Voyages of Samuel de Champlain V3
Samuel de Champlain
Part 3 out of 4
wishes and inclinations of both parties, and ascertained that all they
wanted was peace.
I set forth to them that the best course was to become reconciled and
remain friends, since being united and bound together they could the more
easily withstand their enemies; and as I went away I begged them not to ask
me to effect their reconciliation if they did not intend to follow in all
respects the advice I should give them in regard to this dispute, since
they had done me the honor to request my opinion. Whereupon they told me
anew that they had not desired my return for any other reason. I for my
part thought that if I should not reconcile and pacify them they would
separate ill disposed towards each other, each party thinking itself in the
right. I reflected, also, that they would not have gone to their cabins if
I had not been with them, nor to the French if I had not interested myself
and taken, so to speak, the charge and conduct of their affairs. Upon this
I said to them that as for myself I proposed to go with my host, who had
always treated me well, and that I could with difficulty find one so good;
for it was on him that the Algonquins laid the blame, saying that he was
the only captain who had caused the taking up of arms. Much was said by
both sides, and finally it was concluded that I should tell them what
seemed to me best, and give them my advice.
Since I saw now from what was said that they referred the whole matter to
my own decision as to that of a father, and promised that in the future I
might dispose of them as I thought best, referring the whole matter to my
judgment for settlement, I replied that I was very glad to see them so
inclined to follow my advice, and assured them that it should be only for
the best interests of the tribes.
Moreover I told them, I had been greatly disturbed at hearing the further
sad intelligence, namely the death of one of their relatives and friends,
whom we regarded as one of our own, which might have caused a great
calamity resulting in nothing but perpetual wars between both parties, with
various and serious disasters and a rupture of their friendship, in
consequence of which the French would be deprived of seeing them and of
intercourse with them, and be obliged to enter into alliance with other
nations; since we loved each other as brothers, leaving to God the
punishment of those meriting it.
I proceeded to say to them, that this mode of action between two nations,
who were, as they acknowledged, friendly to each other, was unworthy of
reasoning men, but rather characteristic of brute beasts. I represented to
them, moreover, that they were enough occupied in repelling their enemies
who pursued them, in routing them as often as possible, in pursuing them to
their villages and taking them prisoners; and that these enemies, seeing
divisions and wars among them, would be delighted and derive great
advantage therefrom; and be led to lay new and pernicious plans, in the
hope of soon being able to see their ruin, or at least their enfeebling
through one another, which would be the truest and easiest way for them to
conquer and become masters of their territories, since they did not assist
I told them likewise that they did not realize the harm that might befall
them from thus acting; that on account of the death of one man they
hazarded the lives of ten thousand, and ran the risk of being reduced to
perpetual slavery; that, although in fact one man was of great value, yet
they ought to consider how he had been killed, and that it was not with
deliberate purpose, nor for the sake of inciting a civil war, it being only
too evident that the dead man had first offended, since with deliberate
purpose he had killed the prisoner in their cabins, a most audacious thing,
even if the latter were an enemy. This aroused the Algonquins, who, seeing
a man that had been so bold as to kill in their own cabins another to whom
they had given liberty and treated as one of themselves, were carried away
with passion; and some, more excited than the rest, advanced, and, unable
to restrain or control their wrath, killed the man in question.
Nevertheless they had no ill feeling at all towards the nation as a whole,
and did not extend their purposes beyond the audacious one, who, they
thought, fully deserved what he had wantonly earned.
And besides I told them they must confider that the Entouhonoron, finding
himself wounded by two blows in the stomach, tore from his wound the knife
which his enemy had left there and gave the latter two blows, as I had been
informed; so that in fact one could not tell whether it was really the
Algonquins who had committed the murder. And in order to show to the
Attigouantans that the Algonquins did not love the prisoner, and that
Yroquet did not bear towards him the affection which they were disposed to
think, I reminded them that they had eaten him, as he had inflicted blows
with a knife upon his enemy; a thing, however, unworthy of a human being,
but rather characteristic of brute beasts.
I told them also that the Algonquins very much regretted all that had taken
place, and that, if they had supposed such a thing would have happened,
they would have sacrificed this Iroquois for their satisfaction. I reminded
them likewise that they had made recompense for this death and offence, if
so it should be called, by large presents and two prisoners, on which
account they had no reason at present to complain, and ought to restrain
themselves and act more mildly towards the Algonquins, their friends. I
told them that, since they had promised to submit every thing to
arbitration, I entreated them to forget all that had passed between them
and never to think of it again, nor bear any hatred or ill will on account
of it to each other, but to live good friends as before, by doing which
they would constrain us to love them and assist them as I had done in the
past. But in case they should not be pleased with my advice, I requested
them to come, in as large numbers as possible, to our settlement, so that
there, in the presence of all the captains of vessels, our friendship might
be ratified anew, and measures taken to secure them from their enemies, a
thing which they ought to consider.
Then they began to say that I had spoken well, and that they would adhere
to what I had said, and all went away to their cabins, apparently
satisfied, excepting the Algonquins, who broke up and proceeded to their
village, but who, as it seemed to me, appeared to be not entirely
satisfied, since they said among themselves that they would not come to
winter again in these places, the death of these two men having cost them
too dearly. As for myself, I returned to my host, in whom I endeavored to
inspire all the courage I could, in order to induce him to come to our
settlement, and bring with him all those of his country.
During the winter, which lasted four months, I had sufficient leisure to
observe their country, customs, dress, manner of living, the character of
their assemblies, and other things which I should like to describe. But it
is necessary first to speak of the situation of the country in general and
its divisions, also of the location of the tribes and the distances between
The country extends in length, in the direction from east to west, nearly
four hundred and fifty leagues, and some eighty or a hundred leagues in
breadth from north to south, from latitude 41° to 48° or 49°  This
region is almost an island, surrounded by the great river Saint Lawrence,
which passes through several lakes of great extent, on the shores of which
dwell various tribes speaking different languages, having fixed abodes, and
all fond of the cultivation of the soil, but with various modes of life,
and customs, some better than others. On the shore north of this great
river, extending westerly some hundred leagues towards the Attigouantans,
 there are very high mountains, and the air is more temperate than in
any other part of these regions, the latitude being 41°. All these places
abound in game, such as stags, caribous, elks, does,  buffaloes,
bears, wolves, beavers, foxes, minxes,  weasels,  and many other
kinds of animals which we do not have in France. Fishing is abundant, there
being many varieties, both those which we have in France, as also others
which we have not. There are likewise many birds in their time and season.
The country is traversed by numerous rivers, brooks, and ponds, connecting
with each other and finally emptying into the river St. Lawrence and the
lakes through which it passes. The country is very pleasant in spring, is
covered with extensive and lofty forests, and filled with wood similar to
that which we have in France, although in many places there is much cleared
land, where they plant Indian corn. This region also abounds in meadows,
lowlands, and marshes, which furnish food for the animals before mentioned.
The country north of the great river is very rough and mountainous, and
extends in latitude from 47° to 49°, and in places abounds in rocks. 
So far as I could make out, these regions are inhabited by savages, who
wander through the country, not engaging in the cultivation of the soil,
nor doing anything, or at least as good as nothing. But they are hunters,
now in one place, now in another, the region being very cold and
disagreeable. This land on the north is in latitude 49º and extends over
six hundred leagues in breadth from east to west, of parts of which we have
full knowledge. There are also many fine large rivers rising in this region
and discharging into the before-mentioned river, together with an infinite
number of fine meadows, lakes, and ponds, through which they pass, where
there is an abundance of fish. There are likewise numerous islands which
are for the most part cleared up and very pleasant, the most of them
containing great quantities of vines and wild fruits.
With regard to the regions further west, we cannot well determine their
extent, since the people here have no knowledge of them except for two or
three hundred leagues or more westerly, from whence comes the great river,
which passes, among other places, through a lake having an extent of nearly
thirty days' journey by canoe, namely that which we have called the _Mer
Douce_. This is of great extent, being nearly four hundred leagues long.
Inasmuch as the savages, with whom we are on friendly terms, are at war
with other nations on the west of this great lake, we cannot obtain a more
complete knowledge of them, except as they have told us several times that
some prisoners from the distance of a hundred leagues had reported that
there were tribes there like ourselves in color and in other respects.
Through them they have seen the hair of these people which is very light,
and which they esteem highly, saying that it is like our own. I can only
conjecture in regard to this, that the people they say resemble us were
those more civilized than themselves. It would require actual presence to
ascertain the truth in regard to this matter. But assistance is needed, and
it is only men of means, leisure, and energy, who could or would undertake
to promote this enterprise so that a full exploration of these places might
be made, affording us a complete knowledge of them.
In regard to the region south of the great river it is very thickly
settled, much more so than that on the north, and by tribes who are at war
with each other. The country is very pleasant, much more so than that on
the northern border, and the air is more temperate. There are many kinds of
trees and fruits not found north of the river, while there are many things
on the north side, in compensation, not found on the south. The regions
towards the east are sufficiently well known, inasmuch as the ocean borders
these places. These are the coasts of Labrador, Newfoundland, Cape Breton,
La Cadie, and the Almouchiquois,  places well known, as I have treated
of them sufficiently in the narrative of my previous Voyages, as likewise
of the people living there, on which account I shall not speak of them in
this treatise, my object being only to make a succinct and true report of
what I have seen in addition.
The country of the nation of the Attigouantans is in latitude 44° 30', and
extends two hundred and thirty leagues  in length westerly, and ten in
breadth. It contains eighteen villages, six of which are enclosed and
fortified by palisades of wood in triple rows, bound together, on the top
of which are galleries, which they provide with stones and water; the
former to hurl upon their enemies and the latter to extinguish the fire
which their enemies may set to the palisades. The country is pleasant, most
of it cleared up. It has the shape of Brittany, and is similarly situated,
being almost surrounded by the _Mer Douce_  They assume that these
eighteen villages are inhabited by two thousand warriors, not including the
common mass which amounts to perhaps thirty thousand souls.
Their cabins are in the shape of tunnels or arbors, and are covered with
the bark of trees. They are from twenty-five to thirty fathoms long, more
or less, and six wide, having a passage-way through the middle from ten to
twelve feet wide, which extends from one end to the other. On the two sides
there is a kind of bench, four feet high, where they sleep in summer, in
order to avoid the annoyance of the fleas, of which there are great
numbers. In winter they sleep on the ground on mats near the fire, so as to
be warmer than they would be on the platform. They lay up a stock of dry
wood, with which they fill their cabins, to burn in winter. At the
extremity of the cabins there is a space, where they preserve their Indian
corn, which they put into great casks made of the bark of trees and placed
in the middle of their encampment. They have pieces of wood suspended, on
which they put their clothes, provisions, and other things, for fear of the
mice, of which there are great numbers. In one of these cabins there may be
twelve fires, and twenty-four families. It smokes excessively, from which
it follows that many receive serious injury to the eyes, so that they lose
their sight towards the close of life. There is no window nor any opening,
except that in the upper part of their cabins for the smoke to escape.
