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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defendre. Mais nos gens furent encore fruftres de
leur efperance: car k peine les ennemis virent-ils

1664-67] RELATION OF i66s -66 148

there being three hundred in readiness, a part of
which were very light boats, [41] and the rest canoes
of bark, each of which carried, at the most, five
or six persons. After crossing a lake or river, all
were forced to bear a hand at carrying the boats,
which were transported by main strength ; but this
caused less difficulty than two small cannon which
were taken to the very last villages of the Iroquois, in
order the more easily to reduce all their fortifications.

However great the care taken to conduct this
march with little noise, our men could not prevent
some Iroquois, who had been sent as far as thirty or
forty leagues to reconnoiter our forces, from gaining
a view, from the mountain-tops, of this little naval
army, and hastening to the first village to give warn-
ing of its approach. [42] Consequently, the alarm
having then spread from hamlet to hamlet, our troops
found them abandoned ; while in the distance could
be seen the Barbarians, loudly hooting on the moun-
tains and discharging many wasted shots at our

Our Troops, halting at each of these villages, which
they found empty of men but full of corn and pro-
visions, only long enough to take necessary refresh-
ment, were hopeful of meeting with a stout resistance
in the last one, which they prepared to attack in
regular form, since the Barbarians showed clearly
enough by the great fire they were making there
and by the fortifications they [43] had constructed,
their determination to offer there a vigorous defense.
But our men were again disappointed in their hope;
for scarcely had the enemy seen the advance-guard
approaching, when they promptly took flight into
the woods, whither the night prevented our forces


I'avant-garde s'avancer, qu'ils prirent promptement
la fuite dans les bois, ou la nuit emp^cha les noftres
de les pouvoir pourfuivre. On vit aff^s par une
triple paliffade, haute de vingt pieds, dont leur place
efloit environn6e, par quatre baftions dont elle efloit
flanqu6e, par leurs amas prodigieux de vivres, & par
la grande provilion d'eau qu'ils avoient faite dans
des caiffes d'^corce, pour 6teindre le feu quand il en
feroit bef oin ; que leur premiere ref olution avoit efl6
toute autre, que celle que la terreur de nos armes
leur avoit fait prendre fubitement. On trouva [44]
feulement quelques perfonnes que leur grand age
avoit enip6cli6 de fe retirer du bourg deux jours
auparavant avec toutes les femmes & les enfans, &
les reftes des corps de deux ou trois Sauvages d'une
autre nation, que ceux-ci avoient h. demi bruits k
petit feu, avec leur fureur accouflum^e. II falut
done fe contenter, aprez avoir arbor^ la Croix, dit la
Meffe, & chante le Te Deum en ce lieu-Ik, de mettre
le feu aux paliffades & aux cabanes, & de confumer
toutes les provifions de bled d'Inde, de feves, &
d'autres fruits du pais qui s'y trouverent. On re-
tourna en fuite aux autres bourgades, ou Ton fit le
mefme d6gaft, auffi bien que dans toute la campagne.
De forte que ceux qui fgavent la maniere de vivre de
ces [45] Barbares, ne doutent point que la faim n'en
faffe prefque autant mourir qu'il en fuft peri par les
armes de nos foldats, s'ils les euffent of6 attendre;
& que ce qui en reftera ne fe reduife par la crainte k
des conditions de paix, & k une conduite qu'on eufl
obtenu d'eux plus difficilement par des vidtoires plus

