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. V



CLEVELAND: The Burrows Brothers


¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯


Editor Reuben Gold Thwaites

| Finlow Alexander [French]

| Percy Favor Bicknell [French]

| John Cutler Covert [French]

| William Frederic Giese [Latin]

Translators. | Crawford Lindsay [French]

| Mary Sifton Pepper [French & Italian]

| William Price [French]

| Hiram Allen Sober [French]

| John Dorsey Wolcott [Latin]

Assistant Editor Emma Helen Blair

Bibliographical Adviser Victor Hugo Paltsits





Preface To Volume V.





Brieve Relation dv voyage de la Novvelle France, fait au mois d'Auril dernier. Paul le Ieune; Kebec, August 28, 1632



Relation de ce qui s'est passé en La Novvelle France, en l'année 1633. Paul le Ieune (first installment)






[page i]





Portrait of Paul le Jeune, S.J. Photo-engraving from oil painting by Donald Guthrie McNab



Photographic facsimile of title-page, Le Jeune's Relation of 1632



Photographic facsimile of title-page, Le Jeune's Relation of 1633



R. C. Church at Penetanguishene, Ont., built in memory of the Jesuit Martyrs in the Huron country; now in course of construction. (From a recent photo-graph.)



[page ii]


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

XX. This document (dated Quebec, August 28, 1632) is Le Jeune's famous Relation of 1632, the first of the Cramoisy series, which were thereafter annually issued until 1672. In this document, Le Jeune, the new superior of the Canada mission, relates,, to the French provincial of his order, in Paris, the particulars of the stormy passage recently made by the two missionaries to the New World, in De Caën's ship. Le Jeune gives his impressions of the country, and of the natives. He describes the tortures inflicted by some of them, upon three Iroquois captives. Schools should be established for the youth, if the adults are to be properly influenced. Mosquitoes greatly torment the missionaries. The circumstances are related of the landing of De Caën's party at Quebec, which is found in ruins; mass is celebrated in the house of Mme. Hébert, and the condition of that pioneer family is described. Quebec being surrendered to De Caën by the English garrison, the Jesuits return to their old habitation on the St. Charles, ,only the walls of which have withstood the shock of war. Le Jenne then reverts, in his story, to the condition of the savages, telling of their simplicity and their entire confidence in the missionaries. The Jesuits baptize an Iroquois lad, and a native child has been [page 1] left in their charge. The successful garden of the mission is described, and the relator tells how he almost lost his life by drowning.

XXI. Le Jeune's Relation for 1633 is addressed from Quebec to the French provincial of the order, Barthelemy Jacquinot, in Paris. In the first installment of the document, given in the present volume, Le Jeune, as superior of his order in Canada, mentions the kindness shown the mission by the Company of New France, and the good behavior of the French at Quebec, during the preceding winter. A description is given of a visit he made to the savages in the vicinity of that settlement, and his attempts to learn their language; he tells how the Montagnais sought shelter near the fort, from the Iroquois; mentions an eclipse of the moon (October 27); records, as they happened, whatever events of interest occurred in the colony, giving, in this connection, considerable information about the traits, customs, and religious, ideas of the Indians.

The narrator tells how his Montagnais interpreter, Pierre, who had been educated in France, fell into disgrace with the commandant, and was received by the missionaries, that he might instruct them in his language. The narrator describes his own difficulties in that pursuit, and in compiling a native dictionary and grammar.

Le Jeune describes the climate as very cold in winter, and hot in summer, but healthful; and tells how he learned to use raquettes, or snowshoes. He has two little boys given him by the savages, and undertakes to educate them. In his school, are over twenty Indian children, whose attainments in scholarship are described; and this leads the way to a strong [page 2] appeal to the ladies of France to establish in New France a seminary for girls. He recounts the legends of the natives about Messou, Manitou, and other deities; also their superstitions about dreams. In speaking of Father de Nouë’s visit to some of the neighboring tribes, Le Jeune enumerates the hardships endured by the missionaries in attempting to dwell in the savage camps; nevertheless, he speaks hopefully of the prospect for mission labors, especially among stationary tribes, like the Hurons.

A description is given of Champlain's return as governor of the colony; and of a conference held by the latter (May 24) with the Ottawas, on their annual trading visit to Quebec. The eloquence and shrewdness displayed by the savages are dwelt upon.

The Iroquois attack a party of French, wounding and killing several. The settlement is visited by natives from various tribes from the upper country; a Frenchman is slain by one of the tribesmen; much drunkenness occurs among the Indians, who craftily excuse themselves from responsibility for any crime committed while in that condition, by telling the Frenchmen it was caused by liquors supplied by them. The Fathers baptize some savage children, and in caring for the sick encounter the enmity of the medicine men.

The conclusion of this document will be presented in Vol. VI. of our series.

R. G. T.

Madison, Wis., February, 1897.

[page 3]


Le Jeune’s Brieve Relation

Kebec, Aoust 28, 1632



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

[page 5]






Made in the month of April last by Fa-

ther Paul le Jeune, of the Society

of Jesus.

Sent to Reverend Father Barthelemy Jacqui-

not, Provincial of the same Society,

in the Province of France.


Sebastien Cramoisy, ruë St. Jacques,

at the sign of the Storks.



By Royal License.

[page 9]

[3] Brief Relation of the Journey to New France.

Y REVEREND FATHER: Having been notified by you on the last day of March that I should embark as early as possible at Havre de grace, to sail directly for New France, the joy and happiness that I felt in my soul was so great that I believe I have experienced nothing like it for twenty years, nor has any letter been so welcome to me. I left Dieppe the next day, and, going to Roüen, [4] Father de Nouë, our Brother Gilbert, and I united in one company. Being in Havre, we went to pay our respects to monsieur du Pont, nephew of Monseigneur the Cardinal, who gave us a passport signed by his own hand, in which he said that it was the wish of the Cardinal that we should go to New France. We are under peculiar obligations to the benevolence of monsieur the Curé of Havre, and of the Ursuline Mothers; for, as we had not foreseen our departure, if Father Charles Lallemant, of Roüen, and these good people in Havre, had not assisted us in the hasty preparations we were obliged to make, we should, without doubt, have been very badly off. From Havre we went to Honfleur, and on Low Sunday, April 18th, we set sail.

We had fine weather at first, [5] and made about six hundred leagues in ten days; but we could hardly cover two hundred on the following thirty-three days. After this fine weather we had little but storms and [page 11] contrary winds, except a few pleasant hours which were vouchsafed us from time to time. I had sometimes seen the angry sea from the windows of our little house at Dieppe; but watching the fury of the Ocean from the shore is quite different from tossing upon its waves. During three or four days we were close-reefed, as sailors say, our helm fastened down. The vessel was left to the will of the billows and the waves, which bore it at times upon mountains of water, then suddenly down into the depths of the sea. You would have said that the winds were unchained against us. Every moment [6] we feared lest they should snap our masts, or that the ship would spring a leak; and, in fact, there was a leak, which would, as I heard reported, have sunk us if it had been lower down. It is one thing to reflect upon death in one's cell, before the image on the Crucifix; but quite another to think of it in the midst of a tempest and in the presence of death itself. But I say to you honestly, that, although nature longs for its preservation, nevertheless, in the depths of my soul, I felt quite as much inclination to death as to life; I kept constantly before my eyes, that he who had brought me upon the sea had some good purpose, and that he must be allowed to do as he pleases. I dared not ask of him anything for myself, unless it were to offer up my life for all on the ship. When I realized that in a few hours I might see myself in the midst of the [7] waves, and perhaps in the depths of the blackest night, I found some consolation in the thought that there, where there would be less of the creature, there would be more of the Creator, and that it would be really dying by his hand. But my weakness makes me fear that perhaps, if that [page 13] had really happened, my thoughts and inclinations might have beet, greatly changed.

But, to speak of other things, we found winter in summer; that is to say, in the month of May and a part of June, the winds and the fogs chilled us; Father de Nouë's feet and hands were frozen; and, besides this, I had pains in my head or heart, which scarcely left me at all during the first month; and a keen thirst, because we ate nothing but salted food, and there was no fresh water upon our vessel. The size of our cabins was [8] such that we could not stand upright, kneel, or sit down; and, what is worse, during the rain, the water fell at times upon my face. All these discomforts were shared by the others; but the poor sailors suffered many more. All that is past; thank God, I would not have wished to be in France. All these little afflictions have not as yet, I believe, caused us the least sadness over our departure. God never suffers himself to be vanquished; if you give him mites, he gives mines of gold. Still, it seems to me that I get along better than Father de Nouë, who, for a long time, was hardly able to eat; as to our Brother, he is like the Amphibious animals; he is just as much at home on the sea as on the land.

On Pentecost day, just as I was ready to preach, as I usually [9] did on Sundays and great Fête days, one of our sailors began to cry out, "codfish! codfish!" He had thrown in his line and had brought out a large one. We had already been on the banks several days, but had caught very little. On that day we drew in as many as we liked. It was a pleasure to see so great a slaughter, and so much of this blood shed upon the deck of our ship. These fresh [page 15] supplies were very welcome to us after such continuous storms.

On the following Tuesday, the first day of June, we saw land. It was still covered with snow, for the winter, always severe in this country, was extremely so this year. Some days before, to wit, the 15th and 18th of May, being still distant from land about two hundred leagues, we had encountered two icebergs of enormous size, [10] floating upon the sea. They were longer than our ship and higher than our masts, and as the Sunlight fell upon them you would have said they were Churches, or rather, mountains of crystal. I would hardly have believed it if I had not seen it. When a great number of them are encountered, and the ship finds itself caught among them, it is very soon broken into pieces.

On Thursday, June, 3rd, we passed into the country through one of the most beautiful rivers in the world. The great Island of Newfoundland intercepts it at its mouth, leaving two openings whereby it can empty into the sea, one to the North and the other to the South. We sailed in through the latter, which is about 13 or 14 leagues wide. Upon entering, you discover a gulf 150 leagues wide; going farther up, where this grand river begins to narrow, it is [11] even there 37 leagues wide. Where we are, in Quebec, distant over 200 leagues from its mouth, it is still half a league wide.

At the entrance of this gulf we saw two rocks, one appearing to be round, the other square. You would say that God had thrown them into the midst of the waters, like two dovecotes, as a retreat for the birds that withdraw there in such multitudes that you would almost tread upon them; and if you do not [page 17] obtain a good foothold, they rise up in such number that they may knock you over. Boats, or little skiffs, full of them are brought back to the ships, when the weather permits approach to these islands, which the French have named the Isles of birds. Ships come into this Gulf on whaling expeditions. We have seen a great many fishing also for cod.. I saw here -a number of seals, and our people [12] killed some -of them. In this great river, which is called the St. Lawrence, white porpoises are found, and nowhere else. The English call them white whales, because they are very large compared with the other porpoises; they go up as far as Québec.

On the day of Holy Trinity, we were compelled to stop at Gaspay a large body of water Extending into this country. It was here that we trod land for the first time since our departure. Never did man, after a long voyage, return to his country with more joy than we entered ours; it is thus we call these wretched lands. We found here two ships, one from Honfleur and the other from Biscaye, which had come to fish for cod. We begged the people from Honfleur to [13] raise an altar for us, that we might celebrate the Holy Mass in their cabin; and there was a strife among them as to who should work upon it, so greatly were they pleased. So I said to them, laughingly, that in building their cabin they did not think they were building a Chapel. When I came to the Gospel appointed for that day in the Mass, ,and which was the first. that I had read in these lands, I was very much astonished in hearing these words of the Son of God to his Disciples, Data est mihi omnis potestas in cæo & in terra, euntes ergo docete omnes gentes baptisantes eos in nomine Patris, etc. Ecce ego [page 19] vobiscum, etc. I took these words as a good omen, although I clearly saw that they were not addressed to so poor a person as I. But it is my opinion that I come here like the pioneers, who go ahead to dig the trenches; after them come brave soldiers, who besiege and take the place.

[14] After Mass we went into the woods; the snow was still very deep, and so strong that it bore our weight. In the morning there was a hard frost; and, when I went to wash my hands in the torrent of water which flowed down from the mountains, I found the edges of it completely frozen. Here our people killed a number of large gray partridges, as large as our chickens in France. They also killed some hares, larger-footed than ours, and still a little white; for in this country the hares are all white, while the snow lasts, and during the summer they resume their color like that of the European hares.

The next day we again set sail, and on the 18th of June we cast anchor at Tadoussac. This is another bay or very small cove, near which there is a river named Sagué [Saguenay], which empties into the great river St. Lawrence. This river [15] is as beautiful as the Seine, about as rapid as the Rosne [Rhone], and deeper than many places in the sea, for it is said to be 80 fathoms deep in its shallowest places. As we were on our way to say the Holy Mass on the shore, one of our soldiers killed a great eagle near its eyrie. Its head and neck were entirely white, the beak and feet yellow, the rest of the body blackish; it was as large as a Turkey-cock. We sojourned here from the 14th of June to the 3rd of July; that is to say, 19 days. It was still very cold when we arrived, but before leaving we felt excessive heat; [page 21] and yet it was only the spring, since the trees had only just begun to put forth their foliage. In a very short time the leaves, the buds, the flowers, and the fruit appear here and ripen; I mean the wild [16] fruit, as there is no other. It was here that I saw Savages for the first time. As soon as they saw our vessel, they lighted fires, and two of them came on board in a little canoe very neatly made of bark. The next day a Sagamore, with ten or twelve Savages, came to see us. When I saw them enter our Captain's room, where I happened to be, it seemed to me that I was looking at those maskers who run about in France in Carnival time. There were some whose noses were painted blue, the eyes, eyebrows, and cheeks painted black, and the rest of the face red; and these colors are bright and shining like those of our masks; others had black, red, and blue stripes drawn from the ears to the mouth. Still others were entirely black, except the upper part of the brow and around [17] the ears, and the end of the chin; so that it might have been truly said of them that they were masquerading. There were some who had only one black stripe, like a wide ribbon, drawn from one ear to the other, across the eyes, and three little stripes on the cheeks. Their natural color is like that of those French beggars who are half-roasted in the Sun, and I have no doubt that the Savages would be very white if they were well covered. To describe how they were dressed would be difficult indeed. All the men, when it is a little warm, go naked, with the exception of a piece of skin which falls from just below the navel to the thighs. When it is cold, or probably in imitation of the Europeans, they cover themselves with furs of the [page 23] Beaver, Bear, Fox, and other animals of the same kind, but so awkwardly, that it does not prevent the greater part of their bodies from being seen. [18] have seen some of them dressed in Bear skin, just a St. John the Baptist is painted. This fur, with the hair outside, was worn under one arm and over the other, hanging down to the knees. They were girdle around the body with a cord made of a dried intestine. Some are entirely dressed. They are like the Grecian Philosopher who would wear nothing that he had not made. It would not take a great man years to learn all their crafts. All go bareheaded, men and women; their hair, which is uniformly black, is long, greasy, and shiny, and is tied behind, except when they wear mourning. The women are decently covered; they wear skins fastened together on their shoulders with cords; these hang from the neck to the knees. They girdle themselves also with a cord, the rest of the body, the head, the [19] arm and the legs being uncovered. Yet there are some who wear sleeves,. stockings, and shoes, but in no other fashion than that which necessity has taught them. Now that they trade with the French for capes, blankets, cloths, and shirts, there are many who use them; but their shirts are as white and as greasy as dishcloths, for they never wash them. Furthermore, they have good figures, their bodies are well made, their limbs very well proportioned, and they are not so clumsy as I supposed them to be. They are fairly intelligent. They do not all talk at once, but one after the other, listening patiently. A Sagamore, or Captain, dining in our room one day, wished to say something; and, not finding an opportunity, because they were all talking at the [page 25] same time, [20] at last prayed the company to give him a little time to talk in his turn, and all alone, as he did.

Now, as in the wide stretches of territory in this country there are a great many wholly barbarous tribes, so they very often make war upon each other. When we arrived at Tadoussac the Savages were coming back from a war against the Hiroquois, and had taken nine of them; those of Quebec took six, and those of Tadoussac three. Monsieur Emery de Caën went to see the captives, hoping to save the life of the youngest one. I pleaded very earnestly for all three, but was told that great presents were necessary, and I had none. Having arrived at the cabins of the Savages, which are made of poles, clumsily covered with bark, the top left uncovered for the purpose of letting in light and of leaving [21] an opening for the smoke to go out, we entered that of the war Captain, which was long and narrow. There were three fires in the middle, distant from each other five or six feet. Having entered, we sat down here and there on the ground, which was covered with little branches of fir, for they have no other seats. This done, they brought in the prisoners, who sat down beside each other. The eldest was over 60, the second about 30, and the third was a young boy from 15 to 16 years old. They all began to sing, in order to show that they were not at all afraid of death, however cruel it might be. Their singing seemed to me very disagreeable; the cadence always ended with reiterated aspirations, "oh! oh! oh! ah! ah! ah! hem! hem! hem!" etc. After singing for some time, they were made to dance, one after the other. The eldest one rose first, and began [22] to walk [page 27] the room, entirely naked, except, as I have a piece of fur which covered what nature has He stamped his feet upon the ground while marching, and sang continuously. This was all the dance; and while it was going on all the other Savages in the hut clapped their hands, or beat their thighs, drawing this aspiration from the depths of their stomachs, "a—ah, a—ah, a—ah;" and then when the prisoner stopped they cried, "o—oh, o—oh, o—oh;" and, when the one reseated himself, the other took up the dance. Monsieur de Caën asked when they would be killed. "To-morrow," they answered. I went to see them again, and I found three wooden stakes erected where they were to be executed; but news came from Quebec that a treaty of peace was being negotiated with the Hiroquois, and it would perhaps be necessary to surrender the prisoners, and thus [23] their death was delayed. There is no cruelty comparable to that which they practice on their enemies. As soon as the captives are taken, they brutally tear off their nails with their teeth; I saw the fingers of these poor creatures, and was filled with pity, also I saw a large hole in the arm of one of them; I was told that it was a bite of the Savage who had captured him; the other had a part of a finger torn off, and I asked him if the fire had done that, as I thought it was a burn. He made a sign to show me that it had been taken off by the teeth. I noticed the same cruelty among the girls and women, when these poor prisoners were dancing; for, as they passed before the fire, the women blew and drove the flame over in their direction to burn them. When the hour comes to kill their captives, they are fastened to a stake; then [page 29] the girls, as well as the men, apply [24] hot and flaming brands to those portions of the body which are the most sensitive, to the ribs, thighs, chest, and several other places. They raise the scalp from the head, and then throw burning sand upon the skull, or uncovered place. They pierce the arms at the wrists with sharp sticks, and pull the nerves out through these holes. In short, they make them suffer all that cruelty and the Devil can suggest. At last, as a final horror, they eat and devour them almost raw. If we were captured by the Hiroquois, perhaps we would be obliged to suffer this ordeal, inasmuch as we live with the Montagnards, their enemies. So enraged are they against every one who does them an injury, that they eat the lice and other vermin that they find upon themselves,—not because they like them, but only, [25] they say, to avenge themselves and to eat those that eat them.

While these poor captives were dancing and singing, there were some men of our crew who laughed when they saw this exhibition of barbarism. But oh, my God, what a sad subject for laughter ! it made my heart ache. I thought nothing of coming to Canada when I was sent here; I felt no particular affection for the Savages, but the duty of obedience was binding, even if I had been sent a thousand times further away; but I may say that even if I had had an aversion to this country, seeing what I have already seen, I should be touched, had I a heart of bronze. Would to God that those who can aid these poor souls and contribute something to their salvation could be here, if only for three days. I believe that a longing to help them would seize powerfully upon [26] their souls. But let no one be [page 31] astonished at these acts of barbarism. Before the faith was received in Germany, Spain, or England, those nations were not more civilized. Mind is not lacking among the Savages of Canada, but education and instruction. They are already tired of their miseries, and stretch out their hands to us for help. It seems to me that the tribes which have stationary homes could be easily converted. I can say of the Hurons all that was written to us a while ago by the Father of a young Paraguayan: to wit, that much suffering must be endured among them, but that great results may be expected; and that, if the consolations of the earth are lacking there, those of Paradise may already be enjoyed. It is only necessary to know the language; and, if Father Brébeuf had not been compelled by the English to leave [27] here, they having taken possession of the French fort, he would already have advanced the glory of God in that country. As to the strange and wandering tribes like those near Kebec, where we live, there will be more difficulty. The means of assisting them, in my opinion, is to build seminaries, and to take their children, who are very bright and amiable. The fathers will be taught through the children. Even now there are some among them who have begun to cultivate the soil and sow Indian corn, having become weary of their difficult and miserable way of living. But, in a word, the promise of the Eternal Father to his Son will remedy this sooner or later: Dabo tibi gentes hæreditatem tuam, & possessionem tuam terminos terræ. Great fruits have been obtained in the East Indies and in south America, although [28] there have been found in those countries not only vices to combat, but also strange superstitions, [page 33] to which the people were more attached than to their lives. In new France there are only sins to destroy, and those in a small number; for these poor people, so far removed from all luxury, are not given to many offenses. If there are any superstitions or false religions in some places, they are few. The Canadians think only of how to live and to revenge themselves upon their enemies. They are not attached to the worship of any particular Divinity. They are permitted to take a number of wives, but they do not take more than one. I have heard of one man only who had two, and he was censured for it. In truth, any one who knew their language could manage them as he pleased. Therefore I will apply myself, but I shall make [29] very little progress this year, for reasons which I shall write in detail to your Reverence. But let us come back to the continuation of our voyage.

Some time before we weighed anchor in Tadoussac there rose a squall, as the sailors say, or a storm so furious that it threw us into great peril, although we were in the house of safety; it is thus that I call the bay of Tadoussac. The thunder grumbled terribly, furious winds made our vessel roll so that, if this squall had continued, it would have turned us upside down; but the fury of the storm abated, and thus we escaped this danger.

The 3rd of July we left Tadoussac and went to cast anchor at the Basque scaffold, a place so called because the Basques [30] go there to catch whales. As it was very calm and we were awaiting the tide, I went ashore. I thought I would be eaten up by the mosquitoes, which are little flies, troublesome in the extreme. The great forests here engender several species of them; there are common flies, gnats, [page 35] flies, mosquitoes, large flies, and a number of others; the large flies sting furiously, and the pain from their sting, which is very piercing, lasts for a long time; there are but few of these large flies. The :gnats are very small, hardly visible, but very perceptibly felt; the fireflies do no harm; at night they look like sparks of fire, casting a greater light than the glowworms [31] that I have seen in France; taking one of these flies and holding it near a book, I could read very easily. As to the mosquitoes, they are disagreeable beyond description. No one could work, especially in the open air, during their reign, unless there were smoke near by to drive them away. Some people are compelled to go to bed after coming from the woods, they are so badly stung. I have seen men whose neck, cheeks, and whole face were so swollen that you could not see their eyes. They cover a man completely with blood when they attack him; they war upon some people more than others. Thus far they have treated me kindly enough; I do not swell when they sting me, which is the case with very few people unless they are accustomed to them. If the country were cleared and inhabited, these little beasts would not be found here, for already there are but [32] few of them at the fort of Kebec, on account of the cutting down of the neighboring woods.

