* A Distributed Proofreaders Canada eBook *

This eBook is made available at no cost and with very few restrictions. These restrictions apply only if (1) you make a change in the eBook (other than alteration for different display devices), or (2) you are making commercial use of the eBook. If either of these conditions applies, please check with an FP administrator before proceeding.

This work is in the Canadian public domain, but may be under copyright in some countries. If you live outside Canada, check your country's copyright laws. If the book is under copyright in your country, do not download or redistribute this file.

Title: The Jesuit Relations—volume 65

Date of first publication: 1900

Editor: Reuben Gold Thwaites (1853-1913)

Date first posted: October 31 2012

Date last updated: May 20 2013

Faded Page eBook #20130519

This eBook was produced by: David T. Jones & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net

(This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive/Canadian Libraries)

[Transcriber's Note: this version has been significantly revised to
enhance readability—see further note at the end for details.]





The edition consists of seven
hundred and fifty sets
all numbered



The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents






Secretary of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin

Vol. LXV



CLEVELAND: The Burrows Brothers

Copyright, 1900
The Burrows Brothers Co.

all rights reserved

The Imperial Press, Cleveland


Editor Reuben Gold Thwaites
Assistant Editor Emma Helen Blair
Bibliographical Adviser Victor Hugo Paltsits


Preface to Volume LXV   11
CLXIX. Les affaires de Canada En 1696. (With later memoranda.) [Jacques de Lamberville;] n.p., [1696-97] 24
CLXX. Le Vie d'un Missionaire Montagnaix presentée aux Successeurs Montagnaix pour Leur instruction et pour leur plus grande consolation. François De crepieul; Chegoutimÿ, April 21, 1697 42
CLXXI. Deux lettres à Monseigneur de Laval. Jacques Gravier; Ville-Marie, September 17, 1697, and Michilimakinak, September 20, 1698 52
CLXXII. Lettre à un Père de la Compagnie de Jésus. Julien Binneteau; du Pays des Illinois, [January,] 1699 64
CLXXIII. Lettre à un Père de la Compagnie de Jésus. Gabriel Marest; du Pays des Illinois, April 29, 1699 78
CLXXIV. Lettre à un Père de la Compagnie de Jésus. Jacques Bigot; du Pays des Abnaquis, [October 26,] 1699 86
CLXXV. Relation ou Journal du voyage en 1700 depuis le Pays des Illinois Jusqu'à l'Embouchure du Fleuve Mississipi. Jacques Gravier; Fort de Mississipi, February 16, 1701 100
CLXXVI. Les Revenus des Jésuites en Canada, 1701. Martin Bouvart, François Vallant, Pierre Rafaix; Quebec, October 4, 1701 180
CLXXVII. Lettre à M. Louis Hector de Callières, gouverneur. Étienne de Carheil; Michilimackina, August 30, 1702 188
Bibliographical Data: Volume LXV   255
Notes   261

decorative glyph


I. Reduced facsimile of MS. missionary map of country northwest of Lake St. John, P. Q., made ca. 1695 Facing 44
II. Facsimile of handwriting of François Vaillant de Guélis, S. J., first missionary of Detroit; selected from a MS. in the archives of St. Mary's College, Montreal Facing 186


Following is a synopsis of the documents contained in this volume:

CLXIX. An unsigned document (probably written by Jacques de Lamberville) gives a brief account of "Canadian affairs in 1696." The leading event of the year is Frontenac's expedition into the Iroquois country. The Onondagas retreat before him. A detachment is sent against the Oneidas. The Christian woman who had saved Milet's life comes to meet the French, with proposals for peace and for the removal of herself and her Christian tribesmen to the reduction at Sault St. Louis; but the French troops, without waiting for the conclusion of this arrangement, rush into the village, which causes the terrified inhabitants to take flight. "Their village was burned, and their Indian corn cut down, as at Onnontagué." Frontenac and Callières wish to punish the Cayugas also; but the militia are anxious to get home to gather in their harvests, and the expedition—"which has cost the King more than 50 thousand ecus"—returns to the St. Lawrence, after having captured only an old man, almost blind, and a lame old woman. These are given to the Christian Iroquois, among whom they find relatives; the French troops, however, not only insist that this poor old man be put to death, but they themselves burn him at a slow fire. "He greatly loved us, and had often given food to the Jesuit who now confessed him and assisted him at death—encouraging him to suffer bravely, and as a Christian, the torture of fire that they were about to make him endure." Meanwhile, the Mohawks are harrying the French settlements, burning and slaughtering wherever they go.

An extract from a letter by Lamberville describes the condition of affairs at the Sault St. Louis mission. The church therein is prosperous and well organized; but much evil has been wrought among the new Christians by the use of brandy, which is sold to them by the French. The writer describes with enthusiasm the honor paid by devout persons throughout Canada to the tomb of Catherine Tegakwita, and the miraculous cures that are wrought there through her intercession. Among the persons thus benefited are Champigny and Du Luth.

Another letter reports the flourishing state of Gravier's Illinois mission, wherein he counts more than 2,000 baptized persons. The martyrdom of a Christian Iroquois woman, at the hands of her pagan tribesmen, is recounted in detail. At the end of this MS. are written a number of detached and often fragmentary memoranda, relating mainly to business matters—apparently of Montreal habitants, and occasionally of nuns and Jesuits.

CLXX. Crépieul, the Montagnais veteran, describes the "long and slow martyrdom" which constitutes "the Life of a Montagnaix Missionary"—a pathetic record of continual hardship, privation, and danger. The final sentence is truly characteristic: "Suffering and hardship are the appanages of these holy but arduous missions. God grant that in them may long remain, and die, the useless servant of the missions, François, S. J."

CLXXI. Gravier writes to the late bishop, Laval (September 16, 1697), thanking him for his kind interest in the Western missions, but complaining that Frontenac has driven him and Pinet from their mission at Chicago. He asks Laval to induce St. Vallier to reinstate Pinet in that mission. He also expresses profuse thanks to Laval for the latter's offering to the Illinois mission of silver utensils for the altar—for which Laval has given "almost all his own plate."

Again (September 20, 1698) Gravier writes to Laval to announce the arrival at Mackinac of the priests sent to the Western missions by the Seminary of Quebec. He and his brethren will aid these new missionaries to the best of their ability.

CLXXII. Julien Binneteau, who is stationed in the Illinois mission, writes to a friend (about January, 1699) regarding his difficulties with the Indian medicine-men. They are, however, "polite to the missionaries;" and some of them even resort to the Fathers in illness. The young men are as averse as the medicine-men to the new religion, as it is a check to their licentious lives; but the women are well inclined to the truth, and show great constancy in maintaining their profession. The Father praises certain pious families, who "would be a good example to the best regulated households in France." He eulogizes the abilities and zeal of his colleague, Gabriel Marest, who "is doing wonders." They have three chapels, and are busily occupied in this large village. Binneteau mentions a visit that he has made to the Tamaroa savages, who live on the banks of the Mississippi. He describes the mild climate of Illinois, and the fruits and the game animals that abound there; also the life led by the savages, their hunting of the buffalo, and their manner of preserving its flesh for food. The women do nearly all the work, while the men live in idleness, which "is the cause of all their debauchery."

CLXXIII. Marest, who is now also among the Illinois, writes to a friend (April 29, 1699) some account of his mission. The number of converts has so increased that a new and larger church has been built. The two Fathers stationed here "have occupation beyond their strength." Marest outlines their labors and responsibilities, which barely leave them time for sleep. The Seminary priests sent to this region visit these Jesuits, who, notwithstanding their poverty, aid them in various ways.

CLXXIV. This is a letter (1699) of Jacques Bigot to a friend, describing the new Abenaki village in Maine where he is now stationed. He is greatly cheered by the fervor and piety of these Christians, various instances of which he recounts. The savages exchange prisoners with the English, and many of the English children piteously beg that they may be allowed to remain with the savages, lest they be perverted from the true faith by returning to their own people. The English attempt, but in vain, to persuade the Abenakis to drive away the French missionaries. Bigot goes to Quebec, to inform the governor of affairs in Acadia; while returning to his mission, he is attacked by a fever, which almost causes his death.

CLXXV. In September, 1700, Jacques Gravier left Chicago for a voyage down the Mississippi, to Iberville's new fort thereon. This journey is described by him in a letter (dated February 16, 1701) to Jacques de Lamberville. Upon reaching Peoria, he finds that the Kaskaskias settled there have resolved to migrate to the shores of the Mississippi—a step which he heartily disapproves, but cannot prevent. The Peoria tribe, also settled there, promise Gravier to remain until his return, and not to change their abode until he and Iberville shall direct them to do so; but he adds, "I am very doubtful whether they will keep their word."

Gravier proceeds with the Kaskaskias—who are accompanied by their faithful pastor, Father Marest—as far as Cahokia, where there is a French trading post. There he embarks with a band of Frenchmen, who are bound for Iberville's fort near the mouth of the Mississippi. Several of the party being attacked by malarial fever, Gravier is able to cure them by a relic and novenas: "a small piece of Father François Regis's hat, which one of our servants gave me, is the most infallible remedy that I know of for curing all kinds of fever." He describes the course of the river; the bluffs, mines, and other features of the region; and the wild animals with which the country abounds. Not far south of the Ohio are seen high banks of sand, in which report has located an iron mine; but Gravier satisfies himself that the sand, although colored like iron, does not contain that metal.

Below the St. Francis River, the Frenchmen meet a band of Arkansas savages, who hospitably entertain them. At the village of that tribe, they hear of a trader, apparently an Englishman, who had been there the year before. The chief of the savages remembers the visit of Marquette to his town in 1673. When the Father is about to take his leave, the chief urgently requests him to remain a day longer, in order to "sing the calumet" to him; but he declines, knowing that they hope to gain presents from him. Gravier here describes the calumet, and its importance among the savage tribes. At the Tonica River, Gravier halts to visit the Seminary priest Davion, whom he finds ill with fever. He gives various interesting particulars about the tribes of that district, but his efforts to discover their religious rites and superstitions are futile. He finds that the heads of their infants are compressed, in order to flatten them; also that the men till the soil, and do much other work that in Canada is done by the women. Their clothing, dwellings, and furniture are described. "Nothing can be cleaner than their cabins." They manufacture pottery; some of their jars are "as pretty as any that can be seen in France." They have a small temple, in which fire is kept always burning. During Gravier's visit to Davion, the latter's colleague, St. Cosme, arrives at Tonica; he gives a disheartening account of the Natchez mission, where he is stationed. Among these people human sacrifices are practiced, and they are fire-worshipers. They are ruled not only by a chief, but by his sister, who is called "the sun woman." Gravier returns thither with St. Cosme, and after a short halt resumes his journey; he next visits the Houmas, above the mouth of the Red River. Here he finds the Jesuit Joseph de Limoges, who has just arrived after a disastrous voyage down the great river, in which the wreck of his canoe causes the loss of all his possessions. The Houmas are brave warriors, but are indolent, amiable, and docile. Their woman chief who died last year was an Amazon, "having in person led several war-parties;" the highest honors were accordingly paid her. These savages have abundance of poultry; but they will not kill or eat a chicken, apparently regarding these creatures as mere curiosities. The customs and dress of these people are described, also the temple in which they keep a perpetual fire.

Our missionary visits the Baiagoulas, who are being punished by famine and disease for an act of treachery committed against an allied tribe. On the lower reaches of the great river, the French find no large game, "and, if we have found a few bustards or wild geese, they have been so lean that they were as tasteless as wood." They are also tormented by the clouds of insects, and depressed by the heavy rains and excessive heat. On December 17, Gravier and his men, after a voyage of sixty-eight days, reach Iberville's fort, of which a picturesque description is given. Provisions are beginning to fail the little garrison left therein; but they patiently await the coming of the ships from France, in March. That entire region is so inundated that it will be necessary to remove the fort to the higher ground farther up-stream. Gravier also visits and describes Biloxi, Iberville's principal post. The Spanish governor of Pensacola visits this fort, and is hospitably received by the French; and they afterward aid him when he is shipwrecked, sending him back to his residence. On his return from Biloxi, Gravier's crew stray from their route, and have much difficulty in regaining the fort on the Mississippi. He makes various observations on the depth and the rise of the great river, the claims of the English to this region, the search therein for mines, the tribes of savages found there, and the tragic end of La Salle's expedition. Gravier again mentions the terrible plague of mosquitoes in that semi-tropical region. One of his eyes is "so badly stung by them, that I almost lost it."

A postscript to this document, dated in 1702, states that Iberville has abandoned both these forts, and removed his colony to Mobile.

CLXXVI. This is a formal declaration, made by the Jesuit superior at Quebec, of the revenues and estates belonging to the Jesuits in Canada, in October, 1701. Their total income, as here given, amounts to a little more than 13,000 livres a year. This list is followed by a statement of the expenditures which are necessary for their work: the support of forty-eight priests and nine donnés, "almost all of whom are aged and worn out in the missions," besides the wages of fourteen hired servants; the maintenance of the college, residences, and chapels; traveling expenses, and alms to the poor. The order also has to carry a debt of 6,000 livres.

CLXXVII. Étienne de Carheil, who has been long stationed at Mackinac, writes (August 30, 1702) to Governor Callières a long account and vigorous denunciation of the lawless conduct and licentiousness that prevail among both the savages and the French in that region. This wretched state of affairs is due mainly to the traffic in brandy, permission for which "has been obtained from His Majesty only by means of a pretext apparently reasonable, but known to be false." Carheil states that, as this evil traffic renders useless the labors of the missionaries, they will request their superior to recall them from the Ottawa missions.

The writer arraigns in scathing terms "the two infamous sorts of commerce which have brought the missions to the brink of destruction: ... the commerce in brandy, and the commerce of the savage women with the French. Both are carried on in an equally public manner, without our being able to remedy the evil, because we are not supported by the commandants.... All the villages of our savages are now only taverns, as regards drunkenness; and sodoms, as regards immorality—from which we must withdraw, and which we must abandon to the just anger and vengeance of God."

Carheil regards the commandants and garrisons as enemies of the missions. "All the pretended service which it is sought to make people believe that they render to the King is reduced to 4 chief occupations." These are: "Keeping a public tavern for the sale of brandy," extending this traffic from one post to another, "keeping open house in their dwellings for all the women of their acquaintance," and gambling. As a result, the entire time of the soldiers is spent in drinking, gambling, quarreling, and licentiousness; the savages are scandalized thereby, and the influence of the missionaries upon them is weakened when they see that the latter are powerless to remedy these evils. The above-mentioned occupations are the only ones pursued by the soldiers, who are therefore utterly useless and even pernicious to the country; and without them there would be no commandants—officials who come to Mackinac "solely for trading, without troubling themselves about anything else." They care nothing for the missionaries, save when they can use the latter for their own selfish purposes; and they arrogate to themselves all authority over both French and savages, which leaves the missionaries without aid. "Before there were any commandants here, the missionaries were always listened to by the traders," who were afraid of the Fathers. Now, the traders know that their evil acts will be condoned or connived at by the commandants, and they have no fear of the missionaries.

Another grievance of the missionaries is that the commandants secure from the home government allowances for making gifts to the savages. The natural result is, that the latter will now do nothing except in return for presents; and that they learn to employ all sorts of stratagems and intrigues in order to secure these presents, and to cheat the commandants in every possible manner. Carheil hints that the greater part of the fund supplied for this purpose is appropriated by the officials for their own use.

Carheil urges that the garrisons be abolished, as being entirely unnecessary—a statement which he elaborates at length. To them and to their commandants "are due all the misfortunes of our missions." He accordingly urges the governor to inform the king of the present state of affairs, and to ask that no more garrisons be sent to the mission posts. He considers it expedient that the present system of trade be abolished, preferring that the savages should take their peltries down to the French settlements, as in the early days of the fur trade. Carheil also adduces various reasons why this would be for the best interests of the French, who are rendered idle, vagrant, and immoral by the present system. At the same time, "The Iroquois must be completely tamed and reduced to subjection; and we must take possession of his country, which is much better than that of all the nations up here.... His destruction and the possession of his country would secure for us the trade of all the savage nations up here."

The governor, having asked Carheil for advice, is informed by the latter that he does not approve the proposal to restore to certain private persons the permissions to engage in the fur trade, which were recently abrogated by the king. The very persons whose conduct has already been so scandalous will be the ones who will secure those permissions; and Carheil can see no adequate method of preventing their drunken and licentious acts. He forcibly depicts the various phases of their present immoral mode of life; and urges the governor to use all his influence to check these scandals. He advises that the Canadian company who have secured the right to the fur trade of the Northwest should establish certain trading posts, to be conducted by competent persons, honest and exemplary in morals. He complains that the governor has not forwarded to the court the complaint formulated by the missionaries at Mackinac against Cadillac. A postscript to Carheil's letter states that the Mackinac savages had favored the establishment of the Detroit post, supposing that it would aid them to destroy the Iroquois nation and take possession of their country; but now, seeing that the French are befriending and aiding the Iroquois, the Ottawas and Hurons will have nothing to do with Cadillac's settlement.

R. G. T.

Madison, Wis., March, 1900.



CLXIX.   —Les affaires de Canada en 1696. (With later memoranda.) [Jacques de Lamberville]; n. p., [1696-97]
CLXX.   —La Vie d'un missionaire Montagnaix presentée aux successeurs Montagnaix pour leur instruction et pour leur> plus grande consolation. François de Crepieul; la mission de Saint Xavier á Chegoutimÿ, 21 Avril, 1697

SOURCES: In publishing Doc. CLXIX., we follow a MS. (probably a contemporaneous apograph) in the Library of Congress, Washington, D. C. Doc. CLXX. we obtain from a MS. volume in the archiepiscopal archives of Quebec, which is described under Doc. CLVII. in bibliographical data to Volume LXIII. of our series.

As in Doc. CXXX. (Volume LVII.), words and phrases crossed out in MS. are in Doc. CLXIX. given in italics; substitutions or additions, in bracketed Roman.

Les affaires de Canada en 1696

la guerre contre les Iroq.

Aux aproches de notre petite armée composée d'habitans du païs, et des troupes du Roy, et de 500 sauvages tant Hurons, qu'Abenaquis et Iroquois Chrestiens et amis, le tout fesant environ 2200 hommes, [commandez par le Comte Frontenac gouverneur] les Iroquois d'Onnontagué se sont retirez aprez avoir eux mesme brulé leur bourg qui etoit fortifié et ou des Goiogwens et des Sonnontwans avoient résolu de se battre contre les François. Mais un sauvage Iroquois qu'on avoit fait prisonnier s'est il y avoit 3 mois les ayant averti que nos troupes etoient de 6000 hommes et qu'une partie venoit a Onnontagué; une autre a goiogwen, et une autre a sonnontwan les derniers et les Goiogwens quitterent les Onnontagués pour aller disoient ils defendre leur païs. C'est ce qui obligea les Onnontagués qui ne se croyoient seuls capables de resister aux François d'abandonner leur fort, pour se refugier a 25 lieües dela vers le midy, ou ils avoient construit un autre bourg, et ou ils avoient des champs de blé dinde. Ils y transporterent leurs meilleurs effets et abandonnerent ainsi leurs compagnes du premier fort, chargés de blé dinde a la discretion des François.

Delà sans les y aller trouver en a [leur] nouveau poste, ni les pour suivre a cause qu il y avoit trop loin, et que les souliers des soldats etoient usés outre qu'on etoit pressé de revenir en Canada pour y faire les recoltes on alla [fit] un detachement de 700 hommes y compris 300 sauvages, pour aller a Onneiout eloigné de 12 ou 15 lieües d'Onnontagué on y fut en un jour. La fameuse Chrestienne d'Onneiout qui [a] fait donner la vie au père Millet alla avec quelque Onneiouts au devant des François et leur proposa la paix, et de venir avec 80 Onneiouts qui etoient dans le bourg demeurer a [prez de] Montreal avec les Iroquois Chrestiennes on y consentit: mais tandis que cette Chrestienne alloit avertir ses gens de venir trouver Monseigneur de Vaudreüil qui commandoit le detachement nos gens la suivirent [sans attendre reponse] et entrerent tumultuairement dans Onneiout. Ce qui fit fuir les Onneiouts on brula leur village et on coupa leurs bleds dinde comme a Onnontagué. 30 de ces Onneiouts vinrent ensuite se rendre aux Iroquois Chrestiennes et aux François.[Af] Voila tout le mal qu'on a fait aux Iroquois en cette expedition qui a couté plus de 50 mil ecus au Roy On prit seulement un vieillard de 80 ans presqu'aveugle, ausi [et] une vieille boiteuse aux environs d'Onnontague ou ils s'etoient cachés celle cy l'un et l'autre furent donnez aux Iroquois Chrestiennes qui les avoient amenez au camp. Ils se trouverent parens on donna la vie a la boiteuse et comme l'on deliberoit ce qu'on feroit du vieillard que les François vouloient faire mourir, les Iroquois Chrestiennes demanderent qu'on l'assommast ou qu'on le tuast a coups de couteau plutost que de le bruler. Mais les François voulurent absolument quil fust brulé a petit feu, ce quils executerent eux mesme avec bien delain [a la vüe de ses parens] qui etoient de notre parti. Je l'avois batisé lorsque j'etois a Onnontagué le jour de Saint Thomas dont je [on] lui avoit donné le nom. Il nous aimoit beaucoup, et avoit donné bien des fois a manger au Jesuite qui le confessa et l'assista a la mort l'encourageant a souffrir courageusement et Chrestiennément. Les tourmens du feu qu'on lui alloit faire endurer il pria Dieu assez long temps aprez quoy on commenca de le bruler. Ce qui etant venu a la connoissance du Gouverneur, il eut pitie deluy et apres d'une heure de tourment [luy eust fait donner la vie s'il] n'eust pas esté deja tout brulé. Ce qui fit quelqu'un des assistans touché de compassion lui casser la teste cependant les Iroquois d'agnié ou inferieurs nous ont tué ou pris prisonniers entre les 3 rivieres et le lac Sainct Pierre sur la rive de fleuve 20 ou 30 personnes, et ont brulé leurs maisons et leurs granges et tué leurs bestiaux. Les Onnontaguez tuerent a l'arriére garde de nostre armée un Iroquois Chrestien et 2 Abenaquis qui s'etoient écartés et [blank space in MS.] François se sont noyés en descendant les rapides du fleuve.


Ex literis p. Jacobi de Lamberville.]

Quatre de nos peres a peine suffisent ils a cette mission ou ils sont bien employez. C'est une eglise toute faite formée, ou l'on fait tout comme dans les eglises paroissiales et plus. Car tous les jours les neophytes assistent a la messe; on y fait les prieres du matin et du soir, on y chante a la messe; on y confere le batesme et les autres sacrements avec les ceremonies de l'eglise. On garde les dimanches et les festes, et tout y est bien reglé. Depuis quelque temps le voisinage des François nuit notablement a cette eglise naissante, a cause de l'eau de vie qu'ils vendent aux catechumenes et aux nouveaux Chrestiens pour un méchant lucre on desole cette nouvelle vigne du seigeur.

Depuis un an on y abatisé quantité d'adultes depuis un an qui etoient venus du païs de nos enemis se rendre volontairement icy avec leurs parens. Quelques uns pris en guerre par ces Iroquois Chrestiens et amenes cest [qui les ont amene] icy leur ont procuré le bonheur de devenir enfants de l'eglise et amis des François a qui ils ont donné de veritables preuves de la sincerité de leur foy.

Catherine Tagakwita]

Dieu continüe d'honorer une bonne fille Iroquoise de nation decedée et enterrée en cette mission. Le ciel accorde quantité de graces à ceux qui implorent son assistance. Les ecclesiastiques et les laïques y viennent en pelerinage remercier Dieu des faveurs quils ont recües par son intercession. On y envoye des presens a cette eglise pour marquer a Dieu sa reconnoissance on envoye des presens a l'eglise ou repose son corps. Les paroisses entieres y viennent en procession solemnellement au jour annuel de son decez pour rendre graces des divers effets de sa protection. Pour guerir les maladies[es] que les remedes ordinaires ne soulagent point on avale dans de l'eau ou dans du bouillon une peu de la poussière de son tombeau. Monseigneur de Champigny Intendant en Canada avoit perdu la voix pendant un an au bout du quel Madame l'Intendante ayant fait dire une neuvaine il recouvra tres parfaitement la voix. Il a fait faire plusiers petits tableaux de cette bonne fille sauvage quil distribüe et qu'on garde par estime qu'on a de la sanctité de cette vierge Iroquoise qui a conservé son innocence parmi tous les libertinages de l'impureté.

Monseigneur de la Colombiere prestre missionaire en Canada tres vertueux ecclesiastique a publié partout que tant que par les merites de Catharine Tegakwita. Cestoit son nom, il a esté tiré dans une grande maladie des portes de la mort l'un et lautre ont esté en pelerinage offrir a Dieu en action des graces des presents a leur liberatrice.]

Pendant 3 ans qu'elle a esté en cette mission, elle sy afait de si grands progrez en la vertu quelle amerité que Dieu la glorifiast par quantité de guerisons miraculeuses obtenües de Dieu par son moyen. Monseigneur Du Luth capitaine dans la marine raporte lui mesme que depuis plusiers années étant fort tourmenté de la goutte, et mescail trouvant point desoulagement a son mal, il fit dire une neufene en l'honneur deste [cette] bonne Chrestienne et quil qui dont les prieres l'ont entierement gueri de sa goute le 9e. jour.


Le mesme pere Jaques de Lamberville écrit a son frere en ces termes. Le P. Gravier qui depuis [a passé] 6 ans chez les Illinois est venu a Kebec pour les affaires de sa mission. Il dit quil est ravi de la ferveur de cette eglise naissante il ou il compte plus de 2000 personnes qu'il y a batisées [et] qui vivent dans la simplicité et dans la pieté des premiers Chrestiens. I'l m'en entretenoit tout penetré de Dieu et ravi des grands succez que Dieu avoit donné a ses travaux, et son regret est de n'avoir point de missionaires qui le secourent pour etendre le royaume de Jesus Christ dans les nations circonvoisines, et qui parlent la mesme langue, [et] qui prient qu'on les vienne instruire.


Le mesme père continüe sa lettre ainsi. Vous serez bien aise d'aprendre aussi cequi est arrive a une Chretienne Iroquoise de notre mission dusaut nommée Marguerite, qui a esté prise et brulée parles au païs des Iroquois ou elle este ēmenée avec son petit enfant d'un an. Dabord on la depouilla [on lui coupa] plusiers doigts et on lui fit des incisions partout le corps sans jamais se plaindre. Celui qui etoit present a ce spectacle raconte qu'ayant esté ensuite toute couverte de sang conduite en une [a la] cabane ou l'on devoit exercer sur son corps de nouveaux tourments, elle y trouva une femme Françoise capt a qui les Iroquois avoient donné la vie, qui s'etant aprochée de cette captive. L'exhorta de souffrir patiemment les maux qu'on luy fesoit endurer, et de les offrir a Dieu: elle repondit qu'elle avoit depuis longtemps demandé a Dieu d'estre maltraittée en cette vie pour expier ses pechez, et pour estre plus semblable a J. C. Un François captif survint qui lui donna un peu d'etoffe pour se couvrir, et l'encouragea dans la conjoncture present de finir ses jours en veritable Chrestienne et depenser souvent au ciel tandis qu'on la bruleroit a petit feu.

Aussitost quelle fut au poteau ou l'on l'alloit attacher elle se mit a genoux, et pria Dieu tout haut pour [elle et pour] ses ennemis, et pendant [puis s'etant levée elle fut attachée au poteau ou pendant] qu'on lui appliquoit les fers ardants, elle ne cessoit point de prier et d'invoquer le Ciel. Tantost s'adressant a Dieu, tantost a la sainte vierge, et tantost exhortant ses compatriotes Iroquois d'embrasser la foy. Apres quelle fut brulée partout le corps, on [et qu'on] lui [eut] enleva [toute] la peau de la teste, et [on] la delia; au lieu de courir ça et la pour comme il arrive aux captifs qu'on brule elle s'agenoüilla encor au pied de son poteau, ou tandis quelle continuoit sa priere, ses bourreaux [quelques uns des assistants] lui donnerent plusiers coups de levier [et de pierre] sur la teste pour luy faire finir [oter la vie], mais en vain; ce qui fit dire aux spectateurs que par derision qu'on ne pouvoit faire mourir les Christiens et quils etoient tout [des] esprits. L'un d'eux setant avancé avec une bayonnette l'en frappe [aubas de lestomak] disant je la ferai bien mourir, mais et lui et les assistans furent bien surpris quelle se rompit de [la] voir [ou il n'ya point dos] que rompüe sans s'en avoir pû blesser. Cette pauvre victime recommença tout de nouveau ses prieres [se] recommander en cet etat a Dieu en dont elle imploroit la misericorde et le pardon de ses pechez avec des paroles qui attendrirent les [quelques uns des] assistans. On lui dechargea ensuite quantite de coups de gros bâtons sur la teste mais inut pour l'achever mais inutilement cequi leur fit amasser quantité de bois dont ils la couvrirent entierement et luy firent finir [en fin] son martyre par le feu. Trois jours aprez la mort de la mere son petit enfant fut abandonné par celle a qui [on] l'avoit donné pensant quelle l'adopteroit pour son fils mais la difficulté quelle vit bien quellauroit de le lever a cause quil etoit encor a la mamelle [avoit besoin d'une nourrice], elle [la fit resoudre de] le fit [faire] porter dauprez d'un feu pour y estre brulé. Personne n'eut assez de barbarie pour le bruler. Mais voyant quil appelloit incessāment samere lui tendant les bras comme sil l'eust vüe et quil leust apellée pour le venir querir, on lui cassa la teste sur l'heure. Les Chretiens que nos missionaires avoient autre fois instruits en la religion Christienne dont dans ce païs ennemy dirent que cette bonne femme Christienne qui avoit esté brulée, avoit obtenu de Dieu la mort de son fils qui [dont lame] s'envola avec sa mere dans le ciel, de peur que sil eust vescu plus longtemps, il ne fust devenu meschant parmi les infidelles.

[Memoranda attached to the document:]


monenda. P. Chollet les 600 livres de garontog Monsieur Hazeur ditq. 36 n'avoit pas bien compris &c. haoienk.]

Monseigneur Peiré associé avec Monsieur Birré.
Leur navire de 24 canons commandé par le sieur Lagrange leurs offres.
Procurcion. pour la succession de Monsieur Sorel
2. Monsieur Hazeur
3. garontog eun


Nullus juvat rem familiarem in Gallia, Kebeci imo &c. omnes petunt nemo juuat ut habeatur.

Ce sont les hati isi htsi qui ont voulu que la diminution de la rente des Ursulines ne commençast qu'en 1696.

Les Ursulines gouvernent mieux leurs affaires. [Elles] on nanticipent sur lannée suivante.

Ne pense a Kebec qua se tirer et se retranchent pour eviter les detes et leur ruine. Enfin comme les filles du Saint Sacrement les Ursulines me prient de ne point emprunter d'argent pour elles. Elles prennent leur provisions sur le puis ni v[i]n ni vinaigre ni

Monsieur Hazeur 1697

le P. Bruya]

Il ecrit que c'est un mal entendu que je n'ai pas compris dans ses compts (il se trompe lui mesme). Il m'en ecrit et m'endonne la Clef. Le P. Bruyas et Raffeix me mandent que je satisfasse Monsieurs Grignon et Hazeur empruntant de largent du P. Bigot et cequil luy doit revenir pour la mission du Saut.

Cest chez Mademoiselle Girardin demeurant chez Monsieur Poquelin rüe du gros chenet que l'on payera les 300 livres pour le fils demeur Hazeur, jésuite.

P. Garontoguennen.

L'offre de Monsieur Deniset.

Procuration nouvelle envoyée a un autre qu'a Monsieur Fale

S'il a payé 3000. il les a tirees sur nous.

Le plus dépensé que reçu.

Canadian affairs in 1696.

The war against the Iroquois.

On the approach of our little army, consisting of settlers of the country, of the King's troops, and of 500 savages,—not only Hurons, but Abenaquis and Iroquois Christians and friends,—making in all about 2,200 men, [commanded by Count Frontenac, the governor,] the Iroquois of Onnontagué retreated, after they themselves had burned their fortified village, in which some Goiogwens and Sonnontwans had resolved to fight the French. But, on being informed by an Iroquois savage who had been taken prisoner, 3 months before, that our troops numbered 6,000 men, and that a part of them were going to Onnontagué, another to Goiogwen, and another to Sonnontwan, these last people and the Goiogwens left the Onnontagués, to go, as they said, to defend their own country. This compelled the Onnontagués, who did not consider themselves alone strong enough to resist the French, to abandon their fort and retreat 25 leagues to the south, where they had built another village, and where they had fields of Indian corn. They conveyed thither their most valuable effects, and thus abandoned their fields at the 1st fort, which were full of Indian corn, to the mercy of the French.

Then, without going to seek them in their new post and without pursuing them, since it was at too great a distance, and because the soldiers' shoes were worn out,—and, moreover, all were anxious to return to Canada for the harvest,—a detachment was formed consisting of 700 men, including 300 savages, to go to Onneiout, distant 12 or 15 leagues from Onnontagué. They went thither in one day. The famous Christian woman of Onneiout who saved Father Millet's life [1] went with some Onneiouts to meet the French, and proposed peace to them; she also offered to come, with 80 Onneiouts who were in the village, to reside at [near] Montreal with the Christian Iroquois. This was agreed to; but, while the Christian woman was warning her people to come to Monsieur de Vaudreuil, who commanded the detachment, our people [without waiting for an answer,] followed her, and tumultuously entered Onneiout. This caused the Onneiouts to flee. Their village was burned and their Indian corn cut down, as at Onnontagué. Of these Onneiouts 30 afterward came in, and surrendered to the Christian Iroquois and to the French.[Ae] This is all the injury that was done to the Iroquois on this expedition, which has cost the King more than 50 thousand ecus. The French captured only an old man 80 years of age, who was almost blind, also [and] a lame old woman, in the neighborhood of Onnontagué, where they were hidden. The latter both were given to the Christian Iroquois who had brought them to the camp. These proved to be relatives, and granted the lame woman her life. And [while] they were discussing what should be done with the old man, whom the French wished to put to death, the Christian Iroquois asked that he be killed with a club or be stabbed to death, instead of being burned. But the French peremptorily demanded that he be burned at a slow fire—which they themselves did with many—[in sight of his relatives,] who belonged to our party. I had baptized him when I was at Onnontagué, on the feast-day of St. Thomas, whose name I had [been] given to him. He greatly loved us and had often given food to the Jesuit who now confessed him and assisted him at his death,—encouraging him to suffer bravely, and as a Christian, the torture of fire that they were about to make him endure. He prayed to God for a considerable time after which they began to burn him. When this came to the Governor's knowledge, he had pity on him, [and would have granted him his life] after an hour's torture, had he not already been burned all over. On account of his condition, one among those who were present, touched with compassion, broke his head. Meanwhile, the Iroquois of agnié, or lower Iroquois, have killed or captured from us 20 or 30 persons, between 3 Rivers and Lake St. Pierre, on the banks of the river; and have burned their houses and barns, and slaughtered their cattle. The Onnontaguez killed in the rear-guard of our army a Christian Iroquois and 2 Abenaquis, who had strayed from the ranks; and [blank space in MS.] French were drowned while descending the rapids of the river. [2]


Ex literis patris Jacobi de Lamberville.

Four of our fathers barely suffice for this mission, where they are busily employed. This is a fully organized church, in which everything is done as in the parish churches—and even more, for the neophytes assist at mass every day; the morning and evening prayers are said; there is chanting at mass; baptism and the other sacraments are administered with the rites of the church; Sundays and festivals are observed; and order prevails in everything. For some time, the neighborhood of the French has caused manifest injury to this nascent church, on account of the brandy that they sell to the catechumens and to the new Christians. For the sake of vile lucre, this new vineyard of the lord is desolated.

During the past year, we have baptized here a great many adults who have voluntarily come from the country of our enemies to live here with their kindred. Some were taken in war by these Christian Iroquois, and brought [who brought them] hither, and procured for them the happiness of becoming children of the church and friends of the French, to whom they have given true evidence of the sincerity of their faith.

Catherine Tagakwita.

God continues to honor a pious maiden, an Iroquois by birth, who died and was buried in this mission. Heaven grants a great many favors to those who implore her assistance. Both ecclesiastics and laymen come hither on pilgrimage, to thank God for the favors which they have received through her intercession. Presents are sent to this church. In token of their gratitude to God, presents are sent to the church wherein her body lies. Entire parishes come to it in solemn procession on the anniversary of her death, to give thanks for the various results of her protection. To cure the diseases that [sick whom] ordinary medicines cannot relieve, they swallow in water or in broth a little dust from her tomb. Monsieur De Champigny, the Intendant in Canada, had lost his voice for a year; at the end of that time, madame the Intendante had a novena made, and he completely recovered his voice. He has caused many small pictures of this pious savage maiden to be made, which he distributes. These are kept through esteem for the holiness of the Iroquois virgin who preserved her innocence in the very midst of all the riotousness of impurity.

Monsieur de la Colombiere, a priest and missionary in Canada, and a very virtuous ecclesiastic, [3] has proclaimed everywhere that so great through the merits of Catharine Tegakwita—that was her name—he was, in a very dangerous illness, snatched from the gates of death. Both went on a pilgrimage to offer presents to their benefactress, in thanksgiving to God.

During the 3 years that she spent in this mission, she made so great progress in virtue that she deserved that God should glorify her by many miraculous cures obtained from Him through her instrumentality. Monsieur Du Luth, a captain in the navy, himself relates that, after suffering greatly from gout and for many years, and finding no relief for his disease, he had a novena made in honor of the [this] good Christian, and that he whose prayers obtained, on the 9th Day, the complete cure of his gout.


The same Father Jaques de Lamberville writes to his brother in these terms: "Father Gravier, who during [has spent] 6 years among the Illinois, has come to Kebec on business connected with his mission. He says that he is delighted with the fervor of that infant church, he wherein he counts over 2,000 persons whom he has baptized, [and] who live in the simplicity and piety of the first Christians. While speaking of this to me, he was wholly penetrated with the thought of God, and was delighted with the great success that God had granted to his labors; and his chief regret is that he has no missionaries to help him in extending the Kingdom of Jesus Christ among the surrounding nations, who speak the same language, [and] beg us to go to instruct them."


The same father continues his letter as follows: "You will also be pleased to hear what happened to a Christian Iroquois of our mission at The Saut, named Marguerite, who was captured and burned by the in the Iroquois country, to which she was carried with her little child, a year old. In the first place, they deprived her of [cut off] several of her fingers and slashed her all over the body, while she uttered not a groan. He who was present at the spectacle relates that, when she was afterward taken, all covered with blood, into a [to the] cabin where fresh tortures were to be inflicted on her body, she found there a French woman, a captive, whose life the Iroquois had spared; and who approached the captive, and exhorted her to bear patiently the sufferings that she was made to endure, and to offer them to God. She replied that she had long ago asked God that she might be ill-treated in this life, in order to expiate her sins and to more resemble Jesus Christ. A captive Frenchman came, and gave her a small piece of cloth wherewith to cover herself; and he encouraged her in this emergency to end her days as a true Christian, and to think often of Heaven while she was being burned at a slow fire.

"As soon as she reached the stake to which she was to be tied, she knelt, and prayed aloud to God for [herself and for] her enemies; and while [then, on rising, she was tied to the stake,—where, during the time while] they applied heated irons to her body, she ceased not to pray and to invoke Heaven. At times, she addressed herself to God, at others to the blessed virgin; and, at others still, she exhorted her Iroquois countrymen to embrace the faith. After her whole body had been burned, [and] her [entire] scalp was [had been] removed, and she was untied. Instead of running hither and thither, for [as] captives who are burned generally do so, she knelt once more at the foot of the stake—where, while she continued her prayers, her torturers [some of those who were present] struck her on the head several times with bars [and stones], to make an end of [kill] her; but in vain. This made the spectators say that, in derision, that Christians could not be killed, and that they were only spirits. One of them came forward with a bayonet, and struck her with it [in the lower part of the stomach], saying: 'I will soon kill her.' But both he and the spectators were greatly surprised that it broke on seeing that, [it] [in a place where there were no bones] it was broken, without power to inflict a wound. The poor victim once more began her prayers to commend [herself] in that condition to God, whose mercy and forgiveness she implored for her sins, in words that excited the compassion of [some of] the spectators. They afterward struck her many blows on the head with heavy clubs to despatch her; but in vain. This led them to collect a quantity of wood, with which they completely covered her; and they [finally] brought her martyrdom to an end by fire. Three days after the death of the mother, her little child was abandoned by the woman to whom he had been given with the idea that she would adopt him for her son. But the difficulty that, she saw, she would have in rearing him, because he was still at the breast [required a nurse], she [made her resolve to] have him put [carry him] near a fire, that he might be burned therein. No one was barbarous enough to burn him; but, as he continually cried for his mother, holding out his arms as if he saw her and were calling her to come to get him, they broke his head on the spot. The Christians whom our missionaries had formerly instructed in the Christian religion, of which in that country of our enemies, said that the good Christian woman who had been burned had obtained from God the death of her son, who [whose soul] soared with his mother['s] to Heaven—lest, had he lived longer, he might have become wicked among the Infidels."

[Memoranda attached to the document:]


Monsieur Peiré associated with Monsieur Birré.
Their ship of 24 guns commanded by sieur Lagrange; their offers.
Procuration for Monsieur Sorel's succession.
2. Monsieur Hazeur.
3. garontog eun.


Monenda: Father Chollet; the 600 livres of garontog; Monsieur Hazeur says that 36 had not well understood etc. haoienk.

Nullus juvat rem familiarem in Gallia, Kebeci imo etc. omnes petunt nemo juvat ut habeatur.

It is the hati isi htsi who desired that the diminution of the rent of the Ursulines should commence only in 1696.

The Ursulines manage their affairs better. They do not anticipate on the following year.

At Kebec they think only of saving themselves and retrenching to avoid debts and their ruin. Finally, like the nuns of St. Sacrement, the Ursulines beg me not to borrow money for them. They take their provisions from the well—neither wine, nor vinegar, nor


Father Bruya.

He writes that it is a misunderstanding, which I have not included in his accounts (he is himself mistaken). He writes and gives me the key to them. Fathers Bruyas and Raffeix write me to pay Monsieur Grignon and Hazeur, by borrowing money from Father Bigot, and what ought to come to him from the Saut mission.

It is at Mademoiselle Girardin's, who resides at Monsieur Poquelin's, rüe du gros chenet, that the 300 livres will be paid for the son of Monsieur Hazeur, a Jesuit. [4]

P. Garontoguennen.

Monsieur Deniset's offer.

New procuration, sent to another than Monsieur Fale.

If he has paid 3,000, he has drawn on us for the amount.

More expended than received.

La vie d'un missionaire Montagnaix presentée
aux successeurs Montagnaix pour leur instruction
et pour leur plus grande consolation

par Le p. François de Crepieul Jésuite et Serviteur inutil des
missions du Canada depuis 1671 jusqu'a 1697—qui acheve
le 26 hivernement dans l'emplois de la mission
de Tadoussak, et le 4e á la mission de St.
Xavier á Chegoutimÿ 21 Avril 1697—

La vie d'un missionaire Montagnaix est un long et lent martÿre—

Est un exercice présque continüel de patience, et de mortification—

Est une vie vraÿment pœnitente, et humiliante sur tout dans les cabanes, et dans les chemins avec les sauvages—


La cabane est composée de perches, et decorces de bouleau, et entourée de branches de sapins qui couvrent la neige, et la terre gelée—


Le missionaire préque tout le jour est assis, ou á genoux exposé á une fumée quasi continüelle pendant l'hÿver.


Quelque fois il süe de jour, et le plus souvent il á froid pendant la nuit—il couche vestu sur la terre gelée, et quelquefois sur la neige couvertes de quelques branches de sapins assés rudes—


Il mange dans un ouragan plat assés rarement net ou lavé, et le plus souvent essuié avec une peau grasse, ou leché par les chiens—il mange quand il ÿ a de quoÿ manger, et quand on luÿ en present—

Quelquefois la viande n'est que demÿ cuitte; quelquefois elle est fort dur, sur tout la boucanée: sechée á la fumée pour l'ordinaire on ne fait q'une fois chaudiere; et au temps d'abondance deux fois, mais il ne dure guer—


Les souliers sauvages, et la peau des chiens luÿ servent de serviettes; comme font les cheveux aux sauvages, et aux sauvagesses—


La boisson ordinaire est l'eau de ruisseau, et de quelque chares quelque fois de la neige fondüe, ou du buillon pur, ou avec de la neige dans un ouragan d'ordinair assés gras—


Souvent il brule ses habits, ou sa couverte, ou ses bas pendant la nuit, sur tout quand la cabanne est petite, ou estroitte—il ne peut s'estendre, mais il se retressit; et il á la teste contre la neige couverte de sapins, qui refroidit bien le cerveau, et luÿ cause des maux de dents etc—


Il couche tousjours vétu; et il ne demet sa sotanne et ses bas que pour se deffendre de la vermine, dont les sauvages sont tousjours riches, sur tout les enfans—


Le plus souvent á son reveil il se trouve entour de chiens—je me suis trouvé quelquefois parmy 6, 8 et 10—


La fumée est quelquefois si violente qu'elle le fait pleurer, et quand il se couche il semble qu'on ait jetté du sel dans les ÿeux; et á son reveil il á bien de la peine á les ouvrir—


A la fonte des neiges quand il marche sur des lacqs, ou de longues rivieres, il est tellement esblouÿ pendant 4 á 5 jours par l'eau continüelle qui luÿ tombe des ÿeux, qu'il ne peut lire son breviaire—quelquefois il faut le mener par la main—cela est arrivé au p. Siluÿ, au p. Dalmas, et á moÿ qui en chemin ne voiois que le bout de mes raquettes.


