Relation de ce qui s'est passé en la Novvelle France, en l'année 1635 [Chapters iii., iv., etc., completing the document]. Paul le Jeune; Kébec, August 28, 1635; Jean de Brébeuf; Ihonatiria, May 27, 1635; Julien Perrault; 1634 - 35.


Relation de ce qui s'est passé en la Novvelle France, en l'année 1636 [Chapters i., ii., first installment of the document]. Paul le Jeune; Kébec, August 28, 1636



[page i]

[page ii]


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

XXV. A summary of the contents of the first two chapters of the Relation of 1635 was given in Volume VII. of our series. Continuing his narrative, Le Jeune urges that French colonies be sent to Canada, to develop and hold the country for the French crown. Still more important, in his view, is the aid which these would afford to his favorite project,葉hat of rendering the nomadic tribes stationary, by furnishing nuclei for Indian settlements. He then, as usual, closes his yearly letter by a resumé, in the form of a journal, of the chief events during the past year, beginning with the departure of the French fleet, in August, 1634. He relates how he and Buteux went, in September, to Champlain's new settlement at Three Rivers, and describes the region thereabout. An elk-hunt, a funeral, the cruel treatment of an Iroquois prisoner, an Indian dance, and various conversations on religion, with the savages, are narrated. The superior gives a sad account of the famine among the Indians that winter, and the consequent epidemic, which often proves fatal, even among the French. He has heard ill news of his brethren who had ventured into the Huron country, but letters from them show that these reports are in a measure [page 1] false. In May, Le Jeune and a companion go to Quebec, to meet the French fleet, which, however, is delayed until July, when it brings a reinforcement of six Jesuit priests and two brothers, where at there is great rejoicing among the missionaries. Champlain holds a council with the Hurons, and recommends to their friendship Fathers Le Mercier and Pijart, who depart with them. Le Jeune remains at Quebec. Again he urges that efforts should be made to render the wandering Indians sedentary, - intimating that not only could they thereby be more easily converted, but that the beaver might thus be kept from extermination. He mentions the crafty attempts of the Iroquois to arouse hostilities among the tribes on the St. Lawrence, and thus to divert the Indian trade from the French to the Dutch and English, at Albany. The journalist describes the conversion of a young French Huguenot, and closes by giving directions to his correspondents in France as to the forwarding of their letters.

In his report on the Huron mission, sent to Le Jeune the preceding May (1635), Brébeuf describes his journey to Lake Huron, with its attendant hardships and perils. He, with his companions, settles at Ihonatiria, near the place where he had formerly lived, when on his first mission to the Hurons. These savages welcome his return, and build a cabin for the French. The former suffer much from the same epidemic that had attacked Three Rivers; but the French keep in good health. Brébeuf describes his cabin, which is at once a dwelling and a church; and relates the astonishment of the natives at the sight of various articles brought by the French,預 small mill, a clock (which the Indians thought was [page 2] alive), a loadstone, a magnifying glass, etc.,傭ut especially at the art of writing, which is utterly incomprehensible to their simple minds.

Brébeuf writes of the Huron myths of creation, the morals and superstitions of that tribe, the doings of their medicine men; he praises their spirit of hospitality, their patience in sickness, their courage in view of death,- upon which qualities he hopes to build a Christian faith and life in their hearts. He describes the baptisms and the apparent conversions that had rewarded the efforts of the missionaries; the kind of religious instruction they give the savages; the condition of their affairs; and the friendly relations existing between them and the Hurons. He adds a postscript, to mention a new baptism, and the mildness of the recent winter and spring.

Julien Perrault, of the mission- in Cape Breton Island, describes in a letter to his superior (Le Jeune), the situation, climate, resources, and people of that island. He praises the docility and honesty of the natives, and the decency of their behavior and conversation.

The Relation ends with an interesting collection of "various sentiments and opinions of the Fathers who are in New France, taken from their last letters of 1635,"容mbodying their religious experiences, observations and opinions concerning their work, and the qualifications they consider necessary in those who would come to Canada as missionaries.

XXVI. Like the preceding document, the Relation of 1636, although throughout styled by bibliographers Le jeune's, because he was the superior and the editor, is a composite: the first half being a Relation (or annual report) of eleven chapters, sent by [page 3] Le Jeune to his provincial at Paris, and dated Quebec, August 28, 1636; the second half consists of a Relation on the Huron mission, by Brébeuf, dated at Ihonatiria, July 16 of the same year, and sent down to Le Jeune by a native messenger. Brébeuf's Relation is divided into two parts, one of four chapters, the other of nine.

We have space in the present volume but for the two opening chapters of Le Jeune's own yearly narrative. He begins by describing the arrival of Montmagny, Champlain's successor as governor of New France. The missionaries are rejoiced to find that the new governor has brought with him Chastelain and Garnier, priests of their order, to aid them in their great task; and, still more, that Montmagny is a pious man, and greatly interested in their work. This is evinced by his becoming sponsor in baptism for a savage, almost as soon as he has landed at Quebec. Le Jeune mentions also the arrival of Father Nicolas Adam, as well as several families of colonists, especially those of De Repentigny and La Poterie. He then relates how interest in the Canadian mission is spreading in France, not only in religious circles, but among the nobility, court officers, and persons of wealth. He praises the piety and generosity of the Marquis de Gamache, who largely supports the Quebec mission; and several members of the Hundred Associates, whose letters are quoted, showing their zeal and liberality. He is especially pleased at the intention of a wealthy lady, Madame Combalet, to establish a hospital in New France. He continues, as usual, with circumstantial accounts of conversions among the savages, and the pious deaths of several.

The translation of Brébeuf's portion of the Relation of 1635 (Doc. xxv.) is the work of the late James McFie Hunter, M. A., principal of the Collegiate Institute at Barrie, Ont. Mr. Hunter had intended publish an English translation of all the Relations emanating from the Huron country, but his death in 1893 terminated the project.

R. G. T.

Madison, Wis., May, 1897.

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XXV (concluded)

Le Jeune's Relation, 1635



Chaps. i.-ii., of the opening Relation by Le eune, appeared in Volume VII. Chaps. iii.-iv.,concluding LeJeune's part, here follow ; the document closes with reports on the Huron and Cape Breton missions, by Brébeuf and Perrault respectively; and a collection of "sentiments and opinions of the Fathers who are in New France."

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T is to be feared that in the multiplication of our French, in these countries, peace, happiness, and good feeling may not increase [52] in the same ratio as do the Inhabitants of New France. It is much easier to control a few men than whole multitudes; yet it must be confessed that it would be an enterprise very honorable and very profitable to Old France, and very useful to the New, to establish settlements here, and to send over Colonies.

Shall the French, alone of all the Nations of the earth, be deprived of the honor of expanding and spreading over this New World? Shall France, much more populous than all the other Kingdoms, have Inhabitants only for itself? or, when her, children leave her, shall they go here and there and lose the name of Frenchmen among Foreigners?

Geographers, Historians, [53] and experience itself, show us that every year a great many people leave France who go to enroll themselves elsewhere. For, although the Soil of our country is very fertile, the French women have this blessing, that they are still more so; and thence it happens that our ancient Gauls, in want of land, went to seek it in different parts of Europe. The Galatians draw their origin from them; they have crossed Italy, they have passed into Greece, and into many other regions. At [page 9] present, our French people are no less numerous than our old Gauls; but they do not go forth in bands, but separately, some going in one direction, some in another, to make their fortunes among Strangers. Would it not be better to empty Old France into New, by means of Colonies [54] which could be sent there, than to people Foreign countries?

Add to this, if you please, that there- is a multitude of workmen in France, who, for lack of employment or of owning a little land, pass their lives in poverty and wretched want. Many of them beg their bread from door to door; some of them resort to stealing and public brigandage, others to larceny and secret frauds, each one trying to obtain for himself what many cannot possess. Now as New France is so immense, so many inhabitants can be sent here that those who remain in the Mother Country will have enough honest work left them to do, without launching into those vices which ruin Republics; this does not mean that [55] ruined people, or those of evil lives, should be sent here, for that would be to build Babylons; but if the good were to make room for the bad, it would give the latter an opportunity to escape the idleness that corrupts them.

Besides, if these Countries are peopled by our French, not only will this weaken the strength of the Foreigner,謡ho holds in his ships, in his towns, and in his armies, a great many of our Countrymen as hostages,溶ot only will it banish famine from the houses of a multitude of poor workmen, but it will also strengthen France; for those who will be born in New France, will be French, and in case of need can render good service to their King,預 thing which cannot be expected from those who dwell [page 11] among -our neighbors and outside the dominion of their Prince.

[56] Finally, if this country is peopled by the French, it will be firmly attached to the Crown, and .,the Foreigner will come no more to trouble it. And they tell us that this year the English have restored to Monsieur the Commander de Rasilly the settlement of Pemptegoüs, that they took from the French in the year one thousand six hundred and thirteen. From this will result a good which will draw down upon both old and new France a great blessing from Heaven; it is the Conversion of a vast number of Savage Nations, who inhabit these lands and who are every day becoming disposed to receive the light of the Faith.

Now there is no doubt that there can be found here employment for all sorts of artisans. Why cannot the great forests of New France largely furnish the Ships for the Old? Who doubts that there are here mines of iron, [57] copper, and other metals? Some have already been discovered, which will soon be worked; and hence all those who work in wood and iron will find employment here. Grain will not fail here, more than in France. I do not pretend to recite all the advantages of the country, nor to show what can give occupation here to the intelligence and strength of our French people; I will content myself by saying that it would be an honor and a great benefit to both old and new France to send over Emigrants and establish strong colonies in these lands, which have lain fallow since the birth of the world.

They will tell me that the Gentlemen of the Company of New France have taken it upon themselves to do this; I answer that they are discharging their [page 13] duty perfectly, although at very [58] great expense; but even if they should bring over three times as many people as they have promised, they would but sligtly relieve Old France, and would people only a little Canton of the New. Nevertheless, in time ,they will make some progress ; and as soon as, through the clearing of the land, they can obtain from it what is necessary for life, thousands of useful things will be found in the country which will also be profitable to France. But it seems necessary that a great extent of forest should be converted into tillable land, before introducing many families, otherwise famine might consume them.

I enlarge upon a point which seems remote from my subject, although it is closely related thereto; for if I could see here a number of towns or villages, gathering enough of the fruits of [591 the earth for their needs, our wandering Savages would soon range themselves under their protection; and, being rendered sedentary by our example, especially if they were to be given some help, they could easily be instructed in the Faith. As to the stationary tribes farther back in the interior, we would go in great numbers to succor them; and would have much more authority, and less fear, if we felt that we had the support of these Towns or Villages. The more imposing the power of our French people is made in these Countries, the more easily they can make their belief received by these Barbarians. who are influencecl even more through the senses, than through reason.

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LL that will be said in this Chapter is a mere medley, in which there will be but little sequence or connection, except perhaps that of the time in which the things happened; and still they will follow each other only at wide intervals.

On the twelfth of August of the preceding year, one thousand six hundred and thirty-four, Monsieur du Plessis Bochard, Commandant of the fleet, weighed anchor and left the Roadstead of Kebec, to go to Tadoussac and thence to France, where we are told he arrived about the middle of September, having been only a month in crossing the sea.

[61] On the twenty-sixth of the same month of August, some Savages who were passing our House showed us some plums they had gathered in the woods not far from there; they were as large as the little apricots of France, their stone being flat like that of the apricot. This leads me to say that the cold of these Countries does not prevent fruit from growing. We shall know from experience, in a few years, for we have grafted some cuttings which have started very well.

On the third of September, we, Father Buteux and I, embarked to go and help our French in the New Settlement they are beginning at the three Rivers. We passed near the Island of Rich[e]lieu, called by [page 17] the [62] Savages Ka ouapassiniskakhi. Monsieur de Champlain has had a platform erected there, upon which they have placed some Cannon in order to command the whole River. From this Islet to a considerable distance above, the passage is very dangerous to any one who does not know the real channel. Once we touched bottom, another time we were stranded; and in a strong northeaster our bark grazed a rock, which filled with horror all those that saw it. God seems to have armed this passage for the preservation of the Country in the hands of the French, who now possess it.

On the eighth, we arrived at the three Rivers. We found living there very agreeable; the ground is sandy, the fish very abundant in its season. A Savage will sometimes bring in his Canoe twelve or fifteen [63] Sturgeon, the smallest of which is occasionally as long as the height of a man; besides these, there are also a number of other very good fish. The French have named this place the three Rivers, because there emerges here a very beautiful river which flows into the great River saint Lawrence through three principal mouths, caused by several little Islands which are found at the entrance of this river, which the Savages call Metaberoutin. I would like to describe the beauty of this place, but I am afraid of being tedious. The whole country between Kebec and this new Settlement, which we will call the Residence of the Conception, seems to me very pleasant; it is intersected by brooks and streams, which empty at short distances from each other into the King of rivers, that is, into the great river St. Lawrence, [64] which is, even at this place, fully two or three thousand paces wide, although it is thirty leagues above Kebec. [page 19]

On the twenty-seventh of the same month of September, an Elk appeared on the other bank of this great river; our Frenchmen gave notice of it to some Savages who were encamped near the Settlement, and some of them went to attack this great animal, which was standing in the water drinking. Approaching it from the land side, to drive it farther into the water, they flew after it in their little bark Canoes; and, approaching it within range, one of them launched a javelin at it, which made it give a bound and start for the shore to save itself; it might easily have done this if it had been able to touch the shore; but seeing its enemies there, it [65] rushed into the water where it was soon run through with javelins. When it was near its death, they drove it to the shore, and there in a moment they had cut it in pieces, to be able to carry it to their cabin. We saw this chase from our Settlement, which is on a natural elevation and commands a view of the great River. I carefully examined the head of this animal; its antlers had grown only as long as the horns of an ox, for it was still young; these antlers were covered with hair which was quite fine and almost equally thick throughout.

On the twenty-eighth, Father Buteux and I found a band of Savages who were having a feast near the graves of their deceased relatives; they gave them the best part of the banquet, which they threw [66] into the fire; and, when they were about to go away, a woman broke some twigs and branches from the trees, with which she covered these graves. I asked her why she did this, and she answered that she was sheltering the souls of her dead friends from the heat of the Sun, which has been very great this Autumn. [page 21] They reason about the souls of men and their necessities as they do about the body; according to their doctrine, they suppose that our souls have the same needs as our bodies. We told her repeatedly that the souls of reasonable beings descended into hell or went up into Heaven; but, without giving us any answer, she continued to follow the old custom of her ancestors. Those who do not appreciate the obligations they are under to God, for having been born in a place where he is known and worshiped, can see here at a glance what an advantage [67] they have over a world of barbarians.

On the twenty-third day of October, fifteen or twenty Savages returned from the war, bringing a prisoner. As soon as they could descry our Settlement and their cabins, they collected their canoes and sailed slowly down the middle of the great river, uttering from their chests songs full of gladness; as soon as they were seen, there was a great outcry among the cabins, each one coming out to see these warriors, who made the poor prisoner stand up and dance in their fashion in the middle of a canoe. He sang, and they kept time with their paddles; he was bound with a cord which tied his arms behind his back, another was around his feet, and still another, [68] a long one, around his body; they had torn out his finger-nails, so that he could not untie himself. Marvel, I pray you, at the cruelty of these people. A Savage, having perceived Father Buteux and me mingling with the others, came up to us and said, full of joy and satisfaction, Tapoue kouetakiou nigamouau;" I shall really eat some Hiroquois." Finally this poor man came out of the canoe, and was taken into a cabin, the children, girls, and women [page 23] striking him, some with sticks, others with stones, as he entered; you would have said he was insensible, as he passed along and received these blows without looking around; as soon as he entered, they made him dance to the music of their howls. After having made a few turns, striking the ground and agitating his body, which is all there is of [69] their dancing, they made him sit down; and some of the Savages, addressing us, told us that this Hiroquois was one of those who the year before had surprised and killed three of our Frenchmen; this was done to stifle in us the pity that we might have for him, and they even dared to ask some of our French if they did not want to eat their share of him, since they had killed our Countrymen. We replied that these cruelties displeased us, and that we were not cannibals. He did not die, however; for these Barbarians, weary of the war, spoke with this young prisoner, who was a strong man, tall and finely formed, about making peace; they have been treating about it for a long time, but at last it is concluded. In truth, I believe it will not last long; [70] for the first impulse that seizes some hot-headed fellow, at the remembrance that one of his relations was killed by the Hiroquois, will make him go and surprise one of them, and treacherously assassinate him; and thus the war will begin again. Fidelity cannot be expected from people who have not the true Faith.

On the twenty-fourth of the same month, a great many Algonquains having arrived, I went through their cabins, looking for a little girl I had baptized and named Marguerite, the year before. Her mother readily recognized me, and told me that she was dead; that was so much gained for Heaven; I had [page 25] only made her a Christian that she might go there. When I came to ask news of the father of the child whom I had begun to instruct, a Savage told me that he was dead; at this [71] answer, one of his daughters, about eighteen or twenty years old, uttered a loud cry and burst into tears; they made me a sign that I should not speak of death, its very name seeming to them unbearable.

On the twenty-ninth, a rather amusing thing happened, which I shall relate here to show the simplicity of a mind that does not know God. Two Savages having entered our Settlement during Divine Service, which we were holding in the Chapel, said to each other, "They are praying to him who made all things; will he give them what they ask?" Now as we were going rather slowly, according to their ideas, "Certainly," they said, "he does not want to give it to them, see how they are all shouting as loud as they can," (we were singing Vespers at the time). Now, as a young interpreter was going away, they approached him and [72] said, " Well, now, he who made all things, has he granted what you ask?" "Yes," he answered, "we shall get it." "Certainly, " they replied, " he must have very nearly refused you, for you have cried and sung so hard to get it; we were saying all the time that you would not get anything; but tell us now, what did he promise you? " This young man, smiling, answered them according to their expectations, " He promised us that we should not be hungry." It is the highest state of happiness for the Savages to have something with which to satisfy their stomachs.

On the fifth of November, I went to see the remains of a good palisade, which formerly surrounded [page 27] a Village in the very place where our French have established their Abode. The Hiroquois enemies of these Tribes have burned everything; there can still be seen [73] the ends of the blackened stakes; there are some arpents of cleared land, where they cultivated Indian corn. I hope in the course of time our Canadians will resume this industry, which will be as profitable to them for Heaven as for earth; for, if they stop their wanderings, there will be opportunities of instructing them.

On the seventh we had described to us a kind of Savage dance that we had not yet seen. One of them begins while the others sing; the song finished, he goes and gives the bouquet, that is, he goes and makes a present to the one whom he wishes to dance after him; the other does the same thing when he finishes the dance; and, if our French are with them, they bring the bouquet and the present to our men as well as to the others.

On the eighteenth of this month, [74] all the Savages dispersed, some here and some there into the woods, to go during the winter to hunt the Elk, the Deer and the Caribou, upon which they live; so that we were without neighbors, our French alone remaining in our new Dwelling place.

On the thirtieth of December, the snow having been neither hard nor deep enough to arrest the long legs of the Elk, a troop of these poor Barbarians came crying for pity at our Settlement; the famine, which was cruel last year, has treated them still worse this winter, at least in several places; we have heard a report that, near Gaspé, the Savages killed and ate a young boy whom the Basques left with, them to learn their language. Those of Tadoussac, with whom I [page 29] passed the winter a year ago, have eaten each other [75] in some localities. Monsieur du Plessis Bochart, on his way to Kebec, told us that there were still some in the woods who do not dare appear before the others because they had wickedly surprised, massacred, and eaten their companions. We have been witnesses to their famine at the three Rivers; they came in bands, greatly disfigured and as fleshless as skeletons, liking, they said, as well to die near the French as in their own Forests; the misfortune for them was that, as this Settlement was only in its first stages, there was not yet a storehouse at three Rivers, our French and we having brought from Kebec only the food necessary for the number of men who were residing there; we tried, however, to help them, each on his side [76] exercising charity according to his means, or according to his inclinations; not one of those who came to us died of hunger.

When Father Buteux and I entered a certain cabin, a woman told us that no one remained but she and her companion, of all those with whom they had wintered in the forest. Hunters had been found stiff in death upon the snow, killed by cold and starvation,預mong others, the one who had taken prisoner the Hiroquois of whom I have spoken above.

A Savage told me, during this famine, that his wife and sister-in-law contemplated killing their own brother; I asked him why, " We are afraid," he replied, " that he will kill us during our sleep, to eat us." " We supply you," said I, " a part of. our food every day [77] to help you." "That is true," he replied, " thou givest us life; but this man is half-mad; he does not eat, he has some evil design; we wish to prevent him, wilt thou be displeased at [page 31] that?" I found myself a little troubled; I could not consent to his death, and yet I believed they had good cause for their fear. We advised him not to leave any hatchets or javelins in his cabin, except one which he would have to use, and he should place that under his head when he was sleeping; he agreed to this, and gave us his hatchets and javelins, to put them away in our little room. Three days later, this poor wretch went to Kebec, where, having tried to kill some Frenchman, Monsieur the Governor, seeing that he was mad, had him put in chains, to surrender him to the first Savages that [78] might come along.

Now these comings and goings of famished Savages lasted almost all winter; we usually made a little feast of peas and boiled flour for all the new bands, and I have seen certain ones among them eat more than eight bowlfuls of this before leaving the place.

While the banquet was being prepared, we talked to them about God, we represented to them their poverty; they all had the best intentions in the world to cultivate the land in the Spring, as some of them have done; but they did not remain constantly near their Indian corn,-abandoning it to go fishing, some in one direction, some in another.