The 4th of July we weighed anchor to land at a place four leagues from Kebec; but the wind was so furious that we thought we would be wrecked in the port. Before reaching Kebec we came to an Island called saint Lawrence, in the middle of this great river, which is fully seven leagues in length; the western end of it is only about one league distant from the French settlement. We cast anchor near [page 37] the middle of this Island, intending to land; but the wind and tide struck our ship with so much force that the cable broke like a thread, leaving the anchor in the water. At a quarter of a league distant another anchor was cast, and the cable broke just as the first one did. In the midst of this struggle, as the violence of the winds redoubled, the cable [33] fastening the boat to the stern of our ship also broke, and in an instant our boat disappeared. Three days later,, some, Savages came and told us where it had grounded. If it had been driven upon the rocks, as it was upon the mud, it would have been broken into a hundred pieces. If this hurricane had fallen upon us an hour earlier, in a very dangerous place, our Pilots say it would have been all over with us. At length, when we were about three-quarters of a league from the end of our pilgrimage, the third anchor was cast, and it stopped us. A French barque that we had met at Tadoussac, and which came with us, lost two anchors as we did.

At length, on the 5th of July, which was Monday,—two months and 18 days since the 18th of April, when we sailed,—[34] we reached the much desired port. We cast anchor in front of the fort which the English held; we saw at the foot of this fort the poor settlement of Kebec all in ashes. The English, who came to this country to plunder and not to build up, not only burned a greater part of the detached buildings which Father Charles Lallement had had erected, but also all of that poor settlement of which nothing now is to be seen but the ruins of its stone walls. This greatly inconveniences the French, who do not know where to lodge. The next day Captain Thomas Ker was summoned, a man of [page 39] French nationality, born at Dieppe, who had gone over to England, and who, with David and Louys Ker, his brothers, and one Jacques Michel, also born at Dieppe, all Huguenots, had thrown themselves upon this poor country, where they have done great [35] damage and have prevented the doing of much good. This poor Jacques Michel, full of sadness at not having been rewarded as he desired, by the English,—or rather by the renegade and anglicized French,—also a prey to conscience at having assisted these new Englishmen against his own countrymen, died suddenly, some time after the surrender of this country. He was buried at Tadoussac. I have learned here that the Savages exhumed his body, and showed it every imaginable indignity, tore it to pieces and gave it to their dogs; but such are the wages of traitors. I pray God that he may open the eyes of the others. Monsieur Emery de Caën had already sent a boat from Tadoussac with an extract from the Commissions and Letters Patent of the Kings of France and of England, by which the English Captain was commanded [36] to surrender the fort in eight days. Having seen the Letter, he answered that he would obey when he had seen the original. It was therefore brought to him the day after our arrival; and in the meantime we celebrated the holy Mass in the oldest house in this country, the home of Madame Hébert, who had settled near the fort during the lifetime of her husband. She has a fine family, and her daughter is married here to an honest Frenchman. God is blessing them every day; he has given them very beautiful children, their cattle are in fine condition, and their land produces good grain. This is the only French family settled in [page 41] Canada. They were seeking some way of returning to France; but, having learned that the French were coming back to Kebec, they began to regain courage. When they saw our ships coming in with the white upon the masts, they knew not [37] how to express their joy. But when they saw us in their home, celebrate the holy Mass, which they had not heard for three years, good God! what joy! Tears fell from the eyes of nearly all, so great was their happiness. Oh, with what fullness of heart we sang the Te Deum laudamus; it happened to be, very appropriately, the day of the octave of saint Peter and St. Paul. After singing the Te Deum, I offered to God the first Sacrifice in Kebec. The Englishman, having seen the Patents signed by the hand of his King, promised that he would go away within a week, and in fact, he began preparations for going, although with regret; but his people were all very glad of the return of the French, for they had been given only six pounds of bread, French weight, for an entire week. They told us that the Savages had helped them to live during the greater part of the time. [38] On the following Tuesday, the 13th of July, they restored the fort to the hands of monsieur Emery de Caën, and monsieur du Plessis Bochart, his Lieutenant; and on the same day set sail in the two ships that they had anchored here. God knows if our French People were happy, seeing the dislodgment of these Anglicized Frenchmen, who have done so much injury to these poor countries, and who have prevented many Savages from being baptized, especially among the Hurons, where the Faith would now produce fruits worthy of the table of God, if these enemies of the truth, of real virtue and of their [page 43] country, had not thrown themselves in the way. God be blessed for all; it is the duty of our French people think of their preservation, and to put this country, in a short time, in such a condition that they will not have to depend upon supplies from France, which will be easy enough to do if they will only work. The English [39] dislodged, we again entered our little home. The only furniture we found there was two wooden tables, such as they were; the doors, windows, sashes, all broken and carried away, and everything going to ruin. It is still worse in the house of the Recollect Fathers. We found our cleared lands covered with peas; our Fathers had left them to the English covered with wheat, barley, and Indian corn; and meantime this Captain Thomas Ker has sold the full crop of peas, refusing to give them to us for the harvest he had found upon our lands. Our Lord be forever honored; when a person is in dire distress, he must deliver himself as best he can. It is a great deal that such a guest has left our house and the entire country. We have now enough to try our patience, but I am mistaken, it is [40] God himself who carries the Cross which he gives us; for, in truth, it seems very little to us, although there may be something to suffer. Let us go back to the Savages, and say a few words more about them.

On the eve of our departure from Tadoussac, news came that the Hiroquois prisoners had been put to death at Kebec, and that those at Tadoussac must share the same fate the next day. I undertook to Plead their cause, and promised to give what would be necessary to feed them during their passage to France, even to find some one to receive them as [page 45] soon as they would reach there. I trusted to the charity of many good people who would not withhold alms to rescue the bodies of these poor creatures from the sufferings they endured, and their souls from eternal damnation. So I approached monsieur [41] du Plessis, our Lieutenant, and explained the situation to him. Alms are given in France to restore men to liberty who are imprisoned for debt, and why should not something be done for these poor slaves of Satan? I promised him that we would give all that we could. He took up the subject, and in the evening presented it to those who ate at our Captain's table. They answered that it would require large gifts to save their lives. Monsieur du Plessis said that they [the French] would give what they could, and that, besides, large gifts were un-necessary, as the three Hiroquois prisoners could be demanded in exchange for one Frenchman who had been killed a few years ago, or at least two could be demanded, and they would be surely given up. The interpreter who had talked to them assured -me that it was an easy [42] matter. Thereupon a thousand objections were urged, and one of the company cried out that the captives ought to die; that he would rather strangle them, that they were rascals, and that in talking to a Savage in Kebec, he [the Savage] had advised him to have them killed. If the death of these poor wretches brought profits to the fur trade which people come here to carry on, there would be some reason for this eagerness for their death; but neither their life nor their death could affect it. Oh, how important it is that those sent to this country should be carefully chosen! It is true that monsieur Emery de Caën did not approve of this cruelty. [page 47] However, the wind being favorable to us on the following day, we spread our sails, and left these poor abandoned creatures there in the hands of their enemies, who disposed of two of them in a horrible manner, for, as we were told, [43] they did not kill the youngest.

Upon our arrival in Kebec, we heard of the death of six prisoners held by the Savages, the result of the drunkenness which has been introduced here by the Europeans. The English Clergyman, who was not of the same Faith as his people,—for he was a Protestant or Lutheran, and the Kers are Calvinists or of some other more libertine Religion (they held this poor Minister a prisoner in our house for six months),—told me that the Montagnards wanted to negotiate a peace with the Hiroquois, and that the one who was in charge of the prisoners had promised him that they would not be killed. Nevertheless, this wretch being drunk with brandy, which he had procured from the English in exchange for Beavers, called his brother and commanded him to go and strike [44] one of the Hiroquois with a knife and kill him, which he did. Thus all thoughts of peace vanished. They were talking about killing the others. The Minister, hearing this, said to the Savage that in killing this prisoner he had not kept his word. " It is thou," answered the Savage, "and thine, who killed him; for, if thou hadst not given us brandy or wine, we would not have done it. " And, in fact, since I have been here, I have seen only drunken Savages; they are heard shouting and raving day and night, they fight and wound each other, they kill the cattle of madame Hébert; and, when they have returned to their senses, they say to you, "It is not [page 49] we who did that, but thou who gavest us this drink" When they have slept off their drunkenness, they are as good friends with each other as ever, saying to each other: "Thou art my brother, I love thee; it is not [45] I who wounded thee, but the drink which used my arm." I have seen some of them with very badly bruised faces; even the women get drunk, and shriek like furies. I expect that they will kill some of us French People one of these days, as they have already thought of doing; and after eight o'clock in the morning it is not safe to go to see them without arms, if they have any wine. Some ,of our men going to see them after dinner, a Savage tried to kill them with his hatchet, but other Savages who were not drunk came to their assistance. When one of them is very drunk, the others tie him by his feet and arms, if they can catch him. Some of their Captains have come to plead with the French not to sell them brandy or wine, saying that they would be the cause of the death of their people. It is by far the worst when they see before [46] them others as drunk .as they can be. But let us end the talk about these Hiroquois. The English Captain was asked if he wanted some of them. As he supposed he would have to make them a present, he answered, "no," and said that they might do with them what they pleased. Now this is the way they were treated:

They had pulled out their nails with their teeth as soon as they were taken. They cut their fingers off on the day of their torture; then they tied their two arms together at the wrist with a cord, and two men pulled it as hard as they could at both ends, the cord entering into the flesh and breaking the bones of these poor wretches, who cried out in a horrible manner. Thus [page 51] having their hands tied, they were bound to posts, and the girls and women gave presents to the men [47] to be allowed to torment the poor victims to their heart's content. I did not remain during this torture, I could not have endured such diabolical cruelty; but those who were present told me, as soon as we arrived, that they had never seen anything like it. "You should have seen those furious women," they said, "howling, yelling, applying the fire to the most sensitive and private parts of the body, pricking them with awls, biting them with savage glee, laying open their flesh with knives; in short, doing everything that madness can suggest to a woman. They threw fire upon them, burning coals, hot sand; and, when the sufferers cried out, all the others cried still louder, in order that the groans should not be heard, and that no one might be touched with pity. The upper [48] part of their forehead was cut with a knife, then the scalp was raised, and hot sand thrown upon the exposed part. " Now there are some Savages who wear, through bravado, these scalps covered with hair and moustaches. One can still see over two hundred dents made by the awls in these scalps. In short, they practiced upon them all the cruelties that I have above related in speaking of what I had seen at Tadoussac, and many others, which do not occur to me at present. When they are told that these cruelties are horrible and unworthy of a man, they answer you: " Thou hast no courage in allowing thine enemies to live; when the Hiroquois capture us, they do still worse; this is why we treat them as cruelly as we can." They killed an Hiroquois Sagamore, a powerful and courageous man who sang [49] while being tortured. When he was told that he must die, [page 53] he said, as if overjoyed, " Good, I am very much ,-pleased; I have taken a great many of the Montagnards, my friends will take still more of them, and they will avenge my death." Thereupon he began to tell about his prowess, and to say farewell to his relatives, to his friends and to the allies of his tribe, to the Flemish Captain who goes to trade for furs in the .country of the Hiroquois by the Northern sea. After .they had cut off his fingers, broken the bones of his arms, torn the scalp from his head, and had roasted and burned him on all sides, he was untied and the poor creature ran straight to the river, which was not far from there, to refresh himself. They captured him again, and made him endure the fire still another time; he was blackened, completely scorched, and the grease melted and oozed out of his body, yet with all this he ran away again for a second time, but, [50] having captured him again, they burned him a third time; at last he died during these tortures. When ,they saw him fall, they opened his chest, pulled out his heart and gave it to the little children to eat; the rest was for them. This is a very strange species of barbarism. Now these poor wretches live in fear because the Hiroquois are always on the watch for the Montagnards to do as much for them. That is why our Captain, wishing to send some one to the Hurons, could never find any Savage who would go. This is enough about their cruelty; let us say a few words about their simplicity. A Savage coming to see the English Captain this winter, and seeing that everything was covered with snow, felt compassion for his brother who was buried near the French settlement. Hence [51] he said to the Captain: " Monsieur, you have no pity for my poor brother; the air [page 55] is so beautiful and the Sun so warm, but nevertheless you do not have the snow taken off his grave to warm him a little." It was in vain that he was told that dead bodies have no feeling; it was necessary to clear away the snow from the grave to satisfy him.

Another who was present at the Litanies repeated by some Frenchmen, hearing the frequent use of the words ora pro nobis, and not hearing the pronunciation distinctly, thought they said carocana ouabis, that is to say, "white bread;" he was astonished that they should so often repeat the words carocana ouabis, white bread, white bread," etc. They believe that the thunder is a bird, and a Savage one day asked a Frenchman if they did not capture them in France; having told him yes, he begged him to [52] bring him one, but a very little one; he feared that it would frighten him if it were large.

Here is something that has consoled me: A certain Savage named la Nasse, who lived near our Fathers and cultivated the land, seeing that the English molested him, withdrew to the Islands, where he continued to cultivate the land; hearing that we had returned, he came to see us and has promised that he will come back and build his cabin near us, and that he will give us his little boy. This will be our first pupil; we shall teach him to read and write. This good man told us that the Savages do not act right; that he wished to be our brother, and live as we do. Madame Hebert told us that he has wished for our return for a long time.

Several Savages ask us news of the Reverend Father Lallemant, [53] of Father Massé, and of Father Brébeuf, whom they very readily call by their names, and inquire if they will not return next [page 57] year. these simple creatures have confidence in us; here is an example of it.

The 6th of August, monsieur Emery de Caën coming to see us in our little house, distant a good half-league from the fort, remained to dine with us. While we were at the table, two families of Savages, men, women, and little children, approached the spot where we were. The outside door of our house being open, all is open, the English having broken the others; that is why these simple people were in the room, where we were, before we were aware of it. They wanted to ask me to keep some of their baggage for them. I noticed their patience, for, although they had [54] started on a long journey which they were going to make, nevertheless they did not interrupt us once during the dinner, nor afterwards while they saw me with our Captain. They sat down in one place or another, and I had a piece of bread, of which they are very fond, given to each of them. At last, monsieur de Caën having departed, one of them approached me and said: Ania Kir Captaina? "My brother, art thou Captain?" They were asking for the superior of the house. They call their Captain "Sagamore," but by associating with the Europeans they have come to use the word Capitana. Our Brother answered them, eoco; that is to say, " yes." Thereupon he made a speech to me, saying that they were going hunting or fishing for Beavers, and that I should keep their baggage; that they would return when the leaves fell from the trees. They asked me very [55] often if thieves ever came into our house, and very carefully scrutinized the places where their baggage might be best concealed. I answered that everything was safe in [page 59] our house, and having shown them a little room which could be locked, they seemed very happy, placing therein three or four packages covered very neatly with the bark of trees, telling me that they contained great riches. I do not know what is there; but, at the best, all their riches are only poverty. Their gold and silver, their diamonds and pearls, are little white grains of porcelain which do not seem to amount to much. Having piled up their baggage, they asked me for a knife, and I gave them one; then they asked me for some string to tie to an iron arrow-point or dart, with barbed teeth. They throw these [56] darts against the Beavers, and hold the end of the string, letting it go to the bottom of the water where the wounded Beaver dives; and, when it has lost blood and become weak, they draw it back by this string, of which they never let go until they have their prey. Having then made them a present of the piece of string, they said to me: Ania Capitana ouias amiscou: " My brother, the Captain, we will bring thee the meat of a Beaver," and they gave me very clearly to understand that it would not be smoked. They know very well that the French people do not like their dried food: that is, their meat dried in smoke, for they have no other salt than smoke to preserve their meats.

Another Savage, while we were at Tadoussac, brought me two bottles of wine to keep in my cabin. As he was very long in coming back after them, I notified Father [57] de Nouë and our Brother that, if he applied to them, they should send him to me. I feared that he would take one of them for me; but he made no mistake. In the evening, as I was saying my breviary, he came and sat down beside me, [page 61] and waited until I had finished. Then he pulled me and said: Ania Cabana, " My brother, let us go to thy cabin." I understood him very well, and restored him his bottles, which had cost him some good furs. These examples show what confidence they have in us. In fact, any one who knew their language perfectly would be powerful among them.

I have become teacher in Canada: the other day I had a little Savage on one side of me, and a little Negro or Moor on the other, to whom I taught their letters. After so many years of teaching, behold me at last returned to the A, B, C., with so great content and satisfaction [58] that I would not exchange my two pupils for the finest audience in France. This little Savage is the one who will soon be left entirely with us. The little Negro was left by the English with this French family which is here. We have taken him to teach and baptize, but he does not yet understand the language well; therefore we shall wait some time yet. When we talked to him about baptism, he made us laugh. His mistress asking him if he wanted to be a Christian, if he wanted to be baptized and be like us, he said "yes;" but he asked if he would not be skinned in being baptized. I think he was very much frightened, for he had seen those poor Savages skinned. As he saw that they laughed at his questions, he replied in his patois, as best he could: "You say that by baptism I shall be like you: I [59] am black and you are white, I must have my skin taken off then in order to be like you. " Thereupon all began to laugh more than ever, and, seeing that he was. mistaken, he joined in and laughed with the others. When I told him to take his blanket and return to his master until he should understand our language better, he began to cry, and refused to [page 63] take his blanket again. I told him to go away to the fort with Father de Nouë, who was going there. He obeyed, but he was restored on the way to his master, who cannot do long without him; otherwise we would have retained him with us. His mistress, asking him why he had not brought back the blanket with him, he answered: "Me not baptized, no blanket. They said: 'Come, baptize thee,' and me not baptized; and me not baptized, no return, no blanket. " He [60] meant that we had promised him the baptism, and that he did not wish to return until he had received it; that will be in a short time, if it please God.

I calculated the other day how much earlier the Sun rises on your horizon than it does on ours, and I found that you have daylight a little over six hours earlier than we do. Our Sailors usually count 17 leagues and a half for a degree of the equinoctial and all other great circles, and otherwise reach the conclusion that there are from here to you 1,000 leagues and over, which will consequently make 57 degrees 12 minutes of a great circle upon which we ought to calculate a direct route from here to you. Suppose then our latitude to be 46 and two-thirds degrees and that of Dieppe 49 and two-thirds; the computation made exactly by the solution [61] of a triangle which might be made on the earth, between our two places and the pole, will give us 91 degrees and 38 minutes for the angle which is made at the pole by our two meridians, and consequently for the part of the equinoctial which is the measure of the said angle, and this is just the difference in our longitudes. Now, this number of degrees being reduced to time, counting one hour for every 15 degrees, we shall have six hours and six minutes earlier, for the time that the Sun rises [page 65] with you than it does here; so that on Sunday when you count three o'clock in the morning, it is here still only nine o'clock on Saturday night. I am writing this about eight in the morning, and it is two in the afternoon where you are. So if, with the Geographers, for one degree of a great circle, we counted 25 leagues, as is generally done with the [62] French leagues of medium size, then our 1,000 leagues would only be forty degrees in a straight line from here to you; and consequently the computation, made as above, would give for the difference of our longitude only 61 degrees and 34 minutes,—that is to say, 4 hours and 6 minutes of time.

All considered, this country here is very fine. As soon as we had entered into our little home, the 13th of July, we began to work and dig the earth, to sow purslane and turnips, and to plant lentils, and everything grew very well; a very short time afterwards we gathered our salad. But the misfortune was that our seeds were spoiled, I mean a part of them; namely, those sent to monsieur du Plessis; for those our Brother brought us grew very well. You would be astonished to see the great number of ears of [63] rye which were found among our peas; they are longer and more grainy than the most beautiful I have ever seen in France.

Last Friday, August 20th, the day of saint Bernard, having gone to see a sick person on board, that is to say, on our vessel, and going thence to greet monsieur de la Rade and Captain Morieult, newly arrived, I thought I would be drowned, with two Frenchmen who were with me in a little Native canoe which we use. The tide was very [page 67] violent; the person who was behind in this canoe wishing to detach it from the ship, the tide gave him a turn, also the canoe and ourselves, and behold us all three carried away by the fury of the waves to the middle of the great saint Lawrence river. Those in the ship cried, " Save them, save them, help! " but there was no shallop there. We caught hold of the [64] canoe; as I felt that it was whirling about so rapidly that the water came a great way over my head, and that I was suffocating, I let go of the canoe to swim. I never knew this exercise very well, and it was over 24 years since I had tried it. I had made scarcely sixteen feet when, my cassock winding around my head and my arms, I felt that I was going to the bottom. I had already given my life to our Lord, without asking him to rescue me from this danger; believing it better to let his will be done, I accepted death cheerfully; in short, I was already half drowned, when a boat that was on the shore of the river, and two Savages in their canoe, hastened towards us. Nothing was seen of me but a little end of my cassock; they dragged me out by that, and if they had been one Pater later I would have been dead. I was so choked by the water that I had lost all feeling; [65] it was not fear, for I was resigned to die in the water from the first day I had put my foot on the vessel, and I had strengthened this resignation a great deal in the tempests which we had upon the ocean. My faculties remained as long as I had any strength left, and it seemed to me that I saw myself dying; I thought there was more pain in drowning than there is. To be brief, we were all three saved. I still feel some indisposition in my [page 69] stomach, which is not to be wondered at, but I hope that it will be nothing; may the will of God be done. Two Englishmen having been drowned in those bark canoes, which are very frail, Captain Ker had a little wooden boat made for passing from our house to the fort, because there is a river between the two; I thought this boat would remain with us. The person who took possession of it promised it to Father de Nouë, [66] but he has since changed his mind; if he had given it to us, this would not have happened. Patience; it matters but little where we die, but a great deal, how.

To-morrow, on the 25th of August, I am to baptize a little Hiroquois child who is to be taken to France, never to return to this country; he was given to a Frenchman, who made a present of him to monsieur de la Rade. Enough of this, we are in such a hurry that I have not observed any order in this narrative; Your Reverence will excuse me, if you please. I beseech you to give succor to these poor people who are in goodly numbers, the Canadians, Montagnards, Hurons and Algonquains, the Nation of the Bear, the Tobacco Nation, The Nation of the Sorcerers, and many others. I saw the Hurons arrive; in their 50 canoes and more, they made a very fine sight upon the river. They are large, well-made men, and are to be [67] pitied because they do not know the Author of the life they enjoy, and have never heard of him who gave his life and shed his blood for them.

