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. LIX.

Lower Canada, Illinois, Ottawas


CLEVELAND:            The Burrows Brothers





Vol. LIX

[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 LIX






Relation de ce qui s’est passé en la Nouvelle-France, pendant les années 1673 et 74. [Letters from the following missionaries, edited or synopsized by Claude Dablon :] Claude Jean Allouez, Louis André, Pierre Millet, Jean de Lamberville, Julien Garnier, Pierre Rafeix, François de Crépieul, and Louis Nicolas; n.p., n.d. [Second and final installment.].









Memoiré pour un Miffionaire qui ira aux 7 isles. Louis Nicolas; [La Prairie, 1673].




Lettre au R. P. Pinette. Claude Dablon; Québec, October 24, 1674.




Le premier Voÿage qu’a fait Le P. Marquette vers le nouueau Mexique & Comment s’en est formé le defsein. Jacques Marquette; [Baye des Puants, 1674].





Journal incomplet, addressé au R. P. Claude Dablon, supérieur des Missions. Jacques Marquette; n-p., (1675).




Recit du second voyage et de la mort du P. Jacques Marquette. Claude Dablon; [Quebec, 1677]




État présent des Missions des pères de la Compagnie de Jésus en la Nouvelle-France, pendant l’année 1675. Claude Dablon, [Quebec, 1675.] [First installment.].




Bibliographical Data; Volume LIX






[Page vii]







Statue of Jacques Marquette, S.J., by Sig. Gaetano Trentanove, now in the Capitol at Washington.




Facsimile, in colors, of Joliet’s MS. Map of 1674.

Facing 86.


Photographic facsimile of Marquette’s MS. map, accompanying his Journal, from the original in St. Mary’s College archives, Montreal.



Facing 108


Photographic facsimile of map published by Thevenot, in 1681, purporting to be made by Marquette.


Facing 154


Photographic facsimiles of the seven pages of Marquette‘s Journal, from the original MS. in St. Mary’s College archives, Montreal.



Facing 212


[Page viii]


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

CXXXIII. The greater part of the Relation of 1673-74 appeared in Vol. LVIII.; the remainder is herewith presented. This comprises only the report on the two Montagnais missions, at Tadoussac and the Seven Islands. The former of these is given in Crépieul’s journal of his winter spent with the savages (October 4, 1673, to May 24, 1674) at Lake St. John. Departing from Quebec, he spends a week at the Jeremie islets, with a small band of Papinachois encamped there, At Chicoutimi, he finds two hundred Indians awaiting him, to whom he ministers during ten days. On November 2, he departs with one of their bands, to accompany them in their winter wanderings. During the entire cold season, they rove about the neighborhood of Lake St. John, wherever a prospect of food attracts them; and their wretched existence is shared by the brave missionary, who, with undaunted zeal and devotion, instructs them and celebrates the rites of the Church, whenever time or place permits these pious services. About the middle of January, he is so fortunate as to obtain news of Father Albanel, whom he visits, finding the latter temporarily disabled by an accident. In February, the savages in the Lake St. John region are overcome with terror by an Iroquois raid. They [Page 11] hastily abandon their cabins, and gather in a rude fort for their defense. Ascertaining, however, that the enemy has gone in another direction, Crepiertl goes to visit the Mistassinis, living near the lake of that name; with them he remains six or seven weeks, and baptizes more than a hundred persons, including two chiefs. On May 6, a part of the band embark for Quebec, to implore Frontenac’s aid against the Iroquois; and Crépieul goes with them.

At the Seven Islands, far down the Labrador coast, Father Nicolas has held a sort of flying mission among the Oumamiois tribes of that region. He finds them friendly, and well disposed toward the faith; but his stay with them lasts only three days, for he and the French traders are compelled by an epidemic of scurvy to leave the islands. He promises, however, to return next year, and instruct the savages more fully.

CXXXIV. After his return to Quebec, Nicolas prepares a “memorandum for a missionary who will go to the Seven Islands.” He informs his successor how many Indians he will find there, and of what tribes. He must understand the Montagnais Language, in order to talk with these savages. Nicolas mentions the scanty natural products of that desolate region, and advises that the French should establish fisheries there, which would be exceedingly profitable to them, and would enable a missionary to labor with the savages during the summer. He adds a list of the Indians who had been baptized in that tribe.

CXXXV. This is a letter (dated October 24, 1674) from Dablon to the French provincial, giving a survey of the mission field at that time. Albanel notwithstanding the obstacles that he has encountered [Page 12] on the way, and the danger of losing his life if he goes on, has continued his journey to Hudson Bay, where the English have already established themselves. Marquette, since his discovery of the Mississippi, has been preparing to labor among the Illinois. The other Fathers in the Ottawa missions have, during the year, “baptized more than five hundred infidels.” In that region are now three permanent residences — those at De Pere, St. Ignace, and Sault Ste. Marie.

In Acadia, Pierron has spent part of the past year. During the winter, he travels in disguise through the English colonies, where he finds “naught but desolation and abomination among the heretics, who will not even baptize the children, and still less the adults.” He is able to baptize but few, “on account of their obstinacy;” he has, however, “the happiness of preparing a heretic to make his abjuration.” At Boston, Pierron is suspected of being a Jesuit, and is cited to appear before the General Court; but he evades the summons. In Maryland he finds a few English Jesuits in disguise; he desires to be sent to assist them, and to establish a mission among the Indians there; but Dablon considers this scheme, for many reasons, impracticable.

The Iroquois missions are prosperous. The Mohawks “are being converted in greater numbers than ever;” but Bruyas’s efforts are greatly hindered by the Dutch heretics. The Senecas are least inclined to embrace the faith; but the missionaries among them “fail not to win many victories over hell.” Among the Montagnais, Crépieul is engaged in tireless labors, both summer and winter. The Iroquois colony at La Prairie, and that of the Hurons [Page 13] at Lorette, bring consolation to the missionaries, on account of their devotion and saintly living. The new church at Lorette, patterned after the Holy souse of Loreto in Italy, is becoming a favorite resort for pilgrims from all parts of Canada. Dablon again extols the zeal and self-renunciation of all the apostles of the faith in New France.

CXXXVI. One of the most valuable and important documents in our series is the journal of Father Marquette, describing the voyage in which he and Joliet discovered and explored the Mississippi River. It is prefaced with a brief note by Dablon, which mentions Marquette’s early desire to carry the gospel to the Southern tribes, and his opportunity for doing so when Joliet is chosen by Frontenac and Talon to explore the then unknown water-routes beyond Lake Michigan. Dablon also praises the fitness of Joliet for this undertaking.

Marquette recounts the details of their voyage, which begins May 17, 1673, at the St. Ignace mission. They journey via Green Bay, visiting on the way the Menomonee Indians, who endeavor to dissuade them from their enterprise — saying that there are ferocious tribes on the great river, some of whom are at war together, who will kill any stranger; that horrible monsters and demons will endanger their lives, etc.

Passing through the bay, and ascending the Fox River, they arrive at the Mascouten village June 7. Marquette describes at length two remarkable plants, the wild rice and snake-root. The Frenchmen at once call the elders, and ask them for guides on their way, which is readily granted. These savages conduct them to the Fox-Wisconsin portage, whence [Page 14] the travelers make their way alone. On June 17, they enter the Mississippi, “with a Joy that I cannot express.” Marquette gives a minute description of the great river, the lands through which it passes, and the fauna of that region, most of which are strange and curious to the Canadians. Among these animals, he gives especial attention to the buffalo.

The voyagers proceed more than sixty leagues without seeing any human being, until June 25, when they discover a beaten path from the river inland. Marquette and Joliet follow this, and reach an Illinois village, the people of which receive them most hospitably, and with elaborate ceremonies, which are fully described. A chapter is devoted to an account of their customs and usages. Marquette praises the gentleness and docility of the Illinois savages. They use guns, and carry on an extensive trade in slaves, whom they capture from more remote tribes. They raise abundant crops of Indian corn and other vegetables. The calumet, or ceremonial pipe, and the dance in honor of it, are fully described. One of these pipes is given to Marquette and his party, as a safeguard for their passage through the hostile nations farther down the river.

After remaining several days with the friendly Illinois savages, the explorers resume their voyage. They find new and curious plants, and agreeable fruits. Near Alton, Illinois, they see on the smooth face of a bluff paintings of strange monsters, so frightful in appearance that “the boldest savages dare not Long rest their eyes” upon them. Shortly after passing these grotesque figures, they narrowly escape being wrecked in the swollen and turbid flood poured forth at the mouth of the Missouri River. [Page 15] The reports which they have already heard from the savages regarding this stream lead them to hope that, by ascending it far enough, they may gain other rivers which will furnish the long-sought Passage to the Western Sea, Near the mouth of the Ohio, they find rich deposits Of iron ore. They now begin to experience the torment of mosquitoes.

Somewhat farther down, they encounter a band of savages, who at first appear to be hostile; they prove, however, to be “as frightened as we were,” and soon become pacified. Again, at the mouth of St. Francis River, they are in danger of losing their lives being attacked by the Mitchigameas, who dwell there. In this emergency, they are saved by displaying the calumet which the Illinois gave them. On the next day they proceed to the mouth of the Arkansas, where another tribe dwells. These savages are friendly, and warn them that they cannot go farther without great danger.

At this point, Marquette and Joliet take counsel together as to their next proceeding. They are now well satisfied that the great river, on which they have voyaged more than a thousand miles, flows into the Gulf of Mexico. If they advance, they are in danger of imprisonment, and perhaps death, — thus risking the loss of all that they have gained from their long and perilous journey. Accordingly, they begin (July 17) their return voyage; but this time they ascend the Illinois and Des Plaines rivers, and enter Lake Michigan by the Chicago River. They stop on the way to visit a Kaskaskia band, who desire Marquette to come again to instruct them; also the Peorias, where he baptizes a dying child, which alone repays the missionary for his long and. [Page 16] toilsome journey. At the close of September, they reach the De Pere mission.

CXXXVII. This is Marquette’s (unfinished) journal of his second voyage to the Illinois tribes — a journey with pathetic ending, for he dies on the way, while striving to reach Mackinac. Departing from De Pere October 25, 1674, accompanied by two Frenchmen, he enters the waters of Lake Michigan via the portage at Sturgeon Bay. There they fortunately meet a party of Illinois Indians, who desire the Father to go under their escort. Now begins a long and tedious voyage, so interrupted by storms and severe cold that it is not until December 4 that the party reach Chicago River. The Father is again ill, on account of his privations and hardships, and finds himself unable to proceed farther. Accordingly, Marquette and his two Frenchmen spend the winter at the portage, — alone, except for occasional visits from the savages. Early in January, a French trader in that region hears of the Father’s illness, and sends him food by a surgeon who is with him. The Illinois savages, among whom he had intended to carry on a mission, also bring him gifts, and beg him to come and dwell with them.

In February, Marquette’s health begins to improve, owing to his devotions to the Virgin. The last week in March brings a south wind, and the river opens; a sudden freshet nearly carries away the Frenchmen and their goods. This gives them, after various delays, an opportunity to resume their journey: but it is not until April 8 that they reach the Illinois village. Marquette’s journal ends upon the 6th, while he and his men are awaiting favorable weather to descend the Des Plaines River. [Page 17]

CXXXVIII. In this document, Dablon briefly relates this second voyage of Marquette, adding details of his death, and of the removal (1677) of his bones to Mackinac. After reaching the Illinois village, the Father holds (three days before Easter) a great council, where over 1,500 men are present, besides the women and children. He explains to them the mysteries of the faith, and celebrates mass; and on Easter Sunday holds similar services. The savages listen with delight, and would gladly retain him among them; but his malady is so increasing that he is compelled to depart. He sets out for Mackinac, hoping to reach the mission-house there in time to die within its walls; but his strength fails so rapidly that he is obliged to land near Ludington, Michigan, where he dies on the same day (May 18, 1675). His faithful companions there inter his body, which is removed two years later, by some of his Ottawa disciples, to the St. Ignace mission at Mackinac, There it is reinterred, with all the solemnity possible; and this tomb becomes a favorite resort for the Christian savages. The document closes with “a brief summary of his virtues,” prominent among which are his zeal and meekness, and his devotion to the Virgin.

CXXXIX. For the year 1675, Dablon sends to his provincial an account of “the present condition of the missions in New France.” It begins with a brief survey of the Ottawa mission, followed by the account Of Marquette’s last voyage and death which we present in Doc. CXXXVIII.

At Sault Ste. Marie, with its dependent missions on the islands and northern shore of Lake Huron, over one hundred and twenty persons have been [Page 18] baptized, “notwithstanding all the opposition that the devil raises up against the Gospel by various superstitions” — to oppose which the missionaries have more than once risked their lives. At St. Ignace (Marquette’s post), the new chapel built last year was, at its opening, “consecrated by sixty-six baptisms,” administered to Hurons and Algonkins who have settled there. At De Pere, André has, by mingled patience and firmness, conquered the minds, “most ferocious and superstitious,” of the savages in that region. He has formed “a church of four or five hundred Christians;” and has baptized a hundred and forty persons during the past year. Among the Central Wisconsin tribes, Allouez has baptized a hundred and sixty. The Mascouten village has been increased, by refugees from many tribes, to a population of 20,000 souls — a parish too large for Allouez, who is now aided by Silvy. Letters from the former give some account of his work there. As usual, the great obstacle in the way of the missionaries is the blind adherence of the savages to their superstitions, especially where dreams are concerned.

A short report is given from each of the Iroquois missions. Bruyas, superior of all these, writes from Agnie that he has baptized eighty persons there. His labors have received much aid from the conversion of Assendassé, a notable Mohawk chief, and from a gift, made to the church of Agnié, of a miraculous image, that of Our Lady of Foye. The Oneidas, most cruel of all the Iroquois, “are now so changed through Father Millet’s care that it may be said that from wolves they have become lambs.” Several prominent chiefs here also have been converted. At Onondaga, also, the church is flourishing. [Page 19] Lamberville has gained much influence among the savages by his ability in using medicines for the cure of sicknesses. Carheil has not been so fortunate at Cayuga; the arrogance of those savages is great, and they insult and abuse him when, as often happens, they become intoxicated. The Senecas also are intolerably insolent since they defeated the Andastes; they talk of going to war against the French; and the three missionaries who labor among them “are in almost continual danger of being murdered by those barbarians.”

As for the missions at the North, no word has been received from Albanel since he set out, two years ago, for Hudson Bay. Vague Indian reports indicate that he has either been killed, or captured by the English and sent back to Europe. Crepieul, his health broken by continual exposure, has been recalled to Quebec for rest, and Boucher takes his place.

A noble record is made by the Iroquois colonists at La Prairie;” although surrounded on all sides by the most scandalous drunkenness,” they are distinguished among their neighbors as “those who do not drink, and who pray to God aright.” Their virtue is illustrated by an account of the pious death of a young man named Skandegorhaksen. Dablon gives an interesting account of visits made to La Prairie by Bishop Lava], and later, by the new intendant, Duchesneau. These distinguished guests are welcomed by the savages in their own fashion, with every mark of honor. During the bishop’s visit, a rumor comes that a hunting-party of prominent men from La Prairie have been attacked and slain by enemies. These good Christians nobly put [Page 20] aside their private griefs, that they may duly honor the visit of the head of the Canadian church; and thus “the whole stratagem which the devil seemed to have invented solely to disturb the minds of the savages, and to prevent the good results of Monseigneur’s visit, served but to make the virtues of our new Christians shine more brightly.”

Duchesneau, the intendant, also visits the La Prairie colony, accompanied by many officials and prominent habitants. He lights the bonfire on St. John’s day, holds a general council with the savages, and provides them with a bountiful feast.

R. G. T.

Madison, Wis., November, 1899.

[Page 21]

CXXXIII (concluded)

Relation of 1673-74


The greater part of this document appeared in Volume LVIII.; its concluding section is herewith presented. [Page 23]

Missions of the Montagnais or Lower Algonquins

during the years 1673 and 1674.




ATHER François de Crépieul, who has charge of this Mission, states that he continues to derive much satisfaction from the conduct of his Christians. The fatigues which he has endured while accompanying them in the woods during the whole winter can be imagined only by those who have experienced them. After all, they are very sweet when one suffers them in searching for poor wandering sheep, whom the Son of God came himself to seek. This small Church of Tadoussac was increased this year by several adults and twenty-two children, who received the grace of baptism. We present here the journal of Father de Crépieul’s journey and labors among the Papinachois, the Mistassins, and other tribes, as he has sent it to us.



N the 23rd of September, 1673, after journeying seventy or eighty leagues in a canoe, and having encountered various dangers and endured much bad weather in a rather inclement season, sleeping in the sand or on a rock, I reached Quebec. Thence I set out, a few days afterward, to go to the [Page 25] Papinachois, thence to Chegoutimi, and afterward to lake St. John, where I was to pass a third winter with a band of Savages.

On the day of my departure, the 4th of October, I began my mission by baptizing an Etchemin child two years old. We were afterward surprised by a violent gale which endangered our lives, and, by breaking one of the cables of our bark, compelled us to put back. Three days afterward, a very favorable wind carried us a long distance on our voyage, and brought us at the end of two days to the Jérémie islets[1]. There I found five cabins of Papinachois, who awaited us, and I instructed them for six or seven days.

On the 21st of October, we weighed anchor with a very favorable wind, and sailed in the direction of the Saguenay; but, being surprised by darkness, and the wind rising, we were in danger of shipwreck; for the bark was greatly tossed about, and filled with water. It was even a marvel that we did not run aground; for the wind impelled us so violently, although we had no sail set, that about midnight we were close to the land. This storm lasted ten whole hours, during which we expected to be wrecked at any moment. But at last God gave us calm weather again, and enabled us to reach Chegoutimi.[2] I found there two hundred Savages waiting for me; I instructed them for ten days, confessing and administering communion to those who were old enough to receive those sacraments. I also buried the son of the chief of Tadoussac, who in his last moments displayed truly Christian resignation.

On the last day of October, I baptized a child, [Page 27] and administered extreme unction to a dying woman, who was very well prepared for the great journey of eternity. We spent the following day, the feast of All Saints, in the devotional exercises which so important a feast required; nearly all the French and Savages confessed and received communion. Moreover, I gave the viaticum to two sick persons, and baptized a child. The chiefs of Tadoussac and Sillery delivered eloquent harangues in favor of Prayer, on the occasion of the farewell feast given them by the French, who were to leave on the following day. In fact, on the 2nd of November, after performing our duties for the souls in purgatory, the bark set sail for Quebec, and left me alone with my beloved Savages, who prepared to go to their winter quarters, each band to their own district. In the evening, I started in company with six canoes of Savages, with whom I spent the night near the rapid of the large river that flows from lake St. John, and falls into the noble Saguenay river. On the following day, we were obliged to carry our canoe and all our effects for two leagues, with much fatigue — walking sometimes in mud, and sometimes in snow. While we were marching, I observed the disastrous effects of the great earthquake of 1663.[3] I also met four families of Outabitibecs, whom I instructed. At the end of our road I came upon a great rapid, and the fine river of the Papinachois.[4] Two days afterward, these four families whom we had met joined us; and all together we entered the woods, to seek our livelihood, and to meet a great number of Savages who were to come down in the spring.

After successfully passing seven rapids, the ice began to block our way, and this compelled us to [Page 29] stop upon a mountain. We built two cabins, to contain thirty-four persons; I instructed them daily, while waiting until the snow was deep enough to, allow us to walk on snowshoes. It must be admitted that, if a missionary’s life be a painful one it is also full of many consolations. It was no small pleasure to me to see, every day, my instructions sought after, listened to, and followed with incredible fervor by the youngest as well as by the older persons. In, remembrance of our passage here, I erected a cross in this vast solitude.

On the 19th of November, we went a long league thence, to encamp in a place where game is plentiful; but there the want of water, — for melted snow hardly quenches thirst, — and the smoke, which was: very annoying, greatly tried our patience. We did not leave this place until the 6th of December, because the first frosts were later than usual. We celebrated the feast of saint Francis Xavier, and afterward that of the Immaculate Conception, with all possible devotion, — occupying ourselves on those days and during their octave with chanting hymns in the savage tongue. About this time there was a very noticeable earthquake near us. I had still further opportunity, during our journey, to observe the extraordinary ravages of the terrible earthquake that took place some years ago in these wild regions. There may also be seen the recent traces which cruel fires have left in these vast forests. The Savages say that they have spread over more than two hundred leagues.

On the 15th, I baptized a little girl, who was named Marie.

On the 18th, we journeyed through a fine level [Page 31] country, intersected by rivers and lakes, and chose a spot for erecting our cabin. We were so harassed by the smoke that, in order to escape from it, I was very often obliged to expose myself to a cold and freezing wind. The wind blew so violently for seven or eight days that we feared it might at any moment carry away our bark cabin, or uproot trees which would have crushed us in their fall.

I was delighted to see a poor girl drag her mother over the snow for a distance of three or four long leagues, to have the consolation of being near us, and of participating in the prayers that we said and the daily instructions that we gave. I confessed and administered communion to this poor sick woman at her request. She thought she would soon die but God preserved her to exercise her patience and that of her poor daughter.

I was told, at this place, of a noble action performed by one of our Christians last summer. He had been invited to a superstitious feast, without knowing that it was so. But some good Christian women informed him of it, just as he was about to proceed thither; so he retraced his steps, and returned to his cabin. In vain was he told that there was nothing to fear, since the black Gown, who might deem it wrong, was away. “It is not he whom I fear,” he said; “I dread only Him who has made all, and of whom the black Gowns are only the interpreters.” His answer greatly edified some, and shamed the others, who soon repented of their weakness.

We passed the night and festival of Christmas in our wretched bark cabin; and we celebrated the feast, if not with splendor, at least with great [Page 33] manifestations of love and devotion for the adorable mystery of the God-child whose birth we honored.

On the 4th of January, 1674, we started from this place, after leaving a fine cross there to go and erect one in another place, where we arrived greatly fatigued. We had much to suffer from almost continual bad weather, cold, and smoke.

On the 13th of January, some Savages arrived, and informed us where I could find Father Albanel, who was on his way to the Northern bay. I wished to go and see him, and, at the same time, to instruct some Savages who were not far from him, and whom he was prevented from reaching by an accident that had happened to him.

I set out, therefore, on the 16th of January, with an Algonquin captain and two Frenchmen. We started after mass, and walked five long leagues on snowshoes — with much trouble, because the snow was soft and made our snowshoes very heavy. At the end of five leagues, we found ourselves on a lake four or five leagues long, all frozen over, on which the wind caused great quantities of snow to drift, — obscuring the air, and preventing us from seeing whither we were going. After walking another league and a half, with great difficulty, our strength began to fail us. The wind, cold, and snow were so intolerable that they compelled us to retrace our steps a little, to cut some branches of fir which might, in default of bark, serve to build a cabin. After this, we tried to light a fire, but were unable to do so. We were thus reduced to a most pitiful condition. The cold was beginning to seize us to an extraordinary degree, the darkness was great, and the wind blew fearfully. In order, therefore, to keep [Page 35] ourselves from dying with cold, we resumed our march on the lake, in spite of our fatigue, — in the obscurity of the night, without knowing whither we were going. We were, moreover, always greatly impeded by the wind and snow; but, after walking a league and a half, we had to succumb, in spite of ourselves, and stop where we were. The danger we ran of dying from cold caused me to remember the charitable Father de Noue, who on a similar occasion was found dead in the snow, kneeling and with clasped hands. This thought roused me; I made a sacrifice of my life to God, and united my death, which I believed to be near, to that of the pious missionary. The French who were with us, cut some fir-branches, which they laid on the snow; and we threw ourselves down on them, after saying our prayers and taking, for all repast, a little theriac and seven or eight raisins, that we happened to have with us. Fatigue caused us to fall into a slumber, which the wind, the cold, and the snow did not allow us long to enjoy; we therefore remained awake during the rest of the night. Providence, however, preserved us from more serious accidents, and we are no doubt indebted for this to the intercession of the blessed Virgin, to whom we had particularly commended ourselves. On the following morning, two Frenchmen from Father Albanel’s cabin arrived, very opportunely, and kindled a great fire on the snow. One of them went for some water, to quench our excessive thirst. Then we resumed our journey on the same lake, and at last, in spite of the wind and snow drifting in our faces, we reached the spot where Father Albanel was. I found with him four cabins of Savages, whom I instructed. A serious [Page 37] injury, caused by the fall of a heavy load upon his loins, prevented him from moving, and still more from performing a missionary’s duties.

Two days afterward I returned to my own cabin, about ten leagues from there. I administered the last sacraments to a sick woman, who begged me to do so, and who said that she died very happy. This good Savage woman manifested deep sentiments of love for God, and of devotion for and confidence in the Blessed Virgin. I then proceeded to two cabins of Outabitibec Savages, at a distance of about four leagues: and I explained the truths of salvation to them. It is impossible to conceive the avidity with which they listened to my instructions, and the devotion that they manifested for the sacraments of penance and communion.

After remaining two days with them, I returned to my cabin to prepare for the journey that I was to undertake to the Mistassins and Papinachois.

On the 2nd of February, I once more met Father Albanel.

On the 6th, I left him, and went with the Savages who accompanied me to encamp near a very fine river. There we remained some days in peace, until Father Albanel sent a Frenchman to warn me that fear reigned everywhere; that the Iroquois were believed to be on the war-path; that they had surprised a band of our Savages at lake Kinougami; and that the Outabitibecs and other tribes were gathering in a fortified enclosure for shelter and defense. This bad news compelled me to go to them, to confess and encourage them, because Father Albanel was still crippled by his injury. I set out, accompanied by one Frenchman. [Page 39]

We walked twenty leagues in the woods, with incredible difficulty, and in continual dread of being set upon by the Iroquois. On the way we came upon a great number of cabins abandoned through fear.

On the 3rd of March, we reached the spot where the Savages had fortified themselves; there were at least eighty determined men. They were delighted to see us. I consoled them to the best of my ability, and confessed them. Meanwhile, one of their chiefs had gone with three young men to reconnoiter the enemy; while awaiting their return we passed four nights in dread, and, during the first two, we slept in their fort and upon the snow.

On the 5th, those who had gone to reconnoiter came back and somewhat reassured us. They told us that the massacre that had caused the general panic had not taken place so close to us, but at lake Piécouagami; and that the Savages dwelling on its. shores were going to fortify themselves, and gather in great numbers to attack the Iroquois the following spring.

This news, which quieted us, enabled me to return to my first cabin. I had been there a few days when five Savages, sent by the chief of the Mistassins, came to notify me on his behalf to go and instruct him. He had especially charged them to help me as much as they could, so as to smooth the difficulties and shorten the length of the journey that must be performed in order to reach him.

I set out with them on the 26th of March. We were obliged to walk in water half-way up to our thighs, and with great difficulty. We set up our cabin on the top, of a hill that borders on the river called [Page 41] Emenipemagau, on account of its rapidity and of several islets in it. It is moreover very wide and very deep, and exceedingly well stocked with fish. It flows toward the northwest, where, losing a little of its width, it takes the name of “river of the Papinachois.”