Le retour de nos Troupes fut plus facheux que le

1664-67] RELA TION OF 1663-66 146

from pursuing them. It was evident enough — from
the triple palisade, twenty feet high, with which their
place was surrounded ; from the four bastions flank-
ing it; from their prodigious hoard of provisions;
and from the abundant supply of water they had
provided, in bark receptacles, for extinguishing the
fire when it should be necessary — that their first
resolve had been quite different from that which the
fear of our arms had made them suddenly adopt.
There were found [44] only some persons who had
been prevented by their great age from leaving the
village, two days before, with all the women and
children; and also the mutilated bodies of two or
three Savages of another nation, whom these people
had, with their wonted rage, half burned over a slow
fire. So our people were forced to content them-
selves, after erecting the Cross, saying Mass, and
chanting the TV Deum on that spot, with setting fire
to the palisades and cabins, and consuming the entire
supply of Indian corn, beans, and other produce of
the country, which was found there. Then they
turned back to the other villages and wrought the
same havoc there, as well as in all the outlying fields.
As a result, those familiar with these [45] Barbarians'
mode of life have not a doubt that almost as many
will die of hunger as would have perished by the
weapons of our soldiers, had they dared await the
latter 's approach ; and that all who remain will be
forced by fear to accept such conditions of peace, and
observe such a demeanor, as would have been secured
from them with greater difiiculty by more sanguinary

The return march of our Troops was more fatigu-
ing than the outward journey had been, because the


chemin qu'elles avoient fait en allant ne I'avoit efte ;
parce que les rivieres eftant crues de fept ou huit
pieds par les pluies, elles fe trouverent bien plus
difficiles ^ paffer; & une tempefte qui s'eleva fur le
lac de Champlain, y fit perir deux canots & huit
perfonnes, parmi lefquelles on regretta fur tout le
fieur du Luques Lieutenant d'une [46] Compagnie,
qui a fignal6 fouvent fa valeur en France, auffi bien
que dans le Canada.

Le courage de nos Troupes fut toujours merveil-
leufement excite dans les travaux de cette entreprife,
& dans I'attente du danger, par Texemple de Mon-
fieur de Tracy, de Monfieur de Courcelles, de Mon-
lieur de Saliere Meftre de Camp du Regiment, & du
Chevalier de Chaumont, qui voulut toujours avoir
place parmi les enfans perdus aux approches des
bourgades : & leur generofite fut anim^e du zele & des
fentimens de piete que MelTieurs du Bois & Coffon
Preflres feculiers, & les Peres Albanel & Rafeix
lefuites tachoient incelTamment de leur infpirer.

Noflre excellent Prelat qui avoit [47] toujours lev6
les mains au Ciel, & mis tout le monde en prieres
durant I'abfence de nos Troupes, fit rendre graces k
Dieu, & chanter le Te Deum "k leur retour. Tout le
monde a ici conceu de nouvelles efperances, par les
bontes que le Roi a pour ce pais, & par la maniere
dont on voit s'y affedtionner la Compagnie des Indes
Occidentales, k qui fa Majefte en a confi6 le foin:
De forte que Ton ne doute point qu'on ne voie bien-
toft des Villes fort peuplees en la place de ces grandes
forefts, & lefus-Chrift adore dans toutes ces vaftes


1664 - 67] RELA TION OF 1665 - 66 147

rivers, having been swollen seven or eight feet by
the rains, were found much harder to cross ; and a
storm which arose on lake Champlain caused the loss
of two canoes and eight persons, — among whom we
especially regretted the death of sieur du Luques,
who was Lieutenant in a [46] Company, and had often
signalized his valor in France as well as in Canada.

The courage of our Troops always received a won-
derful spur in the labors of this enterprise, and while
they were expecting danger, from the examples of
Monsieur de Tracy, Monsieur de Courcelles, Mon-
sieur de Saliere, Commander of the Regiment, and
the Chevalier de Chaumont — the latter of whom
always, upon approaching the villages, sought a
place in the forlorn hope. Their bravery was also
animated by the zeal and the sentiments of piety with
which Messieurs du Bois and Cosson," secular Priests,
and Fathers Albanel and Rafeix, Jesuits, constantly
strove to inspire them.

Our excellent Prelate, who had [47] ceased not to
raise his hands to Heaven, and had set every one to
praying, during the absence of our Troops, ordered
thanksgivings to God, and the chanting of the Te
Deum, upon their return. All the people here have
conceived new hopes from the favors lavished on this
country by the King, and from the attachment mani-
fested toward it by the Company of the West Indies,
to whose care it has been entrusted by his Majesty.
Hence there is no doubt entertained that soon we
shall see well-peopled Cities in place of these great
forests, and Jesus Christ worshiped throughout all
these vast domains.



