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. LXVI.

Illinois, Louisiana, Iroquois, Lower Canada


CLEVELAND:            The Burrows Brothers






[Page ii]

The edition consists of sev-

en hundred and fifty sets

all numbered.


The Burrows Brothers Co.

[Page iii]


(Scan of Page to be Inserted)




[Page ]



Copyright, 1899


The Burrows Company


all rights reserved

The Imperial Press, Cleveland

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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 vi]





Preface To Volume LXVI






Lettres diverses, adressées au R. P. Jean de Lamberville, touchant les Missions des Illinois. [Jacques Gravier] , n.p., [March 5, 1702]; Jacques Gravier, n.p., March 25, 1702; Gabriel Marest, aux Cascaskias, July 5, 1702; Gabriel Marest, aux ilinois Sur Le missisipi, November 26, [1702]







Lettre à Monseigneur le Comte de Pontchartrain. Martin Bouvart; n.p., [ca. 1702]




Lettre aux Jésuites du Canada. Jean Mermet; aux Cascaskias, March 2, 1706




Lettre au Père [Jean] de Lamberville. Gabriel Marest; n.p., [ca. 1706]




Epistola ad R. P. Michaelem Angelum Tamburini, Præpositum Generalem Societatis Jesu, Romæ. Jacobus Gravies; Paris, March 6, 1707





Lettre sur les Affaires de la Louisiane. Jacques Gravier; Fort St. Louis de la Louisiane, February 23, 1708




Epistola ad R. P. Josephum Germain, superiorem Generalem Missionum Canadensium. Ludovicus Davaugour; è Lauretano oppidulo, October 7, 1710





Excerptum ex epistola ad P. Josephum Juvencium. Josephus Aubery, e Missione S. Francisci Salesii, October 10, 1710




Lettre touchant la Mission canadienne, en l’année 1711 Joseph Germain; Quebec, November 5, 1711




Lettre au Père Germon. Gabriel Marest; Cascaskias, November 9, 1712



Bibliographical Data; Volume LXVI






[Page vii]







Silver soleil presented by Nicolas Perrot to the Jesuit mission at De Pere, Wis., in 1686
















[Page viii]


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

CLXXVIII. This is a group of letters addressed to Jean de Lamberville, agent in France for the Canada missions. The first is an invoice, probably written by Gravier, of the supplies necessary for the Illinois missions for the year 1702. The distressed condition of the laborers therein is energetically described, and relief for their poverty is urgently requested. The supplies desired include articles of clothing; conveniences like pins, twine, thread, paper, razors, etc.; a few household utensils; medicines, food, wine, etc.; material for hoods for protection against mosquitoes; ammunition and nails; vermilion, beads, rings, etc., for the Indians; “six ells of stuff for capotes, to make Breech-clouts;” also tobacco and agricultural tools.

Three weeks later, Gravier writes to Lamberville regarding certain financial matters. One of his engagés would have left the mission, on account of the higher wages that he could earn in the fur trade, if Gravier had not taken the responsibility of promising him an increase of pay; the Father now notifies Lamberville of this arrangement. He also desires the latter to pay a note of his to Iberville, for [Page 11] supplies furnished by the latter. Gravier warns the procurator not to depend upon Le Sueur, “whose arrogance is Unbearable.”

A short note from Marest (dated July 5, 1702) informs Lamberville that Pinet has left the Tamaroa village, and is now stationed at Kaskaskia. The writer also complains of the intrusion of Seminary priests into the Jesuit field of the Mississippi Valley.

Another letter from Marest (dated November 26, 1702) mentions the arrival of juchereau St. Denis in Illinois, and his intention of establishing a post at the mouth of the Ohio. Marest has aided him in all possible ways. The writer requests Lamberville to see Father Gooey, Pontchartrain’s confessor, and endeavor to secure a grant to the Jesuit missions in Illinois. He again blames the Seminary priests, saying that their missions are ineffective and useless. Marest is to go to the Ohio with Juchereau, but is dissatisfied with the latter, and with his duties as chaplain to the French at the new post,

CLXXIX. Bouvart, superior at Quebec, requests Pontchartrain to secure from the king the confirmation of a grant made to the Jesuits, in 1699, of the seigniory of Sillery. As the savages have now left the Sillery mission, and land has been provided for them elsewhere, the Jesuits ask that, in view of the great expenses which they are accordingly obliged to incur, the Sillery lands may be granted to them absolutely as their rightful property — instead of being, as hitherto, a trust in their hands for the benefit of the Indians. To this letter is appended an endorsement of their request, signed by the governor and intendant.

CLXXX. Jean Mermet, who is now the Jesuit missionary at Kaskaskia, writes (March 2, 1706) to [Page 12] his brethren in Canada an account of the Illinois mission. He reports good news “from this village, except that they threaten to leave us at the first word. It is bad, as regards both temporal and spiritual matters, among the Peorias, where Father Gravier nearly lost his life on two occasions. “Mermet relates the particulars of an attack made upon Gravier by a revengeful savage, who shoots arrows at the Father, dangerously wounding him. Mermet, hearing of this, sends four Indians to convey Gravier to him, at Kaskaskia; and some of the “Praying women” provide a canoe and food for the Father’s journey. His enemies attempt to kill him, but he escapes in safety. Gravier’s wound causes him so great suffering that he is sent to Mobile, where there are surgeons.

CLXXXI. This is a letter from Gabriel Marest to Jean de Lamberville, describing the Hudson Bay region, and the Iberville expedition thither in the autumn of 1694. He begins this account by a reference to the discovery of Hudson Bay, and mentions the rivalry of the French and English in attempting to secure the Indian trade. Marest describes the murder of Dalmas in 1693, and the capture of the French fort, soon afterward, by the English.

Iberville sails to Hudson Bay in 1694, and Marest goes with him as chaplain for the French. The Father describes the progress and incidents of the voyage, which is slow and difficult on account of contrary winds and the lateness of the season. They arrive at the mouth of Bourbon (Nelson) River on September 24, after a voyage of forty-five days. The French endeavor to surprise the English, but the latter perceive them in time to secure themselves [Page 13] After many difficulties, the French find a suitable location for their winter quarters; and on October 13 the men in the English fort surrender to the French. This success is accompanied by sorrow, for one of the French officers — Chateauguay, a brother of Iberville — had been mortally wounded in a skirmish, ten days before the surrender. “In entering the river sainte Thérèse, we had invoked with confidence the great saint whose name the river bears; and God so arranged events that precisely on the feast-day of the same Saint we entered the Fort; this rendered us masters of the Navigation, and of all the Trade of that great river.”

During the winter, there is much sickness among the Frenchmen; and Marest goes back and forth between the fort and a French encampment on the Nelson, to comfort and aid the sick. He tries to learn the language of the savages who dwell in that region; but he has little time, and is hindered by the ignorance and caprice of his Indian instructor. Marest relates what he has been able to learn about these tribes, the most important and numerous of whom are the Assiniboines and Crees. He mentions various interesting particulars about these people, their country, and their language; he thinks that the Assiniboines resemble the Flemings, and the Crees the Gascons, They are nomadic, but gather wild rice for their winter supplies.

The savages nearest James Bay are very inferior to the tribes just named: “they are base, cowardly, idle, churlish, and wholly vicious;” they are exceedingly superstitious and dissolute. Marest thinks that missionary effort should first be directed toward the Crees and Assiniboines. The country is [Page 14] marshy and sterile, producing only few and stunted trees; the climate is harsh and cold, but three or four months of the year being free from snow and ice. Worst of all is the summer plague of mosquitoes, which are larger and more numerous than in Canada. Nevertheless, human beings can live there with comfort, as far as food is concerned, for game of all sorts is abundant.

Marest has improved every opportunity to tell the savages about God; he has learned many words of their language, and has made a dictionary of these. He has baptized a few savages, who have since gone to heaven. Early in September, 1695, the two French vessels depart, leaving a garrison at the fort, — where Marest prefers to remain, that he may console the French, and, when more at leisure, learn the savage tongue. But English ships soon come to Hudson Bay, and recapture their fort; Marest is taken to England as a prisoner, but is afterward sent to France.

CLXXXII. Gravier writes from Paris (March 6, 1707) to Tamburini, general of the order, announcing his arrival from Louisiana. He has come to France to procure new missionaries, and to obtain a decision in certain vexed questions of morality and ecclesiastical procedure. Gravier describes the arduous missions which he and Marest are carrying on in Illinois; and states that almost the entire village of Kaskaskia is now converted to the truë faith.

CLXXXIII. Returning to Louisiana, Gravier writes (February 23, 1708), just two months before his death, an account of the mission in that colony, especially referring to the unpleasant relations between the Jesuits and the Seminary priests from [Page 15] Quebec. Bienville, now governor of Louisiana since the death of his brother Iberville, has been accused by enemies; but his conduct has been justified by the results of an investigation made by royal commissioners. Gravier has also been calumniated, but is able to refute such allegations, by certificates from the inhabitants of Mobile. He severely censures the priests who are stationed at Mobile, as being incompetent, self-seeking, or cowardly.

Gravier intends to return to the Illinois mission at Easter. He gives a list of the articles most needed by the Fathers there; among these, he mentions a barrel of powder, a quantity of colored beads, and some vermilion. He adds a request for some red lead or red chalk, to mix with the vermilion. He discusses with his correspondent various business matters; he also asks him for instructions regarding fees for masses, and the powers attached to the office of vicar-general, etc. Gravier has various difficulties with the local and Seminary priests at Mobile, which he ascribes to jealousy on their part. He urges that La Vente, the parish priest, be recalled to France.

CLXXXIV. Louis Davaugour, in charge at Lorette, sends (October 7, 1710) to Joseph Germain, the new Canadian superior, a report of the condition of his mission, The good that has been wrought there he ascribes to his predecessor, De Couvert, who has been compelled by ill health to retire to Quebec. The savages at Lorette retain their early piety, and zealously practice it, regardless of all obstacles. Drunkenness and vice are entirely abolished among them. The writer describes the pious exercises in which these Christian savages delight; and the [Page 16] material occupations of their daily lives in both winter and summer.

Davaugour eulogizes the docility and reverence which are displayed by the savages toward the missionaries. They obey their priests not only in their own village, but even at Quebec, where traders and tavern-keepers strive to make them intoxicated. The French themselves admire and praise the temperance and piety of the Lorette Christians. With all their piety, they are the most courageous and warlike of all the savage allies; several instances of this are cited. So excellent is their behavior while on an expedition against the English that Vaillant says of them, to Davaugour, “Congratulate thyself; for thou hast as many saints as thou hast Hurons at Lorette.” Their piety shines in death as well as in life. A glowing eulogy is bestowed upon their war-chief, Thaouvenhosen, whose piety and wisdom, and whose bravery and gentleness, are commensurate. He is also a valuable helper to the priest in charge of the Lorette mission. That place alone, of all the mission settlements, has been able to banish entirely the scourge of drunkenness; Davaugour ascribes the prevalence of this vice elsewhere to the greed of the traders, and calls for a check upon them. If they be not restrained from selling liquor to the savages, the latter will soon lose their religion, and consequently their fidelity to the French. They will then carry their trade to the heretics (the English and Dutch), and Canada will be ruined.

CLXXXV. An account of the Abenaki mission at St. François de Sales is sent (October 10, 1710) by Joseph Aubery to the Jesuit historian Jouvency [Page 17] All but three or four of the savages there are baptized. The extracts here given from Aubery’s letter mainly describe his efforts, finally successful, to expel from his mission the intemperance which had” well-nigh ruined” it. He wins over the old men, one by one; then he calls a council, and persuades the Indians themselves to ordain banishment for “all hopeless profligates.” Another obstacle against which the missionary must contend is the moral cowardice and inertia of the savages; this produces in their minds a sort of fatalism, which makes them say, when reproved for sin, that “it was not in their power to avoid it.”

CLXXXVI. Germain, the Quebec superior, sends (November 5, 1711) a report of Canadian affairs for the year, apparently to the assistant for France at Rome. He begins with an apology for not writing, as requested by the father general, directly to the Pope or to the Congregation of the Propaganda. We does not know how those high dignitaries should be properly addressed, and asks that a model of such a letter be sent him, that he may follow it when writing in future years.

Germain begins his report by describing the abortive expedition of Sir Wovenden Walker against Canada, in the summer of 1711. Vaudreuil, the governor, makes every preparation to resist the enemy — especially at Quebec, which is felt on both sides to be the key to the whole country. All the French people, “convinced that it was God’s cause, and that they would be fighting for Cod,” are ready “to shed the last drop of their blood rather than yield;” and regard such a death as I4 a glorious martyrdom.” But the English fleet is assailed by a [Page 19] terrible storm, and many ships are wrecked in the lower St. Lawrence; it is reported that 3,000 corpses are strewn along the shore. “But the most lamentable thing in this shipwreck is that, inasmuch as they have all died in heresy, these are so many souls that are damned.” The outcome of this unfortunate expedition is ascribed to the miraculous protection of Canada by the celestial powers, who were continually invoked by masses, prayers, penances, etc.

Germain now mentions the affairs of the missions. One of the greatest obstacles to the conversion of the heathen is the neighborhood of the English heretics, whose influence on the savages is most injurious. Their machinations have ruined the Iroquois mission, reopened in 1702. The various missions conducted by the Jesuits are enumerated by Germain, and their present status is briefly indicated. Besides those on the St. Lawrence, there are three in Acadia, one at Michillimackinac, and three in Illinois.

The Quebec college is admirably conducted; Germain praises the ability and intelligence of the French-Canadian boys who are pupils there. He outlines the work done by the Fathers who reside in the Jesuit houses at Quebec and Montreal. An epidemic prevalent in Canada this year has caused many deaths; among the victims are numbered Jacques Bigot and two lay brethren, Jacques Boussart and Benoit Lucas. Two other Fathers die soon afterward, from diseases caused by their hardships and privations in missionary labors — Claude Aveneau and Antoine Silvy. Upon all these, the superior bestows due praise and commemoration.

CLXXXVII. A letter (dated November 9, 1712) from Gabriel Marest to a brother Jesuit in France, [Page 19] Barthélemi Germon, gives a full account of the Illinois country and its people; and of the mission which the Jesuits have long conducted there.

Marest describes the obstacles that he encounters in the nature of the savages — lawless, arrogant, fickle, brutal, and ungrateful; their conversion is “a miracle of the Lord’s mercy.” They are, however, “much less barbarous than other Savages; Christianity and intercourse with the French have by degrees civilized them.” Many Frenchmen have come to Kaskaskia to live, and some of them have married Indian women. Among these savages, as elsewhere, the men are engaged in hunting and war; their wives and daughters perform all other labors. The women thus occupied and humbled by work are thereby more disposed to accept the truths of the Gospel.”

“Their religion consists only in superstitions,” especially the “manitou “or fetich which each one worships. The medicine-men are “a great obstacle to the conversion of the Savages,” not only through their influence over their tribesmen, but on account of their personal hostility to the missionaries, whose lives are often in danger from this cause, Kaskaskia is now quite free from these impostors. A tilt between one of the medicine-men and Father Mermet is recounted. This Father attempts to convert the Mascoutens who have settled near Juchereau’s post at the mouth of the Ohio; and, in an epidemic which assails them, he almost loses his life in caring for the sick.

The savages at Kaskaskia are much changed by the Christian influences that have long surrounded them, and manifest gentleness of disposition, and docility [Page 20] and zeal in religion. Marest describes the services and instructions which employ him in his mission. “The are that we take of their sick wins us their entire confidence.” Marest describes the foundation of this mission, for which he gives chief credit to Gravier, whose labors and virtues he warmly praises. A native instructor has died therein this year, whose remarkable conversion and unusual piety are recounted.

When the savages go away for their annual hunts, the missionary has to accompany them — a fatiguing and dangerous enterprise. Mermet is not strong enough to endure these journeys, and remains at Kaskaskia with the few savages who are left to care for the village; while Marest travels with the hunters, over the prairies and through the forests.

Marest goes to Cahokia to take care of Bergier, the Seminary priest there, who is very ill. Returning to his own mission at Kaskaskia, he finds his savages “dispersed along the Mississipi,” and at once departs to join them. Later, Bergier dies, and Marest goes on foot to Cahokia, to bury the dead priest. The medicine-men rejoice over his death, and break into pieces the cross that he had erected. To punish them for this, the French traders refuse to sell them goods, which soon quells their arrogance. The same discipline has been meted to the Peorias, who had so ill-treated Father Gravier a few years before. Hearing that this treatment has brought those savages to their senses, Marest goes (in the summer of 1711) to Mackinac, to confer with the superior there about reestablishing the Peoria mission, and other affairs. After a painful journey on foot, he arrives at Peoria, where the savages greet him [Page 21] with the utmost cordiality, and urge him to reside with them; this he promises to do after his return from Mackinac. Going thence to St. Joseph, where the Pottawattomies now live, Marest is happily surprised by encountering there his brother Joseph, whom he was about to visit; and they proceed together to the latter’s headquarters at Mackinac. Gabriel returns to Kaskaskia in September of the same year. It is thought best to send to the Peorias, in his place, Father de Ville, who soon proves his eminent fitness for that mission. The natural advantages of Kaskaskia are attracting French settlers; but Marest is uncertain whether they will be of the sort whose example will “contribute to the welfare of Religion,”

We are indebted to l’Abbé Lionel Lindsay, chaplain to the Ursuline convent in Quebec, for the translation of Doc. CLXXXIV.; and to Miss Catharine S. Kellogg, of Cleveland, O., for the translation of Docs, CLXXXI., CLXXXVII, and some other documents, yet to be published, from Lettres édifiantes.

R. G. T.

Madison, Wis., April, 1900.


Documents of 1702

CLXXVIII. — Lettres diverses, adressées au R. P. Jean de Lamberville, touchant les Missions des Illinois. [Jacques Gravier], n.p., [5 mars, 1702]; Jacques Gravier, n.p., 25 mars, 1702; Gabriel Marest, aux Cascaskias, 5 Juillet, 1702; Gabriel Marest, aux ilinois Sur Lemissisipi, 26 nouembre, [1702]

CLXXIX, — Lettre du R. P. Martin Bouvart à Monseigneur le Comte de Pontchartrain. N.p., [ca. 1702]


Sources: In publishing Doc. CLXXVIII., we follow a MS. in the Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.; for Doc, CLXXIX., recourse is had to the original MS. in the Archives du Ministère des Colonies, Paris.

Various letters, addressed to Reverend Father

Jean de Lamberville, regarding the

Illinois Missions.


y Reverend Father,

I send to Your Reverence The invoice of this year, 1702, for The Ilinois missions, and for The 3 fathers who are now there. I beg You not to be surprised if it be somewhat large, It is to supply clothes and provisions for three fathers, besides Brother guibort and perhaps Brother gillet, who are in need of everything; and to begin at last to supply, once for all, The principal items of all that is required for 3 missions — which have always been borrowing; which have always lacked most of the necessary articles; And wherein The missionaries have done nothing but languish. Father bineteau died there from exhaustion; but, If he had had a few drops of Spanish wine, for which he asked us during his last illness, and some little dainties, — such as sugar, or other things, — or had we been able to procure some Fresh food for him, he would perhaps be still alive. Father pinet and father marest are wearing out their strength; and they are 2 saints, who take pleasure in being deprived of everything — in order, they say, that they may soon be nearer paradise. But they do not fail to tell me and to write me that I must bring some little comforts for the sick, and that these languish because they are in need of everything; and they tell the truth [Page 25] For my part, I am in good health, but I have no cassock, etc.; I am in a sorry plight, and the others are hardly less so.

Three winter cassocks.

3 pairs of winter hose.

3 lined cloaks.

3 summer cassocks; 3 pairs of winter and 3 of summer breeches.

3 pairs of summer hose.

3 pairs of cloth breeches for winter.

6 pairs of breeches of black duck or strong linen.

12 hempen shirts, lined;[1] calico handkerchiefs;

Cap linings.

4 hats; 3 hoods; 3 pairs of mittens.

One Livre of black Wool.

Half a livre of black and other silk.

One Livre of fine white thread.

2 livres of black thread. 1 livre of twine for Nets.

3 Lines; 3 whip-[lashes?].

3 livres of coarse white thread.

6 pairs of Shoes.

3 pairs of double-soled slippers.

3 pieces of white thread galloon.

One thousand pins.

One Ream of good and strong paper, of large size.

One Ream of small-sized paper. 3 good razors, with a whetstone.

3 sticks of Spanish wax. 3 half-double caps.

12 [small] towels and 6 [small] napkins.[2]

3 covered bowls for The sick.

12 pewter spoons, with knives and forks.

[illegible — 6 case-knives?] in 6 sheaths.

3 deep pewter basins with a narrow edge. [Page 27]

6 plates.

3 tinned kettles with lids, and strong, to hold 6 pots each.[3]

One Syringe; one livre of Theriac; ointment, plasters, alum, vitriol, aniseed, medicines, and pastils.

One host-Iron, and shape for cutting the wafers.

50 livres of flour, in a Barrel. 3 Tin boxes.

One minot of Salt, In a Barrel.

A jar of oil.

A Barrel of 15 pots of vinegar.

30 livres of Sugar.

Rice, raisins, prunes.

25 pots of Spanish wine, In 2 kegs.

25 pots of brandy.

9 livres of pepper.

One Livre of nutmegs and cloves.

Six pairs of half-worsted hose.[4] [Material for making] awnings as a protection against the gnats that infest the mississipi.

One piece of strong sail-cloth.

One livre or 2 of cotton candle-wicking.

India ink and cotton [illegible].

A thousand nails, large, medium-sized, and small.

150 livres of powder.

50 livres of assorted shot, large and small.

30 livres of Bullets; [500 gun-flints].

Ten livres of vermilion.

Ten livres of large glass Beads — black, white, and Striped.

Ten livres of small glass Beads — white, green, and transparent.

One gross of large Clasp-knives, with horn handles.

One gross of round buckles, both large and medium-sized.

One gross of small metal plates[5] [Page 29]

Six gross of small belts.

Six gross of finger-Rings.

3 gross of awls.

One thousand needles.

Six boxes of gun-flints.

Twenty gun-screws.

One dozen [wooden?] combs.[6]

3 dozen Spools of fine iron wire, or Else a roll of fine wire.

Six Bars of soap.

Three dozen hatchets — medium-sized, large, and small.

Three dozen medium-sized hoes.

Three hatchets [illegible] 3 mattocks.

One dozen trade shirts — large, medium-sized, and small.

Six blue capotes — large, medium-sized, and small.

Six ells of stuff for capotes, to make Breech-clouts.

Thirty livres of good tobacco.

Three dozen wax candles, and

Six livres of Wax tapers for the 3 missionaries.

The same is needed in proportion for each mission; and a chapel, with all its accessories, is required for The missionary to the Scious, since a father will be sent there; and he has need of a man, if Monsieur Le Sueur does not defray all His expenses.[7] Your Reverence will see Him about it. You will find this a very long list, but Nothing can be Omitted from it if you wish the missionaries to have any comfort. Since it costs nothing for The fort to the Missionaries of quebec, — who have Received through Monsieur d’Iberville 10 times more than they asked, — we Shall not be in a worse condition; and he has written to me that we should bring out engagés (hired men] from France, whom we could [Page 31] get There cheaper than here, and whose passage would cost us nothing.”[8]

[Endorsed: “March 5, 1702. Invoice.”]


y Reverend Father,

                                                Pax Christi.

After having written a good deal, I have been unable to avoid making myself responsible here for 256 livres 10 sols for Jean Baptiste chevalier, who has served us for nearly 3 years. He wished to leave me here, where he could earn as Much as 400 livres per annum; on that account, I engaged him for a 4th year, — to begin on The 27th of July of this year, and end on the same Day of The year 1703, — In the presence of witnesses and by a signed contract. I am not aware that he has Received more than 50 escus for the 3 years. It is the painful necessity to which I am reduced of seeing the 3 Ilinois missionaries without a man this summer which has compelled me to promise him 200 livres for that 4th year; but, in order that he may cost only 150 livres at quebec, I beg Your Reverence to pay The extra 50 livres that I give him. This sum I have advanced him out of the money that Your Reverence must have received from father Lila and from father Laseur — of which, as I wrote to you, they inform me by their Letters. Thus there will be entered in the quebec accounts only 206 livres 10 sols paid for chevalier on his wages, for 3 years ending on the 27th of July of this year, 1702; and although I promised him an extra amount of 50 livres, he will cost here only 50 escus to quebec for The first year — because we shall pay him The 50 livres that I advance him out of The money to my credit in Your Reverence’s hands. And I beg You to pay [Page 33] promptly and punctually The note that I made out in favor of sieur d’Iberville, for it is important that he should not suppose that your Reverence has Any trouble in paying what we have taken from him here; we would be unable to obtain anything more here. We will take nothing except in case of extreme necessity; but, after all, if Your Reverence do not send us what we ask, we shall be obliged to procure it here, at an advance of from 3 to 400 per cent. Place no reliance whatever on Monsieur Lesueur, whose arrogance is Unbearable, and who has had a groundless quarrel with me about his canoe, which was plundered at [illegible], and about The appropriation of a hundred livres of powder. I am greatly mistaken if he does not leave his company to join Monsieur d’Iberville. My Reverend father, always accept from both of them whatever they offer you, as if you had no doubt of their sincerity. But let us take the Right measures with the persons to whom these affairs pertain to maintain ourselves in this new colony, — where we shall be no less persecuted than in china and elsewhere. Unless God grant me His sure aid for my conversion, I shall no longer have any thing of the Religious about me except the habit. I remain with Great Respect, in the sacred heart of Jesus.

your Reverence’s

very humble and

very obedient servant,


This 25th of march, 1702.

At last I [am about] to start.

[Addressed: “My Reverend Father, Reverend Father De Lamberville, of The society of Jesus, at the college of Louis Le grand, Paris.”] [Page 35]

Among the Cascaskias,

The 5th of July, 1702.


y Reverend Father,

I have already written to you via quebec, but we take every opportunity to pay our respects to your reverence. Father Pinet, a very Holy and Zealous missionary, has left The mission at the tamarous, or arkinsa, in accordance with your directions to me. Rut he has only half quitted It, for he has Left a man in our house there who takes care of it: and thus we occasionally go thither from this place to show that we are obedient to the king pending the receipt of his orders. That Father now has charge of the Cascaskias, where I leave him alone, to His great sorrow — owing to present circumstances, wherein monsieur bergier shows that he is a worthy member of the missions etrartgeres. Inform Him of the ruling by which The vicars- general have no right to visit our churches or to hear confessions in them without our consent. I am convinced that these missions will receive rude shocks. They were beginning to be on a good footing. This caused Jealousy in the minds of the gentlemen of the missions etrangeres, who have come to take them from us.[9] God grant that they may leave them in a better condition than we have done. It also seems as if there were a coolness on the part of monsieur D’iberville; and perhaps next year there may be a freezing coldness. God be praised, who grants to this beneficent church The same trials which he gave to those most cherished by him. I would write you more at length, had I not done so via quebec, giving you in that letter every possible information about all our affairs. As you will receive [Page 37] That letter before this one, I refer you to it, and content myself at present with telling you of my continual remembrance of your reverence. Tonight I shall commence my retreat, immediately after which I shall leave for The Scious country. I remain, with respect,

My Reverend Father,

Your Reverence’s

Very humble and very

obedient servant,

Gabriel Marest, S.J.

[Addressed: “To My Reverend Father, Father de Lamberville, of the Society of Jesus, at Paris.”]


y Reverend Father,

I have already done myself The honor of writing to Your Reverence from my village, with respect to the abandonment of the fort among the Scioux, and to the arrival of Monsieur Jucherau, who is to establish a post at Vabache, whither he takes with him Father mermet, As it is stated that monsieur de Ponchartrain is very Desirous that this post be established,[10] I rendered monsieur Jucherau all the services in my power; and I accompanied him for a distance of 30 Leagues from my village to see roensa in his winter quarters. I also took steps for endeavoring to assemble the ilinois at wabache; but there are many obstacles, and I think that we shall have considerable difficulty in gaining our end. As I know that Father Gouiz[11] has ready access to monsieur de ponchartrain, I have just written to him on the subject, in order that through his agency a grant may be given to our missions. Try to support my Letter, if you see that his intervention can be [Page 39] successful. Shall it be said that the gentlemen of the seminary, who work less than we do, will continually receive both grants and pensions for living in missions where they do nothing, and which they abandon at once I — as we see in The lower missisipi, where all those gentlemen do not even take the trouble to learn the Savage Tongues, And quite recently, also, monsieur foucault has abandoned The famous mission of the acansas.[12]

An effort should also be made to give us accurate information about monsieur de ponchartrain’s intentions — respecting what is asked and expected from our Savages, as well as the grant that The court will be pleased to give them. I think you understand what I mean.

Monsieur Jucherau is prodigal of his promises, but he thinks, in reality, of his own interests. The Father who is with him is not at all pleased. He is neither a missionary, for there are no Savages, nor a chaplain, for there is no stipend. He has not even a person to help him in his needs. I am pressed for time; the dear Father will write you the rest. I remain in the union of Holy Sacrifices,

My Reverend Father,

Your Reverence’s

Very humble and very

obedient servant,

Gabriel Marest, S.J.

The 26th of november [1702],

among the ilinois On The


[Addressed: ( To My Reverend Father, Father de Lamberville, of the Society of Jesus, at the College of Louis le grand, at Paris.”] [Page 41]

Letter by Reverend Father Martin Bouvart to

Monseigneur the Count de Pontchartrain.



On account of His Majesty’s refusal to ratify a Concession which Monsieur the Governor and Monsieur the Intendant of this country jointly granted to the Jesuit Fathers of New France, of the Seigniory of Sillery and some perches of land at three Rivers, by a deed passed on the 23rd of October, 1699, Your Grace is humbly Begged to consider that it is not, properly speaking, a new concession that is given them, but merely a confirmation of possession that is granted to them. For fifty years, Monseigneur, they have held those lands as Tutors and Administrators of the property of the Savages; this quality was conferred upon them by His Majesty, by a deed dated in the month of July, 1651. They have built there a Church and a stone fort, with a tower on the height commanding the fort; they have erected several dwellings and built a mill, the whole of good masonry; and have cleared a very considerable extent of land, — all this at their own expense, and solely for the benefit of the Savages. Now, Monseigneur, as all these lands Are exhausted, and Are no longer capable of producing indian corn, the Savages have abandoned them for some years; and the Jesuit Fathers have bought for them other lands, — Either on the river of the Chaudiere Falls, In the Seigniory of Lauzon; or at [Page 43] New Laurette, In the Seigniory of St. Gabriel, —  in order to retain them in one village, to the great advantage of the Colony.[13] And this, Monseigneur, leads the said Jesuit Fathers to have recourse to Your Grace, in order to obtain from His Majesty that they may continue to hold these former lands of the Savages, — no longer as their Tutors and as the Administrators of their property, as hitherto; but in their own private name and as a real fief, as granted to them by the said Messeigneurs the Governor and the Intendant of this country. By this request the Petitioners seek solely to avoid the contestatioos that might arise through the escheat of the said Savages, and in order that the slight fruits that may be derived therefrom may fall into the hands of those who employ them — all, and a hundred times more — for the benefit of the Savages to whom they were first given. Such a favor will oblige the said Petitioners to continue their prayers for Your Grace, and to remain for life, with a most profound respect.

Your very humble and very Obedient

Servants in Our Lord,

Martin Bouvart, Superior,

Francois Vaillant, Procurator, s.j.

We Certify that the Contents of the above petition are Truë, and that Accordingly We have deemed it just to grant to the jesuit fathers, As We have done, the possession in their own name of the lands, the ratification whereof they now ask of His Majesty, — especially in View of the Exceedingly great expense which they have incurred in the past, and still incur daily, in Supporting the Missions of [Page 45] the Savages in this country. Moreover, they have purchased several tracts of land, As set forth in the said petition, to replace Those at Sillery and three Rivers, which the said Savages have abandoned.

The Chevalier Decallière.


[Endorsed: “The Jesuites in New France; Concession. I was not informed of it.”] [Page 47]


Documents of 1706-1708

CLXXX. — Lettre du P. Mermet, Missionnaire du Cascaskias, aux Jésuites du Canada. Aux Cascaskias, 2 mars, 1706

CLXXXL. — Lettre du Pere Gabriel Marest, Missionnaire de la Compagnie de Jésus, au Père de Lamberville, de la même Compagnie, Procureur de la Mission du Canada. N.p., [ca. 1706]

CLXXXlI. — Epistola Patris Jacobi Gravier ad Reverendissimum Patrem Michaelem Angelum Tamburini, Præpositum Generalem Societatis Jesu,

Romæ. Paris, 6 mars, 1707

CLXXXlll. — Lettre du P. Jacques Gravier, sur les Affaires de la Louisiane. Du Fort St. Louis de la Louisiane, 23 feu., 1708


Sources: For Docs. CLXXX. and CLXXXII., we follow MS. apographs in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal; Doc, CLXXXI. we reprint from Lettres édifiantes et curieuses (Paris, 1810), tome vi., pp. 1-31; in publishing Doc. CLXXXIII., we follow a MS. in the Library of Congress, Washington, D. C. [Page 49]

Letter by Father Mermet, Missionary at Cascas-

kias, to the Jesuits in Canada.

Among the Cascaskias,

This 2nd of march, 1706.


 write you news concerning the affairs of the Ilinois, some of which is good and some bad. It is good from this village, except that they threaten to leave us at the first word. It is bad, as regards both spiritual and temporal matters, among the Ilinois of Détroit, — otherwise, the Peoarias, —  where Father Gravier nearly lost his life on two occasions, and he is not yet out of danger. It happened thus: In obedience to the menacing orders of Monsieur the Governor, the chiefs appointed one Mantouchensa, — called by the french tête d’Ours [“Bear’s Head”], — as being one of the most notable of the tribe, to go to Monsieur the Governor to account for the death of a soldier named la Giroffé, who had been killed by the Ilinois. He was accompanied by some other Ilinois savages, and went to Michilimakina with Monsieur Desliettes, with the intention of going. down to Montréal.[14] But,: while at Michillimakina, he saw the frightful presents that the timidity of the French caused them to give to the Outaoi’s, — who, as well as the Ilinois, were all to be killed, and he at once took very different measures with the Outaoïs.[15] The latter told him that they were more feared at Montreal than was imagined; and that he should act [Page 51] as they did, and do things that would make him dreaded and redoubtable. These discourses, or the mere sight of the cowardice of the French, and their powerlessness to revenge themselves after the terrible threats of all the tribes — which were, to eat the first one who broke the peace, — induced him to give up the idea of going to Montreal. He resolved to return to his own country, and kill and pillage the black gown and the French, that he might make himself at once redoubtable and rich with their spoils. He sent his comrades away from Michilimakina, with orders to keep in sight the said father and the French who were among the Peouarias. He followed closely upon his countrymen, and no sooner had he reached the village than he related the news, and urged the whole village to sedition. He loudly harangued that a person who took notice of everything, as the black gown did, should not be tolerated; that, after killing these French, they need use no further moderation toward the others; that they must be got rid of, and that the savages must make themselves redoubtable beyond question, in imitation of their neighbors. All these discourses excited their minds to revolt, and, although not all were of that opinion, a great many followed it. Among these was a hot-headed man, who, under the pretext that he had been offered a slight by the Said father, who would not bury one of his deceased relatives in the church, — a favor which the father had granted to no one, and which he was not even able to grant at the time when the deceased person died; for the savage had brought her dead body without taking the trouble to dig a grave, leaving the father to do everything, a thing that has never been done, — this [Page 53] hot-headed man, I say, asserted that since the Father rejected the body of his relative, he would revenge himself therefor. This he did shortly afterward; for, when he met the father in the village, he ran to his Cabin for his bow and arrows, and, without saying a word, shot the father, wounding him dangerously. Two arrows struck his breast, but glanced off; a 3rd tore his ear; the next would have killed him, had it not been for the collar of his cassock, which stopped the arrow-head; the 5th was a deadly shot, for the arrow pierced the arm above the wrist, and penetrated to below the elbow; three streams of blood poured from the opened veins and from the severed artery. The father plucked out the arrow, but the stone head stuck in the sinews near the joint of the elbow, — within, as we suppose. All this sportive affair occurred quietly, without a single illinois trying to stop the furious man. At the first shots, the father asked the Savage: “My son, why do you kill me? What have I done to you?” He knelt to commend himself to God; and at the same time, as soon as the wound was inflicted, the father swam, as it were, in his own blood. A good Samaritan, a stranger in the village, and a renard [Fox] by nation, had compassion on the father. He pressed tightly upon the upper part of the arm, and the artery, from which the blood had spurted freely, allowed only a few drops to escape. Then some praying women ran to the poor Father; and, assisted by the renard, who still retained his strong pressure on the father’s arm, they brought poor father Gravier home. An Ilinois offered to dress the wound, and the father consented; but we saw, from what happened afterward, [Page 55] that the intentions of this physician were no better than those of his brethren. He closed the wound as SOOD as he could; and, as a Frenchman who was there said very truly, he shut up the wolf in the sheepfold, by closing up in the wound the clotted blood that was in it. At first, the father felt some relief from pain; but he afterward paid very dearly for his credulity in having tolerated his physician. Fever was added to his sufferings, and, during the three months while the father remained there, he suffered terribly. He nevertheless made an effort to trace some letters, to inform me of what had happened and resolved to withdraw — while he took steps to keep in communication with some faithful praying savages here. This cannot be done, especially among Savages, without some information of it being given. At the very first Suspicion, they called out in the village that the father must not be allowed to depart; that those who favored his escape were to be killed, and that the french were to be closely watched. At the very first news of this accident, I applied to Rouenza, who gave me 4 young men to go to get the father. Monsieur Berger, who was nearer the Pewarias than we were, had sent thither 14 persons, but they abandoned the task; one only, one of the chief men among them, went to the father, and remained some time, watching over him; but he went home before the father’s departure. One of our 4 young men came back from the Tamarrais to inform us of what they had done; the three others continued their journey, and told the Father that Rouenza had ordered them to die with him. Thus they did not leave him until he reached us at Rouenza’s village, which is called st. [Page 57] Fransois de Xavier, as you are aware. The praying women who took care of the father among the Pewarias also accompanied him. They supplied him with a Canoe, and with what he needed on the journey. The rendezvous was appointed for after Midnight, long before daybreak; but the father was nearly prevented from going, by an accident more unfortunate than the first, As you will see. About Midnight, when rain was falling and the sky very dark, and the father considered the time favorable to his escape, he was greatly surprised on being told that his house was surrounded by 200 Ilinois — who had taken down a portion of his palisade, in order to get in. It was St. Michel, the blacksmith, who was watching with the father; and who, on going out by chance, saw all this great multitude, whose numbers were probably exaggerated by the darkness of the night and by his fears. He did not lose his presence of mind in his fright. He approached and questioned them, asking them: “What do you seek at this hour?” “We are looking for something,” one of them replied.