Il est souvent importuné des petits enfans, de leurs crÿs, de leurs pleurs etc. et quelquefois il est incommodé de la püanteur de ceux, et de celles qui ont les ecroüelles, avec qui mesme, il boit d'une mesme chaudiere—j'aÿ passé plus de 8 jours dans la cabane de Kawitaskawat Mÿstassin le plus considerable, et couché auprés de son fils incommodé, dont la püanteur ma souvent fait soülever le cœur de jour, et de nuit—jaÿ beü, et mangé aussy dans son ouragan—


Il est quelquefois reduit á ne boire que de l'eau de neige fondüe qui sent la fumée, et elle est assés salle—l'espace de 3 sepmaines je n'en aÿ pas bü d'autre estant avec des estrangers dans les terres de Peokwagamÿ—je n'aÿ pas vü de sauvages plus sals á manger, á boire, et á coucher que ceux lá souvent la viande estoit pleine de poils d'orignal ou de sable—une vielle prenoit á pleine main avec les ongles tres longs la graisse dans la chaudiere ÿ aÿant jetté de la neige; et puis elle nous la presentoit á manger dans un ouragan tres sal: et chacun beuvoit du bouillon de la mesme chaudiere—


Pendant lesté dans les voiages, sur tout dans le Saguenaÿ, et sur le grand fleuve il boit assés souvent de l'eau bien sallee qu'on trouve dans quelque mares—depuis 3 jours que le vent nous arrete, nous n'en beuvons pas dautre—quelquefois le vent l'oblige á se sauver dans des lieux, ou on n'en trouve pas du tout—cela m'est arrivé plus d'une et 3 fois—j'aÿ mesme souvent esté obligé de boire dans des mares, on je voiois des crapaux etc.


Le plus souvent pendant l'hÿver dans les chemins quoÿ que longs, et difficils, il ne trouve point une goutte deau pour se rafrechir quoÿ qu'epuisé de süeurs, et de fatigues—


Il endure beaucoup de froid, et de fumée, avant que la cabanne soit achevée, pendant 2 á 3 heures que le temps est tres rude l'hÿver. La chemise qui à esté trempée de süeurs, et ses bas mouillés le rendent comme morfondu avec la faim qu'il souffre, le plus souvent n'aÿant mangé q'un morceau de viande seche, avant qu'on decabanne—


La souffrance, et la misere sont les appanages de ces stes. et penibles missions—faxit Deus ut iis diu immoretur, et immoriatur servus inutilis missionum Franciscus S.J.—

[The following memorandum occurs in the original MS., near the beginning of this section: "1690 20 jull. á KaNeskat ex casâ J-B. Ousti'wanich Duis Tadussacensis á mÿ chemin de TadoussaK et de la Riviere de L'Assomption aux papinachois."]


Reduced facsimile, except that the lettering has been improved for legibility, of original manuscript missionary map, probably made about 1695, and preserved in archives of St. Mary's College, Montreal.

The life of a Montagnaix missionary, presented to his successors in the
Montagnaix mission for their instruction and greater consolation.

By Father François De Crepieul, Jesuit, and an unprofitable
servant of the missions of Canada from 1671 to 1697,—which
completes the 26th wintering in the service of The
Tadoussak mission, and the 4th at the mission of
St. Xavier,—at Chegoutimÿ, April 21, 1697.

The life of a Montagnaix missionary is a long and slow martyrdom;

Is an almost continual practice of patience and of mortification;

Is a truly penitential and humiliating life, especially in the cabins, and on journeys with the savages.


The cabin is made of poles and birch-bark; and fir-branches are placed around it to cover the snow and the frozen ground.


During nearly all the day, the missionary remains in a sitting or kneeling position, exposed to an almost continual smoke during the winter.


Sometimes he perspires in the day-time and most frequently is cold during the night. He sleeps in his clothes upon the frozen ground, and sometimes on the snow covered with fir-branches, which are very hard.


He eats from an ouragan (dish) that is very seldom clean or washed, and in most cases is wiped with a greasy piece of skin, or is licked by the dogs. He eats when there is anything to eat, and when some is offered to him. Sometimes the meat is only half cooked; sometimes it is very tough, especially when smoked (dried in the smoke). As a rule, they have a good meal only once—or, when provisions are abundant, twice; but it does not last long.


The savage shoes, or the dogs' hairy skins, serve him as napkins, as the hair of the savage men and women serves them.


His usual beverage is water from the streams or from some pond—sometimes melted snow, or broth, pure or mixed with snow, in an ouragan that is usually quite greasy.


He often scorches his clothes, or his blanket, or his stockings during the night—especially when the cabin is small or narrow. He cannot stretch himself, but he curls himself up, and his head rests upon the snow covered with fir-branches; this chills his brain, and gives him toothache, etc.


He always sleeps with his clothes on, and takes off his cassock and his stockings only to protect himself against vermin, which always swarm on the savages, especially the children.


Usually when he awakes he finds himself surrounded by dogs. I have sometimes had 6, 8, or 10 around me.


The smoke is sometimes so strong that it makes his eyes weep; and when he sleeps he feels as if some one had thrown salt into his eyes; when he awakes, he has much difficulty in opening them.


When the snow thaws, while he is walking upon lakes or long rivers, he is so dazzled for 4 or 5 days by the water that drops continually from his eyes that he cannot read his breviary. Sometimes he has to be led by the hand. This has happened to Father Silvÿ, to Father Dalmas, and to myself; while on the march I could not see farther than the edge of my snowshoes.


He is often annoyed by little children, by their cries, their weeping, etc.; and sometimes he is made ill by the stench of those who have scrofula, with whom he even drinks out of the same kettle. I have spent more than 8 days in the cabin of Kawitaskawat, the chief man among the Mÿstassins, and have slept near his son, who was troubled with that disease; and the stench from him often caused me nausea, both day and night. I have also eaten and drunk from his ouragan.


He is sometimes reduced to drinking only water obtained from melted snow, which smells of smoke and is very dirty. For 3 weeks I have drunk nothing else, while I was with strangers in the region of Peokwagamÿ. I have never seen savages dirtier than these, as regards eating, drinking, and sleeping. Among them the meat was often covered with moose-hairs or sand. An old woman, with her long nails, gathered up handfuls of grease in the kettle into which snow had been thrown, and then offered it to us to eat, in a very dirty ouragan; and all drank broth out of the same kettle.


In the summer-time, while traveling, especially on the Saguenaÿ and on the great river, he often drinks the very dirty water obtained from ponds. During 3 days, while detained by contrary winds, we drank no other water. Sometimes the wind compels him to take refuge in places where there is none at all. This has happened to me more than once—indeed, more than 3 times. I have even been obliged to drink from ponds in which I saw toads, etc.


In most cases during winter, while on long and difficult journeys, he does not find a drop of water wherewith to quench his thirst, although exhausted with toils and fatigues.


He suffers greatly from cold and from smoke, before the cabin is finished, for 2 or 3 hours when the weather is very severe in winter. His shirt, which is wet with perspiration, and his soaked stockings, render him benumbed with cold; he suffers also from hunger, because in most cases he has had nothing but a piece of dried meat, eaten before camp was struck.


Suffering and hardship are the appanages of these holy but arduous missions. Faxit Deus ut iis diu immoretur et immoriatur servus inutilis missionum Franciscus, S.J. [God grant that in them may long remain and die the useless servant of the missions, François, S.J.]

[The following memorandum occurs in the original MS., near the beginning of this section: "1690, July 20, at KaNeskat, from the house of J. B. Ousti'wanich, the Tadoussac Chief, midway between Tadoussak and the River de L'Assomption, among the papinachois."]



CLXXI.   —Deux lettres du P. Jacques Gravier à Monseigneur de Laval. A Ville-Marie, le 17e Septembre, 1697; de la mission de St. Ignace a Michilimakinak, ce 20 septembre, 1698
CLXXII.   —Lettre du P. Julien Binneteau, de la Compagnie de Jésus, à un Père de la même Compagnie. Du pays des Illinois, [Janvier,] 1699
CLXXIII.   —Lettre du P. Gabriel Marest, de la Compagnie de Jésus, à un Père de la même Compagnie. Du pays des Illinois en la Nouvelle-France, le
29 Avril, 1699
CLXXIV.   —Lettre du Père Jacques Bigot, de la Compagnie de Jésus, à un Père de la même Compagnie. Du pays des Abnaquis, [26 Octobre,] 1699

SOURCES: The first letter (September 17, 1697) in Doc. CLIX. we have from the original MS. in Laval University, Quebec; the second (September 20, 1698), we take from L'Abeille, vol. 7, no. 13. Docs. CLXXII.-CLXXIV. we take from Shea's Cramoisy series, no. 20.

Deux lettres du P. Jacques Gravier à Monseigneur de Laval.


Je supplie Vostre Grandeur de me pardonner la liberté que je prends, de luy demander encore sa benediction qui m'attirera celle de Dieu pour arriver heureusement á ma chere mission: apres un si long exil: rien ne me la plus adouci, Monseigneur, que la bonté que Vostre Grandeur a eüe de vouloir bien me témoigner dans les visites que j'ay pris la liberté de luy rendre, qu'elle y prenoit part. Si Monseigneur de Quebec à pour nous les mesmes sentimens, comme nous l'esperons tous, nous ferons nos fonctions dans nos missions Outaoaises plus paisiblement que nous n'avons fait depuis quelques années. Et nous serons á couvert des menaces que nous fait Monsieur le Comte de Frontenac, de nous chasser de nos missions comme il á desja fait, de celle de l'Ange gardien des Miamis, à Chicagwa, dont Monseigneur de Quebec m'a confié le soin par ses patentes, en me confiant le soin des missions des Illinois, des Miamis et des Scious, et confirmant le pouvoir que Vostre Grandeur avoit donné au P. Marquette, et au P. d'Alloüés qui sont les premiers missionnaires de ces nations du Sud. Si Monsieur le Comte de Frontenac á appris que dans nos missions nous ayons fait quelque chose indigne de nostre ministere, il á bien pû s'addresser á Monseigneur L'Evesque ou a son grand vicaire; mais il n'a pû que par violence nous chasser de nostre mission de ChiKagwa, et nous esperons que Monseigneur de Quebec ne souffrira pas une telle violence si prejudiciable a son authorité; et que si Vostre Grandeur veut bien luÿ en parler, il rétablira et confirmera le P. Pinet dans sa mission pour y continüer ses fonctions qu'il á si heureusement commancé.

Au reste, je ne dois pas attendre que le beau ciboire dont Vostre Grandeur fait present a la mission des Illinois, soit fait, pour l'en remercier au nom de ces pauvres sauvages; c'est vostre mission, Monseigneur, puisqu'elle est sous la protection de L'Immaculée Conception de Nostre Dame, que Vostre Grandeur á choisi pour le jour de son sacre, et qu'elle á prise pour la patrone de tout son diocese; et le Pere Marquette ne pouuvit rien faire de plus conforme á l'intention de Vostre Grandeur, que de mettre la mission des Illinois sous la protection de L'Immaculée Conception de Nostre Dame; et quoyque vous ayéz toujours esté le pere de toutes nos missions, celle cy, Monseigneur, vous doit estre attachée tout particulierement, et parceque c'est la mission de L'Immaculée Conception de la Vierge, et par le beau present que vous luy faites. Ne doit'on pas croire que le ciboire que Vostre Grandeur luy donne, est d'un grand prix, puis qu'il faut fondre toute sa vaisselle d'argent pour le faire? Aussy nous sera t'il infiniment precieux, et nous ne pourrons rien avoir dans nos missions, que nous estimons d'avantage. Une escuelle qui vous avoit servi si long tems, Monseigneur. Car c'est lá toute vostre vaisselle d'argent avec une petite tasse, ne devoit estre appliquée qu'aux Saints Autels, et l'on ne devoit pas la destiner á d'autres usages sans la profaner; et á proportion que le nombre des communians augmentera dans cette mission, le nombre de ceux qui prieront Dieu pour Vostre Grandeur d'avoir logé le Sauveur du monde dans un si beau ciboire, augmentera aussy; et puisqu'elle a bien voulu me promettre un soleil pour exposer le Sainct Sacrement a la Veneration de ces pauvres sauvages, nous vous serons redevables, Monseignieur de tous les actes d'adoration que Jesus Christ recevra au bout du monde parmi les Illinois. Quelque attache que j'aye pour ma mission, j'advoüe que je ferois encore volontiers le voyage des Outawacs a Quebec pour assister a la messe de la cinquantiesme année de Vostre Sacre, Monseigneur, comme j'ay eû le bonheur d'assister á celle de vostre prestrise; et je ne puis rien dire a tous nos peres des Outawacs de plus consolant, dans les persecutions que nous souffrons, que de les asseurer que Vostre Grandeur se porte bien, qu'elle nous continüe toujours ses bontéz, que nous vivons avec tous les messieurs de vostre seminaire dans une parfaite union, et que vous nous regardéz toujours, Monseigneur, comme vos enfans.

Je suis dans un profond respect,
de Vostre Grandeur,—
Le tres humble, et tres obeissant
serviteur et fils, en N. S.
Jac. Gravier, S.J.

A Ville-Marie
le 17e Septembre 1697.

J. M. J.
De la mission de St. Ignace
à Michilimakinak ce 20 septembre 1698.


La recommandation de Vostre Grandeur nous est un commandement que j'ay reçu avec un profond respect; et que nous avons taché d'executer le mieux qui nous a esté possible, nous avons reçu une joye sincere et cordiale ces fervens missionnaires de vostre seminaire des missions etrangeres de Quebec avec qui nous avons le bonheur d'avoir une si etroite union, et si nous estions capables d'avoir la moindre peine de voir des etrangers dans la mission des Akansea, ou le pere Marquette semble n'avoir paru le premier que pour en ouvrir l'entrée a ses freres nous ne pouvons avoir que de la joye que ceux de vostre seminaire Monseigneur que nous regardons comme nos veritables freres et qui nous font part du merite de toutes leurs bonnes œuvres veüillent s'employer à la conversion des pauvres Akansea et des autres nations qui n'ont pas encor la connaissance du vray Dieu.

Je vous avoue Monseigneur, que nous sommes charmes le pere de Careil et moy de la sagesse, du zele et de la modestie que Monsieur de Montigny, Monsieur St. Cosme et Monsieur Davion nous ont fait paraitre dans les conférences que nous avons eües ensembles durant sept jours qu'ils ont esté icy; nous avons agi et nous nous sommes toujours parlé avec la même ouverture et la même franchise que si nous avions toujours vescu ensemble: et nous supplions Vostre Grandeur de croire que nous n'oublions rien pour la confirmer.

Je leur ay temoigné qu'il n'estoit pas apropos qu'il parut que ce fut Monsieur de Tonty qui les introduise aux Akansea, car ils passeraient pour ses envoyez et qu'il faut que Mr. de Montigny leur parle luy-mesme par son interprete, il ne m'a donné le temps de faire un petit discours Illinois pour entrée le pere Binteau qui sait aussi bien que moy les manieres des sauvages le fera mieux que moy: il se fera un plaisir aussi bien que le père Pinet à Chicagwa de leur rendre toutes sortes de services.

Au reste si Mr. de Montigny marque a Vostre Grandeur comme il m'en a menacé, que nous luy avons donné pour son voyage sept sacs de blé d'inde et fait rasserer deux haches je la supplie humblement de n'en rien temoigner au pere superieur puisque nostre maison n'a debourse rien de nouveau et de vouloir bien nous épargner Monseigneur le chagrin que nous aurions d'apprendre qu'on veut mettre en ligne de comte comme avec des etrangers un peu de blé d'inde que nous avons partagé avec nos freres. Si le sac de vieux blé vaut à l'heure qu'il est plus de 25 livres le nostre ne nous revenoit pas a 15 livres et le nouveau tel qu'il est ne nous manquera pas sans comter que nostre frere Jacques a vendu 50 livres un canot que Monsieur de Montigny nous avait laissé.

Je prends la liberté de faire ce detail a Vostre Grandeur pour la supplier de ne nous pas priver de la joye et de la consolation que nous esperons toujours avoir de recevoir dans toutes nos missions Messieurs les missionnaires du seminaire de Quebec et ceux qui y ont quelque raport et d'y agir avec la même franchise que dans leurs maisons. Je vous demande humblement Monseigneur vostre Ste. benediction et je suis avec un profond respect Monseigneur le tres humble et tres obeissant serviteur

de la Compagnie de Jesus.

Two letters by Father Jacques Gravier to Monseigneur de Laval.


I beg Your Grace to pardon the liberty that I take in asking once more for your blessing, which will call down upon me that of God, to enable me to reach my beloved mission in safety after so long an exile. Nothing has more comforted me, Monseigneur, than the kind manner in which Your Grace was pleased to manifest to me, during the visits that I took the liberty of paying you, that you felt an interest in that mission. If Monseigneur of Quebec [5] has the same sentiments for us, as we all hope, we shall perform our duties in our Outaoais missions more peacefully than we have done for some years. We shall also be safe from the threats of Monsieur the Count de Frontenac to drive us from our missions, as he has already done from that of l'Ange Gardien of the Miamis, at Chicagwa,—the charge of which Monseigneur of Quebec had confided to me, by his patents giving me the care of the missions to the Illinois, Miamis, and Scious, and confirming the powers that Your Grace had conferred upon Father Marquette and Father d'Alloués, who were the first missionaries to those Southern nations. [6] If Monsieur the Count de Frontenac had learned that in our missions we had done anything unworthy of our ministry, he could easily have applied to Monseigneur the Bishop or to his grand Vicar. But he could not otherwise than by violence drive us from our mission of Chikagwa, and we hope that Monseigneur of Quebec will not suffer such violence, which is so prejudicial to his authority. And if your Grace will be good enough to speak to him of it, he will reinstate and confirm Father Pinet in his mission, that he may there continue his duties, which he has so auspiciously begun.

Moreover, I must not wait until the fine ciborium presented by your Grace to the Illinois mission is made, to thank you for it in the name of these poor savages. It is your mission, Monseigneur, since it is under the protection of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady, whose feast Your Grace chose for the day of your consecration, and whom you have taken as the patroness of your entire diocese; And Father Marquette could do nothing more conformable to Your Grace's intentions than to place the Illinois mission under the protection of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady. And, although you have ever been the father of all our missions, this one, Monseigneur, must be especially dear to you—both because it is the mission of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin, and because of the handsome present that you give it. Must we not think that the ciborium given to it by Your Grace is of great value, since you are causing all your silverware to be melted to have it made? It will, therefore, be infinitely precious to us, and there can be nothing in our missions that we shall more highly prize. A bowl that has so long served you, Monseigneur,—for that, with a small cup, comprises all your silverware,—could be used only on the Holy Altars, and could not be assigned to any other use without profaning it. Moreover, in proportion as the number of communicants increases in that mission, the number of those who will pray to God in behalf of Your Grace, for having lodged the Savior of the world in so fine a ciborium, will also increase. And since you have been pleased to promise me a monstrance for exposing the Blessed Sacrament to the veneration of these poor savages. We shall be indebted to you, Monseigneur, for all the acts of adoration that Jesus Christ shall receive among the Illinois at this extremity of the world. However attached I may be to my mission, I confess that I would willingly perform once more the journey from the country of the Outawacs to Quebec, to be present at the mass said for the fiftieth anniversary of your consecration, Monseigneur, as I had the happiness of assisting at that for the same anniversary of your priesthood. And I can say nothing more consoling to all our fathers who are with the Outawacs, amid the persecutions that we endure, than to assure them that Your Grace is in good health; that you continue as kind as ever; that we live in perfect accord with all the gentlemen of your seminary; and that you, Monseigneur, always look upon us as your children.

I remain with profound respect,
Your Grace's
Very humble and very obedient
servant and son in Our Lord,
Jacques Gravier, S.J.

At Ville-Marie,
the 17th of September, 1697.

J. M. J.
From the mission of St.
Ignace at Michilimakinak,
this 20th of September, 1698.


Your Grace's recommendation is for us a command, which I have received with profound respect, and which we have endeavored to execute to the best of our ability. We have welcomed with sincere and cordial joy those zealous missionaries of your seminary for foreign missions at Quebec, with whom we are happy to be so closely united. And, if we could feel the slightest regret at seeing strangers in the Akansea mission,—where Father Marquette seems to have gone first, in order to open the entrance to it for his brethren,—we can but rejoice that they of your seminary, Monseigneur, whom we look upon as true brethren and who allow us to share in the merits of their good works, should be pleased to labor for the conversion of the poor Akansea, and of the other nations who have not yet any knowledge of the true God.

I acknowledge, Monseigneur, that Father de Careil and myself are charmed with the good judgment, the zeal, and the modesty that Monsieur de Montigny, Monsieur St. Cosme, and Monsieur Davion have displayed in the conferences that we have had together during the seven days that they spent here. We acted and we always spoke together with the same openness and the same frankness as if we had always lived together; and we beg Your Grace to believe that we omit nothing that may confirm it.

I told them that it was not advisable to make known that it was Monsieur de Tonty who introduced them to the Akansea, for they would pass as his envoys; and that Monsieur de Montigny himself must speak to them, through his interpreter. He did not give me time to compose a short speech in Illinois, as an introduction. Father Binteau, who knows the customs of the savages as well as I do, will do it better than I can. He, as well as Father Pinet at Chicagwa, will do themselves the pleasure of rendering them every kind of service. [7]

Moreover, should Monsieur de Montigny tell Your Grace, as he has threatened me with doing, that we have given him for his journey seven sacks of Indian corn, and have retempered two hatchets for him, I humbly beg you to say nothing about it to the father superior, for our house has incurred no new expense; and to be pleased, Monseigneur, to spare us the chagrin that we would feel on learning that an attempt is made to take into account, as with strangers, a little Indian corn that we have shared with our brethren. If a sack of old corn be worth at the present time more than 25 livres, ours did not cost us more than 15 livres; and the new corn, such as it is, will not fail us,—to say nothing of the fact that our brother Jacques has sold for 50 livres a canoe that Monsieur de Montigny had left with us.

I take the liberty of mentioning these details to Your Grace, to beg you not to deprive us of the joy and consolation that we always hope to have, of receiving in all our missions Messieurs the missionaries of the seminary of Quebec, and those who are in any way connected with it, that they may act therein with the same freedom as in their own houses. I humbly beg, Monseigneur, your holy blessing; and I remain, Monseigneur, with profound respect, your very humble and very obedient servant,

of the Society of Jesus.

Lettre du P. Julien Binneteau, de la Compagnie de Jésus, à un Père de la même Compagnie.

Du Pays des Illinois [Janvier] 1699

Mon Révérend Père

Pax Christi

Dieu continue d'estre icy servy, malgré les oppositions du démon, qui suscite des gens tout à fait ennemis du Christianisme: nous les nommons icy jongleurs. Ils font en public cent mommeries pleines d'impieté et ils parlent à des peaux de bêtes, à des oiseaux morts, comme à des divinités; ils pretendent que les herbes médicinales sont des dieux de qui ils tiennent la vie, et qu'il n'en faut point adorer d'autres; ils chantent tous les jours des chansons en l'honneur de leurs petits manitous, comme ils les appellent: ils s'emportent contre nostre religion et contre les missionnaires. Où est le Dieu, disent ils, dont nous parlent ces robes noires? Que nous donne-t-il, pour les aller entendre? Où sont les festins qu'ils nous font? car mon révérend Père, c'est par les festins que le parti du démon se soutient icy.

Quoique ces sortes de gens là paroissent fort éloignés d'embrasser le Christianisme, plusieurs d'entre eux ne laissent pas cependant de respecter ou de craindre nos mystères et de faire bon visage aux missionnaires: il y en a mesme peu dont les enfants ne viennent à la chapelle; plusieurs les y envoient et quelque motif qui fasse agir les parents, il y a espérance que les jeunes plantes porteront un jour leurs fruits, et que le méchant parti tombera insensiblement. Ce qui vous surprendra, c'est que plusieurs de ces jongleurs, quand ils tombent malades, ont volontiers recours au missionaire, et il y en a peu qui ne l'écoutent et qui n'avouent qu'il n'y a qu'un Grand Esprit, ouvrier de toutes choses, et qu'il faut seul adorer. Depuis peu, un des plus considerables s'est fait instruire, après avoir longtemps résisté; estant ensuite tombé malade et se sentant proche de la mort, il n'a point eu de repos qu'il n'ait enfin reçu le saint baptême en exhortant tous ses enfans à embrasser nostre religion.

Les jeunes gens ne mettent point moins d'opposition au progrès du Christianisme que les jongleurs. Ce sont, parmi eux, des monstres d'impureté, qui s'abandonnent sans honte aux actions les plus infâmes; ce qui fait que nous ne voyons presque aucun jeune homme sur qui on puisse compter pour les exercises de la religion; il n'y a que les hommes entre deux ages ou les vieillards qui ayent de la constance.

En récompense les femmes et les filles ont de grandes dispositions pour la vertu, quoique suivant leurs coustumes, elles soient esclaves de leurs frères pour espouser ceux qu'ils jugent à propos, mesmes les hommes déjà mariés à une autre femme. Il s'en trouve néanmoins plusieurs parmi elles qui resistent alors constamment et qui aiment mieux s'exposer aux mauvais traitements qu'on leur peut faire, que de rien commetre, en cette occasion, contre ce que prescrit le Christianisme pour le mariage.

Il y a plusieurs ménages où l'homme et la femme vivent dans une grande ferveur, sans se soucier de ce que les jongleurs et les jeunes libertins peuvent dire: ils sont toujours les premiers à l'églie, assidus aux prières publiques, et soutiennent courageusement le parti. Quelques uns s'assemblent chez un des plus considérables du village, et là tout l'entretien est de matière de piéte, du catéchisme, des prières qu'ils se sont reciter les uns aux autres, ou enfin sur les cantiques spirituels. Comme les enfants sont persecutés pour la prière, je connois de bons Chrestiens qui les exhortent à se retirer chez eux, s'offrant à les nourrir et leur faisant part de ce qu'ils ont, comme s'ils étoient leurs propres enfants.

Il y a aussi des femmes mariées à de nos François qui seroient d'un bon exemple dans les maisons de France les mieux réglées; quelques unes de celles qui sont mariées aux sauvages ont un soin extraordinaire d'entretenir la pieté dans les familles; elles instruisent elles mêmes leurs enfants; elles exhortent leurs maris à la vertu, leur demandent le soir s'ils ont fait leurs prières, les portent à frequenter les sacrements, et pour elles, elles se confessent au moins tous les huit jours et communient souvent.

Aprés vous avoir parlé de la mission, je vous diray quelque chose, mon Révérend Père, des missionaires. Le P. Gabriel Marest y fait des prodiges; il a les plus beaux talents du monde pour ces missions; il a appris la langue en quatre ou cinq mois jusqu'à en faire maintenant des leçons à ceux qui sont icy depuis longtemps, il est d'une fatigue incroyable, et son zèle lui fait regarder comme rien, tout ce qu'il y a de plus difficile. Je n'aurai jamais de repos, dit il, tant que je vivrai; je ne croirai jamais en avoir assez fait.

Nous avons trois chapelles et nous faisons le catéchisme en quatre endroits. Des Kikabous, pareillement Illinois, se sont logés auprès de nous pour faire du bled dans le voisinage de nostre premier village; ils ont part à la parole de Dieu ainsy nous ne manquons pas d'occupation icy tous deux. Nostre maison ne désemplit pas, depuis le matin jusqu'au soir, de gens que viennent se faire instruire et se confesser: il a fallu faire nos chapelles plus grandes qu'elles n'estoient. Le cher Père Marest se livre un peu trop à son zèle: il travaille excessivement le jour, et veille la nuit pour se perfectionner dans la langue; il voudroit en cinq ou six mois savoir tout le dictionnaire. Dieu nous conserve un si brave missionaire; il ne vit que d'un peu de bled cuit, où il mèle quelquefois un peu de petites fèves, et il mange un melon d'eau qui lui sert de boisson. Il y a un autre missionaire à soixante lieues d'icy qui vient nous voir tous les hivers, il est de la province de Guyenne et se nomme le P. Pinet, si vous le connoissiez, je vous en dirois davantage de lui. Il a eu le bonheur d'envoyer au ciel l'âme du fameux chef Pé'ouris et de plusieurs jongleurs, et a attiré à nos chapelles, diverses personnes qui sont l'exemple du village par leur ferveur: il me reste à vous parler de ce qui me regarde.

Je suis presentement à hiverner avec une partie de nos sauvages dispersés. J'ai esté depuis peu aux Tamarois, en voir une partie sur le bord d'un des grands fleuves du monde, que nous appelons pour cela le Missisipi ou la grande rivière; on en a découvert plus de sept cent lieues où elle est navigable, sans en avoir encore trouvé la source. Je dois retourner chez les Illinois de Tamaroa le printemps; il y a une fort grande différence de ce climat icy à celui de Québec, où le froid est long et les neiges fort hautes, au lieu qu'icy d'ordinaire le neige ne dure que fort peu. A peine tout ce mois cy de Janvier avons nous senti le froid; la vigne se voit attachée aux arbres de tous costés et montant jusqu'au haut, le raisin en est sauvage et n'approche pas de la bonté de celuy de France. Il y a une infinité de noyers et de pruniers de différentes espèces; on y voit encore quelques petites pommes. Il se trouve icy deux autres sortes d'arbres fruictiers que l'on ne connoit point en France, ce sont des Assimines et des Piakimines: le fruit en est bon: de tous nos autres beaux fruits de France nous nous en passons en ce païs-cy. Le gibier y est en quantité; les canards, outardes, oies, cignes, grues, poulets d'Inde; le bœuf, l'ours et le chevreuil sont les grosses viandes que l'on mange au païs de chasse. Le bœuf en ce païs est d'un brun tirant sur le noir; c'est ce qu'on appelle le bufle en Europe; il a une grosse bosse vers le chignon du cou, le poil fort épais, comme celuy des moutons en France, et nous fait de bonnes couvertures de lit. On voit encore plusieurs autres animaux, comme chats sauvages, loups cerviers, rats de bois; la femelle de ceux cy porte ses petits dans une espece de bourse qu'elle a sous le ventre.

Voicy quelle est la vie de nos sauvages; ils partent sur la fin de Septembre pour chasser. Tout le monde marche, ou se rend en pirogue au lieu de l'hivernement. De là, les plus lestes hommes, femmes, filles, vont dans les terres chercher le bœuf; cet animal est dangereux, courant resolument sur celuy qui l'attaque, surtout quand il est blessé; il soufle d'une manière furieuse, et jette des œillades terribles. Quand les sauvages l'ont tué ils enlèvent particulièrement la viande de dessus les côtes, la partagent en deux moitiés; cette viande est ensuite exposée pendant quelque temps sur un gril de bois de trois ou quatre pieds de haut, sous lequel on fait un feu clair, puis on la plie; ainsy dessechée, elle se garde fort longtemps sans se corrompre. On appelle ces sortes de pieces des plats-côtés dont il se fait grand débit au village, quand on est de retour. Cette chasse finit vers le temps de Noël; les sauvages en reviennent chargés de ces plats-côtés, et il est surprenant combien les hommes et les femmes portent pesant dans la marche. Le reste du temps jusqu'au mois de Mars se passe dans l'hivernement, où les femmes pressent sans cesse; les hommes vont de fois et d'autres chasser le chevreuil ou des ours, sinon ils jouent, dansent, chantent, partisque fruuntur. Ce sont tous gentilshommes, vivant, sans autre mestier, que celuy de la chasse, de la pesche et de la guerre.

La vie que les sauvages mènent au village est à peu pres de même que celle de l'hivernement; les femmes seules y labourent et sèment la terre; ce qu'elles font avec grand soin; aussi pour l'ordinaire les bleds sont-ils fort beaux et en abondance. La fainéantise où vous voyez que vivent les hommes, est la source de toutes leurs débauches, et de l'aversion qu'ils ont pour la religion Chrestienne. Le bal se tient icy comme en France, tandis que dans une cabane des danseurs suivent la cadence d'une espèce de tambour, vous entendez d'un autre costé quelque vieille qui chante.

J'oubliois de vous parler de nos jardins; un de leurs plus beaux ornements est ce que nous appelons les melons d'eau; ils viennent exorbitamment gros; le gout en est fort doux, et ils sont différents de nos melons en ce qu'ils ne jaunissent pas: ils se mangent sans sel, et la quantité n'en est pas malfaisante.

Voilà, mon Révérend Père, un petit narré du climat et des mœurs de nos Illinois. Les jeunes enfants nous y donnent toujours une grande espérance pour l'avenir, ils ont un empressement merveilleux pour se faire instruire, et l'envie d'avoir une aiguille, et un grain rouge, ou quelque petite croix ou médaille, fait qu'ils s'appliquent à bien répondre et qu'ils apprennent beaucoup en peu de temps.

Je suis
Mon révérend Père
Votre très humble et très obéissant
serviteur en Nostre Seigneur,
Julien Binneteau
de la Compagnie de Jésus.

Letter of Father Julien Binneteau, of the Society of Jesus, to a Father of the same Society.

From the Illinois country, [January,] 1699.

My Reverend Father,

Pax Christi.

God continues to be served here, in spite of the opposition of the devil, who raises up people bitterly hostile to Christianity. We call them jugglers here. In public they perform a hundred mummeries full of impiety; and talk to the skins of animals, and to dead birds, as divinities. They claim that medicinal herbs are gods, from whom they have life, and that no others must be worshiped. Every day they sing songs in honor of their little manitous, as they call them. They inveigh against our religion and against the missionaries. "Where is the God," they say, "of whom the black gowns tell us? What does he give us to induce us to hear them? Where are the feasts they give us?" For, my reverend Father, it is by means of feasts that the demon's party is maintained here.

Although people of this kind seem very averse to embracing Christianity, many of them nevertheless respect or fear our mysteries, and are polite to the missionaries. Indeed, there are few whose children do not come to the chapel. Many send them thither; and, whatever may be the parents' motive, there is reason to hope that these young plants will one day bear fruit, and that the party of evil will insensibly disappear. You will be surprised to learn that several of these jugglers, when they fall ill, willingly have recourse to the missionary; and there are but few who do not listen to him, and who do not admit that there is a Great Spirit, the maker of all things, who alone must be adored. Recently one of the chief men asked to be instructed, after having long resisted. Afterward, when he fell ill, and was near his end, he had no rest until he at last received holy baptism, while exhorting all his children to embrace our religion.

The young men are no less opposed to the progress of Christianity than are the jugglers. Among them are monsters of impurity, who abandon themselves without shame to the most infamous actions; this is the reason why we find hardly a single young man upon whom we can rely for the exercises of religion. The middle-aged men and the old men alone have any constancy.

As a compensation, the women and girls have strong inclinations to virtue—although, according to their customs, they are the slaves of their brothers, who compel them to marry whomsoever they choose, even men already married to another wife. Nevertheless, there are some among them who constantly resist, and who prefer to expose themselves to ill treatment rather than do anything contrary to the precepts of Christianity regarding marriage.

There are many households where husband and wife live in great fervor, without heeding what the jugglers or the young libertines may say. They are always the first at church; they punctually attend the public prayers, and courageously support our side. Some of them assemble in the cabin of one of the notable men of the village, and there the whole conversation is about matters of piety, the catechism, the prayers which they recite to one another, or, finally, the hymns. As the children are persecuted on account of prayer, I know good Christians who urge them to go to their homes, and who offer to feed them and to share what they have with them, as if they were their own children.

There are also women married to some of our Frenchmen, who would be a good example to the best regulated households in France. Some of those who are married to savages manifest extraordinary care in maintaining piety in their families; they themselves teach their children; they exhort their husbands to be virtuous; they ask them at night whether they have said their prayers; they urge them to approach the sacraments frequently; and, for their own part, they confess at least every week, and often receive communion.

After having told you about the mission, I shall say a few words, my Reverend Father, about the missionaries. Father Gabriel Marest is doing wonders; he has the finest talent in the world for these missions; he has learned the language in four or five months, so that he can now give lessons to those who have been here a long time; he can endure an incredible amount of fatigue, and his zeal leads him to look upon the most difficult things as trifles. "I will never rest," he says, "as long as I live. I will never believe that I have done enough."

We have three chapels, and we teach the catechism at four places. Kikabous as well as Illinois are lodged around us, in order to cultivate corn in the neighborhood of our chief village. They have a share in God's word; Thus we both have no lack of occupation. From morning until night, our house is never empty of people who come to be instructed and to confess. We have had to make our chapels larger than they were. Dear Father Marest is somewhat too zealous; he works excessively during the day, and he sits up at night to improve himself in the language; he would like to learn the whole vocabulary in five or six months. May God preserve so worthy a missionary to us. He lives only on a little boiled corn, with which he sometimes mixes a few small beans; and he eats a watermelon, which supplies his beverage. There is another missionary sixty leagues from here, who comes to see us every winter. He comes from the province of Guyenne, and his name is Father Pinet. If you knew him I would tell you more about him. He has had the happiness of sending to heaven the soul of the famous chief Pé'ouris, and those of several jugglers; and he has attracted to our chapels various persons who, through their fervor, are patterns to the village. I have now to speak to you solely of what concerns myself.

I am at present spending the winter with a portion of our savages who are scattered about. I have recently been with the Tamarois, to visit a band of them on the bank of one of the largest rivers in the world—which, for this reason, we call the Missisipi or "the great river." More than seven hundred leagues of it have been found to be navigable, without discovering its source. I am to return to the Illinois of Tamaroa in the spring. There is a very great difference between this climate and that of Québec,—where the cold lasts a long time, and a great quantity of snow falls; whereas here, as a rule, the snow remains but a very short time. We have hardly felt the cold during the whole of this month of January. Vines climb all around the trees, up to their tops; the grapes are wild, and are not nearly as good as those of France. There are an infinite number of nut- and plum-trees of various kinds; also some small apples. We find here two other kinds of fruit-trees that are not known in France; they are Assimines and Piakimines. [8] Their fruit is good. We in this country go without all our other delicious fruits of France. Game is plentiful, such as ducks, geese, bustards, swans, cranes, Turkeys. Ox, bear, and deer furnish the substantial meats that we eat in the game country. The ox of these regions is of a blackish brown, and is the animal called "buffalo" in Europe; it has a large hump on the nape of the neck, and very thick hair, like the wool of our sheep in France; this makes good bed-coverings. We also see other animals, such as wildcats, lynxes, and tree-rats; the female of the latter carries her young in a sort of pouch under her belly. [9]

The life led by our savages is as follows. They start on their hunt about the end of September. All walk, or proceed in pirogues, to the wintering-place. From there the most active men, women, and girls go into the interior, to seek the ox; this animal is dangerous, and boldly rushes at him who attacks it, especially when wounded; it snorts furiously, and its glaring eyes are terrible. When the savages have killed one, they remove the flesh, especially that from the ribs, and divide it in halves. This meat is afterward spread for some time on a wooden grating, three or four feet high, under which a bright fire is kept up; it is then rolled; and, dried in this manner, it keeps for a long time without becoming tainted. These pieces are called the tenderloins, and are in great demand in the village when the hunters return. This hunt ends about Christmas. The savages come back loaded with these tenderloins, and it is wonderful what heavy loads the men and women carry on the march. The remainder of the time until the month of March is passed in the winter quarters, where the women are continually occupied. The men go, from time to time, to hunt for deer or bear, and spend the rest of the time in gaming, dancing, singing partisque fruuntur. They are all gentlemen, the sole occupation of whose lives consists in hunting, in fishing, and in war.

The life that the savages lead in the village is about the same as that in their winter quarters. The women alone till the soil, and sow; they do this carefully, and consequently the corn is very fine and abundant. The idleness of the men is the cause of all their debauchery, and of their aversion to the Christian religion. Balls are held here, as in France; while in a cabin the dancers move about to the cadence of a kind of drum, you hear, on the other hand, some old woman singing.

I am almost forgetting to tell you of our gardens. One of their finest ornaments is what we call the watermelon, which grows to an extraordinary size. It has a very sweet taste, and differs from our melons because it does not turn yellow. These melons are eaten without salt, and are harmless even when eaten in quantities.

The above, my Reverend Father, is a short description of the climate and of the customs of our Illinois. The young children always give us great hopes for the future. They are wonderfully eager to be instructed; and their desire to obtain a needle, a red bead, or a small cross or medal, makes them try to give correct answers, and they learn a great deal in a short time.

I remain,
My reverend Father,
Your very humble and very
obedient servant in Our Lord,
Julien Binneteau,
of the Society of Jesus.

Lettre du P. Gabriel Marest, de la Compagnie de Jésus, à un Père de la même Compagnie.

Du Pays des Illinois en la Nouvelle-France le 29 Avril 1699

Mon Révérend Père

Pax Christi

Il y a près d'un an que je suis dans cette mission; le pays y est fort different de celuy du costé de Quebec. Le climat y est chaud, les terres fertiles, le peuple d'un esprit facile et doux. Voicy en quel estat y est la religion: parmi les hommes il y en a peu qui embrassent le Christianisme; surtout les jeunes gens, qui vivent dans de monstrueux désordres, qui les éloignent entièrement de la vertu et qui les rendent incapables d'écouster leurs missionaires. Priez Dieu, mon Révérend Père, qu'il jette les yeux de sa miséricorde sur eux et qu'il les tire d'un estat si déplorable. Au contraire, les femmes et les filles se trouvent entièrement disposées à recevoir le baptême, pleines de constance et de fermeté quand elles l'ont une fois reçu; ferventes à la prière, ne demandant qu'à estre instruites, fréquentant souvent les sacrements, enfin capables de la plus haute sainteté. Le nombre de celles qui embrassent notre sainte religion augmente de jour en jour d'une manière considérable, jusques à ce que, depuis peu, nous avons esté obligés de faire une nouvelle église, la première se trouvant trop petite; et à voir comme celle cy se remplit tous les jours, je crois qu'il nous en faudra faire une troisième. Gloire en soit à Dieu, qui veut bien répandre icy ses graces avec tant de profusion.

Comme le village est grand, y ayant près d'une demie lieue de long, nos fervents chrestiens ont dressé depuis peu une chapelle aux deux bouts pour la commodité de l'instruction; ils s'y assemblent, et je vais leur y faire régulièrement le catéchisme.

Les enfants nous donnent des très belles espérances pour l'avenir, on ne sauroit croire l'ardeur qu'ils ont pour se faire instruire; quand ils sont de retour dans la cabane, ils disent à leurs pères souvent encore infidèles, ce qu'ils ont appris; surtout ils savent se moquer des ridicules cérémonies de nos jongleurs, et nous voyons que, par là, la jonglerie s'esteint peu à peu.

Il y a près de dix ans que le P. Gravier jetta les fondements de cette nouvelle chrestienté, qu'il a cultivé avec des soins et des peines incroyables. Le R. P. Binneteau a succedé à ses fatigues et à ses fruicts. Enfin, on peut dire que c'est icy une de nos plus belles missions: en vérité, on ne conçoit pas en France, le bien qu'on peut faire parmi ces nombreuses nations; il faut avouer aussi qu'on y a de l'occupation pour l'ordinaire audessus de ses forces, et il faut que Dieu nous soutienne d'en haut pour ne pas succomber au travail. Voicy un plan de notre vie.

Tous les jours, avant le soleil levé, nous disons la messe pour la commodité de nos chrestiens, qui s'en vont de là à leur travail. Les sauvages y chantent des prières, ou en récitent ensemble; au sortir de la messe, nous allons dans divers quartiers faire le catéchisme aux enfants; ensuite il faut aller voir les malades. Au retour on trouve toujours plusieurs sauvages qui viennent nous consulter sur differentes choses. Après midy, trois fois la semaine, se fait un grand catéchisme pour tout le monde; de là on va par les cabanes confirmer les chrestiens et tascher de gagner quelque idolâtre. Ces visites sont d'une très grande utilité, et je remarque que le missionaire ne manque jamais d'y faire quelque nouvelle conquête, ou d'y ramener quelque brebis egarée. Les visites se font aujourdhui dans un quartier et demain dans un autre, estant absolument impossible de parcourir toutes les cabanes en un jour.

Quand nous revenons à la maison, nous la retrouvons toute pleine de nos fervents chrestiens qui viennent pour recevoir quelque instruction ou pour se confesser; c'est ordinairement en ce temps là que j'explique des images de l'ancien et du nouveau testament; ces sortes d'images frappent l'esprit du sauvage et luy aident beaucoup à retenir ce qu'on luy apprend; se fait ensuite la prière publique où tout le monde se trouve, et une demie heure d'instruction; au sortir de là, plusieurs veulent nous parler en particulier, et souvent la nuit est déjà bien avancée, avant qu'on ayt pu contenter tout le monde. Voilà ce qui se fait tous les jours. Les samedys et les dimanches sont entièrement occupés pour les confessions: ainsi un missionaire n'a icy que la nuit de libre, encore souvent prend-on ce temps là pour apprendre à quelques uns à chanter des hymnes.

Pendant l'hiver nous nous partageons en différents endroits, où les sauvages vont passer cette saison. J'avois pour moi l'hiver passé un assez gros village à trois liéues d'icy où après avoir dit la messe les dimanches, je venois encore la dire icy au fort, à nos François.

Il a passé par icy trois Messieurs du Séminaire de Quebec que Mgr l'Evesque envoyoit establir des missions sur le Missisipi. Nous les avons reçu le mieux que nous avons pu, les logeant chez nous et leur faisant part de ce que nous pouvions avoir dans une disette aussi grande que celle où nous avons esté toute l'année dans le village. En partant nous les avons aussi engagés à prendre sept sacs de bled qui nous restoient, leur cachant nostre pauvreté, afin qu'ils eussent moins de peine à recevoir ce que nous leur offrions. Dans une autre de nos Missions, nous avons encore nourri deux de leurs gens pendant tout cet hyver.

Comme ces Messieurs ne savoient pas l'Illinois, nous leur avons donné un recueil de prières et un catéchisme traduict, avec les remarques que nous avons pu faire sur cette langue, afin de les aider à l'apprendre; enfin nous leur avons fait toutes les honnêtetés et toutes les amitiés possibles.

Demandez à Dieu, mon R. Père, qu'il me fasse la grâce de lui être fidèle et de remplir icy les desseins qu'il a sur moi pour l'avancement de sa gloire et l'entière conversion des peuples qu'il a bien vouloir confier à nos soins.

Je suis
Mon Révérend Père
Votre très humble et
obéissant serviteur
Gabriel Marest, S.J.

Letter of Father Gabriel Marest, of the Society of Jesus, to a Father of the same Society.

From the Illinois Country in New France, April 29, 1699.

My Reverend Father,

Pax Christi.

