The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents
Travels and Explorations
of the Jesuit Missionaries
in New France
THE ORIGINAL FRENCH, LATIN, AND ITALIIAN TEXTS, WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS AND NOTES; ILLUSTRATED BY
PORTRAITS, MAPS, AND FACSIMILES
Reuben Gold Thwaites
Secretary of the State historical Society of Wisconsin
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THE JESUIT RELATIONS
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Franquelinís map of Louisiana, 1684. Reduced facsimile of MS. copy in Harvard University Library
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Reuben Gold Thwaites
| Finlow Alexander
| Percy Favor Bicknell
| William Frederic Giese
| Crawford Lindsay
| William Price
| Hiram Allen Sober
Emma Helen Blair
Victor Hugo Paltsits
CONTENTS OF VOL. LXIV.
Preface To Volume LXIV.
Journal de ce qui síeft paffÈ dans la Miffion Abnaquife depuis la fefte de NoÎl 1683 jusquíau 6 Octobre 1684. Jacques Bigot; Sillery, [1683-84]
Lettre au R. P. La Chaise. Jacques Bigot; Sillery, November 8, 1685
Narration annuelle de La Miffion du Sault depuis La fondation iusques a 1 an 1686. Claude ChauchetiËre; n.p., n.d.
Remarques Touchant La Mission de Tadoussak S. J. depuis 1671, FranÁois de Crepieul; Pastagoutchichiou sipiou, April 7, 1686
Deux Lettres a Mr Cabart de Villermont. Thierry Bechefer; Quebec, September 19 and October 22, 1687
Bibliographical Data; Volume LXIV.
[INSERT GRAPHIC HERE]
ILLUSTRATIONS TO VOL. LXIV.
Franquelinís map of Louisiana, 1684. Reduced facsimile of MS. copy in Harvard University Library
PREFACE TO VOL. LXIII
Following is a synopsis of the documents contained in this volume:
CLIV. Jacques Bigot writes an account of the Abenaki mission, for the period from Christmas, 1683 to October 6, 1684. It now has two branches ó the old station at Sillery; and another, just begun on the ChaudiËre River, named for St. Francis de Sales. That saint has been chosen as the patron of the mission, and special devotions in his honor are held after Christmas. A full account of these is given, with a description of certain ornaments displayed on this occasion. Among them is a wampum belt of unusual size and beauty, which the savages themselves are presenting to the tomb of their patron saint. There is also a handsome picture of St. Francis, painted on satin; this is presented by the Jesuit superior, Beschefer. Bigot himself adds to it ìa wide border of gold and Silverî ó upon which he remarks to his correspondent: ìI have even had to tell you frankly ó some scruple about the Expense that I have incurred for that, being so poor that I have not even means wherewith to obtain the food necessary for The support of our Mission, and chiefly of the most Wretched. But my scruple did not last long, Judging that, on an occasion so Important as That was, one must even retrench necessary expenses, in order to contribute Efficiently [Page 9] toward bringing into sentiments of piety these poor savages, whom one is striving to gain for Jesus Christ.î
The Abenaki mission is continually receiving new accessions; and these comers are readily won to the faith, manifesting much docility and readiness in learning its truths, and emulating the virtues of the saints. Bigot has written for them a prayer, which they sing to various musical airs, and upon all occasions; he has especially chosen such tunes as are joyful, and feels that he ìcannot do too much to maintain them in great spiritual Joy.î He relates many details of the natural characteristics and religious experiences of the savages, and of his methods in dealing with them. He is obliged to watch continually for their natural failings, ó jealousy, undue sensitiveness, spiritual dejection, and sometimes pride; and he instructs, reproves, or encourages, as the case requires, with untiring patience and wonderful knowledge of human (and especially savage) nature.
Bigotís relation is written at intervals in his manifold labors, and sometimes while on his journeys. At one time, a month elapses before he can find time for writing ó a time spent in the instruction of a crowd of new savages, who have just come from Acadia. After instructing them a short time at Sillery, he sends them to St. FranÁois de Sales. ìStill others are expected every day, who are to arrive from Acadia; and they themselves say that soon all the rest who are in Acadia will come to pray.î The burden of supporting all these destitute savages falls heavily on Bigot; but he bears it gladly, when he sees their fervor and docility. [Page 10] Most of those who have hitherto dwelt at Sillery will remove to St. FranÁois ó only a hundred persons, those who are most aged, remaining at their former home. The governor of Canada, La Barre, is aiding the Abenaki immigration, hoping that these savages will be allies of the French against the Iroquois, with whom war is imminent.
Bigot expresses his surprise that so little disorder or misconduct exists among the Abenaki immigrants, who are coming in so great numbers. An entry in this current account of affairs, dated apparently early in August, states that many of these savages have gone to fight against the Iroquois, as part of La Barreís futile expedition against the Senecas ó an enterprise in which the Abenakis acquit themselves well.
For the instruction of all the new arrivals Bigot and his helper, Gassot, would not suffice, if it were not for the aid of the Christian Indians, who are full of zeal for the conversion of their pagan friends. Bigot gives some account of his methods of instruction and exhortation; among these are ìsome Instructions on Hell, by means of certain Mournful Songs and some spectacular representations, which have had considerable influence upon our savages. I have tried to express in these Mournful Songs all that is best fitted, according to the Idea of the savages, to torment one damned.î Some Gaspesians have also come to Sillery this year, ëI to most of whom God has granted the grace to die there.î Le Clercq, the RÈcollet missionary in their country, desires to induce all those savages to migrate to Sillery. There is much sickness at this mission, and the Fathers can do little to alleviate the distress among their people. Bigot says: ìI must content [Page 11] myself with exhorting them to patience; but, without relieving them otherwise, these exhortations appear to me very barren.î The charity, piety, and steadfastness of various converts are described by the writer.
Early in September, La Barreís expedition returns to Quebec; most of his troops are sick with malarial fever, and those belonging to the Sillery mission must be cared for by the Fathers there. This charge compels them to lay aside almost all other work; they are incessantly sought by the frightened savages, and hardly find time for sleep and food ó especially as their flock are scattered in several locations near Quebec. Bigot has obtained permission to purchase on credit supplies for his sick people; he requests his friend to help him pay these debts. Such aid is all the more necessary because the mission has recently lost its chief support, by the death of the Marquise de BaugÈ, who has been for five years a mother, as it were, to the Sillery Christians. The fever has been much more prevalent and more severe among them than among the other savages or the Frenchmen, and their extreme poverty has greatly increased their suffering; but they bear their miseries with much resignation and patience. Bigot blesses God for having sent this disease; for the men returning from the war have been thus saved from drunkenness. He is also greatly pleased at the excellent reputation of the Abenaki warriors among the Frenchmen for their Christian behavior. He dreads, however, the effect which will be produced in Acadia by the news of this sickness at Sillery, to which place many Abenakis are still flocking. [Page 12]
CLV. This is a special account (dated November 8, 1685) ó sent by Jacques Bigot to Father la Chaise, the confessor of Louis XIV. ó of affairs at Sillery during the two months preceding the above date; the occasion for writing it lies in the total abstinence which the Abenakis have begun to practice. An intoxicated Algonkin raises a disturbance at Sillery, whereupon Bigot has him imprisoned, and induces the new governor, Denonville, to give a temperance address to the Indians of the mission. The Father then institutes what the Indians call ìthe Holy pillageî ó that is, the confiscation of some article belonging to a drunken Indian, in order to pay the guard who would take him to prison. He also obtains from the governor permission to use the latterís name and authority as he thinks best, in dealing with drunkenness among his savages. In this letter, he relates in detail various instances of his methods in repressing that vice. The result is that ìI have not seen even one person who seemed to have an inclination to drink.î He watches all his cabins very closely, in order to prevent the savages from evading his order that they shall not go to Quebec. Meanwhile, ìI endeavor to keep all our savages as happy as I can; I have not known one to complain of my being too strict. While I was issuing all the orders against drunkenness, I allowed more diversion and dancing in the mission than I would have permitted at other times; this I did in order to make them swallow the pill more easily after some orders had been given.î Denonville gives Bigot his support, ìfor he looks upon our Savages as his children;î in turn, they show him a respect and submission that astonish even the missionary. [Page 13] When the election of chiefs takes place, three are named who have been most zealous for prayer and against intemperance among their people. Bigot praises their piety and steadfastness, and states that they have brought to Sillery many of their tribesmen in Acadia. Denonville shows great interest in this mission, and desires a special report of its work for the last few years. The present document is written at the request of the bishop.
All the prohibitions and the watchful care thus described are reinforced by a sort of temperance revival season in the church, where all the sermons and instructions are directed to strengthening the savages in their good resolutions, and converting those who have been careless. Their prayers on All Soulsí day are mainly offered for the benefit of ìthe poor souls that groan in the flames of purgatory to expiate the punishment remaining due for the sin of drunkenness.î All is piety and peace in the mission; but Bigot says, ìI know not whether it will last long.î He has restrained many from going back to Acadia, by reminding them that, when with their missionaries, they are protected from those who would, with a little brandy, wheedle them out of their peltries or even their garments. He has made himself ìsomewhat dreaded by the french who ply that trade,î and often secures punishment for them; he also makes the Indian who has let himself be thus deceived do penance for his folly.
CLVI. The history of the mission at Sault St. Louis, near Montreal, is given by Chauchetiere, from its foundation (1667) to the year 1686. His preface indicates the sources from which he has drawn his information ó much of which comes from his own [Page 14] observation and experience. He also relates the circumstances under which he has composed these annals of the Sault mission, and tells how he was led to become a missionary in Canada.
Beginning with the year 1667, Chauchetiere describes the beginning of the mission, then first rendered possible by peace with the Iroquois. Some French people settle at La Prairie, and, soon afterward, seven Indians from Oneida, who have just come to Montreal. In 1668, these, with some of their friends, go to Quebec for instruction and baptism; this accomplished, all dwell at La Prairie, where Raffeix has charge of their spiritual welfare. They spend the winter in the woods, hunting, where many ìhave lived like angelsî during that season. The next year, savages from above Montreal also come, through curiosity, to La Prairie; but ìthey all found themselves caught by the nets of the gospel,î and they too settle at the mission. Two missionaries are now kept at the Sault, and buildings are erected for their use. Twenty Indian families now live at this place.
In 1671, the colonists elect two chiefs, to direct civil and religious affairs. They manifest steadily increasing piety and zeal, and win many new converts to the faith. So excellent is their moral character that ìamong the Iroquois, this saying became a proverb, ëI am off to la prairie,íó that is,í I give up drink and polygamy.íî Accordingly, those Iroquois who are disposed to live aright, especially among the Mohawks, begin to migrate to this mission. This causes great alarm among those tribes, who complain that the missions are ruining their country. The Onondagas send envoys to entice [Page 15] away the new Christians, but without success; ìthe devil deceives himself,î for all his efforts serve but to increase their faith and zeal. Next, the devil tries to seduce them to evil, by establishing a tavern at La Prairie; but Frontenac, feeling himself under obligation to the Jesuits, favors them by expressly prohibiting the liquor-traffic at this place. ìThus the demon was stifled in the cradle.î
In 1673, numerous accessions to the colony are received. Among these is a Mohawk chief, who sets in motion a great migration from his tribe. This enrages the elders of the villages, and the Dutch also, but rejoices the French; these latter, taking advantage of Frontenacís later animosity to the Jesuits, again establish a tavern at La Prairie: but FrÈmin succeeds in thwarting this diabolical machination. In this year, the mission loses one of its founders ó the Erie convert Catherine Gandeaktena; a warm eulogy is pronounced upon her virtues. Her husband, at her funeral, gives her goods to the poor; this initiates the custom thereafter followed at this mission, instead of those which their former superstitions dictated.
The year 1674 ìwas a blessed one for the mission, because marriages in it were securely established, in the manner in which they are solemnized throughout the church.î In the twenty years of this missionís existence the number of marriages has steadily increased. During that time, ìone would not find twenty husbands who have left their wives,î and such are ìheld in abomination.î The few instances of this ìshow us young women living alone like angels, and thereby facilitating for many the way to perpetual virginity. This has happened [Page 16] in the case of two who have lately carried it to heaven.î The chief events in 1675 are the establishment of the ìHoly Familyî confraternity, and the visit of Bishop Laval for the confirmation of the Christian Indians. In the following year the colonists are compelled, by their poverty, to remove to Sault St. Louis; and a large and fine chapel is also erected there.
The record for 1677 eulogizes the good order, and the regularity in all religious exercises, that prevail in the mission, as in ìthe finest parish of france.î The Lorette converts send hither a collar to express their encouragement and sympathy to their brethren at the Sault. The latter need such aid, for this year they are rendered almost destitute by the Iroquois hunting-parties, who often come to live upon their acquaintances at the Sault. The Fathers in charge here are also greatly hindered and annoyed by evidences of Frontenacís hostility to them: in short, ìthe forces of hell are unchained against the mission.î But now (1678) some of its Christian Indians go to their own country as evangelists, preaching the gospel to the pagans. At first, they receive only insults; but gradually they win many converts, and these quickly migrate to the Sault ó among them, the celebrated Catherine Tegakwita. Again, this year, some Frenchmen attempt to introduce liquor among the Indians, by opening a tavern at La Prairie, the former site of the mission. The Fathers cannot prevent this; they can only secure a prohibition of the sale of liquor to the savages. They have not experienced as much trouble from that other savage vice, licentiousness; their teachings have fortified the young people, especially the [Page 17] girls, against temptations in this direction. Thirteen of the more devout women have formed a sort of association, having ìfor their object the highest state of perfection,î and engaging in works of charity to the poor. They practice many and severe mortifications. The village is attacked by smallpox in the autumn; but there are few deaths ó a circumstance which helps to remove the prejudice of the Iroquois against baptism. They also greatly admire the result of sprinkling with holy water certain cornfields, infested with worms; the crops thereon surpass those of all their other lands.
The year 1679 brings trials and perplexities to the mission. The worst of these relate to the persistent attempts of mercenary Frenchmen to bring liquor to the Sault. FrÈmin goes to France toward the end of the year. Difficulties arise between various tribes, for which some blame the Sault Indians; but the efforts of the Mohawk chief Kryn settle these troubles. Another attempt to sell liquor in this village is frustrated by the prohibition of Duchesneau, the intendant.
In 1680, affairs become more tranquil. The notable event of the year is the death of Catherine Tegakwita ìin the odor of sanctity;î her virtues are eulogized by ChauchetiËre. The devil, foiled in all previous efforts, now ìused another kind of battery. Transfiguring himself as an angel of light, he urged on the devotion of some persons who desired to imitate Catherine, or to do severe penance for their sins. He drove them even into excess, in order, no doubt, to render Christianity hateful, even at the start; or in order to impose upon the girls and women of this mission, whose discretion has [Page 18] never equaled that of Catherine, whom they tried to imitate.î Some of these excesses are described: ìalmost continual austerities.... reduced them so low that it was not possible for ill-fed men to persevere further.î Fortunately, ìthe Holy Ghost soon intervened in this matter, enlightening these persons.î Fremin does not return from France until late in the year; but he has been able to accomplish much for the mission ó especially in securing the vindication of the Jesuits from the slanders that have been circulated about them. ìThis greatly increased the confidence which the Christian savages have in the fathers who teach them. ì
ìRumors of war kept all canada in suspenseî in 1681; and the sight of a great comet disturbs many hearts. Marvelous cures begin to be wrought by the intercession of the late Catherine Tegakwita. Some cases of drunkenness occur, but the worst delinquent is ìdenounced and ignominiously expelled, ìwhich proves sufficient to correct the evil. A scandal also happens at the Sault, a young married man being led away by a designing woman. In the end, both these persons are converted; the man dies piously, and the woman, now married, is living in the fear of God. The standard of morals is remarkably high; ìthe fair mirror of chastity is so clean at the Sault that people there cannot endure the least spot on it; and the savages are delicate on this point, even to excess.î
Little is noted in 1683. Drunkenness is still kept from entering the village. Praise is bestowed upon the confraternity of the Holy Family, whose works of piety and charity sustain the mission. They [Page 19] purchase for the chapel a bell weighing 81 livres, which is named for the Virgin Mary.
In August, 1683, ìall the monsters of hell, being powerless to do more, made a last effort, and joining at midnight with a whirlwind, blew down the chapel.î Three Fathers, who were in the building, are miraculously saved. Kryn gives up his new cabin to be used as a chapel; he is well recompensed, for marvels are wrought therein, and it becomes a sort of shrine for pilgrimages, made in honor of ìCatherine of the Sault.î The Fathers accomplish much for the instruction of their Indian disciples by pictures ó of the life of Christ, the seven capital sins, hell, etc. The chapel is rebuilt, the savages aiding in the work to the extent of their ability ó some of the women and children even injuring themselves by overwork. This enterprise is aided by the kingís liberality.
The year 1684, in which ìwar embroils all Canada,î is an important one for this little mission. The chapel is erected, for which the timbers had been hewn during the winter; these beams and posts are transported by the women, although, in so doing, they ìexpose themselves to the dangers of drowning or of freezing.î Chauchetiere mentions several ìprecious deaths,î and adds, ìThe way in which the savages die in the mission is so consoling that no one fears either death or disease;î and every one dies piously. The body of the blessed Catherine is removed into the church, where the pious often visit it, Canada is this year threatened by a war with the Iroquois, in which the Sault Christians offer to fight against their own countrymen in aid of the French. They go with La Barreís expedition, [Page 20] and their conduct therein is praised by all. The gifts made by these Indians to the new chapel are enumerated.
But little of the record for 1685 remains to us, the final sheets of the MS. having been lost or destroyed. The palisade about the village is now completed, and the Christian Indians, as scouts, render great services to the French.
CLVII. FranÁois de Crepieul, the veteran missionary to the Montagnais, writes (April 7, 1686) a series of ìRemarksî upon that mission, embodying the results of his long service therein.
Those of the Montagnais who retained more than one wife have, as a rule, perished ìin the woods, without the Sacraments;î this has caused other transgressors to amend their ways. A similar fate has befallen most of those who neglected confession. One of these is said to have been carried away by the devil. Those unfortunates were generally men; ìmost of these Women died in a very Christian manner. ìCrepieul describes the zeal of the Christian Indian families in attending church services, and the peace and charity that prevail among them. He mentions the leading characteristics of these people, and defends them from accusations made against their temperate habits.
Some of his observations are both interesting and practical ó for instance: ìThe less one employs the coureurs de Bois, the better it is for the Mission, and for The Trade.î ìThe less one lends to the Savages, the better.î ìOne must not be discouraged at the start, or condemn the customs of some poor Savages; they can be won in Time, and with patience.î ìUnless he [the missionary] has [Page 21] great courage and resolution to suffer, and some affection for the Savages, he will have hardly any satisfaction. The best thing for him is to devote himself solely to his Mission, and to leave The commandants, and The clerks appointed for The Trade, to act as they please and as they deem advisable.î ìAlthough fishing and hunting are proper when Necessary, and by way of recreation, they nevertheless do great harm to the Missionary who becomes too fond of them. These things cause him to lose much Time, and disturb the exercises of The Mission and The order of The House; and most frequently they scandalize the French as well as the Savages, who discuss them according to their own ideas.î ìHe must be careful not to Search the Sacks of the EngagÈs, unless he has some reason to suspect them of Theft; and he must not tell the Commandants what he has found, or the number of Martens, etc., that they have trapped, as this does great harm to All and to Himself.î ìExcept in case of Necessity or of strong suspicion, he must be careful not to go at Night into the Cabins, especially where there are Young women and marriageable Girls. They often give a wrong interpretation to this.î ìPublic Rebuke, unless well arranged beforehand, and resorted to according to Necessity, embitters Minds against Us. Such indiscreet Zeal does more harm than good.î
CLVIII. Thierry Beschefer writes to Cabart de Villermont (September 19, 1687) an account of Denonvilleís recent expedition against the Iroquois. The troops leave Montreal June 11, and arrive at Irondequoit July I o; here they meet I 80 Frenchmen and over 300 Indians from the Upper Lakes, who [Page 22] have been brought hither by Tonty and La Durantaye as reinforcements. Having erected a fort at Irondequoit, the main body of the army advance toward the Seneca village. They are attacked on the road by an ambushed band, which they are able to repulse, but with some loss of killed and wounded ó among the latter being the Jesuit Enjalran. Arriving at the Seneca villages, the French find these abandoned, and one burned. They complete the work of destruction by cutting down the corn in the fields, and burning that left from the previous year. It is thought that this will cause great suffering, and even mortality, among the enemy. After nine days thus spent, Denonville leads back his army to Irondequoit. Before returning to Montreal, he begins the erection of a fort at Niagara, where he leaves a garrison. The expedition is regarded as successful; but it is felt that Canada is in great danger, especially as the Iroquois are incited by the English. These savages have already attacked several outlying French settlements.
A number of the Iroquois captured at Katarakoui have been sent to France, to labor in the galleys. The English and Dutch of New York have begun to trade with the Indians at Mackinac; but two parties of these foreigners are captured by the French, and the Ottawa trade is thus secured to Canada. More troops are this year sent to Canada from France. At Hudson Bay, Le Moyne díIberville captures an English ship.
Another letter from Beschefer to Villermont is dated October 22, 1687. He mentions frequent raids by small bands of Iroquois. Large and fine quarries of porphyry have been found on St. Pierre Islands. [Page 23] Other discoveries of minerals are mentioned. Beschefer gives a list of the articles in a box that he is sending to his correspondent. Among these are: 24 bark dishes, of various sizes; seeds of watermelons, of different varieties; specimens of minerals: and Indian curios.
We: are indebted to Mr. H. P. Biggar, of New College, Oxford, for careful copies of Doc. CLVIII., made for this series from contemporary apographs in the BibliothËque Nationale, Paris.
R. G. T.
Madison, Wis., January, 1900. [Page 24]
Documents Relating To The Abenaki Mission
(Sillery and St. FranÁois de Sales,) 1683-85
CLIV. ó Journal de ce qui síeft paffÈ dans la Miffion Abnaquife depuis la fefte de NoÎl 1683 jusquíau 6 Octobre 1684; Jacques Bigot, Sillery, [1683-84]
CLV. ó Lettre du R. P. Jacques Bigot au R. P. La Chaise; Sillery, 8 Novembre, 1685
Sources: Doc. CLIV. we obtain from the original MS. in the archives of St. Maryís College, Montreal. Doc. CLV. is from a MS. (presumably an apograph) in the Library of Congress, Washington, D. C. [Page 25]
Journal of what occurred in the Abnaquis
Mission from the feast of Christmas,
1683 until October 6, 1684.
y Reverend Father,
When I finished, last year, the little narrative which I sent you concerning The State of our mission, ó which had just been named the mission of St. franÁois de Sales, ó I was announcing to you that we were about to induce our savages to acknowledge as their Patron and Father that Holy Prelate who had so much zeal for the Conversion of souls. We began, three Days after Christmas, by solemnly declaring in The Church that we were about to take that saint for the protector of our Mission. We chose the Day of The death of Saint francis de sales; and, on The day before, an altar was set up in The Church of our Mission, where was exposed The Image of the Saint, which the savages adorned with everything most beautiful in their possession. The whole Altar was covered with a great number of Collars, made in all sorts of designs; Bugle beads and strings of porcelain; and articles worked with glass Beads and, porcupine quills. I added the most beautiful ornaments that we have in our Church, and as many Lights as our poor Mission could furnish. The whole Ceremony began with The Invocation of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, to whom St. francis de Sales had been so Devoted, ó as I explained to [Page 27] them in The Instruction which I gave, Interrupting The prayer from time to time. Then they addressed themselves to the Saint in a prayer which I had them say, and which they repeated several times, in order to arouse their Confidence toward their holy Protector. The more fervent showed an admirable ardor to know this prayer as quickly as possible, and some Days later they Inserted It in their usual prayers; It is now said four times a Day ó twice in the Cabins, and twice in The Church. Although I did not have them receive Communion on the Day of The death of St. Francis de sales, because they had received communion three Days before, they Nevertheless spent almost the whole Day in prayers. After mass, I gave an Instruction to them upon the most Notable deeds of the Saint; and during a month Until the 29th of January, which The Church appoints in honor of this Saint ó 1 tried in the cabins, in private Instructions, to inspire all with a tender Confidence in The protection of St. francis de sales. On the 29th of January, we again set up an Altar, but much more richly adorned than the First one. The Reverend Father Superior-General of all our missions in Canada gave the most beautiful ornament on this Altar, which was a very large Image of St. Francis de Sales on satin. I had It enriched with a wide border of gold and silver. I may say that I have not seen in france a more beautiful Image of St. Francis de Sales, or one more handsomely adorned than that one is. I have even had to tell you it frankly ó some scruple about the Expense that I have incurred for that, being so poor that I have not even means wherewith to obtain the food necessary for The support of our Mission, and chiefly of the most Wretched [Page 29] But my scruple did not last Long, Judging that, on an occasion so Important as that was, one must even retrench necessary expenses, in order to contribute more Efficiently toward bringing into sentiments of piety these poor savages, whom one is striving to gain for Jesus Christ. Our Image, thus adorned, was set upon a little satin cloth, bordered with gold and silver fringe; this cloth was placed at the very top of The Altar of the Saint, and showed The Image in all its Light, There was placed below The Image of the Saint a very large porcelain Collar, adorned with porcupine quills, which our savages have had the Devotion of sending to the Tomb of their Holy Father and Patron at Annecy, where the Body of St. Francis De Sales lies. It is the most beautiful Collar that I have seen made here. I wished, some Days ago, to recompense a savage girl, named Ursule, for about one hundred porcelain beads that she had Contributed for this Collar. She begged me to give her nothing, and told me that she was expecting her recompense from her Father, to whom she was making this little present. Tall Jeanne, who made the whole Collar, and Colette, who set the porcupine quills in it, have done so with a great zeal for honoring that Saint. The Inscription on the Collar is: S. franc salisio Abnaq. D. [Sancto francisco salisio Abnaquiis Donatum ó ìPresented to St. francis de sales by the Abnaquis.ì] At The assembly of all the savages, I will ascertain their sentiments and their expressions, in order to write The Letter which is to accompany this collar to the tomb of St. francis de sales. They are now all at the Chase ó that is to say, all the men; a great many of them came back on the Day of the Saintís [Page 31] feast, in order to be present at the Ceremony and at the general Communion. I Began, that Day, to have blessed bread presented in The Church by the savages themselves. It was francis de sales, of whose piety I have already written to you in preceding years, who gave these blessed loaves on the Day of his patronís feast. He presented two very large ones ó it was all that he could carry ó and distributed them afterward to all the savages, with an admirable modesty and order. After all our savages had spent almost the whole morning of The festival at The Church, I gave them the feast for That holy day. The whole Devotion was not ended at The feast, ó it lasted several Days; and, in the two months since the feast has gone by, I find that they have not relaxed in their fervor. You see, my Reverend Father, that in this narrative I observe exactly what you have shown me that you desire to know, by entering into details of the little devotions of our poor savages. As I see them all, these eight or nine months since I wrote to you, in the same course and in the same exercises of piety that I described to you at length, I will not here repeat them to you. I will only tell you that our Mission has been further increased by many Christians since last year; and that I Continually admire how they so soon imitate one another, that we have hardly any difficulty in making them acquire the most important sentiments of a true Christian. As soon as they have been baptized, they come to ask me, with urgency, to hear them in Confession; and they appear to me to perform all the acts requisite for that sacrament as well as if they had been in the habit of Confessing for several years. There are some among them who, [Page 33] immediately after their baptism, have given themselves to all the exercises of piety with an admirable fervor ó Sebastien Manikou, and his wife Radegonde; fabien, and his wife Agnes Pulcherie; Catherine Marine, and her daughter Agnes Ursule. We are obliged to give two names to many of them, in order to avoid Confusion in a great number. They do not wish, for the most part, to be called by anything but their baptismal names ó insomuch that I lately had all the difficulty in the world in drawing from some persons their family names; one answered me that they had no other name here than that of their baptism. They feel the utmost Joy when I notify them of the Day of their Patronís feast: and some of the principal persons have, after their Devotions, chosen to manifest their Rejoicing through feasts, ó sometimes in their Cabins, sometimes public ones for all the people. They manifest a great eagerness to know the lives of their individual Patron Saints; and some have extremely taken to Heart to imitate the most Important traits of their Patron, and have Thereby actually arrived at a high Degree of virtue ó either of purity, or of deep humility and self-contempt, or of great Charity, etc. Some admirably retain what I tell them in particular about Each Saint: others continually assure me that they wish themselves ill for forgetting so soon what I tell them, and then beg me to repeat it once again. I can make no one a more Esteemed present than to give him some fair-sized Image of his patron Saint. They put away these Images as best they can, in order to Preserve them, and display them in their cabins on the Days of the great feasts. I do not know that I have said much to them in order to [Page 35] incline them to this practice of devotion; only I often take occasion, when I see these Images displayed, to speak to them about the Saint, or about the Mystery which they Represent. The most universal devotion here is still Jesus on the Cross; and I may say to you that it is not simple Curiosity, or The desire of possession which prompts many of them here to ask for crucifixes. I see a great many of them who make a holy use thereof, employing their crucifixes to incite one another to union with Jesus Christ; and indeed I often tell them that they must first wear the crucifix in the Heart, and that they are only children if they are satisfied to wear it about their Necks. They perfectly Grasp this Instruction. I have arranged for them a very brief jaculatory prayer to Jesus to all sorts of musical airs which they already know. I make them say it during their work, in their cabins, while walking, while going to hew wood, but especially when they feel themselves seized with Grief. All the airs of that little spiritual Song are mostly Joyous; and I avow to you, in passing, that I believe that I cannot do too much to maintain them in great spiritual Joy. The moment when I perceive them sad, I quietly induce them to tell me the reason of their sadness, in order that I may console them. Often they do not know it themselves; but I soon give them feelings of Joy regarding the happiness which they now have in serving God and Knowing Jesus Christ. Often that sadness comes from the remembrance of their kinsmen whom they have left in their own countries; I direct them to pray for such, and I give them hope of seeing them here as good Christians, like themselves. It often comes from some talebearing that may have been brought to them, or [Page 37] from a sharp word that may have been said to them; for they are extremely Sensitive. I ask them whether they truly wish to be good Christians, and whether they do not believe that Jesus Christ commands them to forget that Wrong. I order them, for the sake of putting themselves above those morose thoughts, to say cheerfully with their lips to Jesus Christ: ìI love you, my Jesus, and I would not offend you by becoming angry with that person.î ìBut this Insult which has been said to me constantly comes back to My Mind,î many come to tell me. I persuade them as best I can, through little Comparisons adapted to their usages, that this thought, if disavowed, very far from causing them to offend God, makes them very deserving. You know well enough by the experience which you have had here, that the savages, when agitated by thoughts of that kind, give us as much trouble as do the scrupulous in france. A thought which still gives much distress to our savages, who give themselves with great fervor to doing good, is to doubt whether Jesus Christ will indeed accept the services of persons as wicked as they acknowledge themselves to have been. I must use all sorts of skill to give them courage in such dejected states. Many also, seeing that they always relapse into the same slight faults of which they usually make Confession, are much Disturbed thereby, and often come to ask me whether their master Jesus will indeed pardon them notwithstanding their repeated failures to keep The promise that they give him to offend him no more. What obliges me this Year to write to you these various ideas with which our savages, even the most fervent, are disturbed, is that I have been informed [Page 39] that persons in france, to whom you were to Communicate a part of this sort of Relation, are very glad to know in detail in what ways our savages here accept the things of God; and whether their sentiments are different from those of the french who enter somewhat into the practice of virtue. Accordingly, to continue this article, I add that some of our more fervent savages, in those sentiments of which I have just spoken to you, have come to ask me to suffer them no longer to enter into The Church. I take good care not to grant this to them, showing them, as promptly as I can, that this is false humility. They tell me that they plainly see that they are too wicked; and that they, so wicked as they are, defile The Church by entering it. I Answer those who give me most trouble in That respect: ìJesus Christ knows the grief that thou hast had for thy sins, and I know how thou lovest The prayer. I would not deceive thee nor conceal from thee thy failings, if I saw thee still in sin. I tell thee this in so far as Jesus Christ directs me to do So. Go, enter The Church; pray there like the others, and omit nothing of all that is done for prayer.î They obey, and resume their pious practices. Some Nevertheless return to The Charge, although in fact I know that they live in great Innocence of life, and in actual horror of that which can in the least offend God. All must be told. I have seen some of them who did not make this sort of request from me, no longer pray with the others, except through a kind of Displeasure about what they heard said of them by certain wicked Tongues. When I see in these a strong attachment to prayer, I treat them, in appearance, somewhat ill; and ask them whether those [Page 41] words which are said of them defile their Hearts, and whether that prevents Jesus Christ from Knowing and approving The ardor which they have in their Hearts for prayer. ìWhat!î I have added, ìthou givest up Jesus by giving up prayer, because such a one says that of thee? Come, thou art not wise to have so little firmness for Jesus.î This severe treatment brings them back to their duty, and they say to me on going away, ìI will do what thou orderest for me.î Often there are some who absent themselves from prayer, without my knowledge, in Their Embarrassment at having fallen into some Serious fit of anger. That sometimes happens to the most fervent women of our mission, who, Suffering themselves to be surprised by their testy nature, conceive, a moment later, extreme grief therefor. You sufficiently know the depth of The virtue Of Agnes. There befell her yesterday a fit of passion which was externally visible; you would have been charmed To-day to see in what manner she has manifested sorrow for her fault. On such occasions, I try to give them a terrible Dread of Hell; and, as soon as they have somewhat Returned to themselves, I send them to The Church to say, composedly, fifty or a hundred times this prayer to Jesus Christ: ìPardon me, beloved Jesus, The Passion into which I have fallen. Ah, let me not be eternally damned.î I tell them to come and find me after they shall have said this prayer, and that I will fully Instruct them. By this simple method one easily checks among them that which might, in a Moment, disturb The whole mission. When these fits of anger cause disunion in a Cabin, I do not Allow the Day to pass without trying to apply some [Page 43] remedy. I go to announce in The Cabin that it is in vain that they pray there, if they have any Rancor Against one another. Union is restored, even more closely than before. This occupation is one of those which give me most exercise; for, as the savages are usually Jealous, haughty, and peevish, this temper returns from time to time and causes much disturbance, ó insomuch that I sometimes believe that The whole mission is about to be subverted; but, with a little carefulness, all grows calm in a moment. All these failings which I note ó in order to Exhibit, as is desired, the ways in which the people here regard the things of God ó do not prevent their having truly a depth of piety and virtue; and I know this with certainty, because I see here that God does not permit faults of this kind in most of our savages, except to incline them to greater virtue. Several are truly saints now, whom I should never have been able to bring to that holiness if I had not had The opportunity to do so through some fault into which they had fallen.
There is, Nevertheless, a considerable number here among whom, I may say, I have never been able to remark these failings, or that inconstancy Native to the savage. They seem, since they have been baptized, to have become entirely new men. I mentioned to you, last year, something about The saintliness of these savages; I will this Year, tell you something further of it, in more detail, and of some others who have arrived since The last time when I wrote to you. I will relate to you these things as they recur to my memory in the brief moments that I can snatch for writing. One of these persons, recently arrived, is named Agnes pulcherie, [Page 45] a young woman Aged about 22 years. Having received in Acadia some Slight Instructions in Christianity through our Christian savages who have made journeys thither, she came here with great desires for Holy baptism. She knew almost all the prayers when she arrived, about nine months ago. She at once manifested an extraordinary fervor, thinking of scarcely anything but praying; and this obliged me to baptize her three months later. Although during these three 1st months I was not able to perceive in her the least fault, and although that great fervor of which I have just spoken was joined to an Admirable modesty, I did not yet see the special designs of God regarding her, to Raise Her to the high sanctity in which she is. A month after her baptism, she had extraordinary feelings of love for Jesus Christ, of Confidence in him, and of sorrow for the faults that she had committed in her earlier Years ó although she was known here to have led a very innocent life. Before coming, of her own accord, to declare to me her sentiments, I saw her, during a month, remain at The Church a considerable time each day, and that without saying aught. I was marveling what converse with Jesus Christ a poor savage woman could have who had received no special Instruction. After that month, she came to find me, and with joined hands spoke to me in these terms, which I will simply repeat to you: ìAh, my father, how I have offended my master Jesus! how Wicked I have been from my infancy! I am sorry for having offended Him; and I hope, if he aids me, to offend him no more.î She told me then that she was ready to do everything necessary to satisfy Jesus. Since that time, I have seen [Page 47] her increase her prayers; and, during these 4 months past, she lives in a fervor which surprises me. I cannot help, from time to time, on considering The manner in which this savage woman receives the Things of God, saying to myself: ìCould one see aught more in the Religious persons who Begin to serve God in great fervor?î For more than a month, this fervent Christian has been dangerously sick with a wasting Sickness, similar to that which caused the death, last year, of her Sister, ó who received baptism a moment before dying, having Here displayed, in 4 months, almost the same examples of virtue that her younger sister, Agnes pulcherie, gives us now. I know not whether God does not wish to Unite her soon with her Sister, and whether it is not for that that he so extraordinarily advances Her in sanctity. She receives her illness with The greatest Joy in the world, and is ready for death. As this Languor in which she is Prevents Her from working much, she spends a great part of her time at The Church, and does not Allow herself to be dejected, as sick savages usually do. As soon as I speak to her of God, I see her, as it were, quite transported; she listens to me in a Way which shows me that she is moved by God. She has a humble air, without affectation; and, however wicked may be the Tongues of the savages I know none of them who has found anything to criticise in The piety of this woman. She has been married for 5 Years, and has Never had the least quarrel with fabien, her husband, who arrived here with her, both having the earnest desire to give themselves to God. This man is one of the most accomplished savages that we have. I have never known any shadow of vice in [Page 49] him, never have I heard from him one word louder than another. He is ardent in prayer; and, when he is here, he is very Urgent with me to Instruct Him privately. They both have an admirable zeal that one of their Children, who is beginning to speak, should be Instructed as soon as possible; and thus they live in The greatest Joy in the world, without my having been able Ever to see them Vexed. Sebastien and Radegonde ó who arrived with these two, and are related to them ó have given themselves to God in the same Way; and both families together are irreproachable in everything. On seeing them, there often come to me certain desires: ìAh! how I could wish that people might see in france The manner in which these savages give themselves to God!î for one cannot conceive it unless one sees it. It is fully a month since I have had a moment of time to resume this little Relation. The principal occupation that I have had has been to instruct a great number of new savages who arrived some Days ago, in The best disposition possible for prayer. The man who went to Invite them on my part had already instructed several of them while bringing them Hither; and, in view of the great number whom he has brought, I have been astonished how they have all applied themselves to the good. There were only three who drank a little on arriving, but they gave me no trouble; as I did not see these three with a. sufficiently strong inclination for prayer, I gladly consented to their return to Acadia, where they are going to seek out the rest of their kinsmen, ó in order, as they say, to pray for their return. The others have great fervor. After having Instructed [Page 51] them during some Days at sillery, I sent them to the place of our new establishment, where I am about to find them at present ó I write this to you on the way, while they are Repairing our Canoes, which have been much damaged on the journey. There are already in our new Establishment other savages newly arrived from Acadia whom I have not yet seen; this is what causes me to go thither more promptly, in order to have them acquire as soon as possible the feelings which they should adopt if they wish to Join our mission. Still others are expected every Day, who are to arrive from Acadia; and they themselves say that soon all the rest who are in acadia will come to pray. I have all the difficulties in the world to support all this great number; but I assure you that I gladly accept this trouble, seeing The fervor which is in most of these savages, and The manner in which they receive the things of God. I have found these new savages who were awaiting me at the place of our new Establishment in The same disposition for prayer as the others: and I believe that soon I shall be obliged to spend nearly all the time there. As the greater part of those who have remained until now at Sillery desire to come to join those who are here, there will be only about a hundred persons, among the most Aged, who will remain at Sillery. We shall Nevertheless Preserve our Cabins there, in order to Lodge therein upon the frequent journeys that we shall be obliged to make to Quebec. Seven or eight Days after Corpus Christi, we shall hold The first solemnity of the Patron Saint of our Mission, St. francis de Sales, in The Church which we have erected within a Fortnight; The other, built last year, was destroyed by the [Page 53] Over-flowing of the waters. I hope that, with the grace of God and the Charities of persons zealous for The Conversion of these poor savages, we shall be, after a time, in a position to build one in a somewhat more substantial manner, and capable of resisting such mishaps; and one which, being better adorned, will Inspire them with more Respect for the mysteries of our Religion. The poor condition in which you see this paper, all spoiled, upon which I am obliged to tell you The accident which happened to us yesterday, June 6, on coming into our new Establishment ó in order to hold there the 1st Ceremony of St. francis de sales; and, at the same time, to notify our savages of what Monsieur the General commands them to do in order to prepare themselves in good earnest for the war. The Accident which happened to us yesterday was, that our Canoe came near being wholly swallowed up in the passage of some Rapids. For the space of two Misreres, it was quite full of water; and, notwithstanding the Haste that the two savages who were conveying me, made to Jump into The Water and Lift up the Canoe, I thought that we would lose it, since they could not Longer resist. I cut a sorry figure, at first, in the Canoe thus full of water; for you know that I am not very expert on The Water. I saw on one side the end of a log, which appeared at the waterís level; I tried to reach that point, firmly holding a paddle which I had seized. A Canoe which preceded us noticed what had just happened to us, and came promptly to the aid of the two savages, who were now almost powerless to hold the Canoe longer, and from which they could not bale out the water against the violence of the torrent. Although they removed as promptly [Page 55] as possible my Chapel and some other ornament which had been presented to me in order to adorn my Chapel of St. francis de sales, everything was much damaged. The least misfortune was the loss of some provisions, which the water spoiled. The canoe which succored us was that which Monsieur the General is sending to Acadia with despatch, to carry thither his gifts, and to Invite all the abnaquis who remain in Acadia to come to Join those whom we have Here, and march to war with the french against the Iroquois. Other persons are writing to you the condition in which affairs are Here, as regards all Canada. I Content myself in this with relating to you the things which Concern our Mission, ó which will probably be enormously enlarged by the arrival of the people who shall come to war, and who will be accompanied by their wives and Children. Those who started this morning, June 6, to Invite them to come to war, are our Dogique, Estienne Nekoutneant, and 2 of his brothers; all three are among the best that we have here, as regards both piety and Courage. Much hope is held out to our savages, if all succeeds; and all the more Notable french of the country say that more is expected from the Courage and fidelity of the Abnaquis than from the help of all the other savages allied to us. God grant that all may succeed for The enlargement of this Mission and the Conversion of the Iroquois. We already have our two churches full of our Christians; but one hardly sees among the Iroquois, who are in much greater number than we, even 5 or 6 Christians who come into the churches which our fathers have there. I bless God every Day for The manner in which they call our abnaquis [Page 57] to the faith; and I ask him with all my Heart to grant the same grace to the Iroquois, and that this may be the recompense for so many sufferings which our fathers have so long endured. People Here are dreading lest some of our fathers may have been killed recently, since the rumors of war. I know not whether I shall accompany our savages to the war; but I see well that, whether I go or stay here, I shall not want for occupation. My present occupation, besides the usual Instructions, and the visits to our Cabins and our Fields, is to see that they do whatever work is ordered them by Monsieur the General, and that they seek provisions.
I have some difficulty in continuing what I have Begun to write you, ó The second accident, which happened to us on our return, having so spoiled this paper that I could hardly save it entire. Our Canoe was wholly wrecked, although it was quite new; of us five persons who were in the canoe, each one lost something that went adrift; I saved The chapel, which was about to be lost. We spent a part of The night in drying the ornaments of The chapel; and then, after sleeping for some hours in the woods, without supper, we tried, still without provisions, to make our way as best we could, seeking paths in the woods to Lead us as far as sillery. There we arrived with a great appetite, very nearly like that with which you saw me five years ago, when I went astray in the woods. Our greatest difficulty on this return was to cross, without a Canoe, a River of considerable width. Our savages would have easily crossed it, if they had been alone; in order to get me across, they sought out in the woods 5 or 6 logs, decayed and hollow, bound them [Page 59] with two ropes, and made of them a kind of Raft. On this a savage helped me to make the passage, guiding the Raft with His paddle. Some time before this last voyage, two savages entirely lost their Canoe and what they carried, in that same river passage, and a little savage girl, whom we had just baptized upon her arrival from Acadia, was carried away by the torrent of that River; they did not find her Body until four Days later. There appeared therein a very special providence of God, who sent hither that little girl, aged six years, only to receive Holy baptism and then go to Heaven. The parents ó who tenderly loved this Child, and who had just arrived with the intention of having themselves, as well as their dear Child, baptized ó received perfectly well the word of Consolation for the death of their daughter, whom God seemed to have brought here only to place Her immediately afterward in his Holy Paradise. They are all extremely fond of prayer, and most of them are already baptized; for it is more than two months since that death, and fully a month and a half since I have been able to resume this little narrative. Since that time, another great company of persons have arrived among us from Acadia, and I assure you that I now no longer Count the number, to know it exactly; I content myself with blessing God for having given such Holy Inclinations to nearly all those who have arrived since spring. By The Avowal of all the people in this country, there has not yet been seen here a nation receiving the Instructions in our Mysteries with so much docility as does this nation of whom I write. I was apprehensive lest, upon the news that I had received, ó that many people were [Page 61] about to arrive here from Acadia, ó this great concourse might cause disorder; but I assure you that I have had no trouble on that score, and that I have even seen that the new-comers behaved with more fervor for the good than do many who have been here for a Long time. I do not say that there did not occur some little disorder; but I assure you that I have been astonished that it has been so little in proportion to the great number of people who have arrived, ó for, among all, I have not seen more than three men, and one or two women, slightly intoxicated. Some of these new-comers arrived here nearly a month ago with Etienne ne Ketuent [Nekoutneant], our Dogique, and his two brothers ó whom Monsieur the General had sent to Acadia, to Invite those of Their nation to the war against The iroquois; others arrived some Days later. Most of the 1st ones who arrived have gone to war; we still have here about thirty who are awaiting the 1st orders of Monsieur the General to go to Join him. More than sixty of the people of our Mission are with him; I have sent no one who is not over 20 Years of age, because I had been requested not to send Useless mouths.
Monsieur the General has shown our savages a special esteem for them. He told them that he desired, at the outset, only abnaquis of whose Courage and fidelity he was assured, for his project of sending a reconnoitering expedition toward The Iroquois. He took at first for this enterprise only thirty of our people, with 200 french; the rest started some Days later. We are still expecting, every Day, some others from Acadia, along with those who are here; we have not had from Acadia all who were expected. Monsieur de St. Castin, to [Page 63] whom monsieur the General had addressed the orders and the gifts for inviting the Abnaquis of Acadia to come to Join those of our Mission, has been greatly annoyed by the English, whom he has summoned three times this winter to quit the post of pentagwet, where he is. That, according to what he writes here, Prevents Him from coming with the savages who were ëdesired from That quarter. I know not how Monsieur the General, to whom I have sent all the Letters of st. Castin, has received that. All those who have arrived from Acadia with ours have manifested a furious passion for falling upon The Iroquois; and they wrote to me two Days ago from Montreal that every one was extremely well pleased with our people. The only thing that I desire in all that is, that The special regard which is shown them may serve to establish more solidly this mission, which, with The grace of God, has such auspicious beginning. I was told yesterday, the eleventh of August, that our Abnaquis already have great reputation in france. I know not whether they were paying me this compliment in order to mitigate somewhat the little difficulties that I have in laboring to support here this poor Mission. I will always sincerely inform you, as I have promised you, of the good and the evil that I shall see in it; for the evil that you shall see in our mission will incline you more strongly to recommend it to Our Lord, and will also engage therein all those who interest themselves on behalf of our Dear Mission. Neither my brother nor I have followed the savages to the war. He has some occupations at the Iroquois Mission of the Sault, which have been Judged more necessary; and as for me, they have not been willing to make [Page 65] me leave so great a number of savages as remain here, to go with eighty or a hundred warriors which is the total of the Abnaquis, Algonquins, and soquoquis who have gone from here. Since this was written, there have arrived among us many more people from Acadia. In the seven Days since they have been Here, they have manifested a very great ardor to become Instructed. They have visited the Cabin of Marguerite, where several persons have already undertaken to Instruct them. Unless the savages thus united with us for the Instruction of those who Continually come anew, Father Gassot and I could not suffice for so great a number. Part of the Days are sometimes spent in baptizing all those whom we find thoroughly prepared, Father Gassot has baptized, this morning, eight adults, ó in whom I may say that, in the four or five months since they have been here, I have had only examples of virtue. Every working-Day he teaches in our Church, during one hour, the Catechism to those who are not baptized and to the Children; many of the Adults who are already baptized nevertheless attend, in order to learn still better the articles of our faith. Besides these lessons in the Catechism, we give, at intervals of two Days, an exhortation at the end of mass to all those of the mission who attend The Ordinary mass. We have given here, within four or 5 months, some Instructions on Hell by means of certain Mournful Songs and some spectacular representations, which have had considerable influence upon our savages. I have tried to express in those Mournful Songs, all that is best fitted, according to The Idea of the savages, to torment one damned, and the vices which are the most common. [Page 67] among them. This Instruction is repeated from time to time, either in The Church or in some large Cabin. Since we have Begun this form of Instruction, when I wish to give some severe warning to any one, I ask him at first whether he truly believes all that I have told him about the pains of Hell; then, obliging Him to look with me at a picture of one damned, ó which I have placed, for this purpose, in a Room near the hall in which I Instruct them, ó I allow him to do as he chooses. This Instruction is not given twice to the same person; I have seen few on whom it has not had a very good effect, and whom it has not inclined really to amend their faults. I spoke to you, at the Beginning of this relation, of some families newly arrived, who live here in a truly Christian union, and in a manner at least irreproachable. Since that time, several other families have arrived who lead the same kind of life, and incite one another to become Instructed as soon as possible. It did not require much time to prepare them for baptism. I would be glad if I could name them to you individually, and indicate to you in minute and detailed form the conduct of each one; and you would admire the blessings of God upon this poor nation. But ó besides the fact that they are now too numerous for that, and that in most cases I would nearly always have the same things to state to YOU ó 1 assure you that I have no time to give you those particulars, and I resume this little narrative at Quebec, where some slight indisposition obliges me to remain. Besides all the people who have come to us from Acadia, some have also come from elsewhere, ó to wit, some Soquoquis and some Gaspessiens. God has granted the favor to most of [Page 69] these Gaspessiens to die at Sillery this year, some time after having arrived there. I call that a great favor for them; for you know the wretched life that they lead in their own country. Indeed, the Reverend Father Chrestien, a RÈcollet, ó who during most of the time, is as you know, in the countries of the Gaspessiens, Instructing them with very fervent zeal, ó told me some Days ago that he desired only one favor for these poor Gaspessiens. That is, to see them come into our mission, to which he was urging them as much as he could. Those who are here from that nation are doing well. As for the soquoquis, ó whose Inconstant nature I know, and who are much inclined to drunkenness, ó I supposed that I ought not to receive any of them here without making a careful choice of them; and that our mission is not yet sufficiently established in Christian piety to admit that sort of mixture, which at the Start sometimes spoils all. I had proposed here, some time ago, to hold occasionally a flying mission to the soquoquis and the Algonquins of three Rivers. I already know most of them; and I believe that, at the end of two or three little missions, one might see some result. But it is very difficult to leave this Mission now, in order to make journeys of that sort; perhaps the time will come for the conversion of those people, as it has come for the Conversion of the Abnaquis. Commend them, I pray you, to our Lord, so that he may accomplish in them his holy work. I have no new information to give you of our Former Christians whom you Left here: I see none of them who Belies himself, save a Certain Nichaberet, nephew to our Captain, who withdrew two years ago to the Soquoquis. [Page 71]
Besides our occupations which I have already described to you, the diseases here, which would Fill an ordinary hospital, give me, I assure you, much trouble sometimes, and throw me into a sort of dejection. Seeing myself unable to give them the little alleviations which they might need, I must content myself with exhorting them to patience; but, without relieving them otherwise, these exhortations appear to me very barren. I went, some time ago, to Monseigneur The Bishop, and, alluding to what he had ordered at the last Jubilee, ó that the alms which should be given at that time should be bestowed on the hospital, ó 1 told him that we had in our mission a hospital no less crowded than that of the Nuns at Kebec, and that he could assuredly recommend it to the Charities of the Christians. I have tried to entertain you with this last topic, and I am obliged to stop, for the headache which troubles me does not allow me to write Longer.