I expected to end this little narrative on the 24th of August, but it will not be until after the baptism of this little child. I have just baptized him. Monsieur Emery de Caën is his Godfather; madame Coullart, daughter of madame Hebert, his Godmother. [page 71] His name is Louys and he was baptized on saint Louys's day. This poor little one, who is only about four years old, cried all the time before his baptism, and ran away from us; I could not hold him. As soon as I began the ceremony, he did not say a word; he looked at me attentively and did everything that I would have him do. I believed that he was an Hiroquois, but I have learned that he belongs to the fire Nation; [68] his Father and his Mother and he were taken in war by the Algonquains, who burned the parents and gave the child to the French.

Louys, formerly Amantacha came to see us and promised that he would come back next year, to return with Father Brébeuf to his country; he is rather intelligent, and showed me that he had a correct conception of God. I could not tell you how cunning this Nation is. I recommend myself a thousand times to the holy sacrifices of your Reverence and to the prayers of your whole Province.

Of Your Reverence,

The very humble and obedient servant,

in God, Paul le Jeune.

From the midst of a forest more than 800 leagues in extent, at Kebec, this 28th of August, 1632.

[page 73]

[69] Royal License.


E, Barthelemy Jacquinot, Provincial of the Society of Jesus, in the Province of France, in accordance with the License which has been granted us by the most Christian Kings, Henry III. the 10th of May 1583, Henry IV. the 20th of December 16o6, and Louys XIII. now reigning, the 14th of February 1612, by which it is prohibited to all Printers or Booksellers to print or cause to be printed any book of those which are composed by any of our said Society, without the permission of the Superiors of the same: We permit Sebastien Cramoisy, Bookseller under Oath, Citizen of Paris, to print for six years, Brieve Relation du voyage de la Nouvelle France, etc. In attestation of which we have signed the present the 15th of November 1632.

B. Jacquinot.

[page 75]


Le Jeune’s Relation, 1633



Source: Title-page and text reprinted from original of "H. 55" edition, in John Carter Brown Library, Providence, R. I.

[page 77]





Sent to the


Provincial of the Society Of Jesus,

in the province of


By Father Paul le Jeune of the same Society,

Superior of the Residence of Kebec.


Sebastien Cramoisy, rué St. Jacques,

At the Sign of the Storks.




[page 81]

[3] Relation of what occurred in New France in the year 1633.



The letters that are sent to this country are like very rare and very fresh fruits; they are received with joy, are regarded with pleasure, and are relished as fruits of the terrestrial Paradise. It had been a year since Your Reverence had spoken to us, and the few words which you were pleased to place upon paper seemed to us [4] like words from the other world. Thus they are for me; I receive them as messages from heaven. Enough has been said to show the sentiments which were awakened in my soul at the sight of your letters. And in order that joy should take complete possession of our hearts, no other messengers were needed to bring them than those who came. We were in doubt whether Monsieur de Champlain, or some one else in behalf of the Gentlemen of the Company of New France, or whether sieur Guillaume de Caën was to come, as he had last year announced in our ship as we were leaving France. Each one defended his side, and presented his probable reasons respectfully and modestly; when all at once Monsieur de Champlain arrived with the orders of Monseigneur the Cardinal, and ended the dispute in favor of the [5] Company of New France. That day was one of the good days of the year; we have been filled with strong hopes that at last, after so many storms, God [page 83] would look upon our poor Savages with a merciful and kindly eye, as he has given courage to those Gentlemen to carry out their purpose in spite of the ,opposition that demons, envy, and the avarice of men, have aroused against them. I know not how it happens, but I do know well that since they interest themselves in the glory of God, in the spread of the Gospel, in the conversion of souls, we feel an inexplicable and affectionate interest in their affairs; so much so that, if things would go according to our wishes, they would gain more in one month than they have lost in all the years that their plans have been thwarted. They are also our Fathers, since they provide here [6] for a part of us, and bestow their affection abundantly upon us. I hope that in a few years they will see the fruits of Heaven and of earth growing from the seeds which they have planted with so much trouble. This is the inference that may be drawn from the few observations which I am about briefly to record.

And, in order to avoid all confusion, I shall follow the order of time. But, as a prefatory remark, I must ,say that we have felt a peculiar pleasure in the behavior of the French who are wintering here. I confess I had some fear during our voyage that libertinage might cross the sea with us; but the good example of the chiefs who were in command at this place, the distance from all debauchery, the little work which has been done in preaching, and in the administration of the sacraments, have held all strictly [7] in the line of duty; and, although we had among us persons of two quite different parties, nevertheless it seemed that love and respect generally ruled both sides. A number made a general confession of [page 85] their whole lives. Those who hardly ever spoke of fasting, except in jest, have observed it strictly, becoming obedient to their mother, the Christian and Catholic Church.

But let us begin with the departure of our vessels last year, and follow the months which have glided away since then, when we, Father de Nouë and I, concluded that we must find some means of devoting ourselves to the study of the language, without a knowledge of which we cannot help the Savages. I then threw all other cares aside, and began to turn over the leaves of a little manuscript Dictionary [8] that had been given to me in France; but it was full of errors.

On the 12th of October, seeing that I made very little progress, learning a few stray words with a great deal of trouble, I went to visit the cabins of the Savages, with the intention of going there often, and accustoming my ear to their tongue. They were encamped at a distance of more than a full league from our house, and through fear of getting lost in the woods, I made a long detour on the shores of the great Saint Lawrence river. Oh what a trial it was to climb the rocks on diamond point! The place is thus named by the French, because a quantity of very pretty little diamonds are found there. These roads are frightful; I went on my hands and knees, with great fear of falling. I passed through places so narrow, that when the tide arose and prevented me from continuing on my [9] way, I could not turn back, the passage seemed to me so dangerous. I climbed upon the rocks and, seizing a branch which had arrested the fall of an uprooted tree, this tree came rolling toward me with so much force, that if I [page 87] had not escaped the blow, it would have crushed and thrown me into the river.

When I reached the cabins of the Savages, I saw their place for drying eels. This work is done entirely by the women, who empty the fish, and wash them very carefully, opening them, not up the belly but up the back; then they hang them in the smoke, first having suspended them upon poles outside their huts to drain. They gash them in a number of places, in order that the smoke may dry them more easily. The quantity of eels which they catch in the season is incredible. I saw nothing else inside and [10] outside of their cabins. They and the French eat them continually during this season, and keep a large quantity of them for the time when meat is not eaten; I mean the French, for the Savages usually have no other meat than this until the snow is deep enough for Moose hunting. As I went about from hut to hut, a little boy about twelve years old came straight up to me. A few days before, meeting him somewhere, I had given him a caress, as he seemed to me quite bright and modest. Having recognized me he said: Ania achtam achtam; "My brother, come, come." He conducted me to the hut of his parents, where I found an old woman who was his grandmother; he said two or three words to her which I did not understand, and this good old woman presented me with four smoked eels. I dared not refuse them [11] for fear of making her angry. I sat down upon the ground near her grandson, and took out a piece of bread that I had brought with, me for my dinner; I gave some to the little boy, to his grandmother, and to his mother, who came in. They roasted an eel for me upon a little wooden spit, which they thrust into [page 89] the ground near the fire. They then presented it to me upon a small piece of bark. I ate it with the child, of whom I asked some water; he brought me some in a dipper or dish made of bark. As soon as I had drunk, all those in the cabin drank after me. The little boy, having handled the roasted eel, which was very greasy, used his hair as a napkin, and the others rubbed their hands on the dogs. The good old woman, seeing that I was looking for something upon which to wipe my hands, gave me some powder made of [12] dry and rotten wood. It is with this that the mothers clean their little children, for they have no other towels. After having dined, this simple woman made me a speech, and gave me some more eel: it seemed that she was commending her son to me, but I did not understand. I took out my paper, and told her as well as I could that her son should come to see me and bring the eels they had given me, as I could not carry them back with me on account of the difficulties of the road, promising her something for her trouble. I do not know whether they understood my jargon, but I have not seen them since. Having returned to our lodgings, and recounted to Father de Nouë the difficulties of the road, he told me, by way of consolation, that in going to the Hurons one would encounter forty places much more difficult then the one of which I spoke. God be blessed for all things. If our [13] Fathers who are going to those countries have trials, God will know very well how to compensate them. Seeing that a great deal of time was lost in going to and from the cabins, I sought another means of finding out something about the language, of which I shall soon speak. [page 91]

On the 13th of the same month of October the Savage named Manitougache, surnamed by the French La Nasse,2 came to see us with a number of others, making us the trustees and guardians of their sacks and possessions. I asked one of them his name; he bowed his head, without saying a word. A Frenchman asked it of another, saying to him: Khiga ichenicasson?—"What is thy name?" He answered, "namanikisteriten,—I know nothing about it." I have since learned that they do not like to tell their names before others, I know not why. If, however, you ask some one [14] what another's name is, he will tell you very freely, though he will not tell his own. It is true that I have had a number of children tell me, who asked me my name, and, seeing that I told them freely, they told me theirs also.

On the 24th, having gone to say Mass at the French settlement, a Captain of the Savages came to see sieur Emery de Caën, and told him that, the Algonquains having gone to war against the Hiroquois, one of their men had been killed and the other taken prisoner. This had so frightened the Montagnaits, that they all returned from the hunt for beavers and bears, to camp near our fort, for fear of being surprised by their enemies. They wanted to unite, that they might be stronger; but they feared famine in abandoning the chase. They asked us therefore [15] if we would supply them with food, in the event of their remaining together. The answer was that we would not give anything on credit that year; this was what they were relying upon. I was told about an act of generosity on the part of this captain. Having been sent as a spy upon the Hiroquois, he encountered the spy of the enemy, and seeing each [page 93] other face to face, the Hiroquois, believing himself stronger than the Montagnaits savage, said to him: " Do not let us have our people killed, but let us wrestle and see which can carry his companion away." The proposal being accepted, this captain, who at that time was the spy of the Montagnaits, so tired out his man that, having thrown him down, he bound him, loaded him upon his back like a piece of wood, and carried him away to his people. This was what they told me about him.

The same day the Savage Manitougache, otherwise La Nasse, (it is he of whom I wrote to Your Reverence last year, [16] that he wanted to come and settle near us, as he has since done), returning from the bear hunt, came to sup and sleep with us. Having eaten well, he began to laugh and gently strike his naked belly, saying, taponé nikïspoun, "in truth, I am full." This is the way they thank their hosts for the good treatment they have received. When they say nikispoun, "I am full," that is to say that they have been handsomely entertained. He carried with him a great shield, very long and very wide. It easily covered my whole body, and reached from my feet to my chest. They raise it up and entirely cover themselves with it. It is made of one single piece of very light cedar. I do not know how they can plane so large and so wide a plank with their knives; it was a little bent or curved, the better to cover the body; and, in order that [17] if an arrow or blow should split it, it might still hold together, it was sewed at the top and bottom with a leather string. They do not carry these shields upon their arms; they pass the cord which holds them over the right shoulder, protecting the left side, and when [page 95] they have cast their missile they have only to withdraw the right side to put themselves under cover.

I shall say here that the Savages are very fond of sagamité. The word "Sagamiteou" in their language really means water, or warm gruel. Now they have extended its meaning to signify all sorts of soups, broths, and similar things. This "sagamité," of which they are very fond, is made of cornmeal; if they are short of that, we sometimes give them some of our French flour, which, being boiled with water, makes simple paste. They do [18] not fail to eat it with appetite, especially when we place in it a little "pimi;" that is to say, oil, for that is their sugar. They use it with their strawberries and raspberries when they eat them, as I am told, and their greatest feasts are of fat or of oil. They sometimes bite into a piece of solid white grease as we would bite into an apple; this is their high living. I have been told that, before kettles were brought to them from France, they cooked their meat in bark dishes which they called ouragana. I wondered how they could do that, for there is nothing easier to burn than this bark. I was answered that they put their meat and water into these dishes, then they place five or six stones in the fire; and, when one is burning hot, they throw it into this fine soup, [19] and, withdrawing it to place it in the fire again, they put another one which is red-hot in its place, and thus continue until their meat is cooked. Pierre, the Savage, of whom I shall speak hereafter, assured me that some of them, having lost or broken their kettles, still resorted to this old custom, and that it did not take so long to cook the meat as one would imagine. [page 97]

On the 27th of October, the eve of saint Simon and saint Jude, we saw an eclipse of the moon, which confirmed the observations which I made last year, that in France it is daylight a little over six hours sooner than it is here. For the Almanac had announced that the eclipse would commence at midnight in France, and we saw it about six o'clock in the evening. Therefore I concluded that the difference in the beginning of our days and our nights [20] is six hours; so that now you are in the middle of night, while I am writing this about six o'clock in the evening.

On the 28th, some French hunters, returning from the islands which are in the great St. Lawrence river, told us that game swarmed there; bustards, geese, ducks, teal, and other birds. They assured us also that there were apples in those islands, very sweet but very small; and that they had eaten plums which would not be in any way inferior to our apricots in France if the trees were cultivated. The Savages spoil everything, for, when they come to a fruit tree, they cut it down to get the fruit.

On the 31st, a Savage, surnamed Brehault on account of his loud voice, in coming back from the hunt asked us for a night's lodging and [21] consequently for his supper. We gave peas both to him and to his two children who were with him. He ate so ravenously, that to make the best of the occasion, he threw aside the pewter spoon that had been given to him, and took the great pot-ladle to eat with; and, as his dish was not big enough, he dipped into the saucepan, and even used it as a ladle, observing no other law of politeness than what his great appetite suggested to him. I let him go on for some time. After he had [page 99] eaten well, he dipped some water out with the same pot-ladle, drinking it with great relish and throwing back into the pail what was left. This is all the manners they have.

I have seen many others, looking for something with which to dip water, take a little kettle, the bottom of which is like that of a [22] saucepan, and drink cheerfully from it and with as much satisfaction as you would in France drink excellent wine from a crystal glass. The most greasy vessels are the most agreeable to them, for there is nothing they relish so much as grease; they usually drink liquids hot and they eat from the ground. Those who know us do not now indulge in such gross incivilities in our presence.

On the first day of November, all Saints' day, having learned that a poor miserable Savage, eaten by a malignant ulcer or scrofulous affection, was in a wretched hut beyond the great St. Lawrence, abandoned by everybody except his wife, who was caring for him the best she could, we did all in our power to have him brought near our house, in order that we might help him both in regard to his body and his Soul. [23] Father de Nouë and our Brother went to see him, and they were filled with compassion for him. I begged our French interpreter to persuade the Savages to bring him to us, for we could not go and fetch him. He spoke to one of them in my presence, who asked what he would be given for it. He was told that he would be given something to eat. I had them tell him that he was very ungrateful; that the sick man was of his tribe, and that we who were not of it wished to help him, and still he refused him that little assistance. For this he made no other excuse than that he was going very soon to [page 101] the hunt, and that he had no time to take his canoe there.

I have observed that the Savages care but little for men whose condition is so low that life is despaired of; indeed they sometimes kill them, or leave them in the woods to get rid of them, [24] or to avoid seeing them gradually fail.

On the 5th of the same month of November, a tall young Savage, returning from beaver hunting, called upon us, crying out that he was dying of hunger. He brought a number of roots, among them several bulbs of the red lily variety, of which there are a great many here. We gave him something, and tasted these bulbs, which are very good to eat; he made no other sauce than to boil them in a little water without salt, which the Savages do not use, although they are now accustoming themselves to it very well.

On the eighth, Manitougache, surnamed la Nasse, and all his family, consisting of two or three households, came and encamped near our house. They told us that two or three families of Savages had been devoured by large unknown animals, [25] which they believed were Devils; and that the Montagnaits, fearing them, did not wish to go hunting in the neighborhood of Cape de Tourmente and Tadoussac, these monsters having appeared in that neighborhood. It was afterward suspected that the Savages had spread this report, to draw them from the other side of the river.

On the 9th I went to see these newcomers; and while in their cabin I heard two men singing, but I could not tell where they were. I looked all around in the cabin, but did not see them, and yet they [page 103] were there in the very middle of it, shut up as in an oven, where they had placed themselves to have a sweat. They make a little low tent of bark, and cover it with their fur robes; then they heat five or six stones and put them into this oven, which they enter entirely naked. [26] They sing all the time while in there, gently striking the sides of these stoves. I saw them come out all wet with perspiration; this is the best of their medicines.

On the 12th of November, winter made its first appearance, beginning to besiege us with its ice. Having spent a long time on that day in one of the large cabins of the Savages, where there were a number of men, women, and children of all kinds, I noticed their wonderful patience. If so many families were together in our France, there would be nothing but disputes, quarrels, and revilings. The mothers do not get impatient with their children, they do not know what it is to swear, their only oath consisting of this one word taponé, "in truth;" there is no jealousy among them; they aid and relieve each other very generously, because they expect a return of the favor. [27] If this expectation fail, they respect the person no longer, whoever he may be.

Just as a man in Europe arranges his toilet with care when he is going to pay a visit to some respectable family, so these Savages have their faces painted when they make visits. The son of Manitougache wishing to go to our settlement, I saw his mother grease him and paint him red; she did the same to her husband. They find this so agreeable that the little children do not think they are beautiful unless their faces are smeared over with something. I saw [page 105] one rubbing his fingers upon a rusty axe, and then making streaks upon his face with the rust. I made a small cross with some ink upon the brow of a little boy; he acted very proud, and the others considered him quite beautiful. Oh, how weak are the judgments of men! Some place beauty [28] where others see nothing but ugliness. The most beautiful teeth in France are the whitest ; in the Maldive Islands whiteness of teeth is considered a deformity, they paint them red to be beautiful; and in Cochin China, if my memory serves me, they paint them black. Which is right?

On the 13th, Manitougache, our guest and neighbor, came to tell us that a great many Hiroquois had been seen near Kebec. All the Montagnaits trembled with fear. He asked if his wife and children could not come and lodge with us. We answered him that he and his sons would be very welcome, but that girls and women were not permitted to sleep in our houses, indeed, they never entered them in France; and that, just as soon as we could close our doors, they would not again be [29] opened to them. He then sent his whole party, all the young people, to cabins in the neighborhood of Kebec, where they were told that some arquebusiers would be sent to protect them. As to himself, having been invited by the Captain of the Savages to accept his cabin until the fright should have passed away, he answered that, if he had to die, he wanted to die near us; and, having thus placed his people in security, he returned to us.

On this same day, Pierre Pastedechouan came to make his home with us. I cannot omit here an incident especially exhibiting the admirable kindness and providence of God in our behalf. This young [page 107] man had been taken to France in his childhood by the Reverend Recollect Fathers. He had been baptized at Angers, Monsieur the Prince of Guimenée being his godfather. He speaks French and the Savage Tongue very well. [30] Having been brought back to his country, he was again placed in the hands of his brothers, to recover the use of his own language, which he had almost forgotten. This poor wretch has become a barbarian like the others, and persistently followed barbaric customs while the English were here. Hearing of the return of the French, he visited sieur Emery de Caën, at Tadoussac, who invited him to go to Kebec, which he did. He intended to take him for his interpreter, having him eat at his table, and treating him kindly. Meanwhile, I desired to obtain a greater knowledge of the language; and seeing that I made no progress, for want of a teacher, I had been thinking for some time of asking God, hoping that we should have this young man with us for a while. We all began to pray for this favor at the throne of our Lord; I felt [31] so strong a desire, combined with so great confidence, that it seemed to me we had him already, all human appearances to the contrary notwithstanding; for, as they wanted to make use of him at the fort, he was treated very kindly. Besides, while breathing only liberty, he rather abhorred our house than loved it. God is stronger than all men; it belongs only to him to draw good out of evil. This poor young man, being in too easy a position, could not stand his prosperity. He displeased sieur de Caën; once and twice, he was disgraced, and restored to favor. In the meantime, I solicited sieur de Caën to send him to us, in the event that it was not [page 109] agreeable to him to keep him at the fort; that he would oblige us, and do a service to this poor abandoned creature. He, who honored us with his affection, granted our request readily; now this poor boy, seeing that he has lost the friendship of sieur de [32] Caën, goes over to sieur du Plessis. This was but going from bad to worse. For sieur du Plessis, knowing his knavish tricks, and desiring that he should live with us, rejected him, promising him his friendship provided that he would spend some months in our house, where he might resume the duties of a good Christian. Monsieur de Caën treated him in the same way; behold him thus excluded from the fort. Nothing was lacking but that he should in some way be abandoned by the Savages also. He had married the daughter of Manitougache; she, having become somewhat dissatisfied with him, left him. Such are the nuptial ties of the Savages, who bind themselves by only a loose knot; but little is necessary to separate them, unless they have children, for then they do not leave each other so easily.

Being thus repulsed, he came and threw himself into our arms, which were only [33] too widely opened for him. We provided him with a suit of French clothes, that a valet de chambre of sieur du Plessis gave him. In short, we gave him as warm a welcome as was possible, returning a thousand thanks to the good God for having answered our prayers.

Now, having gained this advantage, I begin to work incessantly. I make conjugations, declensions and some little syntax, and a dictionary,24 with incredible trouble, for I was compelled sometimes to ask twenty questions to understand one word, so changeable was my master's way of teaching. Oh, [page 111] how grateful I am to those who sent me some Tobacco last year. The Savages love it to madness. Whenever we came to a difficulty, I gave my master a piece of tobacco, to make him more attentive. [34] never can thank our Lord enough for this fortunate circumstance. In all the years that we have been in this country no one has ever been able to learn anything from the interpreter named Marsolet,, who, for excuse, said he had sworn that he would never teach the Savage tongue to any one whomsoever. Father Charles Lallemant won him, and I think I have acquired what he learned from him, but I could not make use of it at all; the construction of the language, entirely different from that of the European languages, is not declared therein. May God be praised forever; his providence is adorable, and his goodness unbounded.

Before knowing a language, it was necessary for me to make the books from which to learn it; and, although I do not hold them to be so correct, yet now, at the time when I am writing, when I compose anything I make myself understood very well by the Savages. It all [35] lies in composing often, in learning a great many words, in acquiring their accent; and my occupations do not permit it. I was thinking of going with them next winter into the woods, but I foresee that it will be impossible, tied as I am. If my teacher had not left me, I should have made considerable progress in a few months.

