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. XXV.

Iroquois, Huron, Québec


CLEVELAND:       The Burrows Brothers





Vol. XXV

[Page 3]

The edition consists of sev-

en hundred and fifty sets

all numbered.


The Burrows Brothers Co.

[Page 4]

Copyright, 1899


The Burrows Company


all rights reserved

The Imperial Press, Cleveland

[Page 5]




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


[Page 6]





Preface To Volume XXV






Relation de ce qvi s’est passé en la Novvelle France, és l’année 1642. & 1643.  [Chaps. xiii.-xiv., concluding the document.] Barthelemy Vimont; undated.





Epistola ad R. P. Mutium Vitelleschi, Praepositum Generalem Societatis Jesu, Romæ. Carolus Garnier; Sctæ. Mariæ, apud Hurones, April 8, 1644.





Relation de ce qvi s’est passé en la Novvelle France, és années 1643, & 1644. [Chaps. i.-viii. of Part I., being the first installment of the document.] Barthelemy Vimont; Kebec, September 5, 1644.








Bibliographical Data; Volume XXV






[Page 7]







Photographic facsimile of title-page, Relation of 1643-44












[Page ]


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

LI. The Relation of 1642-43, written wholly by Vimont, as superior of the Jesuit missions in New France, was commenced in Vol. XXIII. of our series, wherein the first three chapters were given; in Vol. XXIV. we presented Chapters iv.-xii.; and herewith publish Chapters xiii.-xiv., thus concluding the document.

After his survey of the missions in Lower Canada, and account of Father Jogues’s capture by the Iroquois (see preceding volume), Vimont turns his attention to the Huron mission, with its peculiar difficulties and dangers, He cites letters from the Fathers there, which have fortunately escaped from the clutches of the Iroquois: they note encouraging progress in their work, and, among the savages, more inclination to the faith; but the loss of Jogues, and of so many Huron converts who were captured with him, has dealt a severe blow to the infant church. The fierce Iroquois are rendering the St. Lawrence so unsafe that the welfare of the Huron mission is greatly imperiled. Among the Huron converts are found a much larger number of warriors than formerly. “The use of arquebuses, refused to the Infidels by Monsieur the Governor, and granted to the Christian Neophytes, [Page 9] is a powerful attraction to win them; it seems that our Lord intends to use this means in order to render Christianity acceptable in these regions.”

The superior notes the deaths of three missionaries, — Raymbault, D’Olbeau, and Davost, — also the’ murder of Goupil, the don6 captured with Jogues; and he takes occasion to praise the devotion and courage of the donnes as a class. Goupil’s example has inspired another young surgeon, in Orleans, France, to’give himself for the Canada mission; he has come hither for that purpose, and has gone to the Huron country.

Vimont observes that the Canadian savages have good reason, from a purely human standpoint, for being averse to the faith; for, since it has been proclaimed among them, they have experienced extraordinary misfortunes — pestilence, famine, and war. Many of them bitterly complain: “You tell us that God is full of goodness; and then, when we give,ourselves up to him, he massacres us. The Iroquois do not believe in God, they are more wicked than Demons; and yet they prosper.” They are answered thus: “God regards you as his children; he wishes to give you sense; he uses the Iroquois as a whip, in order to correct you.” “Alas!” say some, “why did he not begin with the Iroquois? why did not he try to give them sense first? we have so much already, and they have none at all.” But the missionaries console themselves with remembering that “these same scourges and these same reproaches were in olden time encountered in the primitive Church.”

The superior announces a happy event, — the deliverance of Jogues from the hands of the Iroquois, [Page 10] and his safe arrival in France; this is described by that Father’s own letters, written from the Dutch settlement of Rensselaerswyck (now Albany), and from Rennes, France. Taken by some Iroquois on a fishing expedition to the vicinity of the Dutch, he hears while there that he is to be burned on his return to the place of his captivity. The Dutch provide him a way of escape, which he accepts only when he is persuaded that his return to the Iroquois would be useless for aught save his death. The commandant at Rensselaerswyck hides him in his own house for some time, and finally ransoms Jogues from the savages, sending him to Manhattan, whence he voyages across the ocean, reaching France on Christmas, 1643, after much hardship and suffering. A letter, written by a Jesuit at Rennes, is added, giving various details of Jogues’s captivity which are not included in his own letters; the latter expects to return to the Canadian mission.

To this Relation is appended a formal declaration by the directors and associates of the Company of New France, exonerating the Jesuits from the oft-preferred charge of having commercial interests in Canada, or any connection with the fur trade.

LII. This is a letter (in Latin) from Garnier to the Father General (Vitelleschi), dated at Ste. Marie-of-the-Hurons, April 8, 1644. Garnier reports that the Huron mission is carried on with great devotion and excellent discipline. He especially praises the pious zeal and labors of the donnés, saying that without them the mission would soon collapse. He suggests that, if Lalemant be removed from his position as superior of this field, Ragueneau is best fitted to succeed him. He mentions the constancy of the [Page 11] native converts in the trials to which their countrymen subject them.

LIII. The Relation of 1643-44 is in two parts — the first, the usual general survey by Vimont, dated at Quebec, September 5, 1644; the second is devoted to the Huron mission, and covers two years, 1642-44. It will be remembered that the Huron report for 1642-43 was being carried down to Quebec in the summer of 1643, by the trading fleet of that tribe. These Hurons were captured upon the Ottawa River by the Iroquois; and, upon reaching the Iroquois country, this document, together with several letters which the Huron missionaries were sending to France, was given to Jogues, as he states in his letters appended to the Relation of 1642-43, in the present volume. Having no prospect of escape at the time when he went to visit the Dutch at Fort Orange, he left these papers in his cabin; and they were, of course, destroyed. September 21 following, Lalemant sent down to Vimont another copy of the Huron report, — it was the practice of the missionaries to keep original drafts at the local house, and forward to their superiors a well-written copy thereof; this, as Vimont explains in a note preliminary to Part II. in the present Rdaatian, reached him too late to be sent to France for inclusion in the Relation of 1642-43. It is therefore given in this Relation, supplemented by a brief letter by Lalemant, dated “the last of March,” 1644, bringing the account of the mission up to date. In the present volume, we give the first eight chapters of Part I.

Vimont begins this Relation by a graphic account of the afflictions which have so scourged the infant [Page 12] church in Canada, — disease, war, and famine, — and the suffering caused by these among the wretched savages. The Jesuits and the Hospital nuns at Sillery have supported throughout the winter over forty savages, most of whom were infirm or aged, and would’ have died without this aid. The Indian population has been so greatly reduced by these misfortunes that, “where eight years ago one could see eighty or a hundred cabins, barely five or six can now be seen; a Captain, who then had eight hundred warriors under his command, now has not more than thirty or forty; instead of fleets of three or four hundred Canoes, we see now but twenty or thirty. And the pitiful part of it is, that these remnants of Nations consist almost entirely of women, widows or girls, who cannot all find lawful husbands, and who consequently are in danger of much suffering, or of committing great sins.”

The savages are more submissive in their afflictions than could have been expected; but their usual pride has been humiliated by trouble, “necessity has made them more dependent upon the French, and has made them experience the effects of Christian Charity.” They admit that the new religion is true, even if they do not at once accept it; and “the craft of the Jugglers and sorcerers is gradually losing credit.” Many other encouraging facts are cited; but these “do not mean that all has been done. We have greater trouble in keeping our Christians than in acquiring them.” It is the old story, of their wandering life and their license in regard to marriage.

Nearly a fourth of Vimont’s account is occupied by the conversions, religious experiences, and pious acts of the Christian Indians at Sillery. One is an [Page 13] Abenaki chief, who promises to return thither to live, after settling up his affairs at home; but there is reason to believe that he was captured, on the way, by the Iroquois. Another convert — an old man, and “a notorious sorcerer of the Iroquets” — consents to all that is required, except to give up a hair that “he has pulled from the moustache of the Manitou,” which has brought him good fortune for many years. ‘( The Devil held him firmly by that hair; but, in the end, the Holy Ghost was victorious;” the precious hair is sacrificed to God.

The good example of the Sillery neophytes has greatly aided the mission cause, by recommending to the heathen the true religion. Especial praise is due to their “Captains,” Noel Tekwerimat and Jean Baptiste Etinechkawat, “whose zeal and prudence surpass everything that might be expected from a Savage,” of which various instances are related. The latter does not talk much; but Noel “allows no opportunity to escape of making himself heard in favor of the Faith;” and he keenly pursues all evil-doers, not only with rebukes, but with the force of his authority as chief. Neither of these men will undertake anything of importance without the advice and consent of Montmagny and the Jesuits. As soon as he hears that the Iroquois have captured Father Bressani, Jean Baptiste volunteers to lead against them a band of his warriors, to punish their evil deed.

The Sillery Christians go on their annual hunt, — but three months earlier than their usual time, in order to anticipate the raids of the Iroquois. During their six months’ absence, they “retain the innocence and grace of their Baptism, though without [Page 14] instruction or any Sacrament,” much better than do many Christians in Europe. Upon their return, they hasten to confess themselves, — one of them, two or three times a day; and the Fathers have to lose their sleep during several nights, in order to satisfy them.

At the remarriage of Charles Meiachkawat, the husband compels his wife — who had been arrogant and ill-tempered-publicly to promise that she will conduct herself better in future. He adds that, if she do not keep her word, “thou wilt cause me to be angry; and, if I get angry, I shall go to Hell, and so wilt thou.” The woman soon “becomes truly a lamb;” her husband is “all afire in the affairs of God,” and of his own accord resolves to visit the Abenakis, to preach the Gospel to them.

The writer relates several incidents showing the tenderness of conscience among the Sillery Christians, and the sort of discipline maintained among them, not only by the Jesuits, but by themselves.

The Iroquois continue more and more to harass the St. Lawrence valley. This year, ten of their bands have lurked along the shores of that river, and have done much harm. One of these captured (April 28) Father Bressani and the Hurons of his party. Another penetrated to Montreal, killing several Frenchmen, and capturing two whom they afterward tortured to death. Many of the Sillery Indians take to flight, in consequence; and the Hospital nuns are obliged to remove to their house in Quebec, although only its walls and roof are yet built. They have cared for nearly forty sick persons, this year, besides many old men, women, and children who had no other refuge. Many of those who are attended by the nuns find the hospital salvation for their souls, [Page 15] as well as the cure of their bodily ailments; several instances of this sort are narrated in detail. The neighboring children are instructed, and are eager to learn.

The Ursuline seminary has been reinforced by two more nuns. Their Indian pupils surprise them by their obedience, affection, and piety; and the parents are now only too glad to place their girls in charge of the nuns. Many of these children come to the seminary in utter destitution, and must be clothed as well as taught. This is done by the nuns, as far as their means permit; they also feed many hungry savages.

The unrestrained license in which the Indians have always lived leads to some scandals among those regarded as converts. One of these concerns the quondam “sorcerer,” Pigarouich, who is very zealous while at St. Joseph, but who is corrupted by his countrymen of the Island tribe, while with them at Three Rivers. He professes repentance and reformation, but soon relapses into dissolute ways. Driven by hunger, he and another apostate come down to Quebec and Sillery; but no one, at either settlement, will aid them. The deserted wife of one of these men will not receive a visit from him, and threatens to kill him with a knife. Even the Pagan Indians do not dare receive them. This treatment subdues Pigarouich, and in public he makes confession of his sin, and submits to penance.

R. G. T.

Madison, Wis., June, 1898.


[Page 16]

Ll (concluded)




Chaps. i.-iii. were given in Volume XXIII.; iv.-xii., in Volume XXIV.; and xiii.-xiv. herewith, thus concluding the document.

[Page 17]


THE preceding Chapter gives us the conclusion of the more memorable things which have occurred from Tadoussac even to Mont-Real; it would be now in order to speak of the Nations higher up, but the Iroquois, — having robbed us of the Relation, and of the letters which our Fathers who are in those [264] more distant regions wrote to persons who honor them with their friendship and their help, — having, I say, taken from us that little treasure, have constrained us to keep silence. Nevertheless, some Frenchmen, and some Savages of our allies, — marching afterward in the footsteps of those Barbarians, our enemies, — picked up some papers which they had thrown into the woods, or which had escaped from their hands; and, they having caused us to receive these in France, we have collected from them what follows, in order to console those who interest themselves with so much love in the conversion of those poor peoples, and to give them a little knowledge of what our Lord continues to effect in that extremity of the world.

I Know not (says one of those whose letters have reached us), what it would avail to expatiate upon the thought of what God has permitted to happen to us, — that is inconceivable to those who are not on the spot. For, not to speak of Father Jogues, I will tell you that the two Frenchmen who accompanied him, named Guillaume [Page 19] Cousture and René Goupil, who were taken with the Father [265] by the Iroquois, were two young men match-less of their kind, and excellently adapted to these countries. And if the fleet of Huron Christians and Catechumens which they accompanied, and which was taken and defeated at the same time, had arrived safe and sound, as we were expecting, the conversion of the country would have seemed almost infallible; these are secrets which we shall discover Only in eternity. could you well believe, nevertheless, that never have we taken more courage, alike for the spiritual and for the temporal? The Relation will show you the particulars thereof. Of one could remedy the incursions of the Iroquois, and constrain them to a favorable peace, we would see in a little time notable advances for Christianity in these regions. It is in this direction that I cannot see an atom, unless by ways — which approach the miraculous; insomuch that we must cast our eyes toward Heaven, in order to await the decrees of divine providence, and what shall be pleasing, in the affair, to those on whom the matter depends.

The Father who speaks to us in these terms, was well aware of the disaster which had happened, in the preceding year, to the fleet of the poor Hurons: but he could not foresee that his letters would pass [266] through the hands of the Iroquois; that the Relation which he was sending us, would be plundered; that all the Hurons who were coming down would be partly massacred, partly taken prisoners into the country of the Iroquois, and the rest pursued and stripped even to the flesh. Never (he says) have we taken more courage, alike for the spiritual and for the temporal. I understand only the half of these words: I apprehend very well this increase of heart and spirit, which causes joy to be found in the midst [Page 21] of anguish, and peace in the ardor of war; I know well that God does not allow himself to be vanquished, and that I would prefer to be helped by him all alone, than by all creatures together; what passes in desolation can indeed be felt, but the tongue has no word to express it; the joys within are rather joys of the mind than of the body. I do not understand how these poor Fathers can take courage for the temporal, since everything that Father Jogues was conveying to them was carried off with him by the Iroquois; and since everything which was sent to them this year was taken and plundered [267] by the latter. What courage can they have in the temporal, which fails them? I well know that their resolution is to hold firm even to the end, and rather to go naked, like Father Jogues, than to give way. Their experiences are already somewhat like his, — for their house, most of the time, is built of nothing but bark; and their living is usually nothing but mush of Indian cornmeal, cooked in water without salt, and without other relish than that of appetite. Certainly, I do not see what temporal pleasure they can take in this treatment; but I confess to you and give you my word that the increase of spirit well rewards the privations which the body suffers, and that God operates more perfectly and more gently by himself than when he employs his creatures. Let us continue our letters.

Our Catalogues will show you our needs; what I ask more particularly is that thy send us courageous laborers, in order to advance the work which we have in hand, and to succeed, in coume of time, those whom age and the accidents of this life may render less usefil.

[268] I must say, in passing, that the body is [Page 23] limited: but the spirit is not. The one who has written those lines knows well what one suffers for the little help one has in that end of the world; and yet he still asks for companions in his courage and in his joy, — for the labors undertaken for Jesus Christ bear those fruits. Let us proceed.

As long as the River shall be beset from every direction by the Iroquois, I shall have much anxiety about sending any of our Fathers to Kebec, for fear of exposing them to capture by the eneuny. To lose one laborer, thoroughly accustomed and suited to these regions, is to lose a precious treasure, — and if, even yet, we can dispense with sending some of our men aown thither, we will do so. But, if that be not in our power, it will be necessary to sacrifce them no less going down than is done coming up; for the ability to subsist here without help of men would, sooner or later, be impossible.

The Iroquois have so spread themselves along the great stream of St. Lawrence, and along the River des prairies, that there is no security from the lake of St. Pierre, which is a little above the three Rivers, [269] even to very far beyond Mont-Real. Those Barbarians conceal themselves, now in one place, now in another, — falling suddenly upon the French, upon the Hurons, and upon the Algonquins, when they see their opportunity; insomuch that one would scarcely dare to navigate, in all the Summer, these noble streams, unless Caravans be made, as in Arabia, which we cannot do because of our small number.

As for our missiom in the Villages of the Hurons, we have continued them as usual. We were never so fortunate, nor ever so unfortunate — the capture of Father Jogues, of our Frenchmen, of our Christian Hurons, and of our Catechumens, makes us realize our troubles; and what has [Page 25] occurred this year for the enlargement of the faith publishes in the Relation our blessedess. We are entering more and more into the possession of the goods which we come to buy in this end of the world at the price of our blood and of our lives: I see stronger tendencies than ever toward the total conversion of these peoples, whom we are attacking among the first, and whom we are undertaking to carry away, in order to serve as models and as examples [270] to those who shall be subsequently converted. In a word, our little Churches are continually increasing in number of persons, and in virtue; the affairs of our Lord advance in proportion to the adversities which he sends us. Hardly could one find, hitherto, among our Christians two or three warriors; but, since the capture of that worthy Neophyte, named Eustache, the most valiant of all the Hurons, we have counted in a single band as many as twenty-two Believers, — all men of courage, and mostly Captains or people of importance. The use of arquebuses, refused to the Infdels by Monsieur the Governor, and granted to the Christian Neophytes, is a powerful attraction to win them: it seems that our Lord intends to use this means in order to render Christianity acceptable in these regions.

Another letter speaks in these terms:

God mightily consoles us by the advancement of the spiritual, which is the only attraction that brings us hither. The faith makes a notable progress among the Hurons; one could hardly believe that he would encounter so much firmness, so much innocence, and so much feeling in Savage hearts, if the truth did not teach us that God has bounties and mercies as [271] well for the Savages as for the other nations of the earth. He has cast his eyes this year upon the Napisiriniens, through the solemn Baptism of certain persons more advanced in age, — besides some little [Page 27] children, to whom these sacred waters have opened the gates of Heaven.

Let us not, if you please, pass lightly over these fragments of letters; everything is not ruined, since we lose only the accessory, and since the essential remains intact. Three worthy laborers have died, almost in the same year. Father Charles Raimbaut — who had a heart greater than all his body, though he was of generous stature — was meditating the way to China through our Barbarian land; and God has put him in the way to Heaven. Another was Father Jean Dolbeau,[1] whom paralysis had attacked amid his labors; the ship which was bearing him back to France having been seized by three hostile frigates, while the victors were plundering it, some one let fall fire into the magazine, which hurled into the sea both our friends and our enemies. The poor Father was drowned in the sea, — fortunate to have,given his life in so [272] noble an occupation, and to have passed through fire and through water, to enter into an eternal rest and enjoyment. He led a holy life in the great forests, and now he enjoys the glory of the Saints, in those eternal dwellings. Father Ambroise Davost — crossing over because of his age and the weakness of his body, having been very often attacked by the scurvy — was carried off on the sea by a fever, which did not leave him until he was buried in the waves; he was always with God, during his life. He had a patience of iron, — or rather a patience all of gold, or a patience of Job, — in his life, in his sickness, and in his death. The severity,of the fever; the discomforts of the vessel; the want of Surgeon, of Physician, of remedies, and of the other comforts which are found on land, and which [Page 29] he did not find in his ship; the pains which one suffers in these extremities, — all these never opened his lips or loosed his tongue to complain. He was accustomed to follow rather the wishes and the inclinations of others than [273] his own. He was so accustomed to take the guidance of God, and to receive from his hand all that befell him, that never did he ask for anything in all his sickness; also he never refused anything of all that they would have him take, and never denied any one what one desired that he should do; these virtues are not common. Besides the death of these three elect persons, the capture and the evil treatments suffered by Father Isaac Jogues, and three of our Frenchmen, — one of whom was beaten to death by the Iroquois; the defeat of the Huron Christians and Catechumens; the robbery that occurred, of all that was sent last year, and again this year, to the poor Gospel laborers who are among the upper nations; the risks, the dangers, the ambushes into which these brave Athletes plunge every day; the continual deaths, — all these are only the accessory: the main thing is, that God may be known, that he may be loved, that the faith be planted and enlarged. This is the word, or the precious stone, for which it is necessary to sell, give, lavish, one’s life and one’s blood. Blessed are they [274] who make this rich acquisition on so good terms!

Since I am on the road, I must give some liberty to my .heart and to my pen: I touch two points, in passing, before closing this chapter; both seem to me very important. The first is, that this fire and this ardor of lavishing one’s blood for Jesus Christ, is communicating itself to young men who might [Page 31] have dragged their miserable lives into vices, if they had remained in France, and who, in this new world, pass for Saints. The one who was beaten to death by the Iroquois, named Goupil, was a gallant Surgeon, who had dedicated his life, his heart, and his hand to the service of the poor Savages. He lived some years at St. Joseph, where the reputation of his virtues, especially of his humility and of his charity, still gladdens the French and the Savages who knew him. When we spoke to him of going to the Hurons, his heart expanded at the thought of the dangers that he was about to incur for his master; finally, he gave his life for the sake of his love. But here is what increases our astonishment: another young [275] Surgeon, well versed in his art, and well known in the Hospital at Orleans, where he has given proofs of his virtue and of his competence, has chosen to take the place of his comrade; he has crossed into New France; and I who write this last chapter, seeing him on the point of going up to the Hurons, represented to him all the perils into which he was about to plunge. “I foresee all that,” he said to me; “if my designs tended only to the earth, your words would give me terror: but my heart, desiring only God, fears nothing more.” Thereupon, he embarks with three young Christian Hurons, resolved upon all that it might please Our Lord to send them. We believe that they have passed secretly through the enemy; we have as yet no assurance thereof.

