Island and the eastern part of New Brunswick, from the
expulsion, 1755, to the death of Bishop Burke, 1820.
With the exception of the two first, the year opposite their
names is that of their arrival.
1755 Abbe Maillard and Desenclaves.
1768 Rev. M. Bailly.
1772 Rev. M. McDonald, P. E. Island.
1773 Pere De La Brosse, S.J.
1775 Rev. Joseph Mathurin Bourg. As a boy of ten years he was one of the
1785 Rev. Father Jones.
1786 Rev. M. Leroux and Rev. Wm. Phelan.
1787 Rev. M. Power.
1789 Rev. Mr. Grace.
1790 Revs. Laurence Whelan and Aeneas McEachan.
1791 Rev. James McDonald.
1792 Rev. M. M. Lejamtel and Allain.
1799 Abbe Sigogne, De Calonne, Pichard, or sometimes written Pilchart,
Rev. Edmund Burke (not Bishop Burke), and Rev. M. Champion.
1801 Rev. Edmund Burke, afterwards Bishop.
1802 Revs. Alexander McDonell and James Austin McDonald.
1803 Rev. M, Ciquard He had previously laboured along the St. John
River, and at Madawaska.
1810 Rev. M. Dufresne.
1811 Rev. Alexander McDonnell.
1812 Rev. M.M. Beaubien and Brodeur. The former was the first priest
sent by Quebec to P. E. Island in fifty-seven years.
1814 Rev. M. Mignault.
1815 Rev. M, Gaulin and Pere Vincent, who eventually founded the Trap-
pist Monastery at Tracadie, N. S., and M. Manseau.
1816 Rev. Paul McQuade at St. John.
1817 Revs. Ph. Larrissey, Le P'rancois (for six months), Andre Doucet and
1818 Revs. Colin Grant, Jos. E. Cecile and Antoine Gagnon.
1819 Revs. Thomas Rice, Denis Geary, and James Grant, ordained by
Bishop Burke, Rev. M. M. Molland and Madran.
1820 Revs. James Dunphy and John Carroll, ordained by Bishop Burke.
A Rev. Mr. Fitzgerald was in Halifax for six months in the early
years of the century ; but was only waiting for a passage to St,
(Translation of a letter written from Port Royal, 1618, by Biencourt, son of
Poutrincourt, who now signs himself Poutrincourt, as successor of his deceased
** To the Authorities of the City of Paris.
" PORT ROYAL, NEW FRANCE,
" ist September, 1618.
"As it is so ordered that human society is sustained by mutual aid, I
have thought it would be a pleasing service were I to give you an account of
an affair which is of great importance to the interests of your city, which, as is
well known, is supported for a good part of the year out of the abundance of
this country. My late father, Monsieur de Poutrincourt, and myself, have,
during the last fourteen years, done our best to be useful to France in this respect,
and to plant here the French name and together with it the name of God.*
" Years ago all these people (the Indians) were disposed to receive Holy
Baptism, when the sad death of my late sire and father, killed in a cowardly
manner in the service of the king at the siege of Meri-sur-Seine, three years
ago, gave a check to the work begun. But whilst this is most regrettable, we
have also to regret that little by little the French name will disappear in these
parts unless prompt measures be taken ; and for your supply of codfish (the
great manna of your city and of Europe which this country naturally affords)
you will be made dependent on the will of the English, who treat us in a
hostile manner here, and who have driven away the Jesuits, having taken them
captive with their luggage, burnt our houses, and this very summer captured a
ship from Dieppe. In the meantime they are forming strong colonies in
Virginia and Bermuda, whither they send some colonists every year, and lately
a fleet from England, with five hundred men and a number of women, passed
this way, and took in a supply of wood and water in my neighbourhood.
There is a special Council (or department) for Virginia, and schools in London
for the instruction of the natives, and they (the natives) promise the English
that when they shall have all the country over there, they can easily have this
* There had been no break, therefore, in the history of the colony, and
France had been yearly receiving great supplies of fish from its shores.
* The knowledge here displayed by Biencourt of the acts and intentions of
the English, is something marvellous, in one living for the past fourteen years
in New France, and must win for him the admiration of all generous spirits. It
proves also the continuous intercourse between Port Royal and other parts.