St. Michel at once reentered the house, and said to the Father: “We are lost; we are beset by 200 Ilinois. Listen to me, my father, while I confess my sins before I die.” Deman, the father’s servant, did the same. Meanwhile the Savages were deliberating as to what they should do; because, as they expected to surprise the father in his house alone, and without witnesses, they were astonished at finding there the blacksmith, who dwelt elsewhere. Hardly had the said frenchmen finished their confession, when 4 or 5 Savage knaves entered arrogantly, as if to speak to the father. But in the [Page 59] meantime St. Michel had pushed through the crowd of besiegers to warn, without loss of time, one of the chiefs, who was rather friendly to the french, of what was going on at the father’s house. The chief came at once with St. Michel, and with some young men among his followers, to the dwelling of the father, who was greatly perplexed about his safety. The sight of the chief disconcerted the assassins, who had intended to kill the father in his own house, But, as they have deference for one another, they did not dare to carry out their design against the will of the last comer, who caused them to be asked what they were looking for. The band dispersed without a word, and swooped down upon St. Michel’s house, which they pillaged. Some hours afterward, the father embarked without loss of time; and shortly before dawn, his Savage and french canoemen under his orders brought him safely here. That was at the end of October, three months after the attack; and, even then, I greatly feared for his life.

The poor father could barely say mass once or twice; he had to be dressed like a child; but afterward his arm swelled more than ever, and he could not use it. He uttered cries night and day, like a man who is being burned; in fact, he felt pains similar to those caused by a scorching fire. His condition excited compassion in me, for I had no means of relieving him. At last I proposed, somewhat rashly, to lance the swelled arm, and he consented. “But,” he said, “you will have to cut very deep with the lancet, to reach the stone arrow- head.” “I am not sufficiently skillful to flatter myself that I can find it, even if you were to point out the place where the pain is most severe; but I [Page 61] hope to give you relief by allowing the pus to flow.” He consents; he exhorts me to perform the operation, and I set to work. I thrust the lancet three times into his arm, fortunately without injuring him, or opening the principal vein, although the lancet was buried to one-half its depth. After this a great quantity of putrid blood, having a very disagreeable odor, escaped, and this gave him relief; but the stone did not appear and we despaired of curing him. How could an inexperienced man, as I was, seek it among the sinews?

Therefore Jacques, dit le Castor,[16] and all the french here agreed with me that he’ should go to Mobile to have his wound attended to, as there are surgeons at that place who know their trade. After much resistance, he yielded to our prayers, and to the kindness of his guide, Bouat, who had been sent by Monsieur Pacaud to Ouabache;[17] he had returned from the sea to go to Canada, and was here when the father arrived from Peouareoua. Bouat did not venture to continue his journey, on account of the insolence of the Ilinois — who, at the very least, would not have failed to plunder him. In despair of being able to get past that barrier, He very kindly came to offer his services to the father to conduct him to Mobile, whence he came; he sold here all his effects, and undertook to conduct the father, and to take care of him. He even came to our house and dressed his wound some days beforehand, and did so with remarkable skill. The father allowed himself to be won by his kindness, and left here for the sea on the 6th of november.

I greatly fear that he will die of his wound, or be crippled by it for the remainder of his life. After [Page 63] one day’s journey, he hesitated as to whether he should not return to see me, instead of continuing his journey; for the pain had greatly diminished, He continued it, nevertheless, with the view of returning as soon as he is cured, in order to die on his first battle-field.

[Endorsed: “Copy of a copy made at Paris, on the 24th of March, 1707.

(Signed) Dauteuil."] [Page 65]

Letter from Father Gabriel Marest, Missionary

of the Society of Jesus, to Father de Lam-

berville of the same Society, Procura-

tor of the Mission of Canada.


y Reverend Father,

                   The peace of Our Lord.

It is rather late to ask me for news of Hudson’s bay. I was in far better condition to tell you of it when I went back to France on my return from the prisons of Plimouth. All that I can do now is to send you an extract from the little Journal which I wrote at that time, and of which I have kept a copy. It begins with our departure from Quebec, and ends with the return of the two vessels which carried us to that bay. Nevertheless, first allow me to inform you of what I had learned at Quebec — both in regard to the two Jesuits who had made the same voyage before me, and concerning the first discovery of Hudson’s bay.

It is already more than two centuries since Navigators of various Nations undertook to open a new way to China and Japan by the North; and yet none of them have succeeded, God having placed in their way an invincible barrier in the icebergs that are found — in these seas. It was with the same design that in 1611 the famous Hudson, an Englishman, penetrated 500 leagues and more farther north than the others, to the great bay that to-day bears his [Page 67] name, and at which he passed the winter. In the spring of the following year he tried to continue his route; but, provisions beginning to fail him, and diseases having enfeebled his crew, he found himself compelled to return to England. Two years after, he made a second attempt; and in 1614 he pushed on as far as the 82nd degree. He was so many times in danger of perishing there, and he had so much difficulty in retreating, that since that time neither he nor any other has again dared to penetrate so far.

However, the English Merchants, in order to profit by the voyages and discoveries of their fellow- countrymen, have since then made a settlement at Hudson’s bay, and have begun there a trade in furs, with many northern Indians — who during the long summer come, in their pirogues, on the rivers which empty into that bay. At first, the English built only a few houses, that they might pass the winter in them and await the savages. They had much to suffer, and many died there from scurvy. But, as the furs that the savages bring to that bay are very fine, and as the profits on them are great, the English were not deterred by the inclemency of the weather or the severity of the climate. The French of Canada likewise undertook to settle there — claiming that, as many of the neighboring lands are on the same continent as new France, they had the right to trade in them to the 51st degree, and even farther north.[18]

Misunderstandings very soon arose between the two Nations; both built forts, in order that each might be sheltered from the attacks of the other. The frequent maladies and the continual dangers to which people are exposed in this perilous navigation [Page 69] are such that the French did not dare to undertake the voyage without having with them a chaplain. It was in that quality that Father Dalmas, a native of Tours, embarked for Hudson’s bay. Hating arrived there, he offered to remain in the fort, both to serve the French who had been left in garrison, and to have an opportunity for learning the language of the savages who bring their furs during the summer, so that he might be able afterward to go to proclaim the Gospel to them. The vessel which was to bring them provisions in the following year having been continually driven back by contrary winds, those men who had remained in the fort perished, for the most part, from hunger or from disease. They were reduced to only eight; five of these having been detached to go hunting on the snow in the woods, left in the fort Father Dalmas, the Surgeon, and a Toolmaker.

The hunters, having returned four or five days afterward, were much surprised at no longer finding there either the Father or the Surgeon. They asked the Toolmaker what had become of them. The embarrassment in which they beheld him, the contradictory replies that he gave them, and some traces of blood that they perceived on the snow, made them resolve to seize the wretched man and to put him in irons. Finding himself arrested, and goaded by remorse of conscience, he confessed that, having been for a long time on bad terms with the Surgeon, he had assassinated him one morning and dragged his body to the river, where he cast it into a hole which he had made in the ice; and that afterward, having returned to the fort, he found in the Chapel the Father, who was preparing to say Mass. This [Page 71] wretched man asked to speak with him; but the Father put him off until after Mass, so that he might be assisted by him as usual.

Mass having been said, the Toolmaker disclosed to the Father all that had happened, — expressing to him the despair in which he was, and the fear that he had lest, when the others returned, he should be put to death. “That is not what you have most to fear,” replied the Father to him; “we are too few in number, and have too much need of your services, to wish to kill you. If any one were inclined to do so, I promise you to oppose him, as far as I am able. But I exhort you to confess before God the enormity of your crime, to beg his pardon, and to do penance for it. Take care to appease the anger of God; as for me, I will take care to appease that of men.”

The Father told him, moreover, that, should he desire it, he himself would go to meet those who were away hunting; and that he would endeavor to pacify them, and make them promise that they would not ill-treat him on their arrival. The Toolmaker accepted this offer, and appeared to become calm; and the Father set out. But hardly had he left the fort when this miserable man felt troubled anew; he became melancholy, and was convinced that the Father was deceiving him, and was going to meet the others only to warn them against him.

With this thought he took his hatchet and his gun, in order to follow after the Father. Having perceived him beside the river, he cried out to the Father to wait for him, which the Missionary did. As soon as this man had reached the Father, he reproached him with being a traitor and a deceiver; and, at the same time, fired at him his gun and [Page 73] wounded him. In order to escape from the fury of this wretch, the Father jumped upon a large cake of ice which was floating on the water. The Toolmaker sprang upon it after him, and knocked him down with two strokes of the hatchet, which he dealt him on the head. Then, after having thrown his body under the very cake of ice upon which the Father had taken refuge, he returned to the fort, where the five others soon after arrived. This is what the unfortunate man himself avowed while they kept him in irons.

They had resolved to guard him in this way until the arrival of the first vessels, upon which they were to embark; but, before assistance could come, the English attacked the fort. Those who were guarding it had taken the precaution of keeping all their cannon and guns loaded, and therefore they were in condition to pour a furious discharge upon the enemy when these endeavored to make their approaches. This heavy fire, which killed and wounded many of the latter’s men, caused them to believe that there were many soldiers in the fort. For this reason they retreated, but with the resolution to return very soon with a much greater force. They indeed did come back, and were prepared to attack the place in due form. The five Frenchmen who were guarding it, seeing themselves in no condition to resist, escaped at night by an embrasure, and reached the woods, having left the Toolmaker as he was, alone and bound. We have not heard what the English did to him or what he said to them. But of the five persons who left the fort three died on the way, and only two arrived, after many hardships, at Mont-Real. From them was learned all that I have just related [Page 75]

The fate which befell Father Dalmas did not prevent Father Sylvie from returning some time afterward to Hudson’s bay for the purpose of acting there likewise as Chaplain, and at the same time with the hope of opening a way for going to preach the Gospel to the most northern Savages, who hitherto have been without instruction. This Father was there indisposed to such a degree that he was obliged to reëmbark and return to Quebec, where he has never really recovered from the diseases which he contracted at that bay. As soon as I arrived in Canada I was assigned to the same office, and I will not conceal from you that this was contrary to my inclination. On setting out from France, my intention was to devote myself, as soon as possible, to the service of the Savages; but I saw myself somewhat diverted from that work by this voyage.

The late Monsieur d’Iberville, one of the bravest Captains whom we have had in new France, was ordered to seize some posts which the English were holding on Hudson’s bay. For this purpose they had fitted out two men-of-war — the Poli, which he was to command; and the Salamandre, which was commanded by Monsieur de Serigny.[19] He asked our Father Superior for a Missionary who would be able to act as Chaplain for both vessels. The Father Superior made choice of me, apparently because —  having recently arrived, and not yet knowing any savage language — I was least necessary to the work in Canada.

We set sail, then, on the 10th of August, 1694, and east anchor toward midnight near the bar of cap Tourmente. We doubled it on the 11th, at about seven or eight o’clock in the morning. We made [Page 77] scarcely any progress the rest of the day, or on the three following days, because the wind was against us. I improved this leisure in persuading a good part of our crew to celebrate worthily the Feast of the blessed Virgin. On the 14th, I distributed on the Poli the images of Our Lady which Madame de Champigny, wife of the Intendant of Canada, had given me at Quebec; and I spent all the evening and the next morning in hearing confessions; many received communion on the day of the Feast. When I was finishing Mass, the wind changed and we immediately set sail. On the 20th, the wind having entirely ceased, I went from the Poli to the Salamandre to see Monsieur de Serigny and to say Mass on his ship. The crew were very glad of this, and many availed themselves of the opportunity to approach the sacraments.

On the 21st, we sailed beyond Belle Isle. This Island, which appears round in form, is by its latitude of 52 degrees distant 220 leagues from Quebec, in the middle of a strait which the Island of Terre Neuve [Newfoundland] forms with the Mainland of Labrador. From that time, we began to descry those great icebergs which float in the sea; We saw perhaps a score of them. Far away, they looked like mountains of crystal, and some of them like cliffs bristling with peaks.

On the 23rd, we had in the morning a great calm, and in the afternoon a violent and adverse wind, which continued on the 24th and 25th. On the two following days we had a great calm, which was as injurious to us as the contrary wind. The season was advanced; we were going into a country where winter comes before autumn; we were only at the [Page 79] 56th degree of latitude; there still remained to us a long distance to make, on a sea which is dangerous because of the icebergs that are usually found in it, amid which it was necessary to force our way as far as the 63rd degree,

On the 28th, about eight o’clock in the evening, a slight east wind arose — which, striking us from the stern, caused us to make a good run during the two or three days that it lasted. On the 31st the wind changed a little, without, however, ceasing to be favorable to us; but it brought us a heavy fog that prevented our seeing the shore, which we believed to be not far distant, and to which in reality we were quite near. Toward noon the weather cleared, and we easily saw the coast, bordered with a great number of rocks that are called “sugar-loaves,” because they have that form; they were all still covered with snow. About evening, we saw the entrance of the strait that must be passed through in order to reach Hudson’s bay.

This strait, which is called North channel or strait, is very difficult of access on account of the ice —  which is continually coming from the cold regions, and which rushes into the open sea through this channel. The shores of the strait generally run West-Northwest and East-Southeast. At the beginning and at the end of the strait there are islands; lying on the South coast. The islands that are found at the entrance of the strait in the direction of Europe are called Iles Boutons [Button’s Islands]; they are at about the 60th degree and some minutes. Those which are at the other extremity of the same strait are called Iles Digues [Diggs Islands]; they are at about the 63rd degree. Besides these, there are [Page 81] many on the sides and in the middle of this strait, which is thirty-five leagues long. Its least breadth is about seven or eight leagues, but generally it is broader. From time to time deep bays are seen there, especially near Iles Boutons. One of these is more important than the others; it is affirmed that boats can go by this bay as far as to the lower end of Hudson’s bay, but this is very uncertain.

Sometimes it takes a long time to go through the strait; we passed through it very safely in four days. We entered it at four o’clock on the morning of September 1st, and went out of it on the 5th, also in the morning — with a wind which was not very favorable, and which was greatly increased on the 6th. On the 7th, the weather became calm, and gave an opportunity to more than 50 persons to offer their devotions on the following day, the feast of the Nativity of the blessed Virgin.

The calm continued during the 8th, the 9th, and the 10th, which caused much sorrow and anxiety to all the crew. I exhorted our Canadians to implore the protection of saint Anne, who is regarded as the Patron Saint of the country, and whom the Canadians honor with much affection. My proposal was received with joy, and we promised to offer public prayers every day, morning and night, in honor of the Saint. On the very next night the wind became favorable.

On the 12th, we discovered the North land, but below the place where we wished to go. The wind having again become adverse, we tacked for several days, but all in vain, and were obliged to cast anchor. In the meantime, we began to suffer greatly; the cold was increasing, and we lacked [Page 83] water. In this extremity our Canadians came to me, proposing to make a vow to saint Anne, and promise her to consecrate to her honor a portion of the first profit that they should make in the country. I approved of their plan; but, after having spoken of it to Monsieur d’Iberville, I warned them at the same time to be thinking of their sanctification, since it was by purity of conduct that we made our vows acceptable to God. The greater number availed themselves of my advice, and approached the sacraments. The next day, the sailors wished to imitate the Canadians, and make the same vow that they had made. Monsieur d’Iberville and the other Officers took the lead. The very next night, which was that of the 21st and 22nd of September, God gave us a favorable wind.

About six o’clock on the evening of the 24th we entered the river Bourbon. There was great joy among all the crew. It was Friday; we sang the Hymn Vexilla Regis, and especially the O crux ave. We repeated it many times, in order to do honor to the adorable Cross of the Savior in a country where it is unknown to the Barbarians, and where it has been so many times profaned by heretics — who have overthrown, with contempt, all the Crosses that our French had in former times set up.

The river to which the French have given the name of Bourbon is called by the English the Pornetton river, for which cause many Frenchmen still call the surrounding country the Pornetton district. This river is long, broad, and stretches far onward into the interior. But, as it has many rapid currents, it is less adapted to the trade of the savages; it was for this reason that the English did not build their fort on the shore of this river. [Page 85]

Southeast Of the river Bourbon and into the same bay empties also another large river, which the Frenchmen who were first to discover it called the river of sainte Thérèse, because the wife of the man who made the discovery bore the name of that great Saint.

These two rivers are separated from each other only by a tongue of very low land which produces in both of them very extensive shallows. Their mouths are at the 57th degree and some minutes. They both flow in the same rhumb line; and for a long distance their beds are distant from each other only one or two leagues. The shallows which abound in these two rivers render them dangerous to large vessels. As there are somewhat few of them in the Bourbon, it was decided to have the Poli winter in this river, and the Salamandre in that of sainte Thérèse — on the bank of which the English have built their fort, on the tongue of land which separates the two rivers.

As I have already said, we had arrived at the Bourbon river September 24, about six o’clock in the evening. That very night several of our men were put ashore, that they might attempt to surprise some of the English. They had much trouble in landing, on account of the shallows; they were obliged to throw themselves into the water, which caused them great discomfort, the shores of the river being already frozen. An Iroquois savage whom, at the moment I set out from Quebec, I was told to baptize, was among those who were sent ashore. Considering the peril to which he was about to be exposed, I did not think that I ought longer to delay his baptism — which I had put off until that time, that he might be better instructed. One of our Canadians, [Page 87] who speaks the Iroquois language very well, helped me a great deal in instructing him. The men whom we had sent ashore were not able to surprise any of the English, because we had been perceived by them at the moment of our arrival, and all had immediately retired into the fort; but on the 25th the men brought us two savages, whom they had seized near the fort.

Monsieur d’Iberville had gone, the same day, to sound the river, and to seek a place where our vessel could be sheltered during the winter; he found a very suitable one. After having inspected those men whom he had sent on shore, and given them his orders, he instructed Monsieur de Serigny to conduct the Poli to the place selected; and on the 27th he passed to the Salamandre, whither I followed him.

The same day, at evening, we reached the mouth of the river sainte Thérèse; on entering it we did not fail to put ourselves under the protection of this great Saint. About the middle of the night, Monsieur d’Iberville set out in order to sound this second river. On the 28th, we proceeded on the river a league and a half, favored by the tide, the wind being against us. The rest of the day was employed in sounding on all sides. On the 29th, we again made a short league; and Monsieur d’Iberville went ashore to decide upon his camp, and the place where he would have the vessel land. He found one that suited him, a league and a half above the fort. A large point of comparatively high land which juts into the river makes there a sort of bay, where the vessel could be completely sheltered from the blocking of the ice, which is much to be feared in [Page 89] the spring. Orders were given to those of our men who were ashore to come to this place to encamp. There were not more than 20 of them; but the savages of the country had told the English that there were forty or fifty, which had kept the English from ever leaving the fort.

On the 30th, it was impossible for us to go on. We were in the same condition on the first of October — an adverse wind invariably arising at every low tide, and making it impossible for us to tack. In the meantime the wind, the cold, and the ice were increasing every day. We were a league from the place where we were to disembark and we were in danger of not being able to reach it. Our crew were alarmed. I exhorted them to have recourse to the protection of God, who had not yet failed us on the voyage. The same vow that had been made on the Poli was made on the Salamandre; and on that same day the weather changed, and became very fine.

About eight o’clock in the evening, the moon being very bright, we weighed anchor; and, favored by the tide, our shallop, equipped with sixteen oars, towed the vessel and conducted it to within a gunshot of the place to which we wished to go — but which we could not reach, the tide having failed us. In passing before the Fort, three or four volleys were fired at us from the guns, the balls of which did not reach us. Our Canadians replied to them only by some Sassa Koués; this is the name that the Savages give to the shouts which they make in war as a sign of rejoicing.

Our vessel was near being lost on the 2nd. As we were getting under way, in the hope of very soon [Page 91] making the port that we were touching, so to say, a heavy snow-storm hid the land from us, and a rough Northwest wind dashed us on the shallows, where we ran aground at high tide. We spent a sad night there. About ten o’clock in the evening, the ice, swept on by the current and driven by the wind, began to beat against our vessel with violence, and with so frightful a noise that it could have been heard a league away; this uproar continued four or five hours. The ice struck the vessel with such force that it broke through the hull, and in many places made holes three or four inches in size. Monsieur d’Iberville, in order to lighten the vessel, gave orders to cast out on the shallows a dozen pieces of cannon, and several other articles, which could not be lost in the water or injured by it. Afterward he ordered these pieces of cannon to be covered with sand, fearing lest they might be swept away in the spring by the crowding of the ice.

On the 3rd, the wind having somewhat subsided, Monsieur d’Iberville resolved to order the unloading of his vessel, which was in continual danger of being destroyed. We were not able to make use of the shallop for that, because it was not possible to guide it through the ice, which was continually floating in great quantity; but we used the bark canoes which we had brought from Quebec, and which our Canadians steered through the ice with admirable skill.

I had been indisposed for some days and had even had a fever. Monsieur d’Iberville urged me to go ashore; but I could not resolve to leave the vessel which was in such danger, when I saw the whole crew in fear. I was compelled to do so, because of the sad news that we soon heard. Monsieur de [Page 93] Chateauguai — a young Officer nineteen years old, and brother of Monsieur d’Iberville — had gone to skirmish near the English Fort, in order to divert their attention and prevent their knowledge of our difficulties. Having advanced too far, he was wounded by a ball which pierced him through. He sent for me that he might confess, and I went to him immediately. At first, we thought that the wound was not mortal; we were very soon undeceived, for he died the next day.

A little while before, we had heard news of the Poli; and we learned that that vessel was in no less danger than was our own. The winds, the ice, and the shallows had all been adverse to it; once when it was aground a great noise had issued from the keel, and four pumps were not sufficient to empty out the water that was pouring in. Many barrels of powder had been made wet in unloading that vessel. It had not yet made, and it was in danger of not being able to make, the place where it was to winter.

So much sad news did not dampen the courage of Monsieur d’Iberville, although he was extraordinarily touched by the death of his brother, whom he had always tenderly loved. He made this a sacrifice to God, in whom he chose to put his whole confidence. Foreseeing that the least sign of anxiety which might appear upon his countenance would throw every one into confusion, he maintained throughout a marvelous firmness — setting every one to work, exerting himself, and giving his orders with as much presence of mind as ever. God consoled him even on that day; one and the same tide put the two vessels out of danger, and carried them both to the places that had been selected [Page 95]

On the 5th, I baptized two children of a Savage; they had been sick for a long time, and I thought them in danger. I hastened to baptize them, because the Savages were obliged to go away on the next day, as they were to spend the winter in the woods very far from us. But, before baptizing them, I made their father promise that, if they recovered from their maladies, he would bring them to me in the spring that I might instruct them. They were both children of the same father, but of different mothers, polygamy being common among the Savages of that Country. One of the two died, and in the following spring the father brought back to me the other, as he had promised. Afterward we were busy in building cabins for ourselves, in unloading the ship, and in preparing everything for the siege.

On the 9th, I set out to go to the Poli where Monsieur de Tilly,[20] the Lieutenant, had been dangerously sick for some days. That was the first journey that I had made in the woods of America. The ground over which it was necessary for us to pass was very marshy; we were compelled to take long winding ways, in order to avoid the swamps. The water was beginning to freeze, but the ice was not strong enough to bear us; we often sank knee- deep. We went thus five leagues over the snow and through the woods, — if, however, this term can be used, for in that Country there are no real woods; they are mostly but brambles and thorns, moderately thick in some places, and in others interspersed with much open Prairie.

When we had arrived at the bank of the river Bourbon we found ourselves much perplexed, for the [Page 97] ship was on the other side. The river at that place is a league and a half broad; it is very swift, and was bearing along at that time many cakes of ice. Those who accompanied me believed the passage to be impossible. Indeed, I had trouble in overcoming their opposition; but, shortly after, the river became free, the ice having drifted with the ebbing tide. We embarked immediately, after having carried our canoe over the ice which edged the river. We left there at sunset, and we arrived safely at the beginning of the night.

We found the ship in a safe and convenient place. They were beginning to recover from their past hardships. I went to see the sick man, whom I comforted; I heard his confession the next day, and administered to him the holy Viaticum. I spent the afternoon in visiting our Canadians and Sailors, who had made cabins for themselves on the shore. On my return, I was told that the river was passable; and I embarked at once, because I had promised to return without delay, on account of the attack on the Fort. We reached the other bank very late, and we made a cabin in which to spend the night. We made it with great carelessness, because the Heavens appeared very serene; we repented of this, for during three hours we were exposed to the snow.

We arrived on the 11th at our camp, where everything was well advanced for the siege. A fine road had been made through the woods for moving the cannon, mortars, and bombs. On the 12th, the mortars were placed in position. On the 13th, when they were ready to fire, we sent to summon the enemy to surrender, and to offer them good conditions if they surrendered at once. They asked to [Page 99] have until eight o’clock next morning before giving their answer, and begged that they should not be disturbed, that night, in the neighborhood of the Fort. This was granted to them. The next day, at the appointed hour, they brought their conditions. We subscribed to them without difficulty, for they did not even ask for their arms or their flag. Their minister had drawn up the capitulation in latin, and I served as interpreter, on our side. Fear had seized them at the moment of our arrival; from that time they had remained continually shut up, without even daring to go out during the night to fetch water from the river, which washes the base of the Fort.

Monsieur d’Iberville on the same day sent Monsieur du Tas, his Lieutenant, with sixty men to take possession of the Fort. He himself went thither on the next day, the day of saint Theresa; and he named it Fort Bourbon. I said Mass there the same day, and we chanted the Te Deum. This Fort was only of wood, smaller and weaker than we had believed. The booty that was found in it was therefore less valuable than we had hoped. The English were fifty-three in number, all comparatively tall and well built; he who commanded them was more proficient in trade than in the profession of arms, which he had never followed; this was the reason why he surrendered so readily. We wondered at the marvelous ordering of divine Providence. In entering the river sainte Thérèse, we had invoked with confidence the great Saint whose name the river bears; and God SO arranged events that precisely on the feast-day of the same Saint we entered the Fort; this rendered us masters of the Navigation, and of all the Trade of that great river. [Page 101]

I thought that I ought to go back on that same day to visit Monsieur de Tilly, whom I had left very sick. I set out then after dinner, and arrived at the bank of the river Bourbon, which we found absolutely impassable. We built cabins, and spent the whole night there, The next day, the river being in no better condition, we made on the shore a dense smoke, which was the signal that had been agreed upon for giving notice to the Poli of the capture of the Fort. They responded by similar signals, and we returned to the Fort. Three days after, — that is, on the 18th of October, — I joined Monsieur de Caumont, brother of Monsieur de Tilly, two others of his relatives, and another Canadian, that we might attempt going together to the Poli. We found the river still very rough, and the next day it was no better. Nevertheless, we ventured to cross it; this was not without running great risk, but at last we arrived safely. I did not leave the invalid again until the 28th, which was the day of his death. After his funeral I intended returning to the Fort, to celebrate the feast of All Saints; but it was impossible to cross the river before All Souls’ day. That evening we went astray in the woods, and, after having walked. a long time, we found ourselves almost at the spot from which we had started; we spent the night there, and I reached the Fort only on the 3rd of November. Afterward, I often made these short journeys; for an epidemic and the scurvy having broken out among our crews, I was obliged to go continually from the Fort to the Poli, and from the Poli to the Fort, to attend all the patients. I myself had a few attacks of scurvy; my constant activity in going hither and thither to assist those [Page 103] who were in any danger removed, as I believe, the beginnings of the disease.

As early as the month of October the river sainte Thérèse was wholly frozen over, as far as three or four leagues above the Fort, where there are some islands which render the channel narrower; but we did not begin to cross it, opposite the Fort, until the 13th of November. The river Bourbon was not entirely frozen over until the night of January 23 and 24, 1695. After that time we crossed on the ice in going to the Poli and this greatly shortened our journey. The ice in the river sainte Thérèse began to break up on the 30th of May, and in the river Bourbon only on the 11th of June. On July 30, we embarked to go with our two vessels from the roadstead to the mouth of the river sainte Thérèse, in order to await the English vessels which are wont to arrive there at about that time. But we waited for them in vain; not one of them appeared.

On my arrival, I had resolved to learn the language of the Savages; for that purpose I had intended to employ two of them who had lived, during the winter, in a cabin near the Fort. But my frequent trips from one river to the other had prevented my doing so; besides, the man was a slave from another Tribe, who knew only imperfectly their Tongue; the woman, who deeply hated the French, spoke to me only through caprice, and often deceived me. Nevertheless, the visits that I made had, at least, some good effect. I had gained the confidence of this poor man, and I began instructing him to the best of my ability. He fell sick; he asked me for baptism, and I had the satisfaction of administering it to him before he died. I will now mention [Page 105] what I was able to learn about the Savages of that Country.

There are seven or eight different Tribes who come to the Fort: and in the year 1695 possibly three hundred or more Canoe-loads of them came to trade. The most distant, the most numerous, and the most important of these Tribes are the Assiniboëls [Assiniboines] and the Kriqs — or, otherwise, the Kiristinnons [Crees]; indeed, it is necessary to learn only the languages of these two Tribes, The language of the Kriqs, which is Algonquin, and that of the Savages nearest to the Fort are the same, with the exception of a few words and some slight difference of accent. The language of the Assiniboëls is very different from this latter; it is the same as that of the Scioux, to whose country my brother has made two journeys.[21] It is even asserted that these Assiniboëls are a Scioux Tribe who have been separated from that nation for a long time, and who since then have constantly made war upon them. The Kriqs and the Assiniboëls are allied together; they have the same enemies, and undertake the same wars. Many Assiniboëls speak Kriq, and many Kriqs, Assiniboël.

The Kriqs are numerous and their Country more vast; they are spread as far as Lake superior, where many go to trade. I have seen some of them who have been at the Sault Sainte Marie and at Michilimakinak and some who have gone as far as Montréal. The river bourbon flows as far as the Lake of the Kriqs:[22] it takes twenty or twenty-five days to go there from here; it takes thirty-five or forty to go to the land of the Assiniboëls.

These Savages are well formed; they are tall, [Page 107] robust, alert, and hardened to cold and fatigue. The Assiniboëls have on their bodies deep lines, which represent serpents, birds, and various other objects; these are imprinted by puncturing the skin with small pointed bones, and filling these punctures with the dust of pounded charcoal. They are serious, and appear very phlegmatic. The Kriqs are more vivacious — always in motion, always dancing or singing. Both tribes are brave, and delight in war. The Assiniboëls have been compared to the Flemish, and the Kriqs to the Gascons: their dispositions really have some resemblance to those of these two Nations. These Savages have no Villages or fixed dwelling. They are always wanderers and vagabonds, living by hunting and fishing. Nevertheless, in the summer they assemble near the Lakes, where they remain two or three months; and afterward they go to gather wild oats, of which they lay in a store.

The Savages who are nearest to this point live only by hunting; they continually range the woods, without stopping in any place, either in winter or summer, unless they have good sport; but in that case they build cabins on the spot, and remain therein until they no longer have anything to eat. They are often compelled by want of forethought, to go three or four days without taking any food. Like the others, they are inured to cold and accustomed to fatigue; nevertheless, they are base, cowardly, idle, churlish, and wholly vicious.

As for the Religion which they profess, I believe that it is the same as that of other Savages; I cannot yet precisely say in what their Idolatry consists. I know that they have some sort of Sacrifices, and they are great jugglers; like other Savages they use [Page 109] a pipe, which they call a calumet; they smoke in honor of the Sun, and also in honor of absent persons; they have smoked in honor of our Fort and of our Vessel; yet I cannot tell you anything positive concerning the ideas that they may hold of the Deity, not having been able to examine them thoroughly, I will only add that they are extremely superstitious, and very dissolute; and that they live in polygamy, and in a great aversion to the Christian Religion.

By this you see, my Reverend Father, that it will be very difficult to establish Religion among these Peoples. If we wish to make any progress therein, I believe that we must begin with the Kriqs and the Assiniboëls. Not only are these Savages more numerous, but it seems to me that they are not so averse to Religion; they have more intelligence; they are settled, at least for three or four months, and we could more easily start a Mission in their Country. Not that I do not see the difficulties that we would have in establishing ourselves among them; I do not know whether our first Fathers had as many in their first Missions in Canada as these promise us. But this is not what should deter us; God will take care of us, and I hope that the more arduous these Missions may be, the more Missionaries we shall find who will offer themselves to God, that they may be sent there.

It still remains, my Reverend Father, for me to speak of the climate and of the temperature of this Country. As I have already said, the Fort is at about the fifty-seventh degree of latitude, situated at the entrance of two large rivers; but the land is very unproductive; it is a Country wholly marshy and abounding in Savannes [meadows]. There are few [Page 111] trees and those are very stunted. For more than thirty or forty leagues from the Fort there are no real woods. That results, without doubt, from the high sea-winds which usually blow, from the severe cold, and from the snow, which is almost continual there. With the month of September, the cold weather sets in; and before that the weather is severe enough to fill the rivers with ice, and sometimes even to freeze them solid. The ice does not disappear until about the month of June; but even then the cold weather does not cease.

It is truë that in this time there are some very hot days (for there is scarcely any midway between the great heat and the great cold); but these last a short time: the winds from the North, which are frequent, dissipate very soon this first heat, and often after having perspired in the morning we are frozen at night. The snow lies on the ground here for eight or nine months, but it is not very deep; its greatest depth this winter has been two or three feet.

The long winter, although it is always cold, is not however always equally so. Truly, there is often extreme cold weather, during which a person does not go outside with impunity. There are but few of us who do not bear marks of the weather, and one of the Sailors has lost both his ears; but there are also fine days. What pleases me most is, that we see no rain; and after a certain period of snow and poudrerie (it is thus that they call a fine snow that sifts in everywhere) the air is pure and clear. If I had to choose between winter and summer in this country, I do not know which I would take; for in the summer, besides the scorching heat and the frequent passing from extreme heat to extreme cold, [Page 113] and rarely having three fine days in succession, there are moreover so many Mosquitoes or gnats, that you cannot go out without being covered with them, and stung on all sides. These flies are more numerous here than in Canada, and are larger. In addition to this, the woods are full of water; and, however little you advance in them, it is often waist-deep.

Although the Country be such as I have just described, that does not prevent a person from living in it comfortably. The rivers are full of fish, and game is abundant: all winter long there is a great multitude of partridges, — we have killed possibly twenty thousand. In the spring and in the fall there are also found countless numbers of geese, bustards, ducks, barnacles, and other water-fowl. But the best hunting is that of the Caribou; it lasts all the year and is especially good in the spring and fall. Herds of three or four hundred and more are seen at a time. Monsieur de Serigni told us that on All Saints’ day and on All Souls’ day he had passed perhaps ten thousand of them, at about a league from the Cabins; and that the people on the Poli had seen them from the other shore of the Bourbon river. The Caribous somewhat resemble the fallow-Deer, with the exception of their horns. The first time that the Sailors saw them, they were afraid and ran away. Our Canadians killed a few of them; the Sailors, who had been rallied by the Canadians, became more courageous; and they also killed some afterward. See how God cares for these savages. As their land is unproductive, the Lord provides for their maintenance by sending them so great a quantity of game, and by giving them also Special skill in killing it. [Page 115]

Besides the Tribes who come to the Saints Thérèse river for trade, there are still others, farther North, in a climate even colder than this — as the Ikovirinioucks who are about a hundred leagues from here; but they are at war with the Savages of this Country and have no intercourse with the Fort. Farther on are found the Eskimaux; and, near the Ikovirinioucks, another great Tribe who are allied to them, and are called the Alinouspigut. This is a numerous Tribe: they have Villages, and extend even back of the Assiniboëls, with whom they are almost always at war.

