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. XLIV.

Iroquois, Lower Canada:


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 XLIV.





Relation de ce qvi s’est passé en la Novvelle France, és années mil six cens cinquante six & mil six cens xinquante sept. [Chaps. Xvii.-xxii., concluding the document.] Paul le June, editor; Au College de Clermont, December 1, 1657.



Journal des PP. Jésuites. Jean de Quen, Gabriel Druillettes, Pierre Joseph-Marie Chamonot, and Simon le Moyne; Kebec, January-December, 1658.



Relation de ce qvi s’est passé en la Novvelle France, és années 1657-1658. Anonymous; [Paris], n.d. [Includes letters from Paul Ragueneau, Gabriel Druillettes, and other missionaries.]


Bibliographical data; Volume XLIV.





[page 7]




Photographic facsimile of title-page, Relation of 1657-58




XCVI. Vol. XLIII. contained Chaps. i.-xvi. of the Relation of 1656-57; the remainder of the document is presented in this volume. The writer continues his account of the manner in which the gospel has been preached to the various Iroquois tribes. Chaumonot proceeds from the Cayugas to the Senecas, the westernmost of the Five Nations. Their chief is converted, and is also cured of a dangerous illness. One of the Seneca villages is composed of the Hurons Who had, upon the ruin of their own country, surrendered to the Iroquois; and Chaumonot finds them still faithful to the Christian religion. He then goes to the Oneidas, accompanied by some Onondaga chiefs. They receive his preaching with favor; but he has time only to baptize a few children and old persons.

At Onondaga, over two hundred persons have already been baptized, "among whom are five of the most notable personages of that nation." The chiefs themselves become zealous preachers of the gospel, and exhort their young men to obey the Fathers' precepts. The women prove, as usual, the most willing and faithful converts; and even the children beg their mothers to take them to the chapel. The woman who was the first Onondaga convert, and who so hospitably entertained the Fathers on their first visit thither, dies a professed Christian; and [page 9] many of her relatives are converted by her example. Upon the death of a Huron captive, her infant is buried alive with her corpse, notwithstanding the efforts of the Fathers to prevent this cruel act. Another little one, " still at the breast, who had never before spoken, repeated intelligibly the words, Jesus, have pity on me, "' after the Father. Three congregations have been formed at Onondaga, " among three different Nations,—the Hurons, the neutral Nation, and the Iroquois. " In every cabin there are some praying Indians; and almost every person in the tribe, whether an Iroquois or a captive, has received some Christian instruction. A dictionary of the Iroquois language has been prepared for the use of the new missionaries who, it is hoped, will be sent to this field. The savages are still more inclined to accept the faith by the courage of the Fathers, and the piety of the Frenchmen who have come with them. The location of the mission is advantageous, and enables the Jesuits to reach with ease the neighboring tribes. The Jesuits not only maintain the Frenchmen of their company, but also give alms to many Huron slaves, their former disciples in religion. They hear of many Algonkin nations to the west, who as yet have no acquaintance with Europeans; the Fathers long to convert these heathen, and appeal for aid to carry on that enterprise.

A letter from Le Mercier to the French provincial (dated June 6, 1656) is published in this Relation, because received in France too late for the preceding one. He writes on the eve of departure for the new Iroquois mission; he looks forward to hardships, persecution, and even martyrdom, but is full of [page 10] devotion and zeal for the work, seeing the hand and guidance of God in every step of the way. The Fathers who are in Quebec and Montreal are eager to join this expedition, especially those who had labored in the Huron mission. The enterprise is undertaken not only to convert souls, but to pacify the fierce and jealous Iroquois, and thus secure a stable peace for New France; those tribes are also the doorway to many others, which are destitute of the true faith.

The final chapter gives the " latest news of what has occurred in New France. " Part of this is joyful tidings, for it narrates the conversion of more than four hundred savages through the labors of Father Ménard; but by the same mail comes a letter from Ragueneau (dated Aug. 9, 1657, "on the road from Kebec to Onontaghé"), which gives reason for sadness and anxiety. The Onondagas of his escort are arrogant and unkind; they abandon some of the Frenchmen on the way, and compel those who go with them to leave behind most of their baggage. A week after leaving Montreal, these treacherous savages make an atrocious attack upon the Hurons whom they have lured or forced away from Quebec; they murder several, and seize as slaves the women and children, whom they despoil of all their goods and clothing. Ragueneau's heart is pierced with sorrow at this melancholy scene; he consoles the poor captives as best he can, and offers a large amount of porcelain to their oppressors, to purchase for them kind treatment and assurance of safety. He is told, that very night, that the Iroquois are planning to murder all the Frenchmen in the company; but nothing further comes of this. An extract [page 11] from another letter, apparently written by Ménard, recounts the sufferings and persecutions endured by the missionaries to the Iroquois, and urgently appeals for aid to maintain their enterprise.

XCVII. The Journal des Jésuites is continued during 1658 by Jean de Quen, superior of the Canadian missions, with occasional gaps which are filled by Druillettes, Chaumonot, and Le Moyne.

Mohawk envoys come to Quebec January 31, to obtain the surrender to them of the Hurons. The proceedings of the council are narrated at length. D'Ailleboust sternly rebukes the Mohawks for their treachery, and demands reparation for injuries committed by their tribe in previous raids upon the French settlements. Two traders are fined by the Council (March 23), " each 500 livres, for selling goods at a higher price than the tariff. " Abbé de Queylus denounces the sale of brandy to the savages as a mortal sin. A contract of association between Couillard and the Hospital nuns is set aside, on the ground that the nuns are " persons who are not qualified to engage in the trade. " On April 1, the habitants of Cap Rouge are "summoned before Monsieur the Governor, to answer for having refused to provide the blessed bread for the parish church of Quebec;" they accept his proposal, that hereafter they "pay a few écus every year to the church, for supplying the blessed bread." On the twenty-third, all the Frenchmen of the Onondaga settlement arrive at Quebec: the mission is broken up. A month later, Le Moyne returns from the Mohawk country, with envoys from that tribe, who seek the release of the hostages held by the French; this is granted by D'Ailleboust. A. few weeks later, an [page 12] Iroquois band carry away as prisoners three Frenchmen from Montreal; one of these is Adrien Joliet, a brother of the explorer.

This year, the first ship from France arrives July 11; it brings the new governor, D'Argenson, and a Jesuit, Claude Allouez. On the twenty-eighth, the governor dines with the Jesuits; " he was received by the youths of the country with a little drama in French, Huron, and Algonquin, in our Garden, in the sight of all the people of Quebec. " A few days later, the Huron and Algonkin allies pay their respects to the new ruler, and promise obedience to his commands. On the next day, he gives these Indians " a feast of 7 Kettles, " and distributes many presents to them, chiefly weapons and ammunition. Various raids by the Iroquois occur during the summer; in September several of these enemies are captured by the French at Three Rivers, and brought to Quebec as hostages. Garakontié, the Onondaga chief, brings back Joliet and another French prisoner, and asks the Jesuits to return with him. They promise to do so when affairs between the French and Iroquois are settled. D'Argenson continues the vigorous policy of his predecessor; he retains most of the Iroquois prisoners, and sends back a few to tell their tribesmen of their detention at Quebec.

This autumn, six Jesuits sail for France. Jeanne Manse, of the Montreal colony, also goes; an effort is made thereupon, to secure the establishment of nuns from the Quebec order at the Montreal hospital.

In November., seven Frenchmen are captured by Mohawks; but envoys from that tribe, meeting them on the way, bring back these men to Three Rivers, They then proceed to Quebec, where they still talk [page 13] of peace, and promise to bring hither, next spring, an Oneida who had murdered a Frenchman. D'Argenson promises to send Le Moyne to them in the spring, and releases some of their prisoners, but detains others as hostages.

XCVIII. The Relation of 1657-58 is given entire in this volume. It is prefaced by a brief note in which the Paris editor implies the loss (as in previous years) of some of the documents sent him from New France; and mentions the persecutions freshly begun against the Jesuits,—referring to the disastrous ending of their Onondaga mission.

The Relation begins with a clear-sighted analysis of the motives and actions of the Iroquois with regard to that mission. A letter from Ragueneau to the provincial describes the forced retreat of the missionaries, who have returned " laden with some spoils wrested from the powers of Hell. " These are " more than five hundred children, and many adults, most of whom died after Baptism. " They have also " restored Faith and renewed piety among the poor Huron captives. Irritateéd at the imprisonment of some of their warriors by D'Ailleboust, the Onondagas plot the destruction of the French among them. The latter make their escape, and return to Quebec, arriving there April 23, 1658. The Iroquois are harassing the French settlements, which not only are feeble, but have not dared to attack the enemy, fearing savage vengeance upon the French at Onondaga. The latter, upon reaching Québec; learn from escaped Heron captives that all the kindness shown to the French by the Onondagas was merely a pretense by those perfidious savages to lure first the French, and afterward the Hurons, into their power, [page 14] that they might massacre the former and enslave the latter.

Another letter from Ragueneau, addressed to Le Jeune, gives the particulars of the daring retreat made by the Onondaga colony. Upon learning of the plots against them, they construct boats in which to escape. A great feast is made for their savage hosts; when these, gorged to repletion, are overcome by sleep, the French stealthily depart (March 20), and set out upon their long and dangerous voyage to Quebec. In the rapids of the St. Lawrence, they are almost engulfed, and three men are drowned. After many perils and hardships, they reach Montreal, April 3.

From various letters received, the editor compiles a "journal of what occurred between the French and the Savages." This account begins with an historical sketch of the mission at Onondaga, from its inception in 1655 ; then follows a resumé of the alternate raids and embassies of the Iroquois, and the dealings of the French with them—mainly a repetition of what has already been narrated thereon in the Relations and Journal des Jésuites. The Writer describes various matters in detail—among them the proceedings of a council held early in January, 1658, with Mohawk envoys to Quebec. They bring letters from Le Moyne, who is wintering in their country. He writes that the Mohawks have sent all their young warriors on hostile expeditions against the Algonkin and Montagnais tribes north of the St. Lawrence he also relates the sad fate of the Hurons who were carried away from Quebec, who are now reduced to abject slavery by their captors. About this time, secret councils are held in all the Iroquois [page 15] tribes, where death is decreed for all the Frenchmen in their country. A friendly chief persuades them to delay the execution of this scheme until their young men return from war; and then he reveals the plot to the Fathers, who accordingly depart in secret for Quebec, as has been already related. Le Moyne quits the Mohawk country, and goes to the Dutch settlements, expecting to go on a Dutch vessel to Quebec; but in May he returns to Montreal with other Mohawk deputies. In June, a band of Oneidas capture and burn to death three Frenchmen. The new governor, D'Argenson, arrives in July. The day after his arrival, when he is about to sit down to dinner, an alarm is given of an Iroquois attack, and he is obliged to sally forth at once with the soldiers. Soon afterward, he conducts a scouting expedition to Lake St. Pierre, but the enemy elude him. As opportunity allows, the Iroquois continue to harass the French settlers; but the governor shows energy and courage in dealing with them.

A chapter of this Relation is devoted to an account (mainly by Druillettes) of the great Western region recently explored by Radisson and Groseilliers, with the tribes dwelling therein, and mention of "different routes from Canadas to the North Sea" information which is derived partly from those two adventurers, partly from Indians who have also traveled westward. Six routes to Hudson Bay (the "North Sea") are here described. Then follows an account of fourteen different tribes dwelling in the region of the great lakes. Most of these are sedentary, and very populous; and they offer a vast field for missionary labors,—all the more urgent, since the hostility of the Iroquois has either limited [page 16] or closed the missions thus, far conducted in the more eastern regions.

The virtuous life and pious death of a young Huron girl, the first of that tribe who had become a nun, are described by the Mother Superior of the Quebec hospital. A chapter (apparently written by Le Jeune) is devoted to differences in physical and mental constitution, in dress, and in various customs, between the French and the savages.

In the concluding chapter are given, as usual, some items of " news brought by the latest vessel." The retreat of the French from Onondaga was effected so skillfully and silently that the superstitious Iroquois, unable to explain it, regard them as demons, and fear them accordingly. D'Argenson keeps numerous Iroquois hostages in confinement, and refuses to release them unless children from the leading families in those tribes shall be brought to Quebec to be educated and Christianized in the seminaries there. Last, and best of all, the upper Algonkins promise to send down to Quebec a large and valuable shipment of furs, and ask for Jesuits to instruct them in the faith. During the past year, about nine hundred savages have been baptized. [page 17]


Madison, Wis., April, 1899.

XCVI (concluded)

Relation of 1656-57



In Volume XLIII., we present the first sixteen chapters of this Relation, and herewith give the remainder of the document.

[page 19]



HE country of Sonnontouan, which is much more fertile and more populous than the other Iroquois Provinces, contains two large villages and a number of small ones, besides the Huron Village called Saint Michel, whose inhabitants sought refuge there to escape the general destruction of their Nation. They retain their own customs and peculiar usages, and live apart from the Iroquois, satisfied to be united with them in good feeling and friendship. As we have not a sufficient number of laborers wherewith to cultivate so extensive a vineyard, we content ourselves with preaching the Gospel to them, when they bring us their presents on ceremonious occasions and in token of alliance, or when we carry ours to them. For, as soon as Father Chaumont, shortly after our arrival in this country, had adopted the Oiogoenhronnons [167] as the children of Onnontio, he went to Sonnontouan to adopt those people as his brothers, and to make them really our brothers by means of the Faith, to which he strove to incline them.

Having assembled all the Elders of Gandagan, the principal village of Sonnontouan, and having bestowed the presents that are usually given as tokens of alliance, he commenced in a fervent and loud [page 21] tone to explain the principal truths of the Gospel, which he sealed with the three finest presents of all,, which he had reserved for this purpose. As a further inducement, he said: "I give myself with these presents as a warranty of the truths that I preach to you; and if my life, which I devote to you, do not seem sufficient for you, I offer you those of so many French who have followed me to Gannentaa, to bear witness to the Faith that I preach to you. Will you not trust those living presents, and such bravery and courage ? And will you be simple enough to think that so clever a band of men would have left their native country,—the finest and most agreeable in the world,—and endured such fatigue, [168] in order to bring a falsehood so far? " The event showed that those Barbarians were touched by the Father's discourse. After having maturely deliberated, they replied that they willingly believed and embraced the Faith which we had been kind enough to bring to them, and they earnestly begged the Father to reside with them, in order the better to instruct them in our mysteries. One was more deeply touched than the others; he would not allow the Father to depart before he had been instructed and baptized, and had obtained the same happiness for his wife. God rewards the labors of that Father with the same success in the other Villages.

Annonkenritaoui, who is the Chief of these peoples, was inclined to surpass all in fervor, and was one of the first Christians. A canker that was eating away his thigh compelled him to take to his bed. The Father, although ill himself, went to see him, and converted him to the Faith. He will, doubtless, be a great prop to it in his own country, for God [page 23] seems to have cured him, solely with that design, of a disease which every one considered incurable.

[169] Among the many Hurons who have preserved their Faith in captivity, the Father met a woman who had retained all the fervor of a good Christian. He learned from her that the Hurons from the Island of Orleans continued to practice our Religion as zealously as ever, and that one of them, called Jacques Otsiaouens, had by his constancy astonished the Iroquois who were burning him, omitting not a single one of his usual prayers, and continually invoking the name of Jesus in his tortures.

The Hurons of Saint Miche1 manifested no less devotion and were delighted to see once more one of their beloved Pastors. Everyone at first asked either for absolution for himself, or Baptism for his children. Even the old people, who had despised the light of the Gospel while their country was flourishing, now anxiously sought it, and earnestly asked for Baptism. So true is it that affliction gives understanding, and that adversity opens the eyes of those whom [170] prosperity had blinded. Nevertheless, however sweet those fruits of the Gospel may have been, the Father was soon obliged to deprive himself of them, because more pressing affairs called him elsewhere.

He had a fine opportunity, on the way, of ridiculing the superstition of the Infidels. His guide offered him a piece of wood, to throw upon two round stones which, surrounded by evidences of the superstition of these poor people, are encountered upon the road. It is the custom, in passing, to throw a small stick on the stones by way of homage, and add these words: Kouë askennon eskatongot,—that is to say, [page 25] "Here is something to pay my passage, that I may proceed in safety."

I cannot omit to mention the death of David le Moyne, which must appear precious in the eyes of good people, as we believe it did in the eyes of God. He was a young man of Diepe, about twenty years of age, whose zeal had led him to follow the Father to this Mission, after he had prepared for it by a general confession. .A bloody flux, [171] which caused his body to waste away for a long time, could not for a moment cool the ardor of his devotion; and he died on the shore of Lake Tiohero, with the gentleness and the resignation of one of the Elect, blessing God that he died in the land of the Iroquois, and in the exercise of his zeal for the advancement of the Faith. Was not that death a glorious reward for a life spent in procuring the salvation of Souls; and a remarkable effect of the protection of the Blessed Virgin, for whom the young man had always had a most particular devotion [page 27]



E were preparing to start on the journey to Onneiout, when we received word that it was not safe to go there, and that plots were being laid to kill the French. The following was the foundation of this rumor. A warrior, but recently returned from Three Rivers where he had treacherously killed some Hurons, [172] was reproached with that deed by his people. Some said that he might as well have killed the French, because the Frenchman and the Huron were so closely allied that they were but one and the same; thereupon, the Brave replied that, if that were all, he would soon find means to till some, and that the French Ambassadors could not escape him.

Nevertheless, we proceeded on our way, after deliberating on the matter with the Elders of Onnontaghé who were to form part of the Embassy. Fathers Chaumont and Menart, accompanied by two Frenchmen, were those who undertook the journey.

Their first halting-place was in a forest, where the Captain harangued his band as usual. "Ah, my brothers, " he said, " how weary you are! What trouble to walk over the snow, over the ice, and through the water! But courage; let us not complain of the work, since we have undertaken it in so good a cause. Ye Demons who dwell in these [page 29] forests, be careful not to harm those who compose this Embassy. And ye Trees [173] that are laden with years, and that will soon be cast down to the earth by old age, delay your fall, and involve not in your ruin those who go to prevent the ruin of the Provinces and of the Nations. " He also addressed a commendatory harangue to the women who carried the provisions for the journey, praising their courage and perseverance.

On their arrival at the Village, after harangues and compliments on both sides, the y were taken into the cabins assigned to them. There they were told at first that, because of the Onnonhouaroia, which is a kind of Carnival among those peoples, they could not be offered anything to eat, and that an effort would be made to shorten the ceremony on their account. This was done soon afterward, the Elders obtaining its postponement to another time.

The first day was passed in receiving the visits of the old Huron Christians and the civilities of the Onneiouthronnons, who frequently repeated this compliment to the French: 'O my Fathers, what [174] trouble you have taken to come and see your children! " On the same day, they gave and received various small presents of slight importance, such as were only exchanged between individuals.

On the following day, which was set apart for the solemn presents, the Father, who was the spokesman, spread out twenty, giving an explanation of each one, especially of the three finest. One of them was given to adopt the Onneiouthronnons as the children of Onnontio; and the two others, to instruct them in the Faith. Thereupon, the Father explained our mysteries to them, exhorting them to recognize the [page 31] bright light of the Gospel, that came to enlighten them. This he did at length, without being interrupted; for they who speak in those Assemblies have the right to say all that they please, and no one has the right to interrupt them. This seed was so favorably received that there was reason to hope for a good harvest, had not the Elders of Onnontaghé, who were still fearing some surprise, hastened the Fathers’ departure.!

He preferred however to let them [175] precede him, rather than not baptize two old men whom he had already prepared for that sacrament. He administered it at the same time to several little children, after having amply paid his reckoning to his hostess by instructing and confessing her. [page 33]



O enable the Reader to understand the progress that the Gospel has made in this Nation, in whose country our principal Mission among the Iroquois is situated, it is sufficient to say that divine Service is celebrated there; that the Sacraments are administered; that the Christian virtues are practiced there with as much modesty, attention, and fervor as in the most Catholic and most devout Provinces of Europe. Over two hundred persons baptized within a short space of tinne, among whom are five of the most notable personages [176] of that nation, are the living stones that constitute the first foundation of this Church. These peoples are now so far from being ashamed of the Gospel, or from persecuting it, that they all glory in following or desiring it; and, when one of the two Fathers who labor in this Mission asks, on entering a cabin, who are the Christians, the answer he receives is that there are no longer any but Christians among them, since the elders have become Preachers of the Christian Law. Such is the influence exerted by the example of the leaders of Provinces and cities over the minds and conduct of the people.

Would to God that all who have authority among the nations illumined by the light of the Faith for several centuries, had the same zeal to lead to [page 35] virtue by their examples, deeds, and words those over whom the power of God has placed them. Observe how one of the leading Iroquois acquitted himself of that duty at a numerous gathering, whom he exhorted [177] to piety in the following words:

" Courage, my nephews, courage! Let us all believe; let there not be a single Infidel among us. And, since all that is needed to be a good Christian is to give up sin, you, young men, must cease to divorce yourselves; and you, young women, must no longer be unfaithful to your husbands. Let us hear no longer of larceny, of murder, or of sacrilege among us. Ah, how great would our happiness be, if we had banished from our country all those vices that have destroyed so many warriors, and have waged a more cruel war against us than all our other enemies! Let us therefore believe, my nephews, but let us believe in earnest; for Faith alone can make us happy in this life and in the next." That noble Christian was listened to with marvelous attention, and his discourse was interrupted only by acclamations, by which his auditors manifested their full approval.

The women have great authority among these peoples; their virtue [178] produces greater fruit, and their example finds more imitators, than elsewhere. The saintly death of Madeleine Tiotonharason, preceded by her profession of Faith, which she went to make at Kebec, was a happy proof of this. During her illness, she refused to listen to the discourses of those who tried to induce her to abandon our Religion, in order to be cured; and she retained to her last breath that Faith, to which her death was attributed. In consequence, her mother, her uncles and aunts,—who were converted shortly [page 37] before their deaths, in extreme old age,—and several of her other relatives, followed her example, dying a short time after her in the same zeal for the Faith, the same love for heaven, and the same contempt for death and for superstition.

The eagerness, the cries, and the tears with which the little children beg their mothers to take or carry them to the Chapel, that they may say their prayers there, show us sufficiently that the Kingdom of heaven is for children, and that God derives his glory from those little [179] creatures, as well as from those who are more advanced in years.