This is all that I have been able to learn about their mode of life; and I
have described to you fully the kind of dwelling of these people, as far as
I have been able to learn it, which is the same as that of all the tribes
living in these regions. They sometimes change their villages at intervals
of ten, twenty, or thirty years, and transfer them to a distance of one,
two, or three leagues from the preceding situation,  except when
compelled by their enemies to dislodge, in which case they retire to a
greater distance, as the Antouhonorons, who went some forty to fifty
leagues. This is the form of their dwellings, which are separated from each
other some three or four paces, for fear of fire, of which they are in
Their life is a miserable one in comparison with our own; but they are
happy among themselves, not having experienced anything better, and not
imagining that anything more excellent is to be found. Their principal
articles of food are Indian corn and Brazilian beans,  which they
prepare in various ways. By braying in a wooden mortar they reduce the corn
to meal. They remove the bran by means of fans made of the bark of trees.
From this meal they make bread, using also beans which they first boil, as
they do the Indian corn for soup, so that they may be more easily crushed.
Then they mix all together, sometimes adding blueberries  or dry
raspberries, and sometimes pieces of deer's fat, though not often, as this
is scarce with them. After steeping the whole in lukewarm water, they make
bread in the form of bannocks or pies, which they bake in the ashes. After
they are baked they wash them, and from these they often make others by
wrapping them in corn leaves, which they fasten to them, and then putting
them in boiling water.
But this is not their most common kind. They make another, which they call
_migan_, which is as follows: They take the pounded Indian corn, without
removing the bran, and put two or three handfuls of it in an earthen pot
full of water. This they boil, stirring it from time to time, that it may
not burn nor adhere to the pot. Then they put into the pot a small quantity
of fish, fresh or dry, according to the season, to give a flavor to the
_migan_, as they call it. They make it very often, although it smells
badly, especially in winter, either because they do not know how to prepare
it rightly, or do not wish to take the trouble to do so. They make two
kinds of it, and prepare it very well when they choose. When they use fish
the _migan_ does not smell badly, but only when it is made with
venison. After it is all cooked, they take out the fish, pound it very
fine, and then put it all together into the pot, not taking the trouble to
remove the appendages, scales, or inwards, as we do, which generally causes
a bad taste. It being thus prepared, they deal out to each one his
portion. This _migan_ is very thin, and without much substance, as may be
well supposed. As for drink, there is no need of it, the _migan_ being
sufficiently thin of itself.
They have another kind of _migan_, namely, they roast new corn before it is
ripe, which they preserve and cook whole with fish, or flesh when they have
it. Another way is this: they take Indian corn, which is very dry, roast it
in the ashes, then bray it and reduce it to meal as in the former case.
This they lay up for the journeys which they undertake here and there. The
_migan_ made in the latter manner is the best according to my taste. Figure
H shows the women braying their Indian corn. In preparing it, they cook a
large quantity of fish and meat, which they cut into pieces and put into
great kettles, which they fill with water and let it all boil well. When
this is done, they gather with a spoon from the surface the fat which comes
from the meat and fish. Then they put in the meal of the roasted corn,
constantly stirring it until the _migan_ is cooked and thick as soup. They
give to each one a portion, together with a spoonful of the fat. This dish
they are accustomed to prepare for banquets, but they do not generally make
Now the corn freshly roasted, as above described, is highly esteemed among
them. They eat also beans, which they boil with the mass of the roasted
flour, mixing in a little fat and fish. Dogs are in request at their
banquets, which they often celebrate among themselves, especially in
winter, when they are at leisure. In case they go hunting for deer or go
fishing, they lay aside what they get for celebrating these banquets,
nothing remaining in their cabins but the usual thin _migan_, resembling
bran and water, such as is given to hogs to eat.
They have another way of eating the Indian corn. In preparing it, they take
it in the ear and put it in water under the mud, leaving it two or three
months in this state until they think it is putrefied. Then they remove it,
and eat it boiled with meat or fish. They also roast it, and it is better
so than boiled. But I assure you that there is nothing that smells so badly
as this corn as it comes from the water all muddy. Yet the women and
children take it and suck it like sugar-cane, nothing seeming to them to
taste better, as they show by their manner. In general they have two meals
a day. As for ourselves, we fasted all of Lent and longer, in order to
influence them by our example. But it was time lost.
They also fatten bears, which they keep two or three years, for the purpose
of their banquets. I observed that if this people had domestic animals they
would be interested in them and care for them very well, and I showed them
the way to keep them, which would be an easy thing for them, since they
have good grazing grounds in their country, and in large quantities, for
all kinds of animals, horses, oxen, cows, sheep, swine, and other kinds,
for lack of which one would consider them badly off, as they seem to be.
Yet with all their drawbacks, they seem to me to live happily among
themselves, since their only ambition is to live and support themselves,
and they lead a more settled life than those who wander through the forests
like brute beasts. They eat many squashes,  which they boil, and roast
in the ashes.
In regard to their dress, they have various kinds and styles made of the
skins of wild beasts, both those which they capture themselves, and others
which they get in exchange for their Indian corn, meal, porcelain, and
fishing-nets from the Algonquins, Nipissings, and other tribes, which are
hunters having no fixed abodes. All their clothes are of one uniform shape,
not varied by any new styles. They prepare and fit very well the skins,
making their breeches of deer-skin rather large, and their stockings of
another piece, which extend up to the middle and have many folds. Their
shoes are made of the skins of deer, bears, and beaver, of which they use
great numbers. Besides, they have a robe of the same fur, in the form of a
cloak, which they wear in the Irish or Egyptian style, with sleeves which
are attached with a string behind. This is the way they are dressed in
winter, as is seen in figure D. When they go into the fields, they gird up
their robe about the body; but when in the village, they leave off their
sleeves and do not gird themselves. The Milan trimmings for decorating
their garments are made of glue and the scrapings of the before-mentioned
skins, of which they make bands in various styles according to their fancy,
putting in places bands of red and brown color amid those of the glue,
which always keep a whitish appearance, not losing at all their shape,
however dirty they may get. There are those among these nations who are
much more skilful than others in fitting the skins, and ingenious in
inventing ornaments to put on their garments. It is our Montagnais and
Algonquins, above all others, who take more pains in this matter. They put
on their robes bands of porcupine quills, which they dye a very fine
scarlet color.  They value these bands very highly, and detach them so
that they may serve for other robes when they wish to make a change. They
also make use of them to adorn the face, in order to give it a more
graceful appearance whenever they wish particularly to decorate themselves.
Most of them paint the face black and red. These colors they mix with oil
made from the seed of the sun-flower, or with bear's fat or that of other
animals. They also dye their hair, which some wear long, others short,
others on one side only. The women and girls always wear their hair in one
uniform style. They are dressed like men, except that they always have
their robes girt about them, which extend down to the knee. They are not at
all ashamed to expose the body from the middle up and from the knees down,
unlike the men, the rest being always covered. They are loaded with
quantities of porcelain, in the shape of necklaces and chains, which they
arrange in the front of their robes and attach to their waists. They also
wear bracelets and ear-rings. They have their hair carefully combed, dyed,
and oiled. Thus they go to the dance, with a knot of their hair behind
bound up with eel-skin, which they use as a cord. Sometimes they put on
plates a foot square, covered with porcelain, which hang on the back. Thus
gaily dressed and habited, they delight to appear in the dance, to which
their fathers and mothers send them, forgetting nothing that they can
devise to embellish and set off their daughters. I can testify that I have
seen at dances a girl who had more than twelve pounds of porcelain on her
person, not including the other bagatelles with which they are loaded and
bedecked. In the illustration already cited, F shows the dress of the
women, G that of the girls attired for the dance.
All these people have a very jovial disposition, although there are many of
them who have a sad and gloomy look. Their bodies are well proportioned.
Some of the men and women are well formed, strong, and robust. There is a
moderate number of pleasing and pretty girls, in respect to figure, color,
and expression, all being in harmony. Their blood is but little
deteriorated, except when they are old. There are among these tribes
powerful women of extraordinary height These have almost the entire care of
the house and work; namely, they till the land, plant the Indian corn, lay
up a store of wood for the winter, beat the hemp and spin it, making from
the thread fishing-nets and other useful things. The women harvest the
corn, house it, prepare it for eating, and attend to household matters.
Moreover they are expected to attend their husbands from place to place in
the fields, filling the office of pack-mule in carrying the baggage, and to
do a thousand other things. All the men do is to hunt for deer and other
animals, fish, make their cabins, and go to war. Having done these things,
they then go to other tribes with which they are acquainted to traffic and
make exchanges. On their return, they give themselves up to festivities and
dances, which they give to each other, and when these are over they go to
sleep, which they like to do best of all things.
They have some sort of marriage, which is as follows: when a girl has
reached the age of eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, or fifteen years she
has suitors, more or less according to her attractions, who woo her for
some time. After this, the consent of their fathers and mothers is asked,
to whose will the girls often do not submit, although the most discreet and
considerate do so. The lover or suitor presents to the girl some necklaces,
chains, and bracelets of porcelain. If the girl finds the suitor agreeable,
she receives the present. Then the lover comes and remains with her three
or four nights, without saying anything to her during the time. They
receive thus the fruit of their affections. Whence it happens very often
that, after from eight to fifteen days, if they cannot agree, she quits her
suitor, who forfeits his necklaces and other presents that he has made,
having received in return only a meagre satisfaction. Being thus
disappointed in his hopes, the man seeks another woman, and the girl
another suitor, if it seems to them desirable. Thus they continue to do
until a favorable union is formed. It sometimes happens that a girl thus
passes her entire youth, having more than twenty mates, which twenty are
not alone in the enjoyment of the creature, mated though they are; for when
night comes the young women run from one cabin to another, as do also the
young men on their part, going where it seems good to them, but always
without any violence, referring the whole matter to the pleasure of the
woman. Their mates will do likewise to their women-neighbors, no jealousy
arising among them on that account, nor do they incur any reproach or
insult, such being the custom of the country.
Now the time when they do not leave their mates is when they have
children. The preceding mate returns to her, renews the affection and
friendship which he had borne her in the past, asserting that it is greater
than that of any other one, and that the child she has is his and of his
begetting. The next says the same to her. In time, the victory is with the
stronger, who takes the woman for his wife. Thus it depends upon the
choice of the woman to take and accept him who shall please her best,
having meantime in her searching and loves gained much porcelain and,
besides, the choice of a husband. The woman remains with him without
leaving him; or if she do leave him, for he is on trial, it must be for
some good reason other than impotence. But while with this husband, she
does not cease to give herself free rein, yet remains always at home,
keeping up a good appearance. Thus the children which they have together,
born from such a woman, cannot be sure of their legitimacy. Accordingly, in
view of this uncertainty, it is their custom that the children never
succeed to the property and honors of their fathers, there being doubt, as
above indicated, as to their paternity. They make, however, the children of
their sisters, from whom they are known to have issued, their successors
The following is the way they nourish and bring up their children: they
place them during the day on a little wooden board, wrapping them up in
furs or skins. To this board they bind them, placing them in an erect
position, and leaving a little opening for the child to do its necessities.
