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Title: The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents, Vol. 1: Acadia, 1610-1613

Editor: Reuben Gold Thwaites

Release date: January 14, 2014 [eBook #44669]
Most recently updated: March 23, 2014

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Karl Hagen, Eleni Christofaki and the Online
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Transcriber's Note.

A list of the changes made can be found at the end of the book. In the text, the corrections are underlined by a red dotted line "like this". Hover the cursor over the underlined text and an explanation of the error should appear.

Vol. I.

The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents

Travels and Explorations
of the Jesuit Missionaries
in New France





Secretary of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin

Vol. I.

Acadia: 1610-1613

CLEVELAND: The Burrows Brothers

Copyright, 1896
The Burrows Brothers Co


The Imperial Press, Cleveland


Editor Reuben Gold Thwaites
Translator from the French John Cutler Covert
Assistant Translator from the French Mary Sifton Pepper
Translators from the Latin { William Frederic Giese
  { John Dorsey Wolcott
Translator from the Italian Mary Sifton Pepper
Assistant Editor Emma Helen Blair


The story of New France is also, in part, the story of much of New England, and of States whose shores are washed by the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River. It may truly be said that the history of every one of our northern tier of commonwealths, from Maine to Minnesota, has its roots in the French régime. It is not true, as Bancroft avers, that the Jesuit was ever the pioneer of New France; we now know that in this land, as elsewhere in all ages, the trader nearly always preceded the priest. But the trader was not often a letter-writer or a diarist: hence, we owe our intimate knowledge of New France, particularly in the seventeenth century, chiefly to the wandering missionaries of the Society of Jesus. Coming early to the shores of Nova Scotia (1611), nearly a decade before the landing of the Plymouth Pilgrims, and eventually spreading throughout the broad expanse of New France, ever close upon the track of the adventurous coureur de bois, they met the American savage before contact with civilization had seriously affected him. With heroic fortitude, often with marvellous enterprise, they pierced our wilderness while still there were but Indian trails to connect far-distant villages of semi-naked aborigines. They saw North America and the North Americans practically in the primitiveviii stage. Cultivated men, for the most part,—trained to see as well as to think, and carefully to make record of their experiences,—they left the most luxurious country in Europe to seek shelter in the foul and unwelcome huts of one of the most wretched races of man. To win these crude beings to the Christian Faith, it was necessary to know them intimately, in their daily walks. No coureur de bois was more expert in forest lore than were the Jesuit Fathers; and the records made by these soldiers of the Cross,—explicit and detailed, while familiar in tone,—are of the highest scientific value, often of considerable literary interest. The body of contemporary, documentary material which, in their Relations and Letters, the Jesuits of New France have bequeathed to the historian, the geographer, and the ethnologist, entitles them to the enduring gratitude of American scholars. For forty years, these documents have, in part, been more or less familiar to Americanists as a rich storehouse of material. But, hitherto, they have existed only in rare and costly forms, when in print at all,—as original products of ancient French, Italian, and German presses, or as reprints issued in sparse number for small circles of bibliophiles; while many important papers, capable of throwing light upon certain portions of Canadian history hitherto in shade, have as yet remained in manuscript.

We cannot promise for this series the entire body of existing Jesuit documents, either printed or in manuscript, which illustrate the history of New France in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. This would carry us, even were they all obtainable, far beyond the necessary limits of this series; for the fathers were profuse writers, and their papers are inix many archives. It is of necessity a matter of selection. We shall, however, reissue all of the documents usually designated as Relations,—the Cramoisys, the Quebec reissue, the Shea and O'Callaghan reprints; and to these will be added a very considerable collection of miscellaneous papers of importance, from printed sources and from manuscripts, in order to fill the chronological gaps and round out and complete the story. It is the purpose of the Editor to present this mass of selected material in chronological order, so far as proves practicable, and to furnish such scholarly helps as will tend to render it more available than hitherto for daily use by students of American history. To this end will be given an English translation, side by side with the original text. While translations of many of the briefest documents, and of portions of others, have already appeared in one form of other, this is the first attempt to translate the entire body of the Relations. In many cases, where corruptions in text have crept in, we shall be enabled, by recourse to original manuscripts, to restore correct renderings; this care has been taken, wherever practicable, even to the examination of manuscripts in European archives; but occasionally we shall be obliged to follow our predecessors blindly in this regard, either from inability to discover the whereabouts of the original, or to obtain access to it, when found. In the case of each document, we shall invariably state the source whence we obtained our copy, and shall give additional bibliographical data as to other editions known to us. All maps and other illustrations appearing in previous editions will be reproduced in this; and these will be supplemented by other important contemporaryx aids of like character. At the end of each volume will appear such Notes as seem necessary to the elucidation of the text. The closing volume of the series will contain—and probably will be wholly devoted to—an exhaustive analytical Index, a feature without which the work would lose much of its value. In short, no pains have been, or will be, spared to render all possible service to scholars, in the present work. But the field is wide, the difficulties are many, and the Editor makes no claims to perfection. He will be grateful to any who, in the course of publication,—promising to extend through several years yet to come,—will offer helpful suggestions in any department of the undertaking.

While seeking to reproduce the old texts as closely as practicable, with their legitimate typographic and orthographic peculiarities, it has been found advisable here and there to make a few minor changes. The original printer was sometimes careless,—Cramoisy especially so,—and his proof-reader negligent. The result was that certain typographical errors crept into the original prints,—errors not of the author's making, and therefore not illustrative of his methods. These consist in the main, of: (1) turned letters; (2) transposed letters; (3) slipped letters; and (4) mis-spacings. To these obvious errors may be added such as, e.g., mistaking the verb gratter for grauer, evidently through a failure on the part of the writer to cross his t's,—the context plainly showing what was written; the printing, e.g., of beaućoup for beaucoup; or the repetition on the next line of a syllable in a divided word, resulting in such a redundancy as, poupouuant for pouuant. Palpable blemishes like these, we have deemed it advisable toxi correct without specific mention; in some instances, however, the original error has been retained, and in juxtaposition the correct rendering given within brackets.

Another and more annoying class of errors is, the wrong numbering of chapters and pages in the old issues, chiefly the fruit of carelessness in make-up. We indicate, throughout, the original pagination, by inclosing within brackets the number of each page at its beginning, e.g. [148]; in case of misnumbering, the correct figure is also given, e.g. [150, i.e. 149]. A similar device is adopted as to chapter misnumbering, e.g. Chapitre XXX. [i.e. XXIX.].

A difference in the typographic style of the documents presented in the present series, will occasionally be noticed. In following originals of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, we have of course reproduced their peculiarities, such as the long "s," and character diphthongs; but where our sole copy has been a modern reprint, in a modern typographic dress, we have followed its style, deeming it inadvisable, for mere sake of uniformity, to masquerade the document in olden guise.

In the progress of the work, which has now been under way for some sixteen months, many persons beside the present staff have tendered helping hands. To them, the Editor returns, for the Publishers and for himself, grateful acknowledgment. It is impracticable to name them all in this place; but of a few from whom special favors have been received, it is only just to speak: The Reverend Arthur E. Jones, S. J., archivist of St. Mary's College, Montreal, from the first opened his heart to this enterprise, and has not only given us cartexii blanche to ransack his priceless stores, but has contributed invaluable suggestions and data, almost without number. To Wilberforce Eames, librarian of Lenox Library, and his assistant, Victor H. Paltsits, we owe much; for in their institution the greater part of the transcription is being done, and their daily courtesies and kindnesses materially lighten the task. Superintendent Robbins Little, and Librarian Frederick Saunders, of Astor Library, have also been of much assistance in the conduct of the work. To John Nicholas Brown, of Providence, R. I., and to his librarian, George Parker Winship, we are indebted for numerous courtesies and suggestions during the copying and photographing of documents in the John Carter Brown Library of Americana. Similar aid is being rendered by Dr. Justin Winsor, of Harvard College Library, and his assistants, W. H. Tillinghast and T. J. Kiernan; by the librarians of St. Francis Xavier College, New York, and the Jesuit Colleges at Georgetown, D. C., and Woodstock, Md.; by L. P. Sylvani, assistant librarian of the Library of Parliament, Ottawa; and by C. H. Gould, librarian of McGill University Library, Montreal, and his assistant, Henry Mott. Donald Guthrie McNab, of Montreal, has kindly permitted us to photograph and reproduce his excellent oil portraits of the early fathers; and, in this connection, we feel under especial obligations to Messrs. Notman & Son, of Montreal, for their intelligent advice and patience in photographing paintings and manuscripts for the series. Marked privileges have been granted by the officials of the Bibliothèque Nationale and the Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, of Paris. Numerous antiquarians have rendered generous aid, notably Peter A.xiii Porter, of Niagara Falls, N. Y.; W. M. Beauchamp, of Baldwinsville, N. Y.; l'Abbé H. A. B. Verreau, of Montreal; Mgr. T. E. Hamel, of Quebec; and A. F. Hunter, of Barrie, Ontario. Further acknowledgment of assistance will be rendered in the several volumes, as they appear.

R. G. T.

Madison, Wis., August, 1896.


General Preface vii
Historical Introduction. The Editor 1
Preface to Volume I 45
I. La Conversion des Savvages qui ont esté baptizés en la Novvelle France, cette annee 1610. Marc Lescarbot 49
II. Lettre Missive, tovchant la Conversion et baptesme du grand Sagamos de la nouuelle Frãce. M. Bertrand; Port Royal, June 28, 1610 115
III. Lettre au T.-R. P. Claude Aquaviva, Général de la Compagnie de Jésus, à Rome. Pierre Biard; Dieppe, January 21, 1611 125
IV. Lettre au R. P. Christophe Baltazar, Provincial de France, à Paris. Pierre Biard; Port Royal, June 10, 1611 138
V. Lettre au R. P. Provincial, à Paris. Ennemond Massé; Port Royal, June 10, 1611 184
VI. Lettre au T.-R. P. Claude Aquaviva. Pierre Biard; Port Royal, June 11, 1611 188
VII. Canadicæ Missionis Relatio ab anno 1611 usque ad annum 1613; cum statu ejusdem Missionis, annis 1703 & 1710. Joseph Jouvency 193
VIII. De Regione et Moribus Canadensium seu Barbarorum Novæ Franciæ. Joseph Jouvency 239
Bibliographical Data: Volume I 299
Notes 305



I. Photographic facsimile of title-page, Lescarbot's La Conversion des Savvages 52
II. Photographic facsimile of title-page, Bertrand's Lettre Missive 118
III. Map of Port Royal (1609), from Lescarbot's Histoire de la Nouvelle France (Paris, 1612) Facing 124
IV. Map of "La Terre Nevve, Grand Riviere de Canada, et côtes de l'Ocean en la Novvelle France," from Ibid Facing 192
V. Historical map of New France, showing missions, forts, portage-routes, tribes, etc. At end of volume



Doubtless Norse vikings, venturing far southward from outlying colonies in Iceland and Greenland, first coasted New France, and beached their sturdy ships on the shores of New England. But five centuries passed without result, and we cannot properly call them pioneers of American civilization. Columbus it was, who unlocked the eastern door of the New World. Five years later, John Cabot, in behalf of England, was sighting the gloomy headlands of Cape Breton. Cortereal appeared in the neighborhood, in 1501, seeking lands for the Portuguese crown. About this time, at intervals, there came to Newfoundland certain Norman, Breton, and Basque fishers, who, erecting little huts and drying-scaffolds along the rocky shore, sowed the first seed of that polyglot settlement of French, Portuguese, Spanish, and English which has come down to our day almost uninterruptedly. By 1511, these fishermen appear to have known the mainland to the west; for on the map of Sylvanus, in his edition of Ptolemy, that year, we find a delineation of the "Square Gulf," which answers to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In 1520, Fagundus visited these waters for the Portuguese,2 and four years later Verrazano was making for the French an exploration of the coast between North Carolina and Newfoundland. Whether or not Cartier (1535) was the first to sail up the St. Lawrence "until land could be seen on either side," no man can now tell; apparently, he was the first to leave a record of doing so. Progress up the river was checked by Lachine Rapids, and he spent the winter on Montreal Island.

France and Spain were just then engaged in one of their periodical quarrels, and adventurers were needed to fight battles at home, so that it was six years before any attempts were made to colonize the river-lands to which Cartier had led the way. In 1541, a Picard seigneur named Roberval, enjoying the friendship of Francis I., was commissioned as viceroy of the new country beyond the Atlantic, with Cartier as his chief pilot and captain-general, and a choice selection of jail-birds for colonists. Cartier started off before his chief, built a fort at Quebec, and, after a long and miserable winter, picked up a quantity of glittering stones which he took to be gold and diamonds, and gladly set sail for home. Tradition has it that Roberval met him near the mouth of the river, but was unable to induce him to return to his cheerless task of founding a state in an inhospitable wilderness, with convicts for citizens. Roberval, however, proceeded to Quebec with his consignment of prison dregs, and throughout another protracted winter the flag of France floated from the little intrenched camp which Cartier had planted on the summit of the cliff. Roberval's principal occupation appears to have been the disciplining of his unruly followers, a work in which the gibbet and 3the lash were freely employed. He also essayed explorations up the river; but the rude task was not to his liking, and, with what remained of his battered band, he followed Cartier to France.

It is commonly said that Canada was abandoned by the French between the going of Roberval and the coming of Champlain. But, though little was done toward colonizing on the St. Lawrence, Newfoundland was by no means neglected. Its fishing industry grew apace. The rules of the Church, prescribing a fish diet on certain holy days, led to a large use of salted fish throughout Catholic Europe; and, by 1578, full a hundred and fifty French vessels alone, chiefly Breton, were employed in the Newfoundland fisheries, while a good trade with the mainland Indians, as far south as the Potomac, had now sprung up. The island colony proved valuable as a supply and repair station for traders and explorers, and thus served as a nucleus of both French and English settlement in America.

It is difficult for us of to-day to realize that, at any time in the world's history, enlightened folk should have thought good colonists could be made out of the sweepings of the jails and gutters of the Old World. But in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that delusion was quite generally entertained by would-be founders of states across sea; it required the lessons of more than a hundred years of disastrous experiments to teach discerning men that only the best of the middle class and the masses, can successfully plant a new community in the wilderness. The experiences of Cartier and Roberval on the St. Lawrence, and of Laudonnière in Florida (1564), were of no avail in influencing governmental policy 4at Paris. In 1590, the Marquis de la Roche was sent out with the usual dissolute crew to succeed Roberval as the king's agent on the banks of the St. Lawrence. Leaving part of his ill-favored gang on the desert Sable Isle, off Nova Scotia (where early in the century Baron de Léry had vainly attempted to plant a colony), La Roche set forth to explore the mainland for a site. A wild storm blew his vessels to France, and the wretched skin-clad survivors of the band which he had left behind were not rescued until thirteen years had elapsed. Their tale of horror long rang in the ears of France.

In 1600-1603, Chauvin and Pontgravé made successful trading voyages to the St. Lawrence. Samuel de Champlain was one of the party which, in the latter year, followed in Cartier's track to Montreal. The same season, a Calvinist, named De Monts, was given the vice-royalty and fur-trade monopoly of Acadia, and in 1604 he landed a strangely-assorted company of vagabonds and gentlemen on St. Croix Island, near the present boundary between Maine and New Brunswick; but in the spring following they settled at Port Royal, near where is now Annapolis, Nova Scotia, thus planting the first French agricultural settlement in America. Five years later, Champlain reared a permanent post on the rock of Quebec, and New France was at last, after a century of experiments, fairly under way.

Various motives influenced the men who sought to establish French colonization in America. The ill-fated agricultural colony of the Huguenots in Florida (1562-68), was avowedly an attempt of Admiral Coligny to found an enduring asylum for French Protestants. The enterprise of New France, 5on the other hand, was the outgrowth of interests more or less conflicting. Doubtless the court had deepest at heart the kingly passion for territorial aggrandizement; next uppermost, was the pious wish to convert heathen nations to the Catholic faith, explorers like Cartier being authorized to discover new lands "in order the better to do what is pleasing to God, our Creator and Redeemer, and what may be for the increase of his holy and sacred name, and of our holy mother, the Church;" the desire for pelf, through the agency of the fur trade, and the possibility of the discovery of precious metals, gave commercial zest to the undertaking, and to many was the raison d'être of the colony; and lastly, was the almost universal yearning for adventure, among a people who in the seventeenth century were still imbued with that chivalric temper which among Englishmen is assigned to the Middle Ages. The inner life of New France, throughout its century and a half of existence, was largely a warring between these several interests.

Missionaries came early upon the scene. With the Calvinist De Monts were Huguenot ministers for the benefit of the settlers, and Catholic priests to open a mission among the savages, for the court had stipulated with him that the latter were to be instructed only in the faith of Rome. But no missionary work was done, for the colony was through several years on the verge of dissolution, and the priests became victims of scurvy. Poutrincourt, who held under De Monts the patent for Port Royal, did nothing to further the purposes of the court in this regard, until 1610, when, admonished for his neglect, he brought out with him a secular priest, Messire 6Jessé Fléché, of Langres, who on June 24, "apparently in some haste," baptized twenty-one Abenakis, including the district sagamore, or chief. The account of this affair, which Poutrincourt sent in triumph to France, is the initial document in the present series.

On the twelfth of June, 1611, there arrived at Port Royal, at the instance of King Henry IV., two Jesuit fathers, Pierre Biard and Ennemond Massé. They were, however, not favorably received by Poutrincourt and his followers; they found great practical difficulties in acquiring the Indian languages and made slight progress in the herculean task to which they had been set. To them, came the following year, a lay brother, Gilbert du Thet, who was soon dispatched to the head of the order, in France, with an account of the situation. In the spring of 1613, he returned, in company with Father Quentin. The little band of missionaries had no sooner established themselves at the new French colony on Mt. Desert Island, than the latter was attacked and dispersed by the Virginian Argall. Du Thet was killed in the fight, Massé was, with other colonists, set adrift in a boat, and Biard and Quentin were taken to Virginia, to be eventually shipped to England, and thence allowed to return into France. Several of the earlier documents of our series have to do with this first and apparently unfruitful mission of the Jesuits to Acadia.

In 1615, Champlain thought the time ripe for the institution of Indian missions upon the St. Lawrence, a spiritual field hitherto neglected, and introduced to Quebec four members of the fraternity of Récollets, the most austere of the three orders of 7Franciscans; these were Fathers Denis Jamay, Jean d'Olbeau, and Joseph le Caron, and a lay brother, Pacifique du Plessis. To D'Olbeau was assigned the conversion of the Montagnais of the Lower St. Lawrence; Le Caron went to the Hurons, or Wyandots, in the vast stretch of forested wilderness west of the Ottawa River, and before the coming of autumn had established a bark chapel in their midst; Jamay and Du Plessis remained in the neighborhood of Quebec, ministering to the colonists and the wandering savages who came to the little settlement for purposes of trade or sociability, or through fear of scalp-hunting Iroquois. For ten years did these gray friars practice the rites of the church in the Canadian woods, all the way from the fishing and trading outpost of Tadoussac to the western Lake of the Nipissings. Barefooted, save for heavy wooden sandals, coarsely clad in gown and hood, enduring in a rigorous climate, to which they were unused, all manner of hardships by flood and field, they were earnestly devoted to their laborious calling in a time when elsewhere the air of New France was noisy with the strife of self-seeking traders and politicians. Yet somehow their mission seemed without important result. Even less successful was the enterprise of some fellow Récollets, who, in 1619, began independent work among the French fishermen and Micmacs of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Gaspé, but were forced in 1624, after many disasters, to abandon their task, three of them joining the party at Quebec.

The little band on the St. Lawrence, although thus reinforced, felt impelled, in 1625, to invite the powerful aid of the Jesuits, who in the face of great odds 8were just then holding most successful missions in Asia, Africa, and South America. In response to the call, three fathers of the black gown came to Quebec this year,—Massé, who had been of the old Acadian mission, Charles Lalemant, and that giant among them, in both stature and deeds, Jean de Brébeuf. Immediately the work began to broaden, but the records of the dual mission do not give evidence of many converts,—a few Huron youth taken to France, and there instructed and baptized, being the chief gains. The wandering habits of the Indians were not favorable to persistent instruction of the young, and adults were unwilling to commit themselves to the new doctrine, even when not openly opposed to its promulgation. The summer months were usually spent by the missionaries at Tadoussac, Quebec, and Three Rivers, where trading parties from the tribes were wont to assemble; and, when the latter scattered for their winter hunts, the missionaries accompanied them, sharing the toils, dangers, and discomforts of the movable camps, and often suffering much from positive abuse at the hands of their not over-willing hosts.

The settlements of Port Royal and Quebec were at this time wretched little hamlets of a few dozen huts each, surrounded by a palisade, and these fell an easy prey to small English naval forces (1628-29). With their fall, ended the slender mission of the Récollets and Jesuits, who were in triumph carried off to England. For a few months, France did not hold one foot of ground in North America. But as peace had been declared between France and England before this conquest, the former received back all of its possessions, and the inevitable struggle for the mastery of the 9continent was postponed for four generations longer.

With the release of Canada to France, in 1632, the Jesuits were by the home authorities placed in sole charge of the spiritual interests of both settlers and Indians, and the history of their greatest missions begins at this time. On the fifth of July, there landed at Quebec, Fathers Paul le Jeune and Anne de Nouë, and a lay brother named Gilbert. Le Jeune was the superior, and at once devoted himself to learning the language and customs of the savages, and so studying the enormous field before him as intelligently to dispose of his meagre forces.

The Indians.

The existence of rival tribes among the Red Indians of North America, was, perhaps, the most formidable obstacle in the path of the missionaries. It has always been impossible to make any hard-and-fast classification; yet the Indians presented a considerable variety of types, ranging from the Southern Indians, some of whose tribes were in a relatively high stage of material advancement and mental calibre, down to the savage root-eaters of the Rocky Mountain region. The migrations of some of the Indian tribes were frequent, and they occupied overlapping territories, so that it is impossible to fix the tribal boundaries with any degree of exactness. Again, the tribes were so merged by intermarriage, by affiliation, by consolidation, by the fact that there were numerous polyglot villages of renegades, by similarities in manner, habits, and appearance, that it is difficult even to separate the savages into families. It is only on philological grounds that these divisions can be made at all. In a general way 10we may say that between the Atlantic and the Rockies, Hudson Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, there were four Indian languages in vogue, with great varieties of local dialect:

I. The Algonkins were the most numerous, holding the greater portion of the country from the unoccupied "debatable land" of Kentucky northward to Hudson Bay, and from the Atlantic westward to the Mississippi. Among their tribes were the Micmacs of Acadia, the Penobscots of Maine, the Montagnais of the St. Lawrence, the ill-defined tribes of the country round about Lake St. John, and the Ottawas, Chippewas, Mascoutens, Sacs, Foxes, Pottawattomies, and Illinois of the Upper Lakes. These savages were rude in life and manners, were intensely warlike, depended for subsistence chiefly on hunting and fishing, lived in rude wigwams covered with bark, skins, or matted reeds, practised agriculture in a crude fashion, and were less stable in their habitations than the Southern Indians. They have made a larger figure in our history than any other family, because through their lands came the heaviest and most aggressive movement of white population, French or English. Estimates of early Indian populations necessarily differ, in the absence of accurate knowledge; but it is now believed that the number was never so great as was at first estimated by the Jesuit fathers and the earliest English colonists. A careful modern estimate is, that the Algonkins at no time numbered over 90,000 souls, and possibly not over 50,000.

II. In the heart of this Algonkin land was planted the ethnic group called the Iroquois, with its several distinct branches, often at war with each other. The 11craftiest, most daring, and most intelligent of North American Indians, yet still in the savage hunter state, the Iroquois were the terror of every native band east of the Mississippi, before the coming of the whites, who in turn learned to dread their ferocious power. The five principal tribes of this family—Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas, all stationed in palisaded villages south and east of lakes Erie and Ontario—formed a loose confederacy styled by themselves and the French "The Long House," and by the English "The Five Nations," which firmly held the waterways connecting the Hudson and Ohio rivers and the Great Lakes. The population of the entire group was not over 17,000—a remarkably small number, considering the active part they played in American history, and the control which they exercised through wide tracts of wilderness. Related to, but generally at war with them, were the Hurons of Canada, among whom the Jesuits planted their earliest missions. Champlain, in an endeavor to cultivate the friendship of his Huron and Algonkin neighbors, early made war on the Iroquois, and thus secured for New France a heritage of savage enmity which contributed more than any other one cause to cripple its energies and render it at last an easy prey to the rival power of the English colonies.

III. The Southern Indians occupied the country between the Tennessee River and the Gulf, the Appalachian Ranges and the Mississippi. Of a milder disposition than their Northern cousins, the Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks, and Seminoles were rather in a barbarous than in a savage state; by the time of the Revolution, they were not far behind 12the white proprietors in industrial or domestic methods, and numbered not above 50,000 persons. With them, this story of the Jesuit missions has little to do; the Louisiana mission, an offshoot of that of New France, did faithful work here, but the documentary result was neither as interesting nor as prolific, and necessarily occupies but small space in the present series.

IV. The Dakotah, or Sioux, family occupied for the most part the country beyond the Mississippi. They were and are a fierce, high-strung people, genuine nomads, and war appears to have been their chief occupation. The Jesuits worked among them but in slight measure, on the waters of the Upper Mississippi; they met this family, chiefly in the persons of the Winnebagoes, one of their outlying bands, which at the time of the French occupation was resident on and about Green Bay of Lake Michigan, at peace and in confederacy with the Algonkins who hedged them about.

The mission of the French Jesuits to these widely-scattered hordes of savages forms one of the most thrilling chapters in human history. It is impossible, in this brief Introduction, to attempt anything more than the barest outline of the theme; Rochemonteix, Shea, and Parkman have told the story in detail, from differing points of view, and with these authorities the student of the following documents in the case is presumed to be familiar. A rapid summary of results will, however, be useful; and this we may best obtain, at the expense of occasional repetition of narrative, by following the fortunes of the pioneers of the Cross through the several district missions into which their work was naturally divided.


I. The Abenaki Mission.

This mission was chiefly in Maine and Acadia, and on Cape Breton Island. The Abenakis (or Abnakis) were a strong but mild-mannered Algonkin tribe, settled in villages or cantonments; but, like others of their race, in the habit of taking long semi-annual journeys,—each winter to hunt, and each summer to fish. We have seen that the French Jesuits, Biard and Massé, were in the field as early as 1611, soon after the establishment of Port Royal; their predecessor being the secular French priest, Fléché, who had been introduced to the country by Poutrincourt, the patentee. Biard and Massé met with many discouragements, chiefly the opposition of Poutrincourt's son, Biencourt (sometimes called Baron St. Just), who had been left in charge of the colony. Nevertheless the missionaries learned the native language, and made many long journeys of exploration, one of Biard's trips extending as far as the mouth of the Kennebec. They were later joined by a lay brother, Du Thet, and by Fathers Quentin and Lalemant. Joining the new French colony on Mt. Desert Island, in the spring of 1613, the establishment was almost immediately destroyed by the Virginian Argall. In the skirmish, Du Thet was killed.

In 1619, a party of Récollets, from Aquitaine, began a mission on St. John River, in Acadia, but five years later, as we have seen above, abandoned the task, the survivors joining the Quebec mission of their order. Other Récollets were in Acadia, however, between 1630 and 1633, and later we have evidence of a small band of Capuchins ministering to French settlers on the Penobscot and Kennebec; 14but it is probable that they made no attempt to convert the natives.

A Jesuit mission was founded on Cape Breton in 1634, by Father Julian Perrault; and a few years later, Father Charles Turgis was at Miscou. Other missionaries soon came to minister to the Micmacs, but for many years their efforts were without result; and sickness, resulting from the hardships of the situation, caused most of the early black gowns to retreat from the attempt. Finally, an enduring mission was established among these people, and, until about 1670, was conducted with some measure of success by Fathers Andrew Richard, Martin de Lyonne, and James Fremin. About 1673, the Récollets took up the now abandoned work, occasionally aided by secular priests from the Seminary of Quebec, and Jesuits, until at last the Micmacs from Gaspé to Nova Scotia were declared to be entirely converted to the Catholic faith.

Father Gabriel Druillettes, of the Jesuit mission at Sillery, near Quebec, went to the Kennebec country in 1646, invited thither by converted Abenakis who had been at Sillery, and during visits, extending through a period of eleven years, was more than ordinarily successful in the task of gaining Indian converts to Christianity. In 1650, he made a notable visit to the Puritans of Eastern Massachusetts, during which was discussed the proposed union between New France and New England, against the Iroquois. Upon the final departure of Druillettes in 1657, the Abenakis were but spasmodically served with missionaries; occasionally a Jesuit appeared among them, but the field could not be persistently worked, owing to the demands upon the order from other 15quarters. The fathers now sought to draw Abenaki converts to Sillery, and later to St. Francis de Sales, at the falls of the Chaudière, which soon became almost exclusively an Abenaki mission.

In 1688, Father Bigot, of this mission, again entered the field of the Kennebec, at the same time that Rev. Peter Thury, a priest of the Quebec Seminary, opened a mission on the Penobscot, and the Récollet F. Simon gathered a flock at Medoktek, near the mouth of the St. John. They were in time aided and succeeded by others: the Jesuits being Julian Binneteau, Joseph Aubery, Peter de la Chasse, Stephen Lauverjeat, Loyard, and Sebastian Rale; the death of Rale, the greatest of them all, at the hands of New England partisans in the border strife of 1724, is a familiar incident in American history. Jesuits succeeded to the Penobscot mission in 1703, and with great zeal, but amid continual hardships and discouragements, carried on the principal work among the Abenakis until the downfall of New France in 1763. The majority of the Kennebec converts, however, emigrated to the mission of St. Francis de Sales, and from there frequently went forth upon avenging expeditions against the New England borderers.

II. The Montagnais Mission.

This was centered at Tadoussac, and ministered to the Montagnais, Bersiamites, Porcupines, Oumaniwek, Papinachois, and other tribes of the Lower St. Lawrence and the Saguenay. Tadoussac had, from the earliest historic times, been a favorite harbor and trading-station for the French; for, being at the junction of two great rivers, it was convenient as a 16place of assembly for the natives of the lower country. The first priests in the district had said mass there; but it was not until 1640 that a Jesuit mission was formed by Father Jean du Quen, its sphere of influence soon reaching to the upper waters of the Saguenay, Lake St. John, Hudson Bay, and the coast of Labrador. Du Quen was actively assisted by Charles Meiachkwat, a Montagnais convert, who erected the first chapel, became a catechist, and made extended tours through the neighboring tribes. In time, there were associated with Du Quen, Fathers Buteux and Druillettes. Protracted missionary tours were made by them, with results which were considered satisfactory as compared with other missions; although they had serious difficulties to contend with, in the prevalent intemperance which the fur trade introduced among the natives, the belief in dreams, the laxity of morals, and the wiles of medicine-men, or sorcerers, as they were called by the Jesuits.

For the first few years, the missionaries spent their winters in Quebec, ministering to the colonists, and each spring went down to Tadoussac to meet the summer trading parties; but greater persistency of effort was deemed desirable, and thereafter, instead of returning home in the autumn, they followed the Indians upon their winter hunts, and in the course of these wanderings endured the usual privations and hardships of traveling camps. Bailloquet, Nouvel, Beaulieu, Albanel, De Crépieul, Dalmas, Boucher, Peter Michael Laure, and Jean Baptiste Labrosse, are other names of Jesuit fathers who at different periods were engaged upon this toilsome mission.

In 1670, Tadoussac was almost deserted, owing to Iroquois raids and the ravages of smallpox; the Montagnais 17and kindred tribes were in hiding, through the vast country between Lake St. John and Hudson Bay. They were still followed by their devoted shepherds, whom no hardship could discourage. The following year, Crépieul began a mission on Hudson Bay, and here in 1694 his auxiliary Dalmas was killed. Laure (1720-37) left us a monument of his labors in a Montagnais grammar and dictionary. Labrosse, the last of his order at Tadoussac, instructed many of his flock to read and write, and left a legacy of native education, which has lasted unto the present day; he lived and taught long after his order had been suppressed in New France, and died at Tadoussac in 1782.

III. The Quebec and Montreal Missions.

These included the several missions at Quebec, Montreal, Three Rivers, Sillery, Bécancourt, and St. Francis de Sales, which were designed for the wandering Montagnais of the district, those Algonkins of the West who could be induced to come and settle on the lower waters, and in later years such Abenakis of Acadia and Maine as sought an asylum upon distinctively French soil.

We have seen that Récollets were first at Quebec, ministering both to colonists and Indians, and that, in 1625, they invited the Jesuits to aid them. In 1629, the joint mission came to a close through the surrender of Quebec to the English. When the mission was reopened in 1632, Jesuits alone were in charge, their operations being at first confined to the neighboring Montagnais, although they soon spread throughout the entire Canadian field. In 1658, Bishop Laval founded the Seminary of Quebec, 18whereupon the Jesuits resigned their parishes among the colonists, and thereafter confined themselves to their college and the Indian missions. In addition to their parish work, the priests of the seminary conducted missions in Acadia, Illinois, and on the lower Mississippi.

The year following the return of the Jesuits to Canada, Father Buteux, of that order, began his labors at Three Rivers, which was a convenient gathering-place for the fur trade. The village was frequently raided by Iroquois, but remained until the fall of New France one of the prominent centers of missionary influence. The efforts of Buteux, which lasted until his death at the hands of Iroquois in 1652, met with considerable success. His custom, like that of the other missionaries, was to be present at the French posts during the annual trading "meets," and when the savages returned to the wilderness, to accompany some selected band. In thus following the nomadic tribes, he made some of the longest and most toilsome journeys recorded in the annals of the Society of Jesus, and shared with his flock all the horrors of famine, pestilence, and inter-tribal war.

It was soon realized by the missionaries that but meagre results could be obtained until the Indians were induced to lead a sedentary life. Their wandering habit nullified all attempts at permanent instruction to the young; it engendered improvidence and laziness, bred famine and disease; and the constant struggle to kill fur-bearing animals for their pelts rapidly depleted the game, while the fur trade wrought contamination in many forms. Missionary efforts were at first conducive to the interests of the 19fur trade, by bringing far-distant tribes within the sphere of French influence; but so soon as the Jesuit sought to change the habits of the natives, to cause them to become agriculturists instead of hunters, and to oppose the rum traffic among them, then the grasping commercial monopoly which controlled the fortunes of New France, and was merely "working" the colony for financial gains, saw in the Jesuit an enemy, and often placed serious obstacles in his path.

In pursuance of the sedentary policy, and also to protect the wretched Montagnais from Iroquois war-parties, the Jesuits, in 1637, established for them a palisaded mission four miles above Quebec, at first giving it the name St. Joseph, but later that of Sillery, in honor of Commander Noël Brulart de Sillery, of France, who had given ample funds for the founding of this enterprise. Here were at first gathered twenty of the Indians, who began cultivation of the soil, varied by occasional hunting and fishing trips, which the missionaries could not prevent. The little town slowly grew in importance, both Algonkins and Montagnais being represented in its population. Three years later, nuns opened a hospital at Sillery, for the reception of both French and Indian patients, and thus greatly added to the popularity of the mission. But in 1646 the nuns removed their hospital to Quebec; a few years later, the church and mission house were destroyed by fire; disease made sad havoc in the settlement; the thin soil became exhausted through careless tillage; Iroquois preyed upon the converts, until at last the Algonkins almost entirely disappeared; and although their place was taken by Abenakis from Maine and Acadia, until the attendance became almost solely Abenaki, the enterprise 20waned. In 1685, it was abandoned in favor of St. Francis de Sales, a new mission established at the falls of the Chaudière River, not far from the St. Lawrence. Beyond a monument of later days, to the memory of Fathers Massé and De Nouë, whose names are prominently connected with this work, nothing now remains to mark the site of the old Sillery mission.

From St. Francis, the mission work began to spread into Maine. Of its character and extent there, mention has already been made. St. Francis achieved a certain measure of prosperity, as Indian missions go. It became in time a source of serious trouble to the New England borderers, for many a French and Indian war-party was here fitted out against the latter, during the series of bloody conflicts which marked the three-quarters of a century previous to the fall of New France. Finally, in September, 1759, Maj. Robert Rogers descended upon the village with his famous rangers, and in retaliation pillaged and burned the houses, and killed "at least two hundred Indians." New France soon after fell into the hands of the English, and, the Jesuits being suppressed, we hear little more of St. Francis de Sales.

In 1641, the missionary settlement of Montreal was founded by Maisonneuve. The Jesuits were the first resident clergy, and soon began mission work among the neighboring Indians and those who resorted thither from the valleys of the Lower St. Lawrence and the Ottawa. Soon, however, the Sulpitians, established in Paris by the Abbé Olier, one of the Society of Montreal, took charge of the mission on Montreal Island, which in after years was moved to the Sault au Récollet, and thence to the Lake of the Two Mountains, where there was gathered a polyglot 21village composed of Iroquois, Algonkins, and Nipissings. Upon the opening of the English régime, the Jesuit and Récollet missions were suppressed, but those of the Sulpitians were undisturbed, so that this mission at the lake is the oldest now extant in Canada.

Among the Algonkins of the Ottawa River (or Grande Rivière), no permanent missions were attempted by any of the orders. Long the chief highway to the West, the river was familiar to travelling missionaries, who frequently ministered to the tribesmen along its banks, either at the native villages or during the annual trading councils at the French posts of Montreal, Three Rivers, and Quebec.

IV. The Huron Mission.

At the time of the advent of the French, the Hurons (or Wyandots), allied in origin and language to the Iroquois, numbered about 16,000 souls, and dwelt in several large villages in a narrow district on the high ground between Lake Simcoe and Georgian Bay of Lake Huron. Their dwellings were bark cabins, clustered within stoutly-palisaded walls, and near each fortified town were fields of corn, beans, pumpkins, and tobacco. Agricultural in habit, keen traders, and in the main sedentary, these semi-naked savages made short hunting and fishing expeditions, and laid up stores for the winter. They were better fighters than the Algonkins around them, yet were obliged gradually to withdraw northward and westward from Iroquois persecution, and during the period of the Jesuit missions were almost annihilated by the latter. To the southwest, across a wide stretch of unpopulated forest, were the allies and kindred of 22the Hurons, the Tionontates, called also Petuns, or Tobacco Nation, a term having its origin in their custom of cultivating large fields of tobacco, which commodity they used in a wide-spread barter with other tribes. To the southeast of the Petuns, west of Lake Ontario and on both sides of the gorge of Niagara, were the peaceful Atiwandaronks, who, being friends alike of Iroquois, Algonkins, and Hurons, were known as the Neutral Nation. To the eastward of the Neutrals, strongly intrenched in the interlocking basins of the Genesee and the Mohawk, lay the dread confederacy of the Iroquois, who in time were to spread like a pestilence over the lands of all their neighbors.

The intelligence and mobility of the Hurons rendered the early prospects for missionary effort among them more promising than with the rude and nomadic Algonkins. But while at first the missionaries of New France were well received, the innate savagery of these people in time asserted itself. Their medicine-men, as bitterly fanatical as the howling dervishes of the Orient, plotted the destruction of the messengers of the new faith; the introduction of European diseases was attributed to the "black gowns;" the ravages of the Iroquois were thought to be brought on by the presence of the strangers; the rites of the church were looked upon as infernal incantations, and the lurid pictures of the Judgment, which were displayed in the little forest chapels, aroused unspeakable terror among this simple people; finally, an irresistible wave of superstitious frenzy led to the blotting out of the mission, accompanied by some of the most heart-rending scenes in the history of Christian evangelization.

23 It will be remembered that in 1615 the Récollet friar, Joseph le Caron, made his way into the far-away country of the Hurons, but returned in the following year, having learned much of their language and customs. Five years later, another of his order, William Poulin, took up the weary task, being joined in 1623 by Fathers Le Caron and Nicholas Viel, and the historian of the Récollet missions, Brother Gabriel Sagard. All of them soon left the field, however, save Viel, who alone, amid almost incredible hardships, attained some measure of success; but in 1625, when descending the Ottawa to meet and arrange for co-operation with the Jesuit Brébeuf, at Three Rivers, he was willfully drowned by his Indian guide in the last rapid of Des Prairies River, just back of Montreal. Such is the origin of the name of the dread Sault au Récollet.

In 1626, the Jesuits Brébeuf and Anne de Nouë, having received some linguistic instruction from Récollets who had been in the Huron field, proceeded thither, with a Récollet friar, Joseph de la Roche Daillon, to resume the work which the Récollets had abandoned. Daillon attempted a mission to neighboring Neutrals, but, being roughly handled by them, rejoined his Jesuit friends among the Hurons. Two years later, he returned to Quebec, having been preceded by De Nouë, who found it impossible to master the difficult language of their dusky flock. Brébeuf, now left alone, labored gallantly among these people, and, winning the hearts of many by his easy adoption of their manners, gathered about him a little colony of those favorably inclined to his views. He was recalled to Quebec in 1629, arriving there just in time to fall into the hands of Louis Kirk, and be transported to England.

24 When Canada was restored to France, by the treaty of St. Germain, the Jesuits were given sole charge of the Indian missions, but it was 1634 before the Huron mission could be reopened. In September, Brébeuf, Antoine Daniel, and Davost returned to Brébeuf's old field, and commenced, in the large town of Ihonatiria, the greatest Jesuit mission in the history of New France. Others soon joined them. Additional missions were opened in neighboring towns, some of the strongest of these being each served by four fathers, who were assisted by laymen donnés, or given men; while in the cultivation of the soil, and the fashioning of implements and utensils both for the fathers and for the Indians, numerous hired laborers, from the French colonies on the St. Lawrence, were employed in and about the missions. Charles Garnier and Isaac Jogues, with their attendants, made a tour of the Petun villages; other Jesuits were sent among the Neutrals; and even the Algonkins as far northwestward as Sault Ste. Marie were visited (1641) by Raymbault and Jogues, and looked and listened with awe at the celebration of the mass. In 1639, there was built, on the River Wye, the fortified mission house of St. Mary's, to serve as a center for the wide-spread work, as a place for ecclesiastical retreat for the fathers, and a refuge when enemies pressed too closely upon them.

The story of the hardships and sufferings of the devoted missionaries, as told us by Rochemonteix, Shea, and Parkman, and with rare modesty recorded in the documents to be contained in this series, is one of the most thrilling in the annals of humanity. Space forbids us here to dwell upon the theme. No men have, in the zealous exercise of their faith, 25performed hardier deeds than these Jesuits of the Huron mission; yet, after three years of unremitting toil, they could (1640) count but a hundred converts out of a population of 16,000, and these were for the most part sick infants or aged persons, who had died soon after baptism. The rugged braves scorned the approaches of the fathers, and unmercifully tormented their converts; the medicine-men waged continual warfare on their work; smallpox and the Iroquois were decimating the people.

Jogues was (1642) sent down to the colonies for supplies for the missions, but with his Huron companions was captured by an Iroquois war-party, who led them to the Mohawk towns. There most of the Hurons were killed, and Jogues and his donné, René Goupil, were tortured and mutilated, and made to serve as slaves to their savage jailers. Finally Goupil, a promising young physician, was killed, and Jogues, being rescued by the Dutch allies of the Mohawks, was sent to Europe. Supplies thus failing them, the Huron missionaries were in a sad plight until finally (1644) relieved by an expedition to the lower country undertaken at great hazards by Brébeuf, Garreau, and Noël Chabanel. The same season, Francis Joseph Bressani, attempting to reach the Huron missions, had been captured and tortured by Mohawks; like Jogues, he was rescued through Dutch intercession and sent back to Europe, but both of these zealots were soon back again facing the cruel dangers of their chosen task.

A temporary peace followed, in 1645, and the hope of the Jesuits was rekindled, for they now had five missions in as many Huron towns, and another established for Algonkins who were resident in the 26Huron district. But in July, 1648, the Iroquois attacked Teanaustayé, the chief Huron village, and while encouraging the frenzied defense Father Daniel lost his life at the hands of the enemy. He was thus the first Jesuit martyr in the Huron mission, and the second in New France,—for Jogues had been tortured to death in the Iroquois towns, two years before. The spirit of the Hurons was crushed in this bloody foray; large bands, deserting their towns, fled in terror to seek protection of the Petuns, while others made their way to the Manitoulin Islands of Lake Huron, and even as far west as the islands of Green Bay and the matted pine forests of Northern Wisconsin. Here and there a town was left, however, and one of the largest of these, called St. Ignatius by the Jesuits, was stormed by a thousand Iroquois, March 16, 1649. The three survivors fled through the woods to neighboring St. Louis, where were Brébeuf, now grown old in his service of toil, and young Gabriel Lalemant. Bravely did they aid in defending St. Louis, and administering to wounded and dying; but at last were captured, and being taken to the ruined town of St. Ignatius were most cruelly tortured until relieved by death. Early in November, Fathers Garnier and Chabanel met their death in the Petun country, the former at the hands of Iroquois, the latter being killed by a Huron who imagined that the presence of the Jesuits had brought curses upon his tribe.

The missions in the Huron country were now entirely abandoned. A few of the surviving Jesuits followed their flocks to the islands in Lake Huron; but in June, 1650, the enterprise was forsaken, and the missionaries, with a number of their converts, 27retired to a village, founded for them, on the Island of Orleans, near Quebec. This settlement being in time ravaged by the Iroquois, a final stand was made at Lorette, also in the outskirts of Quebec, which mission exists to this day.

The great Huron mission, which had been conducted for thirty-five years, had employed twenty-nine missionaries, of whom seven had lost their lives in the work. This important field forsaken, many of the missionaries had returned to Europe disheartened, and apparently the future for Jesuit missions in New France looked gloomy enough. The Iroquois had now practically destroyed the Montagnais between Quebec and the Saguenay, the Algonkins of the Ottawa, and the Hurons, Petuns, and Neutrals. The French colonies of Quebec, Three Rivers, and Montreal, had suffered from repeated raids of the New York confederates, and their forest trade was now almost wholly destroyed. In this hour of darkness, light suddenly broke upon New France. The politic Iroquois, attacked on either side by the Eries and the Susquehannas, and fearing that while thus engaged their northern victims might revive for combined vengeance, sent overtures of peace to Quebec, and cordially invited to their cantonments the once detested black gowns.

V. The Iroquois Mission.

Champlain had early made enemies of the Iroquois, by attacking them as the allies of his Algonkin neighbors. This enmity extended to all New France, and lasted, with brief intervals of peace, for over half a century. We have seen that Jogues was the first of his order (1642) to enter the Iroquois country, 28as a prisoner of the Mohawks, the easternmost of the five tribes of the confederacy. Two years later, Bressani, while on his way to the Huron missions, was also captured by the Mohawks, passed through a similar experience of torture, was sold to the Dutch, and transported back to France, and, again like Jogues resumed his hazardous task of attempting to tame the American savage. During the first peace (May, 1646), Jogues, now in civilian costume, paid a brief visit to his former tormentors on the Mohawk, this time conveying only expressions of good-will from the governor of New France. His political errand accomplished, he returned to Quebec; but in August was back again, with a young French attendant named Lalande, intent on opening admission among the Iroquois. Meanwhile, there had been a revulsion of sentiment on their part, and the two Frenchmen had no sooner reached the Mohawk than they were tortured and killed.

During an Iroquois attack upon Quebec, seven years later (1653), Father Joseph Anthony Poncet was taken prisoner by the marauders and carried to the Mohawk, where he suffered in the same manner as his predecessors; but his captors being now desirous of a renewal of peace with the French, spared his life, and sent him back to Quebec with overtures for a renewal of negotiations. Early in July, 1654, Father Simon le Moyne was sent forth upon a tour of inspection, and returned to Quebec in September, with glowing reports of the fervor of his reception by both Mohawks and Onondagas. It was determined to rear a mission among the latter, and thither (1655),—a four weeks' voyage,—proceeded Claude Dablon and Peter Mary Joseph Chaumonot; while, 29to appease the jealous Mohawks, Le Moyne at the same time reopened a brief but unprosperous mission among that tribe.

At first, Dablon and Chaumonot had high hopes of their Onondaga enterprise; but mistrust soon arose in the minds of the natives, and Dablon found it necessary to proceed to Quebec and obtain fresh evidences of the friendship of the French. He returned in the early summer of 1656, accompanied by Fathers Francis Le Mercier, superior of the Canadian mission, and René Ménard, two lay brothers, and a party of French colonists under a militia captain, who designed founding a settlement in the land of the Iroquois. By the close of the year, the work was in a promising stage; a number of Christianized Hurons, who had been adopted into the confederacy, formed a nucleus for proselyting, several Iroquois converts had been made, and all five of the tribes had been visited by the missionaries.

Fathers Paul Ragueneau and Joseph Imbert Dupéron, who had been sent out from Quebec in July, 1657, to assist the Onondaga mission, reached it only after many perils en route; for meanwhile, there had been a fresh Iroquois uprising against the Hurons and Ottawas, in which Father Leonard Garreau lost his life near Montreal, and the entire confederacy was soon in an uproar against the white allies of its ancient enemies. The intrepid Le Moyne joined the party in November, and in the following March (1658), on learning that all of the French had been condemned to death, the entire colony stole away in the night, and reached Montreal only after a long and hazardous voyage. The great Iroquois mission, which had promised so happily and cost so 30much in blood and treasure, was now thought to be a thing of the past.

There was, however, still another chapter to the story. In the summer of 1660, after two years of bloody forays against New France, a Cayuga sachem, who had been converted at Onondaga, came to Montreal as a peace messenger, asking for another black gown to minister to the native converts and a number of French captives in the Iroquois towns. Once more, Le Moyne cheerfully set out upon what seemed a path to death; but he passed the winter without molestation, and in the spring following was allowed to return to Canada with the French prisoners.

It was five years later (1665), before the government of New France felt itself sufficiently strong to threaten chastisement of the raiding Iroquois, who had long been making life a torment in the colonies on the St. Lawrence. The Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas sued for peace; but the Mohawks were obstinate, and their villages were wasted by fire until they too asked for mercy and the ministrations of the Jesuits. Fathers James Fremin, James Bruyas, and John Pierron were sent out in 1667; later, they were assisted by Julian Garnier, Stephen de Carheil, Peter Milet, and Boniface, so that by the close of 1668 a mission was in progress in each of the five cantonments. A few notable converts were made, among them Catharine Tegakouita, known as the "Iroquois saint;" Catharine Ganneaktena, an Erie captive who afterwards founded a native mission village on the banks of the St. Lawrence; the head-men Assendasé, Kryn, and Soenrese. But a great success was never possible; here as elsewhere, the vices and superstitions of the tribesmen 31were deep-rooted, and they had not yet reached a stage of culture where the spiritual doctrines of Christianity appealed strongly, save to a few emotional natures. The converts were subjected to so many annoyances and dangers, that isolation was thought essential, and there was established for them opposite Montreal the palisaded mission of St. Francis Xavier; this settlement, fostered by the French as a buffer against Iroquois attack on the colonists, was subsequently removed to Sault St. Louis, and is known in our day as Caughnawaga. This mission, and that of the Sulpitians on Montreal Mountain—later removed to the neighboring Lake of the Two Mountains,—and at Quinté Bay, were frequently recruited by Iroquois Christians, who were carefully instructed by the missionaries in the arts of agriculture and the rites of the church.

This depletion of the Iroquois population alarmed the sachems of the confederacy. To please them, Governor Dongan of New York, himself a Catholic, introduced to the Five Nations three English Jesuits, who sought in vain to counteract the movement. The French did not abandon the Iroquois mission-field until 1687, when the rising power of the English obliged them to withdraw from the country. We have, however, glimpses of occasional attempts thereafter to revive the work, Bruyas being on the ground in 1701, joined the following year by James de Lamberville, Garnier, and Le Valliant, and later by James d'Hue and Peter de Marieul. The entire party were again driven from the cantonments in 1708, De Marieul being the last of his order to remain on duty.

Thereafter, the Jesuits were chiefly devoted to their mission at Caughnawaga, whither many Iroquois 32retreated before the inroads of Dutch and English settlers who were now crowding upon their lands. When the black gowns were at last expelled from New France, secular priests continued their work among the remnants of those New York Indians who had sought protection by settling among the French colonists on the St. Lawrence.

VI. The Ottawa Mission.

This embraced the tribes beyond Lake Huron,—the Chippewas at Sault Ste. Marie, the Beavers, the Crees, the Ottawas and refugee Hurons on Lake Superior, the Menomonees, Pottawattomies, Sacs, Foxes, Winnebagoes, Miamis, Illinois, and those of the Sioux who lived on or near the banks of the Mississippi. The Ottawas were the first Indians from the upper lakes to trade with the French, hence that vast district became early known as the country of the Ottawas.

The Huron mission was the door to the Ottawa mission. Jogues and Raimbault were with the Chippewas at Sault Ste. Marie in 1641; but it was nineteen years after that (1660), before they were followed by another Jesuit, the veteran Father Ménard, who accompanied an Ottawa fleet up the great river of that name, through Lake Huron and the Sault, and on to Keweenaw Bay, where he said the first mass heard on the shores of the northern sea. After a wretched winter on that inhospitable coast, spent in a shanty of fir boughs, with savage neighbors who reviled his presence, he proceeded inland intent on ministering to some Hurons who had fled from Iroquois persecution to the gloomy pine forest about the upper waters of Black River, in what is now Wisconsin. In August, 1661, he lost his life at a portage, 33thus being the first martyr upon the Ottawa mission.

