The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents


Travels and Explorations

of the Jesuit Missionaries

in New France







Reuben Gold Thwaites

Secretary of the State historical Society of Wisconsin


Tomasz Mentrak


Vol. LIV

Iroquois, Ottawas, Lower Canada


CLEVELAND:            The Burrows Brothers





Vol. LIV

[Page iii]

The edition consists of sev-

en hundred and fifty sets

all numbered.


The Burrows Brothers Co.

[Page iv]



Reuben Gold Thwaites




|  Finlow Alexander


|  Percy Favor Bicknell


|  William Frederic Giese


|  Crawford Lindsay


|  William Price


|  Hiram Allen Sober



Assistant Editor

Emma Helen Blair



Bibliographical Adviser

Victor Hugo Paltsits



Electronic Transcription

Tomasz Mentrak


[Page v]

Copyright, 1899


The Burrows Company


all rights reserved

The Imperial Press, Cleveland

[Page ]





Preface To Volume LII






Relation de ce qvi s’est passé en la Novvelle France, les années 1669. & 1670. [Second and final installment.] Pierre Millet, Onnontagué, June 15, 1670; Estienne de Carheil, [Goiogouen], June, 1670; Jacques Fremin, [Tsonnontouan], n.d.; Claude Dablon, [Ste. Marie du Sault], n.d.; Jacques Marquette, [Ste. Marie du Sault], n.d.; Claude Allouez, [Ste. Marie du Sault, June, 1670]



Relation de ce qui s’est passé en la Nouvelle France, les années 1670. & 1671. [Chaps. i.-iv. of Part I., being the first installment of the document.] Claude d’Ablon, [Quebec], n.d.; Joseph Marie Chaumonot, [N. D. de Foye], n.d.











Bibliographical Data; Volume LIV.






[Page vii]







Photographic facsimile of title-page, Relation of 1670-71.












[Page viii]


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

CXXVI. Little more than half of the Relation of 1669-70 appeared in Vol. LIII.; the remainder of the document is herewith, presented. Milet’s account of the Onondaga mission is continued, he describes the return to that village of a war-party with several captives, and the tortures inflicted upon the latter. The missionary comforts and instructs them as best he can, and succeeds in baptizing them. He is much tried by the conduct of some elders of the tribe, who not only fail to restrain the dissolute behavior of the Young men, but themselves take part in superstitious rites. For ‘these things he boldly reproves them, but ‘does not obtain much satisfaction; Garakontié is almost the only one who is thoroughly devoted to the faith. The Onondaga church is mainly com-posed of Hurons and other captives. Notwithstanding the corruption and idolatry around them, they still retain their piety, innocence, and love for prayer. Milet has baptized forty persons, most of them infants or dying persons. At his instance, the elders resolve to send deputies to Montreal; to confirm and ratify the peace between the Iroquois and Algonkins. Garakontié is highly praised for his piety, friendship to the French, and ability as the head of his [Page 9] tribe. Milet laments the prevalence and evil results of intemperance among the savages. In their sober moments, they show an interest in the faith; and they bring the children to the missionary for baptism. He concludes by expressing the opinion that “this Mission is the least difficult of all those among the Iroquois. ”

An account of the Cayuga mission is furnished by Carheil. He has secured several conversions, and relates the circumstances attending some of these. The fear of baptism as causing death, and the superstitious dependence upon dreams, greatly hinder his labors. He relates the arguments with which he tries to convince the savages of their folly in obeying these dreams. He concludes, as his brethren among the other tribes have done, that the Iroquois tribes cannot be converted until their insolence is humbled by some hostile army. The Cayugas are at war with the Andastes, whose ambassador they put to death.

A letter from Frémin reviews the year’s work among the Senecas. He is aided by Julien Garnier, for whom he was obliged to send, so large is that field. Here are many of their old-time Huron Christians, who are delighted to meet the missionaries and receive their ministrations. They have lived, during a score of years, with but not of the Iroquois; and, amid vice and superstition, have kept the faith and lived in innocence. The unusual piety and zeal of two men among these Hurons are described at length. Fremin relates an amusing instance of the mistakes made by savages who are only partially instructed. A Seneca woman, who had many slaves, dies immediately after baptism. Her mother pities [Page 10] her for being obliged, as she is “ at present the only one of our family in Paradise,” ” to do her own cooking, and go for wood and water. Is she not to be greatly pitied at not having any one who can serve her in that place? ” She wishes the missionary to send one of her slaves to Heaven, that she may go to help the daughter in her housekeeping. This mother is afterward converted, and is the means of bringing many persons to God. Frémin finds the Senecas even more superstitious than other tribes regarding the importance of dreams, which they obey with the utmost exactness and promptitude. This places the missionaries in constant danger of death at the hands of some savage who may have dreamed of killing them. This excessive credulity and superstition is a great source of profit to the medicine-men, who pretend to explain the dreams of their ignorant dupes. Frémin recounts the pious deaths of some captives and other converts whom he has baptized. He ends his letter with a short journal of the current events in his year’s work. In August, 1669, he goes to the missionary conference at Onondaga, stopping on the way at Cayuga, where he finds Carheil’s work in prosperous condition. While at Onondaga, news comes from Montreal that the French have there slain several Iroquois; this act arouses great anger among their tribes, and the missionaries fear its results. In September all the Seneca warriors and hunters depart, the former against the Shawnees. AS the hunters take with them their families, few besides the old men are left in the villages, which deprives the missionaries of most of their flock. Frémin’s chapel is finished in November, and he at once begins services therein. Garnier is in charge of one [Page 11] village only, that he may have leisure to study the language.

The, remainder, of this year’s Relation is occupied by the report of the Ottawa mission, made by Dablon to his Quebec superior. He mentions its three centers of work at Sault Ste. Marie, Chequamegon, and Green Bay; and gives a separate account of each; of its topography, resources, and inhabitants; and of the state of each mission.

Sault Ste. Marie is a resort for nineteen different tribes, most of whom come hither to fish during the summer. Some of these come from the region of Hudson Bay; and intercourse with them has led the missionaries to plan a journey to that distant land, — partly to open the way for missionary work among those peoples, partly to discover a land route to the great and still mysterious “North Sea,” and perhaps also the Japan Sea. They, have, moreover, heard of the Mississippi River, and of the Illinois tribes who live near it; they are also planning to’ visit these savages.

At the Sault, the Fathers are, cultivating the soil and some of the Indians have even begun to imitate their example. In their Chapel, they regularly give instruction both to adults and. children, and celebrate the rites of. the Church; The greatest obstacle in their way is the devotion paid by the savages to their personal manitous, or “medicine,” a devotion inculcated, from earliest infancy, in. both boys and girls. Notwithstanding, this: and other difficulties, the missionaries at the Sault have baptized more than three hundred persons of all ages.

A detailed description of Lake Superior and its [Page 12] fisheries is given by Dablon. He has ‘obtained, “by artifice, ” considerable information from the Indians regarding the copper mines of the region, and gives the Conclusions which; after sifting their reports and tales, he has reached. To confirm or verify these, the Fathers will soon personally visit the places mentioned.

Chequamegon Bay is a resort for all the tribes of the Northwest; at this point they carry on both fishing and mutual commerce; It thus becomes a highly advantageous location for the Jesuit missionaries; who can here reach savages belonging to all the tribes between Lake Michigan and the Missouri River, and from Hudson Bay to the Ohio. The Illinois tribes desire instruction, and Marquette is already planning to visit them next year. A letter from him to the superior at Québec (Le Mercier) follows Dablon’s report. Marquette recounts his arrival at Chequamegon, where he succeeds Allouez; the latter considered this too hard a field; and Marquette finds it in every way discouraging. The Ottawa tribes here are unusually superstitious and licentious; and the once Christian Hurons are so demoralized by the example of their neighbors that they retain but little of their new faith. The Father struggles against indifference and mockery, immorality and superstition; after a year of this almost useless effort he again replaces Allouez, — This time with the Kiskakons, —another Ottawa tribe, dwelling at La Pointe, — who have at last consented to receive the Christian religion. Here Marquette reaps the harvest of his predecessor’s long toil; he baptizes the children, and induces the families to ‘winter dear the Chapel, where they are regularly instructed “The Pagans hold [Page 13] no feast without Sacrifice;” “I keep a little of their usage, and take from it all that is bad,” — that is, he induces them to address their invocations to God, instead of to their divinities. Under his instruction, too, the women become modest and chaste. Marquette waits only for another Father to take his place, before departing on a mission to the Illinois tribes. These Indians are well disposed to Christianity; some of their number heard Allouez at La Pointe, and have inclined their tribesmen to listen to the preachers of the faith. Marquette looks forward with hope to a mission among these tribes, and is already studying their language. He describes their location, customs, and characteristics, as well as those of the Sioux and Crees, — repeating what he has learned from the savages whom he has met at La Pointe. To the Sioux, “the Iroquois of this country,” the Father sends a present, asking them to let him and other Frenchmen pass freely and unharmed through all those regions, to which they consent.

Following this document is another letter, from Allouez to Le Mercier. He recounts his labors during the past season (November, 1669, to May, 1670, inclusive), among the tribes along the west shore of Green Bay, and on the Fox River. He describes his journey from the Sault to Green Bay, on the shores of which he spends the winter, instructing the natives who make there their winter quarters. Some hear him willingly, but most are indifferent or opposed; and all are, at times, on the verge of starvation, so scanty are their supplies of food. Often does the Father suffer from hunger; but he praises God for his crosses. In April, 1670, he goes to visit the [Page 14] Indian villages on the Wolf and Upper Fox Rivers. During this voyage, Allouez observes a solar eclipse. After traveling eight days, he reaches the Outagamie (Fox) settlement on the Wolf River. Even in these remote Wisconsin forests the fierce Iroquois have made one of their sudden raids, killing and taking captive all the people in a considerable Fox encampment, but a few weeks before Allouez’s visit. This disaster has so dispirited his hosts that they cannot give his teachings more than civil attention at this time; but they request him to visit them again.

Allouez proceeds thence to the Mascouten village on the Upper Fox. Here he is welcomed with great hospitality and ceremony, since they regard him as a manitou, or spirit. The Father, horrified at this idea, succeeds in making them understand that he is only God’s servant, and preaches the gospel to them, which they reverently receive. In this same region are some Miami families, whom Allouez visits and instructs. They appear very docile and gentle, and the Father commends the importance of this mission field; but he cannot remain, as obedience calls him to the Sault. Returning down the Fox River (this time, making the voyage in three days), he visits the Menomonees, who have been “ almost exterminated by the wars; ” and the Winnebagoes, at present camping on the east shore of Green Bay. This tribe also had been decimated, a generation before, by the Illinois. In both places, he is welcomed and respectfully heard, and urged to visit them again.

In conclusion, Allouez summarizes the condition of the Green Bay mission. Although he has no Chapel, he instructs the savages as well as he can, and counts as Christians seven adults and forty-eight [Page 15] children. May 20, Allouez returns to the Sault, intending to revisit all his scattered flock the next autumn.

A few Paragraphs are added, in conclusion, by Le Mercier. He states that a reinforcement has been sent to the Ottawa mission — Father Druillettes and André; and adds a description of the eclipse mentioned by Allouez.

CXXVII. We herewith present Chaps i.-iv. of Part I. in the Relation of 1670-71; the remainder will be given in Vol. LV. This document is sent to the provincial of France by Claude Dablon now superior of the Canadian missions. In a prefatory note, he mentions the recent extension of the missionary field which peace between the, Iroquois and Ottawas has now rendered possible; the faith is now preached as far west as the head of Lake Superior, and, in Central Wisconsin, the missionaries have met savages from far Southern tribes, to whom some, knowledge of the true faith will thus be conveyed. Albanel has gone to Hudson Bay, to open the way for the gospel among the Northern savages, The Jesuits are now conducting more than twenty missions in New France, among as many different tribes; and have baptized, during the year, more than seven hundred persons.

To keep the Iroquois in due humility, Courcelles has again led an expedition into the Iroquois country; Talon, meanwhile, “keeps the Outaouacs in a reverent attitude, and inspires them with the respect that they ought to have for his Majesty, in whose name he has taken possession of all their lands.

“The Relation begins by narrating “the despatch of an embassy by the Senecas to Courcelles, [Page 16] and the conversion of the chief at its head. He is baptized at Quebec, “with all possible solemnity;” Talon provides a magnificent feast to celebrate this event, and the convert is permitted to invite thereto all whom he desires — Iroquois, Algonkins, and Hurons. Additional baptisms of Iroquois, and of other savages from distant tribes, are recorded; for several of these, Talon acts as sponsor. Numerous Iroquois converts are making their way to Quebec, from time to time, that they may avoid the persecutions of their pagan tribesmen. A remnant of a certain Huron tribe still exists, who will soon join the Hurons living near Quebec. The latter still practice their religion, and edify the other savages and the French by their piety and devotion. Their chapel is blessed with miraculous favors by the Virgin Mary, and is the resort of pilgrims from all Canada. The virtues of these Huron Christians are eulogized by Dablon, especially their devotion to the Virgin, whose chapel they often visit even before dawn. An account of this devotion, and various instances of their piety, are given in a letter by their spiritual director, Father Chaumonot.

R. G. T.

Madison, Wis., September, 1899. [Page 17]

CXXVI (concluded)

Relation Of 1669-70


In Volume LIII. we presented chaps. i.-vi., and part of chap. vii., the remainder of the document follows.[Page 19]

[238] During the entire winter, I have had. Scarcely any other talks with our Savages than on what concerned the truths of Christianity, and on the horror they ought always to entertain for the superstitions and evil [239] customs of the country. I am not yet thoroughly conversant with their language; I often indicated by my gestures what I could not express in words; and when these people reproached me, as it were, for not, making myself sufficiently understood by my hearers, I received these kind admonitions as so many convincing proofs of the little that I was contributing on my part to all the good that God was working in the spread of my Mission, and said to myself: “O my soul, when wilt thou know how to speak of God as he ought to be spoken of; and when wilt thou be so penetrated with the truths of the Faith that thou wilt have no further difficulty in suggesting to me words capable of conveying, at the same time, both the light of the Faith into the mind of our Savages and the fire of charity into their hearts?”

I was watching with unusual care for the execution of the promises that had been made to me, and even ratified by a number of presents, when the news arrived here that the warriors were returning victorious. They had been expected for a long time; [240] and the Diviners, who use pyromancy on these occasions, had published various predictions concerning their return. An elder had reported to me, before a large company, one of their oracles, — namely, that one of their bands was to return; in three days, without fail; that it would be, followed by the others, and that they would come back without having gained, any advantage over the enemy. As, I am the [Page 21] declared opponent of these false Prophets, I noted the details of this prophecy, and added that, in time, it Would be known whether it were true. The three days passed, and nothing of what had been predicted had yet occurred; I caused tremendous perplexity to him who had quoted this Oracle to me, when I demanded of him, in the presence of many persons, an explanation of it. He answered me coldly that the band which was to have returned the third day, according to the oracle, would come back perhaps on the next day. I answered him that the prophecy would be equally false, whether they should not return for a year or should return on the fifth day; but that, [241] in order to convince him fully of the imposture of his Prophet, we would wait one more day for the result of his prediction. Nearly two weeks passed without any one’s coming back; and then the victorious return of the warriors showed, with double force, the falsity of the oracle.

The reëchoing of the shouts of victory was heard from afar; every one was in a state of expectancy and impatience to know whether there were scalps or prisoners of war, and how many of them there were. At length the advance runners entered the Village, bringing news in regard to the expedition; and a long file was drawn up on both sides of the way, from the gate where they halted to the fire where the elders were assembled. They there repeated the cries of victory, — uttering nine of them, to indicate that they had nine captives, six men and three women. Then it was that the joy of the whole people burst forth. They began to play a sort of Comedy, the persons advanced in years dancing a Ballet, which they executed by postures that were very [Page 23] well [242] contrived, and steps performed in admirable measure. Then they went to meet the Young warriors who had brought the good news, and led them in triumph to the fire of the elders. As soon as they reached it, several thousands of porcelain beads were presented to them; and the most important member of the band was made to recount the whole expedition in detail, — the cause of their delay, the taking of the captives, by whom each had been taken, and how many of their own men they had lost. The narrative was interrupted by shouts of joy and acclamations for the victors, that were uttered from time to time; and all ended with manifestations of public rejoicing.

Then the stage or scaffold was erected on which, it was said, all the captives were to be burned; and I noted that some carried their vengeance even to such an excess of brutality as to beg me not to instruct or baptize these captives, — in order that, after being burned in this life, they might again be burned forever in the other. Such inhumanity filled me with horror, and I made them [243] see that there was nothing so unreasonable as to push one’s resentment beyond the limits of this life. In this God gave me such success that I persuaded them not only not to put any obstacle in the way of these wretched people’s eternal happiness, but even themselves to exhort the latter to receive instruction, and to render themselves worthy of Paradise.

The captives were received, according to custom, between a double file composed of all the inhabitants, who showered blows upon them with sticks as they passed. Then, all bleeding and covered with wounds, they were made to mount the scaffold that had been [Page 25] prepared for them, to serve as a spectacle for these Barbarians and as subjects for their cruelty.

These captives were all comely persons. They were clothed in the richest garments of the country, and the poor victims were crowned, according to custom, with the rarest feathers and the most beautiful strings of porcelain that could be found. They were even compelled to paint their faces with the finest and brightest colors, in order that nothing might be wanting [244] to the adornment of this triumph. Being thus arrayed, they were made to march upon the stage where they were to be burned, to serve first as a spectacle for all the people. These wretches, to give proofs of their fearlessness and to show that they did not dread death, sang and danced on the scaffold to the cadence of some martial airs, wherein they made boast of their exploits, and proudly made known to their enemies that all their proceedings would be unable to wrest from them the least sigh. I confess to you that a brutality carried to this excess horrified me. But the utterly barbarous act which two Iroquois, without waiting longer, executed upon one of these captives, touched me with pity beyond my power to express in words.

These two Savages who wished to make a cruel test of that warrior’s bravery, passing a little cord around his arm, began to draw it tight, each one on his side, — with such violence that, as it soon cut into the flesh and penetrated even to the [245] sinews, the pain that it caused this wretched captive, by cutting them, was so excessive that it made him fall upon the spot, swooning and half dead. I had repaired to the place to try to instruct all those captives and prepare them for Baptism; but I judged it more [Page 27] fitting to defer this purpose until a more convenient time, and after our Barbarians should have exhausted the first heat of their revenge.

After this first exhibition, the captives were led into the cabins that were prepared for them, there to await the Sentence either of life or of death. I visited them all, one after the other, with all the tenderness and compassion inspired in me by the wretched condition in which I saw them; and, trying to sow in their minds some holy seeds for their salvation, I left there, for that first time, some favorable inclination for the grace of Baptism.

On the next day, I began my visits again, with so happy a measure of success that I baptized all those who, I thought, were to be burned; in fact, they were burned soon afterward.

[246] Father Bruyas baptized at his Mission one of those to whom I had spoken, and who was sent to Onneiout with one of the three captive women, the two others having been taken to Goiogouen.

Of the five captives who were left here, two were given their lives; but, some days afterward, one of them was killed with a knife, without my knowledge. He was one of those who listened to me with most attention, and gave me the strongest hope for his conversion. But the secrets of Providence are impenetrable, and we must be content to adore them with a humble awe.

Life had been granted to one of the two others who remained; but this unhappy man was so grieved because the same favor had not been shown to his companion, that he could not conceal his sorrow; so that, by his complaints and his threats, he obliged those who had adopted him to abandon him some [Page 29] days afterward, — a rare example of friendship, inasmuch as this Barbarian preferred to expose himself to the danger of perishing in torments, than to endure the death of his friend. Having learned [247] this news, I hastened to the spot as soon as possible, mounted the scaffold, and, after offering some short prayer, addressed myself to our Onnontagués, to beg them not to take it ill that I showed this wretched man the road to Heaven. I told them that, since he was ready to depart from this life, it was a part of my duty to procure him one that should be eternally happy; and that this happiness was so great that I would, in order to procure it for them, very willingly suffer the same torments as those in which this captive was ending his life.

I approached the captive without delay, and urgently exhorted him, while our elders themselves encouraged me in this good work. The poor man, who was half-dead, listened attentively, begging me to remain with him and not forsake him. The tortures were renewed, and he was burned in all parts of his body by the application of red-hot irons. As soon as these were removed for putting into the fire again, I would approach him, and have him perform the necessary acts to prepare him for Baptism. [248] The cold was then very severe, and one of the Savages who was present at this cruel spectacle, after first lending him his blanket for a covering, took it away from him to protect himself from the severity of the season; so that the prisoner was left entirely naked and all shivering with cold, although there were, tolerably near him, many fires where the hatchets and irons were being heated to redness for application to all parts of his body. I must confess, I was keenly [Page 31] touched by so pitiable an abject, and covered him with a cassock that I am accustomed to wear here, being unable to afford him any greater relief. I was obliged to remove it when the hot irons were applied, and I wrapped him in it as soon as they were withdrawn. Our Savages expressed themselves differently in regard to the kindness I showed this poor mari, — some approving it, others finding something to say against it, and several making fun of it.

After the captive had been burned in a number of places, he was unbound, and led, covered with my cassock, into the same cabin with that one of his companions [249] whom they had begun to burn the day before, and who had been so fortunate as to receive baptism, I followed him, and took my place near him, to suggest to him, from time to time, some thought of Heaven and of eternity, and to baptize the man whom I had begun to instruct. There was a crowd gathered in the cabin to witness the services that I rendered these poor victims.

And as I was then asked several questions, I took occasion, in answering them, to instruct, at the same time, the captives and all who were gathered around them. I was asked, among other things, what was the happiness of those who are in Heaven; and I explained it to them in as clear and intelligible a manner as I could. And when the captives interrupted my teachings with the songs that they were forced to utter, I was entreated to sing also. I did so, and sang the Psalm which begins with the words, Laudate Dominum, omnes gentes. Although our Savages understood nothing of the meaning of these words, I noticed that the tune had not been displeasing to them; and it has [250] often happened since [Page 33] then that they have begged me to give my death- song. I wished to gratify them once, and to show them that the thing which I desired with the most passion in the world was to die, even in the flames, while working for their salvation.

Finally I baptized, on the evening of that same day, this captive, whom I deem infinitely blessed in his misfortune, since he finds Heaven in the irons of the Iroquois. They both showed all the signs of a holy disposition to die a truly Christian death. I assisted them again on the next morning, when they expired, after having passed the whole night in torments.

Some days later, in a great council where the elders and the warriors were assembled, I made them a present of two brasses of porcelain, as a token of my rejoicing with them over the fortunate result of their late war. For it is fitting that, having to live among these Barbarians, I should show them the interest I take in their joy and in their sorrow, — in order that, having secured their friendship, I may be able [251] more easily to induce them to feel as I do, and to convert them.

I then exhorted the Young people to follow the example of the elders, who had already renounced dreams and all that was forbidden by God’s law. The elders renewed their promises to me, and gave me assurances that they would urge the Young men, who had returned from the war a few days before, to conform to all that I had decided upon with them in their councils.