Lettre de la Reverende Mere Svperievre

des Religieufes Hofpitalieres de

Kebec en la Nouuelle-France.

Du 3 Odobre 1666.

1664 - 67] RELA TION OF 1665 -66 149

Letter from the Reverend Mother

Superior of the Hospital Nuns

of Kebec, in New France.

October 3, 1666.


[3] Lettre de la Reverende Mere Superieure des

Religieufes Hofpitalieres de Kebec en la

Nouuelle France. Du 3. Ocftobre 1666.

A Monjieur * * * * Bourgeois de Paris.

Noftre Seigneur, foit noftre eternelle re-
compenfe. Nous auons receu vos Lettres
auec vne ioye bien fenfible de vous f9auoir en bonne
fant6, il ne fe pent qu'vne fi bonne difpofition
corporelle dans vn fi grad age ne foit vn effet des
promeffes que noftre Seigneur a faites k ceux qui
comme vous le f eruent fi fidellement en f es membres :
Nous le prions, de [4] tout noilre coeur de continuer
k vous combler de fes graces durant cette vie, & de
vous faire goufber durant toute I'eternit^ le bon-heur
qu'il y k d'auoir trauaille icy bas pour I'auancement
de fa gloire & le foulagement des pauures abandon-
nez. Nous auos regeu tons vos ballots fans lefquels
nos pauures malades auroient manque de toutes les
cbofes les plus neceffaires dans leurs infirmitez, puif-
qu'il ne nous eft rien venu pour les affifter que ce
que vous nous auez enuoye, ce qui augmente de plus
en plus nos obligations enuers vous & les perfonnes
pieufes qui fe ioignent k vous pour y contribuer de
leurs aumofnes, dont ie vous rend de tres-humbles
adtions de graces au nom de noftre petite Communaut6
& de nos pauures malades; mais nos remercimens
font bien toft fuiuis de nouuelles demandes, ie vous
enuoye vn petit [5] memoire de ce qui nous eft le plus

1664-67] RELATION OF j66s -66 151

[3] Letter from the Reverend Mother Superior

of the Hospital Nuns of Kebec, in

New France. October 3, 1666.

To Monsieur * * * * , Citizen of Paris.

May our Lord be our eternal reward ! We
received your Letters with the deepest joy at
learning that you were in good health. It can only be
that so good a bodily state at such a great age is a fulfill-
ment of the promises made by our Lord to those who
serve him, as you do, so faithfully in the persons of his
members. We most heartily pray him [4] to continue
crowning you with his favors during this life ; and
to make you taste through all eternity the happiness
resulting from laboring here below for the advance-
ment of his glory and the relief of the poor and for-
saken. We have received all your bales, without
which our poor patients would have lacked everything
most needful in their infirmities, since nothing has
come to us for their assistance except what you have
sent us. This adds more and more to our obligations
toward you and toward the pious persons who join you
in the contributing of their alms — for which I return
you very humble thanks, in the name of our little
Community and of our poor patients. But our thanks
are closely followed by a fresh petition. I send you
a little [5] memorandum of what we most need,
doubting not that you will do your utmost to procure
us the things therein asked for, as we have too many