Four years later, Claude Alloüez set out for Lake Superior, and reaching Chequamegon Bay in October (1665), built a little chapel of bark upon the southwest shore of that rock-bound estuary,—the famous mission of La Pointe. His flock was a medley, Hurons and Algonkins here clustering in two villages, where they lived on fish, safe at last from the raging Iroquois, although much pestered by the wild Sioux of the West. For thirty years did Alloüez travel from tribe to tribe, through the forests and over the prairies of the vast wilderness which a century later came to be organized into the Northwest Territory, and established missions at Green Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, on the Miami, and, with Marquette, among the Illinois at Kaskaskia.

Later, there arrived on the scene Fathers Louis Nicholas, James Marquette, Dablon, Louis André, Druillettes, Albanel, and others. The field of the Northwest seemed at first, as did the Huron mission, highly promising. The missionaries were everywhere greeted by large audiences, and much curiosity was displayed concerning the rites of the church; but, as usual, the nomadic habits of the Indians rendered instruction difficult. The fathers, with great toil and misery, and subject to daily danger and insult, followed their people about upon long hunting and fishing expeditions; and even when the bands had returned to the squalid villages, life there was almost as comfortless as upon the trail. Among the donnés and the Jesuit coadjutor brothers were skillful workers in metal, who repaired the guns and utensils of the natives, and taught them how best to obtain and reduce the ore from lead and copper deposits. 34We have evidence that the copper region of Lake Superior was at times resorted to by the lay followers and their Indian attendants, to obtain material for crucifixes and for the medals which the missionaries gave to converts; and in the lead mines centering about where are now Dubuque, Iowa, and Galena, Ill., the missionary attendants and Indians obtained lead for barter with French fur-traders, who, like the soldiers of the Cross, were by this time wandering all over the Northwest.

Marquette had succeeded Alloüez at La Pointe, in 1669; but it was not long before the Hurons and Ottawas of Chequamegon Bay foolishly incurred the fresh hostility of the Sioux, and the following year were driven eastward like autumn leaves before a blast. Marquette established them in a new mission, at Point St. Ignace, opposite Mackinaw; and it was from here that, in 1673, he joined the party of Louis Joliet, en route to the Mississippi River. The St. Ignace mission became the largest and most successful in the Northwest, there being encamped there, during Marquette's time, about 500 Hurons and 1,300 Ottawas. The interesting story of Marquette, a familiar chapter in American history, will be fully developed in the documents of this series; and we shall be able to present for the first time a facsimile of the original MS. Journal of his final and fatal voyage (1674), which is preserved among the many treasures of the Jesuit College of St. Mary's, in Montreal.

After the suspension of the publication of the Relations, in 1673, we obtain few glimpses of the Ottawa mission, save in the occasional references of travelers. The several local missions in the district were, in the main, probably more successful than those 35in any of the other fields of endeavor. La Pointe, Green Bay; St. Ignace (later Mackinac), Sault Ste. Marie, St. Joseph's, and Kaskaskia became the most important of them all; and at some of these points Catholic missions are still maintained by Franciscan friars and secular priests, for resident French Creoles and Indians. The uprising of the Foxes against French power, which lasted spasmodically from about 1700 to 1755, greatly hampered the work of the Jesuits; they did not, during this period, entirely absent themselves from the broad country of the Ottawas, but conversions were few and the records slight.

There was, for a time, governmental attempt to supplant the Western Jesuits with Récollets. Several friars were with La Salle, who had a great antipathy to the disciples of Loyola,—Father Hennepin's adventures belong to this period of Récollet effort, his colleagues at Fort Crèvecœur being Brothers Ribourde and Membré; but their mission closed with the Iroquois repulse of the French from Crèvecœur, and the consequent death of Ribourde. When La Salle retired from the region, Alloüez resumed the Illinois mission of the Jesuits; and soon after there arrived upon the ground Fathers Gravier, Marest, Mermet, and Pinet, who, because of the more docile character of the tribes collectively known as the Illinois,—Kaskaskias, Cahokias, Peorias, and Tamaroas,—found here a relatively fruitful field. In time, French settlements grew up around the palisaded missions, intermarriages occurred, and the work flourished for many years. Black gowns visited the prosperous Illinois towns as late as 1781, when the death of Father Meurin closed the work of his order in the Northwest.


VII. The Louisiana Mission.

The Jesuit Marquette was in Louisiana in 1673, but established no mission. Nine years later, Membré, of the Récollets, accompanied La Salle into the region, and instructed natives as far down the Mississippi as the mouth; and with La Salle at his death were Anastasius Douay, of the Récollets, and the Sulpitian Cavalier. In 1698, Francis Jolliet de Montigny and Anthony Davion, priests of the Seminary of Quebec, established missions on the Yazoo, among the Natchez, and elsewhere in the neighborhood; to their aid, soon came others of their house,—St. Côme, Gaulin, Fonçault, and Erborie, who labored until about 1710, when, St. Côme and Fonçault being killed by roving Indians, the survivors retired to the North. The Jesuit Du Rue accompanied Iberville into the country in 1699-1700, followed by De Limoges and Dongé, of his order, their work continuing until about 1704.

In 1721, Father Charlevoix reported that but two priests were then in Louisiana, one at Yazoo and another in New Orleans; at the latter post, a chaplain of some sort was established throughout the French régime. Capuchins and Jesuits were both admitted to Louisiana, in 1722, the former to serve as priests to the French of the country, chiefly at New Orleans and Natchez, while the Jesuits were restricted to the Indian missions, although permitted to maintain a house in the outskirts of New Orleans. It was not long before the Illinois mission became attached to Louisiana, and missionaries for that field usually entered upon their work by way of the New Orleans house. Missions were maintained in the villages of 37the Arkansas, Yazoo, Choctaws, and Alibamons; but the uprising of the Indians in the Natchez district, in 1727, led to the fall of these several missions, together with that of French colonies above New Orleans. Father Du Poisson was killed by savages at Natchez, where he was temporarily supplying the French settlers in the absence of their Capuchin friar; Souel fell a victim to the Yazoos, at whose hands Doutreleau narrowly escaped destruction. However, the Jesuits did not despair, but soon returned to the Lower Mississippi, where they continued their labors until about 1770, although the order had in 1762 been suppressed in France.

The Louisiana mission of the Jesuits, while producing several martyrs, and rich in striking examples of missionary zeal, has yielded but meagre documentary results; few of the papers in the present series touch upon its work, and indeed detailed knowledge thereof is not easily obtainable. Severed from Canada by a long stretch of wilderness, communication with the St. Lawrence basin was difficult and spasmodic, and in the case of the Jesuits generally unnecessary; for, having their own superior at New Orleans, his allegiance was to the general of the order in France, not to his fellow-superiors in Quebec and Montreal. The several missions of New France played a large part in American history; that of Louisiana, although interesting, is of much less importance.

The Relations.

A few explorers like Champlain, Radisson, and Perrot have left valuable narratives behind them, which are of prime importance in the study of the beginnings of French settlement in America; but it is to 38the Jesuits that we owe the great body of our information concerning the frontiers of New France in the seventeenth century. It was their duty annually to transmit to their superior in Quebec, or Montreal, a written journal of their doings; it was also their duty to pay occasional visits to their superior, and to go into retreat at the central house of the Canadian mission. Annually, between 1632 and 1673, the superior made up a narrative, or Relation, of the most important events which had occurred in the several missionary districts under his charge, sometimes using the exact words of the missionaries, and sometimes with considerable editorial skill summarizing the individual journals in a general account, based in part upon the oral reports of visiting fathers. This annual Relation, which in bibliographies occasionally bears the name of the superior, and at other times of the missionary chiefly contributing to it, was forwarded to the provincial of the order in France, and, after careful scrutiny and re-editing, published by him in a series of duodecimo volumes, known collectively as The Jesuit Relations.

The authors of the journals which formed the basis of the Relations were for the most part men of trained intellect, acute observers, and practised in the art of keeping records of their experiences. They had left the most highly civilized country of their times, to plunge at once into the heart of the American wilderness, and attempt to win to the Christian faith the fiercest savages known to history. To gain these savages, it was first necessary to know them intimately,—their speech, their habits, their manner of thought, their strong points and their weak. These first students of the North American Indian were 39not only amply fitted for their undertaking, but none have since had better opportunity for its prosecution. They were explorers, as well as priests. Bancroft was inexact when he said, in oft-quoted phrase, "Not a cape was turned, not a river entered, but a Jesuit led the way." The actual pioneers of New France were almost always coureurs de bois, in the prosecution of the fur trade; but coureurs de bois, for obvious reasons, seldom kept records, even when capable of doing so, and as a rule we learn of their previous appearance on the scene only through chance allusions in the Relations. The Jesuits performed a great service to mankind in publishing their annals, which are, for historian, geographer, and ethnologist, among our first and best authorities.

Many of the Relations were written in Indian camps, amid a chaos of distractions. Insects innumerable tormented the journalists, they were immersed in scenes of squalor and degradation, overcome by fatigue and lack of proper sustenance, often suffering from wounds and disease, maltreated in a hundred ways by hosts who, at times, might more properly be called jailers; and not seldom had savage superstition risen to such a height, that to be seen making a memorandum was certain to arouse the ferocious enmity of the band. It is not surprising that the composition of these journals of the Jesuits is sometimes crude; the wonder is, that they could be written at all. Nearly always the style is simple and direct. Never does the narrator descend to self-glorification, or dwell unnecessarily upon the details of his continual martyrdom; he never complains of his lot; but sets forth his experience in phrases the most matter-of-fact. His meaning is seldom obscure. 40We gain from his pages a vivid picture of life in the primeval forest, as he lived it; we seem to see him upon his long canoe journeys, squatted amidst his dusky fellows, working his passage at the paddles, and carrying cargoes upon the portage trail; we see him the butt and scorn of the savage camp, sometimes deserted in the heart of the wilderness, and obliged to wait for another flotilla, or to make his way alone as best he can. Arrived at last, at his journey's end, we often find him vainly seeking for shelter in the squalid huts of the natives, with every man's hand against him, but his own heart open to them all. We find him, even when at last domiciled in some far-away village, working against hope to save the unbaptized from eternal damnation; we seem to see the rising storm of opposition, invoked by native medicine-men,—who to his seventeenth-century imagination seem devils indeed,—and at last the bursting climax of superstitious frenzy which sweeps him and his before it. Not only do these devoted missionaries,—never, in any field, has been witnessed greater personal heroism than theirs,—live and breathe before us in the Relations; but we have in them our first competent account of the Red Indian, at a time when relatively uncontaminated by contact with Europeans. We seem, in the Relations, to know this crafty savage, to measure him intellectually as well as physically, his inmost thoughts as well as open speech. The fathers did not understand him from an ethnological point of view, as well as he is to-day understood; their minds were tinctured with the scientific fallacies of their time. But, with what is known to-day, the photographic reports in the Relations help the student to an accurate 41picture of the untamed aborigine, and much that mystified the fathers, is now, by aid of their careful journals, easily susceptible of explanation. Few periods of history are so well illuminated as the French régime in North America. This we owe in large measure to the existence of the Jesuit Relations.

What are generally known as the Relations proper, addressed to the superior and published in Paris, under direction of the provincial, commence with Le Jeune's Brieve Relation du Voyage de la Nouvelle-France (1632); and thereafter a duodecimo volume, neatly printed and bound in vellum, was issued annually from the press of Sebastien Cramoisy, in Paris, until 1673, when the series was discontinued, probably through the influence of Frontenac, to whom the Jesuits were distasteful. The Relations at once became popular in the court circles of France; their regular appearance was always awaited with the keenest interest, and assisted greatly in creating and fostering the enthusiasm of pious philanthropists, who for many years substantially maintained the missions of New France. In addition to these forty volumes, which to collectors are technically known as "Cramoisys," many similar publications found their way into the hands of the public, the greater part of them bearing date after the suppression of the Cramoisy series. Some were printed in Paris and Lyons by independent publishers; others appeared in Latin and Italian texts, at Rome, and other cities in Italy; while in such journals as Mercure François and Annuæ Litteræ Societatis Jesu, occasionally were published letters from the missionaries, of the same nature as the Relations, but briefer and more intimate in tone.

It does not appear, however, that popular interest 42in these publications materially affected the secular literature of the period; they were largely used in Jesuit histories of New France, but by others were practically ignored. General literary interest in the Relations was only created about a half century ago, when Dr. E. B. O'Callaghan, editor of the Documentary History of New York, called attention to their great value as storehouses of contemporary information. Dr. John G. Shea, author of History of the Catholic Missions among the Indian Tribes of the United States, and Father Felix Martin, S. J., of Montreal, soon came forward, with fresh studies of the Relations. Collectors at once commenced searching for Cramoisys, which were found to be exceedingly scarce,—most of the originals having been literally worn out in the hands of their devout seventeenth-century readers; finally, the greatest collector of them all, James Lenox, of New York, outstripped his competitors and laid the foundation, in the Lenox Library, of what is to-day probably the only complete collection in America. In 1858, the Canadian government reprinted the Cramoisys, with a few additions, in three stout octavo volumes, carefully edited by Abbés Làverdière, Plante, and Ferland. These, too, are now rare, copies seldom being offered for sale.

The Quebec reprint was followed by two admirable series brought out by Shea and O'Callaghan respectively. Shea's Cramoisy Series (1857-1866), numbers twenty-five little volumes, the edition of each of which was limited to a hundred copies, now difficult to obtain; it contains for the most part entirely new matter, chiefly Relations prepared for publication by the superiors, after 1672, and miscellaneously printed; among the volumes, however, are a few 43reprints of particularly rare issues of the original Cramoisy press. The O'Callaghan series, seven in number (the edition limited to twenty-five copies), contains different material from Shea's, but of the same character. A further addition to the mass of material was made by Father Martin, in Relations Inédites de la Nouvelle-France, 1672-79 (2 vols., Paris, 1861); and by Father Carayon in Première Mission des Jésuites au Canada (Paris, 1864). In 1871, there was published at Quebec, under the editorship of Abbés Laverdière and Casgrain, Le Journal des Jésuites, from the original manuscript in the archives of the Seminary of Quebec (now Laval University). The memoranda contained in this volume,—a rarity, for the greater part of the edition was accidentally destroyed by fire,—were not intended for publication, being of the character of private records, covering the operations of the Jesuits in New France between 1645 and 1668. The Journal is, however, an indispensable complement of the Relations. It was reprinted by a Montreal publisher (J. M. Valois) in 1892, but even this later edition is already exhausted. Many interesting epistles are found in Lettres Édifiantes et Curieuses, écrites des Missions Étrangères, which cover the Jesuit missions in many lands, between the years 1702 and 1776; only a small portion of this publication (there are several editions, ranging from 1702-1776 to 1875-77) is devoted to the North American missions.

American historians, from Shea and Parkman down, have already made liberal use of the Relations, and here and there antiquarians and historical societies have published fragmentary translations. The great body of the Relations and their allied documents, however, has never been Englished. The text is difficult, 44for their French is not the French of the modern schools; hence these interesting papers have been doubly inaccessible to the majority of our historical students. The present edition, while faithfully reproducing the old French text, even in most of its errors, offers to the public for the first time, an English rendering side by side with the original.

In breadth of scope, also, this edition will, through the generous enterprise of the publishers, readily be first in the field. Not only will it embrace all of the original Cramoisy series, the Shea and O'Callaghan series, those collected by Fathers Martin and Carayon, the Journal des Jésuites, and such of the Lettres Édifiantes as touch upon the North American missions, but many other valuable documents which have not previously been reprinted; it will contain, also, considerable hitherto-unpublished material from the manuscripts in the archives of St. Mary's College, Montreal, and other depositories. These several documents will be illustrated by faithful reproductions of all the maps and other engravings appearing in the old editions, besides much new material obtained especially for this edition, a prominent feature of which will be authentic portraits of many of the early fathers, and photographic facsimiles of pages from their manuscript letters.

In the Preface to each volume will be given such Bibliographical Data concerning its contents, as seem necessary to the scholar. The appended Notes consist of historical, biographical, archæological, and miscellaneous comment, which it is hoped may tend to the elucidation of the text. An exhaustive General Index to the English text will appear in the final volume of the series.


There is a dramatic unity in the Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents, as they will be presented in this series. Commencing with a report of the first conversion of savages in New France, in 1610, by a secular priest, and soon drifting into the records of Jesuit missionary effort, they touch upon practically every important enterprise of the Jesuits, in Canada and Louisiana, from the coming of Fathers Biard and Massé, in 1611, to the death, in the closing decade of the eighteenth century, of Father Well, "the last Jesuit of Montreal."

I. The series fitly opens with Lescarbot's La Conversion des Savvages. Marc Lescarbot, a Paris lawyer, a Huguenot poet as well as historian, and in many respects a picturesque character in the early scenes of our drama, adroitly seeks in this document to convince the Catholic Queen of France that his Huguenot patrons, De Monts and Poutrincourt, are so wisely ordering affairs in their New World domain that not only will the glory of France be enhanced, but the natives be won to Christ through the medium of the Church; for it was part of the agreement entered into with the Crown, by these adventurers, that while their colonists should be permitted to have Huguenot ministers, the aborigines must be converted only by Catholic priests. To this end, Lescarbot 46describes with unction the sudden conversion by a secular priest, Messire Jessé Fléché, of old Chief Membertou and twenty other Micmacs, and their formal baptism on the beach at Port Royal. The object is, of course, to ward off the threatened invasion of New France by the Jesuits, by showing how thoroughly the work of proselyting is being carried forward without their aid.

II. By the same ship which, in the hands of Poutrincourt's son, Biencourt, carries to France this ingenious document, one Bertrand, a Huguenot layman, sends a message to his friend, the Sieur de la Tronchaie. In his Lettre Missive, M. Bertrand describes the conversion of Membertou and his fellow savages, and speaks with enthusiasm of the new country: as well he may, for in Volume II. we shall find Lescarbot testifying that in Paris the worthy Bertrand was "daily tormented by the gout," while at Port Royal he was "entirely free" from it.

III. Lescarbot's fervid description of Father Fléché's conversions did not succeed in keeping the Jesuits from New France. The present document is a letter written at Dieppe, by Father Pierre Biard, of the Society of Jesus, to his general at Rome, telling of the adventures which had befallen Father Ennemond Massé and himself, since they, the pioneers of their order in the New World, had been ordered from France to Port Royal. Certain Huguenot merchants of Dieppe conspired to prevent the passage of the Jesuits to America; but finally the queen and other court ladies, favoring the missionaries, purchased control of the Huguenots' ship and cargo, and the exultant fathers are now on the eve of sailing.

47 IV. In this letter, written by Biard to his provincial, a few weeks after the arrival at Port Royal, the missionary gives the details of his voyage, describes the spiritual and material condition of Poutrincourt's colony, and outlines plans for work among the Indians—only Huguenot ministers being, as yet, allowed under the charter to serve the spiritual needs of the colonists themselves.

V. In this letter, Biard notifies his general of the safe arrival of Massé and himself.

VI. A like duty is here performed by Massé.

VII. Father Jouvency, one of the eighteenth-century historians of the Society of Jesus, herein gives an historical account of the Canadian missions of his order, in 1611-13; and, by way of comparison, tells of the condition of the same missions in 1703, ending with a list of the Jesuit missions in North America in the year 1710, the date of original publication.

VIII. Herein, Jouvency gives a detailed account of the Indian tribes of Canada,—their customs, characteristics, superstitions, etc. Although not in strict chronological order, these chapters are given here as being from the same work as the foregoing.

In the preparation of several of the Notes to Volume I., the Editor has had some assistance from Mrs. Jane Marsh Parker, of Rochester, N. Y.

R. G. T.

Madison, Wis., August, 1896.


Lescarbot's La Conversion des Savvages

Paris: JEAN MILLOT, 1610

Source: Title-page and text, reprinted from original in Lenox Library, New York; the Register of Baptisms from original in the John Carter Brown Library, Providence, R. I.

Peculiarities in Original Pagination: P. 7, misnumbered 1; p. 16, misnumbered 6; pp. 23, 24, are repeated, except the last sentence on p. 24; p. 46 numbered "49"


La conversion des savvages



AVEC VN BREF RECIT, du voyage du Sieur De Povtrincovrt.


Chez Iean Millot, tenant sa boutique sur les degrez de la grand' Salle du Palais.

Avec Priuilege du Roy.

THE CONVERSION OF THE SAVAGES WHO WERE BAPTIZED in New France during this year, 1610.

WITH A BRIEF NARRATIVE of the voyage of Sieur De Poutrincourt.


Jean Millot, keeping shop upon the steps of the great Hall of the Palace.

By Royal License.



[iii] A la Royne.


Dieu m'ayant fait naitre amateur de ma nation & zelateur de sa gloire, ie ne puis moins que de luy faire part de ce qui la touche, & qui sans doute l'époinçonnera quand elle entendra que le nom de Iesus-Christ est annoncé és terres d'outre mer qui portent le nom de France. Mais particulierement cela regarde vôtre Majesté, laquelle sur ces nouvelles a rendu vn temoignage du grand contentement [iv] qu'elle en avoit. La Chrétienté doit ceci au courage & à la pieté du Sieur de Poutrincourt, qui ne peut viure oisif parmi la trãquillité en laquelle nous vivons par le benefice du feu Roy vôtre Epoux. Mais (Madame) si vous desirez bien-tot voir cet œuvre avancé, il faut que vous y mettiez la main. Donnez luy des ailes pour voler sur les eaux, & penetrer si avant dans les terres de delà, que jusques a l'extremité où l'Occident se joint à l'Orient, tout lieu retentisse du nom de la France. Ie sçay qu'il ne manque de volonté & fidelité au service du Roy & de vôtre Majesté, pour faire (apres ce qui est de Dieu) que vous soyés obeis par tout le monde. Et pour mon regard en tout ce que i'ay iamais travaillé, ie me suis efforcé de bien meriter du Roy & du public, ausquels i'ay dedié mes labeurs. [v] S'il m'en arrive quelque fruit, ie le dedieray volontiers, & tout ce que Dieu m'a donné d'industrie, à l'accroissement de cette entreprise, & à ce qui regardera le bien de vôtre service. Cependant ayez (Madame) agreable ce petit discours evangelique (c'est à dire portant bonnes nouvelles) que publie à la France souz vôtre bon plaisir, Madame, de vôtre Majesté le tres-humble, tres-obeïssant, & tres-fidele serviteur & sujet,

Marc Lescarbot .


[iii] To the Queen. 1


God having created me a lover of my country and zealous for its glory, I cannot do less than impart to it whatever affects its interests; and so doubtless it will be greatly encouraged by the tidings that the name of Jesus Christ has been proclaimed in the lands beyond the sea, which bear the name of France. But this news is of especial interest to your Majesty, who, upon hearing it, gave evidence of your great satisfaction [iv] therein.

The Christian World owes this event to the courage and piety of Sieur de Poutrincourt,2 who cannot lead a life of idleness amid the peaceful prosperity in which we live through the favor of the deceased King, your Husband. But (Madame), if you wish to see immediate advancement in this work, you must lend a helping hand. Give it wings to fly over the seas, and to penetrate so far into the lands beyond that, even to the uttermost parts where the West unites with the East, every place may resound with the name of France. I know that there is no lack of good-will and loyalty in the service of the King and of your Majesty, to the end that (after what is due to God) you may be obeyed by all mankind. And as for me, in all that I have ever done, I have endeavored to merit the esteem of the King and of the public, to whom I have dedicated my labors. [v] If I gather any fruit therefrom, I shall willingly consecrate it, and all the energy God has given me, to the enlargement of this enterprise and to whatever may concern the welfare of your service. Meanwhile, be pleased (Madame) to accept this little gospel narrative (gospel, because bringing good tidings), which is published in France under your good pleasure, Madame, by your Majesty's very humble, very obedient and very faithful servant and subject,

Marc Lescarbot.3



[vi] Extraict du Priuilege du Roy.

PAR grace & priuilege du Roy, il est permis à Iean Millot Marchant Libraire en la ville de Paris, d'imprimer, ou faire imprimer, vendre & distribuer par tout nostre Royaume tant de fois qu'il luy plaira, en telle forme ou caractere que bon luy semblera, vn liure intitulé La Conversion des Savvages composé par Marc Lescarbot Advocat en la Cour de Parlement. Et ce jusques au temps & terme de six ans finis & accomplis, à compter du jour que ledit livre sera achevé d'imprimer. Pendant lequel temps defences sont faictes à tous Imprimeurs, Libraires, & autres de quelque estat, qualité, ou condition qu'ils soient, de non imprimer, vendre, contrefaire, ou alterer ledit liure, ou aucune partie d'iceluy, sur peine de confiscation des exẽplaires, & de quinze cens livres d'amende appliquable moitié à nous, & moitié aux pauvres de L'hostel Dieu de cette ville de Paris, & despens dommages, & interests dudit exposant: Nonobstant toute clameur de Haro, Chartre Normande, Privileges, lettres ou autres appellations & oppositions formees à ce contraires faictes ou a faire. Donné à Paris le neufiesme iour de Septembre l'an de grace 1610. Et de nostre regne le premier.

Par le Roy en son Conseil.

Signé, Brigard.


[vi] Extract from the Royal License.

BY the grace and prerogative of the King, permission is granted to Jean Millot, Bookseller in the city of Paris, to print or to have printed, to sell and distribute throughout all our Kingdom, as often as he may desire, in such form or character as he may see fit, a book, entitled: The Conversion of the Savages, composed by Marc Lescarbot, Counsellor in the Court of Parliament. And this to remain valid until the expiration of six complete years, counting from the day on which the printing of said book shall be finished. During said period of time all Printers, Booksellers, and other persons of whatsoever rank, quality, or condition are prohibited from publishing, selling, imitating, or changing said book or any part thereof, under penalty of confiscation of the copies, and of fifteen hundred livres fine, one-half of which is to be paid to us, and one-half to the poor of the town hospital in this city of Paris, together with the costs, damages, and interests of the aforesaid petitioner: notwithstanding all cries of Haro, Norman Charter,4 Licenses, letters, or other appeals and counter-claims, opposed to this now or in future. Given at Paris on the ninth day of September, in the year of grace, 1610, and in the first of our reign.

By the King in Council.

Signed, Brigard.



[7] La Conversion des Sauvages qui ont esté baptisez en la Nouuelle-France, cette annee 1610.

Matth. 24. vers. 14.

LA parole immuable de nôtre Sauveur Iesus-Christ nous temoigne par l'organe de sainct Matthieu que l'Euangile du royaume des cieux sera annoncé par tout le monde, pour estre en temoignage à toutes nations, avant que la consommation vienne. Nous scavons par les histoires que la voix des Apôtres a eclaté par tout le monde de deça dés il y a plusieurs siecles passez, quoy qu'aujourd'hui les royaumes Chrétiens en soient la moindre partie. Mais quant au nouveau monde decouvert depuis environ six-vingts ans, nous n'auons aucun vestige que la parole de Dieu y ait onques [8] esté annoncée avant ces derniers temps, si ce n'est que nous voulions adjouter quelque foy à ce que Iehan de Leri rapporte, que comme il racontoit vn jour aux Bresiliens les grandes merveilles de Dieu en la creation du monde, & mysteres de nôtre redemption, vn vieillart lui dit qu'il auoit oui dire à son grand pere qu'autrefois vn homme barbu (or les Bresiliens ne le sont point) estoit venu vers eux, & leur avoit dit choses semblables: mais qu'on ne le voulut point écouter, & depuis s'estoiẽt entre-tuez & mangez les vns les autres. Quant aux autres nations de dela quelques vns ont bien quelque sourde nouvelle du deluge, & de l'immortalité des ames, ensemble dela beatitude des biẽvivans apres cette vie, mais ils peuvent avoir retenu cette obscure doctrine de main en main par tradition depuis le cataclisme vniversel qui avint 60 au temps de Noé. Reste donc à deplorer la miserable condition de ces peuples qui occupent vne terre si grande, que le monde de deça ne vient en comparaison avec elle, si nous comprenons la terre qui est outre le detroit de Magellan dite, [9] Terra del fugo, tant en son etenduë vers la Chine, & le Iapan, que vers la Nouvelle Guinée: comme aussi celle qui est outre la grande riviere de Canada, qui s'estend vers l'Orient & est baignée de la grande mer Occidentale. Toutes lesquelles contrees sont en vne miserable ignorance, & n'y a point d'apparence qu'elles aient onques eu le vẽt de l'Evangile, sinon qu'en ce dernier siecle l'Hespagnol parmi la cruauté & l'avarice y a apporté quelque lumiere de la religion Chrétienne. Mais cela est si peu de chose, qu'on n'en peut pas faire si grand estat qu'il pourroit sembler, d'autant que par la confession méme de ceux qui en ont écrit les histoires ils ont preque tué tous les naturels du païs, & en fait nombre vn certain historien, de plus de vingt millions, dés il y a soixante dix ans. L'Anglois depuis vingt-cinq ans a pris pié en vne terre qui git entre la Floride, & le païs des Armouchiquois, laquelle terre a esté appellée Virginie en l'honneur de la defuncte Royne d'Angleterre. Mais cette nation fait ses affaires si secretement, que peu de gens en sçauent de [10] nouvelles certaines. Peu apres que i'eu publié mon Histoire de la Nouvelle France on fit vn embarquemẽt de huit cens hommes pour y envoyer. Il n'est point mention qu'ils se soient lavé les mains au sang de ces peuples. En quoy ils ne sont ni à loüer, ni à blamer: car il n'y a aucune loy, ni aucun pretexte, qui permette de tuer qui que ce soit, & méme ceux des biens desquelz nous-nous emparons. 62 Mais ils sont à priser s'ils montrent à ces pauvres ignorans le chemin de salut par la vraye & non fardée doctrine Evangelique. Quant à noz François ie me suis assez plaint en madite Histoire de la poltronnerie du temps d'aujourd'huy, & du peu de zele que nous avons soit à redresser ces pauvres errans, soit à faire que le nom de Dieu soit coneu exalté & glorifié en ces terres d'outre mer, où jamais il ne le fut. Et toutefois nous voulons que cela porte le nom de France, nom tant auguste & venerable, que nous ne pouvons sans honte nous glorifier d'vne France qui n'est point Chrétienne. Ie sçay qu'il ne manque pas de gens de bõne volonté pour y aller. Mais pourquoy [11] l'Eglise, qui possede tant de biens; mais pourquoy les Grands, qui sont tant de depenses superflues, ne financent-ilz quelque chose pour l'execution d'vn si sainct œuvre? Deux Gentils-hommes pleins de courage en ces derniers tẽps se sont trouvez zelés à ceci, les Sieurs de Monts, & de Poutrincourt, lesquels à leurs dépens se sont enervés, & ont fait plus que leurs forces ne pouvoient porter. L'vn & l'autre ont continué jusques à present leurs voyages. Mais l'vn a esté deceu par deux fois, & est tombé en grand interest pour s'estre rendu trop credule aux paroles de quelques vns. Or d'autant que les dernieres nouvelles que nous avons de nôtre Nouvelle-France viennent de la part du Sieur de Poutrincourt, nous dirons ici ce qui est de son fait: & avons iuste sujet d'exalter son courage, entant que ne pouvant viure parmi la tourbe des hommes oisifs, dont nous n'abondons que trop; & voyant nôtre France comme languir au repos d'vn calme ennuieux aux hõmes de travail: apres avoir en mille occasions fait preuve de 64 sa valeur depuis vingt quatre ans ença; il a voulu coroner [12] ses labeurs vrayement Herculeens par la cause de Dieu, pour laquelle il employe ses moyens & ses forces, & va hazardant sa vie, pour accroitre le nombre des citoyens des cieux, & amener à la bergerie de Iesus-Christ nôtre souverain Pasteur, les brebis egarées, lesquelles il seroit bien-seant aux Prelats de l'Eglise d'aller recuillir (du moins contribuer à cet effect) puis qu'ils en ont le moyen. Mais avec combien de travaux s'est-il employé jusques ici à cela? Voici la troisieme fois qu'il passe le grand Ocean pour parvenir à ce but. La premiere année se passa avec le sieur de Monts à chercher vne demeure propre & vn port asseuré pour la retraite des vaisseaux & des hommes. Ce qui ne succeda pas bien. La seconde année fut employée à la mesme chose, & lors il estoit en France. En la troisieme nous fimes epreuve de la terre, laquelle nous rendit abondamment le fruict de nôtre culture: Cette annee icy voyant par vne mauvaise experience que les hommes sont trompeurs, il ne s'est plus voulu attendre à autre qu'à luy-méme, & [s']est mis en mer le 26. Fevrier, ayant eu [13] temps fort contraire en sa navigation, laquelle a esté la plus longue dont i'aye jamais ouï parler. Certes la nôtre nous fut fort ennuieuse il y a trois ans, ayans esté vagabons l'espace de deux mois & demi sur la mer avant qu'arriver au Port Royal. Mais en cette-ci ils ont esté trois mois entiers. De sorte qu'vn indiscret se seroit mutiné jusques à faire de mauvaises conspirations: toutesfois la benignité dudit Sieur de Poutrincourt & le respect du lieu où il demeuroit à Paris, lui ont serui de bouclier pour luy garentir la vie. 66 Terrir, c'est à dire decouvrir la terre. La premiere côte où territ iceluy Sieur de Poutrincourt fut au port au Mouton. De là parmi les brouïllas qui sont fort frequens le long de l'Eté en cette mer, il se trouva en quelques perils, principalement vers le Cap de Sable, où son vaisseau pensa toucher sur les brisans. Hist. de la Nouvelle-France liv. 2. chap. 37. p. 527. Depuis voulant gaigner le Port Royal, il fut porté par la violence des vents quarante lieuës par-dela, c'est à sçavoir à la riviere de Norombega tant celebrée & fabuleusement décrite par les Geographes & Historiens, ainsi que i'ay monstré en madite Histoire, là où se pourra voir cette navigation par la Table geographique [14] que i'y ay mise. De-là il vint à la riviere sainct Iehan qui est vis à vis du Port Royal pardela la Baye Françoise, où il trouva vn navire de S. Malo, qui troquoit avec les Sauvages du païs. Et là il eut plainte d'vn Capitaine Sauvage qu'vn dudit navire lui auoit ravi sa femme, & en abusoit: dont ledit Sieur fit informer, & print celui là prisonnier, & le navire aussi. Mais il laissa aller ledit navire & les matelots se contentant de garder le malfaiteur: lequel neantmoins s'evada dans vne chaloupe & se retira avec les Sauvages, les detournant de l'amitié des François, comme nous dirons ci-apres. En fin arriués audit Port Royal il ne se peut dire avec combien de ioye ces pauvres peuples receurent ledit Sieur & sa compagnie. Et de verité le sujet de cette ioye estoit d'autant plus grand qu'ils n'avoient plus d'esperance de voir les François habiter aupres d'eux, desquels ils auoient ressenti les courtoisies lors que nous y estions, dont se voyans priués, aussi pleuroient ils à chaudes larmes quand nous partimes de là il y a trois ans. En ce Port Royal est la demeure [15] dudict sieur de Poutrincourt, le plus beau sejour que 68 Dieu ait formé sur la terre, remparé d'un rang de 12 ou 15. lieuës de montagnes du côté du Nort, sur lesquelles bat le Soleil tout le iour: & de cotaux au côte du Su, ou Midi: lequel au reste peut contenir vingt milles vaisseaux en asseurance, ayant vingt brasses de profond à son entrée, vne lieuë & demie de large, & quatre de long jusques à vne ile qui a vne lieuë Françoise de circuit: dans lequel i'ay veu quelquefois à l'aise noüer vne moyenne Baleine, qui venoit auec le flot à huict heures au matin par chacun jour. Au reste dans ce port se peche en la saison grande quantité de harens, d'eplans, (ou eperlans) sardines, bars, moruës, loups-marins, & autre poissons: & quant aux coquillages, on y recueille force houmars, crappes, palourdes, coques, moules, escargots, & chatagines de mer. Mais qui voudra aller au dessus du flot de la mer il pechera en la riviere force eturgeons & saumons, à la dessaicte desquels il y a vn singulier plaisir. Or pour reprendre nôstre fil, le Sieur de Poutrincourt arrivé [6 i.e. 16] là a trouvé ses batimens tout entiers sans que les Sauvages (ainsi a-on appellé ces peuples là iusques à maintenant) y eussent touché en aucune façon, ny méme aux meubles qu'on y avoit laissé. Et soucieux de leurs vieux amis ils demandoient comme vn chacun d'eux se portoit, les nommant particulierement par leurs noms communs, & demandans pourquoy tels & tels n'y estoient retournez. Ceci demontre vne grãde debõnaireté en ce peuple, lequel aussi ayant en nous reconu toute humanité, ne nous fuit point; comme il fait l'Hespagnol en tout ce grand monde nouveau. Et consequemment par vne douceur & courtoisie, qui leur est aussi familiere qu'à nous, il est aisé de les faire plier à tout ce que l'on 70 voudra, & particulierement pour ce qui touche le point de la Religion, de laquelle nous leur avions baillé de bonnes impressiõs lors que nous estions aupres d'eux, & ne desiroient pas mieux que de se ranger souz la banniere de Iesus-Christ: à quoy ils eussent esté receuz dés lors, si nous eussions eu vn pié ferme en la terre. Mais comme nous pensions continuer, [17] avint que le sieur de Monts ne pouvant plus fournir à la depense, & le Roy ne l'assistant point, il fut contraint de revoquer tous ceux qui estoient pardelà, lesquels n'avoient porté les choses necessaires à vne plus longue demeure. Ainsi c'eust esté temerité & folie de conferer le baptéme à ceux qu'il eust fallu par apres abandonner, & leur donner sujet de retourner à leur vomissement. Mais maintenant que c'est à bon escient, & que ledit sieur de Poutrincourt fait pardelà sa demeure actuelle, il est loisible de leur imprimer le charactere Chrétien sur le front & en l'ame, apres les avoir instruit és principaux articles de nôtre Foy. Aux Hebr. 11. vers. 6. Ce qu'a eu soin de faire ledit Sieur, sachant ce que dit l'Apôtre, que celuy qui s'approche de Dieu doibt croire que Dieu est: & apres cette croyance, peu à peu on vient aux choses qui sont plus eloignées du sens commun, comme de croire que d'vn rien Dieu ait fait toutes choses, qu'il se soit fait homme, qu'il soit nay d'vne Vierge, qu'il ait voulu mourir pour l'homme, &c. Et d'autant que les hommes Ecclesiastics qui ont esté portés pardelà ne sont encore [18] instruits en la langue de ces peuples, ledit Sieur a pris la peine de les instruire & les faire instruire par l'organe de son fils ainé jeune Gentilhomme qui entend & parle fort bien ladite langue, & qui sẽble estre né pour leur ouvrir le chemin des cieux. Les hommes qui sont au Port Royal, 72 & terres adjacentes tirant vers la Terre-neuve, s'appellent Souriquois, & ont leur langue propre. Mais passée la Baye Françoise, qui a environ 40. lieuës de profond dans les terres, & 10. ou 12. lieuës de large, les hommes de l'autre part s'appellent Etechemins, & plus loin sont les Armouchiquois peuple distingué de langage de ceux-ci, & lequel est heureux en quãtité de belles vignes & gros raisins, s'il sçavoit conoitre l'vtilité de ce fruit, lequel (ainsi que nos vieux Gaullois) il pense estre poison. Ammian Marcellin. Il a aussi de la chãve excellente que la nature lui donne, laquelle en beauté and bõté passe de beaucoup la nôtre: & outre ce le Sassafras, force chenes, noyers, pruniers, chataigniers, & autres fruits qui ne sont venus à nôtre conoissance. Quant au Port Royal ie veux confesser qu'il n'y a pas [19] tant de fruits: & neantmoins la terre y est plantureuse pour y esperer tout ce que la France Gaulloise nous produit. Tous ces peuples se gouvernent par Capitaines qu'ils appellent Sagamos, mot qui est pris és Indes Orientales en méme signification, ainsi que i'ay leu en l'histoire de Maffeus, & lequel i'estime venir du mot Hebrieu Sagan, qui signifie Grand Prince, selon Rabbi David, & quelquefois celui qui tient le second lieu apres le souverain Pontife. Esai. 41. vers. 25, Ierem. 51. vers. 23. Santes Pagnin, 9. En la version ordinaire de la Bible il est pris pour le Magistrat: & neantmoins là méme les interpretes Hebrieux le tournẽt Prince. Et de fait nous lisons dans Berose que Noé fut appellé Saga tant pour ce qu'il estoit grand Prince, que pour ce qu'il avoit enseigné la Theologie, & les ceremonies du service divin, avec beaucoup de secrets, des choses natureles, aux Scytes Armeniens, que les anciens Cosmographes appellerent Sages du nom de Noé. Et paraventure pour cette 74 méme consideration ont esté appellés nos Tectosages, qui sont les Tolosains. Car ce bon pere restaurateur du monde vint en Italie, & envoya [20] repeupler les Gaulles apres le Deluge, donnant son nom de Gaulois (car Xenophon dit qu'il fut aussi appellé de ce nom) à ceux qu'il y envoya, par ce qu'il avoit esté echappé des eaux. Et n'est pas inconvenient que lui-méme n'ait imposé le nom aux Tectosages. Revenons à nôtre mot de Sagamos lequel est le tiltre d'honneur des Capitaines en ces Terres neuves dont nous parlons. Au Port Royal le Capitaine, ou Sagamos dudit lieu s'appelle en son nom Membertou. Il est âgé de cent ans pour le moins, & peut naturellement vivre encore plus de cinquante. Il a sous soy plusieurs familles, ausquelles il commande, non point avec tant d'authorité que fait nôtre Roy sur ses sujets, mais pour haranguer, donner conseil, marcher à la guerre, faire raison à celui qui reçoit quelque injure, & choses sẽblables. Il ne met point d'impost sur le peuple. Mais s'il y a de la chasse il en a sa part sans qu'il soit tenu d'y aller. Vray est qu'on lui fait quelquefois des presens de peaux de Castors, ou autre chose, quand il est employé pour la guerison de quelque malade, ou pour interroger [21] son dæmon (qu'il appelle Aoutem) afin d'auoir nouvelle de quelque chose future, ou absente: car chaque village, ou compagnie de Sauvages, ayant vn Aoutmoin, c'est à dire Devin, qui fait cet office, Membertou est celui qui de grande ancienneté à prattiqué cela entre ceux parmi lesquels il a conversé. Si bien qu'il est en credit pardessus tous les autres Sagamos du païs, aiãt dés sa jeunesse esté grand Capitaine, & parmi cela exercé l'office de Devin & de Medecin, qui sont les 76 trois choses plus efficaces à obliger les hommes, & à se rendre necessaire en ceste vie humaine. Or ce Membertou aujourd'huy par la grace de Dieu est Chrétien avec toute sa famille, aiant esté baptizé, & vingt autres apres lui, le jour sainct Iehan dernier 24. Iuin. I'en ay lettres dudit Sieur de Poutrincourt en datte du vnzieme jour de Iuillet ensuivant. Ledit Membertou a esté nommé du nom de nôtre feu bon Roy Henry IIII. & son fils ainé du nom de Monseigneur le Dauphin aujourd'huy nôtre Roy Lovis XIII. que Dieu benie. Et ainsi consequemment la femme de Membertou a [22] esté nommée Marie du nom de la Royne Regente, & à sa fille a esté imposé le nom de la Roine Margverite. Le second fils de Membertou dit Actaudin fut nommé Pavl du nom de nôtre sainct Pere le Pape de Rome. La fille du susdit Louis eut nom Christine en l'honneur de Madame la sœur ainee du Roy. Et consequemment à chacun fut imposé le nom de quelque illustre, ou notable personnage de deça. Plusieurs autres Sauvages estoient lors allez cabanner ailleurs (comme c'est leur coutume de se disperser par bendes quand l'esté est venu) lors de ces solennitez de regeneration Chrétienne, lesquels nous estimons estre aujourd'huy enrollés en la famille de Dieu par le méme lavemẽt du sainct bapteme. Mais le diable, qui iamais ne dort, en ceste occurrence ici a témoigné la jalousie qu'il avoit du salut annoncé à ce peuple, & de voir que le nom de Dieu fust glorifié en cette terre: ayant suscité vn mauvais François, non François, mais Turc: non Turc, mais Athée, pour detourner du sentier de salut plusieurs Sauvages qui estoient Chrétiens en leur ame & de [23] volonté dés il y a trois ans: & entre autres vn 78 Sagamos nommé Chkoudun homme de grand credit, duquel i'ay fait honorable mẽtion en mon Histoire de la Nouvelle-Frãce, par ce que je l'ay veu sur tous autres aymer les François, & qu'il admiroit nos inventions au pris de leur ignorance: mémes que s'estant quelquefois trouvé aux remontrances Chrétiennes qui se faisoient par-de là à noz Frãçois par chacun Dimanche, il s'y rendoit attentif, encores qu'il n'y entẽdist rien: & davantage avoit pendu devant sa poitrine le signe de la Croix, lequel il faisoit aussi porter à ses domestics & avoit à nôtre imitation planté vne grande Croix en la place de son village dit Oigoudi, sur le port de la riuiere sainct Iehan, à dix lieuës du port Royal. Or cet homme avec les autres, a esté détourné d'estre Chrétien par l'avarice maudite de ce mauvais François que i'ay touché ci-dessus, lequel ie ne veux nõmer pour cette heure pour l'amour & reverence que ie porte à son pere, mais avec protestation de l'eterniser s'il ne s'amende. Celui-là, di-ie, pour attraper quelques Castors de ce Sagamos [24] Chkoudun, l'alla en Iuin dernier suborner, apres s'estre euadé des mains dudit Sieur de Poutrincourt, disãt que tout ce qu'icelui Poutrincourt leur disoit de Dieu n'estoit rien qui vaille, qu'il ne le falloit point croire, & que c'estoit vn abuseur, & qu'il les feroit mourir pour avoir leurs Castors. Ie laisse beaucoup de mechans discours qu'il peut avoir adjouté à cela. S'il estoit de la Religion de ceux qui se disent Reformez ie l'excuserois aucunement: mais il mõtre bien qu'il n'est ni de l'vne, ny de l'autre. Si diray-ie toutefois qu'il a sujet de remercier Dieu du dãger où il s'est veu en nôtre voiage. Ce Sagamos pouvoit estant Chrétien en rẽdre bon nombre 80 semblables à lui, à son imitation. Mais ie veux esperer, ou plustot croire pour certain qu'il ne demeurera plus gueres long tẽps en cet erreur, & que ledit Sieur aura trouvé moyen de l'attirer (avec beaucoup d'autres) pres de soy, pour luy imprimer derechef les vives persuasions dont il luy avoit autrefois touché l'ame en ma presence. Car l'esprit de Dieu est puissant pour faire tõber sur ce champ vne nouvelle rousee, qui fera regermer ce que la grele a desseché & abbatu. Dieu vueille par sa grace conduire le tout en sorte que la chose reüssisse à sa gloire & à l'edification de ce peuple, pour lequel tous Chrétiens doivent faire continuelles prieres à sa divine bonté, à ce qu'il lui plaise confirmer & avancer l'œuvre qu'il lui a pleu susciter en ce temps pour l'exaltation de son nom, & le salut de ses creatures.