I have been nearly a year in this mission. The country here is very different from that about Quebec. The climate is warm, the soil fertile, the people of affable and gentle disposition. The state of religion here is as follows: but few embrace Christianity among the men, especially the young men—who live in excessive licentiousness, which renders them utterly averse to virtue, and incapable of listening to their missionaries. Pray God, my Reverend Father, to cast a merciful eye upon them, and to withdraw them from so deplorable a condition. The women and girls, on the contrary, are very well disposed to receive baptism; they are very constant and firm, when once they have received it; they are fervent in prayer, and ask only to be instructed; they frequently approach the sacraments; and, finally, are capable of the highest sanctity. The number of those who embrace our holy religion increases daily to a marked degree—so much so that we have recently been obliged to build a new church, as the first was too small; and, judging from the manner in which this one is filled every day, I think we shall shortly need a third one. Praise be to God, who is pleased to shower his blessings here in such profusion.

As the village is large, being nearly half a league in length, our fervent Christians have lately erected a chapel at each end, so that instruction may be more easily given. They meet in these, and I go there regularly to teach them the catechism.

The children give us bright hopes for the future. It is impossible to believe how eager they are to be instructed. When they return to their cabins, they tell their fathers, who are often still infidels, what they have learned. Above all, they know how to laugh at the jugglers' ridiculous ceremonies; and we see that jugglery is, in consequence, gradually disappearing.

Nearly ten years ago Father Gravier laid the foundations of this new Christendom, which he fostered with care and trouble beyond belief. Reverend Father Binneteau has succeeded to his labors, and to the fruits thereof. In fact, we may say that this is one of our finest missions. In truth, it is impossible to imagine in France the good that can be done among these populous nations. It must also be confessed that, as a rule, we have occupation beyond our strength; and we need to be sustained by God from on high, not to succumb beneath the burden of our labors. Here is a description of the life we lead:

Every day, before sunrise, we say mass for the convenience of our Christians, who go from it to their work. The savages chant the prayers, or recite them together during mass,—after which we disperse in different directions to teach the children the catechism; and then we have to visit the sick. On our return, we always find several savages who come to consult us on various matters. In the afternoon, three times a week, there is general catechism for all the people. From that, we go through the cabins to strengthen the Christians, and endeavor to win some idolater. These visits are very useful, and I notice that the missionary never fails to effect some fresh conquest, or to bring back some strayed sheep. The visits are paid one day in one quarter, and on the morrow in another; for it is absolutely impossible to go through all the cabins in one day.

When we return to the house, we find it filled with our fervent Christians, who come to receive instruction or to confess. It is generally at this time that I explain the pictures of the old and of the new testament. Pictures of this kind produce an impression upon the savage's mind, and greatly assist him in remembering what we tell him. Then the public prayers are said, which all attend; and they are followed by a half-hour's instruction. After leaving the church, many wish to speak to us in private; and the night is frequently far advanced before we can satisfy every one. This is what we do every day. Saturdays and Sundays are completely occupied in hearing confessions. Thus a missionary is free only at night; and even that time is often taken to teach some of the people to sing the hymns.

During the winter we separate, going to various places where the savages pass that season. Last winter I had for my share a village of considerable size, three leagues from here; after saying mass there on Sundays, I came to say it again here, at the fort, for our French.

Three gentlemen of the Quebec Seminary, sent by Monseigneur the Bishop to establish missions on the Missisipi, passed through here. We received them as well as we were able, lodging them in our own house, and sharing with them what we could possess amid a scarcity as great as that which prevailed in the village throughout the year. On leaving, we also induced them to take seven sacks of corn that we had left, concealing our poverty from them, so that they might have less objection to receiving what we offered them. In another of our missions, we also fed two of their people during the whole of last winter.

As these gentlemen did not know the Illinois language, we gave them a collection of prayers, and a translation of the catechism, with the notes that we have been able to make upon that language, in order to help them to learn it. In fine, we showed them every possible attention and kindness.

Entreat God, my Reverend Father, to grant me the grace of being faithful to him, and of fulfilling here his designs regarding me for the advancement of his glory, and the entire conversion of these people, whom he has been pleased to confide to our care.

I remain,
My Reverend Father,
Your very humble and
obedient servant,
Gabriel Marest, S.J.

Lettre du Père Jacques Bigot, de la Compagnie
de Jésus, à un Père de la même Compagnie.

Du Pays des Abnaquis [26 Octobre] 1699

Mon Révérend Père,

Pax Christi.

Je partis sur la fin du mois d'aoust, pour aller dans une de nos missions de l'Acadie, prendre la place de mon frère qui estoit incommodé. J'y arrivai la veille de la Nativité de la Sainte Vierge, où j'eus d'abord la consolation de confesser avec luy et de communier plus de deux cents de nos sauvages. Comme c'est le premier hyver qu'on ait passé dans ce village tout récemment estably, je vous avoueray que j'ay eu quelque chose à souffrir, tant pour le logement que pour les vivres; mais toutes ces peines ne sont rien en comparaison de la consolation que j'ay eu de jouir dans cette mission des fruicts des travaux de mon frère, et d'y trouver la plupart des sauvages dans une très grande ferveur. On ne sauvoit entrer dans leur chapelle, sans qu'on y en trouve quelqu'un adorant Jésus Christ dans le Saint Sacrement; ils s'excitent les uns les autres dans ce saint exercise, et tachent de tesmoigner par là combien ils sont reconnoissants de l'honneur que leur fait ce Dieu caché, de demeurer ainsy dans leur pauvre chapelle, quelques uns y viennent dès trois heures du matin; plusieurs y passent les deux heures entières à genoux; j'en connois qui ne manquent jamais d'y aller tous les jours à midy.

D'autres en revenant de la forest, après avoir mis leurs charges de bois dans leurs cabanes, vont aussitost saluer Nostre Seigneur. Comme la plus grande partie des sauvages de ce village ne sont baptisés que depuis peu de temps, et qu'ils n'ont pu estre tout à fait instruits, j'ay toujours fait deux instructions publiques dans la chapelle, et une troisième dans une cabane particulière pour leur apprendre et pour leur expliquer des chants sur les mystères; celà ne les contentoit pas encore, de sorte que quand j'allois dans les cabanes, ils me faisoient mille questions, importunité sans doute bien agréable. Dès que je faisois le cri dans le village pour l'instruction des enfants, plusieurs, tant hommes que femmes venoient se joindre à eux pour en profiter. Quelques uns dès la fin de septembre, avoient coustume de se retirer dans les bois jusqu'au printemps, pour y passer l'hyver plus commodément; cette année, ceux là ont différé plus de trois mois à le faire, afin de pouvoir estre instruits.

Je desesperai quasi de la conversion de deux jeunes sauvages d'environ vingt cinq ans, grace à Dieu, ils ont tellement changé depuis quelque temps, qu'aujourd'hui je suis autant consolé de leur ferveur et de leur docilité que j'estois auparavant affligé de leur fierté et de leur indifference pour le Christianisme. Un troisième estant retombé dans ses désordres, après avoir este baptisé, j'ay esté obligé de moderer les mortifications et les austerités que vouloient faire deux de ses parentes pour obtenir de Dieu sa conversion.

Une jeune femme n'est venue dire que, depuis deux ans, elle avoit promis à Dieu de ne se jamais remarier, qu'elle vouloit lui garder sa parole et que pour cela elle me prioit de dire à ses parents de ne luy plus parler de mariage.

Une autre de même age, dans la première communion qu'elle fit après la mort de son mari, promit à Jésus Christ de ne se plus marier. Comme je la blâmois d'avoir fait cela sans m'en avoir parlé, elle m'a dit tout simplement que, possédant Jésus Christ après la communion, elle n'avoit pu s'empescher de luy dire: Je suis maintenant toute à vous, mon divin Jésus, et jamais je n'auray d'autre espoux que vous. Je ne puis vous exprimer tout ce qu'a voulu faire cette fervente Chrestienne pour le repos de l'ame de son mary.

Depuis quelques jours nos Abnaquis ont commencé à rendre par échange les Anglois qu'ils avoient pris en guerre, et c'est icy, mon révérend Père, où la religion Catholique a triomphé de l'hérésie en la personne mesme des enfants. Selon l'accord fait entre les deux nations, il est libre à ceux qui ont plus de quatorze ans de rester chez les ennemis, mais on a droit de part et d'autre de reprendre, malgré eux, ceux qui sont au dessous de cet âge. Quand on vint a ramener un pauvre enfant de douze à treize ans, vous n'eussiez pu retenir vos larmes, voyant comme il conjuroit les sauvages de le retenir; Je vais me perdre, s'ecrioit il en pleurant, gardez moi avec vous, afin que je ne sois point damné. Il confondit le capitaine de sa nation, qui estoit venu faire l'échange, luy soutenant que les François et les sauvages prioient beaucoup mieux que les Anglois. Quelques jours auparavant, à Québec, un jeune Anglois, en pareille circonstance, avoit fait la même confusion à un ministre, en presence de M. le Gouverneur. Quatre filles Angloises ont absolument refusé de retourner à Boston, et ont mieux aimé demeurer avec nos sauvages que de se mettre en danger, ont elles dit, d'estre perverties par les ministres. Une autre vient de me dire qu'elle estoit resolue d'en faire autant, ne comptant pour rien, m'a-t-elle dit, la dureté de la vie misérable et pauvre des sauvages pour se conserver dans la vraye religion. Sept petits Anglois ayant entendu parler que l'échange alloit se faire, se sont cachés dans les bois, de peur qu'on ne les ramenast; deux autres, plus avancés en âge, et qui sont morts, il y a quelques mois, après avoir fait icy leur première communion, m'avoient bien assurés qu'ils ne retourneroient point. Cette ferveur des Anglois parmy nous, doit faire honneur à nos bons sauvages, qui ont un soin et un zèle admirable, pour les mener aux missionnaires, et pour les instruire eux mêmes, dès qu'ils les ont pris. Je les trouve d'abord fort prévenus contre nous; mais peu à peu ils se laissent persuader par la dévotion et par l'assiduité à la prière de nos Abnaquis; ce qu'ils ne voient point, disent ils, dans leur colonie.

Je vous écris cecy, mon reverend Père, sur le bord de la mer, où je suis avec nos sauvages, qui y sont venus pour traitter de paix avec un vaisseau anglois qui y est à la rade. Le voyage m'a extremement fatigué, outre que nous manquons quasi de vivres à cause du mauvais temps; j'en avois un peu apporté; mais dès la première nuit, un Chrestien, qui avoit bon appétit, mangea le sac de cuir où je les avois mis et n'épargne pas ce qu'il y avoit dedans. Nous nous regalons d'huitres, que nous allons prendre, quand la mer est basse: c'est aussi tout ce que nous avons à manger, depuis quelque temps. Le capitaine du vaisseau dit d'abord que le Gouverneur de la Nouvelle Angleterre vouloit absolument que les Abnaquis chassassent les missionaires françois, et qu'il leur en donneroit de sa nation. Nous n'en ferons rien, dirent aussitost les capitaines Abnaquis. Vous voudriez nous faire prier comme vous, mais vous n'en viendrez pas à bout. La proposition des Anglois les a tellement irrités, qu'ils ont répondu que l'Anglois eut à sortir de leur pays, qu'ils ne souffriroient jamais, qu'il s'y établisse: que par leur choix ils s'estoient donnés au grand capitaine des François et qu'ils ne reconnoissoient que luy. Les Anglois en ont mal usé d'ailleurs, en retenant depuis trois ans, malgré leur parole donnée plusieurs fois, deux Abnaquis, par lesquels ils ont retiré des mains de ces sauvages plus de trente Anglois, promettant toujours de rendre ceux qu'on leur avoit demandé, et cependant n'en avoient encore rien fait. Il faut avouer aussi que d'un autre costé, les Abnaquis, animés par cette perfidie, leur ont pris et tué bien de monde.

Le capitaine anglois m'a fait faire beaucoup d'honnêtetés, m'invitant même à venir sur son bord; mais je n'ay eu garde de me mettre ainsi entre ses mains; si je l'avois fait, je crois que de longtemps je n'aurois revu ma chère mission. Je me suis contenté de lui escrire une lettre de remerciement. Je pars pour Quebec avec quelques uns de nos sauvages, pour rendre compte à Mr. le Gouverneur de ce qui s'est passé dans cette entrevue avec l'Anglois.

J'arrive de Quebec, après avoir salué et entretenu Monsieur le Gouverneur qui est très content de la manière dont nos Abnaquis, ont repondu aux Anglois. Je m'etois remis au plus tost sur les glaces, afin d'arriver à l'Acadie avant que les rivières fussent déprises; mais le degel me surprit au bout de quelques jours, ce qui augmenta la fatigue du voyage de telle sorte qu'une grosse fièvre me prit: je croyois en mourir le jour de l'Annonciation de la Sainte Vierge, et on me ramena le mieux qu'on pût à Quebec, où j'ai esté malade près de cinq semaines. Je repartis enfin après Pâques, et par mon retour je donnai bien de la joye à mes chers sauvages, qui me croyoient mort. Aussitost je me mis à parcourir les trois villages, pour les confesser, leur faire faire leurs Pâques, et les fortifier contre les sollicitations des Anglois, qui font tout ce qu'ils peuvent pour les engager à recevoir des ministres. Toutes ces fatigues m'ont redonné la fièvre, je n'ay pas laisse cependant de faire toutes mes fonctions et je n'ay passé qu'un jour sans avoir eu la consolation de dire la messe.

Je suis, de Votre Révérence
Mon Révérend Père
Le très humble et
très obéissant serviteur
Jacques Bigot.

Letter of Father Jacques Bigot, of the Society of Jesus, to a Father of the same Society.

From the Abnaqui Country, [October 26,] 1699.

My Reverend Father,

Pax Christi.

I started about the end of the month of August to go to one of our missions of Acadia, to take the place of my brother, who was in poor health. I reached the mission on the vigil of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, when I had in the first place the consolation of confessing and giving communion, with him, to more than two hundred of our savages. As that is the first winter that we have passed in this village, which has been but recently established, [10] I must confess that I had to endure some discomfort as regards lodging and food; but all these things are nothing in comparison with the consolation that I have experienced in enjoying the fruits of my brother's labors in this mission, and in finding very great fervor in most of the savages. We cannot enter their chapel without finding some one adoring Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. They incite one another to the performance of this holy devotion, and endeavor thereby to show how grateful they are for the honor done them by that hidden God, in thus remaining in their poor chapel. Some of them come as early as three o'clock in the morning; many pass two whole hours there on their knees. I know some who never fail to go there every day at noon.

Others on returning from the forest, after depositing their loads of fuel in their cabins, go at once to adore Our Lord. As most of the savages of this village have been baptized only within a short time, and have not yet been fully instructed, I have always given two public instructions in the chapel, and a third in a private cabin, to teach them and explain to them chants on the mysteries. This did not content them, and when I went into the cabins they put a thousand questions to me—an importunity that was assuredly very agreeable. As soon as I uttered in the village the call for the children's instruction, many, both men and women, came to join them, in order to profit by it. Some were in the habit of retiring into the woods as early as the end of September, and of remaining until the spring, in order to pass the winter there in greater comfort. This year they put off doing so for more than three months, in order that they might be instructed.

I almost despaired of the conversion of two young savages, about twenty-five years of age. Thanks be to God, they have so greatly changed for some time past that at present I am as greatly consoled by their fervor and docility as I was formerly afflicted by their pride and indifference to Christianity. A third relapsed into his evil ways after being baptized; and I was obliged to moderate the mortifications and austerities that two of his female relatives wished to practice, in order to obtain his conversion from God.

A young woman came to tell me that she had promised God, two years before, not to remarry; that she wished to keep her word; and, to that end, she begged me to enjoin her parents not to speak to her again of marriage.

Another of the same age made a promise to Jesus Christ, the first time when she received communion after her husband's death, never to marry again. When I blamed her for doing so without speaking to me, she said quite simply that when she possessed Jesus Christ in her soul after communion, she could not refrain from saying to him: "I now belong wholly to you, my divine Jesus, and I will have no other spouse but you." I cannot tell you all that this fervent Christian wished to do for the repose of her husband's soul.

Our Abnaquis have begun during the past few days to restore, by exchange, the English prisoners whom they had taken in war; and in this, my reverend Father, the Catholic religion has triumphed over heresy in the very persons of its children. In accordance with the compact made between the two nations, those who are over fourteen years of age are free to remain with the enemy; but both sides have the right to take back those who are under that age, whether they like it or not. When they came to take away a poor boy of twelve or thirteen, you could not have restrained your tears had you seen how he begged the savages to keep him. "I shall be lost," he exclaimed, with sobs. "Keep me with you, so that I may not be damned." He covered with confusion the captain of his nation, who came to effect the exchange, by asserting that the French and the savages prayed much better than the English. Some days previously, at Québec, a young Englishman had, under similar circumstances, covered a minister with confusion in the presence of Monsieur the Governor. Four English girls positively refused to return to Boston, and preferred to live with our savages rather than run the risk, they said, of being perverted by the ministers. Another came to tell me that she was resolved to do the same; for she said that she thought nothing of enduring the hardships of the miserable and wretched life led by the savages, provided she remained in the true religion. Seven little English boys, who heard of the exchange that was to be effected, hid themselves in the woods, through fear of being taken away. Two others who were older, and who died some months ago after making their first communion here, had assured me positively that they would not return. This fervor of the English among us does honor to our good savages, who display admirable care and zeal in bringing them to the missionaries, and in themselves instructing them as soon as they take them. At first I find them greatly prejudiced against us, but they gradually allow themselves to be persuaded by the devotion of our Abnaquis and their zeal for prayer—which they do not find, they say, in their colony.

I write you this, my reverend Father, from the sea-shore, where I am with my savages who have come to treat for peace with an English ship now in the harbor. The journey fatigued me greatly; and, moreover, we were almost without food on account of the bad weather. I had brought a little with me; but, on the very first night, a Christian who had a good appetite ate the leathern bag in which I had put it, and did not spare the contents. We regale ourselves with oysters, which we procure when the tide is low; that is, indeed, all that we have had to eat for some time. At first the captain of the ship said that the Governor of New England insisted upon the Abnaquis driving away the French missionaries, and that he would give them some of his own nation. "We will do nothing of the kind," the Abnaquis captains at once replied. "You may try to make us pray as you do, but you will not succeed." The proposal made by the English irritated them to such an extent that they answered that the English must quit their country; that they would never suffer them to settle there; that, of their own free will, they had given themselves to the great captain of the French, and that they acknowledged him alone. The English, moreover, have treated them badly; for, in spite of their word pledged on several occasions, they have for three years detained two Abnaquis, through whom they have withdrawn more than thirty English from the hands of those savages, by always promising to give up those who were demanded of them; and, nevertheless, they have not yet done so. It must also be admitted, on the other hand, that the Abnaquis, irritated by this treachery, have captured and killed many of the English people.

The English captain showed me much attention, and even invited me on board his ship; but I was careful not to place myself in his hands by doing so. Had I done this, I think that I would not have seen my beloved Mission again for a long time. I contented myself with writing him a letter of thanks. I am about to leave for Quebec, with some of our savages, to report to Monsieur the Governor what passed during that interview with the English.

I have just arrived from Quebec, after paying my respects to and conversing with Monsieur the Governor, who is very well pleased with the answer given by our Abnaquis to the English. I set out at once on the ice to reach Acadia before the rivers broke up, but the thaw overtook me at the end of a few days; this greatly increased the fatigue of the journey—to such an extent, that I was attacked by a violent fever. I thought that I would die from it, on the feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin; and they took me back, as well as they could, to Quebec, where I was ill for nearly five weeks. At last I started once more, after Easter; and my return caused great joy among my beloved savages, who thought me dead. I at once set about visiting the three villages to confess the savages, to make them perform their Easter duties, and to strengthen them against the solicitations of the English—who do everything in their power to induce them to receive ministers. All these fatigues have brought on a second attack of fever. Nevertheless, I perform all my duties; and not a day has passed without my having the consolation of saying mass.

I remain, of Your Reverence,
My Reverend Father,
The very humble and
very obedient servant,
Jacques Bigot.


DOCUMENTS OF 1701-1702

CLXXV.   —Relation ou journal du voyage du Pere Gravier, de la Compagnie de Jesus en 1700 depuis le pays des Illinois Jusqu'a l'Embouchure du Fleuve Mississipi. Du Fort de Mississipi a 17. Lieües de sa decharge dans le Golfe ou mer Mexique, Le 16e Feuvrier 1701
CLXXVI.   —Les Revenus des Jésuites en Canada, 1701. Martin Bouvart, François Vallant; Pierre Rafaix; Quebec, ce 4e Octobre, 1701
CLXXVII.   —Lettre du R. P. Étienne de Carheil à M. Louis Hector de Callières, gouverneur. A Michilimakina, le 30 d'aoust, 1702

SOURCES: In publishing all three of these documents, we follow original MSS. in Paris archives; that of Doc. CLXXV. rests in the archives of l'École de Ste. Geneviève; of Doc. CLXXVI., in the archives of the Ministère des Colonies; and of Doc. CLXXVII., in the Archives Nationales.

Relation ou journal du voyage du Pere Gravier, de la Compagnie de Jesus en 1700 depuis le pays des Illinois Jusqu'a l'Embouchure du Fleuve Mississipi

écrit au Pere de Lamberville et Envoyé du Fort de Mississipi a 17. Lieües de sa decharge dans le Golfe ou mer Mexique Le 16e Feuvrier 1701

Mon Reverend Pere.

Pax Christi

J'ay recû a mon retour de Michilimachinack la lettre que vous m'avez fait l'honneur de mecrire par le Mississipy inscrite au Pere Aveneau qui me la envoyée a Chikagoüa, d'ou je suis party en 1700 le 8e Septembre pour venir icy. Je suis arrivé trop tard aux Illinois du detroit dont le Pere Marest a soin, pour empescher la transmigration du village des Kaskaskia qu'on a fait avec trop de precipitation sur les nouvelles incertaines de l'etablissement de Mississipi. Je ne crois pas que les Kaskaskia se fassent ainsi separez des Peoüarooüa, et des autres Illinois du détroit, si j'y fusse arrivé plûtost. J'y suis du moins venu assez tôt pour reunir un peu les esprits, et pour empêcher l'insulte que les Peoüaroüa et les Moüingoüeña êtoient resolus de faire aux Kaskaskia et aux François en s'embarquant. J'ay parlé a tous les chefs en plein conseil, et comme ils conservent toujours quelque respect et quelque bonne volonté pour moy, l'on s'est separé fort paisiblement. Mais je n'augure rien de bon de cette separation que j'ay toujours empeschée n'en voyant que trop les mauvaises suites; et Dieu veüille que le chemin de Chikagoüa au détroit ne soit pas fermé, et que toute la mission Illinoise n'en souffre beaucoup. Je vous avoüe mon Reverend P. que j'ay le cœur serré de voir mon ancien troupeau ainsi divisé, et dispersé, et je ne le reverray pas, apres l'avoir quitté que je n'aye quelque nouveau sujet d'affliction. des Peoüaroüa que j'ay laissés sans missionaire (puis que le P. Marest a suivi les Kaskaskia) m'ont promis quils conserveroient l'eglise, et qu'ils attendroient mon retour de Mississipi, ou je leur ay dit que je n'allois que pour masseurer de la verité de tout ce qu'on en disoit; ce qui leur a fait grand plaisir, ils m'ont promis qu'ils ne quitteroient pas leur village que je ne leur marquasse ou le grand chef qui est aubas du flevue voudroit qu'ils le transportassent. Je doute fort qu'ils tiennent leur parole. Apres avoir marché quattre jours avec les Kaskaskia, j'ay pris les devants avec le P. Marest que j'ay laissé malade aux Tamarouha, ou le P. Pinet fait paisiblement toutes les fonctions de missionnaire, et Monsieur Bergier qui en agit fort bien avec nous, n'a soin que des François, et c'est une bonne decharge pour le Pere Pinet. Je suis parti des Tamarouha le 9e Octobre pour venir icy au bas du Mississipi au secours du pere du Ru. J'estois accompagné de 5 Canots de François, pour moy je n'avois dans mon canot que le frere Guibert, et un François malade de la fievre tierce. A 2 lieuës du village je trouvay les Tamarouha, qui ont pris leur quartier d'hyver dans une belle anse, ou ils attendent les Metchigamia, qui doivent venir de plus de 60. lieües hyverner, et ne faire qu'un village avec eux: l'un de nos missionnaires les doit visiter durant tout l'hyver de 2. en 2. jours, et en faire autant aux Kaöukia, qui ont pris leur quartier d'hyver a 4 lieuës plus haut que le village. Nous ne fimes que 4. lieuës le 1er. jour, a cause quun de nos canots ouvert par un chicot caché dans l'eau nous arrestat pour le racõmoder. Le 10e jour apres une lieuë de marche nous decouvrimes la Riviere Miaramigoüa ou est la mine de plomb tres abondante a 12 ou 13 lieuës de son embouchure. Cette mine rend le 3 quarts, l'onzieme nous avons tué un bufle ou bœuf sauuage qui nous a coûté 10 ou 12 coups de fusil tant il a bien defendu sa vie. La fievre qui a pris a mon pilote nous a obligés de mettre a terre a une heure apres midi, et en 5 jours quoi que le courant soit grand nous n'avons fait que 35 lieuës parceque nos malades nous obligent de mettre a terre de bonne heure, et a cause qu'on perd beaucoup de temps a tirer sur les bœufs sauvages dont la riviere est bordée, et qu'on laisse presque tous a manger aux loups. Le 14e nous avons doublé le cap Ste. Croix. C'est un petit rocher qui fait au nord de Mississipi une petite isle sur laquelle Monsieur de Montigny a fait planter une Croix, on a tué 2. ours. Le 15e continuation du beau temps, nous avons vû ce jour la plus de 50. ours, et de tous ceux que nous avons tuez, nous n'en avons pris que 4 pour en avoir de l'huile. Ceux qui descendoient le long du Mississipi etoient maigres, et ceux qui venoient du côté de la riviere oüabachei étoient gras: Ils alloient continuellement du sud au nord. Il faut qu'il y fasse meilleur pour eux. On trouve quantité d'isles et de battures dans le cours du fleuve Mississipi, depuis les Tamarouha jusques a la Riviere Oüabachi; cette riviere garde assez son run de vent du nord au sud; mais à 3 ou 4 lieuës de Oüabachi, elle commence a tourner au nord, nord-ouest, et ne fait que serpenter. Nous n'avons pû juger par la route que nous avons faite le 15e quel run de vent elle suit. Le Pere Marquette (qui en fit le 1er. la decouverte il y a prez de 30 ans) se met dans son journal a 3 lieuës de Oüabachi a 36. degrez et 47. minutes; nous avons cabané a la veuë de cette riviere qui vient du sud et se decharge dans le Mississipi. A son embouchure elle fait un grand bassin, a 2. arpens de sa decharge: elle s'appelle par les Illinois et par les Oumiamis la riviere des Akansea, parceque les Akansea l'habitoient autrefois. On luy donne 3 branches l'une qui vient du nord-est, qui passe derriere le pays des Oumiamis nommée la Riviere Saint Joseph que les sauvages appellent proprement Ouabachi. La 2de. vient des Iroquois, et c'est ce qu'ils appellent Ohio, et la 3e du sud sudouest sur laquelle sont les Chaoüanoüa, et se reunissant toutes 3 pour se jetter dans le Mississipi, on l'appelle communement Ouabachi: mais les Illinois et les autres sauvages lappellent la riviere des Akansea. L'eau en est claire, elle ne paroist pas fort rapide, elle se jette doucement dans le Mississipi, qui perd un peu de sa couleur bourbeuse que luy a donnée la riviere des Missouris.

J'ay trouvé un excellent remede pour guerir nos François de leur fievre. J'ay promis a Dieu conjointement avec Pierre de bonne qui auvoit une violente fievre tierce depuis un temps considerable de reciter pendant 9 jours quelques prieres en l'honneur du Pere François Regis dont j'ay des reliques, que je lui ay appliquées dans le fort de son accés, qui a cessé tout a coup, et ne la plus depuis ce temps la: Apres la 9aine. je lui ay repris mon reliquaire que j'ay pendu au col de Louis du Hemme de la Riviere du Loup avec qui j'ay commencé une 2de. 9ne. et dés le 1er. jour la fievre la quitté, et luy ayant ôté mon reliquaire le 4 ou 5e. jour de la 9aine. pour le pendre au col d'un nommé Augustin la pointe de la Coste de Saint Michel en Canada, qui avoit déja eü 2 au 3 accés de fievre. Elle a repris du Hemme, qui m'avoit dit se voyant guery que je n'avois garde d'estre malade, ayant toujours ce reliquaire pendu au col, et dés que je le luy ôté la fievre la repris, et ne la quitté qu'après la neuvaine, et la pointe en a êté parfaitement guery dez le 1er. jour que je luy ay pendu mon reliquaire au col, que je ne luy ay pas repris qu'après la 9aine. accomplie. Et a l'heure qu'il est Pierre Chabot de l'Isle d'Orléans, qui avoit la fievre depuis plus de six mois l'ayant pendu au col dès le 3e jour de la 9ne. Cette fievre si opiniatre diminua et il en fut entierement quitte au bout de la 9aine. Un petit morceau du chapeau du Pere François Regis, qu'un de nos domestiques m'a donné, est le remede le plus infaillible que je puisse avoir pour guerir toutes sortes de fievres.

Pour reprendre maintenant ma route, nous sommes partis le 16e Octobre de l'embouchure de Oüabachi avec un fort beau temps, et nous avons trouvé le Mississipi moins rapide qu'au dessus de Ouabachi. Comme nous avions grande quantité de viandes, nous en avons fait seicher a la haste une partie de la meilleure, et les grandes chaleurs nous ont obligez de jetter le reste. Nous avons vue une si grande quantité de pigeons ramiers que l'air en êtoit tout couvert. Nous avons couru tout le jour au sud Sud-est et a 5 lieuës au dessous de Oüabachi, du costé du sud nous avons trouvé de grandes falaises de sable ou l'on dit qu'il y a une mine de fer. Les plaques de fer pretendu attachées a des Cailloux ne sont rien moins que ce qu'on en croit et qu'on m'a dit: ce ne sont que des veines de terre dure et cõme petrifiées, qui ont a la verité la couleur de fer, mais qui ne pezent pas, et se cassent facilement. J'en ay pris un morceau pour faire voir que s'il y a une mine de fer on n'en doit pas juger par cette terre. Nous avons commencé un peu plus bas a decouvrir des cannes sur les coteaux. Elles sont couvertes de feuilles toujours vertes depuis le bas jusqu'a la pointe; qui se termine par un petit bouquet de feuilles; elles n'ont pas plus de 7 a 8 pieds au bord des coteaux; mais elles sont de 20. 30. et 40 pieds dans le bois, sur tout depuis les Akansea. Le 18e en 3 heures de marche nous avons fait tout le tour du compas. Et apres avoir couru un peu de temps a l'est sud est, nous avons fait encore le demi tour de la boussole dans une anse de plus de 2 lieuës que lon coupe quand les eaux sont hautes. Le 19e nous avons rejoint les 2. canots qui nous avoient quittés, et vers les 2 heures apres midy nous avons trouvé du costé du nord a 3 ou 4 lieuës plus bas, au dela d'une petite prairie un echo qui repete 5 mots distinctement, et ne commence a repeter ce qu'on a dit qu'apres qu'on a achevé de prononcer le dernier mot.

Le 20e grande chaleur nous avons couché a la veuë de grandes ecores de pierres, qu'on appelle le Fort Prud'homme, parceque Monsieur de la Salle allant a sa decouverte se tint retranché la avec ses gens craignant que Prudomme qui s'etoit égaré dans le bois n'eut eté tué par les sauvages, et qu'il n'en fut luy même attaqué. On tua l'année precedente quantité d'ours en ce lieu la. La pluye nous a arrestés le 22 et le 23e sur une grande batture de sable d'ou nous avons gaigné une isle ou il y avoit du bois petrifié je ne sçay si c'est quelq. source ou quelque veine d'eau qui a cette vertu, comme il y a en auvergne sur les confins du Bourbonnois, une fontaine minerale qui petrifie les feuilles des arbres qui tombent dedans: ou si c'est le soleil qui noircit et durcit de petits morceaux de bois pourri qui restent sur le sable apres les grandes eaux; quoy qu'il en soit j'en ay veu et de gros et de petits, on n'en peut guere douter; car il y en a qui ne sont pas encore tout a fait petrifiez, et qui sont partie bois et partie pierre noire qui se rompt assez aisement, et qui s'effeüille en se rompant, un forgeron qui etoit de la bande, prenoit le bois petrifié pour du charbon de terre, mais outre qu'il n'est pas si pesant, Il a esté convaincu du contraire en le jettant au feu. Le 24e Nous avons trouvé quantité de raisins, mais qui n'est rien moins que ce qu'on m'en avoit dit, et qui n'est ni si bon ny si gros que celui que l'on trouve dans la Riviere des Illinois et dans la Riviere des Miamis sur tout et en plus grande quantité.

Le 25e Il est tombé une si grosse pluye quil nous a fallu monter sur le coteau de plus de 30 pieds de haut, et y transporter nôtre cabanne; Le 26e nous avons passé la Riviere a Mayot au sud du nom d'un sauvage de la nation des Loups qui êtoit de la decouverte de Monsieur de la Salle. Cette riviere ne paroist pas fort grande, mais l'on dit que c'est un bon lieu de chasse et que les Chikacha y viennent jusqu'a l'embouchure et qu'ils n'en sont eloignez que de 3 jours a couper au midy par dans les terres. A une lieuë ou 2 plus bas nous avons trouvé une pirogue de Taögria, ce sont des gens de la nation du Loup qui ont grand commerce avec les Anglois, Il n'y avoit que 6 hommes, une femme, et un enfant, ils venoient des Akansea, celuy qui me paroissoit le plus considerable disoit quelques mots Illinois et parloit Chaöuanoüa: il m'a fait asseoir sur une peau d'ours étendue devant sa cabanne de campagne, et m'a presenté de la sagamité à manger; ensuitte il ma dit pour nouvelle que le Pere de Limoges (qu'il nommoit le Capitaine Pauiongha) avoit tourné en canot, et avoit tout perdu; et que les Kappa Akansea luy avoient donné des vivres et un canot pour continuer sa route. Je luy ay donné un couteau, et une demie boïette de vermillion, il ma fait present d'un fort gros morçeau de viande de sa chasse. Une lieuë apres l'avoir quitté nous avons tué 4 biches. Nous ne nous attendions pas a une si heureuse rencontre: aussi n'avons nous ny tué ny vû aucune beste depuis la riviere a Mayot jusqu'a la mer. Le 27e nous avons passé la riviere de Saint François a la pointe d'un détour au nord a 18 lieues des Akansea.

Le 29e en partant de notre cabanage, nous avons couru a loüest, et ensuitte nous avons tenu le soroüest vers le midi, nous avons decouvert 4 pirogues d'Akansea, quand mon canot a êté proche de terre, un veillard s'est mis a l'eau, et m a porté a terre sur ses epaules, le chef m'a fait asseoir sur une grande peau d'ours, et les François sur des branches de saules qu'il avoit fait couper par ses jeunes gens. Il m'a fait present de 2. pains de piakimina que j'ay distribués aux François, et affligé que j'estois de ce qu'ils ne m'entendoient pas leur voulant parler de Dieu. Je me suis retiré pour le prier pour eux, durant que les chaudieres boüilloient. on m'a servy un plat de sagamité de petit bled dinde, et un autre de petit bled entier, assaisonné d'excellentes citroüilles: j'ay fait un petit present au chef de la bande et le 30e nous sommes allés cabanner une lieuë plus bas a une demi lieuë de l'ancien village des Akansea (ou ils recûrent autrefois le feu Pere Marquette) et qu'on ne reconnoist plus que par les vieux dehors sans qu'il reste aucune Cabanne; le 31e nous sommes arrivés vers les 9. h. du matin au village des Kappa Akansea, qui sont a 24 degrez selon l'estime du P. Marquette. Le village est a une demie lieuë du bord de l'eau. Monsieur de Montigny a fait planter une croix sur le coteau qui est fort escarpé et de 40 pieds de haut, apres avoir salué la croix et chanté le Vexilla Regis avec les François, on a averty les Akansea par 3 coups de fusil, et en moins de demi quart d'heure tout au plus, deux jeunes hommes ont paru le sabre a la main suivis de prés du chef des Kappa, et de celui des Tourima, et de 20 ou 30 jeunes hommes bienfaits avec leurs arcs et leurs fleches, quelqu'uns avoient des sabres, et 2 ou 3 fusils Anglois, que leur avoit donné celui qui l'année precedente leur avoit apporté quantité de marchandises pour les aliener des françois et surtout des Missionnaires a qui il en vouloit, s'estant vanté quil mettroit aux fers le 1er quil rencontreroit et le feroit mourir; les François qui se saisirent de lui trouverent de quoy luy faire une paire de menotes avec des fers, et l'ont empesché de faire tout le mal qu'il se proposoit de faire; il avoit deja 2. concubines aux Kappa. Au reste les chefs m'inviterent d'aller a leur village, qui est de 40. cabannes, une partie des françois m'y accompagnerent, tandis que les autres gardoient les canots a l'ancre. On me conduisit dans la cabanne du chef, qui ma fait asseoir sur une natte de cannes faconnée, et on a mis en même temps la chaudiere sur le feu de petit bled d'inde assaisonné d'une grande quantité de pesches séches on ma apporté d'une autre cabanne un grand plat de fruit de Piakimina Mûr. Il est a peu pres comme la nefle de France; le plat a êté presenté au chef pour me le donner; comme c'est le plus excellent fruit qu'ayent les sauvages depuis les Illinois jusqu'a la mer, ce chef n'a pas manqué de commencer par la son festin. Apres en avoir un peu goûté, j'ay fait porter le plat au frere Guibert, et aux François qui etoient assis vis a vis de moy, j'en ay fait autant de la Sagamité: j'ay remarqué que tous ceux qui entroient dans la cabanne se tenoient de bout a la porte, et ne s'avançoient que quand le chef leur avoit dit de le faire et de s'asseoir. Il c'est trouvé une femme Metchigamikoüé qui ma servi d'interprete, et qui m'a confirmé le naufrage du Pere de Limogés qui a perdu tout ce quil avoit: elle luy a donné sa provision de bled et de citroüilles pour le conduire jusqu'aux Natchés, et le chef luy a donné un pot de terre apres l'avoir regalé le moins mal qu'il a pû; je luy ay demandé s'il se souvenoit d'avoir autrefois vû un François vetû de noir dans leur village, habille comme [moy]. Il me repondit qu'il s'en souvenoit bien, mais qu'il y avoit si longtems qu'il ne pouvoit pas compter les années. Je luy ay dit qu'il y avoit plus de 28 ans. Il ma ajousté qu'ils luy avoient dançé le Calumet de Capitaine, ce que je n'ay pas compris sur le champ, croyant qu'il parloit du calumet des Illinois que les Kaskaskia avoient donné au Pere Marquette pour le porter avec soy dans le Mississipi comme une sauvegarde, mais j'ay trouvé dans le journal du Pere quils luy avoient en effet dancé le calumet; il ma fait demander ensuite dans combien de jours je partirois, et luy ayant dit que je n'avois mis a terre que pour le salüer dans sa cabanne, et que j'allois m'embarquer; il ma prié de rester tout au moins un jour pour me faire preparer des vivres, et que tous les jeunes gens de son village etoient bien aise de me voir. J'ay repondu a son compliment, et que j'estois pressé de me rendre. Je m'etois informé auparavant, s'il n'y avoit point de malades: mon interprete ma fait entendre quil n'y en avoit point. Enfin apres bien des allées et des venües et bien des consultations avec ses gens, ce chef du village m'a prié de rester jusqu'au lendemain, parcequ'il vouloit avec sa jeunesse me chanter le calumet de chef: comme c'est un honneur bien particulier qui ne se fait que rarement et seulement aux personnes de distinction je le remerciay de sa bonne volonté disant que je ne m'estimois pas Capitaine, et que je partois sur le champ. Ma reponse plut aux François; mais elle ne fut guere agreable a tous les autres qui en me faisant cet honneur esperoit en tirer des presens; le chef me conduisit au bord de l'eau suivy de tout son monde, et on m'apporta quantité de pesches seiches, de piachimina et de citroüilles. Je fis present au chef d'un peu de plomb et de poudre et d'une boëtte de vermillon pour barbouiller sa jeunesse, et de quelqu'autre bagatelle quil agrea fort en luy disant que je le remerciois du bien qu'il avoit fait au Pere de Limoges. Apres que je fus embarqué, ils nous tirerent quelques coups de fusils, ausquels les gens qui êtoient avec moy respondirent. A 2. lieuës du village il y a une petite riviere sur laquelle ils vont en canot le printemps par derriere les coteaux, jusqu'a la porte de leurs cabannes. Puisque j'ay fait mention cy dessus du calumet, vous serez bien aise que je vous en dise icy quelque chose. Il n'est rien parmi les Indiens ni de plus mysterieux, ni de plus recommandable. on ne rend pas tant d'honneur aux couronnes et aux sceptres des Roys, qu'ils luy en rendent. Il semble quil est le Dieu de la paix et de la guerre, l'arbitre de la vie et de la mort. C'est assez de le porter et le faire voir pour marcher en assurance au milieu des ennemis qui dans le fort du combat mettent bas les armes quand on le montre. Ce fut pour cela que les Illinois en donnerent un au feu Pere Marquette comme une sauvegarde parmi les nations du Mississipi par lesquels il devoit passer dans son voyage allant a la decouverte de ce fleuve et des peuples qui L'habitent.

Il y a un calumet pour la paix, et un pour la guerre, qui ne sont distingues que par la couleur des plumages dont ils sont ornés. Le rouge est marque de guerre, ils s'enservent encor pour terminer leurs differens, pour affermir leurs alliances, et pour parler aux etrangers. C'est une espece de pippe a fumer du tabac composée d'une pierre rouge polie comme du marbre, et percée en sorte qu'un bout sert à recevoir le tabac, et l'autre s'enclave dans le manche, c'est un bâton creux, de deux pieds de long gros comme une canne ordinaire c'est pour cela que les François l'ont appellé calumet par corruption du mot Chalumeau parcequ'il lui ressemble, ou bien a une longue flûte. Il est embelli de la teste ou du col de divers oiseaux dont le plumage est tres beau. Ils y joignent aussi de grandes plumes rouges, ou vertes, et dautres couleurs dont il est tout empannaché, ils en font état particulierement parcequ'ils le regardent comme le calumet ou la pippe du soleil. Et defait ils le lui presentent pour fumer quand ils veulent du calme, de la pluye, ou du beau temps. Ils font scrupule de se baigner au commencement des chaleurs, ou de manger des fruits nouveaux qu'apres avoir dansé le calumet, c'est a dire le chef le tenant en main chantant des airs auxquels les autres repondent en dansant et fesant des gestes compassés au son de certains instruments facon de petits tambours.

Le 1er. de Novembre la pluspart des François s'approcherent des sacrements, et apres avoir celebré la feste le mieux que nous pûmes, nous continuames notre route et nous decouvrimes la riviere des Akansea a 8 lieuës du village des Kappa. Les Sittèoüi Akansea sont a 5 lieuës plus haut que son embouchure et sont beaucoup plus nombreux que les Kappa, et les Tourima, ce sont les 3 villages des Akansea. Cette riviere qui est au nord du Mississipi, est tres belle, elle se separe en 3 branches a une lieuë du village des Ousitteoüi, elle court au nor oüest, et en la montant on se va rendre dans la riviere des Missouris en faisant un portage. L'on compte 60. lieuës des Kappa a la riviere des Toumika, et le 3ejour nous avons passé la pointe coupée, qui fait la moitié du chemin. nous avons êté ensuitte a l'ancre durant 6 jours de pluye, et nous n'avons pas fait grand chemin le 7e Il s'est elevé une furieuse brume, et la pluye nous a obligés de cabanner sur un coteau de plus de 40 ou 50 pieds de haut et sur les 7 heures du soir nous avons êté surpris d'un furieux coup de vent; il a duré plus d'une heure, et a donné bien de l'exercice a tout le monde pour conserver les canots et le bagage, et nous a menacés a tout moments d'etre ecrasés par des arbres qui tomboient autour de nous; a la chute du vent la pluye a êté si violente durant deux jours que je n'ay rien veu de pareil a linea; nos gens ont tué un crocodile de trois brasses de long, c'est un animal de couleur de crapaut fait comme un lezar, on en trouve souvent à terre, et quoy qu'il marche fort lentement, on ne s'en approche guere qu'on ne soit bien armé, l'écaille dont il est couvert est a l'épreuve du menu plomb, et il faut une balle pour le percer, je ne scay comment font les sauvages qui n'ont que des fleches, si ce n'est quelles se glissent sous les écailles a revers sa gueule est fort grande et armée de deux rangées de dents plus longues que celles d'un ours; à le voir et à loüir craquer des dents il fait peur. On dit que la langue est un bon manger, mais je n'ay pas eu encore la curiosité d'en gouter ny de tout le reste du corps dont la pluspart des sauvages font un grand regal. Il en coûte de temps en temps la vie a quelques uns de ceux qui se hazardent a plonger pour le prendre apres quils lont blessé il s'en voit de beaucoup plus grands que celuy cy.

