The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents

Travels and Explorations

of the Jesuit Missionaries

in New France








Reuben Gold Thwaites

Secretary of the State historical Society of Wisconsin


Thom Mentrak

Historical Interpreter at Ste. Marie Among The Iroquois

Vol. III



CLEVELAND: The Burrows Brothers


¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯


Editor Reuben Gold Thwaites

| Finlow Alexander [French]

| Percy Favor Bicknell [French]

| John Cutler Covert [French]

| William Frederic Giese [Latin]

Translators. | Crawford Lindsay [French]

| Mary Sifton Pepper [French & Italian]

| William Price [French]

| Hiram Allen Sober [French]

| John Dorsey Wolcott [Latin]

Assistant Editor Emma Helen Blair

Bibliographical Adviser Victor Hugo Paltsits

[page i]



Preface To Volume III






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




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


Bibliographical Data: Volume III





[page iii]




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


[page iv]


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

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

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

R. G. T.

Madison, Wis., November, 1896.

[page 2]



ad Reverendissimum Patrem Claudium


(26 Maii, 16l4)


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

[page 3]

Letter of Father Pierre Biard, to the Very Reverend

Father Claude Aquaviva, General of the

Society of Jesus, at Rome.

(May 26, 1614.)

(Copied by Father Felix Martin, from the original Latin

preserved in the Archives of the Gesù at Rome.)



The peace of Christ be with you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your Paternity's

obedient son and unworthy servant,

Pierre BIARD.

Amiens, May 26, 16l4.

[page 19]


Biard's Relation de la Nouvelle France

Lyons: LOUIS MUGUET, 1616


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

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

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

[page 21]






and of its Inhabitants,


Of the voyage of the Jesuit Fathers to said

country, and of their work there up

to the time of their cap-

ture by the English.


By Father Pierre Biard, of Grenoble,

of the Society of Jesus.



Lovys Mvgvet,

ruë Merciere.


By Royal License.

[page 25]

[iii] To the King.


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

Very humble and very obedient

subject and servant,

Pierre Biard.

[page 29]

[vi] Preface.

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

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

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

[page 36]

Relation of New France, and the Jesuit Fathers'

Voyage to that country.


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

who first attempted to settle there.

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

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

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

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

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

[page 45]




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[page 61]



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[page 71]




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[page 85]



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[page 97]



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[page 113]



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[page 125]




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[page 135]




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

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

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

[page 139]



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

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

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

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

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

[page 155]

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[page 169]

CHAPTER XIII. [i.e., xii]


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

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

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

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

[page 179]

CHAPTER XIV. [i.e., xiii]


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

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

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

[page 183]

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


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

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

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

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

[page 191]

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


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

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

[page 197]

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


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

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

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

These considerations were only too evident, but the sieur was not inclined to have the patient removed to any of the cabins of [160] the settlement; but he had one put up outside, where the invalid was taken. This change did not do him any good, for he became evidently worse from that time on, and died four or five days later. Nevertheless, the Jesuits never failed to aid and attend him, furnishing everything they could, and waiting on him up to the time of his death. This good Savage, having confessed and received extreme unction, told sieur de Biencourt that he wished to be buried with his fathers and ancestors. Father Biard was very much opposed to this proposition, admonishing him that it was not lawful for him, a Christian, to wish to be buried with Heathen whose souls were to be lost; especially as in doing so he would cause great scandal, inasmuch as, when the Savages heard and saw that he had not wanted to be buried with us, they would readily [161] entertain the suspicion that he had been a Christian only in appearance. In any case, that all this would always seem like contempt for Christian burial, etc. Sieur de Biencourt replied for Membertou that they would have the burial place blessed, and that such a promise had been made to [page 203] Membertou. Father Biard answered that that would not do; for, in order to bless the said place, they would have to disinter the Pagans who were buried there, which would cause them to be abominated by all the Savages, and would savor too much of impiety. These reasons did not avail, because the sick man, believing that sieur de Biencourt was on his side, persisted in his determination. In order to make them understand that this affair was of greater importance than they thought, Father Biard informed them that the interment would take place [162] without him, and he wanted them to understand it from that time on, protesting that he would have nothing to do with any such counsels and decisions, and thereupon he departed. However, so the sick man would not think that what was mere duty and charity was anger, he returned less than an hour afterwards, and began again to wait upon him as before. God looked kindly upon his good intention, for the next morning the Savage, of his own free will, changed his mind, and said that he wanted to be buried in the common burying ground of the Christians, to prove his faith to all, and to be able to participate in the prayers which he had there seen offered. He died a very good Christian, and his death greatly saddened the Jesuits, for they loved him, and were loved by him in return. He often said to them; "Learn our language quickly, for when you have learned it, you [163] will teach me; and when I am taught I will become a preacher like you, and we will convert the whole country." The Savages have no recollection of ever having had a greater or more powerful Sagamore. He was bearded like a Frenchman ; and would to God that all the French were as [page 205] circumspect and prudent as he was. Such is the true story of the sickness and death of Membertou. With it I shall -no longer waste time in refuting the calumnies of the factionist, he being sufficiently convicted both here and elsewhere. Therefore I tell the truth of the thing, without losing time in fighting larvæ.

[page 207]

CHAPTER XVIII. [i.e., xvii.]


AID above that sieur de Biencourt took a barque away from Port aux Coquilles, that he might make a journey therewith to the Armouchiquois. This is the name of the people who live below the forty-third parallel, toward the Southwest. They begin at Chouacoët, and are said to be very numerous. Lack of provisions urged sieur de Biencourt to make this voyage, because, as these people till the soil and put away stores of grain, he hoped, by means of trade or in some other way, to get help from them to provide against the famine [165] which awaited us in the course of the Winter. His barque was equipped too late for such a long journey, for we were not ready until the third of October, and he still wanted to go to the Saint John river before making this voyage.

The river saint John is to the Northwest of Port Royal, the intermediate space being occupied by French Bay, 14 leagues wide. The entrance to this river is very narrow and very dangerous: for the ship has to pass between two rocks where the current of the tide is tossed from one to the other, flashing between them as swift as an arrow. Beyond these rocks lies a frightful and horrible precipice, and if you do not pass over it at the proper moment, and when the water is smoothly heaped up, of a hundred thousand barques not an atom would escape, but men and goods would all perish. [page 209]

Young du Pont and Captain [166] Merveille had gone to stay some six leagues up this river St. John, with a company of not more than seven or eight, all Maloüïns. Sieur de Biencourt wished to exact from them the Fifth of all their merchandise, because they were residents of the country, as has been said; it was for this purpose he undertook this voyage. We were in all sixteen Frenchmen, and two Savages, who conducted us.