[25] Il y a pardela des hommes d'Eglise de bon sçavoir que le seul zele de la Religion y a porté, lesquels ne manqueront de faire tout ce que la pieté requerra en ce regard. Or quant à present il n'est pas besoin de ces Docteurs sublimes, qui peuvent estre plus vtiles pardeça à combattre les vices & les heresies. Ioint qu'il y a certaine sorte de gens desquels on ne se peut pas bien asseurer faisans métier de censurer tout ce qui ne vient à leurs maximes, & voulans commander par tout. Il suffit d'estre veillé au dehors sans avoir de ces epilogueurs qui considerent tous les mouvemens de vôtre corps & de vôtre cœur pour en faire regitres, desquels les plus grands Rois mémes ne se peuvẽt defendre. Et puis, que serviroiẽt pardela tãt de gens de cette sorte, quãt à present, si ce n'est qu'ils 82 voulussent s'addonner à la culture de la terre? Car ce n'est pas tout que d'aller là. Il faut considerer ce que l'on y fera y estant arrivé. Pour ce qui est de la demeure du Sieur de Poutrincourt il s'est fourni au depart de ce qui lui estoit necessaire. Mais s'il prenoit envie à quelques gens de bien d'y [26] avancer l'Evangile, ie seroy d'avis qu'ils fissent cinq ou six bandes, avec chacun vn navire bien equippé, & qu'ils allassent planter des colonies en diverses places de ces quartiers là, comme à Tadoussac, Gachepé, Campseau, la Héve, Oigoudi, Saincte Croix, Pemptegoet, Kinibeki, & autres endroits où sont les assemblées de Sauvages, lesquels il faut que le temps ameine à la Religion Chrétienne: si ce n'est qu'vn grand Pere de famille tel que le Roy en vueille avoir la gloire totale, & face habiter ces lieux. Car d'y penser vivre à leur mode i'estime cela estre hors de nôtre pouvoir. Façon de vivre des Souriquois & Ethechemins. Et pour le montrer, leur façon de vivre est telle, que depuis la premiere terre (qui est la Terre-neuve) insques aux Armouchiquois, qui sont pres de trois cens lieuës, les hommes vivent vagabons, sans labourage, n'estans iamais plus de cinq ou six semaines en vn lieu. Pline à fait mention de certains peuples dits Ichthyophages, c'est à dire Mangeurs de poissons, viuans de cela. Ceux ci sont tout de méme les trois parts de l'année. Car venant le Printẽps ils se divisent par troupes sur les rives de mer insques à [27] l'Hiver, lequel venãt, par ce que le poissõ se retire au fond des grandes eaux salées, ilz cherchent les lacs & ombres des bois, où ilz pechent les Castors, dont ilz vivẽt, & d'autres chasses, comme Ellans, Caribous, Cerfs, & autres animaux moindres que ceux-lá. Et neantmoins quelquefois, en Eté méme ilz ne laissent point de chasser: & 84 d'ailleurs ont infinie quantité d'oyseaux en certaines iles és mois de May, Iuin, Iuillet, & Aoust. le coucher. Quant à leur coucher, vne peau etendue sur la terre leur sert de matelas. Et en cela n'avons dequoy nous mocquer d'eux, par ce que noz vieux peres Gaullois en faisoient de méme, & dinoiẽt aussi sur des peaux de chiens & de loups, si Diodore & Strabon disent vray. Armouchiquois. Mais quant au pais des Armouchiquois & Iroquois, il y a plus grande moisson à faure pour ceux qui sont poussez d'vn zele religieux, par ce que le peuple y est beaucoup plus frequent, & cultive la terre, de laquelle il retire vn grand soulagement de vie. Vray est qu'il n'entent pas bien la façõ de faire le pain, n'ayant les inventiõs des moulins, ni du levain, ni des fours; ains broye son blé en certaine façon de [28] mortiers, & l'empâte au mieux qu'il peut pour le faire cuire entre deux pierres echauffées au feu: ou bien rotit ledit blé en epic sur la braise, ainsi que faisoient les vieux Romains, au dire de Pline. Plin. liv. 18. chap. 2. & 10. Depuis on trouva le moyen de faire des gateaux souz la cendre: & depuis encore les boulengers trouverent la façon des fours. Or ces peuples cultivans la terre sont arretés, ce que les autres ne sont point, n'ayans rien de propre, tels qu'estoient les Allemans au temps de Tacite, lequel a décrit leurs anciennes façons de vivre. Iroquois. Plus avant dans les terres au dessus des Armouchiquois sont les Iroquois peuples aussi arretés, par-ce qu'ilz cultivent la terre, d'où ils recueillent du blé mahis (ou Sarazin) dés féves, des bõnes racines, & bref tout ce que nous avons dit du pays desdits Armouchiquois, voire encore plus, car par necessité ilz vivent de la terre, estans loin de la mer. Neantmoins ils ont vn grand lac d'étendue merveilleuse, comme d'environ 60. lieuës, 86 à lentour duquel ils sont cabãnés. Dans ledit lac il y a des iles belles & grandes, habitées desdits Iroquois, qui sont vn grand peuple, & plus on va [29] avant dans les terres plus on les trouve habitées: Nouveau Mexique. si bien que (s'il en faut croire les Hespagnols) au pays dit le Nouveau Mexique bien loin pardela lesdits Iroquois, en tirant au Suroüest, il y a des villes baties, & des maisons à trois & quatre etages: méme du bestial privé: d'où ils ont appellé vne certaine riviere Rio de las Vaccas, La riviere des Vaches, pour y en avoir veu en grand nombre paturer le lõg de la riviere. Grand lac outre Canada.Et est-ce pays directement au Nort à plus de cinq cens lieuës du vieil Mexique, avoisinant, comme ie croy, l'extremité du grand lac de la riviere de Canada, lequel (selon le rapport des Sauvages) a trente journées de long. Ie croiroy que des hommes robustes & bien composés pourroient vivre parmi ces peuples là, & faire grand fruit à l'avancement de la Religion Chrétienne. Mais quant aux Souriquois, & Etechemins, qui sont vagabons & divisés, il les faut assembler par la culture de la terre, & obliger par ce moyen à demeurer en vn lieu. Car quiconque a pris la peine de cultiver vne terre il ne la quitte point aisement. Il cõbat pour la conserver de tout son courage. [30] Mais ie trouve ce dessein de longue execution si nous n'y allons d'autre zele, & si vn Roy ou riche Prince ne prent cette cause en main, laquelle certes est digne d'vn royaume tres-Chrétien. Conquete de la Palestine comparee à celle de la Nouvelle-France. On a jadis fait tant de depenses & pertes d'hommes à la reconqueste de la Palestine, à quoy on a peu proufité: & aujourd'hui à peu de frais on pourroit faire des merveilles, & acquerir infinis peuples à Dieu sans coup ferir: & nous sommes touchés d'vne ie ne sçay quelle 88 lethargie en ce qui est du zele religieux qui bruloit noz peres anciennement. Si on n'esperoit aucun fruit temporel en ceci ie pardonnerois à l'imbecillité humaine. Mais il y a de si certaines esperances d'vne bõne vsure, qu'elles ferment la bouche à tous les ennemis de ce pays là, lesquels le decrient afin de ne perdre la traite des Castors & autres pelleteries dont ils vivent, & sans cela mourroyent de faim, ou ne sçauroient à quoy s'employer. Au Roy & à la Royne.Que s'il plaisoit au Roy, & à la Royne Regente sa mere, en laquelle Dieu a allume vn brasier de pieté, prendre goust à ceci (cõme certes elle a faict au rapport de la Conversiõ des Sauvages baptizés par le [31] soin du Sieur de Poutrincourt) & laisser quelque memoire d'elle, ou plustot s'asseurer de la beatitude des cieux par cette action qui est toute de Dieu, on ne peut dire quelle gloire à l'avenir ce lui seroit d'estre la premiere qui auroit planté l'Evangile en de si grandes terres, qui (par maniere de dire) n'ont point de bornes. Si Helene mere de l'Empereur Cõstantin eust trouvé tant de sujet de bien-faire, elle eust beaucoup mieux aimé edifier à Dieu des temples vivans que tant d'edifices de marbre dont elle a rempli la terre saincte. Et au bout l'esperance de la remuneration temporelle n'en est poĩt vaine. Car d'une part le Sieur de Poutrincourt demeure toujours serviteur du Roy en la terre que sa Maiesté luy a octroyée: en laquelle il seroit le rendezvous & support de tant de vaisseaux qui vont tous les ans aux Terres neuves, où ilz reçoivent mille incommodités, & en perit grand nombre, comme nous avons veu & oui dire. Moyens pour aller aux Molucques par le Ponant & le Nort.Dailleurs penetrant dans les terres, nous pourrions nous rendre familier le chemin de la Chine, & des Molucques par vn climat & parallele tẽperé, en 90 faisant quelques statiõs ou [32] demeures au Saut de la grande riviere de Canada, puis aux lacs qui sont plus outre, le dernier desquels n'est pas loin de la grande mer Occidentale, par laquelle les Hespagnols vont aujourd'hui en l'Orient: Ou bien on pouroit faire la méme entreprise par la riviere de Saguenay, outre laquelle les Sauvages rapportent qu'il y a vne mer dont ilz n'ont veu le bout, qui est sans doute ce passage par le Nort, lequel en vain l'on a tant recherché. Vtilités.De sorte que nous aurions des epices, & autres drogues sans les mendier desdits Hespagnols, & demeureroit és mains du Roy le proufit qu'il tire de nous sur ces denrées: Laissant à part l'vtilité des cuirs, paturages, pecheries, & autres biens. Mais il faut semer avant que recuillir. Par ces exercices on occuperoit beaucoup de ieunesse Françoise, dont vne partie languit ou de pauvreté, ou d'oisiveté: ou vont aux provinces etrangeres enseigner les metiers qui nous estoient iadis propres & particuliers, au moyen dequoy la France estoit remplie de biens, au lieu qu'aujourd'hui vne longue paix ne l'a encore peu remettre en son premier lustre, tant [33] pour la raison que dessus, que pour le nombre de gens oisifs, & mendians valides & volontaires que le public nourrit. Chiquanerie.Entre lesquelles incommodités on pourrait mettre encore le mal de la chiquanerie qui mange nostre nation, dõt elle a esté blamée de tout temps. A quoy Ammiã Marcellin.seroit aucunement obvié par les frequẽtes navigations: estant ainsi qu'une partie de ceux qui plaident auroient plustot fait de conquester nouvelle terre, demeurans en l'obeissance du Roy, que de poursuivre ce qu'ilz debattent avec tant de ruines, longueurs, solicitudes, & travaux. Et en ce ie repute heureux tous 92 ces pauvres peuples que ie deplore ici. Felicité des Sauvages.Car la blafarde Envie ne les amaigrit poĩt ilz ne ressentent point les inhumanités d'vn qui sert Dieu en torticoli, pour souz cette couleur tourmenter les hommes; ilz ne sont point sujets au calcul de ceux qui manquans de vertu & de bonté s'affublent d'vn faux pretexte de pieté pour nourrir leur ambition. S'ilz ne conoissent point Dieu, au moins ne le blasphement ilz point, comme font la pluspart des Chretiens. Ilz ne sçavent que c'est d'empoisonner, ni de corrompre la [34] chasteté par artifice diabolique. Il n'y a point de pauvres, ny de mendians entre eux. Tous sont riches, entant que tous travaillent & vivent. Mais entre nous il va bien autrement. Car il y en a plus de la moitié qui vit du labeur d'autrui, ne faisant aucun metier qui soit necessaire à la vie humaine. Que si ce païs là estoit etabli, tel y a qui n'ose faire ici ce qu'il feroit là. Pour ceux qui vont en la N. France.Il n'ose point ici estre bucheron, laboureur, vigneron, &c. par ce que sõ pere est chiquaneur, barbier, apothicaire &c. Et là il oublieroit toutes ces aprehensions de reproche, & prendroit plaisir à cultiver sa terre, ayant beaucoup de compagnons d'aussi bonne maison que lui. Et cultiver la terre c'est le metier le plus innocent, & plus certain, exercice de ceux de qui nous sommes tous descendus, & de ces braves Capitaines Romains qui sçavoient domter & ne point estre domtés. Mais depuis que la pompe & la malice se sont introduits parmi les hommes, ce qui estoit vertu a tourné en reproche, & les faineans sont venus en estime. A la Royne.Or laissons ces gens là, & revenons au Sieur de Poutrincourt, ains plustot a vous, ô Royne Tres-Chretienne, [35] la plus grande, & plus cherie des cieux que l'œil du monde voye en la rõde qu'il fait 94 chaque iour alentour de cet vnivers. Vous qui avés le maniement du plus noble Empire dici bas, Quoy souffrirez vous de voir vn Gentil-hõme de si bonne volonté sans l'employer & sans le secourir? Voulez vous qu'il emporte la premiere gloire du monde par dessus vous, & que le triomphe de cet affaire luy demeure sans que vous y participiés? Non, non, Madame, il faut que le tout vous en soit rapporté, & que cõme les etoilles empruntent leur lumiere du soleil, aussi que du Roy & de vous qui nous l'avés dõné toutes les belles actiõs des François depẽdent. Il faut donc prevenir cette gloire, & ne la ceder à autre, tandis que vous avés vn Poutrincourt bon François, & qui a servi le feu Roy de regretable memoire vôtre Epoux (que Dieu absolve) en des affaires d'Estat dont les histoires ne font mention.: En haine dequoy sa maison & ses biens ont passé par l'examen du feu. Il ne passe point l'Ocean pour voir le païs, comme ont fait préque tous les autres qui ont entrepris de semblables navigations [36] aux dépens de noz Roys. Mais il mõtre par effect quelle est son intentiõ, si bien qu'on n'en peut point douter, & ne hazarderez rien maintenant quand vôtre Majesté l'employera à bon escient à l'amplificatiõ de la religion Chrétienne és terres Occidentales d'outre mer. Vous reconoissez son zele, le vôtre est incomparable, mais il faut aviser où se pourra mieux faire vôtre emploite. Ie louë les Princesses & Dames qui depuis quinze ans ont dõné de leurs biens pour le repos de ceux ou celles qui se veulent sequestrer du monde. Mais i'estime (sauf correction) que leur pieté seroit plus illustre si elle se montroit envers ces pauvres peuples Occidentaux qui gemissent, & dont le defaut d'instruction crie vengeance 96 à Dieu contre ceux qui les peuvent ayder à estre Chrétiens, & ne le font pas. Vne Royne de Castille a esté cause que la religion Chrétienne a esté portée és terres que tient l'Hespagnol en Occident: faites ô lumiere des Roynes du monde, que par vous bientot on oye eclater le nom de Dieu par tout ce monde nouveau où il n'est point encore coneu. Or reprenant le fil de mõ [37] Histoire, puisque nous avons parlé du voyage dudit Sieur de Poutrincourt, il ne sera point hors de propos si apres avoir touché les incommodités & longueurs de sa navigation, qui l'ont reculé d'vn an, nous disons vn mot du retour de son vaisseau. Ce qui sera bref, d'autant qu'ordinairement sont bréves les navigations qui se font des terres Occidentales en deça hors le Tropique du Cancre. Liv. 1. ch. 24. & li. 2. ch. 41. & 42.I'ay rendu la raison de cela en mon Histoire de la Nouvelle-France, où ie renvoye le Lecteur: comme aussi pour sçavoir la raison pourquoy en Eté la mer y est remplie de brumes en telle sorte que pour vn jour serein il y en a deux de broüillas: & deux fois m'y suis trouvé parmi des brumes de huict jours entiers. Que c'est ce Banc Voy la dite Histoire liv. 2. chap. 24.Ceci e esté cause que ledit Sieur de Poutrincourt renvoyant son fils en France pour faire nouvelle charge, il a demeuré aussi long temps à gaigner le grand Banc aux Moruës depuis le Port Royal, comme à gaigner la France depuis ledit Banc: & toutefois depuis icelui Banc jusques à la terre de France il y a huit cens bonnes lieuës: & de là méme jusques audit Port Royal il n'y en a gueres [38] plus de trois cens. C'est sur ledit Banc qu'on trouve ordinairement tout l'Eté force navires qui font la Pecherie des Moruës qu'on apporte pardeça, lesquelles on appelle Moruës de Terre-neuve. Ainsi le fils dudit Sieur de Poutrincourt (dit 98 le Baron de Sainct Iust) arrivãt audit Banc fit provision de viande freche, & pecherie de poisson. La maniere de cette pecherie, voy au lieu sus-dit.En quoy faisant il eut en rencontre vn navire Rochelois & vn autre du Havre de Grace, d'où il eut nouvelles de la mort lamentable de nôtre defunct bon Roy, sans sçavoir par qui, ni comment. Mais apres eut en rencontre vn autre navire Anglois, d'où il entendit la méme chose, accusans du parricide des gens que ie ne veux ici nõmer: car ils le disoient par haine & envie, n'ayans plus grans adversaires qu'eux. En 15. jours du Banc en France.En quinze jours donc ledit Sieur de Sainct Iust fut rendu dudit Banc en France, ayant toujours eu vent en poupe: navigation certes beaucoup plus agreable que celle du vingtsixieme de Février mentionnée-ci-dessus. Les gens du Sieur de Monts partirent du Havre de Grace neuf ou dix jours apres ledit jour 26. Février pour aller à Kebec, 40. lieuës pardela [39] la riviere de Saguenay, où icelui Sieur de Monts s'est fortifié. Mais ilz furent contraints de relacher pour les mauvais vents. Et là dessus courut vn bruit que le Sieur de Poutrincourt estoit peri en mer, & tout son equipage. A quoy ie n'adjoutay onques foy, croyant pour certain que Dieu l'aidera, & le fera passer par-dessus toutes difficultez. Kebec Fort du Sieur de Monts.Nous n'avons encore nouvelles dudit Kebec, & en attendons bien-tot. Mais ie puis dire pour la verité que si jamais quelque chose de bon reüssit de la Nouvelle-France la posterité en aura de l'obligatiõ audit Sieur de Monts autheur de ces choses, auquel si on n'eust point oté le privilege qui lui avoit esté baillé pour la traite de Castors & autres pelleteries, aujourd'hui nous aurions force bestiaux, arbres fruictiers, peuples, & batimẽs en ladite province. Car il a desiré ardamment de voir pardela les affaires etablies à 100 l'honneur de Dieu & de la France. Et jaçoit qu'on lui ait oté le sujet de continuer, si ne s'est il point decouragé jusques à present de faire ce qu'il a peu, ayant fait batir vn Fort audit Kebec, avec des logemens fort beaux & commodes. En ce lieu de Kebec cette [40] grande & immense riviere de Canada est reduite à l'étroit, & n'a que la portée d'vn fauconneau de large, abõdante en poissons autant que riviere du monde. Pour le pays il est beau à merveilles, & abondant en chasse. Mais estant en pays plus froid que le port Royal, assavoir quatre vingtz lieuës plus au Nort, aussi la pelleterie y est elle beaucoup plus belle. Car (entre autres) les Renars y sont noirs, & d'vn poil si beau, qu'il semble faire honte à la Martre. Les Sauvages du Port Royal y peuvent aller en dix ou douze jours par le moyen des rivieres sur lesquelles ils navigent préque jusques à la source, & de là portans leurs petits canots d'écorce par quelque espace dans les bois, ils gaignent vne autre riviere qui va tomber dans ledit fleuve de Canada, & ainsi expedient bien-tot de lõgs voyages: ce que de nous-mémes ne sçaurions faire en l'etat qu'est le païs. Et par mer audit Kebec il y a dudit Port Royal plus de quatre cens lieuës en allant par le Cap Breton. Ledit Sieur de Monts y auoit envoyé des vaches dés il y a deux ans & demi, mais faute de quelque femme de village qui entendist le [41] gouvernement d'icelles, on en a laissé mourir la pluspart en se dechargeant de leurs veaux. Femmes combien necessaires.En quoy se reconoit combien vne femme est necessaire en vne maison, laquelle ie ne sçay pourquoy tant de gens rejettent, & ne s'en peuvent passer. Quant à moy ie seray toujours d'auis qu'en quelque habitation que ce soit on ne fera jamais fruit sans la 102 compagnie des femmes. Sans elles la vie est triste, les maladies viennent, & meurt on sans secours. C'est pourquoy ie me mocque de ces mysogames qui leur ont voulu tant de mal, & particulierement i'en veux à ce fol qu'on a mis au nombre des sept Sages, lequel disoit que la femme est vn mal necessaire, veu qu'il n'y a bien au monde comparable à elle. Ecclesi. 4 vers. 10.Aussi Dieu la il baillée pour compagne à l'homme, afin de l aider & consoler: & le Sage dit que Malheureux est l'hõme qui est seul, car il n'a personne qui l echauffe, & s'il tombe en la fosse il n'a personne pour le relever. Que s'il y a des femmes folles, il faut estimer que les hommes ne sont point sãs faute. De ce defaut de vaches plusieurs se sont ressentis, car estant tombés malades ilz n'ont pas eu toutes les douceurs [42] qu'autrement ils eussent euës, & s'en sont allez promener aux champs Elisées. Conspiration chatiee.Vn autre qui auoit esté de nôtre voyage, n'eut point la patience d'attendre cela, & voulut gaigner le ciel par escalade dés le commencement de son arrivée, par vne conspiration contre le sieur Champlein son Capitaine. Les complices furent condemnés aux galeres, & ramenés en France. Voyage aux Iroquois.L'Eté venu assavoir il y a vn an, ledit Champlein desireux de voir le païs des Iroquois, afin qu'en son absence les Sauvages ne se saisissent point de son Fort, il leur persuada d'aller là faire la guerre, & partirent avec lui & deux autres François, en nõbre de quatre-vingts ou cent, iusques au lac desdits Iroquois, à deux cẽs lieües loin dudit Kebec. Peuples ennemis.De tout temps il y a eu guerre entre ces deux nations, comme entre les Souriquois & Armouchiquois: & se sont quelquefois elevés les Iroquois jusques au nõbre de huit mille hommes, pour guerroyer & exterminer tous ceux qui habitoient 104 la grande riviere de Canada: comme il est à croire qu'ils ont fait, d'autant que là n'est plus aujourd'hui le langage qui s'y parloit au [43] temps de Iacques Quartier, qui y fut il y a quatre-vingts ans. Guerre.Ledit Champlein avec ses troupes arrivé là, ilz ne se peurent si bien cacher qu'ilz ne fussent apperceuz de ces peuples, qui ont toujours des sentinelles sur les avenües de leurs ennemis: & s'estans les vns & les autres bien remparés, il fut convenu entre eux de ne point combattre pour ce jour là, mais de remettre l'affaire au lendemain. Le temps lors estoit serein: si bien que l'Aurore n'eut point plutot chassé les ombres de la nuit, que la rumeur s'emeût par tout le camp. Quelque enfant perdu des Iroquois ayant voulu sortir de ses rempars, fut transpercé non d'un trait d'Apollon, ou de l'Archerot aux yeux bendés, mais d'un vray trait materiel & bien poignant qui le mit à la renverse. Là dessus, la colere monte au front des offensés & chacun se met en ordre pour attaquer & se defendre. Comme la troupe des Iroquois s'avançoit, Champlein qui avoit chargé son mousquet à deux balles, voyant deux Iroquois marcher devant avec des panaches sur la tête, se douta que c'estoient deux Capitaines, & voulut s'avancer [44] pour les mirer. Mais les Sauvages de Kebec l'empecherent, disans: Il n'est pas bon qu'ilz te voyent, car incontinent, n'ayans point accoutumé de voir telles gens, ilz s'en fuiront. Mais retire toy derriere le premier rang des nôtres, & puis quand nous serons prets, tu devanceras. Ce qu'il fit: & par ce moyen furent les deux Capitaines tout ensemble emportés d'vn coup de mousquet. Victorie.Lors victoire gaignée. Car chacun se debende, & ne restoit qu'à poursuivre. Tabagie, c'est festĩ. Ce qui fut fait avec 106 peu de resistance, & emporterent environ cinquante têtes de leurs ennemis, dont au retour ilz firent de merveilleuses fêtes en Tabagies, danses, & chansons continuelles, selon leur coutume.


[7] The Conversion of the Savages who have been baptized in New France during this year, 1610.

Matth. 24, verse 14.

THE unchangeable word of our Savior Jesus Christ bears witness to us through the lips of saint Matthew that This Gospel of the kingdom, shall be preached in the whole world, for a testimony to all nations, and then shall the consummation come. History shows that the voice of the Apostles has resounded for several centuries past throughout all the old world, although to-day the Christian kingdoms form the smallest part of it. But as to the new world, discovered some hundred and twenty years ago, we have no proof that the word of God has ever [8] been proclaimed there prior to these later times; unless we are to believe the story of Jean de Lery,5 who says that one day as he was telling the Brazilians about the great miracles of God in the creation of the world, and the mysteries of our redemption, an old man told him that he had heard his grandfather say that, many years before, a bearded man (Brazilians have no beards) had come among them and had related something similar; but that they would not listen to him, and since then had been killing and eating each other. As to the other countries beyond the sea, some of them have indeed a certain vague knowledge of the deluge, and of the immortality of the soul, together with the future reward of those who live aright; but they might have handed this obscure doctrine down, from generation to generation, since the universal deluge which hap 61pened in the time of Noah. It remains now to deplore the wretched condition of these people who occupy a country so large that the old world bears no comparison with it, if we include the land which lies beyond the straits of Magellan, called [9] Terra del fugo, extending as far toward China and Japan as toward New Guinea; and also the country beyond the great river of Canada,6 which stretches out to the East and is washed by the great Western ocean. Dense ignorance prevails in all these countries, where there is no evidence that they have ever felt the breath of the Gospel, except in this last century when the Spaniard carried thither some light of the Christian religion, together with his cruelty and avarice.7 But this was so little that it should not receive much consideration, since by the very confession of those who have written their histories, they have killed almost all the natives of the country, who, only seventy years ago, according to a certain historian,8 numbered more than twenty millions. For more than twenty-five years, the English have retained a foothold in a country called, in honor of the deceased Queen of England, Virginia, which lies between Florida and the land of the Armouchiquois.9 But that country carries on its affairs with so much secrecy, that very few persons know [10] anything definite about it. Soon after I published my History of New France,10 there was an embarkation of eight hundred men to be sent there. It is not reported that they bathed their hands in the blood of those people, for which they are neither to be praised nor blamed: for there is no law nor pretext which permits us to kill anyone, whosoever he may be, and especially the persons whose property we have seized. But they are 63 to be commended if they show to these poor ignorant people the way of salvation by the true and unvarnished doctrine of the Gospel. As to our French people, I have complained enough in my History of the cowardice of these later times, and of our lack of zeal either in reclaiming these poor erring ones, or in making known, exalted, and glorified, the name of God in the lands beyond the seas, where it never has been proclaimed. And yet we wish that country to bear the name of France, a name so august and venerable that we cannot, without a feeling of shame, glory in an un-Christianized France. I know that there are any number of people who are willing to go there. But why is it that [11] the Church, which has so much wealth; why is it that the Nobility, who expend so much needlessly, do not establish some fund for the execution of so holy a work? Two courageous Gentlemen, Sieurs de Monts and de Poutrincourt, have in these later times shown such great zeal in this work, that they have weakened their resources by their outlays, and have done more than their strength justified them in doing. Both have continued their voyages up to the present time. But one of them has been frustrated twice, and has had heavy losses through too great confidence in the words of certain persons. Now, inasmuch as the latest news of our New France comes from Sieur de Poutrincourt, we shall speak here of what he has accomplished, and we have good reason to praise his courage; for (not being able to live among the crowd of idle men, of whom we have only too many, and seeing our France seeming to languish in a monotonous calm that was wearisome to men of action), after having given a thousand proofs of his valor, during the last twenty- 65four years, he sought to crown [12] his truly Herculean labors in the cause of God, for which he employs his means and strength, and endangers his life, by increasing the number of celestial citizens, and leading to the fold of Jesus Christ, our sovereign Shepherd, the wandering sheep, whom it would be becoming to the Prelates of the Church to go out and gather in (at least to contribute to this end) since they have the means of doing so. But with what difficulty has he labored in this cause up to the present time? Thrice has he crossed the great Ocean to carry on his enterprises. The first year was passed with sieur de Monts in seeking a suitable dwelling and a safe port for the withdrawal of the ships and their crews. In this, they did not meet with much success. The second year passed in the same way, and then he returned to France. During the third year, we experimented with the soil, which yielded abundantly to our cultivation. This present year, discovering through an unfortunate experience that men are not always to be trusted, he made up his mind to depend upon no one but himself, and put to sea on the twenty-sixth of February; the [13] weather being very unfavorable, he made the longest voyage of which I have ever heard; certainly our own, three years ago, was tedious enough, when we drifted about upon the sea for the space of two months and a half before reaching Port Royal. But this one lasted three whole months, so that one reckless man was about to mutiny, going so far as to form wicked conspiracies; but Sieur de Poutrincourt's kindness, and respect for the place where he lived in Paris, served as a shield to protect his life. Terrir, meaning to discover the land.The first coast which Sieur de Poutrincourt discovered was port Mouton; there, 67 among the fogs which are very common in this sea during the Summer, he encountered serious dangers, principally in the neighborhood of Cape Sable, where his ship came near foundering. History of New France, book 2, chap. 37, p. 527.Thence, in trying to reach Port Royal, he was carried by violent winds forty leagues beyond, namely to the Norombega river,11 so celebrated and so fabulously described by Geographers and Historians, as I have shown in my said History, where this voyage may be seen in the geographical Chart [14] which I have inserted therein. Thence he came to the river saint John, which is opposite Port Royal beyond French Bay,12 where he found a ship from St. Malo trading with the Savages of the country. Here complaint was made to him by a Captain of the Savages, that one of the crew of the said ship had stolen away his wife and was abusing her: the Sieur informed himself about the matter and then made a prisoner of the malefactor and seized the ship.13 But he released the ship and the sailors, contenting himself by retaining the guilty one, who escaped, however, in a shallop, and went off with the Savages, prejudicing them against the French, as we shall relate hereafter. Arrived at last at Port Royal, it is impossible to describe the joy with which these poor people received the Sieur and his company. And, in truth, there was still greater reason for this joy, since they had lost all hope of ever again seeing the French live among them. They had had some experience of our kind treatment while we were there, and, seeing themselves deprived of it, they wept bitterly when we left them three years ago.

This Port Royal, the home [15] of sieur de Poutrincourt, is the most beautiful earthly habitation that God has ever made. It is fortified upon the North by a 69 range of 12 or 15 leagues of mountains, upon which the Sun beats all day, and by hills on the Southern or Meridian shore, which forms a port that can securely harbor twenty thousand ships, being twenty fathoms deep at its entrance, a league and a half in width, and four leagues long, extending to an island which is a French league in circumference: here I have sometimes seen swimming at ease a medium-sized Whale, which came in with the tide at eight o'clock every morning. Furthermore, there can be caught in this port, in their season, great quantities of herring, smelt, sardines, barbels, codfish, seals and other fish; and as to shell-fish, there is an abundance of lobsters, crabs, palourdes,14 cockles, mussels, snails, and porpoises. But whoever is disposed to go beyond the tides of the sea will find in the river quantities of sturgeon and salmon, and will have plenty of sport in landing them. Now, to return to our story; When Sieur de Poutrincourt arrived [6 i.e. 16] there, he found his buildings entire, the Savages (as these people have been called up to the present) not having touched them in any way, even the furniture remaining as we had left it. Anxious about their old friends, they asked how they were all getting along, calling each individual by his name, and asking why such and such a one had not come back. This shows the great amiability of these people, who, having seen in us only the most humane qualities, never flee from us, as they do from the Spaniard in this whole new world. And consequently by a certain gentleness and courtesy, which are as well known to them as to us, it is easy to make them pliant to all our wishes, and especially so in regard to Religion, of which we left them some good impressions when we 71 were there; and they seemed to wish for nothing better than to enroll themselves under the banner of Jesus Christ, where they would have been received at once if we had had a firm foothold in the country. But just as we were hoping to continue [17] the work, it happened that sieur de Monts, being unable longer to meet the expenses, and not receiving any help from the King, was obliged to recall all those who were over there, who had not taken with them the means necessary to a longer sojourn. So it would have been rash and unwise to administer baptism to people whom it was necessary afterwards to abandon, and give them an opportunity to return to their corruption. But now that the work is being carried on in earnest, and as sieur de Poutrincourt has actually settled there, it is lawful to impress upon their minds and souls the stamp of Christianity, after having instructed them in the principal articles of our Faith. Hebrews 11, vers. 6.Sieur de Poutrincourt is careful to do this, remembering what the Apostle said, He that cometh to God, must believe that he is; and after believing this, one comes gradually to ideas which are farther removed from mere sensual apprehension, such as the belief that out of nothing God created all things, that he made himself man, that he was born of a Virgin, that he consented to die for man, etc. And inasmuch as the Ecclesiastics who have been taken over there, are not [18] familiar with the language of these people, the Sieur has taken the trouble to teach them and to have them taught by his eldest son, a young Gentleman who understands and speaks the native language very well, and who seems to have been destined to open up to the Savages the way to heaven. The people who are at Port Royal, and in73 the adjacent countries extending toward Newfoundland, are called Souriquois15 and have a language of their own. But beyond French Bay, which extends into the land about forty leagues, and is ten or twelve leagues wide, the people on the other side are called Etechemins; and still farther away are the Armouchiquois, whose language is different from that of the Etechemins, and who are fortunate in having an abundance of vines and large grapes, if they only knew how to make use of this fruit, which they believe (as did our ancient Gauls) to be poisonous. Ammianus Marcellinus.They also have excellent hemp, which grows wild, and in quality and appearance is much superior to ours. Besides this they have Sassafras, and a great abundance of oak, walnut, plum and chestnut trees, and other fruits which are unknown to us. As to Port Royal, I must confess that there is not [19] much fruit there; and yet the land is productive enough to make us hope from it all that Gallic France yields to us. All these tribes are governed by Captains called Sagamores, a word used with the same signification in the East Indies, as I have read in the History by Maffeus,16 and which I believe comes from the Hebrew word Sagan, which, according to Rabbi David, means Great Prince, and sometimes means the one who holds the second place after the sovereign Pontiff. Isaiah 41, vers. 25, Jerem. 51, vers. 23, Santes Pagnin, 9.In the usual version of the Bible it is defined "Magistrate," and yet even there the Hebrew interpreters translate it by the word "Prince." And in fact we read in Berosus17 that Noah was called Saga, as much because he was a great Prince as because he had taught Theology and the ceremonies of divine service, and also many of the secrets of nature, to the Armenian Scythians, whom the ancient Cosmog75raphers called "Sages," after Noah. And perhaps for this very same reason our Tectosages, who are the Tolosains,18 are so called. For this good father, who restored the world, came into Italy and sent [20] a new population into Gaul after the Deluge, giving his name, Gauls (for Xenophon says that he was also called by this name), to those whom he sent there, because he had escaped from the waters. And it is not improbable that he himself imposed this name upon the Tectosages. Let us return to our word Sagamore, which is the title of honor given to the Captains in these new Lands, of which we are speaking. At Port Royal, the name of the Captain or Sagamore of the place is Membertou.19 He is at least a hundred years old, and may in the course of nature live more than fifty years longer. He has under him a number of families whom he rules, not with so much authority as does our King over his subjects, but with sufficient power to harangue, advise, and lead them to war, to render justice to one who has a grievance, and like matters. He does not impose taxes upon the people, but if there are any profits from the chase he has a share of them, without being obliged to take part in it. It is true that they sometimes make him presents of Beaver skins and other things, when he is occupied in curing the sick; or in questioning [21] his demon (whom he calls Aoutem) to have news of some future event or of the absent: for, as each village, or company of Savages, has an Aoutmoin, or Prophet, who performs this office, Membertou is the one who, from time immemorial, has practiced this art among his followers. He has done it so well that his reputation is far above that of all the other Sagamores of the country, he having been since his youth a great Captain, and77 also having exercised the offices of Soothsayer and Medicine-man, which are the three things most efficacious to the well-being of man, and necessary to this human life. Now this Membertou to-day, by the grace of God, is a Christian, together with all his family, having been baptized, and twenty others with him, on last saint John's day, the 24th of June. I have letters from Sieur de Poutrincourt about it, dated the eleventh day of July following. He said Membertou was named after our late good King Henri IV., and his eldest son after Monseigneur the Dauphin, to-day our King Louis XIII., whom may God bless. And so, as a natural consequence, the wife of Membertou [22] was named Marie after the Queen Regent, and her daughter received the name of the Queen, Marguerite. The second son of Membertou, called Actaudin, was named Paul after our holy Father, the Pope of Rome. The daughter of the aforesaid Louis was named Christine in honor of Madame, the eldest sister of the King. And thus to each one was given the name of some illustrious or notable personage here in France. A number of other Savages were about to camp elsewhere (as it is their custom to scatter in bands when summer comes) at the time of these ceremonies of Christian regeneration, whom we believe to be to-day enrolled in the family of God by the same cleansing water of holy baptism.20 But the devil, who never sleeps, has shown the jealousy which he felt at the salvation of these people, and at seeing that the name of God was glorified in this land, by inciting a wicked Frenchman, not a Frenchman but a Turk, not a Turk but an Atheist, to divert from the path of righteousness several Savages who had been Christians in their hearts and [23] souls for79 three years; and among others a Sagamore named Chkoudun, a man of great influence, of whom I have made honorable mention in my History of New France, because I saw that he, more than all the others, loved the French, and that he admired our civilization more than their ignorance: to such an extent, that being present sometimes at the Christian admonitions, which were given every Sunday to our French people, he listened attentively, although he did not understand a word; and moreover wore the sign of the Cross upon his bosom, which he also had his servants wear; and he had in imitation of us, a great Cross erected in the public place of his village, called Oigoudi, at the port of the river saint John, ten leagues from Port Royal. Now this man, with others, was turned away from Christianity, by the cursed avarice of this wicked Frenchman to whom I have referred above, and whom I do not wish to name now on account of the love and reverence I bear his father, but I protest that I will immortalize him if he does not mend his ways. He, I say, in order to defraud this Sagamore [24], Chkoudun, of a few Beavers, went last June to bribe him, after having escaped from the hands of Sieur de Poutrincourt, saying that all this Poutrincourt told them about God was nonsense, that they need not believe it, that he was an impostor, that he would kill them and get their Beavers. I omit a great many wicked stories that he may have added to this. If he were of the religious belief of those who call themselves Reformed, I might somewhat excuse him. But he plainly shows that he is neither of the one nor the other. But I will say, however, that he has reason to thank God for his escape from imminent peril on our 81 voyage. This Sagamore, being a Christian, by his good example might have caused a great number of others to become Christians. But I am willing to hope, or rather firmly believe, that he will not remain much longer in this error, and that the Sieur will have found some means of attracting him with many others to himself, to impress upon him the vital truths with which he had formerly, in my presence, touched his soul. For the spirit of God has power to drop upon this field fresh dew, which will bring forth a new germination where all has been laid waste and beaten down by the hail. May God, by his grace, guide all in such a way that it will redound to his glory and to the edification of this people, for whom all Christians ought to make continual supplication to his divine goodness, to the end that he may consent to confirm and advance the work, which he has been pleased to begin at this time for the exaltation of his name and for the salvation of his creatures.21


[25] There are in that country some men of the Church, of good scholarship, whom nothing but their religious zeal has taken there, and who will not fail to do all that piety requires in this respect. Now, for the present, there is no need of any learned Doctors who may be more useful in combating vices and heresies at home. Besides, there is a certain class of men in whom we cannot have complete confidence, who are in the habit of censuring everything that is not in harmony with their maxims, and wish to rule wherever they are. It is enough to be watched from abroad without having these fault-finders, from whom even the greatest Kings cannot defend themselves,83 come near enough to record every movement of our hearts and souls. And then what would be the use of so many such men over there at present, unless they wanted to devote themselves to the cultivation of the soil? For going there is not all. What they will do, when they get there, must be taken into consideration. As to Sieur de Poutrincourt's residence, he provided himself at his departure with everything that was necessary. But if a few honest people were seized with a desire to [26] advance the cause of the Gospel there, I would advise them to make up five or six parties, each one having a well-equipped ship, and to go and establish colonies in different parts of New France, as at Tadoussac, Gachepé, Campseau, la Héve, Oigoudi, Ste. Croix, Pemptegoet, Kinibeki, and in other places, where there are assemblages of Savages, whom time must lead to the Christian Religion: unless the head of some great family, like the King, wishes to have the sole glory of peopling these lands. For to think of living as the Savages do seems to me out of all reason. And to prove this, the following is an example of their way of living: Manner of living of the Souriquois and Ethechemins.From the first land (which is Newfoundland) to the country of the Armouchiquois, a distance of nearly three hundred leagues, the people are nomads, without agriculture, never stopping longer than five or six weeks in a place. Pliny mentions a certain people called Ichthyophagi, i.e., Fish-eaters, living in the same way. These Savages get their living in this manner during three seasons of the year. For, when Spring comes, they divide into bands upon the shores of the sea, until [27] Winter; and then as the fish withdraw to the bottom of the great salt waters, they seek the lakes and the shades of the forests, where they catch 85 Beavers, upon which they live, and other game, as Elk, Caribou, Deer, and still smaller animals. And yet, sometimes even in Summer, they do not give up hunting: besides, there are an infinite number of birds on certain islands in the months of May, June, July and August. Their beds.As to their beds, a skin spread out upon the ground serves as mattress. And in this we have nothing to jest about, for our old Gallic ancestors did the same thing, and even dined from the skins of dogs and wolves, if Diodorus and Strabo tell the truth. Armouchiquois.But as to the Armouchiquois and Iroquois countries, there is a greater harvest to be gathered there by those who are inspired by religious zeal, because they are not so sparsely populated, and the people cultivate the soil, from which they derive some of the comforts of life. It is true that they do not understand very well how to make bread, not having mills, yeast, or ovens; so they pound their corn in a kind of [28] mortar, and make a paste of it as best they can, and bake it between two stones heated at the fire; or they roast this corn on the ear upon the live coals, as did the old Romans, according to Pliny. Pliny, book 18, chap. 2 and 10.Afterwards people learned to bake cakes under the embers; and still later bakers began to make use of ovens. Now these people who cultivate the soil are stationary, not like the others who have nothing of their own, just as the Germans in the time of Tacitus, who has described their ancient way of living. Iroquois.Farther inland, and beyond the Armouchiquois, are the Iroquois tribes, also stationary, because they till the soil, whence they gather maize wheat (or Buckwheat), beans, edible roots, and in short all that we have mentioned in describing the Armouchiquois, even more, for from necessity they draw their87 sustenance from the earth, as they are far from the sea. However, they have a great lake in their country, of wonderful extent, perhaps about sixty leagues, around which they encamp. New Mexico.In this lake there are large and beautiful islands inhabited by the Iroquois, who are a great people; the farther [29] we penetrate into the country, the more we find it inhabited: so much so that (if we can believe the Spaniards) in the country called New Mexico, a long distance to the Southwest of these Iroquois, there are regularly built cities and houses of three and four stories, and even domesticated cattle, whence they have named a certain river, Rio de las Vaccas, or Cow river, because they saw a large number of them grazing on its banks. A great lake beyond Canada.And this country is more than five hundred leagues directly to the north of old Mexico, being near, I believe, the end of the great lake of the river of Canada which (according to the Savages) is a thirty days' journey in length. I believe that robust and hardy men could live among these people, and do great work for the advancement of the Christian Religion. But as to the Souriquois and Etechemins, who are nomadic and divided, they must be made sedentary by the cultivation of the land, thus obliging them to remain in one place. For any one who has taken the trouble to cultivate a piece of land does not readily abandon it, but struggles valiantly to keep it. [30] But, I think, the execution of this plan will be very slow unless we take hold of it with more zeal, and unless a King, or some rich Prince, take this cause in hand, which is certainly worthy a most Christian kingdom. Conquest of Palestine compared with that of New France.Great expense and loss of life were once incurred in the re-conquest of Palestine, from which there was little profit; and to-day at slight expense wonders could 89 be accomplished, and an infinite number of people won over to God, without striking a blow: and yet we are touched by an inexplicable apathy in religious matters, which is quite different from the fervid zeal, which of old burned in the bosoms of our fathers. If we did not expect any temporal fruit from these labors, I would pardon this human weakness. But there are such well-founded hopes of good usury, that they close the mouths of all the enemies of that country, who decry it in order not to lose the traffic in Beaver and other furs from which they gain a livelihood, and without which they would die of starvation or would not know what to do. Appeal to the King and the Queen Regent.But if the King and the Queen Regent, his mother, in whom God has kindled a fire of piety, should be pleased to take an interest in this (as she has certainly done in the report of the Conversion of the Savages, baptized through the [31] instrumentality of Sieur de Poutrincourt) and would leave some memorial of herself, or rather would secure for herself the blessedness of heaven by this most godly act, no one can tell how great would be her future glory in being the first to establish the Gospel in such vast territories, which (so to speak) have no bounds. If Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine, had found such a field for good work, she would have greatly preferred to glorify God with living temples, instead of building so many marble edifices, with which she has filled the holy land. And, after all, the hope of temporal profit is not vain. For on one hand Sieur de Poutrincourt will continue to be the servant of the King in the country which his Majesty has granted him; where he would afford a rendezvous and give assistance to all the vessels which go every year to the new91 World, where they encounter a thousand hardships and, as we have seen and heard, great numbers of them are lost. Means of reaching the Moluccas through the Northern route.On the other hand, penetrating into the country, we might become familiar with the route to China and the Moluccas, through a mild climate and latitude, establishing a few stations, or [32] settlements, at the Falls of the great Canadian river, then at the lakes which are beyond, the last of which is not far from the great Western sea, through which the Spaniards to-day reach the Orient. Or, indeed, the same enterprise could be carried on through the Saguenay river, beyond which the Savages say there is a sea of which they have never seen the end, which is without doubt that Northern passage that has been so long sought in vain. Advantages.So that we could have spices and other drugs without begging them from the Spaniards, and the profits derived from us upon these commodities would remain in the hands of the King, not counting the advantages of having hides, pasturage, fisheries, and other sources of wealth. But we must sow before we can reap. In this work we could give employment to many of the youth of France, a part of whom languish in poverty or in idleness: while others go to foreign countries to teach the trades which in former times belonged strictly and peculiarly to us, and by means of which France was filled with prosperity; whereas, to-day, a long period of peace has not yet been able to restore to her her former glory, as much [33] for the reasons just given, as for the number of idle men, and of able-bodied and voluntary mendicants, whom the public supports. Chicanery.Among these obstacles we may place also the evil of chicanery, which preys upon our nation, and which has always been a reproach to it. Ammianus Marcellinus.This would be93 somewhat obviated by frequent voyages; for a part of these pettifoggers would sooner conquer some new land, remaining under the dominion of the King, than follow up their cause here with so much loss, delay, anxiety, and labor. Happiness of the Savages.And, in this respect, I consider all these poor savages, whom we commiserate, to be very happy; for pale Envy doth not emaciate them, neither do they feel the inhumanity of those who serve God hypocritically, harassing their fellow-creatures under this mask; nor are they subject to the artifices of those who, lacking virtue and goodness wrap themselves up in a mantle of false piety to nourish their ambition. If they do not know God, at least they do not blaspheme him, as the greater number of Christians do. Nor do they understand the art of poisoning, or of corrupting [34] chastity by devilish artifice. There are no poor nor beggars among them. All are rich, because all labor and live. But among us it is very different, for more than half of us live from the labors of the others, having no trades which serve to the support of human life. Opportunities for emigrants to New France.If that country were settled, there are men who would do there what they have not courage to do here. Here they would not dare to be wood-cutters, husbandmen, vinedressers, etc., because their fathers were pettifoggers, barber-surgeons, and apothecaries. But over yonder they would forget their fear of being ridiculed, and would take pleasure in cultivating their land, having a great many companions of as good families as theirs. Cultivating the soil is the most innocent of occupations and the most sure; it was the occupation of those from whom we have all descended, and of those brave Roman Captains who knew how to subjugate, but not how to be subjugated.95 But now, since pomp and malice have been introduced among men, what was virtue has been turned into reproach, and idlers have risen into favor. To the Queen.However, let us leave these people, and return to Sieur de Poutrincourt, or rather to you, O most Christian Queen, [35] the greatest and most cherished of heaven, whom the eye of the world looks down upon in its daily round about this universe. You who have the control of the most noble Empire here below, how can you see a Gentleman so full of good will, without employing and helping him? Will you let him carry off the greatest honor in the world when it might have been yours, and will you let the triumph of this affair remain with him and not share in it yourself? No, no, Madame, all must proceed from you, and as the stars borrow their light from the sun, so upon the King, and upon you who have given him to us, all the great deeds of the French depend. We must then anticipate this glory, and not yield it to another, while you have a Poutrincourt, a loyal Frenchman who served the late lamented King, your Husband (may God give him absolution), in affairs of State which are not recorded in history. In revenge for which his house and property passed through the ordeal of fire. He is not crossing the Ocean to see the country, as have nearly all the others who have undertaken similar voyages [36] at the expense of our Kings. But he shows so plainly what his intentions are, that we cannot doubt them, and your Majesty will risk nothing by employing him in earnest for the propagation of the Christian religion in the Western lands beyond the sea. You recognize his zeal, your own is incomparable; but you must take thought as to how you may best employ it. I commend the Prin97cesses and Ladies who for fifteen years have given of their means for the repose of those men or women who wished to sequester themselves from the world. But I believe (under correction) that their piety would shine with greater luster if it were shown in behalf of these poor Western nations, who are in a lamentable condition, and whose lack of instruction cries to God for vengeance against those who might help them to become Christians, and will not. A Queen of Castille caused the Christian religion to be introduced into the lands of the West which belong to Spain; so act, O light of the Queens of the world, that through your instrumentality, the name of God may soon be proclaimed throughout all this new world; where it is not yet known. Now resuming the thread of our [37] History, as we have spoken of the voyage of Sieur de Poutrincourt, it will not be out of place, if, after having touched upon the hardships and tediousness of his journey, which retarded him one year, we say a word about the return of his ship, which will be brief, inasmuch as the voyages from the Western world, this side of the Tropic of Cancer, are usually so. Book 1, ch. 24, and book 2, ch. 41 and 42.I have given the reason for this in my History of New France, to which I refer the Reader, where he will also learn why it is that in Summer the sea there is overhung with fogs to such an extent that for one clear day there are two foggy ones; and twice we were in fogs which lasted eight entire days. For these Banks, see the said History, book 2, ch. 24.This is why Sieur de Poutrincourt's son, when he was sent back to France for fresh supplies, was as long in reaching the great Codfish Banks from Port Royal, as in getting to France from the said Banks; and yet from these Banks to the coast of France there are eight hundred good leagues; and99 thence to Port Royal there are hardly [38] more than three hundred. It is upon these Banks that a great many ships are usually found all the Summer, fishing for Cod, which are brought to France and are called Newfoundland Codfish. For their manner of fishing, see the above-mentioned place.So Sieur de Poutrincourt's son (who is called Baron de Sainct Just), on arriving at these Banks, laid in a supply of fresh meat and fish. While doing this he met a ship from Rochelle and another from Havre de Grace, whence he heard the news of the lamentable death of our late good King, without knowing by whom or how he was killed. But afterwards he met an English ship from which he heard the same thing, certain persons being accused of this parricide whom I will not here name; for they brought this accusation through hatred and envy, being great enemies of those whom they accused. In 15 days from the Banks to France.So in fifteen days Baron de Sainct Just made the distance between the Banks and France, always sailing before the wind; a voyage certainly much more agreeable than that of the twenty-sixth day of February mentioned above. Sieur de Monts's crew left Havre de Grace nine or ten days after this twenty-sixth of February to go to Kebec, forty leagues beyond [39] the Saguenay river, where Sieur de Monts has fortified himself. But contrary winds compelled them to put into port. And thereupon a report was circulated that Sieur de Poutrincourt was lost in the sea with all his crew. I did not believe this for an instant, trusting that God would help him and would enable him to surmount all difficulties. Kebec, Sieur de Monts's fort.We have as yet no news from Kebec, but expect to hear from there soon. I can say truly that if ever any good comes out of New France, posterity will be indebted for it to Sieur de Monts, author of these enterprises:101 and if they had not taken away the license which was granted him to trade in Beaver and other skins, to-day we should have had a vast number of cattle, fruit-trees, people, and buildings in the said province. For he earnestly desired to see everything established there to the honor of God and of France. And, although he has been deprived of the motive for continuing, yet up to the present he does not seem discouraged in doing what he can; for he has had built at Kebec a Fort and some very good and convenient dwellings. Here at Kebec this [40] great and mighty river of Canada narrows down and is only a falcon-shot wide; it has as great a supply of fish as any river in the world. As to the country, it is wonderfully beautiful, and abounds in game. But being in a colder region than port Royal, since it is eighty leagues farther North, the fur there is all the finer. For (among other animals) the Foxes are black and of such beautiful fur that they seem to put the Martens to shame. The Savages of Port Royal can go to Kebec in ten or twelve days by means of the rivers, which they navigate almost up to their sources; and thence, carrying their little bark canoes for some distance through the woods, they reach another stream which flows into the river of Canada, and thus greatly expedite their long voyages, which we ourselves could not do in the present state of the country. And from Port Royal to Kebec by sea it is more than four hundred leagues, going by way of Cape Breton. Sieur de Monts sent some cows there two years and a half ago, but for want of some village housewife who understood [41] taking care of them, they let the greater part die in giving birth to their calves. The need of women.Which shows how necessary a woman is in103 a house, and I cannot understand why so many people slight them, although they cannot do without them. For my part, I shall always believe that, in any settlement whatsoever, nothing will be accomplished without the presence of women. Without them life is sad, sickness comes, and we die uncared-for. Therefore I despise those woman-haters who have wished them all sorts of evil, which I hope will overtake that lunatic in particular, who has been placed among the number of the seven Sages, who said that woman is a necessary evil, since there is no blessing in the world to be compared to her. Ecclesiastes 4, verse 10.Therefore God gave her as a companion to man, to aid and comfort him: and the Wise Man says:—Woe to him that is alone, for when he falleth, he hath none to lift him up. And if two lie together, they shall warm one another. If there are some worthless women, we must remember that men are not faultless. Several suffered because of this lack of cows, for, when they fell ill they did not have all the comforts [42] that they would have had otherwise, and so they have departed to the Elysian fields. A conspiracy punished.Another, who had been with us on the voyage, did not have the patience to wait for death, but must needs go to heaven by scaling the walls, as soon as he arrived there, by a conspiracy against sieur de Champlein, his Captain. His accomplices were condemned to the galleys and sent back to France. Journey to the land of the Iroquois.When Summer came, that is a year ago, Champlein wishing to see the country of the Iroquois, to prevent the Savages from seizing his Fort in his absence, persuaded them to go and make war against them; so they departed with him and two other Frenchmen, to the number of eighty or a hundred, to the lake of 105 the Iroquois, two hundred leagues distant from Kebec. Hostile nations.There has always been war between these two nations, as there has been between the Souriquois and Armouchiquois: and sometimes the Iroquois have raised as many as eight thousand men to war against and exterminate all those who live near the great river of Canada: and it seems that they did this, as to-day the language which was spoken in the [43] time of Jacques Quartier, who was there eighty years ago, is no longer heard in that region.22 War.When Champlein arrived there with his troops, they could not conceal themselves so well but that they were perceived by the Iroquois, who always have sentinels upon the routes of their enemies: and each side being well fortified, it was agreed among them not to fight that day, but to postpone the affair until the morrow. The weather then was very clear; so clear that scarcely had Aurora chased away the shadows of the night, than a din was heard throughout the camp. An Iroquois skirmisher having tried to issue from the fortifications, was pierced through, not by one of the arrows of Apollo, nor of the little Archer with the blindfolded eyes, but by a genuine and very painful arrow, which stretched him out upon his back. Thereupon the eyes of the offended were full of ire, and each one takes his place in the line of attack and defense. As the band of Iroquois advances, Champlein, who had charged his musket with two balls, seeing two Iroquois, their heads adorned with feathers, marching on in front, supposed they were two Captains, and wanted to advance [44] and aim at them. But the Kebec Savages prevented him, saying:—"It is not well that they should see thee, for, never having been accustomed 107 to see such people as thou art, they would immediately run away. But withdraw behind our first rank, and when we are ready, thou shalt advance." He did so, and in this way the two Captains were both slain by one musket shot. Victory.Victory ensued at once. For they all disbanded, and it only remained to pursue them. Tabagie is celebrated.This was done with little opposition, and they carried off some fifty of their enemies' heads, a triumph which, upon their return, they celebrated with great festivities, consisting of continual Tabagies,23 dances, and chants, according to their custom.24



[45] Extrait dv Regitre de Bapteme de l'Eglise dv Port Royal en la Nouvelle France. Le iovr Sainct Iehan Baptiste 24. de Iuin.

MEMBERTOV grand Sagamos âgé de plus de cent ans a esté baptizé par Messire Iessé Fleche Pretre, & nommé Henry par Monsieur de Poutrincourt au nom du Roy.

2. Membertovcoichis (dit Iudas) fils ainé de Membertov âgé de plus de 60. ans, aussi baptizé, & nommé Lovis par Monsieur de Biencour au nom de Monsieur le Dauphin.

3. Le fils ainé de Membertoucoichis dit à present Louïs Membertou, âgé de cinq ans, baptizé & tenu par Monsieur de Poutrincourt, qui l'a nomme Iehan de son nom.

4. La fille ainée dudit Louïs âgée de treze ans aussi baptizée, & nommée Christine par ledit Sieur de Poutrincourt au nom de Madame la fille ainée de France.

5. La seconde fille dudit Louïs âgée d'onze ans aussi baptizée, & nommée Elizabeth par ledit sieur de Poutrincourt au nom de Madame la fille puisnée de France.

6. La troisieme fille dudit Louïs tenuë par ledit Sieur de Poutrincourt au nom de Madame sa femme aussi baptizée, nommée Clavde.

7. La 4. fille dudit Louïs tenuë par Monsieur de Coullogne pour Madamoiselle sa mere, a eu nom Catherine.

110 8. La 5. fille dudit Louïs a eu nom Iehanne ainsi nõmée par ledit sieur de Poutrincourt au nõ d'une de ses filles. [46]

9. La 6. fille dudit Louïs tenuë par René Maheu a esté nommée Charlotte du nom de sa mere.

10. Actavdinech, troisieme fils dudit Henri Membertou a esté nommé Pavl par ledit sieur de Poutrincourt au nom du Pape Paul.

11. La femme dudit Paul a esté nommée Renee du nom de Madame d'Ardanville.

12. La femme dudit Henri a esté tenuë par ledit sieur de Poutrincourt au nom de la Royne, & nommée Marie de son nom.

13. La fille dudit Henri tenuë par ledit sieur de Poutrincourt, & nommée Margverite au nom de la Royne Marguerite.

14. L'vne des femmes dudit Louïs tenuë par Monsieur de Iouï pour Madame de Sigogne, nommée de son nom.

15. L'autre femme dudit Louïs tenuë par ledit sieur de Poutrincourt au nom de Madame de Dampierre.

16. Arnest cousin dudit Henri a esté tenu par ledit sieur de Poutrincourt au nom de Monsieur le Nonce, & nommé Robert de son nom.

17. Agovdegoven aussi cousin dudit Henri a esté nommé Nicolas par ledit sieur de Poutrincourt au nom de Monsieur des Noyers Advocat au Parlement de Paris.

18. La femme dudit Nicolas tenuë par ledit sieur de Poutrincourt au nom de Monsieur son neveu, a eu nom Philippe.

19. La fille ainée d'icelui Nicolas tenuë par le dit Sieur pour Madame de Belloy sa niepce, & nommée Lovise de son nom.

112 20. La puis-née dudit Nicolas tenuë par ledit sieur pour Iacques de Salazar son fils, a esté nommée Iacqveline.

21. Vne niepce dudit Henri tenuë par Monsieur de Coullongne au nom de Madamoiselle de Grandmare, & nommée Anne de son nom.



[45] Extract from the Register of Baptism in the Church of Port Royal, New France. The day of Saint John the Baptist, June 24.