If it is a girl, they put a leaf of Indian corn between the thighs, which
presses against its privates. The extremity of the leaf is carried outside
in a turned position, so that the water of the child runs off on it without
inconvenience. They put also under the children the down of certain reeds
that we call hare's-foot, on which they rest very softly. They also clean
them with the same down. As an ornament for the child, they adorn the board
with beads, which they also put on its neck, however small it may be. At
night they put it to bed, entirely naked, between the father and mother. It
may be regarded as a great miracle that God should thus preserve it so that
no harm befalls it, as might be expected, from suffocation, while the
father and mother are in deep sleep, but that rarely happens. The children
have great freedom among these tribes. The fathers and mothers indulge them
too much, and never punish them. Accordingly they are so bad and of so
vicious a nature, that they often strike their mothers and others. The most
vicious, when they have acquired the strength and power, strike their
fathers. They do this whenever the father or mother does anything that
does not please them. This is a sort of curse that God inflicts upon them.
In respect to laws, I have not been able to find out that they have any, or
anything that approaches them, inasmuch as there is not among them any
correction, punishment, or censure of evil-doers except in the way of
vengeance, when they return evil for evil, not by rule but by passion,
which produces among them conflicts and differences, which occur very
Moreover, they do not recognize any divinity, or worship any God and
believe in anything whatever, but live like brute beasts. They have,
however, some respect for the devil, or something so called, which is a
matter of uncertainty, since the word which they use thus has various
significations and comprises in itself various things. It is accordingly
difficult to determine whether they mean the devil or something else, but
what especially leads to the belief that what they mean is the devil is
this: whenever they see a man doing something extraordinary, or who is more
capable than usual, or is a valiant warrior, or furthermore who is in a
rage as if out of his reason and senses, they call him _oqui_, or, as we
should say, a great knowing spirit, or a great devil. However this may be,
they have certain persons, who are the _oqui_, or, as the Algonquins and
Montagnais call them, _manitous_; and persons of this kind are the
medicine-men, who heal the sick, bind up the wounded, and predict future
events, who in fine practise all abuses and illusions of the devil to
deceive and delude them. These _oquis_ or conjurers persuade their patients
and the sick to make, or have made banquets and ceremonies that they may be
the sooner healed, their object being to participate in them finally
themselves and get the principal benefit therefrom. Under the pretence of a
more speedy cure, they likewise cause them to observe various other
ceremonies, which I shall hereafter speak of in the proper place. These
are the people in whom they put especial confidence, but it is rare that
they are possessed of the devil and tormented like other savages living
more remote than themselves.
This gives additional reason and ground to believe that their conversion to
the knowledge of God would be more easy, if their country were inhabited by
persons who would take the trouble and pains to instruct them. But it is
not enough to send to them friars, unless there are those to support and
assist them. For although these people have the desire to-day to know what
God is, to-morrow this disposition will change when they are obliged to lay
aside and bring under their foul ways, their dissolute manners, and their
savage indulgences. So that there is need of people and families to keep
them in the way of duty, to constrain them through mildness to do better,
and to move them by good example to mend their lives. Father Joseph 
and myself have many times conferred with them in regard to our belief,
laws, and customs. They listened attentively in their assemblies, sometimes
saying to us: You say things that pass our knowledge, and which we cannot
understand by words, being beyond our comprehension; but if you would do us
a service come and dwell in this country, bringing your wives and children,
and when they are here we shall see how you serve the God you worship, and
how you live with your wives and children, how you cultivate and plant the
soil, how you obey your laws, how you take care of animals, and how you
manufacture all that we see proceeding from your inventive skill. When we
see all this, we shall learn more in a year than in twenty by simply
hearing you discourse and if we cannot then understand, you shall take our
children, who shall be as your own. And thus being convinced that our life
is a miserable one in comparison with yours, it is easy to believe that we
shall adopt yours, abandoning our own.
Their words seemed to me good common sense, showing the desire they have to
get a knowledge of God. It is a great wrong to let so many men be lost, and
see them perish at our door, without rendering them the succor which can
only be given through the help of kings, princes, and ecclesiastics, who
alone have the power to do this. For to them alone belongs the honor of so
great a work; namely, planting the Christian faith in an unknown region and
among savage nations, since we are well informed about these people, that
they long for and desire nothing so much as to be clearly instructed as to
what they should do and avoid. It is accordingly the duty of those who have
the power, to labor there and contribute of their abundance, for one day
they must answer before God for the loss of the souls which they allowed to
perish through their negligence and avarice; and these are not few but very
numerous. Now this will be done when it shall please God to give them grace
to this end. As for myself, I desire this result rather to-day than
to-morrow, from the zeal which I have for the advancement of God's glory,
for the honor of my King, and for the welfare and renown of my country.
When they are sick, the man or woman who is attacked with any disease sends
for the _oqui_, who visits the patient and informs himself about the malady
and the suffering. After this, the _oqui_ sends for a large number of men,
women, and girls, including three or four old women. These enter the cabin
of the sick, dancing, each one having on his head the skin of a bear or
some other wild beast, that of the bear being the most common as it is the
most frightful. There are three or four other old women about the sick or
suffering, who for the most part feign sickness, or are sick merely in
imagination. But they are soon cured of this sickness, and generally make
banquets at the expense of their friends or relatives, who give them
something to put into their kettle, in addition to the presents which they
receive from the dancers, such as porcelain and other bagatelles, so that
they are soon cured; for when they find that they have nothing more to look
for, they get up with what they have secured. But those who are really sick
are not readily cured by plays, dances, and such proceedings.
To return to my narrative: the old women near the sick person receive the
presents, each singing and pausing in turn. When all the presents have been
made, they proceed to lift up their voices with one accord, all singing
together and keeping time with sticks on pieces of dry bark. Then all the
women and girls proceed to the end of the cabin, as if they were about to
begin a ballet or masquerade. The old women walk in front with their
bearskins on their heads, all the others following them, one after the
other. They have only two kinds of dances with regular time, one of four
steps and the other of twelve, as in the _trioli_ de Bretagne. They
exhibit much grace in dancing. Young men often take part with them. After
dancing an hour or two, the old women lead out the sick person to dance,
who gets up dolefully and prepares to dance, and after a short time she
dances and enjoys as much as the others. I leave it to you to consider how
sick she was. Below is represented the mode of their dances.
The medicine-man thus gains honor and credit, his patient being so soon
healed and on her feet. This treatment, however, does nothing for those who
are dangerously ill and reduced by weakness, but causes their death rather
than their cure; for I can testify that they sometimes make such a noise
and hubbub from morning until two o'clock at night that it is impossible
for the patient to endure it without great pain. Sometimes the patient is
seized with the desire to have the women and girls dance all together,
which is done in accordance with the direction of the _oqui_. But this is
not all, for he and the _manitou_, accompanied by some others, make
grimaces, perform magic arts, and twist themselves about so that they
generally end in being out of their senses, seemingly crazy, throwing the
fire from one side of the cabin to the other, eating burning coals, holding
them in their hands for a while, and throwing red-hot ashes into the eyes
of the spectators. Seeing them in this condition, one would say that the
devil, the _oqui_, or _manitou_, if he is thus to be called, possesses and
torments them. This noise and hubbub being over, they retire each to his
But those who suffer especially during this time are the wives of those
possessed, and all the inmates of their cabins, from the fear they have
lest the raging ones burn up all that is in their houses. This leads them
to remove everything that is in sight; for as soon as he arrives he is all
in a fury, his eyes flashing and frightful, sometimes standing up,
sometimes seated, as his fancy takes him. Suddenly a fit seizes him, and
laying hold of everything he finds in his way he throws them to one side
and the other. Then he lies down and sleeps for some time. Waking up with a
jump, he seizes fire and stones which he throws about recklessly on all
sides. This rage passes off with the sleep which seizes him again. Then he
rages and calls several of his friends to sweat with him. The latter is the
best means they have for preserving themselves in health. While they are
sweating, the kettle boils to prepare them something to eat They remain,
two or three hours or so, covered up with great pieces of bark and wrapped
in their robes, with a great many stones about them which have been heated
red hot in the fire. They sing all the time while they are in the rage,
occasionally stopping to take breath. Then they give them many draughts of
water to drink, since they are very thirsty, when the demoniac, who was
crazy or possessed of an evil spirit, becomes sober.
Thus it happens that three or four of these sick persons get well, rather
by a happy coincidence and chance than in consequence of any intelligent
treatment, and this confirms their false belief that they are healed by
means of these ceremonies, not considering that, for two who are thus
cured, ten others die on account of the noise, great hubbub and hissing,
which are rather calculated to kill than cure a sick person. But that they
expect to recover their health by this noise, and we on the contrary by
silence and rest, shows how the devil does everything in hostility to the
There are also women who go into these rages, but they do not do so much
harm. They walk on all fours like beasts. Seeing this, the magician, called
_oqui_, begins to sing; then, with some contortions of the face, he blows
upon her, directing her to drink certain waters, and make at once a banquet
of fish or flesh, which must be procured although very scarce at the
time. When the shouting is over and the banquet ended, they return each to
her own cabin. At another time he comes back and visits her, blowing upon
her and singing in company with several others, who have been summoned for
this purpose, and who hold in the hand a dry tortoise-shell filled with
little pebbles, which they cause to resound in the ears of the sick woman.
They direct her to make at once three or four banquets with singing and
dancing, when all the girls appear adorned and painted as I have
represented in figure G. The _oqui_ orders masquerades, and directs them to
disguise themselves, as those do who run along the streets in France on
_Mardi-gras_.  Thus they go and sing near the bed of the sick woman
and promenade through the village while the banquet is preparing to receive
the maskers, who return very tired, having taken exercise enough to be able
to empty the kettle of its _migan_.
According to their custom each household lives on what it gets by fishing
and planting, improving as much land as it needs. They clear it up with
great difficulty, since they do not have the implements adapted to this
purpose. A party strip the trees of all their branches, which they burn at
their base in order to kill them. They clear carefully the land between the
trees, and then plant their corn at distances of a pace, putting in each
place some ten kernels, and so on until they have made provision for three
or four years, fearing that a bad year may befall them. The women attend to
the planting and harvesting, as I have said before, and to procuring a
supply of wood for winter. All the women aid each other in procuring this
provision of wood, which they do in the month of March or April, in the
order of two days for each. Every household is provided with as much as it
needs; and if a girl marries, each woman and girl is expected to carry to
the newly married one a parcel of wood for her provision, since she could
not procure it alone, and at a season when she has to give her attention to
The following is their mode of government: the older and leading men
assemble in a council, in which they settle upon and propose all that is
necessary for the affairs of the village. This is done by a plurality of
voices, or in accordance with the advice of some one among them whose
judgment they consider superior: such a one is requested by the company to
give his opinion on the propositions that have been made, and this opinion
is minutely obeyed. They have no particular chiefs with absolute command,
but they show honor to the older and more courageous men, whom they name
captains, as mark of honor and respect, of which there are several in a
village. But, although they confer more honor upon one than upon others,
yet he is not on that account to bear sway, nor esteem himself higher than
his companions, unless he does so from vanity. They make no use of
punishments nor arbitrary command, but accomplish everything by the
entreaties of the seniors, and by means of addresses and remonstrances.