We journeyed fully two days to find the waterfall that breaks its course. This was not done without great fatigue, because we were obliged to walk continually on the ice, which was very smooth and slippery. At last, we reached the fine river of Mauchautraganich.[5] I found many Savages there, who received me with all the evidences of joy that their minds could suggest. They spared neither feasts, nor dances, nor songs, and continually came to visit me — so much, that I found these poor people fully disposed to receive my instructions, and I admired the miracles of grace which had thus prepared them to listen to me. I set to work to instruct them, in private and in public, during six or seven weeks, which seemed to me very short. I baptized one hundred and two, both children and adults — and, among others, two of their chiefs. These good Savages publicly manifested to me their joy, and knew not how to thank me for the favor that I had done them by administering to them baptism. Four old men, whom I had deferred baptizing for a year, were among those who received me in this village. They stated in a public discourse how happy they esteemed themselves; and they invited me to instruct them more fully, and to come back to see them again, which I promised to do.

Among these Savages, several who had come from the Northern bay were greatly surprised at seeing [Page 43] Frenchmen come from so great a distance, and were delighted to hear the discourses that I addressed to them upon religion. They all promised to come, in the following spring, to the place where they should learn that I was holding my Mission, in order to be instructed more at leisure than they could then be. They also added that they would endeavor to bring a large number of their countrymen with them, for the same purpose.

Meanwhile, a portion of the Mistassins left shortly afterward for Quebec, to present their respects to Monsieur de Frontenac, the governor of Canada. They also intended to crave his protection against the Iroquois; and to assure him that they took him for their father, and that, to become worthier of being his children, they would continue to love Prayer, for which they knew he was so zealous. I embarked with them. During our journey we were nearly all sick, and four or five of the older ones died. These good Savages had never seen any other missionaries before they saw me; and, as they were converted on receiving the very first instructions, it was God’s will to thus reward their promptness in obeying grace, by granting them the favor of dying shortly after their baptism. I was somewhat weakened by the hunger that I had endured on various occasions, and by the fatigues caused me by so many arduous journeys; but God gave me still sufficient strength to carry out the rest of my undertaking.

We left on the 6th of May, and made three long portages before reaching the river of the Mistassins and that of the Papinachois. Bad weather, rain, and mosquitoes greatly annoyed us. I nevertheless visited some poor sick persons, and four large cabins, [Page 45] that I found on the banks of the Manaouni, a river abundantly stocked with fish, which yielded a great many pike, of extraordinary size. After remaining — some days near the great and deep lake Echitagameth, where I baptized three persons, I continued my journey, accompanied by twenty canoes of Savages. We successfully passed twelve rapids, where the stream was so low that we had to get into the water to drag our canoes ourselves, which could not be done without much difficulty.

On the 24th of May, we arrived at Chécoutimi; there I found some Frenchmen and a great many Savages, to whom I explained the truths of our Faith. I administered baptism to three children and deferred baptizing some adults who asked for it. I wished them to more fully realize its importance, and for myself to have more leisure for ascertaining whether they were worthy of it.

On the 31st, I left Chécoutimi, accompanied by only twelve canoes. We reached Quebec a few days afterward; and the Savages whom I had brought with me proceeded at once to pay their respects to Monsieur the count de Frontenac. He received them with great kindness, and earnestly exhorted them to continue to live as true Christians. [Page 47]




NDER the name of Sept Iles is comprised a region on the North shore, more than a hundred leagues distant from Quebec, as one descends the Saint Lawrence River. There may indeed be seen seven islands, which are composed only of rocks, — very sterile, and having but stunted shrubs for covering. The largest of the islands is less than two leagues in circumference; and that nearest to the land is only a good league distant therefrom. They are, however, quite noted, on account of the concourse of Savages, who, after hunting in the forests on the mainland, resort from time to time to a river quite near these islands, in order to trade with the French who are drawn thither by commerce.

That region is properly the country of the tribes whom we call Oumamiois; their language takes its origin from that of the Tadoussac Savages, although it has many more words and a greater range of idioms.

Those Savages are naturally good, and very tractable; they manifest a disposition very favorable to Christianity, for although they have only heard of the Faith through their neighbors’ talk, they eagerly desire to be themselves instructed, and to have among them one of our Fathers.

They are not very distant from the Esquimaux; their neighbors among those tribes toward the south are not so fierce as are the hordes of the same name [Page 49] who dwell farther north. These latter, as we have been assured, destroyed last year a vessel which had come from Europe, with all its crew, in order to avenge the deaths of some of their tribesmen; these had been slain by some of the ship’s people, in a quarrel that arose while they were trading together.

All the coast of this sea is frightful to behold; there is naught but rocks piled together, encumbered with low thickets and a dense growth of stunted trees. Our Savages could not hunt there, if they were not entirely clad in skins instead of our stuffs, which would be quickly torn to pieces.

These rocky lands are intersected by numerous rivers; some of these, of considerable volume, discharge their waters into the sea, and at their mouths form very commodious harbors for the reception of barks.[6]

Game is very abundant in this quarter, but it comprises only sea-birds; their flesh is disagreeable to the palate, for it has an oily flavor that is insupportable. In that vicinity could be carried on an extensive fishery of salmon, codfish, seals, — and even whales, which are found in abundance and of great size, — in a fine and large bay, in which they could easily be taken. These two kinds of fish, whales and seals, could supply a great commerce in oil, if it were undertaken in the right way.

As the Savages of that coast are, as I have said, very friendly and desirous of being instructed, Father Louis Nicolas,[7] about the end of spring, made the beginning of that Mission. It is, correctly speaking, only an attempt; for the Father went mainly to ascertain how he ought to go to work, in order to labor efficaciously for the salvation of those peoples. [Page 51] He baptized some children there, and performed the duties of a missionary toward the others, during the short time that he spent there.

The scurvy, which severely tried the French who wintered in that country, and even caused two of them to die, has obliged them, and the missionary also, to leave it as soon as possible. But he promised the Savages that next spring he would return to them, that he might fully instruct them, and make them share in the blood of Jesus Christ, which he has shed not less for these poor barbarians than for the kings of earth.

If one could push farther into those northern regions, one would find still other nations — more untamed, it is true, than are these; but not so much so that the maxims of the Gospel could not win them to God, as well as the other savage peoples of this new world. [Page 53]


Miscellaneous Documents, 1673-74

CXXXIV. — Memoire pour un Mifionaire qui ira aux 7 isles; Louis Nicolas, [La Prairie, 1673]

CXXXV. — Lettre du P. Claude Dablon au R. P. Pinette; Québec, 24 octobre, 1674


Sources: Doc. CXXXIV. is reproduced from the original MS., which is conserved in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal. The text of Doc. CXXXV. is obtained from Douniol’s Relations inédites, t. ii., pp. 3-15.

Memorandum for a Missionary who will go to

the 7 islands, which the Savages call Mani-

sounagouch, or, Properly, Mansounok.


E will Find there next spring, at various times, about 150 persons, both adults and children, He will probably see all these — and perhaps others, who will come from the Interior or from the shores of the sea. From above, he can have only the Papinachois; from below, the Oumamiwetch, who are a nation of eskimeaux, and even the eskimeaux may come. All these nations speak nearly the same tongue. The foundation of their language is Montagnais; it is Very different from that of the people who come to Tadoussak and chekoutimi and to Pigwagami. To understand them aright, it is necessary to have a Good knowledge of Montagnais.

Those whom I saw, to the number of 26, during the 3 days that I spent in their country, appeared to me very good and quite tractable. They wish to pray, and complain that, at the most, they only see the Fathers for 2 or 3 nights.

Those who are farther down than the 7 Islands are less sociable, for they have Never associated with the french or Europeans. They have, however, gentle natures. Notwithstanding this, they destroyed a European ship; and that in consequence of a quarrel after drinking, and the defeat of some of their people, whom the Europeans had first attacked and killed.

The entire sea-coast is of frightful aspect. There is not even the space of a drying-ground of Soil; it is all rocks, covered with Very small trees of spruce [Page 57] and Fir, — save the little Birch, not one beautiful tree. There is no end to game, all marine birds, — which, to speak Frankly, stink of oil.

There are Many small rivers, and some large ones where there are Beautiful harbors, into which the little ships enter with considerable difficulty when the winds are not favorable. All along the coast, seals are to be seen, upon which the Savages live during the entire summer. The french can make a Great deal of oil from the seals that the savages kill, and from the codfish that they themselves will catch in abundance in a large Bay on this side of the 7 islands, opposite the river St. Eustache and a little beyond Kawi, which is the end of the bay in returning to Quebek. In this Bay, There is great abundance of Whales, large and small. If the french could find the secret of catching these, they could very well furnish oil, and thus carry on a Fine trade with Europe.

A missionary would Easily obtain Opportunity to instruct the savages of all these coasts, if the french conducted fisheries there, especially for Whales, or else for seals, — or, at least, for salmon, which abound here in various rivers, especially in that which the savages call Chimanibit, which is opposite the 7 islands. There is nothing for the french or for a missionary to do in the winter, because the savages go about in too small bands, and do not have Much hunting. Besides, the woods are very hard to pass through, on account of the density of the trees, although these are very small; all french clothes are torn in them. On this account, the savages will wear nothing but skins, because, the forests being very dense, the hunters, in less than a Day, tear all the stuffs that the french Sell them. [Page 59]

All the 26 savages whom I saw were Baptized, with the exception of 3 little children, whom I Baptized.

Here are their names:

║ Louis estamou, a papinachi.

║ françoise apikousiou, a papinachi.

║     Their sons and daughters:

║ ignace nematchiabamat.

║ Joseph Outchaouna.

║ Anne Oumiscimau.

║ Anne Kwakoupana.

║ Marie nipekasou — “feigns to sleep.”

║ Jeanne papamiskweou was Baptized by me on the 3rd of June,

║      1673; her godfather was monsieur lambert.[8]

║Antoine WabousAbou — ”hare’s Broth,”

║marie magdelaine Iachagasteou. I did not see her husband.

║ignace atwiriniou.

║catherine cheskaiou.

║ These do not recall their names:

║ Westchinisi casou — “pretends to be Young” had two wives; he

║ must be questioned

║ whether etc.; the name of his nation is Wepariwiawi.

║ Kikwanou was Baptized ten years ago; is of the Outchisestigou

║     nation.

║ His wife is named pepisagoutaou, of the Manikwagan tribe.

║ A daughter of his is named Catherine egwasitabeau.

║ A son is named meschiseabamat.

║ Denys, his infant son, was Baptized by me June 3, 1673; the

║     Savages call him Kamachistiewanet — “he who needs must

║     have a stubborn Head;” his godfather was denys Ouron. [Page 61]

║ François takwatchisenapeou — “the little big man” is the son of

║     the wife of Kikwanou.

║ Pierre pepakousinagoutieou — “he who always looks sick” — and

║ Barnabé eitoucha are two sons of Kikwanou.

       Pentske Mitchitiou — “the eagle.”

║ His wife is named mischitia; she does not recall her name or her

║     Baptism, but she is very old.

║ His son is named Louis chakaragou; I Baptized him two years

║ ago, October 7, 1671.

║ Kwetinamou, an old woman, does not recall her Baptism,

║ although she is Baptized, as has been affirmed to me by a

║ Savage woman; I am told the same concerning mischitia — that

║ she has been elsewhere Baptized by our fathers.

║ Bernardin, a little boy, was Baptized by me June 3, 1673; his

║     godfather was de Beaulien; the Savages call the boy moutecha.

       Joseph Wautichiou — “has a cold hand” Oupapinachiwi.

       These do not recall their names:

║ nouseskwewe.

║ Wabisiwisitch.

║ Westchinisikasou.

║ Oukoutaskweou.

║ touskatisiwa.

Charles, Kachinawaougat — ”he who resembles a foot.”

[Crossed out in original] —  The number of all whom I saw is 26; they are all Baptized.]


[Page 63]

Letter of Father Claude Dablon, Superior of the

Missions of Canada and rector of Que-

bec, to Reverend Father Pinette,

Provincial of France.

QUEBEC, the 24th of October, 1674.


y Reverend Father,

                                      Pax Christi.

I address this letter to Your Reverence to give you general information of the state of all our Missions. From the little that I write, you will have the consolation of seeing that the name of Jesus Christ resounds throughout all our forests, and that he is adored — or, at least, is acknowledged by all these tribes; for our Fathers labor among them with ineffable zeal, a courage worthy of apostles, and a holiness befitting the true children of saint Ignatius.

Your Reverence will permit me to refer, in a few words, to all parts of our America; and, after speaking of outside countries and of the most distant Missions, I shall speak of this country itself, and of the missions that are near us, for I find everywhere nothing but good to say and saints to admire.[9]

To begin at the North, Your Reverence knows that Father Charles Albanel started a year ago on a second voyage to the Northern sea, in order to minister to many Christians whom he baptized there, and to increase their number. He wintered on the road at a place over one hundred leagues from here, but [Page 65] not without great suffering. For, in addition to famine and the other hardships which usually accompany such winterings, — after having consumed all the provisions that he had brought, making use of them to win and to retain his Savages; after having slept for a long while on the ground without being able to stir, owing to an unfortunate fall, — he was abandoned by the Savages who were to guide, and by the French who were to accompany him. Notwithstanding all this, when he learned that the English also had proceeded by sea to the very place where he was going; that they had fortified themselves there, and threatened to kill him if he ventured thither, — notwithstanding all this, I say, that noble missionary, who is over sixty years of age and is quite worn out by his former labors — and, above all, by the fatigues of his last voyage — did not fail to continue his journey. He relied solely upon Providence, and exposed himself to a thousand dangers that he foresaw — such is his zeal for the salvation of his beloved flock, and for the glory of the name of Jesus Christ, which he wishes to bear to various nations on the shores of that distant sea who have never heard it.

After the successful attempts made, two years ago, by Father Albanel to secure easier access to the Northern sea, fresh enterprises were expected on our part for the discovery of the Southern sea. This was done this year by Father Marquette, who, after extending his journey to the 33rd degree of latitude, came back safely last spring. He regards it as certain that, after descending for several days the great river that he discovered, he arrived in Florida; and that, if he had continued to descend [Page 67] forty or fifty leagues farther, he would have reached the gulf of Mexico.

Since his return, that Father has remained in the country of the Outaouais that he may be fully prepared to establish Missions among the Illinois, the nearest and the most docile of the tribes that he has discovered. Should he not return to them this year, it will be because we must not abandon those whom we have begun to instruct.

Our other missionaries among the Outaouais labor holily and usefully, each in his Mission. Within a year, they have baptized more than five hundred infidels; and, this summer, Father Bailloquet alone baptized in two months a hundred children and some adults, fully one-half of whom are sure of paradise. He gathered this harvest while the Savages with whom he was were gathering that of certain small blue fruits, on which they and the Father lived during those two months.[10]

We have among the Outaouais three residences, or three permanent dwellings, where we regularly live, and to which the Fathers who labor in those Missions repair from time to time, to take breath for a while. The first is situated at the end of the bay des Puants, and is called the Mission of Saint François Xavier. To this house are attached: Father Allouez, that holy and true missionary; Father Marquette, of whom I have just spoken; and Father Louis André, whose indefatigable constancy and assiduity produce abundant fruits. This year, Father Silvy[11] was sent to their assistance, with one of our lay Brethren, who was to take charge of that house as regards temporal matters. The Fathers hardly ever remain there for they are all engaged in the Missions, to [Page 69] which they devote all their time, that they may solidly establish Christianity therein.

The second house is near lake Huron, at the place where the Mission of Saint Ignace is situated, where Hurons and Algonquins are gathered together. Father Philippe Pierson has charge of the former, and has done excellent work in bringing Christianity into vogue among them; and if he persevere as he has begun, nothing can be better.

The third house is that of Sainte Marie du Sault, where Father Henri Nouvel, the superior of all these Missions, habitually resides; he is a virtuous and truly apostolic man. Father Gabriel Dreuillettes also resides there; his great age and his infirmities do not in the least diminish his zeal. Through his instrumentality, God has worked a great many wonders in the cure of the sick, and in other extraordinary things, by the efficacy of holy water and by the merits of saint Francis Xavier. Father Bailloquet also proceeds there, from time to time; but, as a rule, he lives with the Algonquins of lakes Huron and Nipissing. He it is who, as I have related, lived for two months this summer, with more than a thousand Savages, on small fruits here called bluets [“blueberries”], which grow only on rocks or in rocky soil; and during that time he baptized a hundred children under two years of age, a goodly number of whom were ripe for heaven, We have also at Sainte Marie one of our lay Brethren; he has temporal charge of that house, which was burned a second time in consequence of a sanguinary affray, in which over forty Savages cruelly slaughtered one another. It is a wonder that two of ours, who were there, were not included in that butchery. The devil [Page 71] brought about that misfortune, in order to overthrow the Mission — or, at least, to hinder the good that was done in it; but I trust that everything will turn to his confusion.

After observing what has been done in the North and in the South, we may cast our eyes upon the East, — I mean Acadia, where Father Jean Pierron spent the winter. He did so, in order to assist the French, whose spiritual welfare had long been neglected; but still more to ascertain whether it would be possible to establish Missions for the Savages of that quarter.[12] While wintering there, he took a favorable opportunity, and went through the whole of New England, Maryland, and Virginia, where he found naught but desolation and abomination among the heretics, who will not even baptize the children, and still less the adults. He saw persons 30 and 40 years old, and even as many as ten and twelve persons in a single house, who had not received baptism. He administered that sacrament and the others to but few persons, on account of their obstinacy; he had, however, the happiness of preparing a heretic to make his abjuration. Finally, he had some conferences with the ministers of Boston (the capital of New England), where he was greatly esteemed, and where he is still spoken of with honor. Although he was disguised, it was nevertheless suspected that he was a Jesuit, owing to the unusual knowledge that he displayed. For that reason, he was cited before the Parliament, but he did not appear before it. In Maryland, he found two of our Fathers and a Brother, who are English, the Fathers being dressed like gentlemen, and the Brother like a farmer; in fact, he has charge of a farm, which serves to support [Page 73] the two missionaries. They labor successfully for the reduction of the heretics of the country, where there are, in truth, many Catholics, among others the governor.[13] As these two Fathers alone do not suffice, Father Pierron cheerfully offers to go and assist them, and at the same time to establish a Mission among the neighboring Savages, with whose language he is familiar. But there are many obstacles to this project, which seems to me impossible of execution because it is a Mission belonging to our English Fathers, who should themselves ask for Father Pierron’s aid; because it is within another Assistancy, and the Father does not wish to leave that of France;[14] and, finally, because a considerable sum is needed to commence and carry out the project. Meanwhile, Father Pierron has returned to the Mission among the Iroquois, with very holy intentions; he is a man of great and rare virtue.

Since we are speaking of the Iroquois, Your Reverence will be glad to hear a word about the missionaries of that country.

Father Jacques Bruyas, the superior, is as zealous as he is prudent. He usually resides at Agnie, where he has had much to suffer from the Dutch, who are the neighbors of that village. He has even been compelled to hide, in order to save himself from the evil designs which those heretics entertain toward him. However, it seems that this opposition has served but to touch still more deeply the hearts of the Savages, who are being converted in greater numbers than ever; and the most notable man among them was recently baptized, and publicly renounced his superstitions. We expect a great deal from him; he has promised me that he will work [Page 75] energetically for the conversion of his countrymen.

In the nearest village, Onneiout, dwells Father Millet, upon whom God confers a most special blessing; and so great is it that the Savages of that village, who were the most arrogant and the most averse to the Faith, have become the most tractable, and all ask to become Christians. All the exercises of Christianity are openly practiced, and in this there is something indeed astonishing.

Then comes the village of Onnontagué whose apostle is Father Jean de Lamberville. He it is who so nobly sacrificed himself for the salvation of these Missions, and who labors therein with much courage and constancy.

Farther on is the village of Oiogouin, where Father de Carheil resides. The apostolic zeal of that holy man is such that he does not find that the Savages respond to his efforts; but I think that he exacts too much virtue from them at the beginning. If he does not sanctify as many of them as he would wish, it is certain that he sanctifies himself in a proper manner. So also do Fathers Garnier and Raffeix in the villages of the Sonnontouans, who are the farthest from us, and who also seem to be as remote from the Faith. Nevertheless, these two brave missionaries fail not to win many victories over hell. Father Pierron has gone to join them, to take charge of a large village for which we have hitherto been unable to provide. I must here mention in confidence to Your Reverence something about that Father, which will console you and which proves his great virtue. Before leaving us to return among the Iroquois, — for whom he has a very great natural repugnance, which he very bravely overcomes, — he [Page 77] came to me and, kneeling in my room with bare head and clasped hands, desiring me to remain covered and seated, he asked me for permission to make two vows: the first, ever to comply unquestioningly with the orders of his superiors, and never propose anything contrary to them; the second, to bind himself never to return to France, or to secure that privilege in any way. I would not permit the former, but I allowed the latter, in so far as was consistent with obedience. He afterward thanked me for firmly adhering to my intention of sending him among the Iroquois, because in that I had acted against his own feelings.

I must not forget to say something about the Tadoussac mission wherein Father de Crepieul, who is a true apostle, labors summer and winter. He made his profession here on last Assumption day, for he preferred to postpone it until then, rather than lose the opportunity of wintering among his beloved Savages. He falls ill when I recall him here to rest for a little while; and no sooner has he returned to the labors of his mission, than he is restored to health. He begged me to allow him to go himself this year to tribes very distant from here, named Mistassins. He is preparing for this at present; and, as he is also asked for by two other tribes, he will go and instruct them during the summer.

We have two other Churches near us, which ever preserve their pristine splendor, and whose virtue is of the sweetest odor. One is that of la prairie de la Magdeleine, near Montreal; the fervor, piety, and other Christian virtues of the inhabitants are the admiration of both French and Savages; and assuredly it is a wonderful thing to see how these good neophytes [Page 79] have hitherto lived in rare innocence. In fact, they are governed by Father Jacques Frémin whom I may safely call one of our ablest and most saintly missionaries. I recently caused to be read aloud in the refectory a relation that he sent me, regarding the virtues of those Savages. It brought tears to the eyes of most of our fathers, so touching is the piety of these new Christians.

The other Church is that of the Hurons near Quebec, under the direction of Father Chaumonot, who is a perfect missionary. We are finishing the construction of a Church for these good Hurons, under the name of Notre Dame de Lorette. It is exactly the same as that in Italy, and will become a place of great devotion in the country; in fact, the people already come to it on pilgrimages from all parts, and they are delighted to see the holy chimney, the window through which the angel entered, the Virgin’s cupboards, and all that is to be seen in the holy house of Our Lady of Loretto in Italy.

Such, in a few words, is what relates to the state of our Missions; apparently, to be occupied in these is to become a saint, so apostolic are their occupations, and so extraordinary also the favors that God grants to laborers so courageous. The life that they lead is outwardly most wretched. Imagine what it is to be always with barbarians, whose numberless fits of anger one must endure; to be shut up, most of the time, in cabins where one’s eyes are blinded by smoke; to be exposed to a thousand dangers, either from the waters, or from the barbarity or drunkenness of the Savages; to live on nothing, as it were, and toil without cessation. Yet, notwithstanding all this, the greatest displeasure that I could cause any [Page 81] one of them would be to recall him here, to live a little more comfortably; while the sole desire of those who are here is to go and share the labors and the merits of those apostles. I recommend every one of them, and above all myself, to the Holy Sacrifices of Your Reverence; and I am

Your very humble and very obedient...


[Page 83]


Voyages Du P. Jacques Marquette,


CXXXVI. — Le premier Voÿage qu’a fait ie P. Marquette vers le nouueau Mexique; [Baye des Puants, 1674]

CXXXVII. — Journal incomplet, adressé au R. P. Dablon; h.p., [1675]

CXXXVIII. — Recit du second voyage et de la mort du P. Jacques Marquette; [Quebec, 1677]


Sources: These documents are published by us from the original MSS. by Marquette and Dablon, which rest in the archives of St, Mary’s College, Montreal. [Page 85]

Of the first Voyage made by Father Marquette

toward new Mexico, and How the

idea thereof was conceived.


HEFather had long premeditated This Undertaking, influenced by a most ardent desire to extend the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, and to make him Known and adored by all the peoples of that country. He saw himself, As it were, at the door of these new Nations when, as early as the year 1670, he was laboring in the Mission at the point of st. Esprit, at the extremity of lake superior, among the outaouacs; he even saw occasionally various persons belonging to these new peoples, from whom he obtained all the Information that he could. This induced him to make several efforts to commence this undertaking, but ever in vain; and he even lost all hope of succeeding therein, when God brought about for him the following opportunity.

In The year 1673, Monsieur The Count De Frontenac, Our Governor, and Monsieur Talon, then Our Intendant, Recognizing The Importance of this discovery, — either that they might seek a passage from here to the sea of China, by the river that discharges into the Vermillion, or California Sea; or because they desired to verify what has for some time been said concerning the 2 Kingdoms of Theguaio And Quiuira, which Border on Canada, and in which numerous gold mines are reported to exist, — these Gentlemen, I say, appointed at the same time [Page 87] for This undertaking Sieur Jolyet, whom they considered very fit for so great an enterprise; and they were well pleased that Father Marquette should be of the party.[15]

They were not mistaken in the choice that they made of Sieur Jolyet, For he is a young man, born in this country, who possesses all the qualifications that could be desired for such an undertaking. He has experience and Knows the Languages spoken in the Country of the Outaouacs, where he has passed several years. He possesses Tact and prudence, which are the chief qualities necessary for the success of a voyage as dangerous as it is difficult, Finally, he has the Courage to dread nothing where everything is to be Feared. Consequently, he has fulfilled all The expectations entertained of him; and if, after having passed through a thousand dangers, he had not unfortunately been wrecked in the very harbor, his Canoe having upset below sault st. Louys, near Montreal, — where he lost both his men and his papers, and whence he escaped only by a sort of Miracle, — nothing would have been left to be desired in the success of his Voyage.






he feast of The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin — whom I have always Invoked since I have been in this country of the outaouacs, to obtain from God the grace of being able to visit the Nations who dwell along the Missisipi River — was precisely the Day on which Monsieur Jollyet [Page 89] arrived with orders from Monsieur the Count de frontenac, Our Governor, and Monsieur Talon, Our Intendant, to accomplish This discovery with me. I was all the more delighted at This good news, since I saw that my plans were about to be accomplished; and since I found myself in the blessed necessity of exposing my life for the salvation of all these peoples, and especially of the Ilinois, who had very urgently entreated me, when I was at the point of st. Esprit, to carry the word of God to Their country.

We were not long in preparing all our Equipment, although we were about to Begin a voyage, the duration of which we could not foresee. Indian Corn, with some smoked meat, constituted all our provisions; with these we Embarked — Monsieur Jollyet and myself, with 5 men — in 2 Bark Canoes, fully resolved to do and suffer everything for so glorious an Undertaking.

Accordingly, on The 17th day of may, 1673, we started from the Mission of st. Ignace at Michilimakinac, where I Then was. The Joy that we felt at being selected for This Expedition animated our Courage, and rendered the labor of paddling from morning to night agreeable to us. And because We were going to seek Unknown countries, We took every precaution in our power, so that, if our Undertaking were hazardous, it should not be foolhardy. To that end, we obtained all the Information that we could from the savages who had frequented those regions; and we even traced out from their reports a Map of the whole of that New country; on it we indicated the rivers which we were to navigate, the names of the peoples and of the places through [Page 91] which we were to pass, the Course of the great River, and the direction we were to follow when we reached it.