As to the proposals we make to them to believe in God, one of them said to me one day, " If we [79] believe in your God, will it snow?" " It will snow, " I said to him. Will the snow be hard and deep?" "It will be." Shall we find Moose?" " You will find them. " " Shall we kill some?" " Yes; for as God knows all things, as he can do all things, and as he is very good, he will not fail to help you, if you [page 33] have recourse to him, if you receive the Faith, and if you render him obedience." " Thy speech is good," answered he, " we will think upon what thou hast told us." Meanwhile, they go off into the woods, and soon forget what has been said to them. It is indeed true that, in the end, some impression will be made upon their minds, if they are not harder than the stone hollowed out by drops of water.

Another time, having talked a long time upon our belief with a squad of them, who had returned to seek food for [80] their wives and children, I advised them, in case they could not find anything, to fall upon their knees and to address themselves to him who has made Heaven and earth, to promise him they would believe in him if he would relieve them; they promised that they would do so; we gave them for this purpose a little Image of our Lord Jesus Christ, and instructed them in the way in which they were to place it in the time of their great need, and in some prayers they were to make to him whom it represented, giving them strong hope that they would be helped. I placed this Image in the hands of a certain one named Sakapouan, of whom I have spoken above. He promised me that he would do everything just as we had directed; but the wretch did not keep his promise, for he never dared produce this Image, lest [81] he should be sneered at by his Companions; yes, he even laughed with the others about what we had preached to them. And indeed God chastised him, for he fell sick and was obliged to come seeking the French; we asked for the Image and he returned it. When asked why he had not prayed to the Son of the All-powerful, " I went away," he replied, " with the good will to pray to [page 35] him; I felt a strong hope that he would give us something to eat, I had even kept in mind the best of all the prayers thou hast taught us; but, when I arrived at our cabins, I was afraid that if I brought out the Image they would make sport of me, and that he .who has made all would be angry with me, and make us die." In one word, these people are restrained by worldly considerations. It was in vain I told him that if he had been faithful in [82] the midst of these mockeries, if he had not clung to these mockers, God would have given him powerful assistance; " It is necessary, " he said " to talk to our Captains" And, in fact, one who could gain them could gain all. I am always retracing my footsteps, in saying, that one who knew the language perfectly, so that he could crush their reasons and promptly refute their absurdities, would be very powerful among them. Time will bring all things; God giving his blessing, Populus qui est in tenebris videbit lucem magnam.

Now to end this whole story, I asked this Savage what this Prayer was that he preferred to all others. " Thou hast told us many things," he replied; " but this prayer has seemed to me the best of all: Mirinan oukachigakhi nimitchiminan, 'Give us to-day our food, give us something to eat.' [83] This is an excellent Prayer," he said. I am not surprised at this Philosophy; Animalis homo, non perci .pit ea qua sunt Spiritus Dei. He who has never been at any school but that of the flesh, cannot speak the language of the spirit.

On the twenty-seventh of the same month of January, a Savage came to acquaint me with a secret well known among the Algonquains, but not among the Montagnais; neither is it known in this part of the [page 39] country, but farther into the interior. He told me that, if some one of our Frenchmen would accompany him, he would go and fish under the ice of a great pond, located some five thousand paces beyond the great River, opposite our Settlement. One of them did, in fact, go there, and brought back some fish, which greatly comforted our French people,, for they can now, in the thickest [84] ice, stretch their nets in this pond. I have seen them fish in this way; now see how they do it. With great blows of the axe they make a tolerably large hole in the ice of the pond ; then at intervals they make other smaller ones, and by the use of poles they pass a cord from hole to hole under the ice; this cord, which is as long as the nets they wish to stretch, stops at the last hole, through which it is drawn, and they spread out in the water the whole net which is attached to it. This is the way they spread the nets the first time. When they wish to examine them, it is very easily done, for they draw them out through the largest opening, to collect the fish from them; then it is only necessary to draw back the cord to respread the nets, the poles serving only to put the cord through the first time. When God has blessed these countries with a colony of French, [85] there will result a thousand benefits and a thousand conveniences for the country, of which these Barbarians are ignorant.

On the sixth of February, the great River was completely frozen over, so that one could walk over it in safety; it even froze opposite Kebec, which is very extraordinary, as the tides there are very strong. It seems to me that the severity of the winter makes itself especially felt during this month.

On the eighth of March occurred the death of the [page 39] Savage woman named Anne, of whom I have spoken in Chapter second; as the anguish of death approached, she said at times to herself, nitapoueten, nitapoueten, " I believe, I believe;" nisadkihau, nisadkihau, I love him, I love him;" ouaskoucki nioui itoutan, I wish to go to Heaven;" and once she said to me, as I was leaving her after having instructed and [86] visited her in her sickness; " Thou hast been a father to me up to the present; continue so until my death, which will not be long; come back and see me very soon, and if thou seest me so low I cannot speak, remember that I shall always think of what thou hast said to me, and that I shall always believe in my heart." As a Savage had informed me that she did not belong to this region, I asked her a few days before her death about her native country: she told me that the people of her Nation were called ouperigoue ouaouakhi, that they dwelt farther back in the interior, below Tadoussac, and on the same side; that they could descend through the rivers from their country to the great river saint Lawrence; that her Countrymen had no commerce with the Europeans; " that is why," she said, " they use hatchets made of stone;" that they have [87] Deer and Beavers in abundance, but very few Elk; that they speak the Montagnais language, and that they would certainly come and trade with the French, were it not that the Savages of Tadoussac try to kill them when they encounter them. I do not know whether these are the ones that we call Bersiamites, some of whom have been cruelly massacred this year at Tadoussac. These perfidious Savages received them very kindly, and, when they had them in their power, treacherously put them to death. [page 41]

On the fifth day of April, a Montaignais Savage came to report to Father Buteux that our Fathers and our Frenchmen who accompanied them had been abandoned in the woods and tied to trees, by the Hurons who were taking them to their country,謡ho, [88) falling ill with a certain epidemic which last Autumn afflicted all these Nations, believed that this malady was caused by the French, and it was this which made them treat the French in this way; this savage declared that he had heard the news from the lips of some Bissiriniens, neighbors of the Hurons. We placed the whole matter in the hands of Our Lord, who will take our lives at the time and in the manner that shall please him. We had already learned, as I wrote last year, the bad news about Father Anthoine Daniel, who had been reported to us as almost dead; but at last the goodness of God has comforted us, for most of these reports are found to be false. It is true that Father Daniel and all the others have endured incomparable sufferings in their voyage, as Your Reverence can see [89] by the Relation of Father Brébeuf.

On the fourteenth of the same month, as the ice was completely broken up, I embarked in a canoe with one of our Frenchmen and an Algonquain, to go and see the beautiful lake or pond of which I have spoken above, and which I had seen all frozen over during the winter. On the way, I saw a Muskrat hunt. Some of these animals are as large as rabbits; they have very long tails. When they appear upon the water, the Savages follow them in their little canoes; these Rats, upon seeing themselves pursued, immediately dive into the water, their enemies hurrying quickly to the place where they expect [page 43] them to come up again to take breath; in short, they pursue them until they are tired out, so that they must remain above the water a little while, in order not to suffocate; then they [90] knock them down with their paddles, or kill them with arrows. When this animal has gained the land, it usually saves itself by hiding in its hole. It is called Muskrat because, in fact, a part of its body smells of musk, if caught in the Spring,預t other times, it has no odor.

On the twenty-first, I left three Rivers to come to Kebec, in order to be there, according to the wish of the Fathers, at the coming of the ships. We expected them early, but they came very late, the bad weather having caused them to have a rough passage; we hoped to see them towards the end of May, and we had no news of them until the twenty-fifth of June, when a canoe arrived, sent from Tadoussac, which reported that a ship was at the Island of Bic, and that five or six more of them were coming, with the firm [91] determination to attack all those they found in the River without Commissions.

On the fourth of July, a shallop sent from Monsieur du Plessis Bochart, commandant of the fleet, gladdened all our French,預ssuring us of his coming, and that he was followed by eight strong ships, six for Tadoussac and two for Miscou, not including the one sent to Cape Breton and the coast of Acadia, to Monsieur the Commandant de Razilly.

On the tenth, a bark which was ascending the river brought us Father Pijart. At the same time, two of our Frenchmen, coining down from the Hurons, presented to us the letters of our Fathers who are in that country; so we received cheering news from all sides. On the one hand, the Father [page 45] testified to us that Your Reverence was sending us 4 Of our Fathers, and 2 of our Brothers, as a reinforcement, [92] and two other Fathers for the Residence of St. Charles; that a vast number of people cherished this Mission, and that Your Reverence, in the fulness of your heart, would every year give as many Gospel workers as the Mission could support; the zeal to come and suffer something in these countries for the glory of our Lord, being almost incredible. On the other hand, the good health of our Fathers among the Hurons, where they were reported dead, and the good disposition of those Peoples to receive the Christian truths, and the affection they bear us, make us bless the holy Name of God, and render him thanks for so many blessings as he is about to pour down upon this enterprise.

On the twelfth, Monsieur the Chevalier de la Roche-Jacquelin, commandant of the ship called "Sainct [93] Jacques," cast anchor before Kebec. Our Brother Pierre Feauté, having thanked him for his kindness, came to see us in our little House of nostre Dame des Anges. The next day our joy was increased by the arrival of Father Claude Quantin and of our Brother Pierre Tellier, who were brought in the ship of Captain de Nesle.

On the twentieth, Monsieur the General conveyed to us Father Mercier, whom he had brought in his bark. All these days were for us days of joy and contentment, seeing both our French and our Fathers in good health after much suffering upon the sea.

On the twenty-second of July, there was held an Assembly or Council between the French and the Hurons. Father Buteux, who had come down from [page 47] the Residence of the Conception, and I [94] participated therein. After public affairs, Monsieur de Champlain, our Governor, very affectionately recommended our Fathers, and the French who accompanied them, to these Tribes; he told them, through an interpreter, that if they wished to preserve and strengthen their friendship with the French, they must receive our belief and worship the God that we worshiped; that this would be very profitable to them, for God, being all-powerful, will bless and protect them, and make them victorious over their enemies; that the French will go in goodly numbers to their Country; that they will marry their daughters when they become Christians; that they will teach all their people to make hatchets, knives, and other things which are very necessary to them; and that for this purpose they must next year [95] bring many of their little boys, whom we will lodge comfortably, and will feed, instruct and cherish as if they were our little Brothers. And that, inasmuch as all the Captains could not come down there, they should hold a Council upon this matter in their Country, to which they should summon Echom,擁t is thus they call Father Brébeuf; and then, giving them a letter to bear to him, he added, " Here I inform the Father of all these points. He will be in your Assembly, and will make you a present that his Brothers send him; there you will show whether you truly love the French." I suggested these thoughts to Monsieur our governor, and he approved them; but he also amplified them with a thousand praises and a thousand proofs of affection towards our [96] Society. Monsieur the General also said a few words upon this subject, and did all he could to [page 49] let these Peoples know the high estimation in which the great Captains of France hold these Fathers that they send over to them; and all this was done to dispose them to recognize the God of the French and of the whole Universe. To this discourse a chief replied that they would not fail to deliver this letter, and to hold a Council upon the Matters proposed. That, as to the rest, their whole Nation loved all the French; and yet, notwithstanding this, the French loved only one of their Villages, since all those who had come up to their Country selected that as their dwelling place. They were answered that, up to the present, they had had only a few of our Frenchmen; and that, if they embraced our belief, they would have some of them [97] in all their villages.

At the conclusion of the Council, we went to see those who were to take on board Father le Mercier and Father Pijart, with their little baggage, to convey them into their Country; Father Brebeuf had designated certain ones to me in his letter, but several presented themselves. They gazed attentively at the Fathers, measured them with their eyes, asked if they were ill-natured, if they paddled well; then took them by the hands, and made signs to them that it would be necessary to handle the paddles well.

At last, on the twenty-third of the same month of July, our Savages, well pleased, embarked our two Fathers and a young French boy who has already passed a year in the country. I never saw persons more joyful than were these good Fathers; they had to go barefooted into the [98] bark ships, for fear of spoiling them, and they did this gayly, with glad eyes and faces, notwithstanding the sufferings they were about to encounter. I was reminded of [page 51] St. Andrew flying to the Cross. They were taken in three different canoes, the one that carried Father Pijart being the first ready, it went directly alongside, that is, of the ship of Monsieur the Chevalier, to say to him his last adieus and to thank him once more for very especial courtesies received from him while crossing in his ship from France to Tadoussac. After having saluted him, Monsieur the Chevalier had some prunes thrown into his canoe for the Savages who were taking him, and had the cannon fired off three times in his honor. These poor Barbarians were thrilled with delight, placing their hands over their mouths as a sign of astonishment.

[99] Father le Mercier came afterward in his canoe, to acknowledge the obligations he was under to Monsieur the General, and to take leave of him; the latter did not know how to express the interest he felt in those of our society who had come over with him in his ship. After the farewells, they also threw some prunes to his boatmen, the cannon of the ship and of the bark making these Savages understand that they must take good care of those whom our French Captains honored with so much affection.

In the midst of these ceremonies a laughable incident occurred. Father Buteux was starting at the same time to return to the three Rivers in a canoe; the Savages who were taking him, seeing the honors bestowed on the Fathers and the Savages who were going to the Hurons, turned, as [100] the other two canoes had done, to the ship where Monsieur the General and Monsieur the Chevalier were. Father Buteux called to them, " You must not go there; I am not going to the Hurons." It did not matter; since favors had there been bestowed upon those who [page 53] were taking our Fathers, these wished to taste some of them, as well as the others; so they were shown the same courtesy.

On the first day of August, Father Buteux wrote me from the three Rivers,謡here he had gone, as I have said,葉hat the Montaignais Savages had elected a new Captain, the one whom they had formerly called Capitanal having died the previous Autumn. This Capitanal was a man of good sense, and a great friend of the French. Assembling the Principal Men of his Nation at the time of his death, he charged them to preserve this good [101] understanding with his friends, telling them that, as a proof of the love he bore us, he would like, even after death, to live with us; and he straightway had himself carried from beyond the great river, where he was, to die near the new Settlement. He also asked to be borne to the grave by the hands of our French, for whom he designated a little present; in short, he begged that he might be buried near his friends. All this was granted him; Monsieur de Champlain has had a little enclosure placed around his grave, to distinguish it. If we had then been at three Rivers, I do not doubt that he would have died a Christian. I was very sorry when this man died; for he had shown in open Council that his purpose was to have the people [102] of his Nation settle near the fort of the Anguien river; he had spoken to me also about this in private. He was loved by his people and by the French; it was this Captain who delighted all his hearers by a Speech he made two years ago, which I mentioned at the time. If he still lived, he would without doubt favor what we are going to undertake this Spring, to be able [page 55] to make them, little by little, a sedentary people.

As it happens that these poor Barbarians have been for a long time accustomed to be idlers, it is hard for them to locate and cultivate the soil unless they are assisted. Our plan now is to see if some family is not willing to give up these wanderings; if one be found, we will in the spring employ three men to plant Indian corn near the new Settlement [103] at the three Rivers, with which these people are greatly pleased. If this family settles there during the winter, we will maintain them with corn from our harvest and from theirs, for they will also work; if they do not stay with us, we will withdraw our assistance and let them go.

It would be a great blessing for their bodies, for their souls, and for the traffic of these Gentlemen, if those Tribes were stationary, and if they became docile to our direction, which they will do, I hope, in the course of time. If they are sedentary, and if they cultivate the land, they will not die of hunger, as often happens to them in their wanderings; we shall be able to instruct them easily, and Beavers will greatly multiply. These animals are more prolific than our sheep in France, [104] the females bearing as many as five or six every year; but, when the Savages find a lodge of them, they kill all, great and small, male and female. There is danger that they will finally exterminate the species in this Region, as has happened among the Hurons, who have not a single Beaver, going elsewhere to buy the skins they bring to the storehouse of these Gentlemen. Now it will be so arranged that, in the course of time, each family of our Montaignais, if they become located, will take its own territory for hunting, without [page 57] following in the tracks of its neighbors; besides, we will counsel them not to kill any but the males, and of those only such as are large. If they act upon this advice, they will have Beaver meat and skins in the greatest abundance.

As to the men whom we wish to employ for the -assistance [105] of the Savages, Monsieur de Champlain has promised us that he would let us have those who are at the settlement of the three Rivers; for, ,as they have not cleared any land there for us, we .do not keep any workmen there, but merely two Fathers who care for the religious needs of our French. We will arrange for the wages and food of these workmen, according to the time we shall employ ,them in clearing and cultivating the land with our Savages; if I had the means of supporting a dozen, be the true way to gain the Savages. May for whom we enter into this project, bless his goodness, and open the ears of these poor abandoned People.

On the tenth of this month, Father Masse and Father Buteux wrote me [106] from the Residence of the Conception that it was reported there that the Hiroquois had destroyed seven canoes of the petite nation of the Algonquains; if this be true, the peace of which I have spoken above, is already broken, for our Montagnais allies of the Algonquains ill take sides with them.

I have heard a report, I do not know how true it is, that a certain Savage named "the Frog" [la Grenoüille], who acts as Captain here, has said that the Hiroquois, with whom he had made a treaty of peace, have incited them to kill some of the Hurons, and to make war against them. [page 59]

Those best informed believe that this is a ruse of those who trade with these Tribes, and who are striving to divert, through their agency, the Hurons from their commerce with our French; which would happen if our Montagnais made [107] war against them; and then they [the traders] would attract them to their Settlements, and there would result a very considerable injury to the Associated Gentlemen of the Company of New France.

On the seventeenth of the same month of August, Father de Quen arrived at Kebec in a shallop which Captain Bontemps sent to give the news of his arrival at Tadoussac. Now as frightful icebergs have been seen this year upon the sea,-among others, one from thirty to forty, others say sixty leagues in extent, so large that a Pilot has assured me that he coasted along it for three days and three nights having a fair wind astern, and that in some places it had level plains, in others it rose into hills and high mountains: and since some Turkish vessels had been seen sailing out [108] of the English Channel, and some damaged ships floating here and there on the sea without masts and without sails,謡hich are believed to have been captured by those infidels, who often abandon ships which they plunder, after having robbed them of all they contain:' now as all these reports were being circulated, we had all lost hope of seeing Captain Bontemps, the season for sailing to this country having passed. It was this that made his unexpected arrival give us all the more joy, for we would have been sorry if so brave a Captain and so fine a crew had been lost. Father de Quen related to us the cause of their delay, and gave us reason to thank God, who drew them back [page 61] from the shades of death, saving them from a shipwreck which seemed inevitable.

On the twenty-sixth of the same month [109] a young man who came over into New France as a volunteer Soldier, in the ship commanded by Monsieur the Chevalier de la Roche Jacquelin, publicly abjured the errors of Calvin, and embraced the Christian and Catholic truths. Monsieur the Chevalier, seeing he had a very good disposition, and having inclined him to lend us an ear, himself took the trouble to bring him to our little House, where he afterwards came to see me several times alone, to confer with me. Finally, after having enlightened him upon the principal points of our belief, he desired to carry back to Old France the treasure of truth which God had led him to find in the New.

On the twenty-seventh of the same month, we saw, towards nine [110] o'clock in the evening or thereabout, a great eclipse of the Moon, which in my opinion did not appear in France until two or three hours after midnight.

But it is time to drop my pen, which will not be able this year to answer several letters that a bark which goes down to Tadoussac will bring us after the departure of the ships. It sometimes happens, either from forgetfulness or for some other reason, that they deliver the letters after the fleet has already set sail, so that we cannot send the answers the same year. As to our Frenchmen and our Fathers who are in the country of the Hurons, answers to letters sent from France should not be expected until two years afterwards; indeed, even if letters addressed to them are given to us here [111] to hold for them, after the departure of the Hurons, who come down [page 63] to Kebec only once a year, the answers will not be carried to France until the end of three years. I have given this information purposely, so as to excuse ourselves to persons who have done us the honor of writing to us, and who do not get their answers the same year, and sometimes do not get them at all, the letters or the replies being lost in so great a lapse of time and so long a journey. I pray God that these may arrive safely, together with all the fleet; they will bear to your Reverence, as a final conclusion, a very humble supplication to remember, at the Altar and in the Oratory, our poor Savages, and all of us who are your children,容specially me, [112] who have more need of it than the others, and who will call myself, with your permission, what I am,


You will permit me, if you please, to implore the prayers of all our Fathers and of all our Brothers in your Province,預s, moreover, do all of us,悠 who am,

At the Residence of nostre Dame des Anges, near Kebec, in New France, this 28th of August, 1635.

Your very humble and greatly obliged servant in our Lord,



Father Charles l'Allemant.

Father François Mercier.

Father Jean Brebeuf.

Father Charles Turgis.

Father Jean Daniel.

Father Charles du Marché.

Father Ambroise d'Avost.

Father Claude Quantin.

Father Anne de Noüe.

Father Jacques Buteux.

Father Enemond Masse.

Father jean de Quen.

Father Antoine Richard.

Father Pierre Pijart.

[page 65]

And our Brothers Gilbert Burel, jean Liegeois, Pierre le Tellier, Pierre Feauté.

[page 67]

[113] Relation of what occurred among the Hurons in the year 1635.

Sent to Kebec to Father le Jeune, by Father Brebeuf.


I send you an account of our journey into this Huron Country. It has been filled with more fatigues, losses and expenses than the other, but also has been followed, and will be, God aiding, by more of Heaven's blessings.

[114] When last year, one thousand six hundred and thirty-four, we arrived at the three Rivers, where the trading post was, we found ourselves in several difficulties and perplexities. For, on the one hand, there were only eleven Huron canoes to embark our ten additional persons who were intending to go into their Country. On the other, we were greatly in doubt whether any others would descend this year, considering the great loss they had experienced in war with the Hiroquois, named Sonontrerrhonons, last Spring, and the fear they had of a new invasion. This placed us much in doubt whether we ought to take advantage of the opportunity which was presented, or wait for a better one.