It is a little more than a month, this 2nd of September, since three of our savage women, ó Monique, DorothÈe, and Aldegonde, ó going three or four leagues from our Mission to gather bark, found a poor frenchwoman who gave them to understand that she had nothing to cover herself and her poor children, and told them that she was about to be confined. Each of these three savage women gave her own blanket to this stranger; and Monique, upon her return told me, almost with tears, that she had been touched with Compassion at seeing The poverty of that frenchwoman. I wrote to you at length last year about this Monique, who is here a very rare example of virtue. I may say that, in more than three years since I have known her, [Page 73] have not seen her fall into any fault which appeared even venial, although I observe her quite closely. She has an extreme desire that her children incline to the right; and, when they fall into any fault, she comes to beg me, with tears in her eyes, to Instruct them a little. Her eldest son, named franÁois de Sales, is extremely well-behaved. He is married, conformably to the Church, to that Dorothee of whom I have just spoken to you, and whom you formerly saw. She could not have better fortune than to have for Mother-in-law that good Monique; indeed, she leaves her as seldom as possible, and profits well by her good example. Aldegonde, who is the last of those whom I have just named above, is a woman of 25 years; she receives the things of God in the right way, and I expect hardly less from her than from the little Catherine, and from franÁoise, wife of our Captain. These two women always dwell in The great virtue in which you Left them. God has restored health to that Agnes pulcherie of whom I wrote to you amply at the beginning of this Letter. Instructing Her lately as to what she was to do in order to Thank God for the Recovery of her health, she very warmly assured me that she would do so; and she always has great fervor.
The 4 Dogiques of whom I wrote to you last year, still Continue in The same firmness for the right, save one, ó who, on the journey that he made to Acadia to Invite his kinsmen to come to be Instructed, allowed himself to drink, like them, to excess. Accordingly, he has hardly any more influence in regard to the Instructions: and although he is Repentant for his fault, I employ him now for [Page 75] hardly anything. Although he has committed this serious fault, God has nevertheless made him useful in causing a great many people to Return hither, from whom I expect something in the cause of piety because of The manner in which I have seen them begin. We must wait and see whether that will Continue.
Penakouret, franÁois, and Robert Wanbiganich, are Irreproachable in all respects; therefore all the warnings that they give to the others, ó either from me, or from themselves individually, ó in order to incline to the right the Christians of our mission, are well Received by every one. They have no concern for othersí opinions, which would make them afraid of warning any one. When I also warn the people, I usually have these men make the first attack; and I enjoin them to tell the person who has failed to come to find me, after they have spoken to him. As they explain themselves much better than I, when they comprehend my intention regarding any one who has erred, and as they express themselves admirably in their own fashion, they can enable a man to Understand in a. moment the Instructions which I wish to give him. Accordingly, I First ask a man to whom I have thus sent word: ìHas such a one spoken to thee on my behalf? What dost thou think?î And then I talk to him in good earnest about The fault that he has committed. The three brothers Of Etienne Nekoutneant ó Joseph, Ignace, and FranÁois Jean ó are also doing well; the three sisters ó The eldest of whom, Agnes, you knew quite well-lead very virtuous lives. Anastasie and Marie, the two Younger ones, have Never given me the least [Page 77] dissatisfaction; their natures are always serene, but generous for the things of God. They are the two leading voices in our singing, and I have never seen them irregular in that service ó as are the rest of the savage women, who are sometimes in a mood to sing, and again are not. Thus you see that God has always blessed the family of Marguerite, by inclining to the right the seven children that she has, after having placed the eighth in paradise. This was her youngest daughter, Apoline, who died here, at The age of 15 or 16 years, in the greatest Innocence in the world. THERE are four other families Here, related to that of Marguerite; the men and the women have like fervor, and I see in them a very great Innocence, although I observe them quite closely. One of these families, coming here from Acadia, was for some time obliged to sojourn by the way in some french settlements. A person who saw them There for a time wrote here that those people had been charmed with The Assiduity and modesty with Which they had seen our savages pray. As soon as that family arrived here, they showed a very unusual ardor for learning, as soon as possible, the remainder of the prayers which they did not know, and for becoming instructed in our Mysteries. But a Young savage, aged about eighteen years, especially distinguished himself by that fervor, which I cannot, in truth, express to you. Father Gassot named him Henry Joseph. His fervor has Continued for three months, and I see nothing in him which makes me apprehend Inconstancy. Among all the people who have arrived among us, there have been many at The age of this Henry Joseph, who do not yet know what [Page 79] drunkenness is; and I hope that, with the grace of God, They can be Preserved here in great innocence of life. Of all the Young men whom you Left here, there are Only two who have relaxed The Regular life that they led when you were here; the others, jointly with these new-comers, sustain The mission, and do with exactness everything that is ordered them for the service of God. Some time ago, a savage who was leading a somewhat disorderly life loudly Inveighed, upon arriving Here, against all those of our Mission who so punctually obeyed the father who has charge of prayer; he was sustained by two or three Algonquins who were here only as transients. I allowed him to spend his rage, and then I talked with him; he is now an example for The Mission, and I may say that he does all that I tell him, as obediently as a Child. He had gone from this place, four or five years ago, with the Algonquins.
This 27th of September, it is nearly three weeks since it was necessary for us to change almost all the Daily order of our Mission, for the sake of busying ourselves in instructing and relieving the sick who have returned from The war. Only one or two of all those who accompanied monsieur the General escaped the attack of a malignant fever, which keeps all the others here dangerously sick. The Captain who, as I informed you, arrived here from Acadia a little before The war, and who was Invited by a Collar from Monsieur the General to accompany Him, died of that disease twelve hours after having returned here. 1 did not leave him in nearly all those twelve hours, which were Partly at night, in order to obtain some lucid Interval and [Page 81] prepare him for baptism; as he had just arrived when it was necessary to start for the war, I had only Slightly Instructed Him. In all those 12 hours, he had not a single Lucid moment. I let our savages know the unusual distress that I felt at seeing this Captain die in that state; he was a very hard drinker. I asked whether they had seen Him pray with the others in the war, and whether he had shown any good opinion of prayer. Some sick warriors, who were lying near him, answered that they had seen Him pray. Thereupon I baptized him Conditionally, and made all our savages understand my sentiments about that baptism, as they had seen so little disposition in this Captain. Long prayers were made, to Ask God to grant this dying man a sincere grief for his sins. This death has, on the one hand, Alarmed all our savages; but, on the other, has extremely attached them to prayer. All the sick who are not baptized Incessantly ask me to: Instruct them, and manifest great affection for prayer; they are nearly all Instructed, and take sickness in the most Christian manner in the world. As their Hearts are badly Infected with a certain poison, people believe from time to time that they are about to die; we are sent for from every direction, and one must be Continually on foot throughout the Day, and very often a part of The night. They are all quite far from one another, for they are mostly in the Cabins in The Country; some were at Coste de St. Ignace, others at St. Michel, others at the fort very near me. I have been Continually obliged, for a month past, to make these excursions, half a League apart. It has been Impossible to assemble the people here, for several reasons which [Page 83] you can readily recognize. My greatest difficulty has been not in That, but in seeing them in a state of disrelish for everything, without being able to eat of what constitutes here their usual Food, while I have nothing else to give them. To me, that was more painful than ëThe rest. Our superiors have permitted me, in this need in which they have seen me, to incur debts in order to have food and the other Remedies necessary for relieving this great number of patients. I have done so, and am doing it every Day; if you can find the means to get me out of these debts, you will oblige me exceedingly. Our savages, in The affliction which they are experiencing on account of the great number of their sick, have been deeply afflicted by The death of Madame The Marquise de BauchÈ, whom they had regarded for five years as their true Mother. For, besides the great charities that she bestowed upon them every Year during that time, she wrote to us Letters filled with sentiments so tender toward our poor savages that, When I made them understand in their own Idiom what messages she sent me concerning them, they were charmed therewith. The last year of her life, besides The sum of money that she sent me to assist the poor, and some ornaments for The Church of our Mission, she sent me a piece of stuff for Clothing nine poor savages. When I learned of her death, our savages were praying to God in The Church; I detained them after The prayer to inform them of that death, and Announce to them the service that we were to hold on the Next morning for the repose of That Ladyís soul. They made Long prayers for her, and they will not stop with those which they have made. I [Page 85] speak to them from time to time of this Charitable Lady, and that touches them and produces in them a very good effect. Having lost this Support of our Mission, I will strive to be more cautious in incurring debts ó although it is very difficult to forego them when one sees so many Miseries; I must suffer in beholding the suffering of the poor people whom I shall not be able to relieve. I see, as yet, no patient restored; I believe that some will not escape, and that several may even Languish through The winter. Nearly all have pledged everything that they had ó porcelain, Collars, glass Beads, embroideries of porcupine-quills, guns, Cutlasses ó in order to have some clothes to cover them in the ague-chill of their fever. I have given my pledge to those to whom I have not been able to refuse this relief; and you inform me that you have further pledged me to the amount of a hundred francs in france. I think that, if you had known The lamentable State of our Mission, you would by no means have indebted me. All classes of people here feel compassion for our Mission; because, although the french and the other savages have been attacked with sickness, they have not as many sick people as we, and the disease has not Lasted as long with their people as with ours. In all this desolation, ó which at first, it appeared to me, must almost destroy the mission, ó I may tell you, my dear Father, that I have begun to have our savages accept all as Coming from God; and, as for all their families who were in affliction, all have universally manifested to me a complete resignation to The will of God. I believe that, if I should report in detail the acts of patience, Resignation, and love of God that I have seen [Page 87] practiced by Each one, It would appear Incredible in france. I speak not of twelve or twenty sick people alone, but generally of all; and there are some who have really performed most heroic acts. The only thing in which they have given me pain is, that several, without my Knowledge, as soon as The fever relaxed a little, dragged themselves To The Church, from which they were at quite a distance; and, finding themselves more ill at The Church, they returned from it only with difficulty, with heightened fever. Two things have extremely touched them in their sickness. The first is, the example of patience in St. Louis, King of france, who, with his army, was attacked by pestilence. The 2nd is their view of their own misconduct, when I told them that God, like a good father was chastising them with that disease in order to have them atone for their sins; and that, very far from being burned in hell, as they had deserved, by so much drunkenness, impurity, and filthy talk, God would put them in his paradise and reward them there for all the acts of patience which they were now practicing. Indeed, a good part of the penances assigned to the sick who confessed, was to do quietly some acts of love to God, of sorrow for having offended Him, and of offering their sickness to God. One, for instance, after his Confession, said to God ten times: ìI love you, my Jesus. I am grieved at having offended you. I offer you my sickness; I am content to be sick. May I not burn Eternally in Hell.î Another, who was a little stronger, performed these acts twenty times; and so with the rest. I myself had this done by those who were not baptized, and made them add some acts of desire for Holy baptism. Of [Page 89] all those who are not baptized, I have seen only two or three perform these acts rather coldly at the Start; but even these appear to me much changed, for nearly a month past. I avow to you that from time to time, seeing myself so busied about these sick people, I bless God for having sent this disease; for if it had not occurred, I would indeed have had cause to fear that, at the return from The war, most of the unbaptized, who were so little Instructed, would give me as much trouble by their drunkenness as they now give me contentment through the Pious disposition with Which they appear to listen to me when I speak to them of God. They all Behaved very well, while at the war, as regards assiduity in prayer; and Their only dissatisfaction, which they display to every one, was that they could not have with them a missionary who understood them.
Monsieur the General and all the principal frenchmen, as well as our fathers who accompanied The army, have testified that they were surprised at the Christian manner in which all our Abnaquis behaved, and at The Admirable fervor they showed every Day in repeatedly saying their prayers. Much was expected of them, as every one has told me; and one of our Fathers has added to me that, at the treaty of peace which was made, the iroquois showed The Esteem in which they held the Courage of the Abnaquis. At their return, I heard the remark on all sides, in Kebec, that they must be relieved in their diseases, and that one might expect much of them. All these line speeches have nevertheless produced nothing; only The hospital and the Ursulines have sent some alms for our great number of sick. I know not what effect will be produced in Acadia by [Page 91] The news of this general disease among nearly all the men of our mission; and whether that will not prevent those from coming who already have some design of leaving Acadia to come Here, and who are perhaps on the point of setting out in order to arrive Here before The winter. I have just ó October 5 ó prevented a family from starting for Acadia; it is perhaps The only one likely to start before The winter. I have persuaded the Head of this family, who is not yet baptized, that he would do better not to start until spring, to go to fetch those whom he wished to bring hither; and that I was much distressed to see him go to spend all The winter in Acadia before being baptized. Besides our sick people, who returned from The war, we have also had several others, four of whom have recently died, ó among others, a Former Captain, my brother, whom I baptized three years ago, and who for ten years had not even once become intoxicated. I had Never seen him fall into any fault, and here he was The Joy of all the people. THERE died, some months ago, a Captain of Acadia, whom the eldest son of Monsieur Damour baptized. This Captain had greatly loved prayer for three years past, and spent all that time without becoming intoxicated; he nevertheless put off being baptized Until he was at The point of death, saying that he feared to commit some sin after his baptism. Some months ago he fell sick. He assembled all his kinsmen, to whom he made an urgent exhortation to incline them to prayer and to be baptized. He sent for the son of Monsieur Damour, and begged him to baptize him, telling him that he was soon going to die. After the frenchman had baptized him, he seemed [Page 93] the most Contented man in the world. He said to Monsieur Damour, as he was going away, ìI shall see you once again before dying;î and The next day, after having seen Him again, this captain died, in sentiments which appeared to be the best in the world. That is what the son of Monsieur Damour told me about him, some Days ago; he had come here on some business. Although this Captain was not of our mission, I have reported this to you in order to Acquaint you with the inclination which the savages have even in Acadia, for prayer, and the depth of their Hearts. I finish this Letter, which I am Incessantly urged to send, with the simple narrative of the most touching sentiments in the world on the part of one of our most Notable savages, to whom I have recently given the Holy Viaticum. The Captain of whom I have spoken to you had just expired, lying at the feet of that sick man, who summoned me and testified to me the desire that he felt to receive our Lord. He said to me, seeing that dead man at his feet: ìMy Father, I am content to die; I am going to see Jesus in Heaven. My Father, we shall see each other there. Do you, my Kinsmen, always ardently love prayer; we shall all see one another in Heaven. Be very good; and hate evil.î Then, turning again toward me, he said: ìMy Father, I desire nothing here; I shall always rejoice in Heavenî ó words which he often repeated, every one Listening to Him with wondering attention. As I believed that he was about to be carried off like The other one who had just died, being likewise attacked in the Heart, I had him perform all the necessary acts after receiving the Holy Viaticum, which he did in a touching manner. I recommended [Page 95] him, when he should be in Heaven, to pray earnestly for all those of our mission, and especially for his kinsmen. ìAh, very gladly will I do so!î Then, addressing his kinsmen, he said to them: ìMy kinsmen, I am going to Heaven; I will pray there for you; but do you love prayer.î He then commended to me his daughter: ìTake care of her, I beg thee; I can no longer take care of her.î He has been for three weeks in the same danger and the same pains, and endures them with admirable patience. When he perceives me, he says to me: ìAh, how thou givest me Joy when thou comest to see me.î I think that he will not recover, but that God will still for a Long time exercise his patience; he was the most robust man we had here. I inform you in detail only of this one Sick manís feelings. It is enough to tell you that they are very nearly the sentiments of most of the others; and that The continual Admiration which I feel for all these sick people leads me to reflect: ìCould one see such patience, such resignation, such consciousness of God, in the most virtuous persons of france?î The other savages who assist our sick people and who suffer, so to say, with them ó show the same patience. As soon as I see any one grieve for The sickness of a relative, I have him assume the feelings which he ought to assume, ó of patience, resignation, and charity to console his relative in the contemplation of Jesus Christ. Monique, of whom I have often spoken to you, who has already lost here two of her Children, manifests a quite extraordinary patience with her eldest son, our franÁois de sales, for whom she expects only death. Although she offers Long prayers for his health, [Page 97] she often assures me that she is ready for everything that God shall will, while he Continually offers himself to God. He is one of those most severely attacked. He asked me a Week ago whether he might embark for Ste. Anne, to Invoke that Holy Patroness of the country. I told him that it was enough to promise the Saint that, if she obtained health for him, he would go to receive Communion in that Holy Chapel. He assented to what I told him. Then, some time after, he begged his Mother to go and carry, on his behalf, to the feet of The Blessed Virgin a porcelain Collar; which she promptly did, accompanying his present with Long prayers in The Chapel of Our Lady. Continually during his sickness he Invokes his Holy Patron, St. francis de sales. IT is absolutely necessary to stop. I commend to you this poor Mission, and beg you to commend it to the prayers of all the persons whom you Know to have a little zeal therefor, I am,
My Reverend Father,
your very humble and very
obedient servant in Our Lord,
Of The Society of Jesus.
Finished at sillery,
October 6, 1684.
Letter of Reverend Father Jacques Bigot to
Reverend Father La Chaise.
y Reverend Father,
A wish has been expressed to me that, in addition to the short relation that I send to you this year regarding the present state of our mission I should write a special account of what has passed here during the past two months when the sillery Savages, in the most agreeable manner in the world, wholly abandoned intemperance. This has caused very special pleasure to Monseigneur Our Bishop and to Monsieur our Governor; and it happened thus. A wretched Algonquin, who had been here for some days, came back from Quebek, on sunday night, in a state of intoxication. He brought a bottle filled with brandy, and intoxicated his brother, who had also been here for some days. The Algonquin caused a great disturbance during the night; for he seized burning firebrands wherewith to strike those who were in his cabin, and nearly set fire to it. As his Cabin was near mine I immediately heard the cries of those whom the drunkard was tormenting. I go to the Cabin; I call for assistance; I cause the drunken man to be bound, and carried to a cellar where there is nothing to drink or to seize. On the following day, I send Secretly for archers to remove the wretch to prison. Monsieur our Governor had already informed me of his intention to prevent the evils of [Page 101] intemperance, as far as lay in his power, and to secure the observance of the orders that he found we had already given here to check such disorderly conduct. Accordingly, after assembling all our Savages, I made him speak to them, which he did, in an admirable manner, in regard to the disturbance caused in our mission by the drunkard of whom I have just spoken, who was at the same time expelled from this mission. You see all the Pious juggleries which I employed to inspire terror in the others, especially in those who are here only for a time, and whose sole object in coming seems to be to disturb the piety and fervor of all the good christians who properly compose this mission. Orders had already been sent to Quebek to imprison the Savages who might be found intoxicated there; but no heed was paid to those orders, and most of the Savages who became drunk escaped from Quebek without being taken. To obviate this, I told all the Savages that the Great Captain had heard that many Savages who became intoxicated in Quebek were not imprisoned there, in Accordance with the orders issued against the drunkards: and that he Insisted upon my promptly informing him if any one returned to Sillery in a state of intoxication after escaping from Quebek without being imprisoned. In such a case, he would at once send archers for him, in order that the drunkard might, by the hardships of the prison, make reparation to God for his sin. I told them that, in doing this, the Great Captain wished to show Holy compassion for all the Christians of this mission, and, by that order, prevent them from casting themselves into the dungeons of hell. I added that, for> the better observance of his orders, [Page 103] he Desired that I should, with a Holy audacity, take away from every Savage whom I found intoxicated some petty effects belonging to his Cabin, in order that the effects so taken might Serve to pay the Archers who would come to put that drunken Savage in prison. This has been called here, during the past two months, ìthe Holy pillage ìó that is to say, as I made them understand, a pillage that is effected for the purpose of obeying God and of establishing prayer. Thereupon I deplored my misfortune in finding myself compelled to do a thing which might perhaps seem harsh to some; I told them that they saw very well how much I loved them, and what trouble I took on their behalf; but, nevertheless, that I would do violence to myself on that point, and would certainly obey the orders of the great Captain. I added that I would make no distinction, not even for the Captains and the Dogiques, should they unfortunately get drunk. This exhortation was followed by public prayers in the Church for all who had become intoxicated up to that time, in order to obtain for them a sincere sorrow for that sin, and a firm resolution to commit it no more. Three days after this 1st exhortation, a Savage came back from Quebek in a state of intoxication. I heard his voice; I went to his Cabin and plundered him for the holy purpose ó as I had asserted I would do, the first time any one should come back intoxicated. I contented myself with saying to that Savage: ìLet me take this; I shall talk to thee when thou Becomest sober.î The Savageís Sister, who is a very good Christian and who was extremely unhappy at seeing her brother drunk, said to him: ìWhy art thou astonished that our Father should take this [Page 105] in thy Cabin? Knowest thou not that he told us that he would piously plunder those who became intoxicated?î Such are the expressions she used. When the Savage had somewhat recovered from his intoxication, he withdrew Secretly from the fort. The Archers who came to take him searched for him everywhere in the fort; I had thoroughly instructed them in the part that they had to play in order to impress the imaginations of the Savages. They went to search for him in the Vicinity. Upon his return, he came to me to protest that he had not fled in earnest, and that he was not rebellious to the orders of the great Captain, but was ready to do whatever he wished; and that he would make reparation to God for his sin, in whatever manner we might order. He said all this to me in the presence of a very great number of our savages. I told him that the great Captain would be well pleased to see him in that disposition; that I would speak in his favor and that I hoped to obtain His pardon, although he Knew the penalty enacted against those who fled when persons were sent to arrest them ó namely, twelve daysí imprisonment. I had authority to represent monsieur the Governor as saying whatever I liked, and, in his name, to proclaim all the punishments that I might think suitable for producing a good effect. It was not difficult to obtain this savageís pardon, as you may imagine; but I caused it to be granted in such a way as to inspire all our other Savages with still greater dread of drunkenness. It would take too long were I to relate all the Holy juggleries of which I made use. I seemed to take our savagesí part, while I was doing whatever I could against them. All had compassion on me, [Page 107] and thanked me for the trouble that I took for them. Monseigneur the Bishop and Monsieur the Marquis have taken special pleasure in making me relate all the petty stratagems which I employed in maintaining order among our savages, and in keeping them from getting drunk. Although all the most inveterate drunkards among our savages were here at the time when I established everything that 1 desired, in less than eight days I issued all the orders that I wished for the suppression of intemperance. In all, I had only four imprisoned ó two Etchemin men, an Etchemin woman, and a Soquoqui woman. The two latter fled at the start, when the guard came to arrest them. A day after, one of them came to me in our parlor without saying anything, and looking very much ashamed. I said to her: ìThou hast done wrong in running away. What dost thou wish me to do for thee now? Thou knowest the penalties against those who flee ó that thou wilt be seized wherever thou mayst be, even though thou hast already been pillaged; and that thou wilt be imprisoned for twelve days.î She said to me: ìI did not mean to flee; my companion induced me to do so. I have brought her back here, and have encouraged her; we are ready to do anything to atone for our fault.î 1 went to the cabin where they lived together. I told them, as a friend, in the presence of all their relatives, that the best advice I could give them was to go the very next day, before dawn, to Quebek to place themselves in prison; that this would appease the Great Captain, and that I might perhaps obtain the remission of some daysí imprisonment; and that I would go to Quebek. They prayed to God all the way thither, and made several acts of contrition for [Page 109] their sin. On my return from Quebek I told our savages that I had, with great difficulty, obtained the favor that those two Savage women should remain only three days in prison; and that all were forbidden to go to deliver them before the three days had expired. Every one considered it a favor which I had procured for them, that they should remain only three days in prison. One of our Christian women said to me: ìThree days in prison is very little for the fault which they have committed.î They chose, of their own accord to fast during the three days which they passed in the jail. Although food was Often carried to them, they refused it. The Soquoqui woman, however, fell once more into the same sin, ten days afterward. When she recovered from her intoxication, in the middle of the night, her relative informed her that I had gone into her Cabin while she was sleeping; and they exhorted her to accept imprisonment as a punishment for her offence. She told her relatives that she was going to die in the woods. Two days afterward, she came back somewhat ill. Her relatives came to ask me what they should do. I left them in suspense for a day, awaiting the deliberation of the Great Captain; and finally I declared to all of them that, as the Savage woman was ill, the Great Captain contented himself with condemning her to give an escu to the hospital in Quebek, which I would take there; and, moreover, that he forbade her going to Quebek for two months. She thanked me because, on account of my having spoken in her favor, she had received so light a sentence; and her relatives also thanked me. I also caused a telling fine to be imposed upon the frenchman who had made her drunk, and who continually [Page 111] did the same with others. This showed our savages that the wicked french are punished equally with the wicked savages. I have entered into all these petty details to prove that, if we choose to display a little firmness in repressing the evils of intemperance, we can obtain what we wish from our Savages.
Would you believe that ó notwithstanding the fact that all our people are now at Sillery; that quite recently more than twenty-five have come from Acadia, others from three rivers, and others from Tadoussak ó 1 have not seen Even one person who seemed to have an inclination to drink? I do not mean to say that some of them have not perhaps, at the bottom of their hearts, a great desire to do so especially certain algonquins whom I know to have behaved badly some time ago, at three Rivers, while intoxicated; but I say that at least all here have outwardly adhered to their duty. This is the chief thing that I desire, at the start, in order afterward to lead them imperceptibly into sentiments that are no longer of servile fear, but of a real and holy horror of the shameful vice of intemperance. I shall tell you, toward the end, all that we have done with that object, and the elevated sentiments of piety that most of our savages have manifested. I continue my brief narration. I gave a special feast to the new arrivals from Acadia, to tell them the orders that the Great Captains who pray well had given to suppress the wretched sin of intemperance. They assured me that they would not drink. As yet, I know of none who have tried to go to Quebek, although I watch all my Cabins very closely. Moreover, I endeavor to keep all our savages as happy as I can; I have not known one to complain of my being too strict. [Page 113] While I was issuing all the orders against drunkenness, I allowed more diversion and dancing in the mission than I would have permitted at other times; this I did to make them swallow the pill more easily after some orders had been given. I would go, apparently without taking any notice, into the Cabins of those who were most addicted to drink; and, speaking to each one in turn, would say: ìMy child, thou wilt never be able to keep away from drink; I must rob thee holily in advance, to pay those who will come to take thee to prison when thou art drunk.î Then, laughingly, I would take the first thing that I found near him, and return it to him a moment afterward. This would make him laugh, but would also compel him to assure me that he would never get drunk again. When others, on their return from hunting, brought a sufficient quantity of peltries with them, I would laughingly say to them: ìI am glad. Here is something wherewith to pay those who will come to take thee when thou wilt be drunk, for thou wilt not fail to be so. How canst thou keep from it, when thou hast so much wherewith to get drunk? And yet thou knowest the orders respecting the holy pillage against drunkards.î Then, speaking somewhat more seriously, I would say to him: ìMy son, is it not better that with the proceeds of thy hunt thou shouldst buy good blankets for thy wife, for thy children, for thy relatives who are in need, than to spend the same partly in drink, and partly in wretched costs to pay those who will imprison thee, and to withdraw thee from prison? Does not the great Captain manifest a holy compassion for thee by forbidding thee to get drunk, so that thou mayst [Page 115] employ the proceeds of thy hunting solely in procuring provisions for thyself and thy family? He considers solely thy welfare in this. Does he derive any benefit from it?î They all said: ìThou art right; he does well in forbidding us to get drunk.î And several added: ìWe have long desired that we should be really prevented from drinking. We could not do it of ourselves, without an order from the great Captain ó both against our drunkards and against the french who make us drink, almost in spite of ourselves.î ìI never go to Quebek,î some would occasionally say to me, ìwithout being strong in this thought: ëNo, I will not obey the frenchman who will say to me, ìHere, my brother, drink; I greet thee.îí But, when I am there, he teases me so much that I must yield to him. Oh, it is a good thing that he is positively forbidden to make me drink, and I to obey him when he tries to do so. Now we people are weak with regard to liquor; and a sharp warning was needed to stop us. Courage, our Father; watch the french well, so that they may not intoxicate any of our people. We are going away from the English solely because they tormented us too much, and would give us nothing but liquor for all our peltries; and we see here many frenchmen who wish to do the same. Our Father, we ask thee to take steps to prevent them from giving us intoxicating liquor as eagerly as they do. To thus deceive us by urging us to drink, in order to make us spend in this way all that we bring back from our hunt, is just the same as if they robbed us. ì I repeat, as nearly as I can in our language, the expressions used by our Savages when they state their opinion to me respecting liquor. In [Page 117] answer to all these requests of our Savages, I have represented Monsieur our Governor as speaking in the manner in which, he assured me, he wished it to be done; for he looks upon our Savages as his children. All our savages love and respect him, and regard him as a saint. They are convinced that he wishes to eradicate that sin, and to make them happy. He has promised to assist them in their needs, and to have them assisted by others who have the means to do so. I say to you, without exaggeration, that I am astonished at the respect and submission that they manifest for the slightest thing that I tell them on behalf of monsieur our Governor. You are aware that they do not conceal their feelings, and that they openly state their causes of complaint against any one; they have often enough given me trouble on that score. I said to them laughingly that the holy pillage would be practiced especially next spring, when, on their return from hunting, they would be unable to refrain from going to take a drink at Quebek; that then the great Captain would be angry, because he loves his children and does not wish to let them fall into evil ways. I told them that he expected that some would, in the spring, forget the orders against drunkards; but that he would not fail to discover a single one who might commit that fault, and that he begged me to watch very carefully. I assured them that I would faithfully follow these orders. Here is the last device that I employed to thoroughly convince our savages that we were resolved not to pardon any who became intoxicated. I represented Monsieur our Governor as speaking thus:î Seeing all the disorderly conduct of which all the drunken savages [Page 119] are guilty, and being resolved to pardon none who become intoxicated, it may happen that some one of those whom you propose to me to be Captains in the mission of the Algonquins and Abnaquis may be addicted to liquor and actually become intoxicated. In such case, it would be a shame for the nation to see their captain drunk, and taken to prison to atone for his offence. Therefore, I beg you, my Father, to keep me informed even more minutely regarding the conduct in this respect of the savages who are to be proposed as captains.î After attributing this language to Monsieur our Governor, whom I afterward secretly informed of all this jugglery, ó I spoke privately to one of the chosen savages, and told him that I was obliged to tell the governor how short had been the time during which he had refrained from getting drunk; that apart from this, I would speak very well of him, and that, if his appointment were deferred, it would probably not be for very long. This Savage had considerable influence in the nation; but, as hardly a year had passed since I knew that he was living aright, I feared that he might relapse, and that he would not take up the interests of prayer with sufficient Zeal. I went to see Monsieur the Governor; and on my return hither I stated, with an appearance of some sorrow, that the great Captain wished to put off for a year the election of one of the captains who had been proposed, until it were proved that he continued to lead a good life. With regard to the other captains who were to be appointed, as they had been irreproachable for a very long time, in regard to liquor and in all other ways, he consented to their being elected at once, and that all three should [Page 121] govern the mission together in perfect harmony. These three ó whom we named Captains of the prayer, in the Ceremony of their election ó are the ones who for some years have displayed most Zeal in urging all in the mission to serve God, and in suppressing the evils of intemperance among their people. In the little narratives that I have written to you, I have often spoken of the various acts of piety performed by these three Dogiques, who certainly live a life that would shame persons who pass in france for being very fervent. I sent two of these three, on various occasions, to Acadia, to induce the remainder of their people to abandon the evil ways that prevail in their country, and to come and receive Christian instruction here. Some frenchmen have informed me that they acted like true preachers of the Gospel, and they have brought a great many persons hither. Monsieur The Governor has directed me to make a special report to him respecting the increase of this mission, particularly during the past two years, ó to show at the Court, as he tells me, how easy it is to attract to us all those savages, who, in Acadia, among the English, live in a most lawless manner. Monseigneur our Bishop has desired me to write this report, respecting the manner in which our savages have accepted the more special prohibitions enacted this year for the suppression of the evils of intemperance. I have held in our Church of sillery a sort of special mission to suppress the sin of drunkenness more effectively, with continual exhortations, continual warnings, continual public prayers for the total abolition of that wretched vice. During this short mission, we made a novena to the great St. francis de Sales, the patron of the place where our [Page 123] new establishment is situated. We had a general communion during the novena, for the same intention. The communion took place on all saintsí day, in order to obtain, through the intercession of all the blessed, a general pardon for all the sins that had been committed in the mission for many years during drunken excesses; and to ask God to grant to all the Christians of our mission a firm resolution never again to fall into that sin. Our Church was constantly full throughout nearly the whole day of the feast; and I confess that I never felt greater joy than when I saw the fervor displayed by all our savages. Father Gassot and I confessed as many Savages as we could on the vigil of the feast; on the day itself we passed the whole morning until the afternoon in the same occupation, ó except during the time while we said our masses, and while Father Gassot was engaged, with Father Aveneau, in confessing some french people. I was obliged to postpone some of the communions to the next day, all soulís day, and even then to defer some to the first sunday when we were to have in our Church the indulgence for the souls in purgatory. All the prayers, either voluntary or imposed in the confessions of all saintsí day, were said with the intention of obtaining true contrition for all who had formerly fallen into the sin of intemperance. As regards the prayers for the dead on the evening of all saintsí day, ó although I exhorted them, in two short instructions that I gave them that very evening, in the Church, to pray for all who are in the fires of purgatory, ó 1 caused the principal prayers and the communions on all soulsí day, and on the following Sunday, to be addressed to God for [Page 125] the poor Souls of those who had formerly been drunkards; and who, although they had, in truth, died in the grace of God, had not given him full satisfaction for their past sins. They assembled in the church three times in the evening of all saintsí day, to pray to God for the poor souls that groan in the flames of purgatory to suffer the punishment remaining due for the sin of drunkenness. I left the church open throughout the night, to satisfy the devotion of those who might wish to pray longer although I ordered no one in particular to remain there; I merely mentioned to them the example given in this respect by the fervent Christians of the Sault mission, ó most of whom passed the whole of that night in prayer for the deliverance of the souls in purgatory. We had covered a portion of our altar with two large pictures of the souls in purgatory; and on either side was a large picture , representing death. I confess once more that I felt great joy in witnessing the fervor of our savages. A month before, they had passed in extraordinary devotion the whole day of the feast of st. Michael, the patron of our Church. I had invited all persons at Quebek, who by singing and music could contribute still more to the solemnity of our celebration; and we had as fine music as can be had in this country, for all the persons whom I invited were kind enough to come. On the day following the feast of St. Michael, we began to inveigh strongly against the drunkards, in the manner that I have described. During the novena which I have mentioned, Monseigneur our Bishop came, and said mass in the church of our mission; and he gave an exhortation to all our savages. I acted as his interpreter. The [Page 127] entire church was full, and so were the chapels. Nevertheless, on the same day after the departure of Monseigneur the Bishop, nearly Sixty persons came, a portion of whom were the new arrivals from Acadia whom I have mentioned. I assure you that our large Hospital of new converts is now like a monastery, so great are the piety and the peace that exist therein, for liquor is banished from it. I know not whether this peace will last long; I shall use every possible effort for that, on my side. I do not mind journeys to Quebek for that purpose, although they fatigue me somewhat, because they are rather frequent. But Alas! if St. Ignatius was willing to do and suffer everything in order to prevent a single mortal sin, should I complain of my trouble? 7 when I have prevented probably Seven or eight hundred mortal sins during the few days while I have worked to suppress the evils of intemperance. This is the result among the savages of our mission, and among the others who merely pass through, and are much more disorderly in this respect than the most lax of my Christians here. ìAh, my Father, how happy I consider you,î monseigneur our Bishop said to me some days ago, on seeing what passed in our mission, ìhow happy I consider you, in having, for some time past, prevented so many mortal sins. You may rest assured that Monsieur the Marquis and I will completely ratify all that you may do in this respect; and that we shall fully inform the Court that not only does the strict prohibition of drunkenness not make the savages averse to the french, but that it is the most effective means for winning them to us, and of making them happy with us,î In fact, I say to you with all possible sincerity that one of [Page 129] the chief means that I employ to retain our Savages ó when I see that any of them are thinking of returning among the English in Acadia ó is to say to them these very words: ìMy child, thou wishest to return to Acadia, Every one there will try to make thee intoxicated. No one will restrain thee; thou wilt die suddenly, without being able to return hither; thou wilt cast thyself into the underground fire. My child, thou art more miserable here than in Acadia, I know; but here thou prayest. Thy father who directs prayer prevents thee from getting intoxicated; and when the devil takes thee unawares, without thy Father knowing it, and causes thee to get drunk, thy Father makes thee acknowledge thy fault as soon as possible, and Jesus, thy captain, absolves thee.î To this they reply: ìMy Father, thou art right; I obey thee, and remain.î Only two days ago, I made one remain by speaking to him as I have just described. Over a year ago, some who wished to return said to me: ìIt is true, thou teachest us well; but the french are as wicked as the English. They get drunk here, as we do in Acadia.î And thereupon two of them went away. I think you have heard that nine or ten Cabins left the Sault mission last year, because they said that they had withdrawn there solely to live in peace, far from the disorders caused by intemperance; but that they found themselves as greatly annoyed by drunkards as they were in their own country. I have also said that this prohibition respecting drunkenness was the means of making our Savages happy among the french; and it is one of the arguments that have most impressed their minds, in making [Page 131] them cheerfully submit to all the orders promulgated against intemperance, especially of late. ìSee, my children,î I said to them, ìhow the Great Captain loves you. He wishes you to be happy; that you should want for nothing; that by means of your hunting you should provide for all your petty needs. He desires that the french should not deceive you, by giving you nothing but bad liquor instead of good blankets and good coats to cover yourselves and your children.í The great captain says to the frenchman: ëI forbid thee to prevent the Savages from going to purchase with their peltries what they need to cover themselves in winter. Thou robbest them, thou plunderest them by intoxicating them; thou makest them miserable. I forbid thee to do so. Neither do I wish,í (I also make the Great Captain say, who gives orders to the french to treat the savages well,) ëNeither do I wish thee to take the clothes from the savages, even if they should be willing to give them to thee while they are intoxicated. I do not desire thee to buy them with a little money, or with liquor, if they wish to give them to thee when they are crazed. If I am informed that thou hast received any clothing, thou shalt give it back and pay very dearly for it; because I love the Abnaquis, my children, and I do not wish thee to despoil them while they are crazed with liquor, and know not what they do.î I play the juggler admirably upon this point, to make the savages thoroughly understand the affection that the great captain has for them, and how much they are loved also by the french who pray well, ó this is the name that I give, before them, to persons of [Page 133] integrity. They all take especial pleasure ó at least, in their behavior to me ó in hearing me speak on this subject. Therefore, to show them that I speak the truth on this point, as soon as 1 learn that some wretched frenchman has taken the clothing of a savage, ó giving him perhaps twenty ~01sí worth of liquor for clothes worth from ten to twelve francs, ó I make a great stir in the village. I say that I will certainly have the clothes given back, but that it is also necessary that the savage who has been foolish enough to give his clothing for almost nothing, to obtain liquor, must atone for his sin. I go to Quebek, and I fail not to have the clothes sent back here; for I have made myself somewhat dreaded by the french who ply that trade. When I return here I depict the frenchman who has given me back the clothes. I represent to our savages how the poor frenchman trembled when he gave me back the clothes, and begged and conjured me to say nothing of it to the Great Captain, and assured me that he would never again commit the like fault.
Our new captains of prayers haveí recently proposed many things to me for the government of their people, and, in particular, for suppressing the evils of intemperance. I trust that their project will succeed. If God be pleased to bless it, I shall inform you of the result next year. I conclude this little narrative which I am asked to give, in order that it may at once be taken to Quebek; because Monseigneur The Bishop, who asked me for it again yesterday, wishes to see it before the pressing departure of the ships, and to have a copy of it. I beg you to commend in a most special manner to [Page 135] our Lord this mission, in which I now see all resolved to do well. In the participation of your Holy Sacrifices, I remain,
My Reverend Father,
Your very humble
and very obedient servant
in Our Lord,
of the Society of Jesus.
Sillery, November 8, 1685. [Page 137]
ChauchetiËreís Narration Annuelle de La Mifsion
du Sault depuis La fondation iusques
a 1 an 1686; [n.p., n.d.]
Source: The original MS., in the incomplete form in which we give it, rests in the city archives of Bordeaux, France. We follow an apograph thereof, made by Father Martin in 1881, and now preserved in the archives of St. Maryís College, Montreal; we have, however, in a few instances, made emendations from the version given in Rochemonteixís JÈsuites, t. iii., pp. 641-678. [Page 139]
Annual Narrative of The Mission of the Sault,
from Its foundation until the year 1686.
heperson who has composed these annals has spent more than three years in collecting what he has been able to learn from the mouths of the Savages who built the first cabins at la prairie, ó besides what he has found printed in the last Relation, that of 1670-1671, and in the manuscript Relation from 1671 to 1679. He has heard the accounts of the french habitans at la prairie, who told him most edifying things about certain Savage men and women who died very Christian deaths. The writer has depended upon all these testimonies as far as the year 1677; but, from that time down, he has had personal knowledge and experience of the wonders which God has, at various times, wrought in this mission of the Sault. One of the most weighty reasons that have impelled him to write is the direction which God has exercised over the mission since its establishment; for it has grown, like the palm, beneath the weight of persecutions. If there are many other matters which at the same time deserve to be related; if there are mistakes or obscurity in the style; or if, finally, he has kept his readers waiting too long, ó it is the fault of those whom he chose to allow to precede him; they, knowing the circumstances better than he, should at some [Page 142] time have given the public the consolation which they had received from God. But, being finally weary of waiting, 1 have ó after having written an account of the good Catherine Tegakwitaís life, through an impulse derived from that good girl herself ó set myself to tell the story of the deeds of the illustrious men whom God has taken from us, and with whom he has kindly willed to people heaven. The writer has known four of them, ó like their predecessors, worthy children of the fathers who gave them the faith ó who watered their mission with their sweat and blood. This is his last work, in which he notes year by year everything remarkable that has occurred in this mission, with a detailed account of the combats which the savages have waged, and the victories which they have won, against drunkenness. The drawings which are traced therein are to acquaint the savages with the rest of their history, and the favors which they have received from God since they became christians. [Page 143]
Narrative for each year from the foundation of
the Mission of the Sault until 1685.
Afterfive years of delay, spent in various mental difficulties, like those which might happen to the persons of whom St. Paul says, qui veritatum in injustitia detinent, ó I am at last obliged to yield, and to put on paper, as best as I can, what has occurred within five years, and what the faith has produced in this country. The oblivion into which most of these things would probably fall might perhaps be imputed to me some day, and reproved by God; and I might by my own fault deprive myself of the prayers of the first apostles of Canada, wherein I greatly trust, for not having been willing to contribute toward rendering their memory more illustrious, and to follow the impulses that I have often felt for putting my hand to the pen and collecting the treasures which they themselves found, and whereof they have made us the custodians. These thoughts, which seem to me so just, gave me more pain five years ago, when I received certain letters from france, in which I was informed that one of my letters had been publicly read, ó although I had begged the one to whom I wrote it, who is one of my brothers, to read it in secret and send it to its address. They made me see the importance of these occurrences, adding that I did not do well to conceal things of edification, like those which I had written, ó which, being compared with what [Page 145] people were then reading about the missions in china, had more charm, and more profoundly touched those who read them. I had threatened those to whom I was then writing that I would never write to them again, unless they kept my secret; but at last the secret has been revealed. I have also been reproached in Canada as being too indolent to compose relations; but obedience then obliged me to do so. All this has carried away my mind, which had first resolved to say nothing but what I had seen or heard. Secondly, having written something, I resolved to stop; to live in the place where God has put me in this world; and to profit in my own person by the examples of virtue which I see every day among our new Christians. Finally, the fear that I have of being really obstinate ó as some one has reproached me with being ó constrains me to give some form to a sort of annals that I have compiled; and to other observations which were made only for my private consolation, awaiting future events.
I limit myself to the iroquois missions alone, to which God has appointed me, ó and especially to the mission of ó the Sault, which is my special purpose; thus the reader will here see the birth and progress of this new church. My attachment for this mission is as old as the mission itself. As it was nineteen years ago this winter that the iroquois missions began, it is also nineteen years since God, who had already made known to me His Will, inclined me to the foreign missions. At that time he more specially moved me, so as to draw me toward him by an abundance of his mercy, which he poured upon me on a Christmas night ó which is also the special attraction by which he has drawn the [Page 147] savages. This was in the year 1667. Five years later, God gave me more special preparation ó while I was still in france, about the feast of St. francis Xavier, ó and attached me to the iroquois missions, by giving me much taste for the huron language, which is the one that the Iroquois use for prayer. The Reverend Father mercier, whom I saw in france at the end of december, gave me lessons in that language; I quickly learned it, and rendered myself able to recite the rosary in huron ó which I said in that language rather than in latin, because of the spiritual consolation which this manner of praying to God procured for me. As soon as I arrived in Canada, I was actually appointed to the mission of the Hurons; and after a year I was sent to the Sault, where I have remained until the present year. Moreover, in the year 1680 God confirmed in me, through the prayers of Catherine, who is sufficiently well known, all that had come to pass in the preceding years.
Catherine expired in the order of sanctity, at the sault, in the year 1680, April 17.
THE YEAR 1667.
The time of the wars between the french and the Iroquois being past, we saw the prophecy of Isaias literally fulfilled: ìThe bears and the lions shall dwell with the lambs.î We saw the iroquois come to seek the friendship of the french; we saw the french go on missions to the country of the iroquois. That was the time when every one thought of making himself a home on the lands of new france. Montreal, which was the great theater of the war, became a fertile field. People even crossed the St. Lawrence river, and established opposite montreal the seigniory of la prairie ó a place chosen by God for forming there one of the [Page 149] fairest missions that has been seen in Canada. The french prepared the place, repairing thither to build a village, which began in the year 1667.
While the Reverend Father Rafeix was occupied in having the lands cleared at la prairie, and was inviting new settlers to follow him thither, God was inviting some savages to come to this place. This invitation took place when he willed that tonsahoten, with some others, should offer to come down from onneiout to conduct over the ice to montreal one of the missionaries who was to come back. Seven persons, onneiouts, laid the foundations of the whole mission of St. franÁois Xavier. This tonsahoten was constrained to come down, in order to get some remedies which he did not find in his own country. He was a Christian, and was named Pierre. On going to war, he told his wife that she should take care of father Bruias, who had just arrived, and that she should learn his prayer. The illustrious gandeakteua, wife of the one whom I have called Tonsahoten, was from the chat nation, destroyed by the iroquois. She was a slave; but she had a very good disposition, and one well adapted to the Christian faith. She served as guide to the six persons who came to montreal. She said her prayers, although she was not yet baptized. She had, from that time, done such great things for Godís sake that the story of her noble deeds was set forth in detail in the relations. It will be written elsewhere. This little band arrived at montreal, over the ice. There Father Rafeix met them, some time after their arrival, and invited them to go upon his lands. These poor barbarians, who knew not the meaning of priests, church, and ceremonies, having entered the church [Page 151] at montreal, were so greatly delighted ó and especially Gandeakteua ó that they no longer thought of the iroquois whence they came. Gandeakteua at once resolved to induce her husband to remain; and she attached herself to the french for all the rest of her days. These Holy thoughts of hers grew during all the rest of the winter; and, while awaiting a thorough instruction in the mysteries of our holy faith, and the grace of baptism, she spent the winter with the five Others at la prairie, living under the same roof as the french. This was but a simple shed of boards, upright and leaning one against the other in a ridge like an assís back. As they knew that it was a time of peace, many came to hunt in the region of montreal, and halted at various places on the island, without any special object. They did so every year, during 4 years. They were thus dispersed in the woods while the land was preparing to receive them at la prairie, whither the spirit of God was guiding them all. There, when they again met, one saw anew what had happened at Jerusalem when the church was formed out of all the assembled nations. In this little company of savages there were men of different languages: one was of the chat nation, another was a huron; some were free iroquois, others Gandastogues; and now the mission is made up of over ten or twelve nations, who all speak iroquois.
Boquet, sent by father fremin, came down to quebec to give information concerning what can be told in france about this country. 1668.
People will admire, during the years to come, the different kinds of vocation which God has used in order to gather up the nations who compose this mission; and because the external calling ó rather than the light of the faith and the affections which God diffuses in the hearts of men ó is what most [Page 153] strikes the senses and makes God known to the people, it will be well to speak elsewhere of some special vocations.
It was in the year one thousand six hundred and sixty-eight that all the savages landed at quebek, after news thereof had been given to Monseigneur the bishop. While they were bearing this news, in the early spring, at the melting of the snows, other onneiouts, relatives of the six who had first come, betook themselves from the surrounding country, where they hunted during the winter, to la prairie. Thus, from six savages who had spent the winter at la prairie the number rose to ten or twelve, who all together came down to quebek about the end of the summer. The Reverend Father Rafeix introduced them; the Reverend Father Chomonot instructed them, ó or rather finished instructing them, for they had already begun the practice of prayer at la prairie. Thus the band was soon qualified to receive baptism. Monseigneur was the one who conferred this sacrament upon them, and who thus laid the first stone of that spiritual building whose structure is so admirable. The chief of this pious band was called franÁois Xavier, from the name of the whole mission; and his wife was named Catherine ó a name which has become remarkable in her and is venerable in another Catherine who died in the mission recently, in the odor of sanctity. The ceremony being finished, they wished to detain franÁois Xavier in the mission of the hurons; but God, who has his own designs, took away from that man the intention of dwelling there. His wife would gladly have accepted the offer, if God had not chosen her to come to found the holy family [Page 155] [confraternity] at la prairie. Our newly-baptized people returned in autumn, and landed at la prairie, where in the course of time they and many others have built a fine village. They spent the rest of the year in the same cabin which the french had built for them. At the beginning of winter, They set out to go hunting; they did not go far, and found no beasts, because of the short time that they spent in the woods, ó for they betook themselves to the village on all the great feast-days, and especially at Christmas. They carried with them a little calendar, in which feasts and Sundays were marked by the hand of the father who instructed them. Thus they were all filled with the grace of baptism, which they preserved even in the woods ó being punctual in saying prayers, both morning and evening. This wintering became the rule of all the others who have followed, and who have since sanctified many savages in the woods. Some have died there as predestined souls; others have lived there like angels for a period of six months; others have exposed themselves there for the faith, and have acted as apostles, preaching all winter to those who were not yet Christians.
While our savages were thus hunting, father Rafeix caused the land to be prepared; and, his good Christians having returned, he marked out their field for them, after the planting was done. FranÁois Xavier built a cabin, which in future was to be the pattern for all the others ó a cabin so blessed that it is the mother, as it were, of sixty others, in the midst of which it stands; and that the one who built [Page 157] it has become the father, as it were, of the believers, of whom there are now a very great number. There were as yet only two families, at most, in this cabin; there was not one who was not recently baptized; yet the good name of these new Christians so filled the woods round about here that many people came to visit them. Their reputation went even to the country of the iroquois, and was the source there of a thousand blessings which God poured upon the infidels. At the same time when mention of the new mission was heard, there were many savages who lived on the banks of the St. Lawrence, up the river, in the direction of the outawak. Curiosity drew these to prayer. Some came to it as agents of the demon, to corrupt the others; and yet they all found themselves caught by the nets of the gospel ó little by little, cabin by cabin, and man by man. Thus it is that the beginnings of the mission have been like the grain of mustard seed. These visitors, seeing the corn very fine, resolved to remain there and build their cabins. The first cabin did not stay long alone; in less than a year there were four. Among others, we saw there that of an onnatague who was baptized in france, ó to whom the King gave his name, with a handsome silver medal, which he constantly wears suspended to his neck.
This year we recognized more clearly the design which God had regarding the iroquois. The five cabins, all filled with baptized people, began to adopt the regular practices of a mission. Until that time, these had been little more than those which are observed in the woods while the hunt is going [Page 159] on ó that is, one person said the prayers and the others followed, learning them by dint of repeating them every day. Mass was said in the little board cabin, which was common for the french and the savages, Although the number was small, they nevertheless held prayers evening and morning. The affection which the savages showed for the faith obliged us to keep two missionaries there, according to the statement made in the printed relation of 1670 and 1671. They began to erect buildings there, such as one still sees, intending to build a church there in the manner of the country. Father Pierre Rafeix began the enterprise. He was indefatigable in the care that he took of the Savages and of the french. The savages, says the relation, comprised 20 families. Reverend father Dablon, coming down from the outaouaks to quebek in order to go thither and assume the duties of superior, stopped at la prairie; and, having thereafter seen the old mission of the hurons, said that the new one had the same pious exercises as the old one. We shall see the progress that the new one will make in the faith, in devotion, and in the practice of all the most eminent virtues, which shine forth in these missionary beginnings, but which God has kept concealed within the enclosure of la prairie. There was not as yet either captain or dogique, properly speaking, and the missionaries took all the cares without dividing them; but when the number was greater, it was necessary to elect captains who should have jurisdiction over the village, and dogiques, who should be qualified to hold prayers and take charge of the affairs of God, All that was accomplished in the year following. [Page 161]
Father Rafeix, Father Pierson. 1671.