Le 13e jour apres la messe du bien heureux Stanislas nous sommes partis, et le landemain nous sommes arrivez a la riviere des Tounika. J'ay laissé les 5 canots des François a l'embouchure, elle est au Sud du Mississipi. Je me suis embarqué dans mon canot pour aller visiter Monsieur Davion prêtre missionnaire qui êtoit malade. J'ay quitté mon canot a 4 lieuës de la riviere aux pieds d'un costeau ou il y a 5 ou 6. cabannes, le chemin qui est de 2 lieuës par terre est assez beau. J'ay trouvé des arbres de Piakimina chargez de fruit, et bien des arbres de coupal qui rendoient de la gomme. Nous avons passé dans des chemins de cannes de 40. pieds de haut et grosses comme le bras: la tige des epis de bled que nous apellons bled d'Inde est de plus de 15 a 20 pieds de haut aussi bien que les tournesols et gros a proportion; nous avons veu 5 ou 6. hameaux de peu de cabannes, et j'ay esté surpris que des sauvages qui voient si rarement des François fussent si peu curieux. Il n'y a qu'au village de Monsieur Davion, où tout le monde m'a escorté jusques dans la maison de ce fervent missionnaire, que j'ay trouvé au liet avec la fievre, il s'est levé le lendemain pour communier a ma messe, et a fait sa premiere sortie pour visiter avec moy quelques cabannes. Il m'a entretenu avec beaucoup de franchise de sa mission qu'il commence a establir, et Dieu benit son zele et l'etude qu'il fait de la langue quil commence a parler mieux qu'on ne pourroit naturellement attendre d'une personne de son âge. Il y a 3 langues differentes dans sa mission les Ïakou de 30 cabannes, les Ounspik de 10 ou 12 cabannes, et les Toumika, qui sont en 7 hameaux, et qui font en tout 50 ou 60 petites cabanne. Il ne s'attache qu'a cette derniere langue, et les Toumika comme les plus nombreux donnent le nom a la mission. Ils sont fort dociles, la poligamie est rare parmy eux, mais leur caprice et la coutume du pays authorise la repudiation presque pour rien, ce qui est cause que le village n'est gueres peuplé. Et je n'y ay presque pas veu d'enfans, les filles ne sont pas libertines ny effrontées comme elles le sont aux Natchiés et aux Taens. Ils reconnoissent neuf Dieux, le soleil, le tonnerre, le feu, le Dieu de l'orient, du midi, du nord, du couchant, du ciel et de la terre: dans chaque cabanne il y a un grand poteau qui la soutient, au pied duquel il y a 2 ou 3. petits pots de terre proche du feu dont ils tirent un peu de cendre pour mettre dans ces pots, par je ne sçay quelle superstition; c'est le poteau de lesprit ou genie; ils sont si secrets sur tous les mysteres de leur religion, que le missionnaire n'en peut rien découvrir. Les femmes ont un habit de toile de meurier quelles fillent comme de la chanvre et du lin; c'est une toile forte et epaisse. Leur juppon est fort propre depuis la ceinture jusqu'au dessous des genoux il y a une frange tres bien travaillée aussi bien que leur manteau ou tout uni ou ouvragé en lozanges, ou en quarreaux, ou en hermine qu'elles portent pour l'ordinaire en blandrier, et rarement sur les 2. epaules. Les hommes et les femmes ne se graissent ni ne s'huilent pas les cheveux comme tous nos sauvages du Canada, mais peut estre est ce faute de l'une et de l'autre. La viande d'ours et de chevreüil y étant fort rare dans leurs villages; aussi bien que de toute autre beste. Les femmes ont une grande tresse de cheveux sur le dos qui leur pend jusqu'au dessous de la ceinture, elles s'en font aussi une couronne autour de la teste; elles l'ont platte aussi bien que les hommes. C'est dez le berceau que les meres ont le soin de mettre en presse la teste de leurs enfans pour la rendre platte. La pluspart des hommes ont les cheveux longs, et n'ont pour tout habit qu'une méchante peau de chevreüil. Ils ont aussi quelquefois aussi bien que les femmes des manteaux de plumes de poules d'Inde ou de peaux de rats musquez bien tissus et bien travaillez. Les hommes font icy ce que les paysans font en France. Ils cultivent et bechent la terre, font les semences, et la recolte, font le bois, et l'apportent a la cabanne, passent les peaux de chevreüil et de beuf quand ils en ont, et les apprestent les mieux de tous les sauvages que j'aye veus; les femmes ne font que le dedans du ménage, les pots de terre, et leurs habits. Leurs cabanes sont rondes et en voute: elles sont lattées de cannes et revétües de bousillage depuis le bas jusques au haut, au dedans et au dehors avec une bonne couverture de paille. Il n'y a pas de jour que par la porte, et si peu qu'il y ait de feu, dont la fumée ne sort que par la porte, il y fait chaud comme dans une étuve. La nuit une torche de cannes séches allumée leur sert de flambeau, et tient toute la cabanne chaude. Leur lit est de cannes rondes, elevé sur 4 poteaux de 3 pieds de haut, et une natte de cannes leur sert de mattelas. rien de plus propre que leurs cabannes. On ny voit ny hardes, ny sacs, ny chaudieres, ny haches, ny fusils. Ils portent tout avec eux, et n'ont pour toutes richesses que des pots de terre assez bien faits; sur tout de petites cruches vernies aussi propres qu'on en puisse voir en France, leurs greniers sont proche de leurs cabannes faits en colombier bâti sur quatre gros poteaux de 15 ou 16 pieds de haut bien unis et bien lisses, affin que les souris n'y puissent pas grimper; et c'est ainsi qu'ils en garentissent leurs bleds et leurs citroüilles qui sont encore meilleures que celles des Illinois. Il n'y a pas dans ce village là des pesches cõme aux Akansea: mais il y a une si grande quantité de Piakimina, qu'ils vont dans les bois en familles en faire la recolte, comme les Illinois vont en familles a la chasse du beuf sauvage qui est tres rare en ce pays cy ou ils vivent de ce fruit dans le bois durant un mois, outre qu'ils enpilent et font seicher une grande quantité quils conservent longtemps. Ils n'ont qu'un petit temple elevé sur une butte de terre, ils n'y entrent ma dit Monsieur Davion que quand ils vont a la guerre, ou qu'ils en reviennent, et ne font point tous les hurlemens des Taensa et des Natchés quand ils passent devant leurs temples, ou il y a toujours un vieillard qui y entretient du feu. Monsieur de Saint Cosme ayant apris que Monsieur Davion etoit a l'extremité, est arrivé a la mission de Natchés, avant mon depart ils m'ont confirmé l'un et l'autre le naufrage du Pere de Limoges qui de tout ce qu'il avoit n'a sauvé que son calice et son crucifix; ils luy ont donné tout ce quil luy falloit pour aller jusqu'au fort de Mississipi tres edifiez de la joye et de la fermeté qu'il leur a fait paroitre dans la perte assez considerable qu'il a faite de tous ses meubles de mission, benissant Dieu m'ont ils dit, de ce qu'il l'avoit ainsy detaché de tout ce qu'il avoit; il s'en faut beaucoup au reste m a dit Monsieur Saint Cosme, que les Natchés soient aussi dociles que les Tounika. Ils sont poligames, voleurs, et fort vicieux, les filles et les femmes plus que les hommes, et les garçons parmy lesquels il y a bien a reformer avant que d'en esperer quelque chose; les Taensas, qui ont la même langue, ont aussi les memes mœurs, leur village est a 20. lieuës de la riviere des Toumika. Il est a 4 lieuës dans les terres, apres une lieuë de chemin l'on tombe sur un lac, ou il y a toujours quantité de crocodiles. Il le faut traverser en canot pour aller au village qui est plus ramassé que celuy des Tounika. L'année passée le temple ayant êté reduit en cendres par le tonnerre, qui tomba sur une matiere aussi combustibles que le sont les cannes dont il etoit couvert, le vieillard qui en etoit le gardien, dit que l'esprit etoit faché qu'on n'eut fait mourir personne a la mort du dernier chef, et qu'il falloit l'appaiser; 5 femmes eurent la cruauté de jetter leurs enfans dans le feu a la veuë des François qui me l'ont raconté au plûtost les donnerent au vieillard qui les jetta dans le feu en faisant ses invocations, et en chantant avec ces femmes durant cette cruelle ceremonie, et sans les François il y eut encore eu bien des enfans bruslés. La cabane du chef ayant ete convertie en temple on y porta en triomphe les 5 meres denaturées comme 5 heroïnes. A la pointe du detour ou est le village, la riviere n'a gueres qu'un arpent et demi de large, et fait un detroit, ou l'on a bien de la peine a refouler le courant, et c'est la ou Monsieur de la Salle dit qu'il y a un gouffre ou les arbres se precipitent la racine en haut et ne vont sortir qu'a plus d'une demie lieuë plus bas, ce que je nai pas appercu, peut estre que cela n'arriva que lorsquil y passa, on ne s'y voit que de temps en temps.

Apres avoir essuyé de grandes pluyes, qui durant la nuit auroient inondé tout notre bagage, si j'eusse dormy aussi profondement que nos canoteurs. Nous avons assez beau temps pour arriver aux Natchés au sud des Taensas, dont ils sont eloignez de 20 lieuës. Apres avoir monté une petite coste on trouve un grand chemin battu qui conduit a un grand coteau assez escarpé, les grandes eaux en couvrent plus de la moitié. Au haut de ce coteau, on decouvre une belle prairie, le chemin le plus battu conduit au village ou est le temple; les autres qui coupent a droit et a gauche, vont a differens hameaux. Il ny a que 4 cabanes dans celuy ou est le temple, il est fort spacieux et couvert de cannes nattées quils renouvellent tous les ans avec de grandes ceremonies, qu'il seroit trop long de marquer icy. Elles commencent par un jeûne de quatre jours avec des vomitoires jusqu'au sang. Il n'y a ny fenestre, ni cheminée dans ce temple, et ce n'est qu'a la lueur du feu qu'on y voit un peu, encore faut-il que la porte, qui est fort basse et fort étroite soit ouverte. Je m'imagine que l'obscurité du lieu leur inspire du respect. Le vieillard qui en est le gardien, y entretient tousjours le feu, et se donne bien de garde de le laisser éteindre. Il est au milieu du temple devant un espece de mauzolée à la maniere des sauvages, il y en a 3. de 8. ou 9 pieds de long, d'environ 6 pieds de large, et de 9 ou 10 pieds de haut. Ils sont soutenus sur 4. gros poteaux revestus de nattes de cannes en colomnes assez propres, et surmontez d'un platfond de cannes nattées, cela auroit assez bonne grace, si tout n'etoit pas noircy de fumée et couvert de suye. Il y a une grande natte qui sert de rideau pour couvrir une grande table couverte de 5 ou 6 nattes de cannes sur lesquelles il y a une grande corbeille qu'il n'est pas permis d'ouvrir parceque l'esprit de chaque nation de ces quartiers repose dit on avec celuy des Natchez. Je me sçay mauvais gré de n'avoir pas ouvert la corbeille, quoy que j'eusse fait de la peine au vieillard d'ouvrir le rideau et de vouloir toucher a cette corbeille. Il y en a d'autres dans les 2 autres mauzolées, ou ils disent que sont les ossements de leurs chefs quils reverent comme des divinitez. Tout ce que je vis de plus rare, cest un petit morceau de cristal de roche que j'ay trouvé dans une petite corbeille. J'ay veu quantité de petits pots, plats, tasses de terre et de petits paniers de cannes bien faits. C'est pour servir a manger aux esprits des chefs morts, et le gardien du temple y trouve son compte, apres avoir visité tout ce qui est dans le temple. Je n'ay vû ni la, ni ailleurs, ni l'or, ni l'argent, ni les pierreries, ni les richesses ny les neuf brasses de perles fines qu'on fait remarquer a l'autheur d'une relation imprimée sous le nom de Monsieur de Tonty et quil a de[s]avouée a celui [Monsieur Iberville], qui luy reprochoit toutes les menteries dont elle est remplie; cest aussi une fable que ce que l'écrivain ose dire avoir esté vû par Monsieur de Tonty dans une petite armoire enchassée dans la muraille revestue de bousillage, ou je n'ay vû ny goutté aucune des liqueurs exquises dont il parle. Ce sont toutes choses controuvées par le même autheur pour embellir son histoire. Il est vray que la femme du chef, a quelques petites perles, qui ne sont ny rondes, ni bien percées: mais 7 ou 8 prés qui sont grosses comme de petits poix qu'on a achetées plus cheres quelles ne vallent; apres les avoir bien cherchée., Il ny a rien des richesses ni des raretéz qu'on a voulu faire croire se trouver dans le temple et dans le village. Le François que Monsieur D'Iberville y a laissé pour apprendre la langue m'a dit qu'a la mort du dernier chef on a fait mourir deux femmes, 3 hommes et 3 enfans; ils les etranglerent avec la corde d'un arc, et cette cruelle ceremonie se fait avec grand appareil; ces malheureuses victimes, se croyans fort honorées d'accompagner leur chef par une morte violente; pour le grand chef qui mourut quelques mois auparavant, il ny en eu[t] que 7, sa femme mieux avisée que les autres ne voulut pas le suivre, et se mit a pleurer quand on voulut l'obliger d'accompagner son mary. Monsieur de Montigni qui a quitté ce païs pour aller a Siam estant averty de ce qu'ils avoient coutume de faire leur fit promettre de ne faire mourir personne. Ils luy donnerent pour garantie de leur parole une petite esclave qu'ils avoient resolu de faire mourir, sans la defense qu'il leur en fit: mais pour garder leur maudite coutume sans qu'il s'en appercût la femme chef qu'ils appellent Oüachil Tamail. Soleil femme (qui est toujours la sœur, et non la femme du grand chef) luy persuada de se retirer dans un village esloigné pour n'avoir pas la teste rompue du bruit qu'on feroit dans une ceremonie ou tout le monde se devoit trouver. Monsieur de Montigni ne se doutant de rien la crut et se retira, mais en son absence ils firent mourir ceux quils crurent necessaires pour aller faire la cuisine du chef et pour lesServir en l'autre monde; au reste il n'y a que les vieillards qui entrent dans le temple pour faire leurs hurlemens tels que je les ay vû faire, apres avoir attisé le feu. Tous les hommes qui passent devant le temple mettent bas leur charge, et êtendent les bras du costé du temple avec de grands hurlements, et s'ils ont de petits enfans. Ils les prennent entre leurs bras et se tournant du côté du temple. Ils leur font toucher 3 fois la terre avec le front, Ils font les mêmes hurlemens quand ils passent devant le chef, ou la femme chef, ou quils leur parlent, ou qu'ils leur presentent a boire ou à manger ou à fumer. Cette femme chef a beaucoup d'esprit, et a plus de credit quon ne pense; son frere n'est pas un grand genie, il s'est remarié 9 fois sans qu'aucune femme ayt pu rester avec luy, elles l'ont toutes quitté et a point il vit seul a son particulier. Les femmes sont toutes vetues fort proprement et bien couvertes. Jusqu'a mi jambe, avec un manteau qui descend jusqu'au dessous du genoüil, la pluspart ont les dents noires, et c'est une beauté parmi elles; c'est en mâchant du charbon de tabac, avec de la cendre, dont elles les frottent tous les matins qu'elles les noircissent. Le bled n'etoit pas encore cueilly la 1ere. recolte se fait en ces quartiers dans le mois de Juin, et la 2de. qui est la plus abondante, ne se fait qu'a la fin de Novemb. outre qu'ils offrent au temple les premices de leurs fruits dans ce village la. La femme chef faisoit faire la recolte du bled pour le temple, et personne n'ose refuser ce que ses émissaires veulent prendre. C'est pour le chef, et pour la femme chef et pour donner a manger aux esprits des chefs morts que se fait cette recolte, mais tout le monde est du festin qu'on leur fait durant 6 jours avec les hurlements. Les cris et les ceremonies ordinaires quils ne veulent pas expliquer au missionnaire a qui pour toute reponse, ils disent noukou c'est a dire je ne scay pas pourquoy cela se fait. Tout depend de la commission des chefs qui ont trop d'interest de passer pour des esprits parmy leurs gens pour embrasser si tost l'humilité Chretienne.

Nous sommes partis de ce village des Natchez le 24e. et le 25e. Novembre. Nous avons decouvert les cotteaux des Houmas au sud de Mississipi, qui fait une baye, ou l'on entre, laissant sur la droite, le grand canal. Il y a une bonne lieuë et demie du debarquement au village des Houmas, par un assez mauvais chemin a toujours monter et descendre et a marcher a demi courbé dans les cannes. Le village est sur la creste d'une montagne roide et escarpée de tous costez. Il y a 80 cabannes, et au milieu du village une belle place fort unie, ou depuis le matin jusqu'au soir il y a de jeunes gens qui s'exercent a courir apres une pierre platte qu'ils jettent en l'air d'un bout de la place a l'autre, et quils taschent de faire tomber sur deux cilindres, quils font rouler ou ils croyent que la pierre doit tomber.

Le temple n'a rien de beau que le vestibule, qui est orné des plus agreables grotesques et des mieux faites qu'on puisse gueres voir. Ce sont quatre satyres dont deux sont en bosse sortans tous quatre de la muraille qui ont à la teste aux mains et aux pieds en bandeaux, en bracelets, en jartieres en bandouliere et en ceintures des serpens, des souris et des chiens. Les couleurs en sont noires, blanches, rouges et jaunes, et si bien appliquées et sans confusion, que c'est un spectacle qui surprend agreablement. Le vieillard qui y entretient le feu quil nous nomma Loüak ouloüghé feu sacré, nous fit voir les ossements de la fameuse femme chef qui mourut l'année passée. Cette femme s'étoit rendue si considerable par les coups qu'elle avoit fait sur les ennemis, ayant conduit elle même plusieurs partis de guerre, qu'on la regardoit comme une Amazone et comme la maitresse de tout le village, a qui on rendoit plus d'honneur qu'au grand chef, tenant la 1ere. place dans tous les conseils, et quand elle marchoit elle etoit toûjours precedée de quattre jeunes hommes qui luy chantoient et dansoient le calumet. Elle etoit habillée en Amazonne, se peignoit le visage et avoit le chevelure faite comme les hommes. On ne fait dans ce village rien de tous les hurlements ordinaires aux Natchés lors quils passent devant le temple, vis a vis duquel il y a une chapelle de 50 pieds de long que le Pere du Ru y fit bâtir le printemps passé avec une grande croix de 35 ou 40 pieds du haut quil a fait arborer dans la place du village; le Pere de Limoges y etoit arrivé depuis trois jours pour s'y etablir et pour travailler a la conversion des Houmas, qui me paroissent fort dociles. Le grand chef est fort raisonnable et dit qu'il ne reconnoist qu'un esprit qui a tout fait. J'ay compté 70 cabannes dans le village que j'ay visité avec le Pere de Limoges qui ma voulu donner les premices de sa mission par le baptême que j'ay fait d'un enfant de 3 jours a qui j'ay donné le nom de Saint François Xavier patron de la mission, a qui Dieu a ouvert le paradis peu de jours apres pour y travailler a la conversion de ses parens et de ses compatriottes.

Le 3e. decembre nous avons celebré la feste de ce grand Saint le plus solemnellement que nous avons pu, et j'ay chanté la premiere grande messe qu'on ait entendu dans le village, J'ay esté surpris de leur peu de curiosité: si le Mississipi s'etablit, et que cette mission ne nous soit pas otée, il y a sujet d'esperer de la docilité de ces pauvres gens, qu'on y fera du bien, les femmes et les filles y ont plus de pudeur que chez les nations voisines. Dieu veille les convertir, et rendre le chemin de leur village impratiquable a certains François libertins, tout ce quils font a leurs malades, C'est de les succer jusqu'au sang, j'en ay veu un entre les mains des vieillards jongleurs, dont l'un sifflo[i]t et joüoit de la gourde un autre le succoit, et l'autre chantoit la chanson du crocodile dont la peau luy servoit de tambour. Comme ils se contentent de leurs citroüilles et de leur bled quils ont en abondance, ils sont faineants et ne vont gueres a la chasse. Ils ne laissent pas d'avoir la reputation d'estre gueriers et destre crains des nations voisines. Ils ne sont pas cruels, et bien loin de faire mourir aucun des esclaves quils font, dés quils entrent dans le village, les femmes pleurent sur eux les plaignans d'avoir esté pris, et les traittent ensuite mieux que leurs enfans; quand quelques uns de leurs gens vont a la chasse, les femmes se mettent a pleurer comme si elles les alloient perdre, et quand ils reviennent de la chasse elles pleurent de joye de les revoir, il y a peu de villages en France ou il y ait plus de poules et de cocqs que dans celuy des Houmas, aussi n'en tüent ils jamais et ne veulent pas meme manger de celles que leurs chiens tuent assez souvent. Quand on veut avoir des poulets d'eux, il ne faut pas dire qu'on les veut tuer ou manger. Ils auroient de la peine a les donner, mais ils les vendent volontiers quand on ne les tue pas en leur presence ou qu'on leur dit qu'on les emporte pour les élever comme eux. Les poules y ont des petits poulets en tout temps, et dans le mois de Decembre il y en avoit dans toutes les cabannes, aussi sont elles chaudement dans leurs cabannes quils ont soin de tenir propres, et quils balient 2 ou 3 fois le jour; les enfans les hommes et les jeunes gens sont habillez comme les Tounika les femmes portent un habit frangé, qui les couvre depuis la ceinture jusqu'au dessous des genoux. Quand elles sortent de leur cabanne elles se couvrent d'unerobe de rats musquez ou de plumes de cocqs d'Inde. Elles ont le visage picqué et figuré, et les cheveux tressez comme les Tounika, et les Natches et se noircissent les dents comme elles; quoique tous les sauvages craignent extremement le froid, a la moindre gelée (car il ny a pas d'hyver). Ils se vont baigner grands et petits, et sortent de l'eau transis de froid. C'est un vieillard qui fait le cri au point du jour quand il gele. Ces sortes de bains leurs causent quelquefois le flux de sang qui en emporte plusieurs. Au reste le Pere de Limoges commence a se faire entendre, et fera du bien dans cette mission. Il m'a raconté son naufrage, ou il a tout perdu, et la perte est plus considerable qu'on ne peut croire, plus d'une mission s'en ressentira, ce fut en se laissant deriver la nuit au courant que leur canot hurta contre un arbre qui êtoit arresté dans le milieu du courant qui luy fit faire la pirouette, et demeura sur le costé plein d'eau, et s'il ne se fut arresté promptement a larbre, il se seroit noyé a demi endormie. Il a tout perdu hors son calice quil sauva le tirant je ne sçay comment de sa cassette c'est tout ce qu'il put conserver, et c'est un espece de miracle qu'il ait pû se sauver luy même. Apres avoir disputé sa vie presque trois heures au moyen d'une branche d'arbre que le courant emportoit et a laquelle il s'estoit attaché avec ses 2 matelots, il s'est laissé aller au courant, qui la enfin poussé a terre et apres s'estre seiché sans feu au vent et au soleil du mieux quils ont pû. Ils ont fait un cajeu de 3 ou 4 pieds de bois flottant quils ont liez avec des harres, et ont naviguéz trois jours entiers sur ce nouveau canot, toujours entre deux eaux sans manger autre chose durant ce temps la qu'un peu de pourpié sauvage tout crû. Ce cher missionnaire m'a dit la qu'il s'estoit lors souvenu avec fruit de Saint François Xavier disputant sa vie autant de jours avec les eaux sur un bout de planche. Il decouvrit le 4e. jour le feu de quelques Akansea qui etoient a la chasse. Il en fut receu et ses deux compagnons fort humainement ils leur donnerent a manger et les conduisirent jusqu'a leur village, ou le Pere trouva son canot qui s'estoit arresté a des embarras de bois, il a depuis esté equippé de tout ce qui est necessaire pour sa mission des Houmas. D'ou je partis le 4e. Decemb. et apres 3 lieuës de navigation nous trouvasmes au nord de Mississipi la riviere rouge dont on parle tant; si la 3me. tentative que les François y font depuis 7 ou 8 mois reussit, les missionnaires y auront un passage pour aller a diverses nations qui bordent cette riviere qui court au suëst: elles ne sont presque toutes qu'en petits hameaux comme les Natchés, ce qui fait dire a ceux qui veulent donner de grandes idées de toutes ces nations quil y a des villages sans fin, et de 3. ou 4. 5. ou 6. lieuës d'étendue voulant faire passer des hameaux de 3. ou 4. cabannes esloignez les uns des autres pour la commodité du terrain pour autant de villages de la meme nation. Monsieur de Bienville qui y a penetré le plus avant, m'a dit que tout etoit inondé dans le mois de mars et d'avril, qu'il y avoit de petites hauteurs chez les Natchitoch assez peuplés ou le bled luy venoit a lepaule à la fin de mars Monsieur de Saint Denis doit aller jusqu'aux Kadodakio, et au lieu d'aller du costé des Senis, ou les assassins de Monsieur de la Salle s'estoient retirez, il a dû prendre sur la gauche, et pousser jusqu'aux Kioüahau les plus eloignez que lon scache, ou lon espere trouver des mines. Il doit estre icy de retour a la fin de ce mois, et s'il ne trouve pas des mines d'argent, on n'a rien moins que ce que l'on cherche dans l'etablissement de Mississipi qui inonde toutes les terres a plus de 80 lieuës de son embouchure a quelques petits cantons prés.

Le 10e. nous avons dit la messe de Saint François Xavier pour commencer la devotion de dix vendredis. Le lendemain nous sommes arrivés a la croix qui marque le village des Baïougoula au nord du Mississipi, et a 40 lieuës des Houmas. Comme les eaux ont esté extraordinairement hautes cette année, elles ont miné le coteau, de plus de 10. pieds de long, d'ou la croix est tombée avec les terres qui se sont eboulées; je ne suis pas allé jusqu'au village, et ce n'est qu'a mon retour de Bilocchi que j'ay visité les Baiougoula dont le chef a fait massacrer celuy des Mougoulacha avec plus de 200 hommes de cette nation, qui etoit fort porté pour les François et qui faisoient village avec les Baigougoula comme font les Pioüaroüa avec les Kaskakia. Le sang de tant d'innocens crie vengeance, aussi Dieu commence-til a les punir par la famine et la maladie, et ils doivent craindre que les Houmas et les Kolapessas ne vengent le meurtre de tous leurs alliez; je n'ay rien veu de sigueux. Je scay quelques mots de leur langue: mais comme plus de deux tiers étoient absens du village, d'ou la faim les avoit chassez, je n'y ay resté que 4. jours. Ils m'ont promis de rétablir la chapelle, et de faire tout ce que j'ay demandé: mais si le chef n'est bien loin de là il n'y a pas grande chose a faire pour un missionnaire: j'ay fait planter une grande croix sur la coste a la place de celle que les eaux ont emportée, elles ont crû de vingt pieds de haut. A 5 lieuës plus bas que le village on trouve au nord un petit bras du Mississipi dont parle Monsieur de la Salle; quil dit avoir plus de 30 brasses d'eau et est fort commode pour les grands vaisseaux; mais Monsieur D'Iberville qui la fait visiter et sonder, n'y a pas trouvé d'eau pour une chalouppe, plus nous approchons du bas du Mississipi. Plus nous allons a l'est, et à l'est suest, nous trouvons aussi plus de courants et de mechants cabannages, et dans les aunages toujours de la terre glaise; ou bien Il nous Faut entrer bien avant dans le bois ou est il difficile de penetrer et de n'y pas trouver d'embarras de cannes, d'ou l'on ne peut se tirer. Depuis les Natches nous n'avons vecu que de bled d'Inde avec quelques citroüilles, car il y a longtemps qu'on ne voit en ces quartiers ny bœuf ny chevreüil ni ours; et si l'on a trouvé quelques outardes ou oyes sauvages elles etoient si maigres, qu'elles n'avoient pas plus de goust que du bois, ce qui a fait soupirer bien des fois tous nos canoteurs aprés la riviere des Illinois. Et pour la beauté du pays et des debarquements, et de la quantité de bœufs et de chevreuils et de toute sorte de gibiers gras et excellens. C'est une navigation bien longue que celle du Mississipi bien ennuyante, et bien difficile surtout a remonter et bien incommode a cause des cousins et autres mouches appellées Maringoüins, brulots, et moustiques, et des grandes pluyes, les chaleurs excessives, les mechants debarquemens dans la bouë et dans la terre glaise, souvent jusqu'a mi jambe et pour la mechante chere, si l'on ne part avec un canot a demi chargé de vivres, on doit s'attendre a bien jeûner, et j'ay de la peine a croire que nos sauvages d'en haut et du païs des Illinois viennent chercher icy des marchandises de si loin avec tant de peine et tant de risque: la pirogue des Baïougoulas que nous avons rencontrée ne faisoit pas plus de 3 ou 4 lieuës par jour. Ils etoient mal vêtus pour la saison, car ils n'avoient qu'une demie peau de chevreüil pour se garentir du froid encore y avoit il une vieille qui etoit si miserable quelle n'avoit qu'un peu de mousse pour se couvrir: plusieurs vieilles gens parmi tous ces sauvages n'ont pas d'autre habit. Je suis enfin arrivé le 17e. decembre au fort de Mississipi. Apres 68 Jours de navigation, en descendant ce premier etablissement est au sud de ce fleuve a 18 lieuës de son embouchure, il ny a ni fort ny bastion, ny retranchemens ni redoutes tout consiste en une batterie de 6 pieces de canon, de 6 et de 8 dressée sur le bord de la coste, et en 5 ou 6 cabannes separées les unes des autres couvertes de lataniers: le commandant Monsieur de Bienville y a une petite maison assez propre; je me suis apperçu en arrivant qu'on commençoit a crier a la faim, et que les farines commencoient a manquer, ce qui m'a obligé pour n'estre pas a charge a personne de me mettre aux vivres sauvages, et de me contenter de bled d'Inde sans viande ny poisson, jusqu'a l'arrivée des vaisseaux qu'on nattend gueres qu'a la fin de mars; si lon etablit le Mississipi l'on transportera le fort, ou plutost on le faira aux Baïougoulas a 40 lieuës plus haut: car les grandes eaux debordent si furieusement icy quils ont esté 4 mois dans l'eau, et souvent jusqu'a mi jambe hors de leurs cabannes quoique les sauvages les eussent asseurez que ce lieu n'inondoit jamais. Le bled qu'on avoit semé icy êtoit deja assez haut quand l'inondation qui se fit d'un furieux coup de mer dans le mois d'Aoust l'emporta. Le jardinage na gueres mieux reussi, outre qu'il y a une grande quantité de serpents noirs qui mangent les laictües et les autres legumes jusqu'a la racine. Pour ce qui est du fort de Bilocchi a 30 lieuës d'icy, outre que l'air y est meilleur, le païs plus decouvert, l'on y fait toute sorte de jardinages, le chevreüil en est tout proche et il y a tres bonne chasse; et pour y temperer la Chaleur qui y seroit excessive, tous les jours une heure ou deux avant midy, il vient un vent de la mer qu'ils appellent la brise qui rafraichit l'air, Il n'y a que l'eau qui n'y est pas fort bonne, c'est une petite source qui la leur fournit; car celle de la baye est plus que Sommatre et n'est pas potable. Cette baye qui donne le nom au fort, prend le sien des sauvages Bilocchis, qui en sont les plus proches, et s'appelle La Baye de Bilocchi. Il y a plus de 120 hommes dans ce fort bien avec 12 pieces de canon, et autant de pierriers braqués sur les bastions; il n'y a que les chalouppes, et le traversier qui ne porte pas 100 tonneaux qui puissent entrer dans cette baye, les vaisseaux les peuvent approcher que de 5 lieuës et demeurent a la rade devant une isle, ou il y a bon moüillage, et qui s'appelle l'Isle des Vaisseaux; il n'y a point de ports dans tout ce pays que celuy des Pansacolas, dont les Espagnols se sont emparez, et ou ils ne s'estoient etablis que 3 semaines avant que Monsieur D'Iberville fut arrivé a la coste. Le fort de Bilocchi, n'est eloigné que de 30 lieuës de celuy des Espagnols; l'entreprise du Gouverneur luy reussit mal l'année passée. s'estant avancé avec deux navires, il fut surpris de trouver 4 gros vaisseaux a la rade, et une forte garnison au fort. Il dit par galanterie a nos officiers qu'il visitoit la coste pour en chasser les Anglois. Monsieur d'Iberville qui visitoit le Mississipi avait averti de se menager avec les Espagnols et de bien recevoir le Gouverneur s'il venoit a son bord, selon l'ordre qu'il en avoit luy même de la cour; il fut regalé magnifiquement, vive le Roy de France, vive le Roy d'Espagne, vive Monsieur d'Iberville avec quantité de volées de canon, et en partant il laissa une lettre pour Monsieur d'Iberville. C'estoit ses oppositions dont il scavoit bien qu'on se mocqueroit, a peine eût il quitté nos vaisseaux, quil fut pris en pleine mer d'un coup de vent qui fit ouvrir et perdre son vaisseau. Il se sauva dans une chaloupe avec peu de gens et revint a nos vaisseaux. Nos officiers faisant paroître avoir plus de déplaisir qu'ils n'en avoient, le recevrent parfaitement bien, l'equiperent genereusement de tout, et le firent reconduire dans une double chaloupe avec toutes les rames, et chapeaux bas, jusqu'a son fort des Pansacolas. A son depart il fut encore salué d'une decharge de toute notre artillerie; il a esté fait grand maitre de l'artillerie d'Espagne, et son Major a esté fait gouverneur qui a envoyé une chaloupe au fort de Bilocchi a Monsieur de Sauvol pour reclamer 10 hommes par le major nouveau, pretendant quils avoient deserté: mais dans le fond ce n'etoit que pour visiter le fort qui ne les craint pas, et pour venir chercher de la toile et des hardes; car ils manquent de tout. Ils ont achepté tout ce quils ont trouvé, et ont dit quil reviendroient quand ils scavroient que nos vaisseaux seront arrivez, quoi que l'on soit dêja court de vivres du moins de farine Françoise, car le lard, les poix, et les féues n'y manquent pas encore. Le Gouverneur a fait cacher le bled d'Inde, et a fait paroître du pain François dans tout le fort, il a parfaittement regalé le major, volailles, cochon de lait et chevreüil, vin de Madere, l'equipage a eté regalé a proportion, et a donné au major toute sorte de rafraichissemens pour son retour, et a fait present au nouveau Gouverneur d'un fusil de grand prix. Au reste pour aller d'icy au fort de Bilocchi, il faut faire en partant un portage d'un bon demi quart de lieuë dans la vase et dans l'eau jusqu'aux genoux, et faire provision d'eau autant quil en faut pour aller jusqu'a Bilocchi, car la petite riviere que l'on trouve a un quart de lieuë d'icy est sommatre c'est a dire qu'elle est meslée d'eau de mer, elle se decharge dans un lac de 2. lieuës de traverse et apres avoir couru 5 ou 6 lieuës au suest, sur la mer le long des isles on coupe au nord est au large des isles jusqu'a 7 lieuës du fort, qu'on gagne la terre ferme que l'on suit jusqu'a l'entrée de la Baye de Bilocchi a la veüe du fort ou il faut traverser. J'y suis arrivé le dernier jour de l'année 1700 ou j'ay esté bien receu du Gouverneur; j'y ay trouvé le pere du Ru, outre les fonctions de missionaire il fait encore celles d'aumonier d'une maniere tres édifiante, et vous ne pouvies pas mieux choisir, Mon R. P. pour procurer un excellent missionaire au Mississipi qui a tout ce quil faut pour bien commencer et pour former les nouvelles missions qu'on y veut etablir, il a beaucoup de facilité pour les langues; je n'ay resté que 8 jours. J'ay esté onze jours a me rendre icy par la faute de notre guide qui a perdu sa route, et qui nous a fait manquer un vent favorable, qui nous eust rendu au fort le 3e. jour. Mais apres avoir consommé notre demie barrique d'eau, nous l'avons remplie d'eau soumatre, qui a fait plus de peine a mes canoteurs qu'a moy qui me suis accoutumé a ne guere boire en voyage, nous avons tous fait mechante chere; car nous avons esté reduits au seul bled d'Inde durant 4 jours, et il etoit aussi dur apres avoir bouilly toute la nuit dans cette eau Sommatre que quand on le mettoit dans la chaudière. Nous allions d'isle en isle, sur la mer du golfe mexique, et plus nous navigions, plus nous nous eloignions de nôtre route dans cette extremité n'ayant presque plus d'eau Sommatre, nous nous recommandasmes a Dieu, et je promis de faire une neufvaine a lhonneur de Saint François Xaver et de dire la messe en actions de graces dés que je serois arrivé au fort. Le lendemain nous nous rembarquames dans notre canot et a une heure apres midy nous nous trouvames à la pointe a leri que nous avions doublée depuis 4 jours dou nous avons coupé aux isles de large, nous avons fait deux grandes traverses de 5 lieuës au sud suest; et a la veuë des bois du Mississipi nous sommes enfin grâces a Dieu entrés dans une riviere ou nous avons etanché notre soif et qui nous a conduits a demi quart de lieuë du Mississipi ou nous sommes heureusemnt arrivez et apres un demi quart de lieuë de portage nous nous sommes trouvez a 8 petites lieuës du fort ou nous sommes arrivez l'onzième jour de nôtre depart de Bilocchi; sans la protection de Saint François Xavier je crois que nous eussions encore longtemps rodé sans eau, je suis party le landemain pour aller aux Baiougoulas qui sont 40 lieuës plus haut; je n'y ay fait qu'une partie de ce que je voulois y ayant trouvé peu de monde, Dieu ma fait la grace d'y baptiser un petit enfant de 2 ans moribond a qui j'ay ouvert le ciel. Je suis de retour dans ce fort depuis 4 jours L'arrivée des vaisseaux qu'on attend de jour en jour me determinera sur ce que je dois faire, si j'attendray l'arrivée de Monsieur d'Iberville, ou si je remonteray aux Illinois par les premiers canots. Au reste il n'y a pas de vaisseau qui puisse entrer dans la riviere de Mississipi, s'il tire plus de 9. ou 10. pieds d'eau; car il n'y en a qu'onze a l'embouchure: L'entrée passée il n'y a pas de vaisseau qui ne puisse naviguer fort avant dans cette riviere. Il y a icy 15 a 16 brasses d'eau, la pluspart des flutes qui n'en tirent que 9 pourroient y entrer bien avant, car le bâtiment Anglois que Monsieur d'Iberville trouva l'année passée a 8 lieuës d'icy tiroit encore moins d'eau; le capitaine avoit pour se conduire la relation de Monsieur de la Salle et de quelques autres fort mauvais memoires qui font mention de L'embouchure de ce fleuve. Cet Anglois qui en parloit a Monsieur de Bienville s'applaudissoit de ce quil avoit pû trouver l'entrée du Mississipi dont un de ceux qui en ont ecrit est un apostat qui a presenté au Roy Guillaume la relation du Mississipi, ou il ne fut jamais, et apres mille mensonges et de ridicules vanteries, Il prétend faire voir les justes pretentions et le droit incontestable que le Roy Guillaume a sur le Mississipi &c.

Il fait paroître dans sa relation Monsieur de la Salle blessé de deux balles dans la teste, qui se tourne vers le Pere Anastase Recollet pour luy demander l'absolution, (ce qu'il n'eut pas asseurement le temps de faire) ayant ête tué tout roide sans dire un seul mot et autres semblables faux narrés. Je ne scay ce que la cour decidera du Mississipi si l'on ne trouve les mines d'argent: car elle ne cherche pas de terres a cultiver. Il y en a peu a plus de 80 lieuës d'icy qui ne soient inondées par le grand debordement du Mississipi, on n'a pas encore les mines que l'on cherchoit. On ne se soucie gueres de celles de plomb qui sont tres abondantes vers les Illinois et plus haut dans le Mississipi du costé des Scioux. Il y a à la verité bien des ames a gagner a J. C. le long du Mississipi et encore plus dans les terres et dans la riviere rouge; mais il y a plus de monde dans la seulle mission des Illinois, que je n'en ay vû chez les Tounika, Baiougoula, et Houmas, et qu'il n'y en a chez les Bilocchi. Chez les Colapessas et chez tous les sauvages de la riviere la mobile qui sont entre le Fort de Bilocchi et celuy des Espagnols, et des Pansacolas. Cela n'empesche pas que les missionnaires ne trouvent bien de quoy s'occuper dans chaque village dont les sauvages me paroissent fort dociles plaise au Seigneur de leur envoyer des gens dont le zele leur ouvre le ciel et leur en apprenne le chemin. L'on dit qu'en remontant la riviere des mobiliens, il se trovue de nombreuses nations, ou je n'ai pas esté. Quand Monsieur de la Salle vint par mer chercher l'embouchure du Mississipi il passa outre sans s'en appercevoir qu'a plus de 15 lieuës au de la, et ne voulant pas faire paroître qu'il s'etoit trompé. Il poussa plus loin jusqu'a 80 lieuës d'icy, ou il fit un fort, et dans le dessein de se rendre en triomphe aux Illinois il s'en alla de son fort aux Senis sauvages dans les terres, et c'est de leur village que Monsieur Cavelier prestre partit apres la tragique mort de son frere pour se rendre au travers des terres aux Akansea et de la en pirogue jusqu'aux Illinois. Et enfin a Kebec ou il s'embarqua pour revenir en France luy 5e. Les Espagnols se rendirent peu de temps apres les maîtres du fort de Monsieur de la Salle dans lequel plus de 150 personnes moururent de misere et de maladies les Espagnols enleverent le reste des François qu'ils y trouverent et vinrent ensuite aux Senis ou ils laisserent 20 hommes avec 3 cordeliers, et d'où ils emmenerent deux François quils y trouverent, et qui sont a pñt au fort de Bilocchi, c'est de ces deux François qu'on a scû ce que sont devenus les tristes restes de ce grand equippement de Monsieur de la Salle qui avoit 400 hommes en partant de Saint Domingue pour chercher l'embouchure du Mississipi. Ce fut aux senis que les meurtriers de Monsieur de la Salle se firent sauvages comme eux, apres que quelques uns se furent entretués. Voila au juste mon R. P. le detail de mon voyage et de tout ce que j'ay pû apprendre dans ma route et par tout ce que j'ay vû et remarqué, et par tout ce que j'ay apris icy du Commandant Monsieur de Bienville, frere de Monsieur d'Iberville qui a le plus decouvert de pays. J'ajoute que cest aux saules et non pas aux mauriers que les vers a soye s'attachent, et font leurs coques en ce païs. On ne pourroit pas faire le premier etablissement en un lieu ou il y eût plus de Maringouins qu'icy; il y en a pendant presque toute l'année. A la verité ils nous ont donné un peu de treves 7 ou 8 jours, mais a lheure qu'il est ils me picquent bien serré et dans le mois de Decembre, qu'on n'en devroit estre importuné, il y en avoit une si furieuse quantité, que je ne pouvois ecrire un mot, que je n'en eusse les mains et le visage tout couvert et qu'il m'etoit impossible de dormir pendant la nuit, j'en ay êté si incommodé a un œil que j'ay pensé le perdre. Les François de ce fort me disoient que depuis le mois de Mars, il y en a une si prodigieuse quantité que l'air en est tout couvert et que l'on ne s'entrevoit pas a dix pas les uns des autres, Je reste icy jusqu'a l'arrivée de Monsieur D'Iberville comme je m'y suis en quelque facon obligé, pour servir d'aumonier aux François qui sont en ce poste et dont plusieurs sont Canadiens. J'ay bien a souffrir de ces importuns cousins jusqu'au mois de May, et encore plus en remontant le fleuve, puisque je ne le pourray faire que lors qu'il y en aura une Si grande quantité, que l'on ne pourra ny reposer de nuit ny mettre a terre de jour pour faire cuire du bled d'Inde sans en estre devoré, Dieu Soit beni de tout. Je dois estre content de tout, quoy qu'il m'en couste, pourveu que ce voiage de plus de mille lieuës que j'ay entrepris par le bien de nos missions den haut leur puisse estre utile a quelque chose aussi bien que mon retardement qui n'est que pour me mieux assurer de la verité priez Dieu pour nous mon R. Pere et croyez que

Je suis avec beaucoup de respect
Mon Reverend Pere
Votre tres humble et tres
Obeissant Serviteur
Jacques Gravier.

Depuis cette lettre ecrite il y eut un an en Fevrier dernier de la presente année 1702. Les François ont abandonné les deux postes cy dessus mentionnés tant du Mississipi, que de la baye de Bilocchi pour se placer à la riviere appellée la Mobile du nom des sauvages qui y ont leur village appellés mobiliens. Cette riviere entre dans la mer a 15 lieuës en deça de Bilocchi. Il y a 2 iles peu eloignées de son emboucheurre qui font un port pour les navires; et en montant avec des chalouppes l'espace de 14 lieuës sur la Mobile, il s'y trouve a present un fort regulier construit par Monsieur d'Iberville], et des maisons pour les soldats et pour quelques François venus de Canada. Le sol en est fort bon; on y a tracé le plan d'une ville qui se formera, des colonies Françoises qu'on envoyera si la cour le juge apropos. Il y a divers villages d'indiens a une, deux et 3 journées du fort de la Mobile, que les nouveaux missionnaires pourront instruire en notre Sancte Religion.

Relation or Journal of the voyage of Father Gravier, of the Society of Jesus, in 1700, from the Country of the Illinois to the Mouth of the Mississipi River.

Written to Father de Lamberville and Sent from Fort Mississipi, 17 Leagues from its discharge into the Mexican Gulf or sea, on the 16th of February, 1701.

My Reverend Father,

Pax Christi.