At last, after full consideration, we [11] resolved to try our fortune, judging that it was of vital importance to have a footing in the Country in order to open the door which seemed firmly closed to the Faith. This resolution was far easier than the execution of it, which perchance would have been [page 69] impossible without the care, the favor, and the liberality of Monsieur du Plessis Bochard, General of the fleet. For immediately after his arrival, which was on the fifth of July, 1634, he held a Council with the Bissiriniens, to whom he proposed the plan he had of sending some men with them, and of joining us to the Hurons. They made several objections, and one of the Chiefs of the Island, named " the Partridge " [la Perdrix], more than all the rest; nevertheless, arguments and presents won them over.

The next morning, the Assembly met again, by the command [116] of Monsieur du Plessis Bochard, and both the Bissiriniens and the Hurons were present. The same plan was again presented to them; but out of respect for one another they all agreed not to embark any Frenchmen; and no arguments could, for the time being, move them. Thereupon our enterprise seemed again cut off, by this action. But, at the close of the Assembly, one of the Attiguenongha, drawing me aside, asked me to visit him in his cabin. There he gave me to understand that he and his companion would embark three of us. I replied that we could not go unless five went, namely, we three and two of our men.

Thereupon the Arendarhonons became eager to embark us; we found place for six, and so we resolved to [117] set out, and leave until some other time the two little boys we were to take. We began to distribute our baggage, and made presents to each one, to encourage them; and on the morrow, the seventh of the month, Monsieur du Plessis Bochard gave them still others, on the single consideration that they would embark us, and feasted all of them at a great feast of three large kettles. But the [page 71] contagion which spread among all these Tribes last year, with great destruction, having suddenly seized several of our Savages, and filled the rest with fear, again threw us into confusion, and put us to great trouble, seeing that we had to set out immediately. Our six canoes being reduced to three, and our two Fathers and I being disembarked, [118] I had to find new men, to unload our slender baggage, to decide who should embark and who should remain, to choose among our packages those we were to carry, and to give orders as to the rest, -and all this in less than half an hour, when we would have needed entire days. Nevertheless, recognizing clearly that our embarkment was a decisive stroke for Heaven, we thought it necessary to put forth our utmost energies to resist the efforts of the common enemy of man's salvation, who, we doubted not, was mixed up in this matter. I therefore did everything I could; we doubled the presents, we reduced the amount of our baggage, and took only what belonged to the holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and what was absolutely necessary for life. Monsieur [119] du Plessis interposed his authority, Monsieur Oliver and Monsieur Coullart their ingenuity, and all the Frenchmen their affection. Yet several times I was completely baffled and desperate, until I had special recourse to our Lord Jesus, for whose glory alone we were undertaking this painful journey, and until I had made a vow to glorious saint Joseph, the new Patriarch of the Hurons. Immediately I saw everything become quiet, and our Savages so satisfied that those who embarked Father Daniel had already placed him in their canoe, and it seemed as if they were going to take him without even receiving the ordinary pay. [page 73] But the Father, seeing that they had not cloaks like the others, stepped out of the canoe, told me about it, and I had some given to them.

At last, then, after having briefly [120] thanked Monsieur du Plessis, having entrusted to him the embarkation of the rest of our people, if opportunity presented itself, and having bid him and all our Frenchmen adieu, I embarked with Father Antoine Daniel and one of our men; the two others were coming with the Algonquains. Monsieur du Plessis honored our departure with several volleys, to recommend us still more to our Savages. It was the seventh of July. Father Ambroise Davost embarked eight days later, with two others of our people. The rest followed eight days after, to take their part in the fatigues of a journey extremely wearisome, not only on account of its length and of the wretched fare to be had, but also on account of the circuits that have to be made in coming from Kebec to this place by way of the Bissiriniens and the petite Nation; I [121] believe that they amount to more than three hundred leagues. It is true the way is shorter by the Saut de St. Louys and the Lake of the Hiroquois; but the fear of enemies, and the few conveniences to be met with, cause that route to be unfrequented. Of two ordinary difficulties, the chief is that of the rapids and portages. Your Reverence has already seen enough of the rapids near Kebec to know what they are. All the rivers of this Country are full of them, and notably the St. Lawrence after that of the Prairies is passed. For from there onward it has no longer a smooth bed, but is broken up in several places, rolling and leaping in a frightful way, like an impetuous torrent; and even, in some places, it falls [page 75] down suddenly from a height of several brasses. I remembered, [122] in passing, the Cataracts of the Nile, as they are described by our Historians. Now when these rapids or torrents are reached, it is necessary to land, and carry on the shoulder, through woods or over high and troublesome rocks, all the baggage and the canoes themselves. This is not done without much work; for there are portages of one, two, and three leagues, and for each several trips must be made, no matter how few packages one has. In some places, where the current is not less strong than in these rapids, although easier at first, the Savages get into the water, and haul and guide by hand their canoes with extreme difficulty and danger; for they sometimes get in up to the neck and are compelled to let go their hold, saving themselves as best they can from the rapidity of the water, which snatches [123] from them and bears off their canoe. This happened to one of our Frenchmen who remained alone in the canoe, all the Savages having left it to the mercy of the torrent; but his skill and strength saved his life, and the canoe also, with all that was in it. I kept count of the number of portages, and found that we carried our canoes thirty-five times, and dragged them at least fifty. I sometimes took a hand in helping my Savages; but the bottom of the river is full of stones, so sharp that I could not walk long, being barefooted.

The second ordinary difficulty is in regard to provisions. Frequently one has to fast, if he misses the caches that were made when descending; and, even if they are found, one does not fail to have a good appetite after indulging in them; for the ordinary food is only a little Indian corn [124] coarsely broken [page 77] between two stones, and sometimes taken whole in pure water; it is no great treat. Occasionally one has fish, but it is only a chance, unless one is passing some Tribe where they can be bought. Add to these difficulties that one must sleep on the bare earth, or on a hard rock, for lack of a space ten or twelve feet square on which to place a wretched hut; that one must endure continually the stench of tired-out Savages; and must walk in water, in mud, in the obscurity and entanglement of the forest, where the stings of an infinite number of mosquitoes and gnats are a serious annoyance.

I say nothing of the long and wearisome silence to which one is reduced, I mean in the case of newcomers, who have, for the time, no person in their company who speaks their own tongue, and who do not understand [125] that of the Savages. Now these difficulties, since they are the usual ones, were common to us as to all those who come into this Country. But on our journey we all had to encounter difficulties which were unusual. The first was that we were compelled to paddle continually, just as much as the Savages; so that I had not the leisure to recite my Breviary except when I lay down to sleep, when I had more need of rest than of work. The other was that we had to carry our packages at the portages, which was as laborious for us as it was new, and still more for others than it was for me, who already knew a little what it is to be fatigued. At every portage I had to make at least four trips, the others had scarcely fewer. I had once before made the journey to the Hurons, but I did not then ply [126] the paddles, nor carry burdens; nor did the other Religious who made the same journey. [page 79] But, in this journey, we all had to begin by these experiences to bear the Cross that Our Lord presents to us for his honor, and for the salvation of these poor Barbarians. In truth, I was sometimes so weary that the body could do no more, but at the same time my soul experienced very deep peace, considering that I was suffering for God; no one knows it if he has not experienced it. All did not get off so cheaply.

Father, Davost, among others, was very badly treated. They stole from him much of his little outfit. They compelled him to throw away a little steel mill, and almost all our books, some linen, and a good part [127] of the paper that we were taking, and of which we have great need. They deserted him at the Island, among the Algonquains, where he suffered in good earnest. When he reached the Hurons, he was so worn-out and dejected that for a long time he could not get over it.

Father Daniel was abandoned, and compelled to seek another canoe, as also was Pierre, one of our men. Little Martin was very roughly treated, and at last was left behind with the Bissiriniens, where he remained so long that he was about two months on the road, and only arrived among the Hurons on the nineteenth of September. Baron was robbed by his savages on the very day he arrived in these regions; and he would have lost much more if he had not compelled them, through fear of his arms, to give him back a part of what they had taken. In short, [128] all the Frenchmen suffered great hardships, incurred great expense, considering the few goods they had, and ran remarkable risks. And whosoever will come up here must make up his mind [page 81] to all this, and to something more, even to death itself, whose Image we see every moment before our eyes. For myself, -not knowing how to swim, I once had a very narrow escape from drowning. As we were leaving the Bissiriniens, while descending a rapid we would have gone over a precipice, had not my Savages promptly and skillfully leaped into the water, to turn aside the canoe which the current was sweeping on. It is probable that the others might say as much, and more, considering the number of such incidents there are. Three other difficulties gave trouble to me in particular. The first [129] was the importunity of my men, at the start to hide somewhere a box that one of our Frenchmen had put into our canoe. The second was anxiety for those of our men we had left behind. The third, that the Algonquains, through whose territory we were passing, ,tried to intimidate us, saying that the Hurons would kill us as they had Brulé, and desiring to keep us among them, with abundant demonstrations of good will. Since our arrival, I have learned that the Master of my canoe had proposed to land me somewhere with my little baggage, but that his proposal had been at once repelled, and so I saw no sign of anything of the kind. All that, thank God, did not trouble me much; for having declared to them [130] that I would myself carry the box about which the trouble arose, although they had received pay to carry it, I resigned myself as far, as everything else was concerned, to the will of God, ready to die for the honor of his Son, our good Lord, and for the savation of these poor Peoples.

I do not know when thev spoke of leaving me; it my Savages exhibited so much affection for me, [page 83] and said so much that is kind about us to others, that they excited the desire in all the Hurons we met to embark some one of our people. This makes me doubt the truth of what has been said about the Master of my canoe. For those who had embarked Father Daniel and Baron wished to leave them at the Island; but the Master of the canoe in which Father Daniel was, seeing him dissatisfied at that, caused him to embark at once, and carried him until they met [131] the Captain of la Rochelle, who, knowing the Father from having wished to take him last year, willingly received him with his two packages into his canoe. It pleased him, and the Savages also; for the Father would have still had much trouble in a wretched canoe which had only three sick men in it, whose home was twelve leagues distant from ours; this Captain lived at a village where we had some intention of settling, and quite near the place where we are. Besides, his canoe was strong, and manned by six powerful Savages, quite healthy and good-natured. This happy exchange happened to him the morning of the day before the festival of saint Ignace, he having been shipwrecked twice the previous day. As to Baron, had it not been for the Captain of the Island, who caused his baggage to be put back into the canoes, [132] he would have remained there. Still, his people were not so barbarous as formerly were those who brought back one of our Frenchmen from the Hurons to Kebec. This young man, surnamed la Marche, would have died in the woods, if we had not had the care and the interest to send back in search of him more than a league from the place where we missed him.

Sometimes a word. or a dream, or a fancy, or even [page 85] the smallest sense of inconvenience, is enough to cause them to illtreat, or set ashore, and I dare say to murder one, - as happened last year to a poor Algonquain, who was abandoned in a rapid by his own nephew; and, not a month ago, a poor young man, also an Algonquain, having fallen into the fire, was killed near our village by his own Tribesmen, for fear he might [133] be an inconvenience in the canoe. What makes me believe they killed him is that it is the custom among them; that the Hurons said so; and that, the evening before, he ate heartily a good quantity of what we gave him; besides, two Algonquains assured us that they had a mind to brain him with one or two blows of an axe. Your Reverence has seen or known of similar cases in your winter's stay among the Savages. In a word, he who thinks of coming here must make up his mind to many obvious dangers and to great fatigues. I attribute, nevertheless, all these extraordinary difficulties to the sickness among our Savages. For we know very well how sickness alters the disposition and the inclinations even of the most sociable. I know not at what price our French and the Montagnais [134] will have become rid of it. I know, indeed, that the greater part of the Montagnais who were at the three Rivers when we embarked were sick, and that many of them died; and also that almost no one who returned by canoe from trading, was not afflicted with this contagion. It has been so universal among the Savages of our acquaintance that I do not know if one has escaped its attacks. All these poor people have been much inconvenienced by it, particularly during the Autumn, as much in their fishing as in their harvesting. Many crops are lying beneath the [page 87] snow; a large number of persons are dead; there are still some who have not recovered. This sickness began with violent fever, which was followed by a sort of measles or smallpox, different, [135] however, from that common in France, accompanied in several cases by blindness for some days, or by dimness of sight, and terminated at length by diarrh彗 which has carried off many and is still bringing some to the grave.

Among these troubles and dangers, we owe much to the care and fatherly goodness of our Lord; for neither on the journey hither, nor while in this Country, has one of us been taken with this sickness, nor yielded to hunger, nor lost appetite. Some have had since then light attacks of sickness, but they have passed away in a few days. Our Lord be forever praised, and the most immaculate Virgin with her most chaste Spouse, for this singular favor, which has aided us much in giving authority to our Faith among these Peoples.

[136] I arrived among the Hurons on the fifth of August, the day of our Lady of the Snows, after being thirty days on the road in continual work, except one day of rest, which we took in the country of the Bissiriniens. All the others, except Robert le Coq and Dominique, took much longer; although usually the journey is only 20 days, or thereabout. I landed at the port of the village of Toanché or of Teandeouïata, where we had formerly lived; but it was with a little misfortune, our Lord wishing us to recognize from the beginning that he is calling us here to suffer. My Savages,庸orgetting the kindness I had lavished upon them and the help I had afforded them in their sickness, and notwithstanding [page 89] all the fair words and promises they had given me,預fter having [137] landed me with some Church ornaments and some other little outfit, left me there quite alone, without any provisions and without shelter, and resumed their route toward their villages, some seven leagues distant. My trouble was that the village of Toanché had changed since my departure, and that I did not know precisely in what place it was situated. The shore being no longer frequented, I could not easily ascertain my way; and, if I had known it, I could not from weakness have carried all my little baggage at once; nor could I risk, in that place, doing this in two trips. That is why I entreated my Savages to accompany me as far as the village, or at least to sleep on the shore for the night, to watch my clothes while I went to make inquiries. But their cars were deaf [138] to my prayers and my remonstrances. The only consolation they gave me was to tell me that some one would find me there. I was obliged to be patient; they went away, and I prostrated myself at once upon my knees to thank God, our Lady, and saint Joseph, for the favors and mercies I had received during the voyage. I saluted the tutelary Angel of the Country, and offered myself to our Lord, with all our little labors, for the salvation of these poor Peoples, taking hope that God would not abandon me there, since he had preserved and led me with so many favors. Then, having considered that this shore was deserted, and that I might indeed remain there a long time before any one in the village would come to find me, I hid my packages in the woods; and, taking with me what was most precious, I set out to find the [139] village, which fortunately I came upon at about [page 91] three-quarters of a league,揺aving seen with tenderness and emotion, as I passed along, the place where we had lived, and had celebrated the Holy sacrifice of the Mass during three years, now turned into a fine field; and also the site of the old village, where, except one cabin, nothing remained but the ruins of the others. I saw likewise the spot where poor Estienne Brulé was barbarously and traitorously murdered, which made me think that perhaps some day they might treat us in the same manner, and to desire at least that it might be while we were earnestly seeking the glory of Our Lord. As soon as I was perceived in the village, some one cried out, " Why, there is Echom come again " (that is the name they give me); and at once every one came out to salute and welcome me, each calling me by name and [1401 saying: " What, Echom, my nephew, my brother, my cousin, hast thou then come again? " But without stopping, for night was approaching, I found a place to lodge; and, having rested a short time, I quickly set out with a volunteer band of young people to bring my slender baggage. It was an hour after sunset when we returned to the village. I lodged with a man named Aouandoïé, who is, or at least was, one of the richest of the Hurons. I did this on purpose, because another with smaller means might have been inconvenienced with the large number of Frenchmen whom I was expecting, and who had to be provided with food and shelter until we had all gathered together, and our cabin was ready. You can lodge where you please; for this Nation above all others is exceedingly hospitable towards all sorts [141] of persons, even toward Strangers; and you may remain as long as you please, being always [page 93] well treated according to the fashion of the country. On going away, one acknowledges their hospitality by a ho, ho, ho, outoécti, or " many thanks! " at least among themselves; but from Frenchmen they expect some recompense, always at one's discretion. It is quite true that not all are equally hospitable, there are some more and some less so. My host is one of the first in this virtue; and perhaps it is on this account that God has crowned him until now with temporal blessings, and has preserved him among all his Fellow Countrymen; for their village, named Teandeouïhata, having been burned twice, each time his house alone escaped the conflagration. Some attribute this to chance; for myself, I ascribe it to a [142] nobler cause, and so I recall a fine trait, call it prudence or call it humanity, which he displayed on the occasion of the first conflagration. For jealousy having been enkindled against him, and some wishing to destroy his cabin that the fire had spared, at once he caused a large cauldron to be hung, prepared a good feast, invited the whole village, and, having assembled them, delivered this harangue: " My brethren, I am very deeply grieved at the misfortune that has happened; but what can we do about it? It is over. For myself, I know not what I have done for Heaven, to be spared before all others. Now, in order to testify to you my deep grief and my desire to share in the common misfortune, I have two bins of corn " (they held at least one hundred to one hundred and twenty bushels); " I give one of them freely to the whole [143] village." This action calmed their jealousy, and put an end to their wicked designs which they were already forming against him. It was a wise action, this losing a part to save the rest. [page 95]

I lodged therefore with this man, and lived there with our two Fathers and one of our people, for the space of more than a month and a half, until we took possession of our new cabin. Yet these poor Savages lavished upon us all possible kindnesses,耀ome influenced by their good natural disposition; others, by a few trifling gifts I made them, and the hope of some others.

I distributed the rest of our people in another cabin, to avoid the annoyance and inconvenience of being all in one lodging.

[144] That evening and the next day passed in the exchanges of affection, visits, salutations, and encouraging words from the whole village. On the following days, several from other villages, who were of my acquaintance, came to see me; and all took away with them, in exchange for their visit, some trifling presents. This is a small thing in detail, but on the whole it exerts a great influence and is of great importance in these regions. Some said to me: " What, Echom, and so thou hast come back! That's right; we were wishing and asking earnestly for thee" (adding their reasons), " and we were heartily glad when they told us that thou wert at Kebec, with the purpose of coming up here." Others said: "We are indeed very glad; the crops will no longer fail; during thy absence we have had nothing but famine." And, in truth, at our arrival there were, I believe, [145] only two families in the whole village who had a store of corn; all the others were going to buy elsewhere, and this was the case in several other villages. Since our arrival, there has been a very great abundance throughout the whole Country, [page 97] although in the Spring it was necessary to sow three times by reason of white frosts and worms.

In short, those of our village told me, If thou hadst not returned, the trade with the French was lost for us; for the Algonquains and even the Hurons of the other villages, threatened us with death if we went there on account of the murder of Brulé; but now we shall go to trade Without fear. "I was occupied some two weeks in visiting the villages, and bringing together, at much expense and trouble, all our party, who landed here and there, and who, not knowing [146] the language, could only have found us out after much toil. It is true that one of our men was able to come without any other address than these two words, Echom, Ihonatiria, which are my name and that of our village. Among all the French I do not find any who had more trouble than Father Davost and Baron; the Father from the wicked treatment of his Savages, Baron from the length of the journey. He occupied forty days on the road; often he was alone with a Savage, paddling in a canoe very large and very heavily laden. He had to carry all his packages himself; he had narrow escapes three or four times in the torrents; and, to crown his difficulties, much of his property was stolen. Truly, to come here much strength and patience are needed; and he who thinks of coming here [147] for any other than God, will have made a sad mistake.

Jean Nicolet, in the voyage that he made with us as far as the Island, suffered also all the hardships of one of the most robust Savages. Being at last all gathered together, we decided to dwell here at Ihonatiria, and to build here our cabin, for the following reasons: First, after having earnestly recommended [page 99] the matter to God, we judged that such was his will, because the harvest of souls is more ripe here than in any other place,預s much because of the acquaintance I have with the inhabitants of the place, and of the affection they showed for me formerly, as because they are already partly instructed in the Faith. In truth, we have baptized eight of them, of whom seven have gone to Heaven with the grace of Baptism, [148] and the whole village is of such a disposition that it is only a question of our readiness to baptize it. But we are waiting until they are better instructed, and until they have forsaken for good their principal superstitions.