Above all, I placed our voyage under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Immaculate, promising her that, if she granted us the favor of discovering the great River, I would give it The Name of the Conception, and that I would also make the first Mission that I should establish among Those New peoples, bear the same name. This I have actually done, among the Ilinois.[16]







ith all these precautions, we Joyfully Plied our paddles on a portion of Lake huron, on That of the Ilinois and on the bay des Puants.

The first Nation that we came to was That of the folle avoine. I entered Their river, to go and visit these peoples to whom we have preached The Gospel for several years, — in consequence of which, there are several good Christians among Them. The wild oat, whose name they bear because it is found in their country, is a sort of grass, which grows naturally in the small Rivers with muddy bottoms, and in Swampy Places. It greatly resembles the wild oats that Grow amid our wheat. The ears grow upon hollow stems, jointed at Intervals; they emerge from the Water about the month of June, and continue growing until they rise About two feet above it. The grain is not larger than That [Page 93] of our oats, but it is twice as long, and The meal therefrom is much more abundant. The Savages Gather and prepare it for food as Follows. In The month of September, which is the suitable time for The harvest, they go in Canoes through These fields of wild oats; they shake its Ears into the Canoe, on both sides, as they pass through. The grain falls out easily, if it be ripe, and they obtain their supply In a short time. But, in order to clean it from the straw, and to remove it from a husk in which it is Enclosed, they dry it in the smoke, upon a wooden grating, under which they maintain a slow fire for some Days. When The oats are thoroughly dry, they put them in a skin made into a bag, thrust It into a hole dug in the ground for This purpose, and tread it with their feet — so long and so vigorously that The grain separates from the straw, and is very easily winnowed. After this, they pound it to reduce it to flour, — or even, without pounding it, they Boil it in water, and season it with fat. Cooked in This fashion, The wild oats have almost as delicate a taste as rice has when no better seasoning is added.

I told these peoples of the folle avoine of My design to go and discover Those Remote nations, in order to Teach them the Mysteries of Our Holy Religion. They were Greatly surprised to hear it, and did their best to dissuade me. They represented to me that I would meet Nations who never show mercy to Strangers, but Break Their heads without any cause; and that war was kindled Between Various peoples who dwelt upon our Route, which Exposed us to the further manifest danger of being killed by the bands of Warriors who are ever in the [Page 95] Field. They also said that the great River was very dangerous, when one does not know the difficult Places; that it was full of horrible monsters, which devoured men and Canoes Together; that there was even a demon, who was heard from a great distance, who barred the way, and swallowed up all who ventured to approach him; Finally that the Heat was so excessive In those countries that it would Inevitably Cause Our death.

I thanked them for the good advice that they gave me, but told them that I could not follow it, because the salvation of souls was at stake, for which I would be delighted to give my life; that I scoffed at the alleged demon; that we would easily defend ourselves against those marine monsters; and, moreover, that We would be on our guard to avoid the other dangers with which they threatened us. After making them pray to God, and giving them some Instruction, I separated from them. Embarking then in our Canoes, We arrived shortly afterward at the bottom of the Bay des puants, where our Fathers labor successfully for the Conversion of these peoples, over two thousand of whom they have baptized while they have been there.

This bay bears a Name which has a meaning not so offensive in the language of the savages; For they call it la baye sallé [“salt bay “] rather than Bay des Puans, — although with Them this is almost the same and this is also The name which they give to the Sea. This led us to make very careful researches to ascertain whether there were not some salt-Water springs in This quarter, As there are among the hiroquois, but we found none. We conclude, therefore, *that This name has been given to [Page 97] it on account of the quantity of mire and Mud which is seen there, whence noisome vapors Constantly arise, Causing the loudest and most Continual Thunder that I have ever heard.

The Bay is about thirty leagues in depth and eight in width at its Mouth; it narrows gradually to the bottom, where it is easy to observe a tide which has its regular ebb and flow, almost Like That of the Sea. This is not the place to inquire whether these are real tides; whether they are Due to the wind, or to some other cause; whether there are winds, The precursors of the Moon and attached to her suite, which consequently agitate the lake and give it an apparent ebb and flow whenever the Moon ascends above the horizon. What I can Positively state is, that, when the water is very Calm, it is easy to observe it rising and falling according to the Course of the moon; although I do not deny that This movement may be Caused by very Remote Winds, which, pressing on the middle of the lake, cause the edges to Rise and fall in the manner which is visible to our eyes.[17]

We left This bay to enter the river that discharges into it; it is very beautiful at its Mouth, and flows gently; it is full Of bustards, Ducks, Teal, and other birds, attracted thither by the wild oats, of which they are very fond. But, after ascending the river a short distance, it becomes very difficult of passage, on account of both the Currents and the sharp Rocks, which Cut the Canoes and the feet of Those who are obliged to drag them, especially when the Waters are low. Nevertheless, we successfully passed Those rapids; and on approaching Machkoutens, the fire Nation, I had the Curiosity to drink the mineral [Page 99] Waters of the River that is not Far from That village. I also took time to look for a medicinal plant which a savage, who knows its secret, showed to Father Alloues with many Ceremonies. Its root is employed to Counteract snake-bites, God having been pleased to give this antidote Against a poison which is very common in these countries. It is very pungent, and tastes like powder when crushed with the teeth; it must be masticated and placed upon the bite inflicted by the snake. The reptile has so great a horror of it that it even flees from a Person who has rubbed himself with it. The plant bears several stalks, a foot high, with rather long leaves; and a white flower, which greatly resembles The wallflower.[18] I put some in my Canoe, in order to examine it at leisure while we continued to advance toward Maskoutens, where we arrived on The 7th of June.







ERE we are at Maskoutens. This Word may, in Algonquin, mean “the fire Nation,“ — which, indeed, is the name given to this tribe. Here is the limit of the discoveries which the french have made, For they have not yet gone any farther.

This Village Consists of three Nations who have gathered there — Miamis, Maskoutens, and Kikabous. The former are the most civil, the most liberal, and the most shapely. They wear two long locks over their ears, which give them a pleasing appearance. [Page 101] They are regarded as warriors, and rarely undertake expeditions without being successful. They are very docile, and listen quietly to What is said to Them; and they appeared so eager to Hear Father Alloues when he Instructed them that they gave Him but little rest, even during the night. The Maskoutens and Kikabous are ruder, and seem peasants in Comparison with the others. As Bark for making Cabins is scarce in this country, They use Rushes; these serve Them for making walls and Roofs, but do not afford them much protection against the winds, and still less against the rains when they fall abundantly. The Advantage of Cabins of this kind is, that they make packages of Them, and easily transport them wherever they wish, while they are hunting.

When I visited them, I was greatly Consoled at seeing a handsome Cross erected in the middle of the village, and adorned with many white skins, red Belts, and bows and arrows, which these good people had offered to the great Manitou (This is the name which they give to God). They did this to thank him for having had pity On Them during The winter, by giving Them an abundance of game When they Most dreaded famine.[19]

I took pleasure in observing the situation of this village. It is beautiful and very pleasing; For, from an Eminence upon which it is placed, one beholds on every side prairies, extending farther than the eye can see, interspersed with groves or with lofty trees. The soil is very fertile, and yields much indian corn. The savages gather quantities of plums and grapes, wherewith much wine could be made, if desired. [Page 103]

No sooner had we arrived than we, Monsieur Jollyet and I, assembled the elders together; and he told them that he was sent by Monsieur Our Governor to discover New countries, while I was sent by God to Illumine them with the light of the holy Gospel. He told them that, moreover, The sovereign Master of our lives wished to be known by all the Nations; and that in obeying his will I feared not the death to which I exposed myself in voyages so perilous. He informed them that we needed two. guides to show us the way; and We gave them a present, by it asking them to grant us the guides. To this they very Civilly consented; and they also spoke to us by means of a present, consisting of a Mat to serve us as a bed during the whole of our voyage.

On the following day, the tenth of June, two Miamis who were given us as guides embarked with us, in the sight of a great crowd, who could not sufficiently express their astonishment at the sight of seven frenchmen, alone and in two Canoes, daring to undertake so extraordinary and so hazardous an Expedition.

We knew that, at three leagues from Maskoutens, was a River which discharged into Missisipi. We knew also that the direction we were to follow in order to reach it was west-southwesterly. But the road is broken by so many swamps and small lakes that it is easy to lose one’s way, especially as the River leading thither is so full of wild oats that it is difficult to find the Channel. For this reason we greatly needed our two guides, who safely Conducted us to a portage of 2,700 paces, and helped us to transport our Canoes to enter That river; after [Page 105] which they returned home, leaving us alone in this Unknown country, in the hands of providence.[20]

Thus we left the Waters flowing to Quebeq, 4 or 500 Leagues from here, to float on Those that would thenceforward Take us through strange lands. Before embarking thereon, we Began all together a new devotion to the blessed Virgin Immaculate, which we practiced daily, addressing to her special prayers to place under her protection both our persons and the success of our voyage; and, after mutually encouraging one another, we entered our Canoes.

The River on which we embarked is called Meskousing. It is very wide; it has a sandy bottom, which forms various shoals that render its navigation very difficult. It is full of Islands Covered with Vines. On the banks one sees fertile land, diversified with woods, prairies, and Hills. There are oak, Walnut, and basswood trees; and another kind, whose branches are armed with long thorns. We saw there neither feathered game nor fish, but many deer, and a large number of cattle. Our Route lay to the southwest, and, after navigating about 30 leagues, we saw a spot presenting all the appearances of an iron mine; and, in fact, one of our party who had formerly seen such mines, assures us that The One which We found is very good and very rich. It is Covered with three feet of good soil, and is quite near a chain of rocks, the base of which is covered by very fine trees. After proceeding 40 leagues on This same route, we arrived at the mouth of our River; and, at 42 and a half degrees Of latitude, We safely entered Missisipi on The 17th of June, with a Joy that I cannot Express. [Page 107]








ERE we are, then, on this so renowned River, all of whose peculiar features I have endeavored to note carefully. The Missisipi River takes its rise in various lakes in the country of the Northern nations. It is narrow at the place where Miskous empties; its Current, which flows southward, is slow and gentle. To the right is a large Chain of very high Mountains, and to the left are beautiful lands; in various Places, the stream is Divided by Islands. On sounding, we found ten brasses of Water. Its Width is very unequal; sometimes it is three-quarters of a league, and sometimes it narrows to three arpents. We gently followed its Course, which runs toward the south and southeast, as far as the 42nd degree of Latitude. Here we plainly saw that its aspect was completely changed. There are hardly any woods or mountains; The Islands are more beautiful, and are Covered with finer trees. We saw only deer and cattle, bustards, and Swans without wings, because they drop Their plumage in This country. From time to time, we came upon monstrous fish, one of which struck our Canoe with such violence that I Thought that it was a great tree, about to break the Canoe to pieces.[21] On another occasion, we saw on The water a monster with the head of a tiger, a sharp nose Like That of a wildcat, with whiskers and straight, Erect ears; The head ‘was gray and The Neck quite black; but We saw no [Page 109] more creatures of this sort. When we cast our nets into the water we caught Sturgeon, and a very extraordinary Kind of fish. It resembles the trout, with This difference, that its mouth is larger. Near its. nose — which is smaller, as are also the eyes — is a large Bone shaped Like a woman’s busk, three fingers wide and a Cubit Long, at the end of which is a disk as Wide As one’s hand. This frequently causes it to fall backward when it leaps out of the water[22] When we reached the parallel of 41 degrees 28 minutes, following The same direction, we found that Turkeys had taken the place of game; and the pisikious, or wild cattle, That of the other animals.

We call them “wild cattle,” because they are very similar to our domestic cattle. They are not longer, but are nearly as large again, and more Corpulent. When Our people killed one, three persons had much difficulty in moving it. The head is very large; The forehead is flat, and a foot and a half Wide between the Horns, which are exactly like Those of our oxen, but black and much larger. Under the Neck They have a Sort of large dewlap, which hangs down; and on The back is a rather high hump. The whole of the head, The Neck, and a portion of the Shoulders, are Covered with a thick Mane Like That of horses; It forms a crest a foot long, which makes them hideous, and, falling over their eyes, Prevents them from seeing what is before Them. The remainder of the Body is covered with a heavy coat of curly hair, almost Like That of our sheep, but much stronger and Thicker. It falls off in Summer, and The skin becomes as soft As Velvet. At that season, the savages Use the hides for making fine [Page 111] Robes, which they paint in various Colors. The flesh and the fat of the pisikious are Excellent, and constitute the best dish at feasts. Moreover, they are very fierce; and not a year passes without their killing some savages. When attacked, they catch a man on their Horns, if they can, toss Him in the air, and then throw him on the ground, after which they trample him under foot, and kill him. If a person fire at Them from a distance, with either a bow or a gun, he must, immediately after the Shot, throw himself down and hide in the grass; For if they perceive Him who has fired, they Run at him, and attack him. As their legs are thick and rather Short, they do not run very fast, As a rule, except when angry. They are scattered about the prairie in herds; I have seen one of 400.

We continued to advance, but, As we knew not whither we were going, — for we had proceeded over one Hundred leagues without discovering anything except animals and birds, — we kept well on our guard. On this account, we make only a small fire on land, toward evening, to cook our meals; and, after supper, we remove Ourselves as far from it as possible, and pass the night in our Canoes, which we anchor in the river at some distance from the shore. This does not prevent us from always posting one of the party as a sentinel, for fear of a surprise. Proceeding still in a southerly and south-southwesterly direction, we find ourselves at the parallel of 41 degrees, and as low as 40 degrees and some minutes, — partly southeast and partly southwest, — after having advanced over 60 leagues since We Entered the River, without discovering anything.

Finally, on the 25th of June, we perceived on the [Page 113] water’s edge some tracks of men, and a narrow and somewhat beaten path leading to a fine prairie. We stopped to Examine it; and, thinking that it was a road which Led to some village of savages, We resolved to go and reconnoiter it. We therefore left our two Canoes under the guard of our people, strictly charging Them not to allow themselves to be surprised, after which Monsieur Jollyet and I undertook this investigation — a rather hazardous one for two men who exposed themselves, alone, to the mercy of a barbarous and Unknown people, We silently followed The narrow path, and, after walking About 2 leagues, We discovered a village on the bank of a river, and two others on a Hill distant about half a league from the first.[23] Then we Heartily commended ourselves to God, and, after imploring his aid, we went farther without being perceived, and approached so near that we could even hear the savages talking. We therefore Decided that it was time to reveal ourselves. This We did by Shouting with all Our energy, and stopped, without advancing any farther. On hearing the shout, the savages quickly issued from their Cabins, And having probably recognized us as frenchmen, especially when they saw a black gown, — or, at least, having no cause for distrust, as we were only two men, and had given them notice of our arrival, — they deputed four old men to come and speak to us. Two of these bore tobacco-pipes, finely ornamented and Adorned with various feathers. They walked slowly, and raised their pipes toward the sun, seemingly offering them to it to smoke, — without, however, saying a word. They spent a rather long time in covering the short distance between their village [Page 115] and us. Finally, when they had drawn near, they stopped to Consider us attentively. I was reassured when I observed these Ceremonies, which with them are performed only among friends; and much more so when I saw them clad in Cloth, for I judged thereby that they were our allies. I therefore spoke to them first, and asked them who they were. They replied that they were Ilinois; and, as a token of peace, they offered us their pipes to smoke. They afterward invited us to enter their Village, where all the people impatiently awaited us. These pipes for smoking tobacco are called in this country Calumets. This word has come so much into use that, in order to be understood, I shall be obliged to use it, as I shall often have to mention these pipes.




T the Door of the Cabin in which we were to be received was an old man, who awaited us in a rather surprising attitude, which constitutes a part of the Ceremonial that they observe when they receive Strangers. This man stood erect, and stark naked, with his hands extended and lifted toward the sun, As if he wished to protect himself from its rays, which nevertheless shone upon his face through his fingers. When we came near him, he paid us This Compliment: “How beautiful the sun is, O frenchman, when thou comest to visit us! All our village awaits thee, and thou shalt enter all our Cabins in peace.” Having said this, he made us enter his own, in which were a crowd of people; they devoured us with their eyes, but, nevertheless, observed profound silence. We could, however, hear these words, [Page 117] which were addressed to us from time to time in a low voice: “How good it is, My brothers, that you should visit us.”

After We had taken our places, the usual Civility of the country was paid to us, which consisted in offering us the Calumet. This must not be refused, unless one wishes to be considered an Enemy, or at least uncivil; it suffices that one make a pretense of smoking. While all the elders smoked after us, in order to do us honor, we received an invitation on behalf of the great Captain of all the Ilinois to proceed to his Village where he wished to hold a Council with us. We went thither in a large Company, For all these people, who had never seen any frenchmen among Them, could not cease looking at us. They Lay on The grass along the road; they preceded us, and then retraced their steps to come and see us Again. All this was done noiselessly, and with marks of great respect for us.

When we reached the Village of the great Captain, We saw him at the entrance of his Cabin, between two old men, — all three erect and naked, and holding their Calumet turned toward the sun. He harangued us In a few words, congratulating us upon our arrival. He afterward offered us his Calumet, and made us smoke while we entered his Cabin, where we received all their usual kind Attentions.

Seeing all assembled and silent, I spoke to them by four presents that I gave them. By the first, I told them that we were journeying peacefully to visit the nations dwelling on the River as far as the Sea. By the second, I announced to them that God, who had Created them, had pity on Them, inasmuch as, after they had so long been ignorant of him, he [Page 119] wished to make himself Known to all the peoples; that I was Sent by him for that purpose; and that it was for Them to acknowledge and obey him. By the third, I said that the great Captain of the French informed them that he it was who restored peace everywhere; and that he had subdued The Iroquois. Finally, by the fourth, we begged them to give us all The Information that they had about the Sea, and about the Nations through Whom we must pass to reach it.

When I had finished my speech, the Captain arose, and, resting His hand upon the head of a little Slave whom he wished to give us, he spoke thus: “I thank thee, Black Gown, and thee, O frenchman, “addressing himself to Monsieur Jollyet,” for having taken so much trouble to come to visit us. Never has the earth been so beautiful, or the sun so Bright, as to-day; Never has our river been so Calm, or so clear of rocks, which your canoes have Removed in passing: never has our tobacco tasted so good, or our corn appeared so fine, as We now see Them. Here is my son, whom I give thee to Show thee my Heart. I beg thee to have pity on me, and on all my Nation. It is thou who Knowest the great Spirit who has made us all. It is thou who speakest To Him, and who hearest his word. Beg Him to give; me life and health, and to come and dwell with us* in order to make us Know him.” Having said this, he placed the little Slave near us, and gave us a second present, consisting of an altogether mysterious Calumet, upon which they place more value than upon a Slave. By this gift, he expressed to us The esteem that he had for Monsieur Our Governor, from the account which we had given of him; and, by a [Page 121] third, he begged us on behalf of all his Nation not to go farther, on account of the great dangers to which we Exposed ourselves.

I replied that I Feared not death, and that I regarded no happiness as greater than that of losing my life for the glory of Him who has made all. This is what these poor people cannot Understand.

The Council was followed by a great feast, Consisting of four dishes, which had to be partaken of in accordance with all their fashions. The first course was a great wooden platter full of sagamité, — that is to say, meal of indian corn boiled in water, and seasoned with fat. The Master of Ceremonies filled a Spoon with sagamité three or 4 times, and put it to my mouth As if I were a little Child. He did The same to Monsieur Jollyet. As a second course, he caused a second platter to be brought, on which were three fish. He took some pieces of them, removed the bones therefrom, and, after blowing upon them to cool Them, he put them in our mouths As one would give food to a bird. For the third course, they brought a large dog, that had just been killed; but, when they learned that we did not eat this meat, they removed it from before us. Finally, the 4th course was a piece of wild ox, The fattest morsels of which were placed in our mouths.

After this feast, we had to go to visit the whole village, which Consists of fully 300 Cabins. While we walked through the Streets, an orator Continually harangued to oblige all the people to come to see us without Annoying us. Everywhere we were presented with Belts, garters, and other articles made of the hair of bears and cattle, dyed red, Yellow, and gray. These are all the rarities they possess. [Page 123] As they are of no great Value, we did not burden ourselves with Them.

We Slept in the Captain’s Cabin, and on the following day we took Leave of him, promising to pass again by his village, within four moons. He Conducted us to our Canoes, with nearly 600 persons who witnessed our Embarkation, giving us every possible manifestation of the joy that Our visit had caused them. For my own part, I promised, on bidding them Adieu, that I would come the following year, and reside with Them to instruct them. But, before quitting the Ilinois country, it is proper that I should relate what I observed of their Customs and usages.







HEN one speaks the word “Ilinois,” it is as if one said in their language, “the men,“ — As if the other Savages were looked upon by them merely as animals[24] It must also be admitted that they have an air of humanity which we have not observed in the other nations that we have seen upon our route. The shortness Of my stay among Them did not allow me to secure all the Information that I would have desired; among all Their customs, the following is what I have observed.

They are divided into many villages, some of which are quite distant from that of which we speak, which is called peouarea. This causes some difference in their language, which, on the whole, [Page 125] resembles allegonquin, so that we easily understood each other. They are of a gentle and tractable disposition; we Experienced this in the reception which they gave us. They have several wives, of whom they are Extremely jealous; they watch them very closely, and Cut off Their noses or ears when they misbehave. I saw several women who bore the marks of their misconduct. Their Bodies are shapely; they are active and very skillful with bows and arrows. They also use guns, which they buy from our savage allies who Trade with our french. They use them especially to inspire, through their noise and smoke, terror in their Enemies; the latter do not use guns, and have never seen any, since they live too Far toward the West. They are warlike, and make themselves dreaded by the Distant tribes to the south and west, whither they go to procure Slaves; these they barter, selling them at a high price to other Nations, in exchange for other Wares.[25] Those very Distant Savages against whom they war have no Knowledge of Europeans; neither do they know anything of iron, or of Copper, and they have only stone Knives. When the Ilinois depart to go to war, the whole village must be notified by a loud Shout, which is uttered at the doors of their Cabins, the night and The Morning before their departure. The Captains are distinguished from the warriors by wearing red Scarfs. These are made, with considerable Skill, from the Hair of bears and wild cattle. They paint their faces with red ocher, great quantities of which are found at a distance of some days’ journey from the village. They live by hunting, game being plentiful in that country, and on indian corn, of which they always have a good crop; [Page 127] consequently, they have never suffered from famine. They also sow beans and melons, which are Excellent, especially those that have red seeds. Their Squashes are not of the best; they dry them in the sun, to eat them during The winter and the spring. Their Cabins are very large, and are Roofed and floored with mats made of Rushes. They make all Their utensils of wood, and Their Ladles out of the heads of cattle, whose Skulls they know so well how to prepare that they use these ladles with ease for eating their sagamité.

They are liberal in cases of illness, and Think that the effect of the medicines administered to them is in proportion to the presents given to the physician. Their garments consist only of skins; the women are always clad very modestly and very becomingly, while the men do not take the trouble to Cover themselves. I know not through what superstition some Ilinois, as well as some Nadouessi, while still young, assume the garb of women, and retain it throughout their lives. There is some mystery in this, For they never marry and glory in demeaning themselves to do everything that the women do. They go to war, however, but can use only clubs, and not bows and arrows, which are the weapons proper to men. They are present at all the juggleries, and at the solemn dances in honor of the Calumet; at these they sing, but must not dance. They are summoned to the Councils, and nothing can be decided without their advice. Finally, through their profession of leading an Extraordinary life, they pass for Manitous, — That is to say, for Spirits, — or persons of Consequence.[26]

There remains no more, except to speak of the Calumet. There is nothing more mysterious or more [Page 129] respected among them. Less honor is paid to the Crowns and scepters of Kings than the Savages bestow upon this. It seems to be the God of peace and of war, the Arbiter of life and of death. It has but to be carried upon one’s person, and displayed, to enable one to walk safely through the midst of Enemies — who, in the hottest of the Fight, lay down Their arms when it is shown. For That reason, the Ilinois gave me one, to serve as a safeguard among all the Nations through whom I had to pass during my voyage. There is a Calumet for peace, and one for war, which are distinguished solely by the Color of the feathers with which they are adorned; Red is a sign of war. They also use it to put an end to Their disputes, to strengthen Their alliances, and to speak to Strangers.[27] It is fashioned from a red stone, polished like marble, and bored in such a manner that one end serves as a receptacle for the tobacco, while the other fits into the stem; this is a stick two feet long, as thick as an ordinary cane, and bored through the middle. It is ornamented with the heads and necks of various birds, whose plumage is very beautiful. To these they also add large feathers, — red, green, and other colors, — wherewith the whole is adorned. They have a great regard for it, because they look upon it as the calumet of the Sun; and, in fact, they offer it to the latter to smoke when they wish to obtain a calm, or rain, or fine weather. They scruple to bathe themselves at the beginning of Summer, or to eat fresh fruit, until after they have performed the dance, which they do as follows:

The Calumet dance, which is very famous among these peoples, is performed solely for important reasons; sometimes to strengthen peace, or to unite [Page 131] themselves for some great war; at other times, for public rejoicing. Sometimes they thus do honor to a Nation who are invited to be present; sometimes it is danced at the reception of some important personage, as if they wished to give him the diversion of a Ball or a Comedy. In Winter, the ceremony takes place in a Cabin; in Summer, in the open fields. When the spot is selected, it is completely surrounded by trees, so that all may sit in the shade afforded by their leaves, in order to be protected from the heat of the Sun. A large mat of rushes, painted in various colors, is spread in the middle of the place, and serves as a carpet upon which to place with honor the God of the person who gives the Dance; for each has his own god, which they call their Manitou. This is a serpent, a bird, or other similar thing, of which they have dreamed while sleeping, and in which they place all their confidence for the success of their war, their fishing, and their hunting. Near this Manitou, and at its right, is placed the Calumet in honor of which the feast is given; and all around it a sort of trophy is made, and the weapons used by the warriors of those Nations are spread, namely: clubs, war-hatchets, bows, quivers, and arrows.

Everything being thus arranged, and the hour of the Dance drawing near, those who have been appointed to sing take the most honorable place under the branches; these are the men and women who are gifted with the best voices, and who sing together in perfect harmony. Afterward, all come to take their seats in a circle under the branches; but each one, on arriving, must salute the Manitou. This he does by inhaling the smoke, and blowing it from his [Page 133] mouth upon the Manitou, as if he were offering to it incense. Every one, at the outset, takes the Calumet in a respectful manner, and, supporting it with both hands, causes it to dance in cadence, keeping good time with the air of the songs. He makes it execute many differing figures; sometimes he shows it to the whole assembly, turning himself from one side to the other. After that, he who is to begin the Dance appears in the middle of the assembly, and at once continues this.[28] Sometimes he offers it to the sun, as if he wished the latter to smoke it; sometimes he inclines it toward the earth; again, he makes it spread its wings, as if about to fly; at other times, he puts it near the mouths of those present, that they may smoke. ‘The whole is done in cadence; and this is, as it were, the first Scene of the Ballet.