At the time when the Hurons were most irritated against the French and against our Fathers, and when they were plotting their death, it was asked of Some young men who had come down from those [Page 33] upper Nations, whether they were not well satisfied to be delivered from those great dangers into which the malice of the Barbarians had thrown them; [276) [they answered that, since the Fathers were] so freely lavishing their lives for the glory of our Lord, they were again quite ready to go and keep them company, and to die with them. Their statement was not a mere sound formed by their lips; they went up again the same year, and exposed themselves anew to the perils which they had avoided. Such sentiments and such deeds are not of nature’s growth. I wish to say, in the second place, that the Savages have all the reasons which purely human argument can suggest to them, for having an aversion toward the faith, or rather, for rejecting it; it is in this point that God shows that the conversion of these peoples is his own work. Since we have published the law of Jesus Christ in these regions, plagues have rushed in as in a throng. Contagious diseases, war, famine, — these are the tyrants that have sought to wrest the faith from the faithful, and that have caused it ‘to be hated by the infidels. How many times have we been reproached that, wherever we set foot, death came in with us! How many times have they told us that they had [277] never seen calamities like those which have appeared since we speak of Jesus Christ! “You tell us” (exclaim some) “that God is full of goodness; and then, when we give ourselves up to him, he massacres us. The Iroquois, our mortal enemies, do not believe in God, they do not love the prayers, they are more wicked than the Demons, — and yet they prosper; and since we have forsaken the usages of our ancestors, they kill us, they massacre us, they burn us, [Page 35] they exterminate us, root and branch. What profit can there come to us from lending ear to the Gospel, since death and the faith nearly always march in company?’’ There are Christians who generously answer these complaints: “Though the faith should cause us to lose life, is it a great misfortune to leave the earth in order to be blest in Heaven? If death and war slaughter the Christians, no more do they spare the infidels.” “Yes, but,” answer the others, “the Iroquois do not die, and yet they hold prayer in abomination. Before [178] these innovations appeared in these regions, we lived as long as the Iroquois; but, since some have accepted prayer, one. sees no more white heads, — we die at half age.”

“God behaves toward you,” was said to them, “like a Father toward his child; if his child will not have sense, he punishes it, in order to give it some;. i having corrected it, he throws the rods into the fire. A Father does not put himself to so much trouble about his servants as about his children. God regards, you as his children: he wishes to give you sense; he. uses the Iroquois as a whip, in order to correct you, to give you faith, to make you have recourse to him. When you shall be wise, he will throw the rods into the fire; he will chastise the Iroquois, unless they, reform .” “Alas!” say some, “why did he not begin with the Iroquois? Why did not he try to give them sense first? we have so much already, and they have none at all.” “He is the Master,” they are told;” he does whatever he [279] will; he prefers you to the Iroquois, he loves you much more, since he gives a life all full of pleasures to those among you who die after Baptism, and since he casts all the Iroquois into the fires, — not one of them believing [Page 37] in God.” After all, one sees hardly any Pagan, however obstinate he may have been during his life, who does not ask for Baptism at death; and, notwithstanding all those calamities, these poor people nevertheless embrace Jesus Christ. These same scourges and these same reproaches were, in olden ‘time, encountered in the primitive Church. Humiliations are the harbingers that mark the dwellings of the great God; and tribulation attracts us more strongly and with much more certainty than does comfort. It is necessary to abase the pride and the haughtiness of these peoples, in order to give admission to the faith. But let us return to our letters.

We see well that, if the Iroquois be not checked, we cannot long subsist; we will do, nevertheless, I do not only say our best, but whatever we can contrive, in order not [280] to let go our hold, — preparing ourselves, however, to receive the orders which it shall please his divine Majesty to prescribe for us.

If the Iroquois did not retard the progress of the Gospel; if they did not hold the avenues of approach to a vast number of peoples, who are among the upper nations, and who have never heard Jesus Christ mentioned; if they did not threaten the Colony with a shameful ruin, and Old France with a kind of infamy for not having been able to give help to her junior against a handful of Barbarians, — in a word, if they killed only the bodies, without prejudicing the salvation of the souls, our misfortunes would seem to us tolerable; but whoso knows the value of the blood of JESUS CHRIST, knows the price and the value of a soul. Let us finish this discourse. Here are a few words of a son, written to his father, which have but little sweetness as regards the senses, [Page 39] but much as regards the spirit: it is a Religious of our society, who speaks to his nearest friends, and asks them if they do not [281] feel compassion for him, to have been deprived of the good fortune which Father Isaac Jogues has received, by falling into the hands of the Iroquois. This Father, he says, has made that journey only once, and he has encountered that happiness. I have come down six times to Kebec, and six times gone up again by the same ways, without meeting that fortunate adventure. I know not what our good God has in reserve for me; but I would esteem myself very happy to find a similar encounter, after passing add my life in his holy service. The rage of our enemies augments our merit, and their fires, our glory, when we shall enter Heaven by that gate, we shall huve a greater force by which to attract them. I desire them there with good heart, — not calling them our enemies, excejt in so far as they hinder the propagation of the faith.


ERE follows, in conclusion, the sentiment of a Christian Savage, who had been reproached that he was poor, because he believed in God: Even though [282] that were so, — he answered, — I would rejoice in it, because my riches are in Heaven. But thou who castest at me this reproach, and who hast not the faith, —  thou wilt be, notwithstanding all thy goods, poor and miserable, and burned in the flames a whole eternity. It would be necessary, says he who has noted this good sentiment in his letters, to come and spend some years here, in order to make account and esteem of the faith, —  the value of which we do not know, by reason of having. received it, as it were, by inheritance. [Page 41]




THIS news will be by so much more agreeable as it was less expected. This poor Father was no longer spoken of, save as one speaks of the dead. Some believed him burned and devoured by the Iroquois; others regarded him as a victim who awaited nothing more but the knife and the teeth of the Sacrificers of Moloch. In fact, the God of the for. saken saved him by a wholly special Providence, at the moment when he was destined to the fire, and to those other cruelties which pass the malice of men. He is living, and, if his hands are shortened, his heart is enlarged, — the sufferings of his body have not diminished the strength of his mind: we are expecting him from day to day. [If] the Printer [284] were not so hurried, we could learn from his own lips the pleasant ways which God has taken in order to deliver him. The letter which he writes again from his captivity to Father Charles Lalemant, speaks to us of these quite amply; but it does not satisfy all the questions that we might put to him. Let us follow it, nevertheless; for it well deserves its place in this Chapter.

I started the very day of the Feast of Our Blessed Father saint Ignace, from the Village where I was captive, — in order to follow and accompany some Iroquois who were going away, first for trade, then for fishing. Having [Page 43] accomplished their little traffic, they stopped at a place seven or eight leagues below a settlement of the Dutch, which is located on a river where we carried on our fishing. While we were setting snares for the fish, there came a rumor that a squad of Iroquois, returned from pursuit of the Hurons, had killed five or six on the spot, and taken four prisoners, two of whom had been already burned in our Village, with cruelties extraordinary. At this news, my heart was pierced through [285] with a most bitter and sharp pain, because I had not seen, or consoled, or baptized those poor victims. Consequently, fearing lest some other like thing should happen in my absence, I said to a good old woman, — who, by reason of her age, and the care that she had for me, and the compassion that she felt toward me, called me her nephew, and I called hey my aunt, — I then said to her: “My aunt, I would much like to return to our Cabin; I grow very weary here.” It was not that I expected more ease and less pain in our Village, — where I suffered a continual martyrdom, being constrained to see with my eyes the horrible cruelties which are practiced there; but my heart could not endure the death of any man without my procuring him holy Baptism. That good woman said to me: “Go then, my nephew, since thou art weary here; take something to eat on the way.” I embarked in the first Canoe that was going up to the Village, — always conducted and always accompanied by the Iroquois. Having arrived, as we did, in the settlement of the Dutch, through which it was necessary for us to pass, I learn that our whole Village is excited [286] against the French, and that only my return is awaited, for them to burn us. Now for the cause of such news. Among several bands of Iroquois, who had gone to war against the French, the Algonquins, and the Hurons, there was one which took the resolution to go round about Richelieu, in order to [Page 45] spy on the French and the Savages, their allies. A certain Huron of this band, taken by the Hiroquois, and settled among them, came to ask me for letters, in order to carry them to the French, — hoping, perhaps, to surprise some one of them by this bait; but, as I doubted not that our French would be on their guard, and as I saw, moreover, that it was important that I should give them some warning of the designs, the arms, and the treachery of our enemits, I found means to secure a bit of paper in order to write to them, — the Dutch according me this charity. I knew very well the dangers to which I was exposing myself; I was not ignorant that, if any misfortune happened to those warriors, they would make me responsible therefor, and would blame my letters for it. I anticipated my death; but it seemed to me pleasant and agreeable, employed for the pubdic good, and for [287] the consolation of our French and of the poor Savages who listen to the word of Our Lord. My heart was seized with no dread, at the sight of all that might happen therefrom, since it was a matter of the glory of God; I accordingly gave my letter to that young warror, who did not return. The story which his comrades have brought back, says that he carried it to the fort of Richelieu, and that, as soon as the French had seen it, they fired the Cannon upon them. This frightened them so that the greater part Fled, all naked, — abandoning one of their Canoes, in which there were three arquebuses, powder and lead, and some other baggage. These tidings being brought into the Village, they clamor aloud that my letters have caused them to be treated like that; the rumor of it spreads everywhere, — it comes even to my ears. They reproach me that I have done this evil deed; they speak only of burning me; and, if I had chanced to be in the Village at the return of those warriors, fire, rage, and cruelty would have taken my life. For climax of [Page 47] misfortune, another troop — Coming back from Mont-real, Where they had set ambushes for the French — said that [288] one of their men had been killed, and two otheys wounded. Each one held me guilty of these adverse encounters; they were fairly mad with rage, awaiting me with impatience. I listened to all these tumors, offering myself withut reserve to Our Lord, and committing .myself in all and through all to his most holy will. The Captain of the Dutch settlement where we were, — not being ignorant of the evil design of those Barbarians, and knowing, moreover, that Monsieur the Chevalier de Montmagny had prevented the Savages of New France from coming to kill some Dutch, — disclosed to me means for escape.[2] “Yonder,” said he to me, “is a vessel at anchor, which will sail in a few days; enter into it secretly. It is going first to Virginia, and thence it will carry you to Bordeaux or to la Rochelle, where it is to land.” Having thanked him, with much regard for his courtesy, I tell him that the Iroquois, probably suspecting that some one had favored my retreat, might cause some damages to his people. “No, no,” he answers, “fear nothing; this opportunity is favorable; embark; you will never find a more certain way to escape.” My heart remained perplexed at these words, wondering [289] if it were not expedient for the greater glory of our Lord, that I expose myself to the danger of the fire and to the fury of those Barbarians, in order to aid in the salvation of some soul. I said to him then: “Monsieur, the affairseems to me of such importance that I cannot answer You at once; give me, if you please, the night to think of it. I will commend it to our Lord; I will examine the arguments on both sides; and to-morrow morning I will tell you my final resolution.” He granted me way request with astonishment; I spent the night in prayer greatly beseeching our [Page 49] Lord that he should not allow me to reach a conclusion by myself; that he should give me light, in order to know his most holy will; that in all and through all I wished to follow it, even to the extent of being burned at a slow fire. The reasons which might keep me in the country were consideration for the French and for the Savages; I felt love for them, and a great desire to assist them, — insomuch that I had resolved to spend the remainder of my days in that captivity, for their salvation; but I saw the face of affairs quite changed.

In the first place, as regarded our three Frenchmen, led captive into the Country [290] as well as I: one of them, named René Goupil, had already been murdered at mny feet; this young man had the purity of an Angel. Henry, whomthey had taken at Mont-Real, had fled into the woods. While he was looking at the cruelties which were practiced upon two poor Hurons, roasted at a slow fire, some Iroquois told him that he would receive the same treatment, and I, too, when I should return; these threats made him resolve rather to plunge into the danger of dying from hunger in the woods, or of being devoured by some wild beast, than to endure the torments which these half Demons inflicted. It was already seven days since he had disappeared. As for Guillaume Cousture, I saw scarcely any further way of aiding him, — for they had placed him in a village far from the one where I was; and the Savages so occupied it on the hither side of that place, that I could no longer meet him. And that he himself had addressed me in these words: “My Father, try to escape; as soon as I shall see you no more, I shall find the means to get away. You well know that I stay in this captivity only for the love of you; make, then, your efforts to escape, for I cannot think of my liberty and of my life unless [291] I see You in safety.” Furthermore, this good youth had been given to [Page 51] an old man, Who assured me that he would allow him to go in peace, if I could obtain my deliverance; consequently I saw no further reason which obliged me to remain on account of the French.

As for the savages, I was without power and beyond hope of being able to instruct them; for the whole country was so irritated against me that I found no more any opening to speak to them, or to win them; and the Algonquins and the Hurons were constrained to withdraw, from me, asfrom a victim destined to the fire, for fear of sharing in the hatred and rage which the Iroquois felt against me. I realized, moreover, that I had some acquaintance with their language; that I knew their country and their strength; that I couldperhaps better procure their salvation by other ways than by remaining among them. It came to my mind that all this knowledge would die with me, if I did not escape. These wretches had so little inclination to deliver us, that they committed a treachery against the law and the custom of all these nations. A Savage from the country of the Sokokiois, allies of the Iroquois, having been seized by the upper Algonquins and [292] taken a prisoner to the three Rivers, or to Kebec, was delivered and set at liberty by the mediation of Monsieur the Governor of New France, at the solicitation of our Fathers. This good Savage, seeing that the French had saved his life, sent, in the month of April, some fine presents, to the end that they should deliver at least one of the French. The Iroquois retained the presents, without setting one of them at liberty, which treachery is perhaps unexampled among these Peoples, — for they inviolably observe this law, that whoever touches or accepts the present which is made to him, is bound to fulfill what is asked of him through that Present. This is why, when they are unwilling to grant what is desired, they send back the presents or make others in place [Page 53] of them. But to return to my subject, — having weighed before God with all the impartiality in my power, the reasons which inclined me to remain among those Barbarians or to leave them, I believed that our Lord would be  better pleased if I should take the opportunity to escape. Daylight having come, I went to greet Monsieur the Dutch Governor, and declared to him the opinions that I had adopted before God, He summons the chief men of the ship, signifies to them his intentions, and exhorts them [293] to receive me, and to keep me concealed, —  in a word, to convey me back to Europe. They answer that, if I can once set foot in their vessel, I am in safety; that I shall not leave it until I reach Bourdeaux or la Rochelle. “Well, then,” the Governor said to me, “return with the Savages, and toward the evening, or in the night, steal away softly and move toward the river; you will find there a little boat which I will have kept all ready to carry you secretly to the Ship.” After very humbly returning thanks to all those Gentlemen, I withdrew from the Dutch, in order better to conceal my design. Toward evening, I retired with ten or twelve Iroquois into a barn, where we passed the night. Before lying down, I went out of that place, to see in what quarter I might most easily escape. The dogs of the Dutch, being then untied, run up to me; one of them, large and powerful, flings himself upon my leg, which is bare, and seriously injures it. I return immediately to the barn; the Iroquois close it securely, and, the better to guard me, come to lie down beside me, — especially a certain man which had been charged to watch me. Seeing myself [294] beset with those evil creatures, and the barn well closed, and surrounded with dogs, which would betray me if I essayed to go out, I almost believed that I could not escape. I complained quietly to my God, because, having [Page 55] given me the idea of escaping, Concluserat vias meas lapidibus quadris, et in loco spatioso pedes meos: He was stopping up the ways and paths of it. I spent also that second night without sleeping; the day approaching, I heard the cocks crow. Soon afterward, a servant of the Dutch farmer who had lodged us in his barn, having entered it by some door or other, — I accosted him softly, and made signs to him (for I did not understand his Flemish), that he should prevent the dogs from yelping. He goes out at once, and I after him, having previously taken all my belongings, — which consisted of a little office of the Virgin, of a little Gerson,[3] and a wooden Cross that I had made for myself, in order to preserve the memory of the suferings of my Savior. Being outside of the barn, without having made any noise, or awakened my guards, I cross over a fence which confined the enclosure about the house; I run straight to the river where the Ship was, —  this is all the service that my leg, much wounded, could render me: for there [295] was surely a good quarter of a league of road to make. I found the boat as they had told me, but, the water having subsided, it was aground. I push it, in order to set it afloat; not being able to effect this, on account of its weight, I call to the Ship, that they bring the skiff to ferry me, — But no news. I know not whether they heard me; at all events, no one appeared. The daylight meanwhile was beginning to discover to the Iroquois the theft that I was making of Myself; I feared that they might surprise me in this innocent misdemeanor. Weary of shouting, I return to the boat: I pray God to increase my strength; I do so well, turning it end for end, and push it so hard that I get it to the water. Having made it float, I jump into it, and go all alone to the Ship, where I go on board without being discovered by any Iroquois. They lodge me forthwith down in the hold; and, [Page 57]

in order to conceal me, they put a great chest over the hatchway. I was two days and two nights in the belly of that vessel, with such discomfort that I thought I would suffocate and die with the stench. I remembered then poor Jonas, and I prayed our Lord, Ne fugerem à facie Domini, — that I [296] might not hide myself before his face, and that I might not withdraw far from his wishes; but on the contrary, infatuaret omnia consilia quæ non essent ad suam gloriam, — I prayed him to overthrow all the counsel which should not tend to his glory, and to detain me in the country of those infidels, if he did not approve my retreat and my flight. The second night of my voluntary prison, the Minister of the Dutch[4] came to tell me that the Iroquois had indeed made some disturbance, and that the Dutch inhabitants of the country were afraid that they would set fire to their houses, or kill their cattle; they have reason to fear them, since they have arnaed them with good arquebuses. To that I answer: Si propter me orta est tempestas, projicite me in mare: “If the storm has risen on my account, Iam ready to appease it by losing my life;” I had never the wish to escape to the prejudice of the least man of their settlement. Finally, it was necessary to leave my cavern; all the Mariners were offended at this, saying that the promise of security had been given me in case I could set foot in the Ship, and that I was being withdrawn at the moment when it would be requisite to bring me thither if I were not there; that I had put myself in peril [297] of life by excaping upon their word; that it must needs be kept, whatever the cost. I begged that I be allowed to go forth, since the Captain who had disclosed to me the way of my flight was asking for me. I went to find him in his house, where he kept me concealed; these goings and these comings having occurred by night, I was not yet discovered. I might indeed [Page 59] have alleged some reasons in all these encounters; but it was not for me to speak in my own cause, but rather to follow the orders of others, to which I submitted with good heart. Finally, the Captain told me that it was necessary to yield quietly to the storm, and wait until the minds of the Savages should be pacified; and that every one was of this opinion. So there I was, a voluntary prisoner in his house, from which I am writing back to you the present letter. And if you ask my thoughts in all these adventures, I will tell you.

First, that that Ship which had wished to save my life, sailed without me.

Secondly, if Our Lord do not protect me in a manner wellnigh miraculous, the Savages, who go and come here at every moment, will discover me; and if ever they convince themselves that I have not gone away, it will be necessary to return into their hands, Now, if they [298] had such a rage against me before my flight, what treatment will they inflict on me, seeing me fallen back into their power? I shall not die a common death; the fire, their rage, and the cruelties which they invent, will tear away my life. God be blessed forever. We are incessantly in the bosom of his divine and always adorable providence. Vestri capilli capitis numerati sunt: nolite timere: multis passeribus meliores estis vos quorum unus non cadet super terram sine patre vestro; he who has care for the little birds of the air does not cast us into oblivion. It is already twelve days that I have been concealed, — it is quite improbable that misfortune will reach me.

In the third place, you see the great need that we have of your prayers and of the holy Sacrifices of all our Fathers; procure us this alms everywhere, Ut reddat me Dominus idoneum ad se amandum, fortem ad [Page 61] patiendum, constantem ad perseverandum in sue amore, et servitio, — to the end that God may render me fit and well disposed to lave him; that he may render me strong and courageous to suffer and to endure; and that he may give me a noble constancy to persevere in [299] his love and in his service, — this is what I would desire above all, together with a little New Testament from Europe. Pray for these poor nations which burn and devour one another, —  that at last they may come to the Knowledge of their Creator, in order to render to him the tribute of their love. Memor sum vestri in vinculis meis; I do not forget you; my captivity cannot fetter my memory. I am, heartily and with affection, etc.

From Renselaerivich, this 30th

of August, 1643.

In another letter, written to the same Father Charles Lalemant, dated the 6th of January of this present year, he speaks in these terms:

Nunc scio verè: quia misit Dominus Angelum suum, et eripuit me de manu Herodis, et de omni expectatione plebis Judæorum. At last I am delivered; Our Lord has sent one of his Angels, to release me from captivity. The Iroquois having betaken themselves to the Dutch settlement toward the middle of September, after making much disturbance, finally accepted some presents which the Captain, who kept me concealed, made to them, to the amount of about three hundred livres, [100] which I will strive to repay. Add matters being settled, I was sent to Manhaté, where dwells the Governor of all the country.[5] He received me very humanely; he gave me a coat, and then had me go on board a bark which crossed the Ocean in the middle of Winter. Having put back into England, — I boarded another bark, a Collier, which carried me. [Page 63] into lower Brittany, with a nightcap on my head, and in want of all things, — in the same way that you arrived at St. Sebastien, but not dripping with a second shipwreck.[6]

Here is still another letter, which the Father has written to a person who felt toward him more envy than compassion, and who would have much desired to be the companion of his fortune:

After all, my sins have rendered me unworthy to die among the Iroquois; I still live, and God grant that it be fo amend myself; at least, I acknowledge it as a great favor, that he has willed that I should endure something, I say often with gratitude, [301] Bonum mihi quia humiliasti me, ut discam justificationes tuas. I departed on the fifth of November from the Dutch settlement, in a bark of fifty tons, which conveyed me to Falmouth in England, the day before Christmas; and I arrived in Lower Brittany, between Brest and St. Paul de Leon, the very day of Christmas, in time to have the blessing of hearing Mass and offering my devotions. An honest Merchant, having met me, took me and paid my way to Rennes, where I have arrived this day, the eve of Epiphany. What happiness, after having dwelt so long among Savages, after having conversed with Calvinists, with Lutherans, with Annbaptists, and with Puritans, to see oneself among servants of God, if the Catholic Church! to see oneself in the society of Jesus! It is a slight idea of the satisfactions that we shall receive some day in Paradise, if God please; when dispersiones Israëlis congregabit. When will God withdraw his hand from over our poor French and our poor Savages? Væ mihi ut quid natus sum videre contritionem populi mei! My sins and the unfaithfulness of my past life have made very heavy the [302] hand of the divine Majesty, justly provoked [Page 65] against us. I beseech Your Reverence to obtain for me, from our Lord, a perfect conversion; and that this little chastisement that he has given me may avail, according to his purpose, to render me better. Father Raimbault, Father Dolbeau, and Father Davost are then dead? They were ripe for Paradise, and New France has lost in one year three persons who had greatdy labored there. I know not whether a copy of the Relation of the Hurons has been received this year. The first copy was taken with the Hurons who were going down to the French, in the month Of June, and was restored to me in the country of the Iroquois, with a large package of letters which our Fathers with the Hurons were sending to France. If I had supposed that God intended to deliver me, I would have carried it with me when I went to visit the Dutch; everything remained in the Cabin where I was. Another time, I will write at greater length: this is enough for the first day of my arrival.[7]

At Rennes, this 5th of

January, 1644.





