5] Canadian Mission.


The peace of Christ be with you.

The end of this year 1611, which is already so rapidly drawing near, invites me to write to your Reverence in acknowledgment of its beginning, in which our Society first penetrated into this territory of new France. The profusion of blessings and favors which the divine bounty has bestowed upon us while undertaking and sustaining this infant enterprise, requires that in this haven, as it were, of time and of the year we should, reviewing the course of our actions and the occurrences of our voyage, invite our dear Fathers and Brothers to share both in our rejoicing for those things which the hand of God has happily [6] effected through us, and, too, in our mourning and our prayers for our delinquencies and inefficiency in seeking the salvation of souls. The object sought by the Society for a long time previously and with many efforts, that it might in some degree impart help and light to this savage people also by its labors in bringing the Gospel among them, it seems at last to have attained in this year with a small and slight beginning indeed, yet auspiciously and in accordance with its hopes.

This also I must narrate and explain to your Reverence, of what nature and how numerous is this harvest of souls, and what has hitherto been given to us by our Heavenly Father, and what further gifts we may hope for in the future. But to facilitate my [page 63] whole narration, and to obviate the possible omission of many details in its course, I think it best to divide the whole matter under four heads. I shall therefore first describe new France, the country, the natives, and their customs; next, in what manner, and with what help, and with what result, our Society secured a mission to this country; [7] thirdly, in what condition we found the Christian religion in this region; and, finally, what has been accomplished by us thus far, or rather what has been attempted for the glory of God. This appears to me a very convenient and sufficient summary of all I am to tell.

And, in order that I may begin at the begin and explain first what sort of a land New France is the nature of the country and the customs of the natives, I think it will be not only a pleasure for your Reverence, but also a necessity for ourselves that the whole territory be rather accurately described. For, since this is the field assigned to us for our labors, it is certain that your reverence cannot direct us in accordance with our varied needs without a knowledge of the extent of the country, of the impediments to travel, of the distance of neighboring settlements, and of the condition of people and things.

Besides, I find this matter involved in so may error and darkness by the older Geographers, that unless we, who know these things not from hearsay only, but are eyewitnesses thereof, come to the rescue, it is impossible that the mind, in tracing our footsteps and our journeys, should not wander as far away from the truth as it has to do from the body. [8] They speak of a certain Norumbega and give the names of cities and strongholds of which to-day no trace or even report remains. [page 65]

However, let me fulfill my promise. New France, as the French now call it, is that territory across the French Ocean which extends from the forty-first to the fifty-second, or even fifty-third degree of latitude.

I know that some extend the boundaries of this region much farther, while others restrict them more narrowly, but I am not arguing this point; I merely explain what is, as I have said, the prevailing interpretation of them, either because this part of the country has been for many years past particularly explored and claimed by the French, or because the parallels bounding this western region are almost the same as those of old France.

New France has an exceedingly varied sea-coast, indented by bays and rivers, broken and irregular. Where are two principal bays [9] of vast size, one called the gulf of St. Lawrence, the other French bay. Indeed, from the forty-seventh degree as far as to the fifty-first, the land opens its bosom, as it were, to receive the Ocean into it, or to facilitate the outflow of the great Canadian river. This gulf is known as the gulf of St. Lawrence, in the mouth of which lies that enormous island which the French call Newfoundland, the Savages Præsentis [Plaisance]; it is famous for its cod-fishery; the shores of the gulf and the rivers are occupied toward the North by the Excomminqui, or, as they are commonly called, the Excommunicated. This tribe is very savage, and, it is said, is addicted to Cannibalism; although once in very peaceful relations with the French for a considerable length of time, it is now on a footing of irreconcilable enmity. There follow, in the interior, toward the west, the Algonquins; then the Montagnais; those dwelling at the head-waters of this [page 67] same great Canadian river are the Irocois, whose territory also extends far to the South.

These Irocois are known to the French chiefly for the perpetual warfare which they maintain against the Montagnais and Algonquins, allied [10] and friendly tribes. To the South, however, the coast gradually advances up to the forty-third degree, where once more it is interrupted by a very large bay called French bay. This gulf, advancing far into the interiors and bending toward the North and the gulf of St. Lawrence, forms a sort of Isthmus; and this Isthmus is completed by the St. John, a very long river which, taking its rise almost at the very banks of the great Canadian river, empties into this French bay. This Isthmus has a circuit of fully five hundred leagues and is occupied by the Soriquois tribe. In this Isthmus is port royal, where we are now sojourning, lying on the parallel of 44° 40´. But this port (to obviate misunderstanding) is not on the Ocean lying eastward, but on that gulf which I have called French bay. To the West and north, from the river of St. John to the river Potugoët,3 and even to the river Rimbegui,2 live the Etheminqui. The mouth of this river is in latitude 43° 40´. [11] Not far distant is Chouacoët, which is the other shore or arm embracing French Bay. For to the east lies what we call cape sable, while Chouacoët lies toward the West; both are on the forty-third parallel, though they are separated by an interval of a hundred leagues. From the Rimbegui* river to the fortieth parallel the whole country is in the possession of the tribe called the Armouchiquois. Such is the distribution of the territory. The tribes amount to seven in number, differing from each other in language and character: the Excommunicated, the Algonquins, the

*Sic. for Kinibéqui.--[O'Callaghan.]

Montagnais, the Irocois, the Soriquois, the Etheminqui and the Armouchiquois. But of these neither the Excommunicated, nor the Irocois, nor the Armouchiquois are well known to the French. The remaining four tribes appear already to be united in firm friendship and intimacy with them. They stay over night among us; we rove about with them, and hunt with them and live among them without arms and without fear; and, as has thus far appeared, without danger. This intimacy arose partly from association while fishing for Cod, [12]which abound in these waters, and partly from trading in furs. For the Savages, who have neither copper, iron, hemp, wool, vegetables nor manufactured articles of any kind, resort to the French for them, giving in return the only thing of value they have, namely, furs. This whole region is for the most part very cold, owing to various causes. In the first place, the country is a very wet one; for, besides being washed on almost every side by the sea, it abounds in rivers and ponds and large lakes. Islands are so numerous that the whole shore is cut up by a confused procession of them, as it were. Moreover, though a land of frost, it is very windy, the wind being nearly always a cold one. Another cause of cold is the wildness of the country; for, being covered on every side by one continuous forest, it naturally follows that the soil hardly ever becomes really warmed through. A third cause is the mountains, covered with Snow and perpetual frost, which are said to wall us in far away to the North and the West.

We certainly get nothing from that quarter but piercing winds and snow-storms. Elsewhere, [page 71] however, the appearance of the country is very pleasing, and in many [13] places inviting to the settler and quite promising; and, as experience has shown, it is not unfruitful if cultivated. The natives are not numerous. The Etheminqui number less than a thousand, the Algonquins and the Montagnais together would not amount to much more, the Soriquois would not amount to two thousand. Thus four thousand Indians at most roam through, rather than occupy, these vast stretches of inland territory and sea-shore, For they are a nomadic people, living in the forests and scattered over wide spaces, as is natural for those who live by hunting and fishing only. They are nearly all beardless and of average stature, even a little shorter and more slender than we, but not degraded nor ill-favored in appearance; their color is not very swarthy; they commonly paint their faces, and, when in mourning, blacken them. They love justice and hate violence and robbery, a thing really remarkable in men who have neither laws nor magistrates; for, among them, each man is his own master and his own protector. They have Sagamores, that is, leaders in war; but their authority is most precarious, if, indeed, that may me called authority to which obedience is in no wise obligatory. The Indians follow them through the persuasion of example or of custom, [14] or of ties of kindred and alliance; sometimes even through a certain authority of power, no doubt. They wage war as a tribe on account of wrongs done to a private individual. The whole race is very revengeful and, after the fashion of savages, insolent in victory, carrying about the heads of their captives as trophies and spoils of victory.

They are even said to have been addicted to the eating of human flesh, and the Excommunicated and [page 73] Armouchiquois tribes are said to have the same practice even now. Those, however, who are intimate with the French are far from being guilty of so great a crime.

Their whole religion consists of certain incantations. dances and sorcery, which they have recourse to, it seems, either to procure the necessaries of life or to get rid of their enemies; they have Autmoinos, that is, medicine-men, who consult the evil Spirit regarding life and death and future events; and the evil spirit [great beast] often presents himself before them, as they themselves assert, approves or disapproves their schemes of vengeance, promises them the death of their enemies or friends, or prosperity in the chase, and other mockeries of the same sort. To make these complete they [15] even have faith in dreams; if they happen to awake from a pleasing and auspicious dream, they rise even in the middle of the night and hail the omen with songs and dances. They have no temples, sacred edifices, rites, ceremonies or religious teaching, just as they have no laws, arts or government, save certain customs and traditions of which they are very tenacious. If the Medicine-man predicts that a certain person will die before a fixed date, this man is deserted by all; and, in his misery, feeling certain of impending death, he voluntarily condemns himself to suffer hunger and complete neglect, apparently that he may not seem to contend against fate.

If, however, he does not appear to be in a dying condition by the time predicted, his friends and relatives even hasten his death by pouring jars of cold water over his stomach. Such is the piety of these servants of Satan. Thus, no doubt because he is always deceitful, the soothsayer never appears to [page 75] deceive himself; although this lying race of prophets have lost much of their authority since the coming of the French, and now universally complain that their Devils have lost much of their power,[16] if compared with what it is said to have been in the time of their Ancestors. They so completely bury the very remembrance of the dead with their bodies that they will not even suffer their names to be mentioned afterwards. Of the one supreme God they have a certain slender notion, but they are so perverted by false ideas and by custom, that, as I have said, they really worship the Devil. To obtain the necessaries of life they endure cold and hunger in an extraordinary manner. During eight or ten days, if the necessity is imposed on them, they will follow the chase in fasting, and they hunt with the greatest ardor when the snow is deepest and the cold most severe. And yet these same Savages, the offspring, so to speak, of Boreas and the ice, when once they have returned with their booty and installed themselves in their tents, become indolent and unwilling to perform any labor whatever, imposing this entirely upon the w omen. The latter, besides the onerous role of bearing and rearing the children, also transport the frame from the place where it has fallen; they are the hewers of wood and drawers of water; they make and repair the household utensils; they prepare food; they skin the game and prepare the hides like fullers; they sew garments; they catch fish and gather shell-fish for food; often [17] they even hunt; they make the canoes, that is, skiffs of marvelous rapidity, out of bark; they set up the tents wherever and whenever they stop for the night--in short, the men concern themselves with nothing but the more laborious hunting and the waging of war. For this reason [page 77] almost every one has several wives, and especially the Sagamores, since they cannot maintain their power and keep up the number of their dependents unless they have not only many children to inspire fear or conciliate favor, but also many slaves to perform patiently the menial tasks of every sort that are necessary. For their wives are regarded and treated as slaves. These Savages are extremely liberal toward each other; no one is willing to enjoy any good fortune by himself, but makes his friends sharers in the larger part of it; and whoever receives guests at what they call a Tabagie does not himself sit down with the others, but waits on them, and does not reserve any portion of the food for himself but distributes all; so that the host is constrained to suffer hunger during that day, unless some one of his guests takes pity on him [18] and gives him back a portion of what remains over from his own share. and they have often shown the same liberality toward the French, when they have found them in distress. For they have learned from us that, toward thers than these, whether here or in the ships, nothing is readily given away. They hunt after the Lice in their heads and regard them as a dainty. They are most importunate beggars and, after the fashion of beggars and needy people, they are hypo-eritical--contradicting, flattering and lying to achieve their ends. But when once they have gotten their fill they go off, mocking the French and everybody else at a distance and secretly laughing at everything, even the religion which they have received. They set up their tents easily and quickly in any place with branching stakes, which they cover either with bark or skins or even with mats. The fire is built in the middle. But this is enough, and more than enough, [page 79] regarding the country and the people, especially as I send an accurate Map of the region, a single glance at which will make clear whatever I have said regarding the geography of land and sea.

Now I shall enter upon my second topic and explain by what means the Society finally secured the sending of a mission to this province. It is true that our adherents at [19] Bordeaux, in their zeal for the saving of souls, had looked forward to this, and had aimed at this for many years back, namely, at bringing help to this wretched race. But their pious and ardent efforts. which recoiled before no danger, were long frustrated by lack of means for prosecuting them. When our Society was at last re-admitted into France, they began to negotiate in earnest with Henry the Great, through Father Coton, to obtain permission to labor in these regions also, and the King, so full of good-will toward our Society, espoused this pious and important project; but, nevertheless, the taking of active steps was preceded by a long and vexatious delay. No Frenchmen as yet inhabited this region with the purpose of settling here, and such as had been sent by the King as explorers and in a tentative way, being indifferent to our holy aims, had soon returned to France, leaving these things not only unaccomplished but even almost hopeless. But our Prince, undeterred by these considerations, bade us be of good heart, and promised, if we would but designate those who were to be sent, that he would let us know when he deemed the time opportune; and, as an earnest of his promise, from that time forward he assigned to us a sum of money for the [20] voyage. But at this point, unhappily, occurred the tragic death of the King. Yet at this very season God came to our help. Some [page 81] messengers came to the new king from the man who last year solicited the royal permission to found a colony in this country.

This man is Jean Biencourt, commonly called Potrincourt, of noble birth and a magnanimous man. Accordingly, seizing this opportunity, we made overtures to the Queen Regent, Marie de Medicis, that most pious and exalted lady, begging her to execute what her husband had so piously purposed by giving a place to two of our Fathers in the ship which was to sail shortly for this place. The Queen assented, and responded to our request most liberally. Accordingly one Priest was immediately summoned from Aquitaine, and another was chosen in France. But lo ! Satan rouses himself again, and again interposes new delay. We were to sail from Dieppe, but the ship that was to bear us to this country was so completely under the influence of Heretical merchants that it could not stir without their consent. Accordingly, as soon as they saw our Priests they refused outright to let the ship sail if the Jesuits were to embark in it. The order of the [21] Queen was alleged, and the authority of the Governor was interposed. Recourse was had to the Queen, and letters, and orders were obtained from her; but even Royal authority is, like that of the Church, unable to break or bend heretical obstinacy. This stubborn resistance lent all the more lustre to the piety of our benignant Rulers. For Antoinette de Pons, Marchioness de Guercheville, a most illustrious lady, and governess to the daughters of the Queen, on learning these petty hindrances did not hesitate, in her love for God and for our Society, to ask in his name for aid from some of the greatest men in the council of this realm, that the contumacy of the heretics might [page 83] be subdued and the Jesuits permitted to sail to this land. Nor did she have any difficulty in gaining the good-will of the Catholic Princes, inclined of their own accord to sympathize with this holy cause; in a word, the sum of four thousand livres was collected. This not only put an end to the iniquitous resistance of the heretics, but gave our Priests the influence of Masters rather than of mere passengers in the ship. Thus, no doubt Christ, as usual, has strengthened his own followers through the attacks of enemies; [22] through their iniquity he has furnished aid to his own children and protected them from the darkness find the baseness of their foes, even through their intrigues and insult; his be the glory forever and ever.


We sailed from Dieppe in a most unfavorably season on the 26th of January, of this year 1611 The ship was not large and was insufficiently equipped, the sailors were mostly heretics. As it was winter and the sea was stormy, we encountered many severe tempests and the voyage lasted four whole months, from which it is apparent how many sufferings of every kind we underwent. Indeed, during the greater portion of the voyage one or the other of us lay sick and debilitated. Yet we attempted to discharge the usual duties of our Society. Morning and evening, every day, the passengers were called together for prayer; on holidays certain Ecclesiastical services were held, pious exhortations were frequently made, and sometimes disputations with the heretics took place. The habit of swearing and using obscene language was repressed. Nor were there wanting many examples of humility and of charity.

[23] Finally, with God's blessing, we brought the Heretics, who, evidently through the preaching of [page 85] their own Pastors, regarded us as monsters, to recognize the malice of these impostors in this matter, so that they afterwards on many occasions stood up to proclaim our praises. Such, in brief, was our voyage to this land.

Now follows the third of the topics proposed in the beginning--the setting forth, namely, of the condition in which we found the Christian religion in this country. Certainly before this time scarcely any attention has ever been given by the French to converting the souls of the natives to Christ. There have been many obstacles. For the French only wandered through these regions, but did not remain here, and those who wished to remain were harassed by so many calamities that they assuredly could not give much thought to this matter. Some natives, it is true, were occasionally brought to France and baptized there, but these not being sufficiently instructed, and finding themselves without shepherds as soon as they returned to these shores, immediately resumed their former habits and traditions. We landed here [24] on the 22nd of May, on the holyday of Pentecost of this year 1611. In this very same year Sieur Potrincourt, whom I shall have occasion to mention several times, had come here to establish himself permanently, and had brought a secular Priest with him. This Priest, it is said, baptized nearly a hundred persons during the year, among them one of the most celebrated of the Chiefs, of whom we shall have to speak again later, Henry Membertou, with his whole family, that is, three children already married. But, since neither this Priest nor any one else knew their language, save so far as pertains to the merest necessities of Intercourse [page 87] and trade, the neophytes could of course not be instructed in our doctrines.