The second consists of a Combat carried on to the sound of a kind of drum, which succeeds the songs, or even unites with them, harmonizing very well together. The Dancer makes a sign to some warrior to come to take the arms which lie upon the mat, and invites him to fight to the sound of the drums. The latter approaches, takes up the bow and arrows, and the war-hatchet, and begins the duel with the other, whose sole defense is the Calumet. This spectacle is very pleasing, especially as all is done in cadence; for one attacks, the other defends himself; one strikes blows, the other parries them; one takes to flight, the other pursues; and then he who was fleeing faces about, and causes his adversary to flee. This is done so well — with slow and measured steps, and to the rhythmic sound of the voices and drums — that it might pass for a very fine [Page 135] opening of a Ballet in France. The third Scene consists of a lofty Discourse, delivered by him who holds the Calumet; for, when the Combat is ended without bloodshed, he recounts the battles at which he has been present, the victories that he has won, the names of the Nations, the places, and the Captives whom he has made. And, to reward him, he who presides at the Dance makes him a present of a fine robe of Beaver-skins, or some other article. Then, having received it, he hands the Calumet to another, the latter to a third, and so on with all the others, until every one has done his duty; then the President presents the Calumet itself to the Nation that has been invited to the Ceremony, as a token of the everlasting peace that is to exist between the two peoples.

Here is one of the Songs that they are in the habit of singing. They give it a certain turn which cannot be sufficiently expressed by Note, but which nevertheless constitutes all its grace.

Ninahani, ninahani, ninahani, nani ongo.[29]






E take leave of our Ilinois at the end of June, about three o’clock in the afternoon. We embark in the sight of all the people, who admire our little Canoes, for they have never seen any like them.

We descend, following the current of the river called Pekitanoui, which discharges into the Mississipy, flowing from the Northwest. I shall have [Page 137] something important to say about it, when I shall have related all that I observed along this river.[31]

While passing near the rather high rocks that line the river, I noticed a simple which seemed to me very Extraordinary. The root is like small turnips fastened together by little filaments, which taste like carrots. From this root springs a leaf as wide As one’s hand, and half a finger thick, with spots. From the middle of this leaf spring other leaves, resembling the sconces used for candles in our halls; and each leaf bears Five or six yellow flowers shaped like little Bells.

We found quantities of mulberries, as large as Those of france; and a small fruit which we at first took for olives, but which tasted like oranges; and another fruit as large As a hen’s egg. We cut it in halves, and two divisions appeared, in each of which 8 to 10 fruits were encased; these are shaped like almonds, and are very good when ripe. Nevertheless, The tree that bears them has a very bad odor, and its leaves resemble Those of the walnut-tree. In These prairies there is also a fruit similar to Hazelnuts, but more delicate; The leaves are very large, and grow from a stalk at the end of which is a head similar to That of a sunflower, in which all its Nuts are regularly arranged. These are very good, both Cooked and Raw.[32]

While Skirting some rocks, which by Their height and Length inspired awe, We saw upon one of them two painted monsters which at first made Us afraid, and upon Which the boldest savages dare not Long rest their eyes. They are as large As a calf; they have Horns on their heads Like those of deer, a horrible look, red eyes, a beard Like a tiger’s, a face [Page 139] somewhat like a man’s, a body Covered with scales, and so Long A tail that it winds all around the Body, passing above the head and going back between the legs, ending in a Fish’s tail. Green, red, and black are the three Colors composing the Picture. Moreover, these 2 monsters are so well painted that we cannot believe that any savage is their author; for good painters in france would find it difficult to paint so well, — and, besides, they are so high up on the rock that it is difficult to reach that place Conveniently to paint them. Here is approximately The shape of these monsters, As we have faithfully Copied It.[33]

While conversing about these monsters, sailing quietly in clear and calm Water, we heard the noise of a rapid, into which we were about to run. I have seen nothing more dreadful. An accumulation of large and entire trees, branches, and floating islands, was issuing from The mouth of The river pekistanouï, with such impetuosity that we could not without great danger risk passing through it. So great was the agitation that the water was very muddy, and could not become clear.

Pekitanouï is a river of Considerable size, coming from the Northwest, from a great Distance; and it discharges into the Missisipi. There are many Villages of savages along this river, and I hope by its means to discover the vermillion or California sea.

Judging from The Direction of the course of the Missisipi’, if it Continue the same way, we think that it discharges into the mexican gulf. It would be a great advantage to find the river Leading to the southern sea, toward California; and, As I have said, this is what I hope to do by means of the Pekitanouï, [Page 141] according to the reports made to me by the savages. From them I have learned that, by ascending this river for 5 or 6 Days, one reaches a fine prairie, 20 or 30 Leagues Long. This must be crossed in a Northwesterly direction, and it terminates at another small river, — on which one may embark, for it is not very difficult to transport Canoes through so fine a country as that prairie. This 2nd River Flows toward The southwest for 10 or 15 Leagues, after which it enters a Lake, small and deep [the source of another deep river — substituted by Dablon], which flows toward the West, where it falls into The sea.[34] I have hardly any doubt that it is The vermillion sea, and I do not despair of discovering It some day, if God grant me the grace and The health to do so, in order that I may preach The Gospel to all The peoples of this new world who have so Long Groveled in the darkness of infidelity.

Let us resume our Route, after Escaping As best We could from the dangerous rapid Caused by The obstruction which I have mentioned.







FTER proceeding about 20 Leagues straight to the south, and a little less to the southeast, we found ourselves at a river called ouaboukigou, The mouth of which is at the 36th degree of latitude. Before reaching it, we passed by a Place that is dreaded by the Savages, because they believe that a manitou is there, — that is to say, a demon, — that [Page 143] devours travelers; and The savages, who wished to divert us from our undertaking, warned us against it. This is the demon: there is a small cove, surrounded by rocks 20 feet high, into which The whole Current of the river rushes; and, being pushed back against the waters following It, and checked by an Island near by, the Current is Compelled to pass through a narrow Channel. This is not done without a violent Struggle between all these waters, which force one another back, or without a great din, which inspires terror in the savages, who fear everything. But this did not prevent us from passing, and arriving at Waboukigou.[35] This river flows from the lands of the East, where dwell the people called Chaouanons in so great numbers that in one district there are as many as 23 villages, and 15 in another, quite near one another. They are not at all warlike, and are the nations whom the Iroquois go so far to seek, and war against without any reason: and, because these poor people cannot defend themselves, they allow themselves to be captured and taken Like flocks of sheep; and, innocent though they are, they nevertheless sometimes experience The barbarity of the Iroquois, who cruelly burn Them.[36]

A short distance above the river of which I have just spoken are cliffs, on which our frenchmen noticed an iron mine, which they consider very rich. There are several veins of ore, and a bed a foot thick, and one sees large masses of it united with Pebbles, A sticky earth is found there, of three different colors — purple, violet, and Red. The water in which the latter is washed assumes a bloody tinge. There is also very heavy, red sand. I placed some on a [Page 145] paddle, which was dyed with its color — so deeply that The water could not wash it away during the 15 days while I used it for paddling.

Here we Began to see Canes, or large reeds, which grow on the bank of the river; their color is a very pleasing green; all the nodes are marked by a Crown of Long, narrow, and pointed leaves. They are very high, and grow so thickly that The wild cattle have some difficulty in forcing their way through them.

Hitherto, we had not suffered any inconvenience from mosquitoes; but we were entering into their home, as it were. This is what the savages of this quarter do to protect themselves against them. They erect a scaffolding, the floor of which consists only of poles, so that it is open to the air in order that the smoke of the fire made underneath may pass through, and drive away those little creatures, which cannot endure it; the savages lie down upon the poles, over which bark is spread to keep off rain. These scaffoldings also serve them as protection against The excessive and Unbearable heat of this country; for they lie in the shade, on the floor below, and thus protect themselves against the sun’s rays, enjoying the cool breeze that circulates freely through the scaffolding.

With the same object, we were compelled to erect a sort of cabin on The water, with our sails as a protection against the mosquitoes and the rays of the sun. While drifting down with The current, in this condition, we perceived on land some savages armed with guns, who awaited us. I at once offered them my plumed calumet, while our frenchmen prepared for defense, but delayed firing, that The savages might be the first to discharge their guns. I spoke [Page 147] to them in huron, but they answered me by a word which seemed to me a declaration of war against us. However, they were as frightened as we were; and what we took for a signal for battle was an Invitation that they gave us to draw near, that they might give us food. We therefore landed, and entered their Cabins, where they offered us meat from wild cattle and bear’s grease, with white plums, which are very good. They have guns, hatchets, hoes, Knives, beads, and flasks of double glass, in which they put Their powder. They wear Their hair long, and tattoo their bodies after the hiroquois fashion. The women wear head-dresses and garments like those of the huron women. They assured us that we were no more than ten days’ journey from The sea; that they bought cloth and all other goods from the Europeans who lived to The east, that these Europeans had rosaries and pictures; that they played upon Instruments; that some of them looked Like me, and had been received by these savages kindly. Nevertheless, I saw none who seemed to have received any instruction in the faith; I gave Them as much as I could, with some medals.[37]

This news animated our courage, and made us paddle with Fresh ardor. We thus push forward, and no longer see so many prairies, because both shores of The river are bordered with lofty trees. The cottonwood, elm, and basswood trees there are admirable for Their height and thickness. The great numbers of wild cattle, which we heard bellowing, lead us to believe that The prairies are near. We also saw Quail on the water’s edge. We killed a little parroquet, one half of whose head was red, The other half and The Neck yellow, and The whole [Page 149] body green, We had gone down to near the 33rd degree of latitude having proceeded nearly all the time in a southerly direction, when we perceived a village on The water’s edge called Mitchigamea.[38] We had recourse to our Patroness and guide, The Blessed Virgin Immaculate; and we greatly needed her assistance, For we heard from afar The savages who were inciting one another to the Fray by their Continual yells. They were armed with bows, arrows, hatchets, clubs, and shields. They prepared to attack us, on both land and water; part of them embarked in great wooden canoes — some to ascend, others to descend the river, in order to Intercept us and surround us on all sides. Those who were on land came and went, as if to commence The attack. In fact, some Young men threw themselves into The water, to come and seize my Canoe; but the current compelled Them to return to land. One of them then hurled his club, which passed over without striking us. In vain I showed The calumet, and made them signs that we were not coming to war against them. The alarm continued, and they were already preparing to pierce us with arrows from all sides, when God suddenly touched the hearts of the old men, who were standing at the water’s edge. This no doubt happened through the sight of our Calumet, which they had not clearly distinguished from afar; but as I did not cease displaying it, they were influenced by it, and checked the ardor of their Young men. Two of these elders even, — after casting into our canoe, as if at our feet, Their bows and quivers, to reassure us — entered the canoe, and made us approach the shore, whereon we landed, not without fear on our part. At first, we had to [Page 151] speak by signs, because none of them understood the six languages which I spoke. At last, we found an old man who could speak a little Ilinois.

We informed them, by our presents, that we were going to the sea. They understood very well what we wished to say to Them, but I know not whether they apprehended what I told them about God, and about matters pertaining to their salvation. This is a seed cast into the ground, which will bear fruit in its time. We obtained no other answer than that we would learn all that we desired at another large village, called Akamsea, which was only 8 or 10 leagues lower down. They offered us sagamité and fish, and we passed The night among them, with some anxiety.





WE embarked early on the following day, with our interpreter; a canoe containing ten savages went a short distance ahead of us. When we arrived within half a league of the Akamsea,[39] we saw two canoes coming to meet us. He who commanded stood upright, holding in his hand The calumet, with Which he made various signs, according to the custom of the country. He joined us, singing very agreeably, and gave us tobacco to smoke; after that, he offered us sagamité, and bread made of indian corn, of which we ate a little. He then preceded us, after making us a sign to follow Him slowly. A place had been prepared for us under The scaffolding of the chief of the warriors; it was [Page 153] clean, and carpeted with fine rush mats. Upon These we were made to sit, having around us the elders, who were nearest to us; after them, The warriors; and, finally, all The common people in a crowd. We fortunately found there a Young man who understood Ilinois much better than did The Interpreter whom we had brought from Mitchigamea. Through him, I spoke at first to the whole assembly by The usual presents. They admired what I said to Them about God and the mysteries of our holy faith. They manifested a great desire to retain me among them, that I might instruct Them.

We afterward asked them what they knew about the sea. They replied that we were only ten days’ journey from it — we could have covered the distance in 5 days; that they were not acquainted with The Nations who dwelt There, because Their enemies prevented Them from Trading with those Europeans; that the hatchets, Knives, and beads that we saw were sold to Them partly by Nations from The east, and partly by an Ilinois village situated at four days’ journey from their village westward. They also told us that the savages with guns whom we had met were Their Enemies, who barred Their way to the sea, and prevented Them from becoming acquainted with the Europeans, and from carrying on any trade with them; that, moreover, we exposed ourselves to great dangers by going farther, on account of the continual forays of their enemies along the river, — because, as they had guns and were very warlike, we could not without manifest danger proceed down the river, which they constantly occupy.

During this conversation, food was continually [Page 155] brought to us in large wooden platters, consisting sometimes of sagamité, sometimes of whole corn, sometimes of a piece of dog’s flesh. The entire day was spent in feasting. These people are very obliging and liberal with what they have; but they are wretchedly provided with food, for they dare not go and hunt wild cattle, on account of Their Enemies. It is true that they have an abundance of indian corn, which they sow at all seasons. We saw at the same time some that was ripe, some other that had only sprouted, and some again in the Milk, so that they sow it three times a year. They cook it in great earthen jars, which are very well made.[40] They have also plates of baked earth which they use in various ways. The men go naked, and wear Their hair short; they pierce their noses, from which, as well as from Their ears, hang beads. The women are clad in wretched skins; they knot Their hair in two tresses which they throw behind their ears, and have no ornaments with which to adorn themselves. Their feasts are given without any ceremony. They offer the Guests large dishes, from which all eat at discretion and offer what is left to one another. Their language is exceedingly difficult, and I could succeed in pronouncing only a few words notwithstanding all my efforts. Their Cabins, which are made of bark, are Long and Wide; they sleep at the two ends, which are raised two feet above the ground. They keep Their corn in large baskets made of Canes, or in gourds as large as half-barrels. They know nothing of the Beaver. Their wealth consists in the skins of wild cattle. They never see snow in their country, and recognize The winter only through The [Page 167] rains, which there fall more frequently than in summer. We ate no other fruit there than watermelons. If they knew how to till their soil, they would have fruits of all kinds.

In the evening, the elders held a secret council, in regard to the design entertained by some to break our heads and rob us; but the Chief put a stop to all these plots. After sending for us, he danced the calumet before us, in the manner I have already described, as a token of our entire safety; and, to relieve us of all fear, he made me a present of it.

Monsieur Jolliet and I held another Council, to deliberate upon what we should do — whether we should push on, or remain content with the discovery which we had made. After attentively considering that we were not far from the gulf of Mexico, the basin of which is at the latitude of 31 degrees 60 minutes, while we were at 33 degrees 40 minutes, we judged that we could not be more than 2 or 3 days’ journey from it; and that, beyond a doubt, the Missisipi river discharges into the florida or Mexican gulf, and not to The east in Virginia, whose sea-coast is at 34 degrees latitude, — which we had passed, without, however, having as yet reached the sea, — or to the west in California, because in that case our route would have been to The west, or the west-southwest, whereas we had always continued It toward the south. We further considered that we exposed ourselves to the risk of losing the results of this voyage, of which we could give no information if we proceeded to fling ourselves into the hands of the Spaniards who, without doubt, would at least have detained us as captives. Moreover, we saw very plainly that we were not in a condition to resist Savages allied to [Page 159] The Europeans, who were numerous, and expert in firing guns, and who continually infested the lower part of the river. Finally, we had obtained all the information that could be desired in regard to this discovery. All these reasons induced us to decide upon Returning; this we announced to the savages, and, after a day’s rest, made our preparations for it.




FTER a month’s Navigation, while descending Missisipi from the 4znd to the 34th degree, and beyond, and after preaching the Gospel as well as I could to the Nations that I met, we start on the 17th of July from the village of the akensea, to retrace our steps. We therefore reascend the Missisipi which gives us much trouble in breasting its Currents. It is true that we leave it, at about the 38th degree, to enter another river, which greatly shortens our road, and takes us with but little effort to the lake of the Ilinois.

We have seen nothing like this river that we enter, as regards its fertility of soil, its prairies and woods; its cattle, elk, deer, wildcats, bustards, swans, ducks, parroquets, and even beaver. There are many small lakes and rivers. That on which we sailed is wide, deep, and still, for 65 leagues. In the spring and during part of The summer there is only one portage of half a league.[41] We found on it a village of Ilinois called Kaskasia, consisting of 74 Cabins. They received us very well, and obliged me to promise that I would return to instruct them. One of the chiefs of this nation, with his young men, escorted us to the Lake of the Ilinois, whence, at last, at The [Page 161] and of September, we reached the bay des puants, from which we had started at the beginning of June.

Had this voyage resulted in the salvation of even one soul, I would consider all my troubles well rewarded, and I have reason to presume that such is the case. For, when I was returning, we passed through the Ilinois of Peouarea,[42] and during three days I preached the faith in all their Cabins; after which, while we were embarking, a dying child was brought to me at The water’s edge, and I baptized it shortly before it died, through an admirable act of providence for the salvation of that Innocent soul. [Page 163]

Unfinished Journal of Father Jacques Marquette,

addressed to the Reverend Father Claude

Dablon, superior of the Missions.



y Reverend Father,

                             Pax Christi.

Having been compelled to remain at st. François throughout the summer on account of an ailment, of which I was cured in the month of september, I awaited there the return of our people from down below, in order to learn what I was to do with regard to my wintering. They brought me orders to proceed to the mission of la Conception among the Ilinois. After complying with Your Reverence’s request for copies of my journal concerning the missisipi River, I departed with Pierre Porteret and Jacque [blank space in MS.], on the 25th of October, 1674, about noon. The wind compelled us to pass the night at the outlet of the River, where the Poutewatamis were assembling; for the elders would not allow them to go in the direction of the Ilinois, lest the young men, after collecting robes with the goods that they brought from below, and after hunting Beaver, might seek to go down in the spring; because they have reason to fear the nadouessi.


On passing the village, we found only two cabins of savages, who were going to spend the winter at la gasparde. We learned that 5 canoes of Poutewatamis, and 4 of Ilinois, had started to go to the Kaskaskia. [Page 165]


We were delayed in the morning by rain; in the afternoon, we had fine, calm weather, so that at sturgeon bay we joined the savages, who traveled ahead of us.


We reached the portage.[43] A canoe that had gone ahead prevented us from killing any game. We began our portage and slept on the other shore, where the stormy weather gave us much trouble. Pierre did not arrive until an hour after dark, having lost his way on a path where he had never been. After the rain and thunder, snow fell.


Being compelled to change our camping-ground, we continue to carry our packs. The portage covers nearly a league, and is very difficult in many places. The Ilinois assemble in the evening in our cabin, and ask us not to leave them, as we may need them, and they know the lake better than we do. We promise them this.


The Ilinois women complete our portage in the morning. We are delayed by the wind. There are no animals.


We start, with tolerably fair weather, and sleep at a small river. The road by land from sturgeon bay is very difficult. Last autumn, we were traveling not far from it when we entered the forest.


After I said holy mass, we came for the night to a river, whence one goes to the Poutewatamis by a good road. Chachagwessiou, an Ilinois greatly esteemed among his nation, partly because he engages in the fur trade, arrived at night with a deer on his back, of which he gave us a share.



After holy mass, we travel all day in very fine weather. We kill two cats, which are almost nothinp but fat. [Page 167]


While I am ashore, walking on fine sand, — the whole water’s edge being covered with grass similar to that which is hauled up by the nets at st. Ignace, — I come to a river which I am unable to cross. Our people enter it, in order to take me on board; but we are unable to go out, on account of the waves. All the other canoes go on, excepting one, which came with us.


We are delayed. There seems to be an Island out in the lake, for the game go there at night.


We had considerable difficulty in getting out of the River at noon. We found the savages in a river, where I seized the opportunity of instructing the Ilinois, on account of a feast that nawaskingwe had just given to a wolfskin.


We performed a good day’s journey, While the savages were hunting, they discovered some tracks of men, and this compelled us to stay over on the following day.


We landed about 2 o’clock, because there was a good camping-ground. We were detained there for 5 days, on account of the great agitation of the lake, although without any wind; and afterward of the snow, which was melted on the following day by the sun, and a breeze from the lake.


After proceeding a sufficient distance, we camp at a favorable place, where we are detained 3 days. Pierre mends a savage’s gun. Snow falls at night, and thaws during the day.


We sleep near the bluffs, and are very poorly sheltered. The savages remain behind while we are delayed 2 days and a half by the wind. Pierre goes into the woods, and finds the prairie 20 leagues from the portage. He also goes through a fine canal [Page 169] which is vaulted, as it were, to the height of a man, in which there is water a foot deep.


After embarking at noon, we experienced some difficulty in reaching a river. Then the cold began, and more than a foot of snow covered the ground; it has remained ever since. We were delayed for 3 days, during which Pierre killed a deer, 3 bustards, and 3 Turkeys, which were very good. The others proceeded to the prairies. A savage discovered some cabins, and came to get us. Jacques went there on the following day, with him; z hunters also came to see me. They were maskoutens, to the number of 8 or g cabins, who had separated from the others in order to obtain subsistence. With fatigues almost impossible to frenchmen, they travel throughout the winter over very bad roads, the land abounding in streams, small lakes, and swamps. Their cabins are wretched; and they eat or starve, according to the places where they happen to be, Being detained by the wind, we noticed that there were great shoals out in the lake, over which the waves broke continually. Here I had an attack of diarrhœa.


We had some trouble in getting out of the river; then, after proceeding about 3 leagues, we found the savages, who had killed some cattle, and 3 ilinois who had come from the village. We were delayed there by a wind from the land, by heavy waves from the lake, and by cold.


We went ahead of the savages, so that I might celebrate holy mass.

December 1.

After saying holy mass, we embarked, and were compelled to make for a point, so that we could land, on account of floating masses of ice. [Page 171]


We started with a favoring wind, and reached the, river of the portage, which was frozen to the depth of half a foot; there was more snow there than elsewhere, as well as more tracks of animals and Turkeys.

Navigation on the lake is fairly good from one portage to the other, for there is no crossing to be made, and one can land anywhere, unless one persist in going on when the waves are high and the wind is strong. The land bordering it is of no value, except on the prairies. There are 8 or 10 quite fine rivers, Deer-hunting is very good, as one goes away from the Poutewatamis.


As we began yesterday to haul our baggage in order to approach the portage, the Ilinois who had left the Poutewatamis arrived, with great difficulty. We were unable to celebrate holy mass on the day of the Conception, owing to the bad weather and cold. During our stay at the entrance of the river, Pierre and Jacques killed 3 cattle and 4 deer, one of which ran some distance with its heart split in 2. We contented ourselves with killing 3 or 4 turkeys, out of many that came around our cabin because they were almost dying of hunger. Jacques brought in a partridge that he had killed, exactly like those of France except that it had two ruffs, as it were, of 3 or 4 feathers as long as a finger, near the head, covering the 2 sides of the neck where there are no feathers.








Having encamped near the portage, 2 leagues up the river, we resolved to winter there, as it was impossible to go farther, since we were too much hindered and my ailment did not permit me to give myself much fatigue. Several Ilinois passed yesterday, on their way to carry their furs to nawaskingwe [Page 173] we gave them one of the cattle and one of the deer that Jacque had killed on the previous day. I do not think that I have ever seen any savages more eager for French tobacco than they. They came and threw beaver-skins at our feet, to get some pieces of it; but we returned these, giving them some pipefuls Of the tobacco because we had not yet decided whether we would go farther.


Chachagwessiou and the other Ilinois left us, to go and join their people and give them the goods that they had brought, in order to obtain their robes, In this they act like the traders, and give hardly any more than do the French. I instructed them before their departure, deferring the holding of a council until the spring, when I should be in their village. They traded us 3 fine robes of ox-skins for a cubit of tobacco; these were very useful to us during the winter. Being thus rid of them, we said The mass of the Conception. After the 14th, my disease turned into a bloody flux.


Jacque arrived from the Ilinois village, which is only six leagues from here; there they were suffering from hunger, because the cold and snow prevented them from hunting. Some of them notified la Toupine[44] and the surgeon that We were here; and, as they could not leave their cabin, they had so frightened the savages, believing that we would suffer from hunger if we remained here, that Jacque had much difficulty in preventing 15 young men from coming to carry away all our belongings.


Soon as the 2 frenchmen learned that my illness prevented me from going to them, the surgeon came here with a savage, to bring us some blueberries and corn. They are only 18 leagues from here, [Page 175] in a fine place for hunting cattle, deer, and turkeys, which are excellent there. They had also collected provisions while waiting for us; and had given the savages to understand that their cabin belonged to the black gown; and it may be said that they have done and said all that could be expected from them. After the surgeon had spent some time here, in order to perform his devotions, I sent Jacque with him to tell the Ilinois near that place that my illness prevented me from going to see them; and that I would even have some difficulty in going there in the spring, if it continued.




Jacque returned with a sack of corn and other delicacies, which the French had given him for me. He also brought the tongues and flesh of two cattle, which a savage and he had killed near here. But all the animals feel the bad weather.


3 Ilinois brought us, on behalf of the elders, 2 sacks of corn, some dried meat, pumpkins, and 12 beaver-skins: 1st, to make me a mat; 2nd, to ask me for powder; 3rd, that we might not be hungry; 4th, to obtain a few goods. I replied: 1st, that I had come to instruct them, by speaking to them of prayer, etc.; 2nd, that I would give them no powder, because we sought to restore peace everywhere, and I did not wish them to begin war with the muiamis; 3rd, that we feared not hunger; 4th that I would encourage the french to bring them goods, and that they must give satisfaction to those who were among them for the beads which they had taken as soon as the surgeon started to come here. As they had come a distance of 20 leagues, I gave them, in order to reward them for their trouble and for what they had brought me, a hatchet, 2 knives, 3 clasp-knives, [Page 177] 10 brasses of glass beads, and 2 double mirrors, telling them that I would endeavor to go to the village, — for a few days only, if my illness continued. They told me to take courage, and to remain and die in their country; and that they had been informed that I would remain there for a long time.


Since we addressed ourselves to the blessed Virgin Immaculate, and commenced a novena with a mass, — at which Pierre and Jacque, who do everything they can to relieve me, received communion, — to ask God to restore my health, my bloody flux has left me, and all that remains is a weakness of the stomach. I am beginning to feel much better, and to regain my strength. Out of a cabin of Ilinois, who encamped near us for a month, a portion have again taken the road to the Poutewatamis, and some are still on the lake-shore, where they wait until navigation is open. They bear letters for our Fathers of st. François.



We have had opportunity to observe the tides coming in from the lake, which rise and fall several times a day; and, although there seems to be no shelter in the lake, we have seen the ice going against the wind. These tides made the water good or bad, because that which flows from above comes from prairies and small streams. The deer, which are plentiful near the lake-shore, are so lean that we had to abandon some of those which we had killed.




