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History of the Society of Jesus in North America, colonial and federal online

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WOO.— Ibid., 92, No. 2, Milnes, June 21, 1803, to J. Sullivan, for Lord Hobart.—
Researches, x. 41, Carleton, April 14, 1768, to Lord Shelburne. — Of. Munro, p. 90.)

In the list of royal subsidies given above (p. 349) there appear two items charged
to the Marine : the house at Montreal, and the School of Navigation at Quebec. As
to Jesuits and the royal navy, we may repeat what we have recorded in another
place, that Father L'Hoste's treatise on Naval Evolutions, first published in 1697,
was used in the French navy, and called the " Book of the Jesuit." The Count de
Maistre wrote of it in 1820 : " An English admiral assured me less than ten years
ago, that he had received his first instructions in the ' Book of the Jesuit ' " (De
Maistre, De I'Eglise OalUcane, p. 46, edit., 1821. — Cf. Hughes, Loyola, p. 171).
Among the editions of the book, which contains also the theory ol shipbuilding, one
is in English : Naval Evolutions ; or, A System of Sea Discipline, extracted from the
celebrated treatise of P. L'JSoste, professor of mathematics in the royal seminary of
Toulon, etc. ; by Lieutenant Christopher O'Brien, without date. There follows an
edition in Greek, done by Lieutenant Zacharias Andreades, under the patronage
of his ExceUeucy John Andreades Barbakfi ; Moscow, 1823 (pp. 8-212) : XroXayuyia
^Tot Qahairaifi) to/ctik)), (rvvrede'taa /iev iraph tov 'Ifaovirov TlaiKou T6(rrov [I], (Tupt/w)-
SfTffa Si . . . (Sommervogel, s.v. " L'Hoste ").

As to the poU tax for 1754, see Brodhead, x. 271, 273. Under the head of
" Jesuits' College," fifteen Fathers and Brothers of Quebec were taxed lOOJi apiece ;
giving a total of 1500'!. At Montreal, four Jesuits were rated at SOiJ each, yielding
200'.'. Thus £85 were their personal contribution for war expenses or other things.

^ '75] A SPECIMEN 353

beneficed cures. He was hoping now to flank them on another side,
by finding means to deal with Indian nations through other inter-
mediaries than these Jesuits, always inevitable and indispensable.'

The forces, enterprises, and estabUshments to be maintained with
a regular income from royal aUowances and Jesuit estates, aU
together yielding for the time of the French period some-
thing between £1000 and £2000 sterling per annum, may yf^'s^work?
be described for the same year, 1754, in which we noted '7^-
the poU tax of £85 sterling deducted from their revenues. There
were eight Jesuit Fathers in the coUege of Quebec, and three Jesuit
masters. One of the Fathers, Lauverjat, was occupied with Indians.
Two of them, Bonnecamps and Le Bansais, were professors, the former
in the school of navigation,^ the latter in that of scholastic theology.
The three younger men were masters of rhetoric and other schools
in the classical course. Eight Brothers were attached to the college,
one of whom taught reading and writing. At Montreal, there was
a superior, De Saint P6, another Father and a Brother. "With the
Hurons near Quebec were two missionaries, Eicher superior and
another Father. Away among the Montagnais to the north, Father
Coquart lived alone. "Among the Iroquois," a phrase which
probably means the reductions. Father De Gonnor was superior,
assisted by two others. Among the Abenakis, " in different places,"
there was Father Aubry superior ; Gounon at Beeancourt ; Virot at
St. Francois du Lac ; ^ and three other missionaries distributed else-
where. " In a remote region," Father Potier was superior ; that is,
among the remnants of the Petun nation (Wyandots) on the Detroit
Eiver. Among the Ottawas were two Fathers, and one Brother, and
" among various nations," Fathers de la Brosse and Girault. In this
same year, 1754, Louisiana had thirteen Fathers and four Brothers,
working either at the residence of New Orleans, or in the Illinois
missions, or in divers places among the Arkansas, Choctaws, etc.*

1 Brodhead, ix. 120, 121, Frontenao, Quebec, November 14, 1674, to Colbert.

In tbese two pages nearly all the paragraphs are pecking at the Jesuits, whether
named or not named ; and the passage on Sieur Jolliet's exploration down the Mis-
sissippi Innocently omits the name ol the Jesuit Marquette.

^ " Froj. %drog[raphiae ?]."

