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


Hurons, Québec, Iroquois


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 XXIII.






Relation de ce qvi s’est passé en la Novvelle France, en l’année 1642. [Chaps. ii - xii. Part II., completing the document.] Hierosme Lalemant; Ste. Marie aux Hurons, June 10, 1642.




Lettre à Monsieur J. M. J. Charles Garnier; Ste. Marie aux Hurons 23, 1643



Epistola ad R. P. Mutium Vitelleschi, Præpositum Generalem Societatis Jesu, Romæ. Joannes de Brébeuf; Tria Flumina, September 23, 1643.



Relation de ce qvi s’est passé en la Novvelle France, en l’année 1642 & 1643. [Chaps. 1 - iii.] Barthelemy Vimont; without date


Bibliographical Data; Volume. XXIII





[page i]




Portrait of Isaac Jogues, S.J.; Photo-engraving from oil portrait by Donald Guthrie McNab



Photographic facsimile of handwritting of Charles Raymbault, S.J.; Chevalier de Montmagny, Guillaume Hébert, Jean Bourdon, et al.; from a document in archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal


Facing 224


Reduced facsimile of Boisseau’s Map of New France

Facing 234


Photographic facsimile of title-page, Relation of 1642 - 43


[page ii]


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

XLVIII. The relation of 1642 is in two parts, -|- Part 1., by the superior Vimont, being dated at Quebec, October 4; Part II., by Jerome Lalemant, is dated at Ste. Marie, in the Huron country, June 10. In Vol. XII. we presented Part I., and the opening chapter of Part 11. We herein give Chaps. ii. - xii. of Part II., thus completing the document.

In continuing his narrative of the year's work among the Hurons, Lalemant describes the apportionment of work among the missionaries in that field, and the great assistance and comfort they derive from their annual retreat at the residence of Ste. Marie, which is the central point of all their activities, and a refuge for the more devout of their Indian converts. The Jesuit chapel there is regarded by the savages "as one of the Wonders of the World, although in France it would be considered but a poor affair". Over 120 baptisms have been solemnized herein during the past year; the most notable of these converts is Ahatsistari, "the chief Warrior in the Country", of whose strength and daring marvelous tales are related. He sets out to the war immediately after his baptism; and he and his Christian comrades, before departing, make certain resolutions of affection and loyalty to one another and to the [page 9] Faith. One of these declares that, if they perish, they desire their remains to be buried apart, and not mingled with the bones of unbelievers, even if the latter be their fathers or their children,—"since our Souls will be eternally separated, and our affection will not continue beyond this life".

The missionaries baptize certain Iroquois captives during their torments; this incenses the Hurons, who already distrust the Fathers, on account of slanderous rumors that the latter are secretly leagued with the Iroquois. In time, however, this excitement dies away.

The residence of Ste. Marie is also the center of a mission among the Ataronchronons, who at first refuse to listen to Pijart, but at last are won by his patience, and some acknowledge the truth of the Gospel. Chastelain, however, is well received, and his preaching has made some converts.

From La Conception (Ossossané‚), the oldest of these missions, come encouraging reports of the constancy and faithfulness of the converts, under many temptations and assaults. They are threatened by the medicine men with the loss of their harvest. unless they sacrifice to the demons ; but they refuse preferring death to sin. The writer adds: "We do not know whether God willed to reward their Faith, and to punish the impiety of the others; But we were witnesses that most of the corn did no ripen, especially that belonging to those who had sacrificed to the Devil, while our Christians gathered a fair crop." Many instances of virtuous resistance and brave steadfastness are related; and the pious acts and devotions of certain converts—notably- of Joseph Teondechoren and Charles Tsondatsaa—are [page 10] recounted in detail. When the pagans celebrate their Ononharoia, "the dream feast", the Christian Indians meet, to state their desires also. One wishes to go to heaven; another, that all their brothers be converted, and gathered into a village where no sin could enter. Another declares that if a pagan should ask him the customary question, to guess his desire, he "would say to the fool who should propound his enigma, ‘Thou wishest to burn in the fire with the Devil, whose desires thou seekest; throw thyself into those fireplaces, and thy desire and his will be accomplished’." Some of the foolish ones became wise, while stopping to hear such pious discourse". Lalemant describes the usual routine of pious duties performed by the members of this little Huron church,—the daily Mass and evening prayer, the weekly confession, and Sunday services. The neophytes show great tenderness of conscience, and confess, with great contrition, their least shortcomings; "sometimes there is more holiness than evil in acts which they think have been highly criminal". One man was at a council, where a dance in honor of the devil was ordered; "being caught there by surprise without being able to get away, I begged pardon of God; I said many insulting things to the Devil, and I went to sleep". The converts watch over not only their own consciences, but those of their relatives and friends.

The mission of St. Joseph (the most southerly of all) is next discussed. Garnier and Le Moyne, in whose charge it is, report several interesting conversions, and relate the persecutions to which these new Christians are subjected by their pagan countrymen. They remain, however, steadfast, and profess the Faith boldly. [page 11]

The itinerant mission of St. Jean Baptiste, among the Arendahronons, is in charge of Daniel and Chaumonot. The missionaries had at first looked for much success because the Indians had no definite form of "worship for any false Divinity; but experience has shown us that they are full of diabolical superstitions," which greatly hinder them from receiving the true faith. Several instances are related of demoniacal apparitions and even possession. The people sacrifice to these demons, and think that the latter predict to them the future; relying thereon, these poor dupes are often disappointed.

A chief named Atironta is put to death by the Iroquois; his brother Aëontahon becomes a Christian (the first adult in good health baptized in this mission), and is persecuted in consequence, until, in accordance with Indian custom, he is elected captain in his deceased brother's place, and takes his name, Atironta. Much is said of the savage belief in dreams, and the manner in which evil omens are averted. Several instances are given of the efficacy of prayer to God, offered by the Indian converts when in danger; in one case, a violent storm was about to engulf them in the waters, when, as soon as prayer was offered, "the Canoe was at rest, the waves felt, and the tract through which they passed became as smooth as a mirror, although all around them the wind continued to blow furiously."

Lalemant describes an eclipse of the moon (April 14, 1642). He states that the mission to the Tobacco Nation, begun last year, cannot be fully sustained, on account of the small force of missionaries; but Garnier and Pijart make occasional visits thither, to [page 12] minister to their few converts in that tribe. The great difficulties which, among all these peoples, hinder the Faith are recounted—the "diabolical superstitions", the impious feasts, and the instability of marriages. The fidelity of their few converts however, cheers the missionaries, and they hope for still greater blessings in future.

The final chapter relates the work carried on among the Nipissings, north of the Huron country, by Claude Pijart and Charles Raymbault, who spend the summer with them at Lake Nipissing. While there, the Algonkin tribes celebrate their "feast of the dead", somewhat similar to that among the Hurons, described earlier by Brebeuf; its special rites are graphically depicted—among them, "a ballet in three parts", and a competition in climbing a greased pole. Gifts are made to one another by the tribes present on this occasion; those of the Nipissings alone "would have cost in France forty or even fifty thousand francs". The Jesuit missionaries are present at all the ceremonies of this festival, and receive numerous marks of honor and affection. Following savage custom, they also proffer feasts and gifts to the Indians; in consequence of which, the Algonkins resident at Sault Ste. Marie invite the "black robes" to visit them at their home. Raymbault and Jogues, in accordance with their request, journey to the Sault (September - October, 1642), and are most hospitably received by their Indian friends. On his return from this voyage, Raymbault at once begins another journey, with Ménard, to the winter quarters of the Nipissings; but storms compel them to return to Ste. Marie. The exposure and hardship bring on a severe illness for [page 13] Raymbault, and wreck his health. Ménard and Pijart spend the winter in ministering to the Algonkins who come during that season to the Huron country.

XLIX. This is a letter from Garnier to a friend in France ( "Monsieur J. M. J." ), written from Ste. Marie of the Hurons, the 23rd of some unnamed month, - possibly August. The writer mentions the captivity of Jogues, and a letter written by that unfortunate priest, which has been sent to the brethren in France. After certain personal exhortations to his correspondent, he recounts his own work among the savages. He mentions the death of several notable Huron converts during the year, and certain valuable accessions recently made to the infant church, notwithstanding the persecutions they meet.

L. Brebeuf writes from Three Rivers, September 23, 1643, to the Father General, at Rome. He refers his distinguished correspondent to the Relations written by Bressani and Lalemant, but gives some additional information. The reports of the Huron mission for the past year, and letters from the Fathers there, have, he states, fallen into the hands of the Iroquois, owing g to the e latter's capture of the Huron fleet. This and other incursions of these fierce enemies have placed the colony and the missions in great danger. The current reports of Jogues's death in captivity, Brebeuf pronounces untrue; but that Father and his companions have been cruelly tortured by their savage captors, who as yet refuse to deliver them to the French. The writer consoles himself, in the midst of these heavy afflictions, not only by the unshaken courage and devotion of his Jesuit [page 14] brethren, but by the piety of the French colonists and of the Indian converts.

LI. Owing to the fact that the Iroquois had captured the year's report of the Huron missions (although it had been given to Jogues), the Relation for 1642 - 43 is written wholly by the Superior, Vimont; it is without date, but doubtless was written in the early autumn of 1643, in time for the vessel returning to France. We have space in this volume for the first three chapters only; the rest will appear in Vols. XXIV. and XXV.

The superior opens his narrative by describing the prosperous condition of the French colony. The settlers now cultivate the land, and thus produce a large part of their own food. They live in the exercise of virtue and piety; the church at Quebec is under the care of Bressani and Mass‚, who are aided on occasion by Vimont and Brebeuf, both of whom have resided for some time at Sillery. Raymbault's illness has proved fatal; he dies at Quebec, October 22, 1642, and is buried near Champlain. Ten days later, the interpreter Nicolet is drowned, in the St. Lawrence; a sketch of his life and achievements is given. Vimont mentions the grief of both the colonists and savages at the death of the French King, Louis XIII., and of Cardinal, Richelieu, both of whom had greatly aided the Canadian missions. The French fleet comes late this year (1643); but it brings three new Jesuits - Garreau, Dreuillettes, and Chabanel - and three nuns, together with a priest for the Ursulines, and a new colonist, Louis d'Ailleboust.

The Ursuline seminary is in a prosperous condition, and has been removed to its own new building, not [page 15]far from the fort. The events of special interest therein, during the year, are recounted, as also the pious and devout practices of the Indian pupils. Instruction is given to many adults, as well as to the little girls. Madame de la Peltrie has gone to Montreal.

The Indian colony of Sillery now contains thirty-five or forty resident families, Montagnais and Algonkins; the former tribe are much more docile than the latter, having been longer and more closely associated with the French. More buildings are needed for their families; only four are constructed, though three more are planned or in process of erection; it is hoped that the mission may soon be able to secure the donation given them for this purpose by the late Chevalier de Sillery, which has been delayed, probably through legal processes. Vimont recounts the religious work among the Sillery Indians and their Attikamegue friends who have passed the winter there; also the manner of life, both social and religious, of these former nomads, now learning the elements of civilization. In the spring, they have barely planted their corn before they are obliged to go to Fort Richelieu, to check the raids of the Iroquois. They soon return home, however, owing to the failure of expected money and supplies from France; so they go into the woods to hunt, pending the arrival of the ships.


MADISON, WIS. May , 1898.

[page 16]

XLVIII (concluded)




Part I. and chap. i. of Part II were given in Volume XXII; we herewith present chaps. ii.- xii. of Part II., thus concluding the document. [page 17]




e have numbered this Year here among the Hurons, fourteen Priests of our Society; but we hardly ever meet all together for a whole month at a time. We are generally scattered, especially during Winter, which is the most important season of work for the Conversion of these Peoples. Eight of the number found their employment in the four principal Huron Missions which we have been able to maintain this Year. The Algonquins who dwell here, near our Hurons, have occupied the attention of three others. Our Fathers being thus distributed, each having charge of the Mission that has fallen to his share, I have been obliged to join them,—sometimes for a month at one place, then in another, as the occasion presented it self; therefore, I have [12] had no fixed abode. Consequently, the are of this Residence has been shared by the only two who remained—Father Isaac Jogues and Father François du Peron.

It is a profound consolation to all our Missionaries, after the fatigues of the Winter or of the Summer, to return to this House, in order to give some attention to themselves, and to breathe a little more freely with God in tranquillity of spirit, that they may return afterwards to the same work with renewed vigor. In addition to this, they derive marked bene- [page 19]fit from the Conferences that they hold, all together, not only in the enlightenment and the methods disclosed to them by God to facilitate the instruction and Conversion of the Savages, but in the new knowledge they have acquired for their advancement in a Language in which one must be both Master and Pupil at the same time.

As this House is the centre of the Country, it frequently has the consolation of receiving the Christians who come to it from various places, to perform their Devotions in more quiet than in the Villages, and in this sort of Solitude to entertain, [13] at greater leisure, sentiments of Piety and Religion. For that purpose we have prepared for them a Refuge or Cabin of bark, wherein God gives us the means of lodging and feeding these good Pilgrims in their own Country. During the Summer, from fortnight to fortnight, there are always a goodly number who come to it on Saturday, from a distance of four or five leagues, to pass the Sunday in a devout manner, leaving only on Monday morning. On the following Sunday, we save them this trouble; for our Fathers go to their houses a day or two beforehand, to prepare them for the Devotions of that holy Day. Thus, by these alternate visits, we gently maintain them in the practice of Christianity, whereof during the Winter, while we reside more constantly with them, we have endeavored to give them more substantial knowledge.

If in the Missions some Adult in good health is deemed worthy of Baptism, after all the trials to which he is subjected, he is sent to this House to be again examined, and to receive with solemnity that Sacrament which makes him a Child of the Church [page 21]

[14] We have reserved the majority of these Baptisms for the Festivals of Christmas, of Easter, and of Pentecost, from which our Christians, who have assembled there from all parts, have always departed with a marked increase in their faith. The outward splendor with which we endeavor to surround the Ceremonies of the Church; the beauty of our Chapel (which is looked upon in this Country as one of the Wonders of the World, although in France it would be considered but a poor affair); the Masses, Sermons, Vespers, Processions, and Benedictions of the Blessed Sacrament that are said and celebrated at such times, with a magnificence surpassing anything that the eyes of our Savages have ever beheld,- all these things produce an impression on their minds, and give them an idea of the Majesty of God, who, we tell them, is honored throughout the World by a worship a thousand times more imposing.

The number of persons who have received Holy Baptism has exceeded one hundred and twenty. I think that God has heard the prayers that they have offered to him on behalf of those living in France who cause the effects of their Charity to be felt as far as this New World, to cooperate in a holy manner in the [15] Salvation of these Peoples, and to redeem these poor Souls who, whatever they may cost them, have cost a thousand times more to the Blood of JESUS CHRIST. Then I hear of the alms that are given for that object; when I read the Accounts of the public devotions of many Religious Houses who, night and day, throughout the Year, seem to have no greater desire than to promote the granting of God's Mercies to these poor Savages; when I learn that private individuals, who wish to [page 23] have the Angels of Heaven as the sole witnesses of their Charity, devote themselves in every way to hasten the coming thereof; when I see so many fasts, so many vigils, so many prayers, so many cilices, and so many acts of holy severity, which can come but from a heart inflamed with a sacred love; in a word, such fire, which the holy Ghost alone can kindle in hearts, I confess that it is impossible for me, when I hear all this, to be distrustful. And I would as soon doubt that I am on the spot where I stand, as doubt that God, who himself inspires such desires, wills to grant petitions so just, and [16] that the time has come when he will give to JESUS CHRIST what he has promised him, that is the Conversion of those who remain of the Gentiles, for whom his Divine Sufferings have been useless for so many centuries.

The man of greatest importance among those whom we have solemnly Baptized in this house, has been one Ahatsistcari of the village of St. Joseph. His courage and his Yearly exploits against the Enemies cause him to be looked upon as the chief Warrior in the Country. It is not yet a year since, having encountered three hundred Iroquois, he put them all to flight, and made some of them prisoners, although on his side there were but fifty, of whom he was the chief. And during g the previous Summer, while crossing a great lake which separates the Hurons from their Enemies, having perceived a number of large Canoes filled with Iroquois who were coming to attack him, his Companions thought of nothing but flight, but he said: "No, no, my Comrades. Let us attack them ourselves". As they approached each other, he jumped, alone and quite naked, into a large [page 25] Canoe full of Foes, split open the head of the first one that he met, [17] threw two others into the water, into which he himself leaped, upsetting at the same time the Canoe and all who were in it. Then swimming with one hand, he killed and massacred with the other all who came near him. So unexpected a sight filled the other Canoes of the Enemy with fear; and, they, finding themselves vanquished by their own conquest, even before they had fought, took to flight from fear of such Courage. But he, having regained his own Canoe, pursued those who remained in the water, and brought them back in triumph to his Country. In a word, this Man's life is but a series of combats, and from his childhood his thoughts have been only of war; and it was through this that God made him a Christian.

He never manifested any aversion to our Faith, and asked us for Baptism more than three years ago; but, as he could not make up his mind to abandon some Superstitious practices that are customary among the Infidels, we could not grant it to him. At last, the Fathers who have had charge of the Mission of saint Joseph gave him the final instructions last Winter, and, as they were satisfied with him, he came at Easter to plead [18] his own case. "I have Faith in the depth of my heart", he said, "and my actions have sufficiently shown it throughout the Winter. In two days I shall leave for the war; if I am killed in battle, tell me, where will my Soul go if you refuse me Baptism ? If you saw into my heart as clearly as the Great Master of our lives, I would already be numbered among the Christians; and the fear of the flames of Hell would not accompany me, now that I am about to face Death. I cannot Baptize myself; [page 27] all that I can do is to declare sincerely the desire that I have for it. After that, if my So I be burned in Hell, you will be the cause of it. But, whatever you may do, I will always pray to God, because I know him; and perhaps he will have mercy on me, for you say that he is better than you". "But", said one of our Fathers, "what made you first think of believing?" "Even before you came to this Country", he replied, "I had escaped from a great many perils in which my Companions perished. I saw very well that it was not I who extricated myself [19] from .these dangers. I had this thought, that some more powerful Spirit, who was unknown to me, gave me favorable aid " (although the Hurons attribute to Dreams the source of all their good fortune); " I was convinced that all that was only nonsense, but I knew no more about it. When I heard of the Greatness of GOD, whom you preach, and of what JESUS CHRIST had done when he was on Earth, I recognized him as the being who had preserved me; and resolved to honor him all my life. When I went to war, I recommended myself to him night and morning. It is to him that all my victories are due; he it is in whom I believe; and I as : you for Baptism, so that he may have pity on me after my death."

Was it possible to refuse such a Man? We Baptized him publicly, with some others, on Holy Saturday, and gave him the name of Eustache. When he had performed his Devotions on Easter Sunday, he started for the War with some of our best Christians, who had remained solely for the purpose of celebrating that holy Day, although the Troops whom [20] they were to join had already departed. But, before separating, finding that a considerable number of [page 29] persons were assembled there belonging to various Nations, they wished of their own accord to hold a Council. Here, in a few words, are the resolutions that they took:

"Let us hereafter be but one body and one mind, since we all serve the same Master. Whenever any one of us passes by a Village wherein a Christian dwells, let him not lodge elsewhere. Whenever any one is afflicted, let him seek consolation among the others. Let us not reveal one another’s faults to the Infidels; but let it be recognized, through the friendship that we shall have for one another, that the Name of Christian is a tie more binding than Nature's bonds".

"Let us inform our Relatives who are not of the same Faith as we, even if they be our father s and our children, that we do not wish our bones to be mingled together after our death, since our Souls will be eternally separated, and our affection will not continue beyond this life".

[21] If there be anything in the world that is Sacred among the Hurons, it is their law of Burial. their care in this matter greatly exceeds anything that is done in France. They are singularly lavish proportion to their means, and despoil themselves to clothe their Dead and to preserve carefully the bones of their Relatives, in order that they may repose after their death in the same spot. Never would we have believed that our Christians would soon renounce this claim of affection so firmly implanted in Nature; but Faith is a sword that severs the Soul from the body, and children from their Fathers. "Let us not", added these Christians, "profane the Mysteries that are taught us, when we see souls [page 31] of dogs and of brute beasts; but let us publish everywhere the advantages of the Faith. Above all, let our lives and our examples show that our Faith does not rest merely on our lips".

May GOD bless these good resolutions. In any case, we see more clearly than ever that Heaven will do [22] something. It has its Souls destined for Paradise, as much in this Barbarous Country as in Europe. Not one shall perish; were one in the midst of our most cruel Enemies, and in a place devoid of all means of Salvation, we will place it in Heaven, even when it seems the furthest from its happiness. Here is an instance:

Last Summer, some Prisoners of war were divided throughout the Country in order that each Nation might revenge itself upon these unfortunate Victims for the still recent loss of their Relatives, which inflamed their cruelty. Our Fathers hastened to them without delay. Some went to the Village of la Conception; others to that of saint Michel; others proceeded still further, and after a journey of thirteen or fourteen leagues through that part of the Huron Country which the ferocity of the Iroquois rendered most dangerous, they arrived by day, barely an hour before the execution. They had to force a passage through the crowd, receiving insults, and hearing a thousand blasphemies against GOD, from a band of impious men who were opposed to the happiness of their Enemies and who wished to make them endure [23] as much torment in their Souls as they inflict on their bodies. But love for a Soul, to whom one desires to open Heaven, will make its way anywhere. All these unfortunate Captives soon opened their hearts, and their hopes to the [page 33] tidings of Paradise. The fires, the pain from which they already felt, inspired them with still greater. dread of the flames of Hell. They acknowledged, GOD, craved his mercy, and, in this last tragic act of their lives, received a sure pledge of the happiness that awaited them in Heaven. "Alas!" gratefully exclaimed the youngest of all, who was barely nineteen or twenty years of age, "shall I alone enjoy this Blessing? Have you had pity on my companions in suffering? Have they been told of these so important and so unknown Truths?" In a word, he was more moved by Charity than by the pain that he suffered from a recently-severed hand.

At the same time, nearly the whole Country was incensed against us. We were denounced on all sides as Traitors, and doubtless there was very good reason for believing it. During the previous Winter Father Jean de Brebeuf [24] had gone on a Mission to the Neutral Nation, and the rumor had spread that on that journey the Enemies had treated secretly with him, and had bribed him by presents, and that in due time the disastrous effects of this treachery would be felt. On his return from that Mission, we were compelled, in the course of our affairs, to send the same Father to Kebec. To that end we manned two Canoes with four Frenchmen and six Savages, both Christians and Catechumens, who, being the first to go down the River, fortunately escaped three encounters with Iroquois bands, in which five Canoes of Hurons who followed a day or two after were attacked. The vague rumors of these occurrences caused them to :regard as certainly true the suspicions aroused during the Winter, which had already agitated their minds. But this was still more the case when, some [page 35] time afterward, a wretched Huron, who had burned his bonds and escaped from the hands of the Iroquois, asserted publicly that he had heard from the mouths of the Enemies the secret understanding that they had with us. He even added that Father de Brebeuf [25] had spoken to them when he met them; had received new presents from them, as a reward for his treachery; and had told them to lie in wait on that very spot for the passage of some Canoes that were following him, a day's journey behind, and that these would be a sure prey for them.

After all this, is it to be wondered that evil designs were harbored against us ? But whosoever places his trust in God listens in security to the roaring of such tempests. So manifest is his protection over us, and so constant is his love in preserving us from the perils that surround us on all sides, that this alone would suffice to make us firmly believe that he will have mercy on all these Peoples, since it can be but on their account that he guards us with a Providence so powerful and so loving. Finally, time, and the return of the Hurons who had gone down in company with Father de Brebeuf, dispelled all these calumnies. [page 37]



HIS House of Sainte Marie also bears the title of Mission, on account of four Villages close by, which are dependent thereon. Father Pierre Chastelain has had the direction of two—those of saint Louis and St. Denys. Father Pierre Pijart has had charge of the two others—those of sainte Anne and of saint François Xavier.

