Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents

Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents: A Selection

Edited and with an Introduclion by S. R. MEALING
Copyright Date: 1978
Pages: 161
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7zt2f2
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  • Book Info
    Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents
    Book Description:

    This edition focuses on the Jesuit mission to the Hurons which culminated in the martyrdom of Fathers Brébeuf and Lalemant, and gives a fascinating glimpse of the Great Lakes Indian culture at the time the white man first came.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-7342-0
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. vii-xii)
    S. R. MEALING

    On May 22, 1611, Fathers Pierre Biard and Ennémond Massé landed at the little fortified habitation of Port Royal. They were the first Jesuit priests in northern America, and two others soon followed. They were gratified at their reception by the Micmac Indians, one hundred and forty of whom had already been baptized by a secular priest who had come out the year before. The local Micmac chief offered to make war on any of his tribe who resisted baptism, The governor, and the Huguenot traders interested in the new colony, were less co-operative. The Jesuits, taking part in an...

  4. Part One. THE BEGINNINGS OF THE JESUIT MISSION TO NEW FRANCE
    • I LETTER FROM FATHER CHARLES L’ALEMANT, SUPERIOR OF THE MISSIONS OF CANADA, TO THE VERY REVEREND FATHER MUTIO VITELLESCHI, GENERAL OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS, AT ROME (1626)
      (pp. 13-15)

      Your Paternity need not be surprised to have received no letters from us during the year since our last; for we are so remote from the seacoast that we are visited only once a year by French vessels, and then only by those to whom navigation hither is allowed, for to others it is interdicted, so that, if by any mischance these merchant ships should be wrecked, or be taken by pirates, we could look to Divine providence alone for our daily bread. For from the savages, who have scarcely the necessaries of life for themselves, nothing is to be...

    • II BRIEF RELATION OF THE JOURNEY TO NEW FRANCE, MADE IN THE MONTH OF APRIL LAST BY FATHER PAUL LE JEUNE, OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS (1632)
      (pp. 16-21)

      Having been notified by you on the last day of March that I should embark ?s early as possible at Havre de Grace, to sail directly for New France, I left Dieppe the next day . . . .

      We had fine weather at first. and made about six hundred leagues in ten days. but we could hardly cover two hundred on the following thirty three days. I bad sometimes seen the angry sea from the windows of our little house at Dieppe; but watching the fury of the Ocean from the shore is quite different from tossing upon its...

    • III LETTER FROM FATHER PAUL LE JEUNE, TO THE REVEREND FATHER PROVINCIAL OF FRANCE, AT PARIS (1634)
      (pp. 22-28)

      . . . I shall spare neither ink nor paper, since Your Reverence endures with so much love my tediousness and simplicity. After having thanked you with all my heart for the help which you have been pleased to send us, as well as for the food and fresh supplies, I will describe to you fully the state of this mission.

      Let us begin with what has occurred this year. We have lived in great peace, thank God, among ourselves, with our working people, and with all the french. I have been greatly pleased witb all our Fathers. . ....

    • IV RELATION OF WHAT OCCURRED IN NEW FRANCE ON THE GREAT RIVER ST. LAWRENCE, IN THE YEAR ONE THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED THIRTY-FOUR (1634)
      (pp. 29-38)

      The great show of power made at first by the Portuguese in the East and West Indies inspired profound admiration in the minds of the Indians, so that these people embraced, without any contradiction, the belief of those whom they admired. Now the following is, it seems to me, the way in which to acquire an ascendency over our Savages.

      First, to check the progress of those who overthrow Religion, and to make ourselves feared by tbe Iroquois, who have killed some of our men, as every one knows, and who recently mas sacred two hundred Hurons, and took more...

  5. Part Two. THE MISSION TO THE HURONS
    • I RELATION OF WHAT OCCURRED AMONG THE HURONS IN THE YEAR 1635
      (pp. 39-47)

      . . . I arrived among the Hurons on the fifth of August, after being thirty days on the road in continual work, except one day of rest, which we took in the country of the Bissiriniens [Nipissings]. I landed at the port of the village of Toanché or ofTeandeouiata, where we bad formerly lived; but it was with a little misfortune. My Savages. – forgetting the kindness I had lavished upon them and the help I had afforded them in their sickness, and notwithstanding all the fair words and promises they had given me, – after having landed me with...

