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. XXX.

Hurons, Lower Canada:


CLEVELAND:            The Burrows Brothers





Vol. XXX

[Page iii]

The edition consists of sev-

en hundred and fifty sets

all numbered.


The Burrows Brothers Co.

[Page iv]



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 v]

Copyright, 1899


The Burrows Company


all rights reserved

The Imperial Press, Cleveland

[Page ]





Preface To Volume XXX






Relation de ce qvi s’est passé . . . . en la Novvelle France, és années 1645. & 1646. [Chaps. iv.-viii., Part II., completing the document,] Paul Ragueneau, Des Hurons, May 1, 1646; [Jacques de la Place?] undated






Epistola ad R. P. Vincentium Caraffa, Præpositum Generalem Societatis Jesu, Romæ. Carolus Garnier; Divæ Mariæ apud Hurones, May 3, 1647





Journal des PP. Jésuites. Hierosme Lalemant; Quebek, January-December, 1647




Relation de ce qvi s’est passé . . . . en la Novvelle France, svr le Grand Flevve de S. Lavrens en l’année 1647. [Chaps. i.-iii., first installment of document.] Hierosme Lalemant, Quebek, October 20, 1647














Bibliographical Data; Volume XXX






[Page vii]







Photographic facsimile of title-page, Relation of 1647.















[Page viii]


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

LX. The Relation of 1645-46, as stated in the Preface to Vol. XXVIII., is in two parts — Part I. (dated at Quebec, October 28,1646) being by the new superior of the Canadian missions, Jerome Lalemant; Part II. (dated in the Huron country, May 1, 1646) being the annual report on the condition of the Huron mission, by Ragueneau; but, at the close of Ragueneau’s seven chapters, Lalemant, without explanation, added an eighth, on the Miscou mission, which of course was not written by Ragueneau, but from internal evidence seems to be the work of Father Jacques de la Place. In Vol. XXVIII., we published the opening chapters of Part I., — this part being concluded in Vol. XXIX., which also contained the first three chapters of Part II. In the present volume, we give Chaps. iv.-viii. of Part II., concluding the document, — Chap. viii. being the account of the Miscou mission.

Continuing his narrative, Ragueneau relates many instances showing “the constancy and courage of the Huron church, amid the opposition of the infidels.” The native Christians cannot be moved by threats, so the pagans resort to lies and slanders, “with which they fill the whole country;” and they strive to corrupt the morals of the converts. A few of [Page 9] these relapse, in consequence; but most remain true to their profession. One man, assailed by sensual temptations, rolls his naked body in the snow until “those infernal dames are entirely quenched;” others, “in order to stifle that same fire of hell,” apply burning coals to their bodies, asking themselves, “How couldst thou, wretched man, bear an eternal fire, if thou canst not accustom thyself to this?” They find in prayer their chief support in these trials; one utters an ejaculatory prayer two hundred times in a single night, while others “travel alone and by unfrequented routes, in order to converse with God.” “These good people imagine that, in France, every one breathes nothing but holiness; that the conversation of companies is only of God; that vice keeps itself concealed there and would not dare to appear.” The Christians hold debates with the infidels, and often make sharp retorts to the latter; indeed, the pagans are “astonished to see that many who previously seemed to them quite ordinary minds, appear wholly changed when they have become Christians.”

Father Bressani at last reaches Huronia, having been captured by the Iroquois when on his way thither in 1644, but afterward escaping and being sent back to Europe by the Dutch. He soon returns, however, to resume his missionary labors; and his mutilated hands bear eloquent testimony to the truths that he preaches.

Ragueneau recounts many expressions of devotion, resignation, and penitence, uttered by these so recently savage neophytes. He says: “Tears are so rare in these countries, with respect to what concerns men, that I do not remember, in almost nine Years that I have lived among the Savages, to have [Page 10] seen one of them weep, except in sentiments of piety, and in keen contrition;” but they often shed tears upon realizing their sins, or obtaining new visions of God’s love. The missionaries are also consoled by the knowledge that they have secured, by baptism, the entrance of various Iroquois captives into heaven; and have converted some strangers from remote tribes, who retain and practice the instructions they have received. A sick man is miraculously cured at the chapel of Ste. Marie; another, on his death-bed, has a vision of an angel.

The mission of the Holy Ghost has been conducted by Pijart and Garreau, who spent most of the year with the Algonkins under their care; in this pastorate, they suffer many hardships but are rewarded by some visible results of their work. By the conversion of two Achirigouan Indians, encountered here, a step is gained toward the evangelization of those remote tribes about the Great Lakes. One of these men is baptized “at the end of six weeks, although we expect, in the case of most, probations of one and two years.” The Nipissirinien Christians, like their Huron brethren, meet with much opposition and scoffing from the pagans; but their courage is wonderfully sustained by the direct aid of the Holy Ghost. Father Garreau returns from this expedition so ill that, supposing him at the point of death, his coffin is made; but he is restored to health by a vow offered to the Virgin.

The Relation ends (Chap. viii., Part II.) with an account of the Miscou mission, probably by Father Jacques de la Place — certainly not by Ragueneau. Two Indian families have become sedentary there, and others promise to follow their example. [Page 11] details of several baptisms arc recounted. One of these is that of an Eskimo, a slave of Gaspé since his childhood; abandoned by his masters, in a grievous illness, he is restored to health by the Fathers. As a result, several other persons, aged or crippled, are cast by their tribesmen upon the charity of the mission, which thus has a little hospital to support. treaty of peace is negotiated at Isle Percée between hostile tribes — the Betsiamites north of the St. Lawrence, and the Micmacs of Gaspé and Acadia,” who bore each other a mortal hatred.” The proceedings at this conference are described at length. This peace will aid the missionaries; for they all find among the savages an increasing willingness to receive baptism.

LXI. Gamier writes from the Huron country (May 3, 1647), a letter (in Latin) to Caraffa, the new father general of the Jesuits, congratulating him on his election, and thanking him for a fatherly and encouraging letter which he had written to the Huron mission. He, further, advises the general that Ragueneau is doing admirable work as superior therein, and deprecates any change in that office. Gamier mentions the slow and difficult nature of their work for the Hurons, and makes an earnest appeal for more laborers in this field.

LXII. The Journal des Jésuites is continued, giving the record for 1647. As before, Lalemant recounts the New-Year’s gifts made and received by the Fathers. More than forty Indians from Three Rivers join their tribesmen at Sillery, which increases the population of that colony to over zoo. A Frenchman, named Chastillon, urgently desires to marry an Indian girl who has been educated by the Ursulines; [Page 12] but she refuses to accept him and prefers a husband from her own people. A ballet is danced at the warehouse, February 27; no one is present from any of the religious houses, ’ ‘ except the little Marsolet.” Early in March, beer is brewed “for the first time” at Sillery.

The ice begins to thaw on March 11, at the end of “a winterless winter,” the past cold season having been unusually mild. Ten days later, news comes of a treacherous attack by the Iroquois, who capture a hundred Algonkins. At St. Joseph’s feast, the usual bonfire is omitted — partly through Lalemant’s opposition; he “hardly relished this Ceremony, which had no devotion attending it.” During this month, all the timbers for the Jesuits’ new house are hauled to its site; the foundations of this building are begun on June 12.

Early in April, the Hurons at Quebec decide, against Montmagny’s advice, to attack the Iroquois; and, soon after, comes news that the latter have made raids upon Montreal, capturing two Frenchmen and four Hurons. In consequence, Montmagny gives the aid of a half-dozen Frenchmen to an expedition that leaves Sillery, May 4, to attack the Iroquois.

On May 10, the first fish are taken. The news is brought, on June 5, that Father Jogues and his companion Lalande have been murdered by the Iroquois, and that Montreal is in danger from these implacable enemies. The Indians at Sillery are terrified at this, and obtain permission to retire behind the palisades of the Jesuit residence there, which they also fortify more thoroughly.

Father Bailloquet arrives from France on the first vessel of the season (June 25); “that same vessel [Page 13] brought the 1st Horse, of which the habitans made a present to Monsieur the governor. ‘* A few days later, that official is requested to permit the election of a procurer syndic by the habitants; they are “referred to the general assembly.” Toward the end of the month, the cannon are brought back from Fort Richelieu, which is now abandoned. The priest of the Ursulines attempts to set his own price on some beaver skins; but these are confiscated. and taken from his room.

Early in July, the Abenakis ask that Father Dreuillettes may return to them; but this is refused, because the Capuchin fathers ask that this field of labor be left to them, On the 19th, a consultation is held by the Jesuits, concerning “the Beaver trade carried on at Sillery.” The matter is thus decided: “That, if the warehouse were reasonable, we were obliged in conscience not to divert the trade elsewhere. If it were not reasonable, we might with conscience dissimulate — the habitans having the right, by nature and from the king, to trade. That, whether the warehouse were reasonable or not, we were not compelled to trade.” July 21, the habitants elect Jean Bourdon as their procurer syndic, and set aside their former directors. Some men, while drinking and smoking, set fire to the building where they sleep, and one Bastien, a servant of the Jesuits, and a dissipated fellow, is burned to death while drunken; consequently, his body is not buried in consecrated ground.

This year, a change takes place in the government Of the Canadian colonies, by which is formed a council of three persons, one of whom is to be the superior of the Jesuits. Several new missionaries arrive [Page 14] this year — Fathers Bailloquet, Grelon, and Bonin, and some lay brethren.

Early in September, the Sillery Indians return from the war-path, bringing one Iroquois captive, who is burned at Sillery. “He lived in the torments only one hour; his body was thrown into the water; he was baptized, and died piously. “This year, the Hurons do not come down, largely through fear of the Iroquois. In November, news comes that the Abenakis, with whom Dreuillettes is wintering, are perishing with hunger. Christmas is celebrated, as usual, with many religious ceremonies. Montmagny and Bourdon make several presents to the Jesuits , — game, fish, and Spanish wine. Their house, begun in June, is ready for occupation before New-Years.

LXIII. The Relation of 1647 consists of but one part, — written by Jerome Lalemant, as superior, and dated at Quebec, October 20, 1647. In a prefatory note, Lalemant mentions the renewed incursions of the treacherous Iroquois, especially their murder of Father Jogues and his companion, and their successes against the Algonkins, which enable them to block the upper rivers against access in either direction. Consequently, the report for the Huron mission has not reached Quebec; but other letters received there, by way of the northern tribes, indicate that the Huron church is flourishing and even increasing. New missionaries are demanded there, whom Lalemant consents to send, although hesitating to risk so many precious lives.

He begins the Relation proper (of which we have space in this volume for but the three opening chapters) by describing the treachery of the Iroquois — [Page 15] the Mohawks, who had made peace with the French a year before, being the first to break it, and persuading the other Iroquois tribes to attack the French. Jogues goes on a third expedition to these savages, to open a mission among them. Hardly has he reached them, ere he dies by their hands (October 18, 1646). Lalemant proceeds to describe the subsequent incursions of the Iroquois into Canada, and their cruel treatment of their captives; on one of these raids, the Christian chief Pieskaret is perfidiously slain. He also narrates the trial and hardships endured by several Algonkin women who escaped their hands, and succeeded in reaching Quebec. Some Algonkins also succeed, on one occasion, in surprising and killing a party of Iroquois.

The Editor has, of late, received valuable assistance in investigations in French archives, from Pere Camille de Rochemonteix, S. J., of the Versailles house of the order; Dr. Charles H. Haskins, of the University of Wisconsin; and M. A. Vidier, of the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.

R. G. T.

Madison, Wis., September, 1898.


Relation of 1645-46



This document was commenced in Volume XXVIII.; it occupied all of Volume XXIX., and is herewith completed.






neof the first Christians of this country, speaking some time ago to a new Catechumen who was asking of him some advice before receiving Baptism, answered him: “My brother, I have only two things to say to thee. The first is, that thou wilt never be a good Christian if thou dost not suffer many insults and calumnies for thy faith: when thou shalt see thyself hated by the infidels, even by those who now have most love for thee, then rejoice, and think that truly thou art beginning to be a Christian. The second, that thou take care not to be indignant at those who shall make thee suffer; pray to God for them, and tell him in thy heart that he shall show mercy to them, and enable them to understand the wretched condition in which they live.”

Indeed, this good Christian was right: [38] for it is true that the surest mark that we have, in these countries, of the faith of a Christian, is to see him straightway greeted with calumny. And if the faith of some seems doubtful to us, if some become apostates after receiving Holy Baptism, — they are precisely those who were living most in repose, and as it were, sheltered from the storm.

Ignace Oiiakonchiaronk, — one of the richest and [Page 19] most popular men in the Village of St. Ignace, before he had received the faith, — no sooner embraced it than he saw the affections of his whole Village changed toward him. Opportunities were sought for beating him to death, and, — these, attacks not being successful, — that they might get rid of him with more impunity, he was vigorously accused of being in the number of those secret Sorcerers whom every one is permitted to slay as a public victim, and as the cause of diseases which become protracted, and for which a cure cannot be obtained.

This good Christian was not astonished, seeing himself so closely attacked at a point so sensitive; he braced himself against that storm, and the temptation has served only to give more luster to his faith and his courage. [39] “I begin to know,” he said openly in public, “that my heart does not deceive. me, and that my faith is genuine, since it is an object of hatred. If they have formed the design of making me lose either life or the faith, let them hasten to slay me as soon as possible. My soul does not cling to my body, and I will not attempt to parry my death; I will lower my head before the man who, shall choose to kill me as a Christian. Let them not seek pretexts, and let them have as little fear to deal the first blow at my person, as I have to receive it; they will see that the Christians do not pale at death, and that their faith is proof against that which is considered most frightful in this world.”

The good thing is, that his zeal did not stop there. He has converted his family, — his wife, his children, and his nephews; and since that time, he does not cease to publish to the infidels the excellence of the faith, which all admire in him, but which those who [Page 21] have not his courage cannot resolve to buy at the cost of the calumnies with which they see him persecuted.

The faith finds no distinction between the sexes. A woman of that same [40] Village, named Lute Andotraaon, having become a Christian, had given up a certain dance , — the most celebrated in the country, because it is believed the most powerful over the Demons to procure, by their means, the healing of certain diseases. Be this as it may, that dance is only for chosen people, who are admitted to it with ceremony, with great gifts, and after a declaration which they make to the grand masters of this Brotherhood, to keep secret the mysteries that are intrusted to them, as things holy and sacred.[i]

A Captain of high standing among the chief officers of these mysterious ceremonies, came to find that Christian woman who had renounced their dance; having taken her aside, he told her in confidence, that he came to give her warning of the design which they had against her. He said that, in a secret council which the leaders of that dance had held, they had resolved to surprise her the next Summer in her field, to split her head, and remove her scalp, — by that means concealing the murder that would be committed, the suspicion of it being likely to fall on the Iroquois enemies. He told her that the only means of averting this blow was [41] to abandon the faith, and come back into the dance from which she had gone forth.

This woman made manifest, on this occasion, that her faith was stronger than death. “They will oblige me,” she said to him, “by making me die for so good a cause; and thou obligest me by warning me of it as a friend: for now I shall think, with more [Page 23] truth than ever, that I am dead to the world, and that I must live to God alone.”

We shall see this Summer what will be the effects of that threat. However, the grand masters of that dance have not long deferred the revelation of the designs which they have of opposing themselves to the progress of the faith. They have solicited many Christians to renounce Christianity, and to array themselves on their side; their importunate pursuit, their promises, their threats, and the gifts which they have not spared, have carried away some of the weakest of these. But, after all, the small number, notwithstanding all these great efforts, of those who have allowed themselves to fall away, has caused us to recognize the lively faith of the majority, and has served to animate the good Christians [42] in the expectation of a ruder war, and of a combat which may proceed even to blood, and which may make for us Martyrs; these, they plainly see, cannot fail them if they continue to be true to their faith,

But it seems that the infidels themselves distrust their forces; or, rather, they well judge that the faith so lifts a soul above all the misfortunes of the earth, that it can have no dread of an evil which is not, eternal. In order, then, to sap the foundations of our faith, they have tried to shake them by falsehoods which they invent, and with which they fill the whole country.

At one time they circulate the rumor that some Algonquins have recently returned from a very distant journey, — in which, having gone astray in countries till then unknown, they have found very populous cities, inhabited only by the souls which formerly had lived a life similar to ours. They say that [Page 25] there they have heard wonders, — that they have been assured that these things which are said of Paradise and of Hell are fables; [43] that it is true that souls are immortal, but that, upon exit from the first bodies which they had, they see themselves at liberty, and gain entirely new bodies, more vigorous than the first, and a more blissful country; and that thus our souls, at death, leave their bodies in the manner of those who abandon a cabin and an exhausted soil, in order to seek one newer and more productive.

At other times there have come, it is said, certain news that there has appeared in the woods a phantom of prodigious size, who bears in one hand ears of Indian corn, and, in the other, a great abundance of fish; who says that it is he alone who has created men, who has taught them to till the earth, and who has stocked all the lakes and the seas with fish, so that nothing might fail for the livelihood of men. These he recognized as children, although they did not yet recognize him as their father, — just like an infant in the cradle, who has not firm enough judgment to recognize those to whom he owes all that he [44] is, and all the support of his life. But this phantom added, they said, that our souls, being separated from our bodies, would then have a greater knowledge; that they would see that it is from him that they hold life; and that then, upon rendering him the honors which he deserves, he would increase both his love and his cares for them, — that he would do good to them all. He also said that to believe that any one of them was destined to a place of torments and to the fires, which are not beneath the earth, were false notions, — with which, nevertheless, we treacherously strive to terrify them. [Page 27]

Finally, — since it is true that lying disguises itself in a thousand ways, and that often the more impudence there is, the more it finds entrance into men’s minds , — without seeking so far away for forged news, some was made to come from our very house; and this it is which has found most credit, which has most awed the simple, and which has constituted the most powerful rhetoric of the enemies of our faith. It was said that a Huron Christian woman, of those [45] who are buried in our cemetery, had risen again; that she had said that the French were impostors; that her soul, having left the body, had actually been taken to Heaven; that the French had welcomed it there, but in the manner in which an Iroquois captive is received at the entrance to their Villages, —  with firebrands and burning torches, with cruelties and torments inconceivable. She had related that all Heaven is nothing but fire, and that there the satisfaction of the French is to burn now some, now others; and that, in order to possess many of these captive souls, which are the object of their pleasures, they cross the seas, and come into these regions as into a land of conquest, just as a Huron exposes himself with joy to the fatigues and all the dangers of war, in the hope of bringing back some captive. It was further said that those who are thus burned in Heaven, as captives of war, are the Huron, Algonquin, and Montagnais Christians, and that those who have not been willing in this world to render themselves slaves of the French, or to receive [46] their laws, go after this life into a place of delights, where everything good abounds, and whence all evil is banished.

This risen woman added, they said, that, after [Page 29] having been thus tormented in Heaven a whole day, —  which seemed to her longer than our years, — the night having come, she had felt herself roused, near the beginning of her sleep; that a certain person, moved with compassion for her, had broken her bonds and chains, and had shown her, at one side, a deep valley which descended into the earth, and which led into that place of delights whither the souls of the infidel Hurons go; that from afar she had seen their villages and their fields, and had heard their voices, as of people who dance and who are feasting. But she had chosen to return into her body, as long as was necessary to warn those who were there present of such terrible news, and of that great misfortune which awaited them at death, if they continued to believe in the impostures of the French.

This news was soon spread [47] everywhere: it was believed in the country without gainsaying. At saint Joseph, it was made to come from the Christians of la Conception; in the Village of la Conception, it was said to come from St. Jean Baptiste; and there it was reported that the Christians of saint Michel had discovered this secret, but that we had corrupted, by many presents, those who had seen it with their own eyes, and that they had not dared to tell it except to some of their intimates. In a word, it was an article of faith for all the infidels, and even some of the Christians almost half believed it.

Thereupon, wonders were told; and, in order to confirm this truth more substantially, they said that in reality the place of the fire is not the center of the earth, but rather the Sky, to which we see fires and flames ascend. They added that the Sun was a fire, [Page 31] and that — if he makes himself felt from so far, if he warms or burns according as he approaches us — one cannot doubt that he makes a powerful conflagration in the Sky, and that he furnishes flames more than are required in order to burn [48] all the Hurons whom the French try to send thither.

These falsehoods and similar discourses are so many clouds, with which untruth incessantly strives to obscure the light of our faith, which, after all, renders itself ever victorious over them, but yet never stays without an enemy, — one fog being no sooner scattered than another rises from the earth, sometimes thicker and more difficult to clear away than the one which preceded it.

The infidels, having seen all these resources and so many batteries result with little success for them, have had recourse to what they have judged most powerful in nature, and to arms, the blows of which r they did not suppose the faith could parry. They have incited, even publicly and in the midst of their feasts, lewd girls to win the hearts of the Christians — hoping that, having lost their chastity, their faith would no longer be so vigorous, and would perish in debauchery. But if some one has made it appear, on that side, that his faith had not altogether detached him from the body, and had left him in the number of men, [49] the courage of most has given those firebrands of hell to understand that their fires and their flames have no hold on a heart which is possessed of a more holy ardor. And what has appeared to us more delightful in most of these victories is, that several in such encounters, after having imitated the purity of the most chaste Joseph, judged [Page 33] themselves criminal even to have been the object of an infamous pursuit,

“It must be,” said one of them with tears in his eyes, “that latterly the devil has perceived that my faith has become weakened, since he so little conceals the designs which he has on me; our enemies do not openly attack a Village which they know to be well defended.” And, having related, to that one of our Fathers to whom he had recourse, the violent means that he had just employed in order to withdraw himself from the hands of some shameless women, he added: “Five years ago, I was taken captive by the Iroquois; but even then, when the enemies threw themselves on me, I had less terror than I felt at the approach of these wretched creatures. “

Here follows, in this connection, a conversion which seems to me quite remarkable. One of those dissolute girls, having perceived that all [50] her endeavors had no power over the mind of a young Christian, returned to herself, and decided that our faith must needs be something excellent, since, even at an age which values only pleasures, it gave aversion and horror for them to those who had embraced it. She made inquiry of a young Christian girl, and asked her if she really believed that there was a Hell; and how she could be sure that the French, who came to instruct them, did not tell them lies. “I believe it firmly,” answered the Christian girl; “but even though that should be a doubtful thing, the very thought that perhaps there is a Hell for those who remain infidels, ought to make you dread a misfortune so terrible. Otherwise, we are mistaken, when we go into our fields throughout the Summer, in [Page 35] fearing the hidden ambushes of the Iroquois; since perhaps, at the very height of our fears, the enemies do not think of us.”

The infidel girl was so touched by this answer that, from that time, this thought could not leave her mind, that at least it might well be the case that there was in [51] Hell a fire prepared for the infidels; and that, in such case, she would be eternally wretched. Finally, at the end of two months, she comes to find one of our Fathers, in order to ask him for Baptism. “Thou art a corrupt girl,” he said to her. “I desire to be so no longer,” she answered; “the fire of Hell has confounded me. Before coming to thee, I wished to prove myself; and I set myself to practice what I will have to do as a Christian. I know not whence can come this change, but I have found myself quite different in what gave me the most apprehension for my weakness. Why can I not continue all my life what I have practiced for two months? When a young man now accosts me, I tell him that I have a desire to be a Christian, and that he must expect nothing from me. If that serves me for defense, Baptism will increase my strength.” To be brief, this new penitent having continued five or six months in her endeavors, with an extraordinary fervor, one could not put her off longer in so just a request: she received, with Baptism, the name of Magdelaine.