' Another St. Francis (Eegis) settlement, an ofishoot of Caughnawaga, was estab-
lished in this same year, 1754, under the direction of Father Antoine Gordan. It
became weU known under the name of St. Begis ; and it flourishes in our day. See
infra, p. 418. Duquesne reported at the time that, the lands at Sault St. Louis
(Caughnawaga) being exhausted, thirty of the families were moving to Lake St.
Francis; and a colony of Mohawks were coming to settle their village in the same
place, with a missionary accompanying them. This settlement was "twenty
leagues above Montreal, on the south side." (Brodhead, x. 266, 267, Duquesne,
Quebec, October 31, 1754, to De Machault, colonial minister.)

' Fleck, pp. 47, 48, Catalogus . . . exeunte armo 1754. — Father Fleck annotates

VOL. II. 2 A


Thus, in the year 1754, there were fifty-seven persons distributed
over the continent from Labrador to New Orleans. Forty of them
were Fathers, whose stations, thus briefly indicated in the catalogue,
comprehended the tribes and countries lying within reach. For
instance, the term " Ottawas " as a missionary station of two Fathers
signified also Illinois, Miamis, Peorias, Foxes, Pottawatomies, Sioux,
etc. ; ^ which last great nation of the Sioux Father AUouez called
"the Iroquois of the West." Or again Father de la Brosse, just
mentioned as one of the two " among various nations," began at this
date (1754) a twelve years' ministry at Quebec, in the Abenaki
missions, and at St. Henri de Mascouche. Then, being despatched
in 1766 to the Lower St. Lawrence with head-quarters at Tadoussac,
he devoted his labours during the remaiaing sixteen years of his
life to the Island of Orleans, Ile-aux-coudres, Chicoutimi, Sept-Iles,
Poiate de Betriamis, Ilets-Jeremie, Cacerma, Ile-Verte, Eimouski,
Eestigouche, Bonne-Aventure, Caraquette, Poguemouche, Nepisigny,
Niguac, and other centres far distant from one another. These dis-
tricts, ministered to by one man, were distributed over the territory
of the Lower St. Lawrence on both sides, from Quebec city down to
the Gulf; and on both sides of the Gulf, Labrador on the north, and
modern New Brunswick on the south, as far as Prince Edward Island.

A regular income, which scarcely amounted to £26 sterling
annually per man, supplied the sinews of war for the maintenance
of fifty-seven persons, for their missionary outfit, for chapel furniture,
which was more important in their eyes than the fitting out of
themselves ; also for their charities to the natives, and all their
enterprises over the continent. The mission of Louisiana had no
estates worthy of notice, placed to its credit.

At last we can strike a balance between the British Propagation
societies and the Jesuit missions. The £3727 sterling spent (1762)
on the annual provision of 85 persons by the English
balance Society for the Propagation of the Gospel ; the £500 or

jesiJte and ^^^^ Spent annually by the propagandist corporation of
SocFeto'^'"" Boston ; the items, not specified, of the Scotch society ;—
all these were effecting nothing among the nations. A
small third of such a yearly outlay, passing through the hands of

the catalogue by stating that the Louisiana missions were organized under a separate
superior from the year 1754 onwards. But Father Jones infers from various positive
data that the separate organization of the Jesuit missions in Louisiana had taken
place in 1723. The oivil organization of Louisiana, including the Illinois and ex-
cluding Canada, had been decreed, September 27, 1717. Of. Thwaites, Ixxi. 126,
127.— For the catalogue of 1756, see iUd., Ixx. 80-88.
= Fleck, p. 45.


the Jesuits, enabled them to cover a large part of the continent, not
merely among nations known, but among many unknown save to
themselves and trappers.

At nearly the same date which has furnished us with these par-
ticulars, the Hon. Cadwallader Golden, member of the New York

Council, some time surveyor-general, and afterwards „

,. J & ' Colden's

lieutenant-general, volunteered to Governor Clinton theory on the

(1751) a theory on the work of CathoKc missionaries. ^^° ^™'
He said, " The French have priests among the several nations in
amity with them " ; but " they have not been able to settle any
priests anywhere in the villages of the Six Nations " — Iroquois and
Tuscaroras. Then he propounded his theory : " M^any of these
priests are for the most part engaged at a cheap easy rate, by a spirit
of enthusiasm ; and others by a hope of preferment." The " hope
of preferment" he illustrated by the case of some priest then at
Cataxacqui, one who was said to be " a person of considerable estate,"
and was " distributing large presents," besides employing " other
artifices," among the neighbouring Six Nations. This liberality
Colden forthwith explained, by projecting upon it the only light
which his mind could turn on such a strange performance, as that
of giving anything to anybody. The missionary, said he, was doing
so, " on the promise he has had of a bishoprick, after some certain
term of service among the Indians." ^

