The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents

Travels and Explorations

of the Jesuit Missionaries

in New France








Reuben Gold Thwaites

Secretary of the State historical Society of Wisconsin


Thom Mentrak

Historical Interpreter at

Onondaga county parks

Ste. Marie Among The Iroquois Living History Museum

Liverpool. New York


Vol. XIV

Hurons, Québec


CLEVELAND: The Burrows Brothers




Reuben Gold Thwaites




| Finlow Alexander [French]


| Percy Favor Bicknell [French]


| John Cutler Covert [French]


| William Frederic Giese [Latin]


| Crawford Lindsay [French]


| Mary Sifton Pepper [French & Italian]


| William Price [French]


| Hiram Allen Sober [French]


| John Dorsey Wolcott [Latin]



Assistant Editor

Emma Helen Blair



Bibliographical Adviser

Victor Hugo Paltsits



Electronic Transcription

Thom Mentrak




Preface To Volume .XIV.






Relation de ce qvi s'est passé en la Novvelle France, en l'année 1637. [Second installment of Part II., completing the document.] François Joseph le Mercier; Ihonatiria, June 21, 1637




Relation de ce qvi s'est passé en la Novvelle France, en l'année 1638. [First installment, being Part I. of the document.] Paul le Jeune; Three Rivers, August 25, 1638



Bibliographical Data; Volume. xiv.





[page i]




Photographic facsimile of Du Quen's hand-writing, selected from his copy of Chevalier de Sillery's donation to the Jesuits, dated Paris, Feb. 22, 1639




Photographic facsimile of title-page, Le Jeune's Relation of 1638.


[page ii]


The greater part of Le Mercier's (Huron) contribution to the Relation of 1637 (Document XXIX.) was presented in our Vol. XIII. We now give the remainder of the Huron report, which thus closes the entire document.

Le Mercier continues his record of missionary labors among the plague-stricken Hurons,—nursing the sick, consoling the afflicted, and baptizing dying children and those adults who at the point of death turned to this rite as a protection from the fires of hell. In the intervals of these labors, the Fathers learn what they can of the native language, " all the secret of which, " says the author, " consists in the conjugations of verbs." In this they are greatly aided by " some catechisms prepared for them last year by Louis de Sainte-Foy, upon the mysteries of the life, death, and passion of Our Lord."

In March, the missionaries submit to some of the clans certain questions—whether they are ready to believe in and accept the faith; whether they are willing that some of the Frenchmen should become allied to them by marriage; and if there is any probability of the reunion of the natives hereabout to those of the Bear clan, from whom they had become estranged. The second of these queries is readily answered in the affirmative; but they hesitate as to the others. [page 1]

In April, Garnier and some of the domestics spend a fortnight in a trip to the neighboring Tobacco Nation, during which they baptize fifteen sick persons.

May 3, a fire occurs not far from the mission house, in a cabin occupied by some orphans, whose relatives had been carried off by the pestilence; not only the villagers, but the missionaries, contribute to a fund for the relief of these children, who thus find themselves in better circumstances than before. In this month of May, a new mission house is established at Ossossané, under the charge of Pierre Pijart, and here Garnier soon joins him.

In the final chapter of this report to Le Jenne, Le Mercier relates at length " the happy conversion of Tsiouendaentaha, the first adult savage baptized in good health in the Huron country, " which event fills the souls of the Fathers with gladness.

XXX. The Relation for 1638 consists of two parts: Part I., on the missions of New France in general, by the superior, Le Jeune, and closed at Three Rivers, August 25, 1638. Part 11., the annual report to Le Jenne, from the Huron missions, by Le Mercier, dated at Ossossané, June 9, 1638. In the present volume, we publish Part I., reserving Part II. for Vol. XV.

Le Jeune begins his Relation by naming " the four batteries that shall destroy the empire of Satan," which the missionaries are now ranging against as many defenses of that empire—superstition, error, barbarism, sin. These engines of war are: the study of the native languages, the establishment of a hospital, seminaries for Indian children, and the substitution among the savages of a sedentary for a nomadic mode of life. [page 2]

The writer then recounts minutely the conversions and baptisms of the past year. Notable among these are: an Algonkin who, lying for months at the point of death, is restored to health through the prayers of the Fathers—not only is he baptized, and made a catechumen, but his wife, sister, and three children; two young men, pupils in the Huron seminary; the wife and children of Pigarouich, the " sorcerer" with whom the missionaries had so many encounters the previous year. Pigarouich burned all the utensils of his art, and since then has steadily refused to practice it, though many times tempted by valuable gifts to do so. The religious experiences of a young Algonkin catechumen, and the proofs of sincerity shown by him, are also rehearsed.

A notable event now occurs,—the establishment of the residence of St. Joseph de Sillery, four miles above Quebec, through the munificence of Noel de Sillery, a Knight of Malta, who, having become a priest, dedicated his fortune to pious works. At this residence are established two Algonkin families, comprising about twenty persons, who consent to settle there and till the soil for their living,—the beginning of an Indian village, where the native converts can be withdrawn from their savage associations, and kept under French and Christian influences. Sillery has by this time become a center for gathering the vagrant savages of that region, and giving them religious instruction.

Progress is also reported from the station at Three Rivers; the savages eagerly bring their children for baptism; " these sacred waters, having many times saved the lives of entire families, are now in great esteem among them." The medicine men are losing [page 3] their influence; the " eat-all " feasts and consultation of demons are no longer practiced.

After its early trials, the seminary for the Hurons is now prospering. One of its pupils, converted to the faith, returns to the Huron country with one of the Fathers, to allay the excitement and discontent of the people, who have been threatening the missionaries sent there—accusing them as sorcerers, who have brought thither the pestilence for the ruin and death of the natives. Besides the seminary for the Hurons, others have been begun near Quebec, for the Algonkins and Montagnais; the mission has now in charge fifteen of these Indian children, who must be supported and educated.

Jerome Lalemant, Simon le Moyne, and François du Peron arrive in the spring of 1638, and are forthwith sent to the Huron country; on the way thither, they meet with various annoyances and losses.

In addition to gentlemen already named, the following have recently rendered material assistance to the editor: Père Colombier, S.J., librarian of l'École de Sainte-Geneviéve, and M. Girard de Rialle, director of the Archives au Ministére des Affaires étrangères, Paris; Dr. Herbert Friedenwald, superintendent of MS. department, Library of Congress, Washington; Rev. W. O Raymond, president of New Brunswick Historical Society, St. John, N. B.; Rev. Oswald Mueller, S. J., of the College of the Sacred Heart, Prairie du Chien, Wis.; Dr. G. Devron, New Orleans; Dr. J. N. B. Hewitt, of the Bureau of Ethnology, Washington; and Dr. John G. Henderson, Chicago.

R. G. T.

Madison, Wis., January, 1898.

[page 4]

XXIX (concluded)

Le Jeune's Relation, 1637



Part 1. (Le Jeune's Relation proper, and his Dernière Lettre) appeared in Volumes XI., XII. Part II. (Le Mercier's Huron Relation) was commenced in Volume XIII., and is completed in the present volume.

[page 5]

[183] During our sojourn at Ossosanë, the Father Superior and Father Charles Garnier made a little trip which is not to be overlooked. On the 5th of this month, they baptized 2 sick persons at Anonnatea; and the next day, the 6th, with the Bissiriniens (who were wintering a quarter of a league from there), a little newborn child. By a very special providence of God, they had gone as far as this place the day before, and had visited all the cabins, but, finding nothing sufficient to detain them there [184] longer, they had departed, intending to return in the evening to their home. At a quarter of a league from there, they perceived that a dog which was following them had disappeared. A dog is no small thing in this country, and this one performed an important part in this case. However, they did not trouble themselves any further about it, knowing well that this was not the first time that it had returned all alone. Being near Aneatea [Anonatea], the snow began to fall so thickly that they had considerable difficulty in finding their way, so that, contrary to their intention, they were obliged to pass the night in that village. The next morning, through a special providence of God, the dog not being found, they resolved to go in quest of it as far as the Bissiriniens. They were hardly in the village before they were informed that a woman had been delivered of a child during the night, but that her child was dead. This was enough to cause them to give no more heed to the matter; but God, who intended to save this little soul, inspired them to go and see the mother. They found this woman very sick, and the child still barely alive. Father Garnier baptized it without the knowledge of its parents,—having, for this purpose, [page 7] had the foresight to dip his handkerchief in water [185]before entering the cabin. Perhaps if the mother had been consulted thereupon, she would not have been favorable to it; the Algonquins are as yet hardly fit for holy baptism. Shortly afterwards, this little Angel flew away to Heaven.

On the 20th, we learned from Anons [Aënons] a new opinion concerning the malady,—that a report was current that it had come from the Agniehenon, who had brought it from the Andastoerhonon, a nation in the direction of Virginia. These tribes, it is said, had been infected therewith by Ataentsic, whom they hold to be the mother of him who made the earth; that she had passed through all the cabins of two villages, and that at the second they had asked her, Now, after all, why is it that thou makest us die? and that she had made this answer, " Because my grandson, Iouskeha, is angry at men,—they do nothing but make war and kill one another; he has now resolved, as a punishment for this inhumanity, to make them all die. " Your Reverence will permit me, if you please, to shorten, from now on, stories of this kind,—especially as they crowd me upon all sides, and warn me every clay that they are going to launch the canoes immediately. I shall go as far as I can, and shall write [186] up to the day of the embarkation. If I do not reach the end, some one else, if you please, will acquaint you with the rest next year.

From about the 20th of February up to Passion week, our chief occupation was the study of the language. The Father Superior had already composed some discourses for us, which had accustomed us, in great measure, to the instruction of the Savages; [page 9] and during Lent he explained to us some Catechisms that Louys de Ste. Foy had translated for us last year upon the mystery of the life, death, and passion of Our Lord, which also greatly aided us, especially in this respect. We had intended to work this year upon the Dictionary, but God has placed us under the necessity of contenting ourselves with what we had. We have not failed, through his holy grace, to make great progress in the language,—so that now, if there is a question of making little trips to visit and instruct some Savage, the Father Superior finds persons all ready to go; and there is not one of us who does not consider himself happy to go and coöperate in the salvation of some soul. We have good reason to thank this infinite goodness which gives us so great a liking for this barbarous language. After our devotional exercises, we have no [187] greater consolation than to devote ourselves to this study; it is our most common subject of conversation, and we gather up all the words from the mouths of the Savages as so many precious stones, that we may use them afterwards to display before their eyes the beauty of our holy mysteries. Within a short time, the Father Superior has discovered excellent methods of distinguishing the conjugations of the verbs, in which the whole secret of the language lies; for the greater part of the words are conjugated. However far we advance, we shall still continue to discover new lands.

On the 2nd day of March, an old woman died in our village, whom the Father Superior had baptized a few days before. The next day, he baptized at Annonatea a young child between 9 and 10 years old. The disease still continued there, and has not yet departed thence. [page 11]

On the 7th, a young man was found quite dead, stretched out upon the snow, within musket—range of our cabin. The Father Superior and François Petitpré, going that morning to Ouenrio, had heard his voice, as of a dying person, and resolved to go and seek him if he had called once more; but as his strength failed him, and as some of the Savages said it was a soul complaining, and others that it was a dog, they had continued on their way without giving themselves any further concern about it. [188] Our Savages dwelt at length upon the death of this poor young man, several attributing the cause of his death, among other things, to a theft he had committed among the Algonquins, in which they happened to catch him. What made them talk in this way was not the knowledge they possess that God forbids and punishes theft,—that was something for which they cared little; but they based their opinion upon the word of the sorcerer Tsondacouane, who had said some time before that whoever stole the Algonquins' lines, or the baits from their hooks, would, without fail, be immediately attacked by the disease.

On the 9th, the Father Superior and Father Charles Garnier went to visit some sick people in the town of Onnentisati, where they baptized a little child.

On the 12th, Father Garnier and I baptized a woman in a little village that we call Arendaonatia, doing so with a very special feeling of consolation. In fact, God having since restored her health, she has conceived a very high opinion of holy baptism, and has evinced much good will in keeping the commandments of God and even in aiding to instruct some of the other Savages.

[189] On the 15th, I accompanied the Father [page 13] Superior to Anonatea, where he baptized a very sick woman; thence we went to visit the Algonquins, where, we had learned, there were also a number of sick people. We saw among others one Oraouandindo, who died two or three days afterwards. We were under a special obligation to this Savage. The Father Superior did all in his power to fit him for our mysteries and for baptism; in fact, he seemed at first willing to lend an ear; but afterwards, seeing himself pressed to answer definitely, he made a pretext that he did not fully understand. They summoned a Savage of his own nation who, in fact, understands and speaks Huron extremely well, and who very faithfully repeated to him, in his own tongue, all that the father said. After all that, we could draw nothing else from him except that he did not feel any inclination to go to Heaven, seeing that he had no acquaintances there; and to all the father could say to him, he never made any other answer. We always had this solace, that the Captain, and several who were there, were upon this occasion fully informed of what we are aiming at in this country, and who we are; for they confessed to us [190] ingenuously that until then they had taken us not for men engendered in the fashion common to others, but for real incarnate demons,—telling us that the people of the island had led them into this opinion. According to them,—I mean the Hurons and the Algonquins,—those gentlemen often render us similar kindnesses.

On the 17th, I again accompanied the Father Superior to Iahenhouton, where resides the chief of the council of this place. The object of this journey was to make them 3 propositions: 1st, whether they had [page 15] not at last resolved to believe what we taught, and to embrace the faith; 2nd, whether it would be acceptable to them that some of our Frenchmen should marry in their country as soon as possible; 3rd, whether there was any probability of a reunion between them and the people of Ossosané and some of the surrounding villages. Your Reverence knows the cause of their division; we wrote to you about it fully last year, on the occasion of their feast of the Dead. As regards the first proposition, we did not gain all the satisfaction possible; this Captain is not one of the most intelligent men in the world, at least outside the little perplexities of their affairs; as for [191] the second and third, they approved of them heartily, and assured us that they were under a great obligation to us for this so close alliance that we wished to make with them, and for our great interest in the welfare of the country. Upon this occasion they confessed to us the evil designs they had had this winter upon our lives,—having learned from a reliable source, as they thought, that the uncle of the late Estienne Bruslé, in revenge for the death of his nephew, for which no satisfaction had been obtained, had undertaken the ruin of the whole country, and had caused this contagious disease. And thereupon, as the Father declared that he greatly desired to have these matters proposed in a general assembly, he replied that the thing was not impossible, that they would confer about it among themselves and give us their opinion afterward; however, concerning the marriages, it was not necessary to go through so many ceremonies,—that those Frenchmen who had resolved to marry were free to take wives where it seemed good to them; that those [page 17] who had married in the past had not demanded a general council for that purpose, [192] but that they had taken them in whatever way they had desired. The Father replied to this that it was very true that the Frenchmen who had hitherto married in the country had not made such a stir about it, but also that their intentions were far removed from ours, that their purpose had been to become barbarians, and to render themselves exactly like them. He said that we, on the contrary, aimed by this alliance to make them like us, to give them the knowledge of the true God, and to teach them to keep his holy commandments, and that the marriages of which we were speaking were to be stable and perpetual; and he laid before them all the other advantages they would derive therefrom. These brutal minds gave but little heed to the spiritual considerations; the temporal were more to their taste, and of these they wished to have very definite assurances. Some days later, this Captain came to see us in the absence of the Father Superior, assuring us that they had conferred among themselves touching the three propositions that had been made; that the old men were very favorable to them, and that he had come in order to be enlightened concerning certain doubts they had about marriage. And first, he told us, they would be very glad to know what a husband [193] would give to his wife; that among the Hurons the custom was to give a great deal besides,—that is to say, a beaver robe, and perhaps a porcelain collar. 2nd, whether the wife would have everything at her disposal. 3rd, if the husband should desire to return to France, whether he would take his wife with him; and, in case she remained, what he would leave her [page 19] on his departure. 4th, if the wife failed in her duty and the husband drove her away, what she could take away with her—and the same if, of her own free will, the fancy seized her to return to her relatives. All these questions show that they had thought over the matter. We did what we could to satisfy them thereupon,—assuring him besides that when he should confer with the Father Superior, who would explain it clearly, they would all have good reason to be fully satisfied with our proceedings in the matter. This is the situation in regard to these marriages. Some of our Frenchmen had thought seriously of going farther, and of carrying out this plan, and the thing seems indeed to be advantageous to Christianity; but some obstacles were thrown in the way. The matter certainly deserves mature deliberation; many things are to be considered before [194] engaging themselves in marriage,—above all, among barbarous peoples like these.

As regards the reunion of this whole nation of the Bear, it is a matter still undecided. The Father Superior has made several journeys with this in view, in the hope they had given us of a general council; he had even given them his word that, if it were only a question of a present, we were resolved to spare nothing to this end. And very recently, being at Ossossané, where some of the old men regarded the matter as already accomplished, he had sent word to us to send him twelve hundred porcelain beads to present to the two parties which were to assemble at Andiataé. In fact, the majority of the Captains of the villages in that quarter started to go thither; but the one who was the author and chief of this division having refused to be present, the matter has remained [page 21] hanging on the hook. Nevertheless, it is not yet regarded as hopeless.

On the 21st, we went to Onenrio, Father Garnier and I, where we baptized the very aged wife of the Captain. Her husband seemed to be rather pleased at this; nevertheless, fearing that baptism might cause her death, [195] he said to me, showing me three of his fingers, " My nephew, look; three days are of importance,"—giving me to understand that it was important that she should not die on the third day, otherwise that they would believe we were the cause of her death; he urged me to tell him if she would recover. I answered that no one but God could tell that with certainty,—that he alone was the master of our lives, and disposed of them at will; but that I would certainly assure him of one thing, that baptism would not shorten her days,—on the contrary, that God, who has a special care over all those who are baptized, might indeed even restore her to health. In fact, at the end of a few days she had entirely recovered, and since then has helped us a great deal in baptizing some others. On the 26th, Father Pijart and Father Garnier baptized two little children at Onnentisati.

On the twenty—ninth, we assembled the chief men of our village, to know, first, if they had determined to pass the Winter here again; secondly, if the intention they bad had of reuniting with the people of Ouenrio [196] was altogether relinquished; formerly this was all one village. Thirdly, if they would not at last lend ear to the propositions that had so often been made to them touching their salvation. To this last point they answered that some among them believed what we taught; as for the others, [page 23] they could not answer for them. Moreover, they were not yet inclined for this year to change the place of their residence; and that next year it would not be their fault if they did not meet in the same village with the people of Ouenrio. Be that as it may, we are resolved for our part to establish other residences elsewhere.

On this same 29th, the Father Superior set out to go to Teanaostaiaé with Father Garnier, in order that he might upon the spot testify to the relatives of Louys de Ste. Foy the sympathy we felt for the affliction of their family, and by means of some little presents wipe away the rest of their tears. This journey was not unprofitable for several persons, of whom some received Holy baptism, and others had the blessing to be informed of our holy mysteries. How much greater will henceforth be our facilities for preaching to them, now that we are [197] settled at Ossossané, which is, as it were, the heart of the country. At the village of Scanonaenrat, the Father Superior having made some remarks about our belief to our host, some other inmates of the cabin approached and listened very attentively, without diverting the conversation to other subjects according to the custom of the Savages, but asking him several very pertinent questions. Among others, how we knew that it was so pleasant in Heaven ? "What must be done, in order to go there?" "How were the commandments of God that the Father proposed to them to be understood?" They enjoyed and approved them greatly.

On the 30th, they arrived at Teanaostaiaé, where they met a great many of the relatives of Louys de Ste. Foy; and at this first interview they renewed [page 25] their expressions of sympathy for the loss they had sustained. The Father assured them, at the outset, that since the month of October he bad intended to go and console them at the earliest opportunity; but that the sickness of our household, the occupations of the whole winter, and the evil reports that were current through the country, had caused him to defer this voyage until a time when, the sickness having greatly abated, they would have less reason to take umbrage at us, and to fear [198] that we might bring them the disease. Then he consoled them, and as, according to the custom of the country, a person who is in affliction hardly considers himself comforted if you give him nothing but words, the Father made them a present Of 400 porcelain beads and 2 little hatchets. One of the uncles of Louys de sainte Foy had tried to make us believe that Louys was not dead; more than two months before he had told us, secretly, that he had learned on good authority that he was still alive and well. Nevertheless, his mother told them on this occasion that she did not believe this at all; she has changed her mind since then, as I shall relate in the proper place.

On the 31st, on their way back from Teanaostaiaé, the Fathers slept at Ekhiondaltsaan, a tolerably fine and populous village. Our host asked the Father Superior a question that none of our Savages had ever proposed to us; he asked him what was the use of a vase full of water at the entrance to our Chapel at Kebec. The Father told him that, among other uses, this water served to drive away the devils; they asked if this water would serve the same purpose for them. The Father Superior said " yes," provided they would believe [199] in God; and he [page 27] took occasion therefrom to instruct them upon the belief in one God, and upon the end of man. They ordered the withdrawal of all the youth, who had collected in a crowd to see the Fathers, and assembled the chief men of the village to confer together upon this subject. All decided that they must have some holy water; but, finding some obstacles in what the Father said, that God forbids us to resort to Arendioouané, or sorcerers, in our sicknesses, they proposed to assemble again the next morning, before our departure. But the Father, having made them understand that God did not forbid the use of natural remedies which the Arendioouané might prescribe, they were entirely satisfied, and concluded it was not necessary to assemble the next day, but only to come and get some holy water as soon as possible. We are waiting for them yet; it is quite probable that they do not concern themselves much further about it, now that they are no longer in apprehension of the disease, their village having been preserved up to the present.

