E Laveille.

The life of Father de Smet, S.J. (1801-1873) online

. (page 1 of 39)
Online LibraryE LaveilleThe life of Father de Smet, S.J. (1801-1873) → online text (page 1 of 39)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Columbia IBnt brorttp

tntfjcCitptfJfetagork

LIBRARY






e.




P. J. DE SMET, S.J.



THE LIFE OF
FATHER DE SMET,S.J,

(1801-1873)

By E. LAVEILLE, S.J.

i / >

Authorized Translation by Marian Lindsay
Introduction by Charles Coppens, S.J.

ILLUSTRATED




NEW YORK

P. J. KENEDY & SONS
1915



Wiilil WbBtoxt

Remy Lafort, S.T.D.

Censor



\ (s>- \ I C| (p O

Jmprimator

►J<John Cardinal Farley

Archbishop of N~ew York



$>ro $ nrk, Nowmbfr IB, 1915



Copyright, 1915, by P. J. Kenedy & Sons



CONTENTS

Introduction



CHAPTER I

CHILDHOOD — YOUTH — DEPARTURE FOR AMERICA
(l8oi-l82l)

Termonde — The Family — "Honest De Smet" — The Parish Priest of
Heusden — Peter's Birth — His Childhood — "Samson" — His First
Studies — Beirvelde, St. Nicolas, Alost, Mechlin — His Vocation — Father
Nerinckx — Young De Smet with Eight Companions Leaves Secretly
for America — His Brother Charles is Sent to Find Him — The Police of
King William — Arrival at Georgetown I

CHAPTER II

THE NOVITIATE — ARRIVAL OF THE JESUITS IN MISSOURI

(1821-1823)

The Jesuits in New France and Maryland — Bishop Carroll — Whitemarsh
— Father Van Quickenborne — Peter De Smet at the Novitiate — De-
parture for Missouri — "A Floating Monastery" — Florissant — Madam
Duchesne — " Samson," Architect and Carpenter — First Vows ... 24

CHAPTER III

THE SCHOLASTICATE — PRIESTHOOD — FIRST LABORS
(1823-1830)

Father Van Quickenborne at once Superior, Professor, Parish Priest at
Florissant, and Chaplain of the Sacred Heart Convent — Father De
Theux — Peter De Smet's Studies — Confidence Reposed in Him by His
Superiors — His Taste for Natural Science — The Priesthood — Joost De
Smet's Death — The Third Year — Beginning of Apostolic Work —
Florissant, St. Charles, etc. — The "Indian College" — The Plan for a
"Reduction" — Circumstances Preventing Its Accomplishment . . . 41

CHAPTER IV

THE ST. LOUIS COLLEGE — SOJOURN IN EUROPE

(1830-1837)

St. Louis, "the Queen of the West" — Building the College — Father De
Smet, Prefect, Professor of English, and Procurator — Rapid Growth —



iv CONTENTS

The College is Given the Title and Privileges of a University — Financial
Embarrassment — Father De Smet is Sent to Europe to Obtain Money —
His Health Requires a Change — A Visit to His Family, to Benefactors,
and to Mr. De Nef — A Financial Success — Father De Smet Wishes to Sail
— A Serious Illness Forces Him to Return to Belgium — He Obtains
Permission to Leave the Society — Services Rendered to the Nuns at
Termonde — The Foundation of the Carmelites at Alost — His Devotion
to the Missions — As Soon as His Health is Restored He Returns to
Missouri, and is Readmitted to the Society of Jesus 57



CHAPTER V

THE POTAWATOMI MISSION (1838-1839)

Progress Made by the Jesuits in Missouri — Father Van Quickenborne's
Apostolate to the Indians — His Death — Fathers De Smet and Verreydt
are Sent to Open a Mission for the Potawatomies at Council Bluffs —
First Journey on the Missouri — A Dinner at the Otoes — The Disposi-
tion of the Indians — Their Conversion will be "a Work of God" —
The Missionaries' First Successes — Loneliness and Privations — Father
De Smet Effects a Reconciliation between the Sioux and the Pota-
watomies — Whiskey — "What Could One Do with Two Thousand
Drunken Indians?" — Father De Smet's Journey to St. Louis — He is
Replaced at Council Bluffs by Father Christian Hoecken . ... 77

CHAPTER VI

THE FLATHEADS. FIRST JOURNEY TO THE ROCKY
MOUNTAINS (1840)