Now as we were sailing up the river, being already about a league and a half from the Maloüïn settlement, towards nightfall a phenomenon appeared to us, which filled us with terror. For the heavens became wonderfully red over the Maloüïn habitation, and then the glow, separating into long rays and flashes of light, moved on and melted away over this [167] settlement. This appeared twice. Our Savages, when they saw this wonder, cried out in their language: Gara gara: Maredo. "We shall have war, there will be blood." The French also made some Prophecies thereupon, each according to his own idea. We arrived opposite their settlement when the night had already closed in, and there was nothing we could do then, except to fire a salute from the falconet, which they answered with one from the swivel gun.

When morning came, and the usual prayers were said, two Maloüïns presented themselves upon the bank, and signified to us that we could disembark without being molested, which we did. It was learned from them that their Captains were not there, but had gone away up the river three days before, and no one knew when they would return. Meanwhile Father Biard [168] went away to prepare his Altar, and celebrated holy Mass. [page 211]

After Mass sieur de Biencourt placed a bodyguard at the door of the habitation, and sentinels all around it. The Maloüïns were very much astonished at this way of doing things. The more timid considered themselves lost, the more courageous stormed, and fumed, and defied them.

When night came on and it was already quite dark, Captain Merveille returned to his lodgings, knowing nothing of his guests. The sentinel, hearing him approach, uttered his, "Who goes there?" The Maloüïn, thinking this was one of his own people, answered mockingly, "But who goes there thyself? " and continued upon his way. The sentinel fired off his musket at him in earnest, and it was a great wonder [Fr. merveille] that Merveille was not killed or wounded. But he was [169] very much astonished, and still more so when he saw some soldiers upon him with naked swords, who seized him and took him into the house; you may imagine how men of powder and of rope act at such times, with their cries, their threats, and their gesticulations. The poor man had not been well for several clays, and just then was very much wearied from his journey. He had had several discouraging losses and sicknesses that year, enough to break him down. So, seeing himself thus, as it were, suddenly fallen into an abyss, he knew not where he was. He lay down at full length before the -fire, and began to lament: the guards were all around him. Father Biard, seeing the confusion of the whole house, and not being able to restore order, began to pray to God, kneeling at the foot [170] of a bench which was against one of the beds, some distance from the fire. Merveille, having had some ,chance to realize his unfortunate condition and to [page 213] collect himself, and, having perceived Father Biard praying, started up in great agitation, and ran, and threw himself on his knees before the said Father; and, although he had never before spoken to him, said: "My Father, I pray you to confess me, I am a dead man." Father Biard got up to console him, seeing clearly that he was troubled; the whole bodyguard likewise turned their eyes upon them, and each one looked about him to see if there was anything to fear. By chance or design, whichever it was, I know not, a certain madcap stepped forward and picked up, at two good paces from Merveille, a carbine, all loaded and primed, with the trigger down, and cried: "Oh, the traitor! He wanted [171] to get hold of this carbine and have a few shots from it." The Maloüïn answered that that could not be, because since his arrival he had always been in their hands; and so it was impossible for him to have prepared or even seen this carbine; and, if he had seen it, he was too far away to get hold of it without being prevented. But in spite of all he said, he, and three others of his men, who seemed to be the worst, were bound.

Merveille had his hands bound behind his back so tightly, that he could not rest, and he began to complain very pitifully. Father Biard taking pity on him, begged sieur de Biencourt to have the sufferer untied, whom he pledged man for man, alleging that, if they had any fears about the said Merveille, they might enclose him [172] in one of the Carthusian beds, and that he would stay at the door to prevent his going out: that if any noise were heard the punishment therefor should fall upon him as well as upon the other. Sieur de Biencourt granted Father Biard's request, and Merveille was untied and [page 215] confined in one of these beds, Father Biard being at the door.

Now I could not describe to you what a night this was: for it passed in continual alarms, gunshots and rash acts on the part of some of the men; so that it was feared with good reason that the prognostications seen in the heavens the night before would have their bloody fulfillment upon earth. Father Biard promised to keep this favor in mind as long as he lived, if it pleased God to restrain these mutinous and murderous spirits which seemed to be in ecstasy and to fly [173] over the house waiting for their prey. God in his goodness hearkened to him, and to the sincere prayers of Captain Merveille, for he certainly showed a truly Christian spirit, as soon as he was partially released, never ceasing, nearly all night, to praise and bless his Creator, notwithstanding all the insults that had been heaped upon him. And when morning came he confessed, and, together with three of his men, received the sacrament, in great tranquillity of mind. In truth it was a very rare and very excellent example to those who know how to esteem virtue.

In the afternoon Father Biard asked leave to go and find du Pont, with sieur de Biencourt's promise that he would receive nothing but good treatment. But when the said Father had gone a quarter of a league, the said du Pont came up of his own accord, and all disturbances were quieted. Sieur de Biencourt borrowed [174] Merveille's barque, and took it away with him, together with one of the Maloüïns, who afterwards died at Port Royal.

[page 217]

CHAPTER XXI. [i.e., xviii.]



E remarked a little while ago that this visit to St. John river was only a diversion from the greater expedition to the Armouchiquois to get some corn. Now when we had thus come to terms with the Maloüïns, we unfurled our sails to the wind and turned towards the land of the Armouchiquois. Before departing, sieur du Pont and Merveille begged Father Biard to consent to remain with them; but he answered [175] that for the present he could not do it, as it would not be right to leave sieur de Biencourt in such a dangerous voyage; and that it was important to him in his mission to study the people and location of the places, and, little by little, to familiarize the minds of the Savages with the sight, uses, and ways of Christianity, visiting them and giving them some taste of piety, although it might be only in passing by. But that he hoped, with God's blessing, when this journey was over, to come and pass the Winter with them, and with their aid to compose his Catechism. For this he begged sieur du Pont to prepare himself, questioning the Savages about the fitness of words which might correspond to those of our language and Religion. And in order that he might be able to do it properly, he left him quite an ample explanation of the [176] principal articles of our holy Faith. [page 219]

We arrived at Kinibequi towards the end of October. Kinibequi is a river near the Armouchiquois, in latitude forty-three and two-thirds degrees, and Southwest of Port Royal about seventy leagues or thereabouts. It has two quite large mouths, one distant from the other at least two leagues; it is also cut up by numerous arms and branches. Besides, it is a great and beautiful river; but we did not see good soil there any more than at the St. John river. They say, however, that farther up, away from the sea, the country is very fine and life there agreeable, and that the people till the soil. We did not go farther up than three leagues; we whirled about through so many eddies, and shot over so many precipices, [177] that several times it was a great miracle of God that we did not perish. Some of our crew cried out at two different times that we were lost: but they cried too soon, blessed be Our Lord. The Savages cajoled us with the hope of getting corn; then they changed their promise of corn to that of trade in beaver skins.