neceffaire, ie ne doute point que vous ne faffiez voftre
poffible pour nous procurer les chofes que nous y de-
mandons, nous auons trop de preuues de voflre bont6,
& pour moy ie vous auoue, Monfieur, que ie ne puis
me laffer d' admirer la perfeuerance de voftre charity
depuis vne fi longue fuitte d'ann^es, que vous la pra-
tiquez en faueur de noftre Hofpital. Bon Dieu ! que
de benedic5tions vous attendent dans Ie Ciel, & que de
perfonnes en ont trouu6 la porte par les moyens
que vous nous auez donne de leur procurer ce bon-
heur. Nous auons continue I'exercice de noftre
vocation pendant toute I'ann^e fans auoir eu prefque
aucun relafche, nos fales ay ant eft6 touliours pleines
de malades de telle forte, que nous en auons eu plus
de douze mil, auf quels nous auons rendu tout Ie fer-
uice poffible, [6] Ie nombre augmentant noftre zele,
& I'exemple que nous receuions des trauaux de Mon-
feigneur I'Euefque de Petr6e noftre tres digne Prelat,
& de Monfieur de Charny noftre tres-honor6 Supe-
rieur feruant d'vn doux & fort aiguillon pour nous
porter ^ ne rien oublier en des occafions fi pretieufes
aux yeux de Dieu : mais quoy que nous nous y f oyons
toutes emploi^es de toutes nos forces nous n' auons
pourtant pu tout faire, & nous auons eft6 obligees de
prendre des femmes h. iourn6e pour nous ayder, en-
core n'en trouue t'on qu'auec bien de la peine, nous
auons afleurement befoin de quelques filles pour eftre
Religieufes, il y en a icy deux d'affez bonnes families
qui fe prefentent, elles nous font fort propres, mais
elles font tres pauures, & nos Superieurs ne iugent
pas h. propos en I'eftat ou nous fommes de nous per-
mettre [7] de les receuoir pour rien : Ie vous fupplie
Monfieur, de prendre foin quand il fe prefentera
quelque charity de nous la faire efcheoir, les dots ne

1664 - 67] RELA TION OF 1665-66 158

proofs of your goodness. Meanwhile, for my part, I
confess to you, Monsieur, I cannot cease to admire
the perseverance of your charity through so long a
course of years, during which you have practiced it
in favor of our Hospital. Ah, what blessings await
you in Heaven, and how many persons have found
the door thereto through the means which you have
given us to procure them that happiness ! We have
continued the practice of our calling throughout the
entire year with scarcely any respite, our halls hav-
ing been always full of patients — to such an extent
that we have had more than twelve thousand. To
these we have rendered every service in our power,
[6] their number increasing our zeal; and the ex-
ample set us by the labors of Monseigneur the Bishop
of Petraea, our most worthy Prelate, and of Monsieur
de Charny, our highly honored Superior, serving as
a gentle and powerful stimulus which urges us to
forget nothing on occasions so precious in God's
sight. But, although we all have exerted our utmost
energies in the work, we have still been unable to do
everything, and have been obliged to hire women by
the day to help us, although they are very hard to
find. We certainly need some girls who shall become
Nuns, and there are here two of very good families
who offer themselves, and are very well suited to our
needs ; but they are very poor, and our Superiors do
not think best, in our present condition, to permit us
[7] to receive them for nothing. I beg you, Mon-
sieur, to exert your efforts, when any offer of charity
occurs, to make us the beneficiaries. Dowries here
are not so large as in France, and there are charitable
persons who are sometimes glad to provide a girl
with the requisite means either for marriage or for


font pas fi grands icy qu'en France, il y a des per-
fonnes charitables qui font quelquefois bien aifes de
donner dequoy ponruoir vne fille, foit en la mariant
foit en la mettant en religion, fi vous faifiez vne
pareille rencontre cela feroit grand plaifir k celles qui
font defia toutes habituees icy ; entre autres ^ vne
qui ^ le defir d'eflre religieufe depuis douze ans &
eft ag6e de vingt, elle ne nous a declare fon deflein
que I'anee pail^e croyant eftre receue \ caufe du
befoin que nous en auons, nous la receurions tres
volontiers fi nos fuperieurs nous le vouloient per-
mettre, Voyez Monfieur, s'il fe pourra faire quelque
cbofe, i'ay promis ^ cette bonne fille de vous en
efcrire, ce que [8] ie fais de bon coeur, fjacliant voftre
grande charity & amour pour les pauures, dont le
Canada eft fort plein, iamais il n'y en a eu fi grand
nombre : depuis le depart des vaifleaux nous auons
eu quatre huguenots fort malades, & fort obftinez en
leur faufle creance, nous auons pris toutes les peines
imaginables pour les mettre dans le veritable chemin
du Paradis, mais inutilement & fans aucun fruit en
apparence, iufqu'a ce que noftre Seigneur (k qui feul
appartient de benir les moments & de fandtifier les
trauaux de fes eflus) rengregant le mal de ces pauures
aueuglez en tira le falut de leurs ames, & de telle
forte que nous fufmes toutes remplies de ioye «&
d' admiration confiderant vn changement fi fubit &
des fentimens fi chreftiens en des perfonnes qui
durant tout le refte de leur vie n'auoient pas eu la
moindre idee de [9] piete; le comble de noftre con-
folation eft qu'ils font morts dans ces bonnes difpofi-
tions, & mefme I'vn d'eux mourut vn moment apres
auoir receu le faint Viatique & ietta le dernier foupir
en produifant vn acte d' amour de Dieu, Vous

