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


Tomasz Mentrak


Vol. XXIV.

Lower Canada, Iroquois


CLEVELAND:   The Burrows Brothers






[Page 2]

Copyright, 1899


The Burrows Company


all rights reserved

The Imperial Press, Cleveland

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Reuben Gold Thwaites






|  Finlow Alexander



|  Percy Favor Bicknell



|  William Frederic Giese



|  Crawford Lindsay



|  William Price



|  Hiram Allen Sober




Assistant Editor


Emma Helen Blair




Bibliographical Adviser


Victor Hugo Paltsits




Electronic Transcription


Tomasz Mentrak


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Preface To Volume XXIV.






Relation de ce qvi s’est passé en la Novvelle France, en l’année 1642. & 1643. [Chaps. iv.-xii., second installment of the document,] Barthelemy Vimont; undated






















[Page 7]


The Relation of 1642-43 (Document LI.) was written wholly by Vimont, the superior — the manuscript for the intended Huron part having been captured by the Iroquois. In Vol. XXIII., we presented the first three chapters; Chapters iv.-xii. are herewith given, and the remaining two chapters will appear in Vol. XXV.

In continuing his account of the Sillery mission, Vimont describes the manner of life of the Indians I settled there, and, as usual, relates numerous instances of their piety and zeal. A woman says twice as many prayers for the soul of Father Raymbault as for that of her own daughter, in order that he may be first released from Purgatory, as “his prayers will get her out sooner than mine.” A man who speaks contemptuously of the faith is severely disciplined by the Christian Indians. An old woman, who stays at home one feast day, imitates the church ceremonies as closely as she can, and thus “has mass in her own cabin.” A young man, tempted to sin, not only resists stoutly, but severely flogs his entire body, by way of penance, for fear lest he have erred; and, in deep distress, he begs the Fathers to punish him to the utmost. These Christian Indians also are doing much, by words and by example, for the conversion of their neighbors, the Attikamegues. Chapter iv., closes with a letter from an Indian to his [Page 9] benefactor in France, written in his own language and his own forms of expression.

The Sillery Indians are especially severe on the women who leave their husbands. An instance of this sort having occurred, they secure permission from Montmagny to build a little prison of their own at Sillery, in which the woman is placed, with an injunction to entreat God to make her more sensible and obedient. Here, in the depth of winter, she is kept twenty-four hours, without fire or blanket, or at first, without other bed than the bare ground; through Father de Quen’s intercession she is afterward given a little bread, and some straw to rest on. “Toward evening, they judged it proper to release her; it was enough for inspiring terror in this poor creature, and was a little beginning of government for these new Christians. The punishment sufficed for this young woman, and for several others.” Several of the men no longer strike their wives in anger, but gently reprove them, or even patiently endure without reply.

Charles Meiachkawat takes back to the Abenakis a prisoner from that region, and winters with them; he eagerly embraces this opportunity to preach to them the Christian faith, but, as they have no acquaintance with the French people, and are much addicted to drunkenness, his sermons have not much effect. He goes with the Abenakis to visit an English settlement, where a heretic tries to dispute his religious belief; but Charles warns him that he “will burn in hell, for despising what God has made and ordered.” An Abenaki chief follows Charles back to Sillery, where he is baptized, with Montmagny acting as his sponsor in the name of the grand master of Malta. [Page 10]

A party of Attikamegues, sixty in number, come to Sillery, persuaded thereto by the converted chief Jean Baptiste; they are delighted to receive instruction from the Fathers, and presents from Montmagny. Half of them have been baptized, and the remainder are catechumens; the baptism of many has been deferred until they shall be weaned from their superstitions. Vimont recounts various details of these conversions, and acts of piety and zeal. One man finds in his cabin a French drum, and forthwith tears it to pieces, “although it is not bad, lest it cause the others to remember their drums and forbidden superstitions.” These Attikamegues urge the Jesuits to send a missionary to their country. As usual, the Fathers find their chief encouragement in the children, who are docile and intelligent.

Great is the joy of the Sillery Christians at the conversion of their Attikamegue friends, and they fervently exhort these to remain in the Faith. When the latter set out on their annual hunt, they bid a grateful and touching farewell to Father Buteux, their teacher. In the spring, they return to Three Rivers for further instruction, and many new baptisms occur. The Sillery colony is doing much toward the conversion of the savages; but its progress is greatly hindered by their poverty, which forces them to keep up their nomadic life, and by their dread of the Iroquois, whose cruelty and boldness continually increase.

Vimont relates how the Huron seminary at Notre-Dame des Anges was suspended, no appreciable result of its influence appearing among the savages. The Fathers of the Huron mission send down to Sillery two young men of that tribe for instruction, and [Page 11] Brébeuf is detailed to take charge of them. With Montmagny’s aid, and that of the Hospital nuns, the mission is able to maintain, in all, six of these Hurons, who are promising pupils, — older and more intelligent than those at Notre-Dame des Anges had been. Details of their characteristic traits, conversion, and devout behavior are given by the superior.

Encouraging results are reported from the mission at Tadoussac, which has been supported, for the past year, by the generosity of the Duchess d’Aiguillon. In answer to the entreaties of the Indians, a priest was sent to them in the spring, — Father de Quen. While waiting for him, they appoint a “master of prayers,“ — a young man who had wintered at Sillery — and under his direction they offer public prayer, twice a day; he is provided with a heavy knotted whip, “to beat those who fail to be present at prayers.” When De Quen arrives, they welcome him most ‘hospitably, and urge him for immediate baptism; but he judiciously defers that rite “until the coming of the ships, or till Autumn,” for all except two married pairs, “who live peaceably.” A sick child is cured by prayer, after its father has surrendered his “pouch of magic.” The zealous “master of prayers” thereupon is “impelled by the spirit of God: he suddenly goes away into all the cabins; ransacks all the bundles, and inspects all the pouches; takes all these spoils of the fiend to the Chapel, and makes a present of them to God.” The Father, overjoyed thereat, assembles the savages and makes them a feast; then orders them to burn these “implements of impiety,” which they do; “then, having all together thanked God, and sung a hymn in token of rejoicing, they go away, well content.” [Page 12]

Nevertheless, the Father is greatly tried by the drunkenness, and consequent licentiousness, prevailing among these Tadoussac nations. At one of their assemblies, a zealous neophyte publicly rebukes these disorders, and an old woman names aloud the persons she knows to be guilty. All these, and others who are suspected, are summoned before a council, and severely questioned. They are advised to mend their ways, and to consult the parents and the priests in all love affairs, which they promise to do, and go away, “very well satisfied on both sides.” De Quen is obliged to return to Sillery, but is replaced by Buteux; the latter finds the Indians well disposed, but dreads the results of their intemperance, arising from their illicit traffic with the French fur traders, for intoxicating liquors.

The Indians of Miscou have heard of the mission, and are “beginning to sigh for their salvation.” A letter from André Richard gives an account of his labors among these Micmacs. He mentions hearing the confession of a woman who had been baptized at Port Royal, by Father Biard, some thirty years before. The savages give Richard a friendly reception, and build a chapel for him, where they offer prayers every day under his direction; he finds them honest, intelligent, and affectionate. A new mission station is to be established at the Nepegiguit river. Richard relates the illness of his colleague D’Olbeau, and the kind assistance rendered them by Desdames, commandant at Miscou; also, the coming of De Lyonne, — who, stopping at Miscou on his way to the Huron mission, consents to take D’Olbeau’s place.

Vimont proceeds to describe the noble work of the Hospital nuns, whose generous devotion and [Page 13] assistance is of the utmost aid in the colonization of the savages, — indeed, “it bears a good part of the expenses and burdens thereof, — and I know not yet if the colony could subsist without this help.” About a hundred savages have been received in the hospital the past year, representing nearly all the tribes between Lake Huron and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Some of these have been converted, and Vimont relates many particulars of their virtue and piety. The hospital cares for not only the bodies but the souls of the savages; for instruction in the catechism and prayers is given there regularly, which “often makes a Chapel and a School of the sick ward, as well as of our house at Sillery.” The entire time of one nun, and more or less that of several other persons, is required “to answer these visits and pious importunities.” Their expenses have been great; but the Duchess d’Aiguillon has generously aided them.

During the past year, the mission station at Three Rivers has been in the charge of Le Jeune, “sent there to see if he could subdue the Pride of those people” (the haughty Upper Algonkins). They, being insolent and mischief-making, “give him plenty of exercise;” but, when they go to Fort Richelieu for their annual hunt, he as “a good pastor, goes after his flock.” At the fort, he finds Father De Nouë, Brébeuf’s comrade in the first Huron mission (1626), — now growing old, but still full of zeal and devotion, — who is the spiritual adviser of the French garrison. Le Jeune could do much for the Indians under his charge there, were it not for the wretched Upper Algonkins; they cling to their superstitions, and torment the Christians in every way.” The Father, with his little band of faithful [Page 14] ones, vigorously opposed them, — now by dint of arguments, again by ridiculing their foolish notions; that made them die with spite.” In return, they accuse the missionaries of having taken away their success in hunting, nullified the predictions of their soothsayers, and caused their deaths, — all through the introduction of this new religion. “Besides,” they say, “if you called to prayers only once in ten days, we would have some respite; but you have no regard to either rain, or snow, or cold, — every day you are heard shouting for the prayers. It is a strange thing that you cannot remain quiet.” Some conversions are secured, notwithstanding all these hindrances. Moreover, the ringleader of the opposition is, by the judgment of God, suddenly prostrated by a most painful illness; but the exhortations of Le Jeune finally soften his hard heart, and, returning soon after to Montreal, he, with others of his tribe, is there baptized by the Jesuits.

The Montreal colony promises to be a great assistance to the missionary enterprise, especially since the Indians are being attracted thither by the prospect of aid from the French against the Iroquois. There are about fifty-five settlers, among whom prevail great peace, virtuous conduct, and excellent government. A great rise in the river, at the Christmas season, threatens to destroy the settlement. Maisonneuve has public prayers offered, and makes a vow himself to carry a cross up the neighboring mountain, if God please to avert the ruin with which they are menaced. The flood stops at the very gate of the settlement, and then gradually subsides. Maisonneuve fulfills his vow on Epiphany, and bears on his shoulders a heavy cross for the distance of a [Page 15] league, following a solemn procession. At the summit of the mountain, the cross is planted in the ground, mass is said by Father Du Peron, and Madame de la Peltrie is the first to receive communion on this spot, — which becomes thereafter the objective point of many pilgrimages. The Montreal colonists, notwithstanding the severe climate, and the inconveniences attending a new settlement, have universally enjoyed excellent health; and their piety and devotion render their life there “a picture of the primitive Church.” The Indians would settle there in great numbers, if but the Iroquois could be subdued or pacified; and Vimont regards this danger as a menace to the prosperity of the colony itself. He quotes a letter from Du Peron, concerning the Indians who come to Montreal. One of these, a nephew of the Island chief Tesswehat, is converted and baptized, and becomes sedentary, — receiving from the Association a piece of ground; from Maisonneuve, the name of Joseph; and from Madame de la Peltrie, a gun. Soon after, Tesswehat unexpectedly arrives at Montreal and follows his nephew’s example, receiving baptism under the name of Paul. As he was one of those who had so troubled Le Jeune at Three Rivers and Fort Richelieu, his conversion is regarded as of the utmost importance, and much is hoped from this newly-made Christian.

Pieskaret, the Sillery chief, — for some time mourned as having been slain by the Iroquois, — comes back victorious, and great is the rejoicing thereat. The ice breaks up precisely in time to prevent the Iroquois from pursuing a Huron band across the St. Lawrence.

Vimont describes the country, forces, and methods [Page 16] of war, of the Iroquois; among these, the Agniers or Mohawks are the fiercest, boldest, and most dangerous. They are now harassing the Hurons, and all the dwellers along the St. Lawrence, — making raids by small parties, and at all seasons of the year; attacking alike all other tribes and the French; and enabled to do so by the supply of firearms received from the Dutch traders. Rumors come from France that the Dutch expect by this means to drive out the French from Canada. Vimont cannot believe that they have such a plan, but considers them responsible for not stopping this practice. The superior describes various Iroquois incursions, especially that in which Jogues is made a prisoner. The Huron chief Joseph, escaping their hands, returns to Quebec, and relates the particulars of Jogues’s captivity and Goupil’s murder. A letter from the captive priest is brought to Three Rivers by an Iroquois envoy; Jogues warns the French of the treacherous plans laid for them by their crafty foe, and urges them to forestall these, without regard for the safety of himself or his fellow captives. [Page 17]

R. G. T.

Madison, Wis., June, 1898.

LI (continued)


Paris: SEBASTIEN ET GABRIEL CRAMOISY, 1644. Chaps, i-iii. were presented in Volume XXIII.; we herewith give chaps. iv.-xii., leaving the conclusion of the document for Volume XXV.

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HILE the Savages have been at Sillery, they have frequented the Sacraments there with as much diligence and fervor as our French at Quebec; they have also taken a singular pleasure in going occasionally to Quebec to receive Communion and to associate, at that sacred Table, with our French, whose devoutness greatly delights and edifies them.

Though public prayers are said at evening in the Chapel, many none the less make it a point to say them again once [42] or twice in their own cabins, and that audibly, — which has given occasion for calling them the Cabins of those who Pray.

When the little children are sick, the parents sometimes bring them to the Chapel, and present them to God, as to him who is their master; and all this with great resignation. “Yours, Lord, is this child,” they say; “do with it as it shall seem good to you, I offer it to you.” Here are the very words of a mother whose daughter was sick: “My God, you can do all things; if you will, my daughter will recover; if you are not willing, I am content. Do as it shall please you; I will always love what you shall do.” God sometimes restores their health to them, in consideration of this holy resignation, — sometimes, also, by virtue of the holy water which is given them to [Page 21] drink. Here follows an example. A young Savage of Tadoussac was attacked with a violent pleurisy; after six or seven days, his people brought him from Tadoussac to the Hospital Nuns at Sillery, — that is to say, from a distance of forty leagues. He is nursed with great care, and they bleed him two or [43] three times; but the disease is stronger than the remedies. This poor fellow, seeing himself in a desperate pass, rises when his strength permits, drags himself to the Chapel, and says his prayers; the father who chanced to be there makes him drink holy water, and recites the Gospel over him, then sends him back to his bed. He straightway begins to mend, and in a short time leaves the Hospital, in good health, to the astonishment of his fellow Countrymen.

The Savages are scantily grateful in their natural state, especially toward the Europeans; Christianity trains them, little by little, in this virtue. Monsieur the Governor coming back last year from the fort of Richelieu, after the severe and unexpected assault made upon it by the Hyroquois, — wherein they were very badly treated, — our Savages went of their own impulse to greet him, and carried two gifts. One was to thank him for having exposed his life for them, and having driven away their enemies; the other, to wipe away our tears for the capture of Father Jogues and our men by the Hyroquois.

One of our principal Christians, discoursing with a Savage newly [44] come down to Sillery, saw one of our Fathers who was passing that way. “There,” said he, “are those who teach us, and show us the way to Heaven. They spare no pains for this purpose, — they make themselves poor for us, they become sick for us; if thou spend the Winter here, thou [Page 23] wilt know by experience the truth of what I tell thee. What they teach us is of importance; they forbid us everything that is bad, — the feasts where all the food is eaten, the invocation of evil spirits, the belief in dreams, the multiplicity of wives in marriage, and, in a word, all our wicked customs which betray us and cast us into a fire after death. That is a fire,” he said, “which will never go out, of which the one that warms us here on earth is only a faint outline. It is terrible in its eternal duration; those who go into it burn, without hope of getting out of it.”

A woman having heard a discourse on Purgatory, and that there were few persons who went into Paradise without passing through the fire, was touched, and began to entreat God urgently for her daughter, deceased [45] not long ago. The father, knowing her piety, asked her what she did for her deceased daughter. “I repeat the Rosary three times every day” (she said), “once for my daughter, and twice for the Father who died a few days ago” (that was Father Raymbault). “And why twice for the latter, and only once for thy daughter?” rejoins the Father. “If it be true,” said she, “what you teach, — that few people go to Heaven without first going into Purgatory, — this Father who has just died, although a very good man, will perhaps have been there for some time; and I say two Rosaries for him, in order that God may release him as soon as possible, and that, being in Heaven, he may pray for my daughter. His prayers will get her out sooner than mine,”

It may have been sufficiently remarked in the preceding Relations that the great temptation of the Savages is, that Baptism and prayer cause them to [Page 25] die. A certain man called François Kokweribabougouz, seeing one of our Fathers enter his cabin, accosts him, and asks him if he does not at last know the reason why they all die thus, within the few years since they [46] have been told of our faith. He insinuated quite plainly that prayer and baptism were the reason, and spoke with pride, and contempt for the faith. He is somewhat haughty by nature, so the Father felt himself obliged to refute this man’s utterance as wicked and scandalous, and reprove then and there his pride and haughtiness; but instead of humbling himself, he takes his Rosary and throws it into the fire, in the presence of all those in the cabin, and of the Father himself. Our good Neophytes, having heard of this action, were thoroughly indignant; they go and find him, sharply set before him his fault, and urge him to do penance, but fear and confusion restrained him. They return two and three times, and succeed so well that he presents himself to receive such penance as should be judged suitable. They assemble the Savages at Mass in the Chapel of the Hospital, which his cabin was very near; they make him stay at the door, as being unworthy to enter the Church. After some space of time they call him; he kneels before the Altar, asks pardon of God and of the most blessed [47] Virgin, then of all his fellow Countrymen whom he had scandalized; he entreats them to aid him by their prayers to atone to God for his fault, — which they do aloud, and all together. Next, they bid him kiss the earth three times; the poor man, touched with sorrow, holds his lips glued against the earth, until they compel him to rise. The Father gives him another rosary, in token of his reconciliation, and [Page 27] all join in holy Mass with manifest joy and fervor. At the end, Noël Tekwerimatch, Captain of the Algonquins, rises and speaks thus to his people, in a strong and loud tone: “My nephews, let us rejoice; our brother was in the hands of the Devil, and, if he had died, Hell was his dwelling forever; but God has delivered him thence, — he was dead, and behold him living. Let us rejoice that we now know the means of appeasing the wrath of God. Let us persevere in prayer, and though it seem that we all die, let us believe stoutly and sincerely, even to death, and let us have hope in him who has made all things.” After this brief [48] exhortation, the father gave the blessing to them all, and sent them away very contented and joyful. This man has behaved very well, since that time: his whole family is Christian. He urges me at present to make him a little house for next year.

On the day of saint John the Evangelist, the weather was very severe; the cold, the winds, and the snow seemed likely to destroy everything. It is something awful to see the weather at such times. The Savages were lodged at that time in cabins on the mountain, in the woods. We did not suppose that they could come to Mass, and sent them word that they were not obliged to, — that, if the most robust wished to come, they might do so, through devotion; but all came as usual. An old Algonquin woman stayed in her cabin, to look after some little children, and behaved as if she had been at Mass. She set up an image of our Lord, knelt before it with the children, recited her beads, rose as is customary at the Gospel, adored our Lord as is done at the elevation, and sang as [49] they are accustomed to [Page 29] do after Mass, — insomuch that, when the Father went to see her, she told him that she had been to Mass in her Cabin; the Father asked her how, and learned what I have just related.

A Christian woman, called Louyse, had a sick daughter whom she cherished as her own life. She carried her to the Hospital; the Nuns, who loved her mother on account of her virtue, spared no pains; but, notwithstanding the remedies, her sickness increased. Two Savage women, pagans, come to see her; then, turning toward the mother, there present and much afflicted, they promise her to cure her daughter, if she will allow them to treat her in their fashion, — that is to say, that they sing over her, blow on her, and juggle for her with their drums. “But it would be necessary,” they say, “to carry her into the woods; for otherwise, those who have black gowns would know it, and our medicines would be useless. For the rest be assured that thy daughter will recover, if thou obey us.” “God forbid,” replied that good Christian woman, “that you do anything to my daughter which is against the law of God, — [50] I would much sooner fear that that would make her die; and even though I knew that she would recover by your medicines, I would not allow it, since God forbids it. No matter if my daughter die, provided she go to Heaven.” Those two women went away much astonished, and had not a word more to say. It pleased God to call to himself that little creature, and to approve the mother’s constancy; she remained in the utmost affliction thereat, but not at all shaken in the faith, although this is the third she has lost since she received Baptism. May not this kind of affliction, recurring in many [Page 31] Christian families, be a severe test which God sends to them, and to us also? Her daughter died in the woods; for, having finally received some relief at the Hospital, her mother, who was obliged to go on a journey, dragged her along in their fashion, as best she could; the sickness, increasing in the woods, carried her off; she was only eight or nine years old. Her mother brought her body back to Sillery to be buried with her kinsfolk. She told us that she had marveled at the ideas and utterances [51] of her daughter at her death. In the first place, she asserted that she would have much desired to see one of our Fathers once again, so as to receive a word of consolation at that change; but that, nevertheless, she consoled herself in God. Then she thanked her mother for the care and pains that she had taken for her, during the whole course of her sickness, and promised, by way of reward, to pray to God for her after her death. Her eldest brother having come to see her, she charged him to rely on the faith and the prayers; and, as she had heard that he was not on good terms with his wife, she besought him to endure the woman in her temper, — that he should take care never to leave her, that he should have patience, that he, being a man, ought to show himself wiser. I know not where this child, of nine years at the most, had learned all that; the Holy Ghost made her speak beyond her years.

You will hardly believe what I am about to say of a Savage Neophyte, since so few would be found among our Christians of Europe who could do like-wise. A young Christian Savage was mightily tempted by a woman who pursued him [52] in the woods, and solicited him to do evil, with as much [Page 33] indecency as with charms and attractions; she employed every means thereto. The good young man resists her stoutly, — he reproves her, and shows her that God sees all, and that he looks at them. This makes her none the better; she renews the temptation even two and three times. The devil works, on his side, and joins his forces to those of the woman; he attacks the heart of this poor Neophyte, exciting passion in him, and fiercely urging him. Behold him tempted without and within; he nevertheless resists courageously, invokes the aid of God, and then, feeling that the danger is increasing, flees into the woods and abandons that wretched creature. Being then alone and retired, he kneels down, prays to God, and asks his pardon; he takes rods, and, stripping himself naked, severely chastises his whole body. It was in the midst of the snows, and in the heart of Winter, when the trees split with cold; but the fear of having erred, and the dread of the temptation, make him resolve upon this penance. He stops not with that; he hastens to Quebec, whither he had heard that the Father who confesses the Savages had gone; he enters [53] our abode, in great distress, and casts himself at the Father’s feet, telling him his temptation, and the danger in which he has been, with as much sorrow as if he had committed the sin. Sighs and tears interrupted all his words; he asks penance. “My Father,” he said, “spare me not; I beg you, tell me what I must do to appease God, I am quite ready to obey you, though you should give me a penance capable of taking away my life. 0 God, how gladly would I die for that!” The Father greatly comforted him, being himself much consoled by such a fervor, and sent him away: [Page 35] with a very light penance, similar to that which several Saints have imposed in such case.

The Christians of Sillery have notably contributed, by words and by example, to the conversion of the Atticameges; they took the opportunity to say prayers publicly in their cabins, when the Atticameges came to see them: they forbade the young men of that nation to visit by night the maidens whom they sought in marriage, according to their old customs; they never invited them to the feasts except to speak of God and of prayer. When all the principal men, [54] both of that nation and those of Sillery, were one day assembled at a feast (these feasts usually consist of nothing but two kettles of sundry grains, together with a piece of elk or of beaver), Jean Baptiste, who, had been sponsor for the Atticameges, made a speech and said: “I formerly knew not what the Frenchmen meant, when they spoke to us of God; I thought that they were lying: but I have recognized that they speak true, and that in fact there is a Master who has made all things, who governs all, and who is to punish the wicked with an eternal fire, and to recompense the good people forever in Heaven.” The Captain of the Atticameges betokened a great satisfaction with these words, and exhorted all those young men to learn well what should be taught them.

We have baptized down here about a hundred Adults, without the children. Here are the words of one of the chiefs of Tadoussac, who last Autumn in the Chapel of the Ursulines, in company with some of those people, spoke in a council of Savages before his Baptism: “For three years I have been listening to the Fathers with attention, and approving [Page 37] their sermons’; I have therefore waited to [55] be baptized, until this time, because Baptism is an important matter, upon which one must seriously think. When one is once baptized, one can no more retreat, one must walk straight, and live as a good Christian. Some tell you,’ Make haste to baptize me;’ and then, after a month or two, they lose their fervor, and make scarcely any more account of their baptism. I feel my heart telling me that it would like to be Christian, this long time past; it loves prayer, and nevertheless it dares not urge you: it is for you, then, my Fathers, to dispose of it. See, try me, and if you judge me suitable, you will do me a very great pleasure to put me in the number of the Christians, and I will try to be faithful to God. I am not alone, — here are several of my people who await the same favor; ask them all, one after the other, and see if I speak the truth, and if they themselves are properly inclined.” After his baptism and that of his wife, he was solemnly married at the Church; four others of his people, with their wives, received the same favor — the two Sacraments of baptism and of marriage.

[56] I think that it will not be amiss to close this Chapter with a letter which a Christian Neophyte has dictated, by himself, to be sent to France, to a man of consideration, his benefactor; you see his own terms and manner of expression.

