Voyages of Samuel de Champlain V3
Samuel de Champlain

Part 2 out of 4

between this pond and the lake, known as the Muskrat Portage road, the
course undoubtedly traversed by Champlain, there was found in 1867, in
the, township of Ross, an astrolabe, an instrument used in taking
latitudes, on which is the date, 1603. It is supposed to have been lost
by Champlain on his present expedition. The reasons for this
supposition have been stated in several brochures recently issued, one
by Mr. O. H. Marshall of Buffalo, entitled _Discovery of an Astrolabe
supposed to have been left by Champlain in 1613_, New York, 1879;
reprinted from the _Magazine of American History_ for March of that
year. Another, _Champlain's Astrolabe lost on the 7th of June, 1613,
and found in August, 1867_, by A. J Russell of Ottawa, Montreal,
1879. And a third entitled _The Astrolabe of Samuel Champlain and
Geoffrey Chaucer_, by Henry Scadding, D.D., of Toronto, 1880. All of
these writers agree in the opinion that the instrument was probably
lost by Champlain on his expedition up the Ottawa in 1613. For the
argument _in extenso_ the reader is referred to the brochures above

[Illustration of an astrolabe.]

Mr. Russell, who examined the astrolabe thus found with great care and
had it photographed, describes it as a circular plate having a diameter
of five inches and five eighths. "It is of place brass, very dark with
age, one eighth of an inch thick above, increasing to six sixteenths of
an inch below, to give it steadiness when suspended, which apparently
was intended to be increased by hanging a weight on the little
projecting ring at the bottom of it, in using it on ship-board. Its
suspending ring is attached by a double hinge of the nature of a
universal joint. Its circle is divided into single degrees, graduated
from its perpendicular of suspension. The double-bladed index, the
pivot of which passes through the centre of the astrolabe, has slits
and eyelets in the projecting fights that are on it."

We give on the preceding page an engraving of this astrolabe from a
photograph, which presents a sufficiently accurate outline of the
instrument. The plate was originally made to illustrate Mr. Marshall's
article in the Magazine of American History, and we are indebted to the
courtesy of the proprietors of the Magazine, Messrs. A. S. Barnes and
Company of New York, for its use for our present purpose.

The astrolabe, as an instrument for taking the altitude of the stars or
the sun, had long been in use. Thomas Blundevile, who wrote in 1622,
says he had seen three kinds, and that the astrolabe of Stofflerus had
then been in use a hundred years. It had been improved by Gemma
Frisius. Mr. Blagrave had likewise improved upon the last-mentioned,
and his instrument was at that time in general use in England. The
astrolabe continued to be employed in Great Britain in taking altitudes
for more than a century subsequent to this, certainly till Hadley's
Quadrant was invented, which was first announced in 1731.

The astrolabes which had the broadest disks were more exact, as they
were projected on a larger scale, but as they were easily jostled by
the wind or the movement of the ship at sea, they could with difficulty
be employed. But Mr. Blundevile informs us that "the Spaniards doe
commonly make their astrolabes narrow and weighty, which for the most
part are not much above five inches broad, and yet doe weigh at the
least foure pound, & to that end the lower part is made a great deale
thicker than the upper part towards the ring or handle." _Vide
M. Blendeale his Exercises_, London, 1622, pp. 595, 597. This Spanish
instrument, it will be observed, is very similar to that found on the
Old Portage road, and the latter may have been of Spanish make.

In order to take the latitude in Champlain's day, at least three
distinct steps or processes were necessary, and the following
directions might have been given.

I. Let the astrolabe be suspended so that it shall hang plumb. Direct
the index or diopter to the sun at noon, so that the same ray of light
may shine through both holes in the two tablets or pinules on the
diopter, and the diopter will point to the degree of the sun's meridian
altitude indicated on the outer rim of the astrolabe.

II. Ascertain the exact degree of the sun's declination for that day,
by a table calculated for that purpose, which accompanies the

III. Subtract the declination, so found, if it be northerly, from the
meridian altitude; or if the declination be southerly, add the
declination to the meridian altitude, and the result, subtracted from
90°, will give the latitude.

In these several processes of taking the latitude there are numerous
possibilities of inexactness. It does not appear that any correction
was made for refraction of light, or the precession of the equinoxes.
But the most important source of inaccuracy was in the use of the
astrolabe whose disk was so small that its divisions could not be
carried beyond degrees, and consequently minutes were arrived at by
sheer estimation, and usually when the work was completed, the error
was not less than one fourth or one half of a degree, and it was often
much more.

This accounts fully for the inaccuracies of Champlain's latitudes from
first to last throughout his entire explorations, as tested by the very
exact instruments and tables now in use. No better method of
determining the latitude existed at that day, and consequently the
historian is warned not to rely upon the latitude alone as given by the
early navigators and explorers in identifying the exact localities
which they visited.

63. Subsequently called Hurons.

64. _Vide_ Vol. I. p. 49; Vol. II. note 219.



Nibachis had two canoes fitted out, to conduct me to another chief, named
Tessoüat, [65] who lived eight leagues from him, on the border of a great
lake, through which flows the river which we had left, and which extends
northward. Accordingly we crossed the lake in a west-northwesterly
direction, a distance of nearly seven leagues. Landing there, we went a
league towards the northeast through a very fine country, where are small
beaten paths, along which one can go easily. Thus we arrived on the shore
of the lake, [66] where the dwelling of Tessoüat was. He was accompanied by
a neighboring chieftain, and was greatly amazed to see me, saying that he
thought I was a dream, and that he did not believe his eyes. Thence we
crossed on to an island, [67] where their cabins are, which are poorly
constructed out of the bark of trees. The island is covered with oaks,
pines, and elms, and is not subject to inundations, like the other islands
in the lake.

This island is strongly situated; for at its two ends, and where the river
enters the lake, there are troublesome falls, the roughness of which makes
the island difficult of access. They have accordingly taken up their abode
here in order to avoid the pursuit of their enemies. It is in latitude 47°,
[68] as also the lake, which is twenty leagues long, [69] and three or four
wide. It abounds in fish; the hunting, however, is not especially good.

On visiting the island, I observed their cemeteries, and was struck with
wonder as I saw sepulchres of a shape like shrines, made of pieces of wood
fixed in the ground at a distance of about three feet from each other, and
intersecting at the upper end. On the intersections above they place a
large piece of wood, and in front another upright piece, on which is carved
roughly, as would be expected, the figure of the male or female interred.
If it is a man, they add a shield, a sword attached to a handle after their
manner, a mace, and bow and arrows. If it is a chief, there is a plume on
his head, and some other _matachia_ or embellishment. If it is a child,
they give it a bow and arrow; if a woman or girl, a boiler, an earthen
vessel, a wooden spoon, and an oar. The entire sepulchre is six or seven
feet long at most, and four wide; others are smaller. They are painted
yellow and red, with various ornaments as neatly done as the carving. The
deceased is buried with his dress of beaver or other skins which he wore
when living, and they lay by his side all his possessions, as hatchets,
knives, boilers, and awls, so that these things may serve him in the land
whither he goes; for they believe in the immortality of the soul, as I have
elsewhere observed. These carved sepulchres are only made for the warriors;
for in respect to others they add no more than in the case of women, who
are considered a useless class, accordingly but little is added in their

Observing the poor quality of the soil, I asked them what pleasure they
took in cultivating land so unpromising, since there was some much better,
which they left barren and waste, as at the Falls of St. Louis. They
answered that they were forced to do so in order to dwell in security, and
that the roughness of the locality served them as a defence against their
enemies. But they said that if I would make a settlement of French at the
Falls of St. Louis, as I had promised, they would leave their abode and go
and live near us, confident that their enemies would do them no harm while
we were with them. I told them that we would this year collect wood and
stone in order the coming year to build a fort and cultivate the land; upon
hearing which they raised a great cry of applause. This conference having
been finished, I asked all the chiefs and prominent men among them to
assemble the next day on the main land, at the cabin of Tessoüat, who
purposed to celebrate a _tabagie_ in my honor, adding that I would there
tell them my plans. This they promised, and sent word to their neighbors to
convene at the appointed place.

The next day all the guests came, each with his porringer and wooden
spoon. They seated themselves without order or ceremony on the ground in
the cabin of Tessoüat, who distributed to them a kind of broth made of
maize crushed between two stones, together with meat and fish which was cut
into little pieces, the whole being boiled together without salt. They also
had meat roasted on coals, and fish boiled apart, which he also
distributed. In respect to myself, as I did not wish any of their chowder,
which they prepare in a very dirty manner, I asked them for some fish and
meat, that I might prepare it in my own way, which they gave me. For drink,
we had fine clear water. Tessoüat, who gave the _tabagie_, entertained us
without eating himself, according to their custom.

The _tabagie_ being over, the young men, who are not present at the
harangues and councils, and who during the _tabagies_ remain at the door of
the cabins, withdrew, when all who remained began to fill their pipes, one
and another offering me one. We then spent a full half-hour in this
occupation, not a word being spoken, as is their custom.

After smoking amply during so long a period of silence, I explained to
them, through my interpreter, that the object of my journey was none other
than to assure them of my friendship, and of the desire I had to assist
them in their wars, as I had before done; that I had been prevented from
coming the preceding year, as I had promised them, because the king had
employed me in other wars, but that now he had ordered me to visit them and
to fulfil my promises, and that for this purpose I had a number of men at
the Falls of St. Louis. I told them that I was making an excursion in their
territory to observe the fertility of their soil, their lakes and rivers,
and the sea which they had told me was in their country; and that I desired
to see a tribe distant six days' journey from them, called the
_Nebicerini_, in order to invite them also to the war, and accordingly I
asked them to give me four canoes with eight savages to guide me to these
lands. And since the Algonquins are not great friends of the _Nebicerini_,
[70] they seemed to listen to me with greater attention.

After I had finished my discourse, they began again to smoke, and to confer
among themselves in a very low voice respecting my propositions. Then
Tessoüat in behalf of all the rest began and said, that they had always
regarded me more friendly towards them than any Frenchman they had seen;
that the proofs they had of this in the past made their confidence easier
for the future: moreover, that I had shown myself in reality their friend,
by encountering so many risks in coming to see them and invite them to the
war, and that all these considerations obliged them to feel as kindly
disposed towards me as towards their own children. But they said that I had
the preceding year broken my promise, that two thousand savages had gone to
the Falls with the expectation of finding me ready to go to the war, and
making me presents, but that they had not found me and were greatly
saddened, supposing that I was dead, as some persons had told them. He said
also, that the French who were at the Falls did not want to help them in
their wars, that they had been badly treated by certain ones, so that they
had resolved among themselves not to go to the Falls again, and that this
had caused them, as they did not expect to see me again, to go alone to the
war, and that in fact twelve hundred of them had already gone. And since
the greater part of their warriors were absent, they begged me to postpone
the expedition to the following year, saying that they would communicate
the matter to all the people of their country. In regard to the four
canoes, which I asked for, they granted them to me, but with great
reluctance, telling me that they were greatly displeased at the idea of
such an undertaking, in view of the hardships which I would endure; that
the people there were sorcerers, that they had caused the death of many of
their own tribe by charms and poisoning, on which account they were not
their friends: moreover they said that, as it regards war, I was not to
think of them, as they were little-hearted. With these and many other
considerations they endeavored to deter me from my purpose.

But my sole desire on the other hand was to see this people, and enter into
friendship with them, so that I might visit the North Sea. Accordingly,
with a view to lessening the force of their objections, I said to them,
that it was not far to the country in question; that the bad roads could
not be worse than those I had already passed; that their witchcraft would
have no power to harm me, as my God would preserve me from them; that I was
also acquainted with their herbs, and would therefore beware of eating
them; that I desired to make the two tribes mutual friends, and that I
would to this end make presents to the other tribe, being assured that they
would do something for me. In view of these reasons they granted me, as I
have said, four canoes, at which I was very happy, forgetting all past
hardships in the hope of seeing this sea, as I so much desired.

