The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents

Travels and Explorations

of the Jesuit Missionaries

in New France








Reuben Gold Thwaites

Secretary of the State historical Society of Wisconsin


Thom Mentrak

Historical Interpreter at Ste. Marie Among The Iroquois

Vol. LXI

Lower Canada, Iroquois


CLEVELAND: The Burrows Brothers


¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯



Editor Reuben Gold Thwaites

| Finlow Alexander [French]

| Percy Favor Bicknell [French]

| John Cutler Covert [French]

| William Frederic Giese [Latin]

Translators. | Crawford Lindsay [French]

| Mary Sifton Pepper [French & Italian]

| William Price [French]

| Hiram Allen Sober [French]

| John Dorsey Wolcott [Latin]

Assistant Editor Emma Helen Blair

Bibliographical Adviser Victor Hugo Paltsits





Preface To Volume XLI





Journal des PP. Jésuits. François le Mercier; Quebecq, January 30-February 5, 1654.



Relation de ce qyi s’est passé en la Novvelle France, es année 1653. & 1654; Simone le Moine, July-September, 1654.



Copie de devx Lettres envoiées de la Novvelle France, au Pere Procureur des Missions de la Compagnie de Iesvs en ces contrées. François le Mercier; Kebec, October 13 and 17, 1655.




Lettre à la R.M. de Saint Bonaventure, à Kebec. Paul le Jeune; La Rochelle, March 10, 1656.



Concession des Terres dans le païs des Onnondageoronons, Jean de Lauson; Quebeq, April 12, 1656.


Bibliographical Data; Volume XLI





[page 7]




Photographic facsimile of title-page, Relation of 1653-54.



Photographic facsimile of title-page, Copie de devx Lettres



Photographic facsimile of handwriting of Paul le Jeune, S.J., selected from his letter to the Hospitalières of Quebec, dated March 10, 1656.


Facing 242



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

LXXXV. The Journal des Jésuites contains, in 1654, but one week's record, January 30 to February 5. On the former date, Onondaga envoys arrive at Montreal, and insist upon going to Quebec; but it appears that their purpose is to carry on intrigues with the Hurons of Orléans Island. The new governor, D'Ailleboust, learns of these schemes, and advises accordingly the Hurons, who are confounded thereat, and acknowledge everything, promising to do as Onontio wishes.

LXXXVI. The Relation of 1653-54 is written by François le Mercier, except the last chapter, which is an epitome of information on Canadian matters received by the Paris editor from other sources. The superior writes an introductory note to the provincial, which mentions the success of Father Le Moyne's recent journey to the Iroquois country, and the consequent opening for a mission there. For this purpose, Le Mercier asks that six more Fathers be sent to Canada; and that more funds be contributed by the charitable, that this additional expense may be met.

He now relates in detail the events which led to this felicitous condition of affairs. The Mohawk [page 9] envoys previously mentioned return to their own country after Poncet's deliverance from captivity (October, 1653), leaving four of their number as hostages with the French. A few days later, the Huron captains reveal to the French the intrigues of the Mohawks with them, to induce them to leave the French and settle in the Iroquois country; the Hurons temporize in regard to these proposals, fearing the hostility of these old-time enemies, but avow their loyalty to their French friends and protectors. Some months afterward, Onondaga ambassadors also come to treat for peace; they, too, scheme to draw the Hurons away from the French. These intrigues are foiled,—the Hurons pretending that they will go to dwell with the Iroquois after a year or two, when the Jesuits shall have established a mission among the latter.

In the following spring (1654), a young Frenchman is captured near Montreal by an Iroquois band; the chief of another band voluntarily becomes a hostage for his safety, and procures his release. With the Frenchman, the Iroquois bring also presents to ratify peace, and to urge the coming of the "black robes " to their country. In June, a Huron and Algonkin fleet comes down to the French settlements, bringing a cargo of furs. War between the Iroquois and Eries has begun, which especially leads the former to strive for peace with the French and Hurons. In July, two young Frenchmen who had spent the winter with the Mohawks, as hostages, are brought back to Quebec by " the Flemish Bastard. " About this time, Father Le Moyne departs on a journey to the Onondagas, in accordance with their invitation to the Jesuits,—a proceeding which arouses [page 10] the jealousy of the Mohawks. The complaint made for this tribe by the Bastard is met by presents from the French, and a message to Le Moyne directing him to visit the Mohawks also; but, as he has set out some time before, the Bastard is unable to overtake him.

Le Moyne's journey is now described, for which purpose his journal is given. He is received by the Onondagas with the utmost hospitality, and welcomed as an ambassador of peace. He administers baptism to several children, and both gives and receives special consolation in ministering to the numerous Huron captives, some of whom were his disciples in former years, in their own country. Among these, he finds Thérèse,—daughter of the Huron Christian, Joseph Chihwatenhwa,—a former pupil of the Ursuline Seminary at Quebec, who had been captured with Father Jogues (August, 1642). This good woman has converted one of her fellow-captives, whom she brings to the Father for baptism.

A council, of all the Iroquois tribes except the Mohawks, is held August 10. This is opened by Le Moyne, who " utters nineteen words " (that is, gives nineteen presents) to the assembled chiefs. " I was occupied fully two hours in delivering this harangue, which I pronounced in the tone of a Captain,—walking back and forth, as is their custom, like an actor on a stage." He is greeted with loud applause, and response is duly made by the Iroquois, with reciprocal presents to the French. Le Moyne is deeply touched, upon finding that the peace thus established is largely due to " our Huron Christians, especially the Captive women, " who have told the Iroquois so much about the French and the Christian religion [page 11] that the latter are well inclined toward both, and " love us in the hope that we will become to them what we have been to the Hurons. " The Father is so fortunate as to obtain from some of these savages two little books, which had respectively belonged to the martyrs, Brébeuf and Garnier. His embassy accomplished, he returns to the St. Lawrence, arriving at Quebec on September 11.

e Mercier considers the demand made by the Iroquois that a French settlement be established in their country, and regards it as a providential opening for missionary labor there. The governor, De Lauson, approves this plan, and many Frenchmen have volunteered for this expedition. More missionaries are needed, in so extensive a field.

The Huron colony on Orléans Island is in a prosperous condition. The charity of pious friends in France has helped to support these poor fugitives till they could aid themselves. They are most zealous in their observance of church rites and duties, and excel in sacred music. The Fathers in charge have formed among them a society, the Congregation of Our Lady, comprising " the élite of the Christians. " This is a powerful incentive to improvement in their morals and piety. It is noted that the women " are, among Savages as elsewhere in the world, the devout sex; " and membership in this congregation is especially beneficial to them. The happy deaths of some who belong to this society are related, and several incidents of the piety, obedience, and zeal o: others. These Christians maintain a fund for aiding the poorest of their number. Having received a gift from a similar congregation in Paris, they send to those benefactors a porcelain collar, to testify their [page 12] gratitude. It is accompanied by a letter of thanks in their language, written upon birch-bark, penned by Chaumonot in their name; this letter, followed by a translation, is given by Le Mercier.

The last chapter is made up of extracts from various letters received from Canada. Some Iroquois have wintered at Three Rivers, and have maintained so friendly relations with the Algonkins there that some of them have even married Algonkin women. The famous chief of the Island tribe, Paul Tesswehat, formerly so haughty and arrogant, has died a good Christian. Noël Tekwerimat, the Sillery captain, has been more zealous than ever in maintaining the Christian character of that colony, and has compelled infidels to remain outside the wall. New discoveries are being made to the north and west of the French settlements; and some tribes are heard of who have never yet seen a European. A new hospital nun arrives this year, bringing with her a number of young women as colonists.

At Tadoussac, Father Bailloquet winters with the Montagnais. The good will they show him " is, in truth, very pleasing; but it did not prevent the Father from having the earth for bed and mattress, and strips of bark for a palace, which was filled less with air than with smoke; nor did it save him from passing several months without bread, without wine, without salt, and without any other sauce than appetite, which he did not satisfy very often except with smoked flesh, dried in the smoke and filth of their cabins " Various instances of Christian charity and devotion among these Tadoussac converts are related.

While the last sheets of this Relation are being printed, a fresh item of news arrives from Canada, [page 13] which is added in a postscript. This is to the effect that a Mohawk band recently attacked the friendly Indians on the St. Lawrence, killing several; they also captured and bound Father Le Moyne, but were induced, by the threats of his Onondaga guide, to release him. The Paris editor makes various comments on the relations between the French and Iroquois, and hopes that these may continue to be peaceable.

LXXXVII. There is no Relation, properly speaking, for 1655. One was written and dispatched, as usual; but the messenger who bore this and other letters from Canada was attacked by highway robbers between La Rochelle and Paris, and all his papers scattered or torn. He gathers up what he can; and the Paris editor writes a brief epitome of Canadian affairs, as far as he can learn them from these fragments, and from the oral reports of persons who have come from that country. He also adds two letters sent by the Canadian superior, Le Mercier, who includes a note from Chaumonot and a few lines from Dablon; the whole is published under the title Copie de devx Lettres envoiées de la Novvelle France.

The annual French fleet to Canada has met with disasters; three vessels were captured or lost, and but two returned safely to France. This means the loss of the usual supplies and gifts to the religious houses, the Jesuit missions, and the governor, as well as investments of private persons—a heavy blow to the little colony.

The Iroquois tribes have kept the peace, excepting the Mohawks, who show their usual perfidy. Among their evil deeds is the murder of Jean [page 14] Liégeois, a Jesuit donné. After many raids upon the settlements, they bring back the French captives, and patronizingly announce that they will hereafter make war only on the Hurons and Algonkins, whom they Will kill Whenever they encounter them above Three Rivers. De Lauson, the governor, old and irresolute, accedes to this, and sends the Mohawk prisoners home. The Onondagas ratify their earlier negotiations for peace, and ask for missionaries to go to their country; Chaumonot and Dablon are accordingly sent thither. The Senecas also desire peace, especially because they are at war with the Eries. All the upper tribes prefer, also, to trade with the French rather than with the Dutch, since the route to the former is far easier.

One of the letters which give title to this document is written by Le Mercier, enclosing one from Chaumonot to the Ursuline superior at Quebec, as he is about to leave Montreal for the Mohawk country. He is giving religious instruction to his Iroquois escort; and some of them have already become catechumens. The second letter is also written by Le Mercier; on the day before the annual mail leaves for France. He mentions the latest news received from the Fathers who have gone to the Iroquois country, which is, on the whole, reassuring. Other letters received in France praise the good work of the Ursuline and Hospital nuns, which greatly attracts the Iroquois.

LXXXVIII. Le Jeune, agent in France for the Canadian missions, writes (March 10, 1656) a letter to the superior of the Quebec hospital, relative to business which he is transacting for her. He mentions the losses recently sustained by Canadian affairs. A [page 15] reinforcement of nuns is going to Canada. Le Jeune consults Maisonneuve in regard to sending nuns of this order to Montreal, but finds that the endowment there is not available for them.

LXXXIX. The governor of Canada, De Lauson, grants to the Jesuits a tract of land, ten leagues square, in the Onondaga country. They are permitted to choose this land wherever they think best, and are accorded full rights of justice and seigniory; while the grand seneschal of New France (De Lauson's son) is enjoined to put the Jesuits in possession thereof.


Madison, Wis., March, 1899.

[page 16]




Janvier 30-Février 5, 1654



SOURCE: We follow the original MS., in Laval University library, Quebec.

[page 17]

Journal of the Jesuit Fathers, January 30

to February 5, 1654.

JANUARY, 1654.

N the 30th, 4 Onnontaeronnons arrive at Quebecq with letters from Montreal and three Rivers. The former apprise us that 7 had arrived at Montreal at the beginning of December, with the intention of proceeding farther; that Monsieur de Maisonneuve had done his utmost to stop them,—telling them that onnontio was everywhere. He had presented to them two great kettles, for this purpose; but, as they persisted in their resolve to go down to Quebecq, he asked them to send back two of their men into their country, with two blankets on the part of Annonchiasé‚, to assure their fellow-countrymen of the Friendship of the people of Montreal—whatever accident might befall those who should go further down. That was carried out.

By the letters from 3 Rivers we learn that they have presents to bestow in secret upon the Hurons of the Island; znd, that, the Annien,eronnons having made some to the latter in the past autumn, Atseña since that time had in return given them three presents at three Rivers, on behalf of his tribe, in order to show that the Hurons accepted the proposition for going to Annieñé‚. These three [page 19] presents were then carried to Annieñé. The envoys lodge with us at Quebecq.

On the 31st, they go to the Island. I meet them on the ice; they greet me with a speech, and I give to the chief, named Tsira,eñie, a brasse-length of tobacco. At night, they hold a secret council with certain captains and elders. One of our Christians, named Jacques Atsiwens, who had been present there, informed us: 1st, that the hurons had of their own accord made two presents to the onnonta,ëronnons, even in the autumn, 2nd, that Tsira,enie, with 4 collars which he was to present to them at a second council, had given them a pledge that 400 men and 100 women were coming to carry away the village from the Island; that meanwhile they were hunting at Andatso; that in the spring they would come down as far as the river st. François, and would send to notify the Hurons to embark. 3rd, that the hurons had answered to the effect that their message had been altered; and that their idea had been merely, in case the war were resumed, to place a mat in onnantä,e for their nephews taken in war,—so that the lives of such might be spared, and that they might thus have some hope of again seeing them some day.


ON the 3rd, a council is held at the fort with the inhabitants, in order to give them knowledge of all these affairs, and to consider means for averting any treasonable design. [page 21]

The 4th is set for the council: the onnonta,eronnons do not come, on account of the bad weather. We hold a secret council at our house in the evening, with some huron elders,—Oek, Ationnionraskwa, and others. By the advice of Monsieur the governor, Monsieur d'Ailleboust, Father Ragueneau, Father Chaumonot, and I gave them to understand: 1st, that Monsieur the governor had knowledge of the business which they were secretly negotiating with the Onnonta,eronnons. 2nd, that he found nothing to gainsay in the essentials of this project, since he did not intend to keep his nephews, the hurons, in captivity. 3rd, that he blamed them for having consented to conceal this affair from him. 4th, that we recommended them to say all this to Tsira,eñie, advising him to make a present in person to onnontio, for entreating him to relax his arms a little, and to give liberty to the hurons whom he held under his protection, etc. They were, 1st, quite confounded; they acknowledged everything, and approved the advice that we gave them. Then, having asked them quid responsi daturus esset onnontio, "Let him answer," they said, "that it will be possible in two years." Thereupon we answered that he would better say, "when the peace shall be well established."

5th. Tsira,eñie arrives about 4 o'clock in the evening, with 3 or 4 hurons. He makes his six presents in our hall, in the presence of Monsieur the governor and of about 30 Frenchmen; and at evening, when night set in, he returns alone to the Island. [page 23]






Source: We follow a copy of the original Cramoisy (H. 103) in Lenox Library, New York.

end page 25







IN THE YEARS 1653 AND 1654.


Sent to Rev. Father Nicolas Royon,

Provincial of in the Province of France.


By Rev. Father François le Mercier,

superior of the Missions of same







Sebastien cramoisy,



ed by

Printer in ordinary to the King;

and to the Queen Regent,

ruë St. Jac-ques, at the



Gabriel Cramoisy.

sign of the Storks.

M. DC. LI.



Table of the Chapters contained in this Book.


RELATION of what occurred in New France, in the years 1653 and 1654

page 1

Chap. I.

Design of the Anniehronnon Iroquois, etc



Design of the Onnontaehronnon Iroquois, etc



Capture of a Frenchman at Montreal



Arrival of a fleet of Huron and Algonquin canoes at Montreal, etc



Arrival of the Anniehronnon Iroquois at Quebec



Journey of Father Simon le Moine to the country o f the Onnontaehronnon Iroquois



Council for Peace with the Iroquois



Plan for a Settlement on the great lake of the Iroquois



Condition of the Huron Colony on the Island of Orleans



Of the First Congregation of Our Lady



Observations taken from Letters and Memoirs that have come from the country


[page 31]

Extract from the Royal License.

Y the grace and License of the King, given at Paris, December 22, 1654, and Signed "Cramoisy," permission is granted to Sebastien Cramoisy, Bookseller, Printer in ordinary to his Majesty, former Alderman and Judge-Consul of the City of Paris, to print or cause to be printed: La Relation de ce qui s'est passé en la Mission des Peres de la Compagnie de Jesus au pais de la Nouvelle France depuis l'année 1653. jusques a l'Esté de l'année 1654. etc. And this during the time and space of nine consecutive years, forbidding all Booksellers, Printers, and other persons, of whatever quality and condition they may be, to print or cause to be Printed the said Relation, etc., under pretext of any disguise or change that might be made therein, under penalty of confiscation and fine, as provided by the said License.

[page 33]

Permission of the Rev. Father Vice-Provincial.

E, Louys Cellot, Vice-Provincial of the Society of Jesus in the Province of France, have granted to sieur Sebastien Cramoisy, Bookseller, Printer in ordinary to the King and Queen, former Alderman and Consul of this City, the printing of the Relations of New France. Done at Paris, this 22nd of December, 1654.

Louis Cellot.

[page 35]

[I] Relation of what occurred in the Mission of the

Fathers of the Society of JESUS, in the country

of New France, From the Summer of the

year 1653 to the Summer of the year 1654.

Sent to the Reverend Father Nicolas Royon, Provincial of the Society of Jesus in the Province of France.


Pax Christi.

