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. LV

Lower Canada, Iroquois, Ottawas


CLEVELAND:            The Burrows Brothers





Vol. LV

[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 LV






Relation de ce qui s’est passé en la Nouvelle France, les années 1670. & 1671. [Second installment, concluding the document]. Claude Dablon, [Quebec, 1671); Estienne de Carheil, [Goiogouen], n.d.; Louys André, n.p., n.d.






Relation de ce qui s’est passé en la Nouvelle France, les années 1671. & 1672. [Chapter i. of Part I., being the first installment of the document]. Claude Dablon; [Quebec, October, 1672]














Bibliographical Data; Volume LV.






[Page vii]







Map of Lake Superior, from Relation of 1670-71

Facing 94


Diagram of parhelia, from Relation of 1670-71.



Photographic facsimile of title-page, Relation of 1671-72.






[Page viii]


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

CXXVII. The Relation of 1670-71, begun in Vol. LIV., is herein completed. Dablon continues his account of “the Huron colony near Quebec,” by relating “the constancy of Marie Oendraka [a Huron widow] in her afflictions, and her zeal in allowing no sin in her Family.” He then describes the new settlement made at La Prairie, opposite Montreal, by the Jesuits. Here they have begun another Indian colony, already numbering eighteen or twenty Christian families, — mostly converts who have gone thither for better religious surroundings; there are also a considerable number of French settlers. These Indians have come from many and diverse tribes, yet they live in great harmony and friendliness. No drunkenness is permitted among them.

Part II. of this Relation concerns the missions to the Iroquois tribes. These missions “have, since the latest Relation, increased the number of the Faithful by three hundred and eighteen or twenty souls, of whom more than half are in heaven.” Among the Mohawks, eighty-four have been baptized: Pierron gives a few incidents of their piety. Bruyas con- tributes a similar record from Oneida. At Onondaga, the noted chief Garakontié is leading a most [Page 9] the most cherished superstitions of his people. From Cayuga, Carheil writes that he has baptized sixty-two, and “sent thirty-five to live in glory;” and relates in detail the pious death of one of these. The Senecas are under Garnier’s charge, and the extent and importance of this field lead him to ask for aid in his labors. More than a hundred baptisms are recorded among these people during the past year. The burning of one of their villages by their enemies has “disposed them to receive the sacred Word, humiliation and misery rendering them more docile.” Still, Garnier admits that “they are strongly opposed to the Faith, and that a Savage’s conversion is a stroke of Heaven.” He has to contend with many obstacles-their fickleness, insolence, licentiousness, and superstition, as well as their wandering and warlike habits of life. Even worse is “the Demon of intemperance.” Still, they fear to die without baptism; they esteem the missionaries, and grant them full liberty to hold public prayers and services, and to instruct and baptize, and therefore, “in spite of Hell, these little Churches are making progress,” and more missionaries are needed to care for them.

In Part III. are described the Ottawa missions. It opens with a survey of these missions, of the tribes that they reach, and of the regions inhabited by those peoples; this résumé is illustrated by a map of Lake Superior and the adjacent lands, prepared by some of the missionaries. Besides the missions already familiar to the reader in these accounts, — at Sault Ste. Marie, Chequamegon, and Green Bay, — several new ones have been founded. New locations are assigned to several tribes that have been mentioned [Page 10] in previous documents; for the fierce Iroquois on the east, and the Sioux on the west, have made numerous raids upon the weaker tribes, who flee to whatever regions seem to offer even temporary security from their foes.

Dablon then relates how all the North and West has been annexed to the crown of France, the king “subjecting these nations to Jesus Christ’s dominion before placing them under his own.” This is accomplished by a formal ceremony at Sault Ste. Marie (June 4, 1671), at which St. Lusson takes possession, in the name of the king, of the territories “from Montreal as far as the South Sea, covering the utmost extent and range possible.” He plants a cross there, and raises over it the French royal standard, with ceremonies both civil and religious. Representatives of fourteen different tribes are present, whom Allouez addresses in eulogy of the king “giving them such an idea of our incomparable Monarch’s greatness that they have no words with which e to express their thoughts upon the subject.” His speech is reported at length; it is followed by one from St. Lusson, “in martial and eloquent language.” The ceremonies close with a bonfire, “around which the Te Deum was sung to thank God, on behalf of those poor peoples, that they were now the subjects of so great and powerful a monarch.”

A report of the various branches of the Ottawa mission is now made. At the Sault, Druillettes is in charge. An epidemic breaks out there among the Indians, but wonderful cures of the sick are wrought by prayer, — in cases of fever, hemorrhage, and even of paralysis, blindness, and deafness. These wonders lead the savages to embrace the faith; even the [Page 11] elders are desirous of instruction and baptism, and publicly declare (October 11, 1670) that “the Sault is Christian, and that the God of prayer is the Master of life.” Many of these miraculous cures are related in detail. The result is equally marvelous; the chapel is filled on Sundays, and in the cabins instructions are given both day and night. In less than six months, Druillettes has baptized more than six- score children. But such blessings from God, and such honors paid to him, “doubtless stirred the wrath of Hell against this infant Church;” the chapel is consumed by fire January 27, 1671. Another and much finer building is soon erected, however; and “in it were baptized in a single day as many as twenty-six children.”

The Ottawas have been driven by the Sioux from Chequamegon Bay, and part of the refugees have returned to their old home on Manitoulin Island. They ask for a priest, and André is assigned to this post. In the Relation is published the report of André upon his labors since August, 1670, among the tribes about Lake Huron. He first goes to the Mississaguas, whom he finds so pressed by famine that they are living on the inner bark of the fir-tree; but he is able to baptize seven new-born infants. On an island in Georgian Bay, he finds a large concourse of Indians from various tribes, who are “resuscitating” a dead chief, — that is, giving his name to his son. The Father addresses the assembly, urging them to accept the Christian faith, and to recognize the authority of the French governor. He then goes among the cabins, exhorting individuals; “in twelve days I baptized fifteen little children, while I left no one without adequate instruction.” Thence he [Page 12] proceeds to Manitoulin Island, the old home of the Ottawas, to which many of them have returned. With them he remains until famine disperses the people, and he is compelled to depart, after almost perishing from starvation. His next station is Lake Nipissing, where he remains three months; he there gains “fourteen Spiritual children, through Holy Baptism.” Although he suffers greatly from hunger, he is able to keep alive with acorns and rock tripe (an edible lichen). When the ice melts, he returns to Manitoulin, and instructs the Beaver tribe; they can now capture enough moose to live in comparative comfort.

A long description is given of Mackinac Island, its fisheries, its phenomena of wind and tide, and the tribes who, now and in the past, have made it their abode. A favorite resort for all the Algonkin tribes, many are returning to it since the peace with the Iroquois. On this account, the Jesuits have begun a new mission, opposite Mackinac, called St. Ignace. Thither have fled the Hurons, driven from Chequamegon Bay by fear of the Sioux, “the Iroquois of the West;” and Marquette follows his flock.

The Relation is here interrupted by a detailed account of a remarkable display of parhelia (“sun- dogs,” in common parlance), which appeared on the Upper lakes in January and March respectively, in 1671.

Resuming his report of the missions, Dablon next describes that at Green Bay. He enumerates and locates the tribes dwelling in Wisconsin. He relates a journey made by himself and Allouez, in the autumn of 1670, to visit the tribes in the central and southern parts of that State. Arriving at Green Bay, they find serious disturbances, — the Indians are [Page 13] plundering and ill-treating the French traders there, in revenge for wrongs which they have received from the soldiers at the French settlements. The Fathers quiet the savages, and call them together in a council; they announce the purpose of their coming hither, to teach the Indians the way to heaven, and they also reprimand the latter for the current disturbances. On this occasion some of the warriors attempt to imitate the appearance and drill of the French soldiers at Quebec, but make themselves “the more ridiculous, the more they tried to comport themselves seriously. We had difficulty in refraining from laughter, although we were treating of only the most important matters — the Mysteries of our Religion, and what must be done in order not to burn forever in Hell.”

The Fathers proceed up the Fox River, to visit the tribes thereon; they find at the De Pere rapids a sort of idol, adored by the savages, — a rock, resembling a human bust. This the missionaries remove, and cast to the bottom of the river. After passing all the rapids, they reach the prairies and “oak- openings” of Winnebago County, — ‘the fairest land possible to behold;” its beauty is vividly portrayed in their account. Here the abundance of game and wild rice renders the savages sedentary. They reach the Mascoutens and Miamis, who have fixed their abode in the same place, for common defense against the Iroquois. The Fathers address these people upon their need of the Christian religion, reinforcing their appeals, as usual, with a picture of the judgment-day, and a description of “the happiness of the Saints and the torments of the damned.” The Indians listen with great wonder and. respect; [Page 14] and afterward, not satisfied with the instruction given them through the day, “assembled during the night, in crowds, to hear a more detailed account of the Mysteries about which they had been told,” The Fathers are regaled with many feasts, and have free access to the cabins; they avail themselves of every opportunity to instruct the people. Among three thousand souls they find but one sick person, — a Child who is dying of consumption. After receiving baptism, this Child is restored to health.

Dablon devotes a chapter to the character, manners, and customs of the Illinois Indians, some of whom have come to dwell with the Mascoutens; and to the Mississippi river and valley, so far as he has learned about that region from the reports of the savages. He is delighted with the mildness and politeness of the Illinois tribe, and dilates upon the noble character and kindness of their chief, who shows the missionaries every attention; they have strong hope that he will embrace the faith. All these people show great docility, and are much less superstitious than the Ottawas and other Algonkin tribes. They offer no Sacrifices to spirits, and worship only the sun. They promise to build a chapel for the missionaries, when the latter come back to them. After the Fathers return to Green Bay, Allouez goes (February, 1671) to the Outagami ~(FOX) tribe, where he founds the mission of St. Mark. These savages are haughty and insolent, and at first bestow upon him only rebuffs and mockery. But Allouez perseveres in his efforts to reach them with the gospel, “cheering some with the hope of Paradise, and frightening others with the fear of Hell.” After a time, he secures their attention, and even [Page 15] their affection; he baptizes seven persons, 2nd the elders promise to build him a chapel when he shall &urn to them. All these tribes regard the Fathers as manitous, or spirits.

CXXVIII. In this volume we begin the Relation of 1671-72, the last of the regular and authorized series of those annuals. Herewith we give Chap. i. of Part I.; the remainder of the document will constitute Vol. LVI. Dablon’s prefatory note announces the recent departure of Courcelles and Talon for France, and the coming of Count de Frontenac, the new governor; Albanel’s discovery of the land route to Hudson Bay; the departure of Marquette to discover “the South Sea;” and the discovery of a copper mine at Lake Superior. The writer regrets Laval’s absence from Canada, but states that his subordinate ecclesiastics are zealously caring for the churches everywhere.

Special reports from all the missions are given seriatim. That to the Hurons near Quebec is first considered. “One of the difficulties of Father Chaumonot, who has charge of these Hurons, is to moderate the undue fervor of their devotion, and the excess of their charity to the poor,“— various instances of which are related, as also of their zeal for the faith. One of these is the case of an Iroquois woman, of high rank, who writes through Chaumonot an appeal to her relatives, and to all her nation, to embrace the faith, At Eastertide, the Christians of this colony hold feasts in honor of the resurrection, while on Good Friday, they not only weep over the Father’s description of Christ’s sufferings, but imitate these by severely scourging themselves. They show especial devotion to the infant Jesus, an image of whom is adored in their cabins, passing from one to another [Page 16] in turn. This devotion works wonders in their habits and morals; and their pious prayers also cure many cases of bodily disease. This report ends with an account of the conversion and pious death of a chief in this village, who has been only in appearance a Christian, but at heart an infidel. His death is caused by his zeal in rebuking a drunken tribesman, who with two companions in anger assaults him, inflicting fatal wounds. But the victim manifests a Christian forgiveness and compassion, forbidding his Young men to avenge his death, and even treating his assailants as if they were good friends. The chapter ends with a panegyric on the Hospital nuns at Quebec.

R. G. T.

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

CXXVII (concluded)

Relation Of 1670-71


The first four chapters of Part 1. were published in our Volume LIV. We herewith present the concluding portion of the document. [Page 19]






HAT soul is too far advanced in virtue not to suffer occasional trials. Her only son, aged four or five years, one day in her absence inadvertently ate of a poisonous plant, which immediately made him dangerously ill. Word was carried to her at once; she hastened home in great distress, and found her Child [3 1] motionless and apparently dead. She took him in her arms, carried him into the Chapel, and, prostrating herself before the Holy Image of Our Lady of Foy, said: “Ah, Holy Virgin, my dear Child is dead. Receive his soul, I pray you, in your bosom, and be henceforth a Mother to him in Heaven. Your well-beloved Son had given him to me for a little while. Graciously permit me to-day, 0 Mother of mercy, to return this innocent soul to him by your own hands.” Wonderful to relate, and to the surprise of all present, scarcely had she uttered these few words mingled with sighs and sobs, when the Child regained consciousness, and showed such vigor and strength that he immediately vomited the poison from which he was suffering. This light affliction was only meant to prepare her for receiving a greater one, which followed soon after, and which was finally brought to an end by a great joy. Seven of her Family embarked, a few days after this [Page 21] accident, for the purpose of visiting some good hunting-grounds ten or fifteen leagues from (Quebec; [32] among these were her two children. in the same Canoe, — that little boy of whom I was just now speaking, and her daughter, sixteen or seventeen Years old, who was well trained in all things, especially as to virtue. Tidings were brought to the mother that they had been wrecked, and that not one of them had escaped. The proofs appeared so manifest that no one doubted the story. The weather since their departure had been very bad, and the saint Lawrence River, which is of great width in those parts, had been stirred by violent storms. A Canoe had been seen adrift, and some floating bodies of Savages; while there had even been distinguished the body of a well-dressed girl, with some porcelain collars; hence the belief that it was the girl whom they were mourning. At this news the poor mother — and she is the most loving of mothers — maintained her composure, and showed no agitation, seeking no consolation except at the feet of the Blessed Virgin, her sole recourse. Thither she resorted as soon as possible, saying a thousand times in her heart: “I am content, 0 God, since you have [33] thus willed it. Blessed be your holy Name. By this stroke, 0 Holy Virgin,” she said to her as she entered the Chapel, “my son and daughter Will be yours forever, and you Will take them, if you please. Not a day passes that I do not offer them to you; and I prayed You some time ago to take my son, but you would not then do me the favor to accept him. 0 mother of pity, 0 sole comfort of the afflicted, do not now refuse the offer that I make you, with all my heart, of my boy and girl, whom I cherished above [Page 23] everything else in the world, — my daughter whom I loved for her purity, and because she loved that virtue in order to please you and be loved by you, 0 Holy Virgin.” After thus pouring out her heart, and shedding many tears before the Blessed Virgin, she came to see me at Sillery, — where, when she had told me all that had passed in her breast since that sad news, she commended to me the souls of the deceased. I learned from her [34] her affliction and it touched me so keenly that both she and I remained speechless for a considerable time.

At length, after a long silence, “Come, my daughter,” said I to her, “let us go to the Chapel, where we shall find consolation.” “Let us go, Father,” she returned; and then, heaving a deep sigh, “Ah, my Lord Jesus,” said she, “my children were not mine; they belonged to you, my God, and you have taken them again. You have not taken from me anything of my own, and I would be greatly in the wrong to complain.” Upon entering the Chapel, she exclaimed: “Ah, my God, I am more deeply attached to you than ever, for there is nothing left on earth to divide my heart, which Will henceforth be wholly in Heaven where all my children and my husband are.” Grief, sobs, and tears checked her utterance; and I, fearing she would faint and swoon away, led her led out of the Church, and, after a brief rest, conducted to her village, Visiting’ her there on the following day, I was urgently requested by her, as the news of the disaster [35] was Constantly receiving fresh confirmation, to write to Monseigneur the Bishop, asking that he Would have the goodness to have prayers said for the Family of the poor departed Ignace, now utterly extinct. She [Page 25] referred to her late husband, whom Monseigneur had greatly loved for his virtue, even to the extent of ordering his body to be brought to the Church at Quebec, where he caused a solemn service to be held over it, at which were present all his clergy and the principal people of the Town. I did not hesitate also, on this occasion, to chant in the Chapel of our Lady of Foy a Mass for the dead, for the repose of the souls of that poor Family. Most of our best Christians received communion at that service, while she who was chiefly concerned approached the Holy Table with a noble mien, and a countenance as peaceful and serene as if she had been about to enter Paradise. After our thanksgiving she begged me to distribute, among the French whom I considered the poorest and the most virtuous, about thirty boisseaux of grain, in order to [36) incite them to pray for the departed.

God — who, after all, aims only at our sanctification in all the afflictions that he suffers to befall us — was content with the good intentions of this virtuous widow; and, when her grief was at its height and she was making in her heart the most heroic acts of resignation to his holy Will, he restored her happiness to her by giving back her children and nephews, alive and in Perfect health. The bodies which had been found were those of some Savages of the Loup nation, who inhabit the toasts of Cadie [Acadia] and of New England; they are our allies, and frequent our settlements.

Her zeal in banishing sin from her Family, and in filling with a horror of it all who belong to her, is not less admirable than her courage and constancy in affliction. While attending the holy Sacrifice of the [Page 27] Mass, one day, she felt uneasy and anxious in her mind at having left her son all alone in her cabin. TO relieve her anxiety, she [37] bade her daughter to go and see what was taking place there. As soon as the girl entered the cabin, she perceived that her mother had been Divinely inspired; for she caught her little brother, and one of his comrades of his own age, in an act of indecency bordering on impurity. Living a loud scream, as if the house had been on fire, she assailed those two little culprits with feet and hands, and drove them into the street. The mother hastened home at the noise, and, being informed of the matter, caused a good handful of rods to be prepared, in order to inflict punishment for the offense at the close of Mass, in sight of all the people. This purpose she executed, but with such rigor that a good old woman, a relative of hers, filled with compassion, snatched the Child from her hands, and led him into the Church, where she made him ask God’s forgiveness. She then took him back to his mother, who repulsed him, and sent him away from her, — assigning him his place in a corner of the hearth on the ashes, and forbidding him to leave it or to lie down elsewhere until he had expiated his offense. Coming in at this juncture, I saw the Child in the veritable attitude of a culprit, his countenance [38] dejected and his eyes lowered. “See, father,” said that good woman to me, “is not that a real Ondechonronnon?” — meaning a denizen of Hell. “I have put him in that prison until he shall have expiated a certain offense,” relating it to me, “for which he deserves to burn forever in Hell. TO how many days’ fast do you condemn him, my Father?” “I think,” said I, “that he ought to fast two days, [Page 29] neither eating nor drinking.” “That is not enough,” returned the mother, “for a little wretch who ought to suffer perpetual hunger and thirst with the demons.” The Child heard all this without saying a Word, being so humiliated and ashamed that he excited my pity. The children of the Savages commonly experience much more rapid mental development than the average French Child; and this one, among the rest, is so bright that he sometimes makes repartees and remarks which surprise me. But to conclude, although I privately informed the mother that her daughter must not fail [3g] to give the boy food in secret, as if on her own account, yet her zeal so wrought upon her that he passed more than 24 hours without taking any nourishment whatever; and she was fully resolved to make the term of his penance still longer, had it not been for the marked weakness which became manifest in the Child. Her reason was that, although his judgment was not mature enough to admit of his committing a mortal sin, yet he had sufficient imagination and memory to recall this punishment in the future, and to conceive therefrom a horror of the sin of impurity. Therefore she insisted further that, before he received anything to eat, he should be taken to me in the Chapel, that I might make him ask God’s forgiveness for his sin, — which he did in a way that moved me deeply. [Page 31]




THIS Residence is sixty leagues from Quebec and a little above [40] the Town of Montreal, which lies to the North of it, and from which it is separated only by the width of the saint Lawrence river, — that is, by about a league and a half. It is situated on an elevated plain resembling a small mountain, at the entrance to a vast prairie, commonly called la prairie de la Magdelene, which is watered by the various windings of a little river of great beauty and abounding in all kinds of fish. A league farther up stream, the Falls of Saint Louys pour their waters down, forming a beautiful basin of more than a league in width, bounded on the North by saint Paul’s Island, while toward the South it forms a sort of half-circle along the above-mentioned prairie, extending two leagues, and bounding this settlement as you go down toward the Island of sainte Helene. The number of settlers here is nearly sixty; and the soil is some of the most fertile to be found in this country, being excellently adapted to supply food for many animals, and to produce large quantities of grains.[1]

This residence is designed to serve as a resting place for our Missionaries, — both those of the [41] Iroquois country and those among the Upper Algonquin, called Outaouaks, — and to furnish tbem more easily the things needful for their maintenance.

The throng of Savages resorting thither from all [Page 33] directions compels us to keep there at least two Missionaries, versed in their different Languages, in order that the Christians and Catechumens formed by our Fathers in their several countries may find at this place the same Spiritual succor, and may be enabled more easily to continue the practice of their Faith and to partake of the Sacraments. This end has been attained, with Heaven’s generous blessing, during the two years since the initial establishment of the residence. Eighteen or twenty Christian Families have already settled there, in the hope of being followed by many more, — attracted by the beauty and advantages of the site, and by the facilities for receiving the instruction necessary for their salvation.

[42] Concerning the prosperous beginnings of this little Church, from the inquiries that I made on the spot when I was returning from my Mission among the Outaouaks, — although I have not yet been able to gain information in detail from those who direct it, — I can say that, after seeing and reflecting upon the conduct of the Huron Christians of Nostre-Dame de Foy, since my arrival, I find everything to be going on there in the same spirit. The same devotional exercises are observed, morning and evening. I noticed an admirable respect and affection for their Pastors, and among themselves a charity and union exceeding all power of conception, especially in view of the fact that they are all people gathered from different countries, — Hurons, members of the neutral Nation, Iroquois, people from Andastogué, from New Sweden, etc., — and all coming from different Iroquois Nations, and either natives of that country, or dwellers there as prisoners of war. [Page 35]

Having reached a common agreement this last Summer [43] to settle there, they decided to elect two Chiefs, — one for policy and war, the other to superintend the observance of Christianity and Religion. At the outset, they were most careful to commend the undertaking to God, deeming such a course of the utmost importance. They heard Mass with this intent; then assembling, all chose by common agreement the two men who were really most meritorious, — whether piety or prudence and common sense be considered. TO them they have since yielded scrupulous obedience in all matters, especially in the inviolable observance of a Law established by those who lighted the first fire there, and ever since strictly obeyed, to the effect that no drunkenness shall be allowed. Consequently no new Savage is received there unless he solemnly promises never to indulge in intoxicating liquors to excess; and the matter is so well known that when any one says, [44] “I have made up my mind to go and settle at Saint Xavier des Praiz,” it is as if he said, “I have resolved never to get drunk again.”

End of Part first.

[Page 37]

[45] Part Second.

Relation of the Missions to the Iroquois during

the years 1670 and 1671.



THE Missions to the five Iroquois Nations, which have become well known through the preceding Relations, have, since the latest Relation, increased the number of the Faithful by three hundred and eighteen or twenty souls, of whom more than half are in Heaven. [Page 39]




F eighty-four baptized at the Mission of the Martyrs at Annie, seventy-four died soon after Baptism, — for the most part, children under seven years.

God’s Providence was especially manifest in the Baptism of two women with Child, and of their offspring. They had, fortunately for their salvation, been captured in war, and brought to the conquerors’ country, with twenty-five other Captives. One of the women was only two months pregnant. The two babes, on being taken from the wombs of their mothers, — who were breathing their last at the stake, amid the horrible torments which those barbarians made them suffer, — were found to have enough life left to be placed among the number of the predestined. Father Jean Pierron, who has chief charge of that Mission, had the happiness to baptize them.

The mother of the younger Child gave very [47] marked proofs of her faith. Besides greatly aiding in the instruction and Baptism of the other Captives who had been condemned to death, she, although herself reduced to a deplorable condition, — with the skin torn from her head, her face covered with blood, her whole body cruelly burned, and so disfigured that she no longer looked like a human being, — nevertheless went in quest of the father amid that [Page 41] crowd of barbarians who made a laughing stock of her, presented herself before him, made the sign of the Cross, and said to him several times with evident marks of devotion, and in a clear voice: “My Father, Oh, my Father, I am going to Heaven, I am going to Heaven!”