For the remainder of the day, I went out walking in their gardens, which
were filled with squashes, beans, and our peas, which they were beginning
to cultivate, when Thomas, my interpreter, who understands the language
very well, came to inform me that the savages, after I had left them, had
come to the conclusion, that if I were to undertake this journey I should
die and they also, and that they could not furnish the promised canoes, as
there was no one of them who would guide me, but that they wished me to
postpone the journey until the next year, when they would conduct me with a
good train to protect me from that people, in case they should attempt to
harm me, as they are evil-disposed.

This intelligence greatly disturbed me, and I at once went to them and told
them, that up to this day I had regarded them as men and truthful persons,
but that now they had shown themselves children and liars, and that if they
would not fulfil their promises, they would fail to show me their
friendship; that, however, if they felt it an inconvenience to give me four
canoes they should only furnish two and four savages.

They represented to me anew the difficulties attending the journey, the
number of the falls, the bad character of the people, and that their reason
for refusing my request was their fear of losing me.

I replied that I was sorry to have them show themselves to so slight an
extent my friends, and that I should never have believed it; that I had a
young man, showing them my impostor, who had been in their country, and had
not found all these difficulties which they represented, nor the people in
question so bad as they asserted. Then they began to look at him, in
particular Tessoüat the old captain, with whom he had passed the winter,
and calling him by name he said to him in his language: Nicholas, is it
true that you said you were among the Nebicerini? It was long before he
spoke, when he said to them in their language, which he spoke to a certain
extent: Yes, I was there. They immediately looked at him awry, and throwing
themselves upon him, as if they would eat him up or tear him in pieces,
raised loud cries, when Tessoüat said to him: You are a downright liar, you
know well that you slept at my side every night with my children, where you
arose every morning; if you were among the people mentioned, it was while
sleeping. How could you have been so bold as to lead your chief to believe
lies, and so wicked as to be willing to expose his life to so many dangers?
You are a worthless fellow, and he ought to put you to death more cruelly
than we do our enemies. I am not astonished that he should so importune us
on the assurance of your words.

I at once told him that he must reply to these people; and since he had
been in the regions indicated, that he must give me proofs of it, and free
me from the suspense in which he had placed me. But he remained silent and
greatly terrified.

I immediately withdrew him from the savages, and conjured him to declare
the truth of the matter, telling him that, if he had seen the sea in
question, I would give him the reward which I had promised him, and that,
if he had not seen it, he must tell me so without causing me farther
trouble. Again he affirmed with oaths all he had before said, and that he
would demonstrate to me the truth of it, if the savages would give us

Upon this, Thomas came and informed me, that the savages of the island had
secretly sent a canoe to the Nebicerini, to notify them of my arrival.
Thereupon, in order to profit by the opportunity, I went to the savages to
tell them, that I had dreamed the past night that they purposed to send a
canoe to the Nebicerini without notifying me of it, at which I was greatly
surprised, since they knew that I was desirous of going there. Upon which
they replied that I did them a great wrong in trusting a liar, who wanted
to cause my death, more than so many brave chiefs, who were my friends and
who held my life dear. I replied that my man, meaning our impostor, had
been in the aforesaid country with one of the relatives of Tessoüat and had
seen the sea, the wreck and ruins of an English vessel, together with
eighty scalps which the savages had in their possession, and a young
English boy whom they held as prisoner, and whom they wished to give me as
a present.

When they heard me speak of the sea, vessels, scalps of the English, and
the young prisoner, they cried out more than before that he was a liar, and
thus they afterwards called him, as if it were the greatest insult they
could have done him, and they all united in saying that he ought to be put
to death, or else that he should tell with whom he had gone to the place
indicated, and state the lakes, rivers, and roads, by which he had gone. To
this he replied with assurance, that he had forgotten the name of the
savage, although he had stated to me his name more than twenty times, and
even on the previous day. In respect to the peculiarities of the country,
he had described them in a paper which he had handed me. Then I brought
forward the map and had it explained to the savages, who questioned him in
regard to it. To this he made no reply, but rather manifested by his sullen
silence his perverse nature.

As my mind was wavering in uncertainty, I withdrew by myself, and reflected
upon the above-mentioned particulars of the voyage of the English, and how
the reports of our liar were quite in conformity with it, also that there
was little probability of this young man's having invented all that, in
which case he would not have been willing to undertake the journey, but
that it was more probable that he had seen these things, and that his
ignorance did not permit him to reply to the questions of the savages. To
the above is to be added the fact that, if the report of the English be
true, the North Sea cannot be farther distant from this region than a
hundred leagues in latitude, for I was in latitude 47° and in longitude
296°.[71] But it may be that the difficulties attending the passage of the
falls, the roughness of the mountains covered with shows, is the reason why
this people have no knowledge of the sea in question; indeed they have
always said that from the country of the Ochateguins it is a journey of
thirty-five or forty days to the sea, which they see in three places, a
thing which they have again assured me of this year. But no one has spoken
to me of this sea on the north, except this liar, who had given me thereby
great pleasure in view of the shortness of the journey.

Now, when this canoe was ready, I had him summoned into the presence of his
companions; and after laying before him all that had transpired, I told him
that any further dissimulation was out of the question, and that he must
say whether he had seen these things or not; that I was desirous of
improving the opportunity that presented itself; that I had forgotten the
past; but that, if I went farther, I would have him hung and strangled,
which should be his sole reward. After meditating by himself, he fell on
his knees and asked my pardon, declaring that all he had said, both in
France and this country, in respect to the sea in question was false; that
he had never seen it, and that he had never gone farther than the village
of Tessoüat; that he had said these things in order to return to Canada.
Overcome with wrath at this, I had him removed, being unable to endure him
any longer in my presence, and giving orders to Thomas to inquire into the
whole matter in detail; to whom he stated, that he did not believe that I
would undertake the journey on account of the dangers, thinking that some
difficulty would present itself to prevent me from going on, as in the case
of these savages, who were not disposed to lend me canoes; and accordingly
that the journey would be put off until another year, when he being in
France would be rewarded for his discovery; but that, if I would leave him
in this country, he would go until he found the sea in question, even if he
should die in the attempt. These were his words as reported to me by
Thomas, but they did not give me much satisfaction, astounded as I was at
the effrontery and maliciousness of this liar: and I cannot imagine how he
could have devised this imposition, unless that he had heard of the
above-mentioned voyage of the English, and in the hope of some reward, as
he said, had the temerity to venture on it.

Shortly after I proceeded to notify the savages, to my great regret, of the
malignity of this liar, stating that he had confessed the truth; at which
they were delighted, reproaching me with the little confidence I put in
them, who were chiefs and my friends, and who always spoke the truth; and
who said that this liar ought to be put to death, being extremely
malicious; and they added, Do you not see that he meant to cause your
death. Give him to us, and we promise you that he shall not lie any more.
And as they all went after him shouting, their children also shouting still
more, I forbade them to do him any harm, directing them to keep their
children also from doing so, inasmuch as I wished to take him to the Falls
to show him to the gentlemen there, to whom he was to bring some salt
water; and I said that, when I arrived there, I would consult as to what
should be done with him.

My journey having been in this manner terminated, and without any hope of
seeing the sea in this direction, except in imagination, I felt a regret
that I should not have employed my time better, and that I should have had
to endure the difficulties and hardships, which however I was obliged
patiently to submit to. If I had gone in another direction, according to
the report of the savages, I should have made a beginning in a thing which
must be postponed to another time. At present my only wish being to return,
I desired the savages to go to the Falls of St. Louis, where there were
four vessels loaded with all kinds of merchandise, and where they would be
well treated. This they communicated to all their neighbors. Before setting
out, I made a cross of white cedar, which I planted in a prominent place on
the border of the lake, with the arms of France, and I begged the savages
to have the kindness to preserve it, as also those which they would find
along the ways we had passed; telling them that, if they broke them,
misfortune would befall them, but that, if they preserved them, they would
not be assaulted by their enemies. They promised to do so, and said that I
should find them when I came to visit them again.


65. It seems not improbable, as suggested by Laverdière, that this was the
same chief that Champlain met at Tadoussac in 1603, then called
_Besouat. Vide_ Vol. I. p. 242.

66. They crossed Muskrat Lake, and after a portage of a league, by general
estimation, they reached Lake Allumette. This lake is only the expanded
current of the river Ottawa on the southern side of Allumette Island;
which is formed by the bifurcation of the Ottawa.

67. Allumette Island, often called, in the _Relations des Jésuites_, simply
the Island. The savages in occupation were in the habit of exacting
tribute from the Hurons and others, who passed along on their war
excursions or their journeys for trade with the French at Montreal.
They bartered their maize with other tribes for skins with which they
clothed themselves.

68. The true latitude here is about 45° 47'. On the map of 1632 the
latitude corresponds with the statement in the text.

69. In his issue of 1632 Champlain corrects his statement as to the length
of Allumette Island, and says it is ten leagues long, which is nearly
correct. _Vide_ Quebec ed. p 868. Of this island Bouchette says that in
length it is about fifteen miles, and on an average four miles wide.
_British Dominions in North America_, London, 1831, Vol I. p. 187.

70. This tribe was subsequently known as the Nipissings, who dwelt on the
borders of Lake Nipissing. They were distinguished for their sorceries,
under the cover of which they appear to have practised impositions
which naturally enough rendered other neighboring Algonquin tribes
hostile to them.

71. The true latitude, as we have stated, _antea_, note 61, is about 45°
37'; but on Champlain's map it corresponds with the statement in the
text, and a hundred leagues north of where they then were, as his map
is constructed, would carry them to the place in the bay where Hudson
wintered, as stated by Champlain, and as laid down on his small map
included in this volume; but the longitude is incorrect, Allumette
Island being two or three degrees east of longitude 296°, as laid down
on Champlain's map of 1632.



On the 10th of June I took leave of Tessoüat, a good old captain, making
him presents, and promising him, if God preserved me in health, to come the
next year, prepared to go to war. He in turn promised to assemble a large
number by that time, declaring that I should see nothing but savages and
arms which would please me; he also directed his son to go with me for the
sake of company. Thus we set out with forty canoes, and passed by way [72]
of the river we had left, which extends northward, and where we went on
shore in order to cross the lakes. On the way we met nine large canoes of
the Ouescharini, with forty strong and powerful men, who had come upon the
news they had received; we also met others, making all together sixty
canoes; and we overtook twenty others, who had set out before us, each
heavily laden with merchandise.

We passed six or seven falls between the island of the Algonquins [73] and
the little fall, [74] where the country was very unpleasant I readily
realized that, if we had gone in that direction, we should have had much
more trouble, and would with difficulty have succeeded in getting through:
and it was not without reason that the savages opposed our liar, as his
only object was to cause my ruin.

Continuing our course ten or twelve leagues below the island of the
Algonquins, we rested on a very pleasant island, which was covered with
vines and nut-trees, and where we caught some fine fish. About midnight,
there arrived two canoes, which had been fishing farther off, and which
reported that they had seen four canoes of their enemies. At once three
canoes were despatched to reconnoitre, but they returned without having
seen anything. With this assurance all gave themselves up to sleep,
excepting the women, who resolved to spend the night in their canoes, not
feeling at ease on land. An hour before daylight a savage, having dreamed
that the enemy were attacking them, jumped up and started on a run towards
the water, in order to escape, shouting, They are killing me. Those
belonging to his band all awoke dumfounded and, supposing that they were
being pursued by their enemies, threw themselves into the water, as did
also one of our Frenchmen, who supposed that they were being overpowered.
At this great noise, the rest of us, who were at a distance, were at once
awakened, and without making farther investigation ran towards them: but as
we saw them here and there in the water, we were greatly surprised, not
seeing them pursued by their enemies, nor in a state of defence, in case of
necessity, but only ready to sacrifice themselves. After I had inquired of
our Frenchman about the cause of this excitement, he told me that a savage
had had a dream, and that he with the rest had thrown themselves into the
water in order to escape, supposing that they were being attacked.
Accordingly, the state of the case being ascertained, it all passed off in
a laugh.