I have waited until this day, the twenty-first [2] of the month of September, before taking my pen in hand to inform Your Reverence of the condition in which we are,—having been unable to do so sooner, because we did not know it ourselves. Our minds have been so divided during the past year that, to tell the truth, we have enjoyed Peace while thinking we were at war. Therein God has blessed our administration; and from the plots of treachery entertained by the Iroquois, our enemies, he has derived their welfare and ours,—giving us a genuine Peace, which opens to us ways and routes for going to instruct them in their own country, and for bearing thither the faith which shall make a Christian people out of a cruel and barbarous one. Such are the hopes given us in this matter by the fortunate result of a journey which one of our Fathers has recently made to that country. It was Father Simon le Moine, who was sent thither in the beginning [3] of July, and left us in suspense until his return, a few days ago, at which we were filled with a joy that was all the greater as we had reason to fear that he had been cruelly burnt,—which fate has already befallen several of our Fathers at [page 37] the hands of those wretches. But God guided all the Father's steps in the heart of the Iroquois Nations. He found there a captive Church, composed of our old-time Hurons,-and he was received as an Angel from heaven by those good Christians. He baptized thirty little Iroquois children, who were sick and in danger of dying-and, among the adults, a young Iroquois woman was the first to receive Holy Baptism. Even be fore the Father's coming this woman was living like a Christian, not yet being one,-although she was a believer in our doctrines, having been instructed therein by a Captive Huron woman. [4] He converted a great Iroquois Captain, the Chief of eighteen hundred men, whom he was leading to a new war, to which God undoubtedly aroused them in order to give us Peace. This Captain, with holy zeal, urged for his baptism before going into danger. Finally, the Father received presents from the most important nation; it is centrally situated among the other Iroquois nations, who are inviting is to go and instruct them, in order that they may become Christians. We gave them our word that next Spring we would go and dwell there, building a house like the one we used to have among the Hurons before the war had driven us thence. All these things Your Reverence will see in their order in the Relation, which I intend to write in the form of a Journal, to the end that the distinction of dates may prevent confusion in the narration of events [5] which are otherwise some what confused.

The enterprise of establishing a Mission next Spring in the heart of the Iroquois Nations obliges us to ask Your Reverence for the aid of six of our Fathers; for we are too few. Monsieur de Lauson, our Governor, intends to send thither a number of picked Frenchmen for starting a new settlement; while we shall send some of our Fathers [page 39]

and some workmen To build The first Church There in honor of the most Blessed Virgin. The expense will be excessive; but as it is an affair of God more Than ours, his Providence will provide for it. There are in France Charitable persons who are zealous for The Conversion of the Savages, and who fill the office of Apostles in Barbarous countries, although they do not leave their Native land, their children, or [6] their wives. There are even holy Widows, chaste Virgins, and many married Women, who, by sending Their alms to cooperate in The salvation of souls ransomed by the Blood of Jesus Christ, share in This glory of preaching The Gospel from one end of the world to The other. Such assistance as theirs will not fail us; and, even if we should be obliged To set out, as we often did in our Huron Missions, with only a staff in hand, and only our trust in God for maintenance, Our fathers are all resolved to make the attempt. Let those who shall come to their aid know, for their own encouragement, that there will be a great deal to do, and much more to suffer, and everything to fear; for we have to deal with Barbarous Nations, who breathe only blood and have drunk that of the Martyrs. Perhaps we shall meet with disaster at the very outset. However That may be, our lives [7] cannot be spent in a better cause than in procuring the glory of a God who first spent his life for us. To this end Your Reverence will procure for us the prayers of all our Fathers and Brethren of the Province, and will give us, if it please Your Reverence, your holy Benediction.

My reverend Father,

Quebec, this 21st Your very humble and very

of September, 1654. obedient servant in Our


François le Mercier


[page 41]



FTER the happy deliverance and return from captivity of Father Poncet,—who was saved almost by a miracle from death, and from the flames in which the companion of his fortunes had been cruelly burnt,—the Anniehronnon Iroquois, having given us some considerable presents in testimony of the sincerity of their hearts, and having received some in return, were in haste to start homeward again, seeing that winter was approaching.

At the same time a vessel [9] which was still lingering at Quebec, set sail to return to France, and bear thither the news of that Peace which had been so ardently longed for, and of the joy that had already spread over the countenances and in the hearts of all the peoples allied to us,—Algonquins, Montagnais, and Hurons.

The pleasantest days often have their clouds, and it is not God's will that our joys in this world should be quite free from shadows. The vessel that was returning to France, richly laden with the spoils of the Beavers of this country, was itself despoiled, falling into the hands of the English who were waiting for it in the Channel.

Here, at the same time, three young Hurons, having met by chance in the woods [10] two Savages of [page 43] the Nation of the Wolves,—Allies of the Anniehronnon Iroquois,—surprised them by night for the sake of securing their booty, and killed them on the spot.

This piece of treachery was discovered by the very Iroquois who had brought back Father Poncet. Upon calling, on their way home, at the French settlement at three Rivers, they recognized there the spoils of their Allies and the robes stained with their blood, which was doubtless crying to Heaven for vengeance. This event was indeed calculated to stifle in the cradle the hopes of a peace that had but just been born. But God interposed, and the Governor of three Rivers had the Huron murderers put in irons, in order to inflict a just punishment upon them and make it understood [11] that the French had no share in these crimes. The Iroquois were satisfied with our action, and themselves made us presents to secure the deliverance of the three criminals, saying that, as Peace had been concluded, they were brothers of the Hurons, that they thenceforth constituted but one family and that they would take upon themselves the task of arresting at their source the consequences of this murder, since that Nation of the Wolves was allied to them.

In order to bind us more closely together, the Iroquois asked that some of our Frenchmen should go to their country, while they would leave us hostages in return, in order to tie more tightly, as they said to us, this sacred knot of inviolable friendship, which they wished [12] to maintain with us as long as our great rivers should run into the sea. Two young soldiers volunteered to set out on this journey, four Iroquois remaining with us.

A few days after the departure of the Iroquois [page 45] Ambassadors, the senior Captains of our Hurons revealed to us a secret which until then had been unknown to us. They showed us three large Porcelain collars of rare beauty. " These, " said they, "are some presents that have come from the depths of hell, from a demon who spoke to us in the awful stillness of a dark night,—a demon who inspires us with fear, since he loves only darkness and dreads the light. "

[13] In a word, they informed us that, on the very night following the beautiful day on which the Anniehronnon Iroquois had concluded their treaty of peace with us, the leader of that embassy had awakened them toward midnight, in order to take counsel with them. He told them plainly that the purpose of his journey was to sever their connection with us, and to transfer their Huron colony to his own country,—where were already their kinsfolk who had been formerly carried away captive, and who bore their absence only with regret and inconsolable sadness. He said they were waiting for them with love, and would receive them with joy. " The entire procedure, " he said, " which they had observed in delivering Father Poncet, and in conferring about [14] Peace, was only meant to conceal their game, and to afford them more means of speaking with us without suspicion, and of conducting this whole affair smoothly and effectively. "

" We dared not reject these presents," added the Huron Captains; " for that would have been to break with them and refuse the Peace, which we must try to keep, since we are powerless to carry on war. We received them, too, only with fear, knowing too well that they are but faithless people; and that a feigned [page 47] friendship with them is a thousand times more dangerous than open enmity. Perhaps, while deceiving you, they wish to deceive us, and by dividing us they intend the more easily to get the better [15] of both of us. Perhaps they wish to strengthen themselves with our Colony, and compel us, when we are with them, to take up arms against you. Perhaps, too, they are treating with the French in sincerity, and, while pretending to wish to deceive you, really wish to deceive us, after removing us from under your protection; for he who commits one treachery is capable of committing more than one. "

Thereupon, those Huron Captains asked for our advice, telling us furthermore that they were resolved to live and die with us, although, to satisfy the expectations of the Iroquois, they had given them presents in return.

Monsieur the Governor [16] made answer to them that they would have done well to reveal this secret council on the very night when it was held; that it was well to know the thoughts of those who wished to deceive us; that God would nevertheless bless the honesty of our proceedings; and that time would enable us to draw some advantage even from the Iroquois, and to effect their salvation from the very purposes which they might entertain for our destruction. [page 49]



HE Onnontaehronnon Iroquois are those who appeared at Montreal, last year, bringing the first tidings of Peace, [17] although we are certain that they came only with thoughts of war. They sent their Ambassadors to Quebec in the month of September following, to treat concerning that Peace; and, with this end in view, they brought very rich presents.

They had promised to come back and see us in the winter, and they kept their word. They asked at once that the council should be called; and, when their Captain saw himself' in the midst of all our Frenchmen, he exhibited six large Porcelain collars,-that meant that he had six things of importance to say to us.

The first present was intended to calm the minds of the French, for fear that they might be disturbed and mistake one word for another; or that they might be offended at some [18] word ill understood.

The second was to testify that his heart was on his tongue, and his tongue in his heart; that is, that there was in all his words and actions naught but the most winning sincerity, which there was no reason to distrust.

The third was a May-tree, which he planted, he [page 51] said, in the middle of the great River St. Lawrence, opposite the fort of Quebec, the house of Onontio, the great Captain of the French (that is, Monsieur de Lauson, our Governor),—a May-tree which should rear its summit above the clouds, in order that all the Nations of the earth might be able to see it, and that it might mark a rendezvous where all the world could rest in Peace under the shade of its leaves.

[19] The fourth present was given to make a deep pit, extending down into hell, into which should be thrown all slander and suspicion, and everything that might disturb good feeling, and embitter the sweetness of a Peace which heaven had given us.

The fifth was to dispel the clouds that had obscured the sun. " Those clouds," said he, " are the words of distrust uttered by the Algonquins and Montagnais, which prevent the sun from shedding its gentle radiance upon us and upon them. If they were less ready to believe a thousand false reports, their mind would be a sun, giving light everywhere and dissipating the darkness. "

The sixth and last present was to bury so far under [20] ground their war-kettle,—in which they were accustomed to boil human flesh and the dismembered bodies of their captives, whom they cruelly devoured,—that that abominable kettle should never be seen on earth again, because all their hatred was changed into love.

This council was held with us on the fifth day of February. .All gave free expression to their joy and gayety; and the sun's rays are not more benign than the faces of those Ambassadors appeared to us. But a dark night followed upon a beautiful day.

We learned from a Huron Christian that this [page 53] Onnontaehronnon Iroquois Captain cherished the same design as that entertained by the Anniehronnon Ambassadors,—[21] namely, to separate the Huron Colony from us, and induce the families to go in a body—men, women, and children—into their country; and that, to accomplish this, he proposed a. means as easy as it was plausible. This was that the Hurons should, at the opening of spring, allege that they were attracted by the beauty of Montreal and wished to make their home there; they should take the road thither, and without doubt the French themselves would favor that move. But, on approaching the Island of Montreal, they were to ascend one branch of the River instead of the other; and, on reaching a point above that Island, they would find there a band of five hundred Onnontaehronnon Iroquois,—who, while waiting for them, would build a fort, capture [22] plenty of game, and make some canoes for facilitating the rest of the journey. This scheme, moreover, was to be kept secret even from the Hurons, with the exception of three or four who were to conduct the affair with prudence, and without giving to their wives and children any other idea than that of a transfer of their abode to Montreal. Four or five hundred Iroquois would come to meet them between three Rivers and Montreal, and then it would be time to make public the whole of their plan, which none would be able to oppose, as they would be forced to bow to the law of might. They would, on the contrary, be only too happy to become friends of the conquerors, and to go to a victorious country and a land of Peace which was about to wage war at a distance, itself receiving no [23] harm therefrom. [page 55]

That Iroquois Ambassador had made four presents to further this scheme; but he did so in the dark and awesome night-time, to persons whom he believed trustworthy, and under a promise of inviolable secrecy.

When it had all been reported to us, we found ourselves in as great a perplexity as the Hurons themselves. " We see plainly, " these Huron Captains said to us, " that those two Iroquois Nations, in a spirit of mutual envy, wish to win us each to its own side. Whatever plan we adopt, we are equally confronted with misfortune. We have reason to believe that this eagerness displayed by both parties proceeds not from love which they feel toward us, but is rather part of the plot to [24] be revenged upon us, each for an injury received and not yet forgiven. The Onnontaehronnons still bear in mind the death of thirty-four of their number, men of high rank and importance among them, whom we deceived three years years ago in our former country when they themselves tried to beguile us. We anticipated by one day the disaster that was about to break over our heads; they were plotting to massacre us, under the pretext of a false treaty of Peace, in which they intended to take us unawares. The Anniehronnons cannot forget the death of their great Captain Torontisati, whom we burned at three Rivers only two years ago, when he saw himself betrayed while plotting to betray us. [25] Although in those matters we are guiltless, still they regard us as criminals for having escaped death at their hands when they planned it. they consider us as so many victims consecrated to their cruelty, and that is probably what prompts them to show us so much love." [page 57]

"What increases our ill fortune at this juncture," added these Huron Captains, " is that, whatever side we take,—even should these pluck out from their hearts their furious desire to be revenged on us,—the other side will imagine itself despised, and treated with less consideration than its rival, and will conceive fresh wrath and commit some new crime which will irritate them more than ever. But if neither side [26] carries us off to its own country, their hope, being disappointed, will turn to despair; and, seeing themselves both alike deceived, they will conspire to effect our ruin. Thus we see only misfortunes on all sides. "

After long uncertainty as to which course they. should pursue, the oldest of the Captains addressed Monsieur the Governor as follows: " It is now thy turn to speak, Onontio, and not ours. We have been dead for four years, ever since our country was laid waste. Death follows us everywhere, and is always before our eyes. We live only in thee, we see only through thy eyes, we breathe only in thy person; and our reasoning is without reason, except in so far as thou givest it to us. [27] It is then for thee, Onontio, to draw us out from these perils by telling us what we must do. "

This was a perplexing emergency for us; for a traitor—conscious of his guilt and seeing that he is discovered—fears that he will be anticipated, and believes his safety to lie in hastening the destruction of the most innocent, knowing well that he himself deserves to be destroyed. So we hesitated to show that we knew of their conduct; while, on the other hand, to seem to know nothing about it was to encourage them in its continuance, and render incur able [page 59]—by deferring the remedy—the evil which was threatening the ruin of either the French or the Hurons, and most probably of both together.

Finally, we deemed it best to let the Iroquois know, [28] without manifesting either distrust or Jealousy, that we ourselves were well inclined toward their project; but to do this in such a way as to succeed in deferring that enterprise until some subsequent year, in the hope-which was afterward fulfilled-that God would admit some light into our darkness, and that time would incline men's minds toward a genuine Peace.

Our Huron Captains told the Iroquois .Ambassador, as if in confidence, that their plan was succeeding beyond their hopes; that the French were proposing to them to build a new settlement themselves on the great lake of the Iroquois; and that, such being the case, it would be best to communicate to the French their hitherto secret design, without letting it appear [29] that there had been a desire to conceal anything from them. To this the Iroquois consented.

A council was held, in which were brought forward the four Iroquois collars, wherewith an invitation was extended to the Huron colony to make itself a new country in lands formerly hostile,-which, they were assured, would be to them a Promised land.

To these presents the Hurons had only two things to say in reply, and they did this by means of two other presents. The first was made to postpone, at least for a year, the execution of this plan. The second present was given to exhort the Iroquois to build, in the first place, a dwelling for the black robes,-that is, for our Fathers,—who were their [page 61] teachers,—assurance being given that, whithersoever our Fathers should decide to go, the colony would follow them.

Monsieur the Governor lent his [30] support, and testified, by six more presents, his approval of this plan.

With the first, he exhorted the Onnontaehronnon Iroquois to give a cordial reception to the Hurons, when the latter should come to their country.

With the second, he begged them not to press the Huron Families which might not yet be ready to make this journey.

With the third, he asked that they should be allowed full liberty to go whithersoever they wished, even though some should feel disposed to seek the country of the Anniehronnon Iroquois, and others Sonnontwanne; and even though still others should long for their former country, or choose to continue their abode with the French.

The fourth present was intended [31] to put Onnontio's voice into the mouth of Annonchiassé,—that is to say, Monsieur our Governor declared to them that it was no longer necessary for them to come down as far as Quebec to hear his voice and opinions regarding that treaty of Peace, but that they might treat with Monsieur de Maisonneufve, local Governor of Montreal, with as much confidence as with himself; and that he gave him all his own power in that respect.

The fifth present was to transplant the May-tree which they had set up before Quebec, removing it to Montreal, in order that access to it might be easier, the latter place being on the frontier.

The sixth present was designed to create anew a [page 63] union of sentiment among all the Iroquois, [32] who are composed of five different nations, in order that this Peace might be general, and that there might be no jealousy between them.

In this way we satisfied every one, being ourselves friendly to all, and no one being able to complain of us. Above all, we left each of the Iroquois Nations hopeful of winning to its own side the Hurons, whom they so eagerly desired.

When this had been accomplished, the Ambassadors prepared for their return, giving us assurance of an inviolable Peace. [page 65]



S nothing happened all winter long to mar [33] our joy, and as the atmosphere of Peace had spread throughout the country, especially at Montreal, the great number of Beavers inhabiting the streams and neighboring rivers attracted our Frenchmen thither, as soon as spring opened and the snow and ice melted. On all sides they hunted and waged war against these animals in good earnest, with pleasure and profit alike.

A young Surgeon in pursuit of his prey,—laying his snares for the Beaver in remote places where never had Solitude seemed to him sweeter,—a band of Onneiochronnon Iroquois, who had gone thither to hunt men, captured this hunter of animals. They quickly carried him away, and hurried him to their canoes, without leaving any trace [34] behind them. Nothing would have been known of this mishap if a Huron accompanying the hostile band had not, by good luck, made his escape. They had left him at the spot where they landed, on the Island of Montreal, to guard their canoes and bear company to two young Iroquois women who were in attendance on their husbands,—so enjoyable and easy is this warfare to our enemies. This Huron, seizing the opportunity, hastened promptly to the fort of Montreal, [page 67] and gave warning to be on guard, as a band of a dozen Onneiochronnon Iroquois had arrived and were scouring the neighborhood, with thoughts of nothing but war, blood, and carnage.

The cannon was fired as a signal for every one to retire to the fort, where this young Surgeon [35] was the only one found to be missing; no doubt was entertained that he had either been captured, or killed on the spot. From Montreal advices were dispatched to three Rivers and Quebec. There we were, again exposed to the terrors of a fresh war, and expecting a hostile army,—the Huron fugitive assuring us that it was close at hand, and that everything had been but treachery. The effect of all this, however, was only to strengthen our Peace, and to make us keenly conscious that God alone was working for us, in a measure exceeding all our foresight and all that we could have dared to hope.