I do not yet speak the language of the Savages well, and, nevertheless, none of them have come to the Fort to whom I have not spoken of God. I had a secret delight in declaring him to these poor people who had never heard of him; many have listened willingly to me; they knew, at least, that I came for a purpose different from that of the other Frenchmen. I told them that I would go into their Country, that I might make them know the God whom I adored: they were much pleased at this, and invited me to do so. I have still more difficulty in understanding the Savage tongue than in speaking it. I already know the greater number of the words; Monsieur de la Motte has supplied me with a good many, and an Englishman who knows the language very well has given me many more. I have made a Dictionary of all these words according to our alphabet, and I believe that, considering the short time that I could spend among the Savages, I had begun to speak their language easily and to understand it. I have translated the sign of the Cross, the Pater, the Ave, the Credo, and the Commandments of God. I have baptized only two adult Savages, who [Page 117] died shortly after. I have also baptized three children, two of whom have gone to Heaven, and if I had been able to go among them, I could have helped more of them to go there.

Our two vessels set out at the beginning of September, 1695, to go back. As it was probable that they would go directly to France, I preferred to remain at the Fort with the eighty men who were left there in garrison, and who, besides, had no Chaplain. I was convinced that, having more leisure after the departure of the Vessels, I could thoroughly learn the language of the Savages, and be enabled to begin a Mission among them. God did not deem me worthy; the English came to besiege us, and took us captive. On crossing to France, I gave you the details of this affair, with the history of our imprisonment. It would be useless to repeat it here. I am, with participation in your holy sacrifices, etc.,

Gabriel Marest, Missionary.

[Page 119]

Letter of Father Jacques Gravier to the Very

Reverend Father Michelangelo Tam-

burini, General of the Society

of Jesus, at Rome.

Paris, march 6, 1707.


ery Reverend Father,

I arrived here not long ago from our missions among the indians commonly called Illinois, situated near the great river Mississipa, which flows into the gulf of mexico.... I traveled by ship more than 2,000 leagues, — not with the intention of [finding] some one who might extract from the middle of my arm the stone arrow-head which is riveted there for the rest of my life (the Four other arrows which the same barbarian shot at me in hatred of the faith, apart from piercing my ear, hardly wounded me); but I performed the journey, urged by anxiety to procure from the Reverend Father General workers whom our missions greatly need, and especially, for a decision in the cases referred to Your Paternity. Those indeed concerning the contracting of marriage by a Christian with an infidel are of the greatest importance for the strengthening of Christianity....

In my village, which is five hundred leagues distant from Quebec, and which consists of about three thousand souls, — unless, during the pastor’s absence, the flock be dispersed for a time, — I have [Page 121] for the last nineteen years lived nearly always alone without a colleague, without a companion, often even without a servant. I am already fifty-six years old. Father Gabriel Marest likewise lives alone in his Mission with the same nation. During an entire day he has hardly time to recite his breviary, or to eat, or to take a short rest in the middle of the night. His fellow-missionary, Father Jean Mermet, can hardly work, owing to his ruined state of health after having spent all his strength by excess of zeal. They have hardly time to breathe, on account of the increasing number of neophytes and their very great fervor; for out of two thousand two hundred souls, who compose their village, hardly forty may be found who do not profess the catholic faith with the greatest piety and constancy. We are separated from each other by a distance of 120 leagues and hardly once every other year have I time to visit him....

Jacques Gravier, S.J.

[Page 123]

Letter of Father Jacques Gravier, upon the

Affairs of Louisiana.

From Fort St. Louis of Louisiana,

this 23rd of february, 1708,

My Reverend Father,

We have at last arrived. Brother fortin is not yet here. He started three Days ago from l’Isle massacre, at which port the ship the Renommée anchored only on the 12th of this month of february; and from that Day I have Been constantly moving from massacre to here, and from here to massacre to get the articles which I have brought from france transported to this place.[23] I loaded a Boat with them; This Cost me 46 livres in money, and, If the boat do not arrive to-day, I think it must be lost, for It was laden too heavily. This resulted from the Greed for making money displayed by the master, who Overloaded it with other goods; moreover, there has been a strong wind, and there is a shoal that is greatly to be dreaded. God Be praised for everything. I beg Your Reverence to thank him sincerely for having protected me from accidents of all Kinds. Brother fortin has been ill all the time, and is still, with quartan fever. Do not count On him; he is waiting to go to Quebec. I shall not lose by it If Your Reverence will send me next year — I mean, by the first ships — a good donné to replace [poor Jaques].[24] He has received the viaticum and extreme unction, and at present is [Page 125] only a burden; but it is right that we should Serve him after he has Served us So well for so many years. I found several letters here from the fathers among the Ilinois, where father de ville[25] is not likely to arrive for some time, as I learn that the roads Are closed.

Monsieur Bergier claims: 1st, that we have the powers of vicar-general merely with regard to the Savages of our missions, and not to the french who Are also settled in them. This he says and publishes, solely with the view of taking the french from us, and of informing them that we have no authority over Them, and that they must have recourse to him in Spiritual matters. Your Reverence can easily Realize the inconveniences that would result if our powers as vicars-general did not extend to the french who Are settled in our missions, and If we had to refer them to Monsieur Bergier or to monsieur de la vante.[26]

2nd. He claims that, although I am entitled the Superior of the Illinois missions and of those that we may have in these countries, and although monseigneur of Quebec gives the powers of vicar- general to the Superior of these missions, I have not those powers of vicar-general, — because monseigneur the Bishop took from me, at the time of the Tamarouha affair, those that he had given me more than 10 years previously. But it is only during the last 4 or 5 years that he gives these powers to the Superior of the Illinois missions; and I am not Aware that he has excluded me individually and by name, although he Knew that I was the Superior thereof, I assure you, my Reverend Father, that I do not aspire to nominis umbram, and that I Gladly concede the [Page 127] Superiority and the powers of vicar-general to father mermet; but I urge Your Reverence to have an explanation Respecting These 2 points with monsieur de la Palliere, to whom I beg you to present my compliments; and with monseigneur of Quebec, to whom I shall have the honor of writing when I reach my mission. Monsieur de la vante has retracted all the Calumnies that he had uttered Against monsieur de Bie[n]ville, — who is Justified on every point by the Investigations that have been made and [will] continue to be made by monsieur Dartaguiet, — commissary-in-ordinary of marine, who has been sent expressly by the Court to Ascertain the truth of the facts; and monsieur de la Salle, King’s scrivener, who performs the duties of commissary here, may be Deprived of that office. If monsieur de muy —  whose intentions were good, and who was a man of great firmness — [had lived, he] would this year have sent him back to france, If he had lived, monsieur de la vante, who is greatly displeased at my return after all that he said about me, — for he was not well received by monsieur Dartaguiet and monsieur de la popiliere, [2nd] Captain of the renomée, whom monsieur d’Eschilais sent here to be present at all the investigations, — and after calling me Seditious.[27] I Know that they have spoken of me in a more favorable manner, and that I do not pass here as being Seditious, or as an arch-Plotter. That is the Praise that monsieur Tremblay gave me, and a letter that he wrote to monsieur de muy: “Take care,” He said, “not to allow yourself to be prejudiced by father Gravier that arch-Plotter,” etc. I beg Your Reverence (by way of parenthesis) to Communicate, If you think it worth while, to monsieur de la palliere [Page 129] and monsieur Tremblay the certificates that I left in your hands. They will see Whether a Seditious man, an arch-Plotter, behaves in the manner in which all the settlers and the garrison certify that I Have behaved. God be praised f or everything. I Know not Whether the time for which Reverend Father Gouï leads us to hope, is near; but I do Know that the people here are greatly dissatisfied with these gentlemen: monsieur de la vante, who is hated by nearly every one; monsieur le mere, the chaplain of the fort, who neither chants, nor preaches, nor visits a single Soldier, — who thinks of nothing but eating, and for whom naught but contempt is felt; monsieur huvé, who Knows not a single word in the Savage tongue, although he has been here 4 years. He has, it is truë, been for some time in the apalaches’ village, 4 leagues from Here;[28] but he Knows not a word of their language, and he hears confessions, baptizes, marries, and administers Communion and extreme unction, Without understanding the savages. What would be said if a Jesuit were to do as much? The Apalaches have driven him away twice, — both because he does not learn their language, and because he is very particular about his food, for they have given him a house and a chapel, and they feed him. Monsieur Dar[v]ion has abandoned his mission, through fear of the english and of the Savages, their enemies. This flight does him no credit, in having thus forsaken His flock. He has not accomplished much there during 9 years, as he has no more great talent for learning languages. Monsieur de St. Cosme had not made a Single Christian among the Natches. There is only monsieur Bergier, among the Tama[r]ouha; and he [Page 131] has said that, on the first alarm of an Enemy, He would abandon the place and come here; but I can hardly Believe that he will leave it If we do not.[29] Nevertheless, these gentlemen Have undertaken to provide missionaries. They receive, as Your Reverence Knows, 3 or 4,000 livres for 4 missionaries, and there is only monsieur Bergier; I,000 livres for the Cure that we have been good enough to cede to them, — with 150 500 livres for a vicar, whom it has not, and 600 livres for the chaplain. If it were only Known at the Court How we are Desired here!... But as I would appear to be an interested party, I say not a word, in spite of the promises that I made to God to die among my poor Ilinois. Monsieur de la vante is a strange man. Monsieur de muy would have sent him back this year; and nothing will go on well, this year, Unless he is recalled.

I do not think that I shall start before easter, and monsieur de Bienville will do all that I [may] Desire, in order that I may go up. As I Know not what is wanting at the Ilinois establishment, I do not send you an invoice. The things we most need are: 1st, a barrel of one hundred livres of powder. and, 10 livres [2 ounces] of white Beads, olive-shaped and large-sized; 4 livres of small beads, — blue, green, and white. 3rd, 5 livres of good vermilion. 4th, one gross of large Clasp-Knives. 5th, half a gross of large [bells, and half a gross of small ones. 6th, twelve pots of Spanish wine]. And, [7th,] 4 pairs of rather light Shoes. We need no linen, but Your Reverence would do well to send us 2 winter and 2 Summer Cassocks, for those among us four who are most in want of them. I beg Your Reverence to Bear in mind that we have no servant for our 2 missions, [Page 133] even if brother fortin should remain in the place of Jacques, with His nephew, — who is about 17 or 18 years old, and who does not seem to be worth much. I have no one for my mission but my little Savage. Do not send me back to Quebec, because there is no communication and father de ville cannot come to the Ilinois country, as I foresaw. I forgot to write to Your Reverence that it is necessary to buy 5 livres of Red chalk or red lead, which Costs only 5 Sols the livre, to mix, when well ground and well pounded, with the 5 livres of vermilion for which ’ I asked you. At paris this costs monsieur Tremblay only 8 livres for a livre in weight, and the Red lead 5 Sols. [It is not little, or else it was on some prize. He paid more for it.] It should not be mixed, As I hope that madame la presidente Perrot will send me the 2 Angels and the Royal crown for the Blessed Sacrament, or the rosaries for which I asked you, If Your Reverence will take the trouble to go to see her on my behalf, or send brother Tallard there, I will not ask you this year For any part of the 100 livres that I left on deposit with monsieur Berry. Brother fortin arrived safely at 9 o’clock on the Evening of february 29, with everything that I brought from france. The poor brother cannot take 2 steps Without being out of breath; he also walks like an old man of 80 years; and If he will listen to me, he will eat meat during Lent. For my part, I may have some disease Lurking in my system; but as I Am indisposed solely through good living and repletion, a Lenten diet will Do me good. I think that I forgot to ask Your Reverence, from the Cap, Whether the permission given by our father General to the missionaries of the Cap to accept what is given [Page 135] them for masses — on condition that they apply the same solely to the decoration and maintenance of their Churches, and the support of the poor in their missions — is not equally given to us in our missions, on the same conditions. Father girard told me that he thought so; and, On the faith of what he said to me, I undertook to say 30 masses — for which He gave me 10 pots of madeira wine, for the masses. I also took, for one of my Savages, a shirt for 2 masses which a Frenchman asked me to say; and I may undertake to celebrate some masses that monsieur de chateaugue asked me to say — and the stipend whereof I shall expend solely for the poor and for the altar. I beg Your Reverence for instructions on this point, also to give me an answer Respecting the powers of vicar-general; For, If monsieur Bergier says truly, He would like to be master in our missions, and make us ridiculous in the eyes of both our french and our Savages. It is but right that Your Reverence should be informed that the chaplain of the renommée, after an interview at the cap with the chaplain of the Indien, — who had forcibly threatened to Interdict father René — told me that he would no longer allow me to say mass. I accepted the compliment very modestly; I received communion at His mass, and, after I had spoken to monsieur de muy and to monsieur de d’Echilais, He was ordered to allow me to say mass whenever I liked. I have done so every Day; and I manifested no feeling against him in the matter. But I Know that he has stated that he will Never allow any Jesuit or Religious to perform any duty or to say mass on board of any ship where he Is chaplain. He has not said this of his own accord; For He is a good [Page 137] Temperate man and is not an adventurer; but he has acted in Consequence of what has been said to him at the cap by the chaplain of the Indien, who is a notable adventurer, a Drinking man, a Gamester, and a Swearer. These good gentlemen who neither preach nor catechize Are so Jealous because the Religious do so, and Are Esteemed in a town [on board ship]. Make arrangements with Reverend Father Gouï so that missionaries may say mass and hear confessions when They like, and give a few words of Instruction when the chaplain does not, and when the officers of the Crew may request them to do so. Monsieur de la vante manifests a desire to go to france to impose upon people and not be compelled to see Himself recalled. The regret that he feels at not being able to Substantiate all the [his] calumnies before monsieur Dartaguiet will induce him to invent others Against monsieur de B... [ienville], against myself, and against all who may be opposed to him.

Your Reverence consents that I should send to your care the letter that I write to my Sister Ther[v]enau, in order that it may be Sure to reach her; For that letter must Supply the place of a dozen that are expected of me. I also beg her to give my greetings to Reverend Father Rector, to Reverend Father megret and also to Darrot. The sudden departure of the ship does not allow me to write to them, to Reverend Father Guimourt, to Reverend Father Dauril, to father Sicaud, or to the Superioress of the ursulines of the faubourg St. Jacques. If I have time, I shall write to madame de l’amoignon, to whom I would like to send an Ilinois girdle. The four piasters that the filibusters gave 2 years Ago to [Page 139] father marest, to thank God for having Saved them from shipwreck, weigh upon monsieur de la vante’s Mind. He did not get the answer he expected; this mortified him, and, to show you His bad faith, He calls upon me to Account for [The anchor] and heavy ship’s Cable, that he assured me father marest had received from him — although he was well Aware of the contrary, and that they had been lost with the vessel. In truth, it is impossible to Conceive how boldly He advances and Maintains Impostures. His character, His age, His devout and imposing air, give him authority, and shield him from everything; and, when he is convicted of Impostures and falsehoods, He denies them as boldly as he uttered them, etc. As the commissary deputed by the Court is not a person to allow Himself to be Deceived, monsieur de la vante says that he is not a Competent Judge, because he lodges with monsieur de Bienville’s brother; and that all the habitans whom he has Examined have replied in favor of monsieur de B[ienville], solely out of human respect, etc. He has asked permission to go to france, because he says that he has no time to write. It is to be Desired that he may go there, and not return. It is Desirable that he should be known, and that people should not allow Themselves to be Beguiled. A fort is to be built at Isle massacre. The chaplain is to have no connection with that of mobile or with the Curé; and this post would suit us well. What does Reverend Father Gouï think of it? I think that I have had, or have left in Your Reverence’s hands, a declaration by the Captain of the filibusters, made before a notary, which declares that the 40 [sic. — Ed.] piasters presented by them to father marest were not to pay for the mass, but to thank God [Page 141] for having Saved them, etc. In any case that money, in Accordance with the permission of the Reverend Father general, might be accepted, and expended in adorning the Church, and in relieving the poor of the mission; and I pledge myself to Make up for whatever father marest may not have done. Brother fortin begs Your Reverence to think of His last vows, and I request your instructions respecting what I must do to receive them. I have neither the formula nor the book of rules. I am about to accompany monsieur Bienville, who is going to Wish monsieur d’Echilais a safe return to france; and, If I have forgotten anything, I will there add, in detail, what I may have omitted.

I remain, etc.

Jacques Gravier.

[Endorsed: “mississipi; Jacques Gravier; february 23, 1708.”] [Page 143]


Documents of 1710-1712

CLXXXIV. — Epistola R. P. Ludovici Davaugour ad R. P. Josephum Germain, superiorem Generalem Missionurn Canadensium, De Miffione Lauretana in Nova Francis. È Lauretano oppiduio, Nonis Octobr., 1710

CLXXXV. — Excerptum ex epistola P. Josephi Aubery, Evangelii præconis in Nova Francis, ad P. Josephum Juvencium, de Missions S, Francisci Salesii, in eadem Nova Francis. E Miffione S. Francisci Salesii, Sexto Idus Octobres M.DCCX

CLXXXVI. — Lettre du P. Joseph Germain, touchant la Mission canadienna en l’année 1711. À Quebec, 5e. novembre, 1711

CLXXXVIL. — Lettre du Père Gabriel Marest, Missionnaire de la Compagnie de Jésus, au Père Germon, de la même Compagnie. Aux Cascaskias, le 9 Novembre, 1712


Sources: For Docs. CLXXXIV., CLXXXV., and CLXXXVI., we have had recourse to MSS. in the archives de l’Ècole de Ste. Geneviève, Paris. They are doubtless contemporary apographs. Doc. CLXXXVII. we take from Lettres édifiantes, tome vi., pp. 254-298. [Page 145]


Letter of Reverend Father Louis Davaugour to

Reverend Father Joseph Germain, superior

General of the Canadian Missions, Con-

cerning the Mission of Lorette

in New France, 1710.


ourReverence[30] asks tie to give you information respecting the state of our Mission of Lorette. I comply with your request in this letter — wherein, although you will read nothing that is brilliant or magnificent, as may be related of other Missions, yet you will learn, I think, with pleasure what kind of life our Hurons lead here, and what practices of piety they daily perform. I write this with all the more confidence, because I have had but little share in what I am about to relate. The whole merit is due, [after God,] to the care and ability of Reverend Father Decouvert, who was recently compelled by ill health to return to Quebec, that he might be more conveniently cared for in our college. Appointed in his place, although unequal to the task, I shall narrate what I have seen and discovered [in this village of Lorette].

Some there are who think, and therefore write, that the soil of Canada is thoroughly sterile and unfruitful; that the heralds of the Gospel reap therefrom hardly any fruit in return for long and painful labor. This single village of Lorette can teach them otherwise. In fact, I make bold to say that all the other missions of Canada are by no means as fruitful [Page 147] as this one. Drunkenness, — a vice inborn in barb&ans, and spread far and wide by the greed of European traders, — and the corrupt morals and criminal examples of Europeans, deplorably oppose the Gospel. These obstacles are, however, surmounted, although not everywhere with the same promptness and facility. They have been thoroughly abolished and destroyed in the village of Lorette, where the savages enjoy the most ample liberty, and have made it a custom to practice piety openly and in security. Every day at early morn, as soon as they awake, they repair to the church, to pay their homage to the Lord Christ on the Throne of his grace. Neither age nor sex, neither rigorous December nor the burning Dog-days can deter any from this pious duty. The very children vie in outstripping their seniors. What laborer for souls would not readily forget all his trials on beholding the peaceful throng [in the early morning, and often before sunrise], prostrate before the altar, lisping with tender accents the praises of Christ? I have often found savages in the coldest winter, kneeling and praying before the door of the church, waiting until it should be opened. As soon as it is opened, they approach; and each one prays separately, some of them during a whole hour. At sunrise, or shortly after, the signal is given for saluting the Mother of God in the words of the Angel. They [regard this as a religious duty, and] are careful not to omit it, wherever they may be. Half an hour later, mass is celebrated, at which they all assist. The concourse is the same on working-days and holy days, their ardor the same. Their modesty is so remarkable that the French passing through the village admire it — to their own confusion, when [Page 149] they compare themselves and their behavior with these barbarians. When mass is finished, they leave, if it be a working-day, to labor at home or in the fields. In the evening, at sunset, the Signal is given for prayer. All gather in the chapel, where prayers are offered up in common for the whole village. Each family also recites prayers privately at home, after which each one, with a pious kiss, venerates the most holy wounds of Christ. The order is the same for feast-days and working-days, except for the labor [which the holiness of the day prohibits]. All are present in the morning at the sacrifice of the mass, which is celebrated in behalf of the whole village. Nearly all assist at the mass of a second priest, and not a few at another if there be a third celebrant. While the first mass of all, which is called “the Mission Mass,” is being said, they sing sacred Hymns written in the vernacular tongue, and adapted to the feasts which are then being celebrated, — with a harmony truly beautiful, and not at all barbarous. Toward noon they assemble in the chapel for Vespers, which likewise consist in the singing of pious hymns. In these they use the cadence and the airs prescribed by Ecclesiastical law, and practiced in the churches of Europe. To avoid all idleness, from which vice barbarians have most to suffer, some of the men go to the river to snare fishes with their treacherous hooks; others pursue wild beasts in the neighboring forest. All at the same hour, before the sun sets, repair to the chapel to attend evening prayers and to hear the instruction. On the greater feast-days, no one leaves the village after vespers. Meanwhile, lest there be occasion for idleness or weariness, the priest will explain some [Page 151] equally useful and pleasing story taken from the sacred pages, or from the lives of the saints. Or he will arrange among the children a competition bearing on the Christian doctrine, and will feast their rustic eyes on this agreeable sight; or he will devise something else of this kind, that is wont to attract the people. Somewhat more time is spent in public prayers; the evening prayers begin a little earlier, and end with the solemn benediction which the priest, raising aloft the most blessed Sacrament, imparts to the adoring multitude. Thus, Reverend Father, the Hurons of Lorette have their day divided and ordered, as Your Reverence especially desired to know. If you inquire what are their yearly occupations, these vary with the different seasons. After having gathered in the crops, they occupy themselves with hunting the beaver, whose richly-furred and highly-prized skins form the chief staple of Canadian commerce. This hunting lasts two or three months. When the feast of all Saints draws nigh, all the hunters return home to attend the divine mysteries, and relieve by pious prayers the souls of the dead, a duty which they perform with remarkable piety and attention. The feast-days over, they immediately return to the forest and to their hunt, laboring thereat until the beginning of December. Then, leaving the forest, they come home again to celebrate the feast-day of the Virgin conceived without stain; also that of St. Francis Xavier, whom they honor with a special zeal as being, besides St. Joseph, another guardian and patron of the Canadian Missions. All, by the sacrament of penance, discharge the debts that they have contracted toward God, —  doing so a few days before the feast itself, that they [Page 153] may have more leisure to examine their consciences and prepare their souls for the sacrament. This also gives the priest greater facility for hearing each one of them — which is done less conveniently and usefully when they flock in crowds to the sacred tribunal of penance. The remainder of December and the month of January [ — until the day sacred to the Mother of God purified in the temple — ] they spend partly in fishing, partly in the easier hunting of partridges, hares, and other game of that kind, during which time they seldom spend the night out- of-doors. If bitter cold or rain keep them indoors they then busy themselves in netting their raquettes, which they use in fearlessly treading the snow when pursuing the larger animals, through the forest, or over plains covered with deep snow. When they have recognized the footprints or the haunts of those creatures, they migrate thither with their whole families; and they do not revisit their village and their homes before the vernal breath of the zephyrs has begun to melt the snow. Having returned to this village and being restored by the Paschal food, they sow their fields with Indian corn; then they resort to the Rivers’ banks in quest of fish, or strip the aged trees in the forest, with whose bark they build their light canoes. After framing their vessels, they gather, toward the end of August, quantities of a plant useful in pharmacy and of no mean value in Europe, which druggists call “Capillaire.”[31] Meanwhile the Indian corn ripens, and is cut toward the 13th of September. After this follows the Beaver hunt, which, as I have just said, continues to the 1st of November. In these occupations their piety shines forth, as well as their extreme docility in [Page 155] obeying the priest who presides over the Mission. Such docility maintains them in concord, and in the practice of every virtue. Before leaving the village to work in the woods or in the fields, they never fail to pass by the chapel, and there to Salute Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament. On returning, they do the same before entering their huts. If they have to Spend the night out of the village, If they have to travel anywhere, if they depart in a band for the chase, they notify the priest thereof and seek his advice; nor do they hesitate to give up their hunt or any other work, If they see that it does not quite please him or meet with his approval. In all other matters they show him equal obedience and docility, and they venerate him and listen to him as no less than a father and guide.

But this conduct is easy when they are at home, and stimulated by mutual example; the difficulty and trouble become far greater when they leave for Quebec, which is not very distant. There other savages meet them, and invite them to drink; there grasping tavern-keepers urge them, and well-nigh drag them into their wine-shops. Nevertheless, during the five years that I have spent here, I have seen no one, I will not say drunk, but even tainted with the least Suspicion of having tasted wine —  either among the traders with whom they deal, or the tavern-keepers, or the savages of other Missions. Sometimes the French insist, and complain of their excessive scrupulosity: “For,” say they, “what crime is there if by the way, or when weary from one’s journey, or for a guest’s or friend’s sake, one quaff a cup of wine?” These men of Lorette answer very freely: “It is just as thou sayest, brother; but [Page 157] we have promised Mary that we would never drink even a single cup. We thereby expiate our former misdeeds when, ignorant of truë piety and of religion, we were wont to gorge ourselves with wine. Now we have adopted other customs and other ideas.” I saw some of them, in the house of the Governor and viceroy of Canada, utterly refuse a goblet of wine offered them, and not drink it until a Priest of our Society ordered them to do so. Not long ago, a French merchant spoke to me as follows: “We cannot, my father, help admiring the temperance and constancy of the Lorette Hurons. Recently we happened to come upon their band, and we all spent the night m the same place, in the cabins that they usually construct. They never could be induced by us to taste a drop of wine, even to touch it with their lips, being satisfied with bread and a little tobacco, which we willingly gave them.”

On the other hand, this piety of the Lorettans —  so exact, so abstemious [from intoxicating liquor] —  does not at all diminish the warlike Spirit which these savages commonly possess; it merely imposes moderation and certain limits upon their Martial ardor. Accordingly, they never take up arms unless at the Governor’s pleasure. When they have to fight, they often serve as an example and a cause for shame to their other countrymen. When a certain village of the English was being assaulted, and a troop of cavalry Sent to defend it was approaching, the French, with the Lorettans and Abnaquis Alone Sustained and repelled the onset, the other savages having been shamefully put to flight. “And this is not surprising,” said our Hurons, “For who can be strong Knowing that he is the enemy of God; and [Page 159] that, after losing this mortal life, he must enter into everlasting death?” The French captains enlist no soldiers more willingly than those from the village of Lorette. “For,” they admit, “we know with certainty that in the fray they will never desert the standard, or yield before the enemy’s attack.” And as greatly as the French esteem them, so highly do they esteem the French; and they revere above all King Louis of France, on account of both his noble deeds, and the zeal for the extension and protection of religion for which they know him to be eminent. Before they march to war, [and, if occasion require it, to certain death,] they endeavor to strengthen or recover God’s friendship by laying their sins at the priest’s feet; and they diligently preserve the grace received in the sacrament — as I personally discovered in the war quite lately waged, during which I was in their midst. A savage who had escaped from the English camp made his way to Quebec, and announced that the enemy was at hand with three thousand men. The Marquis de Vaudreuil, the commander of the war, judged it best not to wait for the English. He therefore hastily gathered two thousand men, partly French and partly savages. The Lorettans, thinking that they had been overlooked because they had not been enlisted with their countrymen, sent to me one of their chiefs, who complained of the injustice, as they amicably styled it. I answered him that a captain would soon come from the Governor; in fact, he came at the very moment, and invited the inhabitants of Lorette to join in the war. Thereupon great joy was felt in the whole village. No one of an age to fight was missing, not even two old men aged sixty years. Meanwhile, a sudden report [Page 161] came that the enemy was nigh. The call to arms was sounded. But our Hurons — whom, as a mark of honor, our Governor had chosen for his body- guards and sentinels — would not set out until they had all assisted at the divine rites, although it was in the dead of night. The same piety shone in their conduct throughout the whole expedition and elicited great admiration, with due praise, on the part of the French. The same spirit persevered after the whole army had reached Chambly, where all the troops had to assemble. There they performed morning [and evening] prayers, — both publicly, as is the custom in the village of Lorette, and privately; they shunned the nightly gatherings and dances of the other savages, although they were their kindred and friends; they visited them by day, and everywhere gave examples of modesty and piety.[32] So excellent was their behavior that, when the troops were disbanded after the victory, the Lorette Hurons went by no other name than “the holy savages;” and that Father Vallant, Superior of the Residence of Montreal, — on his way through Quebec, where I chanced to be, — embraced me affectionately and said: “My Father, congratulate thyself; for thou hast as many saints as thou hast Hurons at Lorette.” [In truth, when lately, on the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, they all approached the holy table, I hardly found, in most of them, cause for needing the sacrament of penance; and almost the entire village might have partaken of the holy banquet without having confessed.] The same piety that exists in the living shines forth in the dying. During the five years that I have spent here, not a single soul has departed this life otherwise than is the wont of the [Page 163] predestined: in full possession of the mind, even to the very last breath; assiduous in practicing the Christian virtues with tongue and heart; enjoying perfect tranquillity, and entirely submissive to the divine command, Whether to live or to die; finally, pronouncing the most holy names of Jesus and Mary, and dying while devoutly kissing the wounds of their crucified immortal Savior. They preserve the same serenity of a peaceful mind in accidents, however painful and unexpected. A young man named Paul, whom his imprudent and unknowing Brother killed through a lamentable mistake, may serve as an example of this. They were paddling in a canoe, when they observed a flock of ducks. Both fired their guns; but Paul’s brother, who was behind, discharged his into the head of his brother — who, falling in his blood, begged to be carried to the shore and that a priest be called. But, as the priest lived far away, he said: “Summon to my aid Thaouvenhosen” (that warrior chief, not more remarkable and famous for his skill in battle than for his Christian piety). As soon as the dying Youth beheld him, he said: “My uncle” (thus are the captains of troops called by the younger men), “help me, I pray, that I may make good use of the few moments that are left me.” It would be difficult to relate with what affection, with what earnestness of voice and mind, Thaouvenhosen breathed into the ears of the dying man an act of Contrition; with what words he incited him to faith, hope, charity, and conformity to the divine will. While his lips were imprinting a pious and last kiss on the wounds of Christ offered to his veneration, he ceased to speak and to live. He seemed to have foreseen the death that threatened him, so [Page 165] changed was he from what he had been’before. He would linger in the sacred house for a longer time; shun all pleasures, even those that were permitted and harmless; observe a singular moderation and modesty, in whatever he did or said; spurn martial glory, and I know not what ornaments of savage warfare with which the victors love to adorn their persons, and which they seek; and mention in frequent speech the heavenly rewards. Thus did God prepare that soul destined unto himself.

And since I have mentioned Thaovenhosen, whom the whole country considers as a model of Christian integrity, I will add a few words to manifest the distinguished virtue of the man. There is nothing barbarous in him, save his origin. His mind is broad and elevated, [conceiving] nothing base, nothing unworthy of an honest and wise man [; his countenance breathes modesty, dignity, uprightness]. The fame of his virtue is so great that none hesitate to commend themselves to his prayers, and they acknowledge that through these they have obtained many favors from God. They say that the sight of him kindles their piety, and revives the extinct or slumbering ardor of their charity. To the French as well as to the savages, he is an incentive to live well and to fight well. He is all covered with honorable wounds received in battle; and, if the French Mars had found ten such as he in the other nations of Canada, long ago no enemy of the French, no Iroquois would have been left. His remarkable kindness and gentleness — with which the Christian law inspires him, and by which he conquers every one — has abated naught of the bravery of the warrior, or of the boldness of the Huron. As soon [Page 167] as the news of war was heard, he was the first to take up arms, the last to lay them aside, Wherever he fought, the enemy was routed, defeated, and slaughtered; and great was his share in the victory won over the English when their great village which I mentioned before, was stormed; more than a hundred prisoners were taken in it, and distributed among the allied savages who had taken part in the war.[33] The great chief of the Lorette Hurons had fallen in battle. It is the custom among the Canadians to seek, as it were, expiation and consolation for the death of Their chiefs by the slaughter of some captive. A relative of the dead man presents himself, and demands the prisoner; on the latter being handed over, his owner destines him to the flames, and prepares to satisfy his barbarous cruëlty by torturing the wretched man. Thus the custom of the nation regulates. Meanwhile, the others murmur; the elders, although reluctantly, keep silence; the young men clamor for this right of arms, this reward of victory, this sole consolation for the chief and afflicted family. Thereupon, thaovenhosen rising, although not yet honored with the dignity or the title of chief, makes a speech in the assembly of the notables, and boldly pleads for the life of the Captive. He prays, he entreats them to remember that they are Christians and citizens of the village of Lorette; that dire cruëlty is unbecoming to the Christian name; that this injury cannot be branded upon the reputation of the Lorettans without the greatest disgrace. The nephew of the dead man insists; his relatives urge his claim; they allege the custom, stating that clemency shown toward a single head will bring ruin to all; that the enemies will grow more ferocious, and more audacious to harm [Page 169] them, through hope of impunity. “I also,” said he, raising his voice, “am related to that Chief whose fall in battle we mourn, and whose death you would avenge by an unworthy cruëlty. TO me also is the captive due; I claim him as my own, and I contend that such is my right. If any one lay hands on him against my will, let him look to me for chastisement.” Astounded at this speech, the assembly were mute, and no one dared to decide upon any greater severity toward the captive.

Thus does this remarkable man make use of his authority for the welfare of the unfortunate; he energetically devotes it also to the protection of religion, — on behalf of which he burns with such seal that he highly esteems the King of France, on the ground that he had heard that he was an excellent defender of the [catholic and] ancestral religion. In the village of Lorette, he lends great assistance to the priest who presides over the Mission. Whatever the Father ordains, whatever he considers useful for all, he intrusts to this man, and confidently relies on him to have it taken care of [and fulfilled].. For my part, I doubt not that he possesses a special gift of prayer, and that he has God always before his eyes; the most holy name of JESUS is ever on his lips, and, although he pronounces it in a low voice, he cannot help its being heard by passers — by. Behold the fruits borne by this Canadian soil! These would be more blessed and more abundant still, if the triple tares were absent which, Thanks be to God, have been totally uprooted from the field of Lorette — I mean drunkenness, superstition, and lewdness. Such is the threefold stain of our Missions, the first and chief one of which is drunkenness. It was the latter which destroyed that fairest Mission, [Page 171] which took its name from the Sault. The same will ruin the others, unless the King’s foresight put a curb upon the greed of the traders, through whom liquor distilled and decocted by fire is forced upon the savages. If a remedy be not applied to that evil, we shall soon have to deplore not only the loss of religion, but the total overthrow of the French Colony. For nothing else than religion retains the savages in their fidelity to the French; that being lost, they will frock to the neighboring heretics, from whom they make a much greater profit than from the French, and much more easily dispose of their goods. The motive of eternal salvation is the only one to prevent them from dealing with those with whom, they know, there is no hope in that direction. This link once broken, care for salvation and religion once relaxed by drunkenness and its accompanying plagues, and all is over with the colony of the French in Canada; the labor of so many years, of so many wars, of so many priests will be lost. You know this, my Father; Reverend Father De Couvert knows it — who for seventeen years was superior of the Mission of Lorette; from him, who now lives in Quebec, you may learn more. Heaven grant that I may guard and — if it be granted — may increase that which was so happily begun by him, and brought to the maturity that we here behold. For this object I need the special help of heavenly grace, which I earnestly beg Your Reverence to obtain for me by Your prayers to God, and by your most holy sacrifices.