Secondly, except this village there was only la Rochelle at which we might have had any inclination to stop, and that had been our intention from last year. All the inhabitants desired it very much, and invited us there, saying that we would be, as it were, in the center of the Nation, and adding other motives and reasons which pleased us well. Even on the road I entertained this thought, and only laid it aside a long time after my arrival here,耀o long, indeed, that we left for a considerable space of time the baggage of Father Daniel at this village of la Rochelle, with the Captain who [149] had received him into his canoe,擁ntending to carry the rest thither, and to abide there. But, having taken into account that they were intending this Spring to change the location of the place, as they have already done, we did not wish to build a cabin for one winter. Besides, although it is a desirable thing to gather more fruit, and to have more listeners in our assemblies, which would make us choose the large villages rather than the small, nevertheless, for a beginning we have [page 101] thought it more suitable to keep in the shadow, as it were, near a little village where the inhabitants are already disposed to associate with the French, than to put ourselves suddenly in a great one, where the people are not accustomed to our mode of doing things. To do otherwise would have been to expose new men, ignorant of the language, to a [150] numerous youth, who by their annoyances and mockery would have brought about some disturbance. Besides, if we had gone elsewhere the people of this village would have thought themselves still in disgrace with the French, and perhaps would have abandoned trade with them,容specially as during this last Winter Le Borgne of the Island, spread the report that Monsieur de Champlain did not wish us to remain there, on account of the death of Brulé, and that he was demanding four heads; and it is probable that, if we had not been here, and if we had not remained as pledges, several, fearing to be arrested for their own faults or for those of others, would not have returned again to the trade. Besides, these good people have claimed that we ought to remain among them if it were true that we loved them; " for," said they, [151] " if you go elsewhere, not only shall we have cause to fear on our own account, but for the whole Country besides, our interests being bound together. But, now that you take us for your hosts, we have no longer to fear as we would; for if you had chosen another place, and if some wicked person had done you harm, not only the French but the Hurons also would have blamed us for it. " I might bring forward some other reasons and considerations which are not to be despised,- as, for example, it would be a more convenient place, as [page 103] well for fish and game as for embarking. But the principal reason is the first I mentioned. Among the villages that wished to have us, the people of Oënrio have entreated us most. This little village, quite near [152] ours, used to be a part of the one in which we were formerly; but we have not judged it expedient for us to stop there this time, simply having recognized it to be best that from this village and from ours one should be formed at some other place, both for their common interests and for our own special functions and ministrations. We made, not long ago, some presents to both of them at the same time, for this purpose. Our presents have great influence among them, nevertheless they have not yet decided the question. Having, therefore, determined to stay where we are, the question of building a cabin arose. The cabins of this country are neither Louvres nor Palaces, nor anything like the buildings of our France, not even like the smallest cottages. They are, nevertheless, somewhat [153] better and more commodious than the hovels of the Montagnais. I cannot better express the fashion of the Huron dwellings than to compare them to bowers or garden arbors,耀ome of which, in place of branches and vegetation, are covered with cedar bark, some others with large pieces of ash, elm, fir, or spruce bark; and although the cedar bark is best, according to common opinion and usage, there is, nevertheless, this inconvenience, that they are almost as susceptible to fire as matches. Hence arise many of the conflagrations of entire villages; and, without going farther than this year, we have seen in less than ten days two large ones entirely consumed, and another, that of Louys, partially burned. [154] We have also [page 105] once seen our own cabin on fire; but, thank God, we extinguished it immediately. There are cabins or arbors of various sizes, some two brasses in length, others of ten, others of twenty, of thirty, of forty; the usual width is about four brasses, their height is about the same. There are no different stories; there is no cellar, no chamber, no garret. It has neither window nor chimney, only a miserable hole in the top of the cabin, left to permit the smoke to escape. This is the way they built ours for us.

The people of Oënrio and of our village were employed at this, by means of presents given them. It has cost us much exertion to secure its completion, not only [155] on account of the epidemic, which affected almost all the Savages, but on account of the coöperation of these two villages; for although the work was not great, yet those of our village followed the example of those of Oënrio, who, in hopes of finally attracting us to their village, simply amused themselves without advancing the work; we were almost into October before we were under cover. As to the interior, we have suited ourselves; so that, even if it does not amount to much, the Savages never weary of coming to see it, and, seeing it, to admire it. We have divided it into three parts. The first compartment, nearest the door, serves as an antechamber, as a storm door, and as a storeroom for our provisions, in the fashion of the Savages. The second is that in which we live, and is our kitchen, our [156] carpenter shop, our mill, or place for grinding the wheat, our Refectory, our parlor and our bedroom. On both sides, in the fashion of the Hurons, are two benches which they call Endicha, on which are boxes to hold our clothes and other little [page 107] conveniences; but below, in the place where the Hurons keep their wood, we have contrived some little bunks to sleep in, and to store away some of our clothing from the thievish hands of the Hurons. They sleep beside the fire, but still they and we have only the earth for bedstead; for mattress and pillows, some bark or boughs covered with a rush mat; for sheets and coverings, our clothes and some skins do duty. The third part of our cabin is also [157] divided into two parts by means of a bit of carpentry which gives it a fairly good appearance, and which is admired here for its novelty. In the one is our little Chapel, in which we celebrate every day holy Mass, and we retire there daily to pray to God. It is true that the almost continual noise they make usually hinders us,容xcept in the morning and evening, when everybody has gone away,預nd compels us to go outside to say our prayers. In the other part we put our utensils. The whole cabin is only six brasses long, and about three and a half wide. That is how we are lodged, doubtless not so well that we may not have in this abode a good share of rain, snow, and cold. However, as I have said, they never cease coming [158] to visit us from admiration, especially since we have put on two doors, made by a carpenter, and since our mill and our clock have been set to work. It would be impossible to describe the astonishment of these good people, and how much they admire the intelligence of the French. But they have said all when they have said they are ondaki, that is, Demons; and indeed we make profitable use of this word when we talk to them: " Now, my brothers, you have seen that and admired it, and you think you are right, when you see something extraordinary, in saying [page 109] ondaki, to declare that those who make so many marvels must be Demons. And what is there so wonderful as the beauty of the Sky and the Sun? What is there so wonderful as to see every year the trees almost dead during the Winter, all bare and disfigured, resume [159] without fail, every Spring, a new life and a new dress? The corn that you plant rots, and from its decay spring up such beautiful stalks and better ears. And yet you do not say, 'He who made so many beauties, and who every year displays before our eyes so many marvels, must be some beneficent oki, and some supereminent intelligence,' " etc. No one has come who has not wished to turn the mill; nevertheless we have not used it, inasmuch as we have learned by experience that our Sagamités are better pounded in a wooden mortar, in the fashion of the Savages, than ground within the mill. I believe it is because the mill makes the flour too fine. As to the clock, a thousand things are said of it. They all think [160] it is some living thing, for they cannot imagine how it sounds of itself; and, when it is going to strike, they look to see if we are all there and if some one has not hidden, in order to shake it.

They think it hears, especially when, for a joke, some one of our Frenchmen calls out at the last stroke of the hammer, " That's enough," and then it immediately becomes silent. They call it the Captain of the day. When it strikes, they say it is speaking; and they ask when they come to see us how many times the Captain has already spoken. They ask us about its food; they remain a whole hour, and sometimes several, in order to be able to hear it speak. They used to ask at first what it said. We told them two [161] things that they have [page 111] remembered very well; one, that when it sounded four o'clock of the afternoon, during winter, it was saying, " Go out, go away that we may close the door," for immediately they arose, and went out. The other, that at midday it said, yo eiouahaoua, that is, " Come, put on the kettle; " and this speech is better remembered than the other, for some of these spongers never fail to come at that hour, to get a share of our Sagamité. They eat at all hours, when they have the wherewithal, but usually they have only two meals a day, in the morning and in the evening; consequently they are very glad during the day to take a share with us.

Speaking of their expressions of admiration, I might here set down several on the subject of the lodestone, into which they looked to see if there was [162] some paste; and of a glass with eleven facets, which represented a single object as many times; of a little phial in which a flea appears as large as a beetle; of the prism, of the joiner's tools; but above all of the writing, for they could not conceive how, what one of us, being in the village, had said to them, and put down at the same time in writing, another, who meanwhile was in a house far away, could say readily on seeing the writing. I believe they have made a hundred trials of it. All this serves to gain their affections, and to render them more docile when we introduce the admirable and incomprehensible mysteries of our Faith; for the belief they have in our intelligence and capacity causes them to accept without reply what we say to them.

[163] It remains now to say something of the country, of the manners and customs of the Hurons, of [page 113] the inclination they have to the Faith, and of our insignificant labors.

As to the first, the little paper and leisure we have compels me to say in a few words what might justly fill a volume. The Huron country is not large, its greatest extent can be traversed in three or four days. Its situation is fine, the greater part of it consisting of plains. It is surrounded and intersected by a number of very beautiful lakes or rather seas, whence it comes that the one to the North and to the Northnorthwest is called "fresh-water sea" [mer douce]. We pass through it in coming from the Bissiriniens. The soil of this country is quite sandy, although not equally so. However, it produces a quantity of very good Indian corn, and one may [164] say that it is the granary of most of the Algonquains. There are twenty Towns, which indicate about 30,000 souls speaking the same tongue, which is not difficult to one who has a master. It has distinction of genders, number, tense, person, moods; and, in short, it is very complete and very regular, contrary to the opinion of many. I am rejoiced to find that this language is common to some twelve other Nations, all settled and numerous; these are, the Conkhandeenrhonons, khionontaterrhonons, Atiouandaronks, Sonontoerrhonons, Onontaerrhonons, Oüioenrhonons, Onoiochrhonons, Agnierrhonons, Andastoerrhonons, Scahentoarrhonons, Rhiierrhonons, and Ahouenrochrhonons. The Hurons are friends of all these people, except the Sonontoerrhonons, Onontaerrhonons, Oüioenrhonons, Onoiochrhonons [165] and Agnierrhonons, all of whom we comprise under the name Hiroquois. But they have Already made peace with the Sonontoerrhonons, since they were defeated by them a year past in the Spring. [page 115]

The deputies of the whole Country have gone to Sonontoen to confirm this peace, and it is said that the Onontaerhonons, Oüioenrhonons, Ouiochrhonons and Agnierrhonons wish to become parties to it. But that is not certain; if it were, a noble door would be open to the Gospel. They wanted me to go to this Sonontoen, but I did not judge it wise to go yet into any other part, until we have better established here the foundation of the Gospel Law, and until we have drawn a line by which the other Nations that shall be converted may guide themselves. Indeed, I would not go to any place where [166] we would not be immediately recognized as Preachers of Jesus Christ.

It is so clear, so evident that there is a Divinity who has made Heaven and earth, that our Hurons cannot entirely ignore it. And although the eyes of their minds are very much obscured by the darkness of a long ignorance, by their vices and sins, they still see something of it. But they misapprehend him grossly, and, having the knowledge of God, they do not render him the honor, the love, nor the service which is his due. For they have neither Temples, nor Priests, nor Feasts, nor any ceremonies.

They say that a certain woman named Eataentsic is the one who made earth and men. They give her an assistant, one named Jouskeha, whom they declare to be her little son, with whom she governs [167] the world. This Jouskeha has care of the living, and of the things that concern life, and consequently they say that he is good. Eataentsic has care of souls, and, because they believe that she makes men die, they say that she is wicked. And there are among them mysteries so hidden that only the old men, who [page 117] can speak with credit and authority about them, are believed. Whence it comes that a certain young man, who was talking to me about this, said boastingly, " Am I not very learned? " Some told me that the house of these two Divinities is at the end of the world to the East. Now with them the world does not pass beyond their Country, that is, America. Others place their abode in the middle.

This God and Goddess live like themselves, but without famine; make feasts as they do, are lustful as they; in short, they imagine them [168] exactly like themselves. And still, though they make them human and corporeal, they seem nevertheless to attribute to them a certain immensity in all places. They say that this Eataentsic fell from the Sky, where there are inhabitants as on earth; and, when she fell, she was with child. If you ask them who made the Sky and its inhabitants, they have no other reply than that they know nothing about it. And when we preach to them of one God, Creator of Heaven and earth, and of all things, and even when we talk to them of Hell and Paradise and of our other mysteries, the headstrong savages reply that this is good for our Country and not for theirs; that every Country has its own fashions. But having pointed out to them, by means of a little globe that we had brought, that there is [169] only one world, they remain without reply. I find in their marriage customs two things that greatly please me; the first, that they have only one wife; the second, that they do not marry their relatives in a direct or collateral line, however distant they may be. There is, on the other hand, sufficient to censure, were it only the frequent changes the men make of their wives, and the women [page 119] of their husbands. They believe in the immortality of the soul, which they believe to be corporeal. The greatest part of their Religion consists in this point. There are, besides, only superstitions, which we hope by the grace of God to change into true Religion, and, like spoils carried off from the enemy, to consecrate them to the honor of our Lord, and to profit by them for their special advantage. Certainly, if, [170] should they some day be Christians, these superstitions help them in proportion to what they do for them now in vain, it will be necessary that we yield to them, or that we imitate them; for they spare nothing, not even the most avaricious. We have seen several stripped, or almost so, of all their goods, because several of their friends were dead, to whose souls they had made presents. Moreover, dogs, deer, fish, and other animals have, in their opinion, immortal and reasonable souls. In proof of this, the old men relate certain fables, which they represent as true; they make no mention either of punishment or reward, in the place to which souls go after death. And so they do not make any distinction between the good and the bad, the virtuous and the vicious; [171] and they honor equally the interment of both, even as we have seen in the case of a young man who had poisoned himself from the grief he felt because his wife had been taken away from him. Their superstitions are infinite; their feasts, their medicines, their fishing, their hunting, their wars,擁n short, almost their whole life turns upon this pivot; dreams, above all, have here great credit.

This whole country, and I believe it is the same elsewhere, is not lacking in wicked men, who, from motives of envy or vengeance, or from other cause, [page 121] poison or bewitch, and, in short, put to death sooner or later those whom they wish to injure. When such people are caught, they are put to death on the spot, without any form of trial, and there is no disturbance about it. As too ther murders, they [172]are avenged upon the whole Nation of the murderer; so that is the only class I know about that they put to death with impunity. I knew indeed a girl that stole, who was at once killed without any inquiry, but it was by her own brother. If some traitor appears, who is planning the ruin of the Country, they endeavor in common to get rid of him as soon as possible; but these accidents are very rare.

They say that the Sorcerers ruin them; for if any one has succeeded in an enterprise, if his trading or hunting is successful, immediately these wicked men bewitch him, or some member of his family, so that they have to spend it all in Doctors and Medicines. Hence, to cure these and other diseases, there are a large number of Doctors whom they call Arendiouane. These persons, in [173] my opinion, are true Sorcerers, who have access to the Devil. Some only judge of the evil, and that in divers ways, namely, by Pyromancy, by Hydromancy, Necromancy, by feasts, dances, and songs; the others endeavor to cure the .disease by blowing, by potions, and by other ridiculous tricks, which have neither any virtue nor natural efficacy. But neither class do anything without generous presents and good pay.

There are here some Soothsayers, whom they call also Arendiouane and who undertake to cause the rain to fall or to cease, and to predict future events. The Devil reveals to them some secrets, but with so much obscurity that one is unable to accuse them of falsehood; [page 123] witness one of the village of Scanonaenrat [174] who, a little while before the burning of the villages before mentioned, had seen in a dream three flames falling from the Sky on those villages. But the Devil had not declared to him the meaning of this enigma; for, having obtained from the village a white dog, to make a feast with it and to seek information by it, he remained as ignorant afterward as before.

Lastly, when I was in the house of Louys de saincte Foy, an old woman, a sorceress, or female soothsayer of that village, said she had seen those who had gone to the war, and that they were bringing back a prisoner. We shall see if she has spoken the truth. Her method is by pyromancy. She draws for you in her hut the lake of the Hiroquois; then on one side she makes as many fires as there are persons who have gone on [175] the expedition, and on the other as many fires as they have enemies to fight. Then, if her spell succeeds, she lets it be understood that the fires from this side have run over, and that signifies that the warriors have already crossed the lake. One fire extinguishing another marks an enemy defeated; but if it attracts it to itself without extinguishing it, that is a prisoner taken at mercy. It is thus,葉o finish my discourse, which would be too long if I tried to say everything,葉hat the Devil amuses this poor people, substituting his impieties and superstitions in place of the compliance they ought to have with the providence of God, and the worship they ought to render him.

As regards morals, the Hurons are lascivious, although in two leading points less so than many Christians, who will blush [176] some day in their [page 125] presence. You will see no kissing nor immodest caressing; and in marriage a man will remain two or three years apart from his wife, while she is nursing. They are gluttons, even to disgorging; it is true, that does not happen often, but only in some superstitious feasts,葉hese, however, they do not attend willingly. Besides, they endure hunger much better than we,耀o well that after having fasted two or three entire days you will see them still paddling, carrying loads, singing, laughing, bantering, as if they had dined well. They are very lazy, are liars, thieves, pertinacious beggars. Some consider them vindictive; but, in my opinion, this vice is more noticeable elsewhere than here. We see shining among them some rather noble moral [177] virtues. You note, in the first place, a great love and union, which they are careful to cultivate by means of their marriages, of their presents, of their feasts, and of their frequent visits. On returning from their fishing, their hunting, and their trading, they exchange many gifts; if they have thus obtained something unusually good, even if they have bought it, or if it has been given to them, they make a feast to the whole village with it. Their hospitality towards all sorts of strangers is remarkable; they present to them in their feasts the best of what they have prepared, and, as I have already said, I do not know if anything similar, in this regard, is to be found elsewhere. I think I have read, in the lives of the Fathers, that a Pagan army was converted on seeing the charity and hospitality of a Christian town, the inhabitants of which vied with each other in [178] caressing and feasting the Strangers,曜udging well that those must profess the true Religion and worship the true God, the common Father of all, [page 127] who had hearts so benign and who did so much good to all sorts of persons, without distinction. We have also hope that our Lord will give at last the light of his knowledge, and will communicate the fire of his graces, to this Nation, which he seems to have disposed thereto by the practice of this noble virtue. They never close the door upon a Stranger, and, once having received him into their houses, they share with him the best they have; they never send him away, and, when he goes away of his own accord, he repays them with a simple, "thank you." This makes me hope that, if once it pleases God to illumine them, they will respond perfectly [179] to the grace and inspiration of his Son. And, since he has come as a Stranger into his own house, I promise myself that these good people will receive him at all hours into their hearts without making him wait too long on account of their hardness, without withholding from him anything in the whole range of their affections, without betraying him or driving him outside by any serious fault, and without claiming anything in his service other than his honor and glory; which is all the fidelity one can ask in a soul for the good use and holy employment of the favors of Heaven.

What shall I say of their strange patience in their poverty, famine, and sickness? We have seen this year whole villages prostrated, their food a little insipid sagamité; and yet not a word of complaint, not a movement [180] of impatience. They receive indeed the news of death with more constancy than those Christian Gentlemen and Ladies to whom one would not dare to mention it. Our Savages hear of it not only without despair, but without troubling themselves, without the slightest pallor or change of [page 129] countenance. We have especially admired the constancy of our new Christians. The next to the last one who died, named Joseph Oatij, lay on the bare ground during four or five months, not only before but after his Baptism, -so thin that he was nothing but bones; in a lodge so wretched that the winds blew in on all sides; covered during the cold of winter with a very light skin of some black animals, perhaps black squirrels, and very poorly nourished. He was never heard to make a complaint, however. May our Lord Jesus Christ be ever [181] praised. It is on such dispositions and foundations that we hope, with the grace of God, to build the edifice of the Christian Religion among these people, who, besides, are already affectionately inclined toward us and have a great opinion of us. It is now our part to correspond to our vocation, and to the voice of Our Savior, who says to us, videte regiones, quoniam albæ sunt iam ad messem. It is true, my Reverend Father, that messis multa, operarii pauci, and, besides, we are very weak for so great an enterprise, at least I am, and therefore I beseech our Reverend Father Provincial and Your Reverence to send us help. For this I could cry willingly to the good God, mitte quem missurus es; as for us, we are children, who can only stammer. Yet see what we, trusting in the goodness of Our Lord, and not in our own strength and skill, [182] have done for the conversion of this People since our arrival. In the first place, we have been employed in the study of the language, which, on account of the diversity of its compound words, is almost infinite. One can, nevertheless, do nothing without this study. All the French who are here have eagerly applied themselves to it, reviving the ancient usage of writing on [page 131] birch-bark, for want of paper. Fathers Davost and Daniel have worked at it, beyond all; they know as many words as I, and perhaps more; but they have not yet had practice in forming and joining them together promptly, although Father Daniel already explains himself passably well. As for me, who give lessons therein to our French, if God does not assist me extraordinarily, I shall yet have to go a long time to the school of the Savages, so prolific is [183] their language. That does not prevent me from understanding almost all they say, and from making them fairly understand my meaning, even in the explanation of our most ineffable mysteries. In addition, we have employed ourselves in visiting, entreating, and instructing the sick, who have been, as I have said, very numerous. It has been in this pious exercise that we have won souls for our Lord, to the number of thirteen. The first was a little girl of this village, only four or five months old; she died a quarter of an hour after her baptism, in which she was named Josepha, to fulfill a vow I had made to give this name to the first that we should regenerate with the holy waters, -in gratitude for so many favors that we have received and are receiving [184] by the interposition of that great Saint. This was on the sixth of September, 1634. The second was another little girl, about two years of age, whom we baptized on the next day. She died on the eleventh of the same month and year, having been named Marie.

On the 26th of the same month, I baptized Marie Oquiaendis, the mother of the Captain of this village, grandmother of the other Marie. She is still living, and attributes her recovery to the virtue of Holy [page 133] Baptism, publishing it everywhere. In truth, she was almost gone; and as soon as she was washed with the sacred waters she began to improve. On the 20th of October, I set out to go to the Tobacco Nation. In this journey God granted me the favor of baptizing and sending to Heaven three little children, one of whom, among others, was about to give forth his last breath when I reached the lodge and had scarcely time [185] to sprinkle him. When I returned from the journey I found that Father Daniel had baptized Joseph Joutaya, who was believed to be at the point of death. I had instructed him previously. He survived a long time, in a languishing condition, and doing many acts of virtue. We helped him both bodily and spiritually; so well that he and all his family attributed the prolongation of his life to nothing but the double assistance he had received from us. At last, having happily died in the confession and invocation of the true God, and in repentance for his sins, we solemnly interred him as he had desired. We admired the care, the charity, and the perseverance of his wife in the duties and services she rendered to him during a long, very dirty, and very disgusting sickness. She and all her house, (where we have already baptized three) have continued [186] warmly attached to us; and they have often protested to me that they will all be, in life, in death, and beyond, at our service. But we do not judge them yet sufficiently instructed. It is this cabin where lives the first Huron I ever baptized, which was in the year one thousand six hundred and twenty-nine, before our departure from this Country. It was a little child, looked upon as dead, who seemed to be born and live again in a double sense, in the [page 135] life-imparting waters of holy Baptism. He still lives, being about five years of age, and is very gentle.