I MARVEL at what you are doing,       in that you are pleased          to have pity on me,

  Nimakaterindam Ka tien,             ka wich                       chawerimien

that you are pleased to have pity                            on my wife        and            children.

     ka wich chawerimach       [Page 39]        Niou        gaité    ninithanisak

   We are not able            to thank you;                 he who does all,          it is he who will reward you;

Nikokwatisimin    Ki nakoumirang   missi Ka Kichitoutch      mi Ke kichikouk

            every day we pray for you.               I have said   to Father Vimont:   “DO you write this,

kachigakir kigagaroun tamourimin   Nitira        Pere Vimont      Massinahiker

for I understand nothing about it:    ‘I give you   my Tobacco pouch;    should there be some other thing

     kir ketna nikikerindan,      kimirir    nikachtipitagan,             katira kotak

I could give you,                    write to him.                     My child,         Jacques      who is named,

nita miriram         kiga massinahamawa.    Ninitchanis     Jaques       ka irintch

         thanks your son,        [57]     Joseph       who is called;          he will pray for him.

ounakoumar khikwisis      Josephet    ka irintch     ouga gagarountamawar.

      You do well              in that you are pleased to have pity on us;      Firmly             we believe.

Kweratch entien               ka wich Chawerimiang           Sounka      nitepwetamin

Would it were so that      we could see you    in your own country;       we shall see each other

        kat nita              wapmirang        endrakieg             niga kichkabantimin

in Heaven.           To you he will explain all.      Father le Jeune.    As it were, I am dwelling

Wakwing     kiga iroutamakwa kakina   P. le Jeune      kount niwintikemack

with the sisters of the hospital;         It is just like one house            quite near       we dwell.

ikwesensak                   kount peiik mikiwam      pechkhichNit’apimin

Always           I shall honor them.              We are very glad        that two of them have arrived, —

Eapitch    niga manatchihock,    nimirwerindamin         Ninth ka michagawatch

One who is      [Page 41]                little               the other         who is tall.               It is good for us

    Peiik Ka                      agachinchitch    Kotak      ka Kinousitch        Kweratch

that they have arrived,    so       that they may teach us       And      so       that they may have pity on us.

Ka michagawatch        itchi     Kikinohamawiiamintwa     Gaié   itchi           chawerimiiamintwa.

      We are very glad   that they have compassion       for the sick,            for we others,        [58]

Nimirwerindamin    Ka chawerimawatch     eakousirittii     Ketna mirawint

we have not that custom, —We forsake one another,         we people;            sometimes we

nitichiriniwakisimin          Nipakiritimin              nirawint      Nanikoutounouz

        strangle the sick.                   It was thus formerly we were wont to do:

nipiskitounebirenanak  eakousitiik mi taouch echiriniwakisiang

        that is why we are very glad                that they have arrived             here          who

mi ka ountchi mirwerindamang       ka michagawatch        oundoire     ka

are robed in white.     Since         they have arrived,      it is since that time

  Wabakoretiik   ki akou     michagawatch            mi akou

that they have compassion on us.                       We wonder               that they have left

        Chawerimiiomintwa             Nimakaterindamin      ka nagatahunt

        their own country.          I am old, — I can no more work:        would to God

ouwatch endrakiwatch        Nisasikis ka mininita           arokesi kat

that a European          would aid me to cultivate the land.’”

peiik wemichtigouch      witchihitch  itchi Kitikeian.[1][Page 43]




STIENNE Pigarouich, of whom there is mention in the preceding Relations, has given us this year manifestations of his zeal and of his virtue, as remarkable as ever. There arose, one day, a quarrel in a Christian family between the husband and the wife: they struck each other quite violently. Estienne enters the cabin and speaks to the husband in this wise: “Men should have more sense than women, and should better control their anger. A good way to appease a woman, when she scolds, is to say not a word to her, or else to go out of the cabin and let her scold all alone; I have had good success with this remedy. Sometimes I do still better; instead of going out, I give her [60] a lesson very quietly. ‘Is that,’ I say to her, ‘what you are taught every day? Very well, be angry: but know that thou art taking the way to Hell, and that thou wilt be burned by thine own anger.’ I often find that she becomes quiet and begins to laugh.”

This man, with all his zeal, is merry and agreeable. He was one day in a cabin of Savages, where mention was made of what the Fathers had taught concerning the Sacrament of Confession; he proceeded to put a question to them all, one after the other, — to wit: if, for the sins which they had committed, the penance were appointed them to cast themselves from top to bottom of the great fall of [Page 45] Montmorency, this is a cataract of water which falls from a mountain near Quebec)[2], would they do it? All answered “Yes, provided we were so enjoined.” “And I too,” said he, “who am the greatest sinner of all; I dread Hell, and greatly fear that my sins may draw me into it: I care little that my body be swallowed up in [61] the water, but I ardently desire that my soul go to Heaven.”

The stability of marriage is one of the most perplexing questions in the conversion and settlement of the Savages; we have much difficulty in obtaining and in maintaining it. A young woman wishing to leave her husband without just cause, the principal and most zealous Savages assembled, and begged Monsieur the Governor to allow them to make a little prison at Sillery, and there to lock up this woman for some time, and bring her to her duty. Estienne Pigarouich undertakes this commission, and has her seized; and as she was at the door of the prison, he addressed her as follows:” My niece, pray earnestly to God all night, — thou wilt have leisure; ask him that thou mayst become sensible, and that thou mayst no longer be self-willed. Endure this prison for thy sins. Take courage; if thou wilt be obedient, thou wilt not stay there long.” She entered very peaceably, suffering herself to be led like a lamb, and stayed there all night, flat on the ground, [62] without fire and without covering; it was the second day of January, at the severest season of the winter. The next morning, Father de Quen went with Estienne to visit her, and saw to it that she was given a little bread, and some straw to rest on. The Father wished to have her go forth a little while, to warm herself in a neighboring room, then to put her [Page 47] back in her cell; but the Savage told him that she ought to endure that for her faults, and he himself encouraged her to bear this penance patiently. Toward evening, nevertheless, they Judged it proper to release her; it was enough for inspiring terror in this poor creature, and was a little beginning of government for these new Christians, — moreover, melancholy fixing itself in the mind of a Savage, he comes to great extremities therein, and often to a violent death. The punishment sufficed for this young woman, and for several others.

The same Estienne Pigarouich came to find one of our Fathers, very early on the morrow after Christmas, and said to him: “That was their feast; here is the day of my patron St. Stephen, — what can I [63] do to honor him? The father gave him some instructions, and especially showed him how saint Stephen had spoken fervently of God, and given his life for the faith. He goes away, and, after having heard Mass, and devoutly received Communion, he invites several baptized Savages, and others also, to a feast which he prepared for them in honor of saint Stephen, his Patron. Then he speaks to them as ‘follows: “You know very well my Baptismal name, and you have heard related today at Mass, what saint Stephen did while in this world. Would to God that I might imitate him in his life and in his death,’ as I do in his name! At the very least, I wish to do so in some respect, — that is, by speaking of God and of the faith. This is, accordingly, what I am now doing, inviting and entreating you all, that we live and die in the faith which we have professed; and, for you others who are not baptized, the feast is to acquaint you with my name of Baptism, which [Page 49] is Estienne. Yes, I love the name of Estienne, and it is also more honorable for me than that of Pigarouich: the latter is known [64] only hereabout, among our small number of Savages. If I crossed the sea, and were asked my name, they would not understand me if I said Pigarouich; but, if I called myself Estienne, straightway they would know that I am a friend of God, and of all those who pray, and that I bear a name which is cherished and prized in Heaven and throughout the earth. It is therefore in consideration of this name, and of him whose feast we celebrate today, that I am giving a feast. Among us, when we are given the name of some one who is dead, so as to preserve his memory, we are consequently obliged from that very hour to imitate him whom we cause to live again. Therefore, be not astonished if I now speak, and make bold to teach you; I do so only in the desire that I have, that all our people embrace the faith and obey God; and that is what Saint Stephen desired, in teaching those of his nation.” Several feasts prepared on that plan this year have served not a little to confirm the fervor of our Christians. In [65] fine, these generally consist of nothing but a great kettle or two of Indian corn, or of peas, with a quarter of moose or of beaver, according to the number of those invited, and they make them in order to comfort one another in their poverty, and to bestow charity upon one another, — insomuch that to make a feast is at present the same here as to feed those who are in necessity, and to exercise an act of mercy.

Our Christian Algonquins went to the hunt one day with some young men of the Atticameges, newly arrived, who had as yet but little affection for the [Page 51] faith. They saw the trail of two moose, going one to the left, the other to the right. One of the Atticameges said to our Christians, “Which of you Christians shall it be, who will give us to eat? which of the two Moose will you kill?” Estienne plainly understood that this man wished to accuse prayer, and that he was putting his own hope in his superstitions, with which he pretended to invoke the evil spirit, and secure success in hunting. Accordingly, he made a speech, saying: “It is not we [66] who will give to eat, —it is he who governs all; we hope in him, and not in our legs or in our drums. If he will that we take the first of the moose, that will happen, notwithstanding your Juggleries; if he will that you be the ones to take them, it will be so. We are going to pray him to assist us; and let him then dispose the matter as he will.” Then he caused all his fellow countrymen to kneel and pray to God; the Atticamegues were the first to follow the trail of one of those two moose: but in vain; they were obliged to return without having found anything, after extreme fatigue. The Algonquins set out only toward the middle of the day, and about noon they caught the beast which they were following, and killed it; then, returning upon the trail of the Atticamegues, they found also the other, and put it to death, and returned very gayly to the Atticamegues, — leaving all of them an excellent opinion of our holy faith, and a desire for Baptism.

One of the foremost Savages of Tadoussac — named Achille, at his Baptism, [67] by Monsieur the Chevalier de L’isle[3] — settled at Sillery, and there maintained one of the best families. Some time after his baptism, he was attacked by a languishing sickness, [Page 53] which lasted more than two years and a half, during which he continually manifested a great constancy in the faith, and a great resignation to the will of God. The malady increasing, they carry him to the Hospital; there, where he exercises acts of notable virtue, he is ripe for Heaven, and God calls him to himself. The Savages were extremely afflicted at this, for he was remarkable among them, and they loved him much. Estienne Pigarouich, seeing them all seated about the dead man, utterly desolate, with their heads bowed in token of sorrow, said to them: “My brothers, take courage; do not grieve too much. We have not embraced the faith in order to live long here below, on the earth: but in order to live well, and go to Heaven. The excess of sorrow is of no avail; it displeases God, and will bring you harm; let your sorrow be brief and moderate. Do you not believe that the soul of this man who [68] has just died, and who has stoutly believed in God, is in Heaven, or will be there soon? why then do you weep? Must we not all die? This life is not longer than the ‘tip of the finger; but the one which we expect has no end. That is what prayer teaches us; make account of it, and observe it constantly amid all grievous occurrences.” This speech, proceeding from a fervent heart, and pronounced in a firm tone, dried the tears of those poor people, and made them lift their heads, which they were holding bowed between their hands.

Charles Meiaskwat this year again gives us occasion to comfort those who love our Savages. He is from Tadoussac, and lives at Sillery, in one of the houses built on the French plan. He landed from a journey to the three Rivers, a few days after the [Page 55] death of Monsieur Nicollet; the first news that he heard was that. He straightway lifts his eyes to Heaven, prays to God for his soul, goes straight to our Church to recite his Rosary for the deceased, and thence to the Chapel [69] of the Hospital, where he does the same. Then he comes to see us at our abode, and finding Father de Quen in better health than he had left him on going away, he said to him these words: “My Father, I have prayed to God for you every day, I have said to him, ‘My God, heal the Father who teaches us, if you see that that be well; but if you will that he die, make him go straight to Heaven.’” After that, he asked the Father what he must do in order thoroughly to expiate a fault of which he had already made confession. The Father explained to him the three kinds of atonement — alms, prayer, and fasting. The next day he goes away to the Hospital to see the sick, one of whom asked him for a sheet; he goes out without delay, proceeds to Kebec, buys a sheet at the store, and brings it to the sick man. Since then, he has always continued this charity toward the poor and the infirm, and takes a singular pleasure in comforting them, and in speaking to them of God.

Last year, being in the woods during Lent, to hunt and make his provision [70] of smoked meat, he did his own cooking apart, so as not to eat meat in Lent. One day, when he was cooking a bit of fish in a small kettle, his wife, who is not Christian, and who is of a haughty temper, spitefully threw a handful of ashes into the kettle, mocking him and prayers: our good Charles, without growing angry or saying a single word, empties the kettle, goes after some water, and puts it back on the fire; throwing, by that [Page 57] act of patience, a full glass of water over the anger and the pride of his wife, who after that dared to do nothing.

Seeing his brother going away to the hunt, and some other Christian Algonquins, who were going to the fort of Richelieu, he gave to each one of them an arm’s length of porcelain, three fingers wide, which is a present of value among them, — so that they should always have regard for prayer, and take care not to go astray among the Algonquins up there. Then, taking [71] his brother aside (whose name is Eustache, and who is a very good Christian), he gave him his Crucifix, and said to him: “My brother, pray constantly before the Crucifix, and then, when you shall have prayed, kiss it with love and respect. Remember me in your prayers, and take courage; return as soon as you can, so as to be taught. Remember that God is everywhere, and that he sees you always; do nothing wrong; keep Sundays and Feast days: have for this purpose a paper which marks them. As for me, I know not yet where I shall go; I will do what he who commands here shall tell me. I do not dispose of my own person, and I do not wish to; for I know that God wishes that we depend on those whom he has put here below in his place. I will go to the hunt in the direction that he shall tell me; then I will guide the prisoner back to his own country, if they give me that commission. In case I do not see you again, I make you heir to all my little furniture, to my bed, to my nets, to [72] my French dishes; you are already with me in possession of the little French house which the Fathers have given us. If I go as far as the country of the Albenaquiois, with the prisoner whom I am to leave [Page 59] there, I would like to have an interpreter, in order to speak to them of God and of the faith: I would do so very gladly.”

This man seems full of the spirit of God in his words and in his deeds. God granted him his desire: for he had as companion on his journey a young man who is a native of that very country of the Abenaquiois, who speaks their language very well, and is a good Christian. These two led back the prisoner, and wintered with the Abenaquiois, where Charles efficaciously preached the law of God; but — as those people have no acquaintance or commerce with any one else, except with some English who are wont to go there; and are much given to drunkenness by means of the liquor that they get in trade with the heretics, and with the vessels of the coast — the discourses of our good Christian had not so much effect. One of the [73] Abenaquiois Captains, however, followed him and protested that he was forsaking his own country in order to dwell here and obtain instruction, so as to be Baptized. He is working to that end now, and seems of a docile temper, and very desirous of Baptism; the result will appear, — we must prove him at leisure. Experience teaches us here and among the Hurons, that the multitude of Savages baptized and little tried, serves not much for the advancement of Christianity; we see clearly that one Savage well tried, well converted, and constant in his resolution, does much more to extend the faith and attract a whole nation, than a weak and inconstant multitude.

Our good Charles, while with the Abenaquiois, went with them to visit the English in their settlement.[4] He took them for Frenchmen, — the Savages [Page 61] do not yet know how to distinguish the Europeans, either by nation or by religion; Charles therefore believes that he is going to see some Frenchmen. Having entered, he takes his Beads, and shows them; an Englishman addresses him, saying: “It is the Devil who invented that which thou [74] holdest; it is an invention of the evil spirit.” Charles, without being disturbed, looks at him, and says to him: “But it is the devil who makes him speak, and puts his own words into his mouth. Thou despisest the son of God and his Mother.” The Englishman knew not what to say, seeing a man so resolute, who understood no other argument than his own faith. Charles again draws forth a beautiful image; for he is furnished with all the instructions for devotion. The heretic, seeing him, showed him an old rag on the ground, and said to him, “What thou holdest is worth no more than that.” Charles looks at him again, and says to him: “Believe this, that God sees and hears thee. Know certainly that thou wilt burn in hell, since thou despisest what God has made and ordered.” After that time, the heretics left him in peace.

This good man has had the comfort of seeing the Abnaquiois Captain who followed him, baptized. This chapter was already written when that Proselyte, urging his baptism, saw himself enriched with an increase of favor, which he was not expecting, — for Monsieur the Chevalier de Montmagny wished to be his Godfather, in the name of the Grand [75] Master of Malta. This Prince, truly zealous for Jesus Christ, writing back to him, exhorts him to continue his zeal, and to increase his fervor, for the glory of the King of Heaven, and for the service of his most [Page 63] Christian Majesty, — who, honoring him, as he says, with a temporal Government, favors him much more by giving him an &ice in which there are so many Crowns to gather for Eternity. It is certain, moreover, that this worthy Chevalier allows no flower or pearl to be lost, which can serve as material for these. [Page 65]




THE Atticameges are one of the Nations whom we have in the North; they live three or four days’ journey from the great river, inland. Last autumn, 1642, thirteen canoes, containing about sixty persons, came down to the trade at the three rivers; they were entire households, contrary to the usual practice of those peoples, who send only the most robust on such journeys, on account of the extreme difficulty of the roads. But as they had a nobler object than that of trade, and one which was inspired in them of God, these families wished to attain it all together. This was the occasion of their coming: Jean Baptiste, Captain of the Montagnais, a resident at Sillery, and himself deriving his origin from the country of the Atticameges, [77] was moved with a zeal and desire for their Salvation. Accordingly, he invited their Captain, with gifts according to his custom, to come and see the habitation of Sillery, and the clearings that have been made for them, and together hear mention of the Law of God; they accepted the gifts, and resolved to obey. Father Buteux, who was at the three rivers when they arrived there, confirmed them in their resolution; they then come down to Sillery toward the beginning of November, 1642, and encamp near Jean Baptiste. All our Christians received them with much charity; [Page 67] each one taxes himself in order to furnish them their little store of eels and of indian corn. It is done in this fashion: one of the principal Neophytes goes forth from his cabin, and makes a public proclamation on the part of the Captain, representing the coming of these good people, and their design. That is enough; each one runs to his little storehouse, takes a goodly bundle, and carries it to them without delay, and cheerfully. The Atticamege Captain, with five or six of the most notable persons, proceeds to Quebec, to greet Monseigneur the Governor, and render him account of their arrival. [78] Jean Baptiste and Noel Tekwerimatch, with two of our Fathers, accompanied them. They then relate how Jean Baptiste has told them of our holy faith, and of the help which the French were giving them;’ of the great care which Monsieur the Governor takes of those who are willing to believe in God, — that this is what has brought them; that, after having been instructed and baptized, they would return to their own country to carry the news to their fellow Countrymen. Monsieur the Governor received them with much affection, encouraged them to listen to the Fathers, and to learn thoroughly that which concerned their Salvation; then, adding deeds to words, he sees to it that they are given a good supply of wood and of biscuit. They return to Sillery, quite carried away with joy, and proceed to study with ardor the Catechism and the prayers; Father Buteux was their teacher. The half have been baptized; all the others are Catechumens, and exceedingly desirous of the same blessing. But they are put off for good reasons; it is well to try the Savages a long time, — especially when one suspects that temporal [Page 69] interest [79] moves them, or that they are more attached to their errors; there is no nation, however barbarous, which has not its superstitions. The latter class in question put their whole confidence in their drums, their feasts, and their sweats, which they make in order to invoke the manitou, and to drive away sickness and hunger. These errors, which seem nothing but silly nonsense, possessed them thoroughly, — they themselves did not believe they could ever get rid of them. Most of them approved prayer as something good and necessary: but, for the rest, they were not willing to quit their superstitions, believing that this was to expose themselves to the miseries which they dreaded most. The example of the Christians of Sillery, and continual instruction, have undeceived them and have, little by little, plucked away this folly of the understanding, and with it the instruments which they used for practicing their superstitions. The most certain mark of his good will that any one wished to give, was to bring his drum to the fathers who were teaching them; several did so at the beginning of the winter, and rendered themselves capable of being enrolled in the number [80] of the children of God. I will here allude to the more notable incidents which occurred at the Baptism of certain persons.

The first who was thus received, was one called Anikoutchi, named Michel at his Baptism; he is a young man about 25 years old, who has displayed incredible care to be instructed, and to receive what was said to him. All his thoughts were wholly of prayer, and even his dreams; insomuch that while sleeping it seemed to him that he was listening to some instruction, or repeating what he had learned [Page 71] One day, the Father, wishing to moderate him, told him that he should not come so often, and that he would lose his taste for prayer, if he were taught so long. “Fear not that,” he said; “thou couldst not tell me so much of it as I desire. I can indeed surfeit myself with meat or other things, but not with that which concerns the faith; that is what I like, that is what I cherish above all things in the world. Whatever beautiful thing I see among you French, touches me not: it is only your faith and your manner of praying to God, which ravishes my heart; I desire only that from [81] you.” When he had learned that a certain man, of whom I shall speak hereinafter, had brought his drum to the Father, he came on the same errand, and said to him: “Why hast thou not asked for mine? here it is; I had already thrown it away, I know not where; tell me if there is anything else to be given up, so as to be better prepared for my baptism; tell me at once, for I am ready to carry it out. I care no more for what those of my nation might say of me; I would not in anything else displease them, but in that which is of the faith and of the service of God, it matters little to me to please or displease them. They mock at me because I sometimes go to spend the night with you, but I scarcely vex myself for that. I do so in order to gain time and opportunity; thou hast no leisure during the day, when thou art visiting the Cabins; at night thou hast the time to teach me.” One evening, quite late, the Father, returning from the Cabins where he had given instruction, fell from top to bottom of a very slippery hill, and sank in the snows; the fall was quite severe and dangerous. This good young man — who was [Page 73] accompanying him, [82] so as to be always learning some good word — seeing him in this plight, with a small lantern in his hand in order to save himself from the precipices of ice and snow, exclaimed: “Oh, that the Savages who will not believe might see the pains that you take for them; they would judge by that, that prayer is a thing of consequence.” And, in fact, several of his fellow countrymen were touched, seeing that no pains were spared either morning or evening, amid roads and weather so rough, in order to teach them. This young man was then chosen, together with a young girl his kinsmaid, about fifteen years old, very modest, of a good mind, and well instructed, — that they might be, as it were, the first fruits of the faith among the others of that nation of the North. We begged Monsieur the Governor to honor their baptism, and to serve as Godfather; he did so very willingly, and chose for this purpose the Hospital consecrated to the precious blood of Jesus Christ. The principal Savages were all there. This young man and this young girl were delighted with their good fortune; they answered all the questions and [83] interrogations with a confidence and modesty that indicated nothing of the Savage. Monsieur the Governor gave the name of Michel to the young man; we hope that the glorious Archangel, protector of the whole Church, will stretch forth his arm and his might, for the defense of these new Christians of the North, and of these peoples, the most forsaken in the world. The girl was named Marie. After the baptism, Monsieur the Governor made a feast, remarkable for the country, for forty of the leading Savages. The Atticamegues thanked him, and showed him their great satisfaction at [Page 75] seeing this happy beginning among their nation. Here is another who has shown no less of ardor and courage in his baptism; he is one called Antoine, or Ouabakouachits, aged about fifty years, — it was he who the first of all brought his drum to the Father. After having heard him discourse one evening, as usual, concerning the things of God, he exclaimed aloud: “It is true; thou art right; and I protest before all those who are listening to me, that I will no longer have recourse to the devil, [84] or to my superstitions. I disavow them and give up all the instruments thereof, and wish to be baptized. See, there is my drum;” he throws it down before all, and, as he was the first to do this action publicly and boldly, he was much praised by all the Christians. This man has high opinions of the things of God and of the faith. “There is nothing,” he said one day, “which so saddens me as to see that I have so long obeyed the devil, and have not known him who has made all, and who preserves all; and I have so little wherewith to honor him and pray to him. Ah! why am I not like my children, who, being still young, have a quick wit and a good memory for retaining what is taught them. I am often inclined to be angry at them, because they do not teach me as much as I would like.” It was a pleasure to see this man, fifty years old, being taught by his own little girl of ten years; he would make her sit beside him, and repeat after her his Pater, his Ave, and all the prayers; and would have her question him in the Catechism, like a Pupil by his Teacher. ‘He was baptized at nostre-Dame des [85] Anges, with especial consolation to our Fathers who were there present. It was intensely cold weather, — so much so that [Page 77] several persons sometimes had the extremities of their feet and hands frozen by it. He remained, with clasped hands, during all the ceremonies of the Baptism, and always answered with a sense of devotion and of humility, which appeared in his whole bearing. They baptized after him his son, seven or eight years old; he further wished to be present at the entire ceremony, and to encourage him by words and by gestures to behave himself modestly in this action. At the end, he said to him: “My son, take courage; it is now that you must be enemy of everything which God forbids; it is now that you must be wise. Learn the prayers well, and remember them, so as to teach them to me.” This man is one of the most considerable of the Atticameges.

