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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October, — where they took possession of the country in the name
of Louis XIV. ; and made earnest but unavailing efforts to reach
the Mississippi. But they met with disasters, which obliged them
to give up the attempt. They proceeded to Sault Ste. Marie, and
returned to the St. Lawrence in the spring of 1670. Galinee then
made a map of the region which they had explored, — Lake Ontario,
Niagara, the north shore of Lake Erie, Detroit, and the east and
north shores of Lake Huron, — the first chart thereof which is known
to exist. In the autumn of 1671, Queylus returned to France ; his
office of superior then fell to DoUier, who held it during many years.
He died Sept. 25, 1701. leaving a MS. Histoire du Montreal, cover-
ing the years 1640-72; this was first published in 1871, by the Liter-
ary and Historical Society of Quebec, in their third series of Histor-
ical Documents.

Jean Baptiste du Bois d'Esgriselles was the chaplain of the regi-
ment of Carignan; he was still in Canada in 1671.

12 (p. 167). — After the Restoration (1659), various jealousies and
differences, mainly commercial, arose between England and Hol-
land. One of the first measures adopted by Parliament after that
event, was a navigation act (1660), restricting to English bottoms
the trade with English colonies throughout the world. Complaints
had long been made, that much of the trade with Virginia, Maryland,
and New England was diverted from the mother-country by the Dutch
of New Netherland; and, on the west coast of Africa, the commerce
of the Dutch West India Company was thought to menace that of
English trading companies. Besides all these elements of discord,
there was in New England a strong and increasing dislike of the
Dutch, caused partly by commercial rivalry, partlj' by the desire
to secure the lands held by them, — Long Island, and the valley of
the Hudson, — in order to accommodate the extension westward of the
English colonies, especially of Connecticut. Various aggressions
against the Dutch were committed by the English, although the two
nations were nominally at peace; finally, Charles II. granted to his
brother James, duke of York and Albany, all the lands between the
Connecticut River and Delaware Bay (March, 1664). James prompt-
ly sent an armed expedition, under Colonel Richard NicoUs, to
reduce the Dutch colonies to obedience ; and New Amsterdam was
surrendered to him on Sept. 8 following. NicoUs became governor
of the city, which, with the entire province, in compliment to his
patron, he named New York. The Dutch frontier settlements were
soon seized; and Fort Orange was renamed Fort Albany, after
James's second title.


13 (p. 173). — Jacques Marquette was born at Laon, France, June
10, 1637, becoming a novice in the Jesuit order at Nancy, Oct. 8,
1654. His studies were pursued at Pont-a-Mousson, and he spent
the usual term as instructor at Rheims, Charleville, and Langres.
He had long desired to enter the foreign missions of the order ; this
wish was granted him in 1666, whereupon he came to Canada.
The first two years there were spent in the study of the Algonkin
language; he then departed for the Ottawa mission, where (1669)
he replaced Allouez at Chequamegon. Driven thence by the Sioux,
he founded among the Hurons at the Straits of Mackinac (1671) the
mission of St. Ignace. He remained there until May, 1673, when,
with Louis Joliet, he set out upon the famous voyage in which they
discovered the Mississippi River, and traced its course as far as the
Arkansas. At the end of the following September, they returned
to Green Bay, via the Chicago portage. In the spring of 1674,
Joliet went down to Quebec, and made a verbal report of the voy-
age. Marquette did not long survive the hardships of that expedi-
tion. In October, 1674, he left Green Bay, although he was in poor
health, to found a mission among the Kaskaskia Indians in Illinois.
Illness prostrating him while engaged in this task, he was compelled
to abandon it, and set out on the return to Mackinac ; but death
overtook him on the journey. May 18, 1675. This event occurred
at the mouth of Marquette river, near the site of the present town
of Ludington, Mich. Besides this river, a county and city in Michi-
gan, and a county and village in Wisconsin, are named for the
missionary. Wisconsin is represented in the capitol at Washington,
D. C. , by a marble statue of Marquette, designed by the Florentine
sculptor Gaetano Trentanove.

While at Green Bay in 1674, Marquette wrote an account of
the Mississippi voyage, which was sent to his superior at Quebec.
This paper fortunately reached its destination; but as Joliet,
when almost in sight of Montreal, lost by the wreck of his canoe
all his papers, including his written report to the governor of
Canada, the credit of discovering the Mississippi, which properly
belongs in common to the two explorers, has generally been at-
tributed to Marquette aloue, he being the only reporter of the
voyage. His journal and letters will be published in this series, in
due course.