MEMBERTOU, a great Sagamore, over one hundred years old, has been baptized by Messire Jessé Fleche,25 a priest; and named Henry, by Monsieur de Poutrincourt, after the late king.

2. Membertoucoichis (called Judas), eldest son of Membertou, over sixty years old, also baptized; and named LOUIS, by Monsieur de Biencour, after Monsieur the Dauphin.

3. The eldest son of Membertoucoichis, now called Louis Membertou, aged five years, baptized; Monsieur de Poutrincourt godfather, and named John, after himself.

4. The eldest daughter of said Louis, aged thirteen years, also baptized; and named Christine by Sieur de Poutrincourt, after Madame the eldest daughter of France.

5. The second daughter of the said Louis, eleven years old, also baptized; and named Elizabeth by sieur de Poutrincourt, after Madame, the youngest daughter of France.

6. The third daughter of said Louis, Sieur de Poutrincourt godfather, also baptized, and named Claude, in honor of his wife.

7. The fourth daughter of said Louis, Monsieur de Coullogne godfather, was named Catherine, after his mother.

111 8. The fifth daughter of said Louis was named Jeanne, thus named by sieur de Poutrincourt, after one of his daughters. [46]

9. The sixth daughter of said Louis, René Maheu godfather, was named Charlotte, after his mother.

10. Actavdinech, the third son of Henry Membertou, was named Paul by sieur de Poutrincourt, after Pope Paul.

11. The wife of said Paul was named Renée, after Madame d'Ardanville.

12. The wife of said Henry, sieur de Poutrincourt sponsor in the name of the Queen, was named Marie, after her.

13. The daughter of Henry, sieur de Poutrincourt godfather, was named Marguerite, after Queen Marguerite.

14. One of the wives of Louis, Monsieur de Jouï sponsor in the name of Mme. de Sigogne, was named after her.

15. The other wife of Louis, sieur de Poutrincourt sponsor in the name of Madame de Dampierre.

16. Arnest, cousin of Henry, sieur de Poutrincourt godfather in the name of Monsieur the Nuncio, was after him named Robert.

17. Agovdegoven, also cousin of Henry, was by sieur de Poutrincourt named Nicholas, after Monsieur de Noyers, a Lawyer of the Parliament of Paris.

18. The wife of said Nicholas, sieur de Poutrincourt godfather in the name of his nephew, was named Philippe.

19. The eldest daughter of Nicholas, the said Sieur sponsor in the name of Madame de Belloy, his niece, was after her named Louise.

20. The younger daughter of Nicholas, the said113 sieur being godfather for Jacques de Salazar, his son, was named Jacqueline.

21. A niece of Henry, Monsieur de Coullongne sponsor in the name of Mademoiselle de Grandmare, was after her named Anne.




Bertrand's Lettre Missive

Touchant la Conversion et Baptesme du grand Sagamos

Paris: JEAN REGNOUL, 1610

Source: Title-page and text reprinted from original in Lenox Library.


Lettre Missive

LETTRE MISSIVE, TOVCHANT LA Conversion et Baptesme du grand Sagamos de la nouuelle Frãce, qui en estoit auparauant l'arriuée des François le chef & souuerain.

Contenant sa promesse d'amener ses subjets à la mesme Conuersion, ou les y contraindre par la force des armes.

Enuoyée du Port Royal de la nouuelle France au SR de la Tronchaie, dattée du 28. Iuin 1610.


Chez Iean Regnovl, ruë du Foin, pres sainct Yues.


Auec permission.

A LETTER MISSIVE IN REGARD TO THE Conversion and Baptism of the grand Sagamore of New France, who was, before the arrival of the French, its chief and sovereign.

Containing his promise to secure the conversion of his subjects also, even by strength of arms.

Sent from Port Royal, in New France, to Sieur de la Tronchaie, dated June 28, 1610.


Jean Regnoul, Rue du Foin, near Saint Ives.


With permission.


[3] Lettre Missive, Tovchant la Conversion et 120 Baptesme du Grand Sagamos de la nouuelle France, qui en estoit auparauant l'arriuée des François chef & souuerain.

MONSIEVR & Frere, Ie n'ay voulu laisser partir le nauire sans vous faire sçauoir des nouuelles de ce païs que ie croy aurez agreables, d'autant que ie sçay, qu'estes bon Catholique, C'est que le Grand Sagamos, qui se dit en nostre langue Grand Capitaine des Sauuages, & le premier de tous, s'est fait baptiser le iour de la sainct Iean Baptiste derniere, [4] auec sa femme, ses enfans, & enfans de ses enfans, iusques au nombre de vingt: auec autant de ferueur, ardeur & zele à la Religion que pourroit faire vn qui y auroit esté instruict depuis trois ou quatre ans: Il promet faire baptizer les autres, autrement qu'il leur fera la guerre: Monsieur de Poutrincourt & Monsieur son fils les ont tenus au nom du Roy, & de Monseigneur le Dauphin. Les nouvelles de la mort du Roy n'estoiẽt encores en ce pays là. C'est desia vn beau commencement, ie croy que cy apres ce sera encores mieux: Quant au pays, iamais ie n'ay veu rien de si beau, meilleur ny plus fertile, & vous dis auec verité, & sans mentir, que si i'auois trois ou quatre Laboureurs maintenant auec moy, & [5] pour les nourrir vne année, & du bled pour ensemencer le labourage qu'ils pourroient faire de leurs bras seulement, du surplus qui me reuiendroit apres leur nourriture, i'espererois faire trafiq tous les ans de sept ou huict mille liures en Castors & Pelleterie: Ie suis bien marry auant que 122 partir que ie ne sçauois ce que ie sçay, i'eusse employé le verd & le sec ou i'en eusse amené deux ou trois, & deux muids de bled qui est peu de chose: Vous asseurant qu'il fait beau trafiquer par deçà & faire vn beau gain: Si vous voulez y entendre, mandez moy vostre volonté par ce porteur qui desire retourner & faire trafiq, suiuant ce qu'il a veu. Ie ne vous [6] en diray dauantage, sinon que ie prieray Dieu Monsieur & frere vous donner en parfaicte santé tres-longue vie. De la nouuelle France, du Port Royal ce xxviij. Iuin, 1610.

Vostre tres-affectionné Frere & seruiteur


[3] A Letter Missive in regard to the Conversion121 and Baptism of the Grand Sagamore of new France, who was, before the arrival of the French, its chief and sovereign.

SIR and Brother, I did not wish the ship to depart without giving you some news of this country which I believe will be acceptable, as I know that you are a good Catholic. The Grand Sagamore, whom we call in our language Grand Captain of the Savages, and chief of all, was baptized on last saint John the Baptist's day; [4] with his wife, children, and children's children, to the number of twenty; with as much enthusiasm, fervor, and zeal for Religion as would have been evinced by a person who had been instructed in it for three or four years. He promises to have the others baptized, or else make war upon them. The news of the King's death had not then reached Canada.Monsieur de Poutrincourt and his son acted as sponsors for them in the name of the King, and of Monseigneur the Dauphin. We have already made this good beginning, which I believe will become still better hereafter. As to the country, I have never seen anything so beautiful, better, or more fertile; and I can say to you, truly and honestly, that if I had three or four Laborers with me now, and [5] the means of supporting them for one year, and some wheat to sow in the ground tilled by their labor alone, I should expect to have a yearly trade in Beaver and other Skins amounting to seven or eight thousand livres, with the sur 123plus which would remain to me after their support. I am very sorry that I did not know before my departure what I know now; if I had, I should have left no stone unturned to bring with me two or three farmers, and two hogsheads of wheat, which is a mere trifle. I assure you it is delightful to engage in trade over here and to make such handsome profits. If you wish to take a hand in it, let me know your intentions by the bearer, who desires to return and traffic here in pursuance of what he has seen. I [6] shall say no more, except to pray God to give you, Sir and Brother, a long life and perfect health. From Port Royal, New France, this 28th of June, 1610.

Your very affectionate Brother and servant,




Figure du Port Royal

From Lescarbot's Histoire de la Novvelle France; Paris, 1612.

(Slightly reduced from original.)

Larger image


Lettre du P. Pierre Biard, au T. R.-P. Claude Aquaviva

Dieppe, Janvier 21, 1611

Lettre du P. Biard, au R.-P. Christophe Baltazar

Port Royal, Juin 10, 1611

Lettre du P. Ennemond Massé, au T. R.-P. Aquaviva

Port Royal, Juin 10, 1611

Lettre du P. Biard, au T. R.-P. Aquaviva

Port Royal, Juin 11, 1611.

Source: Reprinted from Première Mission des Jésuites au Canada, by Auguste Carayon, S. J. Paris: L'Écureux, 1864.




Lettre du P. Pierre Biard, au T. R. P. Claude Aquaviva, Général de la Compagnie de Jésus, à Rome.

(Traduite sur l'original latin, conservé dans les Archives du Jésus, à Rome).

Dieppe, 21 janvier 1611.

Mon Très-révérend Père,

Pax Christi.

Que je voudrais pouvoir vous raconter combien grandes et nombreuses ont été, dans notre petite affaire, les miséricordes de Dieu et les fruits de sa bénédiction et des prières; c'est-à-dire comment 128 [2] nous sommes sortis de difficultés graves et multipliées, et comment, délivrés de toute entrave, nous partons pour la Nouvelle-France, lieu de notre [3] destination, 130 comme Votre Paternité le sait! Elle peut certainement s'en réjouir avec une grande consolation dans le Seigneur.

[4] Mais voici déjà minuit sonné, et à la première lueur du jour, nous mettons à la voile. Je vous donnerai seulement un précis des événements.

Quand les marchands hérétiques nous virent à Dieppe, au jour fixé pour le départ, le 27 octobre de 132 l'année dernière, 1610 (nous étions en effet convenus qu'on partirait de Dieppe), ils imaginèrent un moyen qu'ils crurent favorable pour nous nuire. Deux d'entre eux avaient fait un contrat avec M. de Potrincourt pour charger et équiper son navire, [5] sur lequel nous devions voyager. Ils déclarèrent aussitôt qu'ils ne voulaient plus s'occuper du vaisseau, s'il devait porter des Jésuites. C'était une insigne malice, et elle était facile à prouver, surtout quand les catholiques leur ajoutaient que le devoir ne leur permettait pas de refuser les Jésuites, puisque c'était l'ordre formel de la Reine.

On ne put cependant rien gagner sur eux. Il fallut avoir encore recours à la Reine. Sa Majesté écrit au gouverneur de la ville, catholique plein de zèle et de piété, et lui enjoint de signifier aux hérétiques que c'est sa volonté que les Jésuites soient reçus dans le vaisseau qui va partir pour la Nouvelle-France, et qu'on n'y mette aucun obstacle.

A la réception de ces lettres, le gouverneur assemble ce qu'on appelle le consistoire, c'est-à-dire tous les fidèles disciples de Calvin. Il donne lecture des lettres de la Reine, et les invite à l'obéissance.—Quelques-uns, c'est-à-dire ceux qui étaient bons, disent hautement qu'ils sont eux aussi du même avis, et ils engagent les marchands à se soumettre; mais ils déclarent que pour eux ils ne sont maîtres de rien. Tel était leur langage en public; mais en particulier, un des marchands qui était chargé d'équiper le navire, protesta qu'il n'y mettrait rien; que la Reine, si elle le voulait, pouvait lui [6] ôter son droit, mais que pour lui, il ne le céderait pas autrement.

Que faire? Certainement tout était arrêté; car cette société n'avait pas de contrat écrit, et ces sortes 134 d'engagements entre gens nobles ne se mettent pas ordinairement sur papier. On ne pouvait donc pas agir contre ces hérétiques.

On s'adresse de nouveau à la Reine. A la vue d'une pareille effronterie, elle dit en manière de proverbe: "Il ne faut s'abaisser à prier des vilains"; et elle ajouta que les Pères partiraient une autre fois.

Les catholiques consternés déclarent alors aux hérétiques que les Jésuites ne monteront pas dans ce vaisseau, qu'ils peuvent en conséquence le fréter, et que, dans tous les cas, si les Jésuites y prenaient place, ils payeraient auparavant eux-mêmes le prix de la cargaison.

Cette assurance une fois donnée, on vit à nu toute la malice des calvinistes; car ils chargèrent aussitôt le navire complétement et de marchandises et de toute espèce d'objets, ne pouvant s'imaginer que les catholiques pussent jamais trouver de quoi payer le prix de tant de choses.

A cette nouvelle, Madame la marquise de Guercheville, première dame d'honneur de la Reine, [7] s'indigna de voir les efforts de l'enfer prévaloir et la malice des hommes pervers détruire ces grandes espérances que l'on avait de procurer la gloire de Dieu. C'est pourquoi, afin que Satan ne demeurât pas le maître et ne renversât pas l'espoir que l'on avait de fonder une église au Canada, elle sollicita elle-même les aumônes des Grands, des Princes et de toute la Cour pour soustraire les Jésuites à la méchanceté des hérétiques.

Qu'arriva-t-il? Le navire déjà chargé était prêt à prendre la mer, quand cette dame envoya aux catholiques 4,000 livres avec d'autres secours. Alors, pour ne pas agir par surprise, ils vont dire adroitement 136 aux hérétiques qu'ils veulent avoir avec eux les Jésuites, que telle est la volonté de la Reine, et que, par conséquent, il faut qu'ils les laissent monter dans le vaisseau, ou bien que les marchands acceptent le prix de la cargaison et qu'ils se retirent. Ceux-ci déclarent qu'ils veulent le prix de leurs marchandises (Je crois qu'ils ne pensaient pas que les catholiques eussent assez d'argent, ou qu'ils espéraient trouver quelque autre moyen de déjouer leurs projets). On leur donne le prix demandé, et ce à quoi personne ne se serait attendu, nous sommes si pleinement substitués à leur place, que la moitié du bâtiment nous appartient, et que nous avons déjà ce qu'il faut pour commencer [8] cette fondation que le Seigneur daignera bénir dans sa générosité et dans sa bonté.

Ainsi donc, mon Très-Révérend et bon Père, Votre Paternité voit combien la malice du démon et de ses suppôts a tourné à notre avantage. Nous ne demandions d'abord qu'un petit coin dans ce vaisseau, et à prix d'argent; maintenant nous y sommes les maîtres. Nous allions dans une région déserte, sans grande espérance d'un secours de longue durée, et nous recevons déjà le commencement de la fondation. Nous étions forcés d'enrichir les hérétiques d'une partie de nos aumônes, et maintenant ils renoncent d'eux-mêmes à profiter d'une occasion qui les devait enrichir.

Mais je crois que le grand sujet de leur douleur, c'est précisément le triomphe du Seigneur Jésus; et fasse le ciel qu'il triomphe toujours! Ainsi soit-il!

Dieppe, le 21 janvier 1611.

De Votre Paternité

Le fils en Jésus-Christ et le serviteur indigne,

Pierre BIARD S. J.


[I.] Nous ajouterons aux lettres de nos premiers missionnaires au Canada un fragment d'un mémoire intitulé: Monumenta Novæ Franciæ, ab anno 1607, ad annum 1737.—Insulæ Martinicæ ab anno 1678.—Insulæ Cayennensis ab anno 1668.

La traduction du chapitre II de ce manuscrit, conservé dans nos archives de Rome, donnera un ensemble de faits sur la Nouvelle- [2] France, qui ne se trouve pas dans les lettres que nous publions.

Parmi les gentilshommes qui s'offrirent à Henri-le-Grand, d'heureuse mémoire, pour entreprendre la colonisation de la Nouvelle-France, était le sieur de Potrincourt. Le roi lui accorda tout ce qu'il demandait, mais en lui signifiant qu'il aurait à emmener avec lui des religieux pris dans notre Compagnie pour les employer, selon ses ordres, à procurer le salut des sauvages; que du reste la dépense de cette mission ne serait nullement à sa charge, mais que le Trésor royal y pourvoirait.

Le R. P. Pierre Coton, alors confesseur et prédicateur du roi, et qui était fort estimé de Sa Majesté, comme on sait, fut chargé par lui de choisir, dans sa Compagnie, des hommes capables, pour mener à bien cette périlleuse et sainte entreprise.

Beaucoup de nos religieux s'offrirent pour cette mission lointaine. Parmi eux on remarquait le P. Pierre Biard, homme dont la vertu égalait le talent, et qui occupait alors la chaire de théologie à Lyon. Le choix des supérieurs tomba sur lui et sur le P. Ennemond Masse, dont nous aurons à parler plus loin.

Ils partirent tous les deux en 1608 pour Bordeaux, où ils devaient s'embarquer, mais il fallut attendre trois ans. Car le gentilhomme, dont nous avons déjà parlé, retarda son départ; puis ensuite il prétexta la nécessité de faire un voyage d'essai, afin, disait-il, de préparer une habitation convenable pour les Pères. Il fit en effet ce voyage accompagné d'un prêtre séculier, lequel, se laissant aller à un zèle peu réfléchi, baptisa une centaine de sauvages, sans les avoir suffisamment instruits et éprouvés. Plus tard, on s'aperçut que ces pauvres gens n'avaient pas même compris ce qu'ils avaient reçu.

Trois ans après, de retour de son voyage, le sieur de Potrincourt, pressé par la reine-mère, se chargea de conduire nos Pères au [3] Canada. Mais ce ne fut pas sans grandes difficultés et beaucoup de souffrances que nos Pères arrivèrent au Port-Royal, sur les côtes de l'Acadie.

L'année qui suivit leur arrivée, deux autres des Nôtres allèrent les rejoindre: ce furent le P. Quentin et le Frère coadjuteur Gilbert du Thet. Deux ans de séjour à Port-Royal démontrèrent à nos Pères l'impossibilité de fixer là le centre de leur mission, soit à cause de la difficulté d'y attirer un grand concours de sauvages, soit à cause des tracasseries de ceux qui commandaient. Ils transportèrent le siége de leur mission sur un autre point de la même côte, au 45e degré 30 minutes de latitude, et cela sur un décret du roi. Cette fondation prit le nom de Saint-Sauveur. Ils y étaient établis depuis peu de temps, lorsque les anglais, survenant à l'improviste, s'emparèrent du vaisseau français, saisirent les lettres-patentes du commandant, et, par une insigne fourberie, le traitèrent de pirate. Au moment de l'attaque, plusieurs français furent tués, et parmi eux le frère Gilbert du Thet, homme remarquable par son courage et sa piété.

Les anglais victorieux, après avoir pillé tout à leur aise, abandonnèrent dans une mauvaise barque une partie de français, et emmenèrent avec eux, en Virginie, les PP. Biard et Quentin. Nos deux prisonniers s'attendaient à être condamnés à mort, surtout lorsque, reconduits à Port-Royal, ils refusèrent de faire connaître la retraite des français qui se tenaient cachés dans les environs. Dirigés une seconde fois sur la Virginie, ils y auraient probablement trouvé la mort, si la divine Providence n'eût rendu inutiles tous les efforts des marins anglais pour y aborder. La violence de la tempête les rejeta sur les îles Açores appartenant aux portugais, et où, malgré eux, ils furent obligés de prendre terre.

Les anglais eux-mêmes furent forcés d'admirer la loyauté et la [4] charité de nos Pères qui, en se montrant aux portugais, pouvaient amener la saisie du navire et faire condamner les anglais, comme pirates, au dernier supplice. Avant d'entrer dans le port, ils avaient exigé de leurs prisonniers la promesse de ne pas les dénoncer et de se tenir cachés durant tout leur séjour aux Açores. Pendant la visite du vaisseau faite par les portugais, les Pères restèrent à fond de cale, où ils échappèrent à tous les regards. Cette générosité et cette fidélité à garder la parole donnée surprirent tellement les anglais, qu'ils changèrent immédiatement de procédés envers leurs captifs et les emmenèrent directement en Angleterre, où ils firent publiquement leur éloge.

L'ambassadeur de France, à la nouvelle de leur arrivée, se hâta de les réclamer et les fit reconduire honorablement dans leur patrie, au mois de mai 1614.

Ce premier voyage de nos missionnaires, si stérile en apparence, eut cependant d'heureux résultats. Outre l'expérience acquise et dont on profita, le zèle des catholiques français, ranimé par les paroles des Pères, créa de nouvelles ressources, et dès que la colonie française fut délivrée des anglais, les Jésuites reprirent la route du Canada, où ils fondèrent enfin une des plus belles missions de la Compagnie.



Letter from Father Pierre Biard,27 to the Very Reverend Father Claude Aquaviva,28 General of the Society of Jesus, Rome.

(Translated from the Latin original, preserved in the Archives of Jesus, at Rome.)

Dieppe, January 21st, 1611.29

My Very Reverend Father,

The peace of Christ be with you.

Would that I could recount how great and numerous have been the mercies of God, the fruits of his blessing and, of our prayers in this our little enterprise; that is to say, how [2] we have emerged from 129 grave and multiplied difficulties, and how, delivered from every obstacle, we depart for New France, the place to which we [3] are bound, as Your Reverence 131 knows. For this you may rejoice with great consolation in the name of the Lord.

[4] But it has already struck midnight, and we are to sail at break of day, so I shall give you only a summary of the events which have taken place.

When the heretic merchants saw us at Dieppe, upon the day fixed for our departure, the 27th of October of last year, 1610 (we had, in fact, agreed to 133 sail from Dieppe), they contrived a plan which they considered capable of injuring us. Two of them31 had made a contract with Monsieur de Potrincourt to load and equip his ship, [5] in which we were to make the voyage. They straightway declared that they would have nothing more to do with the vessel, if it were going to carry any Jesuits. It was a remarkable exhibition of malice, as was easy to prove, especially when the catholics informed them that they were in duty bound not to reject the Jesuits, since it was the formal order of the Queen.32

However, nothing could be gained from them, and the Catholics were again obliged to have recourse to the Queen. Her Majesty writes to the governor of the city, a zealous and pious catholic, and charges him to inform the heretics that it is her will that the Jesuits be received in the ship which is about to depart for New France, and that no obstacle be put in their way.

When these letters are received, the governor assembles what is called the consistory, namely, all faithful disciples of Calvin. He reads the Queen's letters and urges them to be obedient. Some of them, namely, those who were well disposed toward us, boldly declare that they also are of the same opinion; and they try to induce the merchants to yield. But they declare that for their part they are not the masters. At least they say this in public; but in private one of the merchants who was charged with fitting out the vessel, protested that he would put nothing into it; that the Queen, if she wished, could deprive him [6] of his right, but that he certainly would not yield it otherwise.

What was to be done? In truth, all proceedings 135 were at a standstill; for this society had no written contract, since agreements of this kind among noblemen are not usually put upon paper. Therefore they could not prosecute these heretics.

They address themselves anew to the Queen. In the presence of such effrontery she quoted the words of the proverb: "Never stoop to entreat a churl," and added that the Fathers should go another time.

The dismayed catholics then declare to the heretics that the Jesuits will not embark upon their vessel, and that consequently they may go on freighting it; and that, in any event, if the Jesuits did occupy a place therein, they themselves would first pay the price of the cargo.

This assurance once given, the malice of these calvinists was exposed in all its nakedness; for they immediately loaded every part of the ship not only with merchandise, but with all kinds of goods, never dreaming that the catholics would be able to find the means of paying for all these things.

At this news, the marchioness de Guercheville, first lady of honor to the Queen, [7] was indignant at seeing the forces of hell prevail, and the malice of wicked men destroy one's strong hopes of securing the glory of God.33 Therefore, in order to prevent the triumph of Satan and the overthrow of their hopes of founding a church in Canada, she herself solicited alms from Nobles, Princes, and from all the Court, to rescue the Jesuits from the malevolence of the heretics.

What happened? The ship, already loaded, was about to sail, when this lady sent to the catholics 4,000 livres, with other means of assistance. Then, not to be underhand, they go directly to the heretics and say that they want the Jesuits to go with them, 137 that such is the will of the Queen; and so consequently they must allow them to embark, or else the merchants must accept the price of the cargo and withdraw. The latter declare that they want the value of their merchandise. (I believe they did not think the catholics would have enough money, or else they hoped to baffle them by some other means.) They give them the price they asked; and, what no one could have expected, we so completely take their place, that half the ship belongs to us, and we have already means enough to begin [8] laying the foundation, which the Lord, in his generosity and goodness, will condescend to bless.

So now, my Very Reverend and good Father, you see how entirely the malice of the evil one and of his tools has been turned to our advantage. At first we only asked a little corner in this vessel at their price. Now we are masters of it. We were going into a dreary wilderness, without much hope of permanent help; and we have already received enough to begin laying the foundation. We were to enrich the heretics by a portion of our alms; and now they, of their own accord, refuse to profit by an occasion which was to benefit them.

But I believe that the great source of their grief, is nothing else than the triumph of the Lord Jesus; and may heaven grant that he always triumph! Amen!

Dieppe, January 21, 1611.

Of Your Reverence,

The son and unworthy servant in Jesus Christ,

Pierre BIARD S. J.


[II.] We shall add to the letters of our first missionaries to Canada a fragment of a memoir entitled: Records of New France, from the year 1607 to the year 1737.—Of the Island of Martinique from the year 1678.—Of the Island of Cayenne from the year 1668.

The translation of chapter II. of this manuscript, preserved in our archives at Rome, will give a collection of facts about New [2] France, which are not found in the letters we publish.

Among the gentlemen who offered themselves to Henry the Great, of happy memory, to undertake the colonization of New France, was sieur de Potrincourt. The king granted him all that he asked, but at the same time gave him to understand that he must take with him some religious persons from our Society for the purpose of securing, according to his orders, the salvation of the savages; furthermore, that the expense of this mission would in no respect devolve upon him, but would be provided for from the royal Treasury.

The Reverend Father Pierre Coton, then confessor and preacher to the king, and who was very highly esteemed by His Majesty, as we know, was commissioned by him to select, from his Society, some men capable of conducting to a successful issue this perilous and holy enterprise.

Many of our religious offered themselves for this distant mission. Among them was noticed Father Pierre Biard, a man whose integrity equaled his talent and who then occupied the chair of theology at Lyons. The choice of the superiors fell upon him and upon Father Ennemond Masse, of whom we shall speak hereafter.

They both departed in 1608 for Bordeaux, where they intended to embark, but they were obliged to wait three years. For the gentleman, of whom we have already spoken, postponed his departure; then he offered as an excuse the necessity of making a trial voyage, in order, said he, to prepare a suitable dwelling for the Fathers. In fact he did make this journey, accompanied by a secular priest, who, yielding to a thoughtless zeal, baptized a hundred savages without having sufficiently instructed and tested them. Later, it was discovered that these poor people had not even understood what they had received.

Three years afterwards, on returning from his voyage, sieur de Potrincourt, urged by the queen-mother, undertook to convey our Fathers to [3] Canada. But it was not without great difficulty and much suffering that they reached Port Royal, upon the coast of Acadia.

The year following their arrival, two others of our Society went to join them, namely, Father Quentin and Gilbert du Thet, a Brother-coadjutor.30 A two years' sojourn in Port Royal demonstrated to them the impossibility of making that the center of their mission, either on account of the difficulty of attracting there a great assemblage of savages, or because of the bickerings of those in command. They transferred the seat of their mission to another point upon the same coast, in latitude 45° 30', according to a decree of the king. This settlement received the name of Saint Savior. They had been established there but a short time, when the English, coming upon them suddenly, took possession of the French ship, seized the letters-patent of the commander, and, by a piece of outrageous rascality, treated him as a pirate. At the moment of attack several Frenchmen were killed, and among them brother Gilbert du Thet, a man remarkable for his courage and piety.

The victorious English, after having pillaged as much as they liked, abandoned part of the French in a miserable bark, and took with them to Virginia Fathers Biard and Quentin. Our two prisoners expected to be condemned to death, especially when, being taken back to Port Royal they refused to make known the hiding-place of the French who were concealed in the neighborhood. Turning their course a second time toward Virginia, they would probably have met death there, had not divine Providence frustrated all the efforts of the English sailors to land. A violent storm cast them upon the Azores islands, which belong to Portugal; and there, in spite of all their efforts, they were obliged to disembark.

Even the English were forced to admire the loyalty and charity [4] of our Fathers, who, by showing themselves to the Portuguese, might have caused the seizure of the ship, and had the English condemned and executed as pirates. Before entering port they exacted from their prisoners the promise not to denounce them, and to keep themselves concealed during their entire sojourn at the Azores. While the Portuguese were visiting the ship, the Fathers remained in the bottom of the hold, where they escaped observation. This generosity and loyalty in keeping their word so surprised the English that they immediately changed their treatment of their captives, and took them directly to England, where they publicly eulogized them.

The French ambassador, on hearing of their arrival, hastened to reclaim them, and had them taken back honorably into their own country, in the month of May, 1614.

This first voyage of our missionaries, apparently so futile, had, however, fortunate results. Beside the experience acquired, of which good use was made, the zeal of French catholics, revived by the stories of the Fathers, created new resources; and as soon as the French colony was delivered from the English, the Jesuits resumed their voyages to Canada, where they finally founded one of the finest missions of the Society.—[Carayon.]



[9] Lettre du P. Biard, au R. P. Christophe Baltazar, Provincial de France a Paris.

(Copiée sur l'autographe conservé aux Archives du Jésus à Rome.)

Mon Reverend Pere,

Pax Christi.

Enfin, par la grace et faveur de Dieu, nous voicy arrivez à Port-Royal, lieu tant désiré, et après avoir paty et surmonté, pendant l'espace de sept mois, force contradictions et traverses, que nous susciterent à Dieppe quelques-uns de la pretendue religion, et sur mer, les fatigues, orages et tourmentes de l'hyver, des vents et des tempestes. Par la misericorde de Dieu et par les prieres de Vostre Reverence et de nos bons Peres et Freres, nous voicy au bout de nostre course, et au lieu tant souhaité. Voicy aussi la premiere commodité qui se presente pour escrire à Vostre Reverence, et lui faire sçavoir de nos nouvelles et de l'estat auquel nous nous retrouvons. Je suis marry que le peu de temps de nostre arrivée en ce pays ne me permette pas d'en discourir, et comme je désirerois [10] plus amplement, et de l'estat de cette pauvre nation; neantmoins je m'efforceray de vous descrire non-seulement ce qui s'est passé en nostre voyage, mais aussy tout ce qu'avons peu apprendre de ce peuple depuis que nous y sommes, selon que, je pense, tous nos bons seigneurs et amis avec Vostre Reverence (doivent) l'attendre et le desirer.

140 Et, pour commencer par le préparatif de nostre voyage, Vostre Reverence aura sceu l'effort que firent deux marchants de Dieppe de la religion pretendue, qui avoient charge de fretter le navire, pour empescher que n'y fussions reçus. Il y avoit jà quelques années que ceux qui avoient commencé et continué le voyage de Canada, avoient desiré quelques uns de nostre Compagnie pour s'employer à la conversion de ce peuple là; et le feu Roy d'heureuse memoire Henry le Grand avoit assigné cinq cents escus pour le voyage des premiers qui y seroient envoyés, quand le R. P. Enmond Masse et moy, deputés pour ce voyage, après avoir salué la Reyne Regente, entendu de sa propre bouche le saint zele qu'elle avoit de la conversion de ces peuples barbares, reçu les susdicts cinq cents escus pour nostre viatique, aydés aussi de la pieuse libéralité de Mesdames les Marquises de Guercheville, Verneuil et de Sourdis, partis de Paris, arrivasmes à Dieppe au jour que nous avait assigné [11] Monsieur de Biancourt, fils de Monsieur de Potrincourt, pour nous y prendre, sçavoir le 27 d'Octobre 1610.

Les deux susdicts marchants, aussitost qu'ils ouïrent que deux Iesuites debvoient aller au Canada, s'adresserent à Monsieur de Biancourt[III.] et luy denoncerent que si lesdicts Iesuites entroient au navire, ils n'y vouloient rien avoir. On leur respondit que la venuë des Iesuites ne leur nuyroit en rien; que, Dieu mercy et la Reyne, ils avoient moyen de payer leur pension sans grever aucunement leur fret. Ils persistent 142 toute fois en leur negative; et quoyque Monsieur de Sicoine, gouverneur de la ville, fort zelé catholique, s'en entremeslast de bonne affection, si ne pût-il rien obtenir d'eux. A cette cause, Monsieur Robbin,[IV.] le fils, autrement de Coloigne, associé avec Monsieur de Biancourt pour le voyage, se delibera d'aller en Cour et déclarer à la Reyne cet accrochement; ce qu'il fit. La Reyne sur cela donna lettres addressantes à Monsieur de Sicoigne, à ce qu'il eust à declarer la volonté du Roy à present regnant, être telle, et avoir pareillement [12] esté telle celle du feu Roy d'eternelle memoire, que lesdicts Iesuites allent en Canada; et par ainsy entendissent les contrariants sur ce fait, qu'ils se trouveroient en opposition contre le bon plaisir de leur Prince. Les lettres estoient fort affectueuses; et plût à Monsieur de Sicoigne de mander à soy tout le consistoire, et leur en faire lecture. Si est-ce que pour tout cela, les marchants sus mentionnés ne voulurent en rien démordre; seulement fut accordé que, laissant à part la question des Iésuites, on chargeroit promptement le vaisseau, de peur que cet embarras et dispute n'apportast du retardement au secours qui promptement debvoit estre donné à Monsieur de Potrincourt.

Lors je pensois bien quasi toutes nos attentes estre mises au rouët, et ne sçavois quelle clef nous en pourroit assez desgager. Mais Monsieur de Coloigne ne desespera point; ains, se montrant de sa grâce toujours plus ardent à poursuivre pour nous, fit entendre en Cour, par un second voyage qu'il fit, y avoir bien moyen de debouter les susdits marchants, 144 sçavoir est, en leur payant leur marchandise, et ainsi les dédommageant. Madame de la Guercheville, dame de grande vertu, recognoissant cet expédient, et jugeant n'estre convenable à la piété de la cour que pour si peu un œuvre de Dieu fust arresté, et satan en eust ainsi le [13] dessus, se délibera de faire un queste pour mettre ensemble la somme de deniers requise, et le fist avec telle diligence et si heureusement, par la pieuse liberalité de plusieurs des Seigneurs et Dames de la cour, qu'elle assembla bientost quatre mil livres, et les envoya à Dieppe. Ainsy lesdits marchants furent exclus de tout le droict qu'ils eussent pû avoir sur le vaisseau, sans rien perdre, et nous y fusmes introduits.

Cet affaire et plusieurs autres qui survinrent dans l'aprest de nostre voyage, furent cause que ne pusmes partir de Dieppe avant le 26 janvier 1611. Monsieur de Biancourt, jeune seigneur fort accomply et expert en la maryne, estoit nostre conducteur, et chef du vaisseau. Nous estions 36 personnes dans un navire appelé la Grace de Dieu, d'environ soixante tonneaux. Nous n'eusmes que deux jours de bon vent; au troisiesme, nous nous vismes subitement, par un vent et marées contraires, emportés jusques à cent ou deux cents pas des esquillons l'isle d'Wytht, en Angleterre; et bien nous en print que nous y rencontrasmes bon ancrage; sans cela resoluement c'estoit faict de nous.

Eschappés de là, nous relaschasmes à Hyrmice et depuis à Niéport; en quoy nous consumasmes 18 jours. Le 16 de février, premier jour de caresme, [14] un bon norouest s'élevant, nous donna moyen de partir, et nous accompagna jusques hors de la Manche. 146 Ors ont accoustumé les mariniers, venant à Port-Royal, de ne point prendre la droite route des isles Ouessants jusqu'au Cap de Sable, ce qui abregeroit beaucoup le chemin; car en cette façon, de Dieppe à Port-Royal, n'y auroit qu'environ mil lieues; ains leur coustume est de descendre vers le Sud jusqu'aux Açores, et de là tirer au grand banc, pour du grand banc, selon que les vents se présentent, viser au Cap de Sable, ou bien à Campseaux, ou bien autre part. Ils m'ont dict que pour trois raisons ils descendent ainsi aux Açores: la première pour esviter la mer du nort, qui est fort haute, disent-ils; la seconde, pour s'ayder des vents du sud, qui volontiers reignent le plus; la troisiesme, pour assurer leur estime: autrement il est difficile qu'ils se recognoissent et dressent leur voyage sans erreur. Mais nulle de ces causes a eu effet quant à nous, qui neantmoins avons suivy cette coustume: non la premiere, parce que nous avons experimenté tant de tempestes et la mer si rude, que je ne pense pas y avoir beaucoup de gain, nort ou sud, sud ou nort; non la seconde, parce que souvent, quand nous voulions le Sud, le Nort souffloit, et à retours; non enfin la troisiesme, d'autant que nous ne pusmes point voir ces Açores, quoyque nous fussions [15] descendus jusqu'à 39 degrés et demy. Ainsi toute l'estime de nos conducteurs s'embrouilla, et nous n'estions pas encore aux Açores du grand banc, quand quelques-uns opinoient que nous l'eussions desjà passé.

Le grand banc aux molües n'est pas, comme j'estimois en France, quelque banc de sablon ou terre qui apparoisse hors de la mer, ains est une grande lisiere de terre soubs l'eau à 35, 40 et 45 brasses, large en quelques endroits de 25 lieuës. On l'appelle banc, parce que c'est là premierement où venant des 148 abismes de l'ocean, l'on trouve terre avec la sonde. Or, sur le bord de ce grand banc, les vagues sont d'ordinaire fort furieuses trois ou quatre lieues durant, et ces trois ou quatre lieues on appelle les Açores.

Nous estions environ ces Açores le mardy de Pasques, quand nous voicy en prouë notre ennemy conjuré, l'Ouest, avec telle furie et opiniastreté, que peu s'en fallut que nous ne perissions. De huict jours entiers, il ne nous donna relasche, adjoustant à sa malice le froid et souvent la pluie ou la neige.

Naviger en ce traject de la Nouvelle-France, si dangereux et si aspre, principalement en petits vaisseaux et mal munitionnez, est un sommaire de toutes les miseres de la vie. Nous n'avions repos ni [16] jour ni nuict. Si nous pensions prendre nostre refection, nostre plat subitement eschappoit contre la tête de quelqu'un; un autre tomboit sour nous, et nous contre quelque coffre, et tourneboulions avec d'autres pareillement renversez; nostre tasse se versoit sur nostre lict, et le bidon dans nostre seing, ou bien un coup de mer mandoit nostre plat.

Monsieur de Biancourt m'honoroit de tant, que je couchois dans sa chambre. Une belle nuict ainsy qu'estant au lict nous pensions prendre quelque repos, voicy qu'un gentil et hardy coup de mer qui faussa les fermetures de la fenestre, la rompt et nous vient couvrir bien hautement; autant en eusmes nous une autre fois de jour. En outre, le froid estoit si violent, et l'a esté plus de six semaines durant, qu'à peine nous sentions nous d'engourdissement et de gel. Le bon Père Masse a pati beaucoup. Il a demeuré quelques quarante jours malade sans manger que bien peu, et quasi sans bouger du lict; encore vouloit-il 150 jeusner avec tout cela. Après Pasque, il meliora tousjours, Dieu mercy de plus en plus. Pour moy, j'estois gaillard, quand mesme plusieurs des matelots se rendoient, et la Dieu grâce, je n'ay jamais tenu le lict pour mal que j'eusse.

Eschappés des tourmentes, nous entrasmes dans les glaces sur les Açores du banc, degrez du nort 46. Aucunes des glaces sembloient des isles, autres [17] des petits bourgs, autres des grandes églises ou dômes bien haults, ou superbes chasteaux: toutes flottoient. Pour les esviter, nous prismes au sud; mais ce fut tomber, comme l'on dict, de Charybdis en Sylla, car de ces haults rochers, nous tombasmes en un pavé de basse glace, la mer en estant toute couverte autant que la vue pouvoit porter. Nous ne savions en passer; et n'eust esté la hardiesse de M. de Biancourt, nos mariniers demeuroient sans expedient; mais il fit passer outre, non obstant le murmure de plusieurs, par où la glace estoit plus rare, et Dieu, par sa bonté, nous assista.

Le 5 de may, nous descendismes à Campceau, et eusmes le moyen d'y celebrer la sainte messe après tant de temps, et nous sustenter de ce pain qui nourit sans deffaut, et console sans fin. Depuis, nous costoyames terre jusqu'à Port-Royal, et y sommes arrivés à bons et heureux auspices le saint jour de Pencoste de bon matin, sçavoir est le 22 de may,[V.] jour auquel le soleil entre dans les Iumeaux. Nostre voyage avoit duré quatre mois.

Il n'est possible d'exprimer l'ayse que reçurent de nostre arrivée Monsieur de Potrincourt et les siens, lesquels, durant tout cet hyver, se trouvèrent [18] en 152 de très-grandes necessités, comme je vous vais declarer.

Monsieur de Potrincourt avoit accompagné son fils revenant en France sur la fin de juillet 1610, et y estoit venu jusques au port Saint Iean,[VI.] autrement dict Chachippé, distant du Port-Royal 70 lieuës est et sud. Revenant et ayant redoublé le Cap de Sable, se trouvant en la baye courante, accablé de fatigues, il fut contraint de ceder le gouvernail pour un peu dormir, donnant mandement à celuy qui succedoit de suivre toujours terre, jusqu'au plus profond de la Baye. Ce successeur, ne sçay pourquoy, ne suyvit pas le commandement, ains peu de temps après changea, et abandonna terre.

Le Sauvage Membertou, qui suyvoit dans sa chaloupe, fut estonné de cette route; néanmoins, n'en sçachant pas la cause, n'en imita pas l'exemple, et si n'en dit rien. Aussi arriva-t-il bientost à Port-Royal, là où M. de Potrincour erra par six semaines en danger de se perdre; car le bon seigneur, s'estant esveillé, fut bien esbahy de se veoir en pleine mer, à perte de terre, dans une chaloupe. Il avait beau regarder son cadran, car ne sçachant [19] quelle route son gentil gouverneur avoit tenué, il ne pouvoit deviner ni où il estoit, ni où il convenoit addresser. Un autre mal, sa chaloupe ne pouvoit aller à la boline,[VII.] ayant esté, ne scay comment, brisée par les flancs. Ainsi, voulust-il ou non, il estoit necessité à prendre toujours vent derriere.

Un tiers inconvenient et grief: ils n'avoient de 154 vivres. Néantmoins, c'est une homme qui ne se rend pas facilement, et bonheur l'accompagne. Donc, en cette perplexité de route, il se determina heureusement de prendre au nord, et Dieu lui envoya ce qu'il souhaitoit, un favorable Sud. Contre le mal de la faim, sa prudence luy servit; car il avoit chassé et gardé certain nombre de cormorans.[VIII.] Mais quel moyen de les rôtir en une chaloupe, pour les manger et garder? De bonne fortune, il se trouva avoir quelque planche, sur laquelle il dressa un foyer, et ainsi rotit son gibier, à l'ayde duquel il arriva à Pentegouët, anciennement la Norembegue, et de là aux Etechemins, puis à l'embouscheure du Port-Royal, où, par desastre, il pensa faire naufrage.

Il faisoit obscur quand il se trouva en cette entrée, et ses gens commencerent à lui, contredire, [20] niant assurément que ce fust l'embouscheure du Port-Royal. Luy ouït volontiers les opinions de ses gens, et malheur qu'encore les suyvit-il, et aynsi prenant en bas de la Baye Françoise, il s'en alla roder bien loing à la mercy des vents et des marées. Cependant ses gens estoient bien en peine au Port-Royal, et jà quasi tenoient-ils pour tout assuré qu'il fust peri; à cela aydoit le sauvage Membertou, qui affirmoit luy avoir veu prendre vers la mer à perte de vuë; d'où l'on inferoit, comme l'on croit autant facilement ce que l'on craint comme ce que l'on ayme, que puisque tels ou tels vents avoient régné, il estoit impossible qu'avec une chaloupe, il eust peu eschapper. Et jà traitoit-on du retour en France. Or bien esbahis, et ensemble bien joyeux furent-ils, quand ils virent leur Thésée, revenu de l'autre monde; ce fut 156 six semaines après son depart, au même temps que M. de Biancourt arrivoit en France, le retour duquel estoit attendu à Port-Royal pour tout Novembre de la même annèe 1610. Mais on fut bien estonné, quand non seulement on ne le vit pas à Noël, mais aussi on perdit espérance, à cause de l'hiver, de le revoir avant la fin d'apvril ensuivant.

Cette fut raison pour quoy on se retrancha de vivres; mais ce retranchement profitoit peu, d'autant que le Sieur de Potrincourt ne rabattoit rien [21] de ses libéralités vers les Sauvages, craingnant les aliener de la foy chrestienne. C'est un seigneur vrayment liberal et magnanime, mesprisant toute recompense des biens qu'il leur fait; de maniere que les Sauvages, quand par fois on leur demande pourquoy ils ne lui redonnent quelque chose pour tant de biens qu'il leur faict, ont de coustumes de respondre malitieusement: Endries ninan metaij Sagamo: c'est-à-dire, Monsieur ne se soucie point de nos peaux de castor. Néantmoins ils envoyoient par fois quelques pieces d'orignac, qui aydoyent à toujours gagner le temps. Or, bon moyen pour espargner, voicy que, l'hyver venu, leur moulin se glace, et n'y avoit moyen de faire farine. Bon pour eux, qu'ils trouverent provision de pois et febves; cette fut leur manne et ambroisie sept semaines durant.

Là estoit venu Apvril, mais non pas le navire, et lors le moulin eut beau se glacer, car aussi bien n'y avoit-il rien pour la tremye. Que fera-on? la faim est un meschant mal. On se met à pescher sur eau, et fouiller soubs terre: sur eau, on eut des esplans et du harang; soubs terre, on trouva de fort bonnes racines, qu'on appelle chiqueli, et abondent fort en de certains endroits.

158 Ainsi contentoit-on aucunement cet importun crediteur; je dis aucunement parce que, le pain leur [22] manquant, toute autre chose leur estoit peu, et jà faisoit-on estat que, si le navire ne venoit pour tout le mois de may, que l'on se mettroit par la coste en recherche de quelques navires, pour repasser au doux pays de froment et vignoble. C'estoyent les gens de Monsieur de Potrincourt qui parloient ainsi; car pour luy, il avoit le courage, et si sçavoit bien les moyens de faire attendre jusques à la saint Iean. Il n'en fut pas de besoing, Dieu mercy, car comme dict est, nous arrivasmes le 22 de may. Or si, à cette venue, l'allegresse de Monsieur de Potrincourt et de ceux de l'habitation fut grande, ceux là le pourront conjecturer, qui sçavent ce que c'est de la faim, du desespoir, de la crainte, de patir, d'estre pere, et veoir ses entreprises et travaux à volleau.

Nous pleurasmes tous au rencontre, et nous estimions quasi songer; puis, quand nous fusmes un peu revenus et entrez en propos, cette question fut mise en avant, sçavoir: mon (de vrai) qui estoit le plus ayse des deux, ou M. de Potrincourt et les siens, ou M. de Biancourt et nous. De vray, nous avions bien tous le cœur bien eslargy, et Dieu, par sa misericorde, donna signe d'y prendre plaisir; car, après la messe et le disner, comme ce ne fusse qu'allée et venue du navire à l'habitation et de l'habitation au [23] navire, chacun voulant caresser, et estre caressé de ses amis, comme après l'hyver on se resjouït du beau temps, et après le siége de la liberté, il arriva que deux de l'habitation prindrent un canot des sauvages pour aller au navire. Ces canots sont tellement faits que, si on ne s'y tient pas bien juste et à plomb, aussitost 160 on vire; arriva donc que, voulant retourner dans le mesme canot du navire à l'habitation ne sçay comment ne charrierent pas droict, et eux dans l'eau.

Le bonheur porta que pour lors je me promenois avec M. de Potrincourt à la rive. Nous voyons l'accident, et, à nostre pouvoir faisions signe avec nos chapeaux à ceux du navire, de courir au secours; car de crier, rien n'eust proffité, tant le navire estoit esloigné, et le vent faisoit du bruit. Personne n'y prenoit garde du commencement; de maniere que nostre recours fut à l'oraison, et de nous mettre à genou, n'y voyant autre remede; et Dieu eut pitié de nous. L'un des deux se saisit du canot renversé, et se jette dessus; l'autre, à la parfin, fut secouru d'une chaloupe, et tous deux ainsi retirez et sauvez nous comblerent de liesse, voyant comme la bonté divine, par sa toute parternelle douceur, n'avoit point voulu permettre que le malin esprit nous enviast et funestast un si bon jour. A elle soit gloire à tout jamays. Ainsy soit-il.

[24] Or maintenant il est temps qu'arrivés par la grâce de Dieu en santé nous jettions les yeux sur le pays, et y considerions un peu l'estat de la chrestienté que nous y trouvons. Tout son fondement consiste après Dieu en cette petite habitation d'une famille d'environ vingt personnes. Messire Iessé Flesche, vulgairement dict le Patriarche, en a eu la charge, et, dans un an qu'il y a demeuré, a baptizé quelque cent ou tant des Sauvages. Le mal a esté qu'il ne les a pu instruire comme il eust bien désiré, faute de sçavoir la langue, et avoir de quoy les entretenir; car celui qui leur nourrit l'âme faut quand et quand qu'il se delibere de sustenter leur corps. 162 Ce bon personnage nous a fait beaucoup d'amitié, et a remercié Dieu de nostre venue; car il avoit jà de longtemps resolu de repasser en France à la premiere commodité; ce qu'il est bien ayse de faire maintenant, sans le regret d'abandonner une vigne qu'il auroit plantée.

On n'a pû jusques à maintenant traduire au langage du pays la croyance commune ou symbole, l'oraison de nostre Seigneur, les commandemens de Dieu, les Sacremens et autres chefs totalement necessaires à faire un chrestien.

Estant dernièrement au port Saint-Iean, je fus adverty qu'entre les autres Sauvages, il y en avoit cinq jà chrestiens. Ie prends de là occasion de leur [25] donner des images, et planter une croix devant leur cabane, chantant un Salve Regina. Ie leur fis faire le signe de la croix; mais je me trouvois bien esbahy, car autant quasi y entendoient les non-baptizés, que les chrestiens. Ie demandois à un chacun son nom de baptesme; quelques-uns ne le sçavoient pas, et ceux-là s'appeloient Patriarches; et la cause est parce que c'est le Patriarche qui leur impose le nom; car ils concluënt ainsy, il faut qu'ils s'appellent Patriarches, quand ils ont oublié leur vray nom.

Il y eut aussi pour rire, car lorsque je leur demandois s'ils estoient chrestiens, ils ne m'entendoient pas; quand je leur demandois s'ils estoient baptizés, ils me respondoient: Hetaion enderquir Vortmandia Patriarché; c'est à-dire: "Oui, le Patriarche nous a fait semblables aux Normans." Or, appellent-ils Normans tous les Françoys hormis les Malouins, qu'ils appellent Samaricois, et les Basques qu'ils disent Bascua.

Le sagamo, c'est-à-dire le seigneur du port Saint-Iean, 164 est un appelé Cacagous, fin et matois s'il n'y en a point en la coste; c'est tout ce qu'il a rapporté de France (car il a esté en France), et me disoit qu'il avoit esté baptizé à Bajonne, me racontant cela comme qui raconteroit d'avoir esté par amitié conduit à un bal. Sur quoy, voyant le mal, et [26] voulant esprouver si je luy esmouverois point la conscience, je luy demandois combien il avoit de femmes. Il me respondit qu'il en avoit huict; et de fait, il m'en compta sept, qu'il avoit là presentes, me les désignant avec autant de gloire, tant s'en faut qu'avec honte, comme si je luy eusse demandé combien il avoit de fils legitimes.

Un autre, qui cherchoit plusieurs femmes, comme je luy dissuadasse, luy alleguant qu'il estoit chrestien, me paya de cette response: Reroure quiro Nortmandia: c'est à-dire Cela est bon pour vous autres, Normans. Aussi ne voit-on gueres de changement en eux après le baptesme. La mesme sauvagine et les mesmes mœurs demeurent, ou peu s'en faut, mesmes coustumes, ceremonies, us, façons et vices, au moins à ce qu'on en peut sçavoir, sans point observer aucune distinction de temps, jours, offices, exercices, prieres, debvoirs, vertus ou remedes spirituels.

Membertou, comme celuy qui hante le plus M. de Potrincourt dés long temps, est aussi le plus zelé, et montre le plus de foy; mais encore il se plaint de ne nous pas assez entendre, et desireroit d'estre prescheur, dit-il, s'il estoit bien instruict. Ce fut luy qui me fit l'autre jour une plaisante repartie; car, comme je luy enseignois son Pater, selon la traduction que m'en a fait M. de Biancourt, sur ce [27] que je lui faisois dire: Nui en caraco nac iquem esmoi ciscou; c'est-à-dire, donne-nous aujourd'huy nostre pain quotidien. 166 "Mais, dit-il, si je ne luy demandois que du pain, je demeurerois sans orignac ou poisson."

Le bon vieillard nous contoit avec grande affection comme Dieu l'assiste depuis qu'il est chrestien, et nous disoit que ce printemps, luy arriva de patir grande faim luy et les siens; que sur ce il luy souvint qu'il estoit chrestien, et par ce il pria Dieu. Après sa prière, allant veoir à la riviere, il trouva des esplans à suffisance. Et puisque je suis sur ce vieux sagamo, premices de cette gentilité, je vous diray encore ce qui luy est arrivé cet hyver.