Here is a third, called Oueratchenon, who deserves place here: he is the cousin of Michel, of whom I have spoken previously. He is of a bold and forward nature, which has caused his Baptism to be deferred a considerable time; but the great [86] entreaties that he made for it, have opened the door to him, — indeed, one would find it hard to believe all that he has done in order to attain his object. As soon as he had resolved to seek baptism, he went in quest of his drum, buried somewhere in the snows, and came to find the Father. “See,” he said to him, “that is what was formerly my greatest attachment; since I give it up, I forsake all my superstitions. Fear not to baptize me; I am married, — my wife wishes to be baptized, my son is so already, and my mother also; what then hinders you from doing the same to me? Be assured of me, I shall never be ashamed to profess the faith. Since I have known the prayers, I have had them said openly at my [Page 79] house, morning and evening; tell me if you desire anything further, and I will do it.” “I wish to prove you further,” said the Father. He was patient for some time, then several times brought forward the Nuns to intercede for him; but, seeing that we still deferred, he goes to find the Father in private, and says to him: “Come now, if I die without baptism, who will be to blame? Thou wilt answer for it [87] to God, for I desire it with ardor, I have done all that thou hast told me; I have learned all that thou hast taught me, — I know it by heart; and behold me ready to do still more, and to die, rather than do aught against the faith, or give it up; and, after all that, thou refusest me. And what shall I do, if I must still continue all this winter without being baptized, and incur dangers to my salvation? I would rather winter here near thee, if thou art so satisfied.” Finally, he did so much that he obtained baptism, and was named Jean; he has behaved himself very well since that time. One Sunday, toward evening, the Father, entering his cabin, found him reciting his Rosary very devoutly. His prayer being done, “This,” he said, “is in order to atone for the fault which I have committed by not having been present today at Mass, having gone five days ago to the hunt, in order to feed my family.” The Father told him that there was no fault in this, since he had not been able to return in time. “It is true,” he said; “but nevertheless I must make amends, because I was not present there.” A comrade of his, lamenting to him that he did not know the prayers, and could not [88] remember them, — “It is no wonder,” Jean said to him; “for you do not firmly and heartily believe what is taught [Page 81] you, and SO you do not exert yourself to learn it, — your mind applies itself only by half. As for me, I am assured in my heart that I believe and hold for certain all that they teach us, and thus I employ all my powers in order to understand it and retain it.” And, in fact, he applied himself with so much effort that he understood and learned by heart the whole Pater in less than a half-hour. Moreover, one who shall understand the Savages will be astonished at the liberty that he took in reproving his comrade; for I will say, in passing, that it is astonishing, what respect the Savages show to one another in this regard. Although they are void of humility, and. have an entire freedom to do and say whatever they like in their cabins, nevertheless, in the matter of reproving one another, they proceed with a strange circumspection and prudence.

Two others were baptized in the Chapel of the Ursulines: Guillaume Pataouabi and Anne his wife, both [89] aged about twenty-five years. They have signalized themselves, not only in learning the prayers, but also in teaching them to the others. When the Father began to instruct them, they would count the points and the questions on their fingers; but, the number coming to exceed that of the fingers, they would mark them on pieces of bark, making’ certain figures which represented for them the sense. of some clause; they would apply themselves with great intensity to understand it and retain it, and then to teach it to the others. The wife had also her mother, about fifty years old, very good-natured, and who seemed born for devotion, — but who had, withal, extreme difficulty in retaining what was taught her, This woman then began to aid her mother [Page 83] with a great zeal; the good old woman also applied herself heartily, so that, with the help of her daughter, she learned by heart, in less than three or four days, the Pater, the Ave, and the Credo. The husband did no less on his side: for, having a brother of his, — of a gross mind, but having good will, — he would spend the best part of the day in rehearsing [90] beside him the prayers and the instruction, and in making him repeat them, with an admirable patience, which could proceed only from a true charity. Since their Baptism, they have given us noble examples of virtue.

The Husband one day, entering his cabin, saw a drum made on the French pattern; he takes it and tears it to pieces, saying, “I know well that that is not bad; but yet I must not keep it, for fear of causing the others to remember their drums and forbidden superstitions.” “There is nothing,” he said one day, “which does not remind me of God; in whatever direction I go, I can see nothing which has not been made by him, and wherein his power and his goodness do not appear. The sight of creatures helps me to believe that there is a God who has made them, and to love him.” When he was ready to go away, on the return to his own country, sieur Tronquet,[5] who had been his godfather, made him a present. This good Savage remained some time without saying a word, then, turning toward Father Buteux, there present, he spoke to him as follows: “I know not on what account that excellent man [91] makes me this present; if it be to engage me to keep the Faith, it needs no more than the fire of Hell to check me, and hold me in my duty. If it be to the end that I remember him, I could not forget [Page 85] him, unless I forget the name of Guillaume which he has given me, and which I cherish infinitely. If it be to show his liberality toward me, I can do nothing else than thank him, which I do heartily, and beg him to believe that I will never give up the faith in which he has served me as godfather.” Those who were there present were not expecting this answer on the spot, from a Savage.

The Captain of the Atticamegues was not Baptized at that time; he had good will, but not all the necessary preparation. His wife outstripped him, and obtained Baptism by her fervor and her constancy; and she then so effectually gained her husband that she made him pray to God evening and morning, and gradually obliged him to give up his drum, — which, it was believed, he would never abandon till death, so attached was he to it; and he kept boasting of having preserved his own life and those of his people by [92) the Juggleries that he performed with that instrument. Now, although he gave it up, his Baptism was nevertheless deferred until the spring, so as to render him more steadfast. Here is a case of conscience which his wife proposed to the Father, when she was ready to go away: “If my husband,” said she, “who is not yet Baptized, wishes to make some feast at which the Devil shall be honored, I shall be obliged, according to our custom, to prepare the kettle; what shall I do in that event?” “It will be well,” says the Father, “not to have a hand in it, and to tell thy husband that thou hast renounced the Devil, and that he ought to do the same. But if, nevertheless, thou shouldst judge that he might molest thee, or weaken toward the Faith on that account, thou couldst behave as usual, [Page 87] without claiming anything else than to obey thy husband and prepare for him to eat.” “Come what will,” said she, “I am quite resolved to do nothing for such a feast; he who has made all will give me strength.”

A good old man (he was the oldest of the band), having come to confess before going away, said to the Father: “It is for the last time that I shall speak to thee, my [93] body is going into decay. I shall leave it in the woods; but my soul cannot die; take courage to pray God for me. Think in thy heart that I shall have died in the Faith, and in the desire of going to Heaven; whatever happens, I will never take back my superstitions. Truly, I thank thee for my Baptism, and for having taught me the way to Heaven, — how shall I repay thee for thy trouble in teaching me? If I had strength to go to the hunt, I would make thee a present of the first Moose that I should kill, I have nothing left but a little tobacco pouch, which I have ornamented and beautified as thou seest; there it is, I give it to thee.” The Father answered him, smiling: “I teach thee for God, and for the love that I bear to thy soul, and not for thy goods; keep it, I await the recompense from God. Have courage and persevere constantly, so as to go to Heaven.”

A good old woman, after her Baptism, having heard some account of the grandeurs of France, said to the Father: “I believe that all thou sayest of thy country is true, but that is not what I desire the most, — I prefer [94] Paradise to all that. If I am there some day, as I hope, I shall see all the world, and what is still more beautiful than the world. Indeed, I sigh after that eternal house, and would I [Page 89] could lead thither all my people with me. I burn with a desire to see them all converted. Oh, but I would like to know all that thou knowest! I would teach my children and my nephews, who are up there in the woods, where they live like beasts. Take courage, thou who art a friend of God, to teach us! Oh, if thou couldst embark with us in the spring, thou shouldst instruct us in our own country! What shall we do without Mass, without Confession, and without a teacher?” This last sentiment, which we were not yet able to satisfy, was common to all these poor people, and drew tears from our eyes; but yet it was not that which most grieved us. The slight means that we had to defend them and the other Savages against the Hiroquois, their enemies, gave us much keener pangs at heart, and tempered the joy that we had at their conversion, with extreme bitterness; [95] I will speak of it subsequently. I recur a little more to that good old woman; while prayers were being said, she could not permit that any of her fellow Countrymen should be seated, — she would exhort them to fold their hands, and demean themselves modestly; and if they were children, she would herself take their hands, and make them fold them during the prayers. Seeing the Father enter her cabin, she said to her son: “Here is the Father; take courage, and do what thou hast resolved.” At the same time, the young man draws forth his two drums, and gives them to the Father, with these words: “See, there are my drums, I give them up.” The mother added: “That means that he renounces the Devil and requests Baptism.” “That is true,” said the son, “and I believe that it will be granted me, when I shall know the prayers: but since [Page 91] I give thee the thing in which I was hoping much for my consolation, thou must also give me a thing which thou greatly cherishest, — I mean a Rosary, in order to honor the Mother of the Son of God.” The Father promised him one, as soon as he should have’ learned to say it, which was soon done. It is incredible how much [96] these good people are inclined to this devotion of saying their Rosary in honor of the Son of God and of his most Blessed Mother, and how eager they are to have them, — especially those which are rather large and handsome, to wear them suspended about their necks. Here is an incident which will cause shame to many children of France: the Father was one day asking a little girl if she wished to go to Heaven. “And where, then, should I wish to go?” said she. “But,” said the Father, smiling, “girls who, like thee, do not obey their parents, do not go to Heaven.” “And why dost thou say that, since thou prayest, and teachest that we must not lie or slander? Thou dost both, — thou liest, and thou speakest ill of me; for I never disobey my parents, and am careful not to do so, now that I know God and love prayer.” The Mother, who was there present, seconded her; another put himself on her side, and the whole cabin would have been against the Father, if he had not confessed that he had said that in jest, and in order to try her.

The children who have been Baptized at years of discretion, have given evidences [97] of a good mind; they quickly apprehend, retain easily, and have become very diligent in the Catechism; which has been not a little useful for the older ones, who have learned the prayers from the younger. It has often happened that, the Father wishing to teach the [Page 93] Pater, the Ave, and the Credo to persons of age, they would say to him: “I know all that already; my son or my daughter has taught it to me.” This method has succeeded very well; but one must acknowledge that the great desire to learn which they have had, and their good nature, have availed much therein. The Father entering the Captain’s cabin at evening in order to hold prayers and instruction there, they would go straightway to the other cabins to notify them. Every one would come; all would kneel, fold their hands, and close their eyes in order to pray and repeat with more attention. If any one did not immediately quit the task that he had in hand, he was severely reproved. A little girl having wished to put in her mouth a prune that had been given her for having answered well, three or four struck her forthwith, and made her stop. Another girl, aged [98] seven years, seeing her elder sister toying with something or other that she held in her hand, seized it from her, saying, “It is the Devil who puts that in thy hand.” When the Father was explaining some point, each one would note it on his fingers, as soon as he opened his lips. It was a pleasure to see them all raise their hands in the air, and bend their fingers, according to the number of the propositions that he made; and as that was not quite sufficient to aid the memory, most of them would paint or draw marks on pieces of bark, with red paint. At last, they persuaded the Father himself to represent on a paper what he had to explain to them. He would therefore make certain marks or characters, which signified the meaning of these things; each one, seeing the paper fastened aloft in the cabin, devoured it with his eyes; the Father, [Page 95] with a stick, would show them what each character or figure meant. After he had spoken, those who thought they had understood would take the stick; and, repeating, would do like those who explain enigmas. This method, joined to their fervor and good will, served not [99] a little to make them understand the mysteries of our holy Faith. The Christians of Sillery were filled with joy to see such a result among their allies, and, on their side, vigorously contributed thereto. One, among others, went about, one day, shouting aloud round the cabins: “Atticamegues, take courage; believe firmly. If it is in earnest that you believe, you will prize the Faith above all things in the world. We now experience it in you others, — we who have already believed for several Years; we feel how great a blessing it is to know God and learn the way to Heaven.” The Algonquin women did the like, on their side; the Father one day met one of these, called Angelique, who was exhorting them. He encouraged her, and said to her: ‘You do well; continue.” She answers, “I do so with a good heart: but what can a poor old woman like me tell them, except to teach them to say the Rosary, and to recite it for them myself?” This humility was praiseworthy; but in reality, when we heard her explain the mysteries of our [100] holy Faith, she delighted us. She often asked the Fathers, “Well, what are the Atticamegues doing? Do they believe firmly? do they know the prayers? Would to God that they and all the Savages had a heart like mine; they would desire to love God more than they do.” This good old woman has some Atticamegue kinsfolk; she wished to go and winter with them in their own country, in order to [Page 97] help them pray to God, and remember what they had learned. The evening before they set out for their great hunt, Father Buteux went to say farewell to them; all assembled in one cabin, and showed him a gratitude fit to break the heart. He consoled them, and made them see the change which God had wrought in them; the great obligation which they had to thank the divine goodness therefor, and to love it; the fidelity which they had promised him; the chastisements wherewith God would punish those who should forsake the Faith, and behave themselves ill in Christianity. Then he made them two presents, in order to remind them of two things: the first was a Crucifix, to [101] warn them to keep the Faith all their life, and to remember that the son of God had died for them. The second was a dry stick, which was good only to put in the fire, — adding, that it would be the same with those who should not obey God; that they would be like dead wood, and would burn forever in Hell. At the end, the prayers were said with a great fervor. The Father distributed Catalogues to several, that they might know the days of feasts, and observe them. The women were awaiting the Father at the exit from the cabin, in order to say farewell to him. The Captain’s wife spoke, and, mingling tears with her words, said to him: “In truth, we feel a great regret to leave thee; and what shall we do without a teacher in the woods? Adieu, Father Buteux, — and what will a poor idiot like me do, without mass, without Confession, and without any one to teach us?” The other women said no less to him, and all said “Adieu” with clasped hands, exclaiming: “Pray to God for US and for our kinsfolk.” Finally, the cold and the night [Page 99] had to separate them. Such is a portion of the most noteworthy incidents [102] in the instruction and at the Baptism of the Atticamegues during the winter. They returned to the three rivers in the spring, in order to enjoy the Sacraments, to learn more and more about the things of the Faith, and to have those Baptized who were the best prepared among whom was the Captain with two of his married daughters. I know not whether I shall have leisure to draw up an account of it before the departure of the Ships. Even if the donation of the late Monsieur de Sillery had never produced any other good, I believe that he is well satisfied in Heaven. It is true that God has, from the start, given his blessing upon the Christianity of Sillery, and still continues to pour his graces upon the Christian Savages who dwell there; but their settlement at that place is greatly hindered in two directions. One obstacle is the fear of the Hiroquois, who are increasing in arms, in forces, and in cruelty; the other is the poverty of the country and of the Savages, which makes them roving, and obliges them to wander in search of their living; and I know not whether the succor and the means which are given us in order to remedy this evil can be continued, [103] and a settlement be made which can be stable of itself. The blessing which God has given upon the beginnings, makes us hope for a successful advance and a happy end. [Page 101]





HESeminary of the Hurons, which had been established at nostre-Dame des Anges some Years ago, in order to educate children of that nation, was interrupted for good reasons, and especially because no notable fruit was seen among the Savages; our experience in beginning the instruction of a people with the children, has made us recognize this fact. Here is an occasion which has obliged us to reëstablish a Seminary in a new fashion, as it were, — but easier, and in behalf of persons, older, and more capable of instruction. God grant that the incursions of the Hiroquois may not hinder us from continuing.

[104] A young man, of those who had formerly been at the first Seminary of the Hurons at Nostre Dame des Anges, happening to be in a great storm, in the midst of their great lake, made a vow to God, if he escaped, to lead a more regular and orderly life. His vow is heard — he is delivered, contrary to every human probability; he goes to find our Fathers who were with the Hurons, and imparts to them his vow and his resolution. They think thereon; they deliberate; they finally resolve to take him out of his own country, where he was in greater danger, and to send him down here, so that he should be better aided, and that he might see the example [Page 103] of the French and of the Algonquins of Sillery. They gave him for companion another Huron young man, who desired to become a Christian; both these arrived at Sillery last year, in the month of September. It was on that occasion that I again detained Father Jean de Brébeuf, who had wintered here in the preceding year, and who had not yet gone up again, in order to instruct them and to take charge of them. Several other Huron young men, who had come down to trade, presented themselves [105] also to us, in order to be received and instructed; but, the scanty provisions that we have not permitting us to admit any more, part of them were constrained to return to their own country, and the others, to join the Algonquins in order to go during the winter to the hunt or to the war with them.

Nevertheless, the charity of Monsieur the Governor and of the Hospital Mothers has given us means to add three to the first two, and to baptize those with us who were not baptized. With the help that I have mentioned, we have lodged and maintained four of them, and toward the Spring, a sixth, who came unexpectedly. Generally speaking, all have greatly edified us; they were always among the first at Mass and at prayers, and were the last to leave, both at evening and in the morning. They failed not to say their prayers, quite long, on both knees, whether they were at home or hunting in the woods. Several times in the day they went to the Chapel, to pray to God and salute the blessed Sacrament; they would take care not to begin anything [106] without having first made the sign of the Cross. All, since their baptism, have not failed to Confess themselves and receive Communion at least every Sunday; and [Page 105] several of them went to Confess themselves as soon as they thought they had committed any notable fault. Throughout the winter, they went every Sunday to Quebec, in order to attend high Mass, from which they have not been absent, whatever the state of the weather, — although the distance is about two leagues, and though they were usually obliged to start before daylight, during the rigor of the winter; but the desire of pleasing God, and the satisfaction that they received in seeing the devotion of our French, assembled in the Church, caused them to find nothing difficult. Moreover, the peace and unity in which they have lived together, and with our French and the Algonquin Savages, and the services which they willingly rendered, showed well enough what the power of faith and of the divine grace can do when it has gained possession of even Savage hearts. The foregoing is what was common to all; here follows what is individual. The one who [107] gave occasion for the whole enterprise is a certain Armant Andewaraken, who has aided not a little, by his deeds and his words, in the instruction of the others, and in encouraging them to do well. Our Lord has imparted to him, at intervals, great desires for his salvation, — and sometimes even to forsake the world and to enter into Religion, which he knows very well, and separates from the common life; but it requires a long probation, — to be a Savage and to be a Religious are things which seem very repugnant; nevertheless, the grace of God, and time, will avail to compass everything. This young man came one day of last Winter to find Father Brébeuf, at the end of his Mass, and spoke to him as follows: “My Father, I have great desire to do right and to save [Page 107] myself; I have wholly resolved that, for I fear those fires which burn incessantly beneath the earth, and which are never extinguished. In order to attain what I desire, I would like to live always with you, and not return to the Hurons, where there is great difficulty in saving oneself, — the opportunities for sin are frequent in our villages, [108] and the liberty in them is great. I am nevertheless determined to obey, and to do everything which the Father Superior shall order. If he commanded me to go to the Hyroquois, I would go very willingly, without any escort; and even if he commanded me to cast myself at the loss of life, into this river which passes yonder before us, I would do so at once.” Thus he spoke, not looking at the thing which in itself is illicit, but simply at the command. “Moreover,” he said, “let the Father Superior tell me what I ought to do; I am sure that it will be the will of God, and therefore I shall acquiesce therein. Archiendasse “ — that is to say, Father Hierosme l’Allemant, who is Superior among the Hurons — “has addressed me to ‘him. I know well that you have still other Superiors in France; but it is he who here takes the place of God, and who will tell me what I must do,” The Father Superior sent him word that he greatly praised his design and his devotion; that he should persevere courageously; that we would always have a most special care for him; that, with reference to living down there with us, we would think of it, [108] and we would recommend the matter to God, and that he, on his part, should do the same. There was a consultation after prayers were done, and it was found best that he should return again to his own country, — that God-fearing, as he is, and assisted by [Page 109] our Fathers, this would be the best for him and for his fellow Countrymen. He has mightily applied himself to the mortification of his impulses and inclinations; often he felt himself prone to dispute, and sometimes he would grow angry at certain words; but straightway he would return to himself, and stop short in silence, remembering that he had resolved to do right. One day, having had some difference with one of our Frenchmen, he not only went straightway to Confess, but he went to ask pardon of the one whom he had offended, embracing him tenderly; and since then he has rendered him all the services in his power.

The first to profit by these examples has been a young man named Saouaretchi, who had come down with him; he is of an excellent disposition, — gentle, peaceable, obedient, industrious, — and endowed with a good mind, by means of which he has quickly [110] learned all the prayers. He was baptized on Christmas eve, in the Chapel of the Ursuline Mothers, and named Ignace, by Monsieur Martial Piraube. On the very night of that great Feast, he received his first Communion; and since that time he has always continued to confess himself and receive Communion every Sunday, with much devotion: his desire to be instructed has notably appeared in this point. His comrades, toward the beginning of Lent, having taken the resolution to go hunting for the Moose, he said that, for his part, he would not go; and that he had not come from so far in order to go hunting, but in order to know God, and learn to serve him, and that he made account of no other thing than that; that it was this which he aspired to carry away at his return, and not skins of Moose, or other things. His [Page 111] particular devotion has been to fast every Saturday, in order to prepare himself for Sunday Communion, and for the prompt performance of all that was commanded him. The Baptism of this young man causes us to hope for the Conversion of many others; [111] for, besides that he is very exemplary and very zealous, he belongs to one of the largest and most numerous families of the Hurons, which already is thoroughly attached to the faith, and which awaits, it seems, only the Baptism of this young man in order to plunge after him into those blessed waters.

About the middle of January, one of the other Hurons, who had gone to live among the Algonquins of the Island, and who until then had remained with them near the fort of Richelieu, came down to Sillery, expressly to be instructed in the faith. The village of which he is native is named Arrente,[6] and he is nephew to one of the Captains; but what commends him still more, is his extreme gentleness and docility in every respect. He has very good wit and judgment; mild and thoroughly obedient.

The Hospital Mothers have lodged and fed him, with a charity which embraces all sorts of nations. It is remarkable how much satisfaction he has given them in all the services which have been desired of him; these he has rendered with a cheerfulness, promptness, and constancy that [112] would cause shame to many Frenchmen. His affection toward the faith has made itself noteworthy, — not only in that he constantly came, evening and morning, to find the Father, in order to be instructed; but also in that, having been instructed in some new prayer or lesson, he would repeat and meditate upon it, and that so much and so long, that he knew it before [Page 113] going away. Hence there was’ no need of telling him the same thing twice over. He failed not to go, into the Chapel of the Hospital every evening and every morning, in order to say his prayers there; and stayed there a good space of time. He was baptized at the Hospital, the 8th of March, and was named Pierre by Monsieur de Repentigny, who since. then has ever shown him much affection.

About the middle of February, two other Huron young men — natives of the same village as the, preceding, and impelled by the same desire to have themselves enrolled in the number of the Christians — also abandoned the Algonquins at the fort of Richelieu, in order to come in quest of Father de Brébeuf, so as to be instructed by him. [113] We received them, moreover, at our abode; for want of room we were constrained to lodge them with our workmen; one was named Atarohiat, and the other, Atokouchiouani. The longing to be baptized as soon as possible, so greatly kindled in them the desire to be instructed, that they had learned all the prayers and the Catechism in a very little while; and one of them, moved with this vehement desire to learn, was not willing to divert himself by going to the hunt with his Comrades, saying: “The time that we have for staying here is too short: I desire to employ it in obtaining instruction; and then, besides, I have not the happiest memory in the world. I have not come down here to go hunting; and, as for eating meat, if I had cared to eat any, I had only to stay with the Algonquins up there at Richelieu, where the hunt is much better than here.” Seeing that they knew the prayers well, they requested Baptism so ardently, — saying, among other things, that they [Page 115] feared lest, going often into the woods, upon the waters, and into other dangerous places, there might happen to them some misfortune, — [141] that finally it was granted them. It was in the Church of Quebec where they were baptized, very solemnly, the day of the Annunciation of our Lady, when they also received Communion for the first time, according to the custom of the Church. Monsieur de saint Sauveur[7] gave the name of Joseph to Atarohiat; and Monsieur de la Vallée, that of René to Atokouchiouani.

I have said that they had been baptized as solemnly as possible, — and this designedly, because that has much effect upon the minds of the Savages, and is to them, not a slight incentive to belief. To this end, after the baptism of these two latter, Father de Brébeuf — having led all the Hurons before Monsieur. the Governor, in order to thank him for so much kindness and honor as he did them — asked them in his presence, all in succession, what that is which touched them the most, and most inclined them to embrace the faith. The first said, that what struck him chiefly was, to consider the omnipotence of God, with whom nothing is impossible; and to think of the [115] marvelous works which he has done, from the beginning of the world, as, to have drawn so many creatures out of nothing; to have caused the children of Israel to pass through the red sea with dry feet; to have fed them with the Manna for the space of forty years; to have satisfied several thousand persons with five loaves and two fishes; to have raised Lazarus from the dead, four days after death;. and countless other like wonders.

Another said that what touched him very strongly was to see men and Religious maids leave their own [Page 117] country, where they were much at their ease, and without danger, in order to come to places where there is nothing but dangers and incredible inconveniences, — and all that in order to instruct them, and win them to God.