[52] A young Huron, greatly fearing God, who for several years has maintained himself in the Christian faith with an innocence altogether delightful, was solicited by his relatives to marry. Being asked whether he was acquainted with a certain girl whom there was talk of giving him for wife, “I look at none [Page 37] of them,” he answered an uncle of his; “for I know that God has forbidden it; I turn away my glances when any one appears to me in a chance encounter. Let them give me, since thus it is, whomsoever they will; provided they assure me that she has a desire to die in the faith, and that she has a horror of sin, our affections will soon be united; and I hope that it will not be for the purpose of breaking them lightly, and in the manner of the infidels, — since living, both alike, in the desire of pleasing God, we shall try to render them immortal.”

To finish this Chapter, I will say that our Huron snows have been whitened, this winter, by the chastity of a young Christian, who — feeling in his body a fire, of which he had more horror than of that of Hell, and temptations so powerful that it seemed to him that all the Demons [53] of impurity possessed him — no longer knew what remedy to apply to an evil which he could not shun, being unable to forsake himself. Finally, transported with a holy despair, he ran into a neighboring wood, stripped himself quite naked, threw himself into the snows, and rolled in them a long time, — bathing them with his tears, and uttering his prayers to Heaven with so much fervor that, having lost nearly all feeling, those infernal flames became entirely quenched, and left his soul as vigorous, after this victory, as he found his body dejected; there scarcely remained to him enough strength to return to the place whence he had started. Even after that, this good young Christian did not deem that he had had sufficient horror of that temptation, and accused himself of cowardice for not having soon enough had recourse to this remedy.

I know more than one of them who have applied [Page 39] upon their bodies coals and burning brands, in order to stifle that same fire of hell, — saying to themselves, to overcome the temptation: “And how couldst thou, wretched man, bear an eternal fire, if thou canst not accustom thyself to this one, which is but a feeble painting of that?” [Page 41]




ometime ago, the principal Christians of our Huron Churches, happening to be together, asked one another whence they felt themselves most powerfully fortified in their faith; and what, in their opinion, was the most efficacious means which God had given them in order to resist temptations, avoid sin, and live truly as Christians. Some said that on leaving the Communion they saw themselves quite different, and felt indeed that Jesus Christ was the master of their hearts, possessed their minds, and rendered them robust. Others said that after Confession they were wholly renewed, and similar to a traveler who, having discharged a very heavy burden, felt his strength come back, and even ran in a road from which previously he could not have extricated himself. But most were agreed, that [55] prayer was their most powerful support; that thence they drew their vigor and their strength; that they felt themselves animated by it with quite another mind; and that it seemed to them that, if they came to lose the use of it, they would soon lose the dread of sin, and consequently, the faith.

However this may be, we see that most of them esteem prayer as the life of their being and the soul of their faith. Their use of it is so frequent and so sacred that they accuse themselves for having undertaken anything without having commended themselves [Page 43] to God; for having begun labor without having offered to him the first-fruits of it; and for not having soon enough directed their thoughts to him on suffering some pain, receiving some injury, being seized with a sadness, assailed by a sickness, or attacked by any trouble.

“No,” said in this connection a Huron who was very poor, but very rich in his faith; “the Christians would be the most unhappy on the earth unless they knew that God sees them, that he is witness of their miseries, and that he listens to their prayers. But when we think that all our sorrows will be changed into joy, that God loves us [56] in our greatest afflictions, and that we shall derive an eternal happiness from all our sufferings, provided that we endure them patiently, — the recourse that we then have to prayer consoles us throughout this life, and makes us love as a great benefit that which is considered a great evil; or, at least, in the view that we have of Paradise and Hell we endure with meekness the afflictions of this life, in this true thought, that, as they are not to be eternal, they can be but a small evil. “

A poor Christian woman, being asked if she offered to God her pains, answered: “Alas! that is my only consolation. Could it indeed happen, that a Christian — who firmly believes that the little which he endures can procure for him an eternity of happiness, if he suffer for the love of God — should be willing to lose so rich a reward, and suffer only in the manner of the infidels and of wild beasts, which have not the knowledge of a true God?”

There are some who use their Rosaries, in order to mark how many times they have uplifted their [Page 45] hearts to God , — striving [57] to continue Perfecting themselves from day to day in an exercise so holy, and one which appears to them so lovable; and one man will be found who, in the space of one night, will have uttered two hundred times some ejaculatory prayer. Some, being in their fields of Indian corn, in order to renew more frequently the offering which they make to God of their work, will take, as a sign which is to refresh their memory of this, some trees before which they pass very often; and will mark there, either on the bark or else upon the ground, a cross, which they adore every time when they pass it. Others will content themselves to be faithful to God as many times as he shall draw them to himself in the depths of their souls: and it will sometimes happen that certain ones among them will have been almost constantly in prayer, without intending so to be,

“I have no sense,” said some time ago an excellent Christian of the Village of la Conception, named Joseph Taondechoren; “if I would always pray to God, I would be with him without ceasing, for I certainly feel that he is always drawing my heart to himself. I give it to him at the same moment, and content myself with that; but [58] he is not content with it. I feel that he tells me again, in the depth of my soul, that he wishes that I be altogether his; I answer him that he knows well that I only desire to be his alone; that he shall do his will upon me, and that he shall dispose of my life. The more I give myself to him, the more he urges me not to refuse him what he asks. Any man who should treat me in that way would be annoying to me, and his persistencies would render him insufferable to [Page 47] me: and yet I cannot, and would not dare to, complain of the rigor with which God treats me. I see well that it is only love and goodness; and that there is not in this world a pleasure similar to that which I feel when he leaves me least in repose, and constrains me a thousand times to tell him that I am altogether his.”

Another, named Andre Ochiendarenouan, told us that the one thing in this world which gave him a most lively idea of the great happiness of Paradise, was the thought that if in this life, on saying these two words, Jesus taitenr, — “Jesus, have pity on me,”—  he felt so much contentment in his heart, that it surpassed all the pleasures together which ever he [59] had felt within the seventy years since he was in the world, — it must indeed be that in Heaven there were ineffable satisfactions, since God awaits that opportunity to make us enjoy his mercies; and since the pleasures which we taste in telling Our Lord to have pity on us are only while we await that great blessing which we shall possess in Heaven, the hope of which alone so sweetly fills our whole hearts throughout this life.

A good Christian woman, in a similar frame of mind, profoundly astonished one of her infidel kinswomen, who was exhorting her to renounce Christianity, and was assuring her that it was beyond doubt that all that we preached to them of Paradise was nothing but fables. “Suffer me, I beg thee, to die peacefully in my error,” this good Christian answered her; “even though I should be deceived, —  which is not the case, — it would be a very agreeable deception. Why do you wish to rob me of a real benefit, which is not alone’ in expectation, but of [Page 49] which I am in possession from now on ? for it is true that the ,hope of Paradise consoles me throughout this life, and sweetens for me everything, which without that in it would be [60] unendurable to us.”

One of our Fathers, seeing a good man — very simple, but an excellent Christian — who usually spent a very long time in his prayers, asked him the reason of it. This good man answered him, very artlessly, that the reason for this slowness proceeded from the fact that he did not yet know how to pray well to God; that he was often filled with distractions; and that, — in order that the devil should gain nothing upon him, and should weary of interrupting him, — he began his prayers over again, whenever he found that he had been distracted. “Very rarely,” added this good man, “my spirit makes its way even to God; and then I do not perceive the time that I spend in my prayer, for my heart is so transported beyond itself, that I feel neither heat, nor cold, nor pain, nor weariness. I have not even a thought of the things of the earth; but only that God is good, and that it is good to be with him.”

The Father continued to ask him what this great pleasure was like, which he felt at those times. “I have nothing like it,” he answered; “all the satisfactions ‘which I have conceived in this world are [61] nothing in comparison with a single moment of these delights which God causes me to taste, — neither the feasts, nor the riches, nor the pleasures, of which I now have a horror, and which formerly I esteemed the greatest in the world. If, however,” he added, “I am constrained to make some answer, I see nothing which seems to me so near to these [Page 51] pleasures of Heaven, as was that which I formerly felt when most eager for the chase, — when I found some stag caught in my traps, or had slain some bear which I had long pursued with many fatigues.”

The same man, — taking a journey with his son, and seeing that this young man beguiled the weariness of his way by singing some indifferent airs, said to him: “My son, I see well that God is not the supreme master of thy heart; thy thoughts would all be his, and, of a time in which no one can interrupt thee, thou wouldst make profit for Heaven. The winds have carried away thy song, and have at the same time dissipated thy pleasures; if thy conversation had been with God, the grace which thou hadst acquired by thy prayers would have remained with thee [62] for an eternity.”

In this same spirit of prayer, some, upon taking the road, will avoid company and will take sequestered routes, in order to converse with God, and not to be interrupted; for they say: “It is not here as in France, where those whom we might meet would speak to us only of God.” These good people imagine that in France every one breathes nothing but holiness; that the conversation of companies is only of God; that vice keeps itself concealed there, and would not dare to appear; and that it is just as difficult to find there a corrupt person, — every one there being a Christian, — as it is here, in an infidel world, to meet companies who have their affections only for the good. Be that as it may, their virtue does not lack trial in that direction; and those who wish to appear always what they are have need of courage.

A Christian having found himself, while making a journey, in a cabin of infidels, where there chanced [Page 43] to be made scoffing remarks about our faith, was strongly tempted to pray to God only in secret, when the time for the repast had come; but having [63] perceived the temptation, and desiring to overcome it, .he began to pronounce his Benedicite so loudly that all the company were surprised. “Cease to be astonished,” he said to them; “you must know that I have been assailed by two very different kinds of shame. The first was on account of you, whose railleries I feared; the second was on account of myself and of God, who looks at me, and before whom I was ashamed not to dare to appear a Christian, The latter has been the stronger, and because the first inclined me to pray to God only in secret, the second has impelled me to pray to God so loudly that every one should know that I am, and will die, a Christian; that what you mock is my glory, and the greatest happiness that I esteem in this world.”

A Christian woman named Marthe Aatio, having chanced to be on a journey with a number of infidels, never omitted to pray to God morning and evening, before and after the meal, and to make the sign of the cross on two little twins that she was nursing, each time when she gave them the breast, although the infidels pointed their fingers at her, and made sport of her. Her husband, who was not a Christian, placed himself [64] also on the side of her opponents, saying that she was famished to pray to God; and that when in their Village, she ran as quickly to the Mass, at the first sound of the Bell, as if one had invited her to, a feast, — leaving everything as it was, whatever work she had in hand.

“Do not suppose that I ought to blush for that reproach, “answered this good Christian; “you could [Page 55] say, in order better to deal your blow, not only that I go to prayers, as if I had been invited to a feast, but that I run to them still faster: for, in truth, the feasts make almost no impression on me, since I know that we have souls more precious than our bodies. If you infidels leave everything for a good morsel, know that a good Christian will never be ashamed to leave everything for prayer; you think of nothing but the earth, and our thoughts are for Heaven. “

The same woman, kindling a fire one morning when it was very cold, thanked God because he had created the forests and woods, wherewith men might warm themselves. Her husband wished to mock at her. “Thy father,” he said to her, “for whom thou lightest this [65] fire, does not thank thee, although he sees thee; why are thou so simple as to thank God, whom thou hast never seen?” “I am under obligation to my father,” answered the wife, “and the little that I do for him in that is not considerable; but the favors which God does for us are continual, and he can have received nothing from us which obliges him to do us so much good. It is enough that we know that he hears us, and that he sees us, although we do not see him, to oblige us to render him our thanks.”

In this connection, I remember an answer as full of wit as of faith, which a Christian, named Charles Ondaaiondiont, made some time ago to the blasphemy of an infidel. This infidel was taunting the Christians, saying that, if God were omnipotent and so jealous of his honor, he ought to have rendered himself visible, so as to be recognized for what he is; and that he ought to have opened to our view, on one [Page 57] side his Paradise, and, on the other, Hell. Then, indeed, one might have dreaded his threats and desired his rewards, — which then would have appeared veritable to us, and would not have [66] left our minds in doubt. But, he said, as God had kept himself concealed, either he was wanting in love for us, and was not seeking to be honored by men; or, rather, one must thence conclude that there was no God in the world, and that our faith was founded only in error.

“Oh, wretched man!” answered him this good Christian, “if thou wert blind, thou wouldst then say that there is no Sun in the Sky. But shouldst thou not rather believe those who see it, and try to recover sight, that thou mayst enjoy a like blessing? Leave your vices and the corruption of your morals; then you will cease to be infidels, and you will avow with us that truly there is a God. You will love him more than his rewards; and you will judge it reasonable that whoever is so presumptuous as to offend him deserves eternal pains.”

“What then?” replied to him this infidel, “have you then the sight of this God whom you adore?” “No,” answered him the Christian, “but we see all the things of this world which he has created; and [67] we can just as little doubt that there is a God, as a wise man could doubt that the Sun is in the Sky when it is covered with clouds, and that it lights this world below, though we see it not. We shall see him revealed when the clouds shall be scattered, when our souls shall be divested of their bodies,”

“But why has he not rendered himself visible from now on?” “So that,” answered the Christian, “corrupt persons, like you, could not see him.” [Page 59]

The elders of the country were assembled this winter for the election of a very celebrated Captain. They are accustomed, on such occasions, to relate the stories which they have learned regarding their ancestors, even those most remote, — so that the young people, who are present and hear them, may preserve the memory thereof, and relate them in their turn, when they shall have become old. They do this in order thus to transmit to posterity the history and the annals of the country, — striving, by this means, to supply the lack of writing and of [68] books, which they have not. They offer, to the person from whom they desire to hear something, a little bundle of straws a foot long, which serve them as counters for calculating the numbers, and for aiding the memory of those present, — distributing in various lots these same straws, according to the diversity of the things which they relate.

The turn having come to a Christian old man, to tell what he knew, he begins to narrate the creation of the world, of the Angels, of the Demons, of Heaven and earth, with a most sagacious reservation, which kept all those present in a state of expectancy; for he was far along in the matter, and still had not yet given the name of the one who had made this great masterpiece. When he came to name him, and to say that God, whom the Christians adore, was the Creator of the world, the eldest Captain of those present seizes the straws from his hands, imposes silence upon him, and tells him that he does wrong to relate the stories of the French, and not those of the Hurons. But, he says, he is going to relate the pure truth, and how [69] it has happened that the earth, which was submerged [Page 61] in the waters, has been pushed out of them by a certain Tortoise of prodigious size, which sustains it and which serves it for support, — without which the weight of this earth would again engulf it in the waters, and would cause in this world below a general desolation of all the human race.[ii]

This good Christian upon whom they had imposed silence, and who had waited expressly to manifest his zeal, having for some time given audience to the fable of that infidel Captain, also in his turn seizes the straws from his hand. “Be silent thyself,” he said to him; “I consented to listen to thee, and became silent without resistance, — believing that thou wouldst teach us something better, and as true as what I was saying. But seeing that thou tellest only fables, which have no foundation but lies, I have more right to speak than thou. Where are the writings which give us faith in what thou sayest? If each one is permitted to invent what he will, is it [70] strange that we know nothing true, since we must acknowledge that the Hurons have been liars from all time ? But the French do not speak by heart; they preserve from all antiquity the Sacred books, wherein the word of God himself is written, without permission to any one to alter it the least in the world, — unless he would expose himself to the confusion of seeing himself belied by all the nations of the earth, who cherish this truth more than they have love for life.”

A Magician, among the most famous in this country, after having vomited a thousand blasphemies against God, was insolently boasting that it was in his power to procure the rains in time of drouth; to stop them when they should be too copious; to prevent the frosts which might injure their Indian corn, [Page 63] In a word, he made himself the umpire of the seasons of the year, — provided that the people had recourse to him, and rendered homage to the Demon whom he invokes. This arrogant one, seeing that a Christian there present did not, like the others, betoken any sign of astonishment [71] at the recital of so many marvels, took him aside, and told him, very rudely, that he was without sense, not to admire his power; and that it was a mark of his madness, that he had become a Christian.

“In truth,” gently answered him the Christian, “I have had only compassion for thee, hearing thy discourse; I am not obstinate, however, and am ready to admire thy wonders, provided that I see them. Cause a mountain to rise here, in the sight of every one who hears us; then I will acknowledge that truly thy power is great. But if thou canst not do it, allow me to adore him alone who has made all the mountains. Teach us here the principles of thy wisdom; we shall see whether it is more adorable than his. At least, if thou knowest his commandments, thou wilt admit that they are more equitable than thine.” This poor Magician was constrained to withdraw, to his own confusion, and since then has not returned.

But what most astonishes the infidels, on such occasions, is [72] that they see that many, who previously seemed to them quite ordinary minds, appear wholly changed when they have become Christians. And, in fact, the faith greatly enlightens a mind; the support of a good cause furnishes excellence of argument; and our Savages quite easily acquire a very blessed liberty when, having become Christians, they think that they have no more fear in this world but God and sin. [Page 65]

Here is a trait of faith which has pleased me. We had notified certain persons here of an eclipse of the Moon, which occurred the thirtieth of January, and the beginning of which appeared to us at ten o’clock and forty-six minutes. I was then in the Village of la Conception. They did not fail to leave the cabins, to see if the eclipse would really be such as we had predicted it. A good Christian set himself to pray to God during all that time. The next day, the others asking him why he had not gone out to see so remarkable an eclipse, he answered: “Because it then came to my thought that [73] God had not invited us to go to see eclipses, but that indeed he had promised us that he would have more love for us, the more time we should give to prayer. To which another Christian replied, that, for his part, he had gone to see it on purpose to confirm himself in the belief which he had, that what we taught them of the future resurrection will one day prove just as true as what we had predicted to them of this eclipse before it appeared. “And as for myself,” answered the first, “I believe so firmly all that God has revealed, and what is taught us of the things of the faith, that I have no need to go begging in the Moon any motive for my belief. If we believe all that they tell us of the cities and of the riches of France, without ever having seen aught of them, why shall I not believe what God has revealed of Paradise, and that one day we shall rise again? It must be that those who come to teach us are more certain of this than of the things which they have seen in France; since it is only with a view to Paradise that they have abandoned their relatives, [74] their native land, and whatever there can be most agreeable in [Page 67] the world, in order to come here to drag out a wretched life with us.”

Father François Joseph Bressany,[iii] whom we had been expecting for four years, finally arrived here among the Hurons at the beginning of last Autumn. If he had not been taken captive by the Iroquois on his first voyage, he would already know the Huron language, and would be a trained workman. But it must be acknowledged that the providences of God are gracious. The cruelties which some Hurons who escaped saw him suffer among the Iroquois, and his mutilated hands , — the fingers having been cut off, — have rendered him a better Preacher than we, since the time of his arrival, and have served more’ than all our tongues to give a better conception than ever to our Huron Christians, of the truths of our faith.

“It must be,” said some, “that God is very gracious, and truly deserves that he alone should be obeyed, — since the sight of a thousand deaths, and. of tortures a thousand times more frightful than death, [75] cannot stop those who come to announce to us his word.” “If there were not a Paradise,” said others, “could there be found men who would traverse the fires and flames of the Iroquois, in order to withdraw us from Hell, and to lead us with them to Heaven ? ““No,” exclaimed several; “I can no longer be tempted regarding the truths of the faith. I can neither read nor write, but those fingers which I see cut off are the answer to all my doubts; for I cannot question that that man is well assured of what he comes to teach us, who, having experienced such horrible cruelties, has exposed himself to them for the second time, as cheerfully as if he had found. [Page 69] in his first voyage only delights along his way. Show us only thy wounds, “they add to the Father; “they tell us — more efficiently than thou wilt be able to do when thou shalt thoroughly know how to speak our language — that we are bound to serve and adore him of whom thou expectest one day that he will restore to thee both the life which thou hast so freely exposed for him, and the fingers which they burned for thee so cruelly, [76] while journeying here for his service.” It is thus that the providence of God draws his glory from our losses, and that the faith of these good Neophytes continues to grow stronger, spontaneously, finding from day to day new motives for believing the truths which we come to announce to them.

René Tsondihouanne, speaking one day of the most blessed Sacrament in an assembly of Christians, said to them: “Yes, my brothers; let us believe without any doubt that Jesus Christ is in the Host, — that he is near us, and within us, when we receive Communion. He has chosen to conceal himself, like a child newly conceived in the womb of its mother. If the mother did not believe that her child had life when it is concealed from her eyes, and if she had too much curiosity to see it before its term, never could she see it except dead, and she would cause her own death. Thus, whosoever shall refuse to believe, unless he see him, that Jesus Christ is in the Host, never will deserve to see him. Let us wait till he himself is willing to reveal himself; and then we shall behold him with as much joy as a mother sees her child whose time she has patiently awaited without precipitating it.”

[77] This thought much surprised me, hearing it [Page 71] from the lips of this good Christian; but what astonishes me most, and what would be incredible to me if I did not see it with my own eyes, is that I can assert, with truth, that such thoughts come for the most part spontaneously to these good people, without their ever having heard them from others. This makes me acknowledge that truly their faith is a work of God alone, and that his hand is not shortened in this new world, any more than in the rest of the earth.

In passing, I will say that our Christians find no difficulty in believing the mystery of the most blessed Sacrament. Doubts come to them almost exclusively concerning the truths of Paradise, of Hell, and of the Resurrection. “Since I believed that I shall rise again,” most of them say to us, “I have no difficulty in believing the remaining truths of our faith; he who can gather up the scattered portions of a body reduced to ashes, has nothing left that is impossible for him.”

As results of a faith so lively, one could not believe, without seeing it, how great is the innocence of most of these good Neophytes, [78] and the horror which they have for sin, — even to the extent that several often ask us whether it is a possible thing to believe a Paradise and a Hell, and withal to sin mortally. So, when having seen some Christian commit any notable fault, on coming to make us the report of it, instead of telling us that they have seen his sin, they say to us, “Alas! such a one has to-day lost the sight of Paradise and of Hell; he has forgotten his faith, and that there is a God; we have seen him reduced to the rank of the infidels, who believe that our faith is nothing but fables.” [Page 73]

It is about three years since a Captain, one of the most influential in all the country, named Maurice Hotiaouitaentonk, of the Village of la Conception, became a Christian. The whole country is astonished to see the courage and the constancy of this man in his faith, and still more, his innocence, which is preserved intact, in the midst of the continual opportunities which invite him to sin. Some Christians were asking him one day, how he could live in the midst of so many dangers, with so great innocence. “My brothers,” he said to them, “the river which goes down from here to Quebek is [79] nothing but rapids; and yet we make few shipwrecks on it, because we are always on our guard, and at each turn we fear to lose both our goods and our lives. The more a canoe is laden with precious wares, the more watchful one is to elude the rocks and the whirlpools which are there encountered. Since I have received holy Baptism, all my treasure is in my heart, and my faith is my most precious wealth. I dread sin more than we fear the shipwrecks; at each step I think that I have much to lose, and that I guide a feeble vessel, — but one, nevertheless, laden with the riches which come from Heaven. I foresee the dangers; I pray God that he assist me; I distrust myself, and confide in his goodness; and never shall I believe myself in safety, till I have arrived in Heaven. He who should have nothing or little to lose would fall quite easily.”

We began this year, during Lent, to expound to our Christians the Gospel for each day, and the fruits of it have appeared to us very noticeable. A good old man, having heard the Gospel about the adulterous woman, could repress neither [80] his cries nor [Page 75] his tears. Those present were moved thereat with a holy awe; but this good man, thinking of nothing but God, was giving himself up to his grief with as much freedom as if he had been alone. Having returned to himself, they asked him what thing had touched him. “The remembrance,” he answered, “of the sins which I committed before knowing God! Oh, why did I not know then that he saw me? never would I have had the heart to offend him. I have felt in the depth of my soul that he was saying the same to me as to the adulterous woman, — that he would not condemn me for what pertains to my past life; and how can one contain one’s tears, to see, after so many sins, that nevertheless, he is pleased to love me, and to show me mercy, as much as if I had employed all my life in his love?”