Thus and not otherwise do they bring everything to pass.
They all deliberate in common, and whenever any member of the assembly
offers to do anything for the welfare of the village, or to go anywhere for
the service of the community, he is requested to present himself, and if he
is judged capable of carrying out what he proposes, they exhort him, by
fair and favorable words, to do his duty. They declare him to be an
energetic man, fit for undertakings, and allure him that he will win honor
in accomplishing them. In a word, they encourage him by flatteries, in
order that this favorable disposition of his for the welfare of his fellow-
citizens may continue and increase. Then, according to his pleasure, he
refuses the responsibility, which few do, or accepts, since thereby he is
held in high esteem.
When they engage in wars or go to the country of their enemies, two or
three of the older or valiant captains make a beginning in the matter, and
proceed to the adjoining villages to communicate their purpose, and make
presents to the people of these villages, in order to induce them to
accompany them to the wars in question. In so far they act as generals of
armies. They designate the place where they desire to go, dispose of the
prisoners who are captured, and have the direction of other matters of
especial importance, of which they get the honor, if they are successful;
but, if not, the disgrace of failure in the war falls upon them. These
captains alone are looked upon and considered as chiefs of the tribes.
They have, moreover, general assemblies, with representatives from remote
regions. These representatives come every year, one from each province, and
meet in a town designated as the rendezvous of the assembly. Here are
celebrated great banquets and dances, for three weeks or a month, according
as they may determine. Here they renew their friendship, resolve upon and
decree what they think best for the preservation of their country against
their enemies, and make each other handsome presents, after which they
retire each to his own district.
In burying the dead, they take the body of the deceased, wrap it in furs,
and cover it very carefully with the bark of trees. Then they place it in a
cabin, of the length of the body, made of bark and erected upon four posts.
Others they place in the ground, propping up the earth on all sides, that
it may not fall on the body, which they cover with the bark of trees,
putting earth on top. Over this trench they also make a little cabin. Now
it is to be understood that the bodies remain in these places, thus
inhumed, but for a period of eight or ten years, when the men of the
village recommend the place where their ceremonies are to take place; or,
to speak more precisely, they hold a general council, in which all the
people of the country are present, for the purpose of designating the place
where a festival is to be held. After this they return each to his own
village, where they take all the bones of the deceased, strip them and make
them quite clean. These they keep very carefully, although they smell like
bodies recently interred. Then all the relatives and friends of the
deceased take these bones, together with their necklaces, furs, axes,
kettles, and other things highly valued, and carry them, with a quantity of
edibles, to the place assigned. Here, when all have assembled, they put the
edibles in a place designated by the men of the village, and engage in
banquets and continual dancing. The festival continues for the space of ten
days, during which time other tribes, from all quarters, come to witness it
and the ceremonies. The latter are attended with great outlays.
Now, by means of these ceremonies, including dances, banquets, and
assemblies, as above stated, they renew their friendship to one another,
saying that the bones of their relatives and friends are to be all put
together, thus indicating by a figure that, as their bones are gathered
together and united in one and the same place, so ought they also, during
their life, to be united in one friendship and harmony, like relatives and
friends, without separation. Having thus mingled together the bones of
their mutual relatives and friends, they pronounce many discourses on the
occasion. Then, after various grimaces or exhibitions, they make a great
trench, ten fathoms square, in which they put the bones, together with the
necklaces, chains of porcelain, axes, kettles, sword-blades, knives, and
various other trifles, which, however, are of no slight account in their
estimation. They cover the whole with earth, putting on top several great
pieces of wood, and placing around many posts, on which they put a
covering. This is their manner of proceeding with regard to the dead, and
it is the most prominent ceremony they have. Some of them believe in the
immortality of the soul, while others have only a presentiment of it,
which, however, is not so very different; for they say that after their
decease they will go to a place where they will sing, like crows, a song,
it must be confessed, quite different from that of angels. On the following
page are represented their sepulchres and manner of interment.
It remains to describe how they spend their time in winter; namely, from
the month of December to the end of March, or the beginning of our spring,
when the snow melts. All that they might do during autumn, as I have before
stated, they postpone to be done during winter; namely, their banquetings,
and usual dances for the sake of the sick, which I have already described,
and the assemblages of the inhabitants of various villages, where there are
banquetings, singing, and dances, which they call _tabagies_  and
where sometimes five hundred persons are collected, both men, women, and
girls. The latter are finely decked and adorned with the best and most
costly things they have.
On certain days they make masquerades, and visit each other's cabins,
asking for the things they like, and if they meet those who have what they
want, these give it to them freely. Thus they go on asking for many things
without end; so that a single one of those soliciting will have robes of
beaver, bear, deer, lynxes, and other furs, also fish, Indian corn,
tobacco, or boilers, kettles, pots, axes, pruning-knives, knives, and other
like things. They go to the houses and cabins of the village, singing these
words, That one gave me this, another gave that, or like words, by way of
commendation. But if one gives them nothing they get angry, and show such
spite towards him that when they leave they take a stone and put it near
this man or that woman who has not given them anything. Then, without
saying a word, they return singing, which is a mark of insult, censure, and
ill-will. The women do so as well as the men, and this mode of proceeding
takes place at night, and the masquerade continues seven or eight days.
There are some of their villages which have maskers or merry-makers, as we
do on the evening of _Mardi-gras_, and they invite the other villages to
come and see them and win their utensils, if they can. Meanwhile banquets
are not wanting. This is the way they spend their time in winter.
Moreover the women spin, and pound meal for the journeys of their husbands
in summer, who go to other tribes to trade, as they decide to do at the
above-mentioned councils, in which it is determined what number of men may
go from each village, that it may not be deprived of men of war for its
protection; and nobody goes from the country without the general consent of
the chiefs, or if they should go they would be regarded as behaving
improperly. The men make nets for fishing, which they carry on in summer,
but generally in winter, when they capture the fish under the ice with the
line or with the seine.
The following is their manner of fishing. They make several holes in a
circular form in the ice, the one where they are to draw the seine being
some five feet long and three wide. Then they proceed to place their net at
this opening, attaching it to a rod of wood from six to seven feet long,
which they put under the ice. This rod they cause to pass from hole to
hole, when one or more men, putting their hands in the holes, take hold of
the rod to which is attached an end of the net, until they unite at the
opening of five to six feet. Then they let the net drop to the bottom of
the water, it being sunk by little stones attached to the end. After it is
down they draw it up again with their arms at its two ends, thus capturing
the fish that are in it. This is, in brief, their manner of fishing in
The winter begins in the month of November and continues until the month of
April, when the trees begin to send forth the sap and show their buds.
On the 22d of the month of April we received news from our interpreter, who
had gone to Carantoüan, through those who had come from there. They told us
that they had left him on the road, he having returned to the village for
Now, resuming the thread of my narrative, our savages assembled to come
with us, and conduct us back to our habitation, and for this purpose we set
out from their country on the 20th of the month,  and were forty days
on the way. We caught a large number of fish and animals of various kinds,
together with small game, which afforded us especial pleasure, in addition
to the provisions thus furnished us for our journey. Upon our arrival among
the French, towards the end of the month of June, I found Sieur du Pont
Gravé, who had come from France with two vessels, and who had almost
despaired of seeing me again, having heard from the savages the bad news,
that I was dead.
We also saw all the holy fathers who had remained at our settlement. They
too were very happy to see us again, and we none the less so to see them.
Welcomes, and felicitations on all sides being over, I made arrangements to
set out from, the Falls of St. Louis for our settlement, taking with me my
host D'Arontal. I took leave also of all the other savages, assuring them
of my affection, and that, if I could, I would see them in the suture, to
assist them as I had already done in the past, bringing them valuable
presents to secure their friendship with one another, and begging them to
forget all the disputes which they had had when I reconciled them, which
they promised to do.
Then we set out, on the 8th of July, and arrived at our settlement on the
11th of that month. Here I found everybody in good health, and we all, in
company with our holy fathers, who chanted the Divine service, returned
thanks to God for His care in preserving us, and protecting us amid the
many perils and dangers to which we had been exposed.
After this, and when everything had become settled, I proceeded to show
hospitalities to my host, D'Arontal, who admired our building, our conduct,
and mode of living. After carefully observing us, he said to me, in
private, that he should never die contented until he had seen all of his
friends, or at least a good part of them, come and take up their abode with
us, in order to learn how to serve God, and our way of living, which he
esteemed supremely happy in comparison with their own. Moreover he said
that, if he could not learn it by word of mouth, he would do so much better
and more easily by sight and by frequent intercourse, and that, if their
minds could not comprehend our arts, sciences, and trades, their children
who were young could do so, as they had often represented to us in their
country in conversation with Father Joseph. He urged us, for the promotion
of this object, to make another settlement at the Falls of St. Louis, so as
to secure them the passage of the river against their enemies, assuring us
that, as soon as we should build a house, they would come in numbers to
live as brothers with us. Accordingly I promised to make a settlement for
them as soon as possible.
After we had remained four or five days together, I gave him some valuable
presents, with which he was greatly pleased, and I begged him to continue
his affection for us, and come again to see our settlement with his
friends. Then he returned happy to the Falls of St Louis, where his
companions awaited him.
When this Captain D'Arontal had departed, we enlarged our habitation by a
third at least in buildings and fortifications, since it was not
sufficiently spacious, nor convenient for receiving the members of our own
company and likewise the strangers that might come to see us. We used, in
building, lime and sand entirely, which we found very good there in a spot
near the habitation. This is a very useful material for building for those
disposed to adapt and accustom themselves to it.
The Fathers Denis and Joseph determined to return to France, in order to
testify there to all they had seen, and to the hope they could promise
themselves of the conversion of these people, who awaited only the
assistance of the holy fathers in order to be converted and brought to our
faith and the Catholic religion.
During my stay at the settlement I had some common grain cut; namely,
French grain, which had been planted there and which had come up very
finely, that I might take it to France, as evidence that the land is good
and fertile. In another part, moreover, there was some fine Indian corn,
also scions and trees which had been given us by Sieur du Monts in
Normandy. In a word all the gardens of the place were in an admirably fine
condition, being planted with peas, beans, and other vegetables, also
squashes, and very superior radishes of various sorts, cabbages, beets, and
other kitchen vegetables. When on the point of departure, we left two of
our fathers at the settlement; namely, Fathers Jean d'Olbeau and Pacifique,
 who were greatly pleased with all the time spent at that place, and
resolved to await there the return of Father Joseph,  who was expected
to come back in the following year, which he did.