At first, Father Pierre Pijart met with very stubborn-minded persons, who closed t their ears and their Cabins to him and refused to listen to what they heard, except in a spirit of blasphemy. But, in the end, his patience tamed the majority of them, and influenced some of them to such an extent that they know the Truth, and complain o themselves that they have not strength enough to embrace so great a blessing.

[27] Father Pierre Chastelain was welcomed everywhere, and, having met among them some right-minded persons, he caused these t enter so far-into the holiness of our Mysteries that they speak very highly of them and even instruct and impress others. But this fruit is not ripe, and their Faith is not strong enough at present to regard them as persons who are won over to God. It is for him to accomplish the result, and we must rest satisfied with having sown and watered this Seed. [page 39]

Although the Fathers are not obliged to make a long stay outside, owing to the proximity of the Villages, nevertheless, in addition o the visits they have made there, they have found means to attend to the reception of Christians and the teaching of many infidels, who, passing through this House, receive therein instruction that could not be so advantageously given to them elsewhere. Often the Hart receives its deathblow in one place , and falls dead far away from it. Frequently, also, we have observed that our Infidel has felt the life-giving influence in his House, who, upon returning to his own [28] Village, has thrown himself into the arms of the Missionaries who dwell there, and as asked them for Baptism. Provided we see them all one day in Heaven, it matters little where God has had mercy on them. [page 41]



HE charge of this Mission has fallen to the share of Father François le Mercier and Father Paul Ragueneau. It is in the principal Village of his Mission—which bears its name—that we have gathered the ripest fruits of the Faith that we have seen in this Country since we have own the seed of the Gospel here. It is in this Village also that, for some Years, we have most vigorousy carried on our work. I may say that here is seen, through the grace of GOD, a Church established , and Christians who not only live in the practice of the Faith, but who triumph, [29] in the midst of Satan's reign, over impiety itself. I do not assert that the entire Village converted, nor that the number of the Christians in it exceeds that of the Infidels; but I mean to say that their courage, their zeal, their faithfulness, their constancy, prove victorious over everything that is opposed to their Virtue, and secure respect for the sacredness of our Mysteries a hundred times more than our words or our examples can do. We have seen all the Christians assailed by the most powerful influences in the Country, and the Same day witnessed their Victory, without a single one yielding, although each was attacked separately and was not aware of the firmness and resistance of the others.

It was in the middle of Winter; everywhere [page 43] bounded Diabolical superstitions, and the powers of Hell had caused continual homage to be rendered to them for two entire days, promising the cure of a sick person. The most impious man in the Village had undertaken the cure, with the assistance of his Demon; but, seeing that all his arts were of no avail, he complained that the Christians did not make their appearance [30] in so public a Festival , and, in particular, he asked that a new Christian, named Charles Tsondatsaa, should unite his voice to his, more strenuously to invoke the aid of the Demon who was to ;store the health of the sick person. It is the highest duty of the Captains to obey these Impostors. A Council was held; the matter was deemed important; the chief men were deputed by Public authority to attack all the Christians at the same time.

Charles was greatly surprised at seeing three of the leading Captains enter his Cabin. "My God!" he exclaimed in the depths of his heart, "stay the efforts of these slaves of Satan, who come to bring me something on his behalf. Counsel me, 0 God! in this emergency". He did not Know what brought them, but he was quite sure that, as these Hellish ceremonies were at their height, the minds of those wretches were possessed only by the Devil. "Good day, my brothers", he said to them. "As you have come to see me, it is for me to entertain you. I will tell you the thoughts that I had of you not long ago. [31] I feel compassion for you; you obey a master who is the most infamous in the world; you use your voices every day to proclaim his commandments. It not you who command, but he. Why do not all the people believe? and why do not you yourselves believe the first of all? Then would you really be [page 45] Captains who, by obeying GOD alone, would make our Country the happiest on earth". After this, as he is not deficient in wit or in language, he declared to them the equity of GOD's commandments, the truth and greatness of his promises, and the eternal misery of all who refuse to obey him.

As his speech had no end, Messieurs the Captains had great difficulty in securing any opportunity for answer. At last, the boldest advanced. "My brother", said he, "I do not come here alone, or of my own accord. The Council has sent us to say a word to thee, but I dare not speak. No, it is not I who speak, but all the Cabins. Hast thou seen that sick woman who languishes! [32] She is exhausted, and her voice has but strength enough to say to thee: «Tsondatsaa, have pity on me!» All the People have striven for her during the last two days, but our remedies are without effect, not being animated by thy voice. Such a one desires that thou shouldst be the one to preside with him at the ceremony. Do not refuse the People that favor, for a single day."

"My brothers", he replied, "you know that I am a believer. This Cabin is holy. Were I to sin, what example would I give to those who are on the point of being Baptized ? Command me, when we shall go to war, to put myself in a dangerous place, and, even if I were alone, I would make head against the Enemy; but I would rather die than commit sin". "My brother", said an Apostate to him, "this is not an evil without remedy. We have just spoken to the black Gowns who teach thee. It is true that they do not wish to exhort thee to obey us on this point; but they have promised us that to-morrow they will wipe out thy sin. Courage, therefore, and [page 47] fear not a sin that to-morrow will no longer exist, when thou shalt have Confessed".

[33] The Devil is very cunning, but a heart whose motto is "Death before sin" is not to be taken in such snares. The struggle did not end there, but this new Believer remained ever consistent. Finally, they endeavored to bribe his Wife, but they met at all points a brave refusal.

At the same time, a Captain, more impetuous than they, had entered the Cabin of some other Christians. Addressing the youngest, he said to him in a fiendish voice: "My nephew, make a truce for one day with the Faith. Our Country is going to ruin; the sick are dying. Whither can we flee to avoid death? Why do you keep away from our dances? Why do you refuse to do this act of kindness to the People? It is the Christians who kill us, since they will not help us. Come and dance to-day, my nephew, and to-morrow thou shalt resume the practice of the Faith".

To all this the young Christian answered not a word. He bowed his head between his knees, according to the custom of the Country, meaning thereby that he would do nothing of the kind. The Head of the [34] Cabin was not satisfied with so simple a refusal; he preferred a more energetic protestation of the Faith that reigned in all his Family. "Thou wilt lose thy time here", he said to the Captain; "even the children will not obey thee. The Devil has no authority here, where GOD alone is Master. I speak in the name of all, for I know that their Faith is like unto mine. We may, indeed, all be massacred; but no one can force us to pay the homage that you render to the Devil". [page 49]

The captain bcame furious, and redoubled his cries, his threats, and his blasphemies against God. In the end , he was compelled to abandon his design when he saw that even the children looked at him with an unroubled glaze as if he were merely paying a visit.

There was not one cabin where any Christian dwelt that did not bear witness, on that day, that their faith was stronger than the power of all the captains. Even one poor little man, named Mathias Atiessa, who was the butt of the village, had never-theless sufficient wit [35] andcourage to check the insolence in that respect. "Cease to believe", the Captain say to him at last, after many useless efforts. "Both my son and I", he replied, "would sooner die". "But if thy son should fall ill?" "I would rather see him die", replied the father, "than have recouree to your diabolical remedies and dances". "What do the Black Gowns giv eto thee, to induce thee to believe thus?" "Paradise", he replied. "Thou speakest very boldly for a beggar, even if they gave thee a robe to cover thee". "I shall be rich in heaven; but from what I see", (he replied to the Captain, who had formerly shown some inclination toward the faith) "it is precisely that which prevents thee from believing—thou thinkest only of this life, and not of eternity". This poor man has more good will than wit; but if GOD makes the toungues of children eloquent,this is not the first time he has given to the souls of the weakest the means of confounding those who think that they are the greatest minds of the Earth.

When evening came, the Christians [36] felt greatly [page 51] consoled at learning from one another what had happened to them "The Devils"’ said Charles, "appeared to-day in my cabin—yes, three Devils from Hell, but clothed with flesh. They wished to overturn it, but GOD held it up." Thus did they attribute all the glory thereof to GOD.

These attacks were not for one day only; that would have been escaping too easily. There is hardly a day in the Year on which some Demon does nothave special hommage rendered unto him. But, as among Christians, after each Saint has had his own Day, there is a more solom Festival, on which all the Saints are honored in Company, so likewise in this Country, after each Demon has been honored in his turn, there is a public celebration in Winter, at which all the Demons are honored on the same day. This celebration is called Ononhouaroia, or "upsetting of brain", because all the youth, and even the women and children, run about as if they were mad, insisting on obedience being paid to their Demons by making them a present of something which they [37] proffer with an enigma, and which has been suggested to them in a dream.

This year, it was found impossible from our Christians any such hommage; they always refused it, even for all their intimate friends. Poor Mathias, whom I have just mentioned, was lifted up from the ground, heard the threats uttered aginst him, and saw the hachet already raised over his head, without opening his lips to say a single word that they wished to draw from him.

An hour afterward, they did the same to another Christian named Pierre Andation, and the same silence was his sole complaint. His wife, a Christiam [page 53] like himself, who held him by one arm in order to stop the man who pulled him violently, gently reproached him some time afterward with not having had enough confidence, for the sweat had broken out all over his body. One of the Fathers, who was fortunately on the spot, had the consolation of witnessing all this faithfulness.

It is not only among the Men that one meets such strength. Faith finds no difference between the sexes; [38] it fortifies the courage of the Women as well. Last Summer, the most famous Magician in the Country was consulted to learn what success might be expected from the corn that had been planted. He gave two answers,—in the first place, that it was necessary that each on should go every day to his field, throw some tobacco on the fire, and burn it in honor of the Demon whom he worshipped, calling aloud this form of prayer: "Listen, 0 Sky! Taste my tobacco; have pity on us".

Secondly, he ordered that no one should go to gather hemp (that was the time when they usually go to the untilled plains, in order to gather a certain wild plant, from which twine for their nets is made). And the wretch added that, if they failed to obey therein his Demon, all the grain would be lost. This command was at once proclaimed by the Captains; but the Christians would not offer sacrifices to the Devil, being resolved to die of hunger, rather than do so. Two sisters, who had agreed together to go out on the following day to gather hemp, thought that they could not without sin [39] break this agreement; they went with bowed heads, and returned in the sight of all the Infidels. Complaints of this were made to the Captains, who proclaimed through the [page 55] Village that a good harvest could not be expected, that the Christians would be the cause of famine, and that it was quite true that the Faith was the ruin of the Country. Every one accused these poor innocent women, but the hearts of the faithful fear only God and sin. We do not know whether GOD willed to reward their Faith, and to punish the impiety of the others; but we were witnesses that most of the corn did not ripen, especially that belonging to those who had sacrificed to the Devil, while our Christians gathered a fair crop.

Some months afterward, when the village trembled with fear of the Enemy, these two good sisters said to us, "Do not come to our succor even if the Iroquois come and burn our palisades, because the Captains are urging all the people to the service of the Devil". But I do not know whether their zeal was not like that of the Brothers Boanerges,—at least these women had somewhat [40] more, for they themselves would have perished in the burning of their Village. [page 57]



OT only in public have the Christians manifested their faithfulness. Heaven desires proof of the same, whereof it alone, so to speak, will be the witness. One Joseph Teondechoren had a daughter, nine or ten years old, who was carried away by a sudden illness when he least expected it. The Infidels at once reproached him, saying that her death was a result of the Faith, which he had embraced after the murder of the late Joseph Chihoatenhoua, his brother; that, some time previously, his wife had died a day after having been baptized, although at the hour of her Baptism she was in good health,—in a word, that his Family was being destroyed since they had [41] accepted the Faith. A Father who had heard the news went to console him; but a heart that receives its consolation from GOD alone needs no other. "It seems to me," said this good Christian, "that I see before me my daughter, full of joy; her death has consoled me more than her life; my mind has not been disturbed by it. Some time ago, I gave her up to GOD; he has disposed of her; she belonged to him more than to me. I do not place much value upon the life we lead here below on earth. I prize Eternity alone, and the intercourse that we will have together forever." [page 59 ]

Marie Aonetta, widow of the late Joseph Chihoaenhoua, that distinguished Christian, behaved with similar courage when death robbed her of a little daughter three years old, named Geneviefve, who, during her illness, frequently point to Heaven saying that she was looking for her father, and wished to go with him. When the Fathers who at that time were at la Conception, a fortnight or three weeks before her death, saw her grievously ill, they bethought themselves of having some Votive Masses said in honor of her good Patroness sainte Geneviefve, [42] to pray her to obtain for the little creature whatever night be best for her,—either life, or death while in that state of innocence. It would seem that the good saint wished to show them that she had heard their prayer; for life lingered in the little girl until the third day of the Year, the feast day of the Saint, when little Geneviefve expired. She was the first whom one of our Fathers had baptized on his arrival in the Country, and to whom, in fulfillment of a vow, he had given that Name, praying that good Patroness that, as she had become the Guardian of this first grace, she might be pleased so to act that by her means she would obtain the last. When her mother, Aonetta, who had attended her daughter's interment, saw her Christian relatives stop to weep over the grave of her late husband, she could not restrain the liveliest emotions of her heart. "What is the good of all these tears?" she said to them. "Let us endeavor to follow them up there, in Heaven; let us gather there an entire family of Saints; let us all serve God faithfully, so that the unbelievers may see that our Faith has not died with those who have departed, and that [43] the hope of Paradise is sufficient to check our tears." [page 61 ]

A Christian young Man on a journey met an infidel woman, who solicited him to do what he could not yield to her without prejudice to his conscience. "Thou art a bitch", he replied to her; "withdraw from me." "But what fearest thou in these woods? answered the shameless woman, "no one sees us." "But the great master of our lives has his eyes fixed upon us", replied the good believer, "and it is he whom I fear."

A good Neophyte went to a neighboring village on the occasion of a noted feast, at which the invite warriors excited one another by their songs to perform some deed of valor. When he left the meeting, at a very late hour, a woman took his hand and invited him to lodge with her. "I have already secured my lodgings elsewhere," he replied. "The darkness prevents thee from recognizing me," said the decoy; "it was in that house that thou didst formerly lodge." "Yes indeed", he said, "but then I was not a Christian." God knows which of the two was the more astonished. However, the good Neophyte, fearing [44] that on this occasion the Devil might tempt him more energetically, resolved to make sure of his victory by flight. He left the village that very night, and about midnight he reached his own Cabin, where he was not expected till the following day.

A Christian resolved, through devotion, to fast for an entire month. Hardly had he begun when the hunters returned from the woods, loaded with the flesh of bears and of deer. All the feasts that were held, in all of the Cabins, were so many very strong temptations for a Man who, at all other times, is compelled through necessity to lead a life more austere [page 63] than in the time of Lent. He was invited to a feast, twice, thrice, and four times a day; but, through. fear of pledging himself to attend one where he might break his fast, he refrained from attending all the others, at which often fish alone was served. He was urged not to be so severe with himself; and the Fathers told him that he might without scruple postpone his Devotion to some other season, as he was not obliged to perform it. "It is true," he replied, "that I would willingly eat flesh; but to-day I am well pleased at [45] having deprived myself of it yesterday; and, when the month all have passed, my satisfaction will be unalloyed. whenever I think that my fast will be rewarded forever in Heaven, I experience no more difficulty in it."

"I know not," said the same ma on another occasion, "what passes in my Soul, but I feel no greater pleasure than when I pray to God I look forward to the hour of Prayer, just as a very hungry man makes ready for a meal that he sees being prepared for him. When I am invited to a feast near the hour of Prayer, I am careful not to pledge myself for it."

"It seems to me," said a certain woman, "that some one other than myself speaks within my heart. While I am working in my field, I think all the time that some one is advising me to offer my work to GOD. Although I have frequently done so, he does not stop speaking. Sometimes I put it off for a long time, and he urges me still more earnestly. The more I do so, the more do I experience a pleasure that I cannot describe; and yet I am in this matter like those sluggards who do not always do what they are obliged." [page 65]

[46] A poor Man, the only Christian in all his Family, was persecuted by his relatives who urged him to abandon the Faith. They drove him away from their Cabins, and refused to give him anything to eat; they reproached him with the death of one of his nieces, who had been baptized. He was left without means of support, and was compelled to do what is usually the work of Women. He was mocked at, and spurned from every Company; and quarrels were picked with him. If at any time he was invited to a feast, some insolent persons present would call out that he should not have been invited, because he was a Christian, and because he brought misfortune wherever he went; that he might certainly make up his mind to die sooner than he expected; and that he would be clubbed to death as a Sorcerer. "Never mind," this good Christian would often reply to all these threats, "I will persevere in the Faith; no one can ravish it from me. The poorer I am, the less shall I lose at death; and those who despise me will find after this life that I shall be richer than they. Their hearts are on Earth; while my desires are in Heaven, since I have been baptized."

Last Winter this poor Man performed an [47] act of Charity which nearly cost him his life, and placed on the road to Heaven a Soul that was very near Hell. They were on a journey; and, after they had made their way for five or six leagues through the snow, one of his nieces, who followed them, had to stop in consequence of the severe cold. At evening, having chosen a place for their lodging in the midst of the open country, they noticed that the girl was missing and suspected what had happened. This good [page 67] Christian started immediately to the assistance of his niece. After going a long distance, he found the poor girl lying quite stiff in the snow, and placed her on his shoulders. Charity made him hasten his steps, but at last his own strength failed him; he fell under the weight of his burden, and lay down by the road. One of our servants, who was with the band, seeing that the daylight was gone, feared that this Christian might. be lost, and followed his tracks in the darkness of the night. He found him praying, for, as he could go no further, he was preparing to die well. The girl was both motionless and unconscious. The young Frenchman divested himself of his coat to cover the [48] poor Christian and took charge of the dying burden. Thy prayed to God for aid, offered him their lives, and, after enduring many hardships, they reached shelter. The girl, who was more than half dead, was placed near the fire; she had neither pulse nor feeling; for all medicine, they poured into her mouth some water obtained by melting snow. At last, she r gained consciousness, but only to die soon afterward. They had, however, sufficient time to give her ample instruction in order to receive holy Baptism; and, if she be now in Heaven she owes her Salvation to that charitable Christian, for his words sank more deeply into her heart, and he was never tired of animating her with hopes of Paradise.

A Christian woman related one day to one of our Fathers a glorious victory that she had won over the Devil, while she thought that he was accusing herself of a great sin. "I carried the Devil in my body," she said, "nearly a whole day. He spoke to my heart without ceasing, and suggested immodest [page 69] thoughts to it.. I came and went while occupied with my work, endeavoring to leave him; [49] but so fixed was he in my Soul that he accompanied me everywhere." "Didst thou pray when. so tempted ?" "No," she said, "I did not really pray; my thoughts were ever of God alone, and of the fire that burns in Hell. I said continually: ‘No, I will not sin.’ But, nevertheless, I sinned all the time, and the Devil ever kept my Soul in evil. Doubtless that was because I did not then pray as I ought." "But in what didst thou sin ?" "Would the Devil," she said, "have been the master had I not sinned ? Would he not have fled, had I prayed as I should have done?" "But, at last, how did he cease to torment thee so?" "after having frequently repeated the Prayers that I know," she replied, "as I could not find anything else to do, I said with all my strength: JESOUS, TAÏTENR, ‘JESUS, HAVE PITY ON ME!’ and at the same instant my Soul eased to be wicked. It is thus that I should have prayed at the very beginning."

Another woman, who had observed that a certain infidel came frequently to her Cabin, was one day greatly disturbed in mind when she saw that Man looking at her [50] in a way that made her suspect him of some evil design. She at once turned her heart to God, resolved not even to cast a glance in the direction whence she feared the enemy; and that very evening she did not fail to till everything to her Father director,—adding that .she had thought that this discovery would weaken the Devil, who sought only to do her evil, and to tempt her to sin, in order to make her afterwards lose the Faith.

A Christian girl was asked whether in the license [page 71] which the young men here assume, she had not lent an ear to some improper discourse. "No one speaks to me," she said; "except that I am often told that I am too melancholy; but to this answer nothing, I only pray to GOD in my heart so hat he may keep me safe, because I fear to commit sin. They do not know my thoughts," she added; "I manifest my joy only in my Cabin, when I am with my sisters and my parents. When I go anywhere, I alter my appearance; I keep my eyes cast down, and my forehead wrinkled, and I try to [51] look sad so that no one is encouraged to accost me."

It is only GOD who can inspire such desires for purity in hearts and in a Country where impurity is viewed only with honor. But when Faith is in a heart it effects wonderful changes therein. We shall see this in the next Chapter. [page 73]



OSEPH Teondechoren, before his Baptism, was a mass of flesh, that covered a Soul as gross as his body. Every day the mysteries of our Faith were preached to him, and he could not understand them. He saw examples of godliness before his eyes in a brother younger than he, who thought but of Heaven, while his own thoughts were ever of earth. After the death [52] of that brother, taking his name of Joseph, he inherited his Faith, his spirit, and his zeal to such an extent that one can easily see that it is an effect of Heaven.

Some time ago, a number of Infidels,—after admiring his discourses and the zeal with which he spoke to them on matters of Faith, and still more his manner of living, which since his Baptism has been beyond reproach,—exclaimed: "But what have the black Gowns done to thee to alter thee so?" "They have drawn out all the evil that was in my Soul," said this good Christian. "Believe as you ought, all of you, and you will experience it better than I can tell you."

On another occasion, when he was baring his conscience to his Father director, he said: "It seems to me that we are but one, GOD and myself. Either he follows me, or I find him, wherever I go. It would be impossible for me to separate from him. [page 75] When I sin, I see Very well that he is there; but, although I have no sense, I constantly observe a change within my Soul. Nearly every day, I say to myself: ‘Now I am well’, and the next day [53] I have pity on what I was, seeing myself become quite another."

One day, he was speaking to an old Savage, one of the wealthiest of the Village but also one of the most attached to the service of the devil. "My uncle," he said to him, "thou thinkest thyself very rich; thou art a beggar, and more miserable than I am. If I be poor, I am content in my poverty, while thy mind is never at ease. If one were to say insulting things to thee, or slander thee, thou wouldst be troubled, and all thy wealth would not cure; thee. As for me, my heart is prepared for all the evils that may happen to me; I would be pleased if I saw myself in disgrace, and yen in that condition I should be happier than thou. I think only of heaven, and all that I see on Earth, whether of good or of evil, seems to me like smoke that rises an disappears in a moment. I have not always had such thoughts," he added; "perhaps I have been more averse to them than thou art. If ever thou has recourse to GOD with all thy heart, he is quite prepared to grant thee the same graces."

A man named René‚ Sondihouâne, one of the [54] first of our believers, shows us clearly by his conduct that he is taught by a better Master than ourselves. "Frequently," he says, "I awake in the middle of the night; I think of GOD, and I find that the night passes without my noticing it, more pleasantly than if I had slept soundly. I do not know who puts in my heart the thoughts that I have there, but it is [page 77] impossible for me to repeat what my heart tells me." Often during the day he goes to the Chapel, and remains there in prayer for hours at a time, without any distraction of mind. One night, when it was exceedingly cold, one of our Fathers who saw him come out of it all trembling, a long while after he had gone in,—having only a bearskin for clothing, which covered but half of his body,—gently rebuked him for remaining so long at his Prayers, considering the severity of the cold. "I went in quite naked, having only a short Prayer to say," simply replied the good Man, who is at least sixty years of age; "but, having begun, I did not notice that I was there a long time, and I did not think [55] that I was very cold." Such things frequently happen to him; he does them on purpose to gain greater merit, and to punish himself. "Why," he says, "should I not make my body suffer something ? I pay back to it what it makes my Soul suffer. It disturbed my mind while I prayed, and caused my Soul to become weary while speaking to GOD. But little more, and I should have left everything there. If it remained unpunished, it would always do the same to me."