<c This is not a matter to be despised ; you are the fathers of the people and
you must not allow the bread to be snatched from their hands. The designs
of the English must be frustrated, now that we perceive them, and we should
endeavour to have this country peopled by the French and fortified by two or
three forts along the coast for their security, and to protect the right of fishing
here, which is worth a million in gold every year to France. A small outlay
will suffice for this, gentlemen ; there will be need of two or three ships going
to and fro which will carry gratuitously those who may wish to come hither,
and a small sum for the sustenance of the poorer for a time, as it will be necessary
to'make this first outlay, by means of which you can send hither the healthy poor,
andjrelieve many families burthened with numerous offspring, and place in easy
circumstances many who now suffer in silence and who are ashamed to make known
their wants ; for if barbarous tribes can live here, why shall not those live to
whom God has given a knowledge of so many industries and ^ho will have
France near to supply them with the necessaries for those industries and for
" The land here, gentlemen, is good for cultivation ; game and wild animals
abound, and fish are very plentiful, and I would not exchange this land for
Peru if it were only properly settled.
"Make, then, gentlemen, this small outlay, and have the glory of having
planted here the name of God and of being the first to colonize this country,
and make use of us as much as you can. We have explored all these coasts
at the risk of our lives ; they are all known to us, and we understand and
speak the language of the natives,
" Will you permit for such trifles the French name to be dishonoured in all
this land ? You who have a ship on your shield (referring to the arms of the
the city of Paris) as a reminder of the naval victories of your ancestors, will
you tarnish that glory and refuse to aid and encourage commerce with New
France, which will repay one day the outlay with abundant usury, for besides
the great manna of the fisheries its woods and meadows will be filled bye and
bye, and will supply you with abundance of leather, fat, meat, and butter and
cheese lor the benefit of your people ; moreover, the woods here will supply
you with ships, charcoal, and building material which you now import from
Sweden and Denmark, by a longer and more dangerous voyage than that
from this place .
" I would have many more things to say on this point, gentlemen, which I
omit, not wishing to weary you, and shall only say that if this country has
been hitherto despised, it was through ignorance and by the malice of traders.
" People say, it is a long time since we heard talk of Canada, and we have not
yet profited by it. I answer, we have been left a long time unassisted, and
it is easy to criticise in the midst of idleness or seated at ease in your chair.
" I shall only call again your attention to the English, leaving you to reflect
on their designs, and I pray God, gentlemen, to give you an increase of ali
" Your very humble servant,
Extract from a letter of Bishop Saint Vallier, in which he gives* an-
account to a friend, of his first visit to New France, when only
As I was obliged to visit as much as possible, all the French settlements of
Acadia, to learn for myself the state of this new colony, I called at Richibuc-
tou, Shediac (Chediak), Isle Saint Jean (P. E. I.), which struck me as being
most beautiful. Cape Louis, Little Canso, Fronsac and Chedaboucton, where
I wished to remain a little time to inspect the fishing station, established there
about two years previously by a French company, which receiving aid and
succour from the king, will be able, in the future, to repay with interest the
advances made, provided that there be sent thither every year some inhabi-
tants, especially fishermen ; and that they be provided with boots and nets,
and allowing them after a time to fish on their own account, they will be
able, with a little assistance, after a few years, to begin the clearing of the
land. The commandant of the fort is Monsieur de la Boullaye, lieutenant of
the King for the province, an honourable man and deeply interested in the
success of the company ; there are fifty Frenchmen engaged in the fishing
industry, whom two Fathers, of the order of Penitentiaries, of the Province of
Normandy, carefully instruct in their religion. These good religious men say
Mass every day, and diligently fulfil their pastoral duties.
A company of soldiers, some of whom should be fishermen, and others
labourers and artisans, would, in my opinion, do wonders in that place.
In going from there to Beau Bassin, we had to suffer considerably, especially
the last three days during a portage of the prairie, on which the heat of the
season exposed us to the irritating bites of the mosquitoes ; it appeared to me
that this experience was necessary to enable us to sympathize with the poor
people, who, during that season, are exposed to the relentless persecution of
those little pests whilst working in the woods or fields.
Mand. Queb., Vol. I.