Another, having allowed himself to lapse inadvertently into some fault, came to find, as early as day- break, that ,one of our Fathers who was instructing him. “I beg thee to have pity on me,” he said to him, “and to efface my sin as soon as possible. I have spent the whole night in prayers and in tears, without having taken a moment of sleep. Those of my cabin who saw my sin have been witnesses of my [81] tears; but God, whom I have offended, has known those of my heart, which have been the most bitter; I hope that he will show me mercy.”

Having received absolution, he made a feast the same day, to which he invited the infidel Captains, his relatives, and all those who had been either the cause or witnesses of his fall. “I have assembled you,” he said to them,” in order to let you know the regrets which I feel for my fault; and that, if I have sinned, I have learned that a Christian can have no [Page 77] more rest, when he has offended God in order to please men. Know that during my life I will no longer obey you in aught that you or any one whosoever shall ask me, that is contrary to God’s law.”

Tears are so rare in these countries, with respect to what concerns men, that I do not remember, in almost nine years that I have lived among the Savages, to have seen one of them weep, — except in sentiments of piety, and with a contrition so keen, that it must be acknowledged that grace is *more powerful than all nature over a heart animated by God.

With reference to this spirit of contrition, I remember an admonition given to us by a good Christian, named Pierre Ahandation, [82] which has appeared to me worth consideration. We often recommend to them a prayer in which is included an act of contrition.” If you knew us in the depth of our souls, “said to us this good Christian, “you would not tell us that, in order to hate more perfectly our sins, it is necessary to use one prayer rather than another. It is not here as in France, where you make scruples of lying, even to &en; but here we are from all time accustomed to lies. Consequently, you ought to fear lest we lie to God himself, — telling him falsely that we detest our sins because they offend only his lovable goodness, although in fact our heart still has its attachment to sin; or, at least, we have more dread for the fire of Hell than we have genuine love for God. But, rather, without giving us any form of prayer, tell us that we must detest our sins with all our hearts and with all our strength; and that God does not look upon our lips, but that he penetrates into the depths of our souls, insomuch [Page 79] that none can deceive him. [83] Then, not contenting ourselves with a prayer which would issue from our lips, but employing all the efforts of our heart in hating, without dissimulation, the enormity of our sins, God, I believe, will show us mercy; and, compelling us to love him, he will give us the grace to love him in good earnest.”

Let us end this Chapter with the feelings of a mother on the death of a child who was her only treasure. “My God,” she said to him, “I cannot complain of you. A thousand times, I have offered you both my life and that of this my child, whom I love more than myself; if you took both the one and the other, I would see the end of my troubles, and death would be as sweet to me as it now seems to me bitter. But if you please to content yourself with the half of my offering, what can I say in my grief, save that you are the master, and that it is for us to obey ? It is enough for me that I live in the hope that one day you will show me mercy in Heaven, —  that I may believe, from now on, that everything which can happen to me in this world, coming from you, can be only through love and for my good.”

“No,” said at other times this poor [84) afflicted mother, “I believe that God chooses to try me in this manner, so as to constrain me to have recourse to his goodness. Before the affliction, I was, as it were, drowsy, and often I forgot him; since then, I think only of him, because in him alone I find solace for my pains.” At other times, she said to herself at the height of her grief: “Since God foresaw that my daughter was to die before the age of discretion, why had he rendered her so lovable? Why did he not take her to himself as soon as she appeared in [Page 81] the world and had received Baptism? My grief would have been more tolerable, and my child would have been sooner in Heaven. But no doubt he preferred that my love should grow with her, so that, when she was taken away from me, it should be a blow that I would feel more keenly. After all, “’ she said, “may his blessed will be done; I desire that it be mine, and submit to it with all my heart.”

The sentiment of Joseph Taondechoren, the uncle of this poor afflicted mother, appeared to me no less excellent — when, after the death of two of his little children, he was asked in what state [85] was his heart. He answered that, since he had been a Christian, he had never felt the death of any of his relatives, — though, indeed, he felt their griefs and maladies, for which he could but have compassion; but that, as soon as he had seen them dead, his grief had entirely ceased, in the thought that they were going to be happy in Heaven; that they were getting the start in a journey which he hoped to make himself; and that, in the day of the Resurrection, God would unite them all together, that they might never more see themselves separated. [Page 83]



Itbelongs only to God to make the choice of his elect, and we see in these countries, as much as in any place in the world, that his providence is so strong in its guidance, and so gentle in its execution, that none will perish of those whom he has. chosen to be the objects of his mercies, — even though they were alone in the midst of darkness, and in a [86] place destitute of all assistance.

A number of Iroquois captives, whom we baptized at the moment of their death, give us faith in this, when in the midst of the flames they have found life, and have seen themselves children of God, — happy in their misfortune, into which this divine providence had lovingly involved them, in order to draw their salvation from their destruction.

Seven or eight years ago, we had here baptized an Andastoëronnon (these are tribes of the Huron language, who live in Virginia, where the English have their trade).[iv] After that time, this man having returned to his own country, we supposed that his faith must have been stifled in the midst of the impiety which prevails there, since he had no longer any support in the midst of a nation wholly infidel, and so remote from us that not even have we been able, for five or six years, to learn any news of it. ’

This winter we have learned, from a Huron who has returned thence, that the faith of this man from [Page 85] a strange land is as vigorous as ever, — that he makes public profession of it, and continues in his duty as much as if he [87] lived among a people quite Christian. We gave him in his Baptism the name of Estienne; his surname is Arenhouta.

Father Jean de Brébeuf went, toward the end of Autumn, to a place named Tangouaen, where dwell some Algonquins, and where some cabins of Hurons have taken refuge, in order to live there more sheltered from incursions by the Iroquois; for it is a retired country, and surrounded on all sides by lakes, ponds, and rivers, which make this place inaccessible to the enemy. It was a journey extremely difficult for the Father, and for a young Frenchman who accompanied him thither : but their consolation much surpassed their hardships, when they found in the midst of those profound forests and those vast solitudes a little Church which they had gone to visit. By this, I mean a whole family of Christians, who find God in those woods, who live there in innocence, and who received these two guests as though sent from Heaven. The head of the family, his wife, and their children could not moderate their joy, to see that their cabin was becoming the house of God. All devoutly performed the duties [88] of Christians, received the Sacraments there, and esteemed as sacred all the moments of so blessed a visit. Moreover, that they might occupy those moments profitably, all their discourses were of nothing but Heaven; they propose their doubts to the Father, they torment him with love both by day and by night, they importune him piously; and, however fatigued he may be from a journey of five or six days, hardly will they allow him two or three hours of repose. [Page 87] “Echon,” they say to him (this is the name which the Hurons give the Father), “thou hast come here for our sake. We are famished; it is for thee to satisfy us, and to make us a feast. Thy sayings give us life; God speaks with thee, and he tells us in the heart what issues from thy lips.”

The Father, having spent some days in that solitude, was in haste to accelerate his return, fearing to be surprised by the ice and the winter which was beginning, and which in fact stopped him on the way, and placed him in danger of dying from both hunger and cold, and of perishing in the lakes and rivers which they had to cross. It was not without profound emotion, on both sides, that this parting took place; but the [89] Pastor who has a scattered flock is obliged not to stop in one place, — he owes his care equally to all his sheep. But in such encounters we have the consolation to know, and to see by actions, that God, who alone is the great master of the flock, supplies them in our absence; and that his graces and his illumination fail not to those who hear his voice, who have followed it, and who choose to be faithful to him.

I must report here among the providences of God that one which has appeared to us in calling to the faith two of the Athistaëronnon, — a nation of the Algonquin language, extremely populous, which we call the Nation of fire, who have never seen any European, and where the name of God has never penetrated. But it must needs be that this tribe should render homage to Jesus Christ, and offer him some first-fruits of what we hope that it will be one day, —  wholly Christian. God alone knows the moments thereof, and we shall await them with patience, since [Page 89] it is his affair more than ours. Meanwhile, he has chosen for us, among a thousand, two young men of that nation, whom he has drawn from their country, and [90] whom he has called to the faith by ways all full of love. We have given to the one the name of Louys; the second is called Michel, from the name of the Mission of Saint Michel, in which he dwells. His surname is Exouaendaen.

They are both captives of war, who, having been taken when quite young, have been preserved alive, and have found in this country the blessing of the faith , — which makes them cherish their captivity more than they have ever felt love for their native land. Above all, the guidance of God over the second one has appeared to us lovable. He was touched to the heart from the first time that he heard mention of God; but, as those who had adopted him as a son were all infidels, we made no haste to speak to him so soon of Baptism, for fear that he were not devoutly enough inclined for it. He, besides, did not dare to ask it, esteeming himself unworthy of it, — or, at least, not realizing that, being a poor, forsaken one, we might wish to cast our eyes on him for a grace for which he saw that we showed so much esteem. Thereupon he falls sick with a languor that continued to consume him, and with a species [91] of paralysis, which obliged us to speak to him as to a man who must be prepared as soon as possible for Heaven. “These are,” he answered, “the desires of my heart: and if you wait until I die, to baptize me, gladly will I face death to-day, in order to see myself as soon as possible a Christian.”

His thoughts after his Baptism were no longer of [Page 91] aught but Heaven; he enjoyed only our mysteries, and no longer loved other conversations than those about God. His sickness kept continually increasing; and — in order to snatch from him, at the height of his miseries, the sole consolation which was left to him on earth — God permitted that the Father who had charge of that Mission was obliged to absent himself from it very long, without our being able to supply it by other means, — several of our Fathers having at the same time fallen sick, and the others being needed elsewhere. During all that time, this poor languishing man was so forsaken by the very parents who had adopted him, that very often he passed whole days without having anything to eat, sometimes not even water to quench his thirst during the [92] most excessive heats of the Summer. Even God, who often hides himself from those whom he loves the most, seemed to withdraw from him; or, at least, he did not choose that at that time his favors should be so perceptible to him.

In this desolation so extreme, a sadness seized him, which reduced him almost to despair, — having not even one man to whom he could complain of his trouble. Then he cast his eyes toward Heaven, and, remembering God, he said to him in a plaintive voice : “And you, too, my God, will you then abandon me?” At that same moment, he heard as it were a voice within, which said to him in answer: “Michel, do not let thyself be distressed on account of the miseries of thy body; remember that thy eternal dwelling is not here, but in Heaven.” At these words he felt himself all at once consoled, and all his cares dispelled; and he said afterward, to the Father who returned to visit him, that then indeed God had [Page 93] taken possession of his heart, that then he had begun truly to know him; and that, ever since, he faced his miseries only with joy, — remembering that indeed he would be happy in Heaven.

Especially he had conceived a very tender affection [93] toward the Blessed Virgin, and missed not a day in reciting his Rosary, even at the crisis of his disease.

Among the discourses that had been addressed to him, he had been greatly touched by the miraculous cures which occur at Nostre Dame de Laurette;[v] and he had been told that, in our house at Sainte Marie, we kept a very beautiful image of that Blessed Virgin. In consequence of that, he conceived a lively hope that, if he could drag himself thither, or be brought thither, he would there experience the mercies of God. He chooses his time one Summer day, and ventures to do what he had not undertaken for two years. He leaves his Village, and drags himself as best he can, now on all fours, anon with a staff; but strength soon fails him. He addresses himself to the Blessed Virgin; and, according as he continues to increase his prayers, he feels his strength come back, with an increase of constancy and courage. Finally, he arrives at our abode, having employed more than fifteen hours to accomplish three leagues of road.

Coming into our Chapel, his heart is all filled with joy. “Here,” [94] thinks he, “is the house of God: it is here that he will show me mercy.” But, nevertheless, he dares not ask for health. “My God,” he said, “you are all-powerful; do your will, and have no regard for mine. But I believe, and doubt not that you can cure me.” That was all his prayer, which he repeated without growing weary, [Page 95] with a fervor and respect which was imparted to all those who were watching him.

Be this as it may, the effect of his prayer made manifest to us that it had been heard, — he found himself perfectly cured; and — what he himself esteemed more than his cure — he was then so enlightened and so filled with God that never had he seen the faith so glorious, never had he seen so clearly the vanity of this life, never had he so highly esteemed the blessing which he possessed in being a Christian. Accordingly, it was for these inward graces that he rejoiced with us, and for these he thanked God more than for his health.

He returned to his own Village as early as the next day, without a stick and without aid, with a step and gait as firm as if he had never had any ailment; and since then his constancy, his zeal, his devotion, and the love [95] which he has for those who teach him, and who have taught him, he says, to know his God, — in a word, his exemplary life, truly worthy of a Christian, at an age during which nature has no inclination except for excess, — all that causes us to hope that he will not stop there, and that he will be able one day to be an Apostle for his own country, and carry a more divine fire into the nation of fire.

Some take their stand for the faith almost of themselves; others yield themselves up only after long resistance. Some long seek the entrance thereto, and with many pains; others will see themselves in Heaven by an unexpected encounter, and as if by chance. The providence of God is alike for all; but it appears to us more gracious in the case of the latter, because we see in it something inexpressibly more divine. [Page 97]

The conversion of an old man aged eighty years, of the Village of saint Joseph, is of this number. One of our Fathers, being in a cabin of infidels, hears the bell ring which was calling the Christians to Mass. “It is necessary,” he said, “that I go to prayers;” and adds, smiling, [96] “as for such a one” (naming this old man), “he has no desire to come thither.” “Why not?” answers the infidel: “come, now, let me go with thee!” The Father is surprised to see this man following him and presenting himself to enter with the Christians; but as he supposes that it is only a piece of merriment, he sends him away for another time. The old man patiently waits at the door, and, Mass ended, asks that they have pity on him, and that at least they teach him some word of prayer. At evening, he presents himself again, and continues without growing weary of the delays which were imposed upon him. Finally, his constancy enables him to find admission to the place intended for the Catechumens. The feast of Christmas having come, this man urges that he be baptized; the Father, wishing to try his faith still further, and to postpone his Baptism longer, sends him away to our house at sainte Marie, if he desire to be baptized. This was binding him to a condition that was impossible, in the Father’s judgment, —  obliging him to make a journey of five or six leagues, at the most rigorous time of the year, and through snows three and four feet deep, from which often the most robust young men find it hard to extricate themselves. But [97] the faith of this good old man gave him strength, and all those mountains of snow could not quench his fervor.

Seeing himself baptized, he thinks no more but of [Page 99] death; he gives up the feasts and the other diversions, even the most lawful,-fearing to see himself unawares involved there in some fault. His thoughts are only of God, as he tries to learn the prayers, and has himself instructed with the simplicity of a child, —  though he was a man of excellent judgment, and of influence among his own people. His memory being faithless to him, at an age more apt to forget than to learn, his good will furnished him a means which served him as book and writing. He had recourse to those of his cabin, though infidels. “Thou wilt remind me of these three words,” he said to his wife; “and thou,” — addressing his daughter, — “do not forget these three others.” And thus he proceeded dividing among several persons what he wished to learn, having it repeated to him very often and retaining for himself these two words, Jesous taitenr, “Jesus have pity on me,” which was his best-loved prayer, and which he repeated a thousand. times a day.

Then, the whole Village being at the [98] height of diabolical ceremonies, and of a superstitious solemnity which the infidels name Onnonhouaroia, —  that is to say, a public madness, and a disorder of the brain , — there occurred a dangerous commotion against the Christians. Already the hatchet had been raised against that one of our Fathers who has charge of that Mission, — if a Christian had not thrown himself between them, to parry or to receive the blow. In fact, some were rudely struck, and the hatchet of the infidels almost gave to this Church a martyr; but it only half dealt its blow, having drawn only the blood, and not the whole life, of a good Christian named Laurent Tandoutsont. [Page 101]

This good old man, recently baptized, at the news that he had of that commotion, straightway began to sing in the manner of the captives who are destined for the flames, and ran toward the Chapel, where was the brunt of the sedition, saying, for the theme of his song, “I shall go to-day into Heaven; I shall die in the company of my brothers; Jesus will have pity on me.”

In fact, he was near his death, [99] but not a death so violent. He falls sick after that, and immediately sends for the Father, and begs him to prepare him for death as a good Christian — he saying that he feared only sin, or that, coming to lose his faculties, his wife and all his infidel relatives might have recourse, for his health, to the devil and to the superstitions of the country. He called them all, exhorted them to embrace the faith, and declared to them that he was renouncing all the things forbidden to the Christians; that he desired to be buried in Holy ground; that he died willingly, and in a firm hope of being forever blessed in Heaven; that they should dread the fire of Hell; that he no longer desired that one should speak to him of anything in this world, —  that he wished to think only of God. And, in fact, he no longer from that time rendered any answer to his wife and his children, to several questions which they put to him, — his heart remaining undivided for the things of Heaven, and his tongue being faithful to him in this point, even to the last sigh, which he breathed after these words, which were those of his heart, [100] “Jesus, have pity on me.”

A little before dying, the Father being alone near him, this good Christian asked him who was the young man, of rare beauty, who stood at his side, [Page 103] and who, merely to look upon, enraptured his heart with joy. The Father answered him that there was no one. “No, no,” he replied, “I have lost neither eyes nor judgment: I see him quite near thee. He accompanies thee; and I know by his face that he comes to help me to die well; do both of you have a care for my soul.” We know nothing more of this, but we are not ignorant that the Guardian Angels of these good Neophytes labor, much more than we, to guide their souls to Heaven.

Here is an act of the mercy of God. One of the greatest enemies of the faith in the Mission of Saint Ignace, chancing to be near death, feels himself influenced from Heaven, at the first sight of the Father who was going to speak to him of his salvation. “Alas!” said he to the Father, “how good is God, even to the impious, since he brings thee hither in order to grant me [101] at death a favor of which I had rendered myself unworthy ! I ask him for pardon with all my heart, and of thee I ask Baptism. I detest the sins of my past life, and I firmly believe the truths you preach, just as much as heretofore I felt horror of them, and blasphemed against them. Hasten to baptize me; for, if I have lived as an impious man, I wish to die as a good Christian.” The Father is astonished, but happily; and, the sickness urging him, he can no longer postpone the Baptism, after which the patient soon fell, as it were, into a death-agony.

An hour before he gave up his soul, the infidels having gained the advantage over the Father, and trying to drive him out, — that Dying man all at once returns to himself, recovers speech, and takes up the Father’s cause. His zeal even gave him quite enough [Page 105] strength to say to those impious ones, in energetic tones, that they themselves would have to go out; that they should go to their fellows, to announce to them that God was granting mercy to him who had blasphemed more than they; that they should dread [102] those flames of Hell, unless they wished to burn in them for an eternity; that, for his part, his soul was on its way to Heaven; that he would be forever blessed there, and that he would die in this lively confidence of the infinite goodness of God. After that, he turned his words and his eyes toward Heaven, with colloquies wholly filled with faith and love; and, in finishing his prayers, he finished his life. He was named François Saentarendi. [Page 107]




atherClaude Pijart and Father Leonard Gareau, who had wintered with the Algonquins on the shores of our great lake, and in the midst of the snows which cover these countries more than four or five months, followed those same tribes throughout the Summer, upon the bare rocks which they inhabit, exposed to the heat of the Sun; and thus spent with them almost all the past year.

[103] God chose to signalize the beginning of their expedition by a favor which he showed them, in withdrawing them both from the gates of death. They had left us at the end of the month of November; after four or five days’ journey, — in which they had to combat the winds, the snows, and the ice, which was beginning to form in every direction, —  they saw themselves constrained to leave their canoe, still distant more than three leagues from the place where they were aiming to land. They cast themselves upon those pieces of ice, which for a time sustain them with sufficient firmness: but what assurance is there upon a pavement so faithless? In a moment everything breaks beneath their feet, and they find themselves in a bottomless depth of water. The earth failing them, they have recourse to Heaven, and to the assistance of the most Blessed Virgin. At this same moment, a young man, one of our domestics, who accompanied them, and one of their [Page 109] Savage Christians, who had both gone on ahead? are astonished, looking back, to see them plunged into those masses of ice; they fear to perish themselves, more than they have hope of [104] being able to give them help, since that place was inaccessible — They throw some ropes to them, from as great a distance as they can; but, at each effort which they make to withdraw them from the wreck, they see them fall back more heavily into new ruins of that icy sea. Finally, .Our Lord assisted them, when they had almost lost all hope, and they found a piece of ice fairly firm, which received them safely. From this, afterward, soaked with water clean through, and half-dead with cold, they nevertheless found means of dragging themselves from ice to ice, from danger to danger, to a place of safety.

All of them were obliged to owe their lives to the most Blessed Virgin. Three days afterward, that young Frenchman who had so charitably succored them went astray in the woods, having lost his trail and the roads, which the newly-fallen snow had entirely covered. The coming night augments his misfortune; to stop, would have been to chill him with cold; the more he advances, the more he goes astray, no longer knowing where he [105] is walking. He is wandering the whole night, and even until two o’clock in the afternoon of the next day, —  the day of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin. Finally, exhausted with cold, hunger, and weariness, he stops, resolute to face death. But, in order to die in the sentiments of devotion which were then further possessing his heart, he had recourse to that Mother of mercy, reciting to her, Sub tuum prœsidium confugimus sancta Dei genitrix. At the same time he [Page 111] perceives from afar a little streak of road, and feels an increase of strength, — as much as was needed, by following up this isolated route, to issue from his bewilderment, and at last to find again the two Fathers and the Algonquins, who had already despaired of him, having gone to seek him everywhere, and not having been able to meet him.

There they made for these three a little cabin of birch bark, under which they sojourned until the end of the snows, — which was the seventh of May, — and in which they were consoled in their extreme want by not passing any day without saying Mass in it. The constancy and fervor of their Christians animated their courage; their joy was increased at the sight of some [106] children whom they sent to Heaven, after holy Baptism; and in order to recompense with abundance all their hardships, it pleased our Lord to bless them with a little beginning which they gave to the Church of the Achirigouans.

Besides the Nipissiriniens, — to whom, for some years past, the faith had been announced, and among whom certain notable persons were already Christians, — there was present, by good fortune, in these winter quarters another nation of Algonquins, named Achirigouans. Their country extends toward the West, approaching the tribes of the Sault; the Aoueatsiouaenronnon, — that is to say, “who inhabit the coasts of the Sea;”[vi] and other very numerous nations, with whom these have their principal trade and very close association. We had long been desiring to win to the faith some one of this nation, that we might, by that means, furnish entrance for the gospel toward all those other tribes, who have never had acquaintance with it; but it was necessary that God [Page 113] should be the one to give the impulse, and choose his own time when we were least thinking of it.

One of those Achirigouans, who had heard [107] something of our faith, came to present himself to our Fathers. “I know not who impels me,” said he; “I know not who enlightens me, and who touches me at heart; but I see well that the faith is desirable. I see well that there is a God; and I feel strength enough to resolve to honor and obey him in all that you shall tell me on his part. I am yours, because I wish to be altogether his, Tell me what I have to do, and refuse to instruct me if ever I refuse to obey you.”

Our Fathers, in instructing him, find a spirit wholly inclined to our mysteries, a will which resists nothing, and a courage which surmounts and which breaks, from this first moment, everything that can oppose itself to his faith; they see well that the holy Ghost is his Master more than they, and that, rendering a heart so pliable, he does not require long instruction, or the usual delays. They baptize him at the end of six weeks; although we expect, in the case of most, probations of one and two years. They give him the name of Leonard, — his Algonquin surname is Mixisoumat; and — to say of him a great deal, and nearly everything, in few words — since then we have not perceived [108] in him any shadow of fault.

The day after his Baptism, it pleased God to try him somewhat severely; an only son of his, still at the breast, fell grievously sick. All his relatives immediately think of having recourse to the devil, and to the superstitions of the country. They reproach this new Christian, that his faith is beginning very soon to draw misfortune upon his family; they tell [Page 115] him that he shall quit prayer, and his child will get well. “No, no,” he says; “but much rather my prayers will cure him, if God will.” In fact, he proceeded to pray, and his son recovered health so rapidly that our Fathers have concluded that this good Neophyte’s faith had merited this favor of Heaven.

