The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents


Travels and Explorations

of the Jesuit Missionaries

in New France







Reuben Gold Thwaites

Secretary of the State historical Society of Wisconsin


Tomasz Mentrak


Vol. LXI.

All Missions


CLEVELAND:            The Burrows Brothers


Reliquary given by cathedral of Notre-Dame de Chartres to the Hurons of Lorette; received October 15, 1680




Vol. LXI.

[Page iii]

The edition consists of sev-

en hundred and fifty sets

all numbered.


The Burrows Brothers Co.

[Page iv]



Reuben Gold Thwaites




|  Finlow Alexander


|  Percy Favor Bicknell


|  William Frederic Giese


|  Crawford Lindsay


|  William Price


|  Hiram Allen Sober



Assistant Editor

Emma Helen Blair



Bibliographical Adviser

Victor Hugo Paltsits



Electronic Transcription

Tomasz Mentrak


[Page v]

Copyright, 1899


The Burrows Company


all rights reserved

The Imperial Press, Cleveland

[Page ]





Preface To Volume LXI






Relation des années 1677 et 1678. [Claude Dablon; Quebec, 1678].



Relation de ce qui s’est passé en la Nouvelle France en l’année 1679. Vincent Bigot, revised by Claude Dablon; [Quebec, 1679]



Lettres de l’Église des Hurons à Lorette, en la Nouvelle France, au Chapitre de Chartres. Nicolas Potier (in Latin, translated into French by Jean de Lamberville), November 11, 1680; Pierre-Joseph Marie Chaumonnot, November 11, 1680














Bibliographical Data; Volume LXI






[Page vii]







Reliquary given by cathedral of Notre-Dame de Chartres to the Hurons of Lorette; received October 15, 1680
















[Page viii]


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

CXLIV. The Relation of 1677-78 is prefaced by Dablon with the statement that as many as twelve hundred savages have this year been baptized in the various missions.

The missionaries among the Iroquois are greatly persecuted, and suffer much from the insolence of the drunken savages, and of those who are trying to renew the war against the French. Nevertheless, all report an unusual number of baptisms, many of these being conferred on infants and others who “have gone to swell the Church triumphant.” The Christian chief Garakontié is dead. Lamberville writes a glowing eulogy of his piety, zeal, and virtue, and his kindness to the French; and describes his last hours, and his dying efforts to commend to his people the Christian faith, and friendship with the French.

The Huron colonists at Lorette continue in the practice of earnest piety, which they evince in all aspects of life. The greater part of this year’s report is occupied by the virtues and pious death of a Child aged seven years, “a little angel through his morals, his intelligence, and his virtue. . . . It is impossible to be more pious than this Child was. . . . When he was only four and a half years old, he [Page 9] could repeat all that had been said in a sermon, even several days afterward.”

The Iroquois colony lately removed from La

Prairie to Sault St. Louis is in a flourishing condition. A letter from Cholenec describes the fervent piety which reigns among these Christians, and their zeal in aiding the conversion of their heathen relatives. Cholenec says that, if he could describe the pious acts of many of these neophytes, he “would relate astonishing things, which would cause the best Christians among the French to blush.” Bruyas says, regarding one of these converts: “One man such as he would do more good than ten missionaries such as I.”

The Fathers in the Ottawa missions also send favorable reports. At Mackinac, Nouvel has the care of the Kiskakons; their chiefs and leading elders are baptized, and most of the people are living as Christians. Pierson is also doing good work among the Hurons of that locality; and Bailloquet is an itinerant among the tribes scattered along the north shore of Lake Huron, where “opportunities for practicing patience and charity have not failed us.” At Sault Ste. Marie, Druillettes is in charge; “broken down by age, and worn out by past fatigues and many infirmities,” he yet “labors with almost unparalleled energy.”

Good news also cornes from Wisconsin. Albanel, superior at De Pere, states that his chapel there is

a center for the savages of all that region. André, Silvy, and Allouez report numerous baptisms; and, although they have been ill-treated by the infidels, “all that is to them a cause for joy and triumph.”

Three Fathers are engaged in the missions north [Page 10] and east of Tadoussac. For the first time, a missionary spends the Winter among the Papinachois. This task is undertaken by Boucher, who lays among those savages the foundations of a church, although some of his plans are thwarted by the opposition of the devil. Morain and Crépieul spend their time, both summer and winter, in searching through the forests and up the rivers “for strayed sheep.” One of these expeditions is described, in a letter written by Crépieul; it is a constant succession of hardships and privations — cold, hunger, bruises, and exhaustion — endured during nearly two days, that he might be present at the death-bed of a converted medicine-man. Such labors bring on an illness, which nearly costs his life.

CXLV. This document includes such parts of Dablon’s MS. Relation of 1673-79 as embrace events in the missions during the year 1679, beginning with those to the Ottawas.

St. Ignace is now an important station, being a center for four distinct missions: those to the Ottawas and the Hurons at Mackinac, the tribes at the Upper end of Lake Huron, and the savages dwelling at Lake Nipissing. Bailloquet is in charge of the last two, and has for two years been aided by Bonneault; extracts from their letters are given. The two missions at St. Ignace, in charge of Nouvel and Pierson, are reported by Enjalran, who has been aiding those Fathers.

He warmly eulogizes the patience, love, and zeal of his colleagues. The Hurons and Ottawas there comprise, in all, about 1,800 souls. Enjalran relates at length the pious usages and rule of this Christian community, and their observance of the principal [Page 11] church feasts. He praises their charity to one another, as well as their devotion in church services. The two nations live side by side, in Christian affection, often uniting in their celebration of notable feast-days. The Algonkins are so fervent that many of them pray all day long, and would, if permitted, continue this pious exercise far into the night. The baptisms among them during the winter Count nearly 140, twenty of whom are adults. The Kiskakon band, who had been converted (about 1669) by the long and patient labors of Allouez and Marquette, are especially zealous; their chiefs and most of their old men are baptized, and “Continually exhort the Young people to make profession of Christianity.” A large cross is erected in their village, and adorned by a zealous convert with a lance and sponge. The devil persuades some of the infidels that this lance “signifies that the Iroquois are soon to cause us to perish, and that Jesus is about to deliver us into the hands of our enemies.” They also inform the Fathers that their enemies, the Sioux, crucify their prisoncrs of war; accordingly, these Algonkins regard the cross with dislike. The Jesuits are, however, able to wean their minds from this prejudice. Some unbelievers insult the cross; but prompt and full reparation is made by all the tribes, and, in the end, the true faith is more honored than ever.

In Northern Wisconsin, the missions are accomplishing much good; but the Fathers have most of all to contend against the inveterate superstition and idolatry of the savages. Nevertheless, the latter frequent the De Pere Chapel, and venerate it as they do their idols — offering it tobacco, and addressing it “as if it were a living Thing.” Albanel is now in [Page 12] charge there; André continues his labors among the tribes about Green Bay, whose savage traits have been greatly subdued by his patience, courage, and devotion. He now “counts more than 500 Christians on the whole bay.” Allouez and Silvy have ministered in the Outagamie and Mascouten villages, which, including the refugees from other tribes, number at least 20,000 souls. They have baptized some 500 persons, many of whom have been healed by that rite.

The report from the Iroquois missions is less favorable; “therein are only crosses, rebuffs, contumelies, Threats, and almost everywhere a horrible Image of death.” Even these things “do not disturb the Missionaries as much as does the drunkenness which holds sway among the Iroquois, and which presents, as it were, a Picture of hell, through the great disorders which it Occasions,” — an assertion which is borne out by the writer’s statement of the atrocities committed by the drunken savages. The Fathers are at such times compelled to remain hidden in their chapels, although even there they are often annoyed. They console themselves, however, in their consciousness that they are suffering in a glorious cause, and in the fervor and devotion displayed by the converts whom they have won. An outline of the field, and the missionaries employed therein, is given; and this is followed by detailed accounts illustrating the faith, charity, and other virtues of the Christian Iroquois. Among these are the conversion and death of the Mohawk chief Assendasé; the almsgiving, and the labors for the conversion of infidels, undertaken by Catherine Gandeaktena; and the death of Garakontié (given in [Page 13] Doc. CXLIV.). Catherine, an Erie woman, who had been captured and enslaved at Oneida, was converted by the preaching of Bruyas. She persuades her Iroquois husband and several friends to go with her to live at La Prairie, where the little band are among the first Indian colonists, She then devotes herself to charitable works and the conversion of unbelieving savages who resort thither; and is foremost in all pious exercises. Her death and burial are fully described.

Letters from the missionaries among the Iroquois describe the way in which Christmas and other festivals are honored by the savages; their devotion is so great that they continue singing Christmas carols until Easter. Much commendation is bestowed upon the Lorette Christians, especially Jacques Sogaresé, and Marie Tsaouenté, for their zeal in securing the conversion of their infidel tribesmen.

A section is devoted to “the virtues requisite in Missionaries to the Iroquois.” The chief of these are, “a holy skill in promptly seizing and carefully turning to account every opportunity, that they may not allow any infant or sick person to die without baptism; and an heroic patience in suffering everything and being discouraged by nothing, when the salvation of a soul is in question.” These are illustrated from the letters of the missionaries.

From all these accounts, Dablon concludes that “the Iroquois missions bring much glory to God, and contribute much to the salvation of souls.” He  recounts the baptisms conferred during the last three years; and adds that, “in a single year, there have passed into heaven more than 200 souls of sick children and adults, all dying after baptism.” [Page 14] Withal, the gospel has been so widely preached in that country that it would now be difficult to find an Iroquois who has not “a sufficient knowledge of our mysteries to be baptized whenever God shall be pleased to touch his heart and grant him the desire for it.”

The Iroquois colony at La Prairie continues in its pristine fervor, especially because the Christians refuse to allow drunkenness within its bounds. They themselves are thus shielded from temptation, and from the disorders occasioned by liquor; and the converts made in the Iroquois country are “continually flocking hither from all the nations, especially that of agnié,” that they may escape from the lawlessness and impiety that reign among their tribesmen who are addicted to drink. Dablon notes in this connection two remarkable facts — that the Mohawks, “the fiercest and most cruel of all the Iroquois,” are now, as Christians, “the gentlest and most tractable;” and that “more than 100 of these Iroquois, who were notorious drunkards, had no sooner set foot in this Mission than they no longer desired to drink.”

CXLVI. This group of letters concerns the relations of the Huron church at Lorette with the cathedral of Chartres in France. The first is a prayer to the Virgin Mary, offered with a porcelain (wampum) belt at her shrine in Chartres, by the Lorette Christians (1678). The officiais of the cathedral in turn send (1680) a gift to these Hurons — a reliquary containing several precious remains of departed saints; and the thanks of the Indian neophytes for this gift are translated (from Potier’s Latin letter) into French, “in the native diction of those [Page 15] savages,” by Jean de Lamberville. The third letter is written by Chaumonot (dated, like the preceding, November 11, 1680). He reiterates thanks for the kind interest in his flock manifested by the chapter, and adds an account of the ceremonies attending the reception of their valuable gift to the Huron church.

R. G. T.

Madison, Wis., January, 1900. [Page 17]




Source: Taken in the main from Douniol’s Relations inédites, t. ii., pp. 195-238; with two substitutions (in Italic type), from the original MS. Relation of 1673-79, now in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal. [Page 17]

Relation of the years 1677 and 1678.

Sent to Reverend Father Pierre de Verthamont, Provincial of

the same Society in the province of France.


y Reverend Father,

                                  Pax Christi.

Before beginning this relation, I beg your Reverence to allow me to give you a short summary of the good done at the present time by our Fathers in all our Missions, and of the ills that they endure there. Such blessings have attended them that, notwithstanding all the opposition raised by the devil and by hell, they have this year baptized as many as twelve hundred Savages.



ather Jean de Lamberville, the superior of these Missions, writes me that our Fathers suffer great persecutions there — both from the Savages addicted to liquor, who are becoming more and more unbearable; and from those who try to renew the. war against the French. Both carry their insolence so far that our missionaries are frequently struck, pursued in the streets, driven from the cabins, and threatened with cruel massacre, in order that war may be brought on by their death.

Notwithstanding all this, they remain staunch, and are resolved to die rather than leave the place; for they fail not to advance Christianity greatly, and to [Page 19] labor as successfully as bravely for the conversion of their persecutors.

Father Jean de Lamberville adds that, as far as he is concerned, although he has frequently seen the hatchet lifted above his head, he has nevertheless within a year baptized at Onnontagué thirty-six children and twenty-three adults — all of whom, with the exception of twelve, died after baptism. Within the same period his brother, Father Jacques de Lamberville, and Father Bruyas, who have charge of the Agnié villages, have baptized more than forty persons there, most of whom have already taken possession of heaven.

On the other hand, Father Millet has baptized fifty-two persons at Onneiout, where the Confraternity of the Holy Family, established there by him, already has numerous members. Father de Carheil, who has suffered most from the fury of the Iroquois, and who, within two years, has been in constant danger of immediate death, has nevertheless administered baptism at Oiogouin to more than fifty persons; and has sent to Paradise more than forty children, who have died with the grace of baptism.

Farther on, Fathers Raffeix and Garnier, who are at Sonnontouan where the danger is greater (because this is the nation more particularly anxious for war), have this year administered baptism to two hundred and twelve Savages, among them being more than seventy children, a portion of whom have gone to swell the number of the Church triumphant. . . .

Father de Lamberville also informs me of the death of Garakontié, that renowned captain of whom so much has been said in all our relations during more than twenty years. The well-known virtue of this [Page 21] worthy Iroquois deserves that I should repeat here quite at length what the Father writes to me about him; it is as follows: “I wish to inform Your Reverence of the death of our beloved host, the old and constant friend of the French, Daniel Garakontié whom we buried with many tears.

“One knows the obligations under which the whole Colony lies to garakontité. He has saved from the fires of the Iroquois more than 26 frenchmen, whom he ransomed, fed, and sheltered in his own Cabin, until he couldpersonally bring them back to us. He saved the Lives of more than 60 other frenchmen, by the secret warning that he gave of the designs which the Iroquois entertained of a general massacre of all those who, together with our fathers, had gone up to their nation to Instruct them; and as the savages had taken that resolve, they would have carried it out if, in consequence of these warnings, an escape had not been efected from the rage and peqidy of these barbarians.[1] Ue was the first who induced his Countrymen to make peace with us; who, for that purpose, came many times on an embassy to Quebec; who concluded the peace; and who, since that time, has Preserved it to us by his authority and Counsels, always turning elsewhere the weapons of the Iroquois, We can therefore say that if war has not again broken out, with the baleful and terrible consequences which it brings in its train, it is mainly to him that we are under obligation.

“He was highly regarded, not only by those of his own nation , — of whom he was, through the great Influence which he had acquired, the head, as it were; but even our frenchmen held him in so great esteem that he had the honor of receiving baptism at The hands of monseigneur our bishop, and of having as sponsor Monsieur de courcelles, who was our governor at the time. Since that time, he [Page 23]  had never faltered. He everywhere made public profession of being a christian, not only among his cauntrymen, whose superstitions he boldly Combated, but even among the hollanders. Among them, when trading with them, he was never ashamed to Avow himself a catholic, wearing publicly his Beads about his Neck; he even went so far that, in new holland, he offered prayer to God, on both knees, in the midst of the conventicle, at the time when these heretics were all assembled. And, when the minister bade him withdraw, he replied, in a loud tone of voice: ‘Wait, I have not yet finished my prayer. You make it easily seen that you are not christians, for you do not love prayer.’

“He greatly afected me at a solemn feast that he gave on christmas day. Having had brought to him a picture of our Lord, and having stationed himself where he could be seen by the whole assemblage, he took the picture and saluted it 4 or 5 times after the manner of the french, Kissed it, and said: ‘Here is the only master of our Lives; it is not our dreams that cause us to live long. Jesus, son of a virgin, in beauty you are without an equal: make us to sit near to you in Heaven. Let us, who are Christians, bear in mind what we promised him when we were baptized.’

“Upon being attacked with a bloody flux, he came to me; and, when he had prayed to God, he said to me, ‘I am a dead man,’ and requested that he might make his Confession, — which he did, with many evidences of being a true Christian. During his illness, I bestowed upon him unremitting attentions, and he never ceased saying to me, ‘Let us pray together.’ He often did so alone, and expressed his wish that I would say, betimes, the prayers of the Church for the dying. I could not administer to him the holy viaticum, as he suffered from a Constant [Page 25] vomiting. He exhorted his wife to live as a good Christian, and his relatives to become Converted. He Steadily resisted the entreaties of those who would have summoned the Jugglers to cure him by their usual superstitions; he said that his life was in the hands of God, and that, since God willed to withdraw him from this world, he was quite Content.

“It pleased him to give a solemn feast, which they call the farewell feast, that he might make known in public his last wishes. He made two men, of high standing, speak at it, and say on his behalf, as much to the old men as to the warriors, that he charged them to respect Monsieur our governor As their father; that they should turn their arms against the ontoouaganha; that they should bear in mind, after his death, that the best advice which he bequeathed to them was to live in a good Understanding with us. Finally, he Entreated them all to become Christians, and quit their superstitions, as he had done. Then, turning toward me, he said, ‘You will Write to Monsieur the governor, that he is losing the best servant that he had among the Iroquois. And I entreat Monseigneur the bishop, who baptized me, and all the missionaries, to pray to God that I may not be long in purgatory.’

“The Guests having retired, he called me near to him. ‘We must then, at last,’ said he to me, ‘be separated. I am willing it should be so, since I hope to go to Heaven.’ He entreated me, thereupon, to recite the Rosary with him, which I did, in company with a few Christians; and then, after the recommendation of his soul, he peacefully yielded up his spirit, calling me to him and saying, ‘Onnêouagicheia,’ — ‘See, I am dying.’ I immediately knelt down beside the Body, together with all the relatives, to pray to God for the repose of his soul; but the tears choked our voices. While he was dying, his elder brother, [Page 27] supporting his head, said: ‘Courage; you are going to Heaven where you will be happy. You are a good christian; Jesus loves you; he will have pity on you.’

“One Day before his death, he asked two Things of me. The first was to have him buried after the french manner; also, that I would not allow his grave to be filled up with his garments, as is the custom with the savages; and that I would make him a Coffïn of 4 planks, which he immediately provided.

“The 2nd was that I would erect a high Cross next to his grave, in order that it might be seen from afar, and that, after his death, people might not forget that he had been a Christian. I carried out his wishes very exactly. When at his grave, I stopped the Cries and lamentations of his relatives and friends, who had come to attend his burial, and to give him, as it were, a funeral pageant. I exhorted them to become christians if they wished to have the comfort of seeing him again and of being eternally happy with him, assuring them that they also would die in their turn. After that, I Knelt down and prayed aloud in their tongue for the repose of the soul of the deceased. Then, bending my head over his face, I bade him a last adieu, rejoicing with him that he had so resolutely professed Christianity.

“The assembled people were touched by my words and, being unable to restrain their feelings, I was interrupted by their cries and lamentations. Some said that I deserved pity; others that so good a Christian should have lived longer; and others again that he was happy in Heaven. I could then no longer restrain my tears, and refrain from bathing with them the body of the deceased held in my embrace. The three Frenchmen with me were afflicted to no slight degree by this incident. We [Page 29] covered his face and after putting him in the coffin which I had caused to be made to the best of my ability, we lowered him into the grave without any of his relatives touching him except to hold back the earth with pieces of bark lest it might fall on the coffin and this they did very neatly. Having returned to my dwelling, I observed deep mourning for eight days according to the custom of the country and of all the kindred and during that time I received visits.

“Such was the end of daniel garakontié, our good friend and the best of all our Iroquois Christians. He had put of being baptized for more than ten years, giving as a reason, either that he was net as yet sufficiently well Acquainted with the obligations of Christianity, or that he  did not think himself strong enough to keep them; But from the time when God gave him the grace to receive baptism, he declared himself so boldly for the faith that he always Combated publicly the superstitions of his nation, and everywhere gave tokens of a holy Zeal for our Religion.

“The innocency in which he lived after his baptism was such that scarcely were there on his Conscience the sins that are common to good men. It is true that, when among the hollanders 5 or 6 weeks ago he was overcome by a Draught of wine which was offered him; he drank it, thinking that not wine, but brandy only, had the power of intoxicating. He was, however, so distressed at allowing himself to be thus taken of his guard that, on his arrival in his village, he made a public Confession of it, and told me he had been guilty of a great sin, giving me every token of a regret as great as if he had not committed the fault through inadvertense. I Understood from that time, more and more, the tenderness of his Conscience.

“I will add only this word to the many other things that I could say in praise of this good savage, — they can [Page 30] be found in the relations, wich have very often spoken of him. Being on a certain occasion at new york, the heretics inquired of him if he were still a Christian. He replied boldly that his faith would last as long as his life. They were so edified by his reply that they praised his constancy, and even exhorted him to persevere until death. That grace was vouchsafed him by our Lord.” [Page 33]

The Huron Mission at Notre Dame de Lorette.


s this Church perseveres in the practice of all Christian virtues it is unnecessary to repeat here what we have already said of it. I shall merely add that many lead a very spiritual life; and, not content with meditation in the church, they likewise practice it in the fields, while at work. Such was the habit of a good Christian woman who, while sowing her Indian corn, put five grains in each hole, in honor of Our Lord’s five wounds, upon which she meditated.

If they amuse themselves while at work, they do so by singing hymns. They add mortification to prayer, for they use all the penitential instruments employed in the Church. so ardent is their desire to suffer in expiation of their sins that a poor widow, suffering from a violent toothache that caused her much pain, refused a remedy offered her for her relief, saying that she was glad to endure the suffering, in order to honor Our Lord’s death.