There is no one who would not be touched by the information sent us by one of the two Fathers who labor at Onnontaghé. Here are the words of his Letter: " The good Christian Huron woman of whose death I informed you yesterday left in the cradle a child three or four months old, whom we had baptized in our Chapel. In spite of our efforts, he was buried alive with the dead body of his mother, through a motive of compassion which is only too common among our Savages: they prefer to put an infant at the breast to death at once, rather than allow it to drag on a languishing and miserable life after the death of its mother, who alone can nurse it. They had more pity on the child of another Christian captive, who died some time ago. He has been fed since then, but has been attacked with consumption of the bowels, having been deprived too soon of his mother's m ilk. This poor little predestined child betrays every possible manifestation of joy whenever he sees me; one [180] would say, on seeing him clasp his hands when he is exhorted to pray to God, that he says in his heart the prayers that his lips cannot [page 39] yet utter. I observed him one day expressing a sort of content with his eyes and his lips, while I exhorted him to take the road to heaven, that he might follow his mother thither. I easily became convinced that there was something in him beyond the usual capacity of his age; and that, as he could understand what I said to him, he might also acknowledge and invoke his Savior. Therefore, I said to him: 'Charles, let us pray to God together; repeat these words with me: "JESUS, have pity on me, and make me go to heaven. "' But how delighted I was to hear that innocent babe, still at the breast, who had never spoken before, repeat intelligibly the words, Jesus, have pity on me, and complete the remainder by lisping it as well as he could! How happy that dying child seemed to me, when I compared him with so many children born in silk, whose first utterances are often blasphemies and infamous words, which they have [181] heard from the mouths of their parents or their servants!"

Those who have seen in the Relations of the past years what fervor existed in the Congregation established for the Hurons of the Island of Orleans, admired that result of the labors of several years; but no one could have ventured to hope that the same could be done in a short time among the Iroquois. God began to work this marvel by enabling us to establish three Congregations among three different Nations, the Hurons, the neutral Nation, and the Iroquois; and we observe in them the birth of that holy emulation which we wished to obtain when organizing them. Those who have been admitted to it, who are all among the oldest and of known probity, manifested their fervor on Palm [page 41] Sunday of the year 1657, which was the day of their first Meeting; they all assembled in the Chapel an hour before daylight, and publicly recited the Rosary before Mass began.

Finally, to judge of the successful progress [182] of the Faith in the new Church at Onnontaghé, it is sufficient to know that there is not a single family in Onnontaghé which does not welcome us with joy, and is not pleased to hear us speak of our mysteries; that not one of the Elders openly opposes the Faith; that there is not a poor slave or stranger who does not receive instruction; that there are very few children in the village who do not know the Catechism; that, in spite of calumnies, the majority of those who departed this life were benefited by our care, and died in the Christian faith; that, while a great mortality has prevailed in the country since we have been here, in which very many children were carried off, two only died without Baptism; that we have the happiness of having sent to heaven since we have been here the Souls of men, of more than twelve different Nations. In fine, there is not a cabin without one or more inmates who come every day to pray in the Chapel; and there is hardly a single person who has not some knowledge of the articles of our Faith, and some inclination toward Baptism.

[183] These fruits of the Gospel, which surpass all that can be said of them, would perhaps not have been less among the other Iroquois Nations, if we had been able to transport ourselves at the same time to various places, or if we had had the assistance of the good Gospel laborers whom we hope for. [page 43]



O abundant a harvest, gathered in so short a time by so small a number of laborers, would suffice to lead us to hope for a still more abundant one, because the minds of all those peoples are already disposed toward the Faith. Moreover, the number of those who work there is shortly to be increased, as we hope; and we have already prepared for them an Iroquois Dictionary, to facilitate their learning the language.

[189] There is nothing that wins the Savages or excites their admiration more than the zeal which has caused a good many French to abandon the conveniences and comforts of France, to undergo the hardships of their own existence, and to abandon themselves to their mercy. The little fear that we manifest when we hear them say, "It is I who killed such a black Gown," "It is I who burned that other," gives them a favorable impression of the truths that we preach and that cause us so to despise the dangers of death and of torture.

Very few of our Savages come back from Kebec without greater esteem and affection for our mysteries, and without a desire to be instructed and to embrace the Faith; they say that they experience quite different feelings when they return from the Dutch settlements. But, without going so far, the [page 45] piety that prevails among the French who have accompanied us hither has inspired devotion and inclination toward the Faith in many Iroquois. They have since admitted it to us; [185] and a good Christian woman said recently: " What satisfaction must we not hope to enjoy in heaven at the sight of God and the Blessed, if we feel such joy in seeing the piety of the French!"

Our situation in the center of these Nations is a most advantageous one with respect to the conversion of the Savages,-both because the Missions can easily be extended thence into the neighboring Provinces, and because a great number of travelers constantly make this place very populous. Those who have not yet had the courage to declare themselves Christians at their homes come here to serve their apprenticeship in the virtues and duties of a Christian. They are certain to find opportunities for doing it properly; Catechism is taught here every day to all in common; the prayers are recited; the ceremonies of the Church are solemnized; public Instructions are given; and, on Feast-days, sermons are preached in Iroquois.

There are good Hurons who come here from a distance of thirty or forty leagues, to be regenerated and to resume their former spirit of fervor,-both through [186] the instructions that they receive, and through the examples of the French and of the converted Iroquois. Some even remain as long as they can, to share in our spiritual and material alms. ,Among the latter are many poor slaves, whose Faith has been sorely tried by the misery that they have endured, and who hope that the liberality and charity of the French will be strong enough to burst the [page 47] bonds of their slavery. be assist them to the best of our ability, until such time as we can procure them that happiness. Thus, in addition to the maintenance of a large number of French who have accompanied us to this country, we relieve the wants of all these poor wretches,-keeping, as it were, open house for the Savages. We have every reason to acknowledge that it is solely the liberality of God which enables us to manifest our own, and to attract the Savages to the Faith by those alms; for we have brought no means of subsistence with us to this country, and do not yet possess an inch [187] of soil therein capable of supporting us. If we could settle in the land of the Sonnontouaehronnons, who urge us to do so, and could display the same liberality, we would have every reason to hope that all the Savages, not only of that Nation but also of all the surrounding countries, would soon submit to the truths of the Gospel, when they should see it published with such éclat. Thus, we would be enabled to go and establish the Cross of Jesus Christ in other countries beyond those of the Iroquois, and among Nations who seem to hold out their arms to us, and to invite us to go and break and distribute the bread of life to them.

For our Iroquois have discovered, beyond the Cat Nation, other and numerous Nations who speak the Algonquin language. There are more than thirty villages whose inhabitants have never had any knowledge of Europeans; they still use only stone hatchets and knives, and the other things that these Savages used before they began to trade with the French. Since [188] the Iroquois carry fire and war thither, why should not we carry to them the fire [page 49] and the peace that Jesus Christ brought into the world? We hope for the assistance needed for these undertakings, for which we would gladly shed our blood to the last drop, and spend our lives to the last breath. We have reason to hope that France will not fail to supply us with the means necessary for carrying out these designs, and to aid us in accomplishing such glorious expeditions; for we may expect, from a most Christian Kingdom, all possible zeal for the spread of the Faith and of Christianity. [page 51]



THE Reader's pious curiosity will feel much satisfaction at seeing a Letter that could not be printed last year, because it was received too late, as also were the Memoirs from which the first Chapters of this Relation have been compiled. The Father, who was then superior of those Missions, wrote this Letter from Montreal, through which he passed on his way to the country of the Iroquois.



Pax Christi.

After addressing all our vows to Heaven to implore its aid we have recourse to your Reverence to ask your holy blessing, before embarking on the most dangerous [190] and likewise the most glorious enterprise that can be undertaken in this country. We are on the eve of our departure to go and collect what remains of the blood of the Son of God among those peoples, where we have had the happiness of shedding our own and of carrying the light of the Faith to them, although their sole design hitherto has been to extinguish it; that is, we go to establish ourselves among the Iroquois. I think that, in mentioning those Barbarians, I say all that can be said; [page 53] for their name alone shows the risk which we runand the glory which will accrue to God from the execution of that design.

We are not ignorant of the fact that these Savages have eaten us with relish and have drunk with pleasure the blood of the Fathers of our Society ; that their hands and their lips are still wet with it, and that the fires in which they roasted their limbs are not yet quite extinguished. We have not forgotten the conflagrations that they have kindled to consume our houses, and the cruelty that they have practiced on our bodies, which still bear its marks. We know that their whole [191] policy consists in knowing well how to plot treachery, and to conceal all their plans for it; that no Nero or Diocletian ever declared himself so strongly against the Christians as these bloodthirsty Savages have done against us; and that the Faith would at the present moment be received among many Infidel Nations, had they not surpassed in rage and fury the greatest persecutors of Jesus Christ. We have not yet been able to dry the tears in which, for six years, our eyes have been bathed when we cast them upon the flourishing condition of the Huron Church before those Oppressors had sapped its foundations,-making Martyrs of its Pastors, and Saints of most of its members; and leaving but a very pitiful remnant, who have sought refuge under the wing of the French, the only asylum left them in their misfortune. We see that, ever since that first havoc, they have always pushed on their conquests, and have made themselves so redoubtable in this country that everything gives way before their arms. They still have strength in their hands, and perhaps treachery in their hearts; and our allies [page 55] [192] are so weakened and so reduced in numbers, that barely enough remain to preserve the names of many very populous and very important nations. Notwithstanding all that, we consider ourselves so convinced of the will of God-who, of old, turned his greatest persecutors into his most illustrious Apostles-that we have no doubt that, at the present time, he opens the door to his Preachers, that they might go and plant the faith in the very heart of his enemies, triumph over their barbarity, change those Wolves and Tigers into Lambs, and bring them into the fold of Jesus Christ.

It is not without reason that we conceive such bright hopes. The manifestations of Divine providence and the means employed by its guidance, which has so well directed matters to the point at which they have now arrived, compel us to admit that we cannot, without extreme cowardice, disappoint the expectations that God has caused to arise for us where we least expected them. Had we not observed the finger of God at the outset [193] and in the course of this undertaking, we would have mistrusted our own zeal, and have feared that we were acting with more fervor than prudence; for all human appearances seem to contend against our resolution. But God acts so manifestly, in the whole of this matter, that no one can doubt that it is a work of his hand, the execution and the glory whereof belong solely to him. For what power other than his could force these peoples, inflated with pride on account of their victories, not only to come and seek a peace with us of which they seemed to have no need, but also to place themselves unarmed in our hands, and throw themselves at our feet,-begging us to accept [page 57] them as our friends, when we were so weak that we could no longer withstand them as enemies ? They had but to continue, to massacre the remainder of the French Colony, for they met with hardly any resistance either from the French or from the savages, our Confederates; and, nevertheless, for over three years, they [194] incessantly sent presents and embassies to ingratiate themselves with us, and to solicit us to make peace. Old and young, women and children, place themselves at our mercy; they enter our forts; they act confidently with us, and spare no effort to open their hearts to us, and to make us read therein that all their solicitations are as sincere as they are pressing.

They are not content with coming to us, but for a long time they invite us to go to them, and offer us the finest land that they have, and that is to be found in this New world. Neither the necessities of trade nor the hopes of our protection induce them to do all that; for they have hitherto had and still enjoy both those things with the Dutch, much more advantageously than they, can ever hope to do with the French. But it is the act of God; he has, doubtless, lent an ear to the blood of the Martyrs, which is the seed of Christians, and which now causes them to spring up in this land that was watered by it. For, not only have those greatest enemies of the [195] Faith given presents to declare that they wish to embrace it; not only have they asked for Preachers to instruct them, and publicly professed in open Council that they were Believers; but the Fathers of our Society who have passed the last winter with them have also observed so many good dispositions for the planting of a new Church among them,-not [page 59] only from the miraculous things that have happened there, as Your Reverence will see in the Journal, but also from the numerous first-fruits already consecrated to heaven,-that we depart, with all confidence, to cause the name of Jesus Christ to resound in those lands where the Devil has always been master from the beginning of the world.

If those peoples are so anxious to have us in their country, we feel no less eagerness to leave ours, and to go among them. And this is another proof of the will of God, who disposes all things so opportunity that I find myself equally and agreeably importuned from two very different directions,-on one side, by the Iroquois, who urge us; on the other, [ 196] by our Fathers and Brethren, who eagerly ask to be allowed to join the party. The desire of the former and the zeal of the latter compel me to satisfy them all; and, although the former have hitherto manifested nothing but cruelty, the latter feel only an affection for them, which makes them hold life cheap, and lavish it generously, for the salvation of those who have so often sought to put them to death. I have no doubt that God-who himself governs his work, and who inspires that fervor in the Fathers of our Society who are in these countries-will do likewise in our Houses in France;: and will induce many to come and have a share in Conquests so brilliant, although accompanied by incredible labors and very great dangers-or rather, by lofty hopes of dying on the field of battle. I can readily imagine that they Will cast themselves at the feet of Your Reverence, as I see them here embracing mine, in order to obtain the greatest favor that a member of the society of Jesus can expect to obtain; for he can never hope [page 61] for a greater honor than that of sacrificing himself to carry into barbarism the name of his leader, and [197] to cause him to be adored by the Iroquois.

Divine providence also manifests itself by giving us at this moment a goodly number of our Fathers, who not only have the courage to expose themselves to everything, but also possess the capacity of teaching those Barbarians,-whose language, as well as that of many other Nations still more remote, is not very different from that of the Hurons. It is this that revives their fervor and gives to old men, broken down after glorious labors, the courage to desire to go among those peoples, and to spend the remainder of their lives, with the same zeal that they manifested fifteen or twenty years ago when they labored in the Huron Missions. Even those who do not belong to our body feel in their hearts some sparks of the same ardor, and offer to lend a hand to so grand a work. Were one to believe them, either New France would be almost entirely Iroquois, or we would no longer have any French except among the Iroquois,-so greatly are they convinced of the sincerity of those nations. That is why, after having well implored the assistance of the Holy Ghost and deliberated upon all the circumstances [ 198] of that peace, there is not a single person who can reasonably doubt that they are earnest in so persistently seeking to obtain it,.

It is true that the stumbling-block which might hinder our design lies with the lower Iroquois, called Anniengehronnons, with whom we do not go to dwell. They may: presume that, if we unite ourselves so closely with the four Upper Nations, it will be to place ourselves in a position to fear them no [page 63] longer. But, even if they should oppose our establishment, we far prefer to have them alone for enemies than the four Nations together; these would become irritated if we refused them our friendship, and-seeing themselves disappointed in their just expectations, and so manifestly deceived after such solemn promises, so frequently reiterated both here and in their country, to go and settle in their land-they would make us experience the baleful effects of that vexation. Thus, a refusal or delay would be followed by the total ruin of this new France, which, after being reduced to extremities [199] by a single Nation, could not long withstand the efforts of the five together, if they conspired against her. The blessing of peace, which we are beginning to enjoy, is so sweet and so necessary for the publication of the Faith that, even if there were great danger, we would willingly immolate ourselves, as public victims, to avert the storm which would inevitably burst upon our French, and to ward off the misfortunes which would accompany a war more dangerous than those that preceded it. But, even if we had not all those moral assurances that God has touched the hearts of the Iroquois, we should consider ourselves sufficiently compelled to devote our sweat and our blood to the last drop For we see that, during the short time while we have been with them, we have already placed a number of them in heaven and in the Church; that we have preached the Gospel to five or six different nations who are there; that many already know the principal mysteries of our Religion; that their great complaint is that we cannot be everywhere to teach them; and, finally, that it is not to them alone [200] that the Faith will be preached, [page 65] but that they are the entrance and, as it were, the passage through which the Faith will be taken to many other Nations who have never had any knowledge of Jesus Christ or of his Apostles.

Such is the state of affairs; and such are the effects of so many prayers, mortifications, fasts, alms, and good works, which have been performed in both Frances, and have caused so great a design to be conceived. But, as the undertaking is arduous and difficult of execution, we beg those pious Souls to continue their fervor, so that God may continue to pour his blessings on this country. .And, for my part, I beg Your Reverence and all our Fathers and Brethren of your Province to lift your hands to heaven, while we go to declare war against Infidelity, and to fight the devil in the very heart of his country, I am, with all possible respect and submission,

Your Reverence's

Very humble and very obedient

servant in Our Lord,

From Montréal, this FRANCOIS LE MERCIER,.

6th of June, 1656, of the Society of Jesus, [page 67]



CANNOT refrain from sharing our joy with the Reader, by telling him the happy news that we have received by the latest ship, while the last sheet of this Relation was being printed. It is the conversion of more than four hundred Barbarians, for which God has made use of the zeal of' Father Menard, a very fervent Religious of our Society, But, as there is no bliss without alloy, we have received by the same ship a Letter which causes us no slight affliction; for it informs us of the treachery of the Sonnontoueronnons,. as you will see with sorrow by reading this same Letter the printing of which I did not deem expedient to defer to next year.


[202] On the road from Kebec to Onontaghé,

this 8th of August, 1657.


Pax Christi.

I can truly say, Propter verba labiorum tuorum ego custodivi vias duras. Since our departure from Montreal on the 26th of July, in company with fifteen or sixteen Sonnontoerronons, thirty Onnontagheronons, and about fifty Christian Hurons,-men, women, and children,-the road to Onontaghé has [page 69] been sown with crosses that have been very grievous for us. But, as obedience had led me to enter upon it, I found that Jesus Christ is on the Cross, and that he makes it agreeable to those who choose to seek it. I foresaw that we were to have a great deal of trouble on that journey, from the reluctance that I remarked, at the outset, on the part of our Onontagheronnons respecting the embarkation both of our French and of the packages, the greater portion of which we were compelled. to abandon five leagues above Montreal. I had difficulty in finding some one who would [203] take me on board; and I was compelled to embark in a last canoe, abandoned on the beach, with our Brother Louis le Boesme, two Frenchmen, and two Savages, whom I found it difficult to win over. For all my provisions, I took but a small sack of flour. Every day I experienced fresh difficulties; I found either some of our French stranded on the way, or packages left behind. I had to attend to all this, and, except among our good Christian Hurons, who were my refuge, I met with nothing but a cold reception everywhere. We were afraid of encountering a hundred Agnierronons, who were said to be waiting for us at the entrance to the great Lake of the Iroquois, to make themselves Masters of our Christian Hurons, and to take them captive. I had prepared them for everything that could happen to them on that score; all had confessed, and their hearts were ready. The ways of God are adorable, although they are hidden from us. The misfortune that befell our Hurons came from the very Onontagherronons to whom they had [204] confided themselves, and who had promised them such inviolable fidelity in so many parleys for peace, [page 71] in so many embassies from both sides, and by so many and such solemn presents.

On the third day of this month, between four and five o'clock in the evening, our canoes reached an Island where we were to stop. A Captain who was in the last canoe began the first Act of that Tragedy, by splitting from behind, with his hatchet, the head of a Huron woman, because she had persistently refused to consent to his lewdness after having been solicited to it for four days. When the news reached the spot where we were, the Onnontagheronnons stood to their arms, as if they intended to fight the Sonnontouerronons and avenge that murder. That lascivious Captain of the Onnontagheronons ranged the Hurons-men, women, and children-amid his people, going from one side to the other as if to calm their minds. I also came and went,-now to one party, now to the other,-after [205] warning our French not to interfere in the matter, but to remain quiet. That Captain and I had very different designs I endeavored to allay the storm, while that wretch excited it, and maliciously disposed everything for it. But finally the lightning that had caused the thunder shot forth from the cloud in which it lay hidden, and fell on those poor innocent victims, who were massacred before the eyes of the women and children. Seven Christians were killed with hatchets and knives; the women and children were made captives, and wereé despoiled of all their goods, their beaver Robes, their ornamented Moose-skins, their collars of Porcelain beads, and the presents that had been given them at Kebec. My eyes were compelled to gaze on this spectacle of horror, and my heart was pierced by it. Then I saw what consolation Faith [page 73] gives, in the midst of the bitterest sorrows. There was not one of those poor captive women who did not receive with affection the advice that I gave them,— reminding them [206] that God had not promised to Christians joy in this life, but in eternity; and that, by patiently enduring unhappiness on earth, we shall be happy in heaven. They offered their sorrows and fears to God, blessing him because neither their Faith nor their hope in death could be taken from them. When night came, I assembled the Onnontagheronnons and the Sonnontouerronnons in a public Council, to speak to them about what had happened. I told them openly that the blows that had fallen on the heads of the Hurons had rent my heart, and that I could not restrain my tears at so pitiful a sight; that. a father and a mother could not see their children massacred and reduced to slavery without sharing their sufferings. I added that I wished them distinctly to know that I had the heart of a Father and the tenderness of a mother for those poor Christian Hurons, whom-I had had under my charge for twenty years, who loved me, and for whom I retained a friendship that could be severed by death alone. [207] " Yes," I said to them, " kill me, burn me, and let them live, if by my death I can bring them back to life. But, since such wishes are vain, I have three words to carry to you:

"The first is, that you stay your fury and your hatchets, and that you do not continue to vent your cruelty on those who remain. Already too much innocent blood has been shed. God, who has witnessed it, will take vengeance for it if you irritate him any more.

"The second, that you treat kindly those poor [page 75] captive women and children, and' consider them not as a nation different from yours, but as being the same people with you.

"The third, that we continue our journey as if nothing had happened. " I used for this six thousand Porcelain beads. They replied that they would pay heed to what I said.

But that wretched and treacherous Captain had the effrontery to tell me publicly that Monsieur the Governor, Father Mercier, and Father Chaumonot had empowered them to perform that act of cruelty. I loudly replied to him [208] that it was a falsehood, and that such treacheries were as far from our minds as heaven from earth. He had no answer to make except that I did not know all that he knew.

We were secretly informed that on that very night they would finish the last act of the tragedy on our own persons. Everything seemed to be prepared for it, and we were ready; but God has so far been pleased to be content with our willingness. It will come when it pleases him; but we see on all sides tempests gathering and storms that seem as if they would burst only upon us, who are but too happy to spend our lives in the service of God and to die for his glory; for in life and death we belong altogether to him.

I commend to theé prayers of all our good friends this captive and suffering Church, with the Pastors and the flock.

My Reverend Father,

Your Reverence's

Very humble and obedient

servant in Our Lord,

Paul Ragueneau, of the Society of Jesus. [page 77]


PRAISE God that Your Reverence still continues in charge of our affairs; but I am somewhat surprised that you should nevertheless speak to us in a different tone than usual. Where is the time when you wrote to us that we had nothing to fear, and that God sent you what was needed to succor us in this extremity of the world ? How comes it that you now complain of our excessive expenditure ? We are in a country where the expense is much greater than in that of the Hurons; where we can expect no aid from these countries; among treacherous and perfidious people, who have been in the habit of ill-treating us for a long time. Here is a gathering of captives, brought from all parts, who, after all, are capable of being made children of God. I have baptized for my share over four hundred in the past year. We walk with heads [210] erect amid dangers, insults, hootings, calumnies, hatchets, and knives, with which they very often pursue us, with intentions of putting us to death. We are almost daily on the point of being massacred: Quasi morientes, et ecce vivimus. And you write to us that you can no longer maintain this Mission. I prefer, my Reverend Father, to abide by the last words of your Letter, which tell us that, after all, if we do well on our side, God will on his part do what is necessary. Yes, assuredly he will succor us if we seek his glory, and if we expose our lives in applying his blood to these poor abandoned Souls. That is what all our Fathers are doing here, with incredible pains and labor. If God who has brought us into this [page 79] Barbarism, should cause us to be killed, be he praised forever. It is Jesus Christ, it is his Gospel, it is the salvation of these poor Souls, that keep us here and stop us almost in the midst of the flames. Our eyes are accustomed to see men burned and [211] eaten. Pray God that he may make Christians of these Cannibals, and that he may strengthen us more and more; and we shall pray him to touch the hearts of those who love him, in order that they may help you to succor us.