Seven or eight months later, this same child again fell sick. That good Christian, seeing his wife and all his relatives desolate, had recourse to the same Physician. At evening, on saying his prayers, he exclaimed, “My God, my son is more yours than mine; dispose as you shall please, of either his life or death, for nothing is impossible with you;” the next morning the child was found to be perfectly cured.

[109] Another day, while journeying over the ice of our great lake with an infidel, — both laden with corn, as much as they could carry, — his companion had so severe a fall, and wounded himself so seriously, that he remained prostrate on the spot, and was seized with a deep stupor. This good Christian no longer knew what counsel to take, unless to leave there his load, and to drag, as he should be able, that lame man over the ice. He throws himself on his knees in the midst of that icy plain, and says, lifting his eyes toward Heaven: “My God, you can heal him; I pray you to, if you accept my prayer.” At the very time, he saw that he had been heard. His comrade returns to himself, and rises, as vigorous as if his fall and his wound had been nothing but a dream. Astonishment seizes both alike; but the Christian begins to speak, and, well recognizing the hand which did this act of wonder, “My comrade,” he says to him, ‘ ’ I have prayed to God that he should take care both of thee and of me; it is he who has healed [Page 117] thee. Begin to-day to acknowledge his power; and, if thou desire that he shall forever show thee mercy, follow me in the faith, and have thyself instructed [110] as soon as we shall have arrived.” They betake themselves to prayers; they resume their load, and pursue their way : and this cure, so extraordinary, was sealed with the mark of those which one must attribute to God alone, — bringing back to our Fathers a good catechumen instead of a mischievous infidel.

But the fervor of the zeal which animated the Church of the Nipissiriniens wintering in this same place appears to me a not less perceptible effect of the abundant graces of the Holy Ghost upon this Mission, which has taken him especially for its protector, and which bears his name.

All the Demons and all Hell had, it would seem, unchained themselves against it: the infidels, and all the relatives of the Christians, were opposing themselves to their faith with so much stubbornness that one day these, seeing themselves all together, equally weary of so many attacks, seemed to lose heart and to succumb within these difficulties. Their profound silence at everything which our Fathers could say to encourage them, their dejected faces, and their sighs full of languor, which were their whole response, showed [111] sufficiently the violence of the temptation, and the little resolution which remained to them in order to sustain the rest of the storm, which was continually increasing. Our fathers, seeing that their words enter not into the depth of the soul, have recourse to prayer and to the assistance of Heaven. After a long silence on both sides, lo, all at once these Christians are enlightened, all together, with a light which comes down. [Page 119] to them from Heaven, which fills their minds, and animates their hearts with a courage which is unknown to them. “What!” said they all in company “where are we? What are we thinking? Since God sides with us, why do we fear our weakness ? Let us go to find our Captains and all the infidels; and let them know what we are now, what we wish to be, and what are to be those who after us shall embrace the faith.”

In a word, the Holy Ghost possessed them so fully, and the fervor of their resolutions carried them so far into the night, that they passed it almost entirely in animating one another with this zeal which was carrying them forward, — [112] finding no more aught save sweetness, pleasures, and the delights of their hearts in all that which previously appeared to them unendurable. In consequence of that, they present themselves of their own accord, to make a general confession. It was indeed enough for our Fathers to follow the impulses of the Holy Ghost; when God speaks to the heart, it is more profitable that men keep silent.

After their devotions, they rise, all animated; they go to find the principal persons of their nation; and the most prominent of the Christians, named Eustache Alimoueckan, taking the floor for all, uttered his sentiments with so much fervor that it was easy to see that God alone had caused this so speedy change, which had nothing of nature about it.

Another good Christian, named Estienne Mangouch, wishing to render this resolution still more public, made a very solemn feast, to which he called the most notable among the infidels, and those especially who have charge among them of the diabolical [Page 121] ceremonies, and who consult the Demons. [113] “I have called you,” says this fervent Christian, “in order to have you know our designs and what we are now. We were half-Christians when your calumnies and the fear of men gave us trouble. Lose now the thought of shaking the fidelity which we owe to God, — we will be Christians altogether, and will have no more fear but of God alone, and of sin.” He gave them a very long discourse on the excellence of the faith, on Paradise and on Hell, and on the commandments of God, — adding to each forbidden thing, that they forever renounced that sin, and that rather should the souls be wrested from their bodies, than from their hearts a consent to an offense against God.

Some infidels, having attempted to propose their sentiments against the faith, received replies so prompt and so urgent that one, not daring longer to oppose himself to them, was constrained to praise their courage, — having, he said, only one reason to complain of them, — that their relatives, after their deaths, could no longer bury their bodies according to their former customs. “Little matters it to us what will be done with our bodies after death,” answered [114] these good Christians; “wherever we may be, God will know how to raise us again. That is the support of our faith, and the only thought which we have for our bodies after this life.”

Since that time, this little Church has constantly increased its fervor, and, above all, has entered into sentiments of special devotion with respect to Our Lord. “When any one asks of me a thing in which I see sin,” said one of them one day, “I refuse him and withdraw thence with horror, because I love Jesus; and when one begs me for something [Page 123] which I can grant, I am inclined to give a Pleasure, because I love Jesus; and I think that it is he alone whom I wish to please even till death.”

Our Fathers have not again seen the greater Part of these good Christians since Autumn, when they were constrained to leave them more than eighty leagues from here, — the Nipissiriniens having determined to disperse themselves through the woods, throughout this last winter.

Father Gareau fell sick at the same time, with a violent fever and a dysentery, to which Father Claude Pijart and the Frenchman who accompanied them [115] could not apply other remedy, in a place desolate of every human succor, than to toil almost above their strength, — paddling by day, and often into the night; bearing on their shoulders their canoe and their baggage, along the rapids, where often one has difficulty enough to make one’s own way. They did this in order to hasten as much as possible the return of this good Father, whom his sickness had not been able to dispense from paddling sometimes, in order to overcome the force of the torrents which occur on the way; and who, for the space of twelve or thirteen days that their voyage lasted, had been continually exposed to the heat of the Sun, to the rains, to the winds, to injury from the air, and always with his feet in the water. Accordingly, he arrived here so prostrated that the illness exceeded our remedies. We saw him in a few days so near to death that, supposing him fallen into the last struggle, which continued more than a whole day, his coffin was made; when it pleased Our Lord to restore him to us, as if brought again to life, after a vow which we made for him in honor of the most Blessed Virgin. [Page 125]



Twofamilies of Christian Savages, composed of sixteen persons, were during last year settled in this place, in two separate houses, built in the French fashion; a third, more numerous, came to find us at the beginning of September, on purpose to enjoy the same blessing; and some others have promised us to follow this one as soon as possible. Several individuals, moreover, have received Holy Baptism in extreme necessity, in this manner. The first day of May, Father Andre Richard had started from Nepigiguit in a shallop, accompanied by two Frenchmen and a family of Savages. The fine weather and the rapid departure of the ice had led to the belief that the whole coast would be free; as, in fact, he found it even up to the entrance of the Harbor of Miskou, which he saw closed with a great bank of ice. There was no way of return; the wind, which had veered furiously to the Northwest, was stopping the shallop and surrounding it meanwhile with countless blocks of ice, [117] against which it was necessary continually to struggle. The night comes on, and, consequently, an evident danger of losing life. One of the Savages — who was not yet baptized, although sufficiently instructed — asks for Baptism; the Father grants it to him; then all with a common consent have recourse to God by the intervention of Our Lady, to whom they make a vow to [Page 127] fast and receive Communion in her honor, if they escape from this danger. Joseph Nepsuget thereupon resumes courage, lightens the shallop, throws some casks of provisions upon the floating pieces of ice, and, jumping upon the ice, uses the mast for a lever under the shallop; the wind increases, and so greatly crowds the cakes of ice that they seem secure enough to escape upon to the land. They trusted their lives to them, leaving all else adrift; then, by the favor of the Moon, and of their oars, which served them at times as a bridge in the gaps of the ice, they journeyed about a league, and arrived at day- break at Miskou, — there to thank God and the Blessed Virgin for the favor received, which they did wholly at leisure in our Chapel. It was here that our Neophyte, unable to contain himself, was entertaining the Father [118] with the sentiments of his heart. “It is now time,” said he, “to live like a man of worth, since I have the happiness to be of the number of those who pray. I assure thee that thou wilt see by my actions the esteem that I have for prayer.” He has kept his word even till now, and has shown himself steadfast in trying encounters; some libertines have importuned him, — their derisions, however, and their mockeries, though sharp and keenly felt, have not shaken him. Some have tried to oblige him to eat meat on days forbidden by the Church, refusing him all other nourishment; but in vain, —  hunger and all importunities have served only to make manifest his constancy. He was named Pierre when the ceremonies of the Church were conferred upon him in our Chapel.

The second person baptized this year is a little girl, aged about two years; her sickness caused us [Page 129] to consent to the desire of her parents, who brought her to us, and she was named Louyse. God chose this little creature for himself, and called her, some time after; she is the only one who has died after her Baptism.

The third is a young Montagnais woman, who was. found at one of our rivers, so indisposed in her body, and [119] so well disposed for that which concerned the soul, that one dared not deny her the blessing which she desired, and which her husband, who is of our bay, was urgent to obtain for her, with the purpose of receiving it himself as soon as possible.

Another Savage, one of the oldest on our coasts, named Nictouche, had an arm so swollen and filled with ulcers that the French Surgeons of several ships, and the Savages, were despairing of his life, —  unless on condition of promptly amputating his arm, for fear lest the gangrene should reach quite to the shoulder. On hearing this, the sick man resolutely said that he would rather die than permit them to cut it off. He asked us for Baptism, and had no sooner received it than he began to improve, to the astonishment of all; he new enjoys perfect health, and has promised to settle near us, so that his whole family may be prepared for receiving Holy Baptism. The Captain of our coasts, who is already sufficiently instructed, together with his family, has promised us to do the same.

I know not whether I am to put in the number of our sedentary Savage families a house, or rather a cabin, of charity, [120] established near us, contrary to our expectation, and when we were least thinking of it. Nevertheless, as it is composed partly of crippled persons, who cannot longer walk, it is bound to be [Page 131] more sedentary than all the others, which withdraw from us, during nearly all the winter, in order to hunt the elk, and during a good part of the other seasons of the year, in order to hunt Beavers. Here follows the beginning of it. A young slave, aged about 23 years, an Esquimau by nation, taken in war thirteen years ago, served as a menial to a family of Savages. This poor captive falls sick in his master’s cabin, near our new settlement, and is reduced to such extremity that he resembled a skeleton rather than a living man; the bones had already pierced the skin, in some parts of his body. And, for climax of his misfortune, some one of those whom he had fed, for the space of several years, by his toils in the chase, had, with a cruel compassion, prepared a rope to take from him what remained of his life. Father Martin Lyonnes, who was alone in our house, being warned of this resolution, courageously opposes himself against [121] its accomplishment, and remonstrates that God was grievously offended by such actions. Then, fearing lest some fatal blow of the hatchet might fall on the head of that poor languishing man, he has him promptly carried into our house, places him upon a bed, instructs him, and takes such care of him that he began in a few weeks to improve. He asks to return to his master’s cabin, where he had sojourned but a few days before he falls more sick than previously: his infection rendered him unendurable; they cast him out of the cabin, and he is forsaken by his own. We has recourse to the Father, summons him, and is assisted; at that time, I arrive at Nepigiguit: we visit this poor forsaken one, who persists in asking Baptism. We acquiesce in his request, and furthermore we [Page 133] have promptly set up for him a cabin in our little courtyard, with a fire kept up. Having observed this, his master, who was on the point of going away, tells us in the presence of several Savages that he could not take his slave at the same time with himself, without placing him in obvious danger of dying in his shallop; that he gave him to us, and conveyed to us all the right that he [122] had over him; that we should take care of him, and that he should always be ours, if he returned to health. This occurred toward the end of the month of October; and, three months having elapsed, he recovered a health so perfect that, having been lent to one of our Christian families, he killed, toward the end of the winter, more than a dozen elks..

The care that we took of this poor forsaken man gave occasion to some Savages to set down, within a stone’s throw from our house, two very old and helpless women, whom we had baptized shortly before , — one of whom saw even the third generation, and if her sight were not notably diminishing every day, together with her mind, she would see in a little time even the fourth. The other was not so aged, but was at least as helpless, by reason of ulcers which were eating away one of her legs; both were powerless to walk. We were not willing to let them die of misery before our eyes, or urge that they be embarked again, lest the refusal to assist them, that we might have made, should give occasion to those barbarians rather to deal them a blow of the hatchet on the head, than [123] to take the trouble of dragging them over the snow throughout the winter. A cabin is therefore set up for them; then we provide them with food and some other conveniences. [Page 135] But — as food is only the half of life in this country, where the winter is extraordinarily cold; and as we had only two young servants to furnish us with wood, and to do other necessary things — we were constrained to exchange our pens for axes, in order to learn the woodman’s trade, so as to maintain day and night a fire capable of warming persons who seemed always to carry a burden of icicles. How their relatives were deceived at the beginning of the Summer, when they found in fairly good health those whom they supposed to have been laid in the ground several months agone! They took these women along with them to Isle Percée; with great difficulty the elder was carried ashore, when her nearest relatives embarked her again, and took her away to our house, in order to have her resume her winter-quarters in the midst of the Summer. Another woman, crippled in both legs from her childhood, was brought to us at the same time; and, eight days after, [124] a man crippled in one arm. Such is the beginning of our cabin of charity, which may take the place of a fourth family; they will be more constant to us than all the others. Let us return to the head of our third family, named in the Savage tongue Ouandagareau. In his Baptism, he was called Ignace by Monsieur Desdames, whom he has chosen for his god-father, in the name of Monsieur the Abbé de la Magdelaine, and of the other Gentlemen of the Company of Miskou, who support for us our new habitation, established solely for the conversion of the Savages. This man had already procured, before this, Baptism for seven of his children; and now he possesses —  along with his wife, his eldest son, and his youngest, — the same blessing which he had obtained for [Page 137] his other children. The good example of the Montagnais, with whom he has been accustomed to spend a good part of the Summer, has been to him a powerful incentive for subjecting himself to the laws of the Gospel. He is a man very gentle, moderate, and esteemed not only by those of his own nation, but by the Montagnais; an enemy of debauchery, and a friend of all the French. These considerations caused him to be chosen this Spring, with the Captain of Tadoussac and the Captain of the Bay [125] des Chaleurs, as a mediator of the peace between the Betsiamites, who inhabit the lands on the North side, 60 leagues below Tadoussac, and the Savages of our coasts and those of Acadia, who bore each other a mortal hatred. This peace was concluded at the beginning of the month of July, at Isle Persée[vii] — where by good fortune I chanced to be, with the object of assisting both the Savages and the crews of eight French Ships, destitute of all spiritual help. Here follows the more immediate arrangement for rendering this peace of long duration. The Captain of Tadoussac, named Simon Nechabeouit, or otherwise Boyer, came to find me on Saturday, the last day of June, in order to beg me to reconcile him the next morning — and with him his whole band — to God by means of the Sacrament of Penance. I acquiesce in his pious request, — on condition, however, that he should notify his people to explain themselves in the Algonquin language, and not Montagnais, which I did not think that I understood sufficiently to give them satisfaction. But hardly had I adorned the Altar in the tent of the Admiral of the Ships, in order to celebrate there holy Mass, when this good Captain throws himself at my [Page 139] feet, his hands joined with great [126] modesty; the elder of the other Savages follow him, then the young men, and finally the women. They attend, after having confessed, holy Mass, at the end of which some received communion with the French; then I had them chant their prayers in the Algonquin language; and, that the Savages of our coasts might not have occasion to complain, I failed not, although there were few Christians present [among these], to have them chant the same Prayers in their language and to the same tunes. Our French people newly arrived from France, — who, on account of not frequenting our new settlement, distant thirty leagues from Isle Persée, had never seen Savages frequent the Sacraments, and still less heard the usual Prayers of the Church chanted in a Savage tongue, — were so deeply moved by devout feeling that several of them wept with emotion. Others said that it seemed as if they were transported into some Convent of Nuns, so melodiously did the Savages sing; some asserted that they would not have been wearied to hear them sing from morning until evening. These novelties are very agreeable at the beginning; but as for our French wintering here, —  [127] who dwell in our settlements and are accustomed to see and hear similar things, and sometimes to attend the instructions which are given on all Feasts and Sundays to the Savages of Nepigiguit, —  they would finally grow weary of such long devotions. After these good Christians had satisfied their devotion, they prepared themselves to treat of peace, more by action than by words. The Captain of the Savages of our coasts, together with Ignace Ouandagareau, loads a young man with a bag of porcelain; [Page 141] two others carry on their shoulders two dozen new blankets; others, thirteen fine arquebuses, powder, lead, and some javelins longer and broader than usual. Then they had everything carried into a great cabin, where many Savages — Montagnais, Algonquins, three of the nation of the Sorcerers, and two Betsiamites were assembled. The Captain of our coasts takes the floor in the name of the Captains of Acadia, and of him of the Bay of Rigibouctou, his kinsman, from whom he says he has commission to treat for peace; they assert that they all have banished from their hearts the former enmity, in confirmation whereof they offered all these presents to testify their kind affection. [128] Simeon Boyer, who served as interpreter to the Betsiamites, answered that they accepted the presents, that they would be for the future only one heart; then he caused to be brought a goodly number of bundles of beaver skins, of which he made a gift. The rest of the day, and several others following, were spent in dances and feasts. We hope that this peace will contribute much to augment the glory of God, seeing that all our Savages seem to have inclination to receive holy Baptism, which they seek as a sovereign remedy for their indispositions and sicknesses. This is what I have observed in two Missions which I have held at Isle Persée, — as also have Father Andre Richard, in the one which he held this Spring in the Bay des Chaleurs; and Father Martin Lyonnes, in that of the Bay of Miramichi, whence he returned greatly satisfied with the Savages, who are everywhere pleased to hear mention of the mysteries of our holy Faith.[viii]


[Page 143]



LXI. — Epistola Patris Caroli Garnier ad R. P. Vincentium Caraffa, Præpositum Generalem Societatis Jesu, Romæ; Diva Marie apud Hurones, 3e Mia, 1647

LXII. — Journal des PP. Jésuites, en l’année 1647


Sources: For Doc. LXI., we follow Father Martin’s copy (in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal) of the original, ex MSS. Soc. Jes. For Doc. LXII., we follow the original MS. in the library of Lava1 University, Quebec. [Page 145]

Letter of Father Charles Garnier to the Very

Reverend Father Vincent Caraffa, General

of the Society of Jesus, at Rome.


ery Reverend Father in Christ,

                                                Pax Christi.

As it was joyful news to us who are here, that the most kind Lord had committed to your Paternity the charge of his Society,[ix] so we were pleased at the letters which you deigned to write to us, — in which you did not disdain to testify your fatherly love for us, though we are very distant sons; and in which you so earnestly exhort us to labor strenuously in the Lord’s vineyard. Indeed, we feel that we have received no little increase of courage, for every one of us who is here, through this your fatherly exhortation to us. Nor ought this, indeed, to seem strange to any one; for the more Your Paternity feels and shows a fatherly love for the sons of the Society, the more filial a spirit, and one worthy of the Society’s children, do all of ours who live here cherish toward the Society and its superiors. And so far from the truth is it — what some perhaps might imagine in France — that a certain slothfulness and independence is sought by those who come into these regions, that rather I dare affirm, on the other hand, that I have nowhere in France (as far as I can judge) known so genuine a spirit of our Society as I recognize here among all of ours. So sincerely is Christ sought here by all, such harmony of minds is among [Page 147] all, and so great a respect for the superiors and the rules, that nothing else seems to me to be desirable here , — save that I, who alone am exceedingly unlike my brethren, may at last some day attempt to aspire to their virtue; for which I implore, as ardently as possible, the prayers of your paternity.

Both the example and the activity of Reverend Father Paul Ragueneau, superior of this Huron Mission, certainly contribute very greatly toward so good a status of the whole mission, — so much, that I think it could not be without serious injury to all of ours, and even to the whole Mission, that, after having completed his third year, another be substituted for him. Nay rather, it would be very greatly to our advantage that this same Reverend Father Ragueneau should exercise the charge of this mission for many years. This is also my opinion in regard to the superior of the whole Canadian mission, Father Hierosme Lallemant; that he should continue the administration of the whole mission, I also deem highly advantageous. But this is far more evident to me in the case of Reverend Father Paul Ragueneau.

As concerning outside matters, — ours diligently labor in cultivating the vineyard assigned to us by the Lord, which indeed will yield, though slowly, greater fruits from day to day. For the natural disposition of our barbarians is slow to admit the faith, and requires, during these beginnings, a continual and perpetual labor for cultivating the faith when accepted. Yet we need not be dissatisfied, since God has given us very many Christians here, in whom shine forth both faith and piety, and also examples of steadfast courage. But — what is most serious for us — we are in the utmost want of laborers. [Page 149] Wherefore, not only your children, but also those whom they themselves have begotten in Christ, Cry aloud to your Paternity: and entreat with their most Earnest prayers, that you pity them, and send some to aid us. Nor, indeed, is there cause for your Paternity to fear lest we lack means wherewith so many men of the society can be supported here; for there is no difficulty in that respect, since the manner of living here is far different from that in France and Italy. But here I make an end. Meanwhile, however, I implore the help of your Paternity’s Holy Sacrifices and prayers: both for our barbarians, who are surely worthy of all pity, and for him who is,

Very Reverend Father in Christ,

Most humbly and obediently

your son in Christ,

Charles Garnier.

Dated at Sainte Marie

among the Hurons, the 3rd of May, 1647. [Page 151]


Journal of the Jesuit Fathers, in the year





N the 1st, I went at the 2nd bell for mass to salute Monsieur the governor.

The Hospital nuns sent a letter by Monsieur deSt Sauveur,.


and two boxes of Lemon-peel by a man.

New-Year’s gifts

The Ursulines sent a letter, a keg of prunes, A Rosary, and a paper Image, — to wit, a large-sized Crucifix.


There were sent us, by Monsieur the governor, 4 Capons, two bustards, and 8 young pigeons; by others, some 10 or 12 pieces of other poultry.


We said at Vespers The litany of the name of Jesus.


On the 2nd, We gave a dinner to Monsieur de St. Sauveur, Monsieur the prior, and Monsieur Nicolet.

we regale three priests.

We sent to Sillery a bustard and four capons.


I gave the Hospital nuns a book of father bonnefons’;[x]


To the Ursulines, a picture of St. Joseph;


7 or 8 pairs of Savage shoes to our servants;


To Pierre, an Alabaster Rosary;


To Monsieur de St. Sauveur, the Gospel of father de montreuil,[xi] a cake of candle-wax, and a Penknife [Page 153]


To Monsieur the prior, a cake of candle-wax;


To Monsieur Nicolet, a small cake of candle-wax;


To St. Martin, a cake of candle-wax, a spiritual book — to wit, “The Christian’s Exercise,” and a silver-handled Knife;


To Monsieur boutonville, Secretary to Monsieur the governor, a musk-scented Rosary, with an Agnus Dei;


To Monsieur de Champigny, the musician, a handsome Rosary, with a medal and reliquary.


I went on the 4th of the month to Sillery. On the morning of the 5th occurred the renewal of the vows of father gabriel lalement and of father defretat; I gave the Exhortation the day before. They did not observe the 3 Days of recollection; they withdrew at evening from recreation. I had had them observe the feasts here at Christmas, counting that as 3 Days of recollection. I made a feast for the Savages, and gave them 6 loaves.