On the twenty-first of October, was baptized Joseph Sondaarouhané, about forty or fifty years of age. He had great goodness and natural sweetness, and had been attached to me for a long time. He yielded up his blessed spirit to God, on the twentieth of November. On the same [1871 day was baptized Joachim Tsindacaiendoua, an old man of 80 years. He was one of the best-natured Hurons I have ever known. The next day he left this life, to begin a better one, as we believe; we interred him solemnly in a separate place. This ceremony attracted upon us the eyes of the whole village, and caused several to desire that we should honor their burial in the same way,溶otably Joseph Joutaia, the one above-mentioned, who, after the obsequies were over, told me that he would have been very glad if we had passed through his cabin in the style in which we were dressed, so that he might see us from the place in which sickness kept him bound; for they had talked so much to him about the matter that he declared of his own will that he wished to be interred by our hands, which was done.

[188] Since I have referred to this man's decision, I will tell a memorable thing which happened to him after his Baptism. The Devil appeared to him in the form of one of his deceased brothers. Entering his cabin without any salutation, he sat down on the other side of the fire opposite our new Christian, and remained a long time without speaking. At last beginning to speak, he said to him, "How now, my brother, do you wish to leave us?" Our Joseph, who was not yet sufficiently equipped for this warfare, replied, [page 137] " No, my brother, I don't wish to leave you; I will not leave you," and it is said this false brother then began to caress him. Still, he has since declared several times that he desired to go to Heaven.

On the twenty-seventh of November, Martin Tsicok, already a very [189] old man and of a very gentle disposition, was baptized. This good man did not cease to invoke Jesus and Mary from his baptism until the 15th of December, when he died. I began to instruct him with this truth, that our souls after death all go to Hell or to Paradise; that Paradise is a place full of delights and contentment, and on the contrary that Hell is a place of fires, of pains, and eternal torments; that, besides, he should think, while he was yet in life, to which of these places he desired to go and dwell forever. Then this good old man, turning to his wife, said to her, "My wife, is it not indeed ,better to go to Heaven? I am afraid of those horrible fires of hell. " His wife was of the same opinion, and thus he willingly listened to the instructions we gave him.

On the nineteenth of January, I set out [190] for the house of Louys de saincte Foy, distant from our village seven or eight leagues. I had been neither able nor willing to go sooner, as he had gone to the neutral Nation to seek his father, who had remained there, a cripple.

On this journey passing through Onnentissati, I went to see a man named oukhahitoüa, who last year embarked one of our men. Finding him dying, I instructed him; he believed, he detested his past life, he was baptized under the name of François, and two days later quitted this world to fly to Heaven.

On the twenty-ninth of March, we solemnly baptized [page 139] in our little Chapel Joseph Oatij; François petit Pré was his Godfather, and many were present. We had been instructing him a long time, and hence he replied [191] personally to the questions I put to him in the Huron tongue. This good young man was of a very sickly constitution; we had gained him by continual assistance, which had twice saved his life; so that he willingly put in our hands the care of his soul, which went happily to God on the fourteenth of April, after having been fortified by the Sacrament of extreme Unction.

We especially admired his patience and tranquility of mind, especially after his baptism. Scarcely had we begun to instruct him when he began to say very often, both by day and by night, "Jesus, have pity on me! Mary and Joseph, help me I"

Lastly, on the twentieth of April, I baptized at Oënrio a very old woman, who died on the twentyfourth. [192] At first, when I talked to her, and asked her whether she wished to go to Heaven or to Hell, she did not answer, except to say that she would go where her son wished. But having told her that her father, the late Joachim Tsindacaiendoua, had gone to Heaven, she said, "Then I wish to go there!"

These, then, are the fruits that we have gathered from our visits and private instructions. I believe the harvest would have been greater if I could have left our village, and visited the others. May it please our Lord to accept these few first fruits, and give us .strength and opportunities to gather more of them. We have instructed many others, who asked very urgently for Baptism; but not seeing them in danger [page 141] of death, we have kept them back for further instructions.

[193] About the month of December, the snow began to lie on the ground, and the Savages settled down in the village. For, during the whole Summer and Autumn, they are for the most part either in their rural cabins, taking care of their crops, or on the lake fishing, or trading; which makes it not a little inconvenient to instruct them. Seeing them, therefore, thus gathered together at the beginning of this year, we resolved to preach publicly to all, and to acquaint them with the reason of our coming into their Country, which is not for their furs, but to declare to them the true God and his son, Jesus Christ, the universal Savior of our souls.

We gave the Instruction or Catechism in our cabin, for we had as yet no other suitable Church. This is often the most [194] we can do; for their feasts, dances, and games so occupy them that we cannot get them together as we would like.

The usual method that we follow is this: We call together the people by the help of the Captain of the village, who assembles them all in our house as in Council, or perhaps by the sound of the bell. I use the surplice and the square cap, to give more majesty to my appearance. At the beginning, we chant on our knees the Pater noster, translated into Huron verse. Father Daniel, as its author, chants a couplet alone, and then we all together chant it again; and those among the Hurons, principally the little ones, who already know it, take pleasure in chanting it with us, and the others in listening. That done, when every one is seated, I rise and make [195] the sign of the Cross for all; then, having recapitulated [page 143] what I said the last time, I explain something new. After that we question the young children and the girls, giving a little bead of glass or porcelain to those who deserve it. The parents are very glad to see their children answer well and carry off some little prize, of which they render themselves worthy by the care they take to come privately to get instruction. On our part, to arouse their emulation, we have each lesson retraced by our two little French boys, who question each other,謡hich transports the Savages with admiration. Finally the whole is concluded by the talk of the Old Men, who propound their difficulties, and sometimes [196] make me listen in my turn to the statement of their belief.

We began our Catechizing by this memorable truth, that their souls, which are immortal, all go after death either to Paradise or to Hell. It is thus we approach them, either in public or in private. I added that they had the choice, during life, to participate after death in the one or the other,謡hich one, they ought now to consider. Whereupon one honest old man said to me, " Let him who will, go to the fires of Hell; I want to go to Heaven; " all the others followed and making use of the same answer, begged us to show them the way, and to take away the stones, the trees, and the thickets therein, which might stop them.

Our Hurons, as you see, are not so dull as one might think them; [197] they seem to me to have rather good common sense, and I find them universally very docile. Nevertheless, some of them are obstinate, and attached to their superstitions and evil customs. These are principally the old people; for beyond these, who are not numerous, the rest know [page 145] nothing of their own belief. We have two or three of this number in our village. I am often in conflict with them; and then I show them they are wrong, and make them contradict themselves, so that they frankly admit their ignorance, and the others ridicule them; still they will not yield, always falling back upon this, that their Country is not like ours, that they have another God, another Paradise, in a word, other customs.

They tell us how the woman, named Eataentsic, fell from Heaven [198] into the waters with which the earth was covered; and that little by little, the earth became bare. I ask them who created the Heaven in which this woman could not stay, and they remain mute; as also when I press them to tell me who formed the earth, seeing that it was beneath the waters before the fall of this woman. One man asked me very cunningly, in this connection, where God was before the creation of the world. The reply was more easy for me, following St. Augustine, than the grasp of the question put to me was for them. Another good old man, having fallen sick, did not wish to hear of going to Heaven, saying he desired to go where his ancestors were. Some days afterwards, he came to me and told me a pleasant story: "Rejoice," he said, "for I have returned from the country of souls, and I have found none there any longer; [199] they have all gone to Heaven." There is nothing which does not serve for salvation when God pleases, not even dreams.

Two things among others have aided us very much in the little we have been able to do here, by the grace of our Lord; the first is, as I have already said, the good health that God has granted us in the midst [page 147] of sickness so general and so widespread. For our Hurons have thought that, if they believed in God and served him as we do, they would not die in so large numbers.

The second is the temporal assistance we have rendered to the sick. Having brought for ourselves some few delicacies, we shared them with them, giving to one a few prunes and to another a few raisins, to others something else. The poor people came [200] from great distances to get their share.

Our French servants having succeeded very well in hunting, during the Autumn, we carried portions of game to all the sick. That chiefly won their hearts, as they were dying, having neither flesh nor fish to season their sagamité. Add that all our French have borne themselves, thank God, so virtuously and so peaceably on all sides, during the whole year, that they have drawn down the blessing of Heaven. We owe much also to our glorious saint Joseph, spouse of our Lady, and protector of the Hurons, who has rendered us tangible aid several times. It was a rernarkable thing that on the day of his feast, and during the Octave, accommodations came to us from all sides.

[201] Before drawing to a close, I shall say only this one word about Louys de saincte Foy, which I would prefer not to say were it not that it may help to make this Nation more correctly known ; it is this,揺e is not such as he ought to be, and as we had wished. Nevertheless, we still have good hope. He was taken prisoner last year by the Hiroquois, in the common defeat, and carried away a captive. It cost him a finger. This severe stroke ought to suffice to bring him back to duty. His Father was not taken; [page 149] he escaped by flight, but in fleeing he suffered in good earnest in the woods, where he remained, according to his account, thirty days struggling against three powerful enemies,溶amely, cold, for it was Spring, and he was naked and fireless; sickness, for his two legs were powerless, and [202] he has not yet recovered; and, lastly, against hunger, in reference to which he relates a remarkable story, if it be true. He says that, having gone for ten or twelve days without eating, and praying to God, of whom he had heard his son speak, he saw what seemed a pot of grease, such as he had seen at Kebec, full of a very savory liquor, and heard a voice that said to him, "Saranhes, be of good cheer; thou wilt not die; take, drink what is in the pot and strengthen thyself, " which he did, and was marvelously solaced by it. A little later, he found in a thicket a small bagful of corn, with which he barely sustained life until some Savages of the neutral Nation, having accidentally found him, brought him to their village.

This man has declared to me that he and his whole family were desirous of being converted, [203] and of helping to bring the entire village to God's service. But his is a crafty spirit, as well as his son's, and I do not trust him yet. Our hope is in God, and in our Lord Jesus Christ, who shed his blood for the salvation of the Hurons, as well as for the rest of the world.

It is through this support, and not our own efforts, that we hope one day to see here a flourishing Christianity. Indeed, their minds are docile and flexible; I see only the liberty with which they change their wives at pleasure, and some superstitions, difficult to abolish, for in other respects they have no aversion [page 151] to the Faith nor to the Christian Law. They turn willingly to God in their [204] necessities; they come to get their crops blessed, before sowing them; and ask us what we desire of them. All we have to fear is our own sins and imperfections, and I above all. In truth, I feel myself extremely unworthy of this employment; but send holy ones to us, or pray to God our Lord that we may be such as he desires. A thousand entreaties for the holy sacrifices of your Reverence and of all our Fathers and Brothers.


From our little House of St. Joseph, in the village of Ihonatiria in the Huron country, this 27th of May, 1635, the day on which the Holy Spirit descended visibly upon the Apostles.

Very humble and obedient

servant in our Lord,

Jean de Brébeuf.

[page 153]




Since the above was written, we have baptized a sick child, grandnephew of the late Joachim Tsindacaiendoua; and this the more boldly, as this family seems to be disposed to the Faith. Our Lord has restored his health, to the wonder of his parents, who remarked that immediately after the baptism he rested very sweetly. This will serve to overthrow a bad opinion that the Devil goes about sowing in some minds, whom he persuades that they will never get better after baptism. This is but one of the ruses of the Devil against us; he has many others, which he has already attempted in part; but Our Lord will confound him; it is in him that we put our trust. Your Reverence will perhaps [206] be glad to hear that the Winter here has been very short and moderate. The Country is such that it bears sufficient for the nourishment of its inhabitants. All this Spring has been extremely clear and dry; the crops are beginning to suffer for want of rain. I pray our Lord that it may please him to remedy this, and to give us what will be necessary for his glory, for the happy beginnings of this Christianity, and for the blessing of the insignificant labors that our Society is undertaking in these distant lands, under the protection of the Fleurs de Lys and of our Great King who to-day is. causing them to bloom so gloriously.

[page 155]

[207] Relation of certain details regarding the Island of Cape Breton and its Inhabitants.

Sent by Father Julïen Perrault, of the Society of Jesus, to his Provincial, in France, in the years 1634 and 35.

HE Island of Cape Breton is about nine hundred leagues distant from our France by sea. It is seventy or eighty leagues in circumference. The mountains here are very high and numerous, at the foot of which [208] are seen great bogs and frightful precipices. The land is covered with all sorts of trees, such as oak, beech, birch, pine, hemlock, and others.

Chibou which is the principal part of this Island, is a great Bay about two leagues wide at its entrance, becoming narrower little by little, in the six or seven leagues which form its extent. In the middle, on the left hand in ascending, on the summit of the shore that faces the Northwest, is built the fort of sainte Anne, at the entrance of the harbor, opposite a little Cove. The situation of the place is so advantageous, according to the report of those who are acquainted with it, that with ten or twelve pieces of cannon, all the hostile ships that might present themselves could be sent to the bottom.

Those who have grown old upon the sea protest that they have never seen a [209] more desirable Port, either in extent or for its facility of access. Three thousand ships could easily anchor there, and be sheltered from every wind, in a beautiful [page 157] enclosure very pleasant to look upon; for its form is circular, or nearly so. The tides here are very mild and regular; there is always from ten to twelve fathoms of water. Furthermore, notwithstanding that the Island is. in forty-six and a half degrees north latitude, the cold is extreme, the island lying in the midst of snow five or six months of the year. This is the situation of the place, let us come to the conveniences of life which it offers to its inhabitants. On this subject we may say, in general, that the Savages are more comfortable here than in many other places. If the Winter supplies them with fewer Beavers upon the water, it gives them, by way of compensation, more Moose [210] upon the land. In summer, they live very well on Marmots and Parrot fish, with Cormorants and other marine birds. They have also Bustards, Smelts, Mackerel, Codfish, and like supplies, according to the different seasons, in the forests or upon the coasts of the sea.

As to the people, there is nothing anomalous in their physical appearance; you see well-formed men, good-looking, of fine figures, strong and powerful. Their skin is naturally white, for the little children show it thus; but the heat of the Sun, and the rubbing with Seal oil and Moose fat, make them very swarthy, the more so as they grow older. Most of them go bareheaded, and they have long, black hair, with very little or no beard, so that the women cannot be distinguished, [211] except that they use a girdle and are less naked than the men; quite the reverse of what is practiced in many Christian lands, to the shame of Christianity. One sees here old men, of eighty and a hundred years, who have hardly a gray hair. As to their intelligence, if we may [page 159] judge from their conduct and from their way of dealing with the French, they are not at a great disadvantage. You do not see in their gestures and bearing any foolishness or nonsense, but rather a certain gravity and natural modesty, which makes them agreeable. They are indeed so clever that, in order to disguise their language, they add to every word a syllable, which only serves to confuse the minds of those by whom they do not wish to be understood.

[212] What they do lack is the knowledge of God and of the service that they ought to render to him, as also of the state of the soul after death; it is wonderful that we have not yet been able to discover any trace of this knowledge in what we know of their language. Perhaps we shall discover something more, when we become better versed in it; for it is not credible that the light of nature should be altogether extinct in them in this regard, when it is not in other more barbarous Nations, or that they never talk among themselves of that of which they cannot be entirely ignorant. For all that, we have not up to the present noticed any more Religion among these poor Savages than among brutes. This is what wrings our hearts with compassion for souls redeemed at the same [213] price as ours, by which they would willingly profit better than we, if they could know what they themselves are worth, and what they cost him who has loved us all so much.

Now what consoles us in the midst of this ignorance and barbarism, and what makes us hope some day to see the Faith widely planted, is partly the docility they have shown in wishing to be instructed, and partly the honesty and decency we observe in them. [page 161]

They are very diligent and attentive to the instructions we give them; I do not know whether it is through complaisance, for they have a great deal of this naturally, or through an instinct from above, that they listen to us so willingly concerning the mysteries of our Faith, and repeat after us, whether they understand it or not, all that [214] we declare to them. They very willingly make the sign of the Cross, as they see us make it, raising their hands and eyes to Heaven and pronouncing the words, "Jesus, Mary, " as we do,耀o far that, having observed the honor we render to the Cross, these poor people paint it on their faces, chests, arms, and legs, without being asked to do so. I am very willing that they should do all these things in the beginning from a natural simplicity, which causes them to imitate all they see, rather than from any greater consideration; because in time they may be helped by it, and they will not be the first, who come to practice by choice that to which by casual encounter they have become accustomed. Besides, what is of no small importance, they sometimes urge us to pray our good Jesus for them, [215] for the success of their hunting and for relief from their diseases.

The other encouragement we see here, for the preaching of the Gospel, is in the honesty and decency that we see shining forth in them like two bright rays of light in the midst of darkness. We never think of distrusting our Savages, or of watching their hands and their feet, as with some others who attract everything to them and appropriate all they find at their convenience. Everything is free to them in all places, and yet nothing is in danger in their presence, even if they are alone in a cabin and [page 163] where no one can see them. As to decency, they hold it in such high estimation, at least as far as external appearances are concerned, in their actions and words, that there is a probability [216] that they will rise up on the last day and condemn many Christians, who will have cultivated this virtue less under the Law of grace, than these poor people have under that of nature.

We have never heard them use unseemly words, nor seen any actions too free, although we have lived on familiar terms with them inside and outside their cabins.

You would say they are trying to practice in advance that beautiful motto of the Apostle, which commands Christians not even to have, if they can help it, upon their lips a word which signifies indecency. Some one will readily reply that, if we were better versed in their language, we would not fail to notice it therein. But is it not a great deal, that the little [217] we know of it has not taught us anything of the kind? And is there not great reason to blush for many Christian Nations, among whom one does not have to serve a long apprenticeship to their Grammar, to find oneself embarrassed and confused in company, if he has even a little regard for propriety? And if our ears are not yet sufficiently opened to give positive evidence of the unconcern or decency of their talk; are we blind, or are we incapable of recognizing a shameful gesture or action? And yet we have never seen anything of this kind, not even among married people. But what shall I say about noticing one day a young Savage kissing a woman, who I did not think [218] was his wife; as that seemed something extraordinary among them, I straightway asked [page 165] him if that was his wife, and he replied that she was; but it was not without embarrassment on the part of the two who had been taken by surprise. Add to this modesty the gravity which I have said is natural to them, and you will judge that, God helping, they will receive with open arms a Law which recommends nothing so much as this virtue, which makes men like unto Angels; and that they will not have as much difficulty as many badly taught Christians have, to conform entirely to the injunctions of the Gospel, when it shall be declared to them in the words of the Apostle that they have to show their modesty in the eyes of all the world, since the Lord is near. It is true they have polygamy, and pay no attention to the indissolubility [219] of Marriage. But we must hope that, when they come to recognize the obligations they are under, together with all the Nations of the earth, to a God who made himself man for them, they will willingly submit to his most holy Laws, especially in that which concerns a virtue by means of which he wishes us to bear witness to and glorify without ceasing, in our bodies, him who for us has delivered his own up to torture, and who gives it to us every day as food, for this sole purpose.

[page 167]

[220] Various Sentiments and opinions of the Fathers who are in New France.

Taken from their last letters of 1635

EW FRANCE is truly a region where one learns perfectly to seek God alone, to desire God alone, to have sincere intentions toward God, and to trust to and rely solely upon his divine and paternal Providence; and it is a rich heart treasury, impossible to estimate.