They accepted baptism as a sort of sacred pledge of friendship and alliance with the French. As regards Christ, the Church, the faith and the Symbol, the commandments of God, prayer and the Sacraments, they knew almost nothing; nor did they know the sign of the cross or the very name of Christian. So, even now, whenever we ask any one, "Are you a Christian?" every one of them answers that he does not understand what [25] we are asking him. But when we change the form of our question and ask, "Are you baptized?" he assents and declares himself to be already almost a Norman, for they call the French in general Normans. In other respects there is almost no change from the religion of the Gentiles to Christianity. They keep up the same manners and traditions and mode of life, the same dances and rites and songs and sorcery; in fact, all their previous customs. Concerning the one God and the reward of the just, they have learned some things, but they declare that they had always heard and believed thus. We found one little chapel here, a very small and poor one, but the other dwellings also, as is to be expected among new settlers, are by no means large or commodious.

Sieur Potrincourt's family is the only one here; without the women we number twenty. We two of the Society have a wooden cabin in which we can scarcely turn around when we have a table in it. And everything else is certainly in keeping with our dwelling and our vocation in life, that is, poverty. God grant that from these humble beginnings may rise and greatly flourish the work of salvation; [26] to this we bend all our efforts, though, as we are but [page 89] feeble workers, with no great success. What the nature and extent of this success has been I must now relate, since I have already treated my third topic, namely, the description of the state in which we found this vineyard, or rather this wildwood.

We arrived here, as already noted, on the 22nd of May. Accordingly, we have now sojourned here a little more than seven months. During this period we have accomplished some work both at home and abroad. Our first efforts we expended at home, so that, as far as it lay in our power, there might be no interruption of Religious services. For the secular Priest who had preceded us here, immediately on our arrival, of his own free will and in accordance with a long-cherished desire, had returned to France. On Sundays and holydays we celebrate solemn mass and vespers; we preach and sometimes have processions, the boys of our children of the forest carrying before us, when they are present here, tapers and censers and other sacred utensils. For thus, little by little, they become accustomed to our ceremonies. Our procession was, however, a more solemn one on the day of Corpus Christi when we carried about the [27] blessed Sacrament. Sieur Potrincourt himself praised highly our efforts in this, as well as in adorning our chapel as much as we could, in spite of our great poverty. Since we have observed that those who had been previously baptized had gotten scarcely anything else through their baptism than increased peril, we have restrained this eager inclination to administer this sacrament without discrimination, and we insist that no adult person shall receive it until he has the necessary understanding of his faith and his profession. So, as we have thus far been ignorant of the language and have been unable to explain our doctrines through [page 91] any interpreter, or to commit them to writing, howsoever great a labor that may prove--and it will certainly prove a great one--the course of the Gospel is, up to this point, embarrassed by these shoals and quicksands. We try to persuade the savages to bring their babes to us for baptism; and this, with God's blessing, they are beginning to do. We have baptized two boys, and a girl about nine years old. This girl was wasting away as much from hunger and neglect as from sickness; for this people very readily despair [28] of relief in sickness, and, as previously stated, soon abandon those whose recovery is deemed hopeless. Thus, when this girl was given up by her relatives, we asked that she be given us for baptism. They very willingly gave her to us, not only for baptism but to dispose of at our pleasure, as being, they said, no longer of more value than a dead dog. But we, to show them an example of Christian piety, carried her to a separate cabin and there fed her and cared for her; and, after teaching her as much as was necessary for one struggling with death, we cleansed her with the saving waters. On her death, nine days later, we entertained the glad hope that our labor had found some favor in heaven. We soon found opportunity for another deed of charity not dissimilar to this, though its result was more auspicious. This was in the case of the second son of that famous Chief Membertou, whom I have already mentioned as having received our doctrines first of all the Soriquois.

I went to visit this chief's son, who was already at death's door. I found that, in accordance with their old custom, they were holding a tabagie, that is, a solemn feast for the distribution of his property, so that after the entertainment he might, not like Jacob [page 93] give them his blessing, [29] but might bid them farewell, after which they were to bewail his death and then to offer up a sacrifice of dogs. I rebuked as well as I could, through an interpreter, these pagan usages among a people who were already Christians. The father himself, Membertou, answered mildly that they were but neophytes; that I had but to command and that everything lay in my power. I said that this slaughtering of dogs was wrong, as well as this abandonment of the sick man for whom they were mourning; I added that those dances and death-songs in the very presence of the sick man displeased me, though I permitted them to hold their tabagie elsewhere, as well as to visit the dying man and learn his last wishes. All replied that this was enough for them, and that they would dispense with the rest. Moreover, in the name of Sieur Potrincourt I invited them to transport to his house the sick man (who was at a very great distance), and said that we hoped, with God's mercy, for his recovery, so that they might thus learn at last that the predictions of their medicine-men or prophets are false and impious. They obeyed, and the third day after brought to us the sufferer, whose life they had despaired of, in a half-dying condition. God's right hand exerted its power; he did not die, but lived, and now, completely recovered, relates what [30] God has done for him. Moved by this example, the elder Membertou himself, when he began to suffer from that sickness which was to be his last, desired of his own accord to be brought to us and to be received into our own cabin, and even, if it pleased us, to occupy one of our beds. He lay there five days, during which we performed every friendly and even every menial office. But on the sixth day, [page 95] when his wife had also come, and when she saw that there was scarcely room left for one of us to find a wretched couch on the ground in our cabin, he, of his own accord, v ent elsewhere, and there died a pious death. We found, indeed, that this man (the first fruits of the Lord among this people) was, beyond all others, wont to be so wondrously moved within, that he apprehended much more of our faith than he could have learned from hearing us. Thus he used to say frequently that he ardently desired that we might soon know his language. He said that as soon as he had learned them thoroughly he would become the preacher of this heavenly word and doctrine among his people. He himself had commanded that he should be buried in the ancient burial-place of his family, with those who were already dead (who, I knew, had died as pagans). [31] I opposed this, fearing, of course, that the French and even the Gentiles might interpret this as an affront to our faith. But he answered that it had been promised him, before he gave himself to Christ, that this place should be consecrated; and he cited a past example of something of the sort, adding that he feared, on the contrary that if he were buried in our cemetery his people might thenceforth avoid the place and thus never return to us. I opposed all the reasons I could, and so did Sieur de Biencourt, the son of Sieur de Potrincourt, he being almost my only interpreter. I went off sadly, for I had accomplished nothing by arguing. Nevertheless, I did not refuse him the extreme unction, for which he was prepared. The power of the Sacrament manifested itself; the next day he called eagerly for Sieur de Biencourt and myself, and told us in the hearing of all the others that he had changed his mind, and swished to be buried in our cemetery; and [page 97] to teach his people that they should not avoid the place in accordance with their old and erroneous notion, but rather, with the wisdom of a Christian people, should love and frequent it, in order to utter pious prayers for him.

Then he recommended to them again [32] and again to maintain peace with us, and also piously gave his blessing to certain of his people, I dictating the words and guiding his hand. A short time after, he died. We deemed it well to celebrate his funeral with great pomp. And certainly there has for a long time been no Chief of such great authority among these people. What is still more remarkable it that he always adhered firmly to his resolution never to have more than one wife at a time, even before his conversion.

Such are the things achieved at home; let us now consider what has been done elsewhere. I have explored with Sieur Biencourt a large part of this whole region--all that portion, namely, which the old geographers called Norumbega, including the principal rivers. The result is that not only have we come to know the country, but also to be known ourselves, and the savages, who had never before seen a Priest or the rites of our Religion, have begun to learn something concerning it. Wherever and whenever we could do so, we offered the priceless host to the Omnipotent God, so that the altar might be as a seat dedicated to the savior of men, whence he should begin to extend his dominion among this people, while their own hobgoblin tyrants are stricken with terror and driven [33] from their usurpation. The Savages have often been present, always profoundly silent and reverent. Afterwards I would visit their huts to pray and to lay hands on the sick; I gave [page 99] them little crosses of brass, or images, which I hung about their necks, and as far as possible I infused some religious notions into their minds. They received all these things very gladly, they made the sign of the Cross under my guidance, and nearly all ;he boys followed me a long distance in order to repeat it oftener. Once it happened that a savage whom I had visited a couple of days before, finding him sick and almost given up by his friends, as I heard, met me rejoicing and well, and glorying in his cross, manifesting his gratitude toward me with hands and countenance, so that I strongly suspected that he had not only experienced the help of the cross but even recognized it. Whenever we fell in with French vessels--and this often happened--salutary counsels were given to the men, in accordance with time and place; sometimes, too, the passengers made their confession. Sometimes calamities that threatened the welfare and fortune of many were averted through the grace of God; sometimes, too, [34] certain destruction and the slaughter of no small number. We have also succeeded in reclaiming a certain Young Man{l3} of great courage and hope who, through fear of Sieur de Potrincourt, has roamed about for a whole year with the Savages, adopting theory ways and dress--not without suspicion, too, of something worse. The Lord brought about a meeting between us. I spoke with him, and at last he confided himself to me. I brought him to Sieur de Potrincourt; he did not repent of having placed faith in me; peace was made, to the great joy of all, and next day the young man, before receiving the holy Eucharist, of his own free will begged the pardon of those who surrounded him, for his evil conduct. But as it would be superfluous to speak of the many[page 101] perils so miraculously escaped by our vessels, so would it be to speak of the many sufferings of those who sojourn here. We make no complaint of having to drink water: as for bread, in less than six weeks the supply ran so short that now no more is allowed for a week than formerly for a single day. We are awaiting a ship that is to bring supplies. In the meantime, as Bakers and Artisans, a great and ancient quality withal, [35] we continue living here, but we have each fallen seriously ill; however, the Lord sustained us with his hand. For this did not last long, and whenever one of us was sick the other was well. We feel, indeed, how great a burden it is to attend to all these household duties, in going for wood and water in cooking, in washing and mending our clothes; in repairing our cabin, and in giving the necessary time and attention to other material cares. Thus our days and nights wretchedly slip away; but the hope consoles and sustains us that God, who raises up those who are cast down, will some time in his mercy not despise our unworthiness. Though, certainly, when we consider our lack of resources, the trying nature of the country, and the manners of the natives, the difficulties incident to our undertaking and those incident to the establishing of a colony, the thousand perils and impediments interposed by the sea or by our fellow men, our enterprise seems but a dream and a Platonic idea. I might set forth all these things one by one, if this were not to imitate the Hebrew explorers, and rather with regard to our human strength than to God's help, and no less through the [36] faintness of our own hearts than in accordance with the truth of things, to say: "This land devours its inhabitants; we are locusts, while there are here monsters of the race of Giants." But yet, however [page 103] great these Giants be, that David with the sling and stone shall prevail against them, even he who tramples the earth under foot in his anger, and in his rage strikes terror into the senses of men; that Jesus, the Savior of mankind, who blesses the world and leads it toward perfection in spite of all its short-comings; he, even he, as we hope, will deem it a thing worthy of his love and his power that, as Isaiah prophesied, The solitude should exult and blossom like a lily; even as he deemed it good in his wisdom and his power that, as we see, the most civilized empires in the height of power and glory should receive the yoke of his cross and his humility. Amen, so be it. And may all heaven with its prayers further this, our hope, and above all the glorious Queen of heaven; and my own prayers be aided, too, by the universal Church and especially by that portion of the Church over which, in accordance with God's will, your Reverence has so long presided--the Society; and I also pray and beseech [37] your Reverence to further it with all possible aid, and to be pleased to bestow on us toward this end in all charity your benediction. From port Royal, in new France, the last day of January 1611.

The son and unworthy servant of Your Reverence

Pierre Biard.

[page 105]


Jean Millot, opposite St. Barthelemy, at the Three Crowns.



Last Relation of what took place in the voyage
made by sieur de Poutrincourt to New France, twenty months ago.


THE old proverb is true that the Gods sell us all things for work. This may be recognized in many of the ordinary events of life, but especially in the matter of which we are about to speak and for which we have a subject in the incomparable virtues of sieur de Poutrincourt, whose more than Herculean labors have for a long time deserved a very ample fortune, which he might have succeeded in acquiring during our late struggles, had he not been too entirely devoted to the party which he had embraced. For the King, holding him besieged in person in Beaumont castle, [4] wished to give him the County thereof to attach him to his service. Refusing the gift at this time, he nevertheless accepted it freely soon afterwards, when he learned that his Majesty had embraced the faith of the Roman Catholic Church. It is true that our late King Henry the Great had rendered him one service; that is, he had testified with his own lips that he was one of the most honorable and valiant men in his kingdom. Again, after our recent wars, being naturally attracted to difficult enterprises and shunning a life of idleness, he sought some occasion to more effectually show his courage, to honor his Prince, and to glorify his country. This he did by meeting sieur de [page 125] Monts, who, in the year 1603, undertook the voyage to New and Western France beyond the sea; and by associating himself with him, to find a suitable place where he could settle down, and there render service to God and the King. To this end he has labored continually ever since, and would have already greatly advanced the work, had not his amiable nature been imposed upon by dishonest men, who have been the cause of great losses to him in time and money. But, as he was a Gentleman not to be conquered by; hardships, and fearing no dangers, he might have been sure of prompt advancement in his work had he not been hindered by the greed of those who robbed him of the fat of his lands, without making any settlement there. These people, eager to get the Beaver-skins of that country, go there for no other purpose; and so compete with each other, that they have caused every Beaver skin (which is the chief traffic [5] of these regions) to be worth here to-day ten livres, when they might have been sold for one-half that price, if the traffic therein had been limited to one person. In this way the Christian Religion might have also been established there; and it certainly would have been greatly advanced, if such a course had been pursued. Also for the sake of Religion and of permanent colonization, from which France can derive both profit and glory, it is well that those who settle there should enjoy fully and wholly the advantages guaranteed by them; since no one does anything in this direction for the sake of the leaders of the enterprise, who, at the risk of their lives and their fortunes, have discovered coasts and interior lands where no Christian had ever been. There is another consideration which I do not wish to set down in writing, and which alone ought to [page 127] obtain the above-mentioned privileges to those who present and offer themselves to settle and defend the province, and indeed to give assistance to the entire French colony over there. There has always been a complaint that affairs of general importance are ruined by giving too much attention to the consideration of personal interests. It is to be feared this may be the case in the affairs of the new World, if we neglect them, and do not encourage those who, with an unchangeable purpose, take great risks for the welfare, the honor, and the glory of France, and for the exaltation of the name of God, and of his Church.


I related in my history of New France what happened in the first two voyages made by sieur de Poutrincourt to the lands beyond the sea. Here I shall give an account of what took place in the subsequent voyages. Some years ago an inheritance, the Barony of Sainct Just, in Champagne, fell to Sieur de Poutrincourt through his mother, Lady Jehanne de Salazar. The Seine and Aulbe rivers render the situation of this domain as beautiful as it is strong and eligible for defense. Here, in the beginning of February, one thousand six hundred and ten, he partly equipped his ship, loading it with furniture, provisions, and munitions of war; and, indeed, so freighted it down that the sides were only two finger lengths out of the water Mesnwhile, the river had risen until it could no longer be confined in its bed, on account of the long winter rains. Often threatened by floods and by imminent perils in the passages from Nogent, Corbeil, Sainct Clou, Ecorche-veau and other places, where vessels were wrecked before his eyes, he was not in the least [page 129] affected by fear. At last he arrived at Dieppe, and, after a sojourn there, he put to sea upon the 26th of this same month of February. Many people of that city wished him well in his voyage and prayed God for its success. The season was stormy, and contrary winds prevailed the greater part of the time. But we may indeed call a [7] voyage fortunate, which brings us at last safe into port. They were not far away when they met, in the direction of Casquet, a ship of Forbans, a who, seeing that the Sieur and his crew were all ready to defend themselves if attacked, sailed on past them. On the 6th of March they met eleven Flemish ships, and they saluted each go other by a discharge of cannon. From the 8th to the 15th there was a tempest, during which talk Sieur, who was lying down on the poop, was thrown from his bed, over the table, to that of his son. This bad weather made them turn their route more to the South,b where they saw two of the Essores islands, Corbes and Flore; and there they had some fresh food by catching a few Porpoises. And as, according to the old saying, peace follows war, so, after these storms, there were calms more trying than the tempests, until Palm Sunday; for then, although there was rest, there was no satisfaction in it, for the food was being consumed and the good season was passing away; in short, a great calm is a very harmful thing upon the sea. But it does not last always; and sometimes (according to the fickle moods of Æolus) after the calm comes a favorable wind, sometimes a tempest; as happened shortly afterwards (namely, the day after Easter), and this caused a leak in the soute, which is the storeroom for bread or biscuit. Now the ship's carpenter, who went to repair the leak, while doing what his trade demanded, [page 131] interfered with the public prayers which were being offered in the morning, and the Sieur commanded him [8] to do his work outside. He obeyed, and there found the Rudder broken (which is a very dangerous thing); wishing to readjust it, while he was engaged in the work, a he fell from his scaffolding into the sea. And it was well that the weather had moderated; for otherwise there would have been a man lost. But he was rescued by the efforts of the sailors, who threw him a rope by which he saved himself.