One day, when he had entered the Chapel alone and had commenced to pray, he felt a person kneel near him. He was astonished, but his surprise was still greater when he heard an unknown voice repeating the same Prayers as himself. After some time, he allowed his curiosity to overcome him; and, as it was dim in there, he asked who it was. No one answered, and yet he still felt that person near him. He stretched out his hand to discover who it was, but the other suddenly disappeared. When he came forth from that place, he told one of the Fathers that [page 79] a wonderful thing had happened to him; and he related all. "What didst thou," he was asked, "after having [56] looked for him ?" "I resumed my Prayer," he said, "and I found myself in the same condition as before; only I thought that thou couldst tell me what this might be, for I have no sense." We knew no more than he does, on that point; but we are not ignorant of the fact that God is pleased to converse with the simplest Souls.

One night this good man, after having for a long time meditated upon the greatness of GOD, found himself unexpectedly plunged in the depths of a Mystery from which he could find no issue. "But how," said he, "can it be that a Father and a Son are the same, without being the same person. If God the Father be really the Father, does he produce himself, since he does not produce another God?" All this was darkness to him, more obscure than the darkness of night. When day broke, he came to seek light upon his doubts. "But," he was asked, "what idea hadst thou on the subject?" "What else could I think," he replied, "but that GOD is not a Man like myself ? ‘If a dog,’ I said to myself,’ wished to imagine what the thoughts of Men are, [57] what else could he say but that Man is not the same as a dog ? GOD would not be All-powerful, and what he is, if I could understand what he is."

Last Year, one of our Catechumens, named Tsondatsaa, who had gone down to Kebec with Father Jean de Brebeuf, gave such satisfaction throughout the journey that Monsieur the Chevalier de Montmagny, our Governor, who talked with him, having recognized his intelligence and heard his desire to be baptized, decided that we were too strict in refusing [page 81] to grant him so holy a demand. What had prevented us was that we feared that this Savage, who was one of those most involved in the superstitions of the Country, and a Leader in that trade, would not have sufficient strength to keep the promise that he gave us,—that, when once baptized, he would abandon all that GOD has forbidden. We could have wished that he had begun to do so, even before his Baptism. In any case, the event showed us that it was an inspiration from GOD that led Monsieur the [58] Governor to wish to see him baptized, and himself to be his Godfather. I think that the relation of last Year made some mention of his Baptism which took place down there at Kebec, therefore I will say nothing about it for fear of repetition.

This happy Neophyte, who received the name of Charles at his Baptism, had no sooner arrived here in his own Country than he invited all the leading men of his Village. "My brothers," he said to them, "you see a Christian who would rather die than abandon the Faith. It is to the Great Master of our lives that I have pledged myself by promise. Never shall the Devil, or anything that comes from him, have any power over me. Let no one in future tempt me to commit any sin whatever, unless he be prepared to take away a refusal. I wish to save you, and myself also, from trouble, by giving you all this notice. My property, my life, and my courage belong to you, provided that I am not called upon to do anything g that is opposed to GOD. I do not know much; but I offer myself to teach all those who may feel any desire to imitate me. I see very well that I abandon you in the customs of the [59] Country; I have been engaged in them as deeply as you have. [page 83] If you feel any regret at my leaving you, follow my example, and we shall be bound together more closely than ever."

Since then, he has done all that he promised. To say this would be to praise him sufficiently in a few words, had we no other object in view; but I think that all the glory thereof will be given to , after hearing something g more in detail about this good Neophyte. The warning of the Sage is very true, that he who begins to wish to serve must prepare his Soul against the assaults of temptation. The Cabin of this new Christian is soon assailed on all sides. One of his nephews falls ill, and all despair of his recovery; he is informed of the death of another, who has been drowned in the waters. The Devil enters into the body of one of his nieces, who is an infidel, and makes her frenzied. His nearest relatives conspire against him and the quarrel almost extends to murder on both sides. Less than that suffices to break down a mind that is not sustained by GOD; but when [6o] we place all our trust in him, he gives new life after having chastised us. The quarrels are happily settled; the Devil leaves the woman; the news of his nephew's death proves in the end to be untrue; and health is restored to him who was given up by all, except one of our Fathers.

This good Christian was so touched by all these favors that, in order to acknowledge the hand from which he received them, he promised to build a Chapel, larger than that which is now in the Village, in which all the Christians might more conveniently meet.

The Devil does not stop there. Some time [page 85] afterward, another of his nieces, aged about four or five years, falls ill. It is rumored that this illness is of the sort caused by a certain Demon, who is never appeased until homage has been paid to him in a dance, of which this new Christian had been the Leader before he was baptized. "But," said he, "let her die, rather than that I should have recourse to the assistance of a sworn enemy of GOD."

One day, when he was absent, all those who were in the Cabin were surprised to see this girl, [61] who was almost restored to health, suddenly fall ill again, and in danger of death. She loses both her senses and her speech, and they await but her last breath. Charles returns, greatly fatigued from his journey, quite late at night. He hears nothing but weeping, and learns with his own eyes what no one has the courage to tell him." You weep," he says, "because of her death; but what causes me the most sorrow is, that she is not baptized. To-morrow morning the Fathers will return here, but the child will no longer be alive. Let us therefore apply to God." Having said this, he went out and quickly assembled the principal Christians of the Village, to whom he told his trouble, saying: "Alas! does not some one among you know the sacred words that must be pronounced in baptizing ?" "They were taught to me," replied Joseph Teondechoren. "Let us then go at once," said Charles; "my mind is now greatly relieved." They entered together the afflicted Cabin, and there offered their Prayers; then Joseph baptized the Child, who was nigh unto death, and, turning towards those who were Present, he said: "Let us now cease weeping, and console ourselves; [62] her Soul is safe; she will fly to Heaven where she [page 87] will pray to GOD for us. As for me," he added, "I consider myself very happy because four of my children are in Paradise, and I invoke them with consolation." Charles then spoke, and, addressing the mother of the baptized child, who was yet a Catechumen, he said to her: "It is thou who shouldst more especially appreciate this blessing. Thank GOD on behalf of thy child, for the grace that she has just received through Baptism. Consider her as dead, if thou wilt; but thou must consider her as blessed in Heaven." "No, no," answered Joseph, " God will dispose of her; he can, if he will, restore her to health; let us all pray that in this his will be done." They again said their Prayers, and then each withdrew to his home. When the Christians met as usual on the following day, in the Chapel, they asked Charles: "Is the girl dead who was baptized?" "Not at all, " he replied; "God has had pity on us. She is now in the Cabin and will do well." GOD knows what joy diffused itself through the hearts of these good Believers, who [63] on the spot gave to him all the glory therefor.

If this cure be at all extraordinary, Heaven alone knows to whose faith it is to be attributed. In any case, the Faith of this brave Neophyte manifests itself sufficiently in his works. Speaking to some Infidels, he said: "Not only by day do I believe, and am fully resolved to let myself be killed rather than abandon the Faith. I believe even at night, in my soundest slumber. While sleeping I refuse to obey my dreams. Not many nights ago, I saw the whole Country leagued against me, to make me abandon the Faith. I refused all their presents, I laughed [page 89] at their threats, and felt more courageous than ever I was when fighting in battle against my Enemies."

It is a pleasure to hear him peak of the advantages of the Faith. When with young men whose thoughts are all of war, he says: "I feel compassion for you. All the Summer, you live in the midst of perils, and you tremble with fear, [64] as if the Enemy were already burning you. The fire that you dread is but a representation of Hell. When in the hands of the Iroquois, it lasts but one or two nights, and sometimes even one may escape. In Hell they burn throughout eternity, and no one has ever gone out thence. Why do you not Fear those pitiless flames ? You go to war to show your courage, and I know not whether you understand what it is to be brave. I have been held in some esteem; but I confess that I was afraid when we came to blows, and that it was only the fear of being deemed a coward that gave me some courage. Believe in earnest and you will feel that your courage is very different in peril. It is not that I am anxious to throw away my life but two things reassure me,—in the first place, that it is GOD alone who will dispose of my life; secondly, that if I die, I shall be happy in Heaven. Before I was baptized, my body and my soul trembled in the midst of dangers; while now my Soul is in a place of safety, although my body dreads the peril."

{65] If he happen to be in other (Company, he says: "Before I was fully resolved to range myself on the side of the Faith, I was considered fortunate: I had three well-tried charms,—one brought me. success in the chase, another in fishing; and I the third served me in my Trading. I threw all these charms into the fire for fear of being cast therein myself. I [page 91] abandoned all the dances, wherein you know what power I had. I afterward deprived myself of attending most of the feasts of the Country. If any woman were to accost me now, she would receive nothing but blows. You think that I have acted foolishly, in giving up what you consider the happiness of life; but it is you who arouse my pity. My judgment is better than yours, because I have felt in myself what you are, and you do not feel what I am. Become Christians, all of you, in real earnest; and then I will not answer a word, if you deny what I say. But, believe me, you are all miserable; and the Devil treats you as we do our Captives. 'We have nothing but caresses for them a day before their death, even when [66] our minds are filled with cruelties, the severity of which we afterward find all our pleasure in making them feel."

I would never finish, were I to repeat these endless discourses, for they are the usual subjects of his conversation. And, beyond a doubt, if to be a Christian it were sufficient to be convinced of the truths of our Faith, he would make almost as many Christians as he finds Hearers. But not all of those who have said to him, "We are resolved to follow thee," have his courage, when it is necessary that their deeds should confirm their words. Nevertheless, in his Cabin alone there are already more than twelve who have been baptized; and yet it was one of the most attached in the Country to the service of the Devil.

Is it not a proof that a man esteems the Faith when, during the busiest time in the fishing season, he leaves everything, and from distance of five leagues comes on the run, for fear of missing Mass on a Sunday ? There are many in France who would [page 93] have found pleasure in seeing him arrive, all naked, with his clothes in a bundle under his arm, for fear of their getting wet during [67] a shower of rain. Such a spectacle is a savage one only to the eyesight; but the spirit of Faith sees in it something undefinable which would cause confusion to many good Christians.

If he was attentive in serving GOD, GOD took care of him. There was a storm that lasted seven days, and rendered it impossible to launch a canoe for the purpose of taking up the nets that were set. This bad weather gave him leisure to pray still more. When calm returned, the Infidels Found all their nets broken and carried away by the storm; while his were safe and sound, in the same lace where he had put them.

This and similar instances, which have frequently happened to our Christians, are so many Lessons well within the scope of their understanding, which show that it is good to have recourse to GOD. Last Winter, a young Christian child unexpectedly found himself, late at night, in a plain all covered with snow. The cold, which every Winter stops the most robust persons, and even causes them to die in the middle of the road, almost overcame him amid the snow. "I shall die,’ he cried; JESUS, [68] have pity on me." He at once felt a warmth which gave new vigor to his limbs, and made him run rather than walk slowly. After traversing a long stretch of road, he again felt weak. He had recourse to his prayer: "JESUS, have pity on me." His energy was redoubled at the same moment , and he continued to run. His strength often failed him; but on each occasion he repeated the same Prayer, and experienced [page 95] the same assistance. Finally, about two hours after midnight, he reached his own Cabin and all thanked GOD for having preserved him; but he, accused himself for having, while running, forgotten to remember him who had enabled him so to run.

A Christian woman felt herself attacked by fever, on her return from a feast; she feared that this resulted from some spell that had been cast in her plate,—for, they say, that is the moment that the Sorcerers craftily seize, to make them die. "Not at all," said her husband; "whosoever truly believes, fears not the Devil. Didst thou not pray to GOD before eating?" "I was the only Christian there," candidly replied his wife; "I feared that they would scoff at me." "Thou hast [69] then, good reason to fear," replied her husband; "whosoever is ashamed of GOD, does not deserve that GOD should help him."

In this connection, a good Child confessed some time ago that, on being insulted, he had flown into a great rage, and had returned insult for insult. "And what didst thou say?" asked the Father who spoke to him. "So and so," he replied "who has not yet any sense" (that is, who does not yet believe) "called out on seeing me: ‘Here is the Faith walking about!’ I could not endure that; and I also replied, mocking him: ‘Here is the dream, here is the dance, here is the Devil, walking about!’ ‘Thou art a coward;’ he said to me, ‘thou fearest the fire of Hell.’ ‘Yes, indeed, I do fear it,’ I replied to him. ‘Come to our Cabin, and jump into the fire that I shall prepare for thee, and thus thou wilt show me thy courage; and then thou wilt have reason to call me a coward. Thou fearest not fire, when it is very far from thee."’ [page 97] This good Child thought that he had committed a great sin.

A young girl, fifteen or sixteen years old, who had gone to cut wood with her Infidel companions, like- wise accused herself [70] for having rebuked them because they talked about immodest things. "Thou shouldst have left them," she was told. "I did so," she replied, "and when I was all alone, some distance away, I said to myself: ‘Alas! why do they not believe ? They have no sense. I derive as much benefit from the earth as they,—my wood is as good as theirs; and, in addition to that, I deserve Heaven while they are damning themselves thus."’ [page 99]



OWEVER robust our bodies may be", said one of our Christian Savages one day, to some Infidels whom he was teaching, "if food fails us, we lose our strength, and a child could throw us to the ground. What ever resolutions our hearts may take, if the grace of GOD do not powerfully fortify our [71] Souls, the slightest shock causes us to fall, and the Devil overthrows us without any difficulty. I felt such weakness", he said to them, "before I was baptized; but since then I feel my Soul more and more strengthened, because GOD gives an increased measure of hi grace to those who continue to do well". Since our Savages acknowledge this truth of their own accord, we may well say with them that, if GOD has given them some courage, it has been solely in consequence of their fidelity in the practice of the Faith.

Early in the morning, however cold the weather might be, Men, Women, and Children filled the Chapel to hear Mass, with as much devotion as if every day had been a Feast d y for them, The rising of the Sun is the bell that warns them. They did not leave the place until some advice had been given to them in common about passing the remainder of the day in a more Christian manner.

During the day, the Fathers went to their Cabins, [page 101] to teach them not only their Catechism but also the most important truths of our [72] Faith, -|- the whole being so arranged in questions and answers, according to the capacity of the Savages, that there is hardly anything that they cannot understand. It is a pleasure to witness their fervor in this respect. One sees Old Men, young Men, Women, and Children, who can find no more pleasant recreation than to be questioned by and to answer one another; and what consoles us the most is, that there is no other attraction or other hope of reward for them than that of Paradise. One who is between fifty and sixty years of age, on meeting a Child, will say to him: "My nephew, thou art clever, teach me; make me sweat to answer thee". A wife will question her husband; a son will likewise teach his mother, and, if she fail to answer properly, he will laugh at her, threatening to give up instructing her, because she will not remember what he wishes her to learn. And the best of it is, that the mother will not be angry at him. "He is right", she will say, "in scolding me, for I have not remembered my lesson well". "Before I was baptized", a certain man said to us, "I often felt dull, in spite of [73] all the amusements of the Country, which I sought as much as any other. Now, when I am alone, I repeat o myself the excellent things that are taught me and I encourage myself in the desire to know more. Such are my pleasures; my dances and my feasts, and all that, I have abandoned to embrace henceforth the Faith".

While they were celebrating in the Village the feast of Ononhouaroia, which has been mentioned above, and while the Infidels were demanding, by means of enigmas, their desires,—that is to say, the [page 103] desire of their Demon,—our Christians met together to state their desires also. "As for me", said one, "I wish to go to Heaven". "And I", said another, "would like to see all our Brothers in this Country Christians, and all gathered together in a Village where sin could not enter". "As for me", said a, third, " I would like to see the Whole Country thoroughly converted". "And I", said another, "if any one wished to split my head open with a blow from a hatchet, to make me find out the desire of those Devils, I would let myself be murdered, rather than say a word". "For my part", [74] said the next, "I would speak out aloud, and this is what I would say to the fool who should propound his enigma to me: ‘Thou wishest to burn in the fire with the Devil, whose desires thou seekest; throw thyself into those fireplaces, and thy desire and his will be accomplished". While they were amusing themselves in this manner, the foolish ones ceased not to pass through the Cabin, and some became wise while stopping to hear such pious discourse.

The fruit of these good instructions has been so apparent to our eyes, that we hope to derive still greater benefit therefrom. For, as most of the Christians possess the principal truths of our Faith through those easy questions and answers, they do much more than we can for the instruction of he other Savages. And at least we have this consolation, that, if the majority of them be not baptize, it is not a sign that they do not know all that is required for it.

Last Winter, the Hurons had a real fright, in consequence of a false alarm that had reached them that an Army of Iroquois was on the point of carrying the village of Kontarea, the chief bulwark [75] of the [page 105] Country. Those who resided at la Conception asked us whether we would not Baptize them all when the Enemy should appear, because they wished to go to Heaven after death. This shows that they know the Truth; but, in France as well as among the Hurons, there are but too many who, after having lived as Barbarians, are very anxious to die good Christians.

The setting of the Sun warns the Christians to collect in the Chapel. The Fathers who have charge of them are generally there; but it is always one of the older Christians who—each in turn, from Week to Week—presides over the meeting; who recites the Prayers aloud, while the others follow him; and who at the end, when the Fathers are not present, exhorts all the others properly to perform their duties as Christians.

On Saturday, all go to confesson, to prepare them selves for the holy Day (so they call Sunday), on which a short Sermon is preached to them before Mass. Although all have confessed their sins, nevertheless, as a rule, they are allowed to receive Communion [78 i.e., 76] but once a month. I remember having read in the Epistles of that great Apostle of the East, saint François Xavier, that of the Indians, both black and white, whom he had baptized by thousands, only the Children and a very few others were saved. The more I read the Epistles of that great Saint, the more does it seem to me that these Peoples among whom we are in Western India are more capable of understanding the mysteries of our Faith; at least, the perception of GOD penetrates more deeply into their hearts, when once they are converted. If Heaven be pleased to continue to grant its blessings to the others, and to make as good Christians of them [page 107] as those whom it now gives us, I may safely say that most and nearly all of them will be of the number of the Elect.

True Faith works great Miracles; it changes a savage heart into one that is in accord with the heart of GOD. We observe this more clearly in the tenderness of their conscience than in anything else. One accuses himself because, on awakening during the night, he has, on account of the cold, been afraid to withdraw his arm from beneath his [79 i,e., 77] covering, in order to make the sign of the Cross, contenting himself with making it on his breast. "I behaved as an Infidel would have done, another will say"; I was at work, and had already struck eight or nine blows on a tree to fell it, and I ad not asked GOD’S assistance". "I have endure cold", still another will say, "like the beasts that live in the woods". By this he means that he has not offered his petty sufferings to GOD. If during the Week they commit some more grievous sin, they often come at once to confess it; and sometimes there is more holiness than evil in acts which they think have been highly criminal, "Thou must know", they will say, "that I was present at the Council when it was resolved that such a dance should be performed to appease the Devil. Being caught there by surprise, without being able to get away, I begged pardon of GOD; I said many insulting things to the Devil, and I went to sleep. When they rose to depart, I awoke, and told the Captains that they did wrong in inviting me to such Councils, because they knew that I had nothing but horror for the Demons".

[8o i.e., 78] A young Child thought that he was lost, some days after his Baptism. "I have just [page 109] heard bad words," be said. "I detested those things with all my heart, and prayed GOD not to blot out my Baptism. I told them to be silent,—that the Great Master would punish them, and that he heard them well. In spite of what I said to them, they scoffed at me."

The Head of a Christian Cabin one day reproved his sister, who was still a Catechumen, with a little too much zeal. "What," said he, "dost thou wish to be miserable, and that I alone should be happy ? What thou art doing is enough to prevent thee from ever being Baptized." The poor woman, not knowing what to do, takes refuge in tears; she laments her error, and begs him not to tell the Fathers of it. "My sister, "replies this good Christian, "I have sinned more than thou hast, for, inasmuch as I am Baptized, my person is consecrated, and my sin is all the greater; but it is the love that I bear thee, which has caused me to be so angry. "The spirit of GOD alone gives such a horror of sin, and there is no other light than his which illumines [81 i.e. 79] a Soul so that it recognizes even its slight faults."

An Infidel one day asked a Christian woman what they all went to do, one after the other, in the Chapel; and she replied simply that they went to confess their sins. "And how, "said he, "do we sin ? As for me, I do not recognize any sins." "There is nothing surprising in that, "replied the good Woman; "thy life is but one continue: I succession of sins; how couldst thou distinguish them? We who have the Faith are always on our guard, and thus we easily recognize our faults."

When they are about to go to Confession, they prepare themselves with most praiseworthy care. [page 111] Sometimes one will hear the husband and wife asking each other their faults; they inform each other of the sins that they have committed during the week, and each teaches the other how he should confess. I think that Heaven takes pleas re in their simplicity. At other times, one will see the Father with his Child, the son with his mother, and an entire Family accusing one another, [82 i.e. 8o] when the Fathers who go to teach them enter the Cabin. "My son," the mother will say, "would not hear us say our prayers to GOD Has he confessed it ?" "Yes, indeed," the Child replies; "I would not do so because, when I say the Prayers, you do nothing but jest; behave properly, and I will hear you pray to GOD." "Yes, but thou didst not obey," the Father will say. "It is true," the son will answer; "but you also have sinned, for this morning you related a dream that you had during the night." In a word, it is a most peaceful discord, a pleasing strife, that Faith brings into a House.

While on the subject of Confession, I cannot find a more suitable occasion to speak of the opinion expressed by a Christian Savage, which has seemed to me to be worthy of mention here. He had been taught that, when sins are once forgiven, they never return, but that Grace lost through sin comes back to us when we Confess. Seeking in his own mind for the cause of this difference, he reasoned as follows: "Grace," said he, "is like a beautiful robe of Beaver fur, [83 i.e. 81] with which God our father clothes the souls of his good children. When one of our children offends us, we take his fine robe from him and leave him quite naked, but we do not throw the dress into the fire. It is too valuable a thing, and [page 113] we put it away somewhere to give it back to him when he is willing to obey us. In the same manner, God, when we have sinned, deprives our soul of its grace; but he does not wish that grace to be lost, for it is too precious to him. He preserves it very carefully in his treasury, being quite ready to give it back to us when we ask his pardon. But Sin is so hideous a thing, that God has a horror of it. When we confess ourselves he destroys it entirely. Would he place so frightful a monster among his treasures? It is therefore not surprising that it never returns into our Souls, when once it is washed away." If this argument be not received in the School, we must excuse a Barbarian who has never read saint Thomas.

[page 115]

[84 i.e. 82] CHAPTER VIII.


HIS Mission has fallen to the lot of Father Charles Garnier and Father Simon le Moine, who usually reside in the village of Saint Joseph. Hardly had they arrived when they learned that a little child, still in its cradle, had been abandoned at a considerable distance in the open country, as a prey of which death had already taken possession. They hastened thither at once, found the child, whose end was approaching, Baptized it, and sent it to Heaven, to be added to the number of the Elect.

A few days afterward, when they entered the cabin of the greatest Magician of that Nation, they observed a girl thirteen or fourteen years of age, who was dying. They decided that in so cursed a cabin, wherein the Devil was master, it was necessary to proceed with care in order to pluck this victim from his clutches, [85 i.e. 83] and to instruct the child without declaring that they wished to do so. They exhibited a picture of Our Lord, which pleased the mother of the sick girl; and they took advantage of the opportunity to speak of. the greatness of God, of Paradise, of Hell, and of the principal truths of our faith. As soon as the infamous Magician heard them speak of Baptism, he commenced to pour forth a thousand blasphemies against God. Our Fathers [page 117] saw well enough that it was time to expose clearly their design. "That dost thou say about it ?" they asked the patient. "Dost thou wish to burn forever in Hell ?" "No, no," boldly exclaimed this instrument of Satan, "she certainly shall not be Baptized. Get out of my House." His poor suffering daughter, who until then had not said a word, began herself to speak. "It is not you," she said resolutely. to her father, "who shall dispose of me on that point. I desire to be Baptized without delay, for I wish to go to Heaven." On hearing this answer, that no one expected, the miserable man remained speechless; but the mother of the Child spoke for her husband. "It is not," she exclaimed, "an ordinary disease that is causing [86 i.e., 8q] the death of my daughter; it is such and such a Demon who has been killing her during the last four Months. To him alone and to our dances have we recourse; therefore thou canst not Baptize her." "Why not ?" replied the sick girl. "I detest all the demons; I renounce our dances, and thou, I pray thee, refuse me not Baptism," she said to the Father who had just instructed her. -hen God comes to possess a heart, it has neither ears nor feeling for all that is tenderest in nature. It would have been cruel to refuse this Soul entrance to Paradise, to which the Blood of Jesus Christ and her own courage had entitled her. But it was necessary that grace should win a glorious victory. "My daughter," said the Father who had just instructed her, "thy request is indeed reasonable, but I must not expose Baptism to be profaned. Before that, thy parents must promise me that they will no longer have recourse to the Devil, or to dances, to obtain thy cure." "Fear it [page 119] not," replied the child, "I will die rather than permit them to do so." "Since thou desirest it," parents said to her, "let him Baptize thee, if he will We will never again have recourse on thy behalf to [87 i.e. 85] those remedies unless thou thyself shouldst ask it." It was a very great consolation both for him who administered holy Baptism and, for her who received it, to see and feel what the holy Ghost effects in a Soul when he prepares it for himself. "Yes," said the girl at the moment when the waters of baptism made her innocent, "I detest all my sins. Great master of our lives, have pity on me." She died shortly afterward.