On the 1st day of April, having arrived at Andiataé, they visited some sick people, among others [200] a child of 13 years. Your Reverence will have the consolation of hearing some particulars of his baptism, which we have every reason to attribute to the merits of St. Joseph. The Fathers found him in such a condition that his relatives were only waiting for the hour of his death; all they could do then was to make him swallow a little sweetened water, and to ask his soul of God; they made a vow to God of some Masses in honor of St. Joseph. There were still some other sick people in the village; the Father Superior went to see them and left Father [page 29] Garnier beside this child, in order that, if he recovered consciousness, he might be immediately advised thereof. Meanwhile Father Garnier did not fail to say a few good words to the relatives, and to tell them of Paradise and of Hell. They seemed at first somewhat inclined to have this child go after death to the place where his dead relatives were; nevertheless, the Father Superior having returned towards evening, and having asked them their opinion, they said they desired their son to go where it would be best for him; and, having answered them that it would be best for him in heaven, they said that they wished him then to go there. Now for fear of losing the opportunity [201] of placing the soul of this poor sick boy in Heaven, the Father Superior left Father Garnier to sleep beside him. He conversed during a part of the night with the relatives, and especially with a famous sorcerer, upon the truth of the one God, and some other good subjects. The patient passed the night very quietly, and nature itself made some efforts, so that consciousness returned to him, to the great satisfaction of his father and mother, who, when this happened, told wonders of a little sugar that had been given him. Father Garnier lost no time, but as soon as he saw him even slightly revived, he began to instruct him, in order to baptize him; yet he did not finish, seeing that there was every probability that, if he went to notify the Father Superior, they would find the boy still entirely conscious. The Father comes, instructs him, and, in short, has him baptized by Father Garnier. He was named Joseph in acknowledgment of the favor they had received from this Holy Patriarch, who is always showing us that it is with [page 31] good reason we have taken him for our patron and our Father.

On the 2nd day of April, they also found at Ossossané a young woman on the verge of death; she had still enough understanding, but it was not possible to persuade her to accept baptism, [202] notwithstanding all the arguments that could be presented to her about Paradise and hell. She died miserably, several days later.

On the 5th, a Captain of Ossossané, sent to invite the Father Superior to a general council to be held there; he departed on the 6th, I accompanying him. In passing through Ouenrio, he had the old men assemble to treat of their reunion with the people of our village; but they came to no conclusion, only promising to confer about it, more in detail, among themselves. Having arrived at Ossossané, we waited two days for the council, and after that we were obliged to return as we had come, the absence of the Captain of the village Angouteus, being the cause of this. However, the Captain of Ossossané greatly praised our plan of bringing them all together, saying that this would be a new occasion for endearing ourselves, and rendering ourselves influential in the country; that, if this affair were successful, it would be mentioned forever in all the solemn assemblies, and at the Feasts of the dead. While we were awaiting this council, a son-in-law of our host returned from Bear hunting; but, according to his story, what they [203] had captured did not recompense them for the loss they had sustained. We enjoyed this narrative; he described the death of a dog, which he believed had been devoured by a Bear, so pathetically, that you would almost have [page 33] believed that he was relating the death of one of the brave Captains of the country. He praised his courage in pursuing the Bear, and in opposing him; he added that, having lost sight of him, and having a long time followed his tracks as far as a little river, he had at last stopped, and had said, sticking his hatchet into the ground, How now, Ouatit " (this was the name of the dog) art thou dead? There is my hatchet that I risk with thee." The owner of the dog listened to this speech with so heavy a heart that he would have deceived those who might not know the cause of his grief. "Ah! it is true " (said he,) " that I dearly loved Ouatit; I had resolved to keep him with me all his life; there was no dream that could have influenced me to make a feast of him,—I would not have given him for anything in the world; and yet it would be some consolation to me now if they had brought me a little Bear, which could take his place and carry his name. " But here is a more serious subject, and one in every way full of consolation.

[204] On the 13th, when some of our domestics were going on a visit to the Tobacco nation, which is a two days' journey from us, Father Garnier asked the Father Superior's permission to accompany them, simply to visit the sick there, who were (according to what we had been told) quite numerous. This journey lasted 14 days, and the father baptized 15 sick persons,—one child at Arenté; two others at Ossossané, who died a few days afterward; the rest in the Tobacco nation, namely, two very old women and ten little children, two of whom died the day of their baptism. This was a very special providence of ,God, especially for a little boy of ten years; he had [page 35] been lingering for three years, and was waiting only for baptism, it seems, to die.

On the 15th, we learned that a young man had poisoned himself at Ossossané; and in reference to this some Savages told us that one of the principal reasons why they showed so much indulgence towards their children, was that when the children saw themselves treated by their parents with some severity, they usually resorted to extreme measures and hanged themselves, or ate [205] of a certain root that they call Andachienrra, which is a very quick poison.

On the 19th, the Bissiriniens, seeing the ice broken and the lake open, embarked to return to their own country, and carried away in seven canoes seventy bodies of those who had died while they wintered among the Hurons. We availed ourselves of this opportunity to send news of ourselves to your Reverence, especially as a Savage named Outaeté intended going direct to Kebec.

On the 20th, a woman was put to death as a sorceress at Ossossané. Among these barbarians less than half proof in this matter suffices to have one's head split. The affair occurred thus: The one who thought he had been bewitched by her sent for her under the pretext of inviting her to a feast; she had no sooner arrived than her sentence was pronounced, without other form of trial. This poor wretch, seeing there was no appeal, named him who was to give her the hatchet stroke; at the same time she was dragged outside the cabin, her face and part of her body were burned with pieces of lighted bark, [206] and finally the one she had taken for godfather split her head. The next day her body was burned and [page 37] reduced to ashes, in the middle of the village. Some say that she confessed the deed, and even that she named some of her accomplices; others affirm that she spoke only in a general way, saying that they had all agreed not to expose one another, in case any one were taken in the act. Aondaenchrió, one of the Captains, seeing that she was captured, was of the opinion that she should be promptly despatched,—saying that the old men were too lenient, and that, if ,she were kept until morning, her life would probably be spared.

On the 21st, it was reported to us that a Savage, lately come from Sonontouan, had warned our Hurons to remain boldly upon the watch,—that the enemy was raising an army, either to pounce upon the country while they were away trading, or to await them at the passage when they were going down to Kebec. Every year at this season similar rumors are sure to circulate, which are so much the less credible that they are so common, and all the more to be feared since our Savages give themselves [207] little concern thereat. It is said that the old men and those most influential in the country are often the authors of these false alarms, in order to keep always in the villages a good part of the young men and of those capable of bearing arms, and to prevent them from going away, all at the same time, to do their trading.

On the 23rd, the Father Superior sent us, Father Isaac Jogues and me, to visit the sick of two or three little villages. We baptized four little children; two died the next day, and the third a few days afterward. What a favor from heaven for these little Angels! And what a consolation for us to see that [page 39] this divine goodness deigns to use us to wrest from the hands of the devil so many souls created in his image, and to apply to them the merits of the blood of his son! How much reason have we to say upon these so happy occasions, Quis sum ego et quæ est domus patris mei, quia me deduxisti usque huc!

On the 1st day of May, the Father Superior departed with Father Charles Garnier, to go to Ossossané. The reason of this journey was the hope that had been given us of a general assembly that would be held [208] at the village of Andiataé. But heaven had other designs. This council was postponed, and the Fathers had the good fortune to baptize in various places four sick persons,—one, a woman who died immediately afterward; her husband was on the verge of death, but he obstinately refused baptism.

On the 3rd, Father Pierre Pijart baptized at Anonatea an infant two months old, in manifest danger of death, without its parents being aware that he did so; not having succeeded in obtaining their permission, he employed the following device: Our sugar does wonders here; he made a feint of wishing to give it a little sugared water to drink, and at the same time dipped his finger in the water; and seeing that its father showed some distrust, and urgently requested him not to baptize the child, he put the spoon into the hands of a woman who was standing by, and said to her, "Give it to him thyself." She drew near and found that the child was asleep; and at the same time the Father, under pretext of seeing if it really slept, applied his wet finger to its face and baptized it; at the end of forty-eight hours, it went to heaven. A few days before, he had [page 41] practiced [209] very nearly the same ingenuity, in order to baptize a little boy six or seven years old. His father was very sick, and had several times refused baptism; the Father asked him if he would not be glad to have his son baptized, and he having answered " no," to this, "At least," said the Father, " thou wilt not disapprove of my giving him some sugar." " Certainly not, but do not baptize him." Accordingly, the Father had him take it once and again; and at the third spoonful, before putting the sugar in it, he let some water fall upon the child while pronouncing the Sacramental words. At the same time a little girl who was looking at him began to cry out, " My father, he is baptizing him." The father was troubled, but Father Pijart said to him, " Hast thou not seen plainly that I have given him sugar?" The child did not survive long. As for his father, God did him a great favor, for he is still in excellent health.

On this same 3rd of May, towards eleven o'clock in the evening, a cabin of our village, only about a musket-shot distant from ours, took fire. There were within only four or five poor children, seven or eight of their relatives having died from the contagion during the winter. They ran out entirely naked, and even then had [210] considerable trouble to save themselves. The fire spread so rapidly that in less than no time the cabin was all in flames. We ran to help them, but it was only to look on and show that we had compassion for them. The wind, a Northwester, proved, thanks to God, very favorable both to the rest of the cabins of the Savages, and to ours; otherwise an entire village is soon despatched and reduced to ashes,—the cedar bark, with which [page 43] the greater number of the cabins are covered, taking fire almost as easily as saltpeter.

On the 4th, the old men assembled, in order to agree together upon some contribution to assist these poor orphans. Each cabin bound itself to furnish three sacks of corn, for they had not been able to save a single grain. In a word, every one aided them with whatever he could,—one giving them a plate, another a chest, some even giving them Beaver robes. We also assisted them very liberally, and there was hardly any of our domestics who did not also show them some act of kindness; so that these poor children found themselves richer, at least in robes and clothing, than they had been before.

On the 5th, Father Chastellain went with [211] Father Pijart to visit some sick people at Anendaonactia; he baptized a young man who was at the point of death.

On the 10th, Father Pijart departed to go in search of some young children to take to Quebec. If all those from whom he has some promise resolve to remain there, the seminary will not be badly supplied for a beginning. If we may believe the reports that have been current here since winter, two of those of last year are dead; but perhaps these are only rumors. Would to God that those which have been circulated about the death of Louys de sainte Foy had as little certainty; and that, on the contrary, what is now being said of him were as true as we consider the other ones without foundation. His mother, who could not listen to these rumors before,—now thinks she has infallible proofs that he is among the Agnietironons; she has even been told the name of the one who has adopted him for his [page 45] son. If this be true, we have some hope that God will restore him to us in some way, whatever it may be. I know very well that if he remain in this captivity, it will not be for lack of having here and in France persons who importune Heaven with vows and fervent prayers for his deliverance.

[212] On the 12th, Father Charles Garnier and Father Isaac Jogues baptized at Anonatea 3 very sick persons,—among others, a poor woman who died the next day. And because one of these had been baptized conditionally, for the reason that he appeared hardly in his right mind, Father Chastellain returned to him a little while afterwards, and, having found him somewhat more rational, instructed him again, and baptized him with the requisite conditions.

On the 19th, we had a real winter day; nearly half a foot of snow fell and the following night it froze very hard. Sondacouane lost a little of his repute on this occasion. Two or 3 days before, they had tired themselves to death playing crosse in all the villages around here, because this sorcerer had affirmed that the weather depended only upon a game of crosse; and now our Savages openly declared that he is only a charlatan and an impostor. It is worthy of note, however, that these experiences render them but little wiser.

On the 28th, Father Charles Garnier and Father Jogues went to visit a very sick old man at Arontaen. We had been given to understand that the people of that village had some aversion to baptism; nevertheless, this [213] good man, at the first proposal that was made to him, expressed quite opposite sentiments; and after having been sufficiently instructed, [page 47] and having received holy Baptism, he thanked our fathers therefor with much affection.

On the first day of June, Father Charles Garnier and Father Chastellain were sent to Ouenrio, on account of a woman who had been represented to us as very sick. What a providence of God! this woman was found to be out of danger, and was partly the cause Of 3 other sick people, who died shortly afterwards, receiving baptism; the last of these died yesterday, the fourth of this month. See how this came to pass. The Fathers, being at Ouenrio, learned that a little child was dying; they hastened and baptized it, and it died the day before yesterday. Thence they went to Onnentisati to visit one Onendich, one of the chief tools of the Sorcerer Sondacouané He spoke to them like a man who was convalescent, and who, besides, was not greatly disposed to receive advice touching his salvation. But doubtless some Angel from heaven guided their footsteps; they were instructed to repair to a little cabin standing by itself in the [214] field, and that there was a sick woman there who would be very glad to see them; a young man even presented himself, very willingly, and conducted them thither. But the sick woman they had gone to see was already on her feet. They were upon the point of returning, when they heard a plaintive voice, which made them ask if there was any other sick person; they were answered " yes,"—that there was a woman outside whose end was drawing near; in fact, they found her lying upon some leaves and exposed to the heat of the sun. This poor woman had just been delivered, prematurely, of a dead child; it seemed as if she was only waiting for baptism, as she died the next day. On [page 49] their return they passed through Anonatea, according to an order they had received from the Father Superior to visit another sick Woman, but she had died on the day of Pentecost. They found themselves there very opportunely to instruct and baptize a poor old man, that we did not know was sick; we had cared for him three or four months while he had some ulcers upon his feet, from which he was beginning to recover. He was taken off in a few days, the Fathers baptizing him with much consolation. When [215] the Fathers asked him if he would not be very glad to go to heaven, " Alas! " said he, "it is very far away, and I have very bad legs; how shall I be able to go there?" We received the news of his death yesterday. Your Reverence sees that our poor Savages are not yet free from sickness; if God does not mercifully interpose his hand, the great heat which prevails here at this season is not likely to dissipate this malaria. There are two villages which are especially afflicted, Andiataé and Onnentisati, where reside the two greatest sorcerers of the country, namely, Sondacouané, and Tehorenhaegnon. During the winter they had already lost a great deal of their credit with the sick of other villages; and now they are more than ever discomfited, seeing that their sweats, feasts, potions, and ordinances are of no avail with their countrymen. Within a short time Sacondouane [sc. Sondacouané] has taken it into his head to forbid to the sick the "French snow,"—thus they call sugar,—and has persuaded some that it is a species of poison. It is easy to see that he is the chief author of this prohibition. The devil knows well enough how much these little sweets have already [216] aided us in wresting from his hands [page 51] so many souls that he held captive. He has made every effort this winter to close our mouths, and to prevent us from preaching to these barbarous people the grandeur and infinite mercy of the master whom we serve; but his designs not having succeeded (for God has granted us the favor of baptizing two hundred and thirty or forty persons), he has recently stirred up new tempests against us. They are still saying, almost as much as ever, that we are the cause of the malady. These reports are partly founded upon the fact that it is in this season much more fatal than it was during the severe cold of the winter, and consequently the greater part of those we baptize, die. Besides this, very recently a certain Algonquin captain has given our Hurons to understand that they were mistaken in thinking that the devils caused them to die,-that they should blame only the French for this; and that he had seen, as it were, a French woman who was infecting the whole country with her breath and her exhalations. Our Savages imagine that it is the sister of the late Estienne Bruslé, who is avenging her brother's death. This Sorcerer added that we, even we ourselves, meddle with sorcery; [217] that for this purpose we employ the images of our saints,-that, when we show them, certain tainted influences issue therefrom which steal down into the chests of those who look at them, and therefore they need not be astonished if they afterwards find themselves assailed by the disease. The prominent and chief men of the country show us quite plainly that they do not share this belief, but nevertheless intimate that they fear some heedless fellow will commit some foul deed that will cause them to blush. We are in [page 53] God's hands, and all these dangers do not make us forfeit a moment of our joy. It would be too great an honor for us to lose our lives while employed in saving some poor soul; as for all these reports and all these threats, we have resolved, in prudence and discretion, not to abate a whit from our usual functions and occupations. If we did otherwise, we would think we were doing wrong to the grace that God has shown us, and falling below our estate; and this would be, without doubt, to ignore the fact that the Apostles never planted the cross of the son of God save in the midst of persecutions, and finally at the expense of their lives.

On the 4th of this month, I received a letter from Father [218] Pierre Pijart, who is now at the village of Ossosané, where he has oversight of those who are building our cabin. Since the embarkation of our Savages is again deferred for several days, I shall certainly refrain from cutting off with a few words what can only afford Your Reverence great consolation. [page 55]



T last, behold our desires accomplished! I shall now express no longer mere hopes to Your Reverence, for they are working in earnest to erect for us our cabin at Ossosané; and we expect that you will send us, if you please, some workmen to build there a chapel in honor of the Immaculate Conception of our Lady.

[219] On the 17th of May, the Father Superior broached the subject of our decision to the Captain, in order to have the work begun as soon as possible. The Captain summoned the Council to assemble, where the proposition was received with much satisfaction. They bound themselves to make us a Cabin of about twelve brasses,—begging us, if they did not make it larger, to consider that the malady had carried off a part of the young men, and that the rest were nearly all gone trading or fishing; and giving us their word to make it as long and as wide as we should wish, the following year. The Council over, each one took his hatchet, and they all went away in a crowd to prepare the site.

On the 21st, Father Pierre Pijart departed with two of our domestics, to set the laborers to work. There he had exercise of all kinds; the sick gave him occasion to exercise charity, and those who were working upon our cabin an excellent opportunity to [page 57] practice patience. He wrote me thus about it, on the fourth of June:

"I find myself here in the midst of extraordinary confusion,—on one hand, I have to keep them at work upon our cabin; and, on the other, I have the Sick to [220] Visit; the former only do a part of what they attempt, and I encounter near the latter more sorcerers and Areindioouané than occasions to speak to them of God and of the matter of their salvation. I thank my Savior for the patience he gives me, and that, among so many causes for distraction, he does not leave me without internal consolation; otherwise it would be for me a little hell to find myself in this condition, and to be deprived, as I am, of the use of the Sacraments. I console myself with the thought I have that we are not building here a simple cabin, but a house for our Lady,—or rather many beautiful chapels in the principal villages of the country, since it is here that we hope, with the aid of Heaven, to cast the seeds for a beautiful and plenteous harvest of souls. Since I have been here God has granted me the favor to baptize three sick persons,—a little child, our host, and his daughter. As regards the latter, if they do not recover, it will not be from having spared the native remedies. This good man has always been ready to dance, sing, and perform the Aoutaerohi for the others; and on this occasion they have not failed to render him like service. They have oftentimes related things to us that were almost incredible, [221] concerning these feasts that they call Aoutaerohi. Here is what I have seen of them with my own eyes:

"On the 24th of May, one of these feasts was made for his health and that of his daughter. They [page 59] danced and howled like demons a good part of the night, but what astonished us the most was that a certain man named Oscouta took in his mouth a great red-hot coal, and carried it to the patients, who were at some distance from him, making many grimaces, and growling in their ears like a bear; nevertheless, the performance did not result as he desired. The coal was not hard enough, and broke within his mouth, which prevented the operation of the remedy. Hence it was ordained that they should begin again the next day, and that they should use red-hot stones instead of coals. Meanwhile, I was troubled about the sick man, who was growing worse, and I was almost upon the point of proposing Baptism to him; nevertheless, having recommended the matter to God, I thought it better to wait until he reached the end of all his fancies,—hoping that, after he had recognized by experience the little relief to be obtained in such extremities from these imaginary remedies, [222] I would find him more disposed to listen to me, and to put his confidence only in God. Accordingly, the next day they prepared for a second Aoutaerohi feast. A number of stones were brought; and, to make them red-hot, a fire was prepared hot enough to burn down the cabin. I had had some intention of retiring elsewhere for the night when this witches' sabbath was to take place; but I judged it wise to be present there to see if all I had heard about it were really true. 24 persons were chosen to sing and to perform all the ceremonies; but what songs, and what tones of voice! For my part, I believe that if the demons and the damned were to sing in hell, it would be about after this fashion; I never heard anything more lugubrious and more frightful. [page 61] I was waiting all the time to see what they would do with those stones that they were heating and making red-hot with so much care. You may believe me, since I speak of a thing that I saw with my own eyes,—they separated the brands, drew them from the midst of the fire, and, holding their hands behind their backs, took these between their teeth, carried them to the patients and remained some time without loosing their hold, blowing upon them and growling in their ears. I am keeping one of the stones expressly [223] to show you. You will be astonished that a man can have so wide a mouth; the stone is about the size of a goose egg. Yet I saw a savage put it in his mouth so that there was more of it inside than out; he carried it some distance, and, after that, it was still so hot, that when he threw it to the ground sparks of fire issued from it. I forgot to tell you that, after the first Aoutaerohi feast, one of our Frenchmen had the curiosity to see if, in reality, all this was done without any one being burned. He spoke to this Oscouta who had filled his mouth with live coals; he had him open his mouth and found it unhurt and whole, without any appearance of having been burned; and not only those persons, but even the sick people were not burned. They let their bodies be rubbed with glowing cinders, without showing any evidences of pain, and without their skin appearing in the least affected. This feast ended, they did not reach the end of their sufferings; on the contrary, there was more appearance of danger. Therefore two other sorcerers were summoned, who played a thousand apish tricks around these poor patients. But all these were nothing in comparison with [224] what I have just [page 63] told you. Here is something quite remarkable: Towards evening of the 26th, they prepared a sweat, which was followed by a feast. I never saw anything like it in my life; 20 men entered, and almost piled themselves upon one another. Even the sick man dragged himself thither, though with considerable difficulty, and was one of the troop; he also sang for quite a long time, and in the midst of the heat of this sweat he asked for water with which to refresh himself,—a part of which he drank, and the rest he threw over his body. An excellent remedy, forsooth, for a sick man on the verge of death! So the next day I found him in a fine condition; indeed it was a fine condition for him, since God then gave to him the grace to conceive the importance of the concerns of his salvation, and to me to put into my mouth the words to explain to him our principal mysteries. When I told him that Baptism was not a remedy for the health of the body, 'We know that well,' replied to me both he, and an old man who was present when I was instructing him, 'we know that well enough.' It is a great advantage to us that in this town they are fully informed of what we mean by Baptism. The daughter soon followed the example of her father, who himself exhorted her to ask for Baptism, [225] at the time of the death of their children, who had been baptized. The father died on the day of Pentecost; as for the daughter, she seems to be a little better. I was under great obligation to this good old man for having brought me into this country; and I rejoice now that it has pleased God to employ me to lead him to heaven. This Savage had some qualities which rendered him very lovable; I had never imagined that I could find [page 65] in a barbarian so much gentleness and amiability; during my journey he treated me like his own son."

