisoners, Priests, who, with the greatest injustice, had been torn from their settlement and despoiled; and he was still more troubled because, persuaded by the false charges of the French at Port Royal, he believed Father Biard to be a Spaniard, so that he dreaded, with good reason, a denunciation of his offense before the Portuguese, if our Fathers should resolve to accuse him. Therefore he frankly acknowledged that the power of the Deity. which avenges injury done to the innocent, was deservedly hostile to him and his upon that voyage; and. overcome by this calamity, although he had, through his own fault in rashly believing slanders, been extremely unfriendly to Father Biard up to that time, he began to soften greatly and become more amiable toward him. Moreover, even if the force of the wind were not driving them to the Asores, still, scarcity of provisions and fresh water compelled them to go thither though against their will; wherefore, it was necessary for Turnell to take precautions lest the presence of our Fathers should cause him damage; as no danger was to be feared [page 269] from them, if the ship should remain at a distance at anchor, and the necessary provisions should be secured by sending a small boat into the harbor, as the Captain hoped to do. Matters turned out, however, contrary to his expectations; for when we approached Faëal, one of the Asores islands, we were compelled to enter the inmost harbor, and take a position among the other ships under the eyes of the inhabitants. Having entered thither a little too swiftly, when our vessel collided with a Spanish treasure-ship [599] and carried away its forward jib, the Spanish Captain shouted out that we were pirates, and aroused his crew to arms. A few weeks before, a Frenchman had plundered a ship in the same harbor by a sudden attack; whence the Spaniards, fearing a similar fate, had been the more alarmed on this occasion, and thought an investigation still more necessary in the case of an Englishman. Turnell was therefore obliged to disembark upon the land, where the Spanish held him as a hostage while the interior of the ship was being thoroughly searched, the Fathers, in the meantime, careful hiding behind a boat, in order that the Englishman might suffer no harm on their account if they should be discovered. Concealment was very difficult in a place not at all convenient, as the affair arose very suddenly, and there were so careful searchers, who rummaged the entire interior of the ship; but our brethren escaped their lynx eyes, greatly to their own delight, because they had thus preserved the Englishman; but with greater pleasure to the Englishman because he recognized that he had been saved, contrary to his expectations and his deserts. by those whom he had most wickedly deprived of their liberty . This service and remarkable good-faith the English recognized at that time with [page 271] marked signs of gratitude, and often thereafter spoke of the Fathers with great. praise, especially before their Ministers. Three entire weeks the English ship remained in that harbor, and the samc length of time the Fathers were hidden away and deprived of the sunlight; then, abandoning the voyage to Virginia, Turnell proceeded to Britain. But, when a storm had diverted us from the direct prosecution of our voyage, it carried us violently Westward to the coast of Vuallia; and when here provisions failed the ship, Turnell entered the town of Pembroke [600] for the sake of obtaining supplies. The officials of this town suspected him of piracy upon the high seas, because, although an Englishman, he was sailing in a French vessel, and produced no written testimonials of the authority under which he was making his voyage; and when he made oath that he had been separated by a storm from his Captain, Argall, he was not believed. When, therefore, every sort of evidence had failed him, he cited as witnesses for his statements the two Jesuits whom he had onboard the ship, whose incorruptible integrity, he said, no mortal could deservedly call in question. Therefore, when the Fathers had been very respectfully interrogated, and had given their testimony in public before the magistrate. Turnell was placed in honor, and was believed to have done everything honestly, as befitted a gentleman; but our brethren were treated with distinction and were entertained as guests by the Mayor of the City, as he is called, that is, the Magistrate of that common people. When Nicholas Adams, who then represented the Minister of the marine at Pembroke, and in the presence of whom our brethren had given their testimony, heard that they had extremely bad fare upon the ship, he [page 273] directed that they should be entertained at the home of the Magistrate whom we have mentioned, and that upon his own responsibility everything should be abundantly supplied to them; and if they should lack the means to repay him, he said that for the sake of God he would willingly do them the favor of meeting the expense, because he thought it very unbecoming that no kindness should be shown among the citizens of Pembroke to men distinguished in every way for merit and learning. A message had been sent to the King of Britain concerning our brethren; and, while an answer thereto was being awaited, many came, for the purpose of seeing and conversing with the fathers, from the ranks of the nobles, of the officials, and even of the ministers, [601] four of whom one of the councilors put into the arena of debate with our brethren, with the desire of testing their doctrine. Moreover, when their case had been reported at Court, the ambassador of the Most Christian King had already heard that a ship with French Jesuits had been captured, and urged the release of all and especially of our brethren, because he had from his King strict commands to this effect. There was therefore no delay in the conveyance of our brethren from Pembroke to Dover, whence, after a short passage, they safely and joyfully arrived, after almost ten months of captivity, at Itius Portus, a town on the French coast. Here they were received most honorably, with especial kindness and favor from Sieur d'Arquien, Coinmander of the Royal garrison, and Dean Boulaye; a suitable viaticum was also given to them, which was abundant for their needs during the trip to their College at Ambians [Amiens].

Now he who Measures the undertaking by ordinary [page 275] standards, will not easily see how greatly the work of the Mission of New France has advanced the Christian religion among the Savages; he who will fairly estimate an enterprise very difficult in its nature, and greatly hindered also by the interruption of calamities from without, must Confess that the rugged soil has been prepared for the Seed of the Gospel with very advantageous and glorious beginnings. For, in the first place, is it not a great thing, I ask, that a race of utterly brutal disposition and manners, lately keeping itself far aloof from all external intercourse, extremely suspicious by reason of its impotence, should be now so conciliated towards us, and entertain such sentiments for our brethren, that Savages of every tribe seek them out with the greatest pains, [602] desire them to have a residence in their territory, offer them annual supplies from their scanty store, testify by grief and weeping to their longing for them, and regard the English, the enemies of our peace, with implacable hatred? It is indeed something great, and of the utmost importance to the implanting of the faith in those minds, that they meet its heralds with such emphatic good-will, confidence, and veneration. Moreover there is another influence far greater, and so much the more powerful in effecting the salvation of the Savages as it is remote from the sphere of human affections and more characteristic of heavenly emotions. Already there has become deeply seated in the minds of the Canadians the belief that those who die without Baptism are consigned to eternal torments; consequently, as long as they are in health, they do not readily submit to the rules of the Christian faith, which to their ideas are a little too harsh; but when at the point of death, they regard Baptism as certainly a great blessing, [page 277] and eagerly seek it. Since they have the Fathers of the Society as authorities for this doctrine, and have absorbed it into their inmost souls, of their own accord they warn and remind their Teachers of it, whenever any one of their friends is prostrated by some severe complaint, and urge them to anticipate the death of the patient by sprinkling him with the saving waters, before he shall perish. And, indeed, these emotions of the mind, in men who are in other respects most savage two Fathers have created by a training of two years, and that indeed not continuous, but interrupted by numerous difficulties, which is certainly no light incentive toward propagating the seed of the Gospel among that race with flourishing increase. To this propagation, the unaccustomed power of holy prayers and of Baptism, [603] sometimes disclosed among this people in several remarkable instances, seems likely to be no small incentive in the future. Where Father Biard was occupied one day at the river of the Eplan fish, a message was brought to him from a sick woman at the point of death, who was very anxious to see and converse with him, at Bay Ste Marie, two leagues from that river. He had one of the colonists as a guide thither, and found the woman lying, according to the manner of her race, near the hearth, and now miserably languishing in the third week of her illness. He instructed the invalidl. as far as her disease permitted, in the necessary parts of the Catechism; strengthened her by prayers adapted to the circumstances, and a cross hung upon her breast; and directed that he should be called, if she should thereafter grow worse. The next day the woman arose from the hearth entirely well and, loaded with a heavy bag, started briskly for her husband, who was at a [page 279] distance of four leagues. A Calvinist from Dieppe first of all observed this cure, and immediately ran to Father Biard to announce the wonderful event. The same Father was with Biencourt on the banks of the Pentegoët, where, according to his custom, he was going about among the cabins of the Savages, visiting and comforting the sick and aiding them with prayers and Christian instruction. There a sick man was lying, who had already been ill three months, whose recovery had been despaired of, and whom the Savages brought to the Father's notice. He was completely bathe in cold perspiration, an almost certain sign of death, since a heavy fever had taken possession of him. after prayers had been said and a short lesson in the faith given, when the Father had held out a cross to him to be repeatedly kissed, and had left it hanging about his neck, many Savages listening to him, and heartily [604] approving what was done, he returned to the ship and Biencourt. But the next day, when Biencourt was engaged upon the ship in trading with the natives, that sick man, yesterday at the point of death, came on board in a state of health and, joyfully and reverently displaying the cross, went to Father Biard, and, testifying with great de light to his recovery, ascribed it to the power of the Holy Cross. That which follows is much more remarkable, and by the Savages was ascribed solely to the merit of Baptism. Father Biard, La Motte, the Lieutenant of La Saussaye, and Simon the Interpreter, had gone together to examine the site selected for the settlement of St. Sauveur. While returning thence, they heard at a distance a lamentable wail, and. when they asked of their Savage companion the cause of this mournful outcry, the answer was made that it was the customary token [page 281] that some one had already departed this life. But as they approached nearer to the huts of the Savages, a boy, on being questioned, informed them that the lamentation was not for a dead, but for a dying person; and, turning to Father Biard, he said: "Why do you not hurry thither, if perchance you mnay find him still living, and administer Baptism before his death?" The voic. of that boy, just as though sent from heaven, caused the Father and his companions to run swiftly, and as they reached the rude dwellings, there appeared a great crowd of Savages, drawn up in regular order, standing in the open air; and among this mournful-looking company a father walked about, in whose arms a delicate boy was dying. As the child strugg1ed for breath, hastening towards death, and weakly gasping, it tortured the unfortunate parent with grief and sorrow. Moreover, at each gasp of the infant, the father wailed dreadfully, and his lamentation was immediately answered by a howl from the gloomy throng of Savages standing near. [605] Father Biard went to the afflicted parent of the boy, and asked whether he might, with his consent, baptize the dying child. The Savage, overcome by the depth of his grief, could not utter a word; but his action showed, by placing the child in the arms of the petitioner, what he desired. The Father asked for water, and giving the child to La Motte to hold, who eagerly received it, he sprinkled it with the saving waters, christened it Nicholas de la Motte, and formulating a prayer, begged from God light for the Savages, that they might recognize the immense blessings of the faith. After this prayer he took the infant from the hands of La Motte and gave it to its mother, who was present; the mother immediately gave her breast to the child, who greedily accepted [page 283] it, partook of the milk to satiety, and finally lived, healthy and vigorous. In the meantime, the whole circle of Savages who had stood about, struck by the marvelousness of the unusual occurrence, remained motionless as stones, and stood silently in their tracks. Therefore, while they were thus prepared in mind, our brother addressed to them such words as seemed appropriate to the subject in hand; and when he had finished, bade them depart to their own huts. As they, trembling and reverential, received his discourse with the greatest respect, so when, the object of their gathering having been accomplished, he ordered them to depart to their huts, they slipped away, silently exhibiting this unusual obedience, quietly and quickly, each to his own dwelling. Whoever shall carefully examine these and otherlike acts which have been performed in the sight of the Savages, greatly to their astonishment, and no less to their benefit, will justly conclude that the Mission of New France has been commenced under very advantageous beginnings. [page 285]



Our copy of Biard's letter (written in French) to his provincial, dated January 31, 1612, is from Carayon's Première Mission, pp. 44-76, noted under Bibliographical Data of Documents III.-VI., in our Volume I.


We follow the style and make-up of O'Callaghan's Reprint of Biard's Missio Canadensis designated as "No. 1" in the Lenox Catalogue. According to Sommervogel's Bibliothèque de la Campagnie de Jesu (Paris, 1890), vol. i., p. 1439, this document was originally published in the Annuæ Litteræ, Societatis Jesu, an. 1611(Dillingen, n. ,1.), pp. 121—143. The British Museum has a copy of this volume of Annuæ Litteræ, described in its catalogue as published at "Dilingæ [1615?]." Sommervogel adds, regarding Missio Canadensis. "Was it not published separately? I find it thus indicated in the catalogue of Mr. Parison, no. 1786." According to a letter written by Father Carrère (June 17, 1890) to Father Jones, of Montreal, the original MS. of this letter was then in the archives of Roder, France.

In Carayon's Première Mission (pp. 77-105) there is given a French version of this letter.

It is internally evident that the letter was commenced January 22nd, and finished " vltimo die Januarÿ." In Father Martin's MS. (translated ) copy, [page 287] preserved in the Library of Parliament, at Ottawa, he wrote upon it the former date, and it is so calendared in the catalogue of that library. Carayon first applied to it the latter date. This of itself has led to some bibliographical confusion.

In Carayon's Bibliographie Historique de la Compagnie de Jésus (Paris, 1864), p. 178, a notice of the original publication is thus given: "P. Biard.—Epistola ad R. P. Præpositum generalem, e Portu Regali in Nova Francia, data ultimo die Januarii anni 1611 qua regionem illam describit, et Patrum Societatis Jesu in eam profectionem.—’Ea inserta est annuis litteris Soc. Jesus ejusdcm anni Provine. Franc. ad finem.’ (Sotwell.)."

O'Callaghan obtained the originals of some of his reprints from the Annuæ Litteræ Societatis Jesu, of which there are incomplete files in the libraries of John Carter Brown; Harvard College; St. John’s College, Fordam, N.Y.; St. Francis Xavier, New York City; the Jesuit colleges at Woodstock, Md. and Georgetown, D. C.; and St. Mary's College, Montreal. The Brown Library has the richest collection.

See references to the O'Callaghan Reprint of Missio Canadensis, in Harrisse's Notes, no. 405; Lenox Catalogue, p. 18; Sabin, vol. xvi., p. 542; Brown Catalogue, vol. ii., no. 119; Winsor, p. 300; Henry C. Murphy Sale Catalogue (N. Y., 1884), no. 2960; O'Callaghan Sale Catalogue (N. Y., 1882) nos 178, 1205, 1250.

Title-page. O'Callaghan's Reprint is closely imitated.

Collation of O' Callaghan Reprint. Title, 1 p.; reverse of title, with inscription: "Editio ad xxv [page 288] ex-emplaria reftricta. O'C.", 1 p.; Lectori, pp. iii.-iv.; text, pp. 5-37; blank, 1 p.; Index, pp. 39-45; colophon (p. 46): "Albaniae Excvdebat Joel Munsellius | Mense Septembri Anno | C I C . I C C C C . L X X ., "1P


The copy of Lescarbot's Ralation Dernière herein followed is in Harvard College Library, where it is bound in with the Same author's Les Muses de la Nouvelle France (Paris, 1912). The Harvard copy is the only original of which the present editor has knowledge; it is not listed in Gagnon's Essai de Bibliographie Canadienne (Quebec, 1895), but reference to it will be found in Harrisse, no. 26; Sabin, no. 40178; and Winsor, p. 300. There is a reprint of it in Cimber (Lafaist) and Danjou’s Archives Curieuses de l’Histoire de France, depuis Louis XI, jusqu’a à Louis XVIII., first series, tome xv. (Paris, 1837), pp. 377-406, which, however, omits the list of names on pp. 21-24 of the original. The first series of this collection (15 vols.) was edited by L. Lafaist ("L. Cimber,'' pseud.) and F. Danjou, assistants in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; the second Series (12 vols.), by Danjou alone, who, on the title of tome viii. of this series, is styled "Bibliothécaire de Arsenal." The 27 volumes were published at Paris between 1834 and 1840.

The orthography of the printed original of the Relation Dernière is an interesting mixture of old and new styles. It has many instances of modern spellings not found even in the Cramoisy Relation of 1632 which was printed twenty years later.

It will he noticed that the "Privilege" is that granted for the publication of Lescarbot's Histoire de la Nouvelle France (1608). [page 289]

Title-page. The one given in the present volume is a photographic facsimile of the Harvard original.

Collations Title, 1 p.; blank, reverse of title, 1 p.; text, pp. 3-39; privilege, reverse of p. 39, 1 p.—making a total of 40 pp.


