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The Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century by Francis Parkman

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The Huron who embraced the Faith renounced thenceforth, as we have seen,
the feasts, dances, and games in which was his delight, since all these
savored of diabolism. And if, being in health, he could not enjoy
himself, so also, being sick, he could not be cured; for his physician
was a sorcerer, whose medicines were charms and incantations. If the
convert was a chief, his case was far worse; since, writes Father
Lalemant, "to be a chief and a Christian is to combine water and fire;
for the business of the chiefs is mainly to do the Devil's bidding,
preside over ceremonies of hell, and excite the young Indians to dances,
feasts, and shameless indecencies."

[ Relation des Hurons, 1642, 89. The indecencies alluded to were chiefly
naked dances, of a superstitious character, and the mystical cure called
Andacwandet, before mentioned. ]

It is not surprising, then, that proselytes were difficult to make,
or that, being made, they often relapsed. The Jesuits complain that they
had no means of controlling their converts, and coercing backsliders to
stand fast; and they add, that the Iroquois, by destroying the fur-trade,
had broken the principal bond between the Hurons and the French, and
greatly weakened the influence of the mission. [ Lettre du P. Hierosme
Lalemant, appended to the Relation of 1645. ]

Among the slanders devised by the heathen party against the teachers of
the obnoxious doctrine was one which found wide credence, even among the
converts, and produced a great effect. They gave out that a baptized
Huron girl, who had lately died, and was buried in the cemetery at Sainte
Marie, had returned to life, and given a deplorable account of the heaven
of the French. No sooner had she entered,--such was the story,--than
they seized her, chained her to a stake, and tormented her all day with
inconceivable cruelty. They did the same to all the other converted
Hurons; for this was the recreation of the French, and especially of the
Jesuits, in their celestial abode. They baptized Indians with no other
object than that they might have them to torment in heaven; to which end
they were willing to meet hardships and dangers in this life, just as a
war-party invades the enemy's country at great risk that it may bring
home prisoners to burn. After her painful experience, an unknown friend
secretly showed the girl a path down to the earth; and she hastened
thither to warn her countrymen against the wiles of the missionaries.
[ Ragueneau, Relation des Hurons, 1646, 65. ]

In the spring of 1648 the excitement of the heathen party reached a
crisis. A young Frenchman, named Jacques Douart, in the service of the
mission, going out at evening a short distance from the Jesuit house of
Sainte Marie, was tomahawked by unknown Indians, [ 1 ] who proved to be
two brothers, instigated by the heathen chiefs. A great commotion
followed, and for a few days it seemed that the adverse parties would
fall to blows, at a time when the common enemy threatened to destroy them
both. But sager counsels prevailed. In view of the manifest strength of
the Christians, the pagans lowered their tone; and it soon became
apparent that it was the part of the Jesuits to insist boldly on
satisfaction for the outrage. They made no demand that the murderers
should be punished or surrendered, but, with their usual good sense in
such matters, conformed to Indian usage, and required that the nation at
large should make atonement for the crime by presents. [ 2 ] The number
of these, their value, and the mode of delivering them were all fixed by
ancient custom; and some of the converts, acting as counsel, advised the
Fathers of every step it behooved them to take in a case of such
importance. As this is the best illustration of Huron justice on record,
it may be well to observe the method of procedure,--recollecting that the
public, and not the criminal, was to pay the forfeit of the crime.

[ 1 Ragueneau, Relation des Hurons, 1648, 77. Compare Lettre du P. Jean
de Brébeuf au T. R. P. Vincent Carafa, Général de la Compagnie de Jésus,
Sainte Marie, 2 Juin, 1648, in Carayon. ]

[ 2 See Introduction. ]

First of all, the Huron chiefs summoned the Jesuits to meet them at a
grand council of the nation, when an old orator, chosen by the rest,
rose and addressed Ragueneau, as chief of the French, in the following
harangue. Ragueneau, who reports it, declares that he has added nothing
to it, and the translation is as literal as possible.

"My Brother," began the speaker, "behold all the tribes of our league
assembled!"--and he named them one by one. "We are but a handful; you
are the prop and stay of this nation. A thunderbolt has fallen from the
sky, and rent a chasm in the earth. We shall fall into it, if you do not
support us. Take pity on us. We are here, not so much to speak as to
weep over our loss and yours. Our country is but a skeleton, without
flesh, veins, sinews, or arteries; and its bones hang together by a
thread. This thread is broken by the blow that has fallen on the head of
your nephew, [ 1 ] for whom we weep. It was a demon of Hell who placed
the hatchet in the murderer's hand. Was it you, Sun, whose beams shine
on us, who led him to do this deed? Why did you not darken your light,
that he might be stricken with horror at his crime? Were you his
accomplice? No; for he walked in darkness, and did not see where he
struck. He thought, this wretched murderer, that he aimed at the head of
a young Frenchman; but the blow fell upon his country, and gave it a
death-wound. The earth opens to receive the blood of the innocent victim,
and we shall be swallowed up in the chasm; for we are all guilty.
The Iroquois rejoice at his death, and celebrate it as a triumph; for
they see that our weapons are turned against each other, and know well
that our nation is near its end.

"Brother, take pity on this nation. You alone can restore it to life.
It is for you to gather up all these scattered bones, and close this
chasm that opens to ingulf us. Take pity on your country. I call it
yours, for you are the master of it; and we came here like criminals to
receive your sentence, if you will not show us mercy. Pity those who
condemn themselves and come to ask forgiveness. It is you who have given
strength to the nation by dwelling with it; and if you leave us, we shall
be like a wisp of straw torn from the ground to be the sport of the wind.
This country is an island drifting on the waves, for the first storm to
overwhelm and sink. Make it fast again to its foundation, and posterity
will never forget to praise you. When we first heard of this murder,
we could do nothing but weep; and we are ready to receive your orders and
comply with your demands. Speak, then, and ask what satisfaction you
will, for our lives and our possessions are yours; and even if we rob our
children to satisfy you, we will tell them that it is not of you that
they have to complain, but of him whose crime has made us all guilty.
Our anger is against him; but for you we feel nothing but love. He
destroyed our lives; and you will restore them, if you will but speak and
tell us what you will have us do."

[ 1 The usual Indian figure in such cases, and not meant to express an
actual relationship;--"Uncle" for a superior, "Brother" for an equal,
"Nephew" for an inferior. ]

Ragueneau, who remarks that this harangue is a proof that eloquence is
the gift of Nature rather than of Art, made a reply, which he has not
recorded, and then gave the speaker a bundle of small sticks, indicating
the number of presents which he required in satisfaction for the murder.
These sticks were distributed among the various tribes in the council,
in order that each might contribute its share towards the indemnity.
The council dissolved, and the chiefs went home, each with his allotment
of sticks, to collect in his village a corresponding number of presents.
There was no constraint; those gave who chose to do so; but, as all were
ambitious to show their public spirit, the contributions were ample.
No one thought of molesting the murderers. Their punishment was their
shame at the sacrifices which the public were making in their behalf.

The presents being ready, a day was set for the ceremony of their
delivery; and crowds gathered from all parts to witness it. The assembly
was convened in the open air, in a field beside the mission-house of
Sainte Marie; and, in the midst, the chiefs held solemn council. Towards
evening, they deputed four of their number, two Christians and two
heathen, to carry their address to the Father Superior. They came,
loaded with presents; but these were merely preliminary. One was to open
the door, another for leave to enter; and as Sainte Marie was a large
house, with several interior doors, at each one of which it behooved them
to repeat this formality, their stock of gifts became seriously reduced
before they reached the room where Father Ragueneau awaited them.
On arriving, they made him a speech, every clause of which was confirmed
by a present. The first was to wipe away his tears; the second, to
restore his voice, which his grief was supposed to have impaired; the
third, to calm the agitation of his mind; and the fourth, to allay the
just anger of his heart. [ 1 ] These gifts consisted of wampum and the
large shells of which it was made, together with other articles,
worthless in any eyes but those of an Indian. Nine additional presents
followed: four for the four posts of the sepulchre or scaffold of the
murdered man; four for the cross-pieces which connected the posts; and
one for a pillow to support his head. Then came eight more,
corresponding to the eight largest bones of the victim's body, and also
to the eight clans of the Hurons. [ 2 ] Ragueneau, as required by
established custom, now made them a present in his turn. It consisted of
three thousand beads of wampum, and was designed to soften the earth,
in order that they might not be hurt, when falling upon it, overpowered
by his reproaches for the enormity of their crime. This closed the
interview, and the deputation withdrew.

[ 1 Ragueneau himself describes the scene. Relation des Hurons, 1648,
80. ]

[ 2 Ragueneau says, "les huit nations"; but, as the Hurons consisted of
only four, or at most five, nations, he probably means the clans.
For the nature of these divisions, see Introduction. ]

The grand ceremony took place on the next day. A kind of arena had been
prepared, and here were hung the fifty presents in which the atonement
essentially consisted,--the rest, amounting to as many more, being only
accessory. [ 1 ] The Jesuits had the right of examining them all,
rejecting any that did not satisfy them, and demanding others in place of
them. The naked crowd sat silent and attentive, while the orator in the
midst delivered the fifty presents in a series of harangues, which the
tired listener has not thought it necessary to preserve. Then came the
minor gifts, each with its signification explained in turn by the
speaker. First, as a sepulchre had been provided the day before for the
dead man, it was now necessary to clothe and equip him for his journey to
the next world; and to this end three presents were made. They
represented a hat, a coat, a shirt, breeches, stockings, shoes, a gun,
powder, and bullets; but they were in fact something quite different,
as wampum, beaver-skins, and the like. Next came several gifts to close
up the wounds of the slain. Then followed three more. The first closed
the chasm in the earth, which had burst through horror of the crime.
The next trod the ground firm, that it might not open again; and here the
whole assembly rose and danced, as custom required. The last placed a
large stone over the closed gulf; to make it doubly secure.

[ 1 The number was unusually large,--partly because the affair was
thought very important, and partly because the murdered man belonged to
another nation. See Introduction. ]

Now came another series of presents, seven in number,--to restore the
voices of all the missionaries,--to invite the men in their service to
forget the murder,--to appease the Governor when he should hear of
it,--to light the fire at Sainte Marie,--to open the gate,--to launch the
ferry boat in which the Huron visitors crossed the river,--and to give
back the paddle to the boy who had charge of the boat. The Fathers,
it seems, had the right of exacting two more presents, to rebuild their
house and church,--supposed to have been shaken to the earth by the late
calamity; but they forbore to urge the claim. Last of all were three
gifts to confirm all the rest, and to entreat the Jesuits to cherish an
undying love for the Hurons.

The priests on their part gave presents, as tokens of good-will; and with
that the assembly dispersed. The mission had gained a triumph, and its
influence was greatly strengthened. The future would have been full of
hope, but for the portentous cloud of war that rose, black and wrathful,
from where lay the dens of the Iroquois.


1648, 1649.



The River Wye enters the Bay of Glocester, an inlet of the Bay of
Matchedash, itself an inlet of the vast Georgian Bay of Lake Huron.
Retrace the track of two centuries and more, and ascend this little
stream in the summer of the year 1648. Your vessel is a birch canoe,
and your conductor a Huron Indian. On the right hand and on the left,
gloomy and silent, rise the primeval woods; but you have advanced
scarcely half a league when the scene is changed, and cultivated fields,
planted chiefly with maize, extend far along the bank, and back to the
distant verge of the forest. Before you opens the small lake from which
the stream issues; and on your left, a stone's throw from the shore,
rises a range of palisades and bastioned walls, inclosing a number of
buildings. Your canoe enters a canal or ditch immediately above them,
and you land at the Mission, or Residence, or Fort of Sainte Marie.