    • II INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE FATHERS OF OUR SOCIETY WHO SHALL BE SENT TO THE HURONS (1637)
      (pp. 48-50)

      The Fathers and Brethren whom God shall call to the holy Mission of the Hurons ought to exercise careful foresight in regard to all the hardships, annoyances, and perils that must be encountered in making this journey. in order to be prepared betimes for all emergencies that may arise.

      You must have sincere affection for the Savages, – looking upon them as ransomed by the blood of the son of God, and as our Brethren with whom we are to pass the rest of our lives.

      To conciliate the Savages, you must be careful never to make them wait for you...

    • III RELATION OF WHAT OCCURRED IN THE MISSION OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS, IN THE LAND OF THE HURONS, IN THE YEAR 1637
      (pp. 51-52)

      On the 2nd of September, we learned that an Iroquois prisoner had been brought to the village of Onnentisati, and that they were preparing to put him to death. This Savage was one of eight captured by them at the lake of the Iroquois; the rest had saved themselves by flight. At first we were horrified at the thought of being present at this spectacle, but, having well considered all, we judged it wise to be there, not despairing of being able to win this soul for God .... So we entered and placed ourselves near him; the Father Superior...

    • IV LETTER OF FATHER FRANÇOIS DU PERON OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS, TO FATHER JOSEPH IMBERT DU PERON, HIS BROTHER, RELIGIOUS OF THE SAME SOCIETY (1639)
      (pp. 53-56)

      . . . . I left Three Rivers on the 4th of September, and reached the Huron country on the day of Saint Michel [September 29] . . . .

      Along the way we passed three wandering Algonquin tribes: for the rest, forests and bare rocks, rapids and precipices: I am surprised that the savages dare undertake such a journey. As for the Huron country. it is tolerably level, with many prairies, many lakes, many villages; of the two where we are, one contains 80 cabins, the other 40. In each cabin there are five fireplaces, and two families at...

  6. Part Three. THE MARTYRDOM OF HURONIA AND THE MISSION TO THE IROQUOIS
    • I OF INCURSIONS BY THE IROQUOIS (1642-43)
      (pp. 57-58)

      There are two divisions of Iroquois, – the one, neighbours of the Hurons and equal to them in number, or even greater, are called Santweronons [Senecas]. Formerly the Hurons bad the upper hand; at present these prevail, both in number and in strength. The others live between the three Rivers and the upper Hiroquois, and are called Agneronons [Mohawks]. The settlement of the Dutch is near them; they go thither to carry on their trades, especially in arquebuses; they have. at present three hundred of these, and use them with skill and boldness. These are the ones who make incursions upon...

    • II HOW FATHER JOGUES WAS TAKEN BY THE IROQUOIS, AND WHAT HE SUFFERED ON HIS FIRST ENTRANCE INTO THEIR COUNTRY (1647)
      (pp. 59-61)

      Father Isaac rogues had sprung from a worthy family of the City of Orleans. After having given some evidence of his virtue in our Society, he was sent to New France, in the year 1638. In the same year he went up to the Hurons, where he sojourned until the thirteenth of June in the year 1642, when ’he was sent to Kebec upon the affairs of that important and arduous Mission.

      From that time until his death, there occurred many very remarkable things, – of which one cannot, without guilt, deprive the public. What has been said of his...

    • III LETTER OF FATHER PAUL RAGUENEAU TO THE VERY REVEREND FATHER VINCENT CARAFFA, GENERAL OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS, AT ROME (1649)
      (pp. 62-66)

      I have received, very Reverend Paternity, your letter dated January 20, 1647. If you wrote us last year, 1648, we have not yet received that letter. Your Paternity evinces pleasure in the news of the state of our Huron mission. Indeed (such is your Paternal love toward us), you even stoop to details and bid us inform you of everything.

      There are here eighteen Fathers, four coadjutors, twenty three Donées,¹⁴ seven servants (to whom alone wages are paid), four boys and eight soldiers. Truly, we are so threatened by the hostile rage of our savage enemies that, unless we wish...

    • IV A VERITABLE ACCOUNT OF THE MARTYRDOM AND BLESSED DEATH OF FATHER JEAN DE BREBOEUF AND OF FATHER GABRIEL L’ALEMANT, IN NEW FRANCE, IN THE COUNTRY OF THE HURONS, BY THE IROQUOIS, ENEMIES OF THE FAITH (1678)
      (pp. 67-71)

      Father Jean de Breboeuf and Father Gabriel L’Alemant¹⁵ had set out from our cabin, to go to a small Village, called St. Ignace, distant from our cabin about a short quarter of a league, to instruct the Savages and the new Christians of that Village. It was on the 16th Day of March, in the morning, that we perceived a great fire at the place to which these two good fathers had gone. This fire made us very uneasy; we did not know whether it were enemies, or if the fire had caught in some of the huts of the...

