The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents
Travels and Explorations
of the Jesuit Missionaries
in New France
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CONTENTS OF VOL. LX.
Preface To Volume LX
État présent des Missions des Peres de la Compagnie de Jésus en la Nouvelle-France, pendant l’année 1675. Claude Dablon; [Quebec, 1675] [Final installment.].
De la chapelle de Notre-Dame de Lorette en Canada. Martin Bouvart; [Lorette, March 1 and 2, 1675].
Lettre à —. Jean Enjalan; Sillery, October 13, 1676.
Recit d’un 3e voyage faict aux Ilinois. Claude Allois; n. p., [1677 ca.].
Relation de ce qui s’est passé en la Novvelle France, és années 1676. & 1677. Claude Dablon; n.p., . [With extracts from letters by the following missionaries: Henri Nouvel, January 1, 1676; Jean de Lamberville, January 18, 1676; Antoine Silvy, April 6, 1676; Philippe Pierson, April 25, 1676; Louis André, April 30, 1676; Jacques de Lamberville, May 6, 1676; Claude Allouez, May 26, 1676; Pierre Millet, June 1, 1676; Jacques Bruyas, July 31, 1676; Jacques Vaulter, January 1, 1677; Pierre Cholenec, January2, 1677; Jean Morain, June 20, 1677: François de Crépieul and Jean Baptiste Boucher, undated.).
Bibliographical Data; Volume LX
[INSERT GRAPHIC HERE]
ILLUSTRATIONS TO VOL. LX.
Facsimile of portion of page of The Burrows Brothers Co.‘s contemporary MS. of Dablon’s Relation of 1676-77.
PREFACE TO VOL. LX
Following is a synopsis of the documents contained in this volume:
CXXXIX. The greater part of Dablon’s État présent Des Missions for 1675 was published in Vol. LIX.; the final section is herewith presented — the report on the Huron mission of Lorette. This village now contains about 300 persons, Huron and Iroquois. It is a thoroughly Christian community; all children therein are baptized, and strangers coming to it are instructed by their Christian countrymen. One of these native teachers, Jacques Sogarésé, “ takes a special interest in seeing that all goes well in houses and in families; and, if he observes therein any disorderly conduct, he at once notifies Father Chaumonot.” He is so zealous that even his Christian wife “ sometimes complains of being too much annoyed by the sermons that her husband continually preaches in his cabin.” The kindness which these Christians manifest toward one another, especially in times of bereavement, is warmly commended. A detailed account is given of the Christianized burial customs observed among these savages. Their fervor and devotion in celebrating the church festivals is eulogized. On Good Friday, they make a voluntary offering to the Virgin, “ to wipe away the tears that she sheds for the death of her first-born; ” this amounts to more than 4,000 porcelain beads, to [Page 11] which the elders add two porcelain collars. Yet these people have hut recently experienced such scarcity of food that they have been compelled to sell almost all their possessions to obtain it. God has preserved these faithful children, notwithstanding the famine, so that none of them have died from either hunger or disease; the Jesuits, and their friends in France, have relieved the necessities of the colony. Numerous instances are cited of the lavish generosity displayed by these converts toward the poor and sick among them; ‘ ’ they take, as it were, the food from their own mouths, ” to give to such. The wretched end of a certain apostate is described, as also the miraculous cure of a sick woman.
CXL, Martin Bouvart writes (March 1 and 2, 1675) a minute account, historical and descriptive, of the chapel recently built at the Huron village of Lorette, near Quebec. He explains the motives which induced the Jesuits to build this chapel — their desire to honor the Virgin, the advantage of providing the Christian pilgrims an easily accessible resort, and their hope that this new shrine would be a special means of grace for both French and savages. The means for building it have been largely spiritual — special devotions and offerings, during the entire year preceding, to St. Joseph, St. Anne, and other celestial advocates. While doing this, “ we were making all the preparations that we judged necessary for the execution of our enterprise ’ ‘ — having bricks, lime, shingles, and other materials made for this purpose, and brought to the site chosen. ” Notwithstanding some advances and debts which we have been obliged to incur in order to carry cut this enterprise, we hope that our house [Page 12] will not remain inconvenienced by all that it has contributed for building a house to the divine Mary. It is to the glory of so great a Queen to give back infinitely more than one has advanced for her; it is then enough for us that she knows that the Loretto of New France costs us some 5,000 livres.”
Bouvart proceeds to describe the site chosen for the chapel, and the formation of the Indian village, which is arranged in a quadrangle, the chapel in the center. The Indians come hither to live at the end of December, 1673. At the opening of the new chapel, the Fathers can count two hundred Christians in this mission, and many others are expected from the Iroquois country.
Dablon, as superior, lays the first stone of the chapel on July 16, 1674; and the edifice is blessed and opened on the fourth of November following It contains three statues — a Virgin from Loreto, which has touched the Madonna’s statue in the Santa Casa; and two (a Virgin and a St. Joseph) “ made from the real wood of Notre Dame de Foy ” in Belgium, which have been sent to Canada by pious friends in France. These images are accompanied by several precious relics. The ceremonies at the opening of the chapel are described. Dablon gives the savages a feast in the afternoon, on which occasion he presents to them the contract of concession for their lands at Lorette. They “ are obliged, by way of dues, not to take liquor to excess; and those who become intoxicated shall be driven from Lorette and shall loose their fields, whatever work they may have accomplished. ”
Bouvart describes in detail the interior of the chapel. This, as well as the shape and exterior of [Page 13] the building, is made to resemble, as exactly as possible, the interior of the Santa Casa. The statue sent from Loreto is, however, painted in flesh-color, and not black like the original, lest a black Madonna should cause the savages ” to resume the custom which we have made them abandon of blackening and staining their faces.”
This holy place has at once become, as was expected, a notable resort for pilgrims, both French and Indian; and a strong incentive to increased devotion and attendance at religious services. Even the children “ show eagerness and joy when they are about to go to the chapel.” Many persons go to it to offer mental prayer, or to recite the rosary, so early that the Fathers are obliged to forbid them to come earlier than four o’clock in the morning.
CXLI. This is a letter from a new missionary, Jean Enjalran, dated at Sillery, October 15, 1676. He describes the unusually long and tedious voyage, in which he, with his brother Jesuits, suffered much from sea-sickness. The voyagers are also troubled by contrary winds and violent storms, and the fear of being captured by Dutch privateers. Sailing from La Rochelle April 12, it is not until June 21 that they reach land, at Cape Breton; and they do not arrive at Quebec until July 22. In the St. Lawrence, they encounter great perils from winds and dangerous shoals. At Isle Percée, Enjalran is greatly troubled at the fate of an Indian girl, who entreats the Fathers to let her go on their vessel to Quebec, but who is dragged away by a French trader, who has her in his power. Enjalran and his brethren arrive at Quebec at the same time with some donné sent down from the Ottawa missions, who bring word [Page 14] that another priest is needed there to take Allouez’s place, the latter intending to go to the Illinois mission recently founded by the late Father Marquette. Accordingly, Albanel, who has but this day set foot on shore, is immediately ordered to repair to De Pere, as superior of the Green Bay mission. Enjalran would gladly accompany him, but is instead sent to Sillery, with Bonnault, to learn the Algonkin tongue. That once flourishing and populous mission is now reduced by pestilence, war, and intemperance, to a few Algonkin families, who come hither at certain seasons of the year. Enjalran finds his study of Algonkin “ an engrossing occupation; for I think that the first ones who made comments upon these languages must have needed extraordinary help from God.”
Enjalran gives an interesting account of the war which is raging between the New England tribes and the English colonists there — alleging that the English have incited the Iroquois to attack the Mohican and other Eastern tribes. An Abenaki band, having murdered some English settlers, take refuge at Sillery; Frontenac receives them only upon condition that they do not again attack the English; and he forbids the Iroquois to fight upon French territory. The Fathers at Sillery gladly seize the opportunity to give religious instruction to these Abenaki refugees. Enjalran regrets that he cannot speak their language, that he might aid in the good work; but he does what he can to influence them, and is well repaid in seeing “ the attachment which they all have for me. Accordingly, I have stripped myself of almost everything that I could give them, and I do not account it ill employed.” [Page 15]
Enjalran gives an interesting description of the town of Quebec, which has a population of not more than 800 persons, There are “ in Canada more than ten thousand French people, many of whom have much trouble to live. The land yields corn enough, but God does not bless those dealers in brandy, which ruins the savages and the missionaries’ labor.” There would be corn to export “ if every one would make the most of his lands.” Some account is given of the college at Quebec and of the missions sustained by the Jesuits at Sillery, Lorette, and La Prairie, and the others are briefly mentioned.
CXLII. A voyage to the Illinois mission, which was begun by the late Father Marquette, is made by his successor, the veteran Allouez. His report of this journey, prefaced by a short note by Dablon, is here given.
He sets out from De Pere near the end of October, 1676, with two men. They intend to winter with ’ the Illinois, but cold weather overtakes them earlier than usual, and they are obliged to remain among the Pottawatomie Indians near Green Bay until February. The ice is then strong enough to bear their canoe, upon which they rig a sail, and thus have an ice-boat which is propelled by the wind; when the wind fails, they haul the canoe by ropes. March 29, they embark on Lake Michigan, which they have reached via the Sturgeon Bay portage. After voyaging seventy-six leagues along the lake-shore, they reach Chicago River, where they are cordially welcomed by the Indians who dwell there, Finally, on April 27, they reach the great Illinois village of Kaskaskia. This place now has people from eight different tribes, and contains 351 cabins. Allouez [Page 16] briefly mentions the customs of these people, and the natural products of the country. He at once begins to instruct them, in the very cabin where Marquette had lodged; “ I could not have desired a larger audience, or closer attention.” The Father baptizes thirty-five children and a sick man; he erects a great cross in the village, which is adored by even the children; and he sees there a bright prospect of success for the faith. A rumor that the Iroquois intend to make war upon the Illinois leads him to dread that “beginnings so glorious may be entirely destroyed.” A postscript by Dablon states that the expected Iroquois raid had taken place, but had been repelled by the Illinois. He dreads the result of this upon the mission just begun.
CXLIII. The Relation of 1676-77 is written by Dablon, as a report to his provincial. He begins with an account of the Iroquois missions, regarding which there is much cause for anxiety. The upper Iroquois are threatening war against the French, and even the missionaries are in constant danger of their lives. Those savages are carried away not only by their natural arrogance, but by the influence of intoxicating liquors, which are used by them to great excess. Amid all their persecutions, the Fathers console themselves with the fact that they have, during the year, baptized more than 350 Iroquois, of whom about 200 have died since baptism, “ a certain Gain for heaven.”
The lower Iroquois tribes are less inclined to persecute the missionaries, from whose letters extracts are given, to show that they are still making some headway in their labors. Bruyas and Jacques de Lamberville count one hundred baptisms among the [Page 17] Mohawks; but a great loss has befallen them in the death (August, 1675) of Assendassé, the chief baptized a year before. Lamberville gives (May 6, 1676) the details of a conversion in which his efforts are aided by the influence of the martyr Jogues.
Milet reports (June 1, 1676) a more cheering condition and prospect at Oneida. “ The service of God Has greatly increased, and the worship of the demon has greatly diminished, this year, in this mission.” He attributes this result largely to two influences — the conversion of a prominent chief named Soenresé, and the establishment at Oneida of the confraternity which has proved so successful in Canada, that of ‘* the Holy Family.” Jean de Lamberville writes (June 18, 1676) from Onondaga. He has baptized several Mohican captives who were burned to death there. The medicine-men greatly hinder his labors; some of their superstitious ceremonies are described. In opposing these men he is vigorously aided by Garakontié.
The Ottawa missions have “ within a year Given to the Church 367 persons. . . Of all that number, not more than 60 are adults. The remainder are children, most of whom have gone to Heaven since baptism. ’ ’ Extracts from the missionaries’ letters are given. Allouez writes from the De Pere mission (May 26, 1676) that he has spent the preceding year in itinerant missions among the tribes in Central Wisconsin. From the Outagamies he expects much, for they have been sorely afflicted, of late, by war, famine, and sickness. A letter from André, dated April 20, 1676, gives some account of the De Pere mission. His stations are scattered around Green Bay, ten to fifteen leagues apart; “ this compels me [Page 18] To Be always in the Field.” He has on this bay “from 4 to 500 Christians.” He has secured forty- five baptisms, but has had to endure much at the hands of the infidels. One of these burns Andre’s house: “he did so perhaps to allay the sorrow that he felt for the death of his two children, who were killed some time ago by a savage.” The Father mentions various journeys which he has made among the scattered tribes, baptizing some children or old men at each camp; the devil tries I, to revenge himself for the prey that I Snatched from him through these Baptisms. ” Among the Winnebago Indians Andrea finds others, who speak their language, are neutral in the war between them and the Sioux, and belong to the Iowas, 200 leagues westward from Green Bay. A postscript by Dablon summarizes Andre’s observations on the apparent tides in Green Bay.
Silvy has gone to the Mascouten village, to aid Allouez in that great field. He finds (April 6, 1676) among them thirty-six adult Christians and 126 baptized children. The savages, both Christian and pagan, throng to his chapel. He details the pious behavior of one of the Christians, who, at the elevation of the host, feels such awe and veneration that he “ suddenly fell into such convulsions that he seemed like one possessed.”
From St. Ignace mission Pierson writes (April 25, 1676) in highly encouraging terms. He has baptized forty-seven adults, a number greater than that of the children; and his Huron church is steadily growing in faith and devotion, as well as in numbers. The medicine-men have kept the promise given by them two years ago, to abandon their juggleries and superstitions. The Iroquois are endeavoring to gain the [Page 19] good will of the Hurons; but the Jesuits fear that this is but a pretext to lure the Hurons to the Iroquois country, which would ruin the St. Ignace mission. The other Fathers who labor on or near Lake Huron also report many baptisms, mainly of children.
One of Nouvel’s journals gives an account of his latest winter sojourn with the savages — this time, toward Lake Erie. As usual, it is a record of hardships and privations, which the missionary cheerfully endures that he may win souls. Having arrived at the place where they are to winter, a cabin and chapel are erected for Nouvel, where he regularly celebrates religious rites throughout the winter. From this center, he makes flying trips to various Indian camps in that region, instructing and baptizing as opportunity offers.
A letter from Vaultier (January I, 1677) makes his report from the newly-formed Abenaki mission at Sillery (see Doc, CXLI., ante). He states that the English have, “ through their own Imprudence,” encountered severe losses in their war with the New England tribes. The Abenakis, dreading the vengeance of the English, fled, as we have seen, to the St, Lawrence, and are now settled at Sillery. The missionaries are agreeably surprised at the effects of the gospel upon these savages. They show the utmost willingness to receive instructions and attend church services, and quickly learn the catechism and prayers. The Fathers hesitate to baptize them, dreading the fickleness of the savage nature; but they soon note a gratifying improvement in the morals of these Indians. One of their chiefs, Pirouakki, is converted, who proves a valuable aid to the missionaries. [Page 20]
Letters from Crepieul and Boucher give an account of the Tadoussac mission. The former continues his journal from the preceding year. Early in September, 1676, savages from eight different tribes rendezvous at Chicoutimi, where the Fathers spend three weeks in caring for the spiritual needs of these people; the Indians are delighted with the chapel just built there. Thence they go to the neighborhood of Lake St. John, “ where many savages had been awaiting us for 8 days.” They spend the entire winter in the vicinity of this lake, going from one Indian camp to another, returning in the summer to Tadoussac. Boucher highly commends the piety of the savages with whom he has wintered. In the spring he goes down to the Papinachois savages and those at the Seven Islands. During six months, he baptizes thirty-nine persons among various tribes.
Morain is conducting a mission among the Gaspesians and Etechemins who have settled at Riviere du Loup, south of Tadoussac. As for the latter tribe, they at first despised prayer and instruction, and would not come to the chapel; but, by dint of exhortations, visits to the cabins, and the exhibition of “ the Picture of a damned person,” Morain finally induces nearly all to attend church services. They are even “ beginning to understand that it is wrong to become intoxicated.” They now esteem prayer, and are quite ready to invoke God in time of danger. Morain finds them quite docile, and would have much hope for their conversion if it were not for their wandering mode of life. He intends to build a chapel for them, and to offer them land to cultivate, hoping thus to make them at least partially sedentary. He has baptized a few of them, The [Page 21] Gaspesians had been formerly instructed by Richard, but have lost much of their religious fervor. Morain has only begun his labors with them, but he regards them as more humane and tractable than the Etechemins; but their nomadic life renders them difficult to reach by religious influences.
The Iroquois colony at La Prairie has been removed to a place farther up the river, at Sault St. Louis, where the land is better adapted to the culture of Indian corn. The mission is now called St. François Xavier du Sault. A letter from Cholenec (dated January 2, 1677) describes with much detail the pious fervor and the religious exercises prevalent among these Christian Indians. This mission now contains twenty-two Indian cabins, a chapel, and a house for the Fathers. The services on Sunday are so numerous that “ the sun has Set by the time when all is finished; and thus the Father Keeps his savages in practice, and makes them spend the entire Sunday devoutly.” Their actions correspond to their prayers, as is shown by various instances of forgiveness and restitution, They are, moreover, as zealous for the salvation of others as for their own. One of the good Christians sets himself to teaching the creed and chants to the children, who gather in his cabin, “ well-behaved and modest, like so many little statues, without daring to stir.”
At Notre Dame de Lorette there has been much sickness; but the good Christians there devote themselves assiduously to nursing and aiding those who are ill, even neglecting their own affairs to do so. Numerous deaths occur, the details of which are given in several cases. The Indian dwellers in this Colony decide that if one of their number shall commit [Page 22] any sin, they will “ give a present, to be applied to the poor.” An Iroquois woman “ so Importuned her Confessor that he lent her a Severe iron discipline, which she used several times; ’ ’ and she even asks for other instruments of mortification.
R. G. T.
Madison, Wis., December, 1899. [Page 23]
STAT PRESENT DES MISSIONS EN LA
The first installment was given in Volume LIX.; the remainder of the document is given herewith.[Page 25]
The Huron Mission at Notre Dame de Lorette,
during the year 1675.
HIS Mission, which formerly bore the name of Mission of Notre Dame de Foye, and which during two years has been called the Mission of Notre Dame de Lorette, — on account of the change of village that had to be effected last year, as described in the preceding relation, — now consists of about 300 souls, both Huron and Iroquois. This number is small, in truth, compared with that of the other Missions; but they are all chosen persons, who openly profess Christianity and the most sublime virtues that are practiced therein.
This Christian settlement has the advantage, over the other Christian communities of natives of the country, of being a Church fully formed; and we no longer count therein the number of the baptized, except by that of the children who come into the world. Should it nevertheless happen that some Iroquois abandon their country to take refuge in this village, as in a sure port of safety, we baptize them after carefully instructing them; and this year we have administered baptism to twenty-two adults of this class. With respect to this, I must not omit to mention the zeal manifested for their countrymen by our Iroquois, of both sexes, who have dwelt in this Mission many years; for I may say that the foundation of the instruction received by our newly-arrived neophytes is given them by the older residents, who [Page 27] very frequently go to seek them in their cabins, to instruct them in the mysteries of our holy Faith.
Jacques Sogarésé and Marie Tsaoueaté have especially distinguished themselves in such good offices, which they have rendered to those of their countrymen whom divine grace attracted to our midst. The former has never belied himself since he came here, four years ago; and has always faithfully performed the duties of a good and zealous Christian. On several occasions, he has given us very evident proofs of his faith — especially two years ago, when he went on a journey to his own country. He preferred to come back here, to practice Christianity in great poverty, rather than accept many presents offered him by his kindred and friends, to urge him not to leave them. But he is not content with possessing alone the treasure of the Faith, if he do not communicate it to others; therefore he performs, through preference, the duties of a zealous missionary. He does so to such an extent that his wife, named Cécile, who is herself a very good Christian, sometimes complains of being too much annoyed by the sermons that her husband continually preaches in his cabin. This good man, who is about forty years old, takes a special interest in seeing that all goes well in households and in families; and, if he observes therein any disorderly conduct, he at once notifies Father Chaumonot, in order that he may apply a remedy. He was also employed, in the capacity of catechist, in a large party of our Savages who went to hunt during several months last autumn, winter, and spring. Among them were some of those of whom I have spoken, who had quite recently come from the Iroquois country; and they returned from their hunt [Page 29] with a considerable knowledge of our mysteries, in which they have been instructed by our Sogarésé.
What shall I say of the journey undertaken by this brave man in the depth of winter, to bring here his little dead daughter, aged about twenty-five months, in order that she might be buried in consecrated ground? He performed that journey of over eighty leagues alone, through the snows and the forests, with that burden on his shoulders, walking day and night — in order, as he said, that his child’s bones might not be separated from those of the other believers, since her soul would never be separated from the number of the faithful in heaven. I know that many would blame such an undertaking in a. Frenchman; but I consider this zeal praiseworthy in a Savage, who is only beginning to receive the first notions of Christianity.
As to Marie Tsaouenté, whom all the French call “la Précieuse,” — and who is, in truth, a very precious treasure in our Mission, on account of her intelligence and her faith, — she has done more to instruct her countrymen than can be imagined. For, notwithstanding the poverty that she, as well as our other Savages, has had to endure this year, as we shall afterward describe, no sooner does an Iroquois man or woman arrive in the village than she goes to invite such to dwell in her cabin. She does so with the intention of feeding them out of the moderate alms given her; and it is her purpose to instruct them at leisure, day and night, in our mysteries, with which she is thoroughly conversant. Thus Father Chaumonot was greatly surprised, some time ago, when on a journey he met a good woman who had come here two months before, [Page 31] and heard that poor catechumen speak so pertinently of our religion that he at once concluded that what she said was the result of the good instruction given her by our Précieuse; for she is one of those whom that good Christian attracted to her cabin with that object.
But what will those who take such care of their bodies to the prejudice of their souls, reply to what I am about to say? Here is an excellent lesson, which will be given them by our good Savage woman. Father Vaillant, who has charge of this Mission with Father Chaumonot, obtained permission to bury in the cemetery of the Savages here the body of a poor French child, who was drowned in a little river that we call “ the river of Lorette,” because it runs beside our village. He did so, in the manner in which we usually bury the poor French Christians. But, when they began to throw the earth directly upon the child, — who was wrapped only in a shroud given through charity by a Savage woman, who had seen others buried, — the Father perceived that all the Savages present at that burial were in consternation and surprise at the want of respect shown to the little body. For, with regard to the manner in which we allow our Christian Savages to pay the last burial honors to one another, after removing from them all the superstitions which they had learned in paganism, we have left them the remainder, which serves but to maintain the mutual union which exists between them, and even to inspire devotion in those who witness the ceremonies.
Their custom is as follows: as soon as any one dies, the captain utters a lugubrious cry through the [Page 33] village to give notice of it. The relatives of the deceased have no need to trouble themselves about anything, beyond weeping for their dead; because every family takes care that the body is shrouded, the grave dug, and the corpse borne to it and buried, and that everything else connected with the burial is done, — a service that they reciprocally render to one another on similar occasions.
When the hour for the funeral has come, the clergy usually go to the cabin to get the body of the deceased, which is dressed in his finest garments, and generally covered over with a fine red blanket, quite new. After that, nothing is done beyond what is customary for the French, until the grave is reached. Upon arriving there, the family of the deceased, who hitherto have only had to weep, display all their wealth, from which they give various presents. This is done through the captain, who, after pronouncing a sort of funeral oration, which is usually rather short, offers the first present to the church, — generally, a fine large porcelain collar, — in order that prayers may be said for the repose of the dead person’s soul. Then he gives, out of all the dead man’s effects, three or four presents to those who bury him; then some to the most intimate friends of the deceased. The last of all these presents is that given to the relatives of the deceased, by those who bury him. Finally, the whole ceremony concludes by placing the body in the ground in the following manner. A wide grave is dug, 4 to 5 feet deep, capable of holding more than six bodies, but all lined with bark on the bottom and four sides. This forms a sort of cellar, in which they lay the body, and over which they place a large [Page 35] piece of bark in the shape of a tomb; it is supported by sticks placed crosswise over the excavation, that this bark may not sink into the tomb, and that it may hold up the earth that is to be thrown on it; the body thus lies therein as in a chamber without touching the earth at all. Finally, some days after the burial, when the tears of the relatives have been dried to some extent, they give a feast to bring the deceased back to life, — that is, to give his name to another, whom they urge to imitate the dead man’s good actions while taking his name.
Now — to come back to the poor French child, after so long a digression — nothing of all this was done when it was interred; and that so greatly surprised those who were present that the Father observed on all their countenances a sort of indignation at the want of respect shown to the little body. Therefore on the following day, while in a cabin with several Savages, among whom was our good Tsaouenté, he spoke to her to ascertain what her sentiments were respecting what had happened on the previous day; for he was fully persuaded that he would receive some answer favorable to the Faith. “ Well, Tsaouenté,” he said to her, “ was not thy mind crooked yesterday ” (such is their way of speaking), “ as well as those of the others, when thou sawest with what little ceremony we bury our dead, and what little care we take in placing them honorably in their graves?” No,” my Father,” she replied; “ on the contrary, I thought that YOU French know much better in what estimation everything should be held than we, who bury our dead with such ceremony. For yesterday, when I saw the French throw earth on the eyes, the nose, the mouth, [Page 37] and the other parts of the child’s body, I said to myself: ‘ That is precisely what our Fathers have so often taught us: that in man the soul alone is precious, and that the remainder is nothing but earth and dust; and, consequently, when the body is separated from the soul it ought not to be separated from the earth, for it is nothing but earth.’ ”
“O, my brothers, what little sense we have ” (she continued, addressing her conversation to the whole meeting) “ when we so greatly despise our soul, which is immortal, to give our body all its petty comforts, while it is but earth and will soon return to dust.” Afterward, she pronounced a fine discourse on the immortality and nobility of our soul, to which nothing could be added.
Not that we have any reason to complain, when our Savages thus devote themselves to giving their dead honorable burial; without a doubt, their chief object is to place them on the road to heaven. Indeed, with that object, as soon as any one dies in a village, they receive a general communion for the repose of his soul; and, besides, on the fourth Sunday of every month they receive general communion, with the view of gaining the indulgence that we enjoy here on those days in favor of the souls in purgatory. For that reason also was All Souls’ day celebrated here this year with such devotion. For, in the afternoon of the day before, as soon as the bell began to ring for the dead, our chapel was filled with people, and it was not empty until a late hour on the next day; there were so many attendants that we were obliged to leave our church open throughout the night, to satisfy their devotion. During the night, two of our captains, without being told, did [Page 39] from time to time what saint Francis Xavier had formerly done, and what is practiced in several places in France: by their cries they called upon all in the village to come and pray to God for their dead relatives.