A Christian woman of the same Church, who was urgently importuned by one of the chief men of the country to commit sin, made a brief rejoinder which checked that impudent man, and covered him with confusion. “Know, 0 wretched man,” said she to him, “that I am a Christian, and that I am, as such, an abject precious in God’s sight.” [Page 43]





T the Mission of St. François Xavier, at Onneiout, an old-time Huron Christian named Joseph Ondessonka died, with very decided evidences of predestination. In his last illness, his first thought was to put in order the matters pertaining to his salvation, by a general confession covering his whole life; and this purpose he executed in a frame of mind betokening a truly contrite heart, and with all possible exactness. TO aid his memory in omitting none of his sins, and to supply the want of writing, which they do not practice, he had arranged on his bed some grains of Indian corn, separated into as many little heaps as he believed himself to have committed sins of different sorts. Thus his Pastor, Father Jacques Bruyas, had not much difficulty in confessing him, nor did he [49] in fully meeting the requirements of this Sacrament.

He received the holy Viaticum with great piety and devotion, constantly begging the Father to warn him of death’s approach, — “in order,” said he, “that I may put forth a final effort to pray, and to appease the wrath of my God, whom I have so grievously off ended.” The thought of his sins and the ill use he had made of the grace shown to him, filled him with so lively a fear of the final judgment that he often exclaimed with tears in his eyes: “Is it [Page 45] possible, my God, for you to show me mercy and receive me into your Paradise after my life of dissolute behavior? Alas, what abundant reason I have to fear Hell! But I hope in your infinite goodness; and am ready to suffer, as long as it shall please you, my present pains, — and even severer ones, if you so decree, — in order to satisfy your Divine Justice.” An infidel woman very nearly related to him, who had taken him into her cabin, [ijr] had often pressed him to permit her to summon the Jugglers, who are regarded as the Physicians of the country, and to employ the secrets of their Art in attempting his cure. TO this he always made strenuous opposition. “One day before his death he begged me,” says the Father, “to call together our Christians in his cabin, that he might bid them a final adieu, and commend himself to their prayers. Our Dying man played the Preacher on this occasion, —urging upon them, among other things, perseverance in the Faith, to the end that they might all be one day reunited in Heaven. A good Christian woman named Felicité Gannondadik — one of the most influential members of that Church, through her piety and her courage in professing Christianity — took the Word, and exhorted him, in a way that touched all the assembly, to endure his present suffering patiently and for the love of our Lord. Especially did she urge him to make another serious self-examination, to discover whether he had not forgotten something in his confession. ‘Thou must know, my brother,’ said she to him, ‘what the [s 1] Sacrament of Penance is, and its importance; and the necessity of opening one’s heart therein unfeignedly and unreservedly to the Priest, who stands to us in the place of Jesus Christ. Besides, thou [Page 47] wilt soon appear before him; nothing is hidden from him. Thou hast the Father still with thee; declare to him everything that might burden thy conscience, and render thee guilty before that terrible Judge. Fight valiantly, to the last breath, against the demon of Hell. Come, my brother, we are going to pray for thee; pray thou likewise for us.’ Forthwith, the whole company recited a decade of the Rosary. He did not die until the morrow, saint Barthelemy’s day, toward ten o’clock in the morning, after raising both hands to Heaven with the words, Jesus, titaiatak garonhiâgué; that is, ‘Jesus, take me up into Heaven.’ A death so Christian is but the sequel to such a life.” The same Joseph, when he was living at Cap de la Magdeleine, fell ill with a swelling on the hand, of so dangerous a nature that the Surgeon regarded his [52] case as incurable unless a finger, or perhaps the whole hand, were cut off. Father Fremin, who was then Superior of that residence, carried him word to that effect, and at the same time encouraged him to endure the operation with patience. “Ah,” returned this good Savage with a smiling countenance, “you do not know me yet, my Father; you are not aware now deeply I have offended my God, and how many times I have deserved Hell for my sins. Why should I fear to see one of my fingers cut off, when I have so often deserved to be burned throughout all eternity? Even if every one of my fingers should be cut off, one after another, and my whole body hacked to pieces, I would not suffer the hundredth part of the agonies endured by the damned in Hell, — agonies to which I would have been long since condemned, had not God taken pity on me. How glad I am, my Father, that the opportunity is given me of offering [Page 49] this slight suffering to God, in atonement for my sins.” So saying, he held out his hand to the Surgeon with [53] intrepid courage, and “submitted to that little voluntary martyrdom with a firmness so heroic that he betrayed no more feeling over it,” says the Father, “than if merely one of his hairs had been cut off, — frequently giving devout utterance to these words: ‘Let them cut me to pieces, let them burn me alive in this life, if only my God forgive me in Eternity.’”

God tries these little Churches in an admirable manner, by depriving them of the principal Pillars which seemed to sustain them. “About a month after Joseph’s death,” the Father writes me, “we suffered another very grievous loss by the death of one of our best Christians, own sister to the late Ignace Tsaouenhohoui, — who was Captain of the Huron Colony, and died a holy death at Quebec. God exercised and purified this good woman during the three months’ continuance of her very painful illness. Her patience under the loss of an eye, and in the most intense sufferings, caused by a hemorrhage which resulted in her death, delighted our little Church. She never ceased [54] to pray, even in the death-agony, and God suffered her to retain her faculties up to her last breath, — which caused her to say many times, with much feeling and gratitude, that it was an advantage enjoyed by Christians over infidels, to keep the use of their reason up to the last moment of their lives. She was most assiduous and constant in prayer, never failing for a single day to say her Rosary, no matter what her occupation.”

I cannot omit what the same Father adds in his [Page 51] letter, in the following words: “A few days after God had taken this good Christian from us, he gave us another, who seemed destined to succeed her in piety and devotion. I granted her Baptism after I had tried her a long time, until she gave me sufficient proofs of her sincerity and perseverance. At the same time, I baptized two of her children, much to my consolation. But my joy was short indeed. She [55 3 had deferred her full conversion for three years, in the fear common to these people that Baptism might cause her death. Yet yielding at last to the divine inspiration, and courageously overcoming this fear, she embraced the Faith.

“Three days after receiving this grace, she fell ill; and after pining away for five weeks, never failing in patience and resignation to God’s Will, she died a very happy death, and, as I believe, in her baptismal innocence.” [Page 55]





HE Letters arriving from the Mission of St. Jean Baptiste at Onnontagué assure us that Daniel Garakontié, the most noted man [56] among all the Iroquois Nations, and their chief, is continuing courageously in the exercise of Christianity; he was baptized last year here at Quebec, by Monseigneur the Bishop, with Monsieur de Courcelles, our Governor, for Godfather.

As soon as he had returned to his country, he made open profession of his faith, — declaring publicly, at a feast attended by the Chief men of his Nation, that he was a Christian. “You know, my brothers,” said he to them, “how I have ever supported the Public interests. You have never known me to withhold my utterance on occasions when I ought to have spoken, or to refuse to expose my life in affairs of importance or in danger, which I have faced a hundred times for the support and preservation of my country. Are there any poor Families in the Village, or even any widows, who can reproach me with not having used my authority to procure for them needed assistance, — either for the tilling of their fields or for restoring and [57] reëstablishing themselves after they had lost everything by fire? Moreover, if I have acted hitherto in such matters from natural inclination and a sense of honor, I shall be prompted [Page 55] henceforth by a loftier motive, — namely, the obedience due to the sovereign Master of our lives, who compels me by an express command to discharge all these duties. I cannot deny that I have been sinful; my conduct, in the license that I have allowed myself in the misuse of the marriage: relation, is only too well known. I have blushed for it before God, and am now again covered with confusion before you. But you Will bear me witness to the vow: which I have taken, and which I now once more renew, to change my manner of life, and to make my example to you in the future as edifying as it has been the opposite in the past, on account of my libertinism. Cease to expect me to lend my support and countenance to your dreams, or to uphold and sanction the superstitious practices of our ancestors. All that is forbidden to me, as contrary to God’s Laws. It is an error to suppose that such things [58] are the mainstay of the country and of our lives; they are rather the cause of our ruin, and serve only to hasten our destruction. I see clearly that the demon of Hell is deceiving you; and you will be convinced of it yourselves when it shall please God to show you the same grace that he has shown me, and to enlighten you.”

“This speech, attentively heard by the whole assembly, together with such a remarkable change as this in a person of so great repute among those people, produced such an effect on their minds” — says Father Pierre Millet, in his Letter of the third of July — “that our stray sheep returned to the fold, and many who did not before listen to the words of the Pastor approached, and made urgent request for admission [Page 57]

“Our Neophyte has since then declared himself on all occasions, both in public and in private, — always speaking in zealous defense of Christianity and the holy Mysteries of our Faith, and of his resolve to continue constant therein until his death.”

On one occasion, when he had gone to trade in new Holland, where he is very well known, the Governor [59] of the place, having declared, in an assembly attended by some of the chief men among the Iroquois, his desire to see them all at peace with the Nation of the Loups, — who go and slay them under their very palisades, — appealed to him in particular, as to a man of good sense and of experience in affairs, to learn his opinion regarding the most efficacious method of attaining this end. Garakontié replied to him frankly. “Truly,” said he, “it becomes you to undertake such reconciliations as that; you know nothing about such matters. That glory belongs only to Onnontio.” (He referred to Monsieur our Governor.) “When he holds council with us at Quebec, before opening the matters in hand, he enjoins us above all things to honor and serve God, and to keep his commandments, — desiring us to respect and heed those who instruct us, and who teach us the way to salvation. But you, you do quite the contrary, turning us away from God’s service, — [BO] asking me why I wear this Crucifix and this Rosary at my neck, making fun of them, and saying they are of no account. You censure and show contempt for the true and salutary doctrine taught US by the black-gowned men. After that, what blessing can you expect from God in your treaties of peace, when you blaspheme against his [Page 59] most Adorable Mysteries and offend him continually?”

But those who are acquainted with the characters of our Savages will admire still more his courage, on an occasion that would have proved highly embarrassing to any one but him.

They have a certain ceremony — one of the most important of their superstitious observances — which they hold at least once a year, toward the month of February, with great solemnity, in honor of their dreams, through which they claim to know all the decrees of a certain Taronhiaouagon respecting their good or evil fortune. This spirit, they declare, is the mightiest [61] of all spirits, and the Master of our lives. The ceremony is held either for the cure of some person of wealth and station; or before their hunting expedition, to obtain good success therein; or when they are about to adopt some important war plans. It Will sometimes last four or five days, during which all is disorder, and no one does more than snatch a hasty meal. All are at liberty to run through the cabins in grotesque attire, both men and women, indicating — by signs, or by singing in enigmatical and obscure terms — what they have wished for in their dreams; and this each person tries to divine, offering the thing guessed, however precious it may be, and making a boast of appearing generous on this occasion. The head-man of the Village is the prime mover in this whole affair, and to him it belongs to determine the time and conditions of the ceremony. It offered a fresh opportunity, which Garakontié seized, to make known to all his people that he was truly a Christian at heart, and not, as some people [62] are, in external appearance only. [Page 61]

One day, accordingly, after the despatch of some business in the Council, one of the elders brought forward the matter of the Onnonhouaroia, as they call this superstitious ceremony.

Thereupon Garakontié took the word and addressed them as follows: “You know, my brothers, that I have sufficiently declared my position on all such matters, and you cannot be ignorant of my sentiments. It suffices to assure you, as I have on all occasions, that I am a Christian.” With that he rose and went out of the Cabin, leaving the whole assembly with heads lowered in speechless surprise; so that all were obliged to return to their homes without reaching any conclusion.

This hitherto unheard of proceeding astonished the whole Village, and even stirred to anger some ill-disposed persons; but such firmness and fidelity on the part of our Neophyte gave consolation and joy to all the Christians, and added greatly to the repute of our Missionaries and to the esteem of the doctrine preached by them. We have since received word that his wife has become [63] converted to Christianity; and that, in imitation of this Captain, many are showing great constancy in their faith. A Christian woman who t had unfortunately become intoxicated, and had, for that reason, been forbidden to enter the Church for a considerable time, because of the scandal she had caused, received this punishment very humbly and submissively; and when she was told, after a thorough trial of her constancy, and in response to her very urgent petitions, that she could only reënter the Church on certain conditions of considerable severity, especially for Savages, she submitted to them all without reserve and with much [Page 63] courage, — counting herself happy to be restored, at whatever price, to all the rights of God’s children.

Although these infant Churches have not yet a large membership, still the Faithful ones who are members do not fail to show something of the courage of the Christians of the primitive Church. You Will find some who remain as firm and immovable [64] as Rocks before the insults of their infidel relatives, — preferring to suffer opprobrium and scorn, and even to continue in extreme poverty, rather than betray their Faith, or consent to the least act unworthy of a Christian soul. Some have consciences so tender that they cannot endure the slightest offense without immediately seeking its expiation in Confession. [Page 65]




HE latest Letter received by us from Father Estienne de Carheil gives us a sufficient acquaintance with the present State of this Mission. He writes us concerning it as follows:

“The fresh progress of Christianity, as shown by the spread of the Faith and the saving of souls, being all the consolation your Reverence expects [65] each year from our Missions, I can afford you no greater joy than by informing you of the growth of this Church, in the number of souls it has either regenerated in the waters of Baptism or rendered happy in Heaven by a holy death.

“If the saving of a soul is a more worthy cause for consolation than all the most illustrious earthly conquests, I hope that the sixty-two upon whom I have conferred the life of grace, and the thirty-five who have gone to live in glory, will be abundant cause for your solace. Most of those who died after Baptism were children, whose age admits of no doubt as to their blessed state. The others were adults whose condition makes me believe them to have won, by their cooperation with heaven’s grace, what those little Innocents received solely by virtue of the Sacrament.

“Without dwelling on each of them separately, the one who seemed to me best prepared was a Young woman of about twenty-five. She was [66] of an [Page 67] admirable disposition, showing a sweetness wholly foreign to the Savage, and savoring rather of a French education than of one in a Barbarous land. Before her Baptism, she used to attend prayers with some frequency, bringing with her a little girl of hers, four or five years old. This observance, by impressing upon her the truths of Christianity, which entered her breast little by little, prepared her to receive more easily the grace of Baptism. She fell ill, and I found her in that condition when I was visiting all the Village. She besought me to take pity on her, and give her some medicine to cure her. I gave her some, at the same time instructing her in all our Mysteries, and especially in the necessity of Baptism. She showed that she took pleasure in listening to me when I spoke to her only of the essential part and the effects of this Sacrament, finding it easy enough to allow the pouring of a little water on her head, in order to gain eternal happiness in Heaven; and, had I asked from her nothing further, she [67] would have been quite ready to receive Baptism. But, when I added that the mere application of water was insufficient to obtain for us that eternal happiness, and exempt us from the sufferings that were never to end, — that we must also acknowledge the sins that we had committed, be moved with sorrow because of them, and firmly resolve never to commit them again, — then her heart, which had been hopeful before, was filled with conflict and opposition. She heaved a deep sigh, and, giving me a look full of meaning, turned away and hid her face, in order to prevent my saying any more to her on the subject than she chose to hear.

“At the same time, a woman of her cabin came and [Page 69] objected to the instruction that I was still continuing, so that I was forced to withdraw.

“Three days passed, and my patient would not suffer me to approach and instruct her. Meanwhile, her illness was increasing, causing me [68] to put forth the urgent efforts requisite for her salvation, and at last with success. As all these rebuffs arose merely from the opposition of her Will to the light given by her understanding, my frequent visits to her and my evident desire for her salvation, together with the inevitable approach of death, at length softened her heart, and changed all her aversion into love.

“Upon my visiting her one morning, to offer her some further remedy, with my usual expressions of pity, she received it and experienced some slight alleviation; this caused her to feel so much trust during the short time left her to live, that she thereafter appealed to hardly any one but me for any relief which her suffering made her desire. This trust enabled me to speak to her once more concerning Baptism, and I met with no further resistance. If her heart had found it difficult to conceive sorrow because of, and hatred for, certain abjects to which it had become attached through inclination and [69] habit, God had permitted this only that he might prepare her to repent more effectively and sincerely, and with greater assurance of salvation. Indeed, when I approached her the second time to tell her that she must abhor her sins, — which I enumerated to her, — and to ask her whether she did not abhor them, in obedience to God’s Will, so that they might be washed away by Baptism, then I saw her overcome in a manner quite contrary to her former [Page 71] emotion; and the grief that I had felt over her refusal to repent was compensated by a much greater joy. She clung to that Word, ‘repentance,’ with both heart and tongue, pronouncing it and repeating it over and over again, of her own accord, with an inexpressible tenderness, which penetrated me through and through, — and of which I can only say that one must have heard its expression, in order to gain any conception of its nature. After that, I no longer doubted that she was of the number of the predestined. I Baptized her after a prayer of considerable length, which I had her repeat, including therein all the acts that could be of [70] service in preparing her. When she saw me approaching to Baptize her, she offered her head for receiving the water, and composed her features with such modesty that the working of grace seemed to me visible in her. I delayed her Baptism only long enough to assure her of eternal happiness and make her repeat some prayers; after which I withdrew, and she surrendered her soul, some time later, to him who had just purified her.” [Page 73]




ALTHOUGH the Nation of the Sonnontouans is the grossest and most barbarous, has the least intercourse with the French, and is apparently the farthest removed from a fit condition for embracing the Faith, yet [71] our Fathers, who have labored in those Missions for two years, have found there some chosen souls; and Father Julien Garnier, who is now in sole charge there, asks us for aid, — in the hope that those Peoples, who exceed in population all the rest of the Iroquois, Will finally become softened, and furnish a noble occupation for the zeal of the Missionaries whom it shall please God to send thither. The little he tells us about them is amply sufficient to touch and draw thither hearts filled with the holy Ghost. Miracles of grace have been wrought there, which show us that God’s hand has not been shortened; evident proof of this is furnished by the hundred and ten, and more, who have been Baptized this year, as well as by the fervor and courage of certain elect souls.

A Christian of long standing, named François Tehoronhiongo, — one of the first members of saint Michel’s Church, and highly esteemed for his eminent virtue and the authority he has acquired over the people of his Nation, — lost an intimate friend, who was a good Christian and very virtuous, [72] and who [Page 75] met with a sudden death, which was unexpected and almost instantaneous. François was thereby filled with so keen a sense of the importance of dying worthily, and of the necessity of being prepared at any moment to make that passage which is to decide our eternal happiness or misery, that he could think of nothing else. Such was the effect on him of this grace that he thereupon made a resolve — which he has ever since strictly observed — not to attend any Feasts where he saw any signs of superstitious practices or of wrong-doing. Moreover, when the time came at which the infidel Savages run through the village to gain the fulfillment of their dreams, he made proclamation by public crier, in the villages of saint Michel and saint Jacques, that no one was to appeal to him or to any member of his family for the fulfillment of his dream; that he no longer observed that ceremony, having renounced such practices at his Baptism; and that, as he acknowledged no dream-god, so he would render no worship or homage to his own [73] dreams or to the dreams of others.

One of the Village elders, — men toward whom these Peoples always show great respect and obedience, — having turned to him in the course of this public ceremony, threatening, unless he granted him what he had dreamed about, to hold François responsible, according to these Peoples’ belief, for all the ill that should befall him, this threat did not disturb him in the least. He answered the other boldly that, being a Christian, he did not fear him; and he made the same reply to all who importuned him in that matter.

This Christian firmness gained him such influence [Page 77] and respect that, whenever he joins any group — even of infidels — who, as often occurs, are talking only on indecent themes or in disparagement of the Faith and of Christianity, they immediately change the subject. Many go to him to be instructed in our holy Mysteries, wherein he is thoroughly versed, and to learn to pray.

The Divine Providence usually turns [74] these peoples’ misfortunes to account in disposing them to receive the sacred Word, humiliation and misery rendering them more docile. The same Father informs us that he never had a more favorable hearing than after the burning of the Village of saint Michel, which occurred last spring, when all the cabins and the Chapel were reduced to ashes, and nothing could be saved — neither furnishings, nor corn, nor any of the necessities of life. Those poor people did not seem disturbed over it, but on the contrary assured the Father that they recognized that they were being justly punished by God for their infidelity, and for the resistance they had hitherto offered to the spread of the Gospel. They besought him earnestly not to forsake them, promising that, as soon as they had rebuilt their cabins and palisade, so as to be somewhat protected against their enemies, they would build a much finer Chapel than their former one, and would attend prayers there more constantly than in the past. The Father adds that they promised this [75] so solemnly, and with such evidences of sincerity, that he is convinced that they will keep their Word. Fiat, Fiat.

We recognize still more clearly in their mortal attacks of illness the workings of grace, and the fruits borne by daily teachings, even in dispositions [Page 79] apparently the most rebellious and the most strongly opposed to the Faith. I will relate two or three examples of this, which seem tome attended by most remarkable circumstances.

A Sonnontouan of the Village of saint Jacques, of great age and high station, having fallen ill, the Father went to see him, and offered him every assistance in his power, — both for relief in his illness, and for the salvation of his soul. Both offers were refused with considerable brusqueness, so that the Father was forced to withdraw, after some polite pressing of his services, in order not to alienate the man still more. Several days of this ill humor succeeded, during which the Father could do nothing but [76] intercede with God on behalf of this wretched man, — who, in all human probability, was destined to die without Baptism and in infidelity, as his door was closed to the Father, who could not gain further access to him. Meanwhile, the Father was duly informed that he was visibly sinking, which caused him incredible anguish of soul, such as only those who have felt it can conceive, — at seeing an unhappy soul, whom one has come to seek across so many Seas, at the very gates of Hell, without being able to succor it, or help it to escape from such danger. But the goodness of God, who shows himself as well disposed toward a poor Savage as toward the greatest Monarch of the earth, extended a hand to him in an unhoped-for mariner. As these Peoples are guided by their dreams, he suffered him to see the Father in his sleep offering him a medicine very beneficial to his health. This was enough to compel him to send for the Father without delay, with a pressing entreaty to visit him at the earliest moment [Page 81] They found him at St. Michel [77] where, pending the moment of grace, he had gone to visit his Church. On receiving this Word, he dropped everything, and hastened away with all speed. The sick man seemed overjoyed at his coming, made him sit down by his bed, and said to him: “Ourasera,” for so the Father is called in the Savage tongue, “give me a medicine without delay, I pray thee; I saw it in thy hands, in a dream, and it Will cure me.” “Oh, most gladly, my brother,” the Father said to him; “I am going to give thee a medicine, but a far different and a much better one than thou sawest in thy dream. No longer dost thou need any medicine for thy body, which cannot now be helped by it. A medicine of that kind would but hasten the coming of thy last day of life. The Great Master of our lives, who loves thee, bids me give thee one which is wholly of heaven; it will restore health and life to thy soul, Will deliver it from eternal death, and Will procure for it, in place of this wretched life which we have in common with the animals, a blessed and eternal life in Heaven, — by means of Baptism.” While the [‘83 Father was speaking, the Holy Ghost was at work in this Savage’s heart; and, at the word “Baptism,” on which he had talked with him several times without effect, the patient awoke as if from a deep sleep, and earnestly begged the Father to refresh his memory on the instructions that he had formerly taught him, in order to fit him to receive that Sacrament. The Father complied at once, and the sick man heard him with much joy and consolation. Thinking it best, nevertheless, to defer his Baptism until the next day, he visited his patient at daybreak, and found him in a holy impatience to see himself enrolled with God’s [Page 93] children. He had passed the whole night in acts of Faith and Contrition, and in reciting the prayers which he had learned the day before; these he had not forgotten, as the Father perceived when the sick man repeated them again in his presence, without the help of others. Accordingly, he received holy Baptism very devoutly; and, after passing the whole day and night in blessing God and asking him for Paradise, [79] he died on the day after, leaving with his Pastor the conviction that he was, beyond a doubt, one of the number of the predestined.