In the beginning of the month of May, a band of Onnontaehronnon Iroquois arrived at Montreal, knowing nothing of this act of hostility. They were kindly received and the French opened to them their hearts, as well as [36] the gate of the fort. After a favorable reception, they were told of the capture of the Frenchman who had been carried off a prisoner. They were surprised at this news; they trembled and turned pale, thinking there might be a desire to take vengeance on them. They were gently reassured, and were made to understand that it was never the custom of the French to involve the innocent with the guilty; and that a friend was not made an enemy, unless he himself wished it.

There was in that band a Captain who, of all his Nation, bore the most influential name, [page 69] Sagochiendageht‚. " No, no, " said he; " your goodness will always be victorious; our malignity and trickery can never extinguish it. Bad luck to those who shall ever abuse it! I myself will [37] remain your captive and hostage until the Frenchman who was taken away prisoner shall have been set free. For his life I will pledge my own; and, if the people of my nation have any respect and love for me, the Frenchman will live, and his life will save mine. "

He straightway dispatched a canoe to carry this news to Onnonta‚, of which he is Captain. There the matter was earnestly considered; presents were collected, an embassy was sent to Onneiout,—the Nation of those who had committed the act,—and its people were requested to surrender the Captive and set him free.

It was a pleasant surprise for that young Surgeon to see, in a moment, his bonds broken. Faces no longer showed anything but gentleness toward him, his enemies having become his friends; and the joy [38] at Montreal was made perfect when he himself brought thither the tidings of his deliverance, and the assurance of Peace for all the Iroquois Nations.

The Onnontaehronnons who had conducted him back, on seeing all assembled, brought forth twenty Porcelain collars, to accompany their principal present,-namely, our prisoner, restored to freedom.

The purpose of the first collar was to root more firmly the May-tree which Onnontio, the great Captain of the French, had transplanted to Montreal.

The second was to restore to better humor Monsieur de Maisonneufve, who was rightfully indignant at this unjust capture of one of his beloved nephews.

The third was to serve him [39] as a potion to [page 71] make him vomit up all his bile, and all the poison in his heart.

The object of the fourth present was to throw into the fire the fetters which had bound the hands and arms of the Captured Frenchman.

The fifth was to break the cords that had bound his legs.

The sixth, to burn those that had been tied around his waist.

With the seventh, the Nation of the Onnontaehronnons demolished the scaffold upon which this French captive had been exposed.

With the eighth, the Nation of the Sonnontoehronnons rescued him from that position of ignominy.

With the ninth, the Onionenhronnons did the same.

[40] With the tenth, the Onneiochronnons burnt the wood that had been used in building that unhappy scaffold, so that not even the ashes were left to posterity, and the memory of it was lost.

The purpose of the eleventh present was to reunite in the same thoughts of Peace the minds of our French, of the Hurons, and of the Algonquins, in case fear should have inspired any one with distrust.

In presenting the twelfth, the Iroquois Captain said: " Nature has strewn with rocks and shoals the Rivers that connect us with the French. I remove every one of those breakers, in order that all communication between us may be pleasanter and easier. "

With the thirteenth he said: " I wish, above all things, to see in my country one of the black robes who have taught [41] the Hurons to honor the one God. "

With the fourteenth: " We shall pay him respect, [page 73] and shall daily clean the mat on which he makes his bed. "

With the fifteenth: " We shall receive his teachings with love, and it is our wish to worship him who is the master of our lives. "

With the sixteenth: " Our young men will wage no more warfare with the French; but, as they are too warlike to abandon that pursuit, you are to understand that we are going to wage a war against the Ehriehronnons " (the cat Nation), " and this very summer we shall lead an army thither. The earth is trembling yonder, and here all is quiet. "

With the seventeenth: " If any accident should happen which can disturb [42] this Peace, I shall have wings with which to fly, and to hasten hither on the instant. My presence will put a stop to all disorders. "

With the eighteenth: " I open the ears of the French, that they may learn every occurrence, and hear the news and advise me thereof. "

With the nineteenth: " We the Frenchman and I, the Onnontaehronnon-are now one, our arms being linked together in a bond of love; and he who shall seek to sever it will be our common foe. "

With the twentieth: " We shall do nothing in secret; the Sun will witness our actions; and may it cease to shine on him who shall choose the path of darkness. He who hates the light is not worthy that the sun should shine on him. "

Such were the twenty presents [43] given us by the Onnontaehronnon Iroquois, to establish firmly the Peace which had been violated by the capture of our Frenchman. [page 75]



FTER the capture of the Surgeon of Montreal, and before his return from Captivity,—while we were in suspense between fear and hope, not knowing what would be the issue of that affair,—a fleet appeared in the distance, descending the rapids and waterfalls which [44] are above Montreal. There was reason to fear that it might be a hostile army; but, upon its approach, it was seen to be composed of friends, who were coming from a distance of four hundred leagues to bring us news of their Nation and learn some of our own.

The people of Montreal and three Rivers experienced a double joy upon seeing that these canoes were laden with furs, which those nations come to exchange for our French products.

These people were partly Tionnontatehronnons, whom we formerly called the tobacco Nation, and who speak the Huron language; and partly Ondataouaouats, speaking the Algonquin language, and called by us Cheveux relevez, because their [45] hair does not hang down, but is made to stand erect like a high crest. [page 77]

All these peoples have forsaken their former country and withdrawn to the more distant Nations, toward the great lake which we call " the lake of the Stinkards, " because they dwell near the Sea,—which is salt, and which our Savages call "stinking water." This lake is toward the North. The devastation of the Huron country having made them apprehensive of a like misfortune, and the fury of the Iroquois having pursued them everywhere, they thought to find security only by retreating to the very end of the world, so to speak.

They live there in large numbers, and form a greater population than before occupied all those countries; several of them have different [46] languages, which are unknown to us. Nevertheless, they must be brought to a knowledge of God, and we must some day proclaim his majesty to them.

Those who came to visit us—to the number of about sixscore-met, on their way, some Sonnontaehronnon Iroquois, and some people of the Wolf Tribe, allies of the Anniehronnon Iroquois. They were out on a hunting expedition, and our visitors took thirteen of them Captive,—not intending, however, to treat them with the customary cruelty, or even to bind their arms and hands. God softens the hearts of barbarians when he wishes that Peace should be made.

This victorious band arrived safely at Montreal; seeing in what disposition its inhabitants were, and how everything pointed toward Peace, [47] they made a present of these captives to Sagochiendagehté, the Onnontaehronnon Captain who had voluntarily remained there as a hostage, pending the return of the Frenchman who had been carried off a prisoner. [page 79]

Thereupon nothing but feasts and songs of joy were going on, amid a gentle impatience for the Frenchman's speedy return. Soon after, he arrived, as has been related in the preceding Chapter.

His restitution by the Onnontaehronnon Iroquois showed us that God was working more than we for the strengthening of this Peace.

They informed us that a fresh war had broken out against them, and thrown them all into a state of alarm; that the Ehriehronnons were arming against them (these we call the [48] Cat Nation, because of the prodigious number of Wildcats in their country, two or three times as large as our domestic Cats, but of a handsome and valuable fur). They informed us that a village of Sonnontoehronnon Iroquois had been already taken and set on fire at their first approach; that that same nation had pursued one of their own armies which was returning victorious from the direction of the great lake of the Hurons, and that an entire Company of eighty picked men, which formed the rear-guard, had been completely cut to pieces; that one of their greatest Captains, .Annenraes by name, had been captured and led away captive by some skirmishers of that Nation,—who, in order to deal this blow, had come almost to the [49] gates of their village. They declared, in a word, that all the four Nations of the upper Iroquois were on fire; that they were leaguing together, and arming to repulse this enemy; and that all this compelled them earnestly to seek for Peace with us, even though they might not have had any such thoughts before.

This news taught us that God, by diverting the arms and forces of our enemies elsewhere, wasaiding us in a most unexpected manner. [page 81]

The Cat Nation is very populous, having been reinforced by some Hurons, who scattered in all directions when their country was laid waste, and who now have stirred up this war which is filling the Iroquois with alarm. Two thousand men are reckoned upon, well skilled in war, [50] although they have no firearms. Notwithstanding this, they fight like Frenchmen, bravely sustaining the first discharge of the Iroquois, who are armed with our muskets, and then falling upon them with a hailstorm of poisoned arrows, which they discharge eight or ten times before a musket can be reloaded.

We, however, are left in Peace; and Father Simon le Moine, who has but recently returned from the upper Iroquois, assures us that they were arming themselves to set forth from that quarter, to the number of eighteen hundred men. [page 83]



WO young soldiers of the garrison at Quebec had gone, in the month of November, 1653, with the Anniehronnon Iroquois who had brought back Father Poncet, liberated from his captivity. They had been sent to serve as hostages, or, rather, as an assured pledge, that the Iroquois and we were really of one mind, and that we were desirous of living in a spirit of mutual confidence.

All winter long there had been seen, at Montreal and at Three Rivers, [52] many Iroquois of that Nation, whose presence was a constant confirmation of the Peace. Nevertheless, some items of news that reached us, and even some of the letters from our Frenchmen, continued to inspire us with distrust,—until, toward the end of the winter, an Anniehronnon Captain, the son of an Iroquois mother and a Dutch Father, brought us letters from the Captain of fort Orange in New Holland and from some Dutch tradesmen, who all assured us that now they really saw a disposition for Peace on the part of the savages allied to them.

This same Iroquois Captain made a second journey to bring back to us our two French hostages, according to the promise he had [53] given us. They [page 85] arrived at Quebec in the month of July, a very few days after Father Simon le Moine had left us for his journey to Onnontagé, of which we shall speak in the following Chapter.

We were, at this point, confronted with a difficulty; we saw well that there would be some cause for jealousy between the four upper Iroquois Nations and the Anniehronnon Iroquois,—each of them being anxious to secure for its own country the honor of this embassy of Father le Moine. The Onnontaehronnons desired it because they had first brought the news of Peace; while the Anniehronnons wished for it because they are the nearest to us,—being situated, as it were, on the frontier.

The Anniehronnon Captain [54] made his complaints on the subject with cleverness and intelligence. " Ought not one, " said he, " to enter a house by the door, and not by the chimney or roof of the cabin, unless he be a thief, and wish to take the inmates by surprise ? We, the five Iroquois Nations, compose but one cabin; we maintain but one fire; and we have, from time immemorial, dwelt under one and the same roof. " In fact, from the earliest times, these five Iroquois Nations have been called in their own language, which is Huron, Hotinnonchiendi,—that is, "the completed Cabin," as if to express that they constituted but one family. " Well, then, " he continued, " will you not enter the cabin by the door, which is at the ground floor of the house ? It is with us Anniehronnons, that you should begin; whereas you, [55] by beginning with the Onnontaehronnons, try to enter by the roof and through the chimney. Have you no fear that the smoke may blind you, our fire not being extinguished, and that you may fall [page 87] from the top to the bottom, having nothing solid on which to plant your feet ? "

Monsieur the Governor was therefore obliged to make him some presents, in assurance that Ondessonk (that is the name of Father Simon le Moine) would go also to his country, provided he could overtake him on the road and deliver to him our letters, informing him of our purposes. These letters caused him to hasten his departure; but the Father had gained a start and could not be overtaken, pursuing his journey according to the plan first adopted. [page 89]



N the second day of the month of July,—the feast of the Visitation of the most blessed Virgin, who is ever favorable to our enterprises,—Father Simon le Moine set out from Quebec on his journey to the Onnontaehronnon Iroquois. Passing by three Rivers, he proceeded thence to Montreal, where a young man, of stout heart and long a resident here, very piously joined him. For greater ease I will follow the Father's journal.

"On the 17th day of July, St. Alexis's day, we set out from home with that great saint of many travels, [57] toward a land unknown to us.

"On the 18th, following constantly the course of the River saint Lawrence, we encounter nothing but breakers and impetuous floods thickly strewn with rocks and shoals.

"The 19th. The River continues to increase in width and forms a lake, pleasant to the sight, and eight or ten leagues in length. In the evening, a swarm of troublesome mosquitoes gave us warning of rain, which drenched us all night long. It is a pleasure, sweet and innocent beyond conception, to have, under these conditions, no shelter but the trees planted by nature since the creation of the world.

"The 20th. We see nothing but islands, of the [page 91] most beautiful appearance in the world, [58] intercepting here and there the course of this very peaceful river. The land toward the North appears to us excellent. Toward the rising sun is a chain of high mountains which we named after saint Margaret.

"The 21st. The islands continue. Toward evening we break our bark canoe. It rains all night, and the bare rocks serve us as bed, mattress, and everything else. He who has God with him, rests calmly anywhere.

"The 22nd. The rapids, which for a time are not navigable, compel us to shoulder our little baggage and the canoe that bore us. On the other side of the rapids, I caught sight of a herd of wild cows proceeding in a very calm and leisurely manner. Sometimes there are seen [5] four or five hundred of them together in these regions.

"On the 23rd and 24th of the month, Our pilot having injured himself, we were forced to halt, becoming a prey to the mosquitoes, and to wait patiently-a task often more difficult than facing death itself because of the annoyances from which, night or day, there is no respite.

"The 25th. The river is becoming so extremely rapid that we are compelled to leap into the water and drag our canoe after us among the rocks, like a horseman who alights and leads his horse by the bridle. In the evening we arrive at the mouth of lake saint Ignace, where eels abound in prodigious numbers.

"The 26th. A high wind, accompanied by [60] rain, forces us to land, after proceeding four leagues. A cabin is soon made: bark is stripped from the neighboring trees and thrown over poles planted in [page 93] the ground on either side, and made to meet in the form of an arbor; and there you have your house complete. Ambition gains no entrance to this palace, and it is every whit as acceptable to us as if its roof were of gold.

"The 27th. We coast along the shores of the lake, everywhere confronted by towering rocks, now appalling, and now pleasing to the eye. It is wonderful how large trees can find root among so many rocks.

"The 28th. Nothing but thunder and lightning and a deluge of [61] rain, forcing us to seek the shelter of our canoe, which, turned bottom upward over our heads, serves us as a house.

"On the 29th and 30th of July, the wind-storm continues, and checks our progress at the mouth of a great lake called Ontario; we call it the lake of the Iroquois, because they have their villages on its southern side. The Hurons are on the other side, farther inland. This lake is twenty leagues in width, and about forty in length.

"On the 31st, the day of saint Ignatius, we are obliged by the rain and wind to penetrate through pathless wastes,-crossing long islands, and shouldering our baggage, our provisions, and the canoe. This road seems long to a poor man who is thoroughly fatigued.

[62] "On the first day of the month of August, some Iroquois fishermen, perceiving us from a distance, come trooping up to receive us. One of them hastens forward, running half a league to be the first to tell us the news, and inform us of the condition of the country. He is a Huron captive and a good Christian, whom I formerly instructed during a [page 95] winter that I spent with the Savages. This poor lad could not believe that I was his pastor, whom he had never hoped to see again. We land at a little fishing village, and there is zealous strife as to who shall carry all our baggage. But alas! I find almost none but Huron women, Christians for the most part,—formerly rich and enjoying their ease; but now reduced to servitude by their captivity. They ask me to pray to God, and I have the consolation [63] of confessing there at my leisure our former host of the tobacco Nation, Hostagehtak. His feelings and his devotion bring tears to my eyes. He is a fruit of the labors of Father Charles Garnier, that holy Missionary whose death was so precious in the sight of God.

"The second day of August. We walk about twelve or fifteen leagues through the woods, and camp where night overtakes us.

"On the 3rd, toward noon, we found ourselves on the banks of a river, a hundred or a hundred and twenty paces in width, on the other side of which there was a fishing hamlet. An Iroquois, to whom I had formerly shown some kindness at Montreal, took me across in his canoe; and then, as a mark of honor, carried me on his shoulders, not [64] allowing me to set foot in the water. All received me with joy, and those poor people enriched me out of their poverty. I was escorted to another village, a league distant, where a young man of importance entertained me at a feast because I bear his Father's name, 'Ondessonk.' The Captains, each in his turn, came and made us their speeches. I baptized some little skeletons who, perhaps, were only waiting for this drop of the precious blood of Jesus Christ. [page 97]

"The 4th. They ask me why we are dressed in black, and I take occasion to speak to them concerning our mysteries; they listen very attentively. A little dying child is brought to me, and I name it Dominique. The time is now past when [65] these little innocents are hidden from our sight. I was regarded as a great medicine-man, although I had, as my sole remedy, only a bit of sugar to give to those feeble creatures. We pursue our journey, finding our dinner awaiting us midway. The nephew of the first Captain of the country is to lodge me in his cabin, being sent by his uncle to escort us, and bringing us all that the season could furnish them in the way of the choicest delicacies,—above all, some bread made of fresh Indian corn; and some ears, which we roasted in the fire. On this day we again sleep at the sign of the beautiful star.

"The 5th. We had four leagues to cover before arriving at the chief village, Onnontagé. The roads are full of people going and coming, who are out to greet me. [66] One calls me a brother, another an uncle, another a cousin; never have I had so many kinsfolk. At a quarter of a league from the village, I began a harangue which brought me into high favor; I called by name all the Captains, families, and persons of importance,—speaking slowly, and in the tone of a Captain. I told them that Peace was attending my course, that I was dispelling war in the more distant nations, and that joy was accompanying me. Two Captains made me their harangue upon my entrance, but with a joy and a light in their countenances that I had never seen in savages. Men, women, and children,—all showed me respect and love. [page 99]

"At night I caused the chiefs to assemble, [67] in order to give them two presents. The purpose of the first was to wipe their faces, so that they might look on me with favor, and that I might never see any sign of sadness on their brows. The second was to remove any gall still remaining in their hearts. After several more exchanges of courtesy, they withdrew to consult together; and at length responded to my presents with two others, richer than mine.

"On the 6th, I received calls from different quarters to administer my medicine to some little weak and emaciated children, and I baptized some of them. I heard the confessions of some of our old Huron Christians, and found that God is everywhere, and that he is pleased to work in person in hearts where the faith has held sway. [68] He builds himself a temple there, where he is worshipped in spirit and in truth-for which may he be forever blessed.