At the beginning of Holy Week, Paule Gaiachinnon came to the Father, and said to him: “ I observed, my Father, while we were in Quebec, that when they went to adore the cross on the great Friday there was a plate near the crucifix and every one gave a little present to our Lord, who was nailed to the cross through love of us. Why do we not do likewise here I Should not we, who live in the blessed Virgin’s village and who are her children, manifest to her that we share her affliction; and should we not with some presents wipe away the tears that she sheds for the death of her first-born? Even if our gifts be not considerable, they will be no less pleasing, considering our good will. ”
On Good Friday, the Father placed a plate near the crucifix, at the adoration of the cross, to satisfy the devotion of that good woman. She was the very first to begin giving, by putting in it more than 400 porcelain beads. All the others imitated her; and, at the end, there were in the plate over 4,000, besides some tubular porcelain beads and some pieces of silver. In the afternoon, all the elders assembled to. confer together as to what they could do to acknowledge our Lord’s goodness; and, having no words more expressive than gifts, they presented to him two porcelain collars, and placed them in the hands of Father Chaumonot, whom they summoned at the end of the council for that purpose. These presents are all the more valuable this year, since the scarcity [Page 41] of food among them has been so great that they have been obliged to sell almost everything they had, in order to provide for their sustenance.
In fact, the famine they endured was so extraordinary that I may say that, fifteen days after the harvest was gathered in last year, there were not six families in the whole village who had any corn. Therefore we should have great admiration for the Providence of God, who never abandons his faithful servants; for, notwithstanding so universal a famine, he has nevertheless preserved them all. He has not permitted a single one of our village to die this year from either hunger or disease, with the exception of one poor wretch, of whom we shall speak at the end of this relation. And this protection of the divine goodness is all the more manifest since great numbers of Savages of the other nations have died this year from hunger; and among our Hurons this was formerly so common that, when a similar famine afflicted them in their ancient country, they nearly all died.
Our charity toward them, and the aid that we have received from some zealous persons for the good of our Mission, have prevented this misfortune, which would inevitably have happened had it not been for those alms.
And assuredly, it seems that this has been sent to our Savages through God’s loving Providence, as a reward for all their acts of charity, during several years, in favor of many French who have been in the same necessity; for it has been observed that those who had formerly performed most frequently charitable acts have been those who have least felt the scarcity this year. Moreover, they have been so [Page 43] convinced that God would render unto them with interest what they might place in the hands of the poor that, with that very object, Marie Gandigonra gave, at the end of last year, the whole of the small quantity of corn that she possessed, as bountiful alms to the poor of this village. When she informed her uncle, who lives with her, of her design, he represented to her that, as their harvest had not been a good one, they exposed themselves to die of hunger before long, if she were so liberal. She replied: “My uncle, it is because our harvest has been bad, and because we are ready to die of hunger, that I wish to be charitable with the little that remains to us — so as to move God, who will not allow himself to be outdone in liberality, to repay us a hundredfold what we offer him. ” And at the same time, herself moved by what she had just said to her uncle, she brought to the Father twice as much corn as she had at first decided to give, — that is to say, more than two minots, — that he might distribute it among the most needy. The Father wished to refuse her, knowing her own needs; she urged that reason so strongly that he was obliged to accept her gift.
She is not the only one who has been, notwithstanding this great scarcity, charitable this year. Some, a very small number, who had corn left over from previous years, shared it with the others, being even reduced to having none for themselves.
François Otachetak and Catherine Teouachennien, his wife, who formerly practiced so nobly this virtue of charity, have not forgotten it this year, and have made themselves especially notable in what I have just said, For, so long as they had food, they could [Page 45] never make up their minds to eat it without sharing it with others, sometimes feeding a whole family in their cabin; and then they themselves were obliged to live on the alms that were given them.
One day, one of our Fathers offered Marie Oouendraka, from whom he had received some slight services, several boisseaux of peas, which had been given to him to provide for the needs of our Savages; but the good woman said to him: “ My father, I thank you for your present, but I beg you to excuse me if I do not accept it. I have still a little Indian corn, thank God, and many in our village have no food; therefore I pray you to give this present to some one who needs it more than I do.” This same woman — who formerly gave as many as twelve or fifteen minots of her corn at a time, as alms — said one day to her spiritual Father, when rendering him account of her conscience: “ You know, my Father, that I formerly had a quarrel with such a woman in this village; I at once endeavored to banish from my mind every aversion that might exist in it for that person. Nevertheless, while recently reflecting upon my actions, I considered that there still remained a little rancor; for, making in my mind a survey of the village, I found that she was the only one to whom. I had not given some of my corn. I will therefore go at once, if you approve, to carry her some, in order to overcome the remainder of the ill feeling that I might have against her.”
What shall I say of those who give in charity what they themselves have received as alms to relieve their necessities? And, if any one be ill in the village, all the best dishes are for him; and they take, as it were, the food from their own mouths to give [Page 47] it to him. A poor man who has languished for a very long time, and who is not yet cured, has fully felt the effect of this charity; for, in his illness, he not only received food in sufficient abundance to feed him, but also shirts and capotes, quite new, wherewith to clothe himself.
I must not forget to mention here the noble spirit of Marie Magdelaine Gachinnontiés, upon learning that her brother, who is in the Outaouais country, — that is, three or four hundred leagues from here, — and who is not yet a Christian, intended to send her a considerable present. She came to beg the Father to write to him that she thanked him for remembering her, and for his good will in wishing to give. her a present; but that the best gift she could receive from him would be to learn that he had embraced the Faith. She stated that she willingly released him from all the promises he might have made to send anything else, provided he would send her, the following year, the good news that he had become a Christian and was baptized. Not satisfied with this letter, the good neophyte, knowing that some canoes were leaving Quebec for the place where he is, went to wait for them, as they passed two leagues from here, to beg the savages in them to tell her brother that she urged him to be baptized. She reminded him that otherwise she would lose all hope of seeing him again, for in this world they would not meet, owing to their great distance from each other, as he was already well advanced in years, and she was old; and in the other life they would be still further separated, — for she hoped to go to heaven, as she was a Christian; while he would, of necessity, go to hell as an infidel, and obdurate in his error. [Page 49]
And if divine Providence has so preciously preserved, as I have already said, the inhabitants of our village who have behaved like true Christians, that not one of them died in a famine so great as that they endured this year, he has not failed to wreak vengeance upon a poor wretch who, despising all the good impulses of grace, and all the warnings given him, renounced the promise he had made at his baptism, and allowed himself to fall into evil ways. His name was Jacques Otratenkoui; he was a Huron by birth, and allied by the bonds of marriage to one of the most fervent families here; but he neither followed their example nor heeded their warnings. Five or six years ago, he was ill with smallpox and at the point of death; in that condition he had received all the sacraments. Happy would he have been had he died then in those good inclinations; but God had ordered otherwise — or, rather, his sins diverted that grace of heaven from him. It was necessary that the measure of his infidelities should be full before he died. He was of a very morose character, and was not very communicative, except in certain matters not very chaste, respecting which he is said to have been very eloquent. It was observed that he was not very devout, and he showed it on the journey that he made last summer to Michillimakinac, during which he died. The wretched man left here, he said, to go and trade at Nipissing; but he went to the Mission of Saint Ignace, among the Étionnontatés, which is directed by Father Pierson. As soon as he arrived, the Father gave him good advice regarding the manner in which he should behave among his brethren, who were not yet very firm in the Faith. He saw him [Page 51] daily, and spoke to him privately to exhort him, and to fortify him against the assaults of the devil and of the flesh. He kept for same time the promise that he had given the Father to fight against the devil, who failed not to tempt him in that direction, But to that end he did not once make use of the sacraments, although the Father exhorted him very often to do so. Wherefore, not being provided with those preservatives so necessary on such occasions, he suddenly abandoned both Prayer and his first wife, whom he had at Notre Dame de Lorette, to take in that country a second wife, who was not yet a Christian but merely a catechumen. After that, the Father, whose approach he avoided, spoke to him only two or three times, but always with much charity and compassion, begging him to acknowledge his error and have recourse to God’s mercy. He was deaf to all these remonstrances, and his heart was hardened against all the attacks that could be made against him on the subject; he closed against himself the door of God’s mercy by voluntarily closing upon himself the door of the Church, and by renouncing his Faith, in his resolution no longer to continue prayer to God. Some months afterward, he started for the winter hunt without acknowledging his error, and took with him that woman and a little girl that she had. He fell ill at the very beginning, and languished during the whole winter without ever having recourse to God or to prayer. But this was too much; and heaven at last took vengeance on that wretch, The Father learned at the end of March that this miserable man was at a distance of two days’ journey from the village, and sick unto death. He at once started early in the morning to cure his [Page 53] soul, which was still more ill than his body; but it was too late, for in the very evening of the day that he started he learned on the road that he had just expired, and had died like a Judas, in despair of his salvation.
Here are some circumstances attending his death, related by the very persons who were present at it. He lost the power of speech three days before that on which he gave up his soul to God; he was always assisted by his second wife, who remained near him to his last breath. Five days before his death, he bade farewell to those around him: “We are about to part,” he said; “ I am going to make a long journey into hell, where I shall be eternally unhappy.”
And shortly afterward, when a burning coal fell upon his arm, I know not how, they said to him: “My brother, the fire burns thee! ”
“Never mind,” he replied; “ let it remain there; I shall endure much more in hell.”
He was urged to have recourse to God, and to beg pardon of him. He retorted that his sin was too great to allow of his obtaining it, especially as there was no black Gown there to assist him and wipe away his sin. Alas! had the Father but known of his mortal illness in time! But the wretch had wearied God’s mercy, and had made himself unworthy of it by his obduracy.
We have learned from a good Christian woman that she said last autumn to that Savage, when he began to behave badly: “ I no longer see thee in church. How is it? Thy coming greatly rejoiced us who are only beginning to learn what Faith is, and in whom it has not yet deeply taken root: we thought that thou wouldst set us a good example, [Page 55] thou who hast been a Christian so long, and who livest in the midst of Christianity. But I do not see that thou behavest differently from those among us who have not yet sense.”
He replied with a laugh: “ Thou art right; but what shall we do? For my part I have no sense; I shall suffer, this winter; afterward, when spring comes, I will do penance, and, repenting of my sin, I shall make my peace with the Church, and my sin will be forgiven me. ’ ’
Alas, he was but half a prophet. In truth, he suffered greatly last winter from his illness; but he suffers still, and will suffer throughout all eternity. When spring came, he had no leisure for communing with his own soul. Ah! how mistaken was that wretched man! He thought that he would have time to do penance when the winter was over; but, during the winter, he had a sickness which has dragged him into hell.
I pray God that our Mission and all sinners may profit by so miserable an end; and that they will remember those beautiful words of Saint Isidore: “We should hasten to return to God through repentance, while we can; for, if we will not do so when we may, we shall be unable to do so when we wish, but too late. ”
Since the relation was written, a wonderful cure has happened, which deserves to be recorded here, to console us a little for the loss of the poor wretch of whom we have just spoken.
I will adduce but one example more, which exhibits the marvelous effect of devotion of two children, who have obtained by their simple prayers the cure of their [Page 57] mother, — whose health was wholly despaired of. Following is the narrative.
Marie ouendraka, a very virtuous Christian woman, as will be clearly Seen from what follows, being one Day in her field of indian corn, distant from the village of lorette about a league (it was in the year 1676), fell ill with a high fever, accompanied with pleurisy. This obliged her to return home, which she did with much difficulty. Father vaillant, having been apprised of her return and her sickness, went to visit her; and having spoken to her of God for some time, he suggested to her to procure the necessary remedies for her disease. To this she replied that, as she was already elderly (she was about 50 years old), it was not necessary to put herself to so much trouble about her health; and that paradise, to which she hoped to go after her death, was worth much more than the Life that he desired her to prolong. However, she was at once bled, and some time after was bled again, twice in one Day. After that, she felt a little better, and even dozed, — in such a way, however, that she overheard all that was going on in her Cabin; this decided the physician to bleed her again for the 4th time, which took place in the morning. In the afternoon of the same Day, which was the 6th of her illness, our two fathers going to visit her found her with a great increase of fever, and unable either to breathe or speak or even to open her eyes without much difficulty, — glancing at objects, without being able to see them. Her weakness increased so much that she could no longer move; she had not even strength enough to draw up her Coverlet. Father Chaumonot, seeing her so low, had recourse to God, to obtain from him the cure of this poor woman; and he asked the two children of the sufferer, who were there present, to beg it from him through the merits of the blessed virgin, and to promise to recite during [Page 59 Thought that she was delirious. He made her immediately sit down, fearing that she might commit some extravagance, and told her to keep herself quiet and not talk, lest she should increase her malady. “What malady?” she replied. “My sickness is gone; I am cured.” The more she talked, the more the father was Convinced that she was raving. At length, this woman so recently cured related to him the whole, — in secret, “for fear,” said she, “that I should become vain; for I dread lest this sudden cure should be a stratagem of the devil to lead me to perdition, seeing that there remains to him so short a time in which to tempt me.” The father, having heard all that had taken place, assured her that it was no illusion; but that very probably the blessed virgin, to whom her two children had promised a novena of the Rosary in the Chapel of lorette, had had the goodness to send two other of her children, who died as little angels several years ago, to restore her health to her. Then he conducted her to the Chapel, to give thanks to her benefactress, and to offer to God her renewed life, to be henceforth employed only in his service. As she went out of her cabin, she met her son aged 10 years, who as yet knew nothing of this cure; he, seeing her come out with a cheerful face, fled and went to Hide himself, thinking that It was a specter, and knowing the condition in which he had left her some time before. That evening, all the people were the more surprised at seeing her present at the benediction of the blessed sacrament, Kneeling without any difficulty, since that very Day they had been praying to God in her Cabin, in accordance with the praiseworthy custom of This Village, as for a dying person. On leaving the church, she assured them that she had felt neither inconvenience nor weakness since she had been cured. Besides, two reasons make one judge that she has been acted upon by a special favor from [Page 63] Heaven. The first is the condition to which her illness reduced her; she experienced pains so acute, and lay in so great weakness that she dared not even move, nor was she able to do so. Now, to revert in a moment from such a condition to robust health such as I have just Described, even after 4 bleedings in less than two Days, I do not think that that can be effected naturally without any remedy. The second is the holy frame of mind in which she underwent her illness, practicing in it almost every Christian virtue of which a sick person is Capable. She was detached from everything that could prevent her from thinking upon God, having, as early as the second day of her illness, disposed of the few effects that she had, is favor of some poor people of the village, — only reserving for herself a wretched Coverlet, in which to be enshrouded after her death. She had bidden farewell to her children, and had given them the Instructions that they were to observe when she was gone — in so touching and so christian a manner that she drew tears from the eyes of all the bystanders. She had Made an offering to God of her own life, in a great indifference to living or dying, whichever might be his good pleasure. She was wholly resigned to death, which she awaited with confidence and Joy. She suffered the most excruciating pain with an admirable patience, uniting, and continually Comparing her sufferings with those of our lord in his passion. She enjoyed, moreover, the continual presence of God and of the blessed virgin, — to whom she had especial recourse during the violence of her severest pain. Will not all this, I say, taken together with the novena of her two children, have had power to move the Heart of the blessed virgin to obtain for this woman, from her Dear son, a miraculous recovery? [Page 65]
CXL — CXLII
Miscellaneous Documents, 1675-77.
CXL. — De la Chapelle de Notre-Dame de Lorette en Canada. Martin Bouvart; [Lorette, Mars 1 et 2, 1675]
CXLL. — Lettre du P. Jean Enjalran à —; Sillery, 13e octobre, 1676
CXLK. — Recit d’un 3e voyage faict aux Ilinois. Claude Allois; n.p., [ca. 1677]
Sources: Doc. CXL, we obtain from L’Abeille (published by the students of the Petit Séminaire of Quebec), January March, 1879. Doc. CXLI. we publish from a transcriptcfurnished us by Rev. A. Carrère, of Toulouse, France. Doc. CXLII. we have from the original MS. in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal. [Page 67]
Of the Chapel of Notre Dame de Lorette in
Canada: establishment of the de-
votion of Lorette.
1. OCCASION AND MOTIVES FOR BUILDING THIS
S there is, in all New France no place more notable through the devotion of the French and the Savages than is Notre Dame de Lorette, we will here trace its beginnings, its progress, and its results.
Without expatiating upon the desires which the Reverend Father Joseph Marie Chaumonot had conceived 37 years ago, at Loretto in Italy, for building in Canada, whither he was coming, a church upon the model and under the name of the holy house of the Virgin; without speaking of his endeavors, or of the advances that he made at various times toward the execution of this glorious project, — I will first show the occasion and the motives which the Fathers of the Society of Jesus have had for building upon their lands a chapel representing that of Nazareth, now called that of Loretto.
As the Huron mission, which was at Notre Dame de Foy from the year 1669 until the year 1674, was increasing every day, — either through the recruits who came to us from the Country of the Iroquois, or [Page 69] through the blessing which God gives to the Huron families in order to people them anew, — we have been obliged to seek for our savages much more land and wood than they had so near to Quebec. After many searchings, and still more prayers, they have not themselves found a place more suitable than that which we have allowed them, three leagues from Quebec, on our seigniory of St. Michel, — a place to which we have given the name of Lorette. The reasons follow.
First motive. As one of our most just and most ardent desires is to extend and increase, as much as we possibly can, the devotion toward the Blessed Virgin, — our all-gracious mother and all-powerful protectress, whom the French and the Savages have found so favorable at Notre Dame de Foy, — we have not found a better means to afford her more and more honor, than to build her a second chapel, which should bear the name and should have, so to speak, all the features of her holy house of Nazareth, now called Loretto. Without, then, neglecting the care of Notre Dame de Foy, which we caused to be built five years ago, — and in which we put the miraculous image of the Virgin which is there, and is made from the actual wood of the miraculous Notre Dame de Foy at Dinan — we have undertaken to build entirely, at our own expense, a larger and much finer chapel.
Second motive. The ardor that we feel for perpetuating in the minds and hearts of all the peoples of this country the remembrance and gratitude deserved by the adorable mystery of the Incarnation, which is the great mystery of Loretto, has made us [Page 71] consider rather the power and riches of God than our own impotence and poverty.
Third motive. Moreover, as the remoteness of these settlements does not allow the nations of this vast country to undertake pilgrimages as far as Italy, in order to honor there the holy house of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we have chosen to give them a means of honoring that sanctuary, at least in its image. How happy we shall be!
Fourth motive. If, just as our feast-days are instituted to renew within our souls the mysteries which they represent, our chapel has thus the virtue of inwardly applying to us the graces which it represents, — by representing the place, the persons, and the actions which have deserved them, — God grant that Mary, having given in her womb a human life to Jesus in the former Loretto, may in the new one give him a spiritual birth in the hearts of all the French and all the Savages of America!
2. MEANS OF BUILDING THE NEW LORETTE.
piritual means. If means should be in proportion to their end, since the end that we have set before us in this design is supernatural and divine, the means thereto have been bound to be rather spiritual and celestial than natural and human. Thus, during the whole year 1673, we observed and caused to be observed in honor of St. Joseph various communions, novenas, penances, and other devotions. The Ursuline and Hospital Nuns manifested their zeal and their piety in all these holy exercises. Toward the end of the same year, we conducted our Savages to Sillery on a pilgrimage; they solemnized [Page 73] there, in honor of St. Michael, who is the patron thereof, a general communion and a public vow.
The porcelain collar which they offered him, and which they attached to the base of his image, is a token of the help and protection which they have asked from the Holy Angels for the happy establishment of the house and the village of their Queen in Canada. At the beginning of the year 1674, they had hardly arrived at the place destined to be the village of Lorette, where they began from that time to dwell, when they received another communion and made another vow, in honor of St. Anne; and they offered her also a porcelain collar, which is still in our chapel of Lorette, suspended at the base of her image. They asked from this mother of the mother of God, that, as she had formerly had the care of providing for her daughter a house at Nazareth, she would now apply herself to procure for her a similar one in this new world. Such are the principal and best foundations upon which the new Loretto in Canada is established and supported; for in the way of alms and other aids from men, we have received so little that it does not deserve to be recounted. However, notwithstanding some advances and debts which we have been obliged to incur in order to carry out this enterprise, we hope that our house will not remain inconvenienced by all that it has contributed for building a house to the divine Mary. It is to the glory of so great a Queen to give back infinitely more than one has advanced for her; it is, then, enough for us that she knows that the Loretto of New France costs us some 5,000 livres. [Page 75]
Other means. While on one side we were addressing ourselves to God through masses and the other pious exercises of which mention was just now made, on the other hand we were making all the preparations that we judged necessary for the execution of our enterprise. Thus, as early as the beginning of the year 1673, the Hurons having accepted the lands that were presented to them, — or rather, having themselves chosen them, — we determined where the chapel and the village should be located. We had, at first, made choice of a high, level tract of land lying beyond the brook which supplies water for our savages: and we had caused to be felled there 30 arpents of timber, and had a great cross planted in the middle, and had caused to be built a house of planks to lodge the workmen and shelter the materials. But in spring, after the melting of the snows, as we perceived that this plateau is too difficult of access on account of the depth of the ditches which surround it, we chose quite near it, to the east, another level much more convenient and much more beautiful, — whence there will be a view of Quebec, after some great trees which obstruct it have been cut down.
On that same side there is a very beautiful river, into which flows a brook of excellent water, after having described a sort of crescent about the village.
Moreover, the elevation and the level character of the land, the purity of the air, and the convenience of the springs and other brooks which are near, make that place of residence one of the most pleasing in all this country.
The place being chosen, the plan of the village was almost immediately drawn up; and in that same [Page 77] summer some cabins were hastily built, in which the Savages came to dwell the following winter. But, the cabins proving to be too near one another, it was thought best to put them farther apart. Therefore new outlines were drawn, toward the end of the month of April, for the village of Lorette, by placing the chapel at the center of the quadrangle composing it. A width of 20 feet was given to each of the six cabins which are on the same line, along each of its four sides. Another space of 20 feet was assigned between every two cabins; and in the middle of each row there was also marked off a 20-foot road which ended directly at the Chapel. You can more readily picture to yourselves the entire village from the diagram which should be inserted at this place.
PLAN OF THE CHAPEL AND VILLAGE OF LORETTE IN
MUST not omit here that our fervent Dogique, Louis Taondechorend, who happened to be in an assembly after having seen the plan of the chapel and village of Lorette, made there an address, very sensible and sound. Among other things that he said, — having related what he had heard of Loretto in Italy, — he added that all the cabins which he saw arranged about the chapel represented to him, as it were, the grand temple which encloses the sacred house of Lorette; that thus they should all regard their village as a great Church, of which all their cabins formed as many different parts. Whence he concluded that the fathers and mothers of families should regard themselves in their houses as at so many posts and places which Mary has entrusted to [Page 79] their fidelity, to defend them against her enemies, which are sins, especially those of drunkenness and impurity. “ Therefore,” he said in conclusion, “ our Village will be truly the village of Mary, as long as vice shall dispute neither her sovereignty nor her possession.”
As we wished to build the chapel of bricks, and as no land suitable for making these had yet been discovered in the vicinity, we ordered 24 thousand at côte de Beaupré, between Château Richer and Ste. Anne. In the autumn of the same year, 1673, they were brought by water to Sillery, in Monsieur Basile’s bark and shallop. He would take nothing for boat-hire. No doubt he will lose nothing for having contributed this alms to the walls of the house of Mary.
In the following winter, trains were used for conveying these same bricks from Sillery to Lorette. As there were not enough, in the spring of the year 1674 another 30 thousand were ordered to be made, a quarter of a league from the chapel. The wood which was necessary for the floors, the framework, and the roof was obtained much nearer. The only exception was the shingles, some of which were made at côte de St, Michel; others, half a league or so from Lorette. As for the lime, it was brought from Quebec by train, at the same time as the bricks which were at Sillery.
3. THE SAVAGES ESTABLISHED AT LORETTE.
HILE all these preparations were going on, our Savages, having, as we have already said, erected some 12 or 13 cabins, came to lodge in them and settle at Lorette on the 28th of December, 1673, [Page 81] However, they returned to Notre Dame de Foy in the spring of the year 1674, in order to sow their fields there; and until after their crop they were somewhat divided as to their abode, being now at the old village and now at the new. As during all that time there was not yet a chapel built at Lorette, the Reverend Father Chaumonot first inquired who could lend half his cabin, that he might there make an oratory, and set up an altar. Immediately François Athorichez and Jacques Onouandousandik, with their sister-in-law, Marie Ouendraka, came to urge us to take their whole cabin, — saying that God surely deserved to have a whole dwelling for himself alone. Their offer being accepted, we celebrated holy mass there during ten months and more, and very conveniently performed all our other duties. As for them, they put up, near by, some wretched pieces of bark; and their whole family, which has appeared the most zealous for the establishment of Lorette, lodged underneath these, with much inconvenience from the cold and from smoke.
The cabins in which our savages had lodged being too small, too near, and hastily built, they built for themselves more spaciously and with more order, in the summer of the year 1674. However, as some came back too late from the hunt to strip bark, there still remained nine cabins to build, in order to finish the square of the village of Lorette. We hope that this summer it will not only be completed, but even that they will begin to double the rows of cabins, on account of the persons who have already come to us from the country of the Iroquois, and those whom we are still expecting. We counted in this mission as many as two hundred Christians, at the opening [Page 83] of the chapel, the construction of which we must now consider.
4. THE CHAPEL OF LORETTE IS BUILT, BLESSED, AND
N the 16th day of July in the year 1674, the Reverend Father Claude Dablon, superior-general of the missions of the Society of Jesus in New France, and rector of the college of Quebec, laid the first stone of the new house of Lorette, with the usual ceremonies, and with extraordinary joy on the part of our Savages. From that day until the day of the blessing and opening of the same chapel, they have of themselves practiced the devotion of going every morning to pray to God at the foot of the cross, — which was placed, according to custom, at the spot where the altar was to be. In their desire soon to see their church finished, they freely contributed their work, when it was desired that they should aid the workmen; and, notwithstanding their poverty, upon returning from the hunt they made a present of 18 moose-skins for the same purpose; but we preferred to exchange these for clothing, which we bought for them in order to help cover them.
Finally, the chapel being finished, it was blessed on the 4th of November in the same year, 1674. The blessing given, we went in procession to a temporary altar erected in the woods on the road to Quebec, a quarter of a league from the brook. The French and the Savages sang there in two choirs: the former in Latin, the others in Huron. Moreover, we went to this temporary altar to get three most precious images or statues, each one placed in a niche made and given by the Reverend Mothers the Nuns of the [Page 85] Hospital of Quebec. The same nuns have also made a present to our chapel, of the robe of Our Lady, and of a bowl fashioned after the holy bowls which are at Loretto, one that has touched them. Of the three images, the first and principal one is that of Our Lady, sent here from Loretto, and fashioned after the miraculous image that St. Luke left there. As all the statues drawn from that holy model, and brought in contact with it, have acquired the power of working miracles, we believe with reason that ours, fashioned after and applied to that divine image, will cause us to experience and feel the power and the goodness of Mary, whom the image represents along with her Jesus, whom she embraces with her left hand and supports with her right. The two others are made of the real wood of Notre Dame de Foy. One is a Virgin, bearing her Son: and it was sent to our savages by the cities of Nancy and Bar. The other, which the princes and princesses of the most illustrious and pious house of Lorraine have sent us, is a Saint Joseph, who also holds the infant Jesus upon one of his arms.