We sailed in our barques the 20th day of July, and arrived at Tadoussac the
23d day of the month, where Sieur du Pont Gravé awaited us with his vessel
ready and equipped. In this we embarked and set out the 3d day of the month
of August. The wind was so favorable that we arrived in health by the grace
of God, at Honfleur, on the 10th day of September, one thousand six hundred
and sixteen, and upon our arrival rendered praise and thanks to God for his
great care in preserving our lives, and delivering and even snatching us,
as it were, from the many dangers to which we had been exposed, and for
bringing and conducting us in health to our country; we besought Him also
to move the heart of our King, and the gentlemen of his council, to
contribute their assistance so far as necessary to bring these poor savages
to the knowledge of God, whence honor will redound to his Majesty, grandeur
and growth to his realm, profit to his subjects, and the glory of all these
undertakings and toils to God, the sole author of all excellence, to whom
be honor and glory. Amen.
78. Champlain's first voyage was made in 1603, and this journal was
published in 1619. It was therefore fully fifteen years since his
79. _Vide Histoire du Canada_, par Sagard, Trois ed., pp 27, 28. The reader
is likewise referred to the Memoir of Champlain, Vol. I. pp 122-124.
80. Bernard du Verger, a man of exalted virtue--_Laverdière_.
81. Robert Ubaldim was nuncio at this time. _Vide Laverdière in loco_.
82. Denis Jamay. Sagard writes this name _Jamet_.
83. Jean d'Olbeau. _Vide Histoire du Canada_, par Gabriel Sagard, Paris,
1636, Tross ed., Vol. I. p. 28.
84. Pacifique du Plessis was a lay-brother, although the title of Father is
given to him by several early writers. _Vide citations by Laverdière in
loco_, Quebec ed., Vol. IV. p. 7.
85. Read April 24. It is obvious from the context that it could not be
August. Sagard says _le_ 24 _d'Auril_. _Vide Histoire du Canada_, Trois
ed., Vol. I. p 36.
86. The Recollect Father Joseph le Caron.
87. _Vide Laverdière in loco_.
88. Father Denis Jamay.
89. Jean d'Olbeau and Pacifique du Plessis.
90. This refers to the volume bearing date 1613, but which may not have
been actually issued from the press till 1614.
91. Our views of the war policy of Champlain are stated at some length in
Vol I. pp 189-193.
92. Laverdière thinks it probable that Champlain left the Falls of St Louis
on the 23d of June, and that the Holy Mass was celebrated on the
Rivière des Prairies on the 24th, the festival of St John the Baptist.
93. This interpreter was undoubtedly Etienne Brûlé. It was a clearly
defined policy of Champlain to send suitable young men among the
savages, particularly to learn their language, and subsequently to act
as interpreters. Brûlé is supposed to have been of this class.
94. The Lake of Two Mountains.
95. The River Ottawa, which Champlain had explored in 1613, as far as
Allumet Island, where a tribe of the Algonquins resided, called later
_Kichesipinni_. _Vide Relation des Jésuites_, 1640, p 34.
96. This is an over-estimate.
97. Champlain here again, _Vide_ note 90, refers to the issue bearing date
1613. It is not unlikely that while it bears the imprint of 1613, it
did not actually issue from the press till 1614.
98. The lake or expansion of the Ottawa on the southern side of Allumet
Island was called the lake of the Algonquins, as Allumet Island was
oftentimes called the Island of the Algonquins.
99. The River Ottawa.
100. Père Vimont calls this tribe _Kotakoutouemi_. _Relation des Jésuites_,
1640, p. 34. Père Rogueneau gives _Outaoukotouemiouek_, and remarks
that their language is a mixture of Algonquin and Montagnais. _Vide
Relation des Jésuites_, 1650. p. 34; also _Laverdière in loco_.
101. _Blues_, blueberries. The Canada blueberry. _Vaccinium Canadense_.
Under the term _blues_ several varieties may have been included.
Charlevoix describes and figures this fruit under the name _Bluet du
Canada. _Vide Description des Plantes Principales de l'Amérique
Septentrionale_, in _Histoire de la Nouvelle France_, Paris. 1744,
Tom. IV. pp. 371, 372; also Vol. I: p 303, note 75, of this work.
102. At its junction with the Mattawan, the Ottawa's course is from the
north. What is known as its east branch rises 150 miles north of the
city of Ottawa. Extending towards the west in a winding course for the
distance of about 300 miles, it turns towards the southeast, and a few
miles before it joins the Mattawan its course is directly south. From
its northeastern source by a short portage is reached the river
Chomouchouan, an affluent of Lake St. John and the Saguenay.
103. Mattawa is 197 miles from Ottawa. We have no means of giving the
latitude with entire accuracy, but it is about 46° 20'.
104. Lac du Talon and Lac la Tortue.
105. Nipissings, or Nipissirini. Champlain writes _Nipisierinii_.
106. On the 26th of July, The distance from the junction of the Ottawa and
the Mattawan to Lake Nipissing is about thirty-two miles If _lieues_
were translated miles, it would be a not very incorrect estimate.
107. _Vide_ the representations here referred to.
108. Lake Nipissing, whose dimensions are over-stated.
109. Sturgeon River.
110. Père Vimont gives the names of these tribes as follows,--_Timiscimi,
Outimagami, Ouachegami, Mitchitamou, Outurbi, Kiristinon_. _Vide
Relation des Jésuites_. 1640. p. 34.
111. French River.
112. _Blues_. _Vide antea_, note 101.
113. This significant name is given with reference to their mode of
dressing their hair.
114. Blueberries, _Vaccinium Canadense_.
115. _De cuir beullu_, for _cúir bouilli_, literally "boiled leather."
116. The shields of the savages of this region may have been made of the
hide of the buffalo, although the range of this animal was far to the
northwest of them. Champlain saw undoubtedly among the Hurons skins of
the buffalo. _Vide postea_, note 180.
117. Lake Huron is here referred to.
118. The greatest length of Lake Huron on a curvilinear line, between the
discharge of St Mary's Strait and the outlet, is about 240 miles; its
length due north and south is 186 miles, and its extreme breadth about
220 miles. _Bouchette_.
119. Coasting along the eastern shore of the Georgian Bay, when they
arrived at Matchedash Bay they crossed it in a southwesterly course
and entered the country of the Attigouautans, or, as they are
sometimes called, the Attignaouentans. _Relation des Jésuites,_ 1640,
p. 78. They were a principal tribe of the Hurons, living within the
limits of the present county of Simcoe. It is to be regretted that the
Jesuit Fathers did not accompany their relations with local maps by
which we could fix, at least approximately, the Indian towns which
they visited, and with which they were so familiar. For a description
of the Hurons and of their country, the origin of the name and other
interesting particulars, _vide Pere Hierosine Lalemant, Relation des
Jésuites_, 1639, Quebec ed. p. 50.
120. _Sitrouilles_ for _citrouilles_. _Vide_ Vol II. p. 64, note 128.
121. _Herbe au soleil_. The sunflower of Northeast America, _Helianthus
multiflorus_. This species is found from Quebec to the Saskatchewan, a
tributary of Lake Winnipeg. _Vide Chronological History of Plants_, by
Charles Pickering, M.D., Boston, 1879. p. 914. Charlevoix, in the
description of his journey through Canada in 1720, says: "The Soleil
is a plant very common in the fields of the savages, and which grows
seven or eight feet high. Its flower, which is very large, is in the
shape of the marigold, and the seed grows in the same manner. The
savages, by boiling it, draw out an oil, with which they grease their
hair." _Letters to the Dutchess of Lesdiguieres_, London, 1763, p. 95.
122. _Vignes_ Probably the frost grape, _Vitis cordifolia_.
123. _Prunes_. The Canada plum, _Prunus Americana_.
124. _Framboises_. The wild red raspberry, _Rubus strigosus_.
125. _Fraises_. The wild strawberry, _Fragaria Virginiana_. _Vide
Pickering Chro. Hist. Plants_, p. 771.
126. _Petites pommes sauuages_. Probably the American crab-apple, _Pyrus
127. _Noix_ This may include the butternut and some varieties of the
walnut. _Vide_ Vol. I. p. 264.
128. Doubtless the May-apple, _Podophyllum peltatum_. In the wilds of
Simcoe this fruit may have seemed tolerable from the absence of others
more desirable. Gray says, "It is slightly acid, mawkish, eaten by
pigs and boys." _Cf. Florula Bostioniensis_, by Jacob Bigelow,
M.D. Boston, 1824, pp. 215, 216.
129. _Les Chesnes, ormeaux, & heslres_. For oaks see Vol I. p. 264. Elms,
plainly the white elm, _Ulmus Americana_, so called in
contradistinction to the red or slippery elm, _Ulmus fulva_. The
savages sometimes used the bark of the slippery elm in the
construction of their canoes when the white birch could not be
obtained. _Vide Charlevoix's Letters_, 1763, p. 94. For the beech, see
Vol. I. p. 264.
130. _Perdrix_. Canada Grouse, _Tetrao Canadensis_, sometimes called the
Spruce Partridge, differing from the partridge of New England, which
is the Ruffed Grouse, _Bonasa umbellus_. This latter species is,
however, found likewise in Canada.
131. _Lapins_. The American hare, _Lepus Americanus_.
132. _Cerises petites_. Reference is evidently here made to the wild red
cherry, _Prunus Pennsylvanica_, which is the smallest of all the
native species. _Cf_. Vol. I. p. 264.
133. _Merises_. The wild black cherry, _Prunus serotina_.
134. The Carantouanais. _Vide Carte de la Nouvelle France_, 1632, _also_
Vol. I. p. 304. This tribe was probably situated on the upper waters
of the Susquehanna, and consequently south of the Five Nations,
although we said inadvertently in Vol. I. p. 128 that they were on the
west of them. General John S. Clark thinks their village was at
Waverly, near the border of Pennsylvania In Vol. I. p. 143. in the
13th line from the top, we should have said the Carantouanais instead
135. The Entouhonorons were a part, it appears, of the Five Nations.
Champlain says they unite with the Iroquois in making war against all
the other tribes except the Neutral Nation. Lake Ontario is called
_Lac des Entouhonorons_, and Champlain adds that their country is near
the River St. Lawrence, the passage of which they forbid to all other
tribes. _Vide_ Vol. I. pp. 303, 304. He thus appears to apply the name
_Iroquois_ to the eastern portion of the Five Nations, particularly
those whom he had attacked on Lake Champlain; and the Huron name,
_Entouhonorons_, to the western portion. The subdivisions, by which
they were distinguished at a later period, were probably not then
known, at least not to Champlain.
136. _Flamens_. The Dutch were at this time on the Hudson, qengaged in the
fur trade with the savages. _Vide History of the State of New York_ by
John Romeyn Brodhead, New York, 1853. pp. 38-65. _History of New
Netherland_ or _New York under the Dutch_, by E. B. O'Callaghan, New
York, 1846, pp. 67-77.
137. Their enemies were the Iroquois.
138. _Chouontouaroüon_, another name for _Entouhoronon_.
139. Lake Couchiching, a small sheet of water into which pass by a small
outlet the waters of Lake Simcoe.
140. Lake Simcoe. Laverdière says the Indian name of this lake was
_Ouentaronk_, and that it was likewise called _Lac aux Claies_.