Regarding the life and labors of this noted missionary, see Roche-
vaontQxiCs Jisuztes, t. iii., pp. 4-33, where are given copious biblio-
graphical references. Cf. Brucker's "Jacques Marquette," in Rdvue
de Montreal^ vol. iii., pp. 808-819, and vol. iv., pp. 49-63, 114-117:
also " Memoire sur le Pere Marquette," in Rdvue Canadienne, 3rd
series, vol. i., p. 283, and vol. ii., p. 25. At St. Mary's College,


Montreal, is an apograph by Martin, of Dablon's circular letter
(dated Oct. 13, 1675) on the death of Marquette.

14 (p. 173). — Rochemonteix says {/^suites, t. i.,pp. 209-211) that
a course in philosophy, and, later, one in theology, were opened
by the Jesuits in their college at Quebec, in conformity with the
wishes of Laval, that he might educate and train a native clergy in

Master Elie (Elye) remained at Quebec but a year; his sudden
departure is recorded by the /ourn. des Jisuites, Oct. 14, 1667.

15 (p. 175)- — Jean Pierron was born at Dun-sur-Meuse, France,
Sept. 28, 1631, and entered the Jesuit novitiate at Nancy, Nov. 21,
1650. A student at Pont-a-Mousson, and an instructor at Rheims
and Verdun, he completed the usual curriculum in 1665 ; and, after
spending two years more as an instructor at Metz, he came to
Canada (June, 1667). He was immediately sent to the Iroquois
mission, where he remained until 1677, returning to France in the
following year. Dablon, in a letter to the French provincial (dated
Oct. 24, 1674), describes a journey made by Pierron in that year
through the English colonies, in disguise.

Jacques Bruyas, born July 13, 1635, at Lyons, became a Jesuit
novice at the age of sixteen. In August, 1666, he joined the Canada
mission, and in the following year began his labors among the Iro-
quois tribes, with whom he remained until 1679; he then took
charge of the Iroquois mission at Sault St. Louis, where the greater
part of his remaining life was spent. From August, 1693, to August,
1698, he was superior of the Canadian missions; and, in 1700-01,
took active part in the negotiations which secured for the French a
general peace with the Iroquois tribes. He died at Sault St. Louis,
June 15, 1712. Bruyas was noted for his linguistic abilities, and left
a MS. grammar of the Mohawk language, the oldest known to exist.
It was published (from the original MS. ) by the regents of the Uni-
versity of New York, in their Sixteenth Annual Report of State
Cabinet (Albany, 1863), pp. 3-123.

16 (p, 185). — This relates to the pain bi7tit (vol. xxxvii., note i).
The person who gave it, or made the offrande, knelt at the altar
railing, holding a taper which also he offered ; and he deposited an
alms in the plate. After he had done this, the officiating priest
made him kiss the Pax. This custom has fallen into disuse in Que-
bec, but I understand that it still exists in some parts of France. —
Crawford Lindsay.

17 (p. 187). — Julien Gamier, a brother of the noted Benedictine,
Dom Julien Garnier, was born at St. Brieux, a town in Brittany. Jan,
6, 1643. He entered the Jesuit order at Paris, Sept. 25, 1660; and.


at the close of his novitiate, came to Quebec ; in the college there
he completed his studies, and was ordained in i66S, — the first ordi-
nation of a Jesuit in Canada. He was at once sent to Oneida, as
Bruyas's assistant, and remained among the Iroquois tribes until
1685 ; being transferred to the mission at Sault St. Louis, he labored
there until 1715 (excepting from the end of 1691 until some time in
1694, during which period he was in charge of the Huron mission
at Lorette). In 1715, Gamier became superior of the Canadian mis-
sions, which office he held three years. Returnmg then to Sault St.
Louis, he continued his labors there until 1728; he died at Quebec,
Jan. 13, 1730. Lafitau {Mceurs, pp. 2,3) acknowledges his indebted-
ness to this veteran missionary for most of the material for his

18 (p. 189). — Mille Claude le Barroys, "royal councilor, and the
king's chief interpreter in the Portuguese language," was general
agent for the Company of the West Indies. At his demand (July
15, 1666), he was allowed to subject to his inspection all merchant
ships coming to Quebec, to ascertain whether they contained any
smuggled furs; and, for the same reason all persons were forbid-
den to go on board these ships between 9 P.M. and 4 A.M., on
penalty of confiscation and fine. For copy of the agent's letter, and
of his demands regarding the rights and privileges of the company,
with official memoranda on both papers, see J^dits et Ordonnances,
pp. 51-60. It is not known how long Le Barroys remained in