The situation of Beau Bassin is charming ; it is watered by several fairly large
rivers, which, after having formed five islands, fall into a cove about five or
six leagues in circumference, which forms one of the most beautiful natural
harbours of the world. The entrance of this harbour, although only half a
league wide, nevertheless is not dangerous, and it serves as a connection with
the Baie Francaise (Bay of Fundy), which is said to have a coast-line of at
least two hundred leagues. There are one hundred and fifty souls in this
settlement, without counting three families of Christian Indians who are living
there and growing Indian corn. About ten years ago the- first Frenchmen
came to this place from Port Royal : in the beginning they were obliged to live
chiefly on herbs : afterwards they had great difficulty in growing wheat,
because the fertile land was'inundated by the tide, and to prevent this it was
necessary to build dikes, at great labour and expense. At present they are in
more easy circumstances, R and as there is an abundance of pasturage in the
vicinity, they have let loose a number of cows and other animals which they
brought from Sable Island, where the late Commandant de Rasilly, having
formerly left them, they had become almost wild, and could only be approached
with difficulty ; but they are becoming tame little by little, and are of great
advantage to each family, who can easily have a good number of them. At
present they grow a little grain and work at the fishing, both that of salmon
in the bay, as well as codfish, which are only sixty leagues distant. If a
vessel from France could bring them every year cloths and other little com-
modities, it would find a return cargo of wood, boards and dried salmon.
The English, to whom they applied in their want, gave them but little help,
and necessity drove them to make for themselves some coarse linen and other
cloths : but they cannot manufacture sufficient for all their wants.
Their spiritual wants had been attended to up to that time by a Recollet
Father, but he having been called to Quebec to become the Superior of their
House, I gave them, as they desired it, a priest, who should be their pastor.
They deserve to be looked after ; they are very good people, who fear God, lire
in peace, and who would be altogether irreproachable if they had been more
reserved in their traffic of liquor with the Indians. They listened to my
advice on this point with much docility, and they nearly all performed their
devotions with a great appearance of piety. Their Chapel is small ; the roof
is thatched ; the walls of the building cannot last long, so it is necessary to
think about constructing another, as well as a house for the priest ; a cemetery
should be procured near by, for the one now in use is too distant ; moreover
it is necessary to cross a river to reach it. God will provide, if it be pleasing
to Him, for all these wants.
From thence I passed on to the Mines ; this settlement was so called on.
account of the proximity of a ridge, where according to all appearances, tflere-
is a mine of copper, which was pointed out to us as we passed along. The
inhabitants are young men, well built, and hard working, who left Port Royal
like those of Beau Bassin, whose example they followed in draining their
marshes. I spent a day there to satisfy their devotion ; I was engaged in the
morning in giving instructions and hearing confessions, and in giving them
Communion at my mass ; and in the afternoon in baptising some children and
in settling some differences which had arisen between them,
They urged me, when leaving, to give them a priest, and they promised me
not only to support him, but also to build a church and a parochial house on
an island belonging to one of them, who offered it to me for that purpose, in
whole or in part, according as might be required.
In our journey to Port Royal, after nine days of a disagreeable passage,
during which we scarcely slept, and thought we should be lost, our provisions
ran short, on the feast of St. James (July 25th), and we, not being inclined to
.go back ten leagues, were obliged to disembark and take the road through
the woods which led to the Fort. Monsieur de Villebon, commander of the
place in the absence of the Governor, received me with military honours, and
.showed me all possible attention. My principal pleasure was to see on the
feast of St. Anne the fervour with which the greater part received the sacra-
ments. They listened very attentively to the word of God, and they appeared
to me sincerely disposed, notwithstanding it was against their interest, to lessen
their traffic in liquor with the Indians if it should be judged necessary, even
-conjuring me to obtain new regulations on this point and to help to execute
those which the king had already promulgated in all the colony, so as not to
retard the conversion of so many Indians, who it would appear would be-
come perfect Christians were it not for this one obstacle.
The Church is fairly pretty and reasonably well provided with all requisites.