THESE souls and others like them, which went to Heaven as soon as they found entrance into the Church, did not need much assistance; therefore it was not for them that the greatest amount of labor has been performed. The chief care has been to; train the .Adult Christians who constitute a small Church there, which this Year has increased in numbers and still more in Godliness.

ONE of these good Christians had been ill since the Summer, and he was suddenly cured on the arrival of the Fathers who came to teach them,—either through the joy that he felt therefrom, or rather, according to his own opinion, because he had made his confession.

[88 i.e., 86] On the same day, a Woman about seventy years of age, on hearing the Children cry out in the Village: "Here come the two clothed in black," was also cured of a fever that tormented her. "I shall be cured," she exclaimed, "I shall see my Brothers." At the same moment she recovered her health, went out for the first time, and carried to the [page 121] two Fathers, in token of thanks, a loaf of bread baked in the embers.

The Faith of this good Woman, whose name is Anne Outenen has constantly increased since she was baptized, three years ago; and her piety is so manifest that it is easy to see that GOD is in; her heart. She fasts often, and sometimes until night, especially on Saturday, in order to prepare herself for the holy Day. She has so tender an affection for us and for all the Faithful that whenever she hears any one speak harshly, she feels greatly troubled in her heart, and sometimes she cannot restrain her tears. When one of the chief Captains said that the Christians must be massacred, and when afterward one of her brothers strongly urged her to abandon the Faith, "Let him begin with me," [89 i.e. 87] she said; "Faith is more precious to me than life. I will present my head to him, and he shall see that I am ready to receive the blow." Heat, cold, affliction, sickness, trouble, and sorrow, she offers all to GOD for the remission of her sins, considering herself guilty even in the faults of others. She has such a horror of them that she sometimes has been unable to lie down in her Cabin, because then she would have witnessed offenses against G o D. She would sleep outside; and, on one occasion, having heard that some members of a Diabolical confraternity had slept upon her mat, never afterward would she use it. When she is at work far away in the fields, Prayer is her greatest rest. She says her Rosary, and her devotion alone has taught her to turn her body and mind towards our Chapel of Sainte Marie, where the Blessed Sacrament reposes,—"Because," she says, "I feel attracted in that direction." [page 123]

An Infidel woman received in a dream a command from her Demon to contract a friendship with a Christian woman. In order to commence this intimacy; [90 i.e. 88] as she knew that a dog which the other had cherished was dead, she made her a present of another one (this is just as if in France one were to give a friend a fine Spanish horse). In addition, she begged her to accept a blanket that she sent her; and in order to assist her in her housekeeping, she had a load of wood taken to her. Then she invited both husband and wife publicly to a feast. A friendship was formed, which as it was of great advantage to the Christian Family, caused them great joy. But, when they afterwards learned that all this was done merely in order to obey the dream of that Infidel woman, these good Christians began to tremble. "The Devil," they said, "has some designs on us these presents that he has caused to be sent to us will bring us misfortune." "Yes indeed," said the husband, "if we were willing to keep them; but they shall not pass the night in my house." This was no sooner said than done. He gave orders that the wood be returned, took the dog and the blanket, and went to the Infidel woman, to whom he said: "I have come to return thy presents; thou knowest well that ours is a Christian Cabin; [91 i.e. 89] this friendship that thou wishest to contract with us has no other author than the Devil, who has commanded it to thee in a dream; and we would sin, were we to obey him in this." I do not know whether the Casuists would have been so strict on this occasion. In any case, it was not an easy thing to do. But there is no bond of friendship that Faith will not sever, rather than see us separated from GOD. [page 125]

That is what a Christian of this same Village said., when he saw himself about to be abandoned by his wife and children, in consequence of the persecutions of his mother-in-law, who could not bear to have him in her house when she found that he was a Christian: "No," he said, "I never would have thought that anything in the world could separate me from my wife. We have lived together for fifteen or sixteen years. The five children that we have had seemed so many bonds that would render our marriage indissoluble. After she and I had received holy Baptism, we promised GOD that we would never separate. Now she has abandoned the Faith, or at least, to please her mother, she no longer has the courage [92 i. e., go] to profess it. She still loves me, and I also love her; and nevertheless her mother compels her to leave me, if I do not abandon the Faith. Such, a separation is painful to me, but I am resolved to endure it rather than ever separate myself from God.

This good Christian has a son twelve or thirteen years of age, who has imitated his father's courage. Everything that could be done was tried, to make him desist from the Faith. They endeavored to corrupt him by kindness, by threats, and by such rigorous measures as were within their power. At last, when he saw himself tormented by his grandmother, who allowed him no rest by night or by day, hoping to prevail upon him to give u p the Christian practices as his mother had done, the child said to this Hellish Megera: "Know that they may burn me alive,—here are my arms, my feet, and my body, all ready to suffer it; but never will I abandon the Faith. [page 127]

Such determination is not within the capacity of nature; and he alone for whom such good resolution, are taken gives at the same time the strength necessary for performing what he requires of us. The Infidels [93 i.e. 91] themselves are not unaware, of' it. and they also complain of their own unhappiness. "The Demons," said one of them, "command us to do impossible things. They do not give us what is necessary for a feast, and they require us to make one. Sometimes they compel us, if we would avoid some great misfortune, to offer what we do not possess, and cannot get. Does not this show that they either trifle with us, or that they are pleased to see us miserable ? But the GOD of the Christians commands them to do nothing that is impossible for them; and, if they fail, it is of their own will. It is by this," he said, "that I recognize that he alone is the Master of our lives, since he desires only our good." I pray the holy Ghost that this knowledge may not serve one day for the condemnation of this. Man, who, in spite of it, does not yet give to GOD the praise that he knows very well is due to him.

THE best minds among the Hurons are not those which soonest yield to the truths that they acknowledge; some simple women are often more susceptible [94 i.e. 92 ] to the influence of the holy Ghost. A good Christian woman, hearing one day a Sermon. preached on the Resurrection, could not contain in her heart the joy with which she was filled. "This it is," she called out aloud to the entire Audience, "that makes us believe. It is through this hope that we suffer calumnies and insults in patience. We are threatened with death; it is said that the Christians must be massacred. Let them kill us, if [page 129] they have the boldness to do so. I shall rise again some day, in the body that they shall have killed."

ANOTHER, about eighty years of age, who was awaiting the hour of her death, after having received absolution, begged to be raised in a sitting posture in order to pray to GOD with more respect. Then in a dying voice, she said: "JESUS, have pity on me; take me into thy Paradise. I am content to die; I aspire but to Heaven. ,JESUS, have pity on me." God has preserved this good Woman, throughout her life, in a state of purity that is very rare in this Country; and, after her baptism, she retained her innocence, having no greater pleasure than to pray [95 i.e. 93] to God, although she knew hardly more than these two words: Jesous Taïtenr, "Jesus, have pity on me."

I was touched, some time ago, when I heard a. deed of Charity related which I cannot avoid repeating. A poor Christian woman, about sixty years of age, who had heard of the zeal that is manifested in France for adorning places of devotion, and that many stripped themselves to give all they had to Our Lord, felt herself at the same time affected with the like desire. Although the weather was cold, as she had nothing of value except a robe of Beaver fur that covered her, she took it off, and said: "I offer it to Our Lord; it will serve, when fitted thereon, as a carpet for our Chapel. If I had anything else, I would give it cheerfully, so that God may have pity on me." [page 131]

[96 i.e. 94] CHAPTER IX.


HE Christians and Catechumens of this Mission had passed nearly the whole Winter in trials of their faith, which showed us that Heaven worked more energetically than Men for their instruction. The teaching that we had given them so easily penetrated their minds and produced so vivid impressions therein, that we were surprised after one or two months at their having made more progress in the knowledge of our Mysteries, and in the love of God, than we had dared to expect after one or two years’ labor. But owing to the want of a Chapel, and of a place separated from the uses of common life, they had the regret of being deprived of the Sacrifice of the Mass, and of the most holy of all the Sacraments, except at the great Festivals of the Year—on which we [97 i.e. 95] endeavor to gather most of our Christians together in our House of Ste. Marie, in order that they may perform their devotions there: at other times, they had to be content with meeting in the Cabin of some one among the Christians, and with reciting their Prayers there in the very presence of the Infidels, who, according to the custom of the Country, enter any Cabin whenever they please, and witness all that passes therein. This exposed them to the jests of a thousand slanderous tongues, which blasphemed against things of which they are ignorant [page 133]. Indeed, they began by speaking ill of them, and called them MARIAN in mockery, because they frequently heard the Name of the most Blessed Virgin repeated in their Prayers. It was publicly stated That they possessed charms that caused shipwrecks, and that their Rosaries and Medals caused both Soul and blood to pour forth from those who looked at them in a certain manner.

TOWARD the end of the Winter, one of the best Christians set apart a portion of his Cabin as a place of devotion. With a few boards and some bark, a fairly adequate Chapel was made therein; [98 i.e. 96] and on the feast of Saint Joseph we commenced to give the Christians the consolation of hearing Mass in it. Then the persecutions redoubled. "This," it was said, "will be the misfortune of the Country." They wished to expel all the Christians from the Village; and even the nearest relatives of the latter told them that they must go and dwell elsewhere; or abandon the Faith, if they had any desire to live. One of the chiefs of the Council whispered in the ear of one of his nephews: Onhoua Etsitenroutaoua, "We will tear you out of the earth as a poisonous root." This is the expression with which the Hurons threaten those whom they suspect of being Sorcerers, when they wish to kill them.

One Estienne Totihri, although connected with the best families of the Village, endured the greatest persecution, because he was the most fervent in the Faith; and he was attacked the most sharply, because the Chapel was erected in his Cabin. But neither he nor his family wavered, in spite of all these threats. "Yes, indeed," he said; "I will go quite cheerfully if the Fathers who teach us give up the [page 135] care of this Village; but it will be only [99 i.e. 97] to follow them wherever they may go. I am more attached to them than to my Country and to all my relatives, because they bring us the promise of eternal happiness. I fear not death, since GOD has enlightened my mind, and has shown me things more important than this bodily life, against which alone any design can be harbored. Let them kill my mother, my wife, my children, and mg brothers; after them, the blow that is to give me happiness will fall on me! My Soul is not attached to my body,—a single instant can separate them; but Faith shall never be ravished from me."

It is a great consolation to witness the fervor of his whole family. To them is assigned the duty of gathering the Faithful together, of encouraging and instructing them, in the absence of the Fathers; and they watch over this little Flock with a faithfulness and zeal that are truly Christian. At the very height of these persecutions, a woman lay dying, who had refused to allow herself to be baptized by our Fathers, who wished to instruct her. "What?" said this Christian, "must this Soul be allowed to perish?" He went to see the sick woman, [100 i.e. 98] and said to her: "My good mother, if you knew the great value of Faith, you would have more desire to be taught than we would have to teach you. But, though I am not called upon, I cannot remain silent, lest some day you may reproach me when you will be in the eternal flames of Hell. The short time that you have still to live is sufficient to deliver you from that great misfortune, which is no further from you than death." He afterward endeavored to produce an impression on that heart, [page 137] but it was a heart of stone, which, while in good health, could utter nothing but blasphemies against GOD; and she died the same day in her impiety, showing the good Christian that the gift of Faith is not a present from earth, and that GOD alone can touch the heart.

Another Head of a family, named Thomas Saouenhati, has had to endure as many stripes. " But Faith," he said, "has entered too deeply into my Soul to allow of its being torn from me while the least impulse of life remains to me." This good man had formerly given us fair satisfaction, but on some occasions, [101 i.e. 99] when GOD willed to try his faithfulness, the flesh had been stronger than the spirit; and, although he had never lost Faith after his Baptism, nevertheless he had not dared to continue in its exercise when they threatened to massacre the Christians with us, two years ago This year he returned to his duty, and behaved so courageously in various emergencies that he proved to the Infidels that, when God supports us, our past weakness shows out the strength of Grace more clearly, since what was then the object of our fears now sustains our desires.

The experience that we have here of the Savage disposition makes us very cautious in admitting them to Baptism, and still more in allowing them to receive Communion. Nevertheless, it is from this rite that most of our Christians have derived so much courage; and, in particular, the two last whom I have mentioned experienced therein so sudden a change in their hearts that they were quite beside themselves. Since then, we have witnessed in their actions the truth of their words. [102 i.e. 100] "It [page 139] is not a lie that JESUS CHRIST is in the Host," said Estienne to us one day. "I felt it on Christmas day, after I had received communion. But I do not know whether he has always remained in my heart since then, for very often, while I am doing something else, I feel quite changed, as if there were some one inside of me who speaks to me, and I frequently speak to him without saying a word. He answers me, and then I see very well that he understands my desires."

"I no longer doubt the truth that are taught us," frequently says Thomas, when he exhorts the other Christians to remain steadfast in the Faith. At the very moment when I received Communion, I felt JESUS CHRIST in my heart, and I perceived at the same time that it was he who raised me up to him and who taught me what I had never been able to understand. I had until then been like a Man who is lost, or who fears to be lost, in the middle of the night; but now I walk in security, as we do in the full light of day. Believe," said he, "all that is taught us; but, above [103 i.e. 101] all, believe firmly that, JESUS CHRIST enters into our hearts when we eat the consecrated Bread."

The calumnies against the Faith redoubled after Easter, and then the Christians saw, more clearly than ever, that all these tempests are raised by the Demons. This was the occasion thereof. A Captain of the village of Saint Joseph, named Astiskoua, after having given satisfaction to the Fathers who taught him, and having earnestly demanded Baptism, was summoned to appear before the Assembly of Christians and Catechumens that was held at Easter, in our House of Sainte Marie. As he had a good [page 141] mind, and as Faith seemed to have entered into his heart, there was nothing savage about his sentiments; his discourse was full of zeal and fervor; his resolutions were in every way worthy of a Christian. But as GOD alone knows the secrets of all, hearts, so also everywhere are his holy Providences as hidden as they are admirable. When this Man wished to enter the Church, he felt an occult force that repelled him [104 i.e. 102] violently; he tried a second and a third time, still he could not see what stopped him, but he always felt repulsed. At the same time his mind was troubled though he did not manifest this. He saw all the Christians go in, and he alone could not advance a step. In vain did his Wife, who had come with him, urge him to follow the others; in vain also did he strive to overcome this invisible resistance; he was at last compelled to retire. He therefore went from the House; without saying a word. After walking three leagues, or thereabouts, he showed what he was; he furiously entered the villages of Saint Jean and of Saint Ignace, burst into the Cabins, smashed the doors and broke the Canoes, while no one dared to approach him.

He cried out that a Devil had entered into his body, and that this Demon had told him to take him for his father, to follow his guidance, and to rest assured that he had an affection for him; but that he must boldly kill all the French, as they alone were ruining the whole Country. It was impossible to restrain his violence. He ran about in the woods, [105 i.e. 103] forcing his way everywhere. The briars and thorns tore his whole body but could not stop him. [page 143]

After long wanderings, he arrived at his own Village; he beat, he struck, he wished to kill all whom he met. At last he was seized, bound, and questioned. It was ever the Demon, that enemy of Peace, that spoke. When the Christians returned, on the day after Easter, they found the entire Village in a state of excitement; all were saying and calling out that the French must be massacred. "I must, then, be killed with them," exclaimed Estienne Totihri. "If they are guilty, I am not more innocent than they, for I see very well that it is on account of the Faith that you bear them ill will." The Demoniac burst his bonds, broke away from those who held him, threw himself into the fire, and refused to eat or to drink, saying that his Demon had thus commanded him.

But he sought the Christians chiefly. Meeting a good Woman on his way, he said to her: "It is water that you Christians like, since you so highly prize your Baptism;" and at the same time he poured a quantity of water on her head. The others whom he met [106 i.e. 104] did not get rid of him so easily. He smashed everything in the Cabins. They closed the doors to him, but he climbed on the roofs. He tried to break into the Chapel, and tore off the pieces of bark with which it was covered. He sought Estienne, and reproached him with being a Christian. He threw himself upon another; and, being armed with firebrands, he said to him: "It is on thee that I wish to avenge myself; I must burn thee." The good Christian commended himself to GOD, resigned himself to his holy will, and, being resolved to endure everything, he held out to the possessed man both his arms, clasped together and [page 145] quite naked, to be burned. "Courage," said he, "burn me, if thou wilt." At these words .the Madman stopped, then passed on, and gave partial vent to his fury elsewhere.

An Infidel, who was one of our best Friends and the Captain of this same Village, came in haste. to inform us of all these occurrences. He begged us not to make our appearance too soon, for fear of a greater misfortune. But the little Flock Of Faithful ones needed their Pastor. The Fathers hastened to the spot, and found the poor Church in great affliction and in still greater [107 i.e. 105] dread of what might follow. But all these poor Christians were determined to endure everything for the love of GOD, and animated one another with the hope of Paradise, which no one could ravish from them.

As this possessed man had been almost five or six days without eating or drinking, without rest or, sleep, the Fathers feared that he might die with no one to assist him, and they went to see what they could do. On their arrival, the Madman felt quite calmed. He listened to their discourse, but for all they said they obtained only blows and other tokens of his madness; so they saw very plainly that the issue of this affair must be referred to GOD alone.

Finally, after some days, this possession ceased, and the Devil quitted his abode. The poor man was quite ashamed, when he was told what he had done. He came to see us at our House, and told us, as well as he could remember, how his disease had commenced, and how the Demon had worked upon him. He showed that he had lost neither Faith nor the desire [108 i.e. 106] to be Baptized, and asked. pardon of us for what he had done,—if indeed he [page 147] could be charged with any crime, in acts in which his will had had no share, and from which he had suffered more than any other. We are determined to do nothing rash in this Baptism; time will bring us more knowledge. We hope that, with GOD’S assistance, everything will result in the confusion of the Demons, and in the welfare of this little Church. [page 149]



OD has thus far gathered together most of the Christians of this Country in the Missions of la Conception and of Saint Joseph, the two most important localities among the Hurons. Nevertheless, there are many, both Christians and Catechumens, who are scattered here and there in several other places. [109 i.e. 107] This has compelled us, although we are in the midst of a sedentary People, to establish among them an Itinerant Mission, which shall be charged with the instruction of these Souls, which are all the more in need of succor that they are deprived of the example of other Christians.

Father Antoine Daniel and Father Joseph Marie Chaumonot, who have had charge of this department, have dwelt sometimes in one Village and sometimes in another, according to the work that they had to do. However, as their longest sojourn has been in the Villages of the Arendaenhronon, this Mission has borne that name.

Before we had obtained that knowledge of these Peoples which has come to us in course of time, when we saw no worship paid by them to any false Divinity, we concluded that their Conversion would be all the easier; because—as upon a bare tablet, from which there was nothing to erase—we might without opposition impress on them Ideas of a true [page 151] GOD, and guide them into that respect and Adoration which are due to him throughout the Earth. But experience has shown us that they are [110 i.e. 108] full of Diabolical Superstitions, looking upon their Dreams as their Divinities, upon whom the happiness of their lives depends. Besides that, we see that they acknowledge more powerful Genii who settle Public affairs, who cause Famine, who control Wars, and give Victory to those who become most obedient to their will.

It is not only an erroneous opinion that has obtained footing in their minds, through their having received it as a tradition from their Ancestors; but frequently these Demons show themselves only too visibly, and make their appearance in such a manner that these people cannot doubt their existence. Ondoutaehte, whom they recognize as the God of War, often appears to them,—but never without inspiring fright, for he is terrible. Sometimes he assumes the countenance of a man mad with rage; again, that of a woman whose features are only those of fury.

Last winter, a young Man about thirty years of age saw, one evening, a spectre enter his Cabin having the appearance of a Megera, [111 i.e. 109] armed with firebrands and flames, who exclaimed that she would burn him. His mind is disturbed by the horrible glances of this enraged fury; he himself becomes furious, and throws himself into the fires that had been lighted, and, although he burns himself, he feels no pain. He sings continually, for several days, or rather he utters, without ceasing, terrible yells, without at all weakening his voice. At last the madman is seized, and the Demon of fury that animates and possesses him is questioned. It [page 153] replies that it demands, as an offering, a set of armor, of savage fashion, which covers a man from his head to his feet; an ensign consisting of a wolf's muzzle; and certain other warlike equipment. As these things cannot be supplied her, this Megera appears a second time holding up by the hair a horrible head, and calling out that it was the head of a certain Iroquois Captain. Then he saw a man's brains, still quite gory; and at the same time he was told that they were the brains of another of their Enemies, who is the terror of our Hurons every year. "Thus," called out the Fury, "would you have carried off [112 i.e. 110] the spoils of those Iroquois Captains, and of the troops that they will put in the field next Summer to make war on you.

"I had come from Onontaé" (a Nation hostile to the Hurons) "but since I am refused the honors that I expected to receive, I will go at once to Agnée‚" (this was another Iroquois Nation, the nearest to Kebec) "and there I shall be honored." At these words the Monster disappeared, leaving terror and fear in the hearts of the Hurons.

We shall see this Summer whether these threats will have any evil effect. In any case, it is a fact that these words of the Demons often turn out to be true. While I am on this subject, I will relate an instance that deserves to be recorded here.

A certain man, who urges us to Baptize him, had, when but fifteen or sixteen years of age, retired into the woods to prepare himself by fasting for the apparition of some Demon. (After having fasted sixteen days without eating anything, and drinking water only) he suddenly heard [113 i.e., 111] this utterance, that came from the Sky: "Take care of [page 155] this man, and let him end his fast." At the same time, he saw an aged man of rare beauty who came down from the Sky, approached him, and, looking kindly at him, said: "Have courage, I will take care of thy life. It is a fortunate thing for thee, to have taken me for thy Master. None of the Demons who haunt these countries, shall have any power to harm thee. One day thou wilt see thy hair as white as mine. Thou wilt have four children; the first two and the last will be males, and the third will be a girl; after that, thy wife will hold the relation of a sister to thee." As he concluded these words, he held out to him a piece of human flesh, quite raw. The youth in horror turned away his head. "Eat this," said the old man, presenting him with a piece of bear's fat. When he had eaten it the Demon withdrew, ascending toward the Sky, whence he had come. After that, he often appeared to him and promised to assist him. Nearly all that he predicted to him has happened. This man has had four children, the third of whom was a girl; after which a [114 i.e. 112] certain infirmity compelled him to the continence that the Devil asked of him. Apart from that, he is in excellent health; and although he is approaching old age, he has been exposed to many contagious diseases without having been attacked by them. He was always very fortunate in the chase; thus, while in the woods, whenever he heard a certain number of cries from the Sky, they were signs that he would take so many bears. At other times, when he alone saw a number of stags and does entering the Cabin, he would inform the others of it; and they would really find in their snares on the following day the same number of animals that he had told [page 157] them. He attributes this excellent fortune that he has always had in the chase, to the piece of bear's fat that the Demon made him eat; and he judges from this that he would have had equal success in war, had he eaten the piece of human flesh that he refused,

Such things are so common in this Country that it is no wonder that these poor Barbarians are so attached to the service of the Devil that they Sacrifice to him Bears, Stags, [115 i.e. 113] and Dogs, which are burned and consumed in his honor, But, if it sometimes happen that his promises are fulfilled, he more frequently deceives them and overwhelms them with misfortune.