But, since that time, the success in those wars, however inconsiderable it may have been, has so filled them with courage that they have, in [Page 35] consequence, appeared less docile and less tractable in all that has to do with the Faith; and, beyond any doubt, the greatest obstacle that it has in these countries is the corruption of these Young warriors. As they constitute all the strength and all the support of their Nation, they easily give laws to the others, and their bad example always has very injurious consequences. Even the elders, who ought to use all the authority that their age and experience give them, [252] for keeping these dissolute Young men in order, often encourage these disorderly habits in them, by either flattering the evil or conniving at it; and, what is still more deplorable. Some have not this year maintained, when the occasions arose, all the fidelity that they had solemnly promised me. There have even been some who, seeing that the duty of a Christian held them to many things that were very hard for them, and that they must either cease to be addicted to drunkenness, debauchery, and superstitions, or not embrace Christianity, have been so mean-spirited as to become disgusted with a law that proscribes all their pleasures.

I learned that one elder had held a feast of debauchery, although he afterward protested to me that I had been misinformed in the matter; that another had raised the customary cry for a public act of superstition; and that afterward two had said, in full council, that it must no longer be permitted me to speak about the Faith and about forsaking their ancient customs. All this made me resolve to lay my complaints before them. Garakontié approved my project heartily, [253] and told me not to spare even himself; and, after reproaching them publicly for their inconstancy, to make them a [Page 37] present of a porcelain necklace, — in order to induce them to render themselves worthy by their actions of the name of Christian, for which they manifested so much inclination; and even to persuade the tribes to whom they were sent as ambassadors, to acknowledge and worship the true God.

I accordingly had the Bell rung, to notify the elders to come to me; and when they had all assembled in my cabin, I told them that I spoke to them in the name of God, of our great King, and of Monsieur our Governor, who all exhorted them to embrace the Christian Faith. I told them that it was for their good, and not for my own interests, that I urged them to do right and eschew evil; that so long as God should give me a voice, they must expect to be not only reminded of their duty, but also reprimanded for their faults; and that, besides, they must not take it ill, as it was a part of our duty to act thus, since we were the Preachers [254] of the truth and the dispensers of the word of God. I began, accordingly, by reprimanding Garakontié for some weakness that he had shown in the previous year; for he deserved only praises for this year, having shown himself as firm for the interests of God and those of the French as I could have wished. Then I openly blamed the impiety of him who was said to have held a feast of debauchery; and I finished with the other who had raised the cry customary for a public superstitious observance.

My reproaches were followed by a present that I gave to the Ambassadors, to exhort them to relax in nothing from the resolution they had taken to renounce every superstition; and even to urge the tribes to whom they were sent, to declare themselves [Page 39] openly for the Faith, and proscribe all the disorders which prevent them from gaining this blessing for themselves.

At first, the elders appeared a little surprised at the liberty that I had allowed myself of quarreling with them, although they did not show me that they were offended by it. Still, they [255] did not give me all the satisfaction for which I had hoped from them; for after they had been some time divided on the subject of the Festival that they call Onnonhouaroia, — which I wished to put a stop to, because it is the source of countless disorders, — at last those who obstinately favored its celebration, joining all the Young people, carried the day over those who were well-intentioned.

I was answered, besides, to the effect that I might speak whenever I deemed it fitting; and, as for the porcelain collar that I had presented, that they might invite the other Nations to embrace the Faith, I was told that I should have a reply when those whom they sent as Ambassadors should have returned. But I have learned that some of those Ambassadors did nothing of what I had asked of them, and that Garakontié was almost the only one who supported, in Onneiout and in Agnié, the interests of the Christian Faith with all imaginable firmness and zeal.

If I trusted to their replies, I would have reason to hope that they would soon be Christians; but they must first be [256] subdued and thoroughly humbled; otherwise, there is scarcely any hope for Christianity or surety for peace.

Our little Church is composed of a tolerably large number of Christians, who are almost all either Hurons or of some other Nation that the Iroquois have [Page 41] destroyed. We have in it also some natives of the country, who received Baptism from those of our Fathers who were settled here before the disturbances. I admire, in respect to some, the remote and secret ways by which God’s providence has led them, in order to make them gain a knowledge of the sovereign good; in others, the marvelous efficacy of the grace of Baptism in preserving them in the purity of the Faith and in the innocence of their morals, in the midst of such general corruption. There appears in them a certain character of piety, and a conduct so holy that it is clearly seen that God animates them with his spirit and forms them with his hand. Their assiduity in attending Chapel, to pray there in public, when they can repair thither, and their faithfulness in performing their devotions in the [257] Cabins or in the fields, when necessity, work, or old age makes it impossible for them to come to Church, exceed all that can be told of them.

We have one Cabin, among others, wholly Christian, and occupied exclusively by Huron women, who had formerly come to settle in this country when our Fathers were dwelling here; these may be called sad remains of the treason and cruelty of our Iroquois. They have always kept themselves, amid all the disorders of this country, in a regular life and innocence that charm our Barbarians; and God, — who watches, without ceasing, over those who serve him with fidelity, — in order to crown, even in this life, the virtue of these good Christian women, so protected them against the attacks of contagious maladies that, at the time when these were making unusual ravages in the neighborhood of their Cabins, they never did the women any injury. It may be [Page 43] said that, as these Huron women formerly belonged to the Church at Quebec, and as they have dwelt in the bosom of piety, they have taken tare to become formed and so firmly established [258] in the practice of all the virtues, that neither the pains of extreme poverty, which they often suffer, nor the bad example of the Idolaters, nor all the efforts of the Demon, have ever been able to make them waver, or to prompt them to make a single request contrary to what they owed to God.

I have baptized forty persons, of whom the greater part are little children or dying people. Fourteen of them have died, together with two other children baptized by Father Garnier when he was here, and some adults baptized by our Fathers.

I forgot to relate a very holy action on the part of a little girl only seven or eight years of age. She brought to me, a few days before Christmas, a little jar full of oil, telling me that she wished to make a present of it to Our Lord, and begging me to use it in the lamp which burns before the Altar. I asked her if that oil were hers; and she assured me that it belonged to her, and formed her entire treasure. I accepted her offering, and presented it [259] to the little Jesus on Christmas day; and I doubt not that this present was much more agreeable to him than all the gold of the rich people of the age. She had earnestly desired me to baptize her with the other little children on whom I conferred this Sacrament on that same day; but I told her I could not yet bestow on her that grace, because her mother did not come to Prayers. “ I urge her enough,” said the Child to me, bemoaning her mother’s obduracy; “ I tell her that the elders pray, but she always [Page 45] persists in her unwillingness to do so.” Nevertheless she has, for some time, brought her quite often as far as the Chapel, and there is ground to hope that mother and daughter Will one day be wholly God’s.

Our elders have several times held their council here, to deliberate on what I had said to them about sending some envoys to Montreal, to take part in the council which, inasmuch as some rupture was apprehended, was to be held for the purpose of ratifying and firmly establishing the peace between them and the Algonquins. It was resolved to do it, and even to send some of their [260] people to Tsonnontouen, to oblige the elders of that Village to join with our envoys. They also received orders to beg them, on the part of all the Nation, to commit no further acts of hostility in the country of the Outaouaks, and to give the same admonitions in calling at Goiogouen. I was assured at the same time that, at the earliest date, others would set out to carry the same intelligence to the Onneiouts and the Agnies. Garakontié told me that he was making preparations to depart in six days; and that he would wait for the other Iroquois Nations on the way, that they might all go in company.

Our Onnontaguez have begged me to Write in their favor to Onnontio, which I have done with joy, because this year I have had every reason to be satisfied with their conduct, and with the kindness with which they have treated me. But if they deserve some praises, Garakontié can be said to be entitled, alone, to more esteem and consideration than all the others. It must be acknowledged that he is an incomparable man, and the soul of every good work accomplished here: he upholds the Faith by his [261] [Page 47] personal repute; he maintains the Peace by his authority; he controls the spirits of these Barbarians with a skill and prudence which equals that of the wisest men of Europe. He declares himself so boldly for the glory and the interest of France that he can justly be called the Protector of that Crown in this country; he has a zeal for the Faith comparable to that of the first Christians; in short, he knows how to conduct himself in such a way that he always maintains the fame and authority conferred upon him by his Office of Captain-general of this Nation, and uses it only to do good to all the people. I hope for a favorable result to this journey; and, if it were as easy for us to drive out drunkenness from all this country as it Will be for Monsieur our Governor to strengthen the Peace between the Iroquois and the Algonquin, we would soon see our Barbarians turn Christians.

It is impossible to conceive by how many disorders and evils these debauches are accompanied. There is nothing more usual here than to see, on the streets and in the cabins, [262] men overcome with wine; and what is still more deplorable is, that they are no longer ashamed of so infamous a vice, and that, being brutalized by these excesses, almost all are rendered incapable of being instructed in the Faith.

However great my sorrow at seeing an evil so universal, and so dangerous to the salvation of these poor souls, I try to console myself with this thought, that the more obstacles there shall be found here to Christianity, the more work also Will there be to do; and God crowns a Missionary’s hardships and cares rather than his successes. [Page 49]

Nevertheless, I hope much from the resolution which they have adopted to forsake their superstitions, and from the inclination which they manifest for the Christian Faith. They take tare to have the little sick children brought to me in the Chapel, and they have me pray to God over the new-born babes, to consecrate them to the Lord of Heaven and earth. They are very glad to be stirred up and awakened from the drowsiness and insensibility which drunkenness [263] causes them. They are delighted when they hear the Bell calling them to Prayers; and if I omit to ring it, they reproach me for that.

In a Word, every one here seems strongly moved to embrace the Gospel; and the only thing these poor Barbarians lack to render them worthy of holy Baptism is, to renounce the vices to which many Christians abandon themselves after Baptism. I can say that this Mission is the least difficult of all those among the Iroquois, and the only regret that I have in regard to it is, that I do not find here those opportunities to suffer for God which I had persuaded myself I was to encounter.

My Reverend Father,



Your very humble and obedient

Onnontagué, this 15th of

servant in Our Lord,

June, 1670.

Pierre Millet.[Page 51]




HIS Mission is in a fourth Iroquois Nation, of which Father de Carrheil has charge, We shall learn the condition of it from an extract of the most important matters that we have drawn from one of his letters, dated in the month of June, 1670.

This Nation has only three Villages, — Goiogouen, to which we have given the name of Saint Joseph, Patron of the whole Mission; Kiohero, which we call Saint Estienne; and Onnontare, which is called the Village of Saint René.[i] Following is what the Father says of it:

“Since last Autumn I have baptized twenty-five children and twelve adults. Heaven has taken a large part of them, — and, among others, nine children, whose salvation is assured. The most lovable Providence of [265] God, over some from whom I was expecting scarcely anything, has appeared with such clearness to me that I have learned, by my own experience, that a Missionary ought never to despair of the conversion of any person, whatever resistance to Grace he may find in his mind.

“ I had, as it seemed to me, employed my time, my pains, and my endeavors very uselessly, in order to win over to God a man and a woman who were already far advanced in years, and could not live much longer. These hearts had only hardness for [Page 53] the things of Heaven. The Faith and Baptism inspired them with abhorrence, since they believed that both these served only to hasten the time of their death. For there is an opinion, which is received by the majority of these tribes, — and which appears to them founded on the experience that they say they have had, — to the effect that, for more than thirty years during which our Fathers have been laboring for the conversion of the Savages of Canada, it has been noted that families and whole Nations which have embraced the Faith have found themselves laid waste and destroyed, almost as soon as they [266] have become Christians; while the greater part of those upon whom holy Baptism has been conferred have died a short time after receiving it. These poor people allow themselves to be prejudiced to such an extent in this matter, through fear and the artifices of the Evil One, that they do not consider that the extremity of the illness, and the danger of speedy death, with which we see a person menaced, are what prompts us to baptize him; and that therefore Baptism cannot be the cause of their disease or of their death. This common error so alarmed these two poor Savages that not only would they not hear any mention of Baptism for themselves, but they also did not even permit us to approach their friends when they were ill. Nevertheless, when they saw themselves both stricken with a mortal illness, they sought our instructions, and asked for Baptism with so great ardor and earnestness, that it was impossible to refuse it to them. God well knows how to order, in favor of his Predestined ones, the favorable moments in which his grace [267] must infallibly take effect. [Page 55]

“The person who, of all the country, gave me the most difficulty in respect to her Baptism, and afterward the most consolation, was a woman of Tsonnontouen who had been ill for nine or ten months. The unusual number of persons — men, as well as women and children — that she had seen die since Father Fremin had arrived there, and the report, which circulated everywhere, that he was the sole author of a general devastation, and that, by his sorcery, his magic, and his poisoning, he carried death wherever he went, had given this woman such an abhorrence of our persons and of our remedies, of our teachings and of Baptism, that I could gain no access to her, nor find any opportunity to speak to her concerning ‘her salvation. She had even communicated this aversion to all those who were in the same Cabin, telling them they were dead if they let me come near them. She had intimidated them to such an extent that, as soon as I entered the Cabin, every one remained [268] in a profound silence, and looked at me only with the eye of fear, without being willing to listen to me, or make me any other reply than that I must go out as soon as I could. Even when she had changed her Cabin, and, by good luck, had gone to live with people who were very fond of me, she still preserved in her heart a furious aversion for me, up to the critical moment of her illness; and she always regarded me as a man who was infected and who carried a deadly poison about with me, which P breathed into people through their eyes and ears. But the stronger this poor woman’s aversion for me, the more charity Our Lord gave me for her, and I hoped for her salvation even against all hope, and although I saw no prospect of it. Night and day I [Page 57] thought of her, commending her to God, to her guardian Angel and my own, and to those who watched for the salvation of the persons that were near her. On the night before her death, I felt myself strongly inspired to say Mass solely for her. I did it with protestations to Our Lord [269] that there was nothing in the world I would not sacrifice, provided he would grant me this soul, for the salvation of which he had given a thousand times more than I could offer him, since he had redeemed it with his blood and his life. After my Mass, I went to visit her five or six times; but the Demon was always keeping her in her former melancholy state of blindness. She constantly regarded me with an eye of anger and indignation, and drove me as soon as possible from her presence. On one occasion, even, her resentment giving her strength in her extreme weakness, she took one of her shoes and threw it at my head. I left her and went out of her Cabin. But God, whose Will it was to save this soul, urged me to go back again immediately, and inspired me to manage matters in such a way that, by my speaking, aloud to some persons of that house, and telling them all the things in which I wished to instruct the sick woman, as if my words had been for them, she should receive a vivid conception and apprehension of the eternal misery of the damned in hell, with which she was threatened, and should be touched [270] by the infinite blessedness of Paradise, which she could win with so much ease. I availed myself of this device, and spoke before her, to other persons, about all these matters, to which I added some considerations on the mercies of Jesus Christ, who was the Son of God and was made Man for our [Page 59] salvation, — making her understand that he would have an eternal love for her if she had recourse to him with confidence. I passed the day thus, without being able to make any impression on her soul, Finally I returned in the evening, as if for the last time; but it was also the first time that I gained access to her heart. I spoke to her no more, except with my eyes, looking at her with gentleness, showing that I was deeply touched by her affliction, and trying to render her some little services for her relief. I perceived that she no longer had such aversion for me, and that she was beginning to tolerate me. But God made use of a good woman who nursed her, to finish winning her to himself. ‘ It is time,’ she said to her, ‘ for thee to listen to what this Father wishes to teach thee, in order that thou mayst be blessed through all eternity. ’ [271] ‘I am willing that he should instruct me,’ replied the sick woman; ‘I Will listen to him willingly. ’ Indeed, she listened to me with admirable attention and docility, giving credence to all the truths that I taught her; and, when I wished to have her say some prayers, she said to me: ‘Thou seest well, my brother, that I can scarcely speak any more; my ailment weighs down my chest, and stifles my voice; but, I pray thee, believe that my heart says all that thou sayest, and all that my tongue cannot say. Baptize me as soon as possible; I wish to die a Christian, in order that Jesus may take pity upon me.’ I baptized her without delay, and on the same night God called her to Heaven. Oh, how well we are repaid for all our exertions by this sort of wonderful conversions! And how fortunate a Missionary is when, awaiting from God that which seems impossible [Page 61] to his weakness, he learns by experience how true are these words of the Gospel: ‘God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham, ‘ — that is to say, to make Predestined souls from these hearts that are hard and impenetrable to his grace.

“I confess that it is a very heartfelt consolation [272] to me that we are at present surrounded by so many sepulchers of saints, in a place where, on my arrival I had seen only graves of reprobates; and whereas this spectacle of the dead was the first sight that afflicted me when I arrived here, so it is now the thought that gives me most joy.

“The first Winter I spent in this Village, God by his grace permitted me to Baptize two good women, one of whom had summoned me on purpose to baptize her, on the day of the Purification. They lived a whole year after their Baptism; and, as they were faithful to their promises and frequented Prayers and the Sacraments with fervor, I doubt not they have been added to the number of the Predestined in Heaven.

“A Christian man and woman of the old Church of the Hurons also filled me with consolation, witnessing as I did the purity of their faith and of their morals up to the time of their deaths, for which they made pious preparation by employing the Sacraments of the Church.

“When I began to hold [273] my Catechisms here, fearing that I could not find any one who would be willing to answer me in public, I instructed some children in private, beforehand, in order to make use of them in teaching the others, by their example, the way in which answers must be given; but I was much surprised when I saw three or four of the [Page 63] oldest women rise first, and anticipate the children, in order to answer me. On the very first day, we counted eighty-eight persons there, besides those who listened at the door in large numbers. One day, when I had explained the creation of the world, and the number of years that we reckon from its beginning to our own times; and had, in order to give them a more ready comprehension of this number, designated it by means of some little stones that served me as counters, — while I was fearing that this exercise would confuse them, and that they would be unable to repeat the computation very well, a warrior suddenly arose from his place and repeated faithfully what I had said to them. But he failed not to ask from me, as if in payment, [274] the prize that. I give to the children when they answer well.

“I have strenuously opposed their superstitions, and especially the Divinity of Dreams, which is the source of all their errors, and the soul, as it were, of their Religion; and, while contending against it, I have in the mean time learned two things.

“The first is, that it is not, properly speaking, the Dream that they worship as the Master of their lives, but a certain one of the Spirits called by them Agatkonchoria, — who, as they think, sometimes speak to them in sleep, and command them to obey their dreams exactly. The principal of these Spirits is Taronhiaouagon, whom they acknowledge as a Divinity, and obey as the great Master of their lives; and, when they speak of dreams as of a God, they mean nothing else than that it is by this means that they gain knowledge of the Will of God, and of what is needful for the preservation of their lives, and [Page 65] that the doing of what they have seen in dreams is a means which contributes to the establishment [275] of their health and of their good fortune. Sometimes, too, they give this same name of ‘Master of their lives’ to the subject of their dream, — for example, to a bearskin or deerskin, and to other like abjects that they have seen in their sleep, because they regard them as remedies to which God has attached the good fortune of a long life. And, in fact, they take marvelous pains to preserve these things, with this in view; and, when they are ill, they cover themselves with these, or put them near at hand, as a defense against the attacks of the disease.

“The second thing that I have discovered, while contending against the obedience that they render to their dreams, is that, as they are unable to conceive the manner in which the soul works during sleep, when it represents distant and absent objects to them, they become persuaded that it leaves the body when the latter is asleep, and itself goes in quest of these abjects, during the dream, to the places where they see them, — returning into its body toward the end of the night, when all the dreams are dissipated.

[276] “To refute errors so gross, I was accustomed to put to them three kinds of questions. 1. I asked them whether the body of one who was dreaming was dead or alive. ‘It is alive,’ they would tell me. ‘Is it then its soul that makes it live,’ I would reply to them; ‘for, if it had left the body, the latter would be dead; and so it is not true that the soul quits the body during sleep.’

“2. ‘Tell me,’ I would say to them, ‘ is it with the eyes that we see the things which are represented to us in our dreams, — as, for example, an [Page 67] enemy who Will come and attack me, a friend whom I shall meet on my way, or a stag that I shall pursue in hunting? ’ ‘ It cannot be with the eyes that we see then,’ they would say to me; ‘ for during sleep our eyes are closed and covered with darkness, and see nothing.’ ‘ Then it is our soul, ’ I returned, ‘ which makes us see at such times what we see in our dreams; and consequently it must be present with us and must be in our body when we are sleeping, just as our eyes [277] are in our heads and in their ordinary places when, by their means, we see the abjects that present themselves to us during the day.’

“ 3. My third question was this: ‘ If the soul leave the body during sleep, whither does it go? Does it go to war in the enemy’s country? Does it go out hunting in the forests? What does it do during its absence? Have you ever found, at waking, either a scalp of one of your enemies which your soul has put in your hands, after bringing it to you from that war; or a bear on your mat, which it has killed for you in that hunting expedition, during your sleep? I often see myself at the same time in France, beyond the sea, and here among you. Is my soul at the same time both here and in France? ’

“ They had no answer to these questions and were left convicted of their errors.

“ It is not so easy to make them understand the way in which Dreams are formed, and how the images of what we perceive through the senses are impressed [278] upon our imaginations, and are represented to our minds during sleep. I have, however, tried to explain these things to them in a manner that should be fairly intelligible, by comparing [Page 69] the soul, when it recalls past and distant events out of sleep, with itself when it represents these things to itself in sleep. ‘ You well know, ’ I said to them, ‘ that our souls remember, during the day, what has happened for a long time previously, and in places far distant from us. Is it not true that at this moment they represent the country of the Andastogués and that of the Outaouaks, or Quebec 2nd Montréal, to those of YOU who have been there, as if you were there now 7 Your souls have not left your bodies to go to those places, for you are still alive; nor have they crossed the great River for this purpose, or made any journey whatever. The same thing occurs during the dreams of night. But still, ’ I said to them, ‘ why should the representation of abjects which takes place in our souls during sleep be the Master of our lives, rather than the image of the [279] same abjects which is depicted in the same soul out of sleep? For what is called a remembrance during the day, is named a dream during the night.’

“ I used to ask them then whether the children that are still in their mothers’ wombs had not some one who was the Master of their lives. ‘ Yes,’ they would say. ‘ Now it is not possible that that should be Dreams, ’ said I to them; ‘ for they cannot yet have any. In fact, of what should they dream? Of knives, hatchets, javelins, and like abjects? They have never seen any. Dreams, then, are not the Masters of their lives before their birth, nor even for a long time after they are come into the world, since they pass several years before having any. They must, therefore, have another Master of their lives, and some other God than Dreams, during all that time. But when they begin to dream for the first [Page 71] time, their dreaming cannot so order matters that he who was previously the Master of their lives ceases to be so; they would not know how to degrade him or take from him that quality, [280] and that power which he had over them before they had any dreams. He continues, then, to be what he was before; and thus he is their Master before their birth, and when they do not yet dream; he is their Master after their birth, and when they dream; he is so equally in the time of their youth and in that of their old age; and, finally, until their deaths, and even after death. Know also that this Master, whose power is immovable and eternal, is the God whom we worship, who rewards us or punishes us according to our deserts. He is not the dream, — which often, as you learn by experience every day, demands from you naught but impious and unreasonable things, and has deceived you a hundred times in your lives.’ These Barbarians show that they are capable of listening to reason, and of entering its light in all its purity; for some of the more enlightened ones acknowledge that they were convinced by what I said to them, and that they were recovering from the vain worship of their dreams.

“ The ideas of all these tribes prompt them to the pursuit of nothing but hunting and warfare. [281] Among them are seen only parties of twenty, thirty, or fifty men, — of a hundred, and sometimes of two hundred; rarely do they go to the number of a thousand in a single band. These bands are divided, to go some in quest of men, and others of beasts; they make war more like highwaymen than like soldiers; and their expeditions are made rather by means of surprises than by regular battles. They [Page 73] rest all their glory in coming home accompanied by captives, — men, women, and children, — or loaded with the scalps of those whom they have killed in combat.

