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PREFACE TO VOL. XLIII
Following is a summary of the documents contained in the present volume:
XCIV. Le Jeune writes (March, 1657) a short business letter to the hospital superior at Quebec. He refers to certain accounts and bills, some of which he has settled; and states that he has received certain alms for the Quebec convent. He also announces that more nuns are going thither from the Dieppe house.
XCV. The Journal des Jésuites for 1657 is written by Jean de Quen; it is much more full than in the years immediately preceding, especially in recording church ceremonies. In January, De Charny, the acting governor, despatches two Frenchmen to Onondaga; but they cannot go beyond Montreal, as they have no guide and the roads are bad. Services in the large church are begun March 31. The superior receives (April 3) the abjuration of a young man, presumably a Huguenot. A week later, he signs a petition, made by the carpenters of the town, for the establishment of the brotherhood of Ste. Anne. As soon as warm weather approaches, Onondaga Indians commit various hostile acts, notwithstanding the ostensible peace with that tribe. Jean Bourdon sets out, May 2, for his journey to find the North Sea. On the sixth, several Onondaga bands are prowling about Quebec; councils are held between these and the French with their allies. All the speeches of the Onondagas “ amounted to nothing, meræ ambages, meræ tenebræ.” During the negotiations, an Onondaga is accidentally wounded by a Frenchman. Complaint of this is made; and Father le Moyne“ applies to the wounded man a plaster, in the shape of a porcelain collar." The Onondagas return to their own country on the 15th, with three Huron ambassadors; on the way, the Hurons are prevented by the Mohawks from completing their journey. The first French vessel comes, this year, on May 27. The next day, a Mohawk band come to Quebec, to carry away the Hurons to their country,for which purpose more councils are held. The French learn that the Mohawks have intrigued between the Hurons and Onondagas, to induce the former to go to the Mohawk country instead of Onondaga. The French try to persuade the Mohawks to delay this project until the arrival of the new governor, D'Argenson.
On the first day of June, Le Mercier arrives from Onondaga; he brings good news from its mission there. The next day, the Mohawks carry away a number of Huron women and children. On the thirteenth, the chapel and all the other buildings at Sillery are destroyed by fire. Three days later, one of the Huron tribes is embarked on the French shallops, to go to live at Onondaga; and, later, Le Mercier again goes thither.
A party of French and Algonkins, who had gone in April to trade with the Poissons-blancs, or Attikamègues, return to Quebec, July 15, laden with peltries. On the twenty-ninth occurs a notable arrival — that of the Abbé de Queylus and three Sulpitian priests. Two weeks later, another Mohawk band come to Quebec, and carry away more of the Hurons to the Iroquois land. August 11, Bourdon returns from his voyage of exploration, which has proved fruitless, owing to the hostility of the Northern savages.
On the twentieth, a French vessel arrives, whose captain brings information that the new governor, D'Argenson, had embarked on his vessel, but, long delayed by unfavorable weather, had returned to France. Le Moyne again sets out for the Mohawk country.
The curacy at Quebec is assumed by the Sulpitian abbé de Queylus, September 12; and, soon afterward, he delivers a sermon against the Jesuits. About this time, De Charny (temporary governor in place of his father, De Lauson) returns to France; D'Ailleboust takes his place until D'Argenson shall arrive. The new governor complains to the Jesuit superior of the latter's want of confidence in him regarding affairs at Onondaga, especially because the presents sent thence to Onontio have not yet been delivered to him.
These are accordingly sent to D'Ailleboust by the superior. Unfortunately, another grievance arises between them. Letters from the Jesuits, criticising the governor and De Queylus, fall into the hands of the latter, who are greatly offended thereat. On the following Sunday, the abbé delivers a satirical discourse” aimed at the Jesuits.
Various attacks by the Iroquois, upon both the French and their allies, are recorded in the closing months of the year.
D'Ailleboust adopts more vigorous measures than his predecessors had taken; he has all the Iroquois who are at the settlements arrested and put in irons, and then sends two of
them back to their own country, to inform their tribesmen that the French now hold hostages of theirs, for the murders which they have committed.
A Huron girl of fifteen years dies (Nov. 3) at the hospital, who has become a nun, taking the veil in her last hours. Many of the Algonkins come down to the French settlements, and D'Ailleboust invites them to bring others of their number, to spend the winter at Quebec.
Another chapter in the Sulpitian controversy is a summons to appear in court, in re the petition of De Queylus that the Jesuits be compelled to surrender their house for his use, or else refund the 6,000 livres given in 1645, by the habitants, for the erection of a clergy-house. They are also embarrassed by another claim, for money due one of the habitants; this man dies, a fortnight later. A dispute arises between the members of the council of Quebec and those of the court of justice, as to precedence in the church procession and in the reception of the blessed bread.
An experiment in regulating the liquor traffic is tried at Three Rivers. De la Poterie, a seignior there, desiring to repress the disorders consequent upon the ordinary sale of liquor to the Indians, opens a tavern, where wine is sold to them at the rate of “two pots for a winter beaver, and one for a summer beaver.” The savages do not amend their conduct, and complaints are made against the tavern. The seignior consults with D'Ailleboust, who decides that the tavern must be closed. “Nevertheless, it was continued."
XCVI. In this volume are presented Chaps. i.- xvi. of the Relation of 1656-57; the remainder will appear in Vol. XLIV. It is prefaced by a short letter to the provincial from Le Jeune, procurator in France for the Canadian missions. He explains that misfortune has again befallen the Relation (this year, written by De Quen); the ship by which it was sent was “ captured by the Spaniards, and all the letters on board were thrown into the Sea." Le Jeune therefore compiles a report of the mission work, from some letters recovered from this disaster, and some others which arrived in France too late for the Relation published last year.
The burden of this year's report is the work newly begun among the Iroquois tribes. Late in 1655, an embassy from the Senecas arrives at Quebec, desiring to form an alliance with the French. They are cordially received, and set out for their own country; but they are slain, not far above Montreal, evidently by some of the Mohawks, who are jealous of any friendship between the French and tribes other than their own. Another embassy comes in January, 1656, at the head of whom is a chief of high standing; whose heart was entirely French, and who was already won over to the faith; they ask for Christian teachers to live among them. Again the Mohawks thwart their desire, by killing this chief while he is on a hunting expedition.
Late in April, 1656, a large Mohawk band come to attack the Hurons. They are delayed at Three Rivers by parleys and presents, until word of the affair can be sent to Quebec. Father le Moyne, who is experienced in dealing with the Iroquois, immediately goes to meet the Mohawks, and after listening to his arguments, they agree to abandon their design against the Hurons, and their army ostensibly disperses. A little later, these treacherous savages,