Now, while this trading was going on, Father Biard had gone, with a boy to an Island near by, to celebrate holy Mass. The Savages, on account of the trading to take place, crowded very eagerly into our barque; from curiosity (I think) because they did not often see such sights. Our people were afraid that this was only a trick, and that under the pretense of trading they wanted [178] to get possession of the barque; therefore they armed and barricaded themselves not to be taken unawares. Seeing then that, notwithstanding their threats and cries, they continued to file in, and there were already about thirty of them upon the deck, they decided [page 221] that it was all in good earnest and that they were trying to take them by surprise, so they had already taken aim to shoot. Monsieur de Biencourt has often said, and often repeated since then, that several times he had at his tongue's end the words, "Kill, kill." But that he was restrained by the consideration that Father Biard was on shore, and that he would not escape being massacred if harm were done to any of the Savages. This consideration was a blessing to Father Biard, and saved us all: for if the attack had been begun it is not to be supposed that they could ever have escaped the passionate wrath and furious pursuit of the Savages, in a [179] river which has so many turns and windings, and which is often very narrow and dangerous; besides, this coast could not have become hospitable or reconciled towards the French for a hundred years afterwards, so much would the Savages have taken the offense to heart. So on this account God saved us; hence, all Captains should restrain themselves from rash and perilous conduct. Now the Sagamores, themselves perceiving to what a state of just apprehension their people had driven the French, began to draw them off hastily and to bring order out of the confusion.

These people do not seem to be bad, although they drove away the English who wished to settle among them in 1608 and 1609.41 They made excuses to us for this act, and recounted the outrages [180] that they had experienced from these English; and they flattered us, saying that they loved us very much, because they knew we would not close our doors to the Savages as the English did, and that we would not drive them from our table with blows from a club, nor set our dogs upon them. They are not thieves [page 223] like the Armouchiquoys, and are the greatest speechmakers on earth. Nothing is done without speeches. Father Biard went to see them twice, and (as he did everywhere) prayed God in their presence, and showed them some pictures and tokens of our faith, which they willingly kissed, having their children make the sign of the holy Cross, and presenting them to him for his blessing: they listened with great attention and respect to what was told them. The trouble [181] was, that they have an altogether different language, and a Savage had to serve as interpreter, who, knowing very little of the Christian Religion, nevertheless acquitted himself with credit in the eyes of the other Savages; and to look at his face and hear his talk, he played the Doctor very grandly; whether successfully or not, I cannot tell.

We were at Kinibequi until the fourth or fifth of November, a season already too advanced to go on any farther, according to our first intention; hence sieur de Biencourt set out upon his return, thinking it the lesser evil to endure Winter and want at Port Royal, comfortably lodged and warm, awaiting God's mercy, than to risk passage upon the sea in this stormy season, being now among Barbarians and enemies, with [182] famine to fear besides; for our provisions began to be very scarce: therefore we turned towards Pentegoet, on our way back to Port Royal.

At Pentegoet we found an assemblage of eighty canoes of Savages, and a boat, in all about three hundred souls. Thence we passed on to the Island of Ste. Croix, where Platrier gave us two barrels of peas or beans; they both proved a very great boon to us.

Here Father Biard begged sieur de Biencourt to let [page 225] him go on to the river St. John so that he could find du Pont and go to work on the Catechism, as they had agreed at his departure. But the said sieur was not willing to grant his request, unless on the condition that he would feed and keep with him, [183] until the following Spring, the sailors who would take him there; a Condition totally impossible. Therefore he had to give up his Catechism, and return with the others to Port Royal, much to his regret.

While we were away, no one had remained at the settlement of Port Royal except Father Enemond Massé and a young Parisian, called Valentin Pageau. The Father lived very austerely, in the manner of a Hermit, seeing no one, except occasionally two or three Frenchmen who were cultivating the land two leagues away, and perchance some Savage who was passing by. Shortly after his return, Father Biard fell ill of a light but slow and chronic malady, which gave to Father Enemond an occasion for charity.

They had been given a boy to help them in their needs, [184] whom they had treated very kindly; but he left them in the depths of the snow and in the heart of Winter.

The snow began on the 26th of November, and with it (what grieved them the most) the cutting down of their rations. There was given to each individual for the entire week only about ten ounces of bread, half a pound of lard, three bowls of peas or beans, and one of prunes. The Jesuits never had more nor different things than the other members of the company, and it is a very impudent lie which the Factionist alleges to the contrary.

During all this time the Savages did not come to [page 229] see us, except rarely some of Membertou's family, to bring us some offering from the chase. Then there was great [185] feasting and hilarity, and our people would begin to feel a little encouraged. The most grievous thing was their dread of the season, when they considered the long duration of disagreeable months to be endured.

The Jesuits tried, both privately and in public, to comfort all and every one during this season of misery. And it happened that on the third Sunday after Christmas, when the Gospel Vinum non habent is read, Father Biard exhorted the Company to be of good cheer, and to take the glorious virgin Mary for an advocate with her compassionate Son in every need, spiritual and corporal, as through her intercession the wine of consolation would never be wanting to those who have her as a guest and a mother. The service ended, Father Biard addressed himself to sieur de Biencourt, and, pointing to his companions, [186] said laughingly, Vinum non habent: begging him to give them the little that remained, adding that his heart told him they would soon have succor,—at the farthest, during the present mouth, namely, in January; and perhaps it would be seen that he had unwittingly prophesied. His Companions were delighted, and, in their joy after drinking, said, "Now, truly, we have the courage to wait and see if the Father is a Prophet." And certainly he made a lucky hit, for a ship reached us just one week afterward, which we had to go a long way out to seek.

[page 231]

CHAPTER XX. [i.e., xix.]


IEUR du Potrincourt having returned to France in the month of August of the year 1611, as has been said above, searched on all sides for ways and means of being able to help his people, who he knew could not continue long without reinforcements and fresh food. The trouble was to find some good Æolus, King of the South and North winds, who would be willing to give them, not as they were given to Ulysses, bound up in a leather bag so as not to blow, but free and propitious to swell the sails, for without this no ship could advance. Now considering that Madame la Marquise de Guercheville had the conversion of the Savages very much at heart; that she had [188] already procured some donations for the Jesuits, which they received very gratefully; and seeing that many rare virtues shone in her character, he thought that she might readily favor this good work. He spoke to her about it, and the Lady responded that she would willingly enter into the partnership which sieur Robin and the Jesuits had formed with him for assisting Canada, provided that this was the wish of the partners, and that she would aid them all with affectionate interest. You may judge whether the Jesuits [page 231] ought to have refused this proposition, or whether sieur Robin, upon whom Canada already weighed rather heavily, was dissatisfied with it. Thus then the contract of association33 was entered into, the Lady being authorized to do this by sieur de Biencourt, chief Equerry of his Majesty, and Governor of Paris, her honored [189] and worthy husband. By this contract it was arranged that the Lady should give at once a thousand écus for the lading of a ship, and in consideration of this she would have a share both in the profits which said ship would bring back from the country, and in the lands which his Majesty had given to sieur de Potrincourt, as is amply set forth in the minutes. In this contract, sieur de Potrincourt reserves for himself Port Royal and its lands, and says that it is not to be understood that he enters into partition or transference of other Seigneuries, Capes, Harbors, and Provinces, which he gives to understand he possesses in that country, outside of Port Royal. Now Madame la Marquise summoned sieur de Potrincourt to produce the papers and documents, by which he could prove these his so great appurtenances and domains; he excused himself, saying [190] that he had left them in new France. This answer made the Lady suspicious, and, as she is prudent, means were not lacking to guard against fraud; for she arranged with sieur Pierre du Gua, called de Monts, that he should give up to her all rights, claims and pretensions that he had, and ever had had, in new France, based upon the deed of gift made to him by the late Henry the Great. Also on the other hand she secured letters from his Majesty now reigning, by which a deed of gift was newly granted her of all the lands, ports, and harbors [page 233] of new France from the great river to Florida, with the sole exception of Port Royal. And in this way he, who was thought to be so shrewd, found himself, against his choice, locked up and confined as in a prison within his Port [181 i.e., 191] Royal; because, in truth, he has not and never has had, other lands, Capes or harbors, Islands or continent, except Port Royal and its coasts. Whereas now this Lady holds all the rest by a double title; namely, by donation or cession of sieur de Monts, and by a deed of gift newly granted by his Majesty now reigning.