On the same day that I received this letter, the Father Superior and Father Chastellain returned from Ossosané, whither they had gone the day before to console the relatives of our host with a present. The kindness we had received from them during the whole winter demanded from us this evidence of the sympathy we felt for their affliction. They also took this occasion to assure themselves of the reports which were current in these quarters, that, on account of the death of this Savage, the work of building our cabin had been altogether abandoned, to be no more resumed. [226] But, in going thither, they passed through Arenté, where they found the people's minds somewhat embittered and prejudiced against Baptism, on account of the death of a young child, baptized in its last moments two days before; so that when they entered a cabin to see a little girl five years old who was in similar danger,—and who had before shown, by her tears and sobs, the aversion she had for Baptism, at the first overtures they made of this Sacrament,—they were begged to speak of it no more. Nevertheless, the condition of this little patient made them decide that it was better to disregard the refusal of the relatives, who were present there in great numbers. Hence Father Pierre Chastellain requested the Father Superior to talk a little about the fever and the disease, in order that he might have an opportunity to act the physician, and to feel the child's pulse; meanwhile, he wet a handkerchief as secretly as he could in a pail of water which stood there, and made a feint to wipe her face; then approaching, with one hand he felt the [page 67] pulse, and with the other, under pretext of seeing if her head were unusually hot, he baptized her without any of those present perceiving it, although they all had kept their eyes open to [227] what he was doing.

Having arrived at Ossosané, they learned that the reports that had been circulated were false, and that only the absence of the Captain had caused the interruption of the work. The Fathers had an opportunity of learning from the lips of the Captain himself what there was in it. He assured them of quite opposite sentiments, and even gave them to understand that the chiefs and head men of the frontier villages of the country, with whom they had just held a Council, had evinced to him great satisfaction because we were coming nearer to them, seeing that they would hereafter find it easier to come and visit us, and adding that they would have to give us all manner of satisfaction and build us a fine cabin. The Father Superior gave his presents to the relatives of our deceased host, thanks being returned to him therefor at the time, and afterwards in open feast.

On their return, they had already gotten beyond the village of Angouteus, through which they had passed, when they encountered a woman who was going to her field, and who, among other things, mentioned to them one of her little girls, whom she represented as very sick, begging the [228] Father to go and baptize her, which obliged them to retrace their steps. As they were upon the point of baptizing this child, the grandmother, seeing that the children were crowding in to see them, said, " How now, have you never seen Frenchmen? Do you not know that when our sorcerers come to visit the sick [page 69] they do not wish any one to see them and interrupt them? " It was not necessary to say any more. While this was going on, some one came to inform the Father that a woman was extremely ill. In fact, he found her in such a condition that he deemed it advisable to instruct her; she was very glad to be baptized, but when she was told that it was necessary to make a firm resolve to change her manner of life, and to sin no more, she exclaimed, " Is it possible for me to sin no more? It is not possible;" and at the same time she covered her face with her robe, giving us to understand that, this being so, she would have nothing to do with baptism. The Father represented to her that she ought not to refuse it on that account; that it was very true we were all liable to sin, and therefore he did not demand absolutely [229] that she should sin no more,—only that she should make a good resolution not to return to her past life. Besides, if, after baptism, she should happen to sin, she need not think all was lost on that account; that he would teach her still another means by which sins were blotted out. One of her relatives thereupon began to speak: " Take courage, since sins are blotted out," she said to her, "and do not lose so fine an opportunity to be baptized; thou hast now the advantage of having the Frenchmen here; consider that they are going away, and that perhaps we shall not see them again for a long time. " She preached to her so well that she resolved to take this step, promising to do her best not to sin any more; and therefore the Father baptized her.

On the seventh, I received a second letter from Father Pierre Pijart, who wrote me in these terms: [page 71]

"I will send you further information of the state of our new Residence since my last letter. On the fifth of this month, I said the first Mass in our house of la Conception de nostre Dame, offering this most holy Sacrifice, through a votive Mass of the most holy Trinity, to these [230] same divine persons for the preparation of the hearts of these poor Savages, and for auspicious results to the labors of those who shall be employed here. The next day, I said the Mass of the Immaculate Conception, invoking it as a special patron of this new settlement. You can imagine with what consolation of soul I did this; and it was such a relief from the petty cares, and the importunities of the Savages, that I had endured through the preceding days, that I imagined I was in another life. I found myself so full of courage that it seemed to me the past had been a very trifling thing in comparison with the trials I desired to endure,—I already pictured them before my eyes; and, although I have always consecrated myself to this work, I nevertheless dedicate myself to it now from a more peculiar and affectionate desire to follow him who has endured so much for us.

"On the fourth of this month, I baptized a little child, by a special providence of God. The day before, I had been in the same cabin and had not seen it,—indeed, it was not there at the time. One of our Frenchmen having gone thither afterwards, to see a little fawn [231] which they wished to sell him, found the child lying upon its back, abandoned by its mother, who was only awaiting the hour of its death; he came promptly for me, and I baptized it. I have just learned that there are some sick people at Angoutenc, but I cannot leave this village. I [page 73] baptized this morning a woman who was at the point of death; I had instructed her last evening; may God have mercy on her and may he be forever blessed! At the time I am writing this, there remain only ten pieces of bark to finish the cabin; they have gone to get them, and this evening it will be completed. Pray God that he may make me all his own; and, being perfectly converted to him, believe that you will never find any one who is more entirely yours in Jesus. From the Residence of la Conception de Nostre Dame, this seventh of June." [page 75]



T the very time when the Devil seems to have the upper hand,—when holy Baptism is decried in two or three villages around here on account of the death of some of those baptized, when the Sorcerers (whose words are received as oracles) are prohibiting the sick from using a few sweetmeats which give us access to them, when some old men who pride themselves on being our friends are trying to persuade us to return to France, and when the cry is raised on all sides that our presence is unendurable, and [233] that our heads must be split,—a Savage about fifty years old, a man of intelligence and one of the most discreet and influential persons in the country, after having given the subject mature consideration for three years, while he has been attending the explanations of the Christian doctrine, and having been very carefully instructed, earnestly requested baptism a few months ago; and, on the day of the most holy Trinity, he was baptized publicly, and with the ceremonies of the Church, in the presence of the chief persons of this village, some of whom regarded this act with astonishment, and others with a desire to imitate it.

France has had the honor and the glory to open [page 77] the door of the Church to the first man of these barbarous peoples, and was expecting that he would become one of the Apostles of the country. But God having, through the secret workings of his divine providence, permitted him to fall into the hands of the enemy, where he is either dead or a captive, it has pleased this infinite goodness to restore us to-day another one in his place, which gives us reason to hope that he will be followed by many more. That young man certainly had some qualities which rendered him commendable; [234] as he was of a very docile disposition, and had a tolerably good mind and a sufficient knowledge of our language, he was able, no doubt, to render good service to God, and to aid us greatly in preaching the Holy Gospel. But I find in this man something more, at least something firmer and more substantial. It was an event full of consolation to see a Savage taken from his country in the flower of his youth, baptized, and clothed in the robe of innocence, in one of the most celebrated cities and assemblies of all France. Yet I judge that many will be, in some respects, more consoled to hear that a full-grown man, of good family, having the reputation of a man of intelligence and judgment,—in a barbarous country, among his still infidel kindred, at a time when Baptism is despised, and the Preachers of the Gospel regarded as sorcerers and poisoners,—has evinced to-day a firm resolution to live as a Christian for the rest of his life, and has renounced publicly and forever all his superstitions. For a long time he had been showing us some disposition to take this step, but the [235] meager effects we saw of his fine words, and the knowledge we have that this nation is perhaps one of the most deceitful upon the [page 79] earth, caused us not to be in great haste about inviting him to Baptism. He had shown us some traits that had caused us to distrust him, and to fear that there was considerable self-interest in his conduct. I do not know whether we informed your Reverence of it last year, among other things, but one of his acts was quite ridiculous. After having attended some of the Catechisms, where the Father Superior had spoken at length against their Superstitions, and where he himself had applauded all that was said, he fell sick, though not seriously; and for two or three consecutive days the game of dish" was played in his cabin,—probably by order of the doctor, or in consequence of some dream. This is one of the excellent remedies they have. At the end of seven or eight days, when he had entirely recovered his health, it seemed that he was rather ashamed to show himself. Nevertheless, having encountered the Father Superior, he told him he had something to communicate to him, and that he would like to come and pass the night with us. He [236] had no sooner entered than he told us that he had sinned. Behold us very glad to see him at least recognize his fault; and at once we supposed that he was about to accuse himself of having violated what the Father had taught them. But when he came to explain himself, it was found that this sin was that some one had stolen his cap; it is very probable that the motive of this confession was his hope that, for a penance, he would be given another one. The Father addressed him, saying that the thief had sinned, and not he; and that, as for him, if he had sinned, it was in having the dish game played for his recovery. To this he did not lack an answer,—asserting that what he had [page 81] done was not done because he believed that it would restore his health, but merely to divert himself.

This year he has shown more sincerity in his words, and God has doubtless touched his heart. This winter, when our Savages assembled in our cabin to offer ,a public prayer on account of the malady, it was he who showed the most faith and confidence in God; therefore [237] it is yet for him and all his family to feel the effects of this epidemic, which has spared hardly any one.

On Ash Wednesday, he came to see the Father Superior, and urgently asked him for Baptism; the Father answered him that he was very glad to see him so well disposed, but that, nevertheless, the matter was so important that it well merited his giving it serious thought for a few months more; during that time, he took care to instruct him more minutely than before in all that concerns our holy mysteries. During the greater part of Lent, he came to see us early every morning, and the Father instructed him and narrated the Gospels for each day; he took great pleasure therein, and the knowledge of these things made him then conceive a high opinion of our Lord. One day when the Father asked him if he firmly believed all that had been taught him, " Yes indeed! " said he, " I believe it; I still have only some little doubt about the information thou gavest me one day that the Sky turns around the earth,—seeing [238] that I have noticed that the Star Theandihar does not change its place " (he was speaking of the one we call " the Polar "); the Father satisfied him by showing him that the apparent fixedness of this star was not contrary to the movements of the Heavens.

But of all our mysteries, the one which has always [page 83] pleased him most, and which has made the most impression on his mind, was the mystery of the glorious Resurrection of our Lord. " For I do not find more infallible tokens of the divinity of him whom they preach to us," he often said, and sometimes even to the Savages, " than his resurrection; how could he have been resurrected if he were not God?" But what pleases us most in this Savage is the freedom with which he speaks, before the others, of our holy mysteries, and of the resolve he has made to live hereafter as a Christian. At the beginning of Spring, the malady having altogether ceased in our village, the Father Superior assembled the principal ones of those who had escaped, to make known to them that they [239] were not obliged to fulfill the promise they had made to God to build him a little chapel,—because, having addressed themselves to sorcerers and even to demons, and having put all their confidence in their usual superstitions, God had judged them unworthy of experiencing the effects of his mercy. And, when he was exhorting them to acknowledge God as their master, and to have recourse to him alone, and was complaining because there were so few of them who believed what we taught, " As for me, " said Tsiouendaentaha, " I believe all that you people believe, and am glad to be present in your cabin when you pray to God. But, Echon, thou shouldst not be astonished if some do not believe, and even ridicule what thou teachest; thou knowest well that all men did not believe in the son of God while he lived upon the earth,—that many despised his doctrine, persecuted him, and put him to death." Meanwhile, a certain man named Ihongouaha having risen from his place to go out, he continued, " Now [page 85] then, Echon, have I not told thee that Ihongouaha did not believe, and took no pleasure in thy discourses? as soon as [240] thou hast opened thy mouth to speak of God, he has risen. " Then, addressing the man himself, he said: " Ihongouaha, speak, and express thy sentiments frankly; if thou dost not like these discourses, do not come here." Father Garnier, on his journey from the Tobacco nation, met this man, and having taken time to say his rosary with him, the man came next day to ask that he would exercise him in saying it; and the Father having conversed with him about some good topics, especially the Apparition of our Lord to the Pilgrims of Emmaus, he afterwards told the story himself to some other Savages. With all this good disposition, we were somewhat astonished that he did not urge his baptism with more insistence; however, the constancy he manifested, in coming to see us every day for instruction, gave us reason to believe that he was acting in this regard with much sincerity. In fact, the Father Superior having asked him what he thought of it, and if he would not be very glad to be baptized, " Yes, indeed, my nephew," said he; " but wait a little longer, I pray thee. " His reason was that he did not yet know enough. As the father often related stories to him from both the old and the new [241] testaments, he imagined that he must know all before being baptized, and often complained of his memory. " I think I have sense enough, " said he, " and yet I cannot remember well; and, if I do not know any more, how shall I be able to talk with myself all alone, as the rest of you do?" He was generally present at our house when we were offering our prayers. But the Father having finally made him understand that [page 87] it was enough to know well the articles of our belief, ,and that the principal thing was to have a firm determination to keep the commandments of God, he chose for the time of his baptism the day of the most ,holy Trinity. 15 days before, the Father instructed him upon the principal mysteries of our faith, and the ceremonies and obligations of baptism. During that time, Father Gamier tried to teach him the Pater and the Ave, and some little prayers. I say "tried," for he has not yet succeeded; this has not been for lack of diligence on the part of both. It was a pleasure to see him, sometimes, studying his lesson; he would repeat the same thing three or four times, holding his head between his hands and closing his eyes. Moreover he was always ready to pray to God; often he anticipated the Father, and came to seek him for this purpose. Sometimes [242] he offered his prayers on his knees before the holy Sacrament, sometimes in the fields, and (what pleased us more) in the presence of the Savages,—he himself asking, of his own accord, to pray to God. One day, when Father Garnier showed him a Crucifix, he took it in his own hands, and began to preach in the presence of those of his cabin, upon the mystery of our redemption; and another time, when the Father showed him a very finely wrought image of our Lord, he began to apostrophize it in these terms: " Ah, ,give us thy benediction; keep us, have pity on us; thou art the master of our lives, thou hast redeemed us! " I saw him do exactly the same thing, of his ,own accord, on a similar occasion. All this pleased us greatly, yet we could not neglect to sound him upon his willingness to renounce all his superstitions and to live like a Christian the rest of his life; in [page 89] this matter he always showed a great deal of courage,—saying that, as far as the superstitions were concerned, he did not regret giving them up, since they were only sins; and that, as for women, his day had passed, and that would not give him trouble. When the Father Superior explained to him on this occasion, how [243] we could offend God in our thoughts, he said: " As for me, I do not know what it is to have bad thoughts; our usual thoughts are, ' That is where I shall go,' and ' Now that we are going to trade, I sometimes think that they would do me a great favor when I go down to Kebec, by giving me a fine large kettle for a robe that I have."' God will grant him the grace some day, if it please him, to see more clearly into his own heart. The time of his baptism approaching, we wished, for his greater benefit, and for his and our consolation, that he should publicly make a declaration of his purpose, in order that he might afterwards have more liberty to change his life and to do as we do. He agreed to this very willingly, and proposed to make a feast, in order to bring together more conveniently all those of our village. We were present, the Father Superior and I, with one of our domestics. Here, he did not close his mouth, but frankly announced the resolution he had taken; the majority rejoiced with him, but not one spoke as yet for himself. During the feast he entertained the company upon our holy mysteries, explaining to them that of the Annunciation of our Lady, some of the miracles of Our Lord, his death, and Passion. Finally the Father Superior invited the [244] company to his baptism the next morning, the day of the most holy Trinity. This was perhaps one of the most beautiful days we have, [page 91] ever had in this country. Early in the morning, the Father Superior baptized an old man, very ill, who; died two or three days afterward. Thence we went to see our catechumen, but he was at our house. The Father instructed him again before the ceremony, especially upon the communion. Our Chapel was remarkably well decorated; it occupied half of our cabin, so we did not make any fire there that day. We had arranged a portico, entwined with leaves mingled with tinsel; in fact we had displayed everything beautiful that your Reverence has sent us. Nothing so magnificent had ever been seen in this country. But the rarest piece was our proselyte, so the eyes of all those present were fixed upon him. True, they had seen many little children baptized in our cabin; but that a man of his age, and in good health, should present himself to receive baptism,—this was something they had not seen before. At the beginning of the ceremony, he appeared rather bashful, and trembled all over; and when the Father Superior questioned him, he was confused, and said to him in a low tone, " Echon, I [245] do not know what to answer." However, when it was only a question of " yes" or " no," he spoke so loudly and so distinctly as to remove all one's reasons to doubt the sincerity of his heart; and even this modesty which appeared upon his brow showed us unveiled, as it were, the integrity of his intentions in an affair of so much importance. Meanwhile, there was an old man named Tendoutsahoriné, who could not refrain from talking, and from saying aloud that it was much better to be baptized like that than in sickness, which often deprives us of judgment and understanding; and he exhorted the whole assembly to imitate [page 93] Tsiouendaentaha, and to be baptized like him, as soon as possible. Apart from this, we had reasonable quiet, the little extra decoration serving materially to this end. Simon Baron was his godfather, and named him Pierre. We hope that he will serve as a foundation stone to Christianity in this country, that God will employ him for the conversion of many; and that this Holy Apostle, whose name he bears, will take these peoples under his protection, and will open to them the gate of heaven. After his Baptism the Father Superior said Mass, to which he listened with considerable devotion for a Savage. From time to time I said a few words to him, having him now perform an act of faith, now [246] ask God's pardon for his sins; again, I told him to reflect inwardly upon the great obligations that we are under to our Lord. At the close of the Mass, he received communion very modestly, and the Father Superior helped him afterwards to offer his thanksgiving. An hour or two later, we made a feast for all the people of our village, that we might rejoice together at the grace that God had just shown to our Christian. It is well known that all the ordinary feasts consist of two or three smoked fish, cooked with the native corn. Several profitable discourses were given, regarding baptism and our holy mysteries. We left our Chapel in the same condition during the whole day,—thus giving the Savages something to admire, and ourselves a good subject upon which to instruct them. An old man, looking at our Crucifix, asked me who that was who was fastened to it. Having told him, he began to speak to our Lord in these words, Etsagon ihouaten etsagon taouacaratat, "Courage, nephew, courage, take care of us! " It is thus [page 95] the old men address the young men. I made him understand that he was the father of us all, and that from him we obtain being and life; his simplicity rendered him excusable. Our images and our pictures are in great demand in some places, especially in [247] Arenté. It so happened that a woman of that village came to visit us that day. She was wonderfully surprised at the entrance of our cabin; she remained there for some time, without daring to advance and cross the threshold. It was amusing to see her in this struggle, for, on the one hand, she felt herself powerfully attracted by the novelty of this object; and, on the other, her fear, lest, in approaching nearer our pictures, she would be immediately attacked by the disease, made her draw back. Nevertheless, after a hard struggle, curiosity got the better of her. " There is no help for it, Iariscon " (she said); " I must venture, I must see, even though it cost me my life." This act affected many of them, and I hope (by means of the continuation of the fervent prayers of so many saintly souls, who exert themselves so continually in God's presence for the good of these tribes) that we shall next year inform you of some good results therefrom. This example gave Enditsaconc, Captain of Onnentisati, much to reflect upon. He is a man of great intelligence, and is wonderfully curious to hear about our ways of doing things in France. Once, when we showed him a representation of the judgment, he inquired very particularly of the Father Superior, who those were who were going into hell, and what must be done to go to heaven. The Father instructed him fully. [248] Two days later, another family of our village came to ask baptism from us, with great earnestness; [page 97] the Father Superior is now engaged in instructing them. It is a great advantage that some one has made a beginning, and that, too, a person of influence, as is Pierre Tsiouendaentaha; he does not fail to come every day to pray to God, and to hear Mass on Feast days and Sundays. We hope that all his family will soon follow his example. God be infinitely blessed! It is a great consolation for us to have such a Christian as he is, to make a public profession of our holy faith at a time when its most adorable mysteries are looked upon with suspicion, and those who preach them are regarded, more than ever, as so many poisoners and sorcerers.