The Growing Prosperity of the United States — The Indian Situation —
Admirable Dispositions of the Flatheads — Old Ignatius — The Indians
Who Four Times Made a Three-thousand-mile Journey to Obtain the
Black Robes — Father De Smet is Sent to the Rocky Mountains to
Prepare the Foundation of a New Mission — How One Traveled in
1 840 Across the Prairies — A Meeting between Father De Smet and the
Flatheads — One of Napoleon's Grenadiers — A Sojourn in the Camp
of Big Face — The Missionary's Joys — On the Summit of the Rockies —
Sanctus Ignatius Patronus Montium — Father De Smet Leaves the
Flatheads — Dangers He Encountered in the Yellowstone — Triumphant
Reception by the Sioux — He Returns to St. Louis 96

CHAPTER VII

SECOND JOURNEY TO THE MOUNTAINS — ST. MARY'S MISSION

(1841-1842)

Father De Smet Returns to the Mountains with Fathers Point and Men-
garini — Difficulties of the Journey — A Cyclone on the Platte — Hail,
Majestic Rock!— Arrival at Fort Hall— The Bitter Root River-
Founding of St. Mary's Mission — A New Paraguay — The First Bap-
tisms — Solemnization of Marriages — The Blessed Virgin Appears to a
Child— The Order of the Day at the Mission— Fervor of the New



CONTENTS v

Christians — The Winter Hunt — The First Communion — Death of
Big Face 119

CHAPTER VIII

JOURNEYS TO FORT COLVILLE AND FORT VANCOUVER — THE

KALISPELS AND THE CCEUR D'ALENES FATHER

BLANCHET (1841-1842)

The Privations of the Missionaries — Father De Smet Goes to Fort Colville
to Get Provisions — The Kalispels — Baptism of Some Old Indians —
Messis quidem Multa, Operarii A utem Pauci — First Attempt at Farming
at St. Mary's — Journey to Fort Vancouver — The Cceur d'Alenes —
Father De Smet Sees Five of His Companions Drowned in the Columbia
— Oregon in 1840 — Fathers Blanchet and Demers — A Mission Must
Be Opened at Willamette — Father De Smet's Return to St. Louis — ■
On His Way Back He is Received by the Crows — Dominus Memor
Fuit Nostri, el Benedixit Nobis 136

CHAPTER IX

SECOND VOYAGE TO EUROPE (1843-1844)

Fathers De Vos and Adrian Hoecken are Sent to the Mountains — Father
De Smet and Daniel O'Connell — A National Meeting — Journey to
Rome — Father De Smet Received by the Pope — Gregory XVI Wishes
to Make Him a Bishop — New Missionaries — Sisters of Notre Dame —
From Antwerp to Vancouver around the Horn — A Seven Months'
Journey — Storms, Shortage of Food, Reefs 153

CHAPTER X

THE OREGON MISSIONS (1844-1846)

The Jesuits and Sisters of Notre Dame at Willamette — St. Francis Xavier's
Mission — Father De Smet, Organizer of the Missions — How He En-
couraged and Aided His Fellow-Missionaries — St. Ignatius' Mission at
the Kalispels; Father Adrian Hoecken — The Sacred Heart Mission at
the Cceur d'Alenes; Fathers Point and Joset — Louise Sighouin —
Visit to St. Mary's; Fathers Mengarini and Zerbinati — Jesuits' Success
at Willamette; Fathers Accolti, Ravalli, Vercruysse, and De Vos —
Father Nobili is Sent to New Caledonia — Father De Smet's Visit to the
Chaudieres, Flatbows, and Kootenais — The Missions of St. Paul,
Colville, St. Peter of the Lakes, St. Francis Regis, the Assumption, and
the Immaculate Heart of Mary — Father Ravalli Goes to Join Father
Hoecken at St. Ignatius' Mission — How Account for Father De
Smet's Success? — A Would-be Murderer who Became a Model
Neophyte 162

CHAPTER XI

THE QUEST OF THE BLACKFEET (1845-1846)