    • V OF THE REMOVAL OF THE HOUSE OF SAINTE MARIE TO THE ISLAND OF ST. JOSEPH: OF THE CAPTURE AND DEVASTATION OF THE MISSION OF SAINT JEAN, BY THE IROQUOIS, AND OF THE DEATH OF FATHER CHARLES GARNIER AND OF FATHER NOEL CHABANEL, WHO WERE MISSIONARIES THERE (1649-50)
      (pp. 72-77)

      In consequence of the bloody victories obtained by the Iroquois over our Hurons at the commencement of the spring of last year, 1649, and of the more than inhuman acts of barbarity practiced toward their prisoners of war, and the cruel torments pitilessly inflicted on Father Jean de Bréboeuf and Father Gabriel Lallemant, – terror having fallen upon the neighboring villages, – all the inhabitants dispersed. These poor, distressed people forsook their lands, houses, and villages, in order to ecape the cruelty of an enemy whom they feared more than a thousand deaths. Many, no longer expecting humanity from man, flung themselves...

    • VI RELATION OF WHAT OCCURRED IN THE MISSION OF THE FATHERS OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS, IN THE COUNTRY OF NEW FRANCE, FROM THE SUMMER OF THE YEAR 1653 TO THE SUMMER OF THE YEAR 1654
      (pp. 78-81)

      I have waited until this day, the twenty-first of the month of September, before taking my pen in hand to inform Your Reverence of the condition in which we are, – having been unable to do so sooner, because we did Dot know it ourselves. was minds have been so divided during the past year that, to tell the truth, we have enjoyed Peace while thinking we were at Was. Therein God has blessed our administration; and from the plots of treachery entertained by the Iroquois, our enemies, he has derived their welfare and ours. Such are the hopes given us...

    • VII JOURNEY OF FATHERS JOSEPH CHAUMONT AND CLAUDE DABLON TO ONONTAGUE, A COUNTRY OF THE UPPER IROQUOIS (1655-56)
      (pp. 82-83)

      The people named Agneronnons are called the Iroquois of the lowlands, or the Lower Iroquois; while we speak of the Onontaeronons, and other Nations near these, as the Iroquois of the highlands, or the Upper Iroquois, because they are situated nearer the source of the great Saint Lawrence river and inhabit a country full of mountains. Onontaé – or as others pronounce it, Onontagué – is the chief town of the Onontaeronnons; and thither our course was directed....

      All the first day was spent, partly in feasting, partly in negotiating peace for the AIgooquins; and, as this was the most difficult matter,...

    • VIII LETTER TO REVEREND FATHER LOUYS CELLOT, PROVINCIAL OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS IN THE PROVINCE OF FRANCE, BY FATHER FRANCOIS-JOSEPH LE MERCIER (1656)
      (pp. 84-86)

      . . . . The manifestations of Divine providence and the means employed by its guidance. which bas so well directed matters to the point at which they have now arrived, compel us to admit that we cannot, without extreme cowardice. disappoint the expectations that God has caused to arise for us where we least expected them. For what power other than his could force these peoples [the Iroquois], inflated with pride on account of their victories, not only to come and seek a peace with us of which they seem to have no need, but also to place themselves...

    • IX LETTER OF FATHER CLAUDE CHAUCHETIERE, RESPECTING THE IROQUOIS MISSION OF SAULT ST. FRANCOIS XAVIER, NEAR MONTREAL (1682)
      (pp. 87-88)

      In answer to Your Reverence’s letter respecting what you have asked me, I will say that we are in a part of the country where the climate is not as good as in france, although, thanks be to God, I am in very good health. We are in a very high and beautiful location, with a fine view, 60 leagues Distant from Quebec, – which is called “the Iroquois mission.” It is the finest mission in Canada, and, as regards piety and devotion, resembles one of the best churches in France ....

      We have a large farm, on which we keep...