Continuing our way, we came to the Chaudière Falls, where the savages went
through with the customary ceremony; which is as follows. After carrying
their canoes to the foot of the Fall, they assemble in one spot, where one
of them takes up a collection with a wooden plate, into which each one puts
a bit of tobacco. The collection having been made, the plate is placed in
the midst of the troupe, and all dance about it, singing after their style.
Then one of the captains makes an harangue, setting forth that for a long
time they have been accustomed to make this offering, by which means they
are insured protection against their enemies, that otherwise misfortune
would befall them, as they are convinced by the evil spirit; and they live
on in this superstition, as in many others, as we have said in other
places. This done, the maker of the harangue takes the plate, and throws
the tobacco into the midst of the caldron, whereupon they all together
raise a loud cry. These poor people are so superstitious, that they would
not believe it possible for them to make a prosperous journey without
observing this ceremony at this place, since their enemies await them at
this portage, not venturing to go any farther on account of the difficulty
of the journey, whence they say they surprise them there, as they have
sometimes done.

The next day we arrived at an island at the entrance to a lake, and seven
or eight leagues distant from the great Falls of St. Louis. Here while
reposing at night we had another alarm, the savages supposing that they had
seen the canoes of their enemies. This led them to make several large
fires, which I had them put out, representing to them the harm which might
result, namely, that instead of concealing they would disclose themselves.

On the 17th of June, we arrived at the Falls of St. Louis, where I found
L'Ange, who had come to meet me in a canoe to inform me, that Sieur de
Maisonneuve of St. Malo had brought a passport from the Prince for three
vessels. In order to arrange matters until I should see him, I assembled
all the savages and informed them that I did not wish them to traffic in
any merchandise until I had given them permission, and that I would furnish
them provisions as soon as we should arrive; which they promised, saying
that they were my friends. Thus, continuing our course, we arrived at the
barques, where we were saluted by some discharges of cannon, at which some
of our savages were delighted, and others greatly astonished, never having
heard such music. After I had landed, Maisonneuve came to me with the
passport of the Prince. As soon as I had seen it, I allowed him and his men
to enjoy the benefits of it like the rest of us; and I sent word to the
savages that they might trade on the next day.

After seeing all the chief men and relating the particulars of my journey
and the malice of my liar, at which they were greatly amazed, I begged them
to assemble, in order that in their presence, and that of the savages and
his companions, he might make declaration of his maliciousness; which they
gladly did. Being thus assembled, they summoned him, and asked him, why he
had not shown me the sea in the north, as he had promised me at his
departure. He replied that he had promised something impossible for him,
since he had never seen this sea, and that the desire of making the journey
had led him to say what he did, also that he did not suppose that I would
undertake it; and he begged them to be pleased to pardon him, as he also
did me again, confessing that he had greatly offended, and if I would leave
him in the country, he would by his efforts repair the offence, and see
this sea, and bring back trustworthy intelligence concerning it the
following year; and in view of certain considerations I pardoned him on
this condition.

After relating to them in detail the good treatment I had received at the
abodes of the savages, and how I had been occupied each day, I inquired
what they had done during my absence, and what had been the result of their
hunting excursions, and they said they had had such success that they
generally brought home six stags. Once on St. Barnabas's day, Sieur du
Parc, having gone hunting with two others, killed nine. These stags are not
at all like ours, and there are different kinds of them, some larger,
others smaller, which resemble closely our deer.[75] They had also a very
large number of pigeons, [76] and also fish, such as pike, carp, sturgeon,
shad, barbel, turtles, bass, and other kinds unknown to us, on which they
dined and supped every day. They were also all in better condition than
myself, who was reduced from work and the anxiety which I had experienced,
not having eaten more than once a day, and that of fish badly cooked and
half broiled.

On the 22d of June, about 8 o'clock in the evening, the savages sounded an
alarm because one of them had dreamed he had seen the Iroquois. In order to
content them, all the men took their arms, and some were sent to their
cabins to reassure them, and into the approaches to reconnoitre, so that,
finding it was a false alarm, they were satisfied with the firing of some
two hundred musket and arquebus shots, after which arms were laid down, the
ordinary guard only being left. This reassured them greatly, and they were
very glad to see the French ready to help them.

After the savages had bartered their articles of merchandise and had
resolved to return, I asked them to take with them two young men, to treat
them in a friendly manner, show them the country, and bind themselves to
bring them back. But they strongly objected to this, representing to me the
trouble our liar had given me, and fearing that they would bring me false
reports, as he had done. I replied that they were men of probity and truth,
and that if they would not take them they were not my friends, whereupon
they resolved to do so. As for out liar, none of the savages wanted him,
notwithstanding my request to them to take him, and we left him to the
mercy of God.

Finding that I had no further, business in this country, I resolved to
cross in the first vessel that should return to France. Sieur de
Maisonneuve, having his ready, offered me a passage, which I accepted; and
on the 27th of June I set out with Sieur L'Ange from the Falls, where we
left the other vessels, which were awaiting the return of the savages who
had gone to the war, and we arrived at Tadoussac on the 6th of July.

On the 8th of August [77] we were enabled by favorable weather to set
sail. On the 18th we left Gaspé and Isle Percée. On the 28th we were on the
Grand Bank, where the green fishery is carried on, and where we took as
many fish as we wanted.

On the 26th of August we arrived at St Malo, where I saw the merchants, to
whom I represented the ease of forming a good association in the future,
which they resolved to do, as those of Rouen and La Rochelle had done,
after recognizing the necessity of the regulations, without which it is
impossible to hope for any profit from these lands. May God by His grace
cause this undertaking to prosper to His honor and glory, the conversion of
these poor benighted ones, and to the welfare and honor of France.


72. By the Ottawa, which they had left a little below Portage du Fort, and
not by the same way they had come, through the system of small lakes,
of which Muskrat lake is one. _Vide Carte de la Nouvelle France_, 1632,
Vol. I. p. 304.

73. Allumette Island.

74. Near Gould's Landing, below or south of Portage da Fort.--_Vide
Champlain's Astrolabe_, by A. J. Russell, Montreal, 1879, p. 6.

75. At that time there were to be found in Canada at least four species of
the Cervus Family.

1. The Moose, _Cervus alces_, or _alces Americanus_, usually called by
the earliest writers _orignal_ or _orignac_. _Vide_ Vol. I. pp. 264,
265. This is the largest of all the deer family in this or in any other
part of the world The average weight has been placed at seven hundred
pounds, while extraordinary specimens probably attain twice that

2. The Wapiti, or American Elk, _Cervus elaphus_, or _Canadensis_. This
is the largest of the known deer except the preceding. The average
weight is probably less than six hundred pounds.

3. The Woodland Caribou, _Cervus tarandus_. It is smaller than the
Wapiti. Its range is now mostly in the northern regions of the
continent but specimens are still found in Nova Scotia and New
Brunswick. The female is armed with antlers as well as the male, though
they are smaller.

4. The Common Deer, _Cervus Virginianus_. It has the widest range of
any of the deer family. It is still found in every degree of latitude
from Mexico to British Columbia. _Vide Antelope and Deer of America_ by
John Dean Caton, LL.D., Boston, 1877.

76. _Palombes_. The passenger, or wild pigeon, _Ectopistes migratorius_.

77. _Le_ 8 _Aoust_. Laverdière suggests with much plausibility that this
should read "The 8th of July." Champlain could hardly have found it
necessary to remain at Tadoussac from the 6th of July to the 8th of
August for favorable weather to sail. If he had been detained by any
other cause, it would probably nave been deemed of sufficient gravity
to be specially mentioned.

From the year 1615 to the end of the year 1618.

Captain in ordinary to the King in the Western Sea.


_The manners, customs, dress, mode of warfare, hunting, dances, festivals,
and method of burial of various savage peoples, with many remarkable
experiences of the author in this country, and an account of the beauty,
fertility, and temperature of the same.


CLAUDE COLLET, in the Palace, at the gallery of the Prisoners.




_Sire, This is a third volume containing a narrative of what has transpired
most worthy of note during the voyages I have made to New France, and its
perusal will, I think, afford your Majesty greater pleasure than that of
those preceding, which only designate the ports, harbors, situations,
declinations, and other particulars, having more interest for navigators
and sailors than for other persons. In this narrative you will be able to
observe more especially the manners and mode of life of these peoples both
in particular and in general, their wars, ammunition, method of attack and
of defence, their expeditions and retreats in various circumstances,
matters about which those interested desire information. You will perceive
also that they are not savage to such an extent that they could not in
course of time and through association with others become civilised and
cultivated. You will likewise perceive how great hopes we cherish from the
long and arduous labors we have for the past fifteen years sustained, in
order to plant in this country the standard of the cross, and to teach the
people the knowledge of God and the glory of His holy name, it being our
desire to cultivate a feeling of charity towards His unfortunate creatures,
which it is our duty to practise more patiently than any other thing,
especially as there are many who have not entertained such purposes, but
have been influenced only by the desire of gain. Nevertheless we may, I
suppose, believe that these are the means which God makes use of for the
greater promotion of the holy desire of others. As the fruits which the
trees bear are from God, the Lord of the soil, who has planted, watered,
and nourished them with an especial care, so your Majesty can be called the
legitimate lord of our labors, and the good resulting from them, not only
because the land belongs to you, but also because you have protected us
against so many persons, whose only object has been by troubling us to
prevent the success of so holy a determination, taking from us the power to
trade freely in apart of your country, and striving to bring everything
into confusion, which would be, in a word, preparing the way for the ruin
of everything to the injury of your state. To this end your subjects have
employed every conceivable artifice and all possible means which they
thought could injure us. But all these efforts have been thwarted by your
Majesty, assisted by your prudent council, who have given us the authority
of your name, and supported us by your decrees rendered in our favor. This
is an occasion for increasing in us our long-cherished desire to send
communities and colonies there, to teach the people the knowledge of God,
and inform them of the glory and triumphs of your Majesty, so that together
with the French language they may also acquire a French heart and spirit,
which, next to the fear of God, will be inspired with nothing so ardently
as the desire to serve you. Should our design succeed, the glory of it will
be due, after God, to your Majesty, who will receive a thousand
benedictions from Heaven for so many souls saved by your instrumentality,
and your name will be immortalized for carrying the glory and sceptre of
the French as far to the Occident as your precursors have extended it to
the Orient, and over the entire habitable earth. This will augment the
quality of_ MOST CHRISTIAN _belonging to you above all the kings of the
earth, and show that it is as much your due by merit as it is your own of
right, it having been transmitted to you by your predecessors, who acquired
it by their virtues; for you have been pleased, in addition to so many
other important affairs, to give your attention to this one, so seriously
neglected hitherto, God's special grace reserving to your reign the
publication of His gospel, and the knowledge of His holy name to so many
tribes who had never heard of it. And some day may God's grace lead them,
as it does us, to pray to Him without ceasing to extend your empire, and to
vouchsafe a thousand blessings to your Majesty_.


_Your most humble, most faithful_,

_and most obedient servant and subject_,



As in the various affairs of the world each thing strives for its
perfection and the preservation of its being, so on the other hand does man
interest himself in the different concerns of others on some account,
either for the public good, or to acquire, apart from the common interest,
praise and reputation with some profit. Wherefore many have pursued this
course, but as for myself I have made choice of the most unpleasant and
difficult one of the perilous navigation of the seas; with the purpose,
however, not so much of gaining wealth, as the honor and glory of God in
behalf of my King and country, and contributing by my labors something
useful to the public good. And I make declaration that I have not been
tempted by any other ambition, as can be clearly perceived, not only by my
conduct in the past, but also by the narratives of my voyages, made by the
command of His Majesty, in New France, contained in my first and second
books, as may be seen in the same.

Should God bless our purpose, which aims only for His glory, and should any
fruit result from our discoveries and arduous labors, I will return thanks
to Him, and for Your Majesty's protection and assistance will continue my
prayers for the aggrandizement and prolongation of your reign.