  1. To live in New France means truly to live in the bosom of [221] God, and to breathe only the air of his Divine guidance; the sweetness of that air can be realized only by actually breathing it.
  2. It is not fitting that every one should know how agreeable it is in the sacred awe of these forests, and how much Heavenly light one finds in the thick darkness of this barbarism; we would have too many persons wishing to come here, and our Settlements would not be capable of accommodating so many; and what confounds us is that God has chosen us, to make us participants in this mercy, seeing that there are so many of our Fathers in France, who would do better than we.
  3. The joy that one feels when he has baptized a Savage who dies soon afterwards, and flies directly to Heaven to become an Angel, certainly [222] is a joy that surpasses anything that can be imagined; one no longer remembers the sea, nor seasickness, nor the horror of past tempests; but one would like to [page 169] have the suffering of ten thousand tempests that he might help save one soul, since Jesus Christ for one soul would have willingly shed all his precious blood.
  4. The greatest strife we have had among ourselves was to see which would have the good fortune of being chosen to go to the Hurons. God has made the lot fall upon those he was pleased to choose, and who are going to these barbarous Nations as if to a Terrestrial Paradise. When once a person has tasted in earnest the sweetness of the Cross of Jesus Christ, he prefers it to all the Empires of the earth.
  5. Finding ourselves lately in [223] a tempest so furious that the whole Ocean seemed to be in a turmoil, they told us that we were the cause of this horrible storm; this astonished us at first, as it was said by honest people; on asking the reason, we were told that, seeing so furious and raging a tempest, it must be that Hell was enraged at seeing us go to New France to convert infidels and to diminish its power; for revenge it raised up all the Elements against us, and was trying to sink the fleet and all that was within it. But we said to them very gently: "Remember, Sirs, that God is more powerful to defend us, than Lucifer is to persecute us; that the sea may rise as high as it will, yet God must be its Master. Mirabiles elationes maris, mirabilis in altis Dominus. We fear indeed [224] the anger of God against our unfaithfulness, more than that of the sea against our human weakness.
  6. In Europe they are accustomed to say that whoever would learn to pray to God must go upon the sea; but it is quite a different thing to be there in reality. Lately we were more than two days and two nights in continual danger of being engulfed by the [page 171] Ocean; every moment, it seemed, must be the last of our lives. We saw mountains coming toward us, which seemed about to swallow us up; we two were prostrate upon our knees, praying God with earnest hearts; the greatest fear was that some one would die without Confession; it is there that jaculatory Prayers are made, and that one looks gladly toward Heaven; but one can never believe the power of grace and the [225] invincible confidence that God gives to his servants in the midst of tempests and the most fearful despair.
  7. I have never understood what it was to reach such a point of virtue that, to pass beyond, a miracle would have to be performed; so true is it that a person sometimes finds himself so far plunged into either suffering, or danger, or desertion by his fellow-creatures, that nothing is left to him but God, who nevertheless is always found at the end of jacob's ladder, with arms and heart open to embrace the Angels and the souls which fly straight to him; and it is wonderful how God takes pleasure in abundantly communicating himself to souls which have abandoned all and given themselves wholly to him. To lose all, that one may find God, is a sweet loss and a holy usury. [226]
  8. The heart grows according as its works for Jesus Christ increase; and New France is the most suitable country in the world in which to understand the literal meaning of these beautiful words, Sicut misit me vivens Pater, ita et ego mitto vos, "I send you, even as my Father has sent me." Ecce ego mitto vos sicut oves in medio luporum. " Behold, I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves. " Among these forests, at the sight of these Savages, what can we poor Foreigners and servants of God expect but to feel their [page 173] teeth and some of the effects of their natural barbarism. He who truly fears God can fear nothing more in this world.
  9. Truly, to make nine hundred leagues upon the waves of the sea, with hundreds of encounters with Turks, icebergs, reefs, and horrible storms夕227] all these things can appall human nature, and cause the human heart to throb; there one experiences what David meant, Anima mea in manibus meis semper. "I hold my soul always in my hands," and I am always ready at any moment to sacrifice it to God; too happy, alas! to be able to make so many times a precious offering of myself; but the infusion of God into our hearts, and the relief he pours into our souls, exceed all of our ills. I confess that I have learned better upon the sea than upon the land what the infusion of God into a well-trained soul is.
  10. When we see these Savages, well formed, strong, of good mien, endowed with natural good sense,預nd that it needs only a drop of water to make them children of God, and that Jesus Christ has shed all [228] his blood for them, we feel an incredible ardor to attract them to the Church and to God; and it is true that we would prefer the conversion of one of these poor Savages to the conquest of a whole Empire. The trouble we take in this is so pleasant that we do not consider it trouble, but a truly extraordinary favor of Heaven. Caritas Dei urget nos, so true is it that charity presses our hearts.
  11. I passed twenty-four hours when, seeing that we were pursued by the Turks in leaving la manche [English Channel], I expected nothing else than to fall into their hands, to be loaded with chains and to live in slavery. In the midst of these natural fears, lo! a [page 175] strong thought took possession of my heart, and said to me " Ha! what good fortune it would be to be able to imitate saint Paul, and to see myself in fetters [229] for the love of Jesus, who was bound for me, and treated as a slave and as the King of thieves." This sweet thought had so much power over my soul that I had more desire for those chains than fear of captivity.
  12. Three mighty thoughts console a good heart which is in the infinite forests of New France, or among the Hurons. The first is, "I am in the place where God has sent me, where he has led me as if by the hand, where he is with me, and where I seek him alone." The second is, in the words of David, " according to the measure of the pain I endure for God, his Divine consolations rejoice my soul. " The third, that we never find Crosses, nails, nor thorns, in the midst of which, if we look closely, we do not find J. C. [Jesus Christ]. Now, can a person go wrong when he is in [230] the company of the Son of the living God?
  13. When I see myself surrounded by murderous waves, by infinite forests, and by a thousand dangers there comes to mind that precious saying of the martyred St. Ignace, Nunc incipio esse Christi discipulus: to-day I begin to be of the Company of Jesus. For what avail so many exercises, so many fervent Meditations, so many eager desires? all these are nothing but wind, if we do not put them into practice. So old France is fitted to conceive noble desires, but the New is adapted to their execution; that one desires in old France is what one does in the New.
  14. I do not know what the country of the Hurons is, where God sends me in his infinite mercy, but I do know that I would rather go there than to an Earthly [page 177] Paradise, since I see [231] that God has so ordained. Strange thing! the more Crosses I see prepared for me there, the more my heart laughs and flies thither; for what happiness to see with these eyes nothing but Savages, Crosses, and Jesus Christ. Never have I understood in my life in France what it was to distrust self entirely and to trust in God alone; I say alone, and without the presence of any creature: Major est Deus corde nostro, "God is greater than our hearts; " this is evident in New France, and it is an unutterable consolation that when we find nothing else we immediately encounter God, who communicates himself most richly to good hearts.
  15. My consolation among the Hurons is that I confess every day, and then I say Mass as if I were to take the Viaticum and die that very day; and I do not think [232] that a person can live better, nor with more satisfaction and courage, and even merit, than to live in a place where he expects every day to die, and to have the motto of St. Paul, Quotidie morior fratres, etc., "I protest, brethren, that I die daily."
  16. To convert the Savages, not so much knowledge is necessary as goodness and sound virtue. The four Elements of an Apostolic man in New France are Affability, Humility, Patience, and a generous Charity. Too ardent zeal scorches more than it warms, and ruins everything; great magnanimity and compliance are necessary to attract gradually these Savages. They do not comprehend our Theology well, but they comprehend perfectly our humility and our friendliness, and allow themselves to be won.
  17. The Huron Nation is becoming disposed [233] to receive the light of the Gospel, and inestimable good is to be hoped for in all those regions; but two kinds [page 179] of persons are necessary to accomplish this,葉hose in old France, assisting by their holy prayers and their charity; the others in the New, working with great gentleness and tirelessness; on the goodness of God and on this sweet harmony depends the conversion of many thousand souls, for each one of whom Jesus Christ has shed all his precious blood.
  18. If a small Seminary of a dozen little Hurons could be founded at Kebec, in a few years incredible assistance could be derived therefrom, to help in converting their Fathers, and in planting a flourishing Church in the Nation of the Hurons. Alas! how many there are in Europe who lose in three casts of the dice more than would be needed to convert a world. [234]
  19. One of the thoughts which weigh most upon those who are so fortunate as to serve God among these forests, is their unworthiness of their Apostolic and so exalted calling, and that they have so few of the virtues worthy of a noble work. He who sees New France only through the eyes of the flesh and of nature, sees only forests and crosses; but he who looks upon these with the eyes of grace and of a noble vocation, sees only God, the virtues, and the graces; and he finds therein so many and so firm consolations, that, if I were able to buy New France by giving in exchange all the Terrestrial Paradise, I would certainly buy it. My God! how good it is to be in the place where God has placed us by his grace; truly I have found here what I had hoped for, a heart in harmony with God's heart, which seeks God alone. [235]
  20. It is said that the pioneers who found Churches are usually saints; this thought so softens my heart that, although I see I am of but little use [page 181] here in this fortunate New France, yet I must confess that I cannot forbid one thought which presses upon my heart. Cupio impendi, et superimpendi pro vobis: Poor New France, I desire to sacrifice myself for thy welfare; and though it should cost me a thousand lives, if thus I can aid in saving a single soul, I shall be too happy, and my life will be well spent.
  21. I do not know what it is to enter Paradise; but I know well that in this world it is difficult to find a greater and fuller joy than I had upon entering New France, and saying the first Mass here on the day of the [236] Visitation. I assure you that this was very truly the day of the Visitation. Through the goodness of God and of our Lady, it seemed to me that it was Christmas for me, and that I was going to be reborn into an altogether new life, and a life of God.
  22. The seasickness which troubled me, when sailing upon the ocean, was soon effaced by the mercy of Heaven and the joy that God shed in my soul, upon landing at Cape Breton. In meeting our Fathers it seemed to me I was embracing Angels from Paradise; I could not refrain from exclaiming, "Ah! what will it be when we shall enter Paradise, and when God and the Angels shall receive a beautiful soul, which will emerge from the tempests of the wretched life that we lead upon earth!"
  23. I had thought that miracles were necessary to convert these flying Savages; but I was mistaken, [237] for the real miracles of New France are the following: To do them much good, and endure many pains; to complain to God alone; to judge oneself unworthy, and to feel one's uselessness. He who has these virtues will perform miracles greater than miracles, and will become a Saint. Indeed, it is harder [page 183] to humiliate oneself deeply before God and men, and to annihilate oneself, than to raise the dead; for that needs only the word, if one has the gift of miracles, but to humiliate oneself as one ought to,葉ruly, that requires a man's whole life.
  24. We were greatly astonished and infinitely glad to see in our little cabins, and in our Settlements, the Religious discipline as strictly observed as in the largest Colleges [238] of France, and that the internal fervor is so much the greater as the external seems to be subjected to so many diversions; it is God's ordinary practice, in his infinite goodness, that according to our needs he multiplies the gift of his graces; and, in truth, to the same extent as a servant of God gives himself up to his holy guidance, our Lord expands so much the more and sheds more abundantly the precious shower of his graces.
  25. These poor Barbarians are accustomed to call all the Priests, Patriarchs, and they show great respect to men of integrity. They promise to bring us their children, when they are sick unto death, to be baptized; in fact, some have been baptized who died shortly after baptism. They are indeed the elect, beyond a doubt, and so blessed as to go forth from Barbarism [239] and enter immediately into Paradise. If one should never do anything else, what happiness to have been instrumental in placing these little souls among the elect!
  26. One meets men so devoid of every notion of Religion, that one cannot find a name to make them understand God; we have to call him the great Captain of men, he who feeds all the world, he who lives on high. We do all we can; what obligations will they be under to those who instruct them and who try to make [page 185] them know a God in order to serve him as well as they can. Here deep learning is not needed, but a profound humility, an unconquerable patience, and an Apostolic charity, to win these poor Savages, who in other respects have good common sense. And if we begin once to gain [240] them, the fruit will be incalculable.
  27. A thousand times the thought of saint François Xavier passes through our minds, and has great power over us. If the men of the world, in order to have Beaver skins, and codfish, and I know not what commodities, do not fear either the storms on the sea, or the Savages on land, or the sea, or death; how dreadful will be the confusion of God's servants for being afraid of these things, or of a few little hardships, in trying to win souls ransomed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, and empurpled by his blood of inestimable value? On the day of judgment will not these petty traders and fishers of cod rise up to condemn us, if they take more pains to gain a piece of money than we do to help save the Savages? This thought stings our hearts so [241] deeply that we do not feel our sufferings, or if we feel them we do not dare to complain of them.
  28. There are many persons in France who are of no use, and have nothing to do there; they are scholars and that is all, and that is of no use in the Church of God; alas! in New France these men would be Apostles, if they would come here to use their talents; less wisdom, and more humility and zeal, would perform miracles here, and it is possible they would gain more in one year than they will do in a lifetime in France.
  29. Experience shows us that those of the Society [page 187] who come to New France should be impelled to it by a special and very forcible call; persons who are dead to themselves and to the world; men truly Apostolic, who seek God alone, and the [242] salvation of souls, who love with real love the Cross and self-mortification; who do not spare themselves; who can endure the hardships of the sea and of the land, and who desire the conversion of a Savage more than the Empire of all Europe; who have Godlike hearts, all filled with God; who are like little John the Baptists, crying through these deserts and forests like voices from God, which summon all these poor Savages to acknowledge Jesus Christ; in fine let them be men whose sole satisfaction is in God and to whom suffering is the greatest delight. That is what experience shows us every day; but it is also true that it seems as if God shed the dew of his grace much more abundantly upon this New France than upon the old, [243] and that the internal consolations and the Divine infusions are much stronger here, and hearts more on fire. Novit Dominiis qui sunt ejus. But it belongs to God alone to choose those whom he will use, and whom he favors by taking them into New France, to make saints of them. Saint François Xavier said that there was an Island in the Orient which was quite capable of making a person lose his sight, by crying from excessive joy of the heart; I know not if our New France resembles this Island, but we know from experience that, if any one here gives himself up in earnest to God, he runs the risk of losing his sight, his life, his all, and with great joy, by dint of hard work; it belongs only to those who are here and who enjoy God to speak from experience. [244]
  30. We clearly recognize that it must be Heaven [page 189] which shall convert the land of New France, and that we are not strong enough. We fear nothing so much as that our imperfections may prevent the conversion of these poor Savages; that is why we have all been minded to have recourse to Heaven and to the very holy Virgin, Mother of God, through whom God is accustomed to do what seems impossible, and to convert the hearts of the most abandoned. To this end, we have resolved to make a very solemn vow, of which the following is the purport:
  31. My God and my Savior Jesus, although our sins ought to banish us from your presence, yet being inspired with a desire to honor you and your very Holy Mother, urged by a wish to see ourselves in the faithful correspondence [to your graces] that you desire in your servants, wishing [245] besides to see you acknowledged and adored by these poor people: We promise and make a vow unto you and also to the very holy Virgin your Mother, and to her glorious Spouse St. Joseph, to celebrate twelve times in twelve succeeding months the sacrifice of the Holy Mass, for those who are Priests; and for the others to say twelve times the Crown or Chaplet of the Virgin, in honor of and as an act of grace for her immaculate Conception, and all to fast the day before this festival; promising you further that, if a permanent Church or Chapel is erected in this country within this specified time, we will have it dedicated to God under the title of the immaculate Conception, if it is in our power,預ll this, to secure by the goodness of Our Lord the conversion of these Peoples, through the mediation of his holy Mother and of her holy Spouse. In [246] the meantime receive, O Empress of Angels and of men, the hearts of these poor [page 191] abandoned Barbarians that we present to you through the hands of your glorious Spouse and of your faithful servants, St. Ignace and St. François Xavier, and of all the Guardian Angels of these wretched countries, to offer them to your Son, that he may give them knowledge of himself and apply to them the efficacy of his precious blood. Amen.

May God in his infinite goodness render us worthy of this noble calling, worthily to coöperate with his grace, to the benefit of these poor Savages.

[page 193]

Extract from the Royal License.

Y the Grace and License of the King, permission is granted to Sebastien Cramoisy, Bookseller under Oath in the University of Paris, and Printer in ordinary to the King, to print or to have printed a book entitled, Relation de ce qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France en l'année mil six cens trente cinq. Envoyée au R. P. Provincial de la Compagnie de Jesus en la Province de France. Par le Pere Paul le Jeune de la mesme Compagnie, Superieur de la Residence de Kébec: and this during the time and space of five consecutive years. Prohibiting all Booksellers and Printers to print or to have printed the said book, under pretext of disguise or change that they might make therein, on pain of confiscation of the copies, and of the fine provided by the said License. Given at Paris on the twelfth of January, one thousand six hundred and thirty-six.

By the King in Council.


[page 195]


E, ESTIENNE BINET, Provincial of the Society of Jesus in the Province of France, in accordance with the License that has been granted to us by the Most Christian Kings, Henry III. May 10th, 1583, Henry IV. December 10th, 1605, and Louys XIII. now reigning February 14th, 1612, by which all Booksellers are prohibited from printing any of the Books which are composed by any one of our said Society, without the permission of the Superiors thereof: We permit Sebastien Cramoisy, Bookseller under Oath in Paris, and Printer in ordinary to the King, to print for ten years the Relation de ce qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France en l'année 1635, sent to us by Father Paul le Jeune of our same Society, Superior of the Residence of Kebec. In testimony whereof we have signed the present at Paris, this fifteenth of January, 1635.



[page 197]


Le Jeune's Relation, 1636



Source: Title-page and text reprinted from the copy of the first issue (H. 65), in Lenox Library.

The document consists of two parts ; the first by Le Jeune, as superior, the second by Brébeuf. In the present volume we give chaps. i.-ii., of Part I.; the remainder of Part 1. will occupy Volume IX. In Volume X., will appear all of Part II.

[page 199]






Sent to the


of the Society Of Jesus in the

Province of France.

By Father Paul le Jeune of the same Society,

Superior of the Residence of Kébec.


Sebastien Cramoisy, Printer in ordinary

to the King, ruë sainct Jacques,

at the Sign of the Storks.




[page 203]

Extract from the Royal License.

Y the Grace and License of the King, permission is granted to Sebastien Cramoisy, Bookseller under Oath in the University of Paris and Printer in ordinary to the King, to print or to have printed a Book entitled, Relation de ce qui s'est Passé en la Nouvelle France en l'année mil six cens trente-six. Envoyée le au R. P. Provincial de la Compagnie de Jesus en la Province de France. Par le Pere Paul le Jeune de la mesme Compagnie, Superieur de la Residence de Kébec: and this during the time and space of ten consecutive years. Prohibiting all Booksellers and Printers to print or to have printed the said Book under pretext of disguise or change that they might make therein, on penalty of confiscation, and of the fine provided by said License. Given at Paris on the 22nd of December, 1636.

By the King in Council,


[page 205]


WE, Estienne Binet, Provincial of the Society of Jesus in the Province of France, in accordance with the License granted to us by the Most Christian Kings, Henry III. May 10th, 1583, Henry IV. December 10th, 1605, and Louys XIII. now reigning, February 14th, 1612, by which all Booksellers are forbidden to print any Book of those composed by any one of our said Society, without permission of the Superiors thereof用ermit Sebastien Cramoisy, Bookseller under Oath at Paris and Printer in ordinary to the King, to print for ten years the Relation de ce qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France en l'année 1636, sent to us by Father Paul le Jeune of our same Society, Superior of the Residence of Kébec. In testimony whereof we have signed the present at Paris, this fifteenth of December, 1636.


E. Binet.

[page 207]

Table of Chapters contained in this Book.


RELATION of what occurred in New France in the year 1636.

page 1.

Chapter I.

The sentiments of affection that many,persons of merit entertain for New France.


Chap. II.

Of the Savages baptized this year, and some burials.


Chap. III.

Continuation of the same subject.


Chap. IV.

Baptisms of Savages, continued.


Chap. V.

Of the wretched death of some Savages.


Chap. VI.

Of the hopes of converting this People.


Chap. VII.

Of some remarkable peculiarities of these regions.


Chap. VIII.

Of the present condition of New France on the great St. Lawrence River


Ch. IX.

Answers to some propositions submitted to me from France.


Chap. X.

Some advice to those who wish to cross over into New France.


Chap. XI.

or, A Journal of the things which could not be related in the preceding Chapters.


[page 209]

Relation of what occurred in the Country of Hurons in the year 1636.

ENT to Kébec to Reverend Father Paul le Jeune, Superior of the Mission of the Society of Jesus, in New France.






Chap. I. Of the Conversion, Baptism, and happy death of some Hurons; and on the condition of Christianity amid this Barbarism.


Chap. II. Containing in the order of time the other remarkable things that happened during this year.


Chap. III. Important advice for those whom it shall please God to call to New France, and especially to the Country of the Hurons.


Chap. IV. Of the language of the Hurons.







Chap. I. What the Hurons think of their origin.


Chap. II. The ideas of the Hurons regarding the nature and condition of the soul, both in this life and after death.


Chap. III. That the Hurons recognize some divinity ; of their superstitions, and their faith in [page 211] dreams.


Chap. IV. Concerning feasts, dances; the games of dish and crosse; what they call ononharoia.


Chap. V. Whether there are Sorcerers among the Hurons.


Chap. VI. Of the polity of the Hurons, and their government.


Chap. VII. Of the order the Hurons observe in their Councils.


Chap. VIII. Of the ceremonies they observe in their burials and mourning.


Chap. IX. Of the solemn feast of the Dead.


[page 213]

[1] Relation of what occurred in New France, in the year 1636.


Since it is necessary to pay the annual tribute which is exacted from us not only by Your Reverence but also by many persons of virtue, merit, and rank, who continue to interest themselves in the affairs of New France as in those of God, I shall begin by referring to the joy with which our Lord filled our hearts on the arrival of the fleet. Some were doubtful whether we would see the Vessels this year, on account of the great preparations for war which were being made in old France; but [2] those who were wisest could not doubt it, as knowing the affection of the King for his new Possessions, which are destined to become one of the bright jewels in his Crown; and, moreover, not ignorant that Monseigneur the Cardinal,傭eing the Head of this honorable Company, the support of families that come over to these lands, the Father of this new Country, and the powerful Genius who is to bring about, under the favor and authority of his Majesty, the designs of God for the conversion of this new world,謡ould not fail to show what place this holy undertaking holds in his heart. Another anxiety kept us between fear and hope, arising from the change of Governor. Monsieur de Champlain having left us in the last year of his Administration, to go to Heaven, we were anxious as to what zeal his successor would have for this infant [page 215] Church. But, when the Ships appeared, all these fears were dissipated; the number of the vessels showed us that the affairs of New France rank [3] among the chief concerns of the Mother country, and that the interest of the Gentlemen of the Company continues daily to increase; and the first acts of Monsieur de Montmagny, our Governor, have made us hope everything that can be expected from a spirit filled with piety, with firmness, and with discretion. I was told once that the earliest act which our great King performed, at the time of his birth, was a presage of his great piety; for the first use he made of his innocent hands was to clasp them, as if he were trying to pray to God, and the first movement of his eyes directed his sight toward heaven. If first actions are prognostications of those to come, we have that for which to bless God in the person of Monsieur de Montmagny, as I shall show in the course of this Relation. Having arrived before Kebec on the night of saint Barnabas, he cast anchor without announcing himself; the next morning, we had word that he was in the Vessel which the night had concealed from us. We went down to the shore of the great River to receive him; Father Pierre [4] Chastellain, and Father Charles Garnier were in. his company. After the usual courtesies, we accompanied him at once to the Chapel; on the way, perceiving the Tree of our salvation, " Here, " said he, " is the first Cross that I encounter in the Country; let us adore the Crucified in his image." He throws himself upon his knees, as, following his example, do all his attendants, as well as all those who were coming to salute him. Thence he entered the Church, where we solemnly chanted the Te Deum, as well as the Prayers for our good [page 217] King. At the conclusion of his act of thanksgiving, and of the praises we rendered to God for his coming, Monsieur de Chasteaufort, who filled the place of the late Monsieur de Champlain, came to present to him the keys of the fortress, where he was received with several volleys of musketry and the thunder of numerous cannon. Scarcely had he entered when one came to ask him if it would be agreeable to him to be Godfather to a Savage who desired Baptism. " Very willingly," said he, rejoicing in this good fortune, that, upon entering his Administration, he could help open the doors of the Church to a poor [5] soul who wished to enter the sheepfold of Jesus Christ. That the Fathers who had accompanied him might put their hands to the harvest at the moment of setting foot on land, the Father who had taught this barbarian asks Father Chastellain if he would not be glad to begin his labors in New France with a Baptism. O God! what a sentiment of joy he manifested at this proposal! Behold him quite ready! Monsieur the Governor proceeds to the Cabins of these poor barbarians, followed by a brisk retinue of Nobles. I leave you to imagine the astonishment of these People at seeing so much scarlet, so many elegant personages under their bark roofs! What comfort this poor sick man experienced when they told him that the great Captain who had just arrived wished to bestow a name upon him, and to be his Sponsor! The Father questions him anew upon the mysteries of our belief. He replies that he believes in him who made all things, and in his son, Jesus, and also in the good Spirit; that he is sorry he has off ended him who made himself man, and who died for us; and that he greatly regrets [6] having [page 219] learned so late to know him. Monsieur the Governor named him Joseph, in honor of the holy Spouse of the Virgin, Patron of New France; and the Father baptized him. During dinner, for all this happened in the morning, this noble Godfather said aloud, in the presence of a distinguished company, that he had received that day the greatest honor and the most genuine satisfaction that he could have desired in New France. Are not these things that give us cause for rejoicing? This is not all; that same day appeared a Vessel commanded by Monsieur de Courpon, which brought to us Father Nicolas Adam and our Brother Ambroise Cauvet. These meetings in a country so far from our Native Land, after having crossed so many seas, affect sometimes the eyes as well as the heart. Our joy did not end there. The number of families, which came over to increase our Colony, made it considerably larger. Among others, were those of Monsieur de Repentigny and of Monsieur de la Poterie, gallant Gentlemen, composed of forty-five individuals. It was a matter for which to praise [7] God, to see in this country delicate Maidens and little children of tenderest age come forth from a prison of wood, as the day comes forth from the darkness of night,預nd enjoying, after all, as perfect health, notwithstanding the many hardships to Which one is subjected in these floating habitations, as if they had been driving on the street in a carriage. See then how this day was for us doubly a day of festival and of rejoicing; but let us begin our discourse. I will divide all I have to say this year into several Chapters, which I will shorten or extend according to the leisure which God shall grant me for it.