In our reissue of the Relatio Rerum Gestarum (1613-14), we follow the original text and its pagination, as given on pp. 562-605 of the Annuæ Litteræ Societatsis Jesu, for 1612, printed at Lyons in 1618, which we found at the Riggs Memorial Library, Georgetown University, Washington, D. C. This forms the text of O’Callaghan’s Reprint, which is arbitrarily designated in the Lenox Catalogue as "no. 6." See references in Sabin, no. 69245; Winsor, p 300; Lenox, p. 19; and Brown Catalogue, no. 170, and p. 166. Sales are noted in Barlow (no. 1272), Murphy (no. 2960), and O’Callaghan (no. 1250) sale catalogues.

Title-page. We closely imitate that of the O'Callaghan Reprint.

Collation of Reprint. Title, 1 p.; reverse of title, with inscription "Editio viginti quinque exemplaria. O'C." 1 p.; Tabula Rerum, pp. iii., iv.; text, pp. 1-66, colophon (p. 67): "Albaniae Excvdebat Joel Munsellius | Mense Martis Anno | C I C I C I C C C C L X X I," 1 p. [page 290]


(Figures in parentheses, following number of note,refer to pages of English text)






Vol. III


The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents

Travels and Explorations

of the Jesuit Missionaries

in New France








Reuben Gold Thwaites

Secretary of the State historical Society of Wisconsin


Thom Mentrak

Historical Interpreter at Ste. Marie Among The Iroquois

Vol. III



CLEVELAND: The Burrows Brothers


¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯


Editor Reuben Gold Thwaites

| Finlow Alexander [French]

| Percy Favor Bicknell [French]

| John Cutler Covert [French]

| William Frederic Giese [Latin]

Translators. | Crawford Lindsay [French]

| Mary Sifton Pepper [French & Italian]

| William Price [French]

| Hiram Allen Sober [French]

| John Dorsey Wolcott [Latin]

Assistant Editor Emma Helen Blair

Bibliographical Adviser Victor Hugo Paltsits

[page i]



Preface To Volume III






Epistola ad Reverendissimum Patrem Claudium Aquavivam, Præpositum Generalem Societatis Jesu, Romæ. Pierre Baird; Amiens, May 26, 1614.




Relation de la Novvelle France, de Ses Terres, Natvrel du Pais, & de ses Habitans. [Chapters i-xxv.] Pierre Biard; Paris 1616


Bibliographical Data: Volume III





[page iii]




Photographic facsimile of title-page, Biard’s Relation of 1616


[page iv]


Following is a synopsis of the documents contained in the present volume:

XIII. Biard writes from Amiens (May 26, 1614) to the general of the order, reporting the planting of St. Sauveur mission, the attack by Argall, the captivity of the Jesuit missionaries, and their safe return to France.

XIV. Biard's Relation of 1616 opens with an historical sketch of French discoveries in New France. The climate of the country, its forests, and its inhabitants, are described; the writer discourses on the mode of life among the savages, their dwellings, tribal organization, polity, women, marriage, medicine, practices of witchcraft, burials, etc. As a basis for missionary work, he advocates the establishment of a colony which shall be properly supported in France, and to this end appeals to the sympathies of Catholics at home. Much space is devoted to answering the attacks on the Jesuit missions of New France, made by an anonymous pamphleteer, who has been supposed to be Lescarbot himself. Continuing with a report of his own movements, Biard describes the voyage made by himself and Biencourt as far as the Kennebec River, and the privations and hardships of the colony during the ensuing winter (1611-12). He again recounts the manner in which Mme. de Guercheville [page 1] obtained a grant of New France, and sent a colony to St. Sauveur, on Mt. Desert Island; the disputes between Biencourt and the Jesuits; the stay of Massé among the savages on St. John River; his own trip to Chignectou, with Biencourt; and the hardships endured by both, as also those of the entire colony, during the winter of 16l2-13. The Jesuits, during this winter, build a boat, and are thus enabled to go fishing. La Saussaye arrives at Port Royal under Mme. de Guercheville's auspices, and takes the Jesuits away with him to St. Sauveur. The settlement there is well begun, when Argall comes upon it, and takes the French captive. Owing to the great length of this Relation, we have space in the present volume but for the first twenty-five chapters; the remaining twelve will form the opening part of Volume IV.

R. G. T.

Madison, Wis., November, 1896.

[page 2]



ad Reverendissimum Patrem Claudium


(26 Maii, 16l4)


SOURCE: We follow Father Martin's apograph (in the Archives of St. Mary's College, at Montreal) of the original Latin MS. in the Archives of the Gesù, at Rome.

[page 3]

Letter of Father Pierre Biard, to the Very Reverend

Father Claude Aquaviva, General of the

Society of Jesus, at Rome.

(May 26, 1614.)

(Copied by Father Felix Martin, from the original Latin

preserved in the Archives of the Gesù at Rome.)



The peace of Christ be with you.

Both affection and duty urge me, fresh from such multiplied and mighty perils, from which I have been rescued by the surpassing favor of the Lord and by the prayers of your Paternity, to send you my greetings; and, in so far as it is possible, I throw myself at your knees and embrace you, assuredly with the utmost gratitude and devotion. And, indeed, I am bound, as it were, to contemplate myself, both to do penance, as I hope, and to express my gratitude; so great are the perils out of which I now marvel to see myself delivered. But, as it may at this time [2] be wearisome to weave a long story of all these things, and as it is probable that Your Paternity has already learned many of them from Father Enemond Massé, I shall pass over all the rest, and confine myself for the present to this one matter: in what manner, after our violent capture by the English in New France, we were taken from place to place, and at last restored to this our native land.

There were, as Your Paternity knows, only four [3] of our society in New France in the last year, [page 5] 1613. Then, too, we first began to build in a convenient place a new settlement, a new colony, etc. But most unexpectedly, by some hazard or other (for a hazard it certainly was, and not a premeditated plan), some English from Virginia were driven upon our shores, who attacked our ship with the utmost fury, at a time when nearly all its defenders were occupied on land. Resistance was nevertheless made for a time, but we were soon obliged to surrender. In the struggle, two of the French were killed, four were wounded; and, in addition, our brother Gilbert Duthet received [4] a mortal wound. He made a most Christian end, the following day, under my ministration.

Our ship having been captured and everything pillaged, it was a great concession to us,—that is, to us priests and jesuits,—that we were not killed. And yet this sparing of our lives, if considered in itself only, would have been worse than any death. For what were we to do in an absolutely desert and barren region, despoiled and destitute of everything? The Savages, indeed, used to come to us stealthily and by night; and, with great generosity and devotion, commiserated our misfortune, and promised us whatever they could. [5] Truly the condition of things was such that either death itself, or a more calamitous misfortune, everywhere threatened us. There were in all thirty of us, in these distressing circumstances. One consideration rendered the English less severe, namely, that one of our boats had escaped, in spite of their watchfulness; and, as they had no doubt that it would bear witness to the violence done us, they were obliged to spare our lives, for they feared reprisals and dreaded our king. [page 7] Therefore they finally offered (a great favor, forsooth) to leave for our thirty survivors [6] a single boat, in which we might coast along the seashore, on the chance of finding some french vessel to take us back to our own country. It was shown that this boat could not hold over fifteen men; but nothing further could be obtained, even from among our own boats. To be brief: in this perplexity each of us took counsel as he could; Father Enemond Massé embarked with fourteen companions in the boat I have mentioned, and the Lord favored him, as Your Paternity has already learned. [7] I went to the english captain and obtained a promise from him that I and Father Jacques Quentin, my companion, and also John Dixon—who had been admitted into the society—and one servant, should be transported to the neighboring islands where the English usually fish, and that we should there be recommended to these English fishermen; so that, having been carried by them to England, we might easily return thence into France. I obtained, as I say, a promise to this effect, but there was no good faith in this promise. For they carried us off, together with the frenchmen who remained, fifteen in all, [8] straight to their own country, Virginia, distant from the place in which we had been captured at least two hundred and fifty leagues. In Virginia, however, a new peril arose; for the governor there wished to hang us all, and especially the jesuits. But the captain who had taken us resisted, alleging his promise to us. Finally this promise, or their fear of our king, prevailed.

After this episode, the captain who had taken us was commissioned to return to that part of New France where he had plundered us, and to plunder [page 9] any French ships he might find, and burn all the houses and settlements. [9] There remained two French settlements there, that of Sainte Croix and that of Port Royal, where I had remained for two years. Three ships were equipped for this expedition,—two which they had taken from us, and a third and larger one, the man-of-war, as they call it, which had taken us. So eight of us Frenchmen were taken in this vessel, in view of any opportunity that might arise of sending us back to our own country. These vessels returned first to the place where we had been captured, and all the crosses that we had set up they overthrew. But not unavenged! On the same spot, [10] before our departure, they hanged one of their number whom they had apprehended in some plot. Thus one Cross took the place of many.

Here a new peril arose. The English, as I have previously stated, wished to go to the settlement of Sainte Croix, although it had at this time no inhabitants. Some salt, however, had been left there. No one except myself knew the way; and the English knew that I had been there formerly. They accordingly demand that I lead them. I do all I can to evade and refuse this proposal; but [11] it avails me nothing. They perceive clearly that I am unwilling to obey. At this the captain grows very angry, and my peril becomes imminent; when suddenly they find the place, without my help, and plunder and burn it. They, moreover, on this occasion captured a savage, who guided them to Port Royal. Although this had delivered me from one great danger, it nevertheless involved me in another greater one. For after they had plundered and burnt Port Royal (which [page 11] by some inexplicable chance they had found abandoned by its inhabitants), some Frenchman, one of those very men who had deserted port [12] royal, brought an accusation against me, which was nothing less than this: that I was a genuine, native Spaniard; and that, on account of certain crimes committed in France, I dared not return there. Hereupon, the captain, already incensed against me, having found a fine pretext for his wrath, asked his followers whether they did not think it would be just to cast me forth on the shore and abandon me there. The opinion of the majority prevailed, who thought it better to take me back to Virginia, and there to return me to that unlucky tree which, in accordance with law and justice, I had escaped. [13] Thus I escaped death for the moment: and so we soon after started on our return voyage to Virginia. But, two days later, so fearful a tempest arose that the ships were separated, and none of us knew what became of the others. The captain of our ship, after he had endured the storm for three weeks, and had begun to run short of various necessaries, particularly of fresh water, concluding that there was no hope of getting back to Virginia for a long time, decided to run to the Portuguese islands called terceras [Azores]. Through this decision I, who appeared to have escaped from the death by hanging that awaited me, again found myself in a greater peril; greater I may truly call it, since I had here companions in my danger. The sixteen Englishmen, on approaching [14] these islands, began to reflect that they were lost if we priests and jesuits appeared; for we would be set at liberty on the instant by these Portuguese Catholics, and they, on the contrary, would be punished as pirates and persecutors of priests. This anxiety [page 13] troubled them. But what were they to do? Should they throw us overboard, or would it suffice to conceal us? In this embarrassment and uncertainty, the captain sent for me, and laid the matter before me. I said to him that death itself was not a greater evil, in my estimation, than to be the occasion [15] of misfortune to others. I promised, in case he chose to conceal us, that I would lend myself to this scheme in good faith. With what idea did God inspire him, to make him believe me? I know not, truly; but this I do know - that, if he had foreseen the dangers into which he subsequently fell, he would not have trusted me. Accordingly he hid us in the hold of the vessel; during three weeks we did not behold the sun; but the captain encountered so many difficulties in the port of the island Faal, and the vessel was visited so frequently during this space of three weeks, that it seems marvelous that we escaped detection. But this also God purposed for the greater glory of the Society; for the English [16] clearly saw that if we had wished to show ourselves, and to expose them, it would frequently have been in our power to do so. They themselves afterwards, when in England, often eulogized our good faith in the presence of their ministers, and to the admiration even of the enemies of the truth. Escaping from these perils, our captors decided to return to England rather than to Virginia, which was so much farther distant, and which was to be reached only by a long voyage, for which they lacked all the necessaries. Accordingly we set sail for England. Our voyage was a long one, and was marked by many vicissitudes finally, losing our bearings in the fog and the cloudy weather [17] we deviated from the right course [page 15] and were carried to Wales, not far from Ireland. In Wales our captain, having landed near the town of Pembroke to lay in provisions, was seized and detained as a pirate, because of certain appearances pointing that way. He, however, to recover his liberty, denied being a pirate; and, as a proof of his innocence, he adduced the fact that he had in his vessel two Jesuits from whose own lips they could learn the truth, if they pleased to summon them. Oh skillful hand of divine Providence! Winter was then fully upon us, and in the ship we were in want

of everything. Thus, had we not been provided for, we should have died of cold and hardships. But what need of a long story? [18] The Jesuits are at once summoned, and, gazed at by all, are led into the town. We are ordered to give our evidence. We, of course, attest what was perfectly true,—that our captain was a royal officer and not a pirate, and that what he had done to us had been done in obedience to orders, rather than from his own free will. Accordingly, our captain was set at liberty; and in company with him we were detained in the town, and very well used, while awaiting orders from London. These were long delayed; and in the interval we frequently engaged in arguments with the ministers, and more frequently still with others,—for nearly every

one was permitted [19] to have access to us, although we were not allowed to go out. In every other respect, as I have said, we were very kindly treated. Finally we received orders to sail from Pembroke to London. But the voyage proved a long one. Protracted delays intervened; to avoid a long enumeration of these, let it suffice to say that by order of the english king we were landed at [page 17] Dover, and thence sent to Calais in France. At Calais we were hospitably received by the Governor and the dean of the city, and rested three days; thence we came to Amiens, where we now are.

We remained in captivity [20] during nine months and a half. We were in the ship all the time, except when we landed at Pembroke, as related. There were three months during which we daily received only about two ounces of bread, and a small quantity of salt fish, with water that was nearly always fetid; so that we marvel at not having fallen sick. Few of the English escaped illness, and some of them even died as the result. But God doubtless watched over us in answer to the prayers of Your Paternity and of all our Society; may he grant in his goodness that it result to his own greater glory and in my salvation and better life. This I hope for, through the prayers and [21] the blessing of Your Paternity, which, with all possible humility and affection, I solicit on my knees. May the Lord Jesus ever watch over Your Paternity and may our Father with utmost goodness and favor increasingly bestow upon you his Most Holy grace.

Your Paternity's

obedient son and unworthy servant,

Pierre BIARD.

Amiens, May 26, 16l4.

[page 19]


Biard's Relation de la Nouvelle France

Lyons: LOUIS MUGUET, 1616


Source: Text is reprinted from the original, in Lenox Library; Title-page is photographic facsimile of original, in Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.

Peculiarities of Original: The text only, is paged. P. 191 is wrongly numbered, 181; P. 256 to the last page (340), are wrongly numbered, 263 to 338. Chap. xi. is wrongly numbered xii.; succeeding chapters are consecutively numbered therefrom, xiii., xiv., etc., except that Chap. xix. in this arrangement, is wrongly numbered xxi.; but this transposition of letters has not affected the numbering of subsequent chapters.

Chaps. i.-xxv. (correct numbering) are given in the present volume ; the rest of this document will appear in Volume IV.

[page 21]






and of its Inhabitants,


Of the voyage of the Jesuit Fathers to said

country, and of their work there up

to the time of their cap-

ture by the English.


By Father Pierre Biard, of Grenoble,

of the Society of Jesus.



Lovys Mvgvet,

ruë Merciere.


By Royal License.

[page 25]

[iii] To the King.


If I present to your Majesty these Discourses upon your new France, the description of the country, and the account of the manners and strange and barbarous ways of the Canadians, I am bound to do it by every consideration of duty. Your express command, with that of the Queen, your highly esteemed mother, then Regent, carried me and some of my Companions thither more propitiously than wind and tide; your Royal generosity supported me there for some years; and your mighty authority delivered me from the hands of certain English Pirates, enemies of our holy [iv] faith, (of which we cast some seeds in this New World, with the hope of one day having a.plentiful harvest, sole object of our voyage and of your royal command, SIRE,) they compelled us to leave the .Place, to our great regret, and held us prisoners several months in their ship, and a hundred times prepared the rope and the gallows for our execution; respect for Your Majesty alone having prevented them from carrying out their wicked ~designs, particularly upon my person, which possibly devine providence has wished to preserve through your agency, to be again ordered to sail away to the same country, and to continue the education of this barbarous people. Delivered now from this danger, and still wet from the shipwreck in the port of your France, I lay at your feet this little book as an evidence of very humble gratitude that, if I am living and writing, it is due (after God) to your help and favor, SIRE. And [v] this signal obligation, being always before my eyes, will cause me to pray God [page 27] continually, with all those of my order, that, as Your Majesty's years and zeal increase, you may one day plant the standard of the Cross with its Royal fleurs de lys upon the most distant Infidel lands, while the great King of Kings prepares for you in Heaven a crown of honor and of everlasting glory, which I wish for you, after having worn your crown upon earth long and happily with the same love and devoion from which I am your Majesty's

Very humble and very obedient

subject and servant,

Pierre Biard.