On the 11th of May, the sounding lead was cast, and bottom was found at 80 b fathoms, a sign that they were upon the Codfish Banks. There they stopped to obtain fresh food, either fish or birds, which are abundant upon these Banks, as I have described fully in my History of New France. When the Banks were passed, after having encountered several contrary winds, at last they landed in the neighborhood of Pemptegoët, c (the place that our Geographers designate by the name Norembega); and the Sieur caused Mass to be said upon an Island, which he called Ascension, because they arrived there upon that day. Thence they came to Sainte Croix, the first settlement of our French upon this coast, where the Sieur had prayers offered for the dead who had been buried there since the first voyage made by sieur de Monts, in the year 1603. Then they went up the river Sainte Croix, where they found such a great number of Herrings at every tide, that they had enough to feed a whole city. During the other seasons there are other kinds of fish, but at that time it was the Herring season. Also there are trees there of [9] indescribable beauty, height, and grandeur. Upon this same coast, before reaching Port Royal, d they saw the funeral ceremonies over the corpse of a [page 133] savage who had died in the land of the Etechemins. The body was resting upon a plank supported by four stakes, and covered with skins. The next day, a great crowd of men arrived, who performed their customary dances around the corpse. One of the old men held a long pole, upon which were dangling three of their enemies' heads; others carried other trophies of their victories; and thus they continued to sing and dance for two or three hours, chanting the praises of the dead instead of the Libera of Christians. Afterwards each one made him a gift of some kind, such as skins, kettles, peas, hatchets, knives, arrows, a Matachias, and articles of apparel. When all these ceremonies were finished, they carried him, for burial to an isolated island, far from the mainland. And, leaving there, the Sieur sailed for Port Royal, the place of his residence.


Sieur de Poutrincourt had hardly taken breath after so many labors, when he sent for Membertou, chief and oldest Captain of this country, to refresh his memory in regard to some of the principles of the Christian Religion, which we had [10] previously taught him, and to instruct him more fully in things which concern the salvation of the soul; so that, he being converted, many others might follow his example. As in truth it came to pass. For after having been catechized for some time, and his family with him, he was baptized, as were also twenty others of his company, upon saint John the Baptist's day, 1610. I have enrolled their names in my History of New France,b just as they are written over there in the baptismal register of the mother-Church, which is at Port Royal. The Pastor who accomplished this [page 135] master-piece [chef d'æuvre] was Messire Jesse Fleuche, a native of Lantage, in the diocese of Langres; he is a scholarly man, and received his commission a from Monsieur, the Ambassador of the Holy Father, the Bishop of Rome, who was then, and is still, in Paris. Not that a French Bishop might not have given it to him; but, as this one was chosen, I believe the said commission is as good from him (since he is a Bishop), as from another, although he is a stranger. However, I leave the consideration of this matter to those who have more interest in it than I have, it being a question that admits of dispute on both sides since here he is not in his diocese. This Ambassador called Robert Ubaldin, gave him permission confessions from all people over there, and to absolve them from all sins and crimes not strictly reserved to the Apostolic see; and to impose upon them penances, according to the character of the sin. Furthermore, he gave him power to consecrate and bless the chasubles, and other priestly vestments, and the altar furnishings, except [11] the Corporals, Chalices, and Patens. It is thus that I have seen it stated in the credentials granted to the said Fleuche, first Patriarch of those lands. I say patriarch, because that is what he was generally called: and this was an incentive to him to lead a life full of integnty and innocence, as I believe he has done. Now these baptismal ceremonies were not without solemnity. For Membertou ( and conse quently b the others), before being introduced into the Church of God, made an examination of all his past life, confessed his sins, and renounced the devil, whom he had served. Then each one joined heartily in singing the Te Deum, and there was a joyful discharge of cannon, so that the Echoes lingered in Port Royal [page 137] nearly a quarter of an hour. God has shown great mercy in granting that this man should receive the gift of Faith, and the light of the Gospel, at the age to which he has attained, which is, I believe, one hundred and ten years, or more. He was named Henry, after our late King, Henry the Great. Others were given the names of the holy Father, the Pope of Rome, of the Queen, of my Lords and Ladies, her children, of Monsieur the Nuncio, and of other notable personages over here, who haare been, chosen as godparents, as I have written in my History a But I do not see that these godparents have: remembered their children, nor that they have sent them anything to support, aid, and encourage them in remaining firm in the Religion which they have accepted: for, if you give them bread, you can make them believe almost anything you wish; when, little by little, their land [12] is cultivated, they will derive from it their support. But they must be assisted in the beginning. Sieur de Poutrincourt has done this as far as he was able, even going beyond his means, for which he fasted afterwards, as we shall relate elsewhere.


Three weeks after the Sieur's arrival at his estates in Port Royal, he made up his mind to send back to France his eldest son, the Baron de sainct Just, a young Gentleman who is well versed in seamanship, and whom, upon this occasion, Monsieur the Admiral has honored with the title of Vice-Admiral of the Western ocean and its more distant coasts. For, being obliged to furnish food for a great many men at least during the space of a year and more, while [page 139] waiting for the wheat crop, he needed a new supply of provisions and merchandise suitable for general use, both for himself and his people, and for the Savages. So he had him leave on the 8th of July, enjoining him to be upon his return voyage in four months; and he accompanied him in a Pinnace, or large boat, for about one hundred leagues. At this season it is pleasant to sail along the coast, for there are a great many islands in the neighborhood of Cape Fourchu and Cape Sable, which are so full of birds, that all there is to do is to knock them down and reload also, fish are so plentiful, that it is only necessary to throw out the line and draw it in. Contrary winds having several times [13] forced them to cast anchor among these islands, this gave them an opportunity of verifying what I have said. So sainct Just continued to coast along for two hundred leagues, until he had passed Sable island, a dangerous place because it is low and has no safe harbor, it is twenty leagues from the mainland opposite the land of Bacaillos. On the 28th of July, he reached the Codfish a Banks, where he obtained fresh food and met several ships from our French ports, and one English ship whence he received the first news of the death of our great King Henry. This grieved him and his crew, on account of the sad circumstances surrounding the death, and because they feared trouble might arise from it. Sunday, the first day of August, they left these Banks; on the 20th they sighted the land of France, and on the 21st entered the port of Dieppe.


As sieur de Poutrincourt sailed along the coast, while accompanying his son upon his return, he found [page 141] some Savages whom he knew, encamped upon an island and engaged in fishing; they were overjoyed at his arrival, and after some talk about Membertou and others, and about what had taken place at their baptism, a he asked them if they did not wish to be like him, to believe in God and be baptized: this they [14] agreed to do after they had been instructed. And thereupon he sent them to Port Royal, where more time could be given to confirm them in the Faith and doctrines of the Gospel; they went there and were baptized. Meanwhile the Sieur continued on his way, always following the coast, until he came to Cape de la Héve, near which place he consigned his son, sieur de sainct Just, to the care of God and, veering around the cape, he sailed toward the river of la Héve, which forms a port more than two leagues wide and six leagues long, expecting to find there a Chief, whom the French had for a long time called Martin. But he had gone away, on account of the deaths which had occurred there from some form of dysentery. Afterwards, this Martin, having heard that the Sieur had done him the honor of coming to visit him, followed him up with thirty-five or forty men, and near Cape Sable overtook him and thanked him for this visit. The Sieur, who is a pleasant and agreeable gentleman, received him kindly; although some time before, in the year 1607, he had been somewhat angry at him, because when he, (the Sieur), with only a few men, was passing this same la Héve, seeing himself surrounded by three canoes full of Savages, he made them all get in line upon one side. Thereupon, Martin having remarked that the Sieur was afraid of them, the former was, in fact, in danger of seeing that his conclusion was wrong. At this last [page 143] meeting, Martin was treated with great kindness, and invited to become a Christian like Membertou and b several others, and [15] to go to Port Royal to be more fully instructed. He promised to do this and to bring all his company. And, as the Savages never go to visit their friends empty-handed, he went hunting, that he might get some venison for this occasion; meanwhile the Sieur went on ahead, in order to meet them there (i. e. at Port Royal). But near Cape Fourchu, c behold him carried by a land breeze straight out to sea, and so far, that he was six days without food (except some birds caught upon an island, which he still had), and without other fresh water than what he could sometimes catch in the sails; in short, seeing nothing but sky and water; and if he had not had a small compass, he would have been in danger of being carried to the coast of Florida by the violence of the winds, the tempests, and the waves. At last, owing to his good judgment and energy, he was able to land near the island of sainte Croix, where Oagimont, Captain of the place, brought him some sea-biscuits, for which he had traded with the French people. And thence, being familiar with the place, he crossed French bay, about twenty leagues wide here, and reached Port Royal, five weeks after his departure. Here he found his people wondering greatly at his long absence, and already meditating a change, which could not have been otherwise than disastrous. It is thus, at the peril of his life, and with incredible hardships and sufferings, he goes out to seek the lost sheep, to lead them back into the fold of Jesus Christ, and to add to the heavenly Kingdom. And if these people are not converted by the thousand, it must be remembered [161 that no Prince or Lord has, up to the present, [page 145] given any assistance to sieur de Poutrincourt; the avaricious are even stealing from him the wealth of his province, and he permits this in his goodness, in order to do nothing that will exasperate the nobles over here; although, as the King has given him the land, he would be justified in refusing to others the fruits thereof, as well as entry into his ports, and the cutting down of his forests. When he has more ample means, he can send men into the more populous districts, where they must go in strength, and reap a great harvest for the extension of the Church. Put we must first establish the State, without which the Church cannot exist. And for this reason the first help should be given to this State, and not to what has the pretext of piety. For, when the state is founded it will be its duty to provide for that which is spiritual. Let us return to Port Royal. When the Sieur arrived there he found Martin and his friends, baptized, and all strongly imbued with zeal for the Christian Religion, listening very devoutly to divine service, which was usually sung to Music composed by the Sieur.

This zeal is noticeable, not only in the Christian neophytes, as we shall state more in detail hereafter; but also in those who are not yet initiated into the sacred mysteries of Religion. For, as soon as Martin was baptized, there was one who was absolutely fleshless, having nothing left but bones, who, not having been with the others, dragged himself, with great suffering, through three cabins, [17] seeking the Patriarch Fleuches, to be instructed and baptized.

Another living at the bay saincte Marie, more than a dozen leagues from Port Royal, being sick, sent posthaste to the Patriarch, to let him know he was detained by sickness, and fearing that he might [page 147] die, desired to be baptized. The Patriarch went to him, and, with the help of an interpreter, did for him what pertained to his office as a good Pastor.

As to the Christians, one of these Savage neophytes, previously named Acoüanis, and now Loth, becoming ill, sent his son with all speed more than twenty leagues distant, to request the prayers of the Church, and to say that, if he died, he wished to be buried in the Christian cemetery.

One day sieur de Poutrincourt went to see the dismemberment of a Deer which had been killed by Louis, eldest son of Henry Membertou; and, when d all embarked for their return and were riding upon the waves of the broad river of Port Royal, it happened that the wife of Louis was delivered of a child, and, seeing that it was short-lived, they cried loudly to our people, Tagaria, Tagaria, that is, "Come here, Come here." So the child was immediately baptized by the aforenamed Pastor.

This year the country has been visited, here and there, by dysenteric troubles, which have been fatal to those affected by them. It happened that Martin was stricken a week after his baptism with the disease, and died thereof . But [ I 8] it is worthy of being remembered that this dying man always had the sacred name of Jesus upon his lips. In his last moments he requested that when he died he should be buried with the Christians. There was some trouble about this. For the Savages having still some reverence for the burial places of their fathers and friends, wished to take him to Cape Sable, forty leagues distant from the Port. On the other hand, the Sieur wished to have him buried according to his request. Thereupon a dispute arose, and the Savages, seizing their bows and arrows, wanted to take away the [page 149] corpse. But the Sieur placed a dozen arquebusiers under arms, who carried it off without resistance, after he had demonstrated to them that this had been the intention of the deceased, and that, being a Christian, he must be buried with his fellow Christians and so he was, with the usual prayers of the Church. When this was done, they were all given some bread, and went away happy.

But as we are now on the subject of sickness and death, I do not wish to pass over in silence a custom which I did not know about, and which, never having seen practiced, I did not speak of in my History of New France. It is, that when our Savages see a person gradually failing from old age or sickness, h a certain compassion they hasten his death, g him that he must die to procure rest, that. it is a wretched thing to languish from day to day, that he is only a burden to them, and offer other similar arguments, by means of which they make the sick man resolve to [19] die. And then they take away from him all food, give him his beautiful robe of Beaver or other fur, and place him in a half-reclining posture upon his bed, singing to him praises of his past life, and of his fortitude in death; to this he agrees, and replies with his last chant, like the Swan; When it is finished, all leave him, and he considers himself happy to die rather than to linger on. For these people, being nomadic, and not being able to continue living in one place, cannot drag after them their fathers or friends, the aged, or the sick. That is why they treat them in this manner. If they are sick, they first make incisions into their stomachs, from which the Pilotois, or sorcerers, suck the blood. And, whatever the cause, if they see a man can no longer drag himself along, they put him in the condition [page 151] above described, and throw upon his navel so much cold water, that Nature weakens little by little, and thus he dies with great steadfastness and fortitude.

This is the way they had treated Henry Membertou when he was sick. But he sent and asked sieur de Poutrincourt to come and see him that very day, otherwise he would be dead. At this request the Sieur went to seek Membertou at the farther end of Port Royal, four leagues away from his fort; to him the said Membertou related his story, saying he did not care to die yet. The Sieur consoled him, and had him lifted up and taken away with him. Then, when they arrived at the Fort, he had a good fire prepared for him, and, placing him near it upon a good bed, had him rubbed, [20] nursed, well cared for, and doctored; and the result was, at the end of three days, behold Membertou up and about, ready to live fifty years longer.

You cannot all at once eradicate the deep-rooted customs and habits of any people, whoever they may be. The Apostles did not do it, neither was it done several centuries after them; witness the ceremonies of the candles on Candlemas, the Processions of the Rogation-days, the Bonfires of saint John the Baptist's day, the holy Water, and many other traditions that we have in the Church, which have been introduced for a laudable purpose, to convert to a good usage what had only been abused. So, although Membertou's family were Christians, nevertheless they had not yet been taught that it is not lawful for men to shorten the days of the aged, or sick, although they think they are doing right; but rather that they must await the will of God, and leave Nature to do her work. And certainly a Pastor is excusable who fails to do things of which he has no knowledge. [page 153] Something similar was done in Martin's sickness. For they threw water upon him in this way, in order not to see him linger along; during his sickness, when the Patriarch and a man named de Montfort had caught for him, and made him eat some wild pigeon, which he liked very much, he asked them, as they were speaking to him about Heaven, if there would be any wild pigeon there. To which they answered that there was something better there, and that he would be happy. Such is the simplicity of a people [21] more fit to possess the kingdom of heaven than those who know a great deal, and whose deeds are evil. For they believe and carefully observe what is proposed to them, even reproaching our people for their carelessness, if they do not pray to God before and after eating; this was done a number of times by Henry Membertou, who likes to attend divine service, and always wears the sign of the Cross upon his bosom. Furthermore, not being able to formulate suitable prayers to God, he begged the Pastor to remember him, and all his brother Savages who have been baptized. Since the last baptism, of which we have spoken, there were several others, on the 14th and 16th of August, the 8th and 9th of October, and the 1st of December, 1610 And altogether the Pastor calculates that he has baptized one hundred and forty in one year, to whom have been given the names of many distinguished people over here, according to the inclinations of those who held the position of godfathers or godmothers these have given godsons to the following.

Monsieur the Prince de Conde.
Monsieur the Prince de Conty. [page 155]
M. the Count de Soissons.
M. the Duke de Nevers.
M. the Duke de Guise.
M. the Prince de Joinville.
M. the Prince de Tingry.
M. de Praslin.
M. Roger, Baron de Chaouree, son of sieur de Praslin.
M. de Grieu, Counselor in the Parliament of Paris. [22]
M. Servin, Advocate-general of the King in Parliament.
M. de la Guesle, Procuror-general of the King in Parliament.
M. the Count de Tonnerre.
Messire Jesse de Fleuchey, Patriarch of Canada.
M. Belot, called de Monfort.
M. de Jouy.
M. Bertrand, native of Sesane, present and assisting in these baptisms.
M. de Villars, Archbishop of Vienne, in Daulphine.
M. Descars, Bishop and Duke de Langres.
M. de Gondy, Bishop of Paris.
M. Dormy, Bishop of Boulongne.
M. de Braslay, Bishop of Troyes.
M. the Abbé of saincte Geneviefve, son of M. de Beauvais Nangis.
M. the Abbé of Clervaux.
M. de Vausemain, Baron de Chapleine, Bailiff of Troyes.
Brother Claude de Vauvillier, Penitencier of Molesme.
M. Bareton, Canon, grand Arch-deacon and Official of Troyes.
M. Douynet, Canon and Promoter at Troyes.
M. Megard, Canon and Treasurer of sainct Urbain, at Troyes.
M. Megard, Licentiate in Law, Canon in the Church of St. Estienne at Troyes.
M. Fombert, Canon in the Church of Vienne.
M. Guilliet, Canon at Vienne.
M. Bourguignon, pastor of Sainct Estienne au mont, Paris.
M. Daviau, Vicar and receiver of St. Estienne.
M. Rouvre, pastor of Lantage.
M. de Marquemont, auditor of Rothes, at Rome
M. de Savarre, Counselor in the Parliament of Paris
M. Vigor, Counselor in the grand Council.
M. de sainct Just.
M. de Lantage-baratier, sieur of Lantage.
M. Edme baratier, his son.
M. de Lantage Montleliart.
M. de Sainet Simon.
M. de la Berge. [page 157]
M. Auguste du Boullot, sieur de l'Estain.
M. Regnard, Secretary of the King's Chamber and of Monsieur the Procuror-general.
Mons. Symony, Sieur de Rouelle, Advocate at Langres. [23]
M. Fombert, Procuror in Parliament.
M. Davant, President and Lieutenant-general at Troyes.
M. de Bobus, Criminal Lieutenant at Troyes.
M. Bazin, Attorney of the King at that place.
M. Parmentier, Lieutenant of the short robe at Troyes.
M. Jacquinet, master of streams and forests at Troyes.
M. Megard, Lieutenant of Surgeons at Troyes,
M. Martin, Lieutenant-general of the Marquisate of Isle.
M. l'Evesque, Procuror at that place.
M. Iamin, Master of Rolls at that place.
M. de la Rue, Vicar of Virey soubs Bar.
M. Belot, treasurer extraordinary of the wars in Guienne.
M. Belot, military Commissioner.
M. Belot, sieur du Pontor.
M. Belot, Procuror in the grand Council.
M. Hardy, Receiver of taxes at Mans.
M. Marteau, Secretary to sieur Prevost Morel.
M. Bajouë, Master of Rolls at the bailiwick of Monfort Lamaury.
M. de Cresse, Clerk to Monsieur Estienne, Controller of the King's buildings.
M. du Val, Judge and Guard of Justice at Lantage.
M. de la Creuse, Secretary of Monsieur de Chastille.
Jean, Mathieu and Gregoire de Fleuchey, brothers of the Patriarch.
Pierre Roussel, his brother-in-law.
Ferry Roussel, son of Gabriel Roussel, of said Lantage.
Robert Roy, Sergeant Royal, Forester of the forest of Romilly.
Claude Jouguelat.
As to the women, goddaughters were given to the following.