 THOUGHT that the end of this letter would be the conclusion of this Chapter: but here is still another, which will shed some light upon the ones preceding. I arrange them according to the time when they are sent to us, without considering whether there may not be some repetitions, — the Printer not permitting me to draw from them a connected narrative.

When I begged Father Isaac Jogues to relate to us the details of his capture and of his captivity, he answered me that he had written thereof quite amply; but because I perceive every day that he is so reserved in speaking of himself that he may have omitted many interesting particulars, [Page 67] here follows what I have drawn from his lips on sundry occasions. After the combat of the Hurons, which was soon followed by their defeat, this good Father found himself in a place where he was not beyond hope of saving himself from their hands. But he soon lest the desire for this, for, — having noticed that the principal Christians of the Squad which accompanied him were taken, with a Frenchman, — he himself called and summoned to him the Iroquois, to whom he generousdy surrendered, that he might be able to assist these poor [304] captives. As soon as he had given himself up, they stripped him, leaving him only his shirt. They tore out his finger-nails, except two. It was necessary to make afterward a journey of about ten days, with great fatigues, and notable inconveniences from hunger, those Barbarians lacking provisions. Approaching within about a day’s journey of the country, he was cruelty beaten, and all his fellow captives, by a band of two hundred Savages. They received the same treatment at the entrance to three Villages insomuch that, during three days in which they were led in triumph from Village to Village, they received a countless number of beatings. As those Barbarians were greatly enraged against the French, and as they regarded the Father as one of the principal French Captains, the fury of the blows fell more especially on him. They were made to mount, during the day, upon scafolds, in order to be exposed to the ridicule and to the insolence of those Barbarians. At night, they were withdrawn into the Cabins, where the children tormented them with burning cinders and live coals. The fourth day of their arrival, they cut off the Father’s left thumb, even to the root; they crushed and they burned the ends of the fingers [305] from which they had torn off the nails. The left index finger appears to have been partly burned with a hot iron; it has thus remained somewhat [Page 69] crippled, — though he has the free movement of the others which are left to him. The sixth day, they bound him to two stakes, as if they intended to burn him; the cords were so tight that he was likely, in a little time, to fall into a swoon, — When a young Iroquois, touched with compassion and pity, unbound him. This charity was recognized by Heaven; for, some months dater, the Father having, as if by chance, encountered him very sick, instructed and Baptized him; and soon afterward he died. It is said that a good deed is never lest; but that one has indeed been rewarded.

The seventh day, they were notified that it was the last of their lives, and that toward evening, their captors would begin burning them; these held, nevertheless, a great council about that business. Meanwhile, the Father rallies his people, as a good Pastor his sheep; gives courage to the Christians, instructs them in the ways of deriving profit for Heaven out of these horrible cruelties; and baptizes some Hurons, still Catechumens. When they were expecting their final sentence, the Barbarians, leaving the assembly, [326 i.e., 306] tell them that they should not die; they were, neverthedess, for four whole months, treated like victims destined to tortures. Finally, — the Father having given notice of his capture to the Dutch, who are settled in the region near the Iroquois, — the Governor of all the country wrote to the Captain who commands in the settlement nearest the Iroquois, that he should strive to release him and the other French, his fellow captives. He made some presents to these Barbarians, — as did also some Savages of a neighboring nation, for having been obliged at Kebec by the French; these presents somewhat softened the Iroquois, insomuch that they gave liberty to the Father to go and to come where he would. This gave him opportunity to baptize about seventy persons, both Children and adults, [Page 71] most of whom are in Heaven; he also, by this means, maintained the captive Hurons in piety. These good deeds — which had made him resolve not to escape, even when able to do so — greatly mitigated the rigor of his captivity. The Iroquois, however, would not hear mention of his deliverance, — imagining that, while they could retain the Father, the French of Kebec and other places round about would not dare to do them any harm, [327 i.e., 307] when they should come in pursuit of the Hurons and Algonquins. But the Father, despising his life, wrote back to the French that consideration for him should not prevent them from doing add that might be to the greater glory of our Lord, — not unwilling to be the occasion for some Frenchmen, or some poor Savages, to be surprised and massacred by those Barbarians. At last, this poor Father having arrived in England, as he himself has sent word, the Dutch went ashore in order to go and refresh themselves a little from the sea and from a long voyage; some English robbers, entering the Bark and having found only the Father, all alone, plundered it, and seized from him and carried of the cloak and the hat which the Dutch had given him. You have been able to see, by his own letters, in what plight he arrived in France. In conclusion, he is as cheerful as if he had suffered nothing; and as zealous to return to the Hurons, amid all those dangers, as if perils were to him securities, he certainly expects to cross the Ocean once again, in order to go to succor those poor peoples, and to finish the sacrifice already begun.

At Rennes, this 14th of January, [Page 73]



HOSE who believe that the Jesuits go into this end of the world in order to make traffic of skins of dead beasts, account them very rash, and destitute of sense, to go and expose themselves to such horrible dangers, for a benefit so sordid. It seems to me that they have more generous hearts; and that only God and the salvation of souls can make them leave their native land, and the comfort of France, in order to go in quest of fires and torments in the midst of Barbarism. Forasmuch, nevertheless, as this error about commerce might slip into the minds of those who are not acquainted with them, it has been judged proper to affix here an authentic attestation, which will show how far they are removed from such thoughts[8] If they who speak of them with freedom, for want of knowing them, chanced to be with them in that new world, they would certainly change their tone; and, becoming cqmpanions in their sufferings and their zeal, they would find themselves united and bound by like affections; and these chains [309] might be eternal, since true love .and true charity pass beyond time. Enough; let us conclude with a genuine and impartial testimonial, which may be drawn from the lips of honorable persons, who have stamped it with their names and confirmed it with their signatures. [Page 75]

Declaration of Messieurs the Directors and

Associates in the Company of

New France.


HE Directors and Associates in the Company of New France, called Canada, having learned that some persons persuade themselves, and circulate the report, that the Society of the Jesuit Fathers has part in the shipments, returns, and Commercial Transactions which are made in the said country, — wishing by this device to disparage and destroy the reputation and value of the great labors which they undertake in the said country, with pains and fatigues incredible, and in peril of their lives, for the service and glory of God, in the Conversion of the Savages to the faith of Christianity and the Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman Religion, in which they have grade and are making great progress every year, whereof the said Society is very intimately informed, — have believed themselves obliged by the duty of Christian Charity, to undeceive those who might have this belief, through the declaration and certification which they make by these presents: that the said Jesuit Fathers are not associated in the said Company of New France, directly or indirectly, and have no part in the traffic of merchandise — which is carried on by it. In witness whereof the present declaration has been signed by the said Directors and Associates, and sealed with the seal of the said Company, at Paris, in the regular Assembly of the same, the first day of December one thousand six hundred and forty-three. Thus signed: De la Ferté, Abbé [Page 77] de sainte Magdeleine,[9] Bordier, Margonne, Beruyer, Robineau, Tabouret, Berruyer, Verdier, Fleuriau, Caset, Bourguet, and Clarentin; and sealed with a Seal.

Collated with the Original by

me, Counsellor, and Secretary

of the King, house, and

Crown of France.



Epistola Patris Caroli Garnier, ad R. P. Mutium

Vitelleschi, Præpositum Generalem

Sctæ, Mariæ, apud Hurones, 8 Aprilis, 1644


Source: The original is in the MSS. Soc. Jes.; we follow an apograph thereof by Father Martin, in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal.

[Page 81]

Letter from Father Charles Garnier to the Rever-

end Father Mutius Vitelleschi, General

of the Society of Jesus.



                                                Pax Christi.

Concerning ours who are in this mission of the Hurons, I will say only this to your Paternity, — that they are very strict observers of religious discipline, and earnest laborers in the Lord’s vineyard. For superior, too, we have a man distinguished in virtue, very discreet, and greatly attached to his people. However, he lacks this little, — that he does not sufficiently find his way into their hearts; yet there is nothing which urges his removal. But, when he shall be removed, no one seems to me equally worthy to be substituted in his place, as Father Paul Ragueneau, inasmuch as he is endowed with unusual graces of virtue, talent, prudence, and learning; and, in many respects, he excels him whom we now have for superior, Reverend Father Jerome Lallemant.

As to our domestics who have given themselves to us for life, we cannot sufficiently praise the divine will for having given them to us; and no doubt, if Your Paternity saw the matter with your own eyes, you yourself would urge us to praise the best and greatest God, for you would see that it is most unlikely that domestics are attracted hither by the mere [Page 83] hope of any gain. You would moreover perceive the impossibility that many of these should serve here during many years. So great is the difficulty of the roads, so horrible are the dangers, so great is the scarcity of provisions, that, if these who have given themselves to us, impelled by God, had not given themselves, certainly we would now be without domestics, — that is, this mission would soon collapse. Such, too, are these domestics that few like them are to be found who are hired, — that is, very pious, most prompt in obedience, and an unusual example to our Barbarians. The difficulty which we have experienced with the Barbarians, during many years, has taught us to value highly this last qualification; since to us who expound the law of the gospel they opposed the corrupt morals of the French who first landed on these shores, — so that they deemed us alone Christians, who wear the black gown. Of so great moment this matter of our domestics has seemed to us, that with one voice it has seemed necessary to us to cry aloud to Your Paternity.

To say somewhat of our Barbarians: the zeal for the Gospel law increases daily. There are especially two villages in which are very many Christians, and among them not a few endowed with singular piety, and with constancy which neither adversity nor the taunts and curses of the infidels can shake. There are some Christians and sacred buildings in other villages. Certainly, if any entire village will once give support to the faith, there is hope that it will, by its example, bring over to Christ very many villages. We request Your Paternity with earnest entreaties that you aid us with your Holy Sacrifices and prayers. [Page 85]

I, too, with especial earnestness implore your aid, who am

Your Paternity’s

Most unworthy son in Christ,


At the Residence of Ste. Marie of the Hurons,

April 8, 1644


Relation of 1643-44



Source: Our facsimile of the title-page is from the original Cramoisy edition of H. 83, in the library of the Wisconsin Historical Society; in reprinting the text, we follow the Lamoignon copy in Lenox Library.

The Relation is in two parts; we present herewith chaps. i.-viii. of Part 1

[Page 89]





IN THE YEARS 1643 AND 1644

Sent to the Rev. Father JEAN FILLEAU,

Provincial of the Society of Jesus

in the Province of France.

ByFather Barthelemy Vimont

of the same Society, Superior of

the whole Mission..

P A R I S.



By Royal License.

[Page 93]

To the Reverend Father Jean Filleau, Provincial

of the Society of JESUS in the

Province of France.



It is a deeply-felt consolation for us to receive every year Your Reverence’s letters, which are so many authentic proofs of the interest that you take in the conversion of these peoples, and signal marks of your affection for us. They serve not a little to encourage us in prosecuting our design to attract to the knowledge and love of God all the Nations of these countries, who are more numerous than we supposed at first. We discover new ones every year, who are neither wandering nor nomadic, and who could give worthy employment to those who have zeal for their salvation. Two hundred thousand Algonquins await these, and if their ardor be not limited, it can extend itself to many other Nations to the South of our great river. And if they be not satisfied with this, they can go as far as the Setting Sun, where they will find suficient occupation for the remainder of their lives. They will see that these peoples are not so Barbarous that their minds are not capable of instruction, and their hearts not susceptible to the maxims of the Gospel. If any one should be of a different opinion, the Relation that I send Your Reverence, of what has occurred this year, will remove that impression; for in. it you will find both good and ill success, and will observe that God hearkens more and more to the prayers that are said in France for our poor Savages, and that he continues to bless the assistance [Page 95] that is given to them. You will see on the other hand that the enemies of the salvation of these peoples ever seek to compass their ruin, and to destroy them; and this compeles us to have more especial recourse to you, to ask the assistance of the prayers and holy Sacrifices of our Fathers and Brethren, and, above al, that of Your Reverence, of whom I remain

At Kebec, this 5th

of September, 1644.

The most humble and most obe-

dient servant,


[Page 97]


Table of the Chapters contained in this Book.

Chapter I.

Chap. II.


F the general condition of the Christians of New France,

Of some Baptisms at the residence of St. Joseph,





Chap. III.

Of the good sentiments and actions of the Christians of Said Joseph,





Chap. IV.

Continuation of the good sentiments and actions of the Christians of St. Joseph,





Chap. V.

Continuation of the good sentiments and actions of the Christ-ians of Saint Joseph,





Chap. VI.

Of the Hospital,



Chap. VII.

Of the Ursuline Seminary,



Chap. VIII.

Of what occurred in connection with some Apostates,





Chap. IX.

Of the Seminary of the Hurons at the three Rivers, and of their capture, with that of Father Joseph Bressany, by the Iroquois,





Chap. X.

Of the capture of three Iroquois,



Chap. XI.

Of the good conduct of the Atikamegues,



Chap. XII.

Of the Mission of the holy Cross at Tadoussac,



Chap. XIII.

Continuation of the Mission of the Holy Ghost at Tadoussac,



Chap. XIV.

Of the Creation of a Captain at Tadoussac,






[Page 99]

Extract from the Royal License.

BY the grace and Prerogative of the King, permission is granted to Sebastien Cramoisy, Sworn Merchant Bookseller, Printer in ordinary to the King and to the Queen Regent, the Mother of his Majesty, Director of the Royal Printing House at the Castle of the Louvre, Formerly Alderman and Consul of this City of Paris, to print or to have printed a Book entitled: La Relation de ce qui s’est passé en la Nouvelle France, és années 1643. et 1644. envoyée au Reverend Pere Jean Filleau, Provincial de la [Compagnie de Jesus en la Province de France, par le R. P. Barthelemy Vimont de la] mesme Compagnie, Superieur de toute la Mission. And this during the space and time of ten consecutive years, prohibiting all Booksellers and Printers to print or have printed the said Book, under pretext of disguise or change that they might make therein, on pain of confiscation and of the fine provided by the said License. Given at Paris, on the 14th of December, 1644. Signed by the King in Council, Cramoisy; and sealed with the great Seal in yellow wax.

[Page 101]

Permission of the Reverend Father Provincial.

WE, Jean Filleau, Provincial of the Society of Jesus in the Province of France, have granted for the future to Sieur Sebastien Cramoisy, Sworn Merchant Bookseller, Printer in ordinary to the King and to the Queen Regent, the Mother of his Majesty, Director of the Royal Printing House at the Castle of the Louvre, Formerly Alderman and Consul of the City of Paris, the Printing of the Relations of New France. Done at Paris, the fifteenth of, December, 1644.


[Page 103]

[1] Relation of what occurred in New France, in

the years 1643 and 1644.





HE condition to which this nascent Church is now reduced is such as to bring to the eyes of all who love it tears both of sorrow and of joy. For, on the one hand, it is pitiful to see these poor peoples perish before our eyes as soon as they embrace [2] the Faith; and, on the other, we have reason to console ourselves when we see that the misfortunes which assail them on all sides serve but to arouse a desire for the faith in those who had hitherto despised it, and to strengthen it and make it shine with still greater glory in the hearts of those who had already received it. We see very well that God is the Founder of this Church, as well as of the primitive one; for he has caused the former to be born, like the latter, in travails, and to grow in sufferings, in order to be crowned with her in glory.

Disease, war, and famine are the three scourges with which God has been pleased to smite our Neophytes since they have commenced to adore him, and to submit to his Laws. Hardly had they heard of the Doctrine that we preach to them, and commenced to receive this, divine seed, when a contagious [Page 105] disease spread throughout all these nations, carrying off the healthiest of them. No sooner had disease ceased its ravages, than war — which had previously been so much to their advantage that they [3] had become Masters of their enemies’ country, and had defeated them everywhere — commenced, and has since continued to be so disastrous to them that they have lost all their best warriors, have been driven from their own country, and at present do nothing but flee from the cruelty of the Iroquois, who nevertheless very often overtake them, and massacre them horribly.

Being compelled, in consequence of this misfortune, to abandon the woods best suited for hunting, which lie to the South of the great river, and being exposed to the inroads of their enemies, they have fallen into the hands of a no less cruel enemy, hunger, — which has brought many of them from the depths of the forest to our doors, to ask us for alms at a season when they were accustomed to hold a feast every day. We have seen some who have wandered in the woods for ten, fifteen, and twenty days, without other food than a piece of bark or of skin. Others resolved to cross the great river [4] at a time when everywhere its waters rolled down rocks and mountains of ice, in order to reach the woods to the South, notwithstanding their dread of their enemies, — saying that they would as soon die by the fire of the Iroquois as by hunger; and, as if misfortune accompanied them everywhere, after having been a thousand times in danger of losing their lives amid the ice and snow, they have come back without having eaten anything but the cords of their snowshoes. Those who have suffered the least are a portion of [Page 107] the Christians of Sillery and of Tadoussac, who, in order to avoid being disturbed by the Iroquois in their hunting, went into the woods to the South three months earlier than usual, and penetrated so far that the Iroquois did not find them, — although they sought for them, as could be seen from their tracks. The result of this was that the Hospital Mothers and our Fathers at Sillery had on their hands throughout the Winter over forty Savages, most of whom were infirm or aged, who had to be fed at great expense, and who otherwise [s] would have perished in the woods, from hunger and hardships, without any bodily or spiritual aid.

All these events have so greatly thinned the numbers of our Savages that, where eight years ago one could see eighty or a hundred cabins, barely five or six can now be seen; a Captain, who then had eight hundred warriors under his command, now has not more than thirty or forty; instead of fleets of three or four hundred Canoes, we see now but twenty or thirty. And the pitiful part of it is, that these remnants of Nations consist almost entirely of women, widows or girls, who cannot all find lawful husbands, and who consequently are in danger of much suffering, or-of committing great sins.

Such an accumulation of miseries as overwhelms them would, it seems to me, strengthen them in the belief which they had at the very beginning, that prayer caused them to die; that we were sorcerers, who had conspired against their lives; and that we had secret communication [6] with their enemies. But he who is the Master of all hearts inspires them with other thoughts, and causes them to acknowledge and admit publicly, in the midst of their [Page 109] afflictions, that the hand that smites them is the hand of the true God whom they had not yet known, and whose judgments are as secret as they are equitable. We have, however, great reason to praise God because he reaps his glory from the affliction of these poor peoples and makes it serve still more for their conversion. Although there is not in the world a nation poorer than this one, nevertheless there is none prouder than they. When they were prosperous, we could hardly approach them; the French were dogs, and all that we preached them were fables. But since affliction has humiliated them, and necessity has made them more dependent upon the French, and has made them experience the effects of Christian charity, their eyes are opened; and they see more clearly than ever that there is no other Divinity [7] than he whom we preach to them. In fact, there is hardly one of all those who are not yet Christians who does not, outwardly at least, bear witness to his esteem and approval of our belief. For, if we ask them whether they believe what we tell them, and if they do not wish to be baptized, they reply that indeed they do believe, and that they desire Baptism. And if they be not yet all disposed to receive the Faith, or even if some of them abandon it, they always admit, to the glory of God, that what we preach is true, but difficult, Among them it is now no longer a thing to be ashamed of to profess Christianity, to pray to God night and morning, even in the presence of infidels. Grace continues day by day to temper their former barbarism. The craft of the Jugglers and sorcerers is gradually losing credit. Remote nations, attracted by the reputation of our good Christians, approach us to enjoy the same [Page 111] advantages that are obtained by those [8] nearer to us. They are beginning to become accustomed to our habits; the difficulties that they have in submitting to Christian laws are disappearing more and more; virtue and modesty are now held in veneration by them, and even those who practice them the least nevertheless honor them outwardly. They now know and detest as vices many things that they formerly esteemed and falsely applauded as virtues. Finally, truth triumphs over error, and the Prince of darkness is compelled to give way to the King of glory and of light.

This does not mean that all has been done. We have greater trouble in keeping our Christians than in acquiring them. Their wandering life is a great obstacle to virtue; and still the difficulties that exist with respect to their becoming settled are almost insurmountable. The land that we clear, the houses that we build for them, and the other aid, spiritual and material, that we endeavor to give them, keep them stationary for a while, but [9] not permanently. The French colony, which is in truth the foundation of Christianity in these countries, continues to increase; but it does so slowly, because it does not receive sufficient aid from old France. The Island Algonquins, and those of the Hiroquet Tribe, after so many years of instruction, are not, it is true, so insolent as they formerly were; but they are not yet so humble as they must be to become worthy of Baptism. The examples of some of them who have abandoned the Faith, or who have profaned it by shameful actions, prevent us from baptizing many who present themselves. Marriages still give us much trouble. We are completely surrounded by Nations [Page 113] who have, as yet, never seen us. If the great river once be free, it will give us access to Nations beyond number, and very populous, — some of whom have already heard of us and wish for us. In a word, we are only beginning; but we hope that these auspicious beginnings will have happy [10] results, and that God will finally accomplish the work that he has undertaken, since it is for his glory. [Page 115]





OD is ever admirable in the predestination of his elect; his designs are secret, and his thoughts are hidden, but their accomplishment is marvelously effective. We have observed this in the person of an Abnaquiois Captain, whom God took from the midst of an utterly infidel Nation, far distant from us, to place him in the bosom of his Church. Three years ago, he had come to Sillery to offer presents to our Savages, in satisfaction for the death of an Algonquin whom those of his Tribe had killed. Our Christians accepted the gifts; the relatives of the deceased dried [11) their tears, and Peace was renewed between these two Tribes. One of our Principal Neophytes delivered a harangue to announce this peace; and at the end, speaking to the Abnaquiois Captain who was the agent of the peace, he added that, to make their friendship firm and everlasting, it was necessary that he should renounce his superstitions, and embrace the belief that they now professed. “If,” said he, “thou wishest to bind our two Tribes by a perfect friendship, it is necessary that we should all believe the same. Have thyself baptized, and cause thy people to do likewise, and that bond will be stronger than any gifts. We pray to God, and know no other friends or brothers than those who pray like us. How can we love those [Page 117] whom God hates? Now God hates those who do not Pray. If therefore thou wouldst have us for brothers. and friends, learn to pray as we have been taught to do.” These words made such an impression on the mind of the Abnaquiois Captain that he promised to. return to Sillery the following Summer to be instructed. Indeed, [12] he fulfilled his promise, and came here at the beginning of Summer with eight Canoes, at the time when preparations were being made for war against the Iroquois, in which he accompanied them; and, on his return, he began to press urgently for his Baptism. His people were guilty of some offensive conduct which led to threats of their expulsion. He begged Monsieur the Governor to allow him to remain with three of his people,. and this was granted to him. He had himself instructed, attended the Prayers night and morning, and frequently entered the Church to visit our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, and to ask of him the grace’ to be soon baptized. Father Dequen refused him several times, in order to try him, — saying that he. had to attend to others, who were more eager and. better prepared than he; that he was a stranger, and that his word was not relied on. To all this he replied that, as the salvation of his soul was at stake, he was quite as eager as the others, for he was as much in danger of being lost as were the others who sought Baptism; that he already knew the Prayers and the Catechism, having learned them from Charles, Meiaskwat, [13] with whom he had lived during the Winter; that he should not be refused on account of his being a Stranger, because Paradise is as much for those of his Nation as for the others; that he was not a child to break his word; that he had left his [Page 119] country and renounced his office of Captain, in order to be instructed: that he wished to remain always with the Christians of Syllery, in order to maintain his Faith, after he should have made a voyage to his own country and settled his little affairs. When the Father saw his courage and his perseverance, after a long trial he granted him the satisfaction that he desired, and placed him in the number of the children of God. Monsieur the Governor named him Jean Baptiste. After his Baptism, he came to Father Dequen, and told him that he had never experienced joy such as he felt that day. “No,” he said, “I could not be so joyful — even if I had been saved from the hands of the Iroquois.” Alas! we fear that he has fallen into them. He was going back to his own country, to take leave of his relatives and to bid Adieu to his people. He had promised us that he would speak decidedly [14] and boldly in favor of the faith; and, as I write this, an Abnaquiois Canoe has just arrived which came by the very river on which he went. These people did not meet him, but saw many traces of the Iroquois, and one of their Canoes that they had left, after having seized, as we believe, that of this poor Christian. He was accompanied by a Catechumen of his Tribe who had a great ardor and disposition for the Faith. God be blessed for all; we must not seek to pry into his counsels, but adore them all with respect.