"In the evening, our host drew me aside and said to me, with a great show of affection, that he had always loved us; and that at last his heart was content, as he saw that all the troops of his nation asked only for Peace. He added that the Sonnontoehronons had come, a short time before, to exhort them to take wise action in this matter on the side of Peace, making some fine presents for this purpose; that the Onioenhronnons had brought three collars, with the same object in view; that the Onneiochronnons deemed themselves fortunate to have been freed from a troublesome affair by its means, and that they had no longer any desire except for Peace; that the Anniehronnons would doubtless follow the others; and that therefore I [69] was to be of good cheer, since I bore with me the welfare of all the land. [page 101]

"On the 7th, a good Christian woman, Terese by name, a Huron captive, wishing to pour out her heart to me away from all noise and in quiet, invited me to go and see her in an outlying cabin where she dwelt. Oh, what sweet consolation to see so great faith in savage hearts, in Captivity, and with no help except that of heaven! God makes for himself Apostles everywhere. This good Christian had with her a young captive of the Neutral Nation, between fifteen and sixteen years old, whom she loved as her own daughter. She had instructed her so well in the mysteries of the faith and in sentiments of Piety, in the prayers that they repeated [70] together in that holy solitude, that I was utterly surprised. 'Well, my sister,' I said to her, 'why hast thou not baptized her, since she has as strong a faith as thou thyself, since she is a Christian in her morals, and since she wishes to die a Christian ? " Alas! my brother,' that blessed captive made answer, 'I did not think it was permitted me to baptize except in danger of death. Baptize her now thyself since thou dost deem her worthy, and give her my name.' That was the first baptism of a grown person per-formed at Onnontagé, for which we are indebted to the Piety of a Huron woman. The joy which I experienced at this was sufficient to make me forget all my past fatigues. When God prepares a soul, the consummation of its salvation is soon accomplished.

[71] "Almost at the same time, I was summoned to a sick man who was reduced to a skeleton,—an ulcer, caused by an ill-dressed gunshot wound, eating away his flesh. I spoke to him about God, the hopes of an eternal life, and the truths of the faith. But [page 103] alas! the words of heaven found no entrance to that heart, all swelled up as it was with pride; he was thinking only of the present life, and, although he showed me some affection, he could not conceive any for God.

"The 8th. I baptize three little dying children, and give and receive consolation at seeing myself in the midst of a Church of trained Christians. Some come and confess, while others give me an account of all their sufferings, and, at the same time, of the blessing that remains to them that their Faith is not held captive in their captivity. They also esteem themselves happy in the knowledge that, when they offer [72] their groans and tears to God, he beholds them; that his holy Providence has a mother's love for them; and that they will be free in heaven. I learn that several, who were cruelly put to death over a slow fire, consoled themselves, at the height of their agonies, with the sacred name of Jesus, which was both on their lips and in their hearts up to their last breath. I inquire after all our old acquaintances, in order to learn their fortunes; and I have reason to bless God at seeing that he is everywhere present, among the Iroquois as well as in the country of the Hurons. I had orders to ascertain what had become of a young Huron woman, a Christian, named Caterine Skouatenhré, whom we used to call [73] 'the Nun,' because of her great piety and a modesty as exquisite as can be desired in a girl given wholly to God. Her sister told me that she had died while praying to God, having never forgotten him in the whole course of her illness, which had been long. Shortly before her death she said to her: 'I am going to heaven, my sister, for Jesus is [page 105] good and will show me mercy. As for thee, if thou desire to follow me, so that we may meet again in heaven, cherish thy faith more than life. Shun sin as thou wouldst death; and if, by mischance, thou fallest into it, remember that Jesus is good, ask his forgiveness, and tell him that thou wishest to love him.' These last words have remained so deeply graven on the survivin g sister's heart, that she cannot lose the remembrance of them. [74] The good Soul could not see me often enough, in order to hear about God, and comfort herself, in my company, with hopes of Paradise.

"On the 9th, toward noon, there comes a direful report of the murder of three of their hunters at the hands of the cat Nation, a day's journey from here. That means that war is kindled in that direction." [page 107]



N the tenth day of August, the envoys from the three neighboring Nations having arrived, after the customary summons of the Captains, to the effect that all should assemble in Ondessonk's cabin, I opened [75] the proceedings" (thus the Father continues his Journal) " with a public prayer, which I offered on my knees and in a loud voice, using the Huron tongue throughout. I appealed to the great master of heaven and earth, that he might inspire us to act for his glory and our own good; I cursed all the Demons of hell, since they are spirits of discord; and I prayed the guardian Angels of the entire country to speak to the hearts of my hearers, when my words should strike their ears.

"I astonished them greatly when they heard me name them all by Nations, bands, and families, and each person individually who was of some little consequence—all by the help of my written list, which was to them [76] a thing full of both charm and novelty. I told them that in my speech, I had nineteen words to lay before them.

"First, I said that Onnontio—Monsieur de Lauson, Governor of New France—was speaking through my mouth, and in his person the Hurons and the [page 109] Algonquins, as well as the French, since all three Nations had Onnontio for their great Captain. A large Porcelain collar, a hundred little tubes or pipes of red glass, which constitute the diamonds of the country, and a moose-skin, somewhat worn,—these three presents accompanied one word only.

"My second word was to cut the bonds of the eight captives from Sonnontouan, who had been taken by our Allies and brought to Montreal, " as has been related above in the fourth chapter.

[77] "The third was to break also the bonds of those members of the Wolf Nation who had been captured at about the same time.

"The fourth, to thank the people of Onnontagé for bringing back our captive to us.

"The fifth present was to thank the people of Sonnontouan for rescuing him from his position on the scaffold.

"The sixth was for the Onioenhronon Iroquois, because they too had helped in this.

"The seventh, for the Onneiochronnons, in return for breaking the bonds that had held him captive.

"The purpose of the eighth, ninth, tenth, and eleventh presents was to give to each of these four Iroquois Nations a hatchet, to be used in the New war in which they were engaged [78] with the Cat Nation.

"The twelfth present was intended to renew the courage of the Sonnontoehronnons, who had lost some of their number in this war.

"The thirteenth was to strengthen their palisade,—that is, enable them to maintain a strong defense against the enemy.

"The fourteenth, to paint their faces; for it is the [page 111] custom of the warriors here never to go into battle without having their faces painted,—some with black, some with red, and some with various other colors,—each having in this matter his own style of livery, so to speak, which he retains through life.

"The fifteenth, to harmonize all their thoughts, for which purpose alone I made three presents,—a porcelain collar, some little [79] glass Tubes, and a moose-skin.

"With the sixteenth, I opened Annonchiassé's door to all the Nations,—thus indicating that they would be welcome in our cabin.

"With the seventeenth, I exhorted them to become instructed in the truths of our faith, making three presents to accompany this word.

"With the eighteenth, I asked them to lay no more ambuscades in future for the Algonquin and Huron Nations when they should wish to visit us in our French settlements. I made three gifts with this request.

"Finally, with the nineteenth present, I wiped away the tears of all the young warriors, caused by the death of their great Captain Annneneraes, [80] who had been taken Captive by the cat Nation not long before.

"At each of my presents they uttered a loud shout of applause from the depths of their chests, in evidence of their delight. I was occupied fully two hours in delivering my entire harangue, which I pronounced in the tone of a Captain,—walking back and forth, as is their custom, like an actor on a stage.

"After that they gathered together by Nations and bands, calling to them an Anniehronnon who by good luck happened to be present. They consulted [page 113] together for more than two hours longer, when they at length called me back and gave me a seat of honor among them.

"That one of the Captains who is the tongue of the Country and acts as its orator, [81] repeated faithfully the substance of all that I had said. Then they all began to sing to express their joy; and told me that I might, for my part, pray to God, which I did very willingly.

"After these songs, he addressed me in the name of his nation:

  1. He thanked Onnontio for the good will he entertained toward them, in token whereof he produced two large Porcelain collars.
  2. In the name of the Anniehronnon Iroquois, he thanked us for causing the lives of five of their allies, of the Wolf Nation, to be spared,—therewith, two more collars.
  3. In the name of the Sonnontoehronnon Iroquois, he thanked us for rescuing from the flames five of their people, and this with two more collars. Each present was followed by applause [82] from the whole assembly.

"Another Captain, of the Nation of the Onneiocronnons arose. 'Onnontio,' said he, addressing Monsieur de Lauson, our absent Governor, 'Onnontio, thou art the support of the earth; thy spirit is a spirit of Peace, and thy words soften the most rebellious hearts.' After other praises, which he uttered in a tone animated with affection and respect, he displayed four large collars, with which to thank Onnontio for encouraging them to make a spirited fight against their new enemies of the cat Nation, and for exhorting them never to wage war again with the French. 'Thy voice, Onnontio,' said he, 'is [page 115] wonderful, for it produces in my heart, at the same time, two [83] wholly opposite emotions. Thou givest me courage to fight, and thou softenest my heart with thoughts of Peace. Thou art both peaceable and yet very warlike,—beneficent to those thou lovest, and terrible to thy enemies. We all wish thee to love us, and we shall love the French for thy sake.'

"To conclude these Thanksgivings, the Onnontaerrhonnon Captain took the word. 'Listen, Ondessonk,' he said to me; 'Five whole Nations address thee through my mouth; I have in my heart the sentiments of all the Iroquois Nations, and my tongue is faithful to my heart. Thou shalt tell Onnontio four things, which are the gist of all our deliberations in Council.

  1. "'It is our wish to acknowledge him of who thou hast told us, who is the master of our lives, and who is unknown to us.
  2. "'The May-tree for all matters of concern to us is to-day planted at Onnontagé.' He meant that that would be thenceforth the scene of the assemblies and parleys relating to the Peace.
  3. "'We conjure you to choose a site that will be advantageous to yourselves, on the shores of our great lake, in order to build thereon a French settlement. Place yourselves in the heart of the country, since you are to possess our hearts. Thither we will go to receive instruction, and thence you will be able to spread out in all directions. Show us Paternal care, and we will render you filial obedience.
  4. "'We are involved in new wars, wherein Onnontio gives us courage; but for him we shall have only thoughts of Peace.' [page 117]

"They had reserved their richest [85] presents to accompany these last four words; but I am sure that their countenances spoke more eloquently than their tongues, and joy was depicted on their faces, with so much kindness that my heart was deeply moved.

"The most touching part of all this to me is that all our Huron Christians, especially the Captive women, have kindled this fire which is burning in the hearts of the Iroquois. They have heard so much good about us, and have been told so often of the great blessings of the Faith, that, in spite of their ignorance of it, it commands their esteem; and they love us in the hope that we will become to them what we have been to the Hurons. "

To resume the continuation of the Father's journal:

He says: " On the eleventh day of August, there was nothing [86] but feasting and rejoicing on every hand. At night, however, a disaster befell us: a cabin having caught fire,-we know not how,-a furious wind carried the flames to the others; and in less than two hours more than twenty of them were reduced to ashes, while the rest of the village was in danger of destruction. Nevertheless, God-maintained the spirits of all in the joy of the preceding day and kept their hearts as calm toward me as if this misfortune had not occurred.

"The 12th. Our captive Christian women, wishing to confess before my departure, gave me some occupation, or, rather, the rest that I was desiring. I baptized a little girl of four years who was dying. I recovered from the hands of one [87] of these barbarians the new testament of the late Father Jean de Brebeuf, whom they cruelly put to death five years [page 119] ago; and another little book of devotion that had been used by the late Father Charles Garnier, whom these very people killed four years ago. These two Fathers were at their Missions when that blessed death overtook them, as a reward for the labors of many years, which they had spent in holy service in all these regions. As for myself, who had been a witness to the sanctity of their lives and the glory of their deaths, I shall all my life attach greater value to these two little books, their beloved relics, than if I had found some mine of gold or silver.

"The 13th. In regard to the conflagration that had occurred, in order to follow the custom [88] of friends on such occasions, I convoked the council, and gave the people two presents to console them. Accordingly, in the name of Achiendassé‚ (that is the name of the superior general of all the Missions of our Society in these regions), I began by planting for them the first stake for a new cabin; this corresponds to our French custom of laying the foundation-stone of a new building. The purpose of my second present was to throw down the first piece of bark that was to cover the cabin. This mark of affection gratified them; and three of their Captains thanked me for it publicly in speeches, that one would not believe could emanate from the intellect of those whom we call savages.

[89] "The 14th. A young Captain, chief of a levy of eighteen hundred men who were to set out as soon as possible to prosecute the war against the cat Nation, begged me urgently for baptism. For several days I had been giving him instruction, and,. as I wished to make him prize this mark of grace by deferring it until some future journey, he said to [page 121] me: 'How now, my brother? If from this day forth I possess the Faith, cannot I be a Christian : Hast thou power over death to forbid its attacking me without orders from thee ? Will our enemies' arrows become blunted for my sake? Dost thou wish me, at each step that I take in battle, to fear hell more than death ? Unless thou baptize me, I shall be without courage, and shall not dare [90] to face the conflict, Baptize me, for I am determined to obey thee; and I give thee my word that I will live and die a Christian.'

"The 15th. Early in the morning, I lead my Catechumen aside, and, seeing his heart piously inclined toward baptism, give him the name of my dear traveling Companion, Jean Baptiste. He embraces me, pours out his heart to me in love, and solemnly declares that Jesus shall be his only hope and his all.

"Meanwhile, the others seek for me everywhere, that I may give the Farewell feast; all the people of importance, both men and women, are invited into our cabin, in my name, according to the custom of the country, to honor my departure.

"We take our leave well attended, [91] after the public proclamations oF the Captains as to who shall carry our little baggage.

"Half a league from there, we meet a number of elders, all members of the council, who are waiting for me in order to bid me Farewell, in the hope that I shall return; and they evince an ardent desire to see this hope fulfilled.

"The 16th. We arrive at the entrance to a little lake in a great basin that is half dried up, and taste the water from a spring of which these people dare [page 123] not drink, as they say there is an evil spirit in it that renders it foul. Upon tasting of it, I find it to be a spring of salt water; and indeed we made some salt from it, as natural as that which comes from the sea, and are carrying a sample of it to Quebec. This lake is very rich in salmon-trout [92] and other fish.

"The 17th. We enter their river and, a quarter of a league from there, on the left, we come to that of Sonnontouan which swells the current of the former and leads, they say, to Onioen and to Sonnontouan in two days' journey. Proceeding three leagues from that point, by a very easy route, we leave on the right hand the River Oneiout, which appears very deep to us. Finally, a good league farther down, we come to a shoal which gives its name to a fishing village. There I find some of our Huron Christians of both sexes, whom I have not yet seen; I hear their confessions, with much satisfaction on both sides.

"The 18th. While my boatmen were repairing their canoes, one of those good Christian women [93] had me baptize her child, two years of age, in order that, as she said, he might go to heaven to join his little sister, who had been baptized on a previous occasion, and had been slain by these people. I baptized another little innocent who was gasping in death.

"The 19th. We push forward down the same River, which is of a fine width and deep throughout, with the exception of some shoals where we must step into the water and drag the canoe after us, lest the rocks break it.

"The 20th. We arrive at the great lake Ontario, called the lake of the Iroquois. [page 125]

"The 21st. This lake is in violent commotion, owing to the furious winds that followed a rainstorm.

"The 22nd. Coasting quietly along the shores of this great lake, my boatmen shoot at and kill a large [94] Stag. My companion and I content ourselves with looking at them while they broil their steaks, it being Saturday, a day of abstinence for us.

"The 23rd. We arrive at the spot which is to become our dwelling-place and the site of a French settlement. There are beautiful prairies here and good fishing; it is a resort for all Nations. I find some new Christians who confess and inspire me with devotion by their sentiments of Piety.

"On the 24th and 25th we were detained by the wind. On the 26th, our boatmen having embarked before the storm had subsided, one of our canoes sprang a leak, and we narrowly escaped drowning; but at last we took refuge on an island, where we dried ourselves at our leisure.

[95] "The 27th. Toward evening, a slight calm gives us time to regain the mainland.

"The 28th and 29th. Hunting detains by boatmen, who are in the best humor in the world; for flesh is the Paradise of a man of flesh.

"On the 30th and on the last day of the month of August the rain and wind greatly annoy poor travelers who after toiling during the day, are badly used all night.

September the first. I never saw so many deer; but we had no desire to hunt them, though my companion killed three almost in spite of himself. What a pity! for we left all the venison there, except some of the more delicate portions, and the skins. [page 127]

"On the second of the month, while [96] proceeding across vast prairies, we see in different places large herds of wild cattle; their horns resemble in many respects the antlers of a stag.

"The 3rd and 4th. Our success in the chase does not abate, game and venison appearing to follow us everywhere. Herds of twenty cows leap into the water, almost as if to come and meet us, and our men, for sheer sport, kill some of them with their hatchets.

"The 5th. We cover in one day the same distance that we scarcely accomplished in two long days' journey on our way up, through rapids and breakers.

"The 6th. Our sault St. Louis frightens my men. They put me ashore four leagues above the settlement of Montreal, and God gives me strength enough to reach that place [97] before noon and to celebrate Holy Mass, of which I have been deprived during my entire journey.

"The 7th. I pass on, and go down toward three Rivers, whither my boatmen wish to go.

"We arrived at Quebec only on the eleventh day of the month of September of this year, 1654." [page 129]



T belongs only to God to make light shine out of the midst of darkness, and to cause the bitterness of war and treason to give birth to the sweetness of Peace and [98] love,—in a word, to make all things out of nothing, and to create a sweet hope in the midst of despair.

We have always wished for the Conversion of our enemies, even when their cruelty was directly opposed to the salvation of all these countries. Their fury laid waste the lands of the Algonquin and Huron Nations at the very time when they were beginning to form a thoroughly Christian People; they cruelly burned both pastors and flock. But at length the blood of the martyrs has made itself heard in heaven; and we see ourselves called to Proclaim the Faith by those cruel Barbarians \whose sole purpose in the world seemed to be to oppose it. In short, the Iroquois are pressing us to go and instruct them; [99] and they urgently request us to build on their Lake a French settlement that shall serve them as an asylum, and be a bond of peace between them and us.