“ It may further be said that there is nothing more inimical to our Missions than the victories that these peoples gain over their enemies, because by these victories they are made insolent; while there is nothing more desirable for the advancement of Christianity in this country than the humiliation of these spirits, — breathing, as they do, only blood and carnage; making it their glory to kill and burn people; and their brutal and passionate hearts offering such positive opposition to the gentle and humble spirit of Jesus Christ.

[282] ” We spent last winter in tolerable peace, and without the fear into which we are usually thrown by the enterprises of Gandastogué, who, being hostile to this Nation, had sent an Ambassador in the autumn, with three porcelain collars, to treat for peace. He waited until the month of March for an answer, in order that he might go back; but the men of Onnontagué had gone out on the war-path, last winter, toward Andastogué; they brought home eight or nine prisoners, of whom they presented two to the Inhabitants of Oiogouen, with forty collars, to induce them to continue the war against Andastogué. Consequently they broke this unlucky Ambassador’s head, after they had detained him five or six months, when he thought that he was on the eve of his departure. His body was burned after his death; and one of his nephews, who had accompanied him, received the same treatment from these Barbarians, — who trouble themselves but little with international [Page 75] law, and do net’ keep faith except so far as it is to their interest to do so. We can say that in their midst we are like perpetual [283] victims, since there is not a day on which we are not in danger of being murdered; but it is that, too, which constitutes our crowning joy, and is the cause of our purest consolations.” [Page 77]




ATHER Fremin, superior of the Iroquois Missions, has taken for his share the especial charge of this Mission of saint Michel, which has four Villages, one of which he has entrusted to Father Garnier, his companion, reserving for himself the management of the three others. We shall learn the condition of this Mission from the letters which he has written about them to the Reverend Father le Mercier, superior of the Missions of New France.


OUR Iroquois Missions made, during the past year, 1669, very considerable progress. [284] We began the preaching of the Gospel there at Tsonnontouen, where there are more people than in the four other Lower Iroquois Nations.

When I arrived here, toward the end of the year 1668, I was very well received; but a kind of contagion, supervening at the same time, ravaged the whole country to such an extent that my entire occupation was to visit the cabins constantly, for the purpose of instructing and baptizing the sick who were at the point of death. It pleased God to bless my little labors, so that in a few months I baptized more than six-score persons, nearly all adults, of whom more than ninety died immediately after Baptism. [Page 79] But as I was alone, and as I could not be in several places at the same time, more than a hundred and fifty died in places very far distant from here, where they were engaged, some in fishing and others in hunting.

So pressing a necessity obliged me to ask for aid, and to beg Father Garnier, who was at Onnontague, to come and help me as soon as possible; but, when he arrived, [285] the distemper had already ceased. Accordingly, having no further occupation with the sick, we began to proclaim the Gospel to these people, who had never heard of Jesus Christ; and, in order to do it with the greater success in different places, Father Garnier took charge of the Village named Gandachiragou. There, in a short time, he built a Chapel, which is very convenient, and to which people come from all directions for instruction.

As for me, on the twenty-seventh of September, 1669, I entered the Village named Gandougaraé, where I was received with all the marks of public joy. For a long time I had been expected there with impatience.

This Village is composed of the remnants of three different Nations which were formerly overthrown by the Iroquois, obliged to surrender at the discretion of the conqueror, and to come and settle in his country. The first Nation is called Onnontioga, the second the Neutrals, and the third the Hurons.[ii] The first two have seen scarcely any Europeans, nor have they ever heard of the true God. As for [286] the third, it is a sort of conglomerate of several Villages of the Hurons, all of whom were instructed in the Faith, and a number baptized by our Fathers, [Page 81] before that flourishing Nation was overthrown by the arms of the Iroquois.

While my Chapel was being built, I began to visit the cabins, for the purpose of becoming acquainted with the people, — and, especially, that I might seek out the sheep that had strayed from the ancient Church of the Hurons, and try to lead them back again into the fold of Jesus Christ. These good people were delighted to see me, and to hear about the Faith; and it was impossible to satisfy fully their ardent desire in this direction. Some of them told me that it was not enough to have them pray to God once a day; others complained that I spent too little time in speaking to them about Our Lord and Paradise; and some even reproached me, as it were, with preferring others to them, and with only visiting them the last. In short, these poor souls did so hunger and thirst after righteousness and [287] their salvation, that I had difficulty in contenting them with the hope that, the moment the Chapel was completed, they would all find there the means to satisfy their pious desires.

When I had made my round of visits, I found that about forty adult Christians had preserved both the observance of prayer and the Faith, took no part in the immorality of the country, and lived in all the purity of Christianity. ’ All the rest, too, of the Huron Nation showed me so great an eagerness for holy Baptism, and I observed in them so exact and constant assiduity in prayer, both public and private, that I hope that they all Will be very good Christians. Will not so invincible a constancy in the Faith as that of the Hurons of this country serve, on the day of Judgment, to bring condemnation on the [Page 83] laxity and corruption of the Christians of Europe? These Barbarians — who were only being born in Christianity when the Iroquois compelled them, by force of arms, to espouse their interests — [288] have nevertheless preserved the purity of their Faith all this time, in the midst of the corruption of a people abandoned to all sorts of vices and superstitions. Scarcely were they imbued with the first principles of the Christian Religion, when they saw themselves transported into the very abode as it were of disorderly habits and abominations. And yet, — although wholly deprived of the assistance of their Pastors, having neither Preachers to strengthen them in the Faith, nor Confessors to reconcile them with God, nor any of the external aids whereby Europe is so mightily succored, — that they should have lived in a fidelity to their prayers, an innocence in their morals, and an ardor for their salvation, equal to that of the first Christians — is not that enough to put to confusion, some day, the weakness and infidelity of so many Catholics, who are corrupted and ruined even at the very fountain-heads of purity and salvation?

As for the Onnontioga, Tsonnontouens, and Neutrals, as they have scarcely seen any Europeans, and have never heard of the Faith, there is work to engage [289] all the zeal of a Missionary, who Will have no little difficulty in clearing and tilling a field that the Demon has occupied for so many centuries.

The Chapel being finished, the Hurons came to pray to God there with great fervor; and on Sundays it was quite filled by them. I said holy Mass for them, and they assisted with a respect and devotion that charmed me and delighted all Heaven. The eldest of these Christians served me as Catechist; [Page 85] and, as he knew the prayers well, he pronounced them in a loud, clear voice, so as to be heard and followed by all the rest. This fervor of the Hurons passed even to their children, and these little Savages were seen persuading the children of the other Nations to accompany them into the Chapel, in order to pray with them there, — a proceeding which obliged their fathers and mothers to come and see what they were doing, and sometimes to follow their example, in order not to be put to confusion by being outdone.

What I have most admired in those Hurons who have been Christians for several years is the public profession [290] which they often made of their Faith, without blushing for the Gospel, or fearing the insults and mockery of the Pagans — a course which, among an entirely infidel and Barbarous people, is more difficult than can be believed. The other Nations were so well convinced of the firmness which they manifested in their Faith that they no longer called them by any other name than “ the Believers ” and “ the Faithful;” and, among them all, two men had gained for themselves so high a reputation for virtue throughout the country, that every one felt a veneration for them.

The name of one is Jacques Atondo, and of the other François Teoronhiongo. The former lives in almost continual prayer, and ordinarily speaks only of God, to both Christians and Infidels. He is very exact in observing all of God’s Commandments. “ If you knew,” he says to them, “ what Prayer is, and how powerful it is in making you happy, you would all choose to pray to God without ceasing. You are so punctual in doing all that your dreams [Page 87] order you to do; you spare neither feasts [291] nor presents, nor any expense, to make them favorable to you, and obtain from them good success in fishing, hunting, and war, and long lives for yourselves; and yet you see clearly that you are in poverty and misery, and that diseases and the enemy sweep off so many of your people every day. As for me, I pray to the Master of Heaven and earth, the sovereign Lord of our lives, and he gives me strong and vigorous health at a very advanced age. I usually catch more fish than you do; I am, by his grace, more favored than you are; and what fills me with joy is that when I come to die, I hope to be happy throughout all eternity, — while you people, you Will simply exchange the woes of a wretched life for the torments and fires of eternity.”

The second, called François Tehoronhiongo, who was formerly the host of the late Father le Moyne, is an old man of tried Faith, and has never passed a single day during twenty-seven [292] years without saying his prayers. He has instructed his wife and children in the Faith, and has made his whole family pious. New, as he is well versed in our doctrines, and knows many stories from the New Testament, his greatest pleasure is to talk about them on all occasions with Christians and with Pagans; so that if the Gospel had never been proclaimed in this country by the Missionaries, he alone would have said enough about it to justify God’s conduct on the day of Judgment, concerning the salvation of all men.

He has told me several times that, during the twenty years that he was separated from our Fathers, he passed hardly a single day without [Page 89] earnestly beseeching Our Lord to grant that he might not die without having first confessed and prayed to God with some one of the Missionaries. “ Ah, my God, ” he would say to him, “ you have so much indulgence for me; you have already granted me so many favors! Will you refuse me that which I now ask of you? Shall I be so unfortunate as to die without confession? Have you called me to Christianity [293] to let me end my life without participating in its holy mysteries? So great is the frailty of man, and so natural a tendency has he to sin, that I have great cause to fear being criminal in your sight, and worthy of an eternal death; and then what Will it avail me to have been baptized and to have prayed to you, if I am so unfortunate as one day to be damned? No, no, my God, I hope for this grace from your goodness. You are all-powerful; when it shall be your Will, our Fathers Will come here to instruct us; and I hope from your mercy that I shall Pot end my life until I have had the good fortune to receive the Sacraments. ’ ’ I doubt not that such holy prayers contributed much to the establishment <of this Mission. When he had learned of my arrival, the first thing he said to me was, “ At last God has heard my prayer; hear my Confession.”

At another time, when I was talking with him about his deceased relatives, he said to me: “ Why should I mourn them? My mother died immediately after receiving Baptism, Almost all my [294] nearest of kin expired in the arms of the Fathers who had made them Christians; they are all happy in Paradise, and I hope soon to go and find them. The greatest grief I have had in my life, ” he continued with a sigh, “ is that one of my children [Page 91] died some years ago without being able to make his confession. He was thirty years old and had lived a rather bad life; however hard I tried to make him a good man, he despised equally the law of God and the admonitions of his father; and what cruelly afflicts me is, that he died in so bad a condition without being able to make his peace with God by Confession. I have now only one Child left in the world, and he is at present gone to war. If God take him from me, I shall console myself for the loss without very great difficulty, since thou didst hear his confession before his departure.”

What I am going to relate will show what idea our Savages have of Paradise, when they are not yet thoroughly instructed in our mysteries.

Last year, I baptized a Young woman [295] of the more influential class of Tsonnontouen, who died a day after her baptism. The mother could not be comforted for this loss, our Barbarians being extraordinarily fond of their children; and when I tried to soothe her sorrow by representing to her the infinite happiness which her daughter was enjoying in Heaven, she said to me with considerable naïveté: “ Thou didst not know her. She was Mistress here and commanded more than twenty slaves, who are still with me; she knew not what it was to go to the forest to get wood, or to the River to draw water; she could not take upon herself the tare of all that has to do with domestic duties. Now I have no doubt that, being at present the only one of our family in Paradise, she has great difficulty in getting used to it; for she Will be obliged to do her own cooking, to go for wood and water, and to do everything with her own hands in the preparation of her [Page 93] food and drink. Indeed, is she not to be greatly pitied at not having any one who can serve her in that place? Thou seest here one of my slaves, who is ill; I pray thee instruct her well [296] and put her on the road to Heaven, that she may not stray from it, and that she may go and live with my daughter, to help her in all her domestic affairs. ” I availed myself of this opportunity, and of that woman’s simplicity, to instruct the sick slave. I spoke to her and found her quite inclined to listen to me. I exhorted and instructed her, and she opened her eyes to the truth, asking me for Baptism, — which I could, not refuse her, as I believed that she was in danger of dying. But God ordered otherwise; for her health was restored some time afterward, and at present she fulfills the duties of a good Christian. I applied myself then to the instruction of the mistress, and, after I had gradually freed her of the low, material conception that she entertained of Paradise, in order to form in her a more correct and worthy image of that supreme happiness, she assured me that there was nothing in the world she would not do to attain it; and that she was resolved to go and join her daughter, in order to dwell forever with her in that blessed abode. Since then, she has always shown great fidelity [297] in prayer and assiduity in receiving instruction; she even takes tare to have all her slaves instructed, and to make them pray to God; and through her alone, it can be said, more than twenty persons have been brought to God.

During the six months that I have spent here, f have baptized twenty or twenty-five Savages, and there are ten or twelve more Adults who are preparing themselves for this Sacrament. [Page 95]

As for a long time there has not been here a more abundant trop of nuts than that of the present year, the joy of this whole people is so great that one sees everywhere only games, dances, and feasts which often reach the point of debauchery, although for seasoning they have nothing but oil. But what has afforded me extreme consolation is that, amid all these disorders, there have been only two Christians who were so lax as to allow themselves to yield to the solicitations of the Jugglers, who urged them to have a certain superstitious feast held, in which all those who dance throw warm ashes on the sick person, believing this to be a sovereign remedy for his ailment.

The Iroquois have, properly speaking, [298] only a single Divinity — the dream. To it they render their submission, and follow all its orders with the utmost exactness. The Tsonnontouens are more attached to this superstition than any of the others; their Religion in this respect becomes even a matter of scruple: whatever it be that they think they have done in their dreams, they believe themselves absolutely obliged to execute at the earliest moment. The other nations content themselves with observing those of their dreams which are the most important; but this people, which ‘has the reputation of living more religiously than its neighbors, would think itself guilty of a great crime if it failed in its observance of a single dream. The people think only of that, they talk about nothing else, and all their cabins are filled with their dreams. They spare no pains, no industry, to show their attachment thereto, and their folly in this particular goes to such an excess as would be hard to imagine. [Page 97] He who has dreamed during the night that he was bathing, runs immediately, as soon as he rises, all naked, to several cabins, in each of which he has a, kettleful of water thrown over his body, [299] however cold the weather may be. Another who has dreamed that he was taken prisoner and burned alive, has himself bound and burned like a captive on the next day, being persuaded that by thus satisfying his dream, this fidelity Will avert from him the pain and infamy of captivity and death, — which, according to what he has learned from his Divinity, he is otherwise bound to suffer among his enemies. Some have been known to go as far as Quebec, traveling a hundred and fifty leagues, for the sake of getting a dog, that they had dreamed of buying there. From this it is easy to judge in what peril we are every day, among people who Will murder us in cold blood if they have dreamed of doing so; and how slight needs to be an offense that a Barbarian has received from some one, to enable his heated imagination to represent to him in a dream that he takes revenge on the offender. We have to regard ourselves here as victims who are every moment being led to torture, and are made to die a hundred times by the ever-present image of death — wherein, in truth, we deem ourselves happy, [300] since we are so near to martyrdom.

By an inclination natural to their sex, the infidel women are the most Religious in observing their dreams, and in following that Idol’s orders. It is true the worship paid to it by this people might pass rather for a superstition than for a full-fledged Idolatry, because they do not worship their dream or offer it any sacrifice. They believe, from a sure and [Page 99] infallible experience, that, when they have dreamed something and have failed to perform it, there always befalls them a misfortune which was mysteriously expressed in the dream. I have even noted that the majority of these Barbarians put themselves to very little trouble to obey their dreams when they are in health; but, the moment they have the least ailment, they are convinced there is no more sovereign cure for it and for the saving of their lives, than to perform all that they have dreamed. The Jugglers — who are, as it were, the Priests of their Divinity — contribute not a little toward keeping them [301] in this superstition; for as they are always summoned to explain the Dreams, and as they know admirably how to turn them to their own profit, they live and grow rich on the credulity of these poor people, who spare nothing — above ail, when they are sick — to carry out what the Juggler has told them the dream orders them to do.

This is the greatest obstacle that these peoples have to the faith, and it may be said to be the stumbling-block of Christianity; for, as to drunkenness, although they are madly addicted to it, yet the women and the old men are not given to this intemperance. It may be hoped that their example and the zeal of the Missionaries will temper the hot-headedness of a warlike youth who breathe only blood and brandy.

To overthrow the dream-superstition, I see no remedy more efficacious than to make them see clearly and by induction how the fidelity practiced in the observance of their Dreams by a great number of people whom they know has not been able to save them from either death or [302] captivity, or even [Page 101] from the entire destruction of their Nation. This consideration, which I have turned to account in this country for undeceiving them, has opened the eyes of many, and has caused them to detest at the same time the vain dream-superstition and the Juggler’s bad faith.

Still, it may be said in general, there is no means more efficacious for bringing the Iroquois into subjection to the Faith than to humble their pride by force of arms; and, as long as they shall fear those of the French, they Will offer scarcely any obstacle to their conversion.

God has his Predestined ones, not only among the Iroquois, where there are Missionaries, but he also permits the Iroquois to go and carry war even to the most distant regions, and to lead home captives, in order to make them find, in the prisons and fires of the Iroquois, the holy liberty of the children of God, and afterward Paradise. It is therein that we adore here every day the mysterious and wonderful Providence of God over his Elect.

Two captives from Gandastogué were brought [303] here to be burned, according to custom; and, after the first had had himself instructed and had given me all the signs of a holy disposition to receive Baptism, I conferred it upon him. At the end of fifteen hours of frightful torments, which he bore with a constancy and resignation wholly Christian, he left the earth to go to Heaven. The second was at first unwilling to listen to me, and even repulsed me several times, so that finally I was forced to leave him and give him leisure to reflect on what I had told him of Paradise and Hell; but, a short time afterward, he recalled me of his own accord, and told [Page 105] me that he really wished to obey God and be saved. I baptized him, after giving him the necessary instruction, and after he had made evident to me that faith was truly at work in his heart. Straightway he was led to the place of torture, and from that happy moment of his conversion until the last breath of his life, he sang continually, with an invincible courage: “ Burn my body as much as you Will; tear [304] it in pieces; this torment Will soon pass, after which I shall go to Heaven. I shall go to Heaven and be forever happy there. ” But he pronounced these words with so much faith and fervor that one of our good Christians, who saw him burned, and did not know that I had instructed and baptized him, said to the bystanders with him: “ This Captive surely has the faith; he certainly must have been instructed by some one of our Fathers who must be at Gandastogué.”

It is thus that God gathers together his Predestined ones from all parts of the world.

A woman who had been captured in a far distant country was seized, some days after her arrival here, with a dangerous illness. I repaired at once to the cabin where she was, to try to instruct her; but she did not understand, because I did not know the language of her country and could find no interpreter to speak to her. Yet I saw that she was constantly sinking, and was about to fall into the death agony. Then it was that my heart was wrung with [305] anguish at seeing a poor soul lost whom God had led from so far a land to the gates of Paradise. Having, then, left the cabin, quite filled with bitterness and sorrow, I resorted to prayer; and commended to God the salvation of that soul, with all the fervor of which [Page 105] I was capable, using the intercession of the blessed Virgin and of all the Saints to this same end. At length, after spending a long time in imploring the mercy of Our Lord on behalf of this woman, I felt strongly inspired to return to her cabin and commend her to her good Angel. Scarcely had I executed this purpose when I saw enter the hut two women whom I did not know, and who were not of the Village where I was living. They both approached the sick woman, bestowed on her a hundred caresses, and assured her they had come to console her and would never forsake her. So fortunate and unexpected an occurrence surprised me to such a degree that I thought that these were two Angels, whom God had sent from Heaven to make possible the instruction and baptism of that poor woman. I asked them if [306] they would have the kindness to act as my interpreters in procuring everlasting happiness for the sick woman who was at death’s door. They both offered to render her this good office. I explained to them the mysteries of our faith, and they repeated all my words to her with a clearness, and even an unction, which enlightened the sick woman’s mind, and at the same time touched her heart. I was charmed with the zeal and ardor with which these good catechists worked at the instruction of this Pagan woman, exhorting and urging her to open her eyes to the truth without delay, because there was left her only a very little time to live. They showed her Heaven open and ready to receive her, and, not content with being faithful interpreters of my words, they even added to them incentives and reasons which at length obliged this poor woman, who was scarcely able to utter another Word, [Page 107] to make a last effort for her salvation. She accordingly made me approach her bed, and gave me to understand that God himself had just instructed her, and that he had wrought [307] great things in her in a short time. I baptized her immediately, seeing her so well prepared; and some moments later she expired, to go and possess eternal glory in Heaven.

Is not that a miracle of God’s goodness, and are we not too happy that he is pleased to avail himself of us to be the instruments of his mercy?

Before finishing this Relation of our Iroquois missions, I Will put here, as in the form of a Journal, what remains for me to say about the condition in which they are at present, and what has been done here this year.

As there were no more sick persons at Tsonnontouen, I set out to go to Onnontagué, whither all the Missionaries of this country were expected to repair for the purpose of conferring together there on the means of working effectively for the salvation of these tribes, and of overcoming all the obstacles to their conversion that were encountered.

On the tenth of August, 1669, I had the happiness to embrace Father de Carheil at Oiogouen, whence I wrote to those of our [308] Fathers who are among the Iroquois, to repair to Onnontagué toward the end of the current month. Meanwhile, I had leisure to pause for some days at that Mission, where I was witness to the faith and virtue of the old Christians whom the late Father Ménard had formerly baptized; several infidels, even, had not yet forgotten the prayers which he had taught them. In fine, all that I saw in that new Church gave me very great consolation, and a strong hope for the total conversion of [Page 109] this country. Father de Carheil is greatly loved there; no one is opposed to the faith; several elders come to his little Chapel to pray to God; and he is having another built, which Will be larger and more convenient, and Will be completed in two months. I believe that then they will come to it in crowds to pray to God. It is René, his Companion, who is at once its contractor and builder. It will resemble the cabins of the Barbarians in nothing but the bark roof; all the rest after that is like such a house as is built in France. [309] Behind the Altar a little room has been contrived. In all the Village they talk about nothing but René’s skill. He gives a number of medicines, which he himself manufactures in that place; he dresses all kinds of wounds and cures them; and he treats all the sick. Several people of Goiogouen told me they would have all died without him. It passes belief to what degree he is loved by all the Savages. Would to God we might have a man like him in every Mission!

On the twentieth of August, Father de Carheil and I arrived at Onnontague, where — while waiting for Father Bruyas, who is at Onneiout, and for Father Pierron, who is at Agnié — I had leisure to consider the remains of our old Mission. Everything there appears to me to be in the same condition in which it was when we left it in the year sixteen hundred and fifty-eight, except that the Onnontagué have been much humbled of late by the Gandastogué; for nearly all their braves perished in the war. They speak to us with much more gentleness and [310] are far more tractable than they formerly were. There is a Church of Christians of long standing, numbering about forty persons, who [Page 111] are living good lives; and many are receiving instruction. Garakontié loves us truly. The Prince and the Orator visited me, with all the civility imaginable, and paid us a hundred courtesies.

On the twenty-sixth of August, Fathers Bruyas and Pierron arrived here; and we had the consolation of seeing six of us together, to deliberate on all matters for six days. During that time, we concerted the measures necessary for adoption in order to succeed in our Missions, and the means to remove all the obstacles which were acting as a check to the establishment of the Faith in the country of the Iroquois.