Il a esté malade, et ce qui est plus, jugé à mort par les aoutmoins ou sorciers du pays. Or est la coustume que dès aussitost que les Aoutmoins ont sentencié la maladie ou plaie estre mortelle, dès lors le patient ne mange plus; aussy ne luy donne-t-on rien. Ains, prenant sa belle robe, il entonne luy-mesme le chant de sa mort; après lequel cantique, s'il tarde trop à mourir, on luy jette force seaux d'eau dessus, pour l'advancer, et quelquefois l'enterre-t-on à demy vif. Or les enfants de Membertou, quoy que chrestien, se preparoient à user de ce beau devoir de pieté envers leur père; jà ils ne luy donnoient plus à manger, et luy ayant prins sa [28] belle robe de loutre, avoit, comme un cygne, chanté et conclu sa Nænie ou chant funerail. Une chose l'affligeoit encore, c'est qu'il ne sçavoit pas pomment il debvoit bien mourir en chrestien, et qu'il ne disoit point adieu à M. de Potrincourt. Ces choses entendues, M. de Potrincourt vint à luy, luy remonstre et l'asseure qu'en despit de tous les Aoutmoins et Pilotois, il vivroit et recouvreroit santé, s'il vouloit manger; ce qu'il estoit tenu de faire, estant chrestien. Le bon homme crut, 168 et fut sauvé; aujourd'huy il raconte cecy avec grand contentement, et rememore bien à propos comme Dieu a misericordieusement en cela fait entendre la malice et mensonge de leurs aoutmoins.

Je raconteray icy un autre faict du mesme Sieur de Potrincourt, et qui a beaucoup proffité à toute cette gentilité. Un sauvage chrestien estoit mort, et (marque de sa constance) il avoit mandé icy à l'habitation, pendant sa maladie, qu'il se recommandoit aux prieres. Après sa mort, les autres Sauvages se preparoient de l'enterrer à leur mode: leur mode est qu'ils prennent tout ce qui appartient au defunct, peaux, arcs, utensiles, cabannes, etc. bruslent tout cela, hurlants, brayants avec certains clameurs, sorceleries et invocations du malin esprit. M. de Potrincourt delibera de vertueusement resister à ces ceremonies. Il met donc en armes toutes ses gens, et [29] s'en va aux Sauvages en main forte, obtient par ce moyen ce qu'il demandoit, sçavoir est que le corps fust donné à M. le Patriarche, et ainsi l'enterrement fut faict à la chrestienne. Cet acte, d'autant qu'il n'a pû estre contrarié par les Sauvages, a esté loué par eux, et l'est encores.

La chappelle qu'on a eue jusque à maintenant, est fort petite, pirement accomodée, et en toutes façons incommode à tous exercices de religion. Pour remede, M. de Potrincourt nous a donné tout un quartier de son habitation, si nous pouvons le couvrir et accomoder. Seulement j'adjousteray encore un mot, que plusieurs seront bien ayses et édifiés d'ouïr.

Après mon arrivée icy à Port-Royal, j'ay esté avec M. de Potrincourt jusque aux Etechemins. Là, Dieu voulut que je rencontrasse le jeune du Pont de Sainct 170 Malo, lequel ne sçays comment effarouché,[IX.] avoit passé toute l'année avec les Sauvages, vivant de mesme qu'eux. C'est un jeune homme d'une grande force d'esprit et de corps, n'y ayant sauvage qui courre, agisse ou patisse ou parle mieux que luy. Il estoit en grandes apprehensions de M. de [30] Potrincourt; mais Dieu me donna tant de croyance envers luy, que sur ma parole il vint avec moy dans nostre navire, et, après quelques submissions et debvoir rendu par luy, la paix fut faite au grand contentement de tous. Au départir, comme les canonades bruyèrent, il me pria de luy assigner heure pour sa confession. Au lendemain matin, luy mesme prevint l'heure, tant il estoit en ferveur, et se confessa en l'orée de la mer, en la présence de tous les Sauvages, qui s'émerveilloient d'ainsy le voir à genoux devant moy si long temps. Depuis, il communia avec grand exemple, et puis dire que les larmes m'en vinrent aux yeux, et ne fus pas seul. Le diable fut confus de cet acte: aussy pensa-il subitement tout troubler l'aprés disnée suivante; mais Dieu mercy, par l'équité et bonté de M. de Potrincourt, le tout a esté remis en son entier.

Voilà, mon Révérend Pere, le discours de nostre voyage et des choses survenues tant en yceluy que devant celuy, et depuis nostre arrivée à cette habitation. Reste maintenant à vous dire que la conversion de ce pays à l'Evangile, et de ce peuple à la civilité, n'est pas petite, ni sans beaucoup de difficultez; car en premier lieu, si nous considerons le pays, 172 ce n'est qu'une forest, sans autre commodité pour la vie que celles qu'on apportera de France, et avec le temps on pourroit retirer du terroir, après qu'on [31] l'aura cultivé. La nation est sauvage, vagabonde, mal habituée, rare et d'assez peu de gens. Elle est, dis-je, sauvage, courant les bois, sans lettres, sans police, sans bonnes mœurs; elle est vagabonde, sans aucun arrest, ni des maisons ni de parenté, ni des possessions ni de patrie; elle est mal habituée, gens extremement paresseux, gourmans, irreligieux, traitres, cruels en vengeance, et adonnés à toute luxure, hommes et femmes, les hommes ayant plusieurs femmes et les abandonnant à autruy, et les femmes ne leur servant que d'esclaves qu'ils battent et assomment de coups, sans qu'elles osent se plaindre; et après avoir esté demy meurtries, s'il plaist au meurtrier, il faut qu'elles rient et luy fassent caresses.

Avec tous ces maux, ils sont extrêmement glorieux: ils s'estiment plus vaillans, que nous, meilleurs que nous, plus ingenieux que nous, et, chose difficile à croire, plus riches que nous. Ils s'estiment, dis-je, plus vaillants que nous, se vantant qu'ils ont tué des Basques et Malouins, et fait beaucoup de mal aux navires, sans que jamays on en ait tiré vengeance, voulant dire que ce a esté faute de cœur. Ils s'estiment meilleurs: "Car, disent-ils, vous ne cessez de vous entrebattre et quereller l'un l'autre; nous vivons en paix. Vous estes envieux les uns des autres, et détractez les uns des autres ordinairement; [32] vous estes larrons et trompeurs; vous estes convoiteux, sans liberalité et misericorde: quant à nous, si nous avons un morceau du pain, nous le partissons entre nous."

174 Telles et semblables choses disent-ils communement, voyant les susdictes imperfections en quelques-uns de nos gens; et, se flattent de ce que quelques-uns d'entre eux ne les ont si éminentes, ne considerant (pas) qu'ils ont tous des vices beaucoup plus énormes, et que la meilleure part des nostres n'ont pas mesmes les vices susdicts, concluent universellement qu'ils vallent mieux que tous les chrestiens. C'est l'amour propre qui les aveugle, et le malin esprit qui les seduit, ne plus ne moins que vous voyez en nostre France les desvoyés de la foy s'estimer et se vanter estre meilleurs que les catholiques, d'autant qu'en quelques-uns ils voyent beaucoup de vices, ne regardants ni les vertus des autres catholiques, ni leurs vices beaucoup plus grands; ne voulant, comme Cyclopes, avoir, qu'un seul œil, et celuy fiché sur aucuns vices de quelques catholiques, et jamays sur les vertus des autres, ni sur eux, sinon pour se tromper.

Ils s'estiment aussi plus ingenieux, d'autant qu'ils nous voyent admirer aucunes de leurs manufactures, comme œuvres de personnes si rudes et grossieres, [33] et admirent peu ce que nous leur monstrons, quoy que beaucoup plus digne d'estre admiré, faute d'esprit. De là vient qu'ils s'estiment beaucoup plus riches que nous, quoy qu'ils soyent extremement pauvres et souffreteux.

Cacagous, duquel j'ai cy-devant parlé, a bonne grace, quand il a un peu haussé le ton; car pour monstrer sa bonne affection envers les Françoys, il se vante de vouloir aller veoir le Roy, et luy porter un present de cent castors, et fait estat, ce faisant, de le faire le plus riche de tous ses predecesseurs. La 176 cause aussy de ce jugement leur vient de l'extreme et bruslante convoitise de leurs castors qu'ils voyent regner en quelques-uns des nostres.

Non moins plaisant est le discours d'un certain Sagamo, qui ayant ouy raconter de M. de Potrincourt, que le Roy estoit jeune et à marier: "Peut-estre, dit-il, luy pourray-je donner ma fille pour femme; mais, selon les us et coustumes du pays, il faudroit que le Roy lui fist de grands presens: sçavoir, quatre ou cinq barriques de pain, trois de pois ou de febves, un de petun, quatre ou cinq chapots de cent sols pièce, avec quelques arcs, flesches, harpons, et semblables denrées."

Voylà les marques de l'esprit de cette nation, qui est fort peu peuplée, principalement les Soriquois et Etechemins qui avoysinent la mer, combien, que [34] Membertou assure qu'en sa jeunesse il a veu chimonuts, c'est-à-dire des Sauvages aussi dru semés que les cheveux de la teste. On tient qu'ils sont ainsi diminués depuis que les François ont commencé à y hanter: car, depuis ce temps-là, ils ne font tout l'esté que manger; d'où vient que, prenant une tout autre habitude, et amassant de humeurs, l'automne et l'hyver ils payent leurs intemperies par pleurésies, esquinances, flux de sang, qui les font mourir. Seulement cette année, soixante en sont morts au Cap de la Hève, qui est la plus grande partie de ce qu'ils y estoient; et neantmoins personne du petit peuple de M. de Potrincourt n'a esté seulement malade, nonobstant toute l'indigence qu'ils ont paty; ce qui a faict apprehender les Sauvages que Dieu nous deffend et protége comme son peuple particulier et bien-aymé.

Ce que je dis de cette rareté d'habitants de cette 178 contrée, se doict entendre de ceux qui paroissent en la coste de la mer; car, dans les terres, principalement des Etechemins, il y a force peuple, à ce qu'on dit. Toutes ces choses conjoinctes avec la difficulté du langage, le temps qu'il y faudra consommer, les despends qu'il y faudra faire, les grandes incommoditez et labeurs et disettes qu'il faudra endurer, declarent assez la grandeur de cette entreprise, et les difficultés qui la pourront traverser. Toutes [35] fois plusieurs choses m'encouragent à la poursuite d'icelle.

Premierement l'esperance que j'ay en la bonté et providence de Dieu. Esaïe nous assure que le royaume de nostre Redempteur doict estre recognu par toute la terre, et qu'il ne doict avoir ni antres de dragons, ni cavernes de basilisques, ni rochers inaccessibles, ni abysmes tant profonds que son humanité n'adoucisse, son salut ne guerisse, son abondance ne fertilise, son humilité ne surhausse, et enfin que sa croix ne triomphe victorieusement. Et pour quoy n'esperay-je que le temps est venu auquel cette prophetie doict estre accomplie en ces quartiers? Que si cela est, qu'y a-t-il de tant difficile que nostre Dieu ne puisse faciliter?

En second lieu, je mets la consideration du Roy nostre Sire. C'est un Roy qui nous promet rien de moindre que le feu Roy son pere l'incomparable Henri le Grand. Cet œuvre a commencé avec son reigne, et peut on dire que depuis cent années la France s'est approprié ce pays, ou en a si veritablement pris possession, ny tant faict, que depuis son reigne, que Dieu remplisse de toutes benedictions. Il ne voudra permettre que son nom et ses armes paroissent en ces regions avec le paganisme, son authorité 180 avec la barbarie, sa renommée avec la sauvagine, son pouvoir avec l'indigence, [36] sa foy avec manquement, ses subjects sans ayde ni secours. Sa mère aussy, une autre Reyne Blanche, visant à la gloire de Dieu, contemplera ces deserts et nouveliers siens, où, au commencement de sa Regence, le coutre de l'Evangile a par son moyen ouvert quelque esperance de moisson, et se souviendra de ce que le feu Roy, grand de sagesse aussi bien que de valeur, prononça au Sieur de Potrincourt venant en ce pays: "Allez, dit-il, je trace l'édifice; mon fils le bastira." Ce que nous supplions vostre Reverence de luy representer, et ensemble le bon œuvre que leurs Majestés peuvent faire en ces quartiers, si c'estoit leur bon playsir de fonder et donner quelque honneste revenu à cette residence, de laquelle se pourroit s'epandre par toute cette contrée ceux qui y seroyent eslevés et entretenus.

Voylà le second fondement de nostre esperance, auquel j'adjousteray la pieté et largesse que nous avons experimenté sur nostre depart ès-seigneurs et dames de cette tres-noble et tres-chrestienne cour, me promettant qu'ils ne voudront manquer de favoriser de leurs moyens cette entreprise, pour ne perdre ce que desjà ils y ont employé, ce qui leur sert d'ares de gloire et de felicité immortelle devant Dieu.

M. de Potrincourt, Seigneur doux et équitable, [37] vaillant, amé et experimenté en ces quartiers, et M. de Biancourt son fils, imitateur des vertus et belles qualitez de son pere, tous deux zelés au service de Dieu, qui nous honorent et cherissent plus que nous ne meritons, nous donnent aussi grand courage de nous employer en ceste ouvrage de tout nostre pouvoir.

182 Finalement, l'assiete et condition de ce lieu, qui promet beaucoup pour l'usage de la vie humaine, s'il est cultivé, et sa beauté, qui me fait esmerveiller de ce qu'il a esté si peu recherché jusques à maintenant, où est ce port où nous sommes, fort propre pour d'icy nous estendre aux Armouchiquois, Iroquois et Montagnes, nos voisins, qui sont grands peuples, et labourent les terres comme nous; ce lieu, dis-je, nous fait esperer quelque chose à l'advenir. Que si nos Souriquois sont peu, ils se peuvent peupler; s'ils sont sauvages, c'est pour les domestiquer et civiliser qu'on vient icy; s'ils sont rudes; nous ne devons point estre pour cela paresseux; s'ils ont jusqu'ici peu profité, ce n'est merveille, ce seroit rigueur d'exiger si tost fruict d'un gref, et demander sens et barbe d'un enfant.

Pour conclusion, nous esperons avec le temps les rendre susceptible de la doctrine de la foy et religion chrestienne et catholique, et après, passer [38] plus avant aux regions de deçà plus habitées et cultivées, comme dict est; esperance que nous appuyons sur la bonté et misericorde de Dieu, sur le zele et fervente charité de tous les gens de bien qui affectueusement desirent le royaume de Dieu, particulierement sur les sainctes prieres de Vostre Reverence et de nos RR. PP. et très-chers FF. auxquels très-affectueusement nous nous recommandons.

Du Port-Royal en la Nouvelle-France, ce dixiesme juin mil six cents onze.

Pierre BIARD.


[III.] Charles de Biencourt, écuyer, sieur de Saint-Just et fils de M. de Poutrincourt. Il était alors âgé de dix-neuf ou vingt ans. (Lescarbot et Champlain.)

[IV.] Thomas Robin, écuyer, sieur de Cologne, demeurant en la ville de Paris. (Lescarbot.)

[V.] Champlain et Charlevoix, qui l'a copié, mettent à tort le 12 de juin.

[VI.] Lescarbot dit: «Son père le conduisit jusque au port de la Hève, à cent lieues loin, ou environ du Port-Royal.» Ce qui donnerait à entendre que Chachippè, Port Saint-Jean et la Hève sont une même chose.

[VII.] Aller à la bouline, c'est-à-dire tenir le plus près du vent.

[VIII.] Le cormoran est un oiseau de mer, qui a le cou fort long, les pattes très-hautes, et qui vit de poisson.

[IX.] «L'année prochainement passée, il avoit été fait prisonnier par le Sieur de Potrincourt, d'où s'estant esvadé subtilement, il avoit esté contraint courrir les bois en grande misere.» (Relation imprimée.)


[9] Letter from Father Biard to Reverend Father Christopher Baltazar, Provincial of France, at Paris.

(Copied from the autograph preserved in the Archives of Jesus, at Rome).

My Reverend Father,

The peace of Christ be with you.

At last by the grace and favor of God, here we are at Port-Royal, the place so greatly desired, after having suffered and overcome, during the space of seven months, a multitude of trials and difficulties raised up against us at Dieppe by those belonging to the pretended religion; and after having survived at sea the fatigues, storms, and discomforts of winter, winds, and tempests. By the mercy of God, and through the prayers of Your Reverence and of our good Fathers and Brothers, here we are at the end of our journey and in the long-wished-for place. And I am now taking the first opportunity which presents itself to write to Your Reverence, and to communicate to you news of ourselves and of our present situation. I am sorry that the short time we have been in this country does not permit me to write about it at length, as I was desirous [10] of doing, and about the condition of these poor people; however, I will try to describe to you not only what happened in our voyage, but also all that we have been able to learn of these peoples since our arrival, as I believe all our good noblemen and friends, as well as Your Reverence, expect and desire me to do.

141 So, to begin with the preparations for our voyage, Your Reverence must know about the effort put forth by two Dieppe merchants of the pretended religion, who were charged with freighting the ship, to prevent our being received upon it. For a number of years past, those who began and continued to make voyages to Canada have wished some of our Society to be employed for the conversion of the people of that country; and Henry the Great, the late King, of happy memory, had set aside five hundred écus34 for the voyage of the first ones who should be sent there: at this time Reverend Father Enmond Masse and I, chosen for this mission, after having saluted the Queen Regent and learned from her own utterances the holy zeal which she felt for the conversion of this barbarous people, and having received the above-mentioned five hundred écus for our viaticum,35 aided also by the pious liberality of the Marchionesses de Guercheville, Verneuil, and de Sourdis,36 left Paris and arrived at Dieppe upon the day which [11] Monsieur de Biancourt, son of Monsieur de Potrincourt, had designated for our departure, the 27th of October, 1610.

The two above-mentioned merchants, as soon as they heard that two Jesuits were going to Canada, addressed themselves to Monsieur de Biancourt[X.] and warned him that, if the said Jesuits intended to embark upon the ship, they would have nothing to do with it: they were told that the presence of the Jesuits would in no wise interfere with them; that, thanks to God and the Queen, they had the money 143 to pay their passage without in the least disturbing their cargo. They still persisted, however, in their refusal; and although Monsieur de Sicoine, governor of the city, a very zealous catholic, kindly interposed, he could gain nothing from them. For this reason, Monsieur Robbin,[XI.] his son, otherwise called de Coloigne,37 a partner of Monsieur de Biancourt in this voyage, thought he would go to Court and make known this difficulty to the Queen; he did so. The Queen, thereupon, sent letters addressed to Monsieur de Sicoigne, telling him to announce that the will of the present King, as well as [12] that of the late King of eternal memory, was that these Jesuits should go to Canada; and that those who were opposing their departure were doing so against the will of their Prince. The letters were very kind: and Monsieur de Sicoigne was pleased to assemble the consistory, and read them to that body. Notwithstanding all this, the merchants would not yield in the least; it was merely granted that, leaving the Jesuits out of the question, they should promptly load their ship, lest these perplexities and disputes should cause some delay in bringing the succor to Monsieur de Potrincourt, which must be given promptly. Then I almost made up my mind that all our hopes were doomed to disappointment, for I did not see how we were to be extricated from these difficulties. Monsieur de Coloigne did not despair; but, showing himself in his kindness always more eager to pursue the case for us, by a second journey he convinced the Court of an excellent plan for thwarting the merchants; namely, by paying them for their cargo, and 145 thus indemnifying them. Madame de la Guercheville, a lady of great virtue, recognizing the expediency of this plan, and deeming it inconsistent with real piety to allow a godly work to be checked for such a trifle, and thus [13] that satan should be permitted to triumph, determined to try and raise the sum of money required; and she did so with such diligence and success, through the pious generosity of several Noblemen and Ladies of the court, that she soon collected four thousand livres and sent them to Dieppe. Thus the merchants were deprived of all the rights which they might have had in the vessel, without losing anything, and we were admitted into it.

This, and other incidents interfering with the preparations for our voyage, were the reasons why we could not leave Dieppe before the 26th of January, 1611. Monsieur de Biancourt, a very accomplished young gentleman, and well versed in matters pertaining to the sea, was our leader and commander. There were thirty-six of us in the ship, which was called la Grace de Dieu, of about sixty tons burden. We had only two days of favorable winds; on the third day we suddenly found ourselves carried, by contrary winds and tides, to within a hundred or two hundred paces of the breakers of the isle of Wight, in England; and it was fortunate for us that we found good anchorage there, for otherwise we certainly should have been lost.

Leaving this place we put into port at Hyrmice, and then at Newport; by which we lost eighteen days. The 16th of February, first day of lent, [14] a good northwester arising allowed us to depart, and accompanied us out of the English Channel. Now mariners, in coming to Port Royal, are not accustomed 147 to take the direct route from the Ouessant islands to Cape Sable, which would lessen the distance, for in this way, from Dieppe to Port Royal, there would only be about one thousand leagues; but they are in the habit of going South as far as the Azores, and from there to the great bank, thence, according to the winds, to strike for Cape Sable, or Campseaux, or elsewhere. They have told me that they go by way of the Azores for three reasons: first, in order to avoid the north sea, which is very stormy, they say; second, to make use of the south winds, which usually prevail there; third, to be sure of their reckonings; for otherwise it is difficult to take their bearings and arrange their route without error. But none of these causes affected us, although we followed this custom. Not the first, for we were so tossed about by tempests and high seas, that I do not think we gained much by going north or south, south or north; nor the second, because often when we wanted the South, the North wind blew, and vice versa; and certainly not the third, inasmuch as we could not even see the Azores, although we went [15] down as far as 39° 30'. Thus all the calculations of our leaders were confounded, and we had not yet reached the Azores of the great bank when some of them thought we had passed it.38

The great codfish bank is not, as I thought in France, a kind of sand or mud-bank, appearing above the surface of the sea; but is a great sub-marine plateau 35, 40 and 45 fathoms deep, and in some places twenty-five leagues in extent. They call it bank, because, in coming from the deep sea, it is the first place where bottom is found with the sounding lead. Now upon the border of this great bank, for the space of three or four leagues, the waves are generally 149 very high, and these three or four leagues are called the Azores.

We were near these Azores on Tuesday of Easter week, when suddenly we became a prey to our sworn foe, the West wind, which was so violent and obstinate that we very nearly perished. For eight entire days it gave us no quarter, its vindictiveness being augmented by cold and sometimes rain or snow.

In taking this route to New France, so rough and dangerous, especially in small and badly-equipped boats, one experiences the sum total of all the miseries of life. We could rest neither [16] day nor night. When we wished to eat, a dish suddenly slipped from us and struck somebody's head. We fell over each other and against the baggage, and thus found ourselves mixed up with others who had been upset in the same way; cups were spilled over our beds, and bowls in our laps, or a big wave demanded our plates.

I was so highly honored by Monsieur de Biancourt as to share his cabin. One fine night, as we were lying in bed, trying to get a little rest, a neat and impudent wave bent our window fastenings, broke the window, and covered us over completely; we had the same experience again, during the day. Furthermore, the cold was so severe, and continued to be for more than six weeks, that we lost nearly all sensation from numbness and exposure. Good Father Masse suffered a great deal.39 He was ill about forty days, eating very little and seldom leaving his bed; yet, notwithstanding all that, he wanted to fast. After Easter he continued to improve, thank God, more and more. As for me, I was gay and happy, and, by the grace of God, was never ill enough to 151 stay in bed even when several of the sailors had to give up.

After escaping from these trials, we entered the ice at the Azores of the bank, 46 degrees north latitude. Some of these masses of ice seemed like islands, others [17] little villages, others grand churches or lofty domes, or magnificent castles: all were floating. To avoid them we steered towards the south; but this was falling, as they say, from Charybdis into Scylla, for from these high rocks we fell into a level field of low ice, with which the sea was entirely covered, as far as the eye could reach. We did not know how to steer through it; and had it not been for the fearlessness of Monsieur de Biancourt, our sailors would have been helpless; but he guided us out, notwithstanding the protests of many of them, through a place where the ice was more scattered, and God, in his goodness, assisted us.

On the 5th of May, we disembarked at Campceau,40 and there had the opportunity of celebrating holy mass after so long a time, and of strengthening ourselves with that bread which never fails to nourish and console. Then we coasted along until we reached Port Royal, where we arrived under good and happy auspices early in the morning41 of the holy day of Pentecost, the 22nd of May,[XII.] the day upon which the sun enters the constellation Gemini. Our voyage had lasted four months.

The joy of Monsieur de Potrincourt and his followers, at our arrival, is indescribable. They had been, during the entire winter, reduced [18] to sore straits, as I am going to explain to you.

153 Monsieur de Potrincourt had accompanied his son a part of the way upon the latter's return to France the last of July, 1610, and had gone as far as port Saint John,[XIII.] otherwise called Chachippé,42 70 leagues east and south of Port Royal. When he was returning, as he veered around Cape Sable, he found himself in a strong current; weakened by hardships, he was obliged to yield the helm, in order to take a little rest, commanding his successor to always keep near the shore, even in the deepest part of the Bay. This pilot, I know not why, did not follow his orders, but soon afterward changed his course and left the shore.

The Savage, Membertou, who was following in his boat, was astonished that Poutrincourt should take this route; but, not knowing why he did so, neither followed him nor said anything about it. So he soon arrived at Port Royal, while Monsieur de Potrincourt drifted about for six weeks, in danger of being hopelessly lost; for this worthy gentleman, when he awoke, was very much surprised at seeing himself in a small boat in the open sea, out of sight of land. He looked at his dial in vain, for not knowing [19] what route his amiable pilot had taken, he could not guess where he was, nor in what direction to turn. Another misfortune was that his boat would not sail on a bowline,[XIV.] having been somehow damaged in the sides. So, whether he wished to do so or not, he was always obliged to sail before the wind.

A third inconvenience and misfortune was a lack of food. However, he is a man who does not easily 155 give up, and good luck follows him. Now in this perplexity about the route, he fortunately decided to turn to the north, and God sent him what he desired, a favorable South wind. His thrift served him against the misfortune of hunger, for he had hunted and kept a certain number of cormorants.[XV.] But how could they be roasted in a small boat, so as to be eaten and kept? Fortunately he found he had a few planks, upon which he built a fire-place, and thus roasted the game; by the aid of which he arrived at Pentegouët, formerly Norembegue, and from there to the Etechemins, thence to the harbor of Port Royal, where by a piece of ill luck, he was nearly shipwrecked.

It was dark when he entered this harbor, and his crew began to oppose him, stoutly denying [20] that they were in the harbor of Port Royal. He was willing to listen to their objections, and unfortunately even yielded to them; and so turning to the lower part of French Bay, he went wandering away off at the mercy of the winds and waves. Meanwhile the colonists of Port Royal were in great anxiety and had already nearly made up their minds that he was lost; the savage, Membertou, strengthened this fear by asserting that he had seen him sail out of sight upon the sea; whence it was inferred, since people believe as easily what they fear as what they favor, that as such and such a wind had prevailed, it was impossible for them to escape in such a boat. And they were already planning their return to France. Now they were greatly astonished, and at the same time exceedingly happy when they saw their Theseus return from another world; this was six weeks after his departure, 157 just when Monsieur de Biancourt arrived in France, whose return was expected at Port Royal during the whole month of November of the same year, 1610. But they were very much surprised when they did not see him at Christmas; then they lost all hope, on account of the winter weather, of seeing him again before the end of the following April.

For this reason they cut down their rations; but such economy was of little avail, since Sieur de Potrincourt did not lessen [21] his liberality toward the Savages, fearing to alienate them from the Christian faith. He is truly a liberal and magnanimous gentleman, refusing all recompense for the good he does them; so when they are occasionally asked why they do not give him something in return for so many favors, they are accustomed to answer, cunningly: Endries ninan metaij Sagamo, that is to say, "Monsieur does not care for our beaver skins." Nevertheless, they have now and then sent him some pieces of elk meat, which have helped him to gain time [i.e., to save his own provisions]. But they, the French, had a good chance of economizing when winter came, for their mill froze up, and they had no way of making flour. Happily for them they found a store of peas and beans, which proved to be their manna and ambrosia for seven weeks.

Then April came, but not the ship; now it was just as well that the mill was frozen up, for they had nothing to put in the hopper. What were they to do? Hunger is a bad complaint. Some began to fish, others to dig. From their fishing they obtained some smelts and herrings; from their digging some very good roots, called chiqueli, which are very abundant in certain places.

159 Thus this importunate creditor was somewhat satisfied; I say somewhat, because, when there was no bread, [22] everything else was of little account; and they had already made up their minds that, if the ship did not come during the month of May, they would resort to the coast, in search of ships to take them back to the sweet land of wheat and vines. It was Monsieur de Potrincourt's followers who talked this way; as for him, he was full of courage and knew well how he could manage to hold out until saint John's day [midsummer]. Thank God, there was no need of this, for, as has been said, we arrived the 22nd of May. Those who know what hunger, despair, fear and suffering are, what it is to be a leader and see all one's enterprises and hard work come to nought, can imagine what must have been the joy of Monsieur de Potrincourt and his colony upon seeing us arrive.

We all wept at this meeting, which seemed almost like a dream; then when we had recovered ourselves a little and had begun to talk, this question (mine, in fact) was proposed, to wit: Which was the happier of the two, Monsieur de Potrincourt and his people, or Monsieur de Biancourt and his? Truly, our hearts swelled within us, and God, in his mercy, showed that he took pleasure in our joy; for, after mass and dinner, there was nothing but going and coming from the ship to the settlement, and from the settlement to the [23] ship, each one wanting to embrace and be embraced by his friends, just as, after the winter, we rejoice in the beautiful spring, and after a siege, in our freedom. It happened that two persons from the settlement took one of the canoes of the savages to go to the ship. These canoes are so made that, if you do not sit very straight and steady, they immediately 161 tip over; now it chanced that, wishing to come back in the same canoe from the ship to the settlement, somehow they did not properly balance it, and both fell into the water.

Fortunately, it occurred at a time when I happened to be walking upon the shore with Monsieur de Potrincourt. Seeing the accident, we made signs with our hats as best we could to those upon the ship to come to their aid; for it would have been useless to call out, so far away was the ship, and so loud the noise of the wind. At first no one paid any attention to us, so we had recourse to prayer, and fell upon our knees, this being our only alternative; and God had pity upon us. One of the two caught hold of the canoe, which was turned upside down, and threw himself upon it: the other was finally saved by a boat, and thus both were rescued; so our cup of joy was full in seeing how God in his all paternal love and gentleness, would not permit the evil one to trouble us and to destroy our happiness upon this good day. To him be the glory forever. Amen!

[24] But now that we have arrived in good health, by the grace of God, it is time we were casting our eyes over the country, and were giving some consideration to the condition in which we find christianity here. Its whole foundation consists, after God, in this little settlement of a family of about twenty persons. Messire Jessé Flesche, commonly called the Patriarch, has had charge of it; and, in the year that he has lived here, has baptized about one hundred Savages. The trouble is, he has not been able to instruct them as he would have wished, because he did not know the language, and had nothing with which to support them; for he who would minister to their souls, must 163 at the same time resolve to nourish their bodies. This worthy man has shown great friendliness toward us, and thanked God for our coming; for he had made up his mind some time ago to return to France at the first opportunity, which he is now quite free to do without regret at leaving a vine which he has planted.

They have not yet succeeded in translating into the native language the common creed or symbol, the Lord's prayer, the commandments of God, the Sacraments, and other principles quite necessary to the making of a christian.

Recently, when I was at port Saint John, I was informed that among the other Savages there were five who were already christians. Thereupon I took occasion to give them [25] some pictures, and to erect a cross before their wigwams, singing a Salve Regina. I had them make the sign of the cross; but I was very much astonished, for the unbaptized understood almost as much about it as the christians. I asked each one his baptismal name; some did not know theirs, so they called themselves Patriarchs, because it is the Patriarch who gives them their names, and thus they conclude that, when they have forgotten their own names, they ought to be called Patriarchs.

It was also rather amusing that, when I asked them if they were christians, they did not know what I meant; when I asked them if they had been baptized, they answered: Hetaion enderquir Vortmandia Patriarché, that is to say, "Yes, the Patriarch has made us like the Normans." Now they call all the French "Normans," except the Malouins,43 whom they call Samaricois, and the Basques, Bascua.

The name of the sagamore, that is, the lord of port Saint John, is Cacagous, a man who is shrewd and cunning 165 as are no others upon the coast; that is all that he brought back from France (for he has been in France); he told me he had been baptized in Bayonne, relating his story to me as one tells about going to a ball out of friendship. Whereupon, seeing how wicked he was, and [26] wishing to try and arouse his conscience, I asked him how many wives he had. He answered that he had eight; and in fact he counted off seven to me who were there present, pointing them out with as much pride, instead of an equal degree of shame, as if I had asked him the number of his legitimate children.

Another, who was looking out for a number of wives, made the following answer to my objections on the ground that he was a Christian: Reroure quiro Nortmandia: which means, "That is all well enough for you Normans." So there is scarcely any change in them after their baptism. The same savagery and the same manners, or but little different, the same customs, ceremonies, usages, fashions, and vices remain, at least as far as can be learned; no attention being paid to any distinction of time, days, offices, exercises, prayers, duties, virtues, or spiritual remedies.

Membertou, as the one who has most associated with Monsieur de Potrincourt for a long time, is also the most zealous and shows the greatest faith, but even he complains of not understanding us well enough; he would like to become a preacher, he says, if he were properly taught. He gave me a witty answer the other day, as I was teaching him his Pater, according to the translation made of it by M. de Biancourt, when [27] I had him say: Nui en caraco nac iquem esmoi ciscou; that is, "Give us this day our daily bread." "But," said he, "if I did not ask him for 167 anything but bread, I would be without moose-meat or fish."

The good old man told us, with a great deal of feeling, how God is helping him since he has become a Christian, saying that this spring it happened that he and his family were suffering much from hunger; then he remembered that he was a christian, and therefore prayed to God. After his prayer, he went to the river and found all the smelts he wanted. And while I am speaking of this old sagamore, the first fruit of this heathen nation, I will tell you also what happened this winter.

He was sick, and what is more, had been given up to die by the native aoutmoins, or sorcerers. Now it is the custom, when the Aoutmoins have pronounced the malady or wound to be mortal, for the sick man to cease eating from that time on, nor do they give him anything more. But, donning his beautiful robe, he begins chanting his own death-song; after this, if he lingers too long, a great many pails of water are thrown over him to hasten his death, and sometimes he is buried half alive. Now the children of Membertou, though christians, were prepared to exercise this noble and pious duty toward their father; already they had ceased giving him anything to eat and had taken away his [28] beautiful otter robe, and he had, like the swan, finished his Nænie, or funeral chant. One thing still troubled him, that he did not know how to die like a christian, and he had not taken farewell of Monsieur de Potrincourt. When M. de Potrincourt heard these things, he went to see him, remonstrated with him, and assured him that, in spite of all the Aoutmoins and Pilotois, he would live and recover his health if he would eat 169 something, which he was bound to do, being a christian. The good man believed and was saved; to-day he tells this story with great satisfaction, and very aptly points out how God has thereby mercifully exposed the malice and deceit of their aoutmoins.

I shall here relate another act of the same Sieur de Potrincourt, which has been of great benefit to all these heathen. A christian savage had died, and (as a mark of his constancy) he had sent word here to the settlement during his sickness, that he desired our prayers. After his death the other Savages prepared to bury him in their way; they are accustomed to take everything that belongs to the deceased, skins, bows, utensils, wigwams, etc., and burn them all, howling and shouting certain cries, sorceries, and invocations to the evil spirit. M. de Potrincourt firmly resolved to oppose these ceremonies. So he armed all his men, and [29] going to the Savages in force, by this means obtained what he asked, namely, that the body should be given to the Patriarch, and so the burial took place according to christian customs. This act, inasmuch as it could not be prevented by the Savages, was and still is, greatly praised by them.

The chapel they have been using until now is very small, badly arranged, and in every way unsuited for religious services. To remedy this, M. de Poutrincourt has given us an entire quarter of his habitation, if we can roof it over and adapt it to our needs. But I shall add one more word which will be pleasant and edifying news to many.

After my arrival here at Port Royal, I went with M. de Potrincourt as far as the Etechemins. There God willed that I should meet young du Pont, of Sainct Malo,44 who, having been for some reason 171 frightened away [from the settlement],[XVI.] had passed the entire year with the Savages, living just as they did. He is a young man of great physical and mental strength, excelled by none of the savages in the chase, in alertness and endurance, and in his ability to speak their language. He was very much afraid of M. de [30] Potrincourt: but God inspired me with so much faith in him that, relying upon my word, Du Pont came with me to our ship; and after making some apologies and promises, peace was declared, to the great satisfaction of all. When he departed, as the cannon were sounding, he begged me to appoint an hour to receive his confession. The next morning, in his great eagerness, he anticipated the hour, and made his confession upon the shores of the sea in the presence of all the Savages, who were greatly astonished at thus seeing him upon his knees so long before me. Then he took communion in a most exemplary manner, at which I can say tears came into my eyes, and not into mine alone. The devil was confounded at this act; so he straightway planned trouble for us that very afternoon; but thank God, through the justice and goodness of M. de Potrincourt, harmony was everywhere restored.

And now you have had, my Reverend Father, an account of our voyage, of what happened in it, and before it, and since our arrival at this settlement. It now remains to tell you that the conversion of this country to the Gospel, and of these people to civilization, is not a small undertaking nor free from great difficulties; for, in the first place, if we consider the 173 country, it is only a forest, without other conveniences of life than those which will be brought from France, and what in time may be obtained from the soil after [31] it has been cultivated. The nation is savage, wandering and full of bad habits; the people few and isolated. They are, I say, savage, haunting the woods, ignorant, lawless and rude: they are wanderers, with nothing to attach them to a place, neither homes nor relationship, neither possessions nor love of country; as a people they have bad habits, are extremely lazy, gluttonous, profane, treacherous, cruel in their revenge, and given up to all kinds of lewdness, men and women alike, the men having several wives and abandoning them to others, and the women only serving them as slaves, whom they strike and beat unmercifully, and who dare not complain; and after being half killed, if it so please the murderer, they must laugh and caress him.

With all these vices, they are exceedingly vainglorious: they think they are better, more valiant and more ingenious than the French; and, what is difficult to believe, richer than we are. They consider themselves, I say, braver than we are, boasting that they have killed Basques and Malouins, and that they do a great deal of harm to the ships, and that no one has ever resented it, insinuating that it was from a lack of courage. They consider themselves better than the French; "For," they say, "you are always fighting and quarreling among yourselves; we live peaceably. You are envious and are all the time slandering each other; [32] you are thieves and deceivers; you are covetous, and are neither generous nor kind; as for us, if we have a morsel of bread we share it with our neighbor."

175 They are saying these and like things continually, seeing the above-mentioned imperfections in some of us, and flattering themselves that some of their own people do not have them so conspicuously, not realizing that they all have much greater vices, and that the better part of our people do not have even these defects, they conclude generally that they are superior to all christians. It is self-love that blinds them, and the evil one who leads them on, no more nor less than in our France, we see those who have deviated from the faith holding themselves higher and boasting of being better than the catholics, because in some of them they see many faults; considering neither the virtues of the other catholics, nor their own still greater imperfections; wishing to have, like Cyclops, only a single eye, and to fix that one upon the vices of a few catholics, never upon the virtues of the others, nor upon themselves, unless it be for the purpose of self-deception.

Also they [the savages] consider themselves more ingenious, inasmuch as they see us admire some of their productions as the work of people so rude and ignorant; [33] lacking intelligence, they bestow very little admiration upon what we show them, although much more worthy of being admired. Hence they regard themselves as much richer than we are, although they are poor and wretched in the extreme.

Cacagous, of whom I have already spoken, is quite gracious when he is a little elated about something; to show his kindly feelings toward the French he boasts of his willingness to go and see the King, and to take him a present of a hundred beaver skins, proudly suggesting that in so doing he will make him richer than all his predecessors. They get this 177 idea from the extreme covetousness and eagerness which our people display to obtain their beaver skins.

Not less amusing is the remark of a certain Sagamore, who, having heard M. de Potrincourt say that the King was young and unmarried: "Perhaps," said he, "I may let him marry my daughter; but according to the usages and customs of the country, the King must make me some handsome presents; namely, four or five barrels of bread, three of peas or beans, one of tobacco, four or five cloaks worth one hundred sous apiece, bows, arrows, harpoons, and other similar articles."

Such are the marks of intelligence in the people of these countries, which are very sparsely populated, especially those of the Soriquois and Etechemins, which are near the sea; although [34] Membertou assures us that in his youth he has seen chimonuts, that is to say, Savages, as thickly planted there as the hairs upon his head. It is maintained that they have thus diminished since the French have began to frequent their country; for, since then they do nothing all summer but eat; and the result is that, adopting an entirely different custom and thus breeding new diseases, they pay for their indulgence during the autumn and winter by pleurisy, quinsy and dysentery, which kill them off. During this year alone sixty have died at Cape de la Hève, which is the greater part of those who lived there; yet not one of all M. de Potrincourt's little colony has even been sick, notwithstanding all the privations they have suffered; which has caused the Savages to apprehend that God protects and defends us as his favorite and well-beloved people.

What I say about the sparseness of the population 179 of these countries must be understood as referring to the people who live upon the coast; for farther inland, principally among the Etechemins, there are, it is said, a great many people. All these things, added to the difficulty of acquiring the language, the time that must be consumed, the expenses that must be incurred, the great distress, toil and poverty that must be endured, fully proclaim the greatness of this enterprise and the difficulties which beset it. Yet [35] many things encourage me to continue in it.

First, my trust in the goodness and providence of God. Isaiah assures us that the kingdom of our Redeemer shall be recognized throughout the earth; and that there shall be neither caves of dragons nor dens of cockatrices, nor inaccessible rocks, nor abysses so deep, that his grace will not soften and his salvation cure, his abundance fertilize, his humility raise up, and over which his cross will not at last victoriously triumph. And why shall I not hope that the time has come when this prophecy is to be fulfilled in these lands? If that be so, what can there be so difficult that our Lord cannot make it easy?

In the second place, I rely upon the King, our Sire. He is a Sovereign who promises us nothing less than the late King, his father, the incomparable Henry the Great. This work began in the latter's reign, and it may be said that in the century since France has appropriated this country, or has so completely taken possession of it, there has not been so much accomplished at any time as since our present king became sovereign; may God fill his reign with all blessings. He will not permit his name and arms to stand in these regions side by side with paganism, his authority with barbarism, his renown with savagery, 181 his power with poverty, [36] his faith with lack of works, nor leave his subjects without aid or succor. His mother also, another Queen Blanche,45 looking to the glory of God, will contemplate these lately-acquired wildernesses, where in the beginning of her Regency the Gospel plough has, through her instrumentality, created some hope of a harvest; and will recall what the late King, great in wisdom as well as in courage, said to Sieur de Potrincourt when he came to this country: "Go," said he. "I plan the edifice; my son will build it." We beg your Reverence to lay this matter before him, together with the work which might be done by their Majesties in these lands, if it were their good pleasure to endow and to give a fair revenue to this mission, from which all those who would be educated and maintained here might go forth through the whole country.

That is the second resource upon which our hopes are founded; to which I will add the piety and liberality which we experienced upon our departure from the lords and ladies of this most noble and most christian court, who promised me that they would not fail to assist this enterprise with their means, in order not to lose what they have already invested in it, which serves them as monuments of glory and of eternal happiness before God.

M. de Potrincourt, a mild and upright Gentleman, [37] brave, beloved and well-known in these parts, and M. de Biancourt, his son, who reflects the virtues and good qualities of his father, both zealous in serving God, and who honor and cherish us more than we deserve, also encourage us in devoting all our energy to this work.

Finally, we are encouraged by the situation and 183 condition of this place, which, if it is cultivated, promises to furnish a great deal for the needs of human life; and its beauty causes me to wonder that it has been so little sought up to the present time. From this port where we now are, it is very convenient for us to spread out to the Armouchiquois, Iroquois, and Montagnais, our neighbors, which are populous nations and till the soil as we do; this situation, I say, makes us hope something for the future. For, if our Souriquois are few, they may become numerous; if they are savages, it is to domesticate and civilize them that we have come here; if they are rude, that is no reason that we should be idle; if they have until now profited little, it is no wonder, for it would be too much to expect fruit from this grafting, and to demand reason and maturity from a child.

In conclusion, we hope in time to make them susceptible of receiving the doctrines of the faith and of the christian and catholic religion, and later, to penetrate [38] farther into the regions beyond, which they say are more populous and better cultivated. We base this hope upon Divine goodness and mercy, upon the zeal and fervent charity of all good people who earnestly desire the kingdom of God, particularly upon the holy prayers of Your Reverence and of our Reverend Fathers and very dear Brothers, to whom we most affectionately commend ourselves.

From Port Royal, New France, this tenth day of June, one thousand six hundred and eleven.

Pierre BIARD.


[X.] Charles de Biencourt, esquire, sieur de Saint-Just and son of Monsieur de Poutrincourt. He was then nineteen or twenty years old. (Lescarbot and Champlain.)—[Carayon.]

[XI.] Thomas Robin, esquire, sieur de Cologne, living in the city of Paris. (Lescarbot.)—[Carayon.]

[XII.] Champlain and Charlevoix, who copied this, were wrong in saying the 12th of June.—[Carayon.]

[XIII.] Lescarbot says: "His father accompanied him as far as port de la Hève, a hundred leagues, more or less, from Port Royal." This makes it appear that Chachippè, Port Saint John, and la Hève are one and the same place.—[Carayon.]

[XIV.] To sail on a bowline means to sail close to the wind.—[Carayon.]

[XV.] The cormorant is a long-necked, high-stepping sea-bird, which lives upon fish.—[Carayon.]

[XVI.] "The year before he had been made a prisoner by Sieur de Potrincourt; and having slyly escaped from him, he had been obliged to wander about in the woods in great misery."—(Printed Relation.)—[Carayon.]



[39] Lettre du Père Ennemond Masse au R. P. Claude Aquaviva, Général de la Compagnie de Jésus.

(Traduite sur l'original latin.)

Port-royal, 10 juin 1611.

Mon Très-révérend Père,

Pax Christi.

Si Votre Paternité a vu avec plaisir ma lettre du 13 octobre, j'en ai éprouvé bien davantage à recevoir la sienne du 7 décembre; d'autant plus que je suis le premier de la Compagnie qui ait reçu la première lettre que Votre Paternité ait jamais envoyée au Canada. Je prends ce fait comme un heureux augure, et je l'accepte comme venant du ciel, pour m'exciter à courir avec ferveur dans la carrière, afin de mériter et de recevoir le prix de cette vocation céleste, et enfin de me sacrifier moi-même plus promptement et plus complétement pour le salut de ces peuples.

Je vous l'avoue; j'ai dit alors franchement à Dieu: Me voici: Si vous choisissez ce qu'il y a de faible et de méprisable dans ce monde, pour renverser [40] et détruire ce qui est fort, vous trouverez tout cela dans Ennemond. Me voici: envoyez-moi, et rendez ma langue et ma parole intelligible, afin que je ne sois pas barbare pour ceux qui m'entendront.

Vos prières, j'en ai la confiance, ne seront pas sans succès, comme semble le présager notre arrivée ici, le très-saint jour de la Pentecôte. Nous sommes faibles en Jésus-Christ, mais, je l'espère, nous vivrons avec lui 186 par la force de Dieu. Que Votre Paternité, je l'en conjure, obtienne par ses saintes prières et ses saints sacrifices, que le Seigneur accomplisse toutes ces choses en nous.

Le fils indigne en Jésus-Christ de la Compagnie de Jésus.

Ennemond MASSE.

Port-Royal, dans la Nouvelle-France, le 10 juin 1611.


[39] Letter from Father Ennemond Masse to Reverend Father Claude Aquaviva, General of the Society of Jesus.

(Translated from the Latin original.)

Port Royal, June 10, 1611.

My Very Reverend Father,

The peace of Christ be with you

If Your Reverence read with pleasure my letter of October 13th, I felt a great deal more in receiving yours of December 7th, especially as I am the first of the Society to receive from Your Reverence the first letter which you have ever sent to Canada. I take this event as a happy omen, and accept it as coming from heaven, to incite me to run with ardor in the race, in order to merit and receive the reward of this heavenly vocation, and to sacrifice myself more promptly and more completely for the salvation of these people.

I admit to you that I said then freely to God: Here I am; if you choose what is weak and despicable in this world to overthrow [40] and destroy that which is strong, you will find all this in Ennemond. Here I am; send me, and make my tongue and my words intelligible, so that I may not be a barbarian to those who will hear me.

Your prayers, I am sure, will not be in vain, as our arrival here upon the most holy day of Pentecost seems to presage. We are weak in Jesus Christ, but, I hope, we shall live with him by the power of God. It is 187my earnest entreaty that Your Reverence, by your prayers and holy sacrifices, may prevail upon the Lord to accomplish all these things in us.

The unworthy son in Jesus Christ, of the Society of Jesus,

Ennemond MASSE.

Port Royal, New France, June 10, 1611.



[41] Lettre du P. Pierre Biard, au T.-R. P. Claude Aquaviva, Général de la Compagnie de Jésus.

(Traduite sur l'original latin.)

Port-Royal, 11 juin 1611.

Mon Très-Révérend Père,

Pax Christi.

Après quatre mois d'une navigation vraiment trèspénible et très-périlleuse, nous sommes enfin arrivés, grâce à la protection de Dieu et aux prières de Votre Paternité, à Port-Royal, dans cette Nouvelle-France, terme de notre voyage.

Nous avons en effet quitté Dieppe le 26 janvier de cette année 1611, et nous sommes arrivés cette même année le 22 mai. Je donne en français au R. P. Provincial la relation de toute notre entreprise et de l'état où nous avons trouvé les choses ici. C'est ce qui me paraissait plus urgent et plus utile, puisque j'étais dans l'impossibilité de le faire en même temps en latin. Je ne me suis pas encore arrêté huit jours à Port-Royal, et tout le temps est [42] absorbé par des interruptions continuelles et par les nécessités de la vie. Au reste, le P. Masse et moi, nous nous portons assez bien, grâce à Dieu: mais il nous a fallu prendre un serviteur pour les travaux matériels. Nous ne pouvions nous en passer sans un grand détriment pour l'esprit et pour le cœur.

M. de Potrincourt, qui commande ici au nom du Roi, nous aime et nous estime en proportion de sa piété.

190 A la première occasion nous nous empresserons, avec la grâce de Dieu, de dire quelles sont nos espérances de succès.

Le vaisseau s'est déjà éloigné. Je vais être obligé d'aller le rejoindre en canot, pour qu'il ne parte sans mes lettres.

Je conjure Votre Paternité, par les mérites de Jésus-Christ, de se souvenir de nous et de ces contrées très-solitaires, et de venir à notre secours, autant qu'elle le pourra, non-seulement par le moyen des prières très-ferventes de notre Compagnie, mais aussi par la bénédiction et les faveurs de notre Saint-Père le Pape (comme je les ai déjà demandées).

Assurément nous semons dans une grande pauvreté et dans les larmes; daigne le Seigneur nous accorder de moissonner un jour dans la joie. C'est ce qui arrivera, comme je l'espère et comme je l'ai [43] dit, grâce aux prières et aux bénédictions de Votre Paternité, que je sollicite humblement,

de Votre Paternité,

Le fils et serviteur indigne,

Pierre BIARD, S. J.

A Port-Royal, dans la Nouvelle-France, ou Canada, le 11 de juin 1611.


[41] Letter from Father Pierre Biard, to the Very Reverend Father Claude Aquaviva, General of the Society of Jesus.

(Translated from the Latin original.)

Port Royal, June 11, 1611.

My Very Reverend Father,

The peace of Christ be with you.

After four months of very painful and perilous navigation, we have at last arrived, thanks to the protection of God and to the prayers of Your Reverence, at Port Royal, in New France, the end of our journey.

In truth we left Dieppe the 26th of January this year, 1611, and arrived May 22nd of this same year. I am giving to the Reverend Father Provincial the narrative in French of our whole undertaking, and of the condition in which we found things here. This seemed to me the more necessary and useful, as it was impossible for me to write it at the same time in Latin. I have not yet been settled a week in Port Royal, and all the time has [42] been taken up by continual interruptions and in providing the necessities of life. As to ourselves, Father Masse and I, we are feeling very well, thank God; but we have been obliged to take a servant to do the drudgery. We could not dispense with one without a great deal of anxiety and trouble.

M. de Potrincourt, who commands here in the name of the King, loves and esteems us in proportion to his piety.

191 We shall take the first opportunity to impart to you what may be, by the grace of God, our prospects of success in this country.

The ship has already gone. I shall be obliged to overtake it in a canoe, that it may not leave without my letters.

I conjure Your Reverence, through the merits of Jesus Christ, to remember us and these solitary lands, and to come to our aid in so far as you are able, not only by the fervent prayers of our Society, but also by the blessing and favor of our Holy Father the Pope (which I have already invoked). Surely we sow in great poverty and in tears; may the Lord grant that we some day reap in joy. Which will come to pass, as I hope and have said, [43] through the prayers and blessings of Your Reverence, which are humbly solicited by your

Unworthy son and servant,

Pierre BIARD, S. J.

Port Royal, New France, or Canada, June 11, 1611.



Figure de la Terre Nevve

From Lescarbot's Histoire de la Novvelle France; Paris, 1612.

[Reduced to ⅔ the dimensions of original.]

Larger image


Jouvency's Canadicæ Missionis Relatio


Source: We follow the general style of O'Callaghan's Reprint No. 4. The Title-page, Eulogy of Biard, and Table of Contents, are the work of that Editor. The Text, and List of Missions in 1710, he reprinted from Jouvency's Historia Societatis Jesu (Rome, 1710), part v., pp. 321-325, 961, 962; the proof of these we have read from a copy of that work, found in the library of the College of St. Francis Xavier, New York. The bracketed pagination in Arabic figures is that of Jouvency; that in Roman, of O'Callaghan.