They have also a most particular devotion for the blessed Virgin. This attaches them so strongly to her chapel of Lorette that although, during the past three years, frost and rain have prevented the corn from ripening, and they have been asked to go to other places where they might find food in abnndance, they have nevertheless preferred the happiness of residing near the house of the blessed Virgin. [Page 35] Some have even made a vow never to remove from its vicinity.

They have established a rather singular practice among themselves for the relief of the souls in Purgatory. In addition to their offerings in the Church for that abject, and the alms that they give the poor; in addition to the devotion on the fourth Sunday of each month, — to which the indulgence for the souls in Purgatory is attached, and which devotion is so great that that day resembles Easter-time, — as soon as a person dies, the relatives make a spiritual collection of communions in all the families, soliciting them to offer as many as they can for the repose of the soul of the deceased.

Many other things might be said about this Mission, and especially about the close communion between some of these Savages and God, — and, reciprocally, God’s goodness to them in revealing himself to them in visions and by extraordinary favors. But without dwelling on these things, which are striking, we shall content ourselves with the following example alone, because it offers something more substantial.

You must know that this Mission has given to heaven a Child that was a little angel through his morals, his intelligence, and his virtue. This was Ignace Tokakion, aged only seven years and two months, the son of a very virtuous Iroquois woman named Marie Tsaouenté. At the age of two years, he was brought here by his mother, who, although she was one of the most notable people of the village of Agnié, had left her country because she could net freely pray to God there. She then had two sons; and having, since her arrival, been married a second [Page 37] time, to a Huron, she has had but one daughter by him, because for nearly four years they have lived in continence. This woman’s elder son died a most Christian death, in the year 1676; while the second, of whom we speak, died in the month of August last.

The latter was by nature the most gentle and most docile Child that could be seen, not only among the Savages but also among the French, who were delighted to see a Child with so excellent a disposition. He never disobeyed his parents. He never manifested any ill-humor or aversion. He never reviled or struck his companions; while, if they ill-treated him, he had recourse only to tears, and even then was easily appeased.

The good qualities of his mind corresponded to the beauty of his nature — as he showed both by his conduct, in which there was nothing childlike; and in his questions and answers, which were very judicious. This little Savage was only five years old when he already gave the responses at mass, and answered questions in the catechism correctly, and knew by heart all the prayers that are chanted and recited in this Mission. To him must be awarded the glory of having this year contributed more than any other to teaching the Huron language to one of our Fathers, who has recently arrived from France.[2] This Father always had Ignace with him, telling him what he wished to say in teaching the catechism, and in his visits; and the Child repeated it to him several times in good Huron. Then he informed him privately of the mistakes in the language that he had heard him make in public. The reward he exacted from the Father was that the latter should tell him a story, or teach him by heart some hymn. [Page 39] In the evening, in his cabin, he tried to recall to his memory what he had learned during the day; he thought of it during the night, even while asleep. One morning, his mother observed that he knew a long prayer very well by heart, and recited it word for word without missing one, — he who had hardly been able to repeat a few words of it the previous evening. She asked him: “My son, how did you learn that prayer ?” “It was while I slept,” he replied; “while I was trying to remember and to sing it, a handsome Young man came, who repeated and chanted it with me.”

The devotion of our Ignace leads me to think that it was his Guardian Angel who did him this good service. In fact it is impossible to be more pious than this Child was. From the age of two years, when he learned to make the sign of the cross, he always did so before eating; he did the same on awaking, which usually happened at a very early hour, because he wished to hear all the Masses. However drowsy he might be, he arose as soon as his mother awoke him. Frequently he did not take time enough to put on all his clothes; even in winter he ran barefoot to the Chapel, so that, by arriving before his companions, he might be chosen to serve Mass. He was inconsolable when this favor was refused him; and sometimes, when he had already served Mass for one priest, he kept on his robe and surplice for a very long time, to serve still another. When the Masses were ended, he used to withdraw behind the altar, to recite the rosary before the image of the Blessed Virgin there.

His illness began with a slow fever, which carried him off in six weeks, notwithstanding all the [Page 41] remedies that we gave him. About the 20th of July, he was taken to the hospital in Quebec, where the Nuns found nothing that could cure him. When he was asked whether he would recover from that illness or die of it, he would answer pleasantly: “As God pleases; it is for him to decide.” “But again, Ignace,” they would say to him, “do you not fear death?” “No,” he repeated, “because Jesus and Mary will have pity on me.”

On the 2nd of August, seeing that medicines were of no avail, he told his mother, who had come to see him, that he wished to die at Lorette. He was therefore taken back to that place, and the first thing that he asked on entering his cabin was to have an altar erected in it, so that he might again, before his death, represent what is done at Mass. This, and much more, was granted him; because Father Chaumonot, who has chief charge of this Mission, found him very well instructed in all our mysteries, and ordered him to prepare for holy communion. This he did by a thorough confession of all his sins, — very light ones, no doubt; and to it he added various acts of contrition, of faith, and of love.

On the day chosen for administering to him the Holy Sacrament, his mother carried him to the chapel where, at the end of the Mass which he heard very devoutly, he received communion as a viaticum. After his thanksgiving, he offered himself to Our Lord. He was carried back to his cabin where he continued his pious exercises, and promised of his own accord that, when he should be in Heaven, he would remember the Fathers who had instructed him. so long as he was able to speak, he prayed almost continually; even when he ceased to speak, [Page 43] he ceased not to pray. For, when his mother once exhorted him to make some acts of virtue in the form of prayers, he replied: “That is what I am doing, but without speaking, because I can no longer do so.” On another occasion, when he lovingly uttered the words, “My mother!” and his mother hastened to him, asking him what he wanted, he replied: “It is the Virgin Mary whom I invoke, and not you whom I call.” When his voice failed him, he still continued in his usual mariner to make the sign of the cross frequently. After thus passing four entire days in a long agony, he gently expired on the 19th of August, 1678.

For the rest, after the grace of God, the good education given him by his mother was one of the chief causes of his virtue and his happiness. She has admitted to us that, as soon as he came into the world, she offered him to Our Lord; and that she had always reared him for God, with the intention of consecrating him to the Church or to religion, if he had lived.

With this view, she taught him his prayers as soon as he could lisp. When he was a little older, she made him repeat the Father’s exhortations. When he was only four and a half years old, he could repeat all that had been said in a sermon, even several days afterward. His pious mother took no less care in checking all her son’s natural inclinations. If, when she had cooked some meat, — which did not often happen, — little Ignace manifested any impatience, she scolded him, and for a penance made him say a decade of his rosary, an order that he at once obeyed. Then she gave him a portion, which he had to share with his sister. As the mother [Page 45] observed tht he always gave the best and largest piece to the little girl, she added something to what he had reserved for himself. The wise mother did so in order that he might not be like ordinary children, who are vexed when they see their brothers and sisters getting larger portions than they.

When, after an absence of some days, Ignace came, on her return, to manifest his love by his caresses, she reproved him, saying: “My son, it is to Mary, who is really our Mother, that affection should be shown; and not to me, who am nothing.” If it happened that a Child struck hers, instead of inquiring by whom he had been ill-treated, she taught him to offer to God the pain that he felt. One evening, while conversing with her Director on the subject, she said: “Whenever any one does anything to my children, I act as I would do if I saw them sick. I would not say to them, ‘Let us revenge ourselves on the fever;’ but I would seek the proper remedies for curing them. In the same way, I am careful not to say to them, ‘I shall revenge myself for the ill treatment you have suffered.’ That would not be a good remedy for troubles of that kind, since Our Lord wishes us to receive them from his hand, and desires that we should love those whom he uses to punish us.”

But this mother never seemed more admirable than in the resignation which she manifested at the death of her beloved Ignace. When she saw that he was in danger, she went to present a fine Porcelain collar to the Blessed Virgin, to tell her that she offered her son to her. Then, speaking to her Director, she said to him: “Some tears escape in spite of me, for with all my heart I accept being [Page 47] deprived of my children, as a punishment for my sins. I have fully deserved to be abandoned by them in my old age, since in my youth I did not serve God, who is our Father. Therefore, in order to show him that I take the part of his justice against myself, I wish also to give him my daughter, by placing her with the Ursuline mothers; and I wish to give her to him, in order that she may be a nun if she so please.”

When Ignace was about to give up his soul, his mother addressed herself to her elder son, who had been dead for two years; and begged him to obtain for her, through his intercession, the grace of bearing her loss like a Christian. Her prayer ended, she felt so strengthened that, on seeing all present in tears, she exhorted them to bear in a proper spirit the death of this little innocent, who was going to heaven . After this, she closed his eyes and his mouth without shedding a tear. Her fortitude was no less at the burial, during which she remained modestly kneeling near the body of little Ignace; and, at its conclusion, she asked him to pray for her and for all present. [Page 49]

Iroquois Mission of Saint François Xavier du

Sault, during the year 1677.


ather Frémin, who is the superior of this Iroquois Mission, informs me, by a.letter from Father Cholenec, of its flourishing condition since it has been established a little above la prairie de la Magdeleine, at the foot of Sault de Saint Louis, on the river Saint Lawrence. Here are the contents of this letter, which is dated January 15, 1678.


y Reverend Father,

                                      Pax Christi.

After offering our vows to heaven at the opening of this new year for the preservation of Your Reverence, who ever continues to be so good to this. Mission, we thought we could not better express our gratitude than by sending a short relation of the marvels which divine mercy is working with increasing frequency in this Church. It seems to me that we may justly bestow upon this Church the title of “Spouse of Jesus Christ,” which the Scriptures give to the universal Church, — a Spouse very dear to that divine Savior, so great is the zeal displayed for his service by the persons who compose it. These may be considered in three different categories: the first is that of the catechumens who are candidates for baptism; the second, of those who, having already received that sacrament, are beginning in earnest to [Page 51] work for their salvation; the third, of our oldest and most fervent Christians.

As for the first, although it cannot be said that they are yet fully in the path of virtue, inasmuch as they have hardly left the paths of vice, still it must be admitted that it is a wonderful thing to see how easily and in how short a time they adapt themselves to our mode of living, and to Christian habits. For, although some of them come here with but little disposition to embrace our Faith; others, in still greater numbers, in a state of complete indifference, — rather through complaisance or necessity than from inclination; and many even with quite contrary dispositions, and fully determined not to believe and not to listen on this point to the Fathers who instruct them; nevertheless, we see that all these are so changed, after dwelling some time in the village, that they might with reason be placed among our best Christians, had they but the name as they have the appearance thereof. I do not mean the mere outward appearance, which might be due to the necessity of doing like the others, or to shame in not doing as they do; but also their esteem and inward respect for all things connected with divine worship.

In fact, nothing can be more admirable than to see these good catechumens the foremost and most ardent at Prayer, and, when all leave the church, remaining after the others and, even without yet knowing the prayers, praising Our Lord and speaking to him from the depths of their hearts. This is what we observe every day, with joy; and we are compelled to admit, on seeing it, that He alone who is the master of hearts can thus change them in [Page 53] so short a time. In this mariner these Savages who are as yet catechumens, after having been wicked with the wicked among the Iroquois, and having caused grief to our Fathers, become good here among our worthy Christians, and fill us with consolation by the change.

As to those who are already baptized, whom we have placed in the second category, even were they to do no other good but this, — that is to say, serve to induce the others, their relatives or friends, to follow their example, — it would still be a great deal. But they are not content with drawing the latter after them; they themselves endeavor to follow the example of the more fervent. Consequently, even if they do not do quite so well all things connected with the practice of the virtues, we may at least assert that this emulation removes them farther and farther from their vices; and that, if our Savages have not all attained the highest degree of fervor, there are, thanks be to God, but very few wicked, and not one, that I know of, who commits scandalous sins , — a truly wonderful thing among so great a number of Savages.

We see, from time to time, in the persons of this second category, lofty sentiments of piety and afterward actions corresponding thereto, — which show that they are not mere Savage imitations. At the beginning of this winter, a good old woman and three of her daughters — all married and living in the same cabin with her — one morning missed the first mass, which is said at daybreak, owing to their not having heard the bell; they came back to the chapel on the following day as early as two heurs after midnight, lest the same misfortune might [Page 55] happen to them; but finding that they had hurried too much, they went back to their cabin, and fell so soundly asleep that they awoke only at daybreak. They once more ran to the church, very sorrowfully, for they feared that they might again have missed the first mass on that day. In fact, they found that it had already been said. Thereupon the old woman, especially, became so angry with herself on account of her sloth that, in order to expiate her fault, she went at once to her field, which is rather large, and walked all around it in the snow, with her feet and legs bare.

Another, who went every year to hunt with her husband at the very beginning of winter, remained here with him until after the Purification, on account of the promise made to her that she should make her first communion on that day, — thus generously sacrificing her temporal interests to the salvation of her soul.

But, to say a word also of the men in the second category, we have one, among many others, who recently performed an action that greatly edified the entire village. He is an Onneiout, aged about thirty years, who was baptized here last summer. Not very long ago, this good Christian was in the house of a Frenchman at the Upper end of the island of Montreal, with several Iroquois of his country who were not Christians. In the first place they spoke of drinking, according to their custom; and the Frenchman, who was apparently more eager to give them liquor than they to ask for it, put no less than a kettleful of brandy upon the floor in the midst of all these Savages. They smoked and chatted, and [Page 57] drank in turn from this agreeable fountain, that ha as it were, sprung up in their midst.

Our Onneiout — thinking that he could do as the others and take advantage of the opportunity, provided God were not offended thereby — took the cup in his turn, and swallowed two or three mou& fuls like the others. But after quenching his thirst, and acquitting himself of the politeness that he considered due to his countrymen, he thought that he should have more consideration for his God; and thereupon he resolved to drink no more, lest he might offend him. He went still further: he added to zeal for his own salvation that for the salvation of his neighbor, and for the glory of God, which he considered to be at stake on this occasion. Thus he came to the decision not to offend God, and also to prevent others offending him. But he was a Young man among older ones — for whom, as every one knows, those of his age have the greatest deference in this country. Therefore, being desirous of carrying out his design, and of doing so without giving them offense, he suldenly bethought himself (for time pressed, so diligent were they in passing the cup around) of rising from the ground, as if he had to do something; and he purposely made a false step, but so cleverly that his foot struck the kettle as if by accident, and upset all the liquor contained in it. This accident gave rise to much mirth among the Savages; but I think it gave incomparably more pleasure to their good angels who saw it. And so well did God bless the ingenuity of his servant that, after having had a good laugh, they thought only of going to bed, as the night was already advanced, — a very rare thing among Savages, when once they [Page 59] have begun drinking. This was the conduct of a Savage , and one who had been a Christian four months, who is already zealous for God’s glory, and who knows how to temper zeal with prudence.

But in order to see this zeal in its best light, we must now speak of our most fervent Christians, inasmuch as we have as yet spoken only of the ordinary and of beginners. Assuredly, did I wish to enter into minute details, it would fill a second relation. Consequently, I shall content myself with allowing Your Reverence to judge of this third category from what I have related of the two others — of which the former is, as it were, the soul and the prop. I Will say, in few words, that the Savages of this third class live like Perfect Christisns, who know how to war against their appetites, and to tame their passions by application and reflection; who pass whole days without committing a venial sin maliciously or deliberately; and who, without waiting for Sundays or for the nearest festivals, come and confess themselves at all times on the slightest scruple of conscience. Finally, they are Christians who detest sin, not only in themselves, but also in others.

Oh, how beautiful a spectacle it is, and one which it would be desirable that the whole world should witness, as we have the happiness of doing, to see these fervent Christians, who constitute the holiest portion of this Mission, heave deep and heartfelt sighs at the priests’ feet for the slightest sins, and afterward approach the Holy Table like fervent religious. I add nothing to the truth; this is what our Fathers and the French had an opportunity of observing at the last Christmas festival, celebrated [Page 61] with pomp in our Chapel, in which so large a number of Savages had never been present at one time. confessions, communions, vespers, benedictions, and other devotions were so piously performed that nothing like it has as yet been seen since the beginning of this Mission. All the neophytes belonging to it, with the exception of two or three small bands, had assembled in the village, as if by agreement; and had given up their hunting to come and celebrate the great festival there, — to such a degree that many Savages who knew this festival only by name, and who were not Christians, came here like the others to be present at it.

And if from the chapel I were to go into the cabins, I would find fresh subjects for a relation, on hearing all that is said and seeing all that is done by these fervent Christians, in order both to further God’s service, and to prevent his being offended. One would have reason to be astonished, on hearing such admirable words from Savages.

And, in fine, among all these fervent servants of God, were I to dwell upon the pi-aises due to the members of the Holy Family; were I to speak of our two dogiques, of our Agnieronnon captain, of our “good Israelite,” of three other neophytes who fulfilled the duties of apostles in their own country, with such glory and such profit; were I to add also that, as a rule, the wives of these good Christians are nowise behind their husbands; finally, were I to give particulars about a dozen others, both men and women, who all belong to that holy gathering, — Oh ! I would relate astonishing things, which would cause the best Christians among the French to blush. Vere non inveni tantam fidem in Israël, if I may be permitted to [Page 63] use these words after Our Lord on a similar occasion It is true that, during the short experience that I have had, I have seen Frenchmen who made a special vocation of virtue; but, nevertheless, with the exception of the secular and regular communities, I admit that I have never seen anything approaching what I have the happiness of witnessing every day; and, for my own part, I find more pleasure among them in a single day than among the French in many months. Oh, how great a difference there is also!

I shall merely add what Father Bruyas writes us, from Agnié, about three of our Savages who went last summer to perform, as it were, the duties of apostles among the Iroquois, “Your three good Christians,” he says, “came here on the feast of saint Bonaven ture. I may say that God sent them to us at the very moment when they were needed to find those who accompany them on their return; for some of the latter would have gone to the war had they delayed their arrival eight days. Oh, what good Christians your two dogiques are! They completely changed the aspect of our little Church during the short time that they spent here. Not content with going into the cabins in the daytime to preach Jesus Christ crucified, they also devoted a considerable portion of the night to the same abject. Kinnouskouen, that fervent preacher, gathered our Christians together in the evening, — being unable to do so in the daytime, owing to the work in the fields , — and spent two or three hours of the night in instructing them, and teaching them to sing. One man such as he would do more good than ten missionaries such as I. I would greatly desire for [Page 67] the consolation and advancement of this Church that we should frequently have similar visits. I endeavored to show them every possible attention, considering our state of poverty. Oh, how holy, how blessed is the Mission that possesses such holy Christians; and how much holier still is the missionary who has formed them by his care and toil? Crescat in mille millia.

This, my Reverend Father, is a little specimen of the edifying things that occur in our Mission. We beg Pour Reverence to commend to Our Lord, for me, in your holy sacrifices, its preservation and progress; and we entreat you to give a share thereof to him who remains, with all possible respect,

My Reverend Father,

Your very humble and very obedient

servant in Our Lord,

Pierre Cholenec,

of the Society of Jesus. [Page 67]

The Outaouais Missions.

Father Henri Nouvel, who is the superior of those Missions, writes me that he derives all the consolation that he can desire from those Savages, who belong to two different tribes. The first and most numerous is that of the Kiskakons, consisting of five hundred souls or thereabout. “Their village,” he says, “is near our Chapel of Saint Ignace at Michillimakinac. The chiefs and most notable elders of the Kiskakons are Christians, and perform their duties well, as do also the majority of the women and children. It may be said that Christianity is held in esteem among them, and their ancient superstitions are despised. I am occupied from morning to night in cultivating this Church, and I have only time to perform my spiritual exercises, especially in winter. Thus I see the fruit of my labors in the baptism of twenty-five adults and forty-eight children within a year.”

The Father adds that he is a witness of the labors performed by Father Pierson for his Church of the Tionnontaté Hurons, among whom he has this year baptized five adults and twenty-six children, in our chapel of Saint Ignace. These neophytes continue to distinguish themselves by their assiduity at prayers, and by great fervor in performing all the duties of a Christian life.

As for Father Bailloquet, he does no less good in the neighborhood of lake Huron, where he is at the [Page 69] head of a fervent Christendom. This is what he wrote me on the 24th of May, 1677: “God’s Providence has been pieased to sanctify us during the whole winter. Opportunities for practicing patience and charity have not failed us. Our Savages have been sick, and so have I. Many of them died, and God has not yet willed that I should be called to him. I visited in a canoe during the autumn, and over the ice in winter, the tribes scattered around lake Huron. I baptized thirty-five children; and, of all the adults, but one died to whom I was unable to administer the sacrament of penance or that of baptism.”

Father Dreuillettes governs the mission of Sainte Marie du Sault, where the Savages from all quarters land during the summer. Broken down by age, and worn out as he is by past fatigues and many infirmities, the good Father nevertheless labors with almost unparalleled energy. Thus seventy-five baptisms have been administered in this Mission within a year.

Father Charles Albanel,[3] who is superior of the Missions of Saint François Xavier in the bay des Puants, informs me of the success of his labors, and of those of our Fathers who are engaged in instructing the neighboring tribes. He writes me that the Mission of Saint François Xavier is, as it were, a center; and that, from time to time, the Savages gather there from all quarters, and come to pray and be instructed in the fine chapel that we have built there. His occupation in this residence consists in giving instruction to all who present themselves; and during the short time that he has spent there he has conferred baptism upon more than forty Savages. [Page 71] On the other hand, Father André has administered the same sacrament to more than one hundred Catechumens; Father Silvy, to about thirty among the Fire nation; and Father Allouez to a very considerable number among the Outagamis and elsewhere. so much fruit cannot be gathered without great toil, or without many dangers, to which the missionaries are continually exposed among these barbarous nations. Father André was nearly shipwrecked on two occasions; Father Silvy was also in similar danger. They have been ill-treated by the infidels, but all that is to them a cause for joy and triumph.