After witnessing their proceedings, the Embassies and the presents to promote this end,-the wisest [page 131] of the French, moreover, being of opinion that this was the only means of concluding a genuine Peace with those Infidel Nations,—Monsieur our Governor fortunately felt himself bound to grant them what both they and we desired.

When this promise had been made to them for the coming Spring, their hearts could not contain themselves for joy; their faces spoke to us more eloquently than their tongues; and God made us hope that he would derive [100] glory for himself and advantage for us from our enemies,—salutem ex inimicis nostris.

Were it only for baptizing the Children, who are dying every day without baptism, that were an assured gain for heaven, worth more than a thousand lives. Were it only for the succor that is expected of us on the part of a Captive Church, ebbracing more than a thousand Christians,—Huron men and women who, in their captivity, have not lost their faith, after losing country, liberty, kinsfolk, and livelihood,-we would be bound, as their guardian Angels, to go through fire and flame, that we might extend to them a helping hand and lead them to heaven. But since God gives us reason to hope for something even more conducive to his glory than all that, [101] and since the Infidels themselves implore us to consent to make them Christians, we cannot refuse them this grace without becoming ourselves unfaithful to the grace of God.

Monsieur our Governor—seeing this door opened for the expansion of the Gospel, and recognizing the importance of this the only means apparent to us for preserving the Peace—has already Commissioned a person of merit to take command of this new settlement. Our French on all sides vie with one another [page 133] in volunteering to join the expedition, and the zeal manifested by them makes us sufficiently recognize that God is acting in this matter more than we.

The Iroquois themselves will come [102] to convey us in their large canoes, after the snow and ice are melted; and they are to bring us some of their girls as hostages, whom the Ursuline Mothers will kindly receive in their house of charity, in order to make so many Christians of them. Father Simon le Moine is to return this autumn to winter with them, and to advance by so much the affairs of God and the conversion of these peoples.

The site which they have assigned to us For this new settlement is on the great lake of the Iroquois, who stretch away in a southerly direction. The region toward the Northwest is the former country of the Hurons, and offers the shortest route both for spreading the faith and for carrying on trade [103] with many very populous Nations, who have always been allied to us, and have themselves many alliances with other more distant Nations. Some of these already have the first elements of the Faith, and all are destined to receive it some day, since Jesus Christ must at last be worshipped by all the nations of the world.

We are, however, but few laborers, for so extensive a country; and we lift up our hands to heaven in request for aid. Whoever loves his life as he ought to love it, and wishes to lose it in a holy cause, will find his heart's desires fulfilled in these abandoned Missions. [page 135]



HEN we left the Hurons, in the year 1650, after the country had been laid waste by the cruelty of the Iroquois, our design was to take away with us the Christian families that could accompany us, and thus to save at least some remnants of a people whom God had called to the Faith and who should one day serve as seed for restoring Christianity in all these regions. Those who dispersed in other directions found the death from which they were fleeing, the greater part failing to escape from the fury of the Iroquois so far [105] as not to fall victims to them, each and all,—some being cruelly burnt and others killed on the spot or carried away captive; and it even happened that a number of them, after escaping from the enemy, met death at one another's hands, since there was no longer any form of Government among them or even any association in living,—each looking out for himself as best he could, and the stronger oppressing the weaker for the sake of stealing the little that they possessed.

Those who followed us have found with us salvation of soul and of body. In order to give them a fixed abode (the Hurons not being a nomadic nation) they were assigned a section of the Island of Orleans, separated from the French, and in sight of Quebec, [page 137] about two [106] leagues below it. We had to feed them, both adults and children, for the first two years, and build them a Church, and a fort to protect them against the invasions of the Iroquois, the fear of whom followed them everywhere. It was necessary to furnish them with kettles and hatchets, and even to provide clothing for the greater number of the families; and we have been obliged to continue this expenditure for a great many poor, sick, and disabled persons. In short, we are their Fathers their Mothers, and their all.

The expenses incurred to support five or six hundred persons are excessive; but the Charity of the pious souls who have been willing to contribute toward this great outlay is still greater. Their modesty restrains [107] my pen, and does not permit me to name them. They are content that their names be written in the book of life, and without doubt they will be immortal.

Devotion and faith reign in that little redout. Besides the prayers that each one offers in private, morning and evening in his cabin, they attend the public Prayers held in the Church. Scarcely can workdays be distinguished from Sundays and Feast days; the only difference observable is that, on the latter days, there is increased attendance upon Communion, and that the people come to recite the Rosary toward the break of day, telling their beads aloud in two choruses, in place of Vespers.

The order for coming to Prayers is signaled by three different strokes of the Bell. The first calls the members [108] of the Congregation, the élite of the Christians; the second is for the others; and the third, for the children under fourteen or fifteen years [page 139] of age,—who are divided into two bands, the boys on one side and the girls on the other. Their modesty and devotion would put many a Frenchman to shame.

Upon leaving the Chapel, the children, divided again into two bands, enter our courtyard and are put through a short Catechism, those who answer well winning something for their breakfast. If any child has been guilty of improper conduct during the Prayers, both he and his companions are denied the ordinary favors for that day. The same rule is observed with the girls when any one of them fails to show [109] due respect in the Chapel. This acts as a powerful restraint on them, their companions reproaching them with their conduct-a rebuke which, to them, is equal to a severe punishment.

Their voices are exceptionally beautiful, especially those of the girls,—for whom there have been composed, and adapted to the airs of the Church Hymns, some Huron Melodies, which they sing in a charming manner. It is a holy consolation, savoring no whit of barbarism, to hear the fields and woods resound so melodiously with God's praises, in the midst of a country that no long time ago was called barbarous.

In former times there was a form oF superstition Which gave us much trouble to combat,-singing [110] in the presence of the sick in order to assuage their sufferings, with invocations to the demons of the illness. Now, that custom has been turned into true devotion, the girl singers being called to the cabins of the sick, in order to sing the praises of God.

One of this band, when at death's door, chanted these hymns so sweetly and with a countenance so full of joy, that our Father-who saw her yield up her soul almost immediately upon uttering the sacred [page 141] names of Jesus and Mary—doubts not that these names were in her heart, and that they now fill it with the delights of Eternity. Hers was a long and painful illness, which she bore with a courage worthy of a true Christian, without uttering a complaint, without [111] asking to be cured, but saying a hundred times a day: " Jesus sees plainly what is good for me. Jesus loves me, and he knows well that I wish to love him. He sees that I suffer greatly; and I wish to suffer, since it is his will. Jesus alone is the great master of our lives, and he alone is to be obeyed. "

Formerly their dreams were the God of their hearts, but now God is in their dreams; for the greater number dream only of God, Paradise, or Hell, and of the Angels, who in their sleep invite them to come to them in heaven.

A young man, mortally ill, saw approaching him (he is not certain whether or not it were in a dream) a child of rare beauty, who looked at him with [112] eyes of love; who, inspiring his heart with sentiments of devotion sweeter than he had ever felt before, made the sign of the Cross over him, and at the same instant restored him to perfect health. He thought then, and still thinks, that it was his guardian Angel. We know nothing more about it; but we do know that the Angels make no distinction between the Souls of the Savages and our own. The death of a sinful woman, who was converted during her illness, seems to me still more pleasing than the above cure. This woman, upon falling ill, was straightway warned by a sister of hers, an excellent Christian, to prepare for death by a good confession, and to say, at the height [113] of her [page 143] sufferings: " Jesus, have pity on me; I am suffering because it is your will; my sin has well deserved it. " The sick woman obeyed; and, God having touched her heart, she immediately sent for one of our Fathers, confessed all her sins to him with sorrow, and never wearied of repeating with the greatest delight, again and again the little prayer that had been taught her. Whenever she saw the Father, she said to him: " My sins are always before me, and I cannot sufficiently deplore them. Has God forgiven me ? " At length, after a week had passed, she said to the Father: " My heart is now at Peace, and I hope that Jesus, in his goodness, will show me mercy. He has forgiven me my sins, and I shall soon see my little Ursule in heaven. " And indeed, at the [114] dawn of day, she gave up her soul to God, with a joy conceivable only by those whose hearts are truly filled with the hope of Paradise.

The little Ursule mentioned above was a daughter of hers, about nine years old; she had died a very short time before, uttering, even with her dying breath, the words, " Jesus, have pity on me. " [page 145]



HAT has most promoted the spirit of fervor in this Huron Colony, is the Devotion conceived during the past year, to honor the Virgin. [115] Those of our Fathers who have charge of the colony have, in order to inspire its members with greater zeal, formed a Congregation, to which they admit only those men and women who lead exemplary lives, and who, by their virtue, render themselves worthy of this grace.

At first, the Congregation consisted of only ten or twelve persons, whose fervor was redoubled at seeing themselves chosen in preference to the others, and obliged to support the dignity of the exalted title, Servant of the Virgin.

The majority, seeing themselves excluded from membership, try to make themselves worthy of it,—humbly asking our Fathers what they find to censure in their conduct; and declaring their readiness to correct it, and their wish to become children of Mary, or perish in the attempt. [116] They are told their faults, each his own,—one, that he is negligent in attending public prayers; another, that he does not take sufficient pains to establish the spirit of God in his family. One woman is told that she has too quick a temper; another, that she is a scandal-monger, [page 147] and often causes, by her tale-bearing, divisions in families. The advantage resulting is that the greater part, in a short time, so change their lives, that our Fathers are obliged, from month to month, to receive many of them who deserve it. They enter upon their membership with inconceivable delight, fondly hoping that, as worthy children of the Virgin, they will be sure of salvation.

On Sundays and feast-days they assemble at daybreak. [117] Instead of the office of the blessed Virgin, which they are unable to recite, they tell their beads in two choruses,-the men on one side and the women on the other, the latter being the more numerous; and I can say with truth that these are, among savages as well as elsewhere in the World, the devout sex. Their meeting lasts about an hour; for, at the end of every decade of the rosary, they pause in silence while the Father makes a brief exhortation,-as does also, on many occasions, the prefect of the Congregation, chosen by themselves, and wisely chosen, for he is, indeed, a Christian of rare virtue and filled with holy zeal. After the first decade, he exhorts them to pray with attention, and to remember that the Blessed Virgin sees them. At the end of another decade, [118] he tells them that the true worship of the Virgin consists in abhorring sin, and that this must be the distinguishing mark of the children of Mary. Again, he tells them how pleased the Virgin will be to see that, on leaving the chapel, they do not forget her, but say to her repeatedly from the bottom of their hearts: " Holy Virgin, I wish to serve you. " After another decade, he says to them: " My brothers, when we are tempted, it is then that the blessed Virgin discovers those who [page 149] really pay her respect and love. Let us, in temptation, say to her: 'Holy Virgin, I love your Son Jesus more than this pleasure which is tempting me.' If' the temptation continues, let us continue to repeat these same words. Whoever loves [119] Jesus, does not love sin. "

This first meeting in the morning is only a preparation for the mass that is celebrated as the day advances, at which many receive Communion with a feeling that makes us recognize Jesus as the God of both the savages and ourselves. The Gloria in excelsis, the Credo, and the Pater are all sung in the Huron language, to the corresponding Church airs, by our innocent singers of both sexes; not that they chant the mass, but they sing during mass these hymns and holy prayers.

Toward noon, they reassemble to hear the sermon, and to recite their rosaries—again in two choruses, as in the morning; they introduce, at the end of each decade, one of the Church hymns, through which these good savages [120] receive and impart a spirit of deep devotion.

In the evening, near nightfall, they meet for benediction, at which is sung the Litany of Jesus or that of the Virgin, and some Huron motets, in honor of the blessed sacrament.

The ambition of the members of the congregation is to be irreproachable in their morals, and therein God blesses them. The young girls and women are shielded from nearly all temptation upon obtaining admission to the Congregation. " She is a daughter of Mary, " it will be said to a dissolute man; which means that he has nothing to hope for in that direction. " I am a daughter of the blessed Virgin, " they [page 151] say to any one who has the effrontery to make improper overtures to them.

[121] In truth, it is charming to see the tenderness and purity of their consciences, especially considering the freedom which they would have to do wrong, if the fear of God were not stronger in their hearts than custom,—although this was established in the country four thousand years, and permitted them, in matters of this sort, all that their inclination prompts.

The forgiveness of injuries is one of the surest signs of God's love in human hearts. A mother saw her only .son outrageously beaten and seriously hurt by a woman blinded with passion. Although the blood with which the child was covered moved her to take revenge in a similar manner, yet she went with tears to seek the Father who directed her conscience. " I pray thee, " she said to him, " come with me into [122] the chapel of Mary. My heart would fain be wicked, but thou teachest us that the Virgin loves only gentleness. Thou hast told us that she saw her son crucified, and that she wept in her anguish; but that her tears as well as her heart spoke to God, and she immediately forgave her enemies. I am weeping at the indignity shown to my son; but I wish my tears to be like those of Mary, and I forgive with all my heart her who has wronged me. "

Upon coming out of the chapel, they met the injured child's aunt, who, at the report of what had happened to her nephew, had started with companions to avenge that wrong. A good Christian woman, seeing her in a passion, had called out to her: " What, sister? [123] dost thou then forget that thou art a daughter of the Virgin, and that a good Christian's revenge is the forgiveness of injuries? [page 153] Go and find the Father, and let him cure thy heart." This aunt was coming in quest of that cure; she was, however, already healed, since she wished to be so. The blessed Virgin brings about these changes in souls; they certainly are not the works of nature.

Another Mother, upon seeing a daughter dying whom she tenderly loved, " Holy Virgin, " said she to Our Lady, " I used to be inconsolable, in the past, when any of my near relatives died; but, since I have become your daughter, and know that, to please you, one must wish what is God's will, I am content to see my dear child die. [124] I no longer need any other consolation than the consciousness that you are my mother, and that I shall become your daughter if I tell Jesus that I find good what he does. "

The favor asked for, above all other things, by these good members of the Congregation is that of a happy death; and this the blessed Virgin has granted them up to the present time, a number having died this year.

The first was a young woman about thirty years of age. Being attacked with a pleurisy which was prevalent, she went into the Chapel of Our Lady, and there made confession, with so many tears and sobs that the Father who was her confessor assured me that he was never so touched in his life as on that occasion. She heard an entire Mass [125] in a kneeling posture, notwithstanding the excess of her suffering. " I cannot hold out any longer, " she said as she went out; " but, since I must die, I wish to die while honoring the Virgin. " Toward the close of the day, one of our Fathers went to see her, and found her saying her beads. " My sister, " the Father said to her, " content thyself with speaking [page 155] to God in thy heart, and with asking him to take pity on thee. " " Yes, indeed, " said she, " I shall say that constantly, for I can think only of him. " In fact, she had that short prayer ever in her heart, and often on her tongue; but, whenever the violence of her disease abated somewhat, she would resume her rosary, saying that that prayer seemed sweeter to her and more full oF love than all the others.

During the entire course of her illness, [126] she never asked us for anything to assuage her bodily sufferings; all her thoughts were only of her soul, and she did not desire and could scarcely listen to conversation on any other theme. Even when we questioned her concerning her ailment, " My brother, " she would say, " trouble not thyself about this feeble body which is to decay, but speak to me about God; for that alone gives me comfort. " At the least word that could suggest to her some short prayer, she amplified it of her own accord, and delighted us with the feelings of Piety which she showed.

During this woman's sickness, her Mother, a Christian of long standing, was ill also and was lying opposite her; she died a very few days after her daughter. This [127] poor dying daughter encouraged her mother to bear with love the pains of illness, and to await with joy the moment of death. The mother assured us that this good daughter did not cease praying to God night or day; and that on one occasion, after often repeating the prayer, " Jesus, have pity on me, and take me to heaven when I die, " she had cried out: "There is Jesus coming to have pity on me. Oh, how beautiful you are, my good Jesus. I thank you. You will, then, have pity on me. Take me to heaven, then, for I am going to die. " [page 157]

One of our Fathers, coming in at this point and seeing her approaching death, put her Crucifix in her hand and prompted her some short prayers; that happy dying woman, however, [128] not content with so little, continued of her own accord to apostrophize Jesus crucified, with sentiments so affectionate that she drew tears from the eyes of this good Father who was aiding her. "" It is, then, O good Jesus," said she to him, " for a poor beggar like me that you, the master of our lives, suffered this crucifixion! It is my sins, O Jesus, that have torn your whole body! O miserable sin! O wretched sinner! Cursed sins, that have made such cruel wounds in the feet and hands of Jesus, why did I ever give you entrance into my heart ? O Jesus, who died for my sins, why do I not die with grief at having so often offended you ? "

Her devotion gave her courage; [129] she regained her strength and raised herself to a sitting posture, in order to worship him with more respect; then she lay down again on her poor bed of bark. Scarcely had the Father gone four steps from the cabin, not thinking her so near death, when she expired. There was a death undoubtedly precious in God's sight. Such are the first-fruits produced for heaven by the Congregation of the Virgin. The woman was called Magdelene Andorons.