Madame the Princess de Conde.
Madame the Princess de Conty.
Mad. the Countess de Soissons.24
Mad. the Duchess of Nevers.25
Mad. de Guise.26
Mad. de Longueville. [24]
Mad. de Praslain, mother of Sieur de Praslain.27
Mesdemoiselles Catherine. Blanche, and Claude, daughters of sieur de Praslain.
Mad. the Countess de Tonnerre. [page 159]
Mad. Anne de la Val, Lady of Ricey.
Mad. Françoise de Faulch, wife of sieur Delantage Baratier.
Mad. Charlotte, their daughter.
Mad. de Grieu.
Mad. de la Berge.
Mad. de Savare.
Mad. Anne Arlestain, wife of sieur de l'Estain.
Mesd. Philippa and Charlotte de Arlestain, his sisters.
Madam. Regnard, wife of Sieur Regnard.
Mad. Belot (wife of Treasurer.)
Madame Simony, widow of Monsieur Simony, Procuror in Parliament
Mad. de Beaulieu.
Mad. Marguerite Simony.
Mad. Hardy.
Mad. Belot, wife of Monsieur Belot, Procuror.
Mad. Bajouë.
Mad. Jeanne des Marets, wife of sieur Megard, Surgeon at Troyes.
Barbe Ramin, mother of the Patriarch.
Barbe de Fleuchey, his sister.
Jeanne, Clemence Roussel, and Valentine Drouin, wives of said Fleucheys, brothers of the Patriareh.


Sieur de Poutrincourt's piety requires that the first exercise of the day in this country be to pray to God [page 161] like Abel, who ( as Philo says ) offered his sacrifice to God in the morning; which Cain did not do. And sages observe, by citing Jacob, who received Isaac's first blessing, which was stronger than that given to Esau, that those who pray in the morning and receive the first benediction of God, affrays have a greater share in his mercies. Hence an illustrious personage of our times has written, among his moral precepts and truly golden sentences;
With the light thy day beginning,
Then praise the Name of the Eternal One;
Again at evening when thy work is done,
Thus spend the year his praises singing.

The Sieur has done this, having brought here, expressly at his own expense, the aforementioned Patriarch, who, I see from memoranda which I have has never spared himself in the performance of his duties, going sometimes four, sometimes twelve leagues away to baptize some of the children of the Savages, in answer to their requests, saying they wanted to be like Membertou, namely, Christians. Also sometimes he has led his band in a procession to a mountain North of their settlement, upon which there is a square rock [26] as high as a table, covered with thick moss, where I have sometimes enjoyed a pleasant rest. I have called this place mount de la Roque, in the sketch I made of Port Royal in my History, after one of my friends named de la Roque, Provost of Vimeu in Picardy, who desired to take up land there and to send over some men.

The second duty was to provide for the necessities of life, and to this end he employed his people, each according to his trade, as soon as they arrived; some were employed in tilling the ground, some in building. [page 163] some at the forge, some in making planks, etc. The Patriarch took possession of my apartment, and of my parterres and gardens, where he says he found, at his arrival, a great many radishes, parsnips, car- rots, turnips, peas, beans, and all kinds of good and productive culinary herbs. Occupying himself with these things, upon his return (which was the 17th of last June), he left a beautiful field of wheat with fine, well-flowered heads.

Several others were occupied in agriculture, this being the occupation of prime importance, and most necessary to human life. They have now (I suppose ) reaped the harvest thereof, except that of the trees they planted, which are not so prompt in bearing.

As to the Savages, they know nothing about cultivating the land, and cannot give themselves up to it, showing themselves courageous and laborious only in hunting and fishing. However, the Armouchiquois and other more distant tribes plant wheat and beans, but they let the women do the work.

[27] Our people, besides the farm and garden work, passed their time in hunting, fishing, and in making fortifications. Work was not wanting also in repairing and roofing the buildings and the mill, abandoned since our return in 1607. And, as the springs was some little distance from there, they dug a well in the Fort, and found the water very good. So that (wonderful to relate) they had no sickness, although there was sufficient cause for it in the privations they suffered. For Sieur de Sainct Just, son of Sieur de Poutrincourt, having been ordered to return in four months (as we have said above), was expected the last of November, with fresh supplies; yet he did not come until the day of Pentecost, the 22nd of the [page 165] following May. For this reason they were obliged to diminish their rations, of which they had rather a small quantity. To always eat fish (unless it is good and firm) or shellfish alone, without bread, is dangerous, and causes dysentery, as we have observed above in regard to certain Savages who died of it. We can prove this also by Sieur de Monts' men, who died, to the number of twenty, the first year they wintered at Kebec, both on account of their change of dwelling, and because they ate too many eels and other fish. Furthermore, game is not always to be found in abundance in a place where people are obliged to live on it, and where there is a permanent settlement. This is what makes [28] nomads of the Savages, and prevents them from remaining long in one place. When they have been six weeks in a place, they are obliged to leave their habitation. This winter, in the neighborhood of Port Royal they took six Grignaces or Elks, and brought a quarter or half of them to our people. But that did not go far with so many men. On Palm Sunday, Louis, the eldest son of Membertou, was on the trail of one which had reached Port Royal and was just crossing the river, when his wife caused an alarm by crying out several times, Ech'pada, Ech'pada, that is, "To arms, to arms." They thought it might be an enemy, but it was a welcome one. Sieur de Poutrincourt got into a boat to go and head it off, and, with the help of a big dog, made it turn back whence it came. There was some sport in chasing it so near its death. As soon as it approached the land, Louis pierced it through with an arrow, Sieur de Jouy discharged his arquebuse at its head, but Actaudinech', or Paul, the younger son of Membertou, dexterously cut a vein in [page 167] its neck, which completely finished it. This gave our people some game, and consolation to their stomachs. But it did not last always, and they had to come back to ordinary fare. you must bear in mind that, in this cutting down of supplies, of which we have spoken, there were great responsibilities for the commandant; for mutinies and conspiracies arose; and on the one brand the cook stole a part of what belonged to the others, while a certain one cried "hunger" who had plenty of bread and meat in his [29] cell, as has been proven. Those who carried wheat to the mill, from fifteen bushels brought back only twelve of flour, instead of eighteen. They also took advantage of the necessity of others, in miserly traffic in Beaver skins with the Savages. Nevertheless (through too much kindness), all these faults were pardoned after they had been looked into. Poor fools, who take good counsel so lightly, and do not see what will become of them afterwards, and that their lives call only be assured by a perpetual exile from their country, and from all they hold dearest in the world.

During this scarcity they heard of some roots which the Savages eat in their time of need, and which are as good as Truffles. To seek for these some of the lazy ones, as well as the more industrious, began to dig; and did so well that, by working daily, they cleared about four acres, in which rye and vegetables were planted. It is thus that God can draw good from evil; he chastises his people and yet sustains them with his hand.

When the winter was over and the mildness of the weather allured the fish to seek fresh water, upon the 14th of April, men were sent out fishing. There [page 169] are a great many streams at Port Royal, and among them three or four where the fish swarm in the spawning season. One contains vast numbers of Smelts in April. Another, Herring, another, Sturgeon and Salmon, etc. So some were then sent to the river at the [30] back of Port Royal, to see if the Smelts had come. When they reached the place, Membertou ( who was encamped there ), received them hospitably, regaling them with meat and fish. Thence they went to the stream called Liesse by Sieur des Noyers, an Advocate in Parliament, where they found so many fish that they had to send and get some salt, to lay in a store of them. These fish are very tempting and delicate, and are not so injurious as shellfish are apt to be. They remain about six weeks in this stream; after that there is another small river near Port Royal, where Herring is found, also another to which Sardines come in great abundance. But as to the river of the Port, which is the river Equille, since named the Dauphin, at the time of which we speak it furnished Sturgeon and Salmon to any one who would take the trouble to fish for them. When the Herrings came, the Savages (with their usual good-nature) let the French know it by signaling from their quarters with fires and smoke. The hint was not neglected, for this kind of hunting is much more sure than that of the woods.


It was the 10th of May, when the last bread was baked, that they took counsel about returning to France, if help did not come within a month. This they were ready to do. But on the day of Pentecost (May 22nd] [310 God sent his consoling spirit to this [page 171] company, already so disheartened? and it came to them very opportunely in the arrival of Sieur de Sainct Just, of whom we must say a few words; for awhile ago we left him at the port of Dieppe, and have not seen what he has been doing since. When he was presented to the Queen, she was wonderfully pleased to hear about the conversion of several Savages, who had been baptized before the departure of sieur de Sainct Just, an account of which I published and presented to her Majesty. Thereupon the Jesuits offered themselves to aid in the work. The Queen favored the plan, and recommended them. I should have been glad, if, before their departure, some one had suggested to her Majesty a thing which she would willingly have done; namely, to send some presents of food and clothes to these Neophytes and new Christians, who bear the names of the deceased King, of the Queen Regent, and of my Lords and Ladies, the children of France. But every one looks out for his own interests. Sieur de Sainct Just, after his report had been made, meant to obtain protection for the Beaver trade, believing that considerations of a religious nature would easily secure this for him. However, he could not obtain it. And seeing that the affair was dragging on, and that he must go and relieve his father, having been ordered to so arrange affairs as to be back in four months, he took leave of the Queen, who sent with him two Jesuits for the conversion of the Savage tribes over there. But as sieur de Poutrincourt had taken an [32] able man at his departure, it seems to me that these men (who can be more useful here) were in too much of a hurry for the best interests of the Sieur; because the delay, which took place on their account, was very [page 173] detrimental to him, and caused a dissolution of his partnership. In such undertakings the State must first be founded, without which the Church cannot exist, as I have said before. I expressed my opinion on this subject to sieur de Sainct Just, to the effect that it was necessary to guarantee a living before anything else, to obtain a crop of wheat, to have cattle and domestic fowls, before they could bring these people together. Now this blind haste came very near, besides the above-mentioned losses, reducing the company that was over there to miserly and want as they had nothing left but the one baking of bread, already made and distributed.

Sieur de Poutrincourt had gone into partnership with two Dieppe merchants, who, seeing the two Jesuits,--namely, Father Biar[d], a very learned man, a native of Gascony, of whom Monsieur the first President of Bordeaux has given me a high opinion; and Father Nemon [Ennemond],--ready to embark, they objected, and did not want them to go upon the voyage, saying that they would willingly provide for all other kinds of men, Capuchins, Minimes, Cordeliers, Recollets, etc.; but, as to these, they did not want them at all, and could not consider themselves safe in their company; that if the Queen wished them to go there, let their [the merchants'] money be refunded, and they night do whatever they wished. Now there is a delay. [33] The Court must be written to, her Majesty must be informed of the situation, the money to reimburse the Merchants must be collected, and journeys must be made: meanwhile, the season is passing away. The Queen granted them two thousand écus, in addition to which collections were made from the families of Princes, Nobles [page 175] and people devoted to the cause, whence they obtained a great deal of money. In short, they reimbursed each of the Merchants two thousand livres, and at last set sail, the 26th of January, 1611. The weather was disagreeable, this being the roughest part of the winter. They were some time upon the sea, thinking they would be able to resist the winds, but the were compelled to put into port in England where they remained until the 16th of February. And the 19th of April they were upon the great Cod fish Banks, where they found some Ships from Dieppe and Sainct Malo. The 29th, being between these Banks and the island of Sable, they sailed before the wind a distance of twelve leagues, in the midst of ice, mountain high, upon which they disembarked get some fresh water, which they found good. In emerging from this ice, they met one of Sieur de Monts' ships, commanded by Captain Champlein, whose return we are awaiting to learn of some new discoveries. Afterwards, they continued to encounter other masses of ice, for a distance of fifty leagues, which they had much difficulty in outsailing. The fifth of May, they sighted the land and port of Campseau, the location of which can be seen in the great geographical Chart in my History. [34] Father Biar[d] sang Mass there; then they sailed along the coast, so that the 21st of May they cast anchor at the entrance to the passage which leads to Port Royal. .

The same day sieur de Poutrincourt had called his people together to pray to God, and to prepare themselves for the celebration of the Pentecostal feast. And, as each one had placed himself at his post of duty, suddenly, about three hours after bedtime, there is heard the sound of cannon and trumpet, [page 177] which awakes the sleepers. Scouts are sent out; they are found to be friends. Then there is joy and gladness and Thanksgivings to God in a procession the mountain of which I have spoken above. The first question which the Sieur asked his son, was about the King's health. He answered that he was dead. In reply to further inquiries, he told the story as he had heard it in France. Thereupon, they all began to weep, even the Savages joining in after they had heard about the catastrophe; and they continued to mourn for a long time, just as they would have done for one of their greatest Sagamores. .

Sieur de Sainct Just had hardly arrived, when the Etechemin Savages (who love sieur de Poutrincourt) came to announce to him that there were three Ships upon their coasts, from St. Malo and Rochelle, which there boasting that they would devour him as the Gougou would a poor Savage. Upon hearing this, sieur de Poutrincourt would not even wait to have the lately-arrived ship unloaded; but straightway went and anchored opposite [35] these three Ships, and summoned all the Captains to come and speak with him. They obeyed, and the sieur made them acknowledge the authority of his son, as Vice-Admiral the said lands of the West. One of the Malouin Ships, while trying to make some resistance, was taken, but the sieur, with his usual good-nature, released it, after having admonished it never again to come to sea without its Charter-party. There Father Birat [Biard] said Mass, and did all he could to bring each one to a sense of his duty. In particular, he caused a young man to acknowledge his transgressions, who had passed the winter with the men and women Savages: he [the young man] asked pardon from him [Poutrincourt] to whom this was due; [page 179] and received the Communion from his [the Father's] hand. After this they all returned to Port Royal, with great rejoicing. .

In the delay previously mentioned may be found the reason why these ships and others, having arrived before sieur de Sainct Just, took away all that was valuable in the country as regards the Beaver and other fur trade, which would have reverted to Sieur de Poutrincourt's sailors if his son had returned from over the sea at the time stipulated. And besides, more than six thousand escus [écus] worth of peltries would have been saved which the Savages devoured during the winter, and which they would have come to Port Royal to exchange, had they found there what they needed. A wicked act was also committed before the ship's departure from Dieppe, by the Overseer of the boat, who, being charged to load [enruner] the wheat, appropriated it to his own profit, [36] which contributed to the scarcity which our countrymen suffered over there. And yet God so sustained them, that no one has been sick; even those who have come back, are fortunate in that respect and there is not one of them who would not like to return to that country. .


What I have just related may be attributed to the grace of God; as also the roots that were sent them in their need, which we have already mentioned; and furthermore, the exercise given the lazy ones who would not take part in tilling the soil, and who, without intending it, prepared for cultivation a fine field, while seeking for these roots. But more particularly the exemption from sickness, which is a [page 181] very evident miracle. For, as to former sojours, not one has been passed without some deaths, although they were well provided for. And in this one not only the healthy remained well, but also those who were afflicted with ill-health in France have there recovered. A witness of this is a worthy man named Bertrand,{29} who, at Paris, was daily tormented with the gout, from which he was entirely free over there. But since he came back here, the same trouble has returned with more severity than ever, although he takes care not to indulge in excesses.

[37] But who will not recognize God's peculiar graces in the case of Sieur de Poutrincourt and his crew when, upon his return from accompanying his son he was carried by a land breeze out into the open sea, in danger of making a visit to Florida, or of being overwhelmed by the billows, as we have stated above.

I call it also a miracle that these poor people have conceived such an opinion of the Christian Religion, that as soon as they are sick they ask to be baptized; and, even when they are well, they approach it with great Faith, saying they wish to be like us, fully recognizing their own shortcomings. Membertou, the great Sagamore, exhorts every one of the Savages to become Christians. All bear witness that since they have been baptized they are afraid of nothing, and go out boldly at night, the devil no longer tormenting them.