St. Mary's Mission Threatened — Father De Smet Goes in Search of the
Blackfeet to Induce Them to Make Peace — Autumn in the Rocky



vi CONTENTS

Mountains — Mirabilia opera Domini — Coming upon the Camp of the
Assiniboins — A Feast with the Indians — "Like a Fish on a Hook" —
Father De Smet Arrives at Rocky Mountain House — A Band of
Blackfeet Come to Join Him — The Dangerous Interpreter — The In-
accessible Tribe — The Missionary Decides to Pass the Winter at
Fort Edmonton — He Visits St. Anne's Mission — On a Sledge from
Saskatchewan to Athabasca— A Christian Who Had Not Seen a Priest
for Forty Years — Crossing the Mountains when the Snow Was Melting
—To Reduce His Weight Father De Smet Fasts for Thirty Days-
Descent of the Columbia — A Meeting with Father Nobili — Journey to
Vancouver and Willamette — The Grotesque Indian — Progress of the
Missions — Victory of the Flatheads over the Crows — The Impression
Produced on the Blackfeet — Father De Smet's Complete Success —
"Exaltation of the Holy Cross" — Father Point is Charged to Open a
Mission for the Blackfeet — Father De Smet's Return to St. Louis —
The Aricaras — The Sioux — The Missionary's Prodigious Labors —
Consoling Results 1 79

CHAPTER XII

THIRD VOYAGE TO EUROPE PUBLICATION OF THE "LET-
TERS" VISIT TO THE SIOUX (1847-1848)

Father De Smet Goes to Europe with Father Elet— The "Journeys to the
Rocky Mountains "and "The Missions of Oregon " — Interest Manifested
in the Works of Father De Smet — "Such a Book Revives Our Faith
in the Gospel of St. John"— The Revolution of 1848— Arrival in
America of the Jesuits Driven Out of Europe — Across the " Bad Lands"
—The Poncas— Father De Smet with the Sioux— The "Scalp Dance"
— The Daughter of Red Fish— Plans for a New Mission .... 202

CHAPTER XIII

FATHER DE SMET, ASSISTANT TO THE VICE-PROVINCIAL AND
PROCURATOR GENERAL OF MISSOURI (1849)

Father Van de Velde, Appointed Bishop of Chicago, is Replaced by
Father De Smet— The Missouri Vice-Province in 1849— Father De
Smet Socius— His Firmness— His Goodness— History of Watomika—
Father De Smet's Attachment to the Kansas Missions— St. Mary's
Mission to the Potawatomies— Fathers C. Hoecken, Duerinck, etc.—
St. Francis Hieronymo's Mission to the Osages— Fathers Schoenmakers
and Bax— A New Apostolic Vicariate— Bishop Miege— Father De
Smet as Procurator— His Capable Administration— His Efforts to
Obtain Money — Providence Comes to His Aid— Gratitude to Bene-
factors— "A Year of Accidents "—Father De Smet during the Cholera
and the Great Fire— St. Louis University Saved through the Inter-
cession of the Blessed Virgin 2I 3

CHAPTER XIV

THE FORT LARAMIE COUNCIL (1851)

Discovery of Gold in California— The White Invasion— The American
Government Invites the Tribes to a Conference in which Fathers De



CONTENTS vii

Smet and C.Hoecken are to Take Part — Cholera on Board the St.Ange
— Father De Smet's Serious Illness — Father Hoecken's Death — His
Health Hardly Reestablished, Father De Smet Visits the Indians
during an Epidemic of Smallpox — A Journey across the Wilderness —
The Highway to the Pacific — The Great Council — Points Submitted
for Deliberation — Father De Smet's Successful Efforts — An Era of
Peace for the Redskins — Return to St. Louis — Visit to St. Mary's
Mission 22 9

CHAPTER XV

THE YEARS OF TRIAL (1848-1855)
Father De Smet Ardently Desires to Again Take Up His Mission Work—
The Indians Petition Him to Come to Them— The Father General Dis-
approves of His Project — What Could Have Happened? — Complaints
Made Against Father De Smet by Some of His Assistants— His Reply —
New Complaints — Again Father De Smet is Justified — The Flathead
Mission Must Be Abandoned— The Father General Renders Justice to
Father De Smet's Zeal and Sincerity, but Does Not Deem It Prudent
to Open New Missions — The Missionary's Work Must Stand the
Test of Time — How it is Judged Fifty Years Later— Death of Father
Elet, Madam Duchesne, and Father Roothaan— " Why, My Soul,
Would You Escape the Cross?"— Father De Smet's Superiors Think
of Sending Him to Reside Permanently in One of the European Prov-
inces—His Letter to the Holland Provincial — He is Left in St. Louis —
He Pronounces His Solemn Vows— His Courageous Obedience Wins
for Him New and Greater Successes 239