I Will conclude this Chapter with the Abstract of a letter which I have received from the same Missionary, as follows: “Drunkenness — caused by the liquor which the infidels bring hither from the Dutch, carrying it more than eighty leagues by land — has been more general than ever, having spread even to the women; and these debauches continue for twelve or fifteen days after the coming of each band of traders. During all this time, no food is prepared or fire lighted in the Cabins, which remain deserted day and night, — all the rest of the people taking flight, and hiding in the fields and woods. In all these outbreaks, the virtue of our Christians has shone forth with brilliancy: they have all remained steadfast in their duty, and shown as pronounced an aversion for such debauches as the latter are at variance with their profession. Even the intoxicated persons have been so far respectful as not to come to the Chapel; [80] and we have held our meetings there on Sundays as usual, — our Christians assembling from their places of refuge with great punctuality, and hearing Mass as undisturbed and as devoutly as at any other time of the year, [Page 85] In regard to the sick, I have had more difficulty, not knowing where to find them; but I succeeded in Baptizing some, and among them an adult who, after a little training, gave me much consolation. He was a Catechumen and showed considerable punctuality at the usual prayer-services. Finding him very ill one day, I thought best, with his consent, to prepare him for Baptism; and therefore instructed him in the principal Mysteries of our Faith, making him say the acts necessary for his preparation for this Sacrament — which, however, I deferred for good reasons. Then, as I found him delirious and in danger of dying, I did not hesitate to Baptize him. Recovering his reason some time afterward, he had me summoned and told me in great anger that I had deceived him; that in his dreams he had seemed to be [81] in Heaven, where the French had received him with the hooting in which the natives are wont to indulge on the arrival of their Prisoners of war; and that, when he made his escape from them, they already had firebrands in their hands for burning him. Moreover, he said, the water that I had poured on his head was a charm and a malignant spell, which would cause his death and consign him to eternal flames in the other world. At so unexpected a turn, I appealed most earnestly to God, who at last graciously permitted me, after more than three hours of conflict, — which was, however, a strife of gentleness and love, — to undeceive and convince him. Banishing all those imaginings prompted by the evil one, who was bent on his destruction, he resumed, in a way that excited my admiration, his first thoughts, and the sentiments of a soul truly converted. His one wish was to die as soon [Page 87] as possible, in order not to offend God again, and to attain happiness in Heaven. After his usual prayers, he voluntarily made a petition to that effect in these words: Thou who art in Heaven, have pity on me; take me [82] as soon as possible from down here, that I may be blessed with thee.

“Another sick man caused me still greater consolation when I saw him taking action for his salvation in a manner very unusual for a Savage, and. indicative of a deep faith. TO win him to God I had, besides giving him frequent instruction, spared no effort, day or night, to aid him and to convince him of my sincere desire for his recovery. One day, as he felt that all my remedies were useless, and that he was constantly going from bad to worse, but as he still saw me filled with no common eagerness to relieve his sufferings, ‘My brother,’ said he to me, ‘I see plainly that thou lovest me, but I pray thee think no more about my body; strive only to save my soul. It is all over with me; I am a dead man, I cannot doubt it; and the important thing is to die a good death.’ Accordingly, I instructed him fully and baptized him, — whereupon, being entirely satisfied, and thinking thenceforth only of Paradise, he began to sing what they call ‘the death-Song,’ but in far different [83] words from those he had used formerly in times of danger, when he was an infidel. ‘Jesus,’ he kept saying, ‘is the master of my life; he will take me to Heaven. Never any more sin or dream-worship; the great Master in Heaven forbids them.’ Such were his sentiments, which be maintained to the end.”

After all, it must be admitted that these peoples are strongly opposed to the Faith, and that a [Page 89] Savage’ s conversion is a stroke of Heaven. Liberty, which they cherish more than life; pride, which is natural to them, as well as inconstancy in their resolves; the impurity wherein they have been reared; their extreme attachment to their dreams and superstitious customs; their diversions, and their ordinary pursuits of the chase and of war, which render them far from settled and keep them most of the time in the woods and on the war-path; furthermore, the Demon of intemperance which has possessed them for some years, — these are certainly great hindrances [84] to the permanent establishment of Religion among them. Yet the zeal, trust, application, patience, and long-suffering of our Missionaries are overcoming all these obstacles, and give us reason to hope God Will ever increase the blessings which he has hitherto been pleased to bestow upon their labors. It is already a great gain that they know the native Tongue, have found access to the peoples’ hearts, are loved and esteemed by them, and have entire liberty to preach God’s word to them publicly and privately; while there is not a family in all those countries which is not adequately instructed in the principal mysteries of our Faith. Many have the Faith, although, from attachment to their evil ways, they are not yet professed Christians; this they show in times of sickness, when they often, unsolicited, send for our Fathers, in order not to die without Baptism. Prayers are held regularly in each village [SS] morning and evening, in the Chapel, to which the Catechumens have free access, and where the Christians receive the Sacraments on Sunday; and there the Catechism is taught, in addition to the daily instruction given in the Cabins. Many little [Page 91] children take flight to Heaven after the grace of Baptism, one of the first cares of our Missionaries being to watch that not a single one dies without this Sacrament. Thus it is that, in spite of Hell, these little Churches are making progress; and there is not one of them that has not some chosen souls, who imitate the fervor and charity of the first centuries, and, by their good example, furnish a strong impetus to the conversion of the rest. In short, our Gospel Laborers, far from holding that nothing can be done for the Faith with these peoples, call to us from all directions for succor, and ask us for reinforcements with all imaginable urgency. Especially true is this of those who are laboring in the [86] fields most choked with briers and thorns, and in the training of peoples the most barbarous, and the most violently opposed to the Gospel.

End of Part second.

[Page 93]

[87] Part Third.

Relation of the Missions to the Outouacs dur-

ing the years 1670 and 1671.






T is well to afford a general view of all these Outaouac territories, not only for the purpose of designating the places where the Faith has been proclaimed by the planting of Missions; but [88] also because the King, by very recently taking possession of them with a ceremony worthy of the eldest son of the Church, and of a Most Christian King, put all those tribes under the protection of the Cross before receiving them under his own, being unwilling to unfurl his standard before planting that of Jesus Christ, — as Will be set forth in the account to be given of that act of taking possession.

By glancing, as one can, at the Map of the lakes, and of the territories on which are settled most of the tribes of these regions, one Will gain more light upon all these Missions than by long descriptions that might be given of them.

The reader may first turn his eyes to the Mission of Sainte Marie du Sault, three leagues below the mouth of Lake superior. He Will find it situated on [Page 95] the banks of the river by which this great Lake discharges its waters, at the place called the Sault, very advantageous in which to perform Apostolic functions, since it is the great resort [89] of most of the Savages of these regions, and lies in the almost universal route of all who go down to the French settlements. It was also on this spot that all these lands were taken possession of in his Majesty’s name, in the presence and with the approval of fourteen Nations who had come hither for that purpose.

Toward the other end of the same lake is found the Mission of Saint Esprit, covering both the district known as Chagaouamigong point, and the neighboring Islands. Thither the Outaouacs, with the Hurons of Tionnontaté, repair in the seasons suitable for fishing and for raising Indian corn.

It will be easy to recognize the rivers and routes leading to various Nations, either stationary or nomadic, located in the vicinity of this same lake, who are somewhat dependent on this Mission of saint Esprit in the matter of trade, which draws them to our Savages’ abode.

For it is a Southward course that is taken by the [90] great river called by the natives Missisipi, which must empty somewhere in the region of the Florida sea, more than four hundred leagues hence. Fuller mention Will be made of it hereafter. Beyond that great river lie the eight Villages of the Ilinois, a hundred leagues from saint Esprit point; while forty or fifty leagues Westward from the latter place is found the Nation of the Nadouessi, — very populous and warlike, and regarded as the Iroquois of these regions, waging war, almost unaided, with all the other tribes hereabout. Still farther away is situated [Page 97] another Nation, of an unknown tongue, beyond which, it is said, lies the Western sea. Again, proceeding toward the West-Northwest, we find the people called Assinipoualac, constituting one large village, — or, as others say, thirty small villages in a group, — not far from the North sea, two weeks’ journey from the above-named Mission of saint Esprit.

Finally, the Kilistinons are dispersed through the whole Region to the North of this Lake [91] Superior, — possessing neither corn, nor fields, nor any fixed abode; but forever wandering through those vast Forests, and seeking a livelihood there by hunting. There are also other Nations in those districts, for that reason called “the peoples of the Interior,” or of the North Sea.

The reader will also be enabled — on his journey, so to speak — to note all the places on this Lake where copper is said to be found. For, although at present we have no very definite knowledge on the subject, because no thorough surveys have been made, yet the slabs and huge lumps of this metal which we have seen, each weighing a hundred or two hundred livres, and much more; that great rock of copper, seven or eight hundred livres in weight, seen near the head of the Lake by all who pass; and, furthermore, the numerous pieces found at the water’s edge in various places — all seem to force upon us the conviction that somewhere there are parent mines which have not yet been discovered.[2]

After surveying this entire [92] Lake Superior, together with the Nations surrounding it, let us go down to the Lake of the Hurons, almost in the middle of which we shall see the Mission of saint Simon, established on the Islands which were formerly the [Page 99] true country of some Nations of the Outaouacs, and which they were forced to leave when the Hurons were ravaged by the Iroquois. But since the King’s Arms have compelled the latter to live at peace with our Algonquins, part of the Outaouacs have returned to their country; and we at the same time have planted this Mission, with which are connected the peoples of Mississagué, the Amicouës, and other circumjacent tribes, — to whom we have proclaimed the Faith, baptizing many of their children and adults.

Toward the south, on the other side of the Lake, are the territories formerly occupied by various Nations of the Hurons and Outaouacs, who had stationed themselves at some distance from one another, as far as the famous Island of Missilimakinac.[3] In the neighborhood of this island, as being the spot most noted in all these regions [93] for its abundance of fish, various Peoples used to make their abode, who now fully intend to return thither if they see that peace is firmly established. It is for this reason that we have already begun there to found the Mission of St, Ignace; this was done during the past Winter, which we spent there.

Thence one enters the Lake called Mitchiganons, to which the Ilinois have given their name. After the People who formerly lived near the Western sea were driven away from it by their foes, they sought a refuge on the shores of this Lake; and when the Iroquois expelled them thence also, they finally withdrew to a spot seven days’ journey beyond the great river. The reader will see, at the end, how a part of this nation has begun to receive the light of the Faith, which we carried even to their own country.

Finally, between this Lake of the Ilinois and Lake [Page 101] Superior is seen a long bay called the bay des Puans, at the head of which is the Mission of saint François Xavier; while at its entrance [94] are encountered the Islands called Huron, because the Hurons took refuge there for some time, after their own country was laid waste. In one of them especially is found a kind of Emerald or diamond, some white and others green. Still farther Northward may be seen a stream of no great size, to which is given the name of copper river, from a lump of metal that we saw there, weighing more than two hundred livres.

Approaching the head of the same bay, we see the river of the Oumaloumines [Menomonees], — or, translated, “the wild-oats Nation,”— which is a dependency of the Mission of St. François Xavier, as are also the Poteouatami, the Ousaki, and other Tribes, — who, driven from their own abode, the Lands toward the South, near Missilimakinac, have sought refuge at the head of this bay. Beyond it, and farther Inland, may be seen the Fire Nation, or the Mathkoutench, with an Ilinois tribe called the Oumami [Miami], and also the Outagami. [95] Of these mention will be made more in detail, as well as of all the other tribes designated, the Faith having been proclaimed to nearly all of them. Some peoples have embraced it, and make public profession of Christianity; while the others have not yet made any declaration, although many individuals have received holy Baptism, and the greater part have been given the necessary instruction therefor.

Finally, the remaining tribes, farther distant toward the South and Southwest, are either beginning to draw near to US, — for already the Ilinois have reached the bay mentioned above, — or else are [Page 103] waiting until we can advance to them. All these matters will be treated more in detail when we take up each Mission in order, touching upon what has been found most rare and curious to be known among those newly-discovered countries and Peoples. But first let us see how the King took possession of them this year, and subjected them to Jesus Christ’s dominion before placing them under his own.




IT is not our present purpose to describe this ceremony in detail, but merely to touch on matters relating to Christianity and the welfare of our Missions, which are going to be more flourishing than ever after what occurred to their advantage on this occasion.

When Monsieur Talon, our Intendant, returned from Portugal, and after his shipwreck, he was commanded by the King to return to this country; and at the same time received his Majesty’s orders to exert himself strenuously for the establishment of Christianity here, by aiding our Missions, and to cause the name and the sovereignty of our invincible Monarch to be acknowledged by even the least known and the most remote Nations. These commands, reinforced by the designs of the Minister, — who is ever [95 i.e., 97] equally alert to extend God’s glory, and to promote that of his King in every land, — were obeyed as speedily as possible. Monsieur Talon had no sooner landed than he considered means for insuring the success of these plans, — choosing, to that end, sieur de saint Lusson,[4] whom he [Page 105] commissioned to take possession, in his place and in his Majesty’s name, of the territories lying between the East and the West, from Montreal as far as the South sea, covering the utmost extent and range possible.

For this purpose, after wintering on the Lake of the Hurons, Monsieur de saint Lusson repaired to sainte Marie du Sault early in May of this year, sixteen hundred and seventy-one. First, he summoned the surrounding tribes living within a radius of a hundred leagues, and even more; and they responded through their Ambassadors, to the number of fourteen Nations.[5] After making all necessary preparations for the successful issue of the whole undertaking to the honor of France, he began, on June fourth of the same year, with the most solemn ceremony ever observed [96 i.e., 95] in these regions.

For, when all had assembled in a great public council, and a height had been chosen well adapted to his purpose, — overlooking, as it did, the Village of the people of the Sault, — he caused the Cross to be planted there, and then the King’s standard to be raised, with all the pomp that he could devise.

The Cross was publicly blessed, with all the ceremonies of the Church, by the Superior of these Missions; and then, when it had been raised from the ground for the purpose of planting it, the Vexilla was sung. Many Frenchmen there present at the time joined in this hymn, to the wonder and delight of the assembled Savages; while the whole company was filled with a common joy at sight ‘of this glorious standard of Jesus Christ, which seemed to have been raised so high only to rule over the hearts of all these poor peoples.

Then the French Escutcheon, fixed to a Cedar [Page 107] pole, was also erected, above the Cross; while the Exaudiat was sung, and [97 i.e.; 99] prayer for his Majesty’s Sacred person was offered in that faraway corner of the world. After this, Monsieur de saint Lusson, observing all the forms customary on such occasions, took possession of those regions, while the air resounded with repeated shouts of “Long live the King!” and with the discharge of musketry, — to the delight and astonishment of all those peoples, who had never seen anything of the kind.

After this confused uproar of voices and muskets had ceased, Perfect silence was imposed upon the whole assemblage; and Father Claude Allouez began to Eulogize the King, in order to make all those Nations understand what sort of a man he was whose standard they beheld, and to whose sovereignty they were that day submitting. Being well versed in their tongue and in their ways, he was so successful in adapting himself to their comprehension as to give them such an opinion of our incomparable Monarch’s greatness that they have no words with which to express their thoughts upon the subject.

“Here is an excellent matter brought [98 i.e., 100] to your attention, my brothers,” said he to them, —  “a great and important matter, which is the cause of this council. Cast your eyes upon the Cross raised so high above your heads: there it was that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, making himself man for the love of men, was pleased to be fastened and to die, in atonement to his Eternal Father for our sins. He is the master of our lives, of Heaven, of Earth, and of Hell. Of him I have always spoken to you, and his name and word I have borne into all these [Page 109] countries. But look likewise at that other post, to which are affixed the armorial bearings of the great Captain of France whom we call King. He lives beyond the sea; he is the Captain of the greatest Captains, and has not his equal in the world. All the Captains you have ever seen, or of whom you have ever heard, are mere children compared with him. He is like a great tree, and they, only like little plants that we tread under foot in walking. You know about [99 i.e., 101] Onnontio, that famous Captain of Quebec. You know and feel that he is the terror of the Iroquois, and that his very name makes them tremble, now that he has laid waste their country and set fire to their Villages. Beyond the sea there are ten thousand Onnontios like him, who are only the Soldiers of that Great Captain, our Great King, of whom I am speaking. When he says, ‘I am going to war,’ all obey him; and those ten thousand Captains raise Companies of a hundred soldiers each, both on sea and on land. Some embark in ships, one or two hundred in number, like those that you have seen at Quebec. Your Canoes hold only four or five men — or, at the very most, ten or twelve. Our ships in France hold four or five hundred, and even as many as a thousand. Other men make war by land, but in such vast numbers that, if drawn up in a double file, they would extend farther than from here to Mississaquenk, although the distance exceeds twenty leagues. When he [100 i.e., 102] attacks, he is more terrible than the thunder: the earth trembles, the air and the sea are set on fire by the discharge of his Cannon; while he has been seen amid his squadrons, all covered with the blood of his foes, of whom he has slain so many [Page 111] with his sword that he does not Count their scalps, but the rivers of blood which he sets flowing. so many prisoners of war does he lead away that he makes no account of them, letting them go about whither they Will, to show that he does not fear them. No one now dares make war upon him, all nations beyond the sea having most submissively sued for peace. From all parts of the world people go to listen to his words and to admire him, and he alone decides all the affairs of the world. What shall I say of his wealth? You Count yourselves rich when you have ten or twelve sacks of corn, some hatchets, glass beads, kettles, or other things of that sort. He has towns of his own, more in number than you have people in all these countries five hundred leagues around; while in [101 i.e., 103] each town there are warehouses containing enough hatchets to cut down all your forests, kettles to cook all your moose, and glass beads to fill all your cabins. His house is longer than from here to the head of the Sault, “— that is, more than half a league, — “and higher than the tallest of your trees; and it contains more families than the largest of your Villages can hold.”

The Father added much more of this sort, which was received with wonder by those people, who were all astonished to hear that there was any man on earth so great, rich, and powerful.

Following this speech, Monsieur de Saint Lusson took the Word, and stated to them in martial and eloquent language the reasons for which he had summoned them, — and especially that he was sent to take possession of that region, receive them under the protection of the great King whose Panegyric they had just heard; and to form thenceforth but one [Page 113] land of their territories and ours. [102 i.e., 104] The whole ceremony was closed with a fine bonfire, which was lighted toward evening, and around which the Te Deum was sung to thank God, on behalf of those poor peoples, that they were now the subjects of so great and powerful a Monarch. [Page 115]






ROM what was said in the last Relation, the reader can judge what fruits are to be expected from this Mission, in view of the fair hopes that it held out. We have not been disappointed in our expectations concerning it; and God himself may be said to have stretched forth his hand to draw these peoples to him, — in the same way, relatively speaking, that he made his Apostles labor for the conversion [103 i.e., 105] of the Pagans, by the miraculous cures which he wrought through them.

Father Gabriel Druilletes, one of the oldest Missionaries in Canada, where he has been engaged in converting the Savages for more than twenty years, fortunately came to our succor. No sooner had he landed here than a grievous disease broke out among the greater part of our Savages; yet, instead of checking the course of the Gospel, it, on the contrary, brought it into great repute by many wonderful cures. This made such an impression on these, peoples’ minds that, by the grace of our Lord, they. declared themselves openly for the faith; and all the. elders have publicly promised to embrace it when. they are sufficiently instructed.

It Will be well to relate here some of these cures, in order to thank God for them, since he does not [Page 117] disdain to show his mercy to these poor Barbarians.

One of the chief men — Apican by name — of the Nation [104 i.e., 106] known as the people of the Sault, being troubled with a severe inflammation of the throat, accompanied by much vomiting of blood, — which he had been throwing up for two days, without being able to eat or sleep, so tormented was he by this cynanche, — was exhorted by Father Gabriel to have recourse to God. No sooner had he done so than he found himself instantaneously freed from his sufferings, and able to come to Church and thank our Lord. “Prayer alone,” said he, “without any medicine, has cured me. The thing is done; I pray now, and I am determined to be a Christian.” His wife, two of his children, and some of his grandsons also, on being seized with the prevailing disease, visited the Chapel only twice before they were cured.

A good old woman more than eighty years of age, summoning the Father, said to him as soon as he entered her Cabin: “It is all over with me, I am a dead woman; for, besides my old age, I am being killed by a severe pain in my loins, and a burning heat that is consuming my whole body. Tomorrow [105 i.e., 107] I shall be no longer living.” The Father instructed her, inspired her with trust in God and the Blessed Virgin, and, after causing her to make the sign of the Cross, left her. No sooner had he gone out than she fell asleep, and, on awaking, she had neither fever nor pain in the loins; and in the morning, when she had expected to be borne to her grave, she had strength enough to visit the most distant Cabins, and tell her relatives of her very sudden cure, inviting them to accompany her to the [Page 119] Chapel to thank God therefor. Thither, in fact, she went attended by her nearest kinsfolk, — who, as well as herself, were under obligations to return thanks to our Lord. Among them were her daughter, who, the very first time the Father made her pray, was cured of a grievous fever and a paralysis of both arms; her son-in-law, who had often been cured, at the Church door, of fever and other ailments; and her granddaughter of five or six, who, the first time she was carried to the Chapel, was, cured of a bloody flux from which she had long been suffering. [106 i.e., 108] Now it was a beautiful sight to see that good old woman, with her relatives, prostrate on the Church floor, lifting hands and eyes to Heaven, and offering this short prayer: “You, 0 great God, by the power of the Faith alone, have driven death from my home, and I am under a remarkable obligation to you; but as my age, so advanced as it is, does not admit of my long reaping the fruits of that favor, my children are much more indebted to you than I, since you have renewed their life and enabled them, for a long time to come, to enjoy the blessing that you have bestowed upon them.”

Another woman was immediately cured of a swollen leg; and soon after, being in danger of dying in childbed, “Jesus,” she cried, “you who cured me of the disease in my leg, and who did so love children, take pity on a mother and her offspring. I am dying, and my boy with me.” She did not die, nor did her boy; her faith was too great.

A girl was suffering such violent attacks [107 i.e., 109] of fever that she had lost hearing and speech in consequence; her mother brought this [Page 121] deaf-mute to the Church, and carried her back to her cabin in Perfect health.

Another woman did not need to come to the Chapel to be cured of diseases of several kinds with which she was afflicted at the same time. She prayed in her cabin, and on that very night all her ailments were dispelled.

A Child had lost the use of one eye; and, as soon as the Father had made him pray to God, he could see with it as well as with the other.

The most common malady was the bloody flux, which spread through the whole Village, so infecting the atmosphere that even all the dogs were going mad with it, and dying. Meanwhile God preserved all those poor Savages who had recourse to him in prayer; but to enumerate them would be wearisome.

We must not, however, omit to say that these signs of favor were not confined to the people of the country, but were also shown to strangers passing this way.

A Young Kilistinon, seized at Montreal with [108 i.e., 110] an ailment which, during the past year, swept off many Savages, was in a very feeble condition. Upon arriving here from the other side of the river, he was so low, jaundice having spread over his whole body, that he had been unable to eat a mouthful for three days; and was even left without power to move, as if he were already dead. The Jugglers had striven to cure him, using all their diabolical superstitious practices, but to no purpose. The Father went to see him in the afternoon, instructed him, and made him pray and promise to become a Christian. No sooner had he thus pledged himself than he suddenly felt new life in his whole [Page 123] body, and on the very next day he crossed the river to come and offer his thanksgivings in the Chapel. The other Kilistinons, learning how their compatriot, at death’s door though he was, had so easily escaped death, and had already embarked to continue his journey, came in crowds to the Church, and pressed the Father for instruction, offering their children for Holy Baptism. “Do not cry,” they [109 i.e., 111] said to them when the children moaned in their sickness; “do not cry, Baptism is going to cure you.”

A Young man of twenty-two years, belonging to the Monsounic nation, arrived here at the same time, more dead than alive, and on the point of expiring, owing to the attacks of a fever so violent, and a chill so difficult to overcome, that he did not feel the fire applied to him, even though it burned him. The Jugglers had employed their songs and superstitious ceremonies without stint to cure him, in spite of which he continued to sink constantly, and was in a critical state when the Father visited him. After instructing him, he left him in a much better condition. His relatives, to complete his cure, recalled the same Jugglers; but their superstitious performances produced no effect except to reduce him to a worse state than before. This poor Young man, recognizing the offense that he had committed in letting those wretched Jugglers perform over him, was yet unable to have recourse to the Father, because the latter had taken his departure by boat; [110 i.e., 112] but turning to God, he begged his forgiveness, and was immediately cured. Thereupon his uncle, one of the most noted Jugglers of the country, having retraced his steps and returned to the spot, declared aloud, in the presence of a large body [Page 125] of Savages, that his nephew publicly asserted that he had been cured by prayer, which the Father had taught him.