But the most part answered that what mainly attracted their attention was, to see all that was done to honor God. “When we see,” said they, “every one assemble here on Sundays and Feasts, in order to hear the Mass and to pray to God; when we see Confessions and frequent Communions, [161] observed with so much devotion; when we consider what is done for the Savages, — how fields are prepared for them, how houses are built for them, how they are assisted in body and soul, — that is what makes us say that faith is something important, and that what you teach is true.” Toward Spring there arrived a sixth, who had been baptized in passing through Montreal, together with some Algonquins. He lodged, as a rule, at the Hospital, with Pierre, his Comrade, and tried to compensate with his fervor for the little time that he should have, and to become instructed before his Baptism. He has given every sort of contentment to Father Brébeuf, in the short time that he could have him for his Teacher. Such has been the status of our five or six Huron boarders, who no doubt would be more numerous if the means were greater. Howbeit, one thing has caused them fear and given them pain, — to wit, the return to their country; “For,” they said, “while we shall be here among you, it [171] is hardly possible for us to offend God, seeing so many good examples of virtue, and no vices: but in our own country, it is quite the contrary, — one knows not what it is to do right; [Page 119] it is a chaos of confusion and of disorder.” “And then,” said the one last baptized, “there is as yet scarcely any one in our village, or in those round about, who has solidly embraced the faith. We are the first and the only ones.” Thus they spoke, and represented the danger wherein they believed themselves to be, of offending the divine Majesty. In fact, they have just cause to fear, and we also; and if, indeed, some one of them should happen to stumble, we must not be surprised. Nevertheless, we hope in the divine goodness that it will preserve them, and that it will perfect what it has begun. They all went away toward the middle of June, in order to return to their own country, in the company of about six-score other Hurons, who had come for trade. This plan of Seminary is easy, and can be realized at small expense, and is excellent, — choosing a number of young men, of twenty [181] or twenty-five years, of good will and good intelligence, and training them one Autumn and one Winter among our French and our Algonquin Christians; causing them to see and to taste the profession of Christianity among us, and among people of their very country; and then sending them away, under the Guard and the guidance of our Fathers who are with the Hurons. But I know not whether the rage of the Hiroquois will not deprive us of this consolation; and them, of so great a good fortune. If the Hurons were won over, the nation of the Neutrals, and others neighboring, would hardly be slow to follow. The Hurons who have come for trade have told us that these who are being instructed are, at present, the principal men of the country. [Page 121]




T is three years since we began this Mission; we were going in quest of nations very distant, and were leaving our neighbors there; that proceeded from their bad disposition, and from the aversion which they showed for the things of the faith. But within some years past, God having strongly influenced some of them, they have often come to see us, and to ask to be instructed; then, in fine, they begged and entreated us to go into their country, to spend some months of the year. This has succeeded very well, — insomuch that many little nations round about, moved by the rumor and the example of the former ones, have issued from these great forests of the North, — like poor sheep, straying and lost, — in order themselves to seek the Pastor, and save themselves from the jaws of the wolves. These poor [120] people, having heard the word of God, and tasted its sweetness, returned from the company of our Fathers into their own country, full of regret and affliction at having no one to cultivate that heavenly seed which they carried away in their hearts. Each one counted on returning at least in the Spring and in the Summer, and begged the Father who taught them to return himself also, at that time. Madame the Duchess d’Aiguillon, notwithstanding the unusual causes of grief and sadness that she has had, and that would have prostrated the [Page 123] courage of countless others, has none the less extended her care and her customary affection toward our Missions, and notably upon this one at Tadousac, Father Charles Lalemant writes to me from France that, hearing the tears and the complaints of the Savages of those quarters, because they so seldom had persons to instruct them, she has furnished means for supporting, this year, the Fathers necessary to that mission. Before we had received this news, we had anticipated her thoughts, and Father de Quen had gone thither as early as Spring, with excellent success; here follows a summary thereof.

[121] As soon as the Savages had heard the news that the Father was coming by Canoe, they sent a band of young men to meet him with a shallop which they had, in order to put him on board; and as he landed, they all showed a wonderful joy, — together with loving reproaches because of too long a delay, contrary to the word which he had given them, to be at Tadousac by the beginning of spring; then they proceeded to relate to him what they had done while waiting for him. For, seeing that he was late, they had chosen a young Savage, — a very good Christian, recently come from Sillery, — and had appointed him master of prayers. He had learned at Sillery those for morning and evening, together with the manner of reciting the Rosary. The Captain spoke to him, and gave him to understand how he had received charge from the Father, as soon as the Savages should have arrived at Tadousac in the spring, to assemble them all in a large cabin, twice a day, morning and evening, in order there to pray to God in public; that as yet, they knew very little, — but, as for him, having wintered [122] at Sillery, he had had the [Page 125] opportunity to learn, and had seen the practice of prayers; and they besought him to take charge thereof, saying that all would be obliged to obey him. After having spoken thus to him, he put in his hands a heavy whip of cords, with large knots, in order to beat those who should fail to be present at the prayers.

Furthermore, with an innocent simplicity, having seen that those who instruct among us wear the tonsure on their heads, they made him one, thinking that that was necessary. This good Neophyte exercised his charge with great zeal and great care, — assembling them all, evening and morning; pronouncing aloud the prayers, reciting with them the Rosary, and teaching them what he knew, — to the great satisfaction of all those good people, and to the great edification of some Frenchmen who had come down, in the spring, from Kebec to Tadousac. The Father heartily congratulated them upon these good tidings, and took that young lad for his companion, removing nothing from his office but the Tonsure that he had on his head.

[123] The first thing that the Father did, was to make a proclamation through all the cabins, that they should bring all the children under the age of discretion, who were not yet baptized, so as to confer upon them this sacrament, — which was soon executed by the diligence and piety of the parents, who were transported with delight. They brought them to the Chapel, a poor hut, — built in haste by the French, who unlade the Ships at Tadousac, — which, for want of other room, serves as Chapel. That done, the Father privately assembles all the Christians, and makes an exhortation to them; all confess themselves with singular comfort and devotion; [Page 127] nevertheless, on that first occasion, he granted Communion only to those whom he judged most fit therefor. They were present every morning at prayers and at Mass, and heard the instruction which was given after the Gospel, after which the Catechumens went out. The greatest part of the day was spent in teaching the men and the women, in private; in rehearsing the Catechism to the children, preparing those who requested Baptism, and teaching by heart the [124] Pater, the Ave, the Credo, and what must be said evening and morning, for which they are very eager. Toward the end of the day, they assembled again in the Chapel; upon the Father making a proclamation in the midst of that little portable village, you would have seen all those poor people, men and women, great and small, issuing in a crowd from their hovels, leaving their work and their sports, and running to the Chapel in order to say the prayers and listen to the Christian doctrine. All those who were not yet Baptized, were urging with importunity, to obtain this blessing; they would encourage one another and inquire of one another, “When shall you be baptized?” One of them, a famous sorcerer, said one day to the Father, “I see well, that you always put off my baptism on purpose; you believe that I request it as a pretense, and without desire of giving up my bad practices, with which you reproach me. No matter, — put it off as long as you will; try me as much as you like; inquire about my life. I shall nevertheless not lose courage; I shall not cease to hope, and to importune you, and to attend [125] prayers.” The Father consoled him and gave him hope, but dared not trust him as yet; I have already said several times, that one cannot try the Savages [Page 129] too long, — they are much the better for it afterward, The Father then resolved to continue their instruction and their probation, and to put off nearly all of them till the coming of the vessels, or till Autumn; he chose, nevertheless, two men and two women, heads of two good families, who were living very peaceably, — in order to grant them those salutary waters; all their children were already baptized. One of these four, familiarly conversing one day with the Father, told him some instances of the divine Providence over his life.” I have always been fortunate in hunting,” said he; “when I went to visit the traps that I had made in order to catch Beavers and Bears, I would always find my prey, and never returned empty-handed, — that astonished me greatly. Seeing that my comrades often took nothing, I would say to myself apart: ‘But who is that one, who gives me to eat so liberally? No doubt he loves me and wishes me well; [126] I would much like to know him, in order to thank him for it.’ Thereupon, having heard you mention how there is a God, who has made everything, and who governs all, I straightway thought that it was he who gave me to eat, and was attracting me to his acquaintance by this care that he had for me. Nevertheless, I did not dare to ask you for Baptism, not yet being sufficiently instructed, and even doubting within myself whether I could accomplish what you teach us, — living a good part of the year in the woods, where we are constrained to seek our living. But, now that I am sufficiently instructed, — and that you assure me that I can honor this great God everywhere, and even in the woods, until he order otherwise, — I desire to love him and to serve him all my life; and I beg you to give me [Page 131] Baptism, which is the entrance thereto.” This man, then, was Baptized with his wife, and afterward they were married, conformably to the Church, along with that other household of which I have made mention. A young widow, very well disposed, followed them, and all together showed a singular devotion and joy. [127] The Father had requested Monsieur Marsolet[8] — who had started before him, in order to come to Tadousac — that, if he encountered any one sick unto death, he should baptize him. As soon as the sieur had arrived there, he goes through the cabins; he finds a poor old man who had been struggling with death for several days past, and was expecting’ only a happy moment from the Divine Providence, in order to yield to it. The sieur Marsolet speaks to him, instructs him, asks him if he wishes to be baptized, — saying that the Father has given him this commission. “That is what I await,” he said, “and what I desire, in order to depart from this world.” He is Baptized, and straightway afterward he dies, and goes thence to Heaven, to take the place which that Sacred water gave him. A child fell sick the morrow of its Baptism: its parents loved it singularly, — it was their whole consolation. They call Father de Quen to visit it, and to pray to God for its health. He goes thither, he finds this poor child very sick, and its Father and Mother extremely sad; they were not yet Christians, and the Father was an old man, much given over to dreams and superstitions. [128] Father de Quen offers some prayers for the sick, and tries to console the Father and the Mother, but all that had little effect. At this point, by good fortune, enters one of the Neophytes of Sillery, who had conducted the Father to Tadousac [Page 133] He addresses himself to the old man, and exhorts him to put his hope in him who has made all, — that he alone can restore health to his son, and not the Devil, the enemy of all men; but that, if he desires to be heard, he must renounce the compact which he has with that evil spirit; he must abandon his superstitions, and presently give the Father the instruments which he uses. “I have done so already,” he answers; “I have thrown away my drum; and yesterday I sold to the French a superstitious robe that I had had painted, as I had seen it in a dream, for my health.” “That is very well,” replies the Neophyte; “but you must still give the pouch which you keep concealed; that is where the rest of your cursed instruments are.” At this word, the good man was surprised; it was tearing his heart out, to take from him this bundle, in which he had enveloped the remainder of his magic, — [129] but what could he do? he dreaded his son’s death still more than the loss of this pouch. He takes it, accordingly, and puts it in the Father’s hands, trembling in all his body, as if he had had to lose all that he had in the world. Then the Father commands all the Savages to kneel, and to pray God for the health of this child; they do so, and, — suspending a Crucifix above his head, in the place of the pouch of magic, — it pleased God that the fever should decrease from that time. The next day, the child being cured, his parents brought him to the Church, much consoled, and prayed the Father to instruct them, and prepare them for baptism; this he did, but he dared not yet bestow upon them this Sacrament, observing in them from time to time some attachment to their dreams and superstitions. [Page 135]

Here follows, as sequel to this story, a generous action of that good Neophyte who had charge of the prayers before the Father’s arrival. When the Old Man had given up his pouch of magic, this young Christian remembered that the Father had preached, the day before, that they must not be hypocritical, nor believe by half, and [130] give only a part of their diabolical instruments, hiding the other, — that they must give all; that he himself would go, one of these days, to make a search for these among the cabins. This good Neophyte, then, at the sight of the Old Man’s pouch, feels himself impelled by the spirit of God; he suddenly goes away into all the cabins; ransacks all the bundles, and inspects all the pouches; carries off without resistance, himself alone, all these spoils of the fiend; conveys them to the Chapel; and makes a present of them to God. The Father, overjoyed at that excellent action, calls the principal Savages, makes them a feast, and takes comfort with them; and showing them, in a single heap, all those wretched instruments, “There,” said he to them, “is what keeps the devil among you; there are the cords with which he binds you, — put fire beneath them, and burn them.” The Father makes them a present of tobacco, and each one, lighting his calumet, then and there throws the fire into these implements of impiety; then, having all together thanked God, and sung a hymn in token of rejoicing, they go away, well content.

Besides the superstitions, they have still [131] other vices, which give us much trouble. They are to the last degree passionately fond of drink, and are easily intoxicated, when they can trade for any; thence follow the indecent sins, especially in the [Page 137] youth. Those who sell them wine or brandy do an irreparable wrong to their salvation. A zealous Neophyte dealt a bold stroke in this matter. The Father, having one day finished his exhortation, this Christian arose, and asked permission to speak a word to the assembly. “Certainly,” said the Father; “speak, — we will listen to you.” “It is a current rumor,” said he, “that the young people are becoming corrupt, at present, — that the men go to see the girls at night; that the girls become wanton and witless; that there are men among us who wish to have two wives. That is not what we have promised to God: we must prevent the evil from proceeding further. As for me, I do not wish to act the Captain, nor still less, the Doctor: but I can hardly restrain my heart and my tongue, when I see that your eyes are closed to a known evil. Such as know those who stroll [132] at night, and those persons who are not content with one wife, ought to declare them publicly.” A good old woman who was at the Sermon, touched by the fear of God, speaks, and names aloud those whom she knew. They immediately leave the Chapel; they assemble in the largest cabin, and call the Father thither. A Neophyte goes in person to seek the youths and girls who had been named, and others who were suspected, and obliges them to enter. All are questioned; they avow frankly before the whole assembly such visits, but they protest that they are only suits of marriage, customary among them. “If that be the case,” said our good Christian, “declare your affections to your parents; take their advice and that of the Father, lest you repent when you shall be bound in marriage, and thus leave one another with scandal. Make [Page 139] your visits by day, and not by night; the faith and prayer forbid us this custom.” They promised it, and went away very well satisfied on both sides. That aided not a little.

[133] This same Neophyte was wounded, last Autumn, by the fall of a great tree, which fell upon him, right across his body, and put him in danger of his life; God nevertheless delivered him, though there has remained with him a chronic pain in the stomach. As soon as he had released himself from this mishap, he thanked God for having spared his life, and then and there humbled himself, — acknowledging that this injury had happened to him for punishment of his fault, because, on beginning his work, he had not offered it to God, according to his custom, — and proposed to undertake nothing further, without having presented it to God, and first implored his assistance. The Father having arrived at Tadousac, this man immediately came to find him, in order to confess himself; then conversed with him of the good thoughts which God had given him during the Winter. “I will tell you frankly,” said he, “the thought that I had when I was wounded, so that you may correct it if it is not good. I said. to God: ‘Lord, I would like to get well, and live till Spring, so as to see once again the Fathers who have, [134] instructed me. I know, my God, that I have offended you, and that there is something in my heart which displeases you; if I die before the coming of the Father, I shall not be able to confess myself, and that will hinder me, perhaps, from going to see you in heaven. That is what grieves me, and makes me ask you for the extension of my life until Spring, when I shall see the Father, if he keeps his [Page 141] promise. Do, nevertheless, my God, all that you shall please; you are the master of life. I ask your pardon for the sins which I have committed; I desire to atone for them, and from now on I resolve not to eat anything throughout this day, in order to chasten my flesh; I will experience hunger in the abundance of meat that we have at present, so as to appease your anger.’” He added that he employed nearly all that day that he had fasted, in prayers, and especially in reciting his Rosary, walking alone in the woods, in the greatest cold of the winter, and without approaching the fire. The Father strongly encouraged him in perseverance, and in the zeal that he had for preventing vicious practices; he did the same with the Captains and the principal [135] Savages. He remained not more than a month and a half in that mission, which the Christians of Sillery constrained me to interrupt. Since then, I have sent thither Father Buteux at the arrival of the ships, in order to continue that holy work, and especially to prevent the disorders arising from the liquor which the Savages secretly trade for with the French who are in the ships, notwithstanding the prohibitions and the punishments of Monsieur the Governor. The passion for a few pelts blinds them, and makes them fall into this offense, which destroys the souls and the bodies of these poor peoples. They themselves perceive well that drink causes them infinite evils. This is why the Christians have begged our Fathers to do all that they can, in order to prevent the French from trading either wine or brandy to their people. Monsieur de Courpon, Admiral of the fleet, applied all possible diligence herein from the time of his arrival, — manifesting very evident joy at the [Page 143] conversion of these poor peoples. He himself has consented to be the Godfather for some of them.

[136] Here is a word on the subject, which Father Buteux writes to me from Tadousac: “The Savages here are doing very well; the Captains content me greatly; but there is much reason to fear that wine and brandy are causing great evils. I will apply all the remedy possible; I will wait, to accomplish this, until after the Assumption of our Lady, to return hence. I am going to baptize some of them at the arrival of the vessels, of which we have had news. This day, the seventh of August, at noon.” Such, for the present, is the state of the mission at Tadousac, which is the entrance to all the others that are along this great river. The Savages of Gaspé and Miskou, whom one meets still ahead of these, on coming from France, have had the rumor of it, and begin to desire the faith, and to sigh after their salvation. Here is what Father Richard — who lives at Miskou, together with Father Lionne, arrived this year from France[9] — writes on the subject to Father le Jeune.



    I thank Your Reverence affectionately, for the writings that you have sent me concerning the language [137] of the Montagnais; I shall find in them, God helping, my profit. I have perused them, to some extent, and in them I have remarked much the same fashion of utterance, though the words are quite different among the Savages of these coasts. I have already written to you by Noudagaro, one of our good Savages who is on his way to see his relatives and friends yonder, — for he says that he is [Page 145] Montagnais. I hope that the example of his fellow countrymen, and the instructions of our Fathers, will be useful to him. He has good inclinations, prays willingly to God, behaves himself discreetly, and receives. the Christian advice and instructions which are given him. I hold him for one of those who will first receive the Faith. I would that he might apprehend the importance of his Salvation, and of the means to obtain it, and not flatter himself with a pretext of praying to God, as if that were enough to make him a man of worth. I commend him to you. A number of our Savages, not only from this Bay, but from all the coast, are going up to Tadousac; some particularly of the youth, may proceed as far as Kebec, and beyond, in order to go to war against the Hiroquois. [138] I rejoice that, without realizing it, they find excellent opportunities for entering into knowledge of the Faith. The Mission at Tadousac will have a fine field for work, which will yield its fruit in its season; sooner or later, the word of God will have its effect. What do you say to this? I confessed, some time ago, a poor woman who had been baptized by the Reverend Father Biard when the French first inhabited these coasts.[10] This poor creature having fallen sick at the beginning of the winter, was constrained to follow — or rather to be carried and dragged after her people into the woods, where she languished all the winter. In the spring, I saw her again, in a forlorn plight, withering away and dying by slow degrees. We assisted her with what we had, I learned, however, that she had been baptized at Port Royal, — her son assures me SO; she confirms it to me, and gives me tokens of it, and refers to circumstances which make me believe it. I [Page 147] instruct her anew in the mysteries of the Faith; I confess her. She goes away with some relatives of hers who arrived there, and, not many days after, they brought back to us her body, [139] which we buried with the ceremonies of the Church; thus the divine Providence conducted this poor creature to the height of her blessedness, by ways and. coincidences that are admirable. Does Your Reverence remember the encounter that you had, last year, with a party of our Savages? They were warriors, who nevertheless boasted of praying to God. They gave me an account of the reception which they had met; but those who remained acted more wisely; Having come here, they obliged me to keep the word which I had given them, of going to see them in the summer, if they happened to be together: I could not refuse them, — I went with our servant. They promptly built me a cabin, approaching the shape of our buildings, which was chiefly to serve as a Chapel, where they assembled evening and morning in order to say the prayers which I would begin, and they followed me word for word. After the sign of the Cross, I recited, in Latin, the Pater; then, in their language, the same prayer. I added a prayer in their language, containing the principal acts which they were to perform: all these prayers they said after me. [140] In the evening I added a brief word of Christian instruction, which I could not do so conveniently in the morning; for the women, children, and young people were not so early as the men, who were diligently working to finish their canoes, — insomuch that it was best to assemble them very early in the morning to pray to. God; and then, toward seven or eight o’clock, the women and youth [Page 149] took their places in the Chapel, in order to do the same. Dearth and necessity obliged them to finish their canoes promptly. It is a fact, however, that they were not willing to work at them on Sunday, but remained at rest, and put on their finest clothing. It will be easy, in my opinion, to maintain them in the observance of the commandments of God and of the Church, — especially by living with them, They have this notion, which is true, that to make profession of adoring God is to lead an irreproachable life. A young lad stole from me a little Tobacco that I had for gratuities to them; when that was discovered, ‘How?’ said they, ‘he prays to God, and he steals!’ [141] This is the first theft that I have seen among them; for they have hands very clean of others’ property. Another speaking to me of a certain man who makes account of prayer to God, and yet amused himself by drinking, ‘How,’ said he, ‘does that agree well, to pray to God and to get drunk? Why dost thou not rebuke him? Why does he not take example from you Fathers 7’ I have found them quite curious; they have asked me many questions about things both natural and artificial, — the knowledge of which has so greatly pleased them that they flatter themselves with a hope of soon being versed in everything, by our means. They love and respect us, and consideration for us keeps them dutiful. ‘I will obey thee,’ said to me one day one of the most renowned on the coast; ‘and if thou remainest with us, I will no longer amuse myself by drinking; I will believe thee, and will follow thy advice.’ We shall see whether he and the others are men of their word, for a great man of worth furnishes us three men, in order to go and [Page 151] build a little house among them; we are going to begin it in a river which they call Nepegigwit,[11] 18 leagues from this settlement. If [142] I had known that, I would perhaps have retained some who go away on journeys and to spend the summer in one place or another. One, however, has given me his word to locate himself near us, when he shall hear that we are building there; another has reproached me for the too long delay that we made therein. ‘Long ago,’ said this Captain, ‘thou didst promise to come with us; and, now that spring is here, thou still puttest us off, As for me, I do not act like that; when I have said a thing, it is as good as done.’ These good people do not recognize the difficulties of such enterprises. Monsieur Desdames, Captain here these four years past, has always greatly accommodated this Mission, — but particularly this year, during the sickness of the Reverend Father Dolbeau, which has been long and dangerous.[12] He was attacked by it at Christmas, and he lingered and languished all winter in great and various pains. In the spring, — I mean to say, about the month of April, — these pains, quitting him, left him in an impotence of the arms and hands which does not allow him to celebrate holy Mass. [143] Now, during all this time, Monsieur Desdames has so charitably and efficiently assisted him in everything, that he owes him, in part, the preservation of his life. However, the Providence of God, which governs all things efficaciously and gently, wishing to withdraw Father Dolbeau from the country here, in order to make use of him elsewhere according to its designs, has led hither Father Lyonne by very singular ways, to take his place and work profitably in this vineyard. [Page 153] It is true that he was bound for the Hurons; but, — seeing the necessity in which we were, and that it was expedient that Father Dolbeau should return to France for the preservation of his life and recovery of his health, — as he seeks only God, and cares not about the place where he works to his glory, he has gladly consented and agreed to stay here. I commend him affectionately to the Holy Sacrifices and prayers of Your Reverence, as does also Your Reverence’s

Most humble Servant in Our Lord,

André Richard.”

[144] Not only the Savages of those quarters have heard mention of our holy Faith, but also many little nations of the North, the names of which follow: the Kakouchakhi, those who are at Maouatchihitonnam, — the place where the Hurons hold their assemblies, coming to trade with the Nations of the North; the Mikouachakhi, the Outakouamiouek, the Mistasiniouek, Oukesestigouek, Mouchaouaouastiirinioek, Ounachkapiouek, Espamichkon, Astouregamigoukh, Oueperigoueiaouek, Oupapinachiouek, Oubestamiouek, Attikamegouek.[13] The Christians of saint Joseph and of Tadoussac have carried the name of Jesus Christ into all these little Nations, with whom they have some commerce. The day that they begin to see will increase, with time, even to its Noon. [Page 155]




LL Canada melted in grief at the news of the death of the King and of Monseigneur the Cardinal; but this house of Mercy has more cause for it than any other, — considering the sadness which in consequence befalls Madame the Duchess d’Eguillon, who is its founder. Her sorrow has keenly pierced the heart of these good Nuns, whom she has cherished as a mother her children, and I know not when their tears will be dried; but the resignation and conformity to the will of God, which that Lady so nobly practices amid events so disastrous, must also at least soothe and calm the hearts of the Nuns. We are bound to hope that the divine goodness will remedy all these misfortunes. God is the Father of the afflicted and of the poor; he has a special care for them, and in them takes his delight; and those who have at present the power in hand, closely imitate [146] this charity of God, as they take his place here below on earth, — we know it well. But let us come to what has occurred in this house of Mercy. Besides the adornment and consolation which it gives to the whole Colony, it serves as a strong support to the settlement of the Savages, and bears a good part of the expenses and burden thereof. The Village of Sillery is still small, but I doubt very much if, without this house which has been established there, it could have reached [Page 157] the state in which it is; and I know not yet if it could subsist without this help. It has indeed cost inconveniences to these good sisters; the day’s time of a man, which amounts here to no less than thirty or forty sols,[14] has often been employed for going to Quebec in quest of a few herbs or a half-dozen of eggs for the sick; but the desire that they have had to exercise their offices toward the Savages, and to contribute to their settlement, in accordance with the scope of their vocation, has caused them to abandon their building at Quebec, with all its conveniences, as that desire had caused them to abandon France, — seeing, especially, that [147] the French, when sick, have no difficulty in going to Sillery; but the sick Savages are unable to go to Quebec, and thus it would have been a Hospital for Savages, without Savages. The fear of the Hiroquois not having hindered so many worthy persons of both sexes from going to Montreal and other places on the great River, in order there to consecrate so piously their lives to God, — though the Hiroquois are near by, and prowl all about, — it was not likely to have effect a league or two from Quebec, so as to impede a Religious community in its offices, and in a benevolence for which alone it came into this new world, and which the Savages were ardently desiring. Moreover, their building at Quebec is being finished, little by little, — so that, if any accident occurs, they can prudently and advisedly retreat thither; and, if the French multiply further, they can establish a little separate Hospital for their succor, which would not injure that of the Savages, and would advance the colony.