The second of those whom God called to himself was a young man about 36 years of age, named Armand, who for 17 years had never been untrue to his baptismal promises; after the establishment of the Congregation, he had even redoubled his fervor. Every day he heard two Masses, [130] however severe the midwinter cold might be; he heard them with [page 159] hands clasped, kneeling on his bare knees; and with a respectful devotion which had nothing of the savage in it. His prayers finished, he would go and work in his field, whether at felling the neighboring forest trees, or at burning them and preparing the ground for tillage, which is a very laborious task. The little respite that he took from time to time, he employed in saying his beads, repeating them as often as five or six times in one day. ,

Upon falling ill, he wished to be carried to the hospital, in order to receive the assistance of the holy maidens (for so our Hurons designate the Nuns). They received him with love, those good Mothers being full of charity not merely [131] for those who are sick, but for all the savages. His disease seemed trifling, and at the end of three days he spoke about leaving. the next day, however, he felt a violent headache, and summoned one of our Fathers' who spoke Huron, and who had known his heart for a long time. " My brother, " he said to him, "'thou must prepare me for death. Hear my confession, for I feel plainly that my time is approaching. " He confessed at leisure, and with feelings of contrition that I cannot describe. " Yes, my brother, " said he, " I believe. Jesus, who sees my heart, sees clearly that I am sorry not to have served him faithfully. He has shown me many favors, but this is the greatest,—to die a Christian. I depart this life without reluctance, and I do not fear [132] death, since Jesus will take pity on me. " Scarcely had he, ceased speaking, when the violence of his ailment made him lose his senses; but in all his delirium he talked only about God. In a short time he expired, after receiving extreme unction. [page 161]

His widow, Felicité by name, is, as I write this, at death's door, in consequence of an exertion of love toward God,-or, at least, in consequence of efforts put forth in a victory worthy of a truly Christian soul. Only two days ago, there arrived here a canoe, sent from three Rivers expressly to invite her to go and see an only brother of hers, naturalized among the Iroquois, a party of whom had landed at the above-named port. This brother wished to speak with her, and she had always had a tender affection for him. The tidings, as soon as they [133] reached her, filled her with transports of joy, and she resolved to undertake the journey. She was on the point of starting, and the canoe was already launched, when our Fathers expressed to her their fear that her brother might take her away with him to the country of the Iroquois whither he was returning, and that there her innocence and her salvation might be endangered. "My brothers, " she rejoined, " fear not for me; God will preserve my faith and also the innocence that I promised him on receiving baptism. It is true, my brother has a great influence over my heart, yet Jesus has more. " Our Fathers showed her gently the danger of yielding to an apparently innocent temptation to follow a brother whom she had always loved,-telling her that, if she really [134] loved God, she ought to make a sacrifice to him of those ardent longings to see her brother again, and that she must conquer herself in this matter, since her salvation was at stake. " Is it true," she rejoined, "'that, in order to love Jesus, I must stay here I Nature speaks in vain, my heart desires it in vain; my eyes shall not see this brother whom I have so longed [page 163] for. " At these words her eyes became suffused with tears. " No, no, " she repeated; " I will not make the journey, though it should cost me my life. " Strange to relate, this conflict between nature and grace had such an effect on her, that she was seized with a fainting fit which for nearly twenty-four hours entirely deprived her of her senses, and placed her in great danger of dying. Whatever may be said of it, it is a proof that the hearts of savages [135] are not insensible to Divine impulses, and that they, as well as we, are raised by faith above the feelings prompted by nature.

To conclude this chapter,-which would never come to an end, were I to relate the hundredth part of God's workings in their hearts, I will say that these good members of the Congregation have adopted a pious practice of making a little present every Sunday to the Virgin, each one giving a Porcelain bead for each rosary recited during the week. The number of these beads,—which are the pearls of the country,—runs sometimes as high as seven or eight hundred; and their devotion has prompted them to make collars of these in the style of embroidery,—in which, interweaving beads of violet and white porcelain, they write what they wish to say in [136] honor of the Virgin.

They have formed a kind of public treasury, made up from their poverty,-I mean from their little presents,-which, with a piety truly admirable, they use in helping the poor. We aid them in increasing this little treasure, having added to it some charitable contributions from France, and, among others, an offering of Charity from the Members of the Congregation of the professed house at Paris. [page 165] These good Huron members of the Congregation, meeting together a short time ago to thank them, in their own peculiar manner, for their alms, resolved to send them a collar on which are written, in black porcelain upon a background of white, the words, Ave Maria gratia plena; and they begged me to :company this devout offering of theirs [137] with letter, which I wrote, in their name, upon birchbark, our substitute for paper. Its tenor is as follows:


ENNN-HIEK ourochen ata atiaou endeontera aawenhon aiawachienda en Marie Iesous hondwen rohaone staawaroni aaenhaon ondechaweti ondikiokwi chiach otiokwato eti dia enk aondioura on Ato en Iesous hechiena Skendiunra tokha stan onëk te rehonnrak Wario ierhe a echiendaen; onkhiatendotondi a awen kwario hatindore daathatori hwannene (ïsa restir) daak onachiendaenk te andakwateri isa echien Skwahentonendi echien eetsiennonteen Iesous hondwen [138] te a o annra d'eesaet, onde skwandi onrantrahwi stan te skwannonkona thora onne io ennhaee ontaskouentenrihatie ate o, ennhae stan iesta eskhwannontenk onde ati onwatres ti onwahachen ionwen stan in a iakhinnont de Warie aeodtawen, chia aowenhaon stante hotïesewas, isondakiwannen, nien aakonannonhwe Iesous hondwen, aiakhicharon tho onnonkwarota onde hasten. ahiatonkwi doki Aronhia, eronnonte onnonronkwanionti Wario tho tho ionnonkwarotahe daeoeharonniati ti arensae nonwarenso trahwi trudi stontaaataton. Tsieharaenkhwas asken Warie stihon khondeesachien daentakwa de [page 167] wendar ersiaskannhadesa awerhethusen te awachiendaenk ti onachiendaonk: aeri te onwandiontourie aionwa hetsaronhons D'Iesous hena [139] asonwandiendienrontraak diawachiendaen, isa de ersonweskwen, tho ioti nonionhwa onioneskwandik onne skwahwichenion ti skwachiendoek. Onwe d'hoenkhwi haoneskwandik onne aweti hondoiarisene hondi, onrachen d'ason te iatendwesohiedocha. isa de skachiendaenk Warie daakaroëna tho ioti te skwaannia da at ondoutsawastis ondorari de, aronhiae ewatehwaten, endi te onwandiont tho ioti te onwa, annra doeha, onde ichien ochiensennik. Te ato en te skwannonhous Warie hersihetsaron d'Iesous a han doierisern eraweti de Warie oenkhwi aioneskwen. Tawatrendaenhas de skwarenserrak Warie orensa wen eetsiatrendaendaenhas denwanensotrak endi. kwatakhen onne i, en, a, enrhon onwa en asei onne d'Iesous hondwen tho ioti de tsonhwa skwaenasti. On wannonhwe, [140] din nendi awannonhwe. Onne tho i, arihwetsi de Hechon sawarchotrahwindi iostwen, sehiaton, wade arati ithochuen awaihenwi te awan non dateri ahiaton.

Awatakhen te etsinnonronk wannionek atoen awa Chiakha Oachonk warue harihwa sennik Louis Atharatou annen Chaose sondeaskon.

And on the back is written:

To Messieurs the Members of the Congregation of Our Lady in the Professed House of the Society of JESUS,


From the Huron Christians of the Congregation of Saint Mary,

On the Island of Orleans, near Quebec, in New France. [page 169] [141]

y Brothers: We extend to you our sincere respect. Only a year ago our hearts were opened, and we adopted the plan of honoring Mary, the mother of Jesus. We were then told that there were in all parts of the world societies formed to say to her, out of the depth of the soul: " Yes, Mother of Jesus, thou seest my heart; and thou seest that it does not speak falsely when it' says to thee, 'Mary, I wish to honor thee. "' We are told that in Paris, where you are honored by the people, it is a pleasure to see you, for you count it your sole honor to honor the Virgin. You have gone before us, and we wish to follow you. The mother of Jesus, in her regard for the poor, has prompted you not to hold them [142] in contempt. Several years ago, you sent us some rich presents. We met together and said, " What shall we send to those noble servants of the Virgin ? They need nothing from us, " said we, " for they are rich; but they love the mother of Jesus; so let us send them a collar of our Porcelain, whereon is written the greeting that an Angel from Heaven brought to the Virgin." We have recited as many rosaries, in the space of two months, as there are beads in the collar-one bead of black porcelain being worth two of white. Present this collar to her, and tell her that we wish to honor her. We would like to honor her as highly as you do, but we have not so much understanding as you have for serving God. If the mother of Jesus asks her [143] son to give us, in truth, the understanding that we need for honoring her, then we shall honor her more; and, as we rejoice that you honor her better than we, so you too will rejoice. [page 171] A husbandman is gratified when he sees all the ears of his cornfield well ripened; but he is troubled if he sees some that are not ripe when harvest-time comes. You, who honor the Virgin with all your heart, are regarded by her as ears of her field which are ripe for heaven. We, who have not yet sense, and are only beginning to serve the Virgin, are regarded by her as ears not yet ripe; and that grieves her. Since you love her, ask of Jesus that [144] all the field of the Virgin may be ripe, as it should be, for heaven, in order that she may be pleased. Pray for us, when you say your rosary, and we will pray for you when we say ours. We are brothers, since the mother of Jesus is our mother as well as yours. She loves us, and we wish to love her. This is what we have asked Echon to write to you for us; for we can speak, but we cannot write.


Jacques Oachonk, Prefect of the


Louys Taieron, the two

Joseph Sondouskon, Assistants,

Honor and salute you in all sincerity.


SENDAON de Aronhiae esenda erati onnonhiaskhwi chesannontenk a atatoeti de wendat acharo nonde de charato eti, onnonkwarota da at onwenses onwacharonniati Aronhia, eronnon awenda [page 173] onw'ahiakhonkwi onde te sannonronkwannionti de k, Gawrier, eonkwa andronnonwacharonniati, aonhwa, andoron doki, awendaonwahiatonkwi, Warie re stakwaterison eskwensken desacheta enkhwindik. Ondeskin atawaatarirontak aronhiae de awenhe.


ECEIVE, O Lady of Heaven, this present, offered to you by the chosen ones of your Huron Servants. It is a Collar full of hidden meaning. It is composed of our finest Pearls. It is inspired and enriched by the Utterance and the Greeting given you of old by the Angel Gabriel. We have nothing more precious in our hands, and nothing holier in our hearts, for presenting to you, and for gaining us the kingdom of Heaven through your mediation. [page 175]



ROM three Rivers there come two items which deserve to [147] be placed among these Observations.

The first is, that a band of Iroquois passed the winter among the Algonquins, and no disagreement was noted between those two Nations, hitherto the most haughty and most hostile peoples under Heaven,—so much so that the Iroquois never spared any Algonquin's life when they could capture one, or take him unawares, in the hunt which they carried on against human beings.

Now, not only have they come to a good understanding, but the Algonquins were so well pleased with their hosts that they permitted the widows and girls of their Nation to marry some Iroquois men. And you would say that God approved of these alliances; for, when those Newly-married men were out [148] hunting with their Christian wives, and found neither game nor venison, they said to them: " For some days now we have been coursing these great forests without finding anything. Why do you not pray him who made the animals to give us some for our food, since you are acquainted with him: " Those good women began to pray, and asked God for something to eat as a Child would ask its Father. Strange to relate although these Hunters I had beaten [page 177] up all the region around their Cabins without finding anything, yet the very next day, in the same district, they came upon and killed a large Elk. They were astonished at this, and were filled with wonder at the effect of the Christians' prayer, and at the goodness of their God.

[149] The second item is, that at last Paul Tessouehat,—the famous one-eyed man, formerly Captain of the Algonquins of the Island, who was the orator of his age in these parts, as well as the most forcible speaker of his time,—at last, I say, this man, all swelled up with pride, has died in Christian humility, giving, toward the end of his life, convincing proofs of his salvation. God's Judgments are wonderful! The infinite goodness—wishing to save this man, who was formerly so opposed, through his pride, to the Christian Faith and to grace—inclined him to humility, by an illness which lasted two years.

During his sickness, being humbled before God, he often said to the Father who had charge of his soul, upon his coming to visit him: " Thou givest me pleasure; [150] draw near, and tell me what I must do to die well; I shall be glad to listen to thee. " When the Father spoke to him about God's greatness, and the rashness of those who resisted him by their wrong-doing, that poor man, touched to the bottom of his heart, cried out: " Approach, approach, my Father, and let me disclose to thee all the wounds of my soul, and all the wickedness of my heart. Pray him who made all things to remove all my sins from my path, in order that, when I die, I may not encounter a single one of them. " From time to time he would take his Crucifix and tenderly kiss it. [page 179] " It is in thee alone, " he said, " that I have put my trust. Since thou didst die, therefore I should die; and since thou didst die for my sins, have mercy on me and open the [151] door of thy house to me. I hate this sinful carcass, and I will leave it when thou shalt ordain." Indeed, he ceased to pay any attention whatever to his body, to which he had been so attached, not heeding any longer the little comforts that are furnished to the sick,—this being especially the case after some vision or other that he had in his sleep. He found himself at the foot of a high mountain whose summit was lost to sight, and heard a voice saying to him repeatedly: " Climb this mountain; it is the road that thou must take. " " At the sound of that voice, " said he, " I was seized with a great fright, and my strength was insufficient to climb a mountain which appeared to me beset with precipices. Thus depressed, I perceived a high ladder, and [152] at my side a Father, who, taking me by the hand, made me ascend without much difficulty." That vision gave him great comfort and a strong hope of attaining Heaven through Jesus Christ, who is that Mountain.

We are told that Noël Tecouerimat, Captain of the Christians of saint Joseph, at Sillery, is, by his example and courage, the prop of that new Church,—presenting a sturdy front to a band of Algonquins who have little liking for the faith, and who, under protection of the Peace, have come and thrust themselves into his district. They have tried, with presents, blandishments, even with bold threats, to alienate him from us,—attacking him under circumstances that were (as they believed) very favorable for the success of their purpose. After this great [page 181] and good man had lost [153] many fine children, God at last took away from him his little Benjamin, the one whom he loved most tenderly. The Enemies of the faith and of truth, thinking him shaken, assailed him in his affliction; but they found a head of iron, a heart of gold, and a mouth that emitted thunderbolts, although it was filled only with honey, Calling them together, he said to them: " My brothers, I value the Faith more than all things earthly, and will die in the belief of the truths that I have embraced. Affliction does not discourage my heart, kindness is powerless to work any charm over it, and threats will never shake it. It matters little that you hold us in contempt and regard us as people who have no sense,—us [154] who believe and Pray, and choose to obey him who made all things. Even were I left alone, even if all those who believe should forsake me, I would never cease to pray. If you choose to take your stand on God's side, I am yours; if not, know that all those who are deceitful of heart and false of tongue, all those who have two wives, all those who still use their drums and indulge in their superstitions, shall never enter the Fort of the Christians, if I am listened to. " He kept his word; if any one of those reprobates made his appearance before Sillery, he forced him to plant his cabin outside of the enclosure that was erected for God's children.

A letter that has come from Sillery says that every day there are discovered [155] new Nations of the Algonquin tongue. " I hope, some time, " says one Father, " to see the lands, or, rather, the forests, that border the North sea, where there are villages of Savages who speak like the Montagnais, whom [page 183] we understand. Those tribes have as yet never seen a single European; they still use stone hatchets, and they cook their meat in long vessels made of bark, which serve them as kettles, just as was formerly the custom among our Savages. They have no iron tools, all their implements being of bone, wood, or stone."

Another says that on certain Islands in the Lake of the people of the sea,-who are inappropriately called by some "the Stinkards,"—there are many peoples [156] whose language strongly resembles the Algonquin; and that it is only nine days' journey from this great Lake to the sea separating America from China. It is also said, if some one were found willing to send thirty Frenchmen to that country, not only would many souls be won to God, but also a profit would be derived in excess of the outlay required for the maintenance of the Frenchmen sent out, since the best furs come in the greatest abundance from those regions. Time will reveal to us that which as yet we know only from the report of some Savages, who assure us that they have seen with their eyes what they express with their mouths.

[157] The Queen—who has a tender interest in the conversion of the Savages, and an affectionate care for the establishment of the French Colony in this new world—sent hither, this last Spring, a number of very deserving young women taken from honorable houses. No others are received into this new colony; and I know with certainty that, for the past eighteen years, he who has served as Executioner in this country was not called upon to exercise his trade, except in the case of two women of ill repute who were publicly whipped, and banished [page 185] hence. As long as those in authority shall forbid Vessels to bring in such contraband goods, as long as they shall oppose vice and cause [158] Virtue to reign, so long will this Colony flourish and be blessed by the hand of the Most high.

But, to return to those good young Women; after a thousand dangers and a thousand squalls, God graciously permitted them to arrive safely in port, with a brave and high-spirited Amazon whom God had given them as guide. This was Mother Renée de la Nativité, Hospital Nun of the House of the Daughters of Mercy, at Quimper, in Brittany. This brave sister had almost as much difficulty in entering this country of Crosses and sufferings, as the Israelites had, so to speak, in entering the promised land. But at last her courage, firmness, and perseverance obtained for her permission and benediction from Monsignor her Bishop, [159] the permission of her superior, and the consent of her Community, to go and give aid to her sisters who are engaged in holy and Charitable offices toward the sick, both French and Savages, in this distant quarter of the world. Twice was she driven back into port with all her flock by storms and perils, while for some time illness prostrated her; but her heart—superior to disease, victorious over danger, more animated with love for her God and charity toward her neighbor than are storms with the breath of the winds—enjoys now a calmness and tranquillity which she can express only by saying that she has found her paradise.

Let us change the subject and go down as far as Tadoussac. The new Christians of that district [160] have there their winter and Summer quarters. In the Winter, they go into their great Forests to make [page 187] war on the Bears, Elks, Caribous, Beavers, and other animals which serve to furnish their tables. Father Pierre Bailloquet, of our Society, followed them into the woods this last winter. The Captain of Tadoussac had asked for him, and we learn by letter that he treated him very well,-that is to say, he always showed him kindness and affection. This good will is in truth very pleasing; but it did not prevent the Father from having the earth for bed and mattress, and strips of bark for a palace, which was filled less with air than with smoke; nor did it save him from passing several months without bread, without wine, without [161] salt, and without any other sauce than appetite, which he did not satisfy very often except with smoked flesh,-that is, with Eels or meat dried in the smoke and filth of their cabins. Such food, well seasoned with a deep desire to suffer for God, and with the candor and truth of the new Christians, is ample sustenance for the body and soul of a Gospel Laborer.

When winter expires in giving birth to Spring, all our Hunters betake themselves, with all their goods, to the banks of the great River, at the Cove or Harbor which we call Tadoussac; and here, a public confession is held, without gehenna [rack], without torture, and without any coercion. There is said to be a country where the cold is so great as to freeze all words uttered there; and, [162] when spring approaches, upon these words thawing out, there is heard, almost in a moment, all that was said during the winter. Whatever may be the foundation of this story, it is true that all the evil that has been committed during the winter in these great woods is told to the Father publicly in the month of April. [page 189] The first-comers recite aloud the confessions of those who follow, and this from a zeal which they feel for Christian Justice.

