of the grand Sagamore of New France, who was, before the arrival of the French, its chief and sovereign.
Containing his promise to secure the con-
version of his subjects also, even by
strength of arms.

Sent from Port Royal, in New France, to
Sieur de la Tronchaie, dated
June 28, 1610.


JEAN REGNOUL, Rue du Foin, near Saint Ives.


With permission

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[3] A Letter Missive in regard to the
Conversion and Baptism of the Grand Sagamore of new France,
who was, before the arrival of the French, its chief and sovereign.

Sir and Brother, I did not wish the ship to depart without giving you some news of this country which I believe will be acceptable, as I know that you are a good Catholic. The Grand Sagamore, whom we call in our language Grand Captain of the Savages, and chief of all, was baptized on last saint John the Baptist's day, [4] with his wife, children, and children's children, to the number of twenty; with as much enthusiasm, fervor, and zeal for Religion as would have been evinced by a person who had been instructed in it for three or four years. He promises to have the others baptized, or else make war upon them. Monsieur de Poutrincourt and his son acted as sponsors for them in the name of the King, and of Monseigneur the Dauphin. We have already made this good beginning, which I believe will become still better hereafter. As to the country, I have never seen anything so beautiful, better, or more fertile; and I can say to you, truly and honestly, that if I had three or four Laborers with me now, and [5] the means of supporting them for one year, and some wheat to sow in the ground tilled by their labor alone, I should expect to have a yearly trade in Beaver and other Skins amounting to seven or eight thousand livres, with the [page 131] surplus which would remain to me after their support. am very sorry that did not know before my departure what know now; if had, should have left no stone unturned to bring with me two or three farmers, and two hogsheads of wheat, which is a mere trifle. assure you it is delightful to engage in trade over here and to make such handsome profits. If you wish to take a hand in it, let me know your intentions by the bearer, who desires to return and traffic here in pursuance of what he has seen. [6] shall say no more, except to pray God to give you, Sir and Brother, a long life and perfect health. From Port Royal, New France, this 28th of, June, 1610.

Your very affectlonate Brother

and servant,

BERTRAND. [page 123]


Lettre du P. Pierre Biard, au T. R.-P. Claude

Dieppe, Janvier 21, 1611

Lettre du P. Biard, au R.-P. Christophe Baltazar

Port Royal, Juin 10, 1611

Lettre du P. Ennemond Massé, au T. R.-P. Aquaviva

Port Royal, Juin 10, 1611

Lettre du P. Biard, au T. R.-P. Aquaviva

Port Royal, Juin 11, 1611

SOURCE: Reprinted from Première Mission des Jésuites au Canada, by Auguste Carayon, S. J. Paris: L'Écureux,

1864. [page 125]


Letter From Father Pierre Biard{27} to the Very Reverend Father Claude Aquaviva{28}
General of the Society of Jesus, Rome.

(Translated from the Latin original, preserved in the Archives of Jesus, at Rome.)

Dieppe, January 21st, 1611.{29}


The peace of Christ be with you.

Would that I could recount how great and numerous have been the mercies of God, the fruits of his blessing and of our prayers in this our little enterprise; that is to say, how [2] we have emerged from * We shall add to the letters of our first missionaries to Canada a fragment of a memoir entitled: Records of New France from the year 1607 to the year 1737. - Of the Island of Martinique from the year 1678. - Of the Island of Cayenne from the year 1668.

The translation of chapter 11. of this manuscript, preserved in our archives at Rome, will give a collection of Facts about New [2] France, which are not found in the letters we publish.

Among the gentlemen who offered themselves to Henry the Great, of happy memory, to undertake the colonization of New France, was sieur de Potrincourt. The king granted him all that he asked, but at the same time gave him to understand that he must take with him some religious persons from our Society for the purpose of securing, according to his orders, the salvation of the savages; furthermore, that the expense of this mission would in no respect devolve upon him, but would be provided for from the royal Treasury.

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grave and multiplied difficulties, and how, delivered from every obstacle, we depart for New France, the place to which we [3] are bound, as Your Reverence

The Reverend Father Pierre Coton, then confessor and preacher to the king, and who was very highly esteemed by His Majesty, as we know, was commissioned by him to select, from his Society, some men capable of conducting to a successful issue this perilous and holy' enterprise.

Many of our religious offered themselves for this distant mission. Among them was noticed Father Pierre Biard, a man whose integrity equaled his talent, and who then occupied the chair of theology at Lyons. The choice of the superiors fell upon him and upon Father Ennemond Masse, of whom we shall speak hereafter.

They both departed in 1608 for Bordeaux, where they intended to embark, but they were obliged to wait three years. For the gentleman, of whom we have already spoken, postponed his departure; then he offered as an excuse the necessity of making a trial voyage, in order, said he, to prepare a suitable dwelling for the Fathers. In fact he did make this journey, accompanied by a secular priest, who, yielding to a thoughtless zeal, baptized a hundred savages without having sufficiently instructed and tested them. Later, it was discovered that these poor people had not even understood what they had received.

Three years afterwards, on returning from his voyage, sieur de Potrincourt, urged by the queen-mother, undertook to convey our Fathers to [3] Canada. But it was not without great difficulty and much suffering that they reached Port Royal, upon the coast of Acadia.

The year following their arrival, two others of our Society went to join them, namely, Father Quentin and Gilbert du Thet, a Brother-coadjutor.{30} A two years sojourn in Port Royal demonstrated to them the impossibility of making that the center of their mission, either on account of the difficulty of attracting there a great assemblage of savages, or because of the bickerings of those in command. They transferred the seat of their mission to another point upon the same coast, in latitude 45° 30', according to a decree of the king. This settlement received the name of Saint Savior. They had been established there but a short time, when the English, coming upon them suddenly, took possession of the French ship, seized the letters-patent of the commander, and, by a piece of outrageous rascality, treated him as a pirate. At the moment of attack several Frenchmen were killed, and among them brother Gilbert du Thet, a man remarkable for his courage and piety.

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knows. For this you may rejoice with great consolation in the name of the Lord.

[4] But it has already struck midnight, and we are to sail at break of day, so I shall give you only a summary of the events which have taken place.

When the heretic merchants saw us at Dieppe, upon the day fixed for our departure, the 27th of October of last year, 1610 (we had, in fact, agreed to

The victorious English, after having pillaged as much as they liked, abandoned part of the French in a miserable bark, and took with them to Virginia Fathers Biard and Quentin. Our two prisoners expected to be condemned to death, especially when, being taken back to Port Royal, they refused to make known the hiding-place of the French who were concealed in the neighborhood. Turning their course a second time toward Virginia, they would probably have met death there, had not divine Providence frustrated all the efforts of the English sailors to land. A violent storm cast them upon the Azores islands, which belong to Portugal; and there, in spite of all their efforts, they were obliged to disembark.

Even the English were forced to admire the loyalty and charity [4] of our Fathers, who, by showing themselves to the Portuguese, might have caused the seizure of the ship, and had the English condemned and executed as pirates. Before entering port they exacted from their prisoners the promise not to denounce them, and to keep themselves concealed during their entire sojourn at the Azores. While the Portuguese were visiting the ship, the Fathers remained in the bottom of the hold, where they escaped observation. This generosity and loyalty in keeping their word so surprised the English that they immediately changed their treatment of their captives, and took them directly to England, where they publicly eulogized them.

The French ambassador, on hearing of their arrival, hastened to reclaim them, and had them taken back honorably into their own country, in the month of May, 1614.

This first voyage of our missionaries, apparently so futile, had, however, fortunate results. Beside the experience acquired, of which good use was made, the zeal of French Catholics, revived by the stories of the Fathers, created new resources; and as soon as the French colony was delivered from the English, the Jesuits resumed their voyages to Canada, where they finally founded one of the finest missions of the Society.- [Carayon.]

[page 131]

sail from Dieppe), they contrived a plan which they considered capable of injuring us. Two of them {31} had made a contract with Monsieur de Potrincourt to load and equip his ship, [5] in which we were to make the voyage. They straightway declared that they would have nothing more to do with the vessel, if it were going to carry any Jesuits. It was a remarkable exhibition of malice, as was easy to prove, especially when the Catholics informed them that they were in duty bound not to reject the Jesuits, since it was the formal order of the Queen.{32}

However, nothing could be gained from them, and the Catholics were again obliged to have recourse to the Queen. Her Majesty writes to the governor of the city, a zealous and pious catholic, and charges him to inform the heretics that it is her will that the Jesuits be received in the ship which is about to depart for New France, and that no obstacle be put in their way.

When these letters are received, the governor assembles what is called the consistory, namely, all faithful disciples of Calvin. He reads the Queen's letters and urges them to be obedient. Some of them namely, those who were well disposed toward us boldly declare that they also are of the same opinion; and they try to induce the merchants to yield. But they declare that for their part they are not the masters. At least they say this in public; but in private one of the merchants who was charged with fitting out the vessel, protested that he would put nothing into it; that the Queen, if she wished, could deprive him [6] of his right, but that he certainly would not yield it otherwise.

What was to be done? In truth, all proceedings [page 133] were at a standstill; for this society had no written contract, .since agreements of this kind among noblemen are not usually put upon paper. Therefore they could not prosecute these heretics.

They address themselves anew to the Queen. In the presence of such effrontery she quoted the words of the proverb: "Never stoop to entreat a churl", and added that the Fathers should go another time.

The dismayed Catholics then declare to the heretics that the Jesuits will not embark upon their vessel, and that consequently they may go on freighting it; and that, in any event, if the Jesuits did occupy a place therein, they themselves would first pay the price of the cargo.

This assurance once given, the malice of these Calvinists was exposed in all its nakedness; for they immediately loaded every part of the ship not only with merchandise, but with all kinds of goods, never dreaming that the Catholics would be able to find the means if paying for all these things.

At this news, the marchioness de Guercheville, first lady of honor to the Queen, [7] was indignant at seeing the forces of hell prevail, and the malice of wicked men destroy one's strong hopes of securing the glow. of God. {33} Therefore, in order to prevent the triumph of Satan and the overthrow' of their hopes of founding a church in Canada, she herself solicited alms from Nobles, Princes, and from all the Court, to rescue the Jesuits from the malevolence of the heretics.