I received on my return from Michilimachinack the letter that you did me the honor of writing to me by way of the Mississipy, addressed to Father Aveneau, who sent it to me at Chikagoua—whence I started in 1700, on the 8th of September, to come here. I arrived too late among the Illinois of the strait—of whom Father Marest has charge—to prevent the migration of the village of the Kaskaskia, which has been too precipitately made, in consequence of uncertain news respecting the Mississipi settlement. I do not think that the Kaskaskia would have thus separated from the Peouarooua and from the other Illinois of the strait, if I could have arrived sooner. [11] I reached them at least soon enough to conciliate their minds to some extent, and to prevent the insult that the Peouaroua and the Mouingoueña were resolved to offer the Kaskaskia and the French when they embarked. I addressed all the chiefs in full council, and, as they continue to retain some respect and good will for me, they parted very peaceably. But I augur no good from this separation, which I have always opposed, for I foresaw but too well the evil consequences that would result from it. And may God grant that the road from Chikagoua to the strait be not closed, and that the entire Illinois mission may not suffer greatly thereby. I admit to you, my Reverend Father, that my heart is heavy at seeing my former flock thus divided and scattered; and I shall never see it again, after having left it, without having some new cause for affliction. The Peouaroua, whom I left without a missionary (for Father Marest has followed the Kaskaskia), promised me that they would preserve the church, and await my return from Mississipi—whither, I told them, I was going solely for the purpose of ascertaining the truth of all that was said of it. This gave them great pleasure; they promised me that they would never leave their village until I should inform them to what place the great chief who is at the lower end of the river wished them to remove. I am very doubtful whether they will keep their word. After journeying four days with the Kaskaskia, I went on ahead with Father Marest, whom I left ill among the Tamarouha, where Father Pinet performs in peace all the duties of a missionary. Meanwhile, Monsieur Bergier, who works very well with us, has charge of the French only, which is a great relief for Father Pinet. [12] I left the Tamarouha on the 9th of October to come here, at the lower end of the Mississipi, to the assistance of Father du Ru. [13] I was accompanied by 5 canoes manned by Frenchmen. For my part, I had in my canoe only Brother Guibert, and a Frenchman who was ill with tertian fever. At 2 leagues from the village I found the Tamarouha, who have taken up their winter quarters in a fine bay, where they await the Metchigamia,—who are to come more than 60 leagues to winter there, and to form but one village with them. One of our missionaries will visit them every 2nd day throughout the winter and do the same for the Kaoukia, who have taken up their winter quarters 4 leagues above the village. We made only 4 leagues the 1st day, because one of our canoes was split by a snag hidden in the water, and we had to halt in order to repair it. On the 10th day, after proceeding a league, we discovered the River Miaramigoua, where the very rich lead mine is situated, 12 or 13 leagues from its mouth. The ore from this mine yields 3 fourths metal. [14] On the eleventh we killed a buffalo, or wild ox; he cost us 10 or 12 gun-shots, so well did he defend his life. The fever that attacked my pilot forced us to land an hour after noon; and in 5 days, although the current was strong, we traveled only 35 leagues—because our sick men compelled us to land early; and because much time was lost in shooting the wild oxen that abound along the river, almost all of which are left to be eaten by the wolves. The 14th. We have doubled Cape Ste. Croix. This is a small rock forming a little island, on the north side of the Mississipi, on which Monsieur de Montigny has had a cross erected. We killed 2 bears there. The 15th. The fine weather continues. To-day we saw over 50 bears, and of all that we killed we took only 4, in order to obtain some fat. Those that came down the Mississipi were lean, and those that came from the direction of the River Ouabachei were fat. They were continually moving from the south to the north; it must be better there for them. There are a great many islands and shoals along the course of the Mississipi River, from the Tamarouha to the Ouabachi River; this river keeps its course well from north to south, but, at a distance of 3 or 4 leagues from Ouabachi it begins to turn to the north-northwest, and does nothing but meander. We were enabled to judge of its course by the route that we followed on the 15th. Father Marquette (who was 1st to discover it, nearly 30 years ago) puts it in his journal as being, at a distance of 3 leagues from Ouabachi, at 36 degrees and 47 minutes. We encamped in sight of that river, which flows from the south and discharges into the Mississipi. At its mouth it forms a wide basin, 2 arpents from its discharge. It is called by the Illinois and by the Oumiamis the river of the Akansea, because the Akansea formerly dwelt on it. It is said to have 3 branches: one coming from the northeast, which flows at the rear of the country of the Oumiamis, called the River St. Joseph, which the savages properly call Ouabachi; The 2nd comes from the Iroquois country, and is what they call the Ohio; the 3rd from the south-southwest, on which are the Chaouanoua. As all 3 unite to fall into the Mississipi, the stream is commonly called Ouabachi; but the Illinois and other savages call it the River of the Akansea. its water is clear; it does not appear to be very rapid. It flows gently into the Mississipi, which loses a little of its muddy color, given it by the river of the Missouris.

I have found an excellent remedy for curing our French of their fever. I promised God, jointly with Pierre de Bonne,—who had a violent tertian fever for a long time,—to recite for 9 days some prayers in honor of Father François Regis, whose relics I have. These I applied to him at his strongest paroxysm, which suddenly ceased, and he has had none since. After the novena, I took back my reliquary which I hung on the neck of Louis du Hemme, of Riviere du Loup. [15] I began a 2nd novena with him, and on the very 1st day the fever left him. I took my reliquary from him on the 4th or 5th day of the novena, to hang it on the neck of a man named Augustin, from the point of Coste de St. Michel in Canada, who had already had 2 or 3 attacks of fever. It again attacked du Hemme—who, when he saw himself cured, had told me that I took care not to be sick, for I always had the reliquary hung on my neck; and, as soon as I took it from him, the fever attacked him again and left him only after the novena. La Pointe was likewise cured, on the very 1st day when I hung my reliquary on his neck; and I did not remove it until the novena was finished. At the very same time Pierre Chabot, [16] of the Island of Orleans, who had had the fever for over six months, hung it on his neck; and on the 3rd day of the novena that very persistent fever decreased, and he was entirely free from it at the end of the novena. A small piece of Father François Regis's hat, which one of our servants gave me, is the most infallible remedy that I know of for curing all kinds of fever.

Now, to resume our journey. We started on the 16th of October from the mouth of the Ouabachi, in very fine weather; and we found the Mississipi less rapid than above Ouabachi. As we had a great quantity of meat, we hastily dried a portion of the best of it and the great heat compelled us to throw away the remainder. We saw so great a number of wood-pigeons that the sky was quite hidden by them. We traveled all day in a south-southeasterly direction; and 5 leagues below Ouabachi, on the south side, we found lofty sand-cliffs, where an iron mine is said to exist. The pretended scales of iron attached to the stones are not what they are believed to be, and what I was told. They are nothing but veins of earth, hard and apparently petrified, which have in truth the color of iron, but have no weight and break easily. I took a piece of it, in order to show that, if there be an iron mine there, one cannot judge of it by that earth. A short distance below, we began to discover canes on the hills. They are covered with evergreen leaves from the base to the summit, which ends in a small tuft of leaves. They are not more than 7 or 8 feet high at the edge of the hills; but they are 20, 30, and 40 feet high in the woods, especially below the Akansea. The 18th. In 3 hours' traveling we have gone around the compass; and, after running to the east-southeast for a short time, we again went half around the compass in a cove of over 2 leagues, which one cuts across when the waters are high. The 19th. We rejoined the 2 canoes that had left us, and about 2 o'clock in the afternoon we found on the north side—3 or 4 leagues farther down, beyond a small prairie—an echo that repeats 5 words distinctly, and, begins repeating what has been said only after the last word has been pronounced.

The 20th. Very Hot. We slept in sight of high rocky bluffs called Fort Prud'homme, because when Monsieur de la Salle was on his voyage of discovery, he remained intrenched there with his people through fear that Prudomme, who had lost his way in the woods, had been killed by the savages, and that he himself would be attacked. During the previous year, a great many bears were killed here. On the 22nd and 23rd, the rain detained us on a great sand-bank, from which we reached an island on which was some petrified wood. I know not whether there is a spring or vein of water possessing that virtue, as there is in Auvergne, on the confines of Bourbonnois—a mineral spring, that petrifies the leaves of trees that fall into it; or whether it is the sun that blackens and hardens small pieces of decayed wood that lie on the sand after the high waters. At all events, I have seen large and small pieces of it. There can be no doubt of it, for there are some that are not yet petrified, and are partly wood and partly black stone, that break quite easily and exfoliate on breaking. A blacksmith who was of the party took the petrified wood for mineral coal; but, besides the fact of its not being so heavy, he was convinced of the contrary when he threw it into the fire. The 24th. We found a quantity of grapes, but much fewer than I had been told; and they are neither as good nor as large as those found on the river of the Illinois, and especially on the river of the Miamis, where they are found in greater quantities.

The 25th. So heavy a rain fell that we were compelled to ascend the hill, which was over 30 feet high, and to transport thither our cabin. The 26th. We passed, on the south, the Riviere a Mayot, called thus after a savage of the Loup nation who was with Monsieur de la Salle on his voyage of discovery. That river does not seem very wide; but it is said to be a good hunting-ground, and that the Chikacha come down as far as its mouth, from which they are distant only 3 days' journey inland, to the south. [17] A league or 2 lower, we found a pirogue of Taögria; these belong to the Loup nation, and carry on a considerable trade with the English. There were only 6 men in it, with a woman and a child; they were coming from the Akansea. He who seemed the most notable among them could say a few words of Illinois, and spoke the Chaouanoua tongue. He made me sit on a bearskin spread in front of his traveling cabin, and offered me some sagamité to eat. He afterward told me, as news, that Father de Limoges (whom he called Captain Pauiongha) had upset while in his canoe, and had lost everything; and that the Kappa akansea had supplied him with provisions and a canoe, to continue his voyage. [18] I gave him a knife and half a box of vermilion; he made me a present of a very large piece of meat, the produce of his hunting. A league from the spot where we had left him, we killed 4 does. We did not expect such good fortune, and we neither killed nor saw a single animal from the Riviere a Mayot to the sea. The 27th. We passed the river St. François, at the point of a bend to the north 18 leagues from the Akansea.

The 29th. On leaving our camp, we ran in a westerly direction, and then we headed southwest. Toward noon, we came upon 4 pirogues of Akansea; when my canoe approached the bank, an old man entered the water and carried me upon his shoulders to the land. The chief made me sit on a large bearskin, and the French on willow branches, which he had caused his young men to cut. He made me a present of 2 loaves of piakimina, [19] which I distributed among the French. And, as I was grieved because they would not listen to me when I wished to speak of God, I withdrew to pray for them while the kettles were boiling. I was served with a dish of sagamité made of green Indian corn; and another of whole ears of green corn, seasoned with excellent squashes. I gave a small present to the chief of the party; and on the 30th we encamped a league lower down, half a league from the old village of the Akansea (where they formerly received the late Father Marquette), which is now recognized only by its old outworks, for not a cabin remains. The 31st. We arrived, about 9 o'clock in the morning, at the village of the Kappa Akansea, who are on the 24th degree, according to Father Marquette's calculation. The village is half a league from the water's edge. Monsieur de Montigny had erected a cross on the hill, which is very steep and 40 feet high. After saluting the cross, and chanting the Vexilla Regis with the French, we gave notice to the Akansea by 3 gunshots; and in less than ten minutes, at the most, two young men appeared with swords in their hands,—closely followed by the chief of the Kappa and that of the Tourima, [20] and 20 or 30 well-formed young men with their bows and arrows. Some had swords and 2 or 3 English guns, which had been given them by the person who, the year before, had brought a quantity of goods to them to alienate them from the French, and especially from the missionaries—against whom he bore malice, for he had boasted that he would put in irons and kill the 1st that he should meet. The French, who seized him, found material for making a pair of manacles with iron chains, and prevented him from doing any of the evil that he intended to do. He had already 2 concubines among the Kappa. However, the chiefs invited me to go to their village, which consists of 40 cabins. A number of the French accompanied me, while the others kept the canoes at anchor. They took me to the cabin of the chief, who made me sit down on a mat of canes adorned with figures, and at the same time they put on the fire the kettle, containing green Indian corn seasoned with a large quantity of dried peaches. They brought me from another cabin a large dish of ripe fruit of the piakimina, which is almost like the medlar of France. The dish was handed to the chief to give to me. As it is the most delicious fruit that the savages have from the Illinois to the sea, the chief did not fail to begin his feast with it. After tasting a little of it, I had the dish carried to brother Guibert and to the Frenchmen, who sat opposite me. I did the same with the sagamité. I observed that all who entered the cabin remained standing at the door, and advanced only when the chief told them to do so and to sit down. There was a Metchigamikoué woman who acted as my interpreter, and who confirmed the news of Father de Limogés's wreck with the loss of all that he had. She gave him her supply of corn and squashes, to assist him on his journey to the Natchés; and the chief gave him an earthen pot, after regaling him as well as he could. I asked him whether he remembered having formerly seen in their village a Frenchman, clad in black, and dressed as I was. He replied that he remembered it very well, but that it was so long ago that he could not count the years. I told him that it was more than 28 years ago. [21] He also told me that they had danced to him the captain's calumet—which I did not at first understand, for I thought that he spoke of the calumet of the Illinois, which the Kaskaskia had given to Father Marquette to carry with him in the Mississipi country, as a safeguard; but I have found, in the Father's journal, that they had indeed danced the calumet to him. He afterward caused me to be asked in how many days I would start, and, when I told him that I had landed merely to greet him in his cabin, and that I was about to reëmbark, he begged me to remain at least a day, that he might have provisions prepared for me; and he said that all the young men of his village were much pleased to see me. I replied to his compliment, and said that I was anxious to reach my destination. I had previously inquired whether there were any sick people; but my interpreter gave me to understand that there were none. Finally, after much going and coming, and many consultations with his people, the chief of the village asked me to remain until the following day, because he wished with his young men to sing the chief's calumet for me. This is a very special honor, which is paid but seldom, and only to persons of distinction; so I thanked him for his good will, saying that I did not consider myself a captain, and that I was about to leave at once. My answer pleased the French, but was not very agreeable to all the others who, in doing me that honor, hoped to gain presents from me. The chief escorted me to the water's edge, accompanied by all his people; and they brought me a quantity of dried peaches, of piachimina, and of squashes. I gave the chief a present of a little lead and powder, a box of vermilion wherewith to daub his young men, and some other trifles, which greatly pleased him; and I told him that I thanked him for the kindness that he had shown to Father de Limoges. After I had embarked, they fired four gunshots, to which the people who were with me replied. At 2 leagues from the village, there is a small river by which they go in canoes in the springtime, behind the hills, to the doors of their cabins. Since I have spoken above of the calumet, you will be pleased if I here tell you something about it. There is nothing among these Indians that is more mysterious or more reverenced. No such honors are paid to the crowns and scepters of Kings as those that they pay to it. It seems to be the God of Peace and of war, the arbiter of life and of death. It suffices for one to carry and to show it, to walk in safety in the midst of enemies, who in the hottest of the fight lay down their weapons when it is displayed. That is why the Illinois gave one to the late Father Marquette, as a safeguard among the tribes of the Mississipi through whom he must pass on his voyage, when he went to discover that river and the nations that dwell along it.

There is one calumet for peace and one for war, and they are distinguished solely by the color of the feathers that adorn them. Red is the sign of war. They use it also to terminate their quarrels, to strengthen their alliances and to speak to strangers. It is a sort of pipe for smoking tobacco, made from a red stone polished like marble, and bored out in such manner that one end serves for holding the tobacco, while the other fits upon the stem. The latter consists of a hollow stick two feet long, as large as an ordinary cane. Hence the French have called it "calumet," from a corruption of the word chalumeau, because it resembles that instrument—or, rather, a long flute. It is ornamented with the heads or necks of various birds, whose plumage is very handsome. They also add long feathers of red, green, or other colors with which it is entirely covered. They esteem it chiefly because they look upon it as the calumet or pipe of the sun; and, in fact, they offer it to the sun to smoke when they wish to obtain a calm, or rain, or fine weather. They scruple to bathe at the beginning of the hot weather, or to eat new fruit, before they have danced the calumet—that means that the chief, holding it in his hands, sings airs to which the others respond, while dancing and making measured gestures to the sound of certain instruments shaped like small drums. [22]

On the 1st of November, nearly all the French received the sacraments, and, after celebrating the feast to the best of our ability, we continued our voyage and discovered the river of the Akansea, 8 leagues from the village of the Kappa. The Sittèoui Akansea are 5 leagues above its mouth, and are much more numerous than the Kappa and the Tourima; these are the 3 villages of the Akansea. That river, which is to the north of the Mississipi, is very fine; it divides into 3 branches at a league from the village of the Ousitteoui; it runs to the northwest, and, by ascending it, one reaches the river of the Missouris, by making a portage. They count 60 leagues from the Kappa to the river of the Toumika; And on the 3rd day we passed the pointe coupée, which is half way. We afterward remained at anchor during a 6 days' rain, and did not proceed very far. The 7th. A heavy fog came on, and the rain compelled us to encamp on a hill more than 40 or 50 feet high. About 7 o'clock in the evening, we were surprised by a furious squall that lasted over an hour, and gave every one plenty of occupation in saving the canoes and baggage; it threatened, at every moment, to crush us by the trees that fell all around us. When the wind fell, the rain was so heavy for two days that I have never seen anything like it. Our people killed a crocodile, three brasses long. This is an animal of the color of a toad, shaped like a lizard. It is often found on land, and, although it walks very slowly, no one approaches it unless he is well armed. The scales with which it is covered are proof against small shot, and a ball is needed to pierce them. I know not how the savages do so who have only arrows, unless it be that these slip under the scales from the rear. Its mouth is very large, and is armed with two rows of teeth, longer than those of a bear. To see it, and hear it gnash its teeth, frightens one. It is said that the tongue is good to eat, but I have never had the curiosity to taste any of it, or any other part of the body, which most of the savages consider a great treat. From time to time, some of them lose their lives by risking themselves in diving to catch it after it is wounded. Many of these animals are larger than this one was.

On the 13th day, after the mass of the blessed Stanislas, we set out; and on the following day we reached the river of the Tounika. I left the 5 canoes containing the Frenchmen at the mouth, which is on the south side of the Mississipi. I embarked in my canoe to visit Monsieur Davion, a missionary priest, who was sick. I left my canoe 4 leagues from the river, at the foot of a hill where there are 5 or 6 cabins. The road by land, which is 2 leagues long, is fairly good. I found piakimina-trees loaded with fruit, and many coupal-trees that yielded gum. We passed on our route through canes that were 40 feet high, and as thick as one's arm. The stalks of the corn that we call Indian corn are more than 15 or 20 feet high, as are also the sunflowers, and thick in proportion. We saw 5 or 6 hamlets, consisting of but few cabins; and I was astonished that savages who so seldom see Frenchmen should manifest so little curiosity—except at Monsieur Davion's village, where all the people escorted me to the house of that devoted missionary, whom I found ill in bed with fever. He arose on the following day, to receive communion at my mass, and went out, for the first time, to visit some cabins with me. He spoke to me with much frankness about his mission, which he is beginning to establish; and God blesses his zeal and the study that he has made of the language, which he is beginning to speak better than might usually be expected from a person of his age. In his mission, 3 different languages are spoken: the Ïakou, with 30 cabins; the Ounspik, with 10 or 12 cabins; and the Toumika, who are in 7 hamlets, consisting in all of 50 or 60 small cabins. He devotes himself entirely to the last-named language; and, as the Toumika are the most numerous, the mission bears their name. [23] They are very docile; polygamy is rare among them; but their caprice and the custom of the country authorize divorce for almost nothing,—the result being that the village is but little populated, and I saw hardly any children there. The girls are not lewd or bold, as among the Natchiés and Taensa. They acknowledge nine Gods: the sun, thunder, fire, the Gods of the east, of the south, of the north, and of the west, of the sky, and of the earth. In every cabin is a tall post that holds it up; at the foot of this are 2 or 3 small earthen pots near the fire, from which they take a little ashes to place in those pots, through I know not what superstition. That is the post of the spirit or genie. They are so secret regarding all the mysteries of their religion that the missionary can discover nothing about them. The women wear a gown made of a tissue from the mulberry-tree, which they spin like hemp and flax. It is a strong and thick cloth. Their skirt is very decent, extending from the waist to below the knees; it has a fringe that is very neatly worked,—as is also their mantle, which is either quite plain, or worked in lozenges, or in squares, or in ermine; they usually wear it over one shoulder, and seldom over both. The men and women do not grease or oil their hair, as do our savages of Canada, but perhaps both are mistaken. The meat of bears, of Deer, and of all kinds of animals is very scarce in their villages. The women wear their hair in a heavy plait on their backs, reaching to below the waist; they also make a crown of it around their heads, which are flat, like those of the men. The mothers are careful to compress the heads of their children, while in the cradle, to make them flat. Most of the men wear their hair long, and their only covering is a scanty deerskin. They, as well as the women, sometimes wear cloaks made of turkey feathers or of muskrat skins, well woven and well worked. The men here do what peasants do in France: they till and hoe the soil; they sow and harvest; they cut wood, and bring it to the cabin; they dress the skins of deer and of oxen, when they have any. They dress them better than do any other savages whom I have seen. The women do only household work, and make the earthen vessels and their clothes. Their cabins are round and arched; they are lathed with canes, and plastered with mud from the bottom to the top, both inside and out, and have a good roof of straw. There is no opening but the door; and however little fire there may be,—the smoke therefrom issues only by the door,—It is as hot in them as in a vapor bath. At night, a lighted torch made of dried canes serves them as a light, and keeps all the cabin warm. Their beds are made of round canes raised on 4 posts 3 feet high; and a reed mat serves as a mattress. Nothing can be cleaner than their cabins. One never sees in them either clothes, or bags, or kettles, or hatchets, or guns; they carry everything with them, and their sole wealth consists of fairly well-made earthen vessels—especially small varnished jars, as pretty as any that can be seen in France. [24] Their granaries are near their cabins; they are made like dove-cotes, built on four large posts 15 or 16 feet high. These are very smooth and well polished, so that the mice may not climb them; and thus they protect their corn and squashes—which are even better than those of the Illinois—against those vermin. There are no peaches in this village, as among the Akansea; but there are such quantities of piakimina that whole families go together to the woods to gather it, As among the Illinois whole families go together to hunt the wild ox, which is seldom seen in this country. There they live for a month in the woods on that fruit, besides pounding and drying great quantities of it, which they keep for a Long time. They have only a small temple erected on a mound of earth; they enter it, so Monsieur Davion told me, only when going to war or returning thence; and do not utter all the yells of the Taensa and Natchés when they pass in front of their temple, in which an old man always keeps fire burning. Monsieur de St. Cosme, who had heard that Monsieur Davion was dying, arrived from the Natchés mission. Before my departure, they both confirmed the news of the wreck of Father de Limoges—who, out of all that he possessed, saved only his chalice and his crucifix. They gave him all that he needed to enable him to reach fort Mississipi, and were greatly edified by the joy and fortitude that he manifested in the great loss that he had suffered of all the outfit of his mission,—praising God, They told me, for having thus deprived him of all he possessed. Monsieur de St. Cosme informed me that the Natchés were far from being as docile as the Tounika. They are polygamous, thievish, and very depraved—the girls and women being even more so than the men and boys, among whom a great reformation must be effected before anything can be expected from them. The customs of the Taensas, who speak the same language, are the same. Their village is 20 leagues from the river of the Toumika; It is 4 leagues inland. After traveling a league, one reaches a lake where there are always a great many crocodiles. It must be crossed in a canoe to reach the village, which is more closely built than that of the Tounika. [25] Last year the temple was reduced to ashes, by the lightning falling on such combustible materials as the canes with which it was covered. The old man who was its guardian said that the spirit was angry, because no one had been killed in it at the death of the last chief, and that he must be appeased. There were 5 women cruel enough to throw their children into the fire, in full view of the French who related this to me,—or, rather, they gave them to the old man, who cast them into the fire. He did so while uttering invocations, and singing with the women during the barbarous ceremony; and, had it not been for the French, many more children would have been burned. The chief's cabin was turned into a temple, and the 5 unnatural mothers were carried there in triumph, as if they were 5 heroines. At the point of the bend where the village stands, the river is barely an arpent and a half in width, and forms a strait, where the current is difficult to ascend. It is at that place that Monsieur de la Salle says there is a whirlpool, into which the trees are precipitated roots upward, and reappear only half a league lower down. This I did not see; perhaps it happened only when he passed there, or occurs only occasionally.

After enduring heavy showers during the night, which would have deluged our baggage had I slept as soundly as did our canoemen, we had very fine weather while proceeding to the Natchés, who are south of the Taensas, from whom they are distant 20 leagues. After ascending a low hill, we came upon a well-traveled highway leading to a rather steep hill, which is more than half covered during the high waters. At the top of this hill is a fine prairie; the road most used leads to the Village where the temple is; others, which intersect it right and left, lead to various hamlets. There are only 4 cabins in the one where the temple is; it is very spacious and covered with plaited canes, which are renewed every year with great ceremonies, which it would take too long to relate here. They begin by a fast that lasts four days, accompanied by vomiting until blood comes. There are neither windows nor chimney in the temple and one can see only a little by the light of the fire; and even then the door, which is very low and very narrow, must be open. I imagine that the obscurity of the place inspires them with respect. The old man who is the guardian keeps the fire lighted all the time, and takes very good care not to let it go out. It is in the middle of the temple, in front of a sort of mausoleum in the savage fashion. There are 3, which are 8 or 9 feet long, about 6 feet wide, and 9 or 10 feet high. They are supported by 4 large posts, covered with cane mats in quite neat columns, and surmounted by a ceiling of canes interlaced. This would be very graceful, were it not all darkened by smoke and covered with soot. There is a large mat that serves as a curtain to hide a large table, covered with 5 or 6 cane mats, on which stands a great basket; it is not permitted to open this, because the spirit of each nation in this quarter reposes, it is said, with that of the Natchez. I am annoyed with myself for not having opened the basket, although I would have pained the old man by drawing back the curtain and trying to touch that basket. There are others in the 2 other mausoleums, in which, they say, are the bones of their chiefs, whom they revere as divinities. The rarest object that I saw there is a small piece of rock crystal, which I found in a small basket. I observed many small earthen pots, dishes, and cups, and some small well-made cane baskets. In these food is served to the spirits of the dead chiefs, and the guardian of the temple finds it to his advantage. After inspecting everything in the temple, I saw, either there or elsewhere, neither the gold, nor the silver, nor the precious stones, nor the riches, nor the nine brasses of fine pearls mentioned by the author of a relation, printed under the name of Monsieur de Tonty, but which he disavowed to him [Monsieur Iberville] who reproached him with all the falsehoods with which it is filled. [26] What the writer dares to mention as having been seen by Monsieur de Tonty, in a small cupboard imbedded in the wall and plastered with mud, is also a fable; and I neither saw nor tasted there the exquisite liquors of which he speaks. These are all things that have been invented by the same author, in order to embellish his story. It is true that the chief's wife has some small pearls; but they are neither round nor well pierced,—with the exception of 7 or 8, which are as large as small peas, and have been bought for more than they are worth. After a careful search, there were found none of the riches or rarities that have been reported to exist in the temple and in the village. The Frenchman whom Monsieur D'Iberville left there to learn the language told me that, at the death of the last chief, they had killed two women, 3 men, and 3 children; they strangled them with a bowstring; and that cruel ceremony is performed with great pomp, for the wretched victims consider themselves highly honored in accompanying their chief by means of a violent death. For the great chief who died some months previously, there were but 7. His wife, who was more cautious than the others, would not follow him; and began to weep when they wished to make her accompany her husband. When Monsieur de Montigni, who has left this country to go to Siam, was informed of their custom, he made them promise to put no more people to death. They gave him, as a pledge of their word, a little slave girl, whom they had resolved to kill, had he not forbidden it. But, in order to keep their cursed custom without his noticing it, the woman chief, whom they call Ouachil Tamail, "the Sun woman" (who is always the sister and not the wife of the great chief), persuaded him to withdraw to a distant village so that his head might not be broken by the noise that would be made at a ceremony whereat all the people would be present. Monsieur de Montigni, who suspected nothing, believed her and withdrew; but, in his absence, they put to death those whom they considered necessary to act as cooks for the chief, and to serve him in the other world. However, the old men alone enter the temple to yell, as I have seen them do after kindling the fire. All the men who pass in front of the temple lay down their burdens, stretch their arms toward the temple, and utter loud yells; and, if they have little children, they hold them in their arms and, turning toward the temple they make them touch the earth 3 times with their foreheads. They utter the same yells when they pass before the chief or the woman chief, or speak to them, or offer them food, drink, or tobacco. This woman chief is very intelligent, and enjoys greater influence than one thinks. Her brother is not a great genius; he has been married 9 times, without a single woman being able to live with him; they have all left him, and now he lives quite alone. The women are all very neatly clad, and are decently covered to the middle of their legs, with a cloak that descends below the knees. Most of them have black teeth, which is considered beautiful among them; they blacken them by chewing the ashes of tobacco mixed with wood ashes, and rubbing them with these every morning. The corn was not yet gathered in. The 1st harvest in this quarter is in the month of June; and the 2nd, which is more abundant, is only at the end of November. Besides the fact that they offer the first-fruits of their crop to the temple in that village, the woman chief had the corn gathered in for the temple, and no one dares to refuse what her emissaries wish to take. That harvest is gathered for the chief and the woman chief, and to supply food for the spirits of the departed chiefs; but all the people take part in the feast that is given them during 6 days. This is accompanied with the usual yells, the shouts, and the ceremonies that they will not explain to the missionaries, to whom, for all answer, They say, noukou—which means, "I Know not why it is done." Everything depends upon the commission of the chiefs, who have too much interest in passing among their people for spirits to embrace Christian humility very soon.

We left that village of the Natchez on the 24th and the 25th of November. We discovered the hills of the Houmas to the south of the Mississipi, which forms a bay that one enters by leaving the main channel to the right. There is a good league and a half from the point of disembarkation to the village of the Houmas,—over a very bad road, for one has to ascend and descend, and walk half bent, through the canes. The village is on the crest of a steep mountain, precipitous on all sides. There are 80 cabins in it, and in the middle of the village is a fine and very level open space, where, from morning to night, young men exercise themselves. They run after a flat stone, which they throw in the air from one end of the square to the other, and try to make it fall on two cylinders, which they roll wherever they think the stone will fall.

There is nothing fine about the temple except the vestibule, which is embellished with the most pleasing and best executed grotesque figures that one can see. These are four satyrs, two of which are in relief,—all four standing out from the wall, and having on their heads, their hands, and their legs,—for fillets, bracelets, garters, baldrics, and belts,—snakes, mice, and dogs. The colors are black, white, red, and yellow; and are applied so well, and with such absence of confusion, that they constitute an agreeably surprising spectacle. The old man who keeps up the fire—the name of which, he told us, was Louak Ouloughé—the "sacred fire"—showed us the bones of the woman chief who died last year. That woman had so distinguished herself by the blows that she inflicted upon their enemies, having in person led several war-parties, that she was looked upon as an Amazon, and as the mistress of the whole village. Greater honor was paid to her than to the great chief; for she occupied the 1st place in all the councils, and, when she walked about, was always preceded by four young men, who sang and danced the calumet to her. She was dressed as an Amazon; she painted her face and wore her hair like the men. In this village they know nothing of all the yells that are usually uttered among the Natchés when they pass before the temple—opposite which is a chapel 50 feet long that Father du Ru caused to be built last spring; also a great cross 35 or 40 feet high, that he caused to be erected in the public place of the village. Father de Limoges had arrived there three days before, in order to settle there and to labor for the conversion of the Houmas, who seemed to me to be very docile. The great chief is very reasonable, and says that he acknowledges but one spirit who has made all. I counted 70 cabins in the village, which I visited with Father de Limoges, who chose to give me the first-fruits of his mission in the baptism that I administered to a child 3 days old. I gave him the name of St. Francis Xavier, the patron of the mission; God took him to paradise a few days afterward, there to labor for the conversion of his parents and of his countrymen.

On the 3rd of December, we celebrated the festival of that great Saint as solemnly as we could; and I Chanted the first high Mass that was ever heard in the village. I was surprised at the little curiosity that they manifested. If the Mississipi country be settled, and this mission be not taken from us, there is reason to hope that we shall do well here, on account of the docility of those poor people. The women and girls are more modest than among the neighboring tribes. May God be pleased to convert them, and make the road to their village impracticable for certain French libertines. All that they do for their sick is to suck them until blood comes. I saw one in the hands of the old medicine-men; one whistled and played on a gourd; another sucked; while the third sang the song of the crocodile, whose skin served him as a drum. As they are satisfied with their squashes and their corn, of which they have an abundance, they are indolent, and hardly ever hunt. They have nevertheless the reputation of being warriors, and are feared by the neighboring tribes. They are not cruel; and, far from putting to death any slaves whom they may capture, as soon as the latter enter the village the women weep over them, pity them for having been taken, and afterward treat them better than their own children. When any of their people go out hunting, the women begin to weep, as if they were about to lose them; And, when they return from hunting, they weep with joy at seeing them once more. There are few villages in France where there are more hens and cocks than in that of the Houmas, because they never kill any, and will not even eat any of those that their dogs quite often kill. When one wishes to obtain chickens from them, he must not say that he intends to kill or eat them. They would give them with reluctance; but they willingly sell these fowls when they are not killed in their presence, or when they are told that they will be taken away to be reared as with them. The hens have little chickens at all times, and in the month of December there were some in all the cabins, since they keep warm in the cabins,—which the people are careful to keep clean, and which they sweep out 2 or 3 times a day. [27] The children, the men, and the young men are dressed like the Tounika. The women wear a fringed skirt, which covers them from the waist to below the knees. When they go out of their cabins they wear a robe of muskrat skins, or of turkey's feathers. Their faces are tattooed with figures, and they wear their hair plaited like the Tounika and Natches, and blacken their teeth as those tribes do. Although all savages have a great dread of cold, when there is the slightest frost (for there is no winter here) they all bathe, both great and small, and come out of the water quite chilled with cold. An old man calls out at daybreak when it freezes. This kind of bath sometimes brings on a bloody flux, which carries off many of them. However, Father de Limoges is beginning to make himself understood, and will do good in this mission. He related to me his wreck, in which he lost everything; and the loss is greater than can be believed—more than one mission will suffer by it. While allowing themselves to drift at night with the current, their canoe struck a tree which had stuck in the middle of the stream. This upset the canoe, and it remained on its Side full of water; and, had he not promptly caught hold of the tree, he would have been drowned while half asleep. He lost everything except his chalice, which he saved by pulling it, I know not how, from its box. That was all that he could save, and it is almost a miracle that he was able to save himself, after struggling for his life for nearly three hours, by means of a branch of a tree swept down by the current, to which he fastened himself with his 2 canoemen. He allowed himself to drift with the current, which at last carried the tree to land; and, after drying themselves without a fire in the wind and sun, as well as they could, they made a raft out of 3 or 4 pieces of driftwood, which they lashed together with withes. They traveled for three whole days On this new canoe, always half submerged, and without eating anything during all that time except some wild purslane, quite raw. That dear missionary told me that he then remembered to good purpose St. Francis Xavier, who had struggled for his life in the waters for as many days, upon a piece of plank. On the 4th day, he observed the fire of some Akansea who were hunting. He and his two companions were very humanely treated by them. They gave them food, and took them to their village, where the Father found his canoe, which had been stopped by a barrier of driftwood. He has since been equipped with everything necessary for his mission among the Houmas. I started from there on the 4th of December, and, after 3 leagues of navigation, we found on the north side of the Mississipi the Red River, about which so much is said. If the 3rd attempt which the French have made there within 7 or 8 months be successful, the missionaries will have there a passage by which to reach the various nations along that river, which flows in a southeasterly direction. They nearly all live only in small hamlets, like the Natchés, which makes persons who wish to convey a great idea of all those tribes say that there are villages without end, and of 3 or 4, 5 or 6 leagues in extent—trying to make hamlets of 3 or 4 cabins, separated from one another according to the convenience of the land, pass for so many villages of the same tribe. Monsieur de Bienville, who has penetrated the farthest of all, has told me that the whole country is flooded in the months of March and April; that there were small eminences among the Natchitoch that were quite populous, and that corn grew thereon to the height of one's shoulder. At the end of March, Monsieur de St. Denis is to go as far as the Kadodakio; and instead of going toward the Senis, whither the assassins of Monsieur de la Salle had fled, he is to go to the left, and push on as far as the Kiouahau, the most remote tribe that we know of, where it is hoped that mines will be found. He is to return here at the end of this month; and, if he finds no silver mines, they have nothing less than what they seek in the settlement of the Mississipi—which floods all the lands to a distance of more than 80 leagues from its mouth, with the exception of a few small districts. [28]

On the 10th, we said the mass of St. Francis Xavier, to commence the devotion of the ten Fridays. On the following day, we arrived at the cross that marks the village of the Baiougoula, on the north side of the Mississipi, and 40 leagues from the Houmas. As the waters have been extraordinarily high this year, they have undermined the hill for a length of over 10 feet, so that the cross has fallen with the soil that has crumbled away. I did not go to the village, and it was only on my return from Bilocchi that I visited the Baiougoula. Their chief caused the chief of the Mougoulacha to be massacred, with more than 200 men of that tribe, who were very well disposed toward the French, and who lived in the same village with the Baigougoula as the Piouaroua do with the Kaskaskia. The blood of so many innocents cries for vengeance; consequently God is beginning to punish them by famine and disease and they must fear that the Houmas and the Kolapessas will avenge the murder of all their allies. I have never seen anything so beggarly. [29] I know a few words of their language: but, as more than two-thirds of them were away from the village, whence hunger had driven them, I remained there only 4 days. They promised me to restore the chapel, and to do everything that I asked from them; but, unless the chief is very far away, there is not much for a missionary to do. I had a cross erected on the hill, to replace that which had been carried away by the waters, which rose to a height of twenty feet. At 5 leagues below the village, we find on the north side a small arm of the Mississipi, which Monsieur de la Salle mentions; he says that it has a depth of over 30 brasses of water, and is very convenient for large vessels. But Monsieur D'Iberville—who had the same inspected, and who caused soundings to be taken—did not find water deep enough to float a shallop. The more we approach the lower end of the Mississipi, the more we go to the east and to the east-southeast. We also find more currents and worse camping-places, and always clayey ground in the alder-bushes; or else we have to go very far into the woods, into which it is difficult to penetrate without meeting dense canebrakes, whence one cannot extricate oneself. Since we have left the Natches, we have lived only on Indian corn with a few squashes—for it is a long time since either wild oxen, deer, or bears have been seen in this quarter; and, if we have found a few bustards or wild geese, they have been so lean that they were as tasteless as wood. This has caused our canoemen very often to sigh for the river of the Illinois, And the beauty of the country and of the landing-places; and for the numbers of wild oxen and deer, and all kinds of fat and excellent game. The navigation of the Mississipi is very slow and tedious, and very difficult—especially in ascending it. It is also very troublesome on account of the gnats and other insects called mosquitoes, midges, and black flies; the heavy rains; the excessive heat; the wretched landing-places,—where one must wade in mud and clay, often half-way up one's legs,—and the bad food. Unless one set out with a canoe half full of provisions, he must expect to fast long; and I find it difficult to believe that our savages up above and in the Illinois country come here to seek for merchandise from so great a distance, with so many difficulties and so many risks. The pirogue of the Baiougoulas that we met traveled no more than 3 or 4 leagues a day. They were badly clad for the season, for they had only half a deerskin to protect them against the cold. There was even an old woman so destitute that she had only a little moss wherewith to cover herself. Many old people among these savages have no other clothing. At last, on the 17th of December, I reached fort Mississipi, after 68 days of navigation in descending the river. This first post is on the south side of the river, 18 leagues from its mouth; there is neither fort, nor bastion, nor intrenchments, nor redouts,—it consists of only a battery of 6 pieces of cannon, and of 6 or 8 placed on the edge of the hill; and of 5 or 6 cabins detached from one another and roofed with palm-leaves. The commandant, Monsieur de Bienville, has there a small and very neat house. I observed, on arriving, that the men were commencing to suffer from hunger, and that flour was beginning to fail. This compelled me to live on the same food as do the savages, so as not to be a burden upon any one; and to content myself with Indian corn, without meat or fish, until the arrival of the ships, which are not expected here before the end of March. If the Mississipi country be settled, the fort will be transported to—or, rather, will be erected among—the Baiougoulas, 40 leagues higher up; for the high waters flood the place—to such an extent that the men spent 4 months in the water; and frequently had to wade mid-Leg deep in it outside of their cabins, although the savages had assured them that this spot was never inundated. The wheat that had been sown was already quite high, when the inundation caused by a heavy sea, in the month of August, carried it away. The garden did not succeed any better; and, besides, there are great numbers of black snakes that eat the lettuce and other vegetables down to the roots. As to the Fort of Bilocchi, 30 leagues from here, not only is the air purer, but the country is more open, and all kinds of garden produce can be grown. Deer abound in the immediate vicinity, and there is very good hunting; and—to temper the heat, which would otherwise be excessive—every day, an hour or two before noon, a wind blows from the sea which is called "the breeze," and it cools the air. Only the water is not good there. It is supplied by a small spring, for the water in the bay is more than brackish, and is not drinkable. This bay, which gives the fort its name, takes its own from the Bilocchi savages, who are nearest to it, and is called the Bay of Bilocchi. There are over 120 men in this fort, which is regularly built; it is armed with 12 pieces of cannon, and as many swivel-guns, mounted on the bastions. Only shallops and the lighter, which carries less than 100 tons, can enter the bay. Ships cannot approach nearer than 5 leagues; and they remain in the roadstead, in front of an island where there is good anchorage, and which is called Isle des Vaisseaux [ship Island]. There are no ports in the whole of that country except that of Pansacolas, which the Spaniards have seized—and where they had not been settled for more than 3 weeks before Monsieur D'Iberville arrived on the coast. The fort of Bilocchi is distant only 30 leagues from that of the Spaniards. [30] The Governor's expedition met only with ill success last year. Having advanced with two vessels, he was surprised to find 4 large ships in the roadstead, and a strong garrison in the fort. Through politeness, he told the officers that he was visiting the coast to drive the English away. Monsieur d'Iberville, who was visiting the Mississipi country, had warned his officers to be careful in their conduct toward the Spaniards, and to receive the Governor well if he came on board his ship,—in accordance with the order which he himself had received to that effect from the Court. He was given a magnificent reception; shouts of Vive le Roy de France! Vive le Roy d'Espagne! Vive Monsieur d'Iberville! were uttered, while many salvos were fired from the cannons; and on his departure he left a letter for Monsieur d'Iberville. It contained his objections, which he knew very well would be laughed at. Hardly had he quitted our ships when he was struck by a squall in the open sea, which caused his ship to spring a leak and founder. He saved himself in a shallop, with a few of his people, and returned to our ships. Our officers, who manifested more regret than they felt, received him very well; they generously supplied him with everything, and had him taken back in a double shallop—with all oars, and with hats off—to his fort of Pansacolas. On his departure he was again saluted with a discharge of all our artillery. He has been made Grand Master of the artillery of Spain; and his Major, who has been made governor, sent a shallop to the fort of Bilocchi to Monsieur de Sauvol [31] to claim through the new major 10 men, pretending that they had deserted. But, in reality, it was only an excuse to visit the fort,—which fears them not,—and for the purpose of procuring linen and clothing because they lack everything. They purchased all that they could get, and said that they would return as soon as they should Learn that our ships had arrived. Although we are already short of provisions,—at least, of French flour; for of pork, peas, and beans there is yet no lack,—the Governor caused the Indian corn to be concealed, and displayed French bread all over the fort. He regaled the major elaborately, with poultry, sucking pig, venison, and Madeira wine; the crew were regaled in proportion; and he gave the major all sorts of provisions for his return, and made the new Governor a present of a valuable gun. However, to go from here to the fort of Bilocchi, it is necessary, at the start, to cross a portage of a good eighth of a league, in mud and water up to one's knees. One must also take a sufficient supply of water to last until Bilocchi is reached, for the little river a quarter of a league from here is brackish—that is, it is mixed with sea water; it discharges into a lake 2 leagues wide. Then, after running 5 or 6 leagues to the southeast, on the sea, along the islands, we cross to the northeast, outside the islands, to 7 leagues from the fort; there the mainland is reached, and is followed to the entrance of the Bay of Bilocchi in sight of the fort, to reach which we must cross the bay. I arrived there on the last day of the year 1700, and was well received by the Governor. I found Father du Ru there. Besides the duties of missionary, he also performs those of chaplain in a very edifying manner. You cannot, My Reverend Father, possibly make a happier choice of a missionary for the Mississipi country, because he has all the qualifications requisite for solidly founding and increasing the new missions that are to be established there. He has a great aptitude for learning languages. I remained only 8 days with him; and it took me eleven days to get here, through the fault of our guide, who lost his way and made us lose a favorable wind, which would have taken us back to the fort on the 3rd day. But after consuming our half cask of water, we filled it with brackish water; this gave more trouble to my canoemen than to me, for I Have accustomed myself to drink but little while traveling. We all fared badly, For we were reduced to Indian corn alone during 4 days; and, after it had been boiled all night in that brackish water, it was as hard as when it was put into the kettle. We sailed on the Mexican sea or gulf from island to island, and the farther we sailed the more we deviated from our route. In this extremity, when we had hardly any brackish water left, we commended ourselves to God. I promised to make a novena in honor of St. Francis Xavier, and to say mass in thanksgiving, as soon as I arrived at the fort. On the following day, we reëmbarked in our canoe; and at one o'clock in the afternoon we found ourselves at Point a Leri which we had doubled 4 days before, whence we crossed over to the islands outside. We made two long crossings of 5 leagues to the south-southeast, and came in sight of the Mississipi woods. Finally, thanks be to God, we entered a river where we quenched our thirst. This stream took us to within an eighth of a league of the Mississipi, where we arrived safely; and, after a portage of an eighth of a league, we found ourselves 8 short leagues from the fort, which we reached on the eleventh day after our departure from Bilocchi. Had it not been for the protection of St. Francis Xavier, I think that we would have wandered a good while longer without water. I left on the following day to go to the Baiougoulas, 40 leagues higher up. I accomplished there only a portion of what I wished to do, for I found very few people there. God granted me the grace of baptizing a little child 2 years old, who was dying, and to whom I opened the gate of Heaven. I came back to this fort 4 days ago. The arrival of the ships, which are expected from day to day, will enable me to decide what I shall do; whether to await the arrival of Monsieur d'Iberville, or to return to the Illinois by the first canoes. However, no ship can enter the Mississipi river if she draws more than 9 or 10 feet of water, For there are only eleven at its mouth. The entrance once passed, there is not a ship that cannot sail a long distance up the river. There are from 15 to 16 brasses of water here; most of the store-ships, which draw only 9 feet, could go far up, for the English ship that Monsieur d'Iberville found last year 8 leagues from here drew still less water. The captain had for his guidance Monsieur de la Salle's relation, and some other very incorrect memoirs that mention the mouth of the river. That Englishman, who was talking about it to Monsieur de Bienville, congratulated himself upon having found the entrance to the Mississipi. One of those who have written of it is an apostate, who presented to King William the relation of the Mississipi, whither he never went; and, after a thousand falsehoods and ridiculous boasts, he pretends to establish the first claims and the incontestable right of King William to the Mississipi, etc. [32]

He depicts in his relation Monsieur de la Salle wounded, with two balls in his head, turning to Father Anastase, a Recollet, to ask for absolution,—(which he certainly could not have had time to do,) for he was killed outright, without saying a word,—and other similar false statements. I know not what the court will decide with reference to the Mississipi, if no silver mines be found there; for they seek not lands to cultivate. There are but few districts, to a distance of 80 leagues from here, that are not flooded by the great overflow of the Mississipi. The mines that have been sought for have not yet been found; but little heed is paid to the lead mines, which are very plentiful toward the Illinois country, and higher up the Mississipi toward the Scioux. There are, in truth, many souls to be won to Jesus Christ along the Mississipi, and still more inland and along the Red River. But there are more people in the Illinois mission alone than I have seen among the Tounika, the Baiougoula and the Houmas; and more than there are among the Bilocchi, the Colapessas, and all the savages of the River Mobile, who are between Fort Bilocchi and that of the Spaniards and the Pansacolas. This does not prevent the missionaries from finding plenty of occupation in each village, wherein the savages seem to me very docile. May the Lord be pleased to send them persons whose zeal will open Heaven to them, and teach them the road to it. It is said that there are numerous tribes up the river of the Mobilians, where I have not been. When Monsieur de la Salle came by sea to look for the mouth of the Mississipi, he went past without noticing it, until he had sailed 15 leagues beyond it; and, being unwilling to show that he had been mistaken, he pushed on to a place 80 leagues from here, where he built a fort. Then, with the design of proceeding in triumph to the Illinois country, he went from his fort to the Senis, savages who dwell inland; and it was from their village that Monsieur Cavelier, the priest, set forth, after his brother's tragic death, to go across the country to the Akansea, thence in a pirogue to the Illinois, and finally to Kebec—where he, with 4 others, embarked to return to France. The Spaniards shortly afterward made themselves masters of the fort of Monsieur de la Salle, in which more than 150 persons died of hardships and disease. The Spaniards took away the remainder of the French whom they found there, and afterward came to the Senis country, where they left 20 men with 3 cordeliers; from that place also they took away two Frenchmen whom they found there, who are now at Fort Bilocchi. It is from those two Frenchmen that our people learned what had become of the sorry remnants of that great expedition of Monsieur de la Salle—who had 400 men with him when he left St. Domingo to seek for the mouth of the Mississipi. Among the Senis the murderers of Monsieur de la Salle became savages like them, after some of them had killed one another. [33] Such, my Reverend Father, are the precise details of my voyage, of all that I was able to learn on the way, and of all that I have seen and noticed and heard here from the commandant, Monsieur de Bienville, brother of Monsieur d'Iberville, who has explored most of this country. I may add that it is to the willows, and not to the mulberry-trees, that the silkworms attach themselves when they spin their cocoons in this country. No settlement could be established in a place where there are more mosquitoes than here. There are some nearly all the year round. To be sure, they gave us a short truce of 7 or 8 days; but at this very moment they are stinging me badly. Even in the month of December, when one should not be troubled with them, there was so great a number of them that I could not write a word; my hands and face were covered with them, and I was unable to sleep at night. One eye was so badly stung by them that I almost lost it. The French at this fort told me that, after the month of March, these insects came in so prodigious a number that the air was obscured; and that they could not distinguish one another at a distance of ten paces. I remain here until Monsieur D'Iberville's arrival, as I am in some sort obliged to do, in order to serve as chaplain to the French at this post, many of whom are Canadians. I have much to suffer from those troublesome flies up to the month of May, and still longer, while ascending the river; for I shall not be able to do so until the mosquitoes will be So abundant that we shall not be able to rest at night, or to land in the daytime to cook some Indian corn, without being devoured by them. God be praised for everything. I must be content with all, whatever it may cost me,—provided this voyage of over a thousand leagues, which I have undertaken for the good of our missions in the upper country, may be of some use to them, as well as my delay, which is caused through my desire better to ascertain the truth. Pray to God for us, my Reverend Father; and believe that

I am with much respect,
My Reverend Father,
Your very humble and very
Obedient servant,
Jacques Gravier.