These two small statues are not less noteworthy for their relics than for their material their signification, and their donors. These relics are a piece of the Blessed Virgin’s veil, which is at the base of the St. Joseph, and a small portion of the same St. Joseph’s girdle, enshrined in a little escutcheon which the infant Jesus holds, who is himself borne by his mother. These images, being received by the procession with the joy and devotion that one may imagine, were carried to the chapel: the last two by two of our Fathers, and the first by the Reverend Father Superior, who officiated. At the end [Page 87] of the mass, which was sung with music, he pronounced a devout and profound sermon, in which he drew a beautiful parallel between the two Lorettos of Italy and Canada. In the afternoon, he made a feast for the Savages, to whom, — among other presents that he made them in the way of blankets, cloths, and hatchets, — he gave the contract of concession for the lands which have been granted them. The principal clause of this contract is, that the Savages are obliged, by way of dues, not to take liquor to excess; and that those who shall henceforth become intoxicated shall be driven from Lorette and shall lose their fields, whatever work they may have accomplished, This condition being accepted by the Savages, to whom it was explained, — not only by the Reverend Father Chaumonot, but also by Pierre Aondechette, Marie Felix Awonhontonwa, and others who know French, — this condition, I say, being accepted in due form, and all the speeches being made on both sides, this glorious and happy day was ended with the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
5. DESCRIPTION OF THE CHAPEL OF NOTRE DAME
DE LORETTE IN CANADA.
THINK that those who cannot betake themselves in person to our new Lorette, will be very glad to see it at least on paper. Therefore, to give them a faithful picture thereof, they shall know that this chapel, similar to the true Loretto, is wholly of brick — forty feet long by twenty wide, and twenty- five feet high. It is pierced for three doors, a chimney, and two windows. There is a steeple above that of the lower gable, — through which, as is [Page 89] believed, the angel entered when he came to salute the Blessed Virgin, It is also held that on that side was St. Joseph’s shop. Turcellin opines that the main portion of the dwelling is the North side, and affirms that the threshold of the door is of wood — which we have observed in case of the Canadian Loretto. On this same side, toward the altar, is a cupboard quite simply constructed, and suitable for locking up plate and other similar articles. As opposite the north door is a south door, there is also on that same side a window which corresponds to the cupboard. As for the altar, it is in quite extraordinary style, although pleasing and devotional.
The apostles, who converted the true Loretto into a church, not having deemed it expedient to extend the altar quite over against the chimney, have so separated it therefrom by a little recess, that one sees it through three gratings, of which the middle one is the length of the altar; and those of the two sides, which have their squares lozenge-shaped, seem, as their height is much greater than their width, to take the place of columns. Instead of an altar-front, there is a fourth grating, which is quite like the first, except that it is not nearly as high. In the Loretto of Italy, this grating is set upon a rich table of jasper; but in ours it is placed only upon a wooden table, painted like jasper. The small recess which is behind the altar is called by the Italians il camino santo [“the holy chimney”], because it contains the chimney of the holy family, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Our Hurons name it at least as properly in their language, Marie etiondata, “ the apartment of Mary:” because that, as is believed, was where the blessed [Page 91] Virgin had her bed, and where, it is asserted, she often changed the clothing of her divine child, and warmed him. One enters this sanctuary by a door which is smaller than the two others; this is on the south, opposite the place where, it is held, the infant Jesus and his mother most commonly took their rest. As, in Italy, the image of Our Lady made by St. Luke is placed in a niche, on the mantel of the chimney, — so the copy which has been sent to us is also in a niche on the mantel of the chimney of our Lorette; and one likewise sees it within the chapel, through the first three gratings of which we have already spoken. I need only observe here that, the image of Our Lady which is in the true Loretto being black, — either on account of the smoke from the lamps which burn there, or otherwise, — we have had the image of our Lorette painted in flesh-color. We did this for fear lest, if we exposed for the veneration of our Savages an image entirely black, we might cause them to resume the custom which we have made them abandon, of blackening and staining their faces. What I have just said of the lamps, which are very numerous in the Loretto of Italy, reminds me that, in the reasonable fear that prevailed lest they should set fire to the ceiling, which was of wood, it was removed toward the end of the past century; and they still show at present, at the top of the walls, the ends of the beams that were sawn off. As for us, — because, in the poverty in which this country is, we have no reason to fear a similar accident for the Canadian Lorette, — we have boldly made it with a ceiling, as was formerly the real Loretto. [Page 93]
6. DEVOTION OF THE FRENCH AND THE SAVAGES
FOR THE NEW LORETTE IN CANADA.
E may say that the devotion which is entertained here for Notre Dame de Lorette in Canada, began just as soon as the project for building that holy chapel was formed. In fact, when at the beginning of the year 1673 we went to mark out its site, persons of high standing in this country betook themselves thither with much fervor, and themselves wished to fell some of the trees which occupied the place designated for building the chapel.
Toward the end of that year, when it was known that the Hurons had become established in that place, and that mass was said there every day in a cabin, the mere name of Lorette, — since our village as yet had none but that, — was powerful enough to attract thither all sorts of persons, who came on pilgrimages, from great distances, in very bad weather and by wretched roads.
When it was planned to lay the first stone of this holy house, — and, for some excellent reasons, without much display; and when on that account we had chosen a working-day, and had even kept it quite secret, nevertheless there proved to be a great number of persons who wished to attend that holy ceremony.
At the opening of the same chapel, the throng of people was incomparably greater, and there were some present who had purposely come from a distance of ten long leagues. We had the consolation of seeing some there who were already coming to fulfill vows which they had made to Our Lady of Lorette in Canada; and who certified that they had [Page 95] received, by her means, health and other favors. We shall, further on, cite some instances of these.
Since the opening of the chapel, the devotion of the French for coming thither on pilgrimages, for making and fulfilling vows there, and receiving the sacraments there, has been altogether extraordinary. Although it is not yet four months since this sacred house was blessed and opened, we have seen in it the governor of this country and the common people, the priests and the religious, the rich and the poor, who have come to pay their respects to the Blessed Virgin in her new house. They could not be hindered either by the length of the way, the rigor of the cold, or the want of a lodging where they might conveniently be sheltered, — for there are, thus far, at our Lorette only the cabins of the Savages and a room for the missionaries, into which the women do not enter; and the French habitants who are nearest are very poor and very wretchedly lodged. However, women from Quebec, and old men of 66 years and over, undertake and make the journey on foot; and at their return they &knowledge themselves well paid for their trouble, through the consolation which they feel at having seen this sanctuary, and through the graces and other favors which they have received in it. As, of old, those who had seen Our Lord led to him others with much ardor and joy, likewise those who have seen this image of his house bring others to it in the same sentiments — or, at least, send them thither. Thus, one of the gentlemen of the Seminary at Quebec having felt there an altogether extraordinary devotion, from his own experience exhorted many persons to go thither. Among others, a young lady, quite well known by [Page 97] her merit and her virtue, betook herself thither on foot from her dwelling, on the very day of the Thursday in Shrovetide. The time that she spent on that day and the next day, praying in the chapel, is a good indication that she tasted there what her director had caused her to hope for. Even very great sinners, who had spent several years without approaching the sacraments, or who had approached them unworthily, have there given suitable tokens of their conversion, through the exactness and the grief that they have shown in their confessions.
As for the savages, because they have more share in the new Lorette — being its settlers — than have the French, who are more distant from it, they also seem to be the first to feel its effects when there manifesting their devotion to it. I will later speak of the favors which they receive there. For the present, I will content myself with giving only three or four tokens of their fervor in honoring Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in their holy house. The first is a greater assiduity at mass, at the instructions, and at prayers — to the degree that lately one of our Fathers of Quebec, being in our chamber when the bell for evening prayer was rung, and supposing that he was not obliged to make haste in order to be present at the beginning, was quite astonished when he heard singing as soon as the bell had stopped. Having intimated to us his surprise that we rang for prayers and began them at the same time, we answered him that our savages imitated the punctuality of the most accomplished Religious, who leave everything at the first sound of the bell. We were not obliged to wait longer, all our company being at once assembled. The very children share this [Page 99] devotion. Thus, some devout women lately asked the Reverend Father Chaumonot whether he had not remarked how much their children were changed at Lorette, — since, when they lived at Notre Dame de Foy, they had no ardor for prayer or for the instructions, in comparison with the eagerness and joy which they now show when they are about to go to the chapel. Only a fortnight ago, — there being but one mass at Lorette, and it being said earlier than usual, on account of a journey which the Father was to make with a large number of Savages, — little Jean Atheriatha, aged eight years, did not awake until the bell was rung, and then immediately began to cry as if all had been lost. His mother, Marie Ouendraka, asking him the cause of his tears, he exclaimed: “ I shall not be early enough at mass; ” and, saying that, he escapes from the cabin all barefoot, and hastens thus to the chapel through the ice and snow. The good mother, more moved with her child’s fervor than troubled for his health, said: “ My God, preserve this devotion in my son.” Another mark of our Savages’ love for their chapel is their eagerness to sweep it and to wash its floors, esteeming themselves happy to be able to render this little service to Our Lady. But their fervor in coming every day, very early in the morning, to offer mental prayer, or to recite several chaplets, during two and three hours at a time, is no doubt an admirable fervor. We have been obliged to forbid their coming before four o’clock, when the door opens, because we often found them kneeling on the snow and exposed to the cold, as they prayed outside the chapel. When it has snowed, there are some who rise even at one or two o’clock after midnight, in order to clear [Page 101] the paths to the chapel, and to remove the snow which is round about it.
Jacques Annhatetaionk, the leading captain of the village, has distinguished himself in this humble and pious exercise. Finally, as our Savages have a just veneration for the little recess which is behind the altar, and as they, the same as the French, enter it only after receiving communion, every day a family is admitted there, after approaching the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist; and, when the round of the cabins is complete, they begin again with even more fervor than if it were the first time. An Iroquois woman, named Marie Tsawenté, recently stayed there two full hours after her communion, in as deep meditation and as spiritual sentiments as persons who are trained to a high degree of prayer can experience. If the Reverend Father Chaumonot, who went to say his office there, had not finally set bounds to her fervor, she would have continued her prayers there much longer. We doubt not that the Blessed Virgin gladly accepts this blessed ardor which is prevalent for honoring her in her house in Canada; we are about to adduce some proofs of it. If we sometimes give them the name of marvels, miracles, and wonderful events, we do so only while setting forth and submitting this whole narrative of them to the persons who can and ought to judge thereof. [Page 103]
Letter from Father Jean Enjalran to —.
Sillery, October 13, 1676.
y Reverend Father,
At last we have safely arrived, by a special favor from God, at the goal of our voyage and of our desires, after more than three months’ sailing, and after traversing more than three thousand leagues of ocean in all the dangers and amid all the inconveniences to which one is exposed when one undertakes this kind of travel. These are greater than we imagined; but also, on the other hand, one is not disappointed in these enterprises which are carried out for God, and that one may labor to have him glorified in all quarters of the world, when one expects to receive from him graces and special consolations. This voyage is usually made in two months, and it is a very unusual occurrence when more than three months are consumed in it. If one followed the straight course, there would not be more than twelve hundred leagues to cover: but the good God chose to exercise our patience especially, for those who had sailed at the same time as we arrived long before us. Your Reverence did me the honor, before my departure, of asking me to write to you the particulars of my voyage, the state of our missions in these parts of America, and my own occupation in those missions. I will accordingly obey you, by [Page 105] preparing for you a concise narrative of some circumstances which will give occasion to those who shall learn of them for helping me to thank divine goodness for the favors that I have received from him.
I wrote from la Rochelle how we had fortunately escaped being taken by the Dutch in the first vessel which sailed from that port. The fear of a like accident made us resolve to take passage in another vessel, wherein we thought to be in greater security; but divine providence led us to take another way, by which we have discerned the care that he took of our missions. For if we had sailed in that second vessel, which we had intended to take, we would have arrived here even much later; and it was of the utmost importance that we should arrive at the time when we did, neither sooner nor later, as Your Reverence will see by what follows. The vessel which we took, or which God assigned for us, was a merchant vessel, which arrived from the river of Bourdeaux at the port of la Rochelle on the 22nd of the month of april, and sailed thence two days later. This hasty departure brought it about that, after I, with the Reverend Father Albanel, had taken much trouble to provide for the things necessary to the embarking of the four Jesuits, a nephew of Monsieur our Bishop, and six young men from Auvergne, — who arrived when we least thought of it in order to engage themselves to serve our fathers in the missions, — I was obliged to sit up all the night which preceded our embarking, for the writing of various letters. This caused me a violent colic, which had not altogether left me when I entered the shallop which was to carry us to our ship. It was on the tuesday after low Sunday, toward evening, when [Page 107] I said farewell to France, on entering that shallop. The weather appeared quite calm; but before we had reached our vessel, which was nearly two leagues distant from la Rochelle, there arose a great wind which carried us all at once beyond the isle of Ré, nor could we govern our shallop; and we would never have reached the ship if they had not come to our aid. It was in this great excitement that, after having recited the office with the Reverend Father Albanel, all at once I was seized with that ailment which people call “ sea-sickness.” It was so violent in me, considering the bad condition that I was in, that Father Albanel said he had never seen the like, and drew from it a very bad omen for all the remainder of my voyage. I barely remember how I got into the vessel: all that I observed was, that the surgeon of the vessel, — who was by nation a German, and in Religion a lutheran, — having put me in a cabin which was altogether like a chest, in which one man could hardly lie down, put on my head his great nightcap and in my mouth half of a nutmeg, telling me in his jargon that that would keep me warm. Thereupon I fell asleep until the next day. As we were at anchor that night, it was a very quiet one for me, and the next day I went up on deck to reconnoiter. I felt myself so fully restored that I helped our sailors to lift the anchor, because we were in a hurry to set sail. I then had the pleasure of seeing nearly one hundred and fifty craft, large and small, under sail; they wished to avail themselves of the escort that we had, — three large war-vessels, which were especially intended to convoy fourteen great store-ships laden with wheat, no one knowing whither that convoy was destined. There were [Page 109] fishing-vessels on their way to newfoundland and to various other places for the cod-fishery, which were to sail for some time upon our course; and, besides that, a vessel of the king’s, which was going with us to Quebek in order to escort back to France a large vessel which had been built there, We arrived all together at the roadstead of belle Isle in two days. We had not far advanced toward belle Isle when almost all the passengers — and especially our fathers, with the exception of Father Albanel — became seriously ill; and I, who thought that I had escaped, was attacked more violently than ever. Although sea-sickness is not feared save when fever accompanies it, — which does not usually occur, — nevertheless I know not whether there is any suffering more severe for certain persons. Even our captain, who had made the voyage to Canada nineteen times, enjoined me at the start not to rise from the cabin which served me as bed, until they should put me ashore. However, I breathed a little when we arrived at the roadstead of belle Isle, where we remained at anchor nearly three days, and where we found Monsieur de Châteaurenaut, who was to be the admiral of this little fleet. I had no desire to go to see the fortress of belle Isle, having said farewell to France; but the salvos of cannon which were fired, with the flourish of trumpets from the war- vessels, gave us a fine diversion. We three priests said mass on Sunday; and from that time they gave me the office of cure on our ship, aboard which were fifty-four persons. I did not long exercise it; for, when they weighed anchor to leave belle Isle, I was again seized with my malady, and retained it for a month and a half, or thereabout, without finding rest [Page 111] either night or day. Our other fathers got off more cheaply.
After making nearly four hundred leagues with our escort, we were obliged to leave it because the vessels seemed to us to keep too much toward the south, — which made us believe that they were going to Portugal, or would pass through the strait in order to go to Messina. We have not yet learned anything about them. Some days after leaving our escort, the wind separated us from the other vessels also. We thought, however, that we had then escaped the dutch Capers [i.e., corsairs], who had closely watched us; and in fact we had only three or four alarms, which were without result. But when we no longer feared these enemies, wind and storms declared a furious war on us. They were nearly always contrary to us; and, on the eve of the Ascension [May 14], we had a tempest which at once carried away the mainsail, and caused us to endure furious shocks. It lasted only three or four hours; if it had lasted longer, I know not where it would have cast us, for the vessel no longer obeyed the helm. We met another, fifteen days later, longer and more furious. I had then recovered from my illness, having said to the great St. Joseph, the patron of our vessel and also of all Canada, and to the great St. Francis Xavier, — whom I had always taken as surety for the vow that I had made, to die in foreign missions, — that I gave myself up to their guidance, since I had no human hope of recovering. Thus, by their help, as I doubt not, I had quite calmly passed the week before Pentecost; and on the day of Pentecost, they had me say, in my capacity of curé, high mass on deck. At this I had the consolation of giving [Page 113] communion to all our crew, to whom I preached in the afternoon at vespers, which were sung very scrupulously every sunday and on all the feasts. I then continued to say mass on deck every day, although sometimes I felt very unsteady while doing so; but another of our fathers held the chalice, and the others directed the singing of various hymns, which maintained devotion among people who, as a rule, have not much of it. I preached also every sunday and on feasts, with the exception of some feast at which two others of our fathers fulfilled this office. The Wednesday after Pentecost was the day of that second tempest. Father Albanel was astonished that on that day I had not the least attack of my trouble, although until then I had been almost racked asunder on days much less rough than that one. It was a fearful thing to hear the noise which the casks of oil or wine made as they smote one against the other. This was the principal cargo of our vessel, which at that time incurred a great loss. We were in the captain’s cabin, which he had given us for our lodging, where, do what we might, we were drenched on all sides. When the first sea came in through a porthole, which they had not been able to close entirely, I arose — for we were all abed — to go and remove some clothes which were wet, and to deliver Father Albanel from a danger which threatened him — for above his head he had some guns, which were about to become detached. When I had risen to do this, although I had seized a little post that was very stout, there came a sea which threw me out of the cabin against a cupboard, upon which my head struck so violently that I broke in the cupboard. A moment later, there came another wave which broke, [Page 115] and overturned the table and everything in the cabin; but neither I nor the other fathers were injured by all those furious blows. Night brought back a calm for us. This tempest seemed to us to have been prognosticated by a prodigious quantity of porpoises that we had seen on the eve of Pentecost.
After that, we voyaged at random for a long time, without being able to discover clearly where we were. On the day of the blessed Louis de Gonzague, we discovered a land which was not known at first; it was, however, an unspeakable consolation for us to see land. After approaching it, we recognized that it was the island of Cape breton, which is american soil, much below the gulf of our river of St. Lawrence. This discovery set us right. During a calm of some hours, which led us to cast anchor in the harbor of that island, we took within three hours more than three hundred cod, which the good God sent us very opportunely; for provisions had already failed us. However, this diet of fresh cod is so surfeiting that then, for the first time, I was compelled to use some brandy, for which I had always had much horror. Yet I have since found that not without reason is so much of it used on the sea and in this country. A week later, leaving that land, we discovered isle percée, where we wished to land, although that put us a little out of our course. There it was that, with another of our fathers, we first set foot on the soil of America and adored the cross of Jesus Christ, which we found erected upon a great height. They give to this land the name of isle percée, although properly speaking it is the mainland, which is separated from the remainder of new France only by the river of St. Lawrenee. This is where our french ships [Page 117] go to engage in the great fishery. We went to see a captain of a vessel from bayonne who was fishing at bonnaventure island, which almost joins the isle percée; he was catching every day six thousand cod. We also saw at this place for the first time some savages, who were from Gaspé, a land that adjoins Acadia, which also belongs to new France. These savages seemed to me, when I first saw them, very friendly. There was among them a Christian girl of eighteen years or so. I felt so much consolation at seeing her make the sign of the cross that I made her a considerable present. There is one of our fathers who formerly labored as missionary in this country. He is now in a place nearer to us, where at the age of more than eighty years he labors with uncommon fervor. The gaspesian language is different from the other languages, and no one but the father understood it; but God has willed that he has still been able to instruct a father who came from France two years ago, who is to start at an early day to go to establish a mission in that country, two hundred leagues from us.
There are many other particulars which I might relate about our landing in those quarters, but I find that I am more diffuse than I thought. To continue, then, my voyage as far as Quebek, I must say that people in France erroneously suppose that the voyage to Canada is not difficult or dangerous. For, besides the dangers which prevail upon the sea, which are as great as everywhere else, our river, on which one must make nearly two hundred leagues in order to arrive at the port of Quebek, often causes the loss of great ships; and one commonly remains three weeks on that river. We remained on it as long as that, [Page 119] and during that period I landed several times. Good fortune would have it that I did not care to land one day when the men had resolved to go hunting in the forest; for I would probably have followed our surgeon, who went astray in the woods. Nevertheless, they gave so many signals that he found the right way; and the shallop which awaited him brought him back to us, so disfigured by the mosquitoes that he was unrecognizable. The last day of our voyage was the most dangerous; since, however, I saw the land before me, I did not greatly fear for myself, for I thought that I would easily save myself by swimming. What put us in peril of destruction was another ship, arriving from France, which had anchored near us, in a great current where a calm had obliged us to stop for fear lest the tides, which are furious on that river, should cause us to drift upon some abutment of the rocks. The captain of this ship, who supposed that we were weighing anchor in order to sail, although in fact we thought only of shifting our position, weighed anchor at the same time; the result of this was, that, his anchor being half raised, the current came and dashed him upon us. I never saw such confusion as when the yards of our masts came clashing against one another. What caused us most fear, was that all the men shouted that their anchor had become caught in ours. The good God delivered us from this danger when we were least thinking of it, and sent us a gust of wind, which conveyed us thence. But this wind, having left us, soon put us in a greater peril; for, being unable further to use the sails, the tide had carried us upon a ledge of rocks, where we came near perishing. Then it was that all the men were [Page 121] obliged to make great efforts to pull at an anchor which had been cast on the side opposite the shoal, in order to bring the ship away from the rocks. We set to work like the others. The first time, some of those who were pulling let go because the anchor dragged them along. The second time, the same thing having happened, I tried to hold firm, and there it was that I made the neatest leap — one which I shall not repeat for a long time — for the rope dragged me with incredible velocity. Good luck would have it that from this effort which was then made the rope broke, and the anchor was lost. As for me, I had not expected that, for I had already been thrown upon a coil of the great cable, so that I was on the point of having my head crushed if the rope had not broken. After all these dangers, we were much consoled when we began to see the french settlements, and the beautiful fields covered with corn, along the entire length of the fair island of Orleans; and, too, you could not realize the comfort that one receives from seeing in this country the churches of the few parishes which have already been formed. But what was most agreeable to us was to see Quebek, which we saw only when we were an eighth of a league from it. There we anchored, night having made us fear to approach too close to the land and entangle ourselves with the other vessels which were in port in the great basin of Quebek. Our fathers having seen two vessels arrive, went forth to meet us; but we did not disembark until the next morning.
Before I speak of our landing at Quebek, I must not omit a very noteworthy circumstance in connection with our meeting some gaspesian savages, of whom I have already spoken. That Christian girl [Page 123] who was among them, who appeared to have an excellent character, and who was well formed, gave father Albanel to understand, as best she could — for the father did not know her language — that she besought him to allow her to embark with us in order to come to Quebek, where she might find the means for subsistence together with other savages, who were her kinsmen; “ because, ’ ’ she said, “ among those people “ — speaking of the French who were there — ‘ ‘ my purity is in great danger. They are wicked people, who would cause my soul to burn in hell. ” The Father assured her that he would be glad to do so, but that the matter did not depend on him, and that he could not even speak of it, for many reasons, That good girl was satisfied with his consent; and as I was the last of all our fathers to enter the shallop which was to convey us back to our vessel, she jumped in after me, with surprising quickness, and came to sit down near me, — smiling, and betokening to me in a most gracious and modest manner, the contentment that she felt at going away with us. But her joy was not long, for a Frenchman of importance on those shores, who had taken her thither in his bark, called her back with threats; she turned a deaf ear to all that. Seeing then that he could not compel her to come, he begged a captain, who was fishing at that place, to oblige her to leave the shallop. The latter came to her with strange fury; and, seeing that he gained nothing by threats, he rudely struck her, and seized her as if to cast her into the sea. But she stood still, willing to allow herself to be thrown overboard, and suffered everything without saying a word. No one dared to speak in this emergency. As for me, — who knew [Page 125] nothing of his design, and to whom Father Albanel, who was then observing profound silence, had said nothing except “Meddle not in this business,” — seeing that they were about to treat her more severely, I gave her to understand, as best as 1 could, that she must depart. She, who had remained motionless until then, turning toward me, said to me in a tone which moved me to compassion, in french terms, “ No, no,” signifying to me that I should not oblige her to that. I then gave her to understand that they would treat her very ill. I know not what she understood, but she went away at once, appearing extremely grieved. As for me, I was more afflicted than she when I knew the reason which obliged her to go away. I have not missed a day since that time to commend her to God; and I know not what I would do to go and withdraw this poor sheep from the jaws of the wolf; but she is not the only one who is in such dangers. I would gladly ask God to destroy the persons who thus abuse the weakness of these poor savages, who in truth move me to compassion more than I can express.
To return to our landing. It was the 22nd of july, in the early morning, when we set foot on shore, The bank was covered with french people, who came to greet us. We also found our fathers, who came to meet us with a demonstration of joy and affection which at once wins the heart. After saluting our Lord in our beautiful Church at the college of Quebek, we were at once conducted by the Reverend Father Superior to Monseigneur the bishop, who embraced us very cordially, as did also all his ecclesiastics. One of the most beautiful things that one can see in this country, and that delights one at the [Page 127] outset, is the excellent and most cordial union which exists between these gentlemen and us, as well as with the gentlemen of St. Sulpice, who are sixty leagues from here on the island of Montreal, of which they are the seigniors.