What happened? The ship, already loaded, was about to .sail, when this lady sent to the Catholics 4,000 livres, with other means of assistance. Then, not to be underhand, they go directly to the heretics and say that they want the Jesuits to go with them, [page 135] that such is the will of the Queen; and so consequently they must allow them to embark, or else the merchants must accept the price of the cargo and withdraw. The latter declare that they want the value of their merchandise. (I believe they did not think the Catholics would have enough money, or else they hoped to baffle them by some other means.) They give them the price they asked; and, what no one could have expected, we so completely take their place, that half the ship belongs to us, and we have already means enough to begin [8] laying the foundation, which the Lord, in his generosity and goodness, will condescend to bless.

So now, my Very Reverend and good Father, you see how entirely the malice of the evil one and of his tools has been turned to our advantage. At first we only asked a little corner in this vessel at their price. Now we are masters of it. We were going into a dreary wilderness, without much hope of permanent help; and we have already received enough to begin laying the foundation. We were to enrich the heretics by a portion of our alms; and now they, of their own accord, refuse to profit by an occasion which was to benefit them.

But I believe that the great source of their grief, is nothing else than the triumph of the Lord Jesus; and I may heaven grant that he always triumph!


Dieppe, January 21, 1611.

Of Your Reverence,

The son and unworthy servant in Jesus Christ,


[page 137]

[9] Letter From Father Biard, to Reverend Father Christopher Baltazar,
Provincial of France, at Paris.

Copied from the autograph preserved in the Archives of Jesus, at Rome).


The peace of Christ be with you.

At last by the grace and favor of God, here we are at Port Royal, the place so greatly desired, after having suffered and overcome, during the space of seven months, a multitude of trials and difficulties raised up against us at Dieppe by those belonging to the pretended religion; and after having survived at sea the fatigues, storms, and discomforts of winter, winds, and tempests. By the mercy of God, and through the prayers of Your Reverence and of our good Fathers and Brothers, here we are at the end of our journey and in the long-wished-for place. And I am now taking the first opportunity which presents itself to write to Your Reverence, and to communicate to you news of ourselves and of our present situation. I am sorry that the short time we have been in this country does not permit me to write about it at length, as I was desirous [10] of doing, and about the condition of these poor people; however, I will try to describe to you not only what happened in our voyage, but also all that we have been able to learn of these peoples since our arrival, as I believe all our good noblemen and Friends, as well as Your Reverence, expect .and desire me to do. [page 139]

So, to begin with the preparations for our voyage, your Reverence must know about the effort put forth by two Dieppe merchants of the pretended religion, who were charged with freighting the ship, to prevent our being received upon it. For a number of years past, those who began and continued to make voyages to Canada have wished some of our Society to be employed for the conversion of the people of that country; and Henry the Great, the late King, of happy memory, had set aside five hundred écus {34} for the voyage of the first ones who should be sent there: at this time Reverend Father Enmond Masse and I, chosen for this mission, after having saluted the Queen Regent and learned from her own utterances the holy zeal which she felt for the conversion of this barbarous people, and having received the above-mentioned five hundred écus for our viaticum,{36} ,aided also by the pious liberality of the Marchionesses de Guercheville, Verneuil, and de Sourdis,{36} left Paris and arrived at Dieppe upon the day lay which [11] Monsieur de Biancourt, son of Monsieur de Potrincourt, had designated for our departure, the 27th of October, 1610.

The two above-mentioned merchants, as soon as they heard that two Jesuits were going to Canada, addressed themselves to Monsieur de Biancourt* and warned him that, if the said Jesuits intended to embark upon the ship, they would have nothing to do with it: they were told that the presence of the Jesuits would in no wise interfere with them; that, thanks to God and the Queen, they had the money

*Charles de Biencourt, esquire, sieur de Saint-Just .and son of Monsieur de Poutrincourt. He was then nineteen or twenty years old. (Lescarbot and Champlain.) - [Carayon.]

[page 141]
to pay their passage without in the least disturbing their cargo. They still persisted, however, in their refusal; and although Monsieur de Sicoine, governor of the city, a very zealous catholic, kindly interposed, he could gain nothing from them. For this reason, Monsieur Robbin,+ his son, otherwise called de Coloigne,{37} a partner of Monsieur de Biancourt in this voyage, thought he would go to Court and make known this difficulty to the Queen; he did so. The Queen, thereupon, sent letters addressed to Monsieur de Sicoigne, telling him to announce that the will of the present King, as well as [12] that of the late King of eternal memory, was that these Jesuits should go to Canada; and that those who were opposing their departure were doing so against the will of their Prince. The letters were very kind: and Monsieur de Sicoigne was pleased to assemble the consistory, and read them to that body. Notwithstanding all this, the merchants would not yield in the least; it was merely granted that, leaving the Jesuits out of the question, they should promptly load their ship, lest these perplexities and disputes should cause some delay in bringing the succor to Monsieur de Potrincourt, which must be given promptly. Then I almost made up my mind that all our hopes were doomed to disappointment, for I did not see how we were to be extricated from these difficulties. Monsieur de Coloigne did not despair; but, showing himself in his kindness always more eager to pursue the case for us, by a second journey he convinced the Court of an excellent plan for thwarting the merchants; namely, by paying them for their cargo and

+ Thomas Robin, esquire, sieur de Cologne living in the city of Paris. (Lescarbot.)--[Carayon.]

[page 143]
thus indemnifying them. Madame de la Guercheville, a lady of great virtue, recognizing the expediency of this plan, and deeming it inconsistent with real piety to allow a godly work to be checked for such a trifle, and thus [13] that Satan should be permitted to triumph, determined to try and raise the sum of money required; and she did so with such diligence and success, through the pious generosity of several Noblemen and Ladies of the court, that she soon collected four thousand livres and sent them to Dieppe. Thus the merchants were deprived of all the rights which they might have had in the vessel, without losing anything, and we were admitted into it.

This, and other incidents interfering with the preparations for our voyage, were the reasons why we could not leave Dieppe before the 26th of January, 1611. Monsieur de Biancourt, a very accomplished young gentleman, and well versed in matters pertaining to the sea, was our leader and commander. There were thirty-six of us in the ship, which was called la Grace de Dieu, of about sixty tons burden. We had only two days of favorable winds; on the third day we suddenly found ourselves carried, by contrary winds and tides, to within a hundred or two hundred paces of the breakers of the isle of Wight, in England; and it was fortunate for us that we found good anchorage there, for otherwise we certainly should have been lost.

Leaving this place we put into port at Hyrmice, and then at Newport; by which we lost eighteen days. The 16th of February, first day of lent, [14] a good northwester arising allowed us to depart, and accompanied us out of the English Channel. Now mariners, in coming to Port Royal, are not [page 145] accustomed to take the direct route from the Ouessant islands to Cape Sable, which would lessen the distance, for in this way, from Dieppe to Port Royal, there would only be about one thousand leagues; but they are in the habit of going South as far as the Azores, and from there to the great bank, thence, according to the winds, to strike for Cape Sable, or Campseaux, or elsewhere. They have told me that they go by w-way of the Azores for three reasons: first, in order to avoid the north sea, which is very stormy, they say; second, to make use of the south wild winds, which usually prevail there; third, to be sure of their reckonings; for otherwise it is difficult to take their bearings and arrange their route without error. But none of these causes affected us, although we followed this custom. Not the first, for we were so tossed about by tempests and high seas, that I do not think we gained much by going north or south, ,south or north; nor the second, because often when we wanted the South, the North wind blew, and vice versa; and certainly not the third, inasmuch as we could not even see the Azores, although we went [15] down as far as 39° 30'. Thus all the calculations of our leaders were confounded, and we had not yet reached the Azores of the great bank when some of them thought we had passed it.{38}

The great codfish bank is not, as I thought in France, a kind of sand or mud-bank, appearing above the surface of the sea; but is a great sub-marine plateau 35, 40 and 45 fathoms deep, and in some places twenty-five leagues in extent. They call it bank, because, in coming from the deep sea, it is the first place where bottom is found with the sounding lead. Now upon the border of this great bank, for the space of three or four leagues, the waves are generally [page 147] very high, and these three or four leagues are called the Azores.

We were near these Azores on Tuesday of Easter week, when suddenly we became a prey to our sworn foe, the West wind, which was so violent and obstinate that we very nearly perished. For eight entire days it gave us no quarter, its vindictiveness being augmented by cold and sometimes rain or snow. In taking this route to New France, so rough and dangerous, especially in small and badly-equipped boats, one experiences the sum total of all the miseries of life. We could rest neither [16] day nor night. When we wished to eat, a dish suddenly slipped from us and struck somebody's head. We fell over each other and against the baggage, and thus found ourselves mixed up with others who had been upset in the same way; cups were spilled over our beds, and bowls in our laps, or a big wave demanded our plates.

I was so highly honored by Monsieur de Biancourt as to share his cabin. One fine night, as we were lying in bed, trying to get a little rest, a neat and impudent wave bent our window fastenings, broke the window, and covered us over completely; we had the same experience again, during the day. Furthermore, the cold was so severe, and continued to be for more than six weeks, that we lost nearly all sensation from numbness and exposure. Good Father Masse suffered a great deal. {39} He was ill about forty days, eating very little and seldom leaving his bed; yet, notwithstanding all that, he wanted to fast. After Easter he continued to improve, thank God, more and more. As for me, was gay and happy, and, by the grace of God, was never ill enough to [page 149] stay in bed even when several of the sailors had to give up.

After escaping from these trials, we entered the ice at the Azores of the bank, 46 degrees north latitude. Some of these masses of ice seemed like islands, others [17] little villages, others grand churches or lofty domes, or magnificent castles: all were floating. To avoid them we steered towards the south; but this was falling, as they say, from Charybdis into Scylla, for from these high rocks we fell into a level field of low ice, with which the sea was entirely covered, as far as the eye could reach. We did not know how to steer through it; and had it not been for the fearlessness of Monsieur de Biancourt, our sailors would have been helpless; but he guided us out, notwithstanding the protests of many of them, through a place where the ice was more scattered, and God, in his goodness, assisted us.

On the 5th of May, we disembarked at Campceau, {40} and there had the opportunity of celebrating holy mass after so long a time, and of strengthening our selves with that bread which never fails to nourish and console. Then we coasted along until we reached Port Royal, where we arrived under good and happy auspices early in the morning {40} of the holy day of Pentecost, the 22nd of May,* the day upon which the sun enters the constellation Gemini. Our voyage had lasted four months.