Another Young man of another Nation, who had suffered for four days from a retention of urine, had no sooner prayed to God than he was freed from it; and he came to the Chapel to offer his thanksgivings.

God made use of these very uncommon cures, and of many more like them, to touch our Savages’ hearts; in consequence of which, on the eleventh of October, 1670, all the principal elders of the country repaired to the Chapel in a body, and made a public declaration before all the people that at length the Sault was Christian, and that the God of Prayer was the Master of life. For, said they, when the atmosphere was so tainted that even the [111 i.e., 113] dogs did not escape unaffected by it, nevertheless not a person died, not even a Child; but, on the contrary, all the sick, Young and old, great and small, were most miraculously cured as soon as they began to pray — and many even without the Father’s presence.

After this solemn avowal, publicly made in the Chapel, the oldest and most influential man of the whole Village entered, and related the following, in the presence of all the assembly: “Yesterday evening,” said he, “I was so ill from a knee that was swollen to the bursting-point, and with grievous pains all over my body, that I thought my last day had come. While I was in this condition, the Father entered my cabin, and had no sooner made me pray than, on the instant, I was so entirely cured that I hastened hither, without the least difficulty, [Page 127] to relate this wonder to all of you — but, much more, to thank you, 0 great God; for you alone have restored me. I used to [112 i.e., 114] profess that I could restore the sick to health by my jugglery, but I was lying and deceiving them when I made such a promise. But I was myself deceived of old by the wicked Manitou, who is nothing but a demon of Hell; and him I renounce, acknowledging henceforth only the great God as the sole master of our lives, whom we are to believe and obey. My wife has experienced the truth of this, as well as I. The pains of which I was cured yesterday evening, seemed to be transferred to her; for she felt them last night all over her body, suffering incredible agonies. I applied the same remedy to her case as the Father had employed to deliver me, and all night long I did nothing but pray for her, saying again and again, ‘Jesus, you cured me; I was dying, and you made me live. My wife can endure no more. You are good, and have as much power over her ailment as you had over mine. I love her, and she will love you and become a Christian.’ After my prayers, all her pains vanished at daybreak, as had mine on the preceding [113 i.e., 115] evening; and she Will soon appear here, full of gratitude, together with her daughter-in-law, who, when unable to walk except on her hands and knees — so serious was her case — was cured after a novena of Prayer.”

This speech was received with applause and delight by all the other old men, and by all the Young people, who filled the Chapel; and they repeated many times, “The Sault prays, the Sault is Christian.” It has likewise changed much in appearance. Those who had left their first wives are taking them [Page 129] back, while those who had several are keeping only the first, and discarding the others. The Chapel is filled on Sundays with old men, women, and Young children, who there hear and sing God’s praises; and who are prepared for Baptism by public and private instruction, which is given day and night in their Cabins and in our House.

Since the Father’s arrival here, he [114 i.e., 116] has, in less than six months, Baptized more than six-score children, most of them in the Chapel, with all the ceremonies of the Church.

The Devil was by no means pleased that this Mission should be so greatly blessed by God, nor could he endure the rendering of such honor to God in this Chapel, which was built a year ago. The Baptism of more than three hundred persons, and the continual singing and proclaiming of God’s praises there, doubtless stirred the wrath of Hell against this infant Church. A fire, the cause of which could not be discovered, broke out in the Chapel last winter, — on the 27th of January, 1671, — and reduced it entirely to ashes, as well as the house of the Missionaries, who were able to save from this conflagration nothing but the blessed Sacrament. But if God allowed the demons this sort of vengeance, their malice did not greatly profit them; for soon another Chapel was erected, much superior to the former one; and in it there were baptized in a [115 i.e., 117] single day as many as twenty-six children, as if to consecrate it by such Holy Ceremonies. [Page 131]





AR and peace gave birth to this Mission, — the war waged by the people called Nadouessi, who drove the Outaouacs from Saint Esprit point, where they lived; and the peace with the Iroquois, which permitted them to return to their own country. A part of the Outaouacs, who last summer separated from the rest, betook themselves to the Island called Ekaentouton, lying in the middle of the Lake of the Hurons, as to their former country.[6]

The chief man of this new Colony asked us at the same time for one of our Fathers, to plant the Faith in that new settlement.

[116 i.e., 118] To that duty was assigned Father Louys André, who went up to those regions this year, and has there carried on a number of temporary Missions, which have borne fruits commensurate with the hardships which he has suffered — as may be gathered from his own account of each separate Mission.



N August twenty-eighth of the year sixteen hundred and seventy, “— these are the Father’s words — “I set out from sainte Marie du Sault; and three days later, upon our arrival at Mississagué, I seized the opportunity to do Mission work in passing, and to continue there what our Fathers had [Page 133] already begun in the instruction of these people; they are situated upon the banks of a river very rich in sturgeon, which empties into Lake Huron, nearly thirty leagues from the Sault.

“Landing accordingly at the place where this Nation had erected its Cabins, I mounted a large stump, in order to [117 i.e., 119] be seen and heard by all these people. To those whom curiosity had attracted, I spoke on the subject of their salvation, — my speech being short, for a shower came up and silenced me; but it did not prevent my going soon after into the various Cabins to continue my talk, and there I conferred Baptism upon seven little children, but recently born. My visits occupied me until nightfall, and on my return to the Canoe I was obliged to go supperless to bed, as a bilious attack had taken away my appetite, and smoked meat was incapable of restoring it; but I thought that I had made an excellent repast in Baptizing those children.

“All those poor people had for some time been suffering from a famine, and I found them reduced to a fir-tree diet. I never would have believed that the inner bark of that tree could serve as food, but the Savages told me that they liked it. I know not whether it would always be so, but I do know very well that, when [118 i.e., 120] hunger forced me to seek some sort of food to keep me from dying, I could not swallow fir-bark. I did indeed eat some bark of another tree, and hunger made me find therein the taste of bread and the substantial quality of fish; but my stomach has become used to other and much more meager viands than the above, and even to dispensing almost entirely with food for a considerable time. [Page 135]

“Meanwhile, I was called to enter the Canoe, only to encounter a storm before reaching the place where I conducted a second Mission.”




MONG a number of Islands opposite Ekaentouton, toward the North, there is one called Ouiebitchiouan, where fifteen or sixteen hundred Savages of various Nations assembled, to perform certain [119 i.e., 121] superstitious rites which they are accustomed to render to the departed.

“The Captain of the Beaver Nation having died three years before, his eldest son had invited various tribes to attend the games and spectacles which he wished to hold in his father’s honor. He intended, too, to take this opportunity to resuscitate him, as they say, by taking his name; for it is customary to recall the illustrious dead to life at this Festival, by conferring the name of the deceased upon one of the most important men, who is considered his successor and takes his place. When the Festival is held in honor of some noted Captain, the assembly is large; and hence it was that the present one was well attended, because he whom they wished to resuscitate had distinguished himself against the Iroquois on divers occasions, — especially when, his enemies having made their way to this spot, to the number of six-score, they were so severely repulsed by this Captain that only a single man escaped from his hands to carry the tidings of their defeat. That was what made [120 i.e., 122] his memory Revered, and had drawn thither many chiefs of different Nations, in so great numbers that there were cabins [Page 137] in which as many as two or three hundred persons were gathered together.

“I did not wish to lose so excellent an opportunity for announcing Jesus Christ to all those peoples, or to let so large a company disperse until I had spoken to them about God and their own salvation. It is true, I had difficulty in making myself heard, — although I spoke in a very loud tone, — on account of the noise and din caused by the promiscuous intermingling of so many families. Accordingly I thought that I would speak by means of presents, some of the most important of which I mention below.

“First, showing them some pictures of Christ’s Shroud, I said that the maker of all things had a son — pure spirit, like himself, Eternal like himself, AU-Powerful like himself — who had made himself man to save men, and to teach them the way to Heaven; that we called this Son of God, made man, Jesus Christ; that he had died to appease his Father, who was angry [121 i.e., 123] with men because of their disobedience and their sins; that this Son was raised to life, and had left on the winding- sheet in which he had been wrapped the impression of his form, just as they saw it; and that, consequently, I had come to teach them what this God-Man had taught to men.

“The 2nd present, which was a hatchet, was to notify them that they must build me a Chapel, in which I could speak to the maker of all things and teach them the way to Heaven.

“The 3rd present was intended to induce them to render the honor and respect due from them to Monsieur the Governor, who gave them back their country by compelling the Iroquois to sue for peace [Page 139]

“With the 4th present, I forestalled a complaint which they might well have made, at our having refused them some Frenchmen for building a fort. I presented to them a pair of compasses with which, I told them, I would trace on paper a fort which they, who knew how to handle the hatchet, would build under my direction.

[122 i.e., 124] “The 5th was a Sphere, by which I wished to let them know that I would teach their children the Sun’s path. This greatly astonished two of the most noted Captains, who, although calling themselves’ brothers of the Sun,’ yet could not show me its paths, or why some days were longer than others, and many other curious things which, with the aid of my Sphere, I explained to them in terms adapted to their comprehension.

“After thus speaking in public, my further care was to approach them individually; and in this occupation I spent each entire day throughout the continuance of the assembly, except the last three days, when the Savages held their rejoicings and lamentations in memory of their deceased relatives. My time spent in visiting the Cabins was not wasted, as in twelve days I baptized fifteen little children, while I left no one without adequate instruction.”



“AMONG the Islands of Lake Huron, this is the fairest and largest being at least forty leagues long, and from ten to twenty broad. It would be difficult to find a finer country for comfortable settlement. Its soil seems excellent, the country being intersected by frequent streams, dotted with numerous [Page 141] Lakes, and surrounded by many bays abounding in fish. The island is readily found in Lake Huron, as it occupies its center, and attracts attention above all the others by its size.

“It was formerly the Outaouacs’ country, where they were instructed by our Fathers before the fear of the Iroquois drove them from so pleasant an abode, and forced them to take refuge at the head of Lake Superior, — whither our Missionaries followed them, to a spot more than three hundred [124 i.e., 1261 leagues from their enemies. But as one’s longing for his native land is not stifled by distance, — least of all among Savages, who possess an incredibly strong attachment for the country of their birth, — as soon as they saw some prospect of being able to return thither in safety, as a result of the peace with the Iroquois, they hastened to do so; and thither I followed them, to engage in their instruction.

“I know not what my predecessors may have suffered in their country, but I proved well enough by experience how far one can go without quite dying of hunger. My daily allowance of food was not given me until after Sunset; and if there were any bad morsel it was sure to be reserved for me, — while even that was so small in quantity as hardly to suffice for sustaining life. To such straits were we reduced by ill success in fishing and hunting that year. After causing a thorough but ineffectual search in all the cabins for a bit of smoked meat, I decided that I must resort to every experiment to avoid dying of hunger. Therefore I went [125 i.e., 127] into the woods, as did most of the Savages, to hunt for roots, acorns, and a kind of moss called by the French ‘rock tripe;’ but all in vain. I had not gone far [Page 143] when weakness made me believe that I was a long distance from the cabins, so utterly had my two months’ hunger exhausted me.

“Then I remembered seeing the Missionaries eat the inner bark of the fir-tree, and I attempted to accomplish this; but I could not swallow it, and I returned from the woods as empty as I had set out. Entering the cabin, I was offered an excellent dish; for I was told that a piece of the door had been put into the pot. ‘Will you eat some if we give it to you?’ I was asked. ‘Why not,’ I replied, ‘if it is anything that can be eaten?’ It was an old Moose- skin, with which a woman who had recently arrived was furnishing us a feast. She gave me a very little of it, and it lasted me for twenty-four hours. The same liberality was shown by her on the two succeeding days, [126 i.e., 128] but I could not eat the food; for, as usual, I had been given the worst part, and the very pieces that had not been steeped in the kettle while it was boiling. As I had some of the Native shoes left, and some books, I had good hopes of prolonging my life therewith, — taking a little Theriac, after eating such unaccustomed diet.

“My being in so deplorable a condition, however, did not make me lose heart, or cease my instruction to the Savages. Never have I engaged more earnestly in the saving of souls than during that period. I made daily visits to the cabins, where I gave instruction and held prayers, as was my wont, until I was forced to desist after being dangerously bitten in the leg by one of their dogs. This mishap I turned to account by urging the people to build me a Chapel, .as they had pledged themselves to do. It Was, in fact, erected in a short time; and then I began to [Page 145] make the round of the cabins, bell in hand, to call the children together twice a day, — in the morning, [127 i.e., 129] to teach them the prayers and the Catechism; in the evening, to explain to them some Pictures representing the life and teachings of the Son of God. To these I added some curiosities which I had brought from France, and which I showed them with excellent results, — the Trigon especially being of use to me in giving them some conception of the beauty of Paradise and the Mystery of the holy Trinity.

“Finally, to arouse their fervor more and more, I conceived the project of composing some Spiritual Canticles. No sooner had I begun to have these sung in the Chapel, accompanied by a sweet-toned flute (for one must make himself all things to all men, to convert all to Jesus Christ) than they all came in crowds, both adults and children; so that, to avoid confusion, I let only the girls enter the Chapel, while the others remained without, and thus we sang in two choruses, those without responding to those within. By this means it was easy for me to instruct them all, and prepare them for [128 i.e., 130] Baptism, — which, however, I conferred on only six children, the continuance and increasing severity of the famine dispersing all the people and closing this Mission.”




INDING nothing further to live on at the Lake of the Hurons, I was thus by God’s Will called to that of the Nipissiriniens, to impart my teachings there. [Page 147]

“Accordingly, I took a Canoe for that lake; and, had I not been with some master-Canoemen, that night of my departure from Ekaentouton would have been the last of my life. So great was the danger that I have seen nothing like it on the ocean, if I may compare a Canoe voyage with that of a Ship. During the darkness We passed between rocks, that were beaten by the waves with such violence that we seemed every moment about to be engulfed in [129 i.e., 131] the waters, even the Savages thinking that we were lost. Yet we were preserved by our Lord’s most special mercy, and at length, after many hardships, arrived at lake Nipissing.

“Under the name Outiskouagami, or ‘long-haired people,’ are included various Nations of which the principal one dwells in the country of the Nipissiriniens and on the so-called ‘Frenchmen’s river,’ which connects Lake Huron with Lake Nipissing.

“As far as I can judge, the country of these people is very rugged, and little adapted to agriculture; but, in compensation, it abounds in Beavers, nothing but lakes and treeless rocks meeting the eye in nearly every direction.

“These rocks were of great service to me, for they are not so sterile as might be imagined, but possess the means of preventing a poor soul from starving. They are covered with a kind of plant, which resembles the scum on a marsh that has been dried up by the Sun’s heat. [130 i.e., 132] Some call it ‘mass,’ although it is not at all in the form of moss; others style it ‘rock tripe;’ for myself, I would rather use the name ‘rock mushrooms.’ There are two kinds: the small variety is easy to Cook, and is much better than the large, which does not Cook [Page 149] tender, and is always a little bitter. TO make a broth of the first, it is only necessary to boil it; and then, being left near the fire, and occasionally stirred with a stick, it is made to resemble black glue. One must close his eyes on first tasting it, and take care lest his lips stick together.[7]

“This manna is perennial, and when one is very hungry he partakes of it without longing for the fleshpots of Egypt. It may be gathered at any season, as it grows on the steep slope of the rocks, where the snow does not lodge so easily as in a flat region.

“Extremely abundant here in Summer are blueberries, a small fruit of the size of a pea, and very pleasant to the taste; and, besides, before and after the season of snow, [131 i.e., 133] there is found in the marshes another fruit, of a red color and slightly larger. It is somewhat sour, and is liked by those whose teeth are never set on edge.

“In some places there are oak trees, but they do not all bear equally good acorns. Once I ate some that were scarcely inferior in taste to Chestnuts. Others are bitter, and need to be cooked twelve hours, with occasional changes of water, and to be passed through a sort of lye, in order to be rendered eatable, — that is to say, the first boiling is in water containing a good quantity of ashes.

“It is not to be wondered at that I am so well posted on the subject of acorns and rock tripe, as they furnished my chief sustenance during my three months’ sojourn here. It is true, I was occasionally given a moose-skin, or even some smoked meat; but that was a feast by no means common. Nature is content with little, and becomes used to anything. [Page 151] so accustomed did I become to acorns that [132 i.e., 134] ate them almost as one would eat olives; and I was not treated to them so generously as not to leave me very often still hungry for them.

“Despite this famine, I did not neglect my duties. I could not entice the Savages to prayers with presents, but my musical instrument came to my aid. I promised them to play on it, and to let them sing my Canticles, after they had prayed. This inducement was so successful that not only did I instruct those who loved the faith, but also those who hated it; for, in their wish to hear their children sing, they learned everything with them, almost without intending to. In the space of three months, they became sufficiently versed in our Mysteries; for it was my unfailing custom, in the morning at daybreak, and in the evening a little before Sunset, to make the round of the Cabins. I explained now our principal Mysteries, now some of my Canticles; again, I questioned the children in their parents’ presence, making every one join in public prayers; while finally all would sing [133 i.e., 135] together. As a result, my rounds were not, as a rule, completed until very late at night, when nothing was to be found to eat. Acorns, rock tripe, and moose-skin were then delicious dishes to me.

“These labors gained for me at this Mission fourteen Spiritual children by Holy Baptism. If I had felt confidence in the fervor of a number of others, I would have Baptized them too; but I believe it is well to try them a little more.

“When the ice began to melt, I prepared to return to Ekaentouton, where I found occupation for three weeks among the Amikoues, who form the Beaver [Page 153] Nation. There I Baptized nine children, and discharged the same functions as at the other Missions; but I did not find the same scarcity of provisions, for God was satisfied with our previous sufferings from hunger, and gave us the means for ending the winter in comfort, moose being more easily killed at that time of the year.

“Missionaries to this [134 i.e., 136) country of the Outaouacs must know with saint Paul what it is .to experience scarcity much oftener than plenty. Most of our Fathers have, during the past winter, received their share of this grace shown them by our Lord, of suffering something in his service. The souls of these poor Barbarians are precious enough to make us undergo with joy all such hardships; and those who aspire to the happiness of laboring for their conversion must expect to find nothing here, except what nature refuses to have anywhere else.” [Page 155]




ISSILIMAKINAC is an Island of note in these regions. It is a league in diameter, and has such high, steep rocks in some places [135 i.e., 137] that it can be seen at a distance of more than twelve leagues.

It is situated exactly in the strait connecting the Lake of the Hurons and that of the Ilinois, and forms the key and the door, so to speak, for all the peoples of the South, as does the Sault for those of the North; for in these regions there are only those two passages by water for very many Nations, who must seek one or the other of the two if they wish to visit the French settlements.

This circumstance makes it very easy both to instruct these poor people when they pass, and to gain ready access to their countries.

This spot is the most noted in all these regions for its abundance of fish, since, in Savage parlance, this is its native country. No other place, however it may abound in fish, is properly its abode, which is only in the neighborhood of Missilimakinac.

[136 i.e., 138] In fact, besides the fish common to all the other Nations, as the herring, carp, pike, golden fish, whitefish, and sturgeon, there are here found three kinds of trout: one, the common kind; the second, larger, being three feet in length and one in width; and the third, monstrous, for no other [Page 157] word expresses it, — being moreover so fat that the Savages, who delight in grease, have difficulty in eating it. Now they are so abundant that one man will pierce with his javelin as many as 40 or 50, under the ice, in three hours’ time.

These advantages, in times past, attracted to so desirable a spot most of the Savages of this region, who were dispersed by the fear of the Iroquois. The three Nations now dwelling as strangers on the Bay des Puans formerly lived on the mainland, to the south of this Island, — some on the shores of the Lake of the Ilinois, others on those of the Lake of the Hurons. A part of the so-called people of the Saut possessed territories on the mainland, toward the west; [137 i.e., 139] and the rest also regard that region as their country for passing the winter, during which there are no fish at the Sault. The Hurons called Etiennontatehronnons lived for some years on the Island itself, taking refuge from the Iroquois. Four Villages of the Outaouacs had also their lands in these regions.

But, especially, those who bore the name of the Island and were called Missilimakinac, were so numerous that some of them still living declare that they constituted thirty Villages; and that they all had intrenched themselves in a fort a league and a half in circumference, when the Iroquois — elated at gaining a victory over three thousand men of that Nation, who had carried the war even into the very country of the Agniehronnons — came and defeated them.

In short, the abundance of fish, and the excellence of the soil for raising Indian corn, have ever proved a very powerful attraction for the tribes of these [Page 159] regions, the greater number of whom live only [138 i.e., 140] on fish, and some of them on Indian corn.

Hence it is that many of these same tribes, seeing the apparent stability of the peace with the Iroquois, are turning their eyes toward so advantageous a location as this, with the intention of returning hither, each to its own country, in imitation of those who have already made such a beginning on the Islands of Lake Huron. The lake, by this means, Will be peopled with nations almost from one end to the other — which would be very desirable for facilitating the instruction of these tribes, as we would not be obliged, in that case, to go in quest of them two and three hundred leagues on these great Lakes, with inconceivable danger and fatigue on our part.

To promote the execution of the plan announced to us by a number of Savages, to settle this country anew, — some of them having already passed the Winter here, hunting in the neighborhood — we have also wintered here in order to form plans for the Mission of saint Ignace, whence it Will be very easy to gain access to all the Missions of Lake Huron when [139 i.e., 141] the Nations shall have returned each to its own district.

We do not mean to imply that, amid so many advantages, this place has not its inconveniences, — especially for Frenchmen, who are not yet skilled, as the Savages are, in the various kinds of fishing amid which the latter are born and reared. The winds and tides certainly furnish the fishermen enough to cope with.

First, the winds. This spot is midway between three great Lakes which surround it and seem to be [Page 161] incessantly playing ball with one another, — the winds from the Lake of the Ilinois no sooner subsiding than the Lake of the Hurons sends back those which it has received, whereupon Lake Superior adds others of its own. Thus they continue in endless succession; and, as these Lakes are large, it is, inevitable that the winds arising from them should be violent, especially throughout the Autumn.

The second inconvenience arises from the tides, concerning which no fixed rules can be given. For, [140 i.e., 142] whether they are caused by the winds, which, blowing from one direction or another, drive the water before them, and make it run in a sort of flow and ebb; or whether they are true tides, and hence some other cause explains the rise and fall of the water, — we have at times noted such irregularity — in this action, and again such precision, that we cannot yet pronounce upon the principle of these movements, so regular and again so irregular. We have indeed noted that at full and at new Moon the tides change once each day, — today high, tomorrow low, — for eight or ten days; while at other times hardly any change is perceptible, the water maintaining nearly an average altitude, neither high nor low, unless the winds cause some variation.

But in this sort of tide three things are somewhat surprising. The first is, that it almost always slows in one direction here, — namely, toward the Lake of the Ilinois, — and meanwhile [141 i.e., 143] it ceases not to rise and fall as usual. The second is, that it runs almost always against the wind, sometimes with as much strength as the tides before Quebec; and we have seen cakes of ice moving against the wind as, rapidly as ships under sail. The third is that, amid [Page 163] these currents, we have discovered a great discharge of water gushing up from the bottom of the Lake, and causing constant whirlpools in the strait between the Lake of the Hurons and that of the Ilinois. We believe this to be an underground outlet from Lake superior into the two latter Lakes; and, indeed, we do not otherwise see any answer to two queries, — namely, what becomes of all the water of Lake Superior, and whence comes that in the two Lakes of the Hurons and of the Ilinois? For, as to Lake Superior, it has but one visible outlet, which is the river of the Sault; and yet it is certain that it receives into its bosom more than forty fine rivers, of which fully twelve are wider and [142 i.e., 144] of greater volume than that of the Sault. Whither, then, does all that water go, unless it find an issue under ground and so passes through? Moreover, we see only a very few rivers entering the Lakes of the Hurons and of the Ilinois, which, however, are of enormous size, and probably receive the greater part of their water by subterranean inlets, such as that one may be of which we are speaking.