I have noticed in the study of their language that there is a certain jargon between the French and the Savages, which is neither French nor Savage; and yet when the French use it, they think they are speaking the Savage Tongue, and the Savages, in using it, [page 113] think they are speaking good French. I wrote a few words of it last year that I characterized as Savage words, believing them to be so. For example, the word, Ania, which I have mentioned above, is an alien word, the Savages making use of it on every [36] occasion in speaking to the French, and the French in speaking to the Savages, and all use it to say " my brother;" but in the real Savage Tongue of the Montagnaits, Nichtais means " my eldest brother," Nichim " my youngest;" the word Sagamo is used by only a few here to say " Captain." The correct word is Oukhimau; I believe this word, Sagamo, comes from Acadia; there are many others like it. When a person first visits a country, he writes a great many things upon the word of others, believing them to be true; time reveals the truth.

I have been told many different things about the customs of these tribes; we shall have time enough to learn how true they are.

I shall say, in passing, that this language is very poor and very rich. It is poor; because, having no knowledge of thousands and [37] thousands of things which are in Europe, they have no names to indicate them. It is rich, because in the things of which they have a knowledge, it is fertile and plentiful ; it seems to me that they do not pronounce it well. The Algonquains, who differ from the Montagnaits only as the Provençals from the Normans, have a pronunciation that is altogether charming and agreeable.

I do not think that I have ever heard any language spoken which is formed in the same manner as this. Father Brébeuf assures me that the language of the Hurons is of the same construction. [page 115] People may call them Barbarians as much as they please, but their language is very regular. I am not yet a perfect master of it; I shall speak of it some day with more assurance. If I were not afraid of being tedious, I should note here a striking and radically strange [38] difference between the languages of Europe and those of this country.

On the 14th of November, the Savage la Nasse being with us, I instructed him about the Creation of the world, the Incarnation, and the Passion of the Son of God. We talked well into the night, everyone being asleep except him. Returning to his cabin, he said to Pierre that he was much pleased to listen to such talk.

Seeing us praying to God one day after dinner, he sighed deeply, saying: "Oh, how unhappy I am that I am not able to pray to God as you do!"

He has often said to Pierre: "Teach that man as soon as you can," speaking of me, " in order that we maybe able to understand what he says." In the evening when he sleeps with us, he attends the Litanies in our Chapel; and as he was answering with us, ora pro nobis, [39] Pierre, laughing at this, asked him if he had thoroughly understood what he had said: " No," said he, "but I believe it is good, since those Fathers say it in praying to God." He has often given proof that he would be willing to die with us, and says he will not go away from us unless we drive him. If he were not burdened with so large a family, I would like very well to have him for our domestic. He is sufficiently instructed to be baptized, should he be in danger of death; but we shall not make haste until we know how to speak the language well. As I was instructing his grandson, he said to [page 117] me: "Teach me; I shall retain it better than he; " and, joining his hands, he pronounced the blessing at the table.

Once, while he was working on Sunday, I told him that God forbade work upon certain days; he said: " Teach me those days, [40] and I shall keep them." Reading the Commandments of God in his cabin, when I came to that one which commands children to obey their father and mother, he turned toward his, and signed to them to listen. Having heard that other Commandment, " Thou shalt not kill," he told me some one had tried to incite him to murder; but, seeing that it was an evil deed, he did not wish to do it. That was another conversation.

Pierre Pastedechouan has told us that his grandmother used to take pleasure in relating to him the astonishment of the Natives, when they saw for the first time a French ship arrive upon their shores. They thought it was a moving Island; they did not know what to say of the great sails which made it go ; their astonishment was redoubled in seeing a number of men on deck. The women [41] at once began to prepare houses for them, as is their custom when new guests arrive, and four canoes of Savages ventured to board these vessels. They invited the Frenchmen to come into the houses which had been made ready for them, but neither side understood the other. They were given a barrel of bread or biscuit. Having brought it on shore they examined it; and, finding no taste in it, threw it into the water. In a word, they were as much astonished as was the King of Calecut, in olden times, when he saw the first European ship nearing his shores; for, having sent some one to investigate the character and appearance [page 119] of the men brought by that great house of wood, the messengers reported to their master that these men were prodigious and horrible; that they were dressed in [42] iron, ate bones, and drank blood. They had seen them covered with their cuirasses, eating biscuits, and drinking wine. Our Savages said the Frenchmen drank blood and ate wood, thus naming the wine and the biscuits.

Now as they were unable to understand to what nation our people belonged, they gave them the name which has since always clung to the French, ouemichtigouchiou; that is to say, a man who works in wood, or who is in a canoe or vessel of wood. They saw our ships, which were made of wood, their little canoes being made only of bark.

On the 20th of November, our Savage,—it is thus that I shall designate this good Manitougache,—surnamed la Nasse, began building a wooden cabin near our little house, on the site of the one which the [43] English had burned down. He himself made boards with a hatchet, cutting certain kinds of wood that are easily split. He burned an old boat, that he had seen stranded and abandoned upon an Island; and, with the nails which he obtained, he made a very fair little house or cabin with his boards. The other Savages came to see it, and we Frenchmen also, praising his ingenuity. I gave him the name of Jesus on a paper, to put inside of it somewhere, and he hung it up in the best place.

Something very amusing happened to a Savage who came to see it. This simple man examined the little wooden house, and not knowing where to enter, being unable to find the door, he went round and round it, and, thinking there was no entrance, went away [page 121] as he came. One would say that he ought [44] to have knocked; but this is not the custom of the Savages. They enter everywhere without saying a word, or without any greeting. Their houses are not closed; all can enter who will, as they have only an old skin which serves as a door. Nevertheless, we never hear of thieves among them, or very seldom,—I mean among the Montagnaits; but the Hurons make a business of thieving. They also make better houses, being sedentary, and not leading a vagabond and wandering life like those of this country. I learn that the Hurons consider a man very clever who can escape the hand of a thief, or who knows how to steal without being caught. But, if he be discovered, you may whip him as much as you like and he will say nothing. He suffers his punishment patiently, not as a penalty for his crime, but for his awkwardness in being caught.

On the 27th of the same month of November, [451 the winter, which had already appeared in the distance from time to time, completely besieged us, for on that and the following days the snow fell so heavily that it deprived us of the sight of the earth for five months.

I shall tell you what sort of winter we have had here. It has been beautiful, and good, and very long. It was beautiful because it was as white as snow, without mud and without rain. I do not know that it has rained three times in four or five months, but it has often snowed.

It was good, because the cold has been severe; it is considered one of the most rigorous winters that they have had for a long time. There was everywhere four or five feet of snow, in some places, over [page 123] ten, before our house, a mountain: the wind drifting it, and we, on the other hand, shoveling it away to make a little path before our door. It rose like a wall, all white, higher [46] by one or two feet than the roof of our house. The cold was at times so violent that we heard the trees split in the woods, and in breaking make a noise like that of firearms. It happened to me that while writing very near a big fire, my ink froze; and I had to place a little pan full of hot coals near my inkstand, otherwise I should have found black ice instead of ink.

This extreme cold lasted only ten days or thereabout, not continuously, but at different times. The rest of the time, although the cold greatly exceeds that of France, it is not at all intolerable; and I can say that it is easier to work here in the woods than it is in France, where the winter. rains are so penetrating. But one must be provided with good mittens, [47] unless he wants to have his hands frozen; and yet our Savages visited us sometimes half-naked, without complaining of the cold. This teaches me that, if nature can accustom itself to this cold, nature and grace can very well give us "the heart and strength to support it cheerfully. If there is cold, there is wood.

I have said that the winter has been long; from the 27th of November up to the end of April, the ground was all the time white with snow; and from the 29th of the same month of November up to the 23rd of April, our little river was frozen, but in such a way that a hundred wagons could have passed over it without shaking it. The ice is of such thickness that, when they were breaking it near Kebec, to launch a bark, sieur du Plessis told me that, being [page 125] on land, it was [48] all he could do to reach the top of a piece of ice with the rest of a musket that he held in his hand. All this should not astonish any one. All who are here say that they have suffered more from cold in France than in Canada. The Scorpion carries its own antidote: in the countries most subject to sickness, more remedies are found: if disease is there, medicine is not far away.

On the 3rd of December we began to change our footgear, and to use raquettes; when I first put these great flat skates on my feet, I thought that I should fall with my nose in the snow, at every step I took. But experience has taught me that God provides for the convenience of all nations according to their needs. I walk very freely now on these raquettes. As to the Savages, they do not hinder them [49] from jumping like bucks or running like deer.

They make shoes of Elk skins, which they use with their raquettes. They have not ingenuity enough to harden or tan leather; therefore they use none. In the summer, they go barefooted; in the winter, their shoes must be of a pliable skin, otherwise they would spoil their raquettes. They make them broad and very ample, in order to line them inside with a layer of old rags against the cold. If we had some French leather here a little softer than the hard, untanned cowhide, it would be of incomparable service to us, especially in the spring, when the snow begins to melt toward the south. For the shoes of the Savages take water like a sponge, and those leathers from France would keep the feet dry.

[50] On the 5th of December there was a very strong wind, which has happened several times. The Northeastern is violent here; one day it tore [page 127] away a part of the roof of a house at the fort. Father de Nouë, returning that day from celebrating holy Mass, said that he and the young man accompanying him were compelled to hold on to each other, for fear that the wind would carry them away.

About this time, in going into the woods where there were a number of Savages encamped, I found a dead body which the Savages had enshrouded; it was raised high upon wooden scaffolds, and near it were its clothes and other belongings, covered with bark (that is their mourning cloth). I asked when they would bury it. They answered me: "When it stops snowing." The snow was then falling very fast.

[51] At the time of this occurrence some one told me that, when a Savage dies, the others strike on his cabin, crying: " oué, oué, oué," etc. And when I asked a Savage the reason for this, he told me that it was to make the spirit come out of the cabin.

The body of the dead man is not taken out of the common door of the cabin. They raise the bark from the spot where he died, and take it out through that. I asked why; the Savage answered me that the common door was the door of the living, and not of the dead, and consequently the dead ought not to pass there. Now, as he believed that he had perfectly satisfied me, and as he was laughing at me, I asked him if, when he had killed a Beaver, he made it enter and go out by the common door. " Yes, " said he. "It is then," said I, " the door for the dead as well as for the living." He replied that a Beaver is [52] an animal. Then I answered him, laughing, "Your door then is a door for animals, and you call it a door for the living." He cried out, " Certainly, that is true," and began to laugh. [page 129]

I asked him also why they buried the clothes of the dead with them. " They belong to them," said he, "why should we take them away from them?"

If you press them, they are not very obstinate. They follow a certain routine in their superstitions, for which they can give no reason. This is why they are the first to laugh when you make them understand that their customs are ridiculous. True, I have seen some who are very much attached to their dreams.

They have different kinds of feasts. I know some special features of them, but shall wait until another year, [53] that I may speak of them with more certainty. At the feasts for the dead, they always throw what is left into the fire. At other feasts the rule is to eat all, and it is better to burst than to leave anything.

Nearly all the Savages have a little Castipitagan or tobacco pouch. Some are made from the skin of the muskrat, in such a way that the animal seems quite entire, there being only a little opening at the head made in skinning it. Others are made of other animals. Some of them carry a part of an arm or a hand of a Hiroquois whom they have slain, which is so skillfully prepared that the nails remain entire. You would really think it was a solid hand, when they fill it with tobacco or something else. I have not seen any of these, but I have been assured that it is so.

Sometimes, in order to show that they [54] have courage, a Savage will bind his bare arm to that of another; then putting between the two arms, upon the flesh, a piece of lighted tinder, they leave it until it is entirely consumed, burning themselves to the bone. The man who withdraws his arm and shakes [page 131] off the fire is considered lacking in courage. I have not seen this act of barbarism. I am told that a Frenchman who was among the Hurons, came very near losing his arm in trying to play at this fine game with a Savage.

It is true that the Savages are very patient, but the order which they maintain in their occupations aids them in preserving peace in their households. The women know what they are to do, and the men also; and one never meddles with the work of the other. The men make the frames of their canoes, and the women sew the bark with willow withes or similar small wood. The men shape the [55] wood of the raquettes, and the women do the sewing on them. Men go hunting, and kill the animals; and the women go after them, skin them, and clean the hides. It is they who go in search of the wood that is burned. In fact, they would make fun of a man who, except in some great necessity, would do anything that should be done by a woman. Our Savage, seeing Father de Nouë carrying wood, began to laugh, saying: " He's really a woman;" meaning that he was doing a woman's work. But a short time afterward, his wife falling sick, and having no one in his cabin who could assist him, he was compelled to go out himself in search of supplies; but in truth he went only at night, when no one could see him.

An old man had dreamed, or rather seen, as he said, a large number of Hiroquois who were dispersing here [56] and there, and searching for the Montagnaits. The other Savages consulted thereupon as to what they should do, some saying that it would be well to take the advice of those people who spoke [page 133] to God, meaning us. This dream passed away in smoke.

When I asked Pierre Pastedechouan how to say in his language: " Where are thy brothers ? "as a woman Savage was passing by, he was loath to answer; giving me as a reason that it would make her sad, and make her cry because her brothers were dead. " We do not speak any more of the dead among us," said he, " indeed, the relatives of the dead never use anything that was used by the dead man during his lifetime."

On the 15th of the same month of December, a large number of Alguonquains having come to see us, one of them seeing [57] me writing, took a pen and wanted to do the same; but seeing that he did not accomplish much, and that I was smiling, he began to blow upon what he had written, thinking that he could blow it away like powder. I had them all told that we came to teach them. They answered that I was doing well to learn their language; and that, when I should know it, everything would be easy on both sides.

On the 19th, the snow being already very deep, the Savages captured eight elks or moose. About that time one of them, named Nassitamirineou, and surnamed by the French Brehault, told them that he had dreamed that they must eat all of those Moose; and that he knew very well how to pray to God, who had told him that it was his will that they should eat all, and that they should give none of them away, if they wanted to capture others. The Savages believed him, and did not give a [58] piece to the Frenchmen. This was related to me in the presence of the dreamer. He did not admit all, yet it seemed [page 135] very probable; for having settled near us, and having heard us speaking of God, he was just the man to talk about it afterward, and to play the learned among his people.

On the 21st of December, God sent us two little pensioners, Manitougache having presented to us a little one whose life he had saved, and whom we accepted; and, as we were afraid that he would be lonesome, we thought to try and find another to keep him company. At the same time, a woman came bringing her little son, about seven years old. When we saw him, we said to each other, " This is just what we wanted." I at once asked [59] the mother, if she would not like to give us her child, saying that we would care for it as best we possibly could. "Ah," said she, "I came here to beg Manitougache to give him to you, and to beg you to take him." God knows how happy we were! Oh, how admirable is his providence!

The oldest, the one given to us by Manitougache, has neither father nor mother, and hence we are sure of keeping him. We have named him Fortuné, until he can be baptized. Oh, what good fortune he has met with! Being at Tadoussac, forsaken by every one, a Savage gave an arquebus to our Pierre, telling him to kill this miserable child, because, having no parents, he would be abandoned by every one during his lifetime. Our [60] Savage, on hearing that, had pity on the little one, took him, and fed him up to the time when he gave him to us. We have called the younger one Bienvenu. He seems intelligent, and of a pleasant and endearing nature. We are not so sure that he will remain with us, because the Savages are extremely fickle and capricious. [page 137] One of his relatives, hearing that he had been given to us, objected, saying that their Captain had forbidden them to give any of their children to the French. Thereupon the mother of the child interposed, declaring that the Captain had not taken care of her child; and that, consequently, it did not belong to him to dispose of it, but to her who was the mother, and who had reared him since his infancy. The father of the child, having learned that his former wife, who had left him, had given the child to us, was greatly pleased, saying that it would fare [61] very well with us. The one who was promised to us last year would like very much now to be with these two others. But we cannot charge ourselves with him now, we must not undertake more than we can perform. It is a pleasure to see these two children; they are my little pupils. They are beginning to read, and know how to pray to God, in Latin and in their own language. Sometimes they make us laugh by their childish prattle. Before eating we make them say the Benedicite. Hence, when they want to eat, they come to us and say, " My Father, Benedicite;" that is to say, "Give me something to eat." When they saw a little dog given something to eat, they told us that it had not said its Benedicite. "I am going, " said one of them, "to say it for him." As we laughed at this, his companion said to him: nama irinisionakhi attimoukhi; that is, "The dogs have no [62] mind, they do not say their Benedicite, it is only for men to say that. " You can hear them, going and coming, humming the Pater noster, pronouncing first one part and then another, in the course of which there happened the other day a very amusing incident. Sieur Emery de Caën was dining at our house. [page 139] As we served upon the table the little that we had, one of the children, looking at what was set forth and seeing very well that it was not for him, began to say as it happened to occur to him: Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, causing the whole company to laugh.

On the second day of January, I saw a number of Savages trying to cross the great river St. Lawrence in their canoes. Usually this river does not freeze in the middle; it drifts or floats immense pieces of ice, according to the course and movement of the current. These poor fellows approached [63] large pieces of the floating ice, sounded them with their paddles, then mounted them, and drew their canoes up after them, crossing over to reach the water on the other side of the ice. Nimble as they are, not infrequently some of them are drowned.

I saw a Savage dragging his mother behind him over the snow. The coaches and wagons of this country are sledges made of bark or wood, the horses are the men who draw them. Now this poor old woman was tied upon one of these sleighs; and her son, being unable, conveniently, to take her down by the common path of a mountain which borders the river along which he was going, let her roll down the steepest place to the bottom, and then went by another route to find her. As I could not bear this act of impiety, I said so to some of the Savages who were near [64] me. They answered: "What wouldst thou have him do with her? She is going to die any way; take her and kill her, since thou hast pity for her; thou wilt do her a service, because she will not suffer so much; perhaps her son will leave her in the midst of the woods, as he is unable either to cure [page 141] her or to drag her after him, if he does not find something to eat. " This is the way they take care of the sick that they think are going to die. They hasten death by a blow from a club or an axe, when they 'have a long journey to make, and do this through compassion.

On the third of the same month, the wife of our Savage being sick, he came to ask me for my knife with which to bleed her. The Savages draw blood from the head. One day when I was in a cabin, a Savage Woman, looking at a writing case, I was holding, adroitly took my penknife, without my [65] perceiving it, and made several openings in the upper part of her forehead, then returned it to me. I was astonished when I saw her bleeding. She told me she had a headache, and wanted to cure it. Now that they have seen our way of bleeding, and believe it to be good, La Nasse came and begged me to aid his wife in the same way. I told him that I knew nothing about it; and, as he wanted to take my knife, I told him to wait until the next day, when I would beg the Surgeon to go and see her, which he did. In the meantime I went to see her in her cabin; it was very cold; she was bareheaded, according to their custom, biting a lump of snow, trying to cure a bad cold which almost choked her! Such are the delicate usages of the country. The next day, after having been bled, she went out to gather wood as usual. Think [66] if those who make a profession of suffering something in the cause of God ought not to feel ashamed, when they see such examples.

We have not been lonely all winter, as a number of Savages have been to see us. They pass by our house in large crowds, going Moose hunting. [page 143]

[Among them were] the Prince and his mother, the Princess. It is thus that the French call a fine looking Savage. You would say that this family has something inexpressibly noble about it; and, if they were dressed in the French style, they would not yield in good appearance to our French gentlemen.

When this young man came to see us, I asked him if he had a son, and if he would not like to give him to us to teach. He answered me "yes." His mother [67] had a little girl with her; and I, thinking that it was a boy, called her, asking her grandmother to give him to us. She began to laugh. Thinking that it might be a girl, I said that we did not take them, but that some day some worthy women would come from France, who would teach their daughters. Then," said she, " I shall give her to them."

I see that it is absolutely necessary to teach the girls as well as the boys, and that we shall do nothing or very little, unless some good household has the care of this sex; for the boys that we shall have reared in the knowledge of God, when they marry Savage girls or women accustomed to wandering in the woods, will, as their husbands, be compelled to follow them and thus fall back into barbarism, or to leave them, another evil full of danger.

[68] Is there not some Lady in France who has enough courage to found here a Seminary for girls, to be under the care of some good courageous widow, assisted by two brave young women, who would live in a house which might be built near the home of that estimable family that is here? There are Ladies in Paris who yearly spend over ten thousand francs in pocket-money; if they would apply a part of this to gather in the drops of blood that the Son of God shed [page 145] for so many souls that are going astray daily for want of help, then they would not be put to shame when they appear before God, and must give an account of the goods of which he has made them stewards. That is a great deal easier to say than to do.

On the 10th of January the cold was [66 i.e., 69] very severe. I see daylight a great part of the winter only through ice. The crusts of ice gather upon the windows of my cell or little room, and fall like a lozenge, or a piece of glass, when the cold relaxes. It is through this crystal that the Sun sends us his light. Several times I have found large pieces of ice, formed by my breath, attached to my blanket in the morning; and, forgetting to shake them off, I found them there still in the evening. I have sometimes seen them in France, but rarely, and they were very small compared with these.

As we have neither a spring nor a well, we are obliged to go for water every day to the river, from which we are distant about 200 steps. But to get it, we must first break the ice with heavy blows [70] from an axe; and after that we must wait until the sea comes up, for when the tide is low you cannot get water because of the thickness of the ice. We throw this water into a barrel, which is not far from a good fire; and yet we must be careful to break the layer of ice every morning, otherwise, in two nights, it would be one mass of ice, even if the barrel were full.

One of our countrymen was thirsty, when in the woods, and so thought to lap a little snow from the axe which he held; when he touched the iron his tongue stuck fast, and froze so quickly and so solidly, that in suddenly withdrawing the axe, on account of [page 147] the cold that he felt, he at the same time tore almost all the skin from his tongue.

All of this would have almost made me believe in France that this country is unbearable. [71] I admit that some days are very cold and penetrating, but they are few, and the rest are more than tolerable. Here they roll on the snow as they do in France upon the grass of our meadows, so to speak; I do not mean to say that it is less cold than it is white, but the days are fine, and the Sun is warmer than in many parts of France. We are, they say, on the same parallel with la Rochelle. The least exercise we take generally dispels the rigor of the cold.

How often, when coming to a hill or a mountain which I must descend, I have rolled down to the bottom on the snow, experiencing no other discomfort than to change for a little while my black habit for a white one, and all this is done with much laughter. For if you do not stand firmly upon your raquettes, you will whiten [72] your head as well as your feet.

How many times have I done this also upon the icy heights of the river banks along which I was going. It was a Savage who taught me this trick, known to ,everybody here; he went ahead of me, and, seeing that his head was in danger of reaching the river before his feet, he let himself roll the whole length of -the ice, and I after him. The best of it is that you have only to do it once, in order to understand the trick. I was afraid, at first; for the rising tide, lifting up those great blocks of ice, cracks them in many places, and the water, splashing up on the banks of the river, makes a thin layer of ice over the thicker one. When you try walking upon the thin ice, it breaks under you. The first time I tried it, I thought [page 149] it [73] was all going to sink under me. But I do not believe that a cannon could crack the thickest ice. When you walk upon it in the spring, it is then that there is danger of stepping into a hole and going under.