Here was the centre and base of the Huron missions; and now, for once,
one must wish that Jesuit pens had been more fluent. They have told us
but little of Sainte Marie, and even this is to be gathered chiefly from
incidental allusions. In the forest, which long since has resumed its
reign over this memorable spot, the walls and ditches of the
fortifications may still be plainly traced; and the deductions from these
remains are in perfect accord with what we can gather from the Relations
and letters of the priests. [ Before me is an elaborate plan of the
remains, taken on the spot. ] The fortified work which inclosed the
buildings was in the form of a parallelogram, about a hundred and
seventy-five feet long, and from eighty to ninety wide. It lay parallel
with the river, and somewhat more than a hundred feet distant from it.
On two sides it was a continuous wall of masonry, [ 1 ] flanked with
square bastions, adapted to musketry, and probably used as magazines,
storehouses, or lodgings. The sides towards the river and the lake had
no other defences than a ditch and palisade, flanked, like the others,
by bastions, over each of which was displayed a large cross. [ 2 ]
The buildings within were, no doubt, of wood; and they included a church,
a kitchen, a refectory, places of retreat for religious instruction and
meditation, [ 3 ] and lodgings for at least sixty persons. Near the
church, but outside the fortification, was a cemetery. Beyond the ditch
or canal which opened on the river was a large area, still traceable,
in the form of an irregular triangle, surrounded by a ditch, and
apparently by palisades. It seems to have been meant for the protection
of the Indian visitors who came in throngs to Sainte Marie, and who were
lodged in a large house of bark, after the Huron manner. [ 4 ] Here,
perhaps, was also the hospital, which was placed without the walls,
in order that Indian women, as well as men, might be admitted into it.
[ 5 ]

[ 1 It seems probable that the walls, of which the remains may still be
traced, were foundations supporting a wooden superstructure. Ragueneau,
in a letter to the General of the Jesuits, dated March 13, 1650, alludes
to the defences of Saint Marie as "une simple palissade." ]

[ 2 "Quatre grandes Croix qui sont aux quatre coins de nostre enclos."--
Ragueneau, Relation des Hurons, 1648, 81. ]

[ 3 It seems that these places, besides those for the priests, were of
two kinds,--"vne retraite pour les pelerins (Indians), enfin vn lieu plus
separé, où les infideles, qui n'y sont admis que de iour au passage,
y puissent tousiours receuoir quelque bon mot pour leur salut."--Lalemant,
Relation des Hurons, 1644, 74. ]

[ 4 At least it was so in 1642. "Nous leur auons dressé vn Hospice ou
Cabane d'écorce."--Ibid., 1642, 57. ]

[ 5 "Cet hospital est tellement separé de nostre demeure, que non
seulement les hommes et enfans, mais les femmes y peuuent estre
admises."--Ibid., 1644, 74. ]

No doubt the buildings of Sainte Marie were of the roughest,--rude walls
of boards, windows without glass, vast chimneys of unhewn stone. All its
riches were centred in the church, which, as Lalemant tells us, was
regarded by the Indians as one of the wonders of the world, but which,
he adds, would have made but a beggarly show in France. Yet one wonders,
at first thought, how so much labor could have been accomplished here.
Of late years, however, the number of men at the command of the mission
had been considerable. Soldiers had been sent up from time to time,
to escort the Fathers on their way, and defend them on their arrival.
Thus, in 1644, Montmagny ordered twenty men of a reinforcement just
arrived from France to escort Brébeuf, Garreau, and Chabanel to the
Hurons, and remain there during the winter. [ 1 ] These soldiers lodged
with the Jesuits, and lived at their table. [ 2 ] It was not, however,
on detachments of troops that they mainly relied for labor or defence.
Any inhabitant of Canada who chose to undertake so hard and dangerous a
service was allowed to do so, receiving only his maintenance from the
mission, without pay. In return, he was allowed to trade with the
Indians, and sell the furs thus obtained at the magazine of the Company,
at a fixed price. [ Registres des Arrêts du Conseil, extract in Faillon,
II, 94. ] Many availed themselves of this permission; and all whose
services were accepted by the Jesuits seem to have been men to whom they
had communicated no small portion of their own zeal, and who were
enthusiastically attached to their Order and their cause. There is
abundant evidence that a large proportion of them acted from motives
wholly disinterested. They were, in fact, _donnés_ of the mission, [ 3 ]
--given, heart and hand, to its service. There is probability in the
conjecture, that the profits of their trade with the Indians were reaped,
not for their own behoof, but for that of the mission. [ 4 ] It is
difficult otherwise to explain the confidence with which the Father
Superior, in a letter to the General of the Jesuits at Rome, speaks of
its resources. He says, "Though our number is greatly increased, and
though we still hope for more men, and especially for more priests of our
Society, it is not necessary to increase the pecuniary aid given us."
[ 5 ]

[ 1 Vimont, Relation, 1644, 49. He adds, that some of these soldiers,
though they had once been "assez mauvais garçons," had shown great zeal
and devotion in behalf of the mission. ]

[ 2 Journal des Supérieurs des Jésuites, MS. In 1648, a small cannon
was sent to Sainte Marie in the Huron canoes.--Ibid. ]

[ 3 See ante, chapter 16 (page 214), "donnés". Garnier calls them
"séculiers d'habit, mais religieux de cœur."--Lettres, MSS. ]

[ 4 The Jesuits, even at this early period, were often and loudly
charged with sharing in the fur-trade. It is certain that this charge
was not wholly without foundation. Le Jeune, in the Relation of 1657,
speaking of the wampum, guns, powder, lead, hatchets, kettles, and other
articles which the missionaries were obliged to give to the Indians,
at councils and elsewhere, says that these must be bought from the
traders with beaver-skins, which are the money of the country; and he
adds, "Que si vn Iesuite en reçoit ou en recueille quelques-vns pour
ayder aux frais immenses qu'il faut faire dans ces Missions si éloignées,
et pour gagner ces peuples à Iesus-Christ et les porter à la paix,
il seroit à souhaiter que ceux-là mesme qui deuroient faire ces despenses
pour la conseruation du pays, ne fussent pas du moins les premiers à
condamner le zele de ces Peres, et à les rendre par leurs discours plus
noirs que leurs robes."--Relation, 1657, 16.

In the same year, Chaumonot, addressing a council of the Iroquois during
a period of truce, said, "Keep your beaver-skins, if you choose, for the
Dutch. Even such of them as may fall into our possession will be
employed for your service."--Ibid., 17.

In 1636, La Jeune thought it necessary to write a long letter of defence
against the charge; and in 1643, a declaration, appended to the Relation
of that year, and certifying that the Jesuits took no part in the
fur-trade, was drawn up and signed by twelve members of the company of
New France. Its only meaning is, that the Jesuits were neither partners
nor rivals of the Company's monopoly. They certainly bought supplies
from its magazines with furs which they obtained from the Indians.

Their object evidently was to make the mission partially self-supporting.
To impute mercenary motives to Garnier, Jogues, and their co-laborers,
is manifestly idle; but, even in the highest flights of his enthusiasm,
the Jesuit never forgot his worldly wisdom. ]

[ 5 Lettre du P. Paul Ragueneau au T. R. P. Vincent Carafa, Général de
la Compagnie de Jésus à Rome, Sainte Marie aux Hurons, 1 Mars, 1649
(Carayon). ]

Much of this prosperity was no doubt due to the excellent management of
their resources, and a very successful agriculture. While the Indians
around them were starving, they raised maize in such quantities, that,
in the spring of 1649, the Father Superior thought that their stock of
provisions might suffice for three years. "Hunting and fishing," he says,
"are better than heretofore"; and he adds, that they had fowls, swine,
and even cattle. [ 1 ] How they could have brought these last to Sainte
Marie it is difficult to conceive. The feat, under the circumstances,
is truly astonishing. Everything indicates a fixed resolve on the part
of the Fathers to build up a solid and permanent establishment.

[ 1 Lettre du P. Paul Ragueneau au T. R. P. Vincent Carafa, Général de
la Compagnie de Jésus à Rome, Sainte Marie aux Hurons, 1 Mars, 1649
(Carayon). ]

It is by no means to be inferred that the household fared sumptuously.
Their ordinary food was maize, pounded and boiled, and seasoned, in the
absence of salt, which was regarded as a luxury, with morsels of smoked
fish. [ Ragueneau, Relation des Hurons, 1648, 48. ]

In March, 1649, there were in the Huron country and its neighborhood
eighteen Jesuit priests, four lay brothers, twenty-three men serving
without pay, seven hired men, four boys, and eight soldiers. [ 1 ]
Of this number, fifteen priests were engaged in the various missions,
while all the rest were retained permanently at Sainte Marie. All was
method, discipline, and subordination. Some of the men were assigned to
household work, and some to the hospital; while the rest labored at the
fortifications, tilled the fields, and stood ready, in case of need,
to fight the Iroquois. The Father Superior, with two other priests as
assistants, controlled and guided all. The remaining Jesuits,
undisturbed by temporal cares, were devoted exclusively to the charge of
their respective missions. Two or three times in the year, they all,
or nearly all, assembled at Sainte Marie, to take counsel together and
determine their future action. Hither, also, they came at intervals for
a period of meditation and prayer, to nerve themselves and gain new
inspiration for their stern task.

[ 1 See the report of the Father Superior to the General, above cited.
The number was greatly increased within the year. In April, 1648,
Ragueneau reports but forty-two French in all, including priests.
Before the end of the summer a large reinforcement came up in the Huron
canoes. ]

Besides being the citadel and the magazine of the mission, Sainte Marie
was the scene of a bountiful hospitality. On every alternate Saturday,
as well as on feast-days, the converts came in crowds from the farthest
villages. They were entertained during Saturday, Sunday, and a part of
Monday; and the rites of the Church were celebrated before them with all
possible solemnity and pomp. They were welcomed also at other times,
and entertained, usually with three meals to each. In these latter years
the prevailing famine drove them to Sainte Marie in swarms. In the
course of 1647 three thousand were lodged and fed here; and in the
following year the number was doubled. [ Compare Ragueneau in Relation
des Hurons, 1648, 48, and in his report to the General in 1649. ]
Heathen Indians were also received and supplied with food, but were not
permitted to remain at night. There was provision for the soul as well
as the body; and, Christian or heathen, few left Sainte Marie without a
word of instruction or exhortation. Charity was an instrument of

Such, so far as we can reconstruct it from the scattered hints remaining,
was this singular establishment, at once military, monastic, and
patriarchal. The missions of which it was the basis were now eleven in
number. To those among the Hurons already mentioned another had lately
been added,--that of Sainte Madeleine; and two others, called St. Jean
and St. Matthias, had been established in the neighboring Tobacco Nation.
[ 1 ] The three remaining missions were all among tribes speaking the
Algonquin languages. Every winter, bands of these savages, driven by
famine and fear of the Iroquois, sought harborage in the Huron country,
and the mission of Sainte Elisabeth was established for their benefit.
The next Algonquin mission was that of Saint Esprit, embracing the
Nipissings and other tribes east and north-east of Lake Huron; and,
lastly, the mission of St. Pierre included the tribes at the outlet of
Lake Superior, and throughout a vast extent of surrounding wilderness.
[ 2 ]

[ 1 The mission of the Neutral Nation had been abandoned for the time,
from the want of missionaries. The Jesuits had resolved on concentration,
and on the thorough conversion of the Hurons, as a preliminary to more
extended efforts. ]

[ 2 Besides these tribes, the Jesuits had become more or less acquainted
with many others, also Algonquin on the west and south of Lake Huron; as
well as with the Puans, or Winnebagoes, a Dacotah tribe between Lake
Michigan and the Mississippi.

The Mission of Sault Sainte Marie, at the outlet of Lake Superior,
was established at a later period. Modern writers have confounded it
with Sainte Marie of the Hurons.

By the Relation of 1649 it appears that another mission had lately been
begun at the Grand Manitoulin Island, which the Jesuits also christened
Isle Sainte Marie. ]

These missions were more laborious, though not more perilous, than those
among the Hurons. The Algonquin hordes were never long at rest; and,
summer and winter, the priest must follow them by lake, forest, and
stream: in summer plying the paddle all day, or toiling through pathless
thickets, bending under the weight of a birch canoe or a load of
baggage,--at night, his bed the rugged earth, or some bare rock, lashed
by the restless waves of Lake Huron; while famine, the snow-storms,
the cold, the treacherous ice of the Great Lakes, smoke, filth, and,
not rarely, threats and persecution, were the lot of his winter
wanderings. It seemed an earthly paradise, when, at long intervals,
he found a respite from his toils among his brother Jesuits under the
roof of Sainte Marie.

Hither, while the Fathers are gathered from their scattered stations at
one of their periodical meetings,--a little before the season of Lent,
1649, [ 1 ]--let us, too, repair, and join them. We enter at the eastern
gate of the fortification, midway in the wall between its northern and
southern bastions, and pass to the hall, where, at a rude table, spread
with ruder fare, all the household are assembled,--laborers, domestics,
soldiers, and priests.