It is not only in this country that we have this reputation, for these false reports have been carried even to strange nations, who consider us as the masters and arbiters of life and death. Not long ago, an Algonquin tribe that we call " men of the raised Hair" sent a special embassy to us with presents, to beg us to spare them in this general calamity, and to regard [249] the affection that they bore us. We explained to them that we could not receive these offerings, that it was not to us they should address themselves; that there was only one sovereign Lord of life and of death, and that it was to him they should have recourse; that this was the only remedy we had used in our sickness, and we had found it very efficacious. They returned very well satisfied, with the determination to follow our advice. Nevertheless, the providence of God has, since then, permitted them to be afflicted like the others, so that in their village they count as many as seventy dead, which gives them much to reflect upon. However, after having investigated everything that they [page 99] imagined might be the cause of their misfortune, they at last fixed upon something which only the light that the author of nature has impressed upon the brow of all men, could reveal to them. Some remembered that they had once robbed the deceased Estienne Bruslé of a collar Of 2400 porcelain beads. They accused themselves before the old men, who at this news immediately assembled; and, having well considered the whole matter, they decided that they had found the source of their malady, and thus the only means of remedying it [250] was to make restitution therefor as soon as possible; and for the better success of the affair they resolved to come in person to see the French, and to satisfy them for the wrong done to them. This decision was no sooner made than they started on the journey. I leave your Reverence to imagine how much we were astonished at the cause of this second embassy, which these old men made known in terms worthy of compassion. They spread out upon a mat the two thousand four hundred porcelain beads, which they had collected by a contribution made by the survivors in their village. They conjured us very earnestly, and at different times, to receive this collar in satisfaction for the theft committed against a Frenchman, to have pity on them, and to preserve the few whom the disease had spared up to that time. The Father Superior rejoined that it was very well-advised on their part to wish to make this restitution,—that it was an act of justice, and very right not to keep the property of others; that, nevertheless, we could not accept this collar, since it had not been stolen from us, and he from whom it had been taken was dead, and there was no one in the country who could [page 101] receive it in his name. More than this, [251] he said that it was too dangerous a thing for us, especially at this time, to receive presents from strange nations; that the people of this country, who would soon get wind of this affair, would not consider it as a simple restitution, but rather as some secret understanding to their disadvantage; in fine, that they should content themselves with having undertaken to restore what they considered did not belong to them,—that in doing so they had sufficiently discharged their obligations, and that our acceptance of it would be altogether useless to them, and might be extremely injurious to us, if from that time they began to recover; that if, on the contrary, the sickness continued, they would be certain to regard us as impostors for not having fulfilled their expectations. They were satisfied with these arguments, and returned with their porcelain and even with a little present. But this thing is never ended; they had no sooner departed than others came, who caused us to search for new expedients to satisfy their imagination. On the day of the baptism of Pierre Tsiouendaentaha, we had exhibited an excellent representation of the judgment, [252] where the damned are depicted,—some with serpents and dragons tearing out their entrails, and the greater part with some kind of instrument of their punishment. Many obtained some benefit from this spectacle; but some persuaded themselves that this multitude of men, desperate, and heaped one upon the other, were all those we had caused to die during this Winter; that these flames represented the heats of this pestilential fever, and these dragons and serpents, the venomous beasts that we made use of in order to poison them. [page 103] This was said in open feast at Ouenrio, according to the report of Captain Enditsacon. Another one afterward asked us if it were really true that we were raising the malady in our house as if it were a domestic animal, saying that this was quite a common opinion in the country. And very recently, when I was returning from Ossossané, a woman who was coming from her field caught a grasshopper and brought it to me, begging me earnestly to teach her some contrivance for killing these little creatures that eat the corn, adding that she had been told that we were past masters in this art.

On the 9th, our cabin at Ossossané being entirely finished, forty or fifty Savages, [253] both men and women, came here to Ihonattiria to get part of our corn and a few little articles of furniture, the Captains being in the crowd. These are services that they render you gratuitously on these occasions.

On the 16th, a young girl, related to our new Christian and belonging to his cabin, fell sick of the contagion. The wise providence of God has designs that we do not see. All the Winter they had been occupied solely in comforting the others; and now they are the only ones in our village who are afflicted. This shock is indeed rather violent for a new plant, and for us a reason for adoring submissively the secret judgments of God. She is now in the fifth day of her fever, with very manifest signs of danger. Therefore we have already prepared her for Holy Baptism, to which she and her relatives have given us their consent, with evidences of great faith and resignation to the will of God. It is also a consolation to us to see nothing in the cabin, up to the present, contrary to the first promises and resolutions of [page 105] baptism. As for him, he continues steadfast since his baptism in the duties of a Christian; he has changed his teacher, as Father [254] Garnier is at Ossossané; now, Father Chastellain is careful to have him pray to God evening and morning. There are not lacking persons already who persecute him, but he comports himself with courage. May God grant him the gift of perseverance, and keep his whole family in the inclination they now have to receive the faith! Blessed be God; we have just now availed ourselves of the good disposition we had found in that cabin, for Father Chastelain has just baptized this poor sick girl, and we have again exhorted her relatives to conform to the good pleasure of God. This girl was the 50th over and above the two hundred whom we have baptized this year in this region. Some of them are still alive, and it is well for us that they are not all in heaven, for this would cause us to fear that they might close the doors to many others; some have already only too much aversion to Holy Baptism. Nevertheless, it is a very sensible consolation to us to have seen in this barbarism so many Savages die with so evident signs of predestination. And if we only had assurance of the eternal happiness of thirty or 40 little children, who have been carried off by this contagious malady after having received baptism, we would consider that we had already received [255] the reward for a thousand times more hardships than we could suffer in seeking so many poor wandering sheep, and in the conquest of this new world. It is a part of the heritage of Jesus Christ, which has been righteously acquired by him. Postula a me et dabo tibi gentes hæreditatem tuam. These are so many [page 107] advocates for us, for the whole country, and for all those who interest themselves in the salvation of these peoples,—and a most powerful motive to operate in the conversion of the parents, who have nothing so much at heart as to follow their children after death.

Now I can finish the present letter when I please, since I cannot leave your Reverence with a reason for consolation which can be more acceptable to you; moreover, the embarkation is urgent; one of our domestics departed two days ago. I am going to our new Residence to take the place of Father Pijart, who is coming here to prepare for the voyage. The Father Superior sends him to Kebec that he may confer with your Reverence, by word of mouth, on all that concerns the welfare of this mission. The great zeal that we know you have for the salvation of these poor souls makes us wish to see you here in person; at least, it fills us with hope [256] that you will always send us valiant workers, and that you will aid us with good counsel to begin this new Church auspiciously, after the establishment of which we are going to work with more courage than ever. So many adults escaped from death after baptism constrain us to do this; the war that the powers of darkness have openly declared against us does not permit us to remain without our weapons at hand; and so many good sentiments that God inspires in us, and in thousands and thousands of persons in France, would accuse us of unfaithfulness if we should behave slothfully in the midst of so many excellent opportunities; and above all, the assurances we have of aid from the holy prayers and holy sacrifices of your [page 109] Reverence, in which we all put our trust, and particularly I, who am,

My Reverend Father,

From the Residence of St. Joseph at Ihonattiria,

in the country of the Hurons, this 21st of

June, day of the blessed Gonzague, 1637.

Your very humble and very obedient

servant in Our Lord Jesus Christ.

François Joseph le Mercier.

[page 111]


Le Jeune's Relation, 1638



Source: We reprint from the original of the first issue (H. 69), in Lenox Library.

The document consists of two parts: Part I., by Le Jeune, as superior, is given in the present volume; Part II., by Le Mercier, touching on the Huron missions, will appear in Volume XV.

[page 113]






Sent to the


of the Society Of Jesus in

the Province of France.'

By Father Paule le Jeune of the same So-

ciety, Superior of the Residence of Kébec.









Sebastian Cramoisy,Printer in ordinary

to the King, ruë sainct Jacques,

at the Sign of the Storks.




[page 115]

Table of Chapters contained in this Book.


ELATION of what occurred in New France in the year 1638

Chapter I. Of the means we employ to publish and spread the faith among the Savages.


Page 1


Chap. II.

Of the Baptism of a Savage, and of some of his family.


Chap. III.

Of some other baptized Savages.


Chapter IV.

Of other adult persons who have been solemnly baptized.


Chap. V.

Of the Conversion and Baptism of a young man, and of some other Savages.


Chap. VI.

Of the excellent inclinations of an Algonquin Catechumen.


Chap. VII.

Of some wandering Savages who have become sedentary.


Chap. VIII.

Of the present condition of the Savages, touching the Faith.


Chap. IX.

Of the Seminary for the Hurons.


Chap. X.

Continuation of the Seminary.


Chap. XI.

A collection of various matters.


[page 119]



ELATION of what occurred in the Country of the Hurons, in the year 1637 and 1638

Chapter I. Of the persecutions that we suffered in the year 1637.


Page 1


Chap. II.

General Assembly of the whole country, where our death is under deliberation.


Chap. III.

Special assistance of God to us in our Persecution.


Chapter IV.

The Hurons baptized this year, 1638.


Chap. V.

The Conversion of Joseph Chiwatenhwa, a native of this village of Ossosané


Chap. VI.

The guidance of God respecting our new Christian.


Chap. VII.

Day of saint Joseph a solemn one among the Hurons, on account of certain circumstances.


Chap. VIII.

Our occupations during the entire winter, when these tribes are more sedentary.


Chap. IX.

The residence of saint Joseph at Ihonatiria.


Chap. X.

Brief Journal of the things which could not be entered in the preceding Chapters.


[page 121]

[I] Relation of what occurred in New France, in the year 1638.


Since we can have no truce in the Relation of what takes place in this new world, and as the tribute must be paid again this year, I shall behave toward those who desire it as one does toward stomachs already sated, to which one offers only a few things, but very delicate ones, for fear of ruining them. People are already so full of the customs of our Savages, and of our little labors for them, that I fear disgust; hence I shall say little of many things—omitting whole chapters, lest I be accused of tediousness.

[page 123]



UPERSTITION, error, barbarism, and consequently, sin, are as if in their empire here. We employ four great contrivances to overthrow them. First, we make expeditions to go and attack the enemy upon their own ground, with their own weapons,—that is to say, by a knowledge of the Montagnais, Algonquin, and Huron tongues. When the doors shall be opened to us in nations still more remote, we will enter there if God lend us his help. Now I will say upon this point, in passing, that many did not expect anything from the old Savage stocks, all hope being placed only in the young; but experience teaches us that there is no wood so dry that God cannot make it become green again, when it pleases him. We begin to see in the Huron country, and among the Montagnais and Algonquins, a few families publicly professing the Faith and frequenting the Sacraments, with a devotion and modesty which have nothing of the Savage except the dress. This low opinion that people had of our poor wandering Savages must be changed into thanksgivings and blessings, as we shall see hereafter.

Secondly, as these peoples are attacked [3] by serious diseases, we are obtaining for them the erection of a hospital. The men are now hard at work thereon, so far as the conditions of the country allow. [page 125] Madame the Duchesse d'Aiguillon, who laid the foundations of this great work, can after this year enjoy the fruits of her liberality. For the men who are working here to carry out her plan, having given assistance this winter to some poor forlorn Savages, God so touched them that in truth I would desire a death similar to that which he has granted to two of these Barbarians, who became children of God in the blood of Jesus Christ.

In the third place, we are endeavoring to begin Huron, Algonquin, and Montagnais Seminaries. We have them now at Kebec, of these three kinds; I will say a few words about them, hereafter.

In the fourth place, we are trying to fix the wandering Savages. I confess that golden chains are needed for this purpose; but their souls are more precious than gold and pearls, and it is an advantageous exchange to win them by this allurement. A person of great virtue has begun to lay this snare for them, having hired some men to aid these poor Barbarians to build for themselves, and to cultivate the land. At the first setting of this divine trap, he caught two families, composed of about twenty persons. I am mistaken,—he caught more; for although only these two families have yet been lodged, there are many others that have been gained by this miracle of charity. It is a blessing to see these poor Savages become children of God,—some, indeed, by means of holy Baptism, [4] the others through desire and good will; we will speak of these more fully, in the proper place.

Behold the four batteries which shall destroy the empire of Satan, and shall unfurl the banner of Jesus Christ in these regions. It is the hands and the [page 127] hearts of a few persons, cherished by God, that put these engines in motion by their benefactions and their prayers. The following Chapters will give them reason to believe that their prayers are acceptable to God, since he is pleased to hearken to them; and hence I conjure them to continue to us this great help. I frankly confess my faintheartedness; I did not expect during the remainder of my days to see so powerful effects of grace in these so barbarous souls. Until now, some of the Savages approved Baptism in their children and in their sick people; now those who are in health, and who remain a part of the year near our settlements, honor it, and eagerly and gladly seek it for themselves. This change has been so sudden and so evident, that those who expected almost nothing from these wandering tribes have been obliged to confess that the God of Heaven was as truly the God of the Barbarians as the God of the French. I am not speaking of the Savages of Tadoussac,— they show the least inclination of all,—but of those who usually withdraw to Kebec or to the three Rivers. We have baptized more than a hundred and fifty of these, this year, without counting those who have become Christians among the Hurons. I will not report all the remarkable incidents of these Baptisms,—I will say little of them; and this little, all together, will approach nearer to tediousness, perhaps, than I would desire. Let us begin the relation. [page 129]



WROTE last year about the conversations we had with a band of Montagnais and Algonquins who had encamped near us during the winter. Because the seed of the Gospel did not germinate as soon as some expected, this made them say that it was labor lost to preach to the Savages, seeing that even the one who played the Captain among them, named Makheabichtichiou, had not corresponded to the hopes that had been entertained of him. How strange it is that some should require, in a moment, the introduction of Christianity into infidelity, refinement into Barbarism,—when centuries have been needed to establish our belief in Europe, among sedentary and civilized nations! Now I can say that this sacred seed that was cast that winter into their hearts, has yielded a hundredfold.

First, this Captain Makheabichtichiou's salvation is not hopeless. I believe that he has faith; be that as it may, in charity, there is a great deal of difference between believing and obeying God. Having come to see us this Spring, he did not dare to enter our house; I chided him vigorously; he listened to me patiently, and then replied: " If thou knewest the regret that gnaws my heart, thou wouldst have compassion, instead of chiding me. I thought thou wouldst question me upon the belief thou hast [6] [page 131] taught me. I could have given thee a good account of it, for I have prayed to God all this winter; and instead of showing me a pleasant face, thou receivest me with reproaches. Thou tellest me that I continue to keep several wives; dost thou think that a person can so readily give up his old habits? Perhaps you people had as much trouble as we to quit your old customs when the Faith was first announced to you. Tell me which one of my wives thou desirest me to retain, and I will drive away the others." In a word, his inclinations are good; I will speak no more of him, however, except incidentally, until I see him a Christian, if God grant him that grace.

In the second place, the sorcerer named Pigarouich, with whom we had some disputes, as I wrote in the preceding Relation, has burned all the utensils of his art, and has never again consented to tamper with it since then,—although he has been often secretly solicited to do so, and with valuable presents. Having been fully instructed, he has done wonders for the Faith; but because he has tarnished this bright record by some hasty actions, that we could not suffer in a Catechumen, I will say no more about him, even although he came to us a little while ago, and expressed his regret to us, even to tears. If he continue to knock loudly, the doors of the Church will open to him.

In the third place, the malady having attacked these poor peoples, all those who had been present at the instructions we gave them, being seized by this epidemic, have had themselves more fully catechized; and not one of them died [7] without Baptism, if he could have access to one of our Fathers. ,But, finally, the one of whom I am about to speak [page 133] was of this company. He was deeply touched from that time on, although he gave no evidence thereof until this year. This fire that burned his soul giving him no rest, he came to see us, and told us that .at the first instructions we gave to the Savages his heart had believed all that we said of the greatness ,of God, and that therefore he sent his children to the Catechism, recommending them to listen attentively to what was taught them. " I did not dare address you, " said he, " nor did I know how to declare to you the thoughts of my soul; I was wishing that you would summon me. At last, when Negabamat" (the name of a Savage, his friend) " spoke to me of your intention to help us to become sedentary, I told him that I would like to take part in this,—not so much for the temporal aid you promised, as to hear you talk about the salvation of our souls. It seems to me, " he said, " that I have had from my youth some little knowledge of the things you teach; I was wont to think thus when I was alone, 'There is one who has made all, upon whom we depend, who gave us our life, and causes us to find something with which to sustain it; and that one hates evil-doers.' I had a ,desire to know him, hence I was greatly rejoiced when I heard you speak of him. " Finally, he promised to come and spend the winter near us, that he might be more thoroughly instructed. Scarcely had he become a Catechumen, when God put him to a severe test. He had an interesting and large family; the [8] disease invaded it, and delivered a good part ,of it over to death. An old woman, a relative, who managed his household, was taken off in a few days; his own wife and two of his children died before his eyes; some of his kindred and relations who were [page 135] living with him were carried off at the same time. He consoled himself with their Baptism, for there was not one of them who did not experience at his death a new birth in Jesus Christ. After having buried nearly all these with his own hands, he himself was stricken,—behold him seized with the same contagion as the others; and, to increase his afflictions, his eldest son, believing him dead, married against his will. It was enough to crush the spirit of a Giant, and to revive the ideas that many of the Savages had entertained, that to intend to become a Christian was to consent to depart from this world. But God, who maintains peace at the bottom of the Ocean during the fury of the winds, calmed his heart in the midst of these tempests. This poor man threw himself into our arms, which were only too wide open for him. Monsieur the Chevalier de Montmagny, our Governor, seeing the goodness of this Savage, spared nothing of whatever might give him some relief. He sent him both partridges and poultry, and other birds that were kept for his table, or rather for the sick; he spared neither the sweetmeats, nor the services, nor the store of his Physician and Surgeon together. Truly, this great heart is worthy of praise for having nothing of his own, except the hearts and the love of all those who are under his government; there is not a French family which does not experience his kindness in time of affliction. To finish this story, our Catechumen grew continually weaker, [9] so that, beholding himself within two finger-lengths of death, he summoned the rest of his children and said to them, " My children, believe in God; imitate your Father in this respect. I believe in, him with as much certainty as if I saw him with [page 137] my eyes; do not offend him, and he will help you. I am already dead; when my body is in the earth, remain near the Fathers, and obey them." It would take too long to report all he said to them; he drew tears from the eyes of those who heard him. Having directed them to withdraw, he urged us to grant him Holy Baptism. " Hasten," he said to us; " I am dying, I am in haste to go to Heaven." Sometimes thinking himself alone, we heard him from a place near by offering his prayers to God, with a tenderness and devotion showing the utmost confidence. Finally, on the feast day of our glorious Saint François Xavier, Monsieur the Governor, Monsieur the Chevalier de l'Isle, and Monsieur Gand being present, we made him a Christian. Monsieur de l'Isle named him François Xavier. He displayed so much feeling, and so much satisfaction for this favor, that those Gentlemen returned greatly comforted. A week afterwards, Monsieur the Governor and Monsieur de l'Isle having come to take me to visit him, in a little Cabin where he had retired to die in peace and quietness, he declared to us, with altogether naive simplicity, a great communication he had had with God. " Yesterday, towards evening," he said to me, " while thinking of God, I saw myself surrounded by a great light; I saw the beauties of Heaven, of which thou tellest us; I saw the house of that great Captain who has made all. I was in a state of delight which [10] can not be expressed. This suddenly disappearing, I lowered my eyes toward the earth, and saw a frightful gulf which paralyzed me with fear. It seemed to me some one was saying to me, 'Do not go there!' I had no wish to approach it, for I was trembling like the leaf upon the [page 139] tree shaken by the wind. This feeling of horror vanished, as well as the beauty and light which had surrounded me. I was left quite distracted with a desire to believe and to obey God all my life; assure our Captain of this, that I believe from the bottom of my heart." Now I can assure YourReverence that we did all we could to discover whether this were an imposture or a dream. We had sounded him several times and on different occasions, until, believing that he had his soul upon his lips, we reminded him of this vision, threatening him with severe punishment if he lied in a matter of so much importance. This poor frightened man,.trying to raise himself to a sitting posture, said to us with a steadfast eye, " I assure you in all truth that the thing is as I have described it to you. I have not lied to you in life; I will not lie to you at my death." Regarding this, what can one say except that the God of Paradise bestows his blessings upon the Barbarians as well as upon the Greeks. Monsieur the Governor and Monsieur de l'Isle again returning to see him with sieur Marsolet, who understands the language of the Savages very well, were so pleased, that sieur Marsolet assured me afterwards that he had almost drawn tears from their eyes; when he asked him if he, needed anything that might be in his power to give, [11] " No," he replied, " unless thou pray God for me every day and every morning." How many times, addressing God, did he say to him, " You are my Lord and my master; order my life and my death; I wish for death, that I may see you, and I would gladly live for the good of my children." His family mourning for him, he said, " Though all the world forsake me, I will not forsake you." To be born a. [page 141] Barbarian, and to speak in these terms, is to publish the goodness of the God of the Scythians and of the, Christians.