The Arendaenhronon had an experience of this last Summer. Before they went to war the Devil promised them that they should be victorious over their Enemies, in consequence of a public act of shamelessness that they had performed in his honor, and nevertheless they were defeated. The Chiefs in that ill-fated war were a Captain who has already been mentioned, named Atironta, and one of his brothers, named Aëotahon. Both had been sufficiently instructed in matters of Faith and had frequently asked us for Baptism; but, as they still lacked some necessary preparation therefor, we had been unable to grant it to them. One was taken prisoner, and burned by the Enemies, and the other escaped. We hope that the former will have found mercy with GOD,—at least, we have been assured that he had recourse to his Goodness, when he found himself in that misfortune.

[116 i.e. 114] He who escaped from the combat has acknowledged that this favor came from Heaven, whose assistance he had frequently implored [page 159] before the fight, and whence he expected his most powerful aid, having constantly refused to render to the Devil the unchaste homage paid by those who were engaged in this battle. Before he left, a Demon had appeared to him in a dream and had threatened him in this wise: "Thou shalt repent of having separated thyself from me. I will make thee feel the real cruelties of the Iroquois fire, since the fear of an imaginary Hell fire makes thee tremble, and causes thee to leave my service." But GOD who never abandons his own,—not even poor wretches who place their confidence in him,—by delivering this good Catechumen, who saw himself within a finger-length of the misfortune with which the Devil had threatened him, showed him that all the Demons have no power over our lives, when we despise them in order to honor him who alone in the world is to be dreaded.

A Grace from GOD that is well received attracts many others after it. When this Warrior returned, he prepared himself so [117 i.e. 115] well that we could not refuse him holy Baptism. He was named Jean Baptiste, because he was the first Adult of the Mission dedicated to that Saint, who was admitted into the Church while in good health.

It is the custom of this Country to invite to a feast one's Friends, and all the leading men of the Village, when one wishes to declare before the Public some great joy or some great sorrow. The number of the Guests is sometimes two, three, or four hundred. No sooner had this Neophyte become a Christian than he wished to be publicly recognized as such. He had a splendid feast prepared, in their fashion. When all were assembled, he said to them: "My [page 161] Comrades, I am no longer what you are, and what I formerly was,—a slave to the Dreams and to the, Devils that you honor. I quit their service; I abandon their pernicious ceremonies; I separate myself completely from you, for I have given myself to a more powerful Master. You must know now that I am baptized, and that I will never blush at. being called a Christian. I admire your courage in being [118 i.e. 116] without fear, and in not trembling at the news that is brought to us of those Eternal fires that consume forever, in the center of the Earth, those who during their lives have not adored that All-powerful Spirit who with a single word has created both Earth and Heaven. For my part, I confess my cowardice. That news caused me to tremble at the start, and the horror that seizes me when I think of it has given me good reason to take the resolution to avoid that misfortune, now that it is in my power to do so. If you dread the fire of the Iroquois as much as I do, excuse me and forgive my lack of bravery if I dread a thousand times more the fire of Hell, that is a hundred thousand times more dangerous and more painful. No, no, my Brothers, I have no more courage; when urged to sin, I shall tremble with fear and apprehension, and in this respect I shall leave you all alone in the peril. But if we have to attack the Enemy, if we have to avenge the death of our relatives, if we have to defend the Country, I will be your faithful companion; I will not fly from danger, and I hope that courage will not fail me on that occasion."

[119 i.e. 117] From that time, this new Christian has had many violent attacks. Frequent attempts have been made to draw him into the superstitions [page 163] of the Country, but he has always resisted. So far, even, have these efforts gone, that when one of his sons fell ill, and when he refused ever to allow recourse to be had, in his Cabin, to such diabolical remedies, his wife left him, carried the child away from him, and took another husband. His chastity was exposed to equally violent assaults. In a Country where women and girls have nothing to restrain them; where the modesty which nature has given them as a protection for their sex passes for a disgrace; where for honor's sake they are compelled to dishonor themselves; it is very difficult for a young Man who has been engaged in such affairs all his life, to parry these blows when he wishes to effect a retreat. But the fear of God was his sole defense, In vain did they solicit him; he refused presents, and trembled with fear, as he had said, when he fled from the danger of losing what Faith alone had taught him to cherish above pleasure and above life. "I walk through the Village," he has sometimes said, speaking even to Infidels, [20 i.e., 118] "as in an enemy's country. I dread meeting women as I would an Iroquois. Even an Enemy would cause me less fear, for I can look at him boldly; but I dare not lift my eyes when a Woman approaches me."

In this Country, there are no Names appropriated to Families, as in Europe. The Children do not bear their Father's name, and there is no name that is common to the whole Family,- each one has his own different name. Nevertheless, it is so arranged that, if possible, no Name is ever lost; on the contrary when one of the Family dies all the relatives assemble, and consult together as to which among them shall bear the name of the deceased, giving [page 165] his own to some other relative. He who takes new name also assumes the Duties connected with it, and thus he becomes Captain if the deceased had been one. This done, they dry their tears, and cease to weep for the deceased. In this manner, they place him among the number of the living, saying that he is resuscitated, and has come to life in the person of him who has received his name, and has [121 i.e. 119] rendered him immortal. Thus it happens that Captain never has any other name than that of his predecessor, as formerly in Egypt all the Kings bore the name of Ptolemy.

Therefore, as this election of the Captains, or (as the Hurons say) the resurrection of the dead, is always celebrated with pomp and splendor, when it became necessary to bring back to life the brother of this new Christian,—that is, when new Captain had to be elected,—all the chief men of the Country were called together; and we also were invited, as to Ceremony in which the French were greatly interested because it was question of reviving the name of Atironta, he who had formerly been the first of the Hurons to go down to Kebec, and to form friendship with the French. When the Nations were assembled, they conferred on us the honor of selecting him whom we wished to assume that name and the office of Captain. We deferred the choice to the discretion and prudence of the Relatives. "We therefore," said they, "cast our eyes on that man," pointing out Jean Baptiste to us; "and we do not wish his name [122 i.e. 120] to be any longer Aëoptahon but Atironta, since he brings him back to life."

When this was done, each Nation gave its presents, which, according to custom, were differently characterized [page 167]. Some, as they presented their gifts, said: "May these grasp the arm of the deceased, to draw him from the grave." Others said: "May these support his head, lest he fall back again." Another, giving still a new present, would add volubly, that he gave him weapons to repel the Enemies. "And I," a fourth would say, "I make the Earth solid under his feet, so that it may remain immovable during his reign." On our part, we gave three presents, and, as we produced the most valuable, we said: "This gift is intended to restore the Voice of the deceased, but a Voice that will no longer be the instrument of the Demons to proclaim and command forbidden Ceremonies,—I say, a Voice worthy of a Christian, who loves and encourages every one to defend his Country, to overthrow Impiety, and to promulgate the holy Gospel." To these words the entire Audience replied: "Ao!" which with them indicates a sentiment [123 i.e. 121] of approval, May GOD bless this new Christian Captain, and grant him the grace to do all the good in his power.

Some others have been baptized, who are in good health; but we make a careful selection, considering that at the outset we should be more cautious in admitting them into the Church, in order that it may thereby be made more holy.

Among the other Villages of this Mission, that of saint Michel appeared at the beginning to be most hopeful. The majority of the inhabitants s sought,. instruction; and it seemed as if the Seed then sown in those hearts had taken root to some extent But as the Devil afterwards sowed his tares, I mean that many received in dreams a command from their Demon to have recourse to the old superstitions of [page 169] the Country, if they wished to avoid the evils with which they were threatened,—all this good grain was soon choked; at least, the little that remained had not the strength that we wish to see in all who pass in our opinion for firm Christians. [124 i.e. 122] They would willingly believe in GOD, provided that the Devil would assure them that GOD tells the truth. "I am quite ready to embrace the Faith, and to become a Christian, whatever dread I may have of it," one of these poor slaves of Satan said to us, "provided my Dream commands me to do so." In fact, nothing seems difficult to them when they have to obey a Dream.

I might truly say that Dreams are indeed the God of these poor Infidels, because it is they who command in the Country,—they alone are obeyed and honored by all. If they have any fears, hopes desires, passions, and affections,—everything they, is a result of their Dreams. A certain man had dreamed, while in the soundest slumber, that Iroquois had taken and burned him as a Captive, No sooner was he awake than a Council was held on the matter. "The ill fortune of such a Dream," it was said, "must be averted." The Captains at once caused twelve or thirteen fires to be lighted, on the spot where they were accustomed to burn their Enemies. Each one armed himself with firebrands and flaming torches, [125 i.e., 123] and they burned this Captive of a Dream; he shrieked like madman When he avoided one fire, he at once fell Into an other. In this manner, he made his way three times around the Cabin; and, as he thus passed, as naked as one's hand, each one applied to him a lighted torch, saying: "Courage, my Brother, it is thus that [page 171] we have pity on thee." At the conclusion, they left him an opening by which he might issue from captivity. As he went out, he seized a dog that was held there ready for him, placed it at once on his shoulders, and carried it among the Cabins as a consecrated victim, which he publicly offered to the Demon of war, begging him to accept this semblance instead of the reality of his Dream. And, in order that the Sacrifice might be fully consummated, the dog was killed with a club, and was singed and roasted in the flames; and, after all this, it was eaten at a public feast, in the same manner as they usually eat their Captives.

I could hardly have believed this, had I not seen it with my own eyes; although [126 i.e. 124] I knew very well that the Devil is a cruel master, and does not spare, even in this life, those whom, he keeps under his thralldom. But what is most deplorable in these poor people is, that they cherish this miserable servitude even though most of them feel and see their misery, and are themselves compelled to admit that the yoke of Faith is gentleness itself for those who embrace it. They now have such manifest examples of it before their eyes that they are constrained to praise GOD therefor, without, however, paying him the true homage that they see is due to him. Last Summer, while some warriors of the same Village of saint Michel were returning from the Enemy's country, they were caught in an extremely violent storm in the middle of a great lake, about twenty leagues wide. They expected nothing but death, for their little bark Canoes are not strong enough to withstand such tempests. They sang a doleful chant, as they are in the habit of doing in war, [page 173] when they [127 i.e. 125] despair of their lives. Still the waves grew higher; their Canoe filled, and they expected at every moment to be submerged. The Demons whom they called upon to assist them did not bring them any succor. A single Christian was among the band. "My Comrades," he said to them, "your voices are drowned in the roaring of the storm; they do not reach Hell, where those wretched Demons are burning whom you call in vain, and who cannot hear you, For my part, I will have recourse to my GOD; for I know well that he is everywhere, and that he will surely hear my Prayer. If he choose, he will have mercy on us, although you have offended him." He told him who steered to give way to the waves for a while, in order that he, who was in the bow of the Canoe, might be able to pray to GOD with a more settled mind than if he had to protect himself against the billows that broke over them without cessation. No sooner had he finished his Prayer and made a vow to GOD, as his devotion inspired him, almost without his thinking of it, than the Canoe was at rest, the waves fell, and the tract [128 i.e., 126] through which they passed became as smooth as a mirror,—though all around them the wind continued to blow furiously, and the storm was violent enough to have engulfed a thousand Canoes, had they been there.

At that moment, the Infidels adored the great GOD of the sea and of the winds, and since then they have often admiringly borne testimony to the truth, frankly confessing that they owed their lives to the Prayer of that good Christian, named Jean Armand Andeouarahen. He is a young Man who spent two years in the Seminary of the Hurons, that we [page 175] formerly had at Kebec. After having been Baptized, he came up here, about four years ago, full of zeal and Faith; and since then, although he has always lived in the midst of Infidels, at an age very prone to debauchery and inconstancy, nevertheless his Faith has never been shaken, and, wherever he has been, he has considered it a very great glory and honor to be recognized as a Christian.

On another occasion, during a war and in the heat [129 i.e. 127] of battle, he fought his way so far amid the spears and arrows of the Enemies, that he was abandoned by his own people in the thick of the fray. He then commended himself more especially to GOD, and thereupon felt such immediate aid that ever since then, supported by this same confidence, he is always the first and foremost in all perils, and has never turned pale, whatever danger might confront him. "I saw," said he, "as it were, a hailstorm of arrows about to pour upon me. I had no other buckler with which to stop them than this belief alone, that, as GOD disposed of my life, he would do so according to his will. Strange to say, the arrows parted on either side of me, as the water does when it meets the prow of a vessel advancing against the tide." In fact, his Companions, who thought him dead, were utterly astonished when they saw him retire from so furious a discharge without a single wound. [page 177]

[130 i.e. 128] CHAPTER XI.


N ORDER to gratify the desire of certain persons who have asked us for some remarks on the Eclipses that we might observe in this Country, here is one regarding a very remarkable Eclipse of the Moon that appeared to us on the evening of the fourteenth of April of the present Year, 1642. We were unable to ascertain the time at which it commenced, because the Moon, then rising, was still. hidden by the woods. The end of the Eclipse was about eight or nine minutes past ten o'clock. Thus (according to the calculation of Noël Duret, who has computed that Eclipse in his Ephemerides, for the Meridian of Paris), we are distant from Paris five and half-a-quarter hours; for he gives the end of that Eclipse as regards Paris, as being at a quarter past. three on the fifteenth of April.

[131 i.e. 129] Last year, we had held a Mission among the Kionontatehronon, or tobacco Nation, and had even pushed as far as the Attiouendaronk, called the Neutral Nation. But—after having considered how great an obstacle was presented to our design of preaching and spreading the Gospel in these Countries, by the calumnies that the Barbarians who dwell nearest to us had repeated and published everywhere, about our persons and our functions-we deemed it more expedient for the present to unite our forces, [page 179] and not to extend our labors to the more remote Nations, especially in view of the small number of Laborers, until those that are nearest to us have been won over, at least for the greater part, and have acknowledged the truths that we come to preach to them. Experience seems to show us that this way is the best, and the most advantageous for the conversion of these Peoples, who without doubt will easily submit, one after the other, when those with whom. we labor shall have become good Christians; and will preach [132 i.e. 130] better than we can, by word, and still more effectively by their example.

We nevertheless made some journeys to the mission of the Apostles, for we were not able nor was it consistent with our duty entirely to abandon the few Christians whom God had given us there. Faith produces great effects on hearts, and its attractions are a thousand times more powerful than all the allurements and charms of nature. Some of those poor Christians, who have removed to this Country and settled close by us, bless God every day when they see themselves, they say, less remote from Paradise, by being nearer to those who have opened them the road to it. Others, who remained behind, some times come to see us; and we also have occasionally taken leisure to visit them. Father Charles Garnier and Father Pierre Pijart have made these excursions, which have been so opportune in the case of some Souls, that awaited but their coming to soar to Heaven, that it seemed as if their journey had been undertaken expressly for the purpose of Baptizing them, although it was a mere chance if indeed there be such a thing as chance in that eternal Providence [133 i.e. 131] which directs our thoughts, our [page 181] designs, our travels, and all our movements, for the salvation of the Elect.

On one of these excursions we met some Captains of the Neutral Nation, or Mission of the .Angels, who invited us to return and see them. But in addition to the absence of Father Jean de Brebeuf—who had had this mission as his share of the work—at Kebec, whither the course of our affairs has obliged us to send him, it seems to us that by working more energetically at the conversion of the Hurons, we at the same time further the conversion of the others. Therefore we will await from Heaven the time and the moment for undertaking these journeys, and above all a reinforcement of Laborers.

I cannot here restrain my pen, and my heart must overflow upon this paper. The feeling of compassion that I have for all these poor Peoples around us, who have Souls as precious in the eyes of the Son of GOD as those of the persons who will read these Relations,—at least they have cost him as much, both his Blood and his life; the necessity that I see for immediate and powerful assistance [134 i.e. 132] to cooperate for their Salvation with the Guardian Angels of these Countries; the Spirit of GOD, and the fidelity to his Graces that we witness in the majority of those whom the holy Ghost has once touched; the hopes, greater than ever, that we all here have entertained For a Year, that the time has come when GOD's Glory will appear in this New World,- all these induce us to cry out for help and to ask assistance,-not in temporal matters, because it is not for us to make any provision in this respect; but for him who employs us, and who has pledged his word to it. We are greatly in need of Laborers. It is they whom we [page 183] call to our help; they are the most valuable gifts that we expect from France. If any one should feel called by Heaven, whatever advantages of nature or of Grace he may have, I can assure him that he wilt find here more employment than his life can compass, and the more he shall have abandoned, in the desire to find here but crosses and trouble, the more will he bless GOD for having [135 i.e. 133] brought him to a Country, that abounds as much in Heavenly consolations as it is sterile in earthly blessings.

To love GOD, to work hard, to suffer much, and to consider oneself after all as very useless,—such are, I consider, the four Elements necessary to constitute a good Worker among the Hurons. Such are the men whom we call to our aid, for it is true that almost insurmountable difficulties exist with regard to the Conversion of these People.

To be a Captain among them and to be a Christian, is to unite fire and water, as almost the entire occupation of the Captains consists in obeying the Devil, in residing over Hellish Ceremonies, in exhorting young people to dances, to feasts, to nudity, and to most infamous lewdness.

To be a Christian, and to condemn oneself to die without defense against disease, seems to be the same thing, for all their remedies are either veritable sorceries, or are so full of forbidden superstitions that they can hardly become cured without committing a crime.

[136 i.e. 134] Their hopes of success in hunting, fishing, and trading with outside nations, are in most instances founded solely on spells and charms,—so much so, that they are convinced that by embracing [page 185] the Faith they would condemn themselves to perpetual ill luck.

Most of the Feasts, which are the chief pleasure of the Country, are so many sacrifices to the Devil, or else some other impiety is mixed up with them. It requires a very ardent Faith to banish oneself from them, and to be resolved to fast for a good part of the Year, more strictly than on bread and water; for, outside of these Feasts, their meals consist frequently but of corn roasted in the embers, or ground into meal and mixed with water.

License in Marriages is so great, and the freedom of leaving one another on the slightest pretext is so generally admitted as a fundamental Law of these Peoples, that every Christian who marries is exposed, on the morrow of his Nuptials, to the danger of being compelled to observe continence for the remainder of his life. What therefore can a [137 i.e. 135] Christian young Man do if, on his very Wedding day, his wife should abandon the Faith, and thereby at the same time break that sacred tie? She will at once take a new husband; and, were he to burn with passion a thousand times over, he must grow old in chastity without having ever made a vow to do so. The Church has in this case no sword. A woman; who would act thus would not be at all blamed for it by the Infidels. We have often feared such things and have admired the altogether brave and, saintly resolution of some who saw themselves on the brink of such unhappiness. But the good GOD has stayed these blows, and has hitherto blessed the charity of those who have been pleased to contribute their Alms for the purpose of giving stability to the Marriages of Christians. We have more fear for the future; for [page 187] we see very clearly that our care, our alms, and all the assistance we can hope to receive from earth, cannot arrest this evil if Heaven itself do not bind hearts and affections. With that view, we have made a Vow to GOD in honor of saint Joseph, the Patron of this Country.

[138 i.e., 136] Finally, there are some hearts so hardened in their impiety, that, although they are unable to resist the truth of what they acknowledge, instead of submitting to GOD, they become furious; and refuse to listen to what they would be very glad not to fear.

"If thou wishest to speak to me of Hell," they sometimes say, "go out of my Cabin at once. Such thoughts disturb my rest, and cause me uneasiness amid my pleasures." "I see very well that there is a GOD," another will say; " but I cannot endure that he should punish our crimes. " .A certain man, who one day found himself pressed too hard, said to him who came to instruct him: " I am content to be damned, " while dealing him a blow with a knife, which, however, merely cut his cassock. In another Village, a woman who would not listen to GOD's word, and had closed her ears, threw live coals in the face of one of our Fathers who spoke to her, calling, out that she became crazy when she heard his discourse. " No," said an impious man,-whose relatives had seized him when he tried to kill one of our Fathers, who had gone [139 i.e. 137] into his Cabin, to hear the Confession of a sick woman,—" no, I will not listen to what they preach to us about Hell, It is these impostors who, because they have no other defense in this Country than the fear of an imaginary fire of Hell, intimidate us by such penalties, in [page 189] order to save their own lives, and to arrest the blow that we would already have struck, had we any resolution. "

Of course such opposition is a great obstacle to the grace of Christianity; and to form, from hearts that have hitherto rebelled against the holy Ghost, Believers, Saints, and, if necessary, Martyrs, is a work beyond our strength. But all this is as nothing to GOD; Heaven contains more Criminals than Innocents. If, of old, pure fire for burning Sacrifices was obtained from putrid water and from a foul quagmire, the arm of GOD has not shortened in any wise since that time. He will overcome this obstinacy; his Goodness is greater than our evil acts; and, if this People be miserable, where will he make his Mercies more manifest ?

[140 i.e. 138] We have, at present, Christians who are prepared to die for the Faith of which they formerly had a horror. Purity has found a place in their hearts. They have a greater love for Heaven than they ever had for the good things of the Earth. In a word, wherever sin has held most sway, there is Grace more abundant. Why should we not hope the same for those who still remain to be converted? Unless it be that the favors of Heaven are exhausted, or that the Blood of JESUS CHRIST has not deserved more.

"No, " said a Christian Huron, speaking to the Infidels, " the whole Country will one day be converted; all who are opposed to it will then be too weak, for they carry the word of the Devil, and we that of GOD. Who, then, ought to win of the two?"

A Woman one day begged one of our Father’s to come and instruct her, saying that she was resolved [page 191] to believe. " That is impossible, " added her Husband; " thou hast so bad a temper that nobody can endure it. " " Faith will change me, " replied the poor Woman. " They tame, [141 i.e., 139] indeed, their dogs. When they shall have taught me well, they will easily manage me. "

In fact, experience has shown us that the grace of Baptism works powerfully in a heart. " The night before I was baptized, " a Neophyte said,- " I was unable to sleep for joy. I spent all my time in resolving before GOD to abandon all that is forbidden to us. I felt sufficient strength and courage for anything. Women alone caused me fear. I seemed to see faces near me that made me tremble; but at last I felt confident that God would change me in Baptism, and I have not been deceived, for never since then has any woman addressed me a second time. "

A Christian woman lay sick with her little child, which sucked nothing but infectious milk, instead of wholesome nourishment. " Before I was baptized, " she said, " my sickness would have caused me sorrow; but now that Faith has shown me that this life is nothing, I leave [142 i.e. 140] everything to GOD. If it be his will, I am quite content to die; I do not ask for health, either for myself or for my child. My mind is now quite easy, for GOD knows well what I need. "

A girl fifteen or sixteen years of age, who had suffered for three entire days from a pain in her side, was asked whether she had not manifested or felt some impatience during the violence of her sufferings. " Not at all, " she replied; " far from it. I prayed to God that the pain might continue, if such were his will, because during that time I felt more [page 193] pleasure in thinking of Paradise, and I thought of hardly anything else. " I learned by accident that, on the day on which they slew the late Joseph Chihoatenhoua,—her uncle, who took the place of her father and mother,—when this Girl first heard of it, she could not stop her cries or her tears, or restrain her hands from tearing her hair. Nevertheless, her only words were: " No, I will not cease to believe; on that account [143 i.e. 141] My G o n, have pity on me. Even if they massacre all of us, and if they kill me, I will never abandon you.