Your Reverence’s

Servant in Christ,

Louis Davaugour, S. J.[34]

From the village of Lorette,

October 7, 1710. [Page 173]

Extract from a letter of Father Joseph Aubery,

missionary of the Gospel in New France, to

Father Joseph Jouvency, concerning

the Mission of St. Francois de

Sales, in the same New France.


ongratulateme and render thanks to God, my dear Father;[35] 35 in this my Mission I have only three or four souls not yet baptized; the others honor Christ and virtue, — not, however, without effort, as is necessary among barbarians who have to struggle assiduously against drunkenness, arrogance, and superstition, Once heavy with wine, they hearken neither to reason nor to any of the laws of piety; they haughtily contemn the Priest, however kindly and justly he may admonish them, — especially if he be a young man; and they insolently deride him as being deficient in wisdom, for with them age constitutes the better part of Wisdom and authority. They are pitifully attached to Their dreams, and other superstitious observances of that nature. You will say that such practices are unbecoming to Christians; I admit that, if all were such as it behooves real and genuine Christians to be. In our Europe how many Christians sin more grievously? The Christian law does not make men free from sin, nor does it impose the obligation to act aright. Then, as you formerly taught us in Rhetoric, Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret. [Page 175] Against that sinful nature, and the vices that pander to it, the priests must struggle day and night. Great was the peril that threatened me and my Mission from intemperance and its companion, lewdness. There was a time when I beheld my Mission well-nigh ruined by that plague, had not God looked down upon me. To him I again wish you to render thanks; for to him I acknowledge myself indebted for the way and manner in which I finally fought and destroyed that twofold enemy of virtue, — I mean Drunkenness and impurity. Seeing that the evil increased day by day, and that I profited naught or little by admonishing, chiding, and beseeching, — especially with the youths, whose age is more untameable, — I resolved privately to circumvent and soften the old men; I attacked them with all the arguments suggested by ingenuity and piety; I persuaded them. However, nothing had yet been accomplished; for, among our Canadians, nothing of great importance is discussed or decided except, so to speak, in a numerous Council. The notables —  that are to say, the elders — and the captains of war-parties assemble. A speaker rises in their midst, and pronounces a discourse. If he perorate aptly, eloquently, or cleverly, he wins his cause; if timidly, hesitatingly, inelegantly, his cause is lost. Therefore, after I understood that the elders and the chiefs of greatest authority were of my sentiment, I demanded a council. It was granted; they assembled. I arose [in this Canadian areopagus]; I spoke in so loud a tone, with such vehemence, with such ardor that I was myself astonished. You will laugh, I am Very Sure; for you knew me when I was your pupil, — how diffident I was, pusilli animi, rare et perpauca loquentem. But I am quite another [Page 177] person since I live among these barbarians who are clever, eloquent, and trained by nature to speak. They are swayed by reason, and the eloquence of him who would convince them on any point depends upon one condition only, — to wit, that he place his argument in a good light, and expose it without ornament or disguise. Once the point is known and proved, they surrender. This I strove to accomplish in this Senate of mine [; and the result fulfilled my desire]. The Assembly enacted a decree of banishment against hopeless profligates, and vice was stripped of all ascendancy. Now no one may sin with impunity; no one may stalk forth for the ruin of others by the wickedness of his example. In order that the whole work might be more firm and lasting, I endeavored to have the decree issued not in my name, but by public authority. The advantage of this policy was that the elders and chiefs of the people became the avengers and guardians of virtue, as being their own business, established by themselves. The principal debauchees cursed their crimes, and were brought to Salutary penitence; the others were forced to change either their morals or their Home. One thing remains for me to combat —  which, although Apparently less important, is still really much more difficult to conquer. Just as these barbarians are headstrong and rash in undertaking any crime whatsoever, so are they cowardly and timid in overcoming any delay or difficulty that may occur in the performance of virtue. They measure the arduous task of virtue according to human and not to divine strength, which we must ask of God and expect from him. Accordingly, they At once lose courage, and despair of being able to attain whatever requires any exertion or effort. Being reproved for their [Page 179] fault, they deny that it was in their power to avoid it. This they retain from their former customs. Among barbarians not yet imbued with the law of Christ, there is a conviction that a certain power, similar to Fate, exists in things which carries away the human will by an unavoidable necessity, determining and predestining various events before they happen. Although when they embrace the Christian law they are taught the falseness and impiety of such a belief, I know not what taint remains of their former opinion, as a vessel retains the odor with which it was lately impregnated for the first time. Thence also proceeds their tranquillity and specious fortitude in adversity and in the gravest calamities. “Wherefore,” say they, “should I lament? It was to happen thus.” Such are the ideas which we are endeavoring to extirpate from their rude minds. Our labors are greatly thwarted by the example of the pagan barbarians with whom they are forced to deal; also of the English and Dutch, who bring the holiest ceremonies of religion into hatred and contempt, and often in a single day eradicate and destroy that which we had painfully built up for many months and years. Hereby Your Reverence may easily understand how greatly we need divine assistance to make our labors prosper. I earnestly beg that by your prayers and sacrifices to God I may obtain that aid.

Your Reverence’s

Most devoted Servant in Christ,

Joseph Aubery, [36]

of the Society of Jesus.

From the Mission of St. François de Sales

October 10, M.DCCX. [Page 181]

Letter by Father Joseph Germain, regarding the

Canadian Mission in the year 1711.


y Reverend Father,

                                      Pax Christi.

In the letter that our Father Did me the honor of writing to me on the 9th of May, 1711, he has inserted this clause: unum est, quod accuraté deinceps à Vestra Reverentia præstari cupio; scilicet, ut epistolā, sacræ Congregationi de propaganda Fide, aut ipsi sumo Pontifici inscriptā, promovendam a nostris Mittat quam tamen epistolam apertam ad me diriget; ut eam reddi curem, si ita expedire videbitur.[37]

Although this clause is full of wisdom, and seems to me very important, — because there are many things to be related here which will not displease His Holiness, — I know not, nevertheless, whether I shall be able to comply with it this year. For, in the first place, the Heros — the only ship that has come here this year from France, and the only one that is to return there direct — will sail in two or 3 days. I know not whether I shall have time to write to the Pope or to the Congregation of the propaganda. In the second place, even if I had time, As I have never had the honor of writing to those high dignitaries, and have never seen anywhere the titles by which they should be addressed, or the style in which they should be written to, — which is doubtless quite different from that of the letters that we write to other persons, — it would be difficult for [Page 183] me to write to them without being guilty of many offenses against propriety. If Your Reverence or Reverend Father Jouvenci, who both know very well how this should be Done, had sent me a short model, I would have endeavored to imitate it to the best of my ability; and I beg that one of you will Do so next year: that is to say, will Draft a letter to the pope and to the congregation of the propaganda, as I should Write it, respecting these very things of which I write this year to Your Reverence, and which seem to me not unworthy of being related to the Pope — or, consequently, to any other authority whatsoever; and to send me a copy thereof, so that, in future years, I may know what should be the style as well as the address of my letters.

Nevertheless, I write as usual to Our Father, this year; and if the ship should not sail as soon as it threatens to do, I shall do myself the honor of writing, according to my idea, to his holiness, and our Father may Do whatever he thinks best with my letter. I shall, however, write in this letter to Your Reverence everything that I think worthy of being written from here to Rome — in order that, if I have not time to write everything to the Reverend Father general, Your Reverence may show him this letter, that he may be able to communicate it to the Pope, or to the Congregation of the propaganda of the Faith. I begin with the things that relate to the whole of the Colony of Canada, or new France; and I shall afterward mention matters that particularly affect our Society in this nascent church.

I know not whether Your Reverence has heard the rumor that has spread this year throughout France, that the English in Europe were Preparing a great [Page 185] naval expedition, for the purpose of taking Canada. We have received positive information of this from France, from Spain, and from new England; and it was all well founded.

But — in order that they to whom Your Reverence will communicate this letter may better understand this expedition of the English against Canada, what the result of their attempt has been, and God’s special protection of this nascent church — it Must be known that new England is situated to the south of new France or Canada, on the shores of the ocean; and, consequently, Canada or new France lies to the north of new England. But the Iroquois dwell between these two colonies, in 5 great villages called tsonnontouan, Goiogouen, onnontagué, Onneiou, and Anier. These villages are remote from one another, and almost in one line, covering nearly 80 leagues. Some are near us: these are the tsonnontouans and the Goiogouens. The others are nearer the English; they are the Anier and Onneiout. Between them lies onnontagué, the principal village of all; and each of these 5 great villages has other smaller ones dependent upon it. And they are all so united together that whosoever declares war against one village declares it against all the others.

Reverend Father Assistant.

As this nation is Very numerous and very warlike, each colony in time of war strives to secure its alliance. This year they sided with the English against us. The English colony is, beyond comparison, more populous than the French. They have 3 chief towns, a number of smaller towns and villages, and settlements in the country districts. The chief of their 3 towns, named Baston, is situated on the seashore. The two others, called Aurange [Page 187] and Manat, are on a river that falls into the sea, toward the south. The French colony also has 3 towns, situated on the great River St. Lawrence, which flows through the middle of Canada and falls into the sea to the east, more than a hundred leagues from Quebec — to which place, nevertheless, the largest ships ascend, and where they find good anchorage. At 30 leagues above Quebec lies the town of 3 rivers, so called because at that place a river, Forming some Islands, falls by 3 mouths into the River St. Lawrence. The town of Montreal is 30 leagues above 3 rivers. Add to these the smaller towns and the villages, the settlements of the French Families who have established themselves in the country-places, and the villages of various Christian savage tribes who dwell in the woods with their missionaries. I do not speak here of the manners and customs of these people, or of the quality and Fruits of the soil, or of other things which have no reference to my subject; but the description I have just Given was necessary for the better comprehension of the English expedition against Canada, and of the special protection of God, who has miraculously preserved this colony from those infidels. It happened thus:

This year there came from Europe — that is, from England and Scotland — a Fleet consisting of 12 ships of the line and a great number of other vessels, well loaded with munitions of all kinds and with troops inured to war. In the month of July they joined another Fleet from Baston, Forming a combined fleet of about 80 ships — without counting the bomb-ketches, the brigantines, and pinnaces for landing the troops. The number of these was said to [Page 189] be twelve thousand, besides the crews of the vessels, who were to remain on board and Fire the mortars and guns.[38]

While this naval armament came from below and sailed up the River St. Lawrence, an army marched by land from above, consisting of nearly three thousand men — partly English and partly Iroquois, or other savages. Their design was to attack the colony at the same time on both sides, above and below, so as to divide our forces, which did not number one half of the Enemy’s, in order to capture Quebec more Easily; for they were fully convinced that, when Once they had taken that town, they would be masters of the whole colony, and that otherwise they could not hold it.

Their measures had been so well taken that about the 20th of September the fleet — which was coming from below, after crossing the gulf — had sailed so Far up the River St. Lawrence that it was only 60 or 70 leagues from Quebec; and, at the same time, the army which was coming from above by land was at almost the same distance from Montreal. We heard of their approach from our Scouts. On receipt of the news, all the goods and movable effects were transported from the lower town, which was more exposed, to the upper town, which is more difficult of access. Nothing was left there but the empty houses and 3 Strong batteries, mounting about thirty cannon capable of battering the enemy’s ships that might attempt to approach the town.

Monsieur the Marquis de Vaudreuil, Governor of Canada, had taken such effective measures to increase our Forces that he had gathered together more than twelve hundred savages of various [Page 191]
nations ) — Outaouats, Hurons, Abnaquis, and Algonquins — for whom he had Caused cabins to be prepared in the vicinity of Quebec. He had, too, so well prepared all the settlers who live with their Families in the country, outside the towns, that they Erected stockades in the depths of the forest, at places which the enemies could not or would not venture to approach, in which to put the Women, children, cattle, furniture, and effects, with strong ,guards, — leaving in their houses nothing that could be of use to their foes. All the settlers capable of bearing arms were to proceed to Quebec, where there was a very abundant supply of provisions and of munitions of war; for all were convinced that by saving Quebec the colony would be saved, and that by losing it all would be lost.

At Montreal more than twelve hundred men, both French and savages, had been left under the command of a very valiant captain, — Monsieur de Longeuil, a member of one of the leading Families ,of Canada, — to oppose the enemy’s army coming from above, to set ambushes for them, and to harass them wherever they might pass. Finally, all the inhabitants of Canada in general, above and below, without a single exception, were convinced that not only the preservation of their temporal goods, of their Wives, of their children, and of their lives was at stake; but also that of the catholic, apostolic, Roman religion, which would be utterly destroyed throughout this colony if the English became masters of it. They were sure that in all the churches they would witness naught but sacrilege and profanation: altars overturned; images broken; priests and laymen ill-treated, murdered, or sent as slaves to other [Page 193] foreign heretical countries; and everywhere the utmost desolation. All the inhabitants of Canada were convinced that it was God’s cause, and that they would be fighting for God, and also that God would combat for them. Accordingly, they were so resolved and determined to fight and to be victorious that they would have shed the last drop of their blood rather than yield, or enter into any agreement with those perfidious enemies of God and of the church; and, if God permitted that they should die in battle, they looked upon such a death as a glorious martyrdom.

While affairs were in this state, we Had public Reverend prayers said every day in all the churches, especially to the Blessed Virgin and to the Holy angels, to obtain the aid of heaven. On the vigil of St. Michael’s day, the 28th of September, a strong wind arose from the northeast which is the Favorable wind for vessels ascending the River St. Lawrence to Quebec. This Led every one to think that in 2 or 3 days the enemy’s Fleet would be in our harbor. We all expected this, and were in very great anxiety on the 2nd day of October — when 2 men, named Monsieur Dustisne and Monsieur Plassan,[39] who came from France, suddenly made their appearance on horseback in broad daylight at Quebec. They

Reverend Father Assistant.

were at once surrounded by a Crowd of people anxious to learn how they had come, and what news they brought from France. They reported that they had come in a king’s ship, the Heros; that they had landed from it 12 leagues below here, and had left it there awaiting a favorable wind; that they had made the whole voyage without any unfortunate accident, and without having seen any hostile ship — either in the Gulf, or in any part of the whole River. We [Page 195] knew not at first whether this was a dream or the reality, so Very surprising was the news; but it at once caused such universal joy that all were thrilled with it, and no one doubted that there was something miraculous in it, and that it Was a convincing proof of God’s protection of this nascent church.

But we Were still more confirmed in this opinion when the Heros arrived at Quebec, some days afterward; and we learned from other Scouts that the enemy’s entire Fleet had — at a distance of about 60 or 70 leagues from here, near the land of the Papinachois savages — been suddenly assailed and tossed about by so dreadful a storm that 7 or 8 of the largest ships had been dashed to pieces on the rocks, The admiral’s flag-ship, in particular, had split open at the Keel, and had remained aground, full of water; and all on board of her had been drowned, with the leader and the principal troops of that naval expedition. Afterward, when the storm abated, and the ships that had escaped being wrecked had Got away as best they could, to return to their own country, the inhabitants of that region, French and savages, drew near to witness all the havoc. They saw a great number of dead bodies on the shore, and many in the flag-ship, which was full of water. Some of these seemed uninjured; of others only one half the body, or the arms, or the Legs, could be seen. As these ships, which were all ships of the line, were not all wrecked at the same spot, but at short distances from one another on the same shore, the beach was covered with dead bodies at various places. Those who have seen them, and who at once came the first to bring us the news, State that there are over three thousand dead. But the most lamentable [Page 197]  thing in this shipwreck is that, inasmuch as they have all died in heresy, these are so many souls that are damned. Monsieur the Governor sent barks and troops to collect the cannon and other effects. that could be saved from the wrecks.

Many articles have been found on the beach, which were on board the ships, and were cast up from the water by the storm, such as: large and small chests, boxes, and puncheons of wine and brandy. They also found on the shore oxen, horses, pigs, dogs, and sheep, — some dead and some alive which swam to land, — many fowl, and other supplies that serve as provisions for a fleet. Almost at the same time, the army which was coming from above by land was scattered, in consequence of dissensions that arose in its ranks, and through the desertion of the savages, and even of the soldiers — most of whom were, in fact, but militia troops, who were marching against us solely through compulsion. Is it possible to find a more visible and miraculous protection on the part of divine providence, of the Blessed Virgin, and of the holy Angels, on behalf of this poor Colony? For while the Governor, the officers and soldiers, the French settlers, and the savages were making everything ready to give the enemy a warm reception, the communities of ecclesiastics and nuns Said public prayers in their churches, and practiced special and secret penances and mortifications to obtain the aid of heaven — which, in fact, was given in the manner I have just described.

All are so thoroughly convinced that it is an effect of heaven’s intervention, and that the defeat of our enemies is an extraordinary and miraculous manifestation of divine providence in our behalf, that, as [Page 199]  an act of thanksgiving, on the sunday following the receipt of the news, — which was the 4th Sunday of October, — on returning to the cathedral, the Te Deum was solemnly chanted. In the evening, l also, all the troops were under arms; a large Bonfire was Lighted, and while it burned the soldiers Fired several salvos; all the cannon Were discharged, not only on board the Heros and the Pontchartrain, the only 2 ships then in our port, but also those of the chateau, and all the other pieces. All these numbered about one hundred, which are excellently mounted around the town, at certain intervals, to prevent the enemy from approaching. Some are 18-pounders, some 24-pounders, and others 36-pounders. All these Were discharged several times, in the presence of 50 english prisoners who had been captured, on various expeditions, by our savages. They Were greatly surprised on seeing all this stir, and hearing all this noise; and still more so on learning of the rout of their fleet and army — which, they imagined, were coming to deliver them, and to take possession of the whole of the country.

We were much better pleased to Fire all these volleys in the air, and as a mark of rejoicing, than against our enemies. For, after all, if they Had come as they intended and as we feared, even if we had gained the upper hand and obtained the victory, — which was very uncertain, although we had prepared ourselves in every possible way, — a great deal of blood would nevertheless have been shed on both sides, and we would never have Done them as much injury as did the storm which prevented them from reaching us, — to say nothing of other [Page 201] Unfortunate accidents that no doubt happened to them? during so long and perilous a navigation. God has Preferred to show us that he alone is the author of this victory, and that to him alone should we attribute all the honor and all the glory, with everlasting thanksgiving. Soli Deo honor et gloria.

Such, My Reverend Father, are the principal things that I have to write this year, that relate to the entire Colony. Let us now proceed to that which concerns our society in particular. The English constitute one of the greatest obstacles that we have to encounter in connection with the propagation of the Faith and the conversion of the infidels — especially as regards the Iroquois, who dwell between their Colony and ours, as I have explained above. They strive by their calumnies to make us appear odious to the savages, and to attract them to their own side by presents and by promises and by offering them ministers to instruct them in their heresies. They frequently intoxicate them, in order to excite them against the missionaries — who are then exposed to be assassinated, at any moment, by drunken men. There were, 3 years ago, 5 of our fathers in their villages, working for their conversion with incredible ardor and Fatigue; but the heretics so completely upset their minds that the 5 missionaries Were compelled to leave the country, and to proceed to other missions, to find occupation for their zeal.

We have. missions quite near the towns of Quebec, Montreal, and Three rivers; but there are others very Far away. Those in the neighborhood of the towns are: 1st, Laurete, 3 leagues from Quebec, consisting of Hurons instructed by two of our fathers, named Father Davaugour and Father Descouvert. [Page 203] These savages are all very Fervent Christians, who are exceedingly assiduous at public prayers in their church, and at private prayers in their cabins; constant in attendance upon the divine mysteries, and in frequenting the sacraments — in which they often participate with a devotion both tender and solid; they strictly observe the commandments of God and of the church, and lead a most exemplary life. 2nd. One at St. Francois Xavier, ten leagues from 3 rivers.[40] These are Abnaquis, who likewise lead a Very Christian life, being instructed by Father Aubery and Father Lauverjat.[41] 3rd, 3 leagues from Montreal is one that we call the mission of saut St. Louis, one of the oldest and largest that we have, consisting of 5 or 600 Iroquois. These Are Families who have left their own country, because they were not free to Form a church and to lead a Christian life there, on account of the insults Offered by their infidel countrymen and by the English, their neighbors, to those who become converted. But in the forest, where they have Erected a fine village near Montreal, they serve God with great regularity, Fervor, and constancy and live in a Very edifying manner; they are usually instructed by z or 3 of our fathers. The two now there are Very aged; and, although they have grown old in this sort of work, which is of an exceedingly Fatiguing nature, and their Strength is greatly enfeebled, they nevertheless continue to perform their duties with all the vigor that they possess, and with much Fruit for those good souls, who are particularly submissive to the fathers and have a special veneration for them. We await young missionaries from France to replace them; for, with regard to Father L’auverjat, — who [Page 205]  came out this year, and who is an excellent missionary, — we have been obliged to send him to the St. Francois mission. So much for the missions in the vicinity of the towns.

The distant missions cannot receive as much aid from us, in the way of provisions and other necessaries, as those of which I have just spoken, which are near the towns; consequently, the poor missionaries who labor there are compelled to accustom themselves to eat the same food and to lodge in the same manner as their savages, — and they are better pleased to do this than if they were splendidly lodged and fed, like the great ones of the world. But God also fills them with such consolation that, far from finding their labors tedious, they perform them with inexplicable pleasure, which is one of the graces of their vocation.

We have 3 missions of this kind in Acadia, —  nearly 100 leagues from here, in the neighborhood of the English, — in 3 Abnaquis villages; these are distant about 15 or 20 leagues from one another, and are under the charge of 3 of our fathers: Father Rale, Father Lachasse, and Father Loyar.[42] They are careful to visit one another and to assemble from time to time — for the purpose both of confessing one another, and of conferring together respecting  — doubts that may arise in their minds, and the means that must be adopted for their own spiritual advancement and for the guidance of their flocks. We have one among the Outaouats at michilimakinac, where are two of our fathers, — Father joseph Marest and Father chardon, — and a coadjutor Brother, named Haram.[43] It is at a distance of over 200 leagues from here. There are also 3 large villages [Page 207] in the Ilinois country, on the great River Mississipi, in which 3 of our fathers labor — Father Gabriel Marest, Father mermet, and Father Deville; and all this at five or six hundred leagues from here. All these missionaries are at work in many villages, of various nations; they strive to preserve these for Jesus Christ, and to win others for him by journeys and Fatigues that would surprise you, — which can be undertaken and endured solely by dint of indefatigable zeal — in Frigore, siti et nuditate, etc. Consequently God rewards their apostolic labors with great blessings; because, in truth, it cannot be nature that seeks self-indulgence here, — as may be the case in other missions, which are more brilliant in the eyes of men, — but pure zeal for the salvation of souls and for the glory of God. We are also asked for missionaries in other places; but as we have not enough to be able to Supply them, we pray the lord ut mittat operarios in messem suam.

As regards the Quebec college, everything exists or is Done there as in our colleges in Europe — and perhaps with greater regularity, exactness, and Fruit than in many of our colleges in France. Classes are taught here in grammar, the humanities, rhetoric, mathematics, Philosophy, and Theology. The Pupils, although less numerous than in the large towns of Europe, nevertheless possess well-formed bodies and well-regulated minds; they are very industrious, Very docile, and capable of Making great progress in the study of letters and of virtue. I speak not of the savage children, whom our fathers educate in our missions; they likewise are not wanting in cleverness, and fail not to serve God well in their own manner of speaking and of living, [Page 209] according to their custom. But I refer to the French Children born in Canada, who speak the same language, who wear the same kind of clothes, and who follow the same studies as those in Paris. I say that they are very intelligent, have excellent dispositions, and are capable of succeeding well in everything that we can teach them.

We have also two congregations in this college: the greater one for the gentlemen and the minor one for the pupils. All the congregationists have a truë devotion for the Blessed Virgin, and are so desirous of honoring her in her chapels that they consider it a great disgrace to be excluded from them. We preach in our church on the fourth sunday of every month, because that is the sunday which we have devoted to the indulgence for the souls in purgatory. We also have a great deal of work at the convents of the hospital nuns and the ursulines, where we have no lack of occupation, as well as in the prisons, and in other employment suited to our society. We usually number 20 persons in this college; and in the Montreal Residence there are generally three or 4 of our fathers, with a coadjutor Brother. They render great services in that town in connection with spiritual matters.

We have had this year in Canada a prevalent disease which has carried off many persons, of all ages, sexes, and conditions. It was a malignant Fever accompanied by purpura, of which one of our fathers died. This was Father Jaques Bigot, one of the most excellent missionaries whom we had in canada. After working for over 25 years in the Abnaquis missions — at Sillery, at St. francois, and in Acadia — with Results proportionate to his zeal, he [Page 211] was brought to Quebec to take charge of the greater congregation, which gives considerable occupation here; and he performed the duties of that office for 3 years, with all possible zeal and edification. Following upon Father Bigot’s death came that of brother Jaques Boussat, from the same disease. He was a very skillful apothecary, but a still better religious; and was beloved, esteemed, and honored by all the people. We may say that both died on the field of honor — that is, in the exercise of the most perfect charity; for they caught the disease while visiting, consoling, and attending the sick. This they did day and night, in the town and in the country — the father administering the sacraments, and the Brother taking medicines for the sick, which cured many. But it was God’s will that their charity should be soon rewarded, and he sent them the disease — from which they died on the 8th day, after having received all the sacraments, with sentiments of very tender devotion, and in the practice of all the virtues proper to that condition.

After these two, one of our Brothers died of the same disease. His name was Benoit Lucas; he was. cook in this college, a very good religious, a Fervent and devout man. He also departed this life on the 8th day, after receiving the sacraments. Two. fathers also died in this college after that Brother, —  not from the same disease, but from others resulting from the labors and Fatigues which they had endured for a long time in very arduous missions. One was Father Claude Aveneau who labored for more than 25 years in instructing the miamis — with indomitable patience, without ever being discouraged by any obstacles which he encountered; and these are not lacking in such employments. In the most Trying [Page 213] emergencies, he always retained great tranquillity of soul, and unvarying peace in his heart. His charity toward his neighbor, which seemed a second nature to him, made him lovable to all. This year he was attacked by a complication of several diseases, which did not permit him to continue his apostolic labors; and our fathers among the Outaouats thought it advisable to send him down to Quebec in a canoe, hoping that he would find there more remedies to restore his health, for his mission was at the river St. Joseph, 300 leagues from here. But his health was so impaired that it was impossible to restore it, or even to afford him any relief. He endured all his sufferings with perfect resignation to the will of God, and even with joy. As it was about the time of the Festival of the nativity of the Blessed virgin, he told two of our fathers that he would die on a day within the octave. Although this prediction was perhaps but an expression of the pain that he felt, which Showed him that he had not long to live — nevertheless, as he was usually in close union with God, and had an equally tender and firm devotion to the Blessed virgin, it may be presumed that, by a special Favor, she gave him a knowledge and presentiment of his last hour. In any case, he retained the use of his senses and of his reason to his last breath; and, after receiving all the sacraments with every possible edification, and responding devoutly to the prayers for the dying, he peacefully gave up his soul to our lord, under the protection of his most holy mother, on the 7th day in the octave of her nativity.

The other is Father Antoine Silvy, who spent 40 years in Canada, — partly in instructing the savages among the Outaouats and at Hutson’s bay, and partly in teaching mathematics in this college. He always [Page 215]
 acquitted himself worthily of all his duties: toward God, by constant assiduity in all devotional exercises; toward his neighbor, by great charity and zeal for the salvation of souls; toward himself, by continual mortification of his senses and of his passions. I have sent to Reverend Father de Lamberville in Paris all the circular letters announcing these deaths, which I wrote to all the missions, in order to obtain the usual prayers for them.

This, my Reverend Father, is all that I had to write this year to Rome. As I would be unable at present to write it all to our Father, and still less to the Pope and to the congregation of the propaganda, if our Father should consider that there is anything in this letter that ought to be communicated to those Authorities, he has but to write them a letter in latin, about the same as this, in my name; and to send me a copy of it, in order that I may learn, for future years, in what style I Should write to them, and how letters of this kind should be addressed. Your Reverence will see by my erasures with what haste I have been obliged to write, so as not to lose the opportunity of the vessel, which will sail in z days. I beg Your Reverence to give me a share of your Holy Sacrifices, and to rest assured that I remain, with profound respect in Jesus Christ,

My Reverend Father,

your very humble and

very obedient servant,

Joseph Germain.

At Quebec,

november 5, 1711.

[Endorsed: “Concerning the Canadian Mission in the year 1711.”] [Page 217]

Letter from Father Gabriel Marest, Missionary

of the Society of Jesus, to Father

Germon, of the same Society.

At Cascaskias, an Illinois village,

otherwise called “the Immacu-

late Conception of the blessed

Virgin;” November 9, 1712.


y Reverend Father,

                                                The peace of Our Lord.

I wish that I could give you some information concerning our Missions, that might correspond to the idea which you perhaps have formed of them. What is heard every day in Europe of those immense Countries studded with Towns and Villages, in which an innumerable multitude of Idolaters present themselves in crowds to the zeal of the Missionaries, would give room to believe that things here are upon the same footing. Such is very far from being the fact, my Reverend Father; in a great extent of Country, scarcely three or four Villages are found. Our life is passed in threading dense forests, in climbing mountains, in crossing lakes and rivers in canoes, that we may overtake some poor Savage who is fleeing from us, and whom we do not know how to render less savage by either our words or our attentions.

Nothing is more difficult than the conversion of these Savages; it is a miracle of the Lord’s mercy: we must first make men of them, and afterward work [Page 219] to make them Christians. As they are absolute masters of themselves without being subjected to any Law, the independence in which they live enslaves them to the most brutal passions. It is truë, there are Chiefs among them, but the Chiefs have no authority; if they should use threats, far from making themselves feared, they would see themselves abandoned by the very men who had chosen them for Chiefs. They gain consideration and respect only while they have, as is said here, wherewith to fill the kettle, — that is to say, wherewith to make feasts for those who are obedient to them.

From this independence springs every sort of vice that rules them. They are indolent, traitorous, fickle, and inconstant; deceitful, and naturally thievish, — so much so, as to boast of their skill in stealing; brutal, and without honor; taciturn; capable of doing everything when you are liberal toward them, but at the same time thankless and ungrateful. To do them any good gratuitously is only to uphold them in their natural pride; they become thereby more insolent; they say, “I am feared; I am sought.” Thus, however desirous we may be to give them pleasure, we are compelled to make them value the little services that we render them.

Gluttony and the love of pleasure are, above all, the vices most dominant among our Savages; they are habituated to the most indecent acts before they are even old enough to know all the shame that is connected with them. If you add to this the wandering life that they lead in the forests in pursuit of wild beasts, you will easily admit that reason must be greatly brutalized in these people; and that it is very little inclined to submit itself to the yoke of [Page 221] the Gospel. But the more averse they are to the Kingdom of God, the more ought our zeal be quickened to draw them near, and cause them to enter it. Persuaded that we can do nothing of ourselves, we know at the same time that everything is possible to us, with the aid of him for whom we work. We have likewise this advantage in the conversions which God will perhaps bring about by our ministrations, that we are secure from pride, and from all vainglory which we might have in ourselves. These conversions can be attributed neither to the sound arguments of the Missionary, nor to his eloquence, nor to his other talents — which might be useful in other Countries, but which do not make any impression on the minds of our Savages. The glory of their conversion can be rendered only to him who knows how to make from the very stones, when it pleases him, children of Abraham.

Our Illinois inhabit a very pleasant country. Nevertheless, it is not so enchanting as it is represented to us by the Author of the new relation of southern America which has appeared under the name of Monsieur the Chevalier de Tonti. I have heard it said of Monsieur de Tonti himself that he disavowed this work and that he recognized in it only his own name, which is at the beginning.[44]

It must, however, be admitted that the Country is very fine; the great rivers which water it, the vast and dense forests, the delightful prairies, the hills covered with very thick woods, — all these features make a charming variety. Although this Country is farther South than Provence, the winter here is longer; the cold weather, however, is somewhat mitigated. During summer the heat is less scorching: [Page 223] the air is cooled by the forests and by the number of rivers, lakes, and ponds with which the Country is intersected.

The Illinois river empties into the Mississipi near the 39th degree of latitude; it is about 150 leagues long, and is seldom easily navigable until toward spring. It flows Southwest, and comes from the Northeast or East-Northeast. All the plains and prairies are overspread with oxen, roebucks, hinds, stags, and other wild beasts. There is a still greater abundance of small game. We find here, especially, multitudes of swans, cranes, bustards, and ducks; the wild oats, which grow freely on the plains, fatten them to such a degree that they very often die, their fat suffocating them. Turkeys are likewise found here in abundance, and they are as good as those of France.

This Region does not end with the Illinois river: it still stretches along the Mississipi, on both sides, and is about two hundred leagues in length, and more than a hundred in breadth. The Mississipi is one of the most beautiful rivers in the world: in recent years a shallop ascended it as far as 800 leagues, where waterfalls prevented its going farther.

Seven leagues below the mouth of the Illinois river is found a large river called the Missouri — or more commonly Pekitanoui; that is to say, “muddy water,” — which empties into the Mississipi on the West side: it is extremely rapid, and it discolors the beautiful water of the Mississipi, which flows from this point to the Sea. The Missouri comes from the Northwest, not far from the mines which the Spaniards have in Mexico, and is very serviceable to the French who travel in that country.

About 80 leagues below, on the side of the Illinois [Page 225] river, — that is to say on the Eastern side (for the Mississipi generally flows from North to South), —  empties still another beautiful river called Ouabache. It comes from East-Northeast. It has three branches, of which one goes to the Iroquois, the second stretches toward Virginia and Carolina, and the third to the Miamis.[45] It is said that mines of silver are found here; what is certain is, that there are in this Country mines of lead and tin; and, if miners by trade should come to dig the ground, they would perhaps find here mines of copper and other metals.

Besides these large rivers which water so extensive a Country, there are also a great many small streams. It is on the East bank of one of these rivers that our Village is situated, between the river Ouabache and the Pekitanoui. We are in the 38th degree. We see herds of oxen and bears, which feed along the banks of the river Ouabache. The flesh of young bears is a most delicious food.

The swamps are filled with roots, some of which are excellent, as are the potatoes and others, of which it is useless to note here the barbarous names. The trees are very tall and very fine: there is one to which has been given the name of cedar of Lebanon; it is a lofty, very straight tree, which shoots out its branches only at the top, where they form a sort of crown. The Copal is another tree, from which issues. a gum that diffuses an odor as agreeable as that of incense.

Fruit-trees are not very numerous here; we find apple-trees and wild plum-trees that would perhaps produce good fruit, if they were grafted; there are many mulberry-trees, of which the fruit is not so [Page 227] large as of those in France and there are different kinds of nut-trees. The pecans (it is thus that the fruit of one of the Nut-trees is called) have a better flavor than our nuts in France. Peach-trees from the Mississipi have been brought to us; they come in very good condition. But among the fruits of the Country those which seem to me the best, and which would certainly be appreciated in France, are the Piakimina and the Racemina. The latter are perhaps twice as long as the finger and about as large as an infant’s arm: the former resemble medlars somewhat, except that the crown is smaller. We also have grapes, but they are only indifferently good; they must be gathered from the tops of the trees. Sometimes we have been compelled to make wine of them, for lack of having any other in saying Mass. Our Savages are not accustomed to gather fruit from the trees; they think it better to cut down the trees themselves; for this reason, there are scarcely any fruit-trees in the vicinity of the Villages.[46]

It seems that a Country as beautiful and as extensive as this ought to be overspread with well-populated Villages; nevertheless, counting our own there. are only three — of which one is more than a hundred leagues from here, where there are eight or nine hundred Savages; and the other is on the Mississipi, 25 leagues from our Village. The men are generally of tall stature, very lithe, and good runners, being accustomed from their tenderest youth to hunt wild beasts in the forests. They wear only a girdle, the rest of the body being wholly bare: as for the women, they, in addition, cover the bosom with a deer-skin. But both are modestly clothed when they come to Church; they envelop the body in a large [Page 229] skin, or rather they are dressed in a robe made of several skins sewed together.

The Illinois are much less barbarous than other Savages; Christianity and intercourse with the French have by degrees civilized them. This is to be noticed in our Village, of which nearly all the inhabitants are Christians; it is this also which has brought many Frenchmen to settle here, and very recently we married three of them to Illinois women. These Savages do not lack intelligence; they are naturally inquisitive, and turn a joke in a fairly ingenious manner. Hunting and war form the whole occupation of the men; the rest of the work belongs to the women and the girls, — it is they who prepare the ground which must be sowed, who do the cooking, who pound the corn, who set up the cabins, and who carry them on their shoulders in the journeys. These cabins are composed of mats made of flat rushes, which they have the skill of sewing together in such a way that the rain cannot penetrate them when they are new. In addition to this, they are busied in working up the hair of the oxen and in making it into leggings, girdles, and bags; for the oxen here are very different from those of Europe; besides having a great hump upon the back, near the shoulders, they are also wholly covered with a very fine wool, which takes the place of that which our Savages would obtain from sheep, if there were any in the Country.

The women thus occupied and humbled by work are thereby more disposed to accept the truths of the Gospel. It is not the same toward the lower part of the Mississipi, where the idleness which prevails among the women gives opportunity for the most [Page 231] shocking irregularities, and wholly indisposes them to the way of salvation.

It would be difficult to say what the religion of our Savages is; it consists solely of certain superstitions, by which their credulity is gratified. As all their knowledge is limited to the knowledge of animals, and of the needs of life, so it is to these things that all their worship is limited. The charlatans, who have a little more intellect than the others, win their respect by skill in deceiving them. They persuade them that they are honoring a sort of Spirit, to whom they give the name of Manitou; and, to hear them speak, it is this Spirit who governs all things, and who is the master of life and of death. A bird, an ox, a bear, — or, rather, the plumage of birds, and the skins of these beasts, — such is their Manitou; they expose it to view in their cabins, and they offer to it sacrifices of dogs or other animals,

The warriors carry their Manitous in a mat and they invoke them incessantly, that they may obtain victory over their enemies. The charlatans like- wise have recourse to their Manitous when they compose their medicine, or when they treat the sick. They accompany these invocations with chants, dances, and frightful contortions in order to make it believed that they are shaken by their Manitous; and, at the same time, they shake their patients, in such a way that they often cause their death. In these various agitations, the charlatan names sometimes one wild beast, and sometimes another; then he begins to suck the part of the body in which the patient feels pain; after having sucked it for some time he suddenly rises, and drops upon the sick man the tooth of a bear or of some other animal, which. [Page 233] he had held concealed in his mouth. “Dear friend,” he exclaims, “thou wilt live, this is what was killing thee;” after which he says, applauding himself: “Who can resist my Manitou? is it not he who is the master of life?” If the sick man happen to die, he immediately has all ready a trick for laying this death to another cause, which occurred after he had left the patient. But, on the contrary, if the sick man recover his health, then it is that the charlatan is esteemed; that he himself is looked upon as a Manitou; and that, after having been well paid for his trouble, they also bring to him all that is best in the Village, in order to regale him.