Renewal of vows at Sillery;

2 fathers

On the 7th, the Hospital nuns regaled us magnificently.

Hospital nuns give us a dinner

After this Day, many messengers came from 3 rivers, — whence also came to dwell with the Savages of Sillery more than 40 Savages; these made, in all, more than 200.





On the 1st Day, at evening, was held a benediction, the litany of our Lady, in honor of. the feast. We said half of it, as far as causa nostræ lætitiæ; and the next day, after [Page 155] benedicamus domino, we began the Kyrie again, and resumed vas spirituale.


On the 2nd, the Day of the Purification, we did as in the preceding year,-except that Monsieur de St. Sauveur came to give a taper and to receive some, according to the rubrics; afterward, those who served. Monsieur the governor’s was carried to his place; however, he went half-way, and came as far as the railing. Perhaps it might, another time, be given to him conformably to the rubrics.


At the Beginning of this month, Monsieur the governor gave me an order for drawing 100 livres at the warehouse, to be employed in pious works.

100 lé from Monsieur the Governor.

At this same time, I began work upon the Constitutions and regulations of the Ursulines, at their request and solicitation.

Item, at this same time, barbe, a savage pupil of the Ursuline seminary, after having remained there 4 years, when she left them was eagerly and urgently sought in marriage by a frenchman named Chastillon,[xii] who begged the mothers to consent to keep her until the vessels came. He gave security for his wish by putting into the Mothers’ hands an order for 300 livres, of which he agreed that 100 livres should be applied for the girl’s benefit, in case he broke his pledge; but it happened that the girl would not consent to have him, and preferred a savage, — following the wishes of her parents.

Constitutions of the Ursulines.

Father Jer. Lallemant.


Marriage of a frenchman with a savage.

On the 14th, the savages went away for the great hunt. [Page 157]

Departure of the savages.

On the 15th, father de Quen went to Monsieur de Chavigny’s with Monsieur de la Tour and 5 other frenchmen; they were to baptize a girl there, who had recently come into the world. They returned thence on the 20th.

Journey of Monsieur

de Chavigny’s

Toward the end of this month were rejected the banns of a certain marriage, regarding which there was some difficulty.[xiii] The Legal Act for removing the difficulty is at the record-office, and the copy in the hands of father Vimont; one may see therein the form which may be observed in similar contingencies.

Legal Act concerning a marriage.

On the 27th of february, there was a ballet at the warehouse; it was the Wednesday in shrovetide. Not one of our fathers or brethren was present; also none of the sisters of the hospital and the Ursulines, except the little Marsolet.[xiv]


Toward the end of this month, we began to haul the 1st timbers upon the spot for our site.


MARCH, 1647.


At the beginning of this month, beer was made at Sillery for the 1st time.

Beer at Sillery

On the Days of shrovetide, the benedictions took place about four o’clock, after the shifting of the guard at the fort; as last year, we sang only the usual benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, and that went well. I gave a collation on shrove tuesday to the Musicians, and our Fathers at Sillery came to dine with us; that is a satisfaction.


On ash Wednesday, we did the same as [Page 159] last year, but that did not proceed correctly; one should rather give with solemnity the blessing of the Ashes, and say a low mass, than say a high mass and not give the solemn blessing of the Ashes. Why should we not give it as well as that of the palms and Candles? We might, after one or two rows to whom Ashes had been given during the singing, begin a low mass, and at the close return to the vestry; then come back and give ashes, — so that Monsieur the governor, who would have taken some before mass; should not be constrained to wait. We begin with him, of the laymen, in giving ashes; we go to find him at his bench, just as for receiving communion; then we begin the rows again, as at Communions.

Ash Wednesday.

On the 11th came the news of the robbery of two frenchmen’s houses by the yroquois, near 3 rivers, and of the pursuit of the Algonquains by these yroquois: this robbery occurred on Ash Wednesday.

Robbery by the yroquois.

On this same 11th began the thawing of a winterless winter, — there having been no cold weather till then; so that during most of the time one might have said mass without a fire, and I think that the wine in the Chalice froze only once, at most.

Mild and thawing winder.

On the 22nd came the certain news of the capture of a hundred Algonquains, or thereabout, by the treacherous hyroquois, — who, having wintered here the past year, and knowing every turn and byway, came to surprise them while hunting. [Page 161]

Algonquains taken.

At the feast of St. Joseph, they made no Bonfire on the day before, as is customary. I was partly the cause of this, for I hardly relished this Ceremony, which had no devotion attending it; and it seemed to me that a benediction in the Saint’s honor was better. This, in fact, was done the day before, at the parish church, and, on the Day, at the Ursulines’, — where the hic vir despiciens was sung with music. On that same vigil, a Cannon-shot was fired at one o’clock; and on the Day, at the morning Angelus, 4 or 5 Cannon-shots.


At the annunciation, they fired some cannon; this was on monday. We limited ourselves to the sunday vespers; and on the Day, after compline, we sang the litany. On these two feasts we said mass as usual, — the last one at 10 o’clock; at the close, the 1st bell for vespers, and before 11 o’clock the last one.


We held a novena before the Annunciation, and one after it for temporal affairs; it consisted of a special prayer at mass, and of the litany at the end.


Item, we observed the 40 hours at the religious houses, — on friday, Saturday, and the 4th Sunday in Lent, at the Ursulines’; the following week at the hospital Benedictions were held there every 3 Days: on the 1st, a miserere, with penitential prayers; then, for the Blessed Sacrament, the dixit, the Tantum ergo, and the prayers. On the 2nd, were sung the Stabat, the lauda Hierusalem, Tantum ergo, etc.; on the 3rd, the pange lingua, and [Page 163] Magnificat. At the hospital, they sang vexilla, instead of pange lingua.


Father Vimont preached during Lent, — on Wednesday at the Ursulines’, on friday at the hospital, at the end of early mass. Father dequen preached at the Ursulines’ on Sundays and feasts; and father gabriel lalemant at beauport; — as for me, I was at work upon the Ursulines’ Constitutions, according to their desire.

Sermons by Father Vimont.

About this time one of our cows with calf was drowned in the St. Charles river; she broke through the ice.

cow drowned.

Toward the end of the month, Noel, Jean baptiste, and other savages of Sillery returned from the chase; the fear of the yroquois caused them to hasten.

Return of the savages.

Of 5 hurons who had gone to the chase in the same direction, the south, three returned and reported that two of their companions had been taken by the yroquois.

Capture of 2 Hurons.

This month, all the Timber for our house was brought over the snow by our oxen.


Monsieur hebout furnished us 50 cords of wood for 200 livres.

Hebout a habitant.

APRIL, 1647.


About the 8th of the month arrives a man of Kontrande,en,[xv] from 3 rivers, to convene all the Hurons who were here, and invite them to go to war. They asked to hold a council at monsieur the governor’s; they were 8. Armand was the spokesman, who declared to monsieur the governor their purpose. [Page 165] Monsieur the governor told them to do as they chose, but said that it was his opinion that they should wait for news of the Enemies’ treatment of the Captives; and that, moreover, it would surely be a better plan to proceed to their own country, and to give warning to their people that they should be on their guard. The Hurons appeared hardly satisfied with this answer; and, having left Monsieur the governor’s, they held a council among themselves, at which they decided upon war; and, in fact, they soon went away. I gave a Storm-cap, etc., to Armand; they went only as far as la poterie.

Raising of savage Shields.

At this time, I held a consultation about father Daran’s journey to the Hurons. This was agreed upon, in case there should be found good and prudent boatmen; otherwise, he must wait for the return of father Jogues.


Jaques Caulmont sent to ask me whether I would receive him for the Hurons, — saying that he would willingly remain there a year on probation. I granted this, and immediately he sold his land to the Hospital nuns, for 1,800 livres.

Jaques caulmont.

On palm Sunday, everything occurred as it did last year, except that I sang the Passion all alone.


The hospital nuns said the 1st and the 3rd Nocturn of the tenebræ, and the Ursulines the complete service. There was a mistake with both of them, in not having removed their paradise, — or, at least, in not having closed it. Each one went thither to perform [Page 167] her devotions, and the Blessed Sacrament was forsaken, — especially at the hospital, where the tapers of the triangle were lighted before the paradise, white and shining, and not before the Altar of the Blessed Sacrament.

Holy week.

On Thursday, we began the service here, or mass, at ½ past 10, and that went well; on Friday, we rang the 1st bell at ½ past 7, and began about 8 o’clock; that went well. I sang the passion all alone, because it could not be sung with three voices.


On Saturday, likewise, we began at 8and easter festivals. o’clock; and that went well, because the parish church must ring first. Monsieur de St. Sauveur said the Exultet better than last year; then he went to the lectern and assisted me well throughout. At evening, we held a benediction at the parish church, — the litany of our Lady, and the regina Cœli. I made a mistake at the blessing of the fonts; I put in the oils before having said the asperges.

And easter festivals

Monsieur de St. Sauveur omitted without reason, at the lectern, to say the sanctus and the rest; he had made the same mistake the year before.


There was benediction at the parish church on sunday evening; on monday, at the hospital; on tuesday, at the Ursulines’. The nuns did not sing at the hospital; they sang at the Ursulines’ the Tantum ergo at the end of the Magnificat, etc. I think it would have been better if they had also sung o filii et filiæ.


St. Mark’s Day fell this year on the Thursday after easter. It was asserted that the [Page 169] office was to be transferred, and the festival continued; we doubted about the abstinence; and, after making investigation, we declared that there was none, — the day falling on Sundays and in the octave of easter. We also doubted about the procession; and none was made, because it was found that the roads were full of water. It would be more conformable to the rubrics to go in a procession to some Church, and perhaps to say the rogation mass there; that was not done, but we contented ourselves with singing the litany before mass, and then saying the rogation high mass, without any Commemoration either of the feast or of the octave. We also doubted whether, because it was a festival, it was necessary to hold the office for the Day of Thursday after easter, twice; and it was found not so, — but, however, that mass should be said as one de duplici, and ob concursum populi etium in missis privatis, the Commemoration of St. Mark should be said thereat, and even the Credo; if, indeed, it ought not, [in any case,] to have been said there.

St. Mark.

We said on that day, by way of benediction, vespers with the Blessed Sacrament exposed.


At this same time, the savages asked to hold a Council for learning the sentiments of Monsieur the governor with reference to their affliction; the answer is in the archives, titulo yroquois.

Council of the Savages.

But, on the 27th of the month, arrived Jean Amyot,[xvi] who had been sent from 3 rivers, in order to bear tidings to montreal [Page 171] concerning what had occurred here through the winter, and to bring back to us news from that quarter; and we learned that, since the month of november in the past year, the yroquois had taken two frenchmen there, and 4 hurons. The letter from father le Jeune will be found in the Archives, titulo Montreal.

The war with the yroquois begins again.

This news made Monsieur the governor resolve to give 5 or 6 frenchmen to the savages, in order to go with them on a hostile expedition. They started from Sillery on the 4th of May; Chastillon was their Chief.


Jaques Junier goes hunting with one of our men; he remains 10 Days, and brings back 31 head of large game, with three partridges and three ducks, With these they made the feast at Sillery for the consecration.


Toward the end of this month, we began to dig the foundations of our house, or building.

Beginning of the official building.

On the 27th, I left to make a Retreat.


MAY, 1647, AND JUNE.


On the 8th of May, the consecration of the Church at Sillery took place.

Consecration of the Church at Sillery.

On the 10th, the 1st fish were taken, by Monsieur de St. Sauveur, and among others a salmon; our brother Pierre took some afterward, — about the 15th.


About this time a poor lad was drowned, named raison. We set aside 10 écus of his effects, for having masses said in his behalf by Monsieur de St. Sauveur.

Death of a frenchman in the waters.

On the 14th arrived father duperon from 3 rivers, in order to supply the place of father [Page 173] dequen at Sillery, with respect to the savages. Father dequen goes to Tadousak with Monsieur Marsolet, on the 26th.

Arrival of father duperon.

On the same Day, father Vimont started on a journey to beauport and beaupré, for the easter festivals.


On the 22nd, Monsieur the governor departed, and 1 with him, for 3 rivers; 3 shallops.


On the 24th, we were met by a Shallop from 3 rivers, commanded by Crapaudiere, who notified us of the capture of a Huron by the yroquois at the river faverel, the monday before. At midnight of the 25th and 26th, father Daran arrived, who informed us that the yroquois had been encountered by our people, who held the yroquois besieged; the rest of the account will be found in the Archives, titulo yroquois.

Departure for 3 rivers, to go to war.

On the 4th of June, we set out to return from 3 rivers; on the 5th, we arrived at Quebek. The same Day, about 11 o’clock, a Shallop arrived from 3 rivers, which informed us that the son of Ignace otouolti had returned from the yroquois to 3 rivers, — who announced, among other matters, the death, or rather the murder, of father Jogues and his companion Lalande, for whom the next day we said a high mass for the dead.

News of the Death of father Jogues.

On this journey, while with Monsieur de Chavigny, a certain woman, named “la Picarde,” asked me for 700 porcelain beads, which she had formerly given to father debrebeuf; I had 2200 or 300, which I was carrying to 3 rivers, to father buteux, — I returned to her the 700. [Page 175]

Porcelain returned to “la picarde.”

Prayers were ordered at this time for public necessities: the Litany of the Virgin until All Saints’, after mass, with the prayers Concede nos Angelorum, of St. Joseph, de pace, — these to be sung on feasts and Sundays.

Public prayers. Litany of the Blessed Virgin.

Da pacem at the Benedictions: a special prayer at mass, ad libitum, sed ad rem; One mass a month at Quebek and at Sillery; and an Ave maris stella, after our evening litany, for the special Interests of our Society.


Father pijart left 3 rivers on the 29th of May, the vigil of the ascension, in order to go to the bark, — which was a League away, — in which were Monsieur bourdon and 30 persons who were going to richelieu, and thence to montreal; and father pijart went to assist them, and to visit father le Jeune at montreal.

Father pijart’s journey.

The Shallop which brought the news of the arrival of the son of Ignace otouolti, set out again on the 7th of June. It was defended by soldiers, that it might proceed with safety as far as the bark, and even to montreal, in order to convey the news which that son of Ignace was reporting, — to wit, that there was especial ill feeling against montreal, and that 200 men were going thither.


On the eve of Pentecost, a benediction was held at the parish church, — namely, the Veni creator, the veni Sancte Spiritus, and the regina cœli.


On Sunday, for benediction the litany at vespers.


On monday, at the Hospital; on Tuesday at the Ursulines’, about 5 o’clock, for benediction: [Page 177] the litany of the virgin and the veni Sancte Spiritus. There was an error at the Ursulines’, — in this, that, being allowed to say the 1st verse of veni Sancte Spiritus, they started it too low. The Blessed Sacrament was not exposed at the Ursulines’ on the 1st two Days, and should not have been, at either one of the two houses; but it was, on the 1st two Days at the hospital. Another time, it will be better to expose it on the Day when the station or benediction shall be observed with them.


The savages of Sillery asked permission to retire inside the palisaded enclosure of the house at Sillery; that was allowed them, and they labored to make a new stockade. Monsieur the governor also went thither, to designate the site for a fort in the fields.

Savages at Sillery fortify themselves.

On the 12th of June, the savages from Tadousak arrived, to the number of 7 Shallops; they brought letters from father dequen concerning the state of affairs in the mission of Tadousak, which will be found in the Archives.

Savages from Tadousak.

This same Day, the 1st stone was laid in the foundation of the main official building of the house at Quebek.

1st stone of the building.

On the 16th, Father Druilletes arrived at Sillery from his journey, after more than 9 months’ wintering with the Abnaquiois savages; what can be known of it will be found in the Archives.

Return of father Druilletes.

On the 20th, the other Abnaquiois Canoes arrived, to the number of 5 or 6,


And the next day, the 21st, the savages of [Page 179] Tadousak and of Sillery started to go to war; father Druïlletes went with them as far as 3 rivers and beyond.

His departure with the savages.

This same Day, the 21st, Monsieur de lessar,[xvii] returning from Tadousak, brought the 1st news from france, — learned from Captain le fevre, who had arrived at Isle percée. It was a Shallop of savages that brought the news, — that five vessels were making ready to come; that peace was concluded in france, etc.

1st news from France.

The procession of the Blessed Sacrament was very nearly like last year: two of our Fathers wore chasubles, and that greatly adorned the procession. It will be well hereafter for all the priests who march at the head to wear them. There were two french Angels, who led between them a little savage; that is very meet, and it is enough. Joliet[xviii] carried a torch therein, in place of the sailors, who refused to do so. Monsieur Couillar, monsieur de maure, monsieur de la fresnay, and Estwet carried the Canopy.

Corpus Christi

Beginning of a correspondence with Monsieur d’ Aunay rasilly.[xix] Father dequen wrote to him last year, in order to recover a little captive savage; he answered him very civilly, this year; and his Agent wrote to the Agent at Tadoussak.

Monsieur d’ Aunay rasilly

Inidit in dementiam Mother de Ste. genevieve at the hospital.


On the 20th of June, the 1st vessel arrived at Tadousak, and the news of it was brought here on the 23rd, St. John’s eve. This [Page 181] vessel brought us, on the 25th, father pierre bailloquet,[xx] of the province of bordeaux, and our brother nicolas faulconnier, a Mason.

Arrival of a vessel and of father bailloquet.

They made St. John’s fire, the same as last year. I was not present; Monsieur de St. Sauveur officiated.

St. John’s fire.

That same vessel brought the 1st Horse, of which the habitans made a present to Monsieur the governor.

1st horse imported

On the 29th, the habitans went to find Monsieur the governor, in order to ask his permission to elect a procurer Syndic. They were referred to the general assembly; meanwhile, there has been a petition presented.

Procurer Syndic.

On the last of June, father bailloquet started for Montreal in a Shallop commanded by Monsieur de la Tour.

Father bailloquet departure for Montreal

This same Day, at night, the Savages  returned from the war, or a visit to the lake, and with them father Druilletes; they saw nothing.

Return of the savages from war.

A little while before, monsieur bourdon’s  bark had returned from its voyage to richelieu and Montreal; it brought back from richelieu the Cannons, spiked.[xxi]

and of the bark.

The room of Monsieur the prior, the Ursulines’ priest, is inspected, and more than 260 pounds’ weight of Beaver skins are taken from him, after he had boasted that he had some, and that he would give them to the warehouse only for a good sum.

Confiscation of Beavers at Monsieur the Prior's.

About this time, we began to sing high mass every Sunday and feast-day at Quebek, feeling ourselves strong enough to do so, and the [Page 183] usual manner in which we sang it, — with a veni creator, gloria, Credo, and O Salutaris hostia, — being irregular, and likely to displease those who newly come from france, who expect to find, at least in some place of new france, a parish mass.

High mass.

1647, JULY.


On the 3rd or 4th, the Abnaquiois ask to speak to me, in order to thank me for father Druilletes’s journey, and to beg me to allow him to return. But — the last people who came from the Abnaquiois having brought letters from the Capuchin Fathers, who begged us not to return again — I refused them, and gave the answer which will be found in a letter that I wrote on this subject to the Capuchins.[xxii]

Council of the Abnaquiois.





On the 12th, father duperon started for Tadousak, to go and assist father dequen.

Departure of father duperon.

On the 16th, father le Jeune arrived from Montreal; and, on the 17th, a Consultation was held concerning father Druïlletes’s return to the Abnaquiois, the winter mission at Tadousak, the journey to the Hurons, and the employment of father defretat and father gabriel. The decision was that, if the Abnaquiois returned to ask for the father in Autumn, he should go. As for Tadousak, it was not to be mentioned this year, in case of father Druilletes’s employment among the Abnaquiois. It was decided that some one should go to the Hurons, data occasione commoda et rationabili; and that father gabriel [Page 185] should betake himself to the montagnais, and father defretat to france.

Return of father le Jeune.







Consultation respecting the missions.

On the 19th, another Consultation was held, regarding the Beaver trade carried on at Sillery, — to wit, whether it should be tolerated. Father le Jeune, father Vimont, and I were present; and it was said:

I.       That, if the warehouse were reasonable, we were obliged in conscience not to divert the trade elsewhere.

II.     If it were not reasonable, we might with conscience dissimulate, — the habitans having the right, by nature and from the king, to trade.

III.              That, whether the warehouse were reasonable or not, we were not compelled to trade.

Concerning the trade.

On the 21st, the Algonquains of the petite nation arrived, with 6 yroquois Scalps; the narrative will appear in the Archives.

Arrival of the Victorious Algonquains.

This same Day, there was an Election of a procurer Syndic, who was Monsieur bourdon; he, on the 28th, presented the petition of the habitans. They placed all their affairs in the hands of monsieur the governor, pending some settlement, and set aside all the Elected members and Directors.

Procuror Syndic and petitions.

This same 28th, — bastien, one of our men, and la neigerie having become drunk in our old warehouse, where they slept, — certain men, having come to smoke, dropped fire upon the straw, which kindled the building. The fire appeared about midnight; la neigerie escaped, and bastien was suffocated and half burned. They took out what was left of his [Page 187] body, which we did not Judge proper to bury in Consecrated ground, since he was an open and public drunkard, — Incorrigible, and one who had in his drunkenness, died without a sign of penance; consequently, no public prayer was said for him.

Sad death of a drunkard Fire started at our house.

Some months before, a sailor named Charles had dashed himself into the sea at Tadousak, after having drunk 4 cups of brandy, upon the refusal of his demand to give him more.

A sailor jumps into The sea was refused Brandy.

At the feast of St. Ignatius, the benediction took place the day before, at 7 o’clock in the evening, — the laudate, Iste Confessor, Similabo, Magnificat, and Salve regina. That went well.

St. Ignatius.

On the Day, high Mass, at 7 o’clock; the sermon at half-past 1 o’clock, at the hospital: and then Vespers. The Hospital nuns gave the Musicians a Collation at my request. At the Ursulines’, benediction at 5 o’clock, like that of the day before.


On the eve, one Cannon-shot was fired at noon at the fort; and three the next day at the morning Angelus.


1647, AUGUST.


On the 1st, a Shallop arrived, which gave news of the arrival of the vessels — at least, of the Admiral’s ship — at biq.[xxiii]

Arrival of the Vessels.

On the 5th, father Quentin arrived; and, on the 6th, Two vessels of Monsieur de repentigny, and one other. On the same Day, father pijart arrived from 3 rivers, with the letters from the Hurons, by way of the Aticamegues.[xxiv]


On the same 6th, — in consequence of the [Page 189] regulation arrived from france, which prescribed the establishment of a Council of three, of whom the Superior should be one, — I held a consultation in order to know whether I was to consent thereto; father Vimont, father dendemare, and father le Jeune were present; it was decided affirmatively, — that this must be done. I proposed a voyage to france by one of our Fathers, in behalf of affairs concerning the Ursulines and Hospital nuns, the yroquois, and the validity of the Sacrament of marriage, — which was contested with us, according to letters that came from france this year.[xxv]


Council of three; The Superior is One.

This same Day, the 6th, the farmer at nostre dame des Anges was put in possession.


On the 14th, monsieur godefroy arrived in his vessel, in which were father grelon[xxvi] and our brother bonnemer.

Father Grelon.

On the 15th, the procession took place after vespers. Monsieur Nicolet bore the Cross; two surpliced Boys followed, with two Candlesticks; then came the savages, — father le Jeune, in surplice, behind them; then the lay choristers. Monsieur the prior and Monsieur de St. Sauveur followed; then 6 of our Fathers; lastly, I alone, with the virgin of the Ursulines. We went to the hospital, then to the Ursulines’. Our brethren were not in the procession; I declared that they should not march, nisi moti ab Obedientia; liberum tamen illis postea relictum ut irent post crucem in habitu suo ordinario.


Brethren not in the procession.