When Sieur de Sainct Just arrived at Campseau, the Savages who had not been baptized ran away in fear. But those who were baptized, about fifty in number, approached boldly, saying, "We are thy brothers, Christians as thou art and thou lovest us Hence we fly not away and are not afraid:" and [page 183] they carried the Sieur upon their arms and shoulders to their wigwams.

Towards the end of Spring, when Membertou's children had gone hunting, where they remained a long time, it happened that Membertou was sorely pressed for food; and in this time of need [38] he remembered that he had formerly heard our people say that God, who feeds the birds of the air and the beasts of the fields, never abandons those who have hope in him, according to the words of our savior.

So, in this necessity, he began to pray to God , after having sent his daughter to see if there were any signs of fish in the mill-creek. He had not been a long time in prayer, when lo, his daughter comes running back crying in a loud voice, Nouchich', Beggin pech'kmok, Beggin ëta pech'kmok, that is, "Father, the herring have come; the herring have come indeed." And he saw effectually, and to his satisfaction, God's care over his own. He (or some of his family) also had proof of this upon another occasion, in a like time of need, when he encountered an Elk, and another time a stranded Whale.

Who will deny that it was a special manifestation of the providence of God towards his own, when he sent to Sieur de Poutrincourt the desired help upon the day of last Pentecost, of which we have made mention above?

I will not repeat what I have written in my History of New France, book 4, chap. 4, of the wonderful thing which happened, during Sieur de Mont's first sojourn, to Master Nicolas Aubry, Priest, of a good family in Paris, who w as sixteen days lost in the woods, and at the end of that time was found, very much emaciated, in truth, but still living; and he is liking yet, and is singularly devoted to the [page 185] enterprises being carried on in behalf of that country, whither his [39] desires more than ever attract him, as well as all others who have once made the voyage; these I have observed are almost all desirous of risking their fortunes there, if God would open up the way for them to do something. To this the great do not care to lend their ears, and the small have not wings strong enough to fly so far. Nevertheless there is something strange and incredible the perseverance of both Sieur de Monts and Sieur de Poutrincourt; the former having continued to send expeditions over there for ten years; and the latter, in spite of the difficulties enumerated above, having recently sent over another one, awaiting here the return of spring, to go again to see his people. May God grant to both the means of doing something which may succeed to the glory of his name, and to the welfare of the poor people whom we call Savages.


[page 187]
[40] Extract from the Royal License.

By the grace and Prerogative of the King, permission is granted to Jean Millot, Bookseller in the University of Paris, to print or to have printed, to sell and distribute throughout all our Kingdom, as often as he may desire, in such form or character as he may see fit, a book entitled, History of New France, containing the voyages made by the French to the West Indies, and new countries of New France, and the discoveries made by them in said places. To which are added The Muses of New France. Also a number of Charts in copper-plate, which represent the Provinces, Ports, and other things appertaining to said History, composed by Marc Lescarbot, Advocate in the Court of Parliament. All this to remain valid until the expiration of six full and complete years, counting from the day Upon which said book shall be finished. During said period of time, all Printers, Booksellers, and other persons of whatsoever rank, quality, or condition, are prohibited from publishing, selling, imitating, or Changing said book, or any part there-of, under penalty of confiscation of the copies, and of fifteen hunclred livres fine, one half of which is to be paid to us, and one half to the poor of the public hospital of this city of Paris, together with the costs, damages and interests of the aforesaid petitioner. Notwithstanding all cries of Haro, Norman Charter, Licenses, letters, or other appeals and counter-claims, opposed to this, now or in future And His Majesty also wills that in placing an extract [page 189] from said License in the beginning or at the end of said book, it shall be regarded as a notice duly served, as has been more fully described in the patents of his Majesty. Given in Paris the 27th day of November, in the year of grace 1608, and of our reign the eleventh.

By the King in Council.




Relatio Rerum Gestarum

in Nova-Francia Missione, Annis 1613 & 1614

Lyons: CLAUDE CAYNE, 1618

Source: we follow the general style of O'Callaghan's Reprint No. 6. The Title and Tabula Rerum are the work of that Editor. The 'I'ext is from the original volume of Annuæ Litteræ Societatis Iesu, Anni CID IDC XII, pp 562-605, in the Riggs Library, Georgetown, D. C. The bracketed pagination is that of the Annuæ; that in Roman, of O'Callaghan.

[page 193]




Mission of New France


From the Published Annual Letters of the

Society of Jesus





[562] The Mission in New France, or Canada.

NEW FRANCE, an immense region adjoining the coast of Aquitaine in a westerly direction, is situated between the same parallels of latitude as [563] is our France; and is separated from it by the very moderate voyage of 800 leagues, or, where the ocean is broadest, of 1,000 leagues. Because it is thus opposite and near to our France, our ancestors called it New France; and for this nomenclature another especially appropriate reason occurred in the good fortune by which our French fellow-countrymen were the first to take possession of this hitherto X known region, and visited it in frequent voyages more than a hundred years ago. But the name of Canada, which is commonly given to this entire country, belongs only to that Northern region which is washed by the abundant waters of the river Canada, and of the noble gulf which is called St. Lawrence. Indeed, the whole territory of New France, although flow much more confined than formerly, towards the frontiers of Florida, is nevertheless bounded on the South by the thirty-ninth parallel, and extends many leagues beyond the breadth of our France. Moreover, it stretches with yet unknown limits towards the North, and in vast expanses to the Chinese sea on the West; finally it is bounded Eastward by our Aquitanian and Breton Ocean, lying opposite and between the same parallels [page 199]

There ought to be in that region the same sort of Climate in every respect as that of our France, from the fact, as we pointed out, of its similar situation, and this is actually the case. Moreover, there is no reason why the soil should not be equally fertile, if the cultivation of the plains were long continued upon to lands, and if it were not for the dense shades of the almost unbroken forests. [564] For the subsoil whole country is very rich, as trees of immense size and height readily demonstrate. That the surface-soil is also endued with great fertility is shown by the pleasing luxuriance of the vegetation over all the plains.

The people Comprise many tribes diverse in language and situation, united by no mutual purposes or interests; possessing neither laws nor arts, and knowing no other means of gaining a livelihood than by fishing and hunting; having almost no conception of Deity or concern for salvation; indolent in every occupation, and dull in those pursuits which depend upon talent or memory. On the whole, the race consists of men who are hardly above the beasts. One tribe hardly ever has intercourse with another, either distant or near, except such as may arise in the prosecution of offensive or defensive warfare. Even the members of the same tribe, united by a common location and the vicinity of their dwellings, are seldom accustomed to meet together, except to take measures concerning war against a common enemy. Of foreign nations, the French are almost the only people whom they admit to their harbors, for the sake of disposing of their Beaver skins and other peltries, in exchange for necessary clothing and utensils.

Among French navigators, the Bretons first explored this part of the new world in 1504; after they brought back reports of it, they had in [page 201] subsequent voyages thither, many Companions or rivals,--not only the Normans, but also other dwellers on the Sea-coast of France. In the nineteenth and also in the twentieth year thereafter, John Verazano, [565] a Florentine; and, in the thirty-fourth year thereafter, Jacques Quartier, a Frenchman of Brittany, severe sent as commanders by Francis I., King of France; and, by the occupation of this region under his authority, brought it under the jurisdiction of that King, and also of his successors. Various French expeditions, sent out at intervals, continue to this day to maintain that possession for the Kings of France. Some of our brethren were also sent last year in order, by the authority of Henry IV., to unite the tribes joined in friendship and Alliance with the French, and also the remaining Canadians, by the far holier tie of the Gospel, to Christ, the king of kings. Before rate begin to speak concerning this undertaking, we must, in addition to our general description, explain more fully some matters concerning the country and people.

New France presents to the French, as they approach it, two coasts, one which borders with a narrow frontage upon our Ocean to the East; and another far longer, which extends Southward to the confines of Florida. The former side abounds in bays and estuaries, by which one may readily penetrate the interior; by these routes the French usual these regions; but, since the other coast, lying opposite our France, is rendered almost inaccessible by the intervention of a great island which they call Newfoundland, our people do not approach in that direction. The immense plain in that quarter is watered by a river of vast size and mighty volume, its course directly eastward from almost the farthest [page 203] west, until, by reason of the narrow strait at the island of Newfoundland [566] and the opposition of the island itself, its mouth is broadly curved towards the Southern coast. The native name of that river is Sacqué, the French have called it St. Lawrence: its source the natives seek more than 500 leagues distant, in a lake 300 leagues in width. Into this main stream other noble rivers flow from the North, such as the Saguenay, the Three Rivers,--or three rivers flowing together,--the Algomequi, and many others. these rivers are open for navigation far Northward--the Saguenay five hundred leagues, the Three Rivers four hundred leagues. From the mountains upon the Southern bank of the Sacqué River other notable streams flow across to the Southern coast of the Ocean, and from these the native names for most of the tribes and districts of that region are derived; but upon some of them the French afterward conferred names after their own fashion. The rivers flowing Southward are the St. John, Pentegoët, Quinibequi, Choüacoet,11 and Norembega, which last stream Champlain asserts to be the same as the Pentegoët. The tribes across the Sacqué or St. Lawrence, towards the North, not far from its mouth, are the Canadis and Excomminquis;11 but at a distance from these, on the same Northern shore, toward the west. in the direction of Florida, dwell the Algomeguis and the Ochasteguis. Across the St. Lawrence, on the Southern bank, the Canadi live also, directly at the bend of the great river, which turns from the East towards the South. Beyond them, toward the West, lie the Souriquois, inhabitants of the country of Acadia; thence, toward the Pentegoët or Norembega River, the Pentegoëts;6 [567] to their right, looking Westwards about the fortress at [page 205] Québec,59 the Montagnais; beyond the Pentegoëts, directly toward the Quinibequi River, the Eteminquis; then the Almochiquois, at the Choüacoet River, scattered over a very extensive region; finally. between Florida and the great Sacqué River, the Iroquois inhabit enormous tracts of both level and mountainous country. Many of the remaining tribes of New France. especially those of the North, across the great Sacqué River, our French countrymen know only from hearsay. Among those whom they know, however, they have secured as friends, and almost as allies, the Souriquois, Eteminquis, Montagnais, Almochiquois, Algomequois, and Ochasteguis. The Iroquois, who are deadly enemies of these tribes, prove hostile to the French also, mainly because the latter have waged war against them, in company with their enemies. Certain of these tribes--the Almochiquois, Iroquois, and Ochasteguis--practice agriculture, though unskill fully, and plant Indian corn and the Brazilian bean.

Numerous headlands meet those who approach New France by the Southern coast: Breton, at the very mouth of the great river St. Lawrence; next in order, La Hève, Mouton, Sable, Fourchu, St. Louis, Blanc, Ste. Hélène. Those who coast along the same shore from Cape Breton meet the harbors called Campseau, Sesambre, Port Royal, and Beaubassin. But those who wish to journey inland, beyond the borders of Canada, by way of the Sacqué river, must pass Cape Breton, at the mouth of the St. Lawrence; Cap de l'Evêque, [568] Cap Chat, and some other headlands,--finally reaching Tadoussac bay at the mouth of the Saguenay river, where it enters the Sacqué.

Moreover, in this great extent of territory, by [page 207] means of numerous expeditions and in more than a century, the French have established only five settlements; the first of these was founded by Jacques Quartier during his last voyage, not at the inaccessible narrows and rocks of the place now called Saincte Croix, but in almost the very spot where now stands Quebec, fifteen leagues on this side of Ste. Croix. Another was built by Pierre du Gas, sieur de Monts, in the year 1604, upon a small island, among the Eteminquis, close to their Southern shore, to which settlement and island he gave the name of Saincte Croix. He also in the same year, upon a sort of peninsula on the Acadian coast, near Port Royal, erected a small fort of the same name, defended by a ditch and a rampart. Port Royal, and the fort of the same name as the harbor, are on what is called French Bay one hundred and fifty leagues from Cape Campseau, eight leagues from the sea. A bay among the French, as among the Spanish, is a large indentation in the land at the shore of the sea or of a great river, angular or round in shape, giving the waters entrance to the interior regions. At the head of French Bay is a harbor, reached by a channel three-quarters of a mile long; it is two leagues long and one wide, capable of receiving 2,000 large ships, and because of its majestic appearance was named Port Royal by the Frenchman Champlain. A third settlement was founded by sieur de [569] Monts, four years later, at the point of Québec, on the Southern bank of the Sacqué river, near the isle of Orleans, in the territory of the Montagnais; Champlain, who was in charge of the work, called this fort Quebec, from the name of the district,{41}' and observed that in almost the same place Jacques Quartier's post of Ste. Croix had in former [page 209] days been built. Our Fathers were laying the foundations of the fifth and last French settlement mouth of the Pentegoët river, when they we vented from prosecuting the work by a descent English, and carried off into captivity, contrary to justice and the law of nations. These details Which otherwise would have delayed the orderly narrative of events, having been thus first explained let us devote our pen to the Canadian expedition undertaken by our fathers.

Potrincourt had asked of Henry IV. the fort at Port Royal, because it had been granted as a gift to him by sieur de Monts at the very time of its establishment, which was perhaps the best reason he could give for advancing and maintaining his pretensions, and had obtained not merely a claim upon it, but its possession. Following the grant of this fort, and also the government of a definite territory in New France, to Potrincourt, the King informed Father Coton that he wished to employ the services of our Brethren in bringing the Savages to Christ. He also desired him to write to the general of the Society, in his own name, in order that Fathers might be selected for this undertaking, whom the King himself would take measures to send thither at the first available opportunity, while an annuity of 2,000 livres was to be allowed the Mission. It was during the eighth year of this century when the King made this decision in regard to Canadian affairs. but, in spite of his plans, by reason of more weighty business which called his attention elsewhere, [570] and also the hindrance caused by his death, but especially because of the negligence of those who were managing the Canadian province for the Crown, the departure of our brethren was delayed until the third year thereafter. Moreover, [page 211] either by some accident, or by the purpose Of men, it came to be delayed the entire space of three years, although our brethren were already equipped. Such difficulties, also, suddenly arose as plainly showed that our plans for this voyage were displeasing to the Evil Spirit. The Queen Shad paid over 500 golden crowns, according to the decree of the late King; Mesdames de Vernueil, de Sourdis, and de Guerchevelle had given generous contributions,--one, the sacred furniture of the altar; another, an abundance of linen vestments; the third, a very liberal allowance of money for the expenses of the voyage. Father Pierre Biard and Father Enemund Massé had been selected for the undertaking, and had prepared themselves with great courage, eagerly awaiting their departure. The day for sailing had been agreed upon by them with Biencourt, the son of Potrincourt, and Thomas Robin, the leaders of the expedition, for the 24th day of October, 1610; but, when they arrived upon that day, the ship was undergoing repairs, and that, too, in a negligent manner, upon the land; so far was it from being provided with suitable equipment either for navigation or for the Canadian colony. Two Calvinists had devoted their services and resources to the repair of the ship, and, because Biencourt and Robin lacked means to pay for the work, the Calvinist merchants had contracted for a specified portion of the profits of the voyage. By this right, as masters in the ship, they thought themselves able to declare, in the presence of the Jesuits, that there would be no place for them in the vessel; [571] and they emphatically asserted that, if it should be otherwise, they would straightway forsake the prosecution of the world and all other business in their contract. From this resolution, not even the authority of the Queen [page 213] herself, pronounced with dignity and Severity by Sieur de Cicoigne the royal Governor of the city of Dieppe, could move these servants of Calvin. The matter was apparently in a desperate condition, because only this one ship was that year being fitted out for New France, and the two Calvinists would not permit themselves to be moved in any respect. This difficulty of ours deeply pained Madame de Guercheville, a woman of extreme piety and great spirit; but her ingenuity speedily devised a method by which she might place us on the ship, not as passengers, but as partners, to the exclusion of the churlish Heretics. She therefore collected in a few days, from the leading men and women of the Court, 4,000 livres, as much as was necessary for fitting out the ship; and by raising that sum deprived the two Calvinists of a share in the vessel, establishing at the same time a sufficient capital from which there might each year be paid to the director of the Canadian undertaking an allowance for our Mission. When, therefore, by the diligence of this woman, the obstacles which delayed us had been removed, although nearly three months had been spent in equipping the ship, still, in the eleventh year of this century, on the 24th day of January, we set sail under the leadership of God, from the shore at Dieppe; and, after a voyage lasting in all four months, arrived at Campseau harbor, on the Southern coast of New France; at a distance thence of 120 leagues, either by sea or land, we joyfully entered Port [572] Royal. The exercises of the members of the Society in piety, humility, and kindness toward all manner of men, were especially observed by our brethren during that sea-voyage, because an expedition of great importance was being undertaken, and also for [page 215] the reason that, besides a few Calvinists, we were associated with officers and seamen to whom it was absolutely necessary that we should, on account of our frequent intercourse, give more correct ideas concerning the Institutum of the Society than they had formerly received. When we brought the ship to the Coast of this region, Champlain met us,--a mall renowned not only for his valor in other respects, but also for his voyages in this sea for seven years past; whom, to our utter amazement, we have seen battling against masses of ice. equal in size to great hills upon land, with the greatest courage, and with remarkable activity and skill, sailing forth bravely amid all these dangers. Concerning the St. Lawrence, the greatest river of Canada, this same Champlain writes, in his commentaries upon his voyages, that its surface is frozen to the depth of three entire yards, during January and the two following months, to the distance of a hundred leagues upward from its mouth; and that the freezing of the water does not extend farther, although no part of the river, since it flows directly from west to east, is more Northerly than another, or more protected by mountains, so as to be warmer. He adds also that in the beginning of April, by the melting of so great a mass of ice, the broad mouth of the St. Lawrence is almost blocked with frozen masses, which, he says, are carried forth a long distance into the sea, and usually melt within twelve days, each year.