The authority that charlatans of this sort assume is a great obstacle to the conversion of the Savages: to embrace Christianity is to be exposed to their insults and their violence. It is only a month since a Christian girl had experience of this: holding her rosary in her hand, she was passing before the cabin of one of these impostors; this person — imagining that the sight of a similar rosary had caused the death of his father — fell into a rage, took his gun, and was on the point of firing on this poor Neophyte, when he was held back by some Savages who happened to be present.

I do not tell you how many times I have received like insults at their hands, or how many times I would have expired under their blows but for the special protection of God, who has preserved me from their fury. Once, especially, one of them would have cleft my head with a blow from a hatchet, had I not turned away at the very moment when his arm was raised to strike me. Thank God, our Village is freed from all these impostors. The [Page 235] care that we ourselves have taken of the sick, and the remedies that we give them, which effect the cure of most sick persons, have ruined the credit and reputation of the charlatans and have forced them to go to settle elsewhere.

However there are among them some who are not so completely brutish; sometimes we can talk with them, and try to disabuse them of the senseless confidence that they have in their Manitous; but it is not usual to succeed in this. A conversation that one of our Fathers had with one of these Charlatans will make you understand how far their infatuation goes in this respect; and what must be the condescension of a Missionary to bring himself even to refute such extravagant opinions as these with which they are possessed.

The French had come to establish a fort on the river Ouabache; they asked for a Missionary, and Father Mermet was sent to them. This Father believed that he ought also to labor for the conversion of the Mascoutens, who had set up a Village on the borders of the same river: this is a Tribe of Savages who understand the Illinois language, but who because of the extreme attachment which they have for the superstitions of their Charlatans, were not very much inclined to listen to the instructions of the Missionary.

The course that Father Mermet took was to perplex, in the presence of this people, one of these Charlatans, who worshiped the ox as his great Manitou. After having insensibly led him so far as to avow that it was not the ox which he adored, but an ox Manitou which was under the earth, which animated all oxen, and which restored life to his sick [Page 237] people, he asked him if the other animals — like the bear, for instance, which his comrades worshiped —  were not likewise animated by a Manitou which is under the earth: “Without doubt,” answered the Charlatan: “But if that be so,” returned the Missionary, “men ought also to have a Manitou which animates them.” “Nothing is more certain,” said the Charlatan. I‘ That is sufficient for me to convince you that you are not very reasonable,” replied the Missionary; “for, if man who is on the earth be the master of all animals, if he kill them, if he eat them, it must be that the Manitou which animates men is also master of all the other Manitous; where then is your intelligence, that you do not invoke him who is master of all the others?” This reasoning disconcerted the Charlatan, and that is all the effect that it produced, — for they were not on that account less attached to their ridiculous superstitions than they were before.

At that very time a contagious disease desolated their Village, and carried off every day many Savages; the Charlatans were not spared, and they died like other people. The Missionary believed that he could win their confidence by taking care of so many sick people; he applied himself to this without intermission, and many times his zeal nearly cost him his life. The services that he rendered them were requited only with abuse; there were even some who went so far as to discharge arrows at him; these fell at his feet, — either because they were shot by too feeble hands, or because God, who designed the Missionary for other labors, chose at that time to screen him from their fury. Father Mermet, however, administered Baptism to a few Savages who [Page 239] asked urgently for it, and who died shortly after having received it.

In the meantime, the Charlatans withdrew to a short distance from the fort in order to make a great sacrifice to their Manitou: they killed as many as forty dogs, which they carried on the tops of poles while singing, dancing, and assuming a thousand absurd postures. The mortality did not cease on account of all these sacrifices. The chief of the Charlatans imagined that their Manitou, more helpless than the Manitou of the French, was compelled to yield to it. In this belief he went around the fort many times, crying with all his might: “We are dead; gently, oh Manitou of the French, strike gently, do not kill us all.” Then, addressing the Missionary: “Cease, good Manitou, let us live, thou hast life and death in thy coffers: keep death, give life.” The Missionary pacified him and promised to take still more care of the sick than he had done up to that time; but, notwithstanding all the care that he gave them, more than half of the Village perished.

To return to our Illinois: they are very different from these Savages, and from what they themselves were formerly. Christianity, as I have already said, has softened their fierce habits, and they are now distinguished for certain gentle and polite manners that have led the Frenchmen to take their daughters in marriage. Moreover, we find in them docility and ardor in the practice of Christian virtues. This is the order that we observe each day in this Mission. Very early in the morning the Catechumens are called to the Church, where they offer up prayers; they listen to an instruction and sing a few Hymns. [Page 241] When they have withdrawn Mass is said, at which all the Christians are present, — the men being placed on one side and the women on the other. We also say our prayers, which are followed by an instruction, after which each one goes to his work; then we are busy with visiting the sick, giving them the necessary remedies, instructing them, and consoling. those who have any cause for sorrow.

In the afternoon we have the Catechism, when every one is present, — Christians and Catechumens, adults and children, young people and old people; and when each one, without distinction of rank or of age, answers the questions that the Missionary asks him. As these people have no books and as they are naturally indolent, they would very soon have forgotten the principles of Religion, if they had not been reminded of them by almost continual instructions. Visiting the cabins fills up the remainder of our day.

In the evening, all the people meet again at the Church, that they may hear instruction, offer prayers, and sing a few Hymns. On Sundays and on Feast- days, to the ordinary exercises is added an instruction which is given after Vespers. The fervor with which these good Neophytes repair to the Church at all these hours is admirable; they stop their work, and run in haste from a great distance, in order to be present at the appointed time. They generally end the day with private meetings, which they hold in their own houses, — the men apart from the women; and there they recite the Rosary in two choirs, and far on into the night they sing Hymns. These Hymns are actual instructions, which they retain more easily because the words are set to airs which they know, and which are pleasing to them. [Page 243]

They often approach the Sacraments and the custom among them is to confess and communicate every fortnight. We have been obliged to appoint the days on which they are allowed to confess, otherwise they would leave us no leisure to attend to our other duties. On Saturday and Sunday of each week, we hear them; and on those days we are overwhelmed with a crowd of Penitents. The care that we take of the sick wins for us their entire confidence. It is especially in these moments that we gather the fruit of our labors; their docility is then perfect and we have not unfrequently the satisfaction of seeing them die in great peace, and in a lively hope of being very soon united to God in Heaven.

This Mission owes its establishment to the late Father Gravier. It is truë that Father Marquet was the first who discovered the Mississipi, about thirty- nine years ago; but, not knowing the language of the country, he did not stop here. Some time afterward, he made a second journey, with the design of fixing his dwelling here and of working for the conversion of these tribes; death which removed him from us while he was on the way, left to another the charge of executing this enterprise. It was Father Daloës who took it upon himself: he knew the language of the Oumiamis, which somewhat resembles that of the Illinois; however, he made only a very short stay here, being of the opinion that he would accomplish greater results in another district, where indeed he ended his apostolic life.

Thus it is properly Father Gravier who ought to be regarded as the founder of the Illinois Mission; it was he who first made clear the principles of their language, and who reduced them to the rules of [Page 245] Grammar; we have only perfected that which he successfully began. At first, this Missionary had much to suffer from the Charlatans, and his life was exposed to continual dangers; but nothing discouraged him, and he surmounted all obstacles by his patience and his gentleness. As he was obliged to depart for Michillimakinac his Mission was intrusted to father Bineteau and to Father Pinet, I worked for some time with these two Missionaries, and after their deaths I alone remained, charged with all the labors of the Mission until the arrival of Father Mermet. Previously I was in the large Village of the Peouarias, where Father Gravier, who had returned there for the second time, received a wound which caused his death.

We have lost few people this year; but I infinitely regret one of our instructors, whose life and death were very edifying. In this place we call those men “instructors” who in other Missions are called “Catechists;” because it is not in the Church but in the cabins that they instruct the catechumens and the Neophytes. There are likewise instructresses for the women and girls. Henri (it is thus that the instructor of whom I speak was named), although of a somewhat inferior family, had made himself respected by every one on account of his great piety. He resided in our Village for only seven or eight years; before coming here he had never seen any Missionaries, and had not even the first idea of Christianity. His conversion was something rather’ remarkable. He was attacked by smallpox, with all his family: this disease snatched from him at once his wife and some of his children; it rendered the others blind or extremely disfigured. He himself [Page 247] was brought to the point of death; when he thought that he had only a few moments longer to live, he seemed to see Missionaries who restored to him his life, who opened to him the door of Heaven, and who urged him to enter therein; and from that moment he began to feel better.

When he was scarcely able to walk, he came to see us in our Village, and earnestly begged us to teach him the truths of Religion; so far as we instructed him, he taught his children what he retained of our instructions: and very soon this whole family was prepared to receive Baptism. One of his children, although he was stone-blind, charmed us by the deep feeling of piety that we discovered in him. In the painful malady with which he was long afflicted, his prayers were continual; and some years ago he died in great innocence. Henri, his father, likewise passed through severe trials; a long and distressing malady completed the purification of his virtue, and prepared him for a death that seemed to us precious in the sight of God.

It is only a short time ago, that I also administered Baptism to a young catechumen, aged seventeen years, who has greatly edified our Christians by her firmness, and by her faithful attachment to Christianity. The home example was well fitted to lead her astray: the daughter of an idolatrous father and mother, she found in her own family the greatest obstacles to the virtues that she was practicing. In order to try her still more, a young libertine took a fancy to marry her: he employed every means to gain her consent to this marriage, even to promising that he would become a Christian. Our catechumen’s father and mother, who had been won over [Page 249] by the young man, treated her with the greatest inhumanity, in order to shake her constancy. Her brother went so far as to threaten that he would kill her if she persisted in refusing her consent. These menaces and this bad treatment made no impression upon her: her whole comfort was in going to Church, and she often said to me: “The death with which they threaten me does not terrify me; I would willingly accept it, rather than the husband whom they propose to me. This young man whom they wish me to marry is a deceiver; he has no thought of becoming a convert. But, even though his promises were sincere, neither he, nor any others will change the resolution that I have made; no, my Father, I will never have any other spouse than Jesus Christ.”

The persecution that they continually forced her to undergo in her family was carried so far that she was obliged to conceal herself in the house of one of her relatives, who was a Christian: there she was tried by various infirmities that did not lessen her fervor, — which is the more surprising, because the least adversity is apt to discourage our Savages. Some time afterward, having heard that her mother was in danger of losing her sight, on account of two cataracts which obscured her vision, this noble girl, forgetting the unworthy treatment that she had received, immediately hastened to her mother’s assistance. Her tenderness and her assiduous care softened the mother’s heart, and won her to such a degree that now she accompanies her daughter to the Church, and is receiving instructions that she may be prepared for the grace of Baptism, which she eagerly desires. [Page 251]

As our Savages seldom live upon anything but the smoked flesh of animals, which they kill in the hunt, there are times during the year when all the people leave the village and scatter through the forests, to pursue the wild beasts. This is a critical time, in which they need more than ever the presence of the Missionary, who is obliged to accompany them in all these journeys.

There are mainly two great hunts: that of summer, which seldom lasts longer than three weeks; and that which takes place during winter, which lasts from four to five months. Although the summer hunt is shorter, it is nevertheless more fatiguing; it cost the life of the late Father Bineteau. He accompanied the Savages in the greatest heat of the month of July; sometimes he was in danger of smothering amid the grass, which was extremely high; sometimes he suffered cruëlly from thirst, not finding in the dried-up prairies a single drop of water to allay it. By day he was drenched with perspiration, and at night he was obliged to sleep on the ground, — exposed to the dew, to the harmful effects of the air, and to many other inconveniences, concerning which I will not go into detail. These hardships brought upon him a violent sickness, from which he expired in my arms.

During the winter, the Savages separate into many bands, and try to find the places where they think the game will be most abundant. Then it is that we wish that we could multiply ourselves, so as not to lose sight of them. All that we can do is to go in succession through the various camps in which they are, in order to keep piety alive in them, and administer to them the Sacraments. Our village is [Page 253] the only one in which a few Savages are permitted to remain during all these journeys; many of them raise chickens and pigs, in imitation of the Frenchmen who have settled here; and these savages are exempt, for the most part, from this sort of hunting. Father Mermet, with whom I have had the good fortune to be for several years past, remains in the village, in order to instruct them; the delicacy of his constitution renders him totally unable to endure the fatigue incident to these long journeys. Nevertheless, in spite of his feeble health, I can say that he is the soul of this Mission; it is his virtue, his gentleness, his pathetic instructions, and the peculiar talent that he has of winning the respect and the friendship of the Savages, which have brought our Mission to the flourishing state in which it is. As for myself, who am fitted to travel over the snow, to work the paddle in a canoe, and who have, thanks to God, the necessary strength to withstand like toils, I range the forests with the rest of our Savages, of whom the greater number spend part of the winter in hunting.

These journeys which we are compelled to take from time to time — either to follow the Savages, or for other reasons important to the well-being of our Missions — are extremely difficult. You can judge of them yourself from the detailed account of a few which I have made in these late years, which will give you an idea of the manner in which we journey in this country. If our Missions are not so flourishing as others on account of a great number of conversions, at least they are precious and beneficial to us, on account of the labors and hardships which are inseparable from them. [Page 255]

About twenty-five leagues from here is the village of the Tamarouas. This is a Mission which was at first intrusted to Father Pinet, whose zeal and whose labors were so greatly blessed by God that I myself am witness that his Church could not contain the multitude of Savages who came to it in crowds. This Father had as his successor Monsieur Bergier, a Priest from the Seminary of the Missions étrangères. Having learned that he was dangerously sick, I immediately went to assist him. I remained eight entire days with this worthy Ecclesiastic; the care that I took of him and the remedies which I gave him, seemed gradually to restore him, so that, believing himself better, — and knowing, besides, how necessary my presence was to my own Mission, on account of the departure of the Savages, — he urged me to return to it. Before leaving him, I administered to him, by way of precaution, the holy Viaticum; he instructed me as to the condition of his Mission, recommending it to me in case that God should take him away. I charged the Frenchman who took care of the patient to inform us at once, if he were in danger; and I retraced the way to my Mission.

As it is only twenty-five leagues from one village to the other, we sleep out-of-doors but once, provided we make good progress; the meals that we take on the way consist of some ears of corn and a small piece of smoked beef, which we carry with us. When we are hungry, we kindle a fire close by some brook, so that we may have something to drink; we roast the corn and the meat, and afterward we lie down near the fire, turning now on one side, now on the other, according as we need to warm ourselves. [Page 257]

When I arrived at our village, nearly all the Savages had gone: they were scattered along the Mississipi. I immediately set out to join them. Hardly had I gone six leagues when I found three cabins, in one of which was a poor old man, very sick. I heard his confession, gave him some remedies, and promised to come again to see him, thinking indeed that he had still many days to live.

Five or six leagues farther on, I found a great number of cabins, which formed a sort of village; I halted there a few days, in order to perform my accustomed functions. In the absence of the Missionary, they do not fail to meet together every day. in a large cabin; and there prayers are offered, the rosary is recited, and hymns are sung, sometimes far into the night, — for it is chiefly in the winter, when the nights are long, that a great part of that time is spent in singing the praises of God. We are careful to appoint one of the most fervent and most respected of our Neophytes to preside over meetings of this sort.

I had already remained some time with these dear Neophytes when some one came to tell me that there were, eighteen leagues still farther down the Mississipi, sick people who needed prompt assistance, I immediately embarked in a pirogue: this is a kind of boat made of a large tree, hollowed out to the length of forty feet, and which is very heavy; this gives a great deal of trouble when it is necessary to ascend the river.[47] Happily, we had only to descend; and, as the rapidity in that place equals that of the Rhone, we made those eighteen leagues in a single day.

The sick people were not in such urgent danger as [Page 259] had been represented to me, and I soon relieved them by my remedies. As there was a Church there, and a great number of cabins, I remained some days, in order to revive the fervor of my Neophytes by frequent instructions and by participation in the sacraments. Our Savages have such confidence in the Missionary who directs them that. they reveal to him with an admirable openness of heart everything that occurs during his absence; therefore, if any disturbance takes place, or if any one gives cause for scandal, the Missionary, when informed of it, is in a position to remedy the evil, and to prevent the grievous consequences that might follow.

I was obliged to separate from my Neophytes sooner than I could have wished; the good old man whom I had left so sick, and the illness of Monsieur Bergier, continually disturbed me, and urged me to return to the village, that I might hear news of them. Accordingly I ascended the Mississipi, but it was with great toil; I had only one Savage with me, and his lack of skill obliged me to paddle continually, or to use the pole. After all, I arrived in time at the cabin of this fervent Christian who was dying; he confessed for the last time, and received the holy Viaticum with great devotion, —  exhorting his son and all around him to live according to the precepts of the Gospel, and to persevere even until their last breath in the Faith that they had embraced.

As soon as I had reached our village, I wished to go to see Monsieur Bergier; but the people opposed this, alleging as a cause that, no one having brought news of him, — as had been promised in case he Were [Page 261] worse, — they could not doubt that his health was reëstablished. I yielded to this reasoning; but, a few days afterward, I felt genuine regret for not having followed my first plan. A young slave came, about two o’clock in the afternoon, to apprise us of his death, and beg us to go to perform the funeral rites. I set out forthwith. I had already gone six leagues when night overtook me; a heavy rain which had fallen did not permit my taking a few hours’ rest. Therefore I walked until daybreak, when, the weather having cleared a little, I lighted a fire to dry myself, and then continued my way. I arrived at the village toward evening, God having given me strength to make these fifteen leagues in a day and a night. The next day at dawn I said mass for the deceased, and buried him.

The death of Monsieur Bergier was somewhat sudden, according to what was told me by the Frenchman who was with him; he felt it coming all at once, and said that it would be useless to send for me, since he would be dead before my arrival. He merely took in his hands the crucifix, which he kissed lovingly, and expired. He was a Missionary of truë merit and of a very austere life. At the beginning of his Mission, he had to bear rude attacks from the Charlatans, — who, availing themselves of his slight knowledge of the Savage language, every day took away from him some Christians; but eventually, he learned how to make himself, in his turn, feared by those impostors. His death was for them a cause of triumph. They gathered around the cross that he had erected, and there they invoked their Manitou, — each one dancing, and attributing to himself the glory of having [Page 263] killed the Missionary, after which they broke the cross into a thousand pieces. I learned this with grief some time after.

I thought that such an outrage ought not to go unpunished; therefore I entreated the French no longer to trade with them, unless they should make reparation for the insult which they had offered to Religion. This punishment had all the effect that I could desire; the chiefs of the village came twice in succession to declare their keen regret for their fault; and, by this avowal, they induced me to visit them from time to time. But, it must be acknowledged, a Missionary does no great good to the Savages unless he live with them, and continually watch their conduct; without this they very soon forget the instructions that he has given them, and, little by little, they return to their former licentiousness.

This knowledge that we have of the fickleness of the Savages afterward gave us great uneasiness about the condition of the Mission of the Peouarias; our distance from this village, which is the largest one in these quarters, prevented our making frequent journeys to it. Besides, the bad treatment that the late Father Gravier received from them had obliged Messieurs the Governors of Canada and Mobile to forbid the French from trading with them. In truth, many Christians from that village had come to submit themselves to us; but there remained many others who, not being sustained by the usual instructions, would possibly falter in the Faith.

Finally, at the time when we were considering means for reëstablishing this Mission, we learned, from some Frenchmen who had secretly traded with [Page 265] them, that these Savages were much humbled by the neglect in which they had been left; that in many encounters they had been beaten by their enemies, for want of powder, which was no longer furnished to them by the French; that they seemed deeply impressed by the unworthy manner in which they had treated Father Gravier, and that they earnestly wished for a Missionary.

This news made Father Mermet, Father de Ville, and myself decide that we must avail ourselves of the favorable disposition in which the Peouarias were, for putting the Mission again on its old footing. Providence afforded us a very natural way: it was necessary that one of us should make a journey to Michillimakinac, — that is to say, to more than three hundred leagues from here, — in order to confer with Father Joseph Marest, my brother, about the affairs of our Missions, of which he is the Superior. In making this journey, we could not avoid passing through the Village of the Peouarias; and we hoped that the presence of a Missionary might induce them to renew the solicitation which they had already made, and also the signs of repentance which they had given.

As I was thoroughly acquainted with those Savages, Father Mermet and Father de Ville intrusted me with the undertaking. Accordingly I set out, on friday of Easter week in the year 1711. I had only one day to prepare myself for so long a journey, because I was hurried by two Peouarias who wished to return home, and by whom I was glad to be accompanied. Some other Savages went with us as far as the Village of the Tamarouas, where I arrived on the second day after my departure. I left [Page 267] there the next day, carrying with me only my Crucifix and my Breviary, and being accompanied only by three Savages. Two of these Savages were not Christians and the third was still only a Catechumen.

I acknowledge to you, my Reverend Father, that I was somewhat uncomfortable when I saw myself at the mercy of these three Savages, upon whom I could scarcely depend. I pictured to myself, on the one hand, the fickleness of this kind of people, —  whom the merest fancy might perhaps lead to abandon me, or whom the fear of hostile bands might put to flight at the least alarm. On the other hand, the horror of our forests, those vast uninhabited Regions in which I would certainly perish if I were abandoned, presented themselves to my mind and took away nearly all my courage. But, at last, reassuring myself by the testimony of my own conscience, — which inwardly told me that I was seeking only God and his glory, — I resigned myself entirely to Providence.

The journeys that are made in this Country ought not to be compared with those that you make in Europe. You find, from time to time, Towns and Villages, houses to receive you, bridges or boats for crossing rivers, beaten paths which conduct you to your destination, and people who put you on the right way if you are going astray. Here there is nothing of that; we have traveled for twelve days without meeting a single soul. Sometimes we have been on prairies stretching farther than the eye could reach, intersected by brooks and rivers, without finding any path which could guide us; sometimes it has been necessary for us to open a passage through. [Page 269] dense forests, amid thickets filled with briers and thorns; at other times we have had to go through marshes abounding in mire, in which we sometimes sank waist-deep.

After having been much fatigued during the day, we are obliged to sleep at night on the grass or on some leaves, exposed to the wind, to the rain, and to the injurious effects of the air, — happy even then if we are near some brook; as otherwise, however thirsty we may be, the night would pass without possibility of quenching our thirst. We kindle a fire; and, when some wild beast has been killed on the way, we have pieces of it broiled, and eat them with a few ears of Indian corn, if we have any.

Besides these inconveniences, common to all those who journey in these deserts, we had that of actual fasting during our whole journey. Not that we did not find abundance of roe, deer, and especially of oxen; but our Savages could not kill any of them. What they had heard said the night before our departure — to wit, that the Country was infested by hostile bands — had prevented their taking guns, for fear of being discovered by the sound of the shots, should they fire; or of being impeded by the guns, if it were necessary to take flight. Accordingly they used only their arrows; and the oxen that they shot escaped with the arrows by which they were pierced, and went away to die, far distant from us.

Nevertheless, these poor people took good care of me: they bore me on their shoulders, when it was necessary to pass over any brook; and, whenever there were deep rivers to cross, they collected many pieces of dry wood which they bound together, and, making me sit upon this sort of boat, they began to [Page 271] swim, and pushed me before them to the other shore.

It is not without reason that they feared a party of warriors; they would have had no quarter from them. Either their heads would have been split, or else they would have been taken prisoners, to be burned afterward by a slow fire, or to be cast into the kettle. Nothing is more frightful than the wars of our Savages. Ordinarily their parties consist only of twenty, thirty or forty men; sometimes these parties are of only six or seven persons, and these are most to be feared. As their entire skill lies in surprising their enemy, the small number facilitates the pains that they take to conceal themselves, in order that they may more securely strike the blow which they .are planning. For our warriors do not pique themselves upon attacking their enemy in front, and when he is on his guard, — for that they would need to be ten to one; and, moreover, on those occasions each one avoids being the first to advance. Their method is to follow on the trail of their enemy, and to kill some one of them while he is asleep, — or, rather, to lie in ambush in the vicinity of the Villages, and to split the head of the first one who comes forth, — and, taking off his scalp, to display it as a trophy among their countrymen. This is the way in which they do it.

As soon as one of these warriors has killed his enemy, he draws his knife, makes a cut around the head, and tears from it the skin with the hair, which he carries in triumph to his Village. For several days this scalp is hung from the top of his cabin, and then all the people of the Village come to congratulate him upon his valor, and bring presents to show him the interest that they take in his [Page 273] victory. Sometimes they are satisfied with ‘making the enemy prisoners; but they immediately tie their hands and compel them to run on before at full speed, fearing that they may be pursued, as sometimes happens, by the companions of those whom they are taking away. The fate of these prisoners is very sad; for often they are burned by a slow fire, and at other times they are put into the kettle, in order to make a feast for all the fighting men.

The very first day after our departure we found traces of a party of the enemy. I wondered at the very piercing sight of our Savages: they showed me on the grass the footprints of those warriors; they distinguished where the latter had been seated, where they had walked, and how many they were; but I, however intently I looked, could not discover the slightest trace of them. It was a great good fortune for me that fear did not seize upon them at that moment; they would have left me entirely alone in the midst of the woods. But, shortly after, I myself gave them, unintentionally, a severe fright, Swellings that I had on my feet made me walk slowly, and the Savages had gone on somewhat in advance, without my paying any attention to them; suddenly I perceived that I was alone, and you may imagine what my perplexity was. I began immediately to call them, but they made me no answer; I cried louder, but they, not doubting that I was struggling with a party of warriors, freed themselves at once from their loads, in order to run more rapidly. I redoubled my cries and their fright increased more and more; the two idolatrous Savages were already beginning to flee, but the Catechumen, ashamed of abandoning me, drew a trifle [Page 275] nearer that he might find out what was the matter. When he perceived that there was nothing to fear, he made a sign to his comrades; then addressing me, he said in a trembling voice, “You have frightened us very much; my companions were already fleeing, but, as for me, I was resolved to die with you, rather than to abandon you.” This incident taught me to follow my traveling companions more closely; and, on their part, they were more attentive not to separate themselves from me.

Meanwhile the pain that I had in my feet was becoming more severe. From the very beginning of the journey, I had had some blisters, which I neglected, — persuading myself that, by dint of walking, I would become hardened to the task. As the fear of meeting hostile parties obliged us to make long stages, — that we might pass the night in the midst of brushwood and thickets, so that the enemy could not approach us without being heard, —  and as, besides, we dared not kindle a fire for fear that we might be discovered, these hardships brought me to a sad state. I walked only upon sores; this touched the Savages who accompanied me, to such a degree, that they resolved upon carrying me in turn; they rendered me this service two days in succession. But, having reached the Illinois river, and being only twenty-five leagues from the Peouarias, I urged one of my Savages to go ahead and inform the Frenchmen of my arrival, and of the unfortunate state in which I was. However, I still went forward a little during two days, — dragging myself along as well as I could; and being carried, now and then, by the two Savages who had remained with me. [Page 277]

The third day, about noon, I saw several Frenchmen coming, who brought me a canoe and some fresh provisions. They were astonished to see how feeble I was; this was the result of the long fast that I had made, and of the pain that I had suffered in walking. They put me into their canoe; and, as I had no other ailment, the rest and the good care that they gave me very soon restored me. Nevertheless, I was even more than ten days without being able to stand upon my feet.

On the other hand, I was much consoled by the proceedings of the Peouarias; all the Chiefs of the Village came to greet me, expressing to me their joy at seeing me again, and entreating me to forget their past faults, and to come to dwell with them. I responded to these marks of friendship by reciprocal expressions of affection; and I promised them to fix my dwelling among them, as soon as I should have finished the business that was calling me to Michillimakinac.

After I had remained a fortnight in the Village of the Peouarias and had partially recovered through the care that was given me, I thought of continuing my journey. I had hoped that the Frenchmen, who were to go back at about that time, would take me with them as far as my destination; but, as no rain had yet fallen, it was not possible for them to go by the river. Therefore I resolved to go by the river Saint Joseph to the Mission of the Pouteautamis, which is under the direction of Father Chardon.[48] ]In nine days’ time I made this second journey, which was of seventy leagues; and I made it partly on the river, which is full of rapids, and partly by going across the country. God preserved me in a very [Page 279] special manner in this journey. A party of warriors, enemies of the Illinois, rushed upon some hunters, a gunshot distant from the road that I was taking; they killed one of them, and another, whom they carried away to their Village, they put into the kettle, and made of him a war-feast.

As I was drawing near the village of the Pouteautamis the Lord was well pleased to compensate me for all my troubles by one of those unforeseen events which he sometimes brings about for the consolation of his servants. Some Savages, who were sowing their fields, having perceived me far away, went to inform Father Chardon of my arrival. The Father immediately came to meet me, followed by another Jesuit. What an agreeable surprise when I saw my brother, who threw himself upon my neck to embrace me! It had been fifteen years since we had separated from each other, without hope of ever meeting again. It is truë that I had set out to join him, but it was only at Michillimakinac that our interview was to take place and not at more than a hundred leagues this side of that place. God had doubtless suggested to him the plan of making his visit to the Mission of saint Joseph at that very time, so as to make me forget in a moment all my past toils. We both blessed the divine Mercy which led us to come from such distant places, in order to give us a consolation which is much better experienced than described. Father Chardon participated in the joy of this happy meeting, and gave us every generous entertainment that we could have expected from his kindness.

After having remained a week at the Mission of Saint Joseph, I embarked with my brother in his [Page 281] canoe, that we might go together to Michillimakinac. This voyage was very agreeable to me, not only because I had the pleasure of being with a brother who is extremely dear to me, but also because it gave me the opportunity of profiting a longer time by his conversation and by his example.

It is more than a hundred leagues from the Mission of Saint Joseph to Michillimakinac. We sailed the whole length of lake Michigan, which is named on the maps lake Illinois, — without any reason, since there are no Illinois who dwell in its vicinity. Bad weather detained us seventeen days on this voyage, which is sometimes made in less than a week.

Michillimakinac is situated between two large lakes, into which other lakes and many rivers empty. For this reason this village is the general resort of the Frenchmen and of the Savages; and it is the center of nearly all the fur trade of the country. The soil here is far from being as good as in the land of our Illinois. During the greater part of the year, fish is our only food. The water, which constitutes the charm of the place in summer, renders a sojourn here during the winter very dreary and very monotonous. The ground is covered with snow from All Saints’ until the month of May.

The character of these Savages bears the impress of the climate in which they live; it is harsh and indocile. Religion does not take so deep root in them as we could wish; and there are only a few souls who, from time to time, give themselves truly to God, and console the Missionary for all his labors, As for me, I wondered at the patience with which my brother bore their faults; at his gentleness, unwearied by their caprices and their coarseness; at [Page 283] his diligence in visiting and instructing them, and inspiring their indolent natures to activity in the services of Religion; and at his zeal and charity, sufficient to enkindle their hearts if they had been less hard and more tractable. I said then to myself that success is not always the recompense of Apostolic men’s labors, nor the measure of their merit.

Having finished all our business in the period of about two months which I spent with my brother, we were obliged to separate. As it was God who ordered this separation, he knew how to mitigate its bitterness. I went to rejoin Father Chardon, with whom I remained a fortnight. He is a Missionary full of zeal, who has a rare talent for learning Languages; he knows nearly all those of the Savages who are near these lakes. He has even learned enough Illinois to make himself understood, although he has seen some of these Savages only by chance, when they come to his village; for the Pouteautamis and the Illinois live on good terms, and visit each other from time to time. Their manners, however, are very different; the former are brutal and coarse; the latter, on the contrary, are gentle and kind.

After having taken leave of the Missionary, we ascended the river Saint Joseph, in order to make a portage at 30 leagues from its mouth. This is what we call making a portage: The canoes that are used for navigation in this Country, being only of bark, are very light, although they carry as much as a shallop. When the canoe has carried us a long time on the water, we, in our turn, carry it on the land, in order to reach another river; and that is what we [Page 285] did in this place. We first transported all that was in the canoe to the source of the Illinois river, which is called Huakiki; then we carried our canoe thither, and, after having loaded it, we embarked to continue our way. We were only two days in making this portage, which was a league and a half long.[49] The copious rains which fell at that season had swollen our little rivers, and delivered us from the rapids that we dreaded. At last we perceived our own welcome Country; the wild oxen and the herds of deer were roving along the bank of the river, and from the canoe we shot some, now and then, which served for our repasts.

Many of the Savages from the village of the Peouarias came some leagues to meet me, in order to escort me and to defend me from the parties of warriors who range the forests; and, when I drew near the Village, they sent one of their number thither to give notice of my arrival. The greater part of the men ascended to the Fort, which is placed upon a rock on the bank of the river. When I entered the Village, they fired a volley from their muskets in sign of rejoicing; joy was actually painted on their faces, and they vied in displaying it in my presence. I was invited with the Frenchmen and the Illinois chiefs to a feast, which the most distinguished men of the Peouarias gave us. It was then that one of their principal Chiefs, speaking in the name of the Tribe, expressed to me the keen grief that they felt for the unworthy manner in which they had treated Father Gravier; and he besought me to forget it, to have pity upon them and their children, and to open for them the door of Heaven, which they had shut against themselves. [Page 287]

For my part, I returned thanks to God from the bottom of my heart, on seeing the fulfillment of what I had desired with the greatest ardor; I answered them in a few words that I was touched by their repentance; that I always looked upon them as my children; and that, after having visited my own Mission, I would come to fix my dwelling among them, that I might help them by my instructions to reënter the way of salvation, from which they had perhaps strayed. At these words a great cry of joy arose, and each one eagerly expressed to me his gratitude. During the two days that I spent in this Village, I said Mass in public, and performed all the duties of a Missionary.

It was about the end of August when I embarked to return to my Mission at Cascaskias, which is 150 leagues distant from the village of the Peouarias. On the very first day after our departure, we found a Scioux canoe which was broken in some places, and was drifting; and we saw a camp of warriors, in which we judged, at a glance, that there were possibly a hundred persons. We were justly frightened, and were upon the point of turning back to the Village that we had left, and from which we were only ten leagues distant.

These Scioux are the most cruël of all the Savages; we were lost if we had fallen into their hands. They are great warriors, but it is principally upon the water that they are formidable. They have only small bark canoes, made in the form of a gondola; these are scarcely larger than the body of a man, and can hold only two or, at most, three persons. They paddle kneeling, using the paddle sometimes on one side, sometimes on the other, — that is to say, [Page 289] making three or four dips of the paddle on the right side, and then as many on the left side, — but with so much dexterity and swiftness that their canoes seem to fly over the water. After having examined everything attentively, we judged that these Savages had struck their blow and were retreating; nevertheless, we kept on our guard, and traveled more slowly, in order not to meet them. But, when we had once reached the Mississipi, we went on by hard paddling. At last, on the 10th of September I arrived at my dear mission in perfect health, after five months’ absence.

I say nothing to you of the joy that we all had in meeting again; you can judge how great it was on both sides. But when there was discussion about keeping the promise that I had made to the Peouarias of going to live with them, the Frenchmen and the Savages opposed it, — apparently because they were accustomed to my ways and do not like changes. Accordingly, Father de Ville was sent there in my place. This Father, who had been a short time with us, has now proved by his zeal, by his ability to win the Savages, and by the improvement that he is making among them, that God appointed him to this Mission, not having judged me worthy of it.

When I had returned to my Mission, I blessed God for the favors which he had heaped upon it during my absence. That year, there had been an abundant harvest of corn and of wild oats. Besides the beauty of the place, we also have salt-springs in the neighborhood, which are of great benefit to us. Cows have just been brought to us which will render, us the same service in tillage that the oxen render in [Page 291] France. We have tried to tame the wild oxen, but we have never succeeded. There are mines of lead and of tin not far from here; perhaps more valuable ones would be found, as I said before, if some intelligent person were employed to discover them.[50] We are only 30 leagues from the Missouri, or Pekitanoui. This is a large river which flows into the Mississipi and it is said that it comes from a still greater distance than does that river. The best mines of the Spaniards are at the head of this river. Finally, we are comparatively near the river Ouabache, which also empties into the Mississipi, below us. We could easily by means of this river trade with the Miamis, and with a multitude of other Tribes more distant; for it extends as far as the Country of the Iroquois.