On the 17th, the news arrived of the capture [Page 191] of 6 or 7 Algonquains by the yroquois, at la poterie[xxvii]

Capture by the yroquois.

On the 20th, father de Quen set out, with Monsieur Marsolet, for Tadousak; and, the same Day, bourget returned with his vessel.


A certain man, named “little Claude,” was drowned here this month.

One drowned: claude.

On the 25th, father dequen returned from the middle of his journey — the poissons blancs [i.e., Attikamegues] in whose behalf they had started, having gone away.


On the 28th, the Day of St. Augustin, I said high mass at the hospital, and therein said a word at the Gospel, ex piano, in honor of the Saint. Father Vimont preached there after dinner, and there was Benediction. The Ursulines were somewhat vexed because I had not gone to say mass at their house; but — besides the fact that the Hospital nuns had spoken to me in the matter — it seems that this festival may be granted to them, the Ursulines having the feast of Ste. Ursula. Father baunin[xxviii] preached at the Ursulines’ after dinner, and 3 or 4 of our Fathers said mass there, — and, among ‘others, father lyonne said high mass.

St. Augustin;

Ursulines vexed.

Father dendemare and father greslon left on the 26th; father gabriel lalement and father baunin on the 29th, for 3 rivers.

Father Baunin.



They returned from war, in which several frenchmen were wounded; an yroquois was captured, who was burned at Sillery on the [Page 193] 16th. Monsieur the governor kept him in prison 8 or 10 days; finally, the savages growing impatient, Monsieur the governor sent him to them. He lived in the torments only one hour; his body was thrown into the water; he was baptized, and died piously.

Yroquois burned at Sillery.

The vessel called the Ange gabriel departs on the 19th. In it were father laplace and father richard, returning to miskou; Monsieur Macar, Agent; and dorval, sub-agent.

Departure of the 1st vessel; miskou.

Father gabriel Druilletes, on the 21st, goes with the savages of Sillery and Tadoussac to spend the winter.

Departure of father Druilletes for his winter quarters.

On the 24th, the 1st stone [was laid] at the Church, with the Pontifical Ceremonies, arranged as well as possible.

1st stone al the Church.



About the 18th, Monsieur de maisonneuve departed with the Montreal bark.

Departure for montreal.

On the 21st, the fleet sailed, in which were general Monsieur d’ailleboust; father Vimont and father Quentin, with him; and father defretat, in the nostre Dame, with Monsieur le Tardif. Item, monsieur Nicolet and Monsieur the prior, in other vessels.

Departure of the fleet.

The Hurons did not come down this year.

Hurons have not come down.

On the 25th, the last bark sailed for 3 rivers, with Father buteux and father duperon.

Departure of the last bark.



On the 4th, the snow began; and 2 hurons were captured at 3 rivers.

Beginning of snow; Capture of the son of Ignace, and another.

On the 25th or 26th, our people went away [Page 195] to live in the forest, in order to prepare the timber there for the new building.


About the 15th, the bark returned from 3 rivers, which brought back our brother Nicolas Noircler, who went to dwell at Sillery.

Our brother Nicolas Noircler at Sillery.

Toward the end of the month, we had news that the savages with whom was father Druilletes were dying of hunger, and that 9 or 10 were already dead.

Savages with father Druilletes dying of hunger.



The festival of St. françois Xavier falling this year on monday, we held the 1st solemn Vespers on Sunday, and said high mass on monday. The Indulgence was not published, because I was confirmed in my suspicion that there was none. In the morning, three shots were fired at the fort; and on the eve, Monsieur sent 2 bottles of Spanish wine and a sucking pig. The Vow was renewed at evening, as usual, — between the litany and the Ave maris Stella, before the Blessed Sacrament, exposed.

St. Xavier.

On the 3rd of the month of december, — tuesday, — the mass for the dead was said in behalf of Messieurs of the Company, by father le Jeune, at the usual time, without other ceremony and without inviting Monsieur the governor, — to whom, however, incidentally in familiar conversation, I mentioned the matter, some time previously. Vide superiorem annum.

Mass for messieurs of the Company here; and

The hospital having forgotten to say it on the same Day as last year, — which was the 29th of november, — the decision was adopted [Page 197] to say it on the 5th of december. And, as we delayed Inviting Monsieur the governor, he sent to notify me that he was astonished that we had not invited him and the principal persons of Quebek. I wrote this to the Mother superior of the hospital, who sent Monsieur de St. Sauveur to do this. It was father de quen who said the mass.

At the Hospital.

On the eve of the Immaculate Conception, a Cannon-shot at 1 o’clock, and at 5 in the morning; benediction, Indulgence, etc.

Immaculate Conception.

On the 9th, father dequen set out on a Mission to beauport for the rest of Advent: but, having found the weather too severe to pass the Rapid, he returned here, and left again the day after Christmas, to continue his mission.

Mission at beauport

On Christmas eve, at night, we assembled as usual, — that is to say, at ½ past 11. We sang hymnos et Cantica,Hœc dies or Hœc nox est, and then laudate pueri, Sancta et Immaculata, and (lætatus sum in his). Item, hœc nox est, and lauda hierusalem dominum, — repeating everything in the manner of Anthems; and, lastly, Noe, noe, etc.; and, at the end, Te deum, — during which we had the bell rung for mass, as presuming that it was the hour of midnight. The fort fired 5 shots at the Te deum. The sermon took place after dinner; that is best; and all that went well. Father le Jeune said mass from ½ past 6, until 8; I, after that, my third mass; and father dequen at 10 o’clock. There were three consecrated loaves, — those of the Toolmakers, the Surgeons, and the bakers. [Page 199]


There were benedictions, as last year, at the Hospital and Ursuline nuns’; and for this benediction, hœc nox est or hœc dies, laudate, etc.; sancta et Immaculata; a Noe, Tantum ergo sacramenturn, etc. The Blessed Sacrament was exposed there from 3 o’clock.


On Holy Innocents’ Day, the renewal of vows took place at Quebek; at which were renewed the vows of father Martin lyonne, father gabriel lalement, father Adrian greslon, and our brother Nicolas le faulconier. I made an exhortation the day before; as for the recollection, it was optional to withdraw or to remain in recreation. Our brethren were making a Retreat at that time; I sent those who were to renew their vows to engage in recreation with them. On friday, the vigil of the renewal, we proceeded at evening as if there were abstinence; but the Collation was like that on Christmas eve.

Father Lyonne

Renewal of vows.

There were too many kettles at the Church for the midnight mass, — two are enough, with Monsieur the governor’s, — and they were kindled too late; consequently, it was necessary to have them removed; there were 5 or 6 of them.

Christmas fires

On St. Stephen’s Day, Petit and la groye presented themselves to pay the rent and the seigniorial dues on our lands; but Pierre Petit — having urgently Requested me to overlook the mistake that he had made, of putting his house outside of his own Grant, and on our lands; and I having refused him — deferred the payment, saying that he [Page 201] wished to give up everything. His companion, la groye, who had designs on his concession in case of an exchange, also waited to Pay.

Of pierre Petit and la groye

Father le Jeune began the lessons in the Catechism at All Saints’, at which the Ursulines’ pupils were present. Father lyonne preached at the Ursulines’, and I, as usual, at the Parish church.


Monsieur the governor and Monsieur bourdon, the general Agent, made us many presents of game, Meat, and fish; and, among others, a cask of Spanish wine.


There were commonly 60 or 70 parishioners at Sillery about the end of this year (quanquam non ita vocandi; for Sillery should by no means pass for a parish, sed for a house of the Society).

Parishioners at sillery.

This year the official house was occupied, which had been begun in June. [Page 203]

Official House occupied.


Relation of 1447



Source: We follow a copy of the original Cramoisy, in the possession of The Burrows Brothers Company, Cleveland.

Owing to the length of the document, we present herewith but the first three chapters; the remainder will appear in Volumes XXXI. and XXXII. [Page 205]




in the Missions of the Fathers

of the Society of Jesus,




of St. Lawrence, in the year 1647

Sent to the Reverend Father Provincial of

the Province of France.

Bythe Superior of the Missions of the same Society.

P A R I S.



By Royal License.

Table of the Chapters contained in this Book.


ELATION of what occurred in New France on the great river of St. Lawrence, in the year one thousand six hundred and forty-seven.



Chap. I.

Of the treachery of the Hiroquois.



Some women escape from the country of the Hiroquois.



Some Hiroquois surprised after a defeat of Algonquins, a woman kills a Hiroquois, and escapes.




How Father Isaac Jogues was taken by the Hiroquois, and what he suffered on his 3rd entrance into their country.




God preserves Father Isaac Jogues after the murder of his companion; he instructs him in a very remarkable manner.




The Father is given as servant to some hunters, he suffers, he is consoled; he exercises his zeal in his journeys.




The Father escapes from the Hiroquois and proceeds to France, through the intervention of the Dutch. He returns to Canada; having arrived there, he makes a journey to the country of the Hiroquois.





Father Isaac Jogues returns for the third time to the country of the Hiroquois, where he is put to death.                                                   Page




Of the Christians of Saint Joseph at Sillery. [Page 211]



Of the Mission of the Assumption in the country of the Abnaquiois.



The coming of the Atticamegues.                                                        Page



Of the Holy Cross Mission at Tadoussac.



Of the Residence of la Conception, at three Rivers.



Of the capture and death of a Hiroquois, and some other observations which could not find room under the preceding Chapters.




Of the settlement at Miscou. [Page 213]                                               page



Extract from the Royal License.


y grace and privilege of the King, Sebastien Cramoisy, Sworn Merchant Bookseller in the University of Paris, and Printer in ordinary to the King and to the Queen Regent, Citizen of Paris, is permitted to print, or cause to be printed, a Book entitled, Relation de ce qui s’est passé de plus remarquable és Missions des Peres de la Compagnie de Jesus, en la Nouvelle France, sur le grand fleuve de sainct Laurens, en l’année 1647. envoyée au R. P. provincial de la province de France, par le Superieur des Missions de la mesme Compagnie. And this during the time and space of ten consecutive years, with prohibition to all Book-sellers and Printers to print, or cause to be printed, the said Book, under pretext of disguise or change that they might make therein; under penalty of confiscation and the fine imposed by the said License.

Given at Paris, the 27th of January, 1648.

Signed by the King in his Council,


[Page 215]

Permission of the Father Provincial.

We, Estienne Charlet, Provincial of the Society of Jesus in the Province of France, have granted, for the future, to Sieur Sebastien Cramoisy, Merchant Bookseller, Printer in ordinary to the King and to the Queen Regent, the right to print the Relations of New France. Done at Paris, this 8th of February, 1648.

Estienne Charlet.

[Page 217]

[1] Relation of what occurred in New France on

the great River of St. Lawrence, in the

year one thousand six hundred

and forty-seven.

To the Rev. Father Estienne Charlet, Provincial of the Society of

Jesus, in the Province of France.

My Reverend Father,

The Relation for this year, which I send to your Reverence, will serve as confirmation that the state of the present life is the reign of instability, of agitation, and of obscurity : and that all times and places are filled with the judgments of God, incomprehensible [2] to our minds; and that the roads and the ways of his Divine Majesty for arriving at a goal, are very different from those which men would have chosen.

These last two years, the flowers of the peace with the Hiroquois, our enemies, had caused us to hope for some agreeable fruits thereof, and a fortunate in gathering; but the treachery of those barbarians coming unexpectedly thereupon, like hail upon a field ready to reap, seems to have somewhat retarded and set back our hopes.

The first outburst of this treachery has fallen upon the one who deserved it the least, — that is, Father Isaac Jogues, who, as I sent word last year to your Reverence, left here toward the end of September, 1646, in order to return for the second time to his mission of the Martyrs among the Hiroquois, [Page 219] purposing to maintain the peace there, and to manage there the interest and the affairs of Paradise. But hardly had he set foot in the land when, against all divine and human law, he was treated as a captive by those barbarians; he and his companion, who was a young lay Frenchman, were beaten, robbed, and stripped naked, and led in that condition to the next [3] village, where, the day after their arrival, the eighteenth of the same month of October, Father Jogues was murdered, and his companion likewise. And the storm increasing from that on, we were surprised by it before we had perceived it; and entire villages of our Christians and other allied Savages were carried off in it, without speaking of some Frenchmen and Savages who were thus surprised in lonely places.

Consequently, those perfidious people, resuming their former routes, hold the approaches to the upper nations blocked, which makes me almost despair of being able to receive, this year, the Relation of the Hurons, — at least, soon enough. God, nevertheless, has not permitted that we should be frustrated in the consolation of learning news of them, by way of the nations of the North; news which enables us plainly to see that, if the paths and ways of God are different from those of men, for arriving at an end, they are none the less certain.

The sufferings and the murder of Father Jogues, and of so many good Christians, both French and Savage, will never appear, to the bleared eyes of nature, a [4] means for arriving at the consummation of our desires; but if, as we have every reason to believe, Our Lord has willed to use them as the price of the Spiritual blessings which he has shed [Page 221] abroad this year on all our Missions, — and among others, the conversion and Baptism of more than six hundred Savages, — what can we desire further ? And have we not cause to adore the Wisdom and power of God, who knows how to draw life out of death, and, from the reprobation of some, the salvation and the perfection of his Elect?

The letters, then, received from the Hurons, inform us that the fidelity and fervor of their Christians are greater than ever; that they have baptized there more than five hundred persons; that they have reëstablished or newly established several missions. They say, in short, that the work which they have commenced is beginning to increase, and that the sound of the Gospel resounds continually more and more, and makes itself heard by the more distant Nations. I hope that, sooner or later, we shall see the details thereof. Meanwhile, I find myself in considerable difficulty. They ask me with so much urgency for six of our Fathers, that I cannot refuse them; and, on the other hand, [5] I have much trouble in bringing myself to risk so much all at once. To risk nothing is to lose everything, and one cannot risk with more assurance of profit; the courage and good disposition of those who have come from France these last two years, and who hitherto have not been able to go up, give great weight to the resolution of sending rather more than fewer of them. I pray God that he arrange everything for the best.

On another side, no opportunity has been allowed to escape, down here, to serve the Master who employs us; this is what your Reverence will be able to see more especially in this Relation. It will, I [Page 223] am assured, convince you that we have more need than ever of the assistance of your Holy Sacrifices and Prayers, and of those of the whole Province, —  to which I commend myself and all our affairs in all humility, to the entire extent of my affection.


Your Reverence’s

From Quebek,

this Very humble and very obedi-

20th of October,

Ent servant in God,


Hierosme Lalemant.[



Page 225]




he24th of September of last year, 1646, Father Isaac Jogues left Three Rivers in order to go to the country of the Agneronon Hiroquois, to the end of maintaining the peace which they had so solemnly concluded, and in order to cultivate and augment the seed of the Gospel which he had begun to cast into that wretched and thankless land. Before he arrived in that country, this people had sent presents to the Hiroquois of the upper countries, — whom we call Onondageronons, Sountwaronons, and some others, — in order strongly to confirm their alliances, and to form a conspiracy for the ruin of the French and of their allied tribes. The cause of this treachery proceeds, in my opinion, from their war- like temper, which cannot stay at rest, and from the glory and advantages which they drew from war; and, furthermore, from their superstition, and from the hatred which the captive Hurons have given them for the doctrine of Jesus Christ. [7] Those captives — having seen us the reproach of their whole country, on account of the contagious and general diseases, of which they made us the Authors through our prayers, which they called charms —  have cast these notions into the minds of the Hiroquois, that we carried the Demons and that we and our doctrine tended only to their ruin; insomuch that they accused Father Isaac Jogues, on his first journey [Page 227] after the conclusion of peace, of having concealed some spells in a small chest, or little box, that he left with his host as pledge of his return. The Father, seeing them disturbed, took that box, opened it before them, and showed them and left with them everything that was in it. Sickness having fallen upon their bodies after his departure, as we have learned from the Savage prisoners who have escaped, and the worms having perhaps damaged their corn, as the letter of the Dutch testifies, — these poor blind creatures have believed that the Father had left the Demon among them, and that all our discourses and all our instructions aimed only to exterminate them. These are the reasons for which they have resumed the war; insomuch that the good Father Jogues, murdered on the eighteenth of October, [8] has had the honor to be a symbol of Jesus Christ, — being regarded as a man who had the Devil with him, and who employed Beelzebub for driving out the Demons from their souls and from all their country. They killed at the same time a young lad who accompanied him, named Jean la Lande, a native of the City of Dieppe.

Immediately after these murders, of which we had no knowledge until Spring, they spread themselves about in various places, in order to capture, kill, and. massacre as many French, Algonquins, and Hurons as they could. Let us follow them in their raids, and mark the times of their attacks and of their chase after men.

The seventeenth of November of last year, three Hurons out of four who were at Montreal, returning from the hunt, told us that they had lost one of their companions; having undertaken the duty, some days [Page 229] afterward, of going to look for him, they were taken by a band of Hiroquois, in ambush on that Island. We have since been told that they were captives in the country of their enemies, and that no news had been learned of their comrade whom they went to seek.

[9] The thirtieth of the same month, the day of St. Andrew, two Frenchmen, having gone a little distance from the settlement of Montreal, were taken and carried away by those Barbarians. We have asked news of them from the captives who have escaped from the country of the Agneronons; these have had no knowledge about them. This makes us conjecture that, having perhaps unbound themselves in order to escape, they have been taken again and beaten to death, or that they have died of hunger and cold in the woods: or — which is more probable —  that those perfidious ones, finding no provisions at their return, — for the season was bad, — may have killed and eaten them by the way. The rumor has been current that their scalps had been seen in the country of the Hiroquois.

The fifth of March of this year, 1647, two Algonquins of Three Rivers — having started with two women in order to go four or five leagues thence, to bring away the meat of an Elk killed by a Huron — were met by a squad of Hiroquois, who seized them, and who learned by their means the condition of the French at Three Rivers and the places where the Algonquins had recently gone for their great hunt.

[10] The next day, the sixth, — which was Ash Wednesday, when all the French were assembled at the Church in order to begin there the Service of Holy Lent, — those Barbarians came to plunder two, [Page 231] houses somewhat isolated from the fort. It is estimated that they carried off what would load more than fifteen men; for several Frenchmen had reserved in that place the greater part of their little property. At the end of Mass, they found themselves stripped of clothing, blankets, powder, lead, and arquebuses, and of other like things, — those robbers having left them nothing save what they could not carry away. The resignation and patience of those afflicted was excellent, and the charity of the other French was delightful. Some were praising God in their loss, and the others were exalting him by their charities; a certain man, who had only two coats, very gladly gave one of them in alms. Another, having learned this news, had a sledge laden with linen and clothing suitable for men and for women, and went in person to offer this assistance, along with his wife, — excusing himself to those poor afflicted people, for having offered them so little. “Never,” says a Father of our [11] Society who chanced to be present, “did I better conceive the fervor and charity of the Christians of the primitive Church, than on this occasion, when each one was striving to emulate the other.” Those thieves, having placed their booty in safety, divided themselves into two bands in order to go and find the Algonquins who were hunting, — some on the South side, others on the North side, of the great River. As they had learned from their captives the places whither those poor people had gone, they easily found their tracks, marked upon the snow. Those who proceeded to the North by their trail came to their cabins; but, all the men being at the chase, they encountered only women and children. Having seized persons and baggage, without [Page 233] allowing any one to escape, ten Hyroquois went to seek the place where the men were, They perceived Simon Piescaret, who was returning all alone and carelessly; they accosted him treacherously, knowing very well that, if they assailed him openly, they would have to deal with a man who would not surrender without fighting. As he saw only ten of them, he supposed that they were coming as friends and on a visit; [12] for that reason, he began to sing his song of peace, expressing to them his joy at their coming. They accosted him with friendly mien; but one man, treacherous and false, thrust a javelin into his loins, and pierced him through and through. The poor man fell dead upon the spot; the Hiroquois remove his hair, and carry it back to the cabins; and they straightway go in pursuit of the others, whom they soon encountered and surprised, “It is thus,” said a captive woman, ‘( that we were betrayed, according to what our enemies themselves relate.”

Those who marched to the South, attacked Jean Tawiskaron and some other Captains and their followers; these poor people had just prayed to God, intending to leave their cabins and advance farther into the woods. They were accompanied by their wives and children, and were consequently less prepared to defend themselves. Marie, wife of Jean Baptiste Manitounagouch, — walking among the last, with her child, — having perceived them as they were casting themselves upon a Huron who marched as rear-guard, cries to her husband to quicken his pace, in order to give warning to those who were at the front, to place themselves on the defensive. He forthwith lays [13] hands on his weapons, and kills the first Hiroquois, who was marching ahead; but he [Page 235] was soon murdered by those who followed this man. The enemy spreads immediately on all sides, surrounding those good Neophytes and Catechumens. Bernard Wapmangouch, an adroit and valiant man, kills the first one whom he had at close quarters; but he was soon put to death, without being recognized by the Hiroquois, who would have granted him his life, as being of their nation. The Algonquins had taken him quite young, with a brother of his; both were baptized, and both good Christians. His brother, named Pierre Achkameg, having been recaptured by the Hiroquois, chanced to be in this combat; it was he who seized Jean Baptiste’s wife, — who, having recognized him, at once asked him whether there were not a Father of our Society in the Hiroquois Villages. “No,” said he, “the French were killed before we came to war.” This poor woman was already thinking of confessing when she should have arrived in the enemies’ country. In short, there were some wounded and killed on both sides, — but very few on the side of the Hiroquois, because they were in arms; whereas the Algonquins [14] were surprised in a train of women and children, and baggage. As soon as the conquerors had caused the conquered to give up their arms, and had fast bound those who were likely to escape, they throw themselves upon the old men, the children, and the women, who were not able to follow them. They slash, they cut, they gash, they burn, they put everything to fire and to blood; they beat, they strike, they tear out the nails of those whom they wish to lead in triumph into their country. A poor Algonquin woman, seeing a relative of hers severely wounded, and fearing lest the [Page 237] Hiroquois should despatch him, fastens him upon a sledge, and drags him after the enemies, who were all laden with prisoners and spoils. Those Barbarians, before separating, had appointed their rendezvous on a little river of lake Saint Pierre, where these latter ones arrived first; the others, who had murdered Simon Piescaret, appeared the next day, leading in triumph their captives, with barbarous hootings. These poor people, knowing nothing of the capture of their friends and allies, looking at one another burdened with wounds and bonds, lowered [15] their eyes to the ground, overwhelmed with anguish and pain. Jean Tawichkaron, who, was of the number of the prisoners, did not lose heart in this great consternation; he rises, and, with a steadfast look, he addresses all the Christians and Catechumens. “Courage!” he says to them; “my brothers, let us not forsake the Faith or prayer. The arrogance of our enemies will soon pass away, our torments will not be of long duration, and Heaven will be our eternal dwelling. Let no one waver in his belief, we are not abandoned of God, to be miserable: let us kneel down and pray him to give us courage in our torments.” Immediately, not only the Christians, but also the Catechumens and the relatives, fall upon the ground; and, one of them pronouncing the prayers in a loud voice, all the others followed him distinctly, in their usual way; they next sang some Spiritual Hymns, in order to console themselves with our Lord in their anguish, The Hiroquois looked at them with astonishment; one of them beginning to laugh, Marie Ka makatewingwetch, wife of Jean Baptiste Manitounagouch, said to Pierre Achkameg, “Tell thy people [16] that they [Page 239] must not jeer at a thing so Holy. It is our custom to pray to God; he will punish those who despise him.” Those Barbarians, having learned what she was saying, broke out in derision, mocking at the piety and devotion of their captives. Pierre Achkameg, who had become a wolf among the wolves, was touched; he lowered his head without saying a word, respecting the prayers which he had formerly uttered with his own lips. The women were not frightened by these shouts and taunts, — those who carried their children with them had them make the sign of the Cross; and not one, small or great, would eat without making this sign in the presence of their enemies. They used their fingers to recite their rosary, — the Hiroquois having pillaged and taken away from them everything that they had, even to the smallest tokens of their devotion. Before leaving that river, they burned alive that man who had been wounded, fearing lest he should die on the way, by a death less cruel; it is strange how pleasant, and almost natural, is cruelty to these Barbarians. We have learned all these particulars from those who have escaped from the hands and the country of those treacherous people. [17] These related to us that one man, having detached himself, had been overtaken in his flight; and that they had burned the soles of his feet, in order to prevent him from fleeing another time. We have been assured that those Tyrants crucified a little baptized child, aged three or four years, by stretching its body upon a great piece of bark and piercing its little hands and feet with pointed sticks. These unheard-of cruelties give us plainly to understand that these peoples are not far from the limit of their crimes. [Page 241]

Those victims, having arrived in the country, were received with shouts, with jeers, with taunts, with beatings, and with the customary fires. There had been set up two great scaffolds, — one for the men, and the other for the women, who were all exposed, naked, to the derision of small and great. As soon as they were upon these stages, they all requested, both men and women, to speak to Father Isaac Jogues, — that he might baptize the Catechumens, and hear the Christians in confession. Some Algonquin women, who had long been captive in that country, quietly approached their fellow-countrymen [18] and told them that the poor Father had been wretchedly murdered. After the greetings and paradings in the three Villages of the Agneronons, where their nails are torn out, if any are still left; where their fingers are cut; where they are struck upon their wounds, — in a word, where rage and fury are unchained , — life was spared to the women and the girls, and to two little boys. As for the men and the youths able to hurl a javelin or a lance, they were distributed through various Villages, in order there to be burned, boiled, and roasted. The Christian who said the public prayers was broiled and tormented in a horrible fashion; never, according to the report of a person who saw him in his sufferings, did he utter any cry, or give any sign of a dejected heart. He raised his eyes to Heaven in the midst of his flames, looking fixedly at the place whither his soul was aspiring. They began to torment him before Sunset, and all night they burned him, from the soles of his feet up to the waist. The next day, they burned him from the waist to the head; and toward evening, his strength failing him, they threw [Page 243] his whole broiled body into the flames. [19] This rage surpasses the nature of men; the Demons have a large part in it.