But, whatever the cause of the currents, the fishermen feel their effects only too well, since these break their nets, or drive them upon the rocks at the bottom of the lake, where they easily catch, owing to the shape of rocks of this sort, which are of a truly remarkable nature. For they are not ordinary stones, but are all transpierced like sponges, in forms so diversified by numerous cavities and sinuosities as to furnish a pleasing spectacle to the curious, — who would find in one of these stones a sort of illustration, in miniature, of what is attempted [143 i.e., 145] with such ingenuity in artificial grottoes. [Page 165]

We consecrated this new Festival by the Baptism of five children, conferring it with all the Ceremonies of the Church in our Chapel. God makes use even of children for the salvation of children. In the case of one of those whom we Baptized, no sooner had it been born, in the heart of the forests, than all the other children, although hardly able to speak, could find no end to their congratulations, and rejoiced with it, one telling it again and again that it would be Baptized at Missilimakinac — as it really was. Another one, too, who was likewise born in the woods, was brought to us by its mother, because it did nothing but cry; and she told us that the cause of its crying was simply its desire to be Baptized. We very gladly dried its tears.

We also began the exercise of our functions by teaching the Savages wintering near here to pray, and by giving them instruction. The future course of this [144 i.e., 146] Mission depends on the resolution adopted by the Savages to return thither. Indeed, we learn that the Hurons from Tionnontaté have already sought refuge there, for reasons which will be explained in the following Chapter. [Page 167]





HESE regions of the North have their Iroquois, as do those of the South. They are a certain people called the Nadouessi, who, as they are naturally warlike, have made themselves feared by all their neighbors; and, although they use only bows and arrows, they yet handle them with such skill and readiness as to fill the air with shafts in an instant, — especially when, like the Parthians, they face about in their flight; for then they discharge [145 i.e., 147] their arrows so rapidly as to render themselves not less formidable when fleeing than when attacking.

They live near and on the banks of that great river called Missisipi, of which further mention will be made. They comprise no fewer than fifteen Villages of considerable size, and yet know not what it is to till the soil for the purpose of sowing seed. They are content with a kind of marsh rye which we call wild oats, which the prairies furnish them naturally, — they dividing the latter among themselves, and each gathering his own harvest separately, without encroaching on the others.

They are sixty leagues from the head of Lake superior in a Westerly direction, and well-nigh in the center of the Nations of the West, — with all of whom they are at war, in consequence of a general [Page 169] League formed against themselves as against a common foe.

They speak a Language peculiar to themselves, and entirely distinct from that of the Algonquins and Hurons, whom they far exceed in magnanimity, — [146 i.e., 148] being often content with the glory of winning a victory, and sending back free and uninjured the prisoners taken by them in battle. Our Outaouacs and Hurons of point saint Esprit had thus far maintained a sort of peace with them; but as their relations became embroiled during the past winter, some murders even being committed on each side, our Savages had reason to fear the storm might burst over them, and deemed it safer to leave their location. This they did in the Spring, when they withdrew to the Lake of the Hurons, — the Outaouacs to the Island of Ekaentouton, to join the people of their own Nation who had preceded them thither, where we then planted the Mission of saint Simon; and the Hurons to that famous Island of Missilimakinac, where we last winter began the Mission of saint Ignace.

And as, in transmigrations of this sort, people’s minds are in no very settled condition, [147 i.e., 149] so Father Marquette, who had charge of that Mission of saint Esprit, had more to suffer than to achieve for those people’s Conversion; for what with Baptizing some children, comforting the sick, and continuing the instruction of those professing Christianity, he was unable to give much attention to converting the others. He was obliged to leave that post with the rest, and to follow his flock, undergoing the same hardships and incurring the same dangers. [Page 171]

Their purpose was to repair to that land of Missilimakinac where they had already dwelt in times past, and which they have reason to prefer to many others because of its attractions, as described by us in the preceding Chapter, and also because its climate seems to be utterly different from that of the surrounding regions. For the winter there is rather short, not beginning until long after Christmas, and ending toward the middle of March, at which season we have witnessed here the new birth of Spring.

It began with a Parhelion which seemed [148 i.e., 150] to be its presage; and which, having been seen here and elsewhere with curious attending circumstances, deserves to receive mention in detail.




N the twenty-first of January, 1671, one or two hours before Sunset, the first Parhelion was seen at the Bay des Puans. High in the air was seen a great Crescent, its horns pointing Heavenward; while on the two sides of the Sun were two other Suns, at equal distances from the real one, which occupied the middle. It is true, they were not entirely revealed, as they were covered in part by a Rainbow-hued cloud, and in part by an intense white radiance, which prevented the eye from clearly distinguishing them. When the Savages saw this, they said that it was the sign of a severe cold spell; and indeed the succeeding days were extremely cold.

[149 i.e., 151] On March sixteenth of the same year, the same Parhelion showed itself in three places more than fifty leagues apart.

It was seen at the Mission of saint Ignace at [Page 173] Missilimakinac, where three Suns appeared, seeming to be about half a league from one another. The following three circumstances were noted by us. First, they became visible twice on the same day, — namely, in the morning, an hour after the Sun rose; and in the evening, an hour before it set. Second, that one of the three which in the morning was toward the South, was found in the evening toward the North; and, furthermore, the one which in the morning was toward the North, was seen in a lower position than the one in the middle; while in the evening, having changed its position and taken the South side, it was situated higher than the real Sun. The third circumstance has to do with the shape of the two false Suris; for the one toward the South seemed so well formed that it could hardly be distinguished from the real one, except that, [150 i.e., 152] on the side toward the latter, it appeared to be adorned. with a band of scarlet. The other, however, which was on the left, had much more the appearance of an oval-shaped Iris than of a Sun, although it was very evidently a representation of one, in which the Painter had not been remarkably successful; yet it was crowned with a sort of gold fillet, which gave it a very beautiful aspect.

This same Parhelion was seen the same day on the Island of Ekaentouton, in the Lake of the Hurons, more than forty leagues from Missilimakinac. The following curious facts were noted. Three Suns appeared in the West simultaneously, parallel with the earth, and equal in size, although not in beauty. The real Sun was toward the West-Southwest, while of the two false ones, one was toward the West, the other toward the Southwest. At the same time [Page 175] were seen parts of two circles parallel with the horizon and colored much like the Rainbow, — the blue being inside, the color of aurora in the middle, and the dull gray or ash-color on the outside. [151 i.e., 153] Moreover, a quarter of a circle, perpendicular to the horizon, and colored nearly in the same manner, touched the false Sun which was toward the West; and, cutting the semicircle which was parallel with the horizon, became confused and lost at this intersection, where the false Sun appeared. The Sky was not so clear near the Suns as in its remaining portion, where not a cloud was seen and the atmosphere was moderately clear. The Moon was distinctly visible, and, had it been night, the stars would have been easily seen. The atmosphere was able to hold the false Suns for a considerable time, but not the real one. These three Suns together did not give so much light as does the real Sun when the Sky is perfectly clear. There was an apparent wind in the higher atmosphere, the false Suns disappearing from time to time, as did even the real one; above it at length was seen a fourth Sun, situated directly over it, and at the same distance from it as the two others which were seen at its sides. This third false Sun continued but a very short time, although [152 i.e., 154] the two semicircles which we mentioned did not fade away so soon; and when all the false Suns ceased to appear, they left behind them two Rainbows as the last beautiful traces of their light. The Savages, who regard all such unusual things as Spirits, and who hold that these Spirits are married, asked the Father who instructed them whether these were not the Sun’s wives, that he was observing with such curiosity. He told hem [Page 177] that the maker of all things wished to instruct them concerning the Mystery of the Holy Trinity, and to disabuse them by means of the very Sun that they worshiped. Indeed, on the day after this Parhelion, the women who had before been unwilling to hear any mention of prayer, offered their children for Baptism.

Finally, this same Phenomenon was also seen on the same day at the Sault, but in a manner very different and more wonderful, — since, in addition to the appearance of three Suns in the morning, eight were seen all together soon after noon, arranged as follows. The [153 i.e., 155] real Sun was crowned with a circle formed of Rainbow hues, of which it occupied the center, having at its two sides two counterfeit Suns, and two others placed, one at its head, so to speak, and the other at its feet. These four last named were situated on the circle’s circumference, equally distant from, and directly opposite, one another. Furthermore, another circle was seen, of like hues with the first, but much larger, passing up through the center of the real Sun and carrying, at its lowest point and at its two sides, three apparent Suns. And all these eight luminaries formed together a Spectacle highly pleasing to behold, as can be inferred from the figure representing it [Page 179]

[155 i.e., 157] CHAPTER V.



THIS Mission embraces eight different Nations, or even more, if we include some unsettled tribes which sustain relations to it.

The first to receive our attention, and the best instructed in the faith, are the people living at the head of the Bay commonly called des Puans. This name, which is the same as that given by the Savages to those who live near the sea, it bears perhaps because the odor of the marshes surrounding this Bay somewhat resembles that of the sea; and, besides, there can hardly be more violent blasts of wind on the Ocean than are experienced in this region, accompanied by very heavy and almost continual thunder.

[156 i.e., 158] Four Nations make their abode here, — to wit, the people named Puans [Stinkards], who have always lived here as in their own country, and who have been reduced to nothing from their very flourishing and populous state in the past, having been exterminated by the Ilinois, their enemies; the Pouteouatami, the Ousaki, and the nation of the Fork also live here, but as foreigners, driven by their fear of the Iroquois from their own territories, which lie between the Lake of the Hurons and that of the Ilinois.

A fifth Nation, known as “the Wild-Oats people,” [Page 183] because this grain grows in their country, dwells on the banks of a river of considerable beauty, which empties into this same Bay, 15 or 20 leagues from its head.

Proceeding inland by another river at the very end of the Bay, we pursue our course, and, turning to the right, encounter the Nation of the Outagami, — a proud and arrogant people; while at no great distance is another, called the Nantoué. Then, ascending the Same [157 i.e., 159] river toward the left, we, find the Maskoutench and Oumami Nations, who are more civilized and gentle, as Will be shows. below.

All these Nations are included in the Mission of saint François Xavier, and it Will be seen in the following articles how the Faith was proclaimed to them all, and what were the operations of grace upon those poor Barbarians.




FATHER Claude Allouez, — who has charge of this Church, and laid its first foundations — being obliged last year to make a tour as far as the Sault set out with little delay, purposing not merely to make his way to the Bay des Puans, but also to push on as far as the Fire Nation. I accompanied him on this journey.

[158 i.e., 160] We reached the head of this Bay on the 6th of September, 1670, after a voyage of more than a hundred leagues, which we made by Canoe, without mishap. We found matters there in a rather bad state, and the Savages highly incensed [Page 185] against the French who were trading with them; they were maltreating the latter in deed and Word, pillaging and robbing them of their goods, in spite of their resistance, and subjecting them to unbearable insolence and indignity.

The cause of the disturbance was this: the natives had received some ill treatment from the French, whom they had this year visited for purposes of trade, and especially from the Soldiers, at whose hands they claimed to have suffered many wrongs and injuries. In order to avenge themselves, — these peoples being more unruly than any others, — they had chosen two-score of their Young men, appointed a Captain over them, and thus formed a Company of Soldiers, for the purpose of treating our Frenchmen who were in those regions in the same way as the Soldiers at our French settlements had treated them.

[159 i.e., 161] Upon our arrival, we soothed the feelings and checked the insolence of these Barbarians; after which, we called together the four Nations of this Bay, in order to announce to them in full Council the motive of our coming, which was merely to teach them the way to Heaven, and also obedience to the master of our lives; and, at the same time, to administer the needed reprimands for the current disturbances, to which, as our hearers were elders and were more discreet than the Young men, they were bound to apply a remedy unless they wished to incur Monsieur the Governor’s indignation.

This Council was attended, on their part, with the same Formalities they had seen observed at our settlements. Those newly-made Soldiers took it upon themselves to honor us with the same ceremonies [Page 187] that they had seen practiced by ours, but wholly in the manner of Savages, — that is, absurdly, as they were unaccustomed to such things. For, when it was time to assemble, two of them came to call us, muskets shouldered [160 i.e., 162] and war-hatchets, instead of swords, at the belt; and throughout the sitting of the assembly they continued this species of sentry duty at the Cabin door, assuming as much dignity as they could, and pacing back and forth (which the Savages never do) with their muskets now on one shoulder and now on the other, striking the most astonishing attitudes, and making themselves the more ridiculous, the more they tried to comport themselves seriously. We had difficulty in refraining from laughter, although we were treating of only the most important matters, — namely, the Mysteries of our Religion, and what must be done in order not to burn forever in Hell.

In the evening, all the elders paid us a visit of honor, those Savage Soldiers, so amusingly Frenchified, still on duty. They assured us of their pleasure at seeing us, and at hearing about matters pertaining to the Faith, which had been explained to them. Then, trying to justify themselves as best they could concerning the disorders for which we had [161 i.e., 163] reprimanded them, they added that their Soldiers had not used the French so illas they themselves had been used by the latter at our settlements; that they had maimed no one, but themselves bore’ the marks of broken arms, cut hands, and other wounds that they had received. They further declared that their Young men had no sense, and would not listen to the elders, especially as they allowed themselves the license commonly ascribed [Page 189] to Soldiers; nevertheless, they said, they had obeyed us and had dispersed that Company, of which we saw no further sign. They gave also several other excuses in their justification, and failed not to tell us about the kind reception which Monsieur the Governor and the French at Quebec had given them, — which had obliged them to check the disturbances all the more promptly.

Father Allouez had abundant leisure, during the winter that he spent at this Bay, to instruct the people; and in this God granted him such success that he testifies of them as follows: “I can say [162 i.e., 164] that they are, for the most part, disposed to receive our Holy Faith, fearing God’s judgments and Hell, and making urgent request for a Chapel in which to meet and pray.” The Ilinois, who are said to have already arrived with the intention of dwelling in that region, Will swell that Church, for they are very well disposed toward Christianity, as Will appear from the account of them in the following articles.




IF the country of this Nation somewhat resembles an earthly Paradise in beauty, the way leading to it may also be said to bear some likeness to the one depicted by our Lord as leading to Heaven. For scarcely has one proceeded a day’s journey up the river from the head of the [163 i.e., 165] Bay des Puans, when he finds three or four leagues of rapids to contend with; and they are more difficult than is usual in other rivers, since the pebbles on which the [Page 191] men must walk barefoot, dragging the Canoes, are so Sharp and cutting that they have the utmost difficulty in withstanding the Swift current which flows there.

At the Fall of these rapids, we found a sort of Idol which the Savages of that region honor, never failing to offer it some Sacrifice in passing, — either of tobacco, or arrows, or painted abjects, or other articles, — to thank it for aiding them to escape, on their way up, the dangers of the waterfalls occurring in the stream; or else, if they have to descend, to pray for its assistance on that perilous voyage. It is a rock shaped by nature in the form of a human bust, in which one seems to distinguish, from a distance, the head, shoulders, breast and, more especially, the face, which passers-by are wont to Paint [164 i.e., 166] with their finest colors. To remove this cause of idolatry, we had it carried away by main force and thrown to the bottom of the river, never to appear again.

After accomplishing this journey, which is equally rough and dangerous, we enter, in compensation for all these difficulties overcome, the fairest land possible to behold, — in every direction, prairies only, as far as the eye can reach, cut by a river which gently winds through it, and on which it rests the traveler to paddle his canoe. The region of forests and mountains is passed when one arrives here, and nothing but little grove-planted hills present themselves at intervals, as if to offer their shade to the traveler, that he may there find grateful shelter from the Sun’s heat.

Nothing but elms, oaks, and other similar trees are seen here, — and not those which, growing commonly [Page 193] only on poor soil, are merely fit to furnish bark for covering Cabins or for making [165 i.e., 167] Canoes. Hence these people know not what it is to travel by water; and have no other houses, for the most part, than such as are made of rushes woven together in the form of mats. Vines, plum-trees, and apple- trees are readily found on the way; and seem by their aspect to invite the traveler to land and taste of their fruit, which is very sweet and exceedingly abundant.

The banks of this river, which flows gently through the midst of these prairies, are covered throughout with a certain plant bearing what is called here wild oats, of which the birds are wonderfully fond. All sorts of game, too, are so plenty that without stopping long one can kill what he chooses.

All this prairie country, extending to our knowledge more than three hundred leagues in every direction, — to say nothing of its farther extent, of which we have no knowledge, — affords ample sustenance to the wild cows, not infrequently encountered in herds of four and five hundred each. These, by their [166 i.e., 168] abundance, furnish adequate provision for whole Villages, which therefore are not obliged to scatter by families during their hunting season, as is the case with the Savages elsewhere.

In these rich pasture-lands are also found buffaloes, called Pisikiou, which greatly resemble our bulls in size and strength. They surpass our cattle, however, — first, in being more prolific, the female bearing three and four Young at a time; secondly, in having larger horns, which are indeed very similar [Page 195] to those of our cattle in form and color, but are of double their size, being nearly two feet long when the animal is fairly mature; and, thirdly, in having thick, heavy, dark-colored hair which somewhat resembles the wool of sheep, but is much coarser and thicker. Therefore it is made into robes and fur garments which afford greater protection from the cold than [167 i.e., 169] any other furs of this country. Its flesh is excellent; and the fat, when mixed with wild oats, makes the most delicate of native dishes.[8]

The same river of which we are speaking is broken up by several small lakes, on which are seen in great numbers certain rare birds of a very peculiar sort, called by the Savages Cheté. One would take them for Swans, from a distance, as they have the latter’s white plumage and long necks, their feet, and bodies of the same size; but the point of difference and curiosity lies in the beak, which is fully a foot in length, and as thick as one’s arm. They usually carry it resting upon the neck, which they bend back for the purpose, as if to offer it a most inviting bed. They maintain this posture to relieve themselves of its weight, except when they use it for fishing; for then it is wonderful to see how, beneath this beak, nature has fashioned a sort of net, — which opens and shuts, more or less, according to the supply of fish therein enclosed. [168 i.e., 170] This net is made of skin, of extremely fine and elastic texture, which, when closed, is gathered up so well and so snugly all along the under side of the beak that nothing of it is seen, — in order that the fishes may not take fright at it; but, at the proper time, the [Page 197] birds can enlarge it so quickly and open it so wide that it would easily hold a man’s head. Swimming at the same time to meet the fish, or waiting for it below the rapids, while it comes down, they hold this not all stretched for it, and make it enter as into a fishing-net, whereupon they promptly shut it, lest the fish escape. Thus God teaches man artificial fishing, by the lesson furnished by these natural fishers.[9]

One does not tire of paddling over these lakes and rivers when he meets with such diversion. Now he has to push on for more than twenty leagues through this fair country before reaching the Fire Nation; they are situated on a little hill, whence nothing but vast prairies are to be seen on all sides, with [169 i.e., 171] some groves scattered here and there, which nature seems to furnish solely for the gratification of the eye, or to meet the needs of man, who cannot dispense with wood.

Here, then, we arrived on the fifteenth of September, 1670, and were received by an assembly of all the people, that we might accomplish what will be set forth in the following article.




THE Fire Nation is erroneously so called, its correct name being Maskoutench, which means “a treeless country,” like that inhabited by these people; but as, by changing a few letters, this Word is made to signify “fire,” therefore the people have come to be called the Fire Nation.

[170 i.e., 172] It is united, within the same [Page 199] palisade enclosure, to another people called the Oumami, who form one of the Nations of the Ilinois, — being dismembered, so to speak, from the rest, to make its home in these regions.

They form together more than three thousand souls, and are able to furnish each four hundred men for the common defense against the Iroquois, who pursue them even into these remote districts.

On the very next day after arriving at this Village, we took in hand the matters which had led us thither, and convoking the elders of the two nations separately, we announced to them, first, that we were the Ambassadors of the Master of our lives, sent to all Nations of this earth to instruct them; that we had spoken to the Outaouacs, to the people of the Sault, to the Hurons, to’ the Pouteouatami, and to all the others, by whom we had been heard with favor; and that we promised ourselves the same from them, in view of the kind reception that they had given us on our arrival. Secondly, [I7 I i.e., 173) Father Allouez, after reviewing what he had taught them the previous Spring, — concerning the Sovereignty and Unity of God, and the Incarnation of his Son expatiated upon some of the most evident and most impressive truths of our Faith, as, for example, on Paradise and Hell; while to aid them better to conceive and to take into their hearts, through their eyes, what they had just heard, he showed them a Picture of the universal Judgment, and took occasion to describe to them, in terms suited to their understanding, something of the happiness of the Saints and the torments of the damned.

These poor people looked with wonder at this Picture, having never seen anything like it, and [Page 201] listened with an attention and silence full of respect, — but with such eagerness that, not satisfied with the instructions given them through the day in public and in private, in the streets, public places, and fields, they assembled during the night, in crowds, to hear [172 i.e., 174] a more detailed account of the Mysteries about which they had been told.

They had conceived so high an opinion of the things of the Faith, and of those who published it, that they invited us to many feasts, not so much for the sake of eating as of obtaining, through us, either recovery from their ailments, or good success in their hunting and in war.

Of this sort was a feast to which we were called, where a very peculiar ceremony was observed. It seemed to be a feast for fighting, and not for eating; for in place of a table, a sort of trophy had been erected, on which had been hung all a warrior’s arms, — bow, arrows, quiver, and war-hatchet, — together with provisions, namely, a little meal and some tobacco; with other articles commonly carried on their persons by the Warriors of this country, to give them renewed courage for fighting. The master of the feast did, however, produce a dish of indian corn cooked in pisikiou-fat; and in placing it before us he [173 i.e., 175] addressed us as follows: “You have heard of the peoples called Nadouessi. They have eaten me to the bone, and have not left me a single member of my family alive. I must taste of their flesh, as they have tasted of that of my kinsfolk. I am ready to set out against them in war, but I despair of success therein unless you, who are the masters of life and of death, are favorable [Page 203] toward me in this undertaking. Therefore, to obtain victory by your means, I invite you to this banquet,” This was a fine opportunity to disabuse that man and instruct him, and with him the entire assembly, by declaring that we were but the weak servants of the great God of Armies; that from him alone was to be expected the help and success desired on any occasion; but that the great secret of success was to acknowledge him and obey his commandments. It was easy during the repast, which was simply of indian corn, to continue these themes.

They invited us to other [174 i.e., 176] feasts also, for similar purposes, — either to gain our favor or to afford us some diversion; for occasionally some of the oldest men would appear, dressed as if for playing a comedy, and would dance to the music of some very tuneful airs, which they sang in excellent harmony.

This esteem, which they showed on all occasions, gave us free access to the cabins, where we were regarded and listened to as extraordinary Spirits; and so we availed ourselves of this advantage to instruct the people everywhere, and to seek out sick persons in all the cabins.

Of these there was then but one in the Village, and that was a Child of ten or twelve years, who had long been consumptive and was dying by degrees. He was instructed and publicly baptized, with the approval and to the wondering delight of all these good people, and received the name François at his Baptism, — a ceremony which was happily followed by health of soul and body alike.

[175 i.e., 177] All this, and much else that [Page 205] occurred, belongs to the two Nations of this Village in common; but something in particular must be said in commendation of the Ilinois.






S the name Outaouacs has been given to all the Savages of these regions, although of different Nations, because the first to appear among the French were the Outaouacs, so it is with the name of the Ilinois, who are very numerous and dwell toward the South, since the first who visited point saint Esprit to trade were called Ilinois.

These People are situated in the midst of that beautiful region mentioned by us, near the great river named Missisipi, of which it is well to note here what [176 i.e., 178] information we have gathered. It seems to form an inclosure, as it were, for all our lakes, rising in the regions of the North and flowing toward the south, until it empties into the sea — supposed by us to be either the vermilion or the Florida Sea, as there is no knowledge of any large rivers in that direction except those which empty into these two Seas. Some Savages have assured us that this is so noble a river that, at more than three hundred leagues’ distance from its mouth, it is larger than the one flowing before Quebec; for they declare that it is more than a league wide. They also state that all this vast stretch of country consists of nothing but treeless prairies, — so that its inhabitants are all obliged to burn peat and animal excrement dried in the Sun, — until we come within [Page 207] twenty leagues of the sea, when Forests begin to appear again. Some warriors of this country who tell us they have made their way thither, declare that they [177 i.e., 179] saw there men resembling the French, who were splitting trees with long knives; and that some of them had their houses on the water, — for thus they expressed themselves in speaking of sawed boards and of Ships. They state further that all along that great river are various Tribes of different Nations, of dissimilar languages and customs, and all at war with one another. Some are seen situated on the toast, but many more in the interior; and so they continue until we reach the Nation of the Nadouessi, who are scattered over more than a hundred leagues of territory.