We killed several partridges, only the males of which had ruffs on the neck, the females not having any. These partridges are very good, but not like those of france. [Page 179]




The north wind delayed the thaw until the 25th of March, when it set in with a south wind. On the very next day, game began to make its appearance. We killed 30 pigeons, which I found better than those down the great river; but they are smaller, both old and young. On the 28th, the ice broke up, and stopped above us. On the 29th, the waters rose so high that we had barely time to decamp as fast as possible, putting our goods in the trees, and trying to sleep on a hillock. The water gained on us nearly all night, but there was a slight freeze, and the water fell a little, while we were near our packages. The barrier has just broken, the ice has drifted away; and, because the water is already rising, we are about to embark to continue our journey.

The blessed Virgin Immaculate has taken such care of us during our wintering that we have not lacked provisions, and have still remaining a large sack of corn, with some meat and fat. We also lived very pleasantly for my illness did not prevent me from saying holy mass every day. We were unable to keep Lent, except on Fridays and saturdays.


We started yesterday and traveled 3 leagues up the river without finding any portage. We hauled our goods probably about half an arpent. Besides this discharge, the river has another one by which we are to go down. The very high lands alone are not flooded. At the place where we are, the water has risen more than 12 feet. This is where we began our portage 18 months Ago. Bustards and ducks pass continually; we contented ourselves with 7. The ice, which is still drifting down, keeps us [Page 181] here, as we do not know in what condition the lower part of the river is.


As I do not yet know whether I shall remain next summer in the village, on account of my diarrhea, we leave here part of our goods, those with which we can dispense, and especially a sack of corn. While a strong south wind delays us, we hope to go to-morrow to the place where the French are, at a distance of 15 leagues from here.

Strong winds and the cold prevent us from proceeding. The two lakes over which we passed are full of bustards, geese, ducks, cranes, and other game unknown to us. The rapids are quite dangerous in some places. We have just met the surgeon, with a savage who was going up with a canoe-load of furs; but, as the cold is too great for persons who are’ obliged to drag their canoes in the water, he has made a cache of his beaver-skins, and returns to the village to-morrow with us. If the French procure robes in this country, they do not disrobe the savages, so great are the hardships that must be endured to obtain them.






[Addressed:                                >

“To My Reverend Father, Father Claude Dablon, Superior of the Missions of the Society of Jesus in new fiance. Quebec.”]

[Endorsed: “Letter and Journal of the late Father Marquette.”]

[Endorsed: “Everything concerning Father Marquette’s voyage.”] [Page 183]

Account of the second voyage and the death

of Father Jacques Marquette.


HE mission of the Ilinois was founded in the year 1674, after the first voyage which father jaques marquet made to discover new territories and new peoples who are on the great and famous river missisipi.

The year following, he made a second voyage in order to establish there the mission; it is that one which we are about to relate.






ather Jaques marquette, having promised the Ilinois on his first voyage to them, in 1673, that he would return to them the following year, to teach them the mysteries of our religion, had much difficulty in keeping his word. The great hardships of his first voyage had Brought upon him a bloody flux, and had so weakened him that he was giving up the hope of undertaking a second. However, his sickness decreased; and, as it had almost entirely Abated by the close of the summer in the following year, He obtained the permission of his superiors to return, to the Ilinois and there begin that fair mission.

He set out for that purpose, in the month of november of the year 1674, from the bay des puants, [Page 185] with two men, one of whom had made the former voyage with him. During a month of navigation on the lake of the Ilinois, he was tolerably well; but, as soon as the snow Began to fall, he was again shed with his bloody flux, which compelled him to halt in the river which Leads to the Ilinois. It was there that they constructed a Cabin in which to pass the winter, amid such inconveniences that, his malady increasing more and more, he saw clearly that God was granting to him the favor which he had so many times besought from him; and he even told his two Companions very plainly that he would certainly die of that malady, and during that voyage. Duly to prepare his soul, despite the severe indisposition of his Body, he began this so severe winter sojourn by the retreat of st. ignatius, which he performed with every feeling of devotion, and many Celestial Consolations; and then he passed the whole of the remaining time in holding communion with all Heaven, — having, in these deserts, no intercourse with the earth except with his two Companions. He Confessed them and administered Communion to them twice in the week, and exhorted them as much as his strength permitted him. A short time after Christmas, that he might obtain the favor of not dying without having taken possession of his Dear mission, he invited his Companions to make a novena in honor of the immaculate conception of the blessed virgin. His prayer was answered, against all human probability; and, his health improving, he prepared himself to go to the village of the Ilinois as soon as navigation should open, — which he did with much setting out for that place on the 29th of march. He spent eleven Days on the Way, during which time [Page 187] he had occasion to suffer much, both from his own Illness, from which he had not entirely recovered, and from the very severe and unfavorable weather.

On at last arriving at the village, he was received as an angel from Heaven. After he had assembled at various times the Chiefs of the nation, with all the old men, that he might sow in their minds the first seeds of the gospel, and after having given Instruction in the Cabins, which were always filled with a great crowd of people, he resolved to address all in public, in a general assembly which he called together in the open Air, the Cabins being too small to contain all the people. It was a beautiful prairie, close to a village, which was Selected for the great Council; this was adorned, after the fashion of the country, by Covering it with mats and bearskins. Then the father, having directed them to stretch out upon Lines several pieces of Chinese taffeta, attached to these four large Pictures of the blessed Virgin, which were visible on all Sides. The audience was Composed of 500 chiefs and elders, seated in a circle around the father, and of all the Young men, who remained standing. They numbered more than 1,500 men, without counting the women and children, who are always numerous, — the village being Composed of 5 or 600 fires. The father addressed the whole body of people, and conveyed to them 10 messages, by means of ten presents which he gave them. He explained to them the principal mysteries of our Religion, and the purpose that had brought him to their country. Above all, he preached to them Jesus Christ, on the very eve (of that great day) on which he had died upon the Cross for them, as well as for all the rest of mankind; then he said holy mass. On [Page 189] the third Day after, which was easter sunday, things being prepared in the same manner as on Thursday, he celebrated the holy mysteries for the 2nd time; And by these two, the only sacrifices ever offered there to God, he took possession of that land in the name of Jesus Christ, and gave to that mission the name of the Immaculate Conception of the blessed virgin.

He was listened to by all those peoples with universal Joy; and they prayed him with most earnest Entreaty to come back to them as soon as possible, since his sickness obliged him to return. The father, on his Side, expressed to them the affection which he felt for them, and the satisfaction that they had given him; and pledged them his word that he, or some other of our fathers would return to Carry on that mission so happily Inaugurated. This promise he repeated several times, while parting with them to go upon his Way; and he set out with so many tokens of regard on the part of Those good peoples that, as a mark of honor they chose to escort him for more than 30 leagues on the Road, vying with each other in taking Charge of his slender baggage.






fter the Ilinois, filled with great esteem for the gospel, had taken Leave of the father, he Continued his journey, and shortly after reached the lake of the Ilinois, upon whose waters he had to journey nearly a hundred leagues, by an unknown route, whereon he had Never before traveled; for he was obliged to coast along the southern Shore of the lake, [Page 191] having come by the northern. But his strength was so rapidly diminishing that his two men despaired of being able to bring him alive To the end of their journey. Indeed, he became so feeble and exhausted that he was unable to assist or even to move himself, and had to be handled and carried about like a chi{d.

Meanwhile, he Preserved in tllnt condition an admirable equanimity, resiguation, joy, and gentleness, consoling his dear Companions and cncoumging them to suffer patielltly all the hardships of that voyage, in the assurance that God would not abandon them after his death. It was during this voyage that he began to make more special preparation for death. He held Communion, sometimes with our Lord, sometimes with his holy mother, or with his guardian angel, or with all paradise. He was often overheard repeating These words, Credo quod redemptor meus vivit; or, maria, mater gratiæ, mater dei, memento mei. In addition to the spiritual exercise, which was read to him every Ray, he requested toward the close that they would read to him his meditation preparatory for death, which he carried about with him. He recited every Day his breviary; and although he was so low that his sight and strength were greatly enfeebled, He continued to do so to the last day of his life, despite the remonstrance of his companions.

Eight Days before his death, he was thoughtful enough to prepare the holy water for use during the rest of his illness, in his agony, and at his burial; and he Instructed his Companions how it should be used.

The evening before his death, which was a friday, he told them, very Joyously, that it would take place on the morrow. He conversed with them during [Page 193] the whole Day as to what would need to be done for his burial: about the manner in which they should inter him; of the spot that should be chosen for his grave; how his feet, his hands, and his face should be arranged; how they should erect a Cross over his grave. He even went so Far as to counsel them, 3 hours before he expired, that as soon as he was dead they should take the little Hand-bell of his Chapel, and sound it while he was being put under ground. He spoke of all these things with so great tranquillity and presence of mind that one might have supposed that he was concerned with the death and funeral of some other person, and not with his own.

Thus did he converse with them as they made their way upon the lake, — until, having perceived a river, on the shore of which stood an eminence that he deemed well suited to be the place of his interment, he told them that That was the place of his last repose.[45] They wished, however, to proceed farther, as the weather was favorable, and the day was not far advanced; but God raised a Contrary wind, which compelled them to return, and enter the river which the father had pointed out. They accordingly brought him to the land, lighted a little fire for him, and prepared for him a wretched Cabin of bark. They laid him down therein, in the least uncomfortable way that they could; but they were so stricken with sorrow that, as they have since said, they hardly knew what they were doing.

The father, being thus Stretched on the ground in much the same way as was St. françois Xavier, as he had always so passionately desired, and finding himself alone in the midst of These forests, for his companions were occupied with the disembarkation, [Page 195] he had leisure to repeat all the acts in which he had continued during these last Days.

His dear companions having afterward rejoined him, all disconsolate, he Comforted them, and inspired them with the confidence that God would take care of them after his death, in these new and unknown countries. He gave them the last Instructions, thanked them for all the charities which they had exercised in his behalf during the whole journey, and entreated pardon for the trouble that he had given them. He charged them to ask pardon for him also, from all our fathers and brethren who live in the country of the outaouacs. Then he undertook to prepare them for the sacrament of penance, which he administered to them for the last time, He gave them also a paper on which he had written all his faults since his own last Confession, that they might place it in the hands of the father superior, that the latter might be enabled to pray to God for him in a more special manner. Finally, he promised not to forget them in paradise. And, as he was very Considerate, knowing that they were much fatigued with the hardships of the preceding Days, he bade them go and take a little repose. He assured them that his hour was not yet so very near, and that he would awaken them when the time should come as, in fact, 2 or 3 hours afterward he did summon them, being ready to enter into the agony.

They drew near to him, and he embraced them once again, while they burst into tears at his feet. Then he asked for holy water and his reliquary; and having himself removed his Crucifix, which he carried always suspended round his neck, he placed it in the hands of one of his Companions, begging [Page 197] him to hold it before his eyes. Then, feeling that he had but a short time to live, he made a last effort, Clasped his hands, and, with a steady and fond look upon his Crucifix, he uttered aloud his profession of faith, and gave thanks to the divine majesty for the great favor which he had accorded him of dying in the Society, of dying in it as a missionary of Jesus Christ, — and, above all, of dying in it, as he had always prayed, in a Wretched cabin in the midst of the forests and bereft of all human succor.

After that, he was silent, communing within himself with God. Nevertheless, he let escape from time to time these words, Sustinuit anima mea in verbo ejus; or these, Mater Dei, memento mei — which were the last words that he uttered before entering his agony, which was, however, very mild and peaceful.

He had prayed his Companions to put him in mind, when they should see him about to expire, to repeat frequently the names of Jesus and mary, if he could not himself do so. They did as they were bidden; and, when they Believed him to be near his end, one of them Called aloud, “Jesus, Mary!” The dying man repeated the words distinctly, several times; and as if, at These sacred names, Something presented itself to him, he Suddenly raised his eyes above his Crucifix, holding them Riveted on that object, which he appeared to regard with pleasure. And so, with a countenance beaming and all aglow, he expired without any Struggle, and so gently that it might have been regarded as a pleasant sleep.

His two poor Companions, shedding many tears over him, composed his Body in the manner which he had prescribed to them. Then they carried him devoutly to burial, ringing the while the little Bell [Page 199] as he had bidden them; and planted a large Cross near to his grave, as a sign to passers-by.

When it became a question of embarking, to proceed on their journey, one of the two, who for some Days had been so Heartsick with sorrow, and so greatly prostrated with an internal malady, that he could no longer eat or breathe except with difficulty, bethought himself, while the other was making all preparations for embarking, to visit the grave of his good father, and ask his intercession with the glorious virgin, as he had promised, not doubting in the least that he was in Heaven. He fell, then, upon his knees, made a Short prayer, and having reverently taken some earth from the tomb, he pressed it to his breast. Immediately his sickness Abated, and his sorrow was changed into a Joy which did not forsake him during the remainder of his journey.








OD did not permit that a deposit so precious should remain in the midst of the forest, unhonored and forgotten. The savages named Kiskakons, who have been making public profession of Christianity for nearly ten years, and who were instructed by father Marquette when he lived at the point of st. Esprit, at the extremity of lake Superior, carried on their last winter’s hunting in the vicinity of the lake of the Ilinois. As they were returning in the spring, they were greatly pleased to Pass near [Page 201] the grave of their good father, whom they tenderly loved; and God also put it into their hearts to remove his bones and bring them to our Church at the mission of st. Ignace at missilimakinac, where those savages make their abode.

They repaired, then, to the spot, and resolved among themselves to act in regard to the father as they are Wont to do toward Those for whom they profess great respect. Accordingly, they opened the grave, and uncovered the Body; and, although the Flesh and Internal organs were all Dried up, they found it entire, so that not even the skin was in any way injured. This did not prevent them from proceeding to dissect it, as is their custom. They cleansed the bones and exposed them to the sun to dry; then, carefully laying them in a box of birch-bark, they set out to bring them to our mission of st. Ignace.

There were nearly 30 Canoes which formed, in excellent order, that funeral procession. There were also a goodly number of iroquois, who United with our algonquin savages to lend more honor to the ceremonial. When they drew near our house, father nouvel, who is its superior, with father piercon, went out to meet them, accompanied by the frenchmen and savages who were there; and having halted the Procession, he put the usual questions to them, to make sure that It was really the father’s body which they were bringing. Before conveying it to land, they Intoned the de profundis in the presence of the 30 Canoes, which were still on the water, and of the people who were on the shore. After that, the Body was carried to the church, care being taken to observe all that the ritual appoints in such ceremonies. It remained exposed under the pall, all that [Page 203] Day, which was whitsun-monday, the 8th of June; and on the morrow, after having rendered to it all the funeral rites, it was lowered into a small Vault in the middle of the church, where it rests as the guardian angel Of our outaouas missions. The savages often come to pray over his tomb. Not to mention more than this instance, a young girl, aged 19 or 20 years, whom the late father had Instructed, and who had been baptized in the past year, fell sick, and applied to father nouvel to be bled and to take certain remedies. The father prescribed to her, as sole medicine, to come for 3 Days and say a pater and three ave’s at the tomb of father marquette. She did so, and before the 3rd Day was cured, without bleeding or any other remedies.

Father Jaques marquette, of the province of champagne, died at the age of 38 years, of which 21 were passed in the Society — namely, 12 in france and g in Canada. He was sent to the missions of the upper algonquins, who are called outaouacs; and labored therein with the zeal that might be expected from a man who had proposed to himself st. francis Xavier as the model of his life and death. He resembled that great Saint, not only in the variety of barbarian languages which he mastered, but also by the range of his zeal, which made him carry the faith To the ends of this new world, and nearly 800 leagues from here into the forests, where the name of Jesus Christ had never been proclaimed.

He always entreated God that he might end his life in these laborious missions, and that, like his dear st. Xavier, he might die in the midst of the woods, bereft of everything. Every Day, he Interposed for that end both the merits of Jesus Christ [Page 205] and the intercession of the virgin Immaculate, for whom he entertained a singular tenderness.

Accordingly, he obtained through such powerful mediators that which he solicited with so much earnestness; since he had, like the apostle of the Indies, the happiness to die in a wretched cabin on the shore of lake Ilinois, forsaken by all the world.

We might say much of the rare virtues of this noble missionary: of his zeal, which prompted him to carry the faith so far, and proclaim the gospel to so many peoples who were unknown to us; of his gentleness, which rendered him beloved by all, and made him all things to all men — a frenchman with the french, a huron with the hurons, an algonquin with the algonquins; of the childlike Candor with which he disclosed his heart to his superiors, and even to all kinds of persons, with an ingenuousness which won all Hearts; of his angelic Chastity; and of his uninterrupted union with God.

But that which Apparently predominated was a devotion, altogether rare and singular, to the blessed virgin, and particularly toward the mystery of her immaculate conception. It was a pleasure to hear him speak or preach on that subject. All his conversations and letters contained something about the blessed virgin Immaculate — for so he always called her. From the age of 9 years, he Fasted every Saturday; and from his tenderest Youth began to say the little office of the Conception, inspiring every one with the same devotion. Some months before his death, he said every Day with his two men a little corona of the immaculate conception which he had devised as follows: After the Credo, there is said once the pater and ave, and then 4 times [Page 207] these words: Ave filia Dei patris, ave mater filii Dei, ave sponsa spiritus sancti, ave templum totius trinitatis: per sanctam virginitatem et immaculatam conceptionem tuam, purissima Virgo, emunda Cor et Carnem meam: in nomine patris, et filii, et spiritus sancti, — concluding with the gloria patri, the whole repeated three times.

He Never failed to Say the mass of the Conception, — or, at least, when he could do so, the prayer of the Conception. He hardly meditated upon anything else Day and night. That he might leave us an ever-enduring testimony of his sentiments, it was his desire to bestow on the mission of the Ilinois the name of la Conception.

So tender a devotion toward the mother of God merited some singular grace; and she accorded him the favor that he had always requested — to die on a Saturday. His companions never doubted that she appeared to him at the hour of his death, when, after pronouncing the names of Jesus and mary, he Suddenly raised his eyes above his Crucifix, holding them fixed on an object which he regarded with extreme pleasure, and a Joy that showed itself upon his features; and they had, at that time, the impression that he had rendered up his soul into the hands of his good mother.

One of the last letters that he wrote to the father superior of the missions before his great voyage, is sufficient evidence that such were his sentiments. He Begins it thus: “The Blessed virgin immaculate has obtained for me the favor of reaching this place in good health, and with the resolve to correspond to the intentions which God has respecting me, since he has assigned me to the voyage toward the south. I have no other thought than that of doing what God [Page 209] wills. I dread nothing — neither the nadoissis, nor the reception awaiting me among the nations, dismay me. One of two Things will happen: either God will punish me for my crimes and cowardice, or else he will give me a share in his Cross, which I have not yet carried since my arrival in this country. But this Cross has been perhaps obtained for me by the blessed virgin immaculate, or it may be death itself, that I may cease to offend God. It is that for which I try to hold myself in readiness, surrendering myself altogether into his hands. I entreat Your Reverence not to forget me, and to obtain for me of God that I may not remain ungrateful for the favors which he heaps upon me.”

There was found among his papers a Manuscript entitled “The Directing care of God over a missionary,” in which he shows the excellence of that vocation, the advantages which it affords for self-sanctification, and the care that God takes of Gospel laborers. One sees in this little abstract the spirit of God which possessed him. [Page 211]


État Présent Des Missions En La

Nouvelle-France, 1675


Source: In publishing this document, we follow mainly the text given in Douniol’s Relations inédites, t. ii.; pp. 17-95. We omit therefrom pp. 21-33, as being a duplication of our Doc. CXXXVIII.; and substitute for it an extract from Dablon’s MS. Relation of 1673-79 (see Bibliographical Data of present volume), which covers Aliouez’s work in the missions of St. Mark and St. Jacques in 1674-75. We also substitute, for most of pp. 59-64 of Douniol, another extract from the Dablon MS., as being a fuller description of Laval’s visit to La Prairie.

We print the Douniol text in roman type, and matter substituted therefor in italic. In the MS. of 1673-79 a few minor corrections were made by Dablon; the words deleted by him are here printed in brackets. [Page 213]








During the year 1675.

[Page 215]

Missions to the Outaouais.


N the country of the Outaouais we have over twelve special Missions, among them being three chief ones, each of which has a large and handsomely decorated chapel.

The first of these three Missions is Sainte Marie du Sault, at the eastern end of lake superior; it is under the charge of Father Nouvel. He and Fathers Dreuillettes and Bailloquet work therein, sometimes together and sometimes separately; for they have to devote their attention not only to the Algonquins of the Sault, but also to those of Ekaentouton, of Nipissing, and of Mississague. These are three populous nations, with whom the Fathers go to spend the winter, one after another.

Within a year, they have baptized over 120 persons, notwithstanding all the opposition that the devil raises up against the Gospel by various superstitions — to which these peoples are so attached that they have even dared, on several occasions, to lift their hatchets over the heads of the missionaries who opposed those diabolical practices.

The second mission is that of Saint Ignace, at Michillimakinac. This is an excellent fishing station situated exactly between the lake of the Hurons and that of the Illinois.

At this point, — the Hurons of Etionnontate and some Algonquin tribes have gathered together within a short time. A considerable number from both [Page 217] nations publicly profess the Faith, and live in a very Christian manner: the former are under the direction of Father Pierson, who displays much zeal and skill in instructing them; the latter have Father Nouvel and Father Marquette for pastors.

No sooner was the fine chapel that was finished a year ago opened than it was consecrated, as it were, by sixty-six baptisms. There were fourteen adult Hurons, with thirteen children; and fifteen adult Algonquins, with thirty-four children of the same nation. On Good Friday, the Passion was preached in three different languages. The adoration of the Cross was performed with much piety by five or six different Savage nations; and on Easter Sunday sixteen Hurons, both men and women, made their first communion.

The ceremonies that took place at Christmas, by which these good Savages honored the Infant Jesus in the cradle, are astonishing: it is impossible to witness them without being touched with devotion at seeing Our Lord cause his infancy to triumph in the midst of infidelity.

The third Mission is that of Saint François Xavier, a short distance beyond the bay des Puants. It is a sort of center for a great many nations dwelling in its vicinity.

Father André ministers to those who live on the bay des Puants; by his firmness he has succeeded in subduing their minds, which were most ferocious and superstitious, by gradually, and with unswerving constancy, subjecting them to the yoke of the Faith. Thus it may be said that he has a church fully formed; it consists of four or five hundred Christians. [Page 219] The Father baptized as many as a hundred and forty last year.

Father Allouez has charge of the Outagamis and Mascoutins, one hundred and sixty of whom he has admitted to baptism within a year. The cross that this missionary planted amid these villages is venerated there, and the name of Jesus Christ is adored with great respect in all these wild and pagan lands.... The bark chapel which the Father has erected in the village of the Mascoutins is filled several times every by. Thirty-seven adults and seventy-five children have been baptized in it; there are as many as twelve tribes, speaking three different languages, and comprising no less than twenty thousand souls, gathered in this village alone. Father Silvy went there to help Father Allouez in his labors, to which he was no longer equal.[47]




ATHER Claude Allouez thus relates what been Accomplished in these Missions.


“The Mission of St. Jacques to the Machkoutench, Kikabouas, Miamis, and other tribes, is far less advanced than the other. I have only been able to attend it by these short visits, as I had no one to take me thither at the proper time. Since last year I have baptized there 28 persons, of whom 3 are adults.

“There are strong inclinations to the faith in the hearts of these peoples. The Machkouiens always cherish a great respect for the cross which is planted among them. The arm of this cross having been broken and thrown down in a heavy gale of Wild, they removed it, and housed it very [Page 221] carefully, to return it to me. The Miamis hold their cross in no less respect. A young frenchman who was trading with them, getting into a passion, drew his sword to avenge himself for a theft committed upon his goods. The Miami Captain, to appease him, showed him the cross, which is planted at the end of his cabin, and said to him: ‘Behold the tree of the black Gown! He teaches us to pray and not to lose our temper.’ The same captain, before he died, in the month of april last, — after inquiring for the black Gown and being unable to see him, inasmuch as he was dying more than 30 leagues from the place where I was, — requested that his bones might be brought to be buried near the cross on the spot where the black Gown had his chapel, — which was carried out.

“There exists in this country a species of idolatry; for, besides the head of the wild ox, with its horns, which they keep in their cabins to invoke, they possess bearskins, stripped from the head and not cut open in the middle. They leave on them the head, the eyes, and the snout, which they usually paint green. The head is raised on a pole in the middle of their cabin, the remainder of the skin hanging along the pole to the ground. They invoke it in their sicknesses, wars, and other necessities. This spring, it pleased God to direct me to the cabin of a Kikaboua captain, — where, having noticed one of these idols, I undeceived him so thoroughly that he promised me, as soon as his son should come, to make of this bearskin a dress for his children. A woman of the Machkoutens, as yet only a catechumen, had often requested her husband, but without avail, to remove from her sight a similar effigy. One Day, when he was invoking it at a solemn feast for the recovery of this woman, who was very ill, she withdrew from the cabin at the beginning of the invocation; and as she could scarcely move, she dragged herself along as well [Page 223] as she was able to the outside, exclaiming: ‘This idol is killing me!’

“This mission would require 2 missionaries on account of the 2 nations who dwell in it, who speak 2 different languages; and because of the multitude of people who are continually arriving, in great numbers, to take up their abode in it.”

Let us see what father aloués says of the few months which he spent with the outagamis in the year 1675.

“Since my last accounts of the past year, I have baptized at st. marc 52 persons, among whom are 12 adults.

“I was unable to go to this mission earlier than the autumn, after the savages had left their village to go Hunting. I went in quest of them into the forest, along the rivers and ponds where they were Hunting Beaver and Deer. I experienced much consolation in all the Cabins that I encountered in the space of 40 leagues. Their minds were all disposed to receive my Instructions; to pray to God, at whatever season or hour it might be; and to Kneel on the snow when I met them outside of their Cabins. Everywhere they thanked me for going to see them to instruct them.

“The providence of God made use of two Hunters to obtain the baptism of a poor old man, blind and exceedingly ill. As soon as they had met me and I had informed them that I was seeking the old man, they left their Hunting and conducted me to his cabin. I had in former times Instructed him. I admired in him the operations of grace, and was surprised to see the way in which the holy ghost had prepared him for baptism. He made, first, the sign of the cross. He understood our mysteries, and explained them to the others who were present. After I had spoken to him of the incarnation and the death and passion of [Page 225] Jesus Christ, I placed in his hand. the Crucifix; he pressed it upon his eyes, and, with a voice Broken by sobs, he cried out many times: ‘Son of God, have pity on me; I am dying. Make me Eve with you in Heaven!’ After I had baptized him, he began to inveigh against the divinities whom he had formerly adored. ‘Depart, miserable Gods,’ he said, ‘who delude us in this country: I have no more service to render to you. There is only He who made Heaven, and earth, and all Things; he alone can cure me if he will. I do not Fear death, for I shall live Forever in Heaven — with him.’ God was pleased to restore him to health, to make him the herald of his greatness. I saw him this winter in his village and admired his fervor. He is extremely zealous in decrying the false divinities of his country, and as fervent as possible in praying to God, especially in saying his Beads. He carries them always around his Neck and fastens them there so tightly that they cannot be removed, ‘for fear,’ says he, ‘lest they should be stolen from me without my perceiving it.’ His wife, children, and nephews having all fallen sick, the Infidels told him that the Rosary which he carried around his Neck had caused this affliction. He told me of the matter and I asked him if he believed that they spoke truthfully, — adding that, if it were so, he should give me his Rosary. ‘I shall take good care not to do so,’ he said. ‘They do not say what they think, For they plainly see that I am the only one in good health, because I use my Rosary to pray to God.’ He is called Joseph nikalokita.