Ab anno 1611 usque ad annum 1613, cum statu ejusdem Missionis, annis 1703 & 1710,

Auctore Josepho Juvencio, Societatis Jesu, Sacerdote.


Ex Historiæ Soc. Jesu. Lib. xv. Part. v, impressa


Ex Typographia Georgii Plachi

M. D. CC. X.




From the year 1611 until the year 1613, with the condition of the same Mission in the years 1703 and 1710,

By Joseph Jouvency, a Priest of the Society of Jesus.


Printed from the History of the Society of Jesus, Book xv., Part v.


From the Press of Giorgio Placko




[i] P. Petri Biardi Eulogium ac Vita.

DE Patre Petro Biardo qui tantam in Missione Canadica inchoanda partem gessit hæc scribit Pater Josephus Juvencius in sua Historiâ sub anno 1622.

"Ex omnibus qui hoc anno vivere in provincia Lugdunensi desierunt, luctu maximo elatus est Avenione P. Petrus Biardus Gratianopolitanus. Religionis propagandæ studio navigaverat ad barbaros Canadenses, fueratque inter primos ejus terræ cultores, ut in quinta parte narratum est. Inde pulsus ab hæreticis Anglis, & redire in Galliam coactus, totum se impendit [ii] juvandis popularibus suis, quorum ut saluti consuleret, nihil sibi reliqui ad laborem diligentiamque faciebat. Ejus tamen industriam experti maxime sunt Parodienses in præfectura Carolitana, quam civitatem per usitata ordinis ministeria diu coluit. Novissime regionis præfectus Marchio Ragnius, jussus a rege copias in Campaniam ducere contra Ernestum Mansfeldium Galliæ finibus imminentem, Biardum sibi adsciverat comitem expeditionis, & sacrorum ministrum. Per eam occasionem nescias, utrum spectata magis sit apostolici viri charitas, an patientia. Magna erat in castris inopia commeatuum. Diaria militibus præbebantur adeo maligne, ut nonnulli fame perirent. Biardus cibario, & 198 demensum suum, ac siquid præterea pecuniolæ a ditioribus emendicando corrogasset, inter egentissimos militum partiebatur, se ipsum fraudans diurno victu, ut aliis benigne faceret. Avenionem concesserat [iii] denique, ut attritas tot laboribus vires paucorum dierum otio reficeret. Verum quasi divinans, instare sibi omnium laborum & vitæ finem, totum illud tempus impendit excolendo piis commentationibus animo inter tirones, seque ad primam tirocinii formam senex emeritus ita composuit, ut nullam omitteret earum exercitationum, quibus ad sui mundique contemptum erudiri solent novitii. His intentum, nihilque jam præter cælestia cogitantem mors oppressit, xv. Cal. Decembris."

Adhæc non inutile forsan videbitur adjicere quæ ab auctore antiquiore Philippo scilicet Alegambe scripta sunt in Catalogo Scriptorum Societatis Jesu, sub verbo Biard:

"Petrus Biardus natione Gallus, patriâ Gratianopolitanus, operarius magni zeli, atque adeò multarum palmarum, quas [iv] in horridis et inuiis Canadensium Septentrionalis Americæ populorum siluis primus legit. Extrema ibi omnia passus, nihil tamen inhumanum magis, quàm Hæreticos, expertus est. Feritatis oblita gens barbara integerrimi hominis innocentiam venerari discebat; cùm ecce tibi sanctitatis inimica, Deumque nesciens Hæresis, cum Anglis Canadæ oras irrupit; difficillimæ expeditionis ingens pretium fuit, exosum inde abducere Jesuitam. Habitus 200 est in vinculis aliquamdiu; & vix tandem in Galliam nudus ab omni remissus. Intereà verò dum integrum illi esset ad noualia Canadæ redire, damnum ab Hæreticis illatum sanctè vitus est: reliquo vitæ tempore quæsiuit intentissimis studiis ad vitam illos, à quibus ad necem adductus fuerat. Docuerat olim Theologiam Lugduni, non sine laude. Reuersus è Missione Castrensi, cùm Auenionem diuertisset, & opportunitate temporis vsus secessisset in Nouitiatum, in ipsis [v] penè spiritualium Exercitiorum initiis, ad paradisi contemplationem, vt credimus, euocatus est, die XIX. Nouembris, Anno MDCXXIJ.

Præter Epistolam ad R. P. Præpositum Generalem è Portu Regali, et Relationem Expeditionis Anglorum in Canadam, P. Biardus scripsit Librum pro auctoritate Pontificis, contra Martinettum Ministrum. Gallicè etiam edidit seorsim Relationem Novæ Franciæ & itineris Patrum Societatis Jesu ad illam. Lugduni apud L. Muguet, MDCXVI. in 12."


[i] Eulogy and Life of Father Peter Biard.

CONCERNING Father Peter Biard, who performed so great a part in the establishment of the Canadian Mission, Father Joseph Juvency46 writes these things in his History, under the year 1622:

"Of all who during the present year have departed this life in the province of Lyons, the most regretted was Father Peter Biard, of Grenoble, who, was taken away at Avignon. With the desire of propagating religion, he had journeyed to the barbarous Canadians, and had been among the first settlers of that country, as has been narrated in the fifth part (of this volume). Upon being driven thence by the heretical English, and compelled to return to France, he entirely devoted himself [ii] to the service of his countrymen; and, that he might provide for their salvation, in no respect showed himself deficient either in labor or diligence. His industry, however, was especially enjoyed by the Paray le Monial, in the prefecture of Charolles, which community he long served with the customary ministrations of the order. Finally, the prefect of the district, Marchio Ragne, upon being ordered by the king to lead troops into Campania against Ernest von Mansfeld,47 who was threatening the frontiers of France, had selected Biard as his companion during the expedition, and as a minister of sacred rites. Upon that occasion one would doubt whether the charity of the apostolic man, or his patience, were the more remarkable. There was in the camp a great scarcity of provisions. Rations were so 199 poorly furnished to the soldiers that some perished with hunger. Biard divided among the most needy of them, both his own allowance and whatever small sums of money he had collected by begging from the more wealthy, depriving himself of daily sustenance, that he might do a kindness to others. He had retired to Avignon, [iii] at last, that he might with a few days' leisure refresh his energies, which had been worn out by so many toils. But divining, as it were, that the end of all labors and of life was at hand, he spent all that period in disciplining his spirit by pious meditations among the novices; and, although an aged man who had served his time, so adapted himself to the earliest form of the novitiate, that he omitted none of those exercises by which beginners are educated to a contempt of themselves and of the world. While intent upon these, and already thinking of nothing but heavenly things, death seized him on the 17th day of November."

To these things it will perhaps not seem useless to add what has been written by an earlier author, namely, Philip Alegambe,48 in the Bibliography of the Authors of the Society of Jesus, under the word Biard:

"Peter Biard, a French citizen, born in Grenoble, a laborer of great zeal, and of very many laurels which [iv] he first gathered in the dreadful and pathless forests of the Canadian tribes of North America. Although suffering there every extremity, he still experienced nothing more brutal than the Heretics. The barbarous race, forgetting its savageness, was learning to venerate the character of this most righteous man; when, behold, Heresy, hostile to holiness and ignorant of God, burst, together with the English, upon the shores of Canada. The reward of a 201 very laborious expedition was great,—to drive thence the hated Jesuit. For some time he was kept in bonds; and at last, stripped of everything, he was with difficulty restored to France. But meanwhile, until it was safe to return to the wilds of Canada, he took vengeance in a holy manner for the injury inflicted by the Heretics; during the rest of his life he sought with the greatest enthusiasm to win to life those by whom he had been devoted to death. He had formerly taught Theology at Lyons, not without commendation. On his return from the Military Mission, when he had turned aside to Avignon, and, making use of his opportunity, had retired into the Novitiate, in [v] almost the very beginning of his spiritual Exercises, he was called away to the contemplation of paradise, as we believe, on the 19th day of November, in the year 1622.

Besides a Letter to R. P. General Commander from Port Royal, and An Account of the Expedition of the English against Canada, Father Biard wrote A Book Advocating the authority of the Pontiff against Martinet, a minister. In French, also, he published separately An Account of New France and of the journey thither of the Fathers of the Society of Jesus. Lyons, by L. Muguet, 1616, in 12mo."—[O'Callaghan.]



[vii] Tabvla Rervm.



SOCIETAS Jesu, in Canadam, seu Novam Franciam inducta

II Initium Canadicæ Missionis, & primi fructus 7
III Domicilia Societatis & Missiones in Nova Francia 18
IV Missio Canadensis ab Anglis proturbata 25
V Unus è Societate interficitur; alii Canada ejiciuntur 27
VI Missiones Societatis Jesu in America septentrionali, Anno 1710 37


[vii] Table of Contents.

[The page numbers refer to O'Callaghan's Reprint.]


THE Society of Jesus introduced into Canada or New France

II Beginning and first fruits of the Canadian Mission 7
III Settlements and Missions of the Society in New France 18
IV The Canadian Mission driven out by the English 25
V One of the members of the Society is killed; the others are expelled from Canada 27
VI Missions of the Society of Jesus in North America, in the year 1710 37



Missionis Canadicæ Relatio.


AMERICAM septentrionalem tres præcipuè nationes obtinent, Hispani, Galli, & Angli. Mexicum, Floridæ pars & Californiæ, sunt Hispanæ ditionis. Littora orienti foli opposita & ad Austrum devexa occuparunt variis temporibus Angli, Sueci, & Hollandi. Quod inter illos & Mexicanos versus septentriones & occasum campi jacet, Galli tenent, ac Novam Franciam, sive Canadam, vulgo vocant. Nihil tetrius immaniusve barbaris Canadensibus fingi poterat, prius quam inducta religione mitescerent, ut patebit ex iis quæ Paragrapho decimo referentur. Nunc barbaries, & fœda scelerum cohors, rationi ac virtuti locum dedit, videturque huic oraculo Isai. c. 35. veteri constare fides: Lætabitur deserta & invia, & exultabit solitudo, & florebit quasi lilium.


An Account of the Canadian Mission.


NORTH AMERICA is occupied principally by three nations—the Spanish, the French, and the English. Mexico, a part of Florida and of California, belongs to the Spanish dominions. The shores opposite to the rising sun, and stretching Southward, have been occupied at various times by the English, the Swedes, and the Dutch. The French possess the territory which lies between these and the Mexicans, towards the north and west, commonly called New France or Canada. Nothing fouler and more hideous than the savage Canadians could have been imagined, before they began to soften under the influence of religion, as will appear from matters to be presented in the tenth Paragraph. Now, barbarism and the vile array of sins have given place to reason and virtue, which seems to confirm our faith in this ancient prophecy:Isaiah, c. 35. The land that was desolate and impassable shall be glad, and the wilderness shall rejoice, and shall flourish like the lily.




AMERICÆ littora, Franciæ obversa, Galli jam inde ab anno MDXXIV. identidem lustraverunt: sed obiter, & quasi prætereuntes. Demum superiori seculo ineunte, regionem interiorem subiit Samuel Camplenius, qui Canadensis coloniæ parens merito dici potest. Jamque negotiatio bellissimè procedebat, cum Henricus IV. de religione magis, quàm de commercio solicitus, in hanc Orbis novi partem inferre Christiana sacra decrevit, anno MDCVIII. ac Societatis homines ad hanc Apostolicam expeditionem postulavit. Certior de consilio Regis factus P. Petrus Cotonus, regiæ conscientiæ moderator, jussusque strenuos quamprimum designare sacerdotes, qui solida tanti operis jacerent fundamenta, Societatis Præpositum admonuit. Ex omni, non juvenum modo, sed etiam senum, numero, laboriosam Missionem flagitantium, delecti sunt P. Petrus Biardus, Gratianopolitanus, theologiæ professor in collegio Lugdunensi; & P. Enemundus Massæus, Lugdunensis. Moram consiliis felicibus attulit Regis improvisa mors; & Societatis amicorum studia, qui navem & reliqua itineri necessaria comparabant, debilitavit. Sed invicta rebus adversis Cotoni pietas, Reginæ auctoritatem interposuit, ut difficultates objectas profligaret. Ergo indicitur profectio: Patres 208 Deppam advolant, inde vela Novam in Franciam facturi. Ecce autem repentè inexpectatus obex. Ea navis erat Potrincurtii, nobilis Galli: duobus tamen mercatoribus Calvinianis obnoxia, utpote qui sumptus non leves ad illam armamentis instruendam fecerant. Isti simul atque imponendos in hanc homines Societatis audierunt, negant enimvero se passuros ut è portu solvat. Opponitur imperium Reginæ, mandata ingeminantur. Respondent per se non stare quin sacerdotes alii quilibet admittantur; at sibi cum nostris hominibus nihil esse rei velle. Ubi vidit Cotonus improborum pertinaciam frangi non posse, alia rem aggressus est via. Erat matrona non pietate minus quàm genere nobilis, Antonia Guerchevillæa. Hæc negotium Missionis haud secus procurabat, ac suum: utque non vulgarem apud multos gratiam, virtutis opinione collegerat, magnam subito pecuniæ vim corrogavit, qua mercatoribus hæreticis summa rependeretur, ab iis in adornandam navim contributa. Sic illis rejectis & invitis, Patres admissi suerunt. At, quia interim extractum tempus fuerat, non ante VII. Kalend. Februarias, cum hyemaret asperum æquor, vela sunt facta. Hinc mensium quatuor cursus fuit, qui vulgo duorum est; ac morbis intus, tempestatibus foris, infestus. Ingressi demum ostia Laurentiani fluvii XI. Kal. Junias, ipso sacro Pentecostes die, vestigia Christianæ religionis aliqua invenere, leviter ab iis quos è Gallia profectos in hanc plagam diximus, impressa. Cum enim illis ignotus [322] gentis sermo, 210 nec certum constansque in humo barbara domicilium esset, facultas non suppetebat erudiendi quos obiter baptizabant: quique pristinos in mores revoluti, Christianum vix retinebant nomen, illudque popularibus vitiis conspurcabant. Prima Patribus cura fuit ut sacellum construerent, perdiscerent linguam vernaculam, excolerent Gallos, qui è veteri Francia in novam navigaverant. Instituta est solennis supplicatio; Christus sanctissimi Sacramenti velo tectus, & quanto fieri potuit maximo apparatu circumvectus, in terræ felicis, tot sanctis postea frequentandæ veluti possessionem auspicatò venit. Proxima infantibus sacro lavandis fonte cura est data, quorum nonnulli, post susceptum salutis sacramentum, ad terram viventium possidendam, quasi gentis totius nomine, demigrarunt. Puellam annos natam novem, oppressam gravi morbo, parentes abjecerant. Cum enim artis medicæ prorsus ignara natio sit, ægrotos facile desperat, neque cibo, aut curatione ulla, juvat. Depositam Patres à parentibus postularunt, ut expiarent lympha salutari. Ultro illis permissa est, quippe quæ instar mortui canis haberetur. Abductam in mapale separatum curavere sedulo: edoctam, quantum erat necesse; baptizatam, ac nona post luce mortuam, cœlo intulerunt. Eadem Sociorum caritas lætiorem exitum in juvene sortita est. Ejus pater Membertous, primus omnium, uti narrant, barbarorum, cum è Gallia navigatum illuc fuit, in Christianorum numerum venerat; homo strenuus, & omnium popularium testimonio, 212 ceteris longè præstans animi robore, belli scientia, clientelarum multitudine, & gloriosi claritudine cognominis; quippe Magni Imperatoris titulum publico suffragio consecutus. Hunc obtinebat locum Membertous inter Souriquios, qui Acadiam, circa ostia Laurentiani amnis, incolunt. Ejus filium difficili ægritudine conflictatum P. Biardus invisit. Miratur nihil triste in tugurio; non planctum, non flebiles nænias: imo epulum, choream, & duos tresve canes alligatos. Quærit quid hæc sibi velint. Respondent juvenem brevi esse moriturum, amicos vocatos: illis epulum parari: funebrem choream postea ducendam: canes, quos videbat, interficiendos, placandis mortui Manibus. Exclamavit Pater nequaquam ista Christianis hominibus convenire, & impias consuetudines graviter increpuit. Senior, adolescentis parens, ignorantiam excusavit; ceterum se ac filium in ipsius esse potestate; doceret, juberet, imperata facturos. Sacerdos vetuit ne canes interficerentur: saltatores importunos amandavit: epuli partem, quæ superstitionis habere nihil videbatur, permisit: in primis autem, ne deponeretur penitus ægroti cura prohibuit; imo suasit ut ad Gallorum domicilia, quamvis longè disjuncta, deportaretur; sperare se, favente Deo, futurum ut convalesceret. Benignè auditus est à Membertoo: delatus æger ad nos fuit, ridentibus, ac bolum tantum tam subito è faucibus ereptum sibi dolentibus veneficis, & circulatoribus, quorum sententiâ conclamatus adolescens vivere posse negabatur. Ac 214 sane agebat animam, cùm triduo post ad Gallorum domicilia pervenit, fractus itinere ac morbo. Patrum tamen arte ac studio, & scilicet Dei benignitate, recreatus est; nec ipse tantum in fide catholica confirmatus, sed ejus capessendæ desiderio complures inflammati.

Incidit aliquanto post in morbum pater adolescentis, & ad nos similiter deferri voluit, ubi nostrum in tugurium, atque adeo in unius è Patribus lectum acceptus, piè vitam clausit; quodque barbaris novum accidit ac molestum, illatus est in commune Christianæ plebi sepulcrum: nam ipsi a sepulcris majorum ægerrime divelluntur. Curatum funus illustri, ut rerum ferebant angustiæ, pompa. Nec honore isto qualicumque indigna barbari virtus erat, qui etiam ante quàm Christum nosset, non potuerat adduci ut plures una duceret uxores: id naturæ ac rationi magis consentaneum arbitratus. Post susceptam vero Christi Fidem ita vixerat, ut barbaris admirationi esset, Christianis exemplo.

Hæc domi gesta. Egressi deinde quasi pomerio præcones Evangelici magnam regionis partem lustravere. Divina res, ubicumque licuit, facta: impositæ manus ægrotis, conciliati munusculis parentes ac liberi; data Gallis, novas condentibus sedes, opera; necnon classiariis atque vectoribus. Non defuit patientiæ læta seges, ac tanta interdum exstitit annonæ penuria, ut singulis hebdomadis certum [323] unicuique demensum daretur, quod vix sufficiebat in unum 216 diem, videlicet panis unciæ decem, selibra carnis sale maceratæ, & pisorum, fabarumve aliquantulum. Adhæc, erat sibi quisque faber, sarcinator, pistor, coquus, lignator, & aquator. Occurrebant interdum Patribus, in his ærumnis, voces illorum, quibus Moses provinciam explorandæ Chananitidis dederat,Num. c. 13, 14. Terra hæc devorat habitatores suos; ibi vidimus monstra quædam filiorum Enac, de genere Giganteo, quibus comparati, quasi locustæ videbamur. At simul veniebat in mentem oratio Josue, & Calebi, plena divinæ fiduciæ: Terra valde bona est. Si propitius fuerit Dominus, inducet nos in eam. Neque timeatis populum terræ hujus, Dominus nobiscum est.



THE French had, since the year 1524, often visited the coasts of America opposite to France, but cursorily, and, as it were, while passing by. Finally, at the beginning of the last century, Samuel Champlain, who well deserves to be called the parent of the Canadian colony, entered the region of the interior. Already was the undertaking progressing very favorably, when Henry IV., more solicitous for religion than for commerce, resolved, in the year 1608, to introduce Christian rites into this part of the new World, and asked members of the Society to undertake this Apostolic enterprise. Upon being informed of the plan of the King, and ordered to choose as soon as possible energetic priests who would lay solidly the foundations of so great a work, Father Coton, the confessor of the king, informed the Commander of the Society. From the whole number, not only of youths but also of old men, who sought this laborious Duty, there were chosen Father Peter Biard, of Grenoble, a professor of theology in the college of Lyons, and Father Enemond Massé, of Lyons. The unforeseen death of the King delayed this auspicious enterprise, and diminished the enthusiasm of the friends of the Society, who were providing a ship and other necessaries for the voyage. But the pious Coton, unconquered by adversity, brought in the authority of the Queen, in order that he might overcome the difficulties in his way. As a result, the time was set for their departure, and the Fathers hastened 209 to Dieppe, in order that they might sail thence for New France. But, lo! suddenly an unexpected obstacle. Their ship belonged to Poutrincourt, a French nobleman; it was, however, subject to the control of two Calvinistic merchants, since they had incurred no light expense toward providing her with equipments. As soon as they heard that members of the Society were to be embarked upon her, they refused to allow her to leave the port. The authority of the Queen was invoked; her commands were reiterated. They answered that they would not refuse admission to any other sort of priests, but that they were unwilling to have anything to do with our men. When Coton saw that the stubbornness of the rascals could not be overcome, he approached the matter by another way. There was a lady distinguished not less for piety than for birth, Antoinette de Guercheville. This woman was as solicitous for the interests of the Mission as for her own; and since she had acquired an uncommon influence among many, because of her reputation for integrity, she quickly collected a large sum of money, by means of which the heretical merchants were repaid the amount which they had spent in equipping the ship. So, although the merchants were disappointed and unwilling, the Fathers were admitted. But, because of the intervening delay, they did not sail until the 26th of January, when the storms of winter caused a raging sea. On this account the voyage was of four months' duration, although ordinarily of two, and was terrible because of disease within and tempests without. Having entered at last the mouth of the St. Lawrence river on the 22nd day of May, on the holy day of Pentecost, they came upon some traces of the Christian religion, which had been superficially impressed by those 211 whom we have mentioned as having journeyed from France into this region. For, since the speech of the people was unknown [322] to them, and they had no certain and fixed residence in this savage land, there was no opportunity for educating those whom they chanced to baptize, and who, plunging again into their former habits, scarcely retained the Christian name, while defiling it with their native vices. The first concern of the Fathers was to build a chapel, to learn the language of the country, and to instruct the Frenchmen who had emigrated from old to new France. A solemn Thanksgiving was enjoined; the figure of Christ, covered with a canopy, was carried about with the greatest possible ceremony; and he came auspiciously into the possession, so to speak, of the happy land afterwards to be frequented by so many holy men. Next, attention was given to laving the infants in the sacred font, of whom some, after receiving the sacrament of salvation, departed to their homes in the land of the immortals, in the name, as it were, of the whole race. A girl aged nine years, afflicted with a grievous disease, had been abandoned by her parents. For, since the race is altogether ignorant of the art of medicine, they readily despair of the sick, and neither provide them with food nor care for them in any way. The Fathers asked her parents to give them the forsaken child, in order that they might sanctify her with the water of salvation. She was readily handed over to them; and naturally, inasmuch as she was considered no better than a dead dog. Taking her apart to their hut they gave her assiduous care; she was baptized, and, dying on the ninth day afterward, they introduced her into Heaven. The same charity of the Associates resulted more fortunately in the case of a young boy. His father was 213 Membertou, who, they say, in the early days of navigation thither from France, first of all the savages became a Christian; he was an energetic man, and, according to the testimony of all his countrymen, far excelled others in vigor of mind, in knowledge of war, in number of dependents, and the distinction of a glorious name, for by public vote he had acquired the title of "Great Chief." This position Membertou held among the Souriquois, who inhabit Acadia about the mouth of the St. Lawrence river. Father Biard visited Membertou's son, who was suffering from a dangerous illness. He was surprised that there was no grief in the wigwam; no lamentations, no tearful dirges; instead, a feast, a dance, and two or three dogs fastened together. He asked what these things meant. They answered that the youth would die in a short time; that the friends had been invited, and for them the banquet was being prepared; that afterwards a funeral dance was to be conducted; and that the dogs which he saw were to be killed to appease the Spirit of the dead boy. The Father exclaimed that these things were quite unfitting for Christian men, and severely censured the impious custom. The parent of the youth excused his ignorance; he said that henceforth he and his son should be under the Father's direction; he begged him to instruct and command them, and said that they would execute his orders. The Priest forbade the killing of the dogs; he dismissed the rude dancers; a part of the repast he allowed, as not devoted to superstitious rites. He insisted that the patient should no longer be neglected; still more, he persuaded them that the boy should be taken to the dwellings of the French, although these were far distant, saying that he hoped, by the favor of God, for his recovery. The 215 priest was favorably heard by Membertou; the patient was brought to us, although the sorcerers and medicine-men, who declared that the unhappy youth could not live, ridiculed this decision, and grieved that such a morsel should be snatched suddenly from their jaws. And indeed he was at the point of death, when, three days afterward, exhausted by the journey, and by sickness, he arrived at the French settlement. Nevertheless, by the skill and devotion of the Fathers, and by the kindness of God, he was restored; nor was he alone established in the Catholic faith, but many of his countrymen were inflamed with the desire of adopting it.

Some time afterward, the father of the young man fell sick, and wished to be also brought to us, where, after being received into our hut and even into the bed of one of the Fathers, he piously departed this life; and, what was novel and displeasing to the savages, he was buried among Christian people; for they themselves are very reluctant to be separated from the tombs of their ancestors. His funeral was observed, as far as the limitations of the case permitted, with marked ceremony. Nor was this savage's virtue unworthy in any respect of that honor; for, even before he had learned of Christ, he could not be induced to marry more than one wife, considering this more in harmony with nature and reason. But, after his acceptance of the Faith of Christ, he so lived that he was to the savages an object of admiration, to the Christians an example.

These things were accomplished at home. Then going forth, as it were, from the city walls, the heralds of the Gospel traversed a great part of the country. A godly act was performed whenever opportunity allowed; hands were laid upon the sick; 217 parents and children were conciliated by means of little gifts; services were rendered to the French who were establishing new homes; nor were the seamen and ships' passengers neglected. There was not lacking a glad harvest for their patience. Meanwhile, so great a scarcity of provisions existed, that for each week [323] a ration was allotted, so scanty that it was hardly sufficient for one day; namely, ten ounces of bread, half a pound of salted meat, and a handful of peas or beans. In addition to this, each man was his own mechanic, mender, miller, cook, hewer of wood, and drawer of water. There occurred sometimes to the Fathers, in the midst of the miseries, the words of those to whom Moses had given the task of reconnoitering Canaan:Num. c. 13, 14. This land ... devoureth its inhabitants; ... there we saw certain monsters of the sons of Enac of the Giant-kind: in comparison of whom, we seemed like locusts. But at the same time there came into mind the speech of Joshua and of Caleb, full of divine trust: The land which we have gone round is very good. If the Lord be favorable, he will bring us into it.... Fear ye not the people of this land, ... the Lord is with us.




ET esse cum servis suis, ac militibus Dominum, exitus comprobavit. Nam hoc anno MDCCIII. ineunte, cum hæc scribimus, præter Quebecense collegium, numerantur in hac terra deserta prius & invia triginta & amplius florentissimæ cultissimæque Missiones nostræ Societatis. Prima in conspectu Quebeci, decimo ab urbe lapide, Lauretana dicitur. Altera in pago Tadussaco sedet: ad ripam fluvii Laurentiani, leucis infra Quebecum LX. versus ortum. Tres aliæ supra Quebecum ipsum, longe procurrunt in Boream, circa lacum S. Joannis: una in eo loco, qui à septem insulis nomen habet; altera, in pago Chigoutimino; tertia, secus amnem Saguenæum. Excoluntur ibi Montagnæi, Papinachii, Mistassini, & aliæ passim gentes errabundæ. Jam, si versus obeuntis solis partes & fluminis Laurentiani fontem tendas, occurret in ejus ripâ septentrionali pagus Trium fluminum dictus, quia ibi tria quædam flumina confluunt: abest Quebeco septem octove dierum iter. Florebat illic Algonkinorum Missio longe pulcherrima, sed hanc vinum igne vaporatum & stillatum, à mercatoribus Europæis, facilem inde quæstum male captantibus invectum, vehementer labefactavit inducta ebrietate. Pensat hæc damna virtus ac pietas Abnakisorum. 220 Triplex apud illos statio collocata una Quebeco non procul, in XLVI. gradu latitudinis, nomine S. Francisci Salesii & patrocinio insignita: aliæ duæ sunt remotiores; loco nomen est Nipisikouit. Trans amnem Laurentianum ad Meridiem funduntur Iroquæorum quinque nationes. Septem sunt apud illos præconum Evangelii domicilia, per centum quinquaginta leucas sparsa. Ex iis sex profligata fuerant bello Gallos inter & Iroquæos conflato circa annum MDCLXXXII. Revocata cum religione pax anno MDCCII. omnia priorem in statum restituit. In iis Iroquæorum Missionibus ea præcipuè floret, quæ à S. Francisco Xaverio nomen habet, ad Montem-Regalem.

Supra Iroquæos, versus occasum & Aquilonem, intra quadragesimum gradum & XLV. cernere est majores duos lacus angusto freto junctos: alter, isque amplior, Ilinæorum; alter Huronum dicitur. Hos ingens terræ lingua dividit, cujus in apice sedet Missio S. Ignatii, sive Missilimakinacana. Supra duos istos lacus tertius est, ambobus major, quem superiorem lacum appellant. Hujus in aditu constituta est Missio S. Mariæ à Saltu. Interjectum inter hunc, & binos inferiores lacus spatium occupant Outaouaki, apud quos plurima stativa Societas habet. Ejusmodi arces religionis (sic enim appellare Missiones licet) unde suos profert milites, & sacra explicat vexilla, tres circa lacum Ilinæorum positæ sunt, prima inter Puteatamisos: Missio Sancti Josephi nuncupatur: altera inter Kikarousos, Maskoutensos, & Outagamisos; S. 222 Francisci Xaverii nomen obtinet: tertia inter Oumiamisos, Angeli Custodis. Infra memoratos lacus, supra ipsam Floridam, vastissimos pererrant campos Ilinæi. Ibi amplissima statio, cui nomen ab immaculata Virginis Matris conceptione impositum, tres in Missiones secatur, & ad fluvium usque Missisipum procurrit. Insidet ejusdem fluminis ripis missio Baiogulana, in trigesimo primo gradu latitudinis: demum ultima protenditur secundum eundem amnem versus Mexicanum sinum. Hæc visum est enucleare paulo distinctius, & quasi sub uno statim aspectu ponere, ut intelligatur quò singula referenda sint, quæ postea de Nova Francia narrabuntur.

Restat ignota Europæis adhuc pars Canadæ immensa, ultra Missisipum fluvium, clementiori subjecta cœlo, frequens incolis, armentis frugibusque læta; vitæ veræ ac salutis expers. Hæc generosos Christi milites vocat. Nec non altera [324] longe isti dissimilis, quæ rigidis circa Hudsonium finum, à gradu LV. ad LX. aut LXX. subjecta septentrionibus, nivibus ac pruinis demersa, tanto æquiùs implorat opem, quanto gravioribus incommodis conflictatur. Hic Societas ante annos paucos prima cœpit figere vestigia. Illucescet illa, spero, dies, cum obvallatum periculis ac laboribus iter eadem perrumpet. Non sine magno molimine claustra Tartari, oppressas injusta servitute animas retinentis, perfringuntur; neque illa ipsa, tot florens modo coloniis, Missio Canadica statim suam est maturitatem adepta. Ægrè per sexdecim 224 annos tanquam in salebris hæsit, nec suam quandam nacta formam est, nisi anno seculi superioris quinto & vigesimo, cùm se aliquando ex illis angustiis explicuit, P. Petri Cotoni, cui sua debebat primordia, beneficio, ut sexta Pars Historiæ fusius exponet.

Nunc ærumnarum ac periculorum plenos natales referimus laboriosæ Missionis, quæ vix nata, in ipsis cunis per Anglos propemodùm extincta est.



AND that the Lord is with his servants and soldiers, the outcome has proved. For, in the beginning of this year 1703, while we are writing these things, there are numbered in this formerly solitary and unexplored country more than thirty very prosperous and well-equipped Missions of our Society, besides the college of Quebec. The first of these, in sight of Quebec, at the tenth mile-stone from the city, is called Lorette. Another is situated in the district of Tadoussac, on the shore of the river St. Lawrence, sixty leagues below Quebec toward the east. Three others, above Quebec itself, extend far into the North about lake St. John; one in that place which takes its name from the seven islands;49 another in the district of Chigoutimini;50 the third on the Saguenay river. There they minister to the Montagnais, the Papinachois, the Mistassins, and other wandering tribes. Now, if you journey towards the regions of the setting sun, and the source of the St. Lawrence river, you will find upon its northern bank a district called Three rivers, because there three rivers flow together: it is distant from Quebec seven or eight days' journey. Here, there formerly flourished the most successful Mission of the Algonquins; but it has been much weakened through the drunkenness induced by brandy, brought in by European merchants who thus wickedly derive an easy profit. But these losses are compensated by the virtue and piety of the Abenakis. Among them a mission of three stations 221 has been established; one located among them, not far from Quebec, on the forty-sixth parallel of latitude, distinguished by the name and patronage of St. Francis de Sales: the other two are more remote, at a place named Nipisikouit. Across the St. Lawrence river, to the South, extend the five nations of the Iroquois. There are among them seven stations of the Evangelists, scattered through a hundred and fifty leagues. Of these, six were destroyed in the war which arose between the French and Iroquois, about the year 1682. Peace, together with the recall of the missionaries, in the year 1702 restored all things to their previous condition.51 Among these Missions of the Iroquois, that one is especially flourishing which is named for St. Francis Xavier, at Montreal.52

Above the Iroquois, toward the west and North, between the fortieth and forty-fifth parallels, one may see two great lakes joined by a narrow strait; the larger one is called the lake of the Ilinois,53 the other the lake of the Hurons.54 These are separated by a large peninsula, at the point of which is situated the Mission of St. Ignatius, or Missilimakinac.55 Above these two lakes there is a third, greater than either, called lake superior. At the entrance of this lake has been established the Mission of Ste. Marie at the Sault.56 The space between this and two smaller lakes is occupied by the Outaouaki, among whom the Society has many stations. Three such citadels of religion (for thus it is proper to call the Missions), whence she leads forth her soldiers and unfurls her sacred standards, have been located about the lake of the Ilinois: the first, among the Puteatamis, and called the Mission of St. Joseph; another, among the Kikarous, Maskoutens, and Outagamies, and possessing the name of St. Francis Xavier:57 the third, 223 among the Oumiamis,58 has the name of the Guardian Angel. Below the lakes which have been mentioned, above Florida, the Ilinois roam through most extensive territories. There, a very large station, named from the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mother, is divided into three Missions, and extends as far as the river Mississippi. Upon the banks of the same river is situated the mission of Baiogula, at the thirty-first parallel of latitude;59 and it extends down that stream towards the gulf of Mexico. It has seemed best to explain these matters somewhat fully, because the individual facts here specified will be referred to in what is to be hereafter narrated concerning New France.

There remains unknown to Europeans, up to the present time, an immense portion of Canada, beyond the Mississippi river, situated beneath a milder sky, well-inhabited, and abounding in animal and vegetable life; the whole, deprived of true life and of salvation. This region calls to the generous soldiers of Christ. So is it, likewise, [324] with another region far dissimilar to that, around the frozen Hudson bay, from the fifty-fifth parallel to the sixtieth or seventieth; lying at the north, plunged in snows and frosts, it even more justly implores aid, as it is afflicted by more weighty ills. Here the Society, a few years ago, first began to plant its footsteps. That day will dawn, I hope, when it shall break through the barriers of dangers and toils. Not without great exertion are the gates of Tartarus, which hold burdened souls in unmerited bondage, broken down; nor did the Canadian Mission itself, now flourishing with so many settlements, all at once attain its full development. Grievously, through sixteen years did it, so to speak, stick in a rough 225 road; indeed, it did not take shape until 1625, when it was extricated from its perplexities by the aid of Father Peter Coton, to whom it owed its origin, as the sixth Part of this History will more fully explain.

Now we return to the natal days, full of hardships and dangers, of the toilsome Mission, which, scarcely born, was almost exterminated in its cradle by the English.




SOCIIS illic degentibus venerant auxilio Idibus Maii anni MDCXIII. Pater Quintinus, & Frater Gilbertus Thetus, regio diplomate instructi, quo facultas ipsis dabatur novi domicilii commodo loco ædificandi. Gallos reperiunt incumbentes in condendam urbem, & periculi, quod instabat, ignaros. Angli paucis ante annis occupaverant Virginiam. Hæc Americæ septentrionalis ad ortum portio maritima, inter Floridam Novamque Franciam sita, tricesimo sexto, septimo, & octavo gradibus substernitur. Eò cum tenderent Angli æstivis anni MDCXIII. mensibus, & inscii locorum errarent, ob exortam caliginem, quæ huic mari densissima solet per eos menses incubare, paulatim delapsi sunt ad littus, ubi Galli consederant, haud procul portu Sancti Salvatoris. Postquam cognoverunt Gallicas naves ibi consistere, arma expediunt, & in portum invehuntur. Interea Galli ancipiti opinione suspensi, amicos an hostes censerent, quos recta in suam stationem ventus inferebat, eventum trepidi opperiebantur. Brevi, quinam essent patuit. Angli facto impetu in Gallicum navigium, paucis instructum propugnatoribus, ceteris ad condenda domicilia digressis, id nullo negotio expugnant.



TO OUR COMRADES residing in that place there had come as a reinforcement, on the 15th day of May, 1613, Father Quentin and Brother Gilbert du Thet, provided with a royal commission, by which they were empowered to establish a new settlement in a suitable location.60 They found the French intent upon founding a city, and unaware of the danger which threatened. The English, a few years before, had occupied Virginia. This eastern coast-region of North America, situated between Florida and New France, is comprised between the thirty-sixth and thirty-eighth parallels. While the English were sailing thither in the summer months of the year 1613, and, having lost their bearings and strayed from their course, on account of the fogs, which usually are very heavy upon this sea in the summer, they were gradually borne to the shore where the French had settled,61 not far from the port of St. Sauveur. When they learned that a French ship was stationed there, they made ready their weapons and entered the harbor. Meanwhile the French, uncertain whether they should consider as friends or foes those whom the wind was bearing directly towards their position, tremblingly awaited the outcome. Who they were was soon apparent. The English attacked the French ship,62 wherein few were drawn up in defense—for the others had departed to work on the buildings—and with no trouble captured her.




PRIMO in conflictu Gilbertus Thetus, domesticæ rei adiutor è Societate, confossus lethali plaga, postridie religiosa morte occubuit. Ceteri Patres qui stabant in littore, in potestatem Argalli, prætoris Angli, venerunt. Ille, dum Gallicæ navis prædam & supellectilem recenset, subduxit clam è Saussæii, navis Gallicæ gubernatoris, qui huic expeditioni præerat, scrinio regium diploma, cujus fide tota novæ coloniæ ratio nitebatur. Mox ipsum Saussæium è littore subeuntem adortus, quærit ex eo quo jure, cujus auctoritate, novas tam prope Virginiam sedes moliatur. Laudavit Saussæius regium diploma, quod se in capsis rite conscriptum habere dixit. Ad eas ubi ventum est, vidit integras, & obseratas, suisque omnia digesta locis agnovit, diploma nullum apparuit. Tum Argallus, vultu & voce ad severitatem compositis, fugitivos & prædones conclamat, ac necem commeruisse pronunciat, simulque navim suis diripiendam tradit. Illum interea Patres obsecrant ut victis benignè consulat, quibus objici nihil noxæ possit aliud, quàm quod in pacato solo fuerint nimium securi: auctoritatem Regis Galliæ non dubiam ac voluntatem testantur. Prætor probè sibi conscius vera narrari, comiter eos audivit, & omnibus potestatem 230 in Galliam redeundi fecit. Duas in naviculas infelix turba imponitur, quarum una cursum in Galliam rectà dirigeret; altera cum aliquot Anglis solveret in Virginiam, inde Franciam petitura. Hanc PP. Biardus & Quintinus, illam P. Massæus, & Saussæius conscenderunt. Utriusque sors longè dispar fuit. Quæ Saussæium & P. Massæum vehebat dum oram maritimam legit, annonâ, nautis, armamentis destituta, incidit in geminas naves reditum in Galliam adornantes. Jungit se illis læta, cumque suis vectoribus Maclovium, Britanniæ Aremoricæ oppidum, paucis diebus tenuit.

Interim Argallus, classis Anglicæ præfectus, Patres Biardum & Quintinum deducturus in Virginiam, ut constitutum fuerat, paululum iis præivit cum sua navi prætoria. Virginiam obtinebat Anglus ferox, nomini Gallico, ac Societati nostræ [325] perinfensus. Ubi adventare Jesuitas audivit, vociferatur perdendos homines improbissimos, busta pietatis ac religionis. Argallus contra nitebatur; seque vivo nihil molestiæ damnive Patribus inferendum affirmabat: hanc enim ipsis dederat fidem; & regium diploma, cujus auctoritate colonia Gallica in Novam Franciam deducebatur, protulit. Hoc diplomate inflammatus homo furiosus, exturbandos è Nova Francia Gallos clamat. In hanc sententiam Angli proceres iverunt. Jubetur Argallus viam remetiri; Gallos, quicumque superessent, ejicere, domicilia evertere, & æquare solo. Rediit: arces in ora Canadensi extructas incendit, omnia delevit, ac 232 naves duas in Regio Portu deprehensas, invasit.

Dum hæc in Canada geruntur, naves Anglicæ, præeuntem Argallum secutæ, aliæ procul à Virginia ventorum vi abreptæ; aliæ undis haustæ sunt. Una, cui Turnellus Anglus præerat, & qua Patres Quintinus ac Biardus vehebantur, continentibus sexdecim dierum procellis vexata, in Azores, Lusitanorum ad Africæ littus insulas, celerrimè defertur. Hic vero novum exoritur periculum. Turnellus pœnam metuens, quòd Societatis sacerdotes per summam immanitatem domicilio avulsos spoliatosque secum traheret, indignisque habuisset modis, de illorum nece agitare consilia cœpit. Satius denique illi visum ad eorum clementiam & humanitatem, quam in gravissimis injuriis perspexerat, confugere. Operam tamen dedit, ne intraret portum; sed stante in ancoris navigio, necessariam annonam immissâ scaphâ pararet. Contra quàm speraverat accidit. Secundo enim vento impulsus, portum quamlibet invitus reluctansque subiit. Nostri de illo, quamvis non ita merito, ne verbum quidem ullum, quo accusaretur, interposuere: læti quod hostem ita servassent. Agnovit beneficium gubernator Anglus; ac deinceps sæpenumero cum summa Patrum laude prædicavit. Id vero multo fecit impensiùs, cùm tempestate ad Angliæ urbem Penbrochium projectus, ejus oppidi magistratibus movit suspicionem maritimi latronis, quòd & Francicâ veheretur navi, neque scriptam auctoritatem proferret, qua suam navigationem tueretur. Asseveranti se à 234 prætore suo Argallo tempestate divulsum, fides non habebatur. In tanto discrimine sacerdotes duos Societatis testes citavit, quos haberet in navi, & quorum incorrupta fides nemini venire posset in dubium. Cum Patres interrogati rem ita se habere confirmassent, periculo liberatus est. Reddidit quam debebat illorum humanitati vicem; utque ipsis non solum esset impune, sed etiam ut à magistratu honor haberetur, curavit. Certior interim factus Regis Christianissimi orator de Patrum navigatione difficili, & in Angliam adventu, egit cum Angliæ Rege de remittendis illis in Galliam. Quo annuente, Ambianum decimo, quàm fuerant capti, mense ad Socios læti sospitesque pervenerunt.



IN THE FIRST onset, Gilbert du Thet, a household assistant of the Society, was stricken with a mortal wound, and on the following day piously departed this life. The rest of the Fathers, who were standing on the shore, were captured by Argall, the English commander.63 This man, while he was taking an inventory of the plunder and equipment of the French ship, surreptitiously removed from the trunk of Saussaye, the captain of the French vessel, and commander of the expedition, the royal commission upon whose authority all the proceedings of the new colony were based. Soon meeting Saussaye himself, returning from the shore, Argall asked him by what right, by whose authority, he was founding a new colony so near Virginia. Saussaye cited the royal commission, which he asserted that he had, duly drawn up, in one of his trunks. When they came to these, he saw them untouched and locked, and all things disposed in their proper places; but no commission appeared. Thereupon Argall, changing his countenance and voice to severity, pronounced them runaways and pirates, and declared that they deserved death; while at the same time he delivered over the ship to his men to be plundered. Meanwhile the Fathers besought him to adopt mild measures toward the vanquished, against whom no other fault could be charged than that, in a peaceful situation, they had been too careless; they testified that the authority and favor of the 231 King of France had certainly been given to the colony. The captain, who was thoroughly conscious of the truth of their statements, listened to them kindly, and gave to all the opportunity of returning to France. The unhappy crowd was placed upon two small ships, one of which directed its course straight towards France; the other, with some of the English, sailed for Virginia, thence to depart for France. Fathers Biard and Quentin embarked upon the latter; Father Massé and Saussaye upon the former. The fortunes of these ships were widely diverse. While that which carried Saussaye and Father Massé was coasting along the shore, destitute of provisions, of seamen, and of equipment, she fell upon two ships preparing to return to France. She gladly joined herself to these, and, with her passengers, arrived in a few days at St. Malo, a town of Brittany.

Meanwhile Argall, the commander of the English fleet, in order that he might conduct Fathers Biard and Quentin to Virginia, as had been resolved upon, preceded them a little with his flag-ship. Virginia was then ruled by a ferocious Englishman,64 who was extremely hostile to the French name and to our Society. [325] When he heard that Jesuits had arrived, he exclaimed that such extremely wicked men, the sepulchers of piety and religion, ought to be destroyed. Argall strove against him, and declared that, while he lived, no annoyance or injury should be offered to the Fathers, for he had given them this assurance; and he produced the royal commission, by authority of which the French colony was brought to New France. Incensed by this commission, the man declared in a rage that the French must be driven from New France. In this decision 233 the English councilors agreed. Argall was ordered to retrace his path; to expel those of the French who remained; to destroy their buildings, and level them with the ground. He returned, burned the forts built upon the Canadian coast, destroyed everything, and seized two ships which he found at Port Royal.65

While these things were taking place in Canada, of the English ships which were following the lead of Argall some were driven far from Virginia by the violence of the wind; others were swamped by the waves. One, which the Englishman Turnell66 commanded, and in which Fathers Quentin and Biard were being conveyed, after being driven continuously for sixteen days by tempests, was quickly borne to the Azores, islands on the coast of Africa belonging to the Portuguese. But here a new danger arose. Turnell, fearing punishment because he was carrying with him and was holding under unjust conditions priests of the Society, who had been torn from their homes and robbed with the greatest brutality, began to consider plans for making way with them. Finally it seemed better to him to take refuge in their clemency and mildness, which he had observed amid the most grievous injuries. Nevertheless, he took measures that they should not enter the port, thinking that while the ship stood at anchor he might procure the necessary provisions by sending in a small boat. The contrary to what he had expected happened. For, impelled by an inshore breeze, he entered the harbor, although unwillingly and reluctantly. Our friends, contrary to his deserts, interposed not even a word by which he might be accused, rejoicing because they had, in this manner, saved an enemy. The English captain recognized 235 their kindness, and afterwards often spoke with great praise of the Fathers. But this he did much more unreservedly when, borne by a storm to Pembroke, a city of England, he was suspected by the officials of that town of piracy on the high seas, because he was sailing in a French ship and produced no written authority by which he might justify his voyage. When he asserted that he had been separated by a storm from his commander, Argall, no credence was given to him. In this crisis he mentioned as witnesses the two priests of the Society whom he had in the ship, and whose uncorrupted integrity could be doubted by no one. When the Fathers, on being questioned, had given assurance that the affair was thus, he was released from danger. He made the requital which was due to their kindness, and took care that they should not only suffer no harm, but even that they should be shown honor by the officials. Meantime the ambassador of the Most Christian King, upon being informed of the toilsome voyage of the Fathers, carried on negotiations with the King of England concerning their restoration to France. With his consent, they arrived, in the tenth month after their capture, joyfully and safely among their Brethren at Amiens.




Missiones Societatis Iesv in America Septentrionali Anno M.DCC.X. [961]

Numerantur Socii      42.



Missions of the Society of Jesus in North America in the Year 1710. [961]

Number of brethren      42




De Regione ac Moribus Canadensium


Source: We follow the general style of O'Callaghan's Reprint No. 5. The Title-page, Tabula Rerum, and Rerum Insigniorum Indiculus, are the work of that Editor. The Text, he reprinted from Jouvency's Historia Societatis Jesu (Rome, 1710), part v., pp. 344-347; we have read the proof thereof, from a copy of that work found in the library of the College of St. Francis Xavier, New York. The bracketed pagination is that of Jouvency; except in the Tabula Rerum and Rerum Insigniorum Indiculus, which is that of O'Callaghan.







Auctore Josepho Juvencio, Societatis Jesu, Sacerdote.


Ex Historiæ Soc. Jesu. Lib. xv. Parte v, impressa


Ex Typographia Georgii Plachi

M. D. CC. X.






By Joseph Jouvency, a Priest of the Society of Jesus.

Printed from the History of the Society of Jesus, Book xv., Part v.


Printing House of Giorgio Placko




[3] Tabula Rerum


I FLUMINA Novæ Franciæ; soli natura; feræ, pisces, aves, &c. 5
II Canadensium domus & res familiaris; morbi; ægrorum cura & mortuorum 16
III Belli gerendi ratio; arma; crudelitas in captivos 27
IV Indoles animi: corporis cultus; cibi, convivia; supellex; religio, & superstitiones 33


[3] Table of Contents.

[The page numbers refer to O'Callaghan's Reprint.]

I RIVERS of New France; nature of the soil; wild beasts, fish, birds, etc. 5
II Homes and household economy of the Canadians; diseases; treatment of the sick and of the dead 16
III Mode of warfare; weapons; cruelty to prisoners 27
IV Mental characteristics; care of the body; food: feasts; household utensils; religion and superstitions 33



[344 §. x.] De regione ac moribus Canadensium, seu barbarorum Novæ Franciæ.


DUO sunt in Nova Francia majores fluvii. Unus ab indigenis Canada nominatus, & à quo tota regio nomen traxit, nunc fluvius Sancti Laurentii dicitur, & ab occasu in ortum amplissimo fluit alveo. Alter, cui nomen Missisipus, per vasta, & ignota magnam adhuc partem, terrarum spatia fertur à Septentrione in Meridiem. Habent hoc singulare hujus regionis fluvii, quòd certis in locis ex editiore solo præcipitant in humiliorem planitiem ingenti cum strepitu. Ea loca saltus vocant Franci. Catadupa recte dixeris, qualia in Nilo celebrantur. Aqua tota fluminis, in morem arcuati fornicis, ita sæpe cadit, ut infra suspensum altè amnem sicco vestigio transire liceat. Barbari, cum huc ventum est, suas naviculas, è levi compactas cortice, imponunt humeris, & in placidam fluminis, alveo depressiore fluentis, partem eas deportant, cum sarcinulis. Urbs novæ Franciæ primaria Kebecum nuncupatur, S. Laurentii fluvio imposita. Cœlo salubri tota regio utitur; at hyeme frigida, & diuturna vexatur. Hanc efficit partim fluminum & lacuum crebritas; partim opacitas & amplitudo 246 nemorum, quæ vim solis calidam infringunt; denique nivium copia, quibus terra tres quatuorve menses, in iis locis quæ ab Boream propius accedunt, & eidem ac vetus Gallia parallelo subjacent, continenter inhorrescit. Humus omnium arborum plantarumque feracissima, præsertim ubi excisæ silvæ locum culturæ majorem præbuerunt. Quadrupedes eædem, quæ in Europa: nonnullæ regionis propriæ sunt, ut alces. Magnam belluam indigenæ appellant. Id nominis invenit à mole corporis: bovem enim æquat magnitudine. Mulum capite refert; cervum cornibus, pedibus, & cauda. Eam canibus immissis barbari agitant; defatigatam conficiunt jaculis & missilibus. Si desunt venatici canes, ipsi vicem illorum obeunt. Per medias quippe nives incredibili celeritate gradiuntur, ac ne corporis pondus vestigia pedum altius in nivem deprimat, substernunt plantis, inseruntque pedibus, lata reticula, illis simillima, quibus pilam lusores vulgò pulsant. Hæc reticula, spatium nivis ac soli satis magnum amplexa, currentes facile sustinent. Alces vero crura exilia defigens alte in nivem, ægrè se expedit. Illius carnibus vescuntur, teguntur pelle, ungula posterioris sinistri pedis sanantur. Huic ungulæ mira quædam & multiplex virtus inest, medicorum celeberrimorum testimonio commendata. Valet in primis adversus morbum comitialem, sive admoveatur pectori, qua parte cor micat; sive indatur palæ annuli, quem digitus lævæ minimo proximus gestet; sive demum teneatur 248 in ejusdem sinistræ vola, in pugnum contracta. Nec minorem vim habet ad sanandam pleuritidem, capitis vertigines, & sexcentos alios, si credimus expertis, morbos.