His sickness was long and tedious, for he was ill more than three months,—sometimes showing a little life, and again almost in the grave. He called those of his family who survived, and gave them admirable advice. Finally, so many prayers were offered for him, our Fathers addressing themselves to God through vows and mortifications, that at the very time when he had been abandoned, and all that he desired had been given him, as to a dead man, God sent him back his health. Behold him emerged from the tomb, to the astonishment of the French and of the Savages. He went into the woods, in quest of his provision of Elk meat; he departed in March after all the other Savages, and returned in April, and yet he brought back more of it than six others together. On his return, he was assailed amidst the ice by a tempest; he had recourse to God, made his family pray, and emerged from the peril that was about to engulf him, and which sunk one of his canoes loaded with meat. When he saw that some of his people were not praying from their hearts, he said to them, " See, we are drawing near the house of the French, where they have promised to [2 i.e., 12] lodge me. I do not wish any one with me who does not believe in God. If any one of you has not a steadfast heart, let him take his share of our provisions, and let him retire elsewhere." He had two wives before his baptism; the strongest and youngest of them died a Christian. The other one, who had but little intelligence, showed herself cold towards the faith. It was to this one and to her [page 143] sister that he was speaking indirectly. The latter answered aloud that she already believed in her heart; in fact, she was baptized a few days afterward. As for his wife, seeing that she gave way a little, he did not wish to repudiate her, although she gives him little comfort in his household. Our new Christian, openly professing the faith, and proclaiming everywhere that God had restored to him health of body and of soul, desired to approach the Holy Table. He prepared himself for this with great purity, made a good Confession after his Baptism, and fasted on the eve of the Holy Sacrament, the day appointed for his first communion. Monsieur our Governor suggested to us that we give him one of the poles of the Canopy under which the Holy Sacrament was borne,—he himself taking one, through a truly noble humility. It was a spectacle agreeable both to Heaven and to earth, to see this Neophyte—clad, under a beautiful Savage robe, with truly Christian modesty-bearing the canopy in the procession, with the chief person in the land. The Muskets and cannons beginning to roar and thunder, and the beautiful decorations of the Altars and resting places, caused an indescribable spirit of devotion, which our new soldier enjoyed with an incredible delight. [13] Finally, he received him who came to honor him publicly, and could not bless him profusely enough. He said afterwards to one of our Fathers, " I do not care any more for the things of earth; it matters little whether I am poor or rich, well or sick, since Heaven is opened to me, and my true Captain has come to visit me. If you were to drive me away, if your Governor were to reject me, if you were all to leave our country, I would never give up God." [page 145] What a change! This man, who has many times eaten the flesh of his enemies, now receives Jesus Christ with a heart full of devotion, and confesses him with a candor altogether naïve! In short, he is practicing Religion, conducting himself as a true Christian. May God give him the grace to persevere until his death. Let us say a few words of his children. He had three boys and three girls; God took one of his boys during the contagion, and one of his girls, who was endowed with a grace not common to the Savages. As an evidence of the faith that was within her heart, seeing one of the Fathers of our Society who was visiting her in her dying moments, she exclaimed in her delirium, for she was in a violent fever, " Ah, my Father! I am going into the fires; I am damned! " That showed that fear was in her soul. Upon the Father speaking to her of God, she recovered her senses, reassured herself, and died in the innocence of her Baptism.

Her twin sister, born on the same day, and with almost the same natural perfections, presented herself for the holy Ceremonies of Baptism. When Monsieur our Governor saw how amiable she was, he wished to be her godfather; and having learned that our [14] great Queen sometimes raised her eyes toward Heaven for the salvation of our poor Barbarians, and that she had even wished some young Savage girl to be brought up in the Faith on her account, he had her take her name, calling her Anne. This new plant grows daily in the faith, frequenting the Sacraments in imitation of her father. It happened one day that when the one who was to hear her confession was instructing her beforehand, and recommending sincerity to her, she looked at him as if in [page 147] astonishment, and said: " Have you not taught me that it is God to whom one declares one's sins in the presence of the Priest? How then can I lie to him, and conceal anything from him, since he knows all?"

Of these three baptized children, one of the Fathers whom Your Reverence has sent us this year, at the very time of his landing, received into the Church of God the youngest son of our Neophyte. There still remains to be baptized his eldest son and another younger daughter, whom God will bless, if it please him, in his own time.

The woman who takes care of his family, while preparing herself for Baptism, saw an animal as large as a Bear enter her little Cabin, during the night. Believing this to be a demon, she had recourse to God, and the beast or phantom disappeared. The next day she was received into the Church militant, and a little while afterward into the Church triumphant. [page 149]




YOUNG Savage, finding himself sick, urgently asked for Baptism; but, when he was kept on probation, he said to us, " Do you not see that they are taking me to my death? For my relations dragging me after them into the woods will be sure to free themselves from the. trouble I shall give them, by killing me, or abandoning me in these great forests. " Yes, but if thou recover," was said to him, wilt thou persevere in the faith that thou dost now profess? " As he is of a violent and rather haughty disposition, we feared Apostasy for him. " Do not speak to me of recovery," he replied; " I ask you for Baptism as a man who is going to his death." Thereupon he raised himself to a sitting posture and begged to be made a Christian. His request fulfilled, they wished him to lie down again, for he was very weak. " Wait," said he, " until I have thanked God a little for the great gift I have just received." After his Baptism he was dragged to a thousand places; he was not killed, but was made to endure great suffering. He was sometimes left all alone in a corner of the woods, with a little food placed near him. I have never seen a man endure so much,—I do not think that job was any more wretched; for this man had nothing more [16] than the skin adhering to his bones, and a wretched piece of bark which served him as bed, blanket, and house. [page 151] He sometimes cried out, " I hate my body, I do not fear death; " then, pinching his skin, all black and frightful to look upon, " It is not this rottenness that I love; its is Heaven, whither my soul is going." The Savages, wishing to get rid of him, spread a report that he had become a man wolf, and that he would eat all those who came near him. When we had learned all this fine news, we had him brought to us, and succored him so effectually that this carcass again became a body, this corpse was resuscitated; and this poor mute tongue was so loosened that it is a pleasure now to hear him bless God. He preaches to his own people, reproaching them for their vices and their ingratitude with a freedom that consoles us; and the best of it is that he first accuses himself, publicly, of having formerly committed the sins that he reproves in them. He has so good a conception of our mysteries that I do not think many old Christians proceed to the Sacrament of Penance more sincerely and more frankly than this Neophyte.

Another one, younger than he, was also deserted in his sickness. The Savage who abandoned him came to one of our Fathers, and said to him, " Go and find a young boy that I have left in such and such a place, because I am going to the woods to hunt, and I cannot drag him after me." So saying, my man went away without further ceremony. We took this poor child, who had been already made a Christian by Baptism. We rendered him all the assistance possible, during the space of more than three months that he was in [17] our little house. God wished to call him to himself; he confessed, and received the Sacrament of Extreme Unction. Shortly before his death, he asked us who those were whom [page 153] he had heard singing all night, very melodiously, affording him the utmost delight; he thought that we had heard them. As he told this, he assumed a startled look, and said to us, " Do you not see those frightful people there, looking at me with evil eyes? " We immediately reassured him. On the evening of the night he died, he called loudly for one of our Fathers, who immediately ran to him; but he could not understand what the boy intended to say, as he only exclaimed, " The Father will know it, the Father will know it. " Some time afterward, he rendered up his blessed soul to our Lord.

I have spoken in preceding Relations of a certain man surnamed by the French, " big Olivier," who two years ago had his daughter baptized, and afterwards his wife, fully resolving that he would die a Christian, as well as the others. This good fortune did not happen to him without a special favor of God; for he was very superstitious, and did not lack the ability to justify those foolish notions; he took part in divination. Now either because the devil communicated with him by means of their throbbings of the breast, or because he chanced to meet him sometimes, I have known him to assert that certain news which was expected would arrive the next morning, which proved to be true. Having fallen sick, he had us summoned; three of us went to him, This good man, already convinced of his superstitions, said to us, " Ah! my dear friends, [18] you are doing me a favor. I have no longer the power to speak, except what is necessary to testify to you that I believe in God, that I renounce our absurdities to embrace the Faith that you have taught me. " Thereupon he tried to get on his knees, but he had not [page 155] enough strength. The first Sacrament of grace was conferred upon him, and almost at the same time he passed into glory.

We shall see examples even more remarkable than this I am about to describe, showing that the goodness of God must not be despaired of, notwithstanding the barbarism of the Savages. One of our Fathers approaching a young sick girl to persuade her to Baptism, this poor creature perceiving him, said, " Go away from here; I do not wish to see thee." The Father, pretending not to hear her, said, " My daughter, I would like very much to know where thy greatest pain is, to bring thee some remedy for it." The patient, incited by the evil spirit, turned angrily to the other side; her sister, who was taking care of her, seeing this, said to the Father, " Dost thou not hear her tell thee to go away,—that thou art turning her brain? " The two Fathers who were there, recognizing the temptation of the devil, had recourse to God, and the demon fled. " My daughter," said one of these Fathers, "we wish to give thee good counsel, and thou despisest it; how now, shall we go away without thy speaking to us? At these words she turned her face and exclaimed, Ah, my Father, I am dying! I can do no more, it is a question of my life!" "No, my daughter, you will not entirely perish, " the Father said to her, " if you believe in God, for your soul will enjoy eternal pleasure." " I believe, " replied she, [19] " I believe, I am sorry to have offended him." She was questioned upon the principal articles of our belief; as she had attended the Catechism, she answered very well. She was asked if she truly desired to receive Holy Baptism; she answered not by words, but by actions; for [page 157] although she was on the verge of death, she gently raised herself and put a bark plate under her head, making a sign that these sanctifying waters should be poured over her to cure the wounds of her soul; she was obeyed; she was made a Christian, and at the same time a citizen of Paradise,—for, in lowering her body towards the ground, her soul flew away to Heaven. It is a holy exercise of the mind to meditate at times upon the wonder and holy terror, so to speak, that the soul of a Savage experiences in passing, in one moment, from the extreme of barbarism and degradation into the bosom of glory. What thanksgivings does it not offer for those who have procured it this greatness; what Heavenly blessings does it not ask from God for those who have not spared their earthly goods that they might apply to it the blood of Jesus Christ? Let us pass on; I fear this will be too long. [page 159]



HE seminary for the Hurons has given us this year two young men, as steadfast in the Faith as their nation is unsteady and changeable. I have no knowledge of the future, but I know well that the sojourn they made among us has caused them to be considered very well prepared to receive the stamp of Christian. Monsieur the Chevalier de Montmagny named one of them Armand jean, the name of Monseigneur the Cardinal, deeming it appropriate that a Prince of the Church, who favors this rising Church, should gather the first fruits thereof. His companion is the one who escaped last year from the hands of the Hiroquois by a sort of miracle. Monsieur Gand and Madamoiselle de Repentigny, his godfather and godmother, called him Joseph, in the name of the Gentlemen of New France. The Chapter on the Seminary for the Hurons will show us the good inclinations and virtues of these two young men, truly touched by God. I have spoken in the preceding Relations of a young girl given to a French family for two years, on condition that when this time expired she should be allowed to go back to her parents, if she wished to do so. As the time drew near, her father strongly urged her to follow him; [21] she turned a deaf ear. He sent a young man to speak to her about marriage, who, in order to more [page 161] effectually gain her friendship and estrange her from the French, made her a present of bracelets and earrings, and a necklace of porcelain,—these are the pearls and diamonds of the country. This good Catechumen, between 12 and 14 years old, answered by fleeing, leaving there his presents, and him who ,offered them, without saying to him a single word. Having now recognized her constancy, we prepared her for Baptism. The devil tried to oppose this, for she was seized by a sort of obsession, so violent that she instantly turned her head around, with horrible distortion, and her stomach grew enormously swollen. We saw that she was utterly terrified, and unable to utter a word, except, " I am afraid, I am afraid." This happened to her three times, and always at a time when none of us could be called to see her in this condition. There were urgent requests to have her take some medicine, to clear her brain, they said. We were willing to do this, but negligence suddenly seized us. Baptism was destined to cure her; for, since the sacred waters have made her a child of God, the devil has never caused her this fright. She was called Magdelaine of St. Joseph. I hope that some soul dear to God will find in her a wife.

The sorcerer Pigarouch, with whom we had so many disputes last year, as I have already said, instructed and had his wife and three of his children baptized at death. One of his brothers becoming obstinate, and ridiculing the fires of Hell, he urged him [22] so strongly that he convinced him. " What! " said he to him, " dost thou think thy soul will have no consciousness after death? Is it thou who hast created it, that thou shouldst speak of it with this obstinacy? Thou placest all thy dependence upon [page 163] thy apprehensions, full of errors as they are; and I who believe in God, I lean upon his word; it is he who has drawn souls from nothing, and consequently can speak of them with all truth. Reason teaches thee that he who has given thee being demands some acknowledgment thereof, on pain of punishment." He argued so well that this good man yielded, and was named Chrysostome.

Having baptized a good woman in a serious illness, so that she responded with perfect intelligence to all the questions put to her, without once appearing to wander, it happened that she returned to health, and we asked her if she remembered clearly the name that had been given to her. " No," said she, " I do not even know whether I have been baptized." " But dost thou not remember, " we said to her, " the answers that thou didst make to us concerning our belief ? " " No," she answered, " I do not know what you asked me, nor what I answered you; but I remember very well that it seemed to me, when you addressed me, that the Devil tried to kill me, and that I said in my heart, 'It is no wonder that he attacks me, since I believe in God; but he cannot succeed.' I afterwards felt myself delivered from this danger; it was no doubt through this Baptism. " This poor woman behaves well now, and is very glad that she was sick, that she might [23] receive a favor that would not have been granted to her so soon. I cannot refrain from saying that those who despair of the conversion of the Savages, offer an insult to the goodness of God. We have this winter succored a young man, with great patience, for his sickness lasted more than five months. After all the kindness that had been shown him, and the instruction that had [page 165] been given him, the devil almost turned his head. This poor wretch, being in a fury, blasphemed God, and protested that he no longer believed in him. " All the winter," said he, " I have prayed to him, and was expecting that he would cure me; and here I am, worse than ever! Let him damn me if he will, I do not care! " Those who hear these blasphemies immediately conclude that the Savages believe only through self-interest. Strange, how evil is better received than good! Every one believes, at the first recital, all the simplicities that we write about these peoples; but if we note some trait of intellect or good sense,—in a word, some boon of nature or of grace,—this is, as it were, called in question. Who would ever have believed that our blasphemer was to sing the praises of God? We had him carried into the Cabin of some of his Savage relatives; and at the very time that we were giving him no more assistance, except to remonstrate gently with him about his sin, he was so contrite that he drew tears from our eyes. He asked for Baptism, protesting that he was sorry to have offended his Lord; and offered him his life, without praying him to prolong it for a moment. He said aloud that he believed, and that he would [24] forever believe in him who had touched his heart. He is baptized while in this fervor. The Devil unexpectedly comes across his path; one of his brothers dreams that if a stick resembling a serpent be put near him, he will recover. One is immediately made, and placed near his head. Having been notified of this superstitious act, we went to visit him; when we asked him whether this stick had made his body, since it was placed near him in order to restore him, he took it and gave it to us. " Take [page 167] it away," he said, " in order that I may hear no more about it; they placed it near me without my having any belief in it." I send it to Your Reverence, although it is rare in no other respect except that it will make a long journey. Having survived some time after his baptism, he confessed and received extreme Unction, with such sentiments of devotion that his face was all aglow. We asked him if he did not fear death. " No; I no longer fear it since my baptism; on the contrary, I greatly desire to go and see my Father and my God." We recalled to his memory some offenses that he might have committed since he had become a Christian, so that he might ask God's pardon for them. He thought within himself a little; then he said to us, " No, I have not fallen into those sins, for, when I presented myself for Baptism, I considered that, being a child of God, I ought no more to offend him; and then it seems to me that those who are baptized do not fall into those offenses. " His death astonished those who had despaired of his conversion. [page 169]



ON est abbreviate manus Domini ut salvare nequeat: neque aggravate est auris ejus ut non exaudiat. God's hands are no weaker, nor his ears more shut, than they were a thousand years ago. These words will serve us as a guarantee against those who would regard as exaggerations the favors that his goodness is beginning to bestow upon the Savages. We shall see in this young man a triumph of the providence and mercy of the great God. It is almost two years since Monsieur Gand, a man who is very charitable to the poor Savages, rescued this poor wretch, half dead from hunger, cold, and sickness, although he was very well connected among his own people; he clothed him, lodged him, procured him food, and put him in our hands to be instructed. Different arguments were urged upon him; he was made to pray to God morning and evening, he knew the greater part of our mysteries; but he believed only in appearance. In a word, he sought the life of the body, and not that of the soul. The winter past, the cold continued in his heart,—perceiving which, we drove him away as a person who followed us, as a dog would, to get some bread. He passed the Summer with his countrymen, always speaking of us with respect. Toward Autumn, a misfortune happened to him; when he was taking a sweat, he [page 171] fell [26] upon the burning stones which heat these baths, and scorched and burned a great part of his body; it was something frightful to see. Behold him, then, as near death as in the winter; for he knew very well that he would never survive it if he were not vigorously assisted; this he did not expect from his own people, who no more know what charity is than they understand surgery. He cast many glances at us, and spoke to us about returning to us; but we had no longer ears for him, believing that he had none for God. At this very time we received letters from our Fathers at the Three rivers, who asked us for some young Savage to pass the winter with them, so that in giving him instruction they might continue to improve their knowledge of their language. We hardly gave a thought to this poor badly roasted body; but finally, after having found others, who failed to keep their word with us, we were constrained to send them this poor wretch, who had no more than half of his body. Oh my God, what a providence! They had him cared for, they treated him with every evidence of love and affection; having recovered, this man of stone still remained cold as ice. Finally our Fathers, unable to endure this apathy, had recourse to God, made vows to him through the intercession of the glorious Apostle St. Paul, and offered the holy Sacrifice of the Mass on the day of his conversion, for the conversion of this insensible statue. Strange to say! behold him changed in a moment; his heart is full of regret for having so long resisted God; he urges them to baptize him, that he may be relieved from the burden of his sins; he fasts of [27] his own accord,—pretending to eat, but dexterously putting to one side the [page 173] food that was given to him; he passes whole hours in the Chapel, in the rigor of winter, attracted thither by a secret virtue which he adores without recognizing it. His mind, which until then had seemed dull, and heavy as lead, becomes so alert that he conceives without any difficulty all that is taught him of our mysteries. Our Fathers showing surprise at this, he said, " It is a favor from my good Angel, of whom I ask help every time you summon me to be instructed. " When they came to tell him of the presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Sacrament, he made a gesture as of a man full of joy. " I am no longer astonished," said he, " that I took so much pleasure in approaching the Altar when I offered my prayers in the Chapel; the nearer I approached, the more contentment I felt in my soul, without being able to comprehend whence it proceeded."

His relatives having brought back an abundance of fresh meat from their hunting during Lent, he was told that he might eat of it, since he was not yet baptized. He rejoined, " You abstain from it for some good, I desire to obtain this good for myself." To try him, he was made to understand that Baptism would perhaps be the occasion of his death, God punishing the hypocrisy of his heart through this affliction. He answered in these words: " If Baptism is only going to cause my death on account of hypocrisy, I need not fear it; but if it should absolutely kill my body, I would ask it that I might cause my poor soul to live again. God is admirable in [28] his methods. At the same time that the Sacrament of light is promised to this poor Catechumen, he takes away from him the eyes of his body; an inflammation suddenly attacks his eyesight, and he becomes [page 175] blind, or nearly so, for he does not see well enough to guide himself. This stroke did not appal him, he continued steadfast in his resolution; the devil had not power to reawaken in his soul the error of the Savages, who not long ago imagined that they could only procure the, life of their souls in destroying that of their bodies. As he was seen to be firm in this temptation, and in this trial which God made of him, he was placed among the number of the children of God; he was named Paul, in accordance with the promise made to this great Apostle.

Some time after his Baptism, our Fathers of the Three Rivers sent him to us at Kebec, with a brief letter, of which this is the tenor: " The small amount of food that we have, and the great number of Savages who need our help, have made us decide to send you this new soldier of Jesus Christ; perhaps, also, may be found down there some remedy for his eyes. It may be added that he is really touched; he has a truly Christian humility, and great resignation to the will of God. We have often asked him if the loss of his eyes did not afflict him; he has always replied that, not being master of himself, he must leave it to God to act, who, being our Father, knew well what was best for us. 'Just as,' said he, 'if my body had not been burned this Autumn, my soul might have fallen this winter into the fires,—for I might have [29] followed the Savages, and lost my life with them in the state of weakness in which I was; so, perhaps, I would have lost the sight of Heaven, if God had not taken away the sight of earth.' Faith has caused him to lose the shame he felt in speaking ,of God before his countrymen. I trust that he will give you consolation." [page 177]

As soon as he arrived, he confessed and took communion; and that very day he fell sick, but so unexpectedly and seriously, that I was summoned in haste to see him die. Being with him, we asked him in the presence of the Savages if he feared death. He smiled gently, although he was extremely low. "I am baptized," he replied; "I no longer fear death, or the devil. If I did not believe in God I would be afraid, but God being with me, I no longer fear anything except offending him." "Are you not sad to die so soon?" we asked him. "Ask me, rather, if I am not very glad to go to Heaven; let those who have no hope in God be sad at the thought of death; as for me, I believe in his word, I hope in his goodness; this is why I am not sad." These words affected us all the more as they were profitable to his own people, who wondered at this great change in a young man of their nation. They were still more astonished when a few days afterwards they saw him in good health, contrary to their expectations. He now frequents the Sacraments; yea, more, he even enjoys God in Prayer. Behold how far grace can bear a Savage! May God give him perseverance; for, if the stars fall from Heaven, no one lives in certainty.