“After the outagamis had finished their Hunting, they returned to their village, where I remained with them two months during the winter. I had many vices to Contend with, especially debauchery and superstitious Notions. These poor people are deserving of Compassion; For, as they are in Constant danger, — it may be, of being taken [Page 227]and burned at a slow fire by their enemies; or, it may be, of dying from hunger in their journeyings and when they are Hunting, — they have among them a sort of tradition which makes them Believe that, if they have some Vision, or rather some dream, they will be fortunate in Hunting and war; and that, should they fall into the hands of their enemies, they will escape from them. Thence it comes that they cling to dreams and visions of These kinds as they would to life. Fathers and mothers bring up their children in This idea from their earliest years; and they accustom them to make long Fasts, that they may obtain visions, and may see or hear some spirit in their sleep. They do this with such exactness and austerity as to go 4 or 5 Days, and even longer, without eating or drinking anything. I do not know whether the devil appears to them under the form of their pretended spirits, or whether their brains, weak from their having been so long without food, make them Imagine some spirit: be that as it may, this superstition gives extreme trouble to the missionaries, and prevents them from baptizing the greater number of these people, through the reasonable Fear lest there should be in It Something diabolical. In order to establish Christianity on a solid basis, we have baptized only a few, who, as we knew, had given up all these superstitions. One of These, having been entreated by his father to Fast, that he might try to see some spirit, refused him, saying that he was baptized, that he was Acquainted with the great spirit of whom the black gown spoke to them, and that he had no need of any other divinity. And, As his father had taunted him, saying that he would be a man of no account all his life, he replied to him: ‘It matters not; I shall be a great Captain in Heaven, and God will make me happy by placing me near him.’ We had delayed to baptize the brother of this fervent [Page 229]Christian, because it was with difficulty that he refrained from blackening his face, Which is indicative of they superstitious Fast, — although he alleged, as an excuse, that he had no other Color with which to paint his face. But, seeing that he was the only one to whom this grace had not been accorded, although it had been granted to his brother and his sisters, — to whom he did not otherwise yield in diligence in coming to pray to God in the Chapel, — one morning [in his Cabin] he painted his face white; and, addressing his father, he said, ‘I pay no heed to all these petty spirits whom you would have me seek. I wild be obedient only to the black gown, who forbids me what you enjoin upon me.’ He came to me afterward, to ask for Baptism, which I granted to his perseverance.

“On good friday, the greater number of our Christians kissed and venerated the Cross. The more fervent carried to their homes each a small Cross that I had blessed to give to them, that it might serve As an image before which they could offer their prayers.

“I had no trouble in introducing among them the fasts of the church, since it is so usual a Thing for them to Fast that whoever among them does not fast from time to time is looked upon as a wicked man. So I deemed it a duty to sanctify their very superstitions, and to make of a Guilty fast a meritorious one. I have taught them to fast in lent, and have warned them that it was not for the purpose of seeing some paltry spirit, but for mortifying the Flesh and doing penance for the sins that they committed Against the divine majesty.

“All of Christians have a great affection for their Beads. When a present is made to them of Anything, they do not Usually keep it but give it away to others. It is only in regard to the Rosary that they do not observe this custom. A young man, in the Heat of Play, went [Page 231] so far as to stake his Beads, and lost them. He was so afflicted over it that he wept all night, and came the next day to Confess it, as a great fault. The french are Wonderfully edified at seeing them, during mass, recite their Beads in alternate Choirs, and practice with exactness all other exercises of piety.

“God has taught me by experience, this year, that he has mercy on whomsoever it pleases him, and not on those to whom oftentimes men would much wish that he should extend it. He has many times permitted my labors to be of use to those of whom I was not thinking, and to prove useless to Those for [whom] whose salvation I had undertaken them. In the month of January, I was going toward the little lake of st. françois, two leagues from here. There I found a Christian savage dying, and prepared him for death. I had intended going to a place in which I afterward learned that a Young frenchman was at the point of death. But the news that was brought me, that the outagamis had returned from their hunting and that many of them were sick, made me retrace my steps. Meanwhile, the Young frenchman died in the Cabin of a savage, without Confession. Four months previously, he had passed by our Church; I had entreated him to come to confession, but he paid no Heed to me; and God, in consequence, did not choose that he should find again the opportunity which he had neglected. When I arrived at the outagamis, I found a poor savage who had anguished for a long time, and whom I prepared by Baptism for death. In the same place, although I went every Day into the Cabins, a child died without baptism — dying suddenly, an hour after my leaving the Cabin in which it dwelt. These are the very heavy crosses with which God afflicts a poor missionary; but he Consoles him then it pleases him.A short time after this accident [had happened], some [Page 233] Savages again arrived, — I baptized one of their children, Only just born, and it died on the Day after its baptism. Before leaving the outagamis, the holy Ghost led me to bring to our chapel two children that were very sick; I baptized them and they died a short time after my departure. After I had finished the mission to the outagamis, I learned that the miami Captain who had once been my host was dying. I had Until then deferred his baptism, because, although he seemed sufficiently well disposed, he could not, on account of his rank as Captain, through courtesy, refrain from involving himself in the superstitions of the Young men. I went to his house, But he was not there; and, while he was coming to seek me to be baptized, he died on the way without baptism. God refused me that one for whom I made the journey, but my trouble was not unprofitable; For, in place of this Captain, He granted me two other persons, whom I baptized before their deaths.”

Father Jacques Marquette has begun a fourth Mission, that of the Illinois. These are the first tribes that he met on the journey which he made last year to discover the Southern sea. The Father went, last spring, to lay the foundations of that Mission; and on his return he gloriously ended his life in the midst of his labors, on the very shores of the lake of the Illinois. We give here an account of his death, and of the remarkable circumstances that accompanied it.[48] [Page 235]

The Iroquois Missions.


HE Iroquois consist of five different nations, and are divided among eight villages of greater importance, in each of which we have a chapel wherein the new Christians meet every day to say their prayers, and to hear the instructions given them daily by the missionaries at stated hours. Father Bruyas, who is the superior of all, has won to Jesus Christ a great many of the chief personages of AgniB, the village of the nation nearest to the Dutch. Here in a few words is the information given by him in his last letters.



HIS year might supply sufficiently ample material for relations, both through the number of those who have been baptized, amounting to eighty, and through the fervor of the new Christians. I refer merely to what has been done by one Assendassé, who is regarded beyond contradiction, as being one of the most notable of his nation. After I had baptized him, he desired that all his family should receive baptism, as he had done. Afterward, when sickness and death attacked his household, he endured with constancy all the reproaches addressed to him by his kindred for that act, as if he had drawn down all these misfortunes upon himself by his baptism. Things came to such a pass that they almost afforded him the glory of being the first martyr among the Iroquois. [Page 237]

“One of his relatives, who could not endure that he should be a Christian, having purposely become half intoxicated, threw himself upon him; he: snatched away the rosary and the crucifix that Assendassé wore suspended from his neck, and threatened to kill him if he would not renounce all those things. ‘Kill me,’ he said, ‘I shall be happy to die for so good a cause. I feel no regret in giving my life in testimony of my faith.’

“As he is esteemed in the village, his example has attracted a very considerable number of his, countrymen to the Faith. There have been but few Sundays this winter whereon I have not baptized a child or an adult. Were I to relate all that occurs here for the furtherance of Christianity, those who would hear it would have reason to praise God, who is beginning to be glorified among these infidels.

“For my part, I attribute these conversions to the goodness of the Most Blessed Virgin, a miraculous image of whom, as Our Lady of Foye, has been sent us. I can state that, since we have possessed that precious deposit, the church of Agnie has completely changed its appearance. The older Christians have resumed their former fervor, and the number of new ones increases daily. We displayed this precious statue, with all possible pomp, on the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin, while the litanies were chanted in the Iroquois tongue. We uncovered it only on Saturday evening during the chanting of the same litanies: and throughout the whole of Sunday it remained exposed to the eyes of our Christians, who met three times that day for the purpose of reciting the rosary before their good [Page 239] Mother and protectress. The infidels tell me that, since Mary’s image is in their village, they fear nothing; and, in fact, they have received very evident marks of her protection.”

Father Jacques de Lamberville who has charge of the Mission of Saint Pierre at Gandaouagué the second village of the Agnié country, has had the consolation of sending to heaven many little children, who died after baptism. This Church, although the smallest of all in these Missions, is behind none of them in fervor.

The Father hopes shortly to increase it by a very considerable number of persons. The elders themselves come to prayers and exhort the young men to do the same. Finally, if brandy were banished from this quarter, we would soon see the whole of that village become Christian.



HE second nation is that of the Onneiouts, who have always been considered the most cruel of these barbarians; but they are now so changed through Father Millet’s care that it may be said that from wolves they have become lambs.

Several captains and many elders have embraced the faith this year. Among others, one of the most notable men was publicly baptized with his wife, and married before the Church. He afterward received holy Communion, and became a catechist and preacher. During the winter hunt, his cabin was a chapel in the woods, wherein he said prayers morning and evening, banishing all superstitions from it. And so fragrant was the odor of his virtues that he made even the infidels who hunted near him live like [Page 241] Christians. Upon his return from hunting, in order to avoid occasions for drunkenness, which are frequent at that time in the village, he removed to a distance of two leagues, and erected a separate cabin, whence he fails not to come, every Saturday, to attend divine service on the following day.

Several others among the notable men of this village are animated with the same fervor; this has given the missionary an opportunity for establishing the confraternity of the Holy Family among them, to preserve and increase this first spirit of Christianity, and this zeal for the salvation of souls.



ATHER Jean de Lamberville is at Onnontague; this is the village of the third nation, where Garakontié continues to give evidence of his firmness in the faith, and of his friendship for the French.

The Father has acquired great influence by his skill in using various remedies. This gives him entrance to all the cabins and access to all the sick, so that few escape who are not baptized before they die. In addition to his occupation in Onnontagué, he is compelled from time to time to make excursions in the vicinity. On the last one that he made, ten leagues from the village, he fortunately arrived in time to baptize a dying man, who expired shortly afterward. Then, after crossing a river, he found several sick Christians, whom he confessed; he then bled them, and it came to pass that, by means of the spiritual and temporal remedies, God restored them to health. He also baptized, at the same place, a man and a woman who were very well disposed. At the same time, he had to endeavor to prepare for that [Page 243] sacrament a woman who had a great aversion to the French and to the Faith. He succeeded so well that she was worthy of receiving baptism before she died. He had barely finished when he was obliged Promptly to recross the river, to bleed a sick juggler; but, as he did not deem him worthy of baptism, the Father set out at once to go two leagues from there, and administer it to a woman and a child, who at the same time were restored to health through the medicines which he gave them.

Thus a missionary must be all things to all men, allowing no opportunity to escape him for winning souls to Jesus Christ, This is what the Father does both in and out of Onnontague. Consequently he has this year increased his church by seventy-two Christians, forty of whom died after baptism, as well as many adults; among these were some captives from Andastogué whom he baptized amid the fires in which they died.



ATHER de Carheil is not so fortunate in the midst of the fourth nation, that of the Oiogouins; they became so arrogant and insolent that they quite roughly ill-treated him when they were intoxicated, and they even tore down a portion of his chapel. But these repulses have not made him lose courage; and, as a reward, God has given him the consolation of having this year placed twenty-one children in heaven, and probably eleven adults also, who died after baptism; but this was not done without many struggles.

He describes as follows the trouble that he had in baptizing a young woman, and from this everything [Page 245] else may be judged. “She yielded,” he says, “only at the last moment; and I won her solely by patience, by gentleness, and by constancy in hoping to obtain from her what all the repulses that I experienced had almost made me, several times, despair of ever obtaining. She was quite willing that I should visit her, after I had given her some medicine. She allowed me to speak of all things except the principal one, which was the salvation of her soul. As soon as I opened my mouth to say a few words about it, she would fly into fits of anger which were astonishing, and which I had never observed in any Savage. At the same time, I was compelled to withdraw to avoid irritating her still further, lest I should produce in her a hardness of heart beyond remedy. As her illness was only a prostration caused by the worms that gradually ate her away, two months passed without my discontinuing my daily visits to her, and without her ceasing to repel me in the same manner — and, finally with such increased paroxysms of anger that I was at last compelled to present myself before her without saying a word. I endeavored, however, to express by my eyes, and a countenance full of compassion, what I no longer dared to say with my lips. And one day, when I noticed that she seemed outwardly touched by some slight services that I rendered her, — by making a fire for her, when I saw her so abandoned because no one took any care of her, — I thought that she would suffer me to speak to her of my sole desire on her behalf, which she had always repelled with horror. In fact, she allowed me to approach her, and listened to me for some time without becoming angry as usual, — [Page 247] but, nevertheless, with bodily agitation which betrayed the workings of her mind, torn by the conflicting efforts of grace and of nature. I began to have some slight hopes when, turning toward me in a fury, she seized my face with all her might. She would certainly have injured me seriously, had her strength been equal to her fury; but she was so weak that she could not hurt me as she desired. On account of her weakness, I allowed her to retain her hold of my face, and I continued my instruction, telling her that the interest I took in her soul compelled me not to quit her, whatever she might do. I was, however, obliged to leave her that time, even, with the idea of not returning. I nevertheless went back on the following morning, more for the purpose of seeing whether she were dead than of speaking to her. I found her at the point of death, but she had not yet lost consciousness. ‘What! ’ I said to her; ‘ thou hast but a moment to live; why wilt thou be lost forever, when thou canst yet be saved? ’

“These few words softened her heart, which so many others had been unable to touch. She leaned toward me; she said the prayer that I prompted to her; she manifested sorrow for her past sins; she asked for baptism, to wash them away; and she received it only to be confirmed in grace by her death, which followed shortly afterward.

“I learned from the example of this sick woman that we should never give up any person, whatever may be his resistance, so long as any life or reason remains; my hope and my labor shall have no other limit than that set by God’s mercy.” [Page 249]




ATHERS Pierron, Raffeix, and Garnier, who labor in three different villages, are compelled, as it were, ever to bear their lives in their hands; for they are in almost continual danger of being murdered by those barbarians.

In fact, since the Sonnontouans have utterly defeated the Andastogués, their ancient and most redoubtable foes, their insolence knows no bounds; they talk of nothing but renewing the war against our allies, and even against the French, and of beginning by the destruction of fort Catarokoui. Not long ago, they had resolved to break Father Garnier’s head, by making him pass for a sorcerer.

He who was to strike the blow was not only designated, but was also paid for it; and we would no longer have had that missionary, had not God preserved him by a very special providence.

All these insolent acts do not prevent the Fathers from performing their duties with heads erect; or from teaching in the cabins and in their chapels, wherein they have baptized over one hundred persons within a year; and they find that fifty, both children and adults, die each year after baptism.

Nevertheless, if those barbarians take up arms against us, as they threaten to do, our Missions are in great danger of being either ruined or at least interrupted while the war lasts. [Page 251]

Missions in the North, among the Montagnais,

Mistassins, Papinachois, at Lake Saint

John, and elsewhere.


E cannot say anything about the Mission of Hudson bay. Father Albanel set out for that country over two years ago, and we have received no letter from him since his departure. The Savages of that quarter do not agree in their reports about him. Some assert that he is dead, and has probably been killed; others state that he has fallen into the hands of the English, who have sent him across the sea.

What we have positively learned is that he has had to endure enough labors and hardships to wear out the little strength remaining to him, and to gloriously end his life there.

The Missions of Tadoussac and lake Saint John, and among the Mistassins and Papinachois, have kept Father de Crépieul occupied for over a year, without discontinuing his wandering life in the woods with the Savages, among a thousand discomforts, both in summer and in winter. These labors and sufferings, which gave him no respite, have reduced him to such a condition that it has become necessary to make him take some rest after four arduous winterings. Meanwhile, Father Boucher has gone to take his place.[49]

I may say that these wandering Christian communities live very innocently while in the woods [Page 253] They have been increased during the year, not only by the baptism of fifty-five persons, but also by the influence given to them by several chiefs, from some new nations. Among others are some from the: Mistassins, who, notwithstanding the diseases wherewith God has afflicted them since their baptism, have remained steadfast in the faith, have made a public, profession of it, and have died very good Christians.

These Savages have a special veneration for the sacraments, and so great a desire to receive them that many have come expressly to the Father from distances of ten and twenty leagues, solely to confess themselves. One, among others, was brave enough, with that object, to undertake alone a long journey of forty leagues in a canoe, amid many dangers and. fatigues, but also with such joy that he could not sufficiently manifest it on all occasions. Another had no less trouble, and no less consolation when, after hauling his sick son over the snow for a distance of twenty-five leagues in very bad roads, he saw him die happily in the arms of the Father, as soon as the latter had administered the sacraments to him. [Page 255]

Iroquois Mission of St. François Xavier, at la

prairie de la Magdeleine, dur-

ing the year 1675

THE examples of virtue given to the French by this Church are so striking and so well known that it is unnecessary to speak of them, for there is no one who witnesses them who does not admire the effects of grace in the persons of these poor Savages. And, in fact, these good Christians who dwell at la prairie de la Magdeleine are in the midst of fire without being burned: I mean, that they are surrounded on all sides by the most scandalous drunkenness, to indulge in which they are earnestly solicited; but hitherto they have made themselves remarked at Montreal and everywhere else, and there is no other way of distinguishing them than by saying that they are the people who do not drink, and who pray to God aright. The virtue of these fervent neophytes may be better judged by an account of the death of a young Iroquois, who, for a few months, has slept the sleep of the just. This young man, whose name was Skandegorhaksen, was an Agnié by birth, and about twenty years old; he had a well-formed body and a very gentle nature, and seemed born solely for virtue and for sanctity.

As soon as he set foot in la prairie de la Magdeleine, he embraced all matters pertaining to the Faith and to divine worship, with such fervor that [Page 257] he at once made himself remarked among all the others. Accordingly, Father Frémin, who has charge of that Mission, then conceived so high an opinion of him that, while he tried the other Savages for two or three whole years before administering holy baptism to them, he administered it to this one after a trial of only two months, Thenceforward, that good neophyte gave increasing evidence of his piety and fervor; and, although it is a praiseworthy custom among our Christian Savages here to come quite often during the day to pray in the church, Skandegorhaksen surpassed all the others in these holy exercises, and had his stated hours, like a religious. He came every morning at four o’clock, and then heard two masses. He returned to the chapel about ten o’clock; he did the same an hour after noon, then at three o’clock; and came again at sunset, with all the Savages; and, finally, between eight and nine in the evening.

It is no exaggeration to say that he prayed in the church like an angel, so modest was he. Merely to see him take holy water on entering and on leaving the chapel, and make profound inclinations before the Blessed Sacrament, inspired one with devotion. The French, who know not the names of the Savages, generally distinguished him from the others by saying that he was the young man who prayed to God in the chapel so fervently, and at all hours of the day. He manifested no less devotion in his cabin. He spent his whole time in chanting prayers to the airs of church hymns, and in saying the rosary aloud; and he gently urged the other Savages of his age to do the same, when they came to visit him. [Page 259]

All these things were accompanied by an innocent life and an admirable tenderness of conscience; and the Father is certain that he died in his baptismal innocence, which he preserved here during two years. This he did with heroic care and courage, for during all that time the devil waged continual war against him, by furious temptations; but he always remained victorious through God’s grace, to which, on his part, he responded with his usual fervor, with a wonderful fear of offending God and a great horror of the slightest sins. To that end, therefore, he confessed himself every week, and sometimes oftener.

As soon as he returned hither from a journey, he went directly to the chapel and confessed himself at once, or at least on the same day. He received communion with sentiments of devotion and fervor, which one must witness, before one can judge to what extent a Savage of the Agnié nation is capable of them; for they have ever been considered the most arrogant, and the most remote from God’s kingdom.

But inasmuch as virtue, if it be truly solid, never manifests itself except on occasion, and it might perhaps be said that the fervor of this Mission sustained that of Skandegorhaksen, let us observe him in the midst of the wicked and in the land of iniquity, causing virtue and the faith of Jesus Christ to triumph.

This was in the Iroquois country, whither he had the courage to go expressly to win to God a young man of his acquaintance. To his great regret, he found him plunged in every vice; and this made him groan in his heart, — all the more, because he could [Page 261] not apply any remedy. He therefore resolved, for his own part, to make reparation as well as he could, for all his friend’s faults. To that end he made himself an apostle in the midst of all these infidels, He chanted in the chapel the prayers that he had learned here. This novelty attracted thither all the people; and he then seized the opportunity to instruct them. He went boldly into the cabins, and preached therein the mysteries of our religion; and he even reproved vice everywhere, with astonishing freedom. This will seem almost incredible to those who know the customs of the Savages, among whom the young men never speak in public, especially in the presence of the elders and the captives.

After spending some time in these exercises in the midst of infidelity, he returned hither; and we found that he was ever the same, and had lost nothing of his innocence in that land so full of abominations.

He was already a fruit ripe for heaven; consequently he was taken away from us, some time after his return. For, having gone to hunt at the beginning of winter, — with the intention, however, of interrupting his hunt, to come and celebrate Christmas here, — he was unable to satisfy his devotion; and, as early as the first day of December, 1675, he felt himself attacked by the disease which carried him off on the twenty-second of the month.

As soon as he saw himself in danger, he protested that he did not fear death; and that, on the contrary, he hoped that it would be for him a passage to a blessed eternity; for he ever said to those near him that he was going to enjoy the sight of God in paradise. [Page 263]

During his illness, he did nothing but recite his rosary and repeat acts of contrition for his sins, and of faith, hope, and charity. He thought and spoke only of God; and, wonderful to relate, when he frequently became delirious, during the whole of that time he repeated nothing else but his rosary; and his sole pleasure consisted in reciting the Ave Maria, and in adding to it some of the acts of virtue, an infallible sign of the habit he had contracted. He manifested but one regret in his illness; this was at not seeing his good Father (thus he called Father Fremin), and at not dying in his arms; in truth, he loved and was greatly beloved by the Father.

Before his death, while still in possession of his faculties, he exhorted his relatives, who surrounded him, to persevere in God’s service; and he begged them also to exhort on his behalf all the Savages of la prairie de la Magdeleine to be constant in the faith. Moreover, he sent them word that he was going before them to heaven, as he hoped; and that he fully expected all of them to follow him. He also directed them to pay with his petty effects the few debts that he had contracted. After this, his thoughts were solely of paradise; and he communed sweetly with God, to whom he gave up his soul very peacefully. When the news of his death was brought hither, it filled the minds of all with sorrow, but, at the same time, with a certain feeling of devotion caused by the recollection of his virtue.

As we have changed here the ridiculous customs of the Iroquois respecting the effects of the dead, — which were either buried with them, or devoted to superstitious purposes, — as, I say, these have been changed into better usages by distributing the effects [Page 265] in pious works and to the poor, they did not fail to do the same on this occasion. But this was done with special solemnity; for all the relatives and the most notable men assembled, as in a general council, to effect this distribution. Those good Savages, touched by the rare examples of virtue given them by the deceased, spoke of God, of paradise, and of matters pertaining to faith, in terms so high, so poetical, and so full of God and of a certain pious unction, that it surpasses all belief. Father Fremin, delighted with what he had just heard, said on coming therefrom that he did not think that there was in the world a meeting of religious whereat matters pertaining to God and to the Faith could be more worthily spoken of.

He who presided presented to the assembly a rich porcelain collar, and delivered a long discourse. Beginning with the things that the deceased had directed him to say to them on his behalf, and holding this fine collar in his hand, he said to them: “Here, my companions, is the voice of our departed brother. Consider it well; listen well to it. He wishes that it may be eternal among you — either as a continual reproach for your perfidy, should you abandon the Faith; or as a precious pledge which he leaves you of the reward that we shall all enjoy with him in paradise, if we obey God’s voice and his.”

He then took the opportunity to dwell at length upon the praises of the Faith, the happiness of Christians, and the fervor and constancy with which God should be served. He said wonderful things on the subject, especially reminding them of the rare devotion and noble examples of all the virtues given them by him whose voice he bore to them, and who [Page 267] continually looked down upon them from heaven that he might urge them to follow him.







N the twentieth day of May, while Reverend Father Claude Dablon, superior of the Missions of the Society of Jesus in New France, was here on his visit, we learned that Monseigneur de Laval, the first bishop of Quebec, was only three leagues from Montreal, which he was to enter on the following day. Upon receiving this news, the Father superior took Father Cholenec[50] with him, to go to pay his respects to His Lordship. They found that apostolic prelate with the train and equipage of a prince of the primitive Church. This man, who is great by his birth, and still more by his virtues, — which have recently made him the admiration of France, and which on his last voyage to Europe justly won for him the king’s esteem and approval, — this great man, I say, while visiting his diocese was conveyed in a small bark canoe by two peasants, with no other suite than a single ecclesiastic. He had with him merely a wooden crazier, a very simple miter, and only such other ornaments as were absolutely necessary for a golden bishop, as the authors say when speaking of the first prelates of Christianity. As in this miserable canoe he was exposed to all the inclemency of the weather, he reached Montreal on the twenty-first day of the [Page 269] month, after enduring all the rain, which was unusually heavy in that quarter.

The approach of the festival of Pentecost “compelled him to stop on that island for the consolation of the French, many of whom had not yet seen him. He promised our Fathers that on the following Monday, the 25th of May, he would go and visit their Mission of Saint Xavier at la prairie de la Magdeleine; and he begged them to assure the Savages of the tenderness of his affection for them. This news caused great rejoicing in the village; and, as we have always impressed upon our catechumens and neophytes the esteem due to the character and merits of so worthy a bishop, it is impossible to express either the joy caused them by the mere hope of seeing him, or the ardor that they displayed, of their own accord, in preparing everything to give him the best reception in their power. Consequently, on the very same day, they began to clean and level the approaches, the streets, and the public place in their village; and they continued this work on the following day, the eve of Pentecost. On Monday, which was the second day of the festival, after hearing holy mass, they asked Father Fremin, their principal missionary, for permission to work at the preparations that they had been unable to make any earlier. Having obtained it, they all proceeded to the woods, whence each one brought back a load of branches; and with these they made a pleasant avenue in the public place, which extends from their chapel to the river Saint Lawrence. At the end of this avenue, on the bank of the river, where Monseigneur was to land, they placed a small platform raised about two feet above the water. In the [Page 271] middle of the same avenue, they erected a bower, and ornamented it with various kinds of foliage, in order that Monseigneur the bishop might there receive their first congratulatory address. Beginning at the platform, they had prepared a long arbor of green boughs, by which one could go under the leafy shade from the water’s edge the church. At the middle of this arbor, which was 2 or 300 paces in length, a Bower of verdure was erected, having seats of turf, in which was to be offered the 2nd Congratulation; and at the door of the church, where the walk ended, there was still another green bower, in which Monseigneur was to be addressed for the 3rd time.

Their preparations being thus made, and all being ranged along the river-bank, — on one side all the savages, decked out with their gaudiest ornaments; and on the other all the frenchmen, who live on this Côte in a goodly number, — it only remained to await the coming of Monseigneur the Bishop.