[page 29]

[vi] Preface.

ERY appropriately (dear Reader) one of the earlier Prophets, depicting to us allegorically, under the visible and historical downfall of Judah, the horrible ravages, exterminations, and ruin wrought by Satan, where his fury can have full sway, has said emphatically: Before him the land is a Garden of pleasure, and behind him a desolate wilderness. For truly, whoever will cast his eyes over all the vast circumference of the earth, and will consider the nations thereof which are illuminated by the Sun of justice, our Savior Jesus Christ; bedewed with his blood and precious Sacrament; nourished by his grace and word; animated and gladdened by his [vii] spirit; enlightened and governed by his divine Offices, honored by his utterances and actual presence; whoever, I say, will contemplate this, will have great reason to cry out, Beyond the infernal destroyer, and, Where he does not extend, the earth is a Garden of delight, where all blessings, even temporal and worldly happiness, follow the people, the real tree of life, our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, being planted in their midst. On the contrary, if we turn aside our gaze, and look behind this cursed tyrant, Lucifer, and upon the places where he has exercised his intolerable cruelties, we shall find only destruction and solitude, cries and lamentations, only desolation and the shadow of death. Now we need not go out from our own hemisphere to see and recognize [viii] this truth; Greece and Palestine [page 31] confront us, formerly as beautiful as Eden, to-day a mournful desert; but if you wish that we should look upon our own country, that, having a striking proof thereof, we may render praise to the liberal giver of our blessings; I pray you let us follow this corporal Sun, which gives us light, and accompany it to its setting, to learn to whom, in a direct line from us, it goes forth to give good day across our Ocean, leaving us here to the stillness of the -night. It is new France, this new land, first discovered in the last century, by our countrymen, a twin land with ours, subject to the same influences, lying in the same latitude, and having the same climate; a vast country, and so to speak, infinite; [ix] a country which we greet, facing our Sun at eventide: a land moreover, of which you may well say, if you consider Satan opposite and coming up from the West to smite us; A Garden of delight lies before him, behind him a solitary wilderness. For verily all this region, though capable of the same prosperity as ours, nevertheless through Satan's malevolence, which reigns there, is only a horrible wilderness, scarcely less miserable on account of the scarcity of bodily comforts than for that which renders man absolutely miserable, the complete lack of the ornaments and riches of the soul; and neither the sun, nor malice of the soil, neither the air nor the water, neither men nor their caprices, are to be blamed for this. We are all created by and dependent upon the same principles: [x] We breathe under the same sky; the same constellations influence us; and I do not believe that the land, which produces trees as tall and beautiful as ours, will not produce as fine harvests, if it be cultivated. Whence, then, comes such great [page 33] diversity? Whence such an unequal division of happiness and of misfortune? of garden and of wilderness? of Heaven and of Hell? Why do you ask me? Ask him, who from Heaven counsels his people, to consider the so opposite division between Esau and Jacob, twin brothers, the former cast out to dwell with dragons and wild beasts; the latter in the lap and bosom of the earth with the Angels.

This consideration is certainly powerful, and ought to inspire all our sentiments with admiration, [xi] keeping us in pious fear, and in loving desire to benevolently impart this highest of all the blessings of Christianity, which comes to us so gratuitously and of its own accord. For otherwise it is certainly easy for our kind Father to cross his hands as did Jacob, and put his right upon the younger, and his left upon the elder. Oh, my God! where is here the ambition of the Great? where, the contention of the strong? where, the display of the rich? where, the endeavor of the virtuous? is there a field of Marathon, or are there Olympian games, more fitting to the brave? Where can the glory of a Christian more successfully ennoble him, than there where it brings both bodily and spiritual happiness to his brethren; and where, as one of God's great instruments, he would make a Garden out of the wilderness; where [xii] he would subjugate satanic Monsters, and would introduce the order and discipline of heaven upon earth; where generations upon generations, by thousands and to the remotest ages, would forever bless his name and memory, and heaven itself (which would be peopled by his good deeds) would rejoice at the thanksgivings and blessings bestowed upon him.

Now (dear Reader) it is this my eagerness and ardent [page 35] desire to see this new France converted to our Lord, which has made me take my pen in hand to describe to you briefly, and in all truth, what I have found out about these lands. It is four years since I was sent there by my Superiors; and, as God's punishment for my sins, I was taken away from there by the English, as I shall relate hereafter.

[page 36]

Relation of New France, and the Jesuit Fathers'

Voyage to that country.


[1] on the location of new france, and those

who first attempted to settle there.

E call New France, the lands and countries of America or the West Indies, which are upon the other shore of the Ocean of Guienne, towards the setting Sun, opposite us and lying directly in the same line from East to West. [2] They have given it this name of New France principally for two reasons. The first, because (as I have said) these lands are parallel to our France, nothing lying between Guienne and said countries, except our Western sea, in its narrowest part more than eight hundred leagues wide; in its widest, a little less than a thousand leagues, or thereabout. The second reason is that this country was first discovered by French Bretons, in the year 1504, one hundred and eleven years ago, and since then they have not ceased to visit it. The Normans also assisted in these early discoveries; among whom we read that Captain Thomas Aubert of Dieppe, sailed in the year 1508, and brought back from there some of the Natives, whom he exhibited to the wonder [3] and applause of France. Two years before him, Captain Jean Denys of Honfleur, had made the same discovery; but, as he brought back only some fish, and [page 39] Geographical charts, he has not become so renowned as Thomas Aubert. After the year 1523, Jean Verazan skirted all the coast from Florida to Cape Breton, and took possession of it in the name of his master, Francis I. I believe it was Jean Verazan who was Godfather to this title of "New France;"1 for Canada (a name by which they also frequently call it) is not, properly speaking, all this extent of country which they now call New France; but it is only that part, which extends along the banks of the great River Canada, and [4] the Gulf of St. Lawrence; this being only the most Northern part of New France as will be seen from the Geographical chart which we insert herein.

Acadie, or the Souriquoys country farther South, is next to Canada, and still farther down, on the other side of French Bay, is Norambegue. Of these two words, Norambegue and Acadie, there no longer remains any remembrance in the country, yet there is of Canada, which was discovered principally by Jacques Cartier in 1524, and then in a second voyage ten years afterwards in 1534.

Now ever since the first of these discoveries, the French have been talking about cultivating and inhabiting these wildernesses. (Wildernesses they certainly are, the whole country being but an interminable forest.) [5] Certain individuals, such as Roberval and the Marquis de la Roche, and others, have even attempted it. But the most widely known and latest voyage undertaken for this purpose was that of sieur de Monts, Pierre du Gas, who has been very highly commended for it. Having considerable money at his disposal, and having associated with him for this object certain Merchants [page 41] of Roüen, of saint Malo and of la Rochelle, he received from the late Henry the Great, of happy memory, full power and authority, as Lieutenant of the King in these said countries, from the fortieth to the forty-sixth parallel of latitude, for there ended the power given him to dispose of lands. However, his rights of trade and government extended to the 54th parallel, as [6] can be learned from the Royal letters that were sent to him. Thus, by sieur de Monts's Commission, it seems that they took occasion to narrow down the boundaries of New France: for (as we have said) hitherto it had extended as far South as Florida, while now it is generally bounded on the South by the thirty-ninth parallel of latitude, as you see by our chart. Its Eastern boundary is our sea; its Western, will be the China sea, if we have force and courage enough; as to other boundaries, it has none which are definite, the country being unlimited, and ten or twelve times more extensive than our entire France.

Now sieur de Monts, having the authority and power mentioned, and being well equipped and [7] accompanied, left France in the year 1604, just a hundred years after the discovery of this country, and went to live upon the Coast of Norembegue among the Eteminquoys people, upon a small Island, which lie called sainte Croix. But misfortune overtook him there, for he lost a great many of his people by sickness.

Leaving there the following year, forced by necessity, he changed his dwelling place to Port Royal, towards the East Southeast, some twenty-six leagues away, in Acadie or the Souriquoys country. Here he remained only two years, for the associated [page 43] merchants, seeing that their outlay exceeded their receipts, no longer cared to continue the experiment. So they all had to return to France, leaving nothing as a monument of their adventure, except two dwellings entirely empty, that of sainte [8] Croix, and that of Port Royal; and bringing no greater spoils back with them, than the Topography and description of the Seas, Capes, Coasts, and Rivers, which they had traversed. These are all the chief results of our efforts up to the years 1610 and 1611, of which we shall speak hereafter in conducting the Jesuits there. But as a preliminary, according to our promise, and as the nature of our purpose demands, we shall show the Horoscope and Geniture of these lands, I mean their climate, their weather, seasons, temperature, and conditions.

[page 45]




HIS country being, as we have said, parallel to our France, that is, in the same climate and latitude, by a principle of Astrology it ought to have the same physical forces, deviations and temperatures; for it does not vary in those particulars any more than, for example, Grenoble, Vienne, and Bourdeaux, Paris and Cornoaille, Marseilles and Bayonne, vary among us; that is, only as one place is farther to the East than the other; also, its days are of the same length, its astral conditions the same, it has the same seasons and temperature. It is true that new France extends three degrees [10] farther south than ours does, which stops at Fontarabie, that is, at the 42nd parallel; while New France extends at least to the 39th, and farther, if it pleases his Majesty not to give up anything that his predecessor, Francis I., had acquired.

Nevertheless, whatever the Astrologers may say, it must be confessed that that country (generally speaking, and as it is at present) is colder than our France, and that they differ greatly from each other in regard to weather and seasons. The causes thereof not being in the sky, we must seek them upon the earth. I shall show accurately some experiments I made continuously for two years and a half, I might say three years and a half, only I consumed [page 47] nearly a year at various times in voyages away from the mainland. The place [11] where I remained the longest was Port Royal, almost on the 45th parallel of north latitude. Now at that place the snow came towards the end of November, and it never entirely thawed in the woods until about the last of February, unless, as often happened, a heavy rain, or strong South wind came to melt it. But no sooner did this snow melt than more fell. Outside the woods, and in the open places, it did not last any longer than it does in France, but it snows oftener there than it usually does in France. The deepest snow I have seen in that country was not quite a foot and a half. When the Northwest wind (which we call here Galerne) lashes itself into a fury, the cold there is insufferable, but it lasts only eight or ten days at the most, then the weather becomes milder for a while, as it is in France, [12] and people would no longer be prevented from going on with their work, or even from going back and forth, as in France, if they had the same accommodations we have here. But whatever I saw here was extreme poverty. Some wretched cabins, open in many places; our food, peas and beans, rather scarce in quantity; our drink, pure water; the clothes of our people all in rags; our supplies found in the woods from day to day; our medicine a glass of wine on great holidays; our restoratives, perchance a trifle from the chase of a little feathered game; the place uninhabited, no footprints upon the paths, our shoes only fit for the fireside. After this, go and say there is no winter in Canada. But at least do not say that the water there is not [13] excellent, and the air not healthful; for it is certainly wonderful that, notwithstanding all [page 49] these discomforts, we always kept our health, being never less than twenty in number, and that in three years only two of us died of disease, one a man from St. Malo and the other a Breton; yet the latter died more for want of a little bread and wine to restore him (there being a dearth of all those things) than from the gravity of the symptoms or malignancy of the disease.

Let us recall how Jacques Quartier lost almost all his people, the first winter he passed in this country; and also how sieur de Monts lost about half of his the first winter at Ste. Croix, and the following one, which was the first at port Royal, he also experienced great [14] loss, but not so much, and the third year still less. Likewise at Kebec, afterwards, several died the first year, and not so many the second. This collection of incidents will serve to show us the causes of sickness and of health, which we have experienced so differently. The common disease was Scurvy, which is called land disease. The limbs, thighs, and face swell; the lips decay, and great sores come out upon them; the breath is short, and is burdened with an irritating cough; the arms are discolored, and the skin covered with blotches; the whole body sinks under exhaustion and languor, and nothing can be swallowed except a little liquid. Sieur de Champlain, philosophizing upon this, attributes the cause of these diseases to the dampness [15] inhaled by those who plow, spade, and first live upon this ground, which has never been exposed to the sun. His statements are plausible and not without examples; but they may be confronted by the fact that sailors, who only go to the coast to fish, and do not clear the land at all, nor live upon it, often fall ill of [page 51] this malady, and especially the Bretons, for it seems to pick them out from all the others. Also, that we, who were well as I have said, worked a great deal in the soil and out in the open air, yet we scarcely knew what this evil was, except I myself, to a slight degree, during the second winter, when I became very much bloated from fever and extreme weakness; but my gums and lips were not affected, and [16] my illness passed off in ten or twelve days. I believe it was a great benefit to us that our dwelling was not new, and that, the space around the settlement having been cleared for a long time, we had a free and pure circulation of air. And I believe that this is principally what Champlain meant.

I have heard of others, who argued differently, and not without Logic. They believed that living inactive during a long and gloomy winter, like that of Canada, had been the cause of this disease among the new inhabitants. Of all sieur de Monts's people who wintered first at Sainte Croix, only eleven remained well. These were a jolly company of hunters, who preferred rabbit hunting, to the air of the fireside; [17] skating on the ponds, to turning over lazily in bed; making snowballs to bring down the game, to sitting around the fire talking about Paris and its good cooks. Also, as to us who were always well at Port Royal, our poverty certainly relieved us of two great evils, that of excessive eating and drinking, and of laziness. For we always had good exercise of some kind, and on the other hand our stomachs were not overloaded. I certainly believe that this medicine was of great benefit to us.

Let us return to our discourse upon the weather and seasons. I noticed once, that two February days, [page 53] the 26th and 27th, were as beautiful, mild, and spring-like as are those in France about that time; nevertheless, the third day [18] after, it snowed a little and the cold returned. Sometimes in summer the heat is as intolerable, or more so than it is in France; but it does not last long, and soon the sky begins to be overcast. The foliage appears upon the trees later than it usually does in France, yet it has not done so this year, 1614, for when I arrived in Picardie towards the end of April, I did not find the season any more advanced there. Indeed it seemed to me that in Canada everything sprouted sooner. And, speaking in general, the weather and season over there are just like what we have experienced here this year in Paris and Picardie, except for the drizzling rains and fogs, which are more common in that country. At Port Royal we had scarcely any during the Summer, except near the coast. But among the Etechemins and at Pentegoet, these [19] fogs often continue for three and four days, a very discouraging thing, and we were afraid they would keep our crops from ripening; nevertheless, we have too many arguments to the contrary. For at Port Royal, which is colder, and more changeable, they ripened, and I had a three years' experience there. Also, Champlain asserts that at Ste. Croix, which is upon this same coast (in a very chilly and cloudy location) their wheat and other crops always ripened.

But in truth what can be the cause of these hoarfrost and cold, so much greater than we usually have in France For it is well to consider it, since even Norembegue, where our settlement of St. Sauveur was located, is as far South, as our most Southern Provinces, [20] Guienne, Languedoc, and Dauphiné. But [page 55] we cannot assign the cause to the mountains, for we have not seen any very high ones there, such as our Sevenes, Mesain, Chartreuse, and a large part of Auvergne, Velay, Dauphiné and Provence; and it would be out of all question that so slight an elevation as is to be seen in Norembegue, could cause so great a variation in such a vast extent of country; also the great cold of that country does not come from the coast, where the greatest elevations are to be found, which is the Northeast (as you can see from the chart), but from the Northwest, which is entirely flat.

Here the defenders of silent forces hold themselves well intrenched in their Fortress and simply advance their defensive weapons, i. e., [21] their unknown causes, saying that there is an inexplicable something in the sky which causes this effect upon these lands: and also Drake, traversing the sea West of this country, in the region of New Albion, below the strait of Auian, at 40°, 42°, and 44° North latitude, encountered such severe cold that he was forced to turn back. Likewise that in the Counibas country, which is in the same latitude in the interior of the continent, the Spaniards found high mountains, and such severe cold, that they could not remain there; that those countries, from which comes the most severe cold, are West of us, and that this might well be the cause of these frosts and fogs, through a continuous current of air. But why, both in new Albion and in the Connibas country, does it become so cold? We [22] cannot know the cause thereof, they say, and must believe that there are certain influences, which we do not discover. They must give the cold rather strong wings to make it come to us from four or five hundred leagues. For I believe [page 57] there are as many and more than that, up to new Albion; however, we often notice that a single league and even less makes a noticeable difference in the heat and cold, light and darkness, dryness and humidity, and all such other variations, so much so that it is remarkable. Moreover, it is ridiculous, after having gone five hundred leagues to find the cold in its native lair, not to encounter anything except inexplicable influences, which cannot be named, and certain mysterious agencies. Would you not rather seek out [23] these aspects, agencies, and unknown and hidden causes which you talk about, in Canada itself, either below or within it, rather than to look for them so far away in a country where you have never been?

