Jesuits. Letters from missions (North America).

The Jesuit relations and allied documents : travels and explorations of the Jesuit missionaries in New France, 1610-1791 ; the original French, Latin, and Italian texts online

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Theresa by the late Father Menard. There this
brave Missionary spent a winter, laboring with the
same zeal which afterward made him sacrifice his
life in the quest of souls. I found, at no great dis-
tance thence, some remnants of his labors, in the
persons of two Christian women who had always
kept the faith, and who shone like two stars amid
the darkness of that infidelity. I made them pray to
God, after I had refreshed their memory concerning
our mysteries.

[39] " The Devil, doubtless filled with jealousy at
this glory which, in the heart of his Estates, is paid
to God, did what he could to prevent my coming up
hither; and, having failed in his object, he vented
his spite on some Writings I had brought with me,
designed for the instruction of these infidels. I had
enclosed them, with some medicines for the sick, in
a little chest, which the evil spirit, seeing that it
would be of great service to me in the Savages'
salvation, tried to make me lose. Once it was
wrecked in the eddies of some rapids ; again it was


f es efforts, pour me la f aire perdre ; car elle a fait vne
fois naufrage dans les boiiillons d'vn rapide: vne
autre fois elle a efh6 delailI6e au pied d'vn portage,
elle a cliang6 de main fept ou huit fois, enfin elle eft
tomb6e en celles de ce forcier que i'auois blafm6 ^
r entree du Lac des Hurons, lequel en ayant [40] leu^
la ferrure, prit ce qui luy agrea, & I'abandonna
enfuite toute ouuerte k la pluye, & aux paffans. II
plut "k Dieu confondre le malin efprit, & fe feruir du
plus grand longleur de ces quartiers, homme de fix
femmes, & d'vne vie debord^e, pour me la conferuer:
II me la mit entre les mains, lorfque ie n'y penfois
plus; me difant que le tberiaque, & quelques autres
medicaments, auec les Images qui eftoient dedans,
eftoient autant de Manitous, ou de demons qui le
feroient mourir, s'il ofoit y toucher. I' ay veu par
apr^s, par experience, combien ces Efcris des langues
du pais m'ont feruy pour leur conuerfion.

1664-67] RELATION OF 1666-67 271

left behind at the foot of a portage ; it changed hands
seven or eight times ; and, finally, it fell into those
of that sorcerer whom I had censured at the entrance
to the Lake of the Hnrons, and who, after [40]
removing the lock, took what he chose, and then left
it all open to the rain and exposed to passers-by.
God was pleased to confound the evil spirit and to
make use of the greatest Juggler of these regions —
a man with six wives, and of a dissolute life — for
its preservation. This man put it into my hands
when I had given it up as lost, assuring me that the
theriac^^ and some other medicines, together with
the Images that were in the chest, were so many
Manitous or demons, who would make him die if
he dared touch them. I learned, by subsequent
experience, how serviceable these Writings in the
languages of the country were to me in converting
the people."






APRES auoir fait cent quatre-vingt lieues, fur les
bords du Lac de Tracy, du cofte qui regarde
le Midy, ou noftre Seigneur a voulu fouuent
^prouuer noftre patience, par les tempeftes, par la
famine, & par les fatigues du iour & de la nuit; Enfin
nous arriuames le premier iour d'Odtobre k Chagoiia-
migong, ori nous afpirions depuis 11 long-temps.

C'eft vne belle Ance, dans le fond de laquelle efl
plac6 le grand Bourg des Sauuages, qui y font des
champs de bled d'Inde, & y menent [42] vne vie
fedentaire. lis y font au nombre de huit cents
hommes portans armes, mais ramafI6s de fept nations
differentes, qui viuent paifiblement meflees les vnes
par mi les autres.

Ce grand monde nous a fait preferer ce lieu ^ tons
les autres, pour y faire noftre demeure ordinaire;
afin de vaquer plus commodement k I'inflrudtion de
ces infideles, y dreffer vne chapelle, & y commencer
les fonc5tions du Chriftianifme.