Alterum animantis genus illic notissimum & frequentissimum est fiber, cujus pelle, cum Europæis mercibus mutanda, commercii Canadensis ratio fere tota constat. Color castaneæ colorem imitatur; modus cor[po]ris idem, qui exigui vervecis: curti pedes & ad natandum compositi, nam in aquis perinde ac in terra degit; cauda glabra, crassa & plana, quæ natanti pro gubernaculo sit: dentes duo, majores ceteris, ex ore utrimque prominent: iis tanquam gladio & serra utuntur fibri ad arbores exscindendas, cum domos extruunt; in iis enim fabricandis mira pollent industria. Eas ponunt ad lacuum fluviorumve ripas: muros è stipitibus componunt, interjecto cespite uliginoso ac tenaci, calcis instar; vix ut multa vi effringi opus & convelli possit. Tota casæ fabrica variis contignationibus distinguitur: infima è transversis lignis crassioribus constat, instratis desuper ramis, ac relicto foramine & ostiolo, per quod in fluvium subire, cum videtur, possint: Hæc modice supra fluminis aquam exstat, aliæ assurgunt altius, in easque, si fluvius intumescens imum tabulatum vicerit, se receptant. In una è superioribus contignationibus cubant; præbet molle stratum alga siccior, & arborum muscus, quo se tutantur a frigore; in altera penum habent, & provisa in hyemem cibaria. Ædificium fornicato 250 tecto clauditur. Sic hyemem exigunt: nam æstate, opacum in ripis frigus captant, aut undis immersi calores æstivos fugiunt. In una sæpe domo ingens, & multorum capitum familia stabulatur. Quod si loci premuntur angustiis, discedunt juniores ultro, & sua sibi domicilia moliuntur. In eam curam incumbunt sub prima autumni frigora, & mutuas sibi invicem operas commodant, tum ad secanda ligna, tum ad comportanda, ita ut plures uni eidemque succedant oneri, & ingentia ramalia, nemorisque stragem, devehant. Si quem fluvium nanciscuntur ad suos accommodatum usus, non tamen satis alto gurgite, struunt aggerem coercendis aquis, donec ad idoneam altitudinem assurgant. Ac primo quidem arbores grandiores arrodendo dejiciunt: deinde transversas ab una ripa ducunt ad alteram. Duplicem versum & ordinem arborum faciunt; relicto inter illas obliquè sic positas spatio sex fere pedum, quod referciunt cæmentis, argilla, ramis, tam solerter, nihil ut perfectius à summo architecto expectes. Operis longitudo major minorve est, pro fluvii, quem coercere volunt, modo. Ducenûm aliquando passuum ejusmodi aggeres reperti. At, si amnis plus justo intumescit, diffringunt aliquam molis partem, ac tantum emittunt aquæ, quantum satis videtur.

Ut feris silvæ, sic piscibus abundant flumina. Unus est in Iroquæorum lacu, de quo nihil à priscis legitur proditum scriptoribus. Causarus ab indigenis vocatur: octo pedes longus, aliquando decem. Crassitudo, 252 humani femoris; color leucophæus, candido tamen propior; squamis totus horret tam duris, tamque validè consertis, ut aciem pugionis, & hastilium, excludant. Caput amplum, & cranio præduro, tanquam casside, munitum. Hinc piscis armati nomen illi à Gallis inditum. Et vero perpetua cum aliis piscibus bella gerit, quorum exitio pascitur. Pro telo rostrum immane gerit, humani brachii longitudine, gemino dentium ordine instructum. Hoc venabulo non solum reliquos mactat pisces, verum etiam avibus, cum mutare dapes cupit, insidiatur & illudit. Eam ob rem occultat se inter carecta: rostrum exertat aquis, ac paulisper diducit. Sic perstat immotus donec accedant volucres, & incautæ rostro insideant, arundinem aut virgultum ratæ: continuo perfidus insidiator, misellarum pedes contracto rostro stringit, & in gurgitem demersas vorat.

Non minor volucrum est copia, quàm piscium. Certis mensibus palumbes è silvis prorumpunt in agros tanto numero, ut arborum ramos prægravent; quibus postquam infederunt noctu, facile capiuntur, & barbaras mensas regali ferculo cumulant. Præterea in vastissimo sinu, in quem evolvit se flumen sancti Laurentii, cernitur exigua insula, seu potius biceps scopulus: insulam volucrum dicunt. Tot enim eò convolant è finitimo pelago, ut inire numerum nequeas. Indigenæ fustibus prædam non difficilem comminuunt, aut pedibus conculcant; cymbasque lautis dapibus, & inemptis [345] plenas referunt. Ludunt 254 in aquis passim anseres, anates, ardeæ, grues, olores, fulicæ; & aves aliæ, victum ex undis petere solitæ. Peculiare quiddam habet una, gallinæ similis, si molem spectes; pennis in tergo nigricantibus, sub alvo candidis. Pedum alter unguibus aduncis armatur; alter digitos levi & continua pelle junctos habet, qualis est anatum; hoc natat; illo pisces trahit & eviscerat.


[344 § x.] Concerning the country and manners of the Savages of New France.


THERE are two great rivers in New France. One, called by the natives Canada, a name thence extended to the whole country, is now called the river St. Lawrence, and flows in a very broad channel from west to east. The other, named Mississippi, flows from North to South, through vast regions, for the most part still unknown. The rivers of this land are remarkable because in certain places they are precipitated with a great uproar from the higher to the lower levels. The French call those places water-falls. You might justly call them cataracts, such as are famous in the case of the Nile. The water of an entire river often falls in the form of an arch, in such fashion that it is possible to walk dry-shod beneath the stream which rushes overhead. The savages, when they come to such a spot, shoulder their boats, which are constructed of light bark, and carry them, together with the baggage, to the calm portion of the river flowing below. The chief city of new France is called Kebec, and is situated on the St. Lawrence river. The whole country possesses a healthful climate, but is harassed by a cold and long winter. This is caused partly by the frequency of the rivers and lakes; partly by the thickness and great extent of the forests, which diminish the force of the sun's heat; finally, by the abundance of snow 247 with which the land, in its most Northern regions, which lie upon the same parallel as old France, is continually desolated for three or four months. The soil is extremely productive of all sorts of trees and plants, especially where the clearing of the forest has furnished additional space for cultivation. The same quadrupeds are found as in Europe; some, as the moose, are peculiar to the country. The natives call it the "great beast." This name it receives because of the huge size of its body, for it is as large as an ox. Its head resembles that of a mule; its horns, hoofs, and tail, those of a stag. The savages hunt this animal with the aid of dogs; when it is worn out they dispatch it with spears and missiles. If hunting-dogs are lacking, they themselves go in place of them. Indeed, they proceed through the midst of the snow with incredible swiftness; and, in order that the weight of the body may not sink their feet too deeply into the snow, they place beneath their soles, and fasten to their feet, broad pieces of net-work, very similar to those with which players commonly strike the ball. These pieces of net-work, which cover a sufficiently large portion of the surface of the snow, readily support them while running. But the moose, planting their slender legs deeply into the snow, with difficulty extricate themselves. The savages eat its flesh, are clothed with its skin, and are cured by the hoof of its left hind leg. In this hoof there is a certain marvelous and manifold virtue, as is affirmed by the testimony of the most famous physicians. It avails especially against the epilepsy, whether it be applied to the breast, where the heart is throbbing, or whether it be placed in the bezel of a ring, which is worn upon the finger next to the little finger of the left hand; or, finally, if it be also held 249 in the hollow of the left hand, clenched in the fist. Nor does it have less power in the cure of pleurisy, dizziness, and, if we may believe those familiar with it, six hundred other diseases.

Another well-known and common sort of animal there, is the beaver; its skins, which are exchanged for European merchandise, being the basis of almost the entire system of Canadian commerce. Its color resembles that of the chestnut; the shape of its body is like that of a small wether; its legs are short and formed for swimming; its tail, which it uses as a rudder while swimming, is smooth, thick and flat; two teeth, larger than the others, project from its mouth on each side; these, the beavers use like a sword and a saw in cutting down trees when they build their houses, for in the construction of these they exhibit wonderful industry. They locate them on the banks of lakes or rivers; they build walls of logs, placing between them wet and sticky sods in the place of mortar, so that the work can, even with great violence, scarcely be torn apart and destroyed. The entire house is divided into several stories; the lowest is composed of thicker cross-beams, with branches strewn upon them, and provided with a hole or small door through which they can pass into the river whenever they wish; this story extends somewhat above the water of the river, while the others rise higher, into which they retire if the swelling stream submerges the lowest floor. They sleep in one of the upper stories; a soft bed is furnished by dry seaweed and tree moss, with which they protect themselves from the cold; on another floor they have their store-room, and food provided for winter. The building is covered with a dome-shaped roof. Thus they pass the winter, for in summer 251 they enjoy the shady coolness upon the shores, or escape the summer heat by plunging into the water. Often a great colony of many members is lodged in one house. But, if they be incommoded by the narrowness of the place, the younger ones depart of their own accord and construct homes for themselves. Upon the advent of cool weather in autumn, they devote themselves to this task, and lend mutual services in turn, both in cutting and carrying logs, so that many assist at one and the same burden, and thus carry down great branches and logs of forest trees. If they find any river suitable for their purposes, except in having sufficient depth, they build a dam to keep back the water until it rises to the required height. And first, by gnawing them, they fell trees of large size; then they lay them across, from one shore to the other. They construct a double barrier and rampart of logs, obliquely placed, leaving between them a space of about six feet, which they so ingeniously fill in with stones, clay, and branches that one would expect nothing better from the most skillful architect. The length of the structure is greater or less, according to the size of the stream which they wish to restrain. Dams of this kind a fifth of a mile long are sometimes found. But, if the river swell more than is safe, they break open some part of the structure, and let through as much water as seems sufficient.

As the forests abound in wild beasts, so the rivers teem with fish. There is one in the lake of the Iroquois,67 which is not mentioned by early authors. It is called by the natives "Causar," and is eight feet long, sometimes ten. It is as thick as the human thigh; it is dun-colored, approaching white; it bristles all over with scales, so hard and so firmly set 253 together that they turn the edge of a knife or the point of a spear. The head is large, and protected by an exceedingly hard skull, like a helmet. Hence, the name of "armored fish" has been given it by the French. It carries on perpetual war with, and feeds upon, other fishes. For a weapon it carries an immense beak, of the length of a man's arm and furnished with a double row of teeth. With this hunting-spear it not only devours other fishes, but also, whenever it wishes to vary its diet, deceives and ensnares birds. For this latter purpose it hides itself among the sedge; it projects its beak from the water and opens it slightly. It thus remains motionless until the birds approach and thoughtlessly perch upon the beak, deeming it a reed or a bush; then the treacherous ensnarer seizes the feet of the unfortunate birds by closing its beak, and, dragging them into the water, devours them.68

The birds are fully as abundant as the fishes. During certain months of the year the pigeons sally forth from the woods into the open country in such great numbers that they overload the branches of the trees. When they have settled upon the trees at night they are easily captured, and the savages heap their tables with royal abundance. Besides this, in the huge gulf into which the river saint Lawrence flows may be seen a small island, or rather a double rock; they call it the isle of birds.69 For so many congregate there from the neighboring ocean that it is impossible to count their numbers. The natives make an easy prey of them with clubs, or by trampling them under foot, and bring back their canoes filled with sumptuous food acquired without price. [345] Everywhere may be seen, sporting in the water, geese, ducks, herons, cranes, swans, coots and other 255 birds whose habit it is to seek their living from the waves. A certain peculiarity attaches to one, which is about the size of a cock; its wings are black on the outside and white beneath. One of its feet is armed with hooked claws, the other has webbed toes, like those of a duck; with the latter it swims, with the former it seizes and disembowels fishes.




JAM, si mores & indolem gentis requiras, partim vagi degunt, in silvis per hyemem, quò venationis uberioris vocat spes; æstate, ad amnium ripas, ubi præbet facilem annonam piscatus: aliqui pagos incolunt. Casas fabricantur infixis humi perticis: latera corticibus intexunt; pellibus, musco, ramis operiunt fastigia. In media casa focus: in summo tecto foramen, emissarium fumi. Is ægre eluctatus totam, ut plurimum, casam sic opplet, ut coactis habitare in hoc fumo advenis sæpe oculorum acies obtundatur, & hebescat: barbari, durum genus & his assuetum incommodis, rident. Domesticæ rei cura, & quidquid in familia laboris est, imponitur feminis. Illæ domos figunt, ac refigunt; aquam, & ligna devehunt, cibos apparant: vicem & locum mancipiorum, opificum, & jumentorum, implent. Venationis & belli cura, virorum est. Hinc gentis solitudo, & paucitas. Mulieres enim, ceteroquin haud infecundæ, his districtæ laboribus, neque maturos edere queunt fetus, neque alere jam editos: itaque aut abortum patiuntur, aut partus recentes destituunt, aquationi, lignationi, ceterisque operibus intentæ; vix ut trigesimus quisque infans adolescat. Accedit rei medicæ inscitia, cujus ignoratio facit ut è morbis paulo gravioribus raro emergant.

258 Duos maximè fontes morborum statuunt: unum ex ipsa ægrotantis mente ortum, quæ desideret quidpiam, ac tandiu corpus ægrum vexet, dum re desiderata potiatur. Putant enim inesse in hominum unoquoque innata quædam desideria, sæpe ipsis ignota, quibus singulorum felicitas contineatur. Ad ejusmodi desideria & innatas appetitiones cognoscendas adhibent hariolos, quibus hanc divinitus concessam facultatem arbitrantur, ut animorum intimos recessus pervideant. Illi, quodcumque primum occurrit, aut ex quo fieri quæstum aliquem posse suspicantur, ab ægro desiderari pronunciant. Nec dubitant parentes, amici, & consanguinei ægrotantis, quidquid illud sit, quantivis pretii, comparare ac largiri ægro, nunquam postea reposcendum. Ille dono fruitur, & lucri partem hariolis aspergit; ac sæpe postridie vita cedit. Vulgo tamen relevantur ægroti, quippe levibus tentati morbis: nam in gravioribus timidiores sunt isti præstigiatores, negantque inveniri posse quid ægrotus desideret: tunc eum depositum conclamant, auctoresque sunt consanguineis ut hominem tollant è medio. Ita longiore morbo vexatos necant, aut senio fessos; eamque caritatem summam interpretantur, quia mors ærumnis languentium finem ponit. Eandem benevolentiam adhibent erga pueros parentibus orbatos, quos nullos esse malunt, quam miseros. Alterum fontem morborum esse censent veneficorum occultas artes, & præstigias, quas ridiculis cærimoniis conantur averruncare. Sæpe noxios humores ejiciunt 260 sudando. Certum casæ locum corticibus includunt, ac tegunt pellibus, ne qua possit aer aspirare. Intro congerunt lapides deustos & igne multo saturos. Subeunt nudi & brachia cantitantes jactant. Sed, quod mireris, ab his thermis egressi & sudore diffluentes, hyeme perfrigida, in lacum aut amnem se conjiciunt, de pleuritide securi.

Mortuorum cadavera nunquam efferunt per casæ januam, sed per eam partem, in quam conversus eger exspiravit. Animam putant evolare per camini spiraculum; ac ne moras trahat, casæ pristinæ desiderio, neu puerulorum aliquem discedens afflet, hoc afflatu videlicet moriturum, ut putant; crebro fuste tundunt parietes tugurii, ut eam citius exire compellant. Immortalem esse arbitrantur. Ne porro emoriatur fame, magnam vim ciborum infodiunt cum corpore; vestes, item, ollas, variamque supellectilem, magno sumptu, & multorum annorum labore conquisitam, ut iis utatur, inquiunt, ac decentius versetur in regno mortuorum. Sepulcra nobilium exstant paulum ab humo: iis perticas in morem pyramidis compactas imponunt: arcum addunt, sagittas, clypeum, & alia militiæ decora: feminarum vero tumulis, torques & monilia. Infantium corpora sepeliunt propter viam, ut eorum anima, quam ab ipsorum corporibus abire longius non putant, illabatur in prætereuntis alicujus feminæ sinum, & adhuc informem animare fetum possit. In luctu vultum inficiunt fuligine. Moniti de funere affines, vicini, & amici concurrunt in funestum tugurium. 262 Unus aliquis, si mortui conditio ferat, verba facit, neque rationem ullam ex iis prætermittit, quæ ad leniendam ægritudinem à dicendi magistris afferri solent. Excurrit in demortui laudes: hominem eum natum fuisse admonet, atque adeo morti obnoxium: qui casus emendari nequeant, fieri patientia leviores; alia id genus in eandem sententiam edisserit. Tertio die funus ducitur. Epulum funebre apponitur toti pago, singulis suam symbolam, nec malignè, conferentibus. Hujus epuli causas afferunt maximè tres: primam, ut communem mærorem leniant: alteram, ut qui amici peregrè ad funus veniunt, accipiantur honestius: tertiam, ut gratificentur extincti Manibus, quem ea liberalitate delectari existimant, & appositis etiam dapibus pasci. Peracto convivio præfectus funeris, quem in singulis familiis clarioribus, certum atque insignem habent, adesse tempus exequiarum proclamat. Omnes continuo lamentari, & ululare. Effertur cadaver propinquorum humeris, intectum fibrinis pellibus, & in feretro, è corticibus juncisve confecto compositum, collectis in glomum artubus, ut eo modo terræ mandetur, inquiunt, quo in alvo materna olim jacuit. Deponitur feretrum in constituto loco, munera quæ quisque offert mortuo, præfiguntur perticis: & appellantur illorum auctores à funeris præfecto: instauratur planctus; denique juvenes ludicro certamine inter se dimicant.

Majori sepeliuntur apparatu & luctu, qui aquis 264 obruti perierunt. Nam eorum cadavera laniantur: carnium pars cum visceribus in ignem projicitur. Id sacrificii quoddam genus est, quo placare cœlum contendunt. Iratum enim esse genti non dubitant, cum in undis quispiam extinguitur: ac si quid rite atque ordine peractum in istis funeribus non fuerit, huic piaculo calamitates omnes, quibus postea conflictantur, acceptas ferunt. Indulgent luctui per annum integrum. Primis diebus decem jacent humi, diu noctuque in ventrem proni: nefas tunc vocem ullam, nisi quæ dolorem significet, mittere; aut accedere ad ignem, aut conviviis interesse. Anno reliquo luctus continuatur; at levius. Omittuntur omnia urbanitatis officia, colloquia cum vicinis, congressus amicorum; ac si conjugem amiserint; cœlibes, donec annus fluxerit, perstant. Post octavum aut decimum quemque annum Hurones, quæ natio latè patet, omnia cadavera certum in locum ex omnibus pagis deportant, & in foveam prægrandem conjiciunt. Eum diem Mortuorum vocant. Is ubi de procerum sententia constitutus est, eruunt corpora sepulcris; alia jam consumpta, & ossibus vix hærentia; alia putri carne leviter amicta: alia scatentia fœdis vermibus, & graviter olentia. Ossa, dissoluta in saccos abdunt: cadavera nondum dissuta componunt in sarcophagis, & supplicantium ritu deferunt in destinatum locum, alto silentio, & composito gradu procedentes, non sine suspiriis, & lamentabili eiulatu. Ne vero memoria nobilium, & arte præsertim bellica insignium, 266 qui prole carent, intercidat, eligunt aliquem ætate ac robore florentem, cui demortui nomen imponunt. Ille militum statim delectum habet, ac bellum capessit, ut præclaro quopiam edito facinore, probet se non tantum nominis, sed etiam virtutis ejus, cui substituitur, heredem esse. Inferioris notæ nomina æterno silentio damnant. Itaque simul ac in pago quispiam è vita cessit, ejus nomen alta voce pronunciatur per omnes casas, ne quis illud temere usurpet. Quod si mortuum tamen appellare necesse fuerit, utuntur verborum circuitione, & præfantur quidpiam, quo mortis ominosa [346] memoria leniatur. Idque si omittatur, accipiunt in gravem contumeliam: neque atrociori maledicto vulnerari filium aut parentem posse putant, quam si huic filius, illi parens, mortuus exprobretur.



NOW, if you inquire concerning the customs and character of this people, I will reply that a part of them are nomads, wandering during the winter in the woods, whither the hope of better hunting calls them—in the summer, on the shores of the rivers, where they easily obtain their food by fishing; while others inhabit villages. They construct their huts by fixing poles in the ground; they cover the sides with bark, the roofs with hides, moss and branches. In the middle of the hut is the hearth, from which the smoke escapes through an opening at the peak of the roof. As the smoke passes out with difficulty, it usually fills the whole hut, so that strangers compelled to live in these cabins suffer injury and weakening of the eyes; the savages, a coarse race, and accustomed to these discomforts, ridicule this. The care of household affairs, and whatever work there may be in the family, are placed upon the women. They build and repair the wigwams, carry water and wood, and prepare the food; their duties and position are those of slaves, laborers and beasts of burden. The pursuits of hunting and war belong to the men. Thence arise the isolation and numerical weakness of the race. For the women, although naturally prolific, cannot, on account of their occupation in these labors, either bring forth fully-developed offspring, or properly nourish them after they have been brought forth; therefore they either suffer 259 abortion, or forsake their new-born children, while engaged in carrying water, procuring wood and other tasks, so that scarcely one infant in thirty survives until youth. To this there is added their ignorance of medicine, because of which they seldom recover from illnesses which are at all severe.

They believe that there are two main sources of disease: one of these is in the mind of the patient himself, which desires something, and will vex the body of the sick man until it possesses the thing required. For they think that there are in every man certain inborn desires, often unknown to themselves, upon which the happiness of individuals depends. For the purpose of ascertaining desires and innate appetites of this character, they summon soothsayers, who, as they think, have a divinely-imparted power to look into the inmost recesses of the mind. These men declare that whatever first occurs to them, or something from which they suspect some gain can be derived, is desired by the sick person. Thereupon the parents, friends, and relatives of the patient do not hesitate to procure and lavish upon him whatever it may be, however expensive, a return of which is never thereafter to be sought. The patient enjoys the gift, divides a portion of it among the soothsayers, and often on the next day departs from life. Commonly, however, the sick recover, plainly because their illnesses are slight; for, in the case of more severe complaints, these soothsayers are more cautious, and deny the possibility of ascertaining what the patient desires; then they bewail him whom they have given up, and cause the relatives to put him out of the way. Thus they kill those afflicted with protracted illness, or exhausted by old age, and consider this the greatest kindness, because death 261 puts an end to the sufferings of the sick. They display the same benevolence towards children deprived of their parents, whom they prefer to see dead rather than to see them miserable. They believe that another source of disease is the hidden arts and the charms of sorcerers, which they seek to avert by means of absurd ceremonies. Often they expel noxious humors by sweating. They inclose a certain portion of the hut with pieces of bark and cover it with hides, in order that no air may enter. Within they pile stones heated to a high temperature. They enter naked and toss their arms while singing. But, strange to say, they will leave this heat, dripping with perspiration, and in the very coldest part of winter cast themselves into a lake or river, careless of pleurisy.

They never bear out the corpses of the dead through the door of the lodge, but through that part toward which the sick person turned when he expired. They think that the soul flies out through the smoke-hole; and, in order that it may not linger through longing for its old home, nor while departing breathe upon any of the children, who by such an act would be, as they think, doomed to death, they beat the walls of the wigwam with frequent blows of a club, in order that they may compel the soul to depart more quickly. They believe it to be immortal. That it may not thereafter perish with hunger, they bury with the body a large quantity of provisions; also, garments, pots, and various utensils of great expense, and acquired by many years' labor, in order, they say, that he may use them and pass his time more suitably in the kingdom of the dead. The tombs of the chiefs are raised a little from the ground; upon them they place poles joined in the 263 form of a pyramid; they add a bow, arrows, shield and other insignia of war; but upon the tombs of the women they place necklaces and collars. They bury the bodies of infants beside paths, in order that their souls, which they think do not depart very far from the body, may slip into the bosoms of women passing by, and animate the yet undeveloped fetus. In mourning, they stain the face with soot. When informed of a death, the relatives, neighbors, and friends assemble at the lodge where the corpse lies. If the condition of the dead permit, one of them makes a speech, in which he employs all those arguments that the most eloquent speakers are wont to use for the solace of grief. He rehearses the praises of the dead; he reminds them that the latter was born a man, and therefore liable to death; that those misfortunes which cannot be repaired are made lighter by patience; he sets forth other things of that sort to the same effect. On the third day the funeral is held. A funeral feast is provided for the whole village, each individual liberally furnishing his share. For this feast they advance three main reasons: first, that they may assuage the general grief; secondly, that those friends who come from a distance to the funeral may be more fittingly entertained; thirdly, that they may please the spirit of the dead, which, they believe, is delighted by this exhibition of liberality, and also partakes of the repast placed for him. When the feast is completed the master of the funeral, who, in each distinguished family, permanently holds this office and is greatly honored, proclaims that the time for the burial has come. All give utterance to continuous lamentations and wailings. The corpse, wrapped in beaver skins, and placed upon a bier made of bark and rushes, with his 265 limbs bent and pressed tightly against his body in order that, as they say, he may be committed to the earth in the same position in which he once lay in his mother's womb, is borne out on the shoulders of the relatives. The bier is set down at the appointed place, the gifts which each one offers to the dead are fastened to poles, and the donors are named by the master of the funeral. The mourning is renewed; finally, boys vie with each other in a mock contest.

Those who have been drowned are buried with greater ceremony and lamentation. For their bodies are cut open, and a portion of the flesh, together with the viscera, thrown into the fire. This is a sort of sacrifice, by means of which they seek to appease heaven. For they are sure that heaven is enraged against the race whenever any one loses his life by drowning. If any part of these funeral rites has not been duly and regularly performed, they believe that all the calamities from which they afterwards may suffer are a punishment for this neglect. They indulge their grief throughout an entire year. For the first ten days they lie upon the ground day and night, flat upon their bellies; it is impious then to utter any sound unless significant of grief, or to approach the fire, or to take part in feasts. During the remainder of the year the mourning continues, but less vigorously. All the duties of politeness, conversation with neighbors, and association with friends, are neglected; and, if a man has lost a wife he remains unmarried until the year has expired. Every eight or ten years the Hurons, which nation is widely extended, convey all their corpses from all the villages to a designated place and cast them into an immense pit. They call it the day of the Dead. When this has been decreed by resolution of the 267 elders, they drag out the corpses from their graves, some already decomposed, with flesh scarcely clinging to the bones, others thinly covered with putrid flesh, others teeming with vile worms and smelling fearfully. The loose bones they place in sacks, the bodies not yet disintegrated they place in coffins, and bear them, in the manner of suppliants, to the appointed place, proceeding amid deep silence and with regular step, uttering sighs and mournful cries. But, in order that the memory of chiefs and of those especially famous in the art of war, who lack offspring, may not fail, they choose some person in the flower of his age and strength, to whom they give the name of the dead man. The namesake immediately makes a levy of warriors and starts for battle, in order that by the achievement of some glorious deed he may prove himself the heir not only of the name but also of the valor of him whose place he has taken. Names of lesser note are condemned to everlasting silence. Therefore, as soon as any one in the village has departed this life his name is proclaimed in a loud voice throughout all the lodges, in order that no one may rashly use it. But if, nevertheless, it be necessary to name the dead man, they use a circumlocution and preface something by which the unpleasant [346] recollection of his death may be softened. If that be omitted they consider it a deadly insult: nor do they think that son or parent can be wounded by more savage abuse than when their dead relatives are defamed before them.




BELLA temere ac ferociter suscipiunt, nulla sæpe, aut perlevi de causa. Duces communi suffragio legunt, eosque vel familiarum præcipuarum natu maximos, vel quorum virtus bellica, aut etiam eloquentia perspecta sit. Civili bello nunquam inter se concurrunt; arma in finitimos tantum movent; neque imperii ac ditionis proferendæ causa, sed ferè ut illatam sibi, vel fœderatis, injuriam ulciscantur. Gladios, & gravidas nitrato pulvere fistulas, à Batavis & Anglis accepere, quibus armis freti, certiùs & audacius in hostium, atque adeò Europæorum perniciem conspirant. Interdum bella singulari certamine finiunt. Agmina duo, hinc Montanorum, quos vocant, inde Iroquæorum constiterant ante aliquot annos, velut in procinctu. Duces antegressi jam designabant locum ad aciem explicandam, cum unus alterum sic allocutus fertur: Parcamus nostrorum sanguini, imo nostro: manibus nudis rem agamus. Uter alterum dejecerit, is vincat. Placuit conditio. Manus ambo conferunt. Montanus Iroquæum ita delassavit, dolum artemque virtuti miscens, ut humi denique prostratum ligaverit, impositumque humeris ad suum agmen victor detulerit. Clypeos conficiunt è ligno dolato, plerumque cedrino; paulum ad oras incurvos: 270 leves, prælongos & peramplos, ita ut totum corpus protegant. Jam, ne jaculis, aut securibus perrumpantur omnino ac dissiliant, eos intus consuunt restibus ex animalium corio contextis, quæ totam clypei molem continent connectuntque. Non gestant è brachio suspensos, sed funem ex quo pendent, rejiciunt in humerum dextrum: adeo ut latus corporis sinistrum clypeo protegatur; mox ubi jaculum emiserunt, aut ferream disploserunt fistulam, paulum retrahunt dextrum latus, ac sinistrum clypeo tectum obvertunt hosti.

In prælio id maximè student, vivos ut hostes capiant. Captis & in suos abductis pagos primum vestes detrahunt; deinde ungues crudis dentibus singillatim avellunt: tum palo alligatos verberant ad satietatem. Mox vinculis solutos cogunt ire, ac redire, geminum inter ordinem armatorum spinis, fustibus & ferramentis. Denique, accenso circum foco, lentis ignibus miseros torrent. Interim torosas carnes fodicant candentibus laminis, & verubus, aut recisas ac semiustulatas, sanie fluentes & sanguine, vorant. Nunc tædis ardentibus totum corpus, ac præsertim hiatus vulnerum, pertentant: nunc detracta capitis cute inspergunt nudæ calvæ favillam, & fervidos cineres: nunc brachiorum nervos ac pedum vellunt, lancinant, aut hebeti secant lente ferro, derepta parumper cute, in pedis malleolo, & manus carpo. Sæpe cogunt captivum infelicem ingredi per subjectos ignes: aut frusta suæ carnis mandere, ac vivo sepulcro condere. Hujusmodi carnificinam non pauci è Patribus Societatis 272 pertulere. Hanc porro extrahunt in multos dies; utque novis cruciatibus tristis victima suppetat, intermittunt eosdem aliquandiu, donec ad extremum fatiscant corpora, & concidant. Tunc è pectore cor avellunt, torrent subjectis prunis; & cruore condîtum juvenibus avidè comedendum objiciunt, si captivus suppliciorum acerbitatem generosè fuerit perpessus: ut viri fortis, inquiunt, masculum robur juventus bellatrix combibat. Laudatur qui rogum, cultros, vulnera, irretorto vultu aspexerit, & exceperit: qui non ingemuerit, qui risu cantuque tortoribus illuserit: nam canere tot inter mortes, amplum ac magnificum esse putant. Itaque cantilenas ipsi multo ante componunt, quas capti, si sors ferat, recitent. Reliqua multitudo cadaver absumit in ferali convivio. Dux reservat sibi verticis pellem cum coma, monumentum victoriæ, trophæum crudelitatis.



THEY engage in war rashly and savagely, often with no cause, or upon a very slight pretext. They choose as leaders, by general vote, either the eldest members of illustrious families or those whose warlike valor, or even eloquence, has been approved. In civil war they never engage; they carry arms only against their neighbors, and not for the sake of extending their dominion and sway, but usually, in order that they may avenge an injury inflicted upon themselves or their allies. They have obtained swords and guns from the Dutch and English, and, relying upon these weapons, they plan with greater determination and boldness the destruction of their enemies, and even of the Europeans. Sometimes they decide their wars by single combat. Two bands, one of the so-called Montagnais,70 the other of Iroquois, had met a few years ago in readiness for battle. The leaders had advanced and were already designating the positions for the formation of the lines of attack, when it is said that one thus addressed the other: "Let us spare the blood of our followers; nay, rather let us spare our own. Let us settle the matter with our bare hands, and he who overcomes the other shall be the victor." The proposition was accepted, and the two joined battle. The Montagnais, by means of a combination of strategy and skill with courage, so wearied the Iroquois that he finally hurled the latter to the ground, bound him, and triumphantly carried him off upon his 271 shoulders to his own band. They make their shields of hewn wood, principally cedar, with slightly-curving edges, light, very long and very large, so that they cover the entire body. Next, in order that they may not be penetrated and split by spears or tomahawks, they overlace them on the inner side with thongs made from the skins of animals, which hold together and connect the whole mass of the shield. They do not carry the shield suspended from the arm, but cast by a cord over the right shoulder, so that it protects the left side of the body; when they have cast their spears or fired their guns they slightly retire the right side and turn toward the enemy the left side, which is protected by the shield.

In battle they strive especially to capture their enemies alive. Those who have been captured and led off to their villages are first stripped of their clothing; then they savagely tear off their nails one by one with their teeth; then they bind them to stakes and beat them as long as they please. Next they release them from their bonds, and compel them to pass back and forth between a double row of men armed with thorns, clubs and instruments of iron. Finally, they kindle a fire about them, and roast the miserable creatures with slow heat. Sometimes they pierce the flesh of the muscles with red-hot plates and with spits, or cut it off and devour it, half-burned and dripping with gore and blood. Next, they plant blazing torches all over the body, and especially in the gaping wounds; then, after scalping him they scatter ashes and live coals upon his naked head; then they tear the tendons of the arms and legs, lacerate them, or, after removing a little of the skin, leisurely cut them with a knife at the ankle and wrist. Often they compel the unhappy prisoner 273 to walk through fire, or to eat, and thus entomb in a living sepulchre, pieces of his own flesh. Torture of this sort has been borne by not a few of the Fathers of the Society. Moreover, they prolong this torment throughout many days, and, in order that the poor victim may undergo fresh trials, intermit it for some time, until his vitality is entirely exhausted and he perishes. Then they tear the heart from the breast, roast it upon the coals, and, if the prisoner has bravely borne the bitterness of the torture, give it, seasoned with blood, to the boys, to be greedily eaten, in order, as they say, that the warlike youth may imbibe the heroic strength of the valiant man. The prisoner who has beheld and endured stake, knives and wounds with an unchanging countenance, who has not groaned, who with laughter and song has ridiculed his tormentors, is praised; for they think that to sing amid so many deaths is great and noble. So they themselves compose songs long beforehand, in order that they may repeat them if they should by chance be captured. The rest of the crowd consume the corpse in a brutal feast. The chief reserves for himself the scalp as a sign of victory, a trophy of cruelty.




SIC hostes accipiunt: at domi colunt pacem, rixasque diligenter cavent, nisi quas ebrietatis impotentia excitavit. Fortunati, si nunquam illis hanc pestem Europa importasset! Irasci ne norunt quidem, ac vehementer initio mirabantur, cum inveherentur Patres in vitia pro concione, eosque furere existimabant, qui pacatos inter auditores, & amicos, tanta contentione se jactarent. Liberalitatis & munificentiæ famam aucupantur: sua largiuntur ultro; ablata vix repetunt: nec fures aliter, quam risu & sannis ulciscuntur. Si quem, oborta simultate nefarie aliquid moliri suspicantur, non minis deterrent hominem, sed donis. Ex eodem concordiæ studio fit ut assentiantur ultro, quidquid doceas; nihilo tamen secius tenent mordicus insitam opinionem aut superstitionem: eoque difficilius erudiuntur. Quid enim agas cum annuentibus verbo & concedentibus omnia; re nihil præstantibus? Miserorum egestatem benignè sublevant; viduarum ac senum sustentant orbitatem, nisi cum senio ætas vieta marcet, vel morbus gravior incidit: tunc enim abrumpere infelicem vitam satius arbitrantur, quàm alere ac producere. Quæcumque calamitas ingruat, nunquam se dimoveri de animi tranquillitate patiuntur, qua felicitatem potissimum 276 definiunt. Inediam multorum dierum, morbos, & ærumnas lenissime & constantissimè perferunt. Ipsos partus dolores, licet acerbissimos, ita dissimulant feminæ vel superant, ut ne ingemiscant quidem: ac si cui lacryma vel gemitus excideret, æterna flagraret ignominia, neque virum, à quo duceretur, præterea inveniret, Nihil unquam amicus cum amico, uxor cum viro, cum uxore vir, queritur & expostulat. Liberos mira caritate complectuntur: sed modum non tenent; in eos enim neque animadvertunt ipsi, neque ab aliis animadverti sinunt. Hinc petulantia puerorum & ferocitas, quæ, postquàm se corroboravit ætate, in omne scelus erumpit. Quam autem erga liberos & familiares comitatem præ se ferunt, eandem cum ceteris civibus suis, ac popularibus, usurpant. Si quis amariore joco quempiam momordit, (nam dicaces vulgo sunt, & in jocos effusi) belle dissimulant, aut vicem reponunt, & absentes remordent; nam præsentes cavillari, aut coram dictis incessere, religio est. Non aliud libentiùs convicium regerunt lacessiti, quàm si hominem ingenio carere dicant. Scilicet ingenii laudem vindicant sibi; nec temere. Nemo inter illos hebes, ac tardus; quod nativa illorum in deliberando prudentia, & in dicendo facundia, declarat. Auditi quidem sæpe sunt tam appositè ad persuadendum perorare, idque ex tempore, ut admirationem exercitatissimis in dicendi palæstra moverent.

Respondet ingenio corpus, aptum membris, proceritate 278 formosum, robore validum. Idem, qui Gallis, color; tametsi corrumpunt illum unguine, & oleo putri, quo se perungunt; necnon pigmentis variis, quibus sibi pulcri, nobis ridiculi, videntur. Alios cernas naso cæruleo, genis vero & superciliis atratis: alii frontem, nasum, & genas, lineis versicoloribus discriminant: totidem larvas intueri te putes. Ejusmodi coloribus credunt se hostibus esse terribiles; suum pariter in acie metum, quasi velo, tegi: demum pellem ipsam corporis indurari, ad vim hiberni frigoris facilius tolerandam. Præter istos colores induci pro cujusque libidine ac deleri solitos, non pauci stabiles ac perpetuas avium aut animalium, putà serpentis, aquilæ, bufonis, imagines imprimunt cuti, hunc in modum. Subulis, cuspidibus, aut spinis collum, pectus, genasve ita pungunt, ut rudia rerum istarum lineamenta effingant: mox in punctam & cruentam cutem immittunt atrum è carbone comminuto pulverem, qui cum sanguine concretus impressas effigies ita inurit vivæ carni, ut eas nulla temporis diuturnitas expungat. Totæ quædam nationes, ea præsertim quæ a Tabaco nomen habet, itemque alia quæ Neutra dicitur, id constanti more ac lege usurpat, nec sine periculo interdum; maxime si est tempestas frigidior, aut debilior [347] corporis constitutio. Tunc enim dolore victi, licet eum ne gemitu quidem significent, linquuntur animo, & exanimes aliquando concidunt. Laudant oculos exiles, labra repanda & prominentia: 280 pars radunt comam, pars alunt: his nudum sinciput, illis occiput: aliis coma tota surrigitur in vertice, aliis parcè ad tempora utrimque propendet. Barbam, instar monstri, execrantur; ac si quis in mento succrescat pilus, statim vellunt. Viri æque ac feminæ imas auriculas pertundunt: & iis inaures è vitro, testisve piscium, inferunt. Quo foramen amplius est, eo censent formosius. Nunquam ungues resecant. Europæos rident, qui defluentem è naribus humorem candidis sudariis excipiant, &, Quo, inquiunt, rem adeo sordidam reservant isti? Saltantes curvant arcuatim corpus prono capite, & brachia sic agitant, ut qui farinam manibus subigunt, raucùm identidem grunnientes. Alvum infimam succingunt lato cortice, vel animantis pelle, aut versicolore panno, cetera nudi. Feminæ pelles ex humeris & collo promittunt ad genua. Zonas atque armillas, è concha veneria, quam vulgo porcellanam appellamus, aut seta hystricis non inscite contextas, gestant: torques hunc in modum confectos magno habent in pretio. Storeas è marisco (junci marini genus est) satis eleganter elaborant: iis pavimentum sternunt, in iisdem carpunt somnos, aut in vitulorom marinorum, fibrorumve mollibus exuviis. Dormiunt circa focum in mapali medio semper ardentem, si frigus est: sub dio, si æstas.

Mensam, aut cathedram, in casa tota videas nullam; in clunes subsidunt, simiarum instar: is vescentium, 282 is deliberantium, & confabulantium habitus est. Adeuntes amicos salutant inepto risu; sæpius ho, hho, hhho, conclamantes. Cum vescuntur, potum dapibus non intermiscent, neque identidem bibunt; sed semel tantùm, sumpto cibo. Qui amicos convivio accipit, cum iis neque accumbit, nec ciborum partem ullam attingit, sed epulantibus dividit: aut, si quem adhibet structorem, sedet seorsum jejunus, & spectat. Inter edendum silent: salem aversantur, & condimenta: ossa canibus projicere piaculum arbitrantur: igni cremant, vel terræ infodiunt. Si enim, inquiunt, ursi, fibri, & aliæ, quas venando captamus, feræ, ossa sua permitti canibus, & comminui, rescirent; non tam facile capi se paterentur. Adipem è pinguibus collectum cibis, abstergunt coma; genis interdum brachiisve allinunt, elegantiæ, ut aiunt, causa, & valetudinis: nam adipe non solum nitere cutem, sed corroborari membra existimant. Non alio cibo vescuntur libentius quàm Sagamita. Pulmentum est è farina, præsertim Indici tritici, confectum: admisto, quod illis condimentum præcipuè sapit, oleo. Itaque in conviviis pars dapum prima oleum, aut adeps, in quem concretum & spissum ita dentes infigunt, ut nos in panem aut pomum. Antequam illis lebetes, cortinæ, aliaque id genus vasa ærea deferrentur è Gallia, utebantur cacabis è cortice compactis; verùm quia imponi flammis non poterant impunè, hanc ad coquendas carnes artem excogitaverant. Silices plurimos 284 conjiciebant in focum, donec penitus ignem combibissent. Candentes in ollam frigida plenam & carnibus alios atque alios subinde immittebant. Ad hunc modum aqua calefacta carnes citius opinione faciliusque percoquit. Ad tergendas manus utuntur piloso canum tergo, cui illas affricant; item scobe ligni putris. Hæc matribus vice panniculorum est, ad purgandas infantium sordes; hæc instar culcitæ languidis corporibus substernitur. Vasa coquinaria, non extergunt. Quo sunt crasso pingui magis oblita, eo melius, illorum judicio, nitent. Turpe ducunt & superbum inambulare inter colloquendum. Odorem mosci graviter ferunt, & meram esse mephitim putant, præ carnis rancidæ, aut adipis mucidi frusto.

Sexcenta sunt ejus generis, in quibus longissimè recedunt ab Europæorum institutis: sed ab illorum vitiis propius absunt, eaque vel æquant, vel superant. Gulæ irritamenta, & inimicas bonæ ac sanæ menti potiones, ab Europæis mercatoribus acceperunt, quibus lucri bonus est odor, etiam ex flagitio, & scelerata nundinatione. Tandiu esse pergunt, dum adest quod edant: nihil in crastinum, aut hyemem, reponunt: nec famem valde reformidant, quia se ferre diuturnam posse confidunt. Conviviis ea lex posita consensu moribusque gentis est, ut omnia fercula consumantur. Si quis edit parciùs, & excusat valetudinem, plectitur, aut ejicitur, ut insulsus, quasi qui vivendi artem nesciat. Primaria supellectilis domesticæ 286 pars, olla est, sive ahenum, in quo carnes coquuntur. Opes lebetum numero metiuntur: nec regem Galliæ aliam ob causam initio magni æstimabant; quàm quòd plures habere ollas dicebatur. Quanta sit apud exleges, & omni freno solutos, intemperantiæ impunitas & licentia, præsertim in adolescentibus, promptum est intelligere: nam grandiores natu libidinem certis finibus circumscribunt, cùm æstus cupiditatum deferbuit: nec impune est peccanti feminæ.

Religionis apud illos neque lex ulla, neque cura. Nullo stato & certo cultu Numen prosequuntur. Esse tamen aliquod, velut in sublustri nocte, vident. Quod quisque puer aspicit in somnis, cum lucescere ratio incipit, hoc illi deinceps numen est, canis, ursus, avis. Vivendi normam & agendi plerumque ducunt è somniis; ut si quem interficiendum, exempli causa, somniaverint, non conquiescant donec hominem insidiis exceptum necaverint. Piget fabulas referre, quas de mundi opificio comminiscuntur. His implent otiosas & avidas plebis aures harioli, & circulatores nequissimi, impietate quæstuosa. Malorum auctorem genium nescio quem vocant Manitoù, ac vehementissime perhorrescunt. Hostem procul dubio generis humani, qui à nonnullis divinos honores & sacrificia quædam extorquet. Circa naturam animarum non levius delirant. Simulacra fingunt corporea, cibi & potionis egentia. Destinatum animabus versus occidentem solem, pagum credunt, in quem obita morte 288 se recipiant: & ubi epulis, venationi, & choreis indulgeant. Hæc enim apud illos summa.

Cum primum de sempiternis ignibus, & incendiis sceleri destinatis audierunt, immane quantum obstupuere: fidem tamen pertinaciter abrogabant, quòd dicerent ibi esse ignem non posse, ubi nihil ligni sit: tum, quænam silvæ alere tot ignes, tam diuturnos, possent? Hæc ratio ineptissima tantam vim apud barbaras mentes habebat, ut iis persuaderi veritas evangelica non posset. Quippe in homine carnali, ut ait è SS. PP. nonnemo, tota ratio intelligendi est consuetudo cernendi. Expugnavit nihilominus pertinaciam sacerdos acer & ingeniosus. Fidenter affirmavit inferorum terram vices obire ligni, & ipsam ardere per sese. Risu barbaræ multitudinis exceptus est. Imo, inquit, hujus Avernalis terræ frustum proferam vobis, ut, quoniam verbis divinis non creditis, vestris ipsi oculis credatis. Accendit curiositatem promissi novitas & fiducia. Convenerunt è tota regione ad diem constitutum, & in ingenti planitie, collibus instar amphitheatri cincta, consederunt. Primores gentis duodecim lecti fuere, viri graves & cordati, qui sacerdotem observarent, numquid fraudis ac præstigiarum lateret. Ille sulphuris glebam depromit, dat istis arbitris & cognitoribus tractandam: hanc oculis, naso, manu scrutati, haud dubie terram esse confessi sunt. Aderat olla cum prunis candentibus. Tunc sacerdos populo procul spectante; inhiantibus, demisso in prunas 290 naso, judicibus, excussit in carbones è sulphurea gleba particulas aliquot, quæ subito conceperunt ignem & odore fetido nares curiosas impleverunt. Hoc iterum, ac tertiò cum esset factum, assurrexit multitudo attonita, manum planam imponens ori, quo gestu summam admirationem testantur; & inferos esse dicenti Deo credidit.



THUS they treat their enemies; but at home they cultivate peace and carefully avoid quarrels, except those which the fury of drunkenness has aroused. Fortunate would they be if Europe had never introduced this scourge among them! They know nothing of anger, and at first were greatly surprised when the Fathers censured their faults before the assembly; they thought that the Fathers were madmen, because among peaceful hearers and friends they displayed such vehemence. These people seek a reputation for liberality and generosity; they give away their property freely and very seldom ask any return; nor do they punish thieves otherwise than with ridicule and derision. If they suspect that any one seeks to accomplish an evil deed by means of false pretences, they do not restrain him with threats, but with gifts. From the same desire for harmony comes their ready assent to whatever one teaches them; nevertheless they hold tenaciously to their native belief or superstition, and on that account are the more difficult to instruct. For what can one do with those who in word give agreement and assent to everything, but in reality give none? They kindly relieve the poverty of the unfortunate; they provide sustenance for widows and old men in their bereavement, except when, with old age, vitality is withering away, or some grievous disease arises; for then they think it better to cut short an unhappy existence than to support and prolong it. Whatever 277 misfortune may befall them, they never allow themselves to lose their calm composure of mind, in which they think that happiness especially consists. They endure many days' fasting, also diseases and trials, with the greatest cheerfulness and patience. Even the pangs of childbirth, although most bitter, are so concealed or conquered by the women that they do not even groan; and if a tear or a groan should escape any one of them, she would be stigmatized by everlasting disgrace, nor could she find a man thereafter who would marry her. Friends never indulge in complaint or expostulation to friends, wives to their husbands, or husbands to their wives. They treat their children with wonderful affection, but they preserve no discipline, for they neither themselves correct them nor allow others to do so. Hence the impudence and savageness of the boys, which, after they have reached a vigorous age, breaks forth in all sorts of wickedness. Moreover, they exercise the same mildness which they exhibit toward their children and relatives, toward the remainder of their tribe and their countrymen. If any person has injured another by means of a rude jest (for they are commonly very talkative, and are ready jesters), the latter carefully conceals it, or lays it up, and in retaliation injures his detractor behind his back; for to jest in the victim's presence, or to make a verbal attack, face to face, is characteristic of religion. There is nothing which they are more prone to use as a counter-allegation, when provoked, than to charge a man with a lack of intelligence. For they claim praise because of their intelligence, and not without good reason. No one among them is stupid or sluggish, a fact which is evident in their inborn foresight in deliberation and their fluency in speaking. 279 Indeed, they have often been heard to make a peroration so well calculated for persuasion, and that off-hand, that they would excite the admiration of the most experienced in the arena of eloquence.

Their bodies, well proportioned, handsome because of their height, vigorous in strength, correspond to their minds. They have the same complexion as the French, although they disfigure it with fat and rancid oil, with which they grease themselves; nor do they neglect paints of various colors, by means of which they appear beautiful to themselves, but to us ridiculous. Some may be seen with blue noses, but with cheeks and eyebrows black; others mark forehead, nose and cheeks with lines of various colors; one would think he beheld so many hobgoblins. They believe that in colors of this description they are dreadful to their enemies, and that likewise their own fear in line of battle will be concealed as by a veil; finally, that it hardens the skin of the body, so that the cold of winter is more easily borne. Besides these colors, which are usually applied or removed according to the pleasure of each person, many impress upon the skin fixed and permanent representations of birds or animals, such as a snake, an eagle, or a toad, in the following manner: With awls, spear-points, or thorns they so puncture the neck, breast or cheeks as to trace rude outlines of those objects; next, they insert into the pierced and bleeding skin a black powder made from pulverized charcoal, which unites with the blood and so fixes upon the living flesh the pictures which have been drawn that no length of time can efface them. Some entire tribes—that especially which is called the Tobacco nation, and also another, which is called the Neutral nation—practice it as a continuous custom and 281 usage; sometimes it is not without danger, especially if the season be somewhat cold or the physical constitution rather weak. [347] For then, overcome by suffering, although they do not betray it by even a groan, they swoon away and sometimes drop dead. They praise small eyes and turned-up and projecting lips. Some shave their hair, others cultivate it; some have half the head bare, others the back of the head; the hair of some is raised upon their heads, that of others hangs down scantily upon each temple. They detest a beard as a monstrosity, and straightway pull out whatever hair grows upon their chins. The men as well as the women pierce the lobes of their ears, and place in them earrings made of glass or shells. The larger the hole, the more beautiful they consider it. They never cut their nails. They ridicule the Europeans, because the latter wipe off the mucus flowing from the nose with white handkerchiefs, and say: "For what purpose do they preserve such a vile thing?" In dancing, they bend the body, with the head lowered, in the form of a bow, and move their arms like those who knead dough, at the same time emitting hoarse grunts. They gird the lower portion of the belly with a broad piece of bark or hide or a parti-colored cloth, and leave the rest of the body naked. The women wear skins hanging from the shoulders and neck to the knees. They wear belts and bracelets ingeniously manufactured from Venus shells,71 which we commonly call porcelain, or from porcupine quills; and necklaces made in this fashion they value highly. They make very neat mats from marisco (a variety of marine rush); with these they cover their floors, and also take their rest upon them, or upon the soft furs of the seal or the beaver. In winter they sleep 283 about a fire constantly burning in the middle of the lodge, in summer under the open sky.

Neither table nor chair can be seen in the hut. They squat upon their haunches like monkeys; this is their custom while eating, deliberating or conversing. They greet approaching friends with silly laughter, more often exclaiming, ho, hho, hhho. When they eat they do not take beverages with their food, nor do they drink often, but only once after eating. Whoever entertains his friends at a feast neither sits with them nor touches any part of the food, but divides it among the feasters; or, if he has some one act as carver, sits apart fasting and looks on. While eating they keep silence; they reject salt and condiments; they consider it a sin to throw the bones to the dogs; they either burn them in the fire or bury them in the ground. For, they say, if the bears, beaver, and other wild animals which we capture in hunting should know that their bones were given to dogs and broken to pieces, they would not suffer themselves to be taken so easily. They wipe off upon their hair the grease which is collected from fatty foods; sometimes they smear their cheeks or arms for the sake, as they say, of elegance and health; for they think that not only is the skin made resplendent with grease, but that the limbs are thus strengthened. For no other food do they have such fondness as for Sagamita. It is a relish made from flour, especially that of Indian corn, mixed with oil, which as a flavor is held in especial esteem among them. Therefore, in feasts the first course consists of oil or fat, in hard and compact lumps, into which they bite as we do into a piece of bread or an apple. Before pots, kettles and other vessels of the sort were brought to them from France, they used receptacles 285 of closely joined bark; but, because they could not place them with safety over the flames, they devised the following way of cooking meat: They cast a large number of flint stones into the fire until they had become red-hot. Then they would drop these hot stones one after another into a vessel full of cold water and meat. In this manner the water was heated and the meat cooked more quickly and more easily than one would suppose. For wiping their hands they use the shaggy back of a dog, also powder of rotten wood. The last-named is used by mothers, in the place of wash-cloths, to clean the dirt from their infants; it is also used as a mattress to support the weary body. They do not cleanse their cooking utensils. The more they are covered with thick grease, so much the better are they, in their judgment. They consider it disgraceful and arrogant to walk while conversing. They dislike the odor of musk, and consider it a downright pest in comparison with a piece of rancid meat or moldy fat.