[ 1 The date of this meeting is a supposition merely. It is adopted
with reference to events which preceded and followed. ]

It was a scene that might recall a remote half feudal, half patriarchal
age, when, under the smoky rafters of his antique hail, some warlike
thane sat, with kinsmen and dependants ranged down the long board,
each in his degree. Here, doubtless, Ragueneau, the Father Superior,
held the place of honor; and, for chieftains scarred with Danish
battle-axes, was seen a band of thoughtful men, clad in a threadbare garb
of black, their brows swarthy from exposure, yet marked with the lines of
intellect and a fixed enthusiasm of purpose. Here was Bressani, scarred
with firebrand and knife; Chabanel, once a professor of rhetoric in
France, now a missionary, bound by a self-imposed vow to a life from
which his nature recoiled; the fanatical Chaumonot, whose character
savored of his peasant birth,--for the grossest fungus of superstition
that ever grew under the shadow of Rome was not too much for his
omnivorous credulity, and miracles and mysteries were his daily food; yet,
such as his faith was, he was ready to die for it. Garnier, beardless
like a woman, was of a far finer nature. His religion was of the
affections and the sentiments; and his imagination, warmed with the ardor
of his faith, shaped the ideal forms of his worship into visible
realities. Brébeuf sat conspicuous among his brethren, portly and tall,
his short moustache and beard grizzled with time,--for he was fifty-six
years old. If he seemed impassive, it was because one overmastering
principle had merged and absorbed all the impulses of his nature and all
the faculties of his mind. The enthusiasm which with many is fitful and
spasmodic was with him the current of his life,--solemn and deep as the
tide of destiny. The Divine Trinity, the Virgin, the Saints, Heaven and
Hell, Angels and Fiends,--to him, these alone were real, and all things
else were nought. Gabriel Lalemant, nephew of Jerome Lalemant, Superior
at Quebec, was Brébeuf's colleague at the mission of St. Ignace. His
slender frame and delicate features gave him an appearance of youth,
though he had reached middle life; and, as in the case of Garnier,
the fervor of his mind sustained him through exertions of which he seemed
physically incapable. Of the rest of that company little has come down
to us but the bare record of their missionary toils; and we may ask in
vain what youthful enthusiasm, what broken hope or faded dream, turned
the current of their lives, and sent them from the heart of civilization
to this savage outpost of the world.

No element was wanting in them for the achievement of such a success as
that to which they aspired,--neither a transcendent zeal, nor a matchless
discipline, nor a practical sagacity very seldom surpassed in the
pursuits where men strive for wealth and place; and if they were destined
to disappointment, it was the result of external causes, against which no
power of theirs could have insured them.

There was a gap in their number. The place of Antoine Daniel was empty,
and never more to be filled by him,--never at least in the flesh, for
Chaumonot averred, that not long since, when the Fathers were met in
council, he had seen their dead companion seated in their midst, as of
old, with a countenance radiant and majestic. [ 1 ] They believed his
story,--no doubt he believed it himself; and they consoled one another
with the thought, that, in losing their colleague on earth, they had
gained him as a powerful intercessor in heaven. Daniel's station had
been at St. Joseph; but the mission and the missionary had alike ceased
to exist.

[ 1 "Ce bon Pere s'apparut après sa mort à vn des nostres par deux
diuerses fois. En l'vne il se fit voir en estat de gloire, portant le
visage d'vn homme d'enuiron trente ans, quoy qu'il soit mort en l'âge de
quarante-huict. . . . Vne autre fois il fut veu assister à vne assemblée
que nous tenions," etc.--Ragueneau, Relation des Hurons, 1649, 5.

"Le P. Chaumonot vit au milieu de l'assemblée le P. Daniel qui aidait les
Pères de ses conseils, et les remplissait d'une force surnaturelle; son
visage était plein de majesté et d'éclat."--Ibid., Lettre au Général de
la Compagnie de Jésus (Carayon, 243).

"Le P. Chaumonot nous a quelque fois raconté, à la gloire de cet illustre
confesseur de J. C. (Daniel) qu'il s'étoit fait voir à lui dans la gloire,
à l'âge d'environ 30 ans, quoiqu'il en eut près de 50, et avec les autres
circonstances qui se trouuent là (in the Historia Canadensis of Du
Creux). Il ajoutait seulement qu'à la vue de ce bien-heureux tant de
choses lui vinrent à l'esprit pour les lui demander, qu'il ne savoit pas
où commencer son entretien avec ce cher défunt. Enfin, lui dit-il:
"Apprenez moi, mon Père, ce que ie dois faire pour être bien agréable à
Dieu."--"Jamais," répondit le martyr, "ne perdez le souvenir de vos
péchés."--Suite de la Vie de Chaumonot, 11. ]





In the summer of 1647 the Hurons dared not go down to the French
settlements, but in the following year they took heart, and resolved at
all risks to make the attempt; for the kettles, hatchets, and knives of
the traders had become necessaries of life. Two hundred and fifty of
their best warriors therefore embarked, under five valiant chiefs.
They made the voyage in safety, approached Three Rivers on the
seventeenth of July, and, running their canoes ashore among the bulrushes,
began to grease their hair, paint their faces, and otherwise adorn
themselves, that they might appear after a befitting fashion at the fort.
While they were thus engaged, the alarm was sounded. Some of their
warriors had discovered a large body of Iroquois, who for several days
had been lurking in the forest, unknown to the French garrison, watching
their opportunity to strike a blow. The Hurons snatched their arms, and,
half-greased and painted, ran to meet them. The Iroquois received them
with a volley. They fell flat to avoid the shot, then leaped up with a
furious yell, and sent back a shower of arrows and bullets. The Iroquois,
who were outnumbered, gave way and fled, excepting a few who for a time
made fight with their knives. The Hurons pursued. Many prisoners were
taken, and many dead left on the field. [ Lalemant, Relation, 1648, 11.
The Jesuit Bressani had come down with the Hurons, and was with them in
the fight. ] The rout of the enemy was complete; and when their trade
was ended, the Hurons returned home in triumph, decorated with the
laurels and the scalps of victory. As it proved, it would have been well,
had they remained there to defend their families and firesides.

The oft-mentioned town of Teanaustayé, or St. Joseph, lay on the
south-eastern frontier of the Huron country, near the foot of a range of
forest-covered hills, and about fifteen miles from Sainte Marie. It had
been the chief town of the nation, and its population, by the Indian
standard, was still large; for it had four hundred families, and at least
two thousand inhabitants. It was well fortified with palisades, after
the Huron manner, and was esteemed the chief bulwark of the country.
Here countless Iroquois had been burned and devoured. Its people had
been truculent and intractable heathen, but many of them had surrendered
to the Faith, and for four years past Father Daniel had preached among
them with excellent results.

On the morning of the fourth of July, when the forest around basked
lazily in the early sun, you might have mounted the rising ground on
which the town stood, and passed unchallenged through the opening in the
palisade. Within, you would have seen the crowded dwellings of bark,
shaped like the arched coverings of huge baggage-wagons, and decorated
with the _totems_ or armorial devices of their owners daubed on the
outside with paint. Here some squalid wolfish dog lay sleeping in the
sun, a group of Huron girls chatted together in the shade, old squaws
pounded corn in large wooden mortars, idle youths gambled with cherry
stones on a wooden platter, and naked infants crawled in the dust.
Scarcely a warrior was to be seen. Some were absent in quest of game or
of Iroquois scalps, and some had gone with the trading-party to the
French settlements. You followed the foul passage-ways among the houses,
and at length came to the church. It was full to the door. Daniel had
just finished the mass, and his flock still knelt at their devotions.
It was but the day before that he had returned to them, warmed with new
fervor, from his meditations in retreat at Sainte Marie. Suddenly an
uproar of voices, shrill with terror, burst upon the languid silence of
the town. "The Iroquois! the Iroquois!" A crowd of hostile warriors had
issued from the forest, and were rushing across the clearing, towards the
opening in the palisade. Daniel ran out of the church, and hurried to
the point of danger. Some snatched weapons; some rushed to and fro in
the madness of a blind panic. The priest rallied the defenders; promised
Heaven to those who died for their homes and their faith; then hastened
from house to house, calling on unbelievers to repent and receive baptism,
to snatch them from the Hell that yawned to ingulf them. They crowded
around him, imploring to be saved; and, immersing his handkerchief in a
bowl of water, he shook it over them, and baptized them by aspersion.
They pursued him, as he ran again to the church, where he found a throng
of women, children, and old men, gathered as in a sanctuary. Some cried
for baptism, some held out their children to receive it, some begged for
absolution, and some wailed in terror and despair. "Brothers," he
exclaimed again and again, as he shook the baptismal drops from his
handkerchief,--"brothers, to-day we shall be in Heaven."

The fierce yell of the war-whoop now rose close at hand. The palisade
was forced, and the enemy was in the town. The air quivered with the
infernal din. "Fly!" screamed the priest, driving his flock before him.
"I will stay here. We shall meet again in Heaven." Many of them escaped
through an opening in the palisade opposite to that by which the Iroquois
had entered; but Daniel would not follow, for there still might be souls
to rescue from perdition. The hour had come for which he had long
prepared himself. In a moment he saw the Iroquois, and came forth from
the church to meet them. When they saw him in turn, radiant in the
vestments of his office, confronting them with a look kindled with the
inspiration of martyrdom, they stopped and stared in amazement; then
recovering themselves, bent their bows, and showered him with a volley of
arrows, that tore through his robes and his flesh. A gun shot followed;
the ball pierced his heart, and he fell dead, gasping the name of Jesus.
They rushed upon him with yells of triumph, stripped him naked, gashed
and hacked his lifeless body, and, scooping his blood in their hands,
bathed their faces in it to make them brave. The town was in a blaze;
when the flames reached the church, they flung the priest into it,
and both were consumed together.

[ Ragueneau, Relation des Hurons, 1649, 3-5; Bressani, Relation Abrégée,
247; Du Creux, Historia Canadensis, 524; Tanner, Societas Jesu Militans,
531; Marie de l'Incarnation, Lettre aux Ursulines de Tours, Quebec, 1649.

Daniel was born at Dieppe, and was forty-eight years old at the time of
his death. He had been a Jesuit from the age of twenty. ]

Teanaustayé was a heap of ashes, and the victors took up their march with
a train of nearly seven hundred prisoners, many of whom they killed on
the way. Many more had been slain in the town and the neighboring forest,
where the pursuers hunted them down, and where women, crouching for
refuge among thickets, were betrayed by the cries and wailing of their

The triumph of the Iroquois did not end here; for a neighboring fortified
town, included within the circle of Daniel's mission, shared the fate of
Teanaustayé. Never had the Huron nation received such a blow.





More than eight months had passed since the catastrophe of St. Joseph.
The winter was over, and that dreariest of seasons had come, the churlish
forerunner of spring. Around Sainte Marie the forests were gray and bare,
and, in the cornfields, the oozy, half-thawed soil, studded with the
sodden stalks of the last autumn's harvest, showed itself in patches
through the melting snow.

At nine o'clock on the morning of the sixteenth of March, the priests saw
a heavy smoke rising over the naked forest towards the south-east,
about three miles distant. They looked at each other in dismay. "The
Iroquois! They are burning St. Louis!" Flames mingled with the smoke;
and, as they stood gazing, two Christian Hurons came, breathless and
aghast, from the burning town. Their worst fear was realized. The
Iroquois were there; but where were the priests of the mission, Brébeuf
and Lalemant?

Late in the autumn, a thousand Iroquois, chiefly Senecas and Mohawks,
had taken the war-path for the Hurons. They had been all winter in the
forests, hunting for subsistence, and moving at their leisure towards
their prey. The destruction of the two towns of the mission of
St. Joseph had left a wide gap, and in the middle of March they entered
the heart of the Huron country, undiscovered. Common vigilance and
common sense would have averted the calamities that followed; but the
Hurons were like a doomed people, stupefied, sunk in dejection, fearing
everything, yet taking no measures for defence. They could easily have
met the invaders with double their force, but the besotted warriors lay
idle in their towns, or hunted at leisure in distant forests; nor could
the Jesuits, by counsel or exhortation, rouse them to face the danger.

Before daylight of the sixteenth, the invaders approached St. Ignace,
which, with St. Louis and three other towns, formed the mission of the
same name. They reconnoitred the place in the darkness. It was defended
on three sides by a deep ravine, and further strengthened by palisades
fifteen or sixteen feet high, planted under the direction of the Jesuits.
On the fourth side it was protected by palisades alone; and these were
left, as usual, unguarded. This was not from a sense of security; for
the greater part of the population had abandoned the town, thinking it
too much exposed to the enemy, and there remained only about four hundred,
chiefly women, children, and old men, whose infatuated defenders were
absent hunting, or on futile scalping-parties against the Iroquois.
It was just before dawn, when a yell, as of a legion of devils, startled
the wretched inhabitants from their sleep; and the Iroquois, bursting in
upon them, cut them down with knives and hatchets, killing many, and
reserving the rest for a worse fate. They had entered by the weakest
side; on the other sides there was no exit, and only three Hurons
escaped. The whole was the work of a few minutes. The Iroquois left a
guard to hold the town, and secure the retreat of the main body in case
of a reverse; then, smearing their faces with blood, after their ghastly
custom, they rushed, in the dim light of the early dawn, towards
St. Louis, about a league distant.

The three fugitives had fled, half naked, through the forest, for the
same point, which they reached about sunrise, yelling the alarm. The
number of inhabitants here was less, at this time, than seven hundred;
and, of these, all who had strength to escape, excepting about eighty
warriors, made in wild terror for a place of safety. Many of the old,
sick, and decrepit were left perforce in the lodges. The warriors,
ignorant of the strength of the assailants, sang their war-songs, and
resolved to hold the place to the last. It had not the natural strength
of St. Ignace; but, like it, was surrounded by palisades.