As to us, after having sufficiently discussed the matter, we found only two causes for the difference between the two countries, as to weather and seasons; one is that Canada has more Water, and the other that it is uncultivated. For, in the first place, if you merely look at the chart, you will see that this region is very much indented with gulfs and bays, and that its lands, hollowed out by the waters, are much more intersected by rivers, and occupied by a number of ponds and lakes, which would be a great ornament and convenience to the country if it were inhabited, but all this also causes the [24] cold and fogs, as well upon the borders of the sea and rivers. Now we have never lived anywhere else, for we have not penetrated into the country except through the sea and rivers. Acadie, otherwise called the Souriquoys, where Port Royal is, is almost a peninsula; also it is more chilly and more variable than Norambegue, [page 59] which without doubt is better and in every way more habitable and fertile.

The second cause of the cold is very similar, namely, the wild and primitive condition of the land; for this is only a boundless forest, and so the soil cannot be readily warmed by the sun, either because it has a hard crust, never having been ploughed, or on account of the trees, which cast upon it a perpetual shade, or because the snow [25] and water stagnate there for a long time with no possibility of being consumed. Thus, from these lands nothing can arise except cold, gloomy, and moldy vapors; and these are the fogs when the wind ceases, and our piercing cold when they are put in motion and blown into a fury. Whereas, if the land were inhabited and cultivated, from it and from the dwellings of the inhabitants would arise exhalations, that is, warm and dry fumes; furthermore, the sun would find it prepared to feel its rays, and to scatter the cold and fogs; this was very evident to us from actual observation. For upon the small part which we ploughed, the snow always melted sooner than upon the other parts, and from there, the fogs usually began to scatter, and little by little to disappear.

[page 61]



HE soil, it seems to me, principally in Norambegue, is as good as that of France; you know this by its black color, by the high trees, strong and straight, which it nourishes, by the plants and grasses, often as high as a man, and similar things. At St. Sauveur, in the middle of June, we planted some grain, fruit seeds, peas, beans, and all kinds of garden plants. Three months afterwards, i. e., in the middle of September, we returned to see the results of our husbandry; the wheat had not come up (it was not sown in season) the barley was tufted, but not ripe, the peas and phasels perfectly good, but still green, the beans [27] were only in blossom; all the rest had come up admirably, even the onions and scallions; the fruit seeds had shot up, some a whole foot, the lowest ones a half a foot high.

I have said before that the whole country is simply an interminable forest; for there are no open places except upon the margins of the sea, lakes, and rivers, and where meadows have been made by the overflows of the sea and rivers; there are many such places which are very beautiful, immense fields of grass and pasture, like those near Chinictou Bay, and the river of Port Royal, and others. But here we must avoid an illusion by which many have been inadvertently imposed upon. For hearing those who come from foreign countries tell about their wealth [page 63] and fertility, very often with exaggeration (for [28] thus they think they will get a better hearing), they suppose that the things boasted about in these countries are found everywhere in abundance. As, for example, if some one were speaking of France, he might say that he had seen groves and forests of nothing but chestnut, orange, olive, pear, and apple trees, so loaded that they were breaking down; indeed, he could say this truthfully, for it is so. But the stranger hearing this would be deceived by it; for he would suppose that in all parts of France, or in nearly all, he would find this condition of things; not taking into consideration the fact that the chestnuts are in Perigord, a hundred leagues away from the oranges, which are in Provence; and the apples are in the region of Caux in Normandy, a hundred leagues from the chestnuts and two hundred from the olives. Now when the country is well peopled and settled, as France is, this favorable representation [29] may show great good fortune, for, by means of transportation and trade, all these riches can be interchanged; but in an uncultivated and uncivilized country, like Canada, it makes no more difference than if they only had one thing in a place. I say this because prudence is of great importance to those who go to clear new lands, as we Frenchmen are so willing to go there with our eyes shut and our heads down; believing, for example, that in Canada, when we are hungry, all we will have to do is to go to an Island, and there by the skillful use of a club, right and left, we can bring down birds each as big as a duck, with every blow. This is well said, as our people have done this more than once and in more than one place. It is all very well, if you [30] are never hungry except [page 65] when these birds are on the Islands, and if even then you happen to be near them. But if you are fifty or sixty leagues away, what are you going to do?

To return to my theme. There is no difficulty in finding a place that is good for one thing -a good and beautiful harbor; fine meadows and a very fertile soil; a picturesque hill, a pleasant river, or brook, etc. But to choose a place where all desirable qualities are united, is not the good fortune of an ordinary man, as Aristotle truthfully says, but the purpose and idea of a wise investigator: for, after all, the uses, success, and perfection of a place, as of a man, is not really that it be complete, but that there be no lack of what is essential and important. [31] That is why I say that all things considered, and taking it upon the whole, I believe that the country over there will be worth as much as this one, after it is well cultivated; but we should prefer that there everything be in a small space, which we ourselves do not find here in our extensive Kingdom, after so long a period of cultivation.

In several places we found the grape, and wild vines which ripened in their season. It was not the best ground where we found them, being full of sand and gravel, like that of Bourdeaux. There are a great many of these vines at St. John river, in 46° of latitude, where are to be seen also many walnut and hazel trees, and yet the under layer of soil is not good there. No other kinds of fruit trees are found in all this country; but there is every species of wild shrub and forest trees, such as [32] the oak, beech, elm, poplar, etc., and some cedars, at least what the French call cedars.

If the country were inhabited there might be some [page 67] profit made from its mines; for there is a silver one at the Baye Ste. Marie, according to sieur Champlain; and two of beautiful and pure copper, one at the entrance to Port Royal, and the other at the Bay of the mines; one of iron at the river St. John, and others elsewhere. Sandstone, slate, mica, coal, and all kinds of stone are not lacking.

All this new France is divided into different tribes, each one having its own separate language and country. They assemble in the Summer to trade with us, principally at the great river. To this place come ,also several other tribes from afar off. They barter their skins of beaver, otter, [33] deer, marten, seal, etc., for bread, peas, beans, prunes, tobacco, etc.; kettles, hatchets, iron arrow-points, awls, puncheons, cloaks, blankets, and all other such commodities as the French bring them. Certain tribes are now our implacable enemies, such as the Excomminquois, who inhabit the Northern coast of the great Gulf of St. Lawrence and do us a great deal of harm. This warfare was begun (as they say) when certain Basques tried to commit a wicked outrage. However, they paid well for their cursed incontinence, but not only they, for on their account both the St. Malo people and many others suffered, and still suffer a great deal every year. For these Savages are passionate, and give themselves up [34] to death with desperation, if they are in hopes of killing, or doing any one an injury. There are only three tribes which are on good terms of friendship with us, the Montaguets, the Souriquois, and the Eteminquois. I myself can witness to the friendship of the Etechemins and Souriquois, for I have lived among them, and for the Montaguets I have heard others speak. As to other tribes, [page 69] no confidence can be placed in them. The French have nothing to do with them except to explore their coasts, and even then they are badly treated, although Champlain does not complain of these savages at all, in his latest explorations up the great river.

This friendship and fidelity of the said tribes was especially noticeable after our rout by the English, as you will hear. For, as soon as they heard about it, they came to us at night, [35] and consoled us as best they could, offering us their canoes and their help to take us anywhere we wished to go. They also made the proposition, that if we wanted to live with them, there were three Captains—Betsabes, Aguigueou and Asticou, each one of whom, for his share, would take ten of our band (since there were thirty of us left), and would take care of us until the following year, when the French ships would arrive upon the coast; and that in this way we should be able to go back to our own country without falling into the hands of the wicked Ingrés, as they call the English. These were not false pretenses nor snares to entrap us, for you will hear farther on of the good treatment received from them by Father Enemond and his band; and at Port Royal during three winters, when we had great [36] need of them, how faithful and reliable we found them,—although, if they had intended to do us any harm, excellent and convenient opportunities for doing so were not wanting.

[page 71]




HE nature of our Savages is in itself generous and not malicious. They have rather a happy disposition, and a fair capacity for judging and valuing material and common things, deducing their reasons with great nicety, and always seasoning them with some pretty comparison. They have a very good memory for material things, such as having seen you before, of the peculiarities of a place where they may have been, [37] of what took place in their presence twenty or thirty years before, etc.; but to learn anything by heart—there's the rock; there is no way of getting a consecutive arrangement of words into their pates. They have no beards, the men no more than the women, except some of the more robust and virile. They have often told me that at first we seemed to them very ugly with hair both upon our mouths and heads; but gradually they have become accustomed to it, and now we are beginning to look less deformed. You could not distinguish the young men from the girls, except in their way of wearing their belts. For the women are girdled both above and below the stomach, and are less nude than the men; also they are usually more ornamented with matachias, that is, with [381 chains, gewgaws, and such finery after their fashion; by which you may know that such is the nature of the sex everywhere, fond of [page 73] adornment. Generally speaking, they are of lighter build than we are; but handsome and well-shaped, just as we would be if we continued in the same condition in which we were at the age of twenty-five. You do not encounter a big-bellied, hunchbacked, or deformed person among them: those who are leprous, gouty, affected with gravel, or insane, are unknown to them. Any of our people who have some defect, such as the one-eyed, squint-eyed, and flat-nosed, are immediately noticed by them and greatly derided, especially behind our backs and when they are by themselves. For they are droll fellows, and have a word and a nickname very readily at command, if they think they have any occasion to [39] look down upon us. And certainly (judging from what I see) this habit of self-aggrandizement is a contagion from which no one is exempt, except through the grace of God. You will see these poor barbarians, notwithstanding their great lack of government, power, letters, art and riches, yet holding their heads so high that they greatly underrate us, regarding themselves as our superiors.

Their clothes are trimmed with leather lace, which the women dress and curry on the side which is not hairy. They often curry both sides of elk skin, like our buff skin, then variegate it very prettily with paint put on in a lace-like pattern, and make gowns of it; from the same leather they make their shoes and strings. The men do not wear [40] trousers, because (they say) they hinder them too much, and place them as it were, in chains; they wear only a piece of cloth over their middle; in Summer they often wear our capes, and in Winter our bed-blankets, which they improve with trimming and wear double. [page 75] They are also quite willing to make use of our hats, shoes, caps, woolens and shirts, and of our linen to clean their infants, for we trade them all these commodities for their furs.

Arrived at a certain place, the first thing they do is to build a fire and arrange their camp, which they have finished in an hour or two; often in half an hour. The women go to the woods and bring back some poles which are stuck into the ground in a circle around the fire, and at the top are interlaced, in the form of a pyramid, [41] so that they come together directly over the fire, for there is the chimney. Upon the poles they throw some skins, matting or bark. At the foot of the poles, under the skins, they put their baggage. All the space around the fire is strewn with leaves of the fir tree, so they will not feel the dampness of the ground; over these leaves are often thrown some mats, or sealskins as soft as velvet; upon this they stretch themselves around the fire with their heads resting upon their baggage; And, what no one would believe, they are very warm in there around that little fire, even in the greatest rigors of the Winter. They do not camp except near some good water, and in an attractive location. In Summer the shape of their houses is changed; for then they are broad and long, [42] that they may have more air; then they nearly always cover them with bark, or mats made of tender reeds, finer and more delicate than ours made of straw, and so skillfully woven, that when they are hung up the water runs along their surface without penetrating them.

Their food is whatever they can get from the chase and from fishing; for they do not till the soil at all; but the paternal providence of our good God, which [page 77] does not forsake even the sparrow, has not left these poor creatures, worthy of his care, without proper provision, which is to them like fixed rations assigned to every moon; for they count by Moons, and put thirteen of them in a year. Now, for example, in January they have the seal hunting: for this animal, although it is aquatic, nevertheless spawns [43] upon certain Islands about this time. Its flesh is as good as veal; and furthermore they make of its fat an oil, which serves them as sauce throughout the year; they fill several moose-bladders with it, which are two or three times as large and strong as our pig bladders; and in these you see their reserve casks. Likewise in the month of February and until the middle of March, is the great hunt for Beavers, otters, moose, bears (which are very good), and for the caribou, an animal half ass and half deer. If the weather then is favorable, they live in great abundance, and are as haughty as Princes and Kings; but if it is against them, they are greatly to be pitied, and often die of starvation. The weather is against them if it rains a great deal, and does not freeze; for then they can hunt neither deer nor [44] beavers. Also, when it snows a great deal, and does not freeze over, for then they cannot put their dogs upon the chase, because they sink down; the savages themselves do not do this, for they wear snowshoes on their feet which help them to stay on top: yet they cannot run as fast as would be necessary, the snow being too soft. They have other misfortunes of this kind which it would be tedious to relate.

In the middle of March, fish begin to spawn, and to come up from the sea into certain streams, often so abundantly that everything swarms with them. [page 79] Any one who has not seen it could scarcely believe it. You cannot put your hand into the water, without encountering them. Among these fish the smelt is the first; this smelt is two and three times as large as [45] that in our rivers; after the smelt comes the herring- at the end of April; and at the same time bustards, which are large ducks, double the size of ours, come from the South and eagerly make their nests upon the Islands. Two bustard eggs are fully equal to five hen's eggs. At the same time come the sturgeon, and salmon, and the great search through the Islets for eggs, as the waterfowl, which are there in great numbers, lay their eggs then, and often cover the Islets with their nests. From the month of May up to the middle of September, they are free from all anxiety about their food; for the cod are upon the coast, and all kinds of fish and shellfish; and the French ships with which they traffic, and you may be sure they understand how to make themselves courted. They set themselves up for brothers of [46] the King, and it is not expected that they will withdraw in the least from the whole farce. Gifts must be presented and speeches made to them, before they condescend to trade; this done, they must have the Tabagie, i.e. the banquet. Then they will dance, make speeches and sing Adesquidex, Adesquidex, That is, that they are good friends, allies, associates, confederates, and comrades of the King and of the French.

Water game abounds there, but not forest game, except at certain times birds of passage, like bustards and gray and white geese. There are to be found there gray partridges, which have beautiful long tails and are twice as large as ours; there are a great many wild pigeons, which come to eat raspberries in the [page 81] month of July, also several birds of prey and some rabbits and hares.

[47] Now our savages in the middle of September withdraw from the sea, beyond the reach of the tide, to the little rivers, where the eels spawn, of which they lay in a supply; they are good and fat. In October and November comes the second hunt for elks and beavers; and then in December (wonderful providence of God) comes a fish called by them Ponamo, which spawns under the ice. Also then the turtles bear little ones, etc. These then, but in a still greater number, are the revenues and incomes of our Savages; such, their table and living, all prepared and assigned, everything to its proper place and quarter. Never had Solomon his mansion better regulated and provided with food, than are these homes and their landlords. But then a greater one than Solomon has made them; to him be the glory through all eternity.

[48] In order to thoroughly enjoy this, their lot, our foresters start off to their different places with as much pleasure as if they were going on a stroll or an excursion; they do this easily through the skillful use and great convenience of canoes, which are little skiffs made of birch-bark, narrow and closed at both ends, like the crest of a morion; the body is like a large hollow cradle; they are eight or ten feet long; moreover so capacious that a single one of them will hold an entire household of five or six persons, with all their dogs, sacks, skins, kettles, and other heavy baggage. And the best part of it is that they can land wherever they like, which we cannot do with our shallops or sailing boats; for the most heavily-loaded canoe can draw only half a foot of water, and unloaded [page 83] it is so [49] light that you can easily pick it up and carry it away with your left hand; so rapidly sculled that, without any effort, in good weather you can make thirty or forty leagues a day; nevertheless we scarcely see these Savages posting along at this rate, for their days are all nothing but pastime. They are never in a hurry. Quite different from us, who can never do anything without hurry and worry; worry, I say, because our desire tyrannizes over us and banishes peace from our actions.