[30] We will add to the conversion of this young man, that of a family, happier as to Heaven than it was fortunate upon earth. A tall, well-built man, and of excellent repute among the Savages, after having listened to us for some time, approached us, to make known the sentiments of his heart. He said to us, on his return from burying one of his children, " My soul is filled with sadness, not for the death of my son, but because he died without baptism." Now [page 179] when he had learned that his child, having died in infancy, did not feel the pains of hell, not having committed any actual sin, he thanked us heartily for having taught him a doctrine so favorable, he said. Then he added, " A report prevails up yonder that you have written to a great Captain of France that he should aid us to settle in the French way, and to clear the land; is that true?" Having told him that it was, " Remember, " said he, " that I am one of the first who wishes to place himself under your flags; I shall not be alone, I shall bring several with me. But one point," said he, " makes me hesitate. If this Captain to whom you have written sends you a bad paper, will you stop teaching us?" " God forbid," we replied;" we shall never forsake you." "There," said he, " that is the best of your speeches; for I do not wish to stay near you for anything except the salvation of my soul." Meanwhile, as he was preparing to make a journey to Tadoussac, he said to us several times, " Visit my family often; if any of them die without baptism, you will answer for it, for we all wish to believe in God. Another of my sons is [31] sick; make him a Christian as soon as possible, for fear of being taken unawares." The judgments of God are unfathomable. This good man,—who caused us to rejoice from the bottom of our hearts, not only for his own conversion, but for the hope we had that many would imitate his example,—fell sick, the day on which he was to embark; and within four days afterward, he was baptized and borne to the grave. Three days later, his wife was seized by the same malady; feeling that she was stricken with death, she summoned us and said: " The love that you bear me makes me believe that I cannot do better [page 181] than to leave my two little sons in your hands; since you have cherished the father, cherish the children. I give them to you, rear them in your belief; and baptize me, for I am dead." As they were being carried away, this poor mother, looking at them, said in a mournful voice, " Farewell, my children; this is the last time I shall see you here below on earth." This said, she was made a Christian, and from Baptism was carried to the grave. Her two children are two little germs of a Seminary. Meanwhile her sister arrived, very sick; she was one of the wicked women of the country, taking part in their sorcery, in which she succeeded better than the men. Affliction opens the eyes of the understanding; this wretched creature demands Baptism, cries to God for mercy, protests that she believes; she astonishes us by a sudden change; we grant her what could not be refused to her without impiety. Scarcely is she purged from her transgressions than she is put in the ground. Her husband, finding himself burdened with her still very young child, gives him to us, to be placed with his cousins. [32] The death of these two poor creatures does not prevent their third sister from now having herself instructed, that she may live in Jesus Christ. At the same time, a young man, well instructed, stricken by the same contagion, seeking the salvation of his soul in the waters of Baptism, found therein also that of his body; for he recovered at the same time that he became a Christian. This very sudden recovery surprised us, inasmuch as he was almost dead when baptized. Upon his recovery, he gave us his little brother to be cast into the port of safety, both for the body and for the soul. A Father passing near a cabin without entering, a Savage [page 183] woman said to him complainingly, " I believe that thou dost not love us any more, since thou passest without visiting us." The Father smiled at this complaint, entered the cabin, and found there a poor woman very sick, who said to him, " Sit thou near me a little while, for I am dying." Then showing him her little son, she asked, with tears in her eyes, if he would not act as father to the poor little child she was about to leave. The Father soon consoled her; he had this little innocent taken away, to be brought up with the others; then, as this woman had been baptized, he asked if she would not like to confess the sins that she might have committed since her baptism. She did this with so much preparation, and so much candor, that the Father remained bewildered, as it were, for several days, seeing how deeply the Faith was becoming rooted in the souls of these poor Barbarians.

Some time afterward, a Captain having fallen sick, and having received holy Baptism, [331 gave us his own daughter, about three or four years old. We are having her reared in a French family. The mother of this child could hardly give her up; but this good Neophyte urged her so strongly that she herself brought her to us, knowing very well that she would be better off in our French houses than in one of their cabins. I omit a great many baptisms, in order not to go beyond the limits I have set for myself, although one can observe something remarkable in them, if it be only a very special providence of God. For example, one of us enters a cabin by mere chance, sees a slight movement under an Elk skin, finds a dying child, baptizes it, and sends it to Heaven at the same time. [page 185]

A Savage comes to seek one of our Fathers to go and baptize a sick person in his cabin; the Father follows him; both cross over the frozen river. Scarcey have they reached the other bank, when the ice cracks and floats away with the current; if they had waited a little longer they would have been killed. Entering the cabin, the Father finds a little child who has only enough life left to receive Holy Baptism. Having been made a child of God, it flies away to Heaven; and the Father, retracing his footsteps, finds the bridge upon which he had crossed broken to pieces. There still remained an immense cake of ice, stranded upon the shores of the great river; he climbs upon this, calls as loudly as he can, so that they may come after him in a canoe. He is perceived, they hasten thither, embark him, and the ice which bore him floats away as soon as he has left it, and goes off in the current of the river. You might have said that it was waiting for nothing else but [34] for the Father to be in a place of safety. All these occurrences are marvels of the providence of God.

A Father, going down to Kebec, arrives at the same time as those who were going to visit the Savages who were sick. Now he himself goes into their cabins, baptizes three or four of them at the point of death, returns to the place whence he had come,,almost without any one being able to recognize what might have called him to the place where God led him for the salvation of these souls. When his majesty wishes to save a soul, all the demons cannot cause it to be lost. Another time, the Savages again came to request one of us to go and visit their sick, at several leagues from our dwellings. The Father embarks with them; the devil, foreseeing the good [page 187] he is about to do, masses so much ice around their canoe, that they are obliged to disembark upon an island, overflowed, and covered only with ice. The Savages found a contrivance for making a fire upon this hearth without melting it. They cut a large tree of green wood, which hardly burns in the fire; they make a hearth of it, and light a fire thereon; and, for house and bed all together, take pieces of wood upon which they and the Father lie down, and thus pass the night. In the morning, they reëmbark; the ice again encompasses them, they call for help. The Savages of the place whither they were going, hearing them, hasten thither, hold out to them long poles, and draw them from the gates of death. The Father, having thanked God for this favor, instructs the well and the sick, and baptizes some of them,—among others, a child who immediately gave up its life. This done, he returns with ease, admiring in his soul the ways that God takes to save his elect. [page 189]



AM not pleased with those who have believed that in the mind of the Savages one did not observe any little ray of light or knowledge touching the Divinity. I have previously written against this error; behold two examples which oppose it. A woman told us not long ago that, being sick, the thought occurred to her that there must be some one who could cure her; she invokes him, she recovers her health. " Some time after that," said she, " I went down to Kebec; I heard you speak of God and of his Omnipotence; I immediately began to say in my heart, 'This is he to whom I have prayed, and who has cured me.' I did not know his name, I did not understand him; I must listen to what is said of him, in order to believe in him."

This young man of whom I am about to speak, having been delivered from a sickness that had taken off many others, philosophized in this way: II There must certainly be in the Universe some powerful spirit which has preserved me; for I have done nothing for my recovery more than the others, and yet my body is not made of a different material. I would gladly know this benefactor."

Another time, being alone and contemplating his hand, he said: " It is not I who have formed this hand, or who stretched out these fingers; nor can [page 191] this be [36] also attributed to my father or mother,for, besides that they did not know when my hand was formed, they cannot give any motion to their work; they cannot make a paddle, or a canoe, or any other piece of work which opens and closes itself by a secret impulse, as my fingers do. Without doubt there is some great workman who performs these wonders; if it be so, would that some one would give me a knowledge of him! " I beg Your Reverence to believe that I add nothing to the ideas of this Savage. We deserve to be reproached for having lost many others like these, because we did not note them down on paper.

This good young man, being in this state of mind, came down, by mere chance, to our dwellings; for he belongs to the Island Savages, a nation far distant from the French. Having heard us speak of the great Architect of the Universe, his heart takes fire, he comes to see us immediately in private; lo, he is touched. The more we talk to him of God, the more he wishes to hear about him; he drinks in long draughts this sacred water, which produces thirst in quenching it; he becomes importunate, but with an importunity that was very agreeable to us. Twice a day, he was taught; and after a long hour of instruction he asked permission to go to the Chapel, to ask God for the grace to retain what had been taught him. On leaving there, he usually retired to a lonely place in the woods, in order to meditate by himself upon what he had learned; returning to his cabin, he communicated it to his people with glowing enthusiasm, accompanied by a quaint modesty.

When he felt himself fortified in the Faith, he made a [37] feast to all the Savages who were in the [page 193] neighboring cabins, that he might unburden his heart to them. Being assembled, he said to them: II My dear countrymen, I have summoned you to declare to you publicly that from this moment I give up all the foolish customs of our nation; and, as a proof of what I say, I will sing no more, I will. engage no more in those cries and noises that we make at our banquets, but I will pray to God and will bless him because he has given us what I freely present to you to eat; see if you wish to pray to him with me." At these words, behold them indeed astonished! They lower their eyes, and follow him word for word in the prayers he offered to God.

Here is another proof of his faith: Once when we gave him a present, to more completely gain his friendship, he refused it, saying that he did not believe in order to derive some benefit from the French. II All your possessions will not save my soul; it is the Faith alone that I expect from you; if I took anything else, the people of my nation would imagine that I did not believe in God, but in you people. I could desire only one favor; and that is that I might be aided to become sedentary, that I might dwell near you to hear the word of God. They are saying here that a house has already been built near Kebec for this purpose. Send word, if you please, to the Father who has charge of it, to do me the favor to grant me the same courtesy that he intends to show the others; but make him understand clearly that, although he refuse me, I will not cease to believe in God. It is not he who created my soul, and who must pardon my sins; if there were no longer any of you people in the country, I could not [38] abandon God." He even went so far as to say to us, " If all [page 195] the French were to treat me harshly, even striking me and tearing me to pieces, I would not give up the Faith; for it is not in them I believe, but in God." This faith is accompanied by great zeal for the salvation of his countrymen; he is continually urging them by keen arguments, and brings them to us to hear the doctrine of Jesus Christ. As some of them paid no attention, he said one day to the Father who was teaching them, I I Come, my Father, let us leave these ,obstinate people; let us go and speak of God to more ,distant nations. I am sure if they heard what you teach us down here, they would receive the Faith with open arms, while we show ourselves stubborn." His confidence in God is so much the more worthy of admiration as it began when he was still only a Catechumen. Having gone far into the woods on a hunting trip, a woman of his party fell sick; this incommoded them greatly in their hunting, but to abandon this poor creature was something which he could no longer approve. He addresses himself to her husband, and says to him, I I Thou hast learned what they teach us of the goodness and power of God; he is master of our life,—he gave it to us, he can restore it to us when we might have lost it; let us pray him to restore thy wife to health, but let us do it heartily, and let us trust in him. " This good man and all the cabin having agreed to this, he makes all kneel down; he invokes the goodness of God, and all the others pray after him, word for word. This is not all; desiring to be listened to favorably, he passes a part of the night alone in prayer. Our Lord be forever blessed! [39] Before the following day was over, this woman was working as cheerfully and was in as good health as any of the others. [page 197]

He experienced the help of God in his hunting. Every morning and evening he had all his people pray to God; and he himself addressed to him these words: II It is you, 0 God, who have made me, and consequently I am yours; you can dispose of me as I dispose of the little utensils I have made. Look upon me, then, as a thing that belongs to you; as the use of a paddle that I have made belongs to me, so must the use of my body and my soul, and of all my powers that you have created, belong to you. I offer you all,—both body and soul, and all my actions; I depend upon you in my hunting, remembering that you are my Father." He went away in this confidence, and accomplished wonders; never did he say, "I have captured, I have killed," but, "God has given me such a thing." Returning one day from hunting, he was meditating apart upon the prayers that had been taught him. Meanwhile, he perceives a Bear, pursues and kills it; it being dead, he stops short; "This animal does not belong to me," he says, "for God made me kill it, not through my own merits, but in virtue of the prayers made by the French; so it is to them it belongs, and not to me. " He brings it, and presents it to us to distribute, he says, to those who faithfully offer their prayers.

I do not know whether he has charity, but I do know that he shows strong indications of it. Hearing one of our Fathers speak of God, one day, he devoured him with his eyes, and at the conclusion said to him, II Why am I not always with thee?" Indeed, this Catechumen [40] never grows weary of such discourses. Having passed three whole hours there once, when he was sent away lest he become tired of it, you would have said that the morsel was [page 199] being taken from the mouth of a famished person. I Do not fear to weary me, " said he, "I feel great regret at having passed my life without knowing God. The greatest pleasure I have in the world is to hear about him. " Indeed, he went so far in this excess that, having consumed all his provisions, he refrained from going fishing or hunting, lest he might be deprived of coming to see us that he might talk about God and our belief—sometimes passing almost two days without eating. Becoming aware of this, we reproved him for this immoderate ardor, succoring him as well as we could. I know very well that I shall hardly be believed, but I cannot conceal the wonders of God.

Not long ago, looking at a very aged Huron, he said to us: "Ah, how good God is, how good he is! For perhaps seventy years he has nourished and preserved this old man, and I am sure he has never rendered him a word of thanksgiving! If I had given a man food ten times without his making any acknowledgment, I would not wish to see him again. We depend upon God in all our acts, and we think so little about him! "

He never undertook a journey without coming to ask help of Our Lord in the Chapel, and commend himself to our prayers. " How fortunate you are," he sometimes said, " to have known God from your youth, and to know how to pray to him. As for me, since I have a knowledge of him, I think of him continually." It is a very wonderful thing [41] that the Savages, when strongly moved, are usually devoted to their good Angels. In reading over again the memoirs of our Fathers, scattered in different regions, I have been astonished in seeing how the [page 201] holy Ghost gives always the same sentiments to these Neophytes. For, without having any communication with one another, they ask light from their good Angel when they come to be instructed; they feel the same astonishment at the greatness and goodness of God, although they express it differently; our Catechumen has some very tender sentiments on this subject. " Yes," some one will say, " but why still retain among the number of Catechumens a man so well disposed? " I answer that there must not be too much haste in matters of importance. The activity occasioned by the ships makes us defer his baptism until after their departure; before they have cast Anchor in your harbors, this good Catechumen will be a Christian. [page 203]



HIS Chapter will give consolation to Your Reverence and to all persons who take pleasure in seeing Jesus Christ reign in our great forests, for it inspires us with great hope for the conversion of the Savages, so greatly can they be aided in the way I am about to describe.

One of the most efficient means we can use to bring them to Jesus Christ [42] is to organize them into a sort of Village,—in a word, to help them clear and cultivate the land, and to build homes for themselves. When we were continually seeking some help to accomplish this enterprise, it happened that a virtuous person of your France, well known in Heaven and upon earth, and whose name cannot go forth from my pen without displeasing him, informed me of a plan he had for serving Our Lord in these countries. He hired for this purpose some artisans and laborers, to begin a building and to clear some lands,—assuring me in his letters that he had no other object in this work than the greater glory of God. We located his workmen in a beautiful place, at present called the Residence of St. Joseph, a good league above Kebec, upon the great river.12 Monsieur Gand had taken this place for himself, but he willingly consecrated it to so good an object. Affairs being in this condition, we sent word to this good Seignior that he [page 205] would make a great sacrifice to God if he would apply. the work of his men to succoring the Savages. We must wait a year for an answer. Meanwhile, it happened that, upon asking a Savage for his children to place them in the Seminary, he answered us: " It is too little to give you my children; take the father and mother, and the whole family, and lodge us near your dwelling, that we may hear your doctrine and believe in him who has made all." We asked him if he was speaking sincerely. " I am speaking to you frankly," said he, " according to the thoughts of [43] my heart." This made us resolve to offer him at once the house that was being erected at the residence of St. Joseph,—on condition, however, that if he to whom we had written were not satisfied with this, he should go out of it. This good Savage, named by his own people Negabamat, told us that he would come to see us to talk over this matter, and that he would bring with him one of his friends, of the same mind. He associated with himself a certain Nenaskoumat, our François Xavier of whom I have spoken above. They both came to see us one evening, and said to us that important affairs would far better be transacted in the silence of the night than in the noise of the day; and, consequently, that we should give them shelter, that they might treat with us regarding the matter which we had mentioned to them.

The Sun having set, and every one having gone to rest, Negabamat made me the following speech: ",Father le Jenne, thou art already old, and therefore it is no longer permitted to thee to lie. Come now, take courage, and boldly speak the truth. Is it not true that thou hast promised me to lodge us in [page 207] this house they are building, and to help us, me and another family, to clear the land? Here is Nenaskoumat, with whom I am associated; he is a peaceable man,—thou knowest him well. We come to see if thou art firm in thy promises; all the Savages to whom we have spoken of this plan admire it, but they do not believe thou wilt ever put it into execution; take care what thou doest. If thou art going to lie, lie soon, before getting us into a house only to make us leave it. We have some influence among [44] those of our nation; if they saw us deceived by you people, they would ridicule us, and this would anger us' " This harangue, so ingenuous, made us smile. I replied to them that this house did not belong to us, and that the men who were building it were not hired by us; but that I had written to France to him who had undertaken this enterprise, to use it for the good of their nation, and that, as they were the first to present themselves to be helped, they would also be the first to receive assistance if we had a favorable answer; that, moreover, I was promising myself thus much from the goodness of this man of God, that he would readily grant them this great and especial favor.

Thereupon they asked us a thousand questions. This great man to whom thou hast written, is he not as good as the rest of you?" " Much better," we replied. " That is very well," they rejoined, " for since you wish to benefit us, and as you have already done so, if this Captain is better than you, he will do still more for us. But is he very old?" " He is, indeed," we answered them. " Will he not die very soon?" " We know nothing about that." Does he often pray to God? " "Very often." It is [page 209] done," said they, " we shall be aided; for if he prays frequently to God, God will love him; if God loves him, he will preserve him; and, if he lives a long time, he will help us, since he is good." You can imagine how much this so artless method of reasoning consoled us. " There is still another point of importance," said they, continuing their talk; " as we are already getting old, if we happen to die, will you not drive our children from this house,—[451 will you not refuse them the help that you will have given us?" Having explained to them how, among us, the property of the parents belongs to the children after their death, they cried out, " Ho, Ho, what good things thou tellest us, if thou art not lying; but why shouldst thou lie, being no longer a child?"

Behold, then, my men, the happiest in the world. They go to see the house that is being built, they cannot look at it enough; they ask to lodge there in the Spring as soon as it shall be completed and furnished. " Meanwhile," said Negabamat, " we will go and do our hunting during the winter." Nenaskoumat, who was thinking as much of the blessings of Heaven as of worldly assistance, said to us in an undertone, " For my part, I will come and pass the winter near you, to be instructed."

So they are separated,—the one crossing the great river to go in search of Beavers, the other coming to encamp very near Kebec. The affairs of God are established only in the midst of difficulties. They both fall very sick at the same time. Who would not have thought that all this project would be overthrown? Nenaskoumat found the life of the soul in the sickness of the body; he was made a Christian, and named François Xavier, as I have already [page 211] remarked. As for Negabamat, we could not give him any help, as he was too far away from us.

The goodness of God, which began this work, and which will bring it to completion, as we hope, restored to us our two proselytes in good health,—not without fear, and many [46] vows and mortifications being offered to him. When Spring came, my people presented themselves at the house which was awaiting them; they were received with open arms. Their hearts were filled with joy, the other Savages with astonishment, and we with consolation, at seeing the first foundations of a village laid, and after that of a Church which is already producing flowers and fruits most acceptable in the sight of Angels and of men. These two families are composed of about twenty persons, the greater part of whom are already baptized, and the rest will be soon, if it please God. At the time I am writing this, they have already been several months together in one rather small room; and still I can/ say with truth that I have—yet to notice the least quarrel or the least dispute among them.

The other Savages of the neighborhood came to Encamp around this house, asking the same favor, but they see clearly that they cannot be assisted so soon; our houses are not built in two hours, as their Cabins are.

The report of this assistance that we intended to give the Savages spread immediately in all the surrounding nations; it has touched them so deeply that, if we had the power to give them the same help, they would all be subdued in a very short time. And notice, if you please, a great blessing in this matter; not one of them hopes to be lodged and assisted who does not resolve to be an honest man, and to become [page 213] a Christian,—so much so that it is the same thing in [47] a Savage to wish to become sedentary, and to wish to believe in God.

In these common and public rejoicings, one point kept our two proselytes in suspense,—their continual uncertainty whether that kind man who had this house built at his expense, would send us good paper, as they termed it,—that is to say, would look favorably upon their plan; they ardently longed for the coming of the ships. Having at last had news of them, they came to see us, and asked us if the paper that had come from France was good. They had great fear that a written word would cause them to leave their home, to which they were greatly attached. We answered them that the Fathers who were bringing this paper were on the way, between Tadoussac and Kebec, in a bark which was conveying them hither. As they saw that the wind might delay them, they asked me for a written message, that they might go and bring them in their canoe; I gave it to them at once, and they embarked still more quickly. They went like the wind, came alongside the bark, took the two Fathers out of it, and brought them to us. Our joy was twofold,—that we saw our Fathers in good health, and that we learned the holy wishes of this man, truly a man of God, who granted this help to the poor Savages with a heart so disinterested and full of love that we stood amazed at it. As soon as I opened my lips to mention it to our two settlers, they exulted with joy; they performed a thousand acts of thanksgiving, after their fashion, and told me a hundred times that I was not a liar, that this kind man was truly a Captain; [48] that they fully recognized that I was now of their nation, [page 215] and that they were going to tell everywhere that they were also of ours; and that I should not fail to write a good paper to France to tell this good Captain that they would never belie their promises to serve Jesus Christ all their lives. Negabamat made this speech. As for François, already a Christian, he told me that his great joy was to be near us, so that he could better learn to pray to God.