By favor and license of the KING, permission is given to CLAUDE COLLET,
merchant bookseller in our city of Paris, to print, or have printed by such
printer as shall seem good to him, a book entitled, _Voyages and
Discoveries in New France, from the Year_ 1615 _to the End of the Year
1618. By Sieur de Champlain, Captain in Ordinary to the King in the Western
Sea_. All booksellers and printers of our kingdom are forbidden to print or
have printed, to sell wholesale or retail, said book, except with the
consent of said Collet, for the time and term of six years, beginning with
the day when said book is printed, on penalty of confiscation of the
copies, and a fine of four hundred _livres_, a half to go to us and a half
to said petitioner. It is our will, moreover, that this License should be
placed at the commencement or end of said book. This is our pleasure.

Given at Paris, the 18th day of May, 1619, and of our reign the tenth.

By the Council,



The strong love, which I have always cherished for the exploration of New
France, has made me desirous of extending more and more my travels over the
country, in order, by means of its numerous rivers, lakes, and streams, to
obtain at last a complete knowledge of it, and also to become acquainted
with the inhabitants, with the view of bringing them to the knowledge of
God. To this end I have toiled constantly for the past fourteen or fifteen
years, [78] yet have been able to advance my designs but little, because I
have not received the assistance which was necessary for the success of
such an undertaking. Nevertheless, without losing courage, I have not
ceased to push on, and visit various nations of the savages; and, by
associating familiarly with them, I have concluded, as well from their
conversation as from the knowledge already attained, that there is no
better way than, disregarding all storms and difficulties, to have patience
until His Majesty shall give the requisite attention to the matter, and
meanwhile, not only to continue the exploration of the country, but also to
learn the language, and form relations and friendships with the leading men
of the villages and tribes, in order to lay the foundations of a permanent
edifice, as well for the glory of God as for the renown of the French.

And His Majesty having transferred and intrusted the superintendence of
this work to Monseigneur the Prince de Condé, the latter has, by his
management, under the authority of His Majesty, sustained us against all
forts of jealousies and obstacles concerted by evil wishers. This has, as
it were, animated me and redoubled my courage for the continuation of my
labors in the exploration of New France, and with increased effort I have
pushed forward in my undertaking into the mainland, and farther on than I
had previously been, as will be hereafter indicated in the course of this

But it is appropriate to state first that, as I had observed in my previous
journeys, there were in some places people permanently settled, who were
fond of the cultivation of the soil, but who had neither faith nor law, and
lived without God and religion, like brute beasts. In view of this, I felt
convinced that I should be committing a grave offence if I did not take it
upon myself to devise some means of bringing them to the knowledge of
God. To this end I exerted myself to find some good friars, with zeal and
affection for the glory of God, that I might persuade them to send some
one, or go themselves, with me to these countries, and try to plant there
the faith, or at least do what was possible according to their calling, and
thus to observe and ascertain whether any good fruit could be gathered
there. But since to attain this object an expenditure would be required
exceeding my means, and for other reasons, I deferred the matter for a
while, in view of the difficulties there would be in obtaining what was
necessary and requisite in such an enterprise; and since, furthermore, no
persons offered to contribute to it. Nevertheless, while continuing my
search, and communicating my plan to various persons, a man of distinction
chanced to present himself, whose intimate acquaintance I enjoyed. This was
Sieur Hoüel, Secretary of the King and Controller-general of the salt works
at Brouage, a man of devoted piety, and of great zeal and love for the
honor of God and the extension of His religion. [79] He gave me the
following information, which afforded me great pleasure. He said that he
was acquainted with some good religious Fathers, of the order of the
Recollects, in whom he had confidence; and that he enjoyed such intimacy
and confidence with them that he could easily induce them to consent to
undertake the voyage; and that, as to the necessary means for sending out
three or four friars, there would be no lack of people of property who
would give them what they needed, offering for his part to assist them to
the extent of his ability; and, in fact, he wrote in relation to the
subject to Father du Verger, [80] who welcomed with joy the undertaking,
and, in accordance with the recommendation of Sieur Hoüel, communicated it
to some of his brethren, who, burning with charity, offered themselves
freely for this holy undertaking.

Now he was at that time in Saintonge, whence he sent two men to Paris with
a commission, though not with absolute power, reserving the rest to the
Nuncio of our Holy Father the Pope, who was at that time, in 1614, in
France. [81] He called upon these friars at their house in Paris, and was
greatly pleased with their resolution. We then went all together to see the
Sieur Nuncio, in order to communicate to him the commission, and entreat
him to interpose his authority in the matter. But he, on the contrary, told
us that he had no power whatever in such matters, and that it was to their
General that they were to address themselves. Notwithstanding this reply,
the Recollects, in consideration of the difficulty of the mission, were
unwilling to undertake the journey on the authority of Father du Verger,
fearing that it might not be sufficient, and that the commission might not
be valid, on which account the matter was postponed to the following
year. Meanwhile they took counsel, and came to a determination, according
to which all arrangements were made for the undertaking, which was to be
carried out in the following spring; awaiting which the two friars returned
to their convent at Brouage.

I for my part improved the time in arranging my affairs in preparation for
the voyage.

Some months after the departure of the two friars, the Reverend Father
Chapoüin, Provincial of the Recollect Fathers, a man of great piety,
returned to Paris. Sieur, Hoüel called on him, and narrated what had taken
place respecting the authority of Father du Verger, and the mission he had
given to the Recollect Fathers. After which narrative the Provincial Father
proceeded to extol the plan, and to interest himself with zeal in it,
promising to promote it with all his power, and adding that, he had not
before well comprehended the subject of this mission; and it is to be
believed that God inspired him more and more to prosecute the matter.
Subsequently he spoke of it to Monseigneur the Prince de Condé, and to all
the cardinals and bishops who were then assembled at Paris for the Session
of the Estates. All of them approved and commended the plan; and to show
that they were favorably disposed towards it, they assured the Sieur
Provincial that they would devise among themselves and the members of the
Court means for raising a small fund, and that they would collect some
money for assisting four friars to be chosen, and who were then chosen for
the execution of so holy a work. And in order to facilitate the
undertaking, I visited at the Estates the cardinals and bishops, and
urgently represented to them the advantage, and usefulness which might one
day result, in order by my entreaties to move them to give, and cause
others who might be stimulated by their example to give, contributions and
presents, leaving all to their good will and judgment.

The contributions which were made for the expenses of this expedition
amounted to nearly fifteen hundred _livres_, which were put into my hands,
and then employed, according to the advice and in the presence of the
Fathers, for the purchase of what was necessary, not only for the
maintenance of the Fathers who should undertake the journey into New
France, but also for their clothing, and the attire and ornaments necessary
for performing divine service. The friars were sent on in advance to
Honfleur, where their embarkation was to take place.

Now the Fathers who were appointed for this holy enterprise were Father
Denis [82] as commissary, Jean d'Olbeau, [83] Joseph le Caron, and
Pacifique du Plessis, [84] each of whom was moved by a holy zeal and ardor
to make the journey, through God's grace, in order to see if they might
produce some good fruit, and plant in these regions the standard of Jesus
Christ, determined to live and to die for His holy name, should it be
necessary to do so and the occasion require it. Everything having been
prepared, they provided themselves with church ornaments, and we with what
was necessary for our voyage.

I left Paris the last day of February to meet at Rouen our associates, and
represent to them the will of Monseigneur the Prince, and also his desire
that these good Fathers should make the journey, since he recognized the
fact that the affairs of the country could hardly reach any perfection or
advancement, if God should not first of all be served; with which our
associates were highly pleased, promising to assist the Fathers to the
extent of their ability, and provide them with the support they might need.

The Fathers arrived at Rouen the twentieth of March following, where we
stayed some time. Thence we went to Honfleur to embark, where we also
stayed some days, waiting for our vessel to be got ready, and loaded with
the necessaries for so long a voyage. Meanwhile preparations were made in
matters of conscience, so that each one of us might examine himself, and
cleanse himself from his sins by penitence and confession, in order to
celebrate the sacrament and attain a state of grace, so that, being thereby
freer in conscience, we might under the guidance of God, expose ourselves
to the mercy of the waves of the great and perilous sea.

This done, we embarked on the vessel of the association, which was of three
hundred and fifty tons burden, and was called the Saint Étienne, commanded
by Sieur de Pont Gravé. We departed from Honfleur on the twenty-fourth day
of August, [85] in the above-mentioned year, and set sail with a very
favorable wind. We continued on our voyage without encountering ice or
other dangers, through the mercy of God, and in a short time arrived off
the place called _Tadoussac_, on the twenty-fifth day of May, when we
rendered thanks to God for having conducted us so favorably to the harbor
of our destination.

Then we began to set men at work to fit up our barques in order to go to
Quebec, the place of our abode, and to the great Falls of Saint Louis, the
rendezvous of the savages, who come there to traffic.

The barques having been fitted up, we went on board with the Fathers, one
of whom, named Father Joseph, [86] desired, without stopping or making any
stay at Quebec, to go directly to the great Falls, where he saw all the
savages and their mode of life. This induced him to go and spend the winter
in their country and that of other tribes who have a fixed abode, not only
in order to learn their language, but also to see what the prospect was of
their conversion to Christianity. This resolution having been formed, he
returned to Quebec the twentieth day of June [87] for some church ornaments
and other necessaries. Meanwhile I had stayed at Quebec in order to arrange
matters relating to our habitation, as the lodgings of the Fathers, church
ornaments, the construction of a chapel for the celebration of the mass, as
also the employment of persons for clearing up lands. I embarked for the
Falls together with Father Denis, [88] who had arrived the same day from
Tadoussac with Sieur de Pont Gravé.

As to the other friars, viz., Fathers Jean and Pacifique, [89] they stayed
at Quebec in order to fit up their chapel and arrange their lodgings. They
were greatly pleased at seeing the place so different from what they had
imagined, which increased their zeal.

We arrived at the Rivière des Prairies, five leagues below the Falls of
Saint Louis, whither the savages had come down. I will not attempt to speak
of the pleasure which our Fathers experienced at seeing, not only so long
and large a river, filled with many fine islands and bordered by a region
apparently so fertile, but also a great number of strong and robust men,
with natures not so savage as their manners, nor as they acknowledged they
had conceived them to be, and very different from what they had been given
to understand, owing to their lack of cultivation. I will not enter into a
description of them, but refer the reader to what I have said about them in
my preceding books, printed in the year 1614. [90]

To continue my narrative: We met Father Joseph, who was returning to Quebec
in order to make preparations, and take what he needed for wintering in
their country. This I did not think advisable at this season, but
counselled him rather to spend the winter at our settlement as being more
for his comfort, and undertake the journey when spring came or at least in
summer, offering to accompany him, and adding that by doing so he would not
fail to see what he might have seen by going, and that by returning and
spending the winter at Quebec he would have the society of his brothers and
others who remained at the settlement, by which he would be more profited
than by staying alone among these people, with whom he could not, in my
opinion, have much satisfaction. Nevertheless, in spite of all that could
be said to him and all representations, he would not change his purpose,
being urged by a godly zeal and love for this people, and hoping to make
known to them their salvation.

His motive in undertaking this enterprise, as he stated to us, was that he
thought it was necessary for him to go there not only in order to become
better acquainted with the characteristics of the people, but also to learn
more easily their language. In regard to the difficulties which it was
represented to him that he would have to encounter in his intercourse with
them, he felt assured that he could bear and overcome them, and that he
could adapt himself very well and cheerfully to the manner of living and
the inconveniences he would find, through the grace of God, of whose
goodness and help he felt clearly assured, being convinced that, since he
went on His service, and since it was for the glory of His name and the
preaching of His holy gospel that he undertook freely this journey, He
would never abandon him in his undertaking. And in regard to temporal
provisions very little was needed to satisfy a man who demands nothing but
perpetual poverty, and who seeks for nothing but heaven, not only for
himself but also for his brethren, it not being consistent with his rule of
life to have any other ambition than the glory of God, and it being his
purpose to endure to this end all the hardships, sufferings, and labors
which might offer.