  7. Part Four. THE WESTERN MISSIONS AND THE EXPANSION OF NEW FRANCE
    • I OF THE CONDITION OF THE COUNTRY IN GENERAL (1659-60)
      (pp. 89-93)

      We know that very far beyond the great lake of the Hurons – when the Iroquois did not molest our mission, and before he had expelled us from them by the murder of our Fathers, – we know that some remnants of the wreck of that Nation rallied in considerable numbers beyond the lakes and mountains fre quented by their enemies, and that but recently they sent a deputation hither to ask back again their dear old Pastors. But these good pastors are slain on the way, by the Iroquois, their guides are captured and burned, and all the roads are rendered...

    • II JOURNAL OF FATHER CLAUDE ALLOUEZ’S VOYAGE INTO THE OUTAOUAC COUNTRY (1666-67)
      (pp. 94-96)

      Two years ago and more, Father Claude Allouez²³ set out for that great and arduous Mission, in behalf of which he has journeyed, in all his travels, nearly two thousand leagues through these vast forests, – enduring hunger, nakedness, shipwreck, weariness by day and night, and the persecution of the Idolators; but he has also had the consolation of bearing the torch of the faith to more than twenty different infidel Nations.

      We cannot gain a better knowledge of the fruits of his labors than from the Journal which he was called upon to prepare. He begins as follows:

      On the...

    • III TAKING POSSESSION, IN THE KING’S NAME OF ALL THE COUNTRIES COMMONLY INCLUDED UNDER THE DESIGNATION OUTAOUAC (1671-72)
      (pp. 97-99)

      It is well to afford a general view of all these Outaouac territories, not only for the purpose of designating the places where the Faith has been proclaimed by the planting of Missions, but also because the King, by very recently taking possession of them with a ceremony worthy of the eldest son of the Church, put all these tribes under the protection of the Cross before receiving them under bis own – as will be set forth in the account to be given of that act of taking possession.

      By glancing, as one can, at the Map of the lakes,...

    • IV OF THE FIRST VOYAGE MADE BY FATHER MARQUETTE TOWARD NEW MEXICO, AND HOW THE IDEA THEREOF WAS CONCEIVED (1673)
      (pp. 100-106)

      The Father²⁶ had long premeditated This Undertaking, influenced by a most ardent desire to extend the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, and to make him Known and adored by all the peoples of that country. He saw himself, As it were, at the door of these new Nations when, as early as the year 1670, be was laboring in the Mission at the point of st. Esprit, at the extremity of lake superior, among the outaouacs; he even saw occasionally various persons belonging to these new peoples from whom he obtained all the Information that he could. This induced him to...

    • V A LETTER, ADDRESSED TO REVEREND FATHER JEAN DE LAMBERVILLE, REGARDING THE ILLINOIS MISSIONS (1702)
      (pp. 107-110)

      I send to Your Reverence The invoice of this year, 1702, for The Ilinois missions, and for The 3 fathers who are there now. I beg you not to be surprised if it be somewhat large. It is to supply clothes and provisions for three fathers, besides Brother guibort and perhaps Brother gillet, who are in need of everything; and to begin at last to supply, once for all, The principal items of all that is required for 3 missions – which have always been borrowing; which have always lacked most of the necessary articles; And wherein The missionaries have done...

    • VI LETTER BY REVEREND FATHER ÉTIENNE DE CARREIL TO MONSIEUR LOUIS HECTOR DE CALLIERES, GOVERNOR (1702)
      (pp. 111-114)

      ... If his majesty desire to save our missions and to support the Establishment of Religion, as we have no Doubt he does, we beg him most humbly to Believe What is most true, namely; that there is no other means of doing so than to abolish completely the two Infamous sorts of Commerce which have brought the missions to the brink of destruction, and which will not long delay in destroying these if they be not abolished as soon as possible by his orders, and be prevented from ever being restored. The first is the Commerce in brandy; the...

    • VII SETTLEMENTS AND MISSIONS OF THE SOCIETY IN NEW FRANCE (1703)
      (pp. 115-118)

      And that the Lord is with his servants and soldiers, the outcome has proved. For, in the beginning of this year, 1703, while we are writing these things, there are numbered in this formerlysolitary and unexplored countrymore than thirty very prosperous and well-equipped Missions of our Society. besides the college of Quebec. The first of these, in sight of Quebec, at the tenth mile-stonc from the city, is called Lorette. Another is situated in the district of Tadoussac, on the shore of the river St. Lawrence, sixty leagues below Quebec toward the east. Three others, above Quebec itself,...