He was at montreal, where he had made his entry two Days before; in the afternoon of the third day, he embarked in a canoe to cross over Hither, having nearly two leagues to cover by the route that he was to take.

While he is voyaging, It will be well to observe, in passing, what retinue This great prelate has, when making his visits. He had, in his train, only one ecclesiastic, and two persons to manage a small bark Canoe in which he sat. It is a very dangerous conveyance when one has not men very expert in that kind of navigation; and it may be very uncomfortable, since one is exposed in it to all inclemencies of the weather. In fact, on the Day when he arrived at montreal, there fell upon him [he was exposed to] a heavy shower [which fell upon him] for more than 3 leagues.

Happily, the weather was very fine on the Day which he selected for honoring us with his visit. At 3 o’clock in [Page 273] the afternoon his Canoe came in sight, far away, on a sort of lake formed by the river, which at that place becomes much wider. Our father superior, who was then here, immediately embarked to go to meet his lordship, and greeted him at hardly a quarter of a league from the shore. At the same time, the church-bell began to sound, and every one hastened to the place where Monseigneur would land. Father Frémin stood on the right, at the head of all his Savages; and Father Cholenec took the left, and with him all the French people. When Monseigneur’s Canoe was within speaking distance, The Captain of the hurons, who had taken his pace with the elders of the same nation on the platform which we have mentioned, called out in a Loud voice: “Bishop, stop thy Canoe, and hear what I have to say to thee!” Monseigneur the bishop had been asked to permit that our savages should practice the ceremonies usual with them when they give receptions; and having had this compliment explained to him, he enjoyed their naïve greeting. Accordingly, he readily halted to listen to these two orators, who harangued him in turn, assuring him of their Joy, and [their respect] the hope entertained by them that his presence would crown them with the Blessings of Heaven. They praised his intellect, virtue, and dignity, which exalted him so high above other masters of the faith and the prayer; and invited him to come ashore among them, that they might conduct him at once to the house of the great master of our lives. Monseigneur then landed; and, having robed himself in his Camail and rochet, he gave his blessing to all the people, who remained upon their knees. Father Frémin immediately intoned the “veni creator” in the Iroquois tongue, and was assisted by all the savages, men and women, as is their custom. They accompanied him also in a sort of procession, which he [Page 275] Headed, along the shaded walk which had been made for that purpose. Monseigneur walked after them, followed by all the frenchmen, who chanted in latin the “veni creator” alternately with the savages. In this order the 1st bower was reached, under which Monseigneur halted, and a captain of the onontagués and an elder from ouneiout addressed him, in the name of all the 5 Iroquois nations. After that, they proceeded To the 2nd Bower, under which his lordship was addressed, for the 3rd time, by our devout [dogique] catechist, named paul, — who, being accustomed to speak often in public, when Instructing his brethren, now offered his congratulations with a spirit, piety, and eloquence surprising in a savage. Having mounted upon the stump of a tree, which served him as a Rostrum, he took of his hat and made the sign of the Cross. Then, lifting his eyes and his voice toward heaven, he thanked God for the favor that he had granted them in sending them the holy Bishop, his representative; and prayed, further, for the grace of profiting by his visit. Afterward, addressing his lordship, he praised him for his zeal and his Charity for souls, returning him a thousand thanks for his watchful care, extended equally to the french and the poor savages. This address ended, Monseigneur entered the church, where father cholenec, in surplice, presented to him holy water and gave the benediction of the blessed sacrament. At that ceremony the french and the savages chanted again, in two choirs, the “pange lingua,” “ave maris stella,” and “domine salvum fac regem,” — after which the savages alone, men and women alternately, sung a second motet of the Blessed sacrament.

The benediction ended, Monseigneur came into our house. Perceiving that the savages were following him, he made the men come in and gave to all of them his hand to kiss, bestowing upon them many tokens of. regard, especially [Page 277] those who, as he was informed, were the most devout. Having gone into another room, he gave permission to the women to come in, in order that he might praise the piety in proportion to the good that was reported to him respecting each of them. At length he dismissed them, bestowing upon them all his blessing. It was also received by some infidel Iroquois, who had recently arrived from their own country, and who breathed only war and arrogance; for they paid all respect and submission to His Lordship, the same as our Christians gave, — as if the presence of so good a pastor had changed those cruel wolves into gentle lambs.

The morrow, which was whitsun-tuesday, was truly a Day of the descent of the Holy ghost upon this mission, through the grace of the sacraments which Monseigneur most Gladty and Kindly bestowed upon it, and which our savages received with admirable modesty and devotion. He commenced, in the early morning, with the baptism of ten adults, — 4 men and six women, — following this up with 3 marriages, at which he himself officiated. After that, he said holy mass, during which our savages chanted and received communion, — in most cases, from his own hand. He further gave them Confirmation, permitting also the french who had not received it to Join the savages — for whose sake alone, he asserted, he had come. Father fremin repeated to them, in the savage tongue, the sermon which his lordship preached to them in our own.

The morning having thus passed, there was given in his name a feast to all our savages in the Dogique’s a large Cabin. As they Knew that his lordship was to be present thereat, they prepared for him and for his suite places, which they decked out with all the most beautiful articles which they possessed. The feast, which was [Page 279] protracted, — rather by addresses, songs, and similar ceremonies than by eating, — being over, Monseigneur, not Contenting himself with this favor granted to all in general was further pleased, by an excess of his goodness and of his usual Condescension, to visit each family, and each individual in his own Cabin. Our savages no Sooner perceived this than, in order to show their gratitude for a favor so great, they decorated their Cabins with all that was most precious in their scanty stores, — making ready a place wherein to seat His Lordship, and spreading upon the ground, in some places, branches of trees, in others, handsomely worked mats; some laid down rich furs, others blankets of ratine and of similar stuffs. They Cleaned the thoroughfares through which he was to pass and beautified them to the utmost of their ability. Monseigneur was greatly pleased and edified at all these sincere tributes of affection and respect; and, although it was late by the time he had visited all the people, the zeal which some parents showed to have him baptize their children Resulted in our presenting to him seven of these, on whom he immediately Conferred that Sacrament. He then assisted at benediction, which took place as on the preceding Day. On the following morning, having again been pleased to say mass for our savages, who sang at it very well, as they usually do, he set out on his return to montreal, — all bearing him company as Far as the river, as had been done on his arrival. When he was on the point of stepping into his Canoe, they knelt down to receive his benediction, which he again bestowed upon all assembled, who followed him with their eyes as far as they could see. He carried away all their Hearts, while leaving them his own.

We had leisure for conversing with Monseigneur the Bishop, while he was here, concerning some of our savages [Page 281] whose virtue shone with more than ordinary luster. Besides the satisfaction which, he assured us, he had felt at all that he had seen, and at the good condition in which he found this mission, He took an especial pleasure in the narration — which we gave him of the precious death of a Young Iroquois Christian.

One of the things which enabled that holy Prelate and his suite better to observe the solid virtue of the Savages of this Mission, and which delighted them most, was that the joy of all this feast was not disturbed by the saddest news that could come to this village. Anxiety had been felt, for some time, for a band of hunters, among whom was the captain of the Agnies, one of the most noted of all the Iroquois and, moreover, an excellent Christian. On Tuesday morning, as mass was about to begin, a Savage arrived from Quebec, who stated that when he passed through Three Rivers he had learned, from some Loup Savages, that others of their tribe had killed the hunters about whom the people of la Prairie were anxious.

Although in the sequel this news, thanks be to God, turned out to be false, it was nevertheless believed by all to be true; and thus, according to the custom of the Savages on similar occasions, all the relatives of those whose death had been announced should have remained shut up in their houses, without making their appearance on any public occasion. Nevertheless they not only all attended divine service at which they received the sacraments of penance, the Eucharist, and confirmation; but even the wife of that captain, afflicted as she was, added to all her devotions that of offering at mass the blessed bread, which she had to give on that day. [Page 283] Afterward, she took up the collection in the church, with all the good breeding of a French lady, with infinitely greater modesty and self-possession, and resignation to God’s will. After mass, when Monseigneur the bishop learned what had happened, and was informed of the perfect love which that brave woman had for her husband, he highly praised her virtue, and showed by every means in his power the regret that he felt for her loss, and for that of the Iroquois who believed their people to be dead. Thus the whole stratagem which the devil seemed to have invented solely to disturb the minds of the savages, and to prevent the good results of Monseigneur the Bishop’s visit, served but to make the virtue of our new Christians shine more brightly, and to increase the esteem in which this Mission is justly held.

Monsieur the intendant conceived no less an opinion of it during a visit which he paid there shortly afterward. That illustrious minister of His Majesty, whose coming has been so fortunate for New France and who, by his piety, his kindness, his integrity, his anxiety to oblige every one, and his application to business, so worthily fills all his offices, arrived in the town of Montreal on the evening of Saturday, June 20. He at once appointed a day to visit our Savages at la Prairie, whither, in fact, he proceeded on the following Saturday, accompanied by Monsieur Dambrant, his eldest son; Monsieur Perrot, governor of Montreal; and over fifty of the most notable persons of the country, among whom was Monsieur the curé of Montreal.

As our Savages are under obligation to that worthy intendant for a fine piece of land, a league and a half in extent,[51] — which he granted them because that [Page 285] of la Prairie, being in low ground, is not suitable for raising Indian corn, — they were delighted beyond expression to see him arrive in the evening, in very fine weather, followed by twelve or fifteen canoes. He himself felt no less joy at seeing on the beach so great a number of Christian Savages, who had come to meet him, and whose faith and piety he knew by the reputation which they have so deservedly acquired. After saluting him according to their custom, our Fathers and they led him to the church where he said his prayers before the Blessed Sacrament, Then, to show the Savages that he had come on their account, he went to their village, which lies a short distance from the chapel; and, after passing some time in the cabins, giving a thousand proofs of his friendship and his virtue, he returned to the church. Thence all walked in procession to the bonfire prepared for the feast of Saint John, which fell on the following day.[52]

Father Fremin marched at the head of the Savages; then came the cross-bearer, with two boys in surplices carrying candlesticks. After them walked Father Cholenec, acting as deacon to Monsieur the cure of Montreal, whom we had asked to officiate. Monsieur the intendant came next, followed by Monsieur the governor of Montreal and a large number of Frenchmen. On both sides of this long procession the youth were marshaled in two files, and under arms, — on the left the young Savages, and on the right the young French, with the son of Monsieur the intendant at their head. They fired several volleys at the moment when Monsieur the intendant began to light the bonfire, and when the officiant intoned the usual chant. This chant was continued [Page 287] by the French and Savages, who sang alternately, — the former in Latin, and the latter in Iroquois. If Monsieur the intendant after the ceremony showed that he was charmed with the singing and, above all, with the devotion of our Savages, who had assisted at the procession silently and in prayer, our Savages were no less edified at seeing him in it bareheaded, his rosary in his hand, and with evidences of that profound piety which he professes in so exemplary a manner. He gave us still further proofs of it, both by the little that he ate at collation on that day, which was the vigil of the feast of Saint John; and, on the following day, by the devotion with which he heard mass, and received the sacraments of penance and the Eucharist. As during all that time our Savages sang in their language alternately, — the men on one side, and the women on the other, — he declared that their singing had inspired him with much devotion, and with joy at seeing God praised and served by people who, a few years previously, lived more like animals than like men.

Before dinner, he held at our house a general council of all the Savages at la Prairie — namely, those of the five Iroquois nations, the Hurons, and the Loups. Having, through his interpreter, given them great praise for their zeal and fidelity in worshiping God and serving the king, he exhorted them to continue, and promised them to do for them whatever he personally could. He accompanied his discourse by fine presents for those tribes, in whose name he was thanked by the captain of la Prairie. On sitting down to table, he made our captains sit beside him; he drank their health and wished them to drink his, and could not sufficiently manifest his [Page 289] affection to them. As a token of this regard, after dinner he gave a great feast to the entire village, in the largest of all the cabins, — where he was good enough to remain more than two hours, in order to be present at all their ceremonies, although the heat was unbearable. On leaving the place, a little Savage, six or seven years of age, was presented to him that he might stand godfather to the child; this he did, and named him François Xavier, on account of his devotion to the great patron of our Mission.

After giving us all these and still many other evidences of his solid piety and cordial affection, he returned to Montreal with all his suite; while all our poor Savages, who accompanied him to the river, followed him with their hearts and with their, eyes. He paid them a second visit some time afterward, which was no less kind than the previous one. But, to avoid repetition I shall merely say that it was a more familiar one; for he came, this time, with two other persons, and it cost him much more, owing to the rain and storm that overtook him on the road. Nevertheless, all the water that fell did not in any wise cool the fire of his charity, and of his zeal for the welfare of our poor Savages. [Page 291]



For bibliographical particulars of the Relation of 1673-74, see Vol. LVIII.


The original MS. of Father Louis Nicolas’s Mémoire pour un Missionaire qui ira aux 7 Iles, written probably in June or July, 1673, rests in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal. This is its first publication.


This letter of Claude Dablon to the provincial at Paris, Jean Pinette, was written at Quebec, October 24, 1674. In its publication we follow the text in Douniol’s Relations inédites, t. ii., pp. 3-15.


These three records of the remarkable voyages by Father Marquette are published by us from the original MSS., now resting in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal. Doc. CXXXVI. is the account of the first voyage (1673) in Marquette’s handwriting, with corrections by his superior, Dablon; Doc. CXXXVII. is Marquette’s unfinished autograph journal of his second expedition (1674-75), of which we also publish a facsimile; Doc. CXXXVIII. is Dablon’s account of this second expedition, with particulars of Marquette’s death in 1675. These several documents have already, as described below, [Page 293] been published by Lenox, Douniol, Shea, and others. We have changed the order in which they are given by previous editors, by throwing Allouez’s account of the voyage to the Illinois (1676) forward into its proper chronological sequence, and inserting between the reports of the first and second voyages of Marquette, as given by Dablon, Marquette’s own journal of his second voyage; this is in accordance with our purpose of preserving, so far as practicable, a strictly chronological arrangement.

The bibliographic history of Marquette’s voyages is a puzzle; we present here a series of interesting data, as a contribution toward its solution. There are several manuscripts extant, which, in the main, duplicate one another; they are mentioned in Harrisse’s Notes, pp. 142 and 143. In presenting his narrative, we have, as above stated, had recourse to a MS. with Dablon’s corrections, preserved in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal. That MS. lacks pp. 55-63, a lacuna which we have supplied from the 1681 edition of Thevenot’s Recueil, described below. St. Mary’s also possesses the original autograph journal of Marquette’s second expedition, covering the period from October 25, 1674, to April 6, 1675; and the original map which he drew, presumably in the winter of 1673-74. These are also reproduced by us, directly from the originals, by photography.

The Marquette narrative was first printed in an abridged form, probably from a manuscript which Dablon had sent to Paris. It comprises only 43 pages of the following collection: “Recueil | de Voyages | de Mr | Thevenot. | Dedié av Roy. | [Cut] | A Paris, | Chez Estienne Michallet | ruë S. Jaques à l’Image S. Paul. | M. DC. LXXXI. | Avec Privilege du Roy.” [Page 294]

Thevenot’s little volume is a composite; the Marquette portion has its own pagination, and is entitled: “Découverte | de quelques Pays | et Nations | de | l’Amerique | Septentrionale.” There is a copy of this edition in the Lenox Library; also another, typographically agreeing with it in all other respects, but having the date “M. DC. LXXXII.” Camus, in his Mémoire (Paris, 1802), p. 282, thus refers to another variation: “J’ai vu de ce livre un exemplaire portant au frontispiece la date de 1681, chez Michallet. Sur cette indication étoit collée une autre adresse, chez Thomas Moëtte, 1687.” There is still a fourth variety, tabulated in the auction catalogue of the Sunderland or Blenheim Library, sold in 1883 (pt. v., item 12409). It is a copy with the 1682 date, having pasted over it this fresh imprint: “Paris, I. Moette, 1689.” Henry Stevens bid it in for ₤17. Thevenot’s Recueil contains a map of the Mississippi, engraved by Liebaux, which differs from, and is quite inferior to, Marquette’s own chart, — it is, in fact, of no practical value; but we present both of them as a striking parallel. The “facsimile” of Marquette’s genuine map, as reproduced by Shea and others, is not without blunders, which will be detected upon comparison with the photographic facsimile given in the present volume of our series. On p. 268 of his Discovery and Exploration of the Mississippi valley, Shea gives the following “Comparative Table Of the Names on the Map published by Thevenot, as Marquette’s, and on his Real Map:”



Usual Form.












Alliniwek and Illinois







































? Kanawha


The following names are on Marquette alone:











Anthoutanta (Le








? Quapaw








The following are on Thevenot alone: Kithigami, Minonk, Aganahali, Wabunghiharea, Taharea.

It will be observed that on the real map the part of Michigan then unexplored, is dotted only, and that the Mississippi descends only to Akansea, the limit of his discovery.

Obadiah Rich republished the Marquette portion of Thevenot’s Recueil, in an edition of 125 copies. It was printed at Paris. — Imprimerie de Maulde et Renou,... 1845. Rich made up a title-page, in antique form, as follows: “Voyage | et | Découverte | de | quelques Pays et Nations | de | l’Amérique Septentrionale | par | le P. Marquette et Sr, Joliet. | [Cut] | A Paris, Chez Estienne Michallet | ruë S. Jacques a l’Image S. Paul. | M. DC. LXXXI. | Avec privilege du Roy.”

A rather free and defective English version of Thevenot’s text was printed in the “Continuation” of the English translation of Hennepin’s America (London, 1698), and of this rendering there are several editions. A better English translation from the same source is given in part ii. of French’s Historical Collections of Louisiana (Phila., 1850), pp. 279, ff.; and an abstract in the Historical Magazine (Aug., 1861), vol. v., pp. 237-239.

Pieter vander Aa published a Dutch translation of Thevenot’s abridgment, in his folio and octave collections of voyages, as follows: (I) Folio edition — De Aanmerkens-waardige Voyagien (Leyden, 1706-1727). Marquette is included among the pieces of vol. ii. of the miscellaneous narratives, and its separate title begins thus: “Ontdekking | Van | eenige | Landen en Volkeren, | In’t Noorden-gedeelte | Van | America, | Door den Vader | Marquette, Soc. Jesu, en d’Hr. Joliet; | [etc.].” (2) Octave edition — Naaukeurige Versameling (Leyden, 1707). The special title-page of the Marquette portion is, practically, like that in the folio volume, and forms part of vol, 28 of this octavo collection.

The manuscripts at St. Mary’s College were published for the first time by Shea, in the following work: “Discovery and Exploration | of the | Mississippi Valley: | with (the Original Narratives of Marquette, | Allouez, Membré, Hennepin, and | Anastase Douay. | By | John Gilmary Shea. | With a facsimile of the newly-discovered Map of Marquette. | [Cut] | Redfield, | Clinton Hall, New York. | 1852.” [Page 297] The volume gives Marquette in an English translation, the French text being printed on pp. 231, ff. It had first been issued as part iv. of Benjamin F. French’s Historical Collections of Louisiana; but the author’s edition, as above, appeared simultaneously. They were both printed from the same stereotype plates; the only difference being a series title-page for the former, in addition to the specific title of the work.

Early in 1855, a small private edition of the Récit. and Journal, from the Montreal MSS. — but materially changed and generally modernized in orthography, — was printed for James Lenox, as follows: “Recit | des Voyages | et des Descouvertes | du | R. Père Jacques Marquette | de la Compagnie de Jesus, en | l’année 1673 et aux fuivantes; | La Continuation de les Voyages | Par le R. P. Claude Allouez, | et | Le Journal Autographe du | P. Marquette en 1674 & 1675, | Avec la Carte de fon Voyage tracée de la main. | [Cut] | Imprimé d’après le Manufcrit Original | refitant au College Se Marie | a Montreal.”

Collation: Title, with “Imprimerie de Weed, Parsons & Cie. Albanie N. Y. 1855” on the verso, I leaf; “Avant-propos,” pp. (2); “Table,” pp. (5); blank, p. (I); “Récit,” pp. 1-144; “Journal,” pp. 145-169; endorsement on verso of p. 169; Lenox coat-of-arms, with verso blank, I leaf. Facsimiles of Marquette’s map and a specimen of the “Journal.” The Lenox Library’s copy has been bound up with six other title-pages, all variations, being canceled proofs made in connection with the preparation of the book. There is, similarly, an extra “Avant-propos,” and also a canceled title for the “Journal.” [Page 298]

Claude Dablon’s Relation of 1673-79, as published by Shea in his Cramoisy Series (Albany: J. Munsell, 1860), includes Marquette’s narrative. It is, however, a less acceptable text than the one we give. That edition is also minus the Journal, and the introduction of the map is wholly arbitrary, as will be seen from Shea’s letter to Lenox, in bibliography of our Doc. CXXXIX.

This map and the “Voyages et Decouvertes” were again presented in the Mission du Canada. Relations inédites de la Nouvelle-France (Paris: Charles Douniol, 1861), t. ii., pp. 239, ff. Martin introduced a page (p. 273) of Indian music which does not belong to the St. Mary’s manuscript, but was taken from a manuscript conserved “chez les Jésuites, à Paris.” This we have relegated to Note 29, p. 311, of the present volume.

In James A. Van Fleet’s Old and New Mackinac, copious extracts are given from the Marquette narrative. Van Fleet’s work has passed through at least three editions — 1870, 1874, and 1880.

See also: Margry’s Mémoires et Documents, t. i. (Paris, 1876), pp. 259, ff.; and Rochemonteix’s Jésuites, t. iii., pp. 9, 10, 20, 21.


In publishing Dablon’s État présent des Missions (or Relation) for 1675, in this and the succeeding volume, we have recourse for the greater part thereof to Douniol’s Relations inédites, t. ii., pp. 17-95. We omit therefrom, however, pp. 21-33, as being a duplication of our Doc. CXXXVIII.; and substitute for it an extract from Dablon’s MS. Relation of 1673-79, mentioned below, which includes Allouez’s [Page 299] work in the missions of St. Marc and St. Jacques in 1674-75. We also substitute for most of pp. 59-64 of Douniol another extract from the Dablon MS., as being a fuller description of Laval’s visit to La Prairie. The typographical methods of representing these changes are explained in the introductory half-title of this document. The MS. of 1673-79 was written by Vincent Bigot, a few minor corrections being made by Dablon; words or letters deleted by the latter are, in our presentation, printed within brackets.

Dablon’s Relation of 1673-79 is a composite, giving in sections the history of the New France missions for the years indicated. But some of the ground which it covers is given in better or more extended form in other manuscripts; in such cases we have thought it best to print them, and omit the duplications of Dablon. In printing the remaining portions of Dablon, we have considered it expedient to dissect his Relation, as follows: Most of the report from Ste. Marie du Sault is substituted for the Douniol text in Vol. LVIII. The account of some “marvels” there wrought is a duplicate of the same chapter in Relation of 1672-73 (Vol. LVII.). Nouvel’s journal of 1676 is also duplicated from the Relation of 1676-77 (Vol. LX.). The account of the St. Jacques and St. Marc missions appears in Relation of 1675 (Vol. LIX.); Marquette’s second voyage is related in the same volume. Allouez’s voyage is told in Vol. LX., where also Crépieul’s journal and Morain’s letter are duplicated (Relation of 1676-77). Part of the report of the La Prairie and St. François Xavier du Sault mission appears in Vol. LIX.; the last two sections are omitted in our series, as lacking in historic [Page 300] value; for the same reason we omit most of the report from Lorette. The first section of this Lorette report is omitted, as being rendered unnecessary by the fu11er account given by Bouvart in Doc. CXL. (Vol. LX.); and a few pages at the end of section 4 are substituted for the Douniol text in Relation of 1675 (Vol. LIX.). What remains of the Relation of 1673-79 constitutes a report for the last-named year, and as such will appear in vol. LXI.

The original MS. is preserved in the archives of St. Mary’s College, at Montreal. It was the work of Vincent Bigot; but Dablon retouched it in places, and made some changes, in his own handwriting. This MS. was one of those which the last survivor of the New France Jesuits, Father Casot, placed in the custody of the nuns of the Hôtel-Dieu, at Quebec, and which were returned to the order upon its reëstablishment in Canada, in 1843.[*] The MS. consists of 147 pp., small 4qto. Unfortunately, a sheet of nine pages, pp. 110-118, is lacking. It comprises the first section of chap. vi. (minus the title), the entire second section, and a part of the third. Dablon wrote the following abridged title on the versa of the last “cahier:” “Relation de 1679, abrégé des précédentes.”

This manuscript was first edited for publication by Father Felix Martin for Shea’s “Cramoisy Series.” According to the Lenox Library’s catalogue of that series, it forms no. 12; but Mr. Lenox, who privately owned several copies, called it no. 14. The title of this printed edition follows: “Relation | de Ce qui s’est passé | de plus Remarquable | aux Missions des Peres | de Ia Compagnie de Jesus | en la | Nouvelle France | les années 1673 à 1679 | Par le R. P. Claude Dablon Recteur | du College de Quebec & Superieur I des Mifflons de la Compagnie de | Jesus en la Nouvelle France. | [Cut] | A la Nouvelle York, | De la PrelIe Cramoify de Jean-Marie Shea. | M. DCCC. LX. | Avec Permifion.” [Page 301]

The above title is not, of course, a part of the manuscript, but was made up by either Martin or Shea, adopting the fixed form of the old Cramoisy annuals. The table of contents is likewise constructed.

Collation: Title, I leaf; “Epistre” to the Provincial, Michel Fessard, pp. (6); “Table,” pp. ix.-xiii.; text, pp. 1-290; colophon, with verso blank, I leaf. A facsimile of Marquette’s map. The colophon reads: “Achevé d’imprimer a [sic] Albany, ce 22 Julliet [sic], 1860, par J. Munfell.”

Something concerning the plan of publication may be gleaned from the following extract of a letter written by Shea to Lenox, and dated “New York 12 Sept. 1860.” He writes:

I have delayed acknowledging the receipt of your note in hopes of being able to send the small paper copies. You will find them large however. I wished to make them of the size of your Relations of 1655, 59, 76 and Marquette, but had to take a larger sheet and leave each to cut away as he chose.

This Relation 1673-9 embraces some of the matter in the Marquette from a different manuscript, but does not contain Marquette’s journal. The map is added merely because Father Martin had it, having himself drawn it on copper from the original map. It has a kind of antiquated air that is not amiss.

It would thus appear that the “Tiré à 100 exemplaires,” printed on the verso of the regular title-page, refers to the whole Shea edition. The fact that so many apparently large paper copies are in evidence seems to be now explained; the small copies [Page 302] have simply been cut down to that size. The Lenox Library has two of the large copies — one of them printed on ordinary book-paper, like that library’s smaller one, and the other printed on fine writing-paper. On the verso of the latter’s title-page, Shea wrote as follows: “Des 5 de ce formet No. 2 J. G. Shea.” This copy has another peculiarity. It contains everything noted in the above collation, and also another title-page with this imprint: “Quebec, | A la Preffe Cramoisy. | M. DCCC. LX. | Avec Permifflon. | Le droit de traduction eft referve.” The same introductory “Epistre” is repeated, but is called “Avant-propos.” On the verso of the Quebec title, instead of the usual statement of number of copies printed, this takes its place: “Regiftré fuivant 1’Acte de la Legiflature Provinciale, en  l’année mil huit cent foixante par le R. P. F. Martin au | Bureau du Regiftrateur de la Province du Canada.” Both the “Epistre” and “Avant-propos” are dated: “Montreal, 20 Julliet [sic], 1859,” and have Father Martin’s initials, “F. M.” [Page 303]



Insert Illustrations


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

[*] See Vol. XXVIII. Of our series, pp. 305, 306.