In going thence, they published everywhere that we were truthful; that we were their fathers,—that we wished to revive their nation, which was rapidly dying out. It is wonderful what potent effects the charity of this good man has upon these Barbarians. They are crowding around us now, but we cannot supply the wants of all,—the difficulty of building in this country, on account of the length of the Winter and the expenses that must be incurred, being extreme. If they ever see a hospital erected, and their sick well lodged and cared for, that will be another wonder which will delight them all. The poverty of the country relieves but little, or not at all, the great expenses that must be incurred for these truly heroic enterprises. But would to God that those who are able to favor these enterprises might see, at least once, the devotional exercises that are daily practiced in the house of these new settlers. Were I not afraid of being tedious, I would relate here the great desire they have to know God, their ingenuousness, their natural goodness, their pleasing questions, and the satisfaction [49] they experience in finding themselves not only lodged in the French way, but also instructed in the Faith. May it please our Lord to keep them under his holy protection. Amen. [page 217]



O give Your Reverence some idea of the state of mind in which God has placed our Savages, I will tell you what occurred at the disembarking of the four Fathers whom you sent us as reinforcements, all of whom, by the grace of Our Lord, arrived in good health. Upon stepping ashore, they all baptized some Savages. But they were more deeply moved when we took them at various times to the residence of St. Joseph, where reside those two families of whom I have just spoken, and where also a considerable number of our Savages have withdrawn. We had them assist at the prayers and instruction we give to these poor wandering sheep, who ask for nothing but that the door of the fold be opened to them; the signal given for them to assemble, they all come, men, women, and children,—except a very few, who are mostly ill, or guarding their Cabins. They often leave their supper, their games, or other occupations, whatever they may be, to come to prayers. Entering the Chapel, [So] they salute the Altar, then withdraw to the benches which have been placed there for them. When they have assembled, the Father who instructs them kneels down, offers the prayers suitable to the morning or the evening,—for they meet twice a day; all follow the Father word for word, kneeling on the ground [page 219] with him, and clasping their hands; after the prayers, they sit down, and the Father explains to them some point of the doctrine of Jesus Christ, or refutes some of their superstitions, they showing close attention and occasionally asking some question for better enlightenment. After this discourse, they all sing, either the Apostles' Creed, the Lord's Prayer, the Commandments of God, or some other hymn in their language, in very agreeable harmony; then they kneel down again, ask God for the grace to retain what has been taught them, make a reverence to the Altar, and return to their Cabins. The newly-arrived Fathers, being in the Chapel, and witnessing this agreeable spectacle, spoke with their hearts, their eyes, and their lips, and said to us: " In France, they do not believe what we see here. Although you wrote about it to us when we were still at Tadoussac, we had to use our own eyes in order to see so great a blessing. We now see clearly that the miracle necessary to convert these poor peoples is to aid them to settle down and live together; and that, in making them draw their sustenance from the earth, you will make them enjoy the good things of Heaven."

Now it is not only at the residence of St. Joseph that the Savages are made to pray, and are [51] instructed; the same thing is done at the three Rivers, where they show themselves equally interested in our belief. Hæc est mutatio dexteræ excelsi; it is a very sudden change, and of God, for last year they were not thus disposed. Here is an example which illustrates the respect they have for our prayers. A woman, being attacked by delirium in the violence of a fever, upset everything in the Cabin; a Father coming [page 221] there to have them pray to God, this poor frenzied creature kneeled beside the Father without showing any indications of madness; as often as they went there to offer prayers, so often did she appear to be in her senses; but at other times she was insane. I do not know any Savage now who has lived for some time near our settlements who dares publicly to resist our Faith. I do not say that all of them follow it, or are inclined to do so; but Jesus Christ is now so recognized among them that not one would dare speak ill of him before us. There are no longer any, save those who have not yet heard us, who object to offering us their children and their sick for Baptism. These sacred waters, having sometimes saved the lives of whole families, are now in great repute among them.

If some do not ask for Baptism, it is because they deem themselves unworthy; others, not willing to give up their vices, approve our belief, but consider it inconvenient and difficult. It is a sign that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Church; since no sooner has a Savage a desire to enter it than he wishes to become a virtuous man. They imagine that those who have been baptized must give up their [52] sins and their vices, that they may lead a new life, which is true.

The Sorcerers and jugglers have lost so much of their credit that they no longer blow upon any sick person, nor beat their drums, except perhaps at night, or in isolated places,—but no longer in our presence. No more eat-all feasts are seen, no more consultations of demons: all these things are banished from our sight. The other superstitions will be suppressed, little by little. When any one of them does [page 223] practice these, he does all that be can to prevent our being informed of it, for fear of being reproved. If all the Savages were settled, like those two sedentary families of whom I have spoken above, we would not hesitate to baptize them quickly; for you will hear them asking God's grace to believe in him, to obey him, and never more to offend him. In a word, it is entirely in earnest that many of these poor Savages are thinking of their salvation. There are none of them, even to the very children, who do not take pleasure in being instructed. One day, when one of the Fathers was teaching the Catechism in the open air, it began to rain; and five or six little boys took hold of a large piece of bark, which they tried to raise over the Father's head to shelter him. This act, so full of innocence, shows that our Lord still takes pleasure in having children brought to him. Some Savages of the Attikamegues, of the Porcupine nation, and of the Island, have asked for the same help that was given to the others, and especially for instruction. Ah, if the country were such as more easily to ensure success, or if many hands would open to these poor Barbarians, what a glorious [53] Church could be formed! What that great man of whom I have spoken above is doing at the residence of St. Joseph, near Kebec, ought to be done also at the three Rivers, at the river des prairies, and in the nations higher up; this would be the means of leading souls to Jesus Christ. Perhaps we shall send one of our Fathers, this Spring, to the Island, whither it is said the petite nation of the Algonquins has retired. Such is, in general, the condition of this infant Church. The chastisements that have overtaken some unbelievers, and the favors granted to [page 225] those who have had recourse to God, have not succeeded in bringing some back to their duty. One wretched Savage, while mocking at our belief, became insane in the midst of his jeers. As he was foul and shameless in his madness, the Savages, in order to get rid of him, fastened a rope to his neck and his foot, which they drew up against his thigh,—so that, when he came to stretch himself and to tighten the cord, he strangled himself. Thereupon, they made his grave, and said that he was dead. Our Fathers, coming just then, saw him move under one end of the covering; and, having uncovered him, they quickly cut the cord he had around his neck,—but too late, he was already strangled; he died immediately afterwards. Another one, publicly opposing the Faith, gave a kick to one of our Fathers who was baptizing a child in his cabin; some time after that, he was carried off by a disease as grievous as it was strange. The Savages have even recognized that, in the case of some, God denied them at death the baptism they had ridiculed during life. Let us end this sad account; [541 here is something better.

Two young Savages having embarked this winter in a canoe, to carry provisions to some of their people beyond the great river, were so assailed by the ice that in one moment their canoe and all within it was crushed I and broken to pieces. They leaped upon a great cake of ice, that was swept impetuously along by the current of the tide. They were expecting every moment that this ice would break up, or overturn in striking against the other pieces, and they would go to the bottom. As to succor, they could not hope for it; for, besides that it was night, the river was so charged with ice that no human being [page 227] would have dared to venture upon it. Now seeing themselves carried more than a good league away, nearer to death than to life, one of the two said to his companion, who participated in their sorceries or their juggleries, " Use now thy art to save our lives. " The other one answered, " This is no time to think of that, but of what the Fathers teach us. They say that we have a Father in Heaven who can do all and who sees all; what dost thou think, would it not be a good thing for us to pray to him? " His comrade assenting to this, he offered a prayer in a loud voice; and at the same instant the ice, which was bearing them to the middle of the great river, floated towards the shore through many other pieces, and with one great leap they left this floating bridge. They were hardly on shore ere this ice, which had brought them to a port of safety, drifted away and was broken among a thousand other pieces, at a place which might have served them as a sepulchre. These poor creatures, greatly astonished, afterwards proclaimed how they had been saved. One of them is already baptized, as well as his wife and child. The sorcerer has given up [55] all his tricks, and has promised us that he will be instructed.

In the great epidemic which has slain nearly all these peoples, without getting any hold upon the French, some who had recourse to God in earnest were recovered from the gates of death. Baptism saved the lives of many, for in truth there was no hope of recovery for them in anything else, according to all human considerations. All this, added to the assistance given to these poor Savages, has made a breach in their hearts. I omit an infinite number of good sentiments that God is giving them, in order to get to the end of this Chapter. [page 229]



T has always been rightly thought that the powers of Hell would unite all their forces against the project of this Seminary, and of similar ones; and that if it were to succeed, as we have good reason to hope it will, it would only be after having sustained many battles and undergone abundant misfortunes. We saw last year how it was nearly smothered in its cradle. Behold the continuation of the ,efforts of those unhappy spirits who are constantly watching for the ruin of men.

The young Huron Savages who had before passed a year with us, at the Seminary of Nostre-Dame des Anges, had said so many favorable things about it to their countrymen, who had come down the following year to trade, that they inspired many with a desire to present themselves for admission thereto. But it was impossible to satisfy all; [56] we contented ourselves with six, one of whom was soon enticed away by one of his relatives, who took him back to their country; so only five were left,—the two from the year before, and three new ones. But,—as the two seniors measured the happiness of their life in this place more by their spiritual success and profit, than by the charms it had for corrupt nature; and these newcomers, on the contrary, aimed at nothing but the enjoyment of their pleasures and the gratification of their senses,—the results in the two cases were [page 231] altogether different. For these new guests, giving themselves up, according to their custom, to thieving, gormandizing, gaming, idleness, lying, and similar irregularities, could not endure the paternal admonitions given them to change their mode of life, and above all the tacit reproofs conveyed by the example of their companions, who showed as much restraint as they did lawlessness and immoderation. It was then that the evil spirit seized his opportunity, and finally caused them to decide to run away. For this they needed a canoe-load of provisions, and the means of obtaining them on the way. They accomplished so much through their thefts, their deceits, and their dissimulations that they found themselves very well equipped; and one fine morning they stole away, taking with them everything they could, and nothing has been heard of them since.

Behold our Seminary again reduced to a small scale, and to two inmates, which happened not without a special providence of God. For on the one hand, as the Savages of the country were suffering unusually from sickness, we had the means to assist them more than we would have had, and of [57] saving the bodies and souls of many who were reduced to extreme necessity. On the other hand, the old Seminarists, being alone, experienced no change in their good dispositions through the bad example and evil talk of the others. This was almost necessary to establish them in the state of mind which, finally, by the grace of God, they made evident after their Baptism, to the edification and satisfaction of all, every one acknowledging that no greater piety, gentleness, and reserve could be desired in those who [page 233] were Christians by birth. Observe what their instructor writes about them:

"Armand Jean, who was baptized first, has a good mind and vigorous judgment. I have not seen him waver since he has conceived the true idea of our belief; he is inclined to conquer his somewhat hasty disposition, but has not been able to succeed.

"One day, in speaking with his companion upon the indissolubility of marriage, when he observed the great difficulties in regard to this among the people of his nation, he showed himself much concerned thereat. 'For we shall either marry, or we shall not,' said he. 'If we take a wife, at the first whim that seizes her, she will at once leave us; and then we are reduced to a wretched life, seeing that it is the women in our country who sow, plant, and cultivate the land, and prepare food for their husbands. To forego marriage among the Hurons is something which requires a chastity our country has never known. What shall we do then? As for me,' said this worthy young man, 'I will never take a Huron woman, if I do not see in her extraordinary constancy; [58] I will try to find a French woman. If I am refused, I am resolved to live and die in chastity.' Observe that he was not yet baptized. During the winter he really had the courage to inflict suffering upon himself, impelled thereto by a truly Christian fortitude,—either holding his hands in ice-cold water, or going into it sometimes up to his waist, under pretext of some necessity which presented itself, or working bareheaded in the rain, even when all the others had placed themselves under shelter. This is not the mood of the Savages who do not know Jesus Christ.

" He sets an excellent example to our workmen, [page 235] for he will never put his hand to the work before he has raised his heart and his hands to God to dedicate to him his action. Moreover, he applies himself so thoroughly to all that he is commanded to do, that there is no work in which he does not succeed passably well.

"Since his baptism, he confesses and communes every week with a devotion and modesty which makes us recognize in him the presence of grace. Above all, he has a great aversion to sin, especially to impurity. It is only necessary to imagine the lewdness of a dissolute Savage, to admire what I am about to say. One night, feeling himself assailed in a dream by some unseemly thought, he started up out of his sleep, knelt down, and prayed to God until the clock struck four for the rising hour. Then he came to see me with so much confusion and humility that it was easy for me to perceive that the Prince of the haughty had given up his post. He accused himself, as if guilty, of a great act of virtue he had performed. He was very desirous of fasting [59] on the Fridays and Saturdays of the year, impelled by the evident devotion that God communicates to him at the passion of the Son and the sorrows of the Mother;, but we satisfied him by assurances that our Lord would have regard to his good will in his work. Here is an example of his noble resignation: One of his legs was frozen, and his companion, wishing to go hunting, and not knowing that he was disabled, urges him to go with him; he, for fear of displeasing him, rises early in the morning, and makes preparations as if he were to depart with him. During Mass he prays God to inspire his instructor according to his, will, being all ready to depart if it were considered [page 237] proper. God arranged the matter, for by a happy chance I stopped him, having noticed the bad condition of his leg.

"His companion seems a little duller. He is the poor fugitive whom Saint Ignace brought back to us last year, after a vow that we had offered for his return. Armand's alteration and steadfastness are of great service to him. Since he sees him a Christian, he participates of his own accord in the fasts of the Church; he has shown an extraordinary desire for Baptism, and listens willingly when he is admonished of his shortcomings; he is of an affable and compliant disposition. As yet only a Catechumen, he abstained from eating Elk meat that he had taken in the chase, during Lent, notwithstanding the fatigues of his expeditions.

"He prepared himself for holy Baptism, 1st, by an extraordinary fast; 2nd, by diminishing the pleasures of the chase, to which he is strongly inclined; 3rd, by inward reflection, meditating for several weeks [60] upon the Commandments of God.

"Since he has been made a child of the Church, there has been observed in him quite a new docility, a modesty, and outward refinement which emanate from internal purity of soul, together with a submission of his will to the guidance of the holy Ghost, and to the direction of his superiors."

I close this Chapter with a few words on the union and harmony that exists between these two young Savages; so perfect is it, that they have never been seen to quarrel with each other. I know very well that nature, the same language, and the same occupations naturally unite their hearts; but also grace can be clearly perceived working within them, so, [page 239] that they are prepossessed toward each other from motives of true charity. The following Chapter will show how well they have succeeded in their own country. [page 241]



FTER the departure of the fleet last year, the A news we received from the Hurons continued going from bad to worse; so that we expected nothing but a general massacre of our Fathers and our French people in that country, or some extraordinary effect of the gentle providence of the great God in their behalf. We have passed the winter in these fears and hopes, soliciting Heaven to bestow its blessings upon those [61] who were loading us with a thousand maledictions. Finally, when spring came, Monsieur the Chevalier de Montmagny, our Governor, a truly wise and prudent man, wishing to preserve Religion in these countries, and the commerce of these peoples with our French, decided to send thither some of his men to ascertain the condition of affairs. But as they feared that a small number of Frenchmen might be massacred by the Hurons, in case they had declared war against us, our Seminarists presented themselves to render this service to God, to Monsieur our Governor, and to all those Gentlemen of New France. They were Promptly equipped, together with a very courageous young Frenchman; and, in order to preserve these two young Neophytes, we sent with them the Father who had instructed them at the Seminary, to bring them back to us, in case all our Fathers and our Frenchmen should be put to death in a general conspiracy [page 243] of the whole country. But, if this murder were only the work of individuals, they had orders to assure the innocent ones of the friendship of the French. Behold them, then, embarked with some Algonquins, who went like the wind in spite of the current of the river, which is enormously swollen and rapid in the Spring, on account of the vast quantity of melted snow that is precipitated into the great rivers. It would take too long if I tried to report all the details of this voyage; I will content myself with touching upon some of them in passing.

As we had had our Savages at Kebec, at the three Rivers, and at the River des prairies offer public prayers to God, the report of [62] this good action having been spread abroad, the Algonquins wished to participate in it; they begged the Father to instruct them. But, as he did not know the language, he took some Litanies that we had arranged, on the attributes of God, and had them sing these every morning and evening, repeating this in all the nations they encountered,—these peoples willingly publishing, in their own language, the greatness of the master whom they did not yet know. They had not advanced far in their voyage, when the one of our two Seminarists named Armand suffered a misfortune. In doubling a point, the surging of the water, as of a heavy tide, dashed against his canoe, and overturned it with all that was in it, so that they thought that all was lost. The young Algonquin, who had nothing but his own body in the canoe, thought only of saving himself; he was soon on shore, out of danger. But Armand, wishing to save a Chapel that the Father was carrying in order to say the holy Mass, and a quantity of porcelain and other baggage, [page 245] enclosed in a chest, went down so far that he was lost to sight. Behold the chest, the chalice, the alb, and the chasuble, and all his outfit engulfed on the one hand, and he on the other. The Father, seeing him no more on land or on. water, sought him in Heaven, kneeling down in the corner of a wood. This poor young Christian, having struggled with death until his hands were all skinned and his body all bruised, found himself at the bottom of the river, upon a rock; he made of it a more favorable Chapel than the one he had just lost. I mean to say that he addressed himself to God from the bottom of the abyss,—not from his mouth, which he [63] kept tightly closed, but from his heart, which he opened to his goodness. "You are the Master of life," he said to him; " mine no longer belongs to me, for I do not know how to preserve it; you can do all; let me die, or cause me to live, you are my God. " Hardly had his soul uttered these affectionate sentiments, when his body felt itself lifted to the surface of the water, where he encountered some bushes, which he grasped in such a way that he found at least something with which to draw himself to the edge of the current, in spite of its rapidity. His companions having seen him disappear, looked to see if the waves would not cast up a dead body. When they saw a living one, they cried out with joy, and the Father ran to meet his poor resuscitated foster child. This young man's loss of the Ecclesiastical ornaments embarrassed him, and caused him to begin making excuses; when the Father, embracing him, said, " It is enough, my son, it is enough that you are living; do not let us speak of our loss, but let us bless God for rescuing you from death." [page 247]

Hardly had this young man been extricated from this danger than the Father fell into another. The canoes being separated, the one which carried the Father was the last; when they had gone to within one day's journey of the island, they had to walk, and the poor Father almost died on the way; thus he wrote me about it: " We departed early in the morning, without eating or drinking; we journeyed with long strides over a very bad road, and in extreme heat; I was burdened with my little baggage; I supposed my people would stop about Noon to eat something, but they left me behind, continuing to advance. My weakness increasing with [64] the heat of the day, I stopped there, almost fainting, and threw myself upon the ground, able to do no more. Then having taken a little rest, I found three or four gooseberries, which did not help me much,—for, attempting to resume my way, I was compelled to lie down again, as my head ached severely and I felt a great weakness throughout my body. I well remembered poor Hagar and the Prophet Elias, whom God had helped in their necessity, but my sins forbade me to hope for this temporal favor; nevertheless, my soul was comforted in seeing itself depart from this world through obedience, in case they should not come to succor me. I remained an hour or two in this condition, when my people, having noticed that I delayed too long, came to look for me. I asked them for a little food, but they answered that they had nothing; they took my little baggage, and urged me to take heart; we found a brook that refreshed me, and gave me strength enough to get to the island towards evening, where I found my Seminarists and our Frenchman in great anxiety, for they had [page 249] been expecting me for two days. I met some Hurons, relatives of our Armand, with whom I retired to rest. In the evening, the Algonquins sent for me to exercise them in prayer to God, and to sing the Litanies in their own language, in their cabins. My weakness could not prevent me from giving them this satisfaction, which was more agreeable to me than to them. At last we learned here that our Fathers and our Frenchmen were Prospering among the Hurons, and that they would recount to us on our arrival the dangers that they [65] had incurred during the winter. After having refreshed ourselves for some time at this island, we embarked with the Hurons, leaving the Algonquins in their own country. Two days after this, we found the friends and allies of Joseph Thewathiron, who were going down to the French. I deemed it advisable for him to join them, to pass one more winter at Kébec, that he might further strengthen himself in the Faith. In short, continuing our journey, we arrived at the Huron country on the 9th of July, having departed from the River des prairies on the 11th of June, the feast of St. Barnabas. "These are some of the things that the Father wrote me. God knows what satisfaction our Fathers experienced at this meeting; they all solaced themselves as people who had been rescued from the grave, although in different ways. I will not recount the persecutions they had suffered during the whole winter; the Relation they have sent me, and which I forward to Your Reverence, reports all that. I will only say that they were greatly astonished to see the behavior of our Seminarist. This young man, having withdrawn to his own village, becomes a Preacher. He praises our faith, says a [page 251] thousand good things of the liberality of the French, and proclaims everywhere that we are the Fathers of all these peoples, that we come to announce to them the words of life; he cannot endure to have them suspect us of having caused their sickness. The timidity natural to the young Savages, before the old men, is banished from his heart,—the faith makes him as bold as a lion; his people listen to him, admire his speeches, and give up, little by little, the black thoughts they had conceived of us. The virtue and chastity of this new Preacher [66] delight them. One of our Fathers thus writes us about him: " Pray God for our poor Armand; he is doing wonderfully well, but he is in the midst of perils. He sleeps in the cabins of his Huron relatives, where the girls boast of seeking the young men. He has fought some great battles, and has won some signal victories. He openly proclaims that he is a Christian, and that he wishes to conduct himself as such in all his actions. Every Sunday he comes to the village where we are, a good league distant from his own, to confess and take communion. We were so decried in that village that several persons died this winter without Baptism, because we did not dare approach them; even the children regarded us as sorcerers and poisoners,—so much so that, a Father happening to be with this Neophyte, a little child, seeing that the Father was well treated, asked its parents if the French no longer made the Hurons die. Oh that Heaven may forever give its blessings to those who have sustained and who are sustaining the Seminaries for the Savages! " Tell me, I pray you, can all the great expenses that have been incurred up to the present to establish and to preserve [page 253] this Seminary, and the others, be compared with the fruit that this young man has begun to produce? In truth, we are in the midst of wonders and of the blessings of God, seeing what we did not dare expect from a plant sprouted in the midst of Barbarism, and so lately grafted upon the Church of God.