[page 81]


Journal des PP. Jésuites

en l’année 1658


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


[page 83]


1658 , JANUARY.

  1. FATHER Pijart went to see Monsieur The abbé. The abbé did not return any visit.

  1. The river was closed by the ice, in front of Quebec, from bank to bank.

  1. La rose arrived from Montreal with three agnieronons, who bore letters from Father le Moine, and came for their prisoners.


  1. The 3 Iroquois ambassadors delivered their presents at the fort, in the presence of Monsieur the Governor, of the Fathers, and of the habitants, There were 7 for Onontio, and 2 for the savages. The object of all of them was only the surrender of the prisoners.

  1. The same ambassadors were called together. Monsieur the governor Sternly rebuked Them; he told Them to choose war or peace, in accordance with what father le Moine had told them in their own country, and had written to the sieur Governor; and he did not let them know whether he would send them back or not.

When the Agnieronons saw that there was no hope of returning, and that the Council [page 85] of Algonquains and hurons was about to disperse, they gave a present of two collars to say,

  1. 1st: " I assure thee once more that I know not the murderer; that I learned at Montreal that it was the oiogeronon with The oiotchronon."
  2. " If thou wilt permit two or three of us to go and inform our elders of the state of our affairs, thou shalt See in the spring Ondesonk and the murderer come to give thee satisfaction. I wipe away in advance the blood with which the ground is Covered."

Onontio's harangue was in these terms:

"I think that thou considerest me a child. If I speak to thee, thou feignest to listen to me. Thou Imaginest that thou wilt kill me whenever thou likest, as thou dost with a captive. Thou treatest me as one treats a dog; when it is beaten with a stick, it howls and runs away; If it be given a piece of bread, it fawns upon those who have beaten it. Thou killest the Frenchman; he cries out: 'I have been killed.' Thou Throwest a collar mockingly, and sayest: 'Be silent; we are friends.' Know that the Frenchman never forgets thy continual treachery. He will take revenge for it; he will no longer suffer thee to despise him. There is but one word; make reparation, or name the murderer. I will say no more. Thou art not a man; thou never keepest thy word. 'I know very well that thy army is in the field. Thou thyself didst say so to the onontaerronon who is at Montreal, and to thy brothers who are at 3 Rivers. And yet thou seekest to beguile me with a collar. [page 87] The blood of my brothers cries out very loud. If I be not soon appeased, I will give satisfaction to their souls. It is Ondesonk whom I wished to see; he does not appear. His writing that thou bearest is so old that I no longer recognize it. . . . Thou askest that the hatchets and kettles be restored to thy people;. hast thou brought back the things that thou didst pillage in the French houses 2 years ago ? " etc. " There is but one word: make war or Peace, and be no longer treacherous. The Frenchman fears nothing when he is resolved on war.

"Thou askest the Algonquain and the huron what each has in his heart. Thy brother the Onontaeionon betrayed the huron, who had given himself to him; and, as to thee, thou didst and dost now come to break the head of the Algonquain. Both one and the other suffer me to save thy life; it is because they obey me. The collar that thou gavest them in making that request would have been used by them to strangle thee, did they not respect me. "

The same Agneerronons, when ready to depart, received 3 presents from Onontio—

  1. "I speak to thee for the last time. Thy treachery and perfidy deserve that I should drive thee away, and trample on thy gifts. Go and tell thy Elders that thy people are coming, and that the purpose of the irons which thou sawest on their feet is to give them sense, and not to make them die; for I do as much to my true brothers, the .Algonquains and [page 89] hurons, When they are sometimes foolish. "
  2. Tell thy elders that I wish to know the Montreal murderers. Let them open their eyes and their ears, and look toward Montreal; everything there is still covered with blood, which cries out for full satisfaction against those who have disturbed the whole earth."
  3. "I wish to see Ondessonk himself, in person; his brothers wish to see him, " etc. They replied that he would come as soon as canoes could be made.

  1. Monsieur Villerè was married. Father Vimon attended the wedding and spoke to Monsieur the abbé. The same sieur came to see father Mercier, who was ill.


  1. 4, 5. The 40 hours' devotion was held on these three Days, in our Chapel. The blessed Sacrament was exposed at half past 4 o'clock in the morning, and was put back into the tabernacle at 7 o'clock in the evening. On Sunday, high mass was chanted, at which a sermon was preached; then there was catechism, followed by vespers and benediction at 5 o'clock. On Monday, high Mass with music as on Sunday, With benediction at 5 o'clock in the afternoon. On Tuesday, high Mass, and benediction at 4 o'clock, Which concluded The 40 hours. There was a large gathering of people, Who showed much devotion.

  1. Monsieur the governor went with Monsieur Vignard to visit the côte de beaupré, [page 91] to see whether they Were working on the redouts. Monsieur Vignard, who was delegated by Monsieur The abbé blessed the site of the church at the petit cap; and Monsieur the governor laid Its first stone.

  1. Saturday. Lamote and Tieri were condemned by the Gentlemen of the Council to pay a fine of 500 livres Each, for having sold goods at a higher price than the tariff.

  1. Monsieur the abbé said in his sermon that it was a mortal sin to sell brandy to the savages, because they ask for it only in order to become intoxicated. He had previously said that it was not a mortal sin.

  1. Monsieur Chartier condemned the sieur Lespinay, with his associates,-to wit, the hospital Mothers,-and the contract of partnership was set aside, because it was entered into by persons who, like the Nuns, are Not qualified to engage in the trade. The history of this partnership is a Long one.


  1. The habitants of cap rouge were summoned before Monsieur the Governor, to answer for having refused to provide the blessed bread for the parish church of Quebec. After Hearing all their arguments, he advised them to come to an understanding, as soon as possible, with the Churchwardens of the parish, to pay a few écus every year as an Acknowledgment to the parish church, for supplying the blessed bread; they all agreed to this.

  1. Holy Thursday. We celebrated the [page 93] benediction at a quarter past 5 o'clock, at the conclusion of the tenebræ in: the parish church. We sang the Miserere in faux-bourdon, then the Vexilla regis, also in faux-bourdon; after which Father Claude Pijart, who was in his surplice before the blessed Sacrament, added Respice quæsumus, and thus ended the ceremony.
  2. I went to visit Monsieur The abbé who was ill. Father Vimon was requested to say mass in the parish church on Easter Sunday. Father Pijart Visited him on Saturday, the 20th.


  1. Father Vimont was requested to say mass in the parish church. On the same Day, there was posted on the door of our Church a mandate from the sieur Abbé to the effect that all the priests, both secular and Regular, and the Religious of both sexes, were to recite after mass until the feast of St. John the litany of the name of Jesus, for the needs of the country.

  1. The mission of Onontage was broken up. All our fathers, brethren, and Frenchmen who were there arrived at Quebec, about 5 o'clock in the evening.


  1. Father Albanel started with Father du Peron, our brother Nicolas Charton, Guilaume Boivin, and Charles Panie, far Tadoussac.

  1. We received news at Quebec by the Alguonquin warriors that Father Simon le Moine had arrived at three Rivers with 3 Agnieronons, one of whom was an elder. [page 95] Those warriors brought the scalp of an agnieronon, whom they had killed.
  2. About noon, father le Moine came with three agnieronons, who brought him back, and 6 hurons of Montreal; these had left the army of zoo who were to go to Tadoussac.
  3. Father Le Moyne brings back the voice of the .Agneerronons, who, on the 19th of April, in the presence of the most notable among the Dutch of Manatte, gave him 7 Presents.—

  1. "I wipe away the sweat from thy brow, and the mud from thy shoes."
  2. "I give thee 3 of nip people, one of each nation, to take thee back. My brother will take my place as thou takest that of Onontio, who comes not to see us."
  3. "Thou seekest a quarrel; and say not that it is I. I brought Marguery back to thee, and Thou didst tell the onontagherronon to kill me."
  4. "I have nothing crooked in my thoughts. I wish to be thy Brother. We who are men of wisdom say to thee, Take heed of what thou hast done."
  5. "That the Algonquains, on whose account our nephews are being detained, may let them go."
  6. "Thou shalt not put me in irons. If on another occasion thou be killed, how can I help it ? "
  7. "Do like the dutchman, who interferes not in the wars of the Wolves, " etc.
  8. "Ye Dutch, be witnesses that I tell the Frenchman that he commences the 1st." [page 97]

Onontio replies, ——

  1. "To grease the feet of the conductors of Father Ondesonk — 3 coats.
  2. "I unbind thy nephews. "
  3. "I dispel the fear of the elders, who are afraid to come to us. "
  4. "The Algonquains and hurons obey us perfectly. It is I who was killed at Montreal, it is I who put thy nephews in irons, and it-was neither the huron nor the Algonquain. "
  5. "Thou art the 1st to irritate me; never have I commenced war. When-with one hand thou gavest me back the late Marguery and Normanville, with the other thou didst kill my brother, the Algonquain. "
  6. "I remove the brushwood from the toad that the elders will take. "
  7. "Those of thy nephews-who shall remain here will keep up the fire that thou didst formerly kindle here for thyself. "
  8. "I speak not; thy voice is still lost with thy presents. When the elders shall come here, I-will speak. "

After the council, one of the 3 Ambassadors divided a collar in: two. With one half he said: " It is the oneioutchronon who has killed thee; he is thoughtless, and sometimes does the same to me, who am his Father." With the other, he gave thanks that his nephews had been unfettered:

  1. The Iroquois returned to their country.

On the 22nd, while the Council was being held on the gallery of the fort, at which were present Monsieur the governor, the Fathers8 [page 99] Superior, Mercier, Chaumonot, and Gabriel, the Alguonquins, hurons, and Iroquois, The Gallery broke in the middle. All who were on it fell, but without injury, except to two or three.


  1. 23 hurons set out for war against The Iroquois in three Canoes, in the Iroquois fashion.

  1. The Montreal boat arrived at Quebec, and brought news that last Thursday, the 13th of the above month, three Frenchmen were captured by a Canoe carrying 6 Iroquois, at 5 o'clock in the morning, at the first river. Their names are: Adrien Joliet, Fouquet, and Christophle.

  1. The Feast of the Blessed Sacrament. Monsieur The abbé carried the blessed Sacrament in procession to our house. Two of our fathers received him, at a distance of 200 paces from the church, with 4 boys in surplices. Two held basins full of flowers, which they scattered over the Road; two others carried incense, to supply the fathers who incensed. They Conducted Him in that fashion to the altar-rail, And; then back again To the parish church.


  1. At 2 o'clock in the afternoon, the 1st Ship anchored before Quebec, bringing us Monsieur d'Argenson the Governor, father Claude Aloes, and two of Our brethren.

  1. A Montagnais woman was killed by [page 101] the Iroquois in Monsieur de Repentigni's field; two other Alguonquin women were wounded, and 2 little girls escaped.

On the same Day we learned by letters from Montreal, brought by some hurons, that the Iroquois had been Valiantly repulsed there.

  1. Monsieur the governor did us the honor, with Monsieur The abbé Queylus, of coming to dine at our house. There he was received by the Youths of the country with a little drama in French, Huron, and Alguonquin, in our Garden, in the Sight of all the people of Quebec. The sieur governor expressed himself as pleased with that reception.


  1. The Alguonquin and Huron savages went to pay their respects to Monsieur the governor at the fort. The Alguonquins gave him two presents, one of 10 Beaver-skins, the other of as many. The 1st was A token of congratulation on his arrival after so many dangers; the 2nd, to tell Him that they acknowledged him as their Captain-that they would listen to his voice and obey his orders. The Hurons also gave 2 presents; the 1st was a Collar of 3,000 porcelain beads, and the second of 100 beads strung together. They had the same meaning as Those of the Alguonquins. Monsieur the governor said that he was much pleased to see them, and that he would speak to them in due time.
  2. Monsieur the governor gave a feast of 7 Kettles to all the savages.
  3. He replied to their presents by three [page 103] presents to the Alguonquins and 3 to the hurons, which had the same meaning for both.

  1. 1st: " I wipe away the tears that you shed because your people have been killed,"-12 livres' weight of powder and 30 of lead to the Alguonquins; and to the Hurons 12 Swords.
  2. "I give you a beverage to restore your voice when you have to exhort the Young men to battle,"- 12 Swords; and, to the hurons 200 iron arrow-heads. 3rd: "I exhort you to believe, and to do what you are taught; above all, to avoid polygamy and drunkenness, which I will not tolerate,"-2 guns; and, to the Hurons, 12 hatchets.

  1. Tadourneau's ship arrived at Quebec.

  1. Father Albanel arrived from tadousac.

We caused Our patent of vicar-general to be communicated to Monsieur The abbé.

  1. Monsieur the governor went up to 3 Rivers and to Montreal, with three shallops And some French and savage canoes.

The 3rd ship arrived at Quebec, bringing us Father Lionne.

  1. At 5 o'clock in the morning, the bark from new Holland arrived, with letters from the minister for father le Moine.

  1. Monsieur The abbé de Queylus, with Monsieur d'alliboust And his wife, started from Quebec for Montreal, in Company with 60 persons, in three Shallops.

At night, the Iroquois made their appearance at cap rouge; they captured Jean Hayot who succeeded, by cunning, in escaping from their hands. [page 105]

  1. A huron, who was going for wood, was captured by 4 Iroquois in the fir grove on this side of our mill.


  1. A shallop from three Rivers brought to Quebec 7 agnieronons, who had been caught by stratagem by the French at three Rivers.

  1. At 4 o'clock in the afternoon, the ship of le Gagneur started with 6 of ours-namely, Fathers de la place, du Peron, Fremin, Richar, and our brethren nicolas Fauconier and Louis le Boheme.
  2. Atogwatkwann called La Grande cueilliere ["The Large spoon"], chief of the 7 Annieyeronons captured at 3 Rivers, gave, in the presence of Onnontio, the hurons, and the Algonquins, these gifts,—

  1. "I come to lay my head at the feet of Onnontio, in full confidence that what Achiendase said on his behalf to all our Iroquois nations is true-namely, that false rumors could never alter the thoughts of peace between Him and us."
  2. "This is to dispel The distrust that we might feel toward each other."
  3. "I Come to :see if our people whom You have put in irons are still Alive."
  4. "I clear the minds of the hurons, that in future they may not circulate false rumors, either on one side or on the other."

Onnontio Replies, —

  1. "Although I have so often invited thy Elders to the council, still they do not appear; [page 107] but, in place of them, thou comest to break our heads. What else shouldst thou deserve but fire, were we as cruel and as Vindictive as thou ? On the contrary, we grant life to thee and to thy people, and we Wish that two of your band should go and give information of it in your country, and tell the Elders that the others live-those who were last as well as those who were first captured; and that The French, the hurons, and the Algonquins, who are inseparable, have so decided. "
  2. "Thou hast promised to snatch the hatchet from the hands of all the Iroquois nations. Then do so at once; for we French, Algonquins, and hurons desire peace, either with all or with none. And, to show that thou hast done so bring us back the Captives of all the nations, namely, French, Algonquins, and hurons. "
  3. "The place of the council shall be at 3 Rivers, whither The Ambassadors shall come with heads erect to deliver the usual harangues, and no one shall come secretly and through The brush wood; otherwise, if he be caught, he shall be condemned to the fire."

  1. At 6 o’clock in the morning, the boat from Montreal arrived, bringing us Father le Moine and Monsieur Sutra, with abundant News, both good and bad. Garaconké, chief of the Onontageronons, had Come to Montreal with presents, etc.; two Frenchmen, taken prisoners at 3 Rivers, had been brought back; 11 Onontageronons had been taken prisoners at Montreal; 2 Onontageronons had been [page 109] killed; the huron called " le Roy de Suede " had escaped: 9 Canoes of Outawak, loaded with furs, had arrived at Montreal, etc. Vide infrà A.

  1. At 7 o'clock in the evening, mother agnes st. paul and Mother Marie Renée de la nativité, hospital nuns of Quebec, embarked to proceed to Montreal with father Chaumonot, who was Sent by Monsieur the governor to manage there the affairs of the Onontageronons.

  1. At 9 o'clock in the evening, The shallop arrived from three Rivers, bringing Five Oneioutcheronon Iroquois who had, by stratagem, been taken prisoners by the French, a short distance above 3 Rivers, Three others were killed in the fight, and a sixth was allowed to go; he was sent on an embassy to his own country, with presents, to tell what was happening.

  1. Here are the presents that our guest Harakontie hung up for us on the pole at Montreal, in bringing back to us two of our Frenchmen, Jolyet and Chretofle, who had been captured: at Three rivers by those of onneiout.

"After having I wiped away thy tears, opened thy throat, and washed away the blood,"

  1. "I come to clean the places where blood has been spilled."
  2. "I give thee a beverage to calm thy heart."
  3. "I wipe away the shame that those of Onneiout have cast upon my face." [page 111]
  4. "I do the same once more."
  5. "I burr the three companions of Achiendase, who were drowned with him while they were going down to Kebeq."
  6. "I throw Sand on all the graves where Blood has been spilled."
  7. "I desire that thou shouldst say a kind word to me."
  8. "I replant at Montreal the tree already planted for the transaction of affairs."
  9. "The Sun has become eclipsed there; I reattach it."
  10. "I rekindle: thy council fire."
  11. "I spread the mat for those who will there speak of affairs."
  12. "I clear out the whole river, removing the rocks that are in it."
  13. "I beg thee to receive my nephews here as hunters."
  14. "A tie that shall bind you tightly with our 4 Nations."
  15. "Return td my country, and teach me to pray to God, as thou didst."
  16. "I assure thee that thy house at Gannentßa is still standing."
  17. "The Agnieronnons have already assured thee that they have rebuked those of onneiout."
  18. "I break the fetters of my Nephew Atiohonchiot, who has been thy guest for 9 months."
  19. "I assure thee that I complained at Agnienge of the murder committed here."
  20. "I regret that My name has served [page 113] those from Onneiout; to capture three Frenchmen at Three rivers."
  21. "Think not that I feel any resentment for the death of two of my nephews, whom thou hast just killed."
  22. "I place stones on their grave so that no more may be said about it."
  23. "Let me pass, when I shall come to kill the Algonquin."
  24. "Let us seek an expedient, that I may kill the Algonquin."
  25. "I bring thee back thy two Nephews, AS I have already done formerly."
  26. "I inform thee that two hundred of my nephews are going to war against the nation of Fire."

Father le moyne gave him three presents, on the evening of the same day, in the name of the black Gowns. secretò.

  1. "We did not leave thy country-inimico animo; we could have ravaged thy village.
  2. "What decided us to do so was, that the murder at Montreal remained unpunished, and that band of warriors started every day for Kebeq, of which the French believed us to be the cause.
  3. "The black gowns are ready to return to thy country when matters shall be thoroughly settled on all sides."


  1. about 9 o'clock at night, Father Chaumonot returned from Montreal to Quebec, and [page 115] informed us that the 2 hospital nuns had arrived there safely.

  1. The Ships of Captains Remon and tadourneau sailed; on board one of them was Mademoiselle Mance:

  1. Sister Marie Marguerite de st. Jean Baptiste Bourdon made her profession.

On the 28th of September, Father Chaumonot gave presents at Montreal, by order of Monsieur The Governor, to 2 Onnontageronnons, who were sent back to their own country. One was named A,enhia; and The other, Otchiondi, was a huron adopted by Jean Baptiste Achionagras.

  1. To weep for The two huron Captives of Onnontagé killed by the French when, they tried to detain them as prisoners, saying that, if they had been willing to wait for Gara'kontie, they would not have been ill-treated.
  2. To unite his voice to that of Gannonchiase, in order to thank Gara'kontie for having brought back his nephews, and For having given such fine presents.
  3. To inform the Elders of Onnontagé that, if they wish to get The Fathers back again (as they say they do), they must bring us little girls to be placed with The Ursuline Mothers.
  4. That The Peace of the council will be at 3 Rivers.

A fifth present was given to Sokenda'ti a huron Captive of Onneiout; he was sent back to that coun try to tell the Elders that [page 117] Gandouta're, Te gannpnchiogen, Agonnon'rentonnion, .Agannen'raiesa, and Garhagonha, who were captured at 3 Rivers, are alive.

  1. Three Agnierohnons, who were going to war at Tadousac, broke their canoes below Cousture's house, and were compelled to take refuge there. Word was sent to Monsieur the governor, who had them brought to The fort at night. They were put with the other prisoners.

  1. In the evening, there appeared before the bastion at cap rouge 7 Iroquois, who asked nopce for peace, and for news of their people who were prisoners in Kebec. They told him that they could have killed him had they wished to do so. They took 4 or 5 minots of peas in Monsieur Gautier's Barn; and then returned in their canoes to their people on the other side.
  2. Monsieur the governor went to Sillery, to fort st. Xavier, and to cap rouge, accompanied by 25 Frenchmen and two fathers, to see if anything could be discovered.


  1. We learned from Montreal, by a canoe that arrived at Quebec from there, that the eleven prisoners of onontagé had all escaped from their prison through the window, after breaking two iron bars, on the 19th of October, 1658.

  1. We learned from three Rivers, by a canoe that arrived at Quebec at 7 o'clock in the morning, that on the 5th of this month, [page 119] twelve Agnieronon Iroquois had taken prisoners 4 Frenchmen, who were making hay on the other side of the River opposite three Rivers; also, four other Frenchmen toward lake St. pierre, who were on their return from hunting. The same Iroquois sent one of the 8 prisoners back to three Rivers to inform the Captain of their capture; and to tell them that they were taking the others to Agnie, to bring them back only in the spring, with the elders of the country, to treat for peace.
  2. Marie dodier took the habit as a Lay sister at the Ursulines’.

  1. Six Agnieronon ambassadors arrived at Quebec with Father le Moine, who was at 3 Rivers; and with them A Dutchman from New Holland, to assure them that the French would do them no harm.Their object is to obtain the release of their people who are prisoners, and to make peace, (so they say) with all Alguonquins And hurons. They brought back our 7 Frenchmen, who have been taken prisoners within the past 5 Days, and left them as they passed by three Rivers.