An old man of the Hiroquet Tribe — who was a notorious Sorcerer, and very well versed in all the superstitions of his Nation, which is saturated with them — could not follow his people to the chase, and was obliged to stop at Sillery, where the Hospital Mothers fed him out of charity in their Hospital, [Page 121] during the whole Winter, together with many other infirm and sick persons. Charity is thoroughly eloquent in its silence; works produce much more impression on the mind than the most exquisite oratory. [15] It is therefore the strongest argument for belief that we have, wherewith to touch the hearts of the Savages. When this poor old man saw himself so charitably waited upon and succored by the good Mothers; when he observed the attention and the great expense with which they cared for the other sick and infirm, without any hope of reward; and when he learned that they had left their relatives and so fine a country, in order to come here to succor the indigent and the sick, — he conceived a high idea of the goodness and holiness of our Religion, and felt himself impelled to embrace it. This good impulse, aided by the pious words that he heard, and the instruction that was given to him, made him resolve to ask to be instructed and prepared for Baptism. His age did not allow him to have much mind or memory; nevertheless, he applied himself with so much fervor and perseverance to the task of learning the Prayers that he succeeded in doing so in the space of three days, to the great astonishment of all the others and of himself, for he had before despaired of learning anything. It only [16] remained to induce him to give up a hair that he lovingly preserved, and worshiped as a little divinity. “It is a hair,” he said, “that I have pulled from the moustache[10] of the Manitou. That hair has saved my life a thousand times, when I have been in danger of losing it. I would have been drowned a hundred times had it not been for this hair. It is this which has enabled me to kill moose, has preserved me from [Page 123] sickness, and has made me live so long. I have cured the sick with this hair; there is nothing that I cannot do with it. To ask me for it is to ask for my life.”[11] It took a long time and much patience to undeceive this poor old man. The Devil held him firmly by that hair, and strongly persuaded him that he would die if he parted with it; but, in the end, the Holy Ghost was victorious. “I think that I shall die,” he said, “when I shall have given up my hair; but no matter, I will give it up. I would rather die and go to Paradise, than live longer and go to Hell.” When the will is gained, the intellect does not offer great resistance. After this brave resolution, it was easy [17] to convince him that he would not die, and that his life did not depend upon that hair, but upon the Providence of a God who was more powerful than his Manitou. On Holy Thursday, — when the Savages were all assembled to assist at the ceremony of washing fhe feet, and at the feast that was afterward to be given them in the Hospital, — this good Catechumen resolved at last to part with his hair, and to make a sacrifice of it to God. He therefore took his tobacco poueh, from which he drew a smaller one, and from the latter a third, neatly embroidered in their fashion with rows of Porcupine quills, which he placed in my hands. I opened it, and found it filled with down, in which the hair was wrapped. “Burn it,” he said to me, “so that it may not burn me. I hate and detest the wicked Manitou; I do not fear him; I renounce both him and all that belongs to him. Besides that, I have nothing to give thee, or to abandon; that hair was my treasure; all my wickedness depended upon it. Baptize me.” We granted him that [Page 125] happiness on Holy Saturday, the day especially set apart for the ceremony [r8] of Holy Baptism. Monsieur de Saint Sauveur named him Bonaventure. Some time afterward, he went up to the three Rivers; and when those who lived there, and who had known him, saw him pray to God, they were surprised at the great change. When they asked him if he really loved Prayer, he said: “I must really love it, since I have given up my hair for love of it.” And, on being again asked what had converted him, he replied that it was the Charity that he had received from “the Women clothed in white,” meaning the Hospita1 Nuns.

Shortly afterward, we baptized a young man of the same Tribe, to whom a rather remarkable thing happened before his Baptism. He had gone out hunting with his companions, and had roamed through the woods for several days without finding anything. They were all much pressed by hunger, when he — who was only a Catechumen, and had received but little instruction — withdrew to one side, knelt in the snow, and, raising his eyes and [19] his hands to Heaven, said: “My God, have pity on me. I am very hungry; Thou knowest it well. I would like to kill a moose; I have never killed one, and I do not see any; and yet, if thou grant it, I could soon kill one. Thou hast made them, and thou hast made them for us. If thou dost not grant this, it matters not; but do not let me die, for I am not yet baptized, and I desire to be.” God granted this prayer, said with such ingenuousness, such confidence, and such resignation. He forthwith came upon the track of a moose, and pursued, caught, and killed it. Then he knelt again in the snow, thanked [Page 127] his benefactor, and set apart for him the best portion of his capture, which he offered to him on his return in the persons of the sick in the Hospital.

The other Baptisms that we have administered here are not remarkable for any peculiar circumstances. I cannot, however, refrain from mentioning here some good sentiments of these new children of God. Pierre Oumenabano prepared himself for his Baptism with extraordinary fervor; he could not receive enough instruction, nor could he [zo] pray to God sufficiently. As soon as he commenced to be a Catechumen, he had a special devotion for our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, whom he visited several times, night and morning. His prayer was: “Jesus, have pity on me,” which he repeated a hundred times, not knowing what else to say. He carefully remarked all the obeisances that are made before the Blessed Sacrament, and, whenever he entered or left the Chapel, he made all these, one after another — those of the Priests, those of the men, and those of the women; and, when he was asked why he made so many, he said: “I would like to honor God as much as all the others together honor him.” Some could not refrain from laughing; he nevertheless persevered in his devotion and I think that his simplicity was agreeable to God. After his Baptism, he continued his devotion to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, visiting him often, and continually repeating these words: “Jesus, I thank thee; Jesus, I thank thee.” He said one day to the Father who instructed him, and afterward repeated very often, “I am very ill; besides the scrofula that withers me, [ZI] I have many other ailments that trouble me. I am content to die, if it be God’s will; but, [Page 129] nevertheless, I would be well pleased to live a long time if God granted it.” On being asked why he had that desire, he said: “It is not to enjoy the pleasures of this life, for I taste of none, nor do I desire them; but in order to be able to thank God for a long time, and to serve him. I am only commencing to know him; I have as yet done nothing for him; I would like to do something for love of him, and to have plenty of time to serve him, and to learn to pray properly to him.” The Father told him that he could do all that better in Paradise than on earth. “But,” he replied, “in Paradise there is no trouble in serving God, and he has had so much for us.” This good Neophyte said in his own language what Saint Augustine said in another: Sero te cognovi bonitas antiqua, sero te amavi.

Joseph Memench, — a young boy of the Nipissirinien Tribe, who was yet a Catechumen, — seeing that we delayed baptizing him, although he was sufficiently [22] instructed, asked the reason of it. He was told that we feared that he would not be constant enough, and that, when he returned to his own country, he would abandon the Faith. These words caused him great affliction. He said to the Father who instructed him: “Write to Father Vimont, and this is what thou shalt write to him: ‘Father Vimont, Memench is sad because they will not baptize him; he seems to lose courage; he wishes to speak to thee, that thou mayst have him baptized. Listen to him; this is what he says: “I have left my own country and my parents, to come here and be haptized; for what else would I have come to seek here, where I have no relatives or acquaintances? I know all the Prayers and the whole of the Catechism. [Page 131]

If I am once baptized, I do not wish to go back up there where the wicked are; I will remain here with the good people. I am young, but still I know what I am doing. I will keep up Prayer all my life; I do not lie. Command, therefore, that I be baptized. If thou wilt not do so, I shall be sad; I shall return to my own country, where I [23] shall perhaps die without Baptism. Thou wilt be the cause of it.” This is what Memench says to thee.’” It was not badly said, for a Savage fifteen years old. He wished to be himself the. bearer of the letter, so that he might plead his cause in person: and he pleaded so well that he won it. Monsieur de Godefroy did him the honor of giving him the name of Joseph. [Page 133]





O GIVE a general idea of the Christians of Saint Joseph, it suffices to say, in a few words, that this little band who dwell in this residence are the leaven of this new Church, and the finest pearl in the Crown that Jesus Christ has acquired for himself in this new Kingdom. It is they who first received the Faith, [24] who have borne it to other Nations, and who now maintain it everywhere by their words and good examples. When we wish to reform a bad Christian, we put him in the company of these people, from which those who are most fervent cannot separate themselves without feeling some cooling of their fervor. If sometimes they find themselves mingled with the Algonquins and other Nations further up, they are sufficiently distinguished by their public profession of all the Christian virtues, and by the aversion that they manifest for all that is the sign of their former barbarism. Consequently, their reputation has spread throughout all these countries, and has a wonderful luster among all the Nations. These flock hither to witness that of which they have heard, the marvelous change that Faith has worked in hearts which formerly were no less barbarous than theirs. We attribute this blessing, after God, to the two Captains in command of these good Neophytes, Noel Tekwerimatch and Jean [Page 135] Baptiste, who [25] undertake and advance matters relating to the Faith, with a zeal and prudence surpassing everything that might be expected from a Savage. Jean Baptiste is content with deeds, and speaks but little; Noel is energetic in his speech, as well as in his actions. I will here relate some of his speeches, which will show the enlightenment and the sentiments that God gives him.

One day, Father Dequen gave a feast to our Neophytes, on the occasion of the Baptism of a Savage. As he brought them, according to their custom, the various viands with which the sagamith was seasoned, they received each of these with as many exclamations of “Ho!“ — an expression of joy which they draw from the depths of their chests. But at the end, when he told them that the occasion of the feast was the Baptism of one of their people, they raised their voices and called out, not once but three times, “Ho! ho! ho!” This gave No4 an opportunity of speaking in favor of the Faith, and of saying to his people:

“It is a good thing that you should all be baptized, and that you should all wish [26] to believe in God. The Doctrine that the Fathers preach to us is excellent — all that it contains is entirely reasonable; it in no wise resembles our old fables, which are full of folly and extravagance. He whom they preach to us is truly a God. The promises that he makes us are delightful; the torments with which he threatens the wicked are fearful, but they are just and equitable. For my part, I assure you that I esteemed and loved that doctrine as soon as it was propounded to me; and, although I loved my reputation and my life, I nevertheless embraced it in [Page 137] spite of the fear that I then had of losing both. I saw that we were dying off every day, and that death reaped his harvest more among the Christians than among the infidels. Those who then believed were considered weak-minded. ‘No matter,’ I said in my heart; ‘even if I am to be despised and to die, I wish to believe, because God’s will is preferable to reputation and to life.’ It was God who [27] strengthened me against those idle fears. Hasten to be baptized, ye who are not yet so. Fear neither death nor contempt. Prayer is not the cause thereof; it gives us life, and places us in possession of true glory.”

Here is another of his discourses, on the occasion of a marriage. A Captain of the Abnaquiois Nation, who had recently been baptized, sought a Christian girl in marriage. Noël was consulted on the subject, and after asking to be allowed some time to think over the matter, he replied that he was of opinion that there should be no haste, owing to the fear that he had of the Captain’s inconstancy. But, as the latter pressed his suit for a long time, and gave every assurance of his fidelity that could be expected, Noël and the other Captains and principal Christians consented to the marriage, which was publicly contracted in our Chapel, with all the rites of the Church. After the Father had delivered a short discourse, exhorting to conjugal love those who had just [28] received the Nuptial Benediction, Noel Tekwerimatch began to speak, and, turning toward the assembled people, he said:

“Be not surprised if I have so long deferred my consent to this marriage. The marriage of Christians is a matter of great importance, and quite opposed to our inclinations and customs. We are [Page 139] passionately fond of liberty; we like to change our wives, and sometimes we would wish to have more than one. All this is contrary to the laws of Christian marriage. It is a matter in which one must not be hasty. I know the disposition of our girls, who are flighty, and find it difficult to remain always attached to one husband. I know also that the Abnaquiois are in the habit of leaving and changing their wives, and of having several at the same time. As for thee, thou hast not always been very discreet, and I know that thou hast gone about the Cabins at night. It seems that thou hast more sense since thy Baptism, but it was necessary to try thee. I feared that there was not sufficient sincerity and firmness in [29] thy words, and I am not yet quite free from that apprehension. Remember what thou hast just now said; we have heard it. If thou shouldst deceive us, we will reproach thee bitterly before God and before men. Thou hast had leisure to think of what thou shouldst do; thou art not a child, to break thy word. Respect thy marriage, which is not a profane one like that of the infidels, but Holy and Religious. I3e faithful to God and to thy wife. If thou wilt do what I tell thee, God will love thee, and so shall we. Take courage; rely not upon thyself. Pray to God, hope in him, and he will help thee.”

This harangue — delivered in good terms, and with ardor, much more fluently and effectively than is here set down — was listened to attentively by the whole assembly, and inspired all the Savages, who were present in good number, with respect and veneration for the Sacrament of Marriage, especially the Bridegroom, who replied to Noël as follows:

[30] “Thou sayest truly that the Marriage of [Page 141] Christians is a matter of great importance, and one in which we should not be precipitate. I considered it maturely before speaking of it, and frequently prayed to God on the subject. I never objected to your trying my constancy, and, although it seemed to me that you did not approve of my suit, still I did not desist from it. But I am grieved that you still doubt my fidelity. It is true that I belong to a Nation that is flighty, and addicted to its pleasures; but do you not know that I am baptized, and that I have been learning for a long time by your examples how I should live? I admit that before my Baptism I was rather imprudent; but, since I have been baptized, I do not think that I have given any cause for scandal. I hope that he who has given me, as he has given you, the grace of being baptized, will also give me the same ‘strength that he gives you to keep the faith that I have pledged him in my marriage. I promise you once more that I will inviolably keep the word that I [31] have given you; and that I will respect my marriage as a holy thing, and will never profane it by any action contrary to the duty to which it binds me.” After this, he said no more; and, in fact, he kept his word, so that it is one of the happiest and most peaceful marriages that we have formed among the Savages. But let us continue to hear the discourses of our Noël.

After the Savages of Sillery had returned from their great hunt, the Captains and principal Christians went to salute Monsieur the Governor. Noël paid him a compliment in the name of all the others, to which Monsieur the Governor replied (expressing his satisfaction at seeing them, and at learning of their good conduct during their wintering); after [Page 143] which he added that he was not pleased with all of them, and that there were some who gave scandal by their evil deeds. Father Dequen, who acted as interpreter on this occasion, explained to the Savages the displeasure felt by Monsieur [32] the Governor on account of those bad Christians, without naming them. Noel replied to him: “Speak plainly.” Father Dequen explained himself, without however naming those who were referred to. Noël answered: “Again I tell thee to speak plainly, and to name those who are wicked.“The Father mentioned their names, and said that they were Estienne Pigarouich and Fransois Koskweribagougouch, who kept concubines instead of their lawful wives, whom they had abandoned. Thereupon Noël, giving way to his usual zeal, said:

“I wished to know whether they were of my people over whom I have authority, for I would have seen to it. I am not the Captain of those men, but I hate their wickedness and detest their society. I have never approved the actions that they have committed, and which are contrary to the Faith and the fidelity of their Marriage. I blame and condemn them. They have no sense; women have taken it away from them. Perhaps they will recover some if we punish them. They will soon return from the hunt; they [33] will desire to have cabins at Sillery; they will need the help of the French; but we must drive them far away from us. I will not allow them to come near my cabins, neither them nor those who support them. They would corrupt us by their bad examples. As for thee,” he said to Monsieur the Governor, “do not allow thyself to be moved by the prayers that they will address to thee; close thy [Page 145] ears, and listen not to their words. If they manifest any repentance for their sin, and if they offer to give satisfaction for it, I am of opinion that they be tried for a year, — during which time they will be banished from Quebec and from Sillery, and be separated from their concubines. After that they may be admitted into the Church, and mercy may be shown to them.”

This discourse of NoEl’s was followed by that of another Captain, from Tadoussac, who was present at the meeting. “I am very glad,” he said, “to see how you deal with the wicked. You teach me how I should act on similar occasions. When I shall have returned to my own country, I will act as I have seen you [34] do., If any one of my people choose to be wicked, I will punish him in such a way that he will serve as an example for the others. And, if I choose to be wicked, I myself desire that I be punished more severely than any other, — I wish that I may be degraded from my office of Captain; that I may be whipped, hanged, or cast into the river. Whosoever offends God deserves death. We must believe in earnest, or have nothing to do with the Faith. The wicked spoil the good; such a mingling is of no use; it is a contagion that spreads and extends gradually, until everything is infected. What does it avail us that we be baptized, if we do not obey? We are often told that Baptism serves but for greater condemnation when we dishonor it by evil deeds. I wish to be obeyed when I command, and I am angry if my people rebel against my orders. Has not God’ still greater reason to be irritated against us if we obey him not? I will make my people behave properly, else they or I will die.”

If the zeal of these two Captains resemble, [35] to [Page 147] some extent, that of the sons of thunder, it nevertheless proceeds from a good principle, and is praiseworthy in the hearts of barbarians, who formerly had no ardor or affection for anything but flesh and blood.

I cannot omit another discourse made by Noël, when the news arrived of the capture of Father Bressany and the Hurons. Father Dequen had preached a sermon to them on the subject, to show them that this accident and so many other misfortunes were the effects of God’s anger, who was justly irritated by the wickedness of bad Christians and of the infidels. who would not obey his word. No4 wished to speak in his turn, and he gave orders that no one should leave the Chapel and that the door be closed.

“Thou sayest truly,” he said; “it is our sins that have placed Father Bressany and the Hurons in the hands of the Iroquois. It is our sins that, perhaps at this moment, are loading them with the blows of clubs; are tearing out their nails, are cutting off their fingers; are applying firebrands to their sides, and burning them at a slow fire. Let [36] no one say that prayer is the cause of all these misfortunes. That would be another sin, capable of bringing down God’s greatest curses upon our heads. It is we ourselves who exterminate our Nation, and that of the, Hurons, and of the French. Why should God not punish us? We have so long been taught and preached to about the fear and love of God, and still there are some among us who become intoxicated, who give eat-all feasts, who consult the Demons and offer Sacrifices to them, and renew their old superstitions. I myself, — who in my capacity of Captain should furnish good examples to others, especialk [Page 149] after having received so much instruction, — am nevertheless wicked, and perhaps more so than any of the others. After that, can it be wondered that the Iroquois destroy us? It is true that our enemies are wicked, as well as we; but nevertheless we are more guilty than they, because we are instructed, and they are not. If they were [37] taught as we are, they would perhaps believe more firmly than we do. We only half believe, and our deeds belie our words. That is what irritates God against us. It is time that. we should appease him, if we wish to preserve the little that remains of our Nation; and it is not difficult to appease him. He is good; he is our Father; and it is with regret that he chastises us. If we all unite: in loving and obeying him, he will have pity on us. Take courage; cease not to love prayer, even if it should cause our death; but I hope, on the contrary, that if we love it well, it will give us not only eternal but also temporal life. God chastises us to make us good; he will cease to chastise us when we cease to be wicked. That is what I had to tell you.”

This harangue, delivered by this Captain with extraordinary fervor, astonished the wicked and consoled the good who were present at the meeting, and perhaps strengthened some [38] weakening heart; for, as he is a man of authority among his people, and has the reputation of being a prudent person, his discourses have a wonderful effect on the minds of all the Savages.

I would never finish, were I to repeat all the other harangues that he has delivered in favor of the Faith; for he allows no opportunity to escape of making himself heard on the subject, and he always speaks of it with more energy and force than we [Page 151] could express by our words. Moreover, his life is in accordance with his speech. He never undertakes anything of any moment without first consulting Monsieur the Governor and our Fathers. None but good Christians are allowed in his cabin. He keeps his family in fear and in respect. He is the first at the prayers, and takes a deep interest in everything relating to the progress of Christianity in these countries. Let us say a word about Jean Baptiste Etinechkawat who is the Captain of those Montagnais and Attikamegues who usually dwell at Saint Joseph.

[39] The answer that he gave to that Abnaquiois Captain whom we have mentioned, shows what esteem he has for the Faith. That Captain, before being baptized, sought one of his relatives in marriage. With that view he sent him a fine collar of Porcelain beads by another Savage. Jean Baptiste coldly replied: “We do not sell our girls, but we give them in marriage to those who profess the Faith as we do;” and he sent back the present without touching it. Afterward, when this Captain had been baptized, he pressed his suit. Jean Baptiste, after having long tried his constancy and fidelity, gave him all the satisfaction that he desired, — thereby showing that, if at first he had not consented to his alliance, it was only because he did not yet belong to the Faith.