Putting aside this part of Colden's idea, that preferment to a
bishopric must have been the motive for doing something religiously
good in this world — a preferment which, with Jesuits, could be only
to a better world, or to a better place in it — we are inclined to
adopt the rest of Colden's speculation, notwithstanding its crude-
ness, that the priests were " for the most part engaged at a cheap
easy rate." This means that they cost little to others, however
much they cost themselves — a method of procedure somewhat in-
sulting to the notions of the world, if not subversive of
its principles. It would be in vain to look among the * ^^ co"
records of secular or regular clergy in Canada for such |f™|^^^,_
an expression of self- congratulation as we find indulged
in by the Kev. W. Hooper, of Boston (1763) ; that a recent foundation

' Brodhead, vi. 743, Golden, N.Y., August 8, 1751, to Clinton.— The person under
observation was probably Father Francis Pioquet, a Sulpioian, who began his work
at the Presentation, now Ogdensburg, about 1750, remaining there tUl 1760. Arch-
bishop Corrigan reports from a Sulpioian source that, " on account of his great
missionary success, he was called by the BngUsh ' The Jesuit of the West ' ; " where
the term " West " is evidently used with reference to the Iroquois cantons. (Bee.
and Studies, i. 41, 42.)


of £60 annually, made for his assistant at Trinity Church, " with
the salary payed to me, and other charges, make about £300 sterling
per annum"; a greater voluntary sum, exclaimed the reverend
gentleman expansively to his Grace of Canterbury, than was perhaps
expended by any other congregation in America, belonging to the
Church of England.' That kind of enthusiasm over £300 per
annum spent on two men sprang from a different kind of pastoral
divinity and somewhat more intelligible to a mind like Colden's,
than what the latter gentleman was contemplating in the " spirit of
enthusiasm," manifested by Catholic missionaries. It did not shock
the sense of economical propriety. Nobody had anything to say against
£300 per annum being sunk in the family comfort of two genteel
ministers. Nor, on the other hand, do we know of any one, outside
of outraged Canada, who uttered a word of protest against the
project, insisted on during forty years, of applying the eighteen
Jesuit estates in Canada to the exclusive use, comfort, honour and
enlightened pleasures of one single family, that of Lord Amherst.

At the same time, in the name of " Mortmain," there was not
an enlightened person but might well take exception to such
enormous wealth being administered by a Catholic religious Order,
in providing homes for over 8000 tenants, and in spending the
proceeds on a continent, while the members lived under a vow

of personal poverty. We see Frontenac cited to tax
criUd""of ^'^ Jesuits with land-grabbing.* We find them carped
the economic at gravely for having taken good land which was

offered them instead of going to look for worse, or
leaving the good things for good laymen to take up at some post-
humous date. The tardy indemnification of the Jesuits in the
nineteenth century for the perversion of their religious property to
other uses we find ascribed to " no legal validity," but to " clerical
bitterness." In short, the Church at large in Canada, including the
other religious institutions, the hospitals, the bishopric and the
seminary, have all fallen under the same economical stricture ; not
because they used their property as well as the Jesuits did, but
because they had it — locked up in perpetuity for religion, charity, and
education.^ During one or two hundred years Mortmain had said
it, the world was not large enough to tolerate such uses. Indeed,
J. Belknap wrote in 1780 to Ebenezer Hazard, that " the robbing

' Lambeth Pal. MSS., 1123, iii., No. 332, W. Hooper, Boston, November 28, 1763.
* Of. supra, p. 343, note 2 ; infra, p. 666.
» Munro, pp. 180-182 ; 250, note.



some rich Eoman churches," was an action so " good in itself," and
so deserving of God's " more peculiar care " and providence over the
robbers, as to be antecedently justified— if not by faith nor by
works, at least by sound economics.^" Hazard heartily endorsed the
excellent idea, and reinforced it by adducing the example of Henry
VIII., who " converted the abbey lands, etc., to Protestant uses," "
or the uses of profligate courtesans.