In the first place, they were taken, to the fort, where Onnontio gave them 2 small presents, each of a great brasse of porcelain beads The first was to open their eyes, and The second to clear Their throats.

They replied at once with 3 small presents, each of a brasse. The first, to wash away blood; The second, to wipe away Tears; The 3rd, to clear the throat.

They asked to speak on the following day; [page 121] they were told in answer that we wished to let them rest on, The Morrow; but that, on The Day after, we would listen to Them. To this they agreed.

Presents of the Iroquois, Te Garihogen and others,—

  1. "Onnontio, thou hast sent word to us that thou wishest to speak to us. We have listened to thy voice; all our 3 nations — namely, of the Bears, of the Wolves, and of the turtle — have sent us. It is on their behalf that I speak."

  1. "I know not what it is to chain men. I beg thee, Onnontio, to cast away thy irons and thy fetters."
  2. "I have brought back thy Nephews, who were being taken to my country."
  3. "I replace the sun, to enlighten the depths of our thoughts."
  4. "I thank thee that thou makest me see my nephews again."
  5. "I am a woman, and carry the hurons and Algonquins upon my braid of hair."
  6. "We are 7 allied nations, The sonnontwerronnon, The oiogwen, The onnontageronnon, The Frenchman of Gannentaà, The onneiout, The Anniege, The Mahingan, and the Dutchman. Withdraw not from our alliance."
  7. "All our allies have deputed me to come and get thy opinion."
  8. "Again I put The river in order we and our children will hereafter be able to navigate it in peace," [page 123]
  9. "Otsirdiakhon, namely, the Captain of new Holland, is my companion: in this embassy."
  10. "Onnontio and myself, during the 5 years in which we have had peace, have held each other by the arm.
  11. "Usually troubles arise among The allies of various nations.

"The onneiout, my child, has been the cause of the difficulties that we have had to settle; but he has given up The 3 Frenchmen whom he had taken at 3 Rivers.

"In the spring, you will see again him whom they had placed into Our hands that we might bring him back to you he is in New Holland."

  1. "As to he 5 Qnneiouts whom you keep in irons, I do not tell you to give them up to me; I only beg You to unchain them."
  2. "I leave You to seek The means of establishing a firm peace."
  3. "I appoint my country of Anniege as the place of the council, at which I shall gather all our nations. I beg thee, Onnontio, to speak well, so that I may not be ashamed to carry back thy Voice.ö
  4. "I request thee to give us some canoes in which; we may return, and some guns with which we may kill animals for food on the way."

Onnontio's thanks for those 16 presents.

  1. He gave 6 coats and a piece of stuff 2 ells in length to the Ambassadors.

  1. With a handsome collar, he thanked [page 125] them for the first 4 presents, especially because they had brought back our Frenchmen.
  2. With another collar he gave thanks for The 4 other presents, especially for that which said that they still looked upon us as their allies.
  3. He gave thanks for the next 4 presents with a collar, dwelling on the fact that he had taken The dutchman as his .Advocate with us.
  4. He gave thanks for the 4 last presents with another collar, explaining to Them how The Onneiouts had been too hasty in coming down here before there was news of The coming of Gara'kontie, who had brought back The 2 Frenchmen to Montreal. (This incorrect.)

Onnontio's presents to be carried into the country of the Iroquois.

  1. "Onnontio speaks in the name of the French, the hurons, and the Algonquins. He has come from France to procure peace throughout all these countries, so that the Preachers of The gospel may have free access to them,"
  2. "Since You leave to me The means of securing peace, here is one that I find, Father Ondesonk will go to your county to negotiate peace with all Your nations,"
  3. "The Algonquin will go next spring on an embassy to Your country, At present, he has nothing to give to the Ambassadors whom he would send."
  4. "I am sorry that your young men are not more obedient. I would give You back all Your nephews; but the little faithfulness [page 127] that they show compels me to keep 4 of your people here, to assure The Life of the Father who goes with You."
  5. "I do not wish peace for two or three years only, I desire an eternal peace; and the way to make it eternal is to unite our country with yours. Come, therefore, and dwell among us, and we will dwell with you; and, at least, bring us girls when you come to get Your Nephews."
  6. "I wipe away The blood shed at 3 Rivers and at Montreal." An Arquebus.
  7. "I remove The irons from the Onneiouts, and send back oné of them with You, that Garontagwann may know that I am a better Father than he is a child."
  8. "I turn away the muzzles of Your firearms from the bodies of men, and turn them toward animals! " .An .Arquebus.
  9. "Take care of Father Ondesonk. " Some lead and powder.
  10. "All The nations shall be gathered together, to hear my Voice from the mouth of Ondesonk."

After these presents, Te Garihogen gave the 2 following, —

  1. "I cast into the depths of the earth all mutual reproaches, " etc. " Let us speak no more of them."
  2. "I beg Onnontio to take care of the 4 hostages whom he detains."

  1. A portion of the Agnieronons, and the released prisoners, started for their own country. [page 129]


Midnight mass was celebrated in the parish church with great solemnity. It was not very cold in the church, although the season was an extremely severe one. [page 131]


Relation of 1657-58



Source: We follow a copy of the original (H.112)., in Lenox Library.







of the Society of Jesus



in the years 1657 and 1658.







the King and Queen.


by Royal licence.

[page 137]


HOSE who take an interest in The conversion of the Savages of New France will be glad to read; in This Relation, some Chapters gleaned from the letters and memoirs which have been sent us This year, although not in such numbers as we expected. The journeys, by sea and Land, are so long and uncertain, That it is a little miracle when none of The missives addressed to us go astray and are Lost. What scanty intelligence we have received shows us that The evil One foresees, in Those countries, some great advantage for The glory of The Son of God, since he continues his persecutions and his storms on all sides. No sooner have we arms in our hands — That is, an acquaintance with The Languages — for combating him and spreading a knowledge of Jesus Christ, than we are confronted by The Demons. they have started dreadful calumnies against as; we have been taken for impostors, Sorcerers, Magicians,. and for Men who make the grain craps freeze and die, who poison the rivers, cause diseases, and kill the people. Then we were murdered, burned, broiled, roasted, and eaten alive. The same treatment was shown to The Neophytes who had received Jesus Christ. This rage against as continues daily; but what of That? Venit hora ut omnis qui interficit vos arbitretur obsequium se praestare Deo—The hour and The time are come when men Think That they render a good service to God by persecuting us.—Non est discipulus super magistrum, nec serves super dominum suum: suffict discipulo ut sit sicut magister [page 139] ejus, et servo sicut dominus ejus—"The disciple is not above the master, nor the servant above his lord.ö It is a great glory for us to wear the livery of our chief and Captain. But let us begin our narrative. [page 141]


Table of Chapters


Chap. I.

OF the return of our Fathers and our Frenchmen from the country of the Onnontagueronnons



Letter from Father Paul Ragueneau to Reverend Father ,Jacques Renault, provincial of the Society of Jesus in the Province of France

9 [i.e., 6]

Chap. II.

Of our Frenchmen’s dexterity and courage in their retreat from Onnontagué



Letter from Father Paul Ragueneau to the Father Procuror for the Missions of the Society of Jesus in New France


Chap. III.

Journal of what occurred between the French and the Savages


Chap. IV.

Continuation of the Journal


Chap. V.

Different routes from Canadas to the North sea. The names of Many recently discovered Nations



Routes to the North sea



Names of many recently-discovered Nations.


Chap. VII.

Of the death of a young Huron Hospital Nun.


Chap. VIII. [i.e., VII.]

Of the difference between the manners and customs of the French, or the Europeans, and those of the Savages


Chap. VIII.

Some news brought by the Latest vessel.


[page 143]

Permission Of The Reverend Father Provincial.

e, Jacques Renault, Provincial of the Society of Jesus in the Province of France, have, for the future, awarded to sieur Sebastien Cramorsy, Bookseller, Printer in ordinary to the King and Queen, Director of the Royal Printing-house of the Louvre, citizen , and former Alderman of this city of Paris, the Printing of the Relations of New France. Given at Paris, in the month of December, 1658.

Signed, Jacques Renault

[page 145]


Extract From the Royal License.

Y grace and License of the King, permission is granted to Sebastien Cramoisy, Book-seller under Oath in the University of Paris. Printer in ordinary to the King and Queen, director of the Royal Printing-house of the Louvre, Citizen and former Alderman of Paris, to print or cause to be printed, sold, and retailed, a Book entitled, La Relation de ce qui s'est passe en la Mission des Peres de la Compagnie de Jesus au païs de la Nouvelle France és années 1657 et 1658. And this during the time and period of ten consecutive years; forbidding, under the penalties imposed by said License, all Book. sellers, Printers, and others, to print or cause to be printed the said Book, under pretext of any disguise or change that they might make therein. Given al Lion [Lyons], in the month of December, 1658.

Signed, By the King in his Council.

[page 147]

[1] 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

1657 to the Summer of the year 1658,



RUE though it be that the Iroquois are subtle, adroit, and arrant knaves, yet 1 cannot persuade myself that they possess so much intelligence [2] and address, and are such great politicians, as to employ, for the sake of destroying the French, Hurons, Algonquins, and their Allies, the subterfuges and intrigues imputed to them.

For several years they solicited with incredible urgency, with marks of very special affection,-and even with threats of rupture and war if their friendship were slighted, and their request rejected,-they urged, 1 say, and begged that, as a sign of peace and alliance with them, a goodly number of Frenchmen should go up to their country-some to instruct them, and others to protect them against their enemies.

As the Agineronnons were bent on thwarting this design, the two sides Fought with each other until the ground was stained with blood and murder. Some believe that all this was a mere feint to mask their game the better; but it seems to me, the game [page 149] is hardly a pleasant one in which bloodshed and human lives are involved, and I greatly doubt whether Iroquois policy can go [3] so far, and whether Barbarians, who have little dependence on one another, can so long conceal their intrigues.

I rather believe that the Onnontagueronnon Iroquois were sincere in asking for Frenchmen, but their views in doing so were widely different. The Elders, finding themselves involved in great wars against many Nations whom they had provoked, asked for some Hurons, as for men who could swell their forces; while they desired some of the French for the sake of obtaining firearms from them, and having them mend such as should be broken. Furthermore, as the Agneronnons sometimes treated them rather roughly when they passed through their Villages to go and trade with the Dutch, they wished to free themselves from this dependence by opening commerce with the French. And that is not all. As they were constantly at war, they asked our Frenchmen to build a large Fort in their country, to serve as a retreat for themselves, or at least for their wives and children, in case [4] their enemies should press them too hard. Such were the views of the Iroquois politicians. The common people did not penetrate so far; curiosity to see strangers from such a distance, and the hope of realizing some little personal gain from them, inspired a desire for their coming. But the Christian Hurons captive among these people, and those who approved their lives and the discourses which they sometimes held on our faith, longed for nothing in the world so much as for the coming of the Preachers of the Gospel, who had caused them to be born again in Jesus Christ. [page 151]

But — as soon as the Captains and Elders saw themselves masters of their enemies, having subdued all the Nations whom they had attacked; as soon as they believed that nothing could further withstand their arms-the remembrance of the wrongs which they claimed to have suffered from the Hurons in times past, and the glory of triumphing over Europeans as well as Americans, made them resolve to wreak vengeance on the latter, and to destroy the former. Consequently, as soon as they saw the Cat nation, [5] of whom they stood in fear, subdued by their arms and by the forces of the Sonnontoueronnons, their Allies, they would have laid violent hands on all the French at Onnontagué, had they not intended to use them as a bait to attract some of the Hurons, whom they purposed to murder, as they have done. And if, at that time, regard for some of their own number who had remained at Kebec had not stayed their hands, the road from Onnontagué would have served as a tomb for the French as well as for the Hurons, as will be shown hereafter. From that time our People, having discovered their conspiracy and recognized that their own death was resolved upon, took thought about making their retreat, as will be related in the following letter.


Pax Christi.


This is to inform Your Reverence that we have returned from the Iroquois Mission laden with some [page 153] spoils wrested from the powers of Hell. We bear in our hands more than five hundred children, and many adults, most of whom died after Baptism. We have restored Faith and piety in the hearts of a poor captive Church, whose first foundations we had laid in the country of the Hurons. We have proclaimed the Gospel to all the Iroquois nations, so that henceforth they will be inexcusable, and God will be fully justified in his conduct toward them on the great Judgment-day.

The Devil, enraged at seeing us reap [7] so fair a harvest, and enjoy so fully the fruits of our undertaking, made use of the Iroquois' fickleness to expel us from the heart of his Estates. For those Barbarians, without other cause than their own restless humor, resumed war against the French. They also inflicted the first blow on our good Huron Christians who, toward the end of last Summer, were going with us up to Onnontagué, and who, by the most flagrant treachery imaginable, were cruelly murdered in our very arms and bosom. Their poor wives were then made prisoners; and some were even burnt at slow fires, together with their children three and four years of age.

This bloody execution was followed by the murder of three Frenchmen at Montreal, by the Onneiotchronnons, who took their scalps and bore them in triumph into their villages, in sign of a declaration of war.

This stroke of barbarous cruelty compelled Monsieur Dailleboust, then in command [8] over this country, to order to be arrested and put in irons, at Montreal, three Rivers, and Quebec, a dozen Iroquois-partly Onnontagueronnons, but mostly [page 155] Agnieronnons-who chanced to be in those places at the time. Both of these Iroquois nations became irritated at this detention of their men, claiming that it was unjust; and, in order to take cruel vengeance, they convoked a secret council, in which they formed a plan of implacable warfare against the French. Nevertheless, they deemed it expedient to dissimulate for some time, until, by sending back Father Simon le Moyne, who was then at Agniegué, they should have gained the release of their own Men, who were in irons. They counted on venting immediately after this, the chief force of their fury upon us Frenchmen who were at Onnontagué, to the number of fifty or sixty,-imprisoned, as it were, in the very heart of their country, whence they believed it impossible for us to escape.

They even held the view, at this [9] Council, that in our persons they would hold precious hostages, whether for recovering by exchange those of their own Number who were in our prisons, or for obtaining anything that they might desire when, in plain view of our French settlements, they should make us feel the effects of their cruelty. Undoubtedly, sights like these and so fraught with horror, together with the doleful cries of forty or fifty innocent Frenchmen, would have touched with compassion and placed in a difficult position the Governor and the inhabitants of any place whatever.

We knew only in secret these wretched schemes of the Iroquois, but saw openly their minds prepared for war. As early as the month of February, various companies took the field for this purpose-200 Agnieronnons on one hand, and 40 Onneiotchronnons on another, while some troops from Onnontagué had [page 157] already started out in advance, pending the muster of the main army.

Humanly speaking, we could not hope to extricate, from the dangers surrounding us [10] on every side, some fifty Frenchmen who had entrusted their lives to us, and for whom we felt ourselves responsible before God and men. What caused us still greater anxiety was not so much the fires into which a part of our Frenchmen were to be thrown, as the miserable captivity for which a number of them were destined by the Iroquois, and in which the loss of their souls was more to be lamented than that of their bodies; and this was cause for greater apprehension to the majority, who, regarding themselves as prisoners already, preferred a hatchet-stroke, or even death by fire to such a bondage. They were even determined, in order to avoid that final misfortune, to exhaust every effort and to flee to the woods, each man for himself-either to perish there from hunger and destitution, or to attempt to reach one of the French settlements.

In the midst of these rash plans, our Fathers, myself, and a gentleman named Monsieur du Puys, who commanded all our Frenchmen as well as a [11] garrison of ten Soldiers (nine of whom had already, of their own motion, determined to forsake us), deemed it more advisable to retreat in company, in order either to encourage one another to die, or even to sell our lives more dearly.

To this end, we needed to take our departure without conveying any suspicion of our movements; for the slightest suspicion entertained by the Iroquois of our retreat would have precipitated the disaster we wished to avoid. But how hope to effect our [page 159] withdrawal undiscovered, situated as we were in the heart of the country and constantly beset by many of its barbarians, who, in order to watch our bearing at this juncture, were always quartered near our house ? It is true, they did not think that we would ever have the courage to undertake this move, well knowing that we had neither canoes nor boatmen, and that we were unfamiliar with the route, which was bordered with precipitous bluffs, where a dozen Iroquois could have easily defeated us. Moreover, the season was unendurable, in the frigid temperature of the icy water, [12] through which, nevertheless, the canoes must be dragged, ourselves immersed sometimes up to the neck, and remaining so for whole hours; and we had never undertaken such expeditions without Savages to guide us.

Despite these obstacles,-which, to them as well as to us, appeared insurmountable,-God, who holds every moment of our lives in his hands, inspired us so happily with all that we needed to do, that, leaving our house of sainte Marie, near Onnontagué, toward eleven o'clock on the night of March 20th, we were guided by his divine Providence, as by a constant miracle, amid all imaginable dangers, and arrived at Quebec on the 23rd of the month of April. We had stopped at Montreal and at three Rivers before the launching of a single canoe had been possible there, the river being closed to navigation until the very day of our appearance.

All the French settlements regarded us as persons [13] come from the other world and could not sufficiently marvel at the goodness of God who had, on the one hand, miraculously delivered us from such evident peril, and, on the other, freed from [page 161] uneasiness all the French of Montreal, three Rivers, and Quebec. The latter were feeling almost obliged to bear, at the hands of the Iroquois, things that were unbearable, and had to restrain themselves from checking their excesses of insolence, for fear lest retaliation should fall upon us who were a prey to, and at the mercy of, the common enemy.

And, indeed, we reached our journey's end betimes; for we learned at Montreal that two hundred Agnieronnons, who had come with hostile intent, were near there; and even on the way we had perceived traces of them, and seen the fires of several scattered bands, — who would have given us a rough reception, had we not hastened our progress.

Some other hostile parties also appeared at three Rivers, taking prisoners three young men who had just left the place to [14] go to their work; nor could any attempt at rescuing them be made, though the Iroquois dragged them off in plain sight of all the people of the village.

At Quebec, the same enemy made his appearance in the neighboring fields, killing people almost at our very doors. He pounced upon poor Algonquin women, taking them by surprise in broad noonday, killing some of them on the spot, and leading the rest away captive, — who, however, were afterward recovered. Our Frenchmen, the Hurons, and the Algonquins pursued the enemy, and intercepted him; but the murderers made their escape, disappearing as soon as they had shown themselves and had perceived their inferior strength. They are foxes in their methods of approach, they attack like lions, and, in retreating, they disappear like birds.

We felt under still greater obligations to thank [page 163] God for such signal protection when, upon our arrival at Quebec, we learned from different sources — both from certain Hurons who had come from Anniegué, where they had been in captivity, and from others [15] arrived from Onnontagué — that the design of the Onnontagueronnons had been to massacre all our Frenchmen immediately upon their arrival at Onnontagué, in the year 1656; but that its execution had been deferred until the following year, when the Hurons should have been drawn thither by our means; and that upon them they were to exercise the same cruelty. Consequently, all the kind reception accorded our Fathers and our Frenchmen, from the time they reached Onnontagué, had been merely a result of this perfidious scheme, and a trick of the Iroquois Elders and Captains. They were secretly conducting their treachery in the hope that, if we were satisfied with their course of action, the Hurons remaining at Quebec would believe that there was nothing for them to fear at Onnontagué; and then, going up thither in this belief, their wives and children would be made prisoners and they themselves murdered. On the third day of August of last year, 1657, this design was cruelly executed upon our good Huron Christians [16], who were going up with us to Onnontagué.

That we were not at that time included in this cruel slaughter was owing to a Divine providence, by which fifty Onnontagueronnons had gone down to Quebec in quest of the remaining Hurons-who, through a presentiment of the disaster that befell us, had been unwilling to go up with us. These fifty Onnontagueronnons saved our lives without intending to do so, inasmuch as their fellow-countrymen [page 165] decided to await their return before exercising upon us that final act of hostility. This same Providence which lovingly watched over us did not suffer those fifty Onnontagueronnons to return to their own. country before the news arrived there of the arrest and imprisonment, last year, r 6J 7, of certain Iroquois at Montreal, three Rivers, and Quebec. This intelligence interrupted all their evil designs against us. In the meantime, God had made us acquainted with their intentions, and had given us the courage, the strength, and the means to [17] make a successful escape from the bondage to which we were subjected in the midst of this barbarous and hostile people.

It is not merely at the present day that God's designs toward his elect are adorable, and that he finds his glory by ways which are wholly opposed to our own, whose motive principles will appear only in eternity. For, besides our Fathers who were all ready to be sacrificed as victims, but whom it was not God's will to consign to the flames,-although the Iroquois had already prepared their funeral pile,-the sentiments of the Converted Huron women were truly Christian at the death of their husbands and fathers, whose blood gushed forth upon them as well as upon us.

"Great God, " exclaimed one, " mingle my blood with my husband's, and let them take my life to-day; never will they be able to take away the faith which I have in my heart."

"My God, " cried another, " I firmly believe that you are the All-powerful, though I see your servants slaughtered by your enemies. [18] You did not promise that our faith should exempt us from death; [page 167] our hopes are for another life, and we must die on earth in order to live in Heaven. "

As one of these stout-hearted women, named Dorothée, was being butchered with hatchets and knives at the entrance to the village of Onnontagué, seeing the tears of a little girl eight years old who had been at the Ursuline seminary, she said to her: " My daughter, weep not for my death, or for thy own; we shall to-day go to Heaven together, where God will have pity on us for all eternity. The Iroquois cannot rob us of this great blessing. " Then she cried out, as she died, "Jesus, take pity on me! " And her daughter met her death by the knife immediately afterward, uttering the same words that her mother had used: "JESUS, take pity on me! "

Two others, on being burned at a slow fire, cried out from amid the flames that they were dying as Christians, and that they deemed themselves happy that God saw them in their torments [19] and knew their hearts. " Yes," said one, " if our bodies were immortal, the Iroquois would render our sufferings immortal. As our souls cannot die, is it an incredible thing that God, who is nothing but goodness, should reward them for all eternity?"

These mothers embraced their children who had been cast into the flames, and the excess of all this barbarous cruelty could never separate them,-so true is it that the faith and the love of God are stronger than fire and death.

In Heaven we shall see more fully the adorable and lovable activities of God's providence over those whom he has chosen in the heart of that barbarous country, to make Saints of them. Our Churches are truly in distress, and the Devil is ravaging them; but [page 169] God will gain his glory from them in spite of Hell. It is our part to do what shall lie in our power; it is his alone to do whatever he shall choose. Your Reverence's

Very humble and obedient

Quebec, this 21st servant in Our Lord,

of August, 1658. Paul Ragueneau.