Nous n'auons pu d'abord nous mettre k couuert que
fous des 6corces, ou nous eftions fi frequemment
vifit^s de ces peuples, dont la plufpart n'auoient
iamais veu d' Europeans, que nous en eftions accabl6s,
& les inftrudtions, que ie leur faifois inceffamment

1664 - 67 J RELA TION OF 1666 - 67 278





4 6 A FTER coasting a hundred and eighty leagues
£^ along the Southern shore of Lake Tracy, —
where it was our Lord's will often to test
our patience by storms, famine, and weariness by
day and night, — finally, on the first day of October,
we arrived at Chagouamigong, whither our ardent
desires had been so long directed.

" It is a beautiful Bay, at the head of which is situ-
ated the great Village of the Savages, who there
cultivate fields of Indian corn and lead [42] a settled
life. They number eight hundred men bearing
arms, but are gathered together from seven different
nations, living in peace, mingled one with another.

' ' This large population made us prefer this place
to all others for our usual abode, that we might apply
ourselves most advantageously to the instruction of
these infidels, build a chapel, and enter upon the
functions of the Christian religion.

" At first, we could find shelter only under a bark
roof, where we were so frequently visited by these
people, most of whom had never seen any Euro-
peans, that we were overwhelmed; and my efforts
to instruct them were constantly interrupted by per-
sons going and coming. Therefore [43] I decided
to go in person to visit them, each in his cabin, where


interompues, par les allans & les venans ; ce qui [43]
me fit refoudre, ^ les aller voir moy mefme, chacun
dans leurs cabanes, ou ie leur parlois de Dieu plus h.
mon aife, & ie les inftruifois plus k loifir de tous les
Myfteres de noftre foy.

Lorfque ie vaquois h. ces faints emplois, vn ieune
Sauuage, c'eftoit vn de ceux qui auoient eft6 brufl6s
pendant noftre voyage, vint me trouuer, & me de-
manda k prier Dieu, m'affurant que tout de bon il
vouloit eftre Chreftien. II me raconta vne cbofe qui
luy eft arriu^e, dont on iugera ce qu'on voudra: Ie
ne t'eus pas pluftoft obei, me dit-il, renuoyant ce
forcier, qui vouloit me guerir par fes longleries, que
ie vis celuy qui a tout fait, & dont tu m'as tant parl6;
II me dit d'vne voix que i'entendis diftindtement :
Tu n'en mourras pas, parceque [44] tu as efcoute la
robe noire: II n'eut pas pluftoft parle, que ie me
fentis fortifi6 extraordinairement, & me trouuay dans
vne grande confiance de recouurer la fante, comme
de fait me voilk parfaitement guery. I'efpere bien
que celuy, qui a opere pour Ie falut du corps, n'a-
bandonnera pas celuy de I'ame, & ie me Ie promets
d'autant plus fermement, que ce Sauuage m'efl venu
chercher de luy mefme, pour apprendre les prieres,
& receuoir les inftrudtions neceffaires.

Peu apr6s ie fceu que nous anions enuoye au Ciel
vn enfant au maillot, qui mourut deux iours apr^s
que ie luy eu confer^ Ie faint Baptefme. S. Fran9ois
dont il portoit Ie nom, aura fans doute prefent6 k
Dieu cette ame innocente, pour premices de cette

[45] Ie ne fgay ce qui arriuera h. vn autre enfant
que i'ay baptife incontinent apres fa naiflance: fon

1664 - 67] RELA TION OF 1666-67 275

I told them about God more at my ease, and
instructed them more at leisure in all the Mysteries
of our faith.

" While I was occupied in these holy pursuits, a
young Savage — one of those who had been burned
during our journey — came to seek me, and asked for
my prayers, assuring me of his earnest desire to
become a Christian. He told me something that
had happened to him, of which the reader may think
what he chooses. ' I had no sooner obeyed thee,'
said he to me, ' by sending away that sorcerer who
was bent on curing me with his Jugglery, than I saw
the creator of all things, of whom thou hast so often
told me. He said to me in a voice which I heard
distinctly: " Thou shalt not die, for [44] thou didst
listen to the black gown." He had no sooner spoken
than I felt singularly strengthened, and found my-
self filled with a great confidence that I should
regain my health, — as, indeed, here I am, perfectly
cured.' I have strong hopes that he who has
wrought for the saving of the body, will not neglect
that of the soul ; and I feel all the more confidence
that he will not, since this Savage has come of
his own free will to seek me, in order to learn the
prayers and receive the necessary instruction.