Since this letter was written,—a year ago, last February, that of the present year, 1702,—the French have abandoned the two posts mentioned above, both that of Mississipi and that of the bay of Bilocchi, to establish themselves on the river called the Mobile, from the name of the savages who have their village there, and are called Mobilians. That river falls into the sea 15 leagues this side of Bilocchi. There are 2 islands at a short distance from its mouth, that form a port for ships; and, on ascending in shallops a distance of 14 leagues up the Mobile, there is a regular fort built by Monsieur d'Iberville, with houses for the soldiers and for some Frenchmen who have come from Canada. The soil is very good. The plan of a town has been traced out, which will be settled by French colonies that will be sent there, if the court deem expedient. There are some Indian villages at distances of one, two, and 3 days' journey from Fort Mobile, whom the new missionaries may instruct in our holy religion. [34]

Les Revenus des Jésuites en Canada,


Nous religieux de la Compagnie de Jesus en Canada soussignez pour obeir a lordre de sa majesté lequel nous a esté notifié par Monsieur le Chevalier de Calliere gouverneur et lieutenant general dans toute la [nouvelle] France s[e]ptentrionale et par Monsieur de Champigny intendant du pays. Certiffions que nos revenus fixes et casuels avec et nos charges et obligations sont tels quil en suit.

Le Roy par sa liberalité nous donne en Canada pour le soutien de nos missions chez toutes les nations estrangeres de ce pays dans l'estendüe de 7. a 800 lieues une pension sur l'estat de 5000 livres
De plus par gratiffication sur les droits d'entrée 315.  
Item pour le 3e. Regent du College de Quebec 400.  
Il y a encore une aumosne en un don que fait sa majesté aux Abnaquis et aux iroquois convertis en la foy pour assister les orphelins, veuves, vieillards et pauvres sans que ny nous ny les missionnaires qui ont soin de ces sauvages en proffitions en aucune maniere ce don et aumosne est de la somme de 1500  
Notre maison de la basse ville est loüéé 300  
Celle de la hautte ville est loüéé 120.  
Notre moulin attenant au College sans frais extraordinaires peut donner de revenu 300.  
Une petite terre vis a vis de quebec a la Coste de Lauzon 30.  
La terre de nostre Dame des anges ou il y a moulins, meteries cens et rentes et passages sur la petite Riviere Saint Charles 1205.  
La Seigneurie de Sillery a cause des rentes des tenanciers de la pesche d'anguilles et d'un moulin environ 250.  
La Terre de Saint Gabriel dont le sol est presque partout steril et ingrat environ 40.  
La Seigneurie de Batiscan en rentes seigneurialles et pour le moulin environ 300.  
Le Cap de la Magdelaine qui est une terre sabloneuse sans bois de chauffage, sterile et abandonnéé presque de tous les habitans qui s'y estoient establis peut produire 160.  
La petite terre des trois Rivieres environ 60.  
La Prairie de la Magdelaine et de Saint Lambert ou il y a moulin, terre du domaine et rentes de quelques tenanciers qui ont resté et presque tous ruinez par la guerre des Iroquois 385.  
Le casuel soit en lots et ventes ou vieilles dettes ou autres choses semblables 280.  
Notre revenu en France frais faits et charges payéés que nous recevons icy peut monter pour le plus a 4000.  
Ainsy tout le revenu des peres Jesuites de Canada peut se monter a la somme de 13145  

Il est vray que quant les annéés sont bonnes il peut augmenter de 1000 les ou environ mais aussy quant elles sont mauvaises ou par les saisons, ou par la guerre qui fait tout encherire dans les pays eloignez les revenus diminuent e la depense augmente beaucoup.


Sur le revenu cy dessus il faut nourir habiller fournir de necessaire quarante huit religieux que nous sommes, neuf domestiques perpetuels que l'on nomme donnez quasi tous ageez et usez dans les missions de mesme que la plus part des peres qui y ont vieilly et qui restent cassez des rudes travaux de telles missions; nous avons encore dans nos missions du moins quatorze hommes ou serviteurs a gages pour mener en canot les missionnaires aux lieux eloignez ou demeurent les sauvages; les fournir de bois et les ayder dans d'autres choses semblables.

Il faut adjoutter l'entretien de nos sacristies, de nos eglises ou chapelles dans les missions, les reparãons de nos batimens les depenses pour tant de voyages pour les allez et venus des missionnaires, sur tout les grands frais pour porter aux missionnaires á 3 ou 4 et a 500 lieues de Quebec toutes leur necessitez les aumosnes aux pauvres françois et sauvages. Ainsy nous n'avons que tres mediocrement pour fournir a tant de depenses et outre plus de 6000 les que nous devons actuellement, nous avons a payer shaque annéé une rente de 1000 les amortissable

Nos principaux etablissemens sont le College de Quebec. ou il y a 18 religieux, c'est la ou se retirent ceux que les rudes fatigues de ces missions ont mis hors de service

La residance de Montreal ou il y a quatre religieux,

La mission des iroquois du Sault proche Montreal ou il y a quatre peres

Celle de Saint François de salle composéé d'Abnaquis, de Loups et de Sokokis ou il y a 2 prestres missionnaires Jesuites

La mission des Abnaquis de lacadie pres des Anglois ou il y a trois peres missionnaires,dans les missions desOutaois, Islinois,Miamis, Scioux et autres nations jusqu'avant dans le Mississipy ils sont onze prestres Jesuites et quatre freres.

A la mission de Laurette ou sont les restes de la nation Huronne un prestre Jesuite

De plus deux et quelques fois trois peres du College de Quebec partent le printemps pour les missions des Papinachois, de ta doussac, de Chikoutimy, des Mistassins, et du lac Saint Jean, et n'en reviennent que bien avant dans l'automne et souvent mesme quelqu'un d'eux y passe aussy l'hyver, fait a Quebec ce 4e. Octobre 1701 et en foy de ce que dessus nous signé la presente declaration comme tres veritable, ainsy signé martin bouvart recteur du College de Quebec et superieur des missions de la Compagnie de Jesus dans la Nouvelle France, François Vallant et Pierre Rafaix

Revenues of the Jesuits in Canada, 1701.

We, the undersigned, religious of the Society of Jesus in Canada, in obedience to the order of His Majesty which has been made known to us by Monsieur the Chevalier de Calliere, governor and lieutenant-general in all northern New 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:

The King in his liberality gives us in Canada, for the maintenance of our missions among all the foreign nations of this country, in an extent of 7 to 800 leagues, a pension from the state of 5000 livres
And, besides, in a gratuity from the custom-duties 315  
Item, for the 3rd instructor at the College of Quebec 400  
There is also a charitable donation, a gift made by His Majesty to the Abnaquis and the Iroquois converted to the faith, to assist the orphans, widows, old people, and poor, from which neither we nor the missionaries who have charge of those savages have profited in any manner. This gift and alms amounts to 1,500  
Our house in the lower town is rented at 300  
That in the upper town is rented at 120  
Our mill close by the College may, unless there be unusual expenses, yield a revenue of 300  
A little piece of land opposite Quebec, at Coste de Lauzon 30  
The estate of Nostre Dame des Anges, where there are mills and farms, cens et rentes, and tolls upon the little River St. Charles 1,205  
The Seigniory of Sillery, on account of the rents from the tenants, the eel-fisheries, and a mill, about 250  
The Estate of St. Gabriel, the soil of which is almost everywhere sterile and unprofitable, about 40  
The Seigniory of Batiscan, in seigniorial rents and for the mill, about 300  
Cap de la Magdelaine, which is a sandy piece of land, without trees for firewood, sterile, and abandoned by nearly all the habitans who had established themselves there, may yield 160  
The little piece of land at Three Rivers, about 60  
La Prairie de la Magdelaine, and [the parish] of St. Lambert, where there is a mill and domain, and rents from some tenants who have remained and are almost all ruined by the Iroquois war 385  
The perquisites in either lots [lods] et ventes, or old debts, or similar matters 280  
Our revenue in France, expenses and charges defrayed, which we receive here, may amount, at the most, to 4,000  
Thus all the revenues of the Jesuit fathers of Canada may amount to 13,145  

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 become dear in distant countries,—the revenues diminish accordingly, and the expenses greatly increase. [35]


Script reproduction of the financial statement


From the above Revenues we must feed, clothe, and furnish with necessaries our fathers and brethren who are here,—forty-eight religious, and nine perpetual domestics called "donnez," almost all of whom are aged and worn out in the missions; so are also most of the fathers, who have grown old and are broken down by the arduous labors of such missions. We have also in our missions at least fourteen men as hired servants, to take the missionaries in canoes to the remote places where the savages live, to furnish them with wood, and to help them in other like ways.

There must be added the maintenance of our sacristies, and of our churches or chapels in the missions, and the repairs of our buildings; the expenses for all the journeys of the missionaries coming and going; and, above all, the great outlays for carrying to the missionaries, at 3, 4, and 500 leagues from Quebec, all their necessaries, and the alms to the poor, both French and savages. Thus we have only a very moderate amount with which to provide for so many expenses; and, besides more than 6,000 livres that we actually owe, we have to pay annually an amortisable rent of 1,000 livres.

Our principal establishments are:

The College of Quebec, where there are 18 religious; it is to this place that those whom the severe fatigues of these missions have rendered unfit for service retire.

The residence of Montreal, where there are four religious.

The mission of the Iroquois of The Sault, near Montreal, where there are four fathers.

That of St. François de Salle, composed of Abnaquis, Loups, and Sokokis, where there are 2 priests, Jesuit missionaries.

The mission of the Abnaquis of Acadia, near the English, where there are three missionary fathers. In the missions of the Outaois, Islinois, Miamis, Scioux, and other nations, to the frontier of the Mississipy region, there are eleven Jesuit priests and four brethren.

At the mission of Laurette, where dwell the remnant of the Huron nation, one Jesuit priest.

Moreover, two and sometimes three fathers from the College of Quebec leave in the spring for the missions of the Papinachois, of Tadoussac, of Chikoutimy, of the Mistassins, and of Lake St. John, and do not return until far into the autumn; and often some one of them even spends there the winter also. Done at Quebec, this 4th of October, 1701; and, in testimony of the above, we have signed the present declaration as exact and true. Signed, therefore, Martin Bouvart, rector of the College of Quebec, and superior of the missions of the Society of Jesus in New France; François Vallant, and Pierre Rafaix.

Lettre du R. P. Étienne de Carheil à M. Louis Hector de Callières, gouverneur.

A Michilimakina le 30 daoust 1702


Si jaurois pu croire que ma descente la bas vous dut estre de quelque plus grande utilité que ne lont esté touttes les lettres que je vous ay ecrites continuellement pendant quinze ans entiers pour vous informer exactement, selon Dieu, selon la verité, selon ma conscience de tout ce qui etoit absolument necessaire pour lavancement de nos missions et pour le bien de la colonie, je naurois pas manque de descendre et je me serois fait un devoir de vous aller expliquer de vive voix ce que je naurois pas assez declaré par mes lettres: mais comme je nay rien omis de ce que je me croyois obligé de vous faire connoitre, et que je ne vois pas ce qui se pouvoit ajouter a tant de lettres, je suis entierement convaincu que ma descente ne pouvoit que vous estre inutile apres touttes les connoissances quelles vous ont données de letat ou nous avons esté jusques a present et ou nous sommes encore aujourdhuy.

Mais quand je ne vous aurois jamais rien ecrit il ne faut quavoir veu tout ce que se voit tous les jours a Montreal, et ce que vous navez veu que trop souvent vous meme pour emporter avec vous en France, de quoy informer Sa Majesté et lobliger a secourir nos missions qui sont reduites a une telle extremité, que nous ne pouvons plus les soutenir contre une multitude infinie de desordres de brutalitéz, de violences, dinjustices, dimpietez, dimpudicitéz dinsolences, de mepris, dinsultes que linfame et funeste traitte deau de vie y cause universellement dans touttes les nations dicy haut ou lon vient la faire allant de villages en villages, et courant les lacs avec une quantité prodigieuse de barils, sans garder aucune mesure; si Sa Majesté avoit veu une seule fois ce qui se passe et icy et a Montreal dans tous les temps quon y fait cette malheureuse traitte. Je suis seur qu'elle ne balanceroit pas un moment des la premiere veue a la deffendre pour jamais sous les plus vigoureuses peines.

Dans le desespoir ou nous sommes il ne nous reste point de party a prendre que celuy de quitter nos missions et de les abandonner aux traitteurs deau de vie, pour y etablir le domaine de leur traitte, de lyvrognerie et de limpureté, cest ce que nous allons proposer a nos Superieurs en Canada et en France, y etant contraints par letat dinutilité et dimpuissance de frere aucun fruit ou lon nous a reduits par la permission de cette deplorable traitte, permission que lon na obtenue de Sa Majesté que sous un pretexte aparent de raisons que lon scait estre fausses, permission quelle n'acorderoit point, si ceux ausquels elle se raporte de la verité, la luy fesoient connoitre, comme ils la connoissent eux memes et tout le Canada avec eux, permission enfin qui est le plus grand mal, et le principe de tous les maux qui arivent presentement au pays, et surtout des naufrages dont on nentendoit point parler avant elle, et que nous aprenons maintenant ariver presque touttes les années ou dans la venue ou dans le retour de nos vaisseaux en France par une juste punition de Dieu qui fait perir par leau ce qu'on avoit mal acquis par leau de vie, ou qui dussent empecher le transport pour prevenir le mauvais usage quon en feroit. Si cette permission nest revoquée par une defense contraire, nous navons plus que faire de demeurer dans aucune de nos missions dicy haut pour y perdre le reste de notre vie et touttes nos peines dans une pure inutilité sous lempire dune continuelle yvrognerie et dune impureté universelle quon ne permet pas moins aux traitteurs deau de vie que la traitte meme dont elle est et laccompagnement et la suitte.

Si Sa Majesté veut sauver nos missions et soutenir letablissement de la religion comme nous ne doutons point quelle ne le veille, nous la suplions tres humblement de croire ce qui est tres veritable quil ny a point d'autre moyen de le pouvoir faire que dabolir entierement les deux infames comerces qui les ont reduites a la necessité prochaine de perir, et qui ne tarderont pas a achever de les perdre s'ils ne sont au plustost abolis par ses ordres, et mis hors detat detre retablis, le premier est le comerce de leau de vie, le second est le comerce des femmes sauvages avec les François, qui sont tous deux aussy publicqs lun que lautre, sans que nous puissions y remedier pour netre pas appuyez des comandants, qui bien loin de les vouloir empecher sur les remontrances que nous leur ferons, les exercent eux memes avec plus de liberté que leurs Inferieurs, et les autorisent tellement par leur exemple, qu'en le regardant ou sen fait une permission generale, et une assurance d'impunité, qui les rend communs a tout ce qui vient icy de François en traitte; de sorte que tous les vilages de nos sauvages ne sont plus que des cabarets pour lyvrognerie et que des sodomes pour limpureté, d'ou il faut que nous nous retirions en les abandonnant a la juste colere de Dieu et a ses vengeances.

Vous voyez par la que de quelque maniere quon etablisse le comerce François avec nos sauvages, si lon veut nous retenir encore parmy eux, nous y conserver et nous y soutenir en qualité de missionaires dans le libre exercice de nos fonctions avec esperance d'y faire du fruit, il faut nous delivrer des comandans, et de leurs garnisons, qui bien loin detre necessessaires sont au contraire si pernicieuses que nous pouvons dire avec verité quelles sont le plus grand mal de nos missions, ne servant qua nuire et a la traitte ordinaire des voyageurs et a lavancement de la foy. Depuis quelles sont venues icy haut nous ny avons plus veu quune coruption universelle quelles ont repandue par leur vie scandaleuse dans tous les esprits de ces nations qui en sont presentement infectées, tout le service pretendu quon veut faire acroire quelles rendent au Roy se reduit a 4 principales ocupations dont nous vous prions instament de bien informer Sa Majesté.

La premiere est de tenir un cabaret public deau de vie ou ils la traittent continuellement aux sauvages qui ne cessent point de senyvrer, quelques opositions que nous y puissions faire. Cest en vain que nous leur parlons pour les areter, nous ny gagnons rien que detre acusez de nous oposer nous memes au service du Roy en voulant empecher une traitte quil leur a permise.

La seconde ocupation des soldats est detre envoyez dun poste a lautre par les comandants pour y porter leurs marchandises et leur eau de vie apres setre acomodez ensemble, sans que les uns et les autres ayent d'autre soin que celuy de sentr'ayder mutuellement dans leur comerce, et afin que cela sexecute plus facilement des deux costez comme ils le souhaitent, Il faut que les comandans se ferment les yeux pour user de connivence et ne voir aucun des desordres de leurs soldats quelques visibles publics et scandaleux qu'ils soient, et il faut reciproquement que les soldats, outre quils traittent leurs propres marchandises, se fassent encore les traiteurs de celles de leurs comandans, qui souvent meme les obligent d'en acheter deux pour leur permettre daller ou ils veulent.

Leur troisiême ocupation est de faire de leur fort un lieu que j'ay honte d'apeler par son propre nom, ou les femmes ont apris que leurs corps pouvoient tenir lieu de marchandises, et quils y seroient encore mieux receus que le castor, de sorte que cest la presentement le comerce le plus ordinaire le plus continuel, et le plus en vogue quelques efforts que puissent faire tous les missionnaires pour le denier et pour l'abolir, au lieu de diminuer il s'augmente et se multiplie tous les jours de plus en plus; tous les soldats tiennent table ouverte a touttes les femmes de leur connoissance dans leur maison: depuis le matin jusques au soir, elles y passent les journées entieres les unes apres les autres assises a leur feu et souvent sur leur lit dans des entretiens et des actions propres de leur comerce qui ne sacheve ordinairement que la nuit la foule etant trop grande pendant la journée pour quils puissent lachever, quoyque souvent aussy ils sentrelaissent une maison vuide de monde pour nen pas differer lachevement jusques a la nuit.

La 4e. ocupation des soldats est celle du jeu qui dans les temps ou les traiteurs se rasemblent, il y va quelques fois a un tel excez que n'etans pas contens dy passer le jour, ils y passent encore la nuit entiere, et il narive meme que trop souvent dans lardeur de leur aplication quils ne se souviennent pas, ou s'ils sen souviennent quils meprisent de garder les festes; mais ce qui augmente en cela leur desordre, cest quun atachement si opiniatre au jeu nest presque jamais sans une ivrognerie comune de tous les joueurs, et que lyvrognerie est presque toujours suivie de querelles qui sexcitent entreux, lesquelles venant a paroitre publiquement aux yeux des sauvages causent parmy eux trois grands scandales, le premier de les voir vures; le second de les voir sentre-batre avec fureur les uns contre les autres jusqua prendre les fusils en main pour sentretuer, le troisieme de voir que les missionnaires ny peuvent aporter aucun remede.

Voila Monseigneur les 4 seules ocupations des garnisons que lon a tenuees icy pendant tant d'années, si ces sortes d'occupations peuvent sapeller service du roy, j avoue quelles luy ont toujours actuellement rendu quelquun de ces quatre services; mais je n'en ay point veu dautres que ces quatre la; et par consequent si on ne juge pas que ce soit la des services necessaires au Roy, il ny a point eu jusques a present de necessité de les tenir icy, et apres leur rapel il ny en a point de les retablir. cependant comme cette necessité pretendue des garnisons est lunique pretexte que lon prend pour y envoyer des commandants, nous vous prions Monseigeur detre bien persuadé de la fausseté de ce pretexte, afin que sous ces specieuses aparences du service du Roy on ne se fasse pas une obligation den envoyer, puisquen effet, les comandants ne viennent icy que pour y faire la traitte de concert avec leurs soldats sans se mettre en peine de tout le reste. Ils nont de liaison avec les missionnaires que par les endroits ou ils se les croyent utiles pour leurs temporel, et hors de la ils leur sont contraires des quils veulent soposer au desordre qui ne s acordant ny avec le service de Dieu ny avec le service du Roy, ne laisse pas detre avantageux a leur comerce auquel il nest rien quils ne sacrifient. Cest la lunique cause qui a mis le dereglement dans nos missions et qui les a tellement desolées par lascendant que les comandants ont pris sur les missionaires en sattirant toutte lautorité soit a legard des François soit a legard des sauvages, que nous navons plus dautre pouvoir que celuy d'y travailler inutilement sous leur domination qui s'est elevé jusqua nous faire des crimes civils et des accusations pretendues juridiques des propres fonctions de notre etat et de notre devoir. Comme la toujours fait Monsieur de la Motte qui ne vouloit pas meme que nous nous servissions du mot de desordres, et qui intenta en effet procez au pere prieur pour sen estre servi!

Avant quil y eut icy des comandans les missionnaires etoient ecoutez des traitteurs parcequ'alors ils aprehendoient de leur donner ocasion de faire des plaintes touchant leur conduite, qui obligeassent les puissances de les rapeler et de ne leur plus acorder de congez. Mais depuis qu'on a envoyé des commandants tout ce quil y a de desordres necessaires pour faire la traitte telle quon la veut, ne passe plus pour desordre, et il ny a plus de plaintes a en faire par la raison que ce sont leurs meilleurs moyens pour la fin quils pretendent et quils sont tous egalement daccord en cela. Les comandants ne se plaignent pas des traitteurs quoyquils fassent parcequils les engagent presque tous a les ayder dans leur traitte, et les traitteurs assurez quils sont par ces engagements quon ne se plaindra pas deux et qu au contraire on se fera un interet de les soutenir, se donnent touttes sortes de libertez sans rien craindre du costé des missionaires et bien loin den rien craindre il arrive mesme que les comandans et tous les traitteurs conspirent ensemble dun comun concert a se plaindre des missionaires aupres des puissances superieures et a les denier le plus quils peuvent pour les rendre odieux a tout le public, esperant dempecher par la que les acusacions quils pouroient former de leurs dereglemens ne soient ecoutées. Et en effet elles ne le sont point, les missionnaires se trouvent reduits au silence, a lynaction, a limpuissance et a une privation generale de toutte autorité.

Que si quelques fois les comandans sont obligez de faire en de certaines rencontres quelque chose de contraire aux libertez ordinaires du comerce des voyageurs alors ces officers pour detourner la haine et lalienation des esprits que ces obligations leur pouroient causer, et pour s'en decharger sur les missionnaires usent dune adresse, dont nous neussions jamais eu le moindre soubcon, si quelques uns qui le scavoient avec assurance neussent bien voulu nous en avertir. Ce quils font donc dans ces occasions cest quils affectent de nous venir voir plus souvent qua lordinaire quils nous parlent, quils nous entretiennent et nous proposent ce quils doivent faire comme s'ils avoient besoin sur cela de nos avis et ensuitte sous ces aparences de visites dentretient et de consultations ils donnent a entendre aux traitteurs que cest par nos remontrances et nos sollicitations quils sont contraints dagir de la sorte malgré quils [en] ayent, n'est ce pas la une etrange conduite pour des commandans contre des personnes de notre caractere quils devroient soutenir dans leur employ, et apuyer de leur autorité.

Il est encore important de vous avertir dun abus que les comandans ont introduit a legard des sauvages, et qui na eu que de mauvais effets, cest que netant pas contens du gain continuel quils font par la traitte, ils ont encore trouvé le moyen de persuader a la cour quil falloit leur fournir un fond considerable pour faire des presens aux sauvages soit afin de les engager dans nos interets dans nos desseins, et dans nos entreprises, soit afin de les recompenser quand ils auroient rendu des services qui seroient jugez en etre dignes. Voila a la verité un beau pretexte qui a je ne scais quoy de fort plausible dans Ses aparences, mais il est certain quil ny a jamais eu rien de moins necessaire a legard des sauvages que de prendre la voye des presens pour les faire agir, cest a quoy ils ne pensoient point, et a quoy on nauroit jamais deu penser non plus qu'eux. Ils agisoient auparavant deux memes par un mouvement purement volontaire, ou tout au plus par lynvitation de quelque. Branche de porcelaine ou de quelque collier quon leur presentoit sans quils eussent dautre ideé que celle la qui leur etoit propre et selon leur voutume. Il ne falloit rien daventage pour leur faire faire. Ce quon vouloit que de se servir de leurs manieres, mais le desir davoir un fond quon put menager vomme ou voudroit avec des epargnes dun grand profit, ayant porté a persuader a la cour quil etoit necessaire que les comandans eussent de quoy leur faire des presens, tout leffet que cela a produit du costé des sauvages cest de leur aprendre a estre difficiles a se faire prier, a contraindre dacheter touttes leurs actions et tous leurs mouvemens a force de presens, et enfin a ne rien acorder de ce quils deuvoient faire volontairement qua ce quon leur donne et quils exigent.

Mais ce quil y a de plus facheux dans cette conduitte cest quelle ne leur a pas seulement apris a ne vouloir presque jamais rien faire de ce quon veut deux, a moins dun present qui les y determine, elle leur a encore outre cela apris a user dune infinité dadresses, de feintes, et dintrigues entreux a imaginer mille desseins dentreprises pretendues, de mouvemens de guerre, de ruptures de paix, dembassades chez les ennemis et de negotiations avec eux, de liaisons de comerce avec langlois et aux choses de cette nature dont ils font semblant davoir resolu lexecution pour engager par la les comandans a se croire obligez de les areter par des presens, voila leffet que cette nouvelle coutume a produit dans lesprit des sauvages, de sorte quils nont plus aujourdhuy dautre exercice ny dautre ocupation aupres des comandans que celle de sentr'ayder les uns les autres a les tromper et a se jouer d'eux en se fesant donner des presens sous tous les faux pretextes que je viens de dire.

Mais avec tout cela quelques presens quon leur fasse ce n'est presque rien du comparaison du fond que la cour fournit aux comandans pour un tel usage, les presens quon leur fait se reduisent presque tous a la seule depense du tabac qui est la plus ordinaire parceque les sauvages l'ayment avec passion et ne peuvent se passer de fumer continuellement tant ils y sont accoutumez de leur jeunesse. Cependant il sen faut beaucoup que ce quon leur en donne sucessivement et peu a peu dans les occasions quon croit necessaires ne monte a une telle somme que ce qui reste du fond ne soit de beaucoup plus grand et plus considerable; il est fort a craindre que les comandans ne sen acomodent, et que par des epargnes bien menagées ils nen reservent la meilleure partie pour leurs propres usages. C est pourtant sur quoy nous n'avons rien a voir ny a dire; c'est a ceux qui sont etablis pour cela d'y prendre garde et dempesher par leur vigilance touttes les fraudes qui sy pouroient faire et de ne pas souffrir que sous pretexte dune fausse necessité lon engage le Roy a de grande depenses inutiles.

Il faut ajouter a tout ce que je viens de dire touchant les commandans que comme il ny a point dautre necessité den envoyer icy parmy nos sauvages que celle dy tenir des garnisons qui doivent estre commandées par quelquun il est entierement inutile dy en envoyer parceque les garnisons y sont elles memes entierement inutiles. Si ce nest a la traitte des commandans et a leur propre traitte, elles ne sont utiles qua ces deux traittes pour tout le reste elles ne servent de rien ny aux sauvages ny aux voyageurs ausquels il apartient de traitter, ny aux missionnaires. Premierement elles ne servent de rien aux sauvages pour leffet de la guerre soit dans leurs vilages soit hors de leurs villages. dans les vilages elles ne servent de rien par la raison que la maniere comune a tous ces peuples barbares de se faire la guerre nest pas comme la notre daller attaquer les vilages les uns des autres parcequils ne veulent jamais sexposer au hazard de perdre du monde. Ce qui est inevitable dans ces sortes dattaques; ils ne se font la guerre que par surprise, que par des embuscades que par des aproches cachées par des decharges subites et impreueues dans les champs, dans les bois, a la peche a la chasse et par tout ailleurs ou ils sentre de couvrent hors de leurs vilages, de sorte que par cette raison les garnisons ne leur servent de rien pour les soutenir et elles leur servent encore moins hors des vilages ou les garnisons non seulement ne doivent pas les suivre, mais ne le peuvent pas, netant point capables des mouvemens quils font dans les bois et dans touttes sortes de lieux impraticables a tous autres qua eux et aux betes, tant sen faut quelles pussent les y ayder. Il faudroit au contraire que les sauvages eux memes les aydassent a se tirer de lembaras ou elles se trouveroient dans des marshes aussi difficiles que le sont celles de ces epaisses forests, que lexercice de lart militaire ne leur a point apris ny pu aprendre, il est donc evident que les garnisons ne servent de rien aux sauvages ny dans leurs vilages ny hors leurs vilages, elles leur sont entierement inutiles pour leur conservation et pour leur deffense.

Que si elles sont inutiles aux sauvages elles le sont bien davantage aux voyageurs qui recoivent des congez pour venir icy haut faire leur traitte et qui seuls ont droit de la faire a lexclusion de tous les aű qui ny ont aucun droit, et qui ne sauroient la faire sans injustice. Cest pourtant la lunique ocupation de touttes les garnisons, cest leur unique employ qui nest pas seulement inutile aux voyageurs, mais qui leur est extremement nuisible et qui leur fait tort dautant de castor et dau pelleteries quils en amassent. Enfin les garnisons ne sont pas plus utiles aux missionaires quaux sauvages et quaux voyageurs. Il seroit du devoir du comandant de sen servir pour les missionaires en diverses occasions ou il sont souvent obligez de les aller prier de vouloir bien reprimer les desordres et les insolences publiques des traitteurs deau de vie et des voyageurs fugitifs qui vont dune mission a l'autre enyvrer les sauvages et debaucher les femmes dans touttes les cabanes ou ils vont loger, ou ils vont les visiter, les entretenir, les caresser, les solliciter, et acheter la jouissance de leur corps, toutte la reponse que nous recevons des comandans a ces sortes de prieres. Cest quils nont pas de monde pour le pouvoir faire, soit parceque les garnisons ne sont pas assez nombreuses, soit parcequencore bien quelles le fussent beaucoup davantage elles ne leur seroient pas pour cela dun plus grand secours parceque les voyageurs et les garnisons sont dintelligence pour sentresoutenir contre les missionnaires et dans des desordres qui leur sont communs, et pour eluder tous les ordres que les comandans leur pouvoient donner. Sils vouloient prendre le party des missionnaires, mais ils ne le veulent pas ne pensant eux memes qua sacomoder avec les uns et les autres pour la traitte; depuis que Sa Majesté a voulu que les Voyageurs et les voureurs de bois fussent rapelez et que pour faciliter leur retour elle leur a acordé lamnistie. Ce rapel nayant pas plu a tout le monde, plusieres personnes dautorité qui entretenoient icy haut diverses corespondances de traitte nont pas laissé de le continuer envoyant secretement touttes les années a leurs corespondans fugitifs de quoy faire une nouvelle traitte, et ce qui est de plus surprenant. Cest que ceux meme quon envoyoit sous pretexte de venir aporter lamnistie ny venoient en effet que pour traitter pendant tous le temps la quils prolongeoient a dessein le plus quils pouvoient pour le mieux faire en debitant touttes leurs denrées a ceux quils venoient rapeler, et ausquils par une conduitte toutte oposée a leur devoir ils fournissoient de quoy recomencer la traitte a leur profit. Cest ainsy que depuis tant danneés on demande toujours de nouvelles amnisties parcequon rend toujours les precedentes inutiles de la maniere que je viens de dire.

Vous voyez Monseigneur. que je me suis beaucoup etendu sur les articles des comandans et des garnisons pour vous faire comprendre que cest de la quest venu tout le malheur de nos missions. Ce sont les comandans, ce sont les garnisons qui se joignant avec tous les traiteurs deau de vie, les ont entierement desolées par lyvrognerie et par une impudicité presque universelles que lon y a etablies par une continuelle impunité de lune et de lautre, que les puissances civiles ne tolerent pas seulement mais quelles permettent, puisque les pouvant empecher elles ne les empecherent pas. Je ne crains donc point de vous declarer que si lon remet icy haut dans nos missions des comandans traiteurs et des garnisons de soldats traitteurs, nous ne doutons point que nous ne soyons contraintes de les quitter ny pouvant rien faire pour le salut des ames. Cest a vous dynformer Sa Majesté de lextremité ou lon nous a reduits, et de luy demander pour nous notre delivrance afin que nous puissions travailler a letablissement de la religion sans les empechemens, qui lont areté jusqua present.

Que si touchée des remontrances que vous luy ferez elle prenoit le party de ne plus envoyer icy haut de garnisons et de comandans, et quelle voulut ensuitte savoir ce qui seroit le plus avantageux a nos missions et a la colonie, vous demandez que nous vous declarions la-dessus nos sentimens, que nous vous disions sil voudroit mieux retablir les 25 congez, ou etablir des postes que la Compagnie entretiendroit elle meme par autant de personnes quelle jugeroit necessaires quelle choisiroit et quelle envoyeroit y faire son comerce. Je vous diray donc premierement que votre demande supose ce quil seroit a desirer de pouvoir ne point suposer, elle supose que la colonie doit venir icy haut faire son comerce parmy nos sauvages comme elle si est acoutumée depuis plusiers années, mais il seroit fort a souhaiter que ce ne fut point la colonie qui vint aux sauvages, et que ce fut au contraire les sauvages qui allassent a la colonie et qui descendissent a Montreal pour y faire leur traitte comme ils ly fesoient au comencement. au grand profit de tout le peuple qui y participoit et a qui leur descente epargnoit touttes les peines que lon prend presentement et tous les dangers ausqels la jeunesse sexpose pour venir dans les diverses nations dicy haut.

De quelque maniere qu'on regarde le comerce soit par raport a lynterest commun du Canada, soit par raport a lavancement du Christianisme, il seroit infinimen plus avantageux pour lun et pour l'autre que les sauvages l'allassent faire eux memes a montreal par une descente annuelle que denvoyer les François icy ly faire de la facon quils y viennent touttes les années. Je ne croy pas quil soit necessaire d'en marquer les raisons tant elles sont evidentes. Car il est visible quun tel ne sert qua depeupler le pays de toutte la jeunesse, qua affoiblir les maisons de monde, qua priver les femmes de leurs maris, les peres et les meres du secours de leurs enfans et les sœurs du secours de leurs freres. Qua exposer ceux qui font les voyages a mille dangers et du corps et de lame, qua les engager a une infinité de depenses en partie necessaires en partie inutiles en partie criminelles; qua les acoutumer a ne point travailler et ensuite a se degouter pour toujours du travail et a vivre dans une continuelle oisiveté qua les mettre dans lympuissance daprendre aucun metier. Qua les rendre par la inutiles a eux memes a leurs familles et a tout le public setant rendus incapables des ocupãons les plus comunes et les plus necessaires aux hommes; mais ce nest pas seulement par ces endroits la qui regardent le corps—cest beaucoup plus par ceux qui regardent lame que cet envoy des François parmy les sauvages doit paroitre leur etre infinimenuisible. Cest les eloigner de tous les lieux sacrez cest les separer de touttes les personnes ecclesiastiques et religieuses cest les abandonner a une privation generalle de touttes les instructions soit publiques soit particulieres, de tous les exercices de piété et enfin de touttes les assistances spirituelles du Cristianisme pour les envoyer dans des pays sauvages et des lieux presque impracticables au travers de mille dangers tantost par terre et tantost par eau y faire dune maniere basse servile et honteuse un comerce qui se feroit bien plus avantageusemen Montreal et ou le peuple y auroit beaucoup plus de part (comme il le devroit par justice) quil ny en a, et quil ny en aura tandis quil se fera icy.

Ce qui seroit donc le plus a souhaiter pour delivrer la colonie de touttes ces sortes de maux et du corps et de lame inseparablement attachez au comerce dicy haut, qui a le bien prendre cause plus de perte que de gain au pays parcequen moins temps quil luy aquiert un peu de castor il le prive pour toujours du travail de toutte la jeunesse en laccoutumant a ne pouvoir et a ne vouloir plus jamais travailler, Ce qui seroit dis je le plus a souhaiter, seroit darcher la jeunesse dans le pays, de ly fixer le plus quon pouroit, de luy conserver le fruit et la jouissance de son travail par la raison quelle lenrichiroit plus par un travail constant et assidu que par lacquisition difficile, incertaine et passagere dun peu de castor. De sorte que le plus seur et le plus efficace de tous les moyens pour mettre la colonie a son ayse seroit de luy pouvuoir assurer la demeure de toutte la jeunesse dans le pays pour le travail et la dessente des nations dicy haut a Montreal pour le comerce, parceque le travail des uns et le comerce des autres contribueroit a lenrichir.

Tandis que tous les jeunes gens ne se donneront point dau ocupation que celle de venir icy chercher le castor, il ne faut pas esperer que la colonie soit jamais a son ayse; elle sera toujours pauvre puisque toujours elle perdra par la ce qui pouroit le plus lenrichir—Je veux dire le travail de toutte la jeunesse. Voila Monseigneur le moyen que jestime le plus important pour le bien et corporel et spirituel de la colonie et quil faudroit le plus representer en conscience a Sa Majesté luy en fesant bien comprendre la necessité afin quelle donnat ordre quon travaillat a rechercher et a trouver touttes les voyes possibles de retablir le comerce des sauvages et de le fixer a Montreal pour retenir dans le pays toutte la jeunesse, et pour l'accoutumer au travail des son bas age. Il faudroit pour cela dompter L Iroquois entierement, se lassu jetir et posseder son pays qui vaut beaucoup mieux que tous ceux des nations dicy haut. Cest le seul ennemy que nous ayions a craindre et qui nous dispute le comerce de nos sauvages quil veut attacher a langlois. Quelle raison a ton eue de ne le pas vouloir detruire dans la guerre que lon avoit entreprise contre luy? Pourquoy la ton voulu conserver? Que perdroit on en le detruisant etant si peu nombreux quil est presentement; sa destruction et la posession de son pays nous assureront le comerce de touttes les nations sauvages dicy haut; il ny auroit plus qua regler les bornes de notre comerce et de celuy du Misissipy pour que lun ne nuisit point a l'autre. On na conservé lIroquois dans la guerre presente que pour la traitte de Catarakouy, et la traitte de Cataracouy netoit que pour ceux qui conservoient. Ce fort et cet ennemy, don vient le castor des Iroquois que des terres dicy haut quil usurpe sur nos sauvages ausquels tout ce castor apartient! Perdrions nous le castor de lIroquois par sa destruction, ne reviendroit il pas a nos sauvages et d'eux a la colonie.

Mais apres tout sil est impossible de fixer le comerce de nos sauvages a montreal et consequamment de retenir la jeunesse Françoise dans leurs familles pour sy exercer au travail; sil est necessaire dune necessité absolue et insurmontable que lon vienne icy haut faire le comerce parmy nos sauvages. Vous demandez dans cette suposition que je voudrois etre fausse, lequel vaudroit mieux ou de retablir les 25 congez sans aucuns postes, ou etablir des postes sans le 25 congez. Javoue franchement que je me trouve fort en peine a vous repondre parceque je ne connois pas bien de quelles sortes de postes vous voulez parler. Sont ce des postes seulement de gens de comerce sans garnison et sans comandans, ou des postes qui seroient tenus tout ensemble par des personnes destinées a faire le comerce, et par des comandants avec leur garnisons quon y veilleroit pour leur sureté. Vous nous marquez la dessus votre sentiment. Vous jugez qu'il faudroit retablir les 25 congez de trois hommes seulement par canot, que les particuliers avant leur depart feroient declaration de ce quels porteroient avec caution de revenir a la colonie dans lespace de 18 mois. Quil ny auroit aucun poste etabli par des officiers et soldats; que chacun feroit valoir son canot comme il voudroit, que les missionaires chacun dans sa mission rendroient compte de la conduitte des voyageurs qui sy trouveroient; que ceux qui auroient donné de leau de vie, ou qui seroient. Reconus pour etre des libertins et des debauchez ny reviendroient jamais; quenfin les 25 congez retablis de la sorte, il ny auroit plus dautres etablisements ny du Detroit ny de Scioux, ny des Illinois, Cest la votre sentiment sur lequel puisque vous le desirez, il faut que je mexplique je vous diray donc que je connois trop la jeunesse de Canada a qui les congez seroient acordez pour pouvoir consentir a leur retablissement; cest une jeunesse accoutumé par une impunité de plus de 15 ans au comerce de leau de vie et des femmes. Il ne faut pas esperer quelle puisse desormais sabstenir de lun et de l'autre. Je scay bien que le comerce de leau de vie pouroit estre aboly de la maniere que je croy vous lavoir mandé, si ceux qui gouvernment le pays vouloient son abolition: mais cest ce quils nont point voulu jusqu'icy et ce quils ne veulent point encore presentement, se contentant de dire seulement quils deffendent les desordres de leau de vie et lenyvrement des sauvages, sans jamais dire quils deffendent la traitte deau de vie. Comme si cette infame traitte netoit pas la seule action par laquelle on peut les enyvrer mais quand ceux qui gouvernent le pays viendroient a abolir le comerce de leau de vie et consequement l'yvrognerie des sauvages, pouroient ils empecher celuy des femmes qui est encore plus nuisible, plus pernicieux plus funeste a nos missions que celuy de leau de vie; javoue que si les 25 congez se pouvoient retablir de la maniere que vous nous marquez leur retablissement a lexclusion de tous les postes, des commandans et des garnisons seroit le meilleur pour nos missions mais un tel retablissement ne nous paroit possib quen speculation nous ne scaurions croire quil le soit dans lexecution, par une infinité de raisons que vous pouvez facilement voir sans quil soit besoin den faire aucun detail. Quelle jeunesse peut on renvoyer dans nos missions en retablissant les 25 congez que celle qui sera jugée le plus capable de les faire valoir, qui scait les lieux les manieres et la langue des sauvages, qui conoist les personnes, qui a le plus dusage dadresse et de force pour conduire les canots! et nest ce pas aussy celle la; et nest ce pas aussy celle la qui est la plus engagée dans ces deux infames comerces de leau de vie et de femmes nest ce pas elle qui a perdu nos missions et qui achevera de les perdre si on ly renvoye. Pour la coriger il y auroit tant de choses a faire quon ne voudra pas sen donner la peine, ils se sont servis du pretexte de diverses necessitez pour etablir le comerce des femmes, ne croyant pas que nous pussions raisonablement nous oposer a ces sortes de besoins et en effet notre oposition ne seroit pas just sils ne demandoient que certains services exterieurs et publics qui se peuvent rendre sans crainte daucun scandale et daucun danger prochain ou ocasion de pecher, mais comme cest au corps meme des femmes quils en veulent, que cest luy duquel leur passion brutale se fait la principale necessité sous laparente honeteté des autres. Nous sommes obligez de nous y oposer, et cest sur touttes ces sortes de necessitez pretendues quil faudroit les regler pour les empecher detre comme elles sont les principes communs dune impudicité universelle a laquelle il nous est impossible de remedier par la raison quels la cachent tous egalement sous les dehors honestes de leurs necessitez, qui etant dailleurs innocentes en elles memes ne le sont pourtant pas a leur egard parcequelles leur servent de disposition et de preparation prochaine au peché. Il faut vous les marquer en particulier afin quen ayant connoissance vous puissiez donner des avertissements necessaires a la cour pour y remedier efficacement en cas que les 25 congez vinssent a se retablir ce que nous souhaitons quil narive pas.