Another young Savage, a good Christian, named Alexis, of the Nipissirinien Tribe, sought one of his daughters in marriage. As, like Nobl, he never undertakes anything without the consent of our Fathers, he came [40] to consult us on the subject. “I am pleased with the young man,” he said, “on account of his goodness and virtue; but I am afraid of one [Page 153] thing, and that is that he is related to the Captain of the Nipissiriniens and will succeed to his office. I fear that this will make him proud, and that the ambition to appear as a Captain will induce him to go up there and return to his own country, when the other dies, and that he will afterward lose the affection that he now has for prayer; for pride is a great obstacle to Faith, and I would value more highly a son-in-law who, though poor and despised, was good and virtuous, than a proud and boastful Captain.”

Here is another indication of the contempt that he has for honors, and of the humility that lies in his heart. “I would like,” he said one day to Father Dequen, “to lay aside my office of Captain, in favor of Philippe Sakapwam. It belongs to him by right of birth, because he is the son of a Captain. If I have accepted it, and retained it until now, it is because he was too young to exercise it after the [41] death of his father. But, now that he is old enough, and has sufficient energy to fill the office, and to perform all the. duties connected with it, I consider it right that he should enjoy it. I do not wish to keep what does not belong to me. Besides, it is necessary that we should have Captains here who are energetic, and who can speak in favor of the Faith, and who have authority with the young men; and he possesses all these qualities to a greater degree than I, who have neither wit, nor words, nor anything to give me credit and authority. And I care not for such honors; I despise them in my heart. I also fear to be accountable for the actions and conduct of my people. I would far prefer that another should be responsible for them.’’ The Father did not give such an answer [Page 155] to this as he wished, so he went away much grieved. Pride is the greatest vice of these Savages, and it is no small matter that this one should have attained such a degree of humility as to despise what is considered most august and brilliant among them. He will show us [42] now that Christian humility is not inconsistent with frank and generous courage.

As soon as he heard the news of the capture of Father Bressany, of the Hurons, and of several Algonquins, he at once resolved to go to war, to call the Iroquois to account for all those insults and wrongs. Here are the reasons that he gave us therefor, in the consultation that he held with us on the subject.

“It is a shame,” he said, “that the Iroquois should beat us everywhere, and that we should remain without feeling, and without accomplishing anything but flight. It is now asserted with reason that we are no longer men, but women; and what irritates me still more is, that the infidels and some bad Christians publicly state that it is prayer that makes us cowards and depresses our courage. Since we rely ‘on prayer to God, they say, we have no more courage. We must show them that they have lied, and that the Faith is far from making us timid, [43] that, on the contrary, it animates our hearts in the midst of the most pressing dangers, and gives us .courage in our greatest weakness. We must not allow Faith to be dishonored by the falsehoods and calumnies of the wicked.

“What compels me once more to go to war is the capture of Father Bressany. He is one of those who ‘have come from so far to teach us, and who love us so much. He has exposed himself to this danger for our sake. His brothers are afflicted at his [Page 157] capture. We must console them, and dry their tears, by the capture of some Iroquois. Perhaps also we may repress the insolence of our enemies, if we gain some advantage over them, — as it will be easy for us to do, according to the plan that I wish to follow in carrying on this little war, and because God hates the wicked and does not bless their projects. I do not wish to have any but good and faithful Christians in my company. We shall be but few in number, but I trust that we shall be stronger than if our band were increased by a great many [44] warriors who would be infidels or bad Christians. Such is my plan. If the Captain of the French and you approve it, I am resolved to carry it out.”

This is sufficient to show the goodness and zeal of Jean Baptiste. And if these two Captains of whom we have just spoken manifest so much virtue and prudence, and zeal for the Faith, it is easy to judge what must be the conduct of our Christians of Sillery whom they command, and to whom they serve both as rule and example. We shall see this more particularly and in detail, in the following Chapter. [Page 159]





S soon as the Ships weighed anchor before Quebec, to return to France, the majority of the Savages of this residence launched their bark canoes to go and hunt moose, — anticipating their usual time of departure by three months, through fear of the Iroquois. These had threatened to come and attack them at our very doors, and would have deprived them of the liberty of hunting far back in the forest, if they had not forestalled the time when they are accustomed to take the field and go to war. When they embarked, they could not refrain from showing us the regret that they felt at [46] separating themselves from us for so long a time. (‘We are sorry to leave you,” they said. “Who will teach us in the woods? If one of you could accompany us, it would console us; but, since that cannot be, we will endeavor to do the best we possibly can. We will pray to God often; we will observe the Festival days; we will always believe firmly. We are very glad to have a little Frenchman with us, to be a witness of our actions. He will tell you on our return how we value prayer. Pray to God for us.”

It is a marvelous effect of grace that men born in the most cruel barbarism that exists on earth, — brought up in the freedom of all kinds of vice, who have often fed upon human flesh and blood, — who have been [Page 161] but recently baptized, should nevertheless retain the innocence and grace of their Baptism for six months, without instruction or any Sacrament, with .greater facility and perfection than many [47] Christians do in France and elsewhere, amid so many aids .and instruments of salvation. I think that Heaven takes pleasure in seeing these good souls adore God in the midst of the woods, where the devil had so frequently been worshiped, and in hearing the names of Jesus and Mary reechoed by those vast solitudes, which formerly repeated nothing but horrible yells and cries.

Their first and last action every day is to kneel before a Crucifix or a Picture which they fasten to a piece of bark, and there say their prayers. They observe Sundays and Festival days by abstaining from hunting, and by saying longer prayers. Some of them, amid the great labors and fatigues of the hunt, observe the prescribed fasts. They have recourse to God in their necessities, and do not fail to acknowledge on the ‘spot the graces that they receive from his liberal hand. But let us consider some actions and sentiments more in detail.

These good Neophytes had been hunting ‘in the woods for three months, and were divided into various bands, when [48] several families, who had not seen one another since the Autumn, met in the same place. The first thing that they did was to compare the papers that we had given them, to enable them to know the Festival days that they were to observe with respect. Their rejoicing was not slight when they saw that they agreed to the very day, and that no one had forgotten to recognize and honor Sunday. Charles Meiaskwat, who is always true to his [Page 163] character, — that is, ever zealous for the Faith, — spoke as follows: “My brothers,” he said, “there are no Fathers here to teach us, and to make us pray to God. Let us nevertheless not fail to pray all together, as the opportunity presents itself. I believe that you do not omit your duty, night and. morning; but, since God loves and blesses prayers recited in common, let us pray together.” All agreed to this; the prayers were said, and a Hymn was sung in their own language. Afterward, this worthy Neophyte delivered a short discourse on the presence of God. “My brothers,” he said, “I have [4gJ no wit; I do not remember what I am taught. I am not a Captain, to undertake to harangue you. Nevertheless, I believe that you will be pleased that I should tell you what God inspires me to say. Do not think that because you are far from the Church, and because you wander through the woods, that you are far from God. He is everywhere; he hears and sees us, here as well as at Sillery. It is a great folly to believe that he does not see us; it is still greater folly to think that he sees us, and to do wrong. We can hide ourselves from men, but not from God. We are ashamed to commit indecent actions before men; are we not ashamed to commit them before God? Remember that God is everywhere, and that we must honor him in all places, since we believe that he loves us, that he preserves and feeds us everywhere. He takes care of us in the forest; he gives us moose; he clothes and warms us; he lodges and feeds us. Let us therefore honor him in the woods, and do here what we [50] do in the Churches; for God deserves, to be honored everywhere, since he is everywhere the same, and does good to us everywhere.” He [Page 165] continued this discourse energetically and effectively. Who would ever have expected it from a Barbarian? But no Barbarism can resist the spirit of God.

Here is an effect of his charity which extends as much to the body as to the soul. In this meeting of Savages of which I have just spoken, there was an old woman who walked with great difficulty. This good man took pity on her, and, putting her on his sled with all his effects, he dragged her over the snow for several days; and, when the time came for separating, he urged those of the band to which the sick woman belonged to continue the same charity that he had shown to her.

Another told us that he had been grievously tempted in the woods by the evil spirit. “I often,” he said, “felt as if some one were speaking to me in my heart like this: ‘It is a long while since thou hast been to confession; thy soul is now [51] quite unclean; thou canst not soil it more. Do what I tell thee. Thou seest thy wife, who has languished for so long; she prevents thee from attending to thy hunting. Take a drum, and invoke the Manitou; have recourse to thy former sorceries. Perhaps she will be cured; then thou wilt have time to hunt and to kill moose. And then, if thou desirest thou wilt confess, and this sin will be washed away at the same time and as easily as the others. Whatever thou doest, thou wilt certainly go to Hell if thou diest now.’ I had great difficulty,” he said, “in overcoming this thought, which frequently came into my mind. I prayed to God and then I said to him who spoke in my heart and wished me to be wicked:’ Thou liest; if my soul be unclean I must not soil it more. If I [Page 167] must be damned, I would rather be so for a single sin than for two. I will never offend God to cure my wife, or to obtain meat.’ I had but one regret,” he said, “and that was to see my wife in continual danger of dying without confession. I often said [52] to God: ‘Have pity on my wife. I do not ask thee to cure her; thy will be done. But I pray thee to preserve her life until she has confessed.’ God granted my prayer; I have returned from my hunt, and my wife is sufficiently alive to confess herself. It is true that I have nothing, because I was unable to do anything during the Winter but drag my wife after the hunters; but never mind. God is good; he will feed me.” He who directs the conscience of this good Christian found him almost as innocent after six months passed in the woods as he was when he entered them. Praise be to God, who causes his grace to triumph so completely over all the efforts of Hell.

Another, who was accounting for his conduct during the Winter, said: “We strictly observed the Sundays and Festival days, especially those that are particularly respected, and even the night when we pray so long” (Christmas eve). “But again, what did you do?” they were asked. “No one slept that night; we did nothing else [53] but pray to God.” There was one of them who recited his Rosary seven or eight times.

God’s providence has frequently manifested in the woods the care that it takes of these good people. All the provisions that they take with them, when they start for their hunt, consist of a bag of Indian corn and a few packages of smoked eels. This is very little for six months. They expect the [Page 169] remainder from the hand of God, who sometimes tries their confidence, and the faith that they have in his goodness. It frequently happens that they wander for several days without finding any animal; but no sooner have they knelt down in the snow to invoke his assistance, than they have felt the effects [of their piety], and in their extreme necessity have found something with which abundantly to relieve their hunger.

One of the daughters of a Christian woman was exceedingly ill. After languishing for a long time, at last she had the symptoms, and fell into the convulsions, of death. The mother had recourse to God, and commended her daughter to him with so much [54] faith and devotion that God granted her prayer, and restored perfect health to the sick girl in the space of one night.

Such is the manner in which our Savages behave while in the woods. It shows that, if the Demons have not gone out from them, the good Angels are stronger there, and that the time has come when God .wishes to sanctify this barbarism and to verify the word of his Prophet: Populus quem non cognovi, servivit mihi. In auditu auris obedivit mihi.

As soon as the river began to be .free by the departure of the ice, our hunters embarked to come back and see us. A furious storm that arose when they were in the middle of the great river nearly snatched them from us. They did not feel this danger so keenly as the loss of a shallop that we had lent them; for they were afraid of the displeasure we might feel at its loss. But Noël Tekwerimatch soon consoled them by assuring them that the Fathers were firm believers, and that whosoever believes [Page 171] firmly cares not for the goods of the [55] earth and fears only to lose God.

The first thing that they did, on approaching the shore, was to ask us whether that day was not the eve of that which is respected (so they call Sunday). This was found to be the case. Afterward, they landed, entered the Chapel, performed their devotions, and handed us the bodies of four or five little children who had been baptized, and had since died in the woods, neatly wrapped up in bark, to be buried with the rites of the Church; and they brought as many newborn ones to be baptized. Then, speaking to their Father director, they added:” Hold thyself ready to confess us.” We had to remain awake that and the following nights, to satisfy their devotion. There was one man who wished to confess himself two or three times a day, saying that it was to atone for the fault he had committed in remaining so long without confession. It is a touching consolation for us to see, on the one hand, the zeal and ardor [5G] with which they approach this Sacrament, and, on the other, the innocence and purity of their lives. [Page 173]





HE zeal of Charles Meiaskawat is as agreeable as it is fervent. Before being baptized, he had taken a wife who was of a very arrogant and violent temper, and who had no inclination toward the Faith. Nevertheless, he made himself worthy of Baptism and received it, while she always stubbornly persisted in her unbelief. He tried to soothe her, and to incline her gradually to the Faith, with admirable patience. He succeeded; she urgently asked for Baptism and obtained it. It was proposed that they be married according to the Church, so as to give to their marriage the character and the [57] grace of that Sacrament. They both agreed to this, and proceeded to the Church to receive the Blessing of the Priest, who first asked Charles if he took such a one for his wife. “Wait a little,” answered Charles; and, turning to his wife, h,e said: “But thou, wilt thou continue to be proud, disobedient, and ill-tempered, as in the past? Answer me; for, if thou wilt not behave better, I will not take thee for my wife, — I shall easily find another.” She was quite abashed, and replied that she would conduct herself better in future. “Speak louder,” said Charles; I‘we do not hear thee. When thou art angry, thou screamest like a mad woman; and now [Page 175] thou wilt not open thy mouth.” The poor woman had to shout aloud, and protest publicly that she would be obedient to her husband, and live with him in gentleness and in the utmost humility. “That is right,” said Charles, “provided thou doest as thou sayest; otherwise, thou wilt cause me to be angry; and, if I get angry, I shall go to Hell, and so wilt thou.” Then speaking to the [58] Father, “Go on,” he said,” I am satisfied. I will always love her as my only and my lawful wife.” God has visibly blessed this marriage, and we have never seen a greater change than in this woman, who has now become truly a lamb, and has very deep and affectionate feelings of devotion.

Here is another instance of the zeal of this same Neophyte, who is all afire in the affairs of God. He has some knowledge of the country of the Abnaquiois and of their language, since he has made some journeys thither. He resolved to return to those people this year, for no other purpose than to preach Jesus Christ to them. He came to tell us of his design. “There are no Fathers with the Abnaquiois,” he said; “no one teaches them, and you cannot go there. I feel pity for those poor people who are exposing themselves to damnation. I am going to see them; I will teach them what you have taught me.” He was asked what he would teach them. Thereupon he gave a most judicious Sermon which included the principal [59] mysteries of our Faith and the most important maxims of the Gospel. “That,” said he, “is what I shall preach to them. I have no sense; but, if God wishes to make use of me, he will give me some, and together we shall do wonders.” Afterward, he embarked in a state of truly Apostolic [Page 177] poverty. After two days’ journey, his comrade abandons him, and he is left alone in his canoe. He quietly returns to Sillery, to seek for another companion. He again embarks and paddles steadily for two days, when his canoe breaks; he returns to Sillery to get another one.,Meanwhile, some Abnaquiois arrive from their country, and relate that they have seen on the way many tracks of Iroquois; but this does not frighten our Apostle. We try to dissuade him from undertaking the journey; when we tell him of the danger to which he exposes himself, he laughs at it. “I do not fear the Iroquois; I fear God alone. If he choose, he will preserve me; if not, he knows why. I do not mind being captured, burned, and eaten for such a cause.” Afterward, [60] he confessed himself, asked for a Crucifix which he kissed, and stepped into his bark canoe. He had previously gone to all the Religious houses to recommend himself to their prayers. God preserved him, and blessed his undertaking; but the vicinity of the English is a great obstacle to the conversion of that Nation, for which the good Neophyte is so zealous. God will find means that we know not of, to bring into the Faith this Nation and so many others that have, up to the present, been closed to us.

I think that a whole Volume might be written about the good sentiments and actions of this man. He is admirable, when one engages him in discourse on matters relating to God. His conscience is exceedingly tender; the very thought of committing evil he considers criminal, even though he repel it at once with horror. He often thinks that he accuses himself of a grievous sin, when he relates a heroic deed of virtue that he has performed. For instance, he [Page 179] will confess, as a great sin, that he has thought of eating meat on a [61] Friday because he has had nothing else, although he has hated the thought, and has passed the entire day without eating anything. It is quite immaterial to him whether he accuse himself in Confession or out of confession. He was invited on a Saturday night to a feast whereat meat was served. He felt a desire to eat some, but soon mortified himself. He slept all night with his meat, without eating it; and on the following day he did not fail to accuse himself of this harmless offense. It is a pleasure to hear him shout sometimes among the cabins, when he calls the others to prayers; for he glories in the title of “Captain of the prayers,” and performs the duties of that office in an excellent manner. This is enough for him; we would never have done, and he is sufficiently known to all.

There are some who with good grace practice works of mercy, such as visiting and consoling the sick, and giving them food. A certain man, who had learned how highly God esteems such good works, at once entered the Hospital; and, finding therein sick persons who despaired of being cured, he said to them: “Do not lose courage, my brothers; be not sad because [62] you are about to die. This life is full of misery. After it you will have another, full of satisfactions that will be everlasting. We are dying every day, and, when we finish dying, we do not die altogether, — only one half of us dies, and that the lower and baser half. The soul does not die; it is only the body, and that will rise again some day. Think of this, and you will not be sad.”

Another said to them: “Why do you afflict yourselves because you are dying? Your body does not [Page 181] belong to you, — it belongs to God, who gave it to you. You are not the masters of your lives; God alone is master of them. It is reasonable that he should dispose of them as he thinks proper, Only confess yourselves, put your souls in a proper state, and apprehend nothing.”

A good old woman, who heard it said in an exhortation that God was greatly pleased at food being given to the poor, went at once to her cabin, took the best piece of meat that she possessed, and carried it to the sick in [63] the Hospital. It is a generous action for a Savage, thus to give meat gratuitously and for the love of God.

The Savages have an extraordinary love for their children, and their loss is the only thing for which they manifest any deep feeling. Nevertheless, there was a brave woman who after having lost three, saw the fourth dying, and was not disturbed. “This is the only child that is left to me,” she said one day to one of our Fathers; “I have lost three, and this one will soon die. I am old, and have no husband. Never mind; God so wills it. He is the master; I will not cease to love and serve him.”

This same woman of whom we speak manifests admirable zeal for the purity of the girls. When the young men come back from war, she carefully assembles all the girls and locks them in at night, or shuts them up in the houses that we have built for them in the manner of the French, or in the granaries where they keep their provisions. One night, while we were reciting the prayers in our chapel, she suddenly entered and hurried us out. [64] We found that she called us to help her against some young men, who were walking about near a house in [Page 183] which some girls were shut up. This was enough to drive them from Sillery, where the slightest suspicion on this head is criminal.

One of our Fathers told a very innocent girl, in consequence of some remarks and reports, that he feared something affecting her honor, and advised her to be on her guard. She began to cry and withdrew to her cabin, where she related to her parents the cause of her tears. All began to weep with her, and passed the whole night in tears, until, on the following day, the Father, who had heard what had happened, consoled them and assured them that he did not doubt the girl’s innocence; but what he had said was merely for the purpose of making her dread still more whatever might harm her purity.

There are many who accuse themselves, as of a grievous sin, that some young men have spoken to them of marriage, — although they have coldly answered [65] to this that the matter did not depend upon them, but upon their parents. A good woman, who was’very ill, urgently requested that she be not stripped after her death, but that she be left wrapped up in her dress of beaver skins, as she then was. One night a band of young girls came to our door and called out: “My Father, have pity on us.” We asked what was the matter. “We are afraid,” they said, “of some young men who are not well behaved. We are not safe in our cabins; lock us up in one of those small houses.” There are some who, in giving an account of their consciences, accuse themselves, as of a grievous sin, of greatly hating a man who has spoken too freely to them. Such scruples are pardonable in girls, and show in what esteem purity is held here, where formerly its name was hardly [Page 185] known. This is enough on the subject; see how we treat those who commit some public sin.

A Christian who was innocent in other respects, [62 i.e., 66] and a very good man, had become intoxicated, — not so much through his own fault as through that of a Frenchman, who had invited him to drink. He had to give satisfaction to God, whom he had offended; and to men, whom he had scandalized. Father Dequen administered a severe reprimand to him, after Mass, in the presence of all the Savages, and ordered him to kiss the ground three times, and to fast for three consecutive days. This he performed with humility, and to the edification of all present. Moreover, he was obliged to pay the fine that has been imposed, with the consent of the Savages themselves, on those’who become intoxicated. He went to the fort for that purpose, where, after having been again reproved by Monsieur the Governor for his offense, he threw down three Beaver skins. “There,” said he, “I throw away my wickedness. I am not sorry to give my Beaver skins, but I am sorry to give them for this purpose. I have offended God, and have lost his friendship; that is what afflicts me, and not the loss of my Beaver skins. It is the first time that I have been intoxicated; it shall be the last. He who made me dfiink has no sense; but I should not have obeyed him — [67] I should have notified thee. That is what I will do another time, if the same thing happens to me.” Such strong measures seem lenient to our Christians, but are none the less effective.

I shall here relate one or two instances to show the respect that they have for holy things. A Christian had lost in the woods a Crucifix that had been [Page 187] given to him. .He thought that he had grievously offended God, although he was not to blame for the loss. He at once started to return to Sillery, where he met one of our Fathers, and said to him: “I am sad; I have offended God; hasten, I wish to make my confession.” This sin that he thought he had committed caused him such remorse that he made a public Confession of it on the spot, being too impatient to wait until he was at his Confessor’s feet. “I have lost my Crucifix,” he said. “Ever since my loss, I have been truly contrite. What can I do to appease God?”

A good old woman, who had found her Rosary that she had lost, said: “Oh, how glad I am that I have found my Rosary! I lost it two days ago. During the whole of that time, it [68] seemed to me that I was sick at heart, — not only on account of my loss, but also because I no longer felt the cross striking against my heart as it used to do, when I carried my Rosary hung around my neck.” Such sentiments show that there is no longer any barbarism in these hearts, since love for the Cross dwells in them.