This year a young man, having committed some offense during the winter, became aware, upon approaching the port of Tadoussac, that he needed to do nothing farther than to feel sorrow and to perform a penance for his crime,-having noted, from the looks and faces of the Father and the Elders, that some persons had already confessed his [163] sin for him. In his regret for his sin, he was not disturbed at this, but, upon landing, went to seek the chief Christians, not daring to appear before the Father. He testified his sorrow to them, and asked them to impose upon him a good punishment for his crime. Those good people, armed with zeal, ordered him to take his station at the door of the Church, kneeling on the ground, his hands clasped, and his shoulders uncovered; and in that posture to ask pardon of all who should enter, begging them to take vengeance on him for his offense against God, and for the scandal that he had caused them. No sooner said than done. The young man, very happy at not being banished from the assembly of the Christians, cheerfully executed the orders of those good Neophytes. God grant that this zeal [164] may long continue. If it does not need to be exacted, so too it must not be checked.

A Christian, who had formerly practiced the art of consulting the Demon, or Manitou, was strongly tempted, while in the woods, to resume that wretched calling. Causing a tabernacle to be erected after their manner, he entered it, much against the will of his wife, who was a very good Christian. She, [page 191] seeing with sorrow her husband engaged in this wicked action, unfastened a little crucifix attached to her rosary, and placed it upon the Tabernacle. Strange to relate, the man, instead of singing and howling, as is their custom in consulting their Manitou, was struck dumb, and remained abashed, unable to utter a single sound. I leave you to imagine [165] his confusion and embarrassment when he came out of his tabernacle.

A captain named Jean Baptiste Ekhinechkaouat, falling mortally ill in the woods, became emaciated and reduced to a skeleton. According to his wish, a medicine composed of some bark or other, and some sprigs of fir steeped in tepid water was prepared for him. He took it in his hand and, addressing God, said to him: " Thou, in whom I believe and whom I honor, thou didst make the bark and the leaves which form the ingredients of the medicine that I am about to take. Thou canst, if thou wilt, restore me to health by means of this medicine; nothing is impossible to thee. Give me back my health, I pray thee; cause this draught to be healthful to me. I drink it in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. " " As soon as I had swallowed it," said he, " I felt it penetrate through every part of my body, and (166] a mysterious strength permeate all my limbs; at the same time, I seemed to see, all around me, Children more beautiful than the An gels whom you paint in your pictures. They said to me: 'Fear not; thou shalt not die. Take courage; thou shalt live. "' That is what was related to us by this good Neophyte, a man not wanting in discretion and ripeness of judgment. At any rate, his heart was filled with [page 193] sweetness and unction, his body restored to health, and his soul fully strengthened in the Faith and in the belief which he was one of the first to receive.

Although I pass over in silence many beautiful examples which I have noted in the letters and memoirs sent to us, I cannot omit a deed of charity performed by a [167] Young Christian woman called Antoinette Ouabistitecou. Before Baptism the Savages used to love, as a general thing, only their relatives; and if any child happened to be bereft of its kinsfolk, they would kill it out of charity, saying that, as it had no one to take care of it, it would at last die a miserable death after a long period of suffering. Two poor little children, thus forsaken in a wretched bark hut, without even the opportunity to make complaint to any one of their misery, were in danger of receiving a hatchet-stroke from some pagan. The older child was only about eleven or twelve years of age, and his sister was only four. The former was afflicted in a frightful manner with scrofula on his neck, and his entire throat was being eaten away by it; while the little girl suffered from a hemorrhage which was reducing her to a skeleton. Our good Christian woman, [168] seeing them afflicted with such foul diseases, in dirt, in filth, and in extreme destitution, took care of them as if they had been her own children. She washed them, went often to get fir-branches for them,-these are used by the Savages as bedding,-gave them food, prepared wood for them, and attended to their fire. She often rose in the night-time to help the little girl, and tried to procure for them all the delicacies that she could think of, asking the French for a few raisins or prunes to give to them. All this she did [page 195] with a sweetness, a cheerfulness, and a constancy that made it very evident that she was animated by another spirit than that of Savages.

The Captain of Tadoussac, delighted [169] with such an example, delivered a Harangue in the middle of the night to all his people, crying out at the top of his voice: " Hear me, my Brothers, hear me. Do not sleep, but wake up; I address you on a matter of importance. We see, abandoned at our cabin-doors, not a couple of dogs, but human beings like ourselves. They are baptized as well as we are. You give your dogs something to eat, you caress them sometimes, you call them, and take them with you; and now that we are in haste to go into the woods, shall we forsake these poor children who are made as we are ? God gives them into our keeping and says to us, 'Take care of them, they are my children.' He will see what we do, he will hear [170] what we say, and at last he will treat us as we treat them. " After this Harangue, he ordered his wife to give all the help she could to those poor little ones; and when they broke up camp he himself put them into his shallop and took them to Sillery, or Saint Joseph, to receive assistance. Those who are acquainted with the Savage nature will say with reason that God alone can transform stones into children of Abraham.

A young girl, seeing her parents in tears because she was in great suffering and was rapidly nearing her end, said to them in a tone indicative rather of joy than of sadness: " Why are you weeping ? Do not be distressed, I am going to Heaven. [171] The Father told me that those who were baptized and obeyed God would be blessed. Am I not baptized? [page 197] Do I not believe in God: Do not weep; I shall soon suffer no more. " The Father in charge of that Mission coming in at this point, she said to him: " My Father, I rejoice when I see thee; I have no fear of death. I have nothing wicked in my heart; I have told everything. Thou hast made my Soul beautiful; it will go to Heaven. " To die in these sentiments is not to die like a Barbarian.

A Father who has been far up the river Sagné informs us that he met, at the lake of saint John, two Young Christian Savages who, surmising that they would find a Confessor in that region, had traveled two hundred leagues [172] to come and confess, receive communion, and carry away with them a little Calendar which should tell them the feast-days of the whole year. Of these it may be said with truth, Longinquo venerunt-they came from afar to worship Jesus Christ.

While the last Sheet of this Relation was being Printed, we received a Letter from la Rochelle. It informs us that a Vessel, recently arrived from Canadas, brings word that the lower Iroquois, whom we call the Anniehronnons, met, on the great River St. Lawrence, a canoe or small boat, which, under the guidance of two Onnontaeronnon Iroquois, was carrying Father Simon le Moine to Montreal; that they killed one of his two conductors, and, after [173] slaying some Hurons and Algonquins, seized the Father and bound him. His other guide, or conductor, witnessing this perfidy, uttered loud threats that his Compatriots would resent this treachery, that he did not care for the liberty which they gave him, and that he would share the fortunes of the [page 199] Father. Since they had bound the latter, he said, let them couple the two together; for he would never forsake him. " If he is a prisoner, " said he, " I am a prisoner with him. If you take his life, put me to death. If you set me free, unbind him. " Those traitors, fearing the threats of this Iroquois from the upper countries, unbound the Father and restored him to his Guide, who conducted him to Montreal. Thereupon, according to the report brought by this Vessel, [174] the upper Iroquois joined their forces with the French against the lower Iroquois. Whatever truth there may be in these tidings, I can make the following assertions with great probability.

First, the lower Iroquois—who have become jealous of the upper Iroquois, because of the treaty of peace which the latter were the first to conclude with the French—will not lightly suffer these upper nations to come and trade with our French people; for they would no longer be compelled to pass through their Villages, which their route obliges them to do when they carry their merchandise to the Dutch.

Second, I know with certainty that it is easier for the upper Iroquois to come down to the French settlements than to visit [175] the Dutch. Their Lake and our great River can bring them and all their goods easily to the warehouses of the French; but, when they are forced to take the route leading to the Dutch, they suffer two great inconveniences. The first is, that they are compelled to perform the greater part of the journey by land and on foot, and to be their own beasts of burden for carrying their baggage and merchandise. The second arises from the insolence of the Anniehronons, who, being the [page 201] Masters, so to speak, of this trade, do not always treat the upper Iroquois with civility. Perhaps these conveniences and inconveniences will induce the Onontaeronons, and the other Savages of the Upper countries, to break [176] with the Anniehronons, rather than with the French. Perhaps, too, the authors of this deed are only some hairbrained young men whose action will be disclaimed by their Nation. This year will show us plainly, before its close, what we now see only in obscurity. I pray God to order it all to his own greater glory. Amen, Amen.


[page 203]






SOURCE: Reprinted from a copy of the original Cramoisy

(H. 108) in Lenox Library, New York.

end page 207





the Father Procurator of the Missions

of the Society of Jesus in

those countries.





Sebastien cramoisy,



ed by

Printer in ordinary to the King;

and to the Queen Regent,

ruë St. Jac-ques, at the



Gabriel Cramoisy.

sign of the Storks.

M. DC. LI.


[3] Copies oF two Letters sent From New Franceto the Father Procurator oF the Mis-

sions oF the Society oF JESUS

in those Countries.

EFORE writing the two Letters mentioned in the above Title, I thought that it would not be out of place to relate in a few words what we have learned of the good and evil fortunes of the country whence they are sent.

[4] Of five ships that sailed from France this last year to convey succor to and to traffic in New France, one was captured by the English, another by the Spaniards; a third was lost at sea or on some shore, no news of it having ever been received. The two others arrived in that country, and then returned safely to France.

Now not only have the merchants who were interested in those three Vessels incurred great loss, but the whole country has also greatly suffered through this. For, besides the provisions that were being conveyed to Monsieur the Governor and to private individuals, the succor sent by the Queen—who takes a very great interest in the preservation of New France, [5] and in the conversion of the Savages—was completely lost. The Hostel-Dieu of Kebec, the Seminary of the Ursulines, the new Christians, and our Fathers who instruct them in various places, have been deprived of the greater portion of their subsistence. Dominus dedit, Dominus abstulit; sit [page 211] nomen Domini benedictum. " God had given it,—God has taken it away; blessed be His Holy Name. " He looks no less favorably upon those who had given the greater portion of those alms.

To this misfortune was added another, which was not so great, but which nevertheless is very regrettable for those who tenderly love the salvation of these Peoples, and who have some curiosity to learn news of them. A number of Letters, and even the Relation of [6] occurrences there for a year past, have been lost. The Messenger to whose care the recently-arrived packets were confided, was robbed between la Rochelle and Paris. A box filled with papers and Letters was broken, and all its contents were scattered here and there by the robbers. The poor Messenger gathered up what he could, and brought it to us. From these papers we derive a portion of the little we are about to say.

The Relation of last year stated that the five Iroquois Nations had entered into an earnest parley with the French, and with the natives, their Allies, with a view to peace. Four of those Nations persevered in their first design of enjoying the sweet fruits of peace. They committed no [7] hostile act; but, on the contrary, they gave proofs of their good will by presenting to the French some children, whom they had taken from more remote Savages who are their enemies. Only the Iroquois Nation called Agnieronnons, who trade with the Dutch, showed themselves perfidious and treacherous as usual. Those Barbarians attacked us at several places, but they experienced as many repulses on their side as we on ours. They killed everywhere, and everywhere they were killed. [page 213]

They massacred a Religious of our Society named Jean Ligeois. That good Brother, for he was a Layman, hearing at a distance some arquebus shots, and knowing that the Christian Savages [8] were in their fields and might be surprised by their foes, entered the woods to ascertain whether there were not some Agnieronons in ambush. There were, indeed; and, before he could discover them, they had pierced him with an arquebus shot; they cut off his head, which they left behind, after removing the scalp. That good Religious was a man of heart, full of love for the poor Savages. The charity that he felt for them caused him a transient death, to give

him an eternal life.

Mention is made in a private Letter of the courage of an Algonquin woman, who, when she saw her husband surprised and bound by five Iroquois, seized a hatchet [9] and with two blows-struck right and left, with astounding rapidity—she killed two of those Barbarians outright on the spot; then, having promptly unbound her husband, she advanced to do the same to the three others, who, dismayed at that Amazon's furious onslaught, retained only sense enough to seek safety in flight.

Finally, after many massacres on either hand, after prisoners had been taken on both sides, those Barbarians—weary of war, or inspired by some secret spirit more powerful and more potent than that which possesses them—brought back the French captives, and afterward asked that their prisoners be given back to them. This request was accompanied by a formal protestation that, according to their word, they would never attack [10] the French any more; but that they would continue the war against [page 215] the Algonquins and the Hurons, and would massacre all whom they should meet above the French fortified Village called Three Rivers; that, moreover, they would never appear in arms below that Village.

This agreement having been arrived at, Father Simon le Moine went with one Frenchman to their country,-not only to take back the prisoners whom we had captured from them, but also to cement that peace, as well as it can be cemented with Infidels who are allied to Heretics.

While these events were passing, there came to Kebec some Onnontaeronnon Iroquois who inhabit the upper country, [11] toward the source of the great river Saint Lawrence. These Ambassadors not only confirmed and ratified the peace which they had commenced in the previous year, but they also asked for and obtained two Fathers of our Society-namely, Father Joseph Chaumonot and Father Claude Dablon—to go and commence a Mission in their country. And having learned that the Agnieronnon Iroquois had refused to join in the general peace, they upbraided them; and after reproaching them with their perfidy, they loudly protested that they no longer wished for war, against either the French, the Algonquins, or the Hurons. Populus qui sedebat in tenebris, vidit lucem magnam.

That is not all; even the Iroquois [12] who are the farthest away, who are called the Sonnontoeronnons, also came to Kebec to declare that they desired peace. This is an act of prudence on their part, for they are molested by a Nation whom our French have called the Cat Nation, and they did not wish to have so many enemies on their hands at the same time. It is true that all those upper nations are displeased [page 217] with the insolence of the Agnieronnon Iroquois, and that open commerce with the French is more agreeable to them than the difficult roads that they have hitherto followed in passing through the country of the Agnieronnons to seek the Dutch. This is what we have learned from some Letters, and from the mouths of those who have [13] recently returned from New France. We now come to the two Letters which we promised to give. It will be easy to understand them, after what we have just said.


Pax Christi.

After all our Letters were closed, and the Ship had already fired the first gun to warn the passengers that it was on the point of departure, a Shallop that has arrived from three Rivers and Montreal brings us good news. You will have learned from our previous letters that thirty persons, most of whom are Iroquois men and women,—for those good people have brought their wives with them, as a token of peace,—you will, I say, [14] have learned that they are taking Father Chaumonot and Father Dablon to their country, and that even on the way God is touching their hearts, for some among them have already declared themselves Catechumens. This is what Father Chaumonot says of them, in writing to the Mother superior of the Ursulines of Kebec, on the fourth of October of this year, 1655. "My Reverend Mother, to-morrow, if it please God, we shall lose sight of the last dwellings of our friends, to go and seek those of our enemies. The wife of our Iroquois Captain is being instructed on the way, with six others, both men and women, in addition [page 219] to our Christian Hurons and our two Iroquois from Sonnontouan,—which is the Iroquois nation the most remote from us, and the most populous of all.

[15] " In all, there are eighteen persons who pray to God, night and morning. I commend to you this little traveling Church with their Pastors. Our Chieftainess has begged me to write to you that she will keep her word, and that she will send you, not her daughter, who is too small, but one of her sisters who is of the same age as Marie, your little Huron girl. That Chieftainess had left a relative of hers in Montreal when she herself came down to Kebec; she went to see her as soon as we arrived there, and brought her to us, to make her pray to God; and, in my presence, she instructed her in the mysteries which we had taught her. May it God please that she may do the same when she returns to her own country, and that she may win all her other relatives to God. She begged me [16] to write to you that she would no longer offend him who has made all; and that from the bottom of her heart she wishes to live and to die a Christian. She sends greeting to her adopted child Marie—your Huron—and to all the Mothers. For my part I add: May they pray to God for her complete conversion. Your very humble Servant in Our Lord, Echon. " That is the Huron name of Father Chaumonot.

In another Letter, the Father adds that those Iroquois women are delighted with the songs that they hear in the Huron tongue. They learn them with as much devotion as they take pleasure in them—especially the songs on the Pater, and on the commandments of God; and a prayer addressed to Jesus Christ to deliver us from Hell, and [17] to [page 221] lead us to Heaven after death. When these songs pass from the ear to the heart, it is a stroke of salvation and a sign that God wills to become the Master thereof.

Pray God, if you please, to continue to bless such happy beginnings. Amen, Amen.

Your Reverence's

At Kebec, this 13th Very humble servant in

of October, 1655. Our Lord,

François le Mercier.



Pax Christi.

For some days contrary winds hare detained in our Roadstead of Kebec the Ship that was to leave here at the beginning of this month. It will sail to-morrow morning, on saint Luke's day, the eighteenth of October; arid to-day, just at nightfall, a Canoe of Sonnontoeronnon Iroquois has arrived, bringing us news of peace on all sides. Their chief object is to assure us—by a special Embassy, [19] and by the presents that they bring—that they wish only for peace, and that they will never go to war against us. On their way they met some Onnontaeronnons, who are carrying in their Canoes Father Chaumonot and Father Dablon to their country, there to commence a new Mission. They assure us that those people are full of affection and of respect for their guests. At the same time some Hurons who have come from the Iroquois of the lower country, called Agnieronnons, also tell us [page 223] that they saw on the way Father Simon le Moine, with his company; and that their Agnieronnon Guides manifested a Friendly spirit toward them, such as they showed to us during their Embassy. These same [20] Hurons say that, on their departure from the Iroquois Villages, news had already been received of the Fathers' approach, and of the peace made with us. This had been received with such public rejoicings that men, women, and children, Warriors and Captains, and the Elders of the country-who are, as it were, the Councilors of State—had uttered exclamations of joy. These cries dispelled the sorrow that would have been caused them by the news, which they received at the same time, of the capture and death of some of their people, who were burned by the Hurons and the Algonquins. Thus you see that what I stated at the beginning of this letter is true, that news [21] of peace comes to us from all sides,-that is to say, from all the Iroquois Nations. This is more the work of Heaven than of earth. To speak truly, God alone is the Author of this peace, to which human prudence has contributed almost nothing, and which it even could see no means of obtaining. Accordingly, we have reason to hope that the same all-powerful arm will continue that which he has commenced, if we follow his guidance. We expect from him the moments of our happiness. That which depends on us is to follow the paths that he opens up to us, and not to prevent the effect of his wholly lovable goodness toward us, and toward the peoples whose conversion he wills, it seems, to effect through us. Those who sustain us by their kind gifts and their prayers have [22] much reason to praise God with us, since he accomplishes their [page 225] desires. Here is the conclusion of a Letter that I have quite recently received from Father Dablon, by the hands of the Sonnontoeronnons who met him on the way. It is written on the ninth of the present month: " We continue our journey, " he says, " with very fine weather and with great hopes of bringing you very good news next Spring. Prayers are said night and morning, and the Iroquois join in them with affection. These are slight beginnings, which show that God has some great design regarding these peoples, and that he has heard the voice of the blood which they themselves have shed. He will also listen to the prayers of Your Reverence, and of all [23] who interest themselves in so many places for the salvation of these poor wretches. We are in good health, thanks be to God. The Sagamité‚ on which we live has not a bad taste; I shall find it good in time. I sleep as well on the ground as I did on a mattress, or as I would in a feather-bed. After all, one more easily finds God where there are fewer creature encumbrances. Your Reverence will ever continue, if you please, to assist us by your holy sacrifices; and I shall continue to be, everywhere,

Your very humble and obedient servant in our lord,

Claude Dablon."