On the 12th of the same month, a Savage came to me, and said that Father de Nouë was the cause of a heavy wind which was blowing; I asked him why. He told me that, although the sky had been very red in the morning, the Father had not failed to go and work in the woods at an early hour, and that that was the cause of the wind; that, when the Montaignaits saw a flaming sky, they remained at rest in their cabins, and so arrested the wind. "I shall warn Father de Nouë, " said he, "that another time he should not leave his cabin when the sky is so red; and he will see, by trying it, that the wind will not [74] blow." I began to laugh, and tried by every means in my power to drive this superstition from his mind, and at last he laughed at it just as much as I did. It was not so easy for him to give it up; for the Savages agree very readily with what you say, but they do not, for all that, cease to act upon their own ideas.

Passing on from one subject to another, I talked to him of God, who has made everything; because it is thus I aim to give them some knowledge of him who gave them life, in order that they may talk with each other thereupon, and that the children may hear it spoken of from their youth. Talking to him thus in my jargon, and more frequently by signs and gestures than otherwise (for I talk more with my hands than with my tongue), I made him comprehend something of the power of God. Then he told me that the God of France was [75] a great deal more powerful [page 151] and a greater Captain or Lord than the God of his country. " For," said he, " your God is great; and ours, or his children at least, come from a water rat which the French call the muskrat."

But, speaking of musk, the Savages cannot bear the odor of it. Some one said to me that once, when he had something about him like musk, they told him he smelled bad. So they hold that this animal has a. bad smell, while an old piece of fat would seem to them to have a pleasant odor. Now you may judge if certain things are not more acceptable to the smell of some people than others, and whether our fancies and customs have not great power over us.

As this Savage gave me an occasion to speak of their God, let me say that it is a great mistake to think they have no knowledge [76] of any divinity. When in France I was astonished at that, knowing that Nature has given this sentiment to all other nations of the earth. I confess that the Savages have no public or common prayer, nor any form of worship usually rendered to one whom they hold as God, and their knowledge is only as darkness. But it cannot be denied that they recognize some nature superior to the nature of man. As they have neither laws nor government, therefore there is no ordinance which concerns the service of this superior nature; each one acts according to his own understanding. I do not know their secrets; but, from the little that I am about to say, it will be seen that they recognize some divinity.

They say that there is a certain one whom they call atahocan, who made all things. Talking one day of God, in a cabin, [77] they asked me what this God was. I told them that it was he who could do everything, and who had made the Sky and earth. They [page 153] began to say one to the other, "Atakocan, Atahocan, it is Atahocan."

They say there is one named Messou, who restored the world when it was lost in the waters. You see that they have some traditions of the deluge, although mingled with fables. This is the way, as they say, that the world was lost.

This Messou, going hunting with lynxes, instead of dogs, was warned that it would be dangerous for his lynxes (which he called his brothers), in a certain lake near the place where he was. One day as he was hunting an elk, his lynxes gave it chase even into the lake; and, when they reached the middle of it, they were submerged in an instant. When he arrived there and sought his brothers [78] everywhere, a bird told him that it had seen them at the bottom of the lake, and that certain animals or monsters held them there. He leaped into the water to rescue them; but immediately the lake overflowed, and increased so prodigiously that it inundated and drowned the whole earth.

The Messou, very much astonished, gave up all thoughts of his lynxes, to meditate on creating the world anew. He sent a raven to find a small piece of the earth, with which to build up another world. The raven was unable to find any, everything being covered with water. He made an otter dive down, but the depth of the water prevented it from going to the bottom. At last a muskrat descended, and brought back some earth. With this bit of earth, he [Messou] restored everything to its condition. He remade the trunks of the trees, and shot arrows against them, which were changed into branches. It would be a long story to recount [791 how he reëstablished [page 155] everything; how he took vengeance on the monsters that had taken his hunters, transforming himself into a thousand kinds of animals to circumvent them. In short, this great Restorer, having married a little muskrat, had children who repeopled the world.

You see by these stories that the Savages have some idea of a God: I say even more, they have some form of sacrifice. Father Brébeuf assured me that, when passing the winter with them, he saw them put a little Elk or Moose under the ashes and burn it. He has learned since then that another was burned at the same time and in the same manner, in another cabin; and, asking the reason for it, they answered that it was for the recovery of a sick man.

There are some men among them who make a profession of consulting their [80] Manitou. It seems to me that by this word " Manitou " they understand, as among us, an Angel or some powerful being. I believe they think that there are good and bad Manitous; I will speak of this with greater certainty some day.

The Son-in-law of our Savage, wishing to go hunting, took counsel with him [the Manitou] near our house. He made a little wooden Cabin, shutting himself inside toward nightfall, singing, crying, and howling. The others were around him. I begged a Frenchman to fire a shot of the arquebus, to frighten them with the noise; but I am not sure that they heard it, so great was the uproar. The Manitou told him to go hunting in a certain direction, that he would find Moose there, and no Hiroquois. The Manitou was proved a liar; for the hunter returned almost starved, having found very little. [page 157] [81] As to the Hiroquois, he could not have run against any, because he kept at a great distance from them. I believe that the greater number of these consulters of the Manitou are only deceivers and charlatans. Notwithstanding this, when they advise anything it is carried out exactly. If one of them should tell the Savages that the Manitou wanted them to lie down naked in the snow, or to burn themselves in a certain place, he would be obeyed. And, after all, this Manitou, or Devil, does not talk to them any more than he does to me.

Nevertheless, I am inclined to think that there are some among them who really have communication with the Devil, if what the Savages say is true; because some are seen to walk upon their huts, without breaking them down. They become furious and act as if possessed, striking blows hard enough to fell an ox, and yet the pain passes [82] away very soon. Without any great injury, they cover themselves with blood, and are healed in a moment. They relate many other similar things; but, when I question them closely, they frankly admit that they have not seen them, but have only heard of them. One does not need to offer any very serious objections to their stories, to interrupt and confuse them.

On the 15th of the same [month], our Savage came to see us, and said that one of his sons-in-law had dreamed that we would give him a piece of petun, or tobacco, as long as his hand. I refused him, saying that I did not give anything on account of dreams; that they were only folly, and that, when I knew his language, I would explain to him how they originated. He replied to me that all nations had something especially their own; that, if our dreams were not true, [page 159] theirs were; [83] and that they would die if they did not execute them. According to this idea, our lives depend upon the dreams of a Savage; because, if they dream that they have to kill us, they will surely do it if they can. I am told that, at another time, one of them had a dream that to be cured of a disease, from which he was suffering, he must kill a certain Frenchman; so he sent for him. When the Frenchman entered his cabin, he said to him: "Come nearer my brother, I want to talk with you." His wife, who knew the designs of her husband, told the Frenchman to be on his guard in going near him; and, in fact, the sick man had placed an axe at hand, with which to kill him. This shows one of the great risks that we run here; it does not frighten me; we may die for God in dying because of a dream.

But to return to our Savage; I asked him if it would be necessary to execute [84] my dream, in case I had dreamed that I should kill him. He replied that his son-in-law's dream was not bad; and just as he believed us when we told him something, or when we showed him a picture, so likewise we ought to believe him when he told us something that was accepted by his people. More than that, he was astonished that we, who did not use tobacco, liked it so much. Finally, we found it necessary to give him some, taking good care to make him understand that it was not in consideration of his dream, and that we would refuse him whatever he asked under that pretext. He said he would no longer believe in such fancies, but that his son-in-law could do as he liked. This superstition is too deeply implanted in his mind for him to give it up so easily.

On the 21st of the same [month], I baptized a [85] [page 161] little Savage about three years old, stricken with a fatal disease; and, seeing that he was in danger of dying in the woods, his grandmother had dragged him about with her from one place to another; we asked her, if he should recover, if she would not like to give him, to us, to care for and teach. She answered that, if he were not so sick, she would give him to us at once. His parents consented, so we resolved to baptize him. Our Pierre gave him his name. This poor child may drag on a few years, but there is hardly a hope that he will ever recover his health.

Toward the end of January the son and the sons-in-law of our Savage, being near Cape de Tourmente, told their father, who was settled near us, that there was good hunting in that quarter. He went there with [86] the rest of his family. Then, coming back to see us, he said that if we loved him, we would go to visit him in his cabin, and he would give us some Venison. " You have given me," said he, " of your store when I was hungry; my people will think you are very angry with me, if you do not come to see us. " He brought us news that the Savage, Brehault, was dead; and that he had left two children, a boy and a little girl. Now as we desired very much to send some children to France to have them educated, that they might afterward help their people, Father de Nouë made up his mind to follow this good Savage, a journey not without difficulties. Here are the particulars thereof: The inns found on the way are the woods themselves, where at nightfall they stop to camp; each [87] one unfastens his snowshoes, which are used as shovels in cleaning the snow from the place where they are going to sleep. The place cleaned is usually made in the form of a circle; a fire [page 163] is made in the very middle of it, and all the guests seat themselves around it, having a wall of snow behind them, and the Sky for a roof. The wine of this inn is snow, melted in a little kettle which they carry with them, provided they do not wish to eat snow in lieu of drink. Their best dish is smoked eel. As they must carry their blankets with them for cover at night, they load themselves with as few other things as possible.

When the Father reached the cabin, they did not know what welcome to give him. There are no greetings here; they say neither "good day" nor [88] "good evening. " Their manifestations of rejoicing, or expressions of thanks, consist of this aspiration; " Ho! ho! ho! ho! " etc. They greet people here by actions. Immediately each begins his work; one puts water, or rather snow, in a kettle; another places it on the fire; another throws in large pieces of Venison, not washing them for fear of losing the grease. This being half cooked, it is withdrawn in order to put in some more. While so engaged, one of the sons-in-law of la Nasse returns from the hunt, bringing two Beavers; he tears them to pieces at once, and throws them into the kettle, in proof of his joy at seeing the Father. Another gives him a young and very tender Beaver, with the request that he should be most careful not to give the bones to the dogs, otherwise they believe [89] they will take no more Beavers. They burn these bones very carefully. If a dog should eat them, there would be no more good hunting. The Father told me that he was astonished at their waste of meat. This is a great misfortune for these miserable people, for they have nothing but feasts when they have plenty, and [page 165] are generally dying of hunger the next day. They went a distance of three leagues from there to get a Moose they had killed, to give the meat of it to the Father, with a thousand excuses, saying, in short, that perhaps we might not find it good. They pressed the Father to remain with them a few days, saying that they had seen wood which had been gnawed, an infallible sign that they would find more Elk.

When the Father wished to depart,, they made three sledges which they loaded with meat; one for him, another for our man Pierre, who was there, and the third [90] for a Frenchman who accompanied the Father. They had moved scarcely two hundred steps, after their farewells, when the Father suddenly stopped short; he could see nothing and could hear nothing. The smoke of the cabin, the snow outside, the lack of nourishment, for he had eaten only a very little of that half-cooked meat, and the difficulties of the way had weakened him so that he was, compelled to return whence he came. He had carried with him a little bread and a few peas; but the Savages had taken possession of them at once, so fond are they of them, telling him that he could eat as much as he wanted of these things on his return to our house. The good Savage La Nasse, seeing the Father's weakness, asked him if he wished to remain. "No," said he, " but I cannot drag this load which you have given me." "Very well," answered the Savage, " I will drag it for thee, and I will take [91] this great sealskin to wrap thee up in, and draw thee to thy house. If thou art sick, take courage, I will not abandon thee. " They returned to the house as best they could, our Pierre running before them to bring the news. We hurriedly sent a boy with a, [page 167] bottle of cider and some bread to renew their strength. The wind blew so violently in their faces that they were compelled to leave their sledges three leagues from Kebec, and send for them on the following day. The Father, who was sick only from weakness and overwork, having rested, immediately recovered.

In this narrative, my Reverend Father, you have an illustration of what we have to suffer in accompanying the Savages in their wanderings, and what must necessarily be done if we wish [92] to aid in saving them. And from this Your Reverence may see, if you please, what kind of men should be chosen for this mission. We do not suffer these discomforts while remaining in the house. All that we have to bear here is endurable. But, when it is necessary to become a Savage with the Savages, one must take his life and all that he has, and throw it away, so to speak, contenting himself with a very large and very heavy cross for all riches. It is true that God does not allow himself to be conquered, and that the more one gives, the more one gains; the more one loses, the more one finds; but God sometimes hides himself, and then the Cup is very bitter.

One thing seems to me more than intolerable. It is their living together promiscuously, girls, women, men, and boys in a smoky hole. And the more progress one makes in the knowledge [931 Of the language, the more vile things one hears. May it please God that one's eyes be not offended; I am told that they are not. I did not think that the mouth of the Savage was so foul as I notice it is every day. To sleep on the earth, covered with a few branches of pine, nothing but the bark between the snow and [page 169] your head; to drag your baggage over the mountains, to let yourself roll down into frightful valleys; to eat only once in two or three days, when there is no hunting,- that is the life you must lead in following the Savages. It is true that, if the hunting is good, there is no lack of meat; if not, one must be in danger of dying from starvation, or of enduring great suffering. One of our Frenchmen, who lived with them last winter, told us that during two days he ate nothing but a small piece of [94] candle, that he had accidentally carried in his pocket. This is the treatment that I shall perhaps have next winter; because, if I wish to learn the language, I must necessarily follow the Savages. I fear, however, that our growing family may keep me here this year; but sooner or later I must go. I would like to be there already, I am so sick at heart to see these poor straying souls, without any help because of our inability to understand them. We can die but once; the soonest is not always the worst. Let us change the subject; I must speak here of the charge which the Savages make against the French. It is that they love what is theirs; when you refuse anything to a Savage, he immediately says Khisakhitan, " Thou lovest that," sakhita, sakhita, " Love it, love it; " as if they would say that we are attached to what we love, and that we [95] prefer it to their friendship.

Our Savage would like to live with us as a brother; in a word, he would like to have us divide with him all that we have. " I will give thee," said he, " of all that I possess, and thou shalt give me of all that belongs to thee." In this way, we should eat in a month all the provisions for a year, for they never stop eating as long as they have anything. Having [page 171] nothing more, they go in search of something, and beg for it persistently. It is true that this simple fellow realizes that this is not a good way, and, when I show him that it is not well to use up his food so quickly, he says: "It is not I who do that, it is my wife." He is astonished when we give him a piece of Bear or Moose six weeks after he has given it to us, for in that time they eat two, three, [96] and four bears in his cabin, if they capture that many.

On the 13th of February God did us a very signal favor. My teacher, named in his language, as I have often said already, Pierre Pastedechouan, went off without giving us notice. Since he had been with us, he had somewhat improved; he had been to confession from time to time, but would not take communion, whatever might be said to him. His reason was that he had never taken communion in his country, though he had in France; "But I was," he said, "more disposed to it there than here." As he felt that Lent was approaching, he asked us a number of questions, the full tendency of which we did not comprehend; namely, at what age it was necessary to fast; if one should not eat meat at all during Lent, and similar things. The fear he had of fasting, and his belief that [97] the people of La Nasse would be lucky in their hunt, led him to go to them without telling me. Seeing that I had lost my help in learning the language, we again asked God to give us, if it pleased him, for a second time, the one he had given us at first. The Theology of that worthy man, blind from birth, who says that God does not hearken to sinners except when it is agreeable to him, is not good. La Nasse having eaten all his game, and finding [page 173] no more in the woods, was so pressed with hunger that he knew not on which side to turn. Our Pierre found himself fasting before the beginning of Lent; having nearly lost his life upon the ice, which slipped from under him, he passed four days with scarcely anything to eat and returned to us completely exhausted, after 15 days of absence. He did not tell us that hunger brought him back, therefore I attributed [98] his return to him who gave him to us for a second time. He remained with us until Easter, helping me to finish what I was very anxious to complete, our Dictionary.

On Good Friday, he wanted to go hunting with our Savage, who had returned; but I told him that he should not go until he had rendered to God the devotion that all Christians owed to him at that time. I charged our Savage not to receive him in his company, and he did not. Then he confessed and received his Easter communion. The next day, our Savage returning to sell to sieur de Caën a young Elk that he had taken alive (which died afterward), our man accosted him, and said that we had only detained him that he might pray to God on the preceding day; and that, having done [99] so, we were willing that he should go with him. It is true that, in order to please him, we told him that, if he performed his devotions, he might go hunting upon the first opportunity; which he did with the promise to return, but we have not seen him since. But God be praised for all; I dared not promise myself all that I have drawn from him; I have enough to fit me for going to pass the winter among the Savages with profit.

When La Nasse returned from hunting, he told us that this poor young man had gone through the [page 175] woods to find his brothers at Tadoussac. For my part I think he has faith; I have seen strong indications of it; but as it is a faith born of fear and slavishness, and as, moreover, he is enchained by a multitude of bad habits, he has great difficulty in abandoning the wicked liberty of the Savages [100] and submitting to the yoke of the law of God.

On the 21st of March, a Savage who was eating at our house, upon the ground, according to their custom, stopped suddenly, saying that he would eat no more,—if he did, he would die. I asked him why, and he told me that he had seen a bright light revolve around his plate. I was about to put my hand upon the plate, and he cried out, Khiga nipin, Khiga nipin, "Thou wilt die, thou wilt die." Now as I am becoming familiar with their fancies, to make him understand his simplicity, I took a spoonful or two of what he was eating, and ate it myself. He looked at me with astonishment, and, seeing that I was not sick, "I will eat also," said he, "since thou hast eaten of it."

It is said that some Basques or Englishmen have communicated to them the fear [101] that the French were seeking to poison them. That is why many of the Savages invite you to first taste whatever you give them. Apropos of this, a very amusing thing happened to a Savage who was much addicted to drink. Sieur du Plessis having presented him with a glass of wine, or of cider, he turned about, and gave it to a Frenchman to taste ; this Frenchman tasted it so well, that there was none of it left. The Savage, who saw what he was doing, cried out, egouspé, egouspé, "It is enough, it is enough." But the other drank the last drop, giving the empty glass to [page 177] the Savage, as a lesson that, another time, he must be less suspicious.

On the 22nd, our Pierre having caught a Beaver, a Savage skinned and our brother washed it. This woman, seeing that he let some of the blood of the animal fall to the ground, cried out: "In truth, this man has no [102] sense; " and turning to Pierre she said: "Thou wilt take no more Beavers, for the blood of thine has been spilled." It is one of their superstitions that you must not spill the pure blood of the Beaver upon the ground, if you wish to have good hunting, at least Pierre has told us so.

On the first day of April, the Captain of the Algonquains came to see us, and brought us some Elk meat, his people having killed ten of these animals. Although the Savages will give you something for a " thank you," (this is a word they have learned from the French), you must make them some return for another " thank you," otherwise you will be looked upon as ungrateful. They are willing enough to receive without giving; but they do not know what it is to give without receiving. It is true that, if you will follow them into the woods, they will feed you without asking anything of you, [103] if they think that you have nothing. But if they see that you have something, and they want it, they will not stop asking you for it until you have given it.

To return to this Captain; I asked him if he had a son, and if he would not give him to us to be educated. He asked me how many children I wanted, and [said] that I already had two. I told him that in time I should perhaps feed twenty. He was astonished. " Wilt thou clothe so many as well?" asked he. I answered him that we would not take [page 179] them until we had the means to clothe them. He replied that he would be very glad to give us his son, but that his wife did not wish to do so. The women have great power here. A man may promise you something, and, if he does not keep his promise, he thinks he is sufficiently excused when he tells you [104] that his wife did not wish to do it. I told him then that he was the master, and that in France women do not rule their husbands. "That is very well," said he, " but I know enough to instruct my son; I shall teach him to make speeches. Instruct the Montagnaits first; if thou succeedest well, then we will give thee our children."

I talked to him about God, and he listened very attentively. I taught him a little prayer in the Montagnaits language, which he understands very well. He repeated it in his tongue, and promised me that he would say it often. Then, as the time had come for me to go and recite my office, I told him that I was going to pray to God. He followed me, entered my little room, and remained there until I had finished, asking me a number of questions afterward. In short, he did not go away until night.

[105] On the 18th and 20th of April, it thundered loudly and violently, with sharp flashes of lightning, and yet the river was still frozen, and the ground white with snow; this showed us that there was heat in the air, and these snows and this cold were accidental and contrary to the nature of the climate. We are on a parallel with la Rochelle, as I have already said. All the Frenchmen can testify that they have never seen in the heart of France so warm a month of May as they have experienced in Kebec. [page 181]

The heat here is intense and burning, and yet I have observed since I have been here that there has been frost every month of the year. I am not surprised at these frosts. We have on the North of us a chain of mountains, probably one or two hundred leagues in extent. We are not distant six leagues from these [106] stupendous mountains, probably always covered with snow. I leave you to decide whether the wind coming from that direction can bring much heat. Besides, we are in a forest covering from 800 to a thousand leagues. We live upon the banks of two rivers, one of which would swallow up the four great rivers of France without overflowing. Behold herein the real cause and source of the cold. If the country were cleared as far as the mountains, we should probably have one of the most fruitful valleys in the universe. Experience teaches us that the woods engender cold and frosts. The lands owned by the family living here, having been cleared more than ours, are sooner freed from snow, and less subject to cold in the morning. Neither do we feel these rigors so often as do those who live in the [107] house of the Reverend Recollect Fathers, who are farther in the woods.

There are many days in the winter when the heat of the Sun makes itself felt a great deal more than it does in France. The first day that I saw our river frozen, I was astonished, because it was very mild weather; and, in seeking a reason for it, this came to my mind. A river always freezes first along its banks; and, when the tide rises, it loosens this ice and carries it higher up. Now, not far from us there is a waterfall or some rocks, which prevent the tidal ice from passing beyond them. This ice being [page 183] thus massed and pressed together in the river, which is in the midst of. so great a wood that the snow and cold are easily preserved, it becomes consolidated; and thousands and thousands of blocks of ice are frozen into one mass which goes on increasing every day, [108] making a great bridge over the whole river. Lombardy is not far from the Alps, the summits of which are always white with snow, and yet I do not know that Europe has a more agreeable and more fertile valley than that country. I would say the same of the place in which we live, if it were cleared and cultivated. This is my opinion touching this country; if I am mistaken, it is not strange, as that happens to me often; everything depends upon clearing the land. But oh, my God! What labor there will be in clearing a forest encumbered with fallen trees, I might well say, since the deluge.