I have placed there a second ecclesiastic to assist the pastor who could not
attend to all, and who having heard of my arrival in Quebec, gave me by antici-
pation a statement of everything in a letter, dated 22nd October, 1685, in the
following words :
"This settlement, he says, is composed of about eighty families, amounting to
at least six hundred souls, a people naturally gentle and inclined to piety ;
neither swearing nor debauchery nor drunkness is known amongst them. Al-
though they are scattered along the river for a distance of four or five leagues,
they come in crowds to the church on Sundays and holidays and frequently
receive the Sacraments. God forbid that I should attribute their piety to my
feeble care, I found them such on my arrival ; and nevertheless they had been
without priests for fifteen or sixteen years under the domination of the English ;
I must render this glory to God, and this justice to them. I have with me a
man gifted with virtue and talent for the instruction of youth : living with me
he teaches with good results, a school for boys in my house ; I myself teach
the catechism to the girls in the church. This man is the only one to whom
I can open my heart about holy things, not having in the neighborhood any-
other spiritual succour during the nine years that I have been without a com-
panion, without counsel in the midst of a thousand difficulties which may readi-
ly come to a person, who like me, has passed the greater part of his life in a
state so different from that in which I now am,* and who am warned by my bodily
infirmities to prepare myself for death. This I confess is my greatest cross not
having anything except satisfaction in regard to my dear parishioners who have
too much kindness and consideration for me Your predecessor, my Lord,
sent Monsieur Thury here to console me, he has retraced his steps to give an
account of his apostolic mission ; he can give you in one interview a better
account of our state than I could by the longest of letters ; be pleased then to
grant him an audience quickly, and send him back to us without delay with
another priest if possible who could go not only to visit several poor families, who
have settled about sixteen leagues from here, where they are almost abandoned,
neither Father Claude nor myself being able to visit them ; but who would go
thirty or iorty leagues distant to Cape Sable, to the St John River and other
circumjacent places along this coast where there are no missionaries. Monsieur
de Saint Castin asks for a priest for Pentagoet where he usually resides with
the Indians who are desirous of being instructed . This gentlemen has need
himself of spiritual aid to keep him in the right path. He came to this country
at the age of fifteen years as an ensign of Monsieur de Chamblay ; and having
been obliged at the taking of Pentagoet to seek safety in the woods with the
Indians, he has been constrained to accomodate himself to their manner of
life. He is natnrally of a good disposition, and deserves to be helped; we
here are under many obligations to him ; as he is in good circumstances and is
generous, he frequently gives large alms to our Church, which without his assist-
ance, and the legacy of another private individual, would be much poorer than
it is ; I never enter it without remembering him, and when he comes to see me,
which is usually twice a year, he is delighted to assist at our Sunday service
which is carried out with all the decorum which is possible for us to observe .
On these days we always^sing a High Mass, at which I give a simple instruction
according to my poor ability and adapted to the capacity of my audience. At two
o'clock we sing Vespers, which is followed by Benediction of the most Holy
Sacrament and a lesson in catechism to the girls. When I came here I knew
very little of plain chant, we had not even the books of the choir ; but as they
sent us some books from Paris this year, and as I practised frequently with
some of the young men, we are able to sing a little, the Psalmody will improve
litte by little. To supply the place of clerics we have ten or a dozen young
boys who assist us in the singing and in the ceremonies like choirists, in red cas-
socks and surplices ; and it seems to me if we had another priest all would go
He had been an officer in the army.
well. I know, my Lord, that this would entail an increased expenditure, and
that the Seminary of Quebec, which, up to the present has spent a great deal,
might not be in a position to add this to the other expenses ; but when you
return to France perhaps you will find at the Court or elsewhere some special
fund to forward so good a work ; it is enough for me to make known in all humi-
lity my views, and then leave the rest to your zeal."
It was thus that this virtuous ecclesiastic wrote me from which you can
judge how great is his consolation at present. I had sent him the Rev. Mr.
Thury, whom he requested for the Mission de la Croix, and I brought with
me, as I have already said, another priest to assist him at Port Royal. The
service will be better performed and the ceremonies will be proportionally
the same as in Quebec ; during the winter they will more easily be able to
baptize the children in houses distant from the Church, where now laymen too
readily baptize them, and they will be able to attend more easily to the in-
struction of the young, who up to the present have been well cared for. I
saw with pleasure that a good sister, whom I had sent hither from Quebec,
had already done much good for the women and girls ; her house will be
henceforth a centre for the one and the other ; she will teach some to read, to
write, and to work ; she will be able to take boarders, and may find amongst
their number those who would be able to succeed herself, and she perhaps
may even make of it a nursery for school mistresses to supply the whole coun-
try. Would to God that I may have the happiness to see this as soon as possi-
ble, and to be able to have side by side with it a small community of ecclesi-
astics who might supply pastors and missionaries for the places around about,
and to be able to send them in search of the Indians, even in the colonies
subject to England.
This was the wish that I formed before leaving Port Royal to retrace my
way to Beau Bassin. Here all the people received the sacraments again, when
I finished certain affairs which I had left incomplete. I called again at Mi-
ramichi ; instead of taking again the route by Restigouche and Matan for
Quebec, I took the one by Isle Percee, where I knew my presence would not
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