Here were the two Jesuits, Brébeuf and Lalemant. Brébeuf's converts
entreated him to escape with them; but the Norman zealot, bold scion of a
warlike stock, had no thought of flight. His post was in the teeth of
danger, to cheer on those who fought, and open Heaven to those who fell.
His colleague, slight of frame and frail of constitution, trembled
despite himself; but deep enthusiasm mastered the weakness of Nature,
and he, too, refused to fly.

Scarcely had the sun risen, and scarcely were the fugitives gone, when,
like a troop of tigers, the Iroquois rushed to the assault. Yell echoed
yell, and shot answered shot. The Hurons, brought to bay, fought with
the utmost desperation, and with arrows, stones, and the few guns they
had, killed thirty of their assailants, and wounded many more. Twice the
Iroquois recoiled, and twice renewed the attack with unabated ferocity.
They swarmed at the foot of the palisades, and hacked at them with their
hatchets, till they had cut them through at several different points.
For a time there was a deadly fight at these breaches. Here were the two
priests, promising Heaven to those who died for their faith,--one giving
baptism, and the other absolution. At length the Iroquois broke in,
and captured all the surviving defenders, the Jesuits among the rest.
They set the town on fire; and the helpless wretches who had remained,
unable to fly, were consumed in their burning dwellings. Next they fell
upon Brébeuf and Lalemant, stripped them, bound them fast, and led them
with the other prisoners back to St. Ignace, where all turned out to
wreak their fury on the two priests, beating them savagely with sticks
and clubs as they drove them into the town. At present, there was no
time for further torture, for there was work in hand.

The victors divided themselves into several bands, to burn the
neighboring villages and hunt their flying inhabitants. In the flush of
their triumph, they meditated a bolder enterprise; and, in the afternoon,
their chiefs sent small parties to reconnoitre Sainte Marie, with a view
to attacking it on the next day.

Meanwhile the fugitives of St. Louis, joined by other bands as terrified
and as helpless as they, were struggling through the soft snow which
clogged the forests towards Lake Huron, where the treacherous ice of
spring was still unmelted. One fear expelled another. They ventured
upon it, and pushed forward all that day and all the following night,
shivering and famished, to find refuge in the towns of the Tobacco
Nation. Here, when they arrived, they spread a universal panic.

Ragueneau, Bressani, and their companions waited in suspense at Sainte
Marie. On the one hand, they trembled for Brébeuf and Lalemant; on the
other, they looked hourly for an attack: and when at evening they saw the
Iroquois scouts prowling along the edge of the bordering forest, their
fears were confirmed. They had with them about forty Frenchmen, well
armed; but their palisades and wooden buildings were not fire-proof,
and they had learned from fugitives the number and ferocity of the
invaders. They stood guard all night, praying to the Saints, and above
all to their great patron, Saint Joseph, whose festival was close at hand.

In the morning they were somewhat relieved by the arrival of about three
hundred Huron warriors, chiefly converts from La Conception and Sainte
Madeleine, tolerably well armed, and full of fight. They were expecting
others to join them; and meanwhile, dividing into several bands, they
took post by the passes of the neighboring forest, hoping to waylay
parties of the enemy. Their expectation was fulfilled; for, at this time,
two hundred of the Iroquois were making their way from St. Ignace,
in advance of the main body, to begin the attack on Sainte Marie.
They fell in with a band of the Hurons, set upon them, killed many,
drove the rest to headlong flight, and, as they plunged in terror through
the snow, chased them within sight of Sainte Marie. The other Hurons,
hearing the yells and firing, ran to the rescue, and attacked so fiercely,
that the Iroquois in turn were routed, and ran for shelter to St. Louis,
followed closely by the victors. The houses of the town had been burned,
but the palisade around them was still standing, though breached and
broken. The Iroquois rushed in; but the Hurons were at their heels.
Many of the fugitives were captured, the rest killed or put to utter rout,
and the triumphant Hurons remained masters of the place.

The Iroquois who escaped fled to St. Ignace. Here, or on the way thither,
they found the main body of the invaders; and when they heard of the
disaster, the whole swarm, beside themselves with rage, turned towards
St. Louis to take their revenge. Now ensued one of the most furious
Indian battles on record. The Hurons within the palisade did not much
exceed a hundred and fifty; for many had been killed or disabled, and
many, perhaps, had straggled away. Most of their enemies had guns,
while they had but few. Their weapons were bows and arrows, war-clubs,
hatchets, and knives; and of these they made good use, sallying
repeatedly, fighting like devils, and driving back their assailants again
and again. There are times when the Indian warrior forgets his cautious
maxims, and throws himself into battle with a mad and reckless ferocity.
The desperation of one party, and the fierce courage of both, kept up the
fight after the day had closed; and the scout from Sainte Marie, as he
bent listening under the gloom of the pines, heard, far into the night,
the howl of battle rising from the darkened forest. The principal chief
of the Iroquois was severely wounded, and nearly a hundred of their
warriors were killed on the spot. When, at length, their numbers and
persistent fury prevailed, their only prize was some twenty Huron
warriors, spent with fatigue and faint with loss of blood. The rest lay
dead around the shattered palisades which they had so valiantly defended.
Fatuity, not cowardice, was the ruin of the Huron nation.

The lamps burned all night at Sainte Marie, and its defenders stood
watching till daylight, musket in hand. The Jesuits prayed without
ceasing, and Saint Joseph was besieged with invocations. "Those of us
who were priests," writes Ragueneau, "each made a vow to say a mass in
his honor every month, for the space of a year; and all the rest bound
themselves by vows to divers penances." The expected onslaught did not
take place. Not an Iroquois appeared. Their victory had been bought too
dear, and they had no stomach for more fighting. All the next day,
the eighteenth, a stillness, like the dead lull of a tempest, followed
the turmoil of yesterday,--as if, says the Father Superior, "the country
were waiting, palsied with fright, for some new disaster."

On the following day,--the journalist fails not to mention that it was
the festival of Saint Joseph,--Indians came in with tidings that a panic
had seized the Iroquois camp, that the chiefs could not control it,
and that the whole body of invaders was retreating in disorder, possessed
with a vague terror that the Hurons were upon them in force. They had
found time, however, for an act of atrocious cruelty. They planted
stakes in the bark houses of St. Ignace, and bound to them those of their
prisoners whom they meant to sacrifice, male and female, from old age to
infancy, husbands, mothers, and children, side by side. Then, as they
retreated, they set the town on fire, and laughed with savage glee at the
shrieks of anguish that rose from the blazing dwellings.

[ The site of St. Ignace still bears evidence of the catastrophe, in the
ashes and charcoal that indicate the position of the houses, and the
fragments of broken pottery and half-consumed bone, together with
trinkets of stone, metal, or glass, which have survived the lapse of two
centuries and more. The place has been minutely examined by Dr. Taché. ]

They loaded the rest of their prisoners with their baggage and plunder,
and drove them through the forest southward, braining with their hatchets
any who gave out on the march. An old woman, who had escaped out of the
midst of the flames of St. Ignace, made her way to St. Michel, a large
town not far from the desolate site of St. Joseph. Here she found about
seven hundred Huron warriors, hastily mustered. She set them on the
track of the retreating Iroquois, and they took up the chase,--but
evidently with no great eagerness to overtake their dangerous enemy,
well armed as he was with Dutch guns, while they had little beside their
bows and arrows. They found, as they advanced, the dead bodies of
prisoners tomahawked on the march, and others bound fast to trees and
half burned by the fagots piled hastily around them. The Iroquois pushed
forward with such headlong speed, that the pursuers could not, or would
not, overtake them; and, after two days, they gave over the attempt.





On the morning of the twentieth, the Jesuits at Sainte Marie received
full confirmation of the reported retreat of the invaders; and one of
them, with seven armed Frenchmen, set out for the scene of havoc.
They passed St. Louis, where the bloody ground was strown thick with
corpses, and, two or three miles farther on, reached St. Ignace. Here
they saw a spectacle of horror; for among the ashes of the burnt town
were scattered in profusion the half-consumed bodies of those who had
perished in the flames. Apart from the rest, they saw a sight that
banished all else from their thoughts; for they found what they had come
to seek,--the scorched and mangled relics of Brébeuf and Lalemant.

[ "Ils y trouuerent vn spectacle d'horreur, les restes de la cruauté
mesme, ou plus tost les restes de l'amour de Dieu, qui seul triomphe dans
la mort des Martyrs."--Ragueneau, Relation des Hurons, 1649, 13. ]

They had learned their fate already from Huron prisoners, many of whom
had made their escape in the panic and confusion of the Iroquois retreat.
They described what they had seen, and the condition in which the bodies
were found confirmed their story.

On the afternoon of the sixteenth,--the day when the two priests were
captured,--Brébeuf was led apart, and bound to a stake. He seemed more
concerned for his captive converts than for himself, and addressed them
in a loud voice, exhorting them to suffer patiently, and promising Heaven
as their reward. The Iroquois, incensed, scorched him from head to foot,
to silence him; whereupon, in the tone of a master, he threatened them
with everlasting flames, for persecuting the worshippers of God. As he
continued to speak, with voice and countenance unchanged, they cut away
his lower lip and thrust a red-hot iron down his throat. He still held
his tall form erect and defiant, with no sign or sound of pain; and they
tried another means to overcome him. They led out Lalemant, that Brébeuf
might see him tortured. They had tied strips of bark, smeared with pitch,
about his naked body. When he saw the condition of his Superior, he
could not hide his agitation, and called out to him, with a broken voice,
in the words of Saint Paul, "We are made a spectacle to the world,
to angels, and to men." Then he threw himself at Brébeuf's feet; upon
which the Iroquois seized him, made him fast to a stake, and set fire to
the bark that enveloped him. As the flame rose, he threw his arms upward,
with a shriek of supplication to Heaven. Next they hung around Brébeuf's
neck a collar made of hatchets heated red hot; but the indomitable priest
stood like a rock. A Huron in the crowd, who had been a convert of the
mission, but was now an Iroquois by adoption, called out, with the malice
of a renegade, to pour hot water on their heads, since they had poured so
much cold water on those of others. The kettle was accordingly slung,
and the water boiled and poured slowly on the heads of the two
missionaries. "We baptize you," they cried, "that you may be happy in
Heaven; for nobody can be saved without a good baptism." Brébeuf would
not flinch; and, in a rage, they cut strips of flesh from his limbs,
and devoured them before his eyes. Other renegade Hurons called out to
him, "You told us, that, the more one suffers on earth, the happier he is
in Heaven. We wish to make you happy; we torment you because we love
you; and you ought to thank us for it." After a succession of other
revolting tortures, they scalped him; when, seeing him nearly dead,
they laid open his breast, and came in a crowd to drink the blood of so
valiant an enemy, thinking to imbibe with it some portion of his courage.
A chief then tore out his heart, and devoured it.

Thus died Jean de Brébeuf, the founder of the Huron mission, its truest
hero, and its greatest martyr. He came of a noble race,--the same,
it is said, from which sprang the English Earls of Arundel; but never had
the mailed barons of his line confronted a fate so appalling, with so
prodigious a constancy. To the last he refused to flinch, and "his death
was the astonishment of his murderers." [ Charlevoix, I. 204. Alegambe
uses a similar expression. ] In him an enthusiastic devotion was grafted
on an heroic nature. His bodily endowments were as remarkable as the
temper of his mind. His manly proportions, his strength, and his
endurance, which incessant fasts and penances could not undermine,
had always won for him the respect of the Indians, no less than a courage
unconscious of fear, and yet redeemed from rashness by a cool and
vigorous judgment; for, extravagant as were the chimeras which fed the
fires of his zeal, they were consistent with the soberest good sense on
matters of practical bearing.

Lalemant, physically weak from childhood, and slender almost to
emaciation, was constitutionally unequal to a display of fortitude like
that of his colleague. When Brébeuf died, he was led back to the house
whence he had been taken, and tortured there all night, until, in the
morning, one of the Iroquois, growing tired of the protracted
entertainment, killed him with a hatchet. [ 1 ] It was said, that,
at times, he seemed beside himself; then, rallying, with hands uplifted,
he offered his sufferings to Heaven as a sacrifice. His robust companion
had lived less than four hours under the torture, while he survived it
for nearly seventeen. Perhaps the Titanic effort of will with which
Brébeuf repressed all show of suffering conspired with the Iroquois
knives and firebrands to exhaust his vitality; perhaps his tormentors,
enraged at his fortitude, forgot their subtlety, and struck too near the

[ 1 "We saw no part of his body," says Ragueneau, "from head to foot,
which was not burned, even to his eyes, in the sockets of which these
wretches had placed live coals."--Relation des Hurons, 1649, 15.