As the Illinois Mission is a dependency of that of the Outaouais, this would be the proper place to speak of it; but the account we shall give of the establishment of the Illinois Mission Will show what has occurred there. [Page 73]

Tadoussac Missions, to the east and north of



hese Missions comprise that of the Gaspésiens and Etchemins, that of the Papinachois, and that of the Montagnais and other Northern nations. Father Morain has charge of the first, Father Boucher of the second, and Father Crépieul of the third.

Father Morain, who has his residence at the Mission of the Good Shepherd near riviere du Loup, was compelled during a portion of the summer to seek his flock in the woods , — where in one day he baptized fourteen, whom he had already instructed and prepared for receiving that sacrament.

Father Boucher spent the winter with the Papinachois, who dwell below Tadoussac, which no missionary has yet done. The opposition that he encountered in carrying out the plans that he had made for the instruction of these Savages during the winter, leads us to think that the Devil opposed them, through fear of losing what he had won; for he not only made some abandon Prayer, but he even caused them to return to their former superstitions, to the extent of giving feasts which are a sort of sacrifice to the Devil. Although the Father saw all his plans thwarted by the faithlessness of those who were to take him to the Savages’ rendezvous, he nevertheless set out, although greatly weakened by a long illness, and by [Page 75] a great scarcity of food, which he had endured for more than three months. In the severest period of the winter, — without provisions, and without any bark to shelter him during the night, — after eight days of fatigue that no one can imagine without having experienced it, he reached the lake on which some Savage cabins were erected.

As soon as his arrival became known, those who were only twelve or fifteen leagues away came to him at once. The fervor of the older Christians, the regret of the erring ones, and the strong inclination for baptism manifested by several infidels, soon made him forget his past fatigues. He abode with them during the remainder of the winter, instructing them and administering to them the sacraments; and he came back with the consolation of seeing among them the foundations of a true Church, and with the hope of seeing it continue to increase.

Father de Crepieul tells me that he spent the whole of last winter in continual expeditions, seeking for strayed sheep. At the end of last summer, Providence made him travel sixty leagues, from Chécoutimi to Tadoussac, for the salvation of a Savage girl, who awaited his arrival that she might go to heaven; and for the purpose of administering baptism to eleven children.

After this, he returned to Chécoutimi to perform the same act of charity for another savage girl, who died a holy death while in his hands. At the funeral of this good neophyte, he administered Communion to twenty-eight Savages, who applied the merits thereof to the soul of the deceased.

Father de Crépieul then left that place to go up [Page 77] to lake Saint John, which he had no sooner reached than Savages, in number sufficient to fill twenty canoes, came to be instructed in the fine chapel built on the shore of the lake.[4] The days were not long enough for the instruction of these people, who filled the church twice a day, and to whom the Father administered the sacraments of baptism, of marriage, and others, according as he found them prepared.

After some time he had to leave this post, being called to Chécoutimi, where many Savages awaited him; and he made them perform all the Christian exercises in another Chapel, built at that spot.

He remained there some days and then set out for Quebec, where he had not been for a year. He had only time to perform the spiritual exercises there, after which he embarked to return to Tadoussac. On his way he found almost everywhere opportunities of doing fruitful work, or of enduring suffering, — especially while going up to Chécoutimi and to Saint Jean; for these journeys, performed in a canoe and late in the season, are very arduous. One must be exposed to rain, snow, and frost; must sleep on the Sand, or on rocks; must shiver with cold all night, without being able to warm oneself, and endure hunger; and must pass through a thousand dangers amid whirlpools and rapids.

After enduring all these discomforts many times, going and returning between Tadoussac and lake Saint John, he finally remained in the latter place at the beginning of last winter, with the intention of passing that season there in receiving the Savages, —  who go thither from a distance of fifteen or twenty leagues on all sides, to confess themselves and be [Page 79] instructed , — or in making expeditions in the neighborhood, whenever he was called to aid the sick.

Here is a description of one of his expeditions, which he made in the month of November: “I was sent for,” he says, “to assist at the death of a famous juggler, who had, some time previously, renounced his superstitions. I set out, with that abject, on the 24th of November. I had to walk all day in snow up to my knees, and climb very steep mountains; to cross lakes, without fearing the coldness of the water in which we walked; to pass through thickets of trees, that tore our faces and our clothes; to jump from tree to tree, in order to extricate myself from places where the wind had felled them on top of one another. Meanwhile, my strength failed me toward evening; and we had to throw ourselves down upon fir branches on the snow to sleep, and pass the night without shelter and without bark to protect us from the snow, that wet and chilled us at the same time.

“The entire night was spent with all the patience that we could command; at daybreak I started fasting, thinking that I was strong enough to reach the sick man’s cabin and say mass there. But the length and difficulty of the road, on which the trees barred my way, caused me to receive several injuries to my legs, and completely exhausted me, so that I was obliged to take a little theriac; this gave me SUffitient strength to reach the cabin, about two o’clock in the afternoon.

“I cannot describe the joy with which these good people received me. I gave the sick man all the spiritual and bodily assistance in my power; then, leaving him fully consoled, I returned to my post at [Page 81] lake Saint John, where I had the consolation of enjoying the agreeable conversation of an old blind Savage. He shamed me by the fervor of his prayers and sighs, and of the hymns to which he devoted the entire day and a good portion of the night. Old as he was, he wished to observe the lenten and all the other fasts prescribed by the Church, as we did. He desired always to speak or hear of our mysteries. His virtue especially manifested itself in his last illness and at his death, which was such that I would consider that Our Lord conferred a great favor upon me did he grant me a like death, with an innocence and holiness of life equal to those that I observed in this pious neophyte.”

To this account I add that which the same Father has given me of a very serious illness, from which he nearly died. This illness had been caused by the exceedingly great labor and fatigue which he had been obliged to undergo for the salvation of all these wandering tribes.

“On the 3rd of December,” says the Father, “about the middle of the night, God in his divine goodness was pleased to honor me with his holy visitation, in a violent illness, so that I believed it to be the last, as it was the first, in my life. God gave me sufficient strength to celebrate mass on the first three days. On the fourth, the sickness was so severe that I thought I would soon be carried to my grave, which I had dug eight or ten paces from where I lay. I still had the consolation of confessing a Savage, who had come a distance of twenty- five leagues to purify himself in the sacraments of the Church. On the fifth day, after imploring the assistance of my great Saint Francis Xavier and of the [Page 83] holy Father François Régis, — in whose honor I had begun a novena, and who has, within a year, several times manifested the miraculous effects of the influence that he enjoys with God, — I received through their intercession enough strength to say mass, and to provide myself with the holy Viaticum.

“On the sixth day, as the news of my approaching death had spread in the neighborhood, a poor Savage of the Esquimaux nation came from a distance of ten leagues to bleed me. He was not a very skillful surgeon; I thought however that I was obliged to abandon myself to him. He did not spare me, and made so wide and so deep an incision in the vein that it did not close for several days. Before placing myself in his hands and, as it were, at his discretion, I thanked my God for all his mercies, and for the favor that he granted me in allowing me to die in that abandonment amid the duties of these apostolic Missions. I was a little relieved by the bleeding. Through the intercession of my good Father Régis, God gave me enough strength at the end of the novena to say mass, and to give spiritual assistance to the Savages, who came from all quarters to be instructed and to receive the sacraments. As many as 30 canoes came in a single day. This filled me with joy, and visibly restored my strength; so that I could teach catechism twice a day to the youngest, and give an exhortation to the older ones in the evening, in addition to the other devotional exercises which were performed as usual.”

Thus did Father de Crepieul pass his winter. In the following spring, he was obliged to leave lake Saint John and proceed to Chécoutimi, where he was expected by a great number of Savages — Mistassins, [Page 85] Etchemins, Abénaquis, Papinachois, Outabitibecs, Algonquins, and Montagnais, — who gave him much occupation during the time which he spent with them, and whom he left only to give the same assistance elsewhere. [Page 87]




Source: This is so much of the original MS. Relation of 1673-79, as relates to the last named year. Reports of previous years have, for convenience, already been transferred by the present Editor to other Relations, as heretofore explained.

The MS. is in the handwriting of Vincent Bigot, and was revised by his superior, Claude Dablon. The Bigot original retained by Dablon is in Roman type; the latter’s emendations, in Roman within brackets; and passages, words, or letters deleted by him, in Italic. [Page ]





of the Society of Jesus



in the year 1679. [Page 91]

Of the Mission to the outaouacs.


n the narration of the most Important Events which have taken place throughout our Canadian missions during the last six years,[5] we shall observe, as far as possible, the order of time and place; and we shall commence with the more distant missions, in order that we may finish with those that are, as it were, at our own door and in our midst.

It is this plan which allows me to open the Relation with the missions to the outaouacs, which are some 4 or 500 leagues from this place.

They Comprise a large number of different and quite Important nations. We have divided them into 3 principal missions, where we have three residences, — namely, ste. marie du sault, which lies at the outflow of lake superior, and which is especially the resort of nations from the north; St. Ignace at missilimakinac, for the various peoples who are on lake huron; and St. françois Xavier, for the people on the bay des puants, and for other nations that lie more toward the south. We shall speak in detail of Each of These 3 missions. [Page 93]

Of The Mission of St. Ignace at Missilimakinac.


t Comprises four quite distinct missions: that of the lake of the hurons, That of the nipissiriniens, that of the hurons of tionontate, and that of some outaouacs who have settled at St. Ignace.




ather pierre Bailloquet has charge of these two missions; he has worked hard in them and suffered much for six years, since he must Seek out these peoples, who are scattered in various places along these two lakes, and caver more than 200 leagues of country, which he accomplishes in a Canoe during the summer, and in winter over the ice, with Incredible hardships.

He has been, as well as other missionaries, many times in danger of being murdered by some of the more licentious among these barbarians, who would not suffer his reproofs. One of them three times raised a hatchet over his head; others have Driven him from their Cabins and closed their doors on him when he called to Instruct them, or to look for their sick. Others have made him obnoxious by their Calumnies Because he combatted their superstitions and diabolical Juggleries. In addition, these Expeditions entailed upon him hunger and thirst, together with a hundred other Inconveniences, —  which, nev.ertheless, were much mitigated by the fruit which they produced. “The Providence of [Page 95] God has willed to sanctify us,” wrote the Father on the 24th of may, 1677; “opportunities for patience and Charity are not wanting to us. The savages have been sick, and I as well. Many of the Former are dead; but God has not yet Thought me worthy to go to him. My Consolation is that I have baptized 35 children during their sicknesses; and of all the adults, only one died to whom I could not Administer the sacrament of penance or of baptism. I have Traversed on the ice the whole of lake huron, where there were nations,” etc.

What the father informed us he had accomplished in 1677 is measurably the same for all other years. In the year following, he administered baptism to 30 children and many dying people, and, most notably, to the Chief of the mississakis, a very Influential man, who died a short time after. In the preceding year, he had baptized a very much larger number during his wintering; and, on an excursion or flying mission of one month only, which he made in the summer of 1676, He Baptized 53 children, concomitantly with marvelous interpositions of providence for the salvation of those poor Innocents. This same providence has, moreover, manifested itself quite recently for the eternal welfare of some, as Father Bonneault experienced when coming up, last year, to the outaouacs. He wrote me, in these terms, on the 6th of october, 1677:

“Here we are, by the grace of God, in Perfect health, at the mission of st. Ignace. We had the Consolation, 15 leagues from here, of meeting Father nouvel, who was coming up from ste. marie du sault, and of making the rest of the journey in his Company. In truth, I have been charmed with his [Page 97] piety and Charity toward us all, and with the Zeal that he shows for the salvation of the savages. Gur Lord has granted all kinds of blessings to our voyage. I have had the happiness of baptizing in various places, along lakes nepissing and huron, 4 children who belong to some poor Christiaas who had not seen Father Bailloquet, their pastor, since the birth of these children. But my greatest Joy was experienced in the village of the amikouecs, where I found, in the last extremity, an adult savage, who last winter had been thoroughly Instructed in our mysteries by Father Bailloquet. As soon as I had entered his Cabin, he said to me: ‘My father, I am about to die; baptize me, I pray thee, as soon as thou canst.’ He reiterated, feelingly, the same request. I instructed him afresh, and, after having made him renounce all that could be an obstacle to his ‘Conversion, I baptized him; and it seemed to me as if he only waited for that to die, for he survived his Baptism only a few days. He was a man who formerly had been strongly opposed to Christianity; and the Change in him, as well as our unexpected arrival in his Village, could have proceeded only from a very special kindness of God, since our route did not take us thither, and we were Led there almost Against our own intention.”

The Father who had Instructed him experienced much Joy on learning what had taken place for the salvation of this savage. He has also the consolation of finding among these barbarians chosen souls, to whom God grants great favors. I omit what could be said of these, that I may mention one case only, for the purpose of according to the Reverend ursuline mothers of quebec the great credit they deserve for so well bringing up Young girls — [Page 99] both the savages, in a seminary which they have established expressly for them, and the french, in another department. The benefit of the fruit which they produce from the excellent culture that they bestow on these Young plants, is felt afterward, even As far as 300 leagues and more in the forest, — when these little savages, all filled with the spirit of devotion which they have imbibed in that seminary, return to their parents, and share with them the Instruction which they have received from these good mothers. It is of one of these girls that, in another letter, the father speaks in these terms: “Our Christian servant has settled down in a spot quite near our little Chapel, that, all the winter through, she may enjoy the Consolation of bringing there every Day women and girls in whom she recognizes the inclination for prayer. Her purpose is to Instruct them, as nearly as may be, in the way in which she was Instructed at quebec, and to teach them the prayers and mysteries of our Religion, — which she does with so much Joy, fervor, and prudence, as to give no Offense to any of the perverted minds of this nation. On the Contrary, she understands so well how to order her own life and all her behavior, that all the people, even the Infidels, are astonished confess that she does honor to prayer, and to the Reverend ursuline mothers, with whom she formerly learned the first rudiments of her devout conduct.”




he condition of these will be Understood from the letter written to me by Father Jean Enjalran, who went up last year to the outaouacs, to labor [Page 101] there for the salvation of these peoples. He Begins as follows:

“I obey, by this, the command which Your Reverence gave me on my departure from quebeq, to Write you what I should have observed regarding the condition of this mission to which you were sending me. Moreover, fathers nouvel and pierçon, with whom I have had the happiness and Consolation of living this year, seeing me ready to do this, have been well pleased to leave to me alone the charge of gathering information of all that has happened here since the last news that they sent Your Reverence. I have Consented to their wish all the more willingly, since I thought that I would have, by this means, a finer opportunity of doing Justice to the labors of these two very accomplished missionaries. For I must, at the outset, avow that I have been wonderfully edified at the love and burning Zeal, sincere and disinterested, which they possess for the salvation of the souls which God has Entrusted to them; and at their constant and unwearying application in the use of all the means that a saintly ingenuity suggests to them.

“The algonquin Mission here has been Composed, this winter, of four different nations; that of the Kiskakons, who are Christians, is the most Important. They have comprised, altogether, about 1,300 seuls, — which is a somewhat large number in these quarters, where the savages live so widely apart. I do not include, however, in this number those who have come in at different times and have made some stay here. The huron mission of tionontate, of which father piercon has charge, consists of 500 souls; There were but 300 during the winter, the [Page 103] others having gone hunting with a part of their families. These two missions are three-quarters of a league apart. I Begin by telling what I have noted regarding the huron mission, which is the most advanced, and nearest to our Church of st. Ignace.

“And, first, I feel it necessary to say that I have discovered in this mission Something that has surprised me, seeing in it so close a Copy of the beautiful huron and Iroquois missions which are in the neighborhood of the french settlements, at nostre Dame de Lorette and at the sault St. françois Xavier; and it is all the more wonderful because, here, we have no such help as those missions receive from quebecq and montreal, and because here we meet with great obstacles to the establishment of Christianity. Your Reverence Will see the progress that has been made in the building-up of this Church, by what I am going to say of it in a general way concerning their Conduct, and by some particular incidents I shall relate.

“They hold in great respect the Days assigned to prayer, as sundays and feast-days, which they especially [scrupulously] observe. On those Days the Christians and the Catechumens assemble very punctually, and in large numbers, in the Church. There is a fervent Christian, who is a permanent officer, appointed to give notice of the Days on which they are to meet; it is he, also, who addresses the meeting after the father has explained some point of our Faith, and who fulfills, wonderfully well, the duty of preacher. He is commonly called ‘the officer of the faith.’ Besides this officer, there are two christians who are quarterly officers; they have charge of all that concerns assembling for prayer, and are distinct from two others who are to say the prayer aloud in the [Page 105] church. It is impossible to witness anything more exact than the conduct of These officers, who come to the house three or four times to learn the heur when they are to perform their duties. They Run through all the Cabins to carry orders, and are very promptly obeyed.

“In these assemblies the father, having Invoked the holy Ghost by Chanting the ‘veni Creator’ in their language and after a few other prayers, gives them An Instruction After this the Catechumens leave, and the Christians remain to hear mass, — in which the officers of prayer, and two others as well, who are nominated to have charge of the Singing, make the time pass away in the Uninterrupted exercise of devotion. The Christians take tura in furnishing the blessed bread every sunday at mass, together with 33 porcelain beads, in order to Unite their offering with that which Jesus Christ makes; and he who has presented the Blessed bread goes afterward to hand to all assisting one of their plates of bark, in which a few beads of porcelain or colored glass are dropped by Each, according to his means and devotion. Scandalous livers are not admitted to these assemblies, which has been the means of Reclaiming many. The Christians assemble twice again during the Day. In one of these hours, they are made to Chant a sort of vespers, in which the Singing is Interrupted by short Instructions. The non-Christians assist at these vespers. There is also a special time for assembling the children.

“In addition to every sunday, all the Christians assemble every Thursday evening to receive the benediction of the blessed sacrament. Father nouvel, or I, or sometimes both of us, come from our [Page 107] algonquin mission to the house, in order to assist their devotion. In this ceremony, there takes place an alternation of Singing between the french and the huron savages, which has about it Something very devotional. They come similarly every saturday for benediction, which takes place regularly in honor of the blessed virgin, at which they Chant the litanies again antiphonally with the french; and in none of the devotions do they ever omit the prayer for our most exalted monarch. Such is the order for every week Throughout the year.

“Moreover, they redouble their devotion agreeably to the different occasions which present themselves. There are always a number of Select Christians who Confess at the feasts of all the saints, christmas, and easter, and at other times; and some Receive communion with great devotion.

“During the holy season of Lent, besides the usual exercises, the Christians and non-Christians assemble on friday mornings to listen to some discourses and moral reflections on the passion of Jesus Christ, which the father accompanies with some appropriate representation of the mystery on which he is discoursing; and at the close, the Christians hear mass. As to holy week, it is truly a holy week for them, and the entertainments and public Games which some Infidel algonquins carried on at that time, notwithstanding our opposition, — as I shall mention when speaking of our algonquin mission, —  in no wise lessened the devotion of our Christian hurons; and I had much Consolation in witnessing them venerate the Cross on good friday, and assist at all other holy ceremonies of that week with a spirit of devotion, visibly shown. On the holy Day of [Page 109] easter, Games having been instituted by the Infidels at the gate of their village, amid a great Concourse of people, our Christians took it to Heart to honor that Day in a special manner, by way of Counter- acting the contempt that, to their great regret, was put upon it. As for themselves, from passion sunday to the monday after easter, they refrained from every kind of amusement and festivity. At other times, in the festivities and dances which take place so frequently among the huron women, — for, as regards the men, they do not dance, — the Christians have Introduced much modesty and reserve, and even Something of piety. For usually they celebrate these festivities from some motive of piety, or to thank God for some favor received, or to encourage one another to put their Trust in him; and the refrains of their songs, which all are to repeat, are usually these: ‘Lord, thou givest us grain in abundance;’ or else, ‘We are afllicted; have pity on us;’ ‘I would have you know that I am a Christian, that my Child is baptized;’ ‘I hope to be Happy in Heaven;’ ‘Let us obey our father;’ ‘Such a one is truly our father,’— and others of that nature.

“I shall Conclude that which concerns the huron mission with some special actions which Will enable you to Judge of the impression which our Christian truths can make on the minds of savagcs. AS soon as I arrived here, I saw them make the offering of the first-fruits of the harvest, which God had given them in abundance. There was no one who wished to be exempt, lest he should dry up in his field the source of blessing; and some who had little, or who had not dared to carry their offering to the foot of the altar, had it taken by others, or came some other Day to present [Page 111] it. Father nouvel, who received it that Day, Blessed these new ears of corn; and then, after a short address that father pierçon made them on the subject, they chanted some Canticles as thanksgivings to Him from whom they Acknowledged having received this abundance of corn. By its means they have enriched themselves with little treasures from some strangers who were here during the winter, or who came from the surrounding country to traffic with our hurons.

“All our savages, but especially the hurons, profess to have a special esteem for the all-endearing mystery of the birth of our lord Jesus Christ. I have seen some notable proofs of this given by these latter; they themselves entreated the father, long before the feast-day, to make arrangements so as to celebrate it in the most solemn manner possible. They sent their children to seek for what could be used in constructing a grotto, in which they were to make a representation of the mystery; and I took pleasure in hearing a little girl who, having brought with much care a beautiful sort of grass, said that she had done it in the thought and hope that the little infant Jesus might be Laid upon that grass. Our good Christians made some more serious preparations, For they all confessed; and those to whom permission was given to receive Communion, did so very devoutly, at the midnight mass. The grotto, which was well fitted to inspire devotion, was Incessantly visited; and it rendered a very pleasing although rather protracted Service, — to draw from them the expression of their feelings as they themselves express them, when addressing the divine Child. As a Climax to their devotion, they asked [Page 113] that the infant Jesus should do them the favor of visiting them, by being carried through their village. But, as they thought that they had rendered themselves Unworthy of this .by some things that had taken place, they held grand Councils and took great tirecautions to obtain this favor from their missionary. The Nlatter was conceded to them, and carried out on the Day of the epiphany in a manner that seems to me worthy of being recorded. For my part, I was much touched by it.