The iroquois have their government like all the rest of the peoples of the earth. The difference between them is, that theirs may be called that of pure nature, wherein many things are wanting; but the faith of our new Christians plainly showed that there would be nothing more beautiful than this world, if the gospel were observed in it. It took from the new village, in the matter of government, only what vice had spoiled in the old iroquois villages. Having then agreed together, in the summer of the current year, to accept forever the settlement of la prairie, they resolved to elect two christians, one for government and war, the other to watch over the observance of Christianity and religion. They recommended the matter to God, Judging it of the utmost importance, and with this intention heard mass. Then having assembled, they all with one consent chose the two who in fact have most merit and capacity for the exercise of these two offices. This election took place by majority of votes, as other transactions are settled among the iroquois ó among whom the chiefs indeed speak, but they take the word from the elders of their village. Since then, our two captains have been obeyed, but, as was once seen by experience, lose their influence if they are not good Christians. They are strictly obeyed, especially in the observance of their regulations for good morals. Let us admire here the divine power, which formerly banished from Rome all the abominations which the Romans had introduced into their pantheon, derived from the spoils of so many peoples whom they had subjected to their sway. To-day, it purges our little flock [Page 163] from all the brutalities which our iroquois had borrowed among the sixteen nations whom they destroyed by their valor and adroitness. Thus they have suddenly forsaken so many evil customs, in order to adopt all the customs of the church, which is all the more admirable because the Savages are wont to guide themselves only through the imagination, and are surrounded with superstitions, which they often see in their country. And yet no one speaks of these here; they have no esteem for them, and accuse themselves for even having thought of them. Our infant church thus took form and organization. These barbarians, gathered from several nations, made but one; charity united them even to the extent that they possessed nothing individually ó which best suited the iroquois nature, among whom sociability, visits, hospitality, feasts, and mutual gifts are much in vogue. It was a long time before even the shadow of vice was seen there, which charmed those who came to visit them. Father fremin, their chief missionary at that time, did not fail to prepare them to receive the sacraments of confession and communion, as yet unknown to these barbarous nations. There were some predestined ones, in whom grace increased every day, who did not require much time for preparation. Thus, then, the fathers began to have savages receive communion at la prairie, which they did even more devoutly than did the french. As soon as the fire of the Blessed Sacrament had animated our new Christians, it could not be confined to themselves; the missionary fathers heard every day from their children the sentiments of their hearts, filled with the Holy Ghost. Father Pierson even sowed the seeds of the Holy family, [Page 165] by giving some rosaries to the eldest Christian men and women. The Savages going through the woods made, by means of their exactness in prayer and their pious utterances, almost as many Christians as they found other savages in the regions where they hunted.
Father Rafeix. Father Fremin. Father Pierson.
Then it was that two memorable trees were placed at the entrance to the village; to one they attached drunkenness, to the other, impurity ó both subjugated by the faith. Among the iroquois, this saying became a proverb, ìI am off to la prairie,îó that is to say, ìI give up drink and polygamy.î This was because, when any one spoke of living at la prairie, there were first set before him these two clauses, which must be accepted without restriction and without limit; otherwise, he was not received. The village of la prairie, with all these qualities, became an argument for belief to all the iroquois who went by there every spring, ó most of whom did not believe what had been said of it to them in their own country. They themselves came to see it, and, having seen, admired the wonders of which they had already heard. Many who were not naturalized iroquois resolved to steal away and come to la prairie; many thus slipped away during all the following years.
Those who were already baptized in their own country then preferred to lose everything that they had at home rather than the faith, which they could not there preserve. They came to la prairie in secret, as much from their own impulse as from the instigation of the preachers of the gospel. We know, by as many mouths as there are christians here, that one cannot, without some sort of miracle, [Page 167] either be a good Christian, or persevere as a Christian, among the iroquois. La prairie has, then, always been the asylum of those who wished sincerely to pray to God and be Christians. These holy fugitives began to make, in the woods round about here, well-beaten hunting paths; for the chase was the pretext which they then adopted, in order to come to live at la prairie. The Christians, who left la prairie, in going to hunt beasts, went also to hunt men; the hunters always brought back some of their kinsmen or acquaintances in the spring, in the guise of a visit, ó wherein, God touching their hearts, they had themselves instructed and became Christians. All those who had come from the iroquois had thus eluded, as it were, the fury of the drunkards and the enemies of prayer. This made the elders distrustful; in their councils, their declamations all concerned the destruction of their land by the french and by the missionaries. The more they complained, the more people were desirous of coming to see what was going on; and among these curious ones some always remained. These, gradually enlisting in our ranks, ó although they were distrusted, and were not baptized save after long probations, ó finally attached themselves forever to la prairie. The onneiouts were the first of the mission, and their virtues ó being, as it were, mother-virtues-engendered numerous children, giving birth to many anniers, who are at present most numerous. In the number of the believers, among the people of the nation of agniÈ, those of the village of Gandawage have taken the first rank, as if this were due to the blood of the martyrs, which was first shed in the death of father Jogue, who [Page 169] there had his head crushed; and to the blood of the Reverend Father BrÈbeuf, which was shed by the aniÈs. It was also gandawage which 1st received the preachers of the gospel, in the persons of the Reverend fathers fremin, Bruyas, and pierron ó who, after the conclusion of peace, were sent as plenipotentiaries to those countries. It was in that village that the 1st chapel was built; and that village has given a treasure to our mission, in the person of a savage woman who died, six years ago, in the odor of sanctity.
The onnontaguÈ, with his usual plots, undertook to destroy our little church through his treacheries, under pretext of an embassy; and these men became ministers of hell by sowing false reports. They said much evil of the faith. They exaggerated the unhappy lot, as they said, of our Christians, who were then on probation; but these, not having come for self-interest, did not surrender to all these apparent reasons. To come down to particular instances, I will report one that was mentioned in the relation of 1671 and 1672. An onnontaguÈ woman had a husband who was not so fervent as she; and two children, a daughter and a son. The unhappy man allowed himself to be carried away by the fine speeches of those ambassadors of the devil; they took him on his weak side, ó that is, by the war, where he has since been, and by drink, which has cost him the loss of his nose; these are the two demons who possess the savages. Our brave woman, by order of the missionary father, went away with her husband for the sake of trying to save him. But that wretched man, as soon as he was in their own country, treated her so ill that this Christian womanís infidel kinsmen took compassion on her, [Page 171] and believed that they were dishonored in the person of their kinswoman. They threatened this drunkard with death, which obliged him not to treat his wife so ill as he had done. The poor woman, who dreaded more to lose her faith than her life, as her husband tried to constrain her to renounce her baptism, resolved to forsake him, and did so while he was at war. Her little son was the first to say to his mother: ìLet us go away; let us return to la prairie.î There, accordingly, they have lived in peace; that peace of conscience has ever sustained this noble woman and her children, who have served as examples of right living to all the cabins of the village. And what is remarkable is, that the faith has always gained the day over the regrets which they might feel for having given up much in their own country, for they have not found the same temporal advantages among the french, ó although some of these had been ransomed and drawn out of the fire by the people of this womanís cabin, which was one of the principal ones at onnontaguÈ.
One may see by the registers and baptismal records that the devil was himself deceived ó because, through these beginnings of persecution, he only kindled the torch of the faith in our Christians, by obliging them to become enlightened in various matters, and the love of charity, by uniting them more and more to God, of whom they felt they had need. That is why, from that time, we saw savages ó in the church, at mass, and at prayers ó cause shame to the oldest Christians; they came from a great distance, in winter, to attend the ceremonies of midnight mass or of good friday. Sometimes they have even been seen to make the adoration of the cross in [Page 173] the woods, as we know by the report of the french who have seen and taken part in it. The church was divided into two apartments, one for the french, and the other for the savages ó although the french and savages all acted as one body, as was seen in the public rejoicings, and in the visits and the little services that they rendered one another.
This mingling, however, gave occasion to the demon to tempt the savages; he employed the french who traded with them, and he sought to establish a tavern at la prairie, as the inhabitants were already quite numerous. But divine providence used the supreme authority ó which afterward contradicted itself ó to destroy this demon. Monsieur the count de frontenac was grateful to father fremin because he had furnished flour for the fort of Catarakwi. Subsequently coming to la prairie in the summer, he made an ordinance expressly prohibiting the trade in intoxicating drinks at la prairie; Thus the demon was stifled in the cradle.
The mission notably grew, and has grown proportionately in the years following. This multitude was the occasion for greater evils, as we shall see hereafter. The savages, having become instructed in summer at the village, went to preach our faith in the woods in winter, while pursuing their hunting. The infidel iroquois, coming by chance, while hunting about the cabins of our new Christians, admired the change which had occurred in these new apostles. The women, who from all time have been called the devout sex, had learned the prayers sooner than the men; and they were the ones who [Page 175] said them aloud in the woods. One of those women who still says them now in the church of the sault, said them during the winter in the woods, whither her husband had taken her while hunting, in the direction of chambly. A famous warrior celebrated among the Anies, because he defeated the nation of the loups ó luckily happened to enter the cabin of her of whom we speak. She did not fall into the embarrassment into which the Savages often fall ó that of human respect. Having no regard for the good or evil disposition of their guest, she always said her prayers. This warrior listened to them, and took pleasure therein, admiring their meaning and words. He had a relish for them, and learned them by heart, through hearing them repeated. He sometimes said: ëI The one who teaches you has much sense; that is well put.î But they told him that those prayers were made before the missionary fathers were in the world. This remark still more increased his esteem for them; he learned them very well, and did not leave those who had taught them to him. In the following spring he came with that family to the village of la prairie. He did there like them, ó that is, according t* the praiseworthy custom which prevails here, and which began at that time, he went to church either before entering the cabin, or immediately after laying down his bundle. He recited his prayers with his guides; that obliged father fremin to ask who that man Was, and whence he came, and who had taught him the prayers. They described to him the rank Of this person, his thoughts, and how he had spent the winter. The father, judging of his intelligence, found in him only one failing; he Was not married, [Page 177] and there were as yet no maids to offer him. He then told him, partly to sound this mind, that he should go to his own country, taking his comrade also, and there choose her who should please him most, and come back; and that he would be baptized. This proposition did not displease our man, who added that he would return, and would show whether he had any influence. He goes back: he speaks to many in secret, and chooses a wife. Having gained many persons, he sets the day for the general departure. When evening comes, he divulges the matter, and in a loud voice bids farewell in the midst of the village, and orders his people to pack their bundles. A father even
joins them to lead them away. The rank, the zeal, and the spirit of God which this man possessed shut the mouths of all the elders, who were in their hearts enraged at seeing such boldness and not knowing whom to blame. They would at once have broken the head of another man, who had less authority. This farewell being finished, about forty persons are seen to depart, ó men, women, and children, leaving their fatherland to come to make themselves Christians at montreal. This first shock given to infidelity has depopulated the country of aniÈ; for it succeeded so well that, from that time, people have come down from the iroquois in great bands, in order to live at la prairie; and in less than Seven years the warriors of AniÈ have become more numerous at montreal than they are in their own country. That enrages both the elders of the villages and the flemings of manate and orange. In a short time, less than a year or two, 200 persons were thus added to the number of the Christians of [Page 179] la prairie. That greatly rejoiced the french, who began to apply themselves in good earnest to the trade; and ó availing themselves of the ill will of monsieur the count de frontenak, whose feelings had altered during the past year ó by stealth they introduced drink at la prairie. One especially, bolder than the others, located a tavern in the village itself. But the adroitness and the firmness of character of father fremin, together with his zeal, checked the progress of this wretched traffic, and saved his flock from the waves of the red sea which were likely to swallow it up, It was on this occasion that the captains showed what they were by combating the vice of drunkenness, ó which they had abandoned in their own country to those who made of it their God.
This monster, being felled, was followed by another. In this great number of Savages, there were three different nations, very numerous ó agniers, hurons, and onontagues; and we regarded it as necessary to give to each one its own chief. They then assembled for that purpose, but dissension arose in one faction. The hurons were long in consultation; the agniers and the onnontagues had immediately made their choice. Finally the hurons, being piqued in the contest, separated themselves, and went to start a new mission beyond the river. This separation was painful, and did not fail to keep their minds at variance for some time; but finally, their finding everywhere the same faith and the same gospel, and especially the union which prevails among all the missionaries in Canada, for a second time thwarted the efforts of the demon.
God himself afflicted this mission by taking from it its support in the person of Catherine Gandeacteua, [Page 181] illustrious in virtue, whose memory is still blessed at la prairie, 12 years after her death. It was truly a great affliction, because the poor then lost their mother, the Christians their example, the french and the savages their well-beloved. A narrative is to be made of her virtues, which cause every one to say that she is in heaven. She has left the chapel heir to the ornaments of her youth, which have become precious through the consecration that she made of them during her lifetime, and through the multitude of other presents ó which one sees attached to the beams of the chapel and to the frontal which they have attracted in the years following.
This death gave occasion to a praiseworthy custom which now prevails in the mission. There is no doubt that the savages, in the time of their infidelity, had many superstitions in their burials, as in everything else. The kingdom of God becoming established at la prairie, our lord inspired the husband of the deceased Catherine to make a proposition. This poor afflicted man, seeing his wife despaired of, made a feast to his friends, and addressed them as follows: ìFormerly, before we were Christians, we employed superstitions to cure our sick, and sicknesses cast us into the utmost affliction. Now that we pray, we invoke the name of Jesus for their cure. If they die, we console ourselves in the hope of seeing them in heaven. Let us then say our rosary for the dying woman before we eat,î
The same man, after his wifeís death, behaved like a perfect Christian. It is the custom of the Savages to give all the goods of the deceased to their relatives and friends, in order to bewail their death, and to bury with them a portion of what they owned [Page 183] during their life; and to set up tombs, and paint thereon beasts and birds which they call spirits or masters of life. But the husband of our deceased woman, in his capacity of first captain, assembled the council of the elders and told them that their former customs must no longer be observed, as these (were of no profit to their dead. He said that, as for him, his purpose was to adorn the dead womanís body with her most precious goods, since she was to rise again some day; and to employ the rest of what had belonged to her in giving alms to the poor. This opinion was seconded by each one; and it has become a sort of law, which they have since scrupulously observed. They even blamed him for covering his wifeís body. They have not imitated him in that, but give the most precious clothes to the poor, and cover the body with their ordinary clothes, ó saying that the deceased will prefer to have prayers said for them out of their own riches. On the occasion of which we speak, they distributed to the poor three hundred livres, in all; and, while making this praiseworthy distribution, they said, ìPray for the dead woman.î
This year was a blessed one for the mission, because marriages in it were securely established, in the manner in which they are solemnized throughout the church. Some who had been married in the Savage fashion had no other ceremonies than that of baptism, at which they said that they would never leave their wives. The marriage ceremonies had not yet been established; but the Savages on becoming more instructed and better trained, were [Page 185] married only according to the rites of the church, And God has given so great a blessing that divorce has thus far been a very infrequent occurrence, and the one who has effected it is held in abomination. It is fully twenty Years since the mission was founded, and one would not find twenty husbands who have left their wives; and those who have left them have always returned, after some years, to die in the village. For this condition in which the savages are, no reason is adduced save the power of God, who can strengthen minds lighter than wind and down ó for such are the minds of savages. Although many marriages have occurred in past years, the marriage records indicate still more this year. But if God has allowed some to break their word, it has been only to show us young women living alone like angels, and thereby facilitating for many the way to perpetual virginity. This has happened in the case of two who have lately carried it to heaven ó as is noted in the following years.
Nota: that, in the course of time marriages of this sort were esteemed as concubinage by the savages; for, a husband and a wife being unable to agree, an old savage woman told them That they lived together like people who sin, because no holy water had been sprinkled on them at their marriage. 1675.
This increase of faith and virtue among the savages led to the belief that they were just as fit for Christianity as are the other peoples of the earth. There had been sown, four years ago, the seeds of a devotion which is great in this country; they call it ìthe holy family.î Father pierson had given rosaries of the Holy family to some chosen Persons ó the first was Catherine Gandeakteua; but he had not made the explanation thereof. This gave occasion to the savages to ask for it the more urgently, because they knew that it had been taught to the savages of Lorette. Father fremin judging [Page 187] that, if a selection were made of the most fervent people, the multitude would not be injurious to the mission, established the Holy family. This association began only this year to have some luster, because in the preceding years it was but a small assembly; but the number of these chosen persons increased with the number of the Christians and with the mission. This year was the last for a young man named martin Skandegorthaksen, aged twenty years; he died in the woods as one predestined. An account of this death will be given.
It is a wonder to see the state of the mission when it was so new that the savages had not yet heard confirmation mentioned; what will they then be when the holy ghost shall have descended upon them, as will be the case this year! Monseigneur the bishop of quebek, who in his cathedral church had conferred baptism on the first six persons of the mission, came to complete his work in the month of may. The account of it is given at length in the relation of 1672. The esteem in which the Savages held the person who, among all the priests, most nearly approaches our Lord, marked the depth of their feelings. When they knew that Monseigneur was coming to la prairie, they made a staging at the waterís edge, that he might conveniently land. They had lined the way with branches of trees, and the avenue ended at a throne constructed of sod and verdure, Monseigneur, having taken his place thereon, received the compliments offered him by the captains. The day after Pentecost, which was then being celebrated, was a favorable time for bestowing [Page 189] confirmation, which he conferred on more than eighty savages; and in the space of three years he confirmed more than two hundred. This sacrament exerted its effect wonderfully. The demon increased his efforts to ruin the mission, attacking both individuals and the public. The dogique was the first one attacked, in the loss of one of his children, named Alexis ó a pattern to all the children of that mission. He was six years old, beloved and caressed by all the people, of a generous nature, and given to devotion. This loss threw his parents into a mortal affliction; they consoled themselves, however, by offering their child to God.
Poverty is not a scourge of the mission, but an adjunct which chastens it from time to time. It was so great last year, and has continued in such a way this year, that it obliged the mission to leave the land of la prairie for the purpose of seeking one a league and a quarter higher up, named the sault St. Louis, or that of St. Xavier, from the appellation of the mission. Our Lord assuredly wishes to honor his poverty in that of the Savages; for it is a companion which follows them everywhere. Neither do they ask to be delivered from it, as from the other temptations of life, because it increases their merit. Be this as it may, it is the reason which obliged the mission to change its abode, ó which occurred nine years ago, in the month of july. This was not accomplished without a great deal of trouble. The missionaries had no other accommodation than a sorry lodge, and for chapel a cabin of bark, in which the superior of the mission dwelt in a corner arranged for the purpose. But God rewarded both the fathers and the children with the abundant favors [Page 191] which he poured upon them both. In the summer, they began to build a chapel sixty feet long, which was finished in the following autumn. This chapel was solemnly blessed, and is becoming illustrious through the favors which God has poured upon those who went to pray to God therein.
It began to be apparent that place and persons did not contribute to the fervor of the savages, who, although alone and separated from the french, were not less Christian ó aye, were even more so ó at the Sault than they had been at la prairie. The relation which has been composed, which speaks of them as late as 1679, shows that matters adjusted themselves without interference, each one having a desire to comply fully with the regulations for that time as regards prayers for working-days and feast-days, for both adults and children; the hymns, processions, and benedictions; observance of the sacraments; marriages, the different states of marriage, widowhood, and virginity; and everything else, wherein the mission was ordered like the finest parish of france. The law against liquor was also observed in it, as may be seen in the special account of it.
This year will be remarkable for a celebrated present which was sent from lorette to the Sault. It was a hortatory collar which conveyed the voice of the Lorette people to those of the Sault, encouraging them to accept the faith in good earnest, and to build a chapel as soon as possible; and it also exhorted them to combat the various demons who conspired for the ruin of both missions. This collar was at once attached to one of the beams of the chapel, [Page 193] which is above the top of the altar, so that the people might always behold it and hear that voice.
The demon, who had been able to gain nothing over the minds of the savages by attacking them openly, used pernicious intrigues to make them yield. Monsieur the count de frontenak, urged by certain malignant natures, resolved to prevent the building of a chapel, but did not succeed therein. He resolved to prevent an extension of the savagesí fields, and actually prevented any land from being given to them above the sault. He often used threats of imprisonment, and other menaces; in a word, he would have been glad if there had been no mission. The iroquois also did all that they could to starve out the village of the Sault, going thither in a troop after their hunt; and, after having eaten much corn, they carried off a great deal for their provision ó which showed that the soil there yielded much. But the number of transient dwellers, who in summer amounted to three or four hundred persons, left the village destitute in winter and at planting time. The result which was expected from all that was not such as was desired; for we actually see that the village has greatly increased, ó poverty and famine being only a trial which renders a part of the savages more economical, and the Christianity of the sault independent of all these various events. The fervor which they showed in their dearth has won and drawn hither many persons among their kinsmen.
The forces of hell being thus unchained against the mission, God inspired several of our new Christians [Page 195] to go to make open war upon vice in their own country, after the example of the young skandegorthaksen, who three years before had gone to the anies expressly to rescue his comrade from drunkenness; for the one whom they call ìthe great Anieî had broken down for them the dike which the elders were opposing to the establishment which was being formed at the Sault. But I may say that the most celebrated journey was that of la poudre chaude red-hot powder ìI, captain of the onneiouts who live at the Sault, and of his two comrades. This captain, recently baptized, wishing to go to onneiout, passed through the anies. When he arrived there, d all the elders went to greet him. This new convert told them no other tidings than those of the faith. This greatly surprised the assembly, which allowed him to speak. The elders withdrew; many people of the village remained, however, and heard what this man had to say. And after all, having preached everywhere on his way, he received nothing but insults. He nevertheless stirred up many people, because he has a very agreeable natural eloquence. It has been chiefly since that time that many persons have been seen to come down expressly to remain at the sault. These new apostles have succeeded so well that one may see, by the records of baptisms, the number of persons whom they have gained to God. Before any savage had thus taken the liberty to preach the gospel, they used to baptize at the Sault seventeen persons, at most, in a year; but since the savages themselves go to their country to convert the others, the baptisms are yearly reckoned by sixties ó and these are baptisms of adults. But the greatest effect which this preaching has produced [Page 197] is to have acquired for us a treasure which we keep preciously in our church ó the body of a virtuous maiden, who died here in the odor of sanctity, as we shall tell. This year, during the summer, three of our savages, whom we have just mentioned, put it on board their canoe. Her life is very fully described. All the noise which hell made by the mouths of the elders, ó who perpetually declaimed in their councils against the mission of the Sault, and all the noise which the gospel made by the mouths of the preachers, ó namely, of our Christian savages, ó produced in those who thus heard utterances on both sides the desire to see for themselves what was being done at the Sault; and having seen it, they began to take pleasure therein. Thus God was sowing in them the graces of his calling. Some at once settled down, others afterward returned, and hell was every year losing its former conquests.
The powers of hell pushed their madness farther they undertook to undermine the mission in its foundations. It was established only for the sake of overcoming intemperance; it has maintained itself, only through the destruction of that vice; it has continued only by fighting liquor. Several frenchmen, supported by the authority of monsieur de frontenak, undertook to keep a tavern at la prairie, the former abode of the savages, ó now a parish a league and a quarter from the sault. Four or five private persons being eager for the tavern, about fifty parishioners sent in a petition. The petition having been ill received by Monsieur de frontenak, and the petitioners condemned to a fine, they appealed from Monsieur de frontenak to Monsieur de frontenak himself, ó who had forbidden, by his ordinance of [Page 199] four years ago, taverns and the liquor which these men desired to barter with the savages. This appeal gave the demon a part of what he asked, because permission was granted to keep a tavern at la prairie; but, in fact, trade in liquor with the Savages of the Sault was forbidden, ó which regulation has always continued, until troops were there. Several battles have occurred, from time to time, and various assaults against drink; and the chiefs of the mission have always aided the missionaries and have taken the good side. This conflicting state of affairs has caused very enlightened persons to say that the temptations which the new Christians of america suffered corresponded to the persecutions of the primitive Church. Our church has in that respect had its martyrs and its renegades, in some proportion, as will be seen in the pamphlet entitled ìdrunkenness confounded.î
Impurity is not so pernicious, because, when drink is removed from among the iroquois, one removes a thousand sins of impurity of which they had no knowledge before the introduction of liquor. They observe among themselves the degrees of affinity between relatives: no wrong-doing occurs between them; or, if any does occur, the delinquents are held in abomination. We have even seen maidens observing virginity, ó at least, they were neither married nor tainted with the vice of the flesh; One even died without having desired to marry, and it was held that she had never done wrong, and had died in that state without baptism. However this may be, there is at least among the iroquois nothing comparable to the brutalities of the flesh which prevail among the outawaks and other [Page 201] savages. This monster, however, upheld by excess in drinks, has ruined everything in the country of the iroquois in these recent years, and has endeavored to ruin everything in this mission through separations of husbands and wives, and through the infirmity ó of nature ó which is greater in the savage youth than in any other class of men. This monster did not succeed, and has been combated and vanquished by many. We have known of girls bravely refusing clothes, money, and other things of value, which were offered them if they would consent to do wrong. Some have been seen dragged into warehouses, where they were put to a choice, but resisting and threatening to cry out if the men did not desist. Some are known who have during whole years resisted indecent pursuits. Some have been seen striking blows upon the nose, and covering with shame and blood the faces of the incarnate demons who came to tempt them. Some have been known to disfigure themselves by cutting off their hair, which is the principal ornament of the savage girls; and they have been known to carry back to the missionary the presents which had been offered them with evil designs. It is amid such conflicts that those who had sinned before their baptism have purified their souls, and that those who have been born in the village have sucked modesty with their Christian mothersí milk. There are already several who have carried their virginity to heaven, who were but thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, or twenty years old. Several are still living who, having often refused good offers in marriage, pass the marriageable age, and give to God their bodies and their souls in great poverty, and clothe themselves by alms. This [Page 203] spirit has this year united all those persons, who number thirteen; they have for their object the highest state of perfection. They assemble, and one makes a brief exhortation; or else they tell their faults to one another. They act like the daughters of mercy in france, and have for their office works of charity to their neighbors; they especially take care of the poor and the sick, to whom they carry wood in secret and at evening, and immediately vanish for fear of being perceived. They go to watch the sick, and give them as alms other things which they need. To attain their end, they use mortification and are averse to carnal pleasures, which they treat as the bait of the demon; and they say, in their excess, that the fathers who wish to make them give up the cingulum [penitential girdle] and discipline are full of mercy, but that they know not how much these women were laden with sins before they had been taught to live aright. Accordingly, they are always seen occupied in carrying wood, or making collars; in planting, spinning, sewing, and making pouches; and in other labors.
Smallpox went the round of our village at the beginning of autumn. There was, nevertheless, some astonishment, afterward, at the few burials which had taken place; and this blessing of God brought it about that the iroquois no longer said that the faith and baptism occasioned death, for among the iroquois they die by hundreds when smallpox attacks them. The confidence which was inspired in the Savages during the disease produced its effect not only upon the sick, who were all cured, and upon the persons who were not attacked by the malady, but it was even seen that God blessed the [Page 205] very lands. An island near the village had been lately cleared; it was full of worms, which ate the whole planting three times in succession. Finally the savages who had planted came to beg the father to go thither to sprinkle holy water thereon. The missionary went and, seeing the faith of these poor people, who were all kneeling about him, said, full of faith and charity, the prayers of the church. In the following autumn the crop was so abundant on that island that people were surprised at it, there being no field at the sault in which there were so many sheaves of corn as in the one which was on the island, ó although the plantings had elsewhere been made sooner than there; and although the corn had not been eaten by the worms, as was the case throughout the spring on the island. The savages were the first to reflect thereon after the harvest, admiring and thanking the goodness of God. They have made the same reflection in the following years, especially in 1685; while the priest was blessing, a woman gathered up in an instant her hand full of worms, and in autumn the crop was wonderful. The village burning in 1686, they remarked that as soon as the bell was rung, the fire was overcome, which had, until then, prevailed against all the efforts of the workmen.
The malice of men carried things so high this year that we were on all sides menaced with mishaps which were likely to befall the mission. At one time, it was said that some one was about to establish a house above this village for carrying on trade, and transferring what was brought back and forth for the fort of Catarakwi, and that france had [Page 207] pronounced a decree therein. At another time, it was said that they were going to put in prison at montreal the captain of our village, accusing him of complicating affairs and seeking to make him responsible for what the infidel iroquois were doing. Again, it was said that they were about to introduce liquor into the village; this was certain, because a frenchman was already making various trips thither during the summer in the hope of obtaining permission for all that he might wish to do, through rendering himself necessary to the Savages, being a gunsmith by trade. In these perplexities and conflicts, the poor afflicted missionaries had recourse only to God, who was favorable to them. He disposed all things for a journey which father fremin made to france about the end of this year ó a successful voyage, which enabled the mission to triumph over all its enemies, in a manner so surprising that it should merit a special account.
It is true that the mission was growing, like the palm, beneath the weight of afflictions; and that the service of God has never been so punctual and So solemn there as it was then. It was only three years since the savages had been separated. They formerly held mass, or rather were merely present at mass and at vespers, which were sung by the french; but now they do everything themselves in their chapel. They had already done so, but the church was too inconvenient, being only a chapel of bark. The old chapel being finished, the interior of the mission was quite different. They did what they could to adorn handsomely the chapel, which was just completed. They had given abundantly wherewith ó to build it; the agnies distinguished themselves [Page 209] in this liberality. This affection which the savages had for that chapel facilitated for them the means for learning the chants of the church ó as, the hymns of the Blessed Sacrament, the hymns of the Virgin, and some others of the confessors and of the martyrs, the inviolata, the veni creator, the psalms, and more than thirty different hymns, alike for mass and for vespers and benedictions. Nor must I omit mention of the ceremonies of the candles at purification, ash Wednesday, palm Sunday, good friday, and the processions of the Blessed sacrament, ó which they come to see through curiosity, ó and that of the assumption, faith having given them much affection for those things. They learned them immediately; and in them the women excel, who sing very well and very devoutly. All those who hear them are pleased. The boys, who have learned to serve at mass, and who are very eager to serve, are vested at all these ceremonies as little acolytes, and know their office so well that no one loses his place. People are every day astonished, and with reason, that savages have so soon learned all that ó they whom one hears yelling in the woods when they sing in their own fashion, and who have an education so contrary to the civilized manners of other nations.
The Savages had not yet been known to instruct one another with so great success as we have seen here. The missionaries were already beginning to have too many people to teach, ó who, it happened, were so new at the start that it was necessary to teach them to perform even the slightest reverences that one observes on entering or leaving the church, and before or after taking holy water; and to rise at the gospel, and kneel in the church. This year, [Page 211] God raised up several persons who themselves assumed this care, and who even taught the catechism to the children and to the new-comers, wherein they do as well as the missionaries, ó because, having well understood our mysteries, they give to these the right turn in their own language, and do so with an admirable unction. As a result, the ignorant readily understand them, and are touched by them. When it is known that the new-comers are lodged in certain cabins, the missionaries are free from anxiety as regards the instruction of those people, for whole nights are gladly spent in instructing them.
During the long voyage which the Reverend Father fremin made to france, the devil increased his efforts, intending to profit by the affliction in which the father had now left his good children. He went away in the autumn of the present year; and, immediately after his departure, we heard it said that the iroquois had killed the captain of the loups, and that the blow had been dealt near the fort of chambly. Some forthwith accused the iroquois of the Sault mission, without reflecting that, in the same year, a Christian savage of this mission, named Jaque, had delivered a loup from the fires of the iroquois. The loup was among the notables of his nation; and the iroquois risked his life for him, unbound him, and led him away to a cabin. He himself stood at the door of the cabin, the captive being seated quietly within; and this iroquois said that they should not come in to seize the captive unless they first killed him; that he would die for the defense of the peace concluded between the french and the iroquois, which the loupís death might end. The calumny that was cast upon the mission of the [Page 213] Sault was soon dissipated, God taking in hand the cause of the innocent. The one who is called ìthe great AniÈî came from the hunting-ground, which he left expressly to go to discover the truth, and to settle matters in case any one of the sault should be to blame. Having commended the affair to God and having requested of the french their prayers at high mass, he went to the places in question, where he discovered the truth and restored tranquillity to all the settlements.
This accident was followed by a real and dangerous evil. A frenchman had won the minds of the savages by offering to repair their guns. They had given him a little corner in a cabin, where he had set up a vise. He was preparing a small store, and arranging everything in order some day to keep a shop and deal in liquor in the midst of the village. He spent one winter there, which greatly alarmed the two missionaries who remained at the mission. But the aid which was brought to them, and Monsieur Duchesneauís prohibition to that man to remain longer in the village, drove the demon from his fort in such shame that he has not since returned.
God, who takes pleasure in mingling joys and sorrows in the life of man banished all sorrows from the mission this year. The assaults which had been made upon it for three years then ceased; but the absence of father fremin continually kept our minds in suspense. A great loss and a great profit was also incurred this year. The earth lost and heaven gained. The mission gave to paradise a treasure which had been sent to it two years before, to wit, [Page 215] the blessed soul of Catherine Tegakwita, who died on the 17th of april, The esteem in which she was held during her life, the help which many have had from her since her death, the honors which they have continued to render her, and various other circumstances which adorned her life ó have made her very well known throughout this country. She served the mission by her good example; but we can say that she served it more after her death, for her lifeless body serves here as argument to the savages that the faith is worthy of credence, and her prayers continually aid this mission. We may say that she now enters into participation of all the good which is done in it, and which has been done here since her death. At the hour of her decease, the viaticum was carried to her in her cabin. This was not yet customary: the sick people were carried to church on a litter of bark, when giving them the viaticum, in order to inspire the savages with the respect which is due to the Blessed Sacrament. The savages do not account themselves worthy that Our Lord should himself take the trouble of going to seek them, however sick they may be.
The demon, who saw the glorious success of this mission, used another kind of battery. Transfiguring himself as an angel of light, he urged on the devotion of some persons who wished to imitate Catherine, or to do severe penance for their sins. He drove them even into excess, ó in order, no doubt, to render Christianity hateful even at the start; or in order to impose upon the girls and women of this mission, whose discretion has never equaled that of Catherine, whom they tried to imitate. There were Savage women who threw themselves [Page 217] under the ice, in the midst of winter. One had her daughter dipped into it, who was only six years old, ó for the purpose, she said, of teaching her penance in good season. The mother stood there on account of her past sins; she kept her innocent daughter there on account of her sins to come, which this child would perhaps commit when grown UP. Savages, both men and women, covered themselves with blood by disciplinary stripes with iron, with rods, with thorns, with nettles; they fasted rigorously, passing the entire day without eating, and what the savages eat during half the year is not sufficient to keep a man alive. These fasting women toiled strenuously all day ó in summer, working in the fields; in winter, cutting wood. These austerities were almost continual. They mingled ashes in their portion of sagamitÈ; they put glowing coals between their toes, where the fire burned a hole in the flesh; they went bare-legged to make a long procession in the snows; they all disfigured themselves by cutting off their hair, in order not to be sought in marriage. These things, and all the harm that they could do to the body, which they call their greatest enemy, reduced them so low that it was not possible for ill-fed men to persevere further. Most of these things took place in the woods, where the savages were then hunting, or under enthusiastic excess of indignation against themselves. But the Holy Ghost soon intervened in this matter, enlightening all these persons, and regulated their conduct without diminishing their fervor.
About the middle of the summer, our chapel was threatened with fire from heaven, ó which, after several frightful lightnings at broad noonday, and several heavy peals of thunder, struck at a few paces [Page 219] from the main door, and fell upon two oaks, which it stripped. A man who was about to enter the chapel saw all the stones that were on the ground roll about him, but he received no hurt.
Whatever confidence was felt in the good result of the Reverend Father freminís journey ó who was expected from day to day ó even the firmest persons nevertheless doubted. The father had not yet arrived by the middle of October; but at that time a letter came from quebek, written by the hand of father fremin himself, which dissipated the rest of the storms which had harassed us in time past. The news came opportunely, because the fathers were accused of hiding their opinions, which injured their preaching in the minds of the savages. These savages were indeed given to understand that the french did not resemble them, and were not so base as they, who derive their strength only from lying; and that the black gowns, who had no interest in telling them lies, ó against which they inveigh and preach every day, ó were not deceivers. This greatly increased the confidence which the Christian Savages have in the fathers who teach them. Solemn thanksgivings were rendered for this happy return, and the joy was all the greater because of the success which God gave to the novenas and the devotions which the savages had offered this year. It was now more evident that they no longer thought of anything but enjoying the glorious labors of father fremin, who brought from france various furnishings suitable for adorning the chapel. These contributed not a little to the savagesí devotion, which is especially great at two seasons in the year, Christmas and easter. The childhood and the passion of our Lord are the attractions which God employs to draw them [Page 221]
Who could relate the Joy which each one felt at seeing the Reverend Father fremin again in his mission? But an extraordinary prodigy which appeared in the sky once more disturbed peopleís minds. This was the great comet which appeared in autumn. The rumor of war kept all Canada in suspense. Five days after the apparition of the comet, God blessed the mission; for it was then that a sick man who had been given up was cured the next day, after he had invoked the name of Catherine of the Sault. This prodigy of the earth did not yet appear sufficient to outweigh that of the sky. The people then commended themselves chiefly to the Saints of the country; and also, at that place of the Sault, addressed themselves to Catherine.
The end of the year was a sad time, on account of the exchange which took place between father fremin and father Bruyas, former missionary to the iroquois. Whether they lost or gained, it was still to be seen that the Savages were grieved at changing their pastor. They became accustomed, little by little; and even many iroquois were subsequently attracted to the mission by the reputation of the missionary, who is the 3rd whom the mission has seen since its birth.
The mission was thus taking on new growth under the star which had restored to it the day, after it had passed several years in the night of afflictions. The scandals sown like tares had not yet produced their evil fruit there, until, in the present year, drunkenness was unchained. But it was thundered against in open church at the feast of the assumption of our Lady; and an arrant drunkard was denounced and ignominiously expelled, so that this public [Page 223] disgrace of a single one might correct several others. It succeeded perfectly. The delinquent was even converted, and has remained several years without becoming drunk.
A scandal appeared here in the matter of impurity. Three worthless young women, who had left the iroquois, made a plot to debauch three persons; and in order to do the most injury to the public, they undertook to abduct the one who said the prayers in the church, and to make him fall into sin. They purposely made several visits. Finally God preserved the dogique, but he permitted that a young man lately married should succumb, with loss on the part of the mission. But God, who knows how to derive good from evil, touched this young man, who had gone with his mistress to the iroquois; but he had not come thence, being brought up in the mission. God granted him the grace to die piously in the arms of a missionary. His wife, who was so young that they said that she was notí of age, but who nevertheless had been married according to the rites of the church, some days later followed her husband to the other world. The sinful woman who had abducted the husband of that wife was touched, and has since been baptized; and now lives, in the fear of God, in the state of marriage.
As one opposite usually discloses its corresponding opposite, the inveterate impurity of the infidel savages ó who came to visit here, and spread through the village the stench of their vice ó served only to make manifest the virtue of the Christians at the Sault. Even three years before, some persons were known to hate their past sins so greatly that they even desired never to marry, although the law allows it; and even wished to do what religious [Page 225] persons do, in order to devote themselves to God. Some have persevered even to death; some are still living and have persevered and passed the age for marriage. Married persons come to offer themselves at the altars, and live like brothers and sisters; and, after losing the children whom they had had from their Holy marriage, before embracing the state of continence, they have not been willing to return to their former state. The fair mirror of chastity is so clean at the Sault that people there cannot endure the least spot on it; and the savages are delicate on this point, even to excess.
As most of the things which have been related have been done by those who are called by the name of the Holy family, they have rendered this society most commendable among the savages. This body of people, sound in Christianity, sustain the whole mission by the pains that they take to perfect themselves, and by what they do to convert the others. But, since most of them deserve that narratives of their lives be composed, we say nothing further of them here. Drunkenness again returns to the charge this year. Drunkards had not yet been seen to enter the village; two appeared there and were immediately punished, as will be seen elsewhere.
The blessing of the first bell of the mission took place in the month of June. The Holy family alone purchased it for the public convenience, because the one which we had was too small, and the fields were too far from the village. This bell weighs 81 livres, and was named marie. They also began the custom of hearing the catechism on Sundays before benediction. The father explains the Christian [Page 227] doctrine and is afterward questioned by the savages, who propound their doubts to him; and the father also questions them about what he has propounded.
At last, all the monsters of hell, being powerless to do more, made a last effort in the month of august; and, joining at midnight with a whirlwind, blew down the chapel ó a fall remarkable in all its circumstances. All the articles of sacred furniture were preserved whole, except five crosses, which were broken. The statue of the Blessed Virgin, which was at an elevation of eleven feet, was simply overturned. There were three Jesuit fathers in the chapel, ó one below, who was ringing the bell, and two above the chapel. All three were saved by a sort of miracle. The one who was below was saved, and carried away from the place where he was, where a great hole was made by the beams, which broke in their fall the joists on which he was kneeling. He found himself in a place of safety, ó without fear, without wound, praying and kissing the relics which he wore about his neck. Another of the fathers leaped into the air with the rafters, which formed a sort of cage for him. The last of the three fathers also fell, but was much hurt. He nevertheless extricated himself from beneath the ruins, and soon recovered, All three, without having communicated their devotions to one another, had gone to pray at Catherineís tomb in the evening, before going to bed; and one had said the mass of the Holy Trinity, in order to thank God for the favors that he had granted Catherine during her life. The poor savages were much afflicted at the loss of their chapel, saying that God was driving them from the [Page 229] church because they did not deserve to enter it. But they were inconsolable at seeing their fathers wounded and sick; and said that these fathers wee, suffering for the sins of their children, who were not willing to listen to them and live like good Christians.
They immediately proceeded to rebuild the chapel, God having willed that there should then be an architect in the village, who had built five other chapels, very well constructed. But meanwhile the captain of the anies, whom they name ìthe great anie,î who had built a fine cabin a fortnight previously, moved out of it in order to lodge our lord, who well recompensed his host. In the first place, he did him the honor to see his cabin converted into a church; but, because God honored this chapel with several wonders which occurred therein, many persons were seen to come to it, by way of devotion, who made novenas to Catherine of the Sault, They performed the same devotions there which were performed in the beautiful timber chapel, ó with all the more fervor in proportion as the inconvenience of the building, the severities of winter, the spring rains, and the summer heat, were the harder to endure for those who often went thither to visit the Blessed Sacrament.
It was now a year since we began to instruct by means of paintings, which greatly pleased the Savages. Indeed, the whole life of our lord has been imported; and small books have been made from it, which the savages carry with them to the chase and thus instruct themselves. We have thus put before them in writing the sacraments, the seven capital sins, hell, the Judgment, death, and some devotions ó as of the rosary, and the ceremonies of the mass.
From autumn forward, they labored for the restoration [Page 231] of the chapel. When the workman began, the savages began to work in concert ó some by their gifts, others by their prayers; and they exerted themselves with all their might to aid the workmen. When the logs were squared, carting was out of the question; but the savages carried pieces sixty feet long and proportionately thick, and thus accumulated all the timbers where the frame of the building was to be hewn. There was no one who did not work according to his strength. The women and children all carried their pieces of timber; and several went about it with so much fervor that they hurt themselves, and were sick for a long time. But the most admirable of all was the workman who, never having learned, became a master-architect.
This year closed with the change of governors that was made, and the change which also took place regarding the mission; for it became favored by the men by whom it had been persecuted. At the same time, we experienced the liberalities which the king has extended to it, especially as regards the rebuilding of the chapel.
We have not had a more perilous or a more honorable year for the mission than this one, during which war embroiled all Canada, as we shall relate. When spring had come, we began to erect the chapel, which had been hewn into shape in the woods during the winter. It was our plan to draw the timbers over the snow, and thus to transfer all the pieces to the place where the building was to be erected. The workmen were disappointed, because the snows melted sooner than they expected. We knew not what to do, and could not make up our [Page 233] minds to leave the building until the following year. The village is usually deserted in the months of march and april; there are left in it only some women and children. Those women undertook to transport all the timbers. The posts and beams are clumsy and heavy ó for one may imagine that the timbers of a building sixty feet long and twenty-five wide are not light. It was first proposed to these carriers to make a road by land, half a league in length, from the place whence the timbers were to be taken to the one where we were to build. It was necessary to fell and cut great trees, in order to make the passage. When one or two days had been employed at that task, the snow failed, and the labor was lost. They had now but one resort ó and one, too, quite difficult and dangerous; this was to throw the timbers into the water, and convey them by means of a little brook which passes at the foot of the place where the village and the chapel now are. They exposed themselves to the danger of drowning or of freezing. However, the savage women alone, animated with the spirit of devotion and with the desire to have a chapel, did wonders on this occasion. To begin with, they helped to make the road and to cut some trees which had fallen into the brook; it was necessary to go into the water up to the waist, and remain there a whole day. When the road was done, they exhorted one another, and divided themselves into various bands. The little girls and the old women carried the lightest pieces by land; the young women, and those who were not hindered by pregnancy, went along the brook with poles, to guide the timbers through the turns; and the most vigorous, and those who in savage tongue are called ìthe good Christians,îó or, in french, ìthe devout. [Page 235] ones,î followed the timbers in the water, having, in a spirit of Penance, chosen this severest part of the labor. Their health was much affected thereby; and, above all, they had to make great efforts in order to drag the timbers out of the water. Gut, as the enterprise was done in order to honor God and in a spirit of Christian faith, every one was content with all that might befall her. We are accustomed to note great joy in this mission when public works thus occur which are for the honor of God, or for the service of the poor or the sick
One cannot doubt that this manner of living on the part of some of the savages has brought many blessings from God upon the mission. Among these I reckon the precious deaths of some persons ó as that of a young girl of ten years named Catherine Ouannonhwe, whose deeds have been recorded. The way in which the savages die in the mission is so consoling that no one fears either death or disease. The sick person himself anticipates those who are about him, and often prays to be told the hour of his death; they fear lest one impose upon them, and hide from them this news which makes people in general tremble. They bestir themselves to receive extreme unction before they lose the use of their senses. God is so wonderful and so liberal toward these new Christians that he gives to some presentiments of their impending death; and some have been found who foretold the time of their death at a specified moment. God often preserves their reason and speech until even their last breath; there are Some Who have given up the ghost a moment after reciting the Angelus aloud, ó saying their last farewell just as when one is about to go on some journey. There are some who died while praying and on their [Page 237] knees; there are some who have expired while making the sign of the cross. While dying, they make very touching little exhortations to those who are not Christians, or ~110 live wrong, or who have relaxed from their first fervor. They speak of their own death while themselves distributing their little belongings, as if they were not sick. They taste in advance the pleasures of the other life, founded upon our lordís promises. All those who have seen persons die here are, as eye-witnesses of what occurs, fully consoled thereby.
Those who most closely survey this perseverance of the savages say that God grants them these final graces because there is no one in this mission who has not given up everything for God, by leaving his country for his sake. Thus not one has yet been seen to die who has not at death given strong evidences of predestination, ó although the number of the dead is already very great, and amounts to the number of nearly one hundred and forty. The faces of the deceased have nothing frightful about them; on the contrary, they inspire devotion. On comparing them with the good lives of persons who have dwelt here, can it be that persons who frequent the sacraments and often confess, who never leave the village for the chase without confessing, who have no sooner arrived than they make ready to confess, who in every different occupation of the day offer their work to God, who scrupulously observe the forgiveness of injuries, who confess from fortnight to fortnight, who often make their examination of conscience, who accuse themselves of the slightest distractions, and who live like angels ó can it be that such persons do not end life well? The primitive church of the iroquois is in this condition. [Page 239] They began this Year to make publicly in the church the examination Of conscience, which some are since practicing like religious.
So many Persons were seen to commend themselves to the deceased Catherine Tegakwita; so many good savages were seen to offer this devotion and found themselves in such necessity this year to address themselves to her, that we believed it was but paying a just tribute to her virtue to remove her from the cemetery ó where a little monument had been erected to her, a year before ó into the new church. All opinions were unanimous upon that. This transfer, however, was accomplished by night, in the presence of the most devout. Some savages have since been seen to go to pray at the place where she lies, who had begun to go to visit her on the very day when she was buried. We began this year to make some brief addresses upon the passion of our lord, every friday in lent.
During the whole summer in canada, one heard nothing but commotions and rumors of war; these, coming to the ears of the savages, served only to make known their fidelity. Who would ever have supposed that the faith and religion had so thoroughly united them with the french as to cause them to take arms against the iroquois and their own nation? They did so, however, as we know; and we owe this obligation to the captains, who knew so well how to direct the matter that men and women preferred to perish rather than lose their faith. The matter was proposed to them in open council, in three ways, giving them the choice. It was said, first, that they might withdraw to their own country if they wished; secondly, that if they remained they might remain in their own village; thirdly, that [Page 241] they could, after all, go with the french. The first statement did not please them at all, and they said that to withdraw from The french and lose the christian faith was the same thing. As for the second, they said that the french would distrust them too much. The 3rd proposal pleased them; and they said that, having but one and the same faith with the french, they wished also to run the same risks together. Accordingly, they set out, and had the approbation of the whole army in their entire conduct ó whether they were sent as ambassadors among the iroquois, or our people applied to them for provisions from their chase, or advice were asked from them, as from people expert in war and who had been in close conflict.
The captain of the anies has himself made a present to the chapel, worth four beavers, ó or 240 livres, in the money of orange, ó that is, a candlestick with eight branches, similar to the one which is in the orange meeting-house. It is of bronze, and was made in holland. This captain, going to war, wished to leave a monument of his piety, after having given up his cabin, one year previously, to the service of God.
The chapel being finished, we placed therein the gifts which the savages made for it, or caused to be made ó their robes, striped taffeta from china which some have left for it, and an altar-screen. They have decorated a beam which is above the altar with their collars, ó which they put about the heads of the warriors, like a crown, ó with their porcelain bracelets, with shields which the women wear to adorn their hair, and with belts, which are the savagesí pearls. Several masses have been said by way of thanksgiving for the favors which God has vouchsafed to Catherine of the Sault. [Page 243]
At the beginning of this Year was finished the Palisade which they were making about the village, always acting as people who do not fear to die, being assured that the iroquois, their former relatives, bear ill will against them only because they are christians. Those iroquois had renounced them at the council of war that was held at la famine, which is a place beyond Catarakwi. They had declaimed against them, had jeered at them, and finally uttered various threats against them, which eventually ended only in causing them to lose their places in the council, because they left it in order to come to finish the palisade. This was a second indication of their good faith, for the benefit which they were rendering to the french was great. They went incessantly to scout in the woods, where the iroquois were likely to pass in order to make a descent upon us; and this greatly vexes the iroquois. The palisade, which is pentagonal, then had five bastions, in one of which was a great iron cannon for eight-pound balls. This task is not small, as the village has become very large during these past few years. After they had...
[The rest of the MS. is missing.]
ìNarrative, Until 1685, of what occurred in the mission of the Sault, from its foundation until 1686 (By Father Claude ChauchetiËre, S. J.); first book. (Copied after Father ChauchetiËreís autograph, 1881.)ì]. [Page 245]
Miscellaneous Documents, 1671-1687
CLVIL ó Remarques Touchant La Mission de Tadoussak S. J. depuis 1671; FranÁois de Crepieul, Pastagŏtchichiŏ sipiŏ 7 Auril, 1686
CLVIK ó Deux Lettres du R. P. Bechefer a Mr Cabart de Villermont; Quebec, 19e 7bre et 22e 8bre, 1687
Sources: We obtain Doc. CLVII. from the original MS. in the archiepiscopal archives of Quebec. For Doc. CLVIII., we follow contemporary apographs in the BibliothËque Nationale, Paris. [Page 247]
Remarks Concerning The Tadoussak Mission of
the Society of Jesus since 1671, by father
FranÁois de Crepieul, Jesuit.
From The Cabin of Louˇs
Kestabistichit at pastagoutchi-
chiou sipiou, April 7, 1686.
F the Montagnais who retained two wives, nearly all died in the woods without the Sacraments; among these Ouskan, a chief from a foreign tribe, ó dying also without Baptism, which he had asked
from Reverend Father Albanel and from me at Lake St. John, peokwagamˇ, ó was killed by the chawanoquois. 2. Henri Kisakwan, who even after Baptism retained a widow, died shortly after. He was a man powerful in speech and in strength. 3. His Young Son Apistabech and his two younger wives died almost the same year in the forest. Three or 4 others all perished, after one or two Years, with their wives and their baptized children, which fact the greater number remarked, and asked to be united in wedlock; they then remained more constant in the faith, and in lawful marriage.
I know none of Tadoussak who have two Wives; but All are married before the church, and are constant in The Faith and in their Marriage
Most of those who neglected to confess their sins when they could have done so, have died in the Woods without that sacrament.
[Among these were] the chief of the Mˇstassins, [Page 249] Kawistaskawat; The chief of the Kwakonchiwets, Ka Mistasihanet; and The chief of the great Lake of the Mˇstassins, Wesibaourat; he was deceived by the Devil, and perhaps carried off, so they say, near Lake peokwagamy Quinogaming, where he had killed his brother. They found nothing but his Jerkin.
Some drunkards, who would not heed the Advice and Rebukes of the Missionary, were deprived of the sacraments A papinachois chief was killed, with his married Son Jacquechis, in a canoe; they were drowned near Malbaˇe. The Wife of tall Charles hanged herself at Tadoussak, while intoxicated, etc.
Some Old women, and some other Women, took the discipline in The Woods, although they had not been completely intoxicated.
Some Young Women constantly resisted the Libertines and some Frenchmen, although they offered them brandy, etc. Some of these women at once informed The Missionary of it, and begged him to put a stop to those Importunate men.