Now she, fearing her money might be wrecked before it had embarked upon the sea, confided it to the hands of a Jesuit lay brother, who was being sent to new France to help the Priests who were already there. The Jesuit was to deliver this money at Dieppe into the hands of a merchant, that he might use it in the purchase of food, merchandise, and freight; but he was too confiding. For at the requisition of sieur de Potrincourt, he allowed [192] four hundred écus to be drawn without other security than a note of hand. Therefore he used only six hundred écus for this entire cargo; an investment very worthy of Canada.

This is not all. Sieur de Potrincourt confided the administration of the ship and the management of affairs, to a certain servant-of his called Simon Imbert, a former innkeeper at Paris, and at that time seeking in the woods of new France something with which to pay his creditors. The ship belonged to a Captain, called Nicolas l'Abbé, of Dieppe, an honest and prudent man. So this vessel, thus equipped and freighted, departed from Dieppe the 31st of December in the very depth of winter, and arrived happily [page 235] at Port Royal on the 23rd of January in the following year, 1612, having consumed only two months in the journey.

[page 237]

CHAPTER XXI. [i.e., xx.]


REAT was the rejoicing over the relief afforded by the arrival of this ship, on account of the severe straits to which the colonists had been reduced, and the dread which they felt for the future. But this joy did not last long, sieur de Biencourt being ill at ease on account of the news brought by Simon Imbert about the partnership formed with the Marquise de Guercheville. Now the Jesuit, Gilbert du Thet, being in the ship, although he had not meddled with affairs, nevertheless [194] had not been so blind of one eye (as the saying is) that he had not always kept watch with the other, as he had been charged and commanded to do. Now in order to acquit himself of his duty, and to uphold the right, he went to see sieur de Biencourt; and, in the presence of Father Biard, he said to him: That he was very much surprised that, as Simon Imbert had had the management of the entire embarkation, nevertheless he had not brought any list of the ship's company, nor charter party, nor invoice of what had been shipped, nor statement of where or how the money of Madame la Marquise de Guercheville had been spent. That he ought to have done this at least for the vindication of his own honesty and good faith, since he had [page 239] brought a great deal of merchandise which he claimed belonged to him, and which it would be suspected he had appropriated [195] to the detriment of the said Lady, and of themselves. That they did not wish to accuse him before having found him guilty; nevertheless, before admitting his innocence, there was a great deal to investigate in the whole matter, and especially in regard to his having sold at Dieppe wheat which had been given him to be shipped—an act which would prove to be a great disadvantage to the settlement, which was in need of provisions more than of anything else. Also, that he counted seven barrels of Sea-biscuits dispensed during the voyage, and he did not say that of these seven, two were furnished by a certain Robert de Roüen as his share; so, for this reason, seven barrels should not have been charged to the company, but only five. That the sieur was entreated to investigate the whole affair prudently, [196] and to conduct himself always in the matter as we ought to do in all things, with charity and dignity. Such was the simple remonstrance that was made to him by the Jesuit; and sieur de Biencourt has often testified since then, that this matter could not have been called to his attention with greater delicacy than it was. But, instead of doing what he was requested, and what he was bound to do, he went and reported the whole affair to Simon Imbert, adding that the Jesuit lay brother had accused him.

Now what counsels were held thereupon, and what underhand dealings or claims, I know not. However, as from little exhalations and vapors, which at first amount to nothing, arise dense clouds, furious winds, and horrible tempests, which suddenly sweep [page 241] over and [197] destroy fields and harvests; so from this slight cause, through the agitation of the evil spirit, the trouble increased to a mischievous whirlwind of discord, which has scattered and ravaged all the fruits and hopes of this first clearing. For Imbert represented to him that the partnership formed with Madame la Marquise de Guercheville was a means invented by the Jesuits to drive him out of his broad Seigneuries of Canada.

Now the Jesuits, not pleased at seeing themselves placed in such a pretty predicament, twice in the presence of sieur de Biencourt and of the whole settlement, convicted the said Imbert of duplicity, by the very same witnesses which he had put forward; and the second time they pressed him so hard that he was compelled to say he had been drunk when he had spoken thus. Of their truth [198] and innocence in this, there are good and authentic records and proofs, made and rendered according to law at Dieppe, before the Magistrate, after the return of the ship.

[page 243]

CHAPTER XXIII. [i.e., xxi.]


RECONCILIATION was effected afterward, and everything calmed down. The Jesuits, devoting themselves to the study and apprenticeship of the Savage language, thought a good way to force themselves to this, and to better learn the usages, habits and life of the country, would be to go away and live with the natives, wandering and roving about as they did through mountains and valleys, and adopting their ways, civil [199] as well as physical. They offered themselves to Louys Membertou, to live with him in that way, if he were pleased to receive them: he agreed to do so very willingly. Father Enemond Massé, as he was full of courage, desired that this enterprise should fall to him; also he was judged more suitable for it by the common voice of the settlement, on account of his industry and practical ingenuity, ready to find a remedy for every inconvenience. He went away then, with Louys Membertou and his family, beyond French Bay to St. John river, and began his novitiate in this Nomadic life, truly a very hard and trying ordeal.

This life is without order and without daily fare, without bread, without salt, and often without anything; always moving on and changing, in the wind, in the air, and in bad weather; [200] for roof, a wretched cabin; for couch, the earth; for rest and [page 245] quiet, odious cries and songs; for medicine, hunger, and hard work. It was, in truth, a very painful mode of living. Father Enemond, in order to everywhere preserve a religious propriety, had taken with him a young and vigorous French boy, who helped him, attended him wherever he went, and assisted him at the Mass. But both master and servant soon found themselves in a bad condition through such irregular diet: they became thin, and lost their strength, color, and cheerfulness; their legs grew big and heavy, their minds were dulled, and a low fever set in; however, this soon passed away, and then little by little they regained their usual appearance, and each was restored to his customary vigor. Father Enemond thought he was going to lose his sight, [201] without any disease of the eyes; atrophy, it seems to me, caused this debility of the senses and of the mind.