All these advantages are extremely favorable to the plan that some Frenchmen have of settling in our Village. Whether or not this sort of settlement would be likely to contribute to the welfare of Religion, is a question which I cannot easily answer. Should the Frenchmen who may come among us resemble those whom I have formerly seen here, who edified our Neophytes by their piety and by the strictness of their morals, nothing would be more comforting to us, or more conducive to the progress of the Gospel. But if, unhappily, some of them should come and openly practice libertinage and perhaps irreligion, as is to be feared, all would be over with our Mission. Their pernicious example would make more impression on the minds of the Savages than all that we could say to preserve them from the same dissolute conduct; they would not fail to reproach us — as they have already done, in some [Page 293] places — with abusing their readiness to believe us, saying that the Laws of Christianity are not so severe as we teach. They would say that it is not credible that people as enlightened as Frenchmen are, and brought up in the bosom of Religion, would willingly rush to their own destruction and cast themselves into hell, if it were truë that such and such actions merited so terrible a punishment. All the arguments that the Missionary could oppose to this influence of an evil example would have no power over the minds of a People who are seldom affected except by that which strikes the senses. Therefore, my Reverend Father, aid me in my prayers to the Lord that he may render all my apprehensions vain, and that he may continue to pour out his blessings upon my feeble labors. I commend myself to your holy sacrifices, and am with respect, etc.,

Father Gabriel Marest, Missionary.

[Page 295]



This document consists of four letters written in or about 1702 to Jean de Lamberville, from Illinois missionaries: two from Jacques Gravier in March; and two from Gabriel Marest — one in July, and the other in November. We follow MSS. in the Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.


We follow the original MS. of this letter of Martin Bouvart to Count de Pontchartrain, written in 1702, which now rests in the Archives du Ministère des Colonies, its press-mark being: Tome 106, carton II, folio 451.


In publishing both of these documents, we follow apographs in the archives of St. Mary’s College, Montreal, made by Father Martin.

CLXXX. is a French letter from Jean Mermet to “the Jesuits in Canada,” written at Kaskaskia, March 2, 1706.

CLXXXII. is a letter in Latin, written by Jacques Gravier at Paris, March 6, 1707, and addressed to the father general; the apograph is in the archival cahier labeled “Aux Généraux.” [Page 297]


We obtain this letter of Gabriel Marest to Jean de Lamberville (np., ca. 1706), from Lettres édifiantes, tome vi., pp. 1-31, of the Toulouse edition of 1810.

Our bibliographical colleague, Victor Hugo Paltsits, of the Lenox Library staff, contributes the following notable bibliography of this interesting publication:


In selecting from the Lettres édifiantes such Jesuit material as relates to New France, we follow the Toulouse edition, published in 1810-11, and which we describe below in extenso, in its proper chronological sequence.

The collection of Lettres édifiantes deals with the missions of the Jesuits in both hemispheres, and is invaluable for a history of the order’s missionary zeal and enterprise, and for the history, ethnology, and general characteristics of the peoples among whom it labored. But to the bibliographer these volumes present one of the greatest problems in the whole field of Jesuitica. It shall be our endeavor to contribute a fuller and more particular bibliographical description of this collection in its various editions and ramifications, than has yet appeared in print. However, though having labored for cornpleteness, we are sensible of some gaps, and our data must be accepted only as materials toward a final and complete study of the whole subject involved herein.

The First Edition

The first edition was completed in 34 volumes, some of which were issued several times before the [Page 298] last one was printed. The original edition of vol. i. was printed at Paris in 1702, and the thirty-fourth (the last volume) at Paris, in 1776. The volumes were edited, successively, by Fathers Charles le Gobien, Jean Baptiste du Halde, Louis Patouillet, Nicolas Maréchal dit La Marche, and otherwise, as will appear by our separate description of each volume.

Vol. I.

Father Le Gobien was secretary of foreign missions, and as the first editor of the series, issued vols. i.-viii. But be did not in the beginning adopt the series title. His first volume appeared originally as a distinct work, and with the following title: “Lettres de quelques Missionaires de la Compagnie de Jésus, ecrites de la Chine, et des Indes Orientales. Paris: chez Josse, 1702.” A copy is preserved in the British Museum, and covers the period from 1699 to 1701. We have not succeeded in finding a copy of this edition in the American libraries which we consulted.

Certain it is that the next year this volume was reissued as vol. i. with the series title-page. There is a copy at Harvard, and it collates as follows:

“Lettres | edifiantes | et | curieuses, | ecritesdesMissions | Etrangeres par quelques Mif- | fionnaires de la Compagnie | de Jefus. | I. Recueil. | [Cut] |

“A Paris, | Chez Nicholas le Clerc, ruë | faint Jacques, proche faint Yves, | d l’Image faint Lambert. | M. DCCIII. | Avec Approbation & Privilege du Roy. |”

Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. (22); text, pp. 1-136; “Table,” p. (I); “Protestation” and “Permiffion,” p. (I); “Privilege,” pp. (4); blank, I leaf. P. 72 is mispaged 82. The “Permiffron” was “Fait & Paris le 28. May 1702,” and is signed by Julien Baudran. The “Privilege” was issued “à Verfailles le 13. jour d’Aouft l’an de grace mil fept tens deux;” and the registry was made “23 jour d’Aouit 1702.”

Most sets, however, have a first volume printed in 1717. It collates like the 1703 edition, and the dates of permission, privilege, etc., are those of original issuance. But it is a reset, and may be distinguished by the following imprint: “A Paris, | Chez Nicolas le Clerc, ruë Saint | Jacques, proche Saint Yves, à l’Image | Saint Lambert. | M. DCC. XVII. | Avec Privilege du Roi. |” [Page 299]


Harvard has a copy of the first edition of the second volume, with the following imprint: “A Paris, | Chez Nicolas le Clerc, ruë faint | Jacques, a 1’Image faint Lambert. | M. DCCIII. | Avec Approbation & Privilege du Roy. |”

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. (6); text, pp. 1-194; “Table” and “Approbation,” with verso blank, I leaf. The “Approbation” is dated “En Sorbonne le 30. du mois d’octobre 1702.”

The 1717 edition of the second volume collates like that of 1703, but is a reset, and has this imprint: “A Paris, | Chez Nicolas le Clerc, ruë Saint | Jacques, proche Saint Yves, à l’Image | Saint Lambert. | M. DCC. XVII. | Avec Privilege du Roi. |”


Harvard has a copy of the first edition of this volume. Its title-page reads like that of the 1703 edition of vol. ii. The “Approbation” is dated “En Sorbonne le 7, du mois de Juillet 1703.”

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. (10); text, pp. 1-225; “Table,” p. (I); “Approbation,” with verso blank, I leaf. Two distinct editions of this volume were issued in 1713. Both varieties are in the New York Public Library — one in Astor and the other in Lenox Building. Harvard has also a copy of the Le Mercier edition. A description of each follows:


“Lettres | édifiantes | et | curieuses, | ecrites des Missions | Etrangeres, par quelques Miffion- | naires de la Compagnie de Jesus. | III. Recueil. | [Printer’s ornament] |

“A Paris, ruë S. Jacques, | Chez P. G. Le Mercier, Imprimeur- | Libraire, au Livre d’Or, | pres S. Yves. | M DCC XIII. | Avec Approbation & Privilége du Roy. |”

Collation: Title, with versa blank, I leaf; “Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. i-x.; text, pp. 1-224; “Table,” with “Approbation” on verso. I leaf.


“Lettres | edifiantes | et | curieuses. | Ecrites des Missions | Etrangeres, par quelques Miffion- | naires de la Compagnie de Jefus. | Troisieme Recueil. | [Large printer’s ornament) |

“A Paris, | Chez Jean Barbou, ruë S. Jacques, vis à vis | le College [Page 300] de Loüis le Grand. | M. DCC. XIII. | Avec Approbation & Privilege du Roy. |”

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. (10); text, pp. I-224; “Table,” with “Approbation” on the verso, I leaf. This edition differs from the other, typographically, being newly composed, and hence is a distinct edition.


We have discovered three distinct editions of this volume. The original edition is at Harvard. Its “Approbation” is dated “En Sorbonne le 12. Juillet 1704.”

“Lettres | edifiantes | et | curieuses | ecrites des Missions | Etrangeres par quelques Million-| naires de la Compagnie de Jefus. | IV. Recveil. | [Cut] |

“A Paris, | Chez Nicolas le Clerc, ruë faint | Jacques, à l’Image faint Lambert. | M. DCCIV. | Avec Approbation & Privilege du Roy. |”

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. (38), signed by Le Gobien; “Table,” pp. (2); “Approbation,” with catchword on verso, I leaf; text, pp. 1-443, with verso of p. 443 blank. P. 381 is mispaged 281.

The two other editions are merely extracts of the preceding. They contain only Charles Jacques Poncet’s Voyage d’Ethiopie; are represented to be a “IV. Recueil,” and, as such, form a part of some sets of the series. Harvard and Lenox have the first, and Astor the second, of the following:

“Voyage | d’Ethiopie. | IV. Recueil. | [Cut] |

“A Paris, | Chez P. G. Le Mercier, Imprimeur, | ruë S. Jacques, au Livre d’Or. | M DCC XIII. | Avec Approbation, & Privilege du Roi. |”

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. iii.-xix.; “Approbation,” p. (I); text, pp. 1-193; verso of p. 195 blank. The “Approbation” reads thus: “J’ai lû pour Monfeigneur le Chancelier ce Voyage d’Ethiopie. En Sorbonne le 12 Juillet 1704. C. De Precelles."

Barbou’s edition is of an entirely different typographical composition, and collates as follows:

“Voyage | d’Ethiopie. | IV. Recueil. | [Ornament] | “A Paris, | Chez Jean Barbou, ruë faint Jac-| ques, vis-à-vis le College de Louis | le Grand. | M. DCCXIII. | Avec Approbation, & Privilege du Roy |”

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. (17); “Approbation,” p. (I); text, pp. 1-195; verso of p. 195 blank. [Page 301]


We have examined several copies of this volume, each one dated 1724; but the original edition was issued in 1705. The “Approbation” is dated “En Sorbonne le 27 de Février 1705;” the “Privilege” was “Donné a Paris, le vingt-feptiéme jour d’Octobre, l’an de grace mil fept tens cinq;” and the registry was made “A Paris ce neuviéme jour de Novembre mil fept tens cinq.”

“Lettres | edifiantes | et | curieuses, | ecrites des Missions | Etrangeres, par quelques Mif-| lionnaires de la Compagnie de | Jesus. | V. Recueil. | [Cut] |

“A Paris, | Chez Nicolas le Clerc, ruë faint | Jacques, a 1’Image faint Lambert. | M. DCC. XXIV. | Avec Approbation & Privilege du Roi. |”

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “‘Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. (28); “Table,” pp. (2); text, pp. 1-287; “Approbation” on verso of p. 287; “Privilege,” pp. (4). P. 231 mispaged 131. A map entitled “Passage par Terre a la Californie” faces p. 248.


The several copies of this volume which we have examined, bear the date “M. DCC. XXIII.” But the original edition was probably issued in 1706, judging from the date on the map, “Mars 1706.” We have met with a record of an edition having the date 1707, The dates of privilege and registry of vols. v. and vi. agree. In vol. vi., however, the “Approbation” is dated “En Sorbonne le 15. du mois de Juillet 1705.” Its “Permission” bears the date: “Fait a Paris le 25. de Septembre 1705.” The map is entitled, “Carte des Nouveliea Philippines,” and should face p. xxxj.

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. iii.-xxx.; “Avertissement,” pp. xxxj. and xxxij.; “Brefs,” etc., pp. xxxiij.-lxiv.; “Table,” pp. (3); blank (I); text, pp. 1-250; “Approbation” and “Permission,” I leaf; “Privilege,” pp. (4). p. 99 mispaged 69.


We have met with two editions of this volume, both dated “M. DCC. VII.” The Lenox copy has pp. 29-40 duplicated, by the insertion of six star leaves, beginning with *Ciij. The inserted matter is entitled: “Remarques sur la Lettre du Pere Gozani,” and, curiously enough, is called for in the table of contents. This is printed regularly in the Harvard copy, with continuous paging.

Lenox collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Aux Jesuites [Page 302] de France,” pp. (25); “Approbation” and “Permiffion,” p. (I); text, pp. 1-40, 29-266; “Table,” pp. (4).

Harvard Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. iii.-xxvii.; “Approbation” and “Permiffion,” p, (I); text, pp. 1-287; “Table,” pp. (4); one blank leaf.

There are two maps in each, and they agree; one of the coast of Peru and Chili — the other a “Carte de la Terre de Fen.” The “Permiffion” was “Fait a Park le 16. Fevrier 1707; " and the “Approbation” is dated “En Sorbonne le 28. du mois de Fevrier 1707.”


Although this volume is dated “M. DCC. VIII,” and we have examined several copies, the privilege and registry bear the year 1713; while the “Permiffion” and “Approbation” are dated “30 Novembre 1707” and “13. du mois d’octobre 1707,” respectively. A map of “Nangasaki” faces p. 126; and the volume has also a portrait of Father Antoine Verjus.

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Aux Jesuites Frangois,” pp. 3-132; text, pp. I-243; “Approbation” and “Permiffion,” P. (I); “Table,” pp. (4); “Privilege,” pp. (2). In the Lenox copy p. 237 iS mispaged 137, and pp. 240-243 are printed 340-343.


Father Jean Baptiste du Halde (1674-1743) succeeded Le Gobien as editor of the collection. He edited vols. ix.-xxvi., and wrote for each volume a very useful preface. These prefaces were omitted in the subsequent French editions, but were included in Stöcklein’s German version. Du Halde is also well known from his Description... de l’Empire de la Chine.

The original edition of this volume must have been printed in 1711, judging from the “Approbation” and “Permiffion,” both of which are dated in that year — the former “18 Juin;” the latter “huit Avril.” We have examined several copies of the later edition, printed by P. G. Le Mercier fils, and having this imprint:

“A Paris, | Chez Nicolas Le Clerc, Libraire-Juré de l’Uni-| verfité, ruë de la Bouclerie, près le Pont S. Michel. | à S. Lambert, cy-devant ruë S. Jacques. | Et ruë S. Jacques. | Chez P. G. Le Mercier fils, près la Fontaine | S. Severin, a S. Hilaire. | M. DCC XXX. | Avec Approbations & Privilege du Roy. |”

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. iii.-xxiv., signed by Du Halde; text, pp. 1-431; “Approbation,” p. (I); “Permiffron,” p. (I); “Table,” pp. (3); “Privilege,” pp. (5);-blank, (I). [Page 303]


What appears to be the original edition is at Harvard, with the following imprint: “A Paris, | Chez Jean Barbou, ruë S. Jacques, | vis-à-vis le College de Louis le Grand. | M. DCC. XIII. | Avec Privilege dv Roi. |”

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. (27); “Approbation,” p. (I); “Permiffron,” with errata on verso, I leaf; text, pp. 1-439; “Protestation” on p. 439; “Table,” pp. (7); “Privilege,” pp. (2). Chinese plate to face p. 159; Ginseng plant to face p. 173.

The 1732 edition collates exactly like that of 1713, but it has this imprint:

“A Paris, | Chez Nicolas le Clerc, Libraire, Juré | de l’Univerfité, ruë de la Bouclerie, près le | Pont S. Michel, a S. Lambert. | Cy devant ruë S. Jacques. | Et ruë S. Jacques, | Chez P. G. le Mercier fils, près la | Fontaine S. Severin, a S. Hilaire | M. DCC. XXXII. | Avec Privilege du Roy. |”


We have met with but one edition of this volume-that of 1715. Of its “Privilege,” “PermifIion,” and “Approbation;” the last has the latest date, “8 Dec. 1714," which is indicative of its being the original edition. It has this imprint:

“A Paris, | Chez Nicolas Le Clerc, ruë de la | vieille Bouclerie, à l’Image | S. Lambert. | MDCCXV. | Avec Approbation & Privilege du Roy. |”

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf;” Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. (18); “Permiffion,” p. (I); “Approbation” and “Privilege,” pp. (3); text, pp. 1-428; “Table,” pp. (7); errata, p. (I). A map of the Philippine Islands to face p. 74. p. 196 mispaged 961.


A copy of the original edition of this volume is in the Boston Public Library. The “Permiffron” is dated “9. d’Octobre 1716," and the “Approbation” the “28. Octobre.” The colophon reads: “De l’Imprimerie de la Veuve d’Antoine Lambin.” A “Lettre” from Father Cholenec covers pp. 119-211, and is dated “Au Sault de S. Loüis le 27. Aouft 1715."

“Lettres | edifiantes | et | curieuses, | ecrites des Missions | Etrangeres, par quelques Mifiion-| naires de la Compagnie de Jesus. | XII. Recveil. | [Cut] |

“A Paris, | Chez Nicolas le Clerc, ruë Saint | Jacques, proche Saint Yves, a l’Image | Saint Lambert. | M. DCC. XVII. | Avec. Privilege dv Roy. |” [Page 304]

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; 11 Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. i.-xxviij.; text, pp. 1-442; “Table,” pp. 442 plus (5); “Approbation,” “Permiflion,” and “Protestation,” p. (I); “ Privilege,” pp. (2). Map of “Mission des Moxes” to face p. 1; portraits to face pp. 106, 110, and 118; map of the Amazon River opposite p. 212; and plau of “la ville et de la Riviere de Ganjam” opposite p. 408.

We have also examined several copies of an edition of 1741, which collates like that of 1717, except the “Table,” which occupies pp. 442-447. P. 232 is mispaged 32; and p. 300 is mispaged 194. It may be distinguished by the following imprint:

“A Paris, ruë S. Jacques. | Chez Le Mercier & Boudet, | Imprimeurs-Libraires, au Livre d’Or, | pres S. Yves. | Et | Chez Marc Bordelet, vis-à-vis | le Collège de Louis le Grand. | M DCC XLI. | Avec Approbation & Privilege du Roy. |”


All copies examined have the following imprint; but as the “Permiffion” and “Approbation” are dated in the summer of 1718, we believe this to be the original edition:

“A Paris, | Chez Nicolas le Clerc, Ruë | S. Jacques, proche S. Yves, à l’Image | Saint Lambert. | M. DCC. XVIII. | Avec Privilege du Roy. |”

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. iii.-xxiij.; “Approbation” and” Permiffion,” p. (I); text, pp. 1-436; errata, followed by “Table,” 3 11.; “Privilege,” pp. (2).


The registry of the “Privilege” of this volume was made 19 Feb. 1720. Its imprint is as follows:

“A Paris, | Chez Nicolas le Clerc, ruë | S. Jacques, proche S. Yves, à 1’Image | Saint Lambert. | M. DCC. XX. | Avec Privilege du Roy. |”

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. i.-xxviij.; “Approbation” and “Permiffion,” p. (I); errata, p. (I); text, pp. 1-499; “Table,” pp. (7); “Privilege,” pp. (2). Map of “Iles de Ponghou” to face p. 17; “l’Ile de Formose” to face p. 19; and “Plan du Fort de Zelande” to face p. 37.


The “Approbation” is dated “18. Decembre 1721,” and the “Permiffion” the “26 Decembre 1721.” The imprint is as follows:

“A Paris, | Chez Nicolas le Clerc, ruë | S. Jacques, proche S.Yves [Page 305] a l’Image | Saint Lambert. | M. DCC. XXII, | Avec Privilege du Roy. |”

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. iii.-xl.; text, pp. 1-418; “Table,” part of p. 418 plus pp. (7); errata, “Approbation,” and “PermiEon,” p. (I); IL Privilege,” pp. (2). P. 97 mispaged 197. A “Carte des Missions...dans le Maduré” to face p. 1.


The “Approbation” is dated “13 Octobre 1723," and the “Permission” the “25 Octobre 1723." The imprint reads thus:

“A Paris, | Chez Nicolas le Clerc, rul | S. Jacques, proche S. Yves, à l’Image | Saint Lambert. | M. DCC. XXIV. | Avec Privilege du Roy. |”

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. iii.-xlj.; “Approbation,” on p. xlij.; “Permission,” on p. xliij.; errata, on p. xliv.; text, pp. 1-411; “Table,” pp. (10); “Privilege,” pp. (3). Plate with two views of “L’isle de Bourbon” to face p. 9; “Plan De l’Isle d’orleans” to face p. 23; plate with lizard, etc., to face p. 29; “Poisson Cornu” to face p. 59; and four plates of celestial phenomena to face p. 62.


The “Approbation” is dated” 17 Avril 1726,” and the “Permission” the “6 May 1726.” Imprint as follows:

“A Paris, | Chez Nicolas Le Clerc, Libraire-Juré | de l’Univerfité, ruë de la Bouclerie, près le | Pont S. Michel, a Saint Lambert. | Cy-devant ruë S. Jacques. | Et ruë S. Jacques, | Chez P. G. le Mercier fils, proche la | Fontaine S. Severin, à. S. Hilaire. | M DCC. XXVI. | Avec Privilege du Roy. |”

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. iii.-xxxiv.; “Approbation,” with “Permission” on the verso, I leaf; text, pp. 1-446; “Table,” followed by errata, pp. (9); “Privilege,” pp. (4); blank (I). p. 301 mispaged 201.


The “Permission” is dated “4 Juillet 1727,” and the “Approbation” the “7 Septembre 1727." The imprint reads like that of vol. xvii., except the date, which is “M. DCC. XXVIII.”

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. iii.-xlij.; “Approbation,” with “Permission” on the verso, I leaf; “Privilege,” pp. (4); text, pp. 1-463; “Table” followed by errata, pp. (12); blank (I). p. 463 mispaged 363. A map of the Caroline Islands to face p. 189. [Page 306]


This volume has two” Approbations,” the one dated “30 Avril 1729” and the other “18 May 1729.” Imprint as follows:

“A Paris, | Chez Nicolas Le Clerc, Libraire-Juré de l’Uni-| verfité, ruë de la Bouclerie, près le Pont S. Michel, | a S. Lambert, cy-devant ruë S. Jacques, | Et rué S. Jacques. | Chez P. G. Le Mercies fils, près la Fontaine | S. Severin, à S. Hilaire. | M DCC XXIX. | Avec Approbations & Privilege du Roy. |”

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. iii.-xxviij.; text, pp. 1-506; “Table,” followed by two “Approbations,” pp. (9); “Privilege,” pp. (4); errata, p. (I).


The “Approbation” is dated “21 Juin 1731,” and the “Perminion” the “28 Juillet 1731." Imprint as follows:

“A Paris, [ Chez Nicolas le Clerc, Libraire, Juré | de l’Univerfité, ruë de la Bouclerie, près le | Pont S. Michel, a S. Lambert. | Cy devant ruë S. Jacques, | Et ruë S. Jacques. | Chez P. G. le Mercier fils, près la | Fontaine S. Severin, à S. Hilaire. | M. DCC. XXXI. 1

Avec Privilege du Roy. |”

Collatton: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. iii.-xlviij.; text, pp. r-449; “Table,” pp. (II); “Approbation,” “Permiffion,” “Privilege,” and errata, pp. (6). P. 261 mispaged 161.


The “Permission” is dated “19 Novembre 1733," and the “Approbation” was made out “ce premier Decembre 1733.” Imprint as follows:

“A Paris, | Chez Nicolas le Clerc, Libraire-Juré | de l’Univerfité, ruë de la Bouclerie, près le | Pont S. Michel, à Saint Lambert. | Cy-devant ruë S. Jacques. | Et ruë S. Jacques, | Chez P. G. Le Mercier, au Livre d’Or. | M D CC XXXIV. | Avec Privilege du Roy. |”

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. iii.-xxxj.; “Approbation” and “Permission,” p. (I); text, pp. 1-486; “Table,” pp. (9); errata, p. (I). p. 358 mispaged 538. A map of Paraguay, the engraved number of which indicates that it should face p. 229; but this being an error, it is often found corrected by pen to read p. 279, which is its correct location in the volume.


The “Permission” is dated “30 de Janvier 1736,” and the “Approbation” the “22 Fevrier 1736.” Imprint as follows:

“A Paris, | Chez Nicolas le Clerc, Libraire-Juré | de l’Univerfité, [Page 307] ruë de la Bouclerie, prbs le | Pont S. Michel, à Saint Lambert, | ci-devant ruë S. Jacques. | Et ruë S. Jacques, | Chez P. G. Le Mercier, au Livre d’Or. | M DCC XXXVI. | Avec Approbation & Privilege du Roy. |”

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. iii.-1.; “Approbation” and “Permission,” pp. (2); text, pp. 1-480; “Table,” pp. (8); “Privilege,” pp. (4).


The “Approbation” is dated “4 Novembre 1737," and the “Permission” the “16 Novembre 1737." Imprint as follows:

“A Paris, | Chez Nicolas le Clerc, Libraire-Juré | de l’Univerfité, ruë de la Bouclerie, près le | Pont S. Michel, à Saint Lambert. | Ci-devant ruë S. Jacques. | Et ruë S. Jacques, | Chez P. G. Le Mercier au Livre d’Or | MDCC XXXVIII. | Avec Privilege du Roy. |”

Collation: Title, with versa blank, I leaf; “Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. iii.-xxviij.; text, pp. 1-319; “Table,” pp. (9); “Approbation” and “Permission,” p. (I); “Privilege,” pp. (5). p. 376 mispaged 276. A “Nouvelle Carte d’une grande partie de la Presqu’Isle des Indes” to face p. 105.


The latest dates are those of “Privilege” and registry, 20 and 26 June, 1739, respectively. Imprint as follows:

“A Paris, | Chez Nicolas le Clerc, Libraire-Juré | de l’univerfité, ruë de la Bouclerie, près le | Pont S. Michel, à S. Lambert, | ci-devant ruë S. Jacques, | Et ruë S. Jacques, | Chez P. G. Le Mercier, au Livre d’Or. | M. D. CC. XXXIX. | Avec Approbation & Privilege du Roy. |”

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. iii.-xxviii.; “Approbation” and “Permission,” pp. (2); “Privilege,” pp. (6); text, pp. 1-444; “Protestation,” p. (I); “Table,” pp. (10); errata, p. (I), A plate, representing the execution of four missionaries, to face p. 169.


The “Permission” is dated “9 Janvier 1741," and the “Approbation” the “23 Mars 1741.” Imprint as follows:

“A Paris, ruë S. Jacques. | Chez Le Mercier & Boudet, | Imprimeurs-Libraires, au Livre d’Or, | près S. Yves. | ‘Et | Chez Marc Bordelet, vis-à-vis | le College de Louis le Grand. | M DCC XLI. | Avec Approbation & Privilege du Roy. |”

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. iii.-xxxii.; “Approbation” and “Permission,” pp. (2); [Page 308] “Privilege,” pp. (6); text, pp. 1-472; “Table,” pp. 473-486; “Protestation,” with errata on verso, I leaf.


This is the last volume edited by Du Halde, and we have discovered two varieties. The Lenox copy has this imprint:

“A Paris, ruë S. Jacques. | Chez P. G. Le Mercier, Imprimeur. Libraire, au Livre d’Or, | pres ‘S. Yves. | Et | Chez Marc Bordelet, vis-à-vis | le College de Louis le Grand. | M DCC XLIII. | Avec Approbation & Privilege du Roy. |”

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. i.-xxxi.; “Approbation,” “Permifion,” and “Privilege,” pp. (3); text, pp. 1-449; “Table,” pp. 450-458. The “i” of p. ix. is inverted; paging of 233 imperfectly printed; and p. 398 mispaged 598. A plate of shells should face p. 399; although the plate itself indicates, erroneously, its location before p. 375.

The Astor copy agrees with the above in every respect in the body of the volume; but its imprint reads thus:

“A Paris, ruë S. Jacques. | Chez P. G. Le Mercier, Imprimeur- | Libraire, au Livre d’Or, | près: S. Yves. | Et | Chez Marc Bordelet, vis-à-vis | le College de Louis le Grand. | M DCC XLIII. | Avec Approbation & Privilege du Roy. |”


After the death of Du Halde in 1743, the publication was delayed for six years; partly owing to the void in the editorship, but particularly on account of the commercial interruption with the distant regions from which the letters of the missionaries came. The war (1744-1748) between France and England was the cause of this interruption, The vessels of the English succeeded nearly always in capturing those of the French, on board of which the letters were being transmitted to France. But the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748) having again brought tranquillity into being, rendered safe the resumption of transportation.

This volume, as well as several others, was edited by Louis Patouillet, of whom more hereafter. Its latest dates are those of “Privilege” and registry, 7 and 13 June, 1749, respectively. Imprint as follows:

“A Paris, | Chez les Freres Guerin, ruë S. Jacques, | vis-a-vis les Mathurins, à Saint | Thomas d’Aquin. | M. DCC. XLIX. [ Avec Approbation & Privilege du Roi. |”

Collation: Title. with verso blank, I leaf; “Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. iii.-xliii., signed by L. Patouillet; “Approbation” and “Permiffion,” I leaf; “Privilege,” pp. (4); text, pp. 1-476; “Table,” pp. 477-480. A plate of “Plante de Châyavêr” to face p, 444. [Page 309]


This volume was also edited by Patouillet. Its “Privilege” and registry are dated 14 April and 19 May, 1758, respectively. Imprint as follows:

“A Paris, de 1’Imprimerie | De H. L. Guerin & L. F. Delatour, | ruë S. Jacques, vis-à-vis les Mathurins, | à Saint Thomas d’Aquin. | M. DCC. LVIII. | Avec Approbation & Privilege du Roi. |”

collation: Title, with verso blank I leaf;” Aux Jesuites de France,” pp. iii.-lxxxviij., signed by L. Patouillet; text, pp. 1-436; “Table,” pp. 437-446; “Approbation” and “Permiffion” on p. 447; “Privilege,” pp. 448-451; p. 452 blank; errata on p. 453, with verso blank. p. 5 lacks the numeration; and pp. 79, 84, and 94 are mispaged 70, 74,-and 84, respectively. A “Carte des Isles de Lieou-Kieou” to face p. 350.


Between the publication of vol. xxviii. and this volume, there was a long period of interruption; owing to the various arrêts of the French parliament against the order and its members, and their double banishment and prolonged dispersion. This volume has not the usual printed privilege, permission, etc.; but the publisher prints an “Avertissement” in which he states that vols. xxx. and xxxi. are “sous presse.” Nevertheless, vol. xxxi. came out a year later, in 1774, and under another publisher’s name. The dedication is signed “M. * * * J.” Backer, the Jesuit bibliographer, believed this to represent “P. Jean Baptiste Geoffroy,” but this is an error; for the editor’s name was Nicolas Marechal, and he was also known as La Marche. The imprint is as follows:

“A Paris, | Chez Ruault, Libraire, ruë de la | Harpe, | pres de la ruë Serpente. | MDCCLXXIII. | Avec Approbation & Permiffion. |”

Collation: Half-title, with verso blank, I leaf; title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Épitre dédicatoire,” pp. v.-viii.; “Avertissement,” pp. ix.-xxiv.; text, pp. 1-366; “Table,” pp. 367-376.


The imprint of this volume reads exactly like that of vol. xxix., and the “Privilege” and registry are dated 17 and 24 November, 1772, respectively. Marechal was also the editor of this volume.

Collation: Half-title, with verso blank, I leaf; title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Épitre,” pp. (2), signed “M. * * * J.;” text, pp. 1-400; “Table,” pp. 401-410; “Privilege,” pp. (2). p. 278 is mispaged 178. [Page 310]


Patouillet, who edited vols. xxvii. and xxviii., haa to give up his connection with the publication for a time, owing to “le changement forcé & fréquent de domicile.” Maréchal brought out vols. xxix. and xxx., and when Patouillet learned that the work was resumed, he sent to the new editor some materials which he had on hand, and which, under Maréchal’s supervision, were put forth as vol. xxxi. The “Privilege” has the same date as vol. xxx., and is followed by: “Achevé d’imprimer, pour la premiere fois, le 30 Mars 1774;” and J. G. Clousier was its printer. Imprint as follows:

“A Paris, | Chez De Hansy, le jeune, ruë | Saint-Jacques. | M. DCC. LXXIV. | Avec Approbation & Permifiion. |”

Collation: Half-title, with verso blank, I leaf; title, with versa blank, I leaf; “Avertissement,” pp. v.-xvi.; text, pp. 1-376; “Table,” pp. 377-390; “Privilege,” pp. (2). Plate with Hebrew table to face p. 333; two parts of map of Tong-King at end of volume.


The “Avertissement” shows that this volume was edited by the same hand which edited the two [three] former volumes, namely Maréchal. Its “Privilege” has the same date as vols. xxx. And xxxi., and J. G. Clousier was printer thereof. The imprint reads exactly like that of vol. xxxi.; but the small ornament on the title-page of vol. xxxii. is a head encircled by rays, which is different from that of vol. xxxi.

Collation: Half-title, with verso blank, I leaf; title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Avertissement,” pp. v.-xij., not signed; text, pp. 1-382; “Table,” pp. 383-394; “Privilege,” pp. (2). p. 136 mispaged 236.


The lower half of the title-page of this volume reads thus:

“Par M. l’Abbé Patouillet. | [Ornament of rays] | Se vend | A Paris, | Chez Charles-Pierre Berton, | Libraire, ruë S. Victor. | M. DCC. LXXVI. | Avec Approbation & Permiffion. |”

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Avant-propos,” pp. iii.-xij.; text, pp. 1-435; “Table,” pp. 436-443; verso of p. 443 blank. Colophon on p. 443 as follows: “A Nîmes de l’Imprimerie de Pierre Beaume, 1766 [sic].”


This volume is also by Patouillet, and its title-page agrees line for

line with that of vol. xxxiii. [Page 311]

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; “Preface,” pp. iij.-xxiv.; text, pp. 1-359, 380, 381, 384-387; “Table,” pp, 388-402. Colophon on p. 402 as follows: “Nifmes, de 1’Imprimerie de Pierre Beaume. 1776.” The pagination is very erratic. Pp. 44, 273, 282, 304, and 309 are mispaged 45, 373, 182, 303, and 409, respectively, There is a break in the paging between 359 and 380.

It is a singular fact that most of the sets in libraries are incomplete, especially lacking the last volumes; and we find the same condition prevailing in sets offered by the Paris booksellers. Nevertheless, a full set is not costly, and would sell for about 75 francs. Odd volumes, of one edition or another, between 1703-1776, are not uncommon in the book- market.

Paris Edition-1780-83

The volumes of the original collection, as we have shown, were published from time to time, as the reports came to hand from the mission fields in both hemispheres. Hence they are a confused mass, without any geographical arrangement. In the twenty-six volumes, printed in 1780-83, this defect was remedied by the new editor, Yves Mathurin Marie de Querbeuf, who was also a member of the order. He divided the work as follows: Levant, 5 vols., published in 1780; America, 4 vols., published in 178 I; the Indies, 6 vols., published in 1781; China, 9 vols., published in 1781; and vols. xxv. and xxvi., supplementary, published in 1783. Querbeuf also enlarged the collection by adding some “MB- moires inedits” and “Lettres nouvelles” — a life of the Canadian missionary Piquet, by Lalande, being one of them. A description of this edition follows:

“Lettres | édifiantes | et curieuses, | écrites | des Missions étrangeres. | Nouvelle edition. | Memoires du Levant. | Tome Premier. | [Page 312]

A Paris, — Chez J. G. Merigot le jeune, Libraire, Quai des | Auguftins, au coin. de la ruë Pavée. | M. DCC. LXXX. | Avec Approbation et Privirlege du Roy. | ”

Vol. 1 — Half-title, versa blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, leaf; “Épitre dédicatoire,” pp. v. and vj.; 61 préface,” pp. vij.-x-i,,. “Protestation,” On p. xxiv.; text, pp. 1-451; “Table,” pp. 452 and 453; b1ank (I). Plan to face p. 75, and map of Syria to face p. 374.

Vol. 2 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, versa blank, L leaf; text, pp. 1-480; “Table.” pp. 481-483; blank (I). No plates.

Vol. 3 — Half-title, versa blank, I leaf; title, versa blank, I leaf; text, pp. 1-477; “Table,” pp. 478-4480. No plates.

Vol. 4 — Half-title, versa blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 1-493; “Table,” pp. 494-496, A “Carte de la Route de M. Zurabek,” to face P. 53; portrait of Persian king to face p. 169; and a plan of “la Maison du Roi de Perse” to face p. 277.

Vol. 5 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 1-502; “Table Des Lettres,” pp. 503-506; “Table Des Matieres,” pp. 507-534. A map of Egypt to face p. 1; “Achemounain” to face p. 136; “Aminoë” to face p. 157; “Porte du couchant de la ville d’Antinoë” to face p. 158; column of Alexander Severus to face p. 162; “Sacrifice offert au soleil” to face p. 175; “Carte des Deserts de la Basse Thebaide” to face p. 188; and “Route des Hebreux, pour Pafser la Mer Rouge” to face p. 261. The volume was printed by P. G. Simon, printer to the parliament.

Vol. 6 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, versa blank, I leaf; “Préface des Mémoires de l’Amérique,” pp. i.-xxviij.; text, pp. 1-422; “Table,” pp. 423 and 424. A portrait of “CatherineTegahkouita Iroquoise” to face p. 40.

Vol.7 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, versa blank, I leaf; text, pp. 5-454; “Table,” pp. 455 and 456. A “Carte des Environs du Cap François” to face p. 185.