The arrival of our brethren at French Bay [573] and Port Royal occurred on the 26th day of June, and also,--certainly a most auspicious omen,--the sacred feast of Pentecost. Nothing more Opportune could have happened to Potrincourt than the arrival of Supplies, if only these had been abundant, since his [page 217] privations had compelled him to place a portion or the colony to be supported among the Savages. Moreover, the fact that we had not come well-furnished with provisions was due, not only to the smallness of the ship, which was of only sixty tons burden, but also to the placing of more fishing tackle than provisions in the cargo; then, finally, by thirty-six persons, the number which was on board, there was a great consumption of the ship's stores during four entire months. Wherefore, Potrincourt, almost overwhelmed, at the Outset, by the necessity of maintaining sixty men in this scarcity of provisions, was forced to take early precautions lest the meagerly furnished storehouse at Port Royal should be left bare for the coming winter. As behooved the father of the colony, he took upon himself the burden of managing this business, and resolved that he himself would cross over to France. With about forty of the people at Port Royal, leaving his son Biencourt in command of the fort there, and the rest of the company, he set sail in the middle of July; and, in the latter part of August, he reached the French coast.

Meanwhile, the greatest desire of our brethren, zealously occupied with the performance of their duties, was at the start to know the language of the natives, which the Frenchmen--caring but little for it, with one exception--could not impart by rules, or teach with advantage; so only one method remained, to learn it from the stupid natives, not by lessons, but by constant practice. Consequently, after our associates had made various attempts to conciliate the Savages, by gifts, by friendliness, and by [574] every sort of service, they accomplished little or nothing. For, besides the fact that they employed teachers not it all fitted for instruction! from whom nothing could [page 219] be obtained unless their stomachs Were first liberally crammed, and who, being very impatient of even a short delay, would often be distracted and drawn away from one by earnest inquiry about any subject: the very nature of the language, also, so deficient in words suitable for the expression of even the most common ideas, evaded the eager pursuit of our men, and greatly disheartened them. Of those things, indeed. which fall under sight. touch. and the other senses, the names were obtained from the answers of the Savages in one way or another; but for those things which elude the senses, there is the greatest scarcity of names among that race, and also a profound ignorance of the things themselves. The knowledge of the latter class was despaired of, since the Savages either could not, or would not explain the former; one hope remained, in a young Frenchman, fluent in the native tongue, of remarkable kindness and affability, whom Father Biard also had laid under obligations to himself by no ordinary favors. This was Pontgravé, the son of Pontgravé, an excellent man, who in former years, together with Champlain, represented Sieur de Monts in New France; and this youth, who was preparing to pass the winter no farther than eighteen leagues from Port Royal, at the river St. John, our brethren were anxious to meet, with his own ready consent, and with inconvenience to no one, for the sake of the aid of his instruction in acquiring the Canadian language. Although Biencourt was consulted about this expedition, and also requested by our comrades that they might be allowed by his kind permission [575] to make progress through Pontgravé in the foreign idiom, by their ignorance of which, they were losing all the fruits of their voyage to New France, they did not [page 221] succeed; because such intercourse with Pontgravé inspired suspicion in Biencourt. While our brethren therefore patiently endured their troubles, until some path more suitable to their plans should be revealed, God placed within their reach the desire opportunity, for doing a kindness to Henry Membertou, a Sagamore who was dangerously ill, by caring diligently for the salvation of both his soul and body. Among this people the chief of each tribe is called a Sagamore and Membertou was a Sagamore among the Souriquois, in Acadia, to the St. John river, North of the fort at Port Royal. However, when he began to be afflicted with dysentery, he was residing at Bay Ste. Marie, as they call it, between Port Royal and the Southern coast, whence he had ordered himself to be brought into the fort, in order that he might profit by the care of our physicians. Our fathers received him into their narrow Cabins and, for many days, in the absence of his wife and daughter, by day and night, amid the noxious filth of a vile disease, freely bestowed upon him their services. as most assiduous and exceedingly solicitous attendants. When he had been absolved upon Confession, and anointed with the Holy oil, he arranged with Biencourt about his burial, and said that he wished to be interred in his own ancestral burial place. Biencourt, who did not think the matter of much importance, readily consented, and, upon hearing the objections of Father Biard to his decision, believed that trouble might be prevented if [576] that grave would be blessed according to the Christian rite. This opinion of Biencourt rendered Membertou so much the more steadfast in his resolution; Father Biard declared that he would not agree with them in this, and explained why he would not Consent. There [page 223] was no doubt that, if the Sagamore persisted in his purpose, and Biencourt continued to support him, some offense and disturbance would arise therefrom; but Divine providence prevented this evil. The day thereafter, Membertou of his own accord requested the usual Christian burial, in which resolution he died, evidently purposing by this act to leave his faith attested to all Christians and Savages, and to become a participant in the privileges of the Church. This Sagamore was in every respect a great man, not only in the opinion of his own people but in ours; and the good God seems to have raised this man's excellent nature high above the ordinary character of the Canadians, in order that he might gather him to himself as the first fruits in righteousness of his race. Out of some 80 natives of New France whom since the beginning of June of the year 1610 a certain Josse, a priest unfamiliar with his duties, had heedlessly baptized, although they certainly had had no religious instruction, Membertou alone, who greatly excelled all his countrymen in acuteness and good sense, had wisely discerned how important it is not merely to he considered a Christian, but actually to live with a character agreeing to the name. And indeed, although the entire remainder of that 80 had continued their brutal mode of life ever since Baptism, this man alone deserved to be called a Christian, and indeed led a praiseworthy life in [577] the midst of dense ignorance, before our brethren had come thither. As he, first of all the inhabitants of New France, was sprinkled with the saving waters, it seems, beyond doubt, that he so imbibed their most potent virtue, that nothing remained for him but to secure those teachers, by whose instructions he would be trained in Christian principles until he should [page 225] become fit to introduce among his Countrymen an Apostolic teacher. Our brethren are competent witnesses of this burning desire; they often heard from his lips these words: "By the immortal God, Fathers, endeavor to quickly learn our language, in order that, after having employed you as teachers, I also, like you, may go forth as a public exhorter and instructor: and by our united labors the entire population of New France may be brought to Christ." This man, who survived hardly fifteen months after becoming a Christian, and was accorded but a few days of our training, was nevertheless rendered illustrious by many virtues truly Christian and belonging to a pious spirit; and, indeed, unique marks of an upright character had presaged in him this fruit which was so rich, a short time previously, while he was still living according to his ancestral customs. By the testimony of all the inhabitants of the province, this one man, in strength of mind, in knowledge of the military art, in the great number of his followers, in power, and in the reason of a glorious name among his countrymen, and even his enemies, easily surpassed the Sagamores who had flourished during many prececling ages. This universal honor and renown he could not have attained, even among Savages utterly untaught, except from an established reputation, the knowledge also of the exceptional justice of his [578] cartacter, and his temperance Indeed, concerning this last virtue, although nothing additional can be cited, there was certainly a distinguished example of a man of great self-restraint in the continual monogamy of Membertou, in Which rank, thus far, New France has recognized him alone as a phoenix indeed. For, though all the rest of the natives, but especially the Sagamores, covet above [page 227] all else from a multitude of wives a numerous train of progeny, and desire them as the especial Support and foundation of their power. Membertou could never be induced to conform to this custom of the race, because, with a certain wisdom deeper than that of the mass of Sagamores, he perceived that the evils arising among the quarreling wives and among the children of these rivals, beneath the same roof, more than balanced the increase of resources and of power that might arise from a large family. It is an observance of that race, from a superstitious rite which all especially revere, to never mention by name any deceased person; but to give each, according to circumstances, an additional appellation, by which they always designate him whenever they mention him. In conformity with this custom, they called Henry Membertou, because he had of late been highly renowned in warlike virtues, by a name agreeing with his reputation, meaning, in their language, Great Chief.

Potrincourt, the father of Biencourt, had sailed for France in the month of July for the sake of procuring supplies, of which there was a great scarcity in the colony at Port Royal; but up to the following month of October no provisions had been sent from France; therefore, Biencourt decided to make a trip, in company with Father Baird, to the Almochiquois, who lived near the Choüacoet river, [579] and had plenty of Indian corn, in order by the exchange of French goods to obtain some food for the winter. But because he turned aside from the journey across French Bay, to the St. John River, in order that he might exact from the young Pontgravé and the rest of the Maclouins a tax Upon their Canadian traffic, and being longer delayed by disputes which arose with that colony, he waited almost beyond the time for [page 229] obtaining corn; and, when he finally returned to that business, deceived by the pretensions of the Indians, who had held out the hope of buying food, he sailed back empty-handed to Port Royal. During this trip Father Biard fortunately Succeeded in reconciling Biencourt to Pontgravé, just as he had lately conciliated Potrincourt, who had been enraged at the same man; and also, by the same office of pacifications in preserving the life of Merveille, the Malouin, who was in great jeopardy on account of Certain suspicions; by which actions he acquired the greatest influence over them both. It was advantageous to our Priest to have men of this character indebted for favors to him, not only for many other reasons, but especially, because he designed to make use of their faithful and effective services in learning the Canadian languages in which Pontgravé was unusually skilled, if they should be allowed to reside together for a few days,or to meet even more frequently. They, of their own accord, took care that Father Biard might not request what he desired, by very politely offering him the privileges of their home; the Father was grateful to them, and for the present returned thanks, requesting them, however, to postpone their kindness to him until that time when it around be proper for him to accept it; for it was not then fitting for him [580] to desert Biancourt, especially when he was engaged in a dangerous journey. Afterwards, while Biencourt was returning from that unsuccessful trip to the Quinibequi for provisions, which we have just described, when they had arrived at the Pentegoët river and the island of Ste. Croix, Father Biard endeavored to persuade him and even begged him, to send him to Pontgravé from that place, which was near at hand, for the purpose of composing a Canadian [page 231] cate chism, which had previously been agreed upon between them. To this request, although most just, and although it certainly made no difference to him, Biencourt would not Consent, excepts under conditions which were both exceedingly unjust and by no means in the power of the Father. Therefore he was disap pointed of the opportunity of learning the language of the natives, and was Compelled to lead an almost inactive existence in the fort, to his great vexation. By the end of November, although the provisions were already almost exhausted, no tidings were re ceived from France; and what aid they might have obtained by hunting was cut off by the deep snow that covered the ground; so it was necessary to exercise the greatest economy, in order that the provisions might last longer. The weekly allowance, therefore of every one in the Colony had finally been fixed at ten ounces of bread, half a pound of lard, three dishes of peas or beans, and one of prunes. And, although the wlole colony was living upon the provisions which once had brough from France for our own use, we were treated with no more indulgence at that time than any one of the servants, nor did we wish for special privileges; although a certain rascal, in a writing published in France, has not hesitated to circulate many statements to the contrary, in the most shameless and calumnious manner. Until the 24th of January, in the year [581] 1612, the scarcity of provisions lasted, upon which day a ship entered Port Royal with a small quantity of supplies, bought and sent over by Madame de Guercheville. This pious lady had paid to brother Robert du Thet, 1,000 golden Crowns, contributed according to the agreement betweent Robin and and the Canadian Fathers, for the purpose of purchasing and conveying [page 233] provisions to the colony at Port Royal; but Potrincourt, by means of his promissory note, straight-way cheated our brother out of 400, as he was not a sufficiently careful guardian of his trust, and so the whole sum was reduced to 600, by means of which a scanty store was provided for us. But not even provisions to the value of that number of Crowns were placed in the vessel, for Potrincourt's naval agent embezzled in France part of the grain purchased; and, of the Supplies carried over, he delivered to the Society at Port Royal is much as he pleased and no more. Our brother Gilbert du Thet, before whose eyes most of these acts had been committed, when he saw that no account was rendered, by the person in charge of the transportation of the supplies, of what had been received by him, in company with Father Biard modestly requested Biencourt that a reckoning Concerning his trust be demanded from the man who, by order of his father, had acted as captain of the vessel; saying that it was to the interest of all the ship's company that it should be made manifest how much had been received and expended by each individual. Biencourt indeed admitted at that time, and often thereafter. that nothing more modest or more just could be asked by any person; but, nevertheless, just as if Simon Imbert, whose account in [532] the matter was desired, had been cruelly accused by our brother, he so represented to the former the request of the latter, that he made him our bitter enemy. Therefore Imbert, in order to make Biencourt his friend and alienate him from us, and to release himself from the necessity of rendering an account, placing an evil interpretation upon the plan of Madame de Guercheville, who had taken occasion to make an agreement between the society and Robin, in order that he [page 235] might more securely guard he interests of our Mission, falsely charged that by means of it a conspiracy of the society was in progress by which the authority of the Biencourts was to be destroyed in the fort at Port Royal and in the whole of New France. From this slander arose those quarrels with Biencourt by which our Services were rendered useless to the tribes of New France, nay, more, to the French themselves, who needed instruction scarcely less than the natives.

It was easy for our brethren to refute the falsehoods of their defamer; and once, twice, and a third time they so plainly and completely disproved them, before Biencourt, in the hearing of the whole settlement, that Imbert was rendered speechless by the final refutation, and was so reduced that he did not hesitate to claim, for the sake of excusing his wickedness, that these slanders had been uttered by him while much intoxicated. Biencourt had been deeply vexed by the news which was brought, to the effect that, even with the knowledge of his father, Potrincourt, the possession and government of the whole of New France from its greatest river, the Sacqué to Florida, except Port Royal, had been granted by a Royal Charter to Madame de Guercheville, and that, by documents under public authority, there had been transferred to her also by Sieur de Monts everything which he had recently possessed in this region by the grant of Henry IV. And, although he could not suppose that these things were done because of our [583] influence, still he thereafter acted towards us just as if he had so believed. The idea of Madame de Guercheville was, indeed, that their respect for her authority might serve as a strong restraint to hold to their duty the Biencourts, both father and son, who up to this time had kept poor faith with us and felt [page 237] little gratitude toward us; but not by any means to deprive them of their right to Port Royal. But these men too fond of their private interests considered as an injury to themselves the solicitude of Others in regard to their own affairs; but because their affairs at home were embarrassed. and they knew no more Convenient source of provisions for Port Royal than Madame de Guercheville, for the sake of our Fathers, they silently smothered their vexation, in order not to lose these supplies. Our brethren very easily exonerated themselves before Biencourt, and when he had for the time being accepted their excuses, and harmony had been restored the Fathers returned with great determination to their purpose of learning, the Canadian language, dividing the business between them, so that Father Massé should go for this purpose to Louis Membertou. son of the late Henry; while Father Biard should have a Savage to teach him the language at home. While Father Massé, with a young French companion, was residing with his host at the St. John river, he fell Seriously ill from long fasting and the continual annoyances of a wandering life; and, although he did not die, he was reduced to the utmost weakness. During this illness a very ridiculous discussion, worthy of a Canadian intellect, took place between Membertou and his guest, the Father. The savage approached the prostrate Father, very anxious and grieved, as his countenance actually showed, because of the Priest's unfortunate condition [584] whom he addressed with these words: "Hear me, Father, you will surely die, as I indeed anticipate; write therefore to Biencourt, and also to your brother, that you have by no means perished at our hands but been overcome by disease, in order that no [page 239] harm may come to us because of your death." Father Massé answered him in turn: "I shall not do as you advise me and imprudently write to my friends, lest you should become bolder and more careless. because of my lack of foresight and lay violent hands upon me, while nevertheless possessing my letter as proof of your innocence, which would save you from punishment." The Savage, astonished by this Unexpected and keen reply, soon came to himself, as if from a deep sleep, and said with a smile: " Therefore snake Jesus favorable to you by your prayers, in order that he may save you from the danger of death, and no One may lay the blame of your fate upon us." "I am attending to that very thing,'' said the Father, " cease to be anxious. for this disease will not end me." In the calm of Port Royal Father Biard, in the meantime, employed a Savage as teacher, that he might learn the barbarous tongue, which presented itself as the suitable vehicle for the Gospel among this utterly rude people. As long as he had provisions Zenith which to furnish the table for his teacher, he made progress by the aid of his willing and efficient services, but after a few weeks the scarcity of supplies interrupted the course of learning and teaching. By these difficulties our brethren were also hindered in the case of four Savages, whom Father Biard and Biencourt, in a time of peril upon tne sea, had vowed, With the concurrence of the Savages themselves, to make Christians, if they should safely escape from the the threatened shipwreck. When they were delivered from this danger, and had brought the Ship to Port Royal, there was nothing in the Storehouse with which to feed the Savages until they should be suitably instructed in the Catechism; and, because of this poverty of our brethren, the opportunity of [page 241] successfully accomplishing the undertaking passed by and did not afterwards recur.