I have told Your Reverence that it was a stroke of good fortune, and an effect of the special guidance of God, that we arrived at that time. For on that same day, the same morning, the men arrived who serve our fathers who are with the Outaouacs, five or six hundred leagues from us; they come once every year to obtain the things which are necessary for them. Through them our fathers learned the necessity for sending a person to that country; so our dear and gracious leader, Father Albanel, was at once appointed to go and take charge, as superior, of the mission of St. François Xavier, which is one of the most remote in this country. This post was occupied by father Aloues; but this father, to whom God seems to have given the gift of tongues, was to go more than two or three hundred leagues farther, in order to take the mission of the Ilinois, previously in charge of the late father Marquette of the province of Champaigne, who had died like another St. Francis Xavier in the midst of these vast forests. I have seen here the two men who accompanied him on that journey, who have related to us the circumstances of his death, but not without drawing from us many tears. The Reverend Father Superior could not sufficiently admire the auspicious coincidence of the arrival of Father Albanel, who was the only man who could go to fill that place, — just as Father Aloues was the only one who could go to strengthen that mission of the Ilinois, which consists of fifty [Page 129] thousand souls in a single village, and which we would have lost. It did not depend on Father Albanel that I did not follow him to that mission. The Reverend Father Superior informed him that he had already thought of sending me thither; and, as for me, I had always had the idea that I would perhaps be assigned to those missions of the Outaouacs; but it was decided that I ought rather to employ this year in learning the Algonkin language, which is the one that can be of use to us in that country. Thus, after they had regaled us for a week in the manner of the country, with extreme kindness, they sent me to this residence of Sillery, where I now am with a father of the province of Bourdeaux, who had come with us from France. It is a solitary house, distant a league and a half from Quebek, and one of the first residences which we had in Canada; there have been at this place as many as fifteen thousand Algonkins together, who gave occupation to one missionary or to several, but the contagious disease among the savages, war, or the liquors which constitute this country’s misfortune, have entirely destroyed or scattered them. In consequence, we have only a few algonkin families, who come here at certain times, by whom we try to profit in order to give ourselves practice in their language. This house is situated on the shore of the St. Lawrence river, as are nearly all the french settlements. There is a handsome church dedicated to St. Michael, which serves as parish church for our french people. There are here of us four priests, and one of our brethren. The one who is superior in this house has charge of the savages, and is our master for the language; we write every day under him, as if in a school. The [Page 131] other one has charge of the French. As for us, we have nothing else to do but study the language, and that is an engrossing occupation for us; for I think that the first ones who made comments upon these languages must have needed extraordinary help from God. We have also a band of a hundred and fifty abnaquis savages; their tribes live near new England. Divine Providence has used in behalf of the salvation of those poor forsaken souls a cruel war, which was kindled between the nations of the Loups, abnaquis, Socoquis, and other peoples, and the English of Boston and of all new England. These English are not willing to submit to the king of England, and are the sovereigns in that country, They have wearied the patience of those poor savages, who have killed more than four thousand of the English, and are in a position to do them much harm. These English have applied to the governor of Orange and of Manade, — or Manate, as others say, — who is also governor of all new Holland, which now belongs to the king of England; and have begged him to urge the Iroquois to declare war on those tribes, which they have willingly done. Those English of Boston had promised the others that they would submit to the king of England; but when they were called upon to keep their word, they would do nothing of the kind. The governor of Orange would gladly, after that, have stopped the Iroquois but it was then too late. They have already burned several of the Abnaquis, and we have some of the latter here, who had escaped on the day when they were to be burned. Those whom we have here have left their country on account of this war. It is believed that they, as well as those who are assembled in [Page 133] another place belonging to the french and called three Rivers, killed many English before coming. They appeared before Monsieur our governor, who received them on condition that they would not return to make war on the English; and as regards the Iroquois, it has been decided that they should not fight on the territories of the french. It has been hitherto feared lest that might bring upon us war with the Iroquois, who, moreover, have every desire to wage it upon us. Nevertheless, when all things seemed ready for this war, and while our fathers who are among the Iroquois were expecting at every moment either death or captivity, they were so fortunate as to persuade these peoples to go and find Monsieur the governor, who had gone to their borders in order to speed the construction of a fort which he is having built there, and which served them for a pretext to declare war upon us. The Agnieronons were the first to arrive there; but, seeing that the ambassadors from the other iroquoys nations did not come, they fled, for fear of being killed. The Sonnontouans, who were the most eager to make war upon us, have not come; the three other nations have come. It is hoped that they will change their determination. But, if they make war with us, they will cause much trouble in this country; for, as the french settlements are isolated, the Iroquois come in bands to kill the people and burn the houses, when one least thinks of it. However, we are profiting here by the opportunity which God has procured for us to instruct these Abnaquis and some Socoquis. These savages appear to me the most reasonable; and although in their manner of living one may with truth call them savages, their nature appears to me [Page 135] in some sense much more amiable than that of many Europeans. Their captain, after some conference with the Father who has charge of the savages, harangued all these people several times, in order to have them come to prayer. They nearly all came. to it, and I am never so touched as when I hear them pray and receive their instructions with admirable docility. Although the Father understands something of their language, nevertheless he makes exhortations to them in the algonkin tongue, and the captain repeats them to his people in his own. It is something charming to hear him. He will be solemnly baptized at an early day, along with his wife, at Quebek. Some of them have been baptized here, who have given us much consolation; and I am never better confirmed in the belief of the truth of our religion than when I see the great principles of our faith at work, as is plainly visible in them. There are some who are still rebellious to the light; God knows the reason for this. What is accomplished here would suffice to persuade me that the labor of a missionary is well employed, and to make me esteem my lot as the greatest favor that I could receive from the divine goodness. 1 am grieved only that I cannot do something for their instruction. I do so in every way possible for me, and I feel an inexpressible satisfaction in seeing the attachment which they all have for me. Accordingly I have stripped myself of almost everything that I could give them, and I do not account it ill employed. I hope that the good God will obtain for me, by means of some zealous persons, the things which may help us to win these poor savages. One must be provided in this country with medals; small [Page 137] crucifixes a finger in length, or smaller still; small brass crosses and brass rings, also some in which there is the figure of some saint, or the face of Jesus Christ or the Blessed Virgin; wooden rosaries, very black and rather thick, which they wear hanging from the neck or about the head; knives, the very heaviest, etc. If I had the advantage possessed by some of our Fathers, who have annuities in France, I would with only a hundred francs make many conversions. However, there would be reason for astonishment if the savages did not love our fathers; for I do not believe that there is a father who would be more active in behalf of his children than all our missionaries are here in behalf of the savages who are committed to their guidance.
After having spoken of our mission of Silleri, I ought still to say something of the others, of which there are many interesting things to relate which are not known in France. To satisfy Your Reverence’s desire on this point, and especially as concerns your request for information about Quebek, I may say to you that Quebek is, in regard to its situation, one of the most beautiful ports in the world, and one that would be very suitable as the location of a fine city. However, it is nothing but a very pretty village, which is divided into a lower and an upper town. In the lower town are the warehouses and residences of the merchants, which give it a fine appearance. In the upper town are the houses of monseigneur the bishop; he is building a very fine edifice for himself and all his ecclesiastics, whom he is training there, with about thirty youths of the country, to supply with them the parishes which are being formed in various places. There also are the [Page 139] house of Monsieur the governor, the fort, the house of Monsieur the intendant, the houses of the hospital and Ursuline nuns, who are magnificently lodged; and finally, our house or college, which is finer on the outside than convenient within. Our church is, however, as beautiful and as large as the church of the college of Puy. We saw it consecrated, and the feast of St. Ignatius was observed there as magnificently as one can observe it in France. Our house bears the name of college, and there is an endowment for three masters. Those who are there have not the opportunity to labor much for the savages. There are six of our fathers: ordinarily the Reverend Father superior, who is father Dablon, and two other fathers from the province of Paris, who are very old and broken with the labors of the missions, — one of whom, however, always reads at meals. There is another father, who has the charge of providing necessary supplies for the missionaries; and a preacher, who is now to take the place hitherto occupied by Father Matthieu — that is to say, to exercise the office of purveyor, and to teach Theology to seven young men whom father Matthieu had for pupils during 6 years, having taught them rhetoric, philosophy, and during three years, Theology. A serious infirmity obliges him to return this year to France. The Father Superior has often told me that an arm had been torn from him when he lost this father. He was universally loved by all classes; I miss him as much as all the others do. Besides these fathers, there is a young master who teaches two or three classes; a layman who has presented himself to the college, who teaches reading and writing to the youths; and another, who teaches all the [Page 141] mathematics necessary for this country. He has instructed most of the captains who bring vessels to this country. We have various brethren in this house and elsewhere, who render us great services; and others, donnés, who are very useful to us in the missions. That is what I can tell you of our house and of Quebek, where there are in all not more than a hundred houses and eight hundred persons. They reckon in Canada more than ten thousand French people, many of whom have much trouble to live. The land yields corn enough, but God does not bless those dealers in brandy, which ruins the savages and the missionaries’ labor. In these past years, indeed, they have had a dearth of corn, which has almost brought famine into the country. What is remarkable is, that here the corn is planted and harvested in three months; and there would be some to ship elsewhere, as they have begun to do, if every one would make the most of his lands. None but our poor missionaries — who are in the country at a distance from the french settlements, which do not extend over more than sixty leagues — are deprived of these advantages, and are constrained to live like the savages, which is, in truth, a life that causes horror. We are here deprived of many of the conveniences which were deemed necessary in France, and we are well content to sleep in our clothes on a single mattress or a bag of straw; but, even so, this life is very easy when one compares it with the life of those missionaries. We have within the space of those sixty leagues three principal missions: this one, where I am, which is, as it were, the refuge of all the Algonkins and of other tribes who are allied to them, although we see here all sorts of savages. [Page 143] There is another, which has been formed anew for the Hurons, and for some iroquois who have come that they may have liberty to perform the exercises of good Christians. This place is in the woods, three leagues from Quebek, where a fine village has been built in the fashion of the savages. There are about three hundred people there, either Hurons or Irequois. That place is called Lorette, because Father Chaumonnot, who had been at Loretto with the late father Poncet, has had built in that place a chapel for special devotions, and on the same pattern as that of Loretto, whither our French go on pilgrimages, Our savages have an admirable veneration for this place; witness, that iroquois who, having gone hunting in the woods, carried in his arms one of his little daughters, who ‘had died nearly a hundred leagues from here, — to the end, he said, of having her buried with the I Blessed Virgin’s other children. One is charmed to hear the various choirs, which the men and the women form in order to sing during mass and at vespers. The nuns of France do not sing more agreeably than some savage women here; and, as a class, all the savages have much aptitude and inclination for singing the hymns of the Church, which have been rendered into their language. All the people agree that there are in this mission persons of eminent holiness; as for me, I have good proofs thereof. There is another mission named la prairie de la magdeleine, which is sixty leagues from here, where there are two of our missionaries, who have charge of three hundred Iroquois and of some French people. These Iroquois came from their country to live in this place as Christians. They expel from it, as at the mission of Lorette, those who [Page 145] have become intoxicated. Monseigneur the bishop administered confirmation there to eighty Iroquois, and he told us that he had never been so touched as when he saw the fervor of those new Christians. That is where that Iroquois is who came to France, and to whom the King is godfather. We have, besides that, two missionaries who go and follow the Algonkin, Montagnais, and papinachois savages; and, in the forests, two hundred leagues from here, others, who are continually making new discoveries. I do not give an exact description of all the labors of the missionaries, which surpass everything that is written of them in France; and the ideas that I have at present are very different from those that I had in France. To close this letter, which is only too long, I content myself with saying, for the other missions, that we have eight of our fathers, a brother, and some donnés among the Iroquois, where Father Raffayse is superior of the mission to the Sonnontouans. They are more or less distant from one another, and are much exposed to dangers. There are eight others of our fathers, five hundred leagues. from here, in the country of the Outaouacs, scattered in various missions. Some of these have under their direction more than twenty thousand souls. Father Nouvel is there, who is superior of all those missions, and Father Druillete; and that is where I hope to go next year. I ask for that purpose the prayers of Your Reverence, and of all persons in your college.
My Reverend Father,
Your very humble and very obedient
Servant in Our Lord,
Narrative of a 3rd voyage to the Ilinois, made
by Father Claude Allois.
SUCCESSOR to the late father marquette was needed who should be no less lealous than he. To fill his place, father Claude alloues was chosen, who had labored, the leader in all our missions to the outaouaks, with Untiring Courage. He was engaged, at the time, in that of st. françois Xavier in the bay des puants, and was soon ready to set out.
Let us hear what he says of his voyage.
SECTION 1ST. FATHER ALOUÉS SETS OUT OVER THE
ICE. A YOUNG MAN KILLED BY A BEAR; OF THE
REVENGE THAT WAS TAKEN FOR THIS. VARIOUS
CURIOSITIES ENCOUNTERED ON THE WAY.
URING the time while I was making preparations for my departure, the weather not being as yet propitious, I paid some visits along the bay, where I baptized two sick adults, one of whom died the next day. The other lived a month longer; he was a poor old man who, as he was already declining and half deaf, was the jest of Every one, and an object of contempt to all, even to his own children. God, however, did not cast him aside, but granted him the favor of being placed in the number of his children through baptism, and of being received into his paradise, as I have every reason to Believe. On another visit, to the outagamis, I baptized six [Page 149] children, nearly all in a dying condition. I was much consoled at seeing a notable change in the spirit of these people; God visits them with his scourges in order to make them more amenable to our Instructions.
After these Trips, the weather being favorable for setting out, — it was toward the close of the month of October, 1676, — I embarked in a canoe with two men, to attempt to go to winter with the Ilinois. But I did not go far, for the winter had set in so early that year that, the ice overtaking us, we were compelled to go into camp, and wait until the ice was strong enough to bear us. It was not until the month of february that we began our voyage — a very unusual mode of navigation, for, instead of putting the Canoe into the water, we placed it upon the ice, over which the wind, which was in our favor, and a sail made it go as on water. When the wind failed us, in place of paddles we used Ropes to draw it along, as horses draw carriages. Passing near the nation of the poueteouatamis, I learned that a Young man had recently been killed by bears. I had, in times past, baptized him at the point of st. Esprit, and his parents were of my Acquaintance, which constrained me to go a little out of my Way, that I might console them. They told me that bears, having taken on fat during autumn, retain all winter, and even increase, their bulk, although they eat nothing, as naturalists have remarked. They sleep in the Hollows of trees — especially the females, to bring forth in them their young — or else they Sleep on the branches of fir-trees, which they break off for the purpose of making a bed of them upon the snow. This they do not leave all winter, unless Hunters [Page 151] discover them by means of their dogs, which they train to this sport. This Young man, having descried one of them on these pine-branches, discharged at it all the arrows in his Quiver; but the bear, feeling itself struck, although not by a deadly blow, rose up and sprang upon him, tore off his scalp, and disemboweled him, mangling and dismembering the entire Body. I found his mother in great distress. We said together the prayers for the departed; and although my presence had renewed her grief, she wiped away her tears and Consoled herself by saying to me: “ It is paulin who is dead; it is the good paulin whom thou camest always to call to prayers.”
Afterward, by way of avenging, they said, this death, the relatives and friends of the deceased went to make war on the bears while they were still in good condition, — that is to say, in winter; for in summer they are thin, and so famished that they eat even Toads and Snakes, The war was so successful that, in a short time, they killed over 500, of which they gave us a share, telling us that God delivered the bears into their hands as satisfaction for the death of that Young man who had been so cruelly treated by one of their nation.
At 12 leagues from the village of the pouteouatamis, we entered a very deep bay, from which we carried our Canoe through the woods as Far as the great lake of the Ilinois; this portage extends about a league and a half.
The vigil of st. Joseph, patron of all Canada, finding us on this lake of the Ilinois, we gave it the name of that great saint; accordingly, we shall call it, from this time, the lake of st. Joseph. [Page 153]
We embarked, then, on the 29th of march, and had to contend vigorously with the ice, which we were compelled to break before us in order to secure a passage. The water was so cold that it froze on our paddles, and on that Side of the canoe on which the sun did not strike. It pleased God to bring us through the danger in which we were placed upon landing, when a strong Gust of wind blew the ice against our canoe on one side, and pushed [it] on the other our Canoe against the ice that lined the shore.
Our great difficulty was that, the rivers being still frozen, we could not enter them until the 3rd of april. We consecrated that into which we at last entered, during the season of holy week, by a large Cross which we planted on its bank, in order that a number of savages who resort there for their Hunting — some by Canoe on the lake and others on foot through the woods — might be reminded of the Instructions given them regarding this mystery, and, by the sight of it, be moved to pray to God.
The next day, we saw a rock 7 or 8 feet out of the water and 2 or 3 brasses in circumference, named “ the pitch rock.” Indeed, one could see the pitch Trickling down in little threads on the Side on which the sun was warming it. We took some and found it good for pitching Canoes; and I make use of it for Sealing my letters.
We saw also, on the same Day, another rock, a little smaller, part of which was under water and part out. That part which was wet by the waves was of a beautiful red color, very bright and shining. A few Days afterward, we came across a streamlet that issued from the slope of a Hill, the waters of which appeared mineralized; the sand in [Page 155] it is red, and the savages tell us that it comes from a little lake in which they have found small pieces of red Copper.
We proceeded, continuing always to coast along the great prairies, which extend farther than the eye can reach. Trees are met with from time to time, but they are so placed that they seem to have been planted with design, in order to make avenues more pleasing to the eye than those of orchards. The base of these trees is often watered by little streamlets, at which are seen large herds of stags and hinds refreshing themselves, and peacefully feeding upon the short grass. We followed these vast plains for 20 leagues and repeated many times, “ Benedicite opera Domini Domino.”
After voyaging 76 leagues over the lake of saint Joseph, we at length entered the river which leads to the Ilinois. I met there 80 savages of the country, by whom I was welcomed in a very hospitable manner. The Captain came about 30 steps to meet me, carrying in one hand a firebrand and in the other a Calumet adorned with feathers. Approaching me, he placed it in my mouth and himself lighted the tobacco, which obliged me to make pretense of smoking it. Then he made me come into his Cabin, and having given me the place of honor, he spoke to me as follows:
“ My Father, have pity on me; suffer me to return with thee, to bear thee company and take thee into’ my village. The meeting I have had to-day with thee will prove fatal to me if I do not use it to my advantage. Thou bearest to us the gospel and the prayer. If I lose the opportunity of listening to thee, I shall be punished by the loss of my nephews, [Page 157] whom thou seest in so great number; without doubt, they will be defeated by our enemies. Let us embark, then, in Company, that I may profit by thy coming into our land.” That said, he set out at the same time as ourselves, and shortly after we arrived at his abode.
SECTION 2ND. FATHER ALLOUES ARRIVES AT THE
VILLAGE OF THE ILINOIS. DESCRIPTION OF THAT
VILLAGE AND OF THE COUNTRY. THE FAITH
IS PROCLAIMED TO ALL THE NATIONS.
otwithstanding all the efforts that we made to hasten our journey, it was not until the 27th of april that I was able to arrive at Kachkachkia, the great village of the Ilinois. I entered, at once, the Cabin in which father marquette had lodged; and, the old men being assembled there with the entire population, I made known the reason for which I had come to them, — namely, to preach to them the true God, living and Immortal, and his only son Jesus Christ. They listened very attentively to my whole discourse and thanked me for the trouble that I was taking for their salvation.
I found this Village largely increased since a year ago. Formerly, it was Composed of but one nation, that of the Kachkachkia; at the present time, there are 8 tribes in it, the first having summoned the others, who inhabited the neighborhood of the river mississipi. One cannot well satisfy himself as to the number of people who Compose that village, They are housed in 351 cabins, which are easily counted, as most of them are situated upon the bank of the river.
The spot which they have Chosen for their abode [Page 159] is situated in latitude 40 degrees 41 minutes. On one Side of it is a long stretch of prairie, and on the other a multitude of swamps, which are [render the atmosphere] unhealthy and often Covered with fog, — giving Rise to much sickness, and to loud and frequent Peals of thunder; they delight, however, in this location, as they can easily espy from it their enemies.
These savages are naturally high-spirited, valorous, and daring. They wage war with 7 or 8 different nations, but do not use guns, finding them too cumbersome and slow. They carry them, nevertheless, when they march against nations who do not understand the use of them, to frighten them by the noise and put them to rout. Usually, they carry only the club, the bow, and a Quiverful of arrows, which they shoot with such skill and rapidity as scarcely to give time to those who have guns to Take Aim. They carry also a large shield, made of the skins of the wild bison, arrow- proof, and covering the whole Body.
They have several wives, and are extremely jealous of them, leaving them on the least suspicion. Usually these latter conduct themselves well, and dress modestly; not so the men, who feel no shame at their nudity.
They live on indian corn and other fruits of the earth, which they cultivate, like the other savages, on the prairies. They eat 14 kinds of roots, which they find in the prairies; they made me eat some and I found them good and very sweet. They Gather from trees and plants 42 different kinds of fruits, all of which are excellent; and catch 25 sorts of fish — among them, the eel. They Hunt the [Page 161] roebuck, the bison, the Turkey, the Wildcat, a species of tiger, and other animals; they Reckon up 22 kinds of these, and some 40 kinds of game and birds. I have been told that, lower down the river, there are saline springs, and that they make salt from them; I have not yet seen the experiment tried. I am also assured that, not far from their village, there is slate-stone as fine as ours. I have seen in this country, as with the outaouacs, red Copper — which is found, as elsewhere, in little pieces, on the banks of the river. And, lastly, they assure me that there are here rocks with pitch, similar to those which I saw on the shores of lake st. Joseph. The savages Cut them, and find silver — like veins; they pulverize these and make of them a very fine red paint, They also come across other veins, from which the pitch oozes; this, when thrown into the fire, burns like ours.
This is all that I was able to observe in this country, in the short time that I lived in it. What follows is what I did for the Christian faith.
As I had but a short time to remain here, — having come only to acquire the information necessary for the establishment of a complete mission, — immediately applied myself to give all the instruction I could to these 8 different nations, to whom, by the grace of God I made myself sufficiently understood. I went, for that purpose, into the Cabin of the Chief of the nation that I wished to instruct; and, there making ready a small altar, using the ornaments of my portable Chapel, I exposed the Crucifix; when they had looked at it, I explained to them the mysteries of our holy faith. I could not have desired a larger audience, or closer attention. They carried [Page 163] to me their smaller children to be baptized, and brought me the older ones to be Instructed. They themselves repeated all the prayers that I taught them. In a word, after I had done the same for all the nations, I had recognized, as a result, the same number of peoples to whom nothing more remained [I saw that nothing was lacking to all these peoples] save careful Cultivation, for them to become good Christians. This is what we hope hereafter to effect at leisure.
I have made a beginning in This mission, by the baptism of 35 children, and one sick adult; this man died a short time afterward, as did one of his children, to go to take possession of paradise in the name of the whole nation.
And, in order to take possession also of all these peoples in the name of Jesus Christ, on the 3rd of may, the festival of the holy Cross, we planted in the middle of the village a Cross 35 feet in height, chanting the “ vexilla ” in the presence of a large number of ilinois of all the nations. Of these I can say in truth that they did not regard Jesus Christ Crucified as a folly, or a scandal; on the contrary, they assisted at that ceremony with great respect, and listened with admiration to all I had to say regarding that mystery. The children even came devoutly to kiss the Cross, while the grown-up people Earnestly entreated me to plant it there so firmly that it might never be in danger of falling.
The time of my departure having come, I bade Adieu to these peoples, and left them eagerly anticipating my return as soon as possible — an expectation all the more willingly encouraged by me, inasmuch as on the one Hand I have great reason [Page 165] for thanking God for the little crosses of which, in this voyage, he granted me a share; and because on the other I see the mission quite ready, and very promising. Doubtless, the devil will oppose himself to it, and perhaps will profit by the war which the Iroquois intend to make against the Ilinois. I pray our lord to avert it, lest beginnings so glorious may be entirely destroyed.
[Postscript by Dablon: “ In the year after, 1678, father aloués set out on his return to that mission, to remain there two consecutive years, that he might thus work more effectively for the Conversion of those peoples. We have since learned that the Iroquois have made an incursion thus far, but that they were defeated by the Ilinois. This will go far to foment war between these nations; and if God do not interpose, will do much injury to this mission. [Page 167]
Relation of 1676-77
Source: We follow the originat MS. in Lava1 University, Quebec, with emendations (in brackets) from two contemporary MSS. — see Bibliographical Data. [Page 169]
OF WHAT OCCURRED
IN THE MISSIONS OF THE FATHERS
of the Society of Jesus,
in the years 1676 and 1677.
Of the Iroquois Missions in the year 1676.
HE War that the Iroquois wish to wage upon us not only places the fathers who are in their country in very great danger of Being killed, but has also Caused great Delay to the progress of the Gospel. Since those Barbarians have at Last succeeded in Exterminating the Andastoguetz, who had held out against them for over 20 years, they have become so insolent that they talk only of breaking the missionaries’ heads, by way of beginning hostilities. Drunkenness, which prevails among them to a horrible extent, adds a license brazen enough to Attempt anything.
The upper Iroquois — That is to say, those who are most remote from us, like the Sonnontouans and the Ouoguens — are the most arrogant and most insolent. They run after the missionaries with hatchets in their hands; they pursue them with stones; they Overturn their Chapels and their little Cabins; and in a thousand other ways subject them to most infamous treatment.
The fathers endure everything, and are prepared for everything; for they know well that the Apostles planted the faith in the world not otherwise than through persecutions and through sufferings. That which Consoles them in the pitiful condition in which they are placed is to see the fruits that God derives therefrom for his glory and for the salvation of these same Savages by whom they are so [Page 173] ill-treated. For, during the year that has passed since these Disturbances began, they have baptized more than 350 Iroquois — among whom, besides 27 adults, 171 Children died after Baptism, which is a certain Gain for heaven.
I can Obtain Nothing further from Fathers de Carheil, Pierron, Raffaix, and Garnier, who are among the Upper Iroquois, because their chief Occupation is to suffer and, as it were, to die at every moment through the constant threats and the insults that those barbarians heap upon them; and they, in spite of all that, fail not to Snatch many souls from the Demon. Father Pierron has, for his part, during the past year baptized go, nearly all of whom were children, and 50 of whom died after baptism. Father Carheil writes from Oioguens that the spiritual Gain this Year is 38 persons who have been baptized, 6 of whom are adults; and 36 who have died, all except three being Children. In a village of Sonnontouans where Father Garnier is, 40 children and 14 adults who had been baptized have died within a year. As for Reverend Father Rafaix, who is in another village of Sonnontouan, he writes that he has derived great advantage from a general Influenza with which God has Chastised those barbarians, and which in one month Carried off more than 60 little children, for whose baptism he Spared himself no more than he did for that of the adults whom God showed to be his in that Prevalent disease.
The Fathers who are Among the lower Iroquois — that is, at Agnié, Onneiout, and Onnontagué — are not all persecuted, and even greatly promote God’s Kingdom among those nations, as may be seen by The following Extracts from some of their Letters. [Page 175]
EXTRACT FROM A LETTER OF FATHER JACQUES
BRUYAS, SUPERIOR OF THE IROQUOIS MISSIONS,
WRITTEN AT AGNIÉ ON THE 31ST OF JULY, 1676.
OBEY Your Reverence’s Command to write you in Detail everything that passes in the mission Of agnie. I informed Your Reverence last year that God had granted me the grace of baptizing an elder, one of the most important persons in this village, whose fervor and zeal led me to hope that I should soon see this church increased by a large number of Christians; and, in fact, never has it been more fruitful than at that time. But oh! how inscrutable are the judgments of God to the weakness of our minds, and how adorable are the designs of his providence! Pierre assendassé who is the Notable person of whom I speak, and who seemed to be the foundation stone of this church, was Removed from it at the very time when his person wouId have been most necessary to it. That good neophyte, who gave us such great hopes, was Snatched away from us in the month Of august of the year 1675, after having been tried by God in an illness of nearly six months. During that time he gave us strong proofs of his constancy; for he would never allow the medicine-men of the country to do Anything near his person, although he was importunately solicited thereto not only by his kindred, but also by the chief men of the village, who looked upon him as the best mind among them, and who feared with Reason that his death would be the Ruin of their country. He always said to me: “ I wish to die a Christian, and to keep the promise that I gave to God in my baptism, to which I do not consider my death attributable, as my kindred wrongly imagine. We all will [Page 177] die, and all the infidels will die as well as I. There is a God who has set Limits to our lives. He will do with me as he pleases, I accept cheerfully all that comes from his hand, whether it be life or death. ” He died in these sentiments. I would have reason to Regret him, Were I not morally certain of his blessedness, and did I not hope that he will pray to God in Heaven for his countrymen. Indeed, a few days after his death I baptized 3 adults. A great many others, infidels who were dying, have Received the same grace. I count as many of those as of the others, about 50 since a year ago.