[1] (p. 27). — These islets are in the St. Lawrence, a little west of the mouth of Betsiamites River, nearly 200 miles below Quebec. They were probably named for Noël Jérémie, sieur de la Montage; he was a native of Champagne, born in 1629, and married at Quebec (1659) Jeanne Peltier, by whom he had eleven children; the date of his death is not recorded, but was subsequent to 1686. The census of 1666 locates him at Quebec; that of 1668, at Côte de St. Ignace.

In later years, André had charge of the mission at these Islands (vol. xi., note 11).

[2] (p. 27). — Chegoutimi: a variant of Chicoutimi, concerning which see vol. i., note 50. At the entrance of this river into the Saguenay was early established a French trading post, which afforded opportunity for the missionaries to gain access to many savages from the northern tribes. At Chicoutimi the Jesuits had a little chapel (apparently not built until after 1661), which was burned a few years later. About 1670, a new chapel was erected in its stead, by François Hazeur, a wealthy merchant of Montreal. The Jesuit mission was maintained at Chicoutimi until 1782, when its last priest, La Brosse, died there. See historical sketch (probably by Ferland) of this mission in Missions du diocese du Québec, April, 1866, pp. 23-55.

[3] (p. 29). — The earthquake of 1663 is fully described in vol. xlviii., pp. 41-57. 183-223.

[4] (p. 29). — A river thus named because it served as a highway for the Papinachois tribe in going to Chicoutimi for trade. It is now known as Rivière des Terres Rompues (“river of broken lands”). or Shipshaw River.

[5] (p. 43). — Martin says (Douniol ed., t. i., p. 332) that this river is named by Father Laure (missionary in the Saguenay region from 1720 to 1738), Mouchaouraganich. It cannot be satisfactorily identified.

In the archives of the Depôt de la Marine, at Paris, are three autograph maps by Laure, dated 1731, 1732, and 1733, respectively. A [Page 305] facsimile of the last-named is given by Rochemonteix (Jésuites, t. iii., end of vol.); cf. his note on p. 433.

[6] (p. 51). — The bay of Seven Islands, about 300 miles below Quebec, is a large, almost landlocked harbor, one of the best on the N. shore of the St. Lawrence. “It has always been a great resort of the Montagnais Indians, and is connected by a broad and deep valley with Lake St. John, 300 miles to the southwest, through which an Indian road formerly ran.” — Lovell’s Gazetteer.

Bellin’s large map of the St. Lawrence (1761) contains two auxiliary charts of this bay: one drawn by [Pierre?] Deshayes in 1686; the other copied from an English map of 1760.

[7] (p. 51). — For sketch of Nicolas, see vol. xlviii., note 14.

[8] (p. 61). — This was probably a son of Eustache Lambert (vol. xxxvi., note 34). See J. E. Roy’s interesting account of Lambert and his family, in Seigneurie de Lauzon (Lévis, 1897), t. i., pp. 254-263.

[9] (p. 65). — “This letter may seem to some readers only a continual panegyric upon the missionaries of New France. But it should be observed that this document was not intended for publicity; and that it was a confidential communication from a superior who, according to the dictates of his conscience, rendered to his higher superior an account of the religious who were under his direction. It should also be known that efforts had been made to traduce the apostolic men — not only to the ministers of Louis XIV., but even to their own provincial, and to Father Ferrier, the king’s confessor. Father Dablon, then, discharged one of the duties of his office in establishing the truth.” — Martin’s note in Douniol ed., t. ii., p. 4.

[10] (p. 69). — Reference is here made to the blueberry (vol. xvi., note 13).

[11] (p. 69). — Antoine Silvy was born Oct. 16, 1638, at Aix-en-Provence. At the age of twenty he entered the Jesuit novitiate, at Aix; his studies were pursued there, and at Vienne, Dôle, and Lyons, successively. He spent the customary term as instructor at Grenoble, Embrun, and Bourg-en-Bresse. In 1673 he came to Canada, and in the following year was sent to the Ottawa missions, where he spent four years-during the last two, aiding Allouez in Wisconsin. In 1678, he was ordered toTadoussac, whence he went, a year later, to found a mission on the shores of Hudson Bay. In 1686, Iberville, son of Charles le Moyne (vol. xxvii., note 10), conducted an expedition of Canadians against the English posts at Hudson Bay, most of which he captured; in this enterprise he was greatly aided by Silvy’s information and advice. The priest remained there, combining with his missionary labors service as chaplain to the French [Page 306] garrison at Fort Ste. Anne; these duties he fulfilled until 1693, aided during the last year and a half by Dalmas (vol. lviii., note 18). In that year Silvy returned to Quebec, where he spent the rest of his life; he lived at the college of Quebec, acting for a time as teacher of mathematics, then for ten years as minister. He died there in 1711 (probably Oct. 12).

[12] (p. 73). — Acadia was at this time a field that had been abandoned by the Catholic religious orders since 1655, when the Capuchin mission was expelled (vol. xxx., note 22).

[13] (p. 75). — It will be remembered that Massachusetts had passed an act (1647) expelling Jesuits from its territory (vol. xxxvi., note 11). At the time of Pierron’s visit to the English colonies, the governor of Maryland was Charles Calvert, son of Cecil, the second Lord Baltimore (vol. v., note 11). The Jesuits in Maryland had been driven out in Clayborne’s rebellion (1644-45); afterward returning to their post, their mission was again broken up in 1655. The few who remained after this dwelt in the English colonies only in concealment or on sufferance; and the triumph of Protestantism in England prevented the renewal of Catholic missions in the colonies.

[14] (p. 75). — “The Assistancies are the grand divisions of the Society of Jesus. Each Assistancy has a representative at Rome who is called assistant. Five Assistancies are reckoned: the Assistancy of Italy, and those of Portugal, Spain, France, and Germany. England forms a part of the Assistancy of Germany.” — Martin’s note in Douniol ed., t. ii., p. 10.

[15] (p. 89). — “The gulf of California was called by the Spaniards Mar de Cartes, or more commonly Mar Bermejo, from its resemblance in shape and color to the Red Sea.... In ignorance of this fact, the French translated Bermejo by Vermeille, and English writers Vermillion.” “Theguaio, or commonly Tiguex, and sometimes apparently Tejas, and Quivira... [which] lay east of the country north of the river Gila, and are probably the present New Mexico and Texas, were first made known by the attempt of a Franciscan missionary [Fray Marc, in 1539] to reach the rich countries of the interior.“” — Shea’s notes, Disc. of Miss. Valley, p. 4.

Winship, in his admirable monograph on Coronado’s expedition (U.S. Bur. Ethol. Rep., 1892-93), locates Quivira (following Bandelier) in N. E. Kansas, beyond Arkansas River, and more than 100 miles N. E. of Great Bend; and the village of Tiguex at or near the present town of Bernalillo, N. Mex. (ut supra, pp. 391, 394-399).

The wording of this passage would indicate Joliet as the official leader of the expedition; but the authorities doubtless regarded Marquette as a valuable assistant to the enterprise, on account of his [Page 307] knowledge of the Indian tongues and the savage character, as well as of the information regarding the great river which he had acquired while connected with the Ottawa missions.

[16] (p. 93). — The name of La Conception appears also on Marquette’s map, herewith presented; but he is apparently the only explorer or writer who thus named the Mississippi. Shea remarks, in a note upon this passage of our text (Disc. of Miss. Valley, p. 8): “The name of Immaculate Conception, which he gave to the mission among the Kaskaskias, was retained as long as that mission lasted, and is now the title of the church in the present town of Kaskaskia.”

[17] (p. 99). — cf. Andrés account of these tides (vol. lvi., pp. 137-139; vol. lvii., pp. 301-305); see also vol. xxxviii., note 19.

[18] (p. 101). — The description here given is insufficient for the identification of the plant. Various plants have been regarded as specifics for the bites of venomous serpents, especially Aristolochia serpentaria and Polygala Senega; but their virtues have apparently been somewhat exaggerated. Regarding the plants above named, see Charlevoix’s Plantes Amer. Sept., pp. 35, 36; his Journ. Hist., p. 159; Rafinesque’s Medical Flora, vol. i., pp. 60-65, and ii., pp. 63-65; and Pickering’s Chron. Hist. of Plants, pp. 748, 768.

[19] (p. 103). — W. J. Hoffman thus explains (U.S. Bur. Ethnol. Rep., 1885-86, p. 155) the character of the cross erected by the savages: “Marquette was without doubt ignorant of the fact that the cross is the sacred post, and the symbol of the fourth degree of the Midê’wiwin, as will be fully explained in connection with that grade of the society. [Marquette’s conclusion] was a natural one, but this same symbol of the Midê Society had probably been erected and bedecked with barbaric emblems and weapons months before anything was known of him.”

The Midê’wiwin is “the society of the Midê or Shamans, popularly designated as the ‘Grand Medicine Society;’” it is found in many Algonkin tribes. Its ritual, and “the traditions of Indian genesis and cosmogony,... constitute what is to them a religion, even more powerful and impressive than the Christian religion is to the average civilized man.” — See Hoffman, ut supra, pp. 155, 256, and plate xv. (facing p. 240), in which are depicted the “sacred posts” above referred to. Cf. vol. xxx., p. 23, where a similar society is mentioned by Ragueneau as existing among the Hurons; and note 1 to same volume.

[20] (p. 107). — Reference is here made to the Fox-Wisconsin portage (vol. lviii., note 7). The name “Meskousing” is but one of numerous variants of “Wisconsin.”

[21] (p. 109). — “This was probably the cat fish of the Mississippi [Page 308] (Silurus Mississippiensis). They sometimes grow enormously large, and strike with great force any object that comes in their way.” — B. F. French’s note, Disc. of Miss. Valley, p. 17.

[22] (p. 111). — The “monster” was “probably an American tigercat, the pichou du sud of Kalm. They differ from those of Africa and South America, because they have no spots.” The fish was “the polyodon spatula of Linn. It is now very rare, and but seldom found in the Mississippi. It is also called by the French le spatule” (French, ut supra, p. 18).

[23] (p. 115). — “These villages are laid down on the map on the westerly side of the Mississippi, and the names of two are given, Peouarea and Moingwena, whence it is generally supposed that the river on which they lay, is that now called the Desmoines. The upper part of that river still bears the name Moingonan, while the latitude of the mouth seems to establish the identity. It must, however, be admitted that the latitude given at that day differs from ours generally from 30’ to a degree, as we see in the case of the Wisconsin and the Ohio. This would throw Moingwena some what higher up.” — Shea, ut supra, p. 20.

[24] (p. 125). — Nearly all the aboriginal tribes assumed for themselves names of similar meaning, in much the same boastful spirit as the Greeks applied the term “barbarian” to all peoples outside of Greece.

[25] (p. 127). — Captives taken in war were generally treated as slaves, among all aboriginal nations. The transition from this method of securing slaves to that of raids upon weaker tribes was, of course, an easy one; and not only the Illinois, but the Iroquois and other powerful nations, seem to have been habitual stealers and sellers of men. — See Carr’s Mounds of Miss. Valley, pp. 30-33, where are cited many references to early writers, regarding this subject.

A note in U.S. Cath. Hist. Mag., vol. xiv., p. 140, cites the finding by the Jesuit Grelon (vol. xxx., note 26), in Chinese Tartary, of a Huron woman whom he had known in America. She had been sold as a slave from tribe to tribe until she reached that place.”

[26] (p. 129). — The custom here described appears to have been prevalent among the Southern and Western tribes, and is mentioned by many travelers and writers, even down to comparatively recent times. See Membré’s narrative in Shea’s Disc. of Miss. Valley, p. 151; Lafitau’s Mœurs des Sauvages, t. i., pp. 52-53; Charlevoix’s Journ.-Hist., p, 303; Long’s Expedition, vol. i., p. 129; Parkman’s La Salle, p. 207; Carr’s Mounds of Miss. Valley, p. 33; and Coues’s Henry and Thompson Journals (N.Y., 1897), vol. i., pp. 53, 163-165. [Page 309] Charlevoix and Long, among others, suppose that the assumption of feminine garb and occupations by men proceeded from a superstition or a dream, or was the observance of some religious rite; some other writers assert that these men were set aside for infamous purposes — a statement apparently verified by much evidence, especially as this class of men were held in the utmost contempt, even among the savages. They were called by the French bardache (a word originally from Arabic bardaj, “slave”), or berdache; the English corruption of this word, “berdash” (a word used, in various forms, as early as 1548), is everywhere in use in the West and North, to designate the men referred to.

Catlin (N. Amer. Inds., vol. ii., pp. 213, 215) describes the annual “dance to the Berdashe,” as seen among the Indians whom he visited on the Upper Mississippi, and has a sketch (plate 296) illustrating it. He says of the “berdashe:” “For extraordinary privileges which he is known to possess, he is driven to the most servile and degrading duties, which he is not allowed to escape; and he being the only one of the tribe submitting to this disgraceful degradation, is looked upon as medicine and sacred, and a feast is given to him annually.... This is one of the most unaccountable and disgusting customs, that I have ever met in the Indian country, and so far as I have been able to learn, belongs only to the Sioux and Sacs and Foxes.”

[27] (p. 131). — In the MS. at St. Mary’s College, which we follow, two leaves are here lacking — a lacuna supplied from Thevenot’s Recueil (see Bibliographical Data for this volume).

The red stone of which the calumet was made has been, from an early period, obtained by the Indians from the celebrated “Pipe-stone Quarry,” in Pipestone county, in the southwestern corner of Minnesota. This place was first described by George Catlin, who visited it in 1836; see his interesting account of the quarry and the surrounding region (with sketch of locality), in his N. Amer. Inds., vol. ii., pp. 160, 164-177, 201-206. The stone was named in honor of him, “catlinite;” it is a red quartzite, regarded by Winchell as the equivalent of the New York Potsdam sandstone. See the latter’s account of the stone and quarry, in Minn. Geol. Survey Rep., 1877, pp. 97-109.

[28] (p. 135). — This sentence is transposed by Martin (in the Douniol edition, and by a marginal correction on the original MS.) to take the place of Chacun.

[29] (p. 137). — Martin, in Douniol edition (t. ii., p. 273), gives the entire chant (of which but one sentence is found in the Montreal MS.), with both words and musical notation. He gives as his [Page 310] authority “a manuscript preserved by the Jesuits, at Paris, in which appear the notation of the song in the calumet dance, and the beginning of the seventh section.” The song is as follows:


Cf. illustrated description of calumet dance, as practiced among the Omaha Indians, given in U.S. Bur. Ethnol. Rep., 1881-82, pp. 276-282.

[30] (p. 137). — This is the heading of section 7 given in the Lenox edition — a made-up title, however, as the Thevenot text is not divided into sections, but continues throughout without a break. Martin made another heading, given in the Douniol edition (and also in his copy from the Thevenot text, with which he supplied the gap in the Montreal MS.), which reads as follows, in translation: “Continuation of the voyage: various rarities encountered along the route; of the Pekitanoui river, by which one can proceed to California.” Shea omits any section division at this point, and in his translation numbers the succeeding sections vii., viii., and ix., respectively.

[31] (p. 139). — Here ends the lacuna supplied from the Thevenot text.

Pekitanoui: the Missouri River. “The name here given by Marquette, [meaning] ‘muddy water,’ prevailed till Marest’s time (1712). A branch of Rock river is still called Pekatonica. The Récollect’s called the Missouri, the river of the Ozages.” — Shea’s note in Disc. of Miss. Vally, p. 38.

[32] (p. 139). — French, ut supra, p. 38, thus identifies these plants [Page 211] and fruits: “Probably Cactus opuntia, several species of which grow in the western states; Diospyros Virginiana, or Persimmon-tree; Castanea pumila, or chincapin.”

[33] (p. 141). — Parkman says (La Salle, p. 59, note 1): “The rock where these figures were painted is immediately above the city of Alton [Ill.]. The tradition of their existence remains, although they are entirely effaced by time. In 1867, when I passed the place, a part of the rock had been quarried away.” But Amos Stoddard observes, in Sketches of Louisiana (Phila., 1812), p. 17: “What they [Joliet and Marquette] call Painted Monsters on the side of a high perpendicular rock, apparently inaccessible to man, between the Missouri and Illinois, and known to the moderns by the name of Piesa, still remain in a good state of preservation.” Parkman mentions (ut supra) a map made for the intendant Duchesneau, soon after Marquette’s voyage, (‘which is decorated with the portrait of one “of the monsters,” answering to Marquette’s description, and probably copied from his drawing.”

[34] (p. 143). — This supposition of Marquette’s has been confirmed by later explorations, which show that the headwaters of the Platte, tributary to the Missouri, closely approach those of the Colorado, which falls into the Gulf of California.

[35] (p. 145). — Ouaboukigou (Ouabouskigou, on the maps of both Joliet and Marquette): corrupted by the French into Ouabache, and Anglicized as Wabash. By early writers and map-makers the name was applied to both the present Wabash river and the Ohio below their junction; it was also called by the French Rivière de St. Jéröme. By 1746, we see on D’Anville’s map of that date “Ohohio, ou la Belle Riv.,” applied to the entire course of the Ohio, and “Ouabache” to the Wabash, as now known; and Winsor cites (Mississippi Basin, p. 17) James Logan, of Pennsylvania, as making that discrimination as early as 1718.

[36] (p. 145). — Chaouanons: the Algonkin name, meaning “people of the South,” for the tribe now known as Shawnees (a corruption of the above word); also called Ontouagannha; see vol. xlvii., note 9. Shea, in his note (Disc. of Miss. Valley, p. 41) on this passage of our text, argues that this tribe is that of the Eries after their dispersion by the Iroquois. Cf. observation on the Attiwendaronk in vol. xviii., note 19; also vol. viii., note 34, and vol. xxi., note 11.

[37] (p. 149). — “The missionary gives no name to this tribe or party, but from their dress and language, apparently of the Huron-Iroquois family, they may have been a Tuscarora party, and referred to the Spaniards of Florida with whom they traded in trinkets for skins.” — Shea’s note in Disc. of Miss. Valley, p, 44. [Page 312]

“Marquette had now reached the country of the warlike Chicachas [Chickasaws], whose territory extended several hundred miles along the banks of the Mississippi, and far to the eastward, where they carried on a traffic with tribes who traded with Europeans.” — French’s note, ut supra, p. 43.

[38] (p. 151). — The Mitchigameas were located about the mouth of the St. Francis River in Arkansas. As for the latitude given to this place by Marquette, it varies somewhat, as might reasonably be expected, from that of modern surveys.

[39] (p. 153). — “It is probable that Akamsea was not far from the Indian village of Guachoya, where De Soto breathed his last, one hundred and thirty years before; and Mitchigamca, the village of Aminoya, where Alvarado de Moscoso built his fleet of brigantines to return to Mexico” (1543). — French’s note, ut supra, p. 46.

Later (1886), Shea locates Guachoya, following De 1’Isle’s map of 1707, at the mouth of the Red River; see his paper on “Ancient Florida,” in Winsor’s N & C. Hst., vol. ii., pp. 253, 294.

[40] (p. 157). — Regarding the pottery manufactured by the tribes of this region, see Holmes’s “Ancient Pottery of the Mississippi Valley,” in U.S. Bur. Ethnol. Rep., 1882-83, pp. 360-436; it contains numerous illustrations of specimens obtained from mounds and other sources in the Central States. See also Butler’s & “Prehistoric Pottery — Middle Mississippi Valley,” and Seever’s “Prehistoric Remains in St. Francis Valley,” — both papers describing and illustrating the pottery collection in the museum of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, — in Proceedings of that Society for 1893, pp. 70-78. Cf. Thomas Wilson’s “Prehistoric Art,” in U. S. Natl. Mus. Rep., 1896, pp. 475-430. It is probable that the earthen jars and vessels used by the Arkansas tribes at the time of Marquette’s visit did not essentially differ, in form, process of manufacture, or use, from the specimens now on our museum shelves, obtained from mounds. Holmes says (ut supra, p. 371): “There can be no reasonable doubt that the manufacture of this ware began many centuries before the advent of the white race, but it is equally certain that the art was extensively practiced until quite recent times. The early explorers of Louisiana saw it in use, and the processes of manufacture arc described by Dumont and others.” And Hoffman (U.S. Bur. Ethol. Rep., 1892-93, p. 257) says: “Earthenware is no longer made by the Menomini, though some of the oldest women remember when pottery-making was engaged in.”

[41] (p. 161). — Reference is here made to the Illinois river; from its upper waters, the traveler obtained access to Lake Michigan by several portages. That between its northern fork (the Des Plaines [Page 313] River) and the Chicago River was, owing to the southward current along the west shore of Lake Michigan, the usual route on the outward voyage from Mackinac and other northern points. The Des Plaines might also be reached by a similar portage to the Calumet River, which falls into Lake Michigan at the present South Chicago. On early maps the Chicago and Calumet rivers are sometimes confounded with each other. On the return trip, the voyager couid reach the great lake not only by these routes, but by a third — via the Kankakee (the southern fork of the Illinois) and a portage (at the present South Bend, Ind.) to St. Joseph River, at the S. E. corner of Lake Michigan. This was often used when returning to Mackinac, as the lake current runs northward along the east shore. — See Winsor’s Mississippi Basin, pp. 24-26.

The Chicago-Des Plaines route involved a “carry” of from four to nine miles, according to the season of the year; in a rainy spring season, it might not be over a mile; and during a freshet, a canoe might be paddled over the entire route, without any portage. A canal between these rivers was opened in 1848, which gave a strong impetus to Chicago’s early growth; and the government drainage Canal, now (December, 1899) nearing completion, follows the same route, from Chicago to Joliet, a distance of 36 miles southwest to the Des Plaines River — a waterway 14 feet deep, and 100 feet wide, which will not only insure proper drainage to Chicago, but greatly facilitate her commerce.

[42] (p. 163). — These villages of the partly nomadic Illinois savages were not situated at the places afterward known by their names. The Kaskaskia village is placed by Shea (Disc. of Miss. Valley, p. 74, note) “near Rockport” (by which he apparently means the so-called “Starved Rock,” on which La Salle built Fort St. Louis); and Parkman locates it (La Salle, pp. 65, 156)” about seven miles below the site of the present town of Ottawa [Ill.].”

[43] (p. 167). — The portage by which Marquette crossed to Lake Michigan was that between Sturgeon Bay (in Door county, Wis.) and the lake. A ship-canal connecting these waters was opened July 4, 1879; it is 7,400 feet long, and saves 150 miles of navigation between the city of Green Ray and lower Lake Michigan ports. It is now owned by the U. S. government.

[44] (p. 175). — La Toupine (Taupine) was the surname of a noted French fur trader, Pierre Moreau (Pierre Péré Moreau, according to Sulte — Canad.-Français, t. v., p. 16); he was born in 1639, near Xaintes, France. In 1671, he was with St. Lusson at Sault Ste. Marie (vol. iv., pp. 105-115); and his name appears in the procès-verbal drawn up on that occasion (published in Margry’s Découv. [Page 314] Français, pp. 96-99, and Wis. Hist. Colls. vol. xi., pp. 26-29), as “a soldier in the garrison of the castle of Quebec.” In 1677, he married at Quebec Marie Lemire, by whom he had thirteen children. La Toupine was one of Frontenac’s adherents; it was charged that he, with other coureurs de bois, was shielded in illicit trading by the governor’s influence. In 1681, he was living in the “upper town” of Quebec, where he died in August, 1727.

[45] (p. 195). — For location of this place, see vol. l., note 13, Cf. Shea’s note, in Disc. of Miss. Valley, p. 59.

[46] (p. 201). — This date is incorrect, as May 19 fell on Sunday in 1675. Marquette’s death occurred on Saturday; the date should therefore be May 18. — A. E. Jones, S. J.

A letter (dated Oct. 10, 1675) by the Jesuit Cholenec, published in Rochemonteix’s Jésuites (t. iii., pp. 606-612), explicitly states that Marquette died “on Saturday, May 18, between eleven o’clock and midnight.” Cholenec adds that the donné who accompanied the Father had come down to Quebec that summer; that he had obtained from them full particulars of Marquette’s last voyage; and that the latter had occupied himself, while wintering at the Chicago portage, in writing memoirs of his voyages.

[47] (p. 221). — We here insert letters by Allouez, giving an account of his work for the years 1674-75. The first letter is made in Douniol (t. ii., pp. 217-219) part of the Relation of 1673-74; but that text is modernized. We follow a text in Martin’s handwriting (probably copied from a Roman MS.), appended to the Montreal MS. of the Relation of 1673-79. The second letter is taken from that Relation; it is erroneously placed with the other letter (ut supra), in Douniol.

[48] (p. 235). — The account of Marquette’s death here given, in Douniol, has already been presented by us in doc. cxxxviii., ante.

[49] (p. 253). — Jean Baptiste Boucher, born at Soissons Feb. 6, 1641, became a Jesuit novice at Nancy, Oct. 2, 1663. He was an instructor at Dijon and Chalons during 1665-69; and then, for five years more, pursued his studies at Ensisheim and Pont-à-Mousson. In 1674, he came to Canada, where he was soon employed in the Tadoussac mission; he remained there four years, aiding Crépieul, and then spent a winter with the savages at Lake St. John. In Rochemonteix’s phrase (Jésuites, t. iii., p. 427), “discouragement then seized him, and he returned to France” (1680).

[50] (p. 269). — Pierre Cholenec was born in the diocese of Leon, June 30, 1641; and entered the Jesuit novitiate at Paris, Sept. 8, 1659. He acted as instructor at Moulins and Eu from 1661 to 1670, except three years spent at La Flêche in the study of philosophy. Four [Page 315] years more he passed in the study of theology, at Paris; and in August, 1674, he departed for Canada. He was long stationed at the Indian colony of St. Francis Xavier du Sault, where, in 1680, the noted Iroquois convert Catherine Tegakwits died. An account of her life was written by Cholenec, who was her confessor. He was, in later years, stationed at the Jesuit residence at Montreal, of which he was, in 1700, superior.

[51] (p. 285). — The new intendant, Talon’s successor, was Jacques Duchesneau, chevalier, and sieur de la Doussiniere, who had had an important government position at Tours, France. He came to Canada in September, 1675. Almost from the first, Frontenac and Duchesneau were unfriendly to each other, a feeling which soon developed into positive hostility. Each made complaints of the other to the home government, which vainly tried to adjust their differences and secure harmony in their official relations. Finally, Louis XIV., losing patience, recalled both of them to France (May 10, 1682).

The seigniory of Sault St. Louis, mentioned in the text as given by Duchesnenu, was granted to the Jesuits May 29, 1680 (vol. xii., note 11); it adjoined that of La Prairie on the southwest.

[52] (p. 287). — St. John the Baptist — whose feast, as we have already seen, was annually celebrated by bonfires and other rejoicings — is regarded by Roman Catholic Canadians as the patron saint of their country. [Page 316]