On the 23rd of the same month of April we saw the ice float away; it is a frightful spectacle. I was told that pieces half a league long were seen passing before the fort. These are the banks of frozen water which the current of the great river goes on loosening. Upon our [109] little river the ice is not so alarming; nevertheless I have seen it carry away large pieces of earth, tear up stumps, and crush the trees which it had enclosed. You can see them [the trees] moving erect on these pieces of ice, in the very middle of the river, which in a single tide appears as beautiful and as clear as if it had never been frozen.

On the 7th of May a Savage called to see la Nasse, our neighbor; as I saw that he was not well, I addressed him, speaking to him of God and exhorting him to have recourse to him. He answered me: [page 185] "Thou knowest Jesus, pray to him for me, for I do not know him; I know only our Manitou." I told him to say these words often from his heart : " Oh Jesus, who art good, have pity on me." He died a short time afterward.

The Montagnaits held him as [110] one of their great sorcerers or constilters of Manitou. I shall know for certain, some day, whether there is any jugglery in their doings or not. At present, I can only say that some of them say " yes " and others it no." That is to say that there is nothing sure.

Last year I was master of two pupils; I have become rich, for I now have more than twenty. After the departure of my teacher, I gathered up and arranged in order a part of what he taught me, and what I had written here and there accommodating myself to his humor, he often dictating only what happened to suit his fancy. Having thus brought together the greater part of my riches, I began to compose something in the way of a Catechism, or on the principles of the faith. Taking my paper in hand, I began to call a few children by ringing a little bell. At first [111] I had six, then twelve, then fifteen, then twenty, and more. I have them say the Pater, the Ave, and the Credo, in their language. I explain to them, very crudely, the mysteries of the Holy Trinity and of the Incarnation, and at every few words I ask them if I speak well, if they can understand perfectly; they all answer me: eoco, eoco, ninisitoutenan, " yes, yes, we understand." Afterwards I ask them whether there are several Gods, and which of the three persons became man. I coin words approximating to their language, which I make them understand. We begin the Catechism by this [page 187] prayer, after having made the sign of the Cross: Noukhimami Jesus, ïagoua Khistinohimaonitou Khik hitouina caié Khiteritamouïn. Ca cataouachichien Maria ouccaonia Jesu, cacataouachichien Joseph aïamihitouinan. "My Lord, or Captain, Jesus, teach me your words and your will! [112] Oh, good Mary, Mother of God! Oh, good Joseph, pray for us!"

We finish with a Pater noster that I have composed almost in rhyme, in their language, which I have them sing; and, in conclusion, I have each one of them given a bowlful of peas, which they enjoy very much. When there are many of them, I give only to those who have answered well. It is a pleasure to hear them sing in the woods what they have learned. The women sing also, and come occasionally to listen at the windows of my class room, which serves also as a refectory, pantry, and everything else. I was ready to go to the cabins, to gather in all the children; but the arrival of monsieur Champlain, who brought us some visitors, occupied me for some time. As soon as I am freed from the more pressing duties, I shall again take up [113] this work, praying God, for whom I do it, to bless what I am about to undertake.

My pupils come to me from a distance of half a league to learn what is so new to them. A number of them know already that there is but one God, that God made all; that he made himself man for us; that we must obey him; and that those who do not believe in him will go into the fire, and that those who obey him will go to heaven.

When I talk to them about the Son of God, they ask me if God is married, as he has a son. It is the men that ask that question. They are astonished [page 189] I tell them that God is neither a man nor a Woman, they ask how he is made then; I answer that he has neither flesh nor bones, and that he is like the soul. One of them made me laugh, for he replied: "It is [114] true the soul has neither bones nor flesh, I saw mine, and it had neither." I wished to instruct him thereupon; but they have no words to express the purely spiritual ideas, or, if they have, I do not know them. Thus far, I am only feeling my way; and what causes me the most regret is that, not being able to understand them, I perceive that my ignorance will be of long duration, inasmuch as they do not remain long in one locality, and because my cares are going to be more numerous than they have been. God will provide for all; he is greater than our courage.

However, the fruit which may be gathered from this mission will be great, if it please God. If the Fathers who are assigned to go to the Hurons, a stationary tribe, are able to enter the country, and if war does not trouble these people, probably in [115] two years it will be seen that there is not a nation so barbarous as not to recognize and honor God. Some are astonished that they hear nothing about the conversion of Savages during the many years that we have been in New France. It is necessary to clear, till, and sow, before harvesting. Who of the Religious who have been here have ever known perfectly the language of any tribe in these countries? Fides ex auditu, faith enters by the ear. How can a mute preach the Gospel? When Father Brébeuf was beginning to make himself understood, the arrival of the English compelled him to leave these poor people, who said to him, at his departure: "Listen, thou [page 191] hast told us that thou hast a Father in Heaven who made all, and that he who did not obey him was cast into the flames. We have asked thee to instruct us; [116] when thou goest away, what shall we do?" A Captain, approaching, said to him: "Eschom, I am not baptized and thou art going away; my soul will be lost. What can I do for it? Thou sayest thou wilt return. Go then, and have courage; return before I die." An old man, in a village other than that where the Father lived, hearing him speak of the end of all things, of the reward of the good, and of the punishment of the wicked, said to him: "eschom, the people of thy village are worthless; they are wicked men; they do not tell us what you tell them, and, nevertheless, it is so important that we ought to talk of it at the Council of the whole land." Are not these indications of a very gratifying harvest? The Devil foresees this harvest; for, while I am speaking, he is doing all in his power to prevent the Hurons from coming and consequently to shut [117] them out from the Gospel and from those who bring it to them.

For these wandering and vagabond people, among whom God has given me my work, although my wishes cause me to prefer the stable and permanent tribes, the harvest will be later, but it will come in its own time; I see favorable indications of it. In the first place, the fear that the Algonquains have of their enemies, the Hiroquois, makes them abandon their country; and, as they naturally love it, they are earnestly requesting that some of us settle among them, having planned to enclose a village around the fort which they will build there, and to gather all of their forces therein, which the Gentlemen of the [page 193] Company of New France will consider with favor. Secondly, he who knew their language well would be all-powerful [118] among them, however little eloquence he might have. There is no place in the world where Rhetoric is more powerful than in Canada, and, nevertheless, it has no other garb than what nature has given it; it is entirely simple and without disguise; and yet it controls all these tribes, as the Captain is elected for his eloquence alone, and is obeyed in proportion to his use of it, for they have no other law than his word. I think it is Cicero who says that all nations were once vagabond, and that eloquence has brought them together; that it has built villages and cities. If the voice of men has so much power, will the voice of the Spirit of God be powerless? The Savages listen to reason readily,-not that they always follow it, but generally they urge nothing against a reason which [119] carries conviction to their minds.

A Captain once asked the Englishman who was here to help them in their wars; the Englishman, wishing to evade him, answered with superficial reasons: to wit, that some of his men were sick, and that his people would not get along well with the Savages. And this Captain so pertinently refuted all his objections that the Englishman was compelled to say: " I need my men, I am afraid the French will come and attack us." Then the Savage said: "Now thou art talking, we understand thee well; thus far, thou hadst said nothing." They acquiesced in this reason. When they are made to see the conformity of the law of God with reason, I do not think that much opposition will be found in their minds. Their will, which is extremely volatile and changeable, when [page 195] enlightened by the grace of [120] him who will call them, will at last be brought into the line of duty. In the third place, these people may be converted by means of seminaries; and how necessary it is to educate at Kebec the children of the Savages, who belong to settlements farther up the river. We shall have them [the children] at last; for they will give them, if they see that we do not send them to France. As to the children of this section, they must be sent up there. The reason is, that the Savages prevent their instruction; they will not tolerate the chastisement of their children, whatever they may do; they permit only a simple reprimand. Moreover, they think they are doing you some great favor in giving you their children to instruct, to feed, and to dress. Besides, they will ask a great many things in return, and will be very importunate in threatening to withdraw their children, if [121] you do not accede to their demands.

On the 14th of May, I baptized the little Negro of whom I spoke last year. He was brought here by Englishmen from the island of Madagascar, otherwise Saint Lawrence, which is not far from the Cape of Good Hope, toward the East. It is a great deal warmer in his country than here. These Englishmen gave him to the Kers, who held Kebec; and one of the Kers sold him for fifty écus, I am told, to a person named le Bailly, who presented him to this estimable family that is settled here. This child could not be more contented than he is, and it has been a recreation for me to teach him. Wishing to know whether the inhabitants of his country were Mahometans or Pagans, I asked him if there were no houses there in which they prayed to God, if there [page 197] were no Mosques, if they did not talk there [121 i.e., 122] of Mahomet. "There are," said he, "Mosques in our country." "Are they large?" I asked him. "They are," he answered, "like those of this country." On telling him that there were none in France nor in Canada, "I have seen some," said he, "in the hands of the French and English who brought them into our country, and now they use them to shoot with." I perceived that he meant to say muskets, and not Mosques; I smiled, and so did he. He is most ingenuous, and very attentive to Mass and to the Sermon. He is the fourth that I have baptized since my arrival; for, God having given a little child to Madame Coullart, I administered this Sacrament to him, as I had done before to 2 little Savages.

On the 19th, news was brought that an English vessel had entered Tadoussac a few days before; we did not know whether it was [123] a trading vessel, or whether there was some trouble between France and England. Each one formed his own conjectures, and every one was upon his guard. The following Sunday, day of Holy Trinity, having gone to say Holy Mass at the fort, I was told that, if we heard two cannon shots, we should promptly withdraw with our French people into the fortress.

The next day, on the 22nd of the same month of May, we heard the sound of the cannon very early in the morning.

In the uncertainty as to what was going on, Father de Nouë took our Savage and started for Kebec; and he brought back without delay the news that sieur de Champlain had arrived, and that Father Brébeuf was coming as fast as possible to our little house. We hastened to thank our Lord. In the meantime, [page 199] behold, Father [124] Brébeuf enters. God knows whether we received and embraced him with glad hearts. Several Savages were with us, and, seeing our joy at this happy meeting, cried out, according to their custom when they are pleased, chteé! chteé! rejoicing with us over the arrival of the Father, who, after having honored our Lord in our little chapel, told us that father Massé was at Tadoussac, and that Father Daniel and Father Davost were also coming to see us from the grand Chibou. He brought me such a quantity of letters that I was overcome upon seeing the souvenirs and testimonials of affection of so many estimable people. Quid retribuam Domino pro omnibus quæ retribuit mihi: Blessed be he forevermore, if it be his will that in return for these benefits we should drink of his cup; fiat, fiat, that would be too great honor for us. But I entreat him [225 i.e., 125] to apply one single drop of what he drank, especially to those who have helped us so much, to the associates of the Company of New France, of whom God wishes to make use for his glory, to Your Reverence, to all your Province, and to all those who cooperate in the salvation of so many poor lost souls; a little drop of this divine cup will enrich us all; and as my prayers are too weak to obtain so great a blessing, I beg Your Reverence to interpose yours, and those also of so many saintly souls who are under your charge. But let us pass on.

Having learned of the arrival of Monsieur de Champlain, I went to greet him. Arriving at the fort, I saw a squad of French soldiers, armed with pikes and muskets, who approached, beating their drums. As soon as they had entered, Monsieur de Caën gave [226 i.e., 126] the keys of the fort to Monsieur du Plessis [page 201] Bochard,34 who delivered them the next day to Monsieur de Champlain, to take command of the ships according to the decree of Monseigneur the Cardinal.

I thanked Monsieur de Champlain, as well as I could, for the kindness shown by him to our Fathers, for it was very great, as Father Brébeuf has testified to me.

On the 24th of May, eighteen canoes of Savages having descended to Kebec, sieur de Champlain, suspecting that they might go on to the English, who had three vessels at Tadoussac and a bark far up the river, went into the Cabins of these Savages, and made to them a very suitable address through sieur Olivier the interpreter who is an excellent man and well fitted for this [227 i.e., 127] country. He said to them through the lips of this interpreter that the French had always loved and defended them, that he had assisted them in person in their wars; that he had greatly cherished the Father of the Captain to whom he was talking, who was killed at his side in a battle where he himself was wounded by an arrow; that he was a man of his word, and that, notwithstanding the discomforts of the sea voyage, he had returned to see them again, as if they were his brothers; as they had expressed a wish that a French settlement should be made in their country, to defend them against the incursions of their enemies, he contemplated granting this desire, and it would already have been granted but for the obstacles created by the English; he was, moreover, then engaged in repairing the ruins that these wicked guests had left behind them; that he would not fail to satisfy them [228 i.e., 128] all as soon as he attended to the more urgent affairs; that the Fathers (speaking of us), would remain [page 203] among them and would instruct them as well as their children. Yet, notwithstanding the great obligations that they [the Savages] were under to the French, they had descended the river with the intention of going to see the thieves who came to pillage the French. He said they should consider well what they were doing; that these robbers were only birds of passage, while the French would remain in the country as it belonged to them. This is a part of the discourse that sieur de Champlain delivered to them, as far as I have been able to learn, from the report made to me by those present.

During this speech, the Captain and his men listened very attentively. He, among others, appeared to be in deep thought, drawing [229 i.e., 129] from his stomach from time to time this aspiration, while they were speaking to him, hám! hám! hám! as if approving the speech of the interpreter, which, when finished, this Captain arose to answer, but with a keenness and delicacy of rhetoric that might have come out of the schools of Aristotle or Cicero. He won, in the beginning of his discourse, the good will of all of the French by his profound humility, which appeared with exceeding grace in his gestures and in his language.

"I am," said he, "only a poor little animal, crawling about on the ground; you Frenchmen are the great of the earth, who make all tremble. I do not know how I dare to talk before such great Captains. If I had some one behind me who would suggest what I ought to say, I would speak more boldly. [230 i.e., 130] I am bewildered; I have never had any instruction; my father left me very young; if I say anything, I go seeking it here and there, [page 205] at hazard, and it is that which makes me tremble.

"Thou tellest us that the French have always loved us; we know it well, and we would lie if we said the contrary. Thou sayest that thou hast always been true, and we have always believed thee. Thou hast assisted us in our wars, we love thee all the more for it; what dost thou wish that we should answer? All that thou sayest is true.

"Thou sayest that the French have come to live at Kebec to defend us, and that thou wilt come into our country to protect us. I remember well to have heard our fathers say that, when you were below at Tadoussac, the Montagnaits went to see you and invited you, unknown to us, to ascend [the river] above here, where our fathers, [231 i.e., 131] having seen you, loved you, and prayed you to make your home there.

"As to the settlement thou sayest we have asked for at the three rivers, I am only a child; I have no recollection, I do not know that I have asked for it! You, you have your Massinahigan; (that is to say, you have a knowledge of writing), which makes you remember everything. But, however that may be, thou wilt always be welcome." Note the discretion of this man, to make it plain that not only the Savages, but the French, desire this settlement. He continued his discourse, saying, " When thou shalt come up there with us thou wilt find a land better than this; thou wilt make, to begin with, a house like this to live in " (he indicated a little space with his hand); " that is to say, thou wilt make a [232 i.e., 132] fortress. Then thou wilt make another house like that," designating a large space, "and then we shall no longer be dogs who sleep outside, we shall go into that [page 207] house." He meant to say an enclosed village. " Then we shall no longer be suspected of going to see those who do not love you. Thou wilt sow wheat; we shall do as thou dost, and we shall no longer go to seek our living in the woods; we shall no longer be wanderers and vagabons.

"It was sieur de Caën, who believed that I had sent Beavers to the foreigners; I sent to those quarters a few Moose skins, not in trade, but to cut off the arms of our enemies. Thou knowest that the Hiroquois have long arms; if I had not cut them, we should have been taken by them long ago. I send presents to tribes who [233 i.e., 133] are their neighbors, to the end that they should not unite with them; it is not to offend the French, but to preserve ourselves.

Thou sayest that we wish to go to the English; I will tell my men that they should not go there. I promise thee that neither I myself, nor they who have any sense, will do that; but if there is some young man who jumps over there without being seen, I shall not know what to do; thou knowest well that youth cannot be restrained. I shall forbid every one from going there. Any one who does so has no sense. Thou canst do everything, place thy boats in the way and capture the Beavers of those who attempt to go.

"Thou sayest that the Fathers will live among us, and will teach us. This good fortune will be for our children; we, who are already old, shall die ignorant. This blessing will not come as soon as we should like to have it.

[234 i.e., 134] "Thou sayest that we must be careful what we do; grasp us by the arm, and we shudder; grasp us afterward by the heart, and the whole body [page 209] trembles. We do not want to go to the English; their Captain wanted to make an alliance with me and take me for his brother, and I did not desire it; I withdrew, saying that he was too great a Captain. I bethought myself well of a word that thou hadst said to us, that thou wouldst return ; therefore I always awaited thee. Thou hast been truthful, thou wilt still be so in coming to see us in our country. I have but one fear; it is that in the association of the French with our people, some one may be killed, then we would be lost; thou knowest all are not prudent, but that the wiser ones will always do their duty."

[235] i.e., 135] This is about the answer of this Savage, who astonished our French people. They told me how he raised his voice according to the subjects he treated, then lowered it with so much humility, and with such an attitude of submission, that he won the hearts of all who looked at him, though they did not understand him.

The conclusion was that sieur de Champlain said to them: "When that great house shall be built, then our young men will marry your daughters, and we shall be one people." They began to laugh, answering: " Thou always sayest something cheering to rejoice us. If that should happen, we would be very happy." Those who think that the Savages have dull and heavy intellects will recognize by this speech that they are not so stupid as they may have been painted.

[236 i.e., 136] This Captain came to see us a few days later in our house, but I did not have leisure to entertain him as I desired.

On the 29th, sieur de Champlain came to hear Mass in our little chapel and we kept him for dinner. As good luck had it, our Savage had brought us a small [page 211] piece of Bear, which we presented to him. Having tasted it, he began to laugh, and said to me: " If they knew in France that we were eating Bears, they would turn their faces away from our breath, and yet you see how good and delicate the meat is."

After dinner, I went to greet Captain de Nesle in his ship, a number of little Savages following me. I took but six or seven with me, and had them sing their Pater in the Savage Tongue aboard the Ship. Our Frenchmen enjoyed it greatly. [237 i.e., 137] The best of all for them [the little savages] was that Captain de Nesle gave them some " Cascaracona, "and some " toutouch pimi; " it is thus they call biscuits and ,cheese. Upon our departure, as the Captain had the cannon fired in our honor, the children looked on with amazement, and showed themselves so happy that, if one would pay for their songs in that way, they would like to gain their livelihood by singing.

On the last day of May, la Nasse, our Savage, came to tell us that one of their men had dreamed that some Frenchmen would be killed. Now, either because the Devil had given them this sentiment, or that among all their dreams there is now and then one that happens perchance to be true, however that may be, on the 2nd day of June the Hiroquois killed two of our Frenchmen and wounded four others, one of -whom died [238 i.e., 138] shortly afterward. This catastrophe happened in this way: A bark and shallop were ascending the great river St. Lawrence; the latter went ahead, and, to hasten its speed, sailors went ashore to tow it with lines or cords. As they came to double a point of land, thirty or 40 Hiroquois, who were in ambush, fell upon them with horrible cries; they killed the two men first encountered, [page 213] with blows from their hatchets, then discharged a storm of arrows so suddenly and unexpectedly that our Frenchmen did not know which way to turn, not having foreseen the attack. They even dared to try to board the shallop in their canoes; and, had it not been that a Frenchman took aim at them with his arquebus, and that the [239 i.e., 139] bark, which was not far away, speedily equipped a boat to come to the rescue, having heard the cries of the combat, it is probable that not one of them would have escaped. The Hiroquois, seeing the arquebus, and the other boat coming to their help, fled, first skinning the heads of those whom they had killed and bearing away the scalps by way of bravado.

On the 8th of June, Father Massé arrived from Tadoussac, and caused us great joy, as he had been so long sick upon the sea, and is now well. He told us that Pierre Pastedechouan33 was more wicked than ever; that the English who were at Tadoussac had ruined him by drunkenness. Oh, how guilty before God will he be who has introduced heresy into this country! If this Savage were intelligent, corrupted as he is by these miserable [240 i.e., 140] heretics, he would be a powerful obstacle to the spread of the faith; even now, he will cause only too much injury to it, if God does not touch his heart. To judge from his conduct, it would seem that he was given to us to draw from him the principles of his language, and not for the welfare of his soul, as he now leagues against his God and against the truth.

I have never experienced in France anything like the heat and the drought which we have had here during this month of June. Everything on the earth burns, and nothing prospers in such weather; and [page 215] yet it froze one morning in the house of the Recollect Fathers. The night so intensifies the coolness of the woods as to cause these morning frosts. We are near that house, and yet it did not happen with us, because we are more exposed to the air.

[241 i.e., 141] On the 16th of the same month of June, we restored one of our little children to its mother, your Reverence having informed us that you did not yet have the means to establish a seminary here, and consequently had not sent those who had been appointed to look after the instruction of these children. Apprehending, moreover, that this woman might take away her child secretly, and fly with it to the woods, for fear that we might send it to France, I preferred to restore it to her freely, that she might understand that, if we kept children, it was not to hold them by force from their parents, but for their own good; also that she might say to the other Savages that the children were well fed with us, and so lead them to let us have theirs, when we have the means to care for them. This poor woman asked me why I [242 i.e., 142] gave up her child, and when she should bring it back. I answered that, since the arrival of the ships, I had always noticed that she was afraid we would send it to France, notwithstanding the assurances I had given her to the contrary. [We did this] to prove to her that we were true to our word, and also in order to relieve her of all apprehension that we might not restore it to her hands; that, as soon as I knew their language, and after we had built, we would take it again with many others. But, in fact, the principal reason which induced me to restore it to her is that I feared she might take it unknown to us; and then she would have forged a thousand lies [page 217] among the Savages to excuse herself, and, as I do not know their language well, I should not have been able to justify ourselves! This would have caused the Savages to refuse their children to us when the time comes [243 i.e., 143] to ask them. Oh, what a great misfortune it is not to be able to give one's reasons, to speak only stammeringly and by signs.