During this time, Father Biard remained at Port Royal, having with him a Savage whom he fed and made use of as a master in the Savage tongue. He fed him, I say, from what he had been able to save from his own daily fare, and even waited on him; for the Savages, either from laziness, or from lofty courage, do not deign to do any work, such as going for water, for wood, to the kitchen, etc., for they say that belongs to the women. So he entertained this Savage, and was his apprentice in the language for three weeks, but he could keep it up no longer, for want of something to give him to eat; this grieved him exceedingly, for the Savage was [202] good-natured, and willing to live with him.

Now while Father Enemond was sick among the Savages, an amusing incident occurred. As the Father was in a cabin, apart from the others on [page 247] account of his illness, Loys Membertou, apparently in great trouble, came to see him, and said to him: "Listen, Father. Thou art going to die; I predict it. Write now to Biencourt and to thy brother, that thou hast died of disease, and that we did not kill thee." "I shall take care not to do that" (said Father Enemond)," for possibly after I had written this letter, thou wouldst kill me, and then thou wouldst take there thy innocent letter, saying thou hadst not killed me." Here the Savage, seeing what was meant (for he is not dull) and recovering his equanimity began to laugh. "Well then" (said he), "pray Jesus that thou mayest not die, so they will not accuse us of having [203] killed thee." "Indeed, I am doing so," said Father Enemond; "do not fear, I shall not die."

Towards the end of August of this year, 1612, sieur de Biencourt wished to go to the Bay of Mines, 21 or 22 leagues from Port Royal: he was certainly ill-prepared to go there, in a wretched boat, having food for only eight days, and lacking all other provisions. Father Biard, however, offered to accompany him, because the sieur promised to inquire about and seek news of Father Enemond, of whom we had heard nothing for two months, and who, we greatly feared, had fallen into some trouble or sickness.

Now although so badly provisioned, nevertheless we went not only to the Bay of Mines, but also to Chinictou; Champlain [204] calls this Bay, the Baye de Genes. At this Chinictou there are many large and beautiful meadows, extending farther than the eye can reach; many rivers discharge their waters into it, through some of which one can sail quite far up on the route to Gachepé. The Savages of this place may number sixty or eighty souls, and they are not so [page 249] nomadic as the others, either because the place is more retired, or because game is more abundant, there being no need of their going out to seek food. The country is, for the most part, agreeable, and, in my opinion, would be very fertile if it were cultivated. It is within the forty-sixth degree of north latitude.

Upon our return from this Bay, God manifestly preserved us twice in the midst of the tempest. And the third escape is that which [205] I am going to describe. We had carried with us food for only eight days and it had already been fifteen since our departure. Bad weather kept us beyond the Bay of mines, on the St. John river side; and, if the contrary or adverse winds had continued, it would have been all over with us, as we would have had to die of hunger, for we had nothing. When night came, Father Biard persuaded the company to make a vow to our Lord, and to his blessed Mother, that if it pleased them to send propitious winds, the four Savages who were with us would become Christians. The Savages were willing to do this, and the vow was made. In the morning the wind arose, such a one as we were in need of, and by its aid we crossed the Bay, which is eight leagues wide. Now when we reached shore on the Port Royal side, [206] the wind failed us; also we had the tide against us, and we were fifteen leagues from Port Royal.

For this reason sieur de Biencourt left us, preferring to go on foot with the Savages: but he made a mistake, for immediately after his departure, good weather returned, by the aid of which, and owing to the good courage of our companions, we arrived the same day at Port Royal; whereas the sieur did not get there until three days later, after much suffering. [page 251] Now the Savages were ready to receive Holy Baptism, but there was nothing for them to eat during the four or five days in which they would have to be Catechized. For we were in need of everything. It was put off until the coming of the ship, which was expected from day to day; but the expectation was vain, as you will hear. And thus the opportunity for this good deed was lost, to [207] our great regret.

Now Father Biard, being again at home, although he was very happy at having so wonderfully escaped death, famine, and tempest; nevertheless was exceedingly cast down at not having heard any news of his dear Brother, Father Enemond, for whom he had a singular attachment. But God completely relieved his fears that very day. For, as if the rendezvous had been assigned them at this very place, he arrived the same day, safe and sound, and loaded with merit and good works: as much for having suffered so greatly, as for having placed in Paradise some souls, which had passed away immediately after Holy Baptism. In truth they both had reason to bless with full hearts their good God and Lord, who comforted them like a father, [208] and so visibly protected them in all things, and everywhere.

[page 253]

CHAPTER XXIV. [i.e., xxii.]


IEUR de Biencourt fully expected to receive help from France before Winter, especially as it had been said that there were three or four ships on the way, and already we were looking about to see where we could store so many things as were coming in this fleet. Trusting in this, sieur de Biencourt had traded almost everything. He was therefore very much astonished, when on All Saints' day, he found himself without hope of any relief that year.

[209] Now the Jesuits, who had not built much (as the saying is) upon these visionary expectations, had reserved in their storeroom five large puncheons of grain, four of pure wheat and one of barley, which had been sent from France for their own use. It made in all fourteen barrels of good grain. Now, when they saw sieur de Biencourt's necessity, they went to him and cheerfully offered him their means, saying that he should take all their grain with the sole exception of two barrels of wheat and one of barley, which they wished to reserve for various emergencies of want and sickness, both for themselves and the others. As to the remainder, they would not touch it, except to receive as usual their daily portion like the others. Sieur de Biencourt accepted the offer, and its [210] conditions, and according to these we began to live. [page 255]

Meanwhile the Jesuits, with God as their support, did not lose heart, but, according to the light and ingenuity given them, provided for the future. Thus they decided to construct a boat while the others were sitting around the fire doing nothing. For they foresaw that, without this, they would surely die of hunger after the two months in which their barley would last; and, having no boat, they could not go for acorns, shells, roots, or fish, nor to any place where there would be hope of finding something. For the roads in that country are the rivers and the sea.

When they began to carry out this plan of constructing a [211] boat they were both laughed at; for the master of the work was their servant, who knew nothing more about it than an apprentice; his assistants were two Priests, who had never followed this trade. "Nevertheless" (some one said) "Father Enemond can do anything; and in case of need he will be found to be a good Sawyer of planks, a good caulker, and a good Architect. But of what use will Father Biard be in such work?" "Dost thou not know" (answered the other) "that when the boat is done he will give it his blessing?" Thus they chattered, and talked it over leisurely around the fire. But the Jesuits lost no time in sawing planks, planing boards, seeking bent wood, making oakum out of bits of rope which they found, and tramping over the woods in search of resin. What came of it? In the middle of March their jolly-boat was [212] Upon the water equipped, adorned and fitted up bravely, to the admiration of those who had sneered at it: and on the ,other hand, sieur de Biencourt, who in the beginning of Winter had had three good shallops, at the end did not have any at all; and he was obliged, out of the [page 257] wrecks of these, to patch up a clumsy boat large enough for three people at the most, which leaked so badly that it could not go three continuous leagues upon the sea, without sinking.