There was, among this band of youth, a stripling aged about 15 or 16 years, — fair as the day, in the esteem of the Savages. The Hiroquois clothed him in their most beautiful robes, and adorned him to, advantage, taking pleasure in seeing his gait and deportment; for, in truth, he had grace. Certain persons, won by the tenderness of his age and the beauty of his body, talked of sparing his life; but, their rage against the Algonquins is too great; they stripped him like the others, and made of him their plaything in the flames, Let us return, if you please, to the place of their capture.

The defeat of these poor people occurred on the, fifth of March; five persons alone escaped from the band of Tawizkaron. They came, one after the other, to Three Rivers, crying out that all their people were dead or captive. Two of these five had started very early in the morning, to go to the chase; returning, toward evening, they heard from afar, fierce yells and loud jeers, as of persons who rejoice in their prey, and who [20] are making their prisoners dance, according to the custom of the Savages. That astonished them; they lent ear more attentively, and recognized that those noises did not proceed from their own people; therefore, turning about, they hastened to Three Rivers to give notice of their defeat. The French were touched to the, last degree: they manifested a grief as keen as if they had learned the death of their own relatives. The noble examples of virtue which some had given, and the generous disposition of most to receive Holy [Page 245] Baptism, striking their minds, softened their hearts, and they made Panegyrics on those good Neophytes. One lamented a Christian, another a Catechumen; several deplored the misery of those who had asked for admission into the Church of God, and who had not obtained it because it was desired to keep them in a longer probation. There was especial regret for a woman who, before her departure, seeing that a little child at the breast had become an orphan, offered herself to nurse it, — a very extraordinary charity for a pagan, on account of the great difficulties which they have [21] in bringing up their children. Their custom was formerly, when a woman left her little one incapable of eating, and of walking quite alone, to kill it, and bury it in the same sepulchre with its mother, — saying that it might just as well die, if some nurse who was its near kinswoman would not take charge of it.

For the rest, it seems as if God had given to the Algonquins presentiments of their death. Those two women who were the first to be taken, having started from Three Rivers without wearing their porcelain collars, retraced their steps in order to get these. “We shall fall,” they said, “into the hands of the enemy; perhaps our necklaces will save our lives.”

Simon Pieskaret, coming to take leave of our Fathers, said to them: “It seems to me that I am going away to death. I feel something strange, which tells me, ‘ The Hiroquois will make thee die; ’ but my consolation is, that I am reconciled to the Church, and that I shall go to Heaven after my death. “

Bernard Wapmangouch confessed even twice before [Page 247] his departure, and when they asked him the reason of this so extraordinary care, he said: “I am called into the woods [22] to die there; pray for me, for I shall come back no more. See that I be given a ball, in order to kill the first Hiroquois who shall try to kill me.” The matter came to pass as he had thought.

Augustin Tchipakouch addressed these remarks to a Father: “Adieu, my Father, for the last time. I know not what act of thanks to render you for so many benefits as I have received from your charity; love me still after death, and pray for my soul when you shall learn that I am in the hands of our enemies, so that I be not twice burned.”

A certain Kitauchi said to the same Father : “There is a bundle of beaver skins, that I beg thee to give such a one when thou shalt see him in this country. ““Yes, but,” said the Father, “are not these beaver skins thine?” “They are so no longer, “he answers; “for I account myself already dead.”

The Father who was instructing them during the Winter remarked, after their deaths, that his more usual conversations were upon the means for dying well, — how one should behave, if one were taken by the Hiroquois; how one should make profit from the great torments which they cause their prisoners to suffer; and, though often he had no design of [23] speaking to them on a subject so sad, he commonly found himself engaged in these discourses without intending it. All these feelings have not prevented their deaths, it is true; but they have strongly fortified their souls. God was preparing his elect by these thoughts, to which no credence was attached, —  they being given not for the life of the body, but for [Page 249] the salvation of souls. I know well that the inconstancy of the Hiroquois was quite enough to give them those feelings of distrust; but — as they were almost universal, and in the most courageous souls; and as, furthermore, they produced moral actions, acts of humility, and inclinations for going to Heaven — one must not doubt that they took their source in the blood of Jesus Christ, whence proceeds everything which tends toward, and which leads us to, our salvation.

In conclusion, those treacherous people have often prowled about the settlement of Three Rivers, but much oftener about that of Montreal; which has caused Monsieur d’Aillebourts to fortify himself ably. He is praiseworthy in this respect, — having preferred to give up some very important private undertakings than to be wanting to the public. The settlers at Three Rivers [24] have also joined and assembled themselves together that they may more easily resist the incursions and robberies of those Barbarians.

Now it must not be imagined that the rage of the Hiroquois, and the loss of several Christians and Catechumens, are capable of nullifying the mystery of the Cross of Jesus Christ, or of checking the efficacy of his blood. We shall die, we shall be captured, we shall be burned. Granted; but the bed does not always make the most glorious death. I see no one here lowering his head; on the contrary, people ask to go up to the Hurons, and some protest that the fires of the Hiroquois constitute one of their motives for undertaking so dangerous a journey.

At the same time when God has scourged us on one side, he seems to choose to console us on the other [Page 251] Our Fathers with the Hurons have sent us word that the Savages of Anastohé, — whom we believe to be neighbors to Virginia,[xxix] and who had formerly close alliances with the Hurons, insomuch that there are still found in the Huron country people from their districts , — those Savages, I say, have conveyed these few words to the Hurons: “We have learned that you [25] had enemies. You have only to say to us, ‘ Lift the axe ’; and we assure you, either they will make peace, or we will make war on them.” The Hurons, very joyful at these fine offers, have sent an Embassy to those peoples. The Chief of this Embassy is a worthy Christian, accompanied by eight persons, four of whom have embraced the Faith of Jesus Christ. It must not be feared that the children of God and the Gospel laborers lack assistance; if they are not wanting in courage, crosses and sufferings are the mark, and the characteristic of their mission. [Page 253]





hereare unaccountable charms in the country of our birth, which do not allow men to lose the memory thereof. What was there formerly more splendid than the city of Rome? or more [26] harsh than the cold and the ice of Scythia? And yet a barbarian fled from that great city, in order to return to the rigor of those snows. The country of the Algonquins has been, for some years past, nothing but a field of dead and sick; and, nevertheless, the women whom the Hiroquois set at liberty in their country, in order to marry them to their children, have always so great a desire and so great an inclination toward their native land, that many cast themselves into horrible dangers, and into frightful difficulties and toils, in order to see it again. Here are some examples of this.

On the eighth of June, a canoe appeared above the habitation of Montreal, in which was seen only one person. Having approached, she was recognized as Marie Ka makatewingwetch, wife of the worthy Jean Baptiste Manitounagouch murdered by the Hiroquois; this poor creature had escaped with toils that can hardly be expressed. Being led into the room of Monsieur and Madamoiselle d’Aillebourts, her eyes made the preamble of her address; her tears and sobs robbed her of speech, and inspired compassion [Page 255] in every one. The Fathers [27] console her, and Madamoiselle d’Aillebourts, who was well acquainted with her, tells her in her own language that she should not grieve, since she was among her relatives and friends. “And it is that very thing,” she says, “which renews my tears and which aggravates my troubles; when I see the persons and the places where I have seen myself so well loved with my poor husband and my child, I cannot contain my tears. It is a long time since they were dried; and, when I saw you, they issued from my eyes in spite of myself;” and thereupon she looked with a gaze all full of anguish at those good Damoiselles, who caressed her with much tenderness. She did indeed use all her power to remain cheerful: but it was necessary to give love the leisure to shed its tears, and to visit the places in that settlement where she had received most joy, in order to dilute there —  with the wormwood of her sorrows. Having satisfied nature, she related to us the capture of the Algonquins, as we have just written it; and then she told us the method which God had employed in order to bring her from the country of the Hiroquois.

She had already been once a prisoner in the country of the upper Hiroquois, named [28] Onondagueronons; some Savages of that nation, having recognized her in one of the villages of the Agneronons, where her life, after the burning of the men, seemed to be assured, told her to go forth from the village, — that they wished to speak to her. Having gone a little distance, toward evening, they carried her off, —  partly by her consent, promising her wonders; partly by force, declaring that, having left their village, she was bound to return to it. She well knew that [Page 257] she would meet strong opposition unless she complied; therefore she told them that she was ready to follow them. They kept her concealed in the woods, with assurance that they would come to take her again the next morning, which they failed not to do: they took her away then to Onondagué, — the name of their village. On the way, it was necessary to pass through Ononïoté, whence came that man who had taken this poor woman, and to whom she belonged. Those Barbarians, being afraid lest she might be recognized there, gave her a pouch, an earthen pot, —  and a few provisions, and told her that she should retire into the woods, and that they would come to take her on the following day. Night having set in, she approached the village of Ononïoté, where she heard the shouts, the jeers, and the [29] derisions of those Barbarians, at the bonfire which they were making of one of her fellow-countrymen. This poor creature took it into her head that they would do the like with her, because she had already escaped from the village whither they were leading her, and because they scarcely ever pardoned fugitives. She had also heard, at her departure, some young men, who, not supposing that she understood their language, were asking one another which part of the body they would find the most dainty. One of them, looking at her, answered that the feet roasted under the ashes were very good, All these things gave her a dread which saved her life. She then takes the resolution to flee, and immediately she starts on the journey, walking all night, — but not proceeding toward her own country, for she suspected that she might be discovered by her trail; but she hastened toward the village of Onondagué, keeping the beaten road, [Page 259] with which she was well acquainted. The next day, those who had abducted her, sought her, as may well be supposed, — but in vain. Having arrived. near the village, she hides herself in the deepest woods, such as are the cedar and spruce thickets, which are very frequent [30] in those regions. She was there ten days and ten nights without fire, in the midst of the snows, with a dress extremely thin, and so short and so scant that her arms and her legs were all bare, and the rest of her body very poorly covered. Every night she left her retreat, that she might go to seek or glean in the fields, and beneath the snow, some broken ears of indian corn, escaped from the hand of the reapers. She found only about two little dishfuls, for the food on her journey, which was to last more than two months. That greatly terrified her; and add that every day she saw Savages going and coming, who often passed very near the place where she was. She even saw, not without fear of being discovered, the men who had carried her off.

A tall Hiroquois, having his hatchet on his shoulder, came, on a certain day, straight toward her; the poor woman has recourse to God, — for she never forgot him in her sorrows. While she was praying, that man turns aside all at once, entering the forest at another place. Now as these fears and continual apprehensions were afflicting her, she made this argument, — full [31] of error, in truth, but very pardonable in a poor Savage woman. “I am dead; it is over with my life. I must no longer think of going to the village, to be burned; I cannot resolve to set forth on the way to escape. I shall die with hunger and weakness; and perhaps I shall be met by [Page 261] some Hiroquois, who will make me pass through the usual torments; it is better, then, to die more quietly.” Having said her prayer, she fastens her’ belt to a tree, up which she climbs; she makes at the other end a running knot, which she slips about her neck, and throws herself down. The weight of her body broke the cord without doing her great injury; she mends it, tries it, and then climbs up again; but God willed that it should break for the second time. She, much astonished, begins to say apart to herself, with sober sense, — for she believed she was doing a good act : — “Yes : but perhaps God does not wish me to die. Surely, he wishes. to save my life: but I have not wherewith to live by the way. Is he not powerful enough to cause me to find something? Come,” she said, “let us entreat him to guide me.” Having said her prayer, she enters into the depth of those great [32] woods, and guides herself by the sight of the Sun, seeking the way to her own country. So there she was, wandering in a horrible solitude; as there was still snow on the ground, she suffered an intolerable hunger and cold. She ate, in ten days, nothing but those ears of corn, which she had gleaned; having consumed them, she scratched the earth in order to find little roots; she skinned the trees in order to suck and eat the thin inner bark. Finally, she came across, in a place where some Hiroquois hunters had lodged, a little hatchet, which they had abandoned or forgotten. That saved her life: her skill enabled her to make a wooden fire-stick, with which she made fire during the night, and not during the day;[xxx] she extinguished it as soon as the dawn began to break, for fear that the smoke would appear and reveal her. “Having offered [Page 263] my prayers,” she said, “I would spend the night in eating turtles that I found in the little rivers; in warming myself, and in sleeping. I traveled, and prayed to God, all the day.” What turns and circuits she made in those horrible forests ! what wanderings! She started perhaps at the beginning of April, and she arrived at Montreal only the [33] eighth of June: she told us that two moons and more had passed in her journey. When May came, she espied some Hiroquois hunters, without being perceived; having noticed that they had left their canoe on the bank of a river, she jumps into it secretly, and pushes it off, but, as it was too large for one person alone, she shortened it, and fitted it properly for her use. At last she finds herself on the banks of the great River of Saint Lawrence. Having well considered it, she judged that she was nearer to the French than to her own country, which is not far from that of the Hurons, and that it was easier to go down than to go up. Consequently, she takes the current, and goes hunting from Island to Island; she kills deer and beavers; she makes a wooden javelin, and burns the end of it, to harden it; and with this weapon she takes great sturgeons, five or six feet long. She took the deer in this manner: having made them rush into the water, she would embark in her little canoe, thus easily pursuing them; and on approaching them, she would deal heavy blows of the hatchet on their heads, as they stood at bay; then she would draw them on board, and use them [34] as food. She found many eggs of various river birds; she had still plenty of smoked meat and a quantity of those eggs, when she landed at Montreal. Seeing the Father who had instructed her, she said to him : “Ah ! my [Page 265] Father, how many times I have thought of you! I said in my heart ’ He prays for me, he guides me in my journey; he will cause that I go not astray. * I very often prayed to him who has made all; I used my fingers, to say my rosary. I thought incessantly of those who believe and who pray; it seemed to me that I saw Chaouerindamaguetch,” — this is the name which the Savages have given to Madamoiselle d’Aillebourts, — “praying to God for me in the chapel. At last, here I am, among my kindred.” Joy having succeeded the tears which she shed abundantly at first, she embraced those Damoiselles with more affection than she had shown her nearest relatives. In conclusion, she confessed and received communion, with great tenderness.

Five days after her arrival, a canoe appeared which brought a young woman of the Poisson blanc nation. This good Captive, having accosted her, told her the [35] miseries that she had endured in her captivity. “But all that I have suffered,” she said to her, “is nothing in comparison with what thou wilt suffer in Hell if thou art not a Christian.” “I am such,” she answered; “but I have a Pagan husband, who has another wife besides me, and who extremely hates prayer; I would like to leave him.” “Thou doest well,” she tells her, “for thy husband will make thee leave the Faith. If thou knewest its value, thou wouldst prefer it to everything else. This life is not worth regarding; the one which we expect is very long. The Faith is an admirable thing; it gathers up the nations, and of many it makes only one. It is the Faith which makes the French my kinsmen; they have received me and they treat me as their kinswoman. It is the Faith which [Page 267] makes me love thee, — what reason would I have to love thee ? Thou art not of my nation; I have no interest in thy staying or thy going away. But — I know not how that comes about — I really feel that I love thee because thou believest in God; and I cannot help giving thee a good piece of advice. If thou go up with thy husband to his country, thou wilt be taken by the Hiroquois; and then thou wilt fall from their fires into the fire of the Demons, — that is the one [36] that thou must fear. Ah, if thou knewest what freedom is, thou wouldst love it! Thou hast not felt the yoke of captivity, and how harsh and grievous a thing it is to be forever distant from the house of prayer ! Those who are in this bondage are envious of the little birds. Ah! how often I said to them, ‘ Why can I not fly like you! ’ If I saw at a distance a Mountain, I said to it in my soul, ‘ Why am I not at the top of its crest, in order to see myself removed from my captivity? ’ Life is death to a captive; but it is much worse after death, for that captivity is eternal.” The conclusion was that that young woman left the man who passed as her husband, and who in fact was not; and finally these two good creatures, having found a bark which was going down to Kebec, got into it in order to go and visit their relatives who lived in the residence of Saint Joseph.

The twentieth of the same month, a voice was heard on the other side of the river, opposite the settlement of Montreal. No haste was made to go thither, because the Hiroquois have formerly perpetrated such tricks , — acting the escaped prisoners, in order to attract and massacre those who should go [37] to seek them; but this was a poor captive, who [Page 269] was at the end of her strength. She shouted during two or three days; finally some men approached, little by little, and, having recognized her, took her on board. It is not credible how emaciated this poor creature was; she was a vigorous woman and in good flesh, before her capture: she then appeared so destitute of flesh, so hideous, and so feeble, that she was past recognition. She asked, as soon as admitted, whether the Father who instructed the Savages was not at Montreal; he was before her eyes, but she took no notice of him; the want of food had affected her brain; and one would have taken her for a real skeleton. As she had neither hatchet, knife, nor canoe, but only a little scrap of I know not what stuff, all worn out, which only half covered her, she had suffered unusual hardships. They give her to eat, little by little, and make her rest; the next day, having recovered her spirits, she asks yet again for the Father who had instructed her the preceding year. “Alas!” she said, “is he not here?” I‘ He spoke to thee so long last evening,” the Interpreter tells her. “Have him come, I beg you.” The Father having come to find her, she says to him: “My Father, yesterday I had no [38] sense; I do not remember to have seen thee. Instruct me, I pray thee. I have attributed my captivity to the resistance which I made to thee last year, when thou wished to teach me; I have nevertheless prayed to God. Although I was not baptized, I said in the depth of my heart: ‘ It is all over; I will believe, I Will become instructed, I will pray in good earnest, I will not lie.’” She told us that it was only two days after her confinement when she escaped from the Hiroquois; and that her child, which she carried [Page 271] in her bosom, died soon afterward, — her milk failing, — for want of food. She added that the Hiroquois were planning to come in great numbers, especially to Montreal: “But they are,” she said, “afflicted with a general malady, which causes a great ,number of them to die. It is the custom, when any one dies in their cabins, to mourn for him a very long time: now, as I was adopted by a family attacked with that disease, we did nothing but weep every day; and I said in secret, to myself, ‘ Would it were so that I might weep often for the same cause.’” She confirmed to us all that Marie had told us of the capture of the Algonquins and of the death of Father Jogues, — [39] adding that the Hiroquois were compelling the Algonquin women to apply fires to their fellow-countrymen, in order to burn them. Having arrived at the rapids of Saint Louys, which are a little above the settlement of Montreal, and having no canoe in which to pass it, she bound pieces of wood together; but, as she had no strength, the ties burst apart or unloosed themselves, and she sank several times to the bottom, — always coming up again, and carried along in the seething water, which was likely, a thousand times, to break her head against the rocks, if God had not most especially assisted her. “Two women,” she said to us, “escaped two days before me; the Hiroquois, enraged because we were escaping, said that if any one fled again, they would kill all the others. As they did not distrust me, on account of my confinement, I escaped more easily, — pretending to go to get wood in the forest.”

On the twenty-fourth of the same month of June, cries were again heard on the other shore of the [Page 273] great river; some fires were also seen. Some young men hasten thither with a canoe; they find those two women [40] of whom that poor shattered creature had told us. Now, although they were not in so pitiful a plight, — because, being two, they had assisted each other, — they were, nevertheless, greatly dejected. The weariness of so strange a solitude is very trying; to have no other bed, no other cover, no other company, no other provisions, than the bed, the cover, the company, and the living of beasts, is to lead a life more miserable than the life of the beasts. These two women found the means of making fire; but the other had not that contrivance, having no knife. In short, after they had been restored to good condition, they were each given a dress and a bark canoe, in order to go and find their husbands, who were at Saint Joseph, near Kebec.

The sixteenth of July, another prisoner appeared at Three Rivers; she had followed a different road from that of the two preceding ones. The poor miserable creature had nothing but the skin stretched over her bones; her look was frightful: her eyes appeared as if sunk in a corpse’s head; one no longer saw cheeks upon her face; her lips, glued to her jaws, imaged rather one deceased than a living person. [41] Having been charitably received, she related their capture and their journey. “One woman,” she said, “of our band, fearing the fury of the enemies, spoke to me of putting herself to death. I saw well that that proceeded from madness; I answered her that it was necessary to escape, and not to undo oneself. But as she was a very Megera, and hostile to the Faith, she heeded not this counsel. Laying hands on her child, she murdered [Page 275] it, and threw it at the feet of the Hiroquois; then, having slipped her head into a halter, she pulled with one hand to strangle herself, and with the other she cut her throat with a knife.” But alas! she soon found a more devouring fire than that of the Hiroquois. For several years she had resisted. God, hardening herself against the truths that it was desired to teach her; her life, full of anger and animosity against the doctrine of Jesus Christ, prognosticated only despair.