[page 85]



HERE can be no more polity than there is Commonwealth, [50] since polity is nothing else than the regulation and government of the Commonwealth. Now these Savages not having a great Commonwealth, either in number of people, since they are few; nor in wealth, since they are poor, only living from hand to mouth; nor in ties and bonds of union, since they are scattered and wandering; cannot have great polity. Yet they cannot do without it since they are men and brethren. So what they have is this. There is the Sagamore, who is the eldest son of some powerful family, and consequently also its chief and leader. All the young people of the family are at his table and in his retinue; it is also his duty to provide dogs for the chase, canoes for transportation, provisions and reserves for bad weather and expeditions. The young people [51] flatter him, hunt, and serve their apprenticeship under him, not being allowed to have anything before they are married, for then only can they have a dog and a bag; that is, have something of their own, and do for themselves. Nevertheless they continue to live under the authority of the Sagamore, and very often in his company; as also do several others who have no relations, or those who of their own free will place themselves under his protection and guidance, being themselves weak and without a following. Now all that the [page 87] young men capture belongs to the Sagamore; but the married ones give him only a part, and if these leave him, as they often do for the sake of the chase and supplies, returning afterwards, they pay their dues and homage in skins and [52] like gifts. From this cause there are some quarrels and jealousies among them as among us, but not so serious. When, for example, some one begins to assert himself and to act the Sagamore, when he does not render the tribute, when his people leave him or when others get them away from him; then as among us, also among them, there are reproaches and accusations, as that such a one is only a half Sagamore, is newly hatched like a three-days' chicken, that his crest is only beginning to appear; that he is only a Sagamochin, that is, a Baby Sagamore, a little dwarf. And thus you may know that ambition reigns beneath the thatched roofs, as well as under the gilded, and our ears need not be pulled much to learn these lessons.

[53] These Sagamies divide up the country and are nearly always arranged according to bays or rivers. For example, for the Pentegoet river there is one Sagamore; another for the Ste. Croix; another for the St. John, etc. When they visit each other it is the duty of the host to welcome and to banquet his guests, as many days as he can, the guests making him some presents; but it is with the expectation that the host will reciprocate, when the guest comes to depart, if the guest is a Sagamore, otherwise not.

It is principally in Summer that they pay visits and hold their State Councils; I mean that several Sagamores come together and consult among themselves about peace and war, treaties of friendship and treaties for the common good. It is only these [page 89] Sagamores who have a voice in the discussion and who make the speeches, unless there be some old and renowned [54] Autmoins, who are like their Priests, for they respect them very much and give them a hearing the same as to the Sagamores. It happens sometimes that the same person is both Autmoin and Sagamore, and then he is greatly dreaded. Such was the renowned Membertou, who became a Christian, as you will soon hear. Now in these assemblies, if there is some news of importance, as that their neighbors wish to make war upon them, or that they have killed some one, or that they must renew the alliance, etc., then messengers fly from all parts to make up the more general assembly, that they may avail themselves of all the confederates, which they call Ricmaneu, who are generally those of the same language. Nevertheless the confederation often extends farther than the language does, and war sometimes arises against [55] those who have the same language. In these assemblies so general, they resolve upon peace, truce, war, or nothing at all, as often happens in the councils where there are several chiefs, without order and subordination, whence they frequently depart more confused and disunited than when they came.

Their wars are nearly always between language and language, or country and country, and always by deceit and treachery. They have the bow and the shield, or buckler, but they never place themselves in a line of battle, at least from what I have been able to learn. And, in truth, they are by nature fearful and cowardly, although they are always boasting, and do all they can to be renowned and to have the name of "Great-heart." Meskir Kameramon, "Great-heart," among them is the crowning virtue. [page 91]

[56] If the offenses are not between tribes, but between compatriots and fellow-citizens, then they fight among themselves for slight offenses, and their way of fighting is like that of women here, they fly for the hair; holding on to this, they struggle and jerk in a terrible fashion, and if they are equally matched, they keep it up one whole day, or even two, without stopping until some one separates them; and certainly in strength of body and arms they are equal to us, comparing like to like; but if they are more skillful in wrestling and nimble running, they do not understand boxing at all. I have seen one of our little boys make a Savage, a foot taller than himself, fly before him; placing himself in the posture of a noble warrior, he placed his thumb over his fingers and said, "Come on!" [57] However, when the Savage was able to catch him up by the waist, he made him cry for mercy.

Returning to my subject. The little offenses and quarrels are easily adjusted by the Sagamores and common friends. And in truth they are hardly ever offended long, as far as we know. I say, as far as we know, for we have never seen anything except always great respect and love among them; which was a great grief to us when we turned our eyes upon our own shortcomings. For to see an assembly of French people without reproaches, slights, envy, and quarrels with each other, is as difficult as to see the sea without waves, except in Monasteries and Convents, where grace triumphs over nature.

The great offenses, as when [58] some one has killed another, or stolen away his wife, etc., are to be avenged by the offended person with his own hand; or if he is dead, it is the duty of the nearest [page 93] relatives; when this happens, no one shows any excitement over it, but all dwell contentedly upon this word habenquedouïc, "he did not begin it, he has paid him back: quits and good friends." But if the guilty one, repenting of his fault, wishes to make peace, he is usually received with satisfaction, offering presents and other suitable atonement.

They are in no wise ungrateful to each other, and share everything. No one would dare to refuse the request of another, nor to eat without giving him a part of what he has. Once when we had gone a long way off to a fishing place, there passed by five or six women or girls, heavily burdened and weary; our people through courtesy [59] gave them some of our fish, which they immediately put to cook in a kettle, that we loaned them. Scarcely had the kettle begun to boil when a noise was heard, and other Savages could be seen coming; then our poor women fled quickly into the woods, with their kettle only half boiled, for they were very hungry. The reason of their flight was that, if they had been seen, they would have been obliged by a rule of politeness to share with the newcomers their food, which was not too abundant. We had a good laugh then; and were still more amused when they, after having eaten, seeing the said Savages around our fire, acted as if they had never been near there and were about to pass us all by as if they had not seen us before, telling our people [60] in a whisper where they had left the kettle; and they, like good fellows, comprehending the situation, knew enough to look unconscious, and to better carry out the joke, urged them to stop and taste a little fish; but they did not wish to do anything of the kind, they were in such a hurry, saying [page 95] coupouba, coupouba, "many thanks, many thanks" Our people answered: Now may God be with you since you are in such a hurry"

[page 97]



ONTRARY to our custom, in their marriages the father does not give a dower to his daughter to establish her with some one, but [61] the lover gives beautiful and suitable presents to the father, so that he will allow him to marry his daughter. The presents will be in proportion to the rank of the father and beauty of the daughter; dogs, beavers, kettles, axes, etc. But they have a very rude way of making love; for the suitor, as soon as he shows a preference for a girl, does not dare look at her, nor speak to her, nor stay near her, unless accidentally; and then he must force himself not to look her in the face, nor to give any sign of his passion, otherwise he would be the laughingstock of all, and his sweetheart would blush for him. After a while, the father brings together the relatives, to talk over the match with them,—whether the suitor is of proper age, whether he is a good and nimble hunter, his family, his reputation, his youthful adventures; and if he suits them, they will [62] lengthen or shorten, or make stipulations as to the time and manner of his courtship as they may think best; and at the end of this time, for the nuptials there will be solemn Tabagie and feasts with speeches, songs and dances.

According to the custom of the country, they can [page 99] have several wives, but the greater number of them that I have seen have only one; some of the Sagamores pretend that they cannot do without this plurality, not because of lust (for this nation is not very unchaste) but for two other reasons. One is, in order to retain their authority and power by having a number of children; for in that lies the strength of the house, in the great number of allies and connections; the second reason is their entertainment and service, which is great and laborious, since they have large families and [63] a great number of followers, and therefore require a number of servants and housewives; now they have no other servants, slaves, or mechanics but the women. These poor creatures endure all the misfortunes and hardships of life; they prepare and erect the houses, or cabins, furnishing them with fire, wood, and water; prepare the food, preserve the meat and other provisions, that is, dry them in the smoke to preserve them; go to bring the game from the place where it has been killed; sew and repair the canoes, mend and stretch the skins, curry them, and make clothes and shoes of them for the whole family; they go fishing and do the rowing; in short, undertake all the work except that alone of the grand chase, besides having the care and so weakening nourishment of their children. They bind their babies [64] I upon little slats like those which hang from the shoulders of street-porters in Paris, with the wings taken away. These slats hang from a broad strap fastened to their foreheads; thus burdened with their children, they go to the water, to the woods, and to fish. If the child cries they begin to dance and sin , thus rocking their little one, and when it stops crying they go on with their work. [page 101]

So for these reasons some of the Savages try to defend their Polygamy, further alleging that otherwise there would be an extinction of the family for lack of descendants; ignoring the blessings of Christian marriage. And therefore their renowned Membertou is worthy of greater praise, because although he was the greatest Sagamore, the most followed, and the most feared, that they had had for several centuries, [65] yet he did not care to have more than one wife at a time; although a Pagan, judging from instinct that this plurality was both infamous and troublesome, on account of the quarrels which always arose from it, as much among the wives as among the children of different mothers.

Now these women, although they have so much trouble, as I have said, yet are not cherished any more for it. The husbands beat them unmercifully, and often for a very slight cause. One day a certain Frenchman undertook to rebuke a Savage for this; the Savage answered angrily: "How now, have you nothing to do but to see into my house, every time I strike my dog?" The comparison was bad, the retort was keen. Few divorces occur among them, and (as I believe) little adultery. If the wife should so far forget herself, I do not believe that it [66] would be less than a matter of life and death to the two adulterers. The immorality of the girls is not considered so important, nor do they fail for this reason to find husbands; yet it is always a disgrace.

As to their dress, demeanor, and manners, the women and girls are very modest and bashful; the men also are not immodest, and are very much insulted, when some foolish Frenchman dares to meddle with their women. Once when a certain [page 103] madcap took some liberties, they came and told our Captain that he should look out for his men, informing him that any one who attempted to do that again would not stand much of a chance, that they would kill him on the spot. They always put up a separate cabin for the women when they have their menses, for then they believe them to be infectious.

They are astonished and often complain [67] that, since the French mingle with and carry on trade with them, they are dying fast, and the population is thinning out. For they assert that, before this association and intercourse, all their countries were very populous, and they tell how one by one the different coasts, according as they have begun to traffic with us, have been more reduced by disease; adding, that the reason why the Armouchiquois do not diminish in population is because they are not at all careless. Thereupon they often puzzle their brains, and sometimes think that the French poison them, which is not true; at other times that they give poison to the wicked and vicious of their nation to help them vent their spite upon some one. This last supposition is not without [68] foundation; for we have seen them have some arsenic and sublimate which they said they bought from certain French Surgeons, in order to kill whomsoever they wished, and boasted that they had already experimented upon a captive, who (they said) died the day after taking it. Others complain that the merchandise is often counterfeited and adulterated, and that peas, beans, prunes, bread, and other things that are spoiled are sold to them; and that it is that which corrupts the body and gives rise to the dysentery and other diseases which always attack them in Autumn. This theory likewise is not offered [page 105] without citing instances, for which they have often been upon the point of breaking with us, and making war upon us. Indeed there would be great need ,of [69] providing against these detestable murders by some suitable remedy if one could be found.

Nevertheless the principal cause of all these deaths and diseases is not what they say it is, but it is something to their shame; in the Summer time, when our ships come, they never stop gorging themselves excessively during several weeks with various kinds of food not suitable to the inactivity of their lives; they get drunk, not only on wine but on brandy; so it is no wonder that they are obliged to endure some gripes of the stomach in the following Autumn. This nation takes little care for the future, but, like all the other Americans, enjoys the present; they are not urged on to work except by present necessity. As long as they have anything, they are always celebrating feasts and having songs, dances and speeches; if there is [70] a crowd of them you need not expect anything else; there are then some fine truces in the woods. To speak of restraint, when they are not at war, is equal to proposing a riot. If you tell them that they will be hungry in the Winter: Endriex, they will answer you, "It is all the same to us, we shall stand it well enough: we spend seven and eight days, even ten sometimes, without eating anything, yet we do not die." Nevertheless, if they are by themselves and where they may safely listen to their wives (for women are everywhere better managers), they will sometimes make some storehouses for the Winter, where they will keep smoked meat, roots, shelled acorns, peas, beans, or prunes bought from us, etc. The storehouses are like this;—They put these [page 107] provisions in sacks, which they tie up in [71] big pieces of bark; these they suspend from the interlacing branches of two or three trees so that neither rats nor other animals, nor the dampness of the ground, can injure them. These are their storehouses. Who is to take care of them when they go away? for, if they stay, their stores would soon be consumed; so they go somewhere else until the time of famine. Such are the only guards they leave. For in truth this is not a nation of thieves. Would to God that the Christians who go among them would not set them a bad example in this respect. But as it is now, if a certain Savage is suspected of having stolen anything he will immediately throw this fine defense in your teeth, We are not thieves, like you, Ilinen auio aciquoan guiro derquir.

Returning to the sparseness of the [72] population, there are still some other reasons for it; this being the principal one, that in a life so irregular, so necessitous and so painful, a man's constitution cannot hold out unless it be very strong, and even then he is liable to accidents and irremediable injuries. Their wives, on account of their heavy work, are not very prolific, for at most they do not have children oftener than every two years, and they are not able to nourish their offspring if they have them oftener, as they nurse them for three years if they can. Their confinement lasts hardly two hours ; often the children are born on the march, and a little while afterward the mothers will go on with their work as before.

I have often wondered how many of these people there are. I have found from [73] the Accounts of the Savages themselves, that in the region of the great [page 109] river, from Newfoundland to Chouacoët, there cannot be found more than nine or ten thousand people. Look at the chart and I will give you the enumeration of them. The Souriquoys, in all, 3000, or 3500. The Eteminquois to Pentegoët, 2500. From Pentegoët to Kinibequi and from Kinibequi to Chouacoët, 3000. The Montaguets, 1000. This is about ten thousand souls, and I believe it is the highest number. The other tribes are not known to us. Consider how truly and emphatically the Holy Spirit has spoken through the mouth of Isaiah about these poor scattered Savages, under the fitting and appropriate comparison of a great orchard or garden, wild and uncultivated. He says: At the time of the harvest there are still nothing but buds, [74] At the time of the ripening, they are springing up: Then must he cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks: Therefore the fruits are left to the fowls of the mountain, and to the beasts of the earth; the fowls shall Summer upon them, and all the beasts of the earth shall winter upon them. For in truth this people, who, through the progress and experience of centuries, ought to have come to some perfection in the arts, sciences and philosophy, is like a great field of stunted and ill-begotten wild plants, a people which ought to have produced abundant fruits in philosophy, government, customs, and conveniences of life; which ought to be already prepared for the completeness of the Holy Gospel, to be received in the house of God. Yet behold it wretched and dispersed, given up to ravens, owls, and infernal cuckoos, and to be the cursed prey of spiritual foxes, [75] bears, boars, and dragons. O, God of mercy! wilt thou not have pity upon this misery? Wilt thou not look upon this poor wilderness with a favoring eye? Kind [page 111] and pious husbandman, so act that the prophecy which follows may be fulfilled upon us and in our time. In that time shall a present be brought unto the Lord of Hosts front a people rent, and torn in pieces, a terrible People, after which there hath been no other; A nation expecting, expecting, and trodden under foot, whose land the rivers have spoiled, to the place of the name of the Lord of Hosts, the mount Soin. Amen.

[page 113]



T is true that great poverty stifles the spirit, and overwhelms it with its importunate and despotic sway, so that it can seldom turn to itself, or revel in agreeable meditations, nor even dream of something better to prevent or lighten it, being always absorbed in and possessed by the greatest needs. We see this in our poor Savages, who live only from hand to mouth, and hence are always subject to the fear of hunger, first and strongest of all wants; they have no opportunity of developing their minds in the pursuit of [77] knowledge; not even of providing arts and trades for the relief and amelioration of life, nor to satisfy other wants however pressing. Now for this reason they not only lack all literature and fine arts, but also (unfortunately) medicine, whether for the preservation of their health, or for the cure of their diseases, except the little that I shall describe.