Seeing him impelled by so holy a zeal and so ardent a charity, I was
unwilling to try any more to restrain him. Thus he set out with the purpose
of being the first to announce through His holy favor to this people the
name of God, having the great satisfaction that an opportunity presented
itself for suffering something for the name and glory of our Saviour Jesus

As soon as I had arrived at the Falls, I visited the people, who were very
desirous of seeing us and delighted at our return. They hoped that we would
furnish them some of our number to assist them in their wars against our
enemies, representing to us that they could with difficulty come to us if
we should not assist them; for the Iroquois, they said, their old enemies,
were always on the road obstructing their passage. Moreover I had
constantly promised to assist them in their wars, as they gave us to
understand by their interpreter. Whereupon Sieur Pont Gravé and myself
concluded that it was very necessary to assist them, not only in order to
put them the more under obligations to love us, but also to facilitate my
undertakings and explorations which, as it seemed, could only be
accomplished by their help, and also as this would be a preparatory step to
their conversion to Christianity. [91] Therefore I resolved to, go and
explore their country and assist them in their wars, in order to oblige
them to show me what they had so many times promised to do.

We accordingly caused them all to assemble together, that we might
communicate to them our intention. When they had heard it, they promised to
furnish us two thousand five hundred and fifty men of war, who would do
wonders, with the understanding that I with the same end in view should
very glad to see them decide so well. Then I proceeded to make known to
them the methods to be adopted for fighting, in which they took especial
pleasure, manifesting a strong hope of victory. Everything having been
decided upon, we separated with the intention of returning for the
execution of our undertaking. But before entering upon this journey, which
would require not less than three or four months, it seemed desirable that
I should go to our settlement to make the necessary arrangements there for
my absence.

On the ---- day of ---- following I set out on my return to the Rivière des
Prairies. [92] While there with two canoes of savages I met Father Joseph,
who was returning from our settlement with some church ornaments for
celebrating the holy sacrifice of the mass, which was chanted on the border
of the river with all devotion by the Reverend Fathers Denis and Joseph, in
presence of all the people, who were amazed at seeing the ceremonies
observed and the ornaments which seemed to them so handsome. It was
something which they had never before seen, for these Fathers were the
first who celebrated here the holy mass.

To return and continue the narrative of my journey: I arrived at Quebec on
the 26th, where I found the Fathers Jean and Pacifique in good health. They
on their part did their duty at that place in getting all things ready.
They celebrated the holy mass, which had never been said there before, nor
had there ever been any priest in this region.

Having arranged all matters at Quebec, I took with me two men and returned
to the Rivière des Prairies, in order to go with the savages. I left Quebec
on the fourth day of July, and on the eighth of the month while _en route_
I met Sieur du Pont Gravé and Father Denis, who were returning to Quebec,
and who told me that the savages had departed greatly disappointed at my
not going with them; and that many of them declared that we were dead or
had been taken by the Iroquois, since I was to be gone only four or five
days, but had been gone ten. This made them and even our own Frenchmen give
up hope, so much did they long to see us again. They told me that Father
Joseph had departed with twelve Frenchmen, who had been furnished to assist
the savages. This intelligence troubled me somewhat; since, if I had been
there, I should have arranged many things for the journey, which I could
not now do. I was troubled not only on account of the small number of men,
but also because there were only four or five who were acquainted with the
handling of arms, while in such an expedition the best are not too good in
this particular. All this however did not cause me to lose courage at all
for going on with the expedition, on account of the desire I had of
continuing my explorations. I separated accordingly from Sieurs du Pont
Gravé and Father Denis, determined to go on in the two canoes which I had,
and follow after the savages, having provided myself with what I needed.

On the 9th of the month I embarked with two others, namely, one of our
interpreters [93] and my man, accompanied by ten savages in the two canoes,
these being all they could carry, as they were heavily loaded and
encumbered with clothes, which prevented me from taking more men.

We continued our voyage up the River St. Lawrence some six leagues, and
then went by the Rivière des Prairies, which discharges into that river.
Leaving on the left the Falls of St. Louis, which are five or six leagues
higher up, and passing several small falls on this river, we entered a
lake, [94] after passing which we entered the river where I had been
before, which leads to the Algonquins, [95] a distance of eighty-nine
leagues [96] from the Falls of St. Louis. Of this river I have made an
ample description, with an account of my explorations, in my preceding
book, printed in 1614.[97] For this reason I shall not speak of it in this
narrative, but pass on directly to the lake of the Algonquins.[98] Here we
entered a river [99] which flows into this lake, up which we went some
thirty-five leagues, passing a large number of falls both by land and
water, the country being far from attractive, and covered with pines,
birches, and some oaks, being also very rocky, and in many places somewhat
hilly. Moreover it was very barren and sterile, being but thinly inhabited
by certain Algonquin savages, called _Otaguottouemin_, [100] who dwell in
the country, and live by hunting and the fish they catch in the rivers,
ponds, and lakes, with which the region is well provided. It seems indeed
that God has been pleased to give to these forbidding and desert lands some
things in their season for the refreshment of man and the inhabitants of
these places. For I assure you that there are along the rivers many
strawberries, also a marvellous quantity of blueberries, [101] a little
fruit very good to eat, and other small fruits. The people here dry these
fruits for the winter, as we do plums in France for Lent We left this
river, which comes from the north, [102] and by which the savages go to the
Saguenay to barter their furs for tobacco. This place is situated in
latitude 46°, and is very pleasant, but otherwise of little account. [103]

Continuing our journey by land, after leaving the river of the Algonquins,
we passed several lakes [104] where the savages carry their canoes, and
entered the lake of the Nipissings,[105] in latitude 46° 15', on the
twenty-sixth day of the month, having gone by land and the lakes twenty-
five leagues, or thereabouts.[106] We then arrived at the cabins of the
savages, with whom we stayed two days. There was a large number of them,
who gave us a very welcome reception. They are a people who cultivate the
land but little. A shows the dress of these people as they go to war; B
that of the women, which differs in no wise from that of the Montagnais and
the great people of the Algonquins, extending far into the interior.[107]

During the time that I was with them the chief of this tribe and their most
prominent men entertained us with many banquets according to their custom,
and took the trouble to go fishing and hunting with me, in order to treat
me with the greatest courtesy possible. These people are very numerous,
there being from seven to eight hundred souls, who live in general near the
lake. This contains a large number of very pleasant islands, among others
one more than six leagues long, with three or four fine ponds and a number
of fine meadows; it is bordered by very fine woods, that contain an
abundance of game, which frequent the little ponds, where the savages also
catch fish. The northern side of the lake is very pleasant, with fine
meadows for the grazing of cattle, and many little streams, discharging
into the lake.

They were fishing at that time in a lake very abundant in various kinds of
fish, among others one a foot long that was very good. There are also other
kinds which the savages catch for the purpose of drying and storing away.
The lake is some eight leagues broad and twenty-five long,[108] into which
a river [109] flows from the northwest, along which they go to barter the
merchandise, which we give them in exchange for their peltry, with, those
who live on it, and who support themselves by hunting and fishing, their
country containing great quantities of animals, birds, and fish.[110]

After resting two days with the chief of the Nipissings we re-embarked in
our canoes, and entered a river, by which this lake discharges itself.[111]
We proceeded down it some thirty-five leagues, and descended several little
falls by land and by water, until we reached Lake Attigouautan. All this
region is still more unattractive than the preceding, for I saw along this
river only ten acres of arable land, the rest being rocky and very hilly.
It is true that near Lake Attigouautan we found some Indian corn, but only
in small quantity. Here our savages proceeded to gather some squashes,
which were acceptable to us, for our provisions began to give out in
consequence of the bad management of the savages, who ate so heartily at
the beginning that towards the end very little was left, although we had
only one meal a day. But, as I have mentioned before, we did not lack for
blueberries [112] and strawberries; otherwise we should have been in danger
of being reduced to straits.

We met three hundred men of a tribe we named _Cheveux Relevés_, [113] since
their hair is very high and carefully arranged, and better dressed beyond
all comparison than that of our courtiers, in spite of their irons and
refinements. This gives them a handsome appearance. They have no breeches,
and their bodies are very much pinked in divisions of various shapes. They
paint their faces in various colors, have their nostrils pierced, and their
ears adorned with beads. When they go out of their houses they carry a
club. I visited them, became somewhat acquainted, and formed a friendship
with them. I gave a hatchet to their chief, who was as much pleased and
delighted with it as if I had given him some rich present. Entering into
conversation with him, I inquired in regard to the extent of his country,
which he pictured to me with coal on the bark of a tree. He gave me to
understand that he had come into this place for drying the fruit called
_bluës_ [114] to serve for manna in winter, and when they can find nothing
else. A and C show the manner in which they arm themselves when they go to
war. They have as arms only the bow and arrow, made in the manner you see
depicted, and which they regularly carry; also a round shield of dressed
leather [115] made from an animal like the buffalo. [116]

The next day we separated, and continued our course, along the shore of the
lake of the Attigouautan, [117] which contains a large number of
islands. We went some forty-five leagues, all the time along the shore of
the lake. It is very large, nearly four hundred leagues long from east to
west, and fifty leagues broad, and in view of its great extent I have named
it the _Mer Douce_. [118] It is very abundant in various sorts of very good
fish, both those which we have and those we do not, but especially in
trout, which are enormously large, some of which I saw as long as four feet
and a half, the least being two feet and a half. There are also pike of
like size, and a certain kind of sturgeon, a very large fish and of
remarkable excellence. The country bordering this lake is partly hilly, as
on the north side, and partly flat, inhabited by savages, and thinly
covered with wood, including oaks. After crossing a bay, which forms one of
the extremities of the lake, [119] we went some seven leagues until we
arrived in the country of the Attigouautan at a village called _Otoüacha_,
on the first day of August. Here we found a great change in the country. It
was here very fine, the largest part being cleared up, and many hills and
several rivers rendering the region agreeable. I went to see their Indian
corn, which was at that time far advanced for the season.

These localities seemed to me very pleasant, in comparison with so
disagreeable a region as that from which we had come. The next day I went
to another village, called _Carmaron_, a league distant from this, where
they received us in a very friendly manner, making for us a banquet with
their bread, squashes, and fish. As to meat, that is very scarce there. The
chief of this village earnestly begged me to stay, to which I could not
consent, but returned to our village, where on the next night but one, as I
went out of the cabin to escape the fleas, of which there were large
numbers and by which we were tormented, a girl of little modesty came
boldly to me and offered to keep me company, for which I thanked her,
sending her away with gentle remonstrances, and spent the night with some

The next day I departed from this village to go to another, called
_Touaguainchain_, and to another, called _Tequenonquiaye_, in which we were
received in a very friendly manner by the inhabitants, who showed us the
best cheer they could with their Indian corn served in various styles. This
country is very fine and fertile, and travelling through it is very

Thence I had them guide me to Carhagouha, which was fortified by a triple
palisade of wood thirty-five feet high for its defence and protection. In
this village Father Joseph was staying, whom we saw and were very glad to
find well. He on his part was no less glad, and was expecting nothing so
little as to see me in this country. On the twelfth day of August the
Recollect Father celebrated the holy mass, and a cross was planted near a
small house apart from the village, which the savages built while I was
staying there, awaiting the arrival of our men and their preparation to go
to the war, in which they had been for a long time engaged.