Most of these Women died in a very Christian manner, and with True sentiments of piety, ó especially Three papinachois, who had been married with the rites of the Church.
I have seen Men and Youths who were most addicted to gaming, and to their amusements, abandon these promptly, and gladly come to Mass, and to the exhortations or prayers. Some even left their meals, and sometimes their platter of sagamitÈ, after eating a spoonful or two.
All are very careful also to send their children to prayers and to catechism; and sometimes they compel them to leave their meals, or they chastise them when they fail to attend. [Page 251]
Although several Families reside in the same cabin, there is naught but union and charity therein. I have not yet Witnessed any assaults; and I have heard but few quarrels, and those very seldom when they were not in Liquor. They are charitable to one another, and greatly so to the Children. I have seen some take the morsel from their own lips, etc. They are also very charitable to the Sick. I have admired Some of them, and also some Women who, notwithstanding the stench, were even more charitable, especially since they have been Christians.
All, as a rule, are very patient in their wandering Life. They endure Hunger, thirst, cold, and fatigue more bravely than We. If a canoe upset, or a Train overturn, they laugh; and I often admire them in the most difficult roads, where the French become angry and swear.
They have a horror of Theft, and have but little love for Worldly goods, but much more for health and for life. They are quite content when they have plenty of food and tobacco. The hunters are much more grieved than All the others, when tobacco fails.
Jealousy and Calumny are their chief vices, ó and, in the case of Some, Drinking and intemperance, when the opportunity presents itself.
The Men, and even more the Women and Girls, are very modest; the latter cover themselves decently, whether sitting, or lying down. The young men are more inclined to be filthy in their language.
All lead a wandering, penitent, and Humiliating, but patient, peaceful, and innocent life in the Woods ó where, during the summer, ó in the month of August, and up to the middle of September, ó [Page 253] they often fast in spite of themselves, as they also do in the months of December and january, and when the snow is in poor condition. Some have died of Hunger.
The Seculars and those who say that, if a Savage did not know that he would become intoxicated, he would not drink, are wrong. This is not the general rule, as I have seen; and I think it untrue in the case of many, I have known Medart, an Esquimaux, to have some liquor still in his possession at Epiphany, when I first wintered there with Pierre courpon and Martin Echineskawat.
I have known tall Charles to keep it better than the French do, and even to Trade it to Others.
I have seen Medartchis, an Etechemin, refuse it ó as did also some Savage women, although they had already drunk some; and there are many who would not take more than a drink or two.
Tall Charles at Tadoussak drank some Every Morning as long as his little Keg or case of Bottles lasted; he also took but one drink when he returned from hunting, or from a Journey, and he told every one that this suited him very well.
I have seen Louˇs Kestabistichit, my host, keep a pint for more than ten days ó and this on more than four or five occasions, ó and not touch what I had put in a little bottle to test him, although he knew Where it was.
Many have carried Barrels of Wine and of Brandy to Lake St. John, more Faithfully than Some Frenchmen and than Some of the hired Men.
Some have kept liquor, and have Traded it to the Mˇstassins. Louˇs Kestabistichit has assured me that he obtained 24 or 26 beaver-skins for a small [Page 255] keg brought from chegoutimˇ; and then bartered at Kouchaouraganich and Echitamagat, ó without any disorder, and to the satisfaction of those Strangers. Gisles Outastakíwano, my Host, did as much at the same Place; and tall Charles of Tadoussak at Lake st. john of peokwagamˇ.
I have known a certain Canadian who was worse and more importunate for Liquor than a Savage; and who very often helped himself and drank from that belonging to the fathers and to the French, while it was being Transported.
The less one employs the coureurs de Bois, the better it is for the Mission and for The Trade.
It is well thoroughly to test the hired Men before trusting them; and not to let them go often to the cabins, especially those where there are Young Women or marriageable Girls.
It is advisable to prevent them, as much as possible, from having Liquor of their own, and from trading it.
More is gained with All The Savages by Gentleness than by Severity, although this is sometimes necessary; and by patience than by anger, which makes them lose their esteem for the Missionary.
The less one lends to the Savages, the better.
It is well to do good to them, when The opportunity presents itself, and to assist them in their Necessity; they remember and speak of it very frequently.
Nothing is ever lost by caressing the Children, and by occasionally praising the. young men and the hunters; by respecting The old people; by honoring The Dead, and praying to God for them, etc.
One must not be discouraged at the start, nor condemn the customs of some poor Savages; they can be won in Time, and with patience. [Page 257]
They are pleased by Visits paid to their cabins, and consider themselves despised or hated by the Missionary who does not Visit them.
They are likewise pleased to find gratitude, although they are sometimes but indifferently paid for the Journeys that they perform, and are nevertheless satisfied. They must be treated with more attention than the others.
When they give anything as a present, it is well not to refuse it, and to reward them for it. They nearly always give more than is given them in return. For instance, I have seen Some of them give ten moose-Tongues, etc., and be well content with a platter of peas, some Indian corn, 2 biscuits, a chunk of tobacco, and a drink of brandy. If Any among the honest Frenchmen are not properly grateful to them, they are held to be Avaricious, and people of but little note.
Whatever may be said on this point about the savages, I find them more grateful and more Liberal than many of the French.
Those, even among Ours, who say that there is nothing to be done in these Missions are mistaken, and do not speak The truth except as regards themselves, because they will hardly do or undertake anything ó or, if possible, would not endure anything. There is certainly something to be done when one wishes, and when one has the slightest Zeal. The Trade in Liquor does not last so long, and it is very easy for the commandants to prevent disorder. There is never any, Wherever The Missionary happens to be.
As this kind of Trade cannot be prevented at Tadoussak and at chegoutimˇ, we must do what we [Page 259] can, and endeavor to imitate The preachers of Quebek, and the holy Angels, with respect to sinners, and contemplate the Labors of our fathers among the iroquois, etc.
Journeys, and The cabins of the Savages, are Truly schools of Mortification, of patience, and of Resignation.
The Fear and The Love of God are very necessary to a Missionary who in The cabins is nearly always with married people; and who sometimes finds himself alone, either in The cabins or on journeys, with young Savage women while the Men are hunting.
His life is entirely one of penance and of Humiliation.
Prayer, Reading, and writing are very necessary to him at certain Times and Places, and Action almost always at other Times.
He needs great tact in dealing with many of the French, and with The Savages; and much charity, in order to endure Both.
With these two traits he must, so far as lies in his power, pacify Minds, and soothe Quarrels that may arise between The French and The Savages, without taking The part of one more than of The Other.
If he imagine that The Savages are for Him, and that he is not in that quarter for them, he will not make much progress; and he will not long persevere in these arduous Missions ó as has been the case with Some.
Unless he has great courage, and resolution to suffer, and some affection for the Savages, he will have hardly any satisfaction. [Page 261]
The best thing for him is to devote himself solely to his Mission, and to leave The commandants, and The clerks appointed for The Trade, to act as they please and as they deem advisable.
Public Rebuke, especially in the case of those Gentlemen, often does more harm than good. Rebuke in private is generally taken in good part, as well as The advice given to the Reverend Father Superior and to Messieurs the Directors.
Civility and Deference, according to their rank, win The commandants and The clerks, when accompanied by a little submission to the Directors, to whom it is often sufficient to represent, and sometimes to cause to be represented by Friends, the needs of The Mission and of the House at the Lake.
One must also avoid complaining of The food, and not speak of it at all before The French and the Savages ó who fail not to repeat it afterward, according to their own Ideas, which frequently causes much of the esteem felt for The Missionary to be lost.
One must also avoid being importunate in oneís Requests; or showing, by word or by writing, that one is offended at being refused: but one should await the most favorable opportunity or Time. By this means one obtains, Sooner or later, all that he claims, quod súpissimÈ fui expertus.
On Journeys, a great deal of patience is needed, and a little condescension for the canoemen, especially for The Savages, who are unwilling to risk themselves too much. When one is not in haste, the best way is to let them hunt and camp when they wish. [Page 263]
When The dogs are on Land for the purpose of hunting, and they await or call them, one must not manifest any displeasure; nor when the children scream or weep.
A little Praise ó either for being skillful in managing the canoe, in hunting, in carrying; or for taking good care of the canoe and of the packs ó often does good, and encourages them greatly, as well as The young Women and Girls; this also pleases the parents, who always show how glad they are.
Although fishing, and hunting Hares and Martens, are proper when Necessary, and by way of recreation, they nevertheless do great harm to the Missionary who becomes too fond of them. These things cause him to lose much Time, and disturb the exercises of The Mission and The order of The House; and most frequently they scandalize the French as well as The Savages, who discuss them according to their own ideas, ó ut ipse súpius audivi de patre Antonio et animadverli.
He must be careful not to reproach the Savages because they do not give him presents for the petty Charities that he has done them; and also not to ask them for any, without great Necessity.
He must be careful not to Search The Sacks of the EngagÈs, unless he has some reason to suspect them of Theft; and he should not tell the Commandants what he has found, or the number of Martens, etc., that they have trapped, as this does great harm to All and to Himself. The petty trade that they carry on concerns The commandant or The clerks more than The Missionary. These people often have a limited permission, and one offends Both without any good results. [Page 265]
If The commandant commit any Fault, it is better to admonish him privately than publicly.
Public Rebuke, unless well arranged beforehand and resorted to according to Necessity, embitters Minds against Us. Such indiscreet Zeal does more harm than good. I have seen unpleasant results happen through it to one of Ours.
He must, so far as possible, be ever gay and Affable, and not be too familiar either with Any Frenchmen or with Any Savages, whether men or women.
Except in case of Necessity or of strong suspicion, he must be careful not to go at Night into The Cabins, especially where there are Young women and marriageable Girls. They often give a wrong interpretation to this.
He must not be too long in saying prayers, or importune Them, Especially among Strangers.
Let him not marry with the rites of the Church any Frenchman to a Savage woman, without The consent of the parents, and without Monseigneurís approval.
If A Frenchman abuse any Savage woman, let the missionary reprove him privately; and, if the sin be scandalous, let him do so publicly. But, if The Frenchman continue, let the missionary, as soon as possible, inform Monsieur The Director and The Gentlemen, and The relatives; and let him deprive Both of the Sacraments, ad Tempus. [Page 267]
Two Letters of Reverend Father Bechefer to
Monsieur Cabart de Villermont.
Quebec, September 19, 1687.
Youasked me, Monsieur, to inform you of the success of Monsieur our Governorís expedition against the Iroquois. Here is an account of the whole affair. When the army was reviewed on an island near Montreal, it was found to consist of 800 men of the regular troops, and a like number of militia, ó besides one hundred Canadians, who were to be constantly employed in transporting provisions in canoes to Catarokouy; and a hundred others, forming a sort of small flying camp. About 300 Christian savages who are settled among us ó Iroquois, Algonquins, AbnakÔ, and Hurons ó joined the expedition. They started from the rendezvous on the 11th of June, and safely passed all the rapids that are met along a distance of 40 leagues, without other loss than that of 2 men, who unfortunately were drowned. They expected that the enemy would dispute the passage, but not one appeared; and there were only the rapidity and the impetuous current of the waters to contend against, ó with labor and fatigue that no one can conceive without witnessing them. In these difficult passages, our savages, who are accustomed to them, were of very great assistance to the french. Finally, after much fatigue, and after having had rain and contrary winds nearly every day, they reached fort [Page 269]
Catarokouy, where Monsieur de champigsly had arrived some days previously. The army remained there only 4 days, and left on the 5th of July. The weather being favorable for crossing Lake Ontario, the troops arrived on the 10th at Ganniatarontagouat [Irondequoitl, the place selected for disembarkation, which is only 10 leagues from the villages of Tsonontouan. Great precautions had been taken to effect the landing, because it was thought that the Iroquois would oppose it. It was, however, effected very peacefully; and, by great good fortune, 180 french who had come by order of Monsieur de Denonville, from the country of the Outaouaes, where they were engaged in trading ó arrived at the same time, with 3 or 400 savages, from various nations, whom they had induced to follow them. All set to work at once to build a fort for the protection of the boats and canoes of the army, which was to march overland to seek the enemy in their own country. As this post was of great importance, 400 men were left in it under the command of sieur Dorviliers, an old officer of great ability and very distinguished merit. While they were working at this fort, some Iroquois made their appearance on a height, and called out to our people that it was useless to waste time in erecting palisades. They said that an advance should be made as soon as possible, for they were extremely impatient to fight the french; and, after uttering loud yells, and discharging their guns beyond range, they fled.
On the 12th, at noon, the army began its march, and proceeded only 3 leagues that day. On the 13th, they started very early, and advanced with all possible despatch. After they had passed 2 very [Page 271] dangerous defiles, there remained but one, a short quarter of a league from the plain. Our army was attacked there when it least expected it. The scouts had beaten the country on all sides, and even quite near the place where the enemy lay in ambush in the defile, without discovering them; 2 or 300, who were farthest in advance, after uttering their yells usual on such occasions, fired on our advance-guard, which consisted mostly of Canadians and of our savages, who were on the flanks. Monsieur de CalliËres, who led them, made them charge in such a manner that the enemy did not long stand before them. Meanwhile, from 5 to 600 other Iroquois tried to take our men in the rear at the same time that the head of the column ëwas attacked. But Monsieur de Denonville who perceived their design, threw forward some battalions, and caused so heavy a fire to be directed at them that they at once fled. All our troops were so fatigued after a long and forced march over bad roads, during extraordinarily hot weather, in a country which is in the same latitude as Marseilles, that it was not deemed advisable to pursue the enemy ó especially as, in order to do so, it was necessary to leave the road and enter woods of which they had no knowledge, and wherein the Iroquois might have laid ambushes for our people and made them fall into them. This was all the more to be feared, since it was impossible t0 march in a body while pursuing foes who run through the woods like deer. Moreover, as our Savages who could be most relied upon on this Occasion spoke 7 or 8 different languages, there was reason to apprehend that they might attack one another, for lack of mutual understanding and recognition. [Page 273] It was, therefore, deemed advisable to encamp upon the very spot where the action had taken place. We had 7 men killed, both french and savages, and about 20 wounded, ó among whom was one of our fathers who was with the savages when our army was attacked; 28 of the enemy remained on the field. A Chaouanon slave who had fought with them, and who surrendered to us a few days afterward, assured US that the Iroquois had 50 killed and over 60 mortally wounded, besides many others who received less severe wounds; that great consternation prevailed among them; and that many slaves had taken advantage of it to escape.
Owing to the heavy rain that fell on the following day, camp was struck only about noon; and, after it had issued from the woods, the army marched in battle array directly to the first villages, which are only half a league distant. They found them abandoned, and almost reduced to ashes; for the enemy had set fire to the cabins before retreating from them. As our people found no one with whom to fight, they set to work to destroy the Indian corn in the fields. They also burned that which was stored in the villages, and that which had been transported to a fort built of large stakes on a height in a very commanding position, where the enemy bad intended to defend themselves. We afterward proceeded to the other villages, about 4 leagues distant from the first, which we found abandoned, but not reduced to ashes. Our savages, who arrived there first, secured a considerable amount of booty from all the goods that could not be carried away in a very precipitate flight. While they were occupied in destroying the corn, various parties went in every [Page 275] direction, without finding any of the enemy ó except in the case of a Huron, who went alone toward Goiogouen, and met a man and a woman, whom he killed, and whose scalps he brought back. The destruction of the Indian corn is calculated to entail great inconvenience upon the Iroquois, and hunger is sure to cause many to perish. For it is impossible for the other nations, who, united together, are not so numerous as that of Tsonontouan, to supply it with food for 14 months, without themselves suffering greatly. Those who will disperse through the woods, to live by fishing and hunting, will be liable to be captured and killed by the savages, their foes, who are resolved to seek them everywhere. As it was by this means that Monsieur de Denonville could do most injury to the Iroquois, he devoted every attention to it; and it occupied 9 whole days, after which he resumed his march to the fort where the boats and equipage of the army had been left; for they were so fatigued that they were no longer in a condition to undertake anything of any consequence. Nevertheless, he thought it was of the highest importance to build a fort at the entrance of the Niagara river, whereby lake Erie discharges into lake Ontario, 80 leagues from Catarokouy, and over 140 from Montreal. As this fort is only 30 leagues from Tsonontouan, it will cause alarm to the Iroquois; and will serve as a refuge for the savages, our allies, who may go in small bands to harry them. After placing it in a state of defense, Monsieur de Denonville left therein a garrison of one hundred men, ó as he could not leave a larger number, owing to the difficulty of transporting provisions thither, ó and started to go [Page 277] to Montreal with the militia, and, while on the way, to escort a convoy. Monsieur de Vaudreuil remained at fort Aniagara with the troops, in order to finish it and the soldiersí barracks. He had orders that, while descending from Katarokouy to Montreal, he should post his men in the places that were most dangerous for the safety of another convoy. He did so without meeting any of the enemy on the way. There were some, however: for, 6 leagues from the place where he had posted himself, they killed 9 frenchmen, whom they surprised on the lake-shore when the latter least expected it.
Thus, as you may see, Monsieur, the war has begun quite auspiciously. It is much to be feared, however, that it will cause the ruin of a portion of the colony, owing to the settlements being so scattered. Monsieur de Denonville omits nothing that can be done to protect them from the incursions of the Iroquois, who are all the more to be dreaded since they are incited by the english, who will not fail to suggest to them means for doing us injury. All persons agree that, in the present condition of the country, 500 Iroquois led by Europeans would in 3 months devastate Canada, ó notwithstanding all the precautions that might be taken, or the forces that we might have to oppose to them; because the french cannot run through the woods as they do, and cannot subsist as easily therein as they.
On the 7th of this month, they attacked a house at the extremity of Montreal island; but, as it was surrounded by a tolerably high palisade, and as those within it delivered a heavy fire, they were unable to carry it; and they had 3 men killed and others wounded. They have since burned several other houses, and barns full of wheat. [Page 279]
We are sending to france 36 Iroquois from among those whom Monsieur de Denonville caused to be captured on his march, and in the neighborhood of Katarokouy, lest they might give the alarm. There are still 15 here, besides more than 120 women and children.
Monsieur de Tonty was unable to persuade the Ilinois to go to attack the Iroquois in the rear, while the french attacked them on another side. He had gathered together only one hundred who joined the army. Monsieur de Denonville is well pleased with him.
The flemings and the English of New Yorck derived such profits from the trade which 12 of their people carried on last year with the Outaouacs, ó at a place called Missilimakinac, at the entrance of the lake of the Ilinois, ó that they resolved to send others thither, and to secure all the furs of that nation, by letting them have their goods cheap at the beginning. In fact, they sent a party of 30, to whom they added some savages of the Nation of the loups, who live in their neighborhood, and 3 Iroquois; these were to serve as guides, and to supply them with food by hunting, during the winter that they were to pass in the woods. In order to secure a better reception from the tribes among whom they were going, they, by dint of presents, obtained from the Iroquois the most notable man of the nation of the Etionnontates, and added him to their company. When at 25 leaguesí distance from his own country, he went in advance to notify his people that the flemings were coming with goods of all kinds, which they would sell much cheaper than do the french, with whom no further trade was to be [Page 281] carried on. Great was the joy of these savages, who were preparing to go to meet them to carry them provisions, when he to whom Monsieur de Denonville had given the command of all the french in that quarter ordered 50 of the latter to embark; and he took his measures so well that he captured the flemings with all their goods, which were divided among those who had effected the capture. It should be observed that these flemings carried the english flag, and had a passport from Colonel Dongan, the governor of New Yorck. Another band consisting of an equal number of flemings had started in the month of april to go to trade at the same place; they had already advanced a considerable distance when they were discovered by the french who were going to join the army. They were captured as the others had been. This latter party was led by a Scotchman who had served in france, and the former by a french deserter from Canada, who was to act as interpreter. His head was broken. Had not these two parties of traders been captured, the entire trade of Canada would have been ruined, because nearly all the furs come from the Outaouacs; and had they been free to go themselves to trade in New Yorck, they would certainly have sided with the Iroquois against us.
I forgot to tell you that the troops that arrived this year did not take part in the expedition against the Iroquois, because it had started before they disembarked. Only Monsieur the chevalier de Vaudreuil, their commandant, and some officers, hastened to Montreal and arrived there before Monsieur de Denonville left.
The sieur díHyberville, a Canadian, who commands the fort of Monsousipi, or of the Monsouni, [Page 283] On Hudsonís Bay, learned that an English vessel was at Carleston island, where the ice had caught it, and compelled it to pass the winter there; and he sent 5 men to obtain information about it. Two fell ill, and retraced their steps. The 3 others perceived a cabin, and went to it without taking any precautions; they found there 5 englishmen, who received them very well. On the following day they were told that they must go to the vessel, which was half a league away; and they were taken thither with their weapons in their hands. They were at once put in the hold, and, finding how stupid they had been, they resolved that the 1st who might find an opportunity of escaping should not fail to take advantage .of it, to go to give notice of their misfortune, and of the small number of Englishmen in the vessel, It was a bark of only 20 tons, that had come in the autumn from Port Nelson. One of them escaped toward the end of March, and made his way over the ice to the fort, where the resolution was at once taken to capture the english bark. Meanwhile, the ice began to break up; and the english set to work to launch their vessel. They compelled the french to help them, but without watching them as closely as they did before their Captainís death; he had been drowned, while hunting in a bark canoe. The french took advantage of the liberty given them; and, seeing only 3 englishmen in the bark, ó for the master was on shore, ó and that these 3 sailors were engaged in setting up the rigging, one of them seized an axe lying on the deck, and killed two of the sailors. It was not hard to overpower the third, who was the cook. The two frenchmen, having become masters of the bark, cut the hawser holding [Page 285] the vessel to the shore, and shoved off, setting sail as well as they could. While this was happening near Carleston island, Sieur DíImberville was on the sea, with an armed bark carrying the English flag, ówhich inspired the two frenchmen on the English bark with great fear. They were soon reassured, however, when they found that it was the french from fort Monsousipi who were chasing them.
Kebec, October 22, 1687.
Monsieur, this is the last letter that I shall write you this year as I have already written 3, in one of which I told you, somewhat in detail, of our expedition against the Iroquois. Since its return, they have come in small bands to harry us, and on various occasions have killed 18 men, always by surprise. They even attacked a house surrounded by a palisade, but were repulsed with the loss of 3 of their men. We must expect to be troubled by them every day.
Monsieur de Louvois wrote to Monsieur de Denonville that he had been informed that porphyry had been found on the islands of St. Pierre; he sent a bark thither, with a marble-cutter, who found such extensive quarries of it that there is enough to build entire towns. The porphyry lies in beds two and a half feet thick; and the workman asserts that no difficulty will be experienced in getting out blocks 30 feet long and 6 wide. Here is material for fine work. Moreover, it is stated that ships can lie quite close to the quarries, for the anchorage is good. It is also hoped that white marble will be found in the neighborhood of Cape Breton; and elsewhere. [Page 287]
An iron-master came to see whether any use could be made of the deposits of iron ore here, ó some of which was tested a few years ago, and found to be better and softer than that of Spain.
I was mistaken when I told you that the Iroquois wore no masks. They make some very hideous ones with pieces of wood, which they carve according to their fancy. When our people burned the villages of the Tsonnontouans, a young man made every effort in his power to get one that an outaouae had found in a cabin, but the latter would not part with it. It was a foot and a half long, and wide in proportion; 2 pieces of a kettle, very neatly fitted to it, and pierced with a small hole in the center, represented the eyes.
We have had no news of Monsieur de la Salle, except the few words that you wrote us.
You will not have the census of Canada this year, because Monsieur de Champigny is not taking it.
Were it not for the test that you made of the mineral that I sent you last year, we would not yet know that it is a mine of lead, with traces of silver.
While writing this letter, I am informed that the Iroquois have killed 5 more of our men, and have wounded some others; and, what is still worse, they have begun to burn houses and barns, in the country places, and to kill the cattle. They were pursued, but how is it possible to catch deer running through very dense thickets?
The contents of the box that I am sending you are as follows:
24 bark dishes of various sizes.
2 wooden spoons. [Page 289]
A small gourd full of copal balsam, which was brought to me from the Akansa country on the Mississipi, half-way between fort st. Louis and the sea.
Seeds of 3 kinds of watermelons, from the Ilinois country.
Seeds of Canadian watermelons, which grow without requiring any care, like squashes in france; they need not be planted as early as the others.
Squash seeds from the Ilinois country.
Nuts from the Ilinois country.
A piece of porphyry from the quarry on the island of st. Pierre.
Pieces of bark, on which figures have been marked by teeth.
A stone dagger, the handle of which is wanting; it consists merely of a piece of wood of no particular shape, and you can have one set in it.
Another and smaller dagger,
A stone knife.
The daggers and the knife are of the kind still used by the Ilinois at the present day, although they have iron ones.
Some black sand which is found in considerable quantities near 3 rivers. This sand is almost all iron, ó as may easily be seen, because a loadstone lifts nearly all of it. There is however a little silver, as has been ascertained by tests that have been made.
A small quantity of the root that the Ilinois and chaouanons mix with the tobacco that they smoke.
Two pieces of marcasite, quantities of which are found here.
Colonel Dongan, the governor of New Yorck, wrote to Monsieur de Denonville to complain of his having attacked the Iroquois, whom he claims to be [Page 291] subjects of the King of England; and he declares that he will assist them. He also complains that the flemings belonging to his government, who were going to trade in the Outaouaes country, were plundered and arrested. This Colonel will do us more harm by the means that he will suggest to the Iroquois for molesting us, than by the English he may send to join them. [Page 293]
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL DATA: VOL. LXIII
The original MS. of Bigotís Journal of the Abenaki mission from Christmas Day of 1683 until October g, 1684, is preserved in the archives of St. Maryís College, Montreal. It was published in 1857, somewhat modernized, by Shea, as No. 2 of his Cramoisy series. No large paper copies of No. 2 were printed. In some copies pp. 47, 48 are duplicated, one being intended for cancelation, about seven changes having been made to the revised leaf. Following is a description of this publication: ìRelation | de se qvi | síest passÈ | de plvs remarqvable | dans la Miffion Abnaquise de | Sainct Joseph de Sillery, | Et dans |íEftabliffement de la Nouuelle Miffion | De Sainct FranÁois de Sales, | líannÈe 1684. | Par le R. P. Jacques Bigot, de la | Compagnie de Jefus. | [Printerís ornament] |
¿ Manate: | De la Preffe Cramoify de Jean-Marie Shea. | M. DCCC. LVII.î
Collation: Title, I leaf; contents, beginning; ìJournal de ce qui síeft paffÈî etc., I leaf; text, pp. 5-61; printerís ornament on p. 61, with colophon on verso, as follows: ìAcheuÈ díImprimer (díaprËs le Manufcrit | originel du College Ste Marie) par J. | Munfell, ý Albany, ce 18 Nov., 1857.î
In reprinting the Journal, we have followed the original MS. at St. Maryís. [Page 295]
In publishing this letter of Bigot to PËre la Chaise, dated at Sillery, November 8, 1685, we follow a MS. in the Library of Congress. It is presumably a contemporary copy; the location of the original is unknown to us.
The incomplete original MS. of Chauchetibreís Annual Narration of the Mission of the Sault, embracing the period from 1667 to 1686, is in the city archives of Bordeaux, France, where it was seen in 1881 by Father Martin, who made a copy of it. Several of the final pages are missing. Rochemonteix, who also appears to have had access to the original, first published it in his JÈsuits, t. iii., pp. 641-678. We follow Martinís apograph, now resting in the archives of St. Maryís College, Montreal, but have introduced a few slight emendations from Rochemonteix.
We obtain CrÈpieulís running Remarks upon the Tadoussac Mission, from 1671 to 1686, from a bound MS. volume in the archiepiscopal archives of Quebec. The contents of this quarto volume of about 300 pp. are divided into three parts, all in the hand of Father CrÈpieul: Part I., Remarks; Part II., Advice: Part III., Precious Deaths. We have selected from the book the portions most useful to the historical student, as throwing light upon the progress and methods of the missions, and shall publish these in their chronological order. The Remarks are our first installment. There is no knowledge at [Page 296] the archives concerning the history of the volume or of the documents it contains; but CrÈpieulís chirography is easily recognizable. From the water-mark on the fly-leaves, it is evident that the MSS. Were bound subsequent to 1831.
Bescheferís two letters to Cabart de Villermont, dated at Quebec, September 19 and October 22, 1687, we obtain from contemporary copies of the MSS. In the BibliothËque Nationale, at Paris. They are in the Collection Clairambault, Cabinet des Manuscrits, the press-mark being Vol. 1016, folios 489-492. [Page 297]
NOTES TO VOL. LXIII
(Figures in parentheses, following the number of note, refer to pages of English text.)
 (p. 27). ó This letter is probably, like previous epistles of Bigot, addressed to Jacques Vaultier (vol. lxii., note 1); and various allusions in his letters indicate that they were, although not published, extensively circulated among the friends of his mission (vol. lvii., Bibliographical Data for Doc. cxxx.).
Regarding the new mission here mentioned, see vol. lxii., note 23; for sketch of St. Francis de Sales, vol. xx., note 8.
 (p. 27). ó See explanation of the terms cations and rassade, in vol. xlvi., note 1.
 (p. 31). ó This gift of a wampum collar was made by the Abenaki converts of the mission to the tomb of their patron saint at Annecy, France. It was accompanied by a letter written by Jacques Bigot (dated Nov. 9, 1684) to the superior of the Visitandine convent there; the letter was published by Shea in his Cramoisy series (no. 23). The collar itself was destroyed or lost in the French Revolution.
 (p. 63). ó Reference is here made to La Barreís expedition against the Senecas. His own report of the expedition is given in N.Y. Colon. Docs., vol. ix., pp. 239-243. Cf. Parkmanís Frontenac, pp. 91-115.
 (p. 65). ó Jean Vincent, baron de St. Castin, a native of Oleron, France, was born about 1636, and in 1665 came to Canada with the Carignan-Salieres regiment, in which he was an ensign. When that corps was disbanded. St. Castin settled on the Penobscot River (about 1667); he there married a daughter of Madockawando, a Tarratine chief, and took up his abode among that tribe, adopting their customs and mode of life, which gained him great influence among the savages. About 1680, he took possession of the old fort at PentagoÎt, where he established his home; this was the beginning of the present town of Castine, named for him (vol. ii., note 6). Here he dwelt many years, carrying on an extensive trade, in which he amassed a considerable fortune. In general, he maintained friendly relations with the English; but, in the campaign of 1690, [Page 299] he aided his countrymen, and again at the capture of Pemaquid (1696). About 1699 or 1700, St. Castin returned to France, where he died, probably a few years later. His children married into Canadian families of rank; and his son Anselm was, like his father, a prominent figure in Acadian history. The latter was a man of much ability; and, although he led a somewhat lawless and licentious life during his earlier residence in Acadia, became later (about 1687) exemplary in his conduct, and evinced many excellent traits of character. ó See Godfreyís sketch of his life, in Maine Hist. Soc. Colls., vol. vii., pp. 41-72; cf. N.Y. Colon. Docs., vol. ix., p. 265, note.
 (p. 71). ó Regarding Chrestien le Clercq, the noted RÈcollet missionary in GaspÈ see vol. iii., note 45. His Premier Etablissement de la Foy dans la Nouvelle France (Paris, 1691) has been often cited by us ó in Sheaís translation (N. Y., 1881). Le Clercq went to France in 1681, and returned to Canada in the following year, charged by his superiors with the establishment of a residence for his order at Montreal. He then resumed his mission at GaspÈ In 1690 he returned to France, where he afterward became superior of his order. The time of his death is not known. ó See Harrisseís Notes, pp. 158-160; and Sheaís Disc. of Miss. Valley, pp. 78-82, for notices of Le Clercq and of this book.
 (p. 85). ó The, lady here referred to was Marguerite díAlÈgre, wife of Charles Emmanuel de Lascaris, marquis of UrfÈ and BaugÈ the head of an ancient and illustrious house. Marguerite was married in 1633, and died Nov. 5,1683. Her eldest son, Louis, renounced his titles, to become a Sulpitian priest; and was bishop of Limoges from 1677 until his death, twenty years later. Her second son was FranÁois díUrfÈ, who spent some time in Canada as a missionary (vol. lii., note 2); he died June 30, 1701.
 (p. 93). ó The eldest son of Mathieu díAmours (vol. xxx., note 14) was Louis, sieur des Chaufours, born May 16, 1655. In 1686 he married Marguerite Guyon, by whom he had three children. De Meullesís census of Acadia (1686) mentions him as then located in that country, with his wife and two younger brothers. He had, two years before, obtained a grant of land on the Richibouctou River; and also possessed the seigniory of Jemseg, on the St, John River. In October, 1707, his daughter Charlotte married Anselm, son of St. Castin (note 5, ante). The date of Louis díAmoursís death is not recorded.
 (p. 101). ó Allusion is here made to Bigotís Relation of 1685, which we omit in this series because it contains but little of historical interest ó covering, in the main, the same ground as that of the [Page 300] previous year. It was published by Shea in his Cramoisy series, of which it is no. 3.
The present document is addressed to FranÁois díAix de la Chaize. He was born in 1624, and at the age of twenty-five became a Jesuit. He was long a professor and rector in the college at Lyons; in 1675 became confessor of Louis XIV.; and died at Paris Jan. 20, 1709.
 (p. 101). ó La Barre was in this year (1685) superseded as governor of Canada by Jacques RenÈ de Brisny, marquis de Denonville, who was a colonel of dragoons in the French army, and had spent thirty years in military service. He was a capable officer, but had many difficulties to contend with ó in the distressed condition in which La Barre had left Canada; and in the intrigues of Dongan, the English governor of New York, among the Iroquois. Denonville also made serious mistakes in dealing with these savages ó notably the treacherous seizure in June, 1687, at Fort Frontenac, of Iroquois whom he had invited thither on pretext of a friendly conference. In 1669, Denonville was succeeded by Frontcnac, the former governor (vol. lv., note 11).
With Denonville came the new bishop, Jean Baptiste de St. Vallier. He was born at Grenoble, Nov. 14, 1653; and was chaplain at the royal court when Laval (vol. xlv., note 1), feeling that the burden of his official duties was too great for his years and failing health, chose St. Vallier as his successor. The latter came to Canada July 30, 1655, where he remained until Nov. 18, 1686, as vicar-general of Laval, who still retained the office of bishop. Returning then to France, St. Vallier was consecrated as bishop, Jan. 25, 1688, and soon afterward came back to Canada, to begin his official duties. Until 1694, he was on friendly terms with Frontenac; but, the latter having given permission for a representation at the castle of Moliereís Tartuffe, St. Vallier was greatly incensed, and remained thereafter unfriendly to the governor. The bishop also became embroiled with the seminary, with the clergy of his diocese, and with the RÈcollets; and efforts were made, but without success, to remove him from his office. St. Vallier spent the years 1694-97 in France. Again going thither in 1700, to arrange the affairs of the diocese, he was captured by the English on his voyage of return to Canada (1704), and detained five years as a prisoner in England. Then he was sent to France, where he was obliged to remain four years longer, not being permitted by the king to return to Canada until the summer of 1713, ó according to Gosselin and some other writers, owing to his unpopularity in his diocese. St. Vallierís episcopate continued until his death (Dec. 25, 1727). His later years were largely devoted to the General Hospital of Quebec, an institution [Page 301] founded by him in April, 1693. ó Regarding this prelate, see St. Vallier et líhÙpital gÈnÈral de QuÈbec (Quebec, 1882), a history prepared by the Hospital sisters of that institution; and (from a different point of view) Gosselinís St. Vallier et son temps (Evreux, 1899).
 (p. 125). ó Claude Aveneau was born at Laval, France, Dec. 25, 1650. When less than nineteen, he entered the Jesuit novitiate, at Paris. An instructor at Arras from 1671 to 1678, he then continued his studies at Paris, Bourges, and Rouen; and, after a year as teacher at AlenÁon, he came to Canada in 1685. In the following year, he was assigned to the Ottawa mission, in which he labored during several years. Most of his missionary work was among the Miamis, to whom he went apparently in 1690 (Ferlandís Cours díHistoire, t. ii., p. 366); this mission was at the mouth of St. Joseph River in Indiana. Charlevoix (Nouv. France, t. ii., pp. 322, 323) states that in 1707 Aveneau was superseded by a RÈcollet priest; but that the Miamis became so unruly, when deprived of Aveneauís advice and influence, that it was found necessary to send back their missionary among them. He died Sept. 14, 1711, in Illinois (according to Shea, Church in Colon. Days, p. 627).
 (p. 189). ó Our text cites, probably by an oversight, the Relation of 1672. Rochemonteix changes this date to 1675, which is correct (see our vol. lix., pp. 269-285); but what is apparently another oversight on ChauchetiËreís part places this paragraph under 1676, instead of 1675.
 (p. 197). ó ìThe Great Mohawkî was also called, at Albany, Kryn, a Dutch name. He was a chief of unusual ability and character, who possessed great influence with his tribesmen; on this account, he was several times sent as envoy to the Mohawks by Canadian officials, by whom he was much esteemed. He commanded the Christian Iroquois who were with Denonvilleís expedition in 1687; and was also prominent in the attack on Schenectady (1690). In the latter year, he accompanied another French expedition against the English settlements; and, on their return journey, was killed (June 5) near Lake Champlain.
 (p. 199). ó An allusion to the coming of Catherine Tegakwita to the Sault (vol. lxii., note 18).
 (p. 233). ó This is evidently a reference to the recall of Frontcnac and the appointment of La Barre; but that event occurred in 1682, not 1683.
 (p. 245), ó At this point the MS. ends abruptly, the final leaves having been lost or destroyed. [Page 302]
 (p. 26p). ó Full accounts of Denonvilleís expedition may be found in his own report of the enterprise (N.Y. Colon. Docs., vol. ix., pp. 358-369), and in Parkmanís Frontenac, pp. 136-157.
Cabart de Villermont, to whom this document is addressed, was a relative of Beschefer, and a friend of La Salle; he resided in Paris.
 (p. 271). ó The successor (1686) of De Meulles as intendant in Canada was Jean Bochart de Champigny; this post he retained until 1702. Like Denonville, he sided with the bishop and the Jesuits. After Frontenacís return (1689), Champigny consequently had some differences with him, but these were quieted by stern reprimands from the king; and during Frontenacís last years, he and Champigny were excellent friends.
 (p. 271). ó The allies who met Denonville at Irondequoit were Ottawas and other Algonkins from the Northwest, who had been induced to join the expedition against the Senecas. This had been accomplished by La Durantaye, commandant at Michillimackinac, Nicolas Perrot (vol. lv., note 5) and Henri de Tonty, the faithful lieutenant of La Salle, now commandant in the Northwest (note 25, post).
 (p. 271). ó FranÁois Chorel, sieur de St. Romain, dit díOrvilliers, was born in 1639, near Lyons. He came to Canada about the period of his majority, and in 1663 married Marie Anne Aubuchon, by whom he had seventeen children. His name is prominent in the military affairs of his time. He died in 1709.
 (p. 273). ó Louis Hector de CalliËres-Bonnevue was born in 1639; he embraced a military life, and attained the rank of captain in a French regiment. In 1684, he was appointed governor of Montreal, a position occupied by him until December, 1698, when he succeeded Frontenac as governor of Canada. He was never married, and died at Quebec, May 26, 1703. He was an energetic and useful officer, and accomplished hardly less than did Frontenac for the welfare of the Canadian colony. One of his last achievements was the final treaty of peace with the Iroquois, Aug. 4, 1701.
 (p. 275). ó Reference is here made to the Jesuit Enjalran (vol. lx., note 14).
 (p. 279). ó Philippe de Rigaud, Chevalier de Vaudreuil (marquis, after 1702) was the commander of a regiment sent to Canada by Louis XIV. in 1687. In November, 1690, he married Louise Elizabeth de Joybert, by whom he had two sons. He was in command at Lachine when the Iroquois massacred its people (1689), but had too small a force of men to repel their attack. He took a leading part in the wars with the Iroquois and, with the English colonists; and, upon the death of Governor CalliËres, Vaudreuil (then in command [Page 303] at Montreal) succeeded to that office, which he retained until his death (1726).
The fort at Niagara was built upon the site of the blockhouses erected by La Salle in 1679, ó a spot whereon a succession of forts have stood, since that time, and now occupied by Fort Niagara, ó on a point of land at the eastern angle between Lake Ontario and Niagara River.
 (p. 281). ó The Iroquois thus captured (note 10, ante) were seized in accordance with orders from Louis XIV. that able-bodied Iroquois should be sent to France, to serve on the royal galleys (N.Y. Colon. Docs., vol. ix., pp. 233, 315, 323, 375). The Iroquois tribes were, of course, exasperated at this shameful act: and both they and Dongan insisted that these captives should be sent back to America. Frontenac, when coming back as governor (1689), brought with him such of these savages as had survived the cruel life of the galleys Parkman says (Frontenac, p. 194), thirteen in number. Margry gives, however, a list (MSS. relat. ý Nouv. France, t. i., p. 454) of these Iroquois whom the king had ordered to be released, twenty-one in number.
 (p. 281). ó Henri de Tonty was born about 1650, the son of Lorenzo Tonty, a Neapolitan banker who invented the insurance system known as ìtontine.î At the age of eighteen, Henri became a cadet in the French army, in which he won distinction, and promotion as far as the rank of captain. In 1677, he met at Paris Robert de la Salle, who was then endeavoring to secure in France aid for his plans of exploration and colonization in America (vol. lvii., note 2). Tonty became La Salleís lieutenant, and shared his fortunes until the latterís death, manifesting a loyalty and devotion that never wavered. It was he who directed the building of the Griffon; who built and afterward maintained Fort St. Louis, on the Illinois; who gathered there the colony of Illinois and other confederated savages; and who in 1688 went down the Mississippi, at the risk of his life, to seek and rescue La Salle ó only to find that his friend and chief had been treacherously slain. Tonty remained at his fort on the Illinois until the year 1700, laboring amid numerous discouragements and hindrances ó the opposition of jealous rivals, the indifference of the French government, and deficiency of funds and men to carry out La Salleís plans for the development of a French empire in the West, to maintain the fidelity of the Western tribes to the French, and to keep back the Iroquois hordes. Frontenacís aid and friendship were long helpful to him; but, after the governorís death, a royal decree obliged him to abandon Fort St. Louis, and Tonty went (1700) to join Ibervilleís colony at Biloxi. There he rendered invaluable aid through his courage, skill, and knowledge of the [Page 304] savages. In 1704, a vessel bringing to Biloxi supplies from Havana brought also the yellow fever, which swept away many of the colonists. Among these was Tonty, who in September of that year ended a life full of toil and peril, ó one of the most courageous, loyal, and far-sighted among the pioneers of New France. ó For detailed accounts of Tontyís life and adventures, see his own Relation of 1684 (Margryís DÈcouv. Fran., t. i., pp. 573-615), and that of 1693, published by Margry in his Relations inÈdites (1867); Gravierís La Salle; Parkmanís La Salle; and Leglerís ìHenry de Tonty,î in Parkman Club Papers, 1896.
 (p. 283). ó It was La Durantaye, commanding at Michillimackinac, who captured these English and Dutch traders. The affair is recounted by Parkman, in Frontenac, pp. 146, 147.
 (p. 287). ó Pierre le Moyne, third son of Charles (vol. xxvii., note 10), is better known under his name of sieur díIberville. He was born July 20, 1661. and early began a career of adventure, exploration, and warfare. By 1683 he had made several voyages to France, in command of ships; and was recommended by La Barre to Colbert for a naval appointment. In 1686, he took part in the expedition against the English forts at Hudson Bay, and remained there as commandant for that region. In 1689, he was one of the leaders in the attack upon Schenectady, and later in the year went again to Hudson Bay, to seize Port Nelson; he returned from this unsuccessful expedition in October, 1691. The next year, he made attacks upon the English in Acadia and Newfoundland, and in 1693, brought to Canada troops from France. In 1693, the forts at Hudson Bay were captured by an English squadron; but, in the following year, Iberville retook them. He captured the fort at Pemaquid, Me., in 1696; and again captured (1697) the Hudson Bay forts from the English. Peace being restored by the treaty of Ryswick (April, 1697), Iberville now turned his attention to the Mississippi River; and in October, 1698, embarked with two ships from Rochefort, France, to find the mouth of the river ó a discovery which he made on March 2 following. He established a colony at Biloxi, which was removed, early in 1702, to the site of the present Mobile. Iberville, leaving this enterprise in charge of his brother Bienville, returned to France; but his health was now so broken that he could no longer carry on his Mississippi projects. In 1706, he commanded an expedition sent to drive out the English from the West Indies, and burned the town of St. Christopher. On July 9 of that year, Iberville died at Havana. In 1693 he had married Marie Pollet; their only child died in early infancy. Iberville was a man of energy and courage, and of remarkable executive ability. In 1701, he laid before [Page 305] the French government a plan for the reduction of New York and Boston, which is given in N.Y. Colon. Docs., vol. ix., pp. 729-735. See frequent references in that volume to his achievements; also Winsorís Miss. Basin, pp. 2-63.
The Carleston Island of the text refers to Charlton, an island in James Bay. The capture of an English vessel here related is also mentioned by Denonville in one of his reports (N.Y. Colon. Docs., vol. ix., p. 344).
 (p. 289). ó The island of St. Pierre, 17 miles south of Newfoundland, was early settled by fishermen who plied their trade on the Great Banks. Talon took possession of it in 1670, but it was seized by the English in 1690; and, although afterward restored to France, it was several times attacked by English ships, and the settlements plundered and burned, in subsequent wars between the two nations. It is now, with the neighboring Miquelon Islands, a French colony. St. Pierre is strongly fortified, and is the seat of a considerable amount of trade.
Louis FranÁois Michel le Tellier, marquis de Louvois, was the French minister of war from January, 1602 to July, 1691.
 (p. 269). ó Regarding the use of masks among various aboriginal tribes, see Daliís paper on ìMasks and Labrets,î in U. S. Bur. Ethnol Rep., 1881-82, pp. 67-203. He cites (pp. 144, 145) an explanation by L. H. Morgan of the meaning of the masks used by the Iroquois, which is peculiar to them among North American tribes. According to him, the Iroquois have, even at the present time, a superstitious belief in a race of demons whom they call ìFalse-faces,î and regard with fear and horror. Upon this belief was founded a secret society called the ìFalse-face band,î the members of which wear hideous masks (one of which is pictured ut supra, p. 169). This organization was formed to propitiate the above-named demons, and thus to arrest pestilence and disease, which the demons caused; and in course of time its members acquired a reputation for ability to cure or avert disease. Morgan describes the ceremonies which they practiced for that purpose. BrÈbeuf apparently refers to this society, in vol. x., p. 207. Cf. De Cost Smithís ìWitchcraft and Demonism of the Modern Iroquois,î Journ. Amer. Folk-Lore, vol. i., pp. 187-193.
 (p. 289). ó La Salleís death (in March, 1687) was not known by any person save the few survivors of his party who escaped to France, where they did not arrive until October, 1688. ó See Parkmanís La Salle, pp. 410-437,
 (p. 291). ó Among much material on the subject of stone implements, and especially those used in the Mississippi Valley, may [Page 306] be cited the following papers: Rauís ìDeposit of Agricultural Flint Implements in Southern Illinois,î Smithsonian Rep., 1868, pp. 401-407; his ìNorth American Stone Implements,î Id., 1872, pp. 395-408; various papers, Id., 1874, pp. 361-386. and Id., 1877, pp. 239-277. Peabody Museum Rep., 1875, pp. 22-27; Id., 1878, pp. 329-333; Id, 1880, pp. 506-520; Id.., 1886, pp. 449-462. Fowkeís ìImplements and their Manufacture,î U.S. Bur. Ethnol. Rep., 1891-92,pp. 57-184.
 (p. 291). ó Marcasite: ìas used by the early mineralogists, the crystallized forms of iron pyrites; frequently used for personal decoration in the eighteenth centuryî (Century Dict.). [Page 307]
The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents
Travels and Explorations
of the Jesuit Missionaries
in New France
THE ORIGINAL FRENCH, LATIN, AND ITALIAN TEXTS, WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS AND NOTES; ILLUSTRATED BY
PORTRAITS, MAPS, AND FACSIMILES
Reuben Gold Thwaites
Secretary of the State historical Society of Wisconsin
COMPUTERIZED TRANSCRIPTION BY
Ottawas, Lower Canada, Iroquois,
CLEVELAND: The Burrows Brothers
Company, PUBLISHERS, M DCCCC
THE JESUIT RELATIONS
The edition consists of seven hundred and fifty sets
The Burrows Brothers Co.
(Scan of Page to be Inserted)
Portrait of Jean-Baptiste de Saint-Vallier, second bishop of Quebec.
Photoengraving from original oil painting in the Cardinalís Palace, Quebec
The Burrows Company
all rights reserved
The Imperial Press, Cleveland
Reuben Gold Thwaites
| Finlow Alexander
| Percy Favor Bicknell
| William Frederic Giese
| Crawford Lindsay
| William Price
| Hiram Allen Sober
Emma Helen Blair
Victor Hugo Paltsits
CONTENTS OF VOL. LXIV.
Preface To Volume LXIV
Lettre ecrite ý M. le Gouverneur GÈnÈral de la [nouvelle] france Septentrionale. tienne Carheil; [Mackinac, 1689]
Relation de la defaite des Anglois a Quebec. Michel Germain De Couvert; [Quebec, October, 1690]
Lettre Ècrite ý Mr. le Comte de Frontenac Gouverneur et Lieutenant GÈnÈral pour le Roi en Canada. Jacques Bruyas; au Sault prËs MontrÈal, April 5, 1691
Lettre a Quelques Missionnaires du Canada. Pierre Millet; Onneiŏt, July 6, 1691
Memoire Pour les Iroquois Chrestiens du saut en Canada. Anonymous; February, 1692
Lettre au R. P. Jean ChauchetiËre; ý Limoges. Claude ChauchetiËre; Villemarie, August 7, 1694
Lettre au P. Jacques Jouheneau, ý Bordeaux. Claude ChauchetiËre; Villemarie, September 20, 1694 [Page 8]
Lettre au R. P. Jacques Bruyas, SupÈrieur de la Miffion, en forme de Journal de la Misfion de líImmaculee Conception de N. D. aux Ilinois. Jacques Gravier; [Peoria,] February 15, 1694
Lettre ý un PËre Missionnaire de Chine. Jean de Lamberville; Paris, January 23, 1695
Pis G. Marest iter et missio in sinum Hudsonium in ora septentrionali Canadasean. 1694. Epistola ad R. P. Thyrsum Gonzales, PrÊpositum Generalem Societatis Jesu, RomaÊ. Gabriel Marest; Quebec, October, 1695
Bibliographical Data; Volume LXIV
[INSERT GRAPHIC HERE]
ILLUSTRATIONS TO VOL. LXIV.
Portrait of Jean-Baptiste de Saint-Vallier, second bishop of Quebec. Photoengraving from original oil painting in the Cardinalís Palace, Quebec
Facsimile of handwriting of P. J. M. Chaumonot, S. J.; selected from his ìPriËre en temps de guerre,î sent in the form of a letter to Jacques Bruyas, S. J.; original in the archives of St. Maryís College, Montreal. Probable date, 1683
View of old Jesuit college and church upon the Champs de Mars, Montreal, built in 1692-94, burned in 1803.
Plan indicating exact site of old Jesuit buildings in Montreal, relative to the present City Hall and Court House. [Page 10]
PREFACE TO VOL. LXIV
Following is a synopsis of the documents contained in this volume:
CLIX. tienne Carheil writes to the governor (now Frontenac) from Mackinac, to warn him of the dissatisfaction prevalent among the Ottawas, who are inclined to form an alliance with the Iroquois. Carheil vigorously denounces the inaction and timidity of recent French policy toward the Iroquois, and says that there is nothing left for the Algonkins save to secure peace as best they can, for the French no longer protect them. The Hurons at Mackinac are really taking the same course as the Ottawas, but are more politic and crafty in their methods. If these tribes are allowed to make peace for themselves, the Iroquois and the Dutch will monopolize the fur trade, to the exclusion of Canada. Carheil warns the governor that he cannot count upon the aid of the upper tribes, if he shall decide to make war upon the Iroquois. They have released the prisoners from that nation, and have forcibly indicated their contempt for the French alliance; their reasons for this are given at length. They reproach the French with weakness and cowardice, and taunt them with having accomplished so little in the Seneca campaigns. They regard the French alliance as also injurious to their trade, in which they get [Page 11] more advantage from the English. Carheil, after summarizing the case, adds: ìFrom this it will be seen that our savages are much more enlightened than one thinks; and that it is difficult to conceal from their penetration anything in the course of affairs that may injure or serve their interests.î He urges, accordingly, vigorous measures by the governor against either the Iroquois or their inciters, the Dutch.