141. Étienne Brûlé. _Vide postea_, p. 208.
142. _Dans ces lacs_. From Lake Chouchiching, coasting along the
northeastern shore of Lake Simcoe, they would make five or six leagues
in reaching a point nearest to Sturgeon Lake.
143. Undoubtedly Sturgeon Lake.
144. From their entrance of Sturgeon Lake to the point where they reached
Lake Ontario, at the eastern limit of Amherst Island, the distance is,
in its winding and circuitous course, not far from Champlain's
estimate, viz. sixty-four leagues. That part of the river above Rice
Lake is the Otonabee; that below is known as the Trent.
145. _Gruës_ The white crane, _Grus Americanus_ Adult plumage pure white
_Coues's Key to North American Birds_, Boston, 1872, p 271 Charlevoix
says, "We have cranes of two colors, some white and others _gris de
lin_," that is a purple or lilac color. This latter species is the
brown crane, _Grus Canadensis_. "Plumage plumbeous gray." _Coues_.
_Vide Charlevoix's Letters_, London. 1763, p 83.
146. The latitude of the eastern end of Amherst Island is about 44° 11'.
147. This traverse, it may be presumed, was made by coasting along the
shore, as was the custom of the savages with their light canoes.
148. It appears that, after making by estimate about fourteen leagues in
their bark canoes, and four by land along the shore, they struck
inland. Guided merely by the distances given in the text, it is not
possible to determine with exactness at what point they left the
lake. This arises from the fact that we are not sure at what point the
measurement began, and the estimated distances are given, moreover,
with very liberal margins. But the eighteen leagues in all would take
them not very far from Little Salmon River, whether the estimate were
made from the eastern end of Amherst Island or Simcoe Island, or any
place in that immediate neighborhood. The natural features of the
country, for four leagues along the coast north of Little Salmon
River, answer well to the description given in the text. The chestnut
and wild grape are still found there. _Vide MS. Letters of the
Rev. James Cross, D.D., LL.D., and of S.Z. Smith, Esq._, of Mexico,
149. Lake Ontario, or Lake of the Entouhonorons, is about a hundred and
eighty miles long, and about fifty-five miles in its extreme width.
150. The river here crossed was plainly Oneida River, flowing from Oneida
Lake into Lake Ontario. The lake is identified by the islands in it.
Oneida Lake is the only one in this region which contains any islands
whatever, and consequently the river flowing from it must be that now
known as Oneida River.
151. For the probable site of this fort, see Vol. I. p. 130, note 83.
152. They were of the tribe called Carantouanais. _Vide antea_, note 134.
153. This was in the month of October.
154. _Et après auoir trauersé le bout du lac de laditte isle_. From this
form of expression this island would seem to have been visited before.
But no particular island is mentioned on their former traverse of the
lake. It is impossible to fix with certainty upon the isiand referred
to. It may have been Simcoe or Wolf Island, or some other.
155. Probably Cataraqui Creek. _Vide_ Vol. I. p. 136.
156. Perhaps Loughborough Lake, or the system of lakes of which this is a
157. _Cygnes_, swans. Probably the Trumpeter Swan, _Cygnus buccinator_.
They were especially found in Sagard's time about Lake Nipissing.
"Mais pour des Cignes, qu'ils appellent _Horhev_, il y en a
principalement vers les Epicerinys." _Vide Le Grand Voyage av Pays des
Hurons_ par Fr. Gabriel Sagard, Paris, 1632, p. 303.
158. _Gruës blanches_. _Vide antea_, n. 145.
159. _Houstardes_. _Vide antea_, note 32.
160. _Mauuis_, Song-Thrush. Doubtless the Robin, _Turdus migratorius_.
161. _Allouettes_, larks. Probably the Brown Lark, _Anthus ludovicianus_.
Found everywhere in North America.
162. _Beccassines_. Probably the American Snipe, _Gallinago Wilsonii_.
163. _Oyes_, geese. The common Wild Goose, _Branta Canadensis_, or it may
include all the species taken collectively. For the several species
found in Canada, _vide antea_, note 32.
164. _Les loups_. The American Wolf, _Lupus occidentalis_.
165. The thirty-eight days during which they were there would include the
whole period from the time they began to make their preparations on
the 28th of October on the shores of Lake Ontario till they began
their homeward journey on the 4th of December. _Vide antea_, p. 137;
_postea_, p. 143.
166. The author here refers to the chief D'Arontal, whose guest he
was. _Vide antea_, 137. Cf. also Quebec ed. 1632, p. 928.
167. _Trainees de bois_, a kind of sledge. The Indian's sledge was made of
two pieces of board, which, with his stone axe and perhaps with the
aid of fire, he patiently manufactured from the trunks of trees. The
boards were each about six inches wide and six or seven feet long,
curved upward at the forward end and bound together by cross pieces.
The sides were bordered with strips of wood, which served as brackets,
to which was fastened the strap that bound the baggage upon the
sledge. The load was dragged by a rope or strap of leather passing
round the breast of the savage and attached to the end of the sledge.
The sledge was so narrow that it could be drawn easily and without
impediment wherever the savage could thread his way through the
The journey from their encampment northeast of Kingston on Lake
Ontario to the capital of the Hurons was not less in a straight line
than a hundred and sixty miles. Without a pathway, in the heart of
winter, through water and melting snow, with their heavy burdens, the
hardship and exhaustion can hardly be exaggerated.
168. Namely at Cahiagué. In the issue of 1632, Champlain says they arrived
on the 23d day of the month. _Vide_ Quebec ed, p. 929. Leaving on the
4th and travelling nineteen days, as stated above, they would arrive
on the 23d December.
169. Probably the 4th of January.
170. Father Joseph Le Caron had remained at Carhagouha, during the absence
of the war party in their attack upon the Iroquois, where Champlain
probably arrived on the 5th of January.
171. In the issue of 1632, the arrival of Champlain and Le Caron is stated
to have occurred on the 17th of January. This harmonizes with the
correction of dates in notes 169, 170.
The Huron name of the Petuns was _Tionnontateronons_, or
_Khionontateronons_, or _Quieunontateronons_. Of them Vimont says,
"Les Khionontateronons, qu'on appelle la nation du Petun, pour
l'abondance qu'il y a de cette herbe, sont eloignez du pays des
Hurons, dont ils parlent la langue, enuiron douze ou quinze lieues
tirant à l'Occident." _Vide Relation des Jésuites_, 1640, p. 95;
_His. Du Canada_, Vol. I. p. 209. Sagard.
For some account of the subsequent history of the Nation de Petun,
_vide Indian Migration in Ohio_, by C. C. Baldwin, 1879, p. 2.
172. It was of great importance to the Indians to select a site for their
villages where suitable wood was accessible, both for fortifying them
with palisades and for fuel in the winter. It could not be brought a
great distance for either of these purposes. Hence when the wood in
the vicinity became exhausted they were compelled to remove and build
173. That is to say like the Hurons.
174. The Nation Neutre was called by the Hurons _Attisandaronk_ or
_Attihouandaron_. _Vide Relation des Jésuites_, 1641, p. 72;
_Dictonaire de la Langue Huronne_, par Sagard, a Paris, 1632.
Champlain places them, on his map of 1632, south of Lake Erie. His
knowledge of that lake, obtained from the savages, was very meagre as
the map itself shows. The Neutres are placed by early writers on the
west of Lake Ontario and north of Lake Erie _Vide Laverdière in loco_,
Quebec ed., p. 546; also, _Indian Migration in Ohio_, by C. C.
Baldwin, p. 4. They are placed far to the south of Lake Erie by
Nicholas Sanson. _Vide Cartes de l'Amerique_, 1657.
175. The Cheveux Relevés are represented by Champlain as dwelling west of
the Petuns, and were probably not far from the most southern limit of
the Georgian Bay. Strangely enough Nicholas Sanson places them on a
large island that separates the Georgian Bay from Lake Huron. _Vide
Cartes de l'Amerique_ par N. Sanson, 1657.
176. _Atsistaehronons, ou Nation du Feu_. Their Algonquin name was
Mascoutins or Maskoutens. with several other orthographies. The
significance of their name is given by Sagard as follows: Ils sont
errans, sinon que quelques villages d'entr'eux fement des bleds
d'Inde, et font la guerre à vne autre Nation, nommée _Assitagueronon_,
qui veut dire gens de feu: car en langue Huronne _Assista_ signifie du
feu, et _Eronon_, signifie Nation. _Le Grand Voyage du Pays des
Hurons_, par Gabriel Sagard, a Paris, 1632, p. 78. _Vide Relation des
Jésuites_, 1641, p 72; _Discovery and Exploration of the Mississippi
Valley_, by John Gilmary Shea, p. 13; _Indian Migration in Ohio_, by
C. C. Baldwin, pp 9, 10; Discovery of the _Northwest by John Nicolet_,
by C. W. Butterfield, p. 63; _L'Amerique en Plusieurs Cartes_, par
N. Sanson, 1657.
177. _Pisierinii_, the Nipissings. This relates to those Nipissings who had
accompanied Champlain on the expedition against the Iroquois, and who
were passing the winter among the Hurons. He had expected that they
would accompany him on explorations on the north of them. But arriving
at their encampment, on his return from the Petuns and Cheveux
Relevés, he learned from them of the quarrel that had arisen between
the Algonquins and the Hurons.
178. Attigouantans, the principal tribe of the Hurons.
179. _Colliers de pourceline_. These necklaces were composed of shells,
pierced and strung like beads. They were of a violet color, and were
esteemed of great value. The _branches_ were strings of white shells,
and were more common and less valuable. An engraved representation may
be seen in _Histoire de L'Amérique Septentrionale_, par De la
Potherie, Paris, 1722, Tom. I. p. 334. For a full description of
these necklaces and their significance and use in their councils,
_vide Charlevoix's Letters_, London, 1763, p 132.
180. _Buffles_, buffaloes. The American Bison, _Bos Americanus_. The skins
seen by Champlain in the possession of the savages seem to indicate
that the range of the buffalo was probably further east at that period
than at the present time, its eastern limit being now about the Red
River, which flows into Lake Winnipeg. The limit of its northern range
is generally stated to be at latitude 60 degrees, but it is sometimes
found as far north as 63 degrees or 64 degrees. _Vide_ Dr. Shea's
interesting account of the buffalo in _Discovery and Exploration of
Mississippi Valley_, p. 18. The range of the Musk Ox is still farther
north, rarely south of latitude 67 degrees. His home is in the Barren
Grounds, west of Hudson Bay, and on the islands on the north of the
American Continent, where he subsists largely on lichens and the
meagre herbage of that frosty region.
181. Champlain is here speaking of the whole country of New France.
182. This sentence in the original is unfinished and defective. _Au costé
vers le Nort, icelle grande riuiere terant à l'Occident, etc_. In the
ed. 1632, the reading is _Au costé vers le nort d'icelle grande
riuiere tirant au suroust, etc_. The tranlation is according to the
ed. of 1632. _Vide_ Quebec ed., p. 941.