EXTRACT FROM A LETTER OF FATHER JACQUES DE
LAMBERVILLE, WRITTEN FROM GANNAWAGÉ, A
VILLAGE OF AGNIÉ ON THE 6TH OF MAY, 1676.
LTHOUGH I am not yet very well versed in the language of the Iroquois, with whom I have lived only a year, and consequently cannot labor for their conversion as much as I would like, God has Nevertheless had pity on some of the savages who are under my charge, I baptized 13 persons before easter, in 2 months, and 7 since then within a very short space of time. The death of two adults gave me much consolation. The rst was nearly 40 years of age. He Had resided with the flemings, our neighbors, but God withdrew Him from them for his salvation, through a Slow fever, which compelled Him to come here to Seek some relief among his kindred. I took care of him and assisted Him to the. best of my ability; this won him, and made him listen to me willingly whenever I spoke to him of his salvation. I made him pray to God every day, and he did this with such willingness that he had an [Page 179] amiable quarrel with me when I let a few days pass without going to see him — which happened occasionally, in consequence of the visits that I was obliged to pay to a village near here, which is also under my Charge. Our sick man continued to sink, and his fervor increased so that one day he said to me: “ Thou hast no pity on me; thou wilt leave me to die without baptism. Defer it no longer; baptize me as soon as possible, for I shall die before long.” When I saw him so inclined, I instructed Him 2 or J times more, and baptized him. Afterward, he Ceased not to pray every day, until he could no longer speak.
The 2nd Adult’s conversion is a special effect of grace, and a particular favor from Father Isaac Jogues, who Shed his blood here in God’s cause, for he was massacred here by these barbarians. The man of whom I speak had been ill for 6 months, and his relatives had recourse to all the juggleries imaginable, to obtain his Cure. They are, moreover, the most superstitious of the country — to such an extent, even, that the grandmother of the sick man says that she is the sister of the lord of the Sky. I knew not how to approach Him, for Entrance to his cabin was Completely closed to me. In this Extremity, I had Recourse to Reverend Father Jogues, to whom I commended that man; and immediately afterward I found that the doors of the Cabin were open to me. This gave me an opportunity to Instruct and baptize Him. He has since consoled me greatly by his constancy in praying to God, which he retained in a very extraordinary manner until death. During the year that I have spent here, I have baptized nearly 50 persons, 9 or 10 of whom [Page 181] died happily after baptism; 3 or 4 have escaped me — 2 children and an old woman who, notwithstanding my efforts, died without baptism. My Heart bleeds for them, and I am inconsolable.
EXTRACT FROM A LETTER OF FATHER PIERRE MILLET,
WRITTEN FROM ONNEIOUT IN THE IROQUOIS
COUNTRY ON THE 1ST OF JUNE, 1676.
T may be said without exaggeration that the service of God Has greatly increased, and that the worship of the demon has greatly diminished, this year, in this mission; 2 things have contributed to this.
The 1st was the conversion and solemn baptism of one of the chief men of this nation, named Soenrese, who, after earnestly pleading for baptism, — and after having asked for It in the presence of his kindred, who are very numerous, and among the persons of most note, — received it on the 1st day of the year; and he loudly declared to all our principal Christians there present that he entirely Renounced all the superstitions of the country, and wished to live thereafter and to die a Christian.
The 2nd which has greatly contributed toward the advancement of the faith is the [confraternity of the] holy family, which I have established here within a year, To it I admit only those who Render themselves most Commendable through their piety, and their devotion in practicing the duties of Christianity; through their zeal in having their little Children baptized and instructed; through their Charity Toward their neighbor: through the Courage that they display in contending against the superstitions and in Resisting the evil customs of the country. Such are those who compose the holy family. All our prayers [Page 183] in our assemblies, and the Charities that we cause to be practiced, are Directed toward winning to God the relatives of our Christians who are not yet Christians; and we see through God’s grace the excellent result of that devotion, for the faith is beginning to establish and spread itself more and more.
For this we are likewise Indebted to the prayers and charities of the virtuous persons who carry even as far as here their zeal for the salvation of our poor Savages. Your Reverence has given me Great comfort by Sending me the names of our benefactors, for whom we offer prayers — we and our new Christians. It is they who open the doors of these hearts, and who make the conversion of these people easier for us.
Affairs are greatly disturbed in the Direction of the Sonnontwans, who intend to wage war on us. May it please God that that shall not affect the good success that he grants to our Christendom.
EXTRACT FROM A LETTER OF FATHER JEAN DE LAM-
BERVILLE, WRITTEN FROM ONNONTAGUÉ IN THE
IROQUOIS COUNTRY ON THE 18TH OF JUNE, 1676.
OUR Reverence will Hear as much about war from this quarter as from Europe, The Minds of our Iroquois are always full of it, and there is no probability that they will cease to kill men (as they say) so long as they find them in the woods.
They are actually Bringing 50 captives from a distance of 200 leagues from here, to whom they have granted their lives because they destine them to work in their Fields. They acted differently with some prisoners whom they took from the Loups, with whom they have been at War for a short time. Such of the latter captives as they have Brought [Page 185] hither have been cruelly burned, but the sufferers have likewise had the good fortune to Receive baptism, which I administered to them before their deaths. One of them, among others, made me Return to him when he was already half burned, to make him pray to God once more. I was greatly touched at seeing him make the sign of the Cross in the midst of the flames, and humbly profess amid that butchery that he died a Christian. We always have to contend against the jugglers, who are bitterly opposed to us because we discredit them by showing that all the juggleries that they make use of to Cure the sick are nothing but foolish and senseless tricks. This was made manifest recently in their Attempt to Cure a girl who had become so crazy that she ran about the streets. In order to Succeed, they persuaded her parents that she had seen 9 feasts in dreams; and that, if they gave these, she would be cured. The parents agreed to this, and from all sides they gathered great heaps of meat to fulfill properly those dreams.
Our noble disciples of Esculapius, whose Design was to fare Well and to eat their fill, made a large circle of Bark in which the crazy girl was put. They placed 7 or 8 persons around The Circle, who rattled small gourds filled with peas. The jugglers also entered the Circle, wherein they Burned tobacco — some in honor of the Stag, others in honor of the owl, others in honor of the bear, — all imitating the voice of the animal to which they offered their kind of sacrifice. Afterward, He Among them who was best versed in The art of jugglery made incisions in the patient’s temples, whence he sucked blood; this he Spat out, sometimes with bears’ teeth, [Page 187] sometimes with human Hairs or Stag’s bristles which he had Concealed in his mouth, bringing them out thus as if they had been spells that had been cast upon her. Hearty Thanks were tendered to these Worthy physicians, but the crazy girl became no wiser from their treatment. Accordingly it was but the prelude to the g feasts, of which they were to have the largest share.
The first 2 began with a ceremony quite usual among these people, in which all who had dreamed of some Article during the year came to Sing in the crazy girl’s Cabin, and to have Their dreams divined in order that they might be fulfilled. That festival lasted 2 days, and all who wished to be relieved of the need that they had for corn, for meat, for mats, for Robes of bear or Tiger skins, and for other similar things, had only to say that they had dreamed of these, and they were at once given to them. A woman was impertinent enough to Sing that she had dreamed of my cassock, and that she would die if I did not give it to her. I had no difficulty in Replying to her nonsense, and to him who came to bring me word of it. I took the opportunity to disabuse them of that silly belief that the fulfillment of their dreams prolongs life.
The 3rd Feast was a Masquerade of people dressed like bears, who Danced in a very surprising Manner.
The 4th was a sort of quarrel, in which they threw ashes at one another.
The 5th was a Dance, which was performed to a quite Agreeable air.
In the 6th, They Cast spells at one another and Then removed them, in this manner: The guests were covered with feathers from their heads to their feet, [Page 189] and were all masked; and, while they were preparing for the Ceremony, 4 women on one side and 4 on The other Related by Singing, and by shaking their gourds in cadence, that all this action had Been inspired by the Spirit of the dream. Everything being ready, 8 masked men issued from the Cabin, followed by 8 others who all carried pouches filled with charms; and, when Each had taken his post, they drew up as if in battle array, and danced to the sound of the gourds; 8 on one side and 8 on the other were in line, and Represented a sort of Combat. They made their approaches always in cadence. They all Began, therefore, when these bands were 6 paces apart, to throw Feathered charms at one another. After that, they mingled together, and in the mêlée some were seen to fall half dead, others to Writhe and Roll on the ground; some became either frensied, or blinded, or attacked by other kinds of diseases, through the violence of the spells cast at them — until the victorious party, by throwing counter-spells, cured the Bewitched ones by counterfeited vomitings, and by Poultices that they applied to them. Some however remained incurable, and had to be carried to their Houses.
The 7th was a Dance of a Warrior clad as an American from the south.
The 8th and 9th Were not decent, and this compelled me to oppose them by the usual means, — that is, to speak by presents, which I did. I Pointed out to them that those kinds of feasts would sooner or later call down God’s Anger upon them; and that, far from contributing to the Cure of their sick, on the contrary they caused death, through a just punishment of Heaven. This indeed became manifest. [Page 191] in the case of the crazy girl for whom they held the feast, and who died shortly after that Ridiculous Ceremony, which I have Related merely to show the folly and Stupidity of these poor barbarians. It is true that not all are so blind. Garagontié, that brave Christian Captain of whom so much has been said, opposed as strenuously as he could all those superstitions, of which he testified quite recently, in the presence of the chief men of the village, that he had a horror. For that purpose he gave 3 solemn feasts. In the first 2, he stated at the outset that he had not dreamed of the feasts to which he had invited those whom he addressed; and that he had Renounced all those useless superstitions. He After ward earnestly inveighed against the gluttonous excesses that take place in the eat-all feasts.
In the 3rd, as he is very aged, he Sang his death- Song. He saluted the master of life whom he Acknowledged to be the sovereign of our fortunes and upon whom, not on our dreams, depended our life and our death. He also saluted Monseigneur The Bishop of Canada, and the other persons of note in the country, — telling them, as if they had been present, that he wished to die a Christian and that he hoped that they would pray to God for him. Afterward, he made a public Profession of faith, and disavowed all the Errors in which he had lived previous to his baptism. Throughout his discourse the guests ate in profound silence, and Listened to Him with admirable attention.
His Enemies and the infidels do not relish that kind of Song; they say that the faith has upset His Mind, and they do all they can by their evil speeches to Make him odious and contemptible, But he ever [Page 193] sustains himself by his strength of mind, and maintains his Rank and his reputation, which is so great that when they speak of him they merely say, “the elder ” and “ the man of Note, ” without naming him.
He was at midnight mass on Christmas during intensely cold weather when he, his wife, and some other persons — among others, a woman, who came a distance of over half a league during the night and through the snow — performed their devotions. He then Conversed with me for a very long time on the principal mysteries of our Holy Religion, chiefly on the most Holy sacrament and the passion of Our Lord, which he greatly enjoys. He is Delighted when he hears that any persons who have died have received baptism. He is careful to inform me Whenever he learns that there are any sick in the village, or elsewhere, in order that I may Exhort them to be baptized. During the past year 7 adults have died here, who have had, as I have reason to believe, the Blessedness of Passing from the life of the savages to that of the blessed. An 8th one died who would never listen to me, notwithstanding all the solicitations of his relatives. I have also baptized 45 Children, 40 of whom are before God. This is the most blessed and the surest harvest. [Page 195]
Of the Mission of the Outaouacs In the year 1676.
HE missions of the Outaouacs have within a year Given to The Church 367 persons who have all been baptized with the usual Rites, with the Exception of some sick persons, to whom it was necessary to Administer that sacrament in the Cabins and in the midst of the woods. Of all that number not more than 60 are adults. The remainder are children, most of whom have gone to Heaven since baptism.
The affairs of Christianity have proceeded in these missions this year nearly as in the previous ones. Therefore I shall say Nothing further about them; I shall merely add Extracts from some Letters from the fathers in that quarter, for the Consolation of those who know them.
EXTRACT FROM A LETTER OF FATHER CLAUDE AL-
LOUES, WRITTEN FROM ST. FRANÇOIS XAVIER, NEAR
THE BAY DES PUANTS ON THE 26TH OF MAY, 1676.
INCE last spring, I have been able to give only flying missions, in order not to abandon some while attaching myself too closely to others. During the short time that I spent in those of the mascouteins and the miamis, God granted me the Consolation of finding in the Cabins 2 children who were dying, — one a Miami, the other a Mascoutein, — and of baptizing both of them before they died; 3 others also, who had previously been baptized, Soared to Heaven. On the eve of my departure, my first [Page 197] hostess among the Mascouteins received baptism with many sentiments of devotion, before her death, which happened shortly afterward.
On leaving one of our fervent Christians named Joseph, the Captain of one of the tribes of the miamis, I gave him a small Crucifix, and explained to him how he was to use it. He took it, placed It upon his Heart, and, clasping it (for it is not their custom to Kiss it), he apostrophized It in language and with a countenance that breathed but tenderness and devotion. He preserves it very Fondly and Respectfully, and considers it among the most precious Things that he possesses. I know not whether I wrote last year that, when I was Recommending some Christian girls to be very discreet, in accordance with the profession of Christianity that they made, — telling them that it exacted more Reserve and Modesty from them than from those who were not baptized, — they showed me that under their blankets they kept Eagles’ Talons hanging at their sides as a soldier carries his sword, wherewith to defend themselves (they told me) against The insolence of the young Men.
As for The Mission of the Outagamis, where last year we planted a large cross in the middle of their village, we may hope for a great deal from their conversion, since we see that Our Lord has made Them share his cross, and afflicts them in many ways. Last winter they were killed by the Nadoessis. During The following summer, their corn was frozen; they gathered but little of it, and that little rotted in The autumn in the places for storage where they had Concealed It. Last winter, many died of [Page 199] disease; the hilinois made raids upon them, and Carried off others into captivity. During some visits that I paid to them I baptized 17, Among whom were 10 adults, who died after baptism. Of the old Christians in that tribe, who were 144 in number, 27 died, upon whom we have reason to Believe that God has had mercy. The puants and the sakis, who halted here near our church throughout Lent, came assiduously to listen to our instructions and to pray to God. We baptized seven of their Children.
EXTRACT FROM A LETTER OF FATHER LOUIS ANDRÉ,
WRITTEN FROM THE BAY DE PUANTS ON
THE 10TH OF APRIL, 1676.
HE Bay des Puants, where my mission is situated, comprises 6 tribes Scattered about the foot and along The two sides of the bay. They are more or less distant from one another — Some, 10 leagues; others, 15 or more. This compels me To Be always in the Field, — during The summer, in Canoes; during The winter, on the ice, — to go and instruct them, one after another. I have from 4 to 500 Christians on this bay. Since my last Letter, in april of the past year, I have increased this church by the baptism of 45 persons, not without having much to endure from those among these barbarians who are not Christians. One of them Burned my little house, which I had erected for myself near his village. He did so perhaps to allay the sorrow that he felt for the death of his 2 Children, who were killed some time ago by a savage. One of the children was baptized, and was only 3 years old; The other, who [Page 201] Was not, was 5 or 6 years of age. When I had entered his Cabin one day, and had prayers said, — quite close to the bones of his children, without knowing it, — he said to me: “ Hast thou Sense?” I replied: “ What thinkest thou of it? ” “ I think that thou hast none, ” he said to me, “ my child was baptized and was killed.” I assured him that I Entirely disapproved that deed, and that I had greatly blamed the murderer. Then I spoke to him of the happiness of the child who had been baptized. He seemed rather satisfied with this; but nevertheless, when I had gone, he burned my Cabin. After remaining 16 days with that tribe which is called folle Avoine [i.e., Menomonee], and baptizing 6 children there, I left to go and instruct another tribe which has no french name, but is called in the savage tongue Otiasawatenon. I Remained there 3 weeks, and administered baptism to 10 persons. Then I went farther up the bay, where I baptized 19 persons. Afterward, I stopped with the puants, where 12 Children Received baptism, as well as an old man who died not long after. I shall not Relate here all the obstacles that the Devil raised up against me, and how he availed himself of the effrontery of some savages to revenge himself for the prey that I Snatched from him through those Baptisms.
FACSIMILE OF PORTION OF PAGE IN CONTEMPORARY COPY OF RELATION OF 1676-77.
[The original MS. of the Relation was written by Dabion. This is a clerical copy made at the time, for circulation among the Jesuit houses in Europe; and, in 1897, it was purchased in London by The Burrows Brothers Company.].
This year, we have among the puants 7 or 8 families from a nation who are neutral Between our Savages and the nadoessi, who are at war. They are called aiaoua, or nadoessi mascouteins Their village, which lies 200 leagues from here Toward the west, is very large, but poor; for their greatest Wealth consists of ox-hides and of Red Calumets. [Page 203] They speak the language of the puants. I preached Jesus Christ to them, They say that they have no knowledge of The western sea, although they live at a distance of 12 days’ journey beyond the great River called Missisipi; but they assert that they have seen Savages who say that they have beheld a great lake very far away Toward the Setting sun, The Water whereof is very bad.
The same Father André has made some rather Curious Observations on the tides of the bay des puants, where they are perceptibly Felt. That bay is over 30 leagues long, by 7 or 8 in width in some places. It Receives all the waters of the great lake of the Ilinois, or, rather, it Sends to the lake the waters that it Receives from several Rivers which discharge into it. He has drawn up a very accurate journal of the winter tides under the ice, and another of the Summer tides. He found that they were very irregular; that in The Space of 24 hours there were sometimes 2 full tides, sometimes 3, sometimes 4; that, when there are only 2, they delay at some periods, and at others they advance. He noticed their connection with the course of the moon. Notwithstanding all the care that he took, he has not been able to say exactly in what Quarter of the sky the moon is When the tide is full, owing to its vagaries. He has taken a great deal of trouble to Ascertain the causes of those tides. He considers that they come from the lake of the Ilinois, rather than from the effect of the winds — which may, in truth, contribute to the Variableness of the tides, for they Themselves are exceedingly variable in that bay, He has further Remarked that there is no wind strong [Page 205] enough to Prevent the tide from rising and falling throughout the time while it prevails; that it is true that the wind affects it, and is the cause of its being low when it should be high; and that it ebbs and flows to an Extraordinary degree. But the wind does not make it always fall without ever rising again, nor does it always rise without ever falling, even when the wind prevails with the same force for several consecutive days. In fine, his journal contains everything that the Curious may desire in regard to such matters.
EXTRACT FROM A LETTER OF FATHER ANTHOINE
SYLVY, WRITTEN AMONG THE MASCOUTELNS, OR
FIRE NATION, APRIL 6, 1676.
FTER a Journey of over 300 leagues from Kebek, here I am, having come to this country to take charge of this mission. This village is Made up of 2 different peoples, who speak Entirely different languages — namely, those who are called Miamis, with G tribes of savages; and those who call themselves the mascouteins, who also have 5 or 6 other tribes with them, so that I find myself in the midst of many thousand savages to be instructed.
I found here 36 adult Christians, and 126 baptized Children. . As soon as I arrived here, I went to salute the elders, after which I began The Duties of my Office, — occupying myself in making the savages pray, and in instructing them in the mysteries of our Religion. There is always a great concourse of people around our Chapel. The infidels come, as well as the believers, — the former out of Curiosity, the latter to pray to God. I have Administered [Page 207] baptism to 5 Children and 4 adults, by way of commencing to increase this new church. Of the older Christians the most Remarkable is one named Joseph, who maintains his family in the Christian life. An accident that greatly surprised me, happened recently to this poor man, while I was saying mass, at which he was very devoutly assisting. For, when I was at the consecration and was elevating the sacred host, he suddenly fell into such convulsions that he seemed like one possessed. He was, However, Brought to himself; and after mass, when I wished to know the Cause of that accident, I was greatly consoled on learning that it was none other than the respectful Awe that the good Christian felt at that august mystery. He feels a special satisfaction in being near the missionaries. He was ever asking me for short prayers and ejaculatory orisons, suited to his needs. “ How shall I speak to God 7 ” he would say; “ my father, Teach me what I should ask from him for my son, who has gone to war; ” and other similar Things. He often begged that I should make him say a short Rosary, consisting of 7 or 8 words only; and he said it with such special attention and affection that he inspired me with devotion, and Gave me unequaled pleasure. It would be an exceeding consolation to have many neophytes like him. God will give me them whenever it shall please him.
EXTRACT FROM A LETTER OF FATHER PIERSON, WRIT-
TEN FROM ST. IGNACE, AT MISSIMILIMAKINAC ON
LAKE HURON, ON THE 25TH OF APRIL, 1676.
OD has hitherto granted, and still grants every day, so many blessings to my huron mission of Tionontate, that I have the satisfaction of seeing [Page 209] this little church gradually increase in number and grow strong in faith. It has been augmented this. year by 45 Children and some 47 adults, whom I have baptized. I pass over in silence many noble actions which I might Relate, to state that, in general, the faith is becoming so well Established with the grace of Our Lord, that I have great reason to Praise him and bless his name. I beg Your Reverence to Thank him for me.
Ever since the medicine-men and jugglers gave me their word, more than 2 years ago, To abandon their customary juggleries and superstitions, they have no longer had recourse to them. There are still, it is true, among the infidels some errors which we shall endeavor, with God’s help, Completely To abolish and Exterminate. The Iroquois from Sonnontwan came here this winter on an Embassy, and gave valuable presents to our hurons, under the pretext of wishing to join them that they might go Together to Fight the Nadoussiens, with whom they are at war. But we greatly Fear that under that specious semblance they Conceal another design, which is to lure all our savages to their country; and that would, without doubt, be the Ruin of this church. I pray Our Lord to Avert that calamity from us.
What we can Extract from the Letters of Father Gabriel Druillette is, that he has had this year more than 50 baptisms in the Church of ste. Marie du Sault; and from those of Father Pierre Bailloquette, — who carries on a flying mission throughout the Lake huron country and in that of the Nipissiriniens, to the various tribes dwelling there, — that, during a single expedition of a month’s duration, he baptized [Page 211] 50 children, with wonderful tokens of God’s guidance regarding the salvation of those innocents. We learn, finally, from the letters of Father nouvelle, that Within a year, in the mission of st. Ignace, 140 Algonkins have been baptized, among whom are 10 adults. [Page 213]
Journal Of the Last winter mission Of Father
henry nouvel, Superior of the mis-
sions of the Outawacs.
EXTRACT FROM A LETTER OF THE SAME FATHER, DATED
FROM THE FORMER COUNTRY OF THE SACHIS, NEAR
LAKE ERIE, THE 1ST DAY OF JANUARY, 1676.
FTER asking Our Lord for our new-year’s gifts, by entreating him to apply The merits of his blood and of his most adorable name to us and to all our missions, I seize Such moments as I can amid the labors of my winter’s occupation to Render an account to Your Reverence of the mission with which God has been pleased to charge me this winter. Those of the Amicouets or Beaver nation who passed by our house of st. Ignace, told me that they were all going to winter Together near lake Erie and they asked me for a missionary to accompany them. I offered myself to follow them whithersoever they might go. They set out ahead of me; and I left on the 8th of November with 2 frenchmen, and with no other Guide than the Map that we had drawn in accordance with their reports.
We Navigated For 8 days — sometimes to the East, sometimes to the southeast, passing nearly Always by very poor lands, without Rivers and without any fine timber; one sees there nothing but small firs and other wretched trees with which the whole country is entirely Covered. After 10 days’ navigation [Page 215] I Came upon a Cabin of some savages called pennengous [Openangoes], married to some Algonkin women whom I had formerly seen at tadoussac and at Syllery. As these women are Christians and their children are baptized, they manifested great joy at meeting so unexpectedly a missionary whom they had formerly seen more than 400 leagues from there. I felt no less joy than they, in performing for them all the functions of my ministry. We started Together the very next day, and going toward the south, we came to a wholly different country, wherein were many lofty Oaks and Maples, and abundance of other Excellent timber; there were even fine apple-trees, from which the hurons and Algonkins fail not to secure ample supplies.
On the 12th day of our journey, after Changing our direction to the southwest, we came to swampy lauds, where we had great trouble in finding a Lodging-place. We were so uncomfortable there that — being compelled thereto, moreover, by bad weather — we Broke camp on the following morning, to retire to a recess in a cove, wherein we were no better off. I had, nevertheless, the consolation of finding there another Cabin Of oupenengous, married to some Nipissirinien women, whom I had an opportunity to instruct. On the following day, after starting in very foggy weather, we took refuge in a cove where the rain and thunder detained us for a day. But a Northwest wind So chilled the air the following night that the cove was frozen over. W e remained there as in a prison for 6 days, without any hope of going farther — until, after we had addressed ourselves to the most blessed Virgin Immaculate through The Intercession of st. Ignatius and of st. Francis [Page 217] Xavier, she inspired us with the idea of carrying our Canoes and all our Baggage to an Islet close by; there, breaking the ice in front of us, we Embarked successfully.
On the Following day, the 1st of December, we left the lake to Enter a fine River, where navigation is much easier. The approach of winter compelled us to be diligent; and, while we pushed on as fast as we could, we paid no heed to a branch of a River which we had to Enter to follow our Route. This forced us to Retrace our steps, in order to Sleep at the Camping-place that we had left; but it was through a divine providence, in order that we might be able to Celebrate The feast of st. Francis Xavier — in a large Company, for we found in that place several Christian hurons, who assisted at the holy sacrifice of the mass. On the Following day, I arrived at the Camp just abandoned by the savages whom I was Seeking, and with whom I was to spend the winter. I saw evidences of the successful Hunt that they had had: the Remains of the bears, the Deer, and the Turkeys that they had killed, and of the pike and other fish that they had taken. This caused our people to rejoice; but I was much grieved to see a large Dog suspended at the top of a painted pole, as a sacrifice to the sun. We Overturned everything, Broke the pole, and cast the Dog into the river, with the scalp of an extraordinarily large and hideous bear which had also been immolated. After that, we knelt to ask pardon of God and to pray for those among the poor savages who, because they were not yet Christians, Acknowledged in the sun a divinity to whom they addressed themselves in their needs. On the 4th of december, we reached a place [Page 219] where the river divides into 2 branches. This, properly speaking, is the country of the sakis which is very advantageous as regards Hunting. There are all sorts of animals — Stags, Deer, bears, Wild- cats, and others; and there is an abundance of Game. There are great Tracts covered with wild apple-trees, and lofty walnut-trees whose nuts are larger than those in france; they are Long, and like medium-sized oranges. On the banks of that River we saw some extraordinarily fine trees. They are taller and larger than Oaks, and of very bushy growth; and Their Bark resembles Scales. As the leaves had all fallen, we could see only the fruit that they bear; these are round, and hang down from the branches, to which they are suspended by slender stalks as Long as one’s finger.