They desired, then, in executîon of their design, to imitate what in other ages had been done by the three great stranger Captains, who came to confess and adore Jesus Christ in the Manger, and afterward went to preach him in their own country. All the hurons, Christians and non-Christians, divided themselves into three companies, according to the different nations that constitute their village; and, after Choosing theîr Chiefs, one for each nation, they furnished them with porcelain, of which they were to make an offering to the infant Jesus. Every one adorned himself as handsomely as he could. The three Captains had each a scepter in his hand, to which was fastened the offering, and wore a gaudy hesd-dress in guise of a crown. Each company took up a different position. The signal for marching having been given them at the sound of the trumpet, they heeded the sound as that of a voice Inviting them to go to see and adore an infant God new-born. Just as the 1st company took up their march, — conducted by a star fastened to a large standard of the Color of Sky-blue, and having at the rear [head] their Captain, before whom was carried his banner, —  The 2nd company, seeing the first marching, de-[Page 115] manded of them [aloud] the abject of their journey; and on learning it, they Joined themselves to them, having in like manner their chief at their head with his banner. The 3rd company, more advanced on the Road, did as the second; and, one after another, they continued their march, and entered our Church, the star remaining at the entrante. The 3 chiefs, having first prostrated themselves, and laid their Crowns and scepters at the feet of the infant Jesus in the Cradle, offered their Congratulations and presents to their savior. As they did so, they made a public protestation of the submission and obedience that they desired to render him; solicited faith for those who possessed it not, and protection for all their nation and for all that land; and, in conclusion, entreated him to approve that they should bring him into their village, of which they desired he should be the master. I was engaged in carrying the little statue of the divine infant, which inspired great devotion; I took it from the grotto, and from its cradle, and carried it on a fine linen cloth. Every one seemed touched, and Pressed forward in the crowd, to get a nearer view of the holy Child. Our hurons left the church in the same order in which they had come. I came after them, carrying the little statue, preceded by two frenchmen bearing a large standard, on which was represented the infant Jesus with his holy mother. All the algonquins — and especially the christians, who had been invited to assist in the pious function — followed, and accompanied the infant Jesus. They marched, then, in that order toward the village, Chanting the litanies of the virgin, and went into a Cabin of our hurons, where they had prepared for [Page 117] Jesus a lodging, as appropriate as they could make it. There they offered thanksgivings and prayers, in accordance with their devotion; and the divine Child was conducted back to the church and replaced in the grotto. The Christian algonquins were afterward invited by the Christian hurons to a feast, at which they exhorted each other to obey Jesus Christ, who was the true master of the world. After this feast, at which, according to their Custom, the hurons did not eat, another and a special one was prepared for all the Christian and non-Christian hurons, spread by the officers in turn. This feast was preceded by a dance, as is their custom, whose sole object was that they might Rejoice together at the favor that they had received in the Visit which the new-born Child had paid to their village. This dance is performed by the women only, as I said, —  ranging themselves in two parallel lines at the two Sides of a Cabin, having in their hands a Kind of Castanet. Those who are officers commence the Song and dance; they have some words to which they apply one of their airs, and these form the refrain of their Song which every one is to repeat to the same air. While the One who has Begun Goes on with her Song agreeably to the words which have served her for a refrain, — very often, however, varying the air, —  she Runs and bustles about between these two ranks in a singular manner. In this there is nothing, as formerly, to violate decency, especially on occasions in which they claim to honor God. Meanwhile the others — repeating at certain intervals the words which form the refrain, and which explain the intention of the one who is dancing —  sound their Castanets, and move sometimes one foot, sometimes the other, to Certain measures without leaving their places. When some word which pleases them occurs in the Song they redouble the noise of their castanets, and [Page 119] their cries of Joy. Each does, in her turn, the same as the first; and it is required of each that she have a special refrain and Song. The refrains and Songs of that day were but praises and thanksgivings — addressed sometimes to the holy child, sometimes to his holy mother, and, again, to the missionaries who had procured them such a benefit. The non-Christian women had, of course, to do as the Christians, to whose happiness they aspired; and many, assuredly, form the purpose, on these occasions, to embrace Christianity. After the dance andfeast, all the Christians came to the church to receive the benediction of the blessed sacrament.

“On the following sunday, there took place a very devout procession of our huron Christians toward the village of the algonquins, over the ice of our lake — which froze at that time, agreeably to their wish, and to the prayer that they had offered up for the Accommodation of their fishery. They bore in that procession a standard on which was represented the holy house of loretto, and the Virgin mother carrying her divine son. We had also prepared, in the Chapel of the algonquin mission, a representation of the mystery; and so their design was to come to salute, in that place, the holy infant Jesus. They came there, chanting the litanies of the Virgin, and were received on the lake-shore by the algonquin Christians, who accompanied them to the Chapel; there, all together, they saluted their infant savior, chanting his praises alternately, Each in his own tangue. On leaving, the algonquin Christians made a feast for the huron christians, And the Captain of the Kiskakons declared in a harangue that, by that feast, they all united as brothers to obey Jesus, and to entreat the divine Child to preserve their children. [Page 121] Our Christian hurons made still another procession, after easter, during the time in which the church celebrates the festival of the holy Cross; but as the reason for that procession concerns, in part, the algonquins, I Will say Something about it when speaking of that mission.

“I Will only add here that the sweet satisfaction which the missionary derives from these blessings that God gives to his labors is not without its bitterness and Cross; there are still a great many heathens and libertines. We must hope that God Will show mercy to them and open their eyes, as well as those of others.

“After having said what Will serve to Give some idea of the condition of the huron mission established in this place, I come to the algonquin mission, of which I shall have given as full an impression as can be gathered when I have told Your Reverence what has taken place this year and what I have witnessed. Father nouvel took a lodging, at the close of the month of november in the year 1677, in a small bark cabin, situated between the village of the Kiskakons and the new village of the outaouaks. It was distant ¾ [three-quarters] of a league from the misson [house] in which we usually live, and where the church of st. Ignace stands, which does service for the hurons, especially in winter, at which time our algonquins cannot assemble. I took up my abode in it 8 or 10 Days after, on the vigil of st. francis xavier . It would perhaps be thought that the little experience I have of this sort of habitation makes me exaggerate its discomfort, were I to tell all that we have suffered in it; but that would not prevent its being quite true that the smoke alone, not to [Page 123] speak of other discomforts, has caused us more distress than can be imagined. We had erected a small bark church Adjoining our Cabin, in which, when we wished to escape the smoke, the cold would not permit us to remain long. It was dedicated to st. francis de Borgia, who was the first of the superiors of the Society who sent gospel workers into america;[6] and since that time our algonquin savages have Invoked him in their prayers, as the special patron of that mission.

“After these Beginnings, the Chapel was much frequented, and we were obliged to permit those who came in companies, or sometimes singly, to go on praying uninterruptedly from Day-dawn to evening; and some would have wished to be allowed to pray even far into the night, before going to Rest. In vain did we make rules, reserving one Day for one village, and another for another, and setting the hours of prayer; we had to yield to their gentle violence. This fervor was not equal in every case, and did not proceed, perhaps, in all from a Will disposed to embrace our holy faith, but the example of some attracted others; and God Will know how to draw from it in his own time, the good which he intends therein.

“The Young boys and girls who had been Baptized were the most earnest and assiduous. We heard them inviting one another to prayer, and we had in vain told them that it was not the hour. ‘Why,’ they would say to us, ‘I have not prayed to-day;’ or, ‘I have prayed only once;’ or else, ‘It is a Day since I last prayed.’

“That in which the divine Providence has appeared to me still more admirable, in regard to these [Page 125] Young children, has been in the baptism which some have received; For God evidently Directed things for the eternal salvation of these little creatures, in a way that was miraculous. Two women, who had been extremely negligent in bringing their children to the church, where baptisms take place at certain convenient periods, brought them at other times, when the father, who had often warned them, had almost forgotten the matter. They were brought and baptized in the afternoon, and died in the evening, no one suspecting that their death was so near at hand. One of these children belonged to a widow, who had permitted herself to become dissolute; and thus, being moreover an Infidel, she had not troubled herself much about the salvation of her infant. What is more remarkable, an Infidel man, who had two wives, and was very dissolute, had earnestly exhorted her not to delay sny longer to bring hcr infant to be baptized. On another occasion, when the father was closing the door of the church to leave for our house of st. Ignace, — whither we had already betaken ourselves, after spending the winter in this mission of st. francis de Borgia, — a little girl came to ask if she might pray to God. The father informed her that she had come too late. She, intending to compel the father to open the church, said to him: ‘I am very glad to tell thee that in our Cabin are two infants, born this night.’ The father Went with her to the place; and, having baptized them, for he did not expect to return to the village for some Days, one of them died the following night. A woman who had come from manitoualain, who was strongly opposed to prayer, died suldenly, her offspring having died in her womb. It [Page 127] is incredible what entreaty was made by two of her little children — a boy of 7 or 8 years and a girl older — to obtain baptism, which at last we had to grant them.

“It is not only among children that the protection of God and the effects of his grace have been noticed. Among our algonquins nearly 140 have been baptized this winter; and of these zo were adults, of all ages and both sexes. We have baptized three men of the nation of the outaouaks, aged 50 or 60 years or more, who have opened the eyes of this nation. Shortly after their baptism, they gave, on a very Critical occasion, full proof of their fidelity to the grace of baptism. One of the three had been in danger of perishing on the ice of our lake, and was bewailed as one dead. When he returned to his Gabin, he said to the father who was visiting him: ‘They have wept for me as for one dead, but thou wouldst have had reason to weep more than all the others, had I died without being baptized, after having so often solicited baptism;’ it was thereupon accorded him. These three savages made an urgent appeal for the baptism of their families. I have seen some othey persons Baptized, and especially some old women, who had formerly felt much aversion to baptism; it seems to me that I could not have desired better dispositions than they manifested for this sacrament. The chiefs of the Kiskakons, and the older peopde, are nearly all Baptized, and make a fervent profession of their faith. They are Continually exhorting their Young people, of whom part have been baptized in childhood, to make profession of their Christianity. The most Influential Chief of this nation, after having Confessed in preparation for 1st Communion at easter, which he had long solicited, of his own accord went to assemble the old Christians, that he might have an [Page 129] opportunity of speaking to them. He distributed among them all that he had of some french tobacco, which they so highly prize, willingly depriving himself of it that he might exhort them all to Confess on that easter festival, at which all Christians do so, and also to bring all the persons in their cabins to Confess, telling them that it was the best method of establishing good order among them. He has had several lively encounters with the chief of the outaouaks who have come from manitulain, — who often, in full Council of the nations who were assembied here, cast at him the reproach that he had no zeal, and made neither Publication nor ordinance, except for prayer; and they commonly called him ‘Captain Black Gown.’ The entire nation have made it their business to sustain their Chief, and have gloried in calling themselves ‘those who pray;’ while the others have reaped from these quarrels nothing but shame. Chose most opposed to prayer are the outaouaks of sable. Thïs brave Young man, named Joseph chikabiskisi, son of the deceased Captain of this nation, is therefore so much the more to be commended, since he makes a loftier profession of Christianity notwithstanding the continual  persecution to which those of his nation subject him. He is specially remarkable for his love of Chastity.

“We have passed the winter with these fervent Christians in the most holy way that was possible to us. The sundays and feast-days were observed. Above all, we have tried to impart to them. The greatest esteem we could for the holy mass, which the Infidels have styled, in their language, ‘manotchitigans’ — as we would say, ‘an Instrument for doing honor to the great spirit.’ The blessed bread has been offered at it every sunday, and nearly everything done here that could have been reflected in a well-directedparish. On every saturday, at break of Day, the father has gone through the village making public Proclamation to [Page 131] announce to them the feast. He has also used that opportunity to announce publicly our christian truths to Those who avoided coming to church, and to make such understand them , — fulfilling to the letter the words spoken by our lord: ‘Predicate super tecta.’ The drum apprised them again in the evening, and the Bell assembled them in the morning: We have tried to give them some idea of all the feasts which the church celebrates at this season, and above all of the nativity of our lord, as I have said; and our savages will long bear in rememberance what was done on that occasion. They were already much taken with tire importance which all Christians attach to this mystery, and repeatedly asked us, long before the feast, ‘When will Jesus be born?’

“I shall close with a Circumstance which happened at the end of our wintering. Before we withdrew to our house of st. Ignace, we formed the design of planting a Cross, to satisfy the devotion of the Kiskakons, who Had often expressed The desire to see one set up in their village, as a mark of the esteem which they have for prayer, and of the protection which they hope for from the merits of Jesus Christ, who died for them as well as for the french and the rest of mankind.

“Father nouvel having placed before them our project, they were much pleased with it and afterward spoke of it at their Council, that they might take measures for carrying it into execution. At that Council one of the chiefs, who was net a Christian, hazarded the query: ‘Of what use is this Cross?’ Another of their chiefs, unlike him of whom I have spoken, took up this remark so warmly that the other remained dumb. ‘One might as well ask,’ said he to this man, ‘of what use is prayer to us? of What use are the black gowns to us? of what use are the french, and all the comforts and advantages that we have received [Page 133] with prayer?’ He came to us afterward to express the bitterness of Heart that he felt at encountering a person who had dared to say, ‘Of what use is the Cross?’ It can scarcely be believed how much this good man resents all that is done against prayer. He is a man possessed of an uprightness that seems natural to him, and lacks only Christianity to become a Perfect man. We singled out a person to Cut and bring the tree. Those who were engaged in the work set about their task with much pleasure. A Young man of the outaouaks — many of whom took also a willing share in this act — cleverly made a lance and sponge, the better to represent the mystery of the death of Jesus Christ, and to set of the Cross by this embellishment. We planted it on the saturday before passion sunday, after having blessed it with all possible solemnity. He who was Commissioned to do all that we desired done on this occasion, had resolved to have the Young men placed under arms, in honor to the Cross, Jealousy came in the way of his being obeyed. There were only a few frenchmen, himself, and another savage who honored the Cross by a volley from their guns. All, however, were present at the pious act, and the infideds Joined with the Christians in venerating the Cross. That evening, the same two lnfidel savages came to us; and, having expressed their pleasure at the planting of the Cross, and their regret that their Young men had not honored it by the discharge of their firearms, they added that they came to inform us that several persaos were surprised at seeing the lance and the sponge attached to the Cross — features which they had not observed on the Crosses which are in lands where the french have settlements. ‘Thou wilt say that I speak amiss,’ said one of these, ‘and that I am not qualified to speak on these Matters, because I have fwo wives. It is true, and that is the sole obstacle [Page 135] in the way of my embracing Christianity; but I date only the feelings of some of the most distinguished among all the nations who are here assembled, and who believe that that lance signifies that the Iroquois are soon to cause us to perish, and that Jesus is about to deliver us into the hands of our enemies.’ That was the language of the enemies of the Cross, on whom the devid imposes by persuading them that it is the Cross and the death of our Lord that Cause death to men. We also learned, on this occasion, a somewhat remarkable Fact, — that the nadoissis put to death upon the Cross those whom they capture in war; For, in that country, these are the Only persons whom they put to death.[7] They also offer drink to their victims in a vessed of bark fastened to the end of a pole; this also affords our savages a pretext for disliking the Cross, because the nadoissis are their enemies. We tied to disabuse these poor, blind people, and they withdrew, apparently satisfîed, — especially when we told them that for 4 years the hurons had venerated every year, on that very Day, in our church of St. Ignace, a Cross which has on it all the Instruments used at the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. That same evening, the chiefs of the Kiskakons said, in one of their assemblies, that the french would have reason to be displeased with them for having done so little to honor the Cross; and Agreed that, if we would express our approval, they would come the next day to make amends for their fault, and would arrange that other nations shouldJoin them. As It was passion sunday, we consented to this proposal, that we might have an opportunity to Inculcate in their minds our mysteries; but we little thought that we were to renew, in effect, that Day, the passion of Jesus Christ, through the renewal, after a fashion, on the part of some miscreants, of the contempts and Insults which he suffeered on the Cross. At two [Page 137] o’clock in the afternoon, all the People had assembled. Father nouvel proceeded from the Chapel, vested in his surplice and preceded by a Cross-bearer, accompanied by some other Young christian children, — who formed a sort of procession, as on the Day of the Ceremony. They went, in the first place, to kneed at the foot of the Cross, in company with the greater number of the christians and a few catechumens. Some christian hurons were also present with their missionary, who made an elopuent address on the subject of the day. After they had said some prayers and chanted some hymns in veneration of the Cross, they fired two volleys as a salute to it. At the first volley, the sponge was struck with a ball; and, at the second, the lance was thrown down, struck by two or three Bullets. If we had not, on the Spot, manifested our resentment, the contempt that had just been shown for the most sacred thing of our Religion would have been, to many, an occasion for mockery. In few but strong words, we made them understand the infamy of the act, and we abruptly withdrew into the Chapel. The door was at once closed upon every one. Our savages seemed struck with Consternation, and we could not refrain from permitting to come into our Cabin at least a few of the most Distinguished men of all the nations, who came to us to express the mortification that they felt at an Insult which we had so deeply resentcd. ‘I rightly told thee’ (a Keskakon, who is not yet a Christian, said to me) ‘that we live in this country like Dogs, without order or rule.’ Each expressed, in various ways, his disapproval. The Youth excused themselves by saying, ‘I was not of the number of those who have shown by the impiety they have just Committed, that they have no sense.’ The old men would have wished that the Young men of Each nation had taken diflerent locations, in order that the Guilty ones might be foundout. And as for him [Page 139] who had been the promoter of the enterprise, and had come to entreat us to approve that this honor should be paid to the Cross, he set out at the very hour when the act was committed and went into the woods to Cut two small trees, and he and his brothers worked all that evening in making a lance and a Sponge, and in restoring everything to the same condition in which it had been before. We found, the next day at Dawn, that all had been mended; And, as on one occasion we had pointed out that, in order to prevent the indecencies that might be Committed around the Cross, it would be wise to enclose it by a small palisade, that was carried out even better than me could have desired. When they had finished what would serve for the Construction and adornment of the Cross, The Kiskakons, whom the afront more particularly affected, came in a Body into our Cabin, bearing a porcelain Collar, and said: ‘We come to make amends to Jesus Christ, and to appease him, condemning and making reparation for the insolence of those who have outraged him, and entreating the black gowns to obtain from him the acceptance of our atonement.’ They said much more upon The subject, in a way that was altogether touching and Consoling; and we were overjoyed at learning, on this occasion, the sentiments of our good savages. We replied that we were persuaded that that reparation came from a sincere Heart, full of praise and gratitude toward Our LordJesus Christ, who had saved all men by dying on the Cross. That was why we United ourselves with them in appeasing him whose just wrath their Young men had provoked. It was then Agreed on With them, that all who had been present at the afont should bepresent also at the reparation; and that, after the Kiskakons had presented their Collar to Jesus Christ, and we in his name had accepted it, the chiefs of other nations should speak by turns, declaring that the action of their [Page 141] Young men displeased them, and exhorting all to honor Jesus Christ on his Cross. It was carried out in a way that enabled us to say justly, ‘felix culpa,’ etc.; for from that Insult done to the Cross, there accrued more glory and honor to Jesus Christ and his Cross than we would have been able to procure for him by the Instructions of many years.

“Father nouvel, vested in surplice and preceded by the Cross, as on the Day of the insult, went and knelt down at the foot of the Cross, together with the Christians. The elders and Young men, of every nation, stood around the Cross; some christian hurons were there moreover, with father pierçon. They remained for some time, kneeling at the foot of the Cross in silence. Then the Captain of the Kiskakons, holding the Collar in his hand, addressed Jesus Christ, the missionaries, and all the nations assembled, with wonderful energy, and in sentiments of truly Christian piety: ‘Thou sawest us from the highest heaven’ (said he) ‘O Jesus christ, when those who have no sense did Injury to thy Cross; and thou didst regard us with an indignant eye. Look now with a favorabde eye upon our atonement, by which we desire to efface all the evil that we have Done.’ After commending to him all their children, — who are the ones in whom alone they seem to interest themselves, — and after exhorting all to obey Jesus Christ and the fathers who are his spokesmen, he addressed himself to us, praying us to Continue to take charge of them, as we had heretofore done; while they protested that it was their will to hear and obey us. Having finished his discourse, he placed his Collar over the two arms of the Crucifix, which a Young savage held erect. The other nations spoke conformably to what the chief had just said, thanking him for the amends that he had just offered to Jesus Christ for all, [Page 143] and exhorting all in a similar manner to obedience and respect for the Cross.[8] They Sang thereupon some hymns of joy, and of veneration for the Cross. From there we went to the church, which, as I said, had been Up to that time forbidden to all; but the period of interdict had not been long, for the reparation had been prompt.

“The countenance of each one showed the Satisfaction that he felt at the reparation made to Jesus Christ. An Infidel remarked that all felt that the murder of an Iroquois and of another stranger, from the loup nation, which had been committed at the close of the autumn, had been a Weighty afair; but that It was a trifling matter Compared to the deed done in outraging the Cross of Jesus Christ. He added that it was indeed quite right that reparation had been made. These sentiments of the Infidels themselves have moved us to adore the divine providence who overruled Everything so wisely, in order to Emphasize the respect that they should have for our most holy mysteries. For in reality, since that time, the Cross has been held in great veneration; and we witness amid barbarism what we would expect in the midst of Christianity. The children call each other to account, if any one Throws a stone in the direction of the Cross, and they go to pray to God at the foot of the Cross, especially when the church is closed.