I shall conclude this Chapter by the public edification given by the Christians of Sillery, when about to go to war against the Iroquois. The rendezvous was at the three Rivers, where there were one hundred and twenty Warriors, among whom were some bad Christians and several infidels. Ours always wished to have separate cabins, so as to have no communication with the wicked ones. Some of the latter held a war feast, in which they introduced (in .accordance with their old custom) naked girls. Those of ours who suspected this did not go. The others, who went there unwittingly, detested such [Page 189] impiety, and expressed strong resentment at it. Monsieur de Chamflour, the Governor [69] of the three Rivers, inflicted a corporal punishment on all who had participated in this offense, by driving them out of his Fort: and Father Brebeuf inflicted spiritual punishment by expelling them from the Church. On the eve of their departure, they passed the whole night in superstitious feasts, in dances, and in uttering horrible yells and cries. Ours passed it in the Chapel, praying to God and confessing themselves. If their piety made itself apparent in their preparation for war, their courage manifested itself no less by their going thither. This is what Father Buteux says of it, who saw them at Montreal, and who came with them down to the three Rivers. “They were,” he says, “the first to embark, to go and discover the enemy, and to penetrate into the woods at the most dangerous points. They went everywhere with heads erect and without any manifestation of fear. But I admired still more the greatness of their courage when I saw them praying to God in the midst of the infidels, without fear of what might be said of them. When I took my Breviary to pray to God, he who commanded in that ‘shallop, and the [70] other Christians in imitation of him, took their Rosaries, which they recited devoutly when the wind dispensed them from the necessity of using their paddles. Those who saw them doing so, infidels though they were, had as high an opinion of their virtue as they felt contempt for the others who had been baptized, but did not live in accordance with their belief; so true it is that virtue possesses great attractions, that cause it to be admired, even among barbarians.” [Page 191]




HE Iroquois, who are the true tyrants and persecutors of this new Church, have spread terror this year throughout the country. They were divided last Spring into ten bands, scattered here and there along the great River, to take all whom they came across. One of these bands [71] captured Father Bressany, and the Hurons who were conducting him to their country, on the 28th day of April, four leagues above the three Rivers. Another party massacred three Frenchmen at Mont-Real and took two others captive, whom they have since burned in their country, according to the report of a Huron who escaped from their hands. Many Savages of the residence of Saint Joseph were terrified, and had cause to believe that the enemies would come further down. For that reason they took flight, hither and thither, which compelled the Hospital Nuns, by the advice of Monsieur the Governor, of the Fathers, and of the inhabitants, to yield to circumstances, and to remove to their house in Kebec, — not without great inconvenience, because the building had as yet but the four walls and the roof. But they also took with them this consolation, that the Savages, both healthy and sick, had become accustomed to and familiar with that holy house and had lost their unwillingness to come to them at Kebec in their necessities and sickness. [Page 193]

[72] Noel Tekwerimath, Captain of Sillery, who had gone to the three Rivers during these rumors, begged Father Brebeuf, who was then there, to write to the Hospital n’uns that, as soon as the crops were sown, they were to withdraw to Kebec, and to take with them all the women, children, and old men until his return. This could not be fully carried out; but, when the Nuns left Sillery, all the Savage women came to Kebec, and erected two cabins near the Nuns’ house, — one for the men who were working at the building, and the other for the sick, until a ward could be prepared for them; and they did not fail at once to send thither two or three of their people who were sick, and who were afterward followed by some others. The Savages visited them at every opportunity, and urged them to complete the building of a suitable house to enable them to pass the Winter and to be protected against the snow and ice.

Their charity has this year succored over 35 sick, of whom Heaven has taken [73] ten; and, in addition to these sick persons, many Savages have passed two or three days in this house of mercy for the purpose of undergoing purgation, and of taking medicines for the prevention of some disease with which they felt themselves threatened. Even this is not all the charity exercised by these good mothers. The house of God does good to the poor as well as to the sick. Several old men, several women, and several children have remained on their hands for two or three months during the Winter, and would have died of hardship without such assistance. It is a necessity, but also a satisfaction, to spend oneself in such circumstances. As the majority of these poor [Page 195] people were Christians, they gave great edification to, the Nuns. Here are some especial actions.

Mention has frequently been made in previous relations of a good blind woman named Helene. Her death has given holy approbation to the deeds of the. life that she had led since her Baptism. An imprudence, hardly blamable, brought her to her grave.. Feeling herself attacked [74] by a violent fever, she. said to the Hospital Mothers: “The sorrow that I feel at seeing the hard-heartedness of the Algonquins. of the Island, my countrymen, and the scandal that. they give to the other Savages by their contempt for the Faith, will cause my death. If I enter their cabins, to relate some narrative from Sacred History, or to invite them to pray to God, they laugh at all the, advice that is given to them; they despise prayer, as. if they were independent of God. Their misfortune touches my heart to such an extent, that I am sorrowful unto death. That,” said she, “is the cause of my illness.” A great Saint says that everything. must have its measure and its rule, except the love we bear to God. This good soul’s fervor was too, zealous, and she was too eager. “I feel much consolation,” she said, “when I go to visit the Savages down here. They take pleasure in hearing one speak of God. I relate to them the Story of Abraham, of Moses, and of others, which I have retained in my memory from the instruction given to me” (in fact, she was as learned [75] in the mysteries of the old Testament as many of the most clever women of our France). “They all take pleasure in hearing of such delightful things. They kneel down every night, and repeat their prayers aloud, — each one following me with much modesty. But there is still another [Page 197] point, on which most of them fail, I could wish that after their prayer they should keep silent, ponder over what they have said to God, and go to sleep while thinking of him. Now a good many speak and converse together, after having prayed to God. This aflicts me a little, for I would like them to do. still better than they do.”

She added that since she had become blind, and since she had belonged to the faith, she had always. been afflicted with some disease. The devil took the opportunity to suggest this thought to her: “But how is it that since I know God, and love him so thoroughly, I am always suffering, while there are women who are in good health and who think nothing of him?” [76] Another thought came at once top her mind: “It is the love of my God which does this, to try me and to make me pay my debts here below, so that I may not be tormented in the other life; it is thus that he treats his friends.” This inspired her with a desire to suffer; therefore, as she could. not fast through Lent, and as she believed that suffering was agreeable to God, she’said to him: “If I. cannot fast, I can suffer; I offer you the pains of my sickness.’’

I would never have done, were I to repeat the number of prayers that this good soul said. She had an affectionate devotion for Our Lord; she heartily loved the blessed Virgin; she often addressed herself to her good Angel, and to saint Helena, whose name she bore, holding this communion in a language which surely reached Heaven. Above all, when she saw herself so charitably succored, she not only thanked the Mothers who attended her, but she never failed frequently to repeat these words: “MY [Page 199] God, decide as to my life; you are the master. Have pity on those who have pity on me, Assist all those who [77] assist us, and especially take up to Heaven the person who has caused this house to be built, in which the poor sick are received. Take there, like-wise, all her friends. Minoukite, — Amen.”

She had a great devotion for Hearing holy Mass. When, on a certain day, she sent word to the good Mothers that she felt too ill to go alone to the Chapel, she was told that she was not obliged to attend Mass while she was so sick. But, before the answer reached her, she induced two Savage women, who had come to see her, to drag her there, and, she heard it kneeling. And, as it was only her fervor which sustained her, when her devotions were ended she was exhausted, and in a fainting condition, so that they could hardly carry her back to her bed, where she said to God, every day when she was not allowed to go to the Chapel: “Thou knowest well that I am sick, and that I am sad because I cannot enter the house of prayer.’’ Then she would take her rosary, and, turning toward the Church, she would recite it with all the attention [78] in her power.

She asked what opinion the Physician had of her illness, and was told that he had good hope for her recovery. “That is for God to decide,” she said. “Let him do as he will; I shall not be sorry to see him.” When she saw that the medicines tormented her without effect, she felt an aversion to them; nevertheless, she took them, saying that she must obey.

She was in a burning fever; she sometimes suffered

greatly from colic; and, if in her agony any fretful words escaped her, she at once begged pardon, [Page 201] saying: “It is the disease that is speaking. I wish to, obey God. Pray him to have pity on me.” It is a very remarkable thing that her illness never prevented her from instructing, and telling of God, those who came to visit her; and even occasionally she taught something of her own language to the mothers who attended her. She had a great desire to die a Nun. As it was not deemed advisable to grant her request, she was promised, for her consolation, that she should be buried [79] near Mother de sainte Marie who had passed away from this world with the reputation of lofty virtue. She was also told that she would be enshrouded in the French manner. This gave her such joy that she could not contain herself. She had, nevertheless, still one sorrow, which was that she might die before the Savages returned from their great hunt. As she wished to manifest to them the content that she felt at having embraced the faith of Jesus Christ, she asked that favor of God, which was granted to her, — for they arrived two days before her death; when they came to visit her, she displayed her zeal and her rhetoric. She raised herself to a sitting posture, and, feeling them around her bed, she said to them in a firm voice: “It is well that I should speak to you once more before I die; I have desired it very ardently. Do not think that I am Y sad. Although you see me ill and dying, my heart is full of joy because I am going to Heaven. Oh, how heartily I thank God that I have been baptized, and that he has granted me the grace of always believing in him since I have been a Christian! I [90]; die with that satisfaction. Be firm in the faith. I. will pray to God for you when I shall be in Paradise,. so that you may persevere in his Church. Pray to [Page 203] him also that he may aid me to die a good death. I have a very special consolation in the promise that my good Mothers have made to me, that I shall be buried near the Nun who died 3 years ago.” To this discourse the Savages replied, as usual, “Ho, ô, ô,” to show that they approved all that she had said. Several spoke to her, individually; and, after they had all bidden her a last adieu, they returned very well satisfied. “We are very sorry,” they said, ‘( for the death of that good woman; she knew all the prayers; she instructed us, and often spoke to us of God in our cabins. We all loved her.”

The Father Superior, seeing that she was visibly sinking, administered to her the holy viaticum, and afterward Extreme Unction, and recommended her to occupy her mind as much as possible with love for him whom she was about to see. As she felt herself growing weaker, she said, “Now I am dying;” and, clasping [81] her hands, and raising her eyes to Heaven, she was deprived of speech, but not of hearing; so much so, that when some acts of Love and of faith were suggested to her, she showed, by pressing the hands of the Mothers who were near her, that she took pleasure in those holy actions. She thus gently passed away to Heaven, giving us a striking example of the goodness of the divine spirit. The Hospital Nuns, who greatly loved this good woman for her virtue, honored her with the most solemn funeral service in their power, at which the Savages who were then at saint Joseph were present.

On the 12th of October, another woman, named Marie Oukiwichunoukwe, gave up her soul to Our Lord in the same Hospital after an illness of three months, caused partly by the loss of her Christian [Page 205] husband, who had been killed by the Iroquois. Her patience was remarkable. She burned with a fire that devoured her tongue, her throat, and all her chest; she became emaciated like a skeleton; nevertheless, she never failed to perform her minor duties toward God, night and morning. She would not have [82] considered herself a Christian if she had not said her prayers. When the Father Superior consoled her in her Sufferings, she exclaimed in a very sad voice: “I fear not death, I do not grieve at what God may order for me; but I feel deep regret at leaving this poor little orphan” (pointing to the only child that was left to her) “without any assistance.’’ The Father promised that he would help her, and the Hospital Nuns made her a little dress as soon as possible, which so consoled the good Mother that she embraced her child with admirable tenderness. Then, giving her to a Savage woman, she said to her: “Take her for thy daughter, and bring her here no more, for fear of reviving my grief,” Some time before her death, she asked to be confessed, and said: “I have 6een angry, and I wish a Father to be brought here.” It was the last Confession of her life, for shortly afterward she was deprived of speech; but she failed not to show by a movement of her eyes that she theard what was said to her, and that she performed the acts suggested to her. While she was still [83] at the three Rivers, before coming down to the Hospital, she said to a Father who was consoling her: “I am going to saint Joseph. I will lodge near the Hospital, and will spend the remainder of my days with believers. I will get near Helene, who knows all the prayers” (this was the good woman of whom we have just [Page 207] spoken); “she teaches me thoroughly.” Indeed, that good Blind woman has assisted many to see and embrace the virtue and the truths of our belief.

A young girl, belonging to a Tribe that dwells farther toward the North than Tadoussac, came to see the Savages in that quarter, and fell ill. She was brought from a distance of 40 leagues to this Hospital, where she remained sick for 4 or 5 months. It is a strange thing that this soul, which has always lived in barbarism, should nevertheless have been endowed with a gentleness so lovable that she was managed as easily as a little child. Although her sufferings were very keen and wearisome, she never complained, and never asked for anything. She accepted with a cheerful and serene countenance all [84] that was given to her. Her delight was to pray to God; and although she was very weak she refused to take anything before she had heard Mass, because she wished to receive communion. She suffered much to enjoy that favor, for she burned with a consuming thirst; and she endured the suffering throughout the night, without ever taking a drop of water. She was so weak that this communion served as a viaticum to her. When Father Dequen consoled her after Mass, the Mothers noticed that she was swooning away. The Father administered Extreme Unction to her, as soon as possible; and this little Lamb, lately washed in the. blood of Jesus Christ, went to join her true pastor in Heaven.

A young Attikamegue — this is a tribe to the North of the three Rivers — had three deep mortal wounds, and a violent fever that oppressed him from time to time. His severe illness did not rob his soul of peace, nor his countenance of its serenity. For [Page 209] the smallest service rendered to him, he returned the most heartfelt thanks. He had [85] not been fully instructed, because his illness compelled us to baptize him promptly; and he knew only a few prayers, which he recited so often, with his Rosary, that one would think that nothing in the world was dearer to him. Indeed, if during his sleep his Rosary slipped from him, he had no rest until it was searched for and restored to him. As we saw that his sickness allowed him time to be instructed for Communion, of which he had as yet no knowledge, we spoke to him of it. But we had no sooner begun this discourse than he became eager; he pressed the good Mothers at all hours to instruct him. If any Savage came to see him, he would ask him if he were admitted to Communion, and, if he answered in the affirmative, he would say: “Thou knowest well, then, what it is. Sit down and teach me, for I wish to receive Communion before I die.” In fact, he died the day after he had received his Savior.

One Charles kwerasing, the son of a good widow named Charitee, was the sole hunter of his family, consisting of ten persons. He was ill for three years, [86] and finally went to the Hospital. He was never heard to complain; he never manifested any sorrow or weariness on account of his illness. He was very well instructed, consequently it was not necessary to remind him of his minor duties. He lost his sight 8 or 9 months before his death. His sufferings increased, but his patience never diminished. Finally, they became so great that it was thought that he could not endure them for two days without dying; and still he endured them for three full weeks and more. He sometimes pronounced [Page 211] the Holy Name of Jesus as if crying and complaining to him, in his greatest paroxysms; but, as soon as they spoke to him of God, he would stop quite short, taking a remarkable pleasure in pious discourses; and sometimes he would say to the attendants: “Even if you hear me cry out, I am not grieving, — I am not weary of suffering; it is the pain that breaks out. I wish what God wishes; it is for him to dispose of my life.” He passed away from this life fortified with all the Sacraments of the Church.

[87] On the 5th of April, one Alexis Piminakwauich, an Algonquin, departed this life to enter into a better and a more lasting one. This poor youth was of a rather passionate nature, but grace tempered much his ardor. A year or so before his death, he encountered at the three Rivers his comrades, who treated a poor prisoner with their usual cruelty; he quietly withdrew from them. They laughed at him, took away his Rosary from him, and broke it to pieces; in a word, they did what they could to induce him to torture the poor wretch with them. The young man fled, and took refuge in our house, begging the Father who was there to give him shelter, and to help him find means to return among the believers at saint Joseph; this the Father undertook to do. This good youth was not content to live in the manner of the Neophytes, who win the hearts of those who know them; he expressed a desire to go to France, to learn the language and to devote the remainder of his days to the service of Our Lord, [88] without marrying. Death overtook him while in that desire, and in the practice of Christian virtues. He was very careful to cleanse his soul in the [Page 213] Sacrament of Penance, and to approach his Savior whenever he was allowed to do so. Perhaps that love obtained for him the grace of enjoying before his death all the Sacraments that God has bestowed. upon his Church, for the relief and sanctification of his children; and he drew from those divine fountains the waters of grace, that gave him a death as peaceful as that of a little child.

Another young boy, about 16 years of age, gave us. examples of a patience of iron. An abscess formed in his head, and he afterward became paralyzed; his. poor body began to rot before being in the ground; worms came out of his ears; his skin was all torn, and his limbs were falling away almost piecemeal. I leave you to imagine how the poor boy must have suffered. He could not be moved, [89] or turned, or touched without suffering extremely; still, he uttered only two words, — Kitakouchsin, “You hurt me;” and he said it so gently that one would think he was speaking for some one else. He had only enough sense to suffer patiently, and to pray to God. The vehemence that he had manifested while in good health and which would have indicated a passionate and impatient soul, no longer appeared during his illness, except to ask us to make him say the prayers that we teach to the new Christians. Having been provided with all the help that is given to the children of God, he left us, laden with the merits of a lofty patience.

A woman already aged was carried to the Hospital, there to find her eternal salvation; for, according to all human appearances, she ran the risk of almost certain reprobation if she had not found that refuge. It must be confessed that God exercises a [Page 215] wonderful providence and that he has mysterious ways for these poor people. The Fathers who first came here saw this woman married [90] to a Captain high in authority among those of his Tribe. She had a large and flourishing family, many relatives, and numerous connections. She saw with her own eyes all this splendor reduced to nothing, — leaving her, out of her many children who are dead, but one blind daughter who did not give her much satisfaction. These heavy blows, falling from Heaven on the head of a poor woman living among the ungodly, — who attribute to our belief all the scourges and calamities that overwhelm the Savages since they have received the Faith, — were sufficient not only to give her great shocks but also to overthrow and destroy her utterly, had she not received succor. But, as she had greatly assisted and fortified her children and relatives at the hour of death, being careful that they should die as true Christians, our Lord chose to take her to a place where she would be greatly assisted. The devil made several attacks upon her, but she had this good trait, that she easily opened her heart; [91] and, in spite of her temptations, she prayed very willingly to God. His goodness granted her at her death what she had procured for others, leaving us in the belief that she had found grace in his eyes.

This house of Charity has not only taken care of grown persons, but has also aided the smallest children, — with this additional burden in New France, that the mothers must be fed and lodged while their children are being attended to, for they do not leave them out of their sight. These poor women, while watching the sufferings of those who are dearest to [Page 217] them, will pass entire days without saying a word if they be not spoken to, looking at them with distressful tenderness. They themselves enshroud them, and carry them to the Chapel until such time as they can be buried, forcing themselves to remain for a long time before the Altar, praying to God. A Nun thought one day that these good mothers were praying for their children and said to them: “You need not offer your prayers to God for these little innocents; they are [92] Angels before his face.” “We know it well,” they replied; “it is a joy to us that our children do not feel the fire before going to Heaven. We think of their happiness, and beg them in our hearts to remember us before God.”

The prayers were said every night at the Hospital, and the Savages of the neighborhood were present. Four or five women, who remained after the others, said to the Mother who wished to extinguish the tapers of the Chapel: “Wait a little, my Mother; we have not finished our prayers. Today they have buried a Christian woman; we wish to pray to God for her.” Their devotions lasted a good hour. Such actions comfort these good souls, who reap the fruits of their charity in this life; for they have seen with their own eyes very many holy actions that have been performed in their Hospital.

Several persons have been baptized, — among others, an Old Man who passed the Winter there, and who displayed an extraordinary fervor in learning the mysteries of our belief, and in committing to memory the prayers [93] and exercises of a true Christian. He was never tired of saying and repeating them continually. Finally, his assiduity and [Page 219] diligence obtained for him a favor whose value he will recognize only in Heaven.

Others, having learned that God was pleased that the first fruits of all things should be offered him, took the finest sheaves of ears of their Indian Corn, which we help them to cultivate, and offered these on the Altar, with more heart than compliments.

The little Savage girls who live in the neighborhood of the Hospital frequently visit the Nuns, and beg them to instruct them. They are made to recite the Catechism, they are questioned, and are taught to pray to God; and some of them are so persevering in this that they have to be reproved more for being importunate than for want of diligence. The Nuns one day gave a slight reward to those who had well remembered what they had been taught, and also wished to present something to their companions; the latter replied: “Very well. Question us and ask us, as you have done the others; and, [94] if we answer well, we will take your presents.”

Thus have these good Nuns occupied themselves this year; such has been their practice, in addition to their ordinary duties, which they perform in a saintly manner. If the absence of the petty comforts that one has in France, if poverty and privations, if the inconveniences inseparable from a new country, contribute to the making of saints, they will have a goodly share thereof. [Page 221]




HE arrival of the ships increased the joy in this little seminary, for they brought to it safe and sound two brave Ursulines, who, like the others, scorned the dangers of the sea, and, in spite of all the fatigues of a long journey, never looked back. The choice of these two worthy persons was [95] made by Monseigneur the Archbishop of Tours, who on being requested by the Superioress of the little Convent of Kebec to send them a reinforcement, doubted for some time whether he should expose, to the continued dangers of the Ocean, girls who lived there in security. But, seeing that the road was already opened, and that he could not, without reproach to his own goodness, refuse so reasonable and so holy a request, — for it would not have been fitting to leave such a work unfinished, — he himself wished to contribute thereto his care and his affections. He went to the house of the Ursulines of Tours, listened to those who had the most ardor and zeal for that mission, and, after having diligently and holily questioned them, he gave his Blessing to sister Anne de sainte Cecile and sister Anne de Nostre Dame. And, as evidence of his desire to support this little seminary, he caused these two good maidens to be conveyed in his own Carriage to Poitiers. His affections are not bounded by the limits of his Diocese, — [Page 223] his heart extends beyond the Garden of France; he leads the poor [96] Savages to hope for a share of his benevolence. But let us say a few words as to the manner in which these good Souls employ themselves.

The Ursulines have little French girls as pupils; they also have some as boarders; and, as the country becomes more settled, they will have more occupation. They have resident and transient seminarists, taken from the cabins of the Savages. Their grated parlors are sometimes visited by the new Christians and by the good Neophytes, who go to visit them, to hear about matters relating to Heaven. There are sisters in this house who speak Algonquin, and others who speak Huron. They honor Our Lord in several tongues, and his goodness gives them an opportunity of spreading the knowledge that God has bestowed on them by sending them persons who learn by their means to know and love him.

This year, a seminarist who had ardently desired to become a Nun passed from this life to a better one. Her name was Agnes Chabwekwechich. Her parents had withdrawn her from the seminary to make use of her for light work, as [97] she was already grown up. It happened that, while paddling in one of their little canoes, she fell into the great river. Her brother-in-law, who saw her, jumped into the water and saved her from death as she was about to sink to the bottom. He also saved her companions, who were wrecked at the same time. Now as they did not warm this poor girl, whom the cold of an already severe season had brought within two finger-lengths of death, she lingered only until about Christmastide, when she was born to a new life in [Page 225] Paradise. She greatly edified the Savages, during the short time that she was with them. She had a fine voice, and would sing to them Hymns that she had learned at the seminary. She was always obedient, and her devotion gave great pleasure to those good Neophytes. When those who attended her saw how severe was her illness, and informed her that her death was near, she communed with herself, and, heaving a deep sigh, said: “Alas I would be very happy if I could make my Confession. I feel nothing that troubles my conscience, [98] but I would like very much to be assisted by a Father. ** This was impossible, at the time, for her parents had taken her with them on their great hunt. A young Frenchman, who accompanied this band of Christian Savages for the purpose of learning their language, came back so edified and so astonished by what he saw of all of them, and especially by the beautiful death of this young seminarist, that he gave great consolation to all her relatives, who told us of it. She uttered acts of sorrow for having offended God, but with such affection that the Savages were touched by it. She always kept her prayer book in her hands, and before her eyes, for she could read very well; and, when her sight grew weak, she made use of her Rosary to perform her minor devotions. Her parents buried her book’and her Rosary with her, as a mark of her piety, and of the love that she had for God and for the blessed Virgin. When they were asked whether they did not feel regret for her loss, they replied: “No, she died too good a death; we think her happy, [99] and we should not regret her happiness.” She had an excellent mind. God allowed her to die a virgin, as she had desired, [Page 227] although she had been sought in marriage by a Frenchman and by some Savages.