" Soon afterward, I learned that we had sent to
Heaven an infant in swaddling-clothes, its death
having occurred two days after I gave it holy
Baptism. St. Francis, whose name it bore, has
doubtless presented that innocent soul to God, as the
first-fruits of this Mission.

[45] " I know not what will happen to another
child, which I baptized immediately after its birth.
Its father, an Outaouac by nation, summoned me as


pere Outaoiiac de nation, me fit apeler fi toft qu'il
fut n6, & mefme vint au deuant de moy, pour me
dire que i'euffe k le baptifer au pluftoft, afin de le
faire viure long-temps. Chofe admirable en ces Sau-
uages, qui auparauant croyoient que le baptefme
caufoit la mort k leurs enfans, & ^ prefent font per-
fuad^s, qu'il leur eft neceffaire pour leur conferuer
vne longue vie. Cela me donne plus d'acc6s aupres
de ces enfans, qui viennent fouuent "k moy en
trouppes, pour contenter leur curiofit6, en regardant
vn eftranger, mais bien plus pour receuoir fans y
penfer, les premieres femences de I'Euangile, qui
frudtifieront auec le temps dans ces ieunes plantes.

1664 - 67] RELA TION OF 1666 - 67 277

soon as it was born, — even coming to meet me, to
tell me that I must baptize it at once, in order to
insure it a long life. This was an admirable course
of action for one of these Savages, who formerly-
believed that baptism caused their children to die,
and now are persuaded of its necessity for insuring
them long lives. That belief gives me easier access
to these children, who often come to me in troops to
satisfy their curiosity by looking at a stranger, but
much more to receive, without thinking about it,
the first seeds of the Gospel, which will in time bear
fruit in those young plants."




LE Pere eflant arriue dans le pais des Outaoiiacs;
y trouua les efprits dans la crainte d'vne nou-
uelle guerre, qu'ils alloient auoir fur les bras,
de la part des Nadoiieffi, nation belliqueufe, & qui
dans fes guerres, ne fe fert point d'autres armes, que
de Tare & de la mallue.

Vn party de ieunes guertiers fe formoit defia, fous
la conduite d'vn chef, qui ayant eft6 offenc6, ne con-
fideroit pas li la vengeance qu'il vouloit prendre, ne
cauferoit pas la mine de toutes les bourgades de fon

[47] Les anciens pour obuier ^ ces mal-heurs, ailem-
blerent vn confeil general de dix ou douze nations
circonuoifines, toutes interellees en cette guerre ; afin
d'arrefter la hache de ces temeraires, par les prefents
qu'ils leur feroient en fi bonne compagnie.

Le Pere y fut inuit6 pour le mefme fujet, & s'y
trouua, pour parler en mefme temps "k tous ces peuples
au nom de Monfieur de Tracy, dont il portoit trois
paroles auec trois prefents, qui en font les truche-

Toute cette grande AHembl^e luy ayant donn6
audience; Mes freres, leur dit il, le fujet qui m'a-
mene en voflre pais, eft tres importat, & merite que
vous 6couties ma voix, auec vne attention extraordi-

1664-67] RELATION OF 1666-67 279



UPON the Father's arrival in the country of the
Outaouacs, he found their minds filled with
alarm at a fresh war in which they were about
to engage with the Nadouessi — a warlike nation,
using no other arms in its wars than the bow and
the club.

A detachment of young warriors was already
forming under the lead of a chief who, having
suffered an injury, did not consider whether the
vengeance which he was bent on exacting would
cause the ruin of all the villages of his country.