‘The Christian hurons would have been much pleased had a Cross been planted in their quarter, that they might make manifest the respect in which they hold it. On the Day of the holy Cross, they eagerly hastened to remove to a more convenient spot the one that they had set up, some years ago, in front of our 1st habitation. On that Day also, occurred the blessing of some small Crosses which they themselves had made to draw down a blessing upon their Cabins or their fields, where they pay them much [Page 145] honor; and on the following sunday they went, in a very imposing procession, toward the village of the Kiskakons, to honor in a special manner the Cross that had received the insult. The algonquins received them there; and they sang, Each party in their own language, some hymns in honor of Jesus Christ and his Cross. All the hurons who were in the procession carried their cross in their hands, to make it Known to all that they made profession of following Jesus Christ and him Crucified.

“Such, my Reverend Father, are facts from which to Judge of the condition of our two missions established in This place, to which it would seem that God has granted a special blessing. For myself, I notice plainly Things that make me say that patience and perseverance will reap, some day, worthy fruits from the labors which Gospel workers bestow on the Culture of this vineyard. This makes me ask, very humbly and Earnestly, the prayers of Your Reverence, which have, without doubt, a special efficacy in obtaining for me grace to render me a suitable Instrument in promoting the glory of God in these quarters, to which God has assigned me.” [Page 147]

Of the Missions of st. françois Xavier, in the

bay des puants.


he Residence of st. françois Xavier is situated two leagues from the foot of the bay des puants, on the river which discharges its waters there. It forms the center of all the missions which are carried on among the neighboring peoples, —  whether on the bay des puants, where there are six nations speaking two different languages; or among the outagami, where there are four nations; or among the mascoutins, who Number as many as 12 nations, speaking 3 different languages, and who, when gathered together in this village, aggregate at least 20,000 souls. Here is a great Field for Gospel workers. We have had, in consequence, as Many as 7 or 8 of these within the last six years, — who, besides the large number of nations that have kept them closely occupied, owing to the diversity of so many languages, have had far more to do in combatting the vices to which these peoples are subject. They are, above all, inclined to idolatry, ofiering almost constantly sacrifices to the sun, to the thunder, to bears, to the wild ox, and to The special divinity which Each of them has chosen in his dreams. To the latter they attribute all the good luck of their wars, their Hunting, and their fishing, —  As, on the Other hand, they attribute their sicknesses and all other misfortunes to some evil spirit, or to some spell that has been Cast upon them. In order to Drive this away, they practice a thousand sorts [Page 149] of Juggleries over their sick people, which, after all, are only shams, — the Jugglers or medicine-men pretending to draw from the Bodies of the sick either stones, or wood, or hair, or other things. Sometimes, not unlike our own charlatans, they execute this cleverly, so as not to be found out in their deceit; sometimes, with horrible Cries, Conjoined with most extraordinary postures and contortions of the Body; and, finally, with festivities and superstitious dances, which they prescribe for the cure of the sick. Moreover, all the savages of these parts are passionately attached to These fooleries and superstitions and to all their sacrifices; and this it is that gives so much trouble to missionaries.

All our fathers of this residence divide themselves into three groups, that they may carry on three diff erent missions. Father Charles albanel has especial charge of that of st. françois Xavier, and has been superior of it since his return from fiance in 1676; that was after he had made the discovery, by land, of the north sea. He accomplished a 1st journey thither, in which he suffered all that can be imagined. Subsequently, he was taken by the english, who were at hutson bay, and carried to england, thence to fiance; but he gave himself no rest until he had recrossed the ocean. And after all These fatigues and so much travel, he had hardly disembarked at quebec when he offered himself for fresh labors, and, 3 days after, was notified to go up to the outaouaks and to proceed to our most remote missions. This he did with great Joy and Courage, becoming there prematurely old and Broken down, —  as he now is, at the bay des puants, — the very summer after his arrival from fiance. Only after his death shall we become Acquainted with the Events [Page 151] that took place during his last journey from hutson bay; his Companion in hardship and danger as well as in travel has refused the account of it, which he Will not Communicate to any one until after the death of the father. The public loses, in this way, many matters of great edification. Furthermore, the beautiful church that we have in this mission of st. françois Xavier attracts from far away the savages; they show sufficiently, by the honor that they pay to it after their manner, that, if not all of them yet pray, they at least set value on prayer, far from having an aversion to it or Fearing it as a dangerous Thing — as did all the savages of this new fiance when we Began to preach the gospel to them. Sometimes, they apostrophize this house of God in their Councils, and speak to it, as to a living Thing. When they pass by here, they Throw some tobacco all around the church, which is a Kind of Worship that they pay to their divinities; and, when they go inside, they have not enough of it to Satisfy their Desire to throw some to the true God, as to the greatest divinity of whom they have ever heard. Sometimes, they come here also to present their gifts, in order to obtain God’s mercy on their deceased relatives. Father albanel baptized in this place, in a comparatively short time, more than 40, savages; and is always busy in the instruction of those who, in order to feel secure from their enemies, live near to our house.



ather Louis André has labored Indefatigably for, many years in the missions of the bay des puants, which he has had assigned to him as his [Page 153] portion. He has found the people fierce, proud, superstitious, and given to every species of vice. His patience has borne with their Insults. His Courage has Traversed, almost Unceasingly, all their territory, amid the many dangers of death that he has escaped. His firmness has bravely resisted their idolatry. The contempt for life that he has shown when they have undertaken to assassinate him because he set himself against their sacrifices, and above all the grace of God, have operated so powerfully that they are now altogether changed. As early as the year 1673, He baptized 34 persons; in 1674, 100; and, the year after, 140, — peopling paradise with many children, who died after baptism. And, at the present time, he Counts more than 500 christians on the whole bay.

He is obliged to be Constantly in the Field, for the Reason that these six nations are distant from one another ten or fifteen leagues.[9] . . . Fathers aloués and silvy have also taken part in the labors of this mission; but their main occupation has been in that to the outagemy and the maskoutains, which are the large villages that Contain, as I said, more than 20,000 souls.




hose two fathers have had charge of these missions — sometimes conjointly, and at other times separately. They have planted everywhere the Cross, which everywhere, also, is held in veneration. They have erected Chapels there, at which the crowd of people has always been great, in order there to hear the Instructions. They have taught [Page 155] them there, in the Cabins, and sometimes have been obliged to preach in the streets. They have healed many sick people by holy Baptism, which they have Conferred on more than 500 persons.[10] . . .

Father Bonnault last year took the place of father Silvy, who is at present in the missions of tadoussac; and father aloués has gone to take that of the late father Marquette, in the mission of the Ilinois, —  of which it is time to speak, since it is an appendage of the outaouacs. [Page 157]

Of the Iroquois Missions.


e are about to speak of missions of another kind, in which there are only Crosses, rebuffs, contumelies, Threats, and almost everywhere a horrible Image of death, — especially during the last 3 or 4 years, in which the Iroquois have been bent on waging war with us; For during all that tinte the missionaries have been in continual danger of being murdered. Councils have been held among the evil-minded old men, in which the resolution was taken to despatch them; and the executioners were even named, so that their death might inaugurate war. Thereupon, the Young men became extremely insolent to the fathers. They have pursued them in the streets with stones, have struck them with their fists, and have thrown themselves upon them, Knife in hand; They have assaulted them in their Cabins and chapels, which they have demolished. In a word, they have regarded them as slaves who are at their mercy, or rather as public victims, doomed to die, — to whom it would be granting a favor only to split their skulls with Blows of the hatchet, without burning them with the cruelties with which they usually torment their Captives.

Although these things are distressing, and Apt to make life pass very heavily, nevertheless, they do not disturb the missionaries as much as does the drunkenness which holds sway among the Iroquois, as if in its own empire; and which presents, as it [Page 159] were, a Picture of hell through the great disorders it Occasions. One may witness, for many Days in succession, an all-prevailing drunkenness in the villages; that means that the greater number of men, being drunk, behave like madmen, and run about everywhere through the streets and into the Cabins, as if possessed. They commit at these times a thousand insolent actions; they fight, and actually tear one another with their teeth; one casts one’s eyes on the wounded, the dead, and on children cast into the fire. And when the women take upon themselves to get drunk, — as is often the case; for they even bring up their children in this vice, taking pleasure in leading through the streets in triumph, a Young boy or girl, 10 or eleven years of age, completely drunk, — when, I say, the women, as well as the men take part in it, it can be imagined what Confusion and disorder that Produces. A poor missionary is compelled to remain Hidden in his Chapel for several days, without daring to come out, Nor is he left even there in quiet; For often  — the drunkards try to enter, sometimes breaking in the doors and Windows. Very often, the father, surprised in the streets by these Infuriated men, has to take to flight; and, if he do not Run faster than they, he may well Fear to be very badly treated by them.

Does it not take much Courage to hold fast to these missions, to love them, and to regard it as the greatest of all mortifications to be recalled from them? Yet that is the feeling that all our fathers among the Iroquois have for their vocation. There is never seen more Joy upon their faces than when they are assigned to that duty, or when they set out to go thither; and no sooner do They reach them than, although they witness nothing but what is [Page 161] frightful, they look upon themselves as the happiest of men, and have no other Fear than that of being withdrawn from that condition of living sacrifice in which they constantly find themselves.

It may be that, as the good things which we acquire with much trouble are most dear to us, and as the hope of possessing them makes us despise all the dangers and fatigues that attend their acquisition, so these noble missionaries, seeing the immense benefit that they obtain for these poor barbarians in the salvation of their souls, pay but little regard to the sufferings that it Costs them.

Indeed, it is no little consolation to them, as in itself it is no small wonder, to see that, notwithstanding all these obstacles of which we have spoken, they have erected everywhere chapels in which God is honored. They have very fervent christians, and a goodly number of them — including even some of the most eminent Captains of the nation, They have disabused all these savages of their mischievous beliefs, as regards either their dreams or their false divinities. They have proclaimed everywhere the name of Jesus Christ and have made him known to the people, who are now all thoroughly Instructed in our mysteries. They have baptized more than 4 thousand iroquois, of whom a goodly part are in possession of eternal happiness. In fine, they have brought things to such a condition that, in order to see Christianity thoroughly and firmly established among the Iroquois, nothing more is needed than to uproot their intemperate habits. It Will be readily Seen that there is here no exaggeration, of either the good or the evil, if a little consideration be given to what we are about to relate more in detail.’

But before Commencing, the reader must know [Page 163] that the Iroquois are composed of Five different nations, distributed among 8 or 10 villages; and that we have among them likewise five missions, and have had there, for six years, as Many as ten missionaries.

The nation of agnié lies nearest to new holland; that of ouneiout is distant from agnié some 35 leagues Westward; that of onnontagé, ten leagues farther away, is the Center of all these nations; 17 leagues beyond is goiogoen; and lastly, 25 leagues still farther on, are situated the 3 villages of sonontouan.

Father Jaques Bruyas, who is the superior of all those missions, labored for several years at agnié, until he was obliged to go elsewhere and father françois vaillant took his place, — as father Jaques lamberville had taken the place of the late father Bonniface in the two villages of agnié. Father pierre millet is the missionary at ounneiout. Father Bruyas is at present missionary at onnontagé, having succeeded father Jean de lamberville. Father estienne de Careil has charge of goiogoen; and father Pierre Rafaix with father Julien garnier, of the villages of sonontouan, in which father Jean pierron has labored with much Zeal and success, as he had before done at agnié.

They possess everywhere, as I have said, chapels, in which the Christians and Catechumens assemble every Day to say prayers and to be Instructed. The sundays especially are observed with much piety, the fathers availing themselves of every kind of device to inspire them with devotion, and exercising toward them all possible charities, to gain them to Jesus Christ. Notwithstanding the great hindrances that drunkenness puts in the Way of the gospel, one [Page 165] can Judge of the fruits which the missionaries have reaped during Six years not only by the number of the baptized, but much more by the Christian virtues which the converted Iroquoia practice; for in that Consists the true spirit of Christianity, as we are about to show in the sections which follow.




t may be said that all the good that is done by the Iroquois church of la prairie de la magdelaine is a result of the faith of the Christian Iroquois, since It is in order to Preserve their faith that they have taken refuge there.

They saw clearly that they could not live as good christians in the babylon of the vices that prevail in their own country; they preferred, then, to lose all rather than sacrifice their faith. It is for that reason that they have courageously forsaken their country, their relatives and friends, their lands, and the few goods and conveniences that they possessed in their country, to come into a strange land, to live there for the most part in poverty, and stripped of everything, in the hope of securing their faith.

It was very touching to witness the public adieu of a good iroquois woman of onnontagé when she set out thence with her 3 daughters for la prairie de la magdeleine, to Preserve there her faith, which she had received with her baptism some time before. She divided all her small belongings among her relatives and fnends; and, taking with her only what she could carry in her hands, — a Rush mat, and a little food, — she made her daughter walk before her, and, thus equipped, left Joyously her native country. [Page 167]

The departure of forty agniés, — men, women, and children, — whom father ‘bonnifaee sent down here all together, was still more touching. On all going out from their village, named gandaouagé, which they regarded no longer as aught but as a place of abomination, they could truly sing with the Israelites that canticle of Joy which the latter sang at their going out of egypt and from the midst of a barbarous people. When they arrived at our territories, some chose to go to the mission of la prairie de la magdeleine, near montreal; the rest to that of lorette, near quebec; and all were delighted at seeing their faith in safe-keeping, even at the cost of all the goods that they had in the world.

It was with the same purpose in view that another Iroquois woman, in order to Preserve her faith and that of her son, did some things worthy of being recorded. She had been Instructed and baptized by father fremin at la prairie de la magdeleine, and had resolved to pass there the remainder of her Days, as she was able to preserve her piety better there than in her own country, where drunkenness and other disorders ruin Christianity. But on seeing that her husband, a catechumen, had yielded to the entreaties made to him by some deputies from onnontagué, who coaxed him to return to his own country, — and that It was in vain that she opposed his return, after representing to him that he would. infallibly resume the evil Customs that he had Begun, to lay aside, — she judged it her duty to follow him,. for fear lest her son, whom he took with him, should. learn to live as an Iroquois, — that is, become a drunkard and libertine. l’As soon as they arrived at onontagué, they came into the Chapel; and, after [Page 169] their prayer, they protested to me,” says father Jean de lamberville, who relates all this, “that they wished to live as Christians. But bad example, and the continual solicitations made to the husband to go back to his former way of living, so far prevailed over him  as to make him Say that all that was related concerning paradise and hell was but a fable and fiction of the black gowns; that he was no frenchman to Believe in such fabrications; that He would even [that He attempted to] compel his wife to renounce Christianity. She entreated him to listen to saner counsels, and not to the Advice that they were giving him. He threatened to forsake her, and to subject her to all the cruel treatment in his power. At length, seeing that he pushed things to extremes, she told him, on seeing him so perverted, that she Pitied his sin; that she held in abhorrence his proposition that she should renounce her faith; that his threats did not alarm her; and that, rather than forfeit the hope of being, one Day, happy in Heaven, she was ready to suffer all things. ‘As for you,’ she said to him, ‘you will some day be miserable, like those whose evil counsels you follow, and whose actions you Imitate.’ She came to tell me this, and said to me, with a nobility altogether Christian, that she felt very little uneasiness at the threats of her husband; that she esteemed herself happy in being able to endure Something for the love of Jesus Christ; that she was apprehensive only lest her little son — to whom he had already given brandy, and who had been Compelled to leave his mother’s dwelling to live with this man — should thus become the imitator of his father; and that she would endeavor to choose the time when the latter should go to war, to steal the boy from him and [Page 171] return to la prairie de la magdelaine, near to father fremin.

“This man, so perverted, made little delay in giving vent to his evil will. After marrying another woman, he made himself drunk, — or pretended to be so, as Those do who desire to injure others with greater impunity. Bursting into his first wife’s Cabin, he upset and broke in pieces all the furniture; carried off all her clothes; and also beat her, declaring that he would kill her. She was wrested from his hands, and enabled to escape. She came immediately to the Chapel to pray, and to tell me what I have related Above. These outrages went on for several Days, and did not cesse until the relatives of this Christian woman, not able any longer to stay their resentment, also made themselves drunk, and avenged the cruel treatment inflicted on their relative. She was afterward again sought in marriage; but she said that, since God had thus permitted separation front her first husband, she would not espouse herself to another, and that she was Content to be free and live single. Since then, she has redoubled her devotions, and taken particular care to train her son well. She even stole him from his father, to fl”ee with him and take him to la prairie de la magdeleine. She succeeded in this, arriving at the mission laden with the merits of her patience, and of the labors that she had undergone to Preserve her faith and That of her son.”

What assendasse, one of the foremost captains of agnié, did is more remarkable than what we have just related. It is well to relate here the Conversion and death of a man so high in Authority just as father Bruyas recounts it still more remarkable. It is well to relate [Page 173] here the Conversion and death of This captain; for in both He demonstrated what his faith was, and the esteem in which he held it. Father Bruyas thus relates it:

“Assendasse,” says he, “aged 65 years, was always much Looked up to at agnié on Account of his intelligence and experience, besides being the head of one of the principal families, His haughtiness, which surpassed that of all others, and his extremely knavish and cunning spirit, rendered his Conversion very difficult. Self-interest was an Element in the case, as well as human respect, because he derived a Considerable profit from the practice of superstitions; and, abandoning them at an age so advanced, he could not avoid the jeers which to savages are Insupportable. Thus, for two years, he himself Fought against the grace which incessantly urged him to ask for Baptism. But at length he resolved to rise superior to all worldly considerations, and be obedient to the divine inspiration; so He earnestly requested that he mlght be Instructed and baptized. He exhibited so much fervor, and renounced so nobly and in so public a way all the superstitions of the country, that although I had resolved upon testing him for a long time, I was compelled to shorten the period of this trial, and to comply with his wish sooner than I otherwise would have done. On the day following his baptism, he gave a public feast at which he declared to all those invited that he renounced dreams and all their superstitious Customs; and he protested that he would be found no more in the assemblies at which he had been wont to preside when there was a question of some dream. He put into practice [Page 175] with so great exactness this, and, as well, all the exercises of Christianity, that he was an example to all christians. The words that he used to express his Inviolable attachment to the faith are remarkable: ‘I have entered,’ he would say, ‘into an everlasting brotherhood with him who baptized me: although the french should declare war and come to kill us, I would not for that give up the affection that I have for him, and much less that which I entertain for the faith.’

“I can truly assert,” the father goes on to say, “that of all my cbristians, there is none more obedient or docile than he was; and I was constrained to admire — and this admiration increased Daily — the power and efficacy of grace in this savage. But it needed that his faith should be put to the proof. He was no sooner baptized than he desired that his whole family should receive baptism As well; and when sicknesses and death broke out afterward in his house, he bore with Constancy all the reproaches that his relatives poured upon him, as if he had drawn upon himself all These misfortunes by his baptism. They carried it so far that they were on the point of according to him the glory of becoming the first Iroquois martyr. One of his near relatives, unable to endure his being a Christian, purposely having become half drunk, Fell upon him, snatched from him the Beads and Crucifix that he carried round his Neck, and threatened to kill him if he did not renounce all that. ‘Kill me,’ said he; ‘I shall be happy to die in so good a cause. I shall not regret having given my life in proof of my faith.’ As he had Influence in the village of agnié, his example drew to Christianity a very considerable number of his Fellow-Countrymen, and his Zeal was leading me to [Page 177] hope still more for the extension of this Church. But oh, how Inscrutable to the shortsightedness of our minds, are the Judgments of God, and how adorable are the designs of his providence! Pierre assendasse, who seemed to be the foundation-stone of this church, was snatched from it when his presence seemed most necessary. This good neophyte, who was raising such great hopes, was carried off from us in the month of august, in the year 1675, after God had tried him by a sickness of nearly six months’ duration, during which he gave notable proofs of his Steadfastness. He never was willing that the medicine-men of the country should do anything near his person, although he was vehemently importuned by the principal persons of the village, —  who looked upon him as the wisest head among them; and Feared, with reason, that his death might prove to 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 at my baptism, — to which I do not attribute my death, as my relatives falsely imagine. We shall all die, and the heathen Will die as well as I; there is a God, who has set limits to our lives. He Will do with me what it pleases him; I accept willingly all that cornes from his hands, be it life or death.’ It was with such sentiments that he died. I would have reason to regret it, if I were not morally assured of his happiness; and if I did not hope that he Will, in Heaven, pray to God for his fellow-countrymen. Indeed, a few Days after his death, I baptized 3 adults; and a. number of other dying infidels have received the same grace. I number as many of the former as of the latter — about 50, within a year.” [Page 179]




he Hope of paradise gives an incomparable Courage to the Converted Iroquois; and from the time that they have in earnest embraced the christian religion, they Bravely Persevere in it, through the hope of paradise and of the eternal happiness which the faith promises to us.