On the 23rd of the same month, sieur du Plessis sent word to us that twelve or fourteen canoes of the tribe of sorcerers had gone down as far as Sainte Croix, fifteen leagues or thereabouts above Kebec. A few days before, we had seen a dozen belonging to another tribe called Iroquet, from the name of their Captain, also going down. God be blessed, since the fear of the Hiroquois did not prevent their coming. These sorcerers,—it is thus that the French call that tribe, because they make a special profession of consulting their Manitou, or talking to the devil,43—these sorcerers, I say, came as far as Kebec. One of them was looking very attentively [244 i.e., 144] at a little French boy who was beating a drum ; and, going near to him so as to see him better, the little boy struck him a blow with one of his drumsticks, and made his head bleed badly. Immediately all the people of his tribe who were looking at the drummer, seeing this blow given, took offense at it. They went and found the French interpreter, and said to him: "Behold, one of thy people has wounded one of ours; thou knowest our custom well; give us presents for this wound." As there is no government among the Savages, if one among them kills or wounds another, he is, providing he can escape, released from all punishment by making a few presents to the friends of the deceased or the wounded [page 219] one. Our interpreter said: "Thou knowest our custom; when any of our number does wrong we punish him. This child has wounded one of your people; he shall be [245 i.e., 145] whipped at once in thy presence." The little boy was brought in; and when they saw that we were really in earnest, that we were stripping this little pounder of Savages and drums, and that the switches were all ready, they immediately began to pray for his pardon, alleging that it was only a child, that he had no mind, that he did not know what he was doing ; but, as our people were nevertheless going to punish him, one of the Savages stripped himself entirely, threw his blanket over the child, and cried out to him who was going to do the whipping: " Strike me, if thou wilt, but thou shalt not strike him;" and thus the little one escaped. All the Savage tribes of these quarters, and of Brazil, as we are assured, cannot chastise a child, nor see one chastised. How much trouble this will give us in carrying out our plans [246 i.e., 146] of teaching the young!

On the 24th of the same month, Father Daniel, arriving, brought us news of the coming of Captain Morieult in the ship in which he had left Father Davost at Tadoussac; he having come up ahead, by means of a bark which was going on to Kebec.

On the last day of June, the French Interpreter, who had been a long time among these sorcerers, and who but recently came from them, came to see us with three Savages who were his guests; we gave them something to eat; they recognized Father Brébeuf at once, having passed the winter with him among the Hurons. We took them into our little Chapel, which we have this year begun to decorate. [page 221] Last year, for Altar-piece, we had nothing but an old sheet with two little card pictures upon it. In a word we had only what was absolutely necessary for the [247 i.e., 147] celebration of the Holy Mass. Now, as they have sent us this year a few little ornaments, we have decorated it as best we could. The Savages gazed at it with fixed attention; raising their eyes to the Altar ceiling, and seeing the Holy Spirit pictured as a dove, surrounded by rays of light, they asked if that bird was not the thunder; for they believe, as I wrote last year, that the thunder is a bird; and, when they see beautiful plumes, they ask if they are not the feathers of the thunder.

I asked if they would be glad to have some one go and teach them in their country, and give them an explanation of the pictures that we showed them. They said that they would be very glad.

On the second of July, one of our Frenchmen was struck down while washing some clothes [248 i.e., 148] in a brook near the fort. It was believed to have been the act of some Hiroquois; there was a great deal of running and searching, but nothing was found. Father Brébeuf and Father de Nouë were near the settlement in a cabin of the Hurons. On hearing the noise, they ran out and went to see the poor man who had been wounded; he was speechless and survived only two days after receiving the blows. Finally two Savages, Montagnaits, informed the French who the murderer was. He was seized and taken to the fort, where he confessed that he had committed the crime. He is a Savage of the petite nation. This is what led him to the act of cruelty: One of his relatives, upon going to war, recommended him to kill a certain Savage whom he [page 223] named. This wretch had often tried to surprise and kill him; but , seeing that he had not accomplished it, the other being always [249 i.e., 149] on the lookout, he vented his wrath upon the first Frenchman whom he found alone.

This shows you how unsafe our lives are among these Barbarians; but we find therein exceeding consolation, which relieves us from all fear; it is that dying at the hands of these Barbarians, whose salvation we come to seek, is in some degree following the example of our good Master, who was put to death by those to whom he came to bring life.

On the 3rd of the same month Father Davost arrived from Tadoussac. He was forced to have himself brought down in a canoe by some Savages, as his vessel could not come up the river, because there was no wind; he also feared that the Hurons might come down, and return to their country without him. May God be forever [250 i.e., 150] praised, who has brought us together in our own little cottage, in great joy, and with a strong desire to give our lives to his service.

On the 4th, Louys Amantacha,21 a Huron who was baptized in France, and taught by our Fathers, and who would have done wonders in his country if he had not been captured by the English, came to confession and communion at our little Chapel. Two days before, he had arrived at Kebec, coming to see us immediately. I asked him to think about his conscience a little; he promised me that he would, and he has kept his word.

On the 5th, three Captains of different tribes came to see us. We showed them several pictures, trying to make them understand what they represented. We gave them something to eat and then I made each [page 225] one [251 i.e., 151] a present of a rosary of glass beads. They were the happiest men in the world. I gave them as warm a reception as I could, knowing that our Fathers who were going to the Hurons would pass through their country.

On the 10th, toward evening, we received news that a little Savage was sick unto death. It was a good half league from our house to his cabin. Night was approaching; the death of the last Frenchman had caused some fear in the minds of the others, so much so that we were on our guard. Notwithstanding that, I could not suffer this poor little one to be abandoned. I wished to go and baptize it myself; but, being indisposed, and having felt for some time a slight attack of fever, our Fathers thought it best that Father Brébeuf should go. So he started [252 i.e., 152] off with Father de Nouë in a canoe. They encountered a Frenchman near the Cabins, who said that these Savages did not want to show their child to the French. That did not stop them. They entered the Cabin, and Father Brébeuf, who can jargon as well as I can in Savage, made them understand as best he could the cause of his visit. Father de Nouë ran hurriedly to the Interpreter, to beg him to come and do a service for the sick. As he was a very honest and worthy man, he left his supper and joined the Fathers, who besought him to inform the Savages why they had come so late; that it was because they loved that little child, and that if it died without baptism it would not go to Heaven; on the contrary, if it were baptized it would be forever happy. They asked [253 i.e., 153] also if its parents would not be very glad to have it baptized. The mother answered that for her part she would be very well [page 227] pleased, but that her husband was drunk, and asleep in another Cabin. The Father continued, and asked, if the child should die, if they would not bring it to our house and bury it in our Cemetery; and, if it were restored to health, if they would not give it to us to be educated. She answered that her son was dead; but that if he revived, as soon as he should be able to walk (for he was only about six months old) she would bring him to us. A Savage, who heard this, ran to the father of the child and aroused him; having reported to him all that the Fathers had said, he ,answered: " Though I am drunk, I understand very well all that thou sayest; go and bid those Fathers baptize my son; I know [254 i.e., 154] very well that they will do him no harm; if he dies, it is because he is mortal; if he recovers, I shall give him to them to be educated." The Messenger brought the news, and Father Brébeuf sent to the river for water, while Father de Nouë and the Interpreter knelt down, reciting the hymn Veni Creator; and Father Brébeuf baptized this poor little one, giving him the name of François, in honor of St. François Xavier, telling the parents that they must hereafter call him François, and that if he died he would go straight to Heaven, where he would be forever blest. These poor people gave -evidence of their great happiness, often repeating the name "François, François," and showing that they had taken a great deal of pleasure in what we had ,done. One of the Savages in the Cabin said that if the Savage who had recently killed [255 i.e., 155] the Frenchman, belonged to his tribe, he would have prayed the Captain of the French to kill him, wishing to give a proof of the love that they bore to all Frenchmen. In short, the Fathers returned home at [page 229] ten o'clock at night very happy; and when I asked Father Brébeuf if he were not glad to have ended the day so well: "Ah!" said he, "I would come expressly from France, and cross the great Ocean, to reclaim one little soul for Our Lord."

He added that the Father of the child was called "la Grenouille"[the Frog]. Then I knew him very well, as a Captain of the Algonquains. He had been to see us, and I had spoken to him sometimes of God. I have mentioned him above. It was he who asked me how many children I wanted, and who was astonished when I 'replied that we wanted twenty, and many more [256 i.e., 156] when we should be able to feed them.

Further, it is very strange how these Savages are given to drunkenness. In spite of the prohibition of sieur de Champlain, there is always some one who trades with them, or who will sell them a bottle now and then in secret. So that drunkards are continually seen among them, shouting, fighting, and quarreling. The Interpreter told me that the Savages of the tribe to which the prisoner in the fort belonged who had killed the Frenchman, told him reproachfully that it was brandy and not that Savage who had committed this murder, meaning to say that he was drunk when he struck the blow. " Put thy wine and thy brandy in prison, " they say: " It is thy drinks that do all the evil, and not we." They believe themselves to be entirely excused from the crimes they commit, when they say that they were drunk. I do not readily believe [257 i.e., 157] in this, because they feign this madness very well when they wish to, hide their malice.

To return to this newly baptized child: it died the [page 231] next evening; and on the following day Father Brébeuf, going to the fort, saw the Savages crossing the great St. Lawrence river, to bury it on the other side. I believe they did not bring it to us, because they wanted to enjoy more liberty in feasting over the grave, according to their custom. About the same time, a young huguenot boy who came over in the ship, and who was to return with them, was drowned right in front of the fort. Strange effect of the providence and the predestination of the good God! Unus assumetur, alter relinquetur.

Father Brébeuf lost no time in going to the Cabin from which they had taken the dead child. Here he [258 i.e., 158] found another sick child; he spoke of baptizing him, when the grandmother answered: "I shall be satisfied to have thee baptize him, provided that thou canst cure him. " The Interpreter of the Algonquains, who makes himself readily understood by the Montagnaits, being present, the Father gave them a little talk upon Baptism and its effects. "You care only for the body," said he, "we care for the soul, which is purified by this Sacrament," adapting their words as best he could to our mysteries. " Baptism always cures the soul, and does no harm to the body, but on the contrary often restores it to health. " They asked how much water it took for baptism. The Father answered that no attention was paid to the quantity. The result was that the parents themselves took the child, and prepared it to receive this blessing. [259 i.e., 159] But the Father, thinking that it was not in danger of death, did not wish to hasten matters.

The next day Father de None and I went to see the child. Our fear lest he should die without being [page 233] baptized made us set out in the midst of very stormy weather; the wind and rain seemed bent on breaking and drowning everything. I also wanted to go ,and hear the confession of a Bengalese, who had been wounded, and had sent for me. He is a young man brought from the East Indies, who had been converted to Christianity in France, and has been passing the winter here with us. I saw him, and consoled him as best I possibly could. As to the little Savage, having presented myself at one of the doors of the Cabin, they said to me: aouesse, " go away." But, having heard my voice, they told me to come in by the other door; I went in, while Father de Nouë was seeking the [260 i.e., 160] Interpreter. A woman stopped me at the first step, saying, appitou, "sit thee down there." I answered her, "yes, I want to see the child." "Wait, wait," said she to me, "thou shalt see him. "The greatest sorcerer they have among them, according to the Interpreter, who arrived shortly afterward, sang and blew upon the child to cure him. They had made a little retreat where the child was. Two or three times I tried to get near it, but was not permitted. The Savages stopped me every time. I waited until this fine doctor had treated his patient; the child, naked as one's hand, lay in a cradle of bark, upon pulverized rotten wood. He was burning with a high fever; and this charlatan, to cure him, was beating upon and whirling around an instrument full of little stones, made exactly like a [261 i.e., 161] tambourine. With all this he howled immoderately. In a word, he and his companion, in order to cure this little boy of a fever, made enough noise to give one to a healthy man. The sorcerer approached the patient, and blew all [page 235] over the body, as I conjectured, for I could not see what he was doing, but I heard his breath drawn from the depths of his stomach. He beat the tambourine in the child's ears, during which there was great silence among the other Savages who were in the same cabin. His medicine having been given, he called me and told me I might then see the child, and that I should give him my opinion; as to him, he believed that the child had something or other black in his body, and it was that which made him sick. Behold the result of this great noise. I approach, I feel the pulse of the child, I discover a raging fever; and I tell him that he has a sickness [262 i.e., 162] which we call fever, that he must be left to rest, and not be killed by this great noise which makes him worse; that recently I had an attack of fever, and that rest had cured me. The sorcerer replied : " That is very good for you people; but, for us, it is thus that we cure our sick." Alas! how ignorant are they who do not know God, indeed even in natural things! To end this story, we returned by water as we came, without baptizing the child, believing that the disease was not mortal; the fever, although very high, being intermittent.

After a few days I returned to see him, his parents having made known to us that they would be very glad if we should come. Again I met a sorcerer who was blowing upon the body, but [263 i.e., 163] this one did not understand his trade so well as the other; he was also younger, and allowed me to see his beautiful mysteries. He beat his tambourine in the cars of this poor little child, who was almost choking with tears. He blew upon his head, with a whistling sound made between his teeth; he turned his [page 237] tambourine on this side and that side of his ribs, behind his back, and then brought it again over the child. In a word, he nearly killed himself with exertion, but accomplished nothing of any account. He knew nothing at all about playing the juggler, compared with the other. Strange that the Savages have so much faith in these charlatans! I do not know why falsehood is worshipped more than truth. In short, this little child being cured, its father and mother came to see us and brought it with them, thanking us by this visit for the trouble we had taken for it.

[264 i.e., 164] Since then, I have been to see others beyond the great Saint Lawrence river, where a company of Savages were encamped. If I continue this business, the mothers will soon regard me as the little children's physician, for they already come to me with their ailments, but we have a much higher calling; they think only of the body, and we of the soul.

On the 27th of July, Louys de Saincte Foy, surnamed by the Savages Amantacha,21 of whom I have spoken above, came back to sieur de Champlain, who had sent him to meet a great crowd of Hurons who were expected from day to day. Already a few canoes had arrived on different days, sometimes seven or eight, sometimes ten or twelve at a time; but at last, on the 28th of July, there arrived about one hundred and forty all at once, carrying easily five hundred Hurons—or [265 i.e., 165] 700, as some say—with their merchandise. The Island Savages and the Algonquains, two tribes on the route from the Hurons to Kebec, had tried to dissuade them from visiting the French, saying we would do them a bad turn on account of the death of one Bruslé, whom they had killed; and that an Algonquain of the petite [page 239] nation, having killed a Frenchman, had been taken prisoner, and had been condemned to death; also that the same would be done to some Huron. Their design was to get all the merchandise from these Hurons at a very low price, in order afterwards to come themselves and trade it, with either the French or the English. Louys Amantacha, meeting them above, assured those of his tribe of the good feeling of the French toward them, declaring that they might put him to death if the French did not give them a very warm [266 i.e., 166] welcome. As to Bruslé, who had been murdered, he was not looked upon as a Frenchman, because he had left his nation and gone over to the service of the English. In short, he convinced them so thoroughly, that six or seven hundred Hurons came to Kebec; a greater number were on the way, but some of them went back because they had become frightened, and others because they had lost their merchandise in gambling. For these Savages are great gamblers, and some of them come to trade with the French for this purpose alone; others come to look on, some to steal, and the wisest and the richest to trade. I do not believe that there is a people under heaven more given to stealing than the Hurons. It is necessary to have your eye both on their feet and on their hands, when they enter a place. It is said that they steal [267 i.e., 167] with their feet as well as with their hands. I saw one, at our house, casting his eyes on one of the carpenter's tools of our brother. Thinking he might take it, I watched him as well as I could, but he was more skillful in taking than I was in watching. He concealed the tool so adroitly that I did not see him make any movement. But seeing that the place [page 241] was empty, I suspected what had happened. I told Father Brébeuf of it; and, as he understands their language tolerably well, he spoke to my man, who tried to deny the theft at first, but at last confessed and laughingly returned the property, showing how contrite he was over his sin. Father de Nouë detected another, who stole a little piece of tin which served as a needle to a poor quadrant that I had fashioned; another stole a letter through the window of Father Massé's room. [268 i.e., 168] To steal, and not to be discovered, is a sign of superior intelligence among them. Utility is not always the sole object of their thefts. A Frenchman, having heard that the Savages of this tribe [the Hurons] were great thieves, sneered at their boasted cunning, saying that he would give them all they could steal from him; some of them called upon him and he gave them something to drink; all their thanks was to steal his cup, and so shrewdly did they do it that he did not miss it until they were gone.

I could scarcely tell you how the people of this tribe wear their hair; each one follows his own fancy. Some wear it long and hanging over to one side like women, and short and tied up on the other, so skillfully that one ear is concealed and the other uncovered. Some of them are shaved just where the others wear a long[269 i.e., 169] moustache.14 I have seen some who had a large strip, closely shaved, extending across the head, passing from the crown to the middle of the forehead. Others wear in the same place a sort of queue of hair, which stands out because they have shaved all around it. Oh, how weak is the spirit of man! For over four thousand years he has been seeking to ornament and beautify [page 243] himself, and all the nations of the world have not yet been able to agree as to what is true beauty and adornment.

On the 29th of the same month of July, having learned that the Hurons were to hold a council, when they would take some action concerning our Fathers who were destined for their country, Father Brébeuf and I went to see them. I found Louys Amantacha in their midst. I had an interview with them about some serious matters; and, passing [270 i.e., 170] from one subject to another, he told me that he was highly pleased because our Fathers were going to the help of his tribe. He was trying to find some one who would take them, or rather to choose some one, for a great number had offered themselves to Father Brébeuf; he himself wanted to take one with him. He promised us wonders, and, as evidence of his appreciation of the assistance Your Reverence is sending to the Hurons, his countrymen, he writes to you with his own hand, also assuring me that he will return the coming year to Kebec, to take back to his country the other Fathers who will be sent there. "It is too few," said he, "only three Religious for so many thousand souls which make up our tribe." He asked me to give him a little book containing the pictures of the mysteries of our Faith, that he might show them to the people of his tribe, and thus take the opportunity to teach them. But as I did not have any he [271 i.e., 171] told me that he would write sieur le Maistre. I have enclosed the letters he sends to Your Reverence with these; I pray God that you may receive them all. I believe that this young man is well known to you. He was taken to France by our Fathers, and baptized in Rouën through their agency; [page 245] Monsieur the Duc de Longueville was his godfather, and. Madame de Villars his godmother. He remained in the hands of the English, after they had taken the French fleet and all this country. He was so well taught that one of the Captains, named Kers,45 who had but little liking for our Society, as he is a heretic, publicly confessed that the Jesuits know how to bring up children well, seeing the deportment of this young Savage. Sieur Olivier,49 the French Interpreter, reported this to me as something which he had heard himself from the mouth of this Huguenot[272 i.e., 172] Captain. After this capture [of the French] this poor young man remained some time with the English, and then with the Savages of his tribe. May God grant that the knowledge of their heresy and of their vices (for he declares that the Englishmen are in the highest degree dissolute) may not prevent the first seed sown in his soul from bringing forth the fruit that Heaven awaits, and for which we hope. But let us speak of the Council of his tribe. After it had assembled, sieur de Champlain had us summoned. I have been told that Louïs XI. once held his council of war in the country, having for throne or chair only a piece of wood, or a fallen tree, that he happened to find in the midst of a field. This is the picture of the council of the Hurons, only they are seated a little lower still, that is to say, flat upon the ground, all pellmell without [273 i.e., 173] any order, unless it be that the people of one tribe or village are placed near those of another. While in France they are discussing precedence, and amusing themselves in offering a chair to one whom they would consider impertinent if he accepted it, here they will have held and concluded three councils [page 247] among the Savages, who, upon the whole, do not cease to be very grave and serious in their rather long speeches. There were about sixty men in their assembly, without counting the young men who were scattered here and there. Each one getting the best place he could find, a Captain began his harangue, the substance of which was that the Huron tribe, the tribe of the Bear, and others, had met for the purpose of holding a council with the French. When this speech was finished, all the Savages, as a sign of their approval, drew from the depths of their stomachs this aspiration, ho, ho, ho, raising [374 i.e., 174] the last syllable very high. When this speech was finished, and the council had declared itself lawfully assembled by this fine method of assent, the same Captain began another speech, adding nothing to what he had said already, unless it were that they had come to see their friends and brothers, the Frenchmen, and, to strengthen this friendship and alliance, they all offered presents to their captain, sieur de Champlain, and thereupon they presented to him three packages of beaver skins. The end was that the Savages expressed their approval of this harangue by reiterating their aspiration, ho! ho! and the Frenchmen by accepting the presents offered. The same captain, continuing his speech, said that all these people were rejoiced at the return of sieur de Champlain, and that they all came to warm themselves at his fire. The fuel they brought to the fire was [275 i.e., 175] two or three more packages of beaver skins, which they gave him as a present. This third speech was immediately approved like the second.

Thereupon sieur de Champlain began to speak, and told them that he had always loved them, that he [page 249] wished very much to have them as his brothers, and, having been sent in behalf of our great King to protect them, he would do it very willingly; that he had sent to meet them a bark and a shallop, and that the Hiroquois had treacherously killed three of our men; that he did not lose heart on that account, that the French feared nothing, and that they cherished their friends very dearly; that they must not believe those who would like to divert them from coming to see the French, and that, having given them their word, they would keep it, as they had been [276 i.e., 176] able to observe in the past; that he still recognized old men among their people, from having gone to war with them; that he thanked them for their presents, and would know very well how to requite them. He added that our Fathers were going to see them in their country, as a proof of the affection which we bore them, telling marvelous things in our favor. "These are our Fathers," said he, " we love them more than our children or ourselves; they are held in very high esteem in France; it is neither hunger nor want that brings them to this country; they do not come to see you for your property or your furs. Here is Louis Amantacha, of your own tribe, who knows them, and who knows very well that I tell the truth. If you love the French people, as you say you do, then love these Fathers; honor them, and they will teach you the way to Heaven. This is what makes them [177] leave their country, their friends, and their comforts, to instruct you, and especially to teach your children a knowledge so great and so necessary.

Two Captains spoke after that. They vied with each other in trying to honor sieur de Champlain [page 251] and the French, and in testifying their affection for us. One of them said that, when the French were absent, the earth was no longer the earth, the river was no longer the river, the sky was no longer the sky; but upon the return of sieur de Champlain everything was as before; the earth was again the earth, the river was again the river, and the sky was again the sky. The other confessed that the Savages were very timid and apprehensive, but that sieur de Champlain was frightful in his looks; that, when he was in battle, a glance from his eye struck terror into the hearts of his [178] enemies; and, apostrophizing the youth of his tribe, he said: " Be careful now, listen to what you are told; do not say we have not talked this all over in open council; I warn you now, in order that you shall obey later."