CLX. Michel Germain de Couvert writes to a friend an account of the English expedition of 1690 against Quebec. The enemy, on October 16, summon the city to surrender, on an hourís notice; but Frontenac refers them, for answer, to his cannon. They inflict a heavy cannonade upon the town, but with only slight damage; and make two raids upon neighboring settlements. Within ten days from their arrival, they restore the French prisoners, and depart for Boston. The English sustain severe losses, which are mentioned in detail. Many interesting particulars of the siege are recounted. The success of the French is ascribed to the intercession of the Virgin Mary, which kindles anew the fervor of her votaries. The Lorette colony sends its warriors to repel the English; a false rumor that the enemy is approaching causes the other Hurons to take immediate flight to the woods, whither the missionaries accompany them. The land expedition undertaken, at the same time, by the English against Montreal is also compelled by sickness to retrace its route, ó ìa second stroke from the hand of our good God to overthrow the designs of our enemies upon poor Canada.î [Page 12]
CLXI. Bruyas also writes (April 5, 1691) to Frontenac, regarding matters at Sault St. Louis. An Iroquois and Dutch army have captured some Sault Indians, but have given these freedom. Three Mohawk chiefs then go to the Sault, claiming to desire peace. Bruyas relates the proceedings of a council held there between these deputies and the Christian Indians. He thinks that the Mohawks really wish peace, and hastens to lay the whole matter before the governor, for his information and guidance. The Dutch have promised to send back certain French prisoners, now held at Albany.
CLXII. Pierre Milet relates, in a letter to some of his Jesuit brethren, his capture by the Onondagas in 1689, and his experiences among the Oneidas, during the succeeding two years. He is seized by the former, while on their way to commit the terrible massacre at Lachine. They present him to the Oneidas, among whom are some influential Christian savages, who cause his adoption into a family where the chieftainship is hereditary; he thus becomes virtually a chief of the tribe. The English are greatly displeased thereat, and make repeated efforts to induce the Oneidas to surrender Milet to them; but the savages refuse to do so, and Milet is thus able to exert among them a strong influence for French interests, against the English. He is allowed liberty to live as he chooses, but within the Oneida village.
CLXIII. This is a sketch of a memorial to be sent to Count de Pontchartrain, recounting the services rendered to the French in Canada by the Christian Iroquois at Sault St. Louis. During the late war, these Indians did excellent service as scouts, and brought in many prisoners. They have refused to [Page 13] abandon their religion, for which they have suffered torture and even death, remaining constant to the last breath. Nearly half of their warriors have perished while fighting in aid of the French; the widows and orphans of these men are in great poverty, and the king is requested to extend them aid.
CLXIV. Claude ChauchetiËre writes to his brother Jean (August 7, 1694) an account of affairs in Canada at that time. He describes some recent eclipses, and compares their appearance in Canada with that in France. Iberville, who has gone to Hudson Bay to take Port Nelson from the English, wished ChauchetiËre to go with him; but Silvy has been sent instead.
A bitter ecclesiastical war is going on between Bishop St. Vallier and the Jesuits and RÈcollets. The bishop has adopted arbitrary measures in various matters; he also inveighs against CalliËres, governor of Montreal, who has always been one of ChauchetiËreís penitents, and even threatens the latter with interdict. The Father relates various instances of his combats with St. Vallier over ecclesiastical affairs.
The Sault Christians, especially those belonging to ìCatherineís band,î continue in Christian fervor and practice. The women have given up gambling; and confraternities are being formed, especially among the young girls. The pious deaths of two Iroquois women, captured and burned by their pagan tribesmen, are recounted in detail. The writer thinks that piety like theirs would prevail among the savages, were it not for the intemperance that has become so general among them; ìand our [Page 14] bishop, who is so zealous, has not yet ventured to open his mouth to banish drunkenness from his diocese.î The missionaries wish that they could take their beloved savages far away from the French, to remove them from temptations to vice.
ChauchetiËre mentions the ecclesiastical relations between the Sulpitians and the Jesuits; and the good work which Milet is doing in his captivity at Oneida. He then describes the comfort and prosperity that Canada now enjoys. Agriculture is successfully pursued; and the Sulpitians have a vineyard of French grapes, which is now producing fruit. Other kinds of fruit are enumerated as growing and ripening at Montreal; and this year is seen, for the first time, a white lily, which grows in the Jesuit garden.
The Sulpitians have recently dedicated their church at Montreal. ChauchiËre sends his brother some curiosities from the New World ó a piece of bread made by an Illinois savage from wild fruit, and a specimen of buffaloís fur. The summer has been cold and rainy this year; and, for the first time in the history of Montreal, the melon crop is a failure. The Jesuit college there, in which ChauchiËre teaches mathematics, may have to be given up, for lack of funds to maintain it. Various items of information about himself and others are given; and a postscript pathetically says, ìI must preach, but I have no sermons.î
CLXV. ChauchiËre writes (September 20, 1694) to a friend in Bordeaux. The Cayugas and Senecas are asking for peace, but Frontenac haughtily declines their proposals, and gives them thirty days wherein to accede to his terms. Meanwhile, the other Iroquois tribes are intriguing with the English at [Page 15] Albany. The missionaries, however, find much consolation in the piety and faith of the Sault Christians. The martyrdom of these, described in the preceding document, is again told here, briefly. Two Jesuits have come out this year; one of these is Pinet, who at once goes to the Western missions. ChauchiËre mentions various matters of interest, ó the capture of a ship, with several priests on board, who are sent back to France; the French expedition to Hudson Bay; his class at Montreal in mathematics and navigation; his other occupations; the difficulties with the bishop, etc.
CLXVI. This is Jacques Gravierís report (dated February 15, 1694) to his superior at Quebec, Bruyas, of the mission among the Illinois tribes. Returning to them from the Miamis, in April, 1693, Gravier dedicates his new chapel at the French fort near Peoria. The savages residing at this place send, in May, envoys to secure an alliance with the Missouri and Osage tribes. Gravier observes among the Peorias great indifference to his instruction, and learns that the leading elders are opposed to the faith; and that, while they receive him in friendly manner, ìin order to save appearances,î they try to prevent their people from going to the chapel for prayer and instruction, ìuntil the corn was ripe, and the harvest over.î Gravier also encounters an obstacle in the superstitious dread of baptism as causing death. On June 10, he gives a feast, at which he rebukes the people for their neglect of religion, and warns them of their danger. As most of the adults persist in their infidelity, the Father devotes himself to the instruction of the children. He recounts the conversion of a young widow who, [Page 16] in the midst of corruption, seems to be saintly by nature.
About June 20, the envoys sent to the Sioux tribes return, with deputies from those tribes. Gravier longs for aid in his mission, that he may visit these new tribes and instruct them. He relates some instances of the opposition made to his labors by the Peoria chief, who is a leading medicine-man, and by others of that craft. The Kaskaskia chief has married his daughter to a French trader; through the influence of the latter, he becomes a convert to Christianity, and openly professes his faith. An epidemic of disease appears in the village, ìafter they began to eat new corn, squashes, watermelons, and other half-ripe fruits.î Gravier tries to baptize the sick, especially the children, but is often repulsed; and many even blame him and his preaching for the disease. He describes certain of the superstitious observances that he has seen among these savages. During the late summer, he visits the people in their cornfields outside the village, and, on September 26, nearly all the inhabitants depart to their winter quarters. He is able, although with great difficulty, to administer some baptisms among these people before their departure; among them is the daughter of the new Peoria chief.
Gravier relates the circumstances attending the marriage of Ako, the French trader, with the daughter of the Kaskaskia chief. At first she refuses to marry, desiring to live only for God. Her father drives her from his cabin, and blames Gravier for her disobedience. All the people are ordered to stay away from the chapel, but some refuse to obey. The French commandant not only refuses to support [Page 17] the Father, but reviles and slanders him. ìGod granted me,î he says, ìthe grace to bear all these humiliations in a quite tranquil state of mind, it seems to me.î Finally, the girl consents to marry Ako, and her father makes an abject apology to Gravier. The husband, although a dissolute man, is thoroughly converted by his Indian wifeís piety. This girl, although only seventeen years old, does wonders as a missionary helper, ó instructing, rebuking, or pleading, as the case may require.
Gravier accomplished much for the instruction of his flock by a series of pictures illustrating the Bible, in which task Marie aids him greatly, making his explanations even more intelligible to their minds than he can. The Father also gives instruction in the catechism; his cabin is so crowded that people cannot stir, and ìthe most arrogant become like children,î at this exercise. ìIt is true that the hope of getting a red bead, which is a fruit of the size of a small bean, which has been sent to us from Martinique and other islands (Oh, that I had a bushel of them!), or a needle, a medal, a cross, or a rosary (especially if it be red), a small knife, or other curious object, given as a reward, incites the children to answer well; but they must answer very well for several days, to obtain either the rosary, the red bead, or a cross, and for the other articles in proportion.î By March, Gravier finds it necessary to enlarge the chapel, because so many come to it. He is greatly encouraged by the docility of these people, and the blessings that follow his labors among them. He had baptized 206 persons during the months of April to November, inclusive, in 1693. The influence of the converted chief and his family is a [Page 18] valuable aid to the missionaryís efforts; ìor rather they do all, and I do nothing, or almost nothing.î He requests more missionaries from France for this field.
CLXVII. Jean de Lamberville, now in Paris, writes (January 23, 1695) to a missionary friend in China. He gives an outline of affairs connected with the Iroquois during the last ten years. He mentions his attempts to secure peace between those savages and the French, and the perfidious actions of Denonville toward both himself and the Iroquois; also the captivity and release of Milet.
Lamberville is in great danger, in consequence of Denonvilleís treachery toward the Iroquois; and his English friends at Albany offer him a horse and escort to go to them for refuge, which he declines. The Iroquois, learning of French treachery, notify Lamberville to leave their country; he then goes to Fort Frontenac, to serve as chaplain. An epidemic of scurvy breaking out among the garrison, the missionary falls ill with it, and is at the point of death. A French officer removes him to Montreal, ó dragged over snow and ice in the depth of winter, during a weekís journey, ó where the Sulpitians take care of him. His health being partially restored, he returns to France.
Before leaving Canada, Lamberville goes to meet an Iroquois army who have come to attack Montreal, in order to make peace with them, if possible. He secures a truce; but, two months later, Iroquois envoys on their way to Montreal are treacherously assassinated by Hurons, and war again rages. The Iroquois now declare that the French need not hope [Page 19] for peace with them until they also secure it with the English.
CLXVIII. Gabriel Marest sends to the father-general an account (dated October, 1695) of his recent expedition to Hudson Bay, whither he goes with Ibervilleís expedition. Marest describes the capture of the fort; the sickness which prevails among the French during the winter, and his labors in their behalf; the aspect of that far Northern region, and the leading characteristics of its savage inhabitants. Marest uses what little leisure he can secure in learning the language of these people, and does what he can for their conversion.
R. G. T.
Madison, Wis., February, 1900. [Page 20]
Documents of 1689-90
CLIX. ó Lettre ecrite ëý M. le Gouverneur GÈnÈral de la [nouvelle] france Septentrionale. tienne Carheil; [Mackinac, 1689]
CLX. ó Relation de la defaite des Anglois a Quebec. Michel Germain DeCouvert; [Quebec, Octobre, 1690]
SOURCES: Doc. CLIX. we obtain from an apograph in the Legislative Archives of Quebec. Doc. CLX. is from an incomplete MS. (possibly a contemporary apograph) in the Archives Nationales, at Paris. [Page 21]
Letter written by Reverend Father Carheil,
Missionary of the Society of Jesus, to
Monsieur the Governor-General
of Northern new france.
I amvery sorry to see myself compelled to write you this letter, to inform you that we are at last reduced to the condition to which I have always believed that the hope of peace would reduce us. I have never doubted that peace was impossible ó nor have all those who, from the experience of a long residence among them, know the dispositions of the Iroquois, and especially of the onnontaguÈ, the most treacherous of all. Notwithstanding the difficulty that we had up to the time designated for the assembly, in sustaining the minds of our poor savages amid the continual displeasure caused them by the negotiations for a peace, ó which they knew to be only begged for, by dint of attentions, of honors, and of presents; and which, consequently, were but so many public proofs of our weakness, ó we were, nevertheless, fortunate enough to maintain them in their duty until that time. After that it was for those who Conducted those negotiations to demonstrate by performance the truth of what they had promised; and to let our tribes see the enemy who, as they supposed, had become docile and submissive to their Will. But alas! at the time that this should have been done, what had they obtained? Nothing but houses burned, french killed or captured, scalps [Page 23] taken, and bodies ripped open; but a universal destruction of all la chine ó which should, nevertheless, have been the best guarded on all Sides; and, finally, but universal consternation throughout the whole of Montreal. This is not the success promised them by embassies and peace Conferences, but it is that which they Feared, and the dread whereof would constitute all their trouble. What do we wish them to think now; what do we wish them to do? When, as they say, they see Onnontio deceived and vanquished up to the present by the enemy, what hope can they still retain of his protection when they see naught but weakness and impotence? Can one suppose that, after their departure from Montreal, ó where they had just seen the Iroquois triumph throughout the whole Campaign, during which he was allowed to do as he pleased, they could take any other action than that which compelled us to carry on war to overawe him? They then undertook to make peace themselves, through their own negotiations with the enemy, who had taken away many of their people, whom they were holding as Captives. Our savages were prevented from doing so, and were induced to resolve upon carrying on war with us. But, instead of continuing it, as soon as the first decision was taken it was Changed, I know not how, into negotiations for peace; that gave the enemy both time and means to vanquish not only them, As formerly, but also ourselves. They now see themselves, by this Conduct of pure inaction, reduced once more to the necessity of again taking the same step, and of doing, without Onnontio's participation, what they would have desired him to do. [Page 25]
Therefore, in their Council held since their return from Montreal, they have resolved by unanimous Consent to regain the Friendship and alliance of our enemy, by means of an Embassy which they are sending to the sonnontouans, And afterward to the other nations, to obtain peace.
They will have no difficulty, because it will separate them from us; because it will take away our greatest strength from us, to give it to the enemy; and because the ambassadors are their own prisoners, whom La Petite Racine, accompanied by some other outaouas, is to deliver into the hands of the Iroquois. Moreover, it is no longer a hidden design that they wish to conceal from our knowledge, and which we have secretly learned from confidential sources: but it is a matter of public notoriety, and one which they have chosen to tell us by a solemn declaration in full Council.
Although the huron be concerned in it perhaps even more than is the Outaouais, nevertheless, as he is always more politic than the others in keeping on good terms with us, he did not speak with so much bitterness and arrogance as did the Outaouas. He contented himself with saying that he was too much of a child to interfere in an undertaking of that nature, or to seek to raise any opposition to it; that he left his brothers to act, as they thought that they had more sense than he regarding that matter; that it was for them to be answerable for the result, and not for him, who had much less penetration than they. I have no doubt that, in the execution of the project, he will do much more than he says; but it is, after all, %he uncertainty of some change of fortune which may happen in our favor on learning of other [Page 27] resolutions, that compels him still to employ this reserve, so that he may thereby have some hold upon us.
Such, Monseigneur, is the state of affairs in this quarter, ó that is to say, at the last extremity which they can reach. For the result of that embassy can only be to bring at once both the Iroquois and the fleming ó the Iroquois as the master in war; the fleming as the master in trade and in commerce; and both as sovereigns of all these nations, to our exclusion. This is infallible, and will happen with such diligence and promptness that I know not whether you will have time to forestall its execution. They have hastened to conclude the embassy, through fear that, after the defeat of the french at Montreal, and in despair of ever obtaining a firm and lasting peace by means of negotiations, it might be decided once for all to make war; and that afterward an order might come from you to do so. This must no longer be thought of, because it is too late. It should have been done while they were still at Montreal, immediately after the blow struck by the enemy. They then desired it and all would have been found ready for it; but at present they must not be relied upon for the war, since the departure of their ambassadors, which compels them to remain quiet to await their return and the result of their negotiations.
All the Ceremonial honors paid to the prisoners on the eve of their dismissal, by the famous calumet dance, which is a public Token of alliance, shows us but too clearly in what manner And how firmly they will be united against us. But what makes this still more evident is that, at the very moment when they were giving these public proofs of esteem to the prisoners whom they were about to send away, they [Page 29] on the Other hand expressed the contempt they felt for our alliance and for your protection. When we strongly opposed their sending the prisoners away, and represented to them the order given us by Onnontio in his last commands, ó to make them keep their prisoners quiet on their mats, until he made known to them his last wishes with regard to their captives, ó they nevertheless persisted in the agreement made between them; and to show us that they were not entering upon that undertaking without having considerable cause therefor, they wished to give us their reasons publicly.
These may all be reduced to one prime reason, which is, that Onnontio's protection ó on which they had based all their hopes of being delivered from their enemies ó was not what they had wrongly imagined it to be; that hitherto they had always thought that the frenchman was warlike through numbers, through Courage, and through the number and diversity of the implements of war that he could make. Experience had shown them, however, that he was much less so than the Iroquois: and they were no longer surprised that he had remained so long without doing anything for their defense, since it was the knowledge of his own weakness that hindered him. After seeing the cowardly manner in which he had allowed himself to be defeated on this last occasion at Montreal, it was evident to them that they could no longer expect anything from his protection; not only was it useless to them owing to his powerlessness, but it had even become injurious to them, because of the difficulties in which it had inopportunely placed them, through his seeking to save himself. [Page 31]
In the first place, then, Onnontioís powerlessness had been manifest at the very first attack upon Sonnontouans, wherein the unexpected and vigorous resistance of the enemy surprised him and he did not afterward dare to pursue him, ó contenting himself with warring against the corn and the bark houses, that did not offer resistance like the foe. Since then, he had never been able, nor had he ventured, to do anything beyond continual negotiations to beg for peace, rendered necessary by his own powerlessness, and accompanied by humiliations of all kinds, which but too clearly manifested his weakness. Moreover, very far from preparing to go to attack the enemy again in his own country, he did not even venture to defend himself when he was attacked on all sides; but in spite of all appearances, and even of evidence and experience, to the contrary, he persisted in waiting for peace, for fear that he might be compelled to fight, preferring to endure all rather than again to have recourse to Battle. Far from compelling the foe to surrender his prisoners, which was the object of the war, he had himself, on the Contrary, been compelled to surrender those whom he had seized solely through treachery; and even to bring back from france those who had been sent thither, ó and this when the enemy was very far from thinking of sending back his own, but burned them publicly on the highways and in all the villages. In the last descent of the enemy upon Montreal, instead of opposing army to army, and standing his ground, and giving battle, when he had heard of his approach before his arrival he shut himself up in his forts, ó leaving the country open to the foe to burn and ravage, which he did. He did not seem to know [Page 33] that he should go out to reconnoiter, ó or, at least, he did not dare to do so, lest he might expose himself to the danger of being the first discovered. From all these evident proofs, it was easy to see that the frenchman is so little in a position to protect them that he cannot even defend himself, ó so much so, that he had been compelled to have recourse to the protection of the English, and to beg them, through an Ambassador sent expressly for the purpose to Orange, to check the continual incursions of the Iroquois.
But what most displeases them is, that the alliance of the frenchman, besides being useless to them through his powerlessness, is also injurious to them, both for commerce and for war. It is so in Commerce, because it takes away from them, against their will, the trade of the english, which was incomparably more advantageous to them, in order to keep them bound to Onnontioís. This is contrary to all the laws of protection, which consist in maintaining in the liberty of their trade Those whom one protects; for otherwise it is no longer a protection, but a veritable usurpation. The french alliance also injures them in war ó because, from its commencement, the whole conduct of the frenchman toward them has consisted in doing nothing on his side against the enemy, and only in expecting them, on their side, to do everything. Thus, if they did not march against the enemy to stop him at Catarokouy, they should strike some telling blows, in order that he might give satisfaction by presents, and weep for the dead; that they should make prisoners, in order that he might free them from their bonds, and send them back to the foes of these tribes. Such had been [Page 35] his whole Conduct up to the present ó a Conduct full of duplicity, since evidently it tended solely to induce them to bear the whole brunt of the war, while he completely extricated himself by the peace that he tried to make with that object. They said that, if he had no other protection to give them than a peace of that nature, they preferred to protect themselves, and to go to negotiate their peace by their own acts, rather than let themselves be abandoned by france to the certain vengeance of their enemy. They did not see why onnontio sent back his captives, and would not let them send back theirs, or what protection he gave them in doing this; but, on examining closely, they found nothing that was not entirely opposed to protection, ó nothing but a wish to induce them to be the victims of those to whom they themselves had not restored their Captives. In all the Attacks that he had compelled them to make upon the Iroquois, while he remained motionless and inactive, it was rather they who protected him than he who protected them. After all this, they were surprised that, at their last interview in Montreal, he had threatened to abandon them, ó As if he had not long done so; and as if his whole conduct had not been a tacit and secret abandonment of all their interests, which could in no wise agree with the negotiations for peace that he would continually carry on.
Such, Monseigneur, are all the reasons that they gave us, to Convince us of the necessity in which they were placed of sending that Embassy to Sonnontouans. From this it will be seen that our savages are much more enlightened than one thinks; and that it is difficult to conceal from their penetration [Page 37] anything in the course of affairs that may injure or serve their interests. The respect that I owe to the rule of all persons to whom God has given the power of government over us would have made me scruple to communicate to you, as freely as I have done, sentiments so unfavorable as these, had I not believed that the public welfare demanded that you should know them, just as they exist among the savages. I do so in order that you may thereby judge of the disposition of their minds, of what they are capable of doing against us in favor of our enemy, and of the remedy to be applied. It is certain that, if the Iroquois be not checked by the extent of the operations against him ëon your side down below, or of those against the flemings, who originate his movements, he will not fail to come here to make himself master of everything. It is sufficient for us that you should know it, to rely thereafter upon the enlightenment of your wisdom; and, in spite of the danger in which we are placed, to live in entire confidence, waiting to see in what manner divine providence shall please to dispose of us.
I remain with true
And profound respect,
Your very humble and very
TIENNE CARHEIL, religious
of the Society of Jesus.
[Endorsed: ìReceived by Monsieur the Count de frontenac, At Quebec, September 17, 1690î] [Page 39]
Account of the defeat of the English at Quebec.
TheEnglish of Baston, after having taken port royal and all of Acadia, and after having pillaged Isle PercÈe in the manner that you have evidently already learned, finally came in the month of October by way of the river St. Lawrence, with a fleet of 30 Ships, to take Quebec. They took possession at the outset, of 3 of our barks, which they encountered in the river. They appeared in the roadstead of Quebec on the 16th of October. On the same day, they summoned Monsieur the governor in writing to give them all the provisions and military supplies, to raze all the forts, and to surrender to them at discretion both the property and persons of the habitans, ó adding that, when this was done, they would talk of an accommodation; furthermore, they would give only one hour for deliberation upon this. They were answered, on the instant, that we expected that God would not favor traitors to religion and to their legitimate King; and that the mouths of our Cannon and our muskets would answer their letter. On the 18th, toward evening, they made a descent upon the north shore, between Beauport and Quebec, to the number of 1,500 men, with 5 pieces of cannon carrying balls of 6 or 8 livres. In this raid they killed 4 frenchmen and wounded 7. They remained 3 days encamped on the land, where they burned 6 or 7 farmsteads, Carried off some cattle, killed 2 frenchmen, And wounded 13 in various combats [Page 41] that were fought. On the 21st, they abandoned their camp, and regained their Ships under cover of night. From the 18th to the moth, they cannonaded Quebec terribly, both the upper and lower Towns; they discharged I, 500 cannon-shots, which caused 15 or 20 Èscus worth of damage in Quebec, and killed a child between the great Church and our college, but did no other harm. On the 23rd, they retired from before Quebec, and attempted to make a descent upon the isle of Orleans, but without success. On the 2 5th, being by that time 5 or 6 leagues from Quebec, they restored our french people ó not only those whom they had seized in our barks upon the river, but others, whom they had brought from port roial to Baston, and whom they had afterward taken from the prison of Baston, to place them upon the fleet and to make use of them in the expedition against Quebec. Upon restoring our prisoners, they received theirs, after which they resumed their way to Baston. They said that they would return in the spring; and we told them that we would have the honor of seeing them before that time.
That was all the English accomplished at Quebec. Now see what was done to them. 1. Nearly 100 of their men were killed; and, besides, a very great number of Them were wounded when they were making their raid, and afterward when they were encamped on land. 2. Our Cannon, which carried balls of 18 [livres], greatly damaged their 4 large Ships which attacked Quebec. The Admiralís ship lost its flag, at the outset, and had its mainmast cut in two, the mizzenmast broken, its cabin pierced, and its stern-gallery shattered. It sprang several leaks, and was constrained to withdraw precipitately [Page 43] with the 3 large Ships, which were not less injured than it was, in order to get out of range of our cannon ó which would have sunk all 4 of them, if they had waited for another of its volleys. 4 [i.e., 3], We forced the enemy to leave us a cable and an anchor worth a thousand Èscus (it was the great cable and the heavy anchor of The Admiral) ó and, besides, 3 Shallops; the five Pieces of artillery used in their descent, mounted Upon their gun-carriages; a quantity of bullets; a standard, a drum, and several dozen heavy muskets.
The frenchmen who were prisoners in the English Ships said that our cannon had killed a very great number of our Enemies, both above and between the bridges; and that, besides these, a great many were also disabled. They added that the commander of this fleet, who had depended upon what our prisoners from Baston had told him about the forces at Quebec, had complained to them that he had been deceived, and that the bullets of Quebec were too heavy ó adding that he had even declared that he would take one of them to Baston, to exculpate himself. Those of our french who had been taken from the prison of Baston to be placed upon the English fleet, and whom the general frequently consulted upon the way about various matters relating to the execution of his enterprise, reported that at Baston the capture of Quebec was believed to be certain. So sure were they that, before setting out on the expedition, the officers of the fleet and others interested had had more than twenty lawsuits settled in regular form on the subject of the rich booty that would be obtained at Quebec, and especially to decide to whom should belong the six silver Chandeliers of [Page 45] the Jesuit Church. These same frenchmen have asserted that the intention of these heretics Was to r drive from Canada the Ecclesiastics and the Nuns, to take the latter to Baston, and to send the former back to france; but, as for the Jesuits, they were to cut off the ears of all these, to make chaplets for the bandoleers of the soldiers, and then break their heads.
From the time when the English appeared before Quebec until their departure, The banner of Our Lady was continually displayed from the top of the steeple of the great Church; it was under this sacred flag that our poor habitants fought and Conquered. And, in memory of the so evident and extraordinary protection of God obtained through the intercession of Our Lady, the name of Notre Dame de la Victoire will be given to a Church which was begun some years ago, and which is to be completed, in the middle of the lower Town. Besides this, a great festival will be held every year, with a Solemn procession, on the 4th sunday of October.
At the same time when the English attacked Quebec by way of the river, an army of 2,000 savages named Loups, and of 4,000 English, were to come by land to fall upon Monreal. Dissension arose among them, at the time when they were to begin the march. A malady which was prevalent among the English having communicated itself to the Loups, and some of them having died, The Loups laid the blame upon the English, and even plundered them. After that, each army withdrew to its own quarter. Therein is seen, in the opinion of the whole country, a second blow from the hand of our good God to overthrow the designs of our enemies upon poor Canada. [Page 47]
Both the Living and the Dead have profited by the expedition of the English. It made some Conversions in Quebec, and in a happy manner, which evidently would not have been made there so soon; and the many miracles that our good God has wrought in favor of his poor people (for it is thus that they are commonly mentioned here) have wonderfully rekindled, everywhere, fervor toward the most blessed Virgin, Under whose protection we have fought and conquered. It is with extreme consolation that we see coming here, from all parts, our poor habitans upon a pilgrimage to our little chapel of Our Lady of Lorette, ó some to fulfill vows made in her honor, others to renew their profession of being at her service all their lives, and both to supplicate her to solicit Our Lord for their complete conversion. As for the dead, many masses have everywhere been caused to be said, both at Quebec and at Monreal, for the Souls in purgatory, with the idea that those who should be delivered from that place would come to our help in our need, ó as has sometimes happened in other countries, upon similar occasions. It was father Chaumonnot, one of our oldest missionaries, who introduced this work of piety; it was extremely well received by all the people. Monseigneur our Bishop authorized it by his approbation and by his exhortations; and our fervent Ecclesiastics have done wonders.
During the siege of Quebec, our Fathers and brethren distributed themselves in the upper and lower towns, among the guards and the other sentinels, for the consolation of our Combatants. The Reverend Father Superior remained at the College, with some of the oldest among Our fathers and [Page 49] brethren; they were resolved to await our Enemies there, and, when They should arrive, to go into the Church, and there receive the death-blow at the foot of the great Altar.
As for us others, the missionaries of Lorette, who were not so nearly exposed to the danger, we had left the place, to sleep 2 nights in the woods with our huron savages. The day when the English made their descent, our huron warriors were with the habitans of beauport and beauprÈ, to receive the enemy when they should set foot on land. These habitans, who numbered only zoo, at first fired with our savages three vigorous volleys of musketry upon the English, ó after which, he who commanded our people, seeing that the excessive number of the Enemy was about to overwhelm us, ordered his people to fall back and to fight in the savage manner. Then 2 of our hurons took fright and came at full speed to tell us that all was lost, and that all the french were dead; that they had seen among the English 200 Loups (they were Englishmen, disguised as savages); and that these Loups would infallibly proceed to desolate everything with hatchet and fire. This news was brought to us about 10 oíclock in the evening. Upon the instant, all our hurons began to tie up their baggage, and say that, for their part, they were going away into the woods. We could not detain them until morning, and we decided to follow them into the woods to a quarter of a league from our Village, carrying with us what was most sacred in our little chapel. We then recalled to mind the flight of Our Lord into Egypt. Our other huron warriors, who had been more steadfast, came, 2 days later, to find and to reassure us somewhat, ó After [Page 51] which we returned, all together, to the Village. We have Just learned that the Admiralís ship of the English fleet ran aground in the river, not being able to hold out longer against the apertures that the cannon of Quebec had made in it.
The fleet of the enemy was still only 6 or 7 leagues from Quebec, when it was learned that our merchant Ships were in the river. Some canoes were sent along the shore to meet and warn them. The Glorieux, The St. Xavier, and a frigate entered the saguenai river at 25 or 30 leagues from Quebec on the North shore, to wait until the English had passed. It is said that our 3 Ships, going out from the saguenai, found themselves at the mouth of this river at the same time that the English were nearly past it; and we wonder that they were not captured by the Enemy. This event is attributed to St. Anne and to St. francis Xavier, to whom a vow had been addressed expressly for the safe arrival of our ships.
You see, my dear father, that here is a miraculous country; and how could one therein not find God, who makes himself felt in so many and so extraordinary ways? Pray to him a little for me, if you please, that I may have some part in the favors that he bestows, without ceasing, upon a great number of Holy missionaries and of Saintly Ecclesiastics who are here, that I may with them increase from day to day in his knowledge and in his Holy Love.
I am with great respect and with all my heart,
My Reverend father,
Your very humble and very
obedient servant in Our Lord,
Michel Germain Decouvert,
of the Society of Jesus.
Documents of 1691-92
CLXI. ó Lettre Ècrite ý Mr. le Comte de Frontenac. Jacques Bruyas; au Sault prËs Montreal, 5 Avril, 1691
CLXIL. ó Lettre a Quelques Missionnaires du Canada. Pierre Millet; Onneiŏt, 6 Juillet, 1691
CLXIII. ó Memoire Pour les Iroquois Chrestiens du saut en
Canada. Fevrier, 1692
Sources: Doc. CLXI. is from an apograph preserved in the archives of St. Maryís College, Montreal, Doc. CLXII. is from a MS. (probably a contemporary copy) in the Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.; the translation is by John Gilmary Shea, and is reprinted, with a few emendations, from the U.S. Catholic Historical Magazine, vol. ii. Doc. CLXIII. is from an apograph in the Dominion Archives, Department of Agriculture, Ottawa. [Page 55]
Letter written by Reverend Father Bruyas, of
the society of Jesus, to Monsieur the Count
de Frontenac, Governor and Lieutenant-
General for the King in Canada.
At the Sault near MontrÈal,
April 5, 1691.
You will have already learned that a party of one hundred and forty agniÈs and Flemings, who captured ten or twelve savages of the Sault, gave them their liberty, and deputed three of their own chiefs to ascertain whether they would be welcome to their father Onnontio, whom they wished to sue for peace, ó which they hoped to obtain, and to preserve inviolably with him, in order to prove their ardent desire to put an end to the war. They hastened to arrive in Canada, to inform us that an army of eight hundred Iroquois would soon swoop down upon our lands, and carry off, if they could, all the people between three Rivers and Montreal. When the three deputies entered the fort, without arms and as friends, they were well received by our savages, who were greatly rejoiced at seeing them so well inclined. They gave the deputies four or five small presents, in order to ascertain from them what their true intentions were. By the first collar they thanked them for having sent back the prisoners whom they had taken, and for having spared [Page 57] those whom they could have taken had they wished,
(Scan Of Page to Be Inserted)
FACSIMILE OF HANDWRITING OF P. J. M. CHAUMONOT, S.J.
[ìPriËre en temps de guerre.î in archives of St. Maryís college, MontrÈal. Probable date, 1683.]
[Page (facing) 58]
ó As all our savages were scattered here and there, and in danger of being carried away by the first who might discover them. They also thanked the deputies for the warning given them of the large body of Iroquois who were coming down. The second present was to tell the AgniÈs that their father Onnontio will be greatly pleased to learn their resolution to live under his authority, as true children should do; But that they must really mean what they say, and not do like the OnnontaguÈs, who struck while they were being caressed by him. By the third collar they asked the AgniÈs to let them know about what time they would be sent back to Montreal, ó where they will meet their Father, who is to come up this summer. The fourth present was to remind them that the Christians of la Montagne, of Lorette, and of Sillery are also children of Onnontio, and brothers of the savages at the Sault, and say that they have the same thoughts regarding them. The last present was for the purpose of exhorting them to suspend all hostile acts, both against the french and against the savages who are children of Onnontio. They requested the AgniÈs to inform the loups, their allies, of this suspension of hostilities, so that they might not embroil matters. They concluded by haranguing them, and handing over to them two Flemings, in order that they might bring back Monsieur the Chevalier díEau and all the french who are at Orange, The AgniÈ replied that he is earnest in his desire for peace; that the warriors ask for it, and have concluded it on their own account, and not through the Elders ó whom they would not consult, because they are not always very sincere; moreover, all those [Page 59] among the AgniÈrs who had sense are dead. He gave back the Collar by which he was thanked for the prisoners he had restored, saying that this was done out of gratitude for the kindness shown them by the late Monsieur de Ste. Heleine on the day of Corlard, when he refused to benefit by the advantage that his good fortune had given him over them, and which would have enabled him to take over thirty prisoners. He asserted that he would promise to make Corlard, and the other Iroquois nations, concur in his design to live in peace with us; and says that, if they will not imitate him, he will leave them to be beaten, and will watch their defeat while smoking quietly on his mat.
As this matter is of the utmost importance, it will take him much time properly to arrange matters. Wherefore he leaves two of his people at the Sault, to await the orders of their father. They will start at once, on learning them from Monsieur de CalliËres, to whom Onnontio will have the goodness to communicate them; and the latter will make them known to the AginÈs through these two deputies.
The Flemings, about twenty of whom are with the AginÈs, were greatly pleased to see their countrymen once more.
They sent us word that Corlard, or the person who takes his place, will send back without fail the french for whom we ask.
The AgniÈrs promised to return at once, and to make all the bands that they might meet retrace their steps. They exhorted our savages to be on their guard, and not to stray from their fort, lest they might be caught by some Loup or Iroquois.
The two aforesaid deputies will also go to meet the [Page 61] great army that is coming, to inform them of what has passed between them and us.
Such, Monseigneur, is a summary of what was said on both sides. If I may be permitted to express my opinion upon what I have seen and heard, I think that they speak sincerely; and that matters tend to a firm peace with that nation, and through them with the others.
Disease, the heavy cost of clothing, and the loss of a number of braves, have disgusted them with a war upon which they entered solely because they were compelled to do so, and in order to repel the violence that was done to them. This is also the opinion of the most reasonable men at the Sault. This time they have no doubt of the sincerity of the AginÈ, ó all the more so that they see about twenty of them who left the camp to surrender to us, and to risk themselves among our Savages. Had they not struck camp, I believe that one-third of that little army would have disbanded, and have come to dwell at the Sault. Such a change astonishes every one, and with reason. For my part, although I do not wish to be their surety or to answer for their perseverance, I also find some difficulty in concurring in the opinion of those who speak ill of these deserters.
Our poor savages are quite consoled at it, and consider this a kind of miracle. If God give us through you that which the AgniÈs ask of you, and which every one so ardently desires, I have no doubt that we shall have two-thirds of the AgniÈs here. That is what I ask of Our Lord every day, and also that he may inspire in you whatever he may deem advisable to contribute to the increase of his glory and the development of the colony. [Page 63]
Such are the prayers offered to him by one who remains with all possible respect,
Your very humble and
very obedient servant,
of the Society of Jesus.
Letter of Father Millet to Some Missionaries in
Onneiout, Octave of
st. Peter and Paul, 1691.
You will be, I am sure, very glad to learn the way in which the Iroquois, and especially the Onneiouts, have preserved my life from my capture at fort Frontenac to this time. It will, I Believe, Console you, and good People will bless God.
I will say but a word of the manner in which I was captured with Surgeon St. Amand, whom I took with me at the Request of the OnnontaguÈs, in order to bleed some of their warriors, as they said, the better to deceive us. They had given us to understand that their people had gone to Montreal to make proposals for peace. The Surgeon was taken to the Cabin of the patients whom he was to attend, and I to that of the sachems and Chiefs, who were assembled there to discuss various subjects, ó on which They said they wished to consult me, And have me pray for a pretended dying man, but really to make me a prisoner. I was asked whether the officers and Soldiers did not go out. I answered No, and that I was sent to Learn what they desired of me and the others. ìYou must pay then for all,î they told me; and at once two of the strong est Fellows, who had been selected to arrest me, Sprang on me, seized me by the arms, and took [Page 67] away my breviary and everything else I had about me. Every one addressed reproaches of one kind or another for having always been very much opposed to the Iroquois; but Chief Manchot of Onneiout told me to fear nothing, that The Christians of Onneiout whom I had baptized would preserve my life. I needed this support, because the English, it is said, had tried me and already burnt me in Effigy. The said Chief commended me to the warriors who were carrying me off, not to let me be stripped and take me in my clothes To their tribe; but as soon as he left me, to Join 300 Iroquois of all tribes, ó who were leaving their ambuscade to endeavor to give me some companions in misfortune, and to surprise the fort, if they could, ó 1 was demanded, and at the same time my Girdle was taken off, another took my Hat, a 3rd took away my soutane, and a 4th my Shirt. In fine, others pulled off my stockings, and took away my shoes. They left me only my Breeches, and even they were demanded by some men of importance, who said that they had dreamed; But my guard opposed these observers of bad dreams, and rescued me from the hands of Those who wished to massacre me on the spot, and who, Incensed at the ill treatment they professed to have received from the french through my influence, had Thrown me into the Water, and trampled me under foot. The Attempt of the Iroquois on fort frontenac having failed, because they did not succeed in capturing a frenchman who contrived to get in and warn them of the ambuscade, I was untied from a sapling to which I had been bound, to await them on the banks of the lake; and I was put barehead into a Canoe to take me, in Company with 3 or 400 Iroquois, to [Page 69] an Island two leagues below fort Frontenac, where they awaited the main body of the Irroquois army of 1,400 men.
It was there that I was received with great shouts by the Upper Iroquois, who lined the whole shore to see me Bound and brought as it were, in triumph. Some rushed into the Water to receive me as the Canoe neared the shore, where they made me sing a song, in their fashion, as I did on the Spot, and which they repeated and made me repeat several times for sport:
Ongiendu Kehasakchoua ó I have Been taken by my Children.
Ongienda Kehasakchoua ó I have Been taken by my Children.
To thank me for my song, a honnontouan Struck me with his fist near my eye, leaving the mark of his nails, so that one would have thought it a stroke of a knife. After this I was taken to the Cabins of the Onneiouts, where they did not permit any other insult to be offered me, nor even let them compel me to sing again in the Iroquois style. Some individuals even sent for me and made me pray to God, and sing Hymns of The Church, ó either alone or with other french prisoners, who were sometimes brought there, and who sang with me the Veni Creator Spiritus, etc.
Toward Evening, we dropped down eight leagues below the fort, and spent two Days there. It was at this place that a woman of honnontouan, whom I did not know, rendered me an important service, by giving me a Kind of english cap, because I was bareheaded and often exposed to the rays of the sun, which had Affected me greatly. This woman afterward, passing by This place, made herself known to [Page 71] me. She is the mother of Andotiennons, a Christian at la montagne. God reward her for her Charity, which she rendered me so seasonably and with such a good grace.
From that place The army straggled To Otonniata, where It remained 3 Days. There a Council of war was held. I was near passing the line, and being Immolated as a public victim. There were 3 frenchmen prisoners with me, ó two whom Monsieur de Valrenne had given to go with Onnonaragon to convey to Montreal the first information of the descent of the Iroquois, and who had fallen into the ambuscade laid for them two leagues from the fort; and the Surgeon who was captured with me. The OnnontaguÈs, who had taken up the war-Kettle at the instigation of the English, had surrendered us to the four nations; and They had no one left to Throw into that war-Kettle which was to rouse the courage of the warriors. The Resolution was accordingly adopted to restore us to the disposition of the Onnontannes,ë so that they might themselves select the one best suited for their purpose; and the lot would probably have fallen on me, both because putting me to death would have been a signal for war without peace, such as they seemed to desire, and because I was generally held up as a great Iroquois and english State Criminal. One Day at noon an Onneiout Chief came for me, and took me, bound as I was, to the Council of all the Irroquois nations assembled on a neighboring Hill. I was placed beside the surgeon, whom I found in the posture of a prisoner of war as well as myself; the two other Prisoners were not there, because Those who had the disposal of them were [Page 73] scattered hunting, and had taken them Along. This is, in my opinion, what broke up the scheme, or what saved me that time from danger. ìWe are not all assembled,î said a Goiogoen sachem; and, after looking at me for some time, He told me to pray to God. I asked him whether it was to prepare to die; and I was told No, and that I should only pray to God in my ordinary way. I accordingly rose and made a prayer in Iroquois, in order that all might Understand it. I did not forget to pray in particular for all my hearers. When the prayer ended, I was made to sit down on the ground: one of my arms was unbound, and I was soon after sent to the Camp of the Onneiouts. I had scarcely reached it before several of the leading men among. Them came to express their Joy that I had returned. They had been alarmedí for me, and told me, that they had not taken part in the Council held to put me into the hands of the OnnontaguÈs, that only the Chief who had led me there had done it, of his own impulse, without consulting them; but that this should not occur again, and that I should be conducted to Onneiout. In Fact, the Next day They detached two Chiefs with about 30 men to Conduct me, while the army pursued its march toward Montreal.
On my journey I was pretty well treated in all the Cabins of Onneiout; They Themselves prepared a mat for me, and if they had anything good to eat, they gave me my share among the first; but at night They never forgot to put The Rope around my Neck, feet, and hands, and around the Body ó for fear, They said, lest God should Inspire me to escape, and they be deprived of the advantage and glory of [Page 75] conducting me to the nation. But I had no such thought, and preferred to die if God willed it, at Onneiout, which was the place of my former mission, rather than in any other place in the world. I was not loaded with anything during The March, Except that toward the end of our journey, one of the two Chiefs who had charge of me, gave me his bag, which was very light, to carry. At the last sleeping place, ten leagues from onneiout, I met a Christian woman named Marie, who in the name of her father and mother gave me a large Rosary strung on tin, with a fine medal of the holy family. She told me to put it on my Neck, which I did. Happy meeting! which filled my Heart with Consolation, and almost made the Young braves who conducted me lose Hope of being able to enjoy themselves seeing me burnt at their arrival, as it was the custom to do with the first Prisoner brought in, when They had determined on war. But they lost it almost entirely, when two leagues from the town we met another Christian woman, of the first nobility at Onneiout, who awaited me with her daughter, whom I had formerly baptized the same day as herself; and with her husband, who was the second Chief in whose charge I was, ó and who having left the army, on Purpose to conduct me more safely, had gone on two Days ahead to notify his wife of my approach. They had all Come there to meet me, with several little refreshments of that country, with which this Christian woman provided me abundantly; and she asked me to whom of Those who accompanied me I wished to be given. Then she took the Rope off my Neck, and unbound my arms. She gave me a white shirt and a Blanket of fine stuff that belonged to her daughter. Would [Page 77] any one have believed that among Savages There would be found such generous friendship, and such deep gratitude for having received baptism, as this? It was the eve of st. Lawrenceís day, And all the morning I had been preparing myself, as well as I could, for whatever might befall me, and to endure the fire, if need Be, in Imitation of that great saint; But I confess that I could scarcely restrain my tears on beholding the Charity and Heart of these poor Indian Christians. Having recovered a little, I asked whether It was to adorn the Victim, and whether I was to die on my arrival. The good Christian woman told me that nothing had yet been settled, and the Council of onneiout would decide in its own time.
A Warrior had already lent me, at otonniata, a little Jacket, perfectly new, of which they did not wish to deprive me then; and, the Christians having already given me new clothes, they made me continue my journey with the livery of the two most important families of onneiout, that of The bear and that of the tortoise.
Messengers were at once sent to notify the sachems that I was near, in order that they should also come to meet me, and kindle a fire of awaiting within the town; they came, but They were not all in the same state of mind as Those of whom I have just spoken. One sachem, after saluting me in Indian fashion, three times tried to strike me in the face with his fist; But, as My arms were free, I thrice parried The Blow, almost without reflection. And, when the Indian had desisted, they made me sit down near the sachems, And Chief Manchot, the husband of the good Christian woman, who had chosen to conduct [Page 79] me Thus far, harangued them and told them, in the name of the other Chiefs who followed the army, that I did not come as a Prisoner, but as a missionary who returned to visit my flock; that it was their will that I should be taken to the Council Cabin and put at the disposal of the agoianders, or people who managed the affairs of the country, and not at the disposition of the soldiery or people, as he now placed me in their hands; And, for himself, he withdrew.
A Sachem of the bear family, a great friend of the English, then made a strong speech, declaring that I belonged to the side of the governor of Canada, who was overthrowing The Iroquois Cabin, and who had completely burned the towns of the Tsonnonwa. He said so much that I feared that the fire which was there was kindled to burn me before I entered the town, as They sometimes do; but his speech at the close grew milder, and he said that, as the Chiefs had recommended that I should be taken to the Council Cabin, which is a privileged Cabin, I must be taken there. This Commission was entrusted to a man of the nation called Skannehokwie, from the country of the Loups, and naturalized among the Iroquois.
I passed that bad country [sc. road] under the Guidance of this protector, who carefully kept aloof several Drunkards who wished to Insult me and stop me on the way. I was Astonished to see the number of people who appeared on all sides; and in this Company I was made to enter the Council Cabin, which had become A Cabin of War by the Intrigues of the english and other Enemies of the faith.
It was The Cabin of our good Christian woman, [Page 81] for She received me there with great welcome; but it was soon afterward necessary to conceal me, drunken men and women coming from all sides to assail us and utter a thousand Insults against those who protected me, ó Hurling stones against the Cabin, and threatening to overthrow everything and to set it on fire. ìSince war,î said they, ìis begun, we must not be deprived of the first fruits that come to us.î The good Christian woman, Gouentagrandi, told me that she suffered great distress, when war was sung in her Cabin, rather than in some other, in order to be able to save my life more easily, or to Preserve that of the governor of Canada or any other frenchman of rank, if they had the misfortune to be taken prisoner. And, in fact, She has not only Preserved me, but she has also preserved several other french, both in her Cabin and in others; and it may be said that, if any good has been done or is now done in this mission, it is to this good woman after God that the first Praise is due.
On two other Days after the fury of the drunkards had passed, my friends wished to have my case Decided, and my fate settled, before matters became more exasperated, in case any Iroquois were killed at monreal, where they had gone in war. I was taken to the place where the chiefs of the two families, the Tortoise and the bear, had assembled to decide on my lot. Both concluded that they must wait for the return of the Warriors, and Know more particularly their Intentions and those of the Onnontaguez before coming to any determination; that meanwhile The town should be assigned as my prison, and that I might visit what Cabins I Chose. I remained in this State About three weeks, where I had nothing [Page 83] to suffer except from the drunkards, who were Importunate and made various threats. In the visits which I made I was generally called Genherontatie ìThe dead or dying man who walks;î and Those who returned from orange, a little english town, brought no tidings favorable to me. But if on one Hand I had these little Crosses to suffer, our good Susanne and the other Christians, following her example, were a great Source of consolation to me; For, not to speak of the care they took of my temporal well-being, they brought me Children to baptize, they sent the sick or afflicted to me to comfort; adults came to confession, and to give me an Account of the State of their Consciences since my departure. People came to me to pray to God, and for other spiritual necessities, Even in the little lurking places where they hid me for fear of the drunkards. The mat was prepared for me on sundays And holidays; And, when we Were Disturbed in the Cabins, the mat was taken into the fields, to pray God there more Apart and in greater peace.
What also greatly consoled me was two Crosses which I found, planted on the graves of two christians who had died after I left this mission. I shall speak only of one for the present. I had a good Christian who made open profession of Christianity, and who, laying aside all human respect, sang in the chapel when I formerly dwelt Here in the capacity of missionary. He did not in my absence forget the Esteem with which God had Inspired him for his faith, but persevered constantly in his good practices; And Having fallen from the top of a tree to the ground, crushing his whole body, He suffered [Page 85] his pains for 50 [30 ó Shea] Days that he survived His fall ó with great patience, as the Christians assured me. He made them frequently come together to pray to God for him, especially as Death approached; and he ordered that after his death a Cross should be set up on his grave, to show that he wished to die a christian, and that he did not recognize as true kindred any but Those who became Christians like him. It was The Custom of these poor orphaned Christians to assemble and pray in this way for each other, especially in sickness and the various accidents that befell them. Even those who were not Christians Imitated them, and made little banquets to bring them together and have their Children baptized, and find through their prayers, some remedy either for Body or mind; others sometimes expressed to me how much they had grieved for my absence, having no one with whom They could really console themselves, or who could heal their consciences, And who often found themselves shocked amid a perverse nation and in a strange disturbance of Mind, when the Enemies of the faith and of the french excited all to war. But let us come to the decision of my trial.
The Iroquois army which made the Attack on (Lachine) Having returned, It was found that three of this nation had remained there, ó among others, a leading Chief who got drunk and was killed in a Cellar. He would not allow himself to be taken. This had Irritated the Irroquois Warriors, who, not satisfied with the prisoners whom they had brought, demanded that I should be presented with the others, as Being also a Prisoner. Our Christians, Fearing that the Warriors, who love Carnage and glory in killing men might cut off one of my fingers or [Page 87] commit some other outrage on me, to open the way to my death, concealed me more carefully than Ever; they made me sleep sometimes in one Cabin, sometimes in another, and sometimes even in the Fields, so that the warriors And drunkards could not find me. Above all others, my protectress Combined prudence with her Zeal to extricate me from the danger I was in. With this view she went to meet her relatives, who were some of the most influential warriors, in order to anticipate them. She told them how She had preserved me Till that time, and that she Was determined to continue to do so with all her might; that no ill treatment could be done to me that she would feel deeply herself, that she would not bring me forward till the sachems assembled to decide the fate of all the Prisoners, And till I had been set at liberty. They replied that she had done well, and that, so far as they cared, she might adhere to her resolution.
At last the Day came when our sentence was to be pronounced. We were four who ran a risk of being burned. We all Appeared to be given or to be put in place of the Irroquois who had Been killed by the french, And then to be Judged in a final tribunal. While they were Examining our case, I had time to hear the confessions of my comrades in misfortune and give them absolution. Two of them were burned: for my own part, I could only commend myself to the providence and the mercy of God. I was sent back to different Councils or from tribunal to tribunal, ó because, on the one Hand, I passed among our Irroquois as a great criminal and great deceiver, who had caused their fellow-countrymen to be seized under pretext of a st. Johnís day [Page 89] festival; and on the other, I was protected by our Christians, some of whom were the most notable in the country, and they could not put me to death without afflicting them.
Many, However, thought that I would never get off; the Rosary had already been taken off my Neck, and my face had been painted red and black, as a victim to the demon of war and Irroquois wrath. But the family to which all had been already referred having assembled again, where the most important women were allowed to attend, a friendly act was done me by giving me instead of a Chief who had died long before of disease, rather than for one of those who had been killed in the attack on the french at a place called la Chine above Montreal, or who had been arrested as prisoners at fort frontenac and transported to france, who were reckoned as numbered with the dead. This Chief was named Otassete, which is an ancient name of the first founders of the Irroquois republic. The one named Gannassatiron, who by this donation became sole master of my life, used it very obligingly; He Consulted only the warriors of his family, and asked advice only from the two Christians who protected me most, and who of course Concurred At once with him in the assurance of life which He gave me by these words: Satonnheton Szaksi ó ìMy elder brother, you are resurrected.î At the same time, he had two of the leading sachems summoned to Report it to them: these sachems made fine speeches and congratulations, exhorting me to uphold the Interests of their nation more than I had yet done. Some Days after, a feast was given to the notables of the town. The host of Father de Lamberville, named GarakontiÈ, [Page 91] brother of the Chief of the Onnontague nation, and brother of the famous Garakontie who first bore that name, was invited to the Ceremony, where a new name was given to me, as an authentic mark that the Onneiouts had adopted me and naturalized me as an Irroquois. My Rosary had also been restored to me; and, to crown my little happiness, Gannassatiron, fearing that I might feel hunger in his cabin, where There was not much corn, put me in that of my protectress, who is of the same family, ó where I had already remained for 3 Weeks, and where I had been so well defended, And where all the Important Councils are held. It is there that we celebrate the holidays and Sundays, and where a mat has been prepared for me, and a little Grotto which is dedicated to Our dying lord, christo morituro.