When we were ready to separate, there came an Iroquois envoy from Montreal, from Monsieur the Governor, with porcelain collars. He also brought Letters from Your Reverence and from Father Chaumonot, from which we learned that the French had massacred, near Montreal, seven [311] Onneiout, together with one of the most influential men of Tsonnontouen. This news made all this Nation very angry. A council, to which we were called, was immediately held, to deliberate on what was to be done. The envoy related, with considerable coldness, all that had happened. He even dared to exchange the collars, taking the finest, of five thousand beads of wholly black porcelain, which he assigned to his own Nation; and giving to the Tsonnontouen only the one that was the least valuable. But as Father Chaumonot’s Letter instructed us in all particulars, we made strenuous opposition to this ‘arrangement, and finally obliged him to make no innovations on the instructions that he had received. Garakontié, meeting in the Village a man from [Page 113] Tsonnontouen, gave him the collar that was for that Nation, saying to him: “ It is too far to go thither myself; thou wilt inform thy elders of the voice and thought of Onnontio. ” As for the collar designed for the people of Onneiout, he said that, as they were soon to come to Onnontagué [312] to hold a general council there, they would be informed of Onnontio’s Will. It is beyond a doubt that an affair of this nature is very unfavorable, and capable of rekindling the war between the Iroquois and the French.

Scarcely was this council over, when there was heard in the Village the cry of an Onneiout, who had just had a very lucky escape from the hands of a band of warriors of the Nez-percez Nation. At this cry the people assembled, and begged him to relate his adventure. “ We were,” said he, “ a band of five, and were returning victorious with two Touaghannha prisoners; but, unfortunately encountering a party of warriors of the Nez-percez Nation, we were defeated by them; and, my four Comrades being killed or captured with our two prisoners, I alone escaped from this encounter. ” That will furnish many seeds of strife, and material for arousing to vengeance a people as proud and indomitable as are the Iroquois. We do not yet know what resolution they will adopt in this matter. What [313] I can assure you is, that we do not fear death; and that we are, by the grace of God, ready for any issue, according as it shall please him to dispose of us, and that we shall reckon ourselves only too happy to be able to sacrifice our lives for him.

Departing from Onnontagué, we arrived on the seventh of September at Gandachiragou. While we were calling at Gandagaro, a drunken man seized [Page 115] Father Garnier with one hand, and raised the other two different times to stab him with a knife; but, by good luck, a woman who chanced to be not very far from this Barbarian, took the knife out of his hand and prevented him from carrying his brutality farther. I admired on this occasion the firmness and resoluteness of the Father, who did not even change color.

Three days after our arrival he took possession of the Mission of Gandachiorago, where there are yet only three or four Christians who make public profession of their Faith. He Will have the care of only this single Village, — at least, for this year, — in order that he may have time [314] to learn the language of the country perfectly, and himself make Rules for it and a Dictionary, in order to teach it to others. Therefore I am obliged to take charge of the three other Villages.

On the twenty-second of September, as I was on the point of going to take possession of the Mission of Saint Michel, I fell ill, and was forced to wait some days until the violence of the ailment had passed.

With the first day of September all the Youth of this country began, according to custom, to take the field; and the rest of the inhabitants who could bear the fatigues of war or of the chase set out soon after. They may amount to about five hundred for war, — divided into several bands, which are all marching against the Touagannha; and four or five hundred for the Beaver-hum, which they will carry on in the direction of the Huron country. These latter take their wives and children with them, so that there remains here only a very small number of persons, [Page 117] advanced in [315] years. I learned that they did the same thing at Goiogouen, and that they had all been divided into either hunters or warriors. What is indeed deplorable is, that many of these people will die without baptism, for these expeditions are not made without the loss of many lives; and what makes me lament is, that we cannot remedy this ill. But God, who knows his Predestined ones, will not fail to furnish them favorable opportunities for winning Paradise. These absences and journeys, which are customary with all these peoples, prevent us from laboring for their instruction with all the success we could desire. The greater part of the people who belong to the Villages where we are settled, are at war, or out hunting, during nine months of the year; and for a month before setting out the Young men are accustomed to abandon themselves to those excesses of drinking which go to the point of madness, — so that, excepting the old men and the women, who are not subject to these disorders, it is very difficult to contrive opportunities for speaking to them.

[316] A Tsonnontouen, calling at Onnontagué, was given charge of the porcelain collar which Onnontio presented to the Tsonnontouens, on the occasion of the death of one of their warriors who was assassinated by our Frenchmen. This collar was received here with considerable coldness; and although the exemplary chastisement, which Monsieur the Governor had given those assassins, made the Iroquois approve his conduct, still I believe that they would have preferred ten Porcelain collars to the death of those three Frenchmen, because they do not sec themselves in a position to render the same justice on a like [Page 119] occasion. Nevertheless, they declare that they are content with this satisfaction; and I do think that they dare not push their resentment farther, or undertake any action against the French.

On the twenty-seventh of September, as I found myself a little relieved from my ailment, I set forth to take possession of the Mission of saint Michel, in a Village called Gandagarae. Our best Christian, François Tehoronhiongo, [317] came to meet me, and conducted me into one of the finest cabins of the Village, — belonging to one of the most influential men, although an unbeliever, — in order that his authority might give me more protection against the insolent conduct of the drunkards.

On the third of November, which was the Sunday after all Saints’ Day, the Chapel being ready, I invited all our Savages to come and pray to God there, and those who were Christians to be present at the Mass that I would celebrate there early in the morning. The Chapel being full of people, I began my exhortation, to declare to them the abject of my coming. Then I besought them to open their eyes to the truth, to acknowledge the God of Heaven and earth, and renounce everything that displeased him; and to render themselves, by a constant fidelity, worthy of an everlasting happiness. I hope from God’s goodness that his grace Will incline their minds to taste the truths of Christianity, and undeceive themselves concerning the vanity of their superstitions, and regarding drunkenness and dreams, which are the two stumbling blocks of the faith among the Iroquois.

[318] Father Garnier continues to work diligently in the Village of Gandachiragou. God has made use [Page 121] of him in the conversion of some souls, wherein his mercy has been extraordinary, — more than twenty persons having died a very Christian death after being happily baptized. But he has learned by experience that the portion of Apostolic Missionaries is suffering, and a total surrender of self to God’s Providence; hard work; and the leading of a life that may be called a continual death.

End of the second Part.

[Page 123]

Relation of the Mis-

sions to the Ou-


[Page 127]






The Superior of these Missions is Father Dablon, who

Sent this Relation to Quebec to the Reverend Father

François le Mercier, Superior-General.


E call these People the Upper Algonquins, to distinguish them from the Lower Algonquins, who are found lower down, around Tadoussac and Quebec.

[4] They are commonly given the name Outaouaks, because, of more than thirty different Nations that are found in these Countries, the first to come down to our French Settlements were the Outaouaks, whose name afterward remained with all the others.

As we have a great number of different Peoples to cultivate in a great extent of territory, we have divided them all into three general Missions, which comprise many special ones, according to the diversity of Languages and Peoples, all having connection with these three Missions.

The first, which forms a center for the rest, is called Sainte Marie du Sault, situated at the foot of the Rapids which receive their waters from Lake Tracy, or Superior, and discharge into the Lake of the Hurons.

The second Mission, which is the farthest distant, [Page 127] is that of saint Esprit, toward the extremity of the said Lake Superior, in a place called by the Savages Chagaouamigong point.

[5] The third bears the name of St. François Xavier, at the far end of the Bay called des Puans, which is separated only by a tongue of land from Lake Superior.

In speaking of these three Missions separately, we shall take occasion to say something of the peculiarities and curious things to be found in the places where they are situated.





HAT is commonly called the Sault is not properly a Sault, or a very high waterfall, but a very violent current of waters from Lake Superior, — which, finding themselves checked by a great number of rocks that dispute their passage, form a dangerous cascade of half a league in width, all these waters descending and plunging headlong together, as if by a flight of stairs, over the rocks which bar the whole river.

[6) It is three leagues below Lake Superior, and twelve leagues above the Lake of the Hurons, this entire extent making a beautiful river, cut up by many Islands, which divide it and increase its width in some places so that the eye cannot reach across. It flows very gently through almost its entire course, being difficult of passage only at the Sault.

It is at the foot of these rapids, and even amid these boiling waters, that extensive fishing is carried on, from Spring until Winter, of a kind of fish found [Page 129] usually only in Lake Superior and Lake Huron. It is called in the native language Atticameg, and in ours “whitefish,” because in truth it is very white; and it is most excellent, so that it furnishes food, almost by itself, to the greater part of all these peoples.

Dexterity and strength are needed for this kind of fishing; for one must stand upright in a bark Canoe, and there, among the whirlpools, with muscles tense, thrust deep into the water a rod, at the end of which is fastened [7] a not made in the form of a pocket, into which the fish are made to enter. One must look for them as they glide between the Rocks, pursue them when they are seen; and, when they have been made to enter the net, raise them with a sudden strong pull into the canoe. This is repeated over and over again, six or seven large fish being taken each time, until a load of them is obtained.

Not all persons are fitted for this fishing; and sometimes those are found who, by the exertion they are forced to make, overturn the Canoe, for want of possessing sufficient skill and experience.

This convenience of having fish in such quantities that one has only to go and draw them out of the water, attracts the surrounding Nations to the spot during the Summer. These people, being wanderers, without fields and without corn, and living for the most part only by fishing, find here the means to satisfy their wants; and at the same time we embrace the opportunity to instruct them and train them in Christianity during their sojourn [8] in this place.

Therefore we have been obliged to establish here a permanent Mission, which we call sainte Marie du Sault, which is the center for the others, as we are here surrounded by different Nations, of which the [Page 131] following are those which sustain relations to the place, repairing hither to live on its fish.

The principal and native Inhabitants of this district are those who call themselves Pahouitingwach Irini, and whom the French call Saulteurs, because it is they who live at the Sault as in their own Country, the others being there only as borrowers. They comprise only a hundred and fifty souls, but have united themselves with three other Nations which number more than five hundred and fifty persons, to whom they have, as it were, made a cession of the rights of their native Country; and so these live here permanently, except the time when they are out hunting. Next come those who are called the Nouquet, who extend toward the South of Lake Superior, whence they take their origin; and the Outchibous, together with the Marameg, toward the North [9] of the same Lake, which region they regard as their own proper Country.

Besides these four Nations there are seven others dependent on this Mission. The people called Achiligouiane, the Amicoures, and the Mississague fish here, and hunt on the Islands and in the regions round about Lake Huron; they number more than four hundred souls.[iii]

Two other Nations, to the number of five hundred souls, — entirely nomadic, and with no fixed abode, — go toward the lands of the North to hunt during the Winter, and return hither to fish during the Summer. There remain six other Nations, who are either people from the North Sea, as the Guilistinous [i.e., Kilistinons] and the Ovenibigonc [i.e., Ouinipegouc], or wanderers in the regions around that same North Sea, — the greater part of them having been driven [Page 133] out of their Country by famine, and repairing hither from time to time to enjoy the abundance of fish here.

Two reasons, among others, have led us to form the resolution to make a journey [10] as far as the region of that North Sea. The first is, to sec in what way we can apply ourselves to the conversion of those tribes, — despite the great obstacles that confront us, owing to their manner of life, wandering constantly as they do in the depths of the woods, and assembling only rarely for some Market or Festival, according to their custom.

The second motive for this journey is to discover at last that North Sea of which so much has already been said, and which has not yet been found by land.

The incentives to this discovery are: first, to find out, by a comparison of the Latitude and Longitude of this place with that of the Sea, whether that Sea is the Bay to which Hutson penetrated in the year 1612, or some other; and then to ascertain what part of the North Sea is nearest to us. Secondly, to learn whether communication can be had from Quebec all the way to this Sea by following all the Northern Shores, just [11] as was attempted some years ago. This depends on the situation of that Bay, which we here have at our backs, toward the North; for, if it is found to be Hutson’s Bay, or another one farther Westward, easy Communication cannot be hoped for, since it would be necessary to double a point extending to more than sixty-three degrees of latitude. Thirdly, to verify the quite probable conjectures that have been entertained for a long time, that a passage could be made by this route to the Japan Sea; for what has been noted in some of the preceding [Page 135] Relations concerning this matter has been confirmed more and more by the report of the Savages, and the information that we have elicited from them. This is to the effect that, at some days’ journey from the Mission of saint François Xavier, which is at the Bay des Puans, is found a great River, more than a league in width. This, coming from the regions of the North, flows toward the South — and to such a distance that the Savages who have navigated it, in going to seek for enemies to fight with, [12] after a good many days’ journey have not found its mouth, which can be only toward the Sea of Florida or that of California. Mention Will be made hereafter of a very considerable Nation living in the direction ‘of that River, and of the journey we hope to make thither this year, to carry the Faith there, and, at the same time, gain a knowledge of those new Countries. Besides, we are also assured by the report of many other Savages, whose depositions agree very well, that at two hundred leagues from the Mission of saint Esprit among the Outaouaks, toward the West, is the Western Sea, to which one descends by another great River which is reached by an eight days’ journey from the said Mission, and which goes and comes far inland — for so the Savages designate the ebb and flow of the Sea; and one of them declares that he has seen there four sailing Vessels.

After those two Seas, that of the South and that of the West, only [13] that of the North is wanting to make us surrounded by them on all sides; and when this has been discovered, these advantages Will be derived from it, — that it Will be possible to pass from the North Sea to that of the South or to that of the West; and, secondly, as this Western Sea can [Page 137] only be the Japan Sea, it would be possible to facilitate the passage thither, and afterward commerce.




HE nomadic life led by the greater part of the Savages of these Countries lengthens the process of their conversion, and leaves them only a very little time for receiving the instruction that we give them.

To render them more stationary, we have fixed our abode here, where we cause the soil to be tilled, in order to induce them by our example to do the [14] same; and in this several have already begun to imitate us.

Moreover, we have had a Chapel erected, and have taken tare to adorn it, going farther in this than one would dare promise himself in a Country so destitute of all things. We there administer Baptism to children as well as Adults, with all the ceremonies of the Church; and admonish the new Christians during the holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The old men attend on certain days to hear the word of God, and the children gather there every day to learn the Prayers and the Catechism.

The assiduity shown by them, joined to their docility, would have already much increased the size of that Church, if the Devil did not hold them, as if enchained, by the most detestable of all the customs existing among the Savages. This has already been touched upon in the preceding Relation, and we shall discover more and more its pernicious effects.

It consists in each one’s making for himself, in his early years, a God which he reverences [15] then [Page 139] for the rest of his days, with superstitious and ridiculous veneration. It is this which they believe to he the sole author of their good fortune in all their enterprises of war, fishing, and hunting; and so they wear its ineffaceable hieroglyphic, — marking on their skin, as with the graver, the representations of the Divinities that they have chosen.

Now this is the way in which they create the Divinity. When a Child has reached the age of ten or twelve years, his father gives him a lesson, imparting to him the necessary instructions for finding out what Will be his God thenceforth.

First, he has him fast for several days, in order that, with his head empty, he may the more easily dream during his sleep; for it is then that this fancied God is bound to reveal himself to him, so that the sole abject of all their ingenuity and all their exertions is to see in their sleep something extraordinary, which then takes for them the place of a Divinity.

Accordingly, when morning has come, the father [16] questions his son, very seriously and with great secrecy, on all that has occurred during the night. If nothing has appeared to him, the fast must be begun again, and followed up until finally something is formed in the empty brain that represents to him either the Sun, or Thunder, or something else about which he has often been talked to; and, immediately upon awaking, he tells the good news to his father, who confirms the image in his thoughts. Consequently, after he has been brought up from infancy in this belief and has continued all his life to honor this God of his imagination with divers sacrifices and many feasts which are held in his honor, it is [Page 141] almost impossible to free his mind of this cursed superstition when he has grown old in it, or even passed some years.[iv]

At first we believed that it was only the young boys who were brought up in these stupid notions; but we have since learned that the little girls also are made to fast for the same purpose; and we find no persons more attached to these silly customs, [17] or more obstinate in clinging to this error, than the old women, who Will not even lend an ear to our instructions.

Despite these obstacles and many others, which the Devil raises up to check the course of the Gospel, in the two years since the beginning of this Mission we have baptized here more than three hundred persons, of all ages, from the earliest infancy up to extreme old age.

One of the first fruits of this year was an old man of seventy, who died after the Baptism which Father Allouez conferred upon him on the road. Last Summer, during his journey up hither, the Devil, who regarded the old man as a victim that had been assured him for a long time, forgot no expedient to prevent this move, so managing matters that, two days before his death, — the very day appointed for his Baptism, — the Canoe which bore the Father went astray in the Lake of the Nipissiriniens. But we have reason to believe that this dying man’s Guardian Angel assumed the guidance of the Missionary during the night, [18] and conducted him safely through the darkness to the rendezvous of the others, where this good Catechumen was baptized. The Father — who was passionately determined not to give up hope for his patient, in order that he might help him in the [Page 143] last struggles — was sorely afflicted when he saw, on the morning after losing his way, that his Canoe, by some misfortune or other, was separated from the body of the rest; and he could not join them either during the day or during the following night, and was even almost in utter despair when, by an unhoped for piece of good fortune, he notwithstanding reached the entrance to Lake Huron, very late. There he found his sick mari, — in the death-agony, but with his reason still unimpaired; and after he had been prepared by all the Observances necessary in his critical condition, he died a Christian death on that night, leaving us very evident signs of an altogether special providence acting for his salvation. We have every reason to believe that God showed him this mercy as a reward for the great services that he rendered these Missions, even when he was still [19] a Pagan, at the time when the same Father Allouez came up to these Countries for the first time. All the other Savages forsaking the Father, and being unwilling to take him in their Canoes, this man alone, against the Will of all the others, procured his passage; and by this means he has been, in some sort, the cause of all the blessings that have since been enjoyed by these Missions. And it was the Will of Providence that, on the very route on which he had rendered this service, he received holy Baptism from the same Father whom he had so courageously assisted.

Among a number of Young children whom we baptized, four girls of the same family gave evidence of the strength and courage that the Grace of Baptism imparts. For, after they had received it in our Chapel, when they had returned to their Cabin [Page 145] and were openly glorying in the fact that they were Christians, an old woman who was strongly attached to her superstitions, rudely scolded them, — telling them, among other things, that Baptism was invented only to cause [20] death, and that they must fully expect to die soon. “ Very well,” they replied, “ we will die, but we will die Christians, and will sooner have our souls torn from our bodies than the Faith from our hearts.”

Ought not that noble spirit to touch the most hardened and the most barbarous? Perhaps it is God’s Will to touch them still by an incident which appears extraordinary enough here. A short time after our arrival we had baptized two twin children, one of whom died a few days later; and, because we had not yet any Cemetery, the relatives suspended this little body in the air, after their usual custom, placing it on a scaffold, and then retired into the Forests to pass the winter. A pack of Wolves, pressed with hunger, coming out of the woods, pounced upon this little body; but they, — after they had devoured the skins and even the colored glass beads with which it was covered, — through a protecting influence that was altogether marvelous, did not touch at all the body itself, as being a thing consecrated by holy Baptism.

[21] We shall see what effect this will have on the minds of these poor Infidels. We ought to hope for much, especially from the great number of innocent souls, the souls of so many children who died after Baptism, and who, without doubt, present themselves immediately before God’s Throne, to ask for the conversion of their relatives and the people of their country. [Page 147]









HIS Lake has almost the form of a bent Bow, more than a hundred and eighty leagues long; the South side serves as its string, and the arrow seems to be a great Tongue of land projecting more than eighty leagues into the width of the Lake, starting from this same South side, at about its middle.

The North side is frightful, by reason of a succession of Rocks which form the end of that prodigious Mountain-chain [23] which, beginning beyond Cap de Tourmente, below Quebec, and continuing as far as this point, over a distance of more than six hundred leagues in extent, finally comes and loses itself at the end of this Lake.

It is clear almost throughout and unencumbered with Islands, which are ordinarily found only toward the North shores. This great open space gives force to the winds, and they stir it up with as much violence as the Ocean.

It is almost everywhere so abundant in Sturgeon, Whitefish, Trout, Carp, and Herring, that a single Fisherman Will catch in one night twenty large [Page 149] Sturgeon, or a hundred and fifty Whitefish, or eight hundred Herring, in one net. These Herring are very much like those of the Sea in shape and size, but are not quite so good. One often has to undergo much exposure for this fishing, which, in certain parts, is carried on only in the offing, and in places that are dangerous and subject [24] to storms; while at night the fishing is done before the Moon rises, In fact, two Frenchmen were drowned there last Autumn, being surprised by a gust of wind which they could not avoid.

In the River named Nantounagan [Ontonagen], which is toward the South, very extensive fishing for Sturgeon is carried on, day and night, from Spring until Autumn; and it is there that the Savages go to lay in their provision. Opposite this River on the North side, a quite similar fishery is carried on in a little cave where a single not furnishes you thirty and forty Sturgeon in one night.

This plenty is found besides in a River at the end of the Lake; and, going down along the North side, one comes upon another River which takes its name from the black Sturgeon that are caught there; they are not so good as the others, but Travelers who are starving find them excellent.

At the point of saint Esprit, Chagaouamigong, where the Outaouaks [25] and the Hurons live, there are caught at all times of the year great numbers of Whitefish, Trout, and Herring. This manna begins in November, and lasts until the ice comes; and, the colder the weather becomes, the more fish one catches. These Herring are found in every part of the Lake on the South side, from Spring down to the end of the month of August; and a full list of all its [Page 151] fisheries would require a complete enumeration of all the caves and all the Rivers of this Lake.

It is thus that Providence has provided for these poor peoples, who, in default of hunting and of corn, live for the most part only on fish.




ITHERTO it had been thought that these Mines were found only in one or two Islands; but, since we have made more exact inquiries on the subject, we have learned from the Savages some secrets which they did not wish to reveal. It has been necessary to use artifice to elicit this information, and to distinguish the true from the false.

Still we do not vouch for the truth of all that we are about to relate, upon their simple deposition, until we are able to speak with more assurance after having gone in person to the places referred to; and this we hope to do this Summer, at the same time when we go in search of lost and wandering sheep all through the region of that great Lake.

Upon entering it by its mouth, where it empties into the Sault, the first [27] place met where Copper is found in abundance, is an Island, distant forty or fifty leagues and situated toward the North, opposite a spot called Missipicouatong [Michipicoten].

The Savages say that it is a floating Island, which is sometimes far off, sometimes near, according to the winds that push it and drive it in all directions. They add, that a long time ago four Savages came thither by chance, having lost their way in the fog by which that Island is almost always surrounded. [Page 153]

It was in the times before they had yet had any commerce with the French, and when they did not use kettles or hatchets. These men, then, wishing to prepare themselves something to eat, adopted their usual method: taking some stones that they found at the water’s edge, they heated them red-hot, and threw them into a bark dish filled with water, to make it bail, and by this device to cook their meat, While selecting these stones, [28] they found that they were almost all pieces of Copper; accordingly they made use of some of them, and, after taking their repast, resolved to embark as soon as possible, fearing the Lynxes and Hares, which are as large as Dogs in that region, which were coming to eat up their provisions and even their Canoe.

Before setting out, they loaded themselves with a good many of these stones, large and small, and even with some slabs of Copper; but they had not gone far from the shore when a powerful voice made itself heard to their ears, calling in great wrath: “ Who are those robbers carrying off from me my children’s cradles and playthings? ” The Copper slabs are the cradles, because among the Savages these are made of only one or two boards joined together, on which they put their children to bed; and those Little pieces of Copper that they were carrying off are the toys and playthings of the Savage children, who play together [29] with little stones.