Continuing our Route along a branch of the River, without Meeting either falls or Rapids, we Finally on the 7th of December, the vigil of The Immaculate conception of the blessed Virgin, arrived at Our wintering-place, There I found the savages, who awaited me with Impatience, and who Received me with much joy. Our Cabin was soon erected, and also the Chapel. The foundation consisted of 3 logs from a great Oak, on which the Chapel was Built in the shape of a bower; the floor, the walls, and the ceiling were of Bark only. In it Our Lord took pleasure in being honored throughout The winter, probably more than in the sumptuous Edifices of Europe. On the very evening of my arrival, I went into all the Cabins to prepare the savages for the feast of the Morrow, and to commence our mission under the favorable auspices of the glorious virgin.
I cannot Explain the Consolation that I felt, on [Page 221] the following day, in Celebrating our adorable mysteries in our Chapel in so remote a spot in the midst of these great forests, and in administering the sacraments therein to those who were worthy of them.
O Vocation to these Beloved missions, how precious art thou! What treasures thou Concealest amid thy troubles and thy fatigues! Oh, how right was The late father Marquette of happy memory, who died close by here, in binding himself by a vow never to leave these Arduous but lovable missions except when holy obedience should withdraw Him from them. God granted him the grace of dying there. Oh, what happiness! From that time I had the opportunity every day to say mass, at which all our savages assisted whenever their Hunting permitted, and Of giving Instructions more conveniently than I did in the Cabins.
It was God’s will to use that Bark Chapel for the purpose of working extraordinary cures. In addition to those of 2 Children who were relieved from a bloody flux after some prayers had been said, I shall mention here only 2 cures in which Our Lord showed how pleased he was at our addressing ourselves to the blessed Virgin and to his saints to obtain what we asked from him.
A young boy 10 or 11 years of age, named françois, who was very low with a pain in his head and a violent fever, was brought to our Chapel by his grandmother. The good woman, who was full of Confidence, said to me: “ I bring thee my grandson who is sick; I have recourse solely to prayer for his cure. He has already been Cured once by that means; I hope that he will be cured once more. ” ‘Her prayer was granted, for, after I had read a Gospel [Page 223] over him at the end of mass, he was completely cured; and on the Following day I saw him, free from all sickness. A similar grace was granted to an infidel woman whose husband, one of the Mississaki nation, brought her hither from the quarter where his countrymen were. She was very ill, as I found on the very evening of her arrival, when I went to visit her. I gave her a little Theriac, and set to work to Instruct Her, in order to prepare her for baptism. I continued my instructions during 3 days; and, as I saw no improvement in her disease, I was strongly impelled to Urge Her to have recourse to a supernatural remedy. This was, to take during 3 days, in a little Water, some powder that I had from the grotto of Manresa, where St. Ignatius performed his penance. Then, after Invoking 5 times the name of Jesus, and 5 times the name of his holy Mother, and begging that great saint to obtain the restoration of her health and the grace of being baptized, her prayer was granted, and she was completely cured. She came 3 days afterward to our Chapel, to thank Our Lord and to receive holy baptism.
We celebrated the festival of Christmas with much devotion. We made a small Cradle Beside our altar, to which our Christians came at midnight; and during the day they made the forest resound with their Hymns in honor of the new-born Jesus. What joy it was for us, both during midnight mass and during the morning mass, to see The Child Jesus acknowledged and adored by the savages of this country, where the demon had so long reigned.
My mission was not confined to the savages who were Encamped with me, but I Extended it by excursions to those who were Hunting in the [Page 225] Neighborhood, With that object, I started on the 29th of December to go to the nipissiriniens 8 or 10 leagues away in the forest, to make them pray and to instruct them. On that journey I saw the great damage caused to the timber by the Beavers, in the sections of the country where they are not Hunted. I found a great many of their Lodges several Stories. high, built with an industry that causes us to admire the skill and energy of those animals in cutting large trees with their teeth, in dragging them, and in fitting them together in so adroit a manner that they are very comfortably lodged.
I made a 2nd Excursion as Far as the Misissakis, a few days’ journey from our residence. The cold was then very severe; it Was about the month of january; The nights especially, which were Exceedingly Cold, gave us Abundant opportunities of Gaining Something for Heaven. At last I reached those savages, and I went at once to visit the Cabins, and to see what could be done there for Christianity. I found there a sick man to instruct, and 3 new-born Children to baptize. I spent some days in teaching the Catechism, in going from Cabin to Cabin to give Instructions, and in preparing some Catechumens for baptism.
I also made some other Trips, after which I proceeded to our winter quarters, when I found that a sick Catechumen had had recourse to the sun by sacrificing a Dog, which he had Immolated thereto by suspending it from the top of a long pole. I reprimanded him as he deserved, and also those who had participated in that Impious act. I ordered them, as a reparation for that sin, to make a large Cross, and to plant it on the bank of the river in [Page 227] front of the Chapel. This they did; and, after I had blessed it, all the guilty ones came to make reparation to Jesus Christ, and to ask pardon from God. They acknowledged him as the absolute master and Sovereign Lord of all Created things, and especially of the sun, which he has created solely for our use. After that, all the Christians saluted the Cross by Singing O CRUX AVE in their own language. I Continued to perform my duties until the middle of march, instructing the infidels, Preparing the catechumens for baptism, and baptizing the children and adults whom I found worthy of that sacrament. Finally, as the season that was suitable for our Return approached, I concluded That winter mission by a solemn Thanksgiving, which I caused all our savages to offer unto God because they had passed the whole of that winter so devoutly, and in the abundance of Game that God had given them. They readily acknowledged the greatness of that benefaction, by comparing their fortune with that of their countrymen who were not of our band; for we learned that among the mississaki savages, who Had separated from us to go Hunting at a distance of some days’ journey from where we were, 65 had died of hunger. In that disaster, it has been my consolation that among the number there were many children and some adults who were baptized.
Such, my Reverend Father, has been the success of my winter mission, during which, if I have had to suffer to some Extent for the salvation of these poor savages, it has not been without experiencing much joy and consolation in seeing Our Lord so honored in this country, where he had never been glorified by any Creature endowed with Reason. [Page 229]
Of the Mission of the Abnakis at Syllery.
HE War that these savage people, among whom the English dwell, wage against them has given rise to this mission. We already knew the cause of the War, but we had not yet had positive news of the result, which has been very disadvantageous and very disastrous to the English, through their own Imprudence. For, instead of endeavoring to revenge themselves only upon a single nation called the onnonrhaganis, who Had revolted against them, They attacked without exception all the savage tribes who Surround them, and who are very numerous. The Extraordinary contempt in which they held those peoples, whom they have ever treated very Harshly, led them to Believe that it would be very easy, either to destroy them Utterly, or to reduce them to such a condition that they would never again have to Fear a similar Revolt Among any of them. But they have found themselves much hindered in asserting their claims, For they have hardly ever attacked the savages without being repelled with very heavy loss. So far has this gone that, on one occasion, out of 400 English soldiers barely 7 or 8 returned; in addition to this, a portion of the country that they inhabit was sacked; several villages were pillaged, Destroyed, and burned; and many english of both sexes were massacred or made slaves by those barbarians.
God has Derived his glory from those misfortunes, and Has employed that war as a means for making [Page 231] The Gospel known to a portion of those savage tribes — to whom the English not only did not announce it, but even did not allow it to be announced. This will appear in a letter from Father Jacques Vaultier, who has charge of the algonkin mission at Syllery.
EXTRACT FROM A LETTER OF FATHER JACQUES
VAULTIER, WRITTEN FROM SYLLERY ON
THE IST OF JANUARY, 1677.
T the very beginning of the war that the abnakis have waged with the English, many of them, dreading Its consequences, Resolved to take Refuge in the country inhabited by the french. They thus advanced, without realizing it, toward their own blessedness, in coming to the missionaries, who could not have gone to them in their own country. Two tribes especially — namely, that called the Sokokis, and that of the Abnakis — Carried out that design, and set out upon their Journey about the beginning of The summer of The year 1675. The Sockokis took the Road to three Rivers, where they have settled; and the abnakis, of whom alone we shall speak in this Relation, found Shelter at this place, called Sillery, which was formerly so Renowned on account of the algonkin missions. They arrived here in the middle of spring in The year 1676, after suffering during The winter from so unusual a famine that many of them died. No sooner had they established themselves here than we talked with them about their salvation and about the mysteries of our Religion. The Exceeding impassiveness that is natural to all savages; Their own Minds, which are gross, and altogether averse to what we preach to [Page 233] them; their Licentious life, which is strongly opposed to the Christian law, — all these did not encourage the belief that they Would submit very easily to the pressing solicitations that we made to them to save themselves from Eternal unhappiness by abandoning the Demon, and to make themselves blessed forever by giving themselves to God, the master of their lives. But grace overcame all those obstacles, more promptly than we had Imagined that it would. For not only did those savages listen very willingly At the outset to all that was said to them for their salvation, but they even delayed very little to become instructed, with all imaginable fervor; and in a very short time there were few indeed Of them who did not come Most Regularly to the Church, night and Morning. They Recited the prayers that they were made to say, with Delightful modesty: and Afterward they listened with the same attention to the Catechism. And, although most of them were aged, they all accustomed themselves to be Questioned like Children, without ever being discouraged because — as their age no longer enabled them to Recollect Things so new to them as those that were Taught them — they made many mistakes in giving their answers publicly and in presence of the others. Afterward they went further; For, as some Of them learned their prayers faster than the others, the Latter, who did not yet know these, caused themselves to be instructed by the former, even without this method being commanded or even suggested to them. For that purpose they met together in various Cabins, and it was Delightful to see them in groups Around some young Child, making him Recite the Pater and Ave aloud, and repeating it after him; or [Page 235] questioning him as to the manner of Reciting the Rosary; or, finally, asking him some point in the Catechism that they did not exactly remember. The fact of their Choosing the night-time as being most suitable, in order that they might not be Disturbed in that Exercise, showed sufficiently that it was not through any human consideration that they practiced it; for they did not suspect that this could be observed by any one at that time. Thus the majority of them had soon learned the prayers and the Catechism, even more than was necessary for receiving baptism. This would have been granted them, had not the Inconstancy which is habitual with savages, inspired us with Reasonable fears that so great ardor might not be followed by equal firmness in Resisting the occasions for sin, which they do not lack. We feared that thus, by resuming their corrupt customs, they might profane the holiness of that sacrament, which obliges him who receives it to practice the moral maxims of The Gospel as well as to believe the speculative truths thereof. It is true that a marked Change manifested itself in the morals of the majority of them, and that, as regards juggleries and superstitions, they publicly declared that they had Renounced them; and that they even Repelled with One voice a stranger who dared to tell them that the quickest remedy in sickness was to have recourse to the demon. We also noted that, notwithstanding the serious illnesses with which many of them were afflicted throughout the Summer, they never made use of those Diabolical Remedies; and, finally, that some of them, on being solicited by a juggler to prepare for him what was needed for talking to the Devil, openly resisted him. Moreover, as regards [Page 237] drunkenness, which is their greatest failing, almost all of them usually abstained from it. Many even seemed to have become Entirely free from that vice, avoiding occasions for relapsing into it and Resisting when they found themselves Allured to drink. Some added a public protestation that they would never give way to it if they could once obtain baptism. Finally, as regards Impurity, in which They had observed no moderation before being instructed, they showed hardly any trace of their Former licentiousness after their instruction. But, as they had come to this place only since the month of May in the year 1676, and as nearly all of them left in the month of November in the same year, to go to their winter quarters, Each band to their own district, it was decided that they needed a longer trial to test their constancy. Accordingly, in order to give them a higher Opinion of the importance of baptism, it was deemed advisable to defer administering it to them, — so that to the Exceeding Desire to Receive it which they manifested they might add a veritable Dread of profaning it, or of losing its graces, when they should have Received it. Thus, besides the children, — who were almost all baptized, because that Reason could not exist with respect to them, — that favor was granted only to some young boys and some young girls whose youth did not permit us to believe that they could as yet have contracted any great attachment for Sin; and to only a very few Older persons, of both sexes, whose extraordinary fervor had made itself remarked above that of the others, and could take the place of a longer trial. Among the latter was one of their captains, named Pirouakki. His excellent qualities — the goodness of [Page 239] his heart, the gentleness of his nature, his judicious management, and his natural eloquence — gave him great authority over the members of his tribe; and his Incredible ardor to become a Christian, and to incite the others to procure the same happiness for themselves, richly deserves that we should say Something about him individually. The very 1st time when we spoke to him of coming to the Church, he obeyed, and brought with him those over whom he had more special authority, because they were his nearest relatives. He never ceased to Exhort the others to do the same, in the harangues that he delivered to them almost every day — in which, in addition to that, he constantly inveighed against the principal vices to which he saw that they were attached; he especially denounced Drunkenness, which he strove to Prevent in every possible way. He was usually the 1st at prayers; and, on his way there, he gave warning from Cabin to Cabin that they were to come there diligently. In the Church, he surpassed the others in modesty, for he had a devout air that is not usual among newly-converted savages. The very great desire that he felt to receive baptism as soon as possible made him perform all the exercises practiced by the most fervent, in learning the Catechism and the prayers, and further induced him to do 2 Remarkable Things. The first is that, on Account of his advanced age and of his being unable to remember the prayers as easily as he would have wished, he had invented a kind of writing to assist his memory. For he made on paper a sort of figure, known to him alone, which represented to him, for instance, the 1st Request of the Pater noster; another, the 2nd; and so On. He held that paper [Page 243] constantly, night and day; and repeated in a loving manner, and as if he were Diverting himself, the prayer that he had written down, the better to Impress it upon his memory. The 2nd thing is that, notwithstanding the famine that he endured with the others, during a portion of the spring and throughout The summer, he would never, during the whole of that time, go out Hunting on a single occasion. He did this in order, as he has since declared, not to lose sight of the missionary; and that he might, through the frequent Instructions which he received from him, quickly prepare himself for baptism. Such fervor, which may be deemed heroic, especially in a savage, did not permit us to refuse a favor that he had, moreover, merited by his extraordinarily Exemplary life, and by morals that were truly worthy of a Christian. He was therefore baptized, after having asked for it with Exceeding Earnestness, and with strong protestations which he was led to make through his desire never to break the promises that he would make to God in receiving that sacrament. His wife, for whom he asked the same Favor was also baptized with him, because she had always thoroughly imitated his fervor and his virtue. There is reason to hope that, in the future, he will contribute in no slight degree to maintain in The Practice of piety those. of his tribe who are converted, and to induce others to become converted. We trust also that this one tribe which has Commenced to Embrace the faith may well be The Cause, in the future, of Jesus Christ being known by an Infinite number of others who are allied to them, and whose number surpasses that of all to whom The Gospel has hitherto been preached. [Page 243]
Of The Tadoussac Mission.
HE Tadoussac Mission includes a great many tribes that come from the north to carry on their petty trade with the french. Father de Crespieul and Father Boucher have spent the winter with them. Here is a short Extract from the journal that Father Crespieul has written of his winter mission.
y Reverend Father,
In compliance with Your Reverence’s orders, I begin this journal where I think I left off the previous one. On the 5th of September, our lord was pleased after somewhat trying our patience, to grant us, through The Intercession Of Reverend Father François Regis, what we had Invoked with much confidence for some days.
On the 6th, the savages Came from all sides; and in a few days they formed 13 large Cabins, which gave me a great deal of occupation in Instructing them, and in Administering to them the holy sacraments. I know not who were the most assiduous at prayer and at the Instructions: the Montagnais, the Algonkins, the abnakis, the Esquimaux, the Outabitibeux, and the papinochois; or the mtistassins at Kwakwakouchiouets, who had come down to this place for the 1st time. They were delighted to see our new church so far advanced and so well Adorned, for they had never before seen a Chapel. [Page 245]
A savage from Nemiskau, 3 or 400 leagues from here, could not sufficiently manifest his joy; and he assured us that he would go as soon as possible to Get his kindred and his Friends, to make Them participate in his happiness. Baptism was conferred upon 4 of his children; and his wife, who was Dangerously ill, recovered her health shortly after baptism. After three weeks had been spent in these holy exercises, we left Chegoutimy, Father Boucher and I, to Go to Lake st. John. We were 4 days on the Road; suffering greatly from bad weather, snow, wind, and cold; being chilled through in our Canoes, but full of joy at being able to suffer something for the love of God and for the salvation of souls. The savages gave us no slight consolation by their fervor in prayer, and by their patient Endurance of the fatigues that they underwent on the Rivers and the Lakes. On the 2nd of November, after consecrating to God our petty sufferings on behalf of the Souls in purgatory, we arrived at Metabikiwan, where many savages had been awaiting us for 8 days. They regaled us with everything that they could procure. We were Delighted to see and to be able to Instruct there 5 Cabins of our savages of lake st. John, and 4 families Of algonkins from three Rivers, who had come there solely for that purpose, when they learned from some others that we were to spend the winter there. Others, on learning of our arrival, failed not to come and seek us. A poor old woman came from a distance of 4 leagues to have the consolation of hearing mass, making her confession, and receiving communion, which she did on sunday with great joy. On The following day, 2 men came through the woods in very Inclement weather to Obtain the [Page 247] same favor; I willingly granted it to them, to my own consolation and to the Edification of others. Among these were a poor abnaki, and an Iroquois married to one of our montagnais women; and, above all, the 3 frenchmen who accompanied us, who could not Refrain from saying with admiration, “Ah, my Father, how many french there are who would not do what these good savages do for The love of God.“ Almost at the same time some Mistassins arrived, and begged me to succor them, Father boucher, whose zeal is Indefatigable, Immediately Embarked for that purpose, and Encamped 2 leagues from here; he confessed 2 families of Etchemins, and Consoled a poor widow, with her relatives, for the loss of her husband. He Had been drowned a few days before in the lake, on which he was surprised by a storm after venturing to Embark, alone in his Canoe, to come to us at Chegoutimy, and to Bring us here with the others.
The Father Afterward went to winter with the Outabitibeux. For my part, I left on the 30th of November, in company with 8 families, to Enter the forest. We had to Endure a great deal of bad weather before we could Encamp. On the following day, God gave us in our Need an elk for our subsistence. Hunger compelled us to Decamp on the feast of st. francis Xavier, after mass, with much trouble and Inconvenience. But this I was Delighted to suffer in order to display a little affection for my Lovable father and director, by uniting myself to him in all things with affection and Inclination in these great fatigues, amid these apostolic Labors. We Encamped at some distance in the forest, opposite the Island of manitounagouche which reminded [Page 249] me every day of the peril that I had there Avoided in a Canoe, solely through the mercy of God and The Intercession of my great st. Francis Xavier.
We remained in this place until the 7th of January of The year 1677, continuing always to Instruct those poor savages, with much satisfaction; and Enduring very cheerfully in those bark Cabins The severity of’ a very piercing cold, the want of food, and a thousand other petty Inconveniences. These alone are the appanages of these holy and apostolic missions, amid which God — who has a greater Regard for his kindness and his mercy than for my sins — preserves me daily in the health and strength needed for Constantly enduring Them. I had to aid 3 or 4 sick persons, and to prepare 2 montagnized abnakis and 3 Etechemins for their first communion — which they made at Midnight mass, with much joy. All, even to the Children 3 or 4 years old, wished to assist at the solemnity of that holy night, which we passed almost Entirely either in prayers or in singing Hymns. The woods, by their pleasing Echoes, seemed desirous of uniting with us. We all had the happiness of receiving our divine Savior in our Hearts and in a New stable of bethlehem, as it were, for our Cabins greatly resembled it.
On the 7th of January, we proceeded to Encamp at the River of The Iroquois — so called because they were killed and defeated there. Hardly had we erected our Cabins when little Catherine Rarabanokwan, Aged 8 or g years, was at the point of Death. At the conclusion of the Recommendations of the soul she Expired in The arms of her Beloved mother, the wife of the late Thekwarimat, the Chief of this place and of Sillery. Her death Caused me more [Page 251] joy than Sorrow; for she preserved Her baptismal Innocence to the very end of her life, and died with beautiful sentiments. She manifested Resignation to the Will Of God, after enduring with much patience The Sufferings of her illness during 15 days; and after promising me to remember me in Heaven, especially at the hour of my death,
The fog and the bad weather without snow, which Prevented the Hunters from Running down The Elk, made us Suffer to an Extraordinary degree — without, however, interrupting the devotional Exercises and the Instructions.
On the 4th of february, I was compelled to Return to the house [at Metabetchouan], to instruct other savages who were not far away. After 2 or 3 days of fatigue, we had no sooner reached the house than a young savage came there, from a distance of 10 leagues, to ask for succor and to confess. Hardly had he returned to his home when others came from a distance of 9 leagues, to have the benefit of being instructed, of Confessing, and of receiving Communion, which I very willingly granted them. I was greatly surprised at seeing a Father and a mother who had, in Turn, carried a Child through the woods for 9 leagues, in very Inclement weather. When I told them that I did Not approve of such Inconsiderate conduct, they replied that the salvation of their souls, and of their little child whom they brought to be baptized, was preferable to all Things. They said that they would return greatly comforted if I would only confess them and give them communion and baptize their child, for their sole dread was that it might die without having Received that grace.
On the 15th of march, they came For me from a [Page 253] distance of 4 leagues, to administer the holy Sacraments to a dying woman. No sooner had I done so than 5 other savages came to take me elsewhere; and I was engaged with them until I was called upon to confess a woman who, it was thought, must be suffocated by the quantity of blood that flowed from her mouth. I made that journey with great difficulty, for the snow was in very bad condition and the Heat excessive; but also with much Consolation at Hearing her in Confession, and in observing the holy Inclinations of her Soul. Nine families of both Etechemins and algonquins arrived, with all Their little Belongings, and Encamped near the Chapel, so that they could more easily attend the instructions.
On the 5th of June, I started from Metabekiwan with 19 canoes, and Encamped at Kouspahigan where 7 large cabins of savages awaited us, I remained there 2 days, and all the Chiefs and old men in their harangues Repeated their Resolution to Embrace Christianity in earnest; to abandon superstition; and to be assiduous in attending prayer and the Instructions in the Chapel. On the 6th, we reached Chegoutimy where I was kept fully occupied amid more than 400 persons, whom I had to instruct; and where I had to Administer the sacraments of baptism and of penance, of Eucharist and of Marriage, to those who were Capable of receiving them. After this, I Embarked for the Tadoussac Mission, to which I was Invited, and whence I shall return, as soon as I can, to Chegoutimy. Then I shall go to lake st. John, to satisfy the many tribes and nations that desire to be Instructed. Thus pass The winter and The Summer in these holy labors, During which [Page 255] I have baptized within a year 50 or 60, both Children and Adults.
EXTRACT FROM A LETTER OF FATHER BOUCHER.
LTHOUGH fatigue and sufferings be Inseparable from our winter sojourns with the Nomad savages, — who dwell in one place only so long as the Game supplies them with means of subsistence, — 1 may nevertheless truthfully say that I have spent the winter with much pleasure; for I have derived much Consolation from the piety and fervor of the savages whom I accompanied into the woods. My host and his wife, among others, behaved very well; and I must bear this testimony in their favor that I have never yet seen better Christians.
As I had to go in the spring to the Papinochois, I was compelled to start early from lake st. John, in order not to lose the opportunity of the bark that was to take me at tadoussac. We were eleven days on the Road, instead of the 3 Usually spent in that journey. During that period, we suffered everything that people can Endure who, Laden with packs, have to spend the greater part of the time up to their Knees in half-frozen water; and who, after becoming thoroughly fatigued, are without hatchets wherewith to Cut wood, or bark wherewith to Shelter themselves, and have no other bed than the Snow. Moreover, the provisions that we had taken for 3 days had to Last us for Eleven, for we had neither powder nor lead to Hunt with. We arrived at 1st at tadoussac where I Embarked to go to the papinochois and to the seven Islands. There I found many savages who manifested a great desire to be [Page 257] instructed, and others who are now Christians in name only, for they have not seen a missionary for a very long time. God’s providence is admirable regarding these poor abandoned savages, who, without the assistance of the sacraments and without any instruction, pass several years in marvelous Innocence. If our plans for going to spend a considerable portion of The year with them be carried out, I Hope that we shall restore the old Christians to their former fervor; and that a goodly number of Infidels will Receive baptism. During the past 6 months, I have baptized 39 persons among the various tribes that I have visited.
I consider that Gratitude compels Me not to pass over in silence an instance of st. Anne’s protection Toward us. After losing the anchorage where we were to take Shelter from the heavy weather, The northeast wind freshened, and became so furious during a very dark night that it compelled us to Heave to; and, what is extraordinary, it caused us to drift I 8 leagues across in 4 or 5 hours, — so that, while we reckoned on being not far from the shore on the north side, we were south of the point of bik Island, between 3 Rocky Islets. The sea was so high, and its waves broke over us so often, that The entire Crew were compelled to remain in the Cabin. Finally, a sea heavier than the others Overturned everything in the Hold; and 2 sailors who were ordered to go there found that we were near the shore, and began to Call out: “ Land, Land! We are lost; let Every one come out of the Cabin! ” We cast anchor, and found ourselves safely Moored in 15 brasses of water. It lacked only The Space [Page 259] of time needed to say a miserere for us to have been lost beyond recovery. That heavy sea was assuredly a communication from God, which All attributed to the merits of st. Anne, whose relic we had exposed and whose litany we had recited. [Page 261]
Of the Mission of the good Shepherd at Riviere
EXTRACT FROM A LETTER OF FATHER MORAIN,
WRITTEN ON THE 20TH OF JUNE, 1677.
THIS Mission is composed of two tribes, — namely, the Gaspesiens and the Etchemins, — one of whom has not been Instructed. Consequently, they are very averse to Christianity, and are Exceedingly addicted to drunkenness, to jugglery, and to polygamy. The other tribe — namely, that of the Gaspesiens — have in truth been instructed; but it is so long since they have had a Missionary that they have almost Forgotten The Instruction that they had received, and but few of them know how to pray to God. I shall say of Each tribe what especially concerns it.
The Etechemins are a tribe of about 4 or 500 souls, as far as I can judge, whose country consists of 3 rivers on the south Side as regards the river st. Lawrence — namely, pemptegwet, pessemouquote [Passamaquoddy], and the River st. John. As the latter is the largest of the three, and is one of the finest rivers of Canada after The river st. Lawrence, its banks are also more thickly populated than those of the others. Although they have but one language, it nevertheless has Some variation in proportion as they live Farther away from Here: and, as those of pemptegwet are nearer the Abnakis, their language also resembles that of the latter more closely. They [Page 263] are wanderers and nomads, more than any other people in this country, and have intercourse Equally with us and with the English of new England. Those of Pemptegwet are allied in war with the Abnakis against the English.