1664 - 67] RELA TION OF 1665 - 66 165

taking the veil. If you should meet with such, you
would confer a great favor on those girls who are
already thoroughly accustomed to this country, —
and, among others, on one who, for the past twelve
years, has had a desire to become a nun. She is
twenty years old, and only told us her purpose last
year, thinking to be received because of our need
of girls ; and we would very willingly take her if
our superiors would permit us. See, Monsieur, if
anything can be done ; for I have promised this good
girl to write you about her — which [8] I do with all
my heart, knowing your great charity and love for
the poor, of whom Canada is very full, there never
having been so many here before. Since the vessels
sailed, we have had four huguenots who were very
sick, and very obstinate in their false belief. We
took all conceivable pains to set them in the right
way to Paradise ; but in vain, and with no apparent
result, until our Lord (to whom alone it belongs to
bless the moments and sanctify the labors of his
elect), by increasing the ailment of these poor blinded
ones, wrought the salvation of their souls. This was
done in such wise that we were all filled with joy and
wonder at beholding so sudden a change, and such
christian sentiments in persons who, during all their
previous lives, had not had the least conception of
[9] piety. To crown our consolation, they died in
this excellent frame of mind, one of them even
expiring a moment after receiving the holy Viaticum,
and spending his last breath in uttering a prayer of
love toward God. You will learn from the Relation
how the great courage of Monsieur our Governor
prompted him to conduct a campaign against the
Iroquois during last winter's severe cold. Without


apprendrez par la Relation comme le grand courage
de Monfieur noflre Gouuerneur luy fit faire vne
campagne centre les Iroquois durant les rigueurs de
I'hyuer paffe, & fans m'arrefter a vous en mander
plus au long les particularitez, ie vous diray feule-
ment qu'ayant amen6 quelques prifonniers de I'vn &
de r autre fexe, il s'eft trouu6 vne femme Iroquoife
laquelle ne pouuoit fouffrir qu'on luy parlaft de nos
myfleres & refufoit auec vn extreme mefpris, tout ce
que le zele & la charite du Reuerend Pere Chaumonnot
luy en difoit, cepandant eftant deuenue malade elle
a efte apportee k [lo] noftre Hofpital, ou par la mife-
ricorde de noftre Sauueur elle a change fi parfaite-
ment de fentimens que d'elle mefme elle a fupplie
qu'on I'inftruifit, & a receu tous fes facremens dans
vne paix & vne douceur extraordinaire dans laquelle
elle efl morte ; il y a encore en noftre Hofpital vn
Iroquois qu'on inflruit pour eftre catholique: Nous
auons aufQ vne petite fille de mefme nation agee de
fix ans, laquelle fuyant de fa cabane ^ caufe du grand
carnage qu'elle y voioit fut prife par vn de nos habi-
tans, qui eftant icy de retour en fit prefent k Monfieur
Talon Intendant pour fa Majeft6 dans tout le Canada,
il nous la mife entre les mains, cet enfant ne fe fent
point des inclinations fauuages ayant le naturel fort
doux, I'efprit fort gentil & fort propre h. la deuotion,
elle ne manque pas de fe trouuer auec nous dans
toutes nos obferuances du [ii] Choeur & y demeure
auec vne modeftie admirable. II faut que ie vous
auoue que ce nous eft vn grand bon-heur d'auoir vn fi
braue Intendant, c'efl vn excellent homme pour fa
charite enuers les pauures, fa capacity pour les
affaires, fa douceur & fon induftrie k contenter tout
le monde; fa prudente conduitte nous fait goufter