There, are six hundred matters of this sort in which their customs differ very widely from those of Europeans; but they are less removed from the faults of the latter, and either equal or excel them. They have received stimulants of the appetite, and drinks hostile to a good and sound mind, from European traders, who think much of profit, even when tainted with the disgrace of a wicked traffic. They continue to exist so long as they have anything to eat; they store up nothing for to-morrow, or for the winter; nor do they greatly dread famine, because they are confident of their ability to bear it for a long time. In feasts it is the rule, by general consent and custom of the race, that all the food shall be consumed. 287 If any one eats sparingly and urges his poor health as an excuse, he is beaten or ejected as ill-bred, just as if he were ignorant of the art of living. The principal article of their household utensils is the pot or kettle in which the meat is cooked. They measure property by the number of kettles, and in the beginning conceived a high opinion of the king of France, for no other reason than because he was said to possess a good many kettles. How great is the impunity and wantonness of licentiousness among men uncivilized and free from all restraint, especially among the youth, maybe readily observed; for the elder men confine their lust within fixed limits, after the violence of their passions has subsided, and an erring woman does not go unpunished.

There is among them no system of religion, or care for it. They honor a Deity who has no definite character or regular code of worship. They perceive, however, through the twilight, as it were, that some deity does exist. What each boy sees in his dreams, when his reason begins to develop, is to him thereafter a deity, whether it be a dog, a bear, or a bird. They often derive their principles of life and action from dreams; as, for example, if they dream that any person ought to be killed, they do not rest until they have caught the man by stealth and slain him. It is wearisome to recount the tales which they invent concerning the creation of the world. Soothsayers and worthless quacks fill with these the idle and greedy ears of the people in order that they may acquire an impious gain. They call some divinity, who is the author of evil, "Manitou," and fear him exceedingly. Beyond doubt it is the enemy of the human race, who extorts from some people divine honors and sacrifices. Concerning the nature of 289 spirits, they go none the less astray. They make them corporeal images which require food and drink. They believe that the appointed place, for souls, to which after death they are to retire, is in the direction of the setting sun, and there they are to enjoy feasting, hunting, and dancing; for these pleasures are held in the highest repute among them.

When they first heard of the eternal fire and the burning decreed as a punishment for sin, they were marvelously impressed; still, they obstinately withheld their belief because, as they said, there could be no fire where there was no wood; then, what forests could sustain so many fires through such a long space of time? This absurd reasoning had so much influence over the minds of the savages, that they could not be persuaded of the truth of the gospel. For, plainly, in the physical man, as some one from Sts. Peter and Paul says, the entire system of knowledge is based on vision. Nevertheless, a clever and ingenious priest overcame their obstinacy. He confidently declared that the lower world possessed no wood, and that it burned by itself. He was greeted by the laughter of the crowd of savages. "But," said he, "I will exhibit to you a piece of this land of Avernus, in order that, since you do not believe the words of God, you may trust the evidence of your own eyes." The novelty and boldness of the promise aroused their curiosity. Upon the appointed day they assembled from the whole neighborhood, and sat down together in an immense plain, surrounded by hills like an amphitheater. Twelve leading men of the tribe, persons of dignity and sagacity, were chosen to watch the priest, in order that neither fraud nor sorcery might be concealed. He produced a lump of sulphur and gave it to the judges 291 and inspectors to be handled; after examining it with eyes, nose, and hand, they admitted that it was certainly earth. There stood near by a kettle containing live coals. Then the priest, under the eyes of the people at a distance, while the judges were gaping with their noses thrust down toward the coals, shook some grains from the lump of sulphur upon the coals, which suddenly took fire and filled the curious noses with a stifling odor. When this had been done a second and a third time, the crowd arose in astonishment, placing their hands flat over their mouths, by which gesture they signify great surprise; and believed in the word of God that there is a lower world.



[51] Rerum Insigniorum Indiculus.


ALCES consideratio, 7
virtus mira ungulæ ejus, 8
Angli barbaris gladios et gravidas nitrato pulvere fistulas suppeditant, 27
Animarum de natura delirant Canadenses, 20,46
Aves Novæ Franciæ, 14
Avis prædatrix, 15
Batavi barbaris arma vendunt, 27
Canada fluvius, 5
Canadensium domus, 16
mulierum labores, 17
morbi et ægrorum cura, 18
funera, 20
bella, 27
arma, 28
crudelitas in captivos, 29
indoles, 33
corporis cultus, 37
cibi, 42
convivia, 44
[52] Canadensium supellex, 44
religio et superstitiones, 45
Captivorum crudelis sors, 29
Casæ Canadensium, 16
cadavera perjanuam nunquam esseruntur, 20
Casæ fibrorum, 10
Causarus seu Piscis armatus, 12
Clypei barbarorum, 28
294 Coquendi ratio in cacabis è cortice confectis, 42
Ebrietas ab Europæis discitur, 44
Exequiarum ritus, 20
Feminis imponitur quidquid laboris est, 17
Fibri consideratio, 9
Fluvii quid habent singulare, 6
Franciæ Novæ descriptio, flumina, 5
cœlum, 6
soli natura, 7
feræ, 7
Galliæ rex cur magni æstimabatur, 45
Hurones diem Mortuorum celebrant, 25
Infantium mira mortalitas, 17
cur corpora propter viam sepeliunt, 21
Infernales ignes esse probat sacerdos, 48
[53] Iroquæi bellum cum Montanis singulari certamine finiunt, 28
Iroquæorum lacus, 12
Kebecum, urbs primaria Novæ Franciæ, 6
Magna Bellua, quid, 7
Manitoù, genius malorum, 46
Missisipus fluvius, 6
Montani bellum singulari certamine finiunt, 28
Morborum fontes duo, 18
Mortuorum festa celebritas apud Hurones, 25
Mos Canadensis mortuos suscitandi, 25
Naviculæ barbarorum, 6
Neutra Natio, 38
Numen nullo certo cultu prosequuntur, 44
Palumbes absque numero, 14
Pisces armatus, 13
Patres non pauci Societatis Jesu dire torquentur, 31
Religio Canadensium, 45
Reticula pedibus substrata ut super nives de ambulent, 8
296 S. Laurentii fluvius, 5, 6
Sagamita quid, 42
[54] Saltus seu catadupæ in fluviis, 6
Sinus Sancti Laurentii, 14
Somniorum vanitas, 46
Sudando noxios humores ejiciunt, 19
Tabacum, natio ejus nominis, 38
Trophæus, 32
Volucrum insula, 14


[51] Index of Prominent Topics.

[The page numbers refer to O'Callaghan's Reprint.]

ELK: description, 7
wonderful efficacy of its hoof, 8
The English supply swords, guns and ammunition to the savages, 27
Absurd ideas of Canadians concerning the soul, 20,46
Birds of New France, 14
A bird of prey, 15
The Dutch sell arms to the savages, 27
The river Canada, 5
Homes of the Canadians, 16
tasks of the women, 17
diseases and treatment of the sick, 18
funerals, 20
wars, 27
weapons, 28
cruelty to prisoners, 29
character, 33
care of the body, 37
food, 42
feasts, 44
[52] Implements of the Canadians, 44
religion and superstitions, 45
Cruel fate of prisoners, 29
Houses of the Canadians, 16
corpses are never carried out through the door, 20
Houses of the beavers, 10
The Causar or armored Fish, 12
Shields of the savages, 28
295 Manner of cooking in vessels made from bark, 42
Drunkenness is learned from the Europeans, 44
Rites of sepulture, 20
Whatever work there is, is placed upon the women, 17
Description of the beaver, 9
Peculiarities of the rivers, 6
Description of New France, rivers, 5
climate, 6
nature of the soil, 7
wild animals, 7
Why the king of France was greatly respected, 45
The Hurons celebrate the day of the Dead, 25
Remarkable mortality among infants, 17
why they bury the bodies near the road, 21
A priest proves that there is hell fire, 48
[53] The Iroquois conclude a war with the Montagnais by single combat, 28
Lake of the Iroquois, 12
Kebec, the chief city of New France, 6
The Great Beast, what it is, 7
Manitou, the spirit of evil, 46
Mississippi river, 6
The Montaignais conclude a war by single combat, 28
Two sources of disease, 18
Festival of the Dead among the Hurons, 25
Canadian manner of honoring the dead, 25
Boats of the savages, 6
The Neutral Nation, 38
They revere a deity with no fixed form of worship, 44
Innumerable pigeons, 14
The armored fish, 13
Fathers of the Society of Jesus are cruelly tortured, 31
Religion of the Canadians, 45
Network bound under the feet, to walk over the snow, 8
297 St. Lawrence river, 5, 6
Sagamita, what it is, 42
[54] Water-falls, or cataracts, in the rivers, 6
Gulf of St. Lawrence, 14
Ignorant belief in dreams, 46
They expel noxious humors by sweating, 19
Tobacco, the nation of that name, 38
The trophy, 32
Isle of Birds, 14



Our text of Lescarbot's La Conversion follows, to the close of p. 44 (original pagination), the copy at Lenox Library: pp. 45, 46, the "Regitre de Bapteme," follow the copy at John Carter Brown Library, Providence, R. I., as the Lenox copy does not have these two pages.

It is a rare book; the two copies above cited are the only ones known to us, in America. Leclerc, in Bibliotheca Americana (Paris, 1867), p. 206, says: "Cette pièce est plus rare que l'Histoire de la Nouvelle France," referring to Lescarbot's better-known work. Sabin speaks of it (vol. x., no. 40167), as "probably the rarest of Lescarbot's works."

See further references in the John Carter Brown Catalogue (Bartlett's Bibliotheca Americana, Providence, 1882), vol. ii., no. 99: Graesse's Trésor de Livres Rares et Précieux (Dresden, 1863), vol. iv., p. 175; Harrisse's Notes sur la Nouvelle France (Paris, 1872), no. 21; Ternaux's Bibliothèque Américaine (Paris, 1837), no. 330; Winsor's Narrative and Critical History of America, vol. iv., p. 299; and Lenox Catalogue of Jesuit Relations (N. Y., 1879), p. 3.[XVII.]

300 Title-page. This is given in photographic facsimile, in this reissue. The Lenox and Brown copies are alike, in this. It will be noticed that there is no date of publication, this being established from the Privilege.

Collation. Title, 1 p.; blank at back of title, 1 p.; dedication "A la Royne," 3 pp., signed "Marc Lescarbot;" privilege, 1 p., dated "Paris, 9 Sep., 1610," and signed "Brigard;" text, pp. 7-44. Page 7 is misnumbered 1. (The Brown Catalogue says: Page 1 is misnumbered 7." This is a misprint in the Catalogue.) "Fin," at end of p. 24; then pp. 23 and 24 are reprinted, all except the last sentence on p. 24: "Dieu vueille par sa | grace conduire le tout en sorte que la chose | reüssisse à sa gloire & à l'édification de ce peu-| ple, pour lequel tous Chrétiens doivent faire | continuelles prieres à sa divine bonté, à ce qu'il | lui plaise confirmer & avancer l'œuvre qu'il | lui a pleu susciter en ce temps pour l'exaltation | de son nom, & le salut de ses creatures. | Fin."

It is evident that the intention was to have the first leaf (pp. 23, 24) cut out. This duplication of pp. 23, 24 is in both the Brown and Lenox copies.

The "Extrait du Regitre de Bapteme" in the Brown copy (it is not in the Lenox Copy) forms 2 pages at the end of text. The first page of this "Regitre" is not numbered; the second is numbered "46" (intended for 46), and this ends the 301book. The same "Regitre" appears in somewhat different order in Lescarbot's Nouvelle France, (1612 ed.), pp. 638-640, chap. 5, book v.; also, according to Harrisse's Notes, in chap. 3, book v., of the 1611 ed.


In Bertrand's Lettre Missive, we follow the original Paris edition, in Lenox. It is a rare publication, the Lenox copy being apparently the only one in the United States; Brown has a manuscript copy, made from that at Lenox. Sabin (vol. x., no. 40682), says: "It is a piece of unusual rarity." Sabin has a previous reference in vol. ii., no. 5025, under caption "Bertrand," wherein a misprint makes him cite the date of the letter as "28 June, 1618" (eight years later than the actual date); a further misprint causes Sabin to record the pamphlet as having "48 pages or less," the actual number being 8. In his Notes, Harrisse omits a line-ending after the second "nouuelle" in his description of the title-page. See, for further references: Ternaux, no. 329; Winsor, p. 299; Lenox Catalogue, p. 3; Brown Catalogue, vol. ii., no. 103.

Title-page. Given in photographic facsimile, in present volume.

Collation. Title, 1 p.; blank at back of title, 1 p.; text, pp. 3-6; dated on p. 6, "Port Royal xxviij. Iuin, 1610," and signed "Bertrand." Blank leaf at end, completing 4 leaves = 8 pp.


In these four letters, by Biard and Massé, we follow Carayon's Première Mission des Jésuites au Canada (Paris, 1864). It is a scarce book, and brought $8 at 302the Barlow Sale, in New York, 1890. See references in Harrisse, p. 285; Sabin, no. 10792; Winsor, pp. 151, 292, 300; and Lenox Catalogue, p. 15. The origin of the letters in the volume is found at the top of the first page of each letter; and these data, with accompanying notes by Carayon, are reproduced in the present series, which will, in strict chronological order, contain all of the papers given by that editor; although in many cases we shall follow the original issues of the letters, whenever found. Documents III., V., and VI. were written in Latin; and Document IV. in French.

Collation. Blank, 2 pp.; bastard title, 1 p.; blank, 1 p.; title proper, 1 p.; blank, 1 p. Preface begins on p. vii. (not numbered), and ends on p. xvi. Preface acknowledges indebtedness to F. Felix Martin, S. J., for copying and translating into French (from the Latin) most of the letters in the volume. Text, pp. 1-302; Table at end, 2 pp.; the last of these is numbered 304.


We follow the style and make-up of Dr. E. B. O'Callaghan's Reprint (Albany, N. Y., 1871) of the Canadicæ Missionis, in Jouvency's Hist. Soc. Jesu, part v., commencing p. 321. In the Lenox Catalogue, it is designated "O'Callaghan's Reprint, No. 4." This numbering of O'Callaghan's reprints, is merely a device peculiar to the Lenox Catalogue, for sake of easy reference, and has been followed by Winsor; the reprints themselves bear no numbers.

The text of this document, however, we have compared with the original folio edition of Jouvency's work, in the library of St. Francis Xavier College, New York, and the pagination thereof is indicated 303instead of that of the O'Callaghan Reprint. The list, "Missiones Societatis Jesu in America Septentrionali Anno M. DCC. X.," which O'Callaghan reprints as if a part of the original Canadicæ Missionis, is on pp. 961, 962 of the same volume of Jouvency in which the latter appears (part v.).

Title-page. The O'Callaghan Reprint is closely imitated.

Collation of O'Callaghan Reprint. Title, 1 p.; reverse of title, with inscription: "Editio viginti quinque exemplaria. O'C.," 1 p.; Biardi Eulogium ac Vita, pp. i-v.; blank, 1 p.; Tabula, 1 p.; blank, 1 p.; text, pp. 5-33; colophon: "Albaniae Excvdebat Joel Munsellius | Mense Aprilis Anno | CIↃ. IↃCCC. LXXI.," 1 p.; half-title, "Appendix," 1 p.; blank, 1 p.; "Missiones Societatis Iesu | in America Septentrionali |Anno M.DCC.X.," 2 pp., the last of which is numbered 38.


We follow the style and make-up of O'Callaghan's Reprint (Albany, 1871), which is numbered 5 in the Lenox Catalogue. The text and pagination follow the original, in Jouvency's Hist. Soc. Jesu, part v., commencing p. 344.

Title-page. The O'Callaghan Reprint is closely imitated.

Collation of O'Callaghan Reprint. Title, 1 p.; reverse of title, with inscription: "Editio viginti quinque exemplaria. O'C.," 1 p.; Tabula Rerum, 1 p.; blank, 1 p.; text, pp. 5-49; blank, 1 p.; Rerum Insigniorum Indiculus, 4 pp.; colophon: "Albaniae Excvdebat Joel Munsellius | Mense Qvintilis Anno | CIↃ. IↃCCC. LXXI.," 1 p.


[XVII.] In order to save needless repetition of long titles, bibliographical works, when once cited in full, will thereafter be referred to by the usual cut-shorts: e.g., the John Carter Brown Catalogue will be hereafter known in our Bibliographical Data as "Brown Catalogue;" the list of Jesuitica in Winsor's Narrative and Critical History vol. iv., as "Winsor;" the Lenox Catalogue of Jesuit Relations, as "Lenox Catalogue;" Harrisse's Notes sur la Nouvelle France, as "Harrisse's Notes," or simply as "Harrisse;" etc., etc. The student who is familiar, in a general way, with these bibliographical sources,—and it is presumed that those are, for whom this series of reprints is designed,—will not be confused by the customary method of brief citation.


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

1. (p. 55)—Marie de Médicis, queen regent, widow of Henry of Navarre; appointed regent by the king, the day before his assassination, May 14, 1610. She was accused of having been privy to his murder.

2. (p. 55)—The reports of Champlain, and the maps and charts with which, upon returning from his voyage of 1603, he entertained Henry IV., so interested the latter that he vowed to encourage the colonization of New France. To carry on this work he commissioned, as his lieutenant-general in Acadia, Pierre du Gua, Sieur de Monts, governor of Pons, a Huguenot resident at court, and, according to Champlain, "a gentleman of great respectability, zeal, and honesty." De Monts' commission is given at length in Baird's Huguenot Emigration to America, vol. i., p. 341; his charter of "La Cadie" embraced the country between the 40th and 46th degrees of latitude, and he held therein a monopoly of the fur trade. J. G. Bourinot, in Canadian Monthly, vol. vii., pp. 291, 292, says the name Acadia (also written Acadie, and La Cadie) "comes from àkăde, which is an affix used by the Souriquois or Mic Macs ... to signify a place where there is an abundance of some particular thing."—See, also, Laverdière's Œuvres de Champlain (Quebec, 1870), p. 115. In 1604, De Monts sailed from France with a colony composed of Catholics and Huguenots, served by "a priest and a minister." Champlain and Poutrincourt were with the expedition, and Pontgravé commanded one of the two ships. The cancelling of his monopoly (1607), deprived De Monts of the means to carry on his colonization schemes. The title to Port Royal he had already ceded to Poutrincourt. The king renewed De Monts' monopoly for one year, upon his undertaking to found a colony in the interior. Thereupon De Monts sent Champlain to the St. Lawrence (1608), as his lieutenant. Upon the death of Henry IV. (1610), De Monts, now financially ruined, surrendered his commission, selling his proprietary rights to the Jesuits.

"Jean de Biencourt, Baron de Poutrincourt, a gentleman of Picardy, a brave chevalier, had carried arms against Henry IV. in the 306ranks of the Catholics, during the wars of the League. Lescarbot tells how 'The king, holding him besieged in his castle of Beaumont, wished to give him the dukedom of this place in order to attach him to his service.' Poutrincourt refused. But, when the king had abjured his faith, he served this prince loyally and followed him to battle, where he accumulated more honor than fortune. In 1603, he lived in retirement with his wife, Jeanne de Salazar, and his children, in his barony of Saint-Just, in Champagne, struggling painfully against the difficulties of an embarrassed situation, and striving to improve the tillage and crops of his little domain. It was here that De Monts, his former companion in arms, found him. He knew his courage, his intelligence, and his activity, and did not doubt that a voyage to Canada and an agricultural colony in these distant lands, so fertile and primeval, would appeal to his ardent soul. Poutrincourt, in fact, received with enthusiasm the plan of his old friend; however, before binding himself definitely, he wished to find out, on his own account, something about the state of the country, and for this purpose to make a trial voyage."—Rochemonteix's Les Jésuites et la Nouvelle France (Paris, 1896), vol. i., p. 11.

Pleased with Annapolis harbor, Poutrincourt decided to settle there with his family, and De Monts gave him a grant of the place. In 1606, Poutrincourt made a second voyage to Port Royal, exploring the coast with Champlain and Lescarbot. After the abandonment of the colony (1607), he went to France, returning to Acadia in 1610, inspired with zeal to convert the savages, but without the aid of the Jesuits. See Parkman's Pioneers of France in the New World (ed. 1885, which will hereafter be cited, unless otherwise noted), pp. 244-322; also Shea's ed. of Charlevoix's History of New France, vol. i., p. 260. By the destruction of Port Royal in 1613, he was the heaviest loser—the total loss to the French, according to Charlevoix, being a hundred thousand crowns. In 1614, Poutrincourt visited the ruins of Port Royal for the last time, thence returning to France to engage in the service of the king. He was fatally wounded by a treacherous shot after the taking of Méry (1615). Baird (Hug. Emig., vol. i., p. 94), says: "This nobleman, if nominally a Roman Catholic, appears to have been in full sympathy with his Huguenot associates, De Monts and Lescarbot. His hatred of the Jesuits was undisguised." Lescarbot's account of Poutrincourt's dispute with them differs essentially from that given by Biard, post.

3. (p. 55)—Marc Lescarbot (or L'Escarbot), parliamentary advocate, was born at Vervins, France, between 1570 and 1580. He was more given to literature than to law, and appears to have been a man of judgment, tact, and intelligence. He spent the winter of 3071606-07 at Port Royal, which Slafter (Prince Soc. ed. of Voyages of Samuel Champlain, vol. ii., p. 22, note 56) locates "on the north side of the bay [Annapolis Basin] in the present town of Lower Granville; not, as often alleged, at Annapolis." See Bourinot's "Some Old Forts by the Sea," in Trans. Royal Society of Canada, sec. ii, pp. 72-74, for description of Port Royal, which he places on the site of the present Annapolis. In the spring of 1607, Lescarbot explored the coast between the harbor of St. John, N. B., and the River St. Croix. On the abandonment of De Monts' colony, the same year, he returned to France, where he wrote much on Acadia and in praise of Poutrincourt. Larousse gives the date of his death as 1630. Parkman's Pioneers, pp. 258 et seq., gives a lively account of Lescarbot's winter at the colony. Abbé Faillon, in Histoire de la Colonie Française en Canada (Montreal, 1865), vol. i, p. 91, says he has given us the best accounts extant (in the present document, his Histoire de la Nouvelle France, 1609, and his Les Muses de la Nouvelle France, 1618) of the enterprises of De Monts and Poutrincourt; and that while a Catholic in name, he was a Huguenot at heart.

4. (p. 57)—Clameur de Haro, Chartre Normand, an expression used in all the privileges or licenses granted by the king to booksellers. The latter phrase refers to a deed containing numerous privileges or concessions, accorded to the inhabitants of Normandy by Louis X., Mar. 19, 1313, and repeatedly confirmed afterward. Haro is supposed to be derived from, Ha Rou! or Ha Rollo! Hence an appeal to Rollo, the first Duke of Normandy.

5. (p. 59)—The first attempt of the Huguenots to establish a colony in America was at Rio Janeiro, under Villegagnon (1555). A reinforcement was sent thither in 1557, and among its Calvinist preachers was Jean de Léri, the historian of the disastrous undertaking. See his Historia Navigationis in Brasiliam (1586), quoted in Parkman's Pioneers, p. 28.

6. (p. 61)—The St. Lawrence; so named by Cartier (1535), but frequently called "The Great River," "The River of the Great Bay," etc., by early annalists. In the account of his second voyage, Cartier styles it le grand fleuve de Hochelaga. See Winsor's Narrative and Critical History of America, vol. iv., p. 163; also his Cartier to Frontenac, p. 28.

7. (p. 61)—Concerning early European acquaintance with American Indians:

"In the yeere 1153 ... it is written, that there came to Lubec, a citie of Germanie, one Canoa with certaine Indians, like vnto a long barge: which seemed to haue come from the coast of Baccalaos, which standeth in the same latitude that Germanie doth." (Antoine 308Galvano, in Goldsmid's ed. of Hakluyt's Voyages, vol. xvi., p. 293.)

Harrisse (Bibliotheca Americana Vetustissima, no. 71) cites the Chronicon of Eusebius (Paris, 1512) as having, "under the date 1509, a notice saying that there had been brought to Rouen seven Savages from North America."

The Indians of Newfoundland, when first discovered by the French, called codfish bacalos, which Lescarbot and other early French writers say is identical with the Basque word for codfish. Many evidences led Cartier, upon his first voyage (1534), to believe that the natives had had previous intercourse with Europeans.

8. (p. 61)—Probably André Thevet. A translation of his description of the Isles of Demons (now known as Belle Isle and Quirpon), is given in Parkman's Pioneers, p. 191. Thevet's Cosmographie Universelle (Paris, 1558), and Singularitez de la France antarctique (Paris, 1558), must have been familiar to Lescarbot. De Costa gives a translation of so much of the Cosmographie as relates to New England, in Magazine of American History, vol. viii., p. 130: "The production of the mendacious monk, André Thevet." It seems clear that Thevet never saw the American coast, that his imagination amplified the accounts of navigators who had visited the region, particularly those of Cartier. Priceless as are first editions of Thevet, he has a poor reputation for veracity.

9. (p. 61)—The Armouchiquois (or Almouchiquois of Champlain) were, according to Parkman (Jesuits of N. America, p. xxi.), the Algonkin tribes of New England,—Mohicans, Pequots, Massachusetts, Narragansetts, and others,—"in a chronic state of war with the tribes of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia." Williamson, in History of the State of Maine (Hallowell, 1832, vol. i., p. 477), says they were an Etchemin tribe, the Marechites of the St. John River; but Champlain, who had, like Biard, visited the Armouchiquois country, says that it lies beyond Choüacoet (Saco), and that the language is different from those of the Souriquois and Etchemins. Laverdière affirms that "the French called Almouchiquois several peoples or tribes that the English included under the term Massachusetts;" and he conjectures that these two names are etymologically allied.—See his Champlain, pp. 200, 205, 206.

10. (p. 61)—Lescarbot here refers to his Histoire de la Nouvelle France. The first edition (Paris, 1609) is a rare prize to collectors,—a London catalogue of 1878 pricing it at £45. The edition of 1612 is followed in the Tross reprint (Paris, 1866); that of 1618 contains Lescarbot's assault upon the Jesuits. The fourth and sixth books, only, were "translated out of the French into English" by P. Erondelle, 1609. A German version of a brief summary of the work appeared in 1613.

309 11. (p. 67)—The term Norembega, variously spelled, was applied indifferently to the entire range of Acadian and New England coast; but apparently the Penobscot is here meant. See Winsor's N. and C. Hist., vol. iv., index; Documentary History of State of Maine, vol. ii., pp. lii., liii.; Prince Society's ed. of Champlain, memoir and index. The claim is made for Bangor, Me., that it is on the site of an ancient town called Norumbega. Much information on this point is given in Maine Hist. Soc. Colls., vols. ii., iv., v., vii., viii., and ix. Sewall claims that the true form of Norumbegua is Arâmbec, and that it was the name of a city of the savages, situated near the head-waters of the Damariscotta, above Pemaquid.—Ancient Dominions of Maine, pp. 30-46. Horsford, in Discovery of the Ancient City of Norembega and Defences of Norembega (Boston, 1890 and 1891), claims, on slender evidence, that Watertown, Mass., occupies the site of an old town of that name founded by Norse vikings in 1000 A. D.

12. (p. 67)—Bay of Fundy; first shown on map of Diego Homem (1558); named by De Monts Grande Baye Française (shown on Lescarbot's chart of Port Royal); appears as Argal's Bay, on Alexander's map (1624); Golfo di S. Luize, on Dudley's (1647); Fundi Bay, on Moll's (1712); and Bay of Fundy, or Argal, on that of the English and French Commissioners (1755). Bourinot (Canad. Mo., vol. vii., p. 292) says that Fundy is a corruption of Fond de la Baie, as the lower part of the bay was called; he follows here Ferland's suggestion, in Cours d'Histoire du Canada (Quebec, 1861), vol. i., p. 65.

13. (p. 67)—The son of Pontgravé, who, according to Parkman (Pioneers, p. 290) had exasperated the Indians by an outrage on one of their women, and had fled to the woods.

14. (p. 69)—Palourdes is Breton for a kind of shellfish.

15. (p. 73)—The Souriquois, or Micmacs, of Nova Scotia. Champlain's map of 1632 places them east of Port Royal.

16. (p. 73)—Raphael Maffei, Maffeus Volaterranus, or Raffaello Volterrano, savant and historian; born in Volterra 1451, died 1521 or 1522. Harrisse (Bib. Amer. Vet., p. 88) gives a catalogue of his works, and says, "The Commentary of Maffei has a peculiar interest from the fact that it preceded the publication of Peter Martyr's Decades" (1511-46).

Laverdière (Champlain, p. 70, note) says that sagamo is a Montagnais word; and he cites Laflèche as deriving it from tchi and okimau, meaning "great chief."

17. (p. 73)—Berosus (325-255 B. C., circa), a Chaldean priest, astrologer, and historian. His best known work is the Babylonica, a history of Babylonia; its remaining fragments have been reproduced 310by several European writers, especially in Richter's Berosi Chald. Historiæ quae supersunt (Leipsic, 1825).

18. (p. 75)—The Tolosains were a tribe of the Volcæ of Gaul. Another tribe of the Volcæ were the Tectosages—so called from their sagum (frock or cloak).

19. (p. 75)—Membertou was chief of all the Micmac groups from Gaspé to Cape Sable. Champlain writes, that he was "a friendly savage, although he had the name of being the worst and most traitorous man of his tribe." Lescarbot called him "the chef d'œuvre of Christian piety," and Biard had strong faith in him. He claimed to remember the first visit of Cartier (1534).

20. (p. 77)—Biard, six years later, complains bitterly of this overhaste in baptizing, declaring that these savages, when he went among them in 1611, did not know the first principles of the Faith, and had even forgotten their Christian names.

21. (p. 81)—In the original edition, pp. 25 and 26, apparently through an error in make-up, are verbal repetitions of the two preceding pages. This duplication has been omitted in the present edition.

22. (p. 105)—Marked changes occurred in the population of the St. Lawrence valley, between the visits of Cartier (1535) and Champlain (1603). Morgan, in League of the Iroquois (Rochester, 1851), p. 5, maintains the correctness of a tradition that the aborigines whom Cartier found at Hochelaga were Iroquois, and that they then were subject to the Algonkins, whom Champlain found in possession of the valley. Cf. Parkman's Pioneers, p. 208, and Schoolcraft's Hist. of Indian Tribes of the U. S., vol. vi., pp. 33, 188. For further treatment of the migrations of the Iroquois, see Introduction to Hale's Iroquois Book of Rites (Phila., 1883), and Faillon's Col. Fr., vol. i., pp. 524, et seq.

23. (p. 107)—Tabagie. A feast described fully in one of the later Relations.

24. (p. 107)—This easy victory of the French and Algonkins over the Iroquois (July 29, 1609), on the western shores of Lake Champlain, cost New France dearly, as it secured for the struggling colony the deadly enmity of the most warlike savages on the continent, for nearly a century and a half. It was impossible for New France to make permanent headway when sapped by such an enemy. Slafter's exhaustive notes to Champlain's Voyages (Prince Soc.), vol. i., p. 91, and vol. ii., p. 223, make it clear that the site of this momentous skirmish was Ticonderoga.

25. (p. 109)—Jessé Fléché, a secular priest from the diocese of Langres, was invited by Poutrincourt to accompany the first colony to Acadia. The papal nuncio gave him authority to absolve in all 311cases, except those reserved to the pope.—Faillon's Col. Fr., vol. i., p. 99. Poutrincourt evidently meant to Christianize Acadia without the aid of the Jesuits. The wholesale baptism of savages by Fléché, before the arrival of Biard and Massé, was, according to Faillon (Ibid., vol. i., p. 100), condemned as a profanation by good Catholics, "tous les théologiens, and notamment la Sorbonne."—Cf. also note 19, ante, and Sagard's Histoire du Canada, p. 97. He had been at Port Royal nearly a year before the arrival of the Jesuits. The name is variously spelled: Fleche, Fléche, Flèche, Fléché, Flesche, Fleuchy, and Fleuche; see Sulte's Poutrincourt en Acadie, p. 38. See Bourinot's picturesque description of the baptismal scene, in Can. Royal Soc. Trans., sec. ii, p. 73. Fléché was much esteemed by the Micmacs; his nickname, "Le Patriarch," is still current among them corrupted into "Patliasse," as the name for a priest.—See Ferland's Cours d'Histoire (Quebec, 1861), vol. i, p. 80.

26. (p. 127)—The four letters here given (Biard, Jan. 21, June 10, and June 11, 1611; and Massé, June 11, 1611) are from Carayon's Première Mission des Jésuites au Canada: Lettres et Documents Inédits (Paris, 1864). All of the documents in Carayon's collection will be published in this series, in chronological order, with that Editor's valuable footnotes.

Auguste Carayon, S. J., a leading authority upon the history of his order in New France, was born in Saumur, France, 1813, and died in Poitiers, 1874. His principal works were: Bibliographie historique de la Compagnie de Jésus; Catalogue des ouvrages relatifs à l'histoire des Jésuites depuis leur origine jusqu'à nos jours (Paris, 1864); Documents inédits concernant la Compagnie de Jésus (Poitiers, 1863-1875, 18 vols.); Première Mission des Jésuites au Canada (Paris, 1864); Bannissement des Jésuites de la Louisiane (Paris, 1865); Établissement de la Compagnie de Jésus à Brest, par Louis XIV. (1865); Prisons du Marquis de Pombal, ministre du Portugal, journal de 1759 à 1777 (1865); Notes historiques sur les parlements et les Jésuites au dix-huitième siécle (1867). Carayon also edited numerous important historical works, between 1864 and 1871.

27. (p. 127)—Pierre Biard, S. J., writer of several of the early Acadian Relations, was born at Grenoble, France, 1567, and died at Avignon, November 17, 1622. In 1608, he was called from a chair of scholastic theology and Hebrew, in Lyons, by Father Coton, the King's confessor and preacher, to take charge of the Jesuit mission in Acadia. His several accounts of the colony, with the part taken by himself in notable episodes, do not always agree with the version of Lescarbot. See Parkman's Pioneers, part ii., 312chaps, v.-viii.; also, R. P. Felix Martin's Life of R. P. Pierre Biard, S. J. (Montreal, 1890).

28. (p. 127)—Claude Aquaviva, S. J., born 1544; elected general of the Society of Jesus, 1581; died, 1615; a Neapolitan nobleman; chamberlain of the Court of Rome; fifth general of the order, and ranked by some historians as its ablest legislator and second founder. See Nicolini's History of the Jesuits, pp. 210, 257.

29. (p. 127)—Fathers Biard and Massé sailed January 26.

30. (p. 129)—Brother-coadjutor. The six classes of the order of Jesuits were: (1) novices, (2) lay-brothers, (3) scholars, (4) coadjutors, (5) Jesuits of the Third Order, and (6) Jesuits of the Fourth Order. See Thomas D'Arcy McGee's Lecture on the Jesuits.

31. (p. 133)—Biencourt and Robin de Coulogne, not having means to equip and provision the vessel which was to convey Biard and Massé to Port Royal, made an arrangement with Dujardin and Duquesne, two merchants of Dieppe, by which the latter undertook to furnish the equipment and supplies in consideration of being admitted as partners in Poutrincourt's fur-trading and cod-fishing enterprise. Concerning this Contract d'Association des Jésuites au Trafique du Canada, made January 20, 1611, see Parkman's Pioneers, p. 288, note. Cf. also, Rochemonteix's Jésuites, vol. i., p. 32. These partners, being Huguenots, objected to the shipment of the Jesuits, but finally sold their interests for 2,800 livres to Madame de Guercheville, whose part in this expedition is related in note 33, post. See Biard's succeeding letter, for fuller details of this adventure.

32. (p. 133)—Formal order of the Queen. October 7, 1610, the young King, Louis XIII., wrote from Monceaux to Baron de Poutrincourt: "Monsieur de Poutrincourt, as Father Pierre Biard and Father Ennemond Massé, religious of the Society of Jesus, are being sent over to New France to celebrate the divine services of the church and to preach the Gospel to the people of that country, I wish to hereby recommend them to you, that you may, upon all occasions, assist and protect them in the exercise of their noble and holy calling, assuring you that I shall consider it a great service."

The Queen Mother also wrote: "Monsieur de Poutrincourt, now that the good Jesuit Fathers are about to try, under the authority of the King, my son, to establish our faith over there, I hereby request you to give them, for the success of this good work, all the courtesy and assistance in your power, as a service very near our heart, and very acceptable to us, praying God, Monsieur de Poutrincourt, to keep you under his holy and watchful care."—David Asseline's Antiquities and Chronicles of the City of Dieppe 313(Dieppe, 1874; 2 vols.) The letters are reproduced in Faillon's Col. Fr., vol. i., p. 102.

33. (p. 135)—Antoinette de Pons, Marquise de Guercheville, patroness of Jesuit missions in New France, was lady of honor to Marie de Médicis, and accounted one of the most beautiful and zealously religions women of her time. Taking up the defence of the Jesuits against Poutrincourt, she not only bought the ship in which to transport them to America, but the cargo and the royal patent of De Monts, thus succeeding the latter as proprietor of all Acadia, excepting Port Royal, which still remained in Poutrincourt's possession. Concerning her rupture with De Monts, see Shea's Charlevoix, vol. i., p. 274. She resolved to plant a strictly Catholic colony at Pentagoet (site of Bangor, Me.), and sent out, under La Saussaye, some fifty settlers and three Jesuit missionaries (1613). Upon reaching Port Royal, they were joined by Biard and Massé, and thence proceeded to the eastern side of Mount Desert Island. For the location of their mission, St. Sauveur, see Parkman's Pioneers, p. 304, note. The descent of the English under Argall (1613), was the end of Madame de Guercheville's mission. See N. Y. Colonial Documents, vol. iii., pp. 1, 2, concerning reparation allowed her by the government of Great Britain for the loss of her vessel. Cf. Faillon's Col. Fr., vol. i., pp. 110-117; and Baird's Hug. Emig., vol. i., p. 103. Upon the queen regent's high regard for the Jesuits, see Col. Fr., vol. i., pp. 101, 102.

34. (p. 141)—Several of the old French coins were called écus. They date from the period of Charles VII.,—écus à la couronne, or crowns of gold, from the crown which formed the type of the reverse.—Prime's Coins, Medals, and Seals, p. 150. The écu of Louis XIV. is first given in Dye's Coin Encyclopedia, p. 621; value in United States currency, $1.10S. The early écu was equal to three francs; later, to about five.

35. (p. 141)—Viaticum. In Père de Ravignan's On the Existence and Institutions of the Jesuits (Paris, 1862), p. 190, note ii., mention is made of a custom in connection with the viaticum of missionaries, which was frequently observed at this time. The founders or benefactors of missions, in order to obtain with greater certainty and abundance the money which they intended for missionary work in distant lands, charged the merchants, who acted as agents, to sell the merchandise which they consigned to them, and to remit the price of it to the missionaries for their support. Thus Madame de Guercheville furnished considerable money to Biencourt to invest in the fish and fur trade, which he was about to undertake, with the sole condition that, for her share, he should support 314the missionaries. See Rochemonteix's Jésuites, vol. i., pp. 35-36, note.

36. (p. 141)—The Marchioness de Verneuil furnished their chapel, Madame de Sourdis their vestments and linen, and Madame de Guercheville provided other necessaries.—Annuæ Litteræ S. J., an. 1612, p. 570.

Madame de Verneuil founded a convent of Annunciades, and gave her declining years to religion. She died at Paris, 1633, aged 54.

37. (p. 143)—In his Relation of 1616, chap, xi., Biard says: "Thomas Robin de Coulogne enjoyed a modest fortune; he had often heard about New France from the Dieppe merchants, and had wished to mingle in this colonization movement. What Baron de Poutrincourt told him about the attempts made at Port Royal pleased him greatly, and he promised to assist him."

The names of Monsieur de Coullogne (Coulogne) and of Madame de Sigogne (Sicoine) appear in Fléché's list of baptisms, ante. Other contemporary spellings of Coulogne are: Cologne, Coloigne, and Coloine.

38. (p. 147)—This is an interesting, and we believe a unique statement of Biard, that the islands off the Gulf of St. Lawrence were once called the "Azores of the Great Bank." The maps of many early cartographers and navigators represent Newfoundland as a group of islands, or a large island with a circlet of smaller ones, or "almost a single island."—See Winsor's N. and C. Hist., vol. i., pp. 74, 77, 79, 93, 379. As Newfoundland was the first land sighted by voyagers in New France, and as their last sight of land had been the Azores, the naming of the islands on the Great Bank the Azores is in keeping with their custom in this regard.

39. (p. 149)—Ennemond Massé, S. J., born at Lyons, 1574; died at Sillery, Canada, 1646; admitted to the Society of Jesus at the age of twenty, and assigned to a chair of theology in Lyons; in 1608, chosen by Father Coton to accompany Biard to Acadia. He was again sent to Canada in 1625, with Charles Lalemant, Jean de Brébeuf, and two lay brothers. During the English occupation of Canada (1629-32), he was in France, but returned with Brébeuf in 1633. Rochemonteix (Jésuites, vol. i., p. 24). says of him: "Of an impetuous and violent nature, he had all he could do to restrain it. But, by vigilance and perseverance, he conquered it so well that he no longer seemed to have any strong impulses or passions. Industrious, unwearying, of robust health, he was prepared for the hardships of a distant mission by a life of penitence and denial, frequently fasting, sleeping upon hard boards, accustoming his taste to everything, and his body to extreme cold and heat. Although innocent as a child, he led the life of a penitential anchorite; in 3151608, they made him an Associate to Father Coton, then confessor and preacher to the king. But this austere apostle preferred a life of privation and sacrifice to that of the court. He chose Canada." Bressani's Relatione, to be given post, describes the death of Massé, who was one of the most notable of the missionaries of New France. A monument to his memory has been erected at Sillery. There is a difference of usage in the matter of accenting his name: Charlevoix, Winsor, and Parkman do not use the accent; but Champlain, Biard, and Cretineau-Joly do, and Faillon (Col. Fr., vol. i., p. 101) gives authorities for this usage, which we have preferred to adopt.

40. (p. 151)—Bourinot (Canad. Mo., vol. vii., p. 292) says Canso is a Souriquois word meaning "facing the frowning cliff;" also, that "the strait was long called after the Sieur de Fronsac, one of the early gentlemen adventurers who held large estates in Acadia." It is shown as detroit de Fronsac on Chabert's map (1750); it is Camceau on Champlain's map of 1632; it sometimes appears as Campceau on old French documents; and is spelled both Canceaux and Canso in the official correspondence between France and England in the eighteenth century. In 1779, the fisheries of Canso were worth £50,000 a year to England. See Murdoch's History of Nova Scotia (Halifax, 1865-67), vol. ii, p. 597.

41. (p. 151)—Lescarbot states that they arrived at night, three hours after sunset.—Relation dernière (Bans, 1612), to be given post.

42. (p. 153)—Cap de la Hève, now known as Cape La Have, is the southern point of La Have Island, off New Dublin Bay, one of many indentations of the coast of the township of New Dublin, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia. The cape is a picturesque cliff or bluff rising 107 feet above tide level, and visible a long distance out to sea. When De Monts and Champlain left Havre de Grâce, France, in March, 1604, Cap de la Hève, in the suburb of St. Adresse, must have been the last land seen by them; as this cliff off New Dublin was probably the first sighted by them in La Cadie, it was natural that they should name it after the famous French landmark. There are evidences on La Have Island of an early French settlement, of which there appear to be no records; although it is known that Saussaye planted a cross there, May 16, 1613. De Laet, in describing Cadie (1633) says: "Near Cap de la Hève lies a port of the same name, 44° 5' north latitude, with safe anchorage."—See Des Brisay's Hist. of Co. of Lunenburg, N. S. (2d ed., Toronto, 1895), pp. 166 et seq. The Editor is also indebted to F. Blake Crofton, secretary of the Nova Scotia Historical Society, for information under this head.

316 43. (p. 163)—People from St. Malo, France. Spelled also by Biard, post, Malouines.

44. (p. 169)—Robert, the son of Pontgravé, who had escaped from custody, and had been in hiding in the forest. See Parkman's Pioneers, pp. 265, 290; also, Lescarbot's reference to him, ante.

45. (p. 181)—Referring to Queen Blanche of Castile (1187-1252), regent after the death of her husband, Louis VIII., during the absence of her son, Louis IX. (Saint Louis), in the Holy Land.

46. (p. 197)—Joseph Jouvency (also written Juvency, Jouvenci, and Jouvancy), Jesuit historian, an eminent litterateur of his time. Born in Paris, September 14, 1643; died at Rome, May 29, 1719. In 1659, he was admitted to the Society of Jesus, for many years filling the position of professor of rhetoric at La Flèche, and devoting much time to historical and classical research. After taking his vows in 1677, he was sent to Rome, as one of the staff of writers upon Historia Societatis Jesu.

47. (p. 197)—Count Ernest von Mansfeld, soldier of fortune, conspicuous in the Thirty Years War. Born, 1585; died, 1626, soon after his defeat by Wallenstein at the bridge of Dessau. His great army of mercenaries was, according to Motley (John of Barneveld, vol. ii., p. 32), "the earliest type, perhaps, of the horrible military vermin destined to feed so many years on the unfortunate dismembered carcass of Germany." Cf. Kohlrausch's History of Germany (Haas trans.), pp. 320, 326. Concerning the campaign of Louis XIII., against the Huguenots (1622), and Count von Mansfeld's part therein, see Kitchin's History of France, pp. 497, 498.

48. (p. 199)—Philip Alegambe, a Jesuit scholar (Flemish). Died in 1652, while superior of the house of his order at Rome. He was the leading writer upon Bibliotheca Scriptorum Societatis Jesu (1643).

49. (p. 219)—Seven Islands. A group at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River, near the northerly shore of the gulf.

50. (p. 219)—Chicoutimi River, rising in numerous small lakes near Lake St. John, pursues a picturesque course, frequently interrupted by rapids, eastward and northeastward into the Saguenay. At the junction, seventy-five miles above the mouth of the latter, is now the important lumber-shipping port of Chicoutimi, at whose wharves ocean-going vessels are laden. The old missionary district of that name included the rugged country lying south and southwest of Lake St. John.

51. (p. 221)—The French Jesuits definitely abandoned the Iroquois field in 1687, owing to the rising power of the English. In 1701, Bruyas was again on the ground, being joined the year following by De Lamberville, Garnier, and Le Valliant, and later by 317D'Hue and De Marieul. The entire party was driven out in 1708, and many of their Iroquois converts retired with them to the mission of Caughnawaga, near Montreal.

52. (p. 221)—The Iroquois Mission of St. Francis Xavier was founded in 1669 by Iroquois Christians,—emigrants from the "castles" of the Five Nations. The mission was finally removed to Sault St. Louis, on the St. Lawrence, and called Caughnawaga, from the Indian village of that name on the Mohawk, where had also been a Jesuit mission.

53. (p. 221)—Lake Michigan. Called Lac des Puants on Champlain's map of 1632, in reference to the Winnebago tribe (Puants) on Green Bay; in several of the Relations, and on Marquette's map (1674), it is styled Lac des Illinois, from the Illinois Indians upon its southern coast; Allouez calls it (1675) Lac St. Joseph, because of Fort and River St. Josephs on the southeast coast; Coronelli's map (1688) honors the Dauphin by calling the lake after him; Hennepin comes the nearest to modern usage, in his name, Michigonong.

54. (p. 221)—Lake Huron, which has figured under many titles, in the old maps and chronicles. This name has reference to the Indian family upon its eastern shores. Champlain first named it La Mer Douce, ("The Fresh Sea"), and later Lac des Attigouantan, after the chief tribe of the Hurons; Sanson's map (1657) names it Karegnondi; Coronelli's map (1688) christens it Lac d'Orleans; Colden in one place gives it as Quatoghe, and in another as Caniatare. Lac des Hurons first appears in the map accompanying the Relation for 1670-71.

55. (p. 221)—The mission of St. Ignace was founded by Marquette, in 1670, on Point St. Ignace, on the mainland north of and opposite the Island of Michillimackinac (now shortened to Mackinaw or Mackinac, as fancy dictates). The term Michillimackinac, variously spelled, was applied by the earliest French not only to the island and straits of that name, but in general to the great peninsula lying north of the straits.

56. (p. 221)—The mission of Sault Ste. Marie, at the outlet of Lake Superior, was founded by Raimbault and Jogues in 1640. The place was always an important rallying-point for the natives, and naturally became the center of a wide-spreading fur trade, which lasted, under French, English, and American dominations in turn, until about 1840.

57. (p. 221)—The Western mission of St. Francis Xavier was founded by Allouez in 1669, at the first rapids in the Fox River (of Green Bay), on the east side of the river, in what is now the city of Depere, Wis. An important Indian village had from the earliest historic times been located there.

318 58. (p. 223)—Outaouaki = Ottawas; Puteatamis = Pottawattomies; Kikarous = Kickapoos; Outagamies = Foxes; Oumiamis = Miamis.

59. (p. 223)—Bayagoulas, one of the Louisiana missions, of which Father Paul du Ru, S. J., was in charge in 1700. Shea's Catholic Missions, p. 443.

60. (p. 227)—An anonymous writer in The Catholic World, (vol. xii., p. 629) makes the statement that Quentin and Du Thet were sent out to replace Biard and Massé "if they had perished; otherwise to return to France." Contemporary writers, however, speak of their coming as a reinforcement.

61. (p. 227)—On what came to be known as Frenchman's Bay, on the east side of the island of Mount Desert. Parkman says (Pioneers, ed. 1865, p. 276, note): "Probably all of Frenchman's Bay was included under the name of the Harbor of St. Sauveur. The landing-place so called seems to have been near the entrance of the bay, certainly south of Bar Harbor. The Indian name of the Island of Mount Desert was Penetic. Its present name was given by Champlain."

62. (p. 227)—The "Jonas," conspicuous in the annals of Acadia from the time in which Poutrincourt and Lescarbot sailed in her for Port Royal, in 1606, to her capture by Argall in 1613. Parkman aptly calls her "the 'Mayflower' of the Jesuits."

63. (p. 229)—Samuel Argall, born in Bristol, England, 1572; died, 1639. See Cooke's Virginia (Amer. Commonwealths ser.), pp. 111-113, for a fair estimate of this tempestuous character. Folsom's "Expedition of Captain Samuel Argal," to N. Y. Hist. Colls. (new ser.); vol. i., pp. 333-342, goes over that ground quite completely.

64. (p. 231)—Sir Thomas Dale, the predecessor of Argall as governor of Virginia; he was in the service of the Low Countries, 1588-95, and 1606-10; in 1611, he entered the service of the Virginia Company, where he remained five years as governor of the colony; and in 1619 he died at Masulipatam, while in command of an expedition to the East Indies.

65. (p. 233)—The charge was freely made at the time, that Biard and Massé, incensed at Biencourt, who had been unkind to them, piloted Argall to Port Royal. Poutrincourt and Lescarbot, disliking the Jesuits, naturally believed it, and the former addressed the French admiralty court on the subject, under the date of July 18, 1614.—See Lescarbot's Nouv. France, book v., chap. 14. Champlain discredited the charge, saying that Argall compelled an Indian to serve as pilot. Cf. Parkman's Pioneers, pp. 313 et seq., and Biard's own statements, post (Letter to T.-R. Général, May 6, 1614; and Relation of 1616).

319 66. (p. 233)—Argall's lieutenant, in command of the captured "Jonas." According to Parkman (Pioneers, p. 318), he was "an officer of merit, a scholar, and linguist," treating his prisoners with kindness.

67. (p. 251)—Reference is here made to Lake Champlain, the Mer des Iroquois and Lacus Irocoisiensis of the early French cartographers. Richelieu River was at first styled Rivière des Iroquois. In a letter of John Winthrop to Lord Arlington, dated Boston, Oct. 25, 1666, Lake Champlain is referred to as Lake Hiracoies.—N. Y. Colon. Docs., iii., p. 138. See also, Palmer's History of Lake Champlain (Albany, 1866), pp. 12, 13; and Blaeu's maps of 1662 and 1685, in Winsor's N. and C. Hist., vol. iv., p. 391.

68. (p. 253)—The gar-pike (Lepidosteus osseus). A picture of this "armored fish" is given in Creuxius's Historia Canadensis (Paris, 1664), p. 50.

69. (p. 253)—Jouvency plainly refers to what is still known as Bird Island, of Bird Rocks, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, N. W. of Cabot Strait. Authorities disagree in locating the Bird Island of Cartier's first voyage. See Hakluyt's Voyages (Goldsmid ed.), vol. xiii., pt. i, p. 78; Shea's Charlevoix, vol. i., p. 112, note; both indicating that what is now called Funk Island, off the eastern coast of Newfoundland, was the Bird Island of Cartier. Kingsford, in History of Canada (Toronto, 1887), vol. i., p. 3, identifies it, however, with the present Bird Island of the Gulf. Champlain's map of 1613 has a Bird Island near the mouth of the Bay of Fundy. Anspach, in History of Newfoundland (London, 1819), p. 317, says: "Fogo Island [N. W. of Cape Freels] is described in the old maps by the name of Aves, or Birds' Island."

70. (p. 269)—The Montagnais, a wretched tribe of nomads, were, at this time, chiefly centered upon the banks of the Saguenay River.

71. (p. 281)—Venus mercenaria, the round clam, or quahaug.



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Transcriber's Note.

Variable spelling and hyphenation have been retained. Minor punctuation inconsistencies have been silently repaired.


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