The Nuns have received and assisted [148] in the [Page 159] Hospital, this year, about a hundred Savages of various nations: Montagnais, Algonquins, Atticamegues, Abnaquiois, Hurons, those of Tadousac and the Saguene, and of some other nations, more distant. At the time I write this report, there is a woman afflicted with a slow disease, whom Father Buteux lately brought hither, on returning from Tadousac. She is from a region above thirteen or fourteen days distant, far within the lands of the Sagné and has come on purpose, not only to be aided in her malady, but to know God and see the example of the French. Five or six French workmen have also been relieved in this house of charity; they had been stricken with the land disease, at the fort of Richelieu, and were in danger of dying from it, if they had not found kind help. Thus much is general, concerning this house: let us come to what is most remarkable in details; the miseries and the diseases of the Savages will render me more tedious than I could wish. I have already spoken above, of the death of one called Achille, a Savage; here follow some particulars which concern [149] the Hospital. When he began to take to his bed, he was in a cabin in the woods, two hundred paces from Sillery. Father Buteux, going to visit him one morning, found him kneeling at the foot of his bed, — that is to say, on the end of a piece of bark or of a blanket, — before a Crucifix that he had suspended in his cabin. He begged the Father to be seated a little while, and to give him leisure to finish his prayer, after which he confessed himself with a great feeling of devotion; then he said to the Father: “I do not grieve for my sickness; but two things cause me pain: one is, that I can no longer say my Rosary, — my head fails me [Page 161] in so long a prayer; the other is, that I am far from the Church, and cannot go to Mass.” The Father told him that, as for his Rosary, he should not be in distress, — that it was enough that he should say ten beads at intervals, or even make some other and shorter prayer, in order to commend himself to God, and resign himself to his will; and, as for his distance from the Church, he would give orders that he should be carried to the Hospital, or to a cabin quite near, whence he might [150] attend Mass when he should have a little strength. The Father notified the principal Savages, who brought him straightway to the Hospital, and also put up for him a little cabin quite near the door, so as to withdraw thither if he wished. He extremely edified the Nuns and the Savages by his patience and his devotion; when they brought him the viaticum, he was in that little cabin; the Savages accompanied the precious Body of our Lord, and surrounded the little hovel with a marvelous piety and modesty. From that time, our patient spoke of nothing but heaven and eternity; he frequently strained his voice, and shouted aloud, in order to utter the acts of virtue which they recommended to him. He asked the Father who was assisting him, if he would see in Heaven his daughter, who died a little while ago, and those whom he had loved here below on earth. The Father assured him, “Yes;” and that all good people would see one another and communicate together in Heaven. This answer greatly consoled him. An hour before dying, he urgently besought the Father to exhort the French and the Savages that [151] they should pray to God for his soul, as soon as he should have passed from this life, — which was liberally granted him: [Page 163] for he had no sooner expired than the Savages assembled and carried his body into the Chapel near by, Father de Quen was there, who consoled them in their sadness: for this man was one of the most influential. The constancy and virtue of the wife is remarkable as well as that of the husband; as soon as they had both received the second Baptism, God tried and afflicted them by the death of a daughter whom they singularly loved; shortly after, the husband falls sick, languishes two years and a half, and dies. There remained to this good widow, for her whole consolation, a son, aged four years; eight days after her husband has died, the child is attacked by sickness, and dies in its poor mother’s arms. With all that, she is firm and constant in the faith, and says that she will die in it; that God is the Master, and that he is good; and that she will always love what he shall order. She now dwells with a brother of hers, named Thomas, a very good Christian, and lives in great patience [152] and humility. One day, when I wished to go to Quebec by Canoe, I begged her to take me, with another Savage who was there. She answered me: “Truly, I am a likely one to undertake that now; and what am I at present? a handful of useless earth.”

There has been frequent mention in the preceding Relations, of Pierre Tregatin; his virtue had made him commendable. Some time before being baptized, he had become lame from a wound that he incurred while running in the woods; his people had abandoned him in the corner of a cove, or point of land, where our Fathers found him half dead, without cabin and without provisions, and without other clothing than a piece of blanket, which covered a [Page 165] part of his body. They carried him to our house, and treated him as best they could; and, after having instructed him, they baptized him. Finally, the Nuns Coming to Canada, he found a happy abode in the house of charity. He spent two or three Winters there, during which our Fathers conferred with him concerning the Algonquin language, and together taught him the things [153] of God, so that he understood them perfectly well, — and what is more, conformed his life to them, and served as a true Preacher by his words and his examples.

The Savages, at one of their assemblies, appointed him Captain or Master of the Prayers; it was his place, in the Councils, to speak of the affairs of God, to point out what was expedient therein, and warn those who should be openly wanting in their duty, especially in the prayers. The first day of September, he fell sick, and was carried to the Hospital, and died there at the end of three Weeks, — which he employed in preparing himself for death, with heroic acts of virtue. He confessed himself very often; he called one of our Fathers at least once each day, in order to speak of God and of his conscience. “I care not to live,” said he; “I do not love my body, — I love death; with good heart I wish it, when it shall please Our Lord.” He frequently received Communion; but he redoubled his devotion and his fervor for his last Communion, after which he also requested and received Extreme Unction. [154] He begged the Nuns that they should have him buried in the French manner, simply in a sheet. He took his little son, only six months old, in his arms, gave him his blessing, and said that he gave him to our Fathers, in order to be instructed. Two hours before [Page 167] his death, he called the Mother Superior and said to her: Ningay, Ninnip, —’  ‘My Mother, this time I am going to die; have prayer offered to God for my soul. Not here is our country, — our dwelling is in Heaven; I hope that God will place me there.” He asked for the Crucifix, and Addressed it with words so loving that he drew tears from the Nuns. He was taken with a faintness, during these Colloquies, and in an instant went from the earth to Heaven.

A certain Marc-Antoine, who was mentioned last year among the sick, did not recover from his malady, which consumed him so that he was reduced to bones and skin, — which even detached itself on various parts of the body; but he always had a gay and joyful countenance. He was lodged in a cabin at the door of the Hospital. His entire sickness [155] was but one continuation of patience and devotion. They had him pray to God without ceasing; nevertheless it was impossible to content him in this respect, — he would send his wife to the Nuns at every opportunity, in order to tell them, “He who is sick wishes to pray to God.” The Nuns dreaded to fatigue him, but, on the contrary, he complained that they did not make him pray to God; and though the prayers which they had him say were long, he would always repeat them with fervor, as well at the end as at the beginning. They never heard him say, “It is enough.” He always had his Rosary; and, if by chance it fell from him, or was misplaced, they had to turn the bed, and cabin upside down in order to find it. When he no longer had strength enough to say it, he hung it to his neck, and incessantly touched it with his hands, and took a singular pleasure in their reciting it near him. Not a day [Page 169] passed that he did not pray to God for their benefactors, and for those who had established this house of charity, — this is the prayer that he was actually saying when he entered the death struggle, which carried him off so [156] gently that they hardly saw him pass away. It would be difficult to express the care taken by his wife, and the charities which she rendered him, for the space of a year or two during which he was sick; the Nuns were extremely edified by it, and themselves assisted her, with great affection.

A good widow called Louyse — truly a Hospital nun in affection (we have spoken of her before) — had a daughter named Ursule, who was married to a Captain of Tadousac. This young woman fell sick, and, after two or three years of debility, finally took to bed at Sillery, and retreated to the Hospital; staying now in the common ward, again in the neighboring cabin. Her languors ended in violent pains; her good mother’s attentions were inconceivable; but the first one was to exhort her to patience.” My daughter,” she said, “suffer peaceably; do not be angry, so that thou mayst not give admission to sin and to the evil spirit in thy heart, and that thou mayst go to Heaven. My daughter, think thus of God: ‘He has made all, he [157] governs all. He loves me; I am content that he sends me sickness. I will always believe in him, I will always love him.’ That is what thou shouldst think in thy heart.” It was necessary to give her the viaticum; she was then in her cabin near the door of the Hospital. The good Louyse adorned this little house with bark, like an oratory; but, quite in the Savage fashion, she hung all around it robes of Beaver and of Moose, [Page 171] wholly new and finely embroidered. She put the most beautiful one on the bed of the sick woman; she covered the whole floor with leaves, and also the top of the cabin; she went to the Nuns to borrow a Crucifix and two candlesticks, with the tapers, and put them near her daughter’s bed. The whole neighborhood accompanied the Blessed Sacrament with great respect and devotion. The sick woman, hearing the sound of the bell, which serves as signal, begged her mother to raise her upon her bed, so as to honor the Body of Our Lord. As soon as she had received Communion, her mother approached and said to her: “Come, now, my daughter; it is now that Jesus Christ is in thy heart. Take courage; thank him heartily;” and then, calling one of the Nuns, she said to her, “Help her [I 581 to say her prayers.” She urged that they should give her Extreme Unction, after which she died very tranquilly. Her mother had her buried with all the solemnity possible to a Savage, and put in her grave all that she had most precious in the way of Beaver, Porcelain, and other articles of which they make account. When the Nuns pointed out to her her poverty, and that of the Savages, and that that availed nothing for the dead, she said to them: “But you people certainly buried your sister Religious” (it was the mother de sainte Marie, deceased two years ago) “with her beautiful robe, and with all the honor that you could. If what I do offended God, I would renounce it: but, since God forbids it not, I wish to honor the dead.” It pleased Our Lord to try this good widow once again; she had already lost two daughters, — a third fell suddenly sick; and, as it was the beginning of the winter and of their hunt, she begged her mother [Page 173] to take her with her into the woods, where she died soon after, but with the piety and the sentiments [159] of devotion whereof I have spoken heretofore. Suffice it to say here, that that did not shake the good Louyse, who, bringing back the body of her daughter from within the woods, and giving it to the Nuns, in order to have it buried near her sister, said to them: “I am not sad. I rejoice more in the assurance which I have that my daughters are in Heaven, than I would to see them living in this world. God is the Father of us all; I will love him, and all that he shall do.” This excellent sentiment of conformity to the will of God is deeply imprinted in the hearts of many of our Neophytes.

The wife of one Vincent Xavier, son of the first roving Savage who settled at Sillery, fell sick a year after her marriage, and languished more than two years. Finally, she was constrained to keep her bed; she came to the Hospital, where she surpassed the patience even of the others, for, during all the time that she was there, she was never heard to ask for anything or to complain, — except the last day of her life, and then very little; although, moreover, she was of a [160] very quick and active mind. She had always at her side a little girl of hers, aged two years and a half; and though she was beset by sickness, she failed not to have the child pray to God at the usual time, and to instruct her. When she felt herself near her end, she called her husband, spoke to him with much affection, and then gave him her little girl, whom she would no longer see from that time, — thinking only of dying well, which she did happily, having received all her Sacraments. Her daughter lived for some time at her Father’s house; [Page 175] but, as he went often to the hunt, the poor child remained as though forsaken, — those who kept her took no care of her. She would escape, and usually enter the Hospital, where the Nuns caressed her, and gave her food. Her Father at last took her to the Ursulines, who received her with all manner of affection; she is there at present, and gives very good promise. Thus do these two communities relieve each other, and expend with great charity that which they receive (1611 from Our old France for the weal and the consolation of these poor peoples.

A woman called Marguerite had had a disease of the legs for several years, which constrained her to spend all the winters at the Hospital, or in a neighboring cabin, Last Winter, she desired to follow the hunters, in order to eat fresh meat (scarcely any is as yet seen in the country here, without hunting). Her husband loads her on his sledge, and draws her cheerfully after him every day, over mountains of snow; but, her leg festering, he brought her back to the Hospital. They had great fear that the filth and the stench of her sores might prevent the Nuns from receiving her; but they were soon delivered from their dread, when they saw that these good daughters received her with more joy than the others. As soon as she had arrived, she asked to confess herself; gangrene occurred in her disease, and carried her off, a short time after having devoutly received all her Sacraments.

A young widow named Charité, [162] very Port but very virtuous, had three Baptized children — the eldest had married. His wife and he were sick, the two others were quite feeble; the good Charity alone was strong and vigorous. She comes to lodge in a [Page 177] Cabin all Winter, near the Hospital, in order to be assisted; however, she does not stay idle, she acts the Hospital nurse herself, and renders all the assistance possible to that poor company. She goes for wood and for water, she does the cooking, she dresses the skins, she makes the shoes; if they kill some Moose three or four leagues away, she takes her sledge and goes to seek her burden, over the snows. Her daughter-in-law was the most sick, and was not yet Baptized, and showed not even a desire for it. She prays to God for her, without ceasing; she exhorts her, she importunes our Fathers and the Nuns to encourage her in the faith. Finally, she obtained from God what she was requesting; for this young. woman, two days before dying, sent her husband to us, at ten o’clock in the evening, to knock at the door and ask for a Father. I went thither with Father’ Buteux. God had [163] changed her heart, — she urges to be Baptized. “Alas,” she said,” is it not: time? Make haste; I wish to be baptized, — I desire it. It is not to have health of body, — I care not for life; I ask baptism in order to obey God and go to Heaven.” As soon as she had obtained it, she manifested great joy, notwithstanding her violent pains, and died immediately afterward, in contentment.

This is enough said of the dead; let us say a word of those who have, every one, lodged in this house, or have recovered their health in it. The two blind women who often retreat thither, spent last winter therein; they had each a little girl to lead them. The elder of these, who was nine or ten years old, had an excellent mind and a happy memory; she learned the whole Catechism and the prayers in very little time. One day, she committed a fault which [Page 179] seemed quite immense to our blind woman, who has a very tender conscience; she reproved the child severely, and ordered her not to leave the Hospital all that day. She punctually obeyed, and did not even [164] change the place which had been assigned to her. This woman said sometimes to the Nuns: “Look at that child, — she is my relative; I love her as my daughter, but I do not love her body, — it is her soul that I cherish.” It was a great satisfaction to hear how she explained to her the mysteries of our holy faith, and the excellent instructions that she gave her. She sometimes goes to the three Rivers, to spend a good part of the summer, and there gathers much fruit among those infidels.

A Huron young man, as I have said above, has wintered in this house of Charity; I have learned about him the following particulars, since the preceding Chapters. The day that he was baptized in the Chapel of the Hospital, he rose at two o’clock in the morning, employing all that time in praying to. God, even until his baptism, which was toward nine or ten o’clock. After he had become a Christian, his devotion redoubled; he would rise quite early, spend all the time in prayers until Mass, which was said about half past seven. Having returned at evening [165] from Father Brébeuf, where he had already said the prayers with the Hurons, his comrades, he recommenced them with the Algonquins in. the ward of the sick; and then, for the third time, he entered the Chapel of the Nuns, and often stayed there during the entire time of their Matins. If by chance the Chapel was closed, he would kneel at the door; and no matter what noise occurred in the, Hospital, he remained to say his prayers quietly. [Page 181]

I will relate how the Socoquiois[15] made prisoner by the Algonquins, of whom I have previously spoken, arrived in this house the ninth of November, last year. As soon as he had landed opposite the Hospital, the Savages of Sillery went forward to receive him with Charity. They led him into all their houses and cabins, one after the other, and made him dance in all, — but with gentleness and friend-ship. He obeyed throughout, although he had his body all covered with wounds and sores. After that, two of the principal Savages led him to the Hospital, where he was received by the Nuns with great joy. [166] They call the Surgeon; the whole ward was full of Savages, in order to see in what state his wounds were. He had all his nails torn out; matter was issuing from three fingers, quite recently cut, and the worms were swarming therein; he had one foot pierced through and through with a stick; he had both wrists of his hands tied, even to the bone, with cords; and his body was burned, and pierced with awls in sundry places. I was present at this sight; the first view made us chill with horror. He endured the dressing of his wounds without ever-saying a single word, or showing any sign of pain; he made known by signs the manner in which they had thus treated him, without betokening any displeasure against those who had put him in this pitiful condition. By good luck, there was at the Hospital a sick Abnaquiois, baptized, and called Claude, — who well understood Socoquiois. This poor wretch was extremely comforted to meet him; and, as he ‘was astonished, at first, to see the Nuns show him so much charity, this good Christian explained to him how their whole occupation was [167] only to assist [Page 183] and succor the poor and the sick, and that they observed virginity all their life. That greatly impressed his mind. He was restored in a fairly short time, and sent back to his own country, in order to show the affection of the French and Savages toward him. These are so many precursors of the Gospel, that God sends to his peoples.

Four Hurons having come down from the three Rivers to Sillery, one of them, newly escaped from the hands of the Hyroquois, fell sick; his Comrades led him to the Hospital, and also lodged there themselves, not having other shelter. These good people expressed in their faces their great joy at so opportunely encountering a place of charity. Their companion’s sickness came to a crisis, and they were despairing of him: by that time two of them stirred not from his side, in order to assist him. This charity is not usual with them: the things of God gain little by little upon their hearts. When the Nuns gave anything to the sick man, all the three others never failed to thank them for it, in their usual fashion — “Ho, ho, ho.” If it were necessary to lift or [168] move him, they straightway presented themselves; and they sometimes supported his head or body four or five hours in succession, without becoming fatigued. One of them knew the prayers, — he was with the two others, in the Chapel, evening and morning, to say them; then he went away to do the same near that sick man, who straightway begged that they should raise him up on his bed, in order to say them with more respect. It pleased Our Lord to restore his health, and to give all of them means to return to their own country. I say nothing of the lessons in the Catechism which were given in this [Page 185] place a good part of the year, — now to the sick, anon to the poor, again to the children. I have spoken of them before; I will only say that the desire of the Savages, great and small, to learn the Catechism and the prayers, often makes a Chapel and a School of the sick ward as well as of our house at Sillery. They enter incessantly, and say: “Teach me; have me pray to God.” One Nun is amply and blessedly occupied in answering these visits and pious importunities; and, in fact, besides those who assist the sick, it has been necessary to establish others for those who request [169] to recite the prayers and to learn the Catechism. The convenience of the place is of much service herein; these good people’s houses adjoin the building of the Hospital, and have but one common court. They come in on every occasion, when they are at Sillery, and say: “I wish to pray to God; I wish to learn, — instruct me.” Oh, how agreeable is this importunity, although it necessarily leads to considerable expenses! But what shall be done? The entire Mission is only for this end; that comforts and astonishes, all at once, in a country and in a place destitute of everything. See what the Mother Superior wrote on this subject, in a letter some days ago: “I know not,” she says, “what we shall do in course of time. The Savages are poor; they are liable to countless diseases: their virtue is none the less, but their succor is more difficult. The Hospitals of France have been founded by Kings, Princes, and Princesses, very richly: and with all that, they would not subsist if the Bishops and persons of merit did not bestow generous alms on them, and if the Parliaments and the Tribunals [17o] did not apply the fines to them: the Ocean excludes [Page 187] us from all these aids. There are in France persons who holily maintain here one or two Seminary pupils, — others, who undertake the support and relief of a Savage family; but few persons think of the support of a patient, and of furnishing him with linen or bedding. God has ways which are unknown to us, and these means will be found when it shall please him. Some worthy persons have made us experience that, this year; God be forever blessed for this. We were in extremity, — the necessity for lodgings, and the misery of the poor, had obliged us to incur debts; our dear foundress, notwithstanding her occasion for. sorrow, nevertheless applied her care, and delivered us from the main part of them. Her charity has never grown weary; our consolation is that she sees the very pleasant fruits thereof, and enjoys them with us.” Such are the thoughts of these good sisters amidst their poverty.

I wish to finish this Chapter with the words which the good Charles Meiaskouat [171] has often addressed to the sick, on coming to visit them when he is at Sillery. “You” (said he) “who are sick, deem not that sickness is an evil thing, — do not think in your heart: ‘It is a bad affair, that we are afflicted;’ but think thus of God: ‘He is the Father of us all, — he has made us; he loves us; — it is for our good that he sends us sickness. He will place us in Heaven, and give us a life which never dies.’ That is what you should think of God. Have courage, then, — do not be grieved; believe firmly; what you endure will soon have an end, but your joy will last forever in Heaven.” [Page 189]

[172] CHAPTER X.




 BRING these two places into one Chapter, because they have incurred like peril from the Hiroquois, and have received the same Savages, who have spent the year partly in one of these places, partly in the other. Those who have lived at these two settlements have been the upper Algonquins, — just as proud, and difficult to govern (as I have already remarked), as those from about Quebec are humble and docile. Last year, immediately after the departure of the Ships, — which was the seventh of October, — I sent Father le Jeune to live at the three rivers, in order to see if he could subdue the Pride of those people, and bring them to Jesus Christ. His well-known zeal and virtue readily inspired me with this [173] idea. He had no sooner arrived there than those wretches gave him plenty of exercise. The two principal chiefs were: one, Teswesatch,[16] — a crafty, proud man, and an enemy to the French usages and to Christianity; the other was an apostate named Abdon, full of intelligence, but wicked and bold. These two men governed the upper Algonquins; and, striving to infuse into them the same mind which possessed themselves, they feigned, at intervals, to love the Faith and the French, and then they did the very contrary in private, and often in public. There were, nevertheless, among that band [Page 191] some souls chosen of God. Last year, on the 19th of October, Abdon with his troop, returning from the war, brought to the three Rivers a prisoner who was not Hiroquois, but their neighbor and friend: behold them suddenly resolving to burn him. They are admonished that they must not multiply their enemies, and that they ought now to give up all those cruelties; but they mock at the Father, and at all those who mention it to them. They pierce one foot of this poor [174] man with a stick, and atrociously tear out his finger-nails, — he held out his hand and gave his fingers, as if he had felt nothing: they tie both his wrists with cords with running knots, and four young men pull and fasten the cords with all their might, tearing and removing the flesh of his arms even to the bones. The pain causes him to fall in a swoon; they cease to torture him, throw water upon him, and give him food, in order to revive him for the torments; the wood was already prepared for burning him, and the night of this tragedy was about to begin. But at evening, by good fortune, there arrived a canoe from Quebec, with letters from Monsieur the Governor to sieur des Rochers, who commands at the 3 rivers, — to the end that he should ransom and release the prisoner, — which he did with much difficulty, for rage and vengeance possessed the hearts of those Barbarians. This business despatched, the Father applies himself to the instruction of the Savages, opposes the mutinous, and encourages to perseverance those who had begun well. The [175] miserable Teswesatch publicly forbade his people to go to mass. The Father being one day ready to say it, and seeing that no one came, leaves the Church; and having perceived from a distance some [Page 193] young girls who were approaching with fear, he asks them why they did not come in. “The Captain has publicly announced,” they say, “that he would kill those who should go thither.” The Father said, “Fear nothing; the French will defend you.” One having entered, the others followed; and finally all came to Mass. They tarried not long at the three rivers, — so they are not yet resident there, and have no fixed abode there. Toward the end of November, they took a sort of resolution to go to Mont-Real, in order to make their hunt there during all the winter; but, having heard that some of their companions, who had gone thither shortly before, were coming down again in order to stay at Fort Richelieu, they went to find them, so as to winter there all together, and keep one another company, either in the chase or in war. [176] It would be a great blessing if those people could once become fixed and settled in some suitable residence, as the others have done at Sillery. Father le Jeune, performing the office of a good pastor, goes after his flock and follows it, leaving the three Rivers in order to move with them toward Richelieu. As they were on the way, a certain Savage, a good Christian, makes a public statement to five cabins which the Father accompanied. “Listen to me, all of you,” said he; “here are poor widows who come to winter with us; they come to have food: we shall have to help them with our hunting. Listen to me again; I see well that we are not at the end of our bad luck; we have worthy people with us, and we are none the better for it. Here is a man who has crossed the great Ocean in order to speak for us, to the end that we should be assisted; but we do not listen to him [Page 195] as we ought. The misfortune comes from the fact that our Captains do not believe in God; so that if he gives information of this in his own country, the Massinaigan, — that is to say, their Writing, — will hinder the benefit that is being [177] procured for us. Up, then, you who believe in God, and you who have desire to believe; let us unite, and make a stand for the faith; and let us heed the Father.” That said, he embarks, and arrives the same day at the fort of Richelieu. The sieur de Chamflour, who commanded there,[17] received the Father with an affection quite extraordinary, which he continued throughout the winter, — efficiently assisting him in the design of drawing these peoples to Jesus Christ. Father de Nouë, who was there in order to have care of the French, was delighted to have the Father with him, to teach the Savages. Here follows their occupation during the Winter, and the order that they observed every morning. At daybreak, Father de Nouë[18] said Mass, at which were present the French, and the Christian Savages. The sieur de Normanville[19] (this is the young man who was formerly taken by the Hiroquois, and who, last year, made the voyage to France with Father le Jeune) had them say the prayers aloud, at the beginning of Mass; he understands the language very well. During that time, the Father taught some of them in private, [178] or heard them in Confession, then led them to the Chapel, where he said Mass for them, and gave Communion to those who were fit for it; and so he took them all, one after another. Mass being over, he assembled some young people, to instruct them in the Catechism. The greater part of the day, their little room was filled; and it was practically one continual [Page 197] instruction. Toward evening, the Father took one part of the cabins, and the sieur de Normanville the other; and thus they had all the people pray. The prayer was usually followed by an exhortation, and a Hymn in their own language. Such was the order that they observed during the Winter, until the Savages left that place, to go to Mont-Royal and to the three Rivers. Let us note some special good deeds.

A Christian Savage, being sick, fell into a heavy swoon; they thought him dead. His aunt, who was assisting him, asked him if he remembered nothing during that faintness; and where he thought to go after his death, — with his deceased relatives, or with the believers? He pointed to Heaven with [179] his hand; then, speaking with an effort, “I am going there,” he said; “I have seen the place where I am to go;” thereupon he dies. A Christian woman, visited at night, and urgently solicited by a wicked man, answered: “Always I respect my Baptism, and I will never offend God.”

One Sunday, the Father having confessed those who wished to receive Communion, — as he was delaying to say Mass, being detained by that occupation, — a Pagan made a feast and invited to it the greater part of the Christians who had confessed themselves. They all go to it, and not one is present at Mass, about to be said. The Father, much astonished, asks where those were who wished to receive Communion. The others answered aloud, that they were at the feast. That angered him at first; he denounces them and their custom; he praises those who were present, and blames the absent. But he soon afterward had to change his tone and key; for, the second Mass having rung, behold all the [Page 199] guests, who come to tell the Father that they would receive Communion at that Mass. “How?” said the Father, “are you not coming from the feast?” ‘I Certainly, [18o] we are coming from it: but we have not eaten; we have kept all the food which they gave us, and have carried it to our families, without tasting it.” The Father, surprised by this answer, gave them as much praise as he had given them blame; for he did not think that they would stay fasting in the midst of the feast.