A good Christian woman, who had two girls at a birth, asked one of the Fathers of our Society not. long ago whether the Ursuline Mothers would not. take one of her children, as she had not the means of supporting both. The Father replied that it was too, young, being still but in swaddling clothes. “It is. true,” she said, “that the Nuns have no milk; but they have so much charity and wisdom that they will be sure to find some way of saving its life.” She said this, I believe, because the Ursulines have had with them three little orphans for whom they have had almost to perform the duty of nurses. There is.. another, who is only three years old, and who was for three months of the year crippled in her little limbs, so that only her tongue was free. You would think that in her reason [100] had greatly anticipated the time when it manifests itself in other children, and that Heaven’s blessings have been showered on her in abundance. She was dedicated to God by her Father and Mother, from the moment of her birth. No one can be more obedient or more obliging. Her disposition is one of sugar and honey, so sweet is she. This has served not a little to lighten the trouble of her mistresses, for they had to keep her in their arms night and day. When her more violent pains brought tears to her eyes, if they said to her,. “You have cried enough; pray to God,” she would begin to sing the Ave Maria, or some other prayer. It happened that one of her mistresses was compelled to raise her four times in one night. On the following day they said to her: “CharitC “ — that is her name, — “you have given much trouble to [Page 229] your mother.” “It is true,” she said; “but my mother is very patient; she did for me what she would do. for Jesus.” This child, who is only three years old, does many things which cause her to be admired, The Mothers hardly sing anything in the Choir, of which this little innocent [101] does not remember some verse, varying the airs, and intoning them as pleasingly as a grown person would. It is a great consolation for these good Nuns to see such sweet dispositions in Wildings, that, for so many centuries,, have received so little cultivation.

As the resident Seminarists are clothed like the French, and reside with the French Boarders, attempts are sometimes made to excite emulation among them. A small party of both were prepared. for communion this year. One Mistress had charge of the French girls, and another of the Savage girls. They took six weeks to instruct them, and to give them special preparation for this first Communion. These children manifested such affection and such. fervor, that the good mothers were astonished when they saw them understand and relish the things — which relate to God in a very special manner. “I admit,” said the Mother Superior, “that, when I questioned them to see whether they were fit to receive that celestial bread, they [102] surpassed my expectations; I found them instructed and impressed, beyond my hopes,” As the time for their Communion drew near, their Mistress, observing that their desire increased, told them that they still lacked something in order to please him whom they wished to receive. The poor little creatures considered themselves almost refused, and asked with tears what they had, to do. They were told of a general [Page 231] Confession which could not cover many years, — not only because they were still young, but also because they had not long been baptized. They received instruction on this point, and behaved as persons of mature age and moved by God, — confessing their sins with much feeling, and with a great detestation of their errors. Having done this, they went to their Mistress and said to her: “There is nothing left in our hearts; all evil has gone out of them. Isow Jesus will come to them.” They were granted what they so earnestly desired and awaited. In truth, Our Lord makes no distinction [103] between the Barbarian and the Greek; he acts in this Sacrament according to the dispositions of our hearts. These little souls manifested the effects thereof. “Would to God,” said one, “that he who has come to visit me would always remain with me.” “Oh, what a great desire I felt never to offend him!” said another. “Would that I might never return to the cabins of the Savages,” said her companion; “I am too afraid of offending God.”

One would hardly have believed that Savage girls could ever subject themselves to all the restraints of a Class, as the French girls do. One would never have thought that, at the beginning, it would be necessary to speak of correction to children who never receive any from their parents. It is done, nevertheless, and with good effect: and now they are becoming accustomed to it, either through the example of the French girls, or because their minds are gradually becoming more pliant. The Mother Superior saw one commit a fault, and advised her Mistress to chastise her for it. The poor child showed that she was more contrite and more afflicted [Page 233] [104] on account of the fault than of the punishment. After being punished, she threw herself at the feet of the Superioress with such manifest regret that she had to be consoled.

The Seminarists were told one day that the bodies of the blessed will be all the more glorious, the more patiently they have suffered here below; and that the extent of their sufferings will be the measure of their beauty. “That is a good thing,” they replied. “Then the Savages will occupy a high place in Heaven, for they suffer greatly, especially in Winter. This makes us wish to be ill, so as to endure more and have greater glory.” They offer their petty tasks and troubles to Our Lord; they arrange their thoughts and their intentions before beginning their little tasks. If these be difficult they sometimes stop a moment to say a short prayer, and to uplift their hearts to Heaven for a little while. They even go further; for, to maintain this fervor, there is always one of them who arouses the others [105] by calling aloud: “Let us do everything for the love of Our Lord, my sisters; let us do everything for his love.” This devotion gradually cures them of the sloth and freedom that are only too natural among Savages.

Two Seminarists who had been sent somewhere, and who had remained away longer than was necessary for executing the commission that had been given them, replied not a word to their Mistress who reprimanded them, until she asked them how they had employed their time. “We stopped,” they said, ‘( to think and speak of the sufferings of the Son of God; for it is very wonderful that he should have made himself man, in order to suffer and to repay his Father. He has great love for mankind, [Page 235] since he suffered so much for their sins.” “I often think of it during Mass,” said one of them. “And I,” said the other, “think of it also, and give myself to him, and beg him to do with me as he wills.”

I would not have thought that the Savages could be so constant in praying for [106] persons, when they have undertaken to do so. A young girl, about twelve years of age, said to the Father who returned this year from France: “Not a day passed that I did not pray for thee.” The Father, who did not believe her, asked her what she said to God. At once, without hesitation, she promptly replied: “I speak,to him in this way: ‘My God, have pity on our Father; preserve him, and save him from being wrecked by too stormy winds, or too heavy waves. Take him to his own country, and bring him back to us. You can do all things.’” That is all her Rhetoric, which is better than that of Cicero.

There is a young Seminarist who has not failed for three years to pray to God, at holy Communion, for Madame de la Peltrie, the Foundress of the Seminary. The others do likewise for the persons who are especially kind to them, of whom they are told. But, with respect to Madame de la Peltrie, when these young plants saw her return to the Seminary after a short stay in Montreal, they could not contain their joy. Then, indeed, [107] they looked upon her as their true Mother, who had always cherished and loved them. Now it is not only in the direction of these young children that the good mothers display their zeal. Grown women, and even other persons, visit them in their grated parlor, and beg them for instruction. Others leave their daughters there as if on deposit, for several months, while they are away [Page 237] on their great hunts. This suits them admirably, for they have not the trouble of dragging them after them in the woods. They are very sure that their children will suffer from neither hunger nor cold while with those good mothers; and, what is better than all the rest~ they rejoice because they are taught the road to Heaven. A poor woman wished, on that account, to leave her daughter with the others; the child could not remain so long away from her moth%she cried, she grieved, until finally she was sent back to her parents. The mother was sorry for it, and said: “My daughter has no sense. I hoped that she would teach me what she [ro8] would have learned from the good Mothers during the Winter, and now I am disappointed in my expectations.” Another, a relative of hers, said to the child: “Would to God that I were of an age to remain with the Nuns. I would have more sense than thou, for I would not leave them until I had been taught.” To conclude, these two good women went assiduously, for five or six weeks, to hear the doctrine of Jesus Christ explained to them, and then they had to follow those whom they could not leave.

Another woman who had been baptized for some years went to the Mothers on purpose to ask for instruction in the mystery of the most holy Sacrament. ‘( I have been away from saint Joseph a long time,” she said; I‘I have not been present at the instructions, and have forgotten what I should know.” As each article was explained to her by the good Mother who was appointed to be her mistress, she would say: “That is exactly what was taught me. I have no sense; I cannot remember what I am told. Trtlly thou givest me pleasure; I thank [Page 239] thee. Ah! [109] how grieved I used formerly to be,” she added, “when one of my children died; I could not console myself in any possible way. But since I have been baptized I no longer feel such grief, for I say in my heart: ‘God has wisdom; he is very wise; he is good; he knows all that he does. Perhaps he sees long beforehand that, if my child lived longer, he would no longer believe in him, and would be burned, — that is why he takes him so early. Let him do so, for my child is fortunate in being with him.’ When I see any one die, I say: ‘O God, dispose of me also, if thou wilt. Do all thou choosest with my children. Perhaps thou desirest to try me; thou wishest to see whether I believe in thee. Even if thou wert to afflict me a hundred times more, I would still believe. I will always love and obey thee; I desire everything that thou desirest.’ And, addressing my child, I say to him: ‘Take courage; go and see God, and when thou seest him, say to him: “Have pity on my mother.” Pray to him for me, so that I may go to Heaven with thee. I will pray for thy soul so that thou mayst not remain [110] long in Purgatory.’”

When her mistress spoke to her, in this connection, of the Indulgences that could be gained with a medal, she exclaimed, as joyfully as if she had found a treasure: “This is the first time that I hear of that doctrine. Truly, my mother,” she said, “thou givest me pleasure; I thank thee. Oh, what a good thing thou tellest me! I will remember it every day of my life, especially when I shall receive Communion.” She took the medal that was given her, with feelings of deep gratitude, and said: “Not: a day [Page 241] shall pass without my praying God to reward thee for the trouble thou hast taken in teaching me.”

Some Hurons who came down to saint Joseph last Winter never failed to go every other day to visit those who spoke their language, in order to be instructed in our belief, especially on the Adorable mystery of the holy Sacrament. They had to make a journey of over a league to reach this school; and yet neither wind, nor snow, nor cold, nor bad weather ever prevented them from doing so. Sometimes they remained two or three [I I I] hours in the parlor, in spite of the severity of the weather, speaking of nothing else but their Catechism. Although they were offered food, and were invited to go and warm themselves in the next house, nothing seemed to them more urgent or more important than to be instructed. The disciple’s fervor sometimes assists in warming the heart of his master.

I cannot conclude this Chapter without saying a word of another occupation of the Ursulines of Canada, — that is, the practice of works of corporal mercy. He who would win the mind must succor the body. As soon as the ships had left, some of the transient Seminarists presented themselves, so wretched and so poorly clad that they had to be provided with something to cover themselves; and what was given to them would have served for more than twenty of the resident Seminarists. They robbed these of what charity required to be given to the former. This year they were prevented from cornmitting such a theft, for no materials, or only very little, were brought to them. The want [112] of temporal things greatly delays spiritual matters.

That is not all. Many Savages from the Island, [Page 243] from the Iroquet Tribe, and from other quarters, who had encamped somewhat close to Kebec, went every day to the Chapel of the Ursulines, where Father Dequen dispensed spiritual alms to them. Some of them were baptized in this little Church, after having been sufficiently instructed. Now as distress overwhelmed these people, the spiritual gifts. were followed by material ones. When the Sermon was over, the Mothers gave food to eighty persons, — an act of charity that they continued during about six weeks. Oh, what gratitude they showed for this. kindness! The women also came at other times to, visit the Mothers. They entered the Classroom of the Savage girls, where they were always taught tot pray to God; the men went into the parlors for the same purpose. Their fervor repaid and rewarded the kindness of the Mothers; and, as one benefit impels a kind heart to bestow another, they could not send away these good [113] people without a second alms. How could they see great crowds of people’ starved, without succoring them? He who gives to God must open his heart and his bands to receive. He chooses to be the Master, and to have the supremacy in everything. May he be blessed beyond time,. and for eternity. [Page 245]





LTHOUGH this new Church is in the fervor of its beginning, it cannot avoid, nevertheless, suffering scandal through the acts of some bad Christians. Satan spares no effort to recapture the posts that Jesus Christ has taken from him, and to maintain himself in possession of a country where he has reigned undisturbed,for so many centuries. We have reason, however, to console ourselves in this misfortune with the fact [114] that these scandals are not tolerated, and that often they result in the glory of God, who has permitted them, and the confusion of the Demon, who has given rise to them. The source of all these scandals is none other than the liberty that our Savages have always had, and that they would like to retain, of having as many wives as they please, and of leaving them according to their fancy. Hence it results that, of all the Christian laws which we propound to them, there is not one that seems so hard to them as that which forbids polygamy, and does not allow them to break the bonds of lawful marriage. As they hate to the utmost anything which in the least restricts their liberty, they find it very difficult to bend their necks to a yoke which they cannot lawfully change or set aside; and they no longer look upon Christian [Page 247] marriage as an aid and comfort of human life, but as a servitude full of vexation and bitterness. It is this that prevents most of the infidels from accepting the Faith, and has caused some to lose it who had already embraced it. There are many, [115] thanks be to God, who give us every satisfaction on this point, faithfully observing all the laws of Marriage, without any trouble, and with Heaven’s blessing. However, this year there have been two who have given scandal in this matter, and have greatly disturbed the Peace of this little Church.

The name of the first is Estienne Pigarouich; that of the second Fransois Kokweribagougouch. The former was, before his Baptism, one of the most famous Sorcerers of his Tribe, and one who gave the most trouble to those who labored for his conversion. But at last, after several contests, he acknowledged and embraced the truths of our belief and professed it with as much ardor as he had formerly contended against it. He it was who called and brought the others to the prayers, who chastised the wicked, and who preached our doctrine in the Churches and in the cabins with a fervor and eloquence that savored in no wise of barbarism. This zeal continued while he was in the company of the Christians of saint Joseph; [116] but after he left them to go up to the three Rivers, at which place were the Algonquins of the Island, his countrymen, and those of Hiroquet, — who are two Tribes extremely insolent, arrogant, full of superstitions, and very profligate, — he soon allowed himself, with his comrade, to be corrupted by such bad company, so that both abandoned their lawful wives with the practice of the Faith, and took each a concubine [Page 249]

On the 25th of December, the anniversary of the Nativity of Our Lord, Father Jean de Brébeuf — who, up to that time, had been unable to exert any influence on the minds of these two Apostates — sent for Estienne, to notify him that on the following day would be celebrated the festival of the Saint whose name he bore; and that on that day he must put an end to his debauchery, and return to the duty of a good Christian. He came, and after having heard what he had been summoned to hear, he left without saying a word, except that it was a loss of time to speak to him on that matter. It was, nevertheless, an [117] arrow shot that reached his heart, and inflicted a wound for which he soon came to seek a remedy.

On the following day, the feast of Saint Stephen, his Patron, he came back without having been sent for, and said to the Father: “I speak the truth; I do not lie: I have resolved to put an end to my debauchery. Ever since I have abandoned God, I have not had an hour’s peace; I am goaded night and day by remorse of conscience. The flames of which you preach to us are ever present to my mind. I never see a fire without thinking of that of Hell; and I imagine that it is lighted only for me. A thousand thoughts disturb my mind, and pierce my heart. ‘I have been so carefully taught,’ I say to myself; ‘I have protested a thousand times that I would rather lose my life than abandon prayer. I taught the others; I steadied those who wavered; I encouraged those who were afraid; I chastised the wicked; and now I am fallen and have become the most abominable of all. God hates me; the evil [I IS] spirit has possession of me; and I can expect [Page 251] nothing else than to burn eternally.’ With such thoughts, that never leave me, I consider myself unworthy to live. For three days, I have eaten nothing. I cannot live in this condition. Tomorrow, I must confess my sins, and then I will remain with thee if thou art willing, so as to keep myself aloof from the temptations that are causing my ruin. Thou wilt also oblige me by lending me French garments, which will remind me that I must no longer live as an Infidel, but as a Christian. I shall soon go down to Saint Joseph; write to Father Vimont to receive me in his house, so that I may not be compelled to return to the cabins of my people, where evil companionship, with the weakness of my nature, would complete my ruin.”

Father Brebeuf, moved by these words, granted him what he asked, and took him into our house, — where, on being visited by one of the leaders named Salomon, he told him of the resolution that he had taken. He begged the latter to pardon the sin that he had committed, and the scandal that he [119] had given, and praised him because he firmly believed in spite of the contradictions and bad examples of the Infidels with whom he lived. To this Salomon replied in appropriate terms, praising Estienne’s resolution and exhorting him to persevere.

On the 28th of December, the feast of saint John, after having passed the entire night without sleep, thinking over and sorrowing for his sins, he made his confession, with all the outward marks of sincere repentance; and, after having remained in prayer outside the Chapel until the Sermon was over, he came in at last, clad in French garments, knelt before the Altar, and kissed the ground; then he arose [Page 253] and, turning toward the French and the Savages, he harangued them as follows:

“I am he who is called Estienne Pigarouich, — he who formerly had so much love for prayer, who was so carefully taught, who was one of the first of our Tribe to be baptized, who preached the Faith to others, who chastised the wicked, and who afterward became the most wicked of all, and changed into a miserable [120] Apostate. I am not ashamed to confess what you already know. My sin has been public, I wish my repentance to be public also, and that all who believe may know that I detest my impiety and that I deeply regret the scandal that I have given. Learn this from me, that it is a dreadful thing to be an enemy of God, and to be deserving of eternal damnation. Ever since I have been in that state, I have had no quiet sleep; I have never seen a fire without being disturbed by this thought: ‘Wilt thou be able to bear the fire of Hell, of which this is but a shadow? and thou canst not avoid it if thou shouldst die in thy present condition. If the fear of this fire disturb thee so, what wilt thou do when thou shalt really feel it, and shalt be surrounded and penetrated by those fires?’ I do not deserve that you should pardon the bad example and the scandal that I have given you. I hope, however, that you will have pity on me and that you will grant me the pardon that I ask of you. I submit entirely to the discretion of the Fathers who direct us, to be [121] punished as they may order. I will not refuse any penance. You, and you, who firmly believe and respect prayer, I esteem your courage, and praise your faithfulness to God. Do not follow the bad example that I have given you, but continue to do [Page 255] well. And you, young men, who are not yet haptized or who dishonor your Baptism by your profligacy, if you have followed my example and imitated my sin, imitate also my repentance. Fear God, and dread the Hell that you have deserved, and that you cannot avoid unless you change your habits and your lives. Do not despair of God’s goodness. If any one should despair, it should be myself, who have so greatly abused his graces. But, nevertheless, I trust to his mercy. Pray God for me, so that I may appease his wrath which I have so excited by my sins.” “Such is the Summary of the harangue of this Savage,’’ says Father Brebeuf, who has given us these notes. “I am extremely sorry,” he adds, “that I [122] cannot repeat word for word all that he said. But either I did not hear him well, or I could not learn it properly from the interpreters, who, after having repeated what I have related above, stated that it was impossible to report all that he had said; that they, and all who undertake to speak the language of the Savages, can only stammer in comparison with this man; and that he had spoken as well as Father de Bressany, who had just preached a fine sermon. What I can assert is that his manner, his devotion, and all his actions greatly impressed all the French and all the Savages, and even brought tears to the eyes of many who heard him.“

After this man had delivered his harangue, one of the principal Christians spoke. “My brother,” he said, “we are greatly consoled at seeing that thou hast recovered thy sense, which the women had taken from thee. I detested thy wickedness, and could not bear the scandal that thou gavest us; now, I esteem and praise thy courage. Do not lose heart; [Page 257] repair thy fault; remember what thou hast just [123] said, and do not lie. I now turn all my indignation against some young men who persist in their debauchery. My nephews, how long will you remain without sense? Will you always be foolish? You lie, when you say that you believe in God. Those who believe firmly are not libertines as you are. I imitate him who has just spoken. He has perhaps injured you by his bad example; now let his repentance induce you to return to duty. It is those who belong to the Iroquet Tribe who make us wicked, by bringing here their old superstitions and evil customs. Would that they were far from us! Let us all take courage; let us appease God, so that he may grant us a share of his mercies.”

Paul Tesswehats, Captain of the Island Algonquins, approved what the last speaker had said, and added that it was necessary to speak more fully of these matters. After that, Estienne said that, while he was leading his evil life, it seemed to him that he was bound, like a prisoner, [124] with many ropes; but that, at that moment, he felt at liberty. He continued in these good sentiments and often spoke aloud both with reference to himself and his past debauchery, and in favor of virtue and of prayer, until he left the three Rivers with all his companions, to come down to Sillery.

It was during this voyage that, forgetting what he had promised, and abusing the enlightenment and sentiments with which the holy Ghost had inspired him, he relapsed into his sin, — either because he was solicited thereto by the words and bad examples not only of the Infidels, but also of some bad Christians who accompanied him; or because he is of a [Page 259] passionate nature, and evil habits had become deeply rooted in him. At all events, Father Bressany, who started two days after them to go down to Kebec, overtook them on the way, and, on inquiring, about Estienne, found that he had taken back his concubine; nor was the Father satisfied with the answers that he gave him.

[125] The wickedness of that man and of some other bad Christians, infidels, and sorcerers, who, were in this band, and who had behaved in an insolent manner at the three Rivers, made us resolve with Monsieur the Governor to give them a harsh reception, to show them the horror that we have for the wicked, and to make them comprehend their fault still more.

Fear of the Iroquois and famine compelled them to come down to Kebec, where they hoped to be protected by the neighborhood of the French, and to, receive from their charity, which they had always experienced on similar occasions, some relief from the hunger that pressed them. But they were greatly surprised, on their arrival, to see that those who had formerly received them with a serene countenance and open arms, and had refused them nothing, appeared now with angry faces, spoke to them only with insults, and closed their doors to them as to excommunicated persons. They first came to our house at Sillery [126] and were driven off with a. sharp reprimand. They went to the Hospital Mothers, and were sent away. They brought some sick persons, and were not admitted. They went to the houses of the inhabitants, who all closed their doors to them. They wished to enter the Church, and were forbidden to do so. They went to the Gentlemen [Page 261] at the Storehouse, and were turned away. They cried out that they were dying of hunger, and that, no one gave them anything to eat. They threw down beaver skins, collars of Porcelain beads, and all the most valuable things that they had, for a, piece of bread; and their presents were rejected. They prepared to erect their cabins near the French, and Monsieur the Governor gave orders to forbid them to approach, or to hold any communication with, the French, until they had driven away the two Apostates, and had atoned for the faults committed at the three Rivers.