Lalemant was a Parisian, and his family belonged to the class of _gens de
robe_, or hereditary practitioners of the law. He was thirty-nine years
of age. His physical weakness is spoken of by several of those who knew
him. Marie de l'Incarnation says, "C'était l'homme le plus faible et le
plus délicat qu'on eût pu voir." Both Bressani and Ragueneau are equally
emphatic on this point. ]

The bodies of the two missionaries were carried to Sainte Marie, and
buried in the cemetery there; but the skull of Brébeuf was preserved as a
relic. His family sent from France a silver bust of their martyred
kinsman, in the base of which was a recess to contain the skull; and,
to this day, the bust and the relic within are preserved with pious care
by the nuns of the Hôtel-Dieu at Quebec.

[ Photographs of the bust are before me. Various relics of the two
missionaries were preserved; and some of them may still be seen in
Canadian monastic establishments. The following extract from a letter of
Marie de l'Incarnation to her son, written from Quebec in October of this
year, 1649, is curious.

"Madame our foundress (Madame de la Peltrie) sends you relics of our holy
martyrs; but she does it secretly, since the reverend Fathers would not
give us any, for fear that we should send them to France: but, as she is
not bound by vows, and as the very persons who went for the bodies have
given relics of them to her in secret, I begged her to send you some of
them, which she has done very gladly, from the respect she has for you."
She adds, in the same letter, "Our Lord having revealed to him (Brébeuf)
the time of his martyrdom three days before it happened, he went, full of
joy, to find the other Fathers; who, seeing him in extraordinary spirits,
caused him, by an inspiration of God, to be bled; after which time
surgeon dried his blood, through a presentiment of what was to take place,
lest he should be treated like Father Daniel, who, eight months before,
had been so reduced to ashes that no remains of his body could be found."

Brébeuf had once been ordered by the Father Superior to write down the
visions, revelations, and inward experiences with which he was favored,--
"at least," says Ragueneau, "those which he could easily remember,
for their multitude was too great for the whole to be recalled."--"I find
nothing," he adds, "more frequent in this memoir than the expression of
his desire to die for Jesus Christ: 'Sentio me vehementer impelli ad
moriendum pro Christo.' . . . In fine, wishing to make himself a
holocaust and a victim consecrated to death, and holily to anticipate the
happiness of martyrdom which awaited him, he bound himself by a vow to
Christ, which he conceived in these terms"; and Ragueneau gives the vow
in the original Latin. It binds him never to refuse "the grace of
martyrdom, if at any day, Thou shouldst, in Thy infinite pity, offer it
to me, Thy unworthy servant;". . . "and when I shall have received the
stroke of death, I bind myself to accept it at Thy hand, with all the
contentment and joy of my heart."

Some of his innumerable visions have been already mentioned. (See ante,
chapter 9 (page 108).) Tanner, Societas Militans, gives various others,--
as, for example, that he once beheld a mountain covered thick with saints,
but above all with virgins, while the Queen of Virgins sat at the top in
a blaze of glory. In 1637, when the whole country was enraged against
the Jesuits, and above all against Brébeuf, as sorcerers who had caused
the pest, Ragueneau tells us that "a troop of demons appeared before him
divers times,--sometimes like men in a fury, sometimes like frightful
monsters, bears, lions, or wild horses, trying to rush upon him. These
spectres excited in him neither horror nor fear. He said to them,
'Do to me whatever God permits you; for without His will not one hair
will fall from my head.' And at these words all the demons vanished in a
moment."--Relation des Hurons, 1649, 20. Compare the long notice in
Alegambe, Mortes Illustres, 644.

In Ragueneau's notice of Brébeuf, as in all other notices of deceased
missionaries in the Relations, the saintly qualities alone are brought
forward, as obedience, humility, etc.; but wherever Brébeuf himself
appears in the course of those voluminous records, he always brings with
him an impression of power.

We are told that, punning on his own name, he used to say that he was an
ox, fit only to bear burdens. This sort of humility may pass for what it
is worth; but it must be remembered, that there is a kind of acting in
which the actor firmly believes in the part he is playing. As for the
obedience, it was as genuine as that of a well-disciplined soldier,
and incomparably more profound. In the case of the Canadian Jesuits,
posterity owes to this, their favorite virtue, the record of numerous
visions, inward voices, and the like miracles, which the object of these
favors set down on paper, at the command of his Superior; while,
otherwise, humility would have concealed them forever. The truth is,
that with some of these missionaries, one may throw off trash and
nonsense by the cart-load, and find under it all a solid nucleus of saint
and hero. ]


1649, 1650.



All was over with the Hurons. The death-knell of their nation had
struck. Without a leader, without organization, without union, crazed
with fright and paralyzed with misery, they yielded to their doom without
a blow. Their only thought was flight. Within two weeks after the
disasters of St. Ignace and St. Louis, fifteen Huron towns were abandoned,
and the greater number burned, lest they should give shelter to the
Iroquois. The last year's harvest had been scanty; the fugitives had no
food, and they left behind them the fields in which was their only hope
of obtaining it. In bands, large or small, some roamed northward and
eastward, through the half-thawed wilderness; some hid themselves on the
rocks or islands of Lake Huron; some sought an asylum among the Tobacco
Nation; a few joined the Neutrals on the north of Lake Erie. The Hurons,
as a nation, ceased to exist.

[ Chaumonot, who was at Ossossané at the time of the Iroquois invasion,
gives a vivid picture of the panic and lamentation which followed the
news of the destruction of the Huron warriors at St. Louis, and of the
flight of the inhabitants to the country of the Tobacco Nation.--Vie,
62. ]

Hitherto Sainte Marie had been covered by large fortified towns which lay
between it and the Iroquois; but these were all destroyed, some by the
enemy and some by their own people, and the Jesuits were left alone to
bear the brunt of the next attack. There was, moreover, no reason for
their remaining. Sainte Marie had been built as a basis for the
missions; but its occupation was gone: the flock had fled from the
shepherds, and its existence had no longer an object. If the priests
stayed to be butchered, they would perish, not as martyrs, but as fools.
The necessity was as clear as it was bitter. All their toil must come to
nought. Sainte Marie must be abandoned. They confess the pang which the
resolution cost them; but, pursues the Father Superior, "since the birth
of Christianity, the Faith has nowhere been planted except in the midst
of sufferings and crosses. Thus this desolation consoles us; and in the
midst of persecution, in the extremity of the evils which assail us and
the greater evils which threaten us, we are all filled with joy: for our
hearts tell us that God has never had a more tender love for us than now."
[ Ragueneau. Relation des Hurons, 1649, 26. ]

Several of the priests set out to follow and console the scattered bands
of fugitive Hurons. One embarked in a canoe, and coasted the dreary
shores of Lake Huron northward, among the wild labyrinth of rocks and
islets, whither his scared flock had fled for refuge; another betook
himself to the forest with a band of half-famished proselytes, and shared
their miserable rovings through the thickets and among the mountains.
Those who remained took counsel together at Sainte Marie. Whither should
they go, and where should be the new seat of the mission? They made
choice of the Grand Manitoulin Island, called by them Isle Sainte Marie,
and by the Hurons Ekaentoton. It lay near the northern shores of Lake
Huron, and by its position would give a ready access to numberless
Algonquin tribes along the borders of all these inland seas. Moreover,
it would bring the priests and their flock nearer to the French
settlements, by the route of the Ottawa, whenever the Iroquois should
cease to infest that river. The fishing, too, was good; and some of the
priests, who knew the island well, made a favorable report of the soil.
Thither, therefore, they had resolved to transplant the mission, when
twelve Huron chiefs arrived, and asked for an interview with the Father
Superior and his fellow Jesuits. The conference lasted three hours.
The deputies declared that many of the scattered Hurons had determined to
reunite, and form a settlement on a neighboring island of the lake,
called by the Jesuits Isle St. Joseph; that they needed the aid of the
Fathers; that without them they were helpless, but with them they could
hold their ground and repel the attacks of the Iroquois. They urged
their plea in language which Ragueneau describes as pathetic and
eloquent; and, to confirm their words, they gave him ten large collars of
wampum, saying that these were the voices of their wives and children.
They gained their point. The Jesuits abandoned their former plan,
and promised to join the Hurons on Isle St. Joseph.

They had built a boat, or small vessel, and in this they embarked such of
their stores as it would hold. The greater part were placed on a large
raft made for the purpose, like one of the rafts of timber which every
summer float down the St. Lawrence and the Ottawa. Here was their stock
of corn,--in part the produce of their own fields, and in part bought
from the Hurons in former years of plenty,--pictures, vestments, sacred
vessels and images, weapons, ammunition, tools, goods for barter with the
Indians, cattle, swine, and poultry. [ Some of these were killed for
food after reaching the island. In March following, they had ten fowls,
a pair of swine, two bulls and two cows, kept for breeding.--Lettre de
Ragueneau au Général de la Compagnie de Jésus, St. Joseph, 13 Mars,
1650. ] Sainte Marie was stripped of everything that could be moved.
Then, lest it should harbor the Iroquois, they set it on fire, and saw
consumed in an hour the results of nine or ten years of toil. It was
near sunset, on the fourteenth of June. [ 1 ] The houseless band
descended to the mouth of the Wye, went on board their raft, pushed it
from the shore, and, with sweeps and oars, urged it on its way all night.
The lake was calm and the weather fair; but it crept so slowly over the
water that several days elapsed before they reached their destination,
about twenty miles distant.

[ 1 Ragueneau, Relation des Hurons, 1650, 3. In the Relation of the
preceding year he gives the fifteenth of May as the date,--evidently an

"Nous sortismes de ces terres de Promission qui estoient nostre Paradis,
et où la mort nous eust esté mille fois plus douce que ne sera la vie en
quelque lieu que nous puissions estre. Mais il faut suiure Dieu, et il
faut aimer ses conduites, quelque opposées qu'elles paroissent à nos
desirs, à nos plus saintes esperances et aux plus tendres amours de
nostre cœur."--Lettre de Ragueneau au P. Provincial à Paris, in Relation
des Hurons, 1650, 1.

"Mais il fallut, à tous tant que nous estions, quitter cette ancienne
demeure de saincte Marie; ces edifices, qui quoy que pauures,
paroissoient des chefs-d'œuure de l'art aux yeux de nos pauures Sauuages;
ces terres cultiuées, qui nous promettoient vne riche moisson. Il nous
fallut abandonner ce lieu, que ie puis appeller nostre seconde Patrie et
nos delices innocentes, puis qu'il auoit esté le berceau de ce
Christianisme, qu'il estoit le temple de Dieu et la maison des seruiteurs
de Iesus-Christ; et crainte que nos ennemis trop impies, ne profanassent
ce lieu de saincteté et n'en prissent leur auantage, nous y mismes le feu
nous mesmes, et nous vismes brusler à nos yeux, en moins d'vne heure,
nos trauaux de neuf et de dix ans."--Ragueneau, Relation des Hurons, 1650,
2, 3. ]

Near the entrance of Matchedash Bay lie the three islands now known as
Faith, Hope, and Charity. Of these, Charity or Christian Island, called
Ahoendoé by the Hurons and St. Joseph by the Jesuits, is by far the
largest. It is six or eight miles wide; and when the Hurons sought
refuge here, it was densely covered with the primeval forest. The
priests landed with their men, some forty soldiers, laborers, and others,
and found about three hundred Huron families bivouacked in the woods.
Here were wigwams and sheds of bark, and smoky kettles slung over fires,
each on its tripod of poles, while around lay groups of famished wretches,
with dark, haggard visages and uncombed hair, in every posture of
despondency and woe. They had not been wholly idle; for they had made
some rough clearings, and planted a little corn. The arrival of the
Jesuits gave them new hope; and, weakened as they were with famine,
they set themselves to the task of hewing and burning down the forest,
making bark houses, and planting palisades. The priests, on their part,
chose a favorable spot, and began to clear the ground and mark out the
lines of a fort. Their men--the greater part serving without pay--
labored with admirable spirit, and before winter had built a square,
bastioned fort of solid masonry, with a deep ditch, and walls about
twelve feet high. Within were a small chapel, houses for lodging,
and a well, which, with the ruins of the walls, may still be seen on the
south-eastern shore of the island, a hundred feet from the water. [ 1 ]
Detached redoubts were also built near at hand, where French musketeers
could aid in defending the adjacent Huron village. [ Compare Martin,
Introduction to Bressani, Relation Abrégée, 38. ] Though the island was
called St. Joseph, the fort, like that on the Wye, received the name of
Sainte Marie. Jesuit devotion scattered these names broadcast over all
the field of their labors.