Here is an act full of constancy, at a tender age: a young girl aged about seven years, playing with her companions, received a blow from a stone, in her forehead, near the nose, which cut her flesh even to the bone. Being all covered with blood, she presented herself to her Father, who, without becoming excited, or reproaching those who had wounded his daughter, sent her to the one who attends the French, and continued a play that he had begun in a game. They lead her straight to us; they call the Surgeon, who, having examined the wound, said that it must be sewed. The dread we had, that the child could not bear the pain, made us resolve to call her Father; he comes, having lost the game, and without being in the worse temper for it. They tell him that it is necessary to sew up the [181] wound of his child, and that that will cause her much pain. (Nitanai Chibiner) — My daughter,” said he to her, “suffer with constancy; show that you have courage,” The poor child presents herself to the Surgeon, who is armed with thread and needle. He takes several stitches in the flesh, without her ever saying a single word, or flinching, although she was neither bound nor held; she only stiffened her arm, — [Page 201] and even that, not every time they pierced her flesh, which was done with great difficulty, on account of the unfavorable place where the wound was. This courage in a child of seven years is remarkable.

A young Christian came and said to the Father: ‘’ I cannot stay here longer; I must go yonder to Sillery, with the believers. They have broken my Rosary, they mock at me when I pray to God; they play me a thousand tricks. Permit me to lodge with you in your house, until matters be peaceable.”

The Father called to a Christian young man, who was behaving himself quite badly; he threatens him with the punishments of God, and bids him come to his senses. As he [182] said not a word, the Father asks him of what he was thinking. “I have a thought which is of no account,” said he. The Father urges him to open his heart: “First answer me,” said he, — “such a one, is he damned or saved?” He spoke of another Christian young man, lately deceased, who had behaved badly for a time, and with whom he had had great friendship. The Father was astonished at this question, and made no answer, The Savage tries again: “Tell me, is such a one damned?” “No,” said the Father; “for he came to himself at his death.” “I thought,” said he, “that he was damned, and, because I loved him, I was willing to incur the same risk as he; but if he is saved, I must reform: for I wish to be with him after my death.” Four days from then, he came to confess, and said to us: “These four days, I have been thinking incessantly of my conscience; I do not wish to offend God further.” The divine goodness uses a11 sorts of means for the salvation of its elect.

A small squad of Savages wishing to start for the [Page 203] war in the country of the Hyroquois, one of the band, who was a Christian, led them to the Fathers, [183] in order to hear a word of exhortation; after which he himself took the floor, and, addressing himself to the Christians, said to them: “Let us take courage, my brothers; let us hold firm, let us say our prayers every day, let us not be ashamed. If one of us prays alone, shame will finally cause him to be silent; if we pray all together, we shall be the stronger for it, and perhaps by our example the Pagans will pray as we do.” When they were about to start, they went all together to the Chapel; and, their prayer ended, they betook themselves to the frozen stream. There they form in a ring, and, their Captains having harangued them, they sing and dance in the sight of the French who were in the fort. They made a smart appearance, dressed like soldiers, and somewhat as in a masquerade of France. Some had their faces painted with red, others with blue, others with black, some with all the colors. They had javelins with handles, in the shape of a half-pike; many had corselets, stitched, and interlaced with small sticks; others had shields made of wood. There were some who had [184] arquebuses, — tall had their feet equipped with good snowshoes, to run on the snows; their legs are the purveyors of their army. They do not usually eat while on the way, save the animals which they encounter and kill. They had with them a woman, who had escaped the preceding year from the hands and the country of the Hyroquois; she was to lead them to the places where the enemy have been accustomed to carry on their hunt during the Winter. Behold them, then, setting out gayly, without apprehension of the [Page 205] horrible toils and of the intolerable cold, — having no other retreat than the woods, nor other bed than the snow and the ice, and being constrained to spend several days without making fire, for fear of being discovered. The Christians steadfastly said their prayers by the way; but the Pagans, who had promised to perform no superstitious rite, consulted the devil in their fashion, on approaching the enemy’s country. They separated, and formed two small bands, one of which had some success; the other was surprised at night in its sleep, without [185] keeping watch. At the noise of the enemy, and at the shots of the arquebuses, each one awakes, and seeing himself rudely attacked, takes flight, Some were killed on the spot, the others escaped, half naked; some had their feet frozen even to the bone. Fortunately, they came upon the settlement of Mont-Real, where they were received with much charity. But for that, they were dead; and it was also a happy event for their souls, — as I shall tell hereafter. That young woman who was guiding them escaped during the fight; she returned only a long time after the others, fleeing far into the woods. She had neither cap, nor shoes, nor sleeves, nor stockings; for all clothing, she had only a bit of blanket, which hardly protected half her body against the extreme cold. She walked thirty days in this condition, over the snow, without seeing a spark of fire; there is no knowing what she could have eaten during that time. She passed opposite the settlement of Montreal, on the other side of the great River, and stayed there six or [186] seven days, shouting as loudly as she could, so that they might come and ferry her across; but seeing that she was not heard, she was finally constrained [Page 207] to move toward the fort of Richelieu, where she arrived half dead. The charity of the French restored her life and her strength; a hundred men (said some) would have died from the hardships which could not kill one woman.

One of the Algonquins of the Island, having met one of the Christians from near Quebec, was so much edified that he spent nearly all the night in hearing him speak of God. Arriving thence at Richelieu, he goes to find the Father, and relates to him this conversation, which that good man held with him to his great comfort: “He said to me, ‘Courage; let us give up our old customs. We see well that we were blind; our eyes are beginning to open, let us not close them again. This life is not long; practice no more any evil superstition. Beware of thy fellow Countrymen, the upper Algonquins: they are not inclined to the faith, [187] and not all those among them who seem to approve the prayers, love them. Take care not to imitate them, and if thou wilt believe, do so heartily.’ Such,” said he, “were the words addressed to me by that man; we spent a good part of the night thus; that possesses my heart.”

All these good deeds were greatly thwarted by the wicked conduct of those wretched upper Algonquins, — there was nothing but superstitions among them; there was naught but outrages and calumnies against our Christians. The Father, with his little band of faithful ones, vigorously opposed them, — now by dint of arguments, again by ridiculing their foolish notions; that made them die with spite. “It is a strange thing,” said they, “that since prayer has come into our cabins, our former customs are no longer of any service; and yet we shall all die because [Page 209] we give them up.” “I have seen the time,” said ones of them, “when my dreams were true; when I had seen [188] Moose or Beavers in sleep, I would take some. When our Soothsayers felt the enemy coming, that came true; there was preparation to receive him. Now, our dreams and our prophecies are no longer true, — prayer has spoiled everything for us.” Others, blaming us for the punishments which God was sending them, said: “We see well that God is: angry at us, and that he is right, — for we do not do what he says; inasmuch as it seems hard to us, we disobey him, and so he becomes angry with us and. kills us. But you, you are the cause of it: for if you had lived in your own country without speaking to us of God, he would not say a word to us, since we would not know him or his will. You would then do much better to return to your country and live at rest; for it is you who kill us. Before you came here, the French did not say so many prayers; they only made the sign of the Cross, and even then, all did not [189] know how to make it. They did not have all those prayers which you are introducing; it is you who have brought in all these novelties, and who teach them to the Savages, and overturn their brains and make them die. Besides, if you called to prayers only once in ten days, we would have some respite: but you have no regard to either rain, or snow, or cold; every day you are heard shouting for the prayers. It is a strange thing that you cannot remain quiet.” The Father remonstrated with them, that if one did not teach them, and if one left them in the quiet that they mentioned, they would burn eternally in Hell, and that the danger of their Salvation obliged us to urge them. But the majority became [Page 211] still more obstinate, and were furious with spite against the Father, and said that he was a greater sorcerer than their own people; that the country must be cleared of such; that they had clubbed three sorcerers at the Island, who had not done so much harm as he. There was some fear lest they should carry out their evil thought: but the Divine goodness did not permit it, — [190] on the contrary, it drew great benefits from their malice. For that apostate of whom I have previously spoken — seeing this coldness of the French, and especially of Monsieur de Chamflour, toward him and toward all those who were persecuting the Faith — feigned to show himself favorable toward it, and gave some indication of wishing to become converted. The sieur de Chamflour, in order to oblige him further, gave him wherewith to make a feast for his people, — it is there, as a rule, that they manifest their intentions; but this wretch, instead of declaring himself on the side of Jesus Christ, showed himself more than ever on the side of the Devil, and, at the feast, denounced prayer, and those who were going to be baptized. This treachery not only very greatly displeased the Christian Savages, several of whom were at the feast, but even the Pagans themselves, — of whom one of the principal men, who had been among the most obstinate, came to us to declare himself openly, and to request baptism. “My father,” said he, “I am of the number of the believers: it is all settled, now. I have listened to you for a long time, — I have never said to you, ‘Baptize [191] me;’ I say so now. I cannot suffer that man’s treachery; I wish to be baptized, and to thwart him unless he gives in.” The father answered him. “You come at a good [Page 213] time to request baptism, when it is persecuted; that is the token of a good heart. Make a feast, and declare your intention.” In this he fails not; the guests assembled, he exclaims: “For more than five years I have resisted God; I found the doctrine good, which the Fathers were teaching, but it seemed hard to me, and I could not resolve to follow it. The die is cast, it is all in earnest; I wish to be baptized and obey God, — it is to declare to you my purpose, that I have invited you.” He spent some time further in being instructed, and was then baptized, with much consolation on his side and on ours.

Another Savage, whose wife was already a Christian, followed him to baptism, together with a little girl of his. This man was very good-natured and gentle; quick withal, and one of the best runners among them. Before he was baptized, the sieur de Normanville asked him if he had never [192] had aversion for the Faith. “Yes,” he said, “when they spoke to me of God, I laughed in scorn. Now, it is my whole contentment to hear him spoken of, and I am grieved in my heart when I see any one who is not willing to listen to his word. It seems to me that, since I have chosen to believe, I become angry, and that I shall be so altogether, when I shall be baptized; for I shall not be able to endure that they say aught against God, and that they despise prayer.” The wretched apostate was dying with chagrin to see these good results which God was deriving from his bad designs. The divine goodness and justice then conjointly appeared upon this man, through the mediation of the mother of mercies, to whom they had recourse: for they prayed to God for him without ceasing. At the climax of his impiety, behold [Page 215] him instantly seized throughout his body with a pain so piercing and so violent that it bordered on rage and fury; he is utterly prostrated, but not, as yet, thereby gained to God. The body is conquered, but the soul persists in its malice. They send to call the Father to see him; he comes thither and sees him, [193] as it were, an object of the wrath of God, and in the attitude of a man who suffers a little Hell. “It is not the sickness which holds me,” said he, “I had no tendency toward that. It is the Demon who causes me these pains; by the agency of some one, they are procuring my death.” He sought to accuse the Father of being the cause of his trouble; his brother, who was there present, said the like. The Father proceeded thereupon to declare how the Law of God forbade us to procure, or even to desire, harm to any one; that it would off end God if he should wish them sickness or death; that, on the contrary, he was desiring and procuring their good; that, in fine, it might well be that this sickness was not natural, — that God saw everything, and was casting his eyes upon him when he denounced the prayers; that God listened to all his words; that he penetrated within his heart; that he gave him this blow, in order to make him recognize his fault: that the pains which he suffered, and accounted intolerable, were nothing in comparison with the horrible tortures that he would suffer in Hell, if he continued in his treacheries; that, [194] if he would come to his senses, God was altogether mildness, and would show him mercy. That made an impression on his mind, and he entreated the Father to pray to God for him and to teach him. The pain remained with him several days, during which our Fathers assisted him in all [Page 217] possible ways, and urgently commended him to the most blessed Virgin. He recovered suddenly, as he had suddenly fallen sick; from that time he did nothing more against the Faith, but, on the contrary, he began to protect it. The other chief, too, named Tessweatch, was awed, and dared not stir further. Toward the end of February, they both started from Fort Richelieu, with a small band of their people, in order to go to the Island of Montreal. They arrived at the settlement named Ville-Marie, toward the beginning of March; and there, Fathers du Perron and Poncet, who have wintered there, — seeing them more tractable and manifesting a special liking for that place, and desiring to resort thither, — found it opportune to baptize them, with several of their people, as we shall see in the Chapter following. [Page 219]




T is now that we see the prayers of old France heard, and that the time of grace has come to this end of the world, — where the Divine wisdom and goodness begins to make itself felt so benignly in hearts that, without noise and without speech, the former inhabitants of these countries are invited to it and strongly drawn by the chains of love, which the Holy Ghost alone is fastening upon their hearts. They sent here their messengers from every direction, to assure us that they wish to yield to the influences of Heaven, and, for that purpose, to settle in this place, all in company. Our Fathers with the Hurons have written to us that the Savages of their quarter would have anticipated the French here, if they could have found a place of safety, or asylum, such as [196] the one which is already there at present, though small in comparison with what is to be hoped for the future. They send word that they are perpetually speaking of it, and that sooner or later they will all come thither, notwithstanding the dread of the Iroquois, if there is strong temporal succor against the enemy. Behold glorious harvests.

The bulk of the French who are here is composed of people very different, indeed, in respect to age and character, — almost as if they were all of different countries. But they are only one in intention, all living for one and the same object, the glory of God, [Page 221] and for the salvation of these poor Savages; and I may say that their virtue has served for the conversion of many, who have been won over to God through the affection which these have betokened for them. Could you really believe that several of the work-men who labored here, from the time of their departure from France have entertained no other motive than that of the glory of God, and of their salvation in a place withdrawn from occasions of evil-doing? The very thought that they are contributing, as far as they can, to the salvation of souls, makes them work with such good courage, that it never occurs to them [197] to complain. Moreover, they have been conducted by a Gentleman of merit, whom God seems to have most specially inspired, and called to serve him in this place, — so much affection has he, for both the establishment of the Colony and the salvation of the Savages. It is enough for me to say that this is Monsieur de Chomadeu de Maison-neufve, — his modesty not permitting me to say more.

Since the departure of the vessels, last year, one of the most notable things which prevails in the habitation of Montreal is the thorough unity and the good understanding among all those who dwell there. There are about fifty-five persons of various countries, different temperaments, and diverse conditions, — and all of the same heart, and with the same design of serving God. Each one has so well discharged his duty toward God and men, that no cause of complaint has been found, in the space of ten whole months. The government has been gentle and efficient, obedience easy, and worship universally loved by all, — so much so, that he who commands in [198] this settlement has received a great satisfaction [Page 223] from his people, — from the subordinates as well as from their Captain: — and those who govern the Church, entire contentment from all parties. The people have frequented the Sacraments there with profit, listened to the word of God with diligence, and continued the usual prayers with edification. The example of Monsieur de Maison-neufve, and of the other persons of distinction who are there, has not a little contributed thereto. The Savages, seeing so great peace among the French, have been much edified by it, have loved their virtue, and have spoken well of it.

God has shown us the care that he has for this settlement, by defending it this winter against the waters, which, in an uncommon flood, threatened it with total ruin, if he had not, by his providence, stayed their course. They covered, for a little while, the meadows and the places near the fort; at the sight of this inundation, which was continually increasing, every one withdraws into the safest place. They have recourse to prayers. Monsieur de Maison-neufve feels himself inwardly prompted to go and plant a Cross at the edge of the [199] little river, — at the foot of which the settlement is built, and which ‘was beginning to overflow, — in order to entreat his divine Majesty to confine it in its usual place, if that should be for his glory; or to acquaint them with the place where he wished to be served by those Gentlemen of Montreal, — to the end of establishing the principal settlement there, in case he permitted ‘that the waters should come to destroy the one that had just been started. He forthwith proposed this sentiment to the Fathers, who found it good; he writes it on a piece of paper, has it read publicly, so [Page 225] that they might recognize the purity of his intention; goes to plant the Cross, which the Father blesses, at the edge of the river, with the writing which he attaches to the foot. He returns, with a promise; which he makes to God, to bear a Cross himself alone upon the mountain of Mont-royal, if he please to’ grant his request. The waters nevertheless continued to pass beyond, God wishing to prove their faith. They were seen to roll great waves, one after the other, fill the moats of the fort, and rise even to the gate of the settlement, — seeming liable to swallow up everything, without [200] remedy. Every one surveys this spectacle without agitation, without dread, without complaint, — although it was in the heart of the Winter, at full midnight, and at the very time when the Nativity of the Son of God is, celebrated on earth. The said sieur de Maison-neufve does not lose courage and hopes soon to see the effect of his prayer, which was not long delayed’; for the waters, after having stopped a little while at the threshold of the gate, without swelling further, subsided by degrees, put the inhabitants out of danger, and set the Captain to the fulfillment of his promise.

He employs the workmen, without delay, — some to make the road, others to cut the trees, others to make the Cross. He himself takes a hand in the work, in order to encourage them by his example. And the day having come, — it was Epiphany, which, they had chosen for this ceremony, — they bless the Cross; they make Monsieur de Maison-neufve first soldier of the Cross, with all the ceremonies of the Church. He loads it upon his shoulder, although very heavy; walks a whole league, freighted with: this burden, following the Procession; and plants it [Page 227] on the summit of the [201] mountain. Father du Perron said Mass there, and Madame de la Pelletterie was the first to receive communion there.

They adore the Cross, and some honored Relics which they had enshrined in it; and from that time this place was frequented in sundry pilgrimages. Thus it seems that the zeal, the devotion, and the charity of all those Gentlemen who have associated themselves in France with this pious and noble design, has been spread abroad and imparted to all those who have lived on this side in their settlement. These have been very specially moved by God, and have testified that they have received many favors and graces from Heaven, — since the life which they have led there, this Winter, has been a picture of the primitive Church. All have lived there with joy; though suffering the inconveniences of a new dwelling in a desert country, not one there has been sick, which has thus far never been remarked in any new settlement on this side. The place is’ fair, the land, rich, and the meadows abundant: the Savages are extremely well pleased with it, and would gladly live there, if the danger of the enemy were removed, [202] or peace with them concluded. Without that, I do not see that there is a way for the Savages to become fixed and settled there, or that the Hurons will have freedom to come down thither, or that the colony of the French can prosper there. I am obliged to speak with this frankness.

As for the Savages who have frequented this settlement, here follows what is written to me of them, by Father du Peron, who has spent the whole Winter there: “I can say with truth, that they no sooner began to recognize the integrity of the purpose of [Page 229] Messieurs of Mont-real, than they were keenly touched by it. The belief which they have nearly everywhere, that Mont-Real is established only for the sole benefit of the Savages, is the strongest attraction that we have here to incline them to God; these are chains of love, which bind them to us potently, and cause resistance to be no longer found in their hearts, as in the past. They all say that here is where they will believe and be baptized, — and not only those who have already had the advantage of living or passing there, but even those of the more distant nations above us, [203] solely through the account that they have heard of it. Here follows what has occurred of most note with respect to them.

“Toward the end of February, there arrived at Mont-Real a band of twenty-five men, going to the war against the Iroquois; and the women and children stopped here. Two or three days thereafter, lo, still another band comes, for the chase, which is so excellent there that the Savages all tell us that they would have lived there long ago, in great number, if they had had there, as at present, a place of refuge against the Iroquois, our near neighbors. He who was leading this band was the first man to be baptized and married there conformably to the Church; he is named Oumasasikweie, and in his baptismal name, Joseph, in order to have him bear the name of the first establishment which these Gentlemen of Mont-Royal have given for the Savages. This man had not yet appeared at Mont-Royal; he was coming to get acquainted with it, and had done so in less than one day, — for, having heard the purpose of this settlement, he was suddenly interested in it; indicated the desire that he had of [204] at last [Page 231] settling down, after so many years of roving life: accepted the terms which they made him, of a field and of two men who should labor in it a full year, in order to put it in working condition; and urgently requested to be instructed. As it was seen that this man was in good earnest, without delay they led him to the locality, where he himself chooses the place, and immediately sets his two men at work upon it. He greatly wished that his uncle, Captain of the nation of the Island, celebrated among these nations, and especially the upper ones, — named Tesswehas, and by the French, ‘le Borgne of the Isle,’16 — should be apprised of the favor that was done to him; and begged us to write of it by our first letters down here to the three Rivers, where he was to go. The good man was much astonished to see his desire fulfilled almost as soon as he had conceived it: for shortly after, Tesswehas arrives over the ice, comes straight to the Fort, and surprises us. At the outset, he said that he came to be instructed and baptized; and hearing what they had just done for his nephew, promises to settle here, both himself and his family. About 7 or 8 days later, his nephew Oumasasikweie, [204] seeing himself urged by his people to start the next day in order to go to the hunt, would not go without God. He spoke of it, therefore, to his wife, and they came together to beg us that they be baptized and married that same day, — which we accorded, with the circumspection and instructions requisite and necessary thereto in such case. Monsieur de Maison-neufve, with the heritage of the first family, gave him the name of Joseph: and Madame de la Peltrie, his Godmother, an arquebus. His wife, surnamed in her language Mitigoukwe, was named [Page 233] Jeanne by Monsieur de Piseaux. Then we take these 2 Savages aside, in order to speak to them privately of God; and entering into the room of Monsieur de Maison-neufve, where the most considerable persons were, these good people began, in their presence, to testify to us the joy of their hearts at seeing themselves Christians, — and French, they said, even to desiring the dress and the dwelling of these. And, in token of the grace which they had received, we saw them exchange words together, opposing the resolution of all their people, who were to start the next day: ‘Let us tarry here two days, in order to be able to Feast for the 1st time with the French, on the [206] Lord’s Day,’ which was the day following.

“The 9th day of March, le Borgne of the Isle, first Captain of all these countries, and his wife, after the preparations requisite for Baptism, finally received it, to the admiration of all our French, and of all those people who had formerly seen that man so removed from what he was now doing, — esteeming himself happy, at present, in the name of Christian, which they were about to give him, Monsieur de Maison-Neufve, with Mademoiselle Manse, named him Paul; and his wife was named Magdelaine by Madame de la Peltrie and Monsieur de Puiseaux. All the ceremonies thereof were performed with great solemnity, on account of the great progress which is to be hoped from them for the glory of God. Father Poncet spoke to all the people of the great goodness of God toward this man; the tears of joy which appeared on several faces showed plainly that their hearts were filled with contentment. The father could scarcely speak, so much was he touched. After they had received the blessing of Marriage, Monsieur [Page 235] de Maison-Neufve gave a [207] fine arquebus to Paul, with the articles necessary for its use, and had them dine with US; and after dinner, he made a great feast to all the Savages, where all the French were present, — who were so rejoiced that it is not possible to be more so, to see so great a mercy of God. It has ever been thought that the conquest of that man was more to be prized than that of a great number of others; it was never doubted that, if he were once converted, he would do thoroughly well, in view of the great natural talents which God has given him. Before he was a Christian, God had done him a great favor, — to wit, in permitting that his children should be baptized; and besides that, he has been the occasion for many others to be, who are nearly all dead; but, as for him, he did not wish to be, at all. On the other hand, he has much retarded the glory of God, the Savages taking pattern after him; but there is a probability that he will make amends for that.

“Behold the way which God has used for drawing him to himself, which is far above all human prudence; for [208] when we were thinking of anything else than of seeing him here, considering the aversion which he had shown for it toward the end of the summer — there he was, nevertheless, having arrived here the first day of March. He knocks at the door of the room of Monsieur de Maison-Neufve. Joseph, his nephew, whom I was teaching in my room, — and who had told us, two hours before, that he had much desired that le Borgne, his uncle, might have known what good treatment he had received from us; and that he wished we would write to him of it, — could not believe that he had come, before having seen [Page 237] him: so averse did he suppose him to be to coming here. Le Borgne told us, that having left Richelieu to go to the three Rivers, he had all at once resolved to come here with his wife and his daughter, notwithstanding the dangers. ‘The single purpose which brings me,’ said he, ‘is prayer. It is here that I desire to pray, to be instructed and baptized; but, if you do not agree to it, I will go away to the Hurons, where the blackrobes who are there with the Algonquins will teach me, as I hope.’