Charles Tsondatsaa, who has been already mentioned, was one day engaged in instructing some Infidels on the advantages of our Faith. After having spoken at length of the Goodness and Power of GOD, he addressed the chief person of the Assembly, saying: " If I gave thee the disposal of my person, wouldst thou have the courage to cast me into dangers, foreseeing my destruction ? All the Christians " he then added, " tell GOD every day, in their Prayers, to dispose of both their Souls and their lives according to his pleasure. Will he betray us, he who has not a heart as narrow as thine? He protects and preserves us, for he loves those who fear him. Whatever affliction may happen to us, " he further added, " you Infidels must not imagine that he has forgotten us. He loves us even while he afflicts us, for, instead of the eternal fire which our sins have justly deserved, he is satisfied with a punishment which, however [144 i.e. 142] severe it may appear, is still very slight, for it ends with our lives.

" Whatever may happen to me, continue always in the Faith, " he said one day to all his Family, when he was going forth to war, scarcely a month ago. [page 195] "We must not believe with the idea that we shall never die but that we shall Rise again one day to Everlasting glory."

" If I be taken by the Enemies, and if I be burned, " he afterward said to one of our Father, " thou shalt pray to GOD for me, and I will offer him my tortures so that he may reward thy charity. "

Such good sentiments are worthy of a Christian. But, if GOD causes the Sun to rise as much for the Impious as for the Just, he also by the same means makes the effects of his Grace and of his Goodness felt in the hearts of even the greatest Infidels.

Two young Men of the Village of Saint Joseph, who had been taken Prisoners of war by the Iroquois, had already lost all hope of life, in the expectation [145 i.e. 143] of the same cruelties with which they had seen their Companions in misfortune tormented. Already had their nails been torn out, and some of their fingers cut off; already had their legs and arms been scorched; and they had vomited blood from the force of the blows struck with clubs on their loins and their stomachs,—when they found means to escape during the night. But, as they fled from one death, they were confronted with a more lingering one, for in addition to their fear they carried with them an internal enemy, a raging hunger that tormented them night and day. At the end of three days, they were reduced to despair. Then one of them began to think of us. " Comrade, " said he to the other, " the French are people who never lose hope; in their misfortunes and needs they have recourse to him who, they say, has made all things and who is the Master of our lives. Let us apply to him. " The other did not see that such a remedy [page 197] was very efficacious in the dire necessity and for the desperate condition in which they were placed. But; nevertheless, as all other assistance failed them, he was constrained to [146 i.e. 144] have recourse to GOD, with his Companion. " Listen! " they said " Thou who hast made the Sky and Earth; it is to thee that we now speak. We have not honored thee before, because we had no sense. Forgive our sins; and, since nothing is impossible to thee when thou willest it, extricate us from this misery. Have pity on us. " After this Prayer, they were strengthened, and felt enough courage to continue their way. After walking a considerable distance, they found some- roots in the ground, and ate some herbs, which completely relieved their hunger. " But, Comrade, " said he who had first thought of us, " remember that the French thank GOD after eating their meal. " Yes, indeed, " replied the other; " I have often seen them do so, but it was after eating a great dishful of Sagamité. But, as we have only water here, and what the beasts would eat, for what should we thank GOD? " However, his companion prevailed; the offered their Prayer, as necessity taught them, and afterward felt stronger. Finally, after [147 i.e. 145] a journey of twenty days and more, they reached this Country, where, on their arrival, they met one of our Fathers, to whom they related all that had happened to them during their wandering. And they proved to us that he who blasphemes and rages against GOD afterward blesses and adores him when the holy Ghost has been pleased to cause fruit to grow from the Seed that we have sown in a soil that seemed infertile.

Some Infidels, who were about to go to war not long [page 199] ago, began to think of their Souls as much as, if not more than, of their bodies; and, that they might be sure to find at death the Grace that they refused during life, they asked one of our Christians who was to be of their party, whether he knew well all the words that must be said in baptizing. " Yes, indeed, " said he; " but I can only avail myself of them in a case of necessity. " " That is enough for us, " they replied "If peradventure any misfortune should happen , us, thou shalt Baptize us. " " Not at all, " said the Christian; " it is not the time to enter the service of GOD when we lose [148 i.e. 146] the hope of living He abandons at the hour of death those who have never wished to serve him except at that time. I will do like him. I will laugh at you in that extremity. " The zeal of this Christian was somewhat too severe, so we taught him thoroughly what he was to do on such occasions.

Those Infidels began to tremble when they heard him speak thus, and did not rest until they came to us. They begged us to teach them, and asked to be Baptized, assuring us that they believed all that we preached,- that, if they had scoffed at the fires of Hell, they had nevertheless feared them, and had considered fortunate those who have courage to do what God commands. We began therefore to teach them; they came twice, thrice, or four times a day to hasten their instruction. But we do not grant Baptism so easily; we require a Faith tested by works, before admitting them into the Church. So we put them off until their return [149 i.e., 147] from the war. " At least, " they said when they saw themselves so delayed; " tell all the Christians with whom we are going, to teach us on the way, and not [page 201] to be so cruel as to refuse us Baptism, if that be possible before we die. Entreat GOD to have pity on us, and, in case we should unfortunately die without Baptism, to enlighten our minds, so that we may first detest all the sins of our lives, as you have taught us to do.

Verily, the voice of GOD makes itself heard when ever he wills; no hearts are insensible to his touch when he pleases; he breaks even the Cedars of Lebanon; he rends the rocks, and shatters the stones, And, however barbarous these Peoples may be, he will be adored in this New World, and will make for himself Temples where the Devil has been worshipped for so many centuries. But, for that; Laborers are needed, and good Laborers; may God be pleased to send us some. [page 203]

[150 i.e. 148] CHAPTER XII.


N THIS COUNTRY, and with Nations who do not differ from us more in Climate and in Language than they do in their nature, their way of acting, and their opinions, and in everything that can exist in Man, except body and Soul,- it takes time to realize the situation. Still more is needed to introduce among them the knowledge and Ideas of a GOD whose name has never been mentioned here; of a Law that has never been received here; of a manner of life wholly different from that which has been led here for two, three, even four thousand years. No, the experience of the past has enlightened us considerably as to the means that must be adopted for the Conversion of the Hurons; but it must be confess that we are still [151 i.e. 149] very much in the dark as regards the Algonquins who dwell in these Countries that are more remote from the Fort of our French people.

They lead the nomad life of people scattered here and there, wherever the chase or the fishing may lead them, -.sometimes in the woods, sometimes over rocks, or in Islands in the middle of some great lake; sometimes on the banks of rivers,—without a roof, without a house or fixed residence; and without gathering anything from the earth, beyond what it yields in a barren Country to those who have never [page 205] cultivated it. It is necessary to follow these Peoples, if we wish to Christianize them; but, as they continually divide themselves up, we cannot devote ourselves to some without wandering from the others.

Last year, we had here only two of our Fathers who spoke the Algonquin language, Father Claude Pijart and Father Charles Raymbaut. God's Providence brought to them at our doors, during the Winter, the Nipissiriniens whom they had commenced to instruct. When these Peoples left us after the ice had melted, the same Fathers followed them.

[152 i.e. 150] If in this wandering life there be greater danger on the water than on land; if sufferings must be borne in these shifting Houses; if, during the heat of Summer, fatigue must be endured in making journeys whereon can be found no shelter, no provisions, no furniture, other than the little that one carries with him, and whereon one is even obliged in going across the land to transport on his should the Canoe that has borne him over the water. if anything still more arduous than all that, is trying to one's nature,- Heaven does not fail us in these necessities; and we find by experience that it is not always true that the fatigued body weighs down the Soul. In any case, the two Fathers remained there all Summer, continuing to instruct those poor Peoples. But to make a Christian out of a Barbarian is not the work of a day. The seed that is sown one year in the earth does not bear fruit so soon. A great step is gained when one has learned to know those with whom he has to deal; has penetrated their thoughts; has adapted himself to their language, their customs, and their manner of living; and, when [page 207] necessary, has been a Barbarian with them, in order to win them over [153 i.e. 151] to Jesus Christ.

This has been no slight influence in soothing these People, and in removing from their minds the bad impressions that had been given them of the truths of our Faith, that God has so blessed the labors of our Fathers that, out of many children who were dangerously ill and who were Baptized, all recovered their health. Therefore it was that the parents, who witnessed this blessing of Heaven conferred on these little Christians, procured this happiness for them as soon as possible, when they saw them in danger.

Toward the end of the Summer, these Peoples turned their thoughts to the celebration of their feast of the dead,-that is, to collect the bones of their deceased relatives, and, by way of honor to their memory, to procure for them a more honorable sepulchre than that which had enclosed them since their death. This solemnity, among the Nomad Tribes up here, is accompanied by rites of some importance, differing much from those of our Hurons, which may be seen in previous Relations and it may perhaps be interesting to learn some further [154 i.e. 152] particulars about them, which I shall set down here.

The day was appointed, at the beginning of September, for all the confederated Nations, who were invited thereto by Envoys expressly sent. The spot selected for the purpose was at a Bay of the great Lake, distant about twenty leagues from the country of the Hurons. Having been invited to attend, I thought that I ought to take advantage of the opportunity that GOD gave me to establish closer relations with these Barbarians, so as to secure, in the future, [page 209] better means for the advancement of his Glory among them. The number of persons present was about two thousand.

Those of each Nation, before landing, in order to make their entry more imposing, form their Canoes in line, and wait until others come to meet them, When the People are assembled, the Chief stands up in the middle of his Canoe, and states the object that has brought him hither. Thereupon each one throws away some portion of his goods to be scrambled for. Some articles float on the water, while others sink to the bottom. The young men hasten to the spot. One will seize a mat, wrought [155 i.e. 153] as tapestries are in France; another a Beaver skin; others get a hatchet, or a dish, or some Porcelain beads, or other article,- each according to his skill and the good fortune he may have. There is nothing but joy, cries, and public acclamations, to which the Rocks surrounding the great Lake return an Echo that drowns all their voices.

When the Nations are assembled, and divided, each in their own seats, Beaver Robes, skins of Otter, of Caribou, of wild Cats, and of Moose; Hatchets, Kettles, Porcelain Beads, and all things that are precious in this Country, are exhibited, Each Chief of a Nation presents his own gift to those who hold the Feast, giving to each present some name that seems best suited to it. As for us; the presents that we gave were not for the purpose of drying their tears, or consoling them for the death of the deceased; but that we might wish to the living the same happiness that we hope to enjoy in Heaven when they shall have acknowledged the same God whom we serve [156 i.e. 154] on Earth. This [page 211] kind of present astonished them at first, as not being according to their usages. But we gave them to understand that only the hope that we had of seeing them become Christians led us to desire their friendship.

After that, it was a pleasure characterized by nothing of savagery, to witness in the midst of this Barbarism a Ballet danced by forty persons, to the sound of voices and of a sort of drum, in such harmonious accord that they rendered all the tones that are most agreeable in Music.

The dance consisted of three parts. The first represented various encounters of enemies in single combat,- one pursuing his foe, hatchet in hand, to give him the deathblow, while at the same time he seems to receive it himself, by losing his advantage; he regains it, and after a great many feints, all performed in time with the music, he finally overcomes his antagonist, and returns victorious. Another, with different movements, fences, javelin in hand; this,. one is armed with arrows; his enemy provides himself with a buckler that covers him, and strikes a blow at him [157 i.e. 155] with a club. They are three different personages, not one of whom is armed like the others; their gestures, their movements, their steps, their glances,-in a word, everything that can be seen, is different in each one; and yet in so complete accord with one another that it seems as if but one mind governed these irregular movements.

Hardly was this combat ended than the Musicians arose; and we witnessed, as the Second Part, a dance on a large scale,-first by eight persons, then by twelve, then by sixteen, ever increasing in [page 213] proportion, who quickened or checked their steps according to the voices that gave the measure.

The Women then suddenly appeared, and danced the Third Part of this Ball, which was as agreeable as the others, and in no wise offensive to modesty. The inhabitants of the Saut, who came to this Feast from a distance of a hundred or a hundred and twenty leagues, were Actors in this Ballet.

A Pole of considerable height had been set in the ground. A Nipissirinien climbed to the top of it, and tied there two prizes,-a Kettle, and the skin (158 i.e. 156] of a Deer, - and called upon the young men to display their agility. Although the bark had been stripped from the Pole, and it was quite smooth, he greased it, to make it more difficult to grasp. No sooner had he descended, than several pressed forward to climb it. Some lost courage at the beginning, others at a greater or lesser height; and one, who almost reached the top, suddenly found himself at the bottom. No one could attain the top; but there was a. Huron who provided himself with a knife and some cord, and, after having made reasonable efforts until he reached the middle of the Pole, he had recourse to cunning. He drew his knife, and cut notches in the tree, in which he placed his cord; then: making a stirrup of it, he supported and raised himself higher, and continued to do so until he attained the prizes suspended there, in spite of the hooting and shouting of the Audience. Having grasped these, he slid to the ground, and reëmbarked to go to Kebec, whither his journey led him.

This unfair conduct led the Algonquin Captains to make a Public complaint, which was deemed reasonable; and the Hurons taxed themselves for a present [page 215] of Porcelain Beads to repair this injustice, which (159 i.e. 157] caused the Souls of the deceased to weep.

After this, the election of the Nipissirinien Chiefs took place. When the votes were taken, the chief Captain arose, and called them each by name. They. made their appearance, clothed in their finest robes.

When they had received their Commissions, they gave largess of a quantity of Beaver skins and Moose hides, in order to make themselves known, and that they might be received with applause in their Offices.

This Election was followed by the Resurrection of those Persons of importance who had died since the last Feast; which means that, in accordance with the custom of the Country, their names were transferred to some of their relatives, so as to perpetuate their memory.

On the following day, the Women were occupied in fitting up, in a superb manner, a Cabin with an- arched roof, about a hundred paces long, the width and height of which were in proportion.

Although the Riches of this Country are not Sought for in the bowels of the Earth, and although most of them [16o i.e. 158] consist only in the spoils of Animals,—nevertheless, if they were transported to Europe, they would have their value. The presents that the Nipissiriniens gave to the other Nations alone would have cost in France forty or even fifty thousand francs.

After that, the same Women carried the bones of their Dead into this magnificent Room. These bones were enclosed in caskets of bark, covered with new robes of Beaver skins, and enriched with collars and scarfs of Porcelain Beads. [page 217]

Near each Dead body sat the women, in two lines, facing each other. Then entered the Captains, who acted as Stewards, and carried the dishes containing food. This Feast is for the Women only, because they evince a deeper feeling of mourning.

Afterward, about a dozen Men with carefully selected voices entered the middle of the Cabin, and began to sing a most lugubrious chant, which, being seconded by the Women in the refrains, was very sweet and sad.

[161 i.e. 159] The gloom of the night conduced not a little to this Mourning; and the darkness, lighted only by the flickering flames of two fires which had been kindled at each end of the Cabin, received their wailings and their sighs. The theme of the song consisted in a sort of homage paid to the Demon whom they invoked, and to whom their lamentations were addressed. This chant continued through the night, amid deep silence on the part of the Audience, who seemed to have only respect and admiration for so sacred a ceremony.

On the following morning, these Women distributed corn, moccasins, and other small articles that are within their means, or the products of their industry. Their chant—ever plaintive, and interspersed with sobs—seemed to be addressed to the Souls of the deceased, whom they sped on their way as it appeared, with deep regret—by continually waving branches that they held in their hands, for fear that these poor Souls might be surprised by the dread of war and the terror of arms, and that their rest might thus be disturbed. For, at the same time, [162 i.e. 160] the body of an Army could be observed descending a neighboring Mountain with frightful [page 219] cries and yells, running around at first in a circle, then in an oval; and, at last, after a thousand other figures they rushed upon the Cabin, of which they became Masters,-the Women having yielded the place, as if to an Enemy.

These Warriors became Dancers after this Victory. Each Nation, in turn, occupied the Ballroom, for the purpose of displaying their agility, until the Algonquin Captains, who acted as Masters of Ceremonies, entered ten or twelve in line, bearing flour, beavers, and some dogs still alive, with which they prepared a splendid Feast for the Hurons. The Algonquin Nations were served apart, as their Language is entirely different from the Huron.

Afterward, two Meetings were held; one consisted of the Algonquins who had been invited to this Solemnity, to whom various presents were given, according to the extent of the Alliance that existed between the Nipissiriniens and them. The bones of the Dead were borne [163 i.e. 161] between the presents given to the most intimate Friends, and were accompanied by the most precious robes and by collars of porcelain beads, which are the gold, the pearls, and the diamonds of this Country.

The second Assembly was that of the Huron Nations, at which the Nipissiriniens gave us the highest Seat, the first titles of honor, and marks of affection above all their Confederates. Here new presents were given, and so lavishly that not a single Captain withdrew empty-handed.

The Feast concluded with prizes given for physical strength, for bodily skill, and for agility. Even the Women took part in this contest, and everything was done with such moderation and reserve that—at [page 221] least, in watching them—one would never have thought that he was in the midst of an assemblage of Barbarians,—so much respect did they pay to one another, even while contending for the victory.

BUT, not to wander too far, let us return to the affairs of GOD. The happiest person in the whole Assemblage was a poor Old Woman about eighty years of age, who in the eyes of Men seemed nearest to unhappiness. For a long while [164 i.e. 162] she had lost the use of her sight; and, as she was unable to support herself during the short time she had still to live, she was compelled to follow her children wherever they went. The Name of GOD had never come to her ears; but, when the holy Ghost wishes to take possession of a heart, it is soon won. This Woman took fire at hearing the first news of her Salvation. She was angry with herself for having remained all her life in ignorance of the Truths that we propounded to her. She detested her sins, asked for Baptism, and would think of nothing but Heaven; Father Claude Pijart baptized her. Such manifest joy appeared on her features that it was easy to see that GOD exerted a powerful influence on her heart. Thus she could not sufficiently congratulate herself on her happiness; and, to show how much she felt it, she tendered as a gift a Beaver skin, having nothing more valuable. But the Father refused it, being already amply repaid at seeing a Soul so soon prepared for Heaven.

In this gathering of so many assembled Nations, we strove to win the affections of the chief personages by means of feasts and presents. In consequence of this, the Pauoitigoueieuhak invited us to go and see them [165 i.e. 163] in their own Country, [page 223] (They are a Nation of the Algonquin Language, distant from the Hurons a hundred or a hundred and twenty leagues towards the West whom we call the Inhabitants of the Sault.) We promised to pay them a visit, to see how they might be disposed, in order to labor for their Conversion,—especially as we learned that a more remote Nation whom they call Pouteatami had abandoned their own Country and taken refuge with the Inhabitants of the Sault, in order to remove from some other hostile Nation who persecuted them with endless wars. We selected Father Charles Raymbaut to undertake this journey; and as, at the same time, some Hurons were to be of the party, Father Isaac Jogues was chosen, that he might deal with them.

They started from our House of Ste. Marie, about the end of September, and after seventeen days of navigation on the great Lake or fresh-water sea that bathes the land of the Hurons, they reached the Sault, where they found about two thousand Souls, and obtained information about a great many other sedentary Nations, who have never known Europeans and have never heard of [166 i.e. 164] GOD,—among others, of a certain Nation, the Nadouessis, situated to the Northwest or West of the Sault, eighteen days' journey further away. The first nine days are occupied in crossing another great Lake that commences above the Sault; during the last nine days one has to ascend a River that traverses those lands. These Peoples till the soil in the manner of our Hurons, and harvest Indian corn and Tobacco. Their Villages are larger, and in a better state of defense, owing to their continual wars with the Kiristinons, the Irinions, and other great Nations who inhabit the same [page 225] Country. Their Language differs from the Algonquin and Huron tongues.

The Captains of this Nation of the Sault invited our Fathers to take up their abode among them. They were given to understand that this was not impossible, provided that they were well disposed to receive our instruction. After having held a Council, they replied that they greatly desired that good fortune,—that they would embrace us as their Brothers, and would profit by our words. But we need Laborers for that purpose; we must first try to win the Peoples that are nearest to us, and meanwhile pray Heaven to hasten the moment of their Conversion.

[167 i.e. 165] Father Charles Raymbaut had no sooner returned from this journey to the Saut than he reëmbarked in another Canoe, to seek the Nipissiriniens at their Winter quarters and to continue instructing them. Father René Menard, who had recently come to our assistance, went with him, for we deemed it advisable to retain Father Claude Pijart, so as not to abandon entirely a number of other Algonquin bands who come here every Year to winter with the Hurons.

The Lake was so agitated, the winds so contrary, and the storms so great, that the Canoe was compelled to put back to our Port, whence it had started; and, as the ice formed immediately afterward, it rendered the voyage impossible. Father Charles Raymbaut thereupon fell seriously ill, and has not had one day's good health since.

A great many Algonquins landed at the same time near our House, with the intention of spending the Winter here. GOD wished to give employment to [page 227] the two Fathers who knew the Algonquin Language, and who remained in health, so as thereby to save some Souls that he had chosen for Heaven; for disease carried off several children, and I do not think that a single one of them died without having received Baptism whatever opposition the parents may often have shown thereto.

[168 i.e. 166] A father, who feared that his child might be baptized, had always kept its sickness concealed. When Father Menard tried to enter his Cabin, he was rudely repulsed. He suspected the cause of this, and returned two or three times; but the Barbarian was always at the door like a Cerberus, defending the entrance. While the Father was visiting another Cabin, he felt inwardly impelled to return to the place whence he had been so often driven away. He entered without resistance, and found there only the wife of the Barbarian, for he had gone out to a feast. He asked news of her child, and she said that it was dead. Finally, after some conversation that soothed her mind, she lifted the robe that hid the little innocent, who was about to draw his last breath; and begged the Father not to approach, because her husband had forbidden her to allow it. That would have been the loss of too good an opportunity for making an Angel of Paradise of this little sufferer, No sooner was he baptized, without the mother perceiving it, than his Soul flew to Heaven,

If it was difficult to save the Children, it was no less arduous to give instruction to the Adults, The people gathered here had heard nothing but evil of us; their minds were filled with suspicion and fear; they had received disparaging accounts of our Faith; in a word, they were like [169 i.e. 167] those sick [page 229] persons who have a horror of those who wish to restore them to health. Even if we had gained nothing more than to remove all these suspicions, dispel their fears, and win their friendship, the Winter would not have been so badly spent. Besides this, there is not one who has not been sufficiently instructed; at least, we have this consolation that, if they wandered away from us when the Spring came, they took with them a sufficient knowledge of matters of the Faith to save them, or, in the event of their making a bad use of it, to justify GOD's mercies.

Father Claude Pijart also made some excursions during the Winter, to a distance of ten or twelve leagues from here, to teach some roving bands of Algonquins. Besides the children whom he sent to Heaven by means of the waters of Baptism, he Confessed some Christians, who had been instructed and baptized at Kebec and at the Three Rivers. It is a very great consolation to see poor people without a Church, without the Sacraments, without the Sacrifice, without a Preacher, without Instruction, without books,—in fine, deprived of all assistance, in the midst of the forests, leading a life externally more like that of beasts than that of other Men; notwithstanding all that, maintaining themselves in the Faith, persevering in the fear of GOD and in sentiments of piety, and living in innocence.

[170 i.e. 168] They prayed to GOD publicly, sang Devotional Hymns composed in their Language, and openly professed the Faith; they blessed GOD for having enlightened their minds so that they might know him, and desired nothing better than to dwell near the French, where they could be fully instructed [page 231] and live in the practices of a truly Christian life, whose pleasures they have enjoyed for a time. But the Iroquois have inspired such terror throughout all these Countries that these poor Christians are compelled to banish themselves, and to live in the woods, until some more powerful arm shall have subdued the insolence of their Enemies,

Fathers Claude Pijart and René‚ Menard leave us at the end of April, to return to the Nipissiriniens in their own Country, and to continue instructing them; for that Nation seems of all these Wandering Peoples, the least averse to the Faith. [page 233]



XLIX—Lettre du P. Charles Garnier à Monsieur J. M. J.;

Ste. Marie aux Hurons, ce 23———1643

L.-Epistola Patris Joannis de Brebeuf ad R. P. Mutium

Vitelleschi, Praepositum Generalem Societatis

Jesu, Romæ; ex residentia Conceptionis ad Tria

Flumina in Nova Francia, 23 Sept., 1643

SOURCE: For XLIX., we follow a contemporary copy of the original, in the archives of St. Mary's College, Montreal ; for L., we follow Father Martin's apograph of the original, also in St. Mary's archives. [page 235]

Letter of Father Charles Garnier to Monsieur J.M.J.