[ 1 The measurement between the angles of the two southern bastions is
123 feet, and that of the curtain wall connecting these bastions is 78
feet. Some curious relics have been found in the fort,--among others,
a steel mill for making wafers for the Host. It was found in 1848,
in a remarkable state of preservation, and is now in an English museum,
having been bought on the spot by an amateur. As at Sainte Marie on the
Wye, the remains are in perfect conformity with the narratives and
letters of the priests. ]

The island, thanks to the vigilance of the French, escaped attack
throughout the summer; but Iroquois scalping-parties ranged the
neighboring shores, killing stragglers and keeping the Hurons in
perpetual alarm. As winter drew near, great numbers, who, trembling and
by stealth, had gathered a miserable subsistence among the northern
forests and islands, rejoined their countrymen at St. Joseph, until six
or eight thousand expatriated wretches were gathered here under the
protection of the French fort. They were housed in a hundred or more
bark dwellings, each containing eight or ten families. [ Ragueneau,
Relation des Hurons, 1650, 3, 4. He reckons eight persons to a family. ]
Here were widows without children, and children without parents; for
famine and the Iroquois had proved more deadly enemies than the
pestilence which a few years before had wasted their towns. [ 1 ]
Of this multitude but few had strength enough to labor, scarcely any had
made provision for the winter, and numbers were already perishing from
want, dragging themselves from house to house, like living skeletons.
The priests had spared no effort to meet the demands upon their charity.
They sent men during the autumn to buy smoked fish from the Northern
Algonquins, and employed Indians to gather acorns in the woods. Of this
miserable food they succeeded in collecting five or six hundred bushels.
To diminish its bitterness, the Indians boiled it with ashes, or the
priests served it out to them pounded, and mixed with corn. [ Eight
hundred sacks of this mixture were given to the Hurons during the
winter.--Bressani, Relation Abrégée, 283. ]

[ 1 "Ie voudrois pouuoir representer à toutes les personnes
affectionnées à nos Hurons, l'état pitoyable auquel ils sont reduits;
. . . comment seroit-il possible que ces imitateurs de Iésus Christ ne
fussent émeus à pitié à la veuë des centaines et centaines de veuues dont
non seulement les enfans, mais quasi les parens ont esté outrageusement
ou tuez, ou emmenez captifs, et puis inhumainement bruslez, cuits,
déchirez et deuorez des ennemis."--Lettre de Chaumonot à Lalemant,
Supérieur à Quebec, Isle de St. Joseph, 1 Juin, 1649.

"Vne mère s'est veuë, n'ayant que ses deux mamelles, mais sans suc et
sans laict, qui toutefois estoit l'vnique chose qu'elle eust peu
presenter à trois ou quatre enfans qui pleuroient y estans attachez.
Elle les voyoit mourir entre ses bras, les vns apres les autres, et
n'auoit pas mesme les forces de les pousser dans le tombeau. Elle
mouroit sous cette charge, et en mourant elle disoit: Ouy, Mon Dieu,
vous estes le maistre de nos vies; nous mourrons puisque vous le voulez;
voila qui est bien que nous mourrions Chrestiens. I'estois damnée,
et mes enfans auec moy, si nous ne fussions morts miserables; ils ont
receu le sainct Baptesme, et ie croy fermement que mourans tous de
compagnie, nous ressusciterons tous ensemble."--Ragueneau, Relation des
Hurons, 1650, 5. ]

As winter advanced, the Huron houses became a frightful spectacle.
Their inmates were dying by scores daily. The priests and their men
buried the bodies, and the Indians dug them from the earth or the snow
and fed on them, sometimes in secret and sometimes openly; although,
notwithstanding their superstitious feasts on the bodies of their enemies,
their repugnance and horror were extreme at the thought of devouring
those of relatives and friends. [ 1 ] An epidemic presently appeared,
to aid the work of famine. Before spring, about half of their number
were dead.

[ 1 "Ce fut alors que nous fusmes contraints de voir des squeletes
mourantes, qui soustenoient vne vie miserable, mangeant iusqu'aux ordures
et les rebuts de la nature. Le gland estoit à la pluspart, ce que
seroient en France les mets les plus exquis. Les charognes mesme
deterrées, les restes des Renards et des Chiens ne faisoient point
horreur, et se mangeoient, quoy qu'en cachete: car quoy que les Hurons,
auant que la foy leur eust donné plus de lumiere qu'ils n'en auoient dans
l'infidelité, ne creussent pas commettre aucun peché de manger leurs
ennemis, aussi peu qu'il y en a de les tuer, toutefois ie puis dire auec
verité, qu'ils n'ont pas moins d'horreur de manger de leurs compatriotes,
qu'on peut auoir en France de manger de la chair humaine. Mais la
necessité n'a plus de loy, et des dents fameliques ne discernent plus ce
qu'elles mangent. Les mères se sont repeuës de leurs enfans, des freres
de leurs freres, et des enfans ne reconnoissoient plus en vn cadaure mort,
celuy lequel lors qu'il viuoit, ils appelloient leur Pere."--Ragueneau,
Relation des Hurons, 1650, 4. Compare Bressani, Relation Abrégée, 283. ]

Meanwhile, though the cold was intense and the snow several feet deep,
yet not an hour was free from the danger of the Iroquois; and, from
sunset to daybreak, under the cold moon or in the driving snow-storm,
the French sentries walked their rounds along the ramparts.

The priests rose before dawn, and spent the time till sunrise in their
private devotions. Then the bell of their chapel rang, and the Indians
came in crowds at the call; for misery had softened their hearts, and
nearly all on the island were now Christian. There was a mass, followed
by a prayer and a few words of exhortation; then the hearers dispersed to
make room for others. Thus the little chapel was filled ten or twelve
times, until all had had their turn. Meanwhile other priests were
hearing confessions and giving advice and encouragement in private,
according to the needs of each applicant. This lasted till nine o'clock,
when all the Indians returned to their village, and the priests presently
followed, to give what assistance they could. Their cassocks were worn
out, and they were dressed chiefly in skins. [ Lettre de Ragueneau au
Général de la Compagnie de Jésus, Isle St. Joseph, 13 Mars, 1650. ]
They visited the Indian houses, and gave to those whose necessities were
most urgent small scraps of hide, severally stamped with a particular
mark, and entitling the recipients, on presenting them at the fort,
to a few acorns, a small quantity of boiled maize, or a fragment of
smoked fish, according to the stamp on the leather ticket of each.
Two hours before sunset the bell of the chapel again rang, and the
religious exercises of the morning were repeated. [ Ragueneau, Relation
des Hurons, 1650, 6, 7. ]

Thus this miserable winter wore away, till the opening spring brought new
fears and new necessities.

[ Concerning the retreat of the Hurons to Isle St. Joseph, the principal
authorities are the Relations of 1649 and 1650, which are ample in detail,
and written with an excellent simplicity and modesty; the Relation
Abrégée of Bressani; the reports of the Father Superior to the General of
the Jesuits at Rome; the manuscript of 1652, entitled Mémoires touchant
la Mort et les Vertus des Pères, etc.; the unpublished letters of
Garnier; and a letter of Chaumonot, written on the spot, and preserved in
the Relations. ]





Late in the preceding autumn the Iroquois had taken the war-path in
force. At the end of November, two escaped prisoners came to Isle
St. Joseph with the news that a band of three hundred warriors was
hovering in the Huron forests, doubtful whether to invade the island or
to attack the towns of the Tobacco Nation in the valleys of the Blue
Mountains. The Father Superior, Ragueneau, sent a runner thither in all
haste, to warn the inhabitants of their danger.

There were at this time two missions in the Tobacco Nation, St. Jean and
St. Matthias, [ 1 ]--the latter under the charge of the Jesuits Garreau
and Grelon, and the former under that of Garnier and Chabanel. St. Jean,
the principal seat of the mission of the same name, was a town of five or
six hundred families. Its population was, moreover, greatly augmented by
the bands of fugitive Hurons who had taken refuge there. When the
warriors were warned by Ragueneau's messenger of a probable attack from
the Iroquois, they were far from being daunted, but, confiding in their
numbers, awaited the enemy in one of those fits of valor which
characterize the unstable courage of the savage. At St. Jean all was
paint, feathers, and uproar,--singing, dancing, howling, and stamping.
Quivers were filled, knives whetted, and tomahawks sharpened; but when,
after two days of eager expectancy, the enemy did not appear, the
warriors lost patience. Thinking, and probably with reason, that the
Iroquois were afraid of them, they resolved to sally forth, and take the
offensive. With yelps and whoops they defiled into the forest, where the
branches were gray and bare, and the ground thickly covered with snow.
They pushed on rapidly till the following day, but could not discover
their wary enemy, who had made a wide circuit, and was approaching the
town from another quarter. By ill luck, the Iroquois captured a Tobacco
Indian and his squaw, straggling in the forest not far from St. Jean; and
the two prisoners, to propitiate them, told them the defenceless
condition of the place, where none remained but women, children, and old
men. The delighted Iroquois no longer hesitated, but silently and
swiftly pushed on towards the town.

[ 1 The Indian name of St. Jean was Etarita; and that of St. Matthias,
Ekarenniondi. ]

It was two o'clock in the afternoon of the seventh of December.
[ Bressani, Relation Abrégée, 264. ] Chabanel had left the place a day
or two before, in obedience to a message from Ragueneau, and Garnier was
here alone. He was making his rounds among the houses, visiting the sick
and instructing his converts, when the horrible din of the war-whoop rose
from the borders of the clearing, and, on the instant, the town was mad
with terror. Children and girls rushed to and fro, blind with fright;
women snatched their infants, and fled they knew not whither. Garnier
ran to his chapel, where a few of his converts had sought asylum.
He gave them his benediction, exhorted them to hold fast to the Faith,
and bade them fly while there was yet time. For himself, he hastened
back to the houses, running from one to another, and giving absolution or
baptism to all whom he found. An Iroquois met him, shot him with three
balls through the body and thigh, tore off his cassock, and rushed on in
pursuit of the fugitives. Garnier lay for a moment on the ground,
as if stunned; then, recovering his senses, he was seen to rise into a
kneeling posture. At a little distance from him lay a Huron, mortally
wounded, but still showing signs of life. With the Heaven that awaited
him glowing before his fading vision, the priest dragged himself towards
the dying Indian, to give him absolution; but his strength failed,
and he fell again to the earth. He rose once more, and again crept
forward, when a party of Iroquois rushed upon him, split his head with
two blows of a hatchet, stripped him, and left his body on the ground.
[ 1 ] At this time the whole town was on fire. The invaders, fearing
that the absent warriors might return and take their revenge, hastened to
finish their work, scattered firebrands every where, and threw children
alive into the burning houses. They killed many of the fugitives,
captured many more, and then made a hasty retreat through the forest with
their prisoners, butchering such of them as lagged on the way. St. Jean
lay a waste of smoking ruins thickly strewn with blackened corpses of the

[ The above particulars of Garnier's death rest on the evidence of a
Christian Huron woman, named Marthe, who saw him shot down, and also saw
his attempt to reach the dying Indian. She was herself struck down
immediately after with a war-club, but remained alive, and escaped in the
confusion. She died three months later, at Isle St. Joseph, from the
effects of the injuries she had received, after reaffirming the truth of
her story to Ragueneau, who was with her, and who questioned her on the
subject. (Mémoires touchant la Mort et les Vertus des Pères Garnier,
etc., MS.). Ragueneau also speaks of her in Relation des Hurons, 1650, 9.
--The priests Grelon and Garreau found the body stripped naked, with
three gunshot wounds in the abdomen and thigh, and two deep hatchet
wounds in the head. ]

Towards evening, parties of fugitives reached St. Matthias, with tidings
of the catastrophe. The town was wild with alarm, and all stood on the
watch, in expectation of an attack; but when, in the morning, scouts came
in and reported the retreat of the Iroquois, Garreau and Grelon set out
with a party of converts to visit the scene of havoc. For a long time
they looked in vain for the body of Garnier; but at length they found him
lying where he had fallen,--so scorched and disfigured, that he was
recognized with difficulty. The two priests wrapped his body in a part
of their own clothing; the Indian converts dug a grave on the spot where
his church had stood; and here they buried him. Thus, at the age of
forty-four, died Charles Garnier, the favorite child of wealthy and noble
parents, nursed in Parisian luxury and ease, then living and dying,
a more than willing exile, amid the hardships and horrors of the Huron
wilderness. His life and his death are his best eulogy. Brébeuf was the
lion of the Huron mission, and Garnier was the lamb; but the lamb was as
fearless as the lion.