19 (p. 191). — Louis Joliet was a son of Jean Joliet (vol. xxx., note
18), and was baptized in September, 1645, at Quebec. A student at
the Jesuit college there until 1666, he had taken minor orders, and
was preparing for the priesthood. In 1666 and 1667, he is mentioned
as ' ' clerk of the church ' ' at the seminary of Quebec ; and, apparently
in the latter year, he abandoned the ecclesiastical life. In October,
1667 (according to Suite), he went to France, where he spent a year;
and in 1669 he was sent, with Jean Pere, by Talon in search of cop-
per-mines at Lake Superior. Returning from this expedition, he
met, in September of that year. La Salle and his Salpitian com-
panions (note II, ante), near the western end of Lake Ontario.
Joliet was present at Sault Ste. Marie when St. Lusson took posses-
sion of that region for France (June 4, 1671); and he was sent by
Frontenac to explore the Mississippi region, in company with the
Jesuit Marquette (note 13, ante), whose mission at Pt. St. Ignace
he reached in December, 1672. In ihe following May. they began
their voyage, which lasted five months. As mentioned in the note
above cited, Joliet's papers were lost on the return voyage ; but a
letter from Frontenac to Colbert, dated Nov. 14, 1674, says of the


explorer: " He left with the Fathers at the SaultSte. Marie, in Lake
Superior, copies of his journals ; these we cannot get before next
year" {N. V. Colon. Docs., vol. ix., p. 121). Unfortunately, these
copies also appear to have been lost.

In October, 1675, Joliet married Claire Frangoise Bissot, by whom
he had seven children. In 1679, he made a voyage to Hudson Bay,
at the demand of the farmers of revenue in Canada. With Jacques
de Lalande, he obtained, in the same year, the grant of Isles Min-
gan, on the north shore of the St. Lawrence, where valuable fish-
eries were located; and in 1680 was granted, to Joliet alone, the
island of Anticosti, also noted for its extensive fisheries. This lat-
ter concession was specifically made as a reward for his discoveries
in the above voyages. For many years, he lived at Anticosti with
his family. In April, 1697, he also obtained the seigniory of JoUiet,
in Beauce county, Que. In i68o, he was appointed hydrographer
for the king. The English invasion of Canada in 1690 caused him
great losses; and it is claimed that, at his death (about 1700), he
was actually suffering from poverty.

Regarding Joliet's maps, see Winsor's Cartier to Frontenac, pp.
224-249; and Gravier's " Etude sur une carte inconnue
par L. Joliet," in Rdvue de Geographie (Paris), February, 1880.

20 (p. 191). — Jacques Descailhaut, sieur de la Tesserie, was born
in 1629, near Nantes, France. In 1663, he was a member of the
Tadoussac trading company; and, in the following year, of the
Sovereign Council of Quebec. In 1663, he married El^onore de
Grandmaison (vol. xxvii., note 6); he died in June, 1673.

21 (p. 195). — Etienne de Carheil was born at Carentoir, France,
in November, 1633, and began his novitiate in the Jesuit college at
Paris, Aug. 30, 1653. His studies were pursued at Amiens, La
Fleche, and Bourges; and he instructed classes at Rouen and Tours.
He was ordained in 1666, and immediately set out for Canada.
After two years at Quebec, spent in preparatiou for mission-work,
he was sent to Cayuga, where he labored until 1683 ; he was then,
like other missionaries to the Iroquois, compelled to leave that field,
through the growing hostility of the savages. The next three years
he spent as professor of grammar in the college of Quebec ; and in
i686 was assigned to the mission among the Hurons and Ottawas at
Mackinac, The establishment of Detroit (1701) by La Mothe Cadil-
lac, the French commander at Mackinac, drew away the Hurons
from the latter post, and Carheil could no longer remain there. He
had, moreover, provoked the enmity of Cadillac, and also of the
fur. traders, by his opposition to the brandy- traffic, so prevalent at
all the trading-posts, and so demoralizing to both French and
Indians. This and the practical abandonment of Mackinac, obliged


Carheil to return to Quebec in 1 703 ; from that time until probably
1718, he ministered to the French at Montreal and other towns. His
death occurred July 27, 1726, at Quebec.

Carheil's letter to Callieres, the governor (dated at Michillimacki-
nac, Aug. 30, 1702), complaining of the disorders there, will be
given in this series. He left two MS. volumes, Racines Huronnes;
his biographer, Orhand, suggests that this work may be the basis
of Potier's Grammaire Huronne. Carheil's life and character are
described at length by Orhand in Un admirable inconnu (Paris,
1890); the work contains numerous letters by Carheil.

22 (p. 197).— This picture given by Tracy still hangs in the church
of Ste. Anne de Beaupre. — Crawford Lindsay.