Finding that they were so slow in assembling their army, and that I should
have time to visit their country, I resolved to go by short days' journeys
from village to village as far as Cahiagué, where the rendezvous of the
entire army was to be, and which was fourteen leagues distant from
Carhagouha, from which village I set out on the fourteenth of August with
ten of my companions. I visited five of the more important villages, which
were enclosed with palisades of wood, and reached Cahiagué, the principal
village of the country, where there were two hundred large cabins and where
all the men of war were to assemble. Now in all these villages they
received us very courteously with their simple welcome. All the country
where I went contains some twenty to thirty leagues, is very fine, and
situated in latitude 44° 30'. It is very extensively cleared up. They plant
in it a great quantity of Indian corn, which grows there finely. They plant
likewise squashes,[120] and sun-flowers,[121] from the seed of which they
make oil, with which they anoint the head. The region is extensively
traversed with brooks, discharging into the lake. There are many very good
vines [122] and plums, which are excellent,[123] raspberries,[124]
strawberries,[125] little wild apples,[126] nuts,[127] and a kind of fruit
of the form and color of small lemons, with a similar taste, but having an
interior which is very good and almost like that of figs. The plant which
bears this fruit is two and a half feet high, with but three or four leaves
at most, which are of the shape of those of the fig-tree, and each plant
bears but two pieces of fruit. There are many of these plants in various
places, the fruit being very good and savory.[128] Oaks, elms, and beeches
[129] are numerous here, as also forests of fir, the regular retreat of
partridges [130] and hares.[131] There are also quantities of small
cherries [132] and black cherries,[133] and the same varieties of wood that
we have in our forests in France. The soil seems to me indeed a little
sandy, yet it is for all that good for their kind of cereal. The small
tract of country which I visited is thickly settled with a countless number
of human beings, not to speak of the other districts where I did not go,
and which, according to general report, are as thickly settled or more so
than those mentioned above. I reflected what a great misfortune it is that
so many poor creatures live and die without the knowledge of God, and even
without any religion or law established among them, whether divine,
political, or civil; for they neither worship, nor pray to any object, at
least so far as I could perceive from their conversation. But they have,
however, some sort of ceremony, which I shall describe in its proper place,
in regard to the sick, or in order to ascertain what is to happen to them,
and even in regard to the dead. These, however, are the works of certain
persons among them, who want to be confidentially consulted in such
matters, as was the case among the ancient pagans, who allowed themselves
to be carried away by the persuasions of magicians and diviners. Yet the
greater part of the people do not believe at all in what these charlatans
do and say. They are very generous to one another in regard to provisions,
but otherwise very avaricious. They do not give in return. They are clothed
with deer and beaver skins, which they obtain from the Algonquins and
Nipissings in exchange for Indian corn and meal.

On the 17th of August I arrived at Cahiagué, where I was received with
great joy and gladness by all the savages of the country, who had abandoned
their undertaking, in the belief that they would see me no more, and that
the Iroquois had captured me, as I have before stated. This was the cause
of the great delay experienced in this expedition, they even having
postponed it to the following year. Meanwhile they received intelligence
that a certain nation of their allies, [134] dwelling three good days'
journeys beyond the Entouhonorons, [135] on whom the Iroquois also make
war, desired to assist them in this expedition with five hundred good men;
also to form an alliance and establish a friendship with us, that we might
all engage in the war together; moreover that they greatly desired to see
us and give expression to the pleasure they would have in making our

I was glad to find this opportunity for gratifying my desire of obtaining a
knowledge of their country. It is situated only seven days from where the
Dutch [136] go to traffic on the fortieth degree. The savages there,
assisted by the Dutch, make war upon them, take them prisoners, and cruelly
put them to death; and indeed they told us that the preceding year, while
making war, they captured three of the Dutch, who were assisting their
enemies, [137] as we do the Attigouautans, and while in action one of their
own men was killed. Nevertheless they did not fail to send back the three
Dutch prisoners, without doing them any harm, supposing that they belonged
to our party, since they had no knowledge of us except by hearsay, never
having seen a Christian; otherwise, they said, these three prisoners would
not have got off so easily, and would not escape again should they surprise
and take them. This nation is very warlike, as those of the nation of the
Attigouautans maintain. They have only three villages, which are in the
midst of more than twenty others, on which they make war without assistance
from their friends; for they are obliged to pass through the thickly
settled country of the Chouontouaroüon,[138] or else they would have to
make a very long circuit.

After arriving at the village, it was necessary for me to remain until the
men of war should come from the surrounding villages, so that we might be
off as soon as possible. During this time there was a constant succession
of banquets and dances on account of the joy they experienced at seeing me
so determined to assist them in their war, just as if they were already
assured of victory.

The greater portion of our men having assembled, we set out from the
village on the first day of September, and passed along the shore of a
small lake, [139] distant three leagues from the village, where they catch
large quantities of fish, which they preserve for the winter. There is
another lake, [140] closely adjoining, which is twenty-five leagues in
circuit, and slows into the small one by a strait, where the above
mentioned extensive fishing is carried on. This is done by means of a large
number of stakes which almost close the strait, only some little openings
being left where they place their nets, in which the fish are caught. These
two lakes discharge into the _Mer Douce_. We remained some time in this
place to await the rest of our savages. When they were all assembled, with
their arms, meal, and necessaries, it was decided to choose some of the
most resolute men to compose a party to go and give notice of our departure
to those who were to assist us with five hundred men, that they might join
us, and that we might appear together before the fort of the enemy. This
decision having been made, they dispatched two canoes, with twelve of the
most stalwart savages, and also with one of our interpreters, [141] who
asked me to permit him to make the journey, which I readily accorded,
inasmuch as he was led to do so of his own will, and as he might in this
way see their country and get a knowledge of the people living there. The
danger, however, was not small, since it was necessary to pass through the
midst of enemies. They set out on the 8th of the month, and on the 10th
following there was a heavy white frost.

We continued our journey towards the enemy, and went some five or six
leagues through these lakes, [142] when the savages carried their canoes
about ten leagues by land. We then came to another lake, [143] six to seven
leagues in length and three broad. From this flows a river which discharges
into the great lake of the Entouhonorons. After traversing this lake we
passed a fall, and continuing our course down this river for about
sixty-four leagues [144] entered the lake of the Entouhonorons, having
passed, on our way by land, five falls, some being from four to five
leagues long. We also passed several lakes of considerable size, through
which the river passes. The latter is large and very abundant in good fish.

It is certain that all this region is very fine and pleasant. Along the
banks it seems as if the trees had been set out for ornament in most
places, and that all these tracts were in former times inhabited by
savages, who were subsequently compelled to abandon them from fear of their
enemies. Vines and nut-trees are here very numerous. Grapes mature, yet
there is always a very pungent tartness which is felt remaining in the
throat when one eats them in large quantities, arising from defect of
cultivation. These localities are very pleasant when cleared up.

Stags and bears are here very abundant. We tried the hunt and captured a
large number as we journeyed down. It was done in this way. They place four
or five hundred savages in line in the woods, so that they extend to
certain points on the river; then marching in order with bow and arrow in
hand, shouting and making a great noise in order to frighten the beasts,
they continue to advance until they come to the end of the point. Then all
the animals between the point and the hunters are forced to throw
themselves into the water, as many at least as do not fall by the arrows
shot at them by the hunters. Meanwhile the savages, who are expressly
arranged and posted in their canoes along the shore, easily approach the
stags and other animals, tired out and greatly frightened in the chase,
when they readily kill them with the spear heads attached to the extremity
of a piece of wood of the shape of a half pike. This is the way they engage
in the chase; and they do likewise on the islands where there are large
quantities of game. I took especial pleasure in seeing them hunt thus and
in observing their dexterity. Many animals were killed by the shot of the
arquebus, at which the savages were greatly surprised. But it unfortunately
happened that, while a stag was being killed, a savage, who chanced to come
in range, was wounded by a shot of an arquebus. Thence a great commotion
arose among them, which however subsided when some presents were given to
the wounded. This is the usual manner of allaying and settling quarrels,
and, in case of the death of the wounded, presents are given to the
relatives of the one killed.

As to smaller game there is a large quantity of it in its season. There are
also many cranes,[145] white as swans, and other varieties of birds like
those in France.

We proceeded by short days' journeys as far as the shore of the lake of the
Entouhonorons, constantly hunting as before mentioned. Here at its eastern
extremity, which is the entrance to the great River St. Lawrence, we made
the traverse, in latitude 43°, [146] where in the passage there are very
large beautiful islands. We went about fourteen leagues in passing to the
southern side of the lake towards the territory of the enemy. [147] The
savages concealed all their canoes in the woods near the shore. We went
some four leagues over a sandy strand, where I observed a very pleasant and
beautiful country, intersected by many little streams and two small rivers,
which discharge into the before-mentioned lake, also many ponds and
meadows, where there was an endless amount of game, many vines, fine woods,
and a large number of chestnut trees, whose fruit was still in the burr.
The chestnuts are small, but of a good flavor. The country is covered with
forests, which over its greater portion have not been cleared up. All the
canoes being thus hidden, we left the border of the lake, [148] which is
some eighty leagues long and twenty-five wide. [149] The greater portion of
its shores is inhabited by savages. We continued our course by land for
about twenty-five or thirty leagues. In the space of four days we crossed
many brooks, and a river which proceeds from a lake that discharges into
that of the Entouhonorons. [150] This lake is twenty-five or thirty leagues
in circuit, contains some fine islands, and is the place where our enemies,
the Iroquois, catch their fish, in which it abounds.

On the 9th of the month of October our savages going out to reconnoitre met
eleven savages, whom they took prisoners. They consisted of four women,
three boys, one girl, and three men, who were going fishing and were
distant some four leagues from the fort of the enemy. Now it is to be noted
that one of the chiefs, on seeing the prisoners, cut off the finger of one
of these poor women as a beginning of their usual punishment; upon which I
interposed and reprimanded the chief, Iroquet, representing to him that it
was not the act of a warrior, as he declared himself to be, to conduct
himself with cruelty towards women, who have no defence but their tears and
that one should treat them with humanity on account of their helplessness
and weakness; and I told him that on the contrary this act would be deemed
to proceed from a base and brutal courage, and that if he committed any
more of these cruelties he would not give me heart to assist them or favor
them in the war. To which the only answer he gave me was that their enemies
treated them in the same manner, but that, since this was displeasing to
me, he would not do anything more to the women, although; he would to the

The next day, at three o'clock in the afternoon, we arrived before the fort
[151] of their enemies, where the savages made some skirmishes with each
other, although our design was not to disclose ourselves until the next
day, which however the impatience of our savages would not permit, both on
account of their desire to see fire opened upon their enemies, and also
that they might rescue some of their own men who had become too closely
engaged, and were hotly pressed. Then I approached the enemy, and although
I had only a few men, yet we showed them what they had never seen nor heard
before; for, as soon as they saw us and heard the arquebus shots and the
balls whizzing in their ears, they withdrew speedily to their fort,
carrying the dead and wounded in this charge. We also withdrew to our main
body, with five or six wounded, one of whom died.

This done, we withdrew to the distance of cannon range, out of sight of the
enemy, but contrary to my advice and to what they had promised me. This
moved me to address them very rough and angry words in order to incite them
to do their duty, foreseeing that if everything should go according to
their whim and the guidance of their council, their utter ruin would be the
result. Nevertheless I did not fail to send to them and propose means which
they should use in order to get possession of their enemies.

These were, to make with certain kinds of wood a _cavalier_, which should
be higher than the palisades. Upon this were to be placed four or five of
our arquebusiers, who should keep up a constant fire over their palisades
and galleries, which were well provided with stones, and by this means
dislodge the enemy who might attack us from their galleries. Meanwhile
orders were to be given to procure boards for making a sort of mantelet to
protect our men from the arrows and stones of which the savages generally
make use. These instruments, namely the cavalier and mantelets, were
capable of being carried by a large number of men. One mantelet was so
constructed that the water could not extinguish the fire, which might be
set to the fort, under cover of the arquebusiers who were doing their duty
on the cavalier. In this manner, I told them, we might be able to defend
ourselves so that the enemy could not approach to extinguish the fire which
we should set to their ramparts.