183. Champlain here gives the four species of the _cervus_ family under
names then known to him, viz, the moose, wapiti or elk, caribou, and
the common deer.
184. _Fouines_, a quadruped known as the minx or mink, _Mustela vison_.
185. _Martes_, weasels, _Mustela vulgaris_.
186. _The country on the north_, &c. Having described the country along the
coast of the St Lawrence and the lakes he now refers to the country
still further north even to the southern borders of Hudson's Bay
_Vide_ small map.
187. _Almouchiquois_, so in the French for Almouchiquois. All the tribes at
and south of _Chouacoet_, or the mouth of the Saco River, were
denominated Almouchiquois by the French. _Vide_ Vol II p 63, _et
188. The country of the Attigouantans, sometimes written Attigouautans, the
principal tribe of the Hurons, used by Champlain as including the
whole, with whom the French were in close alliance, was from east to
west not more than about twelve leagues. There must have been some
error by which the author is made to say that it was _two hundred and
thirty leagues_. Laverdière suggests that in the manuscript it might
have been 23, or 20 to 30, and that the printer made it 230.
189. The author plainly means that the country of the Hurons was nearly
surrounded by the Mer Douce; that is to say, by Lake Huron and the
waters connected with it, viz., the River Severn, Lake Couchiching,
and Lake Simcoe. As to the population, compare _The Jesuits in North
America_, by Francis Parkman, LL.D., note p. xxv.
190. _Vide antea_, note 172, for the reason of these removals.
191. _Febues du Brésil_. This was undoubtedly the common trailing bean,
_Pliaseolus vulgaris_, probably called the Brazilian bean, because it
resembled a bean known under that name. It was found in cultivation in
New England as mentioned by Champlain and the early English settlers.
Bradford discoursing of the Indians, _His. Plymouth Plantation_,
p. 83, speaks of "their beans of various collours." It is possible
that the name, _febues du Brésil_, was given to it on account of its
red color, as was that of the Brazil-wood, from the Portuguese word
_braza_, a burning coal.
192. _Vide antea_, note 101.
193. _Sitrouelles_, or _citrouilles_, the common summer squash, _Cucurbita
polymorpha. Vide_ Vol. II. note 128. For figure D, _vide_ p. 116.
194. The coloring matter appears to have been derived from the root of the
bedstraw, _Galium tinctorum_. Peter Kalm, a pupil of Linnæus, who
travelled in Canada in 1749, says, "The roots of this plant are
employed by the Indians in dyeing the quills of the American
porcupines red, which they put into several pieces of their work, and
air, sun, or water seldom change this color." _Travels into North
America_, London, 1771, Vol. III. pp. 14-15.
195. Père Joseph Le Caron, who had passed the winter among the Hurons.
196. _Mardi-gras_, Shrove-Tuesday, or _flesh Tuesday_, the last day of the
Carnival, the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day in Lent.
197. _Vide_ Vol. I. pp. 236-238.
198. This must have been on the 20th of May.
199. Jean d'Olbeau and the lay brother Pacifique du Plessis.
200. Joseph le Caron, who accompanied Champlain to France.
CONTINUATION OF THE VOYAGES
AND DISCOVERIES MADE IN NEW FRANCE,
SIEUR DE CHAMPLAIN,
CAPTAIN FOR THE KING IN THE WESTERN MARINE,
IN THE YEAR 1618.
At the beginning of the year one thousand six hundred and eighteen, on the
twenty-second of March, I set out from Paris,  together with my
brother-in-law,  for Honfleur, our usual port of embarkation. There we
were obliged to make a long stay on account of contrary winds. But when
they had become favorable, we embarked on the large vessel of the
association, which Sieur du Pont Gravé commanded. There was also on board a
nobleman, named De la Mothe,  who had previously made a voyage with
the Jesuits to the regions of La Cadie, where he was taken prisoner by the
English, and by them carried to the Virginias, the place of their
settlement. Some time after they transferred him to England and from there
to France, where there arose in him an increased desire to make another
voyage to New France, which led him to seek the opportunity presented by
me. I had assured him, accordingly, that I would use my influence and
assistance with our associates, as it seemed to me that they would find
such a person desirable, since he would be very useful in those regions.
Our embarkation being made, we took our departure from Honfleur on the 24th
day of May following, in the year 1618. The wind was favorable for our
voyage, but continued so only a very few days, when it suddenly changed,
and we had all the time head winds up to our arrival, on the 3d day of June
following, on the Grand Bank, where the fresh fishery is carried on. Here
we perceived to the windward of us some banks of ice, which came down from
the north. While waiting for a favorable wind we engaged in fishing, which
afforded us great pleasure, not only on account of the fish but also of a
kind of bird called _fauquets_,  and other kinds that are caught on
the line like fish. For, on throwing the line, with its hook baited with
cod liver, these birds made for it with a rush, and in such numbers that
you could not draw it out in order to throw it again, without capturing
them by the beak, feet, and wings as they slew and fell upon the bait, so
great were the eagerness and voracity of these birds. This fishing afforded
us great pleasure, not only on account of the sport, but on account of the
infinite number of birds and fish that we captured, which were very good
eating, and made a very desirable change on shipboard.
Continuing on our route, we arrived on the 15th of the month off Isle
Percée, and on St. John's day  following entered the harbor of
Tadoussac, where we found our small vessel, which had arrived three weeks
before us. The men on her told us that Sieur des Chesnes, the commander,
had gone to our settlement at Quebec. Thence he was to go to the Trois
Rivières to meet the savages, who were to come there from various regions
for the purpose of trade, and likewise to determine what was to be done on
account of the death of two of our men, who had been treacherously and
perfidiously killed by two vicious young men of the Montagnais. These two
unfortunate victims, as the men on the vessel informed us, had been killed
while out hunting nearly two years  before. Those in the settlement
had always supposed that they had been drowned from the upsetting of their
canoe, until a short time before, one of the men, conceiving an animosity
against the murderers, made a disclosure and communicated the fact and
cause of the murder to the men of our settlement. For certain reasons it
has seemed to me well to give an account of the matter and of what was done
in regard to it. But it is almost impossible to obtain the exact truth in
the case, on account, not only of the small amount of testimony at hand,
but of the diversity of the statements made, the most of which were
presumptive. I will, however, give an account of the matter here, following
the statement of the greater number as being nearer the truth, and relating
what I have found to be the most probable.
The following is the occasion of the murder of the two unfortunate
deceased. One of the two murderers paid frequent visits to our settlement,
receiving there a thousand kindnesses and favors, among other persons from
Sieur du Parc, a nobleman from Normandy, in command at the time at Quebec,
in the service of the King and in behalf of the merchants of the
Association in the year 1616. This savage, while on one of his customary
visits, received one day, on account of some jealousy, ill treatment from
one of the two murdered men, who was by profession a locksmith, and who
after some words beat the savage so soundly as to impress it well upon his
memory. And not satisfied with beating and misusing the savage he incited
his companions to do the same, which aroused still more the hatred and
animosity of the savage towards this locksmith and his companions, and led
him to seek an opportunity to revenge himself. He accordingly watched for a
time and opportunity for doing so, acting however cautiously and appearing
as usual, without showing any sign of resentment.
Some time after, the locksmith and a sailor named Charles Pillet, from the
island of Ré, arranged to go hunting and stay away three or four nights.
For this purpose they got ready a canoe, and embarking departed from Quebec
for Cape Tourmente. Here there were some little islands where a great
quantity of game and birds resorted, near Isle d'Orleans, and distant seven
leagues from Quebec. The departure of our men became at once known to the
two savages, who were not slow in starting to pursue them and carry out
their evil design. They sought for the place where the locksmith and his
companion went to sleep, in order to surprise them. Having ascertained it
at evening, at break of day on the following morning, the two savages
slipped quietly along certain very pleasant meadows. Arriving at a point
near the place in question, they moored their canoe, landed and went
straight to the cabin, where our men had slept. But they found only the
locksmith, who was preparing to go hunting with his companion, and who
thought of nothing less than of what was to befall him. One of these
savages approached him, and with some pleasant words removed from him all
suspicion of anything wrong in order that he might the better deceive
him. But as he saw him stoop to adjust his arquebus, he quickly drew a club
that he had concealed on his person, and gave the locksmith so heavy a blow
on his head, that it sent him staggering and completely stunned. The
savage, seeing that the locksmith was preparing to defend himself, repeated
his blow, struck him to the ground, threw himself upon him, and with a
knife gave him three or four cuts in the stomach, killing him in this
In order that they might also get possession of the sailor, the companion
of the locksmith who had started early in the morning to go hunting, not
because they bore any special hatred towards him, but that they might not
be discovered nor accused by him, they went in all directions searching for
him. At last, from the report of an arquebus which they heard, they
discovered where he was, in which direction they rapidly hastened, so as to
give no time to the sailor to reload his arquebus and put himself in a
state of defence. Approaching, they fired their arrows at him, by which
having prostrated him, they ran upon him and finished him with the knife.
Then the assassins carried off the body, together with the other, and,
binding them so firmly together that they would not come apart, attached to
them a quantity of stones and pebbles, together with their weapons and
clothes, so as not to be discovered by any sign, after which they carried
them to the middle of the river, threw them in, and they sank to the
bottom. Here they remained a long time until, through the will of God, the
cords broke, and the bodies were washed ashore and thrown far up on the
bank, to serve as accusers and incontestable witnesses of the attack of
these two cruel and treacherous assassins. For the two bodies were found at
a distance of more than twenty feet from the water in the woods, but had
not become separated in so long a time, being still firmly bound, the
bones, stripped of the flesh like a skeleton, alone remaining. For the two
victims, contrary to the expectation of the two murderers, who thought they
had done their work so secretly that it would never be known, were found a
long time after their disappearance by the men of our settlement, who,
pained at their absence, searched for them along the banks of the river.
But God in his justice would not permit so enormous a crime, and had caused
it to be exposed by another savage, their companion, in retaliation for an
injury he had received from them. Thus their wicked acts were disclosed.
The holy Fathers and the men of the settlement were greatly surprised at
seeing the bodies of these two unfortunates, with their bones all bare, and
their skulls broken by the blows received from the club of the savages. The
Fathers and others at the settlement advised to preserve them in some
portion of the settlement until the return of our vessels, in order to
consult with all the French as to the best course to pursue in the matter.
Meanwhile our people at the settlement resolved to be on their guard, and
no longer allow so much freedom to these savages as they had been
accustomed to, but on the contrary require reparation for so cruel a murder
by a process of justice, or some other way, or let things in the mean time
remain as they were, in order the better to await our vessels and our
return, that we might all together consult what was to be done in the
But the savages seeing that this iniquity was discovered, and that they and
the murderer were obnoxious to the French, were seized with despair, and,
fearing that our men would exercise vengeance upon them for this murder,
withdrew for a while from our settlement. Not only those guilty of the
act but the others also being seized with fear came no longer to the
settlement, as they had been accustomed to do, but waited for greater
security for themselves.