Leur premiere necessité est celle davoir des femmes quils employent a piler du blé pour faire leur chaudiere, et quils tiennent sous ce pretexte dans leurs maisons quand ils veulent et autant quils veulent La seconde est den avoir qui leur coupent du bois et qui le leur portent chez eux pour se chauffer. La troisieme est davoir des blanchisseuses qui du meme temps quelles blanchissent dun costé leur linge, salissent leur corps et noircissent leur ame de laue. Costé par les plus honteuses brutalitez, la 4e. de n avoir qui fassent des souliers sauvages, des jarretieres des sacqs a leur facon et autre choses semblables. Il y a encore quelques autre necessitez moins comunes et moins ordinaires que ces 4 la qui sont les p'pales dont ils se servent pour attirer les femmes chez eux et pour sen faire une raison daller chez elles quand il leur plait.

Vous voyez bien Monseigneur que bien quil soit vray quils peuvent quelques fois avoir besoin du service des femmes dans ces quatre sortes de necessitez, cependant il est vray aussy d'une autre part quelles leur fournissent tout ensemble et un moyen facile pour obtenir le comerce de leur corps. Et un pretexte honeste en aparence pour les faire entrer et pour les recevoir dans leurs maisons et une excuse toutte prete pour se disculper et eloigner deux les mauvais soubcons quand on les y trouve—quoy quen effet ils ne les y attirent et ne les y tiennent que dans des dispositions den venir a ce quil y a de plus deshoneste, et de plus criminel. Au reste quoy quil ne soit pas difficile de reconoitre la vanité de ces faux pretextes, ny d'en empecher quand on voudra les mauvaises suittes, cest pourtant ce quon na point voulu reconoitre ny empecher jusques icy. On a laissé ces pretendues necessitez syntroduire peu a peu et passer en coutume, et la coutume les a rendues insurmontables aux missionaires qui voudroient si oposer efficacement, mais dont loposition na point dau effet que detre inutiles.

Il faudroit donc pour retablir les 25 congez retrancher touttes ces necessitez pretendues et tous les abus que je viens de marquer si lon veut empecher quils ne causent la ruine de nos missions. Je veux quil soit necessaire a ceux ausquels on les acorderoit demployer quelques fois des femmes sauvage soit a leur piler du blé soit a leur aporter du bois soit a blanchir leur linge soit a leur faire des souliers, soit enfin a leur rendre quelqu autre sorte de service honeste,—quoy-qua vray dire touttes ces necessitez tout sont fort volontaires a une jeunesse vigoureuse qui se porte bien qui na rien a faire et qui par cette raison doit se donner de loccupãon si elle ne veut vivre dans une pure oisiveté les années entieres, mais je veux que ce soient en effet des necessitez. Cependant il nest pas pour cela necessaire que ces femmes sauvages se rendent comme par estat leurs domestiques, leurs servantes, leurs menageres et leurs cuisinieres. Cest assez quapres leur avoir pilé du blé chez elles, apres leur voir coupé du bois dans la forest, apres avoir blanchy leur linge au bord du lac, apres leur avoir fait des souliers dans leurs cabanes, elles aillent porter tout cela a ceux qui les ont employez, quelles en recoivent le payement et quelles se retirent aussitot sans sarreter plus longtemps dans leurs maisons, tout le reste nest plus qu une ocasion prochaine de pesher, qu un principe des plus dangereuses tentations et ensuitte que desordre que libertinage, que dissolution que privautez que comerces infames et criminels. Voila Monsiegneur ce quil faudroit absolument empecher par des deffenses rigoureuses sous peine detre privez du pouvoir de la traitte en cas de contravention mais croyez vous qu on le puisse et quon le veille empecher? Si vous le croyez si vous en scavez les moyens, et que vous les suggeriez a la cour et que vous fassiez en sorte quelle lempeche, nous consentons au retablissement des 25 congez; mais si vous ne croyez pas que cela soit possible dans des lieux tels que nos missions qui Sont hors de la veue, hors des prises et hors de la portée des puissances, si vous nen marquez pas vous meme les moyens a la cour et si vous ne lengagez pas a donner des ordres efficaces pour cet effet, nous ne scaurions vouloir quon retablisse les 25 congez, qui autrement detruiroient infailliblement nos missions. Je ne croirois pas que ce fut assez de deffendre a tous ceux qui auroient ces congez de permettre l'entrée de leurs maisons pour un plus longtemps que celuy de la traitte actuelle quils ne devroient jamais faire avec elles qua porte ouverte et de telle sorte quon les y put voir; mais je croirois encore quil seroit necessaire, de demander aux sauvages et dobtenir deux par un colier public quon leur donneroit en plein conseil, de ne point souffrir que leurs femmes et leurs filles allassent courir dans les maisons Françoises, ny quelles y entrassent que par la seule necessité dy traitter quelque chose sans sy areter daventage, et meme que jamais elles ny allassent seules mais toujours accompagnées de quelquautre personne pour empecher tout ce qui pouroit donner occasion au mal ou au scandale.

De plus comme limpudicité ne sest pas etablie par la seule liberté que les François se sont donnez dadmetre les sauvagesses a toutte heure dans leurs maisons, mais que ce qui a le plus contribué a l etablir, cest la liberté quils ont pris eux memes daller les chercher dans leurs vilages. Jusques la que plusieurs des plus debauchez ne doutent point de quitter les maisons Françoises pour saller loger avec elles dans leurs cabanes, cest encore la un desordre qui nayant comancé que depuis le depart de Monsieur de lAdurantaye dont les successeurs nont pas esté si chastes que luy en sorte que quelquun deux a plus dun enfant dans ce village, cest disje encore la un desordre quil faudroit fort particulierement deffendre pour lempesher de recomancer.

Quand je suis venu dans cette mission si quelqu un des voyageurs etoit obligé par quelque necessité extraordinaire de loger pendant quelque temps dans le village des sauvages il en avertissoit le comandant et le missionaire afin quon luy assignat une cabane qui ne fut point suspecte pour le pouvoir faire sans aucun scandale: mais nous ne sommes plus dans cet heureux temps: les commandeurs et les traiteurs impudiques ont pris le dessus sans avoir egard aux justes opositions des missionnaires qui voyent le scandale sans pouvoir y remedier parceque les comandans le soutiennent.

Voicy encore un autre desordre en cette matiere qui est dautant plus grand qu'on le rend plus visible en le voulant cacher cest quil sen trouve plusiers dune impudicité si excessive et si continuelle que ne pouvant soufrir dautre compagnie que celles qui sont necessaires a leur passion, il se batissent des maisons separées a eux seuls ou etant solitaires a legard des autres François ils ne le sont jamais a legard des femmes dans les temps propres a leur comerce. Vous voyez bien que ce nest pas la un desordre qui se puisse soufrir tant il est scandaleux. Des traitteurs qui sont des gens de societé et de communauté ne doivent pas se separer ainsy des autres, de peur que tout seuls il ne leur arive des accidens quils ne craignent pas, mais quils devroient Craindre et que tout le monde doit craindre pour eux. Quon nous delivre donc pour jamais de ces solitaires et de leurs solitudes.

Enfin le desordre de tous le plus scandaleux et qui demande le plus doposition est que les traiteurs setant acoutumez dans les lieux de traitte a avoir des femmes a leur usage, sen sont fait une telle necessité quils ne scauroient plus sen passer meme dans leurs voyages. Je ne parle point de celles que lon prend avec leurs maris ny ayant rien en cela que dhoneste, aussy ne sont pas celles la quon veut avoir ordinairement. Ce sont des femmes seules, des femmes sans leurs maris, des femmes maitresses de leur propre corps, des femmes qui peuvent le leur donner et quils scauent disposées a le vouloir, en un mot ce sont touttes les prostituées de Montreal que lon amene icy et quon y remene alternativement, et ce sont touttes les prostituées dicy ausquiles on fait faire les memes mouvemens dicy a Montreal et de Montreal icy. Cest la aujourdhuy la maniere ordinaire de leurs voyages qui ne se font plus que par un flux et reflux continuel de ces prostituées que lon voit monter et descendre, aller et venir dune mission a lautre sans discontinuation avec le scandale du monde le plus enorme et le plus horrible. Le pretexte quils aportent pour prendre des femmes plustost que des hommes dans leurs voyages cest que les femmes leur coutent moins que les hommes et quelles se contentent dun moindre payement, ils disent vray mais cela meme quelles se contentent dun moindre payement est une preuve evidente de leur dereglement. Si elles etoient sages ne devroient elles pas demander le meme payement que celuy des hommes puisquelles rendent le meme service, et quelles en rendent souvent davantage en leur coupant du bois et en fesant leur chaudiere ce que les hommes ne veulent pas faire ce nest donc pas la lunique raison quels ont de prendre des femmes; mais cest que ces femmes etant vicieuses les veulent pour hommes et eux reciproquement pour femmes dans tous ces voyages apres lesquels sils sont obligez de sentre quitter, ils ne se separent que pour en chercher dautres.

Je vous demande icy Monseigneur si vous jugez que tous ces desordres dont je viens de vous faire nos plaintes puissent sabolir en retablissant les 25 congez, sils peuvent sabolir, retablissez les en nous assurant par des voyes certaines de leur abolition. Mais si au contraire vous ne jugez pas quon les puisse abolir vous devez juger en meme temps que les 25 congez ne doivent nullement estre retablis puisque leur retablissement causeroit infailliblement celuy des desordres.

Or suposé quon ne retablisse dans nos missions ny les garnisons et comandans, ny les 25 congez pours raisons cy dessus marqueés et que dailleurs le comerce des sauvages ne se puisse retablir ny etre fixé pour toujours avec assurance a Montreal. Il ne resteroit plus dautre moyen a prendre a la compagnie que denuoyer et dentretenir dans nos missions dicy haut des personnes choisies, sages, vertueuses intelligentes, et bien versées dans tout ce qui regarde ce negoce, et enfin parfaitement disposées a vouloir vivre dans une mutuelle corespondance avec tous les missionaires. Jusquau nomb quelle jugeroit necessaire et sufisant pourire son comerce, pour attacher les sauvages et les y maintenir tant par leur presence que par celle de leurs marshandises, par leur veue, par leur transport et par le debit continuel qui sen feroit parmy eux dans un bon fort toujours bien pourvu et bien fourny darmes pour se bien deffendre et se bien battre avec eux en cas de necessité, ou ceux qui presideroient au comerce tiendroient lieu de comandans dans ces sortes d'oca'ons et les autres lieu de garnison.

Voila Monseigneur ce que nous croyons qui seroit le meilleur pour nos missions et en meme temps le meilleur pour les interets de la Compagnie qui par ce moyen seroit assurée davoir elle seule tout le castor, ny ayant plus ny de comandans, ny de garnison qui, de quelque precaution que lon pusse user, ne laissent pas neantmoins den emporter une bonne partie, par une infinité de voyes secretes et dyntelligences avec les sauvages. Elle seroit encore assurée par la que les 25 congez netant point retablis les marchandises ne se dissiperoient point en mille fausses depenses par tout ce quil y a de libertins dans une jeunesse debauchee; cest a vous a voir apres cela en presence de Dieu, et dans lintime fond de votre conscience ce que vous devez representer a la cour comme le plus expedient et le plus necessaire. Je ne dis pas seulement pour le bien de nos missions et de la religion ny seulement pour le bien du comerce, mais je dis pour le bien de lun et lautre, pour le bien de la religion et du comerce que vous estes obligé dacorder ensemble sans jamais separer lun de l'autre, en sorte que le comerce ne nuisse jamais a la religion, qui doit toujours faire le pour et le plus essentiel de tous nos interets.

Pour ce qui regarde letablissement du Detroit, je nay rien a vous en dire par mes propres lumieres n'en ayant point de connoissance que par le raport des François et des sauvages qui nous en parlent icy. A en juger par leur raport ce nest pas un etablissement qui leur paroisse etre avantageux. Ils n'en sont point contens pour diverses raisons fort considerables que jay marquees au R. pere superieur dans ce que je luy ecris pour ma justification contre les accusations de Monsieur de la Motte qui continue de me persecuter

Je ne serois pas maintenant dans cette peine si javois merité dobtenir de vous la grace que je vous avois demandée denuoyer en cour la lettre qui contenoit nos plaintes en 13 articles pour etre presenteé a Sa Majesté et pour la suplier de nous rendre justice contre ses calomnies et ses violences, et de nous proteger contre les menaces quil fesoit des lors publiquement devant les François qui lentendoient avec etonnement de perdre nos missions. Je prevoyois bien quil etoit homme a pousser jusqu'en cour ses mauvais desseins comme il a fait par des calomnies, et comme il vient de faire encore tout recemment contre le p. Vaillant. Javois cru le devoir prevenir pour empecher leffet de ses menaces, et assurement je laurois empeché si nos plaintes que javois reduites a 13 articles, et que je vous avois adressées, eussent esté portées a Sa Majesté selon la priere que je vous fesois au nom de tous nos peres. Mais mon malheur ayant voulu que je ne meritasse pas de vous cette grace quelque necessaire quelle fut a tous tant que nous sommes de missionaires il a pris de la tout lavantage quil a voulu pour nous accuser le premier en cour. Vous aurez apris ses nouvelles accusations contre moy sur mes pretendues opositions a son etablissement du Detroit et vous le pouvez voir dans ma lettre de justification au R. p. Superieur qui ne manquera pas de vous la communiquer, quoy que mon innocence mempeche daprehender la fausseté de ses accusations. Il mest toute fois necessaire. que vous fassiez maintenant pour moy ce qui ne sest pas fait par le passé. Quoy que vous nayiez pas envoyé en cour ma lettre de plainte, je ne scaurois pourtant me persuader que vous layiez meprisée jusqua ne vouloir pas du moins la conserver pour vous en servir dans la suitte a nous rendre justice en cas de besoin. Je vous suplie donc ne doutant point que vous ne layiez conservée de vouloir bien la remetre entre les mains du R. P. superieur a qui jay ecrit pour vous la demander de ma part. Cest la derniere grace et lunique necessaire que je puisse recevoir de vous avant votre depart de ce pays. Je serois allé moy meme en personne pour vous la demander sur lobligeante invitation que vous et Madame avez bien voulu me faire de descendre la bas pour me donner la consolation de vous saluer de vous voir de vous entretenir lun et lautre avant votre retour en France ou Sa Majesté vous rapelle pour lintendance du Havre et de touttes ses costes maritimes: mais letat present de ma mission divisée et quil faut que je reunisse ne me permet pas de la quitter dans le temps de sa division pour me procurer une consolation telle que celle la.

Lassurance que vous me donnez de la maniere du monde la plus obligeante de me continuer toujours lhonneur de votre amitié jusqua vouloir que je vous ecrive encore dans leloignement ou nous allons estre, tout ce qui se passera dans nos missions, et que je vous represente tous les besoins que nous pourions avoir de votre secours—avec la meme confiance que je vous les ay representez pendant les 15 années que le Canada a jouy du bonheur de votre presence; une telle assurance dis je metoit necessaire pour adoucir la peine que votre depart me devoit causer et pour me le rendre plus suportable. Vous souffrirez donc encore mes lettres et si la grandeur et la multitude de vos occupations vous laisse quelques momens libres pour pouvoir mhonorer de vos reponses, il ne se peut faire quun tel honeur ne me cause plus de plaisir que je nen meritte. Toutte votre famille, votre personne celle de Madame, celles de Messieurs vos enfans et surtout celle de notre petit missionnaire me seront toujours cheres; je noublieray jamais ce que je vous dois, et si je ne puis pas vous rendre dautres services, du moins je puis vous assurer de celuy des prieres et des sacrifices que joffriray a Dieu a lautel pour votre conservation pour votre prosperité et pour lheureuse administrãon de votre intendance avec tous les succez que vous pouvez souhaiter. Je suis avec toutte lestime et tout le respect que vous meritez

votre tres humble et
tres obeissant serviteur,
signé Etienne de Carheil
de la Compagnie de Jesus

Je me suis oublié en parlant de letablissement du Detroit de vous dire que pendant tout le temps de la guerre les sauvages desiroient cet etablissement du Detroit; parcequalors ils suposoient toujours qu'on vouloit detruire lIroquois, et que par sa destruction ils posederoient paisiblement touttes les terres de son etendue. Mais depuis quils ont veu que bien loin de le vouloir detruire on ne pensoit qua le menager, qua le conserver qua le favoriser en luy donnant du terrain dans les terres quils regardoient comme leur propre pays; et en retablissant le fort de Cataracouy en sa faveur, ils ont entierement changé de penseés et ne regardent plus le Detroit que comme le pays ennemy ou ils ne peuvent vouloir demeurer ny ayant nulle senorité pour eux et assurement ils ne peuvent penser ny juger autrement; de sorte que ceux des Hurons qui restent icy et qui ne veulent pas aller au Detroit, se defient de ceux qui sont allez s'y etablir, et croyent quils veulent s'aller rendre a lIroquois pour entrer dans le comerce des Anglois.

Letter by Reverend Father Étienne de Carheil to Monsieur Louis Hector de Callières, governor.

At Michilimakina, the 30th of august, 1702.


Could I have believed that my going down below would have been of any greater use to you than have been all the letters that I have written to you continually, during fifteen entire years,—for the purpose of informing you exactly, as in God's sight, according to truth, according to my conscience, of all that was absolutely necessary for the advancement of our missions and for the welfare of the colony,—I would not have failed to go down; and I would have made it my duty to go to explain to you verbally what I might not have sufficiently made known in my letters. But, as I have omitted nothing that I considered myself obliged to let you know, and as I do not see what could have been added to so many letters, I am fully convinced that my going down could only have been useless to you, after all the information that has been conveyed to you respecting the condition in which we have been up to the present, and in which we still are to-day.

But, even if I had never written to you, it was only necessary to have seen all that is to be seen every day at Montreal, and that you yourself have only too often seen, to enable you to carry back to France enough to give Information to His Majesty, and to constrain him to succor our missions. These are reduced to such an extremity that we can no longer maintain them against an infinite multitude of evil acts—acts of brutality and violence; of injustice and impiety; of lewd and shameless conduct; of contempt and insults. To such acts the infamous and baleful trade in brandy gives rise everywhere, among all the nations up here,—where it is carried on by going from village to village, and by roving over the lakes with a prodigious quantity of brandy in barrels, without any restraint. Had His Majesty but once seen what passes, both here and at Montreal, during the whole time while this wretched traffic goes on, I am sure that he would not for a moment hesitate, at the very first sight of it, to forbid it forever under the severest penalties.

In our despair there is no other step to take than to leave our missions and abandon them to the brandy traders, so that they may establish therein the domain of their trade, of drunkenness, and of immorality. That is what we shall propose to our superiors in Canada and in France, being compelled thereto by the state of uselessness and inability to which we have been reduced by the permission given to carry on that deplorable trade—a permission that has been obtained from His Majesty only by means of a pretext apparently reasonable, but known to be false; a permission that he would not grant if they upon whom he relies for ascertaining the truth really made it known to him as they themselves, and the whole of Canada with them, know it; a permission, in fine, that is at once the climax and the source of all the evils that are now occurring in the country. Especially does it cause the wrecks, of which we never heard before it was given, but which we now hear of as occurring almost every year—while the ships are either coming from or returning to France. This results from a just punishment by God, who causes the destruction by water of what had been wickedly gained by brandy; and these wrecks should have prevented the transportation of the liquor, in order to avoid the evil use that would be made of it. If that permission be not revoked by a prohibition to the contrary, we no longer have occasion to remain in any of our missions up here, to waste the remainder of our lives and all our efforts in purely useless labor, under the dominion of continual drunkenness and of universal immorality—which are no less permitted to the traders in brandy than is the trade itself, of which they are both the accompaniment and the sequel.

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 second is the commerce of the savage women with the French. Both are carried on in an equally public manner, without our being able to remedy the evil, because we are not supported by the commandants. They—far from attempting, when we undertake to remonstrate with them, to check these trades—themselves carry them on with greater freedom than do their subordinates; and so sanction them by their example that, on witnessing it, a general permission and an assurance of impunity are assumed, that cause them to become common to all the French who come here to trade. So much is this the case that all the villages of our savages are now only taverns, as regards drunkenness; and sodoms, as regards immorality—from which we must withdraw, and which we must abandon to the just anger and vengeance of God.

You see by this that, in whatever manner the French trade is established among our savages, if it be desired to still retain us among them, and to keep and support us there in the capacity of missionaries,—in the free exercise of our functions, with the hope of obtaining some result,—we must be delivered from the commandants and from their garrisons. These, far from being necessary, are, on the contrary, so pernicious that we can truly say that they are the greatest scourge of our missions; for they serve but to injure both the ordinary trade of the voyageurs and the advancement of the faith. Since they have come up here we have observed but one universal corruption, which by their scandalous mode of living they have spread in the minds of all these nations, who are now infected by it. All the pretended service which it is sought to make people believe that they render to the King is reduced to 4 chief occupations, of which we earnestly beg you to inform His Majesty.

The first consists in keeping a public tavern for the sale of brandy, wherein they trade it continually to the savages, who do not cease to become intoxicated, notwithstanding all our efforts to prevent it. In vain do we speak to them, to try to stop them; we gain nothing but the accusation of opposing the King's service, by endeavoring to prevent a trade that he has permitted.

The second occupation of the soldiers consists in being sent from one post to another by the commandants in order to carry their wares and their brandy thither, after having made arrangements together; and none of them have any other object than that of mutually assisting one another in their traffic. And, in order that this may be more easily done on both sides according to their wishes, the commandants must close their eyes, that they may be able to connive at and not observe the misconduct of their soldiers,—however visible, public, and scandalous it may be; the soldiers must, in turn, besides trafficking in their own wares, become traffickers in those of their commandants, who frequently compel the soldiers to buy merchandise from them, in order to gain permission to go where they please.

Their third occupation consists in making of their fort a place that I am ashamed to call by its proper name, where the women have found out that their bodies might serve in lieu of merchandise and would be still better received than beaver-skins; accordingly, that is now the most usual and most continual commerce, and that which is most extensively carried on. Whatever efforts the missionaries may make to denounce and abolish it, this traffic increases, instead of diminishing, and grows daily more and more. All the soldiers keep open house in their dwellings for all the women of their acquaintance. From morning to night, they pass entire days there, one after another—sitting by their fire, and often on their beds, engaged in conversations and actions proper to their commerce. This generally ends only at night, because the crowd is too great during the day to allow of their concluding it then—although they frequently arrange among themselves to leave a house empty, so as not to defer the conclusion until night.

The 4th occupation of the soldiers is gambling, which at the times when the traders assemble sometimes proceeds to such excess that they are not satisfied with passing the whole day, but they also spend the whole night in this pursuit. And it happens but too frequently that, in the ardor of their game, they forget—or, if they do remember, they scorn to observe—the feast-days. But what makes their misconduct on this score still worse is, that so persistent an attachment to the game is hardly ever unaccompanied by the general intoxication of all the players; and drunkenness is nearly always followed by quarrels that arise among them. When these occur publicly before the eyes of the savages, they give rise to three grave scandals: the first at seeing them intoxicated; the second, at witnessing them fighting furiously with one another,—sometimes to the extent of seizing their guns in order to kill each other; the third, at observing that the missionaries cannot remedy these evils.

Such, Monseigneur, are the 4 sole occupations of the garrisons, which they have followed here during so many years. If occupations of this kind can be called the King's service, I admit that they have always actually rendered him one of those four services. But I have observed none other than those four; and consequently, if such services be not considered necessary to the King, there has never been hitherto any necessity for keeping them here; and, after they are recalled, there is no necessity of sending any back. However, as this pretended need of garrisons is the sole pretext that is made use of to send commandants here, we beg you, Monseigneur, to be fully convinced of the falseness of that pretext, so that under those specious appearances of the King's service it may not be considered obligatory to send us any garrisons. For, in reality, the commandants come here solely for the purpose of trading, in concert with their soldiers, without troubling themselves about anythingelse. They have no intercourse with the missionaries, except with regard to matters wherein they consider the latter useful for the furtherance of their own temporal affairs; and beyond that they are hostile to the fathers as soon as these undertake to oppose the misconduct which, being in accord neither with the service of God nor with the service of the King, is nevertheless advantageous to the trade of the commandants, who sacrifice everything to it. That is the sole cause of the disorder in our missions, which has so desolated them—through the ascendancy that the commandants have obtained over the missionaries, by assuming all authority over both the French and the savages—that we now have no other power than that of laboring in vain under their domination. This has gone so far as to make civil crimes, and grounds for pretended juridical accusations, out of the performance of the very functions of our ministry and of our duty. This was always done by Monsieur de la Motte, who would not even allow us to use the word "misconduct," and who even brought a suit against the Father Prior for having used it! [36]

Before there were any commandants here, the missionaries Were always listened to by the traders because they were afraid to give them any grounds for making complaints respecting their conduct, which might compel the authorities to recall them, and to refuse to grant them any further permission. But, since the commandants have been sent here, all the misconduct that is needed for carrying on the trade, as these men wish to carry it on, no longer passes for misconduct; and no complaints can be made of it, because it is the best means toward the end that they have in view, and because they are all equally in accord on that point. The commandants do not complain of the traders, whatever they may do, because they engage nearly all of them to assist them in their trade; and as the traders are sure, on account of such engagements, that no complaints will be made against them, and that, on the contrary, the commandants will make it their interest to support them, they take every kind of liberty, without having any fear of the Missionaries. Far from fearing them, it sometimes happens even that the commandants and all the traders conspire together, with a common accord, to complain of the missionaries to the higher authorities, and to denounce them as much as possible, so as to make them odious to all the people,—hoping that thereby the charges that the missionaries might bring against their misconduct will not be listened to. And in fact they are not; the missionaries are reduced to silence, to inaction, to impotence, and to general deprivation of all authority.

And if, on some occasions, the commandants are obliged to do something contrary to the usual freedom of the voyageurs' trade, then those officers—to divert the hatred and estrangement of minds to which such obligations might give rise, and to remove the odium thereof from themselves to the missionaries—display a certain cleverness, of which we would never have had the slightest suspicion had not some persons who are well aware of it informed us thereof. What they do on such occasions is to affect to come to see us more frequently than usual; to speak to us; to converse with us, and submit to us what they should do, as if they needed our advice on the subject; and afterward—through those appearances of visits, conversations, and consultations,—they make the traders believe that it is owing to our remonstrances and solicitations that they are compelled to act in that manner, although they would prefer not to do so. Is not this strange conduct for commandants toward persons of our character, whom they should sustain in their duty and support with their authority?

It is also important that you should be informed of an abuse that the commandants have introduced with respect to the savages, which has produced among them only bad results. It is this, that—not content with the constant profit which they derive from the trade—they have found means to convince the court that it is necessary to supply them with considerable funds for the purpose of making presents to the savages—either to interest them in our concerns, our designs, and our undertakings, or to reward them when they render services that may be deemed worthy of recompense. This is truly a fine pretext, which has something very plausible in appearance; but it is certain that never was anything less needed with regard to the savages than to have recourse to presents to induce them to act. That is what they never thought of, and which no one should have thought of any more than they did. Formerly they acted of their own accord, from a purely voluntary impulse—or, at most, on the invitation conveyed by means of a branch of porcelain, or of a collar that was presented to them,—without their having any other idea than what was natural to them, and in accordance with their customs. Nothing further was needed to make them do what we wished, than to follow their ways. But the desire of having a fund that could be disposed of as one wished, with the savings of a great profit obtained, has led to an attempt being made to persuade the court that it was necessary that the commandants should have the wherewithal to give presents to the savages. The sole effect which this has produced upon the savages has been, to teach them to be exacting in requiring that they be solicited; to make it necessary that all their actions and all their emotions be purchased by dint of presents; and, finally, that they do nothing that they should do voluntarily, except in return for something which is given them and which they exact.

But the most vexatious part of such conduct is that not only has it taught them to be hardly ever willing to do anything that is asked of them without a present to induce them, but it has also taught them to make use of an infinite number of ruses, of stratagems, and of intrigues among themselves; to imagine a thousand projects of pretended undertakings, of warlike movements, of ruptures of peace, of embassies to the enemies, and negotiations with them; of commercial intercourse with the English, and similar matters. They pretend to have resolved upon the performance of these, in order thereby to lead the commandants to consider themselves obliged to buy them with gifts. Such are the effects that this new custom has produced on the minds of the savages, so that at present their sole business and occupation, as regards the commandants, consists in helping each other to deceive and cheat the latter, by making them give them presents under the false pretenses that I have just mentioned.

But with all this, all the presents that are given them are almost nothing in comparison with the fund supplied by the court to the commandants for that purpose. The gifts are reduced almost entirely to the single expenditure of tobacco—which is the most usual present, because the savages are passionately fond of it, and cannot refrain from continually smoking, so greatly accustomed are they to it from their youth. However, what remains of the fund is much greater and more considerable than the amount spent in giving them presents, successively and gradually, on the occasions when it is deemed necessary; and it is greatly to be feared that the commandants turn it to their own benefit and that by careful economy they keep the best part of it for their own use. Still, this is a matter respecting which we have nothing to see or to say; it is for those who are established here for that purpose to see to it, and to prevent by their vigilance all the frauds that might be committed in connection therewith, and not to allow the King to be put to great and needless expense under any false pretense of necessity.

To all that I have just said respecting the commandants, I must add that—as there is no other necessity of sending any among the savages than that of keeping garrisons there, which must be commanded by some one—it is perfectly useless to send any; because the garrisons themselves are quite unnecessary, except for the trade of the commandants and their own trade. They are necessary only for those two trades; as regards all the rest, they are of no use either to the savages or to the voyageurs, to whom the trade belongs, or to the missionaries. In the first place, they are of no use to the savages as regards war, either in their villages or outside them: in the villages they are useless, because the method common to all these barbarous nations of carrying on warfare does not consist, like ours, in going to assault one another's villages, because they will never expose themselves to the danger of losing men which is unavoidable in such assaults. They carry on war only by surprises, by ambushes, by secret approaches, and by sudden and unforeseen discharges in the fields, in the woods, while fishing and hunting, and everywhere else when they can discover one another outside their villages. So, for that reason, the garrisons are useless to them as support; and are still more so outside the villages—where the garrisons not only would not follow them, but cannot do so. For the soldiers are unable to perform the movements that the savages perform in the woods, and in all sorts of places that are impracticable to all but themselves and the animals; and the soldiers are far from being able to assist them. On the contrary, the savages themselves would have to help extricate them from the difficulties in which they would be placed on expeditions as difficult as those through the thick forests, which the practice of military art has never allowed them to learn. It is therefore evident that the garrisons are of no use to the savages either within or without their villages; they are entirely useless for their preservation or their defense.

Now if they be useless to the savages, they are still more so to the voyageurs who obtain permission to come up here to trade, and who alone are entitled to do so, to the exclusion of all the others—who have no right to it, and who cannot trade without doing the voyageurs an injustice. And yet such is the sole occupation of all the garrisons; such is their unique employment—which is not only unnecessary for the voyageurs, but is exceedingly hurtful to them, and does them damage to the extent of all the beaver-skins and other furs that the soldiers collect. Finally, the garrisons are no more useful to the missionaries than to the savages and the voyageurs. It should be the duty of the commandant to employ them in behalf of the missionaries, on various occasions when the latter are frequently obliged to go to beg the officials to be pleased to repress the misconduct and public acts of insolence of the dealers in brandy, and of the fugitive voyageurs—who go from one mission to another, making the savages drunk and seducing the women in all the cabins where they lodge; or they go to visit them, entertain them, caress them, solicit them, and purchase the enjoyment of their bodies. The only answer to these prayers that we get from the commandants is, that they have not enough men to allow of their doing so,—either because the garrisons are not sufficiently numerous; or, even if they were larger, they would not be of much more help to the commandants, because the voyageurs and the garrisons have an understanding together, to support one another against the missionaries both in their common misconduct, and in evading all the orders that the commandants might give them, should the latter choose to take the missionaries' part. But they do not choose to do so; and they themselves think of nothing but accommodating one another with regard to the trade. Since His Majesty has ordered that the voyageurs and the coureurs de bois be recalled, and has granted them an amnesty to facilitate their return, that recall has not pleased every one. Several persons in authority who maintained various trading relations here, have not ceased to continue the same by secretly sending every year to their fugitive agents supplies for carrying on a new trade. But what is more surprising is, that those very persons who were sent here under pretense of coming to bring the amnesty came, in reality, solely to trade during the whole of that time—which they designedly prolonged as much as they could, the better to carry out their object by selling all their wares to those whom they came to recall; and to whom, by a conduct entirely opposed to their duty, they supplied the means of carrying on the trade once more for their own benefit. That is why for so many years new amnesties are ever being asked for, because the previous ones are always rendered useless in the manner that I have just described. [37]

You see, Monseigneur, that I have dwelt to a great extent on the subject of commandants and garrisons, to make you understand that all the misfortunes of our missions are due to them. It is the commandants, It is the garrisons, who, uniting with the brandy traders, have completely desolated the missions by almost universal drunkenness and lewdness—which have been established therein through the continual impunity for both vices; the civil authorities not only tolerate but permit these, inasmuch as, while able to prevent them, they do not. I have therefore no hesitation in telling you that if trading commandants and garrisons of trading soldiers be again stationed in our missions up here, we have no doubt that we shall be compelled to abandon them, because we shall be unable to do anything for the salvation of souls. It is for you to inform His Majesty of the extremity to which we are reduced, and to ask him for our deliverance, so that we may be able to labor for the establishment of religion without the hindrances that have hitherto impeded it.

And if, touched by the remonstrances that you will convey to him, he should decide to send garrisons and commandants up here no longer, and should afterward wish to know what would be most advantageous for our missions and for the colony, you ask that we state our opinions to you; that we tell you whether it would be better to restore the 25 permits, or to establish posts which the Company itself would maintain by means of as many persons as it might deem necessary, whom it would select and send here to carry on its trade. [38] I will tell you, in the first place, that your request takes for granted what would be very desirable not to suppose; it assumes that the colony is to come up here to carry on its trade among our savages, as it has been accustomed to do for many years. But it would be very desirable that the colony should not come to the savages; that, on the contrary, the savages should go to the colony, and go down to Montreal for their trade—as they did at the beginning, with a great profit to all the people who participated in it,—whom their going down saved from all the trouble that is taken at present, and from all the dangers to which the young men expose themselves in coming to the various nations up here.

In whatever light we may consider the commerce carried on, as regards either the common interest of Canada, or the advancement of Christianity, it would be Infinitely more advantageous for both if the savages themselves went down annually for that purpose to Montreal, than it would be to send the French here to trade, in the way in which they come every year. I do not consider it necessary to give the reasons, so manifest are they. For it is evident that the latter method serves but to depopulate the country of all its young men; to reduce the number of people in the houses; to deprive wives of their husbands, fathers and mothers of the aid of their children, and sisters of that of their brothers; to expose those who undertake such journeys to a thousand dangers for both their bodies and their souls. It also causes them to incur very many expenses, partly necessary, partly useless, and partly criminal; it accustoms them not to work, but to lose all taste for work, and to live in continual idleness; it renders them incapable of learning any trade, and thereby makes them useless to themselves, to their families, and to the entire country, through having made themselves unfit for the occupations that are most common and most useful to man. But it is not only for these reasons, which affect this life,—it is still more on account of those which concern the soul, that this sending of the French among the savages must appear infinitely harmful to them. It takes them away from all the holy places; it separates them from all ecclesiastical and religious persons; it abandons them to a total deprivation of all instruction, both public and private, of all devotional exercises, and, finally, of all the spiritual aids to Christianity. It sends them into savage countries and into impassable places,—through a thousand dangers, both on land and on water,—to carry on in a low, servile, and shameful manner a commerce that could be carried on much more advantageously at Montreal, where the people would have a much larger share in it (as in justice they should) than they have, and than they will have so long as it is carried on here.

Therefore, what would be most desirable for delivering the colony from all those kinds of evil, both of body and soul, that are inseparably connected with the trade up here,—which, if viewed in the proper light, causes more loss than profit to the country, because, at the same time when it acquires some beaver-skins for the colony, it deprives it forever of the labor of all the young men, by accustoming them to be unable and unwilling to do any more work—what would be most desirable, I say, would be to keep the young men in the country; to settle them therein as much as possible, in order to retain for it the fruit and enjoyment of their labor, because they would enrich it more by constant and assiduous work than by the difficult, uncertain, and temporary acquisition of a few beaver-skins. Accordingly, the surest and most efficacious of all means to make the colony prosper would be to secure for it the settlement within the country of all the young men, for the sake of their labor, and the descent to Montreal for trade of the nations up here; because then the labor of one and the trade of the other would contribute to enrich the colony.

So long as all the young men devote themselves to no other occupation than that of coming here for beaver, there can be no hope that the colony will ever become flourishing; it will always be poor, for it will always lose thereby what would most enrich it,—I mean the labor of all the young men. Such, Monseigneur, is what I consider the most important step for the temporal and spiritual welfare of the colony, and what should, in conscience, be most strongly represented to His Majesty, by making him thoroughly understand its necessity,—so that he may give orders to seek for and to find every possible means of restoring the trade with the savages, and of establishing it at Montreal, so as to keep all the young men in the country, and accustom them to work from early youth. To this end, the Iroquois must be completely tamed and reduced to subjection; and we must take possession of his country, which is much better than those of all the nations up here. He is the only enemy whom we have to dread, or who disputes with us the trade of the savages, which he tries to attract to the English. What reason was there for not consenting to destroy him in the war that we had undertaken to wage against him? Why was he spared? What would we lose by destroying him, now that his nation is so small in numbers? His destruction and the possession of his country would secure for us the trade of all the savage nations up here. Nothing would remain to be done but to settle the boundaries of our commerce and of that of the Misissipy, so that one might not clash with the other. The Iroquois has been spared in the present war solely on account of the trade of Catarakouy; and the trade of Cataracouy was only for those who preserved that fort and that enemy. whence comes the Iroquois's beaver but from the country up here, which he usurps from our savages, to whom all the beavers belong? Should we lose the Iroquois's beavers by his destruction? Would they not revert to our savages, and from them to the colony?

But, after all, if it be impossible to establish the trade of our savages at Montreal,—and consequently to retain the young Frenchmen with their families, that they may devote themselves to labor; if it be necessary, of absolute and insuperable necessity, that they should come up here to trade with our savages,—you ask on that supposition, which I would wish to be false, what would be best: to restore the 25 permits without any posts, or to establish posts without the 25 permits. I frankly admit that I am very much embarrassed to answer you because I know not very well to what kind of posts you are pleased to refer. Are they posts solely of traders, without garrisons and without commandants; or posts that would be occupied at the same time by persons employed in trading, and by commandants with their garrisons, who would watch over their safety? You express your opinion on that point. You consider that it would be necessary to restore the 25 permits, for three men only to each canoe; that private individuals should, previous to their departure, make a declaration of what they took with them, and be cautioned to return to the colony within 18 months; that no post should be established by officers and soldiers; that each one should make use of his canoe as he pleased; that the missionaries, each in his mission, should report on the conduct of the voyageurs who might go there; that those who should give brandy, or be known as profligates and debauchees, should never return there; finally, that, when the 25 permits should be thus restored, there should be no other establishments—either at Detroit, or among the Scioux, or among the Illinois. Such is your opinion—respecting which, as you desire it, I must explain myself. I will therefore tell you that I know too well the young men of Canada to whom the permits would be granted, to be able to consent to their restoration. They are young men who have become accustomed, by more than 15 years of impunity, to the commerce of brandy and to that with women. There can be no hope of their abstaining from either in future. I know well that the commerce of brandy might be abolished in the manner of which, I think, I have told you, if those who govern the country chose to abolish it; but that is what they have hitherto not been willing to do, and what, moreover, they do not at present wish to do. They are content with merely saying that they forbid the misconduct caused by brandy, and the intoxication of the savages, without ever saying that they prohibit the brandy trade,—as if that infamous traffic were not the sole course of action by which the savages can be made drunk. But even if they who govern the country should put an end to the commerce in brandy, and consequently to the drunkenness of the savages, could they prevent that with women—which is still more harmful, more pernicious, more fatal to our missions than that in brandy? I admit that, if the 25 permits could be restored in the manner which you indicate, their restoration to the exclusion of all the posts, of the commandants, and of the garrisons would be better for our missions; but such a restoration seems to us to be possible only in theory—we cannot believe that it can be carried out in practice, for a multitude of reasons which you can easily see, without its being necessary to give them in detail. What young men can be sent back into our missions, by restoring the 25 permits, but those who will be considered most competent to turn them to advantage; who know the places, the customs, and the language of the savages; who are acquainted with the persons; who have the most experience, skill, and strength in managing canoes? But are not these very young men the same who are most engaged in those two infamous commerces, in brandy and with women? Are not these young men the same who have ruined our missions, and who will complete their destruction if they be sent back there? So much will have to be done to correct them that no one will take the trouble to do so. They have alleged various necessities for establishing the commerce with women, not believing that we could reasonably oppose such necessities; and, in fact, our opposition would not be just if they required only certain outward and public services that can be rendered without any fear of scandal, or any proximate danger or occasion of sin. But it is the very bodies of the women that they desire; that is what their brutal passion makes their first necessity, under the apparent decency of other needs. That is what we are obliged to oppose, and It is with reference to all these kinds of pretended necessities that rules must be made to prevent them from being, As they are, the common sources of universal lewdness. It is impossible for us to apply a remedy for this evil, because they all alike hide it under the decent pretext of their necessities—which, although innocent in themselves, are not in their case, because they serve them as a disposition and preparation for sin. It is necessary to point out these to you in detail, so that, when you know them you may give the necessary warnings to the court to apply an effective remedy in the event of the 25 permits being restored, which we trust will not happen.

Their first necessity consists in having women whom they employ in pounding corn and doing their cooking, and whom they detain under that pretext in their houses, when they wish and as long as they wish. The second consists in having some to cut wood for them, and to carry it to their dwellings to heat them. The third consists in having laundresses who, at the same time when, on the one hand, they wash their linen, on the other defile their bodies and blacken their souls by the most shameful brutishness. The 4th consists in having some women who make savage shoes, garters [leggings?], and pouches, according to their fashion, and other similar articles. There are also some other necessities, less common and less usual than those 4 which are the chief ones, of which they make use to lure the women to their houses, and to give themselves a pretext for going to theirs when it pleases them.

You see very well, Monseigneur, that even though it be true that they may sometimes need the services of women for those four sorts of necessities, still it is also true, on the other hand, that these give them at the same time both an easy means of obtaining the commerce of the women's bodies, and an apparently decent pretext for making them enter and for receiving them in their houses. These also provide for the men an ever-ready excuse for exculpating themselves, and for removing suspicions of evil from them when they are found there,—although, in reality, they entice and keep them there only with the intention of doing with them what is most immoral and most criminal. Moreover, although it be not difficult to recognize the emptiness of those false pretenses, or to prevent their evil consequences when one chooses, the officers nevertheless have not hitherto chosen to recognize the one or to prevent the other. Those pretended necessities have been allowed to introduce themselves gradually, and to become a custom; and custom has made them insurmountable to the missionaries—who would effectively oppose them, but whose opposition has had no other effect than that of being useless.

To restore the 25 permits, all those pretended necessities must be done away with, as well as all the abuses that I have pointed out, if the government would prevent them from causing the ruin of our missions. I grant that it may sometimes be necessary, for those to whom the permits are accorded, to have to employ savage women, either to pound corn for them, to carry wood for them, to wash their clothes, to make shoes for them, or, finally, to render them any other kind of honest service,—although, to tell the truth, all these necessities are purely optional on the part of robust young men who are in good health, who have nothing to do, and who, for that reason, should give themselves some occupation, unless they desire to live in perfect idleness for whole years,—but I insist that they must really be necessities. Nevertheless, for that purpose it is not necessary that the savage women should make a business of being their domestics, their servants, their housekeepers, their cooks. It is enough that, after pounding their corn for them at their homes, after cutting wood for them in the forest, after washing their linen on the shore of the lake, after making shoes for them in their own cabins, the women should carry all those articles to the persons who have employed them, in order to receive payment therefor, and to withdraw at once, without remaining any longer in their houses. All else is but a proximate occasion for sin, the source of the most dangerous temptations; and it afterward leads but to misconduct, to licentiousness, to dissoluteness, to improper liberties, to infamous and criminal commerce. Such, Monseigneur, is what must be absolutely prevented by rigorous prohibitions; and by the penalty of being deprived of the right to trade, in case of contravention. But do you believe that it can be prevented, and that there is any desire to prevent it? If you believe it; if you know the means of attaining that end, and suggest them to the court; and if you so manage that it shall prevent those evils,—we consent to the restoration of the 25 permits. But if you do not believe that it is possible in places such as our missions,—which are beyond the sight, beyond the influence, and beyond the scope of the authorities,—if you do not yourself point out the means to the court, and if you do not induce it to give effectual orders to that end, we cannot consent to the restoration of the 25 permits, which otherwise would infallibly ruin our missions. I would not consider it sufficient to prohibit all those who may have permits from allowing women to enter their houses for a longer time than is needed for actual trading—which should never be carried on with them except with open doors, and in such a manner that they can be seen within. But I also think that it would be necessary to ask the savages—and to obtain from them by means of a collar, given to them publicly in open council—not to allow their women and girls to roam through the French houses; or to enter them, save only when necessary to trade some article, without stopping there any longer. Indeed, they should even never go there alone, but they should always be accompanied by some other person, to prevent anything that might give occasion for evil or for scandal.

Moreover, lewdness has become established not only through the liberty that the French have taken of admitting to their houses the savage women at all hours; but what has most contributed to establish it is the liberty, which they themselves have taken, of going to seek those women in their villages. To such an extent is this carried that many of the most dissolute do not hesitate to leave the French houses, and to go to live with the women in their cabins. This is, however, an evil that has begun only since the departure of Monsieur de lAdurantaye, whose successors have not been as chaste as he was; as a result of this, one of them has more than one child in the village. This is, I say, still another kind of misconduct that must be especially prohibited, in order to prevent its beginning again.

When I came to this mission, if any voyageur were obliged, through any extraordinary necessity, to lodge for any time in the village of the savages, he notified the commandant and the missionary, so that he might be assigned to a cabin about which there was no suspicion, that he might lodge there without scandal. But we no longer live in such happy times. Unchaste commandants and traders have obtained the upper hand, without paying any heed to the just opposition of the missionaries—who witness the scandal without being able to prevent it, because the commandants support it.