They keep themselves well (principally in Summer) by the use of hot rooms and sweat boxes, and by the bath. They also use massage, afterwards rubbing the whole body with seal oil, causing them to emit an odor which is very disagreeable to those not accustomed to it. Nevertheless, when this oiling process is over, they can stand heat and cold better, and their [78] hair is not caught in the branches, but is slippery, so that rain and tempest do not injure the head, but glide over it to the feet; also that the mosquitoes [page 115] (which are very vicious there in Summer, and more annoying than one would believe) do not sting so much in the bare parts, etc. They also use tobacco, and inhale the smoke as is done in France. This is without doubt a help to them, and upon the whole rather necessary, considering the great extremes of cold and bad weather and of hunger and overeating or satiety which they endure; but also many ills arise from it, on account of its excessive use. It is the sole delight of these people when they have some of it, and also certain Frenchmen are so bewitched with it that, to inhale its fumes, they would sell their shirts. All their talks, [79] treaties, welcomes, and endearments are made under the fumes of this tobacco. They gather around the fire, chatting and passing the pipe from hand to hand, enjoying themselves in this way for several hours. Such is their inclination and custom.

Now those among them who practice medicine, are identical with those who are at the head of their Religion, i.e. Autmoins, whose office is the same as that of our Priests and our Physicians. But in truth they are not Priests, but genuine sorcerers; not Physicians, but jugglers, liars, and cheats. All their science consists in a knowledge of a few simple laxatives, or astringents, hot or cold applications, lenitives or irritants for the liver or kidneys, leaving the rest to luck; nothing more. [80] But they are well versed in tricks and impositions, of which I shall give you a sample, assuring you that I have not misrepresented or fabricated anything of all that I shall tell you, although it may seem incredible.

A Savage, feeling very ill, stretches himself out near the fire: then they say; Ouëscouzy, Ouëscouzy, "he [page 117] is sick." When his turn comes, they give him his share of whatever they have boiled, roasted, or dragged over the coals, just the same as the others, for they are not accustomed to seek or prepare any special food for him. Now if the sick man eats what is given him, it is a good sign; otherwise, they say that he is very sick, and after some days (if they can) they will send for the Autmoin, whom the Basques call Pilotoys; i.e., sorcerer. [81] Now this Pilotoys, having studied his patient, breathes, and blows upon him some unknown enchantments; you would say that these chest winds ought to dispel the vitiated humors of the patient. If he sees after some days, that notwithstanding all his blowing the evil does not disappear, he finds the reason for it according to his own ideas, and says it is because the Devil is there inside of the sick man, tormenting and preventing him from getting well; but that he must have the evil thing, get it out by force and kill it. Then all prepare for that heroic action, the killing of Beelzebub. And the Autmoin advises them to be upon their guard, for it can easily happen that this insolent fellow, seeing himself badly treated by him, may hurl himself upon some one of the crowd, and strangle him upon the spot. For this reason he allots to each one his part of the [82] farce; but it would be tedious to describe, for it lasts fully three hours.

The sum and substance of it is that the juggler hides a stick in a deep hole in the ground, to which is attached a cord. Then, after various chants, dances, and howls over the hole, and over the sick man, who is not far away, of such kind that a well man would have enough of it to deafen him, he takes a naked sword and slashes it about so furiously that the sweat [page 119] comes out in great drops all over his body and he froths like a horse. Thereupon the spectators, being already intimidated, he, with a frightful and truly demoniac voice, redoubles his roars and threats that they must take care, that Satan is furious and that there is great peril. At this cry the poor dupes turn pale [83] as death, and tremble like the leaf upon the tree. At last this impostor cries out in another and more joyous tone: " There is the accursed one with the horn: I see him extended there at bay and panting within the ditch. But courage, we must have him all and exterminate him entirely." Now the audience being relieved, all the strongest with great joy rush for the cord to raise Satan, and pull and pull. But they are far from getting him, as the Autmoin has fastened the stick too well. They pull again as hard as they can, but without success, while the Pilotoys goes, from time to time, to utter his blasphemies over the hole; and, making as if to give great thrusts to the diabolical enemy, little by little uncovers the stick which, at last, by hard pulling, is torn out, bringing [84] with it some rubbish, which the charlatan had fastened to the end, such as decayed and mouldy bones, pieces of skin covered with dung, etc. Then they are all overjoyed ; wicked Lucifer has been killed. Nepq. Nepq. Stop, do you see his tracks? Oh victory! You will get well, sick man; be of good cheer, if the evil is not stronger than you, I mean, if the Devil has not already given you your deathblow.

For this is the last Scene of the farce. The Antmoin says, that the Devil being already killed, or seriously hurt, or at least gone away, whether very far or not, I do not know, it remains to be seen if he [page 121] has given a death wound to the patient. To guess this he will have to dream; indeed he is in great need of sleep, for he has worked hard. Meanwhile he gains time to observe the crisis of the disease. [85] Having slept well and dreamed, he looks again at his patient and, according to the symptoms which he observes, he declares that he is either to live or to die. He is not so foolish as to say that he will live, if the symptoms are not encouraging. He will then say, for instance, that he will die in three days. Hear now in what a fine fashion he verifies his prophecies. In the first place the sick man, since he has been thus appointed to die, does not eat, and they no longer offer him anything. But if he does not die by the third day, they say that he has something of the Devil in him, I know not what, which does not permit him to die easily, so they rush to his aid. Where? To the water. What to do? To bring kettles full of it. Why? To pour the cold water over his navel, and thus extinguish all vital heat, if any [86] remain to him. He is indeed obliged to die the third day, since if he is not going to do it of himself, they kill him.

Father Enemond Massé once found himself in the midst of this kind of foolery, and demonstrated to them plainly the trickery and falsity of it. But it is impossible to tell to how great a degree custom and influence can prejudice, even in the presence of ocular proof. For all your arguments, and you can bring on a thousand of them if you wish, are annihilated by this single shaft which they always have at hand, Aoti Chabaya, (they say) "That is the Savage way of doing it. You can have your way and we will have ours; every one values his own wares." [page 123] But in spite of these lugubrious Autmoinal predictions, we have seen some who, by the grace of God, have been saved and have recovered their health, through the good care and [87] nursing of the French, as for instance Membertou, whom Monsieur de Potrincourt delivered from just such a death as this; and in our time his son, Actodin; which has greatly discredited these baleful Magicians, and has opened the eyes of these poor Heathen, to the great glory of our Savior, and satisfaction of his servants.

In regard to the cure of sores, the Autmoins know no more; for all they can do is to suck the wound and charm it, applying to it some simple remedies at random. However, the general impression is, that they must make many and valuable presents to the Autmoin, so that he may have a more skillful hand: for they say that that counts a great deal in all kinds of diseases. Likewise the Pilotoys have also this privilege, that of receiving from all and [88] giving to none, as a wicked old man boasted to Father Enemond Massé. This is a fine exemption from taxes, indeed: Give nothing and take all.

[page 125]




HE sick man having been appointed by the Antmoin to die, as we have said, all the relations and neighbors assemble and, with the greatest possible solemnity, he delivers his funeral oration: he recites his heroic deeds, gives some directions to his family, recommends his friends: finally, says adieu. This is all there is of their wills. As to gifts, they make none at all; but, quite different from us, the survivors [89] give some to the dying man, as you will hear. But we must except the Tabagie, for it is a general injunction which must be observed everywhere, so that the ceremonies may be according to law.

So if the dying man has some supplies on hand, he must make Tabagie of them for all his relatives and friends. While it is being prepared, those who are present exchange gifts with him in token of friendship; dogs, skins, arrows, etc. They kill these dogs in order to send them on before him into the other world. The said dogs are afterwards served at the Tabagie, for they find them palatable. Having banqueted they begin to express their sympathy and sorrowful Farewells, their hearts weep and bleed because their good friend is going to leave them and go away; but he may go fearlessly, since [90] he leaves behind him beautiful children, who are good hunters and brave men: and good friends, who will avenge [page 127] his wrongs, etc. They go on in this way until the dying man expires and then they utter horrible cries; and a terrible thing are their Nænias [funeral dirges] which continue day and night, sometimes lasting a whole week, according to how great the deceased is, and to the amount of provisions for the mourners. If there are none at all, they only bury the dead man, and postpone the obsequies and ceremonies until another time and place, at the good pleasure of their stomachs.

Meanwhile all the relatives and friends daub their faces with black, and very often paint themselves with other colors ; but this they do to appear more pleasing and beautiful. To them black is a sign of grief and mourning.

[91] They bury their dead in this manner: First they swathe the body and tie it up in skins; not lengthwise, but with the knees against the stomach and the head on the knees, as we are in our mother's womb. Afterwards they put it in the grave, which has been made very deep, not upon the back or lying down as we do, but sitting. A posture which they like very much, and which among them signifies reverence. For the children and the youths seat themselves thus in the presence of their fathers, and of the old, whom they respect. We laugh at them, and tell them that way of sitting is the fashion with monkeys, but they like it and find it convenient. When the body is placed, as it does not come up even with the ground on account of the depth of the grave, they arch the grave over with sticks, so [92] that the earth will not fall back into it, and thus they cover up the tomb. If it is some illustrious personage they build a Pyramid or monument of interlacing poles; as eager in that for [page 129] glory as we are in our marble and porphyry. If it is a man, they place there as a sign and emblem, his bow, arrows, and shield; if a woman, spoons, matachias or jewels, ornaments, etc.

I have nearly forgotten the most beautiful part of all; it is that they bury with the dead man all that he owns, such as his bag, his arrows, his skins and all his other articles and baggage, even his dogs if they have not been eaten. Moreover, the survivors add to these a number of other such offerings, as tokens of friendship. judge from this whether these good [93] people are not far removed from this cursed avarice which we see among us; who, to become possessed of the riches of the dead, desire and seek eagerly for the loss and departure of the living.

These obsequies finished, they flee from the place, and, from that time on, they hate all memory of the dead. If it happens that they are obliged to speak of him sometimes, it is under another and a new name. As for instance, the Sagamore Schoudon being dead, he was called "the Father" [Père.] Membertou was called "the great Captain," and so on.

Now all their religion, to speak briefly, is nothing else than the tricks and charms of the Autmoins, as we have related before in speaking of their illnesses. They have many other similar sacrifices which they make to the Devil, so they will have good luck [94] in the chase, victory, favorable winds, etc. They believe also in dreams, that no kind of nonsense may be wanting to them. Furthermore, they say that the Magic of the Pilotoys often calls forth spirits and optical illusions to those who believe them, showing snakes and other beasts which go in and out of the mouth while they are talking ; and several other [page 131] Magical deeds of the same kind. But I never happened to be present at any of these spectacles. We were given to understand before we went there, that the evil spirit greatly tormented the bodies of these poor people before baptism, but not afterwards; I saw nothing of all this, nor heard of it while I was there, although I inquired into the matter very carefully. I put this down here in order to confute the [95] false witnesses of God, as St. Paul calls them; namely, those who relate false miracles in order to glorify God; to show that the writer of the memoir,25 who has forged such a lie, does not intend to glorify God in advancing these miracles so much as to charge that they were manufactured by the Jesuits.

The Savages indeed have often told me that, in their Fathers' time, and before the coming of the French, the Devil tormented them a great deal, but that he does not do it any more, as it appears. Membertou has assured me that when he was still Antmoin (for he was one, and very celebrated too), the Devil appeared to him many times; but that he had avoided him, knowing well that he was wicked, because he never commanded him to do anything but evil. Now this is all I have been able to learn on this subject.

[96] They believe in a God, so they say; but they cannot call him by any name except that of the Sun, Niscaminou nor do they know any prayers or manner of worshipping him. When I asked a young Antmoin about this, he answered, that when they were in great need he put on his sacred robe (for the Antmoins have a precious robe, expressly for their Orgies) and turning toward the East said, Niscaminou, hignemoüy ninem marcodam: "Our Sun, or our God, [page 133] give us something to eat;" that after that they went hunting cheerfully and with good luck; he could not tell me anything more. They have an incoherent and general idea of the immortality of the soul and of future reward and punishment: but farther than this they do not seek nor care for the causes of these things, occupied and engrossed always either [97] in the material things of life, or in their own ways and customs. Now these are briefly the principal features of what I have been able to learn about these nations and their life.

But now if we come to sum up the whole and compare their good and ill with ours, I do not know but that they, in truth, have some reason to prefer (as they do) their own kind of happiness to ours, at least if we speak of the temporal happiness, which the rich .and worldly seek in this life. For, if indeed they have not all those pleasures which the children of this age are seeking after, they are free from the evils which follow them, and have the contentment which does not accompany them. It is true, nevertheless, that they are purely and absolutely wretched, .as much because they have no part in the natural happiness which is in the contemplation [98] of God, .and in the knowledge of sublime things and in the perfection of the nobler parts of the soul, but chiefly because they are outside the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the way of Eternal salvation.

[page 135]




OU have heard up to the present about the nature of the lands of new France, and the more important habits, arts, and customs of the inhabitants. Now, after considering the whole subject thoroughly, the result of all these opinions, sentiments, experiments, arguments, and conjectures of the wise can hardly be otherwise than [99] this; namely, that there is no probability of ever being able to convert or really help these Nations to salvation, if there is not established there a Christian and Catholic colony, having a sufficiency of means to maintain it, and upon which all the countries depend, even as to provisions and temporal needs. Such is the result and conclusion of our investigations.

Now how can these colonists and emigrants be sheltered, provided for, and kept together there? This is not the place to go into details about it or even to enumerate the chief points. I shall only suggest that it is great folly for small companies to go there, who picture to themselves Baronies, and I know not what great fiefs and demesnes for three or four thousand écus, for example, which they will have to sink in that country. It would be still worse if [100] this foolish idea would occur to people who flee from the ruin of their families in France: for to such covetous people it invariably happens, not that, [page 137] being one-eyed, they would be kings among the blind, but that, blind, they would go to throw themselves into a wretched pit; and possibly instead of a Christian stronghold, they would found a den of thieves, a nest of brigands, a receptacle for parasites, a refuge for rogues, a hotbed of scandal and all wickedness. Who would then be more afflicted, do you think; the honest and God-fearing people finding themselves surrounded by such company, or such company, finding itself hemmed in and restrained by the presence of honest people? There would undoubtedly be some friction among them, and God knows what would be the result thereof.

[101] Also, on the other hand, the expenses, difficulties, and possible inconveniences ought not to be so greatly exaggerated that the resources and success of the enterprise are despaired of. For in truth, if it should be managed and conducted well, I believe that there are several private houses in Paris, and elsewhere which have the means necessary for such an undertaking, even without greatly interfering with their affairs over here, if God would but give them the desire to do it.

[page 139]



T is against nature, in whatever aspect you may [102] wish to take it, that the child, as soon as it is born, is able to nourish and sustain itself: for it is not in vain that the mother's breasts become large for a time. So what some have imagined up to the present is also unreasonable, that no other outlay is necessary for this colony which we are establishing in new France, except enough in the beginning to transport and locate our people yonder; supposing that they will find enough to maintain them there, either by trading or otherwise. That is like wishing to have children born with teeth and beards, and introducing mothers without breasts or milk, which God does not desire. Expenses will always be necessary there during the first years, until the land is sufficiently cultivated, [103] trades introduced, households arranged; and until the main parts of the colony have shown a reasonable and steady growth: and to that we must make up our minds. So, just as we must proceed with the temporal, as it is convenient to do, so in the same proportion with the spiritual; catechize, instruct, educate, and train the Savages properly and with long patience, and not expect that in one year, or in two, we can make Christians of people who have not felt the need of either a Priest or a Bishop. I am sure that God has never made any such Christians, and that he never will make them. [page 141] For our spiritual life depends upon the Doctrine and the Sacraments, and consequently upon those who administer them, according to his holy institution.