The English were not pleased with the decision of the Onneiouts in my favor; They at first reproached my main Protectors Tegahoiatiron and his wife, who had gone to trade with Them, and had given them a little note which an Irroquois had made me Write with Charcoal, in the presence and at the Request of my Protectress, to buy some goods for him which he ordered of an English friend of his. The English, displeased at their sparing my life, and wishing to use this opportunity for my ruin, At once mounted their horses to go promptly and report to all the Irroquois nations that I had written very bad things. The Christian woman, who Knew how reluctantly I had Consented to Write the note, because I clearly foresaw that ill-Minded heretics would make trouble out of it, asked to see the note and recognizing it, ìIs this,î She said, ìthe bad things that have been Written to you? It was I who made him Write them [Page 93] there, And I know that he mentions only such and such things in it. You must have a very badly formed Mind to tell so many lies, to make all this long talk about a wretched note, of which I Know the Contents, and to slander in this way a poor Unfortunate man.î She shut their mouths that time, and her Husband added: ìIf you are at war with the french, fight them as much as you like; but do not bring false charges against a Man who belongs to us, and whose business is very different from that of war.
This did not prevent the English from appealing from the decision of the Onneiouts to the Irroquois of AnniÈ and OnnontaguÈ. Their Mounted men made several Journeys about the Matter, as well as for their great war project, but to No purpose. So far as I was concerned, all their Intrigues and their Solicitations served only to teach them that, the Indians having once given a person his life, It was not their Custom to deprive him of it.
The English then having gained nothing by this journey, made other efforts to withdraw me from This place. One of their deputies came to me One Day, to compliment me in my little Grotto, in the name of Monsieur The Commissary at Orange, on the Condition of my Captivity, saying that He felt compassion for me, that he was making effectual Plans to deliver me and have me sent back to Quebec; that he would give two Indians for me, etc. Thereupon I assured him that, after the obligations I was under to the Onneiouts, I could not leave them. He Interrupted his Compliments to tell me that the English would not Suffer me Here; I replied that that was the affair of my brothers and of all the Onneiouts, [Page 95] And that he must apply to Them, He said he would do so. I was immediately summoned to attend the harangue of this Envoy of the English general: He Went out after me, And we entered the place of assembly, he by one door and I by another. The place where He was to speak was the cabin of my brother Gannasatiron. He began by saying that three English Governors were holding a Council of War at Orange, But that the Governor of New york especially Invited Them to come and meet them, and form a new alliance with Them. The Deputies of all the Irroquois Nations proceeded to Orange, where great rejoicings were made over the great success which their arms had recently had over the french at the place named La Chine. He again Exhorted them to war by various presents. He told them further that he gave up fort Frontenac to them, and that They could easily become Masters of it, as the Garrison was dying of hunger; but as the Irroquois army Did not reach it till after the french had abandoned it, They had not the glory of having driven them out. Much provision was still found there, which showed that famine had not driven them from that post, But rather that the difficulty of revictualling when necessary had induced The Governor of Canada to recall his Soldiers.
Beside this, the English had formed the project of three armies; The first was to go by way of The River of the Irroquois, The Second by way of Lake saint Sacrement, and the Third by sea, to besiege Quebec, where the three armies were to unite.
But This grand project did not succeed in the way They had flattered themselves: The Two land armies were broken up by a special Providence of God. [Page 97] The smallpox stopped the first completely, and also scattered the Second, in which There were four Hundred English who were compelled to march back by order of the Irroquois, ó who, at least at that time, might be said to be more Masters of the English, than the English were of the Irroquois.
Of this Second army nothing was left but a party which attacked the French at la Prairie de la Magdeleine. The Governor of new Yore put under arrest three or four of the principal English Officers, who had brought back their troops Without having Carried out The orders to wrest new france from us, or Sack it. From Quebec we learned of the wretched failure of their third army; And they did well to Write to me about it and many other things, As but for this the English would have made the Irroquois believe them, by rehearsing their victories and prowess. But blessed be God, that he has Preserved Canada. May the danger they have Escaped teach the People of the country wisdom in the future. Bella premunt hostilia, da robur, fer auxilium ó O Deus Misericord.
The Fish ó That is the name of the Governor of Manath or new York ó has earnestly exhorted the Irroquois not to Listen to me, and especially to beware of my Letters. His side must be weak indeed, If my pen can demolish it; But It must be that the Spirit of God is working, And I Believe that it will be the sins of the English, rebels to their King, rather than my pen, which will overthrow them. Here We See and Hear of so many ill-devised plans emanating from the English, that the Irroquois, when They Are not Intoxicated, Seem much more reasonable than They. [Page 99]
The Onneiouts having adopted me for one called OtassetÈ, who in his lifetime Was a member of the Council, And who was regarded from all antiquity as having been one of the Mainstays of the Nation, They oblige me sometimes to attend the Councils, if only to know what the matter in question is, to explain it to them ó at least, when these are Important affairs that concern the country.
It Annoys the English, And Those who uphold their Interests, to see me there, and They would much like to Exclude me, Or deprive me of voting or being chosen to any position. The true Onneiouts, on the other hand, and Those who still support The cause of the faith and their country, give me all the authority there that they can. And, as the honor of God and the Church is often intermingled in public affairs of this kind, I am myself compelled to speak on many occasions which regard the Service of God; because the Indians who depend on the English for their trade, generally dare not say anything that can displease them, And I know hardly any one except our good Susanne Gouentagrandi who speaks to them boldly, and who maintains thoroughly her rank of agoianders for the faith And for the land of Onneiouts.
Gannasatiron, my brother, once spoke to them pretty boldly; For, as They were always Importunate And made several attempts to get me into their hands, sometimes with the sachems, and sometimes with him, because they always referred them to him, They asked him how it came that he Alone was master of my person, and not ëthe sachems. ìIt is because I took him as my brother, and because I won him in war; And so far He belongs to me, as what [Page 101] you have in your house belongs to you. But, to tell the truth, I am no longer his master. He has become my elder brother, And I have made the Christians his master; And, as you will not find it easy to get much from them, I Advise you to desist.î Yet, as They still pushed the matter, He said to the Commissary, Kwiter, that he must give up all hope of carrying me off, And that he must say No more about it. The Commissary called me Aside The next day, And told me through an Interpreter that up To this time He had done all he could to release me from Captivity, but that I had not supported him, And that I had paid no regard to all his efforts, any more than I had to the obliging offers made to me by Monsieur the Minister at Orange. I replied that I was much obliged to him and to Monsieur the Minister for their offers, but that I would have been still more so, if the offers and Compliments had been followed by any good result; But that they had been only words in the air, which did not harmonize and really Contradicted each other, without my being able to see anything Solid, or even a single word in writing on which I could rely or by which any Kind of Satisfaction was made for all that they had Unjustly made me lose at Onnontague ó which was a place in some sort privileged and Devoted to the discussion of affairs of peace, especially concerning the Irroquois nations. I said that, moreover, no matter what tempting offers at Orange might be made to me, I could Never resolve to leave the Onneiouts, to whom I was under too great obligation ó which I could Never acknowledge except by sacrificing myself, in Imitation of Jesus Christ, for their temporal And Eternal Welfare. [Page 103]
Thereupon we parted, and since that time The English have left me in comparative quiet, although I know that while Here I am a great Thorn in their sides; but if I could also Serve them before God for their conversion And for the public repose, I would do so with all my Heart, And I would forget all the wrong they have done me.
From all the foregoing your reverences may Judge how much I need the help of Heaven and the prayers of good people. To induce you more earnestly not to Withhold them, I will say a word more of the Zeal of my good Protectress.
The Iroquois of AgniÈ ó who, being very near the English, Are strongly attached to them ó tried to carry me off on pretext of wishing me to come on Christmas Day to hear The Confessions of some Christians who are among Them; But our good Christian Gouentagrandi, who was not Ignorant of their designs, Told the Messengers that Any who were so anxious to pray to God and go to Confession at Christmas could Themselves come to Onneiouts, And that she saw through the trick of the English, into whose hands they wished to deliver me.
Besides the porcelain that the good woman has Often given me to speak in the Councils, She has given several feasts to bring people together, And to give greater solemnity to the festivals of Christmas, Epiphany, easter, etc., ó to such an extent that in these feasts we have raised the standard of holy peace; And, in case they do not wish to Hear there of Holy war, in the Hope that Heaven will be on our side, And that Those who obstinately refuse to hear ëthe voice of God, who does not love the shedding of human blood, And who does not wish war [Page 105] unless it is holy, will sooner or later be punished, And on the other hand Those who favor us will be rewarded. Yet we put all our little designs in the hands of God, And at the foot of the Crucifix, seeking only the glory of his holy name, and the salvation with the quiet of the nations. I commend them once more to the Holy Sacrifices and prayers of your Reverences, of whom I am in Heart and with respect,
My Reverend Fathers,
Your very humble and very
obedient servant in Our Lord,
of the Society of Jesus.
I would have much more to Write, but time does not permit. This, with Godís help, will be for another occasion. [Page 107]
Memorial in Regard to the Christian Iroquois
of the saut in Canada.
onseigneur De Pontchartrain
Is very humbly supplicated to please remember the services that the colonies of Christian Iroquois established in new france have rendered and are still rendering to the french, ó for the defense of whom almost half of these savages have perished while fighting as brave men against the English, and against the Iroquois, their relatives, and other savages, our enemies, of whom they have killed or captured a goodly number since the war. They find them out everywhere, and warn us of their marches, which the french cannot do as they can in the woods, ówhere, with their ordinary swiftness, they have often overtaken various parties who were bringing back french and savage Captives, to burn_ them at a slow fire. They have attacked the enemy on land and upon the Water, into which they have: often thrown themselves while fighting; and have there, while swimming, defeated the foe, and taken away their prisoners, whom they brought back with them.
Religion has so strongly attached them to us that they have despised the caresses, the presents, and the threats of the other Iroquois, their Compatriots, ó who were soliciting them to abandon our side and return with them, in order that all together might [Page 109] make war against us. They have suffered, as brave Christians and constant friends of the french, cruel incisions that have been made upon their bodies, mutilation of their fingers, and the torments of the fires in which many have expired; yet these sufferings could not shake the fidelity they have vowed to God and to the King. So great has been that fidelity that all, both men and women, whose lives the enemy spared after capture, have always returned to us to continue in the Christianity that they have embraced here, to inform us also of the designs of the english and of the Iroquois, and to give us incontestable proofs that they are acting in our interests.
Seeing that the war occupies them too much for supplying their wants by means of the Chase, His majesty had the goodness to grant them last year some gratuity, by virtue of which those who have just killed or captured enemies have been given clothes.
There are likewise many poor widows and orphan children whose fathers and husbands have been killed in the war which they have undertaken for us, who, being destitute of the help they received from their hunting, are in an extreme want of all things. If the King would please to extend his charity thus far to these faithful friends of the french, it would be a great merit to him before God; and to these good Christians a new and very attractive reason for continuing their services, seeing that after their death their wives, their children, and their poor relatives would not be forsaken.
There is no doubt that this liberality would be very advantageous to new france, to which the help of these valiant savages would be assured. Their [Page 111] enemies try in all sorts of ways to take them from us, because their manner of making war in the woods disconcerts the foe, and because it would be easier for the latter to injure us if we were deprived of these allies.
During some attacks that these Christian Iroquois sustained vigorously last year in their fort of the saut, all the artillery that they possessed burst. May it please Monseigneur de Pontchartrain to have them given, if he please, those little cannon, or two culverins. [Page 113]
Documents of 1694-95
CLXIV. ó Lettre au R. P. Jean ChauchiËre, a Limoges. Claude ChauchiËre; Villemarie, 7 aoŻt 1694
CLXV. ó Lettre au P. Jacques Jouheneau, ý Bordeaux. Claude ChauchiËre; Villemarie, 20 Sept. 1694
CLXVI. ó Lettre au R. P. Jacques Bruyas, SupÈrieur de la Miffion, en forme de Journal de la Miffion de líImmaculÈe Conception de N. D. aux Ilinois. Jacques Gravier; [Peoria], 15e Fevrier, 1694
CLXVII. ó Lettre ý un PËre Missionaire de Chine. Jean de Lamberville; Paris, 23 Jan:, 1695
CLXVIII. ó Pis G. Marest iter et missio in sinum Hudsonium in ora septentrionali CanadÊ an. 1694. Epistola ad R. P. Thyrso Gonzales, PrÊpositum Generalem Societatis Jesu, RomÊ. Gabriel Marest; Quebec, Oct., 1695
Sources: Docs. CLXIV. and CLXV. are from a copy, in St. Maryís College archives, Montreal, of an apograph by Father Martin, which is now in Quebec. Doc. CLXVI. Is reprinted from Sheaís Cramoisy series, No. 1. Docs. CLXVII. and CLXVIII. are from Rochemonteixís JÈsuites, t. iii., pp. 613-620 and 628-630, respectively. [Page 115]
Letter by Father ChauchetiËre to his brother.
Villemarie, this 7th of august, 1694.
y Reverend Father,
To give you some share in our mathematics, I may tell you that I read, in the little book about the knowledge of the times, that the eclipse of the moon that occurred here on the 11th of january, and appeared to us while the moon set in the west-northwest, could not be visible to you, because there is a difference of five hours between your meridian and. ours; while, as the sun rose on our horizon only at 38 minutes past 7 oíclock, we were able to see the moon. As regards the eclipse of the sun that was visible to you on the 22nd of june at a quarter past 4 in the afternoon, and to us between eleven and half past eleven in the morning, it had this peculiarity, that you saw it as a very small one; for the sunís disk appeared to you to be covered to the extent of only 4 fingers, while to us it seemed covered to the extent of 8. There remained of the sun merely a crescent, like that of the moon in its first quarter; the eclipse was at its height at half past twelve, and it was over at one oíclock; the eclipsed part was toward the northwest. It lasted about two hours. That of july 7 was not visible to us. I had given notice of it on the 22nd of june; but, as the moon was clouded over on rising, it appeared to us only about 9 oíclock, and the eclipse had begun [Page 117] before 8. Study the next eclipses, and let us know the result. A large bark sailed from Quebek for the cod-fishery, but two english ketches appeared and captured it, landing a portion of the crew, and taking the remainder to Baston. Two vessels that came from France under the command of two worthy Canadian ship-captains, brothers of one of our little pupils, nearly took me with them to Hudsonís bay, where they are going to fight the English and to take port Nelson, which was ours for some time. This would have been a fine voyage for me, and I would have had a little parish of our Saultois, ó that is, of our Christian Iroquois who dwell at the Sault. I would have wintered beyond the 50th degree of latitude ó that is to say, where the winter sun rises above the horizon only to the height of the trees, and where there is really only twilight. But the father who teaches mathematics in QuÈbek, named father Silvie, who has already wintered in that region, has gone thither. To come to news of the Iroquois, we have some slight hopes of peace; we expect a general diet of the nations at Montreal in a month, if the Iroquois do not deceive us. We have learned from a frenchman recently escaped from the iroquois, who was captured when I was taken to catarakou five years ago, that father Milet ó who has been for four years a prisoner among the Iroquois, and who succeeded me at fort frontenak where he was captured ó is highly esteemed by the people of his village; but that he has much to endure from the people of the other villages and from the english ó although the minister, whose name is díollius, and who speaks french well, has greatly relieved the father in his Captivity. The father is a true martyr to charity, and a man of God [Page 119] sent to convert the Savages and to console the captive french. For our part we are occupied in clearing up many affairs with our Bishop. He has established limited approbation's; he has ordered that we shall have no meetings of the congregation on sunday mornings; he has taken away general communions; he has interdicted the RÈcollet fathers; he has threatened me more than once with interdiction. This last occurred in connection with a matter that I have had to settle with him regarding the governor of Villemarie; he has always been a penitent of mine, but our bishop has styled him an adulterer, a scandalous liver, and a seditious man, who is trying to put himself above the bishop. The RÈcollet fathers, after presenting a protest to Monsieur the bishop, who refused to hear any reason, have opened their church and raised the interdict. This affair will not fail to produce a sensation in France. Our congregation, which contained over 50 members, meets no more. We were in the habit of holding the benediction of the Blessed Sacrament every thursday. Monsieur the bishop allows us to do so only twice a month, and has given the others to the Gentlemen of St. Sulpice, who did not look favorably upon the religious established in their town. He wishes us to refuse communion, for no other reason than that communions are too frequent in Canada. His predecessor, monsieur de Laval, who sees all this, is a holy man, and says that he was greatly deceived when he divested himself of his bishopric in favor of him who, contrary to his expectations, harasses us, and seeks only to humiliate the religious. My case is this: Monsieur the bishop had issued a decree by which he ordered us to refuse the sacraments to our [Page 121] governor, unless there were an improvement in his conduct. The governor was accused of being on too familiar terms with a widow, ó on account of too frequent visits, of suspicions, and of a long-continued habit. I promised him that, for my part, I would act as I have always done, and would do my duty. This happened at the beginning of lent. During lent he held several meetings, and proclaimed twelve reserved cases. There was but one in this diocese, and it related to the french who sinned with the savage women. Monsieur the present bishop says í that, on his last journey to France, the bishops in that country told him that such a thing as a diocese without reserved cases was unheard of; for that reason he established some. I went to ask Monseigneur for authority to give absolution in a reserved case. He treated me like a little school-boy: he put many questions to me, and wished to allot the penance without knowing the evil, ó asking me whether the persons lived in the opportunity for incest, ó that was the matter. I saw that he was very suspicious of me and of my morality. Nevertheless I submitted to everything, once for all. He wished to tempt me and make me speak about our privileges; but I was very reserved on this point. Some days afterward, as easter was approaching, I went to consult him on the measures to be taken with respect to our governor. He acted like a man of the court, treating me to a rigmarole in order to entangle me, and, in the event of his being unsuccessful, to cast the blame on me. Nevertheless, I extricated myself as well as I could; our governor performed his duties at Quebek and my conduct was approved by our superiors; our Bishop alone blamed me. [Page 123]
I have admirable things to tell of the Sault mission. As regards our Savages, they have continued this year as fervent as they are accustomed to be. Catherineís band (I wrote you her life last year. I know not whether you have received it because one of our ships was lost while returning to France, and those papers were perhaps on it, and you do not speak of it. I had placed her portrait therein.) Catherineís band continue in the practice of the most Christian virtues, and in the heroic exercises that they have undertaken. Last winter the most hardened were touched by God, and performed an act that deserves to be written down. It was called hotouongannandi, that is to say, ìpublic penance,î because it was done in the name of all. The men, gathered together according to the savage custom, ó that is, at a feast, ó expressed their detestation of drunkenness, which mastered them. This was done as follows: after agreeing together as to what they could do to give satisfaction to God, they came to the conclusion that each should speak for himself in full meeting; and that they who on account of illness, or for any other reason, were unable to do so, should have some one speak in their names. This was done to prepare for the festival of Christmas. Each spoke as the spirit of penance moved him; and some did so more eloquently by the tears that flowed in abundance from their eyes, than by their voices broken by sobs. Words were followed by results; the women, whose demons were gaming, vanity, and voluptuousness, completely abandoned the first of these; for a year, we have heard no more about it. Confraternities are being founded among them, and especially among the young girls, with the object of mutually [Page 125] assisting One another to live as Christians, and to prepare themselves for the most heroic actions.
Two years ago, two savage women were captured by the iroquois, and burned by the hands of their own kindred, out of hatred for Christianity, as well as hatred for the Sault. The 1st was a widow; the 2nd a young married woman 22 years old, who had a little child. They had gone to gather nuts in the woods, when they were captured. They were carried away as slaves, and were very badly treated on the way. A frenchman who was a witness of the occurrence, and who afterward escaped, related the following throughout the town. When the younger woman reached the village, she received innumerable stabs from a knife, and a shower of blows from clubs ó but with such patience and resignation that all the people were touched. The hunters did not fail to load her with their packs and clothes. She reached the cabin after having been thus ill-treated, covered with blood and her shoulders galled. On entering her own cabin she was looked upon by her relatives as a beast; the place where she sat was marked by the blood that continually flowed from the whole of her body; but throughout her great affliction she was heard only to pray to God and to thank him. She died, a true martyr, in the fire, into which she was cast shortly after her arrival. The martyrdom of the widow, who was likewise burned, began in this wise: when at the stake, she knelt and exhorted all present to thank God for the favor that he conferred on her of suffering for him; and she also exhorted them to become christians, and to forsake their evil customs. During the torture she frequently exclaimed: ìMY God, forgive [Page 127] them, for they know not what they do." After she had made the sign of the cross, they applied the irons. She gazed on these unflinchingly, and as if the body that suffered were not hers. When she was burned all over, she was untied, and at once knelt on the glowing coals; she fell, but, when some one tried to tear off her scalp, she came to herself and gave still further expression to the sentiments of piety that filled her heart. Finally she surrendered her blessed soul while praying, repenting of her sins, and sighing for the cross, I was for a long time the confessor of both these women; and I can say that this so happy ending was the reward of a good life. This good widow had lost her husband long before, and had but one son whom she left well instructed; she lived in the practice of all the virtues that st. Paul demands of widows. The other woman had been married, when very young, to an exacting and inconstant husband, with whom nevertheless she lived in peace. She was the elder of two sisters, the younger of whom is still at the sault; their mother was taken from them while they were very young. Nevertheless, after the death of that good mother the two girls lived together very happily, and to the edification of all. People in the town still speak of the edifying death of these two persons. If liquor were banished from among the savages, it is admitted that they would shame the old Christians of Europe by their manner of living, and by their noble practice of virtue. But our church must have a share of the persecution that the devil wages against Christendom by means of liquor; and our bishop, who is so zealous, has not Yet ventured to open his mouth to banish drunkenness from [Page 129] his diocese. This vice and war are two great obstacles to christianity, which cannot maintain itself in weak minds amid such strong temptations. We all desire, as did st. Francis Xavier, to see ourselves so far away from the french with our beloved savages that we may no longer have such stumbling-blocks. We see in these savages the fine remains of human nature which are entirely corrupted in civilized nations. Of all the 11 passions they experience two only; anger is the chief one, but they are not carried away to excess by it, even in war. Living in common, without disputes, content with little, guiltless of avarice, and assiduous at work, it is impossible to find people more patient, more hospitable, more affable, more liberal, more moderate in their language. In fine, all our fathers and the french who have lived with the savages consider that life flows on more gently among them than with us. The faith, finding all these predispositions, makes astonishing progress with them. They wish that they had never seen any but the black gowns; and they repeat this to the confusion of our french Christians! My occupation this year will be the same as during the last ó namely, that of proto-regent of Villemarie, with 12 or 15 pupils; and I teach mathematics to some young men who are officers in the troops. On sundays we have our confessions, which keep us busy; and on the first sunday of the month it is most often I who preach. And although the gentlemen of st. Sulpice observe only certain outward relations with us, nevertheless on the principal feasts we go with them into the choir to hear the office, and chant vespers, and even in the processions. There is an agreement between them and us that we shall each say a [Page 131] mass for them, and they say one for us once a year, ó we on the feast of the presentation of the blessed Virgin, and they during the octave of st. Ignatius; and when any one dies on either side, we say the usual Prayers for the dead. Nevertheless, they are very hierarchical. The order of our college is to enter at 9 oíclock, and the mass is said at ten. In the afternoon, I enter at 3 oíclock; and, at 4, I teach mathematics until five. The Reverend Father Superior is waiting only for the peace to send me among the iroquois. where our captive father, the Reverend Father Millet, is doing a vast amount of good. He enjoys full liberty in his village, and is the refuge of the french who, like him, are slaves, and of the converted savages. He writes to us and we write to him, through the savages themselves; and, were it not for the Dutch, ó that is, the english, ó we would be once more welcome among those tribes. You inform us of the misery that prevails in france; but it is otherwise in this country. Grain is common; cider is made, instead of wine; and trees are successfully raised, becoming continually more numerous. Last year we had excellent melons; but this country is very unreliable for plants that require heat. However, it is asserted that wine will be made this year; for close by is a vineyard belonging to the Gentlemen, which yields french grapes. What the country can produce is not yet known, because we try to grow only wheat and hay. The wild apple-trees, and those that are raised from seeds, bear very fine apples, and the branches are easily grafted. The peach-trees produce abundantly, but like the vine, ó that is, the fruit is all on the ground, because the tree has to be covered with straw or other protection until the month of april, lest it freeze. The pear-trees. [Page 133]
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OLD JESUIT COLLEGE AND CHURCH AT MONTREAL
[Built in 1692-94; burned in 1803. Photographic facsimile of sketch made under the direction of Rev. Arthur E. Jones, S. J., archivist of St. Maryís College, Montreal, from contemporary plans and views.]
are more delicate; I saw one that blossomed twice last year ó once in the spring, and once during the course of the summer. This year we saw an apple tree loaded with large apples in june, which had one branch all in blossom. The cherry-trees bear hardly any fruit; they do nothing but blossom and shoot out branches and roots ó in such numbers that a forest of trees grows up at their feet, but the people do not know how to keep them down. There are black plums resembling black damsons, which remain on the trees during the winter, and are excellent eating in the spring. I have eaten some at the foot of the tree, on ascension day, which had been borne in the previous year. The cold cooks them as does fire, and they become like those that have gone through the oven; the sun softens them. There are quinces that are fairly good, but the tree grows like the peach-tree, and has to be covered during winter. This year we have had a rare flower in our garden, a white lily; there have been none here as yet. The gentlemen are preparing stone to build a fine steeple; theirs is like one of the steeples of our church in Poitiers, but is made of wood resting on the framework; the other will be built of stone. On Pentecost the dedication of their church took place, a ceremony never before witnessed in Montreal. Monseigneur also blessed our Chapel, at which ceremony I acted as subdeacon of honor, and father Vaillant as deacon. He did us this honor on going away; he is a very zealous prelate, but too young for the country. I send you a piece of bread which has come from a place 500 leagues from here. It comes from the ilinois country; it is made of medlars or services, and has a very good taste. The fur [Page 137] that You will see in the package is that of the ox, which has a mane like that of a horse, hanging on the front of its head. I saw father pinet while he passed through here, but he remained only a night and a day; from here he went to the sault, to wait for his canoe, which was to cross the river to get him. We have had no summer this year; for, since the eclipse or june 22, the weather has been very rainy during the moonís first quarters, and the earth has not become heated. We have had no melons this year; we shall barely have enough for seed. This has never yet been seen at Montreal and every one is surprised at it. Nevertheless, the apple-trees are well loaded with fruit; cider will soon be made in this country, and even wine, ó for the gentlemen of the Seminary hope shortly to be able to do without wine from france. Many have vines in their gardens, and the grapes are very fine. We are on the 45th parallel of latitude, as is Limoges, according to the computation of Clavius, ó who can be mistaken only as to minutes, because the meridian star still approaches the pole, and the sunís apogee is at present in the scorpion. I know not what will become of me. As our college of villemarie is not endowed, we are not of opinion that a teacher should be maintained there any longer. We teach, however: and I am preparing myself to continue my mathematics. I have two or three of my pupils on the ships, and one is second pilot on board a Kingís ship. Nevertheless, our Reverend Father Superior always tells me to hold myself ready to go to the iroquois, if peace is made; or to go to Hudsonís bay.
I am in fairly good health; only two days ago, however, I Had a very violent headache. I find it difficult sometimes [Page 139] to read without spectacles; however, I do not use them yet. I went only two days ago to see Monsieur the intendant, to ascertain whether it would not be possible to obtain the discharge of Pierre Moreau, who formerly belonged to Monsieur de la chassaigneís company, and who is now at contrecúur; his discharge cannot be obtained this year. I would like to do something for the sake of father Sadry, through love for you.
I beg you to present my greeting to all of our good friends, to those of my year, and especially to father Jaques de la nouhe; he probably no longer remembers me.
Farewell, my dear Father and dear brother; I never cease to remember you at the altar and elsewhere.
of the Society of Jesus.
I must preach, but I have no sermons.
[Addressed: ìTo my Reverend Father, Father Jean ChauchiËre, of the society of Jesus, at Limoges.î]. [Page 141]
Letter by Father Claude ChauchiËre, mis-
sionary in Canada, to Father Jacques
Jouheneau, at Bordeaux.
Villemarie, this 20th of September, 1694.
y Reverend Father,
We expect peace with the Iroquois and hope that the negotiations that we have had with them will some day be successful. They would already have been so, had not the English opposed obstacles to it by their counsels, by their presents, and by their arms. They are doing what they can to divide the land with us. This year, they have advanced into the interior in the direction of the Illinois and the Miamis, ó who live toward the south, at 40 degrees of north latitude; and among whom we have fine missions, which the English and the Iroquois would soon destroy if they once established themselves there. Two iroquois nations came, 8 days ago, to sue for peace; but, while these two came to Montreal, 3 went to Orange to confer with the English, ó namely, the aniez, the Onneiouts, and the OnnontaguÈs; the two that came down here are the Goiogwens and the Tsonnontouans. We refused their presents, and told them that our kettle was still hung; and that we gave them a delay of only 30 days. After that, we shall have war on a larger scale than we have had with the savages, unless God, who preserves this country through an extraordinary [Page 143] providence, come to our aid. We hope that he will do so, in response to the prayers of the good Christians of Sault de St. Xavier, our beloved mission, where the same fervor prevails; where God manifests himself in the persons of those poor Savages, who continue to embrace the best practices of a christian and religious life. We count thee or 4 martyrs there, who have been burned by their own kindred in their very cabins, because they refused to abandon the faith and the french. I knew them all, and have frequently confessed some of them. Among them was a young woman who was captured, a year ago, a league from our village. She was nursing, and had a little child, two years old, hanging at her neck. She was taken to her own country, where she was very badly treated. She was beaten so severely that we are informed that there was not a single part of her body that was not covered with blood; and, to prove this, it is related that when she threw down a pack which had been placed upon her back, on the mat whereon she was told to sit, the mat was at once covered with blood. Soon afterward, they bound her little child to her neck, to burn it with the mother. The french who were slaves among the Iroquois were eyewitnesses of all this butchery, and cannot relate these things to us without weeping, and without drawing tears from the eyes of their listeners. After such instances, it will no longer be said that the Jesuits are deluding people when they speak of their Savages who are savages only in name or in costume. The french are continually escaping, and coming to Montreal. The Iroquois have given up 13.
If the european nations did not, with their brandy and their licentiousness, destroy the missionariesí [Page 145] work, we would have fine churches in this country.
You will have learned of the dissensions between Monseigneur of Quebek and the Recollets. He laid their church under an interdict; they submitted for a month or sot and then opened it. He admonished them; they persisted, and showed their privileges, which state that a bishop cannot lay their church under an interdict unless at the same time the town bind itself to support them. This ecclesiastical war between the Gentlemen of St. Sulpice and the religious is worse than the Iroquois war, on account of the scandal, and of the difference between the present times and those that existed on my arrival in Canada ó when I found among the ecclesiastics and the religious cor unum et anima una. God ceases not to bless us, as the harvest has been good, notwithstanding the fact that, since the eclipse in the month of june, the weather has been very rainy at the renewals of the moon, during the 1st quarters. The 2 Fathers sent out this year have reached Quebek safely; while the two priests who were sent from St. Sulpice in Paris, and the RÈcollet Fathers, who were on a ship named the ìSt. Joseph,î were captured, 60 leagues from Quebec, by the English, who sent them back without doing them any injury. They were filibusters from Virginia, who take refuge in Baston. One of our two Fathers was at once chosen to be chaplain of a Kingís ship sailing to Hudsonís Bay, whither I would have gone, had I had time to go down to Quebek to embark on it, for the purpose of teaching a class in mathematics on board the ship, and of wintering in the north. I have seen Father Pinette, who has come out from our province; he is quite well, and remained only 6 days at Quebek. He came up at once [Page 147] remained two days at Montreal, and went to a place 500 leagues from here. We are greatly edified by his zeal and abnegation. He experienced some of the trials of a missionaryís life while coming to Villemarie in the barks; for the winds were contrary all the time, and they made only fourteen leagues in fifteen days, ó amid constant rain, and lodged sub dio, ó the usual sign for lodgings in Canada. He gave me some news from the province, and left me with a keen desire to learn more. He told me that Your Reverence was quite well; this has given me much pleasure, and so has the letter which you have done me the honor of writing to me. I am here like a bird on a branch, ready to take flight at any moment. I was very nearly going to hudsonís Bay, where the last chaplain was killed by a wretched frenchman who was in a transport of rage. It was also intended that I should go up to Missilimakinac, to assume the direction of the Huron mission. Finally, I remained here, where we have a sort of college, which is not endowed; but I think that the Gentlemen of Villemarie will not have it long unless they endow it, because the revenues of our mission are very slight. I have pupils who are good fifth-class scholars; but I have others with beards on their chins, to whom I teach navigation, fortification, and other mathematical subjects. One of my pupils is pilot on the ship which sails to the north. Moreover, we hear confessions on sundays and holidays, and preach once a month in our church. Monseigneur has forbidden us to teach catechism or give the tournage ó that is, to deliver short discourses on the [blank space in MS.], as is done in Quebek. Can he prevent our doing so, and also from holding [Page 149]
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SITE OF OLD JESUIT COLLEGE AND CHURCH AT MONTREAL, RELATIVE TO THE
PRESENT CITY HALL AND COURT HOUSE
[photographic facsimile of plan made under the direction of Rev. Arthur E. Jones, S. J., the result of a careful study of records and traditions.]
meetings of the congregations? The Gentlemen of St. Sulpice fear that we shall ruin their parish. That is the reason why we exert our activities in the direction of the Savages more than in that of the french, so as not to give them umbrage. Nevertheless, the whole town is well pleased to have us here, and blames Messieurs the priests for treating us as they do. We hope for the restoration of all our occupations, perhaps through the change of bishop. We are very badly lodged here, as regards the buildings; but very well as regards the view, at an arpent from the town. Our church is half an arpent from us; the garden is between the two. When we go to the church, we are exposed to the rain, the wind, and the snow, because we have no means to build. We ask our Reverend Father Superior for only a small building, twenty feet long, at the end of our church; but he is unable to grant our request, through lack of funds. My usual lot has been to find myself ever in new establishments; and sometimes I have been obliged to build my dwelling myself. May God be pleased to give me a good one in heaven, With all this, it seems to me that I have been only 3 days in Canada because we frequently have no leisure to be lonely. Although the occupations seem slight, they are continual; and one is obliged to supply everything oneself ó and, what is most certain, the work done does not show. Two years ago, I had headaches every fortnight. They were due solely to exhaustion, because for a year I have not been so troubled by them, as I have a little more rest. I also had erysipelas at the same time, ó which left marks on my legs, and the attacks whereof are incurable in this country, óas well as a [Page 153] bloody flux; and, when I was sent to fort frontenak I felt myself attacked by scurvy, et ex his omnibus eripuit me Dominus. Excuse my writing, my Reverend father; I am told that the ships will soon sail, and I have taken up this letter 4 or five times. Oblige me by communicating it to father Jean ChauchiËre, to save me the trouble of recopying it. Father Gale has written to me from Cayenne, where he has as much trouble as we have in translating, into the language of the country, in nomini patris, sanctificetur, angelus Domini, and many other things concerning the faith. I am writing to him what we do in such work, My brother has greatly obliged me by sending me a catalogue of the province. I beg him to convey my greetings to Reverend father Tartas, the provincial, and Reverend father Verneuil, the rector of the college. I am almost forgetting the Reverend father Superior of the house of the professed. I beg the Reverend father rector of the novitiate to have his novices say a ìpater,î an ìave,î and the ìgloria patriî three times for me. This is a devotion practiced here among the Savages and the french, who go to the tomb of Catherine, who is interred in the church of the Sault, when they wish to obtain some favor from God. I began it on the very day of her burial; and I have always believed that it was she who at the end of the year saved me, when our chapel was blown down by the storm. Then, in the opinion of all, I was miraculously saved; and I believed that that virtuous savage repaid me on that occasion for the services that I rendered her during her illness.
Convey my greetings, I beg of you, to all of our year, and ask each of them to give me a slight share of their memento. I am writing to the Reverend [Page 155] father Provincial. I greet Father Lordis, and, in conclusion, I greet all our fathers and brethren of the three houses.
of the society of Jesus.
[Addressed: ìTo my reverend father, The reverend father Jaque Joheneau, of the Society of Jesus, at Bourdeaux.î] [Page 157]
Letter by Father Jacques Gravier in the form of
a Journal of the Mission of líImmaculÈe
Conception de Notre Dame in
the Ilinois country.
February 15, 1694.
y Reverend Father,
I have much pleasure in giving you information respecting the condition of this mission of the Ilinois, in order that you may be able to see, by this sort of journal that I send you, all that has occurred in it since the month of March of the previous year; and how great a blessing we might expect in this mission, were fervent laborers sent hither. After having been among the Oumiamis during the winter, on the ice, I found the Ilinois ó who had, some months before, left the places we call Kiskaskia and Kouir akouintauka. They had met every day during my absence to pray to God in the Chapel, night and morning, as regularly as if I had been present, ó after which an old man, who had for a long time been infirm, went through all the streets of the Village calling out that the women and children also were to go to adore God, and to say their prayers to him,... and when they informed me that several children had died, without my having had the consolation of having baptized them before my departure.
About the end of the Same Month of April, I [Page 159] blessed the new chapel, which is built outside the fort, at a spot very convenient for the savages. On the eve before blessing the chapel and the cross, which is nearly 35 feet high, I invited the french to be good enough to be present. They promised to be there, and to manifest in public the honor in which they held it. They showed the savages by 4 volleys from their guns their veneration for this symbol of salvation.
About the middle of May the deputies of the savages of this village, accompanied by two frenchmen, went to seek the alliance of the Missouri and of the Osages. These french Merchants, with the view of carrying on an advantageous trade with those tribes, made some proposals of peace to them; to these they agreed solely out of complaisance to the french, through consideration for whom they became reconciled with the Osages. I would willingly have performed that journey to see for myself whether anything could be done there for the glory of God among the Tamaroua and the Kaoukia, who are Ilinois; and to sound the Missouri and Osages, in order to ascertain what could be obtained from them with respect to Christianity, ó for I have no doubt that I would have found many dying children and adults to baptize. But, as there are among them some libertines who do not love the Missionaryís presence, because they wish to continue their evil conduct, I contented myself with telling them that I would cheerfully have undertaken the journey with them, as its difficulties and fatigues would have been agreeable to me while working for the interests of God.
About that time, as I showed that I was surprised by the indifference to instruction that I observed among the Peouareoua, notwithstanding the politeness [Page 161] with which the old men received me, one of them told me in confidence that his tribesmen had resolved to prevent the people from coming to the chapel to listen to me, because I inveighed against their customs and their juggleries; that they would, however, receive me well, in order to save appearances. I saw very well that this information was true, for the chief of the Peouareoua, who was the most prominent of all the jugglers, strongly opposed the Christian faith ó saying that it was important for the public welfare that no one should go to pray to God in the chapel any more, until the corn was ripe and the harvest over; and that he would then exhort the people to go to be instructed. The period that he fixed was a long one, for he thought that I would offer him a present to shorten it. Seeing that I could not rely in any way upon a man as interested as he, and one animated by no good will, I myself went to ask the inhabitants of the village to come to learn the road to heaven, without heeding the obstacles that the devil might oppose to it. I met a band of weeping women lamenting over a dying child, who expired as soon as I tried to approach him. The grandmother, who was not ignorant of the fact that I had baptized him a year ago, turned all her anger against me; after saying many harsh things against me, she threw herself on me like a fury, and violently pushed me out of the dwelling ó for fear, she said, that through the enchantments of baptism I might give to her and to all present some new cause for lamentation. I endured this insult with a calmness and joy that surprised myself, praising God because he did me the honor of allowing me to suffer something for his glory and for the salvation [Page 163] of souls. This womanís ill humor did not last long. Soon afterward, she told me that some human consideration had led her to treat me thus. The death of some children who have been baptized causes the Missionaryís approach to be viewed with apprehension when he visits the sick; and it is often thought that all is over with them when he administers Baptism to them.
On the 7th of June, a little child ó who died shortly after having received baptism without the knowledge of his parents ó was the cause of my being exposed to many rebuffs when I sought to approach him. I had omitted nothing that could satisfy his parents, to procure his salvation; but they made me go out when he was about to expire. They told me that man died utterly; and that if the soul lived, as I said it did, men would be seen to come back on earth after their death; that they remembered very well that the sister of the dying child had died after I had baptized her; and, for fear of the same happening to the sick boy if I baptized him, they ordered me to go out of the dwelling at once. Despairing of succeeding in my design, I had recourse to one of my friends; and, as he was not suspected, he approached the child ó who, immediately after the sacrament had been administered to him without its being perceived, departed to enjoy eternal happiness, of which the father and mother were trying to deprive him.
On the 10th of June, I gave a feast to all the christians, according to custom. On such occasions, one has a right to say whatever one pleases to the guests, without their feeling hurt by it. I reproached some, whom I named, with their indifference and their want of assiduity in attending the meetings in the chapel to hear the instructions. I explained [Page 165] to all of them the manner of confessing, and the bonds of Christian marriage; I told them of the blessedness of the faithful, and of the favor that God had done them by placing them among the number of his adopted children. I told them that he looked with horror upon their relatives and countrymen who were so many slaves of the Devil, and would burn with him forever in Hell, unless they became converted; and that, moreover, their good or evil example was of great weight in promoting or preventing the conversion of their relatives. As a good many old men and other married people still persist in their infidelity, I have devoted myself, as well as I have been able, to instructing the children and Neophytes until their departure for winter quarters. Among the great number of children who have attended, some already know their catechism very well; most of the older girls confess themselves very well, and some have made general confessions to me of their whole lives, with astonishing accuracy. In the midst of a corrupt nation which indulges in licentiousness of every kind, I find a young widow whose parents, as is their wont, made her marry without taking the trouble of ascertaining whether she wished to be married or not. She had not the courage to manifest to her parents the aversion that she felt for it; but she had enough to remain a long time with her husband without altering her first resolution. As he loved her dearly, he would not take another wife; and, when at the point of death, he told his wifeís parents that he gave her back to them as they had given her to him. He begged his brother, who was unmarried, to marry her ó assuring him that he had lived with her as with a sister; but [Page 167] she would never consent, notwithstanding the pressing solicitations of her parents during 3 years. She desired greatly to become a Christian, but she did not venture to speak to me of it, although she made her companions tell me of it, and came to the chapel daily for 4 years. I baptized her last spring. As she has bared the depths of her soul to me, with much ingenuousness, I am convinced that she has a horror of everything that may be contrary to purity. She told me frankly that the resolution she had taken to live always alone ó that is, not to marry ó was due to the aversion that she felt for all that she heard and saw done by the married people of her country. She did not think that it was because God specially loves Virgins, and she had not been taught to have that idea; but said that, in future, she would always tell God that he alone fully possessed all her affections ó that her heart was too small, and he too great, to divide it. Since she has told me of her intentions she has displayed admirable zeal in seeking to be instructed; and, so far, she has not belied herself. I endeavor to strengthen her in her resolution against the inconstancy that is natural to these savages, and to persuade her that she must be on her guard as much against herself as against those with whom she has to live; and that, otherwise, she would soon neglect to perform the duties imposed on her by her baptism.
About the 20th of June, the French and the savages who had left here during the previous month to seek the alliance of the Osages and Missouris, in the expectation of the great profits that they would derive from the trade with the latter, came back with two chiefs from each village, accompanied by some [Page 169] elders and some women. Although these Merchants, in all the dealings of any extent that they have with savages, care very little about telling them of God and of the Missionary, the visitors all came, nevertheless, to see me, and I welcomed them as heartily as I could. I took them to the chapel, and talked to them as if they understood me well; they were present at mass, and behaved with great modesty, following the example of the Ilinois ó whom they heard me instruct on several occasions, and cause to offer prayers to God. They manifested great joy when I led them to hope that I would go to see them, to give them sense ó such is the expression that they use. But, as I am alone, I cannot assist or visit the other villages of the Ilinois, which are on the banks of the Mississipi river. The Osages and the Missouri do not appear to be as quick-witted as the Ilinois; their language does not seem very difficult. The former do not open their lips, and the latter speak still more from the throat than they.
A young Peouareoua man ó baptized long ago and well instructed, but who compelled me during the previous year to forbid him entrance to my lodging, and to threaten him with expulsion from the church ó led his countrymen to believe that his chagrin would induce him to say and do everything that might be asked from him against Christianity. The chief of the Peouareoua and of all the jugglers, with some ëof his relatives, ó of the same party, and among the most notable persons of the village, ó omitted nothing to embitter his mind against the Neophytes and against the Missionary. ìThou wouldst not believe us,î his relatives said to him; ìthou wouldst attach thyself to the Black Gown, [Page 171] and he has... thee, We do not thus despise thee; We have Pity on thee, and thou shalt have a share in our feasts. Let the Kaskaskia Pray to God if they wish and let them obey him who has instructed them. Are we Kaskaskia? And why shouldst thou obey him, thou who art a Peouareoua? Since he has vexed thee, thou must declare publicly that thou abandonest Prayer; that it is worthless.î ìI shall hold a feast,î said the Peouareoua chief, ìand I shall invite all the old men and all the chiefs of bands; thou also wilt be invited. After speaking of our medicines and of what our grandfathers and ancestors have taught us, has this man who has come from afar better medicines than we have, to make us adopt his customs? His Fables are good only in his own country; we have ours, which do not make us die as his do.î These discourses and other similar ones gave great pleasure to the libertine, whose name was Antoine; but he could not long withstand the reproaches of his conscience, whatever the enemies of the faith might say to make him completely renounce Christianity. In vain they assured him that I had toads, wherewith I compounded poisons for the sick. Convinced as he was of the contrary, he took up my defense; and, impelled by salutary remorse for his sin, he came to me to be reconciled to God. He then related to me all that those charlatans, who were enraged against me, had done and said to make me odious to the Nation. He told me that one of those jugglers had wrapped up a live toad in several folds of ragged linen, in which it had suffocated; and had crushed it, to use it as an active poison, in order to make me perish by the same venom with which, he said, I caused the death of [Page 173] the Sick when I approached them, through the mere smell of a toad. All this was based upon the fact of his having heard me say that I was surprised to see the children handling toads as freely as they did, because we would not touch them thus in our country; and because a toad carried death with it. This empiric rises, therefore, and goes to the middle of the cabin to pick up the bundle of rags in which he has wrapped up his toad; he uncovers it and says to the old men assembled there: ìMy brothers, you will see that this Antoine will bring about his own death if he merely smells of this cloth, which will be the cause of his decease.î ìLet me die,î said Antoine, ìI shall be content to do so to expose your malice; I will smell your toad.î All observed profound silence, not doubting that he would at once die. He actually smelled of it several times, and lifted the toad up to his nose. ìAnd still I am not yet dead,î he said to the Juggler. ìThou wilt die shortly,î the latter replied to him. He again smelled of the toad several times and remained in the cabin for over two hours. The juggler, irritated at seeing his poison without effect, hung his head and said not another word ó being quite ashamed and also quite surprised that Antoine did not die, and still more at hearing him say that those who were not Christians would be damned. The old men withdrew, saying to Antoine: ìWe are convinced that Assapitaî ó that is the Jugglerís name ó ìhas not told the truth, and we are glad to see that you are not dead.î This was kept very secret, for I did not hear it spoken of; and the young man told me of it only long after it had happened. This Neophyte ó who for 6 or 8 years was covered with [Page 175] scrofulous ulcers, and who could barely drag himself about ó died after making a good confession, and I have reason to hope that God has had pity on him. Disease broke out in this village in the month of August, ó that is, after they began to eat new corn, squashes, watermelons, and other half-ripe fruit. Many children and young people were sick, and I had not as free access to all of them as I would have wished. Some are so prejudiced by the jugglers that, through fear that I may give them medicine, they say that they are quite well and disapprove of my frequent visits. They cry out against me as if I were the cause of the disease, and of the mortality ó although, in fact, but few people die. Some children would have died without baptism had I waited for their parentsí consent. Strategy must be employed in such cases. The little children who die are grateful to me when they are before God. Some jugglers openly oppose me, and do all they can to cast discredit upon our religion. Those who are more wary show me some politeness, to save appearances, while in an underhand way they do everything in their power to prevent the savages from being instructed. On my part, I also endeavor to maintain and cultivate the spirit of the faith in the adults who have embraced it. The young women here greatly contribute to bring prayer into favor, through the instructions and lectures that I hold for them. There are many who confess frequently and very well; and two young girls from 13 to 14 years of age began by making a general confession of their whole lives ó so thoroughly that, in order to forget nothing, they made use of little pieces of wood as we use counters; and, as they mentioned everything of which they accused themselves, or which [Page 177] they considered a sin, they dropped one of these small pieces of wood, like the beads of a rosary. An old man did the same, some time afterward, while at confession; and it is a custom among them to count in this manner when they mistrust their memory.
The chief of the Kaskaskia and his wife have, ever since the marriage of their daughter with a frenchman, been very assiduous at the instructions, and have begged me to prepare them for baptism. Their son-in-law, forced by the reproaches of his conscience, has admitted to his father-and mother-in-law that all the falsehoods which he had told to discredit the missionaries were but fictions. The desire to slander and calumniate had urged him to fabricate these, to prevent people from embracing our holy faith, and, to please certain libertines who had induced him to spread falsehoods, and compel me, if possible, to leave the country. This they wished me to do, so that I might not witness the evil conduct of some profligates. But this frenchman said that, now that he had resolved to become a Christian, he would refuse all the presents that might be given him to speak ill of me in the future. He afterward exhorted the 2 catechumens to be devoted to prayer, and docile to my instructions, adding that, in order not to be deceived they must cling to the missionary whose sole desire was the salvation of their souls; while the other frenchmen chiefly cared for their merchandise, without troubling themselves about rescuing them from the state of damnation in which they saw them, These two worthy savages reflected so seriously on all that their son-in-law and daughter told them respecting the unfortunate condition of those who refuse my good advice that, without speaking to me of it, they agreed that the chief [Page 179] should publicly declare the resolution which he had taken to become a Christian. To make this act more solemn, he gave a feast to the chiefs of all the villages, and to the most notable among the Peouareoua, all famous jugglers; he openly renounced all their superstitions, and urged them in a rather long harangue to be no longer the enemies of their own happiness, by resisting the grace of Christianity which God was offering to them through my instrumentality. He dwelt at great length upon the importance of salvation, and upon the trouble that I took to procure it for them, in spite of all the obstacles placed in my way. All replied by exclaiming Nikana, ó that is to say, ìMy friendî ó which is their way of applauding. I learned this from one who was present at the feast, for the chief never spoke to me of it. The same evening, his wife gave a feast to all the women of her village, to inform them also that she intended to become a Christian. The better to try them, I let neither of them know what I had learned. From that time, they urged me to baptize them; I granted them that favor after they had given me several proofs of their desire to perform the duties of Christians. To make the ceremony of their baptism more profitable and more imposing, I proclaimed throughout the village that all were to be present at their baptism. I was very glad that many witnessed it. I took advantage of the occasion to exhort the others to imitate them. I went into their cabins to preach Godís Kingdom to them, without heeding those who scoffed at all my solicitations to win them to Jesus Christ, and to reveal to them the artifices employed by the Devil to deceive them and prevent me from giving [Page 181] them Sense (such is their way of speaking). One of the oldest among the elders ó full of zeal for the ancient customs of the country and apprehending that his credit and that of his class would be diminished if their people embraced the faith ó went through the village, calling out: ìAll ye who have hitherto hearkened to what the black gown has said to you, come into my cabin. I shall likewise teach you what I learned from my grandfather, and what we should believe. Leave their myths to the people who come from afar, and let us cling to our own traditions.î
On the 18th of September, a child died without baptism through the obstinacy of the parents, who continually repelled me when I presented myself to administer the sacrament. In order that the calamity of that unfortunate little one might be the opportunity for the salvation of the others, I called out everywhere in the village that I deplored the loss of the soul of that child, who would eternally curse its parents. ìYe who have dying children not yet baptized,î I said to them, ìdelay not to bring them to the chapel. Have pity on them, as I have.î I walked through the village a long time, in order to be heard by all. On the following day I baptized five, one of whom is already in heaven. I count my trouble as nothing, for I know how much souls have cost the savior. Owing to the obstinacy and resistance of the parents, many have gone away for the six monthsí wintering. I occupied myself a good deal in behalf of the sick, that I might not fail to send these little innocents to heaven. I could find time to say my breviary only during the night. Before the disease spread through the villages, I was well received everywhere; and the old men told [Page 183] me that prayer was a good thing. Without themselves praying, they exhorted me to make the women and children pray well, and to instruct them, so that no disease might break out; but, when the contagion spread, I was looked upon in most of the cabins as the bird of death; and people sought to hold me responsible for the disease and the mortality. I attributed the cause thereof with greater reason to jugglery, and pointed out to them that the disease had commenced only since they had practiced those ceremonies, and ó in mockery of the holy water, and of the sprinkling with it that I performed every sunday in the chapel ó had performed an impious sprinkling in their public jugglery. I reminded them that God had inflicted punishment by the death of an old woman, a few days after she had imitated our ceremonies; that he had punished another by the death of her child; and that disease and death had entered the cabins of all the most superstitious.