Here is another evil in connection with this matter, which is all the greater because it is made more visible by trying to hide it. It is that there are several who are addicted to such excessive and continual lewdness that, as they cannot bear to have any other company than that of the women who are necessary to their passions, they build separate houses for themselves alone—where, remaining solitary as regards the French, they are never so as regards the women, at the times suitable for their commerce. You see very well that this is not an evil that can be tolerated, so scandalous is it. Traders—who are associated together, and have common interests—should not live thus, separated from one another, lest while dwelling alone, accidents might happen to them which they fear not, but which they should fear, and which every one should dread for them. May we therefore be delivered forever from those solitaries and their solitudes.

Finally, the most scandalous evil of all, and that which needs to be most strenuously opposed, is that the traders have become so accustomed to have women for their use in the trading-places, and these have become so necessary to them, that they cannot do without them even on their journeys. I do not refer to those who are taken with their husbands, because there is nothing in this that is not decent; and, consequently, those are not the ones whose company is generally desired. I refer to single women, women without husbands, women who are mistresses of their own bodies, women who can dispose of them to these men, and whom the latter know to be willing to do so,—in a word, they are all the prostitutes of Montreal, who are alternately brought here and taken back; and they are all the prostitutes of this place, who are carried in the same way from here to Montreal, and from Montreal here. At present this is the usual manner in which their journeys are carried on; and voyages are no longer performed without a continual flow and ebb of that tide of prostitutes,—whom we see ascending and descending, going and coming from one mission to another, without cessation,—to the most heinous and loathsome scandal of the people. The pretext that they usually allege for taking women in preference to men on their journeys is, that women cost them less than men, and are satisfied with lower wages. They speak the truth; but the very fact of their being satisfied with less wages is a manifest proof of their dissoluteness. If they were wise would they not ask to be paid the same as men, since they perform the same services—and frequently do more, by cutting wood for them and by cooking their food, which the men will not do? Therefore that is not their sole reason for taking women; but the reason is that the women, being depraved, want them as men; and they, on their part, want them as women, on all their journeys,—after which If they quit one another, they separate from these only to seek others.

I ask you here, Monseigneur, whether you consider that all these evils, respecting which I have just submitted our complaints, can be abolished by restoring the 25 permits. If they can be abolished, then restore the permits; and assure us that the evils are abolished, by measures that will be certain to produce their effect. But if, on the contrary, you do not consider that they can be abolished, you should at the same time consider that the 25 permits must by no means be restored, since their restoration would infallibly cause that of lawlessness.

Now suppose that, for the reasons given above, neither the garrisons with their commandants nor the 25 permits are reëstablished in our missions; and that the trade of the savages cannot be reëstablished or permanently fixed with certainty at Montreal. There would remain, then, no other measure for the Company to adopt than to send and maintain in our missions up here selected persons, sober and virtuous, intelligent, and well versed in everything connected with that trade,—and, finally, such as would be fully disposed to live on terms of mutual agreement with all the missionaries. These men should be sent, in whatever number the Company might deem necessary and sufficient for carrying on its trade, for attaching thereto the savages, and for retaining them in it both by their presence and that of their wares; and by the sight, the transportation, and the continual sale of those wares among them. The French should be stationed in a good fort, always well provisioned, and well supplied with arms for its defense and for successfully combating the savages in case of necessity,—where those who would have charge of the trade would on such occasions occupy the position of commandants, while the others would take the place of the garrisons.

Such, Monseigneur, is what we consider the best that can be done for our missions, and the best that can be done in the interest of the Company—which, by that means, would be sure to obtain exclusive possession of all thebeaver-skins. For there would no longer be either commandants or garrisons—who, in spite of all the precautions that may be taken, nevertheless succeed in obtaining a considerable portion of the peltries, by an infinite number of hidden ways and by secret intelligence with the savages. The Company would also be assured thereby that, as the 25 permits would no longer be available, the goods would not be wasted in a thousand unnecessary expenses by all the libertines among a dissolute youth. It is your duty to consider, after that, in the presence of God and in the very depths of your conscience, what you should represent to the court as the most expedient and the most necessary measures,—I mean not only for the good of our missions and of religion, or only for the good of the trade, but for the welfare of both. I desire the good of both religion and the trade, which you are obliged to keep in accord one with the other, without ever separating one from the other,—so that trade may never interfere with religion, which must ever be the foremost and most essential of all our interests.

As regards the Detroit establishment, I have nothing to tell you about it of my own knowledge; for I have no information concerning it, except through the reports of the French and the savages who talk with us here about it. Judging from their reports, it does not seem to them to be an advantageous establishment. They are not satisfied with it, for various very important reasons—which I have pointed out to the Reverend father superior, in what I write for my justification against the charges brought by Monsieur de la Motte, who continues to persecute me.

I would not now be in this trouble, had I deserved to obtain from you the favor that I had asked from you, that of sending to the court the letter Containing our complaints in 13 articles, to be presented to His Majesty,—begging him to do us justice against the calumnies and violence of Monsieur de la Motte, and to protect us against his threats of ruining our missions, which he was then publicly uttering in the presence of the French, who listened to him with astonishment. I foresaw very well that he was a man capable of carrying his evil designs before the court, as he has already done by calumnies, and as he has quite recently done against Father Vaillant. I thought that I would forestall him, in order to prevent the effect of his threats; and I would certainly have prevented it, had our complaints—which I had reduced to 13 articles, and which I had addressed to you—been laid before His Majesty, as I had begged you, in the name of all our fathers, to do. But it was my misfortune not to deserve that favor from you, however necessary it might have been for all of us missionaries. He thereby derived all the advantage that he desired, in order to be the first to accuse us before the court. You will have learned his recent charges against me, respecting my pretended opposition to his establishment of Detroit; and you may see it in my letter of justification written to the Reverend Father Superior, who will not fail to communicate it to you. Although my innocence prevents my dreading his false accusations, it is however necessary for my protection that you should do now what has not been done in the past. Although you have not sent my letter of complaint to the court, I cannot persuade myself that you should have deemed it so little worthy of consideration as not to wish at least to keep it, so that you might use it in future to do us justice in case of need. Therefore, having no doubt that you have kept it, I beg you to be good enough to place it in the hands of the Reverend Father Superior, to whom I have written to ask you for it on my behalf. It is the last favor and the only necessary request that I can ask from you before your departure from this country. I would myself have gone in person to ask you for it, on the kind invitation that you and Madame have been good enough to send me to go down below, in order to give myself the consolation of paying my respects to you, of seeing you, and of conversing with both of you previous to your return to France—whither His Majesty recalls you, to occupy the position of Intendant of Havre and of all its coasts. But the actual condition of my divided mission, which I must reunite, does not permit me to leave it while it is divided, in order to give myself such consolation as that.

The assurance which you convey to me, in the most obliging manner in the world, that you will always continue to grant me the honor of your friendship to the extent of wishing me still to write to you, in spite of the distance that there will be between us, about all that shall occur in our missions, and to inform you of all the need that we may have of your assistance,—with the same confidence as that with which I have informed you of them during the 15 years while Canada has enjoyed the happiness of your presence,—such an assurance, I say, was needed by me to mitigate the sorrow that your departure was to cause me, and to make it more endurable to me. Therefore you will still bear with my letters, and, if the extent and multitude of your occupations allow you a few moments leisure to enable you to honor me with your answers, such an honor will surely cause me more pleasure than I deserve. The whole of your family—yourself, Madame, Messieurs your children, and, above all, our little missionary—will ever be dear to me. I shall never forget what I owe to you; and, if I can render you no other services, I can at least assure you of that of my prayers, and of the sacrifices that I shall offer to God on the Altar for your preservation, for your prosperity, and for the happy administration of your intendance, with all the success that you can desire. I remain with all the esteem and all the respect that you deserve,

your very humble and
very obedient servant,
signed, Etienne de Carheil,
of the Society of Jesus.

In speaking of the Detroit establishment, I forgot to tell you that, during the whole time while the war lasted, the savages desired that establishment at Detroit; because they always supposed that the destruction of the Iroquois was desired, and that by his destruction they would peaceably enjoy all the lands in his country. But since they have found that, far from wishing to destroy him, we thought only of sparing and preserving him; of befriending him, by giving him land in what they considered as their own country; and by restoring the fort of Cataracouy for his benefit,—they have completely changed their minds, and no longer look upon Detroit in any other light than that of an enemy's country, where they can have no wish to dwell, and where there can be no security for them. And assuredly they cannot think or judge otherwise; so that those of the Huron nation who remain here, and who do not wish to go to Detroit, mistrust those who have gone to settle there, and think that they intend to go there in order to surrender to the Iroquois, so as to join in the trade with the English.



This document is an account of the missions of the Society in Canada during 1696. It is apparently written by Jacques de Lamberville, but is without indication of either place or date. Shea published it as the opening chapter in No. 20 (so enumerated by Lenox Library) of his Cramoisy series, of which the following is a description:

"Relation | des | Affaires du Canada, | En 1696. | Avec des Lettres des Peres de la | Compagnie de Jésus depuis | 1696 jusqu'en 1702. | [Cut with storks] | Nouvelle-York: | De la presse Cramoisy de Jean-Marie Shea. | MDCCCLXV."

Title, verso blank, 1 leaf; Avant Propos, signed by Shea, p. (1); contents, on verso; text, pp. 7-73; no colophon. Frequently bound in with Nos. 21 and 22 of the series—Bigot's Relation de la Mission Abnaquise de St. François de Sales l'Année 1702 (New York, 1865); and Gravier's Lettre of February 23, 1708 (New York, 1865).

We follow a MS. in the Manuscripts Department of the Library of Congress, at Washington, D. C. This, with several other Jesuit missionary MSS., some originals and some contemporary apographs, was purchased for the library from the collection of the late Peter Force.


We obtain François de Crépieul's "La Vie d'un Missionaire Montagnaix" (dated April 21, 1697) from the MS. volume in the archiepiscopal archives of Quebec, described in the Bibliographical Data for Vol. LXIII. of our series, under Doc. CLVII.


This document consists of two letters written by Jacques Gravier to Bishop Laval—the first from Montreal, September 17, 1697; the second from Michillimackinac, September 20, 1698. The former we obtain from the original MS. at Laval University, Quebec; the latter, from L'Abeille, vol. 7, no. 13.

Shea has published the French text of both of these letters: the first-named, in No. 20 of his Cramoisy series—described under Doc. CLXIX. above, pp. 23-28; the second, in No. 15 of that series, pp. 63-66, of which the following is a description:

"Relation | de la | Mission du Missisipi | du Seminaire de Québec en 1700. | Par MM. de Montigny, de St. Cosme, et Thaumur de | la Source. | [Cut with storks] | Nouvelle York: | A la Presse Cramoisy de Jean-Marie Shea. | M DCCC LXI."

Title, with attestation on verso of number printed, 1 leaf; table, verso blank, 1 leaf; Avant-Propos, signed by "J. M. S.," p. (1); verso, with Note on St. Cosme, signed "J. B. F.;" text (six documents), pp. 9-66; colophon: "Achevé d'imprimer le 17 Mai, 1861," with verso blank, 1 leaf.


All three of these documents we take from Shea's Cramoisy series No. 20, described under Doc. CLXIX. above. They consist of: A letter of Julien Binneteau to a brother Jesuit, written from the Illinois country in 1699 (apparently in January); a letter from Gabriel Marest to another Jesuit, also from the Illinois, April 29, 1699; and another from Jacques Bigot to a brother Jesuit, from the Abenaki country (apparently on October 26), 1699. We have been unable to trace the whereabouts of the original MSS.


The original MS. of Jacques Gravier's journal of his tour down the Mississippi (written from Fort de Mississipi, in February, 1701) rests in the archives of l'École de Ste. Geneviève, in Paris, its press-mark being "Canada Divers, tome II, doc. 6." This MS. we follow in the present publication.

Shea published this document in one of his Cramoisy series, of which the following is a description:

"Relation | ou Journal | du Voyage | du | R. P. Jacques Gravier, | de la Compagnie de Jésus, | en 1700 | depuis le pays des Illinois jusqu'à | l'embouchure du Mississipi. | [Cut with storks] | Nouvelle York, Isle de Manate, | De la Presse Cramoisy de Jean-Marie Shea. | M. DCCC. LIX."

Title, with attestation on verso of number printed, 1 leaf; contents, verso blank, 1 leaf; text, pp. 5-67; "Note" on p. 68; colophon, with verso blank, 1 leaf. The colophon reads: "Achevé d'Imprimer par J. Munsell, à Albany, d'après l'original, restant à la maison Professe de Paris, ce 31 Aoust, 1859."

In the Lenox Library Catalogue of the Shea series, this volume is numbered 11; but, in the volume itself, Mr. Lenox called it No. 12. As has frequently been explained in these bibliographical notes, the Lenox numbering, while adopted by us as convenient for reference, is wholly arbitrary. This publication was issued in both large- and small-paper editions, the former being upon fine writing-paper; Lenox Library has No. 1 of four such copies printed. The whole number printed of the Relation, professes to have been 100.

As above stated, Shea's publication of the French version of Gravier's voyage was made in 1859. Two years later, he published an English translation in the following work:

"Early voyages| up and down the Mississippi,| by| Cavelier, St. Cosme, Le Sueur,| Gravier, and Guignas.| With an Introduction, Notes, and an Index,| By John Gilmary Shea,| [Munsell's mark]| Albany:| Joel Munsell.| 1861."

Half-title: "Munsell's Historical Series No. viii.," with verso blank, 1 leaf; title, verso blank, 1 leaf; dedication: "To the Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa Historical Societies, as a token of membership, this volume is offered by John Gilmary Shea," with verso blank, 1 leaf; preface, pp. vii., viii.; contents, verso blank, 1 leaf; introduction, pp. vi.-xi. (a repetition of pagination); text, with half-titles, pp. 13-175; p. 176 blank; appendix, pp. 177-179; p. 180 blank; index, pp. 181-188; list of subscribers, pp. 189-191.


The original MS. of this report upon the revenues of the Jesuits, drafted at Quebec, October 4, 1701, rests in the archives of the Ministère des Colonies, at Paris, the press-mark being "Église de Canada, vol. 106, carton 11, folio 48." We follow the original.


We also follow the original MS. of this letter of Etienne de Carheil to Louis Hector de Callières, governor of Michillimackinac, dated August 30, 1702. It rests in the Archives Nationales, at Paris, its press-mark being "Carton M. 204."

A portion of this letter is given in Orhand's life of Carheil—Un Admirable Inconnu (Paris et Lille, n.d., but subsequent to 1886).

An apograph of the original, made for Father Jones by a professional copyist attached to the Archives Nationales, is in the archives of St. Mary's College, Montreal. For the present publication, however, we have preferred to follow our own transcript.


(Figures in parentheses, following number of note, refer to pages of English text.)



(p. 27).—This woman was Susanne Gouentagrandi; see Milet's account of her kindness to him during his captivity (vol. lxiv., pp. 77-83, 89, 93, 105).


(p. 29).—Regarding Frontenac's last expedition against the Iroquois, see his official report thereof, and "Narrative of the most remarkable occurrences in Canada, 1695-96" (N. Y. Colon. Docs., vol. ix., pp. 639-657). Cf. La Potherie's Hist. Amer. Septent., t. ii., pp. 270-282; N. Y. Doc. Hist., vol. i., pp. 323-355; and Parkman's Frontenac, pp. 410-417.


(p. 33).—Joseph Seré de la Colombière, a Sulpitian priest, came to Canada in 1682. When recalled to France by his superiors (1691), he left the Sulpitians; but he returned to Canada in the following year, at the same time as Bishop St. Vallier, and was a prominent ecclesiastical official there during the rest of his life. He died at Quebec, July 18, 1723.

Guillaume Seré de la Colombière came, when a student for the priesthood, to Canada, where he was ordained in February, 1698. He was then appointed chaplain to the General Hospital at Quebec, a post which he retained until his death, Oct. 22, 1713, aged thirty-nine years.—Langevin's Biog. Laval, p. 272; Gosselin's Henri de Bernières, p. 131; St. Vallier et l'Hôpital Général (Quebec, 1882), p. 711.


(p. 41).—There were at Quebec two merchants of the same name, François Hazeur, father and son. The former, whose wife was Marie Provost, had four children; the two daughters became Hospital nuns. He died in 1685, at Montreal.

The elder of his sons, François, was born in 1638, and in 1672 married Antoinette Soumande, by whom he had fourteen children. He died in June, 1708; he was then a member of the supreme council. Two of his sons became priests—Pierre, ordained in 1700; and Thierry, ordained in 1706.


(p. 53).—It will be remembered that St. Vallier was now bishop of Canada, in place of Laval (vol. lxiii., note 10).


(p. 53).—Concerning the appointment of Allouez as vicar-general in the West, see vol. lvi., note 8 (where read "vicar-general" instead of "grand vicar"). Shea thinks that the same dignity was conferred upon Marquette in 1672, when about to begin his exploration of the Mississipi (Church in Col. Days, p. 313). Gravier was appointed thereto in December, 1690 (but the Seminary priest Montigny, during 1698-1701); Mermet succeeded to the office, apparently in 1707; and, ten years later, Dominique Marie Varlet (Ibid., pp. 535-538, 543, 544, 555). From the jurisdiction of the latter were, however, excepted the Jesuits, who were directed by their own superior.


(p. 61).—In the autumn of 1698, missions among the Western Algonkins were opened by the Séminaire des Missions Étrangères (vol. xlv., note 1; vol. lii., note 4; vol. lxiv., note 22). For this enterprise were selected François Jolliet de Montigny, Antoine Davion, and Jean François Buisson (Bisson) de Saint Cosme. The two former bore nearly half of the expenses for their outfit, which cost nearly 10,000 livres. From the outset, there was, very naturally, more or less friction between them and the Jesuits, upon whose field the seminary priests had thus intruded. The latter carried on various missions, mainly among the tribes on the lower Mississippi; but their efforts showed little result, except at Cahokia, where a considerable number of French families had settled. By 1721, the work of the seminary priests had entirely ceased in the Mississippi Valley.

Montigny came from Paris to Canada, and was ordained at Quebec in 1693; he was for some time director of the Ursuline convent there. After two years spent in the Louisiana mission (1698-1700), Montigny returned to France; he became a missionary in China, where he labored with much success until 1710. Thereafter he resided at Paris as director of the Missions Étrangères, and died in 1725, aged 64 years.

St. Cosme was a Canadian, born at Quebec in February, 1667. He was ordained at the age of twenty-three, and, after doing missionary work at Mines, in Acadia, was sent to the Mississippi, where he labored at Cahokia and Natchez, successively. While on a voyage down the river, he was assassinated by a band of Chetimacha savages, near the end of the year 1702 (following Pénicaut, in Margry's Découv. et établ., t. v., p. 433; but 1706, according to La Harpe, Journ. Hist., p. 101). He had a cousin bearing the same name as his own, and also a priest, who remained in Quebec—born in 1660, ordained in 1683; he died in 1712.

Davion located his residence among the Tonicas, at a place now known as Fort Adams, Miss.; he remained there until 1708, when his mission became endangered by hostile savages, and he withdrew to Mobile. In 1725, Davion returned to France, where he died, Apr. 8, 1726.

Julien Binneteau (Binteau) was born at La Flèche, March 13, 1653, and entered the Jesuit novitiate at Paris, Sept. 7, 1676. He was a student at La Flèche in 1680-81, and at Paris in 1685-89; the rest of the period 1678-90 was spent as instructor at Rouen, Nevers, Amien, and Caen, successively. In 1691, he came to Canada, and two years later was serving the Acadian mission. Rochemonteix says (Jésuites, t. iii., pp. 538, and 539, note 1) that Binneteau spent two years at St. François de Sales; and that he then went to Michillimackinac, and thence (1696) to Kaskaskia. He remained in the Illinois mission until his death, which occurred (according to Rochemonteix, Jésuites, t. iii., p. 541) Dec. 24, 1699. The hardships which cost him his life are described by Marest—Lettres édifiantes (Toulouse ed., 1610), t. vi., p. 274; see our vol. lxvi., p. 253.


(p. 73).—The assimines here mentioned were the fruits of the papaw (Asimina triloba); the piakimines, those of the persimmon (vol. lix., note 32). Cf. vol. lxiv., note 21.


(p. 73).— Allusion is made to the opossum (Didelphys Virginiana).


(p. 87).—The Abenaki village referred to was Naurakamig, as written by Vincent Bigot (Rochemonteix's Jésuites, t. iii., pp. 438-439, note); or Narankamigouk, by Rale (Maine Hist. Colls., vol. iv., p. 102). It was established by that Father in 1698, in order to provide a suitable location for teaching them agriculture. He was replaced by his brother Jacques, in September, 1698.


(p. 101).—This removal of the Kaskaskia tribe from their old home (vol. lix., note 42; vol. lxiv., note 28) was to the site of the modern village of Kaskaskia. These savages at first intended to migrate to the vicinity of Iberville's new post in Louisiana; but Gravier induced them to remain at the above place. The village was called by them Rouensac, after their chief Rouensa; the Jesuit mission therein was named for the Immaculate Conception. A French trading post was soon established here; most of the traders and voyageurs took Indian wives, and thus formed the nucleus of the village of Kaskaskia.—See N. Y. Colon. Docs., vol. ix., pp. 886, 891; Shea's Church in Colon. Days, pp. 544, 557-559; Doherty's "Kaskaskia the Ancient," U. S. Cath. Hist. Mag., vol. iv., pp. 31-45; Wallace's Illinois and Louisiana under French Rule (Cincinnati, 1893), pp. 198-205.

The appellation "Illinois du détroit" is explained by Mermet (vol. lxvi., doc. clxxx.,), as referring to the Peorias. As Lake Peoria is but an expansion of the Illinois River, the phrase "du détroit" probably alludes to the narrowing of the river at the lower end of the lake, where their village was located.

Jacques Gravier was born at Moulins, France, May 17, 1651; he was educated at the Jesuit college there, and entered the novitiate of the order at Paris, Oct. 29, 1670. An instructor at Hesdin during 1672-77, and at Eu and Arras in 1678-80, his studies were pursued at Paris until 1684; and in the following year he came to Canada. He spent a year at Sillery, and in 1686 was sent to Michillimackinac. Two years later, he succeeded Allouez in the Illinois mission, where he remained (except a few years, ca. 1695-98, during which he was superior at Mackinac) until, late in 1705, he was seriously wounded by an arrow, shot at him by a revengeful savage. His fellow-missionaries attempted to cure him, and afterward sent him to Mobile for medical treatment; thence he went (late in 1706) to Paris, with the same object. In February, 1708, he came back to America, hoping to continue his mission labors; but he died soon afterward (April 23), apparently from the effects of his wound, which had proved incurable. Gravier was a missionary of great ability and efficiency, and an excellent linguist; a dictionary of the Illinois language, supposed to have been compiled by him, was in the possession of the late J. H. Trumbull.


(p. 103).—The settlement of Cahokia was begun not long before that of Kaskaskia (note 11, ante), apparently by the settlement there of the Tamaroas, an Illinois tribe; its name is that of another tribe of that nation, also written Kaoukia (vol. lxiv., note 29).

The savages were quickly followed by a French trading post, and by a Jesuit missionary, Pinet (vol. lxiv., note 22), and a Seminary priest, St. Cosme. The latter apparently remained here but a short time, and was succeeded by Jean Bergier—who, after Montigny's departure (1700), became superior of the Mississippi missions. His headquarters were at Cahokia, where, it is probable, he died. This event occurred, according to Shea (Church in Colon. Days, p. 551), Nov. 9, 1707.

The Metchigamea were living near the mouth of Arkansas River when visited by Marquette in 1673 (vol. lix., pp. 151, 153).

Gabriel Marest was born at Laval, France, Oct. 14, 1662; and became a Jesuit novice at Paris, Oct. 1, 1681. He was an instructor at Vannes during 1682-88, and a student at Bourges and Paris during five years more. In 1694, he came to Canada, and was at once sent to Hudson Bay with Iberville (vol. lxiv., notes 19, 25). As he relates in a letter to Lamberville (vol. lxvi., doc. clxxxi.), he was captured there by the English in the following year, and taken to England; but was afterward sent back to France. He returned to Canada at the first opportunity, and was sent to the Western missions. From 1698, he ministered to the Kaskaskias, accompanying them in their removal to the Mississipi; he devoted himself to the civilization as well as the religious instruction of this tribe, taught them to cultivate the soil and raise domestic animals, and rendered them the most industrious and peaceable of the Western savages. Gravier states, in a letter to the general (vol. lxvi., doc. clxxxii.), written in 1707, that the Kaskaskia village then numbered 2,200 souls; and that all of these, except 40 or 50, professed Christianity. Marest was also an accomplished linguist, as we learn from the statements of his fellow-missionaries; but no MS. of his is known to exist. He died in his mission, Sept. 15, 1714 (not 1715, as in Shea). The circular letter announcing his death, written by Mermet, is in the archives of l'École de Ste. Geneviève, Paris; and an apograph of it is in St. Mary's College, Montreal.


(p. 103).—Paul du Rue (Ru) was born at Vernon, France, October 6, 1666. At the age of twenty, he entered the Jesuit novitiate. He acted as instructor at Quimper, Vannes, and Nevers during 1688-94, and then studied at Paris for five years. Iberville, making his second voyage to Louisiana (in the autumn of 1699), brought with him Du Rue, who had been selected by his superiors to found a mission in that new colony; he also acted as chaplain to the French at Biloxi and Mobile. With his colleague Joseph de Limoges, who came a year later, he labored among the savages dwelling in Mississippi and in Louisiana south of the Red River; while the Seminary priests carried on their missions among the tribes north of that stream. The latter priests requested that they be allowed to enter the Jesuit field of labor, but independently of the Jesuits. Du Rue thereupon went to France (1702) in order to oppose this project, which was supported by Bishop St. Vallier. No satisfactory settlement of the affair could be reached; and the Jesuits in Louisiana were therefore recalled by their superiors in the following year. Du Rue remained in France, where he acted in the capacity of a preacher and missionary; he died at Rouen, March 30, 1741.


(p. 105).—Miaramigoua: the Maramec, a river of Missouri, 150 miles long, discharging its waters into the Mississippi, 19 miles below St. Louis; it flows through a country abounding in mines of lead, iron, and copper. These mines, it is said, "gave rise to the famous Mississipi scheme, 1719."


(p. 109).—Louis Michel Duhemme, dit Terrien, was born at Three Rivers, in 1671. He married, and had a son; but nothing further is known about him.


(p. 109).—Tanguay records the birth (1665) of Pierre Chabot, son of Mathurin; but gives no other information regarding this son.


(p. 115).—This Rivière à Mayot (Margot, on most maps) is apparently that now known as Wolf River, which falls into the Mississippi just above Memphis, Tenn. From it, by portages, there was easy communication with the Tombigby River, upon the upper waters of which the Chickasaw Indians were then located.


(p. 115).—Joseph de Limoges, born at Vannes, France, Sept. 19, 1668, entered the Jesuit novitiate at Paris, upon reaching the age of eighteen. An instructor at Amiens, and a student at Paris (at each, five years), he came to Canada in 1698; and, two years later, joined Du Rue (note 13, ante) in Louisiana. He there maintained a mission among the Houmas, near the mouth of Red River. Recalled to France in 1703, he died in his native town, Jan. 30, 1704—mainly from grief at the loss of his mission, according to Rochemonteix (Jésuites, t. iii., p. 587).

The Taogria (Taogarios) are mentioned by La Harpe (Journ. Hist., p. 81) as "settled upon the Casquinambo [Tennessee] River, which flows into the Ouabacho [Ohio];" he adds that these savages had killed five Frenchmen (in the summer of 1703), "at the instigation of some Englishmen who were carrying on the trade which they had established with that nation." The Taogria would appear to be some migrating band of the Shawnees (vol. xlvii., note 9). As early as 1699, the French learned that the English of Virginia and North Carolina had found their way across the Alleghanies, and were trading with the Choctaws and Chickasaws. The Taogria village is indicated on several maps (that of Senex, 1710; De Fer, 1718; and others) as far up the Tennessee.


(p. 117). —Regarding the piakimine, see note 8, ante.


(p. 117).—The Arkansas tribes here mentioned have been regarded by some writers as now extinct; but Dorsey states (Amer. Naturalist, vol. xx., p. 216) that he has found "members of them still existing." He regards them simply as villages of the Kwapa tribe: Kappa (Quapaw) is U-ga'-qpa-qti, "real Kwapas;" Tourima (Thoriman of Joutel), Ti-u-a'-d^dhi-ma^n'; Sitteoü (Otsote), U-zu'-ti-u'-hi,—when scientifically expressed in the nomenclature of the U. S. Bureau of Ethnology.

For account of these and other Siouan tribes,—their habitat, history, organization, customs, etc.,—see McGee's "Siouan Indians," and Dorsey's "Siouan Sociology," in U. S. Bur. Ethnol. Rep., 1893-94, pp. 157-244.


(p. 121).—Our MS. has plus de 28 ans; Shea corrects the figures to "27," which is correct, as Marquette's voyage occurred in 1673.


(p. 125).—Cf. Marquette's description of the calumet and its dance, vol. lix., pp. 129-137, and notes 27, 29; and Allouez's, vol. li., pp. 47, 49.

There is in the archives of St. François du Lac (the Abenaki mission near Three Rivers) an unpublished MS. volume by the Jesuit missionary Jacques (Eustache, according to Charlevoix) le Sueur (in Canada from 1716 to 1760), dated 1744, which contains a curious chapter on the "History of the Calumet and of the Dance." From this it appears that the calumet dance was introduced, about 1720, among the Abenakis of St. François de Sales, whom the Fox Indians of Wisconsin were then endeavoring to seduce from their French alliance. The missionaries used all their efforts to suppress it, but it obtained a strong foothold among the Abenakis. This chapter on the calumet dance was printed in Soirées Canadiennes, vol. iv. (1864), pp. 111-135.


(p. 129).—The "river of Tounika" was the Yazoo River, in Mississipi. On its banks were several Indian villages in 1700, the Tonicas (Tounikas) dwelling nearest its mouth. Half a century later, they were located on the east shore of the Mississipi River, south of Red River. By 1817, most of the tribe had ascended the latter stream to Avoyelles, 90 miles from its mouth.

The Ounspik are, more correctly, Ouispes or Oussipés,—the name applied to them by Iberville and Pénicaut. Yakou (?yashu, "a leafy tree") seems to indicate a tribe bearing the same name as the river.—See Gatschet's Migration Legend of the Creek Indians (Phila., 1884; no. iv. of Brinton's "Library of Aboriginal American Literature"), pp. 39-41, 97-99. This valuable work is a careful, detailed, and scholarly study of the aboriginal ethnography of the Gulf region between the Carolinas and Texas; it is probably the best authority now extant upon this subject.


(p. 133).—In regard to the manufacture of pottery among these tribes, see vol. lix., note 40. Cf. Peabody Museum Reports, 1875; pp. 18-21, 28-45; 1878, pp. 317-328, 343-360.

The canes so often here mentioned by Gravier are the stems of Arundinaria macrosperma—a tall, woody grass allied to the bamboo. It grows throughout the Southern States, forming dense "cane-brakes."


(p. 137).—The Taensa tribe were located in what is now Tensas county, La., on the east side of the Mississippi. When Iberville visited them (1700), they had seven villages, grouped around a lake, probably Lake St. Joseph. Soon afterward, part of these people removed to the vicinity of Mobile. This tribe is now extinct.

The Naktche (Natches) had nine villages, at the place where now stands the city of Natchez, Miss. A French settlement was early formed in their vicinity; but this was resented by the savages, who in November, 1729, massacred the white colonists. The French, in retaliation, attacked the Natches, and drove them from their homes (February, 1730). The remnants of the tribe fled far eastward, and were afterward incorporated with the Creeks; a small band are now living in Indian Territory.—See Gatschet, ut supra (note 23).

Brinton says (Amer. Race, p. 89): "Within the horizon of the Muskoki stock [the Creeks, as also the Choctaws, Chickasaws, Seminoles, and other tribes] were a number of small tribes speaking languages totally different. We may reasonably suppose them to have been the débris of the ancient population who held the land before the Muskokis had descended upon it from the north and west." Within this group he includes the Natchez, Taensas, Tonicas, Chetimachas, and others.


(p. 141).—The book here referred to was published at Paris in 1697, under the title Dernières découvertes dans l'Amérique Septentrionale de M. de la Sale; Mises au jour par M. le Chevalier Tonti. Cf. Charlevoix's Nouv. France, t. i., pp. 460, 464; t. ii., p. 260. Margry has published two genuine relations by Tonty, dated 1684 and 1693 (Découv. et établ., t. i., p. 573).


(p. 151).—The Humas (Houmas) were a Cha'hta (Choctaw) tribe located on the east side of the Mississippi, seven leagues above the mouth of Red River. In 1699, they numbered about 350 families. "They once claimed the ground on which New Orleans stands, and after the Revolution lived on Bayou Lafourche." "The limit between the lands occupied by the Huma and the Bayogoula was marked by a high pole painted red, which stood on the high shores of Mississippi River at Baton Rouge, La."—See Gatschet's Migration Legend, pp. 103, 114, 115.


(p. 157).—There is much confusion among historical writers about the identity of the Canadian explorers in the South, named Juchereau de St. Denis. As well as can be determined by the data now available, it was Charles, son of Nicolas Juchereau (vol. xxxiv., note 5), who established a trading post and tannery (in the autumn of 1702) near the mouth of the Ohio, probably at or near the site of the later Fort Massac. He died there about two years afterward.—See La Harpe's Journ. Hist., pp. 75, 88, 89; Margry's Découv. et établ., t. v., pp. 349-352, 357, 363-368, 438.

With Iberville came to Louisiana (1700) a brother of Charles Juchereau—Louis, born in 1676. He was a trusted lieutenant of Iberville and Bienville, and was sent by them on several expeditions to Mexico; for several years he was commandant of Fort Mississipi; and he explored much of the region tributary to the Lower Mississippi and Red rivers. He learned many Indian languages, and had great influence among the savages. He participated, with much distinction, in the capture of Pensacola, in 1719; for this he was made captain of a military company, and made governor of the fort at Natchitoches. French states (La. Hist. Colls., new ser., p. 84, note) that in 1726 St. Denis returned to Montreal, where he died; but Tanguay makes no mention of Louis Juchereau beyond the date of his birth; so it is improbable that he died in Canada. Charlevoix states (Nouv. France, t. ii., p. 498) that in 1731 St. Denis was besieged at his fort by the Natches whom he defeated. In 1714 he married a Spanish girl whom he met on one of his Mexican expeditions—Doña Maria de Vilescas. Tanguay ascribes this marriage to Joseph Charles, son of the Charles above mentioned; but Joseph was only eighteen years old at the time of the marriage, and there is no evidence that he was in Louisiana at that time. The time of Louis's death is not recorded.

The savage peoples named in our text are the southern tribes of the Pani (Pawnee) stock, which extended from the Platte River to the Gulf of Mexico. The Kadodakio are now known as the Caddoes; Iberville found them (1699) on the Red River; one of their villages was Nactythos (Natchitoches). The Senis (Cenis) are the Assinais (Assiné); their location was in Central Texas. The Kiouahaa (Kiouahau) are the Kiowas, located on the upper waters of the Canadian-Arkansas River.—See Gatschet's Migration Legend, pp. 42-44; and Brinton's Amer. Race, pp. 95-97, 101, 102.

The fort built by Iberville—Fort Mississipi, also called Fort La Boulaye—was situated at a point 54 miles from the Gulf. Its site is marked upon Jefferys's map of the Mississippi River (1759), and others.—See Winsor's Miss. Basin, pp. 50-52, 75.


(p. 159).—The tribes here mentioned belonged to the Cha'hta (Choctaw) nation. Gatschet mentions their migrations to the west side of the Mississippi "at an early epoch, no doubt prompted by the increase of population. The Cha'hta emigrating to these western parts were looked at by their countrymen at home . . . as outcasts, on account of the turbulent and lawless elements which made up a large part of them." Among these were the Humas (note 27, ante); the Bayogoulas (Baiougoulas) and Mugulashas (Mougoulachas), who lived together in one village, situated on the west shore of the Mississippi, 64 leagues from the sea; the Biloxis, "of whom scattered remnants now live in the forests of Louisiana, south of the Red River;" and the Acolapissas (Kolapissas, Quinipissas), in the region northwest to northeast of New Orleans. All, save the Biloxis, are now extinct.—See Gatschet's Migration Legend, pp. 103, 109-113.


(p. 165).—Bilocchi is the modern Biloxi, Miss. In 1699, Iberville erected here Fort Maurepas. It proved to be a barren and insalubrious location, and the colony was removed to Mobile in January, 1702.—See maps of D'Anville, De Lisle, Jefferys, and other cartographers of 18th century; also reproductions of these in Winsor's Miss. Basin, pp. 59, 75, 423, 425, 448.

A Spanish colony had settled at Pensacola in 1696. The place was twice captured by the French, under Bienville, in 1719; but it was restored to Spain in 1721, when the war between that country and other European powers came to an end.


(p. 167).—Sauvole de Villantray was a lieutenant under Iberville; many writers say that he was a brother of the latter, but this seems improbable. He was commandant at Fort Maurepas, but died there in August, 1701 (according to La Harpe, Journ. Hist., p. 35; but in the April following, as given by Pénicaut). A letter by him (dated April 1, 1700), written at Biloxi, is published by Margry (Découv. et établ., t. v., pp. 447-462).


(p. 173).—Reference is here made to the encounter by Bienville (Sept. 15, 1699) of an English ship on the Mississippi, near the present New Orleans, which belonged to an expedition sent out by Daniel Coxe, who had bought the patent of "Carolana,"—a grant made in 1627, by Charles I. of England, to Sir Robert Heath. Gravier's account indicates the pretensions already made by Englishmen to the first discovery of the Mississipi River.

The "apostate" of whom Gravier speaks, and his "relation of the Mississipi," refer to Hennepin's book, Nouvelle Decouverte d'un tres grand Pays Situé dans l'Amerique (Utrecht, 1697), and an English version, A new Discovery of a Vast Country in America (London, 1698), which were dedicated to King William of England. See bibliography of this author's works in Dionne's Hennepin (Quebec, 1897).


(p. 177).—La Salle (vol. lvii., note 2; vol. lxiii., note 30) set out from his Texas colony in January, 1687, with a party of sixteen Frenchmen and one Shawnee savage, intending to go to Canada by way of the Mississippi and Illinois, in order to secure relief for his suffering colonists. While en route, La Salle was murdered by some disaffected followers—at a place on the southern branch of the Trinity River. The priest mentioned by Gravier was Father Anastase Douay, a Recollet, who had come from France with the explorer. The Frenchmen at Biloxi were probably deserters from La Salle's forces, who had gone to live among the savages.—See Parkman's La Salle, pp. 396-446; and Sulte's "Mort de Cavelier de la Salle," in Canad. Roy. Soc. Proc., 2nd ser., vol. iv., sec. 1, pp. 3-31.


(p. 179).—Shea's publication of this document adds, at the end, a copy of the Latin inscription upon a cross erected in 1700 by the Jesuit Du Rue near the French fort on the Mississippi. The claim of priority in discovery is therein made for the French.

"The Mobilians seem to be the descendants of the inhabitants of Mauvila, a walled town, at some distance from the seat of the Tuscalusa chief, and dependent on him. These Indians are well known for their stubborn resistance offered in 1540 to the invading troops of Hernando de Soto. Subsequently they must have removed several hundred miles south of Tuscalusa River, perhaps on account of intertribal broils with the Alibamu [Alabamas]."—Gatschet's Migration Legend, p. 110.


(p. 185).—The phrases cens et rentes and lods et ventes are not translated, in legal usage. The former means a special ground-rent (in money or in kind), payable by a censitaire to his seignior; the latter was a due payable to the seignior on each sale or transfer of property. The rente amortissable means a rent redeemable by payment of the capital in installments. Terre du domaine means land in the occupancy of the lord of the manor.—Crawford Lindsay.

The pension of 5,000 livres to the Jesuits in Canada was begun in 1647 (vol. xxxvi., note 57).


(p. 201).—C. M. Burton's excellent biographical sketch of Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac (Detroit, 1895) is apparently the most detailed and accurate one thus far published; and we follow it in giving the following outline of his life. The place and date of his birth are not accurately known; but his father was a councilor in the parliament of Toulouse, and Antoine's birth occurred probably between 1657 and 1661. As a young man, he served in the French army; and in 1683 he came to America, and settled at Port Royal. A correspondent (T. P. Hall, of Detroit) raises an interesting query as to a possible kinship between Cadillac and the De la Mote who was La Saussaye's lieutenant in the Mount Desert colony captured by Argall in 1613: but there are no available data for determining this. Cadillac married Marie Thérèse Guyon, at Quebec, June 25, 1687; by her he had thirteen children. In 1688, he received from the Canadian government a grant of land in Maine—the island of Mount Desert, and a tract of four square leagues on the opposite mainland. In 1690 and 1691, he lost all his property through incursions by the English; he then settled at Quebec, and received from Frontenac an appointment in the colonial troops. From 1694 to 1697, he was commandant at Michillimackinac; on his return to Quebec, he laid before the government his plan for a French fort at Detroit. After various delays, this was accepted; and Cadillac established that post in the summer of 1701. He also sent for families to go thither, desiring to establish a permanent colony; and he soon established a thriving and prosperous village. At first, the fur trade was placed in the hands of the Compagnie du Canada, or "Company of the Colony;" but in September, 1705, they surrendered the trade, in accordance with orders from the king, to Cadillac, who enjoyed this privilege during five years. He was appointed governor of Louisiana in 1710, but did not arrive there until 1712. He remained there about five years, and apparently went to France in 1717. Little is known of his subsequent life; he died in France, Oct. 18, 1730.

Regarding the establishment and early history of Detroit, see Burton's Cadillac's Village (Detroit, 1896); Whittlesey's "Indian Affairs around Detroit in 1706," in West. Reserve Hist. Soc. Tracts, vol. i., no. 8 (reprinted in Beach's Ind. Miscellanies, pp. 270-279); and articles by R. R. Elliott in U. S. Cath. Hist. Mag., vol. i., pp. 345-365; vol. iii., pp. 264-273; vol. iv., pp. 113-124.

Cadillac, during his entire residence at Mackinac and Detroit, was engaged in quarrels with the Jesuits—partly because they claimed to be entirely independent of his authority, partly because of their opposition to the liquor-traffic. For their correspondence with him, his memorials and letters regarding affairs in that region, and various official documents, see Margry's Découv. et établ., t. v., pp. 133-346.


(p. 215).—For many years,—since at least 1660,—the fur trade had been illegally carried on by wandering Canadian trappers and voyageurs, who were commonly termed coureurs de bois, "wood-rangers." Laws against this illicit traffic were enacted by the French government, but they were seldom effective; and it was openly charged that the Canadian governors and other officials were in collusion with the coureurs de bois, and sharers in their profits. In May, 1681, royal edicts granted amnesty to those who had disobeyed these laws; and the governor was authorized to grant twenty-five licenses for the fur trade, forbidding all other persons to engage therein. Each licensed person was allowed to send out twenty-five canoes, with three men to each canoe. These licenses (permits) also proved inadequate to suppress illegal traffic, and they were revoked by the king in 1696. They were restored in 1716, again revoked in 1719, and reissued in 1726. Regarding these matters, and the value and conditions of the fur trade at that period, see Édits et Ordonnances (1854), pp. 248-250, 341, 350, 401, 481, 504; Cadillac's and Callières's "Mémoires," in Margry's Découv. et établ., t. v., pp. 138-156; N. Y. Colon. Docs., vol. ix., pp. 152-155. 159, 160, 211, 214, 408, 662, 954, 958; and Turner's admirable monograph "The Fur Trade in Wisconsin," in Wis. Hist. Soc. Proc., 1889, pp. 52-98—afterward amplified in Johns Hopkins Univ. Studies, vol. ix., nos. 11, 12.


(p. 217).—Reference is here made to the "Compagnie de la Colonie du Canada," or "Compagnie de la Nouvelle France"—an association formed in Canada, in 1700, to secure the monopoly of the Western fur trade. Cadillac was one of their number; but apparently he did not expect that they would control the trade of his new settlement at Detroit. To this he was obliged to yield, until 1705 (note 36, ante). Regarding this company, see Margry's Découv. et établ., t. v., pp. 172-203, 301-336, 360-367; and Burton's Cadillac, pp. 17-20.


[Af] on delibera d'aller aux Oiogwens. Monsieur le gouverneur et Monsieur de Calliere en etoient d'avis mais on prit le parti de revenir au lieu de pousser jusquà Oiogwen ce qui auroit bien avancé la paix.

[Ae] It was a question whether they should go to Oiogwens. Monsieur the Governor and Monsieur de Calliere were of that opinion; but it was decided to return instead of pushing on to Oiogwen, which would have greatly furthered peace.

Transcriber's Notes: Jesuit Relations, Volume 65.

Small errors in punctuation and obvious printer's errors have been corrected without comment. Capitalization has been adjusted to modern standards. For improved readability, the various French and English documents have been reunited, eliminating the original alternating page arrangement.

In order to enhance readability, the following modifications in orthography have been made:

—spaces have been inserted where words in French were run together,
likely as a result of transcription from handwritten records

—most superscripted abbreviations have been changed to the full words

—the original substitution of "u" for "v", and "j" for "i", has been

—the long s, often displayed as "ſ" has been changed to the modern short "s"

—the taurus marker "ȣ", signifying "ou" or "w", has been converted

—the small ezh marker "ʒ", signifying "ue", has been converted

—the superscript 9, signifying "us" or "ur", has been converted

—the abbreviation "ll" has been converted to "livres"

—the "o with macron or tilde", signifying a doubled
consonant following, has been converted

Otherwise, the original spelling and grammar have been retained.

Footnotes identified as Af (French version) and Ae (English version), for example. Endnotes appear in English only, and are numbered.

There is not a perfect page-to-page correspondence between the French and English versions.

Typographical errors are listed below.

1. page 28—typo in superscript—Xennemt changed to Xennémt

2. page 54—corrected "luy" ==> "luÿ"

3. page 70—typo "fevès" ==> "fèves"

4. page 106—typo "á" ==> "à"

5. page 214—typo "annéés" ==> "années"

6. page 230—3 instances of au(with tilde)==> "autre"

[The end of The Jesuit Relations: volume 65 by Reuben Gold Thwaites]