Now the boat being ready and under sail, Father Biard, with the servant and another who had joined them, named Jean Baptiste Charpentier, first made a trip up the river. They went in search of acorns and roots. These roots in the Savage language are called Chiquebi, and grow readily near [213] oak trees. They are like truffles, but better, and grow under the ground strung to each other like a rosary. There are many of them in certain places, yet it is very difficult to find any place where the Savages have not already been digging, and thus only very small ones are to be found. Also we must work hard to get enough of them for a day's food.

After having gone to the upper part of the river for acorns and roots, he went to get some Smelts. The Eplan or Epelan is a little fish like the sardine of Roüen, which, coming from the sea, spawns in certain brooks toward the beginning of April. There is one of these brooks four leagues from Port Royal, which sometimes completely swarms with them at that season. For this reason the Savages also go there to camp and live.

[214] After the Smelts come the Herrings, which in like manner spawn in another river. Father Enemond Massé engaged in this fishing for herring, and later for cod, until the coming of the month of May. And thus we were butting against time (as the saying is) with our shoulders, or rather with our hands and feet, dragging on our miserable lives until the arrival of the ship, whose voyage and route we must take up from farther back.

[page 259]

CHAPTER XXV. [i.e., xxiii.]


HEY fitted up a ship in France to take the Jesuits away from Port Royal, and to found [215] a new French settlement in a more suitable place.

The chief of this expedition was Captain la Saussaye, who was to winter in the country with thirty persons, counting in the two Jesuits and their servant, whom he was to take up at Port Royal. He had with him, besides, two other Jesuits, Father Quantin and Gilbert du Thet, whom he was to take there; but they were to return to France in case the two at Port Royal were not dead, of which there was some doubt. The entire company, counting the Sailors, numbered 48 persons. The master of the ship was Charles Flory of Habbe-ville, a discreet, hardy and peaceable man. The Queen in her goodness had contributed four of the King's tents or pavilions, and some munitions [216] of war. Sieur Simon le Maistre had devoted himself earnestly to the freighting and provisioning, and Gilbert du Thet, the Jesuit lay brother, a very industrious man, had not spared himself; so they were amply provided with everything for more than a year, besides the horses and goats which were being taken over for domestic purposes. The ship was of a hundred tons burthen.

This expedition, thus fitted out, departed from [page 261] Honfleur on the 12th of March, 1613, and landed first at Cap de la Heve on the coast of Acadie, on the 16th of May, having consumed two entire months in the passage. At Cap de la Heve Mass was said, and a Cross erected, upon which was placed the coat of arms of Madame la Marquise de Guercheville, as a sign of having taken [217] possession of it in her name. Thence putting to sea again, they came to Port Royal.

At Port Royal they only found five persons; namely, the two Jesuits, their servant, the Apothecary Herbert37, and another. Sieur de Biencourt and the rest of his people were all quite far away, some here, some there. Now because Hebert was taking the place of the sieur, they presented to him the Queen's letters, which contained the royal command to release the Jesuits and to let them go wherever they pleased; so the Jesuits took away their property in great peace. And on that clay as well as on the following, they made it as pleasant for Hebert and his company as they could, so that this arrival would not be a cause of sadness to them. At their departure, (although they were not in need of anything) they left them a barrel of bread and some [218] bottles of wine, that the Farewell might be received with equally good grace.

Unfavorable winds kept us about five days at Port Royal, and then a propitious Northeaster arising, we departed, intending to go to the river Pentegoet, to the place called Kadesquit, the site destined for the new colony, and having many great advantages for such a purpose. But God ordained otherwise. For when we were to the Southeast of the Island of Menauo, the weather changed, and there came upon [page 263] the sea such a dense fog that we could see no more by day than by night. We had serious misgivings in this time of danger, because in this place there are breakers and rocks, against which we were afraid of striking in the darkness; the wind not [219] permitting us to draw away and stand out to sea. We continued thus two days and two nights, veering now to one side, now to the other, as God inspired us. We were moved by our affliction to offer prayers and vows to God, that he might be pleased to deliver us from the danger, and direct us to some good place for his glory. In his goodness he hearkened to us, for when evening came on we began to see the stars, and by morning the fogs had all disappeared. We recognized that we were opposite Mount desert, an Island, which the Savages call Pemetiq. The pilot turned to the Eastern shore of the Island, and there located us in a large and beautiful port, where we made our thanksgiving to God, raising a Cross and singing to God his praises with the sacrifice of the holy Mass. We called [220] this place and port Saint Sauveur.

[page 265]

CHAPTER XXVI. [i.e., xxiv.]



OW here in this Port of St. Sauveur a great contention arose between the Sailors and our company, or us other passengers, because the charter party and contract, drawn up in France, stipulated that the Sailors should be held at anchor in a Port of Acadie, which we should name to them, and should remain there for the space of three months; the sailors maintained that they had arrived at a Port of Acadie, and that therefore the said term of three months should begin to run from the time of this arrival. It was explained to them [221] that the Port was not the one that had been designated to them by the name of Kadesquit, and therefore the time would not begin to be counted until they were there. The Pilot obstinately opposed this, maintaining that a ship had never gone as far as Kadesquit, and that he had no intention of becoming a discoverer of new routes; there was also some mistake about the name Acadie meaning Norambegue,{8} which strengthened the dispute; reasons here, reasons there; nothing but argument, a bad augury for the future.

During these quarrels, the Savages signaled to us with smoke. This means that we can go and find them if we need them, which we did. The Pilot incidentally remarked to these Savages that the Port Royal Fathers were in his ship. They answered [page 267] that they would like very much to see the one with whom they [222] had become acquainted two years before at Pentegoet. This was Father Biard, who went immediately to see them, and in asking about the route to Kadesquit, said he wished to go there to live. " But " (said they) " if thou wishest to stay in these regions, why dost thou not rather remain here with us, who have truly as good and beautiful a place as Kadesquit? " And they began to sing the praises of their home, assuring him that it was so healthy, and so agreeable, that when the Savages are sick in other parts, they have themselves brought to this place and here recover. These blessings did not affect Father Biard much, for he knew that the Savages did not lack that with which almost every one is abundantly provided, namely, the ability to praise their own wares. But they knew [223] well how to use their machinations against him to carry him off. " For, " (said they) " it is necessary that thou comest, since Asticou,16 our Sagamore, is sick unto death; and if thou dost not come he will die without baptism, and will not go to heaven. Thou wilt be the cause of it, for he himself wishes very much to be baptized." This argument, so naïvely deduced, astonished Father Biard, and fully persuaded him to go there, especially as it was only three leagues away, and in all there would result no greater loss of time than one afternoon; so he got into one of their canoes with sieur de la Mote, Lieutenant, and Simon the interpreter, and went off.