[page 171]



ATHERS Jean De Brebeuf, Gabriel Lallemant, Isaac Jogues, and most of the others who have been burned and eaten by the Iroquois, could have escaped easily enough from the hands and teeth of those cannibals; but their desire to administer the Sacrament of Penance to some Neophytes before the death of the latter, and to confer Baptism upon some Catechumens, made them prefer the fires and rage of the Iroquois to the sweetness of life. The fate of all our Fathers and all our Brethren at Onnontagué would have been sealed, had they found themselves similarly situated; but, seeing that their death would be of no service to a poor captive Church which they were forsaking, and that their bondage would not afford it any [21] relief, inasmuch as these barbarians were sure to bind them with cords and take them to Kebec in order to obtain in exchange their own countrymen whom our French were holding in irons, — seeing, I say, that their death and captivity would work more harm than profit to the French Colony, they determined to make their escape, and to exert themselves to save the Frenchmen, who were on the point of throwing their lives away by dividing and separating from one another.

The resolution taken, it was necessary to find the means to execute it. It is easier to give precepts [page 173] than to follow them. Our Frenchmen found no difficulty in resolving to save their lives and escape death; but the ice, the winds-the impossibility, in short, of starting-delayed them until the eve of the day fixed upon for their massacre. Not one of them doubted the necessity of retreat, and that at the earliest moment. Let us see now how they set about it: the following Letter will inform us.




Pax Christi.


Your Reverence will be glad to learn the particulars of our departure from sainte Marie among the Iroquois, in order to join your Thanksgivings to those which we owe to the divine Goodness for bringing us out, in a truly marvelous manner, from a place whither his love had not conducted us without miracles. We nearly perished on our way up; death awaited us upon our arrival; our departure was always considered impossible; and yet ecce vivimus, — we are alive, and have had the good fortune to place in possession of eternal life many of those who were preparing to drink our blood, and to cast our living bodies into their fires.

The resolution being formed to abandon those regions where God, by our [23] means, had gathered the little number of his elect, the difficulties of its execution, for which we were lacking in all things appeared insurmountable.

To supply the want of canoes, we had secretly [page 175] constructed two boats of a new and excellent model for shooting the rapids. These boats drew but very little water, and carried a heavy load,-fourteen or fifteen men, and fifteen or sixteen hundred livres in weight. We had also four canoes of the Algonquin pattern, and four of the Iroquois, which were to complete our little fleet for fifty-three Frenchmen.

But the difficulty was to embark unperceived by the Iroquois, who constantly beset us. The conveyance of the boats, canoes, and all the equipment, could not be accomplished without much noise; and yet, without secrecy, there was nothing to hope for but a general massacre of our whole company, at the moment when it should be perceived that we had the [24] least thought of taking our departure.

Therefore, we invited all the Savages in our neighborhood to a grand feast, where we exerted our utmost skill and spared neither the drums nor the musical instruments, in order to lull them to sleep by an innocent charm.

He who presided at the ceremony played his part with such skill and success that each one was bent on contributing to the public joy. They vied with one another in uttering piercing yells, now of war, now of glee; while, out of complaisance, the Savages sang and danced in the French manner, and the French in that of the Savages. To encourage them more and more in this fine game, presents were distributed to those who best played their parts, and who made the most noise for drowning that made outside by two-score of our men in transporting all our outfit. When the lading of the boats was entirely completed, the feast came to an end at the appointed time; the guests withdrew, and, sleep having soon [page 177] overcome them, we [25] left our house by a rear door and embarked with little noise, without saying Farewell to our Savages. They were playing a shrewd part, and thought to beguile us with fair appearances and attestations of good will until the time fixed upon for our slaughter.

Our little Lake, over which we paddled silently in the darkness of the night, froze as we advanced, and we feared that we should be stopped in the ice after escaping the fires of the Iroquois. From this disaster, however, God delivered us; and, after proceeding all night and the whole of the following day, past water-falls and frightful rapids, we at length reached Lake Ontario in the evening, twenty leagues from our starting-point.

That first day's journey was the most dangerous; for, had the Iroquois perceived our departure, they would have intercepted us; and, had they been only ten or twelve in number, it would have been easy for them to throw us into confusion — the river being very narrow, and being also [26] obstructed, at the end of ten leagues, by a fearful precipice. Here we were forced to land, and, for four hours, carry our baggage and canoes through a wilderness covered with dense Woods, which would have served the enemy as a Fort where they could have killed us at every step and fired upon us unperceived.

God's protection manifestly accompanied us during all the rest of the journey. We passed through perils that made us shudder after escaping them, and at night, after spending the whole day in the water and amid blocks of ice, we had no lodging except upon the snow.

Ten days after our departure, we found Lake [page 179] Ontario overwhich we were voyaging, still frozen at its mouth; hence we were compelled to take hatchet in hand to cleave the ice and make a passage — which, however, led us two days later into a waterfall, where all our little fleet was nearly swallowed up. For, having entered unawares a rapid of considerable extent, [27] we found ourselves in the midst of its billows, which, meeting with many large rocks, raised mountains of water, and hurled us into an abyss at every stroke of our paddles. Our boats, the sides of which were barely half a foot high, soon shipped a great quantity of water; while our men were so thrown into confusion that their cries, mingling with the roar of the torrent, filled us with visions of direful shipwreck. Yet we were forced to go on, the violence of the current bearing us along, in spite of ourselves, through extensive rapids and by ways never navigated before. Our fears redoubled at seeing one of our canoes swallowed up by a breaker which extended across the entire width of the rapids, and which, nevertheless, afforded the only route by which all the rest were to go. Three Frenchmen were drowned here, a fourth luckily escaping by clinging to the canoe, and being rescued at the foot of the falls, when he was on the point of relinquishing his hold, strength and life nearly failing him at the same time. [28] Those who were drowned had received communion on that very day, and had piously prepared for death, without knowing that it was so near; but God, who knows his elect, had lovingly made them ready for it. It is a consolation for us to be able to say, Pater, quos tradidisti mihi, non perdidi ex iis quemquam; for those three drowned men, being in Heaven, are not lost [page 181] except in a happy sense of the word, since they found God and their salvation in losing their lives.

At nightfall, on the 3rd of April, we landed at Montreal, whence the ice had disappeared only on that very day; it would have blocked our way had we arrived earlier. We found ourselves obliged to tarry there fourteen days, the Rivers farther down being not yet open.

On the 17th of April, we repaired to three Rivers, where the ice had cleared away only on the preceding day. Here we spent the Easter Festival.

We arrived safely at Quebec on Tuesday. A day earlier, we would have been unable to land, there [29] being nothing but one bridge of ice from coste de Lauson, whence the River had been crossed dry-shod as late as Easter.

Verily, the Angel of God guided us in our travels and watched over us in our sojourns, as he guided his well-beloved people of old out from the midst of barbarous Nations, when they went forth from the captivity of Egypt. Praise God with us for having delivered us From a much more dangerous bondage, after blessing our labors with the salvation of many souls which are now enjoying eternal rest.

[page 183]



ESIDES the two Letters contained in the two foregoing Chapters, we have received some others and some memoirs, which shall compose this Journal.

[30] From the word Onnonta, which in the Iroquois tongue means " a mountain, " is derived the name of the Village called Onnontaé, or, as others name it, Onnontagué, because it is situated on a mountain; and the people dwelling there are consequently called Onnontaeronnons or Onnontagueronnons. These people having long and urgently requested that some Fathers of our Society be sent to their country, finally, in the year 1655, Fathers Joseph Chaumonot and Claude Dablon were granted them. The Savages took them away by canoe on the 19th of September, and landed them at Onnontagué on the 5th of November of the same year, 1655.

In the following year, 1656, as these two good Fathers saw that they were listened to with applause and good will, Father Dablon left Onnontagué on the second day of March, to come to Kebec for assistance. He arrived here at the beginning of April, and took his departure on the 17th of May, in company with three Fathers and two Brethren of our Society, and with a goodly number [31] of Frenchmen, who all turned their faces toward this new [page 185] country, where they arrived on the 11th day of July of the same year, 1656.

In the year 1657,-as there was promise of a fine harvest in all the Villages of the upper Iroquois, and as the common people hearkened to the good news of the Gospel with simplicity, and the Elders with a cunning dissimulation,-Fathers Paul Ragueneau and François Du Peron, some Frenchmen, and several Hurons started from Montreal on the 26th of July, to go and help their brethren and compatriots.

On the 3rd day of August of the same year, 1657, the Iroquois' perfidy began to show itself through the massacre of the poor Hurons whom they were conducting to their country, after having made a thousand avowals of good will and a thousand oaths,-such as they are wont to make,-that they would treat them as brothers. And, had not a number of Iroquois remained with the French at Kebec to try to carry off with them the rest of the Hurons,-who, distrusting these treacherous rogues, had been [32] unwilling to embark with the others,-the fate of the Fathers and of the Frenchmen who went up with them would even then have been sealed; and, soon afterward, the same lot would have befallen all those who dwelt on the shores of Lake Gannantaa, near Onnontagué But the fear lest the French should take vengeance on their countrymen stayed their project. Our Fathers received secret information of it immediately after their arrival in the country. A Captain, in fact, who knew the Elders' secret, and who had conceived some fondness for the Preaching of the Gospel, upon falling seriously ill asked for Baptism. Having received it after sufficient instruction, he revealed to him who conferred it the wicked [page 187] designs of his compatriots, and soon afterward went to Heaven.

On the 9th of the same month of August, twenty Agneronnon Iroquois landed at Quebec; and there was emulation as to which party should carry off to its own country the remnants of the poor Huron Nation. Both the upper and the lower Iroquois were inviting them, with the fairest promises [33] in the world, while the sole intention of them all was to destroy these people.

On the 11th appeared Monsieur Bourdon's bark. It had sailed down the great River toward the North, and proceeded as far as the 55th degree, where it met a great field of ice, which made it turn back, after losing two Hurons, who had been taken as guides. The Eskimaux, Savages of the North, had slain them, and had injured a Frenchman with three arrow-shots and a knife-cut.

On the 21st, some Hurons, joining the Agneronnons of whom we have just spoken, embarked at Kebec to go and dwell in the country of the latter, not knowing that captivity awaited them.

On the 26th, Father le Moine followed them with some other Hurons, taking home a young Agneronnon Iroquois who had gone to France, and had been sent back by us to Kebec, whither he had been recalled.

On the 3rd of September, the Onnontagueronnons, who had lingered around the French settlements, [34] sent two of their Men to the Hurons of Kebec, to urge their adoption of Onnontagué as their country, giving them a thousand assurances that they would be very welcome. There was, as 1 said, a rivalry as to who should obtain the remnant of this poor nation. Now, although they did not know [page 189] what had happened to their brethren, they nevertheless tried to induce these Deputies to postpone the expedition until the following Spring. This was a stroke of Divine providence; for that postponement compelled several Iroquois to spend the Winter near the French, in order to wait for the Hurons-which prevented the Onnontagueronnons from putting to death or seizing our People who were in their country. Through this so special providence, it was God's will to give them the means of escape.

On the 9th of the same month of September, our Fathers at Onnontagué dispatched two canoes to bear to Kebec the tidings of the massacre of the poor Christian Hurons, who had been put to death with unheard-of treachery by these Barbarians, as we have noted [35] above under date of August 3, 1657. They were also to deliver Letters explaining the condition of the country, and disclosing the evil intentions of this people's chief men toward the French. Some of this matter we appended to last year's Relation. The Onneiotchronnons, getting wind of the dispatch of these two canoes, got ahead of them, intending, as has since been learned, to slay the messengers, and to throw their Letters into the fire; but our Men eluded their ambuscades and pursuit, and finally arrived at Kebec,-

On the 6th of October, not without astonishment on the part of our French people. I leave you to infer whether the poor Hurons, who had been unwilling to follow the Onnontagueronnons, blessed God at seeing themselves saved from those wolves' clutches. Scarcely a month before, those wretches had tried to betray them. If it needs intelligence to be a knave, these people are not wanting therein. [page 191]

On the 16th, a shallop brought word [36] to Kebec, that two Frenchmen had been plundered at Cap à l'arbre by the Iroquois. These Barbarians, feeling secure in that they held some of our People in their country, were committing many acts of insolence, pillaging houses and killing the cattle on the French farms. The settlers having very often complained of this, finally, —

On the 21st of the same month, Monsieur Dailleboust, who was then in command, called the chief men together to see what remedy could be applied to these disorders. It was decided, 1st, that we must not take the initiative in irritating the Iroquois, but that we could without difficulty vim vi repellere, — repulse their wanton assaults with force; 2nd, that we were always to treat as friends the Hurons and Algonquins, our Allies; and, 3rd, that we must prevent the Iroquois, whether upper or lower, from doing them any injury in sight of our settlements.

He assembled on the same day the Algonquins and Hurons, who asked him how they should conduct themselves [37] toward the Iroquois. He replied that they might attack them and fight with them out of sight of the French settlements; but that we would protect them only within those limits, and would never violate the peace, unless they first committed some hostile act.

On the 25th of the same month, October, some Onneiotchronnon Iroquois, neighbors of the Onnontagueronnons, shot and killed three Frenchmen at Montreal, taking the scalps of two of them and bearing them in triumph to their own country. Upon the occurrence of these murders, Monsieur de Maisonneufve caused to be arrested and put in irons an [page 193] Onnontagueronnon Savage, who had for some time been hunting on the Island of Montreal and who most frequently sought shelter among the French.

On the 29th, three Onneiotchronnons present themselves at the Fort of Montreal, asking to speak with Monsieur de Maisonneufve, the Governor. They protest their innocence, and their deep regret at the outrage committed upon our People; while one of them produces seven presents, [38] composed of nine porcelain collars. These he offers in the following words: I wipe away the blood shed upon the mat or upon the ground where I stand. I open thy mouth, that thou mayst speak well. I calm thy mind, irritated by this evil deed. I cover the earth, stained with blood; and I shut up that wicked deed in forgetfulness. I in form thee that it was the Oiogueronnon who slew thee. I give thee a drink, to make thee well. I make firm again the May-tree that has been shaken, around which are to be held the Councils of the Iroquois and the French. Monsieur de Maisonneufve received the presents, not yet having sufficient light upon the treachery of those rogues, who appeared very innocent. He invited them, however, for the sake of observing their movements more closely, to make their abode for some time near our French. But, as they were conscious of guilt, and were accomplices (as is believed) of those who had slain our Men,-and as, moreover, they saw an Onnontagueronnon Savage in irons,— they stealthily took flight by night.

On the 1st day of November, the canoe sent by Monsieur de Maisonneufve [39] to Monsieur Dailleboust, to carry him word of these murders, appeared at Kebec after stopping at three Rivers. At the same time, Monsieur Dailleboust ordered the arrest, [page 195] throughout the French settlements, of all the Iroquois that should present themselves, from whatever quarter they might come. A beginning had already been made with the seizure, at three Rivers, of twelve Agneronnons, a part of whom were sent to Kebec.

On the 3rd of the same month, some Algonquins, going to the Richelieu Islands to hunt, and to carry on a petty warfare, killed an Onnontagueronnon Savage whom they met, and brought his scalp to Kebec. His companion escaped and took refuge at Montreal, where he was put in irons.

On the 5th, Monsieur Dailleboust assembled the French and our Savage Allies, to announce to them his plan of dispatching two of the Agneronnons that had been sent to us from three Rivers, to inform Ondesonk-that is, Father Le Moine, [40] who was at the village of Anié, or, as others call it, Aniegué — to inform him, I say, that three Frenchmen had been killed at Montreal, and that, following upon this, some Agneronnon Iroquois had been detained in our settlements. The following is a summary of the message that was to be carried to the Elders of the country:

  1. Three Frenchmen have been killed at Montreal, the murderers being thirty in number, although so many did not show themselves.
  2. The relatives of the deceased wished to take vengeance on the Agneronnons who came to three Rivers soon after the news of this murder reached that place.
  3. Opposition to this mode of vengeance was offered by Onontio — that is, the Governor of the French.
  4. The men were simply arrested, no harm being done them.
  5. We are resolved to hold them during the journey of those whom we send to complain of this outrage to the Elders of the country, and to learn [page 197] whether it was not committed by their young men.
  6. Assurance is given that those who are held in custody will be well treated; [41] and, that there may be no doubt of this, Onontio writes all these articles to Ondesonk, and has explained them clearly to the Agneronnons who are released in order to go and negotiate this matter.

On the 7th of the same month, November, two Agneronnons started from Kebec, and were joined by a third one at three Rivers, to go and carry this message to their country. They were given many letters from different sources to be delivered to Father Le Moine; a part of these were to be sent to our Fathers and our Frenchmen at Onnontagué through the medium of the Agneronnons, who often go to that country.

At about this time, or a little before, Monsieur de Maisonneufve also sent an Onnontagueronnon prisoner to his own country, to convey to our Fathers letters informing them of all that was occurring among the French. He charged this Barbarian to deliver to the Elders of Onnontagué very nearly the same message that had been entrusted to the men from Aniegué; but there was bad faith in both instances.

It is true that the Agneronnons [42] delivered the letters faithfully to Ondesonk, because they feared some harm might be done to their Fellows in the custody of the French. But, as for the letters addressed to our Frenchmen at Onnontagué, the Agneronnon who bore them threw them into the river; or, as is probable, gave them to the Elders of the country, and those good people, who wished to get rid of the Preachers of the Gospel and of their assistants, threw the letters into the fire. [page 199]

The Onnontagueronnon sent by Monsieur de Maisonneufve did still worse; for he told the chief men of his Nation that the French had principally allied themselves with the Algonquins, in order to make war upon them, and that they had killed his companion. It was an Algonquin going to war who killed the latter, as we noted under date of November 3. Nothing more was needed to excite those madmen, who had already determined upon the death of some and the captivity of the others. Yet they wished to act in concert with the Agneronnons, [43] who could not, any more than the others, relish the detention of their Men, thinking it very unjust.

Our poor Frenchmen were meanwhile much surprised not to receive any authentic tidings from either Kebec, three Rivers, or Montreal. Those Barbarians had cut them off from all such communication, so that Monsieur Dailleboust's orders were not delivered to Monsieur Du Puis, who commanded the Soldiers; nor was any letter transmitted to a single one of the Frenchmen.

On the 17th of November of the same year, 1657, there appeared at Kebec a shallop full of Savages, who brought word that more than sixty canoes, laden with furs, had arrived at three Rivers. They came from the Nation of the poissons blancs, and from other tribes still farther distant from the great River; some of these men had never seen either Frenchmen or Europeans. There were about three or four persons in each canoe, all of fine appearance and tall stature. [page 201]



KNOW not when the three Agneronnons sent by Monsieur Dailleboust reached the village of Anniegué, neither do I know the day or the month of the arrival of the Onnontagueronnon dispatched by Monsieur de Maisonneufve to Onnontagué; but I know well that,-

On the 3 rd of January of this year, 1658, three Agneronnons-not the three that had been sent home-brought to Kebec from Father Ondesonk — that is, from Father Le Moine-a letter of which I give a summary.

First, he said: " The three Agneronnons visiting you bear to Onontio-that is, to Monsieur the Governor-three presents symbolizing the three following articles, which they themselves will state to you. The Elders speak through their mouths and say: 1. 'We have been [45] killed in the persons of the French, whom we come to bury.' 2. 'Ondesonk is alive, and is as free in our country as he would be in yours.' 3. 'We come to ask for our nephews now in your hands. "'

Secondly, the Father added that two hundred Agneronnons had started on a hunting expedition toward Tadoussac; that in the Spring they were to make some canoes opposite that place, on the other bank of the great River, which is fully ten leagues wide there; and that then it was their purpose to [page 203] surprise all the Montagnais and the Algonquins, who ordinarily return at that season from their great hunting excursions. The two chief Captains of that party were called Aouigaté and Anguieout.

In the third place, another band of 400 Soldiers had also set out to join the upper Iroquois and form with them a body of about 1200 men, for the purpose of invading the country of the Outaouak and wreaking vengeance for the death of thirty of their own People, who were killed in war about [46] a year ago, in those regions far distant from the Iroquois. Teharihoguen was General of that little army.

In the fourth place, he said that the three Ambassadors were only young men who were to have gone to war with the others; but that they had been detailed from the main body and sent to Kebec, to recover the prisoners from the hands of the French; that there were only old men left in the Agneronnon villages, all the young men having gone to war in January; and that, consequently, if their enemies appeared, they would destroy their whole country.

In the fifth place, he deplored the calamity that had befallen the poor Hurons, who had placed confidence in those traitors and had followed them into their country, where they were treated as slaves. The husband was separated from the wife, and the children from their parents; in short, they were serving those Barbarians as beasts of burden. It was a warning to the Hurons who remained and who still dwelt among the French, not to trust themselves lightly to the Iroquois, unless they wished to lose [47] body and soul. Such, in brief, were the contents of the letter written by Father Le Moine to our Fathers at Kebec. Let us now come to what was [page 205] said in public after the arrival of these Ambassadors, the oldest of whom was not over thirty years of age, while the other two appeared almost like boys.

On the 1st day of February, Monsieur Dailleboust assembled the French, and afterward the Savages, to communicate to them the tidings brought by these three Iroquois. Audience was given to these,—

On the 4th day of the same month. The eldest of the three produced nine porcelain collars of considerable beauty, of which he presented seven to Onontio and two to the Savages, our Allies, with these words:

  1. " Ondesonk is alive and well; he lodges in our cabins. "
  2. " The Iroquois and the Dutch are united by a chain of iron, and their friendship cannot be broken; this is to make Onontio enter that union."
  3. " We know not who killed the Frenchmen at Montreal. It must have been the Sonnontoueronnon or the Onnontagueronnon [48] or the Onneiotchronnon, but we know not which of the three; we only know that it was not the Agneronnon."
  4. " I rejoice greatly to see my brothers alive; this is to testify my joy and satisfaction."
  5. " As a proof that I would much like to see them in my country, I make you this present.

"At the sixth present he said: " This collar will serve as a hammer to break their irons and set them free."

  1. "And this other will furnish the things needful for their return."
  2. "As for thee, Algonquin and Huron, what I offer thee will show thee that my heart is still in the right place. Tell us in what attitude is thine own."
  3. "Here is an obstacle to prevent thee from wounding me in Onontio's house. Hide thy hatchet and knife, if thou hast any; for thou wouldst put him to shame 'by hurting me. " [page 207]

This short summary of a Barbarian's harangue makes evident that they are not lacking in intelligence, but rather in education, and in a knowledge of the true God.

On the 5th of February, Monsieur Dailleboust [49} held an assembly of Frenchmen; and, upon the Island, he called together the Hurons and Algonquins. In these two assemblies it was decided what answer should be made to the three Ambassadors or Messengers. Monsieur Dailleboust had the reply written, and gave it to his interpreter, who delivered it in public, as I am about to relate.