As there are always people here who dwell amid the fields, at a distance of more than a league from the village, until they depart for their winter quarters, I continued my short excursions from the month of July to the 24th or 25th of September. After saying mass and prayers very early in the morning, I went to visit alternately those who were in their corn and squash fields. At a distance of a league from the village is a small one, on a hill whose base is bathed by a river, constituting a landscape very agreeable to the sight. I gathered together those who were there; and in order to inform those who were in the fields of my arrival, I called out, as I was in the habit of doing in the village, that all were to come to prayer. I said the [Page 185] prayers in the cabin of the most notable man in the village, ó a juggler by profession, who nevertheless manifested a very zealous desire that his people should honor and attend catechism twice a week. Some were scandalized at my entering the dwelling of this man, who was reported to exhibit the Manitous in the cabin every night, and to sing in their honor until daylight; and who had, according to their custom, given a very superstitious feast. In fact, having gone there one day when I was not expected, I saw 3 or 4 serpent-skins hung up, with some painted feathers, and the skins of various very pretty small birds. I pretended not to have seen anything; I strongly inveighed against jugglery, and against those imaginary spirits that have neither body nor soul. They did not make their appearance after that; but, a few days afterward, I saw a little dog suspended at the end of a pole stuck into the ground. I had never seen anything of the kind since I had been among the Ilinois. I was astonished, for I was not yet convinced by actual experience that they offered sacrifices to their Manitous, or that they thus hung up dogs or other animals to stay diseases. All that they are in the habit of doing consists in saying at their feasts: ìMy Manitou, I prepare for thee, or I give thee, food.î But the cooks eat everything, and offer nothing, or put nothing aside for the Manitou. I asked what was meant by the little dog hanging on the pole. I was told that it had died of a Disease; and that, to prevent the children from touching it, it had been put where they could not reach it. An old man, who saw very well that I was not satisfied with this explanation, told me that it was to appease the lightning, [Page 187] because one of his children had been ill on a day when there had been a great deal of lightning. After pointing out, in the presence of many persons, the uselessness of this superstition, I pulled the pole out of the ground and flung it, with the dog, upon the grass, and continued my visits; for, after making the savages pray to God, I visited from time to time all whose fields were in that quarter. My walk always covered fully three leagues, over a very good road; and the distance seemed short to me, owing to the stay that I made at the various places where I halted.
All the people left for their winter quarters on the 26th of September, excepting some old women, who remained in 14 or 15 cabins, and a considerable number of Kaskaskia. Notwithstanding all the trouble I took to prevent the sick children from being embarked without receiving baptism, some escaped me whose parents would not allow me to baptize them. I followed others as far as the place of embarkation, to endeavor to give them their viaticum for eternity. I did right in not allowing myself to be repelled by the railleries with which the parents and all the women, who were on the point of embarking, treated my anxiety; for God rewarded my efforts with the salvation of several of these little innocents. The chief of the Peauareoua, who was surprised to see me at the waterís edge, asked me what I was doing there, and whether I was waiting for the mother of a sick child. I replied jestingly that I wished to baptize his child, on which he began to joke. ìBe not surprised,î I said to him and to those who were present, ìif I have been standing here so long. I am much more surprised that no pity is shown to the children, who are and [Page 189] who will be the slaves of the devil, if they die without baptism.î Although this reason was not an obvious one to them, to rid themselves of my importunities I was permitted to baptize several privately. I confess that I have not been so scrupulous this year with reference to the baptism of sick little children as I was in previous years. I have administered it to them without the knowledge of their parents, and have not always thought best to await their consent; because they were affected less by the eternal happiness or misfortune of their sick children than by their erroneous dread that baptism would cause their death. For the enemies of the faith strive to convince them that baptism causes the children to die; and this is the reproach that is frequently addressed to me in most of the cabins, when I speak to them of the necessity of salvation. I often experience great difficulty in persuading a mother whose first baptized child has died, to allow me to baptize the second or the 3rd. One must not be discouraged, and there are many women who, in order not to see me often in their dwellings, where I inquire about the health of their children, have brought them to me in the church to have them baptized. Although this year I met with more resistance from the majority of the parents than in previous years, regarding the baptism of their new-born children, I have nevertheless baptized many more than last year, ó many of whom now enjoy eternal happiness, and pray for their parentsí conversion. As in these beginnings I can produce hardly any effect on the minds of the old people, the fathers and mothers, I endeavor to put into practice the advice given by St. Francis Xavier with respect to their children. [Page 191] Nam ut grandiores et parentes celesti beatitudine excidunt, eorum quidem isti liberi ac pueri fruentur qui prius hujus lucis usuram quam baptismalem innocentiam amittent.
That is what this great servant of God says of those on the coast of la PÈcherie [land of sin?]. Although there are already many baptized adults in this nascent mission, the inconstancy of all these savages and the corruption among all these southern tribes are so great that there is more to fear for the Ilinois than St. Francis Xavier had to dread in the case of the Indians of the East, ó paucos ad Cúlum pervenire nisi eos qui quatuordecim annis minores cun baptismali innocentia excedunt. Moreover, although I do not confer all the rites of the baptism of adults on girls under 19 years of age, I will not baptize one above 6 or 7 who knows not the prayers, and who is not as well instructed as the adults, and whom I do not cause to make all the necessary acts before administering baptism. There has not been one with a little knowledge who did not know that God forbids those who marry to espouse a man who already has a wife; and the last girl, about 19 years of age, whom I baptized previous to their departure for winter quarters, received baptism only after her father, who is the new chief of the Peouareoua, had assured me that he would not marry her to any man who already had a wife.
Although there is a great deal of corruption among these tribes, after all, the number of nubile girls and of newly-married women who retain their innocence is much greater than those in the a and the fervor of her who is married to Sieur Ako has nothing of the savage in it, so thoroughly is she imbued with the spirit of God. She tells me [Page 193] the thoughts and the elevated sentiments that she has regarding God, ó with such ingenuousness that I cannot sufficiently thank God for revealing himself so intimately to a young savage in the midst of an infidel and corrupt nation. Many struggles were needed before she could be induced to consent to the marriage, for she had resolved never to marry, in order that she might belong wholly to Jesus Christ. She answered her father and mother, when they brought her to me in company with the frenchman whom they wished to have for a son-in-law, that she did not wish to marry; that she had already given all her heart to God, and did not wish to share it. Such were her very words, which had never yet been heard in this barbarism. Consequently her language was received with displeasure; and ó as I frankly stated that such sentiments were not those of a savage, and that God alone could have inspired her with them ó her father, her mother, and still more the frenchman who wished to marry her, were convinced that it was I who made her speak thus. I told them that God did not command her not to marry, but also that she could not be forced to do so; that she alone was mistress to do either the one or the other, in the fear of offending God. She made no answer either to all the entreaties or to all the threats of her father and mother, who went away quite chagrined, and thinking of nothing but venting their anger against me, ó imagining that it was I who prevented their daughter from giving her consent.
As I went through the village calling the savages to prayers, the father stopped me when I passed before his cabin, and told me that, inasmuch as I was preventing his daughter from obeying him, he [Page 195] would also Prevent her from going to the chapel; at the same time he came out of his cabin, rating me and inveighing against me, and barring the way to those who followed me. A portion of the Kaskaskia nevertheless came to the chapel, and so did the Peouareoua, who went round the village to escape his sight. He had just driven his daughter out of the house after depriving her of her upper garment, her stockings, her shoes, and her petty ornaments, without a single word of remonstrance or a single tear from her. But, when he wished to take away what covered her, she said: ìAh! my father, what are you trying to do? Leave me; that is enough, I will not give you the rest; you may take my life rather than deprive me of it.î Her father stopped short and, without saying a word, drove her from his house. Not wishing to be seen in that plight, she hid herself in the grass on the waterís edge, where an old man ó a catechumen, who was going to the chapel ó found her, and threw her his jerkin. She covered herself with it, and at once came to the chapel, where she responded to all the prayers and chants with the others, as if nothing had happened to her. She waited for me after prayers, when I exhorted her to have courage and to do precisely whatever God inspired her, without fearing anything. I had her taken secretly to the house of the savage who had covered her with his jerkin.
That very night her father gathered the chiefs of the four villages together, and told them that, since I prevented the french from forming alliances with them, ó and adding a number of other falsehoods to what he said, ó he earnestly begged them to stop the women and children from coming to the chapel. [Page 197] He experienced no difficulty in making people who are themselves still but little inclined to Christianity believe all he wished. The prohibitions and threats did not prevent there being 50 persons present on the following day from the village of the Peouareoua, with some Kaskaskia ó as well as the girl, who exposed herself to ill treatment, had her father met her. He sent a spy to see whether any persons entered the chapel; and, being surprised to find so many people there, he caused to be proclaimed in the village that it was strange that the chiefs were not obeyed, since, notwithstanding their prohibition, many people had entered the chapel: that therefore they must not be surprised if he ill-treated those who persisted in going there. Those who govern the young women and the grown girls of Peouareoua told me that they would come to prayers in the evening, and that I was not to announce them in the village. I replied that, if I failed to do so, I would lead the savages to believe that I feared the prohibitions and the threats that had been made; and that those who had courage would obey me. They came, in fact, of their own accord to the chapel in the evening; but I nevertheless made the usual announcement. I was told from various cabins to cease my call, and that no one would go to the chapel to pray to God, because the chiefs forbade it. ìLet no one go forth from the lodges,î they said; ìyou are forbidden to pray.î ìCall out very loudly,î another said to me; ìwho will obey you?î In fact, no one came out; and there were only some little girls present who made a long detour to avoid those who barred the way, and came to join those who awaited me at the door of the chapel. The daughter of the chief of the Kaskaskia came also, and there were only 30 [Page 199] persons in all. Hardly had I begun to chant the Vini Creator when a man about 45 years of age entered the chapel, with a club in his hand, saying in a threatening tone: ìHave you not heard the chiefsí prohibition? Obey them, and go out quickly.î He seized one by the arm, to make her go out; but she remained firm. I went straight to him, and said: ìGo out thyself and respect the house of God.î ìThe chiefs forbid them to pray,î he replied. ìAnd God commands them to do so,î I said. ìBe silent and go out.î I did not expect that he would give me time to say to him all that I did. I afterward returned to the altar-step, where I continued the prayer. He took another by the arm, to make her go out. ìYou obey not,î he said to them. ìTake care not to offend the master whom we serve here,î I called out to him; ìwithdraw, and leave us to pray to God. And you who honor the Lord of heaven and of earth, fear not; he is with you, and he guards you.î He remained some time longer, without saying a word; and, seeing that he gained nothing, he withdrew with another old man, who had followed him. I praised all present for having been firm, and for having caused the Devilís emissaries to lose courage; for he it was who, out of jealousy because the savages in this country are beginning to pray to God, had been the cause of this petty persecution. ìBut you must not be frightened; it will not last long, God permits it solely to test your constancy. í í
I thought that I should not remain silent after so great an insult had been offered to God. I went to the commandant of the fort who gloated over it. He answered in an insulting manner that I had drawn all this upon myself, through my stubbornness in [Page 201] not allowing the girl of whom I have spoken above to marry the Frenchman, who was then with him: and that, if he wished to marry her, he would do so in spite of me. After several very insulting reproaches, he went so far as to utter a great many calumnies against me, in the presence of the French and of a large number of savages, who gathered near the fort to hear him inveigh against me in a most contemptuous and angry manner. God granted me the grace to bear all these humiliations in a quite tranquil state of mind, it seems to me. In order that the savages might not think that we were quarreling, I replied hardly a word to all the insults that he uttered; and I raised my voice a little merely when I considered that I should maintain the glory and worship of God, and because I always desired to revert to the insult that had been offered in the chapel. For that I demanded satisfaction of some kind, and that whatever was necessary should be done with regard to the chiefs of the savages, lest some other might seek to do as much, or more. He replied coldly that he would speak to the chiefs: but, instead of assembling them at once, he waited until the afternoon of the following day, and even then I had to return to him for the purpose.
For all satisfaction, he contented himself with sending me word that the chiefs asserted that they had not told that man to offer the insult in the chapel; and it was not due to him that the same savage was not again guilty of the same insolence. For, when we assembled to call to mass, a heavy shower fell, and he imagined that they would not come to the chapel. But, when he found out the contrary and came there, he was. only in time to meet them as they came out; and he was not careful [Page 203] enough to hide his Club which showed beneath his clothes. During those 2 days the chief of the Kaskaskia made every effort to obtain his daughterís consent, by dint of caresses and of threats. He assured her that, if she obeyed him not, she would be treated most rigorously by him; that assuredly Prayers would no longer be said to God; that he would go to war, and that she would see him no more. She came to me, and assured me that God strengthened her; that she was still resolved to consecrate her virginity to God; that she had wept for 2 days on account of this conspiracy against prayer, of which her father was the instigator; and that she feared that her father would become still more furious and proceed to extremities. ìAll the threats against me trouble me not,î she said, ìand my heart is content. But I fear for Godís word, because I know my father and my mother.î ìFear not,î I said to her, ìprayer is the homage paid to God.î ìMy father has had pity on me,î she said, I and I have an idea ó I know not whether it is a good one. I think that, if I consent to the marriage, he will listen to you in earnest, and will induce all to do so. I wish to please God, and for that reason I intend to be always as I am in order to please Jesus Christ alone. But I thought of consenting against my inclination to the marriage, through love for him. Is that right?î These are all her own words and I merely translate her Ilinois into French. ìMy daughter,î I said to her, ë( God does not forbid you to marry; neither do I say to you: ë Marry or do not marry.í If you consent solely through love for God, and if you believe that by marrying You will win your family to God, the thought is a good one. But you must declare to your parents that it iS [Page 205] not their threats that make you consent to the marriage.î She came to the latter decision. As the urgent solicitations continued, she said to her mother: ìI pity my father. I feel no resentment against him for his treatment of me, and I fear not his threats. But I think that I shall grant his request, because I believe that you and he will grant me what I ask.î Finally, she told her father that she consented to the marriage; the father, the mother, and the Frenchman came to me while she was in the chapel to ascertain whether what her father said was true. She replied aloud: ìI hate him,î pointing to the Frenchman, ìbecause he always speaks ill of my father, the black gown; and he lies when he says that it is he who prevents me from marrying.î Then in a low tone she said to me: ìIt is not fear of my father that compels me to consent to the marriage. You know why I consent.î The Frenchman, and the father withdrew, well satisfied to make the preparations for the marriage. But, before concluding it entirely, I wished the father to gather all the chiefs of the villages in his cabin, and retract all that he had said, because it was all untrue; to express his regret for having forbidden them to pray to God; and to tender some satisfaction, at which I wished to be present.
He consented to all this, and did so, in the most submissive and humiliated manner that can be imagined. He begged me several times to forgive him his drunkenness, ó that is, his obstinacy, addressing me at every moment, and eulogizing prayer. ìI never intended to abandon it,î he said to those who were present, ìeven when I told you to stop for a few days those who were going to pray [Page 207] it was a trick, when I told you to do it. I beg you, as urgently as I can, to obey now the black gown, your true father, who really loves you, and who does not deceive you. Take courage, my brothers; exhort all to obey him and to be instructed, and when he calls out the summons to pray to God, let every one go.î He said so much, and abased himself to such a degree, that ó although I had resolved to tell him all that I thought of him, before so large an assembly ó I contented myself with saying that, as I believed that he spoke from the bottom of his heart, I was willing to overlook all that he had done and I prayed God to forgive him; but that he and all who listened to me must remember that all who attacked prayer would be acting precisely as this man had done. Moreover, that all that he had said to them, in his chagrin, with reference to the marriages of the French was false, and was the invention of some scandal-loving Frenchmen; that the black gowns were the witnesses of true marriage; and that to them alone God had given orders to pray for all who wished to marry, and they would be truly married.
On leaving this assembly, all the elders called out the summons to prayers throughout the village; and I think that the whole of it ó women, girls, children, and even the old men ó gathered around the chapel. But I would not open it to any one, in order to show them that I alone governed prayer, as I had told them at the assembly, and that it depended not on menís caprice; that, since I had not announced it, or appointed any one to do so in my stead, there would be no prayer that day. As no one knew the reason why I did not open the door of [Page 209] the chapel, they all waited for a long time, and finally withdrew, one after another, not knowing what to think. The commandant of the fort failed not to blame me; and told the savages that, since I did not open the door of the chapel, they need not pray to God, and I had only to go away. The chief of the Kaskaskia, who thought that I was angry, and who feared that in excusing himself he might have said something to offend me, sent the Frenchman, his future son-in-law, to me to know what was the matter. I replied that I was content with the public satisfaction he had given; but that I did not consider as persons desirous of praying those who came to the chapel at the call of the old men, but those who came at mine; and that, as I had called out the summons twice in the village without being obeyed, and as people came to the chapel only by stealth, I would therefore wait two days before I summoned them. In fact, I received in the chapel on the following day only those women who had been constant; and I did not summon them until evening. As the chapel was nearly full, I explained what it meant to be a Christian, or to truly desire to be one; that they who feared men more than God were not Christians, etc....
After the chief of the Kaskiaskia had obtained his daughterís consent to the marriage with the Frenchman of whom I have spoken above, he informed all the chiefs of the villages, by considerable presents, that he was about to be allied to a Frenchman. The better to prepare herself for it, the girl made her first communion on the feast of the Assumption of Our Lady; she had prepared herself for it during more than 3 months ó with such fervor, that she seemed [Page 211] fully penetrated by that great mystery. We may believe that Jesus Christ enriched her with many graces on the occasion of his first visit, and I observed in this girl the manifest effects of a good communion. As she had not forgotten what I had said of St. Henry on the day of his feast, and of St. Cunegonde, his wife, she hoped to persuade him whom she was about to marry to do the same. The number of prayers she said to God with that object is incredible. I left her in that hope, for I had moreover fully instructed her regarding the obligations of marriage, and everything to which she pledged herself. Her husband has told me that she spoke to him in so tender and persuasive a manner that he could not avoid being touched by it, and that he was quite ashamed of being less virtuous than she. She has taken for her special patronesses the Christian Ladies who have sanctified themselves in the state of matrimony, ó namely, St. Paula, St. Frances, St. Margaret, St. Elizabeth, and St. Bridget, whom she invokes many times during the day saying things to them that one would not believe from a young savage. The first conquest she made for God was to win her husband, who was famous in this Ilinois country for all his debaucheries. He is now quite changed, and he has admitted to me that he no longer recognizes himself, and can attribute his conversion solely to his wifeís prayers and exhortations, and to the example that she gives him. ìAnd how can I resist,î he has often told me; ìall that she says to me? I am ashamed that a savage child, who has but recently been instructed, should know more than I who have been born and brought up in christianity, and that she should speak to me of the love [Page 213] of God with a gentleness and tenderness capable of making the most insensible weep; and my experience convinces me that she tells the truth when she says that there is no joy except for those who are good. Hitherto, I have never been satisfied; my conscience has always been troubled with a great many causes for remorse,î he continued, ìand I have such a horror of my past life that I hope, with the assistance of Godís grace, that no one will ever be able to make me abandon the resolution I have undertaken to lead a good life in future.î To make him expiate his past offenses, God permitted that he should displease some persons who have stirred up ugly transactions of his, and have made him odious to every one. His wife is all his consolation, through what she says to him. ìWhat matters it, if all the world be against us?î she says. ìIf we love God, and he loves us, it is an advantage to us to atone during our lives for the evil that we have done on earth, so that God may have mercy on us after we die.î
Having heard me say that many Christians, penetrated with regret for their offenses and with sorrow for having crucified Jesus Christ by their sins, practice Holy severities upon themselves, she ó instead of treating herself tenderly, as some do ó made for herself a girdle of thorns. This she wore for two whole days, and she would have crippled herself with it, had she not informed me of this mortification, when I compelled her to use it with more moderation. She has such tenderness for Jesus Christ suffering that she has admitted to me that she often weeps while gazing at Jesus crowned with thorns, ó a picture of whom she keeps in a sort of apartment that she has made for herself. I take [Page 215] pleasure in making her say what she thinks of God, and the sentiments she feels toward him. In truth, God alone can inspire her with them. ìWhen I think,î she said, ìof the blindness of the Ilinois in not adoring or loving so great a God, I am often afflicted at it.î When I asked her whether she truly loved him, she replied with sighs that she was ashamed not to love him as she should. ìHe is great, and his love for us is great; I am so insignificant, and my love for him is so small. But at least I desire to love him much,î etc.... On another occasion I asked her whether she loved the Blessed Virgin, and what she said to her.î I know not whether I do wrong in calling her my mother,î she replied; ìI pray to her with every endearing term, to be pleased to adopt me as her daughter. What should I do were she not my mother, and did she not look upon me as her daughter? Am I capable of guiding myself? I am still but a child, and know not yet how to pray. I beg her to teach me what I should say to her, that she may protect me against the Demon ó who assails me on all sides, and would cause me to fall had I not recourse to her, and did she not receive me in her arms, as a good mother receives her frightened child.î She also told me, very ingenuously, that she begged her not to be angry at her for bearing her beautiful name of Mary; that she always remembered, while saying her rosary, to pray to Our Ladyís beloved son Jesus, our Captain, that she might not sully the Holy name that she bore, and that he might not be angry at her for calling Our Lady her mother. ìNo,î I said to her, ìshe is not angry because you call her mother. Continue to speak thus to her; she will cheerfully [Page 217] listen to you, and will look upon you as her daughter so long as you really love her son.î This good girl displays admirable care in getting the children and young girls of her village baptized, and it gives her great pleasure to be chosen as Godmother. She herself brings the children of her relatives, as soon as they are born ó in order, as she says, that they may at once cease to be slaves of the Devil, and become children of God. And when she learns that a child who has been baptized is dead, she rejoices at this, and begs it to intercede with God for her, and for the whole village. The grown girls and the young women who have been baptized she induces, whenever she can, to come to her home, that she may instruct them; and she tries to inspire them with horror for dances, for night assemblies, and for evil of all kinds, and to instruct them regarding confession. From time to time, she brings me one that I may confess her; and occasionally she comes to me, quite disconsolate, to say: ìI have not been able to persuade such a one; she dreads confession. Try to speak to her yourself,î she says to me; and informs me of all kinds of things that she adroitly discovers. Her discretion and virtue give her marvelous authority, especially over those to whom she speaks of prayer without even any aged women finding fault with her ó reproving them sometimes more energetically than I myself would do. What efforts did she not make to induce her father and mother to become Christians! She frequently added tears to her entreaties; and, since their baptism, she ceases not to remind them of the promises that they made to God. It is impossible to imagine all that she said to her mother to induce her to forgive her uncle, her [Page 219] motherís brother, for the death of one of her slaves ó Whom he Cruelly killed, out of revenge for Some slight vexation formerly caused him by his sister. The father and mother of this good Christian had gone out together, the wife being armed as well as the husband, to kill the murderer; but the efforts of this girl succeeded so well that she diverted the blow, and prevented them from executing their design. The mother nearly died from chagrin at not having revenged herself, and she carried her spite so far as to come no longer to church. Her daughter took the liberty of reproving her for this. ìI shall go to the church,î she said,î if I am revenged.î ìGod,î replied her daughter, ìforbids revenge, and wills that punishment be left to him.î ìThen let him make my brother die,î said the mother,î and I will be a good Christian. If he does not kill him, I will not cease to seek means to destroy him.î ìOh, you offend God,î her daughter replied with tears. After this great rage had softened to some extent, she ceased not to represent to her the scandal that she had given to our new church, and urged her to go to confession: and her constancy in enduring all her motherís rebuffs and hard words overcame the latterís obstinacy. One day she heard her father complaining to her husband of the ingratitude of the French, for whom he had made so many sacrifices, and to whom he had rendered good service ó and he spoke truly, for without him the French would have been massacred here. He said that the French who had displayed the greatest friendship toward him would not even look at him since he was a Christian; that the commandant, far from manifesting pleasure because he [Page 221] had overcome all the obstacles to his baptism, now despised him; that he knew not what to think or. say of such conduct, unless it were that the French preferred to see him lead the life of a savage rather than that of a Christian; and that they considered him a coward because he had not revenged himself upon his brother-in-law, etc..,. The daughter, who was nearer him than he thought, came out of her little apartment, and, in a most winning manner, said everything to him that a daughter who dearly loves her father can say to allay his sorrow. She afterward whispered in his ear, and withdrew into her room. Her husband, who followed her closely, found her in her oratory, her eyes filled with tears, at the foot of the crucifix. This led him to believe that her father had spoken harshly to her. Being unable to obtain a word from her, he asked me to find out the cause of her affliction. She told me that she feared that the Devil would cause her father to fall, and arouse a desire for revenge in his heart; so she had asked God to strengthen her and to inspire her with what she should say to her father. At the same time, she had come out of her room and notwithstanding the repugnance she felt, she had even said to him: ìMy father, you speak ill. The Devil wishes to make you sin; pray go to confession, that your mind may be soothed and your soul may resume the original beauty given to it by baptism.î Her father had replied to her Nikana, which is an expression of friendship and approval. ìI withdrew at once to my oratory to thank God,î she said, ìand to entreat him to touch my fatherís heart.î In fact, on the very same day at 4 oíclock in the afternoon, he came [Page 223] to me with his wife to confess, ó which I had expected. In order not to be precipitate, ó after reminding them of what I had said to them respecting the sacrament of penance, in the instruction that had preceded their baptism, ó I put them off to the following day, and told them to come one after the other, which they did. Their daughter was so pleased at this that, on the very same day, she went to her father and mother separately to rejoice with both of them, and to encourage them to maintain themselves in Godís grace. In the month of September, I had drawn up for her a daily order to regulate her prayers and occupations, from the hour of rising until night. I was exceedingly surprised on the following day on hearing her repeat all that I had explained to her at great length, even to the shortest prayer, and word for word as I had told her. It is the same as regards everything that she hears about the life of Our Lord and the lives of the saints. That which I most approve in her is the great distrust and the little esteem that she has for herself. Her most frequent prayer consists in saying: ìMy God, I am still but a child; I am weak. If you cease to sustain me, the Devil will deceive me and make me fall into sin.î
Inasmuch as, after the departure of the Ilinois to their winter quarters, there remained only some cabins of Kaskaskia in which were several children, I applied myself especially to having them taught the catechism. I chose her house wherein to gather them together, hoping to satisfy her zeal by charging her with the duty of teaching them. I had the pleasure of listening while she questioned them, to see if they answered well. All the children of the [Page 225] village are welcome in her house, and they take pleasure in going there. When I asked her why she was so desirous of teaching the children, she replied that it was because God specially loved them; that their souls still retained the beauty that they had received in baptism; and that as yet they knew not evil. I had but to tell her that, in addition to the prayers that I say every evening with those who are present in the chapel, it would be good to say them in the house for the whole family, before retiring, I told her that it was also advisable to invite some persons from the other cabins to come at that time, so that the prayers might be said and the examination of conscience be made together, ó as is done in well-regulated French and savage families; and from the month of October she never failed to do so after supper.
Since the Kaskaskia have returned from hunting, so many people come after prayers all together to catechism ó which is taught throughout the winter in my lodge, because it is too cold in the chapel ó that there is not enough room for all. As she taught it as well as I, during the day, to the children, there were but few during the months of October and November at the conferences and instructions that I gave them. To the adults I explained the whole of the New Testament, of which I have copper-plate engravings representing perfectly what is related on each page. At the beginning she herself, her husband, who is a Frenchman, her father, her mother, and those of her cabin were the only persons present at the explanation that I gave of these pictures during an hour and a half; but curiosity to see the pictures, rather than to hear the explanations that I gave, attracted a great many. [Page 227]
This young woman, who is only 17 years old, has so well remembered what I have said about each picture of the Old and of the New Testament that she explains each one singly, without trouble and without confusion, as well as I could do ó and even more intelligibly, in their manner. In fact, I allowed her to take away each picture after I had explained it in public, to refresh her memory in private. But she frequently repeated to me, on the spot, all that I had said about each picture; and not only did she explain them at home to her husband, to her father, to her mother, and to all the girls who went there, ó as she continues to do, speaking of nothing but the pictures or the catechism, ó but she also explained the pictures on the whole of the Old Testament to the old and the young men whom her father assembled in his dwelling.
After devoting the month of October to the explanation of the pictures, I continue to assemble the people, after supper, in my lodge to teach them catechism. Two reasons have led me to do so in the evening toward nightfall: 1st, in order that more persons might be present, because the women are busy during the day with their household occupations, and cannot attend the instructions during the rather long time that the catechism lasts; 2nd, because the young men go out hunting, and the children run about everywhere, and are hardly ever at home except in the morning and evening; also, in order to prevent evil conversations that take place in most of the cabins at night. God has been pleased to bless this practice throughout the winter. I have had every evening, during two hours, over three-fourths of the village of the Kaskaskia who are here; and they were so crowded that they could not stir. [Page 229]
It is Certain that this is a special effect of Godís grace, because at present the men and women are not attracted to catechism through curiosity to hear novel things; for I instruct and question them every evening on nearly the same subjects. What surprises me most is the assiduous perseverance of the Young men Of 25, 30, 35, and even of those over 40 years of age. The chief of the Kaskaskia, at their head with his young brother, who is the captain of the young men. The most arrogant become like children at catechism, and not one is ashamed to answer the simplest questions that I put. The fathers and mothers are delighted when I question their children; they themselves encourage them and beg me, when I go into their cabins, to question them. I cannot grant this favor to all who ask it, for otherwise I would never reach an end. It is true that the hope of getting a red bead, ó which is a fruit of the size of a small bean, which has been sent to us from Martinique and other Island (Oh, that I had a bushel of them!), ó or a needle, a medal, a cross or a rosary (especially if it be red), a small knife, or other curious object, given as a reward, incites the children to answer well; but they must answer very well for several days, to obtain either the rosary, the red bead, or a cross, and for the other articles in proportion.
In all the cabins, especially those of the Kaskaskia, they speak to me only of the catechism; and I hear with pleasure the children singing hymns or questioning one another on what they have learned. And, when the young men are in the lodges of their chiefs, they sing, night and day, chants that instruct them and keep them occupied. On their side, the [Page 231] women do as much. The end of February being the end of the cold season, I have no longer taught catechism in my lodge, which is too small to hold all the people who come to it, but in the chapel at the same hour; and I shall continue to teach throughout the month of March, ó and longer, if I find the same docility among a portion of the Peouareoua on their return from their winter quarters. Even if a few only of them come to the chapel, I shall have to enlarge it; for it is filled with the Kaskaskia alone. If one may judge by their docility and assiduity in seeking to be instructed, there is great reason to hope that God will convert them.
My sins and the malice of men have not prevented God from pouring down abundant blessings on this mission of the Ilinois. It has been augmented by two hundred and six souls whom I baptized between the 30th of March and 29th of November, 1693. Many children among that number are already in heaven and pray to God for their parentsí conversion. Since the chief of the Kaskaskia has been baptized with his wife and family, consisting of 15 persons, he blushes not for the gospel, and ceases not to exhort and instruct the young men of his village night and day. I observe, thanks be to God, that he is listened to as well as his wife, who is ever in the chapel at the head of all those of her sex. I was greatly surprised, at the end of the night, to see her come, accompanied by all the women, to make a fine present of tallow to the chapel (this is the wax of the country). She told me, in the name of all, that they offered it to God, to light the chapel when I said the great prayer ó that is, during mass ó and when I taught catechism, begging me to continue to [Page 233] instruct them and their children. The chief of the young men, accompanied by a portion of his comrades, also gave the chapel a similar present some time afterward, with the same compliment, ó without my having in any way urged them to that good action, and without my saying anything to them that might give them the slightest idea of presenting anything to the chapel.
The son-in-law of the chief of the Kaskaskia ó who is now as zealous for the conversion of the Ilinois as he was formerly opposed to it, and who renders good service to the missions ó told me that, while speaking in the family of the ceremonies of our churches, and of the offerings made to God of tapers, blessed bread, etc., his mother-in-law said to him: ìWhy does not our father who instructs us in the faith tell us that it would be agreeable to God if we gave some offering to the chapel? Have we sense, and do we know what we should do? We will gladly imitate the Christians who give what is necessary to light the altar, and for making the bread that is blessed; and next summer we shall give some of our harvest to the great Manitoua assouvî that is to say, ìthe great spirit, or genie.î So great are the inconstancy and levity of the savages that we cannot yet rely upon the first steps that they take; but, judging from the assiduity that they continue to display, there is reason to hope that, while acting as sincerely as they do, God will not allow the enemies of their conversion and of the mission to ruin these good beginnings, which are preparing them to embrace our Holy religion. Pray to God, my Reverend Father, to preserve the neophyte chief, his wife, his family, and his son-in-law in [Page 235] their 1st fervor. They are of great assistance to the missionary, and do more than I ó or rather they do all, and I do nothing, or almost nothing. If people were really convinced of what the chief of the Kaskaskia does here to induce all to be instructed and to abandon infidelity, I am quite sure that ó far from giving any credence to all the calumnies with which he is threatened by all here who are angry at his having become a Christian ó they would manifest to him the joy they feel, or should feel. That would encourage him to preserve his first fervor and to urge the whole nation to know and to worship the true God; and the French would thereby call down Godís blessings upon themselves and upon the whole colony. From all these details that I give you respecting this nascent church, you will be able, my Reverend Father, to judge how much these new flocks of Jesus Christ need to be protected against the wolves that seek to scatter them, and to be aided by the prayers of all who take an interest in the glory of God and in the salvation of souls. You who take such a part in it will please have the charity to commend them to the great pastor of souls, to beg the Reverend Father Provincial to send some courageous and zealous missionaries, and not to forget in your Holy sacrifices,
My Reverend Father,
Your very humble and very obedient
Servant in Our Lord,
Letter by Father Jean de Lamberville to a
Missionary Father o China.
Paris, this 23rd of January, 1695,
y Reverend Father,
I have now been here for 3 years, and have no longer found you here, and the remembrance of having once been honored by your friendship confounds me at seeing myself in a place of safety, while you are for Jesus Christís sake exposing yourself to the risk of life, and while you are suffering much through the voluntary privation of the conveniences and little comforts that you have in Europe, which those who have returned hither are enjoying. We have learned of the persecution that you are suffering, which envy has incited against you; it is known, and probably Rome will be favorable to you. The Reverend Father General, as you will learn from Reverend Father Tachard and other missionaries who are returning to the Indies, will inform you of all. I entreat our Lord that he will sustain you in a country where you are working advantageously to his glory, and that by means of the sciences you may with much merit open the way to the Gospel. The Dutch have reported that the son of the Emperor wears a golden cross around his neck, and that he is receiving instruction in our religion, in order to embrace it. Fiat, fiat.
Since I had the pleasure of seeing you, there have [Page 239] been great changes in our new france. After many years of peace with the Iroquois, who were beginning to become Christians, some people desired war, although the Iroquois offered to give satisfaction, if they were wrong. There was a pretense of desiring to continue the peace, and then the french came to surprise them. In vain; the savages were found to be ready; and, as I was still among them with my brother, ó all the other missionaries having withdrawn, upon receiving orders to that effect from the superiors, ó it was considered best that I should remain in their country, if they consented to it. They approved this, and God was pleased to employ me to stop the army of these Barbarians, who were disposed to attack ours, ó which was without provisions, far within their country, and reduced to such a bad condition through fevers and dysentery that the place to which it had proceeded was more like a hospital than a camp. The peace was renewed, and it was protested that the 1st one that broke it would draw upon himself the wrath of God. In 1686, a new governor, full of ideas of such war as is carried on in Europe, undertook to ruin and annihilate, if he could, the Iroquois, ó.to make, said he, christianity and colonization flourish in the country. He wrote to me to visit him, that he might confer with me about the affairs of those people. I met him at Kebec, where, after many explanations, he told me that the Iroquois would not beat him as they had his predecessors; that he knew how to make war, and how to reduce them to their duty; that the King would give him men, and all the help necessary to succeed in his designs. I replied that I saw clearly that interested people were influencing him to [Page 241] extreme measures, which would be prejudicial to them and to the french colony, and even to Religion. The governor, pretending to yield to my arguments, deputed me to go to the Iroquois and invite them all, in the persons of their chiefs, to be present in the spring at the rendezvous that he designated, to talk there about the continuation of the peace, and the means of properly maintaining it with them, and they with him. I was told to pledge his faith and word that they would be given safety and liberty to come to this rendezvous, and to return thence to their people. I execute my orders; I assemble 40 of the principal chiefs, from all the Iroquois villages. I give them the word of the governor. I protest to them that, as he is a Christian, and chosen by the King to be his lieutenant-general in this country, they ought to believe that he was a man incapable of breaking his word, or of violating the law of nations. Upon that, they yielded to my urgency. They were at the rendezvous, where they were deceived; they were put in irons and in prisons. They were plundered of a quantity of peltries, which they had brought in order to show the french by this traffic that they had confidence in them. They were carried away to france. They were taken to Aix, where they died from destitution, ó except 13, who were brought back because their compatriots were going to avenge this perfidy. This was followed by a and instance of treachery, which would astonish you if I were to relate it, and in which Father Millet ó a former missionary in Canada, and from our Province ó certainly had reason for grief. He himself was afterward captured by the Iroquois, and was about to be burned at a slow fire, [Page 243] after having heard a hundred reproaches that they heaped upon him, ó that it Was in vain that he had instructed them in our mysteries; that we were traitors; etc. A man and woman, both strongly attached to Christianity and to Christians, made presents and intrigued so well that they saved this Father Milletís life. They adopted him in place of their father, who had died a long time before; and of their dwelling they made a chapel, where the Father performed his functions of missionary ó. with the result that in the midst of these hostile barbarians he maintained the worship of God, and there converted many Iroquois. After having spent s years among them, ó being present at the death of the french prisoners whom they burned, and persuading them to grant life to others, he was brought back to Kebec, to the captain of new france, with 15 french captives. Efforts were then made, but in vain, to make peace with the Iroquois by those who had been most interested in the treacherous act committed in violation of the safety promised them; and, while I was bringing the rest of the deputies, the french went by another route to attack and plunder their Villages. The Iroquois broke off all plans for peace, especially on account of the solicitations made to them by their English neighbors in new france to continue with them the war against us; it was that which caused still more troops to be requested from the King. The war was begun a year before that which the english declared against us; and it was for this reason that the french would have been glad to have peace with the Iroquois in that country, where the french and the Iroquois burn each other when taken alive. [Page 245]
As for me, finding myself among the Iroquois when the french began to arrest their deputies, the english, who were not yet our Enemies in 1686, informed by the french who had gone from Kebec to live among them, of the preparations that were being made against the Iroquois, who are neighbors of new england, ó warned me of what was being plotted. They told me that some one was making use of me to betray the Iroquois; that, since I could no longer continue thenceforth my occupation of missionary among them, it was useless to remain there; and that I should take refuge in new York, of which the Governor for king James (who is now in france) was a catholic, and had two english Jesuits with him. But, not being able to persuade myself that certain persons had broken their word, I resolved to refuse this offer, and to induce the Iroquois to follow with me their deputies, of whose arrest they did not yet know. I sent back, therefore, the english troopers and the horse that they had sent to take me away, and to place me in security against the wrath of the Iroquois. While 8 of the most notable Iroquois were with me on the way to the aforesaid rendezvous, ó where, unknown to them, their comrades had already been arrested, ó some who had escaped from the hands of the french came to bring the news of what had taken place; before this happened, I had received (but too late) letters warning me to make my retreat from the country of the Iroquois by any available means, because an attack was to be made thereon. The chiefs of the Iroquois, with whom I was on the way, had gone about 8 leagues with me; they told me that, as they had just been informed that the law of nations had been [Page 247] violated in regard to them, I must take refuge among the french. For they did not desire that, since I had trusted myself to them and remained in their country, any one should reproach them with my having perished there; and, if I were to be involved in the misfortune of this new war, it should not be in their hands that I were slain, when I was there in good faith; but, if they killed me, it would be among the french, against whom they were going to show their resentment. I therefore parted from them, very sad at all that was taking place, and went to this fatal rendezvous ó where I found two hundred Iroquois, both men and women, who had been made prisoners when they thought that they would be kindly received. They clamored against this proceeding; and some who had been in france often named the King, as if claiming justice and his protection. After that, desolation was carried into a region of their country from which a thousand Iroquois armed men were then absent, upon the good faith that had been given them. I could not procure the release of these wretched people, except of 7 or 8 who had rendered us friendly services when they had opportunity. Some time afterward, I was with ten soldiers upon a lake a hundred leagues long, in a little bark, which was attacked by 800 Iroquois, who were in their canoes. We defended ourselves very well for 3 quarters of an hour; but they were about to overwhelm us with their numbers, when heaven was favorable to our prayers and sent us a wind, which swept us away from their fury when they thought to grasp their prey, and to avenge upon us the death of their comrades. I was afterward obliged, through obedience, to remain in this [Page 249] ill-fated rendezvous with 140 soldiers, whose chaplain I was. God preserved me in 2 sorties without being wounded, while near by our frenchmen lay dead at my feet, some of whom had received absolution. Finally, the Iroquois having so closed us in that we could get neither wood, water, nor fresh food, the scurvy broke out among the garrison, and carried off about a hundred men. In assisting them at death, I caught their disease. When I, like the ó others, was near dying, an officer of our troops, unexpectedly came over the snow, with 30 men, ó 15 of whom were Iroquois, friends and Christians, ó to learn privately in what condition we were; for this they had marched 80 leagues over the snow and ice laden with their food, clothing, and arms. They found us in a very bad condition; and, for fear of remaining themselves in this fort, ó where the unwholesome air made them feel, from the 1st, the beginning of this singular malady, ó they resolved to depart immediately, and to make all possible haste, that they might not be surrounded or encountered by the enemy. This officer, who was my friend, having learned from the surgeon that I had only one or 2 Days to live if they did not get me away from this post, undertook to remove me who was half dead. He refused to accord the same favor to some others, even officers, ó who afterward died, but who were less ready for death than I was, alleging the length of the journey, and the inclemency of the season; the necessity of carrying their arms, provisions, and blankets; and the necessity for making great haste on account of the enemy, who were following in their track. He undertook to do for me what he would not do for another. Having [Page 251] entreated him to let me die, and to consent to substitute in my place a sick officer, he absolutely refused. Accordingly, as I had become useless from that time, on account of the condition in which I was, the rest of the garrison received general absolution, while they supported me by the arms; then, having bound me upon a sledge, to which 2 great dogs were harnessed, they set out, passing over a frozen lake. The ice broke, and, carefully bundled upon this sledge, I was in this condition plunged into the water. The dogs which were attached to it kept me above the ice, to which they held fast with their claws. To rescue me from this peril needed great carefulness, because the ice which surrounded me was broken on all sides. Finally, when they were drawing me out of the water, the rope broke, and I ran the risk of being drowned. Being withdrawn from the water and again placed upon the ice, the dogs were too much fatigued; and some french Canadians and soldiers who were with us took the trouble to drag me, now over the ice, now over the snow, by turns, ó without discontinuing their march, because the Iroquois were following in their track: and because they wished to keep the advantage that they had over them, for fear that they might attack us. It was necessary, then, all wet as I was, to wait until 9 oíclock in the evening to warm myself under cover of night; and to leave our halting-place early in the morning, and again betake ourselves to the ice, to conceal our footsteps from the enemy. The foe continued to follow us, but at a great distance, on account of the haste that we made during the journey, which lasted 7 days and a half. When I arrived at Montreal, ó which is the frontier post, at [Page 253] the head of the french settlements, ó I was carried promptly to the hospital, where I was placed upon a mattress in a corner by the fire; there I remained 4 hours, always ready to render up my soul. Through the care of the officers who were there, and of some kindly people, I was drawn from the gates of death. On the following morning, Messieurs the priests of the seminary of Saint Sulpice, who are in this place, took me to their house. I spent two years and a half in partially recovering from this singular disease of scurvy. As I had contracted my illness while serving the soldiers, the kingís officials defrayed my expenses during all this time, and paid those Gentlemen who had so obligingly taken me to their house. It was in february, 1688, that this occurred.
The Iroquois, meanwhile, from the end of 1687, had injured our colony at various places, through the murder and captivity of many frenchmen, whose cattle they had killed, and whose houses and barns, with those who were therein, they had burned. As they were approaching MontrÈal with their army, it was resolved to employ me to avert the storm, and to make them certain propositions which might be capable of checking them. By that means, we might gain time, until the King should send aid that might resist these Barbarians, and at the same time sustain the war against the English, who declared war upon us a year after we had become embroiled with the Iroquois. I was carried. out to meet these enemies, accompanied by an officer, ó one of my friends, for whom the chiefs of the Iroquois had regard. Our negotiation was favored by heaven, and we brought to Montreal ó whither [Page 255] all the forces of the country, with the Governor of Canada, had repaired in june ó nearly one hundred Iroquois, who came unarmed, with their principal chiefs, to see our governor; meanwhile their little army remained 2 leagues away, firmly resolved to avenge their people if they were maltreated. Their desire to get back their compatriots, who had been treacherously put into irons and taken to the galleys in france, as I have said above, caused them to take this measure, and risk themselves upon the word of the governor and ours. They were well received, and even feasted. They reproached us with our bad faith, and said that, if we again failed to keep a promise to them when they placed themselves in sour power, as they were now doing, their people would know very well how to avenge it. They were reassured in every way that could remove from them any distrust whatever. They even promised to make the cantons of the Iroquois who were farthest away consent to the peace; and assured us that, if we would promise them safety to return and bring news from their people, they would show clearly how good their intentions were. Two months after this parley, which procured us a truce, the Iroquois did really send back four of their people to let the french know the satisfactory result of their negotiation; but those men unfortunately were assassinated, while on the way, by some of our allied savages who did not wish us to make peace with the Iroquois, in order that the brunt of the war should fall upon us rather than upon them. This wicked action ó which these perfidious people imputed to us; and which, they informed the Iroquois, was done only at our solicitation ó rekindled the war; and, as [Page 257] a result, the Iroquois and the french burned each other in a horrible manner, which has continued for 7 years. The english, united with the Iroquois, have attacked the colony at both extremities and in the middle. Even Kebec has been besieged by the english; but the very special protection of God has been shining upon this poor Canada, which still exists. The Iroquois have desolated a 3rd of it. It is to be hoped that such cruel wars will end in new france when God shall give rest to Europe, which has conspired against France. Last year a new attempt at peace with the Iroquois was made, but in vain. The english of those quarters have so intrigued that they have ruined all the hopes for peace that we had entertained; and the Iroquois say that we need not expect peace with them until we first secure it with the english. They have, however, restored Father Millet, whom they had kept a prisoner for the space of 5 years, with some other captives. This father maintained the worship of God during his captivity among these Barbarians, and there saved many souls who are now praising God in heaven. As for me, my dear father, my mission among the Iroquois being entirely closed by the war, I am here, ó where I am procurer of our mission, awaiting the happy moment which will cause me to recross the sea, that I may end in our dear Canada the few days that remain to me. Entreat God, I beg you, that he may show me this mercy, and believe me always, with respectful attachment, Your Reverenceís very humble and very obedient servant in Our Lord,
De Lamberville, S. J.
Journey and mission of Father Gabriel Marest
to Hudsonís bay, on the coast of northern
Canada, in the year 1694. Letter to the
Reverend Father Thyrso Gonzales, Gen-
eral of the Society of Jesus, at Rome.
Quebec, October, 1695.
esailed from Quebec with two ships and three hundred sailors, besides some soldiers, to capture the fort which the english occupied on Hudsonís bay. Setting out on the tenth of august, 1694, we arrived here on the twenty-fourth of september. This was surely the effect of a vow; for toward the end of our voyage meeting head-winds, the excessive cold of winter being close at hand, and our supply of water failing, we had recourse to St. Anne, ó who is especially reverenced by the Canadians as their advocate with God, ó and laid ourselves under a vow to her; and three days thereafter we landed.
During this whole voyage I was occupied in celebrating mass when possible, often giving pious exhortations; in reading prayers publicly every day, morning and evening; and in hearing the confessions of many.
Two streams empty into Hudsonís bay at no great distance from each other ó one called Bourbon, the other ste. Therese. Upon the latter the english fort is situated; into this the smaller of our ships was brought for the winter, while the larger found [Page 261] shelter in the Bourbon, as the deeper stream. After this the english were besieged; but they surrendered voluntarily, and upon humiliating terms. Immediately we celebrated solemn thanksgiving service to God: the cross was raised on high, and at last in this wilderness honor was paid to the sacred standard of christ. Since our arrival here I have been busy continually, owing to three causes: the plenary indulgence, granted by the Supreme Pontiff after the custom of the year of Jubilee; the feast of Easter, which occurred meanwhile; and, besides, a plague which broke out. Accordingly, that I might arouse the piety of all, and not fail them in their increase of zeal, and that I might visit the sick, I found it necessary to hasten, not without the utmost hardship, now to the larger ship, then to the smaller, and sometimes to the fort. The cold of winter raged, bitter beyond conception. My way led through storms and snows, and over marshes scarcely frozen firm, which everywhere afforded but treacherous footing, and cut my feet and legs. I had to sleep beneath the open sky; and meanwhile I was attacked by a fever and the general malady. Still I felt that I must not yield to these lest, above all, I should fail in my duty to the sick. Many were seized by illness, and twenty-four died, ó all of whom, except one or two, I have strengthened by the churchís sacraments. Among this number were four sailors, who before their death abjured the calvinistic heresy. So much for the French; now for the nature of this region, and its natives. The fort is situated at the 57th degree of latitude [Page 263] There is here almost continuous winter, ó that is, from September to june; and during that time no one can venture out of doors with safety. Indeed, of our party one has frost-bitten ears, another a frozen nose; while one of my legs has become almost stiff. The ground is for the most part marshy, and there are but few trees; only bushes are to be seen, as thorns and willows. But ó what will surprise you ó partridges, as well as geese, are very abundant; and Caribou, in particular, are found in great numbers. The Caribou is, with the exception of the horns, quite like the deer. The savage natives gather no grain, but spend their whole time in hunting, which forms their sole support. They have no villages, but roam about wherever better hunting offers. In summer they come nearer the sea-coast, while with the approach of winter they withdraw into the interior. They are a lazy people, timid, of no great intelligence, and given to vice. As for their religion, it is like that of the rest of the Canadians.
Next to these, toward lake Superior, are seven or eight tribes, of whom the most courageous, numerous, and intelligent are the Assinoboeli and Krigi. They remain in their villages for three and four months continuously, during which time they might be taught the precepts of the Christian religion. I have felt that among them a beginning ought to be made in sowing divine truth.
But I have been, as yet, able to spend very little time in learning the language of the savages on this coast, because I have had to devote my energies to the French people. However, I have made lists of many words; and I have translated into the native [Page 265] as best I Could, the confession of the most holy Trinity, the Lordís prayer, the angelic Salutation, the apostlesí Creed, and a summary of the decalogue. Whenever opportunity offered, I have not failed to tell them, although but haltingly, something concerning eternal happiness. Two adults among them I baptized just before their death, also their infants, two of whom died shortly after. The body of one of these I begged from the Father, for Christian burial. He consented, and wished to be present at the ceremonies, together with many of his people. Of course, the natives looked on with amazement, wondering at our rites, and were greatly moved by this proof of our good will toward them. They were disposed to look with favor upon the Christian religion, and begged me again and again to visit them. This is the account I have to give of events from the tenth of august, 1694 to the 24th of august, 1695. [Page 267]
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL DATA: VOL. LXIV
This is a letter which, from internal evidence, appears to have been written at Mackinac in 1689, by tienne Carheil, and addressed to Count de Frontenac. We follow what is apparently a contemporary apograph, in the legislative archives of Quebec; it is one of the ìMSS. relatifs ý líhistoire de la Nouvelle-France,î its press-mark being ìSeries 5, vol. 5, pp. 2637-2649.î
This account of the defeat of the English at Quebec, in the autumn of 1690, was written by Michel Germain de Couvert. The MS. that we follow rests in the Archives Nationales, Paris, its press-mark being ìK 1374, No. 80.î It is, however, incomplete, lacking address and date, and, apparently, the opening paragraph; from internal evidence, it appears to have been written at Quebec, in October, 1690. Possibly this MS. is but a contemporary apograph.