The joy of Monsieur de Potrincourt and his followers, at our arrival, is indescribable. They had been, during the entire winter, reduced [18] to sore straits, as I am going to explain to you


* Champlain and Charlevoix, who copied this, were wrong in saying the 12th of June. - (Carayon.]

[page 151]

Monsieur de Potrincourt had accompanied his son a part of the way upon the latter's return to France the last of July, 1610, and had gone as far as port Saint John,* otherwise called Chachippé, {42} 70 leagues east and south of Port Royal. When he was returning, as he veered around Cape Sable, he found himself in a strong current; weakened by hardships, he was obliged to yield the helm, in order to take a little rest, commanding his successor to always keep near the shore, even in the deepest part of the Bay. This pilot, I know not why, did not follow his orders, but soon afterward changed his course and left the shore.

The Savage, Membertou, who was following in his boat, was astonished that Poutrincourt should take this route; but, not knowing why he did so, neither followed him nor said anything about it. So he soon arrived at Port Royal, while Monsieur de Potrincourt drifted about for six weeks, in danger of being hopelessly lost; for this worthy gentleman, when he awoke, was very much surprised at seeing himself in a small boat in the open sea, out of sight of land. He looked at his dial in vain, for not knowing [19] what route his amiable pilot had taken, he could not guess where he was, nor in what direction to turn. Another misfortune was that his boat would not sail on a bowline,** having been somehow Damaged in the sides. So, whether he wished to do so or not, he was always obliged to sail before the wind.

A third inconvenience and misfortune was a lack of food. However, he is a man who does not easily

* Lescarbot says: "His father accompanied him as far as port de la Hève, a hundred leagues, more or less, From Port Royal." This makes it appear that Chachippè, Port Saint John, and la Hève are one and the same place.--[Carayon. ] /

** To sail on a bowline means to sail close to the wind. - [Carayon.]

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give up, and good luck follows him. Now in this perplexity about the route, he fortunately decided to turn to the north, and God sent him what he desired, a favorable South wind. His thrift served him against the misfortune of hunger, for he had hunted and kept a certain number of cormorants.* But how could they be roasted in a small boat, so as to be eaten and kept? Fortunately he found he had a few planks, upon which he built a fire-place, and thus roasted the game; by the aid of which he arrived at Pentegouët, formerly Norembegue, and from there to the Etechemins, thence to the harbor of Port Royal, where by a piece of ill luck, he was nearly shipwrecked.

It was dark when he entered this harbor, and his crew began to oppose him, stoutly denying [20] that they were in the harbor of Port Royal. He was willing to listen to their objections, and unfortunately even yielded to them; and so turning to the lower part of French Bay, he went wandering away off at the mercy of the winds and waves. Meanwhile the colonists of Port Royal were in great anxiety, and had already nearly made up their minds that he was lost; the savage, Membertou, strengthened this fear by asserting that he had seen him sail out of sight upon the sea; whence it was inferred, since people believe as easily what they fear as what they favor, that as such and such a wind had prevailed, it was impossible for them to escape in such a boat. And they were already planning their return to France. Now they were greatly astonished, and at the same time exceedingly happy when they saw their Theseus return from another world; this was six weeks after his departure,

* The cormorant is a long-necked, high-stepping sea-bird, which lives upon fish.--[Carayon.]

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just when Monsieur de Biancourt arrived in France, whose return was expected at Port Royal during the whole month of November of the same year, 1610 But they were very much surprised when they did not see him at Christmas; then they lost all hope, on account of the winter weather, of seeing him again before the end of the following April.

For this reason they cut down their rations; but such economy was of little avail, since sieur de Potrincourt did not lessen [21] his liberality toward the Savages, fearing to alienate them from the Christian faith. He us truly a liberal and magnanimous gentleman, refusing all recompense for the good he does them; so when they are occasionally asked why they do not give him something in return for so many favors, they are accustomed to answer, cunningly: Endries ninan metaij Sagamo, that is to say, "Monsieur does not care for our beaver skins." Nevertheless, they have now and then sent him some pieces of elk-meat, which have helped him to gain time [i.e., to save his own provisions]. But they, the French, had a good chance of economizing when winter came, for their mill froze up, and they had no way of making flour. Happily for them they found a store of peas and beans, which proved to be their manna and ambrosia for seven weeks.

Then April came, but not the ship; now it was just as well that the mill was frozen up, for they had nothing to put in the hopper. What were they to do? Hunger is a bad complaint. Some began to fish, others to dug. From their fishing they obtained some smelts and herrings; from their digging some very good roots, called chiqueli, which are very abundant in certain places. [page 157]

Thus this importunate creditor was somewhat satisfied; I say somewhat, because, when there was no bread, [22] everything else was of little account; and they had already made up their minds that, if the ship did not come during the month of May, they would resort to the coast, in search of ships to take them back to the sweet land of wheat and vines. It was Monsieur de Potrincourt's followers who talked this way; as for him, he was full of courage and knew well how he could manage to hold out until saint John's day [ midsummer ]. Thank God, there was no need of this, for, as has been said, we arrived the 22nd of May. Those who know what hunger, despair, fear and suffering are, what it is to be a leader and see all one's enterprises and hard work come to nought, can imagine what must have been the joy of Monsieur de Potrincourt and his colony upon seeing us arrive.

We all wept at this meeting, which seemed almost like a dream; then when we had recovered ourselves a little and had begun to talk, this question (mine, in fact) was proposed, to wit: Which was the happier of the two, Monsieur de Potrincourt and his people, or Monsieur de Biancourt and his ? Truly, our hearts swelled within us, and God, in his mercy, showed that he took pleasure in our joy; for, after mass and dinner, there was nothing but going and coming from the ship to the settlement, and from the settlement to the [23] ship, each one wanting to embrace and be embraced by his friends, just as, after the winter, we rejoice in the beautiful spring, and after a siege, in our freedom. It happened that two persons from the settlement took one of the canoes of the savages to go to the ship. These canoes are so made that, if you do not sit very straight and steady, they [page 159] immediately tip over; now it chanced that, wishing to come back in the same canoe from the ship to the settlement, somehow they did not properly balance it, and both fell into the water.

Fortunately, it occurred at a time when I happened to be walking upon the shore with Monsieur de Potrincourt. Seeing the accident, we made signs with our hats as best we could to those upon the ship to come to their aid; for it would have been useless to call out, so far away was the ship, and so loud the noise of the wind. At first no one paid any attention to us, so we had recourse to prayer, and fell upon our knees, this being our only alternative; and God had pity upon us. One of the two caught hold of the canoe, which was turned upside down, and threw himself upon it: the other was finally saved by a boat, and thus both were rescued; so our cup of joy was full in seeing how God in his all paternal love and gentleness, would not permit the evil one to trouble us and to destroy our happiness upon this good day. To him be the glory forever. Amen!

[24] But now that we have arrived in good health, by the grace of God, it is time we were casting our eyes over the country, and were giving some consideration to the condition in which we find Christianity here. Its whole foundation consists, after God, in this little settlement of a family of about twenty persons. Messire Jessé Flesche, commonly called the Patriarch, has had charge of it; and, in the year that he has lived here, has baptized about one hundred Savages. The trouble is, he has not been able to instruct them as he would have wished, because he did not know the language, and had nothing with which to support them; for he who would minister to their souls, must [page 161] at the same time resolve to nourish their bodies. This worthy man has shown great friendliness toward us, and thanked God for our coming; for he had made up his mind some time ago to return to France at the first opportunity, which he is now quite free to do without regret at leaving a vine which he has planted.

They have not yet succeeded in translating into the native language the common creed or symbol, the Lord's prayer, the commandments of God, the Sacraments, and other principles quite necessary to the making of a Christian.

Recently, when I was at port Saint John, I was informed that among the other Savages there were five who were already Christians. Thereupon I took occasion to give them [25] some pictures, and to erect a cross before their wigwams, singing a Salve Regina. I had them make the sign of the cross; but I was very much astonished, for the unbaptized understood almost as much about it as the Christians. I asked each one his baptismal name; some did not know theirs, so they called themselves Patriarchs, because it is the Patriarch who gives them their names, and thus they conclude that, when they have forgotten their own names, they ought to be called Patriarchs.

It was also rather amusing that, when I asked them if they were Christians, they did not know what I meant; when I asked them if they had been baptized, they answered: Hetaion enderquir Vortmandia Patriarché, that is to say, "Yes, the Patriarch has made us like the Normans." Now they call all the French "Normans", except the Malouins, {43} whom they call Samaricois, and the Basques, Bascua.

The name of the sagamore, that is, the lord of port Saint John, is Cacagous, a man who is shrewd and [page 163] cunning as are no others upon the coast; that is all that he brought back from France (for he has been in France); he told me he had been baptized in Bayonne, relating his story to me as one tells about going to a ball out of friendship. Whereupon, seeing how wicked he was, and [26] wishing to try and arouse his conscience, I asked him how many wives he had. He answered that he had eight; and in fact he counted off seven to me who were there present, pointing them out with as much pride, instead of an equal degree of shame, has if I had asked him the number of his legitimate children.

Another, who was looking out for a number of wives, made the following answer to my objections on the ground that he was a Christian: Reroure quiro Nortmandia: which means, "That is all well enough for you Normans". So there is scarcely any change in them after their baptism. The same savagery and the same manners, or but little different, the same customs, ceremonies, usages, fashions, and vices remain, at least as far as can be learned; no attention being paid to any distinction of time, days, offices, exercises, prayers, duties, virtues, or spiritual remedies.

Membertou, as the one who has most associated with Monsieur de Potrincourt for a long time, is also the most zealous and shows the greatest faith, but even he complains of not understanding us well enough; he would like to become a preacher, he says, if he were properly taught. He gave me a witty answer the other day, as I was teaching him his Pater, according to the translation made of it by M. de Biancourt, when [27] I had him say: Nui en caraco nae iquein esmoi ciscoi; that is, "Give us this day our daily bread". "But", said he "if I did not ask him for [page 165] anything but bread, I would be without moose-meat or fish.

The good old man told us, with a great deal of feeling, how God is helping him since he has become a Christian, saying that this spring it happened that he and his family were suffering much from hunger; then he remembered that he was a Christian, and therefore prayed to God. After his prayer, he went to the river and found all the smelts he wanted. And while I am speaking of this old sagamore, the first fruit of this heathen nation, I will tell you also what happened this winter.