On the 12th of the same month, the French, Algonquins, and Hurons having assembled in a great Hall, the three Agneronnons entered, and the French Interpreter addressed them nearly as follows, adapting himself to the peculiarities and customs of the country:

"It is a strange thing that thou, Agneronnon, considerest me only a child. If I speak to thee, thou pretendest to hear me. Thou treatest me as if I were thy captive, imagining that thou wilt kill me when thou choosest. Thou dost not rate me with men, but takest me for a dog. When a dog is beaten, he howls and runs away; but if he be given something to eat, he comes back and fawns on him who beat him. [50] Thou, Agneronnon, killest me; and I the Frenchman, cry out, ‘I am killed;' and thou mockingly throwest me a porcelain collar, as if to soothe me. 'Be still,’ thou sayest to me; 'we are good friends.' Know that the Frenchman thoroughly understands war, and will exact satisfaction for thy perfidy, which has continued so long; he will no longer suffer thee to despise him. There is only one word that fits the case; render satisfaction, or tell [page 209] who committed the murder. I will not answer thy speech at greater length. Thou dost not act like a man; thou keepest none of thy promises. I am well aware that thy army has taken the field; thou saidst as much to the Onnontagueronnon, upon calling at Montreal, and also to thy countrymen in custody at Three Rivers. And yet thou thinkest to beguile me with a collar of porcelain. The blood of my brethren cries out very loud; and, if I be not soon appeased, I will render satisfaction to their souls. How is it that Ondesonk does not appear here ? I asked for him and not for his writing, which is already so old that I no longer recognize it. Thou hast the effrontery actually [51] to dare ask the restoration of some hatchets and rags taken from certain of thy People. Hast thou brought back the plunder taken by thy countrymen, the things stolen during the last two years from French houses ? Drop thy treachery, and let us make war if thou wilt not have peace. The Frenchman knows not what it is to fear, when once he is determined upon war.

"Thou askest the Algonquin and the Huron what the y have in their hearts. Thy brother, the Onnontagueronnon, has slain the Hurons, and thou camest to murder the Algonquins; dost thou ask them what they have in their hearts? They suffer me to save thy life, because they obey me; but were it not that they respect me, the collar that thou gavest them as a present would serve them as a halter wherewith to strangle thee. " An Algonquin Captain added these few words: " Thou sayest that thou hast not heard of the Frenchmen's death. Thinkest thou we are such children as to believe that thou didst not see their scalps, which thy People carried to their [page 211] country? Your [52] people constitute but a single cabin, with five fires; and yet hast thou not seen those trophies ? Ondesonk presented to thee thy nephew, whom Onontio and I sent back to thee; hast thou uttered a single word of gratitude for that?" He referred to the young Iroquois captured in war by an Algonquin, who gave him to Monsieur de Lauson, Governor of the country. The fatter sent him to France, where he remained for some time. Then he returned to Kebec in the year 1657, and thence was taken back to his own country by Father le Moine, as we related above.

The Algonquin continued his speech. " Furthermore, my brother " (said he to the Agneronnon), "be not astonished at seeing thy Countrymen in irons Onontio, who is our Father, often treats us so when we are drunk. "

In conclusion, the Agneronnon, seeing that the Council was adjourning, and that no one spoke of sending him back to his own country, presented two more gifts. With the first he said: " I do not know the murderer of the Frenchmen. When I called at Montreal, I learned that it was the Onneiotchronnon or the Oiogueronnon; [53] but if, Onontio, thou wilt let two or three of us go and carry word to our Elders of the state of our affairs, thou shalt see in the Spring Ondesonk and the murderers. " With the second present, " Pending full and entire satisfaction " (said he) " for these murders, I wipe up in advance the dead men's blood that has been shed on the ground. " Let us change the subject.

While these assemblies were being called and Councils held at Kebec, the Agneronnons, in the month of February, held a very secret one, attended [page 213] by a small number of the chiefs and Elders of all the Nations. It was determined there that, as soon as the Agneronnons and Onnontagueronnons in the custody of the French should be recovered, violent hands should be laid on the men near Onnontagué; and that, if Onontio did not release those prisoners, a part of the black gowns and of the Frenchmen should be killed, and the rest placed in confinement, to be exchanged for their countrymen who had been put in irons [54] in the French prisons.

I have been informed that, before this general Council of the Iroquois Nations convened, a special one had been held in Onnontagué, where the death of our Fathers and of our Frenchmen was determined upon. The execution of this decree was to have followed soon, had not a Captain, a great friend of our Fathers, adroitly stayed proceedings, saying that they must not be hasty; our throats could easily be cut whenever they chose; we could not escape; and, in order to strike the blow with more safety and less danger of loss, they must await the return of the young men who had gone to war.

What, I pray you, were the thoughts of our poor Fathers, to whom this news was told in private ? What resolution could be adopted by fifty-three Frenchmen, upon seeing themselves surrounded by enemies on all sides, and learning every day that various bands and companies were on their way down to our French people, bent on massacring them as well as our Savages ?

[55] I have also been told (I do not know whether it is true, because I have not received all the memoirs I expected) that our Fathers, in order to arrest these undertakings, made presents to the Elders of [page 215] Onnontagué; but the latter replied that they could not restrain their young men.

It is also said that the murderers of the three Montreal Frenchmen, on being asked why they had attacked the French after making peace with them, mockingly answered: " The French hold the Hurons and Algonquins in their arms; so it is not to be wondered at if, when we wish to strike those of one Nation, the blows sometimes fall upon the others. "

At length our Frenchmen had recourse to God. Fear of the stake and of bondage almost caused a division of their forces; but incidit illis consilium bonum—they all united and adopted a wise plan of action, in pursuance of which —

On the 20th of March, they forsook their house, as we have related in the second Chapter, and departed from that [56] poor and wretched country, shaking the dust from their feet and saying, with the Angels: Curavimus Babylonem, et non est sanata; derelinguamus eam.

On the 25th, Father Ondesonk, having repaired from the Iroquois Villages to New Holland, wrote me a Letter which was brought to me from Dieppe, reaching Paris in the month of November of this year, 1658. From it 1 have extracted the following: "Our French at Onnontagué do not well know whether we are at peace or at war; for the latest company of our best Huron Christians, who voluntarily went up with them to make their abode in the country of the Onnontagueronnons where they hoped their Christian religion would receive additional strength, were all cruelly massacred midway by the Barbarians conducting them,-and that before the faces of their brethren, the French, who perhaps expected to fare no better themselves. [page 217]

"As for me, I am believed at Kebec to be dead; and the probabilities supporting that conjecture are not inconsiderable. Since my arrival at [57] Agniegué, nearly five months ago, a murder has been committed at Montreal, of three of its principal citizens; the scalps of two and the head of the third were carried off. There have been seen, at Kebec' and at three Rivers, bands of Iroquois warriors, proceeding, as they said, against the Algonquins. In this suspicious state of things, Monsieur Dailleboust deemed it best to put a considerable number of them in irons, where they have remained for five or six months.

"This detention nearly caused my death, and here I am to-day with the Dutch, on the eve of consigning myself to a bark which they are fitting out for Kebec. Indeed, I am informed from all sides that the Agneronnon felt nothing but regret at my presence in his country, where, after the imprisonment of his countrymen, I was rendering assistance to our Christian Hurons.

" Furthermore, our poor Algonquins, both upper and lower, are to-day running the risk of total destruction, unless God interpose. For the Iroquois is playing his last stake, having left his country [58] in order to go and exterminate them. .A part of them have been in the field for two months, and are not expected to return until next Autumn. Their purpose is to sweep away the large Village of Hurons and Algonquins, whither the late Father Garreau was going, to plant a fine Mission. The remainder left upon my arrival in their country, planning to put to rout all whom they might encounter, whether on the Sagné or at Tadoussac. [page 219]

"Is it possible that a little handful of unruly men so long oppose a fatal barrier to the propagation of the holy Gospel, and undermine the foundations of Canadas ? I hope that God and our Holy Angels will intervene. Your Reverence sees well enough, quid facto demum sit opus,-sed opus est, mi Pater, festinato.

"New Holland, "Totus in Domino Jesu,

March 25, 1658." "Simon le Moine."


One does indeed see clearly what ought to be done; but those who have the good will have not always the power, and those who have the power have not always the will. We must place our hope in God. [59] Let us return to the path we have left.

On the 3rd of April, our Fathers and our Frenchmen, after a thousand dangers, finally reached Montreal, where the ice opened to give them passage. They were compelled to tarry there about fourteen days, because the lower river was not yet clear. As the country of the Iroquois is farther to the South than that of the Algonquins, they had found its lakes and rivers much less obstructed with ice. Montreal received them with great kindness.

On the 17th of April, they appeared at Three Rivers, where they were looked upon as People escaped from fire, water, and ice. There, too, they were obliged to make a short stay, owing to the same difficulties of passage, the River opening later in place s farther Northward.

On the 23rd of the same month, April, they landed at Kebec, where, I am sure, each related his adventures more than once. Leaving them to entertain their friends, let us resume [60] our Journal.

We saw above, under date of February 12 of this [page 221] year, 1658, how the Ambassadors from Aniegué promised that the French should see Ondesonk in the Spring; and he did, indeed, land at Montreal toward the end of the month of May. When the Agneronnons conducting him assured Monsieur de Maisonneufve that their countrymen had not broken the peace with the French, he released, upon their petition and that of the Father, two Agneronnons whom he had recently arrested. Upon their arrival at Three Rivers, the Governor of the place put them into a shallop with five Agneronnons, and they were conveyed to Kebec, to Monsieur Dailleboust.

Straightway an assembly of French and of our Savage Allies was convoked, to hear these new messengers or Ambassadors. Those who were present having, in large numbers, slipped from the Hall of the Castle or Fort into a gallery overlooking the great River, this gallery, which was badly decayed, proved not [61] strong enough to support so many people. Consequently it broke down, and all the French and Savages, the free and the captive, landed pell-mell outside the Fort, without having gone out by the door; but, thank God, no one was seriously injured. When all had re-ntered, the harangues were delivered and presents offered in the usual manner. I have not learned the details, the account not having reached me. I was merely informed that, as a result of this Council, those who had brought Father le Moine-called Ondesonk by the Savages-returned to their own country with presents and some prisoners, to invite the Elders to visit Onontio for the purpose of concluding a general peace embracing all the Nations. Pending that event, it was decided to retain still a part of the Agneronnons, treating [page 223] them well. The departure from Kebec was in the month of June; I do not know the exact day.

At this same time Father le Moine, who had paused at Montreal [62] before proceeding to the Agneronnons’ country, returned thither at the solicitation of two good and worthy Ecclesiastics dwelling there, and at the urgent request, as I am told, of the inhabitants.

In the same month of June, a band of Onneiotchronnons, who had set out from their country before our Fathers and our Frenchmen had left Lake Gannantaa near Onnontagué, captured three Frenchmen at Three Rivers and carried them off with them to the Island of Montreal. Here, while they were bent on taking some of our People by surprise, one of their own number was killed; which so angered them that they burned on the spot one of the three Frenchmen whom they held captive, carrying off the other two to their own country, where they are said to have been put to death at a slow fire.

On the 11th of July, there arrived at Kebec Monsieur the Vicomte d'Argençon, sent by his Majesty and Messieurs the members of the Company of New France to govern the country. As soon as his ship had dropped anchor, Monsieur Dailleboust, who had been filling his place until his arrival, [63] went to salute him as he landed, while the citizens of Kebec stood at arms upon the quay. Monsieur Dailleboust came out and put himself at their head; and Monsieur the Governor, after sending his Secretary to present his compliments, landed with his attendants. They all ascended in fine order to the Castle, at the door of which the keys were presented to him. The cannon, saluting on all sides, both in the Fort and [page 225] on the ships, sent their thunder rolling over the waters and through the vast forests of the country. After taking possession of the Fort, he paid a visit to our Lord in the Parish Church and afterward in our Chapel, repairing then to the Hospital, and thence to the Ursulines'. A fine day's events! Let us see the following.

On the next day, which was the 12th of the same month, July, while he was washing his hands before sitting down at table, the cry arose, " To arms! " and a report came that the Iroquois were killing some people, at a spot so near by that the cries of both the attacking party and the attacked were heard from the neighboring houses. Monsieur [64] the Governor left the company and the dinner, instantly raised 220 men,-without counting the Hurons and Algonquins who joined the party,-and gave chase to these skirmishers. The latter, in order to make their escape, dropped two Algonquin children whom they were carrying away, after leaving as dead three poor Algonquin women; one of these had indeed been killed on the spot, the second died of her wounds some time afterward, while the third recovered.

On the 13th, Monsieur the Governor started forth at daybreak with 250 men; but after a six hours' march they found only the Iroquois' trail, who themselves had retreated. Hence, Monsieur the Governor was forced to lead his men back, determined to march out in good order at the first certain information he should receive of the enemy's approach.

On the 28th, Monsieur the Governor honored our Fathers by visiting their College, which in truth is not so largely attended as the one in Paris. So Rome was not as large or [65] as triumphant under [page 227] Romulus as under Julius Caesar. But, after all, small though the school was, the pupils did not fail to receive him in three languages, — which pleased him greatly, as also a large company of French and Savages who were present on this occasion.

On the 1st of the month of August, the Savages went to salute Monsieur the Governor, and presented him with their gifts, as a sign of their joy and of the hope which they entertained of being delivered, by his means, from the ills inflicted upon them by their enemies. Monsieur the Vicomte paid them his compliments, and then gave them a feast, after the custom of the country.

Some time afterward, — receiving information that two Iroquois had come to Three Rivers to make some proposition to Sieur de la Poterie; and believing, with reason, that they were advance-scouts of some army, and were coming to spy out the condition of this place, its defense, and the attitude of its inhabitants, — he started out with 150 Frenchmen and 100 Savages, and went up as far as Three Rivers. But not finding [66] anything in sight, after settling Monsieur de la Poterie as special Governor over that place, he pushed on as far as the Islands of Lake St. Pierre, halted for some time on the old site of Fort Richelieu, and, the wind not permitting him to ascend the river to visit Montreal, returned to Kebec with all his militia.

On the 14th of the same month, a score of Agneronnons who were opposite the Fort of Three Rivers, on the other side of the great River, and who were well aware that Monsieur the (Governor had arrived there went down in the night toward Kebec, and, after prowling stealthily about our settlements to [page 229] capture some poor Huron or some Algonquin, pounced upon two Frenchmen at Cap Rouge. One was the son of a settler named Haiot, and the other was a servant of Monsieur Bourdon. They were robbed and stripped, but received no farther injury, as they adroitly escaped from the enemy's hands.

Toward the end of August, these twenty hunters of men and beasts went up again [67] by stealth to Three Rivers. A Frenchman who saw some oF them stealing like thieves upon their prey, aimed at one of the band, but was balked oF his purpose by a young Iroquois who shot him in the arm. As he was not far froni the village, he made his escape. These Barbarians, not thinking that he was wounded, divided into two bands; ten remained hiding in the dense woods, while the remaining ten were so bold as to go and present themselves before the French, saying that they came upon Onontio's invitation to discuss a permanent and general treaty oF peace.

We have just noted above, under date of the month of June, that the Agneronnon Ambassadors who had restored Father Ondesonk to us had received orders to return to their own country, and to tell their Elders that their prisoners would not be released until they themselves canie to arrange for a general treaty of peace between all the Nations. Now, whether those Ambassadors had met on the way these twenty hunters or warriors, or [68] had actually made their report to the country, whereupon these twenty men had started out to conie and treat with the French, it is certain that the twenty made every effort to capture by stealth all the Hurons, all the Algonquins; and perhaps all the French, whom they could catch. And, as they found their number too [page 231] large to make people believe that they came as Ambassadors, they divided, and only ten presented themselves. But they fell into the pit which they were digging for others, and, wishing to deceive us, were themselves deceived; for he who was in command at Three Rivers adroitly effected their capture, and sent seven of them to Monsieur the Governor at Kebec.

These poor wretches barely escaped being murdered by the Algonquins upon landing, even under guard of the French, who were more than fifty strong, and well armed for conducting them from the river bank to a tower not far distant. Monsieur [69] the Governor not having yet made known his purpose to the Algonquins, they believed that he wished to free these prisoners. Hence they became infuriated against them, remembering the acts of perfidy, treachery, and murder committed upon their poor fellow-countrymen. I believe that they are now well satisfied with Monsieur the Governor's course of action, seeing that he has at heart the interests of the Faith, of Religion, of the Christian Savages, and of all our Allies.

The Captain of this band of Agneronnons-to give further particulars-is called in his own tongue Atogouaekouan, and in the Algonquin, Michtaemikouan, or " the large spoon." If he is the same one who came to Kebec in 1645, to treat for peace with Monsieur the Chevalier de Montmagny, he is a tall, well-formed man, daring, valiant, deceitful, eloquent, and given to raillery. Such were the fine qualities observed in him even at that time. This, then, was the condition of the country on the 6th of September of this year, 1658, when the first vessel weighed anchor to return to France. [page 233]




ROPTER verba labiorum tuorum ego custodivi vias duras. St. Paul could well appropriate this passage to himself; for verily the words of Jesus Christ consigned him to paths that were indeed rough and toilsome. As soon as he began to preach the Gospel, plant the Church, and win salvation for mankind, he found only crosses everywhere, — in Judea, in Greece, in Italy. He met with naught but calumny and persecution, perils and dangers, on land and sea, from Jews and Gentiles — periculis fluminum, periculis latronum, periculis ex genera, periculis ex gentibus, periculis in civitate, periculis in solitudine, periculis in mari, periculis in falsis fratribus. [71] In such wise did the Apostles preach the faith in Asia and in Europe, and so must it be preached in America.

Our Fathers have tried to follow in these footsteps, so far as lay in their slender power; they perish at sea, are killed on land, are burned, eaten, slandered, and persecuted everywhere, — quasi morientes, et emcee vivimus, — like men who are put to death every day, and yet live. When one door is closed to them, they enter by another. They entrust themselves to the river Sagné ascend it despite its swift current, penetrate the gloom of the thickest forests, and go [page 235] everywhere in search of poor forsaken tribes. The enemy slays the sheep and the shepherds. They follow the people called the Poissons blancs into their country, and are put to death. They go up to the land of the Outaouak, and are murdered. They visit the Nipisiriniens, the Hurons, and the Neutral Nation, and are captured on the way and burned. Banished from among the Hurons, [72] the Nipisiriniens, and other neighboring tribes, they effect an entrance into the country of the Iroquois, proclaiming the greatness of God and preaching Jesus Christ. The people conspire against them and against the French. Whither shall they go ? What shall they do ? Nearly everywhere the door is closed to the Gospel. But all is not yet lost; the Tadoussac Mission and those to the Porcupines, the Poissons blancs, and the tribes that associate with them, still remain; as do also the Missions to the Abnaquiois, and to the remnants of the Hurons and Algonquins. And, if it shall please God to cast his eyes upon the recently-discovered Nations whose names have been sent me by a Father who is a great Missionary, the harvest will be richer and the Mission more holy than ever. But let us hear him speak.

"I send you, " says he, " some memoranda which I have obtained, partly from two Frenchmen who have made their way far inland, and partly from several Savages who are eye-witnesses to the things which I am about to describe, and which will be of service in draughting a general Map of those regions. You [73] will see, in the sketch that I send, where I have placed Tadoussac, Three Rivers, the Lake of the Nipisiriniens, and the Great Sault; and, if I have not located them correctly, you will, if you please, rectify [page 237] my scrawl. In it you will also see the new routes for going to the North sea, by way of Tadoussac, by way of Three Rivers, and by way of the Nipisiriniens, with the distances between places estimated according to the number of days taken by the Savages to make the journeys; I reckoned fifteen leagues a day going down stream,-owing to the swiftness of the current,-and seven or eight leagues going up. I have traced these routes, following the Rhumb-line marked by the Savages themselves, always in a direction between Northwest and West, or West by South; very seldom due North.

"You will also see the names of the principal Nations, which I have noted on the Map that I send you, designating each by a single cabin. All these Nations are stationary and very populous, and all speak either pure Algonquin, or pure [74] Montagnais, or pure Abnaquiois. Some confuse these three languages, which much resemble one another, so that these Missions as a whole may be called the Algonquin Missions; for any one who learns the Algonquin language will soon readily understand them all, God has given me a tolerable acquaintance with these three tongues. Let us say a few words about these routes and these Nations. "


THE first route to the North sea, starting from Tadoussac, runs nearly Northward; its course is as follows: One must ascend the Sagné river, which empties into the great river St. Lawrence at Tadoussac, and paddle up to the lake called Piouakouami, distant from Tadoussac about forty [page 239] leagues in a straight line. The Savages take five days to go up by this route, because of the currents and falls which they encounter; but they need only two long days’ journey [75] for the descent, being aided by the swiftness of the current.

"From lake Piouakouami one must proceed to another lake named Outakouami; the distance between the two, according to the Savages’ account, is the same as that between Kebec and Montreal, that is, sixty leagues, which they accomplish in ten days going up and in five coming down.

"The distance from lake Outakouami to the sea is, as I infer from their reports, about sixty leagues. They take five days for this journey, which is slightly descending, by way of a large Bay or inlet which is on the same meridian as this lake, toward the North.

"On the left side of lake Outakouami, as you go toward the West, a river, flowing from the inland region, or rather from the forests with which this country is completely covered, empties into this lake. The Savages say that, on ascending this stream, one comes to the river Metaberoutin, which we call the Three Rivers, about three days’ journey beyond a lake called by them Ouapichiouanon; and thence one proceeds to the Bay of the people named Kilistinons, [76] who are on the North sea.

"The second route to this sea is by way of the Three Rivers, going toward the Northwest. One goes from Three Rivers to the lake called Ouapichiouanon, about a hundred and fifty leagues from where the Three Rivers empty into the St. Lawrence. Coming down, the Savages make this journey in seven days. [page 241]

"From this lake one proceeds in a straight line to the river of the Ouakouingouechiouek. Last Spring the Savages covered this distance in three days, although it is fully forty leagues; but, as the route is slightly descending, progress is the more rapid, whereas, on the upward journey it is considerably retarded.

"From the river of the Oukouingouechiouek to the Bay of the Kilistinons called Nisibourounik, I estimate the distance at about sixty or seventy leagues, and it is accomplished in four days. A Kilistinon Savage, coming to the above-mentioned river of the Oukouingouechiouek to trade or barter goods, passed the Winter with these peoples, [77] and promised them to return in the Spring with many of his countrymen. He asserts that it is only a four days’ journey.

"Third route. The Nipisiriniens, starting from their lake,-which is called Nipisin, and whence they have taken their name of Nipisiriniens,-reach the North sea in fifteen days; that is, their lake is distant therefrom perhaps a hundred and fifty leagues.

"Fourth route. The Achirigouans, who live on a river emptying into the Fresh-water Sea of the Hurons, go in a few days to trade with the Ataouabouskatouk Kilistinons, who are on the sea-shore. We shall see below that there are several clans of Kilistinons.