Vol. 8 — Half-title, versa blank, I leaf: title, versa blank, I leaf; text, pp. 5-420; “Table,” pp. 421-424. “Passage par tern à la Californie” to face p. 52; map of Pacific coast at Chili and Peru to face p. 119; “Carte de la Terre de Feu” to face p. 127; “Cours du Fleuve Maragnon” to face p. 284; and map of “Mission des Moxes to face p. 337.

Vol. 9 — Half-title, versa blank, I leaf; title, versa blank, I leaf; text, pp. 5-392; “Table Des Lettres,” pp. 393-396; “Table Des Matieres,” pp. 397-416. A map of Paraguay by D’Anville to face [Page 313] p. 254. colophon on p. 416 as follows: “De l’Imprimerie de P. G. Simon, Imprimeur du Parlement, 1781.”

Vol. 10 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; “Préface des Mémoires de l’Inde,” pp. v.-xxiv.; text, pp. 1-400; “Table,” pp. 401-404. A portrait of Antoine Verjus to face p. 338.

Vol. 11 — Half-title, versa blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, 1 leaf; text, pp. 5-420; “Table,” pp. 421-423; blank (I).

Vol. 12 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, versa blank, I leaf; text, pp. 5-445; “Table,” pp. 446-448. A plan, etc., of the Ganges to face p. 33, although the plate is erroneously marked to face p. 103; “Missionnaire de la Compagnie de Jesus aux Indes” to face p. 100. “Brahme Premier Ministre” to face p. 102; and “Ranga Mouttou” to face p. 103.

Vol. 13 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 5-460; “Table,” pp. 461-463; blank (I). A map of the missions in Madura to face p. 90.

Vol. 14. — Half-title verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 5-399; “Table,” pp. 399 and 400. A plate with conchological specimens to face p. 107; and “Plante de Châyavêr” to face p. 164,

Vol. 15 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, versa blank, I leaf; text, pp. 5-398; “Table Des Lettres,” pp. 399-401; “Table Des Matieres,” pp. 402-430. Colophon on p. 430 as follows: “De l’Imprimerie de P. G. Simon, Imprimeur du Parlement, 1781.” A new map of Presqu’Ile to face p. 5; map of the new Philippines to face p. 212; the Caroline Islands to face p. 282; and a small map of the Philippines to face p. 321.

Vol. 16 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; “Preface des Mémoires de la Chine,” pp. v.-xxxvj.; text, pp. 1-434; “Table,” pp. 435-438. Martyrdom of four missionaries in Tong-King to face p. 121; and two separate maps of Tong-King to face p. 335.

Vol. 17 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 5-450; “Table,” pp. 451 and 452. A plan of Nangaski to face p. 378.

Vol. 18 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 5-479; “Table,” pp. 479 and 480. A plate showing hand-writing of Chinese emperor to face p. 106; Ginseng plant to face p. 136; “Carte des Isles de Ponghou” to face p. 422; “Carte de ce qui appartient à l’Empereur de la Chine dans 1’Ile de Formose” to face p. 424; and “Plan du Fort de Zelande” to face p. 436.

Vol. 19 — Half-title, versa blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf, text, pp. 5-514; “Table,” pp. 515 and 516. A plate with two views [Page 315] of “L’isle de Bourbon” to face p. 208; “Plan De l’Isle d’Orleans” to face p. 217; plate with lizard, etc., to face p. 221; plate of horned fish to face p. 240; four plates with across to precede p. 243; and a portrait of “P. Dominc: Parennin” to face p. 257.

Vol. 20 — Half-title, versa blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, 1 leaf; text, pp. 5-460; “Table,” pp. 461 and 462. No plates.

Vol. 21 — Half-title, versa blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, 1 leaf; text, pp. 5-523; “Table,” pp. 524-526. No plates.

Vol. 22 Half-title, versa blank, I leaf; title, versa blank, 1 leaf; text, pp. 5-528;” Table,” pp. 529-532. No plates.

Vol. 23 — Half-title, versa blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, 1 leaf; text, pp. 5-615; “Table,” pp. 616-619; blank (I). A “Carte des Isles de Lieou-Kieou” to face p. 191.

Vol. 24 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, 1 leaf; text, pp. 5-500; “Table Des Lettres,” pp. 501-503; “Tables Des Matieres,” pp. 504-552; “Approbation” and “Privilège,” pp. (4). A plate with Hebrew letters to face p. 77. Colophon on last page as follows: “De l’Imprimerie de P. G. Simon. Imprimeur du Parlement, 1781.”

Vol. 25 — Imprint thus: “A Paris, | Chez J. G. Merigot le jeune, Libraire, Quai | des Auguftins, au coin de la ruë Pavée. | M. DCC. LXX.XIII. | Avec Approbation, et Privilege du Roi. |”

Collation: Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; “Preface,” pp. i.-lx.; text, pp. 1-42; “Table,” pp. 443 and 444. “Arbor Porphyril” to face p. 216.

Vol. 26 — Half-title, versa blank, 1 leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 1-515; p. 516 blank; “Table,” pp. 517 and 518. Two astronomical charts to follow p. 288.

Sets of this edition are in the following libraries: Harvard (Peabody Museum), Boston Public Library, Library of Congress, and British Museum.

Toulouse Edition — 1810-11

This is the edition from which we reprint the New France portions. That matter appears in vols. vi. and vii. The first eighteen volumes are dated 1810, and vols. xix.-xxvi. are dated 1811. A description follows:

“Lettres | edifiantes | et curieuses, | écrites | des Missions étrangéres. | Nouvelle édition. | ... | [Page 315]

A Toulouse, | Chez | Noel-Etienne Sens, Imprimeur-| Lib., ruë Peyras, près les Changes. | Auguste Gaude, Libraire, ruë | S.-Rome, No. 44, au fond de la Cour. | 1810. |”

Vol. 1 — Half-title, with “Cet ouvrage se trouve” on verso, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; Épitre dédicatoire,” I leaf; “Préface,” pp. vii-xxiii.; “Protestation” on p. xxiv.; text, pp. 1-359; “Table des Lettres,” etc., on p. 360. A map of Syria to face p. 1; and a map of the Gulf of Santorin, etc., to face p. 26.

.Vol. 2 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 1-381; “Table,” etc., pp. 382 and 383. No plates.

Vol. 3 — Half-title, versa blank, I leaf; title, versa blank, I leaf; text, pp. 1-379; “Table,” etc., pp. 380 and 381. No plates.

Vol. 4 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 1-392; “Table,” etc., pp. 393 and 394. A map of Zurabek’s route (1722) to face p. 44; and a plan of Persian camp to face p. 222.

Vol. 5 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 1-403; “Table,” etc., pp. 405 and 406; “Table des Matieres,‘” etc., pp. 407-432. A map of Egypt to face p. 1; a map of Lower Thebaide to face p. 151; and route of Hebrews through the Red Sea to face p. 211.

Vol. 6 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; “Preface,” pp. i.-xxviii.; text, pp. ~-338. A portrait of Catherine Tegahkouita to face p. 33.

Vol. 7 — Half-title, versa blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 1-360. No plates.

Vol. 8 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank. I leaf; text, pp. 1-336. A map of California to face p. 38; Coast of Peru and Chili to face p. 92; map of Tierra de1 Fuego to face p. 97; map of Cape François to face p. 145; course of the Maragnon River to face p. 225; and map of “Mission des Moxes” to face p. 269.

Vol. 9 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 1-348. A map of Paraguay to face p. 198.

Vol. 10 — Half-title, versa blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; “Préface,” etc., pp. 5-24; text, pp. 25-343; “Table,” etc., pp. 344-346. A portrait of Father Antoine Verjus to face p. 294.

Vol. 11 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 5-328; “Table,” etc., pp. 329 and 330. No plates.

Vol. 12 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 5-357; “Table,” etc., pp. 358 and 359. A plan of the Ganges to face p. 27; portrait of Jesuit missionary to face p. 81; [Page 316] portrait of Brahman prime minister to face p. 83; and portrait of Rangamout to face p. 83.

Vol. 13 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, versa blank, I: leaf; text, pp. 5-370; “Table,” etc., pp. 371 and 372. A map of the missions in Madnra to face p. 72.

Vol. 14 — Half-title, versa blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 5-330; “Table,” etc., pp. 331 and 332. A plate with shells to face p. 89; a plate of the “Plante de Châyavêr” to face p. 136; and a map of the Philippine archipelago to face p. 171.

Vol. 15 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, 1 leaf; text, pp. 5-322; “Table,” etc., pp. 323 and 324; “Table des Matieres,” pp. 325-352. A map of southern India to face p. 5; map of Caroline Islands to face p. 226; and a map of Philippine Islands, etc., to face p. 257.

Vol. 16 — Half-title, versa blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; “Preface,” pp. 5-36; text, pp. 37-390; “Table,” etc., pp. 391 and 392. A plate showing martyrdom of Jesuit missionaries to face p. 140; and a map of Tonquin to face p, 310.

Vol. 17 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 5-360; “Table,” etc., pp. 361 and 362. A map of Nangasacki to face p. 303.

Vol. 18 — Half-title, versa blank, I leaf; title, versa blank, I leaf; text, pp. 5-376; “Table,” etc., pp. 379 and380. A Chinese inscription to face p. 86; plate of the Ginseng plant to facep. 104; mapof Pong-Hou Islands to face p. 332; and a plan of Fort Zelande to face p. 343.

Vol. 19 — Half-title, versa blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 5-415; “Table,” etc., pp. 416 and 417. Views on “l’Ile de Bourbon” to face p. 169; map of the island of Poulo Condore to face p. 177; plate of animals on Poulo Condore to face p. 179; plate of horned fish to face p. 195; apparitions of the cross to face p. 197; and a portrait of Perennin to face p. 208.

Vol. 20 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 5-369; “Table,” etc., p. 370, No plates.

Vol. 21 — Half-title, versa blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; text,pp. 5-418; “Table,” etc., pp. 419 and 420. No plates.

Vol. 22 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, 1 leaf; text, pp. 5-421; “Table,” etc., pp. 422 and 423. No plates.

Vol. 23 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; text,:pp. 5-490; “Table,” etc., pp. 491 and 492, A map of the Islands of Lieou-Kieou to face p. 146.

Vol. 24 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 5-399; “Table,” etc., pp. 400 and 401; “Table des [Page 317] Matieres,” pp 402-444. A plate in Hebrew relating to the synagogue of Cai-fong-Fou to face p. 62; and allegorical tree of Porphyry to face p. 226.

Vol. 25 — Half-title, versa blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; “Preface,” pp. 5-56; text, pp. 57-402; “Table,” etc., pp. 403 and 404. No plates.

Vol. 26 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 5-407; “Table,” etc., pp. 407 and 408. A Chinese calendar to face p. 230; and Chinese constellations to face p. 231.

There are sets of this Toulouse edition in the Boston Athemeum and State Historical Society of Wisconsin; from the latter, our text is taken. Priced by Dufosse of Paris, in 1893, at 35 francs.

Lyons Edition-1819

This Lyons edition professes to follow literally Querbeuf’s edition of 1780-83. It consists of four- teen volumes, divided as follows: Vols. 1-3 Levant; 4 and 5 America; 6-8 India; 9-13 China; and 14 India and China. In vol. 2, a portrait of “Tamas Koulikan Roi de Perse,” which follows p. 476, is sometimes found in two states, one being a suppressed plate. This plate has the engraver’s name to the right of the picture; while in the substituted plate his name is on the left side. The printed instructions to the binder, which accompany the edition, show the number and location of fifty-one various plates.

“Lettres | édifiantes | et | curieuses, | écrites | des Missions étrangéres. | Nouvelle edition, ornée de cinquante belles gravures | ... | Tome Premier. I [Publisher’s vignette] |

“A Lyon, | Chez | J. Vernarel, | Libraire; | Ét. Cabin et Ce., Libraires, ruë St-Dominique, no 19. | M. DCCC. XIX. |”

Vol. 1 — pp. (4); xvi., 507, blank (I).

Vol. 2 — pp. (4), 516.

Vol. 3 — pp. (4), 492.

Vol. 4 — pp. xxiv., 536.

Vol. 5 — pp. (4), 524. [Page 318]

Vol. 6 — pp. (4), xvi., 488.

Vol. 7 — pp. (4), 545.

Vol. 8 — PP. (4), 504.

Vol. 9 — pp. (4), xxiv., 540.

Vol. 10 — pp. (4), 539, blank (I).

Vol. 11 — pp. (4), 572.

Vol. 12 — pp. (4), 563, blank (I).

Vol. 13 — pp (4), 574.

Vol. 14 — pp. (4); “Avis au Relieur,” pp. (2); list of subscribers, 8; “Préface,” xlviii.; 583; blank (I).

Sets of this edition are in the following libraries: Lenox, Astor, New York State, and Bureau of Ethnology (Washington, D. C.). Priced by Dufosse of Paris, in 1896, at 25 francs.

Paris Edition — 1824-26

This edition, published at Paris in eight volumes, we have not seen. It purports to be a “Seconde édition,” and vols. 6 and 7 relate to America.

Paris Edition — 1829-32

This edition we have not examined. It is mentioned in the general preface of Aimé-Martin’s edition (vol. i, 1838), and is there stated to belong to la Bibliothèque des Amis de la Religion. We take our title from Backer’s Bibliothèque des écrivains de la Compagnie de Jésus.

“Lettres édifiantes et curieuses écrites par des Missionnaires de la Compagnie de Jésus; collationnées sur les meilleures éditions, et enrichies de nouvelles notes, Imprimerie de Béthune.

“A Paris, au Bureau, place Saint Sulpice, et chez Gaume frères, ruë du Pot-de-fer Saint Sulpice, 1829-32.” 40 vols, 18mo.

French (Aimé-Martin)-1838-43, etc.

Backer, in his Bibliothèque, has given over ten pages to an analysis of this edition-see his vol. ii. (1854), appendix, pp. 5-15. The general preface of vol. i. is signed “Ernest G.....,” and gives a short [Page 319] bibliographical account of preceding editions of the Lettres. The writer claims that this edition reëstablishes the original and primitive text, distorted by other editors, and adds a large number of letters not heretofore printed in any other edition. Among the latter we might mention those of Father Gaubil, relative to China and Tartary, and taken from the Journal asiatique. Louis Aimé Martin was the director of the publication, and the first volume contains the Canadian matter. There are several issues or reissues of this edition, and toward an elucidation of them we shall give such varieties as we have examined.

“Lettres | édifiantes et curieuses | concernant | l’Asie, 1’Afrique et l’Amérique, | avec | quelques Relations nouvelles des Missions, | et des Notes geographiques et historiques. | PubliBes sous la Direction | de M. L. Aim&Martin. | ... |

“Paris | Auguste Desrez, Imprimeur-editeur, | 50, Ruë Neuve-des-Petits-Champs. | M DCCC XXXVIII. |”

The above title of vol. i is taken from the copy in Boston Athenæeum. The copy in Lenox Library has this imprint: “Paris | Société du Panthéon Littéraire, | ruë de Hanovre, 6. | MDCCC XLIII. | “The Boston Athenæum copy collates thus: pp. (6) ix.-xii., 820. The Lenox copy varies thus: pp. (8), ix.-xii., 820.

Vols. 2-4 of the Boston Athenæum set have the imprint: “Paris, | Société du Pantheon Litteraire, | ... | M DCCC XLIII. |”

The Lenox copy of vol. ii, has this imprint on the cover-title: “Paris, | Raymond Sabe, éditeur, | ruë de Hanovre, 6. | M DCCC XLVI. |”

In a private set examined by us vol. ii. has this imprint: “Paris, | Auguste Desrez, | Imprimeur-éditeur, | Ruë Neuve-des-Petits-Champs, 50. | M DCCC XL. |”

The Lenox copy of vol. iii. has this imprint on the cover-title: “Paris | au Bureau du Pantheon Litteraire | ... | M DCCC LVII. |”

Vol. 2 — pp. (4), 806, (I).

Vol. 3 — pp. (4), 844.

Vol. 4 — pp. (4), 723. Two folded plates to follow p. 508.

Sets have been priced (1891-97) in Paris at 18 to 25 francs. [Page 320]

Paris Edition — 1861

This edition, published at Paris in three volumes, we have not seen. It is, evidently, another reissue of Aimé-Martin.

Paris Edition — 1875-77

This edition was published at Paris in four volumes. It is a reissue of Aimé-Martin. Priced by Dufossé of Paris, in 1892, at 18 francs.

German Translation (Stöcklein)

As will be observed from the title-page, this work is more than a translation of the Lettres édifiantes. Besides presenting a German version of most of the French collection issued contemporary with it, the translators print for the first time numerous accounts from original manuscript sources. The illustrations are also superior to those of any other edition. Backer, in his Bibliothèque, gives a detailed descrip- tion, title by title, of thirty-six parts of the work. The set described by him lacked, evidently, parts 37 and 38. Singularly enough, we have found this incompleteness to be quite general, and the only full set which we have had in hand, is one in the Lenox Library. (For Backer’s account see his vol. ii., 1854, appendix, pp. 17-102.) He also states that the work came out in nos. 165, 176, 180, 184, 188, 211, 319, 341, 433, 521, 582, and 620 of the Weltbott. This we have not had opportunity to verify.

Joseph Stöcklein, the original translator, was a member of the order, and a life of him is printed in part 29, appendix, pp. rqr-154. He died in 1733, after having put twenty parts in print, and having prepared parts 21 and 22 for publication. His [Page 321] papers and materials were entrusted to Father Carl Meyer, who saw parts 21 and 22 through the press, and put forward parts 23 and 24. Meyer had hoped to continue the work; was hindered for want of time, and died in 1739. The lack of a new translator, and martial difficulties in the nation, caused an interrup- tion of the publication. Finally Father Peter Probst, a priest of the order, took the work in hand; but pub- lication was again delayed about a year by the official inspection and reading of the copy, after which per- mission to print was given. Probst planned to have the continuation out by Michaelmas, 1746, but the printer’s paper gave out, and another delay of a year and a half took place. Parts 28 to 38 came out under a new name-Father Francisco Keller.

There are various editions and varieties, especially of the parts which comprise the first volume. It would require considerable space to detail these minutiae, and we shall, therefore, give only so much as will be necessary as a basis of comparison:

Title-page of 1726 edition of vol. I.:

“Allerhand | So Lehr-als Geist-reiche | Brief, Schrifften | und | Reis-Beschreibungen, | Welche von denen | Missionariis | der Gesellschafft Jesu | Aus | Beyden Indien, | undandern | Über Meer gelegenen Ländern, | Seit An. 1624. biss auf das Jahr 1726. | in Europa angelangt seynd. | Jetzt zum erstenmal | Theils aus Handschrifftlichen Urkunden, | theils aus denen Französischen Lettres Edifiantes | verteutscht und zusammen getragen | Von | Joseph Stöcklein, gedachter Societät Jesu Priester. | Erster Bund oder die 8. Erste Theil. | ... | ... |

“Augspurg und Grätz, | In Verlag Philips, Martins, und Joh. Veith seel. Erben, Buchhädlern, 1726. |”

The second edition of vol. 1 lines off like the above, but ends thus:

“Erster Bund oder die 8. Erste Theil. | Anderte Edition. | ... | … | “Augspurg und Grätz, | In Verlag Philipp Martin, und Johann Veith seel. Erben, 1728. |” [Page 322]

Dates of Volumes and Parts.


Title, vol. 1 — 1726.

Part 1 — 1726, in red and black.

Part 2 — 1725.

Part 3 — 1726.

Part 4 — 1726.

Part 5 — 1726.

Part 6 — 1726.

Part 7 — 1726.

Part 8 — 1726.

Title, vol. 1 — 1728.

Part 1 — 1728, in black only.

Part 2 — 1728.

Part 3 — 1726, differs typographically.

Part 4 — 1726, differs typographically.

Part 5 — 1726, differs typographically.

Part 6 — 1728.

Part 7 — 1726, differs typographically.

Part 8 — 1728.

Title, Vol. 2 — 1729.

Part 9 — 1727.

Part 10 — 1727.

Part 11 — 1727.

Part 12 — 1729.

part 13 — 1729.

Part 14 — 1729.

Part 15 — 1729.

Part 16 — 1730.

Title, vol. 3 — 1732.

Part 17 — 1732.

Part 18 — 1732.

Part 19 — 1732.

Part 20 — 1732.

Parts 21 and 22 in one — 1736.

Parts 23 and 24 in one — 1735.

Title, vol. 4 — 1748.

Part 25 — no date.

Part 26 — no date.

Part 27 — no date.

Part 28 — no date.

Part 29 — 1755

Part 30 — 1755.

Part 31 — 1755.

Part 32 — 1755.

Part 33 — 1758.

Part 34 — 1758.

Part 35 — 1758.

Part 36 — 1758.

Parts 37 and 38 lacking in this Lenox set.

Title, vol. 2 — 1729.

Part 9 — 1727.

Part 10 — 1727.

Part 11 — 1727.

Part 12 — 1729.

Part 13 — 1729.

Part 14 — 1729.

Part 15 — 1729.

Part 16 — 1730.

Title, vol. 3 — 1732.

Part 17 — 1732.

Part 18 — 1732.

Part 19 — I732,

Part 20 — 1732.

Parts 21 and 22 in one — 1736.

Parts 23 and 24 in One — 1735.

Title, vol. 4 — 1748, longer imprint.

Part 25 — no date.

Part 26 — no date.

Part 27 — no date.

Part 28 — no date.

Part 29 — 1755.

Part 30 — 1755.

Part 31 — 1755.

Part 32 — 1755.

Part 33 — 1758.

Part 34 — 1758.

Part 35 — 1758.

Part 36 — 1758.

Part 37 — 1761.

Part 38 — 1761. [Page 323]

There are certainly other varieties. We find several in a partial set (vols. 1-3) in Astor Library. Vol. 1, 1728, in Astor has a large copperplate frontispiece on verso of half-title. In Lenox, 1728, this verso is blank. The same plate, in same manner, is found in vol. 2 of Astor copy. A set lacking parts 37 and 38 was priced by Quaritch in his General Catalogue, item 28620, at 9.

Italian Translation-1825-29

This translation we have not seen. It is entitled: Lettere Edifianti scritte dalle Missioni straniere, and was published at Milan in six octave volumes.

Spanish Translation-1753-57

This is an important contemporary translation; but since it was concluded while the original French publication was still in progress, it does not, of course, have claim to completeness. The translator, Father Diego Davin, was a member of the order, and teacher of languages in the Real Seminario of Madrid. In a note to the reader in vol. 6 he states that he had intended to adorn each volume with the most necessary and useful plates, as he had actually done in vol. 2. He decided, however, that as such plates are an encumbrance in a volume, to issue them in a separate volume, and with the proper location of each plate indicated on its face. Vols. I and 2 appeared in 1753; 3-6 in 1754; 7-10 in 1755; 11-15 in 1756; and vol. 16 in 1757. A set in the Lenox Library has twenty-three plates at the end of vol. 16, and the first four of these plates appear also in the second volume. It is not likely that this [Page 324] duplication was intentional. We list them as we have found them:

1 — Map of Egypt, vol. 2, p. 203.

2 — Portico of Achemounain, vol. 2, p. 240.

3 — Architectural views of Antinoe, vol. 2, p. 256.

4 — Egyptian sacrificial offerings to the sun, vol. 2, p, 267.

5 — Passage of Hebrews through Red Sea, vol. 6, p. 126.

6 — View of Mt. Sinai, vol, 6, p. 24,.

7 — Ginseng plant, vol. 7, p. 81.

8 — Map of Moxos mission, vol. 7, p. 23.

9 — Map of New Philippines, vol 7, p. 239.

10 — Map of Philippines, vol 7, p. 239.

11 — Three Portraits on one sheet, vol. 7, p. 425.

12 — “Cvrso del Rio Marañon,” vol. 8, p. 42.

13 — Island of Formosa, vol 8, p. 31.

14 — Missions of Madura, vol. 9, p. 60.

15 — “Monte Libano,” vol. 9, p. 176.

16 — “Lagart volante,” etc., vol. 10, p. 142.

17 — “Pez Cornudo;” vol. 10, p. 142.

18 — Caroline Islands, vol. 11, p. 192.

19 — New map of India, vol. 13, p. 249.

20 — Paraguay, vol. 13, p. 290.

21 — “Mapa de 10s Alrededores de1 Cabo Frances,” vol. 15, p. 233.

22 — Chalaoyer plant, vol. 15, p. 383.

23 — Shells, vol. 15, p. 383.

“Cartas | edificantes, y curiosas, | escritas | de las Missiones | estrangeras, | por | algunos Missioneros | de la Compañia | de Jesus | Traducidas de1 Idioma francés | Por el Padre Diego Davin, | de la Compañia de Jefus. | Tomo Primero. | Con Privilegio. |

“En Madrid: En la Oficina de la Viuda de Manuel Fernandez, | Imprenta del Suprem Consejo de la Inquificion, y de la Reverenda | Camara Apoftolica. Año MDCCLIII.”

Vol. 1 — Title, versa blank, 1 leaf; preface of translator, pp. (10); licenses, etc., pp. (8); text, pp. 1-364; “Indice,” pp. 365-380.

Vol. 2 — Title, versa blank, 1 leaf; “Erratas,” etc., 1 leaf; text, pp. 1-334; “Indice,” pp. 33 5-352. Plates already mentioned.

Vol. 3 — Title, verso blank, I leaf; “Erratas” etc. I leaf; Le Gobien’s preface, pp. i.-xxiv.; text, pp. 1-296; “Indlce,” pp. 297-315; verso of p. 315 blank.

Vol. 4 — Title, verso blank, I leaf; “Erratas” etc., 1 leaf; text, pp. 1-389; “Indice,” pp. 390-410. [Page 325]

Vol. 4 — Title, versa blank, I leaf; “Erratas,” etc., I leaf; preface, pp. i.-viii.; text, pp. 1-365; “Indice,” pp. 366-375; versa of p. 375 blank. Pp. 213, 237, and 374 mispaged 113, 337, and 274, respectively.

Vol. 6 — Title, verso blank, I leaf: “Erratas,” etc., I leaf; preface, pp. i.-v.; “Al Lector,” pp. (3); text, pp. 1-400; “Indice,” pp. 401-412.

Vol. 7 — Title, versa blank, I leaf; “Erratas,” etc., I leaf; text, pp. 1-452; “Indice,” pp. 453-464.

Vol. 8 — Title, verso blank, I leaf; “Erratas,” etc., I leaf; preface, pp. i.-xii.; text, pp. 1-417; “Indice,” pp. 418-428.

Vol. 9 — Title, verso blank, I leaf; “Erratas,” etc., I leaf; preface, pp. &viii.; text, pp. 1-386; “Indice,” pp. 387-398. p. 315 mispaged 115.

Vol. 10 — Title, verso blank, I leaf; “Erratas,” etc., I leaf; preface, pp. i.-xvi.; text, pp. 1-385; " Indice,” pp. 386-398.

Vol. 11 — Title, verso blank, I leaf; “Erratas,” etc., I leaf; preface, pp. i.-Xvi.; text, pp. 1-398; “Indice,” pp. 399-412.

Vol. 12 — Title, verso blank, I leaf; “Erratas,” etc., I leaf; preface, pp. i-xvi.; text, pp. 1-382; “Indice,” pp. 383-395; verso of p. 395 blank.

Vol. 13 — Title, verso blank, I leaf; “Erratas,” etc., I leaf; preface, pp. i.-xx.; text, pp. 1-398; “Indice,” pp. 399-411; Verso of p. 411 blank. p. 246 mispaged 146.

Vol. 14 — Title, verso blank, 1 leaf; “Erratas,” etc., I leaf; preface, pp. i.-xx.; text, pp. 1-404; “Indice,” pp. 405-420. pp. 125 and 332 mispaged 225 and 132, respectively.

Vol. 15-Title, verso blank, I leaf; “Erratas,” etc., I leaf; preface, pp. i-xvi.; text, pp. 1-422; “Indite,” pp. 423-435; verso of p. 435 blank, pp. 182, 211, and 235 mispaged 812. 111, and 335, respectively.

Vol. 16-Title, verso blank, I leaf; errata, etc., I leaf; preface, pp. i.-xxx.; text, pp. 1-111; “Indice,” pp. 112-118. Maps and plates described above.

Condensed Editions and Extracts

Lambert’s Recueil

In 1749 Claude François Lambert published a Recueil d’observations curieuses. Lambert was a member of the order, but being of an adventurous [Page 326] disposition left it, and Went to Paris, where he worked in literary fields. He died there, miserable and forgotten, April 17, 1765. He was the author, translator, or editor of a number of works (see Quérard’s La France Littéraire, t. 4, pp. 483 and 484). His Recueil is a mutilated edition of the Lettres édifiantes, and in vol. xxvii. of the original work, the new editor, Patouillet, makes the following animadversions:

“L’anonyme, par exemple, qui s’est approprie les 26. Tomes de nos Lettres, & qui tout récemment les a fait imprimer sous le titre de Recueil d’Obfervations curieufes, &c. n’a pas fait difficulte dans cette Edition tronquée, de supprimer généralement tout ce qui regarde la Religion, tout ce qui a rapport à la vertu, à édification, & à la piété.”

“Recueil | d’Observations | curieuses, | sur les mœurs, les coutumes, | les Usages, les differentes Langues, le | Gouvemement, la Mythologie, la Chro-| nologie, la Géographie ancienne & mo-| deme, les Ceremonies, la Religion, les | Mechaniques, l’Astronomie, la Médeci-| ne, la Physique particuliere, l’Histoire | Naturelle, le Commerce, la Navigation, | les Arts & les Sciences de differrents Peu-| ples de l’Asie, de l’Afrique, & de l’Amerique. | Tome I. |

“A Paris, | Chez Prault, Quai de Conti, | a la descente du Pont-Neuf. | M. DCC. XLIX. | Avec Approbation & Privilege du Roi. |”

Four vols., 16mo, pp. (8), 400; (2), vi., 392; viii., (4), 391; (21, vi., 408, Imprimatur (4). Copies in Library of Congress, New York State Library, and British Museum.

An edition in 4 vols., 12mo, with the imprint, “Paris ches David le jeune, 1749,” was sold in the Fischer sale, item 1451.

There are a number of editions in English of this work, which are enumerated below:

“A | Collection | of | Curious Observations | on the | Manners, Customs, Usages, diffe-| rent Languages, Government, Mythology, | chronology, Ancient and Modem Geogra-| phy, Ceremonies, Religion, Mechanics, | Astronomy, Medicine, Physics, Natural | History, Commerce, Arts, and Sciences, | Of the several Nations of | Asia, Africa, and America. | Translated from the French, first printed at.Paris [Page 327] in 1749, | By John Dunn, | Chaplain to the Rt. Hon. the Earl of Galloway. | Vol. I | “London: ( Printed for the Translator. | MDCCL. |”

Two vols, 8vo, pp. vi., 411; (2), 404, (8), (8). p. 285 of vol. 2 is mispaged 582. Copy in Library of Congress.

Another, beginning: Curious | observations | [etc.]; and with the following imprint: “London: | Printed for G. Woodfall, at the King’s Arms, Cha-| ring Cross; W. Russel, at Horace’s Head, without | Temple-Bar; and W. Meyer, in May’s Buildings, | St. Martin’s-Lane. | [1750.]”

Two vols., 8vo. Copies in Library of Congress and British Museum.

Other editions, each in 2 vols., 8vo, are: London: Lockyer Davis, 1755; and London: Lockyer Davis, 1760.

Rousselet De Surgy

In his preface to vol. I the editor, Jacques Philibert Rousselet de Surgy, intimates that he might issue vols. 5 and 6 in 1768, relative to the Levant, in case vols. I-4 should be favorably received by the public. The British Museum seems to have an edition in six volumes, issued at Iverdon in 1767.

We have examined two sets, each of four volumes only, and with a Paris imprint:

“Memoires | geographiques, | physiques | et historiques. | Sur l’age, l’Afrique & l’Amérique. | Tirés des Lettres édifiantes, & des | Voyages des Miffonnaires Jéfuites. | Par l’Auteur des Mélanges intéreffans & | curieux. | … | [Ornament] |

“A Paris, | Chez Durand, Neveu, Libraire, | ruë Saint Jacques, à la Sageffe. | M. DCC. LXVII. | Avec Approbation & Privilege du Roi. |”

Vol. 1 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; “Preface,” pp. i.-xii.; text, pp. 1-388.

Vol. 2 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 1-312; “Table,” pp. 313-328.

Vol. 3 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 1-401; blank (I).

Vol. 4-Title, verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 1-373; p. 374, blank; “Table” to vol. 3, pp. 375-385; p. 386,; blank; “Table” to [Page 328] vol. 4, pp. 367-399; p. 400, blank; “Approbation” and “Privilege,” pp. 401-403; “Catalogue,” pp. 404-408. Vol. 4 relates to America.

The following Dutch work is a translation of the Memoires géographiques of Rousselet de Surgy:

“Geographische, natuurkundige en historische berigten over Asie, Afrika en Amerika. Getrokken uit de Stigtelyke Brieven, en Reisbeschryvingen der Jesuiten, ter voortplantinge van den Christelyken Godsdienst, naar die Gewesten gezonden. Uit het Fransch vertaald. 3 deelen. Harlingen: V. van der Plaats, 1769.” 8vo.

Lettres Édifiantes-1771

This is only a selection from the large work, and is entitled: “Lettres édifiantes... de l’Amérique Septentrionale. Bruxelles: G. Panwels, 1771.” 12mo, pp. 152.

Choix Des Lettres Édifiantes

This work was edited by “M. * * *,” which stands for l’Abbé Jean Baptiste Montmignon, who is accused by Aimé-Martin (vol. i., 1838) of having taken liberties with the text of the originals, so that the letters are “étrangement défigurées, avaient perdu leur caractère naïf et leur vivacité originale.” Backer makes the same accusation, and so does the editor of the second edition, mentioned below. This new editor endeavored to put his edition in shape, and suppressed some digressions of Montmignon, but it fell flat on the market, yet, nevertheless, appeared again in 1838.

“Choix | des | Lettres édifiantes, | écrites ) des Missions étrangéres; | avec,des Additions, des Notes critiques, | et des Observations pour la plus grande | Intelligence de ces Lettres; | ... | Par M. * * * , | ... |

“A Paris, | chez Maradan, Libraire, | ... | M. DCCC. VIII.”

Vol. 1 (1808) — pp. (4), cviii., 400.

Vol. 2 (1808) — pp. (4), lxiv., 451. [Page 329]

Vol. 3 (1808) — pp. (4), 458.

Vol. 4 (1809) — pp. (4), lxxxiv., 568.

Vol. 5 (1809) — pp. (4), lxxii., 427.

Vol. 6 (1809) — pp. (4), 507.

Vol. 7 (1809) — pp. (4), lxxxviii, 490.

Vol. 8 (1809) — pp. (4), iv., 514.

The American matter is in vols. vii. and viii. We have examined copies in Boston Public Library, Boston Athenaeum, and Astor Library. A “Seconde édition, augmentée,” already referred to as by a new editor, was published at Paris by Grimbert, in 1824-26. This appeared again, but with a changed title, and this imprint: “Bruxelles. Publié par la Societe nationale, pour la propagation des bons livres, 1838.” A “Troisième edition, augmentée,” was issued at Paris, in eight octave volumes, but the date we have not learned.

Nouvelles Des Missions D’amerique

This is a selection of American matter from the Lettres édifiantes, and was published at Paris: Librairie Martial Ardant Fères [1833]. 12mo, pp. (2), 288. Plate.

English Versions

We note the following:

“Edifying and Curious Letters of some Missioners..,. | Printed in the Year 1707.” 18mo, 7 ll., pp. 258, Table 2 ll. The British Museum catalogue says: “[London?] 1707-09.” 8o. 2 vols.”

“The Travels of feveral Learned Missioners of the Society of Jesus,... | Tranflated from the French Original publifh’d at Paris in the Year 1713. London: Printed for R. Gofling, at the Mitre and Crown, over aginft [sic] St. Dunftans Church, in Fleet-ftreet, M DCC XIV.” Title, verso blank, I leaf; “Preface,” pp. (7); blank, I page, “contents,” pp. (6); text, pp. 1-335; “Some Books” etc., on verso of p. 335; “Index,” pp. (12); “Books Printed,” pp. (4). Two plates, at pp. 176 and 215. p. 264 mispaged 246. Pp. 277-318 [Page 330] are occupied with an “Extract of an Account of the Country of Accadia, in North America, ... | Written in the Year 1710, by a French Gentleman, and sent to a Missioner of the Society of Jesus.” This is nothing less than a condensed translation of Diéreville’s Relation du Voyage & Port Royal de l’Acadie, of which an edition was issued at Amsterdam in 1710; but it appeared first in Rouen, in 1708. Diéreville purposed to compose his whole account in verse; but was advised to cast it in prose. He compromised by using both prose and verse. In this English translation his verse has been put into prose, and is given a rather free flavor.