This proposition they thought good and very seasonable, and immediately
proceeded to carry it out as I directed. In fact the next day they set to
work, some to cut wood, others to gather it, for building and equipping the
cavalier and mantelets. The work was promptly executed and in less than
four hours, although the amount of wood they had collected for burning
against the ramparts, in order to set fire to them, was very small. Their
expectation was that the five hundred men who had promised to come would do
so on this day, but doubt was felt about them, since they had not appeared
at the rendezvous, as they had been charged to do, and as they had
promised. This greatly troubled our savages; but seeing that they were
sufficiently numerous to take the fort without other assistance, and
thinking for my part that delay, if not in all things at least in many, is
prejudicial, I urged them to attack it, representing to them that the
enemy, having become aware of their force and our arms, which pierced
whatever was proof against arrows, had begun to barricade themselves and
cover themselves with strong pieces of wood, with which they were well
provided and their village filled. I told them that the least delay was the
best, since the enemy had already strengthened themselves very much; for
their village was enclosed by four good palisades, which were made of great
pieces of wood, interlaced with each other, with an opening of not more
than half a foot between two, and which were thirty feet high, with
galleries after the manner of a parapet, which they had furnished with
double pieces of wood that were proof against our arquebus shots. Moreover
it was near a pond where the water was abundant, and was well supplied with
gutters, placed between each pair of palisades, to throw out water, which
they had also under cover inside, in order to extinguish fire. Now this is
the character of their fortifications and defences, which are much stronger
than the villages of the Attigouautan and others.

We approached to attack the village, our cavalier being carried by two
hundred of the strongest men, who put it down before the village at a
pike's length off. I ordered three arquebusiers to mount upon it, who were
well protected from the arrows and stones that could be shot or hurled at
them. Meanwhile the enemy did not fail to send a large number of arrows
which did not miss, and a great many stones, which they hurled from their
palisades. Nevertheless a hot fire of arquebuses forced them to dislodge
and abandon their galleries, in consequence of the cavalier which uncovered
them, they not venturing to show themselves, but fighting under shelter.
Now when the cavalier was carried forward, instead of bringing up the
mantelets according to order, including that one under cover of which we
were to set the fire, they abandoned them and began to scream at their
enemies, shooting arrows into the fort, which in my opinion did little harm
to the enemy.

But we must excuse them, for they are not warriors, and besides will have
no discipline nor correction, and will do only what they please.
Accordingly one of them set fire inconsiderately to the wood placed against
the fort of the enemy, quite the wrong way and in the face of the wind, so
that it produced no effect.

This fire being out, the greater part of the savages began to carry wood
against the palisades, but in so small quantity that the fire could have no
great effect. There also arose such disorder among them that one could not
understand another, which greatly troubled me. In vain did I shout in their
ears and remonstrate to my utmost with them as to the danger to which they
exposed themselves by their bad behavior, but on account of the great noise
they made they heard nothing. Seeing that shouting would only burst my
head, and that my remonstrances were useless for putting a stop to the
disorder, I did nothing more, but determined together with my men to do
what we could, and fire upon such as we could see.

Meanwhile the enemy profited by our disorder to get water and pour it so
abundantly that you would have said brooks were flowing through their
spouts, the result of which was that the fire was instantly extinguished,
while they did not cease shooting their arrows, which fell upon us like
hail. But the men on the cavalier killed and maimed many. We were engaged
in this combat about three hours, in which two of our chiefs and leading
warriors were wounded, namely, one called _Ochateguain_ and another
_Orani_, together with some fifteen common warriors. The others, seeing
their men and some of the chiefs wounded, now began to talk of a retreat
without farther fighting, in expectation of the five hundred men, [152]
whose arrival could not be much delayed. Thus they retreated, a disorderly

Moreover the chiefs have in fact no absolute control over their men, who
are governed by their own will and follow their own fancy, which is the
cause of their disorder and the ruin of all their undertakings; for, having
determined upon anything with their leaders, it needs only the whim of a
villain, or nothing at all, to lead them to break it off and form a new
plan. Thus there is no concert of action among them, as can be seen by this

Now we withdrew into our fort, I having received two arrow wounds, one in
the leg, the other in the knee, which caused me great inconvenience, aside
from the severe pain. When they were all assembled, I addressed them some
words of remonstrance on the disorder that had occurred. But all I said
availed nothing, and had no effect upon them. They replied that many of
their men had been wounded like myself, so that it would cause the others
much trouble and inconvenience to carry them as they retreated, and that it
was not possible to return again against their enemies, as I told them it
was their duty to do. They agreed, however, to wait four days longer for
the five hundred men who were to come; and, if they came, to make a second
effort against their enemies, and execute better what I might tell them
than they had done in the past. With this I had to content myself, to my
great regret.

Herewith is indicated the manner in which they fortify their towns, from
which representation it may be inferred that those of their friends and
enemies are fortified in like manner.

The next day there was a violent wind, which lasted two days, and was very
favorable for setting fire anew to the fort of the enemy which, although I
urged them strongly, they were unwilling to do, as if they were afraid of
getting the worst of it, and besides they pleaded their wounded as an

We remained in camp until the 16th of the month, [153] during which time
there were some skirmishes between the enemy and our men, who were very
often surrounded by the former, rather through their imprudence than from
lack of courage; for I assure you that every time we went to the charge it
was necessary for us to go and disengage them from the crowd, since they
could only retreat under cover of our arquebusiers, whom the enemy greatly
dreaded and feared; for as soon as they perceived any one of the
arquebusiers they withdrew speedily, saying in a persuasive manner that we
should not interfere in their combats, and that their enemies had very
little courage to require us to assist them, with many other words of like
tenor, in order to prevail upon us.

I have represented by figure E the manner in which they arm themselves in
going to war.

After some days, seeing that the five hundred men did not come, they
determined to depart, and enter upon their retreat as soon as possible.
They proceeded to make a kind of basket for carrying the wounded, who are
put into it crowded up in a heap, being bound and pinioned in such a manner
that it is as impossible for them to move as for an infant in its swaddling
clothes; but this is, not without causing the wounded much extreme
pain. This I can say with truth from my own experience, having been carried
some days, since I could not stand up, particularly on account of an
arrow-wound which I had received in the knee. I never found myself in such
a _gehenna_ as during this time, for the pain which I suffered in
consequence of the wound in my knee was nothing in comparison with that
which I endured while I was carried bound and pinioned on the back of one
of our savages; so that I lost my patience, and as soon as I could sustain
myself, got out of this prison, or rather _gehenna_.

The enemy followed us about half a league, though at a distance, with the
view of trying to take some of those composing the rear guard; but their
efforts were vain, and they retired.

Now the only good point that I have seen in their mode of warfare is that
they make their retreat very securely, placing all the wounded and aged in
their centre, being well armed on the wings and in the rear, and continuing
this order without interruption until they reach a place of security.

Their retreat was very long, being from twenty-five to thirty leagues,
which caused the wounded much fatigue, as also those who carried them,
although the latter relieved each other from time to time.

On the 18th day of the month there fell much snow and hail, accompanied by
a strong wind, which greatly incommoded us. Nevertheless we succeeded in
arriving at the shore of the lake of the Entouhonorons, at the place where
our canoes were concealed, which we found all intact, for we had been
afraid lest the enemy might have broken them up.

When they were all assembled, and I saw that they were ready to depart to
their village, I begged them to take me to our settlement, which, though
unwilling at first, they finally concluded to do, and sought four men to
conduct me. Four men were found, who offered themselves of their own
accord; for, as I have before said, the chiefs have no control over their
men, in consequence of which they are often unable to do as they would
like. Now the men having been found, it was necessary also to find a canoe,
which was not to be had, each one needing his own, and there being no more
than they required. This was far from being pleasant to me, but, on the
contrary greatly annoyed me, since it led me to suspect some evil purpose,
inasmuch as they had promised to conduct me to our settlement after their
war. Moreover I was poorly prepared for spending the winter with them, or
else should not have been concerned about the matter. But not being able to
do anything, I was obliged to resign myself in patience. Now after some
days I perceived that their plan was to keep me and my companions, not only
as a security for themselves, for they feared their enemies, but also that
I might listen to what took place in their councils and assemblies, and
determine what they should do in the future against their enemies for their
security and preservation.

The next day, the 28th of the month, they began to make preparations; some
to go deer-hunting, others to hunt bears and beavers, others to go fishing,
others to return to their villages. An abode and lodging were furnished me
by one of the principal chiefs, called _D'Arontal_, with whom I already had
some acquaintance. Having offered me his cabin, provisions, and
accommodations, he set out also for the deer-hunt, which is esteemed by
them the greatest and most noble one. After crossing, from the island,
[154] the end of the lake, we entered a river [155] some twelve leagues in
extent. They then carried their canoes by land some half a league, when we
entered a lake [156] which was some ten or twelve leagues in circuit, where
there was a large amount of game, as swans, [157] white cranes, [158]
outardes, [159] ducks, teal, song-thrush, [160] larks, [161] snipe, [162]
geese, [163] and several other kinds of fowl too numerous to mention. Of
these I killed a great number, which stood us in good stead while waiting
for the capture of a deer. From there we proceeded to a certain place some
ten leagues distant, where our savages thought there were deer in
abundance. Assembled there were some twenty-five savages, who set to
building two or three cabins out of pieces of wood fitted to each other,
the chinks of which they stopped up by means of moss to prevent the
entrance of the air, covering them with the bark of trees.

When they had done this they went into the woods to a small forest of firs,
where they made an enclosure in the form of a triangle, closed up on two
sides and open on one. This enclosure was made of great stakes of wood
closely pressed together, from eight to nine feet high, each of the sides
being fifteen hundred paces long. At the extremity of this triangle there
was a little enclosure, constantly diminishing in size, covered in part
with boughs and with only an opening of five feet, about the width of a
medium-sized door, into which the deer were to enter. They were so
expeditious in their work, that in less than ten days they had their
enclosure in readiness. Meanwhile other savages had gone fishing, catching
trout and pike of prodigious size, and enough to meet all our wants.

All preparations being made, they set out half an hour before day to go
into the wood, some half a league from the before-mentioned enclosure,
separated from each other some eighty paces. Each had two sticks, which
they struck together, and they marched in this order at a slow pace until
they arrived at their enclosure. The deer hearing this noise flee before
them until they reach the enclosure, into which the savages force them to
go. Then they gradually unite on approaching the bay and opening of their
triangle, the deer skirting the sides until they reach the end, to which
the savages hotly pursue them, with bow and arrow in hand ready to let fly.
On reaching the end of the triangle they begin to shout and imitate wolves,
[164] which are numerous, and which devour the deer. The deer, hearing this
frightful noise, are constrained to enter the retreat by the little
opening, whither they are very hotly pursued by arrow shots. Having entered
this retreat, which is so well closed and fastened that they can by no
possibility get out, they are easily captured. I assure you that there is a
singular pleasure in this chase, which took place every two days, and was
so successful that, in the thirty-eight days [165] during which we were
there, they captured one hundred and twenty deer, which they make good use
of, reserving the fat for winter, which they use as we do butter, and
taking away to their homes some of the flesh for their festivities.

They have other contrivances for capturing the deer; as snares, with which
they kill many. You see depicted opposite the manner of their chase,
enclosure, and snare. Out of the skins they make garments. Thus you see how
we spent the time while waiting for the frost, that we might return the
more easily, since the country is very marshy.

When they first went out hunting, I lost my way in the woods, having
followed a certain bird that seemed to me peculiar. It had a beak like that
of a parrot, and was of the size of a hen. It was entirely yellow, except
the head which was red, and the wings which were blue, and it flew by
intervals like a partridge. The desire to kill it led me to pursue it from
tree to tree for a very long time, until it flew away in good earnest. Thus
losing all hope, I desired to retrace my steps, but found none of our
hunters, who had been constantly getting ahead, and had reached the
enclosure. While trying to overtake them, and going, as it seemed to me,
straight to where the enclosure was, I found myself lost in the woods,
going now on this side now on that, without being able to recognize my
position. The night coming on, I was obliged to spend it at the foot of a
great tree, and in the morning set out and walked until three o'clock in
the afternoon, when I came to a little pond of still water. Here I noticed
some game, which I pursued, killing three or four birds, which were very
acceptable, since I had had nothing to eat. Unfortunately for me there had
been no sunshine for three days, nothing but rain and cloudy weather, which
increased my trouble. Tired and exhausted I prepared to rest myself and
cook the birds in order to alleviate the hunger which I began painfully to
feel, and which by God's favor was appeased.