The twelfth year of this century had already advanced to November, when the fact that the scanty supplies. brought the preceding February, were either entirely consumed, or reduced to extremely scanty remnants, caused Biencourt great anxiety but especially, because no ship was coming from France. There had been sent to our brethren privately, among the preceding February's supplies, four casks of pure wheat and one of barley, which they had laid aside for their own use in the future. This grain, because of the general extremities of the colony, they judged should be added to the Common stock; and gave it ti Biencourt, in order that he might distribute it for the daily needs of the whole Settlement, and give them an equal allowance each day With the rest of the people. By this aid the general necessities were relieved for a time; but for the winter, and among all that crowd of people, although not numerous, this was a Scanty supply, considering the condition of the ground, which presented no opportunity for agriculture, and an uncertain chance for hunting and fishing. Moreover, even if the weather and the accessibility of the places had been every way favorable for fishing, there was still lacking for this pursuit the necessary aid of a fishing boat. Therefore, while the rest of the settlers were slothfully enjoying winter cheer the blazing hearth, as if forgetful of their poverty, our brethren devoted their attention and labor to the construction of a boat. While they were engaged in this sort of work, the whole colony guessed and wondered what men so unskilled in the carpenter's art, unprovided with working tools, and unsupplied with material, were trying [page 243] to do; they talked a great deal before the hearth [586] concerning this novel venture, and flung taunts at these rash Argonauts; but our brethren never left their work, and hurried on the undertaking. In the middle of March, to the amazement of their scoffers, our friends launched their boat, Which endured the violence of the rivers and even of the sea; nor did they fear, in company With their young servant and another of the household, to ascend the river flowing into French Bay, to gather acorns and the Chiquebi root in the forest. The Chiquebi root is peculiar to this coast, and is not unlike our potatoes, but more pleasant and useful for eating; its numerous bulbs, joined by a slender thread, grow deep in the earth. However, our collectors found that all the spots where this root grew had been already visited by the Savages, who were acquainted with the places; so that after long search each one of them could scarcely find a quantity of this food sufficient for one day. From this harvest of acorns and roots, since it was of small importance, they turned their attention to fishing for the Eplanus,{86} and advanced their boat farther toward the head of the river. The Eplan or Epelan is a little fish of the size of the Trichia Rothomagensis, that is, of the fish which is commonly called the Sardine, and, in the beginning of April, it leaves the ocean, and in great shoals enters the fresh-water streams, where it lays the eggs for its abundant young, these streams being very numerous four leagues from the post at Port Royal. Fishing for the Eplanus36 was succeeded by that for the Halecis, and for other sorts of river and Sea-fishes, just as opportunity and suitable place offered for capturing each, up to the month of May; but, contrary to what they most of all wished, our [page 245] fishermen, [587] with the hook or net of the Gospel, took only a very few men in the immense Ocean of the Canadian tribes.

Meantime in France the authority of the Queen w as interposed, that we might at the first opportunity be relieved from our bondage at Port Royal, and that we might be allowed, in any part of New France, either to study the language of the natives, or practice among the Savages what we had already learned by our own right, and seeking the permission of no man. Therefore two of our members, provided with a Royal commission for this undertaking, --Father Quintin, and he who previously had sailed from Port Royal for France, Gilbert du Thet,-- safely and joyfully reached the coast of New France in the middle of May of the year 1613. It was provided in the commission that we should be allowed to establish a new settlement in a suitable places, and to have a sufficient number of colonists to protect it; and for its provision there had generously been sent a year's supply of food for thirty persons, and also horses, goats, and other things of the sort. By the kindness of the Queen there were also added weapons for our defense, some supplies, and also four military tents, by which we might be sheltered while our new residence was being built. La Saussaye with a military title and command, was to have charge of the household of colonists, not only while the buildings were in process of erection, but also when they had been completed and fortified, in order that in case of attack nothing might be neglected, but the entire colony should be in a condition of defense, and the buildings in good repair. When the supplies were landed at Port Royal, only five of us were there, out of the whole population, Biencourt [page 247] being absent with the others. When the letter of the Queen, [588] in which were orders for our dismissal, had been read to Hèbert, who represented Beincourt, we were allowed to collect our baggage; having done this, two days later we left Port Royal, with the intention of founding a new settlement in the neighborhood of Norembega. The boatmen had been notified, according to their agreement, to land at Kadesquit, a harbor on the shore of Norembega, in order that the whole colony might there disembark, and auspiciously take possession of a site for the future settlement upon the neighboring hills; but when we had stuck in a bay, this side of that, to which from the favorable outcome we gave the name of St. Sauveur, they declared that they had abundantly fulfilled their agreement, and that they would not continue the voyage any further. During this dispute, we engaged in conversation with the Savages inhabiting the spot, and since they praised their own countryas being far superior to that at Kadesquit, and earnestly solicited us to choose it for our settlement, we conceived a desire to explore it. After we had examined this region, which was heartily approved by all, the whole company turned their attention to selecting a site for the building upon a suitable hill. Therefore, a Cross was erected, by way of consecrating the place; the ground was marked out for the erection of the buildings; the earth was dug up for laying the foundations; and our abode, while still in its infancy, was called by the same name as the harbor, St. Sauveur. La Saussaye, the commander of the colonists, took, from the beginning, so deep an interest in agriculture that he thought of that alone, and neglected everything else; and through his excessive zeal for husbandry, called off a large [page 249] portion of the colony from the work of building, and set them to farming. La Motte, Saussaye's Lieutenant, Ronseraye, the Color-bearer, Joubert, the Drillmaster, and other men of the Company were of the opinion that, postponing all other enterprises, the building [589] ought to be completed, and the energies of the entire Company be devoted to this, until it should be protected by fortifications against hostile violence, and might safely be inhabited. Wherefore, they were greatly displeased because most of the colonists were taken away from building and employed in plowing by La Saussaye, whom they eagerly urged to apply the labors and zeal of all in building, a more profitable undertaking for the present; but it fell upon deaf ears. So, as the views and plans of the leaders were at variance, disputes arose, such as usually take place between those who differ, when each one thinks that what he deems best ought to be preferred to the projects and undertakings of others; the result was, that days were idly spent, away from work, in quarreling. This inactivity, and obstinacy in contrary opinions, so inimical to Christian interests and the Divine worship upon that shore, God seems to have willed to punish by means of an unforeseen calamity.

The English, a few years before, had occupied Virginia, which John Verazano, in 1523, had explored under the authority of Francis I., King of France, and brought under his jurisdiction. It is the portion of the continent between Florida and New France, which, covering the thirty-sixth, thirty-seventh, and thirty-eighth parallels, was formerly called by the name of Mocosa, situated two hundred and fifty leagues Westward from the station at St. Sauveur. From the fort [at Jamestown], which they have held [page 251] for eight years, strongly fortified and occupied by a garrison of soldiers, they make a voyage every summer to the fishing grounds of the Peucoit islands, to obtain fish [590] for food during the coming winter. While they were sailing thither in the summer of this year, they encountered the heavy fogs which commonly prevail upon this sea during these months and while they were thus long delayed, and ignorant of their situation, they were gradually borne by the currents to our shore, not far from the harbor of St. Sauveur. Then, by the information of the Savages, who sinned unwittingly, and took them for friendly Frenchmen, they learned that there was a French ship in the nest bay, and that, too, not a large vessel, nor defended by a numerous crew, and but lightly armed with brass cannon. Of course, no more welcome news than this could come to half-naked men, whose stock of provisions was exhausted--men who, in addition to this poverty, were incited by an inborn love of robbery, and an expectation of greater booty than could have been obtained from the plunder of our ship, to willingly employ violence, even against natural justice and the law of natiqns. So they prepared their weapons, and under full sail, and with decks cleared for action, entered directly into our harborer. When the Savage by whose information we had been especially betrayed perceived from these signs the hostile intentions of the English towards us, he at once recognized his mistake, and with manyv tears declared that he had been at fault toward us whom he thought to please. These lamentations he often thereafter repeated, when he sought pardon from us for his error, even from his Savage countrymen, who considered our misfortune their own injury, and often threatened him with violence. Meanwhile, we were in doubt whether we should judge as friends or enemies those whom an in-shore breeze was bearing straight towards our position; [591] while the pilot of the ship set out to meet and reconnoiter them in a small boat, by a long circuit, however, in order that he might not be left without a way of retreat, but especially because the wind was contrary to him, but favorable to the strangers. But there was no need of reconnoitering, for they advanced, sounding the signal for battle, only reserving their fire until they could use it at close quarters, and aim at the defenders of the Ship one by one. With fourteen great cannon, and sixty guns of the larger size, which they call Mosquets, they made their attack upon our ship, which was unprepared. for sailing because the anchors had not been raised, and was furnished with only ten defenders, while the gunner of the brass cannon was absent; and so the capture of our ship and all of us, whom La Saussaye had scattered about upon the shore, was a matter of no great difficulty. Our brother Gilbert du Thet was assisting in the defense of the vessel, when an especially violent shower of bullets assailed them, in which he was stricken with a mortal wound; and although attended with great devotion by an English surgeon who was a Catholic, on the following day he died most piously, after receiving the consolation of the Sacraments. But all of us had come into the power of the English Heretic, who, being extremely crafty, secretly abstracted from La Saussaye's trunk the Royal commission, upon which authority rested the entire establishment of our colony in New France, in order that he might appear to treat with us not as a robber, but upon an equal footing; and then he began to urge La Saussaye to prove by what right he had planted a [page 255] settlement upon the shores of Canada. When La Saussaye had cited the authority and commission of the King of France, which important document he declared he still retained the keys, was brought and he was ordered to produce it; but when he opened the chest, La Saussaye recognized everything else untouched and in its proper place, but no commission appeared. When this was not forthcoming, the English Commander assumed a severe countenance and tone, and was deeply angered, calling us all runaways and mere pirates, and, declaring us worthy of death, handed over our property to his crew to be pillaged, and, finally treated us as enemies. Now it seemed probable that the English, unless they should quickly be hindered, were about to cover up the outrage which they had already begun, with some greater crime, in order that they might conceal the memory of the previous injury by a fresh offence. Wherefore our brethren approached the Captain; frankly revealed themselves to him, as he was still ignorant of their identity; and begged him not, in elation over his easy victory, to adopt severe measures against their colony; they earnestly warned him to remember the conditions of human life, saying that just as he would wish his own interests mildly handled, if a similar calamity had fallen upon him, so he ought to act humanely in the case of others; moreover, that he should especially consider that he was dealing with innocent men, to whom no fault could be charged beyond the fact that, because of their blamelessness, they had been too careless in a peaceful spot. They were heard somewhat kindly by the Captain, and received with respectful address; the only thing of which he disapproved being that Fathers of [page 257] the Society, who had commonly so good a reputation for piety and wisdom, should be among a band of runaways and pirates. When our brethren had proved by strong evidence the entire blamelessness of their colony, not only in respect to their honorable life in other ways, but also in that which was the subject of the conversation, the Captain seemed [593] to yield his assent, and to find as the only fault in us our neglect to preserve the commission of our expedition. From that time on, he treated our Fathers with great consideration, and received them in all matters with honor, and with kindness at his table. In the meantime he was troubled because the pilot of our ship had escaped, together with a part of the crew; and he feared that harm might in some way fall upon himself, because of the pilot's being free to as announce what had taken place; and the more so, because the latter came in his boat at night to the captured ship and took off from it the rest of the crew. This pilot, indeed, although a Calvinist, came by night to Father Biard, and, taking him by the hand, with many protestations bade him and the other Fathers to expect from him, as far as faithfulness and devotion could go toward another, all the services of a Christian and a fellow-countryman, and to be persuaded that he would neglect nothing which might contribute to their safety; to employ his aid freely, and consider what they should decide upon, as to making their escape. Father Biard thanked him profusely, and promised that he would remember such earnest good-will towards himself and his associates; but added, that he would make no plans concerning him self until he should see the entire colony placed. in safety, and then he would leave to God the decision of his own case; that in the meantime the pilot ought [page 259] to look out for himself, as the English Captain was making every effort to capture him. When the pilot had received these warnings, in order that he might cause the English to think he had gone away, three days afterwards, fearlessly, and with taunting [594] expression and words, he passed in his boat before the faces of the angry English, as if he were hastening to seek refuge with some French ship of which he knew; and, while pretending to go farther, turned about behind a neighboring island and there lay in hiding to observe the Outcome of our capture. While we were wavering between the doubtful chance of either death or imprisonment, our Savage acquaintances, having received the news of our calamity, visited us in great numbers, deeply pitying our misfortune, and most dutifully offering us the use of their scanty resources for the whole coming year, if we were willing to remain among them. However Argall the English Captain, and his Lieutenant Turnell, had decided upon milder measures toward us, in appearance certainly, than we at first expected; indeed, they had agreed with La Saussaye, the Leader of our colony, to send us back to France; but the conditions of return were of such a character that they differed little from our certain destruction. There was allowed to us, although numbering thirty persons, only one boat, which could not hold us all, even if we were crowded together as closely as possible; and these conditions La Saussaye had acccpted, nay, more, he had borne witness with his own handwriting that this had been his preference, which was really the choice of certain shipwreck. However, the efforts of our Brethren prevailed, that the whole colony should not together incur imminent danger and it was allowed that only fifteen should be placed on board the boat, of whom [page 261] one should be Father Massé, while the two remaining Fathers should be carried to the Peucoit islands and entrusted to English fishermen for conveyance to France. The rest of the colonists were, in accordance with their own desire, to be carried to Virginia. Therefore one portion of the settlers, under the lead of La Saussaye, entered the boat to set out for France, although ignorant of the region and of seamanship, [595] and unprovided with charts, to whom God in time sent the Calvinistic pilot, who had taken great pains to observe the fortunes of his countrymen, in order that if any opportunity should offer, he might bear aid to them in their distress. He had landed upon the continent, and in the Canadian manner of life and custom like one of the Savages, was traversing the entire coast, in order to ascertain our condition, when very fortunately he happened upon the boat which had set out. Upon being received on board, he showed himself a truly able leader in their perplexities, and united his boat and fourteen. sailors to ours as comrades in the voyage and its labors. Up to the time the French ships were found, a lucky catch of fish twice assuaged their hunger; they were also aided by various meetings with the Savages upon that coast, of whom Louis Membertou received them, when famishing, with a liberal present of elk meat, Roland and some other Sagamores furnished a supply of bread, and others most generously gave a bountiful provision of fish and birds. But of all blessings, the most grateful was the news, which the Sagamore Roland gave us, that on the neighboring coast, at Sesambre and Passepec harbor, there two ships preparing to return to France. The two boats, quickly directing their course thither, fortunately arrived before the vessels left; and, all having [page 263] been received on board, they made sail and arrived safe and sound at St. Malo, a town in Brittany, where Father Massé was received with the greatest kindness and generosity by the Bishop of St. Malo and the magistrates and people of the town. Moreover concerning Fathers Biard and Quintin, as we have said, it had been decided [596] that they should be conducted to the Peucoit islands, and thence by the aid of the English fishermen, should be conveyed to France; but these plans having afterward been changed, it was resolved that they should be sent to Virginia, they, with five others of the colonists, being placed on board the captured vessel, which was in command of Turnell, while eight other settlers had entered Captain Argall's ship. The governor of Virginia had heard something concerning the captive Jesuits. and was preparing severe punishment for them; this news had come to our brethren and the rest of the prisoners on board the ships, and deprived some of their nightly rest. This report did not rest on idle rumor, for when the ship bearing our brethren had reached Virginia, they mere exposed to his fury. Argall, however, who had given his word to our brethren, boldly and vehemently, as was fitting his name and race, opposed the Governor in his attempt to punish them, and declared that, as long as he lived, no danger should befall his prisoners. But, when the Governor obstinately persisted in his purpose, Argall produced the Royal charter, in dependence upon which our colony had been introduced into New France; and by its authority the Governor was restrained, and dared proceed no farther. In a meeting of the council, therefore, the whole affair was more carefully discussed, and all agreed upon the decision that Argall, with three ships, should take the [page 265] Jesuits back to New France; that he should thence send them and certain other prisoners to France; that he should chastise La Saussaye and his military force, who were said, although falsely, to be in possession of the fort at Port Royal; and that he should plunder and level with the ground all the houses of the French. He therefore returned to that coast of New France occupied by the French, where he despoiled and burned the forts of Ste. [597] Croix and Port Royal, which were bare of defenders, destroyed all evidences of the French occupation, and erected English monuments in various places, declaring the whole coast to be under the sway of the British King. While Father Biard was present during these proceedings, his life was twice endangered, because he had dissuaded Argall with many words from entering Port Royal, on tht ground that there would be no profit in the undertaking, from which they, nevertheless, afterwards obtained an uncommon booty; because he was unwilling to become a guide to those places where plunder was sought; moreover, because slanders had been uttered against him by some Frenchmen in that region; for all of which reasons he offended Argall and Turnell deeply, to his own great peril.