Now the Ilinois, of whom we are speaking, lie on the farther side of this great river; and from them those living here with the Fire Nation separated, for the purpose of forming here a sort of transplanted Colony, — to be soon followed, as we hope, by others whom the holy Ghost shall lead into these regions to receive instruction from us. For it is almost impossible for us to make the long journey to their country; and indeed many of them have already joined their countrymen here, — [178 i.e., 180] offering a fine field for Gospel laborers, as it is impossible to find one better fitted for receiving Christian influences.

These people showed us such politeness, caresses, and evidences of affection as will scarcely be credited; and this is especially true of the chief of that Ilinois Nation, who is respected in his cabin as a Prince would be in his Palace. He was ever [Page 209] surrounded there by the leading men of the Village, whom we might almost call courtiers, so becoming and deferential was their demeanor, and so respectful the silence which they never failed to observe as a mark of their esteem for his person and for us.

It was a Cabin of considerable size, in the middle of which he had put his most precious possessions, in order to receive us there, and had taken his seat opposite us; and he hardly ever went out during our entire stay, as if to honor us with his presence, [179 i.e., 181] and not to lose our company or conversation. Even in the streets and in the other Cabins, when we were invited out to eat, he commonly attended us, or sent some of his people to escort us. The duties of the kitchen, although speedily despatched, were not performed in his presence or in ours. He took remarkable pains to prevent our being disturbed by the throngs of people who were constantly feasting their ‘eyes upon us. When it was time to hold our evening prayers, he always bestirred himself, and showed the most charming eagerness to make a bright, shining fire that would give us abundant light for reading; and he even imposed a profound silence upon all who were present.

To show us the greater honor, he took care to have his Cabin constantly full of the chief men of his Nation, who seemed to pay their Court very well for Barbarians. His countenance, moreover, is as gentle and winning as is possible to see; [180 i.e., 182]. and, although he is regarded as a great warrior, he has a mildness of expression that delights all beholders. [Page 211] The inner nature does not belie the external appearance, for he is of a tender and affectionate disposition. This he made manifest one night when we were explaining to him, in the presence of many people and with the Cross before us, the Mystery of the Passion and death of Jesus Christ; whereupon he showed such tenderness and compassion — which could be read in his eyes and on his whole countenance — that some Frenchmen who accompanied us were greatly charmed and astonished, Thus triumphs that dying God in this remote corner of the world, where the Devil has so long held sway.

Although, during our entire sojourn at that place, our discourse with this Captain and with the rest was only on the things of the Faith, he never showed any weariness; but the more he heard, the more, eager he seemed to learn. Therefore we have reason to believe that one who has such fine qualities and suffers himself to be so [181 i.e., 183] easily moved by our Mysteries, Will not long delay embracing, them.

And what we say of the Chief may be said of all the rest of this Nation, in whom we have noted the same disposition, together with a docility which has no savor of the Barbarian. Besides their evident eagerness to receive our instructions, they enjoy a. great advantage over other Savages, as far as the Faith is concerned, in that they have hardly any superstitions, and are not wont to offer Sacrifices to various spirits, as do the Outaouacs and others. The reason of this may be that, as they do not fish, but live on Indian corn, which is easily raised in those fertile lands that they occupy, and on game, which [Page 213] is very plenty, and of which they are never in want, they have no fear of the perils of the Lakes, —where many other Savages perish while fishing, either in their Canoes, or by breaking through the ice. These last-named people believe that there are water spirits which devour them, and which plunder their nets when the latter are carried off by storms; and hence they try to appease them [182 i.e., 184] or to win their favor by numerous Sacrifices.

These people are free from all that, and worship only the Sun. But, when they are instructed in the truths of our Religion, they will speedily change this worship and render it to the Creator of the Sun, as some have already begun to do.

During our sojourn in this Village, twelve or fifteen men arrived there from the real country of the Ilinois — partly to visit their relatives or their countrymen, and partly to do some trading. When they were about to take their departure and return home, they appeared before us ceremoniously, in a body; and, after saluting us, told us in the presence of a great crowd, which always surrounded us, that they came to commend their journey to us; and that they besought us to conduct them safely to their own country, there to rejoin their kinsfolk, and to preserve them from all mishap on the way.

[183 i.e., 185] They thus offered us a fine opening for imparting to them a knowledge of the great Master of our lives, whose servants and deputies only we are, and to whom we were very willing to appeal for a happy issue to their journey. They answered us with a compliment which had no savor of the Savage, assuring us that they valued so highly what they had learned from us that they were not content [Page 215] to go and publish it throughout their country; but would make the message resound among other and much more remote peoples, by recounting to the latter the marvels they themselves had seen. And thus they took their leave of us, very proud of having spoken with some spirits, as they said, and of having received tidings from the other world.

Let us add one word more on these Ilinois, concerning their manners and customs. All Savages in general pride themselves especially on their fine head-gear; and, above all, on wearing their hair either long or short, as may be their National mode. These people seem [184 i.e., 186] to have united both fashions, having what the Outaouacs regard as, handsome in their short and erect hair, and also what pleases others in their long locks; for, clipping the greater part of the head, as do the above-named people, they leave four great mustaches, one on each side of each ear, arranging them in such order as to avoid inconvenience from them.

They are not very rich in household utensils, their country hardly furnishing them material for making bark dishes, as the trees growing on those vast and beautiful prairies are not suitable for the purpose. But if they are thus at a disadvantage, so beautiful a country seems, in compensation, to contribute to the lovable disposition with which they are endowed, and of which they gave us the most convincing proof upon our departure. For the Chief of whom we have spoken, — who is, as it were, the King of the Nation, — together with the leading men and a part of the Village, determined to accompany us, as a [Page 217] mark of honor, to our place of embarkation, a short league’s distance from the Village.

[185 i.e., 187] Upon our return thither, we hope to find a Chapel, which they are preparing to build themselves, in order to begin there in good earnest the functions of Christianity.



THESE people are haughty because of their numbers, their Cabins being reckoned at more than two hundred, while in each there are five or six, and even as many as ten families. Several other Nations swell the size of this one, — or, rather, make a Babylon of it by the disorder which reigns there, as in its empire. The light of the Faith having yet made no impression upon them, they had formed a plan, as they are proud and arrogant, to take vengeance, by killing some Frenchmen, for the ill treatment they had themselves received during the past summer at our [186 i.e., 188] French settlements. Consequently, our Young Frenchmen who are here trading dared not set foot there; but all this did not frighten Father Allouez, who counted himself happy to expose his life to evident danger in order to bear the Gospel to those poor Barbarians, as he has done to all other peoples of those regions.

He set out therefore from the Bay des Puans, where he was making his residence, on the twentieth of February, sixteen hundred and seventy-one; and, after traveling in six days twenty-four leagues over snow and ice, in the severest part of the winter, — some of those whom he had joined being frost-bitten, [Page 219] and well-nigh perishing with the cold, — he at length reached this Village.[10] He had no sooner entered it than he went from Cabin to Cabin, cheering some with the hope of Paradise, and frightening others with the fear of Hell.

From those haughty natures he was bound to expect nothing but jests, repulses and mockery, with which they at first received the word he [187 i.e., 189] bore them — especially in certain Cabins whose Chiefs had as many as eight wives, and into which he could not step without abhorrence, as into a Seraglio. Nevertheless, the Father’s patience won the day; and he saw that those people were insensibly softening, and that what they heard at first with mockery, they soon after received with fear and respect. “What consolation, O my Jesus” (cries the Father in one of his reports), “to make you known to those who have never heard of you! I was preparing myself for death, meeting at first nothing but insolence and repulses from these Barbarians; and lo! they are listening to me with an attention and affection beyond what I could have expected even from the best-disposed peoples. I enter all the cabins freely, making the sick pray to God, and baptizing the dying; and a few days after my arrival, while witnessing the death of a person upon whom I had just conferred holy Baptism, oh, what joy I experienced [188 i.e., 190] at seeing a soul take flight to Heaven from so wanton a country!

“I had still further every reason to be surprised and delighted at the tokens of endearment which I received from most of these people, instead of the hatchet-blows that I expected; and, more yet, at [Page 221] the simplicity of a good old man in whose cabin I publicly explained the holy Mysteries of the Incarnation and Death of Jesus Christ. As soon as I produced my Crucifix, to display it before the people’s eyes, this good man, moved at the sight, wished to acknowledge it as his God, and to worship it by an offering of the intense of this country. It consisted of powdered tobacco, of which he took two or three handfuls, one by one, and, as if offering the censer an equal number of times, scattered it over the Crucifix and over me, — which is the highest mark of honor that they can show toward those whom they regard as Spirits. I could hardly restrain my tears of joy at seeing the crucified Jesus Christ worshiped by a Savage at the very first time when he was told about him.

[189 i.e., 191] “A woman did almost the same thing when, after being thoroughly instructed and receiving baptism, and being on the point of rendering up her soul, —as she afterward did, — she repeatedly threw handfuls of tobacco on the Crucifix which I offered her, her intention being the same as that of those who kiss it devoutly.”

The whole Village being fully imbued with our mysteries, by both public and private instruction, the Father took his departure after Baptizing five children and two adults, and after receiving assurance from the elders that upon his return he should find a Chapel there, which they would build themselves, for entering upon the discharge of the functions of Christianity.

Thus those people are being changed from wolves into lambs, and, little by little, but with the exercise of much patience, are being won to Jesus Christ; [Page 223] and hence we hope the Faith Will spread to many Nations who have intercourse with this one, and to whom we cannot have access without great difficulty.


[Page 225]

Extract from the Royal License.


Y grace and License of the King, Sebastien Cramoisy, Printer in ordinary to the King, Director of the Royal Press at the Louvre, and sometime Alderman of Paris, is authorized to print or cause to be printed, sold, and retailed, Les Relation de ce qui s’est passé de plus remarquable aux Missions des Peres de la Compagnie de Jesus en la Nouvelle France; and this during the period of twenty years. Forbidding, under the penalties provided by said License, all Booksellers, Printers, and others, to print or cause to be printed the said Book, under pretext of disguise or change. Given at Paris in January, 1667. Signed, By the King in his Council.


[Page 229]


Relation Of 1671-72



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

Owing to the length of the document, we are enabled here to give only chap. i. of Part 1.; the remainder will appear in Volume LVI.[Page 230]





of the Society of Jesus,



during the years 1671 and 1672.

Sent to the Rev. FatherJean Pinette,

Provincial of the Province of France.

By the Rev. Father ClaudeDablon, Rector of the College of Quebec, and Superior of the Missions of the Society of Jesus in New France.

P A R I S.


Printer to the King, ruë st. Jacques,

at the Sign of the Storks.




[Page 233]

To the Reverend Father Jean Pinette, Provincial

of the Society of Jesus in the

Province of France.


We cannot without some grief watch the Vessels set sail from our roadstead, since they bear away, in the persons of Monsieur de Courcelles and Monsieur Talon, what was most precious to us. We shall ever remember the former for having so effectively reduced the Iroquois to submission, and we shall ever wish for the latter’s return to give the finishing stroke to the undertakings begun by him so greatly for the benefit of this country.

These losses would be more keenly felt by us were they not kappily repaired by the coming of Monsieur the Count de Frontenac, our new Governor, whom the King has chosen to carry forward the noble plans formed by his Majesty for New France.[11]

The discovery of the North Sea and of the famous Hutson’s bay — a discovery so long attempted, and last year undertaken by order of Monsieur Talon, our Intendant — enabled one of our Missionaries to bear the Faith to countries where it had never been Proclaimed, as will be seen in the account of his journey thither through the interior.

We expect no less result from the expedition which Monsieur the Count de Frontenac and Monsieur Talon have caused to be undertaken, in accordance with his Majesty’s purposes, for the discovery of the South sea, [Page 235] which would probably give us access to the great China and Japan seas. The Father and the Frenchmen who were sent on that hazardous expedition, have need of much courage and prudence in their quest of unknown seas over an entirely new route of three or four hundred leagues, among Tribes who have never seen any Europeans.

At the same time, a party started out to make a more careful examination of the copper mine only recently discovered by Sieur Peré at lake Superior. The Ship of fouy or five hundred tons’ burden which is being built here, and another larger one, the materials for which are all ready, will demonstrate the service this country can render in maritime affairs,[12] and will be able to help us realize the benefits hoped for from those fresh discoveries, — which, for the most part, will open the way to us for publishing the Gospel in the uttermost parts of this new world.

We only lack, for our lively encouragement, the presence of Monseigneur our Bishop. His absence keeps this country in mourning, so to speak, and causes us to languish through our too long separation from one who is so necessary to these infant Churches. He was their soul; and the zeal he showed on all occasions for the salvation of our Savages drew down upon us grace from Heaven, powerful indeed for the good success of our Missions. But since, however distant he may be in the flesh, his heart is ever with us, we experience the effects of that presence in the continuance of the blessings wherewith God favors both the labors of our Missionaries and those of Messieurs the Ecclesiastics of his Church. These continue with great zeal, and to the edification of all, to promote God’s honor and to labor for the thorough estabzishment of the Parishes throughout this whole country, — all of which aids not a little the progress of our holy Faith, which has never before been carried so far, or published with greater success [Page 237]

This your Reverence will easily note in reading the present Relation, which we have divided into three parts, corresponding to the three languages of this country, — the Huron or Iroquois, the Montagnais or Algonquin, and the French, — in each of which God’s mercies have shone forth in sight of Heaven and Earth.

Your very humble and

obedient Servant in Our


Claude Dablon [Page 239]


Table of Chapters.

Relation of New France during the years 1671

and 1672.










F the Huron Colony at Nostre-Dame de Foy.



ARTICLE I.     Of the charity of the Christians of that new Church.



ARTICLE II.     Of their zeal and devotion



ARTICLE III.     Of the devotion of the Huron Christians to the holy Infant Jesus.




ARTICLE IV.     Of the conversion of Joachim Annieouton, and his death. [Page 103]



CHAPTER SECOND.     Of the Residence of saint Xavier des Praiz. Of the Iroquois Missions.



CHAPTER THIRD. Of the Mission of the Martyrs at Annié. [Page 241]


CHAPTER FOURTH. Of the Mission of saint François Xavier at Onneiout.


CHAPTER FIFTH. Of the Mission of St. Jean Baptiste at Onnontagué.


CHAPTER SIXTH. Of the Mission of saint Joseph at Goiogouen.


CHAPTER SEVENTH. Of the Missiom of la Conception, saint Michel, and saint Jacques, in Sonnontouan.








CHAPTER FIRST. Of the Mission at Tadoussac.


Of the Mission to the Outaouacs


CHAPTER SECOND. Of the Mission of the Apostles on the Lake of the Hurons.


CHAPTER THIRD. Of the Mission of sainte Marie du Sault.


CHAPTER FOURTH. Of the Mission of saint Ignace at Missilimakinac.


CHAPTER FIFTH. Of the Mission of saint François Xavier.



ARTICLE 1. Of the advantages of thc site chosen for building the Church.



ARTICLE II. Of the tribes dwelling about the Bay des Puants, and their false divinities.




ARTICLE III. Of the Mission to the peoples ut the Bay des Puants.[Page 243]




ARTICLE IV. The tide in the Bay des Puants.



ARTICLE V. Father Claude Allouez’s Mission to the Maskoutentk, the Outagamy, and the Tribes toward the South.



CHAPTER SIXTH. Journey io the North sea by land, and the discovery of Hutson’s Bay. Mission of saint François Xavier in 1671 and 1672.




The holy Death of Madame de la Peltrie, foundress of the Ursuline Nuns in New France; and that of the Reverend Mother Marie de l’Incarnation, fîrst Suprior of that Convent.




CHAPTER FIRST. Of Madame de la Peltrie’s call to the country of Canada.


CHAPTER SECOND. Signal testimony rendered by the Reverend Mother Marie de l’Incarnation on the special Providence of God concerning Madame de la Peltrie’s call ta Canada.




CHAPTER THIRD. Of Madame de la Peltrie’s life in’this country, and her holy Death.



CHAPTER FOURTH. Of the blessed death of the Reverend Mother Marie de l’Incarnation. [Page 245]




LICENSED to print. Done this 9th of January, 1673.


[Page 247]

[1] Part First.

Relation of the Mission to the Huron Colony of

Nostre-Dame de Foy, near Quebec; of that

at St. Xavier des Prés, near Monreal;

and of that to the Iroquois coun-

tries — for the years 1671 and 1672.







IVINE Providence decreed that the Huron Colony should be planted at Nostre-Dame [2] de Foy, near this town and in the midst of the French settlements, to show that it is no respecter of persons in the distribution of its gifts; and to put our French people to confusion by that Colony’s good examples. One of the difficulties encountered by Father Chaumonot, who has charge of these Hurons, is to moderate the undue fervor of their devotion, and the excess of their charity to the poor.

Marie Oouendráka, who is mentioned in the preceding Relation, learning the distress of a poor family destitute of clothing, aided it with two good [Page 249] blankets; and when the Father congratulated her on this good deed, “Ah, my Father,” said she, “I have only done my duty. I cannot understand how any one with two or three suits of clothes could see a poor body go naked, without helping him in his need.” “When I need anything,” says the Father, “for poor French people, I have only to apply to her, feeling assured that, if she has what I wish, she will give it to me.”

[3] One day, on being told how our Lord indicated to saint Martin that the gift of charity which the latter had made of the half of his cloak, when he: was still but a Catechumen, was well pleasing in his sight, she exclaimed: “Jesus is all too good to me; and, by his pains to reward me in this life, he shows me clearly enough that he is pleased at my little almsgiving. In return for distributing a little corn last year among some poor needy people” (it is to be noted that she gave away thirty boisseaux of it), “he has paid me back with so plentiful a trop that I know not where to store it; and with so great a supply of squashes” (a different kind from those of France, and regarded by the Savages as a delicious fruit), “that I was forced to go in person, and invite the French of the neighborhood to come and take all that they could carry.”

Those good Savages have in that village a poor dumb girl who is half-witted, and no more able to do anything for herself than a baby; while she is, besides, so ill-favored, so ugly, and so dirty, that she is really a loathsome abject. Yet those good people, in the fullness of their charity, [4] have agreed to take care of her, a month at a time. Each [Page 251] family assumes charge of her in turn, with the intention of continuing this kindness toward her throughout her life, — all receiving her in their cabins with devotion, fully persuaded of the truth of Our Lord’s words, Quod uni ex minimis meis fecistis, mihi fecistis, — “Whatsoever ye do unto the least of my people, I shall hold as done unto me.”

This Summer, during the intense heat, a poor woman at work in her field was killed by the falling of a tree, and her body was not found until two days afterward, when it was already entirely decayed. The whole village hastened thither, but no one had the courage to approach the body, because of the stench coming from it, until a fervent member of the holy family said to her sister: “Come, why do we fear what we are soon to become? Why have we such abhorrence of a body which our own Will resemble in a few days? Come, then, let us take this body and carry it to the village, to have it buried in holy ground; it is [5] a duty imposed on us by charity.” At these words her sister took courage; and the two, aided by some of the bystanders, placed the dead woman’s body on a sort of litter, which was speedily made, and bore it to the village, where it was interred in the cemetery with the usual ceremonies of the Church.

A wonderful characteristic of this little Church is the spirit of charity and union reigning in all the families, each of the latter taking an interest in all the others upon every occasion. One of the elder women of the confraternity of the holy family — when she saw that certain poor widows had neither strength nor means to plant their gardens; and that other women, who had accompanied their husbands [Page 253] to the hunting-grounds, had not yet returned when the time came to plant Indian corn — set forth, after commending herself to the blessed Virgin, to invite the other women of the village to do the planting for those who were absent; and they cordially agreed to do so. But, when she urged them to immediate action, one of [6] her friends, finding her charity over-zealous, told her that she was becoming troublesome; and that she ought to consider that at that season each one had her little affairs to see to, which might even be of considerable urgency. “No matter,” said she; “blame me as much as you wish for being troublesome. Are we not to inconvenience ourselves a little in order to help our neighbor in his need, in accordance with Our Lord's command?” After all, she gained her end, to the no small gratification of those poor people, — who, on their return, blessed her a thousand times for her deed of charity.

A Young woman, upon going to the hunt with her husband, sent word to her mother that she advised her to remove, during her absence, to the cabin of one of her relatives, in order to save the wood that she would otherwise burn for herself alone, and to give it in charity to any poor sick people who might need it. The mother followed her daughter’s advice.

When Father Chaumonot gave a lesson, in the assembly of the holy family, on deeds of mercy, at the close of his talk two of the women [7] who had been present provided two poor women each with a ratteen blanket, valued at twenty francs apiece, — doing it, too, in so Christian a manner as to make it appear that they had done nothing, or, rather, had [Page 255] received a favor in having this present accepted front their hands; nor were they ignorant that Paradise was to be the reward of their deed.

When the same Father related to them what Our Lord said to his Disciples of old concerning a poor widow, — that, in giving with all her heart two little pieces of money to the Temple, she had pleased God more than many others who had made rich offerings, — one of the women felt such joy at having contributed something of her own to the adornment of the Chapel of Nostre-Dame de Foy, that she lay awake all night, thanking God for prompting her to imitate that good woman of the Gospel.

This same charity that they show to one another makes them feel keenly the least injury sustained by their neighbors; they repair it as soon as possible, and even punish their children severely when the latter are the authors of the mischief — as [8] Will appear from the following example, chosen from among many. A mother, learning that her little boy of five had done some damage in a neighbor’s field, and the boy confessing it, punished him severely on the spot. The father, appearing at the sound of his cries, wished to spare the boy some of the blows. “I will obey you, my father,” said the woman; “but, as you forbid my chastising him as he deserves, order him, I pray you, some other penance to atone for his offense.” “Yes, indeed,” answered the father; “let him kneel and ask God’s forgiveness for his sin, and let him go and say ten Ave Marias in the Chapel.” Thereupon the Child knelt, asked in tears for God’s forgiveness, and went away to perform his penance. But the mother, fearing that he might not execute it in full, determined to [Page 257] accompany him herself, and made him say the ten Ave Marias aloud before the Altar.



F these fervent Christians, who are filled with the spirit of the primitive Church, are readily moved to deeds of mercy in material things, they have infinitely more ardor for such deeds in matters spiritual. Among a thousand examples, I shall choose merely some of the more noteworthy. A Young man, on his way from the outlying country, having lingered for some time to talk with a girl of fourteen or fifteen years, who was at work in her field, a zealous woman, a friend of the girl’s family, saw them and went to notify the mother. That mother — who leads a life of great holiness, who guards this daughter more carefully than the apple of her eye, and who would prefer to see her dead, only daughter though she is, than fallen from God’s grace — was so afflicted at this news that, to forestall the evil and, by an unusual punishment, make the girl regard with fear any such liberty, she took some small cords and made an instrument of discipline, like those that she had seen; and with this she beat her [10] daughter when the latter rose the next morning. At this the poor girl, conscious of her innocence, was greatly surprised. “How now, mother,” she exclaimed, “what have I done? What cause have I given you to treat me so?” “Ah, wretched woman that I am!” returned the mother, bathed in tears, “must I then be the mother of a girl condemned? Must it be that I have borne and reared a daughter for the demons, and for eternal companionship with them in the cruel flames of hell? Oh, God, let not this disaster befall [Page 259] me!” so saying, she applied the discipline to herself so severely that she long bore its marks on her shoulders.