But if it is necessary throughout the world to diligently Catechize the people before [104] introducing them into the Church, and to communicate to them the Sacrament of regeneration, it is necessary above all to do it in these places; the reason being that the Canadians are a wandering people (as we have said) and pass their lives here and there without permanent settlements; therefore they cannot ordinarily attend mass nor prayers nor public services, nor hear sermons, nor receive the sacraments nor have Priests with them. How then do you think that they can maintain themselves in the faith and grace of God, if they do not receive instruction, and twice as much of it as the others? For we who are surrounded by the Religious, and are under the care of so many Pastors, and have such an abundance of good books, examples, laws and polity, can scarcely do it ourselves, who are old and, so to speak, [105] naturalized Christians; then how can they do it, all crude as they are, alone, without care, without letters, without precepts, without practice? Now to say that it is enough to beget, without thinking of how to maintain, is really saying that it is good to give life in order to take it away cruelly, which is not the act of a Father, but is worse than that of a murderer. Nevertheless this is done in the spiritual regeneration which is accomplished through Baptism. For to give it without providing for the nourishment of the regenerated, is doing what our Savior has said; driving the Devil out from a house so that when it is swept and garnished the vanquished enemy may [page 143] re-enter, not alone but accompanied by seven others, more wicked than himself; and thus bring it about that the unhappy regenerated is after Baptism [106] in a much more pitiable state than he was before being baptized. Furthermore, experience has already shown this need of properly catechizing before Baptizing, in a country where the people are not Savage but civilized ; not wandering, but stationary; not abandoned, but under the watchful care of Pastors, namely in Peru and Mexico. For at first they baptized them very readily. What happened then? They unexpectedly found on their hands a Synagogue of Samaritans rather than a Church of the faithful. For these who were too soon Baptized willingly came to Church but it was to mutter there their ancient idolatries. They observed the appointed saints' days, but it was while carrying on their ancient sacrifices, dances, and superstitions; they went to holy Communion, if it was desired, but without knowing either the Creed [107] or Confession, and emerging from there, they went off to get drunk and to sing to the Devil their usual sorceries. What remedy for these ,evils ? What cloak for these infamies ? O how those who have come since, have been obliged to toil there where these tares might quickly and easily have been eradicated at first, if the field had been well ploughed before sowing it. I mean by observing the ancient practice of the Church in giving Baptism cautiously, first having Postulants and Seekers, then Catechumens, and at last Baptism. For the master of all Wisdom has said very wisely: That the earth first bringeth forth the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear. Joseph Acosta has very properly observed this fault, which I have mentioned above, [page 145] and it [108] is not excusable, after the formal judgment and decree of the Church. See the Canon, Ante baptiƒmum. de conƒec. diƒtinct. 4. and what follows.

I am truly grieved to say it, and would willingly be silent were it not necessity which constrains me, because, either through malice or very gross ignorance, they accuse the Jesuits of things in which nevertheless they have seemed truly sincere and faithful servants of God. But it is true that when they arrived in new France, they found that about eighty persons had already been baptized there (as they said); but they could not get the list of -names, although they put themselves to some trouble to do so. Now, encountering some of these new converts, they tried to find out the extent of their knowledge, and for all found out that they did not know [109] even how to make the sign of the Cross; some did not know their Baptismal names, and when asked if they were Christians, they made signs to show that they had never heard the word. They did not know any prayers, nor articles of faith, and gave no evidence of any change from the past, always retaining the same old sorceries, coming to Church moreover, only as the un-baptized, that is, occasionally, for company's sake, or through curiosity, and not in a devotional spirit. Indeed some of our countrymen tell us, that when they were by themselves, they insolently made sport of our ceremonies, and that really, when they were well sounded, it was learned that they had accepted Baptism solely as a sign of friendship with the Normans, for thus they call us. An exception to this number was the great Membertou, for truly he [110] was a Christian at heart, and desired nothing better than to be able to receive thorough instruction so he [page 147] could teach the others. Now the Jesuits, perceiving all these things, resolved not to baptize a single adult, unless he had, according to the Holy Canons, been well initiated and catechized. For they well understood that to do otherwise would not only be a profanation of Christianity, but also an injustice towards the Savages. For, inasmuch as it is an injustice to induce any one to sign a promise, or compulsory oath, without giving him to understand the conditions to which he binds himself: how much worse is it to force a rational being of competent age to make a solemn profession of the law of God (which is done through Baptism), when he has never before been a novice, nor [111] been made to understand the rules and duties of this profession? The Savages were not so stupid but that they knew enough to reproach us for this injustice, inasmuch as, after these baptisms of which we have spoken, when the Jesuits requested that they should give up Polygamy, and should live like Christians, since they were in duty bound to do so; they told them that we were wicked people, that we had tried to make them believe that they should agree to conditions that they had never understood, nor been able to understand. Now for these reasons the Jesuits, delaying the Baptism of those who desired it, put themselves to work with all possible diligence to translate into Canadian the Lord's prayer, the Angelic salutation, the Creed, and the Commandments of God and of the Church, [112] with a brief explanation of the Sacraments, and some prayers, for this was all the Theology they needed. However, there was no way of accomplishing either a third or fourth of all this, as we shall show by and by. [page 149]

Meanwhile, many complaints arose among our French people because no one was being baptized. For we live in an age in which any one who knows how to read is, in his own opinion, a great Theologian; and whoever has the least care for his own soul, believes himself to be the most proper person to rule the Church of God, and to infringe upon the duties of the Lord's anointed. "This is not to be tolerated" (they were saying, according to the Factum); "these people are useless here; we must write to France about them;" and other threats, which were made to Father Biard, [113] who tried to pacify them, and among other things said: "My friends, if the Jesuits were ambitious for mere glory, you would show them the right way to attain it; i.e., to baptize, as soon as possible, as many people as they can; for it is certainly to be supposed that, these conversions being known in France, the Printers of Paris would not have delayed to make the Hawkers hoarse, crying and commending such news through the streets of the city. But God forbid" (said he) "that we should wish to assume the role of Apostles, being only miserable sinners; or that we should try to acquire the reputation of good managers, and diligent servants, while squandering our Master's inheritance. We shall be slandered, we are well aware of it; do not believe that we are so stupid. [114] But just as little must you desist from doing good for fear of calumny as you must undertake it for love of praise. It is God whom we serve, and if we are to bring any fruit to his house it must be in patience, for thus he has said it, He bringeth forth fruit with patience. We baptize the little children, as you see, in accordance with their parents' wishes, and with the hope that we shall have [page 151] means of instructing them, when they come to a reasonable age. The aged, who die, we also baptize, catechizing them as well as we can, and as time permits. As to the others, who are not in immediate danger of death, we shall baptize them also when, with your help, we shall be able to instruct them in their own language, and when they will know how to answer us. For the adult who is baptized, must answer for himself, and [115] not the godfather for him. Help us, and pray for this in proportion to your own great zeal, and do not worry, thinking they will perish if they have not received Baptism; for surely they will perish, and in a worse manner, if they have received it in a bad spirit: just as, after Baptism, if they die in mortal sin, they perish. But if you reply that after Baptism their sins will be pardoned through repentance alone, if they have no Prophets to receive their confession; I say to you also that through the same detestation of sin, with the wish to receive Baptism, they will be saved if they do not find any one who will administer it to them. Therefore you see that the first thing we try to teach them is, how to bring themselves to God with their whole [116] hearts through true repentance, and the desire to unite and incorporate themselves with our Savior, Jesus Christ. For this is the proper spirit in which to receive Baptism itself; and it is such, that it suffices for salvation, when the Sacrament cannot actually be received. It is true our legs drag in reaching this first step; but courage! through your prayers, God will strengthen us by his Holy Spirit. " These, and other similar reasons, were at that time deduced by the said Father Biard, and have often been repeated since, but they have never [page 153] carried conviction: an infallible sign, that some-thing else besides reason was sought for.

Now as to the Colonies, and their proper establishment, of which we were speaking; we have stepped down from them to the subject of the Catechism [117] and to the defense of the Jesuits, not without necessity in my opinion, nor without great profit. For since we have mentioned the Factum written against the said Jesuits, and as we must from now on expose, one by one, the lies therein contained, it is for us here to explain what that Factum is, who was its Author, and what are said to have been the causes for its being issued to the world.

[page 155]

CHAPTER XII. [i.e., xi.]


E have discoursed above upon the countries and peoples of New France, and in speaking [118] of the means of aiding these Nations, we stumbled upon the Factum, written and published against the Jesuits. Now inasmuch as this slanderer and factionist (which I shall call him hereafter), beginning with the embarkation of the Jesuits, pursues them, dogging their footsteps in Canada through woods and rivers, upon sea and land, day and night, in all their travels and dwelling places,—everywhere spying them out, to draw down upon them, covertly and treacherously, his impostures and calumnies; for this reason we must of necessity go back upon our route, to defend the innocent and to give a true account of their actions and conduct, as I promised to do in the Preface. And although on this account we shall often be obliged to go into details about many [119] little things which are scarcely in harmony with the gravity of a history or the dignity of an honorable Reader; nevertheless I believe that if I give heed to these things three great results will be derived therefrom, besides the discrimination of truth from falsehood and imposition, which in itself would be very profitable. [page 157]

The first advantage that the wise Reader will derive from this, is that from the experiences, actions, journeys, and accidents which we shall relate to him, one after the other, he will understand much better what these countries are, their nature, the means of helping them, and the vicissitudes of such expeditions and enterprises.

The second is that he will encounter so many and so different events, so many fortunes and incidents with their opportunities and details, that his discretion will be thus greatly strengthened. [120] For in truth, it is a very different thing for a man to philosophize in thesis, and to practice by hypothesis: to mould his ideas in his chamber, and to give form to his deeds among men: to count upon the liberty of the race, and then to find himself enslaved by place, time, people, and a thousand incidents which are trifling, but which very effectually bind him; of no value, yet they often change his purpose and his destiny. Now it is through experience with these particular circumstances and practices, that prudence is acquired; not in a comprehensive and general survey and examination.

The third fruit will be in the recognition of a truly paternal, gentle, and admirable providence of God over those who invoke it, and trust themselves to him among the dangers and changes of this [121] life, such as will be often seen here. These three benefits, it seems to me, will certainly offset the tediousness of the time which will be employed in this reading.

But to the end that all may be better understood, it is well for us to return to those whom we have left for so long a time, namely, to the French, who returned to their own country from Canada, in 1607. [page 159]

You have been told how, towards the end of the year 1607, sieur de Monts's entire company returned to France, and this new France was then entirely deserted by our countrymen. However, in the following year, 1608, sieur de Monts chose as his Lieutenant sieur de Champlain, and sent him on a tour of discovery along the great St. Lawrence river; Champlain did admirably there, establishing the settlement of Kebec, But as to the [122] deeds, journeys, and discoveries of the said Champlain, there is no need of my outlining them to you, as he himself has given such long and excellent descriptions of them in his books.

Now sieur Jean de Biencourt, called de Potrincourt, before sieur de Monts left new France, asked from him the gift of Port Royal. Sieur de Monts granted it to him, stipulating that within the two succeeding years sieur de Potrincourt should go there with several other families to cultivate and inhabit it, which he promised to do. Now in 1607, all the French having returned (as has been said), sieur de Potrincourt presented to the late Henry the Great, of immortal memory, the deed of gift made to him by sieur de Monts, humbly requesting his Majesty to ratify it. The King [123] favored the Request, and, contriving some way by which he could give effective aid to this French colony, told Father Coton that he would like to make use of his Society for the conversion of the Savages; that he should write to the Father-General about it; and that they should designate some persons who should prepare to undertake these voyages; that he would summon them at the first opportunity; promising henceforward two thousand livres for their support. [page 161]

Father Coton obeyed his Majesty, and soon through all the colleges of France it was understood that persons were to be chosen for this mission. Many offered themselves to take part in the work, as is usual in such expeditions, in which there is a great deal of work and very little honor; and among others who presented themselves was Father Pierre Biard, then teaching [124] Theology at Lyons; God willed that the said Father should be chosen and sent to Bourdeaux towards the end of the year 1608. For they thought at Lyons that the project of so powerful a Prince, having been known so many months before, could not be otherwise than speedily executed. But Father Biard was as much deceived in regard to the place, as the time. For at Bourdeaux they were very much surprised when they heard why he had come there. There was no news of any embarkation for Canada, but there was of the former wreck and ruin, upon which each one philosophized in his own fashion. No preparation, no reports or tidings.

Towards the end of the year 1609, sieur de Potrincourt came to Paris, where his Majesty, having learned that, contrary to his belief, the said sieur had not stirred from France, (for the King supposed that he had crossed the sea immediately [125] after having obtained confirmation of the Port Royal grant), was angry with him. Whereupon the said sieur, very much aggrieved, answered that, since his Majesty had this affair so much at heart, he would take leave of him at once, to go directly and look after the equipment for his voyage. Now Father Coton, who was troubled about Father Biard, and about the great invitation he had given him in the King's name, having heard of the farewell of sieur [page 163] de Potrincourt, went to see him and offered him the company of some of his Order. He received the answer that it would be better to wait until the following year; that as soon as he arrived at Port Royal he would send his son back to France, and that with him, all things being better arranged, such persons should come as it might please the King to send. Thereupon he left Paris, and consumed the entire [126] Winter in making preparations.

The following year, 1610, he embarked towards the end of February, but arrived very late at Port Royal, to wit, about the beginning of June: here, having assembled as many Savages as he could, he had about 24 or 25 of them baptized on saint john's day, by a Priest named Messire Jossé Flesche, surnamed "the Patriarch." A little while afterwards, he sent back to France sieur de Biencourt, his son, about nineteen years old, to take this news of the baptism of the Savages, and to speedily bring back relief ; for they were very poorly provided against hunger for the coming Winter.

He was able to find assistance through an association which he had formed with Sr. Thomas Robin, called de Coloignes, belonging to a good family, and under the authority of his father; through this association it was [127] agreed that the said de Coloignes should provide the settlement of Port Royal for five years, with all necessary things, and that he should furnish abundant means for traffic with the Savages; and in return for this he would have emoluments which it would be too tedious here to enumerate.

De Coloignes and Biencourt arrived at Paris the following August, and through them the Court [page 165] learned of these Baptisms, and new conversions which we have mentioned. All were very much pleased about it, but unfortunately this holiday was not the one of gifts.

Now Madame la Marquise de Guercheville, among her other rare and extraordinary virtues, is ardently zealous for the glory of God and the conversion of souls: seeing such an excellent opportunity, [128] she asked Father Coton if some of his order were not going to new France this time. Father Coton replied that he was very much surprised at sieur de Potrincourt, who had promised him that, when his son returned, he would summon those of his order who had been chosen by the King; but, in spite of this, he made no mention of them either in his letters, or in his commissions. Madame la Marquise, wishing to know all about the matter, made inquiries of sieur Robin: he answered that all the responsibility of embarkation had been delegated to him, but he had no especial commission for the Jesuits; that nevertheless he knew very well that sieur de Potrincourt would feel very highly honored to have them with him; and, as to their maintenance, he [129] himself would take charge of that, as he was doing in regard to all the rest of the expenses. "You will not be burdened with them," answered Madame la Marquise, "because the King defrays their expenses." And with these words she sent de Coloignes to Father Christofle Baltasar, Provincial. He, upon hearing these promises, summoned Father Pierre Biard (who was then at Poictiers) to come to Paris, and to him was given, as a companion, Father Enemond Massé, of Lyons. These two, thus destined for the voyage to Canada, conferred with sieurs Robin and Biencourt, [page 167] and having perfected arrangements, the meetingplace was appointed at Dieppe on the 24th of October of the same year, 1610. "For by that time," they said, "everything will be ready, if the wind and the tide are favorable."

So the Jesuits were soon in a state of preparation. For the Queen had sent to them the five hundred écus promised [130] by the late King, and had added a very favorable recommendation by word of mouth. Madame la Marquise de Vernueil furnished them amply with sacred vessels and robes for saying Mass; Madame de Sourdis furnished them liberally with linen, and Madame de Guercheville granted them a very fair viaticum. Thus provided for, they reached Dieppe at the time appointed.

[page 169]

CHAPTER XIII. [i.e., xii]


HE persecuted and triumphant Woman, whom St. John saw in his Revelation, namely, the Church of God, or more mystically, any heroic soul, Cruciatur [131] ut pariat; endures many convulsions and pains, in order that it may bear fruit. So the conception and development of every good work requires grace. For, in fine, without this celestial seed and germ, our hearts could not conceive nor fashion a living and fruitful organism. But when it comes time for the good work to ripen, I mean when the time of this pious birth of virtue approaches, then it seems that all conspire for the suffocation of this divine creature, then it seems necessary to experience the pains and torments which Satan arouses, and to fear a fruitless abortion, rather than to hope for a happy deliverance. The Jesuits have experienced this everywhere, and especially in regard to the beneficial results which they wished to obtain by the conversion of new France. We [132] have said before that the rendezvous had been appointed for them at Dieppe the 24th of October, for at that time the ship would be like the bird upon the branch, only waiting to fly. But very far from this, they found at Dieppe that the ship had not even been repaired. Furthermore, at their arrival there [page 171] was great excitement among those of the Reformed Religion. For sieur Robin, who (as we have said) took entire charge of the shipping, had given commission to two merchants of the Pretended Faith, called du Chesne and du Jardin, to attend to the repairing and loading of the ship, under promise to remunerate them for their time and expense, and to form a partnership with them to divide the profits which would be derived from the trade in skins, and from the cod fisheries. Now the Merchants had, [133] up to that time, advanced but little in the work, I know not why: and from then on they began to delay more than ever. For they were very obstinate, swearing with their loudest oaths, that, if the Jesuits had to enter the ship, they would simply put nothing in it; that they would not refuse all other Priests or Ecclesiastics, and would even support them, but as to the Jesuits, they would not abide them.