The conclusion of the council was that Father Brébeuf told them, in their language, that we were going with them to live and to die in their country; that they would be our brothers, that hereafter we would be of their people; and, that if our Fathers did not live in each one of their villages, it would not be because they did not love the whole tribe, but because they could not live in so many places, being so few in number; that the time was not distant when our brothers would come to aid us, and then one of us would live in each one of their villages, and that we would teach them how to be forever happy. Louys [179] Amantacha confirmed all this; and all the Savages, according to their custom, evinced their satisfaction by their profound aspiration: ho, ho, ho, ho! Then they surrounded Father Brébeuf, each one wanting to carry him away in his boat. Some came to me and touched my hand, saying to each other: [page 253] "See how much they look alike," speaking of the Father and of me, "they are two brothers." In short, the people of the village where our Fathers had lived, addressing Father Brébeuf, said to him: " Open thy heart to us, conceal nothing; where dost thou wish to live in our country? Dost thou wish to live in our Houses or have one apart?" "I wish to have a separate one," said the Father. "Very well," answered they, "we will all go and build our houses around thee; we separated, and broke up our villages on the death of the Frenchman who was killed in our country; [180] and every one went away, some here and some there. As soon as thou shalt have chosen thy place, we will return with thee, and thou wilt defend us; for what would we do without thee? "This shows how our Fathers were loved by these poor people. Oh, how I wish I could describe my feelings on seeing these poor barbarians so lovingly caress those whom they did not know! Oh, if they could only penetrate into our purposes! God be forever blessed! I beseech him to open their hearts. As for me, I hope that, if a single village is converted, the fire will not be long in spreading to a great many others; and that the neighboring tribes, which are very populous, will wish to warm themselves with the Hurons at this divine flame.

On the last of July, the fête day of our Holy Father Ignace, Sieur de Champlain and the captains of the vessels here, having come [181] to receive Indulgences in our little Chapel, so many Hurons came also that we were compelled to close our door, saying that we were having a feast, in order to prevent them from entering. It is a maxim among them that they will never put their feet in the cabin of any one who is [page 255] having a feast. It is only to the invited that entrance is permitted. Now, notwithstanding this, as they were very curious to see, one of them put his head in at a window and called his comrades; sieur de Champlain, enjoying their wonder, gave a piece of lemon peel to one of them, who, on tasting it, cried out: " Oh, how good that is! "He divided it with those who were with him, who were all seized with the same admiration. They asked what it was; sieur de Champlain said to them, laughing, that it was the rind of a French [182] pumpkin. This astonished them very much, and they said to each other that our pumpkins were wonderful. Thereupon, those who had not tasted appeared at the window, and asked sieur de Champlain if all the pumpkins were eaten, saying that they would like to taste them, so as to tell about them in their country. You can judge for yourself how all in the room began to laugh! After Vespers, they were allowed to enter the Chapel, which was neatly decorated according to our limited means. It is a source of infinite satisfaction to us to see that our Lord has a little house in the midst of the great forests in which we live. It was here that they were completely astonished. We had placed Statues of St. Ignace and of St. Xavier upon our altar; they looked upon them with awe, believing [183] them to be living persons; they asked if they were Ondaqui. The word Oqui, and its plural Ondaqui, signifies among them some divinity; in a word, what they recognize as above human nature. They asked also if the tabernacle was their house, and if those Ondaqui dressed themselves in the ornaments which they saw around the Altar. Father Brébeuf having explained to them what these [page 257] Images represented, they put their hands on their mouths and struck them in sign of astonishment. There were three Images of the Virgin in different places. They asked successively about each one, who it was; the Father explaining to them, that it was the mother of him who had made everything. They began to laugh, asking how it could possibly be that a single person had three mothers; for they took the three figures [184] for the representation of three different persons. They were made to understand that these three images represented the same person. Oh, how fortunate it would be if all the mysteries of our faith could be well represented! These images help a great deal, and speak for themselves.

Toward evening, Father Brébeuf having gone to Kebec, or to the French fort, where the Hurons were, to see those with whom our Fathers were to embark, the Captain of la Rochelle (it is thus our French people have named one of the Huron villages or Settlements, having given the names of the French cities to these poor straggling villages) accosts Father Brébeuf and tries to persuade him to go and live in his village, offering to carry him and as many more as he wished to have go. "Come with me," said he, "thou wilt be safe with our people, [185] no one will steal from thee; I hold the whole country upon my shoulders, I shall protect thee; we all love thee, thou wilt want for nothing; our country is the best among the Hurons." The Father, pausing a little before answering, " I see clearly," continues he, "that thou hast fear of offending those of the village where thou hast lived, and who wish to have thee. Thou art master of thy actions, tell them that thou wishest [page 259] to come with us, and they will say nothing more to thee." The father took time to think it over. Having told us of this rivalry among the villages, each desiring to have our Fathers, I said to him that it seemed to me they ought to imitate St. Peter and St. Paul, who went forth to attack idolatry in the principal city of the world, and in like manner the most renowned Village of the Hurons ought to be their dwelling place; for, if that one came under the yoke of the law of God, all the others [186] would easily submit to it. So he decided to remain at la Rochelle, this place being one of the largest and the most populous of this tribe; and besides, it is there that all the Councils of this country are held for final action. The trouble was that he dared not declare his wish, for fear of offending the other Villages. He made up his mind to ask sieur de Champlain to notify all the Captains that it was his wish that all the French should go and live at la Rochelle, which he did. These Captains asked why all of the other villages should be deprived of this blessing, saying that, as six Frenchmen were going, they ought to be lodged in six villages or towns. "No," said sieur de Champlain, "I desire that they should all live together, for two reasons " (notice that reasons must be given to these people to pacify [187] them): "I send," said he, "two little boys and a young man with the Fathers. If they are separated, they will perhaps quarrel with your people, for they will have no one to govern them; besides, if our Frenchmen are separated, they will go where they please, and, if some of the other Frenchmen or your people wish to talk to ,one of them, they will not know where to find them. But, if they all live together, those who remain at [page 261] home will know where the absent ones can be found. Have a little patience, and you will all have Frenchmen in your villages." They were all then satisfied, except the captain of the village where Father Brébeuf and Father de Nouë had lived, for he expected. that they would return to rebuild the village which had been abandoned. Thus, the place of habitation of our [188] Fathers being fixed, it remained to be seen with whom they would each embark. To avoid all jealousies, Father Brébeuf had all the captains and the oldest among them assemble in council. This discontented captain did not go there, but he reproached the captain of la Rochelle with having been the cause of the French not going to his village. The latter defended himself from the charge as best he could, saying that such was the wish of sieur de Champlain. Finally, lest he should offend this angry man, he excused himself from furnishing passage for one of the Fathers, saying that his canoe was manned only by young people who were not fit to paddle, and that we would find only too many other persons who would be glad to convey us. Our Fathers were very anxious to embark together in the canoes of one village, but it was decided in the council that it was necessary to satisfy the [189] other villages by allowing them to carry some of the Fathers up into the country. And so it was that our Fathers were to be taken to different villages, to meet afterward at la Rochelle.

On the first day of August, the Hurons came to, see our Chapel, having heard it spoken of by those who had seen it; and I believe that, if they had made a longer stay at Kebec, there would not have been one who did not visit it. Their fair is soon over. [page 263] The day of their arrival they erect their huts; the second, they hold their councils and make their presents; the third and fourth, they trade, sell, buy, barter their furs and their tobacco for blankets, hatchets, kettles, capes, iron arrow-points, little glass beads, shirts, and many similar things. It is a pleasure to. watch them during this trading. When it [190] is over they take one day more for their last council, for the feast which is generally made for them, and the dance; and early the next morning they disappear like a flock of birds. Now those who had sold their goods early came to see our home, attracted thither by the description they had heard of the beauty of our Chapel. Father Brébeuf entertained them: and, after he had discoursed upon Paradise and Hell to one of their companies, a man interrupted him, asking "And what shall we do, Eschom" (that is the name they give to the Father), "that we may escape these great torments?" When the Father told them what they must do, they assured him that they were ready to obey. He said that this Chapel was the place in which we offered prayers to the great God of the sky, that they must kneel down, and [191] that they should pray to him in their hearts. I saw them all get on their knees one beside the other, before the Altar, or rather they squatted down, for they do not know what kneeling is, as it is not one of their postures. Their prayer, which was not long, having been made, the Father asked one of them what he had said to the great God. He replied: " I said to him, 'Have courage to aid and succor us, and to give us a good voyage."' That was the prayer of this poor barbarian. While one was praying, another said to him: " Look well into thy heart for what thou wilt say to, [page 263] this great Master." Oh, if we only knew the language of these poor Savages! That will come when it pleases Our Lord. May his holy name be forever blessed!

On the 3rd of the same month of August, sieur de Champlain made a feast for all the [192] Hurons. The dishes of this feast were sagamité, composed of peas, of bread-crumbs or powdered sea biscuit, and of prunes ; all this was boiled together in a great kettle which is used for making beer, with water and no salt, and they thought it very good indeed. I shall not go into details about this banquet, nor about their songs and their dances. That will be for another time.


(Continued in Vol. VI.)

[page 265]



In reprinting Le Jeune's Brief Relation (1632), commonly classed as the first Relation of the regular series, we follow the original Cramoisy in Lenox Library. This is the copy marked "G B" in Winsor's list; it was formerly in the Bancroft collection, which was absorbed by the Lenox, being considered the chief jewel therein. Other copies are known to be in Brown Library, Providence; British Museum; and Bibliothèque Nationale and Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, Paris. Winsor mentions a copy in the Murphy collection, but it was not included in the sale catalogue; the Kalbfleisch collection mentioned by Winsor had a copy, but that library is now dispersed.

Extracts from this Relation, for which "privilege" was issued Nov., 1632, appear in Mercure François, vol. xviii., pp. 56 – 72; the date of the "privilege" for this volume of Mercure is March, 1633. The Relation given in the Québec Reprint (1858), is after the copy in the Bibliothèque Nationale.

Further references are in Sabin, vol. x., no. 39946, and vol. xvi., under caption "Relations;" Carayon, no. 1260; Winsor, p. 301; Brown, vol. ii., no. 381; Lenox, p. 4; and Harrisse, no. 49. Harrisse, in describing the title-page, misspells Barthelemy Iacquinot, "Bartelemy Iacquinet,"—an. error in which Lenox and Sabin follow him; the Brown Catalogue gives the name correctly, and has a facsimile of the page. [page 269]

Title-page. We present a photographic facsimile of the original at Lenox.

Collation. Title, 1 p.; blank, 1 p.; text, pp. 3,–68; privilege, dated Nov., 1632, 1 unnumbered p.; blank, 1 p.


In our reissue of Le jeune's Relation of 1633 (No. 2 of the Cramoisy series), we follow the original in the Brown Library, at Providence, R. I. Harvard College Library possesses a copy which is evidently, in the main, from the same setting of type as the Brown copy, but with variations. It is apparently the Harvard copy which is described in Harrisse's Notes, no. 55, although, in the catalogues of these respective libraries, each example is entered as "H. 55." We shall for convenience designate them as Brown "H. 55.," and "Harvard H. 55.," respectively.

A word-for-word collation of these two examples of H. 55 convinces us that the original issue of the press is the one at Brown, making this, so far as we are aware, a unique copy. As the working of the edition progressed, some occasion arose for changing the phraseology of the text upon pp. 225, 226 (i.e., 125, 126, correct pagination) in signature H, these two pages being in part reset. The following sentences, which appear on P. 225 (i.e., 125) of the Brown copy, were expunged from the sheet, and do not appear in the Harvard and other examples of this Relation:

pour toute ƒa Prouince, & pour tous ceux qui ~cooperent au ƒalut de tant de pauures ames eƒgarées: Vne petite gouttelette de ce diuin calice nous [page 270] enrichira tous: & puis que mes prieres ƒont trop foibles pour obtenir vn ƒi grand bien, ie ƒupplie V. R. d'interpoƒer les ƒiennes, & celles encore de tant d'ames ƒainçtes qui ƒont ~deƒƒous ƒa charge: ~Mais paƒƒons outre.

There was also expunged from pp. 225, 226 (i.e., 125, 126) the following paragraph, which appears only in the Brown copy:

Ie remerciay le mieux qu'il me ƒut poƒƒible Mõƒieur de Champlain de la charité qu'il auoit exercée enuers nos Peres qui a eƒté tres-grande, cõme me témoignoit le Pere Brébeuf.

To occupy the space, the following fifteen lines were substituted on pp. 225, 226 (i.e., 125, 126), and these appear in the Harvard and later issues of the document, but not in the Brown copy:

Il me vient quelquefois en penƒée, que ce Grand Homme, qui par ƒon admirable ƒageƒƒe, & non-pareille conduite ez affaires ƒ'eƒt tant acquis de renommée ƒur la terre, ƒe prepare vne couronne de gloire treseƒclatante dans le Ciel, pour le ƒoing qu'il ~teƒmoigne auoir en la conuerƒion de tant d'ames que l'infidelité perd en ces pays ƒauuages: I'en prie tous les iours affeçtueuƒement pour luy, & noƒtre compagnie ayant par ƒon moyen occaƒion de glorifier Dieu en cette ƒi noble entrepriƒe, luy en aura vne obligation eternelle. [page 271]

While form H was off the press, and the above alteration of text taking place, certain types appear to have dropped out or been moved in other pages of the same form, making a half-dozen verbal errors on pp. 115, 119. The form, with the text thus altered, was again sent to press, and apparently Harvard H. 55 is the result. Another peculiarity in the Harvard copy is,—and this is noted by Harrisse,—that the letter P in the word "Par," on the title-page, has been partially dropped: the Brown copy is perfect, in this respect.

In due course, a second issue of the Relation became necessary,—but in what year it is now impossible to say; for, after the custom of Cramoisy, the dates of the original title-page and Privilege were reproduced in the new edition, which is the one known to bibliographers as "H. 56," having been described by Harrisse in his Notes, no. 56. This edition—we describe the example in Lenox Library—was printed from an entire resetting of type, the altered text of Harvard H. 55 having been selected for "copy," although the orthography was occasionally modernized. Harrisse, in giving the title-page of H. 56, accidentally omits two line-ending indicators; with these exceptions, his description applies to the copy of H. 56 in Lenox. But he errs in saying that H. 56 does not differ from H. 55 (he describes the Harvard copy), save in the arrangement of the title with its repetition of "de," in the substitution of a ram's head for a cupid in the vignette of p. 1, and a few errors in pagination. The differences are more numerous: in page-numberings, are many discrepancies; in the contents of lines, on several of the pages of each, there is considerable variance,—although both continue to end their pages [page 272] uniformly, save that H. 56 is on p. 57 a line short; there are also frequent variations in spelling and capitalization.

An abridgment of the Relation appears in Mercure François, vol. xix., pp 771 – 802. The Privilege for this volume, which covers events in 1633, bears date March, 1636.

The Quebec reprint (1858) follows H. 56.

See further references in Carayon, no. 1261; Sabin, vol. x., nos. 39,947, 39,948, and vol. xvi., p. 536 (this bibliographer strictly follows Harrisse); Brown Catalogue, vol ii., nos. 118, 417; Pilling's Bibliography of the Algonquian Languages (Washington, 1891), p. 307; O'Callaghan Sale Catalogue, no. 1212 (wherein the description follows Lenox H. 56); Barlow's Rough List (N.Y., 1885), no. 338, P. 77; Barlow Sale Catalogue, no. 1273 (the copy therein mentioned sold for $120); Græsse, tome iv., livr. i., p. 154; Murphy Sale Catalogue, no. 1344; O'Callaghan's Bibliography (1850), p. 36; Sommervogel, tome iv., p. 795, no. 2; Winsor, p. 301 (the Bancroft copy referred to is now in Lenox); and Dodd, Mead & Co.'s Trade Catalogue (April, 1896), wherein a copy, with "the date cut from title," is priced at $200.

Examples of the Relation of 1633 may be found in the following libraries: Harvard (H. 55), Brown (H. 55 and 56), Lenox (H. 56, two copies), and British Museum (ed. not specified).

Title-page. Given in photographic facsimile, from the copy of H. 55, in Brown Library, Providence.

Collation of Brown H. 55. Title, 1 p.; blank at back of title, 1 p.; text, pp. 3–216; Privilege, in small type, on p. 216. [page 273]



Father Brébeuf and his associates planted the missions to the Hurons in what is now the extreme northern part of Simcoe County. Or, more exactly defined, they were included within the boundaries of the present townships of Medonte, Tay, and Tiny, which the Canadian Government surveyed and opened for settlement in the period between the years 1820 and 1828. An influx of European settlers began soon after the latter date, and, in the course of clearing -the forest and cultivating the soil, they found numerous remains of the Hurons, with here and there traces of the Jesuits. Brief notices here follow of those students of history and archæology who have labored to identify the sites of the Huron missions, or to throw light upon the subject. Other references to their work will be made in the notes on the respective mission sites.

In 1835, Father Jean Baptiste Proulx came to St. Anne's church, Penetanguishene, as its first resident pastor. His attention was soon drawn to the Jesuit remains in that vicinity; and in June, 1845, he purchased, for the sum of £43.15s., (old Canadian currency), the east half of lot no. 16 in the third concession of the Township of Tay (100 acres), on which are situated the ruins of Fort Ste. Marie-on-the-Wye. On account of its associations with the pioneers of their church in Canada, this property is still owned by the Jesuit Society.

Father Felix Martin, S. J., visited, in 1845, the ruins of Fort Ste. Marie-on-the-Wye, and the mission sites whose exact positions were then known with certainty. His descriptions of these appear in his edition of Bressani's Relation, and in his Life of Jogues. The former work contains a reproduction of Creuxius's map (1660), which includes his "Chorographia Regionis Huronum."

Rev. Geo. Hallen, an Episcopal clergyman resident at Penetanguishene after 1840, contributed tracings of the two mission forts (one on the Wye, the other on Christian Island), to Father Martin's Bressani.

During two years of service as staff assistant-surgeon at Penetanguishene (1846-48), Dr. Edward W. Bawtree examined six large Huron ossuaries, the first found in the district. He described these [page 295 at some length in an article, "Indian Sepulchral Pits in Canada" (see reference to this article in note 61, ante). Bawtree's collection of Huron relics is in the Museum of the Army Medical Department at Netley, Eng.

Within the first six years after his appointment to the chair of history, in Toronto University (1854-60), Sir Daniel Wilson made several visits to the Huron country, to examine village sites and ossuaries, and his publications concerning the Hurons were numerous, not only during this period but throughout the rest of his lifetime. His visits after 1860 appear to have been less frequent, probably because Taché's survey had covered the ground. Wilson made a special study of crania; and of his archaeological memoirs his best known is "The Huron Race and its Head-form," in Canadian Journal, 2nd series, vol. xiii. (1871-73), pp. 113-134, in which he compares the Huron skull with that of the mound-builder.

While Dr. J. C. Taché held the chair of physiology in Laval University, Quebec (1860-64), he devoted his summer vacations to explorations in the Huron country, and attempted, by examination of the published records and maps, to identify the sites of the missions. In this period he carefully examined some fourteen village sites and sixteen ossuaries, his identifications of which are adopted by Parkman and Laverdière. Taché drafted a map of the Huron country, which, together with the records of his explorations, is in the Museum of Laval University, besides many Huron relics secured by him. With the exception of some extracts from letters to the historians just named, and to a few others, scarcely anything appeared from his pen on the subject.—See Hamel's sketch of Taché in Annuaire de l'Université Laval (Quebec, 1894), pp. 98-103.

Prof. Henry Montgomery, of Trinity University, Toronto, visited, during 1876-78, twelve Huron ossuaries. He minutely examined one of these, as well as several village sites and earthworks, in the immediate neighborhood of St. Louis, at which town Brébeuf and Lalemant were captured in 1649. He gave a short account of his investigations in an article, "Indian Remains in Simcoe and Muskoka," (Toronto Globe, August 3, 1878); and he donated the principal part of his collection of Huron relics to the Toronto University museum, since destroyed by fire.

Charles A. Hirschfelder, Toronto, in a paper, "Anthropological Discoveries in Canada" (Toronto Mail, Dec. 2, 1882; also, Proceedings of Brit. Assoc. for Adv. of Science, Montreal, 1884, pp. 915, 916), described the Huron ossuaries and other remains which he had examined. He made, in the Huron country and in other parts of Ontario, a collection of four thousand specimens, which are preserved in the museum of the Dominion Government at Ottawa. In [page 296] the course of his work, he investigated the sites of the missions of St. Joseph, St. Ignace, and Ste. Marie, on Christian Island.

Rev. J. W. Annis, M. A., of the Methodist Episcopal church, while residing in the district (1884-87), made a collection of Huron relics, many of them from the sites of the mission towns. Since his death, this collection (400 specimens) has been placed in the Provincial Archæological Museum at Toronto. His investigations extended to the sites of St. Ignace, St. Louis, Ste. Marie-on-the-Wye, and Wenrio.

James Bain, Jr., librarian of the Toronto Public Library, has thrown some light on the subject of the Huron missions. A paper read by him before the Canadian Institute in April, 1885, on "The Present Condition of the old French Fort at St. Marie," of which an abstract appears in the Proceedings, 3rd series, vol. iii. (1886), pp. 278, 279, describes, from personal inspection at different times, the razing of these ruins during the previous thirty years.

Since Father Th. F. Laboreau became (1873) pastor of St. Anne's, Penetanguishene, he has devoted much time to the examination of mission sites. A paper, " Reminiscences of the Huron Missions," read before the Canadian Institute, Toronto, March 19, 1887, describes some of his investigations. Another paper read before the same body, Sept. 25, 1891, on "The Early History of the Mission of St. Anne's, Penetanguishene," reviews its history from the year of its foundation (1835) until the commencement of the memorial church in memory of the martyred Jesuits, Brébeuf and his companions, in the erection of which Father Laboreau himself has shown so much zeal. The corner stone of this edifice was laid Sept. 5, 1886; and by 1890 the work had advanced so far that the basement could be used for regular services.

David Boyle, curator of the Ontario Archaeological Museum, Toronto, in the course of his scientific work has made numerous visits to the Huron country. More than a thousand relics in the museum have been taken from village sites of the Hurons and Tobacco Nation, including the mission towns in both. His nine Annual Reports, and a small work, Primitive Man in Ontario, which are the most valuable contributions to the archaeology of Ontario yet published, abound in many references to the relics of these localities.

A. C. Osborne, a journalist, formerly of Penetanguishene, has written various articles on the Huron missions—"The Land of the Wyandots," "The Flight of the Hurons from Ste. Marie to Christian Island," etc.

An article by Joseph Wallace, Sr., Orillia, Ont., in The Canadian Indian (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.), Feb. 1891, P. 134, entitled "A Fishing Station of the Ancient Hurons Identified," describes the channel [page 297] between Lakes Simcoe and Couchiching, staked across by the Hurons for catching fish, the stakes having been preserved under water to the present day. A series of eleven articles, " Scenes from the Past," in the Orillia Packet (Feb.-June, 1896), relates the story of the Huron missions in a concise form.

Space is lacking to enumerate all those who have devoted their energies to this work, though in less degree than the foregoing. Notwithstanding all their efforts, however, the work cannot be regarded as complete.[page 298]


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