Jacques Bruyasís letter to Count de Frontenac, written from the ìSault prËs MontrÈal,î April 5, 1691, we obtain from an apograph in the archives of St, Maryís College, Montreal. Its place of deposit is a cahier labeled ìQuelques lettres.î [Page 269]
Father Miletís account of his captivity among the Oneidas (dated the octave of the feast of SS. Peter and Paul, or July 6, in 1691) is among the most interesting of the Jesuit documents. The original MS. was discovered in Holland, by Henry C. Murphy, while United States minister to The Hague (1857-61). From an apograph thereof, John G. Shea gave to the public the French text of the document, in his Cramoisy series, no, 18 (Lenox enumeration), a description of which follows: ìRelation | de fa CaptivitÈ parmi | les Onneiouts | en 1690-1. | Par le R. P. Pierre Milet de la | Compagnie de JÈfus. [ [cut with storks] | Nouvelle-York: | Preffe Cramoify de Jean-Marie Shea. | M. DCCC. LXIV.î
Collation: Title, verso blank, I leaf; ìAvant Propos,î by Shea, pp. iii.-v. ó verso of p. v. blank; text, pp. 9-56; no colophon.
An English translation by Shea, who was then editor of the United States Catholic Historical Magazine, was published in that periodical in April, 1888 ó vol. ii., pp. 183-198; it also appeared at the time as a separate, pages renumbered ó 8vo.) pp. 18. Reference to this publication is made by Sabin, vol. 19, p. 396. Another translation into English, with twenty-eight notes, a bibliography, and an index, was privately published in May, 1897, by the translator, Mrs. Edward E. Ayer, of Chicago. Following is a description: ìCaptivity | among the | Oneidas | in 1690-91 | of | Father Pierre Milet | of the Society of Jesus | Edited in French by J, M. Shea | Translated with Notes by | Mrs. Edward E. Ayer | Chicago | MDCCCXCVII.î [Page 270]
Collation: Title, p. (I); colophon on versa of title: ìSeventy-five Copies have been printed for Mrs. Edward E. Ayer, during May, 1897, by the Blakely Printing Company, Chicagoî ó also copyright notice; ìContents,î on p. v.; versa of p. v. blank; ìPreface í í (Sheaís), pp. vii.-ix.; verso of p. ix., blank; text, pp. 11-59; Notes, pp. 60-66; Bibliographies, pp. 67-69; Index, pp. 70-72. Size, 16mo.
In the present publication, we follow an old French MS. in the Library of Congress, Washington; it is probably a contemporary apograph. Our translation follows that made by Shea, save that we have, pursuant to our custom in the present series, restored all proper names to the spelling and capitalization employed by the writer; and have occasionally introduced emendations necessary to correct defects in the text followed by Shea.
For the text of this memoir recounting the services to the French of the Iroquois converts (written in February, 1692), we have had recourse to a MS. now resting in the Dominion Archives at Ottawa, its press-mark being ìCorrespondance GÈnÈrale, vol. 12, pp. 287-290."
These two letters by ChauchetiËre, to brother Jesuits in France, were written at Montreal in 1694 ó August 7 and September 20, respectively. The location of the originals is unknown, but they are probably in France. Father Martinís apographs of them are now in Quebec; we follow copies [Page 271] thereof by Father Larches, which are resting in the archives of St. Maryís College, Montreal.
In publishing Gravierís journal of the Illinois mission for 1693-94 (dated February 15, 1694, and apparently written at Peoria), we follow Sheaís Cramoisy series No. I, which bears this colophon: ìAchievÈ díImprimer ý Albany, N.Y. par J. Munfell, ce 31 díAouft 1857.î We are unable to say from what source Shea procured his text. No large-paper copies of No. I were printed; but James Lenox had a copy inlaid to match the large-paper copies of other volumes of the series, now in Lenox Library. The original price of this volume was $1.50, or seven francs.
A description follows:î Relation | de ce qvi | síest passÈ | dans la Mission de | Immaculee Conception, | au Pays des Ilinois, | depuis le Mois de Mars 1693, jufquíen Fevrier 1694. | Par le R. PËre Jacques Gravier, de la | Compagnie de JÈsus. | [Cut with storks] | ¿ Manate: | De la Preffe Cramoify de Jean-Marie Shea. | M. DCCC. LVIX.î
Collation: Title, verso blank, I leaf; ìTable,î verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 5-65; colophon, versa of p. 65.
As the above title-page was made up by Shea, to accord with the style of others of his series, and was not a part of the original document, we do not reproduce it.
These documents are reproduced from Rochemonteixís JÈsuites, t. iii., pp. 613-620 and 628-630, respectively. [Page 272]
NOTES TO VOL. LXIV.
(Figures in parentheses, following the number of note, refer to pages of English text.)
 (p. 23). ó This letter was written probably in November, 1689; it was despatched to Quebec by Zacharie Joliet, a trader then at Mackinac. He arrived at Quebec near the end of December, having accomplished the long and perilous journey partly by canoe and partly by land, with but one companion (Charlevoixís Nouvelle France, t. i., p. 568; N.Y. Colon. Docs., vol. ix., p. 463). There is a discrepancy, which cannot be satisfactorily explained, in the endorsement on the document as having been received Sept. 17, 1690. Parkman states that Frontenac acted on information previously received (Frontenac, p. 202); and he notes that Charlevoixís version (ut supra) ìdoes not conform with the original;î but Monseignatís memoir above cited (N Y. Colon. Docs.) states that a copy of Carheilís letter was sent to Paris in the spring of 1690; and Charlevoix says that the letter was conveyed to Frontenac by Joliet.
Zacharie Joliet was a younger brother of Louis, the explorer; he too studied in the Jesuit college at Quebec. At the age of 28, he married (November, 1678) Marie Niel, by whom he had three children. As she was married to a second husband in November, 1692, Jolietís death must have occurred before that time.
 (p. 25). ó Here occurs a marginal note, added to the MS. probably by some modern archivist: ìDuring the night of August 5, 1689, the village of Lachine was surrounded by 1,600 Iroquois, who put everything to fire and sword, and killed about 400 persons. This is still called ë the Lachine massacre.íî ó See Parkmanís Frontenac, pp. 177-179.
 (p. 33). ó Reference is here made to the Iroquois sent to France for service in the royal galleys (vol. lxiii., notes 10, 24).
 (p. 41). ó Denonville (vol. lxiii., note 10), proving unequal to the task of dealing with the Iroquois, was recalled in 1689; and in his place was appointed Count de Frontenac, who had been governor of Canada during 1672-82 (vol. Iv., note II). The latter now returned with orders from Louis XIV. to attack New York and the New [Page 273] England frontiers, in order by their conquest to crush the Iroquois. In accordance with these orders, French and Indian war-parties surprised and captured, in succession, Schenectady, Salmon Falls, and Fort Loyal (now Portland, Me.). In retaliation for these injuries, the English colonies sent two expeditions against Canada, late in the summer of 1690 ó one by land, against Montreal; the other by sea, against Quebec. The latter was commanded by Sir William Phips, who had, but a few months before, conquered the French settlements in Nova Scotia. Both of these attempts were unsuccessful; and Phipsís fleet, on its return voyage, was dispersed by storms ó some ships being lost, and many men dying from cold and disease. A detailed account of these events, with numerous citations of authorities, is given by Parkman in Frontenac, pp. 187-190, 208-285. Cf. Rochemonteixís JÈsuites, t. iii., pp. 242-251; also the interesting collection, by Myrand, of nineteen contemporaneous relations of the siege of Quebec ó 1690, sir William Phips devant QuÈbec (Quebec, 1893).
The king of England, James II., had become so tyrannical that his subjects invited William, prince of Orange, ó who had in 1677 married Princess Mary of England, Jamesís daughter, ó to come to England and deliver them from their ruler. Accordingly, William landed in that country Nov. 3, 1688; James fled to France; and, accepting the request of the people, William and Mary were (Feb. 13, 1689) proclaimed king and queen of England.
 (p. 53). óMichel Germain de Couvert (Decouvert) was born in Normandy, Jan. 5, 1653. Entering the Jesuit novitiate at Paris, at the age of eighteen (according to Rochemonteix; but twenty, as given in Germainís announcement of his death), he was a student there and at Rouen, and an instructor at Bourges and Alenson, until his ordination in 1687. Three years more were spent as instructor in philosophy, at Arras; he then came (1690) to Canada. He was stationed at the Lorette mission, where he remained twenty years. Compelled by physical infirmities to relinquish this missionary work, he returned to Quebec, about 1710; he remained there until his death, which occurred in October, 1715.
Rochemonteix says (JÈsuites, t. iii., p. 561) that St. Vallier demanded from De Couvert, superior of Lorette, that he should surrender the church and clergy-house there, built at the expense of the Jesuits, in order that the bishop ìmight erect it into a parish, and establish therein one of his own priests, Through his love of peace, the timid Father Bouvart, superior-general of the Canada missions, yielded and agreed to this demand; and Old Lorette was transferred to New Lorette, to the great regret of the Huron savages.î This removal occurred in 1697 (vol. lviii., note 19) [Page 274]
 (p. 59). ó Chevalier díAux (díEau) was an officer sent by Frontenac to confer with the Iroquois. The irate savages would not listen to him, but seized him as a prisoner, and subjected him to much barbarous treatment; he was then sent to New York, where he was detained by the English until August, 1692, when he found means to escape to Quebec. In the autumn of that year, Frontenac sent him to France with an appeal for additional defenses for Canada.
 (p. 61). ó Jacques le Moyne, second son of Charles (vol. xxvii., note 10), was born in April, 1659. In February, 1684, he married Jeanne Carion, then eleven years and five months old; they had three children. Jacques is better known as Sieur de Ste. HÈlËne. He accompanied his brother Iberville in the Hudson Bay expedition of 1686; and, as a lieutenant in the Canadian militia, won a high reputation for gallantry and enterprise. He was one of the commanders at the attack on Schenectady ó referred to in the text as ìthe day of Corlard.î This name is simply a corruption of Corlaer (Curler), the name of the first governor at Orange, or Albany (vol. xxv., note 2).
Ste. HÈlËneís career was a brief one; in one of the skirmishes resulting from Phipsís attack upon Quebec he was mortally wounded, and on Dec. 4, 1690, he was buried there at the Hotel-Dieu.
 (p. 67). ó Pierre Milet was born at Bourges, Nov. 19, 1635, and at the age of twenty became a Jesuit novice. His studies were pursued at La FlËche and Paris; and the usual term as instructor was spent at La FlËche and CompiËgne. Upon his ordination (1668) he came to Canada, and was soon assigned to the Iroquois missions. He remained therein, mainly at Oneida, until July, 1684 ó when, with the other missionaries, he was obliged to return to Canada. Soon after, he became chaplain at Fort Frontenac, acting also as interpreter; these duties engaged him during nearly four years (including a year spent at the Niagara fort), until his seizure by the Oneidas in 1689. He remained in this captivity until the autumn of 1694, when the tribe sent him back to Montreal. Little is known of his subsequent life. For a time, he was at Lorette, and he probably ministered, at other places, to the Christian Iroquois settled among the French. In February, 1697, a band of Oneidas came to live at Montreal, and asked that Milet might be assigned to them as missionary. Charlevoix, who was an instructor at the college of Quebec during 1705-06, mentions that he lived several years with Milet, which would indicate that the latter spent his last years at Quebec. He died there, Dec. 31, 1708.
 (p. 73). ó Regarding Otondiata, see vol. xlii., note 10. [Page 275]
 (p. 73). ó Philippe ClÈment Duvault, sieur de Vallerenne (Valrenne), was born in 1655, at St. Germain, France. In 1685 he came to Canada, as one of the captains of troops then sent out for the defense of the colony. Two years later, he married Jeanne Bissot, by whom he had two children. He was commandant at Fort Frontenac in 1689; but, by order of Denonville, abandoned that post in the autumn, returning to Montreal. His name is mentioned several times during the next three years, in connection with the Iroquois war; but no further information about him is available.
 (p. 79). ó Regarding the clans of Indian tribes, see vol. xxix., note 6; vol. lviii., note 2. Cf. enumeration of clans and totems in N.Y. Colon. Docs., vol. ix., pp. 1052-1058.
 (p. 81). ó ìThe five Iroquois nations in their symbolical language formed a cabin, the Mohawks holding the door and the Onondagas the fire. They called themselves as a nation Hotinonsionni (French notation) or Hodenosausee (English notation), meaning ëThey form a cabin.í ìó Sheaís note, in U.S. Cath. Hist. Mag., vol. ii., p. 190. Cf. vol. xli. of our series, p. 87.
 (p. 91). ó ìOtassetÈ was one of the hereditary sachems of the Oneida nation. The title descends in the female line, and Susannaís adoption of Milet apparently enabled her to bestow the name, which made him actually a sachem." ó Sheaís note, ut supra, p. 193.
 (p. 97). ó Denonville, feeling unable to maintain Fort Frontenac, sent orders to Valrenne, its commander, to destroy and abandon the fort. That officer proceeded to do so, but the work of destruction was too hastily performed; and the Iroquois, upon taking possession of the place, found large quantities of stores and munitions ó estimated by Frontenac (N.Y. Colon. Docs., vol. ix., p. 438) to be worth 20,000 Ècus. In the following year (1690), Louis XIV. Ordered the walls to be razed to the ground. Later, Frontenac obtained permission to restore this post, which he accomplished in the summer of 1695.
 (p. 99). ó ìKinshon, the Fish, by which they meant New England, the authorities of which had sent them a fish as a token of alliance.... The wooden image of a codfish still hangs in the State House at Boston, the emblem of a colony which lived chiefly by the fisheries." ó Parkmanís Frontenac, p. 199.
Brodhead (New York, vol. ii., p, 309, note *) says: ìAs the Iroquois had no labials in their language, they were obliged to say ë Quider í instead of ë Peter; í Hennepinís New Discovery, 24; Colden, i., 16. 116. For this reason, I think it probable that ë Kinshon í was the nearest they could come to ë Pynchon í [ambassador in 1677 from Massachusetts to the Mohawks]... Father Millet... [Page 276] wrongly applies the name Le Poisson, or Kinshon, to New York instead of to New England.î
 (p. 103). óBy ìthe commissary Kwiterî is meant Peter Schuyler, the first mayor of Albany (incorporated as a city, July 22, 1686). He was long a prominent figure in New York affairs; see N.Y. Colon. Docs., vols. iii., iv., v., ix., passim.
 (p. 103). ó The minister here referred to was Domine Godefridus Dellius, who came from Holland in August, 1683, and was stationed at Albany. He was highly popular with the Indians, and showed much kindness to the Jesuits who instructed the Iroquois, When Jacob Leisler usurped the New York government, Dellius, who had always opposed him, fled to Boston (1690); but, after Leislerís fall (March, 1691) Dellius came back to New York. He often figured in the affairs of the colony, and was several times sent by the governor as envoy to Canada. In 1696, Dellius obtained from a few Mohawk Indians a grant, to himself and others, of the entire territory possessed by that tribe, a grant which was confirmed by Governor Fletcher. That official was succeeded, in April, 1698, by Richard, earl of Bellamont; he recommended to the Assembly that this grant to Dellius should be annulled ó which was done in May, 1699, as it was proved that Dellius had obtained the land by fraudulent representations to the Indians. He was, at the same time, deprived of his benefice at Albany; and, his reputation clouded by accusations of lying, drunkenness, and other scandals, he returned to Europe in the same year. ó See N.Y. Colon. Docs., vols. iii., iv., passim.
 (p. 113). ó Louis Phelypeaux, comte de Pontchartrain, was born March 29, 1643, the scion of a French house which had, for many generations, been active in the service of the State. Before attaining the age of eighteen, he was admitted as a councilor in the parliament of Paris. In 1677, he was appointed chief president of the parliament of Brittany, and administered with great success the affairs of that province. Ten years later, he became intendant of finance for the whole kingdom; and upon the death of Seignelay, son of Colbert (November, 1690), succeeded him as secretary of state. In 1699, he was relieved of his financial duties, being appointed chancellor of France ó a post which he retained until July 1, 1714, when he retired to private life, and to the practice of religious and charitable works. His death took place Dec. 22, 1727.
Pontchartrain was a man of great ability, and in his official life displayed patriotic zeal and devotion, strict justice, and unbending integrity; he was fond of letters, and the patron of authors.
 (p. 119). ó Regarding Ibervilleís exploits at Hudson Bay, see vol. lxiii., note 27. He was accompanied, in the expedition of 1694, [Page 277] by his brother Louis le Moyne, sieur de Chteauguay ó born in January, 1676, and slain at Fort Nelson Oct. 4. 1694.
 (p. 121). ó It will be remembered that the Sulpitians had directed the religious affairs of the Montreal colony since 1657, when they came to replace the Jesuits; and that they had been, since 1663, seigniors of the island (vol. xii., note 13). The Jesuits reÎtablished a residence at Montreal in 1692. The RÈcollets had preceded them by ten years; Le Clercq relates (GaspÈsie, pp. 568-571) that in 1682 he went thither, by command of his superiors, to secure a (piece of land (which was granted by the Sulpitians) whereon a residence might be established for priests of their order.
 (p. 135). ó The bread here mentioned as ìmade of medlars or servicesî was probably composed of the dried fruit of the persimmon (Diospyros Virginiana). Gravier, in his Voyage of 1700, mentions cakes of piakimine, presented to him by the savages ó apparently ëthe same as the ìbreadî described in our text.
 (p. 139). ó Pierre Francois Pinet was born at PÈrigueux, France, Nov. 11, 1660; and entered the Jesuit novitiate at Bordeaux, Aug. 29, 1682. He was an instructor at Tulle, PÈrigueux, and Pau, successively, from 1684 to 1690; he then completed his studies at Bordeaux, and departed for Canada in 1694. He was at first sent to Michillimackinac; but in 1696 he went to Illinois, and founded the mission of the Guardian Angel at Chicago, among the Miami bands located there. This mission was broken up in the following year according to Jesuit writers, through Frontenacís hostility, but Lavalís influence procured Pinetís return thither. The latter went, probably early in 1700, to the Tamaroas, an Illinois tribe located on the Mississippi, not far from the mouth of the Missouri ó a place known later as Cahokia. By letters patent of May, 1698, St. Vallier deprived the Jesuits of this mission, bestowing it upon priests sent out by the Seminaire des Missions trangËres. This proceeding was strongly opposed by the Jesuits, and they did not consent to the change until 1701. Meanwhile, Pinet remained with the Tamaroas (by order of his superiors, according to Rochemonteix) until probably the spring of 1702, and then labored among the Kaskaskias. According to Shea (Mississippi Voyages, p. 53, note), he died at Cahokia, about 1704.
Rochemonteixís account of Pinetís mission (JÈsuites, t. iii., pp. 550-554, 568-572) differs in some points from the above; we have followed allusions in contemporary documents, and Sheaís account as given in Church in Colon. Days. pp. 537-539.
 (p. 141). ó Regarding Pierre Moreau, see vol. lix., note 44. Jean Bouillet, sieur de la Chassaigne (Chassagne), a native of. Pamy, [Page 278] France, was born in 1659. In 1690, he commanded the garrison at Lachine; in 1698, he became governor of Montreal, and in the following year married Marie Anne, daughter of Charles le Moyne. Later, he was governor of Three Rivers. He died at Montreal in January, 1733.
 (p. 143). ó The Jesuit missions to the Illinois tribes were early extended to the Miamis, located between lakes Erie and Michigan. The St. Joseph River was a favorite route for the voyageurs from Michillimackinac to those tribes, and a site at its mouth was chosen by the missionaries as a suitable location for a residence. They obtained from Denonville a grant upon the river, twenty arpents square (Margryís DÈcouvertes, t. v., p. 35). Aveneau was residing there as early as 1690 (vol. lxiii., note 11).
 (p. 147). ó The two Jesuits who came to Canada in 1694 were Pinet and Gabriel Marest; the latter was the one chosen to act as chaplain for the Hudson Bay expedition of that year.
 (p. 149). ó Reference is here made to Antoine Dalmas, vol. lviii., note 18.
 (p. 149). ó The word basnage is not to be found in the standard lexicons. A correspondent suggests that it may be tournage, ó citing for this Rochemonteixís JÈsuites, t. iii., p. 559, note 1, where the latter word is used in a similar manner, but is not explained. None of the standard lexicons give a meaning of this sort to tournage.
 (p. 161). ó The fort here mentioned was apparently at the same place as La Salleís Fort Crevecúur (vol. lvii., note 2), near the present Peoria (St. Cosme, in Rel. du Mississippi, Sheaís ed., p. 26). Here, was located the village of the Peorias and Kaskaskias, to whom Gravier ministered; it had evidently been removed from its earlier location which Marquette visited (vol. lix., note 42).
 (p. 161). ó The Osages and Missouris are Siouan tribes, who were formerly located on the rivers thus named. A paper by J. O. Dorsey, îMigrations of Siouan Tribesî (Amer. Naturalist, vol. xx., pp. 211-222), gives the best available information regarding the origin and history of these peoples. He thinks that, ages ago, all the Siouan race dwelt east of the Mississippi, ó in various regions, but as allies, ó and gradually moved westward. Five tribes ó the Omahas, Ponkas, Osages, Kansas, and Kwapas ó were then together as one nation; they were called "Arkansaî by the Illinois tribes, and lived near the Ohio. At the mouth of that river they separated (prior to 1540), the Kwapas descending, the other tribes ascending, the Mississippi. For a long time, the latter abode on the lower Missouri; but finally, having gone farther up that stream, another separation occurred. The Omahas and Ponkas crossed the [Page 279] Missouri, and, after many wanderings to the north and west, finally settled in Nebraska. The Osages settled on the river bearing their name; and the Kansas on the Kansas River.
The Tamarouas (Tamarois) and Cahokias(Kaoukia) were Illinois bands dwelling on the Mississippi, near the mouth of the Missouri. Their village. was known, later. as Cahokia, and the two bands apparently became merged in one. The Jesuit missionaries labored among them until the expulsion of the order from Louisiana (1763-64).
 (p. 179). ó Michel Accault (Ako), who married the daughter of the Kaskaskia chief. was a French trader, who in 1680 was at Fort Crevecúur with La Salle, and in that year accompanied Hennepin in his voyage on the Upper Mississippi. ó Hennepinís Nouvelle DÈcouverte (Paris, 1684). p. 167 and elsewhere.
Shea says (Church in Colon. Days, p. 537, note 1), regarding Accault: "The records of the baptisms, etc., in his family, beginning Mar, 20, 1695. are the first extracts in the ancient Register of Father Gravierís mission preserved at Alton. They show that the descendants of the young convert of Father Gravier were long prominent in Illinois.î An English translation of the entry recording the baptism, on the above date, of Accaultís infant son (the first entry in the register) is given by Wallace in his Illinois and Louisiana, p. 204.
 (p. 231). ó The fruit here referred to is probably the ìsea-beanî or "Florida bean;î a round, polished, scarlet seed obtained from the West Indian "bead-tree" or ìnecklace-treeî ó Omosia dasycarpa, of the order Leguminosa.
 (p. 239). ó ìThis letter of Father Jean de Lamberville is found in the British Museum at London ó Add: 16913, fol. 173. It is dated Jan. 23, 1695, at Paris, where the Father had resided for three years; and is addressed to a Father, a missionary of the Society of Jesus in China ó probably to Father Jean de Fontaney, his friend.ì Rochemonteixís JÈsuites, t. iii.. p. 185, note 1.
 (p. 247). ó Governor Thomas Dongan brought with him to New York (1683) an English Jesuit, Father Thomas Harvey; and, within a year or two, Father Henry Harrison and Father Charles Gage also were sent thither. The intention of the English authorities in sending these men was to counteract the influence exerted upon the Indians by the French Jesuits, and to form a village of Catholic Indians under English influence. They also acted as chaplains to the governor, and for a time maintained a Latin school. This school was to be the nucleus of a Jesuit college in New York; but all these Plans failed, on account of the Revolution in England, and the [Page 280] Consequent usurpation of the New York government by Jacob Leisler (December, 1689). The Jesuits were driven from the colony; but Harvey returned in the following Year, and continued his mission for several Years, until broken health compelled him to retire to Maryland, where he soon afterward died.
 (p. 251). ó Lamberville refers to Fort Frontenac. He has given a minute account of the combat with Iroquois here mentioned, in a MS. (now in British Museum) printed by Rochemonteix in JÈsuites, t. iii., pp. 621-627.
 (p. 257). ó A full account of this treacherous deed is given by Parkman (Frontenac, pp. 173-176), who ascribes it to a deliberate scheme on the part of Kondiaronk, the noted Huron chief of Michillimackinac, to embroil the French and Iroquois, in order to prevent them from signing a treaty of peace.
 (p. 263). ó The Bourbon River is now known as Nelson River; it is the outlet of Lake Winnipeg, and is navigable for steamers to 127 miles from its mouth. The Ste. ThÈrËse is now called Hayes River; it enters James Bay not far from the mouth of the Nelson, at Port York (called in early times Port Nelson).
 (p. 265). ó Reference is here made to the Assiniboine and Cree tribes (vol. xiii., note 12; vol. xviii., note 15) [Page 281]
The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents
Travels and Explorations
of the Jesuit Missionaries
in New France
THE ORIGINAL FRENCH, LATIN, AND ITALI-
IAN TEXTS, WITH ENGLISH TRANSLA-
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Secretary of the State historical Society of Wisconsin
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CLEVELAND: The Burrows Brothers
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THE JESUIT RELATIONS
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CONTENTS OF VOL. LIX.
Preface To Volume LXV.
Les affaires de Canada En 1696. (With later memoranda.) [Jacques de Lamberville;] n.p., [1696-97]
Le Vie dívn Missionaire Montagnaix presentÈe aux Successeurs Montagnaix pour Leur instruction et pour leur plus grande consolation. FranÁois De CrÈpieul; Chegoutimˇ, April 21, 1697
Deux lettres ý Monseigneur de Laval. Jacques Gravies; Ville-Marie, September 17, 1697, and Michilimakinak, September 20, 1698
Lettre ý un PËre de la Compagnie de JÈfus. Julien Binneteau; du Pays des Ilinois, [January,] 1699.
Lettre ý un PËre de la Compagnie de JÈsus. Gabriel Marest; du Pays des Illinois, April 29, 1699.
Lettre ý un PËre de la Compagnie de JÈsus. Jacques Bigot; du Pays des Abnaquis, [October 26,] 1699
Relation ou Journal du voyage en 1700 depuis le Pays des Illinois Jusquía 1íEmbouchure du Fleuve Mississipi. Jacques Gravies; Fort de Mississipi, February 16, 1701
Les Revenus des JÈuites en Canada, 1701. Martin Bauvart, FranÁois Valiant, Pierre Rafaix; Quebec, October 4, 1701.
Lettre ý M. Louis Hector de CalliËres, gouverneur. tienne de Carheil; Michilimackinac, August 30, 1702.
Bibliographical Data; Volume LIX
[INSERT GRAPHIC HERE]
ILLUSTRATIONS TO VOL. LXV.
Reduced facsimile of MS. missionary map of country northwest of Lake St. John, P. Q., made ca. 1695
Facsimile of handwriting of FranÁois Vaillant de Gublis, S. J., first missionary of Detroit; selected from a MS. in the archives of St. Maryís College, Montreal.
PREFACE TO VOL. LXV
Following is a synopsis of the documents contained in this volume:
CLXIX. An unsigned document (probably written by Jacques de Lamberville) gives a brief account of ìCanadian affairs in 1696.î The leading event of the year is Frontenacís expedition into the Iroquois country. The Onondagas retreat before him. A detachment is sent against the Oneidas. The Christian woman who had saved Miletís life comes to meet the French, with proposals for peace and for the removal of herself and her Christian tribesmen to the reduction at Sault St. Louis; but the French troops, without waiting for the conclusion of this arrangement, rush into the village, which causes the terrified inhabitants to take flight. ìTheir village was burned, and their indian corn cut down, as at onnontaguÈ.î Frontenac and CalliËres wish to punish the Cayugas also; but the militia are anxious to get home to gather in their harvests, and the expedition ó ìwhich has Cost the King more than 50 thousand Ècus ìó returns to the St. Lawrence, after having captured only an old man, almost blind, and a lame old woman. These are given to the Christian Iroquois, among whom they find relatives; the French troops, however, not only insist that this poor old man be put to death, but they themselves [Page 11] burn him at a slow fire. ìHe greatly loved us, and had often given food to the jesuit who now Confessed him and assisted Him at death ó encouraging him to suffer bravely, and as a Christian, The torture of fire that they were about to make him endure.î Meanwhile, the Mohawks are harrying the French settlements, burning and slaughtering whereverthey go.
An extract from a letter by Lamberville describes the condition of affairs at the Sault St. Louis mission. The church therein is prosperous and well organized; but much evil has been wrought among the new Christians by the use of brandy, which is sold to them by the French. The writer describes with enthusiasm the honor paid by devout persons throughout Canada to the tomb of Catherine Tegakwita, and the miraculous cures that are wrought there through her intercession. Among the persons thus benefited are Champigny and Du Luth.
Another letter reports the flourishing state of Gravierís Illinois mission, wherein he counts more than 2,000 baptized persons. The martyrdom of a Christian Iroquois woman, at the hands of her pagan tribesmen, is recounted in detail. At the end of this MS. are written a number of detached and often fragmentary memoranda, relating mainly to business matters ó apparently of Montreal habitants, and occasionally of nuns and Jesuits.
CLXX. CrÈpieul, the Montagnais veteran, describes the ìlong and slow martyrdomî which Constitutes ìthe Life of a Montagnais Missionaryî ó a Pathetic record of continual hardship, privation, and danger. The final sentence is truly characteristic: ìSuffering and hardship are the appanages of [Page 12] these holy but arduous missions. God grant that in them may long remain, and die, the useless servant of the missions, FranÁois, S. J.î
CLXXI. Gravier writes to the late bishop, Laval (September 16, 1697), thanking him for his kind interest in the Western missions, but complaining that Frontenac has driven him and Pinet from their mission at Chicago. He asks Laval to induce St. Vallier to reinstate Pinet in that mission. He also expresses profuse thanks to Laval for the latterís offering to the Illinois mission of silver utensils for the altar ó for which Laval has given ìalmost all his own plate.î
Again (September 20, 1698) Gravier writes to Laval to announce the arrival at Mackinac of the priests sent to the Western missions by the Seminary of Quebec. He and his brethren will aid these new missionaries to the best of their ability.
CLXXII. Julien Binneteau, who is stationed in the Illinois mission, writes to a friend (about January, 1699) regarding his difficulties with the Indian medicine-men. They are, however, ìpolite to the missionaries;î and some of them even resort to the Fathers in illness. The young men are as averse as the medicine-men to the new religion, as it is a check to their licentious lives; but the women are well inclined to the truth, and show great constancy in maintaining their profession. The Father praises certain pious families, who ìwould be a good example to the best regulated households in France.î He eulogizes the abilities and zeal of his colleague, Gabriel Marest, who ìis doing wonders.î They have three chapels, and are busily occupied in this large village. Binneteau mentions a visit that he [Page 13] has made to the Tamaroa savages, who live on the banks of the Mississippi. He describes the mild climate of Illinois, and the fruits and the game animals that abound there; also the life led by the savages, their hunting of the buffalo, and their manner of preserving its flesh for food. The women do nearly all the work, while the men live in idleness, which ìis the cause of all their debauchery.î
CLXXIII. Marest, who is now also among the Illinois, writes to a friend (April 29, 1699) some account of his mission. The number of converts has so increased that a new and larger church has been built. The two Fathers stationed here ìhave occupation beyond their strength.î Marest outlines their labors and responsibilities, which barely leave them time for sleep. The Seminary priests sent to this region visit these Jesuits, who, notwithstanding their poverty, aid them in various ways.
CLXXIV. This is a letter (1699) of Jacques Bigot to a friend, describing the new Abenaki village in Maine where he is now stationed. He is greatly cheered by the fervor and piety of these Christians, various instances of which he recounts. The savages exchange prisoners with the English, and many of the English children piteously beg that they may be allowed to remain with the savages, lest they be perverted from the true faith by returning to their own people. The English attempt, but in vain, to persuade the Abenakis to drive away the French missionaries. Bigot goes to Quebec, to inform the governor of affairs in Acadia; while returning to his mission, he is attacked by a fever, which almost causes his death. [Page 14]
CLXXV. In September, 1700, Jacques Gravier left Chicago for a voyage down the Mississippi, to Ibervilleís new fort thereon. This journey is described by him in a letter (dated February 16, 1701) to Jacques de Lamberville. Upon reaching Peoria, he finds that the Kaskaskias settled there have resolved to migrate to the shores of the Mississippi ó a step which he heartily disapproves, but cannot prevent. The Peoria tribe, also settled there, promise Gravier to remain until his return, and not to change their abode until he and Iberville shall direct them to do so; but he adds, ìI am very doubtful whether they will keep their word.î
Gravier proceeds with the Kaskaskias ó who are accompanied by their faithful pastor, Father Marest ó as far as Cahokia, where there is a French trading post. There he embarks with a band of Frenchmen, who are bound for Ibervilleís fort near the mouth of the Mississippi. Several of the party being attacked by malarial fever, Gravier is able to cure them by a relic and novenas: ìa small piece of Father FranÁois Regisís hat, which one of our servants gave me, is the most infallible remedy that I know of for curing all kinds of fever.î He describes the course of the river; the bluffs, mines, and other features of the region; and the wild animals with which the country abounds. Not far south of the Ohio are seen high banks of sand, in which report has located an iron mine; but Gravier satisfies himself that the sand, although colored like iron, does not contain that metal.
Below the St. Francis River, the Frenchmen meet a band of Arkansas savages, who hospitably entertain them. At the village of that tribe, they hear [Page 15] of a trader, apparently an Englishman, who had been there the year before. The chief of the savages remembers the visit of Marquette to his town in 1673. When the Father is about to take his leave, the chief urgently requests him to remain a day longer, in order to ìsing the calumetî to him; but he declines, knowing that they hope to gain presents from him. Gravier here describes the calumet, and its importance among the savage tribes. At the Tonica River, Gravier halts to visit the Seminary priest Davion, whom he finds ill with fever. He gives various interesting particulars about the tribes of that district, but his efforts to discover their religious rites and superstitions are futile. He finds that the heads of their infants are compressed, in order to flatten them; also that the men till the soil, and do much other work that in Canada is done by the women. Their clothing, dwellings, and furniture are described. ìNothing can be cleaner than their Cabins.î They manufacture pottery; some of their jars are ìas pretty as any that can be seen in france.î They have a small temple, in which fire is kept always burning. During Gravierís visit to Davion, the latterís colleague, St. Cosme, arrives at Tonica; he gives a disheartening account of the Natchez mission, where he is stationed. Among these people human sacrifices are practiced, and they are fire-worshipers. They are ruled not only by a chief, but by his sister, who is called ìthe sun woman.î Gravier returns thither with St. Cosme, and after a short halt resumes his journey; he next visits the Houmas, above the mouth of the Red River. Here he finds the Jesuit Joseph de Limoges, who has just arrived after a disastrous voyage down [Page 16] the great river, in which the wreck of his canoe causes the loss of all his possessions. The Houmas are brave warriors, but are indolent, amiable, and docile. Their woman chief who died last year was an Amazon, ìhaving in person led several war-parties;î the highest honors were accordingly paid her. These savages have abundance of poultry; but they will not kill or eat a chicken, apparently regarding these creatures as mere curiosities. The customs and dress of these people are described, also the temple in which they keep a perpetual fire.
Our missionary visits the Baiagoulas, who are being punished by famine and disease for an act of treachery committed against an allied tribe. On the lower reaches of the great river, the French find no large game, ìand, if we have found a few bustards or wild geese, they have been so lean that they were .as tasteless as wood.î They are also tormented by the clouds of insects, and depressed by the heavy rains and excessive heat. On December 17, Gravier and his men, after a voyage of sixty-eight days, reach Ibervilleís fort, of which a picturesque description is given. Provisions are beginning to fail the little garrison left therein; but they patiently await the coming of the ships from France, in March.
That entire region is so inundated that it will be necessary to remove the fort to the higher ground farther up-stream. Gravier also visits and describes Biloxi, Ibervilleís principal post. The Spanish governor of Pensacola visits this fort, and is hospitably received by the French; and they afterward aid him when he is shipwrecked, sending him back to his residence. On his return from Biloxi, Gravierís crew stray from their route, and have much difficulty [Page 17] in regaining the fort on the Mississippi. He makes various observations on the depth and the rise of the great river, the claims of the English to this region, the search therein for mines, the tribes of savages found there, and the tragic end of La Salleís expedition. Cravier again mentions the terrible plague of mosquitoes in that semi-tropical region. One of his eyes is ìso badly stung by them, that I almost lost it.î
A postscript to this document, dated in 1702, states that Iberville has abandoned both these forts, and removed his colony to Mobile.
CLXXVI. This is a formal declaration, made by the Jesuit superior at Quebec, of the revenues and estates belonging to the Jesuits in Canada, in October, 1701. Their total income, as here given, amounts to a little more than 13,000 livres a year. This list is followed by a statement of the expenditures which are necessary for their work: the support of forty-eight priests and nine donnÈs, ìalmost all of whom are aged and worn out in the missions,î besides the wages of fourteen hired servants; the maintenance of the college, residences, and chapels; traveling expenses, and alms to the poor. The order also has to carry a debt of 6,000 livres.
CLXXVII. tienne de Carheil, who has been long stationed at Mackinac, writes (August 30, 1702) to Governor CalliËres a long account and vigorous denunciation of the lawless conduct and licentiousness that Prevail among both the savages and the French in that region. This wretched state of affairs is due mainly to the traffic in brandy, permission for which ìhas been obtained from his majesty only by means of a pretext apparently Reasonable, but known to be false.î Carheil states that, as this [Page 18] evil traffic renders useless the labors of the missionaries, they will request their superior to recall them from the Ottawa missions.
The writer arraigns in scathing terms ìthe two Infamous sorts of Commerce which have brought the missions to the brink of destruction: . . . the Commerce in brandy, and the Commerce of the savage women with the French. Both are carried on in an equally public manner, without our being able to remedy the evil, because we are not supported by the Commandants. . . . All the villages of our savages are now only Taverns, as regards drunkenness; and sodoms, as regards immorality ó from which we must withdraw, and which we must abandon to the just Anger and vengeance of God.î
Carheil regards the commandants and garrisons as enemies of the missions. ìAll the pretended service which it is sought to make people believe that they Render to the King is reduced to 4 chief occupations.î These are: ìKeeping a public Tavern for the sale of brandy,î extending this traffic from one post to another, ìkeeping open house in their dwellings for all the women of their acquaintance,î and gambling. As a result, the entire time of the soldiers is spent in drinking, gambling, quarreling, and licentiousness; the savages are scandalized thereby, and the influence of the missionaries upon them is weakened when they see that the latter are powerless to remedy these evils. The above-mentioned occupations are the only ones pursued by the soldiers, who are therefore utterly useless and even pernicious to the country: and without them there would be no commandants ó officials who come to Mackinac ìsolely for trading, without troubling themselves about anything else.î They care [Page 19] nothing for the missionaries, save when they can use the latter for their own selfish purposes; and they arrogate to themselves all authority over both French and savages, which leaves the missionaries without aid. ìBefore there were any Commandants here, the missionaries were always listened to by the traders,î who were afraid of the Fathers. Now, the traders know that their evil acts will be condoned or connived at by the commandants, and they have no fear of the missionaries.
Another grievance of the missionaries is that the commandants secure from the home government allowances for making gifts to the savages. The natural result is, that the latter will now do nothing except in return for presents; and that they learn to employ all sorts of stratagems and intrigues in order to secure these presents, and to cheat the commandants in every possible manner. Carheil hints that the greater part of the fund supplied for this purpose is appropriated by the officials for their own use.
Carheil urges that the garrisons be abolished, as being entirely unnecessary ó a statement which he elaborates at length. To them and to their commandants ìare due all the misfortunes of our missions.î He accordingly urges the governor to inform the king of the present state of affairs, and to ask that no more garrisons be sent to the mission posts. He considers it expedient that the present system of trade be abolished, preferring that the savages should take their peltries down to the French settlements, as in the early days of the fur trade. Carheil also adduces various reasons why this would be for the best interests of the French, who are rendered idle, vagrant, and immoral by the present system. At the same time, ìThe Iroquois must be completely [Page 20] tamed and reduced to subjection; and we must take possession of his country, which is much better than That of all the nations up here. . . . His destruction and the possession of his country would secure for us the Trade of all the savage nations up here.î
The governor, having asked Carheil for advice, is informed by the latter that he does not approve the proposal to restore to certain private persons the permissions to engage in the fur trade, which were recently abrogated by the king. The very persons whose conduct has already been so scandalous will be the ones who will secure those permissions; and Carheil can see no adequate method of preventing their drunken and licentious acts. He forcibly depicts the various phases of their present immoral mode of life; and urges the governor to use all his influence to check these scandals. He advises that the Canadian company who have secured the right to the fur trade of the Northwest should establish certain trading posts, to be conducted by competent persons, honest and exemplary in morals. He complains that the governor has not forwarded to the court the complaint formulated by the missionaries at Mackinac against Cadillac. A postscript to Carheilís letter states that the Mackinac savages had favored the establishment of the Detroit post, supposing that it would aid them to destroy the Iroquois nation and take possession of their country; but now, seeing that the French are befriending and aiding the Iroquois, the Ottawas and Hurons will have nothing to do with Cadillacís settlement.
R. G. T.
Madison, Wis., March, 1900.
DOCUMENTS OF 1696-97
CLXIX. ó Les affaires de Canada En 1696. (With later memoranda.) [Jacques de Lamberville]; n.p., [1696-97]
CLXX. ó La Vie dívn Missionaire Montagnaix presentee aux Successeurs Montagnaix pour Leur instruction et pour leur plus grande consolation. FranÁois De CrÈpieul; La Mission de st Xauier · chegŏtimˇ, 21 Auril, 1697
Sources: In publishing Doc. CLXIX., we follow a MS. (probably a contemporaneous apograph) in the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Doc. CLXX. we obtain from a MS. volume in the archiepiscopal archives of Quebec, which is described under Doc. CLVII. in Bibliographical Data to Volume LXIII. of our series.
As in Doc. CXXX. (Volume LVII.), words and phrases crossed out in MS. are in Doc. CLXIX. given in Italics; substitutions or additions, in bracketed Roman. [Page 23]
Canadian affairs In 1696.
nthe approach of our little army, consisting of settlers of the country, of the Kingís troops, and of 500 Savages, ó not only Hurons, but abenaquis and Iroquois Christians and friends, ó making in all about 2,200 men, [commanded by Count frontenac, the governor,] the Iroquois of onnontaguÈ retreated, after they
themselves had burned their fortified village, in which Some goiogwens and sonnontwans had resolved to fight The french. But, on being informed by an Iroquois savage who had been taken prisoner, 3 months before, that our troops numbered 6,000 men, and that a part of them were going to onnontaguÈ, another to goiogwen, and another to sonnontwan, these last people and the goiogwens left the onnontaguÈs, to go, as they said, to defend their own country. This compelled the onnontaguÈs, who did not consider themselves alone strong enough to resist the french, to abandon their fort and retreat 25 leagues to the south, where they had built another village, and where they had fields of indian corn. They conveyed thither their most valuable effects, and thus abandoned their fields at the 1st fort, which were full of indian corn, to the mercy of the french.
The war against the Iroquois.
Then, without going to seek them in their new post and without pursuing them, since it was at too great a distance, and because the soldiersí shoes were worn out, ó and, moreover, all were anxious to return to Canada for the harvest, ó a detachment was formed [Page 25] consisting of 700 men, including 300 Savages, to go to Onneiout, distant 12 or 15 leagues from onnontaguÈ They went thither in one day. The famous Christian woman of onneiout who saved father milletís life went with some onneiouts to meet the french, and proposed peace to Them; she also offered to come, with 80 onneiouts who were in the village, to reside at [near] montreal with the Christian Iroquois. This was agreed to; but, while the Christian woman was warning her people to come to monsieur de Vaudreuil, who commanded the detachment, our people [without waiting for an answer,] followed her, and tumultuously entered onneiout. This caused the onneiouts to flee. Their village ëwas burned and their indian corn cut down, as at onnontaguÈ. Of these onneiouts 30 afterward came in, and surrendered to the Christian Iroquois and to the french.Ü This is all the injury that was done to the Iroquois on this expedition, which has Cost the King more than 50 thousand Ècus. The french captured only an old man 80 years of age, who was almost blind, also [and] a lame old woman, in the neighborhood of onnontaguÈ, where
they were hidden. The latter Both were given to the Christian Iroquois who had brought them to the Camp. These proved to be relatives, and granted the lame woman her life. And [While] they were discussing what should be done with the old man, whom the french wished to put to death, the Christian Iroquois asked that he be killed with a club or be Stabbed to death, instead of being burned. But the french peremptorily demanded that he be burned at a slow fire ó which they themselves did with many ó [in sight of his relatives,] who belonged to our party. I had baptized him when I was at onnontaguÈ, on the feast-day of st. Thomas, whose [Page 27] name I had [been] given to him. He greatly loved us and had often given food to the jesuit who now Confessed him and assisted Him at his death, ó encouraging him to suffer bravely, and as a Christian, The torture of fire that they were about to make him endure. He prayed to God for a considerable time after which they Began to burn him. When this came to the Governorís knowledge, he had pity on him, [and would have granted him His life] after an hourís torture, had he not already been burned all over. On account of his condition, one among those who were present, touched with compassion, broke his head. Meanwhile, the Iroquois of agniÈ, or lower Iroquois, have killed or captured from us 20 or 30 persons, between 3 rivers and lake St. Pierre, on the banks of the river; and have burned their houses and barns, and slaughtered their cattle. The onnontaguÈz killed in the rear-guard of our army a Christian Irroquois and 2 abenaquis, who had strayed from the ranks; and [blank space in MS.] french were drowned while descending The rapids of the river.
Ü It was a question whether they should go to oiogweins. Monsieur the governor and monsieur de CalliËres were of that opinion; but it was decided to return instead of pushing on To oiogwein, which would have greatly furthered peace. IN 1696. OF THE MISSION OF SAULT ST. FRANCOIS
OUR of our fathers barely suffice for this mission, where they are busily employed. This is a fully organized Church, in which everything is done as in the parish Churches ó and even more, for
the neophytes assist at mass every day; the morning and evening prayers are said; there is chanting at mass; baptism and the other sacraments are Administered with the rites of the Church; Sundays and festivals are observed; and order prevails in everything. For some time, the neighborhood of the french has caused manifest injury to this nascent Church, on [Page 29] account of the brandy that they sell to the
Ex literis patris jacobi de Lamberville
Catechumens and to the new Christians. For the sake of vile Lucre, this new vineyard of the lord is desolated.
During the past year, we have baptized here a great many adults who have voluntarily come from the country of our enemies to live here with their kindred. Some were taken in war by these Christian Iroquois, and brought [who brought them] hither, and procured for them the happiness of becoming children of the Church and friends of the french, to whom
they have given true evidence of the sincerity of their faith.
God continues to honor a pious maiden, an Iroquois by birth, who died and was buried in this mission. Heaven grants a great many favors to those who implore her assistance. Both Ecclesiastics and laymen come hither on pilgrimage, to thank God for the favors which they have received through her Intercession. Presents are sent to this Church. In token of their gratitude to God, presents are sent to the Church wherein her Body lies. Entire parishes come to it in Solemn procession on the anniversary of her death, to give thanks for the various results of her protection. To cure The diseases that [sick whom] ordinary medicines cannot relieve, they swallow in water or in broth a little dust from her tomb. Monsieur De Champigny, the Intendant in Canada, had lost his voice for a year; at the end of that time, madame the Intendante had a novena made, and he completely recovered his voice. He has caused many small pictures of this pious Savage maiden to be made, which he distributes. These are kept through esteem for The holiness of the Iroquois virgin who preserved her Innocence in the very midst of all the riotousness of Impurity. During [Page 31] the 3 years that she spent in this mission, she made so great progress in virtue that she deserved that God should glorify her by many miraculous cures obtained from Him through her instrumentality. Monsieur Du Luth, a captain in the navy, himself relates that, after suffering greatly from gout and for many years, and finding no relief for his disease, he had a novena made in honor of the [this] good Christian, and that he whose prayers obtained, on the 9th Day, the complete cure of his gout.
Monsieur de la Colombiere, a priest and missionary In Canada, and a very virtuous Ecclesiastic, has proclaimed everywhere that so great through the merits of Catherine Tegakwitaóthat was her nameóhe was, in a very dangerous illness, snatched from the gates of death. Both went on a
OF THE ILLINOIS MISSION IN 1696, BY FATHER
pilgrimage to offer presents to T
he same father Jaques de Lamberville writes to his brother in these terms: ìFather Gravier, who during [has spent] 6 years among the Illinois, has come to Kebec on business connected with his mission.
their benefac-tress, in thanksgiving to God.
He says that he is delighted with the fervor of that infant Church, he wherein he counts over 2,000 persons whom he has baptized, [and] who live in the simplicity and piety of the 1st Christians. While speaking of this to me, he was wholly penetrated with the thought of God, and was delighted with the great success that God had granted to his labors; and his chief regret is that he has no missionaries to help him in extending the Kingdom of Jesus Christ among the surrounding nations, who speak the same language, [and] beg us to go to Instruct them.î
OF THE MISSION OF THE SAUT, 1696.
hesame father continues his letter as follows: ìYou will also be pleased to hear what happened to a Christian Iroquois of our mission at the saut, named marguerite, who was captured and [Page 33] burned by the in the Iroquois country, to which she was carried with her little child, a year old. In the first place, they deprived her of [cut off] several of her fingers and slashed her all over the Body, while she uttered not a groan. He who was present at the spectacle relates that, when she was afterward taken, all covered with blood, into a [to the] Cabin where fresh tortures were to be inflicted on her body, she found there a french woman, a captive, whose life the Iroquois had spared; and who approached the captive, and exhorted Her to bear patiently the sufferings that she was made to endure, and to offer them to God. She replied that she had long ago asked God that she might be ill-treated in this life, in order to expiate her sins and to more resemble Jesus Christ. A captive frenchman came, and gave her a small piece of cloth wherewith to cover herself; and he encouraged Her in This emergency to end her days as a true Christian, and to think often of Heaven while she was being burned at a slow fire.
ìAs soon as she reached the stake to which she was to be tied, she knelt, and prayed aloud to God for [herself and for] her Enemies; and while [then, on rising, she was Tied to the stake, ó where, during the time while] they applied heated irons to her body, she ceased not to pray and to invoke Heaven. At times, she addressed herself to God, at others to the blessed virgin; and, at others still, she exhorted her Iroquois countrymen to embrace the faith. After her whole Body had been burned, [and] her [entire] scalp was [had been] removed, and she was untied. Instead of running hither and thither, for [as] captives who are burned generally do so, she knelt once [Page 35] more at the foot of the stake ó where, while she continued her prayers, her torturers [some of those who were present] struck her on the head several times with bars [and stones], to make an end of [kill] her; but in vain. This made the spectators say that, in derision, that Christians could not be killed, and that they were only spirits. One of them came forward with a bayonet, and struck her with it [in the lower part of the stomach], saying: ëI will soon kill her.í But both he and the spectators were greatly surprised that it broke on seeing that, [it] [in a place where there were no bones] it was broken, without power to inflict a wound. The poor victim once more began her prayers to commend [herself] in that condition to God, whose mercy and forgiveness she Implored for her sins, in words that excited the compassion of [some of the spectators. They afterward struck her many blows on the head with heavy clubs to despatch her; but in vain. This led them to collect a quantity of wood, with which they completely covered her; and they [finally] brought her martyrdom to an end by fire. Three days after the death of the mother, her little child was abandoned by the woman to whom he had been given with the idea that she would adopt him for her son. But the difficulty that, she saw, she would have in rearing him, because he was still at the breast [required a nurse], she [made her resolve to] have him put carry him near a fire, that he might be burned therein. No one was barbarous enough to burn him; but, as he continually cried for his mother, holding out his arms as if he saw her and. were calling her to come to get him, they broke his head on the spot. The Christians whom our missionaries had formerly instructed [Page 37] in the Christian Religion, of which in that country of our enemies, said that the good Christian woman who had been burned had obtained from God the death of her son, who [whose soul] soared with his mother [ës] to Heaven ó lest, had he lived longer, he might have become wicked among the Infidels.î
[Memoranda attached to the document:]
Monsieur Peire associated with monsieur BirrÈ.
Their ship of 24 guns commanded by sieur La grange; their offers.
Procuration for monsieur Sorelís succession.
2. Monsieur Hazeur.
3. garontog eun.
Nullus juvat rem familiarem in Gallia, Kebeci imo etc. omnes petunt nemo juvat ut habeatur.
It is the hati isi htsi who desired that the diminution of the rent of the Ursulines should commence only in 1696.
The Ursulines manage their affairs better. They do not anticipate on the