“Monsieur de Maison-neufve, touched [209] to see this man, and resolved to spare nothing which was in his power, for the conversion of this poor Savage, entreats us to tell him, on his part, that if he desired to become instructed and settled he had no occasion to go further than this place, where he would assist him to the best of his ability, and would love him as his brother. This man showed him much gratitude for these offers; meanwhile, we strove to lose not a moment of time, to work for his conversion, of which, thenceforth, he gave us good hope, — always attending the prayers and instructions, and all the baptisms among his people. He acted both toward Monsieur de Maison-neufve and toward us, with so great prudence that it is not possible to express it; he has been known to listen two hours to those lessons in the catechism that we were repeating to him, without saying a single word, — in order the better to think upon what he had to do. He betokened so much desire to be instructed that he had himself taught by all, impartially, saying his Pater with the old women and children. ‘My daughter,’ said he, [210] ‘has no sense, not to be willing to teach me what she knows.’ That was his exclusive and [Page 239] important business, though formerly unworthy, in his opinion, of his thoughts. He inclined his people to do like him; in a word, God, who willed to be the Master of that heart, gave him excellent inclinations for the faith, in consequence of which he said to us, ‘I never promised, down there, to be baptized, but to be instructed; but now I promise you it.’ The following night, he told his people the resolution which he had taken, and the word that he had given; he spent the rest of the night in haranguing all the Savages, wherein he told wonders of the faith, to encourage them all; deprecated his past behavior; and said that he hoped that God would aid him, being a Christian, to do better in future. The next day, he came to find us, — Father Poncet and me, and urgently asked us for Baptism, which we granted him upon seeing him in the best disposition that we could ever have wished. ‘Come,’ then said to me this good man, full of joy for this good news,’ lead us [211] to thy room, — my wife and me, — while the others go to the Father’s Mass. Thou shalt instruct us there, in what we are to answer at the ceremony of Baptism. Come, make haste; for there will be some, even till night, — so many persons thou wilt have to baptize. Thou wilt have plenty to do, as well as the Father; because the entire day cannot satisfy my people, who all wish to be baptized.’ Having satisfied him therein, he leads them to the Church, and puts them in the Father’s hands, — who, before leaving, made them children of God, pouring the water and the Holy Ghost upon their heads, Thereafter, Monsieur de Maison-neufve, to settle him here, assigned him the same estate that he had granted to Joseph, and appointed two men to work for him, — [Page 241] who, with the two others, made four; and, if he had been able, he would have done still more for a matter of such importance. As soon as he was baptized, one recognized, quite visibly, very great effects of the grace of God upon him. We took pleasure in observing him, and in hearing him speak of, the good feelings which the Holy Ghost was granting him, respecting the grace of [212] Baptism. One saw in him a countenance all the more resolved to hold fast for the faith, that he had been for a long time very averse to it. Whereas Paul Tesswehat was the most haughty man in the world, before his Baptism, God gave him, as soon as he became a Christian, the gentleness and the humility of a little child, — having himself instructed even by his little daughter, with a gentleness unequaled, and a Christian simplicity which renders him pliable to all our wishes. He is so zealous and ardent to learn that which is necessary to him for his salvation, that he found the days too short, and often stopped over night with us, so as to be instructed during the night. Never have I seen a man have so much partiality for being instructed; he bestowed a diligence and application unparalleled, in learning by heart the prayers, — enumerating all the words on his fingers, and spending whole nights therein. We could not weary him, although we were at it sometimes even till midnight. He often spoke to all his people about embracing the faith; refuted the excuse which they offered, of ignorance of our mysteries, [213] by his own example, which he cited to them, — telling them that when they should be baptized, they would learn more easily. He recognized with astonishment that there was some one within him who instructed him, [Page 243] and prompted him what he should say to God. Often there happen marvels in these good people, without their perceiving it.

“This good man told us that, as many times as he awoke at night, he prayed for his young men who were in the war. ‘The prayer which I offer,’ said he, ‘I repeat as though after another, who teaches me within; for I know nothing, as yet, to say to God. See how I speak: “Thou who hast made everything, help our young men, and defend them against our enemies, Thou canst do everything; give them courage to overcome them. Lo, that would be good if our enemies believed in thee, so as to help them, as well as us who hope in thee; but they do not honor thee; forsake them, and defend us who wish now to believe in thee.”’ Two or three days after his Baptism, going to the hunt with a young Huron, — whom he has kept with [214] him through charity, since last Summer, — finding himself quite late in the day without having taken aught, he kneels and prays as follows: ‘Thou great spirit, who knowest everything, seest thou not well, that I shall never succeed unless thou helpest me? Thou canst do everything; help me then;’ and, at that instant, lo, he hears a noise, follows it, and, with his companion, kills two cows and a moose. His fervor in prayers is incomparable; he is no sooner called than he comes the first, and calls and urges the others to gather thither promptly. He makes himself so pliable to everything, that he did not even dare to start, in order to go to the chase hereabout, because we had said to him that he should be instructed more fully after his Baptism. He is not ashamed, at the lessons in the Catechism which are given in public, to repeat, [Page 245] like a child, what he knows of the Pater, and incites his people to answer boldly therein. In short, he is present at everything that we do in the Church, and at all the Baptisms of his people. At the Feasts, after we had sung Vespers, he also came to beseech us to have him pray and sing apart. He was experiencing the gentleness of [215] the spirit of Christianity, and told us that the cruelties which they practiced against their enemies displeased him. He did not cease to praise the charity of Monsieur de Maison-neufve, our Captain; the benevolence of the Ladies who are here; the kindness of all our people, and the mildness that we use toward them. He declared that what they heard said of a God full of goodness and mercy toward men delighted them; and that what had most touched them was the knowledge that we gave them of the goodness of God, that it was that which had won them all, and which caused them all to be at our disposal. He conceived great hopes for the conversion of the other peoples, — with whom, I hope, his example will serve not a little in subduing them to the obedience of the faith. In a word, he has behaved here like a true Christian.

“A certain evening, having come to our little hall, he began, imperceptibly, to preach to two good women who were there. The discourse that he addressed to them was delightful; and, as the strongest reason which they adduced for not [216] yet being baptized, was that they were not instructed, he answered them: ‘When you are baptized, you will learn in one day’ more than you could have done in fifteen days, for God will help you.’ He is not willing to go to the chase with the other men, although he is urged to do so even by his own people. ‘If I [Page 247] go thither,’ said he, ‘all the women and children will wish to follow me; I prefer to stay, in order to give them the means of being instructed with you, and myself also.’ And, in fact, he did so, being assiduous in attendance at all the public and private instructions, and personally urging the others, What did he not do in the case of his young Huron, whom he is maintaining? He repeated to him all that he heard and knew of our mysteries; he was delighted to see him inclined to wish to be a Christian, like himself. In fine, this young man did so well that we baptized him, after having observed in him the disposition necessary in such case. He was named Joseph. When they asked him in detail whether he believed the articles of the Credo, he answered in one word, with good heart: ‘I believe all.’ There was seen [217] on his brow a sort of joy, so extraordinary that each one of the French wished to see him, in order to derive consolation from it. His modesty, and his hands continually clasped in so pious a manner, told us enough, and showed that he greatly prized the grace which he was about to receive.

“A young man of the Iroquet nation, named China — with, deserves that a word be said of him, in passing. It is a year ago, this Spring, since he came down from his own country, and went to the three Rivers, armed for war, with a score of his people, — and among others, the Captain of the Nipissiriniens, named Wikassoumint. This young man, having among his people the reputation of one valiant and a good hunter. was already commendable; and his temper, extremely cheerful and frank, made him loved by all at the three Rivers. He had indicated to me, during one or two months, ‘a great desire to [Page 249] believe; and he came very often to see us, in order to be instructed. As soon as he was here, ‘Well, then,’ said he, ‘it is in good earnest that thou must teach me and baptize me; [218] I have so great a desire for it that I will do all that thou shalt tell me, — even so far that if thou tell me to give up my Demon, who causes me to take all that I desire in hunting, I am ready to do so, though I love him well. I have fasted seven whole days, without eating anything at all, in order to possess him; I love him as my body, ‘— indeed, it is thus that he called him. It was at this point that those who were there present saw a great effort of the Devil upon this man, to turn aside the kick that the latter wished to give him; for he straightway began to roll his eyes in his head, became pensive, and looked at us frightfully, — nevertheless, continually clasping his hands, and continuing to answer me quite gently and pertinently to what I was asking him. But we could never draw from him that he should immediately renounce his concealed enemy; and, when we urged him to give him to US, — as otherwise he could not be baptized, ‘That would be good,’ said he, ‘if he would appear; he is in me without my seeing him. Sometimes he appears to me in a dream at night, like a naked woman, [219] and speaks to me some word quite softly. When I am in the woods, if I think that I wish to kill this or that beast, immediately I see one; I run and kill it.’ ‘But what?’ I say to him, ‘dost thou not feel him now?’ ‘No, No,’ said he; ‘but I fear him at present.’ ‘Take courage,’ we said to him,’ God will help thee; hope in him; after thy baptism all thy fears will vanish.’ The Devil, who was possessing him without his [Page 251] perceiving it, prevented him from giving us, for that day, the word of consent that we were asking him, to renounce his Demon. The example of Paul Tesswehat, who was baptized the next day, finally strengthened him, and caused him to return to us after noon, requesting from us baptism very urgently, and then promising, in a suitable manner, to renounce entirely and give up his Devil and all his forbidden juggleries, — which he did courageously; — after which he was baptized, and named Jacques. As a result, presently afterward, frightful though he was before, he appeared extremely gay and joyful. He knew not what welcome to give us; he rendered us all the services that he could; [220] he said to Monsieur de Maison-neufve that if he wished, he would always live here, to serve as interpreter for the Hurons, in order to instruct them, so that they might be baptized. ‘May I go to the war against the Iroquois?’ he asked me. ‘Yes,’ we said.’ And if I captured some one of them, and they wished to torture him, what would I do, — would I take part therein? — No,’ said he, of his own accord; ‘I would kill him on the spot.’ Those are very great results of the grace received through baptism. Since then, he has always behaved like a true Christian, — I have seen him perform here delightful acts for the faith; but the fear of engaging myself in too long discourses, into which I lapse imperceptibly, prevents me from saying aught else of them.

“After the Baptism of these, we felt ourselves immediately obliged, Father Poncet and I, to satisfy the urgent requests of many other persons, — and that at a time when we thought them most averse to making us such propositions. For it was at the return [Page 253] of a band of fifteen warriors, who [221] had been put to flight by the enemy, who had surprised them by night, — wherein there were 4 captured or killed, and some wounded of the eleven who returned. All these were naked and wretched, and without arms, in the firm belief that Pieskaret and eight others of their people, — who formed a small detached band, half a day from them, and nearer the country of the enemy, — had all been surprised, or killed on the spot, asserting that they had seen their arms in the hands of the Iroquois, who had attacked them. This was to all a great cause of consternation, and a poor time to gain anything for the faith, with respect to the Savages; those who know them, know well enough that such accidents give them occasion to attack Christianity, as they attribute all their misfortunes to Baptism. One dare not so much as say a word to them just then, for fear of giving cause to some thoughtless fellow to say or do something inopportune for the faith. However, as the affairs of God are of such nature that, often, that which human reason thinks adverse to them is precisely [222] that by which he derives from them more glory, we may say that he has done the same here; for we have derived more profit from their misfortune than from their prosperity. All those poor warriors have no sooner returned than they request, one after the other, to be instructed and baptized; and those, among others, who had been among the first to practice juggleries, and make use of the Devil for their throats, were among the most fervent to urge us in the matter. We were all astonished, that, on entering their cabin, almost without intending to say anything to them, they pressed us to talk, and gave us [Page 255] excellent opportunities to speak of God, and of having recourse to him in extremity. ‘Come often to visit us,’ they said; ‘we are all resolved to believe in God, and to obey him.’ The time was long for us, to see here, on his return, Paul Tessouehat, — who had recently gone to the hunt, for two or three days, — in order to remark how he would demean himself. It was feared that he might speak to the disadvantage of the Faith; but, far from it, he took occasion therefrom, as I myself heard from without, to preach [223] to his people in his cabin. He had more cause to grieve than any one; for besides four of his very near relatives, he saw a part of his people destroyed. However, amid all his afflictions, he always held firm in prayer, and failed not to be present, in his usual way, at everything that we did in the Church; and he manifested, in his affliction, much consolation to see that his people were inclining to imitate him in the right. He aided us, not a little, in encouraging them to persevere. They did so well that, in the remainder of the month of March, there was a fairly good number of them to whom, in conscience, one could not refuse that grace, on account of being very well disposed.

“As soon as any slight mixture of temporal interest was perceived in those who, taking their stand for the right, asked us for baptism, that was enough to tie our hands. It happened thus to the brother of Joseph, to Michaketchits, and several others, who thereby showed that they did not sufficiently apprehend the grace of baptism, as the greatest favor that could be done to them, [224] I was almost forgetting a good trait of Paul Tessouehat, — the gratitude that he had for the obligations of his baptism. He came [Page 257] to find Monsieur de Maison-Neufve, to thank him for having aided therein with so good a heart; and said; to him that, for himself, he wished to finish the remainder of his days near him, — desiring, by a steadfast abode, to make amends for the little time he had to live; and that, when he might wish to go. for trade to the three Rivers, he would ask leave of him, and would learn from him whether he would consent thereto. Monsieur de Maison-Neufve thanked’ him for this manifestation of affection, and told him that he did not desire to restrain him, and that he could go boldly where he pleased, and for as long as he would, and that he would never love him less for it, — rightly judging that for the glory of God such liberty was more advantageous, In fact, it delighted him, and attached him to us more strongly than ever.

“I would gladly say a word here of each one in particular, in order to show more clearly that it is not human ingenuity [225] which has operated in this matter, but God alone, — who uses persons, places, and times as he pleases and in his own way, contrary to human wisdom. The fear of involving myself in too long a discourse restrains me.

“Toward the beginning of April, a good part of the Savages having started to go into the woods, both to hunt Beavers and to make Canoes there, — Paul having remained, with one other man, — they suddenly perceive on the other side of the river some persons who were coming down to us, and seeking passage, to cross ‘on the ice. They were not slow to recognize, by the number, that it was the band of Piescaret and his people, who had been mourned as if dead, — but who, returning victorious, with a: head of the enemy, came to change the mourning [Page 259] into joy. Paul sends in quest of those who had recently started, and commissions various Ambassadors to those who were in the woods; they receive the victorious, they treat them, they dance with them. Paul requests that we have them all pray together in the Chapel, [226] some time later. He returns to us with Pieskaret, and two or three others of the most considerable men, asking to speak to Monsieur de Maison-neufve. Piescaret makes the report of the result of their council, held at evening in their cabin; but Paul, having learned that this: man had related the affair in a long-drawn style, and with intricate sentences, himself proceeds to repeat to us the points of it, in a manner concise and clear. It was to the effect that what had happened in this. last war, — wherein they had lost four persons, and the weapons of most of the others, — put them in a position to change the order of their affairs which they had proposed for themselves; that thereupon they had resolved all to go to the three rivers, where the others were, until the end of the summer, — both to celebrate, all together, the mourning for the dead, and to deliberate in common what they would do thereafter; moreover, that they wished to, see, for the last time, whether the promise would be kept to them, of giving them assistance against our common enemy.

“Finally, in conclusion, these good [227] people, as persons who felt themselves greatly obliged, began to give thanks in their manner, which was very polite; they knew not what to say or do, to show the gratitude which they had for the courtesy and benevolence of Monsieur de Maison-neufve.’ It is three years,’ said Paul,’ since I had heard mention of this [Page 261] project; we admired and desired it, and now we see what we were expecting.’ Monsieur de Maison-neufve, in answer to their council, gave them to understand that they were at full liberty, — not desiring them near him, except for their benefit: and that, whenever and as often as they should come here, they would always find a heart open and ready to give them all the assistance and favors possible; that they should go boldly where they pleased. They all start, therefore, the next day, for the three rivers, over the ice, which was everywhere beginning to break lip It had already done so, across from us, — and that immediately after the return of Piescaret and his band, which had no sooner crossed on the ice than the [228] main channel broke open, and stopped the passage for the enemy. They — as we have since learned by the Hurons saved from the hands of the Iroquois — pursued these, and would have come even to our gates, but for the ice, which was already drifting rapidly. Of all the Savages, there remained with us but one, Pachirini, detained because of the condition of his feet. Since their rout, he had always wished to live with us, together with two other patients, in the little Hospital which we had erected there for the wounded, — both in order to be better cared for there, and to be more thoroughly instructed; in fact, both he and the others received in it healing for the body and for the soul. This last one, the same day that he was baptized, which was Holy Thursday, received also at the same time the Sacrament of the Eucharist, which he could not, in his life, receive in better disposition. He served us here, during the seven or eight days that he remained after the others, in making some discoveries of the [Page 263] country hereabout. We went with him to the other shore of our [229] great river, where, but a little above US, at the mouth of a small river, somewhat deep, there are the fairest places in the world for the French settlements. Everything abounds, — meadows, plenty of hunting and fishing; the trees are very beautiful, the soil very good; there is only the enemy to fear, and at low water, the portage of provisions. But lower down there are, on the same side, very beautiful Islands, of ample approach, suitable to be inhabited.

“I will say nothing here of several other baptisms, of children, which occurred here last Autumn and this spring; let us be content to say that — at Mont-real, as much as in any other place, God has made perceptible very great effects of his grace, both upon the Savages and upon the French, as we have seen above.”

We have recently seen that Mont-real has been the asylum of the refugee Hurons, and the salvation of many others of various nations in which the people have begun to know it, and to desire the happiness of being there, — especially those nations from [230] above, if we believe what our Fathers with the Hurons write to us of them, and especially those who are there for the Algonquins, whose own words are as follows:

“We have ascertained by experience, that Ville-Marie can do much to contribute to the conversion of the Savages, notably Algonquins, — having in hand the benefits which are powerful charms upon rude souls, and such as those of our Canadians. There is no one who has heard so much spoken of the reception which is there given to the Savages [Page 265] as that one who has seen them at their return, and has had his winter allotment of labor at their usual rendezvous among the Hurons. I have no doubt, according to what they have told me of this, that, if the place had more security, they would forever leave this country here, in order to form a village at Mont-Royal, and gather there those of the Island, and the other scattered nations, who see themselves to be the prey of the enemy here, and on the river where they have their haunts. They ask nothing better than to have [231] a secure place of refuge, where they can live and rally together. That will be, as I hope; and it cannot be soon enough for the good of a nation the poorest and most wretched that I have seen.

“There are about us, here, many Algonquins who seek but a safe rendezvous, where they can hunt and live free from danger of the enemy, in which they are at all times. They come up here to seek a place of refuge, not finding it on the great river, where all their haunts are. If it had not been so hot at Mont-royal, they would be there already, and would have anticipated the French, — that place suiting them better than any other. Now that they believe you there, they speak of nothing else; and, when they see us, they have no other conversation. ‘There,’ they say, ‘is where we wish to obey God, and not here.’ I do not doubt, from their story, that what they saw there last Year, on their way up here, has much assisted in moving their hearts; and I think that, if the affair [232] be well managed, in a few years the Savages will take their stand at Ville-Marie in much greater number than they are at Sillery; it cannot be soon enough for them and for us. For even [Page 267] though the Mataouachkariniens,[20] Onontchateronons, Kinonchepirinik, Weweskariniens, those of the Island, and others, — who speak the dialect of that region, and unite here in winter near the Hurons, — should go to Mont-Royal, we should still have, besides the Nepissiriniens, Archirigouans, Archouguets, — all the Algonquins, in general, from the lake of the Hurons, who are still in great number. It is for you, who are on the spot, to think of the means for attracting these peoples and preserving them.

“Liberality, no doubt, is the best chain that one can apply to win their hearts, especially in the misery that they are in, — for I have not seen Algonquins so poor and necessitous as those yonder. They are, withal, very tractable people.”

[233] Such are two specimens of letters from our Fathers with the Hurons, which I have reported word for word, — which give us to understand that the project of Mont-Real is of great consequence for the conversion of these countries. The great hopes that have been conceived thereof, in the past, will not be vain, God helping; and, for my part, I believe one cannot conceive all the good there is in the enterprise, and will be in future. [Page 269]





HERE are two divisions of Iroquois, — the one, neighbors of the Hurons and equal to them in number, or even greater, are called Santweronons. Formerly, the Hurons had the upper hand; at present, these prevail, both in number and in strength. The others live between the three Rivers and the upper Hiroquois, and are called Agneronons.[21] There are among these latter only three villages, comprising about seven or eight hundred men of arms. The settlement of the Dutch is near them;[22] they go thither to carry on their trades, especially in arquebuses; they have at present three hundred of these, and use them with skill and boldness. These are the ones who make incursions upon our Algonquins and Montagnais, and [235] watch the Hurons at all places along the River, — slaughtering them, burning them, and carrying off their Peltry, which they go and sell to the Dutch, in order to have powder and Arquebuses, and then to ravage everything and become masters everywhere, which is fairly easy for them unless France gives us help. For, sundry contagious diseases having consumed the greater part of the Montagnais and Algonquins, who are neighbors to us, they have nothing to fear on that side; and, moreover, the Hurons who come down, — coming for trade, and not for war, and having not [Page 271] one Arquebus — if they, are met, as usually happens, have no other defense than flight; and, if they are captured, they allow themselves to be bound and massacred like sheep. In former years, the Iroquois came in rather large bands at certain times in the Summer, and afterward left the River free: but, this present year, they have changed their plan, and have separated themselves into small bands of twenty, thirty, fifty, or a hundred at the most, along all the passages and places of the River; and when one band [236] goes away, another succeeds it. They are merely small troops well armed, which set out incessantly, one after the other, from the country of the Iroquois, in order to occupy the whole great River, and to lay ambushes along it everywhere; from these they issue unexpectedly, and fall indifferently upon the Montagnais, Algonquins, Hurons, and French. We have had letters from France that the design of the Dutch is to have the French harassed by the Iroquois, to such an extent that they may constrain them to give up and abandon everything, — even the conversion of the Savages. I cannot believe that those Gentlemen of Holland, being so united to France, have this wretched idea; but, the practice of the Iroquois being so consistent with it, they ought to apply to it a remedy in their settlement, as Monsieur the Governor has done here, — often preventing our Savages from going to kill the Dutch. That is very easy for them; otherwise, they will have difficulty in clearing themselves and in exculpating themselves from the wrong. Now here is the miserable result of the incursions of the Iroquois this Year.

The 9th of last May, as soon as the ice was gone from the surface of the great [237] River! Eight [Page 273] Algonquins, coming down from toward the Hurons in two canoes, all laden with peltry, landed one morning four leagues from the three Rivers, in order to make a little fire; it had frozen quite hard all night, and they had paddled during the darkness, fearing surprise from their enemies. Hardly had they been half an hour refreshing themselves, when nineteen Iroquois issue from the wood, and fall upon them, kill two men, and take the others captive, with all their peltry. Father Buteux had passed by there only two days before, in a canoe, accompanied by three Hurons. It is a miracle that he was not perceived and taken, with his companions. The nineteen Iroquois were not alone; others were seen six or seven leagues above, moving toward the fort of Richelieu.

A month later, which was the ninth of June, another band of forty made its attack at Mont-Real and the environs; they were in ambush half a league above the settlement of Mont-Real, on the Island itself, a hundred paces from the River. They had erected a little fort there at the time of their arrival, which was a few days before; [238] thence they were watching the Hurons on the River, and the French of Mont-Real on land, in order to surprise any of them who might be scattered about the settlement. Everything succeeded for them to their wish; for on the aforesaid day, the ninth of June, they perceived sixty Hurons coming down in thirteen canoes, — without Arquebuses and without arms, but all freighted with peltries, — who were coming to Mont-Real, and from there to the three Rivers, for their trade. They carried the letters of our Fathers with the Hurons, and a copy of their Relation. The [Page 275] forty Hiroquois issue from the wood, fall upon them, frighten them with their Arquebuses, put them to flight, and take twenty-three of them prisoners, with their canoes and the peltry; the rest escape, and strive to reach the settlement of Mont-Real. The Hiroquois do not stop there; they give their twenty-three prisoners, all naked, into the charge of ten of their comrades, well armed, and send ten others to fall upon five Frenchmen, who were working at some carpentry, two hundred paces from the settlement. Meanwhile the twenty who remain present themselves [239] before the fort, and make a false attack on it, with a discharge of more than a hundred arquebus shots; this gave leisure to the other ten to surprise our five Frenchmen. Three of these they beat to death, — scalping them, and carrying away their hair, — and take the two others captive; then they go to rejoin their companions, and all together betake themselves to their fort, where the two Frenchmen were bound, and put with the captive Hurons. The Hiroquois passed the night in rejoicing over their prize, and in consulting as to what they should do with it. Morning having come, they rush upon the Huron prisoners, and beat thirteen of them to death, almost without selection. They reserve ten of them alive, along with our two Frenchmen, and then go away to the canoes to get robes of Beaver without number; and after having loaded all that they could of these, they leave even more than thirty on the spot, and thus cross the River, triumphant with joy, and laden with rich spoils. Our French of the settlement see them cross, without being able to offer any remedy. Eight or ten days later, one of the two French [240] prisoners [Page 277] escaped by flight, — pretending to his host to go to fetch some wood, in order to prepare the kettle. He reported that the Iroquois had not done them any harm since their capture, and had kept them bound only two days; that they signified to them that they already had French prisoners, and that all together were tilling the soil in their country. For the rest, in these encounters and attacks, one must not speak of making a sally upon the enemy; for, as neither their coming nor their number is known, and as they are concealed in the woods, — where they are trained for running, very differently from our French, — the sallies would avail only to undergo new massacres; for usually a small party attacks, and the others remain in ambush in the thick of the woods.

Those of the Hurons who could escape by flight arrived in single file at the settlement of Mont-Real, — partly toward evening, partly the next day, and all naked, — and gave news of their disastrous accident, also learning ours. I have had letters from Mont-Real that the five Frenchmen who were captured or killed, as [241] if they had anticipated their death, were preparing themselves for it by notable acts of virtue, and by attendance at the Sacraments — which they had approached a few days previously, and some, the very day of their capture.