[47] To forestall such a disaster, the elders called
a general council of ten or twelve circumjacent
nations, all interested in this war, — in order to stay
the hatchets of these rash ones by the presents which
they should give them in so important an assembly.

To promote this end, the Father was invited to
attend, and did so, that he might at the same time
address all these people in the name of Monsieur de
Tracy, — from whom he bore a speech in three
clauses, with three presents to serve as their inter-

All this great Assembly having given him audi-
ence, " My brothers," said he to them, " the motive
that brings me to your country is very important,
and makes it fitting that you should listen to my


naire. II ne s'agit de rien moins [48] que de la con-
feruation de toute voftre terre, & de la perte de tons
vos ennemis. A ces mots, le Pere les ayant trouu€s
tous bien difpof^s h. I'^couter attentiuement ; il leur
raconta la guerre que Monlieur de Tracy entrepre-
noit centre les Iroquois ; comme il les alloit reduire
^ leur deuoir par la force des armes du Roy, & allu-
rer le commerce entre nous & eux, netoyant tous les
chemins de ces pirates de Riuieres, & les obligeant
h. vne paix generale, ou h. fe voir totalement deftruits.
Et c'eft icy, que le Pere prit occafion de s'eftendre
fur la piete de fa Majefte, qui vouloit que Dieu fuft
reconnu par toutes fes terres & qui n'agreoit point
de peuples fous fon obeiHance, qui ne fuffent foumis
au createur de tout I'vniuers. II leur expliqua [49]
enfuite les principaux articles de noftre foy, & leur
parla fortement fur tous les myfteres de noflre Reli-
gion : en vn mot il prefcha Iesvs-Christ ^ toutes
ces nations.

C'eft vne confolation fans doute bien grande k vn
pauure Miffionnaire, quand apr6s cinq cents lieues de
chemin, dans des fatigues, des dangers, des famines
& des miferes de toutes les fa9ons, il fe voit efcout6
par tant de peuples dififerents, leur publiant I'Euan-
gile, & leur diftribuant les paroles de falut, dont ils
n'auoient iamais entendu parler.

Ce font des femences, qui demeurent quelque
temps en terre, & qui ne portent pas incontinent
leurs fruits. II faut les aller cueillir dans les cabanes,
dans les forets, & [50] fur les Lacs; c'eft ce que
faifoit le Pere, qui fe trouuoit par tout, dans leurs
cabanes, k leurs embarquements, dans leurs voyages,
& partout trouuoit des enfans a baptifer, des malades

1664-67] RELATION OF 1666-67 281

words with more than usual attention. Nothing less
is concerned [48] than the preservation of your entire
land, and the destruction of all your enemies. ' ' As
the Father found them all, at these words, well
disposed to listen to him attentively, he told them
about the war that Monsieur de Tracy was undertak-
ing against the Iroquois, — how, by means of the
King's arms, he was about to compel them to assume
a respectful demeanor, and was going to make com-
merce safe between us and the Algonquin peoples,
cleansing all the highways from those River pirates,
and forcing them to observe a general peace or see
themselves totally destroyed. And here the Father
took occasion to expatiate upon the piety of his
Majesty, who wished God to be acknowledged
throughout all his domains, and who received into
his allegiance no peoples who did not submit to the
creator of all the universe. He next explained to
them [49] the chief articles of our faith, and spoke to
them earnestly concerning all the mysteries of our
Religion. In short, he preached Jesus Christ
to all those nations.

It is assuredly a very great consolation to a poor
Missionary, after a journey of five hundred leagues
amid weariness, dangers, famines, and hardships of
all sorts, to find himself listened to by so many differ-
ent peoples, while he proclaims the Gospel and gives
out to them the words of salvation, whereof they
have never heard mention.

Those are seeds that remain for a time in the
ground, and do not at once bear fruit. One must go
and gather it in the cabins, in the forests, and
[50] on the Lakes; and that is what the Father did,
being present everywhere, — in their cabins, at their


^ difpofer aux Sacrements, des anciens Chreftiens k
confeffer, & des infidelles h. inflruire.