[ Garnier's devotion to the mission was absolute. He took little or no
interest in the news from France, which, at intervals of from one to
three years, found its way to the Huron towns. His companion Bressani
says, that he would walk thirty or forty miles in the hottest summer day,
to baptize some dying Indian, when the country was infested by the enemy.
On similar errands, he would sometimes pass the night alone in the forest
in the depth of winter. He was anxious to fall into the hands of the
Iroquois, that he might preach the Faith to them even out of the midst of
the fire. In one of his unpublished letters he writes, "Praised be our
Lord, who punishes me for my sins by depriving me of this crown" (the
crown of martyrdom). After the death of Brébeuf and Lalemant, he writes
to his brother--

"Hélas! Mon cher frère, si ma conscience ne me convainquait et ne me
confondait de mon infidélité au service de notre bon maître, je pourrais
espérer quelque faveur approchante de celles qu'il a faites aux bien-heureux
martyrs avec qui j'avais le bien de converser souvent, étant dans les mêmes
occasions et dangers qu'ils étaient, mais sa justice me fait craindre que
je ne demeure toujours indigne d'une telle couronne."

He contented himself with the most wretched fare during the last years of
famine, living in good measure on roots and acorns; "although," says
Ragueneau, "he had been the cherished son of a rich and noble house,
on whom all the affection of his father had centred, and who had been
nourished on food very different from that of swine."--Relation des
Hurons, 1650, 12.

For his character, see Ragueneau, Bressani, Tanner, and Alegambe, who
devotes many pages to the description of his religious traits; but the
complexion of his mind is best reflected in his private letters. ]

When, on the following morning, the warriors of St. Jean returned from
their rash and bootless sally, and saw the ashes of their desolated homes
and the ghastly relics of their murdered families, they seated themselves
amid the ruin, silent and motionless as statues of bronze, with heads
bowed down and eyes fixed on the ground. Thus they remained through half
the day. Tears and wailing were for women; this was the mourning of

Garnier's colleague, Chabanel, had been recalled from St. Jean by an
order from the Father Superior, who thought it needless to expose the
life of more than one priest in a position of so much danger. He stopped
on his way at St. Matthias, and on the morning of the seventh of December,
the day of the attack, left that town with seven or eight Christian
Hurons. The journey was rough and difficult. They proceeded through the
forest about eighteen miles, and then encamped in the snow. The Indians
fell asleep; but Chabanel, from an apprehension of danger, or some other
cause, remained awake. About midnight he heard a strange sound in the
distance,--a confusion of fierce voices, mingled with songs and outcries.
It was the Iroquois on their retreat with their prisoners, some of whom
were defiantly singing their war-songs, after the Indian custom.
Chabanel waked his companions, who instantly took flight. He tried to
follow, but could not keep pace with the light-footed savages, who
returned to St. Matthias, and told what had occurred. They said, however,
that Chabanel had left them and taken an opposite direction, in order to
reach Isle St. Joseph. His brother priests were for some time ignorant
of what had befallen him. At length a Huron Indian, who had been
converted, but afterward apostatized, gave out that he had met him in the
forest, and aided him with his canoe to cross a river which lay in his
path. Some supposed that he had lost his way, and died of cold and
hunger; but others were of a different opinion. Their suspicion was
confirmed some time afterwards by the renegade Huron, who confessed that
he had killed Chabanel and thrown his body into the river, after robbing
him of his clothes, his hat, the blanket or mantle which was strapped to
his shoulders, and the bag in which he carried his books and papers.
He declared that his motive was hatred of the Faith, which had caused the
ruin of the Hurons. [ Mémoires touchant la Mort et les Vertus des Pères,
etc., MS. ] The priest had prepared himself for a worse fate. Before
leaving Sainte Marie on the Wye, to go to his post in the Tobacco Nation,
he had written to his brother to regard him as a victim destined to the
fires of the Iroquois. [ Abrégé de la Vie du P. Noël Chabanel, MS. ]
He added, that, though he was naturally timid, he was now wholly
indifferent to danger; and he expressed the belief that only a superhuman
power could have wrought such a change in him.

[ "Ie suis fort apprehensif de mon naturel; toutefois, maintenant que ie
vay au plus grand danger et qu'il me semble que la mort n'est pas
esloignée, ie ne sens plus de crainte. Cette disposition ne vient pas de
moy."--Relation des Hurons, 1650, 18.

The following is the vow made by Chabanel, at a time when his disgust at
the Indian mode of life beset him with temptations to ask to be recalled
from the mission. It is translated from the Latin original:--

"My Lord Jesus Christ, who, in the admirable disposition of thy paternal
providence, hast willed that I, although most unworthy, should be a
co-laborer with the holy Apostles in this vineyard of the Hurons,--I,
Noël Chabanel, impelled by the desire of fulfilling thy holy will in
advancing the conversion of the savages of this land to thy faith, do vow,
in the presence of the most holy sacrament of thy precious body and blood,
which is God's tabernacle among men, to remain perpetually attached to
this mission of the Hurons, understanding all things according to the
interpretation and disposal of the Superiors of the Society of Jesus.
Therefore I entreat thee to receive me as the perpetual servant of this
mission, and to render me worthy of so sublime a ministry. Amen.
This twentieth day of June, 1647." ]

Garreau and Grelon, in their mission of St. Matthias, were exposed to
other dangers than those of the Iroquois. A report was spread, not only
that they were magicians, but that they had a secret understanding with
the enemy. A nocturnal council was called, and their death was decreed.
In the morning, a furious crowd gathered before a lodge which they were
about to enter, screeching and yelling after the manner of Indians when
they compel a prisoner to run the gantlet. The two priests, giving no
sign of fear, passed through the crowd and entered the lodge unharmed.
Hatchets were brandished over them, but no one would be the first to
strike. Their converts were amazed at their escape, and they themselves
ascribed it to the interposition of a protecting Providence. The Huron
missionaries were doubly in danger,--not more from the Iroquois than from
the blind rage of those who should have been their friends.

[ Ragueneau, Relation des Hurons, 1650, 20.

One of these two missionaries, Garreau, was afterwards killed by the
Iroquois, who shot him through the spine, in 1656, near Montreal.--
De Quen, Relation, 1656, 41. ]





As spring approached, the starving multitude on Isle St. Joseph grew
reckless with hunger. Along the main shore, in spots where the sun lay
warm, the spring fisheries had already begun, and the melting snow was
uncovering the acorns in the woods. There was danger everywhere, for
bands of Iroquois were again on the track of their prey. [ 1 ] The
miserable Hurons, gnawed with inexorable famine, stood in the dilemma of
a deadly peril and an assured death. They chose the former; and, early
in March, began to leave their island and cross to the main-land, to
gather what sustenance they could. The ice was still thick, but the
advancing season had softened it; and, as a body of them were crossing,
it broke under their feet. Some were drowned; while others dragged
themselves out, drenched and pierced with cold, to die miserably on the
frozen lake, before they could reach a shelter. Other parties, more
fortunate, gained the shore safely, and began their fishing, divided into
companies of from eight or ten to a hundred persons. But the Iroquois
were in wait for them. A large band of warriors had already made their
way, through ice and snow, from their towns in Central New York. They
surprised the Huron fishermen, surrounded them, and cut them in pieces
without resistance,--tracking out the various parties of their victims,
and hunting down fugitives with such persistency and skill, that, of all
who had gone over to the main, the Jesuits knew of but one who escaped.
[ 2 ]

[ 1 "Mais le Printemps estant venu, les Iroquois nous furent encore plus
cruels; et ce sont eux qui vrayement ont ruiné toutes nos esperances,
et qui ont fait vn lieu d'horreur, vne terre de sang et de carnage,
vn theatre de cruauté et vn sepulchre de carcasses décharnées par les
langueurs d'vne longue famine, d'vn païs de benediction, d'vne terre de
Sainteté et d'vn lieu qui n'auoit plus rien de barbare, depuis que le
sang respandu pour son amour auoit rendu tout son peuple Chrestien."--
Ragueneau, Relation des Hurons, 1650, 23. ]

[ 2 "Le iour de l'Annonciation, vingt-cinquiesme de Mars, vne armée
d'Iroquois ayans marché prez de deux cents lieuës de païs, à trauers les
glaces et les neiges, trauersans les montagnes et les forests pleines
d'horreur, surprirent au commencement de la nuit le camp de nos
Chrestiens, et en firent vne cruelle boucherie. Il sembloit que le Ciel
conduisit toutes leurs demarches et qu'ils eurent vn Ange pour guide: car
ils diuiserent leurs troupes auec tant de bon-heur, qu'ils trouuerent en
moins de deux iours, toutes les bandes de nos Chrestiens qui estoient
dispersées ça et là, esloignées les vnes des autres de six, sept et huit
lieuës, cent personnes en vn lieu, en vn autre cinquante; et mesme il y
auoit quelques familles solitaires, qui s'estoient escartées en des lieux
moins connus et hors de tout chemin. Chose estrange! de tout ce monde
dissipé, vn seul homme s'eschappa, qui vint nous en apporter les
nouuelles."--Ragueneau, Relation des Hurons, 1650, 23, 24. ]

"My pen," writes Ragueneau, "has no ink black enough to describe the fury
of the Iroquois." Still the goadings of famine were relentless and
irresistible. "It is said," adds the Father Superior, "that hunger will
drive wolves from the forest. So, too, our starving Hurons were driven
out of a town which had become an abode of horror. It was the end of
Lent. Alas, if these poor Christians could have had but acorns and water
to keep their fast upon! On Easter Day we caused them to make a general
confession. On the following morning they went away, leaving us all
their little possessions; and most of them declared publicly that they
made us their heirs, knowing well that they were near their end. And,
in fact, only a few days passed before we heard of the disaster which we
had foreseen. These poor people fell into ambuscades of our Iroquois
enemies. Some were killed on the spot; some were dragged into captivity;
women and children were burned. A few made their escape, and spread
dismay and panic everywhere. A week after, another band was overtaken by
the same fate. Go where they would, they met with slaughter on all
sides. Famine pursued them, or they encountered an enemy more cruel than
cruelty itself; and, to crown their misery, they heard that two great
armies of Iroquois were on the way to exterminate them. . . . Despair
was universal." [ Ragueneau, Relation des Hurons, 1650, 24. ]

The Jesuits at St. Joseph knew not what course to take. The doom of
their flock seemed inevitable. When dismay and despondency were at their
height, two of the principal Huron chiefs came to the fort, and asked an
interview with Ragueneau and his companions. They told them that the
Indians had held a council the night before, and resolved to abandon the
island. Some would disperse in the most remote and inaccessible forests;
others would take refuge in a distant spot, apparently the Grand
Manitoulin Island; others would try to reach the Andastes; and others
would seek safety in adoption and incorporation with the Iroquois

"Take courage, brother," continued one of the chiefs, addressing
Ragueneau. "You can save us, if you will but resolve on a bold step.
Choose a place where you can gather us together, and prevent this
dispersion of our people. Turn your eyes towards Quebec, and transport
thither what is left of this ruined country. Do not wait till war and
famine have destroyed us to the last man. We are in your hands. Death
has taken from you more than ten thousand of us. If you wait longer,
not one will remain alive; and then you will be sorry that you did not
save those whom you might have snatched from danger, and who showed you
the means of doing so. If you do as we wish, we will form a church under
the protection of the fort at Quebec. Our faith will not be
extinguished. The examples of the French and the Algonquins will
encourage us in our duty, and their charity will relieve some of our
misery. At least, we shall sometimes find a morsel of bread for our
children, who so long have had nothing but bitter roots and acorns to
keep them alive."

[ Ragueneau, Relation des Hurons, 1650, 25. It appears from the
MS. Journal des Supérieurs des Jésuites, that a plan of bringing the
remnant of the Hurons to Quebec was discussed and approved by Lalemant
and his associates, in a council held by them at that place in April. ]

The Jesuits were deeply moved. They consulted together again and again,
and prayed in turn during forty hours without ceasing, that their minds
might be enlightened. At length they resolved to grant the petition of
the two chiefs, and save the poor remnant of the Hurons, by leading them
to an asylum where there was at least a hope of safety. Their resolution
once taken, they pushed their preparations with all speed, lest the
Iroquois might learn their purpose, and lie in wait to cut them off.
Canoes were made ready, and on the tenth of June they began the voyage,
with all their French followers and about three hundred Hurons. The
Huron mission was abandoned.