When we arrived at Asticou's cabins, we found him truly sick, but not unto death, for it was only a cold that troubled him; so having assured ourselves of [224] his good condition, we had plenty of leisure to go [page 269] and visit this place, so greatly boasted about and so much better for a French settlement than Kadesquit. And in truth we found that the Savages were not wrong in praising it so highly, for we ourselves were wonderfully astonished; and having carried the news to the chiefs of our company, and they having come to view the place, all unanimously agreed that we ought to stay there and not look for anything better, especially as it seemed as if God told us to do so through the fortunate events which had happened to us, and through an evident miracle which he performed in the restoration of a child, of which we shall speak elsewhere.

This place is a beautiful hill, rising gently from the sea, its sides bathed by two [225] springs; the land is cleared for twenty or twenty-five acres, and in some places is covered with grass almost as high as a man. It faces the South and East, and is near the mouth of the Pentegoet, where several broad and pleasant rivers, which abound in fish, discharge their waters; its soil is dark, rich and fertile; the Port and Harbor are as fine as can be seen, and are in a position favorable to command the entire coast; the Harbor especially is as safe as a pond. For, besides being strengthened by the great Island of Mount desert, it is still more protected by certain small Islands which break the currents and the winds, and fortify the entrance. There is not a fleet which it is not capable of sheltering, nor a ship so deep that could not approach within a cable's length of the shore to unload. It is situated [226] in latitude forty-four and one-third degrees, a position still less northerly than that of Bourdeaux.

Now having landed at this place and planted here [page 271] the Cross, we began to work; and with the beginning of work also began the quarrels, a second sign and augury of our ill luck. The cause of these dissensions was principally that la Saussaye, our Captain, amused himself too much in cultivating the land, while all the chiefs of the enterprise were urging him not to employ the laborers for that purpose, but to get to work without delay upon the houses and fortifications, which he did not wish to do. From these disputes sprang others, until the English brought us all to an understanding with each other, as you will hear immediately.

[page 273]

CHAPTER XXVII. [i.e. xxv.]


IRGINIA is that continent which our forefathers called Mocosa, between Florida and new France under the 36th, 37th, and 38th parallels of north latitude. This country was first discovered and taken possession of by Jean Verazan in the name of Francis first (as we have said before); but the English, having explored it since then; namely, in the years 1593 and 1594, finally came there to inhabit it only seven or eight years ago. Their principal settlement, which they call Jeutom [Jamestown] is distant from St. Sauveur, where we were located, about 250 leagues in a direct line. Judge [228] if they have any good reason for quarreling with us.

Now these English of Virginia are accustomed every year to come to the Peucoit Islands, which are 25 leagues from our St. Sauveur, to lay in a supply of codfish for the winter. They were making for this place, as usual, in the Summer of the year of which we are speaking, 1613, when they happened to be caught in the fogs and drizzling rains which, as has been stated, often spread over these lands and seas during the summer. In the few days that they continued, the current imperceptibly cast them much farther to the Northeast than they thought. For they were fully eighty leagues nearer to new France than they supposed, being in the neighborhood of our port. But not recognizing the place, [229] [page 275] unfortunately some Savages passed that way, who went to see them, supposing they were French people looking for us. The English understood nothing of the Savage language, but from their gestures and actions they easily gathered that they were trying to make them understand that a vessel was near by, and it was a French vessel, for they heard the word "Normandia, " the name by which we were called: and the acts of courtesy which the Savages performed to please them, they recognized as French ceremonies of civility and politeness. Therefore the English, who were in need of food and all other things, ragged and half-naked, seeking nothing but booty, inquired diligently as to the size of our ship, how many Cannon we had, how many men, etc. [230] Having received full and satisfactory answers, they uttered a joyful shout, indicating that this was just what they had been looking for, and that they might lead them to us, for they desired nothing better. Nor were they pretending, but it was not in this way that the Savages understood the matter; for they thought that these were some good friends of ours, who were in great anxiety about us, and who, through friendship, wished to see us above all other things. Hence one of them remained in their ship to conduct them thither; this he did, a favorable wind having arisen. The English, when they discovered us, began to prepare themselves for the fight, and it was then that the poor simple Savage recognized that he had been imposed upon, when he began to weep and to deplore his mistake, and to curse those who had thus deceived him. Often [231] since then he has lamented and begged forgiveness for his misadventure, both from us and from the other Savages; for they wished to [page 277] take revenge upon him for our misfortune, thinking he had been the malicious cause of it.

Now we, gazing upon this ship bearing down upon us thus from afar off, with full sails, did not know what to think, whether they were friends or foes, French or strangers. Whereupon the Pilot went out in a boat on a tour of discovery, while the others armed themselves. La Saussaye remained on shore and there kept the greater part of the men: Lieutenant la Mote, Ensign Ronseré, Sergeant Joubert, and all the more resolute men went to the ship. For it was there that the good men ought to be found.

[232] The English ship came on swifter than an arrow, driven by a propitious wind, all screened in pavesade of red, the banners of England flying, and three trumpets and two drums making a horrible din. Our pilot, who had gone out reconnoitering, did not return to his ship, because (said he) the English had the wind of him, and therefore, not to fall into their hands, he started to go round an Island. At all events the ship was now deprived of half its Sailors, and had only ten men altogether to defend it; and of these there were none who understood naval warfare except Captain Flory, who certainly lacked neither courage nor the ability to command. But he had not time enough to prepare, nor the men, hence he could not heave the anchor to [233] free the boat; which is, however, the first thing to be done in a battle at sea. But how useless would it have been to heave anchor, when the sails were all disarranged. For as it was Summer, and, as the vessel was lying in port without apprehension of danger, they had stretched their sails in the form of a cradle from Stern to bitts, to shade the deck, hence they could [page 279] not be undone in so short a time. But this proved to be quite a lucky mischance: for in this way our people were well shielded during the fight, so that the English were not able to pick out any particular one for their musket shots, and fewer men were killed or wounded.

At their approach, as it is usual to call upon them to say who they are our people called out in [2341 sailor-fashion their " O O. " But the English did not respond in this tone, but in another far more violent with loud volleys from musket and cannon. They had fourteen pieces of artillery and sixty musketeers, trained to serve on ships, etc., and came to attack us upon the flanks, in front, behind, and wherever there was need, in regular order, as well as foot soldiers do on land.

The first volley from the English was terrible, the whole ship being enveloped in fire and smoke. On our side they responded coldly, and the artillery was altogether silent. Captain Flory cried, " Fire the cannon, fire, " but the Cannoneer was not there. Now Gilbert du Thet, who in all his life had never felt fear or shown himself a coward, hearing this command and seeing no one obey it, took a match and made us speak as loudly as [235] the enemy. Unfortunately, he did not take aim; if he had, perhaps there might have been something worse than mere noise.