He was sick, and what is more, had been given up to die by the native aoutmoins, or sorcerers. Now it is the custom, when the Aoutmoins have pronounced the malady or wound to be mortal, for the sick man to cease eating from that time on, nor do they give him anything more. But, donning his beautiful robe, he begins chanting his own death-song; after this, if he lingers too long, a great many pails of water are thrown over him to hasten his death, and sometimes he is buried half alive. Now the children of Meimbertou, though Christians, were prepared to exercise this noble and pious duty toward their father; already they had ceased giving him anything to eat and had taken away his [28] beautiful otter robe, and he had, like the swan, finished his Naenie, or funeral chant. One thing still troubled him, that he did not know how to die like a Christian, and he had not taken farewell of Monsieur de Potrincourt. When M. de Potrincourt heard these things, he went to see him, remonstrated with him, and assured him that, in spite of all the Aoutmoins and Pilotois, he would and live and recover his health if he would eat [page 167] something, which he was bound to do, being a Christian. The good man believed and was saved; to-day he tells this story with great satisfaction, and very aptly points out how God has thereby mercifully exposed the malice and deceit of their aoutmoins.

I shall here relate another act of the same Sieur de Potrincourt, which has been of great benefit to all these heathen. A Christian savage had died, and (as a mark of his constancy) he had sent word here to the settlement during his sickness, that he desired our prayers. After his death the other Savages prepared to bury him in their way; they are accustomed to take everything that belongs to the deceased, skins, bows, utensils, wigwams, etc., and burn them all, howling and shouting certain cries, sorceries, and invocations to the evil spirit. M. de Potrincourt firmly resolved to oppose these <:ceremonies. So he armed all his men, and [29] going to the Savages in force, by this means obtained what he asked, namely, that the body should be given to the Patriarch, and so the burial took place according to Christian customs. This act, inasmuch as it could not be prevented by the Savages, was and still is, greatly praised by them.

The chapel they have been using until now is very small, badly arranged, and in every way unsuited for religious services. To remedy this, M. de Poutrincourt has given us an entire quarter of his habitation, if we can roof it over and adapt it to our needs. But I shall add one more word which will be pleasant and edifying news to many.

After my arrival here at Port Royal, I went with M. de Potrincourt as far as the Etechemins. There God willed that I should meet young du Pont, of Sainct Malo,{44} who, having been for some reason. [page 169] frightened away [from the settlement],* had passed the entire year with the Savages, living just as they did. He is a young man of great physical and mental strength, excelled by none of the savages in the chase, in alertness and endurance, and in his ability to speak their language. He was very much afraid of M. de [30] Potrincourt: but God inspired me with so much faith in him that, relying upon my word, Du Pont came with me to our ship; and after making some apologies and promises, peace was declared, to the great satisfaction of all. When he departed, as the cannon were sounding, he begged me to appoint an hour to receive his confession. The next morning, in his great eagerness, he anticipated the hour, and made his confession upon the shores of the sea in the presence of all the Savages, who were greatly astonished at thus seeing him upon his knees so long before me. Then he took communion in a most exemplary manner, at which I can say tears came into my eyes, and not into mine alone. The devil was confounded at this act; so he straightway planned trouble for us that very afternoon; but thank God, through the justice and goodness of M. de Potrincourt, harmony was everywhere restored.

And now you have had, my Reverend Father, an account of our voyage, of what happened in it, and before it, and since our arrival at this settlement. It now remains to tell you that the conversion of this country, to the Gospel, and of these people to civilization, is not a small undertaking nor free from great difficulties; for, in the first place, if we consider the

* "The year before he had been made a prisoner by Sieur de Potrincourt; And having slyly escaped from him, he had been obliged to wander about in the woods in great misery".--(Printed Relation.)--[Carayon.]

[page 171]

country, it is only a forest, without other conveniences of life than those which will be brought from France, and what in time may be obtained from the soil after [31] it has been cultivated. The nation is savage, wandering and full of bad habits; the people few and isolated. They are, I say, savage, haunting the woods, ignorant, lawless and rude: they are wanderers, with nothing to attach them to a place, neither homes or relationship, neither possessions nor love of country; as a people they have bad habits, are extremely lazy, gluttonous, profane, treacherous, cruel in their revenge, and given up to all kinds of lewdness, men and women alike, the men having several wives and abandoning them to others, and the women only serving them as slaves, whom they strike and beat unmercifully, and who dare not complain; and after being half killed, if it so please the murderer, they must laugh and caress him.

With all these vices, they are exceedingly vainglorious: they think they are better, more valiant and more ingenious than the French; and, what is difficult to believe, richer than we are. They consider themselves, I say, braver than we are, boasting that they have killed Basques and Malouins, and that they do a great deal of harm to the ships, and that no one has ever resented it, insinuating that it was from a lack of courage. They consider themselves better than the French; "For", they say, "you are always fighting and quarreling among yourselves; we live peaceably. You are envious and are all the time slandering each other; [32] you are thieves and deceivers; you are covetous, and are neither generous nor kind; as for us, if we have a morsel of bread we share it with our neighbor". [page 173]

They are saying these and like things continually, seeing the above-mentioned imperfections in some of us, and flattering themselves that some of their own people do not have them so conspicuously, not realizing that they all have much greater vices, and that the better part of our people do not have even these defects, they conclude generally that they are superior to all Christians. It is self-love that blinds them, and the evil one who leads them on, no more nor less than in our France, we see those who have deviated from the faith holding themselves higher and boasting of being better than the Catholics, because in some of them they see many faults; considering neither the virtues of the other Catholics, nor their own still greater imperfections; wishing to have, like Cyclops, only a single eye, and to fix that one upon the vices of a few Catholics, never upon the virtues of the others, nor upon themselves, unless it be for the purpose of self-deception.

Also they [the savages] consider themselves more ingenious, inasmuch as they see us admire some of their productions as the work of people ,so rude and ignorant; [33] lacking intelligence, they bestow very little admiration upon what we show them, although much more worthy of being. admired. Hence they regard themselves as much richer than we are, although they are poor and wretched in the extreme.

Cacagous, of whom I have already spoken, is quite gracious when he is a little elated about something; to show his kindly feelings toward the French he boasts: of his willingness to go and see the King, and to take him a present of a hundred beaver skins, proudly suggesting that in so doing he will make him richer than all his predecessors. They get this [page 175] idea from the extreme covetousness and eagerness which our people display to obtain their beaver skins.

Not less amusing is the remark of a certain Sagamore, who, having heard M. de Potrincourt say that the King was young and unmarried: "Perhaps", said he, "1 may let him marry my daughter; but according to the usages and customs of the country, the King must make me some handsome presents ; namely, four or five barrels of bread, three of peas or beans, one of tobacco, four or five cloaks worth one hundred sous apiece, bows, arrows, harpoons, and other similar articles".

Such are the marks of intelligence in the people of these countries, which are very sparsely populated, especially those of the Soriquois and Etechemins, which are near the sea; although [34] Membertou assures us that in his youth he has seen chimonutz, that is to say, Savages, as thickly planted there as the hairs upon his head. It is maintained that they have thus diminished since the French have begun to frequent their country; for, since then they do nothing all summer but eat; and the result is that, adopting an entirely different custom and thus breeding new diseases, they pay for their indulgence during the autumn and winter by pleurisy, quinsy and dysentery, which kill them off. During this year alone sixty have died at Cape de la Hève, which is the greater part of those who lived there; yet not one of all M. de Potrincourt's little colony has even been sick, notwithstanding all the privations they have suffered; which has caused the Savages to apprehend that God protects and defends us as his favorite and well-beloved people.

What I say about the sparseness of the population [page 177] of these countries must be understood as referring to the people who live upon the coast; for farther inland, principally among the Etechemins, there are, it is said, a great many people. All these things, added to the difficulty of acquiring the language, the time that must be consumed, the expenses that must be incurred, the great distress, toil and poverty that must be endured, fully proclaim the greatness of this enterprise and the difficulties which beset it. Yet [35] many things encourage me to continue in it.

First:, my trust in the goodness and providence of God. Isaiah assures us that the kingdom of our Redeemer shall be recognized throughout the earth; and that there shall be neither caves of dragons nor dens of cockatrices, nor inaccessible rocks, nor abysses so deep, that his grace will not soften and his salvation cure ire, his abundance fertilize, his humility raise up, and over which his cross will not at last victoriously triumph. And why shall not hope that the time has come when this prophecy is to be fulfilled in these lands? If that be so, what can there be so Difficult that our Lord cannot mate it easy?

In the second place, rely upon the King, our Sire. He is a Sovereign who promises us nothing less than the late King, his father, the incomparable Henry the Great. This work began in the latter's reign, and it may be said that in the century since France has appropriated this country, or has so completely taken possession of it, there has not been so much accomplished at any time as since our present ting became sovereign; may God fill his reign with all blessings. He will not permit his name and arms to stand in these regions side by side with paganism, his authority with barbarism, his renown with [page 179] savagery, his power with poverty, [36] his faith with lack of works, nor leave his subjects without aid or succor. His mother also, another Queen Blanche,{45} looking to the glory of God, will contemplate these lately-acquired wildernesses, where in the beginning of her Regency the Gospel plough has, through her instrumentality, created some hope of a harvest; and will recall what the late King, great in wisdom as well as in courage, said to Sieur de Potrincourt when he came to this country: "Go", said he. "I plan the edifice; my son will build it". We beg your Reverence to lay this matter before him, together with the work which might be done by their Majesties in these lands, if it were their good pleasure to endow and to give a fair revenue to this mission, from which all those who would be educated and maintained here might go forth through the whole country.

That is the second resource upon which our hopes are founded; to which I will add the piety and liberality which we experienced upon our departure from the lords and ladies of this most noble and most Christian court, who promised me that they would not fail to assist this enterprise v with their means, in order not to lose what they have already invested in it, which serves them as monuments of glory and of eternal happiness before God. M. de Potrincourt, a mild and upright Gentleman, [37] brave, beloved and well-known in these parts, and M. de Biancourt, his son, who reflects the virtues and good qualities of his father, both zealous in serving God, and who honor and cherish us more than we deserve, also encourage us in devoting all our energy to this work.