When I had made my repast I began to consider what I should do, and to pray
God to give me the will and courage to sustain patiently my misfortune if I
should be obliged to remain abandoned in this forest without counsel or
consolation except the Divine goodness and mercy, and at the same time to
exert myself to return to our hunters. Thus committing all to His mercy I
gathered up renewed courage going here and there all day, without
perceiving any foot-print or path, except those of wild beasts, of which I
generally saw a good number. I was obliged to pass here this night
also. Unfortunately I had forgotten to bring with me a small compass which
would have put me on the right road, or nearly so. At the dawn of day,
after a brief repast, I set out in order to find, if possible, some brook
and follow it, thinking that it must of necessity flow into the river on
the border of which our hunters were encamped. Having resolved upon this
plan, I carried it out so well that at noon I found myself on the border of
a little lake, about a league and a half in extent, where I killed some
game, which was very timely for my wants; I had likewise remaining some
eight or ten charges of powder, which was a great satisfaction.

I proceeded along the border of this lake to see where it discharged, and
found a large brook, which I followed until five o'clock in the evening,
when I heard a great noise, but on carefully listening failed to perceive
clearly what it was. On hearing the noise, however, more distinctly, I
concluded that it was a fall of water in the river which I was searching
for. I proceeded nearer, and saw an opening, approaching which I found
myself in a great and far-reaching meadow, where there was a large number
of wild beasts, and looking to my right I perceived the river, broad and
long. I looked to see if I could not recognize the place, and walking along
on the meadow I noticed a little path where the savages carried their
canoes. Finally, after careful observation, I recognized it as the same
river, and that I had gone that way before.

I passed the night in better spirits than the previous ones, supping on the
little I had. In the morning I re-examined the place where I was, and
concluded from certain mountains on the border of the river that I had not
been deceived, and that our hunters must be lower down by four or five good
leagues. This distance I walked at my leisure along the border of the
river, until I perceived the smoke of our hunters, where I arrived to the
great pleasure not only of myself but of them, who were still searching for
me, but had about given up all hopes of seeing me again. They begged me not
to stray off from them any more, or never to forget to carry with me my
compass, and they added: If you had not come, and we had not succeeded in
finding you, we should never have gone again to the French, for fear of
their accusing us of having killed you. After this he [166] was very
careful of me when I went hunting, always giving me a savage as companion,
who knew how to find again the place from which he started so well that it
was something very remarkable.

To return to my subject: they have a kind of superstition in regard to this
hunt; namely, they believe that if they should roast any of the meat taken
in this way, or if any of the fat should fall into the fire, or if any of
the bones should be thrown into it, they would not be able to capture any
more deer. Accordingly they begged me to roast none of this meat, but I
laughed at this and their way of doing. Yet, in order not to offend them,
I cheerfully desisted, at least in their presence; though when they were
out of sight I took some of the best and roasted it, attaching no credit to
their superstitions. When I afterwards told them what I had done, they
would not believe me, saying that they could not have taken any deer after
the doing of such a thing.

On the fourth day of December we set out from this place, walking on the
river, lakes, and ponds, which were frozen, and sometimes through the
woods. Thus we went for nineteen days, undergoing much hardship and toil,
both the savages, who were loaded with a hundred pounds, and myself, who
carried a burden of twenty pounds, which in the long journey tired me very
much. It is true that I was sometimes relieved by our savages, but
nevertheless I suffered great discomfort. The savages, in order to go over
the ice more easily, are accustomed to make a kind of wooden sledge, [167]
on which they put their loads, which they easily and swiftly drag along.
Some days after there was a thaw, which caused us much trouble and
annoyance; for we had to go through pine forests full of brooks, ponds;
marshes, and swamps, where many trees had been blown down upon each
other. This caused us a thousand troubles and embarrassments, and great
discomfort, as we were all the time wet to above our knees. We were four
days in this plight, since in most places the ice would not bear. At last,
on the 20th of the month, we succeeded in arriving at our village. [168]
Here the Captain Yroquet had come to winter with his companions, who are
Algonquins, also his son, whom he brought for the sake of treatment, since
while hunting he had been seriously injured by a bear which he was trying
to kill.

After resting some days I determined to go and visit Father Joseph, and to
see in winter the people where he was, whom the war had not permitted me to
see in the summer. I set out from this village on the 14th [169] of January
following, thanking my host for the kindness he had shown me, and, taking
formal leave of him, as I did not expect to see him again for three months.

The next day I Saw Father Joseph, [170] in his small house where he had
taken up his abode, as I have before stated. I stayed with him some days,
finding him deliberating about making a journey to the Petun people, as I
had also thought of doing, although it was very disagreeable travelling in
winter. We set out together on the fifteenth of February to go to that
nation, where we arrived on the seventeenth of the month. [171] These Petun
people plant the maize, called by us _blé de Turquie_, and have fixed
abodes like the rest. We went to seven other villages of their neighbors
and allies, with whom we contracted friendship, and who promised to come in
good numbers to our settlement. They welcomed us with good cheer, making a
banquet with meat and fish, as is their custom. To this the people from all
quarters flocked in order to see us, showing many manifestations of
friendship, and accompanying us on the greater part of our way back. The
country is diversified with pleasant slopes and plains. They were beginning
to build two villages, through which we passed, and which were situated in
the midst of the woods, because of the convenience [172] of building and
fortifying their towns there. These people live like the Attignouaatitans,
[173] and have the same customs. They are situated near the Nation Neutre,
[174] which are powerful and occupy a great extent of country. After
visiting these people, we set out from that place, and went to a nation of
savages, whom we named _Cheveux Relevés_ [175] They were very happy to see
us again, and we entered into friendship with them, while they in return
promised to come and see us, namely at the habitation in this place.

It has seemed to me desirable to describe them and their country, their
customs and mode of life. In the first place they are at war with another
nation of savages, called Asistagueroüon, [176] which means _Gens de Feu_,
who are distant from them ten days' journey. I informed myself accordingly
very particularly in regard to their country and the tribes living there,
as also to their character and numbers. The people of this nation are very
numerous, and are for the most part great warriors, hunters, and
fishermen. They have several chiefs, each ruling in his own district. In
general they plant Indian corn, and other cereals. They are hunters who go
in troops to various regions and countries, where they traffic with other
nations, distant four or five hundred leagues. They are the cleanest
savages in their household affairs that I have ever seen, and are very
industrious in making a kind of mat, which constitutes their Turkish
carpets. The women have the body covered, but the men go uncovered, with
the exception of a fur robe in the form of a cloak, which they usually
leave off in summer. The women and girls are not more moved at seeing them
thus, than if they saw nothing unusual. The women live very happily with
their husbands. They have the following custom when they have their
catamenia: the wives withdraw from their husbands, or the daughter from her
father and mother and other relatives, and go to certain small houses.
There they remain in retirement, awaiting their time, without any company
of men, who bring them food and necessaries until their return. Thus it is
known who have their catamenia and who have not. This tribe is accustomed
more than others to celebrate great banquets. They gave us good cheer and
welcomed us very cordially, earnestly begging me to assist them against
their enemies, who dwell on the banks of the _Mer Douce_, two hundred
leagues distant; to which I replied that they must wait until another time,
as I was not provided with the necessary means. They were at a loss how to
welcome us. I have represented them in figure C as they go to war.

There is, also, at a distance of a two days' journey from them, in a
southerly direction, another savage nation, that produces a large amount of
tobacco. This is called _Nation Neutre_. They number four thousand
warriors, and dwell westward of the lake of the Entouhonorons, which is
from eighty to a hundred leagues in extent. They, however, assist the
_Cheveux Relevés_ against the _Gens de Feu_. But with the Iroquois and our
allies they are at peace, and preserve a neutrality. There is a cordial
understanding towards both of these nations, and they do not venture to
engage in any dispute or quarrel, but on the contrary often eat and drink
with them like good friends. I was very desirous of visiting this nation,
but the people where we were dissuaded me from it, saying that the year
before one of our men had killed one of them, when we were at war with the
Entouhonorons, which offended them; and they informed us that they are much
inclined to revenge, not concerning themselves as to who struck the blow,
but inflicting the penalty upon the first one they meet of the nation, even
though one of their friends, when they succeed in catching him, unless
harmony has been previously restored between them, and gifts and presents
bestowed upon the relatives of the deceased. Thus I was prevented for the
time being from going, although some of this nation assured us that they
would do us no harm for the reason assigned above.

Thus we were led to return the same way we had come, and continuing my
journey, I reached the nation of the _Pisierinii_, [177] who had promised
to conduct me farther on in the prosecution of my plans and explorations.
But I was prevented by the intelligence which came from our great village
and the Algonquins, where Captain Yroquet was, namely, that the people of
the nation of the Atignouaatitans [178] had placed in his hands a prisoner
of a hostile nation, in the expectation that this Captain Yroquet would
exercise on the prisoner the revenge usual among them. But they said that,
instead of doing so, he had not only set him at liberty, but, having found
him apt, and an excellent hunter, had treated him as his son, on account of
which the Atignouaatitans had become jealous and resolved upon vengeance,
and had in fact appointed a man to go and kill this prisoner, allied as he
was. As he was put to death in the presence of the chiefs of the Algonquin
nation, they, indignant at such an act and moved to anger, killed on the
spot this rash murderer; whereupon the Atignouaatitans feeling themselves
insulted, seeing one of their comrades dead, seized their arms and went to
the tents of the Algonquins, who were passing the winter near the above
mentioned village, and belabored them severely, Captain Yroquet receiving
two arrow wounds. At another time they pillaged some of the cabins of the
Algonquins before the latter could place themselves in a state of defence,
so that they had not an equal chance. Notwithstanding this they were not
reconciled to the Algonquins, who for securing peace had given the
Atignouaatitans fifty necklaces of porcelain and a hundred branches of the
same [179] which they value highly, and likewise a number of kettles and
axes, together with two female prisoners in place of the dead man. They
were, in a word, still in a state of violent animosity. The Algonquins were
obliged to suffer patiently this great rage, and feared that they might all
be killed, not feeling any security, notwithstanding their gifts, until
they should be differently situated. This intelligence greatly disturbed
me, when I considered the harm that might arise not only to them, but to us
as well, who were in their country.

I then met two or three savages of our large village, who earnestly
entreated me to go to them in order to effect a reconciliation, declaring
that if I did not go none of them would come to us any more, since they
were at war with the Algonquins and regarded us as their friends. In view
of this I set out as soon as possible, and visited on my way the Nipissings
to ascertain when they would be ready for the journey to the north, which I
found broken off on account of these quarrels and hostilities, as my
interpreter gave me to understand, who said that Captain Yroquet had come
among all these tribes to find and await me. He had requested them to be at
the habitation of the French at the same time with himself to see what
agreement could be made between them and the Atignouaatitans, and to
postpone the journey to the north to another time. Moreover, Yroquet had
given porcelain to break off this journey. They promised us to be at our
habitation at the same time as the others.

If ever there was one greatly disheartened it was myself, since I had been
waiting to see this year what during many preceding ones I had been seeking
for with great toil and effort, through so many fatigues and risks of my
life. But realizing that I could not help the matter, and that everything
depended on the will of God, I comforted myself, resolving to see it in a
short time. I had such sure information that I could not doubt the report
of these people, who go to traffic with others dwelling in those northern
regions, a great part of whom live in a place very abundant in the chase,
and where there are great numbers of large animals, the skins of several of
which I saw, and which I concluded were buffaloes [180] from their
representation of their form. Fishing is also very abundant there. This
journey requires forty days, as well in returning as in going.

I set out towards our above-mentioned village on the 15th of February,
taking with me six of our men. Having arrived at that place the inhabitants
were greatly pleased, as also the Algonquins, whom I sent our interpreter
to visit in order to ascertain how everything had taken place on both
sides, for I did not wish to go myself that I might give no ground for
suspicion to either party.

Two days were spent in hearing from both sides how everything had taken
place. After this the principal men and seniors of the place came away with
us, and we all together went to the Algonquins. Here in one of their
cabins, where several of the leading men were assembled, they all, after
some talk, agreed to come and accept all that might be said by me as
arbiter in the matter, and to carry out what I might propose.

Then I gathered the views of each one, obtaining and investigating the


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