One would hardly believe how deeply acquaintance with our holy Mysteries impresses these well-disposed souls; and how zealous they then are in wishing others the same blessedness, and in securing it for them by every possible means. An Iroquois Christian — who by her noble birth is one of the chief women of Annie, and who left her country only that she might here enjoy greater liberty in professing Christianity — thus explained her feelings [11] to Father Chaumonot:

“My Father, I find myself here in happy possession of the blessing which I so long sought, and which I failed to find in our own country. I rejoice greatly over it, and thank God and the blessed Virgin therefor more than a hundred times a day. Here I am free to go and pray to God whenever I choose; we have the Chapel of the blessed Virgin very near our: cabins; I am always welcome at the foot of her Altar; I dwell among people who cherish the same feelings as myself; you comfort me, my Father, when I need comfort; in short, my peace of mind is Perfect. Only one thing grieves me, — the wretched lot of my relatives in Annie, who are still unbelievers, for the most part, and are in danger of dying in their infidelity. How that thought troubles me, my Father! I am well aware that they, as well as we, have Fathers who instruct them, and constantly exhort them to embrace the faith. It is true that there are Christians among them, and persons who live Godly lives; but the greater number still [12] side [Page 261] with those who observe our superstitious customs, and live in drunkenness and bestiality. Those evil examples will ever be a serious obstacle to their conversion. It has occurred to me, my Father, to Write to them by your hand, and to unburden my heart to them of my fears lest their souls go to eternal perdition. The Fathers there will gladly read them such a letter.”

The Father was pleased to lend her his hand and pen, while she dictated all her thoughts to him with simplicity, addressing different counsels to each of her relatives, according to her acquaintance with their ways and their weaknesses. Following is au abstract of the leading clauses contained in her letter.

The first person to whom she speaks is her sister. “My dear sister,” she says, “I rejoice to learn that you have embraced the Faith. If you saw what kind of people the good Christians here are, you would be delighted. Oh, how you would enjoy hearing them sing the spiritual Songs with which they honor God! Come hither, then, my dear sister, and let us both together avail ourselves of so substantial an advantage.”

[13] “Tsaouenté, my daughter” (another Young woman, to whom she left her name), “as we two have but one and the same name, let us, I pray, have but one and the same Religion. Seek instruction and baptism at the Fathers’ hands as soon as possible, that we may not be separated in eternity. Let us both aspire to possess that special blessedness promised by our Lord to good Christians in heaven.”

Then, addressing her father: “My father, my dear father, if you knew how I long to see you with [Page 263] me in heaven, and if you were as convinced as I am of the blessedness that is there enjoyed, oh, how you would wish to be a Christian! Heed well the Fathers who instruct you: they preach to you truths which Jesus Christ, the master of our lives, has commanded them to teach you, — and, among these, that he is preparing a life everlasting for those who keep his holy Commandments, and a hell filled with eternal fires for those who do not observe them. Ah, my dear father, only that unfortunate habit of yours of getting [14] drunk can close heaven’s door against you. Will you choose a shameful pleasure and one that is always attended with the loss of reason, rather than the possession of an eternal happiness? Renounce, then, courageously your intemperate ways; become a Christian. Unless you follow my advice, know that in a few years, and perhaps in a few days, I shall cease to be your daughter, and you will cease to be my father.”

To an old man, an uncle of hers, she writes thus: “My dear uncle, I rejoice greatly at the news I have received that you are a Christian. Oh, secure, I beg you, the same happiness for my father; so much I expect from the love you bear him and me; do not disappoint me in my hope.”

Finally, as she had been wont, when in her own country, to speak in the Councils, and to express her opinions there on public questions, because she was one of the Otiandér — that is, one of those who are Noble and of high station, — she besought her whole nation to rid itself of all that prevented it from listening to the Preachers of the Gospel. [15] “People of Gannaouaé, you listened to me, in times past, in the Councils; but now I much more [Page 265] deserve a hearing as I am addressing you regarding your eternal salvation, and the most important business that you have in this world. Listen to those who taech you and believe them; but renounce immediately with me, those wicked practices devised by our arch-enemies, the demons of hell, that we may be lest with them Your attachment thereto as well as to intemperance and impurity, stops your ears, and prevents the doctrine of salvation, which is taught you, from reaching your hearts. Follow my advice; otherwise all the prayers that we daily offer to the divine Majesty on your behalf will avail you naught. Ah, my brothers, why do you not recognize the woes suffered in hell by those who have died in unbelief or in their sins, and who have not kept their promises made at Baptism? What a pity that I cannot make you understand the happiness that you will enjoy in heaven if you will believe me! Think not [16] that the Fathers who instruct you wish to deceive you; they bear the word of him who is truth itself, and sovereign goodness. Now is the time to heed them; it Will be too late after death.”

That zealous soul could find no stopping place in ber letter; and we have noted that in proportion to our Neophytes' growth in the Faith is their increase of zeal for others’ conversion. One of our old-time Dogiques [i.e., Catechists], Louis Taondechoren, said not long ago to the same Father that he would, with the latter’s permission, gladly leave the settlement of Nostre-Dame de Foy — where he leads a quiet and peaceful life, and is loved and respected by all his people — to go and dwell in a distant place, which he named to him, lacking every Convenience, and where he would have much to suffer; He chose this [Page 267] because it is, at certain seasons of the year, a great resort for Iroquois and visiting Hurons; he said that there he would spend his time, night and day, in teaching them the truths of our Religion; and that he would willingly die in that occupation.

[17] They are all well instructed as to Our Lord’s ardent desire for the conversion of souls; and thus it is to please him that many of them undergo severe mortifications, and are constantly offering prayers to God for the growth of all these new Churches.

In his notes, the Father makes one surprising observation: that, among these new Christians, — who were, some years ago, nothing but poor Barbarians, reared in ignorance of the true God, — he knows many who have an extraordinary gift for prayer and for union with God, so as hardly ever to lose his presence. Only recently a good widow, left alone for some months while her family and all the inmates of her cabin were out hunting, said to him with a laugh: “My Father, are not my people amusing — pitying me greatly in my solitude, and thinking that I shall find it very tedious? You know, my Father, that I never suffer less tedium than when I am alone. I have so many things to say to Our Lord that I have not half the time [18] I would like for conversing with him. I talk with him as if I saw him with my eyes, — praying to him for those who are not so happy as to know him; naming to him all the members of my family, one after another; and asking him on their behalf for what Will most promote their salvation. I tell him my troubles and griefs; and it seems to me, too, as if he answered me and talked with me, so great is his goodness. Ah, how far I am from suffering any dullness while [Page 269] I am thus conversing with my Jesus! And how short the days seem to me!” Cum simplicibus sermocinatio ejus! Furthermore, this good woman, Jeanne Tsiaouennia by name, is the same one who this last Spring took charge of planting the gardens of the poor, and those who were not yet home from their hunting.

She, too, it was who, while attending a poor sick woman at night, after the patient had received all the Sacraments, seeing the death-agony approaching, went through the cabins to convoke all the associates of the holy Family; summoned them to the sick woman’s cabin; there [19] offered with them such prayers as befitted the patient’s condition, speaking in her ear from time to time some pious Word, until she breathed her last; and then even passed the rest of the night in prayers for the repose of her soul. I Will add one more circumstance of considerable importance concerning this devout and fervent Christian. On Easter day she went in quest of the Father and said to him: “My Father, I beg your approval of my plan to give a feast to-day to the principal people of the village, in testimony of our joy at the glorious Resurrection of our Lord, You know our custom: when one of our allies has escaped from the enemy’s clutches, we give him, after making the whole village ring with shouts of joy at his arrival, a feast of the best things we have, to show him our delight at his happy deliverance. Should we do less for our Lord Jesus Christ, who to-day comes to us in the glory of his Resurrection, after freeing himself by his almighty power from his enemies’ hands? It seems to me, my Father, that it would be [20] an intolerable instance of ingratitude on our part to [Page 271] neglect this duty.” Upon the Father’s granting her wish many followed her example; so that all the Festivals were passed in devotion, prayers, and these innocent rejoicings. New these feasts consist usually of two or three boisseaux of Indian corn, sometimes mixed With Peas and seasoned with either fish or smoked meat; for liquor does not need to be considered. Prayers are offered at the beginning and at the close, without fail, After the blessing, — pronounced by the Father, when he is present; otherwise, by the head of the family, — some Spiritual Canticles are sung before eating; and during these days of rejoicing all such Canticles were on the subject of Our Lord’s Resurrection. The children also held their little feast by themselves, and it was very pleasing to hear them sing, in two choruses, — the boys on one side, and the girls on the other, — the triumph of the Resurrection of the Son of God. There are some very beautiful voices among them; they keep [21] Perfect time, do not fail to observe the pauses all together, and not one gets ahead of the others by a single syllable.

The beautiful part of the Easter ceremony was, that at the close of high Mass an old-time Christian Captain, more than ninety years of age, was so gratified at having seen such a charming opening of the Easter Festival, — so much devotion, and the unusual number of communicants, Hurons and French mingling pleasantly together, — that he cried out from the middle of the open space in front of the Church in a powerful voice that could be heard in the depths of the neighboring Woods:

“Kouatondharonnion, Kouatondaronnion, let us rejoice, let us rejoice, — men, women, and children; [Page 273] great and small, Young and old. Let us rejoice; Jesus is risen, Jesus is risen, he is risen for us. He has overcome death; we need fear it no longer; he will share his life with us, his glorious life. Let us fear our enemies no more; Jesus in glory has us under his protection. Iroquois, after sating [22] thy cruelty on the flesh of our Nation, after glutting thyself therewith, thou hadst reserved as for thy dessert this little remnant of our people, It is no longer for thee: Jesus is too powerful to let thee snatch it from his hands; and the blessed Virgin, his Mother, who has graciously deigned to make her abode among us in this Chapel, prays him too urgently to protect us. He will never forsake us, or suffer us to fall a prey to thy cruelty. Courage, little remnant of the Huron Nation! Your stock is not yet withered; it will send forth fresh branches; Jesus, risen again, Will make it revive and bloom anew. Yes, Jesus Will restore it and render it more populous than ever, provided we are always faithful to him and to the blessed Virgin, and are firm in the resolution that we have adopted never to give any entrance to sin into this village, — least of all, to impurity and intemperance, the vices that are likely to destroy the charity and unity existing among us.” This good old man spoke from his heart, and his speech made a deep impression upon the minds of his hearers. [23] But there is nothing very extraordinary in that so great is the faith of these good People, as well as their desire to be saved, that they are never addressed on the subject of God our holy Mysteries, and all that concerns eternal salvation, without being deeply moved. It passes belief how, during Holy week, they wept over the Passion, on [Page 275] which Father Chaumonot preached to them on Good Friday. Nor were they content to show by their eyes their feelings in the matter; they determined also to mingle their blood with their tears, by severe scourgings.



THE Reverend Mother Marie de l’Incarnation, of whom we shall speak later, presented at the beginning of Advent to Louys Taondechoren, chief Dogique of the little Huron Church, a very beautiful waxen relief Image of the holy Infant Jesus in his cradle. [24] This good Savage manifested more gratitude for the gift than if he had been presented with all the treasures in the world. The entire Village shared his joy, and regarded this holy Image, although given to an individual, as a common possession and a present sent from Heaven. Their Pastor — who seeks only new opportunities for inflaming that zeal of theirs for everything connected with God’s Service — formed the plan, with Louys’s consent, to afford consolation to all with this treasure; and to take such action that each of the cabins might enjoy it in turn. Being well instructed, they beheld in this Image him whom it represented; and well knew that the honors which they rendered it would not stop at the figure before their eyes, but would pass on even to the sacred person of the Savior of the world, who graciously condescended to become a Child for love of us. They conceived the idea of making the honors bestowed upon this holy Image an atonement for the ill reception that the Jews [25] gave the Infant Jesus when he came into the world. [Page 277] The Father, seeing them filled with such pious feelings, assured them that this act of devotion would secure them a thousand blessings from Heaven. He gave them a whole week to prepare to receive the Image in their cabins; that week was spent in a. renewal of fervor that was highly acceptable to Heaven and Earth. A Missionary is happy when he finds means to reach the heart; and anything that can serve to advance his Church in the spirit of the faith, and in the practice of the solid virtues, seems to him of importance. He wrote on separate slips the names of the Heads of all the cabins; and when the day for this act of devotion came, after singing the Veni creator, the first slip that came to hand was the one inscribed with the name of a good widow, who had displayed especial zeal in the preparation that she had made for rendering herself worthy of being the first hostess of the little Jesus. She had thought only of what might please him, — often rising before dawn to go and [26] offer him her prayers in the Chapel; and to recite her Rosary there for the purpose of inclining his holy Mother’s heart in her favor. At this news she thought that she would die with joy. Speedily all was made ready, her cabin thoroughly cleaned, and a very neat little Altar prepared, with its dais and adorned with all the beautiful things that she could find for the reception of such a guest. For she was well convinced that this choice was a stroke of Heaven, and the sign of a special Providence of Our Lord toward her and all her family. The holy Image having been borne to her cabin in a sort of Procession, and placed on the Altar, the Father had the company offer a prayer in greeting to their guest, and present to him all that they [Page 279] possessed, — their goods, their persons, and their lives; while at the close, they all began to sing Christmas carols in their language in honor of the Holy Infant Jesus, continuing this Practice at their little evening Benedictions, On each of the following days.

The ceremony was followed by a feast which this good woman gave to the chief people of the Village; but before Placing the food before them, she thus addressed the whole company: “The little Jesus is entertaining you; and you must know that, although everything [27] is his, independently of me, nevertheless I of my own free will make him a special gift of all that belongs to me, — my corn and other grain, and my little furnishings; and I pray him also to take possession of my person and of my children, to make such use of them as he shall choose, during this life and throughout all eternity. It was to make this solemn declaration in your presence that I prepared this little feast in his name.” That act of devotion was approved by all the company, and the Father, who was present, caused them after the benediction, to offer a prayer to the holy Infant Jesus, supplicating his acceptance of this good widow’s offering. She wished further that two of her children should also share in this offering. To this end, she sent for her little son Joseph, thirteen years old, our pupil in the sixth class, and godson of Monseigneur our Bishop, who is having him reared in his palace. Upon his arrival, she first made him pay divine honors to Our Lord in his Image; and then asked him, at the same time showing him Some Porcelain collars, — [28] wherein the entire wealth of the family consists, — whether he were not Well pleased to give the little Jesus half of his share. “Yes, indeed,” [Page 283] said he. Putting the same question to a daughter of hers, she received a like reply. Thereupon she said: “You gratify me, my children so the little Jesus will be pleased to accept half of our most precious possessions, and will sanction our using the rest in making our little necessary purchases.”

On the following day, she begged the Father to come to her cabin where, in her children’s presence, she besought him to accept a fine collar of 4,000 porcelain beads for the infant Jesus. This was given in order to strengthen the friendship which the latter had deigned to show them by choosing their cabin for his first abode in the village; and to implore him to regard them always as persons who, while wholly his from the necessity of their being, and the constant succor of his grace, had, by a voluntary resolve of their own free Will, pledged themselves to serve him the rest of their lives more faithfully than ever. They also besought him not to forsake them; [29] and, although he made his abode in other cabins, to extend to them always a special Providence. The Father accepted the collar at the time, in order not to deprive her of the merit of her generosity and gratitude; but, because of her poverty, he made her take it back again two weeks later, assuring her that our Lord would be as well pleased thereby as if it were used in adorning his Altar.

While this image of the holy infant Jesus was passing from cabin to cabin each week, in the manner related, until the Festival of the Purification, each person, with a holy jealousy, took pleasure in preparing for it an altar more magnificent than the last, inventing new devices to guard it from the smoke. This devotion wrought incredible blessings [Page 283] everywhere. So great was the modesty and self-control of the occupants of the cabin enjoying that happiness, that for the time being they conducted themselves almost as if they had been in a Church. Benedictions were held there regularly every evening, even in the Father’s absence, — the little ones as well as the adults attending without fail; while after the usual prayers, [30] which they all recited aloud at the usual hour, they sang responsively — the men and little boys in one chorus, and the women and girls in another — Songs and Hymns in their own Tongue, on the Mystery of the birth of the Son of God. Their manner of singing was so pleasing and so devout that the French living in the neighborhood, and some even in settlements at a considerable distance, heard them with admiration, and were touched. The more enlightened among the Savages noticed so great a change in the families who had received in their midst the Image of the holy Infant Jesus, that, whenever they saw any disorderly conduct in a family, they immediately wished, and, as far as they could, brought it about that the holy Image should be carried to that house. This course was adopted by their Captain. Seeing one day that all the remonstrances offered to a Young woman to lead her to a reconciliation with her husband were of no avail, he appealed with much simplicity and trust to the holy Infant Jesus. “You see, my Lord,” said he, [31] “this woman’s obstinacy. Take pity on her, and have the goodness, I pray you, to choose her cabin next week for your abode; and her heart Will surely be softened, and she Will return to her duty.” He declared his purpose to the Father, and the prayer he had offered. It was answered by Our [Page 287] Lord, as he had hoped; for on the following Sunday, when the Father called them all together in the Chapel, according to his custom, to choose the little Jesus’s lodging-place for the coming week, the lot fortunately fell on the Young woman’s cabin; and what is still more remarkable is that, while she had been unyielding up to that time, and had shown an intolerable pride, she appeared in an instant wholly changed, and came to a Perfect understanding with her husband. TO effect this result, God made use also of a good Christian, her aunt, who represented to her in strong terms that, unless she speedily put a stop to the scandal caused by her obstinacy, the holy Infant Jesus would not enter her cabin; but the people would proceed, to her great confusion, to choose another one worthier of [32] him who loves only humility, sweetness, patience, and charity.

If they feel so confident of being heard in the prayers which they address to Our Lord and to his holy Mother for the cure of spiritual ills, the reader Will not be surprised at their trust in cases of bodily disease. I could cite a hundred examples of the latter, but one or two will suffice for closing this article. A Christian Iroquois woman promised the blessed Virgin to visit her Chapel nine consecutive days, and recite there each time the rosary of the holy Family, for the benefit of one of her children who was very ill, On the second day of her novena, the Child was entirely cured, and came to the Chapel, as usual, to pray with the other children.

The Principal Dogique of this Church, whose son was also at death’s door, sought the Father as the latter was preparing to say Mass, to tell him his determination to cease using so many remedies for [Page 287] the cure of his son. “Last summer,” said he to him, “I had such an obstinate: dysentery that no remedies whatever could give me any [33] relief. I begged one of your Fathers who was going to the Altar, to ask God for my cure, and on the same day I was made well. The same will happen to my son, if you will be so good as to say Mass for him.” Father Chaumonot granted him his wish, and on the same day the Child was likewise entirely cured.

This good man is wholly filled with God, having in his turn had in his cabin the Image of the holy Infant Jesus, which properly belonged to him. He communed with him in his heart without ceasing; and, in recounting to the Father the pious emotions he had experienced while enjoying this happiness, he said: “My Father, I have conceived the idea of observing in regard to the good Jesus, when he leaves my cabin, the same custom that I follow when my son leaves me. You would say that my soul attended him, and bore him company everywhere, so often do I think of him, — being anxious when, he is far from me, and fearful lest some one do him an injury. I would be equally grieved if, in the cabins where Jesus is received in his holy Image, anything should occur in his presence that might offend him.”




LTHOUGH this little Church is flourishing, andall the Christian virtues are here displayed in their glory, yet it never fails to be the case that there are some rebellious souls to furnish exercise for a fervent Missionary’s zeal, and for the charity of the most holy members composing the church. [Page 289]

For more than twenty-five years Joachim Annieouton had been counted among the Faithful, by virtue of holy Baptism, although he had still remained an infidel at heart, and was a Christian only in name, occasionally, bearing a fair outward appearance. Among his vices were impurity, intemperance, and impiety, — the scandal caused by which was all the greater because he was esteemed for his valor, his intelligence, and his good sense. These fine qualities gave him the foremost rank in all their affairs, and no step was taken without his advice.

[35] This rebellious heart had often been assailed by different Missionaries of ours; and, as he was adroit in avoiding a severer attack, he sometimes seemed to yield and surrender, appearing more guarded in his words and more assiduous in attending public prayers, Mass, and instructions. So well did he manage as to leave with all who saw him the impression that he was really converted, until, when occasion offered, his actions demonstrated the contrary. This course, full of cunning and knavery as it was, made us despair of saving him without an extraordinary interposition of God’s goodness; nor was it the latter’s Will that so many ardent prayers as were offered daily for his conversion should be useless and without fruit. He suffered him to be accused of complicity in a crime of which he was innocent. On evidence which made his guilt seem probable, he was seized and led to prison, where his feet were loaded with irons. The reason of this action was as follows. Two Young rogues who had returned some time before from the country of the Iroquois, where they had been prisoners of war, made up their minds, on finding themselves persecuted [Page 291] for their evil [36] ways, to return thither. But, to insure their welcome from those People, and to gain readmission more easily to their good graces, they deemed it necessary either to conduct to them some enemy of theirs, or, at least, to carry them his scalp. Having adopted this resolution, they accosted a Savage of the Abnaki Nation, who are our allies and are hostile to the Iroquois, — inviting him to go and drink his share of a bottle with them. Taking him aside into the woods, and causing him to become intoxicated, they bound him to a tree, planning to embark with him the next morning at daybreak. But the Hurons having heard of the affair, and notified Monsieur Talon, our Intendant, the latter immediately sent out some Soldiers, who marched so quickly that they found the Abnaki alone in his fetters, the guilty ones having had barely time to escape as soon as they saw the party. The Soldiers unbound the man and led him back to his people, who, indignant over the occurrence, and still remembering a quarrel they had had with Annieouton, persuaded the one who had been in danger to declare in the presence [37] of witnesses that he had learned from those two fugitives that Annieouton was the author of this treachery. Its consequences had been seriously apprehended, as the Abnaki nation is large and rather unruly. Additional plausibility was given this calumnious accusation by the fact that one of the two men was a near relative of the accused, whence it was inferred that the latter could not have been ignorant of that wicked plot, and, knowing about it, should have put an effective restraint on the men, — or, at least, have notified those who were able to prevent such an outrage. This calumny concerted so skillfully, found [Page 293] such ready belief in men’s minds that nearly two months passed before the truth became known; and that space of time it was the decree of divine Providence to allow this hardened heart for softening and for self-recognition. Indeed, seeing himself in a dark prison with his feet in irons, — lying on the ground, and in danger of dying on the gallows, — and feeling overcome with grief and well-nigh in despair, he thus soliloquized: “With all these ills I still have some hours of a little sweetness. From time to time my relatives and friends visit and comfort me, [38] bringing me a little food and showing me their pity. The Fathers, too, do not forsake me. Moreover, I have not yet lost all hope; perhaps my innocence will be recognized. Meanwhile this dismal abode is unbearable to me. What then shall I do in hell, which is my inevitable lot if I continue to live as I hitherto have done I Oh, God, wretch that I am, how can I endure those cruel flames forever, without relief, without consolation, and in a state of frenzy?” so far did he pursue these salutary thoughts on the unhappy eternity which, he then conceived, was to be the sure heritage of such as are so unfortunate as to die in their sins; and the faith that was awakened in him made so lively an impression on his mind of all the Christian truths which he had been taught, that, thoroughly frightened by his vision of the extreme rigors of God’s justice toward those who abuse his favors, as he had done, he said to himself: “Oh, my God, my mind is made up; I am sincerely determined to serve you.” so firm was the resolve which he formed to do so, [39] that he kept it faithfully ever after until his death. At his first interview with Father Chaumonot he said to him: [Page 295] “Ah, my Father, I have been deceiving you hitherto. I used to deceive Aondechete” (Father Ragueneau’s name); “I also often deceived Teharonhiagannra “that is, Father le Mercier. “I deceived you all. YOU urged me very often to become converted; and I, to gratify you and rid myself, as I then used to say, of such importunity, granted you in appearance what you wished of me. I said to you, ‘Yes, I will be converted;’ but I must reveal a secret to you. You must know that we have a ‘yes’ which means ‘no,’ a sort of long-drawn and languid ‘yes.’ When we say aaao, although we seem to yield what is asked of us, yet that aaao, thus prolonged, means, ‘I Will do nothing of the sort.’ On the other hand, when we accede to anything in earnest, we cut the word shorter and say Ao, ‘yes.’ Now that I have opened my eyes, my Father, and God has graciously made me [40] conscious of my unhappy state, I am really and truly determined to change my life.” He then told him all that had passed in his mind — the lively apprehensions that he had had of God’s judgments; and, to put those pious sentiments into practice, he began, after due preparation, with a general confession of his whole life subsequent to his Baptism, making it with sentiments which afforded the Father great consolation. He was then still in irons; but, a few days later, no conclusive proof being found of the crime charged against him, he was released. The consequent rejoicing in the village was very great, especially when, at a feast which he gave to all his people in the Father’s presence, he addressed them as follows: “My brothers, I now acknowledge Hechon “their name for Father Chaumonot “as my Father, and declare myself his [Page 297] Son. Henceforth I am resolved to obey him in all that he shall bid me do. Alas! I was foolish to get angry when people told him of my life and of the evil ways of those like me. I am [41] now well convinced that it is highly advantageous, as far as our salvation is concerned, for him to know all our misdoings and all our wretchedness, that he may apply the remedy. Trust me no more henceforth, my brothers. If any one among you wishes to live in violation of God’s law — which I do not believe to be the case — him know that I shall expose him.” He added a number of things which greatly edified his hearers, and caused them all to bless the divine Majesty and rejoice with the new penitent. These resolutions, so publicly made, were not mere words; they were attended with results. Nothing more was seen in him of his old habits; he was among the foremost in all devotional exercises; and he manifested such zeal in banishing from the village all unruly conduct, and especially such as intemperance is wont to cause, that this course cost him his life. I add a brief account of the occurrence. A Young man who had returned from the Iroquois country sang in a fit of drunkenness that he was bent on going back thither, but did not intend to make his appearance there empty-handed, — meaning by these words that he purposed to kill some one and carry off [42] his scalp. The matter was reported to our Joachim, who had asked the Father’s permission to fill the office of Dogique during Louys Taondechoren’s absence, in order to atone for the scandal he had caused before his conversion. He rebuked this insolent man, who was only half intoxicated. “My cousin,” said he, “art thou not ashamed to talk like [Page 299] that? Is it possible that thou art so unnatural as to wish to rejoice our enemies by murdering one of thy kinsfolk? Hast thou not still a brother, a sister, and other relatives here? Wilt thou, then, forsake them to go and give thyself up again as a slave to barbarians, who have brought ruin upon our country?” He was still speaking when the drunken man and two comrades of his, who were as bereft of reason and judgment as he was, threw the speaker to the ground and struck him several times with their knives, reducing him to such a state that he was taken from their hands as one dead, with three or four very dangerous wounds.