Finally, we are encouraged by the situation and [page 181] condition of this place, which, if it is cultivated, promises to furnish a great deal for the needs of human life; and its beauty causes me to wonder that it has been so little sought up to the present time. From this port where we now are, it is very convenient for us to spread out to the Armouchiquois, Iroquois, and Montagnais, our neighbors, which are populous nations and till the soil as we do; this situation, I say, makes us hope something for the future. For, if our Souriquois are few, they may become numerous; if they are savages, it is to domesticate and civilize them that we have come here; if they are rude, that is no reason that we should be idle; if they have until now profited little, it is no wonder, for it would be too much to expect fruit from this grafting, and to demand reason and maturity from a child.

In conclusion, we hope in time to make them susceptible of receiving the doctrines of the faith and of the Christian and catholic religion, and later, to penetrate [38] farther into the regions beyond, which they say are more populous and better cultivated. We base this hope upon Divine goodness and mercy, upon the zeal and fervent charity of all good people who earnestly desire the kingdom of God, particularly upon the holy prayers of Your Reverence and of our Reverend Fathers and very dear Brothers, to whom we most affectionately commend ourselves.

From Port Royal, New France, this tenth day of June, one thousand six hundred and eleven.


[page 183]

[39] Letter from Father Ennemond Masse
to Reverend Father Claude Aquaviva,
General of the Society of Jesus.

(Translated from the Latin original.)

PORT ROYAL, June 10, 1611.


The peace of Christ be with you.

If Your Reverence read with pleasure my letter of October 13th, I felt a great deal more in receiving yours of December 7th, especially as I am the first of the Society to receive from Your Reverence the first letter which you have ever sent to Canada. I take this event as a happy omen, and accept it as coming From heaven, to incite me to run with ardor in the race, in order to merit and receive the reward of this heavenly vocation, and to sacrifice myself more promptly and more completely for the salvation of these people.

I admit to you that I said then freely to God: Here I am; if you choose what is weak and despicable in this world to overthrow [40] and destroy that which is strong, you will find all this in Ennemond. Here I am; send me, and make my tongue and my words intelligible, so that I may not be a barbarian to those who will hear me.

Your prayers, I am sure, will not be in vain, as our arrival here upon the most holy day of Pentecost seems to presage. We are weak in Jesus Christ, but, I hope, we shall live with him by the power of God. It is [page 185] my earnest entreaty that Your Reverence, by your prayers and holy sacrifices, may prevail upon the Lord to accomplish all these things in us.

The unworthy son in Jesus Christ, of the Society of Jesus,


Port Royal, New France, June 10, 1611.

[page 187]

[41] Letter from Father Pierre Biard,
to the Very Reverend Father Claude Aquaviva,
General of the Society of Jesus.

(Translated ,from the Latin original.)

PORT ROYAL, June 11, 1611.


The peace of Christ be with you.

After four months of very painful and perilous navigation, we have at last arrived, thanks to the protection of God and to the prayers of Your Reverence, at Port Royal, in New France, the end of our journey.

In truth we left Dieppe the 26th of January this year, 1611, and arrived May 22nd of this same year. I am giving to the Reverend Father Provincial the narrative in French of our whole undertaking, and of the condition in which we found things here. This seemed to me the more necessary and useful, as it was impossible for me to write it at the same time in Latin. I have not yet been settled a week in Port Royal, and all the time has [42] been taken up by continual interruptions and in providing the necessities of life. As to ourselves, Father Masse and 1, we are feeling very well, thank God; but we have been obliged to take a servant to do the drudgery. We could not dispense with one without a great deal of anxiety and trouble.

M. de Potrincourt, who commands here in the name of the King, loves and esteems us in proportion to his piety. [page 189]

We shall take the first opportunity to impart to you what may be, by the grace of God, our prospects of success in this country.

The ship has already gone. I shall be obliged to overtake it in a canoe, that it may not leave without my letters.

I conjure Your Reverence, through the merits of Jesus Christ, to remember us and these solitary lands, and to come to our aid in so far as you are able, not only by the fervent prayers of our Society, but also by the blessing and favor of our Holy Father the Pope (which I have already invoked). Surely we sow in great poverty and in tears; may the Lord grant that we some day reap in joy. Which will come to pass, as I hope and have said, [43] through the prayers and blessings of Your Reverence, which are humbly solicited by your

Unworthy son and servant,


Port Royal, New France, or Canada, June 11, 1611.

[page 191]




SOURCE: We follow the general style of O'Callaghan's Reprint No. 4. The Title-page, Eulogy of Biard, and Table of Contents, are the work of that Editor. The Text, and List of Missions in 1710, he reprinted from Jouvency's Historia Societatis Jeszu (Rome, 1710), part v., pp. 321 - 325, 961, 962; the proof of these we have read from a copy of that work, found in the library of the College of St. Francis Xavier, New York. The bracketed pagination in Arabic figures is that of Jouvency; that in Roman, of O'Callaghan.

[page 193]


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

IX. The indefatigable Biard presents, herein, a graphic recital of his work among the Acadian savages, and particularly his journeys into the wilderness. His report of a trip with a party of Port Royalists to French trading posts on the St. Croix and St. John rivers, to an Etchemin town probably on the site of the present Castine, Me., and to an English fishing station on the Kennebec, is full of interest.

X. Herein, Biard sends to the general of his order a full report concerning: (1) New France, its physical characteristics, and its aborigines; (2) the circumstances attending the opening of the Jesuit mission in Acadia; (3) Fléché's work previous to the coming of the Jesuits; (4) visits to savage tribes by Massé and himself, with descriptions of conversions and baptisms, and a statement of the conditions and prospects of spiritual work among the aborigines.

XI. Lescarbot's Relation Dernière gives an account of Poutrincourt's voyage to New France, in 1610; of the conversion and baptism of the savage chief, Membertou, and others, by the priest, Fléché; of Biencourt's return to France: and of the experiences of Poutrincourt at Port Royal. The writer praises Poutrincourt for his exertions in Canada in behalf of [page 1] both religion and civilization; and urges that he should be aided in his colonial enterprise, as a necessary basis for religious work in this portion of the New World. He gives a list of the Sponsors of the baptized Indians, who included many of the French nobility and clergy. The life at Port Royal is pictured in some detail; its labors and privations are dwelt upon; and the customs of the natives described. Lescarbot does not fail, although Cautiously, to exhibit his dislike of the Jesuits, and endeavors to show that their coming to Port Royal involved delay and expense to the colonial enterprise, thereby injuring Poutrincourt. Our author's closing chapter devoutly catalogues the "Effects of God's Grace in New France;" he describes how Providence cared for the colonists in their distress, saved them from shipwreck, kindly disposed the savages toward them and the Christian religion, and returned to the Frenchmen their ship, in time to prevent starvation. The rescue of Aubry is also mentioned.

XII. The Relation Rerum Gestarum (1613 & 1614) opens with a description of New France, its geography, its climate, its peoples and their customs. The experience of the Jesuit fathers at Port Royal is related at length, from their own point of view. A deseription is given of the settlement of St. Sauveur, on Mount Desert Island, and its destruction by the Virginian, Argall. Then follows an account of the life of the Jesuit prisoners, in Virginia and England. The conclusion is reached that, despite these drawbacks, the Jesuit mission in Canada has made: a hopeful beginning.

Madison, Wis., September, 1896


Lettre du P. Biard

au R. P. Provincial à Paris

Port Royal, Janvier 31, 1612

Source: Reprinted from Carayon's Première Mission des Jésuites au Canada, pp. 44-76.

[44] Letter from Father Pierre Biard

to the Reverend Father Provincial, at Paris.

(Copied from the autograph preserved in the archives of Jesus, at Rome.)

Port Royal, January 31, 1612.


The peace of Christ be with you

Were we compelled to give an account before God and Your Reverence of our administration and our transactions in this newly acquired kingdom of the Son of God, this new France and new Christendom, from the time of our arrival up to the beginning of this new year, I certainly do not doubt that, in the aggregate and final summing up, the loss would exceed the profits; the foolish cost of transgression, the goodness and wisdom of obedience; and the reception of divine talents, graces, and indulgence would exceed their outlay and use in the royal and agreeable service of our great and so benign Creator. Nevertheless, inasmuch as ( I believe ) no one would be edified by our losses, or greatly benefited by our gains, it is better that we mourn our losses apart; [45] as to our receipts, we shall be like the unjust steward commended by Our Lord in the Gospels, namely, by sharing our Master's goods with others we shall make them our friends; and in communicating to many what is edifying in these early foundations of Christianity, we shall obtain intercessors with God and supporters of this work. yet in doing this ave shall in no wise diminish the debt, as did the [page 5] wicked Steward, giving out Our Master's goods with profit; but we shall, perhaps, by this prudence acquit ourselves of a part of the dues and interests. So be it.

Today, January 22nd, 1612, eight months have passed since our arrival in this new France. Soon after that, I wrote you in regard to the condition in which we found this infant Church and Colony. Here is what followed:

When Monsieur de Potrincourt went to France last June he left his son here, Monsieur de Biencourt, a young man of great integrity and of very estimable qualities, with about eighteen of his servants and us two priests of the Society. Now our duties and offices, in accordance with our calling as priests, have been performed while residing here at the house and settlement, and by making journeys abroad. Let us begin, as they say, at home, that is, at [46] the residence and settlement; then we shall go outside.

Here then are our occupations: to say mass every day, and to solemnly sing it Sundays and holidays, together with Vespers, and frequently the procession; to offer public prayers morning and evening; to exhort, console, administer the sacraments, bury the dead; in short, to perform the offices of the Curate. since there are no other priests in these quarters. And in truth it would be much better if we were more earnest workers here for Our Lord, since sailors, who form the greater part of our parishioners are ordinarily quite deficient in ants spiritual feeling, having no sign of religion except in their oaths and blasphemies, nor any knowledge of God beyond the simplest conceptions which they bring with them from France, clouded with licentiousness and [page 7] the cavilings and revilings of heretics. Hence it can be seen what hope there is of establishing a flourishing Christian church by such evangelists. The first things the poor Savages learn are oaths and vile and insulting words; and you will often hear the women Savages (who otherwise are very timid and modest), hurl vulgar, vile, and shameless epithets at our people, in the French language; not that they know the meaning of them, but only because they see that when such words are used there is [47] generally a great deal of laughter and amusement. And that remedy can there be for this evil in men Whose abandonment to evil-speaking (or cursing) is as great as or greater than their insolence in showing their contempt?