[page 221]



KNOW not what success the affairs of New France will have, nor when we shall see its doors opened wide to the Gospel; but I know [8] well, nevertheless, that it is God who directs this enterprise. Nature has not arms long enough to reach the point to which this has attained; she loves too well material interests to bring together so many hearts and so many affections in the pursuit of a good of which she has no knowledge. To forsake one's parents and one's friends, to relinquish one's associates, to go forth from one's native land, so sweet and so refined; to cross the seas, to dare the Ocean and its storms, to give up one's life to sufferings, to abandon present advantages that one may launch out into hopes remote from one's vision, to convert the business of earth into that of heaven, to be willing to die in the midst of Barbarism,擁s a language which is not spoken in the school of nature. Such deeds go beyond her range, and yet they are the deeds and language of a thousand persons of merit, who are devoting themselves to the affairs of New France with as much and more of courage than they would give to their own in the Old. I do not see nor can I understand all that leads to this design; they speak to me but once a year about these matters, and then upon a piece of paper, which is like [9] those mutes of the [page 223] grand Seigneur, who talk without saying a word. Yet I can say,耀eeing so much fire, so much zeal, so much holy love, in persons so different in age, in sex, in condition, and occupation,葉hat none other than a God can cause these thoughts, can kindle these coals, which are fed only by the aromatic woods of Paradise. I say nothing of the tender and noble desires of our great King for the conversion of these Tribes; it is for this purpose that he has established the Company of New France, honored it with his favor and with many important Privileges. Nor do I speak about the attentions of Monseigneur the Cardinal; it is enough to say that he has become Head of this honorable Company, and that he has uplifted, sustained, and animated this grand enterprise, which cannot be attacked without touching the apple of his eye. The Duke d'Anguien13 eldest son of Monseigneur the Prince, honoring me with a word from his own hand, assured me last year that he had high esteem for us, and that we should see the effects of it in proportion as God should [10] grant him the favor of added years. I thanked our Lord for already having inspired this young Prince with these good intentions of serving him, the more gladly as he has a mind well qualified to fulfill them. I know from good authority and without flattery that he showed this so admirably, during the course of his studies, in the opinion of those who saw him engaged in them, that his character will always render him worthy of respect among those who shall know him. God be praised! The whole sky of our dear Native Land promises us favorable influences, even to this new star, which begins to shine among those of the first magnitude. [page 225]

No one can be ignorant that Monsieur the Marquis de Gamache is the chief support of our Mission. I have learned this year that he has been acknowledged as Founder of a College in New France; our Reverend Father General has written me also to this effect; and at this writing thousands of holy masses have been offered up to his divine Majesty, throughout the whole extent of the earth where our Company is scattered, for the prosperity of his House, [11] and for the good success of this plan. We began last year to teach; Father Lallemant, and afterwards Father de Quen, instructed our little French boys, and I some little Savages. We wonder to see ourselves already surrounded by so many children, in the very beginning of our work.

I learn that some one, blessed of heaven, thinks of founding a Seminary for young Hurons. Oh, holy thought! it is from these young plants that one is to expect good fruits. God be forever blessed for the care he takes of this new Colony, favoring it with the aid of persons who cherish these poor barbarians far more than they have ever loved themselves.

I had hardly intended to speak of the Associated Gentlemen of this Company; for it is not strange that they have some affection for a country over which the King has made them Lords; but this love, in the most important members of their body, seems to me so pure that I am at once rejoiced and confounded to see as great disinterestedness in persons, attached to the world by their position, [12] as one would find in a soul far removed from the scenes and affections of earth, from its cares and confusion. I do not speak by rote; these Gentlemen, having done me the honor of writing to me by the hand of Monsieur l'Amy, [page 227] their Secretary, put me to the blush in these terms: The letter which it has pleased you to write us has satisfied our Company to such a degree, that we all acknowledge that our efforts and our cares have already received their reward. What we do for the Colony of New France may indeed be commendable, by reason of our zeal in the service of God, and our desire to aid our fellow-men; but to have therein the symapathy and the help of those who are experienced Masters in these virtues is to be rewarded from the beginning, and to receive one's full remuneration for the work of the first hours of the day. The gratitude which you express to us is worthy of much more than all that we have done; but it would suit well what we desire to do when God shall have given us the grace to perform it.

These are the very words of their letter. This is not all; after having testified that their greatest purposes aim [13] only at the glory of our Lord, they rejoice to be delivered from the importunity of a man whose hands it has been necessary to bind with chains of gold. And although that costs us much, they say, yet we consider that we have gained thereby, since no one can longer claim any right over New France, and we can offer it entire to God through your holy ministry. Being able to add nothing to such thoughts and feelings, I will say to these Gentlemen but one word, that if they attend to the interests of God, God will attend to theirs; that they will lose nothing in the exchange, if they continue in these generous purposes; and that they are sowing blessings which their children shall reap upon the earth and in Heaven. Such are the sentiments of Messieurs the Directors and Associates of this honorable Company.

I regret that some persons, great, in truth, in the eyes of God and of men, bind my hands so tightly, [page 229] and oblige me to keep the secret of their letters, or rather of their virtues; they conceal from the eyes of France the tender and strong desires they feel for [14] the glory of our holy faith throughout the extent of this Savage Land, contenting themselves with revealing them to him from whom they could not conceal them. I speak of persons employed in the highest offices of the Realm; one of them is in charge of the whole country, concerning himself with both the French and the Savages, and does good to all. Another protests that he is willing to interest himself in this Company, not through the hope of any gain, but for the extension of the Kingdom of God. Here are some words taken from one of his letters addressed to a person who has communicated it to me in confidence: I am interested in hearing news of the country, through the desire which I have for the advancement of Religion. This is the only reason, as he asserts, that induced him to ally himself with these Gentlemen. Farther on, he says that the largest and most celebrated cities have begun with a rabble of vagabonds; and that we have here this advantage, that there are honest people among us; that the greatest care that one must have here is, that God be faithfully served. There will be seen a notable change when the general Company shall enter into the complete [15] administration of affairs,葉he determination being to disregard all gain, in order to better the condition of the country and to send over a large number of French people, without the Associates receiving for a long time any of the profit which shall accrue from New France. See how a disinterested man speaks of it! The inclinations of nature do not incite us to transfer to a barbarous land the advantages which we can enjoy in a well-governed Realm. [page 231] Let us say then that these hidden impulses come from the springs of the sacred providence of the great God, who seems to have grand purposes for so many poor Peoples, abandoned for so long a time. Here is what other Associates write me. I hope that the aid which is sent you will cause the harvest to increase; that is the chief aim which those have who interest themselves in this matter. I wish I had as much power as I have desire for the advancement of the glory of God in this country, andfor the conversion of these poor Savages. Another writes to me as follows: There is likelihood that, while our Company continues its business without gain, your colony in spiritual matters will increase more and more. The intention of the greater part of those [16] interested in it has been for no other purpose than to aid in the conversion of these poor Savages, which cannot be done without your sufferings, toils, and hardships, nay, even at the peril of your life.

I should never finish were I to review all that is written on this subject by a great number of persons, whose modesty condemns me to silence as much as their good example would oblige me to speak, if I did not fear to offend them. It is for this reason that I say nothing about the holy wishes of many Religious, and the strong desires which a great number of our Fathers have to come to work in this new vineyard of our Lord, and to clear this land of Barbarism. It is true that these desires to live and to die in the Cross of Jesus are in keeping with their profession; but it is a thing much more astonishing to see men who are engaged, because of their great abilities, in the highest spheres of the affairs of the world, take their recreation in working for New France, so dearly do they love her. Much more, there are found [page 233] some Ladies who wish to share this glory with them, rising above the weakness [17] Of their sex through the generosity of their courage.

I sought last year a brave soul who might plant the great standard of charity in these lands; the mighty God of bounties has provided one. I learn that Madame de Combalet wishes to put her hand to the work, and found a Hospital in New France. See how it has pleased her to inform me of it: God having given me the desire to aid in the salvation of the .poor Savages, it has seemed to me, after reading the Account which you have written of it, that what you consider can best serve for their conversion is the establishment in New France of Hospital Nuns. I have therefore resolved to send thither this year six workmen, to clear some land and to construct a lodging for these good Sisters. I entreat that you will take care of this establishment. I have asked Father Chastelain to speak to you about it for me, and to explain to you my plans more in detail. If I can do anything else for the salvation of these poor people, for whom you take so much trouble, I shall consider myself happy. With regard to that, what shall I say, save that [18] all Heaven presents before the throne of God these holy thoughts, these noble resolutions; and that all the Angels redouble their Chants of honor and praise for so holy an undertaking. These are the thanks that we render to this illustrious Lady, in the name of all the holy guardian Angels of these poor Barbarians, who cannot comprehend the greatness of the love that is felt for them. I informed them that a great Lady was about to erect a large house, where all their sick would be received; that they would be laid on soft beds, and daintily fed; that they would be supplied with the medicines and [page 235] ointments needed for their cure, and that no pay would be required for them. They answer me with astonishment that that is good; but, nevertheless, I know by their smiles that they will believe this miracle only with their eyes. In one word, they cannot understand the greatness of this charity; it is sufficient that the God, of hearts, who causes this holy thought to spring up in a pious heart, sees his divine work and takes [19] pleasure therein. Verily there is nothing so powerful as this device to win these poor Barbarians, nay, even to fill among them the seminaries for boys and girls. Our Lord be blessed, through time and through eternity.

If I were to occupy myself further with the sentiments of devotion manifested by a multitude of pious souls, and by a very great number even of Nuns, for the extension of the faith in New France, I would considerably exceed the proper length of a Chapter; but no matter, charity covereth all. I learn that in the Church of Mont-martre, a place sacred as the depository of so many Martyrs and by the presence of so many purified souls, the Sisters take turns praying, by day and by night, to solicit and to constrain Heaven to bestow its holy benedictions upon our labors. The Carmelites are all on fire; the Ursulines are filled with zeal; the Nuns of the Visitation have no words significant enough to show their ardor; those of Nostre Dame implore permission to share in the sufferings which must be undergone among [20] these Peoples; and the Hospitalieres insist that they be brought over here next year. Nature has no breath sacred enough to light these fires; these flames arise from a fire all divine, from an increate and [page 237] living fire. We bear you more envy than compassion in your sufferings, write some of them. We accompany you with our feeble prayers, particularly to the holy Virgin, to whom we are dedicated, and to our Father, saint Joseph, and our Mother, saint Theresa, and to the Angels of the country where you are, that they may be with you in their strength and power. Oh, what great help! If it were as easy, says another, to build a Carmelite Convent as it is to raise one of the Cabins of the Savages, and if we were as powerful as we are impotent and weak, you would find from now on a great many Sisters very ready to go to your aid.

Here are the exact words of another. You must know that New France is beginning to enter the minds of a great many people, which makes me think that God is looking upon it with a favorable eye. Ah, what would you say, my Reverend Father, [21] if his divine Majesty were so to shape events that we would soon have the courage and the means to go to you. I will tell you that if such be the will of God, there is nothing in this world that can.prevent me, even if I were to be engulfed in the waves on the voyage.

This is the spirit shown by a true Ursuline, who goes on to show me in what ways her Order will some day be able to cross over into these great forests. While I am writing this, I have before my eyes the names of thirteen Sisters of the same Order, who protest, in a general letter sent to Reverend Father Adam, that they all have the same purpose and that their Superior burns with the same fire: I have allowed, says she, our good Sisters to give full scope to their desires which they have set down on this paper according to their zeal,- there is nothing of myself in it, except [page 239] the approbation I show by affixing my name, as an evidence that I do not abandon the party. I envy you more than I pity you in the labors you are about to begin. But let us hear further from these resolute spirits: There are no difficulties which daunt us; and, although the weakness and infirmity of our sex [22] is great, our Lord so powerfully fortifies and enhances our courage, that we are emboldened to say with saint Paul, we can do all in him who strengtheneth us; neither the sea nor tempests have horrors enough to frighten hearts which live and throb only for him who has given his own to redeem them, and who desire nothing so much as to be able to give theirs for his love and for the salvation of the Savages. Is it not right to say, after that, that perfect love casteth out fear? I pass over in silence other words as touching, and expressions of interest as strong as these, uttered from the hearts and lips of many good souls of other holy Orders, yea even from people of the world. If delicate and refined women, actuated by we know not what interests, say some of them, have cast themselves bravely into the hazards of the deep, shall our hearts fail at the sight of the same dangers, since we do not claim to cross over into this land of Barbarism, execpt to honor and bless the God of the sea? Those women who expect to cross first, after having distrusted their own weakness, say quite [23] boldly that, trusting themselves to God, they no longer fear anything, unless it be the too great delay. Now I answer both that they cannot have too much devotion in praying Heaven to favor this enterprise; but that they can have too much haste, if they should come over here before being notified that the Country is in a condition to receive them. Everything in its time; [page 241] God takes his as it pleases him, and it is upon him we must wait in patience and in meekness. Let us finish. I have said enough on this subject to show that New France is near to the heart of God, since it holds so good a place in those of so many persons who are so dear to him.

[page 243]



T seems that our Lord wishes to authorize the purity of the immaculate Conception of his holy Mother, by the [24] great assistance he gives to those who honor this chief dignity of the Virgin. I sent last year to Your Reverence the formula of a vow which we made according to your advice in all our Residences, on the eighth of December, a day dedicated to this sacred Conception. We concealed this act of devotion, and Your Reverence has published it, using the same words in which we made the vow, and in which we will pledge ourselves again, God helping, every year on the same day. The blessings that heaven has bestowed upon our insignificant labors, since that time, are so evident that I would like to urge upon all our Fathers of Old France, yea even of all the world, and all the good souls who cherish the conversion of these Tribes, to ally themselves with us through these holy vows, uniting all the fasts, all the prayers, all the sufferings, all the most secret acts of virtue, of those who will enter into this alliance, to be presented to the Divinity in honor of and as an act of thanks for the immaculate Conception of the holy Virgin, in order to obtain through her mediation the application of the blood of her Son [25] to our poor Savages, the entire abnegation and love for Jesus on the Cross, with a [page 245] truly Christian death, to those who procure their salvation and to all those associated in the practice of this act of devotion, the formula of which is given at the end of last year's Relation. I wrote in that Relation that we had baptized twenty-two persons; this year, since these vows were presented to God, we have baptized more than a hundred, and, before that, very few. In all, since the departure of the Ships up to the present, we have made one hundred and fifteen Savages children of the Church. Furthermore, God has given us great openings for the salvation of these Tribes, making them resolve upon two points which show that the faith has entered into their souls. The first is, that they are not vexed at us for baptizing their sick children; indeed, they even summon us to do this. The second is, that the more aged ones are likewise beginning to wish to die Christians, asking for baptism when they are sick, in order not to go down into the fires with which they are threatened. In short, we have obtained what we hardly dared to ask for, so greatly [26] do we see them alienated from their former inclinations; that is, the promise to give us some little girls, but I will speak of this in its place. All these favors have come from heaven, through the merits of the holy Virgin and of her glorious Spouse, since the vows which I have mentioned. Let us come down to particulars, and follow the order of time of these Baptisms.

On the ninth of December, the very next day after the feast of the Conception, sieur jean Nicolet,26 Interpreter for the Algonquins at the three Rivers, came to inform the Fathers who lived in the Residence of the Conception, situated at the same place, [page 249] that a young Algonquin was sick, and it would be well to visit him. The Fathers immediately hastened to his Cabin, and asked his father's permission to instruct him; God seemed to have prepared the hearts of these Barbarians, whom we had presented to him in our vows the day before. This poor Barbarian appeared very glad at the good that was being done to his son; Father Buteux instructed him; and, as the sick man was an Algonquin, and only half understood the Montagnese tongue, which [27] the Father used, a Savage woman, well versed in both these languages, served as interpreter, allowing the faith and Christian truths to flow from her lips into the soul of this poor young man without retaining them for herself,用recisely like those canals or aqueducts which discharge whole fountains of water, without reserving any for themselves. Finally, on the twelfth of the month, seeing their patient was sinking, they baptized him, after having given him instruction, and named him Claude; he died shortly afterwards, pronouncing the holy names of Jesus and Mary. His parents asked the Fathers if they would not like to have his body placed near the French. "That is indeed our desire," they answered. "We will show him an honor," we told them, " that we would refuse to the greatest Captain in the world, if he were not a Christian." "Hasten then and prepare what is necessary to bury him in your way," they said, " since he is yours." A fine escort was formed, consisting of all our Frenchmen; and after them came the Savages, two by two, with a modesty which savored in no wise of Barbarians. After the burial, the father of the dead man [28] gave a feast to the Savages, during which,預s he [page 249] did not eat, according to their custom, now singing, now talking,揺e said, "I have lost my courage, the death of my son has undone me; at other times I have seen myself in the hands of our enemies, about to be cut to pieces and torn by their teeth, and I have never lost courage; I ought not to lose it now, for I have something to console me, since my son, if he had lived, would not have failed to wreak vengeance upon the Hiroquois." And turning towards the Fathers, "You have greatly soothed my grief, by rendering the last honors to my son." Such was the discourse of this poor Barbarian at the obsequies of his son, whose thoughts are now quite different in heaven.

On the twenty-second of the same month, the same Fathers experienced the effects of the goodness of the holy Virgin, in the baptism of a young boy about ten years of age. This child did not wish to hear us speak of our belief at all, imagining that to be baptized and to die immediately after was the same thing. And, in fact, [29] as we do not readily bestow these sacred waters except upon those who we see are not going to abuse them, on account of their proximity to death, these Barbarians for a while had this idea that Baptism was fatal to them. We explained clearly to them that we were all baptized, and that we lived longer than they did. " These waters," they said, " are good for you, but not for us." Our Fathers, seeing this resistance, addressed themselves to our common Mother, and asked from her this soul for her Son. Wonderful thing! the child not only no longer avoids them, but he asks to be brought to their house. At these words, Father Quentin takes him in his arms, and carries him, weak [page 251] and languid, into his own room, where he is baptized and named André, by Monsieur de Malapart his godfather. This poor child was of a disposition so sweet and gentle, that he made himself loved by every one; hence when Father Buteux once asked his mother for him, " I have no intention," said she, "of giving him to thee, I love him as my own heart." It is a very special providence of the good God that this mother was absent during [30] his instruction and baptism. For it is probable that she would have thrown some impediments in the way, in accordance with the error so long prevalent among them, that what gives life to us gives death to them. There was considerable trouble in getting the body of this little innocent after his death, as I am now going to relate.