To supplement Colden's speculation about the " cheap easy rate "
at which French missionaries were "engaged," we may present
in the last place a somewhat divergent theory, pro-
pounded in the Cambridge Modern History. A writer theobtul™°
observes of the missionaries in Canada, that " the lines ^°'*'
of Jesuit enterprise were fairly varied " ; and, after this light dam-
nation with faint praise, proceeds as follows : " Unlike the Eecollets,
the Jesuits were under no vow of poverty, and encouraged agri-
culture and trade, with that definiteness of purpose which they
possessed, by virtue of their intellectual superiority." ^^ Here the
faint praise has become somewhat incoherent. The idea, however,
with which the writer's mind is obtusely struggling, may be set
forth clearly thus : That as the Jesuits, in point of fact, encouraged
agriculture and trade by their administration of resources and
estates, then, in point of fact, they must, unlike the Eecollects, have
been under no vow of poverty, but individually free to spend their
resources on themselves ; and, since they did not do so, they showed
their intellectual superiority.^*

How Boston and Canterbury, and other genteel places or com-
fortable interests, might be affected by such a conclusion arrived at

'» Mass. Sist. Soc. Coll., 5th series, ii. 43, Belknap, March 13, 1780, to Hazard,
on Hennepin's having approved of two beavers, votive ofierings to an Indian divinity,
being removed from a tree. Though there is no word in Belknap's account that
Hennepin approved of a theft, the writer proceeds : " Would not this be an excellent
argument to justify the robbing of some irich Eoman churches, and converting their
useless treasures to more valuable piurposes than the adorning of wooden Saints, or
the inshrining of rotten bones ? "

" Ibid., 46, Jamaica Plain, April 1, 1780.— In all the keen sharpshooting of people
at Jesuits during more than a century, one negative feature of the guerilla warfare
might escape casual notice. It is that no one seems ever to have sighted a weak
spot in the personal integrity of any Jesuit — no lapse in virtue, no scandal of any
kind in all that exposed life from the Gulf of Mexico to Lake Superior and New-
foundland. And yet, between 1611 and 1778, the Jesuits working in this territory
amounted to 320, including lay brothers. (Thwaites, Ixxi. 137-181.) Cf . History, 1. 121.

" Comb. Mod. Hist., vii. 77. Cf. supra, p. 289.

'" SimUar blankness of mind on subjects rashly taken up may be witnessed in
J. Douglas, Old France in the New World, pp. 411-415, where, for want of equipment
on the meaning of vows, communities, orders, exemption, episcopal jurisdiction, etc.,
the author conducts the Canadian actors through the antics of a meaningless comedy ;
as the rpas perdus of the Cambridge writer's logic strands the conclusion at the wrong
end of what was intended.


in Cambridge, does not concern us. But, as to the Jesuits, it was
because of personal poverty, the subject of one vow, that they were
rich for the public, and for the native races of a continent.
Bacon on the " Charity," as Bacon says, " will hardly water a ground,
situation. where it must first fill a pool." It was because of
another personal obligation, under the vow of chastity, that great
works abounded with them. " Certainly," says the same Bacon,
" the best works, and of greatest merit for the public, have proceeded
from the unmarried or childless men, which, both in affection and
means, have married and endowed the public." ^* Both principles
have been expressed ia sacred language; that a poor life is com-
patible with many good things, to have them and to do them ; and
that the unmarried and the chaste have time to think on the things
of the Lord, being holy both in body and spirit." ^^ Finally, Bacon
makes another reflection, that "even modest means, when they come
into the hands of great men, or to the service of great undertakings,
produce at times important and brilliant results." ^^

Now we may change the point of view ; and, passing over from
the French side of the border, look at the doings of the Jesuits from
the side of English policy.

§ 176. In 1670, Francis Lovelace, Governor of New York, after
offering the inducement of 1000 Dutch guilders, with habitation and
firewood free, to any minister who would come from Holland and
serve the bereaved congregation of New York,^ turned his eyes
towards the savage country of the Iroquois cantons, and espied
Jesuits there. He wrote to London : " A small party of Jesuites,
consisting of four besides theire servants, in all eleven, have settled
themselves on this side the Lake of Irecoies \Lake Ontario], They
pretent it is no more but to advance the Kingdom of Christ, when
it is to bee suspected, it is rather the Kingdome of his Most Christian
Majestic." ^ A few years later (1675), the Duke of York, who was
proprietary of New York, instructed the next governor. Major Andros,
to bring about a good understanding between the Mohawks and the
French, " as that the French may not come on this side the Lake or
Eiver Canada, to divert the trade or annoy the Mahakes." ^

" Eesay, Of Marriage and Single Life. '= Tob. iv. 23. 1 Got. vii. 34.

" De Dignitate, etc. Scientiariim, 1. vi. o. 4. He is speaking of education, and he
returns to the subject of the Jesuits with commendation.