1664-67] RELATION OF 1665-66 167

pausing to give you the particulars at great length,
I will merely relate to you that, upon his bringing
back some prisoners of both sexes, there was found
among them an Iroquois woman who could not en-
dure that any one should speak to her concerning our
mysteries, and who, with the utmost scorn, turned
a deaf ear to everything that the Reverend Father
Chaumonnot, in his zeal and charity, could say to
her. Having fallen ill meanwhile, she was brought
to [lo] our Hospital, where, by the mercy of our
Savior, her feelings underwent such an utter change
that, of her own accord, she asked to be instructed,
and received all the sacraments in a state of extraor-
dinary peace and sweetness, in which she died.
There is still in our Hospital an Iroquois who is
being instructed in the catholic faith. We have also
a little girl of the same nation, six years of age, who
fled from her cabin because of the great bloodshed
which she there witnessed. She was taken by one
of our habitans, who, upon returning hither, pre-
sented her to Monsieur Talon, Intendant for his
Majesty in all Canada; and the latter placed her in
our charge. This child experiences no savage ten-
dencies, having a very gentle disposition, and a
mind of much refinement, well qualified for feelings
of devotion. She never fails to be present with us
in all our [ii] Choir services, where she maintains
an admirably modest bearing. I must acknowledge
to you that it is a great blessing to us that we have
such an able Intendant : he is an excellent man for
his charity to the poor, his capacity for business,
his gentleness, and his skill in pleasing every
one. His prudent management makes us taste, with
much content, the fruits of peace and of harmony


auec beaucotip de confolation les effets de la paix
& de la Concorde entre les Soldats ; il vilite lour &
nuidt auec des foins tout particuliers ceux qui font
bleflez & malades dans notre Hofpital. Monfieur
de Tracy, & Monfieur noftre Gouuerneur font partis
auec quinze cens hommes pour aller ranger les
Iroquois fous 1' empire de noftre puiffant Monarque,
nous commencerons demain I'Oraifon des quarante
heures pour cette fin : li Dieu donne bonne iffue k
cette entreprife comme on I'efpere, la porte de
I'Euangile [12] fera ouuerte ^ bien des nations, c'ell;
tout ce qu'on defire que de gagner beaucoup d'ames
h. Dieu, car pour des biens de fortune il n'y en faut
point efperer; Croyez Monfieur, que durant nos
deuotions nous ne vous oublirons pas ny toutes les
perfonnes qui contribuent k vos charitez, & quoique
chaque iour nous nous fouuenions de vous, & de nos
bien faic5teurs fi eft-ce que dans les grandes deuotions
nous nous en f ouuenons plus particulierement ; Nous
fupplios la Diuine bont€ de vous conferuer encore
longues annees, voftre age vous fait apprehender, de
vous perdre ; & pour moy fi ie pouuois prolonger
voftre vie en donnant la mienne, ie le ferois de tout
mon coeur, & auec la mefme affedtion auec laquelle
ie fuis


Voftre tres-humble & tres-obeiffante feruante
en Noftre Seigneur, Soeur Marie de Saint
Bonauanture de lefus, Superieure indigne.
De V Hojlel Dieu de Kebec le 3. 05lobre 1666.

[13] Mefjievrs et Dames qui auront la bont^ de /aire
quelques charitez & aumofnes des Drogties & autres chofes

1664-67] • RELATION OF i66s- 66 159

among the Soldiers; while day and night he
visits, with a care for each individual, the wounded
and the sick in our Hospital. Monsieur de Tracy and
Monsieur our Governor have set out with fifteen
hundred men for the purpose of reducing the Iro-

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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 9 of 19)