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AMBASSADE DES IROQUOIS SONNONTOERONNONS TRA

UERSÉE PAR L'IROQUOIS AGNIERONNON.

MJOVS auons fouuent remarqué dans nos Relations

des années passées, qu'il y a cinq Nations

Iroquoises, dont les trois principales [2] sont les Sonnontoeronnons, qui sont les plus nombreux & les plus éloignés des François. Les Onnontoeronnons, où nous auons depuis peu commencé vne bonne Miffion. Et les Agnieronnons qui ont commerce auec les Hollandois voisins de la nouuelle Angleterre. Le 19. de Septembre de l'année 1655. le P. Iofeph Chaumont, & le P. Claude d'Ablon partirent de Quebec pour aller recognoistre le païs des Sonnontoeronnons, qui nous preffoient de les aller instruire, & d'aller establir en leur païs vne habitation Françoise. Leur voiage est amplement décrit dans la Relation de l'année derniere. Peu de temps apres leur depart de Quebec trois personnes considerables arriuerent de Sonnontoan païs des Sonnõtoeronnons, qui nous don. nerent aduis que les esprits de leur nation estoient

[1] Relation of what occurred in the Mission of the Fathers of the Society of Jesus in the countries of New France, from the Summer of the year 1656, to the

Summer of the year 1657.

CHAPTER I.

EMBASSY OF THE SONNONTOERONNON IROQUOIS

THWARTED BY THE AGNIERONNON IROQUOIS.

JE have frequently stated in our Relations of VV the past years that there are five Iroquois

Nations, of whom the three principal ones [2] are the Sonnontoeronnons, who are the most numerous, and the most distant from the French; the Onnontoeronnons, among whom we have lately commenced a good Mission; and the Agnieronnons, who trade with the Dutch, neighbors to new England. On the 19th of September of the year 1655, Father Joseph Chaumont and Father Claude d'Ablon started from Quebec, to reconnoiter the country of the Sonnontoeronnons, who urged us to go and teach them, and to establish a French settlement in their country. Their journey was fully described in last year's Relation. Shortly after their departure from Quebec, three personages of importance arrived from Sonnontoan, the country of the Sonnontoeronnons; they informed us that the minds of their nation were inclined to peace, and that next winter they would disposés à la paix, & que l'hyuer prochain ils deuoient venir en bon nombre, contracter auec nous & auec les Hurons & les Algonquins vne alliance inuiolable. On ne manqua pas aux presens reciproques de part & d'autre, suiuant la coustume de [3] ces peuples. Apres quoy, vn des trois se refolut de passer l'hyuer auec nous, comme voulant seruir d'ostage de leur fidelité. Les deux autres se mirent en chemin au commencement de Nouembre de la mesme année 1655. pour porter plus promptement en leur pays les heureuses nouuelles de l'accueil qu'on leur auoit fait.

Ces deux Ambassadeurs furent tuez à leur retour, ainsi que nous l'aprismes par la rencontre qui se fit d'vn des cadavres que l'on trouua à trois ou quatre lieues au dessus de Montreal, tout couuert de playes & de sang. Le soupçon de ce meurtre ne pût tomber que sur les Iroquois Agnieronnons, qui jaloux de l'amitié dont les autres nations Iroquoises nous recherchent, la veulent empescher par toutes sortes de moiens.

Cela n'empefcha pas que dés le commencement du mois de Ianuier 1656. nous ne vismes icy l'Ambaffade dont nous auions parole.

Ils estoient dix de compagnie, dont le chef estoit vn des premiers Capitaines de tout leur pays, âgé de cinquante [4] à soixante ans, homme sage & adroit dans les affaires, eloquent au delà de ce qu'on en peut croire, dont le cœur estoit tout François, & desia gagné à la foy.

De vingt & vn presens qu'il fit, le plus riche & le plus éclatant, fut celuy par lequel il nous tesmoigna hautement que toute sa nation vouloit se faire instruire; qu'elle demandoit pour cet effet des Peres come in good number to contract an inviolable alliance with us, and with the Hurons and Algonquins. A mutual interchange of presents took place, according to the custom of [3] these peoples, after which one of the three resolved to spend the winter with us, to serve as a hostage for their fidelity. The two others set out at the beginning of November of the same year, 1655, in order to carry more promptly to their own country the happy news of the welcome that they had received.

These two Ambassadors were killed on their return journey, as we learned when, three or four leagues above Montreal, one of the dead bodies was found, all covered with wounds and blood. Suspicion of this murder could fall on none but the Agnieronnon Iroquois, who are jealous of the friendship which the other Iroquois nations seek to form with us, and endeavor to thwart it by every possible means.

This did not prevent us from seeing here, at the beginning of the month of January, 1656, the Embassy of which word had been sent us.

It consisted, altogether, of ten men, the chief of whom was one of the leading Captains of their entire country, from fifty [4] to sixty years of age,-a wise man, and one skilled in such matters, eloquent beyond expectation, whose heart was entirely French, and who was already won over to the faith.

Of the twenty-one presents that he gave, the richest and most striking was the one by which he loudly proclaimed that his entire nation wished to be instructed; that, for that reason, they asked for some of the Fathers of our Society, and desired those blessings which are enjoyed only after death, and of which the many Christian Hurons who were living

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