The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents, Vol. I: Acadia, 1610-1613 online

. (page 8 of 21)
Online LibraryVariousThe Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents, Vol. I: Acadia, 1610-1613 → online text (page 8 of 21)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

vessels which go every year to the new 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 be 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. 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 Princesses 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;
and 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: 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 in 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 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 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.

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

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.

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.

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

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 said 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.




Touchant la Conversion et Baptesme du grand Sagamos

Paris: JEAN REGNOUL, 1610

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

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 S^{R} de la Tronchaie, dattée
du 28. Iuin 1610.



pres sainct Yues.


_Auec permission._

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 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'estoi[~e]t 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 partir que ie ne
sçauois ce que ie sçay, i'eusse employé le verd & le sec ou i'en eusse

1 2 3 4 5 6 8 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

Online LibraryVariousThe Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents, Vol. I: Acadia, 1610-1613 → online text (page 8 of 21)