At these Christian services which we conduct here at the settlement, the Savages are occasionally present, when some of them happen to be at the port. I say, occasionally, inasmuch as they are but little trained in the principles of the faith--those who have been baptized, no more than the heathen; the former, from lack of instruction, knowing but little more than the latter. This was why we resolved, at the time of our arrival, not to baptize any adults unless they were previously well catechized. Now in order to catechize we must first know the language.

It is true that Monsieur de Biancourt, who understands the savage tongue better than any one else here, is filled with earnest zeal, and every day takes a great deal of trouble to serve as our interpreter. But, somehow, as soon as site begin to talk about God he feels as Moses did,--his mind is bewildered, his throat dry, his tongue tied. The reason for this is that, as the savages have no definite religion, [page 9] magistracy or government, liberal or mechanical arts, commercial or civil life, they have consequently no words to describe [48] things which they have never seen or even conceived.

Furthermore, rude and untutored as they are, all their conceptions are limited to sensible and material things; there is nothing abstract, internal, spiritual or distinct. Good, strong, red, Black, large, hard, they will repeat to you in their jargon; goodness, strength, redness, blackness--they do not know what they are. And as to all the virtues you may enumerate to them, wisdom, fidelity, justice, mercy, gratitude, piety, and others, these are not found among them at all except as expressed in the words happy, tender love, good heart. Likewise they will name to you a wolf, a fox, a squirrel, a moose, and so on to every kind of animal they have, all of which are wild, except the dog; but as to words expressing universal and generic ideas, such as beast, animal, body, substance, and the like, these are altogether too learned for them.

Add to this, if you please, the great difficulty of obtaining from them even the words that they have. For, as they neither know our language nor we theirs, except a very little which pertains to daily and commercial life, we are compelled to make a thousand gesticulations and signs to express to them our ideas, and thus to draw from them the names of some of the things which cannot be pointed out [49] to them. For example, to think, to forget, to remember, to doubt; to know these four words, you will be obliged to amuse our gentlemen for a whole afternoon at least by playing the clown; and then, after all that, you will find yourself deceived, and mocked anew, having received, as the saying is, the mortar [page 11] for the level, and the hammer for the trowel. In short we are still disputing, after a great deal of research and labor, whether they have any word to correspond directly to the word Credo, I believe. Judge for yourself the difficulty surrounding the remainder of the symbols and fundamental truths of Christianity.

Now all this talk about the difficulty of the language will not only serve to show how laborious is our task in learning it, but also still make our Europeans appreciate their own blessings, even in civil affairs; for it is certain that these miserable people, continually weakened by hardships [enhanée],* will always remain in a perpetual infancy as to language and reason. I say language and reason, because it is evident that there words, the messengers and dispensers of thought and speech, remain totally rude, poor and confused, it is impossible that the mind and reason be greatly refined, rich, and disciplined. However, these poor weaklings and children consider themselves [50] superior to all other men, and they would not for the world give up their childishness and wretchedness. And this is not to be wondered at, for, as I have said, they are children.

Sinces we cannot yet baptize the adults, as we have said, there remain for us the children, to whom the kingdom of heaven belongs; these we baptize with the consent of their parents and the pledge of the god-parents. And under these conditions we have already, thank God, baptized four of them. We instruct the adults who are in danger of death, as far as God gives us the means to do so; and experience has shown us that then God inwardly supplements the defects of his exterior instruments. [page 13] Thus, an Old woman dangerously ill, and a young girl have been added to the number of the children of God. The woman still lives, the girl has gone to Heaven.

I saw this girl, eight or nine years old, all benumbed and nothing but skin and bone. I asked the parents to give her to me to baptize. They answered that if I wished to have her they would give her up to me entirely. For to them she was no better than a dead dog. They spoke like this because they are accustomed to abandon altogether those whom their have once judged incurable. We accepted the offer so that they might see the difference between [51] Christianity and their ungodliness. We had this poor skeleton brought into one of the cabins of the settlement, where we cared for and nourished her as Unwell as we could, and when she had been fairly well instructed we baptized her. She was named Antoynette de Pons, in grateful remembrance of the many favors we have received and are receiving from Madame la Marquise de Guercheville, who may rejoice that already her name is in heaven, for a few days after baptism this chosen soul flesh away to that glorious place.

This was also our firstborn, for whose sake we could say, as Joseph did about his, that God had made us forget all our past hardships and the homes of our Fathers. But in speaking of the Savages abandoning their sick, another similar occasion to exercise charity

* An old word used to signify weakened by hard labor.--[Carayon.]

toward those who are deserted has had a more happy issue and one more useful in undeceiving these people. This Occasion was as follows:

The second son of the grand sagamore Membertou, of whom we shall speak by and by, named [page 15] Actodin, already a Christian, and married, fell dangerously ill. Monsieur de Potrincourt, as he was about to depart for Franee, had visited him, and being a kind-hearted gentleman, had asked him to let himself be taken to the settlement for treatment. I was expecting this suggestion [52] to be carried out; but they did nothing of the kind. When this became evident, not to leave this soul in danger, I went there after a few days (for it was five leagues from the Settlement). But I found my patient in a fine state. They were just about to celebrate tabagie, or a solemn feast, over his last farewell. Three or four immense kettles were boiling over the fire. We had his beautiful robe under him (for it was summer) and was preparing for his funeral oration. The oration was to close with the usual adieus and lamentations of all present. The farewell and the mourning are finished by the slaughter of dogs, that the dying man may have forerunners in the other world. This slaughter is accompanied by the tabagie and what follows it--namely, the singing and dancing. After that it is no longer lawful for the sick man to eat or to ask any help, but he must already consider himself one of the "manes," or citizens of the other world. Now it was in this state that I found my host.

I denouneed this way of doing things, more by actions than by words; for, as to talking, my interpreters did not repeat the tenth part of what I wanted them to say. Nevertheless old Membertou, father of the sick man, understood the affair well enough and promised me that they should stop just where I wanted them to. Then I told him that the farewells and a moderate display of mourning, and even the tabagie, would be permitted, but [53] that [page 17] the slaughter of the dogs, and the songs and dances over a dying person, and what was much worse leaving him to die alone, displeased me very much that it would be better, according to their promise to Monsieur de Potrincourt, to have him brought to the settlement, that, with the help of God, he might yet recover. They gave me their word that they would do all that I wished; nevertheless, the dying man was not brought until two day's afterward.

His symptoms became so serious that often we expected nothing less than that he would die on our hands. In fact, one evening, his wife and children deserted him entirely and went to settle elsewhere, thinking it was all over with him. But it pleased God to prove their despair unfounded; for a few days afterwards he was in good health and is so today (to God be the glory); which M. Hébert, of Paris, a well-known master in Pharmacy, who attended the said patient, often assured me was a genuine miracle. For my part, I scarcely know what to say; inasmuch as I do not care either to affirm or deny a thing of which I have no proof. This I do know, that we put upon the sufferer a bone taken from the precious relics of the glorified Saint Lawrence archbishop of Dublin in Ireland, which M. de la Place, the estimable Abbé d'Eu, and the Priors and Canons of the said abbey d'Eu, kindly gave us for our protection during the voyage to these lands. So we [54] placed some of these holy relics upon the sick man, at the same time offering our vows for him, and then he improved. Influenced by this example, Membertou, the father of the one who had recovered, as I have said before, was very strongly confirmed in the faith; [page 19] and because he was then feeling the approach of the malady from which he has since died, he wished to be brought here immediately; and although our Cabin is so narrow that when three people are in it they can scarcely turn around, nevertheless, showing his implicit confidence in us, he asked to be placed in one of our two beds, where he remained for six days. But afterwards his wife, daughter, and daughter-in-law having come, he himself recognized the necessity of leaving, and did so with profuse excuses, asking our pardon for the continual trouble he had given us in waiting upon him day and night. Certainly the change of location and treatment did not improve him any. So then, seeing that his life was drawing to at close, I confessed him as well as I could; and after that he delivered his oration (this is their sole testament). Now, among other things in this speech, he said that he wished to be buried with his wife and children, and among the ancient tombs of his family.

I manifested great dissatisfaction with this, fearing that the French and Savages would suspect that he had not died a good Christian. [55] But I was assured that this promise had been made before he was baptized, and that otherwise, if he were buried in our cemetery, his children and his friends would never again come to see us, since it is the custom of this nation to shun all reminders of death and of the dead.

I opposed this, and M. de Biancourt, for he is almost my only interpreter, joined with me, but in vain: the dying man was obdurate. Rather late that evening we administered extreme unction to him, for otherwise he w as sufficiently prepared for it. Behold now the efficacy of the sacrament; the next [page 21] morning he asks for M. de Biancourt and me, and again begins his harangue. In this he declares that he has, of his own free will, changed his mind; that he intends to be buried with us, commanding his children not, for that reason, to shun the place like unbelievers, but to frequent it all the more, like Christians, to pray for his soul and to weep over his sins. He also recommended peace with M. de Potrincourt and his son; as for him, he had affrays loved the French, and had often prevented conspiracies against them. A few hours afterward he died a Christian death in my arms.

This was the greatest, most renowned and most formidable savage within the memory of man; of Splendid [56] physique, taller and larger-limbed than is usual among them; bearded like a Frenchman, although scarcely any of the others have hair upon the chin; grave and reserved; feeling a proper sense of dignity for his position as commander. God impressed upon his soul a greater idea of Christianity than he has been able to form from hearing about it, and he has often said to me in his savage tongue: "Learn our language quickly, for as soon as thou knowest it and hast taught me well I wish to become a preacher like thee." Even before his conversion he never cared to have more than one living wife, which is wonderful, as the great sagamores of this country maintain a numerous seraglio, no more through licentiousness than through ambition, glory and necessity; for ambition, to the end that they may have many children, wherein lies their power; for fame and necessity, since they have no other artisans, agents, servants, purveyors or slaves than the women; they bear all the burdens and toil of life. [page 23]

He was the first of all the Savages in these parts to receive baptism and extreme unction, the first and the last sacraments; and the first one who, by his own command and decree, has received a Christian burial Monsieur de Biancourt honored his obsequies. imitating as far as possible the [57] honors which are shown to great Captains and Noblemen in France.