  8. Part Five. THE JESUITS AT QUEBEC
    • I RELATION OF WHAT OCCURRED IN NEW FRANCE IN THE YEAR 1635
      (pp. 119-121)

      We have six. residences in New France. The first, beginning with the first land encountered in coming into these countries, is called the Residence of Sainte Anne; it is at Cape Breton. The second is the Residence of Saint Charles, at Miscall. The third. which we are going to occupy this Autumn, the Residence of Nostredame de Recouvrance. at Kebec, near the Fort. The fourth, the Residence of Nostredame des Anges, half a league from Kebec. The fifth, the Residence of the Conception, at the three Rivers. The sixth, the Residence of Saint Joseph, at Ihonatiria, among the Hurons. I...

    • II RELATION OF WHAT OCCURRED IN NEW FRANCE IN THE YEAR 1639
      (pp. 122-125)

      The most extraordinary delay in the arrival of the fleet this year had made us very uneasy, when a ship, appearing forty leagues below Kebec, sent a short letter to Monseigneur our Governor. Every one hastened to learn the news; but. as the paper contained not a word about the birth of Monseigneur the Dauphin. it checked the course of our joy. We had beard the year before that the Queen wasenceinteand we hoped for a child whose birth would be at once a blessing and a miracle; we all thought that God’s gifts would be perfected, and...

    • III OF THE RESIDENCE AT SILLERY, AND HOW THE SAVAGES THERE SPEND THE YEAR (1642-43)
      (pp. 126-130)

      The little village of St. Joseph, called Sillery, two scant leagues distant from Quebec, is composed of about 35 or 40 families of Christian Savages who have settled there, and live there all year, except the times for their bunting; these are often, joined by many of those who are still roving. – partly to receive some assistance, partly to be instructed in the mysteries of our holy faith. This number will seem small to those who are not acquainted with the state of a roving Savage; but sufficiently large to tbose who are thus acquainted, and know the life which...

    • IV EXTRACTS FROM THE JOURNAL OF THE JESUITS AT QUEBEC (1645-68)
      (pp. 131-142)

      On the 17th, Chrestiennaut was received into our service, at wages of thirty écus a year, and was sent to 3 rivers to serve there as Cook and Clothier, – in a word, for everything. He had come hither from france in Monsieur de repentigny’s retinue; and bad become discontented there, so that be bad resolved to retreat to the woods rather than go back [to France]; there was no written contract with him.

      On the 19th, we began to build an oven at our house, after having asked permission from Messieurs the owners of the house.

      On the same day...

    • V REVENUES OF THE JESUITS IN CANADA (1701)
      (pp. 143-146)

      We, the undersigned, Religious of the Society of Jesus in Canada, in obedience to the order of his majesty which bas been made known to us by Monsieur the Chevalier de Calliere, governor and lieutenant-general in all northern Dew france, and by Monsieur de Champigny, intendant of the country, do Certify that our fixed Revenues and Perquisites, with both our Taxes and obligations, are as follows:

      It is True that, when the years are good, this may be increased by 1,000 livres, or thereabout; but, when they are bad, – either through the seasons, or through war. which causes everything to...

    • VI MEMOIR BY FATHER CLAUDE GODEFROI COQUART UPON THE POSTS OF THE KING’S DOMAIN (1750)
      (pp. 147-151)

      The Post of chekoutimi is 30 leagues from Tadoussac, on the upper Saguenai; two leagues higher than this post, the saguenai is no longer navigable, except for canoes. This post is the most valuable of the whole domain, on account of the quantity of Peltries which it produces – 3,000 Livres, and often more, of Beaver-skins, and about 2,000 Martens in ordinary years; last year, there were more than 3,000 of the latter, besides skins of bears, Lynxes, and otters. In a word, according to The information of the agent himself, his post has, several times during his residence there, produced...

    • VII LETTER OF FATHER AUGUSTIN L. DE GLAPION TO MR. HUGH FINLAY, OF THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL (1788)
      (pp. 152-153)

      I beg you to excuse me for having so long delayed my answer to the letter which you were pleased to write to me on the 26th of August last.

      If you consider it indispensable that we should appear before The honorable Committee, we shall do so on the 15th of the present month, at The hour prescribed. But we shall not be able to say there what I have The honor to write you hereunder:

      1st. Since we have been under the English Domination, we have been, we are still, and we will always be submissive and faithful subjects...

  9. NOTES
    (pp. 154-157)
  10. SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING
    (pp. 158-158)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 159-160)