Even the Savages who were then at Sillery did not give them a better welcome than the French. They would not admit them into their cabins; some of them withdrew into [127] our houses, so as not to be obliged to converse with them. The others scattered themselves in the woods, so as to be far removed from their company. No one offered them food; they would not even speak to them, except to, reproach them with their wickedness. They tried to enter cabins in which there were only women, who, not being strong enough to expel these evil guests, fled to our house for assistance; others barricaded themselves in a small house, which we had built for them in the French style. A Christian woman, who had been abandoned by one of these Apostates after lawful marriage, heard that her husband wished to come and see her. She took refuge in a corner of her cabin and armed herself with a knife, being resolved to kill him if he approached her. Another, to whom wisdom and age gave much authority, was visited by some of these newcomers, who were her countrymen and near relatives. She [Page 263] boldly said to them: “You are no relatives of mine, since you have abandoned prayer; I know [128] no other relatives than true Christians. I detest your wickedness, Do you not fear Hell? You have been taught for so long a time, and you are not yet good. It is pride and women that prevent you from having sense. Be not surprised that the French treat you badly; they detest your wickedness, although they do not hate you personally. Be good men, and they will love and assist you; but, above all, God will love you.”

Such severity had an excellent effect, and caused the two Apostates who had brought all this anger on them and on their companions to be abandoned by all the Savages. These publicly protested that they abhorred the wickedness of the two Apostates; that they did not approve their conduct, and would not suffer them in their company. Even those of the Iroquet Tribe, who are nearly all infidels, kept aloof . from the bad Christians, and went to Monsieur the Governor [129] to whom the Captain of the band made a very sensible remonstrance.

“We were greatly astonished,” he said, “at the manner in which we were treated on our arrival. Most of my people who are here had never seen the French, and came here solely on the assurance that I had given them of the affection that the French had for us. ‘The French,’ I said to them, ‘are our brothers; they love us even better than our relatives do. It is for us that they have left all the riches and pleasures of their country. They are a very kind Nation; their Captain loves us. Let us go and see them, my nephews. They will protect and preserve,the wretched remnants of our Tribe who have escaped [Page 265] from the fury, the appetite, and the cruelty of the Iroquois. There are men among them who teach the wonders of the other life. We will learn their doctrine, we will believe as they do, and we will be but one people with them.’ That is what I told them, being convinced that I would still find the [130] French animated with the same affection that they have aiways had for us, But, — now that they see only angry faces, and hear only insulting words; that all doors are closed against them: that they die of hunger, without any one having compassion on them, — they say that I am a liar, that these are not the kind Frenchmen of whom I had told them. ‘Or,’ they say, ‘if they be the same, they do not know us; and, as they see new faces, perhaps they take us for Iroquois. Was it necessary that we should come from so far, to die of hunger? What have we done to them to be treated in that manner?’

“Indeed, I know not to what we must attribute the severity displayed against us. Is it because we were with some Algonquins who abandoned prayer? But we are not to blame for that. We detest their wickedness; and, if we were baptized as they are, we would be very careful not to commit such faults. Is it, then, because we do not yet pray, [131] and because we retain the ancient customs of our country? But that is not our fault. For my part, I have asked for Baptism for over three years, and the Fathers have never granted it to me. As for my people, most of them have never seen the French up to this time. Order now what thou wishest us to do, and we will obey thee. Look at our arms; there is no more flesh on them — they are but bones covered with skin. These few men, whom thou seest around me, are the [Page 267] remnant of one of the most flourishing Tribes that ever dwelt in this country. If thou hast not pity on us, we shall soon be reduced to nothing; and the other neighboring Nations, by whom thy kindness and valor are held in high esteem, will know that we died because thou hadst not pity on us.” As he said this, he threw down a package of twenty Beaver skins, because these people never speak without making presents. “It is not a gift,” he said, I‘that I offer thee. This is not much to appease so great a Captain; [I 323 but thou wilt see by it how poor we are, and perhaps thou wilt have compassion on us.’’

Monsieur the Governor replied that he had always had a great affection for him and for his Tribe, believing that he would become a Christian with his people, but that now he detested his wickedness, though not him personally, because he saw that he was far from having inclinations for the Faith, and that he asked for Baptism merely for the sake of ceremony. He reminded this Captain that he had been instructed for a long time, and that they had been inclined to baptize him, but that he had always shown himself to be unworthy of it, for he had continued his incantations and superstitions, and had within a few days seduced a Christian woman whom he had taken for his wife, not being content with the two others whom he kept; that, if he wished to be a friend of the French, he would have to give up the Christian woman whom he had seduced, and keep but one of the two others, with whom he must always live. He told him that he must separate himself from the Apostates; that after [133] that he would be well received by the French, and have every kind [Page 269] of satisfaction. He and his people showed that they agreed in all this by their exclamations of 4 6 Ho, ho, 9 1 which they redoubled when they saw the presents given to them by Monsieur the Governor. Paul Tesswehas, Captain of the Island Algonquins, also wished to make his peace with Monsieur the Governor. But as he had supported and favored the two Apostates, contrary to his duty as a Captain and a Christian, he had the confusion of being sent away in disgrace from the gate of the Fort, as a penalty for his cowardice. This compelled him to declare himself an enemy of the Apostates, and to make submission in a manner very galling to a man of his temper.

Meanwhile, the two Apostates were wanderers and vagrants without house or company, and not without great remorse of conscience, — especially Estienne Pigarouich, as he stated on one occasion to Father Dequen. Having met one day with a rather cold reception from the latter, he said:” What! is there [134] no mercy for me? Do you wish me to roam the woods like a Werewolf, abandoned by God and men? I have sinned, I admit; but must I for that be cast into despair? Am I an Angel, that I should not sin? Do not the French sin sometimes? You often preach to us that God has mercy on those who repent, and who confess their offenses. Here I am, quite ready to confess mine and to expiate them by whatever penance you may be pleased to impose — Why should you refuse me what you grant to others? It is not the punishments with which you threaten me that give me fear, — I fear neither hunger, nor the prison, nor the whip; I am satisfied to remain in prison during the whole Winter. Make me die of [Page 271] hunger, if you will. I fear only Hell, into which despair will cast me, if you have not mercy on me.” The Father replied that, if he were really willing to confess his sin, and to correct himself for it, he would willingly hear his confession; but that he could not at once admit him [135] into the Church with the other Christians, on account of the scandal that he had given; that he would have to perform a public penance, and give proofs of his constancy and fidelity during the three months that he was to pass hunting moose in the woods; that if, in the spring, his companions gave a good report of his conduct, he would be restored to the Church, and would enjoy all the other favors common to all Christians. He consented to this, and agreed with the Father upon a day for confessing himself. But evil habits had more influence over his mind than grace. He presented himself on the day appointed and frankly admitted that his heart was not firmly resolved to abandon his sin; that he foresaw very well that he would relapse into it during the Winter; and that, in the circumstances, he would not go to confession, that he might not render himself still more guilty. As the Father could not gain anything more in his mind, he dismissed him.

In short, he continued in his debauchery for the remainder of the Winter, in consequence of which he was no better received on his return than on the previous occasion and [136] was again compelled to live apart from the French and the Savages, like an excommunicated person, without daring to show himself except at night, — ever feeling the same remorse of conscience, and never losing the recollection of Hell, which goaded him sharply. The shame that [Page 273] he felt at having so often violated the promises that he had so solemnly made, prevented him this time from presenting himself to any of our Fathers. He resolved, however, to leave his concubine, and to take back his lawful wife; after which he went up to the three Rivers with the remainder of the Sav,ages, to go to war. There the apprehension of the danger that he was about to incur, added to the continual dread of Hell that followed him everywhere, produced a final effect upon his mind, and compelled him to go and see Father Brebeuf. To him, after admitting and expressing detestation of his inconstancy and infidelity, he represented the danger to which he was about to expose himself, the fear that he had of the eternal fire, his desire to do right, and the fact that he had already left his concubine, and taken back his lawful wife, whom, he protested, [137] he would never agai.n abandon; and he begged him, after all that, not to refuse to give him absolution for his sins, and to put his soul at peace, offering to do any kind of penance.

Father Brebeuf, fearing to place any reliance on so inconstant a mind, and desiring, moreover, to make him realize still better his offense, dismissed him without granting his request. Estienne employed the influence of the French for this same purpose, but the Father remained firm. He begged that, as he would not be listened to, he might at least be given a letter of recommendation to enable him to make his confession at Richelieu or at Montreal; this, Father Brebeuf granted to him. Finally he arrived in Montreal, where he met Father Buteux, who writes to us as follows:

“Estienne Pigarouich, who arrived here with the [Page 275] remainder of our warriors, came at once to see me, and urged me long and earnestly to have pity on his. soul. I told him that, if he wished to confess, and to restore himself to his former condition, he must submit to everything that I should tell him. ‘I will do so,’ he said, ‘and even if I have [138] to stab myself with this knife.’ ‘That,’ I replied, ‘is not what I require of thee; I am satisfied with this: In the first place, thou shalt announce aloud, outside of the cabins, according to the custom, that thou hast behaved very badly, and that thou dost condemn all that thou hast said and done to the scandal of prayer and of the Christians. Secondly, thou shalt state, aloud and publicly, that thou abandonest the’ company of those who do not pray, and, in fact, that thou dost abandon them, and dost range thyself with those of Sillery who make a practice of praying to. God. Thirdly, thou shalt in the Chapel and on thy knees ask pardon of all those who are baptized, and beg them to pray to God for thee, and to pardon thee. Before doing the latter, thou must prepare thyself for confession; and, after having made it, and having asked pardon of the Christians, thou. shalt, in the fourth place, take the discipline publicly as an atonement for thy faults, to punish thy flesh,. and thereby to show the hatred that thou hast for thy sin. That is what I desire of thee.’ ‘If that be all,’ he said, ‘rest assured [139] that I will accomplish. it in every respect.’ He did so, in fact, beyond what I could have wished. He delivered a harangue near the cabins, — he acknowledged his sin, protested that he was sorry for it, renounced the company of’ the wicked, and promised to confine himself to that. of the good; after which, he confessed himself with [Page 277] all the marks of true penitence. I have never heard any Savage speak better or more boldly than he did in the Church, for the space of a quarter of an hour. The substance of his discourse consisted in showing the enormity of his sin, and the necessity of remaining firm in the Faith; that this. was preferable to anything else in the world; that they must not follow his example, unless they wished to be damned; that they should not be over confident of themselves; and that they might rest assured that, if they abandoned God, he would abandon them, and that they could not return to him except by special favor of his goodness. He said that they must not think that what he was then doing was for the purpose of regaining the good graces of the French, [140] or through fear of temporal death, — that he dreaded only eternal death; for that reason, he begged the Fathers, and the Savages who dwelt below, and the Algonquins who dwelt above (if there were one of these who had Faith in his heart), to pray to God for him. He said that God was good and that he trusted in his mercy; that he had already confessed, but, to show that he abandoned his wickedness for good, and what confidence he had in himself, he gave a proof of it by throwing his knife out of the window. He added that he could nevertheless say truly that he had never done the same with prayer; but that, whatever his outward actions might have been, he had always loved it and preserved it in his heart, and at various times had prayed a long time in secret.

“After this harangue he drew near to me, removed his hat and shirt, and, holding the whip of discipline, that had been given him before he entered, said: ‘This will not do to tear my flesh; bring me a more [Page 279] severe instrument; [141] I shall not hurt myself much with this one. Or, let another take the whip and let him treat me less gently than I would myself.’ Thereupon I told him that God desired contrition of heart more than the effusion of blood, and that he should give himself five blows only, which he did in the presence of the Savages and of the French. That is what Estienne Pigarouich did. What he will do is known to God alone, as he alone knows whether he is truly contrite. The outward actions that he has done seem sufficiently strong proofs of his complete conversion, and more especially his confession, — at which, from the beginning, he wept so long that he was unable to speak, and it was necessary to tell him that he must strive to suppress his tears. Even after all this, he may relapse. He fears this, and has begged me to manage so that he may not be where that wretched woman is who has been his rock of scandal. I told him that I would write to your Reverence about it; and that, if he again fell into evil ways down there, he would be put in prison. He willingly agreed to this, and also to ask [142 ] pardon from those who are down there, — in a word, to do all that he should be told to do. Following his example, the great sorcerer and some others became converted, and confessed themselves, with much satisfaction on their part and on mine. May God grant them all perseverance.’’ So much from Father Buteux. I beg all those who shall read this to commend specially to God this poor man of whom we have just spoken; for he can greatly aid or injure the progress of the Faith in these countries. [Page 281]



The particulars of this document were given in Vol. XXIII.


This is a letter of Garnier to the Father General (Vitelleschi), dated from Ste. Marie-of-the-Hurons, April 8, 1644. The original is in the MSS. Soc. Jes., Father Felix Martin made a copy thereof in 1858, when in Europe, and this apograph, which we follow, rests in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal.


In reprinting the text of the Relation of 1643-44 (Paris, 1645), we follow a copy of the original edition in the Lenox Library, known there as the La moignon copy; our facsimile of the title-page is from a like copy in the library of the Wisconsin Historical Society. This Relation consists of Part I., by Vimont, who dates his “epistre” or prefatory letter “A Kebec, ce 5, de Septembre, 1644;” and Part II., by Jerome Lalemant, whose introductory epistle is dated “Des Hurons ce 21 de Septembre 1643.” The Huron report covers the period from June, 1642, to June, 1643. Preceding it is a letter from Vimont to his Provincial, dated “De Kebec, ce 1 de Septembre, 1644,’’ in which he tells him that the first copy, which the Huron Fathers had forwarded to him, fell into the hands of the Iroquois. A second copy reached him too late for transmission to France in 1643, and, consequently, was delayed until 1644, when it went over with a supplementary report for that year.

The 1643-44 Relation is usually designated as “H. 83,” because described in Harrisse’s Notes, no. 83.

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; Vimont’s prefatory letter to Filleau, pp. (3); “Table des Chapitres” to Part I., pp. (2); “Priuilege” and “Permifsion,” p. (I); text to Part I., pp. 1-256. Part II. consists of: Half-title, with verso blank, I leaf; Vimont’s special letter to Filleau, p. (I); “Table des Chapitres” to Part II., p. (I); Lalemant’s text, pp. I-147 (the last mispaged 174). The supplementary “Lettre de M.DC.XLIV” covers pp. 139, ff., and is dated “Des Hurons, ce dernier de Mars, 1644.” In Part I., the paging of p. 37 is almost obliterated, and pp. 66 and 143 are misnumbered 62 and 139, respectively. The only mispagination in Part II. is that of 174 for 147.

Besides the Lamoignon copy in the Lenox Library, there is another, formerly owned by George Bancroft. Both of these seem to agree to the greatest degree of typographical exactness, excepting in signatures D and E. These particular signatures are of different composition. This is not

only discernible from the spacing, line-endings, etc., but also from the following peculiarities.



P. 52, 1. 20: “auons”

P. 52, l. 20: “auõs.”

P. 55,l. 6: “refpecte: c’eft”

P. 55, l. 6: “refpecte: (cleft”

P. 55, 1. 9: “la Chapelle, font leur deuo-”

P. 55, l. 9: “la Chappelle, font leur de-”

P. 55, 1. 17: “adiouftent”

P. 55, l. 17: “adjouftent”

P. 56 has the initial L encircled by leaves, and small

P. 56 has the initial L with a figure, apparently the angel Gabriel, blowing a horn, and larger than in the other copy.



P. 58, last line: “coprenoit”

P. 58, last line: “cõmprenoit”

P. 61, 1. 2: “penfée”

P. 61, 1. 2: “pensée”

P. 61, l. 18: “connu par tout”

P. 61, l. 18: “conneu par tout”

P. 63, l. 6: “dont ils témoignent”-

P. 63, l. 6: “dõt ils tefmoignent”

P. 67, l. 22: “appaifer”

P. 67, l. 22: “apaifer”

P. 67, l. 24: “Chappelet”

P. 67, l. 24 “Chapelet”


Copies of H. 83 may be found in the following libraries: Lenox (two variations), Harvard, Lava1 University (Quebec), Public Library (Toronto), Library of Parliament (Ottawa), Wisconsin State Historical Society, Brown (private), and the British Museum. Copies have been sold or priced as follows: O’Callaghan (1882), no. 1223, sold to Library of Parliament, Ottawa, for $I 7.50, had cost him $32.50 in gold; Barlow (1890), no. 1288, sold for $21; Dufossé (1891-95), priced at 175 to 225 francs; Lenox duplicate, sold by Bangs & Co., New York, April 29, 1895, for $32; and Dodd, Mead & Co., no. 42 in list of April, 1896, priced at $47.50.

Note: — The Public Library of Toronto has also originals of our nos. XXX. and XLI. Subsequent ones will be duly recorded.


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

[1] (p. 29). — For sketch of Raymbault, see vol. xi., note 16; of Davost, vol. v., note 54; of D’Olbeau, vol. xxiv., note 12.

[2] (p. 49). — This “captain” was. Arendt Van Curler (Corlaer). He was a cousin of the patroon Van Rensselaer, and came to New Netherlands with the colony sent hither in 1630 (vol. xxiv., note 22). Van Curler was commissary general or superintendent of Rensselaerswyck, his jurisdiction extending from Beeren Island, near Coeymans’s Landing, to the mouth of the Mohawk; he was also colonial secretary until 1642. He ruled the colony with firmness, justice, and honesty, and from the outset cultivated friendly relations with the Indians. Making numerous visits to the savages, in their own villages, and learning their language, he acquired their confidence, and a strong influence with them. In 1646, he retired to private life, but was often consulted by officials, both civil and military, in regard to Indian affairs. Two of his visits to the Indians, above referred to, are of especial interest, — one, in 1634-35, of which he preserved a record in his Journal (vol. viii., p. 299); and another, in September, 1642, to intervene in behalf of Father Jogues and other French prisoners among the Mohawks. Although he offered them a ransom of 600 guilders (then equal to $250 of our money), the savages refused to release the captives; but they finally promised Van Curler that they would not kill Jogues, or torture him further. Later, Van Curler aided the priest to escape to his own country.

After a long and useful life, Van Curler met his death by accident, in the summer of 1667, — being drowned while crossing Lake Champlain, on his way to Quebec, going thither in response to an invitation sent him by the viceroy, De Tracy. So honored was Van Curler by the Iroquois that, until this century, they applied his name to the successive governors of New Amsterdam and New York; and, at this day, the Mohawks of Canada address the governor-general of that country as “Kora,” a corruption Of Corlaer. For more detailed information regarding this noted [Page 287] pioneer, see O’Callaghan’s Hist. New Netherlands, vol. i., and Griffiss Arendt Vau Curler, a paper read before Albany (N. ST.) Institute, Nov. 18, 1884 [Albany, 1885?].

[3] (p. 57). — The book here mentioned was doubtless one of those written by Jean Charlier, better known by his scholastic name of Gerson (adopted, in accordance with the custom of the time, from that of his native village). He was born Dec. 14, 1363, and died at Lyons, July 12, 1429. From 1395 to 1418, he was chancellor of the university of Paris. During that period, he was actively engaged in the theological controversies so bitterly waged, striving earnestly for the extinction of schism, and the reformation of the church. This course aroused ‘many enmities against him, which drove him for a time into exile. Returning to France in 1419, he retired to the Celestine convent at Lyons, of which his brother Jean was prior. The remaining ten years of his life were there spent in works of piety and instruction; he also wrote many religious books, — commentaries, didactic and ecclesiastical treatises, and devotional and mystical meditations. He has divided with Thomas à Kempis, in the minds of many, the honor of having written the Imitation of Christ — a controversy probably not yet settled. Aubé gives a summary of this discussion in Hoefer’s Biog. Généale (art. Gerson). Gerson was surnamed “the most Christian doctor.”

Jogues’s mention of the “little Gerson,” and his possession of it in such circumstances, suggest the probability that the book he refers to was Thierry’s duodecimo edition (Paris, 1621) of IV livres de l’imitation de Jésus Christ, — a French translation from the Latin, — most of the early editions, whether French or Latin, having varied in size from folio to octave.

[4] (p. 59). — This Dutch minister was Domine Johannes (or Jan) Megapolensis (vol. xxiv., note 22). He was called to Rensselaerswyck for a term of six years, at a salary of 1,000 guilders yearly. In 1649, having been dismissed from this post, he became minister of the church at New Amsterdam (New York), at an annual salary of 1,200 guilders. He was the fourth pastor of this church, which still exists as the Collegiate Reformed church of New York City; next after Trinity, it is the wealthiest religious corporation in the city. Jan Megapolensis died in 1669; his son Samuel was also a minister, officiating in the above-named church from 1664 till his death in 1668.

[5] (p. 63). — Manhate: afterward Manhattan; the island on which the city of New York was built. O’Callaghan (Hist. New Netherlands, vol. i., p. 47. note z) says that thus name is that of the Indian tribe living thereon at the time of the first Dutch settlement. Beauchamp (Ind. Names, p. 45) regards it as a form of the Delaware word Man-a-tey, ‘I an island.”

[6] (p. 65). — Concerning this shipwreck of Lalemant’s, see vol. iv., p. 235-245.

[7] (p. 67). — Another letter by Jogues, describing his captivity, is given by Bressani in his Breve Relatione; it is dated from Rensselaerswyck, Aug. 5, 1643. This, however, is but an Italian version of the original Latin, which is found in the MS. Mémoire touchant la mort et les vertus des Pères Isaac Jogues, De Nouë, et al. (1652. — archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal; see vol. ix., of this series, note 40), and is given by Alegambe (with some additions) in his Mortes illustres (Rome, 1657).

[8] (p. 75). — Concerning the relations of the Jesuits to the fur trade, see vol. i., note 31; vol. iii., note 33; and Le Jeune’s elaborate discussion of the subject, vol. ix., pp. 171-181.

[9] (p. 79). — This was Jacques de la Ferté, abbé of Ste. Madeleine at Châteaudun; one of the Hundred Associates (as enumerated by Creuxius). He gave to the Jesuits two seigniories, — in 1639, that of Batiscan; and, in 1646, that of Cap de la Madeleine. In 1647, he gave funds to Richard and De Lyonne for the erection of a chapel at the Nipisiguit mission on the Bay des Chaleurs.

[10] (p. 123). — Concerning the olden use of the word “moustache,“’ see vol. v., note 14.

[11] (p. 125). — Regarding these fetiches (“medicines”), see vol. xxii., note 6.