That voice astonished them greatly, as they knew not whose it was. Some say that it was Thunder, because there are many storms there; and others that it was a certain Spirit whom they call Missibizi, who passes among these peoples for the God of the [Page 155] waters, as Neptune did among the Pagans. Others say it came from Memogovissiouis: these are, they say, marine People somewhat like the fabulous Tritons or the Sirens, who always live in the water and have long hair reaching to the waist. One of our Savages told us he had seen one of them in the water, according to what he imagined.

However this may be, that astounding voice inspired such terror in our Travelers’ souls that one of the four died before reaching land. A short time afterward a second was taken off, and then the third; so that only one was left, who, after returning to his Country and relating all that [30] had happened, died very soon afterward.

The Savages, all-timid and superstitious as they are, have never dared to go there since that time, for fear of dying there, believing that there are certain Spirits who kill those who approach them. And, in fact, in the memory of man, no one has been known to set foot there, or even to be willing to sail in that direction, — although the Island seems to be open enough, and its trees may even be distinguished from another Island, named Achemikouan.

There is truth and there is untruth in this whole narrative, and the following is what is most probable: namely, that those four persons were poisoned by the water that they boiled with the pieces of copper, which communicated their poison to it, owing to their very great heat; for we know by experience that this copper, when it is put into the fire for the first time, exhales very malignant vapors, which are thick and infectious and whiten the fireplace. It is not, however, a poison [31] so immediate as not to operate more promptly in some cases than in others, [Page 157] as happened with those of whom we are speaking; who, being already affected by the poison, may have easily imagined that they heard those voices, if they heard, however slightly, some echo, such as is commonly found among the Rocks bordering that Island.

Perhaps this fable has been invented since the event, from not knowing to what to attribute the death of those Savages; and when they say that it is a floating Island, it is not incredible that the mists with which it is often laden, by becoming thin or dense under the Sun’s rays, make the Island appear to the observer sometimes very near, and at other times farther away.

What is certain is that, in the common opinion of the Savages, there is a great abundance of Copper in that Island; but they dare not go there. It is there that we hope to begin the discoveries, which we purpose [32] making this Summer.

Advancing as far as the part called “ the great inlet, ” one comes to an Island three leagues from land, renowned for the metal that is found there, and for the name of Tonnerre [Thunder], which it bears because it is said to thunder there all the time.

But farther toward the West, on the same North side, is found the Island which is most famous for Copper, and is called Minong [Isle Royale]; this is the one in which, as the Savages have told many people, the metal exists in abundance, and in many places. It is large, and is fully twenty-five leagues long; it is distant seven leagues from the mainland, and more than sixty from the end of the Lake. Pieces of Copper, mingled with the stones, are found at the water’s edge almost all around the Island, [Page 159] especially on the South side; but principally in a certain inlet that is near the end facing the Northeast, toward the [33] offing, there are some very steep clay hills where are seen several strata or beds of red Copper, one over another, separated or divided by other strata of earth or of Rocks. In the water even is seen Copper sand as it were; and from it may be dipped up with ladles grains as large as a nut, and other smaller ones reduced to sand. This large Island is almost all surrounded with Islets that are said to be formed of Copper; they are encountered in various places, as far as the mainland on the North. One, among others, is only two gunshots distant from Minong; it is between the middle of the Island and the end that faces the Northeast. Again, on this Northeast side, far out in the lake, there is another Island which, because of the copper in which it abounds, is called Manitouminis [i.e., “ Island of the spirit”]; of this it is related that those who came here formerly, upon throwing stones at the ground, made it ring, just as brass is wont to ring.

Going on to the end of the Lake, and coming back a day’s journey along the South side, [34] one sees at the water’s edge a Rock of Copper weighing fully seven or eight hundred livres, so hard that steel can scarcely cut it; yet, when it is heated, it may be cut like lead.

Twenty or thirty leagues this side of that spot is situated Chagaouamigong point, where we have established the Mission of saint Esprit, of which we shall speak hereafter. Near that place are some Islands, on the shores of which are often found Rocks of Copper, and even slabs of the same material. [Page 161]

Last Spring, we bought from the Savages a slab of pure Copper, two feet square, and weighing more than a hundred livres. It is not thought, however, that the mines are found in the Islands, but that all these Copper pebbles probably come from Minong or from the other Islands which are the sources of it, borne upon floating ice or rolled along in the depths of the water by the very impetuous winds, — particularly by the Northeast wind, which is extremely [35] violent.

It is true that on the Mainland, at the place where the Outaouaks raise Indian corn, half a league from the water’s edge, the women have sometimes found pieces of Copper scattered here and there, of the weight of ten, twenty, or thirty livres. It is in digging up the sand to plant their corn that they make these chance discoveries.

Still returning toward the mouth of the Lake and following the South side, at twenty leagues’ distance from the spot we have just mentioned one enters the River called Nantounagan, in which is seen a height from which stones of red Copper fall into the water or on the ground, and are very easily found. Three years ago we were given a massive piece of it, a hundred livres in weight, which was taken in this same spot; from it we have cut off some fragments, and sent them to Quebec to Monsieur Talon.

All do not agree as to the precise spot where it is found, some maintaining that it is where the river begins [36] to narrow, and others saying that it is encountered very near the Lake, by digging in the clay. Some have said that at the place where the River forks, and in the channel farthest to the East, [Page 165] on this side of a point of land, one must dig in the rich earth to find this Copper; and that pieces of this metal are even found scattered in the channel which is in the middle.

Still continuing in this direction, the long point of land presents itself which we have called the arrow of the bow; at its end there is only an Islet, which appears to be six feet square, and is said to be all of copper.

Finally, not to leave any part of this great Lake that we have not explored, we are assured that in the interior, toward the South, mines of this metal are found in different places.

All this information and other besides, which it is not necessary to give more in detail, make it worth while to undertake an exact investigation in these matters; and that is [37] what we shall try to do, — as also to examine a certain verdigris which is said to run down through the crevices of certain Rocks at the waterside, where one even finds among the pebbles some rather soft pieces, of a pleasant green hue. If God guide us in our enterprise, we shall speak about it next year with more certainty and knowledge.





ORE than fifty Villages can be counted, which comprise divers peoples, either nomadic or stationary, who depend in some sort on this Mission; and to whom the Gospel can be proclaimed, either by going into their Country, or waiting for them to come to this to do their trading. [Page 165]

The three Nations comprised under the [38] name of Outaouaks, of which one has embraced Christianity, and that of the Etionnontatehronnon Hurons — among whom there are more than five hundred baptized persons — inhabit this point; they live there on fish and corn, and rarely by hunting, and number more than fifteen hundred souls.

The Illinois, tribes extending toward the South, have five large Villages, of which one has a stretch of three leagues, the cabins being placed lengthwise. They number nearly two thousand souls, and repair to this place from time to time in great numbers, as Merchants, to carry away hatchets and kettles, guns, and other articles that they need. During the sojourn that they make here, we take the opportunity to sow in their hearts the first seeds of the Gospel. Fuller mention Will be hereafter made of these peoples, and of the desire which they manifest to have one of our Fathers among them to instruct them; and also of the plan formed by Father Marquette to go thither next Autumn.

Eight days’ journey from here toward the West is the first of the thirty [39] Villages of the Nadouessi. The extensive warfare carried on by them with our Hurons, and with some other Nations of those Regions, keeps them more confined, and obliges them to come hither only in small numbers, and as if on an Embassy. Of them also mention will be made hereafter, and of what the said Father has done to put them in a state of peace and keep them there.

Of all the Nations toward the North, there are three, among others, who come to trade here; and very recently two hundred Canoes passed some time here. [Page 167]

Four other Nations also — of the number of those composing the Mission of saint François Xavier, at the Bay des Puans — received here the first tincture of the Faith during the time when, fleeing from the pursuit of the Iroquois, they resided here.

Thus this Mission finds itself surrounded, on almost all sides, by peoples to whose conversion we have begun to apply ourselves, as we shall see.






                                                PAX CHRISTI.

I am obliged to render an account to Your Reverence of the condition of the Mission of saint Esprit among the Outaouaks, according to the order that I have received from You — and again, recently, from Father Dablon — since my arrival here, after a Voyage of a month amid snow and ice, which blocked our passage, and amid almost constant dangers of death.

Having been assigned by Divine Providence to continue the Mission of saint Esprit, — which Father Allouez had begun, [41] and where he had baptized the principal men of the Nation of the Kiskakonk, — I arrived here on the thirteenth of September, and went to visit the Savages in the Clearings, who are divided among five Villages. The Hurons, to the number of four or five hundred souls, almost all baptized, still preserve a little Christianity. Some of the chief men, assembled in a council, were very glad to see me at first; but when I informed them that I [Page 169] did not yet know their language perfectly, and that no other Father was coming to the place, — both because they had all gone to the Iroquois; and because Father Allouez, who understood them thoroughly, had been unwilling to return to them for this Winter, because they did not take enough interest in Prayer, — they acknowledged that they were well deserving of this punishment. Since then they have spoken of the matter during the Winter, and resolved to do better, as they have declared to me.

The Nation of the Sinagaux Outaouaks is very far from the Kingdom of God, [42] because of its extreme attachment, above all the other Nations, to indecencies, sacrifices, and jugglery. They turn Prayer to ridicule, and scarcely Will they hear us speak of Christianity; they are proud and without intelligence; so that I think there is so little to be accomplished with this Nation that I have not even been willing to baptize the children who were well, or those who seemed able to escape disease, — contenting myself with being on the watch for the sick.

The people of the Nation of Keinouché[v] declare themselves boldly, saying that it is not yet time. Still there are two men that were formerly baptized, — one of whom, who is rather old, is looked upon as a wonder among the Savages, from his never yet having chosen to marry; and he still persists in his resolution, whatever one can say to him on the subject. He undergoes Sharp attacks, even from his relatives; but that does not affect him any more than the loss he suffered of all his Merchandise that he had brought the previous year from the French settlements, not even [43] saving wherewith to [Page 171] cover himself, These are harsh trials for Savages, the greater part of whom seek for nothing else than to possess much in this world.

The other, who is a Young man newly married, seems to be of a different nature from the rest. The Savages, extraordinarily attached to their dreams, had concluded that it was necessary for a certain number of Young men to commit indecent acts with some Young girls, — the latter choosing for this purpose such Young men as they pleased. Never is any refusal given, because they believe that thereon depend the men’s lives. This Young Christian was called; at first, he entered the Cabin, but, seeing that those dissolute acts were about to begin, he pretended to be ill, and immediately went away, Some one went to call him back, but he would have none of it. He made his confession with as much prudence as any one could use; and I beheld with admiration that a Savage could live with such innocence, and everywhere declare himself a Christian with such spirit. He has a mother, too, who is a good Christian, [44] as are some of his sisters.

The Outaouaks, superstitious to an extraordinary degree in their feasts and their juggleries, seem to harden themselves to the teachings that are given them; yet they are very glad to have their children baptized. God suffered a woman to die in her sin this Winter. Her illness had been concealed from me, and I learned nothing of it except from the report that was circulated that she had asked for a very indecent dance as a cure. I immediately went into a Cabin where all the elders were at a feast, and among them were some Christian Kiskakonk. I pointed out to them this woman’s impiety as well [Page 173] as the juggler’s, and I gave them instruction and spoke to all present. It was God’s Will that an old Outaouak should speak, saying that I was granted what I asked, and that it was no matter if that woman did die. An old Christian immediately took the Word, and told the Nation that the Young people’s dissolute conduct must be stopped, and that the Christian girls must never be permitted to be present [45] at those dances. To satisfy that woman, the dance asked for was changed into a children’s game, but this did not prevent her from dying before daylight.

The critical illness of a sick Young man caused the jugglers to say that the Devil must be invoked by the observance of some altogether extraordinary superstitions. The Christians did not make any invocation to him; there were only the juggler and the sick man, who was made to pass over some large fires that had been lighted in all the Cabins. They said that he did not feel the heat, although his body had been smeared with oil for five or six days. Men, women, and children ran through the Cabins, asking as a riddle what they had in their thoughts; and he who guessed it was very glad to give the person what he sought. I prevented them from carrying out the indecencies that they are accustomed to practice at the close of all these deviltries; and I do not think that they will return to them, because the sick man died soon afterward.

[46] The Nation of the Kiskakonk, which for three years had refused to receive the Gospel, as proclaimed to them by Father Allouez, resolved at last, toward Autumn of the year 1668, to obey God The resolution to that effect was adopted in a [Page 175] council, and announced to the Father, who was thus obliged to winter with them for a fourth time, in order to instruct and baptize them. The chiefs of the Nation declared themselves Christians; and, in order to cultivate them, the Father having gone on to another Mission, I was given charge of them, and went to assume my duties in the month of September of the year 1669.

All the Christians were in their fields, harvesting the Indian corn. They heard me with pleasure when I told them that I came to la pointe only out of consideration for them and for the Hurons; that they should never be forsaken, but cherished more warmly than all the other nations; and that they had only one common interest with the French. I had the consolation of seeing their fondness for prayer, and the great account they make of being [47] Christians; I baptized the new-born babes, and visited the Elders, whom I found all favorably disposed; and when the Chief had permitted that a dog should be suspended from a pole near his Cabin, — a kind of sacrifice that the Savages make to the Sun, — and I had told him that was not right, he went himself at once and threw it down. A sick man, instructed but not yet baptized, begged me to grant him that grace, or else to remain near him, because he did not wish to employ the juggler for his cure, and he was afraid of Hell-fire. I prepared him for Baptism, and was often in his Cabin, the joy that he felt in consequence partly restoring his health. He thanked me for the tare that I had taken of him, and soon after, saying that I had given him his life, he gave me a present of a slave that had been brought to him from the Illinois, two or three months before. [Page 177]

One evening when I was in a Christian’s Cabin, where I slept, and had caused him to offer some prayers to the Guardian Angels, — relating to him some [48] anecdotes to make him recognize the help that they give us, principally in the dangers of offending God in which we find ourselves, — he told me that he now recognized an invisible hand that struck him, when he was on the point of committing sin with a woman, after his Baptism. He said that he had heard what seemed like a voice, telling him to remember that he was a Christian; and he desisted, without committing any sin. Since then, he has often spoken to me about devotion to the Guardian Angels, and has talked about them with the other Savages.

Some Young women who have been baptized serve as examples to all the other women, and do not blush to declare that they are Christians. Marriages among the Savages are broken almost as easily as they are made, and it is no dishonor to marry again. Learning that a Young Christian woman, abandoned by her husband, was exposed to this danger because of her relatives, I went to visit her and encouraged her to conduct herself like a Christian. She kept her word so well that there has never been heard [49] any gossip about her; her conduct, together with the remonstrances that I made to her husband, compelled him to take her back toward the end of the Winter; and forthwith she failed not to come to Chapel, having been too far from it before. She has laid bare her conscience to me, and I am filled with admiration that a young woman has lived as she has. [Page 179]

The Pagans hold no feast without Sacrifice, and we have much difficulty in restraining them from it. The Christians have now changed their methods of procedure; and in order to effect this change the more easily, I keep a little of their usage, and take from it all that is bad. They must needs make speeches at the opening of the feast; they accordingly address themselves to God, whom they ask for health and for what they need, saying that it is for this purpose that they give the feast. God has been pleased to preserve all the Christians in health, except two children whom the people tried to hide from me, and in whose behalf a Juggler had executed his deviltries; they died a short time after their Baptism.

When I invited the Kiskakonk to come [50] and winter near the Chapel, they left all the other Nations, to gather together near us, in order that they might pray to God, be instructed, and have their children receive Baptism. They declare themselves Christians, and it is for this reason that, in all the councils and in all matters of consequence, I addressed myself to them; it was enough to show them what I wished, in order to obtain it, when I spoke to them as to Christians. They used to tell me also that it was on that account that they obeyed me. They have gained the upper hand over the other Nations and may be said to govern three others. It is a great consolation to a Missionary to see such pliable dispositions in the midst of Barbarism, to live in such peace with Savages, and to pass sometimes whole days in teaching them and making them pray to God. The Winters severity and the bad weather did not prevent them from coming to Chapel; there were some who did not let a single day pass without [Page 181] coming, and I was busy receiving them from morning till night. [51] prepared some for Baptism, instructed them preparatory to Confession, and disabused them of their errors regarding dreams. The elders told me that the Young people had not yet any sense, and that I must check them in their dissolute conduct. I spoke to them often about their daughters, in order that they might not permit the Young men to go and visit them at night. I knew almost all that was going on among two Nations that were near us; but while I had heard mention of almost all the other women, I was never told anything about the Christians; and whenever I asked some of the elders their opinion about them, they would have no answer to give me except that they were wont to pray to God. I often impressed this matter upon the women, knowing well all the importunities they suffer every night, and the courage they must needs have to resist them. They have learned to be modest, and the French who were wont to see them see plainly that they do not resemble the rest. It is in this matter that the Christian women are distinguished from the others.

[52] One day when I was instructing the elders in my Cabin and telling them about the Creation of the World and other Old Testament Narratives, they gave me an account of what they used to believe formerly but now regard as a matter of fable. They have some knowledge of the Tower of Babel, saying that their old men had related to them how formerly .a great house had been built, but a strong wind had overthrown it. They despise all those little divinities that they had before being baptized; they often make fun of these, and are astonished that they have had [Page 183] so little sense as to offer sacrifices to those fabulous creatures.

I baptized a grown man after a long probation: in view of his assiduity in prayer, his openness in relating his past life to me, and the promises he gave me, especially not to go and see the girls, I was obliged to grant him what he asked from me, on account of the assurances of his good conduct that were given me. He has since continued in it and [53] has not failed to come to Chapel immediately on his return from fishing. After the Easter Holidays, all the Savages separated to go in search of their living, — promising me always to remember their Prayers, and earnestly begging me to have one of our Fathers go and join them in the Autumn, when they should have reassembled. Their request was granted, and if it please God to send some Father to us, he Will take my place, while I shall go to start the Mission among the Illinois, in pursuance of the Father Superior’s orders.

The Illinois are distant from la pointe thirty days’ journey by land, by a very difficult route, and live by themselves, Southwestward from the point of saint Esprit. One passes the Nation of the Ketchigamins, who live in the interior, constitute more than twenty large cabins, and seek acquaintance with the French, hoping to obtain hatchets, knives, and other iron implements from them. They fear them to such a degree that they withdrew from the fire two Illinois, who, after being bound to the stakes, stated [54] that the Frenchman had said that he wished peace to prevail over all the earth. One goes on then to the Miamiouek, and, after crossing great prairies, reaches the Illinois, who are mainly gathered [Page 185] in two Villages, containing more than eight or nine thousand souls. These people are fairly well inclined toward Christianity; since Father Allouez spoke to them, at la Pointe, about worshiping the one God, they have begun to abandon their false divinity. They worship the Sun and Thunder. Those whom I have seen seem to be of a tolerably good disposition: they do not go about at night, as do the other Savages; a man boldly kills his wife if he learns that she has not been faithful; they are more moderate in their Sacrifices; and they promise me to embrace Christianity, and observe all that I shall say in the Country. With this purpose in view, the Outaouaks gave me a Young man who had lately come from the Illinois, and he furnished me the rudiments of the language, during the leisure allowed me by the Savages of la Pointe [55] in the course of the Winter. One can scarcely understand it, although it is somewhat like the Algonquin; still I hope, by the Grace of God, to understand and be understood, if God in his goodness lead me to that Country.

One must not hope that he can avoid Crosses in any of our Missions; and the best means to live there contentedly is not to fear them, and to expect from God’s goodness, while enjoying the small ones, to have much heavier ones. After the fashion of the Savages, the Illinois wish for us in order that we may share their miseries with them, and suffer every imaginable hardship of barbarism. They are lost sheep, that must be sought for among the thickets and woods, since for the most part they cry so loudly that one hastens to rescue them from the jaws of the Wolf, — so urgent have been their petitions to me during the Winter. That is why they went into [Page 187] the Country this Spring, to notify the elders to come and get me in the Autumn.

[56] The Illinois journey always by land; they raise Indian corn, which they have in great abundance, have squashes as large as those of France, and have a great many roots and fruits. There is fine hunting there of Wild Cattle, Bears, Stags, Turkeys, Ducks, Bustards, Pigeons, and Cranes. The people quit their Village some time in the year, to go all together to the places where the animals are killed, and better to resist the enemy who come to attack them. They believe that, if I go to them, I shall establish peace everywhere, that they will always live in one place, and that it will be only the Young men who will go hunting.

When the Illinois come to la Pointe, they cross a great river which is nearly a league in width, flows from North to South, and to such a distance that the Illinois, who do not know what a Canoe is, have not yet heard any mention of its mouth. They simply know that there are some very large Nations lower down than themselves, some of whom, [57] toward the East-Southeast of their Country, raise two crops of Indian corn in a year. A Nation that they call Chaouanou came to see them last Summer; and this Young man who has been given me, and is teaching me the language, saw them. They are laden with glass Beads, which shows that they have communication with Europeans. They had come overland a journey of nearly thirty days, before reaching the Country. It is hard to believe that that great River discharges its waters in Virginia, and we think rather that it has its mouth in California. If the Savages who promise to make me a Canoe do not break their [Page 189] word to me, we shall explore this River as far as we can, with a Frenchman and this Young man who was given me, who knows some of those languages and has a facility for learning the others. We shall visit the Nations dwelling there, in order to open the passage to such of our Fathers as have been awaiting this good fortune for so long a time. This discovery [58] will give us full knowledge either of the South Sea or of the Western Sea.

Six or seven days’ journey below the Illinois, there is another great River, on which live some very powerful Nations, who use wooden Canoes; of them we can Write nothing else until next year — if God grant us the grace to conduct us thither.

The Ilinois are warriors and take a great many Slaves, whom they trade with the Outaouaks for Muskets, Powder, Kettles, Hatchets and Knives. They were formerly at war with the Nadouessi, but made peace with them some years ago, which I confirmed, in order to facilitate their coming to la Pointe, — where I am going to await them, that I may accompany them into their Country.

The Nadouessi, who are the Iroquois of this country, beyond la Pointe, — but less perfidious than they, and who never attack until they have been attacked, — are [59] toward the Southwest from the Mission of St. Esprit. It is a large nation and has not yet been visited, as we are engaged in the conversion of the Outaouaks. They fear the Frenchman because he brings iron into this country; they have a language wholly different from the Algonquin and the Huron; there are a good many villages, but they extend over a great deal of territory. Their manners and customs are quite extraordinary: they chiefly adore the [Page 191] Calumet, and say not a word at their feasts; and, when any stranger arrives, they feed him with a wooden fork, as one would a Child. All the nations of the Lake make war on them, but with little success. They have the wild oats, use little Canoes, and keep their word inviolate. I sent them a present by the Interpreter, with a message that they must show due recognition to the Frenchman wherever they met him, and must not kill him or the Savages accompanying him; that the black Gown wished to proceed into the Country of the Assinipouars, [60] and into that of the Kilistinaux; that he was already among the Outagamis; and that I should set out this Autumn to go to the Ilinois, the passage to whom they were to leave free. To this they consented; but, as for my present, they were waiting until all their people should have come back from the chase; and they said that they would be at la Pointe this Autumn, to hold council with the Ilinois and talk with me. I could wish that all the Nations had as much love for God as these people have fear of the French; Christianity would soon be flourishing.