Father Joseph Chaumonot also writes me with the same hopes and in the joy of what he foresees; and, above all, in the satisfaction that he feels because he is going to suffer for God's cause. For it is [20] true that the fruits which are gathered in these Missions are watered solely with the sweat of those who labor therein, as they have been with the blood of the Fathers who have preceded them. Provided God be glorified there, our lives will be only too blessedly [page 227] consumed. But we beg Your Reverence to procure us assistance from our Reverend Father Provincial; since God gives us an opening, we must enter it forgetting ourselves, and holily lose our lives, to find them again more holily in the heart of Jesus Christ, who was the first to lose his life for us. May Your Reverence obtain that blessing for Us.

My Reverend Father,

Your very humble and obedient

servant in our lord,

François le Mercier.

At Kebec, on the night of the 17th

of October, 1655.

[25] I shall add a few more words to these two Letters. " Nothing is spoken of here " (says one of those who write) " except Baptisms, Marriages, and buildings; and no one dies here except of old age or by violent death. "

One of the Mistresses of the Seminary of the Ursulines writes me marvelous accounts of the gentleness, docility, and intelligence of the children born in the country, both French and Savages. She says that the Iroquois who came down to Kebec, and who went to visit them in their parlors, were delighted when they saw the gracefulness of the little Savage girls, who had been reared in the French manner. They asked how long it took to frenchify a girl, and to teach her what the little Hurons did in their presence. [26] The Iroquois women, to whom the Ursuline Mothers gave a feast, could not contain themselves. " The eyes of the Chieftainess, " to make use of the expressions written in my paper, " were captivated at the sight of a [page 229] young Seminarist named Marie Arinadsit. She wished to see her without a barrier and without a grating between them. The girl was sent outside the Monastery; she took her; she embraced her; she called her her daughter, while the latter called the other her mother; the woman made her eat with her out of the same dish. The girl, who is not writing in sense or in cleverness, asked permission to give a present to her mother; this being granted, she went to get a handsome knife, which she offered with much grace to the great Captain of the Iroquois. Then, drawing out a handsome gilt box with a fine silk ribbon, [27] she presented it to his wife, whom she called her mother; and as she saw that they were filled with love and tenderness for her, she said to them: 'Live with us henceforward, as with your brothers; let us be but one people; and, as a mark of your affection, send some of your girls to the Seminary. I will be their elder sister; I will teach them to pray to God, and all the other things that the mothers have taught me.' Thereupon, she began to read before them in Latin, in French, and in Huron; and she sang Hymns in those three Languages. Then those good people were quite beside themselves, asking how long it took to learn so Many things, and to frenchify [28] a Savage girl so well; and they promised that they would not fail to send their children to so good a school. "

The first thing that Strangers do who come to Kebec is to go and see the Virgin girls,—that is to say, the Nuns. They admire their charity, especially at the Hostel-Dieu where they see the sick cared for with such cleanliness, such neatness, and such charity, by gentle, modest, and reserved maidens, [page 231] that they are astonished at it. Thus it must be admitted that to instruct Children with love, to care for the sick with charity, to hasten with zeal after the Barbarians, and to bring them to Jesus Christ, is a fruit of Heaven, and not of earth; a. blessing of grace, and not of nature. [page 233]


Two Documents of 1656

LXXXVIII.—Lettre du R. P. Paul le Jeune à la R. M. de Saint Bonaventure, à Kebec; La Rochelle, 10 mars, 1656

LXXXIX.—Concession des Terres dans le païs des Qnnondageoronons, par Jean de Lauson, gouverneur; Quebeq, 12 apvril, 1656

Source: For each of these documents, we Follow the original MS. in the archives of St. Mary's College, Montreal.



[page 235]

Letter From the Reverend Father Paul le Jeune to the Reverend Mother de Saint Bonaventure, at Kebec.


The peace and love of our Lord be my greeting.

I will answer your Letters in The order in which I received them. The first, which is dated August 4th, relates, in few words, much evil respecting the Iroquois; it gives some promise of what has happened since. I am grateful to you for not having despaired in the worst times.

Your second, of September 30, says that you have made efforts to exchange your property. I have done so, as well as you; but Madame will not hear of it. I sent you word that this had been contested in two points; an agreement has been reached in regard to one, The other is still in debate, and quite recently an exchange is being made for another place. Madame deguillon had given me notice thereof, and informed me of what I was to do. I have tried to avert the storm; but, as long as The war shall last, your land will be traversed.

It is true that the loss which you have sustained through the Flemish vessel and captain le Roy is great. The country, and we, and the Ursulines have lost Something in these two vessels, and much in that of la Rochelle. Father Lyonne was to embark in this vessel; but as it was necessary that he should [page 237] remain on some business, it sailed without him. It was three months on the sea; then putting back, it was taken by The Spaniards,—as was also the aid sent by the Queen. These are great losses.

I will certainly ascertain here whether Montreal really requires you. I have heard that it desired some daughters of monsieur de la dauversiere; if it has changed its mind, it will make that evident. I have your power of attorney. Your sisters and I hear everything, and Madame d'Eguillon shall have knowledge of all.

I am not sorry that your buildings are advanced; we must hope in God. Madame will be able to help you; and I will push at the wheel. I have never believed that Mademoiselle Nau would be a nun. I assure you that much urgency and pressure was exerted for sending her to Canada. Mademoiselle du viger has told me that she was her kinswoman.

He who had detained mother Ste. Agnes has at last given her liberty. The Superior of the hotel Dieu at Baieux writes to me that you require no girls this year. The dangers are less; peace is concluded with The Englishman. I will act according as I shall ascertain the expressed inclinations of those, of either sex, to whom it shall appertain to send girls. To speak to you frankly, The Detention of mother Agnes does not proceed, as at last I see, from you; but as objections had been made about her age, these, at the outset, almost prevented her coming But, this obstacle being removed, there arises another, which, I see, you will not expect. The good maid has always the same desire, and the house of Dieppe has not grown cold in this matter.

Monsieur Mabine has paid the half of the 400 [page 239] livres; he declares that he will soon give the remainder. God be blessed that his business is doing well.

Your third, of October 2, speaks of nothing but the dispatch of your sisters to Kebec and to Montreal. The letter is very well conceived: I will communicate it to Madame and to mother de la Resurrection. I will hear monsieur de Maisonneuve, who has not yet spoken with me; and I will try to follow in everything what I shall believe to be most to the glory of our lord, and to the welfare of the country and of your house.

Your fourth, of October 6, speaks only of Sansoucy. Be not anxious [en souci] on that account; for he will find no access to me regarding a return to your service.

The fifth, of October 18, encloses the letter of mademoiselle Mance; I will convey the contents of both to Madame d'Eguillon and to mother de la Resurrection, to whom I have already given news thereof. We must first see whether monsieur de la dauversiere and monsieur de Maisonneuve will not state their intentions. I have written to the Reverend Father Charles Lallemant,—who has recently gone to La Flesche, in order to be Rector of the college,—that he shall observe whether the hospital nuns who are there are disposed of.

Since the above was written, I have spoken to monsieur de Maisonneuve. There is nothing to do for you at Montreal. He told me that, if you had a good endowment, you might go thither; but that you must not count on the one which is there. You see the outcome of all his favor.

I doubt very much whether any hospital nuns from la Flesche will go thither, at least immediately. [page 241]

You asked Madame d'Eguillon and mother de la Resurrection for mother de st. Edouard of Baieux, together with mother Ste. Agnes and a lay sister; but from me you asked only for mother Ste. Agnes and a lay sister. Madame d'Eguillon desired that her letter be followed, rather than mine; but mother de st. Edouar's illness has prevented her from leaving Baieux.

I will send you your account by way of Dieppe, whence mother Agnes will be able to sail in poullet's vessel, with a maid who wishes to be a nun. Dieppe has no lay sister who has her vocation. A vessel from Nantes is also to sail. I greet all your dear sisters: pray, all of you, for a sinner. If our fathers continue to give their Catalogues or statements to merchants, try to do the same; for I could not go to the harbor to attend to that, and I would have to give your statement to a merchant, and tell him what I might have to add to it.

You have given me no release this year. I have been told that they can give me none that is valid, of a general form,-one each year is needed. I could not otherwise give receipts for your money, if I were not released.

My Reverend mother,

Your very humble servant in our lord,

Paul le Jeune.

Closed this 10th of march, 1656.

[Addressed:—To The Reverend Mother

The Reverend mother de saint

Bonavanture, Superior

of The hospital.

Rochelle. At Kebec.]


[page 243]

Concession of Lands in the country of the Onnondageoronons.

EAN de Lauson, Chevalier, Counselor in ordinary to the King in his state and privy Councils; governor and Lieutenant-general for his majesty in new France extending along the river St. Lawrence,—TO ALL THOSE who shall see these presents, Greeting. We make known that, by the power given to us by the Company of new France, recorded in the proper place, we have given and Granted, and do give and Grant, by these presents to the Reverend fathers of the Society of Jesus, The following extent of Territory, To wit: ten Leagues of space in every direction,—that is to say, ten Leagues front and ten Leagues depth,—and where they shall choose to establish themselves in the country of the Upper Iroquois, called Onnondageoronons, be it in or near the village of Onnondagé, or at Gannentae, or, As is said, in that Place which they shall Judge most convenient to Them, the said space and extent of ten Leagues square is to be Possessed by The Said Reverend Jesuit fathers, Their successors and Assigns, in freehold forever, in full right and ownership, Justice and Seigniory; and with rights equal and similar to those which it has pleased the King to give in The country of new France to the said Society; together with all The Lakes, rivers, brooks, springs, Islands, Islets, meadows, land, and woods, Situate in The extent of the said space of ten Leagues [page 245] square. It is stipulated that appeals from the Judge who shall be established by them over that District shall come under jurisdiction of The Grand Seneschal of new France, or his Lieutenant established in the Circuit of three Rivers. Accordingly, we enjoin the grand Seneschal of new France, or his Lieutenants, or other Agents, to put The said Reverend fathers of the Society of Jesus in possession of the said Region, by virtue of these presents. To effect this, we give Him power; in assurance whereof we have signed These presents, and affixed Thereto The seal of our arms, and provided the Countersign of one of our secretaries. Done at fort saint Louis, at. Quebeq, This twelfth of April, one thousand six hundred and fifty-six: thus signed,

De Lauson, with paraph.

[page 247]



For bibliography of the Journal des Jésuites, see Vol. XXVII.


In reprinting the Reletion of 1653-54 (Paris, 1655), we follow a copy of the original Cramoisy edition in the Lenox Library. The "Priuilege" is dated "à Paris le 22. Decembre 1654," and the "Permission" was "Fait a Paris ce 22. Decembre 1654." It is unusual for both authorizations to be made on the same day, as in this instance. This annual is no. 103 of Harrisse's Notes. His title is incomplete, for he omitted a portion of the imprint in transcription.

Collation. Title, with verso blank, 1 leaf; "Table des Chapitres," with "Priuilege" and "Permission" on the verso, 1 leaf; prefatory letter from Le Mercier to his Provincial in France, pp. 1-7; text (11 chaps.), pp. 8-176. The first figure in the pagination of p 134 is obliterated. Line 14 of p. 115 should read "Servitevr de la; but in one of the Lenox copies we find "Servite de la"—an elision due, no doubt, to a "bite" in the frisket.

Copies have been priced or sold as follows: Harrassowitz (1882), no. 38, priced at 120 marks; O'Callaghan (1882), no. 1234, sold to Library of Parliament (Ottawa) for $22.50, and had cost him $32.50 in gold: Barlow (1890), no. 1304, sold for $67.50; Dodd, Mead [page 249] & Co., of New York, priced in April, 1896, at $150; and Dufossé (1896), priced at 450 francs. Copies are in the following libraries: Lenox, Harvard, New York State Library, Marshall (private), Brown (private), Jesuit College at Georgetown, D.C., Ayer (private), Laval University (Quebec), Libraryof Parliament (Ottawa), British Museum, and Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris). This annual is rarer than the average of them.


In presenting the text of the Copie de devx Lettres (Paris, 1656), eve follow the original Cramoisy edition in the Lenox Library. A complete Relations for 1655 had been transmitted from Canada to France to be printed. Upon its arrival at Rochelle, it was entrusted to a messenger, who was to bear it to Paris; but he was robbed of his manuscripts, and could deliver to the provincial only a few miscellaneous letters. These are summarized by the latter, who gives entire two letters from Le Mercier, the Canadian superior,—the first dated "A Kebec ce 13. d'Octobre 1655," and the second "A Kebec la nuict du 17. d'Octobre 1655." The publication bears the title of our text, as above.

When O'Callaghan prepared his bibliographical study of the Relations, printed for the New York Historical Society in 1847, no copy of Deux Lettres was known to him. He stated then that, should a copy be found, "orders have been given to have it transcribed for John Carter Brown, Esq., of Providence, whose collection already embraces thirty-two volumes." When Father Felix Martin issued his French translation of O'Callaghan's monograph [page 250] (Montreal, 1850), he was unable to make any further additions. But the Library of Parliament, then at Quebec, had a copy, which was burned in the fire of 1854. Mr. James Lenox also had one before September 14, 1852. O'Callaghan, writing to him from Albany, on that date, said: "This Collection [Library of Parliament] includes both the missing Relations, that of 1655 which you have, pp. 28, and that for 1659." Lenox's reprint of the Copie de devx Lettres was printed after the Quebec catastrophe of 1854, whereby so many nuggets of Canadiana were forever lost to the world. The next copy discovered was described by Harrisse in his Notes, no. 108.

Collation. Title, with verso blank, 1 leaf; introduction, pp. 3-13; first letter, pp. 13-17; second letter, pp. 18-24; postscript, pp. 25-28; presumably two blank leaves at end to complete signature B. No mispaging. Signatures A and B in eights.

The copy in the Canadian Library of Parliament was, as already stated, burned. The fire occurred on February 1, 1854. Of the forty volumes of the Relations, only eight were saved. Through the kindness of Mr. L. P. Sylvain, of said library, we are able to present the following interesting particulars. Upon the death of Father Casot, the last survivor of the Jesuits of the old regimé, in Canada, a great part of the library of the Jesuits was bought by the Hon. John Neilson, proprietor of the Quebec Gazettes. Several hundred of these volumes are now (1899) owned by his grandson, Dr. H. Neilson, himself a collector of rare Canadiana. The elder Neilson's acquisitions included almost a full set of the New France Relations, all in their original binding. In September, 1851, the Library of Parliament [page 251] purchased the thirty volumes of Relations from the Neilson family for $100. (See First Report of Joint Lib. Com., 1852, p. 6.) The eight volumes recovered

from the fire, and which are now in the Library of Parliament at Ottawa, all bear the inscription of the old Jesuit College, and substantiate the foregoing allusions.

The Lenox copy is cropped, especially at the top, having been badly trimmed by a careless binder. Its present binding was the work of Hayday, who stilted it to match the binding of the others of the series. The page measures 5¾ x 3½ inches.

The third copy, the one described by Harrisse, is in the Bibliothèque de Sainte-Genevieve, of Paris. This library was founded in 1624 in the abbey of the same name, by Cardinal Francois de la Rochefoucauld. As early as 1687 it contained about 20,000 volumes besides manuscripts. Opened in 1790 for the public, and enriched by various benefactions, it now contains about 120,000 volumes, and 2,932 manuscripts.

The fourth copy is in the library of Laval University, Quebec. It is in an excellent state of preservation, and measures 61/8 x 3¾ inches; but its binding is of modern workmanship. It formerly belonged to the Rev. E. G. Plante, of Quebec. He was fond of collecting books relating to America, especially Canadiana, and secured several of the Relations either in Canada or from France, where he had an agent watching for opportunities. Father Plante was born in 1813, and died in 1869, bequeathing his books to

Laval University.

We know of no other copies of this fragmentary annual, and, as is evident, no valuation can be quoted. [page 252]

In 1854, Lenox privately reprinted the Copie de devx Lettres from his original, which was then believed to be unique. He did this, no doubt, to assist such friends as Messrs. Brown and O'Callaghan in filling a gap in their own series. The recent loss of the Library of Parliament may also have had something to do with it. The reprint was printed at Albany, and on both large and small paper. Lenox's own large paper copy has two title-pages, one of which was canceled because, as he states, the fifth to the seventh lines were printed in italics instead of roman type. The reprint was made in imitation of the original, but not in facsimile.


The original MS. of this letter of Le Jeune to the Rev. Mother de Saint Bonaventure, of the Hôtel-Dieu, at Quebec, dated at La Rochelle, March 10, 1656, is in the archives of St. Mary's College, Montreal.


In the same archives rests the original MS. of this concession of lands in the Onondaga country, granted to the Jesuit Fathers by Jean de Lauson, governor of Canada, dated at Quebec, April 12, 1656.


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