Recovering consciousness, he said to the Father: “My Father, my mind is at rest; I feel resigned to any disposition that God shall be pleased to make of my life. If he choose that I die, [43] I hope that he will be merciful to me and forgive my sins. I also heartily forgive those who have treated me so ill.” As he seemed in danger of dying, and was suffering severe pain, he asked and received, with much devotion, the last Sacraments, the Viaticum and Extreme Unction.

Meanwhile three Young men, Relatives of his, formed a plan to avenge him. They hunted for the murderers in all the cabins, but luckily they were not there. The patient’s state of mind underwent no change; on the contrary, learning of this evil design, he manifested great displeasure, and said that, had he known about it, he would have effectually dissuaded these men from it.

On the following morning the Father and some elders went to see him, and presented to him, according to the native custom, a porcelain collar from [Page 301] their treasury of Nostre-Dame de Foy. This latter is a little fund which they have established among themselves from a spirit of devotion, and which they maintain in the blessed Virgin's keeping, so to speak, for the aid of the poor and the relief of any pressing needs. From this [44] fund, then, they took the collar in question, to signify to that poor wounded man the feeling of the whole Village over the misfortune that had befallen him, and to fortify him in his sentiments of peace, gentleness, and pity for the authors of his death, He thanked them for their courtesy and charity, and immediately sent for the three Young men who had wished to avenge his death, and also for such as might cherish the same design. Showing them the collar that had just been given him, he said to them: “My nephews, behold the voice and the word of Our Lady and mistress, who exhorts us to forget all the ill I have received, and the injury done to me by you know whom. Do not make me pass for a fickle man and a liar. Only a few days ago, I solemnly promised to be a good Christian; and now you would have me appear vindictive. For would it not be said, if you resorted to criminal violence, that I was urging you on?” And then, turning to the Father, “I pray you my Father,” said he, “let some one go and fetch the culprits [45] while I still have some little power of speech, that they may hear from my own mouth that I forgive them heartily, and forbid my nephews to do them any injury.” They were found; they entered the cabin and took their places at the feet of the patient, who greeted them with much gentleness, — assuring them that he wished them no harm; that he ascribed only to drink the misfortune that [Page 303] had befallen him; and that he was well persuaded that they never would have treated him so, had they been in their right minds. “Furthermore,” said he to them, “you see plainly that, as far as I am concerned, you have nothing to fear. God has graciously suffered me to entertain no thought of hatred or revenge against you; but, even should I be so unhappy as to cherish any such, the mortal wounds which render me motionless deprive me of the power to harm you. So, if you had anything to fear, it could only be from my nephews; therefore I felt constrained to summon them, in order to learn their sentiments and make them embrace mine. Let them speak, and say plainly [46] in your presence what they have in their hearts.” The chief among them, speaking for all, declared that, in obedience to our Lord, who so expressly bade us forgive our enemies, they renounced all feelings of revenge that had come to them at sight of the disaster which had overtaken their Uncle. All the others, in turn, then expressed themselves in nearly the same terms; and the guilty ones also made public avowal of great regret over their offense, and much pity for him whom they had cast into so deplorable a state. This interview closed with a prayer which the Father addressed to our Lord, and in which he caused all present to join, on behalf of the patient, to obtain for him patience in his sufferings, and the favor of a good death.

One of those Young men who had wished to take vengeance for the outrage inflicted on their Uncle, was so touched by the rebuke which the latter gave them on that score, that, in order to atone for the scandal he had caused, he went to Father Chaumonot and begged him to deposit on the morrow in the [Page 305] little Treasury of the blessed Virgin a porcelain collar [47] which he gave him. The Father received it, and on the next day displayed it before the people assembled in the Chapel, — expressing on the offender’s behalf the regret felt by the latter for his error; and asking all the company to secure for him the forgiveness of the blessed Virgin, who is considered as the mistress and sovereign of this Village. This kind of expiation has more effect with the Savages than bodily punishment with us.

The sick man, who continued to decline for more than fifty days before dying, ever maintained the same sentiments of charity toward the culprits, they meanwhile being in prison, where they suffered severely. From a feeling of Christian compassion, he often asked for news of them; and, when they were released, he would have been glad if he could have secured the remittance of the fine which they ‘had been sentenced to pay. But what most edified all the Village, and the French of the neighborhood, was his often sending to ask these wretched men, when they were disengaged, to come and cheer him with a visit, and his never showing [48] greater pleasure than when he could converse with them. It was a pitiful sight to see him, — all gangrene and decay about the loins and hips, where he had been dangerously wounded; his flesh falling off in shreds, and his bones piercing the skin. His bed was a hard piece of bark covered with a light mat woven of rushes. He could not himself change his position, nor could he be moved without causing him extreme pain. Yet never during all his illness did a word of impatience escape him; he blessed God continually, and made an offering to him of his sufferings. [Page 307] day, when his wife, who had no rest either day or night, was telling him how much trouble so long and grievous an illness caused her, he said to her: “Aouendihas,” — that was his wife’s name, — “let us not complain; let us take good heed not to find any fault with the ordering of divine Providence as far as we are concerned. It is admirable and wholly kind toward me; it is God’s Will that, by these light sufferings, I shall in this life satisfy his justice for my sins, which have deserved, [49] a thousand times over, an eternity of torture.” During his most excruciating pains, he commonly kept his eyes fixed upon a Crucifix that he had near his bed, repeating these words, which came from the depths of his heart: “Jesus, I bear you company upon your Cross. Willingly do I forgive the authors of my suffering, as you forgave those who crucified you. Oh, how gladly do I suffer for my sins, for which you first suffered so much! I only ask you, my Savior, to take pity on me after my death, when I hope you will let me share your joy, since you now graciously cause me to take part in your Passion.” He was never alone, all the families visiting him, each in turn, and helping him in every way with a benevolence highly acceptable to God, which the French could not sufficiently admire.

On the day of his death, seeing him in convulsions, which indicated that his end was approaching, they all assembled in his cabin; and, being thoroughly versed in the holy customs of the Church, they said [50] the prayers for the recommendation of a departing soul, as they were able to do in their own tongue, — in the absence of the Father, who had gone away to perform some other good deed of an urgent [Page 309] nature, after administering all the Sacraments to our patient.

He was greatly consoled, upon his return, to find them all kneeling in this holy exercise, and his patient still in a condition to follow him in executing some acts of faith, of trust in God’s mercy, of charity, and of resignation to his holy Will. After these, he peacefully breathed his last, leaving the entire company in strong hopes for his eternal salvation.

There was one rather extraordinary circumstance connected with his funeral, which was attended by all the families of the Village, and by many French people of the vicinity. Before the body was consigned to the earth, the widow asked whether the authors of his death were present; and being answered in the negative, she begged some one to go and fetch them. On their arrival those poor creatures approached the dead man, with downcast eyes, sorrow and confusion on their faces. The widow looked at them, and thus addressed them: “Well, there you see poor Joachim Annieouton. You know how he [51] came to be lying as we see him now. I ask of you no other atonement than your prayers to God for the repose of his soul.” From the conversion of this Savage, who had given the zeal of our Missionaries so much exercise, we recognized the necessity of never despairing of the salvation of the most vicious, but of watching constantly for the movements of grace, which makes itself especially felt in seasons of affliction; and we cari say of this man that his imprisonment and his irons made him recover the freedom of God’s children.

The consolation of this good Savage would have been complete had his wounds permitted him to be carried to the Hospital at Quebec, where the Hospital [Page 311] Nuns — founded and established there more than 33 years ago, by Madame the Duchess d’ Aiguillon — render aid, with all possible charity, not only to the French in their ailments, but also to the Savages, of whatever Nation they may be, — Algonquin, Huron, or Iroquois. All these Peoples are received there [52] with open arms, and provided, during their illness, with beds and treatment after the French custom; and even whole families who come from other countries to make their abode at Nostre-Dame de Foy among the Hurons, or at Sillery with the Algonquins, are welcomed there, lodged and fed, until they see their way clear to a permanent home. Thus the well, and the ill who have there regained their health, make known everywhere the nuns’ charity, and the good examples seen there of all the virtues. They speak with nothing but admiration of the nuns’ assiduous attentions to the sick: how they often pass the night in prayer, or in succoring them in their sufferings, and exhorting them to patience, — with such success that it is enough to die in the Hospital at Quebec to give very evident signs of one’s predestination. [Page 313]



Bibliographical particulars of the Relation of 1670-71 were given in our Vol. LIV.


The Relation of 1671-72 was not only the last of the regular “Cramoisy” series, but the last to be contemporaneously published. The cause of this cessation is still an open question, although many learned ecclesiastics and scholars have attempted to answer it. Some have ascribed the suppression of these published reports of the Canadian missions to the influence of Courcelles and Talon: others to that of Frontenac — who, as is well known, was hostile to the Jesuits. Rochemonteix says (Jésuites, t. i., p. xxxi.): “The suppression of the Relations of New France was simply the indirect consequence of a general measure taken by pope Clement X., in the Creditœ brief, dated April 6, 1673. It was not Clement X. who suppressed them, as M. Verreau thinks in the Revue de Montreal;[*] but the Jesuits themselves ceased to publish them, after the promulgation of the brief, through motives which Father Joseph Brucker was the first to make public in the bibliographical part of Études religieuses.”[†] [Page 315]

Rochemonteix (ut supra, pp. xxvii.-lxiii.) discusses the whole matter, with citations from many official documents and other authorities. He notes that the Congregation of the Propaganda had, even before Clement’s decree issued (December 19, 1672), a general order forbidding the publication, without written permission from the Congregation, of books concerning any missions; that the pope’s brief also forbade such publication, with precisely the same exception; and that the Relations of the Jesuit missions — whether in New France or elsewhere — are not specifically mentioned in the brief. Rochemonteix is the latest writer of importance upon this subject, and may be presumed to have had access to more and better sources of information than other writers have had. His statement of facts is doubtless correct; the events and influences which led to the issue of the decrees above cited form a chapter in the history of the religious orders and their work, which is outside our present province.

In reprinting the Relation of 1671-72 (Paris, 1673), we follow a copy of the original Cramoisy edition in the Lenox Library — known there as the Lamoignon copy. Dablon’s prefatory epistle to the provincial in France is without date. There is no printed “Privilege;’’ but it has a “PERMISSION,” which was “Fait ce g. Janvier 1673,” and is signed “De la Reynie.” The volume is a composite, consisting of three parts. It forms no. 139 of Harrisse’s Notes.

Perfect copies of the Cramoisy edition of this Relation have a map between pp, 110 and 111. This map is precisely the same as that of the Relation of 1670- 71, a facsimile of which we present in this volume. But there has been some speculation about a new and [Page 316] revised issue of the map. This has been inferred from a statement on pp, 109 and 110 of the Relation of 1671-72, which reads as follows: “L’an paffé l’on donna au public la Carte des Lacs & des Terres, fur lefquelles ces Miffions font placées; nous avons jugé à propos de la faire encore paroifire cette année, pour contenter la curiofité de ceux qui ne l’ont pas veuë, & pour diftinguer quelques nouvelles Miffions, qui font eftablics depuis peu en ce païs-la, comme entr’autres celle de S. François Xavier, placée tout de nouveau fur la riviere qui fe décharge dans la baye des Puans, à deux lieuës de fon emboucheure; & celle de la Miffion des Apoftres, fur les coftes du Nord du Lac Huron.” Belief in the existence of this revised map was strengthened by a declaration of the late Henry C. Murphy, that he had seen it in the Brown Library at Providence; but John Russell Bartlett, the then librarian of Brown’s treasures, was unable to find it, and so informed Lenox in 1875. Murphy, notwithstanding, continued to assert as follows: “I cannot account for the mistake, if it be one. Mr. Brown certainly had two copies of the Relation of 1671-72 with maps which were different.   .   .   . The matter for the present must be put among the mysteries.” But we are constrained to say that Murphy was the sole source of the “mystery;” for neither O’Callaghan nor Lenox ever saw a revised map — nor do we know of any one else who dia. It is our belief that the intention to issue a revised map with the 1671-72 annual was not put in execution. The old plate of the preceding year was made to do service.

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; Dablon’s prefatory [Page 317] epistle, pp. (7); “Table des Chapitres,” pp. (6); “Permission,” p. (1); text of Part I., pp. 1-91: p. 92 blank; text of Part II., pp, 93-206; text of Part III., pp. 207-264. Signatures: à, and A-Q in eights, R in four. No mispaging.

Copies have been sold or priced as follows: Harrassowitz (1882), no. 47 (probably lacking map), priced at 150 marks; O’Callaghan (1882), no. 1246 (lacking map), sold for $35, and had cost him $41.25; Barlow (1890), no. 1323 (with map) and no. 1324 (lacking map), sold for $65 and $6, respectively; Raoul Renault, of Quebec, priced (1898) at $50; and Dufossé (1899), priced at 225 francs. Copies are preserved in the following libraries: Lenox, New York State Library, Harvard (lacks map), Brown (private), Marshall (private), Ayer (private), St. Mary’s College (Montreal), Library of Parliament (Ottawa), Laval University (Quebec), British Museum, and Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris). [Page 318]


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

[*] Revue de Montreal, t. i. (1877), pp. 107-116, 162-171.

[†] Études religieuses, Paris, t. 53 (1891), pp. 511 et Sq.

[1] (p. 33). — For the foundation of this mission, see vol. xlvii., note 28; for the right of the Jesuits to its lands, vol, xlviii., note 1. Upon the death of Father Casot (1800), the seigniory of La Prairie de la Madeleine reverted to thc crown.

[2] (p. 99). — See Dablon’s account of the copper mines of Lake Superior, vol. liv., pp. 153-165; cf. vol. l., note 28. Cf. Wilson’s “Ancient Miners of Lake Superior,” in Canad. Journ., new series, Vol. i., pp. 225-237.

[3] (p. 101). — Such an allusion as that in our text, and at so early a date, sufficiently indicates the importance of Mackinac Island to both Indians and white men. It was, until the day of railroads, the central point for all travel on the upper Great Lakes, and for a vast extent of wilderness and half-settled country beyond. As we have seen (vol. xi., note 16), it was in 1641 that Jesuits first visited that region; but their missionary labors were not begun on the lakes until nearly twenty years later. Not until 1670 is Mackinac (Michillimackinac) mentioned in the Relations, although Ménard and Allouez must have seen it in their early voyages. The reason for this is suggested in our text; the tribes who had dwelt there had been, long before, driven thence by the fierce Iroquois, and that region was practically deserted until 1670 — when the Hurons on Superior, in fear of the Sioux, retreated to the shore north of Mackinac Island. Here Marquette continued his missionary labors with them, at the site of the present St. Ignace. This had long been the location of a French trading post; Denonville’s memoir of 1688 claims (N. Y. Colon. Doc., vol. ix., p. 383) that the French had inhabited that place for more than forty years. A small French garrison was sent thither at some time between 1679 and 1683. The name of Michillimackinac (later abbreviated to Mackinac) was applied generally to the entire vicinity, as well as specifically to the post. at St. Ignace — and, later, to the fort and mission established on the south sidc of the Strait of Mackinac. — See Thwaites’s” Story of Mackinac,” in Wis. Hist. Colls., vol. xiv., pp. 1-16; Bailey’s [Page 319] Mackinac (Lansing, Mich., I896), and Cook’s Mackinaw in History (Lansing, 1895).

A chart of St. Ignace and vicinity, probably the earliest published, is given in La Hontan's Voyages (2nd ed,, Amsterdam, 1728), t. i., p. 136.

[4] (p. 105). — Simon François Daumont, sieur de Lusson, as a French gentleman who had probably come to Canada with Talon in 1670, as his name does not appear in its records until that year. He was then sent to the Northwest — partly to take possession of that region for France, as recorded in our text; partly to search for copper mines. Soon after his return, he was ordered (about September, 1671) to make explorations in Acadia. In the month of November, he was sent by Talon to France, as hearer of official despatches to the king; this is apparently his final departure from Canada. — See N. Y. Colon. Doc., vol. ix., pp. 72-75.

[5] (p. 107). — The tribes were gathered at Sault Ste. Marie for this important occasion by Nicolas Perret, one of the most prominent among the early voyageurs. Born in 1644, he was employed by the Jesuits from 1660 to 1665, and, a year later, by the Sulpitians. Apparently from that time to 1671, he was engaged in the Ottawa fur trade; he became well acquainted among the Northwestern tribes, and readily gained their confidence and good will. It was probably soon after his return from St. Lusson’s expedition that he married Madeleine Raclot, by whom he had nine children; his residence was near Becancour, where he had obtaincd a grant of land. During the next ten years, he was engaged in trade, and often acted as interpreter for the Algonkins. From 1684 to 1699, he was one of the chief figures in the Upper lake region — exploring its rivers, trading with the savages, negotiating with them for alliance with the French, and holding them to their professions thereof. In 1685 he was appointed, by the governor of Canada, commandant in the Northwest — charged to maintain peace among the savages, and between them and the French; to maintain their loyalty to the French, and secure their armed support in case of war; and to regulate commerce, and discover new countries. He was also appointed, on special occasions, a confidential agent for the Canadian authorities in their dealings with the Indians. Twice during this adventurous career did he narrowly escape death at the hands of irritated savages; and he ran hazards innumerable, of both life and property. About 1693, he discovered the lead mines on the Mississippi. Meanwhile, Perrot met enormous losses. His goods were twice plundered by the savages; in 1687, a great quantity of furs which he had stored at the Jesuit mission at De Pere, were destroyed by a fire which consumed the mission buildings; and, finally (1697), the [Page 320] royal decree abolishing the trading privileges hitherto granted in the Northwest, although it soon became inoperative, was disastrous to many traders. Perrot had, moreover, spent large sums in presents to the savages, trusting to the French authorities for his reimbursement. In this he was disappointed; and his last years were spent in poverty. During this period, he composed his memoirs, which afford a faithful picture of the Indian tribes then inhabiting the Northwest, their customs and superstitions. This document remained in MS. form until 1864, when it was published, with copious and learned notes by the Jesuit Tailhan; it has already been often cited by us in the notes accompanying this series. Perrot died Aug. 13, 1717. Concerning his life and achievements, see Tailhan’s notes to Perrot’s Mémoire; Sulte’s Canad.-Fran., t. v., pp. 50-51; and Stickney’s “Nicholas Perrot,” in Parkman Club Papers, 1896, pp. 1-15.

[6] (p. 133). — Regarding the early settlement of the Ottawas on Manitoulin Island, sec vol. xiv., note 9.

[7] (p. 151). — Concerning “rock tripe,” see vol. xxv., note 28.

[8] (p. 197). — See Hornaday’s admirable monograph on “Extermination of the American Bison,” in U.S. Nat. Mus. Rep., 1887, pp. 367-548. Cf. vol. ix. of this series, note 33.

[9] (p. 199). — The bird thus described is the American white pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhyncos); found in temperate North America as far north as 61º, and migrating southward in winter. — See Ridgway’s N. Amer. Birds (Phila., 1887), pp. 81, 82; and Riverside Nat. Hist., vol. iv., pp. 185-188.

[10] (p. 221). — Upon the location of St. Mark’s mission, see vol. liv., note 12. Since that note was written, Lawson, in company with Mgr. J. J. Fox, of Green Bay, has (Sept. 19-20, 1899) revisited and reëxamined some of the Indian sites in Waupacs county. In a letter to the editor (dated Sept. 25), he now advances the opinion that the mission “was located at Manawa,” a village on the Little Wolf River, in the township of Little Wolf. He thinks that White Lake, in the township of Royalton, about five miles south of Manawa, is the “little Lake St. Francis” of Allouez.

[11] (p. 235). — Louis de Bunde, Count de Frontenac, was born in 1620. His natural preference was for military life; and, at the age of fifteen, he was sent to Holland, where he served under the Prince of Orange. He soon gained distinction and promotion, and was regarded as an officcr of considerahle ability and bravery. The greater part of his life was spent in active military service, although at times he was attachcd to the royal court. His marriage was an unhappy one, and his only son died at an early age. In 1672, he [Page 321] received the appointment of governor of New France, an office which he filled with great ability, but his fiery and headstrong disposition soon involved him in quarrels with the Jesuits, the fur traders, the civil authorities, and even the Sulpitians. These dissensions became so serious that he was recalled in 1682. His successors, however, lacked his foresight and energy, and “brought the colony to the brink of ruin.” The Iroquois tribes, who had been kept in subjection under Frontenac’s administration, soon regained their arrogance, and committed numerous hostilities. In 1689, they made a raid on Montreal Island, burning and ravaging the settlements, and threatening the town. All Canada was in danger, and its people stricken with panic. In this critical state of affairs, the king sent Frontenac back to Canada, as the one man who could rescue it from peril. Returning thither in October, 1689, he at once began vigorous military operations against the Iroquois, and against the English colonies as their allies. He secured also the active aid of the Christian Indians at the missions, and of the northern Algonkins; but, even with these allies, years were required to subduc the haughty Iroquois. In 1696, Frontenac, notwithstsnding his advanced age, led in person an expedition into the enemy’s country, which resulted in the destruction of the leading Onondaga and Oneida villages. This blow crushed the power of the Iroquois, and saved Canada. The aged governor did not long enjoy this hard-earned peace; he died Nov. 28, 1698, to the deep regret of most of the Canadians. Among the ecclesiastics, the Récollets only were on friendly terms with him; but the common people were greatly attached to him, for he always treated them with kindness. “Toward the Indians,” Parkman says, “he was an admirable compound of sternness and conciliation;” and they both feared and respected him. — See Parkman’s Frontenac and New France (Boston, 1877).

[12](p. 237). — It will be remembered that Talon had attempted (vol. l., p. 243) to establish a shipyard at Quebec, according to the instructions given him by the king. Louis XIV laid especial stress upon the necessity of encouraging and extending the commerce of Canada; to this end, he desired that its people build their own ships, and for some time gave money toward the maintenance of shipwrights in the colony. — See N.Y. Colon. Docs., vol. ix., pp. 35, 38. In 1670, three vessels built in Canada were sent to the French West Indian islands (MSS. relat. à Nouv. France, t. i., p. 206).

The same policy was continued by Louis XV., who in 1731 offered a bounty upon ships built in Canada. Even this, however, was not enough to establish a permanent industry; and, under the French régime, little was accomplished in this direction.