As This is their country, they are the most numerous In this mission, which may be called a nascent one — at least, as far as they are Concerned. At first, they seemed to me to have a great contempt for prayer, to which many of them did not take the trouble to come, although they were at the door of the Chapel. But afterward, by dint of Exhorting them in public, — and through the report made to them by those who came to The Instruction, respecting what I said about the absent, — and especially by visiting them in their Cabins, they all ended by coming, with very few exceptions, regularly to prayer. Toward the end, I saw that many were beginning to accustom themselves to it, and no longer to find It so strange. Some even abandoned their wives, and retained only one; others have already spoken to me of doing so, with the view of becoming Christians. The Picture of a damned person, which I Exhibited in the Chapel, did not fail to inspire them with salutary ideas, as some testified to me from whom I did not expect it. It also seems to me that, considering the short time in which we have Instructed them, they are not so addicted to drunkenness as they were. You would say of many that they are beginning to understand that it is wrong to become Intoxicated, and to be disinclined to do so deliberately. When I go to visit them I generally make them say Their prayers, in order that they may more easily learn them. But there are [Page 265] some who do not wait until I do so; they forestall me, and say to me as soon as I enter, “ Make us pray; ” or else, if I go away without doing so, they notify me of it and detain me. Thus they are convinced from their own experience, according to their statement, that it is not a Useless Thing to invoke God. I have Heard some say that when Game had been scarce, and they had been in need, they had had Recourse to him, and that it had often happened that their prayers were at Once Granted. Therefore they sometimes beg me to pray to God for them when they go away, or for their people when they are in distress. Among others, one of the women whom I have baptized who heard that a Canoe had been seen Broken and Carried away by the current in the great River, and who feared that her husband might be one of Those who had perished on that occasion, came at once to me and inquired: “ Didst thou pray to God for him When he Embarked?” When I answered that I had, she was Forthwith comforted and was no longer Anxious, relying on the prayer that I had said for him. On another occasion, the same woman came with her relatives to ask me to pray for their people, whose long Delay inspired them with anxiety, from which they were Immediately relieved when I assured them that the absent ones would soon return, — as, in fact, they did.
To This I shall addanoble example of faith given by another woman whom I baptized a short time ago. Her little Child was sick, and she asked me to baptize it. When I deferred doing so for a time, because I did not regard it as being yet in danger, she came to me Once more, and said: “Why then dost thou not [Page 267] wish to baptize my Child? Perhaps it is the Devil who torments it thus through its convulsions, and who wishes it to die without baptism, as he has already caused the deaths of two others. Baptize it, so that it may be Cured, — or that, at least, it be not lost, if it should die.” That which also leads me to hope that with time these people will Submit, and that with the grace of God they will be turned toward virtue, is that they are not wanting in Respect for the patriarchs (thus the savages of the south call the missionaries); they listen to them readily and pay heed to what they tell them. Their Nomad and Wandering life is a great obstacle to their Instruction; but I hope that the Fields that have been offered them for the cultivation of Indian corn, and the Chapel that is to be built for them, will induce them to become stationary to some extent, — or, at least, to come Here more constantly throughout the spring. I do not Think that at the beginning, and in the short time while I have seen them, we can Reasonably expect the fervor observed in churches that have been Long established. I have only been able to sow some seeds of Christianity in these savage lands, and to give them the first preparation for producing fruit some day. I have nevertheless baptized 8 adults of this tribe, 6 of whom had been sufficiently Instructed. The 2 others received the sacrament at the hour of death. A little Child also died who had been baptized a short time before. In addition to these, I baptized 7 little Children of the same tribe, — either because they were in danger of death, or because they to whom they belonged were already baptized. I also see several, especially among the women, — who, because [Page 269] they are not so Involved in the savage vices as are the men, are not so far removed as they from God’s Kingdom; I see, I say, many who are preparing to do well; but I am not in haste to baptize them, Until I see in time Proofs of their honesty and of their constancy.
The Gaspesiens are also a tribe of About 4 or 500 souls, Scattered along the sea-coast From Gaspé To Cape breton. Their language differs from that of the Etechemins; and although they are neighbors, they do not love each other much, and have no close relations with each other. They are Here as in a foreign country; consequently the whole tribe does not gather here. There is only a. band ‘of nearly 200 Souls, as I have been told, who follow a Chief who has an affection for this spot. From What I have seen, They seem to me much more humane and more gentle than the Etechemins, and they are not so inclined to vice. I shall not say much about them at present, because I have as yet seen but little of them since I have been with them during only 7 or 8 days. Although they have forgotten the Instruction that they had received, — because for several years they have been taught For only 2 months, during Which time Reverend Father Richard, who had formerly been their Teacher, saw them 2 years ago, — They nevertheless still preserve Something of their Former Christianity. And, although they still retain many Things connected with their superstitions and their Juggleries, I Think that they could easily be weaned from these if they could be made to remain stationary for some time. But they are untiring Hunters, who never stop, and who have not the patience to Remain 8 Days in one place without [Page 271] returning to their Hunting. What I was able to do during the short time in which I saw them last spring was, to recall to their memory the principal mysteries of our faith, and to exhort them to pray to God, to frequently remember him, and, Finally, to Confess themselves, after I had Instructed them in that matter. Many, in fact, confessed themselves with great sincerity and devotion; 2 women and a man had no sooner arrived than they came to me to ask me to hear their Confession. I found a person, about 30 years of Age, whose purity and Candor were admirable. I .did not find in her whole life a single Thing that I could judge to Be a mortal sin. Some also made their confession previous to Their Departure. I have also observed in some a great desire to receive Communion; but I am very glad to Instruct them thoroughly about that mystery, and to make them understand its dignity before administering to them the sacrament. I baptized 8 little Children of This tribe. Several adults also asked me for baptism; but I was unable to Instruct them, owing to their early departure. I Hope to see them in The autumn in greater numbers. [Page 273]
Of The Mission of st. François Xavier du sault
HE Iroquois savages who had taken up their Residence at la prairie de la Magdeleine for the purpose of being Instructed, and of living there in a Christianlike manner, as they have done for many years, have always complained that those meadows were too damp for their Indian corn, and they have Urgently requested us to give them other lands, which they might more successfully Till.
This was granted to them last year, and they were given the lands that are above la prairie de la Magdeleine, and bordering on sault st. Louis — whence this mission has derived the name of st. François Xavier du sault. They have settled there to continue the wholly Christian life that they previously led; and they have even progressed in the practice of all the virtues, as may be seen by The Extract from a letter of Father Pierre Cholenec, who assists Father Jacques fremin in Cultivating this fair mission.
EXTRACT FROM A LETTER OF FATHER PIERRE CHO-
LENEC, WRITTEN FROM ST. FRANÇOIS XAVIER DU
SAULT ON THE 2ND OF JANUARY, 1677.
y Reverend Father,
I beg Your Reverence at the Beginning of this Year, which I hope will be a very happy one for you, To Accept these little gifts that I offer you. I thought that I could not give you more agreeable presents [Page 275] than by Sending you a short narrative of the altogether holy life that our good savages continue to lead in this new settlement of the Mission of st. François Xavier du sault, as they formerly did at la prairie de la magdeleine. And I do this all the more willingly since Your Reverence very earnestly Recommended it to me: and I trust also that you and all the persons who will read this paper will have the kindness to assist us in Thanking God, who pours Unceasingly so many blessings and graces upon this mission.
The mission of st. François Xavier du sault consists of 22 Huron and Iroquois Cabins, in addition to the Chapel and to our house. It is governed by the same captains as at la Prairie — namely, 2 hurons and 2 Iroquois. There is reason to hope that we shall shortly have there 4 captains of the principal Iroquois nations.
It is a fine Thing, and one that doubtless causes much Joy to the whole of paradise, to see the peace, the gentleness, the union, the piety, the devotion, and the fervor of our savages in this new settlement. As their devotions are no longer hindered by contact with the french, we can say that the liberty that they now enjoy of doing Things in season and in their own fashion has served to increase and to strengthen devotion, inasmuch as it produces order and Regularity. This may be Observed at a glance, throughout the week, but above all on Sunday, which they devote entirely to God and to the salvation of their Souls.
They prepare for it on Saturday afternoon, when they begin to come to Confession, in accordance with their Praiseworthy and Time-honored Custom; the [Page 277] most fervent, and especially those who belong to the holy family, come every Week, and the others every Fortnight, as a rule. After these confessions comes the benediction of the most blessed Virgin, at which they assist in so devout a Manner that one judges, solely from seeing them, either that they have already prepared themselves by Confession to Celebrate Sunday, or that they intend to do so on the following morning. And, in fact, they come at daybreak, and keep Father fremin occupied in that holy office Until the hour for saying his mass, So that it is often difficult for him to find time to say it.
On Sunday Morning the Father says Mass at 8 o’clock. The savages Sing through nearly the whole of it, the men on one side and the women on the other, alternately and in 2 choirs. This they always do, at present, when they Sing in the Chapel, — in which also, for that purpose, the men are always placed on The Gospel side, and all the women on The other. After The Gospel, The Father preaches them a sermon, or has one preached to them by the Dogique, who is ever Incomparable in this respect — as he again proved quite recently, on Christmas day. The Father told him on the eve that he would have to preach the following day on the subject of the feast, and said Nothing further to him. Nevertheless, that man preached a very long time, and admirably Explained, in full, everything connected with the mystery of the day, — the journey of the Pregnant Virgin and of st. Joseph, her spouse; Their Entry into Bethlehem; the refusal to admit them into any of the houses; respecting their lodging, and Their taking refuge in The Stable; how the blessed Virgin was delivered there, and everything Else Regarding [Page 279] the Angels, the shepherds, etc., — so that the father himself was astonished, as he has since told me.
After the sermon, the Dogique Intones the credo in Their language, in The Church plain-song, and they thus continue Their Chanting Until the end of the mass, About 10 o’clock the bell rings once more, to call them to the Chapel; and then, instead of the 2nd mass that they were in the habit Of hearing, they recite The Entire Rosary of the blessed Virgin. About 1 o’clock in the afternoon The meeting of the holy family takes place, at which the father makes Them say the usual prayers; and he Afterward says a few words regarding The special obligation imposed upon them to work with fervor for their salvation, and to be An Example and pattern to all the others in the Village. In truth, they do so, both men and women, in a manner that one could scarcely believe without seeing it. And if I wished to relate here, or had I The time to write down in detail on this paper, The esteem that they have for that glorious name; The Opinion that others have, who do not belong to the society: and the good example given by the members of the holy family; and even their faults if they commit any, — 1 am sure that I would cause those frenchmen to Blush with confusion who glory in belonging to it. Suffice it to say that a very Slight fault committed by any one of them will be Known in all the Cabins, and will be for a whole Day a subject, not of slander and Raillery, according to the fashion of our french, but Of Amazement, and holy Indignation, — All holding their hands to their mouths and saying to One another, “ How strange that a member of the holy family should do Such a thing! ” At three o’clock [Page 281] in the afternoon, the bell rings for vespers, for which there are 2 rows of seats on both sides of The church, from The Altar To the lower end of the Chapel, whereon the savages sit — the men on one Side, and the women on The other. While they take their Places, the father, the Dogique, and 2 little Choir-boys Put on their surplices, on The Epistle side; and then all 4 advance to the middle of The altar, where the father stands with one of the little savage Boys, on each side, and the Dogique behind him. All 4 make the Genuflections before the blessed sacrament; and at the same time, all the people Standing up, The Dogique Intones the Deus in adjutorium which all Sing Together, with the gloria patri. After that, with the Dogique Intoning all the psalms, they sing the vespers in 2 Choirs, all standing up at Each Gloria patri, — with which all their psalms conclude, as ours do, — and remaining seated the rest Of the time. The psalms are taken from their prayers, which the Father has Selected and has set to the principal modes of Church Music. These prayers are: 1st, the prayer that they say at Rising and at Retiring, sung in the 8th mode; 2nd, the prayer for The Elevation, in the 1st mode; 3rd, The prayer to The guardian angel, in the 4th; 4th, The thanksgiving for the faith, in the 1st; 5th, The commandments of God, to the air of the In Exitu. After that they sing the hymn to the Air of the Iste confessor, then the ave Maria in the 8th mode, instead of the Magnificat; Then The orison, with The Versicle before it, — to which all respond, as at the end, “‘Amen.” After vespers, there is benediction, so that the sun has Set by the time that all is finished; and thus the Father Keeps his savages in Practice, and [Page 283] makes them spend the entire Sunday devoutly; and the same is done on every feast-day.
O My Father! What glory for God; what Joy for all paradise; what Edification for all the french who see this beautiful order, and who Hear those holy and Celestial harmonies! They are all Charmed to see it, and afterward publish it everywhere; and assuredly they have Reason to do so. Indeed, for my part, I admit that, of all that I have Hitherto seen among them, Nothing has so Delighted me as thus to hear these savages Sing God’s praises at their vespers. For they do it, both men and women, with such devotion and Modesty that I may say, without exaggeration and in pure truth, that our church then resembles a Choir of Religious rather than a Chapel of savages.
Such is the Manner in which our savages pass the Sundays and feast-days. On working-days, although they have not such outward devotion, they nevertheless pass the time holily. At daybreak the 1st Mass is said, for those who are in greatest haste to get to work; and some time after sunrise the 2nd is said, for all the people. There are none who do Not Hear one of those 2 masses, and nearly all Hear both of them, even that which is said at daybreak, however cold it maybe, — and some of the coldest weather in Canadas has already been felt here. After the 2 masses have been said, Each one attends to his work, almost without discontinuing His prayers, — For, as their most usual Occupation Here is to go to the woods or to their Fields, they have always observed the pious Custom, which All openly follow, of saying the Rosary while going and coming, which they carry in their hands for this purpose, as they also do [Page 285] on other and longer journeys. And the Father has told me that there are many among them who are in continual union with God Throughout the day.
But, in order to prove that all these outward devotions are not mere Affectations or hypocrisies, — to which the savages are certainly addicted, and in which they easily deceive those who do not know them, — I shall demonstrate Here, in a few words, how ours act sincerely and from the bottom of their Hearts, by showing how marvelously Their actions accord with their devotion. Every one knows how sensitive the savages ordinarily are to affronts and Insults, and that they frequently commit suicide because they cannot brook a word that is somewhat biting; and Hitherto They have seemed Unable to place any restraint upon themselves in this point. Ours have nevertheless learned to do so in The Church and in The School of Jesus Christ, and our Agnié and onnontagué captains have recently given us a fine Example of it. When our Captain of the hurons intended last summer to go to reside in Montreal, he spoke very badly of this mission here, and even Offended several individuals. Among others were these 2 captains who, being Greatly offended by his conduct and his language, no longer looked up to Him, — whereas formerly they had deferred to him in all things, as the first and the Senior of the Captains. However, as that man has Finally remained with us Until now, The father pointed out to the 2 others that, for the glory of God and the welfare of the Mission, they should become reconciled with him, and thus sacrifice Resentment to God and to the public weal. This was no sooner said than done; and, as those 2 captains had just Returned [Page 287] from a Hunting expedition, they gave feasts, one after The other, to the huron Captain, thereby putting Him on a footing with them, — or, rather, putting him above their own heads, to be thereafter the master of the others. IS not this a Christian act?
The Question that most Embarrasses us Here when we baptize adults is that of Restitution, which is Far more difficult to obtain among savages than among Europeans. For it is very hard for a savage that in order to be baptized he must, as it were, despoil himself, his wife, and his Children to repair an injury that he did to others at a time when he thought that he was free to do anything. Our savages nevertheless triumph over that consideration, and, out of truly Christian respect, take more trouble to procure the good of their souls than that of their bodies: for They bring to the Father’s feet the produce of their Hunting, for the restitutions that they think they are obliged to make.
Our Dogique came The other day to The Father, and told Him, item by item, after carefully thinking them over, all the injuries that he had done to the Iroquois, his neighbors; and at Each item he placed in the Father’s hands the wherewithal to make reparation for the same. And that same Dogique, 2 or 3 days afterward, Exhorted all the savages in the Chapel, to prepare them for the approaching festival of Christmas; and he told Them that the best preparation was to make Their consciences clean before God, — especially with regard to the property of other persons, wrongfully acquired; and he made an eloquent and apposite speech about restitution, just as a Casuist might have done in the Pulpit. On that same evening, one of our good christians, whom we [Page 289] have frequently mentioned under the name of “ the good Israelite, ” came to the Father and told him that, after thoroughly examining his conscience, he Regarded himself as still indebted to his neighbor to the extent of 2 Beaver-skins, “ I have but one at present,” he added; “ here it is, and I promise God to give The other as soon as I Return from Hunting; For I am very glad that thou shouldst completely relieve my Conscience in this world, so that I may have nothing to pay in the next.”
All these Things prove sufficiently that there are Christians among our savages who are convinced that there is an Eternity. But they not only have a care for their own Souls; They also have an admirable zeal for those of others. We have certain Cabins here — such as those of the Dogique, of the Captain of the Agniez, and of “ The Israelite, ” and some others like them — where they speak of naught but God and of inducing the world to serve him. Let but some Iroquois enter their Cabins, merely in passing that way; they are caught, and compelled to submit and be instructed, so great is the address of both men and women in Instructing, in Exhorting, in Convincing them, and, above all, through the good examples that they give them — The strongest of all assaults, which we see none Resist. So much is this the case, that all the Iroquois who come down Here and who become Christians owe their conversion for the most part to the zeal of Their relatives; and the Father even asserts that they do a hundred times more than he.
Joseph Rontagarha — a Young man About 25 years of age, and one of Those who has been in france — had previously been a fairly good Christian; but [Page 291] while Hunting with Tiwates‘kon, our captain of the Agniez, he was so moved by the good discourses, and still more by the good example, of that fervent captain, who now belongs to the holy family, that he Came back quite Altered. On his arrival, he began by making a very full Confession, covering the 3 months that he had spent away from the village. From that time, through a zeal of which there had never hitherto been an example among The savages, that good Christian Has Constituted himself the Schoolmaster of the village; and purely of his own accord, without speaking of it to either the father or any person whomsoever, he has gathered all the Children of the village in his Cabin, in The evening after prayers. There, with a rod in his hand wherewith to Correct them, he teaches them Their Creed, and especially all the prayers that are Chanted, and the manner of Chanting them, Accordingly, all those Children are ranged in his Cabin, well-behaved and modest, like so many little statues, without daring to stir; and with their good master in their midst, teaching those little Innocents to honor God and to Sing his Praises, — in so devout a manner that he draws all eyes upon him, and excites The admiration of the whole Village. Can Anything more christianlike and more edifying be seen?
Such, my Reverend Father, is a portion of the marvels that the divine goodness continues to work in this mission. I think that I have complied, and perhaps even at too great length, with The order given me by Your Reverence to send you news of it from time to time. I do so merely to obey you. [Page 293]
Of the Mission of nostre Dame De Lorette.
HE virtues that the hurons and the Iroquois have practiced this Year may serve As Examples for persons who profess the greatest piety. Here are some proofs of it.
When God Tried them by severe diseases, which Carried off 12 or 13 of them, some displayed their patience in suffering, and others Their Charity in giving aid of every kind to the sick. Thus many caught the disease through their assiduity in watching, caring for, and treating the sick, — Which they did with such zeal that they forgot to attend to their Fields, their Hunting, and their other affairs.
As for the sick, they had no greater desire than continually to make acts of all the virtues, and to Receive the last sacraments of The Church as soon as possible.
Those to whom God Restored their health seemed to be Inspired with renewed fervor on regaining their strength; and those who were Carried off by the Violence of the disease died with strong evidences of predestination. We shall speak only of the most important ones.
The 1st who died was named Marie Gentéhaon. She had come back from the Iroquois country after 20 years of captivity, during which she never relaxed in the practice of prayer, which she performed publicly. On her Return, her fervor caused her to be considered one of the best Christians of This church. [Page 295] Thus she Never began her work without coming to the Chapel to offer it to God when she went to her Field. As soon As she felt ill, she asked for the sacraments, which she received with a devotion that Delighted every one, — especially when, on receiving Extreme unction, she asked pardon of God, repeating aloud all the sins that she had committed through the evil use of her senses. She Afterward Continued to pray Until her last breath.
Her daughter, named françoise Gannendok, followed her 3 Days afterward. She had been so assiduous in attending her good mother, remaining with her day and night, that she soon caught her disease, But she would not give in At first; she feared either that they would not take sufficient care of her mother, or that her mother might be grieved at seeing her ill. When Françoise lost her, she prepared everything for her Burial, and even made an effort to be present at it. But her malady redoubled, and she was obliged to take to her bed. On the following morning, feeling a little better, she came to The Church to confess and to receive communion for her mother; and the next day she died in a very Christian manner, in the arms of her husband. He, on that occasion, displayed his constancy in supporting his losses, and his love for his wife, by giving to the poor everything that she had used — with much corn that Remained in her Cabin, and a very fine field, The Crop of which had only to be Harvested.
Death having Thus Taken away from us The mother and the daughter in the same Cabin, it Snatched from us The Husband and the wife in another. The woman’s name was Jeanne Assenragenhaon. She had been The hostess of Fathers Le Mercier, [Page 297] Ragueneau, Chastelain, and Chaumont, in the huron country. God prepared her for death by a very special presentiment. Shortly before her Illness, she arranged with one of her relatives that the first of the two who should fall ill should not be abandoned by the other until she were dead. Her reason Was that, since our hearts were dejected by the violence of the disease, we needed some one to suggest good thoughts to us, and to make us pray to God. This duty was faithfully performed by her relative, although the sick woman did not need her, — for she was ever very closely united to God, and always had _ her Crucifix either before her eyes, or In her hands, or on her lips. Shortly before her death, Father Chauchetier found her granddaughter Stretched out near her, saying her Beads. This The good grandmother had requested her to do, for she could no longer say them, herself. At last she expired in a most holy manner, while pronouncing the holy name of Jesus. Her beautiful death was a Reward for the good actions that she had performed for over 30 years. While still very Young, she had lost her 1st husband, her property, her Children, and even her liberty, for she was taken prisoner by the Iroquois; but she Never lost her faith. She was married In their country to an Infidel, whom she Instructed so well that, when a father went to see him while he was sick unto death, he found Him thoroughly Instructed, and baptized him shortly before he expired. She had a 3rd husband, who belonged to her own nation but who was still a pagan. She instructed him; she Won him to God, and induced him to come to Kebec to have more freedom in professing Christianity. When she arrived here [Page 299] with him, she resumed all her pious exercises. She assisted at every mass that she could Hear; she received communion very frequently, and rendered most kindly services to the french and to the savages, by whom she was Equally regretted. She reared a little french boy 3 years old, who had lost his father, and carried him hanging to her Neck; and for 4 years she took care of that little french boy as a mother does of her son. She came so early in the morning to pray to God with her husband in the Chapel that we were compelled to order her not to come any more before 4 o’clock. In winter, when snow fell on the ground; she cleared a wide Path through It, so that all might have easy access to the Chapel, On Sundays and feast-days, she made a good fire to Warm the french who came to mass from a distance; and not a week passed without her giving Considerable alms, — to Such an extent that, after her death, it was found that she had given away during her lifetime all that she possessed.
Shortly before her last Illness, she performed an action truly heroic. A hot-headed Young man, dangerously wounded her husband, through malice, with a blow from a crowbar. She was the first to carry Him a sack of corn, because she knew that he had none. The Guilty one at once Acknowledged his fault, and went before the Elders, — who assembled, and sent to ask the wounded man what satisfaction he desired. He Replied that he Heartily forgave, without Exacting Anything from the Person who had injured him. Nevertheless, the Guilty party was Condemned to work in the wounded man’s Field. This he did, with such ardor and with such energy that he made himself ill. God, whose will it [Page 301] was not yet to take away that Old man, named Pierre Andaiakon, took Him 3 days after his wife, whom he had accompanied in all her devotional exercises. For a year they lived Together in Continence: he to honor the continence of st. Joseph, and she to honor The purity of the most blessed Virgin. His wife’s death affected him to such an extent that he thought of nothing but of following her. He therefore said to her at every moment: “ Jeanne, Take me to Heaven with thee. ” His prayer was Granted; for no sooner had he Paid her the last duties than he fell ill. We have reason to Believe that his death was revealed to him, and his place in paradise shown to him; for he spoke of it as only a man could who had Returned thence, naming the persons whom he had Seen there, — and, among others our fathers who were Martyred In the huron country. His Joy Redoubled when we spoke of giving him the Viaticum and Extreme unction; and he himself put on his best clothes, in order to Receive the sacrament more becomingly. To those who saw him so Joyful he Replied that he was going to Heaven; and, like a man from the other world, without asking Anything for his Body he thought only of the good of his soul. Therefore he urged every one to make him pray to God; and as, shortly before his death, these words had been suggested to him: “ Jesus have pity ox me, and Take Me with you,” He made a further effort to repeat them, and added many beautiful sentiments. But his Heart said still more than his lips. Afterward, he addressed himself to father Chamonot, who was Reciting his office near him, to know the name of The angel who Drives away the Demons, and whose feast was celebrated [Page 303] on The following day. The Father answered: “ His name is Michael. There is also another of very high Dignity, named Gabriel; ” and Pierre At once Invoked both of them, with his Guardian Angel; and then he expired, while in the act of Kissing his Crucifix.
Even Children 9 or 10 years of age have given Examples of a beautiful death. Little françois Xavier had no other pleasure during his illness than in Singing, in his own language, the hymns and the Airs that he had Heard and learned in the Church. When his voice failed him, he asked that his companions be brought in to Sing in his presence. He never manifested the slightest fear of death; on the Contrary, when they led him to hope that he would recover his health, he replied that he would most certainly die, and that he would Go to paradise all the sooner. When he had fallen into a Lethargy, they had only to speak to him of God and of prayer to make him Come to himself; and he At once composed some act of virtue, or recited some prayer. He died Thus, after giving so many evidences of his happiness that his parents, who loved Him tenderly, Felt more Joy than sorrow at his death.
An Old man Named Joseph Andekerra, who expected to die at any moment, was during an entire night in a state of Impatience to See his Confessor again, in order to be Enlightened: 1st, as to whether the sins that he had Committed before his baptism had been forgiven him, because he thought that he had not felt sufficient contrition for them; 2nd, whether he could pay with a Canoe a debt of 2 Beaver-skins, and whether it were not cheating his Creditor to give him Something else than that which he had [Page 305] promised him, although he could not do otherwise.
Most of our sick persons asked God not to diminish their sufferings in any degree, in order that they might in this world free themselves from what they would have to suffer in The next. Others Also at the height of their sickness would say to themselves: “That is right, my Body; thou hast only what thou deservest, and it is Just that thou shouldst now atone by suffering for past pleasures.” To pass now to other Examples of their virtues, an Iroquois named Jacques Sogaresé, poor as he is, has for a long time fed 3 others, in order to Instruct them and procure baptism for Them.