Father de Carheil adduces a Notable example of this. “I must own,” he says, “that what has Comforted me more than all else, during this year of 1673, has been the death of a Young warrior aged 25 years. He was attacked by a sickness which, as it rendered him weak for a Considerable time, gave me the leisure to instruct him iittle by little. He listened to me always without repelling me, but at the same time without manifesting much gratification at what I was saying to him. He remained in this state until, observing him to be sinking, I felt that I ought to be more urgent with him, but always in such a way that, by a simple representation of the importance of the truths that I was teaching him , — a representation, moreover, in Accordance with his understanding, — I might gently constrain him to ask me of his own accord for baptism. As a fact, he did so; and I baptized him with all the more assurance of his favorable frame of mind, since I had had more time in which to prepare him, and since I knew that he had carefully considered what i had taught him. He Continued for some days after his baptism without any notable increase of his malady; while I myself fell into an exhausted condition, which compelled me to remain lying upon my mat, in order to take a little repose and so recruit myself. But the very day on which I wished to do so, my [Page 181] patient felt himself much more distressed than usual; and, not doubting that it was the last Day of his life, sent to me at 9 o’clock in the morning to beg me to come and visit him in his Cabin. I was there immediately, and he made known to me at once that he felt that he was indeed near his end; and implored me to do all that I knew ought to be done for his eternal welfare, as he had a strong hope of attaining to it through my instrumentality. I was delighted at his frame of mind, and, agreeably with his wish, rehearsed to him briefly our principal mysteries, and helped him to make over each of them an act of faith in the form of a prayer. Then I questioned him concerning what he might have Committed since his baptism that was displeasing to God; and I gave him absolution. After this, he begged me not to leave him Until he should die; to remain with him all the time without ceasing to pray, or to suggest prayers to him — as I did, from 9 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon, when he died. During all that time, if I desired a little breathing-space for a few moments of relaxation, he would immediately call upon me to begin again. He Comforted me exceedingly by this earnestness, which could proceed only from the Holy Ghost, who was fixing his attention, in spite of this man’s malady, closely on the prayers that I offered aloud on his behalf, as he could no longer offer them himself. He gathered his powers together, from time to time, to question me concerning paradise, that I might Confirm him in the hope that he had of going thither, and thus enhance the Consolation that he was receiving from it. He experienced, toward the close, moments of pain so violent as to cause him to break out in a few impatient words. I stopped these at once, telling [Page 183] him that this Impatience was displeasing to God, and that he ought to bear the pain that he was enduring as satisfaction for his past transgressions. He readily acquiesced, Expressing sorrow for his hastiness, and I gave him absolution, — after which he remained peaceful until death, without evincing any sign of impatience, however great might be the SuRering his malady Caused him. I closed his eyes, and couid not resist embracing and kissing him on seeing him dead, so keen was the Joy that I experienced, and so great the assurance that I had that he was praying very heartily for me before God, agreeably to the promise that he had made me.”

Here is another example, which father Jean de lamberville Thus relates: “A poor old woman, blind for a long time, who had been baptized by father millet, inspired me with devotion whenever I made her pray. She asked me, with simplicity when she would go to Heaven. ‘Will not Jesus have pity on me very soon?’ she said to me. ‘I hope so, indeed; the greatest happiness that I await at his hands is death.’ God granted to her this desire, but in an unexpected way. A drunkard, who had just maimed another old woman, burst into her cabin. The only person who was near her took to flight, and abandoned her to this madman — who with a cudgel battered her entire face, Broke her jaw, tut open her cheeks, and covered her head and shoulders with gaping wounds, leaving her on the spot for dead. Although it was taken amiss that I should treat the wounds of this old woman, for whom less pity was shown than for a Dog, I bound them up and Comforted her as well as I could, which evoked the remark from some persons that it was a good thing to be a Christian, since the black gowns thus [Page 185] assisted, even unto death, those who had loved prayer. I made her pray once more; and, after being Shriven, she Began her Song of death, which Consisted in acts of hope of going to Heaven. The words were: ‘At length I die. I am going to Heaven to see Jesus; how good it is! Jesus, have pity upon me.’ She breathed her last after repeating these final words five or six times.

“I baptized, 8 months ago, a sick man, who was prominent among the onnontagués” (it is the same father who Continues the narrative), “who gave me great Comfort by the firm hope that he manifested after his baptism, and at his death, that he would go to Heaven. His tenacity in adhering to his dreams was ill-consistent with our religion. God, however, who had chosen him for one of his elect, visited him with a sickness which tried his patience for 18 months. At first, he had recourse to Jugglers and medicine-men, who in vain called to their aid all artifices to restore his health. He determined on trying also my remedies, which relieved him considerably; but his malady was irremediable. I told him that I had no wish to deceive him like the others, who had promised in vain to cure him, and that from this malady he would die after a long period of weakness. He thanked me for telling him what I thought of his disease.’ Let us pray to God,’ he said to me, ‘and to-morrow come to see me.’ We prayed together then, and every time when I went to see him. I gave him from time to time some little refreshments, which completely won his Heart. He told me that I had more pity for him than had all those of his own nation; that he had no fear of death, provided I promised him that he should Go to Heaven. I told him that it depended upon [Page 187] him alone to put himself in the condition in which God willed him to be that he might make him hapPY. ‘I Will do,’ he said to me, ‘all you suggest to me. I am willing and desirous to be baptized.’ His wife, whose feelings differed widely from her husband’s, would not give her approval; and she gave Expression to something that was opposed to the sentiments of this good Catechumen. He reproved her in my presence and before his whole family, and added that she would be unhappy in hell if she did not imitate him; that when he was dead, neither she nor her children ought ever to forget what he had just said; and that if they were possessed of any affection for him and for themselves, they would do all I should tell them to do for their salvation. Dispositions so good as These made me almost determine on baptizing him at once. I conferred about it with garakontié, who went to see him. He reported that the sick man had Concealed 10 knives, that he guarded them very carefully, as they had been given him to Satisfy his dreams, and because he looked upon them as the preservers of his life; and that, if he would part with them, I would have reason to believe that he really desired to become a Christian. I returned then to his house, and, in a careless way, alluded to the Knives. ‘It is true,’ he said to me, ‘I have them still; but in order to show you that I have no attachment to them, I give them up to you.’ ALL of his household were surprised at this proceeding. The sick man perceived this and said aloud: ‘Why believe that a few knives are the rulers of my life? The black gown may do with them what he thinks fit.’ I advised him to make with them some donations [Page 189] to his friends, whom he might invite to a bearfeast on the following Day. He did so, and in order that I might be a witness, I was one of the Invited ones. I offered prayer both before and after the repast; and while those Invited were eating, he told them that formerly he had believed that the knives given him in virtue of his dreams could Preserve his life, but that he had been undeceived in this error. ‘Here are ten knives that I was keeping: I make of them a present to you;’ And then and there he distributed them among the guests. When they had gone away, he asked me why I deferred baptizing him, and if it would not be better to give him baptism while he was in possession of his faculties than to wait until he might begin to lose his power of Judgment, for then God would not receive him into Heaven; and for that reason he asked that I should not defer it to another time. I was delighted to see him so well disposed. I had him perform the acts which should precede baptism, and administered it in the presence of his whole family, whom I exhorted to imitate him.

“He lived 3 months after being baptized. He sent his children to pray in the Chapel, and was angry when they did not obey him in that respect as promptly as he wished. One Day, when he fell into a swoon, feeling that his powers were beginning to fail him, he sent for me and made his Confession. I gave him absolution, and shortly afterward a mild remedy, which relieved his faintness. At length life became a burden to him, and his desire was only for death, that he might see God. He often stretched out his arm to me, as a sign to me to tell him, agreeably to the Knowledge which it is Believed the [Page 191] french possess of the time when one is to die, in how many Days he would cesse to be miserable. ‘Oh,’ he would say to me, ‘are you going to tell me good news? shall I not die soon? shall I not soon go to Heaven ?’ I told him, after feeling his pulse, that he was approaching his end. ‘Oh, what pleasure you give me,’ he said to me, ‘in gladdening me with such good news. I thank you for it; let us pray to God together.’ He had so great a desire to go to Heaven that the fear which possessed him of being excluded occasioned him no little distress. A dream that he had had, that he was dead and that the master of the life of men had chased his soul from the gate of his paradise, disquieted him so much that he repeated it to me 3 times, adding, ‘But you have told me that we should attach no importance to dreams.’ ‘No,’ I said to him; ‘God forbids it, and would have you feel that he Will accord you a favorable reception after your death, since you Believe in him with all your Heart.’ He repeated to me, over and over again, that he believed in him, as he did not lie. He begged me to absolve him from a certain Impatience that he had showa at the disobedience of his children, who had grown tired of his long illness. I gave it to him, and we prayed to God for the last time. I asked him if he would not remember me before God after his death. ‘Yes,’ he replied; and taking me by the hand, ‘we Will venture together, For I firmly hope to go to Heaven.’ The next day, he fell into a lethargy, which Lasted Until death. Had I baptized but this one person while having the happiness of being here, I would have been too greatly honored by God in having contributed to the salvation of an elect soul.” [Page 193]



THIS Queen of virtues has been wonderfully displayed in the person of a poor slave, taken prisoner by the Iroquois from the Chat nation. We shall undoubtedly be touched by the graces that God was pleased to confer upon this Captive, and by the singular virtues — and, above all, the Charity toward God and her neighbor — that she displayed before the eyes of the savages and the french at la prairie de la magdelaine. Here is the narrative:

God having permitted that Gentaienton,[11] a village of the chat nation, should be taken and sacked by the Iroquois, Gandeaktena, which is the name of the one of whom we are speaking, was taken into slavery together with her mother and brought to onniout. There the misfortyne of her country proved the blessing of our Captive; and her slavery was the Cause of her preparing herself to receive through baptism the liberty of the children of God. The innocency in which she had lived, even before intending to become a Christian, seemed to have prepared her to receive this grace; and it is an astonishing fact that, in the midst of the extreme Corruption of the Iroquois, she was able, before being illumined by the light of the gospel, to keep herself from participating in their debaucheries, although she was their slave.

Some years after her coming to onneiout, father Bruyas also came thither to preach the gospel. On the day after his arrivai, he made known in public the reason of his coming. Our slave was at once Inwardly influenced [inspired] by God, and so keenly affected with the desire of paradise and the fear of [Page 195] hell, that she Immediately resolved to spare no pains in acquiring the one and avoiding the other. She showed no less Constancy in the prosecution of her purpose than promptitude in forming it; and although she encountered great obstacles, there was none that she did not succeed in overcoming. Her extreme modesty, which would not permit her to visit the father all alone; the refusal of all whom she asked to bear her company; the determination, sulden and unexpected, of her husband to take her with him to the war; the work assigned to her by the woman whose slave she was, — that of going to the fishery, after her husband had sent her back from the expedition, — served only to bring to view the power of the spirit by which she was urged forward. This spirit, rendering her careful to Seek the favorable opportunity of corresponding to the divine inspiration, prevailed upon fier to embrace at last what the providence of God rather than chance placed in her way. For, on her return from the fishery, she met one of her Companions who was on her way to the prayers. She went with her; and on arriving at the Cabin of the father, she repeated the prayers. The father noticed her, and judged from her modest countenance that there was something about this Young woman that was quite out of the common; this determined him to address to her some words of encouragement in private. From that time she never failed to come to pray to God in the Chapel. She learned in a very short time the prayers, and the mysteries of our faith; but, reflecting on the Corrupt morals and licentiousness of the Iroquois, and wisely Concluding that she would experience much difficulty in securing her salvation [Page 197] if she lived among them, she resolved to leave them and come to live with the french. She commended the matter to God, and spoke of her plan to her mother; to her father-in-law, and to her husband, after his return from the war. She won them all over, as well as certain others of her neighbors, and came’ with them to Monseigneur the Bishop of Canada, who, after they had been instructed, baptized them all. These blessed successes with which God .had’ accompanied the Conversion of our Catherine — for that is the name she received at baptism — and that little band of persons whom she had attracted to the faith, and the train of events, made it apparent that he had from that time appointed her, and was Directing her, to become Instrumental in the salvation of many Iroquois; for he, gave her the thought of going, to dwell at la prairie de la magdelaine, where, two months ago, a settlement had been Started. She went there, in fact, together with those with whom she had been baptized, — 12 in number, — and gave the first Impulse to the mission which is now so flourishing.

No advance was made in these small beginnings for 2 or 3 years; but, at length they attained much renown, especially among the Iroquois nations, so that more than 200 Iroquois have come since that time to establish themselves at la prairie de la magdelaine, in order to live there as good christians. And it is a surprising Thing that God should have willed that they should Spare the life of Catherine in order that, afterward, she might obtain for them eternal salvation, and that thus their slave might become their instructress in the faith. She was that indeed, net only at the outset of her Conversion, but all the remainder of her life, through the rare examples of virtue which she furnished to them. [Page 199]

She had divided, after the example of st. anne, her earthly goods into three equal parts, of which she devoted one to the church, another to The poor, and the 3rd to the support of her family. Never did father fremin propose to her a work of charity, when he was not obliged to prescribe to her the quantity and quality of what she was to give, as she was always disposed to give the best of what she had, and in a quantity which was Even excessive. Her Cabin was the refuge of the poor and the dis. contented; and as soon as any one came into it, all feelings of discontent were dispersed. She was so Chaste that no one dared utter an Unbecoming word in her presence, unless to see her blush. Her Zeal was shown in the Conversion of her husband and his relatives; while the large number of Iroquois Christians who are at la prairie de la magdelaine could affirn that she was the Instrument of their conversion also. As she had a great desire of attaining to a high sanctity, she had strongly persuaded herself that, in order ts accomplish so noble A purpose, it was necessary to do what the missionaries did. so she tried to imitate them in everything, Instructing and Catechizing not only those who are settled at la prairie de la magdelaine, but also those who pass that way. These in a single summer repair thither to the number of 7 or 800, and toward them she never failed to exercise Charity as regards their sustenance. The sweetness of her disposition was extreme, and her husband was the first to feel its effects. She had so, won him that, from a savage haughty and barbarous to the last degree, she had made a man of wonderful gentleness, and an excellent Christian. She never gave cause for complaint to any one. When her Zeal [Page 201] once made her say to an Iroquois woman, an Infidel, that she would be burned Forever, since she would not listen to what was being said to her for her salvation, Catherine, when she perceived that this remark had irritated her, immediately went to her, and asked pardon for having given her cause for angry feeling.

She was foremost in the exercises of devotion which are practiced in the mission of la prairie; and It was she, also, who Began the practice of them. She originated, as well, the assemblage cailed “the holy family,” which, being Composed of the persons most notable for their fervor, is now the stay of the mission. She had an extraordinary devotion to the blessed virgin, and the devotion that she bore to her amounted to Incredible tenderness. That loving mother of God did not fail to recompense this by the signal favors that she granted to her, for It was enough that Catherine should ask her for Anything, to obtain it, as she often experienced, — not only when she besought favors for herself, but even when she prayed for others.

She had a great detachment from Creatures, which she made apparent when they brought to her a false report of the death of her husband. She immediately said: “Now that I am free, I make the resolution to give half of all that I possess to the poor, and the other half to the church of the blessed virgin. It is sufficient for me to have enough to Clothe myself; for my food, the providence of God Will make provision.” And she would have done it, had she not been advised to the Contrary.

Her husband having returned safely to his home, she told him that one ought not to wait for death to detach oneself from creatures; that she still had [Page 203] a Girdle and bracelets of porcelain, which take the place of pearls and Diamonds among savages; that he himself had a large Collar of the same material, with which he decked himself out when he went to war; that he ought to make an offering to God of all these ornaments, in order that he might no longer have any attachment save to God alone, She easily persuaded him to do what she desired. This was why they both presented themselves before the blessed Sacrament, Catherine saying the following prayer and her husband repeating it: “My God,” she said, “four years ago, I gave to you my Body and soul, and the greater portion of my goods. Here is what remains to me: I present it to you with all my Heart. What should I now ask of you after having given you my all, unless it be that, from this moment, you take me myself, to place me near you?” It was a presentiment that she had of her death , — or, rather, a request that she made to die. Father fremin, reflecting on this action, said to another, in whose company he was, that without doubt God had heard this virtuous woman. Indeed, on the following day she fell sick, which filled her with Joy, in the hope of soon seeing her desires fulfilled. As she was much beloved, all came immediately in a crowd to see her; but as all knew her Inclinations, they, in place of conversing with her, passed the time of their visit in prayers, and particularly in reciting the Beads, which was kept up all Day, and often through a good part of the night. Her husband, who sat at her Bedside, fulfilled the duties of him who prepares a patient for death. Eight Days passed thus in continual exercises of piety, which served her as a preparation for receiving the last [Page 205] sacraments. God gave her at the same time so vehement a desire of Possessing him, that, when the father had made her repeat a short prayer which asked for health, she said to him: “It has been impossible for me to say from the Heart what I have just uttered with the lips. Why ask to remain on earth, since God is calling me to Heaven ?”

As soon as she had received the Sacraments, she lost her mind and became delirious, remaining so 8 Days, — during which time she did nothing but pray, appearing to have no use of her Reason except: when one spoke to her of God.

When her recovery was entirely given up, het husband gave a feast to his friends, at which he made them this address: “Formerly,” he said to them, “before we were christians, we made use of superstitions in order to cure our sick people; and their maladies threw us into the utmost distress. Now that we pray, we Invoke the name of Jesus Christ for their cure; if they die, we Comfort ourselves in the hope of seeing them again in Heaven. Let us say, then, our Beads for her who is in agony, before beginning our feast.”

After 8 Days of delirium, or rather 8 Days of unceasing prayer, she fell into a kind of sweet sleep, in which she remained 9 Days without taking anything and without stirring; at the close of that period she expired very peacefully.

The Custom of savages is to give all the belongings of the dead to their relatives and friends, that they may bewail the deceased. But the husband of Catherine, in his capacity of chief Captain, assembled the Council of the old men, and told them that they ought not to adhere to their ancient Customs, which [Page 207] brought no advantage to their dead; that, for his own part, his thought was to array the Body of the dead one with the very best of what she possessed, since she would, some Day, rise again; and to distribute the remainder of what had belonged to her as alms among the poor. This thought was acted upon by Each one, and it has become a law, which they have since minutely observed.

He immediately arrayed, therefore, the Body of his wife in her best apparel; and distributed among the poor all that remained of her little fur-triture, bidding them pray for the departed one: the whole amounted to fully 300 livres, which is a good deal for a savage.

The burial was attended by all the savages of the mission, and by many frenchmen, who all spoke highly of the virtues of Catherine, as of a person whom they assuredly believed to be in the bliss of Heaven. And father fremin, who Knew her very thoroughly, bears evidence that she died in baptismal innocence, and adds that she had reached so .exalted a state of virtue, and particularly so wonderful a purity of Heart, that he thought nothing remained for which she would have to make atonement in the other life,




ince the year 1673, prayer has been offered at gandaouagé, — which is one of the villages of agnié, of which father Bonniface has had charge, —  both morning and evening, as steadily as in the best- regulated families of fiance. There is nothing more Comforting than to witness these good Christians pray together aloud, and finish that holy act with [Page 209] spiritual Canticles. Several little children, also, 7 or 8 years of age, have formed their own little Choir, and do on earth what the angels never cesse to do in Heaven. It is a pleasure to see these little innocents marshaling themselves in the Chapel and rendering to God their homage as well as do those most advanced in age.

A little Cradle, prepared at christmas, illuminated with a number of lights and adorned with evergreens, excited to a wonderful degree the devotion of the christians, who in their Hymns bestowed on the infant Jesus tokens of their gratitude and love. There was no way of resisting the Entreaties which came from those who are still infidels, to go in and Gratify their Curiosity by a lengthened Survey of that which rendered the spot pleasing to their eyes. The festival was spent in Singing and praying — for a longer time than usual, notwithstanding the severity of the cold. Their devotion toward this endearing mystery is so tender that, to assist their piety, the father permitted them to Go on with their tunes and christmas carols Until easter. Nothing could be desired more fervent or more touching, in a country which at first seemed inaccessible to the faith.

But would it ‘be readily believed that the Ceremony of the blessed bread takes place every sunday, by turns, at agnié ? — that means, among people who have been reputed cannibals; who in former times gorged themselves not only on the Flesh of their enemies, but even of those who announced to them the gospel. They practice this ancient custom of the church with all the more Joy, inasmuch as they are all brethren, and children of God, whose bread they now eat while awaiting the time when he Will [Page 211] cause them to taste of eternal delights. She w& provides the blessed bread serves a slight repast to all the Christians at her home, at which the prayer before and after meals is said. The Civility that they show to the one who has invited them has about it nothing of the savage, and These gatherings serve wonderfully in fostering fervor and Charity. Here indeed, it must be said, is the finger of God; and that it pertains only to him to effect such changes, and so to humanize brutal natures as to render wolves worthy of being counted in the flock of the great shepherd of souls.

I Will say nothing of the estimation in which This new church holds all tokens of our holy religion. Crosses and medals are their most precious jewels; they treasure them so dearly that they carry them round their Necks Even into the conventicles of new holland, where the heretics have never succeeded in snatching away a single bead from their Rosaries.

Father Bruyas wrote likewise, in the year 1626, what follows, on the same subject. “Were I to. relate all that takes place here on account of Christianity, they who would listen to it would have reason to praise God, who is beginning to be glorified among these infidels.

“For myself, I attribute these Conversions to the kindness of the blessed virgin, of whom there was sent to us a miraculous image from nostre dame de foy. I can say that since we were in possession of this precious trust, a complete Transformation has taken place in the church of agnié; old Christians have regained their former fervor, and the number of the freshly — converted goes on increasing from Day to Day. We unveiled that precious statue on the Day of the Conception of the immaculate virgin, with all the Ceremony in our power, and while [Page 213] chanting her litanies in the Iroquois language. We uncover it only on saturday evenings during the Singing of the same litanies; and on every sunday it remains exposed to the sight of our Christians, who on that Day assemble 3 times to recite the Beads before their good mother and protectress.”




t is a very remarkable Fact that there are scarcely any of the Converted Iroquois who do not form the purpose of Converting others. Let us look at some examples of this.

Father Chaumonot, who has charge of the mission of lorette, in which many Iroquois are taking shelter, speaks of them thus:

“I ought not to omit mention of the Zeal which our Iroquois, both men and women, who have lived in this village for several years have manifested on behalf of their Countrymen; for I can affirm that the first Instructions which our freshly-arrived neophytes receive are given them by the old Christians, who often go to Seek them out in their Cabins, to Instruct them in the mysteries of our holy faith. Jaques sogaresse and marie tsaouentê have especially distinguished themselves in these good offices that ‘they have rendered to their Countrymen.