Argall left Port Royal and started for Virginia in the early part of Novrember of the year 1613, but, on the day after he set sail, an exceedingly violent storm arose, by which the ships were driven asunder in very diverse directions. Captain Argall's vessel, indeed, was finally borne to Virginia; the smaller of the two captured ships, with its crew, was never seen thereafter; the larger of these, which Turnell commanded, and on board of which we were, after being dreadfully beaten for sixteen days by continuous [page 267] tempests, had reached almost desperate straits, because of the exhaustion of its provisions, when the storm finally ceased, and we resumed our voyage towards Virginia with a favoring wind. We were distant not more than twenty-five leagues from the coast of Virginia, where the Governor was planning our destruction, and for this reason the voyage was hateful to us; when a contrary wind which suddenly arose turned our bow towards the Asores islands of Portugal, [598] situated at a distance of almost 700 leagues due East from that point. Since the force of this wind did not at all abate, Turnell foresaw that his life would be endangered should he come into the power of the Portuguese, because he was conveying as prisoners, Priests, who, with the greatest injustice, had been torn from their settlement and despoiled; and he was still more troubled because, persuaded by the false charges of the French at Port Royal, he believed Father Biard to be a Spaniard, so that he dreaded, with good reason, a denunciation of his offense before the Portuguese, if our Fathers should resolve to accuse him. Therefore he frankly acknowledged that the power of the Deity. which avenges injury done to the innocent, was deservedly hostile to him and his upon that voyage; and. overcome by this calamity, although he had, through his own fault in rashly believing slanders, been extremely unfriendly to Father Biard up to that time, he began to soften greatly and become more amiable toward him. Moreover, even if the force of the wind were not driving them to the Asores, still, scarcity of provisions and fresh water compelled them to go thither though against their will; wherefore, it was necessary for Turnell to take precautions lest the presence of our Fathers should cause him damage; as no danger was to be feared [page 269] from them, if the ship should remain at a distance at anchor, and the necessary provisions should be secured by sending a small boat into the harbor, as the Captain hoped to do. Matters turned out, however, contrary to his expectations; for when we approached Faëal, one of the Asores islands, we were compelled to enter the inmost harbor, and take a position among the other ships under the eyes of the inhabitants. Having entered thither a little too swiftly, when our vessel collided with a Spanish treasure-ship [599] and carried away its forward jib, the Spanish Captain shouted out that we were pirates, and aroused his crew to arms. A few weeks before, a Frenchman had plundered a ship in the same harbor by a sudden attack; whence the Spaniards, fearing a similar fate, had been the more alarmed on this occasion, and thought an investigation still more necessary in the case of an Englishman. Turnell was therefore obliged to disembark upon the land, where the Spanish held him as a hostage while the interior of the ship was being thoroughly searched, the Fathers, in the meantime, careful hiding behind a boat, in order that the Englishman might suffer no harm on their account if they should be discovered. Concealment was very difficult in a place not at all convenient, as the affair arose very suddenly, and there were so careful searchers, who rummaged the entire interior of the ship; but our brethren escaped their lynx eyes, greatly to their own delight, because they had thus preserved the Englishman; but with greater pleasure to the Englishman because he recognized that he had been saved, contrary to his expectations and his deserts. by those whom he had most wickedly deprived of their liberty . This service and remarkable good-faith the English recognized at that time with [page 271] marked signs of gratitude, and often thereafter spoke of the Fathers with great. praise, especially before their Ministers. Three entire weeks the English ship remained in that harbor, and the samc length of time the Fathers were hidden away and deprived of the sunlight; then, abandoning the voyage to Virginia, Turnell proceeded to Britain. But, when a storm had diverted us from the direct prosecution of our voyage, it carried us violently Westward to the coast of Vuallia; and when here provisions failed the ship, Turnell entered the town of Pembroke [600] for the sake of obtaining supplies. The officials of this town suspected him of piracy upon the high seas, because, although an Englishman, he was sailing in a French vessel, and produced no written testimonials of the authority under which he was making his voyage; and when he made oath that he had been separated by a storm from his Captain, Argall, he was not believed. When, therefore, every sort of evidence had failed him, he cited as witnesses for his statements the two Jesuits whom he had onboard the ship, whose incorruptible integrity, he said, no mortal could deservedly call in question. Therefore, when the Fathers had been very respectfully interrogated, and had given their testimony in public before the magistrate. Turnell was placed in honor, and was believed to have done everything honestly, as befitted a gentleman; but our brethren were treated with distinction and were entertained as guests by the Mayor of the City, as he is called, that is, the Magistrate of that common people. When Nicholas Adams, who then represented the Minister of the marine at Pembroke, and in the presence of whom our brethren had given their testimony, heard that they had extremely bad fare upon the ship, he [page 273] directed that they should be entertained at the home of the Magistrate whom we have mentioned, and that upon his own responsibility everything should be abundantly supplied to them; and if they should lack the means to repay him, he said that for the sake of God he would willingly do them the favor of meeting the expense, because he thought it very unbecoming that no kindness should be shown among the citizens of Pembroke to men distinguished in every way for merit and learning. A message had been sent to the King of Britain concerning our brethren; and, while an answer thereto was being awaited, many came, for the purpose of seeing and conversing with the fathers, from the ranks of the nobles, of the officials, and even of the ministers, [601] four of whom one of the councilors put into the arena of debate with our brethren, with the desire of testing their doctrine. Moreover, when their case had been reported at Court, the ambassador of the Most Christian King had already heard that a ship with French Jesuits had been captured, and urged the release of all and especially of our brethren, because he had from his King strict commands to this effect. There was therefore no delay in the conveyance of our brethren from Pembroke to Dover, whence, after a short passage, they safely and joyfully arrived, after almost ten months of captivity, at Itius Portus, a town on the French coast. Here they were received most honorably, with especial kindness and favor from Sieur d'Arquien, Coinmander of the Royal garrison, and Dean Boulaye; a suitable viaticum was also given to them, which was abundant for their needs during the trip to their College at Ambians [Amiens].

Now he who Measures the undertaking by ordinary [page 275] standards, will not easily see how greatly the work of the Mission of New France has advanced the Christian religion among the Savages; he who will fairly estimate an enterprise very difficult in its nature, and greatly hindered also by the interruption of calamities from without, must Confess that the rugged soil has been prepared for the Seed of the Gospel with very advantageous and glorious beginnings. For, in the first place, is it not a great thing, I ask, that a race of utterly brutal disposition and manners, lately keeping itself far aloof from all external intercourse, extremely suspicious by reason of its impotence, should be now so conciliated towards us, and entertain such sentiments for our brethren, that Savages of every tribe seek them out with the greatest pains, [602] desire them to have a residence in their territory, offer them annual supplies from their scanty store, testify by grief and weeping to their longing for them, and regard the English, the enemies of our peace, with implacable hatred? It is indeed something great, and of the utmost importance to the implanting of the faith in those minds, that they meet its heralds with such emphatic good-will, confidence, and veneration. Moreover there is another influence far greater, and so much the more powerful in effecting the salvation of the Savages as it is remote from the sphere of human affections and more characteristic of heavenly emotions. Already there has become deeply seated in the minds of the Canadians the belief that those who die without Baptism are consigned to eternal torments; consequently, as long as they are in health, they do not readily submit to the rules of the Christian faith, which to their ideas are a little too harsh; but when at the point of death, they regard Baptism as certainly a great blessing, [page 277] and eagerly seek it. Since they have the Fathers of the Society as authorities for this doctrine, and have absorbed it into their inmost souls, of their own accord they warn and remind their Teachers of it, whenever any one of their friends is prostrated by some severe complaint, and urge them to anticipate the death of the patient by sprinkling him with the saving waters, before he shall perish. And, indeed, these emotions of the mind, in men who are in other respects most savage two Fathers have created by a training of two years, and that indeed not continuous, but interrupted by numerous difficulties, which is certainly no light incentive toward propagating the seed of the Gospel among that race with flourishing increase. To this propagation, the unaccustomed power of holy prayers and of Baptism, [603] sometimes disclosed among this people in several remarkable instances, seems likely to be no small incentive in the future. Where Father Biard was occupied one day at the river of the Eplan fish, a message was brought to him from a sick woman at the point of death, who was very anxious to see and converse with him, at Bay Ste Marie, two leagues from that river. He had one of the colonists as a guide thither, and found the woman lying, according to the manner of her race, near the hearth, and now miserably languishing in the third week of her illness. He instructed the invalidl. as far as her disease permitted, in the necessary parts of the Catechism; strengthened her by prayers adapted to the circumstances, and a cross hung upon her breast; and directed that he should be called, if she should thereafter grow worse. The next day the woman arose from the hearth entirely well and, loaded with a heavy bag, started briskly for her husband, who was at a [page 279] distance of four leagues. A Calvinist from Dieppe first of all observed this cure, and immediately ran to Father Biard to announce the wonderful event. The same Father was with Biencourt on the banks of the Pentegoët, where, according to his custom, he was going about among the cabins of the Savages, visiting and comforting the sick and aiding them with prayers and Christian instruction. There a sick man was lying, who had already been ill three months, whose recovery had been despaired of, and whom the Savages brought to the Father's notice. He was completely bathe in cold perspiration, an almost certain sign of death, since a heavy fever had taken possession of him. after prayers had been said and a short lesson in the faith given, when the Father had held out a cross to him to be repeatedly kissed, and had left it hanging about his neck, many Savages listening to him, and heartily [604] approving what was done, he returned to the ship and Biencourt. But the next day, when Biencourt was engaged upon the ship in trading with the natives, that sick man, yesterday at the point of death, came on board in a state of health and, joyfully and reverently displaying the cross, went to Father Biard, and, testifying with great de light to his recovery, ascribed it to the power of the Holy Cross. That which follows is much more remarkable, and by the Savages was ascribed solely to the merit of Baptism. Father Biard, La Motte, the Lieutenant of La Saussaye, and Simon the Interpreter, had gone together to examine the site selected for the settlement of St. Sauveur. While returning thence, they heard at a distance a lamentable wail, and. when they asked of their Savage companion the cause of this mournful outcry, the answer was made that it was the customary token [page 281] that some one had already departed this life. But as they approached nearer to the huts of the Savages, a boy, on being questioned, informed them that the lamentation was not for a dead, but for a dying person; and, turning to Father Biard, he said: "Why do you not hurry thither, if perchance you mnay find him still living, and administer Baptism before his death?" The voic. of that boy, just as though sent from heaven, caused the Father and his companions to run swiftly, and as they reached the rude dwellings, there appeared a great crowd of Savages, drawn up in regular order, standing in the open air; and among this mournful-looking company a father walked about, in whose arms a delicate boy was dying. As the child strugg1ed for breath, hastening towards death, and weakly gasping, it tortured the unfortunate parent with grief and sorrow. Moreover, at each gasp of the infant, the father wailed dreadfully, and his lamentation was immediately answered by a howl from the gloomy throng of Savages standing near. [605] Father Biard went to the afflicted parent of the boy, and asked whether he might, with his consent, baptize the dying child. The Savage, overcome by the depth of his grief, could not utter a word; but his action showed, by placing the child in the arms of the petitioner, what he desired. The Father asked for water, and giving the child to La Motte to hold, who eagerly received it, he sprinkled it with the saving waters, christened it Nicholas de la Motte, and formulating a prayer, begged from God light for the Savages, that they might recognize the immense blessings of the faith. After this prayer he took the infant from the hands of La Motte and gave it to its mother, who was present; the mother immediately gave her breast to the child, who greedily accepted [page 283] it, partook of the milk to satiety, and finally lived, healthy and vigorous. In the meantime, the whole circle of Savages who had stood about, struck by the marvelousness of the unusual occurrence, remained motionless as stones, and stood silently in their tracks. Therefore, while they were thus prepared in mind, our brother addressed to them such words as seemed appropriate to the subject in hand; and when he had finished, bade them depart to their own huts. As they, trembling and reverential, received his discourse with the greatest respect, so when, the object of their gathering having been accomplished, he ordered them to depart to their huts, they slipped away, silently exhibiting this unusual obedience, quietly and quickly, each to his own dwelling. Whoever shall carefully examine these and otherlike acts which have been performed in the sight of the Savages, greatly to their astonishment, and no less to their benefit, will justly conclude that the Mission of New France has been commenced under very advantageous beginnings. [page 285]



Our copy of Biard's letter (written in French) to his provincial, dated January 31, 1612, is from Carayon's Première Mission, pp. 44-76, noted under Bibliographical Data of Documents III.-VI., in our Volume I.


We follow the style and make-up of O'Callaghan's Reprint of Biard's Missio Canadensis designated as "No. 1" in the Lenox Catalogue. According to Sommervogel's Bibliothèque de la Campagnie de Jesu (Paris, 1890), vol. i., p. 1439, this document was originally published in the Annuæ Litteræ, Societatis Jesu, an. 1611(Dillingen, n. ,1.), pp. 121--143. The British Museum has a copy of this volume of Annuæ Litteræ, described in its catalogue as published at "Dilingæ [1615?]." Sommervogel adds, regarding Missio Canadensis. "Was it not published separately? I find it thus indicated in the catalogue of Mr. Parison, no. 1786." According to a letter written by Father Carrère (June 17, 1890) to Father Jones, of Montreal, the original MS. of this letter was then in the archives of Roder, France.

In Carayon's Première Mission (pp. 77-105) there is given a French version of this letter.

It is internally evident that the letter was commenced January 22nd, and finished " vltimo die Januarÿ." In Father Martin's MS. (translated ) copy, [page 287] preserved in the Library of Parliament, at Ottawa, he wrote upon it the former date, and it is so calendared in the catalogue of that library. Carayon first applied to it the latter date. This of itself has led to some bibliographical confusion.

In Carayon's Bibliographie Historique de la Compagnie de Jésus (Paris, 1864), p. 178, a notice of the original publication is thus given: "P. Biard.--Epistola ad R. P. Præpositum generalem, e Portu Regali in Nova Francia, data ultimo die Januarii anni 1611 qua regionem illam describit, et Patrum Societatis Jesu in eam profectionem.--'Ea inserta est annuis litteris Soc. Jesus ejusdcm anni Provine. Franc. ad finem.' (Sotwell.)."

O'Callaghan obtained the originals of some of his reprints from the Annuæ Litteræ Societatis Jesu, of which there are incomplete files in the libraries of John Carter Brown; Harvard College; St. John's College, Fordam, N.Y.; St. Francis Xavier, New York City; the Jesuit colleges at Woodstock, Md. and Georgetown, D. C.; and St. Mary's College, Montreal. The Brown Library has the richest collection.

See references to the O'Callaghan Reprint of Missio Canadensis, in Harrisse's Notes, no. 405; Lenox Catalogue, p. 18; Sabin, vol. xvi., p. 542; Brown Catalogue, vol. ii., no. 119; Winsor, p. 300; Henry C. Murphy Sale Catalogue (N. Y., 1884), no. 2960; O'Callaghan Sale Catalogue (N. Y., 1882) nos 178, 1205, 1250.

Title-page. O'Callaghan's Reprint is closely imitated.

Collation of O' Callaghan Reprint. Title, 1 p.; reverse of title, with inscription: "Editio ad xxv [page 288] ex-emplaria reftricta. O'C.", 1 p.; Lectori, pp. iii.-iv.; text, pp. 5-37; blank, 1 p.; Index, pp. 39-45; colophon (p. 46): "Albaniae Excvdebat Joel Munsellius | Mense Septembri Anno | C I C . I C C C C . L X X ., "1P


The copy of Lescarbot's Ralation Dernière herein followed is in Harvard College Library, where it is bound in with the Same author's Les Muses de la Nouvelle France (Paris, 1912). The Harvard copy is the only original of which the present editor has knowledge; it is not listed in Gagnon's Essai de Bibliographie Canadienne (Quebec, 1895), but reference to it will be found in Harrisse, no. 26; Sabin, no. 40178; and Winsor, p. 300. There is a reprint of it in Cimber (Lafaist) and Danjou's Archives Curieuses de l'Histoire de France, depuis Louis XI, jusqu'a à Louis XVIII., first series, tome xv. (Paris, 1837), pp. 377-406, which, however, omits the list of names on pp. 21-24 of the original. The first series of this collection (15 vols.) was edited by L. Lafaist ("L. Cimber,'' pseud.) and F. Danjou, assistants in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; the second Series (12 vols.), by Danjou alone, who, on the title of tome viii. of this series, is styled "Bibliothécaire de Arsenal." The 27 volumes were published at Paris between 1834 and 1840.

The orthography of the printed original of the Relation Dernière is an interesting mixture of old and new styles. It has many instances of modern spellings not found even in the Cramoisy Relation of 1632 which was printed twenty years later.

It will he noticed that the "Privilege" is that granted for the publication of Lescarbot's Histoire de la Nouvelle France (1608). [page 289]

Title-page. The one given in the present volume is a photographic facsimile of the Harvard original.

Collations Title, 1 p.; blank, reverse of title, 1 p.; text, pp. 3-39; privilege, reverse of p. 39, 1 p.--making a total of 40 pp.


In our reissue of the Relatio Rerum Gestarum (1613-14), we follow the original text and its pagination, as given on pp. 562-605 of the Annuæ Litteræ Societatsis Jesu, for 1612, printed at Lyons in 1618, which we found at the Riggs Memorial Library, Georgetown University, Washington, D. C. This forms the text of O'Callaghan's Reprint, which is arbitrarily designated in the Lenox Catalogue as "no. 6." See references in Sabin, no. 69245; Winsor, p 300; Lenox, p. 19; and Brown Catalogue, no. 170, and p. 166. Sales are noted in Barlow (no. 1272), Murphy (no. 2960), and O'Callaghan (no. 1250) sale catalogues.

Title-page. We closely imitate that of the O'Callaghan Reprint.

Collation of Reprint. Title, 1 p.; reverse of title, with inscription "Editio viginti quinque exemplaria. O'C." 1 p.; Tabula Rerum, pp. iii., iv.; text, pp. 1-66, colophon (p. 67): "Albaniae Excvdebat Joel Munsellius | Mense Martis Anno | C I C I C I C C C C L X X I," 1 p. [page 290]

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