Our captive related that God had offered her several opportunities of escaping from the hands of the enemy, before arriving in their country: “But, alas !” she said, “I could not abandon my daughter, who was a prisoner with me, and better guarded than I. Love for my child and [42] love for my own life were struggling in my heart, but finally my daughter carried the day with me; I supposed that, having arrived in this country of torments, I could find means of saving us both. In fact, — after passing through the beatings and the other torments at the reception and at the entrance of prisoners, —  after the death of all the men and of some women, they gave us our lives. My daughter, being young and sufficiently agreeable, was soon married.” The Savages make no difficulty about espousing a stranger and a captive; nay even, there are some who love them the more, because they are usually more obedient and more pliable. “Now, since I was thinking only of my liberty, I go to find my poor child; I reveal to her my design. We concluded that it was necessary to leave the village toward midnight, which we did quite safely, without being perceived. Hardly were we out of the gates, which did not shut [Page 277] when we ran with all our might, from midnight until about five o’clock in the evening. When we were thinking to breathe a little, we perceived some Hiroquois; fear made us recover strength, and we [43] rushed through thickets; terror caused us to proceed in such sort that we became separated. I know not whether we were perceived; I know not whether my daughter has died in the woods, or whether she has been taken again by those Barbarians: whatever the fact may be, I have not seen her again since that time. She had prepared a knife for our journey, and I, five little loaves baked under the cinders; that is all that I have eaten since my flight, except some wild fruits that I came across, from time to time, on my way. Prayer was my sole consolation. I had nothing to make fire with, — my fingers not being strong enough to make a fire-stick in the manner of the Hurons. The wasps and flies kept strangling me : finally God showed me an invention, — making stockings and sleeves of foliage, in order to defend myself from their stings.” Our Fathers gave her a blanket: for hardly had she wherewith to hide the half of her body. She confessed, with great regret for her sins, — showing, moreover, an admirable joy and contentment on seeing herself again among the believers. [Page 279]





Thetwenty-ninth of May, there arrived at Montreal a canoe conducted by three Savages of the petite nation of the Algonquins. These poor people were much astonished at learning the defeat of the upper Algonquins, of which we have spoken herein above; they had nevertheless strong suspicions regarding the treachery of the Hiroquois. “We have,” said they, “noticed this Winter a trail of some enemies who have approached us very closely; and, — what has caused us astonishment, — some one of them having encountered a trap which we had set up for bears, instead of awaiting us or seeking our trail, he took down the trap, and so separated the pieces which composed it that we plainly see that no animal can have made this wreck. It is some one who has wished to give us [45] to understand that we should be on our guard, and that the enemy was not far away.” Such charity is not common among Barbarians. They added that there had arisen a certain disease among the Caribous, which made them vomit blood through the throat, remaining quite still when they were pursued. They have seen as many as five, six, or seven fall stiff in death in a moment: that has so terrified them that they have resolved to leave their country in order to come [Page 281] and live near the French. God withdraws from time to time those who are in the remote interior, which we cannot approach, in order to lead them to his knowledge through neighborhood to those who are competent to instruct them. These poor people, being afraid of meeting the Hiroquois on their return, besought Monsieur d’Aillebourts to assist them with some arms, — well resolved to fight if they found enemies; Monsieur d’dillebourts believed that they ought not to be denied in a matter so important. Being armed, they make a journey to Three Rivers, and thence go up again to their own country, without finding any enemy. One of them, supposing that the river was quite free, embarks his wife in order to journey as far as [46] the Island, and to give warning to the Savages of that country, that their relatives had been taken and massacred toward Three Rivers; and that, in consequence, they should be on their guard. As he was, then, navigating in his little bark gondola, he perceived from a distance a canoe of Hiroquois. Turning toward his wife, who was steering the canoe, he said to her : “Wouldst thou really have the courage to aid me? T desire to go and attack that canoe.” It was conducted by perhaps seven or eight men, and he was all alone; but he had resolution. His wife answered him : “I will follow thee everywhere; I wish no more of life after thy death.” They ply their paddles, in order to overtake that little craft; but, before being discovered, they saw, a little beyond, four or five canoes filled with men. That stopped them; — they concluded that they ought not to cast themselves rashly into the irons of their enemies, What, then, will this poor man do? He is [Page 283] not willing to flee: he cannot pass on without dying. “I must,” said he to his wife, “know what capture those people have made; for I plainly see by their bearing that they journey like people victorious. Surely, they have taken some of our fellow-countrymen.” He [47] puts his wife ashore; then, going to the other side of the river, as if he had come from the country of the Hiroquois, he fires an arquebus shot. The Hiroquois, not seeing him clearly, and supposing perhaps that it was some troop of their own warriors which was newly arriving in that quarter, gave forty shouts, drawing forty times these vowel sounds from the pit of their chests, hee. “It is enough, “said that Algonquin; “I wanted nothing more; I know what I desired, — they certainly hold forty of our people prisoners.” He takes his wife on board again, and hastens away, by dint of paddling, toward some men whom he had left; he relates to them what he has seen and heard, exhorting them to follow the enemy. Seven young men offer themselves to him; they get into two canoes, and go quickly to the place where the enemy was. There are no hunters so eager for game as the Savages are for the chase of men; there is no cat so adroit to crouch, and hide itself, and jump upon a mouse, as a Savage is shrewd in surprising and rushing upon his prey. They glide softly; they notice the trail of their enemies; they go to reconnoitre, with the step of a wolf. They noticed in the darkness five cabins together; [48] “Come,” they said, “let us kill and die; let us sell our deaths.” A single cabin contained more combatants than they were assailants : the order was, that six should enter into the three largest cabins, two into [Page 285] each one, and the two others into the two smallest. There were two Christians in this little number, who said their prayers, like persons who thought they were going to death. Toward midnight they enter, javelin in hand; with an admirable promptness, they transfix those poor sleeping people; but inadvertently they killed a woman of their own nation, recently captured by those Barbarians. In a word, they took away the lives of ten Hiroquois; they wounded many others, and delivered ten captive persons. The fight occurred with a strange hubbub. “Who are you?” said the Hiroquois; the others answered with javelin thrusts; the darkness rendered this confusion more horrible. A tall Hiroquois, pierced by a javelin, falling upon the one who had wounded him, broke the weapon in grappling him. The Algonquin, having released himself from his hands, pursued him with a volley of stones; the other, having caught him again, was about to destroy him, if his companion, happening thither, [49] had not given him a blow which felled him to the earth. The captive women, being set free, cried to their liberators : “Escape; there are many Hiroquois near here; if the light reveals you, you are lost.” At these words, they tear off the scalps of the dead : they throw into the river great bundles of beaver skins taken from the Algonquins by those treacherous people; as they could not carry these away, they were also not willing that their enemies should use them. Finally, having embarked the persons whom they had delivered, they retired to a place of safety. It would not take a great number of such warriors to give plenty of trouble to the Hiroquois.

Those captives, seeing themselves entirely delivered, [Page 287] related how they had been taken. “Many Savages of the upper countries,” they said, “had come to station themselves at the Island, in order to join the Hurons who were to go down toward the French. Thirty families had the intention of settling near those who teach the way to Heaven. There was not a Savage who was not laden with peltries, in order to buy his little necessaries at the stores of the country. A Huron, taken [50] some years ago by the Hiroquois, having become Captain of these robbers, led them to the place where we were, — which he did the more easily, because he had a thorough knowledge of all those regions. Our people, who were not expecting them, were much astonished when they saw them, arms in hand; they made, at the start, some resistance, but having seen, at the outset, three of our men down, killed by arquebus shots, they took flight. Avarice prevented the Hiroquois from pursuing them, their eyes being dazzled by the great number of beavers that we had, which made them think of pillage. That saved the lives of many people; as for those of us who had children, we were soon taken. It is thus,” they said, “that our misfortune came to pass.”

Besides these ten persons set at liberty by those eight Algonquins, an Amazon, taken with the others, has bravely escaped from the hands of those who held her captive. For ten days, the Hiroquois had been dragging her with the other prisoners; now, though she was bound by both feet and both hands to four [51] stakes, — fastened in the earth, and arranged like a St. Andrew’s cross, — she nevertheless took the resolution to escape. Noticing that the bonds on one of her arms did not press her very [Page 289] tightly, she managed so well that she set that arm free; this free arm soon detaches the cords which held captive the rest of her body. All the Hiroquois Were sleeping profoundly; behold her on her feet. She passes over those great bodies buried in sleep; being all ready to go out, she comes across a hatchet; she seizes it, and, impelled by a strange warlike fury, she deals a blow from it, with all her might, upon the head of a Hiroquois lying at the entrance of the cabin. This man struggles, and others are awakened; they light a torch of bark, and they see that wretched man plunged in his own blood. They seek the author of this murder; they find that woman’s place empty, and that man’s hatchet covered with blood. Every one leaves the cabin, and the young men run hither and thither: but that good woman, who after her blow had thrown herself into a hollow stump which she had previously well observed, listens to all their hubbub, not without fear of being [52] discovered. Finally, seeing that the runners who sought her had darted to one side, she leaves her den, and runs to the other side as fast as she can. The day having come, those Barbarians make a great circuit in order to discover her tracks; they find these, and pursue her two whole days, at the end of which this poor creature heard them running all around the place where she was. She believed that it was over with her life; but having, by good fortune, encountered a pond formed by beavers, she plunges into it, breathing Only from time to time, and so adroitly that she was not perceived. Finally, those runners, being wearied, returned toward their own people, despairing of being able to find her. Seeing herself free, she sets forth on the [Page 291] Way, and passes thirty-five days in the woods, without a robe and without clothing; having only a little piece of the bark of a tree, with which to hide herself from her own eyes. She finds no other hostelries than currant bushes and some small wild fruits, or some roots. She crossed the smaller rivers by swimming; when it was necessary to cross the great stream, she gathered pieces of wood, which she attached and bound [53] stoutly with the bark of a tree which the Savages use for making cords. Finding herself in a safer place, she walked along the banks of the great stream, without well knowing whither she went, for never had she approached any of the, French settlements, nor, perhaps, had she ever seen any Frenchman — she only knew that people came. to see them by water; so that she had no other guide than the current of that great river. The mosquitoes, — that is to say, the gnats, — the flies, and the wasps were devouring her; she could not defend herself from them on account of her nakedness. At last, having found a wretched hatchet, she built her, a canoe of bark, in order to reach the current of the water, and to look from side to side, if she might not see some houses. I leave you to think in what anxiety she might be, having no knowledge of the place which she sought, and not knowing where the great stream which guided her was likely to end. It is so broad in several places, it makes so great spaces or expanses of water, that it is difficult, from the middle of its bed, to see a house located on its shores. Finally, having [54] traversed lake St. Pierre, which is near Three Rivers, she perceives a Canoe of Hurons, who were going fishing. She straight-, way rushes into the woods, unable to recognize [Page 293] whether they were friends or enemies; add that modesty made her conceal herself, in order to proceed thereafter only by night. In fact, she resumed her journey toward eight o’clock in the evening: and when she discovered the French fort, she was at the same time recognized by some Hurons, who moved straight toward her, in order to know who she was. Seeing them come, she leaves the shores of the river, and returns to the woods, shouting to them that they should not approach, — that she was entirely naked, and that she had escaped from the hands of the enemy. One of those Hurons throws her a mantle, and a sort of robe; having put this on, she leaves the woods and comes away with them to the house of the French. Our Fathers send for her, and question her about her journey; she relates what I have just told, — very joyful to see herself at liberty, and admiring the charity of those whom she had so earnestly sought without knowing the place of their dwelling. She arrived at Three Rivers on the twenty-sixth of July, greatly exhausted and emaciated. 0 God, what sufferings! [55] What a lover of life is man! If these crosses were accepted for Jesus Christ, how precious they would be! She had no. thought of suffering them for her God, since she had never had knowledge of him, because she had never come near to those who distribute the bread of life to poor famished ones.

But let us enter, if you please, into crosses much holier, into sufferings ardently desired, and into a death more desirable than life itself. It is time to speak of the murder, or rather the martyrdom, of Father Isaac Jogues. Our poor Neophytes, being conducted to the country of their enemies, were asking [Page 295] for him with love, as we have already remarked herein; they wished to draw from his hands and his lips a passport for entering Heaven, where this good Father, having arrived before them, was procuring near his God the blessing which they have made manifest in the excess of their torments, Before speaking of his last sufferings, let us say a few brief words, in passing, of the graces which preceded the first moment of his eternity. His humility, and the brief sojourn that he made among us in these lower countries, [56] will rob us of a part of his glory and of our consolation; the Fathers who knew him longer and more intimately in the country of the Hurons, are filled with tender appreciation of his virtues; but, as they are not informed of his death, they have not yet discovered the treasure that we shall be able to see in due time. Let us begin, if you please, with his first entrance into the country of his bitter experiences and his delights, of his humiliations and his glory. [Page 297]



For particulars of this document, see vol. XXIX.


This is a letter written in Latin by Charles Garnier to the father general, dated at Ste. Marie of the Hurons, May 3, 1647. The original MS. rests in the archives of the Society, where Father Martin made a copy of it, presumably in 1858. Martin’s French translation of his Latin apograph was published six years later in Carayon’s Premiére Mission, pp. 226-228. In the present publication we follow the apograph itself, now in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal, and our English translation is made therefrom.


For bibliographical particulars of the Journal des Jésuites, see Vol. XXVII.


Our text of the Relation of 1647 (Paris, 1648) is printed from a copy of the original edition in the possession of The Burrows Brothers Company, Cleveland. It is addressed by the superior, Jerome Lalemant, to the provincial, Estienne Charlet; and his prefatory letter on p. 5 is dated “De Quebek ce 20. d’Octobre [1]647.” The “Priuilege” was “Donné [Page 299] à Paris le 27. Ianuier 1648,” and the “Permifflon” was “Fait à Paris ce 8. Fevrier 1648.” This annual is generally designated as “H. 87” because described in Harrisse’s Notes, no. 87.

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Table des Chapitres,” pp. (3); “Priuilege,” p. (I); “Permiffion,” with verso blank, I leaf; Lalemant’s prefatory epistle, pp. 1-5; text, pp. 6-276.

All copies examined have pp. 210, 211, 214, 215, 218, 219, 222, and 223 mispaged as 212, 213, 216, 217, 220, 221, 224, and 225, respectively. In one copy in Lenox Library — the Lamoignon — p. 166 is mispaged 66; and the Harvard College copy has p. 274 misnumbered 244, although in the Burrows copy and in both Lenox copies the pagination is correct in this particular case. In all copies examined, the caption of Chapitre x. is misnumbered ix.

The two Lenox copies are alike, textually, in . every particular; and a careful comparison reveals also an exact typographical agreement. But the Lamoignon copy in Lenox, unlike any other copy known to us, has the following repetition of “DE” in the title-page, on account of which it was, undoubtedly, canceled as soon as discovered by the printer. The eighth and ninth lines read as follows: “SVR LE GRAND FLEVVE DE | DE S. Lavrens en l’annee 1647.” In the Burrows copy, as well as in the corresponding Lenox copy, the “I” has dropped out of the form in the date at the bottom of p. 5. The Lenox Lamoignon copy, which is undoubtedly the earlier impression, has the date in full “1647.” On p. 166, the last line in both of the Lenox copies is given thus : “c’eft pourquoy il luy

dit, mon cher amy le” — which has been improved [Page 300] in the Burrows copy, to: “c’efi pourquoy il luy dit mon cher amy. Le.” On p. 198, in the Burrows and the Lamoignon copies, the figure I of the paging has slipped, thus driving out the first letter of “comme,” in the first line; in the other Lenox copy this break in the form has been repaired. In all copies, misprints are numerous, indicating careless proofreading.

Copies of this Relation may be found in the following libraries: Lenox (two variations), Harvard, New York State Library, Lava1 University (Quebec), Library of Parliament (Ottawa), Brown (private), Ayer (private), Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris), and British Museum. Copies have been sold or priced as follows: O’Callaghan. (1882), no, 1225, sold for $28, and had cost him $15; Harrassowitz (1882), priced at 160 marks; Barlow (1890), nos. 1293 and 1294, sold for $30 and $27, respectively; Dufossé (1891-1896), priced, variously, at 125, 150, and 200 francs. [Page 301]


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


[i] (p. 23). — One of these confrèries — the Mitä’wit, or “Grand Medicine Society,” of the Menomonee tribe — is described at length by Hoffman, U.S. Bur. Ethnol. Rep., 1892-93, pp. 66-138.

[ii] (p. 63). — Regarding the turtle in Indian mythology, see vol. xii., note 5.

[iii] (p. 69). — Bressani had arrived in Canada four years previously, but had been captured by the Iroquois on his way to Huronia, in 1644 (vol. xxiii., note 10).

[iv] (p. 85). — Concerning the Andastes tribe, see vol. viii., p. 301.

[v] (p. 95). — Laurette: Lorette (vol. xviii., note 4).

[vi] (p. 113). — For information regarding these tribes, see vol. xv., note 7; vol. xviii., note 16.

[vii] (p. 139). — See description of Isle Percée, in vol. ix., note 34.

[viii] (p. 143). — This chapter is evidently copied from the annual report of the Gaspesian mission sent to the Quebec superior; and, from personal allusions made in the last sentence and elsewhere, must have been written by Father Jacques de la Place.

[ix] (p. 147). — This refers to Caraffa’s election as general of the Jesuit order, which event occurred Nov. 21, 1645. Vincent Caraffa, then aged sixty years, was son of the duke of Andria. His death took place June 8, 1649.

[x] (p. 153). — Amable Bonnefons was born at Riom, and at the age of eighteen became a Jesuit novice (1618). He was employed in Christian instruction, and composed numerous devotional works, which, in their day, were much read. He resided a long time in the Maison Professe at Paris, and died there Mar. 19, 1653. — Sommervogel’s Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus (Brussels, 1890-).

[xi] (p. 153). — Bernardin de Montereul (Montreuïl), born at Paris, May 20, 1596, became a Jesuit at the age of twenty-eight. His work was that of a teacher and minister, and he also wrote several books, the most popular (and doubtless the one mentioned in our text) [Page 303] being La vie dv Savvevr dv monde (Paris, 1637). He died at Paris, Jan. 15, 1646.

[xii] (p. 157). — Jean Mignot, commonly known as Chatillon, was born in Normandy, in 1628; he married, in 1648, Six months after her husband’s death, Louise Cloutier, widow of François Marguerie, and by her had thirteen children. The date of his death is not recorded, but must be earlier than 1684.

[xiii] (p. 159). — This marriage was that of Julien Petau and Marie Peltier; the difficulty mentioned by Lalemant concerned the woman’s previous marriage in France, and is explained by Vimont in the register of Notre Dame church (quoted by Tanguay, Dict. Généal., p. 477, note).

[xiv] (p. 159) — “The little Marsolet” was Marie, eldest daughter of Nicolas Marsolet (vol. v., note 35); at the age of fourteen (1652) she married Mathieu d’Amours, who belonged to a noble and influential family in Paris, and by him had fifteen children, from whom are descended many Canadian families.

[xv] (p. 165). — Kontrande˛en: the Huron name for Cap de la Victoire (vol. xxix., note 1), or Massacre; written by Sagard Anthrandéen (Canada, Tross ed., p. 696).

[xvi] (p. 171). — Jean Amyot arrived in Canada about 1635; he spent several years as an engagé of the Jesuit mission in Huronia, and was interpreter at Three Rivers from 1645 until his death in 1648.

[xvii] (p. 181). — Étienne de Lessart, born in 1623, came from Sens, in the province of Champagne, to Canada in 1646. In April, 1652, he married Marguerite Sevestre, by whom he had twelve children. He died in April, 1703.

[xviii] (p 181). — This was probably Jean Joliet (Jolliet), a wheelwright in the employ of the Company; born in 1574, married at Quebec in 1639, died in 1651. One of his sons was the noted explorer, Louis Joliet.

[xix] (p. 181). — D’Aulnay was, at this time, governor of Acadia; he had driven La Tour from that province in 1645 (vol. xxviii., note 30). and, after concluding a peace with the English colony at Boston, Mass., he obtained from the French government (February, 1647) letters Patent which gave him almost unlimited power in Acadia. In May, 1650, he was accidentally drowned near Port Royal. He had governed his province with vigor and ability, and had done much toward improving its condition and developing its resources. Opinions of his personal character are conflicting: Denys regards him as a tyrant, and Garneau as a mere fur trader; while Moreau (Acadie Françoise) praises him as a most exemplary, enlightened, [Page 304] and virtuous ruler. D’Aulnay is in the text surnamed Rasilly, probably because he had obtained possession of the Razilly estates in Acadia (vol. viii., note 2).

Moreau cites (ut supra, p. 248) a memoir written in 1643 by D’Aulnay, giving an account of what he had then accomplished in Acadia.

[xx] (p. 183). — Pierre Bailloquet came from France to Canada in 1647, and remained there at least eighteen years, ministering sometimes to the French on the St. Lawrence, sometimes to the Indians of Tadoussac and Gaspé The last mention of him in the Journ. des Jésuites records that in November, 1665, he was stricken by illness, apparently at Cap de la Magdeleine.

The brother Nicolas Faulconnier remained in Canada until September, 1658, when he returned to France.

[xxi] (p. 183). — The fort of Richelieu, built by Montmagny at the mouth of Richelieu River, was abandoned late in 1645, and (probably in the spring of 1646) was burned by the Iroquois.

[xxii] (p. 185). — Regarding the Capuchins, see vol. ii., note 41. The Acadian missions were committed to the care of this order, by Richelieu, in 1633; and in 1640 he endowed a school for the Indian children under the Capuchins’ instruction. These missions were also aided by D’Aulnay (note 19, ante). Although the Capuchins requested, as mentioned in our text, that Druillettes be not sent back to the Abenakis, they apparently found, soon afterward, that they alone could not properly care for so large a flock; for but a year later, they asked the Jesuits to resume their mission to this tribe. The last of the Capuchin missionaries in Acadia, Bernardin de Crespy, was carried away by an English invading expedition in 1655. — See Shea’s Catholic Church in Colonial Days (N. Y., 1886), pp. 236-243.

[xxiii] (p. 189). — Bit Island is situated near the southern shore of the St. Lawrence, and is about three miles long by three-quarters of a mile in width. It is also known as Islet au Massacre, on account of a massacre thereon of some 200 Micmac Indians by Iroquois. The story of this event was related to Cartier at Stadacona (Quebec), on his second voyage to Canada; this legend is related by J. C. Tache in Soirées Canadiennes, vol. i. (Quebec, 1861), pp. 27-96. Opposite the island is the village of Bit, in Rimouski County; it is the landing-place for the pilots of ocean-bound steamers, and marks the limit of the river navigation,

[xxiv] (p. 189). — Concerning this circuitous postal route, see vol. ix., note 20.

[xxv] (p. 191). — This change in the government of Canada was [Page 305] established by a royal decree, dated Mar. 27, 1647. which is characterized by Ferland (Cours d’Histoire, p. 356) as “a sort of Constitutional charter, guaranteeing certain liberties to the habitants of Canada.” For references thereon, see vol. viii., note 57. The council referred to by Lalemant was to be, composed of three persons, — the governor of the country, the superior of the Jesuit residence at Quebec, and the governor of Montreal.

[xxvi] (p. 191). — Adrien Grelon was born at Périgueux, France, in 1617; he became a Jesuit novice at Bordeaux, Nov. 5, 1635; and, in 1647, he was sent to the Canadian mission. He remained upon the St. Lawrence one year, and went to the Huron country in July, 1648. Here he ministered, with Garreau, to the little Indian church at the village of St. Mathias, among the Tobacco tribe, and remained at his post, notwithstanding the ruin of the Huron mission, until the summer of 1650; he then descended to Quebec, and was among those sent back to France that autumn on account of the great burden of expense laid upon the Jesuits at that time by the necessity of caring for the Huron fugitives. Grelon died in France in 1697.

The brother Florent Bonnemer was in Canada in September, 1659; but it is uncertain whether he remained there longer.

[xxvii] (p. 193). — This was the estate granted to Jacques le Neuf de la Poterie (vol. viii., note 58), — the seigniory, afterward the barony, of Portneuf.

[xxviii] (p. 193). — Jacques Bonin was born at Ploermel. France, Sept. 1, 1617, and, at the age of sixteen, entered the Jesuit novitiate, at Paris. His studies were pursued at La Flèche and Clermont; and his prescribed term as instructor was spent at Quimper and Rennes. Coming to Canada in 1647, he was sent in the following year to the Huron mission, and was probably stationed at Ste. Marie. He was, like Grelon, sent back to France in the autumn of 1650.

[xxix] (p. 253). — Anastohé: the Andastes (vol. viii., p. 301).

[xxx] (p. 263). — For methods of making fire, see vol. xxii., note 12. [Page 306]