“The former, in the 4 years that he has spent here, has never belied his profession, having always most faithfully fulfilled the duty of a good and Zealous Christian. He has made it evident to us on many occasions that he is indeed possessed of faith. For instance, having set out on a trip to his own country two years ago, he preferred to return here [Page 215] in a state of destitution, in order to make a profession of Christianity, rather than accept the many gifts that his relatives and friends were bestowing on him that they might induce him not to desert them. But he is not satisfied that he himself possesses the faith without communicating it to others also , — performing so Thoroughly the functions of a Zealous missionary that his wife, cecille, who is also a very good Christian, sometimes complains of being overmuch Annoyed by the Continual preachings which her husband carries on in his Cabin. This good man, aged about 40 years, takes particular interest in the good ordering of households and families; when he perceives any disorder, he at once apprises father chaumonot of it that he may apply a remedy. It was he who did duty as catechist in a large band of our savages who were Hunting during last autumn, winter, and spring. There were some of their number who were among those of whom I have just spoken — freshly-arrived Iroquois; they came in from their Hunting quite well versed in our mysteries, through the pains and Instructions of our sogaresè.

“Last winter, he undertook a long journey that he might bring here his little daughter, who died at the age of rg months, in order to have her interred in holy ground. He made this journey, of about 80 leagues, all alone, across the snows and forests, with this burden fastened upon his shoulders, walking Day and night, — in order that the bones of his Child .might not lie apart from those of other believers, seeing that her soul would Never be severed from the number of the faithful in Heaven.

“As for marie tsaouenca, — whom our frenchmen call ‘la prétieuse,’ and who is indeed a treasure very [Page 217] precious in our Mission, on Account of her intelligence and faith, — she has done more than one could imagine in instructing her Countrymen. In spite of the poverty in which she, as well as others of our savages, has been plunged this year, as soon as she knows that an Iroquois, man or woman, has arrived in the village, she goes to them and Invites them to come and lodge in her Cabin; she resolves to feed them on the slender alms that are given to her, and it is her design to Instruct them, Day and night, in our mysteries, which she thoroughly understands.”

Several Captains and many elders [others] of the Village of onneiout, having in the year 1676 embraced the faith, one, among others of the most notable, was together with his wife publicly baptized, and married before the church, and thereupon received Communion; after which, he became Catechist and public instructor. His Cabin, during the winter Hunting, was a Chapel in the woods, in which he offered prayer morning and evening, banishing all superstitions, and diffusing so sweet an odor of piety that he made even the Infidels who Hunted near him live as Christians. On his return from the Hunt, that he might avoid occasions for drunkenness, which are frequent at that time in the village, he moved two leagues away, and constructed for himself a Cabin apart; thence he never fails to return here every saturday, that he may assist at divine service on the following day. There are several others, among the principal men in this village, who exhibit a similar fervor; which has given occasion to the Father to establish among them the holy family, to preserve and increase This nascent Christian ardor, and Zeal for the salvation of Souls. [Page 219]

“God is wonderful in his Guidance” (writes father Jean de lamberville). “A Zealous Christian learns by chance, about 9 o’clock in the evening, that an old man is at the point of death, suffocating from a Catarrh. He cornes at once to inform me of it. I Hasten thither, and find the man so oppressed by his malady that he is unable to say more than two words consecutively. I induce him to invoke the holy name of Jesus; he pronounces it with me, and says all that is needed for receiving baptism. I ask him if he wishes to be baptized; he replies that he does, and his last words are:’ I desire that you wash away my sins. Jesus, have pity on me.’ I baptize him, and he dies in less than ten minutes. Here is a soul that owes its eternal happiness to the Zeal of a good Christian Iroquois, who apprised me so promptly of his sickness.”

Nothing could be witnessed more touching than the misfortune of a little infant — if, indeed, that can be called a misfortune which occasions its eternal happiness. Its mother having died two Days after giving it Birth, its father fell sick, and was at the point of death. They brought the infant to him, to learn who should nurse it. The relatives had resolved upon strangling it, in order that it might be buried with its mother, — who had desired, through a Cruel Compassion, that they should lie together in the same grave. Meanwhile, many women were bewailing the sad fate of this little unfortunate; but a few of the more Zealous ones apprised the missionary of what was going on, that he might baptize the infant before it should be Thrown into its mother’s grave. It was accordingly baptized. Go4 however, suffered its life to be spared. It lived [Page 221] 3 months longer; an4 on the Day on which the church solemnizes the festival of all saints, it passecI into Heaven to augment their number — a happiness which, possibly, it would not have enjoyed but for the Zeal of these women.




e shall be able to Recognize these in the narrative which follows of the death of garacontié, the old and Steadfast friend of the french and the best Christian that we have had among the Iroquois. Father Jean de lamberville, who lived with him at onontage, speaks of it in these terms:[12]




ow that we have seen what the virtues are which characterize the converted Iroquois, It is right to touch upon those of the missionaries who Convert them. Two especially, they must needs possess, altogether peculiar to them. The first is a holy skill in promptly seizing and carefully turning to account every opportunity, that they may not allow any infant or sick person to die without baptism. The other is an heroic patience in suffering everything and being discouraged by nothing, when the salvation of a soul is in question. I could illustrate this by many instances; I Content myself with two only.

The 1st has respect to the skill and promptitude which must be exercised in not allowing any infant or sick person to slip out of life without giving them baptism. It is shown in connection with one of the journeys which father Jean de lamberville is [Page 223] constrained to undertake to some hamlets which are in the environs of onontagué

He had no sooner arrived at a cabin two leagues distant, than he found a dying person, who had, so it appears, only waited to be baptized and then pass away. After that the father crossed a river, meeting several sick christians, whom he Confessed; baptizing also a man and a woman, whom he found very well prepared. It was required of him, at the same time, to undertake the preparation of a dying woman who had a strong aversion to the french as well as to the faith; he succeeded so well that he baptized her, and she thereupon died. Scarcely had he fînished, when he was hastily called upon to recross the river to bleed a sick Juggler; but as this man was not worthy of baptism, the father speedily resumed his Way, in order to go two leagues farther to Confer that sacrament on a woman and an infant, who at the same time recovered their health, after the medicine which he gave them.

On the same subject, father Rafaix writes from sonnontouan as follows: “It is our endeavor never to suffer infants to die without baptism; I have conferred it on several this year, 1675, of whom many have died after having received it. As they are the most assured of our gains, they are our chiefest Consolation, and we watch over them with a special care. It is often with regard to these little Innocents that God discloses the treasures of his special providence. Many times, Mothers who have no Inclination toward the faith have sent for me to impart health to their sick children, when at the point of death; and these thereupon died, after I had bestowed upon them, through baptism, health of soul in place of The Bodily health for which they had been brought to [Page 225] me. Six months ago, I was on the watch for a little infant who was entirely wasting away. The dread we entertain of their becoming apostates should they recover from their maladies, leads us to await the last extremity, and actual danger of death. The devil, envious of the glory which this infant would bring to God throughout eternity in Heaven, caused it to be Concealed from me; it was carried away to a Cabin at a distance from the village and deep in the woods. I learned, in addition, that it was dying. One morning when I was on the point of saying mass, I received word that a party was starting for The cabin — I had requested to be informed when any one should go there. I went out of the village with those who were leaving it to go to that place, and observed the route they took; after mass, I set out myself. The guardian angel of that infant caused me to find people wherever two roads met. But I would never have reached the dwelling, had not 3 Young children who were coming from the place whither I was going, and were returning to their homes, suldenly altered their purpose. They went back with me, but started so often on the Run through the woods that, many times, I lost sight of them. Overtaking them at last, I arrived at The Cabin, where I found neither the mother nor the dying infant, although these three children had left them both there but a short time before. I sent 3 times to call the mother from a neighboring field, whither she was in the Habit of going; I myself also went 3 times; and at the last tinte, as I was returning, she with her babe arrived at the Cabin from another Quarter. I remained alone with the Child for some time while she went to fetch water. I [Page 227] availed myself of this to baptize the infant, who shortly afterward died.”

This Will show how necessary it is that a missionary should never spare himself; but, if not possessed of much shrewdness, he Will lose many a good Chance of ensuring the salvation of children. Father Jean de lamberville describes How he Managed to baptize a sick Child who the Jugglers were sure would get well, provided the black gown did not baptize him. “This was founded,” the father says, “on the fact that the children whom the mother of the little sick one had before borne had died after baptism — a circumstance which had been blazed abroad, and had given rise to the saying that to baptize children was to shorten their Days. In consequence of this, I was very closely watched when I went to visit the sick ones , — so Much so, that I was not permitted to sit near this Child, as formerly. His father always placed himself between me and him, and he could not conceal why he was guilty of this incivility. I told him that we did not baptize people by force; that I came solely to know the state of his child’s health, and to show the interest that I took in his affliction, But all my politeness availed nothing. They received from my hand all the little dainties that I brought to the sick Child, but would not suffer me to present them myself. They carried this distrust to such lengths, that I was made to sit down on the other side of the fire in the Cabin, which I refrained from leaving until dusk, that I might, if possible, baptize the dying one without the knowledge of his parents, who watched me very closely during the Day. All my attempts, however, were useless. At length, having learned that the infant was in a very bad way, I hid in my hand [Page 229] a lit& sponge and went at night to visit him for the last time. TheY did not fail to tell me of the CritiCal condition in whioh he waS. I got up directly, saying, ‘I will tell yon at once, by touching his temples, whether be Will die soon.’ Without waiting for them t” rePlY to me, I passed my hand under the Covering which Concealed him, and baptized him. I said, in retiring, that he suffered from a very burning fever, and that he was all in a sweat; this Was true, but It was also to Conceal from his mother what I had just done. She immediately said that I had baptized him and that his head was quite wet. Instantly, the father seized my hand, and told me that I had wet fingers. I smiled, saying that it was not to be wondered at, since his son, whom I had just touched, was all in a sweat, — to which he had nothing to reply. After exchanging two or 3 words, I took my leave, resolving to play the part of one very hard to please, and to make myself much in request, in Case I were recalled. This, indeed, happened; For, the Child being at the point of death, the father and mother persuaded themselves that, if he were baptized, it might be that he would not die like the others, and that the master of life might restore his health. He died, however, before they met me; thus they could not attribute his death to baptism.”

With this diligence and adroitness, the missionary must Unite patience in waiting for the season of grace; and must never lose hope, notwithstanding all the opposition that he maY encounter. Father de Carheil relates a Notable example of this. “I had great trouble,” he says, “in inducing a Young woman t. make up her mind to receive holy Baptism before she died. She yielded only at the last, and I won her onlY by patience, gentleness, and Perseverance [Page 231] in hoping from her that of which all the rebuffs that I endured had many times almost made me despair. She readily permitted me to visit her, after I had given her some medicines. She suffered me to speak upon every other Matter save the main point, the salvation of her soul. As often as I opened my mouth to Hint at something in connection with it, she fell into fits of rage that were surprising, and that I Never before observed in a savage . I was Instantly Obliged to take my leave, lest I should irritate her still more, and produce in her a hopeless obduracy. As her malady was only a weakness Caused by worms which were devouring her Little by Little, two months passed without my desisting from visiting her every Day. During that time, she ceased not to repel me in the same manner, or rather with redoubled fits of Anger; that at last compelled me to appear before her only, without speaking a Word. I tried, however, to say to her with my eyes, and a countenance full of Compassion, what I no longer dared to utter with my lips; and one Day, as I saw that she seemed touched by some little service that I had rendered her — the lighting of a fire — in the forlorn condition in which, I found her, no one any longer taking care of her, I Thought that she would suffer me to speak on the one thing which I desired for her, but of which she had always entertained so great a dread. Indeed, she allowed me to come close to her, and listened to me for a considerable time without falling into one of her fits of anger , — still, however, with agitations of the Body which betokened those of her mind, as the differing emotions of nature and grace battled with each other. I was beginning to Entertain some Little hope when, turning in a fury toward me, she [Page 233] clutched my face with all the strength that she could summon; and assuredly she would have seriously Injured me, had her strength been equal to her rage. But she was so feeble that she was unable to do me the harm that she intended. Her weakness was Such that, surrendering to her my face, I Continued my instruction, telling her that the compassion which I felt for her constrained me, whatever she might do, not to quit her. I was, however, obliged to leave her again, even this time, with the idea of not returning to her. Nevertheless, I went back there the next day, more to see if she were dead than to speak to her. I found her at the last extremity, without however having yet lost her mind. ‘Ah,’ I said to her; ‘thou hast but a moment to Eve: why wilt thou be lost forever, while thou canst still save thyself ?’ These few words softened a Heart that so many others had failed to move. She ‘bent toward me, said the prayer that I prompted to her, testified her grief for her past sins, asked for baptism to efface them, and received it, that she might be Confirmed in grace through death, which followed shortly after. I learned, by the example of this sick person, that one must [I ought] never abandon any person, whatever resistance he may offer, while a spark of life and reason remains; and that my hope and labor ought never to end until God has put a period to his mercy.”




rom all that we have just related, it may be rightly Judged that the Iroquois missions bring much glory to God, and Contribute much to the [Page 235] salvation of souls. It is this that has encouraged the missionaries in the midst of the manifest dangers of death in which they have Continually lived during the 3 years in which the Iroquois have talked of making war upon us; so that they have been unwilling to leave their missions, although urged to do so by their friends, who informed them of the evil designs upon their persons. They persevered, therefore, in laboring for the Conversion of these peoples; and we learn that God has rewarded their perseverance by according them a short period of Calm, and by more than 300 baptisms Conferred during this last year. To this I add that, in the previous year, they had baptized 350 Iroquois; in the year before, father garnier had baptized 55 in one of the villages of sonnontouan; father de Careil, as many at oiogouen; father Millet, 45 at oneiout; father Jaques de lamberville, more than 30 at one of the villages of agnié; and father Bruyas, in another, 80; father Jean de lamberville, 72 at onnontagé; and father pierron, go at sonontouan. It has been computed that, in a single year, they have passed into heaven more than 200 souls of sick children and adults, all dying after baptism.[13]

But again, it is no inconsiderable fruit of the labors of our missionaries to have published the gospel so widely among all the five nations that we can truthfully say that it would be difficult. at the present time, to find an Iroquois who is net Imbued with a sufficient knowledge of our mysteries to be baptized whenever God shall be pleased to touch his Heart and grant him the desire for it. [Page 237]

Of the Iroquois Mission at la prairie de la

magdelaine and St. françois

Xavier du sault.

That has piaced this mission in the go& condition which Will be made evident in the course of our account, and What has maintained it in its fervor during the 12 years since it was established, has been the fundamental law that has been always observed, by which no drunkenness is suffered therein, and no persons are received who are addicted to that vice, Unless they have resolved upon correcting it. They are admonished to this effect the moment they offer themselves as residents here; and are publicly notified, on the part of all the elders, that, if they become addicted to this sin, they Will be Expelled.

This law has produced two good effects. First, as it is drunkenness which gives Rise to all the disorders among savages, which ruins their Christianity and prevents them from being instructed, this vice being banished from this mission, it always Main tains its good condition. The 2nd is that, the fame of this excellent regulation having gone abroad through all the villages of the Iroquois, the effect has been that in large numbers they leave their own country, in which the excesses which drink Causes are horrible; so that, in order to free themselves from them, they come and settle down in this territory, in which, As they say, there is no drinking. [Page 239] It is this which has populated this mission with Iroquois, who are continually flocking to it from all the nations, especially from that of agnié.

In connection with these, two remarkable facts may be noticed: xst, that the agniés, who have always been the fiercest and most Cruel of all the Iroquois, remain [have become] here, since submitting to the Yoke of Jesus Christ, the gentlest and most tractable; and, that more than 100 of these Iroquois, who were notorious drunkards, had no sooner set foot in this mission than they no longer desired to drink. If it is a wonderful Thing in a frenchman to be Reclaimed from his drunkenness, — which happens but rarely, — it may well be still more so in our savages, who from their very temperament are Infinitely more inclined to this vice, in which they take pride.

Thus, then, they passed the first years at la prairie de la magdelaine, which is near to and opposite montreal. They have been obliged, however, to leave that territory, because, as the land is low, and Consequently very damp, it is not suited to the growth of indian corn. They have accordingly gone up higher, as Far as the sault de st. Louis, from which this mission has derived its second name, st. françois Xavier du sault. They have been established there for the last 3 years, and have continued to live in the same practices of devotion that they observed at la prairie de la magdelaine.

Fathers fremin and cholenec, who have the care of this mission, Will tell us Something about it in the sections which follow.[14] [Page 241]

Lettres de l’Église des Hurons à Lorette, en la

Nouvelle France, au Chapitre de Chartres

Lorette, November II, 1680


Source: We follow, in the main, the text in Merlet’s Histoire des relations des Hurons et des Abenaquis du Canada avec Notre-Dame de Chartres (Chartres, 1858); but have made some slight emendations from the text of Boisthibault’s Les Vœuw des Hurons et des Abenapis à Notre-Dame de Chartres (Chartres, 1857).[Page 243]

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin, by the Nation of

the Hurons in New France, set forth

in French; sent to the Chapter of

Chartres, with a Collar or Belt

of Porcelain Beads, in 1678.




lessed Virgin, what joy we feel that, even before our birth, the town of Chartres built for you a church with this inscription: To the Virgin who shall dring forth a son. Oh, how happy are the Gentlemen of Chartres, and how great are their merits for being your first servants! Alas! incomparable mother of God, it is quite the opposite with us poor Hurons; we have the misfortune of having been the last to know and honor you. But can we not, at least, now repair our fault by making up, in some manner, for all the time in which we have not worshiped you? This is, Blessed Virgin, what we are to-day doing, in connecting ourselves with the Gentlemen of Chartres, that we may have with them only one mind, one heart, and one mouth, to praise you, to love you, to serve you. We entreat them, then, to present to you in our name, and for us all, the services which they have ever rendered you. Yes, it Will be they (for we shall hope that they Will not refuse us), it Will be they, who, in so [Page 245] far as it is possible, Will discharge our obligations before you; while their fervor Will make amends for our slackness, their knowledge for our ignorance, their riches for our poverty. Furthermore, Virgin mother of God, although you have already brought forth your son, that Will net prevent us from following the example of the Gentlemen of Chartres, in honoring you, even now, under the title of “the Virgin who shall bring forth a son,” since it depends only upon you, in remaining always a virgin, to have us for your children. As we honor you here in a chapel like the house in which you have given to God a human life, we hope that you will in it give us spiritual life. Thus it Will be that, being always a virgin, you Will be also a mother-one who not only has given birth, or is giving birth, but who Will always give birth until Jesus is perfectly formed in us all. It is this that we ask in presenting you this collar, as a sign that we are bound to you as your slaves.[15] [Page 247]

Thanks of the Hurons to the Chapter of Chartres,

in the Latin language, by the Reverend

Father Potier of the Society of Jesus, and

Director of that Nation; translated into the

native diction of those Savages, by the

Reverend Father Lamberville, Jesuit,

and former Missionary to Canada,

on the 11th of November, 1680.


he new church of the poor Hurous humbly salutes in Iessous [Jesus] the Dean and Chapter of Chartres, of the very ancient and very venerable Church of Chartres.

There has been shown to us a large and beautiful talking bark, whose voice our fathers who instruct us understand and have explained to us. It is your own voice, and this is what it says: “We promise to tell the great master of our lives that we hope that he Will have pity upon all of you, as upon us; and that when we do right, you may be considered to have done right with us.” But see how we, an insignificant people, think and wonder. Oh! how happy we are to learn that you, who commit no sin, who are the great friends of the Lord of earth and of heaven, who have all your needs satisfied in abundance, you who stand high in your families and in the councils where you distinguish yourselves by your great minds, consented to think of Us who are ontouagannha, — that is to say, rude people whom [Page 149] you call savages who are poor and without sense.

Then we did net cesse to wonder that you should so kindly think of us and ask the great master of our lives to introduce us into heaven. You were like those great and influential voices among yo who approach, with greater success than ordinary people, him who raises his head higher than the others, — dom you call “king,” and we the high muntain,[16] — whom You try by Your influence to reconcile to his children, at whom he was angry. You wish that this great king of hemen be not angry at us, and that he love us, and, when we die, permit us to enter into the happy land of souls. You are like those great trees, and we the weak plants which creep upon the ground, which cannot rise except by attaching themselves to the higher trees. We pray you, therefore, that, in uniting us to yourselves, you may raise us even to heaven. You are still speaking to us in this great white bark; and you place before us a present of a metal, white and precious, on account both of its weight and its likeness to the chemise of her who brought forth her Child without knowing man.[17] There are, you say, in this chemise some bones of the good christians whose souls have gone to heaven after having lived well, by following the voice of the great master of our lives, — the voice which Iessous has come from heaven to repeat to us uPon earth. When we saw these bones, we thought that you, from your own country, perceived that our cabins, collected in a village, were continually surrounded by nations come from the depths of the earth, to drag us thither and treat us there as slaves in horrible pits, where the fires are never extinguished. you had pity on us, in giving us, in these [Page 251] precious bones, an excellent preservative against the poison which these enemies of our happiness use to corrupt, infect, and ruin us. That nation, come forth from the bowels of the earth, Will not be able to endure the presence of these bones, which will serve as a palisade to our village against their attacks. The good spirits who animate these precious bones Will come to our help, and enable us to live henceforth peaceably under their Shield, and without being troubled by fear.

When the evil spirit, who has come from the clefts of the earth, shall try to corrupt our minds by making us think of leaving our village (which has become holy by the dwelling of these bones among us), and of running about like wandering beasts in the woods, then the remembrance that we are not to abandon our protectors by leaving them alone Will hold us, as with a strong tord, in the place where we ought to be attached to the service of Iessous and of Mary, — in order that some day we may live in the fine cabins which form the large apd beautiful village of Iessous, where the holy souls, whose bones we have, always make their abode. Furthermore, by the presence of these bones we can measure the value of your affection for the mother of him who has made heaven and earth, since you give tokens thereof even to this side of the great Salt lake —  where it seems that you often say to us by your presents, worthy of you, “Honor Mary as we honor her.”