II eft vray qu'vn iour repaffant en fon efprit, les
obftacles qu'il y auoit k la foy, veu I'eftat & les
couftumes deprau^es de tons ces peuples, il fe fentit
pouffe interieurement, pendant le faint facrifice de
la MeCCe, de demander ^ Dieu par I'intercefiion de
I'Apoftre S. Andr6, dont I'Eglife celebroit ce iour Yk
la fefte, qu'il pluft h. fa diuine Majeft^ luy decouurir
qnelque iour, pour eftablir le Royaume de lefus-
Chrift en ces contr6es, au lieu du Paganifme: [51]
& dez le mefme iour, Dieu luy fit connoiftre les
grands obftacles qu'il y rencontreroit, afin de fe
roidir de plus en plus contre ces difficult^s, qu'on
reconnoiftra alles par le Cbapitre fuiuant.

1664-67] RELATION OF 1666-67 283

embarkations, on their journeys, — and everywhere
finding children to baptize, sick persons to prepare
for the Sacraments, Christians of long standing to
hear in confession, and infidels to instruct.

One day, it is true, — while he was reviewing in
his mind the obstacles encountered by the faith, in
consequence of the depraved customs of all those
peoples, — he felt inwardly impelled, during the
holy sacrifice of the Mass, to ask of God, by the in-
tercession of St. Andrew the Apostle, whose festival
the Church was that day celebrating, that it might
please his divine Majesty to show him some light for
the establishment of Jesus Christ's Kingdom in those
regions in the place of Paganism. [51] From that
very day God made him recognize the formidable
obstacles he should there encounter, in order that he
might more and more brace himself against those
difficulties — of which the following Chapter will give
a tolerable conception.




VOICY ce que le Pere Alloliez raconte touchant
les couftumes des Outaoiiacs, & autres peuples,
qu'il a efludi6es tres-foigneufement, ne fe
fiant pas au recit qu'on luy en faifoit; mais ayant veu
luy mefme, & obferu6 tout ce qu'il en a laifle par

II y a icy, dit-il, vne fauffe & [52] abominable reli-
gion, pareille en plufieurs chofes, k celle de quelques
anciens Payens. Les Sauuages d'icy ne reconnoiffent
aucun f ouuerain mai'ftre du Ciel & de la Terre ; lis
croyent qu'il y a plufieurs genies, dont les vns font
bien-f aifans ; comme le Soleil, la Lune, le Lac, les
Riuieres, & les Bois; les autres malf aifans, comme
la couleuure, le dragon, le froid, & les tempeftes, &
generalement tout ce qui leur femble ou aduanta-
geux, ou nuifible, ils I'apellent vn Manitou, & leur
rendent le culte & la veneration, que nous ne
rendons qu'au vray Dieu.

Ils les inuoquent, quand ils vont ^ la chaffe, ^ la
pefche, en guerre, ou en voyage; ils leur font des
facrifices, auec des ceremonies qui ne font propres
qu'^ des Sacrificateurs.

[53] Vn vieillard des plus confiderables de la Bour-
gade fait fondtion de Preflre ; II commence par vne
harangue eftudiee, qu'il adrelle au Soleil, fi c'eft en

1664 - 67] RELA TION OF 1666 - 67



FOLLOWING is what Father Allouez relates con-
cerning the customs of the Outaouacs and
other peoples, which he has studied very care-
fully, — not trusting the accounts given him by
others, but having been himself an eye-witness and
observer of everything described in this manuscript.

"There is here," he says, "a false and [52]
abominable religion, resembling in many respects
the beliefs of some of the ancient Pagans. The Sav-
ages of these regions recognize no sovereign master
of Heaven and Earth, but believe there are many
spirits — some of whom are beneficent, as the Sun,
the Moon, the Lake, Rivers, and Woods; others
malevolent, as the adder, the dragon, cold, and
storms. And, in general, whatever seems to them
either helpful or hurtful they call a Manitou, and pay
it the worship and veneration which we render only
to the true God.

' ' These divinities they invoke whenever they go
out hunting, fishing, to war, or on a journey — offer-
ing them sacrifices, with ceremonies appropriate only
for Sacrificial priests.