"Fifth route. The upper Algonquins reach the sea in seven days, going in three days to the lake called Alimibeg, and thence descending in four more days to the Bay of the Kilistinons, which is on the coast.

"There is a new way still, [78] from the country [page 243] of the Hurons to Three Rivers, starting from the lake called Temagami,-that is, 'deep water,'-which I think is the Fresh-water sea of the Hurons, and the source of the great St. Lawrence river. After proceeding some distance on this great river, one goes across country about fifteen leagues, passing some small streams, to the lake called Ouassisanik, whence flows a river which takes one to Three Rivers. By this route, about two years ago, twenty-five Nipisirinien canoes arrived, laden with men, women, children, and furs. They told us that they had everywhere found moose, or beavers, or fish, which had furnished them with food; and assured us it would be easy for our Frenchmen, starting from Three Rivers, to reach the Fresh-water sea of the Hurons in a month. The above routes are more difficult to travel than the highroad from Paris to Orleans. Let us now note the names of the recently-discovered Nations."


ôFATHER Gabriel Dreuillettes, from whom we have obtained the greater part of what is contained in this Chapter, conferred the name of Saint Michel upon the first Village which he mentions. Its inhabitants are called, in Algonquin, Oupouteouatamik. In this Village there are computed to be about seven hundred men; that is to say, three thousand souls, since to one man there are at least three or four other persons, namely, women and children. They have for neighbors the Kiskacoueiak and the Negaouichiriniouek. There are in this Village about a hundred men of the Tobacco [page 245] Nation, who took refuge there to escape the cruelty of the Iroquois.

" The second Nation is composed of the Noukek, Ouinipegouek, and Malouminek. These people are but a very short distance from the Village of Saint Michel, or from the Oupouteouatamik. They reap, [80] without sowing it, a kind of rye which grows wild in their meadows, and is considered superior to Indian corn. About two hundred Algonquins, who used to dwell on the Northern shores of the great Lake or the Fresh-water sea of the Hurons, have taken refuge in this place.

"The third Nation is distant about three days' journey inland, by water, from the Village of St. Michel. It is composed of the Makoutensak and Outitchakouk. The two Frenchmen who have made the journey to those regions say that these people are of a very gentle disposition.

"The fourth Nation has a Village of a thousand men, distant three days'journey from the Village of St. Michel, its total population being four or five thousand souls.

"The fifth Nation, called the Aliniouek, is larger; it is computed at fully 20,000 men and sixty Villages, making about a hundred thousand souls in all. It is seven days'journey Westward from St. Michel.

"The sixth Nation, whose people are called Oumamik, is distant [81] sixty leagues, or thereabout, from St. Michel. It has fully eight thousand men, or more than twenty-four thousand souls.

"The seventh, called the Poulak, or Warriors,' contains thirty Villages, situated West by North from St. Michel.

"The eighth lies to the Northwest, ten days' [page 247] journey from St. Michel, and has fully 40 Villages, inhabited by the Nadouechiouek and Mantouek.

"The ninth, situated beyond the Nadouechiouek, thirty-five leagues or thereabout from lake Alimibeg, is called the Nation of the Assinipoualak, or Warriors of the rock.'

"The tenth Nation is that of the Kilistinons, who comprise four Nations or tribes. Those of the first are called the Alimibegouek Kilistinons; of the second, the Kilistinons of Ataouabouscatouek Bay; of the third, the Kilistinons of the Nipisiriniens, because the Nipisiriniens discovered their country, whither they resort to trade or barter goods. They [82] comprise only about six hundred men, that is, two thousand five hundred souls, and are not very stationary. They are of a very approachable disposition.

"The people of the fourth tribe are called Nisibourounik Kilistinons.

"The fourteenth Nation has thirty Villages, inhabited by the Atsistagherronnons, and is six or seven days' journey Southwest by South from St. Michel. The Onnontagueronnons have recently declared war against them."

The Father speaks also of learning from a Nipisirinien Captain that he had seen at one place two thousand Algonquins tilling the soil; and that the other Villages of the same country were still more populous. This Captain asserted that toward the South and Southeast there were more than thirty Nations, all stationary, all speaking the Abnaquiois tongue, and all more populous than were the Hurons of old, who numbered as many as thirty or thirty-five thousand souls within the limits of seventeen leagues. [page 249]

[83 ] "I do not speak, " says the Father, " of the Nations that have long been known. " Indeed, he says nothing of the Kichesipiiriniouek, the Kinonchepiirinik, the Ounountchatarounongak, the Mataouchkairinik, the Ouaouechkairiniouek, the Amikouek, the Atchougek, the Ouasaouanik, the Ouraouakmikoug, the Oukiskimanitouk, the Maskasinik, the Nikikouek, the Michesaking, the Pagouitik, people of the great Sault, and the Kichkankoueiak. All these Nations, several of whom have been maltreated by the Iroquois, use the Algonquin tongue.

That is a fine battle-field for those who intend to enter the lists and fight for Jesus Christ. I am well aware that these peoples are not as attractive as those who have Empires and Republics, Princes and Kings; or those who are clothed in silk and brocatel; or who are courteous and highly polished. But it seems to me that Jesus Christ has not preached much to the People named above; and that faith, virtue, [8q] and holiness do not dwell as familiarly in Palaces as in houses of thatch and straw-in a word, in cabins.

I know well that the door is now closed to many Nations, that the Iroquois arms harass all the new Churches of the Savages, and that the war is causing so great confusion everywhere that we scarcely know ourselves any longer. But I also well know that, in the first age of the Church, Christianity was occasionally thought to be prostrated, and that, some time afterward, it would rise again, and appear more flourishing than ever. Fructum referent in patientia. One hastens to gather promptly the sheaves and bundles of grain that is already cut; but the Gospel [page 251] harvest is reaped in patientia, in patience and in suffering.

To encourage the children of Israel to enter the land that had been promised to them, they were shown some of the fruits of that land. Read the fore going Relations, and you will find that the Savages are as susceptible [85] to the Divine influence as are other and more civilized nations. The gift of prayer, the love of suffering, and charity toward one's neighbor, are found in some in an eminent degree; ex ungue leonem-from the sample the whole piece is known.

I have quite recently learned from one who came from Canadas in the month of October that, when a Father of our Society asked a Huron woman whether she had not been touched with great sorrow upon learning of the horrible torments to which the Iroquois had subjected her husband, " No, " she replied; " I did not feel any grief. " The Father, in great surprise, asked her the reason. " I recognized, " said she, " that God had granted my husband what he had been, for six months, asking at his hands; for all Winter long he scarcely offered a prayer without adding these words: 'Thou art the master of life. If it be thy will that the Iroquois attack us, suffer me not to be killed with a hatchet-stroke; but have me captured, tied and bound, and dragged off to their country, in order that [86] I may be burned and broiled alive. I shall very willingly suffer all their cruelties, for the sins that I have committed before and after my Baptism. So great is my regret at having offended thee, who art so good, that I shall take pleasure in bearing all those torments.' Such was the prayer of my husband. God has, in order to make him [page 253] happier in Heaven, granted him his desire. Why should I be grieved at that? I was told " (added the woman) " that on the journey, which lasted fully a month, he chanted prayers and cheered his fellow captives by talking to them about Heaven, as if he had already seen its door open for entrance. When he was being burned, he never lost his self-control; his eyes were turned Heavenward most of the time. He manifested such joy, that even the enemy said that faith imparted courage and took away the fear and pain of torture. Many presents were offered for the purpose of saving his life, but the Iroquois would not accept them. " He who suffers with holiness, carries presents to God in his hand.

[87] Christian Savages have been discovered carrying wood in the night to the doors of some poor people who could not get any themselves, seeking to hide their deed of charity under cover of the darkness. Others, after committing some offense and asking God's forgiveness for it,-being unable to confess, since they were out hunting in their great forests,-fastened to the branches of trees bits of porcelain, or something else that was of value to them, as a sign of their regret and of atonement made for their sins,-giving these little presents, for the love of our Lord, to the poor who might pass that way.

One day a Savage, who knelt long and often by night, was asked whether he prayed much to the good God. " No, " said he, " because I do not know what I ought to say to him. Every morning and evening I say the prayers that were taught me; but that is soon done, and the rest of the time I think of him and say to him: ‘If I knew what is fitting to [page 255] say to thee, [88] I wou1d say it. Thou well knowest that I love thee, but I know not how I ought to speak to thee.' Wherever I go, I always have this thought, that I love him, and would like to speak to him; but I do not know what to say to him. " There you have a prayer, very simple and pure, which has little of the head, but much of the heart. The trees that bear this fruit are not entirely dead. [page 257]



ITTLE chickens fear the Kite, little lambs run from the wolf, and little Savages abhor restraint. All this proceeds from one and the same cause, namely, nature. The Savages pass almost their entire lives either in hunting, or in journeys by land or water, and very often take their wives [89] and children with them; hence, being conceived in this passion, which is strengthened by long habit, their children love liberty almost as naturally as little ducks take to the brooks and rivers. The Hospital Nuns and the Ursulines of Kebec admit that the little Savage girls have intelligence, that many of them have good dispositions, and that they are easily won by gentleness; but they have a strong aversion for constraint. We have seen little seminarists, reared in the Convent of the Ursulines, not only pious and devout, but so well taught that they were capable of teaching their companions to read and write. We saw them execute the little domestic duties of the house with skill. Finally, these poor children, finding themselves loved, and even having a taste for piety, asked and urged to be made Nuns; when, however, they were Kept long in confinement, to test their call and habituate them to a settled and cloistered life, they felt, as they grew older, [90] the impulse within them to go and come; and [page 259] they frankly told their teachers that they lacked the sense requisite for constancy, showing the pain and regret that they felt at leaving them. Time will gradually change this disposition, and the divine grace will not fail to win some to the Religious life, as in the case of her of whom the Mother superior of the Hostel-Dieu of Kebec is about to tell us in this Chapter which I now have in hand.

"The subject, " she says, " of the present account is full of joy and sadness alike, since we gain an advocate in the abode of glory, while also losing, this year, a treasure that we were holding as our own. In the death of our dear Sister Geneviefve Agnes de tous les Saints you would say that Our Lord was so pleased with our choice of girls of the country for his service, that he chose to take to himself without delay their first-fruits, robbing us thereof for Heaven. In fact, our little Community gave thereto on the 15th of the month of March, 1657, [91] the first Nun of native birth; and, on the 3rd of November of the same year, the first Savage girl who has ever embraced the Religious life. Those who know the Savages' temperament, will with difficulty be convinced that a young girl of their Nation consented to subject herself to the exercises of the Religious life and maintain its seclusion. But grace, which makes us find sweet and easy those things that are most repugnant to our nature, gained such access to that dear girl's heart, that we all marveled at God's lovable guidance of her steps.

"She was given to us in the month of May, 1650, when she was between eight and nine years old. She was the daughter of one of the principal Huron Captains, and her parents were excellent Christians. [page 261] As soon as she joined us, she applied herself earnestly to learn the French language, in which she succeeded so well that in less than a year she knew it perfectly. Reading and writing she quickly acquired, so that she excelled [92] all her companions, even the French girls. We have often marveled that a Savage girl, nurtured and reared in the woods, could so soon understand what was taught her. Her mind, too, had no savage traits, and her disposition was excellent. She knew not of what color vice was; and, if she chanced to commit some little fault, she did not seek to shield it with any excuse, but charged herself with it immediately. Her great sincerity was a proof of her goodness of heart. When the pupils' Mistress, as sometimes happened, gave them a general reproof, if she thought that she had erred, she at once offered an excuse for the others and took all the blame upon herself, as she could not bear that her companions should be censured. They loved her, therefore, with a singular affection. After she had learned to read and write, she was placed in the kitchen, that she might always be kept in a spirit of submission; and there she bore herself with such fervor and humility as to astonish us all. Never was she heard to complain or [93] murmur. If two or three persons gave her different orders at the same time, she was never vexed, but, as far as she could, performed with much sweetness all that she was bidden. It was a pleasure to see her leave one thing as many as five or six times, to execute other orders newly given her; and this she did with as much cheerfulness as if she had been allowed to follow her own inclination. The ardent desire which she entertained to [page 263] become a Nun made her find nothing difficult, although we tried her by every means, without being able to note any change of mind on her part during the seven years of her sojourn with us. More .than death, she feared going home with her parents. Thus, one day,-rather to try her, than to punish her for any fault committed,-she was summoned to the refectory before all the Community, and, after a rather severe reproof, was given her choice between leaving the Convent (94] and taking the discipline. That poor innocent had no sooner heard the word 'leave, than big tears started from her eyes; and, joining her hands, she begged us not to send her away, declaring that she was ready to receive such punishment as we should choose. At the same time she began to undress, but we took care not to proceed farther. It is a very rare thing among the Savages to upbraid their children, and still more so to beat the-. They do not know what it is to oppose them in anything; whence it can be seen that it required a very remarkable grace in this innocent soul to induce her to submit to what she by nature very greatly feared. Against her parents’ frequent assaults to compel her to leave, she was always as firm as a rock. So many traits of a good disposition were followed by many favors, among which that of being admitted to the Novitiate was not the least considerable in her eyes. This happiness befell her on the day of the Annunciation of the most blessed Virgin, [95] in the year 1657, when she began to discharge the duties of the Religious life with as much exactness as an old professed nun. She excited our admiration by her humility, sincerity, and sweetness, and by the devotion which she showed, [page 265] especially for the most immaculate Mother of God, whom she loved most tenderly. She continued and constantly increased in this virtue, giving us great hopes for the future. But our Lord, who has far different views from those of men, and who is absolute master of all creatures, ordered her destiny otherwise; for in the middle, or rather at the beginning, of that beautiful career, he snatched her from earth to give her to Heaven. He visited her with a malady which is common enough among the Savages, being a kind of weakness, together with a slow fever; and this so exhausted her, that she wasted away before our eyes with an inflammation, accompanied by a severe cough, which affected her whole chest to such an extent that her lungs were gradually destroyed.

[96] " Despite all these infirmities, which would have prostrated many another, she made it fully evident that her virtue was as powerful in encouraging her to be patient, as it had rendered her peaceful and tranquil during her most perfect health; for she did not cease to work as much as, and more than, her strength permitted her, attending all the observances of the Choir and of the Community; and if, after that, she had any time left, she would employ it in paying visits to the Blessed Sacrament, or in learning to sing, wherein she succeeded well, having a very fine voice. She practiced especially singing Lessons from the Tenebræ, doing it with a charming devotion and attention, which served as an example to all of us. Last Lent, although she was even then ill enough, she did not omit to sing one on each of the three days of holy Week. Her ailment increasing little by little, she was forced to yield and retire [page 267] to the Infirmary, at about the time of the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. [97] She there displayed such sweetness, submission, and virtue as passes belief, never relaxing the least in her devotion. The Mother who as Nurse had the care of her, and who had recently arrived from France, often said to me that, without my assurance that the patient was a Savage by Race, she would not have believed it, since she saw not a single trace of it in that dear girl. 'I observe,’ said this Mother 'that she does everything that I have seen the most perfect Nuns of France do in their times of sickness.' Indeed, at the very beginning of her illness she asked for a Crucifix, which she never allowed to leave her, which furnished her most usual theme for discourse, and which she fondled unceasingly. She never omitted her little prayers, least of all her Rosary, although her suffering was acute; and when she was told that this observance made her suffer more, her submissiveness at once put into her mouth these words: 'My Mother, I will do all that you think best; but that is my sole consolation and diversion.'

[98] " The Savage nature demands freedom, and is marked by an imperious desire for what is pleasing, or an avoidance of what is displeasing. Such impulses she had perfectly overcome; so that, if she occasionally allowed herself to be betrayed into some slight impatience, she was seen a moment later to recover her self-control, and ask forgiveness a thousand times, with admirable humility. So great was her innocence that, upon being asked sometimes whether she wished to confess, that angelic soul would reply: 'Alas, my God, what shall I say? Since my last confession I have done nothing.' And [page 269] at the same time she would burst into tears, fearing that this perplexity arose from her blindness. 'Ah, I pray you'(she would say), ‘examine me; for I am too dull to know myself.' This opinion of herself was entirely contrary to that entertained by those who directed her conscience. They declare that she rendered them, with much intelligence,. an exact account of all the emotions of her heart; and they assert that she probably preserved [99] the whiteness of her baptismal innocence. Never, however great her weakness, could she endure to receive communion in bed, but begged to be conducted to the Choir. She did not miss a Communion as long as she could drag herself to the Church. Traits so rare in a Savage girl penetrated, so to speak, to the very heart of God, who wished this ripe fruit for himself. When her Nurse perceived this, and saw, besides, that she had an intense desire to enjoy the happiness of being invested with our holy garb, which she herself asked for without ceasing, this grace was at length granted her on all Saints’ day, and was accompanied with all the ceremonies that her illness would allow. If you have ever seen joy and satisfaction depicted in a face, it was expressed in that of this angel incarnate; for, though she was enfeebled to the last degree, she helped in dressing herself as if she had been well. She answered all the necessary questions with an unequaled presence of mind. As soon as she had assumed the dress, she was given the holy Viaticum, [100] which she received with charming devotion.

"From that happy day when she saw herself a Hospital Nun, and daughter of our glorious Father St. Augustine, it is impossible to describe the rejoicing [page 271] of her heart and the thanks that she gave us all. If she reveled in the joy of this favor, our little Community felt no less delight at having given its holy garb to the first Savage girl of these regions who ever had the happiness to enter a Religious order. But we did not long possess her on earth; for God, choosing to pluck this first-fruit, which was already ripe, suffered her ailment to bring her to the point of death. Her Nurse, who never left her night or day, notified me of this, and I immediately caused the last Sacrament to be administered, which she received with a mind fixed solely on God. According to custom, she asked forgiveness of all the Community present, with the sentiments of a true daughter of mercy; and offered, without ceasing, many [101] excellent acts of the highest virtue, to which she was from time to time prompted. She made every one retire except the Superior, who asked her whether she would like to take the vows of the holy profession. Our dear patient answered her discreetly that it would be a great favor to her, but that she did not deserve it and dared not ask it; yet, if it were granted her, her joy would be complete. The Superior, judging that she had still some time to live, did not hasten, but allowed that day to pass. On the following, however, which was Saturday, seeing that she was nearing her end, she said to her: 'My dear Sister, do you wish to take the vows ?' Then our dying innocent, as if awaking, exclaimed with eagerness, 'Ah, what a passionate desire I have for that privilege!' Thus the Mother was obliged to let her take the vows; and in the same instant she fell into the death-agony. Our Community was summoned, and with admiration [page 273] saw her engage in many loving colloquies with Our Lord; she actually prayed for Madame the [102] Duchess d'Eguillon, our dear and illustrious Foundress, and for the conversion of the people of her own Nation. Finally, this angelic soul left the earth in this holy Exercise, giving back her spirit to him who had created it only for himself. She had a very fine form and an exceedingly pleasing countenance, an excellent disposition, and an intelligence above the average, not only of the Savages, but also of the French. Our consolation is to possess, in its resting-place among those of our other Nuns deceased in New France, the body of this little Dove, of which we glory in being the depositaries, as of a rich treasure. With an unparalleled joy all the Savages came, as if vying with one another, to see her buried in her holy garb, and were delighted at the sight; for her appearance was one of charming beauty. So true is it that the death of the righteous is precious in every way. " That truly was a death very holy and precious before God. But let us change the subject. The following Chapter, intervening, [103] will show us, with a liveliness and simplicity highly natural, that the Savages are almost our Antipodes in their customs. [page 275]



KNOW not whether I am mistaken, but I would be willing to say that the organs of our senses resemble, in some respects, primary matter, which, having neither beauty nor deformity in itself, yet composes the most beautiful or the most ugly things, according to the forms given it by the Agents. The temperament of our senses,-whencesoever it comes, whether from our birth or from our habits,-gives to them inclination or aversion, love or hate, for the objects presented to them. From this source, as I believe, arises the great difference [104] that exists between the senses of the Savages and those of the French, or of the Europeans; for you would say, in many instances, that what is sugar to the one people is wormwood to the other. Let us begin with the sense of smell.

There are found, in these regions of America, animals to which the French have given the name of musk-Rats, because in truth they resemble the rats of France,-except that they are much larger,-and smell of musk in the Spring. The French are very fond of this odor; the Savages dislike it as if it were a stench. They anoint themselves, and smear their heads and faces with oils and grease that smell to us like carrion. It is their musk, their orangeade, [page 277] and their benzoin. The rose, the pink, the clove, the nutmeg, and similar odors, which are agreeable to us, are insipid to them; and tobacco, which causes nausea to those unaccustomed to smell it, constitutes one of their chief delights.

Concerning the sense of hearing, although the Savages [105] take much pleasure in singing, a concert of music sounds to them like a confusion of voices, and a roulade like a bird's twittering. I admit that the warbling of birds is not disagreeable to them; but their own songs, which are so heavy and dismal as to give us ideas of night, seem to them as beautiful as the blush of dawn. They sing amid dangers; in torments, and at the approach of death; while the French usually preserve a deep silence on all such occasions. Salt, which seasons all viands eaten in Europe, renders them bitter to the Savage taste. Their smoked meat, which to us is almost soot, is very savory to them. Intercommunication causes the palates of some Frenchmen to adapt themselves to smoked flesh, and those of some Savages to salted food. It is true that, up to the present moment, I have never seen a Savage that did not abhor Dutch cheese, radishes, spices, mustard, and similar condiments. I remember in this connection, the following incident. A Savage [106] chanced to be at table with some French people when mustard was served, and his curiosity to taste of every dish, without knowing its nature, made him dip his spoon into this condiment. Taking a tolerably good dose, he thrust it into his mouth before any one had told him how it was usually eaten. God knows whether he furnished merriment for all the company. It is a Savage's glory to be a hearty eater, as it is that of many [page 279] a European to be a lusty drinker; and this good fellow, wishing to show the strength of his courage, strove to keep his countenance. His tears, however, betrayed him, although he set his teeth and compressed his lips to the utmost; until at last the little maintenance of appearances and facial control that he possessed escaped him, and he was left highly astonished at the strength of that " yellow porridge, " as he called it. Finally, he was instructed how mustard was to be eaten; but he never put the lesson into practice, being content with that first experience for the rest of his days. Sauces, condiments, dressings, [107] which are the delight of epicures, would here make a little hell for the Savage's gullet.

Although they have a tenderer and more delicate skin than the French,-if one accept the evidence of the lancet and the hand of the Surgeon, who ascribes this delicacy to the oil and grease with which they anoint and rub themselves,-yet those good people have none of our Europeans’ softness and delicacy. They find sleep sweeter upon the earth for a bed, with a pillow of wood, than do many upon down. It is a fact that habit causes the sense of touch to rebel against too great softness, finding its pleasure and satisfaction in things harder and rougher. I have known Fathers who could not take their sleep on a bed, because they had become accustomed to sleep like the Savages. If they were given, on returning from their Missions, a pallet or mattress, they were obliged, until they had regained their former habits, to pass a portion of the night upon the [108] paved floor of the room, in order to sleep for a little while more at their ease. In short, [page 281] the Savages go almost half naked during the Winter, while the French dress as warnily as they can.