The Assinipouars, who have almost the same language as the Nadouessi, are Westward from the Mission of St. Esprit, being fifteen or twenty days’ journey distant on a Lake, where they gather wild oats, and fish are very plenty. I heard that there was in their Country a great River leading to the Western Sea; and a Savage told me that, being at its mouth, he had seen Frenchmen and four large Canoes with sails.

[61] The Kilistinaux are nomadic people and we do not yet well know their rendezvous. They are [Page 193] toward the Northwest of the Mission of saint Esprit, are always in the woods, and have only the BOW to live by. They called at the Mission where I was last Autumn, to the number of two hundred Canoes, coming to buy Merchandise and corn. They went into the woods to pass the Winter; but I have seen them this Spring, on the Lakeshore. [Page 195]





Letter from Father Allouez, who has had charge of this

Mission, to the Reverend Father Superior.



                                                PAX CHRISTI.

I send to Your Reverence the Journal of our winter’s campaign, wherein you Will find how the Gospel has been proclaimed, and Jesus Christ preached, to Peoples that worship only the Sun, or some imaginary Idols.

[63] On the third of November, we departed from the Sault, I and two others. Two Canoe-loads of Prouteouatamis wished to conduct me to their Country; not that they wished to receive instruction there, having no disposition for the Faith, but that I might curb some Young Frenchmen, who, being among them for the purpose of trading, were threatening and maltreating them.

We arrived on the first day at the entrance to the Lake of the Hurons, where we slept under the shelter of the Islands. The length of the journey and the difficulty of the way, because of the lateness of the Season, led us to have recourse to saint Francis Xavier, Patron of our Mission; this obliged me to celebrate holy Mass, and my two Companions to [Page 197] receive Communion on the day of the Feast, in his honor, and still further to invoke him, twice every day, by reciting his Orison.

On the fourth, toward noon, we doubled the Cape which forms the detour, and is the beginning of the Strait or the Gulf of Lake Huron, which is well known, and of the Lake of the Ilinois, — which up to the present time is unknown, and is much smaller than Lake [64] Huron. Toward evening the contrary wind, which was about to cast our Canoe upon the shoals of Rocks, obliged us rather to finish our journey.

On the 5th, upon waking, we found ourselves Covered with snow, and the surface of the canoe coated with ice. This little beginning of crosses which Our Lord was pleased to allot us invited us to offer ourselves for greater ones. We were compelled to embark with all the baggage and provisions, with great difficulty, our bare feet in the water, in order to keep the Canoe afloat, which otherwise would have broken. After leaving a great number of Islands to the Northward, we slept on a little Island, where we were detained six days by the bad weather. The snow and frosts threatening us with ice, my Companions had recourse to saint Anne, to whom we entrusted our journey, praying her, together with St. Francis Xavier, to take us under her protection.

On the eleventh we embarked, notwithstanding the contrary wind, and crossed to another Island, and thence to the mainland, where we found two Frenchmen [65] with several Savages. From them we learned of the great dangers to which we were about to expose ourselves, by reason of the storms that are frequent on this Lake, and the ice which [Page 199] would soon be afloat. But all that was not sufficient to shake the confidence that we had reposed in our Protectors. After invoking them, we launched the Canoe, and then doubled successfully enough the Cape which makes a detour to the West, having left in our rear a large Island named Michilimakinak, celebrated among the Savages. Their legends about this Island are pleasing.

They say that it is the native Country of one of their Gods, named Michabous — that is to say, “ the great Hare,” Ouisaketchak, who is the one that created the Earth; and that it was in these Islands that he invented nets for catching fish, after he had attentively considered the spider while she was working at her web in order to catch flies in it. They believe that Lake Superior is a Pond made by Beavers, and that its Dam was double, — the first [66] being at the place called by us the Sault, and the second five leagues below. In ascending the River, they say, this same God found that second Dam first and broke it down completely; and that is why there is no waterfall or whirlpools in that rapid. As to the first Dam, being in haste, he only walked on it to tread it down; and, for that reason, there still remain great falls and whirlpools there.

This God, they add, while chasing a Beaver in Lake Superior, crossed with a single stride a bay of eight leagues in width. In view of so mighty an enemy, the Beavers changed their location, and withdrew to another Lake, Alimibegoung [Nipigon], —whence they afterward, by means of the Rivers flowing from it, arrived at the North Sea, with the intention of crossing over to France; but, finding the water bitter, they lost heart, and spread [Page 201] throughout the Rivers and Lakes of this entire Country. And that is the reason why there are no Beavers in France, and the French come [67] to get them here. The people believe that it is this God who is the master of our lives, and that he grants life only to those to whom he has appeared in sleep. This is a part of the legends with which the Savages very often entertain us.

On the fourteenth, God delivered us from two great dangers, through the intercession of our Protectors. While we were taking a little rest, our Canoe was borne away from us by a gust of wind, which carried it to the other side of the River; then it was brought back to us by another gust of wind, when, awakened by the noise it made, we were thinking of making a Raft, in order to go and get it. Toward evening, after making a long day’s journey and finding no place for disembarking, by reason of the inaccessible banks, we were forced to remain out in the stream during the night; but, being surprised by an unusual gust of wind, we were obliged to land among Rocks, where our Canoe would have been shattered if God in his Providence had not taken charge of our guidance. In this second danger we appealed to him by [68] the mediation of our intercessors, and afterward said Mass in Thanksgiving.

After we had continued our Voyage until the twenty-fifth, amid continual dangers, God indemnified us for all our hardships by causing us to chance upon a Cabin of Pouteouatamis, who were engaged in fishing and hunting at the edge of the wood. They regaled us with all that they had, but especially with fen/, which is the nut of the beech-tree, which they roast, and Pound into flour. I had leisure [Page 203] to instruct them, and to confer Baptism upon two little sick children.

On the twenty-seventh, while we were trying to paddle with the utmost vigor possible, we were perceived by four Cabins of Savages named Oumalouminek, who forced us to land: but as they were pressed with hunger, and we were at the end of our provisions, we could not remain long together.

On the twenty-ninth, as the Mouth of the River which we were to enter was frozen over, we were in great difficulty. [69] We thought of making the rest of the journey to the rendezvous by land; but, a furious wind having arisen during the night, we found ourselves enabled, owing to the breaking-up of the ice, to continue our Voyage. We finished it on the second of December, on the eve of saint Francis Xavier’s day, when we arrived at the place where the French were; and they helped us to celebrate his Day with the utmost solemnity in our power, — thanking him for the succor that he had procured for us during our voyage, and entreating him to be the Patron of that Mission, which we were about to start under his protection.

On the following day, I celebrated holy Mass, at which the French, to the number of eight, paid their Devotions. As the Savages had gone into winter quarters, I found here only one Village of different Nations — Ousaki, Pouteouatami, Outagami, Ovenibigoutz [i.e., Ouinipegouk] — about six hundred souls. A league and a half away was another, of a hundred and fifty souls; four leagues distant, one of a hundred souls; and eight leagues from here, on the other side of the Bay, one [70] of about three hundred souls. [Page 205]

All these Nations have their fields of Indian corn, squashes, beans, and tobacco. On this Bay, in a place that they call Ouestatinong, twenty-five leagues away, there is a large Nation named Outagami, and a day’s journey from them there are two others, Oumami and Makskouteng. Of all these Peoples, a portion gained a knowledge of our Faith at saint Esprit point, where I instructed them; we shall do so more fully, with Heaven’s help.

In the matter of our sustenance, we have had a good deal of trouble. Scarcely have we found material to make our cabin; all that we have had for food has been only Indian corn and acorns; the few fish that are seen here, and that but seldom, are very poor; and the water of this bay and of the rivers is like stagnant ditch-water.

The Savages of this region are more than usually barbarous; they are without ingenuity, and do not know how to make even a bark dish or a ladle; they [71] commonly use shells. They are grasping and avaricious to an extraordinary degree, and sell their little commodities at a high price, because they have only what is barely necessary. The season in which we arrived among them was not favorable for us: they were all in a needy condition, and very little able to give us any assistance, so that we suffered hunger. But blessed be God, who gives us all these opportunities and richly recompenses, besides, all these hardships by the consolation that he makes us find, amid the greatest afflictions, in the quest of so many poor Savages’ souls, — which are not less the work of his hands and the price of the Blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, than those of the Princes and Sovereigns of the earth. [Page 207]



HE Village of the Ousaki is the first where I began to give instruction. As soon as we were provided with a cabin there, I assembled all the elders, to whom, after relating the news of the peace with the Iroquois, I expatiated on the purpose of my journey, which was naught else than their instruction. I explained to them the principal articles of our belief, which they heard with approval, appearing to me very well disposed toward Christianity. Oh, if we could succor them in their poverty, how flourishing our Church would be! The rest of that month, I labored for their instruction, and gave Baptism to several sick children, — having the consolation of seeing one of these, some time afterward, leave the Church Militant, which had received him into the number of her children, to enter the Church Triumphant, there to sing eternally the mercies of [73] God toward him, and to be an Advocate for the conversion of the people of his Nation.

Among those who had not heard about our Mysteries were some irreligious persons, who made fun of them. God put into my mouth words wherewith to check them; and I hope that, strengthened by Grace, we shall, with time and patience, have the consolation of winning some of them to Jesus Christ. Those who are Christians have come punctually every Sunday to Prayers and to Instruction, where we have the Pater and Ave chanted in their language.[vi]

In the month of January I purposed to go and carry the Gospel to another Village, but it was impossible for me to go and settle down among them. I tried to make up for this by frequent visits. [Page 209]



N the seventeenth of February I repaired to the Village of the Pouteouatamis, which is eight leagues from this place, on the other side of the Lake. After walking all day without halting, we arrived there at Sunset, sustained by some small bit of frozen meat that hunger made us eat. On the day after my arrival, they made us a present of all the fat of a Bear, with many manifestations of affection.

On the nineteenth, I assembled the council, and, after relating the news, informed them of the purpose that had brought me to their Country, reserving for the following day a fuller discourse on our religion. This I carried out with success and the divine blessing, causing them, of their own accord, to draw this conclusion, that, since the faith was so necessary for avoiding Hell, they wished to pray, and [75] hoped that I would procure them a Missionary to instruct them, or else would myself stay and do them that kindness.

In the days following, I visited all the Cabins, and instructed the inmates very fully in private, with satisfaction on both sides. I had the consolation of conferring Baptism there on two new-born babes and on a Young man who was dying, who exhibited an excellent disposition.

On the twenty-third, we set out to return thence; but the wind, which froze our faces, and the snow, compelled us to halt, after we had gone two leagues, and to pass the night on the Lake. On the following day, the severity of the cold having diminished, although very little, we continued our journey with much suffering. On my part, I had my nose frozen, [Page 211] and I had a fainting fit that compelled me to sit, down on the ice, where I would have remained — my Companions having gone on ahead — if, by a Divine providence, I had not found in my handkerchief a [76] clove, which gave me strength enough to reach the settlement.

At the opening of the month of March, the great thaws having begun, the Savages broke up their settlements to go in quest of the means to sustain life, after being for some time pressed with hunger.

I was very sorry not to have been able to go through all the Villages, by reason of the remoteness of some of them, and the little inclination of others to receive me. I resolved to try at least to establish Christianity firmly in a neighboring Village, composed for the most part of Pouteouatamis. Calling the men together twice, I explained to them fully our Mysteries and the obligation resting upon them to embrace our Faith; and that this was the sole reason that had brought me to their Country in the Autumn. They received very favorably all that I said to them, and I often visited them in their cabins, to inculcate in the inmates what I had taught them in public. I baptized some sick children there, and received great consolation in the assurance which [77] certain persons gave me that, since hearing me five years ago at the point of saint Esprit, on Lake Superior, they had always invoked the true God. They said that they had been very appreciably protected by him; that they had always succeeded in their hunting and fishing; that they had not been ill, and that, in their families, death did not occur so frequently as was usual before they adopted prayer. On another day, I taught the Catechism to the [Page 215] girls and women, our cabin being entirely filled. These poor people are very well disposed, and show great good Will; many of them question me on various matters, in order to receive instruction, — propounding to me their difficulties, which arise only from their high idea of Christianity, and from their fear of not being able to fulfill its obligations. Our stay was not long, as hunger was pressing them, and they were forced to go in search of provisions. We withdrew full of consolation, praising and blessing God that his holy [78] Name had been respected, and the holy Faith well received, by these barbarian Peoples.

On the 21st of that month, I took the Sun’s altitude, and found that this was about 46 degrees, 40 minutes; and its elevation from the Pole, or the complement of the above, was about 43 degrees, 20 minutes.

The ice did not break up here until the 12th of April, the Winter having been extremely severe this year; and consequently navigation was much impeded.

On the 16th of April, I embarked to go and begin the Mission to the Outagamis, a people of considerable note in all these regions. We slept at the head of the bay, at the mouth of the River des Puans, which we have named for saint Francis.[vii] On our way we saw clouds of Swans, Bustards, and Ducks. The Savages set snares for them at the head of the bay, where they catch as many as fifty in one night, this game seeking in Autumn the wild oats that the wind has shaken off in the month of September.

On the 17th, we ascended the River [57 i.e., 79] saint François, which is two, and sometimes three, arpents wide. After proceeding four leagues, we [Page 215] found the Village of the Savages called Saky [Sacs), whose people were beginning a work that well deserves to have its place here. From one bank of the River to the other they make a barricade by driving down large stakes in two brasses of water, so that there is a kind of bridge over the stream for the fishermen, who, with the help of a small weir, easily catch the Sturgeon and every other kind of fish, —which this dam stops, although the water does not cease to flow between the stakes.[viii] They call this contrivance Mitihikan, and it serves them during the Spring and a part of the Summer.

On the eighteenth we passed the portage called by the natives Kekaling,[ix] our sailors dragging the canoe among rapids; while I walked on the River-bank, where I found apple-trees and vine-stocks in great numbers.

On the 19th, our Sailors ascended the Rapids for two leagues by the use of poles, and I went by land as far as the other portage, which they call Ooukocitiming, — [80] that is to say, and "the bank.” We observed on this same day the Eclipse of the Sun predicted by the Astrologers, which lasted from noon until two o’clock; a third of the Sun’s disk, or nearly that, appeared to be eclipsed, the other two- thirds making a Crescent. We arrived in the evening at the entrance to Lake des Puans, which we have named Lake saint François; it is about twelve leagues long and four wide, extends from the North- Northeast to the south-southwest, and abounds in fish; but is uninhabited, on account of the Nadouecis, who are there held in fear.[x]

On the twentieth, which was Sunday, I said Mass, after voyaging five or six leagues on the Lake, after [Page 217] which we came to a River, flowing from a Lake bordered with wild oats; this stream we followed, and found at the end of it the River that leads to the Outagamis, in one direction, and that which leads to the Machkoutenck, in the other.[xi] We entered this first stream, which flows from a Lake; there we saw two Turkeys perched on a tree, [81] male and female, resembling perfectly those of France — the same size, the same color, and the same cry. Bustards, Ducks, Swans, and Geese are in great number on all these Lakes and Rivers, — the wild oats, on which they Eve, attracting them thither. There are large and small Stags, Bears, and Beavers in great abundance.

On the twenty-fourth, after turning and doubling several times in various Lakes and Rivers, we arrived at the Village of the Outagamis.

This people came in crowds to meet us, in order to see, as they said, the Manitou, who was coming to their country. They accompanied us with respect as far as the door of the cabin, which we were made to enter.

This Nation is renowned for being populous, the men who bear arms numbering more than four hundred; while the number of women and children there is the greater on account of the polygamy which prevails among them, — each man having commonly four wives, some having six, and others as many as ten. Six large [82] cabins of these poor people were put to rout this month of March by eighteen Iroquois from Tsonnontouan, — who, under the guidance of two fugitive Iroquois Slaves of the Pouteouatamis, made an onslaught, and killed all the people, except thirty women whom they led away as captives. As the men were away hunting, they met with but little [Page 219] resistance, — there being only six warriors left in the cabins, besides the women and children, who numbered a hundred or thereabout. This carnage was committed two days’ journey from the place of our winter quarters, at the foot of the Lake of the Ilinioues, which is called Machihiganing [Michigan].

On the twenty-fifth, I called together the Elders in a large assembly, with the purpose of giving them the first acquaintance with our Mysteries. I began with the invocation of the holy Ghost, to whom we had made our appeal during our journey, to pray for his blessing upon our labors. Then, when I had, by means of a present which I thought I ought to make them, dried the tears which the remembrance of the massacre perpetrated by the Iroquois caused them to shed, [83] I explained to them the principal Articles of our Faith, and made known the Law and the Commandments of God, the rewards promised to those that shall obey him, and the punishments prepared by him for those that shall not obey him. They understood me without my having need of an interpreter, and that, too, with attention; but, oh, my God! what ideas and ways contrary to the Gospel these poor people have, and how much need there is of very powerful grace to conquer their hearts! They accept the Unity and Sovereignty of God, Creator of all things; for the rest, they have not a word to say.

An Outagami told me, in private, that his ancestor had come from Heaven, and that he had preached the Unity and the Sovereignty of a God who had made all the other Gods; that he had assured them that he would go to Heaven after his death, where he should die no more; and that his body would not be found in the place where it had been buried, — [Page 221] which was verified, said this Outagami, the body being no longer found [84] where it had been put. These are fables which God uses for their salvation; for after the man had finished telling me everything, he added that he was dismissing all his wives, retaining only one, whom he would not change; and that he was resolved to obey me and pray to God. I hope that God will show him mercy. I tried to visit the people in their cabins, which are in very great number, — sometimes for the purpose of instructing them in private; and at other times to go and carry them some little medicine, — or, rather, something sweet for their little sick children, whom I was baptizing. Toward the end, they brought them to me voluntarily in the cabin where I lodged.

I spoke their language, in the assurance they gave me that they understood me; it is the same as that of the Satzi [sc. Saki]. But alas, what difficulty they have in apprehending a Law that is so opposed to all their customs!

These Savages withdrew to those regions to escape the persecution of the Iroquois, and settled in an excellent country, — the soil, which is black there, [85] yielding them Indian corn in abundance. They live by hunting during the Winter, returning to their cabins toward its close, and living there on Indian corn that they had hidden away the previous Autumn; they season it with fish. In the midst of their clearings they have a Fort, where their cabins of heavy bark are situated, for resisting all sorts of attacks. On their journeys, they make themselves cabins with mats. They are at war with the Nadouecious, their neighbors. Canoes are not used by them; and, for that reason, they do not make war on the Iroquois, [Page 223] although they are often killed by them. They are held in very low estimation, and are considered by the other Nations as stingy, avaricious, thieving, choleric, and quarrelsome. They have poor opinion of the French, ever since two traders in Beaver-skins appeared among them; if these men had behaved as they ought, I would have had less trouble in giving these poor people other ideas of the whole French Nation, — which they are beginning to esteem, since I explained to them the principal and only motive that brought me to their country.

[86] On the twenty-sixth, the Elders came into the cabin where I was lodging, to hold council there. The assembly having been convened, the Captain, after laying at my feet a present of some skins, harangued in the following terms: “ We thank thee, ” he said, “ for having come to visit and console us in our affliction; and we are the more obliged to thee, inasmuch as no one has hitherto shown us that kindness.” They added that they had nothing further to say to me, except that they were too dispirited to speak to me, being all occupied in mourning their dead. “ Do thou, black Gown, who art not dispirited and who takest pity on people, take pity on us as thou shalt deem best. Thou couldst dwell here near us, to protect us from our enemies, and teach us to speak to the great Manitou, the same as thou teachest the Savages of the Sault. Thou couldst cause to be restored to us our wives, who were led away prisoners. Thou couldst stay the arms of the Iroquois, and speak to them of [87] peace in our behalf for the future. I have no sense to say anything to thee; only take pity on us in the way thou shalt judge most fitting. When thou seest the [Page 225] Iroquois, tell them that they have taken me for some one else. I do not make war on them, I have not eaten their people; but my neighbors took them prisoners and made me a present of them; I adopted them, and they are living here as my children.” This speech has nothing of the barbarian in it. I told them that in the treaty of peace which the French had made with the Iroquois, no mention had been made of them; that no Frenchman had then been here, and that they were not known; that, as to other matters, I much approved what their Captain had said; that I would not forget it, and that in the following Autumn I would render them an answer. Meanwhile, I told them to fortify themselves in their resolution to obey the true God, who alone could procure them what they asked for, and infinitely more.

In the evening four Savages, of the Nation of the Oumamis, arrived from a place two days’ journey [88] hence, bringing three Iroquois scalps and a half- smoked arm, to console the relatives of those whom the Iroquois had killed a short time before.

On the twenty-seventh, we took our departure, commending to the good Angels the first seed sown in the hearts of these poor people, who listened to me with respect and attention. There is a glorious and rich harvest for a zealous and patient Missionary. We named this Mission after saint Mark, because on his day the Faith was proclaimed there.[xii]




N the twenty-ninth, we entered the River which leads to the Machkoutench, who are called by the Hurons Assista Ectaeronnons, “Nation of Fire.” [Page 227] This River is very beautiful, without rapids or portages, and flows toward the Southwest.

On the thirtieth, landing opposite the Village and leaving our canoe at the water’s edge, after walking a league through beautiful Prairies, we perceived the Fort. The Savages, espying us, immediately gave the cry in their Village, hastened to meet us, and accompanied us with honor into the cabin of the Chief, where refreshments were straightway brought to us, and the feet and legs of the Frenchmen with me were anointed with oil. Afterward a feast was prepared, which was attended with the following ceremonies. When all were seated, and after some had [90] filled a dish with powdered tobacco, an Old man arose and, turning to me, with both hands full of tobacco which he took from the dish, harangued me as follows: “ This is well, black Gown, that thou comest to visit us. Take pity on us; thou art a Manitou; we give thee tobacco to smoke. The Nadouessious and the Iroquois are eating us; take pity on us. We are often ill, our children are dying, we are hungry. Hear me, Manitou; I give thee tobacco to smoke. Let the earth give us corn, and the rivers yield us fish; let not disease kill us any more, or famine treat us any longer so harshly! ” At each desire the Old men who were present uttered a loud “ Oh! ” in response. I had a horror of this ceremony, and, begging them to hear me, I told them it was not I to whom their vows must be addressed; that in our necessities I had recourse to Prayer to him who is the only and the true God; that it was in him that they ought to place their trust; [91] I told them that he was the sole Master of all things, as well as of their lives, I being only his [Page 229] servant and envoy; that he was my sovereign Lord, as well as my host’s; and that wise men nevertheless willingly honored and listened to the black Gown, as being a person who is heard by the great God and is his Interpreter, his Officer, and his Domestic. They offered us a veritable sacrifice like that which they make to their false Gods.

Toward evening, I gathered them together, and made them a present of glass Beads, Knives, and Hatchets, that I might say to them: “ Become acquainted with the black Gown. I am not the Manitou who is the master of your lives, and has created Heaven and Earth; I am his creature, I obey him, and I bear his word through all the earth.” I then explained to them the articles of our holy Faith, and God’s Commandments. These good * people only half understood me; but, before I left them, I had the consolation of seeing that they comprehended our principal articles of Belief; they received [92] the Gospel with respect and awe, and showed themselves well satisfied to have a knowledge of the true God.

The Savages named Oumamis are here only in very small numbers, their main body having not yet come in from their hunting; therefore I say almost nothing about them in detail. Their language is in harmony with their disposition: they are gentle, affable, sedate; they also speak slowly. This whole Nation was to arrive in sixteen days; but, obedience calling me to the Sault, I was not at liberty to wait for them.