While this band of forty were at Mont-Real, and were making these ravages there, another of like number was on lake Saint Pierre, below the fort of Richelieu; and on the twelfth of June they came to encamp in an old fort, made four years ago by the Iroquois, three or four leagues from the three Rivers, on the same side as the settlement: They had with them three or four Hurons, taken the year [Page 279] before with Father Jogues, among whom were two brothers of that great Joseph, known through the Relation of the Hurons, and by his own virtue. Both escaped from the band of the Iroquois, and came toward evening to the three Rivers, where by good fortune they found Father de Brébeuf, to whom they related plenty of news: that Father Jogues was still alive; that last year after his capture, though able to escape, he would not [242] do it, in order not to separate himself from the captive Hurons till after the combat; he baptized all the prisoners, who were expecting nothing but death, and longed only for Heaven. They said that immediately the Father and the two Frenchmen, Cousture and René Goupil[23] received many blows with fists and clubs; but that the worst treatment which was dealt them was at their encounter with two hundred and fifty Iroquois, who were returning from their attack on Richelieu, where they lost five of their people, and several were wounded. Yet they were not bound while on the road, except at their entrance into the village, when they were all stripped to their shirts, and received many affronts and outrages, — their beards were plucked out, their nails were torn out, the tips of their fingers being afterward burned in calumets all red with fire. Father Jogues had his left thumb cut off, and they crushed with their teeth the index finger of his right hand, which nevertheless he uses a little at present. We were told they spared the lives of all the Hurons except two, who were burned; that the little Therese, the Seminarist [243] of the Ursulines, was much sought after in marriage; that she had lived near her uncle named Joseph, who is the one who, having escaped, was relating all these [Page 281] tidings to Father de Brébeuf. He said that René Goupil, walking near the village with Father Jogues, — both praying to God together, — was struck down with a blow of a hatchet by an Iroquois, who had just learned the death of some of his people, killed at the Fort of Richelieu; that Father Jogues, seeing René fall at his feet, fell on his knees and offered his head to the Iroquois, who was content with having killed one of them. Guillaume Cousture, in the combat, would not flee or separate himself from the Father; the latter abode all the winter in the cabin of an Iroquois Captain, without having been given to any one after the capture, — contrary to their custom, — and thus it is always free to them to kill him; he passed the winter with a single red cape for all his clothing. He had, nevertheless, liberty to go to the three Villages, to console and teach [244] the Hurons and the captives; the Iroquois did not willingly hear him speak of God. These Hurons said that Cousture had his foot frozen with cold: that two Hollanders, one of whom was mounted on horseback, had come to the village where father Jogues was, and had tried to ransom him, but that the Iroquois would not listen to it; that an Iroquois of that band had been charged with a long letter, by father Jogues, to give to us; that the Iroquois spoke of conducting them back, but that he and the others put no faith in it.

Here follows what Joseph related of himself: “I prayed to God continually,” said he to Father Brébeuf; “my fingers served me for a rosary, which I rehearsed every day. I made my examination, and confessed my sins to God, as when I confess to you; I conversed incessantly with God, and spoke to him in my heart as if we had been two who had talked [Page 283] together, and thus I was not weary. If sometimes they gave me wherewith to make a feast, I did so without any ceremony, [245] and the Iroquois let me do it. I know well that God has saved my life; for, having been given to people who had not sufficient means to save my life, by giving presents according to our custom, — he caused that they did not accept me, and that I was, for the second time, given to another, who had the means and the wish to deliver me from death. As soon as I thought I had sinned, I went to find Father Jogues in order to confess. As regards the Father,” he said, “he offers his prayers quite openly; but as for us, he told us that we should pray quite low, — that the Iroquois had as yet no sense. The Father,” he added, “speaks to them of God: but they do not listen to him; he has only one little book of prayers, and Cousture the other.” He added withal, that he had been twice at the habitation of the Flemings, and his brother four times; whence he related many things of their trade, houses, etc. But what he had remarked above all was that, when they had given him to eat, and he had made the sign of the Cross, a Hollander said to him that that [246] was not well; ‘I And, in fact,” he said, “they do not do so, like you. They smoke and drink without ceasing. I was expecting,” said he, “that in the evening they would go to pray to God together, as you do, but they did not come to that.” That is what Joseph relates.

Let us return to the band of our Iroquois from which he had escaped with his brother, and a third who arrived shortly after. The Iroquois, no longer seeing the three Hurons, and suspecting what the matter was, — that they had withdrawn to the three [Page 285] rivers, — believed they were discovered, and returned to their country. But, at the same time, others succeeded them in the same lake of St. Pierre, above the three rivers; SO that the Hurons who had escaped to Mont real, and who were coming down to the 3 rivers, were again met and pursued. But it pleased God to deliver them, though with infinite hardships; for most of them, leaving their canoes, rushed into the woods and came all naked to the three rivers, by frightful roads. Some other Hurons, captives of former years, who [247] were with these latter bands of Iroquois, escaped and came to the three rivers, and confirmed all that their companions had said, — especially that there was talk in the country of bringing hither Father Jogues and restoring him to the French; but, as the treachery of the Iroquois is known, no one believed a word of it. Monsieur the Governor, however, who desired the Father’s deliverance, and peace if it were reasonable, equipped four shallops and went, prepared for war or peace, to the three rivers, and thence to the Fort of Richelieu, in order to see if the Iroquois would present themselves on the river or before the habitations. But nothing appeared; as soon as they perceived the shallops, they entered further within the woods; and, the shallops having passed, they returned to the edge of the water, and kept watch on the Algonquins and Hurons. Monsieur the Governor often landed, in order to examine their trail, and to see if he might encounter some band of them in their customary Forts, in order to attack them there. Two leagues above Richelieu [248] he found a road newly made in the woods, which extended about two leagues, whereby the Iroquois traversed and cut off a point of land in [Page 287] order to come from their river into that of St. Lawrence, bearing their canoes and baggage on their shoulders, and not to pass before the Fort of Richelieu. If Monsieur the Governor had had the soldiers for whom he was hoping from France, he would no doubt have proceeded even into the country of the Iroquois, with zoo or 300 Algonquins and Montagnais who offered themselves to keep him company; and I believe that this would have produced a very good effect, and that he would have constrained those proud Barbarians to an honest peace, or have entirely subdued them. What I have said herein above, need not give extraordinary terror; when the Iroquois have encountered resistance, they have given way as soon as, or sooner than, the others. The Algonquins, being in reasonable number, have often made them tremble and flee. Let us return to their incursions of this year, notwithstanding which the Algonquins failed not to go to the chase; [249] they cannot forego that exercise without dying from hunger. The land does not yet yield enough for them; “As well,” they say, “die by the hand, or by the iron of the Iroquois, as of a cruel hunger.” The 30th of July, seven young Algonquins went to the chase toward Mont-real, — they were nearly all Christians; they encountered two Iroquois canoes, one of which, in which there were twelve men, ran straightway upon them. These good young men were not frightened; Father le Jeune had said to them on leaving: “If you flee death, you will find it; if you seek it, it will flee from you. Commend yourselves to God, if you meet the enemy.” They observe this counsel, — they pray to God fervently in their hearts, and paddle with all their might straight toward the [Page 289] Iroquois who discharge upon them ten or twelve arquebus shots, without other effect than to pierce one canoe and to wound one Algonquin in the foot. The Algonquins continually advance, and discharge two or three arquebuses that they had; they prostrate two Iroquois wounded to death in their canoe, and [250] constrain them all to go ashore and retreat, If these young Algonquins had had powder to continue and Pursue further, they would have killed most of the band; but we have always been afraid to arm the Savages too much. Would to God that the Hollanders had done the same, and had not compelled us to give arms even to our Christians, — for hitherto, these have been traded only to the latter.

The 15th of August, twenty Algonquins left the three rivers in order to go to the chase toward Richelieu. When in the lake of St. Pierre, seven or eight leagues from the settlement, at the mouth of a river called saint François, they separated themselves into two bands, in order to hunt better. The one, which was composed of twelve, straightway encounters twenty Iroquois, well armed; then they were in close conflict, — first with the arquebuses, of which the Iroquois had twice as many, then with the javelin, finally with the knife. Some on both sides were killed; the Algonquins, seeing themselves weaker, took flight; three, with a Huron who [251] happened to be in their company, were made prisoners They burned one of these; God granted the favor to 2 others, who were Christians, to escape. They reported to us that the Iroquois were nearly all wounded, and some, to death. At the same time when that was occurring in the lake of St. Pierre, there were 2 other bands of Iroquois, who were [Page 291] prowling about the Fort of Richelieu; they had with them a captive Huron, but an Iroquois by affection. The latter took his place alone in a canoe, and advanced toward the Fort, and requested to speak; they receive him, — they have him enter, they ask him who he is, and what brings him. He answers that he is an Iroquois, and that he wishes to treat of peace for himself and for his companions; he presents some beavers with this object. They ask him if he has news of Father Jogues; he draws forth a letter from him and presents it, then asks to return. They tell him that the letter is addressed to Monsieur the Governor, who is at Kebec or at the 3 rivers, and that he must wait for an answer; he requests that they fire a cannon shot, which is done, and straightway his comrades appear in 3 or 4 canoes. They paddle steadily, in order to [252] come toward the Fort; they are hailed to stop, three or four times, — which not obeying, they are fired upon; that constrained them to go ashore, and flee into the woods, abandoning their canoes and baggage; it is not known whether they were wounded or killed.

Not many days later, a band of about 100 Iroquois appeared at the same place, in eleven great canoes; they had crossed above Mont-real, had remained there several days in ambush, and had presented themselves before the settlement. There, under pretext of some sign of peace, they had essayed to attract near them some Algonquins of the Iroquet nation, who had been sent to parley at a distance, upon whom they treacherously discharged more than’ a hundred arquebus shots, — but, thanks to God, without effect. They had afterward come down to Richelieu, where, seeing themselves discovered, [Page 293] they retreated. Here follows a copy of the letter from Father Jogues, written from the Iroquois, which that Huron of whom I have spoken, brought and gave to Monsieur de Champflour: it is addressed to Monsieur the Governor. [253] It is a great pity that three others, which he wrote to us previously, have been lost.

“Monsieur, here is the 4th that I have written since I am with the Iroquois. Time and paper fail me to repeat here what I have already conveyed to you at great length. Cousture and I are still living. Henry (one of those two young men who were taken at Mont-real) was brought here the eve of saint John’s day. He was not loaded with blows from clubs at the entrance to the village, like us, nor has he had his fingers cut, like us; he lives, and all the Hurons brought with him into the country. Be on your guard everywhere; new bands are always leaving, and we must persuade ourselves that, until the Autumn, the river is not without enemies. There are here nearly three hundred arquebuses, and seven hundred Iroquois; they are skilled in handling them. They can arrive at the three rivers by various streams; the Fort of Richelieu gives them a little more trouble, but does not hinder them altogether. The Iroquois say that if those who took and killed the French at Mont-real [254] had known what you have done, — in redeeming the Sokokiois whom you delivered from the hands of the Algonquins, — they would not have done that; they had started in the midst of the winter, and before the news of it came. Nevertheless, quite recently there has departed a band, and the man of Mathurin (Father Brébeuf knows him well) is in it, and leads the band, as at [Page 295] our capture last year. This troop desires and purposes to take some French, as well as Algonquins. Let not regard for us prevent from doing that which is to the glory of God. The design of the Iroquois, as far as I can see, is to take, if they can, all the Hurons; and, having put to death the most considerable ones and a good part of the others, to make of them both but one people and only one land. I have a great compassion for these poor people, several of whom are Christians, — the others Catechumens, and ready for baptism; when shall a remedy be applied to these misfortunes? when they shall all be taken? I have received several letters from the Hurons, [255] with the Relation taken near Mont-real.[24] The Dutch have tried to ransom us, but in vain; they are still endeavoring to do so at present, but it will again be, as I believe, with the same result. I become more and more resolved to dwell here as long as it shall please Our Lord, and not to go away, even though an opportunity should present itself. My presence consoles the French, the Hurons, and the Algonquins. I have baptized more than sixty persons, several of whom have arrived in Heaven. That is my single consolation, and the will of God, to which very gladly I unite my own. I beg you to recommend that prayers be said, and that masses be offered for us, and above all for the one who desires to be forever,


Your very humble servant, Isaac

Jogues, of the Society of


“From the village of the Iroquois, the 30th

of June, 1643,”

[Page 297]

[256] This letter contains more substance than words; its construction is excellent, although the hand which formed its characters is all torn; it is composed in a style more sublime than that which proceeds from the most pompous schools of Rhetoric; but in order better to understand the riches of him who traced it, one must consider his poverty. Some Hurons, made prisoners with this good Father, having escaped this last spring from the hands of the Iroquois, have given us an idea of the rich liberty of this poor captive; and, wishing to depict to us the abasement into which men have thrown him, have given us a noble idea of his grandeur. The Iroquois, having taken him the 2nd day of August, 1642, dragged him into their country, with the shouts and hootings of Demons who carry off their prey. He was greeted with a hundred beatings at the entrance to the Village where he was first conducted; there was no good mother’s son who did not fling his paw or claw on this poor victim, — some struck him with heavy blows of cords, others with blows of sticks; some pulled and [257] carried away the hair of his head; others, in derision, tore out the hair of his beard. A woman, or rather a Megera, takes his arm and cuts off, or rather saws off, with a knife the thumb of his left hand; she cuts a gash, and goes in quest of the joint, with less skill, but with more cruelty than a butcher exercises upon a dead beast; in short, she lacerates and removes the whole mass of the thumb. Another bites one of the fingers of his right hand, injures the bone, and renders that poor finger crippled and useless; others tear out his nails, then put fire on the end of those poor fingers, — laid bare, in order to render the martyrdom more keenly [Page 299] felt. For all these pains, the poor Father had no other Physician or other Surgeon than patience; no other salve than pain, no other cover than the air which surrounded his wounds. This is not all, — those Barbarians tear off his cassock; they strip him, and, to cover his nakedness, throw at him a bit of an old skin, charged with filth and stench. He covers half [258] of his body with it; he has his feet and his legs bare, his arms bare, his head bare. He has for, house some pieces of bark; the earth is his bed and his mattress; a fragment of skin, or of a cape, which serves him as robe during the day, still serves him as cover during the night. His living, as a rule, is composed only of a little meal of Indian corn, boiled in water without salt. His ears are assailed with a thousand jeers, a thousand taunts, and a thousand insults, — which those Barbarians vomit against the French, against the Christian Savages, and against our allies. “Take courage, my nephew,” a Captain will say to him, jeering; “be not grieved, thou wilt soon see some of thy brothers here, who will come to keep thee company. Our warriors desire to eat of the flesh of the French, — thou wilt be able to taste it with us.” Behold how they have depicted to us this living Martyr, this suffering Confessor, this man rich in extreme poverty, joyful and contented in the land of pains and sadness, — in a word, this Jesuit clothed like a Savage, or rather like saint John the Baptist. Let us meditate, I beg you, upon these words: [259] Let not regard for us (he says) prevent from doing that which is to the glory of God. That is to say, “Have not regard for my life; regard me as a man already dead. I know well that if you ill-treat the Iroquois, I am murdered, — I no longer account myself among [Page 301] the living. My life is God’s; do all that you shall judge most suitable for his glory.” How powerful is Jesus Christ in a pious heart! His goodness does not allow itself to be vanquished, it makes a glory of triumphing in the greatest desolation. I become more and more resolved (he adds) to dwell here as long as it shall please our Lord, and not to go away, even though the opportunity should present itself. How agreeable is such generosity to God! This man, all whose senses have nothing but objects of pain, says that he would not escape though he could do so. My presence (he continues) consoles the French, the Hurons, and the Algonquins. There are two captive Frenchmen with this good Father, many Hurons, and many Algonquins, — some of whom are Christians, and the others desire to be: would you, indeed, that this [260] heart full of fire, that this Pastor full of love, should abandon his sheep? Surely he is not a thief or hireling, to commit so great a treachery. Although these words have drawn the tears from our eyes, they have not failed to augment the joy of our hearts: there is one of us who feels toward him more envy than compassion; to give up creatures for God, is not a bad exchange. I have Baptized more than sixty persons. We suppose that these are Hurons and Algonquins, his fellow captives; and perhaps further, some little Iroquois children, dying, who pray to God in the heavens for their parents, — that is my single consolation, and the will of God, to which very gladly I unite my own. These are glorious words! But moreover, who could console this poor Father, if not the one who alone is left for him, and whom the whole Universe cannot ravish from him! The two Frenchmen who are with the Father give us astonishment, — that one, [Page 303] especially, who is named Guillaume Cousture. This young man was able to escape; but the thought of it having come to him, — “No,” he says, “I [261] wish to die with the Father; I cannot forsake him; I will gladly suffer the fire and the rage of these tigers, for the love of Jesus Christ, in the company of my good Father.” That is speaking like a truly faithful man, as, indeed, he had not thrown himself into these dangers for any temporal consideration. The letter states that there had started from the Iroquois a band led by the man of Mathurin, — that is to say, by a Huron taken by the Iroquois, who has lost affection for his country and his fellow countrymen, on whom he now makes war. As he knows the places where they are to pass, he goes to await and surprise them at the passage; it was this miserable renegade who defeated the Hurons with whom the Father happened to be. They call him “the man of Mathurin,” because he brought back from the Hurons, before he was taken by the Iroquois, a worthy young man who bore that name; who, after having well conducted himself with our Fathers in this end of the world, crossed back to France, in order to give himself to God in the holy Order of the Reverend Capuchin Fathers, wherein he has made profession.

[262] Furthermore, this letter was written partly in French, partly in Latin, partly in the Savage tongue, so that if it fell into the hands of some one else than the one to whom it was addressed, he could not easily discover the good counsel which the Father gives us.

Monsieur the Governor, who was at the three Rivers, made answer to the letter of Father Jogues; I wrote to him also, quite at length, and sent Father [Page 305] Brébeuf to Richelieu in order to confer with that Huron about his return to the Iroquois. But the poor man placed us in a new difficulty, a very great one, — for, fearing lest the Iroquois in the country should take him for a spy, and for having some intelligence with us, he declared very plainly that he would return no more to the Iroquois, but to the Hurons; and there was no way of persuading him to anything else. Consequently, we remained deprived of that consolation, and Father Jogues still more than we, — having no answer or news from our country, and perhaps in danger [263] of being put to death upon the suspicion which the Barbarians will have, that some harm may have been done to the captive Huron who was of their band. I hope, however, that our good God, who has preserved him hitherto, will continue his mercies, and will employ this. Father’s virtue for the salvation of these peoples, and for some good result which his divine providence knows. [Page 307]


[1] 1 (p. 43). — Cf. the two prayers in Montagnais given by Le Jeune in vol. vii., pp. 15z-157. See also Trumbull’s valuable contribution to Algonkin comparative grammar, “Notes on Forty Versions of the Lord’s Prayer in Algonkin Languages,” Amer. Philol. Soc. Trans., 1872 (Hartford, 1873), pp. 113-218.

[2] (p. 47). — The falls of Montmorency are at the mouth of Montmorency River, nine miles below Quebec; they are about 250 feet in height, but only 50 wide. Electric light and power for the city of Quebec are derived from this cataract. It was named by Champlain (1608), probably for Henri de Montmorency, constable of France.

[3] (p. 53). — This man was baptized at Quebec, Nov. 4, 1640, by Le Jeune. For description of the baptismal register at Sillery, see vol. xx., note 10.

[4] (p. 61). — Numerous settlements had been begun in Maine, by this time,-Piscataqua (Kittery) and Monhegan Island, 1622; Saco, 1623; Sagadahoc, Damariscotta, and Pemaquid, probably about the same time. Robert Gorges in 1624 established a colony at Agamenticus (York). Two years later a trading post was located at Penobscot (Castine); and, in 1628, one on the Kennebec, not far from Casco Bay.

[5] (p. 85). — Guillaume Tronquet was Montmagny’s secretary, probably during most of the latter’s term as, governor. He is also mentioned as exercising the, functions of a notary at Quebec, in 1644-46.

[6] (p. 113). — For location of Arent (Aronte) see vol. x., note 23.

[7] (p. 117). — Jean le Sueur, a secular priest, came to Canada in 1634, with Giffard (vol. vi., note 8); his other title was derived from a parish in Normandy, which he had served, Saint Sauveur de Thury. In 1645-46, he was missionary at Côte de Beaupré, and later officiated in the chapel at Côteau Ste. Genevieve. In March, 1646, he became joint proprietor, with Jean Bourdon, of the fief St. Francis (vol. xi., note 11). The Jounr. des Jésuites frequently mentions him, up to 1660. One of the suburbs of Quebec is named St. Sauveur, for this priest.

[8] (p. 133). — Marsolet is sketched in vol. v., note 35.

[9] (p. 145). — Martin de Lyonne, born at Paris, May 13, 1614 entered the Jesuit novitiate Dec. 8, 1629, at Nancy. His studies were pursued at Pont-a-Mousson (1631-34) and Rome (1638-42), the interval being spent as instructor at Sens and Charleville. Having spent his last year of probation at Rouen, at its close (1643) he joined the Canada mission. He labored therein during the remainder of his life,-during most of that period at Miscou and other posts along the coast, from Cape Breton to Gaspé Bay. He made several voyages to France during that time; on his return from the last of these (1657), he went to labor in the mission station of Chedabouctou, in Acadia, where he finally died, Jan. 16. 1661, a victim of his devotion in attending the sick, during an epidemic of scurvy.

For account of Richard, see vol. viii., note 17.

[10] (p. 147). — The labors of Father Biard are recounted at length in vols. i.-iii. of this series.

[11] (p. 153). — Nepegigwit (now Nipisiguit, or Nepisiquit): a river, 100 miles in length, flowing into Bathurst Bay, N. B.; noted for salmon fishing, and for the beauty and grandeur of its scenery. Twenty miles above its mouth are the Great Falls, 140 feet in height.

The settlement of this name was an early trading and fishing post, at the mouth of the river. The Récollet missionaries of Aquitaine (vol. iv., note 22). first labored here (1619-24); later, the Capuchins, for a time; the Jesuits, 1642-61. Some years later, the Récollets returned to this field, notable among whom was the missionary Le Clercq (vol. iii., note 45); they remained here till near the close of the century. Bishop Lava1 took great interest in the Acadian and Gaspesian missions, and sent thither priests from the Seminary of Quebec, during many years. Denys, the governor of Acadia (vol. ix., note.26), had his residence here for several years (1661-71?). In 1692, the French at this settlement were expelled by the natives. Except for a Scotch trading post maintained here, about 1766-76, Nipisiguit seems to have remained uninhabited by Europeans until 1818, when the present city of Bathurst was founded by Sir Howard Douglas at this place. Much valuable information, descriptive and historical, concerning this region is given by Dionne, in “Miscou,” Can.-Français, vol. ii., pp. 515-519.

[12] (p. 153). — Jean d’olbeau was born at Langres in 1608. A student in the Jesuit college there, he entered the novitiate of that order Oct. 16, 1628. Having spent the usual term as instructor, at [Page 310] Vannes and Caen (1630-34). and at Moulins (1638-39) and studied theology at La Flèche (1634-38), he spent his last year at Rouen; at its close (1640), he began his missionary labors at Miscou. There he remained till 1643, when broken health forced him to return to France; on the voyage thither, he was drowned (vol. viii., note 171, For sketch of Desdames, see vol. xii., note 26.

[13] (p. 155). — Few of these small Montagnais tribes can now be identified. They inhabited the Saguenay valley, and the region northward, watered by that and neighboring streams, to the watershed between the St. Lawrence and Hudson Bay.

[14] (p. 159).— Sol: the early name of the French coin now known as sou; derived from Ital. soldo (Lat. solidus); the twentieth part of the old livre, and now the twentieth part of a franc.

[15] (p. 183). — Socoquiois (Sokokis): an Abenaki tribe, settled along the Saco river. They were at enmity with the Mohawks, and, before Philip’s war, had a strong fort on the bank of the Ossipee, to repel the attacks of the latter. Among their sagamores was the noted Squanto, who burned the English settlement at Saco, Sept. 18, 1675. Eventually, this tribe removed, with other Abenakis, to Canada (vol. xii., note 22).

[16] (p. 191). — For sketches of several chiefs bearing this name, see vol. viii., note 30.

[17] (p. 197). — Champflour is noticed in vol. xx., note 14.

[18] (p. 197). — For sketch of De Nous, see vol. iv., note 31.

[19] (p. 197). — Regarding De Normanville, see vol. xxi., note 1.

[20] (p. 269). — Mataouchkariniens: the savages resident along the Madawaska River (vol. xviii., note 14).

[21] (p. 271). — Santweronons: the Sonnontouan or Seneca tribe (vol. viii., note 21).

[22] (p. 271). — This settlement of the Dutch was close to the site of the present city of Albany. It was first begun as a fortified trading post, in 1614, on Castle Island; the buildings were so injured by a freshet, four years later, that they were abandoned. In 1623, a new fort, named Orange, was built on the west side of the Hudson; and, seven years later, a colony was brought over from Holland by the patroon Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, Johannes de Laet, and others, who settled these people in the vicinity of the fort, giving the colony the name of Rensselaerswyck. Its first minister, who came in 1642, was Johannes Megapolensis. a clergyman of great learning and piety; he exercised much kindness and charity to the captive Jesuit Jogues (vol. ix., note 41).

Full particulars regarding this and other early Dutch settlements on the Hudson are given by O’Callaghan, in vol. i., of Hist. New Netherlands.

[23] (p. 281).-René Goupil, a young French surgeon, born in Anjou, was for several months a Jesuit novice at Paris; but, his health not permitting him to study for the priesthood, he came to Canada, apparently in 1640, as a donné in that mission. He remained at or near Quebec for two years, part of the time caring for the sick at the hospital. In August, 1642, he set out with Jogues for the Huron mission; but, on the way, they were captured by the Iroquois, and taken to the country of that tribe. Goupil was Jogues’s companion in captivity for a short time; but was slain (Sept. 29, 1642) by an Iroquois. A sketch of his life, written by Jogues, will appear in vol. xxviii. of this series.

Concerning Coûture, see vol. xxi,, note 22.

[24] (p. 297). — Of this lost Relation another copy was made at the Huron mission, and sent to Quebec; arriving there too late for that year’s Relation, it appeared in that for 1644, q. v.