To Monsieur J. M. J.


Our Lord give you his holy love and his blessed peace.

It pleased God that all the letters that were written to us last Year from France should be taken by the Iroquois, Together with the good Father Jogues and two other Frenchmen: among some that were brought here were Yours, Father Buteux's, my aunt the Nun's, and those from My Cousins Bué. That is all That I have received from France. I know not whether my brother de Ste. Marie had written to me,—I have not received his letters. As for you, I suppose that you have received, both together, the letter which I wrote to you last Year and the one of the preceding Year, which had reached Québec after the departure of the Vessels. We do not yet know with certainty What has befallen our three Frenchmen whom the Iroquois have captured; nevertheless, we have heard from several sources that they were burned and killed at their arrival in the country of the Enemies; and That is more than probable. Hi sunt Martyres Caritatis et obedientioe. You will see them in the relation, and if You are In A City where there are some of ours, you can pray some one of them to show you their little [narrative] by Father .Isaac Jogues, which we send from here, when they [page 237] shall Have received it. I Think that, for want of another, Father fauyer will gladly do you This kindness. It is true that we are here in great dangers of our lives; but the advantage is, that It is for Our Master's service for whose sake to die Is worth more than a thousand lives. What if you have not so great opportunities for suffering ? Courage, nevertheless, my dear brother: Console yourself with the Cross which our lord offers you; and if you tell me that Your cowardice prevents you from receiving it at his hands As you desire, regard This cowardice As Another Cross, which you must also bear quietly. I mean that You should not grieve Yourself to Excess. Alas, we must needs endure our own selves. Why, who has nothing to endure in himself, in This Life ? That belongs only to Our Lord and to Our Lady. And he who shall lose patience With himself for his imperfections, in That very thing will render himself more imperfect than he is: my dear brother, bonum habemus domino; he loves you too much to forsake you. Console yourself. It is not a little thing, that you bear the liveries of Our Lord and of his holy mother, and that You are of their house; you will do much With a little Courage and much patience, to await the Visit of God in your Heart. A thing which I would Fear for a person of your nature would be a little weariness, if you had no occupation; but I Think that You would adequately supply yourself therewith. And, if obedience should not supply you enough, I pray Our Lord that he Console you, and always cause you to find pleasure in your Tasks; You will do me a favor to apprise me what they are. As Touching ours, It is to be on a mission six months Continually,- to wit, Both during [page 239] the autumn and winter, and even during the summer; to make frequent Journeys to the village which we have as our portion. We also went, This last winter, Father Le Moyne and I, to the Village of St. Joseph of Teanaostriae; Which Village was afflicted Last Summer by the death of two Christian men and a Christian woman, who were greatly Esteemed by us—namely, of Eustache ahatsistari, who was the first warrior of This country, and who was taken by the enemies, with father Jogues; of Thomas sauenhati, who was killed toward Autumn by the enemies, with several others of his village, who had gone to Gather a Certain Kind of Hemp; and of Christine Tarihia, Mother of Estienne Totiry, chief of the Cabin in which is our little Chapel of St. Joseph. But Our Lord abundantly made good These losses, by giving us This last winter in This village several good new Christians, and strengthening the former ones more and more; among Other Neophytes whom it has pleased him to give us, is a Captain named Thomas Tsondakwa, who had been our host for four Years; at last it has pleased God to touch His Heart, with that of a sister of his named andiora, whom we have named Marie. Since they have become Christians, we have left their Cabin to lodge with Etienne, where the chapel is,-finding too much inconvenience in being in another Cabin than That where the chapel is, which we have to enter very often, to have the Christians pray there. This Tomas Tsondakwa is a very strict man in doing well his duty as a Christian,—he is every morning among the first at the door of the chapel to hear mass; and every evening he fails not to go thither and pray to God, notwithstanding the business which his office occasions him. [page 241]

Another Captain, named Assiskwa, has also become a Christian, thanks to God, and Contents us well; the young man has left his Captaincy in order to be Exempt from several superstitious attentions to the sick, which belong to the Captains. He said one day to some of his female relatives who were diverting him from going to pray to God in the chapel: " Though I knew that 20 Men had laid Ambushes there to kill me, and one should say to me To-morrow they will no longer be there; wait till To-morrow to go and pray to God,’ I would do nothing of the kind. " Every Saturday our Christians Confess, and on Sundays we instruct them in the catechism, in which we question them all: it is a pleasure to see Captains and old women respond. Estienne makes of his Cabin a School of devotion,—not taking pleasure in speaking of Anything else to Those who come to see him. And he is not Satisfied with That, etc. Instead of teaching them the Catechism on Sunday, we have them say their Rosary in two Choirs; they find much: pleasure therein. They are very fond of their chaplet, and most of them wear it hanging on their Necks. We use a Device to accustom them to Know Sunday, which is to have them recite the first decade of their Rosary on Monday, the 2nd on Tuesday, etc.; then on Sunday they say it Completely, and Thus they accustom themselves to Know Sunday,. even when Hunting.

The ministers of Satan have taken pleasure in exciting, This past winter, many evil Tongues Against our Christians; they mock them, they threaten to kill them, or at least to drive them from the village;. they rarely invite them to the feasts; but These persecutions are what establishes the church of God. [page 243] Truly It is a great Consolation to See in a Barbarous land several Souls As pure as are Those of the good Religious. My Dear brother, I close here: Beseeching you to pray very specially for Him who is, etc.

C. G.

From Ste. Marie Of the Hurons, this 23rd, 1643.

Father chastelain, Father Pijart, and Father René‚ Menard, who are here, commend themselves earnestly to your good Prayers. Alas, what will become of My brother de Ste. Marie ? I am writing to him. [page 245]

Letter of Father Jean de Brébeuf to the Very

Reverend Father Mutius Vitelleschi, Gen-

eral Of the Society Of Jesus, at Rome.


Your Paternity has been able to learn the early state of these Canadian missions, both from our letters, and especially from the relation written in Italian last year by Father Joseph Bressani, who through out this winter has discharged the office of parish priest at Québec in an excellent manner. The present state of our Huron mission, of which I here conduct the administration, Your Paternity also sufficiently knows from the letters of Father Hierosme Lalemant, superior of that mission. There are two or three things, nevertheless, which I think it my duty to relate,—both because Father Lalemant was unable to write them, as he did not know them; and also because it is important that Your Reverence should be informed thereof.

The first is, that those Huron canoes which conveyed both the relations for this year, and almost all the letters of the Huron Fathers, and certain other things with them, were captured and plundered by the enemies, at the close of this summer, with the loss of nearly everything, and of most [of the men]. . . . There were eleven canoes; 23 Hurons were in part killed, in part carried away to captivity or to the flames. . . . Moreover, all the merchandise and even our furniture was captured [page 247] and plundered; most of the letters were either carried away, along with the relation, or torn and thrown into the water. Therefore, Your Paternity will not wonder if either you receive no letters from the Huron Fathers, or, at all events, only a few, and those torn and obliterated. Though I pass over the other incursions of the enemies, which were uninterrupted throughout this summer; though I also pass in silence the massacre of our French, who were captured and slain in the new post of Montreal,—from what I have said alone, Your Paternity sufficiently understands in what great straits are the Canadian trade and the whole Christian cause, and how great dangers those must undergo who come down hither from the Hurons, or who depart hence to go thither. ,And on this account Father Joseph Bressani, Father Gabriel Druillete, and I shall perhaps be compelled again to stay and winter at Québec.

The other thing that I would have Your Paternity know, pertains to Father Isaac Jogues,—of whose captivity we have recently been informed, and of whom the Fathers who are with the Hurons write as if he were dead,—nay, more, they even send his eulogium to Your Paternity, as of one dead. But we have assuredly learned, by positive messages through his fellow captives who have fled and come hither to us,—nay, also, from his own letters,—that by the grace of God he is still alive, and freely goes about among the enemies, in the manner of the other captives. The Father, it is true, and those two, captive. attendants of his, when they first arrived a! the habitations of the enemies, were all subjected to manifold and excruciating tortures. The Father's left-hand thumb was cut off, and the forefinger of his [page 249] right hand was crushed and mutilated; one of the attendants also had a forefinger cut off. Indeed, all had their beards and nails torn out, and fire was also applied;—finally, however, all the Frenchmen were granted their lives. They now had hope that they might be led back to us, free, safe, and unharmed; but, as the barbarians’ character is inconstant and fickle, their inclinations were changed, after a few days. One of ours was suddenly killed, and their intention of conducting the others home was renounced; and, besides, from that time even to the present day, they have not ceased [to lay] snares for us and . . . . just as they do for both the Hurons and the Algonquins. Indeed, even while I am writing these things, lo, a messenger reports that nine Hurons have been given over to massacre, and many wounded, and all our little baggage, which they were carrying back, totally lost. Moreover, there were not a few of these articles, and they were most necessary for the sustenance of ours who are there. May the Lord's name be blessed; the Lord Gave, the Lord has taken away.

From these things it is evident in what a very evil condition Canadian affairs are placed; but, on another side, these unhappy afflictions are by so much richer in heavenly gifts, as they are more lamentable. Not vice rules here, but virtue and piety: not only among ours, who everywhere show themselves men, and true sons of the Society; but also among our French and among the Barbarians,-nor alone in the case of those Barbarians who have already enrolled their names for the faith, but also in the case of others who do not yet profess the faith. For they scarcely practice their former superstitions; and we [page 251] might hope, if we now enjoyed peace, to bring all, in a short time, to the faith. . . . I earnestly commend myself to Your Paternity's Holy sacrifices and prayers; and on my knees I do urgently beseech your blessing; inasmuch as I am

Your Paternity's

Most humble and obedient

Servant in Christ,


From the residence of the Conception,

at the three rivers in New France.

September 23, 1643.

[page 253]


Relation of 1642 - 43




Source: We follow a copy of the original Cramoisy edition (H. 8r), in Lenox Library.

There is but one part to this Relation , of which we give herewith the first three chapters ; the rest will be contained in Volumes XXIV. and XXV.

[page 255]





IN THE YEAR 1642 AND 1643.

Sent to Rev. Father JEAN FILLEAU,

Provincial of the Society of Jesus

in the Province of France.

By Rev. Father Barthelemy Vimont,

of the the same Society, Superior of

all the Mission.



Sebastien cramoisy,



ed by

Printer in ordinary to the King;

and to the Queen Regent,

ruë St. Jac-ques, at the



Gabriel Cramoisy.

sign of the Storks.

M. DC. LI.


[page 259]

Table of the Chapters contained in this Book.


Relation of occurances in New France, in the year1642 and 1643


Chapter I.

Of the Residence at Kebec, and the state of the colony


Chapter II

Of the Ursuline Seminary


Chapter III

Of the Residence at Sillery, and how the Savages spent the year


Chapter IV

Of the manner of living among the Christians at Sillery


Chapter V

Continuation of the same subject


Chapter VI

Of the coming of some Atticamegues, and of their Baptism.


Chapter VII

Of the Hurons who wintered at Québec and Sillery


Chapter VIII

Of the Mission at Tadousac


Chapter IX

Of the Hospital


Chapter X

Of events at the Three Rivers, and at the Fort Richelieu


Chapter XI

Of occurances at Mont-réal


Chapter XII

Of incursions by the Iroquois, and the captivity of Father Jogues


Chapter XIII

Some observations touching the Hurons


Chapter XIV

Of the deliverance of Father Isaac Jogues, and his arrival in France


[page 261]

Extract from the Royal License.

BY Grace and Privilege of the King, Sebastien Cramoisy, Sworn Merchant Bookseller, Printer in Ordinary to the King, Director of the Royal Press at the Castle of the Louvre, and Sometime Alderman of our good city of Paris, is authorized to Print, or cause to be Printed, a Book Entitled.- Relation de ce qui s'est passe en La Nouvelle France, en l’annee 1642. et 1643. Envoyee au R. P. JEAN FILLEAU Provincial de la Compagnie de JESUS en La Province de France, par le R. P. Barthelemy Vimont de La mesme Company Superior de tout la Mission. And during the time and space of, five consecutive years, all other Booksellers and Printers are forbidden to Print, or cause to be Printed, the said Book, under pretext of disguise, or possible alterations therein, on penalty of confiscation and the fine provided by this License. Given at Paris, the 24th of December, 1643.

By the King in his Council,


[page 263]

Permission oF the Reverend Father Provincial.

WE, Jean Filleau, Provincial of the Society of Jesus in the Province of France, have granted, from this time forth, to sieur Sebastien Cramoisy, Sworn Merchant Bookseller, Printer in Ordinary to the King, Director of the Royal Press at the Castle of the Louvre, and Sometime Alderman of the city of Paris, the right to print, the Relations of New France; done at Paris, January 14.

Jean Filleau

[page 265]

[1] Relation of occurrences in new France, in the year 1642 and 1643.



WILL NOT this year find your usual satisfaction in the Relation; for the best part of it which is that concerning the Hurons, was taken by the Hiroquois, together with our Fathers correspondence, in a defeat of 40 Hurons, which occurred on the 9th of last June, near Montreal. Father Isaac Jogues, now captive among the Barbarians, writes to us, on the last day of June, [2] that it has fallen into his hands, along with sundry letters of our Fathers among the Hurons; I know not whether he can at all convey it to Your reverence by some way unknown to us. I doubt not that it is full of great consolation; for we have learned, in general, that the principal Hurons are beginning to relish the things of God in good earnest, and to dispose themselves to Baptism, so that about a hundred have been chosen this year to be received into the number of the children of God. At the 3 Rivers this year, I saw that the Huron Christians were beginning to separate themselves, and that publicly,—so that on one side was a daily increasing band of believers, openly professing Christianity; and on the other, that of the Infidels, who begin to decrease in both esteem and boldness. I send your reverence the Relation for this region, which will furnish examples of Virtue, [page 267] and show notable increase of Christianity; but it must, as usual, be tempered with the bitterness of manifold evil tidings, arising from the side of the Hiroquois, [3] who, had we not some help from France, would undoubtedly ruin here both the faith and commerce. There is hardly an open passage left for us to reach the Hurons; our baggage last year was taken going up,—this year, coming down. At this writing, I learn that it is now captured for the third time on the way upward; and therefore we are obliged to send to your Reverence Father le Jeune, as one of long experience in the affairs of these regions, that he may more effectually represent them to those whose thoughts are favorable to this poor land. Such has been the advice and desire of Monsieur de Montmagny, our Governor, and of all the inhabitants, who have urgently besought me to the same end. I doubt not that your Reverence's charity will effectually embrace the cause of God and the salvation of these peoples, forsaken throughout so many generations; every year we experience the singular fruits of your cordial and fatherly affection; and above all I beseech the help of your Holy Sacrifices and of all our Fathers and Brethren who are under your charge. [page 269]



HE FRENCH COLONY is the chief means and only foundation for the conversion of all these tribes: there is no better or more efficacious way of procuring their salvation than by succoring this settlement, which, thanks be to God, increases little by little, and overcomes the great impediments it encounters,—as the remoteness of help from Europe, the scarcity of laborers, difficulties of trade, and the long Winter which covers the earth, five and even six months, with snow. Notwithstanding all these hindrances, nearly every French household now provides its little store of wheat, rye, peas, barley, and other grains necessary to the life of man,--- some more, some less,—some making provision for haply six months; others, for only a [5] part of that time. Now they begin to understand the nature of the place, and the right seasons for tilling the soil. The work is well started: it still has need of help; but, thanks be to God, it makes notable progress. Moreover, in every household you will see many children, comely and of good wit; and in them all you will find what is most important,-a warm desire for their own salvation, and a singular zeal for virtue. It would seem that the purpose of entire devotion to God is born with the thought of establishing oneself in New France. Nor is this a small favor of God to [page 271] the land; it has ever appeared, and is manifest still more than ever in the persons of the Gentlemen in the Company of Montreal, and of all the dwellers in their settlement on this side. France may see this favor in part; we here see the rest. After all, it would be a difficult task to set forth the care and pains continually taken by Monsieur de Montmagny, our Governor, both hitherto and now, in relieving the Colony's hardships,- wherein all others would have lost courage, times without number. Father Bressany has had charge this year of the religious instruction [6] of the French at Québec; which office he has worthily fulfilled, and has produced remarkable effects by his Preaching. He has been assisted by Father Enemond Massé, who has nobly labored, though broken with age,—supplying by courage his want of strength, unto the great edification of all the residents. Father de Brebeuf and I went every Feast day and Sunday from Sillery to Quebec, to help them in hearing the Confessions, to speak a word of exhortation to the French, and to minister to the consolation of all.

Our Lord has called to himself, this year, Father Charles Raymbault, the first Religious of our Society to die in these quarters. He was very zealous for the establishment of the French Colony, and for the conversion of these tribes; he had managed the affairs of our Mission with much prudence and fervor, during several years in France, and the same zeal prompted him to ask urgently that he be numbered with the laborers of this new Church. His request being granted, he was sent four years ago to the Hurons, [7] at the Request of our Fathers there, who, knowing his prudence and courage, hoped to employ [page 273] him for the discovery of some remoter nations. And, as the Algonquin speech was necessary for this, they sent him, in company with Father Claude Pijart, to the Nipissiriniens, an Algonquin people,—in which mission, journeys and labors are past belief. There he was seized with a slow sickness, which wasted him little by little, insomuch that our Fathers had to send him down here, for greater convenience of food and medicine. But our good God found him ripe for Heaven; and, on October 22nd of last year, he died, after languishing during the space of three months,—which he spent in great peace of mind, in full resignation to the will of God, and with a very special solace at dying in new France, and having gained his disease while working for the salvation of the Savages. Monsieur the Governor, esteeming his virtue, desired that he be buried near the body of the late Monsieur de Champlain; which is in a separate tomb, erected expressly to honor the remembrance of that illustrious [8] personage, to who New France has owed so much.

I will now speak of the life and death of Monsieur Nicollet, Interpreter and Agent for the Gentlemen of the Company of New France. He died ten days after the Father [Raymbault], and had lived in this region twenty-five years. What I shall say of him will aid to a better understanding of the country. He came to New France in the year sixteen hundred and eighteen; and forasmuch as his nature and excellent memory inspired good hopes of him, he was sent to winter with the Island Algonquins, in order to learn their language. He tarried with them two years, alone of the French, and always joined the Barbarians in their excursions and journeys,—undergoing [page 275] such fatigues as none but eyewitnesses can conceive; he often passed seven or eight days without food, and once, full seven weeks with no other nourishment than a little bark from the trees. He accompanied four hundred Algonquins, who went during that time to make peace with the Hyroquois, which he successfully accomplished; [9] and would to God that it had never been broken, for then we would not now be suffering the calamities which move us to groans, and which must be an extraordinary impediment in the way of converting these tribes. After this treaty of peace, he went to live eight or nine years with the Algonquin Nipissiriniens, where he passed for one of that nation, taking part in the very frequent councils of those tribes, having his own separate cabin and household, and fishing and trading for himself. He was finally recalled, and appointed Agent and Interpreter. While in the exercise of this office, he was delegated to make a journey to the nation called People of the sea, and arrange peace between them and the Hurons, from whom they are distant about three hundred leagues Westward. He embarked in the Huron country, with seven Savages; and they passed by many small nations, both going and returning. When they arrived at their destination, they fastened two sticks in the earth, and hung gifts thereon, so as to relieve these tribes from the notion of mistaking them for enemies to be massacred. When he was two days' journey from that nation, he [10] sent one of those Savages to bear tidings of the peace, which word was especially well received when they heard that it was a European who carried the message; they despatched several young men to meet the Manitouiriniou, [page 277] —that is to say, " the wonderful man. " They meet him; they escort him, and carry all his baggage. He wore a grand robe of China damask, all strewn with flowers and birds of many colours. No sooner did they perceive him than the women and children fled, at the sight of a man who carried thunder in both hands,—for thus they called the two pistols that he held. The news of his coming quickly spread to the places round about, and there assembled four or five thousand men. Each of the chief men made a feast for him, and at one of these banquets they served at least sixscore Beavers. The peace was concluded; he returned to the Hurons, and some time later to the three Rivers, where he continued his employment as Agent and Interpreter, to the great satisfaction of both the French and the Savages, by whom he was equally and singularly [11] loved. In so far as his office allowed, he vigorously cooperated with our Fathers for the conversion of those peoples, whom he could shape and bend howsoever he would, with a skill that can hardly be matched. Monsieur Olivier, Chief Agent of the Gentlemen of the Company, having gone to France last year, sieur Nicollet came down to Quebec in his place, with joy and lively consolation at sight of the peace and devotion at Quebec: but his joy was not long. A month or two after his arrival, he made a journey to the three Rivers for the deliverance of a Savage prisoner; which zeal cost him his life, in a shipwreck. He sailed from Quebec, toward seven o’clock in the evening, in the shallop of Monsieur de-Savigny, bound for the three Rivers. Before they reached Sillery, a gust of wind from the Northeast, which had raised a horrible storm upon the great [page 279] river, filled the shallop with water and caused it to sink, after two or three turns in the waves. [12] The passengers did not immediately sink, but clung for some time to the shallop. Monsieur Nicollet had leisure to say to Monsieur de Savigny, " Sir, save yourself; you can swim. I cannot; as for me, I depart to God. I commend to you my wife and my daughter. " One by one, the waves tore them all from the shallop, which was floating overturned against a rock. Monsieur de Savigny alone plunged into the water, and swam amid the billows and waves, which were like small mountains. The shallop was not very far from shore, but it was now black night, and there prevailed a sharp frost, which had already frozen the borders of the stream; so that the sieur de Savigny, perceiving his heart and strength fail, made a vow to God, and, soon afterward striking with his foot, he felt the ground. Drawing himself out of the water, he came to our house at Sillery, half dead, and remained a long time without strength to speak; then at last he told us of the woeful mischance, which, besides the death of Monsieur Nicollet, so grievous for all the country, [13] had lost him three of his best men, and a great part of his furniture and stores. He and Mademoiselle his wife endured this notable affliction in a barbarous country with great patience and resignation to the will of God, and without abating a jot of their courage. The Savages of Sillery, at the noise of Monsieur Nicollet's shipwreck, ran to the spot, and manifested unspeakable grief to see him appear no more. This was not the first time that this man had exposed himself to the peril of death for the weal and salvation of the Savages,—he did so very often, and left us [page 281] examples beyond one's expectations from a married man, which recall Apostolic times, and inspire even the most fervent Religious with a desire to imitate him. Twelve days after their shipwreck, the prisoner for whose deliverance he had embarked arrived here. Monsieur des Roches, commander at the three Rivers, had ransomed him, according to Monsieur the Governor's order. He came ashore at Sillery, and was thence conducted to the Hospital, to be dressed for the sores and [14] wounds inflicted by the Algonquins after his capture. They had stripped the flesh from his arms, in some places even to the bones; but the hospitable Nuns received him with much charity and had him dressed with such care that in three weeks or a month he was able to return to his own country. All our Neophytes showed him no less compassion and charity than the Algonquins up there had shown him cruelty. They gave him two kind Christian Savages to guide him unto the lands of the Abnaquiois, who are neighbors to his nation. Charles Meiaschawat, well known in the former Relations, and whom I shall again mention hereinafter, was one of those appointed to conduct him back. He was exceedingly glad to make this journey, and to have this opportunity of speaking of our holy faith to the Abnaquiois and other neighboring peoples. In fine, the entire winter at Québec passed with its wonted peace and devotion; but the whole of Spring was one continued season of manifold heavy tidings from the direction [15] of the Hiroquois. Then came the saddest and most woeful news that could ever have reached us,—the death of great Louys the Just, which grieved the Christian Savages equally with the French since those esteemed [page 283] themselves his natural subjects no less than these; and therefore had we ever sought to oblige them to acknowledge him for their sovereign, and yield him their fullest affection. The remembrance of his former gifts to them was still so fresh that, on first hearing the news, they were all dejected, and we could hardly comfort them, seeing that we had the like need. of consolation for the loss of so kind a Prince. But they were somewhat calmed when told that he was yet living in the person of his son, who had succeeded to his Estates and Crown; and so they went to pray to God for him.