These people are settled in a very attractive place, where beautiful Plains and Fields meet the eye as far as one can see. Their River leads by a six days’ Voyage to the great River named Messi-Sipi, and it [Page 231] is along the former River that the other populous Nations are situated. Four leagues from here are the Kikabou and the Kitchigamich, who speak the same language as the Machkouteng.[xiii]

On the first of May, I went to visit them in their cabins; and I instructed them, [93] speaking their language sufficiently to make myself understood by them. They heard me with respect, admired the main features of our Faith, and were eager to lavish on me all the best things they had. Those poor Mountaineers are kind beyond all power of belief; but they do not fail to have their superstitions, and to practice polygamy, as is customary with the Savages.

The courtesies that they showed me kept me busy almost all day: they came to my cabin to give me an invitation, conducted me to their own, and, after making me sit down on a fine new piece of fur, presented me a handful of tobacco, which they placed at my feet; and brought me a kettle full of fat, meat, and Indian corn, accompanying it with a speech or a compliment. I always took occasion thereupon to inform them of the truths of our Faith, — while God, by his grace, never failed to make me understood, their language being the same as that of the Saki.

I baptized there five children who were in danger of dying, whom they themselves brought to me [94] that I might give them medicine. When, at times, I sought retirement for the purpose of praying, they would follow me, and, from time to time, come and interrupt me, saying to me in a suppliant tone, “Manitou, take pity on us! ” In truth, they taught me the respect and affection with which I ought to address God. [Page 233]

On the second of May, the Elders came to our cabin to hold a council; they thanked me, by an address and by some gift, for having come to their country; and they exhorted me to come thither often. “ Guard our land,” they said; “ come often, and teach us how we are to speak to that great Manitou whom thou hast made us know. ” This people appears very docile. See there a Mission all in readiness, and capable of giving, in conjunction with the two neighboring Nations, full occupation to a Missionary. As we were pressed for time, I set out to return to the place whence I had come; and arrived there safely, proceeding by way of the River saint François, in three days.

[95] On the sixth, I paid a visit to the Oumalouminek, eight leagues distant from our cabin, and found them at their River[xiv] in small numbers, the Young people being still in the woods. This Nation has been almost exterminated by the wars. I had difficulty in understanding them, but in time made the discovery that their language is Algonquin, although much corrupted. They succeeded in understanding me better than I understood them. After making a little present to the Elders, I proclaimed the Gospel to them, which they admired and heard with respect.

On the ninth, the Elders invited me to their council, and there made me a present, with an expression of Thanks for my having come to visit them in order to give them a knowledge of the true God. “ Take heart, ’ ’ they said to me: “ instruct us often, and teach us to speak to him who has made all things.” This Mission we have named after saint Michael, as well as the River where [96] they dwell.

On the tenth, when I arrived at the settlement, a [Page 235] Pouteouatami, not daring to ask me for news, addressed our dog in these words: “ Tell me, O Captain’s dog, what is the state of affairs among the Oumacouminetz? Thy Master has told thee; thou hast followed him everywhere. Do not conceal the matter from me, for I dare not ask him about it.” I saw well what his design was.

On the thirteenth I crossed the Bay to go to find the Ovenibigoutz in their Clearings, where they were assembling. The next day, I held council with the Old men and the youth, and proclaimed the Gospel to them, as I had done to the others. About thirty years ago, all the people of this Nation were killed or taken captive by the Iliniouek, with the exception of a single man who escaped, shot through the body with an arrow. When the Iliniouetz had sent back his captive countrymen to [97] inhabit the country anew, he was made Captain of his Nation, as having never been a slave.

They speak a peculiar language which the other Savages do not understand; it resembles neither the Huron nor the Algonquin. There are, they say, only certain tribes of the Southwest who speak as they do. I learned some words from them, but more especially the Catechism, the Pater, and the Ave.

I visited them in their cabins and instructed them, doing the same to the Pouteouatamis who live with them; and both asked me, with gifts, to come and instruct them in the following Autumn.


WE cannot make our Christians live strictly up to their profession of Christianity, on account of the way in which we are obliged to live among [Page 237] them in the beginning; having only a cabin, after their own mode, we cannot instruct them, or perform the other exercises of Religion at stated times, as is done in a Chapel. We have, however, tried to call them together every Sunday, to teach them the Catechism and make them pray to God. We have here seven adult Christians and forty-eight others, either children or persons almost grown up, whom we baptized when they were dangerously ill, a part of them at the Point of saint Esprit, and a part in these districts during the past Winter. I do not Count those who have died, who are about seventeen in number. I have received consolation this Winter from seeing the fervor of our Christians, [99] but especially that of a girl named Marie Movena, who was baptized at the Point of saint Esprit. From last Spring up to the present time, she has resisted her relatives: despite all the efforts they have made to compel her to marry her stepbrother, she has never consented to do it. Her brother has often struck her, and her mother has frequently refused her anything to eat, — sometimes reaching such a pitch of anger that she would take a firebrand and burn her daughter’s arms with it. This poor girl told me about all this bad treatment; but her courage could never be shaken, and she willingly made an offering of all her sufferings to God.

As far as concerns the infidels hereabout, they greatly fear God’s judgments and Hell’s torments. The Unity and Sovereignty of God are very satisfying to their minds. Oh, if these poor people had the aids and the means that Europeans have in abundance for accomplishing their salvation, they would soon be good Christians. Oh, if they saw something [Page 239] of the magnificence of our Churches, of the devotion [100] with which they are frequented, of the extensive charities that are maintained for the benefit of the poor in the Hospitals, I am sure that they would be greatly affected thereby.

On the twentieth, I embarked with a Frenchman and a Savage to go to sainte Marie du Sault, whither obedience called me, leaving all these peoples in the hope that we should see them again next Autumn, as I had promised them.

In conclusion we add here that, as a reënforcement to the workers in so large a Mission, there have been sent to it Father Gabriël Drouillette, one of the oldest and most influential Missionaries; and Father Louys André, who arrived here last year and was at the very outset assigned to this Mission. He accordingly arrived there after having served a Novitiate of a year here, as Missionary among the Algonquins who make their abode in these parts.

Moreover, as the Fathers of that Mission mention the Solar Eclipse of April nineteenth of this present year, 1670, it would have been possible, from the observation [101] that was made of it here at the same time, to ascertain the difference of Longitude between them and us. But as it requires great exactness and many technicalities to reach the desired end by an Eclipse of the Sun, we shall wait for one of the Moon, to arrive at an easier and surer conclusion in the matter.

Nevertheless, for the satisfaction of some Curious persons, we give an account of that Eclipse as it appeared at Quebec.

It began at a quarter before two o’clock, and ended [Page 241] at twenty-three minutes after three, its total duration being 1 hour and 40 minutes, — the whole being measured by the movement of a Pendulum exactly adjusted to the movement of the Sun. The extent of the Eclipse was a little more than five fingers. We had marked on a card six concentric circles, separated by equal distances, with each space divided into twelve parts to give us the minutes by fives. But this device being too large for the dimensions of the place where we had taken up our position to make the observation, we [102] were unable to estimate the said extent except by conjecture. If this can serve for determining the Longitude of Quebec, well and good.


[Page 243]


Relation Of 1670-71


Source: We follow a copy of the original Cramoisy, in Lenox Library.

Chaps. i.-iv. of Part 1. are contained in the present volume; the remainder of the document Will appear in Volume LV. [Page 245]





of the Society of Jesus,



in the years 1669 and 1670.

Sent to the Rev. Father JEAN PINETTE,

Provincial of the Province of France.

P A R I S.


Printer to the King, ruë st. Jacques,

at the Sign of the Storks.



By Royal License.

[Page 248]


To the Reverend Father Jean Pinette, Provincial

of the Society of Jesus in the

Province of France.


Since the King has checked the insolence of the Iroquois by the fear of his arms, we have carried the Gospel without opposition more than four hundred leagues in all directions; and there is hardly a people left in all this great tract of country to whom the faith has not penetrated with the glory of our invincible Monarch.

Last summer I was with one of our Fathers, among the Fire Nation, five hundred leagues from Quebec; we found there other peoples, who promised us to carry more than five hundred leagues farther the good tidings of Salvation which we announced to them. At the same time, too, others of our Fathers were preaching the name of Jesus Christ in the Outaouacs’ country, at both ends of Lake Superior and on the Lake of the Hurons; and this Summer, while continuing to cultivate the Iroquois, who are situated toward the south, we are also turning our attention toward the peoples of the North. One of our Fathers has but recently set out for the North sea, to which no Frenchman has yet penetrated, fully resolved to make his way by land as far as that famous bay of Hutson, and to cause the light of our holy Religion to shine forth upon those new tribes, who have hitherto been in the darkness of infidelity. Thus we can say that the torch of the Faith now illumines the four quarters of this new World. More than seven hundred Baptisms have this [Page 251] year consecrated all our Forests; more than twenty different Missions among more than twenty distinct Nations, give our Fathers constant occupation; and the Chapels, erected in countries most remote from here, are filled almost daily with those poor Barbarians, — while in some of them there have occasionally been performed ten, twenty, or thirty Baptisms in one day.

These Blessings from Heaven are purchased only with famine, which sometimes reduces the Missionary to acorns and moss; With toil that exhausts him, and makes him perspire from morning tilt evening; and with almost constant danger of death, — from being either forced to go, in quest of the stray sheep in these vast Forests, over snow and ice; or obliged to fare, in frail bark canoes, on Lakes which are no less stormy than the sea.

Such are the allurements that we offer to those whom we invite to come and take part in these glorious conquests; but I can assure them that they will discover from experience, just as we have done, that they have never tasted delights so sweet as are found in these paltry cabins. In these, there is want of everything; but there one finds God most fully when opportunity offers to speak to some poor Savage, to appeal to his heart, and to set him in the pathway to Heaven.

Our Missionaries are infinitely obliged to the King for having opened the door to them, and made a free passage to so many Nations at such a distance from us; it is the result of the peace effected between the Iroquois and the Outaouacs by the pains of the wise Minister. But as these Iroquois are still Iroquois, and the Outaouacs still barbarians, bath must be made to observe a respectful demeanor — the former through fear, and the latter through the high opinion they are made to conceive of his Majesty.

To this end, Monsieur de Courcelle, our Governor, accompanied by the most active of our Frenchmen, made [Page 253] an expedition this Summer into the Iroquois’ country, showing them that the forty leagues of streams which he had to travel by boat will not prevent his bringing them to reason when necessary. For the same purpose also Monsieur Talon, our Intendant, keeps the Outaouacs in a reverential attitude, and inspires them with the respect that they aught to have for his Majesty, in whose name he has taken possession of all their lands.

But not to make a Relation of this letter, I will merely assure Your Reverence that the events about to be related must not be read with any incredulity, since I have drawn my information from original sources, so to speak, for there is hardly a Mission in all this country which I have not had the happiness to visit in person.

At the beginning of the Relation of the Outaouacs will be found a Map showing the regions, with their lakes and rivers, in which the Missions of that country are situated. It was drawn by two Fathers of considerable intelligence, much given to research, and very exact, who determined to set down nothing that they had not seen with their own eyes. Therefore they have given only the beginnings of the lake of the Hurons and of that of the Ilinois, although they have journeyed over both these, — both lakes appearing like two seas, so large are they. But as the Fathers have not explored certain portions of them in person, they prefer to leave the work in some sort imperfect, rather than to issue it with errors, which always creep in when dependence is placed on the mere report of others.

I commend all of us to your Reverence’s Holy Sacrifices, and myself especially, who am,


Your Reverence’s very humble

and obedient servant in Jesus


Claude D'Ablon.

[Page 255]


Table of Chapters.



AND 1671.

Chap. 1


ONCERNING the Embassy of Saonchiogoua, Captain of the Nation of the Goiugouen Iroquois, in behalf of the Iroquois of Tsonnontouen.




Chapter II.     Of the Conversion and Baptism of Louis Saonchiogoua, Captain of the Iroquois Nation called Goiogouen.



Chapter III.     Of some other Iroquois baptized in the Church at Quebec.


Chapter IV.     Of the Huron Colony one league from the town of Quebec.


Chapter V.     The constancy of Marie Oendraka in her afflictions, and her zeal in allowing no sin in her family.


Chapter VI.     Concerning the Residence of St. Xavier des Praiz.




ING THE YEARS 1670 AND 1671.

Concerning the Iroquois Missions.


Chapter I.     Of the Mission of the Martyrs at Annié. [Page 257]


Chapter II.     Of the Mission of Saint François Xavier at Onneiout.


Chapter III.     Of the Mission of St. Jean Baptiste at Onnontagué.


Chapter IV.     Of the Mission of St. Joseph at Goiogouen.


Chapter V.     Of the Missions of la Conception, Saint Michel, ad Saint Jacques, in Tsonnontouan.





Explanation of the idea that should be held regarding all the Missions included under the name Outaouac.



Taking possession, in the King’s name, of all the countries commonly included under the designation Outaouac



Chapter I.     Of the Mission at Sainte Marie du Sault, and some wonders that God wrought there to promote the establishment of the Faith.



102 [i.e., 104]

Chapter II.     Of the Mission of saint Simon on the lake of the Hurons

115 [i.e., 117]

Article I.     Mission at Mississagué.

116 [i.e., 118]

Article II.     Mission on the Island called Ouiebitchiouan.

118 [i.e., 120]

Article III.     Mission on the Island of Ekaentouton.

123 [i.e., 125]

Article IV.     Mission on the lake of the Nipissiriniens.

128 [i.e., 130]

Chapter III.     Of the Mission of saint Ignace at Missilimakinac. [Page 259]


134 [i.e., 136]

Chapter IV.     Of the Mission of St. Esprit, at the head of Lake Superior.

144 [i.e., 146]

Description of divers Parhelia that have appeared this winter in these regions.

148 [i.e., 150]

Chapter V.     Of the Mission of St. François Xavier, and the Nations dependent thereon.


155 [i.e., 157]

Article I.     Journey to the Bay called des Puans, and the more important occurrences there.


157 [i.e., 159]

Article II.     Journey of the same two Fathers to the Fire Nation, and the beauty and curiosities of that country.

162 [i.e., 164]

Article III.     Events attending the publication of the Faith do the Fire Nation, and to one of the Ilinois Nations.


169 [i.e., 171]

Article IV.     Some particulars concerning the Nation of the Ilinois, especially regarding the good disposition and politeness of those peoples.



175 [i.e., 177]

Article V.     Of the Mission of saint Marc at the Village of the Outagami. [Page 261]


185 [i.e., 187]




[1] Part First.

Relation of New France during the years 1670

and 1671.








HE Iroquois who are called Tsonnontouens, who exceed the others in number, having taken in war some captives from the [2] people adjacent to the Outaouak Algonquins, our allies, and Monsieur de Courcelles, our Governor, being duly informed thereof, he sent them word at the earliest opportunity that he was much displeased by their conduct; and that unless they wished to see him with his Army in their Country, they must restore those Captives to him with the utmost despatch, being further expressly forbidden to mutilate them, or exercise toward them a single one of their customary acts of cruelty. This order seemed very harsh to those proud spirits. “ For whom does Onnontio take us?” they asked. “ He is vexed because we go to war, and wishes us to lower our hatchets and leave his allies undisturbed. Who are [Page 263] his allies? How would he have US recognize them when he claims to take under his protection all the peoples discovered by the bearers of God’s Word through all these regions; and when every day, as we learn from our people who escape from the cruelty of the stake, they make new discoveries, and enter nations which have ever been hostile to us, — which, even while receiving notification of [3] peace from Onnontio, set out from their own country to make war upon us, and to come and slay us under our very palisades? Let Onnontio check their hatchet if he wishes us to stay our own. He threatens to bring desolation on our Land; let us see whether his arms Will be long enough to remove the scalps from our heads, as we have done in times past with those of the French.” Those insolent people still believed at that time that the rapids and floods which must be surmounted to reach their Country were impassable to the courage of the French. Yet, after delivering a part of their fire, — fearing to incur Monsieur the Governor’s indignation, and to suffer the misfortune of the people of Annie, whose Villages he had destroyed by fire a few years before, — these ruffians deemed it necessary to give him at least some satisfaction. They decided to send him eight prisoners of war, out of twenty-five or thirty whom they had carried off from the nation of the Pouteouatami Algonquins, whom Father Allouez had, indeed, instructed during the winter at the head of [4] the Bay des Puants. The Elders especially urged this arrangement, which was approved by the warriors and by all the Young men. For this Embassy, however, fearing lest Monsieur the Governor might spurn them if they presented themselves in [Page 265] person, they thought it best to employ a Captain of worth and of great repute, Saonchiogoua by name, of the neighboring nation known as Goiogouen. This man was their friend, and upheld their interests on all occasions; and he had very recently concluded with them a league, offensive and defensive, against any people who might make war upon them. He accepted this commission the more willingly, because he had in his heart a much loftier motive for undertaking such a journey, — as we shall see in the following Chapter. [Page 267]





IMMEDIATELY upon Saonchiogoua’s arrival here in Kebec, he exerted himself without delay to discharge the Commission with which he had been entrusted by the people of Tsonnontouen. Holding council with Monsieur the Governor, he delivered into his hands the eight Captives, with emphatic protestations from the Tsonnontouens of submission and obedience to all his orders. Monsieur the Governor regaled him and all his suite. Everything being concluded with assurances of satisfaction on each side, this Captain bent all his mind, and concentrated all his attention upon accomplishing the important business of his salvation. [6] He had an earnest conference on the subject with Father Chaumonot, who has charge of the Huron Mission, — who did not require much time for instructing him and enlightening his understanding in the knowledge of our holy Mysteries. He had become sufficiently versed therein more than fifteen years before, when he had the good fortune, at our arrival in their Country, to be present at the Assembly of the chief men of the five Iroquois Nations that was held at Onnontagué, — where Father Chaumonot had harangued for two whole hours, and set forth in brief the principal articles of our Faith. [Page 269] The Father had been listened to there in a silence and with an attention most remarkable, this attention being especially noted by us on the face and in the eyes of our Catechumen. All the Chiefs of each Nation had, according to their wont, repeated the Father’s speech; but he had done so, in his turn, more eloquently than any of the others. Moreover, he had enjoyed the advantage of being the host of Fathers René Ménard and Estienne de Carheil, who [7] founded and organized the Church of saint Joseph in his Nation. He had had the good fortune to share in all the public and private teachings of those two Apostolic men, had conversed familiarly with them, and had witnessed day and night their labors, their pains, and their tireless zeal. He had seen miraculous conversions of his Countrymen, and even of his nearest kin, who had embraced the Faith and made public profession thereof. But all these favors from Heaven served at that time only to convince him of the vanity of the native superstitious practices, and the soundness of our holy Religion, without making any effective impression on his heart to induce him to abandon the Savages’ customary vices. Besides, his disposition, which seemed to us that of a dissembler, — politic, adroit, and complaisant, — had forced us to wait on the divine mercy for a more favorable moment to open to him the door of salvation through holy Baptism.

At length that moment, so earnestly desired, [8] presented itself to us on this occasion. Opening his heart to Father Chaumonot, he declared to him in such fitting terms the resolution he had formed to become a Christian, and to renounce forever all the customs of his Country that were not in harmony [Page 271] With the holy maxims of the Gospel, that the Father was left fully persuaded of the sincerity of his words: so that Monseigneur the Bishop, who was well informed of the whole matter, deemed it unnecessary to defer longer to grant him the grace of Baptism. He had the kindness to confer this Sacrament upon him in person, and Monsieur Talon, our Intendant, to give him the name of Louis. The ceremony was conducted with all possible solemnity, and was concluded with a magnificent feast, which Monsieur the Intendant furnished in honor of the new Christian, permitting him to invite to it as many as he saw fit. The Iroquois, Algonquins, and Hurons were present thereat, in large numbers. Food was, however, supplied in such abundance that, after regaling themselves heartily the guests carried away, besides, [9] enough to satisfy the appetites of those who had been left behind to guard the cabins. [Page 273]




IT is a stroke from Heaven — the change that is becoming manifest in New France. Formerly, there came out of the Country of the Iroquois only monsters of cruelty, who filled our forests and fields with terror, and laid waste all our settlements. But now that peace prevails everywhere, thanks to His Majesty’s arms, and that there is no cabin among these barbarous Nations whose door is not open to the Preachers of the Gospel, some leave their homes from time to time, — not only to seek our friendship, and make their abode near us; but chiefly to [10] win God’s friendship by rendering themselves worthy, by a genuine conversion, of being his children; or to keep here more easily the promises already made him at Baptism.

A Young woman about twenty-five years of age, from a very distant Country where the Faith has not yet been preached, was taken captive by the Iroquois, and is today a Christian, — she, and a little girl of hers, six years old, — enjoying benefits which indicate, in both mother and daughter, a very special guidance on the part of Divine Providence. The fear of being killed where she was in captivity forced her, some months ago, to seek refuge in these regions, where she was received with much charity, in the Village of the Hurons, by a Christian family, [Page 275] who adopted her. Monsieur Talon, our Intendant was so very kind as to take charge of the little girl, and place her in the house of the Ursuline Nuns, with other Savage girls whom he is maintaining there for instruction in the Faith, and rearing in [11] the fear of God and in French politeness. The mother, as well as the daughter, being fitted to receive baptism, he consented to be their Godfather; and chose Madame d’Ailleboust, widow of one of our former Governors, to stand as Godmother to them in the name of Madame the Princess de Conty, — in consideration of the warm interest and zeal displayed by her Highness in the rearing of the little Savage children in Christian piety. The ceremony of these Baptisms was performed with all possible magnificence, Monseigneur the Bishop being pleased to baptize them himself, — the mother receiving the name of Louïse, and the little one that of Marie Anne; while the whole was concluded with a banquet, ordered by Monsieur the Intendant for all the Savages. The Ursuline Nuns have never seen a more beautiful or more loving disposition than that of this little Child, whom they love tenderly, and of whom they entertain great hopes.

A Savage and his wife and little girl, Iroquois from Annie, were baptized with the same ceremonies. [12] Monsieur the Intendant, as Godfather, and Madame Perrot, his niece, as Godmother, named the first Louïs Guillaume, — his name in the Savage tongue being Ondieragueté. The wife and her little girl were both named Marie Magdeleine, in honor of Monseigneur the First President and Madame his wife, who have ever evinced great fondness for [Page 277] Canada, and a very marked zeal for seeing God glorified here by the Conversion of all these tribes.

Marie Magdeleine the mother, surnamed Skaouendes, had long wished for this grace. She asked it from God when she was completely covered with her own blood and surrounded by a band from the Nation of the loups, enemies of the Iroquois. You, she cried, who made Heaven and Earth, and who see the pitiful state in which I am, let me not fall a victim to these cruel men and die without Baptism. Her prayer was heard on the instant, and she found herself happily delivered from that danger; and dragged herself, half dead, as far as [13] the Village. After thanking God in the Chapel for her deliverance, she opened her heart to Father Pierron, and, relating the occurrence to him, with admirable sentiments of gratitude toward God, My father, said she to him, you see what cause I have to desire Baptism, God having saved my life expressly to permit me, by his grace, to receive it. I also wish for it with all my heart, as the greatest blessing that I can possess; since through Baptism I am assured of Paradise, and delivered from the fear of hell. Nevertheless, my Father, the idea occurs to me — were it not that my wounds expose me to the danger of dying — to defer my Baptism still longer, until can make my way to Quebec, whither I was hoping to go, on my full recovery, in company with those who will escort you thither for the transaction of your business. For truly I do not trust myself, however strong my resolve to be faithful to God and to keep his commandments. I fear, remaining here with the people of my Nation, I shall lack sufficient courage to withstand them; and I would be afraid of soon losing here whatever grace I might receive [14] at Baptism. The Father did not think best to [Page 279] oppose her plan, yet he maintained a constant watch over her. She recovered her health completely, always conducting herself like a true Catechumen; and finally, this spring, God enabled her to make the journey safely, and fulfill her pious desires. And, now that she is a Christian, she is so fervent in all the exercises of Christianity that our little Huron Church is highly edified thereby, — as also it is by the very pious conduct of a noble-hearted Christian widow, of the same Nation of Annié, whose eulogy merits a place here before we close this Chapter.