Concerning the sense of sight, it is quite certain that, in general, it is more perfect among the Savages than among the French, as is proved by experience nearly every day. If any object is to be descried, the French do not trust their own eyes so much as those of the Savages. The latter all have black eyes, and smaller than other people's. I would readily believe that the superiority enjoyed by them over us, in this particular, is due to their not drinking wine or eating salt, spices, or other things capable of drying up the humor,s of the eye and inipairing its tone. However it may be regarding the excellence of their eyesight, it niust be admitted that it often finds beauty where ours sees only ugliness. Those who say that the beauty of a face consists in the sgnimetry of its [109] parts and in the whiteness and vermilion covering it, must retract one-half of their definition if they would not offend the Africans, the Americans, and many Asiatics. But let us take up the details of this subject.

In France, to make a face more beautiful, it is cleansed of oil and washed as carefully as possible. The Savages, on the contrary, anoint and grease it as much as they can, thinkirig it more pleasing the more shiny it is with their grease or oil. To make oneself hideous in Europe, one daubs himself with black, yellow, and blue; and that is the very thing that makes a Savage handsome and of very pleasing appearance. When one of them wishes to pay a visit or attend some feast or dance, he has his face painted in various colors by some woman or girl; for that is one of their arts, as it was of old among the Jews. [page 283] After he has been well bedaubed, he is looked upon as a handsome man, whereas in Europe he would be taken for a demon.

[110] In France, large eyes, and lips rather compressed than open, are beautiful. In Africa a small eyes, the blackest complexion, and hanging, recurved lips make a beautiful face. In Canadas, black eyes and a large face, after the style of the ancient Caesars, bear off the prize for beauty and grace. In Europe, the whitest teeth are the most beautiful. The Moors and Savages surpass us in this attraction, having teeth whiter than ivory. In some parts of Oriental India, those who eat the Betel-nut have red teeth; and this color constitutes a part of their glory.

In France, hair that is a little blond, well washed with soap and cleansed of oil, carefully arranged and curled, is the most beautiful. Negroes like it short,. black, and very crisp. The Savages wish it long, stiff, black, and all lustrous with grease. A curly head is as ugly to them as it is beautiful in France. there is nothing so grotesque as a Savage's headdress. Instead of [111] Cyprus powder, they sprinkle their well-greased hair with down, or the tiny feathers of birds, and with this fine adornment think themselves as comely as those who wear ribbons. Indeed, this down is as delicate as the web of the silkworm.

The hair is not dressed according to fashion in that country. Their fancy is their fashion. Some wear it erect on the head, pointing upward. There is a whole Nation called the cheveux relevez, because they like this mode of head-dress. Others shave the middle of the head, wearing hair only on the two sides, like [page 285] great mustaches. Some lay bare all one side, leaving the other wholly covered. Mustaches are worn in France on the sides of the face; but Savage women wear them at the back of the head, gathering up their hair into a little ball which rests on their shoulders. Judge now who has lost or who gained. Each thinks his own fashion the most beautiful. Ours often changes in France.

[112] The beard is held to add grace and adornment to man, but this opinion is not everywhere received. In that new world, a beard is theé greatest disfigurement that a face can have. The peoples of those countries call the Europeans " bearded, " ' as a gross insult. Some time ago a Savage, looking into a Frenchman's face with most extraordinary attention and in profound silence, suddenly exclaimed, after considering him a long time, " Oh, the bearded man! Oh, how ugly he is! " They have such dread of this disfigurement that, if some hair is inclined to grow on their chins, they pluck it out immediately, to rid themselves of what is beautiful to us, but ugly to them.

Ladies in Europe take pleasure in having their hair well dressed, and it is indecorous for them to appear bare-headed, and with hair flying in disorder. This is one of the charms of Canadian women; they commonly go bare-headed, and consider themselves very pretty when their hair has a bright gloss and [113] is very stiff with grease. They wear it loose on each side, but gather it up behind into a little mass which they adorn with small beads of their porcelain.

In France the head-dress distinguishes men from women. When the Savages cover their heads, any [page 287] head-dress is good in their eyes; a man would use a hood as readily as a woman, if he found that head-gear warm and a good fit for him. It is true that those who mingle with us most often are beginning to make a distinction in their head-dresses, the men choosing our hats or riding-caps, and the women our red woolen nightcaps; the longer they are and the more striking in color, the more beautiful they appear to them. But they are not so particular that a woman: will not use a riding-cap, and a man a nightcap, in. the very middle of the day. In Europe, if a boy should dress up like a girl, he would be a masquerader. In new France, a woman's dress is not improper for a man. The Ursuline Mothers [114] having given a dress to a young girl who was leaving their seminary, the man who married her wore it soon afterward, with as much grace as did his wife; and, if the French made fun of him, he only laughed, taking their raillery for approval.

In France, not long ago, the lobe of the ear was pierced for hanging thereto a little trinket, and the smaller the hole the more dainty its appearance. In Canadas, both men and women have their ears pierced, the operation being performed upon children in the cradle. The larger the holes, the better; and they easily insert therein a stick of Spanish wax. Not only the lobe of the ear is pierced, but also the cartilage or rim, which the women are wont to hang with bits of shell, called porcelain.

In other parts of America, some Nations pierce the nose between the two nostrils, suspending therefrom some trinket or other; others set precious stones in [115] their cheeks, and still others on their thick and recurved lips-all this to please their eyes and attain [page 289] the goal of beauty. Verily, man's eyes and judgment are weak. How can there be such pride and self-esteem in our minds, when they are so whimsical and limited ?

In France, bracelets are worn on the wrist; but the Savages wear them not only there, but also above the elbow and even on the legs above the ankle. Why do not those parts deserve their vanities and trinkets as much as the others, since the natives commonly leave them uncovered? Diogenes, seeing a crown presented to one who had gained the prize in the race, took it and placed it on his feet, not on his head, wishing to honor the part of the body that had given him the victory.

Only women in France wear necklaces, but in Canadas this adornment is more common among men [116] than among women. Instead of pearls and diamonds, they wear porcelain beads strung in various ways, like those of rosaries, and little cylinders or tubes of glass or shell-work. I have seen a Huron wear at his neck a boat-pulley, and another some keys that he had stolen. Anything unusual pleases them, provided it costs them nothing more than a theft.

We cut our nails; the Savages let theirs grow. If you accuse them of uncouthness, you will be condemned by whole peoples of Oriental India, who foster the utmost possible growth of their nails as a mark of their nobility — wishing to indicate thereby that their fingers, encumbered by these natural superfluities, are not fitted for work.

In France, men and women have their clothes made rather tight-fitting, in order to impart a lighter appearance, the girls especially priding themselves [page 291] on their slenderness. In Canadas, every one dresses so as to look large, both men and women wearing robes which they gird [117] in two places, below the navel and above the stomach, tucking up their ample robes and letting the fold hang down. Thus, they have a great sack, as it were, around the body, in which they stow away a thousand things. Here mothers put their children, to fondle them and keep them warm.

The longer a Lady's dress, the more graceful it is; but Savage women would make fun of a dress that came down much below the knees. Their work compels them to follow this fashion.

In Europe, the seam of stockings is behind the leg; and, if the stockings have back-stitches or any other ornamentation, they are on this seam and on the clocks. Among the Savages it is otherwise; the seam of stockings worn by men is between the legs, and here they fasten little ornaments made of porcupine quills, stained scarlet, and in the form of fringe or of spangles-which meet when they walk, and make [118] a pretty effect, not easily described. The women wear this ornamentation on the outer side of the leg.

In France, pattens and raised shoes are considered the most beautiful; but among those peoples the ugliest, because the most uncomfortable. The Savages’ shoes are as flat as tennis-shoes, but much wider, especially in winter, when they stuff and line them amply to keep away the cold.

Shirts are in Europe worn next to the skin, under the other garments. The Savages wear them usually over their dress, to shield it from snow and rain, which are very readily shed by linen when it is [page 293] greasy, as their shirts are; for they do not know what it is to wash them.

The end of a shirt protruding from under the coat is an indecorous thing; but not so in Canadas. You will see Savages dressed in French attire, with worsted stockings and a cloak, but without any breeches; while before and [119] behind are seen two large shirt-flaps hanging down below the cloak. This offends the French, and makes them laugh, but would not cause a Savage to lose his gravity in the slightest degree. That fashion seems all the more tasteful in their eyes because they regard our breeches as an encumbrance, although they sometimes wear these as a bit of finery, or in fun.

The good old Gauls in times past hung their wallets in front; the French now put their purses in their pockets. The Savages wear their pocket, wallet, and purse behind the back, in the form of a pouch, which they hang about the neck by means of a leather thong, and in which they put their tobacco and the other little necessaries that they use most frequently. This pocket, or pouch, is generally seamless, and is made by the Huron women as artistically as a piece of needlework; the Algonquins often make it of a whole skin,-either an otter's, a fox's, a young bear's, a beaver's, or some [120] other animal's,-so neatly stripped off that you would call it perfectly whole; for they remove neither the teeth, ears, claws, nor tail, but make an opening under the neck, through which they draw out the animal's 'body entire, and through which the Savages insert the hand into this pocket when it is well dried and cured. [page 295]

Politeness and propriety have taught us to carry handkerchiefs. In this matter the Savages charge us with filthiness-because, they say, we place what is unclean in a fine white piece of linen, and put it away in our pockets as something very precious, while they throw it upon the ground, Hence it happened that, when a Savage one day saw a Frenchman fold up his handkerchief after wiping his nose, he said to him laughingly, " If thou likest that filth, give me thy handkerchief and I will soon fill it. " I do not profess to observe much order in this medley; it comes from my pen as the items occur to my mind.

The Romans and some Asiatics [121] used to recline on little couches to take their meals, while their tables were crescent-shaped. Most Europeans now sit on raised seats, using round or square tables. The Savages eat from the ground, as do the Turks, and also many peoples of Asia. The world is full of variety and change, and one will never find unalterable permanence. If one were mounted on a tower high enough to survey at his ease all the Nations of the earth, he would find it very hard, amid such strange varieties and such a medley, to say who are wrong and who are right, who are fools and who are wise. Verily, God alone is constant; he alone is unchangeable; he alone varies not, and to him we must hold fast, to avoid change and inconstancy.

In France, food and drink are taken together. The Algonquins follow quite the contrary custom in their feasts, first eating what is served them, and then drinking, without touching food again, [page 297]

[122] In France, the one who invites his friends sits at the table, and serves them from the viands that he has had prepared. In that country, the host does not eat, and he sometimes causes another to pass to the guests the dishes of his feast.

In Europe, these dishes are placed on the table, to enable all the guests to help themselves freely from whatever they choose; but there, each one is given his dish and his portion. Joseph seems to have observed the same practice in entertaining his brothers in Egypt; and Samuel, when he invited Saul, apparently followed the custom now prevailing in those countries.

The French commonly talk much at table; the Savages very little, or not at all.

It is a common proverb that the fish is often eaten for the sauce. This proverb is not accepted in that new world; for a Savage could not eat fish swimming in our sauces. The French do not commonly like eggs unless they are soft, but the Savages declare that soft eggs are still quite [123] raw; therefore they have them boiled hard for eating.

The French have a loathing for eggs partly hatched, while the Savages eat with great relish the little bird still in the egg. Indeed, it is a great delicacy. I have partaken of a little bustard from a well-boiled egg; the flesh, when cleaned of the impure matter surrounding it, is very fine and of excellent flavor. As for eggs that are addled and incapable of hatching, they are regarded as putrid by every one, I think; yet I would not venture to assert it,-so different are the noses and palates of different people. [page 299]

Fat, taken alone, is nauseating to the French; but the Savages drink it warm and eat it cold. The scum of the Pot is in France thrown away as the refuse of the meat, while the Savages gulp it down as an excellent broth, especially in their time of scarcity.

We wash meat to cleanse it of blood and impurities; the Savages do not wash it, for fear of losing its blood and a part of its fat. [124,] We usually begin the dinner with soup, which is the last dish among the Savages, the broth of the pot serving them for drink. Bread is eaten here with the meat and other courses; if you give some to a Savage, he will make a separate course of it and very often eat it last. Yet they are gradually adapting themselves to our way.

In most parts of Europe, when any one makes a call he is invited to drink; among the Savages he is invited to eat.

In France, the butchers sell and deliver their meat with the bones, and it is served thus on the table. Among our Algonquins, the market-men and market-women-who are almost as numerous as the whole number of men and women-dress an animal so skillfully that most of the meat is left free from bones. They always boil the whole together, however; but the meat only is brought in at a feast, the bones being given to the host's domestics to pick. When they have been well sucked and [125] gnawed, they are not thrown to the dogs, as in France; that would be very unwise, because, they say, the animals would become much harder to catch, being informed by their brothers and kindred that their [page 301] bones are given to the dogs. Therefore, they throw into the fire, or into the river, or else bury the bones of beavers, from fear lest the dogs may find them. In respect to animals that are devoid of intelligence, that is, such as let themselves be readily caught, their bones are held in contempt, and are thrown to the dogs. Those who are now instructed make fun of such superstitions and fancies.

When the Savages are not hunting or on a journey, their usual posture is to recline or sit on the ground. They cannot remain standing, maintaining that their legs become swollen immediately. Seats higher than the ground they dislike;-the French, on the contrary, use chairs, benches, or stools, leaving the ground and litter to animals.

A good dancer in France does not move [126] his arms much, and holds his body erect, moving his feet so nimbly that, you would say, he spurns the ground and wishes to stay in the air. The Savages, on the contrary, bend over in their dances, thrusting out their arms and moving them violently as if they were kneading bread; while they strike the ground with their feet so vigorously that one would say they are determined to make it tremble, or to bury themselves in it up to the neck.

People, on coming from town and taking off their shoes, put them down somewhere out of the way; the Savages hang them in the highest place in their cabins, to let them dry.

In France, children are carried on the arm, or clasped to the breast; in Canadas, the mothers bear them behind their backs-. In France, they are kept [page 303] as well covered as possible; there they are most often as bare as your hand. The cradle, in France,-is left at home; there the women carry it with their children; it is composed merely of a cedar board, on which the poor little one is bound like-a bundle.

[127] In France, a Workman does not expect his pay until he completes his task; the Savages ask for it in advance.

In France, we are not very well pleased to see snow or hail fall; but it makes a Savage leap for joy.

Those who sail in European ships go below when it rains; the Savages, on the other hand, to escape the storm, land and invert their little vessel over themselves and their baggage.

When a Savage takes a tool to rough-hew some wood, or a knife to cut anything, he holds the handle and the blade in just the opposite way to that of a Frenchman; the one handles it pointing inward, the other pointing outward.

Europeans have no hesitation about telling their names and conditions, but you embarrass a Savage by asking him his name; if you do ask him, he will say that he does not know, and will make a sign to some one else to tell it.

[128] In France, when a father gives his daughter in marriage, he allows her a dowry. There, it is given to the girl's father.

In Europe, the children inherit from their parents among the Hurons the nephews, sons of the father's sister are their uncle's heirs; and the Savage's small belongings will be given to the friends of the [page 305] deceased, rather than to his children. This custom, which is not a bad one, being readily explained, is still observed in some parts of Oriental India,

In France, the man usually takes to his house the woman whom he marries; there, the man goes to the woman's house to dwell.

In France, if any one fall into a fit of anger, or harbor some evil purpose, or meditate some harm, he is reviled, threatened, and punished; there, they give him presents, to soothe his ill-humor, cure his mental ailment, and put good thoughts into his head again. This custom, in the sincerity of their actions, is not a bad one; for if he who is angry, or is devising some ill [129] to resent an offense, touch this present, his anger and his evil purpose are immediately effaced from his mind,

In a large part of Europe, ceremonies and compliments are indulged in to such an excess as to drive out sincerity. There, quite on the contrary, sincerity is entirely naked; if its fruit were shaded with a few leaves, the tree would be more beautiful, But after all, it is better to live with frankness and enjoy truth, than to feast on wind and smoke, under offers of service that are full of falsehood,

Namque magis natura pracet, fucum odimus omnes.

In Europe, we unclothe the dead as much as we can, leaving them only what is necessary to veil them and hide them from our eyes, The Savages, however, give them all that they can, anointing and attiring them as if for their wedding, and burying them with all their favorite belongings.

The French are stretched lengthwise in their graves, while the Savages, [130] in burying their [page 307] dead, make them take in the grave the position which they held in their mothers'wombs. In some parts of France, the dead are placed with their heads turned toward the East; the Savages make them face the West. I have seen new Christians, in burying a dead person, prepare the grave so that the face might look toward the Church Altar-and that from a spirit of devotion. [page 309]



OU will have noted above, in the second Chapter, how our Fathers and our Frenchmen withdrew from their settlement built on the shore of lake Gannantaa, near Onnontagué. This was done in the night, noiselessly, and so skillfully that the Iroquois, whose cabins were at the doors of our house, were utterly unconscious of the conveyance of canoes and [131] boats, of the carrying and shipment of baggage, and of the embarkation of fifty-three persons. They were robbed of this consciousness by sleep, in which they were deeply sunk after their lusty singing and vigorous dancing. But at length, night giving place to day, darkness to light, and sleep to awakening, these Barbarians issued from their cabins, walked about our house, which was securely locked, and wondered at the Frenchmen's utter silence. They saw no one come forth to go to work, they heard no voice. At first they thought that all were at prayers or in council; but, as the day advanced and the prayers did not reach an end, they knocked at the door, and the dogs, purposely left behind by our Frenchmen, gave answering yelps. The crowing of the cock which they had heard in the morning, together with the noise of these dogs, made them think that the masters of these animals wereé not far away, and they recovered their lost [page 311] patience; but at length, the Sun beginning to decline and [132] no one answering either the voices of the men or the cries of the animals, they climbed into the house to see in what state our people were amid this fearful silence. Here their wonder was changed to alarm and perturbation. They opened the door; the chiefs entered, and went all over the house, ascending to the loft and going down into the cellar; but not a Frenchman appeared, alive or dead. They looked at one another, were seized with fear, and believed that they had to do with demons. Not a boat had they seen, and even if they had, they-did not imagine our Frenchmen so rash as to consign themselves to currents and breakers, to rocks and frightful dangers, amid which they themselves, though very dexterous in shooting these rapids and cascades, often lose their lives. They persuaded themselves that their visitors had either walked off on the waters, or flown away through the air, or, as seemed to them more likely, had hidden in the woods. They made search for them, but without success, and then decided, [133] almost as a certainty, that they had made themselves invisible, and that they would come and pounce upon their Villages just as suddenly as they had disappeared. This retreat, miraculous in their estimation, showed them that our Frenchmen were aware of their treachery; and the sense of their guilt and of their murderous intentions threw them into the utmost terror. They were everywhere on their guard, and remained in arms day and night, every moment imagining that the vengeance of the justly-angered French would burst over their heads.

At length, seeing no such manifestation, and [page 313] observing that everything moved along as usual in their country, they sent some of their forces to the French territory,-a part of them as warriors, and the others as Ambassadors,-to gain tidings of their guests, and endeavor to recover from us their countrymen who had been put in irons.

I learn that those who came in war were roughly used, and that the counterfeit Ambassadors were held in custody. We shall ascertain another year the details [134] of all those events and all those intrigues. I merely relate in passing, and in a general way, what I have learned from those who have returned from that new world by the latest vessels.

They add that a rumor is current in that country; that all the Europeans occupying the long coast line from Acadia to Virginia, incensed against the Iroquois, the common foe of all the Nations, wish to form an alliance for their destruction. .Non vult Deus mortem peccatoris, .sed magis ut convertatur et vivat. I do not desire this people's ruin, but I do desire its conversion.

I am also informed that there are many Agneronnon, Onnontagueronnon, and Oneiotchronnon prisoners at Kebec, three Rivers, and Montreal; and that their countrymen come from every direction to beg Monsieur the Vicomte d’Argençon, Governor of the country, to set them free. I am further told that, as he is a man of discretion and prudence, he refuses to let them go until those Barbarians bring the children [135] of the chief men of the country, to be kept securely confined in the Seminaries and reared in the Christian faith, and to serve the French as hostages against the incursions and undertakings of [page 315] the Barbarians, who know no law but that of self interest.

I will add one more piece of good news, and it is authentic. The Algonquins of the upper countries, of whom we spoke above, have sent to the French some canoes laden with furs, promising to come next year, to the number of five hundred men, equipped for war and for traffic. They wish for some Fathers of our Society, to go and carry the faith to their country and to those great Nations that we have mentioned. If the Evil One closes one door, God opens another. Word has come by letter that already some valiant laborers are making ready to bear the Standard of Jesus Christ into those vast regions; fiat, fiat. Finally I will say, in closing this Relation, that, despite the wars, [136] the storms, and the afflictions of the country, there have been baptized in different places this year about nine hundred Savages.


[page 317]



A bibliographical account of the Relation of 1656-57 will be found in Vol. XLIII.; of the Journal des Jésuites, in Vol. XXVII.


In reprinting the Relation of 1657-58 (Paris, 1659), we follow a copy of the original Cramoisy edition in the Lenox Library. It was edited in France, but the name of the editor is not given. The "Permifsion" was "Donné a Paris au mois de Decembre 1658," and is signed by the Provincial, Jacques Renault. The "Priuilege" was "Donné à Lion au mois de Decembre 1658." The volume forms no. 112 of Harrisse's Notes.

A letter from Paul Ragueneau to the Provincial occupies pp. 6-19, and is dated "De Quebec ce 21. d'Aouft 1658." A second letter from Ragueneau to the "Pere Procureur des Mifsions de la Compagnie ale Iefus en la Nouuelle France," without date, is printed on pp. 22-29. A "Iournal de ce qui s’eft pafsé entre les François & les Sauuages" begins on p. 29, and is signed on p. 58 by Simon le Moine. It is dated "De la Nouuelle Hollande le 25. Mars 1658."

Collation. Title, with verso blank, 1 leaf;" Avant-propos," pp. (3); "Table des Chapitres" and "Permifsion," pp. (2); "Priuilege," p. (1); text, pp. [page 319] 1-136. Signatures: ã in four, A-H in eights, I infour. No mispaging.

Copies are to be found in the following libraries: Lenox, New York State, Harvard, Brown (private), Ayer (private), St. Mary's College (Montreal), Laval University (Quebec), British Museum, and Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris). This volume is uncommon, and does not often appear for sale in the book-market. The Barlow copy, no. 1308, was sold in 1890 to Harvard for $70.

[page 320]



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