CHAPTER XVI

progress made by catholicism in the united states

father de smet's apostolate in st. louis the

"know-nothings" (1849-1858)

Extraordinary Growth of Colonization — Progress of Catholicism — The
First Plenary Council of Baltimore — The Oxford Movement and Its
Effect in America — Eccleston, Brownson, Hecker — Success of the
Jesuits in St. Louis— Fathers Smarius, Damen, Weninger— Father
De Smet's Apostolate— The Emigrants— His Former Traveling Com-
panions — St. Anne's Church — The Direction of Souls— Protestant
Conversions — The Conversion of Randolph Benton — Attacks from
Enemies of the Church— Boernstein, Kossuth, Lola Montez— The
"Know-Nothings" — Attack upon Archbishop Bedini — "There is No
Other Country in the World where Honest Men Enjoy so Little Liberty"
—The Jesuits are Not Spared— Fathers Bapst and Nachon— End of
the Agitation which Served but to Strengthen Catholicism— Father
De Smet is Again Spoken of for the Episcopate— " My Heart is Always
with the Indians " 2 53

CHAPTER XVII

EXPEDITION AGAINST THE MORMONS PACIFICATION OF

OREGON CONDITION OF THE MISSIONS (1858-1859)

Father De Smet is Authorized by the Father General to Return to the
Missions— The Government Sends Troops Against the Mormons—



viii CONTENTS

Father De Smet is Appointed Chaplain of the Troops — The Oregon
Missions Prosper — Testimony of Protestants — The Arrival of the
Whites in the Far West — Their Treatment of the Indians — The Missions
are in Danger — St. Paul's at Fort Colville Must Be Abandoned for a
Time — The Uprising of the Tribes — Colonel Steptoe's Defeat — General
Harney, Sent to Subdue Oregon, Asks Father De Smet to Mediate —
Colonel Wright's Victory — Indians Conquered, but Not Reconciled —
Father De Smet Visits the Cceur d'Alenes and afterward the Other
Tribes — The Chiefs Accompany Him to Vancouver to Sign the Peace
Treaty — He Sees Signs of New Uprisings — General Harney Informs
the Secretary of War of the Plan of Father De Smet — Captain Pleason-
ton's Letter — State of the "Reductions" — Father Hoecken Founds St.
Peter's Mission for the Blackfeet — Father De Smet Returns to St. Louis
— He Has Traveled Fifteen Thousand Miles in One Year .... 268

CHAPTER XVIII

FAMILY INTERCOURSE JOURNEYS TO EUROPE (1853-1860)

" The Rule of St. Ignatius Does Not Forbid Us to Love Our Family " —
Father De Smet's Devotion to His Family — He Shared in All Their Joys
and Sorrows — Even His Letters Are an Apostolate — His Many Journeys
in Belgium — Death of His Brother Charles — Father De Smet's Con-
ferences — His Timidity — His Tales — Impressions of a Belgian Semin-
arian — Scenes on Board the Humboldt — Shipwreck — A Sunrise at
Sea — The Missionary Receives an Ovation upon His Return to St.
Louis 286

CHAPTER XIX

THE WAR OF SECESSION (1861-1S65)

Civil War in the United States — The Battle of Bull Run — Anarchy in
Missouri — Father De Smet's Trials — Father De Smet Secures a Subsidy
for the Indian Schools — Obtains Military Exemption for the Jesuits
— His Intercourse with Lincoln — A Dinner at the Belgian Legation — Pub-
lication of the "Western Missions and Missionaries" and the "New
Indian Sketches" — It is Said that Father De Smet Did Not Write the
"Letters" — He Addresses a Protest to the German Provincial — The
Sisters of St. Mary in America — The War Ends — Jesuit Chaplains —
Missions Given in the Large Cities — "The Church of These Fathers
Must Be the Church of Jesus Christ" — The Oath Required by the
State of Missouri — Catholicism Makes Great Progress 299

CHAPTER XX

A TOUR OF THE MISSIONS (1862-1863)

The Needs of the Missions — Father De Smet Sends Yearly Assistance to
the Oregon Missions — The Journey in 1862 — St. Peter's Mission —
The Journey in 1863 — "This Is the Black Robe Who Saved My Sister"
— Triumphal Journey through Oregon — The Fervor of the Cceur
d'Alenes — Sad Forebodings — Return Journey by California, Panama,
and New York— The Lost Returns— Father De Smet's Illness—
His Friends are Dying One by One — "I Have an Inner Conviction