A huron named Louis Taondechorend, who is very Eloquent in his own language, goes through the Cabins repeating the Exhortations that are made in The Church; and, aged as he is, He made a journey last spring of 120 Leagues to go to see his countrymen, who had come to mont Real to trade, in order to exhort them to become Christians. Father Chaumonot one day preached a sermon to Them on almsgiving, when a Young woman named Nicolle Aregatensi, brought him a handsome Blanket of Red Ratteen, that he might give it to a poor girl whom she mentioned to him. When the Father told her that she should give a less valuable one, she replied: “ My Father, we must give the best to God; and, as it is to, him that I give this alms, do not prevent me from giving him this, the finest thing that I have. ”
On another occasion, while giving them an Exhortation on penance, he told them that we frequently obliged those who repeatedly fell into the same sins to give some alms, in order by that means to make Them more attentive about themselves. After the [Page 307] Exhortation, the Iroquois assembled together, and Agreed Among themselves that, when any one of their nation would commit a sin worthy of notice, they would give a present to be applied to the poor. The hurons have likewise Imposed the same rule upon themselves, which they observe since that time.
An Iroquois woman, who heard that True penitents mortify Their Flesh, so Importuned her Confessor that he lent her a Severe iron discipline, which she used several times. Her disposition to penance also caused her to ask for other Instruments of mortification, — in order, she said, that Our Lord might not suffer alone for our sins.
Two Iroquois were grievously offended by 2 hurons, and the latter caused Them to be asked what satisfaction they desired. These replied that the former should give satisfaction to God alone. When the Elders of the huron Nation heard of this, they said that at least an Example should be made. The Iroquois replied that they could not suffer it, because they would no longer be able to say to God, “ Forgive us our trespasses, ” unless they completely forgave them.
An Infinite number of Things still Remain to be said of This fervent mission; but the Fear of being too Diffuse compels us to pass over The reception that they gave last winter to Monseigneur our most Illustrious and most worthy Bishop, Nevertheless, if one wishes to form an Idea of it, he may do so by remembering how The savages of la prairie, who are now at st. Xavier du sault, Received in The preceding Summer the same prelate, who is here the protector, the Father, and the Benefactor of our Missions. [Page 309]
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL DATA: VOL. LX
For bibliographical particulars of Dablon’s État présent des Missions for 1675, see Vol. LIX,
We obtain Bouvart’s account De La chapelle de Notre-Dame de Lorette en Canada from L’Abeille for January-March, 1879 — a publication by the students of the Petit Seminaire of Quebec.
The original MS. of the letter of Jean Enjalran, written at Sillery, October 13, 1676, is in the possession of Rev. A. Carrère, of Toulouse, France, who has kindly furnished us with a careful transcript of the same, which we follow.
Allouez’s Recit d‘un 3e voyage faict aux Ilinois first appeared (English translation) in Shea’s Discovery of the Mississzppi Valley (New York, 1852). The French text has appeared in: Lenox’s edition of the Marquette voyages (Albany, N.Y., 1855), pp. 124-144; in Shea’s edition of the Relation of 1673-79 (New York, 1860), pp. 120-134; and in Martin’s Relations inédites (Paris: Douniol, 1861), t. ii., pp. 306-317. Concerning the three foregoing publications, see Bibliographical Data in Vol. LXX. of our series, under caption of Docs. CXXXVI.-CXXXVIII. In republishing [Page 311] this document in the present volume, we follow the original MS., now resting in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal.
In presenting the text of the Relation of 1676-77 we have in the main followed the contemporary manuscript by Dablon, preserved at Lava1 University, Quebec, which.consists of 196 pages. There are, however, contemporary transcripts of this manuscript, made for circulation among the Jesuit houses in Europe. They show occasional variations in the text; some of these we have adopted as desirable emendations, printing them within brackets and distinguishing them by the abbreviation con. MS., for “contemporary MS.”
One of these contemporary MSS., in an excellent state of preservation, was purchased in London by the present publishers, The Burrows Brothers Company, and lies before us at this writing. Another contemporary MS. is preserved in the European archives of the Jesuit order, and is, apparently, the one which Father Martin edited for Douniol’s Relations inédites, t. ii., pp. 97-191. A modern transcript of the original MS. at Lava1 is in Lenox Library, and from this Lenox issued his edition in 1854, which was the first appearance of this Relation in print, the Douniol publication not appearing until 1861. Father Martin states (p, 98 of Douniol) that the MS. from which the Lenox edition was printed was identical with the one that he followed, the only difference being found in their titles. He says that the title which he gives is “d’après la collection des Missions de la Nouvelle-France qui est conservée [Page 312] aux archives du Gesù, à Rome.” But, after close inspection of the two printed texts, we are constrained to assert that they vary throughout quite materially, as will be seen from the following two portions selected at random, at the beginning and end, respectively, of both documents:
Pp. 4-5: “Pour le R. Père Rafaix qui eft en un autre bourg de Sonnontoüan il mande qu’il a bien profité d’un rheume général dont Dieu a chaftié ces barbares et qui leur enleva en un mois plus de foixante petits enfants pour le baptefme defquels il ne s’epargna pas non plus que pour celui des adultes que Dieu fit connoiftre eftre fiens dans cette maladie courante.”
P. 101: “Pour le P. Raffeix, qui est en un autre bourg des Sonnontouans, il mande qu’il a bien profité d’un rhume dont Dieu a châté ces habitants barbares et qui leur a enlevé, en un mois, soixante petits enfants. « Je ne me suis pas épargné, afin de pouvoir leur procurer la grâce du baptême ainsi qu’a ceux des adultes que Dieu fit connaìtre être siens dans le cours de la maladie meurtrière. »”
P. 164: “mais la crainte d’eftre trop long nous fait mefme paffer la reception qu’ils firent l’hyver dernier a Monfeigneur noftre illuftre et trés-digne evefque.”
Pp. 190-191: “mais la crainte d’être trop long nous fait même passer sous silence la réception qu’ils ont faite, l’été dernier, à Mgr l’évêque de Québec.”
Father Martin’s title in Douniol reads thus: “ Relation | de ce qui s’est passé de plus remarquable | aux Missions des Pères de la Compagnie de Jésus | en la Nouvelle-France | Pendant les annés 1676-1677 | Envoyée par le R. P. Claude Dablon | Supérieur général de ces missions | au R. P. Claude Boucher | Assistant de la Compagnie de Jésus pour la France, à Rome.” By comparing this title with that of the Lenox edition, it will be seen that the names of Dablon and Boucher are not given in the latter. [Page 313]
The Lenox volume bears the following imprint on the versa of its title-page: “Imprimerie de Weed, Parsons & Cie. Albany N.Y. 1854.” They were printers to the State, and it is quite likely that Dr. O’Callaghan represented Mr. Lenox in negotiating with them to print the book; for from him it was that Lenox had learned of the existence and location of the manuscript at Laval. The auction catalogue of O’Callaghan’s library was compiled by E. W. Nash, who states, in a note to a copy of this Lenox edition, that only sixty were printed. This statement was, no doubt, based upon information which O’Callaghan had left behind, and may therefore be considered as authentic. The volume was issued in large-paper form, but was sometimes cut down to various sizes. Lenox also had some copies bound with his reprints of the Relations of 1655 and 1659. A description of the edition follows: “Relation | de ce qui s’est passé | de plvs remarqvable | avx Missions des Peres | de la Compagnie de Iesvs, | en la | Novvelle France, | és années 1676. & 1677. | [Cut with storks] | Imprimée, pour la première fois, felon [la] Copie du MS, | Original reftant à l’univerfite-Laval | Quebec.”
Collation: Title, with imprint on verso, I leaf; text, pp. 1-165; Lenox coat-of-arms on verso of p. 165.
One copy in the Lenox Library has also a canceled title.page, agreeing with the proper title in all respects save the imprint, which reads thus: “From a Copy of the Original MS. | in the University Laval, | Quebec.” [Page 314]
NOTES TO VOL. LX
(Figures in parentheses, following the number of note, refer to pages of English text.)
 (p. 33), — François (Pierre, in Rochemonteix’s Jésuites, t. ii., p. 413; probably an oversight in proof-reading) Vaillant de Gueslis, born at Orleans, July 20, 1646, became a Jesuit novice at Paris, Nov. 10, 1665. During 1667-70, he studied at La Flèche, in 1670 departing for Canada, where he evidently completed his preparation for the priesthood, at the college of Quebec. His missionary labors were begun at Lorette; thence he went to the Iroquois country, in 1678 or 1679, replacing Bruyas in the Mohawk villages. He was still resident there in 1683; and, in the beginning of 1688, he was sent by the Canadian authorities on an embassy to Dongan, the governor of New York. From 1685, he resided at the college of Quebec, where for a considerable time he performed the functions of minister; in 1692, he became the superior of the Jesuit residence at Montreal, founded in the autumn of that year. After peace was finally made with the Iroquois (1701), Vaillant was sent as missionary to the Senecas, with whom he spent five years (1702-07). In 1709, he was superior at Montreal; six years later, he returned to France. He died at Moulins, Sept. 24, 1718.
 (p. 57). — The remainder of this chapter is printed (in Italics) from the original MS. of the Relation of 1673-79, in place of the Douniol text.
 (p. 59). — The date here given (1676) may be a lapsus calami on Dablon’s part: but the reader will notice that the last paragraph here printed of the Douniol text states that this woman’s cure occurred after the Relation was written; also, that the report of the Lorette mission for the preceding year extended to the beginning of 1675 (vol. lviii., p. 131). That for 1675 might, similarly, extend to the beginning of 1676.
 (p. 69). — An editorial note in L’Abeille, at the beginning of this document, says: “The manuscript reads Laurette. As it is impossible to reproduce this document in type with the olden characters, and thus entirely retain its double stamp of authenticity and [Page 315] of originality, we have thought it expedient to introduce some modifications of; the orthography in certain words, while scrupulously preserving the phraseology.” This simply means that the entire document has been, like Martin’s publications, thoroughly modernized — a proceeding utterly indefensible from the standpoint of the historian.
 (p. 71). — Regarding the image here mentioned, see vol. liii., p. 131, and vol. liv., p. 287.
 (p, 77), — The river thus referred to is a branch of the St. Charles, at the mouth of which was erected the first Jesuit residence in Canada, Nôtre-Dame des Anges.
 (p. 79). — “This diagram must have been drawn upon a detached sheet; it is not to be found in the manuscript cahier.” — Ed. Note in L’Abeille, vol. xii., p, 84. Cf. our vol. lviii., note 21.
 (p, 81). — Train: a primitive conveyance for winter use in the northern regions of America; adapted by the early settlers from the rude contrivance employed by the Indians, and, with many variations and elaborations, still in use throughout Canada and other British territories. The form of “train” which is perhaps most like the conveyance referred to in our text is thus described by Warburton Pike, in his Barren Ground of Northern Canada (London, 1892), p. 90: “We used the ordinary travelling sleighs of the North: two smooth pieces of birch, some seven feet in length, with the front ends curled completely over and joined together with cross slats secured with babiche [strips of moose-hide] into a total width of six-teen inches.”
The “toboggan” so often used for sport in both Canada and the United States, is another form of “train,” and is but a smaller and more ornamental style of the “cariole” used in the far North; the latter, drawn by dogs, consists of a thin board, fifteen or twenty inches wide, and ten feet long, turned up at one end in semi-circular form. A light box, lined with fur robes or blankets, is attached to this board, in which the passenger sits. Cf. Greenough’s Canadian Folk-Life (N.Y., 1897), p. 161; Hubbard’s Memorials of a Half-century (N.Y., 1887), p. 121; Wis. Ilist. Colls., vol. xi., p. 229; and Clapin’s Dict. Canad.-Français, art. Tobagane.
 (p. 89). — In the MS. Relation of 1673-79 are given the following interesting details of the ceremonies at the opening of the chapel:
“On the 4th Day of that month, it was opened with ceremonious rites. It needed that the virgin should be conducted to her home, — that is to say, that the image of which I have been speaking should be placed above, on the mantelpiece of the holy hearth, as it is at Loretto. For this purpose, they had made ready, in the woods, at a [Page 316] quarter of a league from the village, an oratory, after the fashion of a temporary altar, much ornamented, on which was placed the above-mentioned image, Thither 5 of our fathers repaired in procession, in cassocks and surplices, preceded by some little savages. A goodly number of frenchmen had flocked from the neighborhood; and, these forming one large body, with all the savages in another, they met, all together, to accompany the image, which was carried by our Reverend Father superior from that oratory To the village. All the savages walked, modestly, two and two, and preceded the Clergy, who were followed by the french, chanting all the litanies of our lady in two Choirs, the savages in their own language and the frenchmen in latin, answering each other, so that the whole forest gratefully resounded with their songs. The procession advanced slowly, and having arrived at the village, made the round of the great square, that the blessed virgin might take possession of all the Cabins by which she passed, before entering into her home. She was then Conducted to and reverently placed upon the mantel of the little hearth, which was bedecked with the most costly articles that we possessed Thereupon, high mass was chanted with music, a sermon was preached, and all the people shared in the largesses which the blessed virgin bestowed largesses of wonderful grace, that drew tears of devotion from the greater number of those who assisted at that ceremony.”
 (p. 91). — Orazio Torsellini (1544-99) was, during 22 years, professor of belles-lettres in the Jesuit college at Rome. He composed many works — grammatical, historical, and poetical. The one mentioned in the text is Historia Lauretana (Rome, 1597); it went through numerous editions, and was translated into many foreign languages.
 (p. 93). — The dimensions of the chapel differ from these figures, as given by Father Germain de Couvert (who came to Canada in 1690) in a paper copied in 1845 by Martin, whose apograph of it is in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal. According to De Couvert’s account, its length was 42 palms, 10 oncias (or 28 feet, 10 lines, French measure); its width 18 pajms, 4 oncias (12 feet, 4 lines); the height of its walls, 19 palms, 4 oncias (12 feet, 8 pouces, 4 lines). “The Roman palm contains exactly 8 pouces, or about 8½ English inches” (note appended to above apograph). The oncia is an Italian measure, corresponding to the French ligne (Eng. “line“). The old French foot is equivalent to 12.789 English inches.
 (p. 103). — We omit part ii. of this document, as not possessing historic value; it is simply a record of miraculous favors and cures received at the shrine of Lorette. An editorial note in L’Abeille [Page 317] (vol. xii,, p. 120) states that only a portion of these marvels are given in that paper’s publication of the document.
 (p. 107) — This date must have been April 12. Easter in 1676 fell on April 5, and Low Sunday on April 12. The vessel reached La Rochelle on the 12th, and set sail on the 14th. — A.E. Jones, S.J.
 (p. 107). — The four Jesuits in the ship were Albanel, who was returning to Canada from a voyage to France (vol. xxxiv., note 8), Enjalran, Bonnault (or Bonneault), and the scholastic, Claude Thouvenot. — A. E. Jones, S. J.
Regarding Bonnault, no information is available, save that he came from Bourdeaux (province of Aquitaine), and in 1678 was laboring in Central Wisconsin, having replaced Silvy in that field.
In the Public Record Office at London is recorded (Colonial Entry Book, vol. 96, p. 42), in the proceedings of the royal council, Jan. 20, 1676, a protest of the Hudson Bay Company against “some ill Practices of Charles Albancl a Jesuit, de Grosilier a French man & Radison an Italian.” The council accordingly resolved to request the French government “to Hinder the Jesuit and the 2 persons aforesaid fromundertaking any thing that may be prejudiciall to the Trade or Interest of the aforesd. Company.”
Jean Enjalran was born at Rodez, France, Oct. 10, 1639; and at the end of his seventeenth year became a Jesuit novice at Toulouse. His studies were pursued there, and at Pamiers and Tournon, successively; he was an instructor at Cahors (1660-65), Aurillac (1666-68), and Clermont-Farrand (1673-75). Coming to Canada in 1676, he was in the following year sent to the Ottawa mission, of which he was superior from 1681 to 1688. In 1687, he accompanied the Ottawa allies of Denonville in his expedition against the Senecas; and was wounded in the battle of July 12. In 1688, Enjalran returned to France, and his name does not thereafter appear in the Catalogues of the Canada mission; but he afterward came back to Canada, as is proved by letters written by him to Cadillac, in 1701, and by a commission given him at that time by the governor of Canada. It is not known when he finally returned to France; he died in his native land on Feb. 18, 1718. — See Rochemonteix’s Jésuites, t. iii., pp. 192, 239, 480, 511, 512.
 (p. 111). — Belle Isle is not far outside the mouth of the Loire River.
 (p. 117). — Regarding Isle Percée, see vol. ix., note 34; Forillon, vol. iii., note 45, and vol. xxii., note 8.
 (p. 119). — Reference is here made to André Richard, who was, however, at this time but 76 years old (vol. viii., note 17). In 1676, he was stationed at Cap de la Madeleine. — A. E. Jones, S. J. [Page 318]
 (p 119). — This was Jean Boucher (vol. lix., note 49), who in 1676 was sent to Tadoussac.
 (p. 133). — The priests here mentioned were Jacques Vaultier, superior; and Dalmas (vol. lviii., note 28), in charge of the French habitants.
Vaultier, born at Paris, July 1, 1646, entered the Jesuit novitiate there at the age of fifteen. He was a student at Clermont, La Flèche, and Bourges; and an instructor at Bourges, from 1663 to 1667. He came to Canada in 1672, and in the following year was sent to Sillery. In 1681, he returned to France, where he acted as procurer for the missions of New France.
 (p. 135). — Enjalran gives a Canadian version of the war between the New England colonies and the Indian tribes about them, known as “King Philip’s war,” — thus named from Philip Metacomet, who had become sachem of the Pokanoket tribe, near Plymouth, in 1662. In June, 1675, he began hostilities against the English. Other Eastern tribes soon followed his example, and all the colonies except Connecticut were harried by frequent and destructive Indian raids, with great loss of life and property. This distressing conflict continued until Philip’s death, Aug. 12, 1676; and it did not cease in the frontier region of Maine until April 12, 1678, when a treaty of peace was signed between the tribes on the Androscoggin and Kennebec and the English. In this war neither the Mohegans nor the Iroquois took part. — See Palfrey’s New England, vol. iii. (1865), pp. 132-231.
 (p. 135). — ‘This evidently refers to the fortified storehouse built at Niagara by La Salle. Frontenac’s voyage thither in 1676, for the purpose of pacifying the Iroquois, is mentioned by Louis XIV. in a letter dated April 28, 1677 (N.Y. Colon. Docs., vol. ix., p. 126). Cf. similar reference in Enjalran’s letter (doc. cxli.), Post.
In regard to the early life of La Salle (vol. lvii., note 2). we are enabled by the kindness of G. Devron, New Orleans, to add some new (and, we think, hitherto unpublished) information — obtained, he says, “from the registers of the Society [of Jesus].” “La Salle was born Nov. 21, 1643, and was baptized the next day in Rouen. He was a pupil of the Jesuits there, until his fifteenth year; and became a novice in that order at Paris, Oct. 5, 1658. Two years later, he took the three vows of a Jesuit, assumed the name of Ignatius, and was known in the order as Frère Robert Ignace. He was then sent to the college at La Flèche, where he spent three years in the study of mathematics and the natural sciences, interrupted by a year spent as instructor at Alençon. From 1664 to 1666, he was also instructor at Tours and Blois. In October, 1666 [Page 319] returned to Blois, in order to begin the study of theology; but, soon afterward, he asked to be dismissed from the order. This was granted, and on March 28, 1667, he left the order, and departed from the college at La Flèche; he did not go to Canada until 1668.”
 (p. 143). — The two old men were Chastelain, aged 72; and Claude Pijart, aged 75. The Father who provided for the missionaries (i.e., the procurer) was Beschefer; the Preacher, Bouvart; the young instructor, Thouvenot. The petite école was in charge of a lay brother. — A. E. Jones, S.J.
Father Matthieu, Bouvart’s predecessor, cannot be further identified. The lay brother in charge of the school was Martin Boutet (vol. xxvii., note 20), sieur de St. Martin; he had taught mathematics therein since 1671.
 (p. 153). — Reference is here made to the Sturgeon Bay portage (vol. lix., note 43).
 (p. 155). — Dr. W. H. Hobbs, professor of mineralogy in the University of Wisconsin, supplies the following information, which probably identifies for the first time the “pitch rock” here mentioned: “Allouez’s statement that this rock was used for pitching the canoe and for sealing letters would indicate that bitumen is the mineral referred to. The geological formation which occupies the entire west shore of Lake Michigan from Sturgeon Bay to Chicago, with the single exception of a small area north of Milwaukee, is of the upper Silurian age, and no bituminous matter has been reported from it. The small area near Milwaukee thus excepted is of Devonian age, and sometimes contains bituminous matter. It would seem probable that the locality referred to by Allouez is a small exposure which rises above the waters of Whitefish Bay, a few miles north of Milwaukee, concerning which Chamberlin says (Geology of Wisconsin, vol. ii., p. 401): ‘Along the lake shore, on Whitefish Bay, the formation rises slightly above the water level in a very limited exposure. . . . Angular cavities of moderate size are not infrequent, some of which are filled with semi-fluid, tar-like bitumen.’ This description of an islet of cement rock seems to fit well Allouez’s description.”
It may be added that an extensive plant for the manufacture of cement has been in operation for a number of years, a few miles north of Milwaukee.
 (p. 161). — For description of shields and armor used by the Indian tribes, see vol. xiii., note 18; of their bows and arrows, vol. xv. note 2.
 (p 179). — Jacques de Lamberville, a brother of Jean (vol. lvi., note 1), was born at Rouen, March 24, 1641; and, at the age of twenty, [Page 320] he entered the Jesuit novitiate. From 1663 to 1670, he was an instructor in the colleges at Alenson, Amiens, Compiegne, and Hesdin, successively. His studies were completed at Bourges; and in 1675 he departed for Canada. He was immediately sent to the Iroquois mission, where he labored among the Mohawks until probably 1681; he then became his brother’s assistant at Onondaga, remaining there until the close of the Iroquois missions in 1687, when he became chaplain at Fort Frontenac. In the following year, he was an instructor in the college of Quebec; in 1689, he was stationed at the Indian colony at Sault St. Louis, where he spent most of his remaining years, and there died, April 18, 1711 — “worn out with labors and penances,” according to Charlevoix (Nouv. France, t. i., p. 575).
 (p. 203). — Aiouas (Ayoés, Ayowois): modernized into Iowas; a Siouan tribe, living in Southern Minnesota when first known by white men. The appellation given them in our text means “Nadoessi (or Sioux) of the prairies;” and they were on friendly terms with the other Sioux tribes. Perrot says (Tailhan’s ed., p. 85) that the Ottawas, fleeing in 1656-57 from the Iroquois, were hospitably received by the Ayoës; and when he established himself upon the Mississippi (1685), he maintained friendly relations with the latter tribe. An enumeration of the savage tribes of New France, in 1736, places the Ayowois south of the Missouri River (probably an error for the Minnesota), and estimates their number at 80 warriors (400 to 500 souls). — See N.Y. Colon. Docs., vol. ix., p. 1055.
In 1757, ten Iowa warriors were in the army of French and savages at Ticonderoga. Early in this century the lowas were dwelling on the Iowa and Des Moines rivers, in the State of Iowa. Catlin found them, about 1835, located a few miles north of Port Leavenworth, east of the Missouri River, and then estimated their number at 1,400. They are now (U.S. Bur. Ethnol. Rep., 1893-94, pp. 162, 194, 195) located on reservations in Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. The allusion to their wealth as partly consisting in “ red calumets ” apparently means that this tribe were in control of the famous “pipestone quarry” (vol. lix., note 27).
 (p. 225). — Manresa is a little town in the vicinity of Barcelona, Spain, where, in 1522, Inigo de Loyola secluded himself from the world in order to devote himself to austerities and meditations. During most of the year that he spent there, he lived in a cave or grotto, hence the reference in the text. It was then that he composed in part the Exercitia Spiritualia, which has ever since been a text-book of the Jesuit order.
 (p. 231). — Apparently an exaggerated account of the battle of Bloody Brook (near Deerfield, Mass.) — the most disastrous [Page 321] occurrence in Philip’s war (note 20, ante). On Sept. 18, 1675, a picked company of 90 Englishmen (known as “the Flower of Essex County”), who were escorting 18 wagons loaded with grain belonging to the people of Deerfield, were suddenly surrounded by some 700 Indians, and all except seven or eight were killed.
 (p. 245). — St. Jean François Régis, “the apostle of Velay and the Vivarais,” was born Jan. 31, 1597, at Fontcouverte, a village of Savoy. At the age of twenty, he became a Jesuit novice; and, after some time as instructor in colleges of the order, he passed the rest of his life in apostolic labors. His death occurred Dec. 31, 1640. He was beatified in 1716, and canonized in 1737. This information is furnished by Sommervogel, who also cites a letter written by Régis (April 1, 1640) to the general of his order, requesting that he be sent to the Canada mission.
 (p. 247). — Metabikiwan: Métabetchouan; from a very early date the site of a French trading post. The Jesuit mission there was probably founded by Father Nouvel, perhaps about 1665; and it, rather than Chicoutimi (vol. lix., note 2), was the center of the missionaries’ winter campaigns in the vicinity of Lake St. John.
 (p. 263). — Jean Morain, born at Coutances, France, June 20, 1650, entered the Jesuit novitiate at Paris, at the age of seventeen. He studied philosophy at La Flêche, and was an instructor at Blois, Orleans, and Eu. Coming to Quebec in 1674, he there completed his preparation for the priesthood, and was ordained in 1678 (according to Rochemonteix; but Sept. 21, 1676, as stated in the historical sketch of the Tadoussac mission already cited by us — Missions du diocèse de Québec, March, 1864, p, 41). The latter account states that “in 1677 and 1678 he labored in the Tadoussac mission, and passed the winters at Jeune Lorette;” he may have done that work after the mission in Gaspé which our text records. Rochemonteix (Jésuites, t. iii., p. 428) says that Morain was an evangelist among the Senecas from 1679 to 1654; that he was then stationed at Sault St. Louis, remaining there until his death (Feb. 24, 1688). The other sketch cited (Missions, ut supra) states that he was in charge at the La Prairie mission in 1685-86; that, on account of ill health, he returned thence to Montreal, and died there Jan. 3, 1690, aged 44 years. But, accepting Rochemonteix’s date for his birth, Morain would then have been but 40 years old — which indicates perhaps a mistaken identity, in the account given in Missions.
 (p. 283). — For explanation of these “ modes ” of plain-song used in the Roman Church, see Century Dict., art. modé.
 (p. 299). — Claude Chauchetiere was born at Poitiers, Sept. 7, 1645, and on his nineteenth birthday began his novitiate in the [Page 322] Jesuit order at Bordeaux. He studied philosophy at Poitiers during 1665-67; and was then an instructor at Tulle, La Rochelle, and Saintes, successively. CompIeting his studies at Poitiers (1673-78), he was sent to the Canada mission, After a year of preparation, he was assigned (1679) to the Sault St. Louis mission where he remained fifteen years. In 1694, he went to the Montreal residence, spending there another fifteen years; and finally died at Quebec, in 1709. A letter by him (dated in 16&z), and his relation of the Sanlt St. Louis mission from 1668 to 1686, will appear in future volumes of our series. He also wrote a life of the Iroquois maiden, Catherine Tegakwita. [Page 323]