1 Brodhead, iii. 189 ; Jme 28, 1570.

2 Ibid., 190, Lovelace, October 3, 1670, to Secretary Williamson.

' Ibid., 233, Sir J. Werden, secretary, September 15, 1675, to Andros. — For divers


Four months after that sufficed for a further move forward, by
wedging in the idea of a right behind, and claiming the Mohawks'
land. Andros was thus addressed : " As to your thoughts
of bounding the Dukes territoryes northwards by Canada, teX°r^
you will doubtless doe well to looke upon them alwayes g °'usifi^*d
as being soe bounded, the Dutch having ever claymed
and never lost the possession of the same." This was rather a com-
pliment to the imperialism of the fur-traders at Albany, that they
had thought themselves to be vested with empire over the Iroquois,
when they were bidding for truck. But no authority for the state-
ment was mentioned, neither their High Mightinesses in Holland,
nor the plain Dutch in New Netherland. The instruction continued :
" When any occasion shalbe to take out a new patent (be it upon the
better adjusting the boundaryes with Connecticut or otherwise), then
care wilbe had of fixing this northerne limitt." * It was all to be
a silent penetration and pacific. The Duke of York commended
the considerateness of Andros in " forbidding the sale of powder to
any Indians except the Maquas \MohM,'wks\ (whose friendship with
you is necessary to be preserved) " ; for, it was added, " though our
neighbours Christians deserve small courtesy from us, yet still
theire being Christians makes it charity for us not to furnish theire
enemyes with the opportunity es or meanes to hurt them." ^

Commercial interests were actuating this steady pressure towards
political appropriation. Frontenac told King Louis XIV. in 1679,
that Governor Andros "was soliciting the Iroquois underhand to
break with us, and was about convoking a meeting of the Five
Nations, to propose, it was reported, strange matters there, of a
nature to disturb our trade with them, and also that of the Outawas
and the nations to the north andjwest " ; and it was only an outbreak
of small-pox which foiled the English governor.^

Colonel Thomas Dongan, the next governor, endeavoured to make

a reality of certain paper claims contained in the Duke of York's

patent from Charles 11.,' and to interpret effectually the novel ideas

of enlarging the New York territory. These novel claims M. De

Callieres summed up to the Marquis de Seignelay, as comprehending

reasons the name " Mohawk " was frequently used by the tribes of New England,
and by the whites, as a synonym for the whole Confederation of the Iroquois Five
Nations. (Smithsonian, Ethnology, bulletin 30, i. 924.)

' Brodhead, iii. 237, Werden, January 28, 1676, to Andros. — The French were
not at all of the same mind as the Duke of York, " they pretending no boimds that
way " {JMdL., 278, Andros, March 25, 1679, to Blathwayt).

' BAd., 238, Werden, August 31, 1676, to Andros.

» HAd,., ix. 129, Frontenac, November 6, 1679, to the king.

' Of. lUd., iii. 215, Commission of Andros, 1674.


the country of the IrocLUois, the entire rivers St. Lawrence and
Ottawa, the lakes Frontenac (Ontario), Champlain, and others ad-
joining, "which form almost the whole of New France." ^
ente^^riseand I^ t^i® direction of Acadia, Dongan had called upon
poifc^^ Baron de St. Castin and the French to recognize his

authority in those parts. He made advantageous
offers, undertaking to introduce no change with regard to religion —
this English governor "being a Catholic," observed De CaUieres,
"and having a Jesuit and priests along with him, which circum-
stances render his efforts much the more dangerous.^ Thus of
Dongan we hear it affirmed that he was more dangerous, because
he was a Catholic; while of Andros, his successor, the same De
Calliferes, Governor of Montreal, wrote that he was more hopeless,
because he was a Protestant.^"

There were three distinct elements in Dongan's campaign. One
was what he thought privately, and expressed to the authorities in
England. Another, totally different, was what he said openly in his
dealings with the French authorities, and the action which he took with
the Five Nations of Iroquois. A third was the measure on which
he rested his success with the Indians; and that was the Jesuit
s la tin supply. He undertook to supplant French Jesuit
French missionaries with English Jesuits. This complicated

English policy needed the tact of a diplomat abler than the

Jesuits. blunt colonel of Limerick. The fact that the two

Crowns of France and England were at peace, and the two sove-
reigns Catholic, made the policy stiU more difficult to execute.
And, when these two Crowns made a Treaty of Neutrality in
1686,^^ covenanting and agreeing that the governors, officers and
subjects of either king should not in any way molest or disturb
the subjects of the other in settling their respective colonies, or in
their commerce or navigation, the situation of this over-zealous
governor became precarious to a degree. Besides, if his repeated
demands for English Jesuits were congenial enough to the Catholic
king, James II., recently Duke of York, those same demands came
to a Plantation Board, which was anything but Catholic.

' Brodhead, ix. 265, memoir (1685). » IhiA., 266.

Online LibraryThomas HughesHistory of the Society of Jesus in North America, colonial and federal → online text (page 44 of 92)