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CONTENTS OF VOL. XVI
XXXIV. Relation de ce qvi s'est passé en la
Novvelle France, en l'année 1639
Portrait of Mme. de la Peltrie (Marie Made
leine de Chauvigny); photo-engraving from
PREFACE TO VOL. XVI
The preliminary matter and first chapter of the so-called Le Jeune's Relation of 1639 (Document XXXIV.) were published in Vol. XV. We herewith give the rest of Part I. (Le Jeune's own portion), and the two opening chapters of Part II., which was Lalemant's report to his superior, Le Jeune, of affairs in the Huron country. Following is a synopsis of the contents of the present volume:
XXXIV. Continuing his annual narrative, Le Jeune describes in detail the foundation of the Ursuline convent at Quebec by Madame de la Peltrie, and the arrival of these nuns (August 1, 1639), with the Hospital sisters and a reinforcement of Jesuit Fathers. The nuns are taken, for a visit, to Sillery; they are overcome with joy to see the Indians offering their devotions in the chapel, and still more when children, both French and Indian, come to the Ursulines for instruction; while the sick are brought to the Hospital sisters for care, even before their baggage arrives from the ship. As aid in this emergency, mattresses are loaned them by the Jesuits. Madame de la Peltrie “cannot contain herself; she wishes to be everywhere, wherever the Savages are in question; and she is already the godmother of several. She could not meet a little Savage girl without embracing and kissing her.” The good sisters do
without heeding whether or not these little Savage children were dirty, and without asking whether this were the custom of the country."
The superior then praises in high terms the devotion and charity of the Duchess d’Aiguillon, foundress of the hospital, and quotes one of her letters showing her pious intentions in its establishment,also a letter from Father de Quen, describing the condition of the inmates of the hospital, and extolling their piety.
Le Jeune again explains the necessity of rendering the savages stationary; and recounts the assistance given for this purpose by many friends of the missions — not only private persons, but the Company of New France. He reports much progress in their mission, with more conversions than in preceding years.
"Over 800 Algonkins, attracted by the report of our faith, and by the assistance given the sedentary savages at Sillery, have come down to Three Rivers; but they declare that they come only to acquire a knowledge of the true God.” The missionaries still have to contend with the opposition of the medicine men, and the Algonkins “are much diverted from the good thoughts that God has given them,” by a contest with their enemies and their defeat therein. Moreover, they are held in bondage to Satan, by their superstitions and by their unwillingness to observe single marriage. The mission- . aries console themselves, however, with the pious sentiments and behavior of their actual converts, upon which the superior dwells at much length.
Discouraging news comes from Three Rivers, of hostile feeling among the Indians, caused by the revival of the old story that the French had introduced