At these two strong proofs of your kind disposition toward us, we say twice, very Sincerely, “We thank you;” and we have strengthened our minds (which, we think, Will not lie, aided as they will be [Page 253] by the master of heaven) to do nothing and think nothing which will depreciate the value we place upon being your friends. yes, more than friends; for You love us as if we were your children, singe all of you together were of this opinion, “We adopt and take for up children those to whom we have sent our presents.” It is this which exhorts us not to dishonor this title. In doing wrong instead of doing right, we would dishonor it. We have nothing to say to You, and still less to give you, in acknowledgment of the pity that you have for us. This is what we have in mind — to pray the great master of our lives to have pity upon you also, by loving yOU always more and more, on account of your good lives, exempt from doing or thinking evil; and when we learn that any one of you, having enjoyed the earth enough, shall have gone to the land of souls, we Will offer for him the prayers that we are accustomed to offer, when we are assembled in the holy cabin, for those who have done us good while they lived upon earth, This is all that our remembrance of your deigning to stoop to us, in the manner which we have just described, is able to offer to your saintly persons, which Iessous loves exceedingly, — before whom we are so insignificant, in comparison with You, that he would scarcely deign to look upon us if you did not pray him not to despise us utterly .

Because we do net know how to make the white bark speak, or to go to find You, in order to make You understand and sec how our voice speaks, we have borrowed the aid of our fathers who instruct us, to relate to you what the council of our assembled Huron nation desires that you should know [Page 255]

Letter by Reverend Father Chaumonnot, Jesuit

and Missionary.


From Lorette, in Canada, november 11, 1680.



It is very evident that you are the true and devoted servants of the Virgin, since you are imitators of her virtues, especially of her humility. IS it not being very humble for persons like you, so eminent in virtue, in learning, and in nobility, to deign to allow poor Savages to participate in your prayers ? For a little kindness that a person of rank shows to a poor peasant, the latter considers himself under great obligations. What sentiments of gratitude, then, shall not our poor Hurons have for you, from whom they have received such magnificent presents? They would certainly have reason to say to each of you what the devout Saint Bernard said to the Savior: Tantò mihi rarior quantò pro me vilior. You have gained our respect and affection all the more justly as you have the more abased yourselves in associating us all, poor barbarians that we are, with yourselves. I find no passage in the Gospel where Our Lord shows more joy than that which he showed, one day, in regard to the goodness of his father in communicating himself to those for whom the world has only contempt. I have not the least doubt, Gentlemen, that you caused him a new joY when you did for our poor neophytes what you have [Page 257] never, perhaps, done before, even for persons of the highest rank; and thus you have been able to cause the Savior to repéat in heaven what he said upon earth: Confiteor tibi, pater, etc.-”l thank you, my father, that you have communicated your spirit to the good servants of my mother, by inspiring them to admit savages, the least of mankind, to participation in their prayers and suffrages, to the exclusion of so many other persons whose wisdom and fine talents the world admires.” I would be afraid, Gentlemen, of offending your modesty were I here to speak further of the honor that you merit for having consented to lower yourselves to this association in prayers and spiritual gain with poor Savages. I am sure that you do not care so much to know the esteem that is felt here for your virtue and your merits, as to learn the honor that has been rendered to the holy relies that you had the goodness to send us; it is this that I am about to relate.

Being convinced of the worship that ought to be rendered to the true relies of the Saints and to the principal tokens of our redemptiom — such as the cross on which the Savior died, and the chemise that the Virgin wore when he was born, — we tried to omit nothing of all that was in our power, the first time when we exposed to public veneration the silver chemise and the relies that you had the goodness to send us. This, then, is what we did: Some days before All Saints’ Day, we announced to both the French people and the Savages that your illustrious Company had sent to the infant church of the Hurons a rich gift, with a number of relies, which we would display and honor on the day of that feast. We ornamented our altar as well as we could, and [Page 259] PrePared a handsome niche above the tabernacle, to elevate therein your holy relies. The next day, all the People having assembled in the chapel of the Virgin, Father Potier,[18] who shares with me the care of the mission, made a speech to the French people about the esteem in which tbe relies that we had received from you ought to be held, and On the chemise which enclosed them. He said the same in Huron to the Savages, adding that they were under a third obligation to you, because you had adopted them by sharing with them, as it were, all your spiritual goods, as with their real children. Then the Father put on a beautiful cope that Madame the wife of the Governor of Caen sent us this year; and, accompanied by two acolytes in robes and surplices, he incensed the reliquary and the relies, which were in the middle of the altar. Then, to thank the Blessed Virgin for having come, accompanied by a goodly number of her servants, from her old home to take possession of this one lately erected here for her honor, he intoned the hymn Ave, maris stella, etc. The prayers finished, the Father opened the reliquary, to give the people the consolation of seeing the sacred relies that it contained; he even permitted many to kiss them. Afterward, he put thym back: in the niche, where they were displayed all the rest of the day. Immediately they sang the high mass, which was said for you; and all those whom the celebration of the feast and Pious curiosity had attracted to our chapel were invited to offer for you the communion which they were about to make. All our neophytes did the same; all those who could not, on that day, render you this duty have since acquitted themselves of it — In the afternoon, the [Page 261] principal Hurons having assembled in the largest cabin of the village, I asked them what their sentiments were at having received so holy and magniecent a present. The Latin letter that is sent you is a sincere and accurate account Of what the two chiefs and some old men said in the name of all. Then it was decided that you too should share in all the future prayers and blessings of ,their mission; that they would offer prayers every day for your illustrions company; that they would show a special devotion to the Saints whose relies you have sent to us, as to our new patrons; and that the silver chemise should be always exposed in a handsome niche above our tabernacle.

I am very glad, Gentlemen, to have this opportunity to show you the esteem and respect which we feel for your holy and venerable Chapter, of which so memorable an account has been given us. I have not failed, for a long time, to remember it in my little prayers, as I shall continue to do all the rest of my life, — being more than ever under obligations to do so after it has honored our dear mission with such beautiful gifts.[19]

I am, Gentlemen, with respect,

Your very humble and very obedient

servant in Jesus Christ,

Pierre Joseph Marie Chaumonnot,

Of the Society of Jesus.

[Endorsed: “To Messieurs the Gentlemen of the Chapter of the cathedral Church of Our Lady of Chartres. At Chartres. [Page 263]


cx LIV

We have taken the greater part of Dablon’s Relation of 1677-78 from Douniol’s Relations inédites, t. ii., pp. 195-238, but have made two substitutions (here printed in Italic type) from the original MS. of the Relation of 1673-79, in St. Mary’s College archives, Montreal. For a bibliographical account of the latter Relation, see Vol. LIX.


What we give under our own title of Relation of 1679 was not written as a separate annual. It is simply that portion of the Relation of 1673-79 which applies solely to the last-named year. For reasons set forth in the Data of Vol. LIX. (pp. 300, 301), this Relation has, for convenience, been dissected by us, and the reports for the several years transferred to their proper places.


This correspondence between the Huron mission church of Notre-Dame de Lorette and the cathedral of Notre-Dame, at Chartres, was first published in 1857, in a book of which the following is a description:

“Les vœux | des | Hurons et des Abnaquis | à Notre-Dame de Chartres | publiés pour la premiére fois | d’apres les manuscrits des Archives d’Eure-et-Loir | Avec les lettres des missionnaires catholiques au Canada, | une introduction et des notes | Par | M. Doublet de Boisthibault. | [Cut and quotation] | Chartres | Noury-Coquard, Libraire | Rue du Cheval-Blanc, 26. | M DCCC LVII.” [Page 265]

Half-title, I leaf; title in black and red, I leaf; introduction, pp. i.-viii.; half-title to the text, I leaf; text and notes, pp. 1-80; table, pp. 81 and 82; “Ouvrages du même auteur,” p. (1), with verso blank . A folded plate of “Fragments du voile de la vierge.” The introduction says: “Cette publication n’a été tirée qu’à. 150 exemplaires.”

M. Lucien Merlet, a fellow-townsman of Boisthibault, thought that this work was not as accurate as it should be. He therefore published in the following year another version of the prayer and the correspondence, in a little book of which this is a  description:

“Histoire | des relations | des Hurons et des Abnaquis | du Canada | avec Notre-Dame de Chartres, | suivie de documents inédits | sur la Sainte Chemise, | par M. Luc. Merlet, | Ancien Éléve de l’école des Chartes et de l’école d’Administration. | [Printer’s ornamrnt] | Chartres. | Petrot-Garnier, Libraire, | Place des Halles, 16 et 17. | 1858.”

Half-title, I leaf, with imprint on verso; title in black and red, I leaf; letter “À Monseigneur Ed. Pie, Évêque de Poitiers,” pp. v.-vii., p. viii., blank; introduction, pp. ix.-xxiii., signed “K. L. M.;” ornament, I p.; half-title to text, I leaf; text, pp. 3-78; table, p. 79 (unnumbered); ornament, on verso; two chromolithographs between pp. 48 and 49.

In reprinting the text of this correspondence we [Page 266] have for the most part followed Merlet, but in a few instances have made emendations from Boisthibault.

Shea, in his Cramoisy series No. 6 (New York, 1858) publishes a contemporary Vie du R. P. Pierre Joseph Marie Chaumonot. In the appendix to this work appears the prayer of the Hurons, in their own language, supplied to Shea by Boisthibault; this we reproduce in Note 15 of the present volume of our series. The French version which appears in Douniol’s Relations inédites (Paris, 1861), t. i., pp. 351, 352, is reproduced from Boisthibault’s publication. We do not republish the above life of Chaumonot, or its sequel, — Suite de la Vie du R. P. Pierre Joseph Marie Chaumonot (No. 7 of Shea’s series, also published in 1858), — for the reason that the matter therein contained is, in the main, sufficiently covered by other documents of the period. Apographs of the Vie and the Suite are in the Hotel-Dieu, at Quebec; they were among the documents given to the Hospital nuns by Father Cazot, upon his death in 1800. We have been unable to locate the original MSS. [Page 267]


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

[1] (p. 23). — Reference is here made to the first Jesuit mission at Onondaga (1657) which was ended in March, 1658, by the secret flight of the Fathers and the Frenchmen accompanying them, upon the discovery that the savages were conspiring to murder all the white men (vol. xliv., pp. 153-163).

[2] (p. 39). — This was François Vaillant (vol, lx., note 1).

[3] (p. 71). — Albanel (vol. lx., note 14) was not permitted by the English to resume his mission at Hudson Bay, after his return from France in 1676. Nicolas Gorst’s journal tells us (Oldmixon’s Brit. Empire, vol. i., pp. 554-556) that “the Captain of the Tabiltee Indians informed them [the English], the Frenech Jesuits had bribed the Indians not to deal with the English, but to live in Friendship with the Indian Nations in League with the French;” and gives an interesting account of Albanel’s visit to the Bay in 1674.

[4] (p. 79). — This was at Métabetchouan (vol. lx., note 31).

[5] (p. 93). — The phrase “the last six years” refers to the scope of Dablon’s compilation from 1673 to 1679.

[6] (p. 125). — Francisco de Borja (Borgia), duke of Gandia, a city of Spain, was born Oct. 28, 1510. “In the midst of the great, he lived as a saint” (Sommervogel); and, after the death of his wife, entered (1551) the Jesuit order — of which he became (1565) the third general. Under him, Jesuit missions were begun (1566) in Florida, and (1568) in Peru. The last year of Borja’s life was spent in negotiations at the courts of Spain, Portugal, and France, in behalf of Pope Pius V. Soon after his return from this journey, Borja died at Rome, Sept. 30, 1572. He was beatified in 1624, and canonized in 1671. He composed several religious treatises, which were first published at Valencia, in 1548.

[7] (p. 137). — This mention of crucifixion as a mode of execution among the Sioux is apparently Unique. Perret does not mention it, but says that this tribe put prisoners to death by shooting them with arrows (Mémoire, Tailhan’s ed., p. 90). [Page 269] The cross is an emblem that appears among many aboriginal tribes of both North and South America, and, as such, evidently antedates the coming of white men to these shores. Various explanations of its meaning and use are given: a symbol of the sun, and associated with the worship of that body; a phallic symbol, evolved from the worship of the reciprocal principle in nature; a symbol of the winds, and of the four quarters of the sky, whence come the winds; and other explanations, often fantastic or conflicting. In all, the cross is associated with a class of natural phenomena — sunlight, winds, rain, fire, birth, etc. — which indicate life, vitality, growth, and fertility. Among the Western tribes of North America, the cross was doubtless a symbol of the cardinal points and the four winds. — See Brinton’s Myths of New World (3rd ed.), pp. 113-117; and the observations of Holmes, Bourke, and Mallery, in U.S. Bur. Ethknol. Rep., 1880-81, pp. 268-273; 1887-88, pp. 479, 480; and 1888-89, pp. 724-735. Cf. Our vol. lix., note 19.

Captives were often sacrificed among savage tribes; and it is possible that their crucifixion mentioned in our text may refer to a human sacrifice thus made to the spirits of the winds.

[8] (p. 145). — At this place in the MS. is a note in Dablon’s hand, written at the top of the page: “Taken from the Relation of 1679.”

[9] (p. 155). — Dablon here gives a letter from André, which we omit because it has already appeared, in vol. lx., pp. 201-205.

[10] (p. 157). — A letter from Allouez is here omitted, for the same reason; it is found in vol. lix., pp. 225-235.

[11] (p. 195). — Cf. with the name of the Erie village of Gentaienton that of, a tribe conquered by the Iroquois, mentioned in Relation of 1656 as Gentaguetehronnons (vol. xlii., p. 197); and Gentagega (vol. lviii., p. 75), apparently the same.

[12] (p. 223). — The narrative of Garakontié’s death will be found in the preceding document (cxliv.).

[13] (p. 237). — In the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal, is a list of “Baptisms of Savages. administered by the Fathers in 1679.” The enumeration includes both adults and infants, and is as follows (omitting the names of the Fathers in charge): “In the ten Missions of the Outaouais, 786 persons baptized, adults and infants. In the seven missions of the Iroquois, 256 were baptized. In the Tadoussac region, 189. At Sault St. Louis, 350. In the Abenaqui Village, 100.” The total number is 1,681.

In this connection, Duchesneau’s census of 1679-80 states the number of Indians settled in Canada as 960 — men, women, and children; Christians and pagans (N.Y. Colon. Docs., vol. ix., pp. 136, 145). [Page 270]

[14] (p. 241). — The remainder of this account is omitted, as being merely a repetition of matter already given in previous documents.

[15] (p. 247). — The relations between the Lorette mission and the cathedral of Chartres probably arose from the fact that Souvart (vol. lviii., note 20), for some time in charge of the mission, was a native of Chartres. The gift sent by the Hurons to the cathedral for the Virgin of Chartres, was a belt or girdle of wampum, 1.445 meters in length, and 7 centimeters wide. Upon a ground of white beads was the legend, in black beads, VIRGINI PARITVRÆ VOTVM HVRONVM, — “The offering of the Hurons to the Virgin who shall bring forth a son;” and the belt was bordered with a sort of embroidery in red porcupine quills.

The prayer of the Hurons which accompanied this gift was written by Bouvart in their language, and then translated by him into French. The latter version is given in our text; the original Huron composition is herewith given in this note, as published by Shea and Merlet (see Bibliographical Data of this volume, Doc. cxlvi.). Merlet’s copy of it (see his pp. 3, 4) indicates considerable difference in orthography from Shea’s. We follow the latter, in the main as showing the special characters used by Bouvart; but in accents, and sometimes in capitals, as well as in various forms of spelling, we follow Merlet. Neither version is free from typographical errors, which have often been corrected; but, apart from indicating the special characters, Merlet’s is the better. The prayer is as follows:

“8endat Lorétrônon Teiatontarigé haon Gonastaenx8indik Deza

Gacharandiont Marie Charseekeondaon [Chatreske ondaonMerZetJ

“Marie Saatatoguéti onxatonnharandaoten dé chiefannonchionnianni Chartres ékandataen afen té fatondin’nen, ondaie etiéfannonchionniatandi d’éfakxetonhend ftante fcal&atéchend: ahotiatan’non’nen chartréronnon O’ndaie d’okontàxtci éfachiendaentak afon tfaten

té efehieràk ondecha8et.i. Chigànnen étiontcaranne’ntagui Marie

di8 tiatatiena d&endat agaatfi, ondaie d’a8Ak8étak éfachiendaenk

aionsefentéguen: taonEaia%axih8àcha@ nonh8arihVandéraï ondéràti

ont<a dif&au té efachiendaentak: o’ndaie ati nonhbra a8erhendiofen

aiatiatiéraxon de chartréro’nnon, gatoguen tfon+andigonrat, ageti

chiaasagendat &aton dé Marie tek8annonronk8annionhoin eavannonhgeha, eatiasenfioft: onné ichien axiendioa daat agon8e chartré

ronnon, at(erhe endifken aonfaionrigenthen d’étiéfachiendaentatiend

dind’&efkVak etfachiendaenhai, tho iohti dé onionhtia aguenk.

Stan igerhe te on&aXahe daverhé honnonhgafen aonxientenhla de te

efanuonronkgannion, o’ndaie aonfahatichonnia nonxahekenchasan

Hotiaranhdoré defaXendioiti, ondaiefken tande’ndi etionva tandore

donnonhva hatendareti hotindigonr8annenS, té hotïannrakgan’nens. [Page 271]

Marie Saatatoqugti Dj8 tfatatiena, [OokXan’nens. Marie Saatatoquçti

Di8 tiatatiena — tlese words om&zd byMer[et], go chien ftechiaktleton

onhXàtigu&hen d’héchiena ogont ichien éari’ndageren chnrtréron’non

ogont té esannonronkXa’nnionUa: défakxetondé té itakXat.eché,

Xâdefonhtla chiéXendio dachierhon Xendat afen azéenafga ftan

oralt’endàkXatéch6. za ichien éfachiendaenk onnonchiatoguehtigué

ondé dé fkiatierên ti gannonchillten’nen chiondaonx0o haoné di8

hechienafti ftontle ihoton aXerhé tonXentent [eonouentenr-iMerlét]

iaon dè Marie éonXaenaftha, éXerhon tazendigontéraîen gatogen

onXe eonton aonîahonaérenfga déhiena. 00 ati taXenk défa té

fkakXaterihati6, ogont échiokXetonhdè, 00 haoné, 00 ara tchiaka

dakXeton d’IeEXs hechiena éhechiâtichien daat ehéchiatâerit nonXadigo’nragon: ondaie ichien aXatratfYta dexa éfacharaenxsindik,

o’ndaie atirakatha 00 tho onXaakont chiérongué, Xâde ifa fkXaataXen

daak atoguen aat Xendat aXaatfi Lorètronnon teiatontariguè honâti


[16] (p. 251). — An allusion to the epithet “Onontio,” applied by the Hurons and Iroquois (vol. xx., p. 221) to Montmagny (a literal translation of his name, as “great mountain”), and afterward to his official successors, and even to the king of France.

Ontouagannha: defined by Lalemant (vol. xlvii., p. 145) as indicating a barbarous dialect. This term was applied to the Shawnee tribe (ut supra, note 9).

[17] (p. 251). — The reliquary here referred to (an engraving of which forms the frontispiece of this volume) was sent by the cathedral chapter of Chartres (1680) to the Hurons of Lorette, in acknowledgment of their gift to Chartres (see preceding note). It consisted of a silver receptacle, weighing five marcs, — the marc was a weight cqual to one-half of the Paris livre, or about one-half of an English Pound, — filled with various relics of saints. It was made in a shape supposed to imitate that of the chemise worn by the Virgin Mary at the time of the Annunciation. This chemise has been, for over ten centuries, the most precious relic of the cathedral, to which it was given (A. D. 877) by Charles the Bald. He had inherited it from his grandfather Charlemagne, to whom it had been given by Constantine Porphyrogenitus, emperor of the East.

The letter of thanks for this gift was written in Latin by Potier (its text is given by Merlet), and then translated into French (using the idioms of Indian speech) by Jean de Lamberville (vol. lvi., note 1), who appears to have been in France at that time.

The three letters that we present are published (from the original MSS. in the departmental archives of Eure-et-Loire), accompanied by valuable historical data, by both Merlet and Boisthibault, as indicated in Bibliographical Data, ante; but neither text is wholly [Page 272] satisfactory,as regards adherence to the original forms of words and typographical peculiarities.

[18] (p. 261). — Nicolas (sometimes named Jean-Rochemonteix’s Jésuites, t. iii., p. 370) Potier was born at Chauny, France, Sept, 2, 1642. At the age of nineteen, he entered the Jesuit novitiate, at Paris. His studies were pursued at La Flèche and Bourges; and his term as instructor (1665-72) was spent at Bourges, Nevers, and Orléans, successively. After a year of probation at Rouen (1677-78), he came to Canada, and was stationed at Lorette from 1679 to 1685. In the latter year, he was an instructor in the college of Quebec; and later was a missionary to the Hurons at Mackinac. He died May 4, 1689. In this account we have followed Rochemonteix (ut supra, pp. 369, 370, 479, 482); but Sommervogel’s dates do not agree therewith. He says that Potier was born at Nogent-le-Rotrou, Sept. 2, 1643, and became a novice Oct. 28, 1660; that he went to Canada in 1677, and died at Quebec March 2, 1689.

[19] (p. 263). — Boisthibault says (Vœux des Hurons, p. 16): “The diocese of Chartres was, before its dismemberment, one of the oldest and most important of the 132 dioceses of France; Chartres was its Seat. . . . In 1738, it was still cited as one of the greatest dioceses of the Christian world.” The cathedral was dedicated Oct. 17, 1260.