She came down hither this Spring with two little children of hers, — leaving her own Country, where she was highly esteemed and. in very comfortable circumstances. Her sole motive in this course was to secure greater freedom in her devotional exercises, from which she was diverted by her kinsfolk. The discovery of her purpose, which she had kept secret, so incensed all her family that, out of spite, they degraded her [15] from her noble rank, in an assembly of the Village notables; and deprived her of the name and title of Oiander, — that is, a person of quality. This is a dignity which they highly esteem, which she had inherited from her Ancestors, and deserved by her own intelligence, prudence, and discreet conduct. At the same time, too, they installed another woman in her place. Women of this rank are much respected; they hold councils, and the Elders decide no important affair without their advice.[xv] It was one of these women of quality who, some time ago, took the lead in persuading the Iroquois of Onnontagué, and afterward the other nations, to make peace with the French, — coming in person down to Quebec on this errand, with some of her [Page 281] slaves. Upon her return to her own Country she, with most of her family, embraced the Faith; and she has since died a truly Christian death.

Now this other woman was entirely undisturbed by her relatives’ action, unjust though it was; and did not even change her countenance, except to show an increase of joy, — declaring openly that she held in greater esteem [16] the name and rank of Christian than that of Oiander and woman of high repute; and that she gladly gave up all her little possessions, for the sake of having the riches that God promises to all who serve him. Indeed, although she lives in poverty here, possessing neither field nor cabin except by borrowing, yet she is perfectly contented; and upon being asked one day by Father Chaumonot whence came that joy that was ever seen on her face, — Ah, my Father, said she, I am lost in wonder when I think how entirely at liberty I am now to visit, whenever I will, the house of the Blessed Virgin, and to remain there as long as I wish, without anyone’s preventing me or having any reason to offer objections, and without my being disturbed there or interrupted in my prayers.

We learn, from the letters of our Fathers who are at those Missions, that many more are preparing to come down hither to make profession of the Faith which they have embraced only in their hearts, — lacking courage to declare themselves Christians [17] among their own people, who are still unbelievers, and unable, on account of almost insuperable difficulties, to accomplish their salvation there.

We also expect next Spring the remnant of a Huron Tribe that was once overthrown by the Iroquois, but can still count about five hundred souls. They [Page 283] sent some of their chief men to ask the protection of the French against a powerful enemy, who quite recently declared war against them. They were very well received and were given entire satisfaction, being especially pleased with the presents that were made them in inviting them to become Christians, and join the Huron Colony in the immediate neighborhood of Quebec. [Page 285]




THE little Huron Colony, comprising about a hundred and fifty [18] souls, is a remnant of the People of that nation, either spared by the cruel Iroquois, or escaped from their clutches. The Divine Providence gathered them together into a place called coste de St. Michel, thickly settled by the French, to profit by the latter’s good example, and, in turn, to edify the French by their own piety and devotion. Their village is situated near a Chapel which they built in union with the settlers of the place, and in which honor is paid to a Picture in relief of the Blessed Virgin, made from the wood of an oak in whose heart there was found, sixty years ago, one of like size, — in the village of Foye in the province of Liege, one league from the Town of Dinant. It is a precious pledge of the affection of the Queen of Heaven toward this Tribe and all the settlers of the district. That Mother of mercy has already made herself known there by so many favors, which pass for miracles in the opinion of all their recipients, that all Canada has recourse to her. Pilgrims go from every part of the country, either to find [19] relief there in their ailments, both bodily and spiritual; or to leave there, after being cured, signal evidence of their gratitude. We have every reason to believe that our Savages have been most favored by her, as [Page 287] indeed it was to procure their conversion from this divine Princess that her miraculous Image was sent to this country by persons of piety, who expressly declared their purpose to that effect in the Verification accompanying it. Manifest proofs of this are the progress which they have made in the practice of the Christian virtues during the two years while they have enjoyed this treasure; their diligence in God’s service; their fidelity, greater than ever before, in observing his holy commandments; their zeal for his honor and glory, and for the conversion of the infidel Strangers who visit them or repair to their neighborhood; their charity to the poor, even when the latter are French; their patience and their constancy in affliction. The order and system shown in that little Church is something inconceivable, exceeding [20] the conception commonly entertained of a barbarous People. Father Joseph Marie Chaumonot has charge of it, and I prefer to let him speak in his own words, as given in the account which he has submitted to me of the present state of his house.

“A good Huron woman, reared in the Convent of the Ursuline Nuns and married to a Frenchman, telling some of her relatives one day about the devotion of the bondage to the Blessed Virgin, filled them with such a desire to embrace it that they gave me no rest until I introduced it among them. I did so in the month of June last, and as these good people have a great tenderness for the holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I prepared them to enter the Confraternity thereof established at Quebec by Monseigneur our Bishop; and to unite these two devotions, I had them admitted as slaves of the blessed Virgin, in order that all their good deeds might [Page 289] thenceforth be placed [21] in her hands, to be used by her as their rightful Mistress for the benefit of souls in Purgatory, or for whomsoever she chose.

“The extent to which God has blessed this devotion passes belief. On the morning after it was instituted, these good people hastened to the Chapel before dawn, to recite their Rosaries, vying with one another in their eagerness to furnish the blessed Virgin with means to help suffering souls in Purgatory and poor sinners. For more than three months now they have maintained this fervor; and, as I could hardly believe that Savages, who like to sleep, were capable of a resolve to rise so early, — especially during the Summer when the nights are shortest, — I determined often to visit the Church myself before day, to assure myself of the truth of what I heard; and, every time I did this, I saw with my own eyes what I had learned concerning their punctuality and assiduity in paying their homage to their good Mistress. In going to their work, [22] or in returning from it, they fail not to enter her Chapel and offer her their little services.

“That they may better succeed in the particular purpose that they have formed to please and honor the blessed Virgin, they have chosen two of the most exemplary and zealous of their number, — the women doing the same in their assembly, — all with the public declaration of their design that these persons thus installed shall have ample power and authority to give them the occasional advice necessary for holding them to their duty, to prevent disorders, settle such differences as may arise among them, remedy abuses, — and, in a Word, enforce order throughout the whole village. [Page 291]

“As they are persons of unusually good conduct for Savages, as they know the native disposition and temper, and as they are filled with the spirit of God, they have gained such a reputation among their own people that nothing which they undertake for the Divine service is impossible to them. It is not unusual for me to employ them with much [23] success in bending and winning some obstinate spirits, and in thus bringing them more gently to a sense of their duties. Sometimes they even give me very good advice for the guidance of my new Christians, and I never succeed better than when I adopt it. I also call them together every two weeks, and with them all the associate members of the Holy Family, for spiritual conferences, — now on the best way to manage their little households; now on their duty to set their neighbors a good example; again, on the means of recalling sinners from their wicked life; in a Word, on the practice of deeds of mercy both toward their countrymen and toward the French, their neighbors, many of whom are in great poverty. The fruit of these conferences is such that they never come away from them without all feeling fired with new eagerness to spend themselves still more fervently in the service of God and the Blessed Virgin.

“In one of these conferences, a good widow living [24] near the Church offered to be its doorkeeper, opening and closing the doors at the appointed hour, and to keep the Church and its approaches always clean. The same woman rings the Angelus, or the Ave Maria, three times a day, — with as much exactness, the French living in the neighborhood say, as if she had a clock for her guidance.

“A Young man, very devout and spiritually [Page 293] minded, also came forward at one of these conferences, and offered to assume the Office of Catechist, — both for teaching the principles of our Faith in the cabins to newly-arrived strangers, and for reciting the prayers aloud in the Chapel.

“When I am unable to visit their Village, because of some pressing errands of charity which call me elsewhere, they fail not, morning and evening, to ring for prayers, to gather to hear the exhortation delivered them by the Catechist in my absence, and to recite in two choruses the Rosary and their other prayers. After that, the same man takes tare to enjoin [25] prayers for the public and private needs of which he has been notified, — even assigning a certain number of Rosaries for each one to say in private, in order to obtain from God, through the intercession of the most Blessed Virgin, the remedy and relief best suited to the ill which he apprehends.

“After the adults have finished their devotions and returned to their homes, the children, who had remained behind to guard the cabins, come to the Chapel in their turn, — the girls taking their places on one side, and the boys on the other. The one acting as master for the little boys, as being the best behaved of them all, begins the prayers aloud, and in a voice so distinct that the others, even to the smallest ones, repeat after him. Then they also recite their Rosary responsively, the boys forming one chorus and the girls another, all with great modesty. They observe the various pauses in Perfect unison; and not a single Child outstrips his companion by even a syllable, — which produces a very pleasing kind of melody [26] calculated to inspire devotion. [Page 295]

“All are so edified by these good people, and have such an opinion of their piety and virtue, that many make them perform novenas to the Miraculous Image of our Lady of Foy, in order by their mediation to obtain from that Mother of Mercy what they think themselves unable to obtain unaided.

“For myself, one of the best proofs I have of the Faith of these humble slaves of the blessed Virgin, is not so much this diligence in prayer as their great charity and manifestation of pity for the sick and the poor. As soon as they learn that any one is ill, they go and visit him, comfort him, and aid him both with their prayers and with any little delicacies at their command, — not leaving him until he is cured, or God has called him to Heaven.

“Concerning the poor, I know, among other examples, some women of great virtue among our Savages, who have maintained whole Families for the period of several [27] months out of their own means, — never allowing it to become known, for fear the praise their liberality might receive would lessen the reward which they expect from God alone.

“When I see any family in want, it suffices for me to inform our assembly; whereupon a general contribution is made, and immediately devoted to the relief of the needy by all the Women of the Holy Family.

“Their Charity does not stop with the Hurons, their Compatriots, but has this year extended even to some poor French Families, whom these good women have aided with their Indian corn; and I know one woman among them who has used in this way as many as thirty boisseaux[xvi] of Indian corn performing this charity with so good grace that she [Page 297] showed signs of confusion at not being able to do more for the love of our Lord and his Holy Mother.

“Viewing the external appearance of our poor Savages, no one would deem them capable [28] of these Christian deeds and practices, which are dictated purely by devotion, and performed under no constraint whatever. Yet what I am about to relate shows very clearly that the Holy Ghost makes no distinction of persons, but works indifferently in all hearts which he finds ready to receive his graces. Last Spring a widow named Marie Oendraka recalled to my remembrance how her late husband and a daughter of hers, who were very ill at the time, had made a Pilgrimage together in a Canoe to Sainte Anne, to obtain by the intercession of that great Saint (whom it has pleased God to honor in this country by many Miracles) either their health or a glorious death; and how, in consequence of their devotion, they had both died a pious death soon afterward. Then she proposed to me her plan of undertaking a like Pilgrimage, if I approved of it, for the purpose of paying her homage to her Benefactress; of testifying her gratitude to her by a present of two thousand Porcelain beads (the jewels of this country); and, most important of all, of asking her for the same favor for [29] herself and all her family. I gladly granted her what she wished. ‘ But, my Father, ’ she added, ‘ I pray you to sanction the offering of the present, which I desire to give to Saint Anne, not under my own Name, but under that of the Huron Nation. Moreover, as we have our great Protectress, the Blessed Virgin, from Saint Anne, I should be glad also if we could make this little offering in recognition of that favor which I [Page 299] esteem above all earthly treasures,’ ‘ I give my hearty approval,’ I said to her, ‘and I will even join the party with the chief men of the Village, to give this action greater solemnity.’  ‘Ah, my father,’ she rejoined, ‘sire you are so good, I would like to ask one more favor of you, — to put an inscription under the present, making known, as a perpetual evidence of our gratitude, our motives in giving this offering.’ I saw no harm in granting this request of hers also. We embarked in fine weather in our bark Canoes, [30] well attended, and accomplished our six leagues with the tide’s help, praying and singing Hymns in the native tongue to the honor of the blessed Virgin and her Holy Mother. We arrived safely, and all performed their devotions, to the great edification of the settlers of the place. ”[Page 301]



Bibliographical particulars of the Relation of 1669-70 were given in Vol. LIII.


In presenting the text of the Relation of 1670-71 (Paris, 1672), we follow a copy of the original Cramoisy edition in the Lenox Library — known there as the Lamoignon copy. It is prefaced by a letter from Claude Dablon to the provincial in France, which is not dated. The last “Privilege” granted to the elder Sebastien Cramoisy, “en Janvier 1667” is still used in this annual. There is no printed “Permission.” The volume is a composite, being divided into three parts. On pp. 148 ff. an account is given of parhelia or mock suns, which were observed in the winter of 1671; an illustration of the phenomenon appears on p. 154. Perfect copies have a map between Parts II. and III. (i.e., between pp. 86 and 87), which measures 18⅞ by 14⅛ inches, and is entitled: “Lac Svperievr | Et Avtres Lievx Ou Sont | Les Missions Des Peres De | La Compa- Gnie De Iesvs | Comprises Sovs Le Nom | D’ovtaovacs.” We shall present in Vol. LV., at the appropriate place in the document, a reduced facsimile of this map. This Relation is no. 138 of Harrisse’s Notes. [Page 303]

Collation; Title, with verso blank, I leaf; Dablon’s prefatory epistle, pp. (9); “Table des Chapitres,” pp. (5); text of Part I., pp. I-44; text of Part II., pp. 45-86; text of Part III., pp. 87-189; the “Privilege” on the verso of p. 189. Signatures: ã and A-M in eights. On p. 86 “Fin de la troifiefme Partie,” is an error for “feconde Partie;” and pp. 95 and 96 are in duplicate.

Copies have been sold or priced as follows: Harrassowitz (1882), no. 46 (lacking the map), priced at 110 marks; and Barlow (1890), no. 1322 (with the map), sold for $55. Some few copies of the map have been issued in facsimile on old paper; and Dufossé offered a copy of such facsimile, in 1892, for 20 francs.

This Relation is in the following libraries: Lenox; New York State Library; Harvard; Brown (private); Ayer (private); Library of Parliament (Ottawa); Laval University (Quebec), lacking the map; British Museum; and Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris). [Page 304]


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

[i] (p. 53). — For locations of these Cayuga villages, sec vol. li., p. 293.

[ii] (p. 81). — Regarding the sites of the Seneca villages, see vol. li., p. 293; and vol. viii., pp. 293, 302.

The Onnontiogas may have been a tribe dwelling on the river called Onnondokoui, now Gananoque, flowing into the St. Lawrence 15 miles N. E. of Kingston, Ont. It is somewhat curious that Frémin does not even allude to the early visits of missionaries to the Neutral tribes, — by the Récollet Daillon, in 1626-27; and by the Jesuits Brébeuf and Chaumonot, in 1640-41.

[iii] (p. 133). — For information concerning these tribes, see vol. xviii., note 16.

[iv] (p. 143). — In regard to this superstition, see vol. xxii., p. 95, and note 6

[v] (p. 171). — Keinouché (given by Cuoq as kinonje), the Algonkin name for the fish known as “pike;” applied to a clan of Ottawas having that fish as its totem. From this is derived the name of Kenosha, a city in S. E. Wisconsin.

[vi] (p. 200). — It has generally been supposed by historical writers that the mission of St. François Xavier, thus founded by Allouez, was from the first located at the entrancc to the Fox River, at or near the present city of Green Bay, Wis. But the reader will notice that, when the Father set out upon his journey to the Fox and Mascouten villages in the following spring (p. 215 of this volume), he spent an entire day in reaching the entrancc to the Fox River. Moreover, upon his return from that trip, he made another to the Menomonee village, at the mouth of the river of that name, — which, he states, was “eight leagues from our cabin” where he had made his winter quarters. Upon his first arrival in thc preceding December, he found six Frenchmen there, who are mentioned by Allouez at the beginning of this letter as engaged in trade among the Pottawattomies — the tribe who had requested the Father to come to [Page 305] them and correct the behavior of these very traders. It is evident that the latter had established a temporary trading post, and that with them Allouez wintered, making their cabin a center for various missionary excursions among the tribes dwelling on the bay shore. His statements cited above indicate the probable location of the French at the mouth of the Oconto River, nearly midway between the Menominee and Fox rivers.

[vii] (p. 215). — The river was at first named for the “Puants,” as the Winnebagoes were called by the early explorers (vol. xv., note 7). Later, it was known to the French as Rivière des Rénards (Foxes), and to the English as Fox River (its present name), in allusion to the tribe of that name, the Outagamis of our text. The Fox River is the outlet of Lake Winnebago, and today furnishes an extensive water-power, which supports various industries. This water-power, developed by aid of the federal government, has built up numerous manufacturing towns along its course, — Neenah and Menasha (at the north end of Lake Winnebago), Appleton, Little Chute, Kaukauna, sud DC Pere, — and sevcral small villages.

The natural obstructions in the lower Fox, ascending from Green Bay, are as follows: Rapides des Pères (in allusion to the Jesuit mission there), at the present De Pere; Little Kakalin, now called Little Rapids; the Croche, above Wrightstown; Grand Kakalin, at Kaukauna; Little Chute, still thus named; the Cedars, at the village of Kimberly; Grand Chute, at Appleton; and Winnebago Rapids, at Neenah. An interesting description of the river as it appearcd in 1830 is furnished by James McCall, a U. S. commissioner appointçd in that year to settle the boundaries between the Indian tribcs in Wisconsin; see his Journal, Wis. Hist. Colls., vol. xii., pp. 185-188. He stated therein that the descent of the Fox River, between Neenah and Green Bay, was then 145 feet.

[viii] (p. 217). — At the De Pere rapids, thc point named in our text, the river is now about 1,500 feet wide; and the fall of water, as measured by the height of the U. S. governmcnt dam built across the river, is eight feet. As the water is shallow at the sides of the stream, the main current being comparatively narrow, the Indians could easily construct the rude weir mentioned in the text. This method of fishing was commonly employed by them in similar locatiens, — for instance, at the outlet of Lake Simcoe, as dcscribed by Champlain (Laverdière cd. of Voyages, p. 910). At that place may still be seen in the wnter some of the stakes used in making the weir; the Ojibwas of the neighborhood say that these were used by the Mohawks who lived in that region before them, but Joseph Wallace, Sr., of Orillia, Ont., thinks that the stakes are part of those seen by [Page 306] Champlain in 1615. — See his articles in Orillia Packet, May 15 and 22, 1896.

The French Creole fishermen at De Pere still employ a modification of the primitive Indian contrivance. At the foot of the dam are built, at intervals across the river, wooden platforms, to which are fastened large nets.

[ix] (p. 217). — The name Kaukauna, the modem form of Kekahng, is said by Verwyst (Wis. Hist. Colls., vol. xii., p. 39) to be a corruption of okakaning, “where they fish for pike,” — or, rathcr, this should be “pickerel,” according to Cuoq’s definition of oka (Lexique Algonquin, p. 295). The Kakalin portage was one of the most important geographical points in Wisconsin, in the days of the fur trade. Its name appears in many early letters, accounts of exploration, and official documents; it is said that these show some twenty-five different forms of spelling the name. The most common of thcsc variants are: Cakalin, Kakala (Schoolcraft, 1820), Kaukalau (U. S. P. O. dep't, 1840), and Cockalo (in early local parlance.) — See H. B. Tanners interesting paper on the history of Kaukauna, read at the convention of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin at Green Bay, Sept. 7, 1899, in the Society’s forthcoming report for that year.

The portage called by Allouez Ooukocitiming is evidently that around the rapids at Little Chute (note 7, ante).

[x] (p. 217). — Lac des Puans: Winnebago Lake, the largest body of fresh water within the limits of Wisconsin. It is about 30 miles long, and eleven miles wide; its outlet is Fox River note 7, ante.

[xi] (p. 219). —These rivers are the (upper) Fox and its principal affluent, the Wolf — which flows into thc former at about eleven miles from its entrante into Lake Winncbago. The “Lake of wild oats” is Grand Lake Butte des Morts, an espansion of thc Fox River, lying N. W. of the city of Oshkosh. The lake where Allouez saw the wild turkeys is Lake Poygan, the eastern arm of which is called Lake Winneconne.

[xii] (p. 227). — The location of Allouez’s mission of St. Mark has been, and still is, the subject of much uncertainty, and some controversy. Verwyst (Miss. Labors, p. 179) places it “at or near Mukwa,” Waupaca county, Wis. A local antiquarian, George Gary, of Oshkosh, agrees with him; and Prof. Joseph S. La Boule, of Milwaukee, — a careful investigator, and author of a forthcoming monograph entitled Claude Jean Allouez, S.J., the Apostle of the Ottawas, to be publishcd about January, 1900, — locates St. Mark’s “near thc confluence of theEmbarrass and Little Wolf rivers,” which would be not far from New London, —a city in the township [Page 307] of Mukwa. Publius V. Lawson, of Menasha, thinks (Milwaukee Sentinel, Sept. 13, 1899) that the site was near the head-waters of the Little Wolf, in township of Iota, Waupaca county.

[xiii] (p. 233). — Still greater diversity of opinion exists regarding the situation of the Mascouten and Miami village visited by Allouez after leaving the Outagamis. Butterfield (Disc. of N.W., p. 67) contents himself with placing it in Green Lake county. Venvyst (ut supra) locates it near Corning, Columbia county (about five miles N. of Portage City), in which lie is followed by A. J. Turner, of Portage. La Boule thinks that the probable site is near the village of Ste. Marie, Green Lake county. A paper by Gary (in Oshkosh Sunday Times, Dec. 11, 1898), illustrated by maps, discusses the subject at length; he concludes that the village in question was located on section 32 in town of Rushford, Winnebago county.

The Kikabou mentioned in this connection are the Kickapoos, an Algonkin tribe; later in the Century, they were driven by the Sioux from Central Wisconsin to the Rock River, in Northern Illinois. A remnant of this tribe resides in Indian Territory. The name Kitchigamich means “people of the great lake,” and refers to a tribe living on or near Lake Michigan.

[xiv] (p. 235). — This stream, which forms part of the N. E. boundary between Wisconsin and Michigan, is still known as the Menominee River. At its mouth are the flourishing cities of Menominee and Marinette, which are mainly supported by the lumber industry.

[xv] (p. 281). — The title of oyander (oiander) is, according to Hale (Iroq. Rites, p. 65, note), “derived from the root yaner, ‘noble;’ and is the feminine form of the word royaner, ‘lord,’ or ‘nobleman,’ — the title applied to the members of the federal council.” Hale says that the woman “was really the head of the household,” and finds in the Relations evidence of “the complete equality of the sexes in social estimation and influence.” Cf. Morgan’s Iroq. League, pp. 321-327; Heckewelder’s Ind. Nations, pp. 143-152; and vol. ii. of this series, note 33.

[xvi] (p. 297) — The boisseau is an old French measure of capacity, equivalent to one-eighth of a hectoliter, or a little more than one-third of a bushel.