Now, that the judgments of God may be feared as much as his mercies are loved, I shall here record the death of a Frenchman, in which God has shown his justice as much as he has given us evidence of his mercy, in the death of Membertou. This man had often escaped drowning, and only recently upon the blessed day of last Pentecost. He showed but little gratitude for this favor. Not to make the story too long, the evening before St. Peter's and St. Paul's day, as they were discoursing upon the perils of the sea, and upon the vows made to the Saints in similar dangers, this wretch began impudently to laugh and to sneer, jeering at those of the company who were said to have been religious upon such occasions. He soon had his reward. The next morning a gust of wind carried him, and him only, out of the boat into the waves, and he was never seen again.

But let us leave the water and come on shore. If the ground of this new France had feeling, as the Poets pretend their goddess Tellus had, doubtless it would have experienced an altogether novel sensation of joy this year, for, thank God, having had very successful crops from the little that was tilled, we made from the harvest some hosts [Wafers for consecration] and offered them to God. These are, as we [58] believe, the first hosts which have been made [page 25] from the wheat of these lands. May Our Lord, in his goodness, have consented to receive them as fragrant offerings and in the words of the Psalmist, may he give graciously, since the earth has yielded him its fruits.

We have stayed at home long enough; let us go abroad a little, as we promised to do, and relate what has taken place in the country.

I made two journeys with M. de Biancourt, the one lasting about twelve days, the other a month and a half; and we have ranged the entire coast from Port Royal to Kinibéqui, west southwest. We entered the great rivers St. John, Saincte Croix, Pentegoët, and the above-named Kinibéqui; we visited the French who have wintered there this year in two places, at the St. John river and at the river Saincte Croix; the Malouins at the former place, and captain Plastrier at the latter.

During these journeys, God often delivered us from great and very conspicuous dangers; but, although we ought always to bear them in mind, that we may not be ungrateful, there is no need of setting them all down upon paper, lest we become wearisome. I shall relate only what, in my opinion, will be the most interesting.

We went to see the Malouins; namely, [59] Sieur du Pont, the younger, and captain Merveilles, who, as we have said, were wintering at St. John river, upon an island called Emenenic, some six leagues up the river. We were still one league and a half from the island when the twilight ended and night came on. The stars had already begun to appear, when suddenly, toward the Northwards a part of the heavens became blood-red: and this light spreading, little by [page 27] little, in vivid streaks and flashes, moved directly over the settlement of the Malouins and there stopped. The red glow was so brilliant that the whole river was tinged and made luminous by it. This apparition lasted some eight minutes, and as soon as it disappeared another came of the same form, direction and appearance .

There was not one of us who did not consider this meteoric display prophetic. As to the Savages, they immediately cried out, Gara gara enderquir Gara gara, meaning we shall have war, such signs announce war. Nevertheless, both our arrival that evening and our landing the next morning were very quiet and peaceful. During the day, nothing but friendliness. But ( alas ! ) when evening came, I know not how, everything was turned topsy-turvy; confusion, discord, rage, uproar reigned between our people and those of St. Malo. I do not doubt that a cursed band of furious and [60] sanguinary spirits were hovering about all this night, expecting every hour and moment a horrible massacre of the few Christians who were there: but the goodness of God restrained the poor wretches. There was no bloodshed: and the next day, this nocturnal storm ended in a beautiful and delightful calm, the dark shadows and spectres giving way to a luminous peace.

In truths M. de Biancourt's goodness and prudence seemed much shaken by this tempest of human passions. But I also saw very clearly that if fire and areas were once put into the hands of badly disciplined men, the masters have much to fear and suffer from their own servants. I do not know that there alias one who closed his eyes during that night. for me, I made many fine propositions and promises to [page 29] Our Lord, never to forget this. his goodness, if he were pleased to avert all bloodshed. This he granted in his infinite mercy.

It was three o'clock in the afternoon of the next day before I had time to feel hungry, so Constantly had I been obliged to go back and forth from one to the other. At last, about that time everything was Settled, thank God.

Certainly captain Merveilles and his people showed unusual piety. For notwithstanding this so annoying encounter and conflict., two days [61] afterwards they confessed and took communion in a very exemplary manner; and so, at our departure, they all begged me very earnestly, and particularly young du Pont, to Come and see them and stay with them as long as I liked. I promised to do so, and am only waiting for the opportunity. For in truth I love these honest people with all my heart.

But dismissing them from our thoughts for the time being, as we did then from our presence, let us Continue our journey. Upon our return from this river Saint John, our route turned towards the country of the Armouchiquoys. Two principal causes led M. de Biancourt to take this route: first, in order to have news of the English, and to find out if it would be possible to obtain satisfaction from them; secondly, to buy some Armouchiquoys corn to help us pass the winter, and not die of hunger in case we did not receive help from France.

To understand the first cause you must know that a little while before, captain Platrier, of Honfleur, already mentioned, wishing to go to Kinibéqui, was taken prisoner by two English ships which were at an island called Emmetenic*, eight leagues from [page 31] Kinibequi. His release was effected by means of presents (this expresses it mildly), and by his promise to comply with the interdictions laid upon him not to trade anywhere upon all [62] this coast. For the English want to be considered masters of it, and they produced letters from their King to this effect, but these we believe to be false.

Now, Monsieur de Biancourt, having heard all this from the mouth of captain Platrier himself, remonstrated earnestly with these people, showing how important it was to him, an officer of the Crown and his father s Lieutenant, and also how important to all good Frenchmen, to oppose this usurpation of the English, so Contrary to the rights and possessions of his Majesty. "For," said he, "it is well known to all ( not to go back any farther in the case ) that the great Henry, may God give him absolution, in accordance with the rights acquired by his predecessors and by himself, gave to Monsieur des Monts, in the year 1604, all this region from the 40th to the 46th parallel of latitude. Since this donation, the said Seigneur des Monts, himself and through Monsieur de Potrincourt, my very honored father, his lieutenant, and through others, has frequently taken actual possession of all the country; and this, three or four years before the English had ever frequented it, or before anything had ever been heard of these claims of theirs.'' this and several other things were said by Sieur de Biancourt to encourage his people.

As for me, I had two other reasons which impelled me to take this journey: One, to give [63] spiritual aid to Sieur de Biancourt and his people; the other,. to observe and to study the disposition of these nations to receive the holy gospel. Such, then, were the causes of our journey. [page 33]

We arrived at Kinibéqui, eighty leagues from Port Royal, the 28th of October, the day of St. Simon and St. Jude, of the same year, 1611. Our people at once disembarked, wishing to see the English fort, for we had learned, on the way, that there was no one there. Now as everything is beautiful at first, this undertaking of the English had to be praised and extolled, and the conveniences of the place enumerated, each one pointing out what he valued the most. But a few days afterward they changed their views; for they saw that there was a fine opportunity for making a counter-fort there, which might have imprisoned them and cut them off from the sea and river; moreover, even if they had been left unmolested they should not have enjoyed the advantages of the river, since it has several other mouths, and good ones, Some distance from there. furthermore, what is worse, we do not believe that, in six leagues of the surrounding country, there is a single acre of good tillable land, the soil being nothing but stones and rocks. Now, inasmuch as the wind forced us to go on, when the third day came, Monsieur de Biancourt [64] considered the subject in council and decided to take advantage of the wind and go on up the rivers ill order to thoroughly explore it.

We had already advanced three good leagues, and had dropped anchor in the middle of the river waiting for the tide, when we suddenly discovered Six Armouchiquois canoes Coming towards us. There were twenty-four persons therein, all warriors. They went through a thousand maneuvers and ceremonies before accosting us, and might have been compared to a flock of birds which wanted to go into a hemp-field but feared the scarecrow. We [page 35] were very much pleased at this, for our people also needed to arm themselves and arrange the pavesade. In short, they continued to Come and go; they reconnoitered; they carefully noted our numbers! our Cannon, our arms, everything; and when night Called they Camped upon the other bank of the river, if not out of reach, at least beyond the aim of our cannon. All night there was continual haranguing, singing and dancing, for such is the kind of life all these people lead when they are together. Now as we supposed that probably their songs and dances were invocations to the devil, to oppose the power of this cursed tyrant, I had our people sing [65] some sacred Hymns, as the Salve, the Ave Maris Stella, and others. But when they once got into the way of singing, the spiritual songs being exhausted they took up others with which they were familiar. When they came to the end of these, as the French are natural mimics, they began to mimic the singing and dancing of the Armouchiquois who were upon the bank, succeeding in, it so well that the Armouchiquois stopped to listen to them; and then our people stopped and the others immediately began again. It was really very comical, for you would have said that they were two choirs which had a thorough understanding with each other, .and scarcely could you distinguish the real Armouchiquois from their imitators.

In the morning we continued our journey up the liver. The Armouchiquois, who were accompanying us. told us that if we wanted any piousquemin (corn), it would be better and easier for us to turn to the right and not, with great difficulty and risks to continue going up the river; that if we turned to the [page 37] right through the branch which was just at hand, in a few hours we would reach the great sagamore Meteourmite, who would furnish us with all we wanted; that they would act as our guides, since they themselves were going to visit him.

It is to be supposed, and there were strong indications of it, that they gave us this advice only with the intention [66] of ensnaring us, and making an easy conquest of us by the help of Meteourmite, whom they knew to be the enemy of the English, and whom they supposed to be an enemy of all foreigners. But, thank God, their ambuscade was turned against themselves.

However, we believed them; so a part of them event ahead of us, part behind, and some in the barque with us. Nevertheless Monsieur de Biancourt was always on his guard, and often sent the boat on ahead with the sounding-lead. We had not gone more than half a league when, reaching a large lake, the sounder called out to us: ''Two fathoms of water; only one fathom, only one fathom everywhere," and immediately afterward, "Stop! stop! cast anchor." Where are our Armouchiquois? Where are they? Not one. They had all silently disappeared. Oh, the traitors! Oh, how God had delivered us! They had led us into a trap. "Veer about, veer about." We retrace our path.

Meanwhile, Meteourmite having been informed of our coming, came to meet us, and. although he saw our prow turned about, yet he followed us. It was well that Monsieur de Biancourt was wiser than many of his crew, whose sole cry was to kill them all. For they were as angry as they were frightened; but their anger made the most noise.

[67] Monsieur de Biancourt restrained himself, and [page 39] not otherwise Shoving any ill-will toward Meteourmite, learned from him that there was a route by which they could pass; that in order not to miss it, he would let us have some of his own people in our barque; that, besides, if we would come to his wigwam he would try to satisfy us. We trusted him, and thought we might have to repent it; for we traversed such perilous heights and narrow passes that we never expected to escape from them. In fact, in taco places Some of our men cried out in distress that we were all lost. But, thank God, they cried too soon.