The English, after this first and furious volley, came alongside of us, and held an Anchor ready to grapple our bitts. Captain Flory very opportunely paid out more cable, which stopped the enemy and made them turn away, for they were afraid if they pursued us we would draw them into shallow water; [page 281] then seeing our vessel fall back, and thus being reassured, they again began to approach us, firing off the muskets as before. It was during this second charge that Gilbert du Thet received a musket shot in his body and fell stretched out across the deck. Captain Flory was also wounded in the foot, and three others in other places, which made them signal and [236] cry out that we surrendered, for it was evidently a very unequal match. At this cry the English jumped into their boat to come to our ship. Our men also, misled by bad advice, jumped into theirs with the hope of gaining the shore, for they feared the arrival of the victors. These, however, reached the ship before our men could get away from it, and so they began to yell to them to come back, and, to enforce the order, fired upon them. Frightened at this, two of our men threw themselves into the sea, in order, I believe, to swim to the shore; but they were drowned, either because they were already wounded, or (what seems more probable) because they were struck and wounded in the water. These were two very promising young fellows, one from Dieppe, called le Moyne, the other named Nepveu, of the town of [237] Beauvais; their bodies did not appear until nine days later, when means were found to recover them and they were given a religious burial. Such was the capture of our ship.

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The original Latin MS. of Biard's letter to his general, dated at Amiens, May 26, 1614, is in the archives of the Gesù, at Rome. In 1858, Father Martin there copied this document, with others of like character; and in the present publication we follow his apograph, which is now preserved in the archives of St. Mary's, College, Montréal. Martin's translation of the letter into French appears in Carayon's Première Mission, pp. 106–116.

See Bibliographical Data in Volume I. of the present series, for particulars of Carayon's collection. The originals of the letters in Carayon, were written in three different languages: nos. 2, 5, 9, 12, 18, 25, 27–31, were in French; nos. 13, 14, 15, 16, in Italian; and the others in Latin. Letters to the general in Rome were for the most part in Italian or Latin, but those to the provincial in Paris were in French. The Italian and Latin letters were translated for Carayon, into French, in most cases by Martin, who had copied them for that publication. In our series, we have followed the printed pages of Carayon, for the French letters; but for the Italians and Latins (except Documents III., V., and VI., in Volume I.), have reverted for our copy to Martin's own apographs, at Montreal, and our translations into English are made directly from these.


We reprint Biard's Relation of 1616 directly from [page 285] the printed original in Lenox Library. The Lenox copy has no original title-page, its place being supplied by a clever facsimile in pen-and-ink, said to be by Pilinski. For the present edition, we supply a photographic facsimile of the original title-page of the copy at the Bibliothèque Nationale (formerly Bibliothèque Royale), Paris; the plate shows the old library stamp, " Biblioteque Royale. " The Paris copy is the only one known to us, at this writing, which has an original title-page.

O'Callaghan issued a special reprint, "presque en facsimile," of this Relation (Albany, 1871), the edition being limited to 25 copies, at $25 a copy.

The Lenox Catalogue (P. 4), says that O'Callaghan followed the copy owned by Rufus King, of Jamaica, L. I. The whereabouts of this copy is unknown to us. The late Charles H. Kalbfieisch, of New York, at one time had a copy; but a letter to us from his son, Charles C., dated May 11, 1896, states that he does not know its present location. In the announcement of his facsimile, O'Callaghan said (see Murphy's Sale Catalogue, 1884, P- 33):

"The owner of, we believe, the only copy in this country of the original edition of this Relation, has obligingly loaned it to me. In order to enable collectors who possess some of the Jesuit Relations to place at least beside these an exact reprint of this extremely rare volume, I have undertaken a small edition, reproducing the original, page for page, line for line.

"The edition in the Collected Relations, published at Quebec, was printed from a transcript made from the only other known copy in the National Library at Paris. This transcript was to all appearances hastily and carelessly executed. The consequence is, that the Quebec edition abounds, as a minute collation proves, with grave errors of omission and alteration.

"The present reprint will be limited to twenty-five copies, and will be supplied, in sheets, to subscribers at $25 a copy."

The Lenox copy is marked on front fly leaf, "A [page 286] very rare book," and it is understood that it cost 1,000 francs, notwithstanding its pen-and-ink title page. In the "Privilege," on the last page, the syllable "pro" has been accidentally omitted. O'Callaghan's facsimile reprint supplies this omission. In both, the "privilege" is in ten lines, but the contents of the lines differ.

Harrisse says (no. 30), concerning Biard's Relation of 1616: "Some bibliographers cite, but without having seen, a relation published at Lyons in 16l2, and which was the first edition of the one we have just described; but that is hardly possible, since the events described in that relation extend up to the year 1614. As for the relations, the titles of which are given in Latin, we think that they are the letters addressed by Father Biard [given in Volumes I. and II. of this series]. That of January 31, 1611 [1612], was published in the Annuæ, Litteræ, Societatis Jesu, printed at Lyons by Claude Cayne, but not till 1618. It is probably the same of which Jouvency gives the text in his Histoire de la Société de Jésus. Sotwell also cites [Bibliotheca Script. Soc. Jesu], a Relatio Expeditionis Anglorum in Canadam, of Father Biard, which is probably the letter which Father Biard wrote to Father Claude Aquaviva regarding the act of piracy committed upon him by Argall. It is possible that there were, at that period, publications of these letters both in Latin and French; but we have been able to find only one instance of this. "Brunet's Supplelment says the alleged 1612 edition of the Nouvelle France is spurious. All of the foregoing letters by Biard, cited by Harrisse, are given in Volumes 1. and II. of the present series.

See other references in Brown's Genesis of the United [page 287] States (Boston, 1890), vol. ii., P. 707; Leclerc, no. 2482; Sabin, vol. ii., no. 5136; Ternaux, no. 380; Lenox, P. 4; Winsor, P. 300; Brown, vol. ii., no. 178; and the Barlow (no. 251) and Murphy (no. 244) sale catalogues. Leclerc describes the Lenox copy; most of the others, the O'Callaghan facsimile reprint.

Title- .page. Photographic facsimile, from original in Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.

Collation of Lenox copy. Title, 1 p.; blank, reverse of title, 1 p.; dedication "Av Roy," 3 unnumbered pp. ; Avant-Propos, 7 unnumbered pp.; text, pp. 1-338. Table, 34 unnumbered pp.; privilege, 1 p.

Peculiarities. Only the pages of the text are numbered; p. 191 is, from typographical error, wrongly numbered 181. The numbering of the chapters is erratic. From i. to x. they are correctly numbered, but thereafter the variations are as follows:









incorrectly numbered



incorrectly numbered










































correctly numbered






incorrectly numbered
































The editor of the Quebec reprint overcame the difficulty without explanation, by correcting the enumeration throughout. O'Callaghan, without comment, corrects numbering of p. 191, in his facsimile, but follows original in numbering the chapters. [page 288]

Owing to the length of this document, we give only the first twenty-five chapters thereof, in the present volume; the others will appear in Volume IV.

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