[53] " One of the leading old men of the Village
discharges the function of Priest, beginning with a
carefully-prepared harangue addressed to the Sun —
if the eat-all feast, which bears a certain resemblance


fon honneur qu'on fait le feftin k manger tout, qui eft
comme vn holocaufte: il declare tout haut qu'il fait
fes remercimens k cet Afire, de ce qu'il I'a 6clair6
pour tuer heureuf ement quelque befte : il le prie &
I'exhorte par ce feflin, a continuer les foings chari-
tables, qu'il a de fa famille. Pendant cette inuo-
cation, tous les Conui6s mangent iufqu'au dernier
morceau ; Apres quoy vn homme deftine k cela, prend
vn pain de petun, le rompt en deux, & le iette dans
le feu. Tout le mode crie pendant que le petun fe
confume, & que la fumee monte en haut; & auec ces
clameurs fe termine tout le facrifice.

[54] I'ay veu vne Idole, dit le Pere, eleuee au mi-
lieu d'vne Bourgade, a laquelle parmi les autres
prefens, on a offert en facrifice dix chiens, pour obte-
nir de ce faux dieu, qu'il tranfportafl ailleurs la
maladie qui depeuploit la Bourgade. Chacun alloit
tous les iours faire fes offrandes a cette Idole, felon
fes befoins.

Outre ces facrifices publics, ils en ont de particu-
liers & domeftiques ; car f ouuent dans leurs cabanes,
ils iettent du petun au feu, auec vne efpece d'offrande
exterieure, qu'ils font k leurs faux dieux.

Pendant les orages & les tempeftes, ils immolent
vn cbien, qu'ils iettent dans le Lac: voila pour t'a-
paifer luy difent-ils, demeure en repos. Dans les
endroits perilleux des Riuieres, ils fe rendent fauo-
rables les boiiillons & les faults, par quelques [55]
prefens qu'ils leur font: & ils font tellement perfua-
dez, qu'ils honorent par ce culte exterieur leurs
pretendues diuinites, que ceux d'entre eux qui font
conuertis & baptif^s, vfent des mefmes ceremonies

1664 - 67] RELA TION OF 1666 - 67 287

to a holocaust, is held in its honor. He declares in
a loud voice that he pays his thanks to that Lumi-
nary for having lighted him so that he could success-
fully kill some animal or other, — praying and ex-
horting it by this feast to continue its kind care of
his family. During this invocation, all the Guests
eat, even to the last morsel ; after which a man ap-
pointed for the purpose takes a cake of tobacco,
breaks it in two, and throws it into the fire. Every
one cries aloud while the tobacco burns and the
smoke rises aloft ; and with these outcries the whole
sacrifice ends.

[54] " I have seen," continues the Father, "an
Idol set up in the middle of a Village ; and to it,
among other presents, ten dogs were offered in
sacrifice, in order to prevail on this false god to send
elsewhere the disease that was depopulating the
Village. Every one went daily to make his offerings
to this Idol, according to his needs.

" Besides these public sacrifices, they have some
that are private and domestic ; for often in their cab-
ins they throw tobacco into the fire, with a kind of
outward offering which they make to their false

" During storms and tempests, they sacrifice a
dog, throwing it into the Lake. ' That is to appease
thee,' they say to the latter; 'keep quiet.' At
perilous places in the Rivers, they propitiate the
eddies and rapids by [55] offering them presents;
and so persuaded are they that they honor their pre-
tended divinities by this external worship, that those
among them who are converted and baptized observe
the same ceremonies toward the true God, until they
are disabused.


^ I'endroit du vray Dieu, iufqu'a ce qu'ils foient

Au refte ces peuples, comme ils font groffiers, ne
reconnoillent point de dminit6 purement fpiritnelle ;

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 16 18 19

Online LibraryJesuits. Letters from missions (North America)The Jesuit relations and allied documents : travels and explorations of the Jesuit missionaries in New France, 1610-1791 ; the original French, Latin, and Italian texts → online text (page 16 of 19)