When we arrived, Monsieur de Biancourt armed himself, and thus arrayed proceeded to pay a visit to Meteourmite. He found him in the royal apparel of Savage majesty, alone in a wigwam that was well matted above and below, and about forty powerful young men stationed around it like a body-guard, each one with his shield, his bow and arrows upon the ground in front of him. These people are by no means simpletons, and you may believe us when we say so.

As for me, I received that day the greater part of the welcome; for, as I was unarmed, the most honorable of them, turning their backs upon the soldiers, approached me with a thousand demonstrations of friendship. They led me to the largest wigwam of all; [68] it Contained fully eighty people. When they had taken their places, I fell upon my knees and repeated My Pater, Ave, Credo, and some orisons; then pausing, my hosts, as if they had understood me perfectly, applauded after their fashion, crying Ho! ho! ho! I gave them some crosses and pictures explaining them as well as I could. They very [page 41] willingly kissed them, made the sign of the Cross, and each one in his turn endeavored to present his children to me, so that I would bless them and give them something. Thus passed that visit, and another that I have since made.

Now Meteourmite had replied to Monsieur de Biancourt that as to the corn he did not have much, but he had some skins, if we were pleased to trade with him. Then in the morning when the trade was to take place I went to a neighboring island with a boy, to there offer the blessed sacrament for our reconciliation. our people in the barque, not to be taken by surprise under pretext of the trade, were armed and barricaded, leaving a place in the middle of the deck for the Savages; but in vain, for they rushed in in such Crowds and with such greediness, that they immediately filled the whole ship, becoming all mixed up with our own people. Some one began to cry out, "Go back, go back." But [69] to what good? On the other hand, the savages revere yelling also.

Then our people were sure they were captured, and there was nothing lout cries and confusion. Monsieur de Biancourt has often said and said again, that several times he had raised his arm and opened his mouth to strike the first blow and to cry out, " Kill, kill;" but that somehow the one consideration that restrained him was that I was outside, and if they came to blows I was lost. God rewarded him for his good-will by saving not only me but also the whole crew. For, as all readily acknowledge at this hour, if any foolish act had been committed none of them would ever have escaped, and the French would have been condemned forever all along the coast. [page 43]

God willed that Meteourmite and some other captains should apprehend the danger, and so cause their people to withdraw When evening came and all had retired, Meteourmite sent some of his men to excuse the misconduct of the morning, protesting that all the disorder had originated not with him, but with the Armouchiquois; that they had even stolen a hatchet and a platter (a great wooden dish), which articles he herewith returned; that this theft had so displeased him that immediately after discovering it he had sent the Armouchiquois away from him; that, for his part, he was friendly toward us and knew very well that [70] we neither killed; nor beat the Savages of those parts, but received them at our table and often made tabagie for them, and brought them a great many nice things from France, for which courtesies they loved us. These people are, I believe, the greatest speech-makers in the world; nothing can be done without speeches.

But as I have spoken here of the English, some one perhaps will wish to hear about their adventure, which was related to us in this place. So here it is: In 1608 the English began to settle at one of the mouths of this Kinibéqui river, as we have said before. They had then as leader a very honest man, who got along remarkably well with the natives of the country. They say, however, that the Armouchiquois were afraid of such neighbors, and so put the captain to death, as I have said. These people make a practice of killing by magic. But the second year, 1609, the English, under another Captain, changed their tactics. They drove the Savages away without ceremony; they beat, maltreated and mis-used them outrageously and without restraint; [page 45] consequently these poor, abused people, anxious about the present, and dreading still greater evils in the future, determined, as the saying is, to kill the whelp ere its teeth and claws became stronger. The opportunity came one day when [71] three boat-loads of them went away off to the fisheries. My conspirators followed in their boat, and approaching with a great show of friendliness (for they always make the greatest show of affection when they are the most treacherous), they go among them, and at a given signal each one seizes his man and stabs him to death. Thus were eleven Englishmen dispatched. others were intimidated and abandoned theirs enterprise the same year; they have not resumed it since, being satisfied to come in the summer to fish, at this island of Emetenic, which we have said was eight leagues from the fort they had begun building.

So, for this reason, the outrage to which captain Platrier was subjected by these English having been committed upon this island of Emetenic, Monsieur de Biancourt decided to go and reconnoitre it, and to leave there some memento in assertion of his rights. This he did, erecting at the harbor a beautiful cross bearing the arms of France. Some of his crew advised him to burn the boats which he found there; but as he is kind and humane he would not do it, seeing they were fishermen's boats and not men-of-war.

Thence, as the season was advancing, it being already the 6th of November, we turned our ships towards Port Royal, stopping at Pentegoët, as we had promised the Savages.

[72] The Pentegoët is a very beautiful river, and may be compared to the Garonne in France. It flows [page 47] into French Bay [the bay of Fundy] and has many islands and rocks at its mouth; so that if you do not go some distance up, you will take it for a great bay or arm of the sea, until you begin to see plainly the bed and course of a river. It is about three leagues wide and is forty-four and one half degrees from the Equator. We cannot imagine what the Norembega of our forefathers was, if it were not this river; for elsewhere both the others and I myself have made inquiries about this place, and have never been able to learn anything concerning it.

When we had advanced three leagues or more into the current of the river we encountered another beautiful river called Chiboctous, which comes from the northeast to discharge its waters into the great Pentegoët.

At the confluence of these two rivers there was the finest assemblage of Savages that I have yet seen. There were 80 canoes and a boat, 18 wigwams and about 300 people. The most prominent Sagamore was called Betsabés, a man of great discretion and prudence; and I confess we often see in these Savages natural and graceful qualities which will make anyone but a shameless person blush, when they compare them to the greater part of the French who come over here.

[73] When they had recognized us they showed their great joy during the evening by their usual demonstrations; dancing, singing and making speeches. And as for us, we were very glad to be in a country of safety; for among the Etechemins, as these are, and the Souriquois, as are those of Port Royal, we are no more obliged to be on our guard than among [page 49] our own servants, and, thank God we have never yet been deceived in them.

The next day I went to visit the Savages, and followed my usual custom, which I have described in speaking of Kinibéqui. But there was more to be done here, as they told me they had some sick; I went to visit them; and as priest, it being thus ordained in the Ritual, I recited over them the holy Gospel and Orisons, giving to each one a cross to wear around the neck.

Among others I found one stretched out, after their fashion, before the fire, wonder expressed in his eyes and face, great drops standing out upon forehead, scarcely able to speak, so severe the attack. They told me that he had been sick for four months and as it appeared, he could not last long. Now I do not know what his malady was; whether it only came intermittently or not I do not know; at all events, the second day after that I saw him in our barque, well and happy, with his cross around his neck. He showed his gratitude to me by a cheerful smile [74] and by taking my hand. I had no means of speaking to him, as the trading was then going on, and for this reason the deck was full of people and all the interpreters were busy. Truly I was very glad that the goodness of God was beginning to make these poor and abandoned people feel that in the sign of the holy and salutary Cross there was every good and every blessing.

Finally, not to continue repeating the same story, both in this place and in all others, where we have been able to talk with these poor gentiles, we have attempted to impress upon them some of the simplest [page 51] conceptions of the grandeur and truth of Christianity, in so far as our means would permit. And to sum it up in a word, this has been the result of our journey. We have begun to know and to be known, we have taken possession of these regions in the name of the Church of God, establishing here the royal throne of our Savior and King, Jesus Christ, his holy altar; the Savages have seen us pray, celebrate the mass, and preach; through our conversations, pictures, and crosses, our way of living, and other similar things, they have received the first faint ideas and germs of Our holy faith, which will some day take root and grow abundantly, please God, if it is followed big longer and better cultivation.

[75] And indeed such is about all we are accomplishing, even here at Port Royal, until we haven learned the language. However, it comforts us to see these little Savages, though not yet Christians, yet willingly, when they are here, carrying the candles, bells, holy water and other things, marching in good order in the processions and funerals which occur here. Thus they become accustomed to act as Christians, to become so in reality in his time.

No need is felt except that we ought to be better workers for Our Lord, and ought not to divert from ourselves and others so many of his blessings by our many sins and great unworthiness. As for me, truly I have good reason to severely reproach myself; and all those who are imbued with earnest charity ought to be deeply touched in their hearts. Stay Our Lord, by his sacred mercy, and by the prayers of his glorious mother and of all his Church, both heavenly and militant, be moved to compassion!

Particularly I beg Your Reverence and all our [page 53] Reverend Fathers and Brothers to be pleased to remember in your most earnest devotions both us and these poor souls, miserable slaves under the tyranny of Satan. May it please this benign Savior [76] of the world, whose grace is denied to no one, and whose bounty is ever beyond our merits, may it please him, I say, to look down with a pitying eye upon these poor tribes, and to gather them soon into his family, in the happy freedom of the favored children of God. Amen!

From Port Royal, this last day of January, 1612. While I was writing these letters, the ship which was sent to our assistance has, thank God, arrived safe and sound, and in it our Brother Gilbert du Thet. He, who knows the dangers and necessities we were in, will appreciate the joy we felt and that we feel at its arrival. God be praised. Amen.

Of Your Reverence, the son and very

humble servant in Our Lord.

Pierre BIARD. [page 55]

[iii] To the Reader.

AFTER the Fathers of the Society of Jesus had overcome the ill-will of their enemies and again been admitted to France, they felt themselves called to other fields for the fruitful employment of their labors.

A rich harvest was offered in New France, where the natives lived, without any knowledge of God.

To that country, accordingly, were sent two priests of the Society, Fathers Pierre Baird and Enemond Massé, who reached Acadia on the 22nd of May, 1611. After remaining there seven month, [iv] Father Baird sent this epistle to his Superior.

The letter is divided, as it were, under four heads, and relates:

1. What New France is, the nature of the country, what tribes inhabite it, and their customs.

2. In what manner, with what help and with what sucess the Society secured a mission in this country.

3. In what condition the Society found the Christian religion in this region.

4. What has been done by the missionaries thus far, or rather what has been attempted.

Although the end of the letter reads: the last day of January, 1611,--either there is an error in the year, or Father Baird wrote according to the old style, for the year ought to be 1612.

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