“Travels of the Jesuits, into various Parts of the World. Compiled from their Letters. ... By Mr. Lockman. London: Printed for John Noon, 1743.” Two vols., 8vo, pp. 487; 508, (19). This is an abridgment of the first ten volumes of the Lettres édifiantes. The continuation, though intended, never appeared. John Lockman was the editor. Other editions of Lockman are:

“[London] Printed for T. Piety, . . . | . . . | . . . 1762. |” Two vols., 8vo, pp. (2), xxii., (2), 487 (I); (6), 507, (I), 24, (19); maps, etc. This is called “Second edition, corrected.”

“London: David Steel. M. DCC. LXVII.” Two vols.. 8vo.

“Instructive and Curious Epistles from Catholic Clergymen of the Society of Jesus, in China, India, Persia, the Levant, and either America, being Selections from the most interesting of the ‘Lettres Edifiantes,’ translated by Timothy Augustus Power. Dublin, 1839.” 8vo.

“The | Early Jesuit Missions | in | North America; | compiled and translated from the Letters of the | French Jesuits, with Notes. | By the | Rev. William Ingraham Kip, M. A., | . . . | . . . |

“New York: | Wiley and Putnam, . . . | 1846. |” 12mo, two parts paged continuously; pp. xiv.; 2 ll.; pt. I, pp. 1-135; pt. 2, 3 ll., pp. 139-321. Folded map of the Iroquois country. This edition was published in Wiley and Putnam’s Library of American Books.

The Lenox Library has also a New York issue of 1847, from the same plates. Its collation agrees with that of 1846, except that it has not a series title-page and a regular title-page before part 2.

The British Museum has a copy with a London title-page, thus: “London: | Wiley and Putnam. | 1847. |”

The following editions of 1866 and 1873 are reissued from the old stereotyped plates; but an index has been added: “Albany, N. Y.: | Pease & Prentice, . . . | 1866. |” 12mo; pp. xiv.; I leaf; pp. 1-321; p. 322 blank; “Index,“pp. 323-325. Folded map of Iroquois country. [Page 331]

“Albany, N. Y.: | Joel Munsell,... | 1873. |” Same collation as 1866 issue.

Dr. Kip prepared from the “Lettres” another and distinct collection, and comprising both American and Oriental materials. His American subjects are: “Missions in Lower California: 1702;” “Rhode Island Privateer: 1745;” “Trials of Hudson Bay Missionary: 1694;” “The Paraguay Mission: 1726;” and “The Earthquake at Lima: 1746.” A description of the book follows:

“Historical Scenes | from the | Old Jesuit Missions. | By the | Right Rev. Wm. Ingraham Kip, D.D., LL. D. | . . . |

“New York: | Anson D. F. Randolph and Company, | . . . | [copyight, 1875.] |” 12mo; pp. 375, list of books (I).

Polish Version

For the following titles of selections from the Lettres édifiantes, we are indebted to Backer, vol. ii., appendix, p. 5:

“Listy rozne ku chwalebney ciekawosci y chrzescianskiemu zbudowaniu sluzace z Azyi, Afryki, Ameryki, niegdys od Missyonarow Societatis Jesu w rozmaitych iezykach do Europy przeslane. R. 1756.” 4to, pp. 190. Also another. Ibid., 1767. 4to, pp. 541.


The following work forms the link between the Lettres édifiantes and the Annales de l’Association de la Propagation de La Foi. Vols. i.-iv. were published in 1818; vol. v. in 1820; vol. vi. in 1821; and vols. vii. and viii. in 1823:

“Nouvelles | Lettres édifiantes | des Missionide la Chine | et des Indes orientales. | . . . |

“A Paris, | De l’Imprimerie d’Adrien Le Clere, Imprimeur de | l’Archevêché de Paris, | quai des Augustins, no. 35. | 1818. |”

Vol. I — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; “Preface,” pp. i-xxviii.; “Introduction,” pp. i.-xxvi.; text, pp. 27-482; “Table,” pp. 483-486; “Errata,” with verso blank, I leaf.

Vol. 2 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 1-556;” Table,” pp. 557-560.

Vol. 3 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 1-500; “Table,” pp. 501-503; “Errata,” p. (I). [Page 332]

Vol. 4 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 1-564; “Table,” pp. 565-567: errata, p (I)

Vol. 5 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; “Avis des Éditeurs,” pp. v-viii.; text, pp. 1-597; “Table,” pp. 598-603; blank (I).

Vol. 6 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; “Introduction,” pp. i.-cxiv.; text, pp. 115-504; “Table,” pp. 505-511; “errata” p. (I)

Vol. 7 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 1-413; p. 414; blank; “Table,” pp. 415-419; blank (I).

Vol. 8 — Half-title, verso blank, I leaf; title, verso blank, I leaf; text, pp. 1-443; “Table,” pp. 444-448.


The following publication, which is still being issued serially, contains LL great deal of absorbing interest Concerning the missions among the American Indians. It was begun under the auspices of a missionary society consisting of Catholic laymen, who organized themselves, on May 3, 1822, at Lyons, to assist by prayers and alms the Catholic missionaries charged with work among foreign nations. Not long after its organization, this society began to issue the Annales de l’Association de la Propagation de la Foi. . . Collection faisant suite à toutes les éditions des Lettres édifiantes. The first number appeared in 1822; the second in 1823; the third in 1824, etc. The original publisher was Rusand of Lyons and Paris. Editions of these Annales have been circulated also in German, Italian, Flemish, Portuguese, Welsh, and English. The first number of the English edition came out in January, 1838. There have been several editions of some of the French parts, as well as of the translations. [Page 333]


The collection published by Charles Douniol at Paris, 1857-61, professes to be a “complement aux Lettres édifiantes.” We have already described it in our vol. LVII., pp. 311-313.

Victor Hugo Paltsits.


In the present publication of Jacques Gravier’s “Lettre sur les Affaires de la Louisiane,” written at Fort St. Louis de Louisiane, February 23, 1708, we have followed a MS. in the Library of Congress, at Washington, D. C.

This document was first given to the public, but in a somewhat abridged and modernized form, by John Gilmary Shea, in No. 22 of his Cramoisy series, of which the following is a description:

“Lettre | du | Père Jacques Gravier, | de la Compagnie de Jésus, | Le 23 Fevrier 1708, | Sur les Affaires de la Louisiane. | [Cut with storks] | Nouvelle-York: | De la preffe Cramoify de Jean,Marie Shea. | M DCCC LXV. |”

Title, I leaf; text, pp. 3-18. Frequently found bound in with nos. 20 and 21 of the series.


These are three documents which we publish direct from MSS. in the archives of l’Ecole de Ste. Geneviève, at Paris; they are doubtless contemporary apographs.

CLXXXIV. is a letter in Latin, written at the Lorette mission in 1710, by Louis Davaugour, and addressed to the father general. The archival press-mark is: Canada, tome 8, Doc. 6. [Page 334]

CLXXXV. is another Latin letter written by Joseph Aubery to Joseph Jouvency, from the mission of St. François de Sales, October 10, 1710. Its press-mark is: Canada, tome 8, Doc. 7, p. 15.

CLXXXVI. is a letter in French, by Joseph Germain, to an unknown person, and dated at Quebec, November 5, 1711. Its press-mark is: Canada, tome 8, Doc. 5.


This letter of Gabriel Marest is dated at Kaskaskia, November 9, 1712, and is addressed to Father Barthélemi Germon, a professor at Oréans, France. We obtain it from Lettres édifiantes, tome 6, pp. 254-298. [Page 335]


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

[1] (p. 27). — The French word rendered by the transcriber chamois is partly illegible. Suggested emendations are chavonis and chanvre; the latter is perhaps most probable

[2] (p. 27). — The French words in brackets, here and elsewhere in this document, have been added in a handwriting and ink different from those of the MS.

[3] (p. 29). — For capacity of the French pot, see vol. xxxii, note 4.

[4] (p. 29). — The text is here very imperfect; the words mislan and mesle in these two lines, are probably phonetic misspellings of some other word. The following emendations are suggested: mi-laine, melis, coton de laine, mezeline, mousseline,-and de mesme sorte, for de mesle forte. The data are insufficient for positive identification.

[5].(p. 31). — The translator of this document, Crawford Lindsay, says: “The lexicons do not give boucherons; I think that it should be boucles rondes, especially as buckles would probably be an article of barter with savages. Platins apparently refers to metal plates used as looking-glasses — of which the Indians, like all other savages, are very fond. Many of the items in this list of goods are technical names, and are often incorrectly spelled, which renders their translation very puzzling and difficult work. The translation which I have given is the result of much investigation and questioning; but, in some cases, it is impossible to secure positive accuracy.” To this must be added the difficulties in the transcription of old MSS., — which are often stained or torn, and, in places, illegible, — and of the chirography of some early writers.

[6] (p. 31). — For this the following emendations are suggested: peignes à lin (for combing flax); peignes de bois, and peignes d’ébène. For bouillet, in next line, are suggested bourlets, boucles, bobinettes

[7] (p. 31). — Pierre Charles le Sueur was born in 1657, and belonged to a family of Artois, France: he probably came to Canada when a young man, and was soon engaged in the fur trade. When Perrot took possession of the Northwest for France (May 8, 1689), Le Sueur [Page 337] was with him; and the latter was commandant at Chcquamegon as early as 1693, and for several years thereafter. In that year, he was sent by the Canadian officials to keep open the Bois Brulé: and St. Croix trading route; and for this purpose he built a fort on Madelaine Island, and another on an island in the Mississippi, near the present Red Wing, Minn. About this time, he discovered lead mines on the upper Mississippi; in order to obtain permission to work these, he went to France, and, after various adventures and delays, received a license therefor. This was, however, suspended by Frontenac; Le Sueur, after another voyage to France, came to Louisiana in December, 1699. In the following July, he was sent by Iberville, with a score of men, to search for copper mines in the Sioux country. He found some of these in Minnesota, and sent to France a considerable amount of green and blue earth taken from the mines. Returning to Mobile in 1701, Le Sueur soon afterward went to France, to represent to the court the resources and value of the region which he had explored. It is said that in 1703 he was again in the Northwest, as a trader; but his career thereafter is unknown — save that La Harpe states (Journ. Hist., p. 70) that “a few years later, returning to the colony, he died while crossing the sea.” In 1690, he married Marguerite Messier, by whom he had four children; after his voyage of 1700, he removed his family to Louisiana.

La Harpe gives (ut supra, pp. 38-70) a narration of Le Sueur’s voyage up the Mississippi, taken from the journal kept by the latter. A translation of this is given by Shea in Miss. Voyages, pp. 89-111. Cf. the account given in the Relation of Pénicaut, who accompanied Le Sueur in that expedition (Margry’s Découv. et établ., t. v., pp. 400-423).

“The missionary to the Scious” here mentioned was Joseph Jean Marest, brother of Gabriel (vol. lxv., note 12). He was born March 19, 1653, and entered the Jesuit novitiate, at Paris, at the age of eighteen. An instructor at Vannes, La Fèche, Paris, and Tours, successively, he was a student at Paris during 1679-80 and 1681-85; and, after passing at Rouen his last year of probation, he came to Canada about 1686. He spent two years in the study of the Indian tongues, and in 1688 went to Mackinac. He must have gone at once to the Sioux tribes, for his name appears in Perrot’s prise de possession (Margry, ut supra, t. v., pp. 33, 34) as “missionary among the Nadouesioux;” but the length of his stay there is unknown. He made another journey to that region, probably at the time referred to in our text, 1702. Joseph Marest was superior of the Ottawa missions, and resided at Mackinac, from 1700 until at least 1714, and perhaps longer. He died at Montreal in October, 1725.

[8] (p. 33).-For account of the engagé system, see vol. lxii., note [Page 338] 14, Various royal decrees (issued from 1699 to 1724) concerning engagés, maybe found in Recueils de réglemens . . . des Colonies Françaises (Paris 1765), part ii., pp, 34-65.

[9] (p. 37). — The Jesuits solicited from Bishop St, Vallier the exclusive direction Of the French posts in Louisiana, and powers of vicar-genera1 for the superior of their mission there. This he refused, and withdrew those powers from Gravier, conferring them upon Colombière and other Seminary priests engaged in that mission. The Jesuits had also complained to the king about the intrusion of these Priests into their field of labor; this matter was referred to an ecclesiastical commission, which decided (June 4, 1701) that the Tamaroa mission (at Cahokia) belonged to the Seminary. The disagreements about the Louisiana missions could not be quieted; the Jesuits there were accordingly recalled (vol. lxv., note 13) in 1703. See Rochemonteix’s Jésuites, t. iii., pp. 563-587; and Shea’s Church in Col. Days, pp. 543, 544.

[10].(p. 39). — Charles Juchereau de St. Denis (vol. lxv., note 28) is here referred to. Winsor (Miss. Basin, p, 70) thinks that his post was near the site of the modern Cairo, Ill.

Jean Mermet was born at Grenoble, France, Sept. 23, 1664: and became a Jesuit novice at Avignon, when rg years of age. A student at Embrun in 1685-86, he spent the usual term as instructor at Carpentras, Roanne, and Vesoul, in succession; and completed his studies at Dôle (1692-96). After another year, spent in Salins, he came to Canada (1698). Mermet aided Aveneau at the Miami mission on St. Joseph River, until the autumn of 1702, when he went with Juchereau to the Ohio River, — where, besides acting as chaplain to the French, he endeavored (but with little success) to evangelize a band of Mascoutens who had wandered thither. After the death of Juchereau, Mermet went to Kaskaskia, and became the colleague of Gabriel Marest. He spent there the rest of his life. Sommervogel says that Mermet died Sept. 15,:1716; but Shea (Church in Col. Days, p. 585), in 1718.

[11] (p. 99). — Thomas Gouye (Gouiz) was born at Dieppe, Oct 17, 1650, and entered the Jesuit novitiate at the age of 17 Years. He was a teacher of mathematics in various Jesuit Colleges, and Composed several mathematical works. He died at Paris in March, 1725.

[12] (p. 41). — Nicolas Foucault, ordained at Quebec in 1689, was sent by the Seminary to the Arkansas mission, in 1700. On his way to Mobile, in 1702, he and his French companions were murdered by their Indian guides.

[13] (p. 45). — “Sillery, where the Abenakis had been installed in [Page 339] place of the Algonquins, — most of whom died, through either contagious diseases or the abuse of intoxicating liquor — in 1685 reckoned 488 inhabitants. Two years later, an epidemic carried away 150 savages; the baptismal register ends in the following year; and thereafter there is no record of a mission at Sillery. Up to that time, the Abenakis were still numerous at Sillery; but, little by little, they abandoned that mission, — most of them settling at St. François de Sales, the rest at St. François and Becancourt.” — Rochemonteix’s Jésuites, t. iii., p, 375; he adds the text of the grant made to the Jesuits, by the governor and intendant, of Sillery in their own right. Cf. Maurault’s Abénakis, pp. 232-250, 272-295; and Our vol. lxii., note 23.

[14] (p. 51). — He was a relative of Henri de Tonty, whose maternal family name was Desliettes (or Delietto). This officer was, later, commandant in the Illinois country.

[15] (p. 51). — The meaning of this passage is obscure, if it be taken literally; but it is probable that the “frightful presents” refers to captives surrendered, for torture and death, by the French to the Ottawas, in order to conciliate the latter. This often happened, at the period which we are now considering. See our vol. lxv., pp. 27, 29; N.Y. Colon. Docs., vol. ix., p. 642; and L’Abeille, vol. vi., no. 17. In the last-named publication is printed an “extract from an old MS.,” which describes how five Iroquois captives were burned alive (1701), — with tortures lasting six hours, in which both French and savages took part, — in front of the Jesuit residence at Montreal.

[16] (p. 63). — Reference is here made,to a Jesuit lay brother, Jacques l’Argilier, dit “le Castor,” who had been for many years in the service of the Western missions. Mermet, in his circular letter announcing the death of Gabriel Marest, also records the pious death and the virtues of L’Argilier, who had lived nearly 80 years, “of which he had spent nearly 50 in the service of the Society.” He had taken the vows of a coadjutor, and “was received into the Society with permission to live, while one of its members, in the secular garb, for greater service to the Missions.” He died Nov. 4, 1714; the letter here referred to is in the archives of 1’Ecole de Ste. Geneviève, Paris (press-mark: Canada, t. 18, Doc. 4a).

[17] (p. 63). — François Marie Bouat, born at Montreal in 1676, married (about 1699) Madeleine Lambert-Dumont, daughter of Eustache Lambert (vol. lix., note 8); by her he had three children. His sister Marguerite married (1697) Antoine Pacaud, a Montreal merchant, who was born in Pbrigueux, France, in 1665; they had five children.

[18] (p. 69). — Regarding the formation of the Hudson Bay Company, see vol. xxviii., note 32; and Beckles Wilson’s recent work, The Great Company (Toronto, 1899). [Page 340]

[19] (p. 77). — Tangnay applies to Joseph, son of Charles le Moyne, the title “sieur de Sérigny;” but, as he died in 1687, the title must thereafter have been assumed by one of his younger brothers. Bienville mentions his “brother, Sérigny,” as late as 1714, as being with him in Louisiana. French (La. Hist. Colls., part iii., p. 11, note) says that this man “died Governor of Rochester, 1734.” Hamilton states, more correctly, — in Colonial Mobile (Boston, 1897), pp. 87, 88, — that Sérigny returned to France in 1720, afterward became governor of Rochefort, and died in 1734; but he carelessly adds, “he was the only one of the Lemoynes to found a family.”

[20] (p. 97). — This was one of the sons of Charles le Gardeur de Tilly — which one, cannot be stated from available data.

[21] (p. 107). — Assiniboël: Assiniboines, one of the great divisions of the Dakota nation. Dorsey thinks that their separation from the others occurred before the middle of the 17th century; after that occurrence, they dwelt at and near Lake-of-the-Woods. — See his account of their origin, migrations, etc., in U.S. Bur. Ethnol. Rep., 1893-94 pp. 161, 189-199, 222.

[22] (p. 107). — Lake of the Krips (Crees): Lake Winnipeg.

[23] (p. 125). — Isle Massacre: afterward called Dauphin Island. It lies west of the entrance to Mobile Bay, and belongs to Mobile county, Ala. Its earlier name refers to the discovery, by the first French comers, of a great quantity of human bones on its shores.

[24] (p. 125). — The words in brackets are written, in the MS. that we follow, in a different handwriting and ink from those of the document itself. This is probab1y.a reference to Jacques l’Argilier (note 16. ante).

[25] (p. 127). — Jean Marie de Villes (or Ville) was born about 1672, and became a Jesuit novice upon attaining his majority. His studies were pursued at Bourges, La Flèche, and Paris, and he spent five years as instructor at Rheims; he came to Canada probably in 1706. His first mission was at an “Abenaki village 40 leagues from Quebec” (probably St. François); and he also served a French parish, two leagues distant. In 1707 he was sent to the Illinois mission, where he spent the rest of his life; he was its superior at the time of his death. Early in 1719, De Ville went to Mobile, to make certain arrangements for his mission, and especially to obtain from the governor, Bienville, some restrictions upon the lawlessness of the French traders in Illinois. He remained at Mobile six months, during which time he ministered to the French (even accompanying the troops to the attack upon Pensacola), whom he found destitute of any priest. On his return, in the autumn, he was attacked by a serious illness, which compelled him to spend the winter at Natchez. He died [Page 341] there on June 6, 1720. For information regarding this missionary, we have recourse to the circular letter regarding his death (in archives de l’École de Ste. Geneviève — Canada, t. 18, Doc. 5), and to notes thereon by Father Jones.

[26] (p. 127). — Henri Roulleaux de la Vente (Vante), a priest in France, was appointed by the Seminaire des Missions Étrangéres parish priest for Mobile, where he arrived in July, 1704. He made numerous enemies by his preaching, — among them, Bienville. La Vente’s health broke down, and he returned to France in 1710. — Shea’s Church in Col Days, pp. 546-548, 551, 552.

[27] (p. 129). — Jean Baptiste le Moyne, sieur de Bienville, was born in February, 1680. He accompanied his brother Iberville in his expedition to the Mississippi, 1698-99, and acted as lieutenant for the latter in his absences from the infant colony. In 1700, Bienville became commandant therein, and, after Iberville’s death (1706), governor. Various intrigues by disaffected colonists resulted in his removal from office in the following year; but his successor, Nicolas de Muy, having died while en route to Louisiana, Bienville was restored to his post. He remained governor of Louisiana until 1740 — excepting when that office was held by Cadillac (1712-15), L’Epinay (1717), and Berier (1726-34). His public career was ended by his failure to subdue the Chickasaw Indians (1740); he then retired to France, where he died on March 7, 1767. His long rule was marked by ability in managing the affairs of the colony and developing its resources, in maintaining the power of France, and in dealing with the Indian tribes about him. He was the founder of New Orleans, which he made the capital of the colony in 1722. — See French’s sketch of his life, La. Hist. Colls., part iii., pp. 20-22; and Hamilton’s Col. Mobile, ch. vii.-xiv.

Nicolas Daneaux, sieur de Muy (or de la Muys) came to Canada in 1685, as captain of one of the companies of troops sent by the king in that year. Two years later, he married Marguerite Boucher, by whom he had seven children; his family resided at her home, Boucherville, where she died in June, 1698. In 1702, he married, at Montreal, Catherine d’Ailleboust, by whom he had two children. On his way to Louisiana, commissioned as governor of that colony, he died at Havana, late in 1707 or early in 1708.

[28] (p. 131). — F. le Maire, a French priest, came to Louisiana at the instance of a wealthy friend, to do missionary work among the Indians in connection with the Missions étrangéres. He remained there several years. — Shea’s Church in Col Days, pp. 549, 550.

Alexandre Huvé was appointed assistant to La Vente (note 26, ante) at Mobile. After the latter’s departure (1710), Huvé was in charge of the parish until 1721. Shea (ut supra, p. 553, note 2) [Page 342] says: “He struggled on for some years; till having become almost blind, he returned to France in 1727”

The Apalaches (Apalachi) were a tribe of the of the great Maskoki family, whose early habitat was probably on the Chatahoochee river, and eastward to Apalache Bay. The band of these savages referred to in our text were Christianized Indians, who, to escape the attacks of the Alibamu (Alabamas), — another branch of the maskoki family, located on the Alabama river, — fled in 1705 to the French settlement at Mobile. This tribe is now extinct, save that a few scattered families have been known to exist in Louisiana in the 19th century.

In connection with this mention of the Maskoki family may be noted the Choctaw migration legends, which claim that their ancestors originally came from the far west, and halted their march at the “sacred mound” (Nanih Waiya), located near a creek of the same name, tributary to Pearl River, in Mississippi. Here a part of their nation separated, going farther eastward and afterward became the Chickasaw nation. — see H. S. Halbert’sNanih Waiya in Mississippi Hist. Soc. Pubs., vol. ii. (1899). pp. 223-234.

[29] (p. 133). — For notices of the Seminary priests and their work, see vol. lxv., note 7. The statement that Davion had spent 19 years in this mission is evidently a lapsus calami, “9” being intended.

[30] (p. 147). — Joseph Germain, born Jan. 3, 1633, entered the Jesuit novitiate Sept. 21, 1656. He wait to Canada in 1687, and taught theology in the Quebec college during nearly 20 years. He was superior of the Canada missions during 1710-15. and had before then been acting superior (1699), in Bouvart’s absence. He did at Quebec, in February, 1722.

[31] (p. 133). — This plant is Adiantum pedatum, the common “maidenhair” fern; used in pharmacy as a mild pectoral remedy, but formerly in greater repute among physicians. It is figured and described by Charlevoix in Plantes Amér., p. 2; and by Rafinesque in Med. Flora, vol. i., pp. 30-33.

[32] (p. 163). — Reference is here made to the attempts of the English colonies against the French in Canada, in 1709-10. A land force was sent against Montreal in 1709, under Francis Nicholson; but he could do nothing, as the British government failed to send the ships promised for a simultaneous attack upon Quebec. In the following year, the attempt was renewed and again proved a failure; the British squadron came to Boston. but, instead of attacking Quebec, it captured port Royal, Acadia. — see Parkman’s Half Century of Conflict (Boston, 1892), chap. 7.

[33] (p, 169). — The village here mentioned was Deerfield Mass.; it was captured by surprise, sacked, and burned (Feb. 29, 1704) by a [Page 343] party of French and Indians, led by Jean B. Hertel de Rouville, son of François Hertel (vol. xlvii., pp. 83-87, and note 3). — See Palfrey’s New England, vol. iv., pp. 261-264.

[34] (p. 173). — Louis d’Avaugour, born in 1670, became a Jesuit novice in 1695. Coming (1716) to labor in the missions of Canada, he went to Lorette, to aid De Couvert. In 1720, he was in the Illinois mission. Afterward, returning to France (apparently before 1727), he became procurer there for the Canadian missions; and died at Paris, Feb. 4, 1732.

[35] (p. 175). — Regarding Jouvency, see vol. i., note 46.

[36] (p. 181). — Joseph Aubery (Aubry) at Gisors, France, May 10, 1673. At the age of seventeen, he entered the Jesuit novitiate; his studies were pursued at Paris during four years. Desiring to become a missionary in Canada, he was allowed to complete his studies at Quebec, where he also spent five years as instructor. Ordained in 1700, he was assigned to the Abenaki field, where (according to Rochemonteix, Jésuites, t. iii., p. 436) he founded (1701) the mission at Medoctec, on the St. John River, in New Brunswick. But Raymond cites (“Old Meductic Fort,” in N. Bruns. Hist. Colls., vol. i., 1896) contemporary documents which show that the Franciscans had a mission there at least as early as 1689; he thinks that the French abandoned the St. John region about 1700. Aubery left Medoctec in 1708 (Rochemonteix, ut supra, p. 436), and took charge of the Abenaki reduction at St. François, of which he had. charge during 46 years; he died there in 1755. He was an able linguist, and Maurault tells us (Abénakis, p. 501) that Aubery had prepared numerous MSS. in the Abenaki tongue — treasures, most of which unfortunately perished, with the mission registers, in 1759, when the church at St. François was destroyed by fire. Aubery also wrote several memorials (in 1713 and 1720) opposing the claims of the English in Acadia; and prepared, in support of these, a map of that country showing, in especial, the boundaries of the French and English possessions according to the treaty of Utrecht. These he sent to the French government, urging that these boundaries should be established by mutual agreement; but it paid no attention to his plea. These valuable documents are in the Paris archives (Rochemonteix, ut supra, pp. 403-405). Chateaubriand drew from Aubery’s character and career material for one of the characters in his historical romance, Atala.

[37] (p. 183). — The Latin passage in our text reads thus in English: “There is something, besides, which I desire Your Reverence carefully to attend to: it is that, whatever letter you write to the sacred Congregation of the propaganda or to the supreme Pontiff himself, [Page 344] you deliver it through us. You will therefore send to me such letter, unsealed; and, if I deem it expedient to do so, I will send it to its proper destination.”

[38] (p. 191). — After the failure of Nicholson’s efforts to cripple the French power in Canada (note 32, ante), still another expedition was undertaken by the English in 1711. The British fleet, under Sir Hovenden Walker, reached the entrance of the St. Lawrence; but Walker’s incompetence caused the wreck of some of the ships, with great loss of life. This disaster compelled the fleet to return to Boston; and Nicholson was forced to disband his troops, encamped near Lake Champlain, as he could do nothing alone. — See Parkman’s Half-Century, vol. i., pp. 157-175.

[39] (p. 195). — Claude Charles du Tisné, of Paris, an ensign in the French marine, was married at Quebec (1708) to Marie Anne Gautier, by whom he had three sons. La Harpe says (Journ. Hist., p. 116) that Du Tisné went to Mobile, late in 1714; and the latter’s name occurs, at various times, in the early annals of Louisiana. In 1722, he was appointed captain, as a reward for his military services. An old MS. published in Comptes-Rendus de l’Athénée Louisianais (Nov., 1899, p. 566-570) mentions him as commandant at Natchez in 1728, and in the Illinois country in 1729; and states that he died in Illinois in 1730.

Pierre Plassan, a native of Guienne, France, married (1695) Louise Albert, at Lévis; by her he had ten children. In 1714, he perished by shipwreck.

[40] (p. 205). — In 1700, the Abenaki mission of St. François de Sales (vol. lxii., note 23) was removed to the present village of St. François, in Yamaska district, Que. Eight years later, Vaudreuil gathered together many scattered families and bands on the Chaudiere River, and settled them at the mouth of Becancourt River (vol. v., note 52); this Abenaki village still exists, although its actual site has been changed several times during the intervening period. For historical sketch of these two missions, see Maurault’s Abénakis, pp. 277-298. Their condition in 1831 is described by Bouchette in his Topog. Diet., art. “Indians.”

[41] (p. 205). — Étienne Lauverjat (Lauverjeat) was born at Bourges, France, Jan. 25, 1679. After studying philosophy at the Jesuit college there, he entered that at Paris, as a novice (Nov. 8, 1700). An instructor at Quimper during four years (1702-1700) he was a student at La Fleche for five years more, and came to Canada in 1711. His first charge was in the Abenaki village of St. François (see preceding note); in 1718, he went to the Pentagoët (or Panouamské) mission on the Penobscot River. He remained there until at least 1729; no further information regarding him is available. [Page 345]

[42] (p. 207). — Sébastien Rale (Rale, Rasle, Rasles) was born in Franche-Comte, Jan. 4, 1657; and became a Jesuit novice at Dale, Sept. 24, 1675. From 1677 to 1684, he was an instructor at Carpentras and Nimes; and his priestly studies were completed at Lyons, whence he departed (1689) for Canada. He was sent to the Abenaki village near Quebec, where he remained two years. In 1691, he was assigned to the Illinois mission; on his way thither, he spent the winter at Mackinac. After two years’ service in Illinois, Rale was recalled to Quebec, and sent (1694) to the Abenaki mission, where he spent the rest of his life. He was the founder of the village of Narantsouak (Norridgewock), on the Kennebec; this was the scene of his labors among the Abenakis, and of his death, — which occurred Aug. 23, 1724, in an attack made upon his village by English militia and a few Mohawk allies. The English colonists accused Rale of having incited the savages to attack their settlements, during the wars which ravaged the New England frontier during most of the first quarter of the 18th century; consequently, an intensely bitter feeling against the Jesuit existed among the English, who felt that their great losses and sufferings in that war were largely due to his influence with the savages. This entire subject is exhaustively discussed by Baxter in his New France in New England, already cited by us. Cf. Sewall’s Ancient Dominion, pp. 239, 248-250; U.S. Cath. Intelligencer, vol. 8 (1831), no. 6; Canad. Archives, 1883, p. 36; N.Y. Colon. Docs., vol. ix., various documents from p. 880 to p. 994; Maine Hist. Colls., passim; and Shea’s Church in Col. Days, pp. 596-603. On Aug. 23, 1833, Benedict Fenwick, Roman Catholic bishop of Boston, erected a monument to Rale, on the site of the mission church. — See Allen’s Hist. of Norridgewock, (1849), pp. 45-47.

Joseph Pierre de la Chasse was born at Auxerre, May 7, 1670. At the age of seventeen he became a Jesuit novice at Paris; he was an instructor at Rennes during 1689-95, completed his studies at Paris, and came to Quebec in 1700. He was soon placed in the Abenaki mission on the Penobscot, where he remained until 1718. From 1719 to 1726, he was superior of the Canadian missions, and died at Quebec, Sept. 27, 1749.

Jean Baptiste Loyard, born Oct. 18, 1678, was but fifteen years old when he entered the Jesuit novitiate, at Bordeaux. He was a student at Pau (1697) and Toulouse (1702-06) and an instructor at La Rochelle during the interim. In 1707, he came to Canada; and after a short time spent in studying the Abenaki language, he was sent to St. François; a year later, he went to Medoctec, to replace Aubery (note 36, ante). There he remained until his death, June 24, 1731 — [Page 346] except that in 1722 he went to France to obtain aid for his mission.

[43] (p. 207). — Jean B. (Pierre, according to Charlevoix) Chardon came to Canada, according to Sulte (Canad.-Fran., t. vi., p. 86), in 1693; in 1701 he went to Mackinac, and thence to the Green Bay mission to aid Nouvel, now aged and infirm. Shea says (Chuch in Col. Days, pp. 622, 627, 629) that Chardon was at St. Joseph in 1711, and, later, “remained at Green Bay until about 1728, the solitary priest on the old mission ground west of Lake Michigan for several years.” That date appears to mark the end of the mission; and we have no further information regarding Chardon. Germain does not here mention the De Pere mission; but it appears in Jouvency’s list of 1703 (vol. i. of this series, p. 221); the inference is, that it was abandoned for a time, between 1703 and 1711. Charlevoix, however, found Chardon ministering to the savages at Green Bay, in 1721 (Journ. Hist., p. 295); and Rale found a missionary there (probably the same priest) in 1723 (Lettres édifiantes., t. vi., p. 139).

An ostensorium (monstrance, or solil) was presented to the De Pere mission in 1686 by Nicolas Perrot. In the following year, the chapel was burned by pagan foes. The priest seems to have escaped with his altar-vessels, probably carrying them off in the bag in which the Jesuit missionaries transported their valuables. For some reason, perhaps because pursued, the missionary in his flight northward down the bank of the Fox River buried the ostensorium at a point nearly a mile distant from the mission. In 1802 this notable relic was discovered by a French-Canadian of Green Bay, who was digging a cellar. After many curious subsequent adventures, it finally became the property of the Roman Catholic diocese of Green Bay, by whom it has been permanently deposited in the museum of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. The ostensorium is of solid silver, 15 ¼ inches high, and weighs a little over 19 ounces. It is a beautiful specimen of Parisian repousse work, and upon the rim of its oval base bears this rudely but clearly cut inscription: “+ Ce soleil a este donne par Mr Nicolas Perrot a la mission de St François Xavier en la Baye des Pvants + 1686,” — “This ostensorium was given by Monsieur Nicolas Perrot to the mission of St. François Xavier at Bay des Puants, 1686.” A picture of this relic appears as the frontispiece to the present volume.

[44] (p. 223). — Regarding this spurious relation of Tonty, see vol. lxv., note 26.

[45] (p. 227). — Concerning the application of the name Ouabache (Wabash), see vol. lix., note 35. The “three arms” here referred to are the Wabash proper, the upper Ohio and Allegheny, and the Cumberland. [Page 347]

In Lettres édifiantes, t. vi., a footnote on p. 258 says: “Other Missionaries claim that the water of the Missouri is clearer and better than that of the Mississippi.”

[46] (p. 229). — The “copal” mentioned by Marest is not the tropical product of that name, but the sweet-gum or liquid-amber tree (Liquidambar styraciflua); it abounds on bottom-lands in the South, and exudes a gum called “copal balsam.” The pecan (Hicoria Pecan, or Carya olivæformis) is also a product of the Southern bottom-lands; it becomes a lofty tree, and its edible nuts are valued as an article of commerce.

[47] (p. 259). — Cf. description of these boats in vol. Xii., p. 97.

[48] (p. 279). — At least a part of the Pottawattomies had evidently migrated to the St. Joseph River, by 1711, and were accompanied by their missionary, Chardon; they had probably fled thither to escape their enemies.

Fort St. Joseph appears to have been located in what is now Portage township, St. Joseph county, Ind., on the east side of St. Joseph River, a short distance below the present city of South Bend. It guarded the much-used portage between St. Joseph River and the head waters of the Kankakee. — See Wis. Hist. Colls., vol. xi., pp. 115, 178, 179, notes. In his St. Joseph-Kankakee Portage, — Publication no. i. of the Northern Indiana Historical Society (South Bend, 1899), — George A. Baker states (p. 43) that the fort was located one mile south of the present city of Niles, Mich.

[49] (p. 287). — Huakiki (also written Theakiki): the river now known as the Kankakee, a branch of the Illinois River. Charlevoix thus explains the name (Journ. Hist., p. 371): “Theakiki, which our Canadians have corrupted to Kiakiki. ‘Theak’ means ‘a Wolf,’ — I cannot now recall in what language; but that river bears this name because the Mahingans, who are also called the Wolves, had formerly taken refuge there.” — See description, historical and topographical, of this river and its basin, and of the noted portage, in Baker’s paper, cited in preceding note.

[50] (p. 293). —Salt-springs are found at various localities in Western and Southern Illinois — in Saline, Gallatin, and La Salle counties; also in Randolph county (wherein is Kaskaskia), and St. Clair county (wherein is Cahokia). — See Ill.. Geol. Survey Rep. vol. iv. (1870), pp. 22, 189; vol. vi. (1875), pp. 216, 232; vol. vii., pp. 31, 38.

Across the Mississippi, in Missouri, there are abundant and rich deposits of lead and zinc-metals which are also fonnd to some extent in southwestern Illinois, while in the northwestern section of that State and in Southwestern Wisconsin are extensive lead mines. Zinc is a metal which, although in actual use for many centuries in [Page 348] the manufacture of brass and bronze, was not accurately known before the 18th century; and it was sometimes regarded, by unscientific persons, as a species of tin — hence the allusion in the text. — See Winslow’s “Lead and Zinc Deposits,” in Missouri Geol. Survey Rep., vols. vi., vii. (Jefferson City, MO., 1894); in vol. vi. is given an historical sketch of the minerals lead and zinc, and another of mining in Missouri.