This sad news was augmented by other tidings, which renewed our affliction; this was the death of Monsieur the Cardinal Duke, who, besides the care that he had for old France, was not forgetful of the new, which [16] amid its great difficulties, and its dangers, breathed afresh at the remembrance and the promises of that great heart, and was with joy and hope awaiting a necessary aid, when we learned of his death. When we remembered, that Winter, what Madame the Duchess d'Eguillon and Madame the Countess de Brienne, who have always so vigorously supported the cause of the Colony and of the Savages, wrote to us of him, and the assured help that we expected from him, the greatest evils appeared to us small, indeed; but it has pleased God to dispose affairs differently, in the secrets of his infinite wisdom, which are to us unknown. I trust, however, that we shall not be disappointed in our expectations; since the persons to whom divine providence has committed the Government of France, have no less of zeal and power than they had, to succor these poor countries, and contribute to the [page 285] conversion of these peoples. We are well assured, we nowise doubt, that the divine goodness which has made our young King succeed to the grandeurs [17] of his father, will also make him heir to the zeal which he had for the salvation of our Savages and of all these nations.

We are also very certain of the good will and affection of the Queen Regent, of which we have hitherto had proofs too manifest not to receive a sensible consolation and very strong hopes amid so many grievous accidents. In a word, she shows for us a mother's heart.

We received all these sad tidings on saint John's day, by the Miscou vessel, which came as far as Tadoussac; the other ships of the fleet were later than ever this year, which was a notable increase of affliction to us, and also to the Savages. We were beginning to fear some new misfortune. Finally, God sent them to us, on the holy day of our Lady’s Assumption. As we were about to begin Mass, two sails appeared a league distant from our port; joy and consolation seized the hearts of all the inhabitants, but it very greatly redoubled when a [18] shallop came and brought us the news of the persons who were there: Father Quentin, with three worthy workers, Religious of our Society, and very apt for the language—to wit, Fathers Leonard Garreau, Gabriel Druillet, and Noël Chabanel. There were also three well-chosen Nuns, whose courage exceeds their sex—to wit, Mother Marie de Ste. Geneviefve, and Mother Anne de St. Joachim, Hospital nuns from the house of Diepe; and Mother Anne des Seraphins, Ursuline, from the Convent of Plermel in Brittany. ,It required great strength for these good women to [page 287] overcome the dangers of the Ocean, the fear of the Barbarous country, and the importunate words of those who wished to turn them aside in France from so holy an enterprise. Monsieur d’Aliboust, a very honest and most virtuous Gentleman, associated in the Society of Gentlemen of Montreal, with his wife and his sister-in-law, of similar courage and virtue , were in one of these ships: all this blessed company landed at Québec, and came to consecrate itself of God and to the salvation of the Savages, under the protection and the [19] favor of the Empress of the Universe. I was forgetting the piety of an honest Priest named Monsieur Chartrier, who increased the company, and came to devote himself to the service of the Ursuline Mothers, with the desire and purpose of serving God in this country the rest of his days, and contributing what he can, in the way of strength and industry, to the salvation of the Savages. [page 289]



INCE the Ursuline Mothers are established at Quebec, I will here set forth what pertains to them. This Seminary is one of the fairest ornaments of the Colony, and a marked help for the detention and conversion of the Savages. The sisters went into their new dwelling, quitting the one which they held by lease, on the 21st of November of last year, day on which the most blessed Virgin consecrated herself to God in the temple. Their [20] building is large and substantial, and thoroughly and carefully constructed. They have discovered an excellent spring of water in the foundations of the dwelling, to their very great convenience. They are in a place of safety so far as is possible in Canada, being located from 80 to 100 paces from the fort of Kebec. They have always had a fairly good number of Savage girls, both permanent and temporary boarders, besides the little French girls; and many Savages, men and women, often come to visit them and to receive some help and instruction. Here are some details of the events of this year in that holy house.

The little seminary girls have excelled in care to prepare themselves for holy Communion, which they have usually asked 8 days before approaching it. They would spend this time in preparation For it: sometimes they would cast themselves on their knees: before their mistress, in order to manifest their [page 291] desire, and to declare to her their intentions of steadfastly applying the holy Communion to the conversion of their fellow countrymen [21] and to the good of those who bestow upon them charities in France. There are some who, in addition to the customary prayers and the evening examination, spend considerable time in private prayer to God, before going to sleep. These private prayers are usually addressed to the blessed Virgin. It is a great aid to their salvation to give them this form of worship.

They sometimes very artlessly mention in conversations their ejaculatory prayers. "My Mother," they say, " I very often speak to God in my heart. I take great pleasure in pronouncing the holy names of Jesus and Mary. " They are very easily touched with remorse for their sins, and declare them very candidly to their teachers, and have no rest until they have made their confession. The Nuns have repeatedly seen them stop to fix their attention before beginning their private tasks, and pronounce aloud the name of God, or of the Virgin, or of some Saint whom they wished to honor at that moment.

[22] A Savage woman, having come to sojourn at. the seminary for some days,-in order to prepare herself for holy Baptism, which she ardently desired,—greatly edified the Nuns by her fervor. She incessantly urged them to instruct her in that which was necessary; she would even go in quest of' all the little boarders, one after the other, to rehearse what had been given her to learn. A Nun,. having one day found her leaping for joy, asked her the reason. " The Father, " she said, " has assured me that I should soon be baptized, and that I had learned well."

A Seminary pupil, named Barbe, having been [page 293] severely reproved for her fault, "I have well deserved that, " said she, " for I who am instructed and baptized commit a much greater fault than they who transgress, and have not yet a knowledge of the prayers. "

This child has excellent notions of God; I myself have often talked with her outside the seminary. She has a lively wit and very good judgment, and a docile temper; she belongs to a man very [23 ] rude and carnal,, whom, on that account, it has not yet been expedient to admit to baptism; he wishes it,. but he is r not yet willing to forsake his bad habits. As soon as this child knows that he is approaching the seminary, she goes to hide herself. They found her one day in a corner, all chilled with fear on that account; they asked what ails her. " It is Kimichsamisman, "--- that man is thus called,—" who wishes to take me away; what shall I do ? They do not pray to God in his cabin,—even if he desired to, his wife would stop him; they do nothing but evil in there; there is only one person at all there who prays to God. I do not at all wish to go from you till I can read and write, and know all that is necessary for going to Heaven. Provide for me when I shall be grown up, so that I can live with the good Christians of Sillery without fear of this man. "

A little girl, aged eight or nine years, left the seminary last Autumn, to return to her parents, and wintered with them near the [24] fort of Richelieu. At the coming of Spring, they returned; this poor child came to beg the Mothers to take her back; they refused her at first, for some just reasons, and expressly because her parents wished to have her. She began to weep, and would stay in spite of them, and [page 295] in spite of the Nuns; nevertheless, they sent her back. She returns soon afterward,- they refuse her again; finally, she seizes her opportunity, at the Procession of the Blessed Sacrament, to return the third time. The Nuns were that day feasting the Savages: her parents were there, and, when they wished to go away to Sillery, the girl escaped from them, and went to lie down near the door of the Mothers, saying to them: " I wish to be instructed; have pity on me; I have nothing to do with my parents in this matter. " The rain comes on; she stirs not for that. She would have spent the night there, if her .tears had not constrained the Nuns to open the door of the house to her, where she entered, as into a paradise. The poor child has not one of the quickest wits in the world,—she does what she can; her good will supplies the [25] want of intellect.

We have learned some news of the little Huron Therese who sojourned two years in this seminary, and was taken last year by the Hiroquois, with Father Jogues, and with her uncle, called Joseph, who escaped this Spring from the hands of the Iroquois. I will speak of this at more length hereinafter. He came to Kebec after his deliverance, and went to greet the Ursuline Mothers. This is what he related of his captive niece. " She is not ashamed, " he said, "of her Baptism. She prays publicly to God; she says that she believes; she often confesses herself to Father Jogues; and she obeys me in everything. I would often exhort her to do well, and not to lose courage. I am much obliged to you, my Mothers, " the poor man said, " for the good instructions that you have given her,—she forgets them not, she knows all that you teach. She speaks to Father [page 297] Jogues when ever she sees him; but these things do not prevent her from being exceedingly sad, living among our cruel enemies. She has well endured the cold and inconveniences of the Winter;. she was very [26] sick, but God has restored her health. I would often say to her: 'Have courage,- this life is short; your labors will have an end, and you will be very happy in Heaven, if you persevere.' She has no rosary; she uses her fingers to recite it, or little pebbles, that she lays on the ground at each Ave Maria that she says. She often spoke to me of you. 'Alas,' she said, ‘if the virgin sisters should see me in this condition among these wicked Iroquois who know not God, how they would pity me! "The good Joseph, who related this to the Nuns, was accompanied by three or four other Hurons who had escaped with him.

The parlor of these good ladies often serves as classroom,—the Savages from without coming thither purposely to see them, and to ask to be instructed, or to repeat the prayers; there are some who have taken the time when the children were saying their prayers or answering questions, to enter the parlor or the Chapel, and join in their devotion. The Atikamegues, who are Montagnais peoples in the direction of the North, during the time that they sojourned near Quebec, often came [27] to visit the Nuns, in order to hear or learn some good word; they would enter the parlor evening and morning, with importunity even, for the sake of repeating their prayers or the Catechism. The expenses attending these holy visits and necessary instructions are great and unavoidable, and perhaps hardly yield to those incurred for the seminary pupils ordinarily detained [page 299] after the lesson; it is necessary to relieve the hunger of these poor people. I say nothing here of Madame de la Pelterie; for a year ago from Spring she went to Montreal, to be present at the beginning of that new and holy settlement. The Nuns have this year enlarged their buildings, in order to have a Chapel, and to accommodate more Nuns and Seminary pupils. It is true that this extension is only just begun,—there is more left to do than there has been done; patience will conquer everything. This virtue is the miracle of Canada. [page 301]



HE little village of St. Joseph, called Sillery, two scant leagues distant from Quebec, is composed of about 35 or 40 families of Christian Savages who have settled there, and live there all year, except the times for their hunting; these are often joined by many of those who are still roving,-partly to receive some assistance, partly to be instructed in the mysteries of our holy faith. This number will seem small to those who are not acquainted with the state of a roving Savage; but sufficiently large to those who are thus acquainted, and know the life which these poor wretches formerly led. Moreover, small though it be, it has certainly been very efficient; for [29] it has been like the seed of Christianity amid this great Barbarism. The good reputation of the Savages who have betaken themselves thither, and who there publicly exercise their Christian duties, has spread abroad on all sides; from Tadoussac and Miskou even to the Hurons, nearly all speak of imitating them. These resident families are composed of two sorts of persons,-one Montagnais, the other Algonquins. The Montagnais are those who reside nearer Kebec, and are thus called on account of our high mountains. The Algonquins are further back; the latter are of two sorts,-some are of the Island, .and from various places, extending toward the [page 303] Hurons; the others are neighbors of the Montagnais, and as if mingled with them. The knowledge of God, and intercourse with the French of Kebec, has rendered the latter more supple and more docile; the others, although nearly all ruined and reduced to nothing, have remained in a strange pride, and have hitherto occasioned us great hindrances to the conversion of the other Algonquins, and of the Hurons themselves, who are obliged to pass through [30] their country, in order to come down hither. We have, as yet, for all these resident families only four little houses, on the French plan; to these, God helping, we are going to add this Autumn two others, begun last winter, by means of some alms which have been given us for this purpose. Some persons distinguished in virtue and in merit, of our old France, are the ones who have undertaken in private the advancement of some of these families,—it is a work of charity excellently well applied. We are planning for still another, for next Spring, which is to be dedicated to saint François; the man to whom it is promised already bears the same name; such is the wish and the devotion of a person of merit, of our old France, who has affection for our Savages, and has chosen this family for the sake of doing it good, and of regarding it as his own. The houses are built half on our side, and half on the side of the Hospital, which is separated from us by a hill or mound about sixty paces wide. The [31] Montagnais have chosen our side, the .Algonquins have taken that of the Hospital; the principal Savages are lodged in these houses on the French plan, the others dwell, in their fashion, under cabins of bark,—each on the side chosen by his own tribe, waiting until we can procure [page 305] for them also some small buildings, as for their companions. The principal advantages of these houses are the little lofts in which they bestow their provisions, and their little belongings, which formerly became scattered and lost for want of a place in which to keep them. It has not been feasible to do more: for, in proportion to the houses, it is necessary to aid in clearing lands for those who are lodged. At the start, we had means of supporting eight workmen at Sillery; they are at present reduced to four; and still we hear from France that the amount of the donation of the late Monsieur de Sillery, intended for their maintenance, is detained in France. 1 know not what to think of this, except that all this matter is the work of God. It is his goodness and power which have given it a start, and [3z] will now give it such progress as he wills. 1 am very certain of one thing, - that it is still more difficult to continue and maintain it than it was to begin it.

Now let us observe how the Savages have spent their years at Sillery. The ships weighed anchor from before Kebec the 7th of October of last year, 1642. Their departure produces a wonderful silence here, and directs each man's attention to his own family, in deep tranquillity.

Our Savages of Sillery, and some others who had united with them, continued their fishing for Eels which they had begun some time before; this is a very fertile harvest which God offers for the gathering, at Kebec and in the surrounding regions, every year, from the beginning of September to the end of October, in the great river of St. Lawrence. At that time, they found this fish in prodigious abundance; .the French salt it, the Savages smoke it, both make [page 307] provision thereof for Winter. The Savages leave their little houses to carry on this fishing, and encamp [33] a musket range away, so that the refuse of the fish which they prepare may not infect them. While there, they came every day to holy Mass, although they had often spent the night in fishing, One of our Fathers gave them a word of exhortation before the Mass. At evening, the same Father went to the cabins to have them pray to God. Their fishing done, which was toward the beginning of November, they returned to their houses, and filled their little stores with smoked fish. Those who have as yet no house, lodge in cabins, each on his own side. They were no sooner assembled, than thirteen canoes of the nation of the Atikamegues came to see them, in order to winter with them, and receive instruction, They lodged on the side of the Montagnais, near Jean Baptiste, who is their Captain. Father Buteux, who had come down from the three Rivers to winter at Sillery, had charge of the instruction of both parties,—that is to say, of the Montagnais and of the Atikamegues. they lived together, speaking the same language. Father Dequen had [34] for his share the instruction of the Algonquins. This is the plan we followed all the winter: Father Dequen went every morning to the hospital, in the Algonquin quarter, to say Mass: men, women, and children all were there. The Chapel and the ward of the sick were often filled. Before Mass, the Father pronounced aloud in their language the prayers, which ; each one also repeated aloud. Afterward he explained to them, at length, one of the mysteries of our holy Faith. Mass being said, the Father went through the cabins to teach in private those who were to be [page 309] baptized, or who were preparing to receive communion. After noon, I assumed the charge of teaching the catechism to the Algonquin children. They assembled in the ward of the sick, with as much diligence and fervor as those of our France. If their stability were equally firm, they would yield to them in nothing. The reward for catechism was a knife, or a piece of bread, at other times a chaplet,—sometimes a cap, or an axe, for the tallest and the most intelligent; it is an excellent opportunity for relieving the misery of these poor peoples. The [35] parents were charmed to see the fervor of their children,. who went through the cabins to show their prizes. At evening, Father Dequen returned to the Chapel, where they again assembled for prayers. The Father, approaching the Hospital, cried aloud, " Come, all, to prayers; " at this cry each went forth in silence, and ran to the Chapel, where the prayers lasted about a quarter of an hour, and the instruction likewise,—all in great modesty and devotion. Seeing the Savages in this condition, I have very often been astonished at the indolence of countless Christians in our old France, who have never been able to bring themselves to accord God a half-quarter of an hour an evening, on their knees, to say their prayer. I know not what they will answer at the judgment of God.

The Hospital Nuns often intoned, at prayers and at catechism, some hymn in Algonquin speech. The Savages take much pleasure in singing, and succeed. in it very well. Usually, too, they took the girls: aside to hear them in the catechism, in the [36] ward of the sick, or at their grating, while the boys were instructed separately, so that all could say their [page 311] lesson; for, if any one were omitted, he began to weep. Distributing one day a loaf of bread to the children after catechism, I offered some to one, who declined to receive it, and began to weep, saying, " How? would you have me eat, when I have said nothing ? " When they were in need, the catechism was followed by a little feast, or sagamité‚, to relieve their hunger. The Nuns contributed in their turn to the necessary expenses; and, generally speaking, in addition to the care and succor of the sick, they have practiced a singular charity throughout the year toward these resident families,—notably toward the Algonquins who are of their precinct. They have often had two or three cabins of the poorest of these on their hands; it is incredible what expenses one is obliged to incur on such occasions; the misery and necessity is such that conscience is compelled thereto. So much for the Algonquins.

Father Buteux has observed the same plan for the Montagnais and Atikaniegues, [37] except that when the latter had betaken themselves a little way into the woods on a small eminence near Sillery, he was obliged to go thither every day after Mass, and toward evening, when he assembled the men and the women apart. The snows were from 3 to four feet deep. I have repeatedly seen him return at evening—night having already set in—with a lantern in his hand, which the impetuous wind snatched from him or extinguished, and then overturned him in the snows from top to bottom of the hill. That may astonish those who have known him in France,—infirm to the last degree, and nearly always on the sick list. I will mention in a separate Chapter the principal incidents of the Baptism of the Atikamegues. [page 313]

In this manner the Savages spent the first part of the winter. Toward the middle of January, the snows being already deep and abundant, they all withdrew from the cabins at Sillery, and went to about a quarter of a league from Kebec, to make their sledges there:, and to begin their first hunt; they remained there about three weeks. Father Buteux followed the Atikamegues, and went [38] to lodge in their cabins; these good people were delighted to see him lodged with them, and all exclaimed, " In truth you are of our nation; in truth you love us. " They went a quarter of a league every day, so as to come to Quebec and hear Mass, notwithstanding the rigor of the cold and the snows. Usually they went into the Chapel of the Ursulines, where Father Buteux taught them. They also went very often to the Nuns’ parlor, and asked to repeat their prayers, in order to learn them better. The Ursulines showed them every sort of charity,- gave them to eat, every day, after Mass or instruction; and spared nothing of what they had to assist them, and to cooperate in their conversion. They do no less than this, throughout the year, for the Algonquins and Montagnais, when they come to Kebec. These are inevitable expenses, for those who have undertaken to aid the Savages. They all left their cabins toward the beginning of February, and went into the great woods for the chase of the Moose. The day after their departure, as [3g] 1 was going from Kebec to Sillery, I found a single cabin of twelve or thirteen invalids, old men, and children, whom the Savages had commended to me the evening before, and had asked me to send them to the Hospital. When they saw me pass, they took their coverings of bark, followed [page 315] me as best they could, and came away to the Hospital to spend their winter, partly in the ward of the sick, partly in a cabin near the Hospital. The Savages remained hardly z months in their great hunt; several returned for the Easter holidays. Each cabin usually contains a paper which marks the feast days, so that they may abstain from work, save in case of necessity, and spend more time in prayer. Jean Baptiste with his band returned on Wednesday in Passion Week, and was present in good time next day for the washing of the feet, which occurred at the Hospital, and greatly consoled them. They chose 12 men and 12 women; we washed the feet of the men, and the Nuns washed those of the women; then we prepared for all a feast that was magnificent for this country. Five [40] Hurons who wintered at Sillery, and formed a little seminary there, marveled at this festival, which Father de Breboeuf explained to them (they do not fail to relate these tidings in their own country). Toward the end of April, all the Savages again rally together; each returns to his own quarter and sets up his cabin, prepares his little store, dresses his skins, and comes to instruction, where the same order is observed as in the autumn. When the earth is altogether free from snow, each one visits his field, and begins to till it. It was a pleasure to see them going to work after having heard holy Mass, and then coming every evening to say their prayers in the Chapel, and hear instruction. But this pleasure hardly lasted; for, scarcely had they finished planting their Indian corn, when the rumors of incursions and ravages by the Iroquois obliged them to form a small body of warriors, and go to the fort of Richelieu and to the 3 rivers, in order to confront their [page 317] enemies. But the disastrous news of the death of the King and of Monsignor the Cardinal, and then the want of the succor of arms [41] and soldiers which we were expecting from France, made them return to Sillery, quite sad; and as the ships were very late, and as provisions failed them, they broke up into little bands, and went hunting toward Tadoussac, continually removing from their enemies, and awaiting the ships. [page 319]



For particulars of this document, see Vol. XXII.


This is a letter written by Garnier to a friend in France ( " Monsieur J. M. J. "), from the Huron country, upon the 23rd of some unnamed month (possibly August), 1643. We follow a contemporary copy presumably by a member of the Garnier family in France, and now in the archives of St. Mary's College, Montreal. Although he addresses his correspondent as "brother," it is evident that this is only in the ecclesiastical sense.


In publishing the letter of Brébeuf to the Father General, dated at Three Rivers, September 23, 1643, we follow Father Martin's apograph (now in the archives of St Mary's College, Montreal) of the original Latin ex MSS. Soc. Jes.


Owing to the fact that the first MS. of the Huron report for the year ending in the spring of 1643 fell into the hands of the Iroquois, (the report was rewritten and published in connection with the Huron part of the Relation for 1643 - 44), the Relation for 1642 - 43 consists of but one part, by Vimont, the superior; to [page 321] this being added a brief Declaration of the Directors of the Company of New France.

In reprinting the text of this Relation, we follow a copy of the original Cramoisy edition in the Lenox Library. It is generally referred to as "H. 81," because described in Harrisse's Notes, no. 81. The "Priuilege," which is signed "Par le Roy en fon Confeil. CRAMOISY," is dated " Paris le 24. Decembre 1643;" and the "Permifsion," with the signature "IEAN FILLEAV," is dated "Paris le [space] Ianuier. 14."

Collation: Title, with verso blank, 1 leaf; "Table des Chapitres," pp. (3); "Extraict du Priuilege du Roy," p.(1); "Permifsion du R. P. Prouincial," with verso blank, pp. (2); text, pp. 1 - 309; "Declaration de | Meffieurs les Directeurs, & Af- | fociez en la Compagnie de la | Nouuelle France. | , " pp. (3)

Peculiarities: In the imprint of the title-page " Cicognes " is misprinted " Cicoignes. " Page 1 of the text is usually not numbered, though we have met with copies in which the numeration is distinctly indicated. Copies of an early issue have pp. 306 and 307 mispaged 326 and 327, while in later impressions the transpagination has been rectified. In all copies which we have examined, the endings of thethe last two paragraphs on p. 115 are more imperfect. The imprint of this Relation bears names of Sebastien Cramoisy and Gabriel Cramoisy.

A letter in Ottawa, with an interlinear translation in French, covers pp. 56 - 58.

Copies of the Relation of 1642 - 43 have been sold or priced as follows: O'Callaghan (1882), no. 1222, sold for $17, and had cost him $30.50 in gold; Barlow (1890), nos. 1286 and 1287, sold for $6 and [page 322] $12, respectively; Dufossé, priced (1891 - 92) at 150 and 190 francs; Chadenat (1893), no. 11862, priced at 200 francs; and Lenox duplicate, sold by Bangs & Co. of New York, April 29, 1895, at $31.

Copies in libraries: Lenox (two copies, with both varieties of pagination); Harvard (correctly paged, but having sig. -V, containing pp. 305 to the end, added from another copy); St. Mary's College, Montreal; Laval University, Quebec; Library of Parliament, Ottawa; Brown (private); and British Museum (two copies, correctly paged). [page 323]


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