CONTENTS ix

that My End is Approaching. Fiat voluntas Dei! " — Restoration to
Health 309

CHAPTER XXI

THE REVOLT OF THE SIOUX FATHER DE SMET'S JOURNEY

OF PACIFICATION (1864)

Initial Troubles between the Whites and the Indians — War against the
Redskins — Discovery of Gold Mines Long Known to Father De Smet —
The Reservations — One Hundred Thousand Indians Disappear within
Ten Years — The Uprising of the Sioux Tribes — The Minnesota Mas-
sacre — Generals Sibley and Sully are Sent to Subdue the Rebels —
Father De Smet's Journey — He Goes Up the Missouri as Far as Fort
Berthold — The Grosventres, Aricaras, and Mandans — Conference with
the Sioux — They Accept Terms of Peace — General Sully's Mistake —
Father De Smet Returns to St. Louis 318

CHAPTER XXII

SEVENTH JOURNEY TO EUROPE — LAST JOURNEY TO THE
MOUNTAINS (1865-1866)

A Bad Crossing — Father De Smet Assists in Rome at the Beatification
of Blessed Peter Canisius — Charles Rogier Manifests His Regard for
Father De Smet — He is Made a Knight of the Order of Leopold — Fare-
well to Belgium — Father De Smet Declines a Third Time the Honor
of the Episcopate — He Goes Up the Missouri as Far as Fort Benton
— He Confers Baptism on Hundreds of Children — The Yanktons —
Pananniapapi 331

CHAPTER XXIII

SECOND JOURNEY OF PACIFICATION (1867)

Age of Infirmities — The Whites Continue to Harass the Indians — The
Massacre of Six Hundred Cheyennes — The Insurrection Spreads —
Father De Smet is Sent upon a New Mission — A Journey through
Iowa — "Major De Smet" — Generals Sully and Parker Join the Mis-
sionary — Conference with the Indians on the Borders of the Missouri —
Iron Shield's Discourse — Father De Smet Pacifies the Tribes —
Father De Smet Wishes to Meet the Tribes of the Interior — Fatigue
Compels Him to Return to St. Louis 338

CHAPTER XXIV

SITTING BULL'S CAMP (1868)

A Commission of Five Generals is Sent by the Government to Subdue
the Indians — The Commission Asks Father De Smet to Intervene —
Conference with the Indians on the Shores of the Platte — Father De
Smet's Offer to Go to the Hostile Bands — En Route for the Hunkpapas'
Camp— Father De Smet is Received by Sitting Bull — The Great
Council — Father De Smet's Discourse — Black Moon's Reply — The



x CONTENTS

Banner of Peace — The Hunkpapas' Deputies Accompany Father
De Smet to Fort Rice — The Complete Success of the Conference —
Generals Harney, Sanborn, and Terry Express Their Gratitude and
Appreciation to Father De Smet 347

CHAPTER XXV

FATHER DE SMET'S LAST LABORS — GRANT'S PEACE POLICY

(1869-1872)

Father De Smet's Eighth Visit to Belgium — Two Journeys Made in the
Autumn — Project to Found a Mission on the Upper Missouri — Indian
Peace Policy — Father De Smet is Given the Right to Appoint Catholic
Agents — Nearly All the Agencies are Given to Protestant Function-
aries — Injustice Done to the Catholic Indians — Father De Smet's
Unsuccessful Efforts — He Resigns — Courageous Fidelity of the Catholic
Indians — "Give Me the Value of My Soul" — Fervor of the Cceur
d'Alenes — Letter to the Sovereign Pontiff — Reply of Pius IX. . . . 359

CHAPTER XXVI

FATHER DE SMET'S LAST VOYAGE TO EUROPE HIS RETREAT

IN ST. LOUIS — HIS RELIGIOUS VIRTUES HIS DEATH

(1872-1873)

Father De Smet's Serious Illness in Brussels — He Thinks of Living in
Belgium and Opening a School There for Apostolic Work — His Jubilee
as a Jesuit — His Retreat — New Edition of the "Letters" — He Begins
the History of the Origin of the Missouri Province — Father De Smet's
Intercourse with His Fellow-Jesuits — He is Esteemed by Outsiders —
Dr. Linton— The "Linton Album" — The Missionary Traveled Nearly
261,000 Miles— Father De Smet's Spirit of Faith — His Love of the
Religious Life — How He Practiced Poverty and Obedience — His
Piety — His Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, St. Anthony, the Souls in
Purgatory — Last Illness — Farewell to the Indians — His Last Letter
to His Family— His Death— His Funeral— Bishop Ryan's Panegyric—
The Grief of the Indians— How Father De Smet's Work Lives After
Him 372