23 (p. 207). — Sol niarqtiie; in old French currency, a copper coin
worth 15 deniers (Littre). The statement in the text, that this
piece was reduced to 20 deniers, points out an earlier and greater
value than that mentioned in the above definition; but it simply
indicates one of many successive reductions in the value of a
coin that was originally (under Charlemagne) worth the twentieth
part of a livre's weight of silver. The ordinance referred to in the
text is published in Arrets du Conseil Superieur (Quebec, 1855),
PP- 34. 35.

24 (p. 211). — Frangois de Salignac, abbe de Fenelon, a half-broth-
er of the noted Archbishop Fenelon, was born in 1641. He entered
the seminary of St. Sulpice at Paris, Oct. 23, 1665. When, a year
later, a call came for more missionaries to go to Canada, Fenelon at
once responded; and, despite his family's opposition, he came to
Montreal in the summer of 1667. In the following year, he was
ordained, and at once began, with Trouve, a mission among the
Cayugas at Quinte (Kente) Bay, — the first Sulpitian mission among
Iroquois savages. It was maintained until 1673, when the RecoUets
replaced the Sulpitians. Fenelon now founded at Gentilly a school
for Indian children, in which he was aided by Frontenac. Early
in 1674, Fenelon incurred the governor's displeasure by his opposi-
tion to Frontenac's proceedings against certain unlicensed fur-trad-
ers ; and, in the following November, he was sent back to France.
He died there, five years later.

Hennepin and some later writers confounded the abbe de Fene-
lon with his brother the archbishop, — saying that the latter had
been a missionary in Canada ; but this error has been satisfactorily
corrected by modern writers. See Verreau's Deux abbis de Fenelon
(Levis, 1898).

25 (p. 215). — Louis de Beaulieu was born at Bourges, in 1635.
He became a Jesuit novice at Lyons, Sept. 13, 1651, pursuing his


studies at Chambery and Lyons, and acting as instructor at Aix,
Avignon, M§,con, and Lyons. Coming to Canada in 1667, he
soon made such progress in the Montagnais language that Nouvel
placed him in charge of the Tadoussac mission. But the hardships
of missionary life shattered his health, and he was sent back to
France in 1671.

Philippe Pierson, a native of Hainault, was born Jan. 4, 1642;
and, at the age of eighteen, entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tournay.
A student at Louvain, Lille, and Douay, and an instructor at
Armentieres and Bethune, he came to Canada in 1666. After teach-
ing grammar in the college of Quebec for a year, and spending two
years more in the study of theology, he received his ordination in
1669. He ministered to the Christian savages at Prairie de la
Madeleine and Sillery, successively; in 1673, he was sent to the
Hurons of the Mackinac mission, with whom he labored for ten
years. From 1683 to 16S8. Pierson was a missionary among the
Sioux west of Lake Superior. His death occurred at Quebec,
probably in 1688.

26 (p. 217). — Regarding Isles Percees, see vol. xlvii., note 28.

27 (p. 243). — Talon's activities in the development of the coun-
try's resources, were in pursuance of the policy adopted by Louis
XIV. and Colbert toward Canada. See instructions given to Talon,
and his report to Colbert, in N. Y. Colon. Docs., vol. ix., pp. 24-36,
39-44, 55. Cf., Parkman's Old Regime, pp. 206-214.

28 (p. 267). — The copper of Lake Superior was well known among
the Algonkin tribes when the French began to settle in Canada, and
early writers frequently mention the mines of that region. In 1768,
the English government was petitioned for the grant of "all the
copper mines circumjacent to Lake Superior," for sixty miles
inland. Sir William Johnson, instructed to inquire whether it
would be practicable to work these mines, reported that such an
enterprise would encounter many difficulties — especially in trans-
porting the ore, which would have to be carried by way of the
lakes. — See N. V. Colon. Docs., vol. viii., pp. 92, 140, 141; also
Marshall's "Early Notices of the Copper Regions," in his N/sl.
Writings (Albany, 1887), pp. 332-342.

In 1843, the so-called "copper rock of Lake Superior" was
transported from its original locality on Ontonagon River. Its
weight was estimated at 6,000 to 7,000 pounds, and its purity at 95
per cent. It was placed in the Smithsonian Institution at Washing-
ton. D. C.

29 (p. 271). — Theriacs were held in great estimation during the
middle ages. They were composed of opium, flavored with nutmeg,


cardamom, cinnamon, and mace, — or merely with saffron and am-

30 (p. 289).— Regarding this superstition as to the bones of ani-
mals, see vol. XX., note 11.

31 (p. 289). — Mtssibizi: a variant of Michabou, the Algonkin
deity (vol. v., note 41).

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 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 19 of 19)