The Court was informed of this, and the Queen ordered sieur de Cigoigne, Governor of Dieppe, to signify to the superintendents of the Consistory, that she desired what her deceased Lord and husband had planned in his lifetime, namely, that the Jesuits should go to the countries of new France; and therefore, if they opposed this voyage, they were opposing [134] her purpose and good pleasure. But this was a poor spur to action. Our Merchants would not advance one step, and for lack of money sieurs Biencourt and Robin were obliged to pass under their rod; and for this reason they promised and swore to them, that the Jesuits should never enter their ship. Under this promise, the Merchants set to work to equip it, especially as the Jesuits were no longer under their eyes, having retired to their College at Eu. [page 173]

Now Madame la Marquise de Guercheville, having heard about this open contempt for the wishes of the Queen, as she is a generous-hearted woman, was indignant at seeing some insignificant peddlers so overbearing: and so she decided justly that they ought to be punished in a way that would hurt them most; namely, [135] that they should be set aside. Now having learned that all the Merchants could have furnished, would not amount to more than four thousand livres, she did not disdain (to the end that many might participate in the good work) to ask a contribution from all the greatest Princes and Grandees of the Court; in this way, the sum of four thousand livres was soon collected.

Now this Lady, being very discreet, considered that this sum, in paying the Merchants who had furnished the cargo, and in dismissing them from all association, would also accomplish two great benefits for new France. The first was, that this would always be a good fund with which to maintain the Jesuits there, so that they would not be a burden to sieur de Potrincourt, or any [136] one else, nor would it be necessary to repeat every year the taking up of collections for them. The second was, that by this arrangement the profit from peltries and fish, which this ship would bring back, would not return to France to be lost in the hands of the Merchants, but would redound to the interests of Canada, and there would remain in the possession and power of sieurs Robin and Potrincourt, and would be used for the maintenance of Port Royal and the French residing there. For this reason, it was concluded that this money, having been applied and used for the benefit of Canada, the Jesuits should participate in the business [page 177] with sieurs Robin, and Biencourt, and should share with them the profits which would be derived therefrom; the management and sales of said merchandise to remain with said Robin and Biencourt or their Agents. This was the contract [137] Of partnership, over which they have cried until they are hoarse, whether or not with reason, may be seen. God grant, that they never have greater cause to rail at us.

[page 179]

CHAPTER XIV. [i.e., xiii]


EVER was the coming of the high tide more opportune to a stranded ship to free it from the shallow waters, and place it again upon the high sea with its prow turned toward home, than was the meeting of the Jesuit partners with sieur Robin, to arrange for the equipment of his vessel for Canada, and to deliver it from the bars among which it was entangled. For he was the son of a gentleman and you may judge that he did not have millions at command; [138] his father also did not want to hear about the voyages beyond the sea, having quite recently undertaken the great salt enterprise, which required so great a capital and investment, as every one knows. I say this because the factionist writer, misjudging the blessings of God, lays it at the door of the Jesuits that sieur de Biencourt did not depart sooner from Dieppe to new France; it was, however, just the contrary, since it was for their sake that money was found to unfurl the sails to the wind, which could not have been done without it. So they left their moorings the twenty-sixth of January, 1611, with all the more joy since the disputes and delays had caused so much vexation. Yet they departed too soon for such a late arrival, for four months were consumed in the voyage; and first they went to land [139] at Campseau, on account of which they were compelled thereafter to keep near the shore, with stops [page 179] at several places. Along this coast to Port Royal, it is about one hundred and twenty leagues.

On our way, towards the last of April, we had seen sieur Champlain, who was making his way through the icebergs to Kebec. These masses of ice were enormous, for the sea was in some places covered with them as far as the eye could reach. And, to cross them, they had to be broken with bars and pointed irons inserted in the escobilles or beak of the ship; it was fresh-water ice, and had drifted down more than a hundred leagues to the deep and open sea through the great St. Lawrence river. In some places there appeared vast and lofty pieces of floating and wavering ice, [140] thirty and forty fathoms out of the water, as big and broad as if several castles were joined together, or, as you might say, as if the Church of notre Dame de Paris, with part of its Island, houses, and palaces should go floating out upon the water. The Hollanders have seen still more enormous and wonderful ones at Spit[z]bergen, and in the strait of Ubaïgats, if what they have published about them is true. We arrived at port Royal the 22nd of June of the same year, 1611, the Holy day of Pentecost.

But before going ashore, let us say a word about the way in which the Jesuits lived during the voyage. For although these are things of little consequence, they are, nevertheless, necessary to close the mouth of falsehood. The truth then is this: First, that they had no servant during the entire voyage, [141] except their own hands and feet: if their linen was to be washed, their clothes cleaned and patched, if other needs had to be provided for, they had the privilege of doing it themselves, as well as the least. [page 181] Secondly, they did not meddle with any one's authority, or make any pretense of having control or rights over the ship: sieur de Biencourt was in everything, sole and absolute master: and this kind of submissiveness they always continued afterward at port Royal. Their usual exercises were singing divine service Sundays and holidays, with a little exhortation or sermon: every morning and evening, they assembled the whole crew for prayer, and during Lent for exhortation, only three times a week. Their conversation was such, that captain Jean d'Aune [142] and the pilot, David de Bruges, both of the Pretended Religion,31 have often expressed their approval of it to sieur de Potrincourt; and frequently since then, in Dieppe and other places, have affirmed that they then found the Jesuits quite different from what they had previously been pictured to them, namely, honest and courteous men, of good conduct and pure consciences.

[page 183]

CHAPTER XV. [i. e., xiv.]


UR arrival caused great joy on both sides—great on the part of those arriving, because of their longings, and the tediousness of so long a voyage; [143] but more than double was that of sieur de Potrincourt who had been in great distress and apprehension during the entire Winter. For having had with him twenty-three people, without sufficient food to nourish them, he had been obliged to send some off among the Savages, to live with them: the others had had no bread for six or seven weeks, and without the assistance of these same Savages, I do not know but that they would all have perished miserably. Now the succor that we brought them, was little else, as the saying is, than a glass of water to a very thirsty man. First, because there were thirty-six of us in our company, and these, added to the 23 men that he had, made fifty-nine mouths every day at his table; and Membertou the Savage [144] besides, with his daughter and crew. After living four months upon the sea, our provisions were very much diminished, especially as our vessel was quite small, being only fifty or sixty tons burden, and provisioned more for fishing than anything else. For this reason, then, it was left to Monsieur de Potrincourt to think how he could promptly send back [page 185] such a large family, lest everything should be consumed, rather than to secure traffic and fish, in which, however, lay all hope of resources for a second voyage. But he could not entirely refrain from doing some trading; for he had to make money, both to pay the wages of his servants, and for journeys here and there when in France.

[145] For these purposes then, he departed some days afterward in his ship, with nearly all his crew, to go to one of the Etechemins' ports, called Pierre Blanche, 22 leagues from Port Royal, directly to the West. He hoped to find there some help in food supplies from the French ships which he knew were in the habit of trading in that place. Father Biard wished to accompany him, to study the country and character of the Natives, and his wish was granted. They found there four French ships, one belonging to sieur de Monts, one from La Rochelle, one Maloüïn or St. Malo ship, belonging to Pont Gravé, commanded by a relation of his named Captain la Salle, of whom we shall speak by and by, and also a Maloüïne barque; these four vessels must be well remembered, in order to understand what follows.

[146] Sieur de Potrincourt, calling up each one of these four vessels in succession, made them recognize his son as vice-Admiral: then he asked them for help, dwelling upon the dire necessity to which he had been reduced during the past Winter, and promising to reimburse them in France. Each one contributed. But God pardon the Rochelois, for they defrauded the Excise, giving spoiled bread for good.

While this business was going on, Father Biard learned that young du Pont was on shore, among the Savages; that the year before he had been made [page 187] a prisoner by sieur de Potrincourt, and, having made his escape from him, he had been forced to roam the woods in great distress, and even then did not dare go to his ship, lest he should be caught. Father Biard, hearing all these things, [147] begged sieur de Potrincourt to have some consideration for the great merits of sieur du Pont, the father, and to think of the high hopes he had entertained for his son: adding that it would indeed be a great misfortune, if the French, in running to the ends of the earth to convert the Savages, should happen to lose their own citizens there. Sieur de Potrincourt yielded to his remonstrances, and permitted Father Biard to go in search of this young man, with the promise that, if he could induce him to come freely and acknowledge the authority of the said sieur de Potrincourt, no harm would be done to him, and all the past would be put under foot and buried. The Father departed, and was successful in his efforts, for he brought du Pont to sieur de Potrincourt, and after peace and reconciliation were effected, they fired off the cannon. Du Pont, [148] as an act of thanksgiving, and for the edification of the French and Savages, wished to confess on the following day, and to receive his Easter Sacrament, for he had not done so that year. Accordingly, he performed these duties, to the great edification of all, on the shore of the sea, where the service was sung. His devotions finished, he begged sieur de Potrincourt to allow Father Biard to come and dine with him upon his ship, and his request was granted. But the poor host did not know what dessert was awaiting him, for somehow his ship had been seized and taken away; and, to make the story short, it was given [page 189] back to him at the earnest solicitation of Father Biard, whose heart was very heavy over this mishap. At this time sieur de Potrincourt showed how very just he was, by trying to oblige the said Father, who will always be grateful to him for it.

[page 191]

[149] CHAPTER XVI. [i.e., xv.]


E have heretofore explained the necessity which was urging sieur de Potrincourt to send his people back to France without delay. Now he wished to take them there himself, to more efficiently arrange all the affairs and especially to procure an immediate supply of provisions: for unless he did this, those whom he was leaving at Port Royal would be without means of passing the Winter, in evident danger of being carried off by famine. For this reason then, he departed about the middle of July of the same year, 1611, and arrived in France at the end of the following month of [150] August; he left his son, sieur de Biencourt, in his place, with twenty-two persons, counting the two Jesuits, who, seeing that for the conversion of the Pagans the language of the country was absolutely necessary, resolved to apply themselves to it with all diligence. But it would be hard to understand the great difficulties which they here encountered: the principal one being, that they had neither interpreter nor teacher. To be sure sieur de Biencourt, and some of the others, knew a little of it very well, enough for trade and ordinary affairs; but when there was a question of speaking about God and religious matters, there was the difficulty, there, the "not understand." Therefore, they were obliged to [page 193] learn the language by themselves, inquiring of the savages how they called each thing. And the task was not so very wearisome as long [151] as what was asked about could be touched or seen: a stone, a river, a house; to strike, to jump, to laugh, to sit down. But when it came to internal and spiritual acts, which cannot be demonstrated to the senses, and in regard to words which are called abstract and universal, such as, to believe, to doubt, to hope, to discourse, to apprehend, an animal, a body, a substance, a spirit, virtue, vice, sin, reason, justice, etc.—for these things they had to labor and sweat; in these were the pains of travail. They did not know by what route to reach them, although they tried more than a hundred; there were no gestures which would sufficiently express their ideas, not if they would use ten thousand of them. Meanwhile our gentlemen Savages, to pass away the time, made abundant sport of their pupils, always telling them a lot of [152] nonsense. And yet if you wanted to take advantage of this fun, if you had your paper and pencil ready to write, you had to set before them a full plate with a napkin underneath. For to such tripods do good oracles yield; without this incentive, both Apollo and Mercury would fail them; as it was, they even became angry and went away, if we wished to detain them a little. What would you have done under the circumstances? For in truth, this work cannot be understood except by those who have tried it. Besides, as these Savages have no formulated Religion, government, towns, nor trades, so the words and proper phrases for all those things are lacking; Holy, Blessed, Angel, Grace, Mystery, Sacrament, Temptation, Faith, Law, Prudence, Subjection, [page 195] Authority, etc. Where will [153] you get all these things that they lack? Or, how will you do without them? O God, with what ease we make our plans in France! And the beauty of it is, that, after having racked our brains by dint of questions and researches, and after thinking that we have at last found the philosopher's stone, we find only that a ghost has been taken for a body, a shadow for a substance, and that all this precious Elixir has gone up in smoke! They often ridiculed, instead of teaching us, and sometimes palmed off on us indecent words, which we went about innocently preaching for beautiful sentences from the Gospels. God knows who were the instigators of such sacrileges.

An expedient presented itself to the Jesuits, by which they could extricate themselves happily [154] from these perplexities and obstacles. It was to go and find young du Pont, who, we had heard, had made up his mind to pass the winter on the St. John river, some eighteen or twenty leagues from Port Royal. For since this du Pont had already lived a long time in the country, even leading the life of a Sylvan among the Natives, it was said of him that he understood the language very well, and there was no doubt that he could at least properly explain the questions so as to get from the savages suitable answers; these were necessary in order to write down a little Catechism, and some Christian instruction. Father Biard then decided to go and look for du Pont, deciding to cross French Bay in a canoe, rather than not to avail himself of this opportunity of doing good. [155] But sieur de Biencourt was very much opposed to this decision, taking great offense at it; and we had to yield to him, to have peace.

[page 197]

CHAPTER XVII. [i. e., xvi.]


OWARD the end of the month of August of the same year, 1611, sieur de Biencourt having heard that the ship of Captain Plastrier, from the town of Honfleur, was engaged in fishing at the Port aux Coquilles, twenty-one leagues Westward from Port Royal, decided to go and find him, to recommend to him one of his men, whom he wished to send back to France with letters, [156] to urge the expected help, and to represent their pitiable condition. Father Biard accompanied him, and they encountered this ship so opportunely, that if they had been eight minutes later, their chance would have been lost; for already it was unfurling its sails to return to France. When we had boarded it, we learned that Captain Platrier had decided to pass the Winter on the Island of sainte Croix, and that he [Sieur de Biencourt] would get his fifth therefrom. This news made sieur de Biencourt resolve to go to Sainte Croix at once, before Captain Platrier had means of fortifying himself: for he wished to collect from him the Fifth of all his merchandise and trade, for wintering in the country. The Island of Sainte Croix is six leagues from Port aux Coquilles, in the middle of a river.

[157] Accordingly sieur de Biencourt went to this place, accompanied by eight people, and, well-armed, [page 199] marched into the place, having left Father Biard in one end of the Island upon the rocks, awaiting the outcome; because the Father had arranged with the sieur, that in case of any invasion, or warlike act or force against the French, he should be left in some place apart, so that every one might know that he was a friend of both parties, and that he would very willingly interpose to make peace between those at variance, but under no circumstances would he take sides with either.

Thank God, all passed off happily: Platrier treated us as well as he could: and with his aid, sieur de Biencourt recovered a barque, which was at Port aux Coquilles, with which he returned to Port Royal, where [158] a new duty awaited them: for Henry Membertou, the Sagamore of the Savages who was the first to receive Holy Baptism, had come from the Baye sainte Marie to have himself treated for a disease which had overtaken him. Father Enemond Massé had put him in his little Cabin, even in Father Biard's bed, and was there taking care of him like a father and servant. Father Biard, finding the patient in his bed, was very glad of this opportunity for charity, which God had sent him; and both set to work to attend him day and night, without any one else to relieve them in the work, except the Apothecary Hebert, who brought medicines and food which were to be given him. One of their greatest hardships was to cut and carry all the wood that was needed day and night: for the nights began to be [159] quite chilly, and there always had to be a good fire on account of the bad odor, for the disease was dysentery. At the end of five or six days of such service, the wife and daughter of Membertou came to stay with him, [page 201] and so Father Biard begged sieur de Biencourt to have the invalid moved to some of the other cabins of the settlement, since there were two or three of them empty; for it was neither good nor quite seemly that there should be women in their cabin day and night; and still less that they should not be there, being the wife and daughter of the sick man. On the other hand, the cabin was so small, that when four persons were in it, they could not turn around

These considerations were only too evident, but the sieur was not inclined to have th