Index 393



ILLUSTRATIONS

P. J. DE SMET, S.J Frontispiece

Father De Smet, Apostle of the Rockies .... Facing p. 102

Mass in the Wilderness — Preaching to the Sioux . 208

Father De Smet Riding with the Indians .... " 274
Council with the Hostile Sioux on the Yellowstone

River 35°

The Statue Erected in Honor of Father De Smet at

Termonde, His Birthplace 384



INTRODUCTION

ONE of the brightest glories of the Catholic Church
shines forth in the zeal she has ever displayed for the
propagation of the Gospel. From the time when Christ
said to His Apostles: "Go ye into the whole world and
preach the Gospel to every creature," they and their suc-
cessors, the missionaries of every age, have bravely carried
on the sacred task entrusted to them, without any inter-
ruption whatsoever ; and they are seen to-day as they have
been seen all along, in every known portion of the earth,
extending the kingdom of Christ, and preparing number-
less souls for the enjoyment of heavenly bliss.

In the United States in particular the Church has nobly
performed this divine mission. She has sent her heroic
sons, bishops and priests, in large numbers to every tribe
of the aboriginal population, baptizing, teaching, and civil-
izing its scattered millions, successful in converting and
sanctifying large portions of them, notwithstanding the
active opposition of false religionists.

Many of the most glowing pages of the great Protestant
historian of the United States, George Bancroft, contain
magnificent descriptions of A he devoted labors of our
Catholic missionaries, whose wonderful exploits he narrates
with all the brilliancy and interest which attach to the
writings of Prescott in his records of the Conquest of
Mexico by Hernando Cortez. But every Christian feels,
while reading such works, how far the sacred purpose and
the self-sacrifice of the missionaries among the Indians
surpass in nobility the dauntless courage of the steel-clad
warriors.

It is gratifying to see that the learned world, even out-
side of the Catholic Church, has shown a high appreciation
of the gigantic labors of our missionaries, as is evidenced
by the publication in this country of a most expensive



xiv INTRODUCTION

work, in seventy-three large octavo volumes, styled "The
Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents," edited by Reuben
Gold Thwaites. But, though this valuable collection is
found on the shelves of nearly all the great libraries in the
United States, its volumes are not frequently seen in the
hands of the general reader, Catholic or Protestant. To
enlighten him on the grandeur of our missions and mis-
sionaries, we need briefer and more popular works, which,
while conveying the same information, afford more im-
pressive and interesting reading, and communicate de-
sirable knowledge in the charming language of lighter
literature.

That is the secret of the popularity of a Prescott in his
volumes on Mexico and Peru, and of a Washington Irving
in his lives of Washington and Columbus. The same is an
attractive quality of the life of Father De Smet, by Father E.
Laveille, S. J., of which the present volume is a translation.

The French original was received in Belgium and
France with marked enthusiasm. In three months the
first edition was exhausted. The Belgian Messenger of the
Sacred Heart said of it: "In the history of the Catholic
apostolate few careers have been so glorious as that of the
Reverend Father De Smet. We rejoice that the author
has given us a clear, definite history of the man and his
work." The French journal La Croix stated: "The life of
Father De Smet reads like a novel, but one so realistic, so
thrilling with interest, that you cannot tear yourself away
from it."

The appreciation of the book by Le Bien Public calls for a
more extended quotation. It says: "From the moment
that you have cut its first pages you will not lay it aside
until you have read the whole volume. And all along his
career you will follow the hero, the apostle of the Rocky-
Mountains, with a passionate interest, with an ever-
growing admiration, as when Fenimore Cooper, Mayne
Reid, and Daniel Defoe first charmed your youthful
imagination. Especially, this reading will strengthen
your faith and your hope; it will show you in its divine
splendor the civilizing influence of religion, transforming
by a miracle of grace savage natures and raising up saints
among them. "



INTRODUCTION xv

But it is not only in Father De Smet's native country that
this book has been received with warm approbation. Our



Online LibraryE LaveilleThe life of Father de Smet, S.J. (1801-1873) → online text (page 1 of 39)