Our Huron Fathers, seeing the results of [67] this young man's work,—and as, this coming winter, perhaps two of our Fathers will go and live with him in his village,—wrote to us that we should send them Joseph Thewathiron as soon as possible, to have another Preacher in his very flourishing and populous town, or village, conjuring us to put forth all our efforts to stop as many young Hurons as we could, who would like to remain at the Seminary, since they had not dared to ask for them through the country in those troublous times, and because of the dangers upon the river which was to bear them. We will strive to do so. Some have already been given us; but as, these peoples are descending this year in straggling parties, I do not know how many we shall be able to get. Enough adults present themselves, and very old men, but we are afraid they will take the younger ones. Among those whom we have rejected is a man more than 40 years old, who insisted upon remaining with us. Seeing that we closed our ears to him, he went and begged our French people to receive him among them, applying now to one, now to another. " If you fear that I will steal," he said, " here, take my baggage, which I will not send back home; I cannot commit any theft that will be equal to this in value. Thewathiron, whom I met on the way " (this is our Seminarist, Joseph), " told me so much that was good about the French and [page 255] their belief, that I wish to believe in God, and to remain with them to be instructed." He drew out a Rosary, in our presence, that this young Seminarist had given him, as a sign that he wished to be a Christian. Nevertheless, as these peoples are rather [68] deceitful, we have left him at the three Rivers for further trial. This poor man aroused our compassion, for tears came to his eyes. If his countrymen, who are yet to come down, do not unsettle him, we will receive him. We have only too much feeling for him; but, as he is old, and consequently more attached to his desires than young men are, we are afraid that he may engage in some debauch.

Besides, I see plainly that if God gives us many of them, we shall be overwhelmed; for, instead of one Seminary, behold three of them started in a short time,—one for the Algonquins, another for the Montagnais, and the third for the Hurons. Seven little children, both Montagnais and Algonquins, have been given to me, and they must be provided for; 4 or 5 others have been presented to me to put in the Seminary, and they have promised to bring me more in the Spring. I do not know how to meet all this; I am mistaken, the hand of God is strong, his heart is greater than ours; every year it seems to me that we shall lack means, and every year I see them increase in proportion as the opportunities for exercising charity present themselves. Confide in Domino, et dabit tibi petitiones cordis tui. We ask him for the salvation of these poor Savages, of whom we have fifteen on our hands, who must be more carefully fed and assisted than the others, and to whom we must give alms from time to time, until they shall be in a condition to draw their sustenance from the earth. [page 257] Besides these, two children have been given to Monsieur Gand, one of whom ascended to Heaven after his Baptism; the [69] other one he is having brought up with great and loving care. He gives a great deal of other help to these poor peoples. Sieur Olivier also has two little Savage girls, and a little boy. As he is a Clerk here in the Store of the Gentlemen of New France, I do not doubt that these Gentlemen use his right hand in the charities they practice toward these young plants of the Church of God. [page 259]



N St. Barnabas's day, we had an earthquake in some places; and it was so perceptible that the Savages were greatly surprised to see their bark plates collide with each other, and the water spill out of their kettles. This drew from them a loud cry of astonishment.

This is a fine way to end a lawsuit. A Savage having absented himself from home, for I know not what reason, his wife, being wooed in his absence, married another. A few months after these second nuptials, the first husband returned and wished to have her back again; the other one not consenting to give her up, a lawsuit results; the father of the woman decides the contention without appeal. He takes a stick, carries it a short distance away, and sticks it in the ground; then, addressing the litigants, he says, " He who shall first bring back that stick shall have my daughter, " and tells them to run. The woman was assigned to him who had the better legs, and the suit was so entirely [70] settled, that it was nevermore spoken of except as a joke. This performance is as amusing as their inconstancy in marriage is cause for sadness. The bond, so strong, which holds man and wife under the same yoke, will be very hard to fasten upon the Savages. The Gentlemen of New France seem to me to have made some beginning towards correcting this evil; they are truly [page 261] praiseworthy for the interest they take in the salvation of these poor peoples. I learn that they have this year given four arpents of cleared land to two young Savage girls who would marry Christians, without detriment to the help they may give to others in the future. I thank them with all my heart for this charity, in the name of the two Neophytes to whom this alms is already assigned. They are two young baptized girls, whose good Angels will not be ungrateful to these Gentlemen. A worthy Lady, of whose name I have not been informed, has made a present of a goodly sum of money, also to provide for the marriage of some baptized Savage girl. All this has already been thus employed. God, who provides for the little birds of Heaven, will bless these chosen souls, since they take up the interests of Jesus Christ, his Son, in the persons of these new children. This is the very best means to render the marriages of the Savages permanent and indissoluble. For a husband will not so readily leave a wife who brings him a respectable dowry; and a woman, having her possessions near our French settlements, will not readily leave them, any more than her husband. Add to this that having given their word at our Altar, the fear of the law [7 II will hold them to their duty. The good that is being done and procured for these poor Neophytes gives a powerful influence over them to those who govern them, and strong authority to the Christian faith in making them render obedience to its laws. Here is an example of this:

Four cabins afflicted with sickness, finding themselves somewhat relieved through our agency, assembled in council, where those who were still in [page 263] health concluded that they must believe in God and have recourse to his goodness. This was the first assembly they have held among themselves purely for the Faith, and all the more remarkable as at the same time Monsieur our Governor was talking with us about aiding them vigorously, as regarded both the faith and their sickness; so that they and we, without knowing anything about each other's movements, had assembled for the same purpose. Since that time they have not failed, whenever they have been near our dwellings, to come to the Chapel every evening and morning, in order to pray to God and to be instructed in his doctrine. I learn that Makheabichtichiou was the first to speak in this council, saying, " My countrymen, I have been listening for a long time to the Fathers; what they have taught me is very good. I promised them to believe in God; I have failed to keep my word, but I am sorry for it; it is at this time that they shall prove my constancy. Come, let us range ourselves under the protection of him who has made all; let us not lose courage; if any of you promise to believe in him, keep your word, and do not imitate my inconstancy." In consequence of these good resolutions, the Savages of these four cabins were all present in [72] our house on the day of the glorious Assumption of the Virgin,—in order to take part in the procession that we made, to acknowledge this great Princess as Superior and protectress of both old and new France, according to the holy desires of our good King; and, besides, to bless God that it has pleased his goodness to give her a child of miracle and of blessing. Monsieur our Governor overlooked nothing of all the magnificence that could be displayed, to do honor to [page 265] this procession. It was a beautiful sight to see a company of Savages marching behind the French, in their painted and figured robes, two by two, and very modestly. The lines of soldiers in different places saluting them with musket-shots, and the cannons which were upon land and water being fired in excellent order, caused an indescribable rejoicing, accompanied by a holy devotion, which all offered to God for the accomplishment of the designs of our great King, and for the salvation of these peoples. At the same time three jugglers or sorcerers brought us five drums, which they had used in their Orgies, protesting by this act that they abandoned the party of Belial to follow Jesus Christ. As this Chapter is only a collection of various matters that have no relation, it will contain articles on very different subjects. Here is a rather unpleasant piece of news:

Father Hierosme Lalemant, having left us to go to the Hurons, encountered on the way four cabins of the Algonquins of the Island. The Hurons who were conveying them, having gone ashore, entered one of these cabins, and the Father [73] withdrew to one side to pray to God. But they soon called him, and motioned him to take his place near a certain evil-looking Savage. This man, perceiving the Father, fell into a rage, and complained that a Frenchman who had passed that way a few days before had bled one of his sick people, and death had followed. " Thereupon, becoming angry and enraged, he showed me a halter and a hatchet " (says the Father, who wrote to me all about this tragic comedy), "making me a sign that I must die! Finally, he arranged this cord with a running knot; and with a furious and violent gesture he seized my head with [page 267] both his hands to compel me to pass it into this noose. I stopped him with my hand, explaining to him my innocence as best I could. He ridiculed all this, became still more enraged, and raising his hatchet, gave me to understand that if I did not perish by the one I would by the other. Seeing that the collar of my gown prevented him from strangling me, he tried to unhook it. During this struggle, our Hurons smoked without uttering a word; two of our Frenchmen who were outside the cabin hastened to arm themselves, but I stopped them for fear of a greater misfortune,—advising them rather to negotiate with the Hurons, who had taken us under their protection and safe guidance. Finally, this barbarian made our Hurons leave his cabin; and, holding me by one foot,, kept me a prisoner, with the intention of despatching me. From time to time, the Hurons came and looked into the cabin to see what was going on, saying that they would remain there all night to consider what was to be done, holding themselves responsible for my [74] person, in case he consented to release me; this caused the barbarian to let me go. I returned to say my breviary; and our Hurons went into council, where they decided to make presents to this madman,—sending for him to come into their cabin, to give him hatchets and a javelin-blade. The oldest of our Hurons, raising these hatchets one after the other, said with each one, 'This is to free the Frenchmen who are with us.' This barbarian, having looked at all these hatchets, said, 'The idea of killing the Frenchmen is beginning to go out of my mind; but that I may be satisfied, and that it may go out altogether, I must have a kettle besides.' There being none forthcoming, he asked for a shirt [page 269] instead; one was given to him, and he declared that he was perfectly satisfied; then, causing a bark dish full of water to be brought to him, he washed his face and eyes, and, swallowing the rest, 'This,' said he, 'is to wash away my tears and to change my countenance; this is to swallow all the bitterness and gall of my anger; I am no longer angry.' Thereupon he went away, taking with him his presents. Having returned to his cabin, he sent the flesh of a Beaver to our people as an evidence of reconciliation. Our Hurons urged me strongly to relate this story to Monsieur the Governor. The anger they felt at what had taken place so irritated one of them that he almost killed this barbarian, the next morning, with a blow of his hatchet. It is impossible to write any more, as the Mosquitoes or gnats are attacking me by the thousands, not allowing me to write a single syllable without pain. So for this time you must pardon me [75] if I write badly, and excuse me to Monsieur our Governor, whose charity, while I have had the honor of being with him, I cannot describe to you. He is invariable,—always himself, and always incomparable. May God bless him forever. " All this is taken from the Father's letters. I promise myself that Monsieur the Chevalier de Montmagny will not fail to curb the pride of this Islander.

Father Le Moine, whom we are also sending to the Hurons, met with another adventure, not less dangerous. His people having wasted the food that had been given them, and having even sold some of it to the Algonquins, put on shore the Father, and two Frenchmen who were with him. Other Frenchmen, who were going down from the Hurons, [page 271] happened to be present on this fortunate occasion; and when they chided these barbarians for not having kept their provisions, the latter replied that they were courageous, that they could easily pass a week without eating. These Frenchmen made them give the Father a little corn and Indian meal to live upon, in the great desert where he had been abandoned, while waiting until one of the canoes that was going down should take him on its way back. The poor Father wrote me about his misfortune in a few words:

"I do not know whether it is my sins that close to me the gate of the country I have so greatly desired; but at all events here I am, stripped and forsaken, on a point of sand beyond the petite nation of the Algonquins, with no other house than the great world. Only three days ago, the canoe that carried our little baggage upset in the water, and our packages were carried away by the current; we fished up [76] one of them with a great deal of trouble, but the other was lost. God be blessed for all."

I have already told how the Father who was taking back the Huron Seminarists also lost his baggage, traveling over the same route. If the Savages laugh at their own losses, we should not weep over ours, since God can fully retrieve them.

Father du Perron, who is also going up there, will perhaps be more successful than his three predecessors. His cheerfulness at his departure, and the honor shown by Monsieur our Governor to him as well as to the others, put the Savages into so good a humor that it promised us good results. The one who took him said to us, in, embarking, " I am Captain; no harm can happen to the Father in my presence." They promised us that they would take up, [page 273] on the way, Father le Moine and the Frenchmen who were with him.

Here is part of a letter from the Father whom I left at the residence of St. Joseph, where the Savages are forming a settlement: " Learning that a bark was going up to the three Rivers, I said to the Savages, 'What do you wish me to write to Father le Jenne, to send by the bark that is going up there?' 'Thou wilt send him word,' they all answered, 'that we all desire to believe in God, that we all wish to be baptized, and that we pray him to come down here again as soon as possible, to give us Baptism.' Having received this response, I withdrew, greatly comforted; had I not good reason to be? " These are the very words of the Father. As soon as I went down to Kébec, these good Savages came to see me; the Christians confessed [77] and took communion, and those who were not yet baptized urged me to give them Baptism. The same Father wrote me another time in these words: " Makheabichtichiou, Pigarouich, Oucheskouetou, and several other Savages have arrived at St. Joseph. As soon as they stepped on shore, they came directly to my room for me, to take them to the Chapel, in order to thank God that he had preserved them in their voyages; not finding me, they entreated another of our Fathers who was here; but, as he excused himself upon the plea of knowing so little about the language, they took Paul, the good blind boy, led him to the Chapel, and made him pray to God. This good Neophyte had them offer the prayers that he says evening and morning. What more can you expect from Savages? It was thought that these poor wanderers would be the last to fall in line, and they present themselves first. [page 275] Help them cultivate the land, and give them a place to lodge, and you will have them all."

Father Charles Lalemant, who is going to France to look after our little affairs instead of Father Quentin, who has been sent to Miskou, will relate verbally what I cannot record upon paper without tediousness.

It is time to draw to a close. I do not think I have infringed upon the resolution I made to be brief, since I omit many things lest I be tedious. I shall have this consolation this year, that, in saying little, few faults will slip under the roller of the press.

The Relation of last year is full of them; I must mention one of them, in order to induce the Printer to take some pride in his work. In [78] Chapter 8, on page 145,—where some quarrel I had with a sorcerer is in question,—the Printer makes me, in place of employing exorcisms against the devil, use a sword. This is what I wrote in the original: " In fact I intended to employ a sort of exorcism;" the Printer made it: " In fact, I intended to use a sword hereafter. " I must confess that this pretty witticism made me laugh. When one speaks from so great a distance, his thoughts are not so well understood. Writing is a mute language, which is so easily changed that it is easy to take one Character for another; a child is made to say whatever one wishes, when its father is absent. This is enough for this time.

Meanwhile, we shall ask God for his great blessing upon those elect souls, who with their hands and their vows draw our poor Savages to Jesus Christ. We all conjure Your Reverence, and all our Fathers and Brethren of your Province, to join your prayers with ours,—that our acknowledgments to God may draw down mercies and favors from Heaven, upon [page 277] our Colony, upon our Neophytes, upon these poor tribes, and upon your children, who all profess themselves in general, and I in particular, what I am with all my heart,

Your Reverence's

Most humble and greatly obliged servant

in God, Paul le Jeune.

From the three Rivers, at the Residence of

la Conception, this 25th of August, 1638.

[page 279]



For particulars of this document, see Vol. XI.


The Relation of 1638 (Paris, 1638), is a composite, although for convenience classed by bibliographers as Le Jeune's. His Relation proper, as superior of the Jesuit missions in New France, occupies Part I. of the document. It is addressed to the provincial at Paris, and signed at Three Rivers, August 25, 1638. Part 11. consists of the usual Huron Relation, rendered by Le Mercier to Le Jeune, and is dated at Ossossané, June 9, 1638.

For the text of this document we have had recourse to the original printed Relation (first edition), at Lenox Library, which is there designated as 11 H. 69," because described in Harrisse's Notes, no. 69.

Collation (H. 69). Part I.: Title, with verso blank, i 1.; "Table des Chapitres," pp. (2); text of Le Jeune (ii chaps.), pp. 1–78. Part II. (separately paged): Half-title, with verso blank, i 1.; text of Le Mercier (Huron Relation, 10 chaps.), pp. 1–67 (misnumbered 76); "Extraict du Priuilege du Roy" (dated Paris, Dec. 14, 1638), and "Permifsion du P. Prouincial" (dated Paris, March 26, 1638), on verso of p. 67. Page 12 of Le Jeune is mispaged 2. Harrisse's line-title of this edition is incorrect.

There is a second edition of this Relation, known as "H. 70," and it collates as[page 281] follows:

Relation | de ce qvi s'est passé | en la | Novvelle France | en l'année 1638. | Enuoyée au | R. Pere Provincial | de la Compagnie de Iesvs | en la Prouince de France. | Par le P. Pavl le Ievne de la mesme Compagnie, | Superieur de la Residence de Kébec. | [Cut, with storks] | A Paris, | Chez Sebastien Cramoisy Imprimeur ordinaire du Roy, ruë sainct Iacques, | aux Cicognes. | M. DC. XXXVIII. | Avec privilege dv roy. | Title, with verso blank, i 1.; "Table des Chapitres," pp. (2); text of Le Jeune, pp. 1–78; half-title, with verso blank, i 1.; text of Huron Relation, by Le Mercier, pp. 1–67, with Privilege and Permission on the verso of p. 67. In Le Jeune's Relation, pp. 23 and 35 are misnumbered 2 and 3, respectively.

That the second edition is an entire reset, is evidenced by variations on every page, in the head-lines, line-endings, spelling, contractions, and typographical arrangement. The following particulars will be sufficient to enable collectors to distinguish between the, two editions. In the first edition, the fifth line of the title-page is in larger type than in the second edition, and while in the former the eighth line ends with "en," in the latter it ends with "IESVS." Le Jeune's baptismal name is spelled "Pavle" in the first edition, but "Pavl" in the second. Other differences, mainly of punctuation, may upon comparison be noticed in the title-pages. The head ornament to the "Table des Chapitres" consists of seventeen parts in the first edition, and of eighteen parts, equally divided, in the second edition. The initial R is much larger in the first edition than in the other. In the Permission (which bears an earlier date than either of the Relations), the signature, [page 282] misprinted "Bstienne Einet" in the first edition, is corrected to "Estienne Binet" in the second edition. We have noticed many more differences or corrections, as, eg., "de ceste persecutions" changed to "de ceste persecution," and "tousjour" to "tous jours."

Harrisse's Notes, p. 62, mentions a Latin version "dans le recueil du P. Trigaut" (Cologne,1653). He doubtless here refers to the following Latin work, in 12mo, 60 pp.:

Progressvs Fidei | Catholicae | in Novo Orbe. | I. | Jn Canada, Sive | Noua Francia. | II. | Jn Cochin China. | III. | In magno Chinensi | Regno: | De quo R. P. Nicolaus Trigautius | Societ. Iesv libris V. copiosè & accuratè | scripsit. | . . . | Coloniæ Agrippinæ, | Apud Joannem Kinchium sub | Monocerote veteri. | Anno M. DC. LIII. | Permissu Superior. & Priuil. S. C. M. general. |

As the name of Trigaut appears so prominently upon the title, the authorship of the entire work has, in several catalogues, been attributed to him. A close examination of the phraseology, however (note the colon in the eleventh line), reveals that he is actually accredited only with Part III. The book is merely a compilation: Part I. is a rather free translation into Latin, in condensed form, of the New France Relation of 1648–49, by Ragueneau, which had originally been published in Paris, in 1650. On p. 3 of the work it is called "Excerpta ex Relatione." Doubtless both Parts II. and III. are by Trigaut, who was a Jesuit missionary to China, and in his later years an author of several publications relating to that field; he died in 1628, twenty-five years before this Cologne compilation. In making the above [page 283] reference, Harrisse appears, curiously, to have confounded the Relation of 1638 with that of 1648–49; it is evident, also, from the style of his citation on p. 96 of the Notes, that he had not examined the Progressus Fidei, but had taken his title at second-hand. It is a very rare book, the only copy known to us being in the Brown Library.

Copies of the Relation of 1638 are in Brown (first edition), Harvard College (second edition), Lenox (both editions), and New York State libraries; in Laval University, Quebec (second edition), and in the British Museum (first edition).

For further references, see Harrisse, nos. 69, 70, 99, and p. 62; Sabin, vol. x., nos. 39954, 39955, and vol. xvi., p. 538. Also, the following sales catalogues: Dufossé's Libraire Américaine, n.s., xxie année, no. 2898, copy offered for 300 fr. (he has also offered copies of late years at 170 to 225 fr.); Dodd, Mead & Co., April, 1896, no. 42, copy of second edition (a Lenox duplicate) offered for $50; O'Callaghan, no. 1217, second edition, but called there "first issue," sold for $45; Harrassowitz (1882), no. 25, priced at 125 marks. [page 284]


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