On the twenty-seventh, Monsieur de Maupertuis gave the name Marie to a little girl two years old, whom the Fathers baptized; she was the daughter of the late Capitanal, Captain of the Savages,預 brave man and very wise for a Barbarian. He had left his wife with three children, a boy of about seventeen years, and two little girls; the smaller of these girls is in heaven, the boy died very pitiably, as I shall tell hereafter. At the same time that he died, little André passed away; now, as they were relations, they were buried in the same grave, without our Fathers knowing it; they, when they had heard about it, went to André's grandmother to complain that this little baptized boy had been buried without their knowledge. Father Buteux begged them to give him the body to place in our cemetery; a Savage [31] answered him, " Go away, we do not understand thee." This is an answer that the Savages [page 253] occasionally make to us, when we urge them to do something that does not suit them. It is true that, as yet, we speak only stammeringly; but, still, when we say something which conforms to their wishes they never use these reproaches. The Father, seeing this, went in search of the Interpreter; he is told that the affair is ended, that the child is buried with Capitanal's son, and that Capitanal's wife would be offended if we were to ransack the grave of her son. The Father goes to see her, and begs her to allow them to take the body of this little child out of the grave; she answers not a word; a Captain who is present begins to talk. " Oh well," says he, " the two bodies belong to thee, take them to the French; but do not separate them, for they are fond of each other." " Yet they are quite distant from each other," said the Father; " the one has been baptized and the other has not, and consequently the one is happy and the other groans in the flames." " If that is all it depends upon to be together and to be happy," said this Savage, " thou hast no sense; take up the one who has not been baptized, and throw [32] as much water on his head as thou wishest, and then bury them in the same grave." The Father smiled, and gave him to understand that that would avail nothing. This Barbarian finally acquiesced; and our Fathers took little André from the profane grave, and placed him in holy ground. Unus assumetur, et alter relinquetur. After the burial, the mother of the one who died without Baptism, seeing her son had been discarded like the body of a lost soul, shed bitter tears. "Ah, my son," she said, "how sorry I am for thy death." Then the Father, who had seen the jugglers blowing upon this youth in his [page 255] sickness, said to her, "Behold the cure that these triflers promised to thy son; thy little girl is sick, be careful not to summon them nor have them sing to her." "Never," said she, "shall they come near her; if she grows worse, I will call you." Some time afterward the Fathers, deeming her very sick, baptized her, to the great satisfaction of the mother.

On the thirty-first a girl about sixteen years old was baptized and named Anne by one of our Frenchmen. Father Buteux while instructing her, told her that, if she were a Christian, when she came to die her [33] soul would go to Heaven to joys eternal. At this word, " to die," she was so frightened that she would no longer listen to the Father. Sieur Nicolet, the interpreter, who willingly performs such acts of charity, was sent to her, and she listened to him quietly; but, as his duties called him elsewhere, he could not visit her very often. Hence Father Quentin tried to learn the first rudiments of Christianity in the Savage tongue, in order to be able to instruct her; he succeeded in this so well that the poor girl, having tasted this wholesome doctrine, desired Baptism, which the Father granted her. Grace produces many results; it was remarked that this girl, naturally very disdainful and proud, grew very gentle and tractable on becoming a Christian.

On the seventh of January of this year one thousand six hundred and thirty-six, the son of a great Sorcerer or juggler was made a Christian, his father consenting to it after having offered a great deal of opposition; for, as our Fathers were revealing his schemes and throwing discredit upon him, he could not endure them in his Cabin. However, as [34] his son was on the verge of death, they begged sieur [page 257] Nicolet to do all he could to save this soul. So they went, Father Quentin and he, to his bark house, and strongly urged this Savage to consent to the baptism of his little son; as he turned a deaf ear, a good old woman said: " What! dost thou think the water the black Robes will throw upon the head of thy child will make him die? Dost thou not see that he is already dead, and that he can hardly breathe? If these people were asking thy Porcelain or thy Beavers, for the charitable acts which they exercise towards thy son, thou wouldst have some excuse; but they give and ask nothing; thou knowest how they care for the sick, let them go on; if this poor little one dies, they will bury him better than thou couldst." So the sick child was baptized and named Adrien by sieur du Chesne, Surgeon of the settlement; he died some time afterwards. Father Buteux asked for him, to bury him in our way. " No, no, " said the parents, " thou canst not have him naked; wait until we have adorned him, and then we will give him to thee." They painted his face [35] blue, black, and red; they dressed him in a little red Cloak, and lined it with two Bear skins and a robe of wild Cat skin, and over all placed a large white sheet which they had bought at the Store. They arranged the little body in all this paraphernalia, in the form of a package tied closely on all sides, and placed it in the hands of the Father, who gently kissed these sacred remains, to show the Savages how greatly we esteemed a little baptized Angel. It was buried in our French Cemetery, with solemnity. This greatly pleases these Barbarians, and often influences them to allow their children to be made Christians.

On the eighth of the same month of January, a [page 259] young girl peculiarly loved by her parents, but still more so by God, went to Heaven after having been washed in the blood of the Lamb. I will notice in this place the follies her poor father committed, in order to be able to cure her. His brother-in-law came to tell him that he had dreamed his niece would recover, if they had her lie upon a sheepskin painted with various figures; a search was made for one [36] immediately, one was found, and they painted thereon a thousand grotesque figures, canoes, paddles, animals, and such things. The Fathers, who had not yet instructed this girl, urged earnestly that this remedy was useless; but they must try it. The patient rested upon these paintings, but received no real benefit. Another Charlatan was of the opinion that, if they gave the sick girl a white sheet as pillow, upon which had been drawn pictures of men singing and dancing, the sickness would disappear. They began immediately to paint men upon a sheet, but they made nothing but monkeys, such good Painters are they; this remedy succeeded no better than the first. The poor girl lay down upon this sheet without resting, and without recovering. What cannot the natural affection of fathers and mothers do for their children? These good people sought everywhere the health of their daughter, except in him who could have granted it. They consulted a famous Sorceress, that is, a famous jester. This woman said she had learned,謡hether from Manitou or some one else, I cannot say,葉hat they would have to kill a dog and that the men should make [37] a feast of it. Furthermore, that they would have to make a beautiful robe of Deer skin, trim it with their red matachias made of Porcupine quills, and give it [page 261] to the patient; and that she would thus recover. While they were preparing this feast, a Savage dreamed that, for the recovery of this girl, they would have to prepare a banquet of twenty head of Elk. Now the girl's parents were placed in great anxiety, for, as there was but little snow, they could not pursue and much less capture the Elk. In this great difficulty, they consulted the Interpreters of dreams; it was decided that they must change the twenty head of Moose to twenty big loaves of bread, such as they buy from our French, and that this would have the same effect. They were not mistaken, inasmuch as this bread and this dog feast did nothing but fill the stomachs of the Savages; and this is all the twenty Moose heads could have done, for, to cure the sick, neither banquets nor beautiful robes avail.

While they were making use of these fine remedies, the Fathers were addressing themselves to God for the salvation of this poor soul; they came to see the wretched girl, but her [38] parents would not permit them to talk to her about our belief, imagining that Baptism injured the body, whatever it might do for the soul. "Wait," said they; "when our daughter is completely exhausted, when we have tried all the remedies of which we can avail ourselves,擁f they do not succeed, we will permit you to instruct her." The Fathers, upon hearing this, desisted for a while from visiting the sick girl, negotiating for the recovery of her soul with God. The mother of the girl felt inclined to have her instructed, her husband was opposed to this. At last, God, who holds the hearts of all men in his hands, softened those of these Barbarians, for the good of their child. [page 263] Not only were they no longer averse to the Fathers, but on the contrary they had them invited there, assuring them that their daughter would listen to them willingly. The Fathers immediately fly thither; Father Buteux begins to talk, presenting as well as he can the principal articles of our faith. The parents, to assist the Father, who is not yet well versed in the language, and to soothe their child, repeat softly and explain in clearer terms [39] what was said to this poor soul, which showed itself as thirsty for this doctrine as the dry earth for the dew from Heaven; some time was employed in instructing her, the parents always contented, and the patient still more so. During the night, she would sometimes say to her mother, " Will it not soon be day? Will the Father not come early in the morning?" Then addressing God, she would say to him: Missi ka khichitaien chaouerimitou, " Thou who hast made all, have pity upon me." Khiranau, oue ka nipien khita pouetatin khisadkikitin. " Thou who hast died for us, I believe in thee, I love thee, help me." When the Father visited her, she said to him, " Thou givest me joy when thou comest to see me; I have remembered what thou hast taught me," and thereupon she explained it to him accurately. The evening before her death, one of her uncles, having come to see the Fathers and remaining to sup with them, said, " My niece is very sick, you ought to baptize her." They replied that they wished to instruct her sufficiently. " If, however," they said to him, " thou see her perceptibly weakening, call us, and we will go and see her. " At ten or eleven o'clock at night, this poor Savage came through the snow and the [40] piercing cold, and cried out in a loud voice when he [page 265] neared the French settlement, that they should come quickly and baptize the sick girl, for she was going to die. The fathers, awakened by these cries, were indeed astonished that neither the great dogs that are let loose at night, nor the rigor of the cold, had prevented this good man from coming to call them. Sieur Nicolet and sieur de Launay accompanied them; the latter was Godfather and gave her the name Marie. Her father and mother, although Barbarians, showed that they were pleased at this act, and thanked the Fathers and our Frenchmen for having taken the trouble to come out on a night so bad that sieur Nicolet was made sick by it. The poor girl had only words enough to accept the baptism which she had so much desired; for, as soon as she had received it, she entered into the pangs of death, and soon after went to Paradise, clad in the robes of innocence with which Heaven had just covered her. When her uncle saw that she was dead, he had Father Buteux called and said to him, " You love, not only during life, but even after death; my niece belongs to you, bury her in your [41] way. Make a big grave, for my brother, whom grief has stricken dumb, wishes to place with her her little belongings. " They wished to bury with this girl two dogs, and several other things. As to the dogs, they were told that the French would not be pleased if such ugly beasts were placed among them. " Permit us, then, " said they, " to bury them near your Cemetery; for the dead girl loved them, and it is our custom to give to the dead what they loved or possessed when they were living." We do all we can to oppose this superstition, which is every day becoming less general; nevertheless, one tolerates, in these [page 267] first beginnings, many things which in time will disappear of themselves. If these poor ignorant people were refused the privilege of placing in the graves of their dead their few belongings, to go with them to the other life, they say, they would also refuse to allow us to approach their sick; and thus many souls would be lost which we are gathering in little by little, until the days of the great harvest come. So they enveloped the dead body in several robes; they gave her her trinkets, [42] her ornaments, a quantity of porcelain, which is the diamonds and pearls of this country; and besides this they put in the grave two paddles, and two large bags filled with their wealth, and with different utensils or instruments which the girls and women use. Finally, the father of this girl, so dearly beloved,耀eeing the honor they were showing his child, and that they had made her a beautiful coffin, a thing which gives infinite pleasure to these Barbarians,葉hrew himself upon Father Buteux's neck and said, "Nikanis, my well-beloved, in truth I recognize that thou lovest me, and that all of you, who wear this gown, cherish our Nation." Then apostrophizing his child: " My daughter, how happy thou art to be so well lodged! " This man is one of the principal men of his nation; his wife has become a Christian, as we shall relate in the proper place. We hope that he will die a Christian as well as his family. So may it be.

On the twentieth of the same month, God showed his goodness in the conversion and Baptism of a Savage, of whom our Fathers had almost despaired. This young man was sick, and Father Buteux [43] went to visit him. As a great many people were going into his cabin, he invited him to make a visit to our [page 269] house, provided his illness would permit it; he went there immediately. After some conversation, the Father reverted to the articles of our belief, but with little success; for, having married the daughter of one of the greatest Charlatans of the country, he would not surrender at the first summons. When the blessings of the future life were urged upon him, and he was asked if he did not wish to enjoy them, he answered that he could not believe those things. " For," said he, " after my death my soul will have no intelligence, and hence will not be capable of enjoying these blessings." "How dost thou know," replied the Father, "that souls, after their departure from this life, are without sensibility and knowledge?" "Two of our men," he answered, "once returned, after their death, and told this to the people of our nation." "Did those souls that returned have any intelligence?" "No," he replied. "Thou art mistaken," said the Father, "for it is intelligence to know that one has not intelligence; but let us leave these subtleties. Does it require intelligence to be a good hunter?" The Savages will never deny [44] this proposition, for their greatest Philosophy and Theology is not in their heads, but in their feet. " Now is it true," continued the Father, " that there are souls of Savages that are bravely hunting the souls of Beavers and of Elks? Then they must have intelligence." To this argument, a little too forcible for a Savage, he answered nothing, except, that as his people were not going to Heaven, he did not wish to go there. " You people," said he, " are sure of going up yonder. Well and good, go there, then; each one loves his own people; for my part, I shall go and find mine." The Father, seeing clearly that [page 271] he would be obstinate, changed the subject and asked him about his disease. "It is," he replied, "a wicked Algonquain who has given me this disease which sticks in my body, because I was angry at him; and his fear that I would kill him induced him to bargain for my death with the Manitou." "And how dost thou know that?" "I have had the Manitou consulted, and he told me I should make haste and give presents to the Manitousiouekhi,"葉hese are their jugglers," and that he would forestall my enemy, taking his life, and that thus I would be cured; but [45] my misfortune is that I have nothing more,悠 have given my Porcelain and my Beavers; and, because I cannot continue these presents, I must die." So the only use to which these jugglers put their art is to draw what they can from poor sick people; and, when they have nothing more, they abandon them. The Japanese have similar errors. They believe that, as the poor can give nothing to the Bonzes, they cannot go to Paradise. Christians are obliged to adore and to acknowledge the goodness of their God. What light there is in faith, though it be a dark lantern; and how well our belief, though it may be elevated above the forces of nature, conforms to reason! Theologians say very truly that it is necessary to have the piam motionem in order to consent to the propositions of our faith; the will must be softened and must give up its natural hardness. This is done by the gentle breathing or stirring of the Holy Spirit, which leads us to believe. I daily see men who are convinced of this truth, that our belief is good, that it is holy, that it conforms to reason; and, after [46] all that, seeing no conclusions drawn from these premises, I exclaim, " What have we done to [page 273] God that he gives us this Faith, which enters with so much difficulty into the souls of these poor Savages! " But to return to our young man. The Fathers had, as it were, despaired of his salvation; nevertheless, as the conversion of a soul depends upon him who is all-powerful, they did not cease to visit him, to impart to him, from time to time, some fear of hell, or some hope of eternal life. At last, this poor young man was touched all at once; this understanding full of darkness began to see the day; and his will became supple and obedient to the will of God, like a dutiful child to the desires of its parents. One day, when the Fathers entered his Cabin, he made them a present of a piece of Elk-meat which had been given him; Father Buteux said to him, " We do not come here to receive, but to give to thee; we are not seeking thy goods, but wish to give thee those of Heaven; if thou wouldst believe in God, how happy thou wouldst be!" "Yes," said he, "I wish to believe, and I wish to go to him." He said [47] this with his hands clasped, his eyes raised to Heaven, with an accent so devout and a manner so composed, that the Fathers were filled with joy and astonishment, seeing that God does more in a moment than all men can do in a hundred years; he is indeed the God of hearts. Behold this heart of stone changed into a heart of flesh. He listens eagerly to what he already believes; he is full of regret at his former opposition; he cannot sufficiently admire the goodness of him who has so gently vanquished him. The Fathers, seeing him so well disposed, offered for him the holy sacrifice of the Mass; and, after thorough instruction, finally changed the savage name Amiskoueroui to the name Nicolas, which was [page 275] given to him in holy Baptism. God knows how to take his time when he pleases. At the time he was converted, when he was baptized and when he died, certain scoffers and triflers who lived in his Cabin, and who would have done all they could to divert him from Christianity, had gone to the chase; they returned exactly two hours after he died, very much astonished at what had taken place; but quis ut Deus? Who can turn away the goodness of God, [48] any more than his thunderbolts? Non est qui se abscondat à calore ejus. There is no heart of bronze that will not melt when God wishes to heat it.

On the twenty-fifth, the day of saint Paul's Conversion, a young Savage was named Paul. His father secured for him in his sickness what he did not take for himself in health. So far was he from showing anger at the instruction given his son, a boy of fifteen or sixteen, that on the contrary, he urged him to listen to the Fathers; and having sometimes visited them himself, and having heard them speak of the realities of the other life, he related afterwards to his children what he had learned, not having enough courage to embrace and profess the truths that he approved in his heart. Fear of the world does a great deal of harm everywhere.

On the twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth, two sisters were enrolled in the Catalogue of the children of God. The smaller, about two years old, now sings his greatness among the Choirs of the Angels. The elder followed her, a short time afterward. She was about sixteen years old when she received a new birth in Jesus Christ; [49] having fallen sick, it was not hard to persuade her to become a Christian. It seems that she had already possessed the faith, [page 277] before the Fathers talked with her; her brother was in the habit of visiting our House to instruct our Fathers in his language; and, as they often spoke to him of our Mysteries, he related to his sister what he had learned. He was happier than the Fathers themselves in scattering this sacred seed; although it has not been observed to have as yet germinated in his soul, it has borne flowers and fruit in the heart of his sister. When she was asked during her sickness if she did not wish to be baptized, she answered that she greatly desired it. The Fathers, intending to instruct her, found that she knew enough to receive holy Baptism, which surprised and consoled them. So she was called Jeanne, receiving with this name so great an abundance of grace, that it seemed as if the Son of God took particular pleasure in this new Spouse. Father Buteux, seeing her at her departure to go into the woods with her mother and the other Savages, said to her, " Farewell, my daughter; remember that you are now [50] a friend of God, and that if you die he will take you to his house, filled with all blessings." " Farewell, my Father," she replied, " I shall see you no more; but it matters little if I die, since I am to go to such a good place." She said this with so deep a sense of piety, that tears came to the eyes of the two Fathers, who were carried away at seeing a little Barbarian speak like an Angel of Paradise. " But what can we give you, Jeanne, since you are going to leave us for so long a time?" they said to her. "If you have any raisins, give me a few; this will be the last time you will relieve me in my sickness, for I am going to die in the woods. But I believe that I will go to Heaven. Do you think so, my Father?" "Yes, my [page 279] daughter, you will go there, if you continue in the faith." " Be assured," she said, " that I believe in God, and that I will believe in him all my life." They gave her all the raisins they had left, which were not many,葉he few that had been sent them having already been distributed to many other invalids. When they came to tie this poor girl with her little sister, both newly baptized, upon the long sledges, to take them [51] into these great forests, it seemed to the Fathers like tearing out their hearts; for these poor people had no other food than a little bread that they gave them; their dinner and supper depended upon the providence of God, their hostelries were the snow and trees, and a little bark. A strong Northwester, the coldest wind of these Countries, blew upon these poor invalids, and yet they went away as contented as if they were about to enter a promised land. " Oh, how disgusted I was with myself," writes the Father who sent me these memoirs, " when I saw this beautiful sight! These people condemned me of cowardice, for not placing my confidence in God as strongly as they do theirs in their bows and arrows, and in not doing from virtue what these Barbarians do from nature."

[page 281]



See Vol. VII., for particulars of this document.


As with its predecessor for 1635, the Relation of 1636 (Paris, 1637), although for the convenience of bibliographers styled Le Jeune's, is a composite. The first half, closing with p. 272, is the annual report of Le Jeune, as superior, dated August 28, 1636; the second half, separately paged, is a special report on the Huron mission, by Brébeuf, dated Ihonatiria, July 16, 1636.

For the text of the document, we have had recourse to the Lamoignon copy of the original Cramoisy edition in the Lenox Library, which is there designated as "H. 65," because described in Harrisse's Notes, no. 65.

Collation (H. 65). Title, with verso blank; "Extraict du Privilege du Roy" (dated Paris, Dec. 22, 1636), p. (I); "Approbation" by the provincial (dated Paris, Dec. 15, 1636), p. (i); "Table des Chapitres, "pp. (4); Le Jeune's Relation (11 chaps.), pp. 1272; Brébeuf's Huron Relation, (in two parts, 4 and 9 chaps. respectively), pp. 1223; verso of last leaf blank.

There are two copies in the Lenox Library, in which we have discovered a number of textual variations which have never been noted before. For the sake of convenience we shall designate these as [page 283] Lamoignon and Bancroft, the names of former owners whose individual impress they bear. Our reprint, as previously stated, is from the Lamoignon copy. The Quebec reprint (vol. i, 1858) follows a copy with the text corresponding with the Bancroft variations. All the differences which we have discovered occur in the Huron Relation, and the references are to the pagination of that part. We give the principal ones below.



P. 85, last line ends with: "s'il ne leur fuフ."

The last four lines of p. 85 are spaced freely to make up for the elision of "arriué.

P. 85, last line ends with: "s'il ne leur fuフ arriué"

P. 146, l. 2, reads: "d'où ils tirent"

P. 146, l. 2, reads: "dont ils tirent"

P. 146, l. 22, reads: "alliance. Si leurs champs"

P. 146, l. 22, reads: "alliances, ナ leurs champs"

P. 146, l. 23, reads: "les occupe ils バnt"

P. 146, l. 23, reads: "les occupe; ils font"

P. 158, l. 9, reads: "cõitre"

P. 158, l. 9, reads: "contre"

P. 158, l. 10, reads: "les tourmentèt: le"

P. 158, l. 10, reads: "les tourmentent"

P. 158, l. 13, reads: "que ces pauures miテrables chanteront"

P. 158, l. 13, reads: "que ce pauure miテrable chantera"

P. 158, l. 18, reads: "s'ils eフoièt vaillãs hommes, ils leur arrachèt"

P. 158, l. 18, reads: "s'il eフoit vaillant homme, ils luy arrachent"

P. 159, last line ends with: "quelque Peuple auec qui ils"

P. 159, last line ends with: "quelques Peuples auec leヒuels ils"

There is still another edition of this Relation in which the matter was reset entirely, and in which the text-page is much larger than in the one described above. Pilling (Bibliography of the Iroquoian [page 284] Languages, p. 18) describes the British Museum copy, and the following collation is based on his very careful account of it.

Collation (H. 66). Title, with verso blank, i leaf; Table des Chapitres, " pp. (2); Le Jeune's Relation, pp. 1-199; Brébeuf's Huron Relation, pp. 1-164.

Copies of H. 65 may be found in the following libraries: Lenox (two variations), Harvard, Library of Parliament (Ottawa), Brown (private), Archives of St. Mary's College (Montreal), and the British Museum. The Barlow copy (1889), no. 1276, sold for $17-50. Priced by Harrassowitz (1882), no. 23, at 125 marks. Copies of H. 66 are in the British Museum, and in the Bibliothèque Nationale (imperfect). We know of no example in America.

[page 285]


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