"It was not without tears," writes the Father Superior, "that we left the
country of our hopes and our hearts, where our brethren had gloriously
shed their blood." [ Compare Bressani, Relation Abrégée, 288. ] The
fleet of canoes held its melancholy way along the shores where two years
before had been the seat of one of the chief savage communities of the
continent, and where now all was a waste of death and desolation.
Then they steered northward, along the eastern coast of the Georgian Bay,
with its countless rocky islets; and everywhere they saw the traces of
the Iroquois. When they reached Lake Nipissing, they found it deserted,--
nothing remaining of the Algonquins who dwelt on its shore, except the
ashes of their burnt wigwams. A little farther on, there was a fort
built of trees, where the Iroquois who made this desolation had spent the
winter; and a league or two below, there was another similar fort.
The River Ottawa was a solitude. The Algonquins of Allumette Island and
the shores adjacent had all been killed or driven away, never again to
return. "When I came up this great river, only thirteen years ago,"
writes Ragueneau, "I found it bordered with Algonquin tribes, who knew no
God, and, in their infidelity, thought themselves gods on earth; for they
had all that they desired, abundance of fish and game, and a prosperous
trade with allied nations: besides, they were the terror of their
enemies. But since they have embraced the Faith and adored the cross of
Christ, He has given them a heavy share in this cross, and made them a
prey to misery, torture, and a cruel death. In a word, they are a people
swept from the face of the earth. Our only consolation is, that, as they
died Christians, they have a part in the inheritance of the true children
of God, who scourgeth every one whom He receiveth." [ Ragueneau,
Relation des Hurons, 1650, 27. These Algonquins of the Ottawa, though
broken and dispersed, were not destroyed, as Ragueneau supposes. ]

As the voyagers descended the river, they had a serious alarm. Their
scouts came in, and reported that they had found fresh footprints of men
in the forest. These proved, however, to be the tracks, not of enemies,
but of friends. In the preceding autumn Bressani had gone down to the
French settlements with about twenty Hurons, and was now returning with
them, and twice their number of armed Frenchmen, for the defence of the
mission. His scouts had also been alarmed by discovering the footprints
of Ragueneau's Indians; and for some time the two parties stood on their
guard, each taking the other for an enemy. When at length they
discovered their mistake, they met with embraces and rejoicing. Bressani
and his Frenchmen had come too late. All was over with the Hurons and
the Huron mission; and, as it was useless to go farther, they joined
Ragueneau's party, and retraced their course for the settlements.

A day or two before, they had had a sharp taste of the mettle of the
enemy. Ten Iroquois warriors had spent the winter in a little fort of
felled trees on the borders of the Ottawa, hunting for subsistence,
and waiting to waylay some passing canoe of Hurons, Algonquins, or
Frenchmen. Bressani's party outnumbered them six to one; but they
resolved that it should not pass without a token of their presence.
Late on a dark night, the French and Hurons lay encamped in the forest,
sleeping about their fires. They had set guards: but these, it seems,
were drowsy or negligent; for the ten Iroquois, watching their time,
approached with the stealth of lynxes, and glided like shadows into the
midst of the camp, where, by the dull glow of the smouldering fires,
they could distinguish the recumbent figures of their victims. Suddenly
they screeched the war-whoop, and struck like lightning with their
hatchets among the sleepers. Seven were killed before the rest could
spring to their weapons. Bressani leaped up, and received on the instant
three arrow-wounds in the head. The Iroquois were surrounded, and a
desperate fight ensued in the dark. Six of them were killed on the spot,
and two made prisoners; while the remaining two, breaking through the
crowd, bounded out of the camp and escaped in the forest.

The united parties soon after reached Montreal; but the Hurons refused to
remain in a spot so exposed to the Iroquois. Accordingly, they all
descended the St. Lawrence, and at length, on the twenty-eighth of July,
reached Quebec. Here the Ursulines, the hospital nuns, and the
inhabitants taxed their resources to the utmost to provide food and
shelter for the exiled Hurons. Their good will exceeded their power; for
food was scarce at Quebec, and the Jesuits themselves had to bear the
chief burden of keeping the sufferers alive. [ Compare Juchereau,
Histoire de l'Hôtel-Dieu, 79, 80. ]

But, if famine was an evil, the Iroquois were a far greater one; for,
while the western nations of their confederacy were engrossed with the
destruction of the Hurons, the Mohawks kept up incessant attacks on the
Algonquins and the French. A party of Christian Indians, chiefly from
Sillery, planned a stroke of retaliation, and set out for the Mohawk
country, marching cautiously and sending forward scouts to scour the
forest. One of these, a Huron, suddenly fell in with a large Iroquois
war party, and, seeing that he could not escape, formed on the instant a
villanous plan to save himself. He ran towards the enemy, crying out,
that he had long been looking for them and was delighted to see them;
that his nation, the Hurons, had come to an end; and that henceforth his
country was the country of the Iroquois, where so many of his kinsmen and
friends had been adopted. He had come, he declared, with no other
thought than that of joining them, and turning Iroquois, as they had
done. The Iroquois demanded if he had come alone. He answered, "No,"
and said, that, in order to accomplish his purpose, he had joined an
Algonquin war-party who were in the woods not far off. The Iroquois,
in great delight, demanded to be shown where they were. This Judas,
as the Jesuits call him, at once complied; and the Algonquins were
surprised by a sudden onset, and routed with severe loss. The
treacherous Huron was well treated by the Iroquois, who adopted him into
their nation. Not long after, he came to Canada, and, with a view,
as it was thought, to some further treachery, rejoined the French.
A sharp cross-questioning put him to confusion, and he presently
confessed his guilt. He was sentenced to death; and the sentence was
executed by one of his own countrymen, who split his head with a hatchet.
[ Ragueneau, Relation, 1650, 30. ]

In the course of the summer, the French at Three Rivers became aware that
a band of Iroquois was prowling in the neighborhood, and sixty men went
out to meet them. Far from retreating, the Iroquois, who were about
twenty-five in number, got out of their canoes, and took post, waist-deep
in mud and water, among the tall rushes at the margin of the river.
Here they fought stubbornly, and kept all the Frenchmen at bay. At
length, finding themselves hard pressed, they entered their canoes again,
and paddled off. The French rowed after them, and soon became separated
in the chase; whereupon the Iroquois turned, and made desperate fight
with the foremost, retreating again as soon as the others came up.
This they repeated several times, and then made their escape, after
killing a number of the best French soldiers. Their leader in this
affair was a famous half-breed, known as the Flemish Bastard, who is
styled by Ragueneau "an abomination of sin, and a monster produced
between a heretic Dutch father and a pagan mother."

In the forests far north of Three Rivers dwelt the tribe called the
Atticamegues, or Nation of the White Fish. From their remote position,
and the difficult nature of the intervening country, they thought
themselves safe; but a band of Iroquois, marching on snow-shoes a
distance of twenty days' journey northward from the St. Lawrence, fell
upon one of their camps in the winter, and made a general butchery of the
inmates. The tribe, however, still held its ground for a time, and,
being all good Catholics, gave their missionary, Father Buteux, an urgent
invitation to visit them in their own country. Buteux, who had long been
stationed at Three Rivers, was in ill health, and for years had rarely
been free from some form of bodily suffering. Nevertheless, he acceded
to their request, and, before the opening of spring, made a remarkable
journey on snow-shoes into the depths of this frozen wilderness.
[ Iournal du Pere Iacques Buteux du Voyage qu'il a fait pour la Mission
des Attikamegues. See Relation, 1651, 15. ] In the year following,
he repeated the undertaking. With him were a large party of Atticamegues,
and several Frenchmen. Game was exceedingly scarce, and they were forced
by hunger to separate, a Huron convert and a Frenchman named Fontarabie
remaining with the missionary. The snows had melted, and all the streams
were swollen. The three travellers, in a small birch canoe, pushed their
way up a turbulent river, where falls and rapids were so numerous,
that many times daily they were forced to carry their bark vessel and
their baggage through forests and thickets and over rocks and precipices.
On the tenth of May, they made two such portages, and soon after,
reaching a third fall, again lifted their canoe from the water. They
toiled through the naked forest, among the wet, black trees, over tangled
roots, green, spongy mosses, mouldering leaves, and rotten, prostrate
trunks, while the cataract foamed amidst the rocks hard by. The Indian
led the way with the canoe on his head, while Buteux and the other
Frenchman followed with the baggage. Suddenly they were set upon by a
troop of Iroquois, who had crouched behind thickets, rocks, and fallen
trees, to waylay them. The Huron was captured before he had time to fly.
Buteux and the Frenchman tried to escape, but were instantly shot down,
the Jesuit receiving two balls in the breast. The Iroquois rushed upon
them, mangled their bodies with tomahawks and swords, stripped them,
and then flung them into the torrent. [ Ragueneau, Relation, 1652, 2,
3. ]





Iroquois bullets and tomahawks had killed the Hurons by hundreds, but
famine and disease had killed incomparably more. The miseries of the
starving crowd on Isle St. Joseph had been shared in an equal degree by
smaller bands, who had wintered in remote and secret retreats of the
wilderness. Of those who survived that season of death, many were so
weakened that they could not endure the hardships of a wandering life,
which was new to them. The Hurons lived by agriculture; their fields and
crops were destroyed, and they were so hunted from place to place that
they could rarely till the soil. Game was very scarce; and, without
agriculture, the country could support only a scanty and scattered
population like that which maintained a struggling existence in the
wilderness of the lower St. Lawrence. The mortality among the exiles was

It is a matter of some interest to trace the fortunes of the shattered
fragments of a nation once prosperous, and, in its own eyes and those of
its neighbors, powerful and great. None were left alive within their
ancient domain. Some had sought refuge among the Neutrals and the Eries,
and shared the disasters which soon overwhelmed those tribes; others
succeeded in reaching the Andastes; while the inhabitants of two towns,
St. Michel and St. Jean Baptiste, had recourse to an expedient which
seems equally strange and desperate, but which was in accordance with
Indian practices. They contrived to open a communication with the Seneca
Nation of the Iroquois, and promised to change their nationality and turn
Senecas as the price of their lives. The victors accepted the proposal;
and the inhabitants of these two towns, joined by a few other Hurons,
migrated in a body to the Seneca country. They were not distributed
among different villages, but were allowed to form a town by themselves,
where they were afterwards joined by some prisoners of the Neutral
Nation. They identified themselves with the Iroquois in all but
religion,--holding so fast to their faith, that, eighteen years after,
a Jesuit missionary found that many of them were still good Catholics.

[ Compare Relation, 1651, 4; 1660, 14, 28; and 1670, 69. The Huron town
among the Senecas was called Gandougaraé. Father Fremin was here in 1668,
and gives an account of his visit in the Relation of 1670. ]

The division of the Hurons called the Tobacco Nation, favored by their
isolated position among mountains, had held their ground longer than the
rest; but at length they, too, were compelled to fly, together with such
other Hurons as had taken refuge with them. They made their way
northward, and settled on the Island of Michilimackinac, where they were
joined by the Ottawas, who, with other Algonquins, had been driven by
fear of the Iroquois from the western shores of Lake Huron and the banks
of the River Ottawa. At Michilimackinac the Hurons and their allies were
again attacked by the Iroquois, and, after remaining several years,
they made another remove, and took possession of the islands at the mouth
of the Green Bay of Lake Michigan. Even here their old enemy did not
leave them in peace; whereupon they fortified themselves on the main-land,
and afterwards migrated southward and westward. This brought them in
contact with the Illinois, an Algonquin people, at that time very
numerous, but who, like many other tribes at this epoch, were doomed to a
rapid diminution from wars with other savage nations. Continuing their
migration westward, the Hurons and Ottawas reached the Mississippi,
where they fell in with the Sioux. They soon quarrelled with those
fierce children of the prairie, who drove them from their country.
They retreated to the south-western extremity of Lake Superior, and
settled on Point Saint Esprit, or Shagwamigon Point, near the Islands of
the Twelve Apostles. As the Sioux continued to harass them, they left
this place about the year 1671, and returned to Michilimackinac, where
they settled, not on the island, but on the neighboring Point St. Ignace,
now Graham's Point, on the north side of the strait. The greater part of
them afterwards removed thence to Detroit and Sandusky, where they lived
under the name of Wyandots until within the present century, maintaining
a marked influence over the surrounding Algonquins. They bore an active
part, on the side of the French, in the war which ended in the reduction
of Canada; and they were the most formidable enemies of the English in
the Indian war under Pontiac. [ See "History of the Conspiracy of
Pontiac." ] The government of the United States at length removed them
to reserves on the western frontier, where a remnant of them may still be
found. Thus it appears that the Wyandots, whose name is so conspicuous
in the history of our border wars, are descendants of the ancient Hurons,
and chiefly of that portion of them called the Tobacco Nation.

[ The migrations of this band of the Hurons may be traced by detached
passages and incidental remarks in the Relations of 1654, 1660, 1667,
1670, 1671, and 1672. Nicolas Perrot, in his chapter, Deffaitte et
Füitte des Hurons chassés de leur Pays, and in the chapter following,
gives a long and rather confused account of their movements and
adventures. See also La Poterie, Histoire de l'Amérique Septentrionale,
II. 51-56. According to the Relation of 1670, the Hurons, when living at
Shagwamigon Point, numbered about fifteen hundred souls. ]

When Ragueneau and his party left Isle St. Joseph for Quebec, the greater
number of the Hurons chose to remain. They took possession of the stone
fort which the French had abandoned, and where, with reasonable vigilance,
they could maintain themselves against attack. In the succeeding autumn
a small Iroquois war-party had the audacity to cross over to the island,

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