Finding themselves deprived of intercourse with us, and of their usual
welcome, the savages sent one of their companions named by the French, _La
Ferrière_, to make their excuses for this murder; namely, they asserted
they had never been accomplices in it, and had never consented to it, and
that, if it was desired to have the two murderers for the sake of
inflicting justice, the other savages would willingly consent to it, unless
the French should be pleased to take as reparation and restitution for the
dead some valuable presents of skins, as they are accustomed to do in
return for a thing that cannot be restored. They earnestly entreated the
French to accept this rather than require the death of the accused which
they anticipated would be hard for them to execute, and so doing to forget
everything as if it had not occurred.
To this, in accordance with the advice of the holy Fathers, it was decided
to reply that the savages should bring and deliver up the two malefactors,
in order to ascertain from them their accomplices, and who had incited them
to do the deed. This they communicated to La Ferrière for him to report to
This decision having been made, La Ferrière withdrew to his companions, who
upon hearing the decision of the French found this procedure and mode of
justice very strange and difficult; since they have no established law
among themselves, but only vengeance and restitution by presents. After
considering the whole matter and deliberating with one another upon it,
they summoned the two murderers and set forth to them the unhappy position
into which they had been thrown by the event of this murder, which might
cause a perpetual war with the French, from which their women and children
would suffer. However much trouble they might give us, and although they
might keep us shut up in our settlement and prevent us from hunting,
cultivating and tilling the soil, and although we were in too small numbers
to keep the river blockaded, as they persuaded themselves to believe in
their consultations; still, after all their deliberations, they concluded
that it was better to live in peace with the French than in war and
Accordingly the savages thus assembled, after finishing their consultation
and representing the situation to the accused, asked them if they would not
have the courage to go with them to the settlement of the French and appear
before them; promising them that they should receive no harm, and assuring
them that the French were lenient and disposed to pardon, and would in
short go so far in dealing with them as to overlook their offence on
condition of their not returning to such evil ways.
The two criminals, finding themselves convicted in conscience, yielded to
this proposition and agreed to follow this advice. Accordingly one of them
made preparations, arraying himself in such garments and decorations as he
could procure, as if he had been invited to go to a marriage or some great
festivity. Thus attired, he went to the settlement, accompanied by his
father, some of the principal chiefs, and the captain of their company. As
to the other murderer, he excused himself from this journey, 
realizing his guilt of the heinous act and fearing punishment.
When now they had entered the habitation, which was forthwith surrounded by
a multitude of the savages of their company, the bridge  was drawn up,
and all of the French put themselves on guard, arms in hand. They kept a
strict watch, sentinels being posted at the necessary points, for fear of
what the savages outside might do, since they suspected that it was
intended actually to inflict punishment upon the guilty one, who had so
freely offered himself to our mercy, and not upon him alone, but upon those
also who had accompanied him inside, who likewise were not too sure of
their persons, and who, seeing matters in this state, did not expect to get
out with their lives. The whole matter was very well managed and carried
out, so as to make them realize the magnitude of the crime and have fear
for the future. Otherwise there would have been no security with them, and
we should have been obliged to live with arms in hand and in perpetual
After this, the savages suspecting lest something might happen contrary to
what they hoped from us, the holy Fathers proceeded to make them an address
on the subject of this crime. They set forth to them the friendship which
the French had shown them for ten or twelve years back, when we began to
know them, during which time we had continually lived in peace and intimacy
with them, nay even with such freedom as could hardly be expressed. They
added moreover that I had in person assisted them several times in war
against their enemies, thereby exposing my life for their welfare; while we
were not under any obligations to do so, being impelled only by friendship
and good will towards them, and feeling pity at the miseries and
persecutions which their enemies caused them to endure and suffer. This is
why we were unable to believe, they said, that this murder had been
committed without their consent, and especially since they had taken it
upon themselves to favor those who committed it.
Speaking to the father of the criminal, they represented to him the
enormity of the deed committed by his son, saying that as reparation for it
he deserved death, since by our law so wicked a deed did not go unpunished,
and that whoever was found guilty and convicted of it deserved to be
condemned to death as reparation for so heinous an act; but, as to the
other inhabitants of the country, who were not guilty of the crime, they
said no one wished them any harm or desired to visit upon them the
consequences of it.
All the savages, having clearly heard this, said, as their only excuse, but
with all respect, that they had not consented to this act; that they knew
very well that these two criminals ought to be put to death, unless we
should be disposed to pardon them; that they were well aware of their
wickedness, not before but after the commission of the deed; that they had
been informed of the death of the two ill-fated men too late to prevent it.
Moreover, they said that they had kept it secret, in order to preserve
constantly an intimate relationship and confidence with us, and declared
that they had administered to the evil-doers severe reprimands, and set
forth the calamity which they had not only brought upon themselves, but
upon all their tribe, relatives and friends; and they promised that such a
calamity should never occur again and begged us to forget this offence, and
not visit it with the consequences it deserved, but rather go back to the
primary motive which induced the two savages to go there, and have regard
for that. Furthermore they said that the culprit had come freely and
delivered himself into our hands, not to be punished but to receive mercy
from the French.
But the father, turning to the friar,  said with tears, there is my
son, who committed the supposed crime; he is worthless, but consider that
he is a young, foolish, and inconsiderate person, who has committed this
act through passion, impelled by vengeance rather than by premeditation: it
is in your power to give him life or death; you can do with him what you
please, since we are both in your hands.
After this address, the culprit son, presenting himself with assurance,
spoke these words. "Fear has not so seized my heart as to prevent my coming
to receive death according to my desserts and your law, of which I
acknowledge myself guilty." Then he stated to the company the cause of the
murder, and the planning and execution of it, just as I have related and
here set forth.
After his recital he addressed himself to one of the agents and clerks of
the merchants of our Association, named _Beauchaine_, begging him to put
him to death without further formality.
Then the holy Fathers spoke, and said to them, that the French were not
accustomed to put their fellow-men to death so suddenly, and that it was
necessary to have a consultation with all the men of the settlement, and
bring forward this affair as the subject of consideration. This being a
matter of great consequence, it was decided that it should be carefully
conducted and that it was best to postpone it to a more favorable occasion,
which would be better adapted to obtain the truth, the present time not
being favorable for many reasons.
In the first place, we were weak in numbers in comparison with the savages
without and within our settlement, who, resentful and full of vengeance as
they are, would have been capable of setting fire on all sides and creating
disorder among us. In the second place, there would have been perpetual
distrust and no security in our intercourse with them. In the third place,
trade would have been injured, and the service of the King impeded.
In view of these and other urgent considerations, it was decided that we
ought to be contented with their putting themselves in our power and their
willingness to give satisfaction submissively, the father of the criminal
on the one hand presenting and offering him to the company, and he, for his
part, offering to give up his own life as restitution for his offence, just
as his father offered to produce him whenever he might be required.
This it was thought necessary to regard as a sort of honorable amend, and a
satisfaction to justice. And it was considered that if we thus pardoned the
offence, not only would the criminal receive his life from us, but, also,
his father and companions would feel under great obligations. It was
thought proper, however, to say to them as an explanation of our action,
that, in view of the fact of the criminal's public assurance that all the
other savages were in no respect accomplices, or to blame for the act, and
had had no knowledge of it before its accomplishment, and in view of the
fact that he had freely offered himself to death, it had been decided to
restore him to his father, who should remain under obligations to produce
him at any time. On these terms and on condition that he should in future
render service to the French, his life was spared, that he and all the
savages might continue friends and helpers of the French.
Thus it was decided to arrange the matter until the vessels should return
from France, when, in accordance with the opinion of the captains and
others, a definite and more authoritative settlement was to be concluded.
In the mean time we promised them every favor and the preservation of their
lives, saying to them, however, for our security, that they should leave
some of their children as a kind of hostage, to which they very willingly
acceded, and left at the settlement two in the hands of the holy Fathers,
who proceeded to teach their letters, and in less than three months taught
them the alphabet and how to make the letters.
From this it may be seen that they are capable of instruction and are
easily taught, as Father Joseph  can testify.
The vessels having safely arrived, Sieur du Pont Gravé, some others, and
myself were informed how the affair had taken place, as has been narrated
above, when we all decided that it was desirable to make the savages feel
the enormity of this murder, but not to execute punishment upon them, for
various good reasons hereafter to be mentioned.
As soon as our vessels had entered the harbor of Tadoussac, even on the
morning of the next day,  Sieur du Pont Gravé and myself set sail
again, on a small barque of ten or twelve tons' burden. So also Sieur de la
Mothe, together with Father Jean d'Albeau,  a friar, and one of the
clerks and agent of the merchants, named _Loquin_, embarked on a little
shallop, and we set out together from Tadoussac. There remained on the
vessel another friar, called Father _Modeste_  together with the pilot
and master, to take care of her. We arrived at Quebec, the place of our
settlement, on the 27th of June following. Here we found Fathers Joseph,
Paul, and Pacifique, the friars,  and Sieur Hébert  with his
family, together with the other members of the settlement. They were all
well, and delighted at our return in good health like themselves, through
the mercy of God.
The same day Sieur du Pont Gravé determined to go to Trois Rivières, where
the merchants carried on their trading, and to take with him some
merchandise, with the purpose of meeting Sieur des Chesnes, who was already
there. He also took with him Loquin, as before mentioned. I stayed at our
settlement some days, occupying myself with business relating to it; among
other things in building a furnace for making an experiment with certain
ashes, directions for which had been given me, and which are in truth of
great value; but it requires labor, diligence, watchfulness and skill; and
for the working of these ashes a sufficient number of men are needed who
are acquainted with this art. This first experiment did not prove
successful, and we postponed further trial to a more favorable opportunity.
I visited the cultivated lands,  which I found planted with fine
grain. The gardens contained all kinds of plants, cabbages, radishes,
lettuce, purslain, sorrel, parsley, and other plants, squashes, cucumbers,
melons, peas, beans and other vegetables, which were as fine and forward as
in France. There were also the vines, which had been transplanted, already
well advanced. In a word, you could see everything growing and flourishing.
Aside from God, we are not to give the praise for this to the laborers or
their skill, for it is probable that not much is due to them, but to the
richness and excellence of the soil, which is naturally good and adapted
for everything, as experience shows, and might be turned to good account,
not only for purposes of tillage and the cultivation of fruit-trees and
vines, but also for the nourishment and rearing of cattle and fowl, such as
are common in France. But the thing lacking is zeal and affection for the
welfare and service of the King.
I tarried some time at Quebec, in expectation of further intelligence, when
there arrived a barque from Tadoussac, which had been sent by Sieur du
Pont Gravé to get the men and merchandise remaining at that place on the
before-mentioned large vessel. Leaving Quebec, I embarked with them for
Trois Rivières, where the trading was going on, in order to see the savages
and communicate with them, and ascertain what was taking place respecting
the assassination above set forth, and what could be done to settle and
smooth over the whole matter.
On the 5th of July following I set out from Quebec, together with Sieur de
la Mothe, for Trois Rivières, both for engaging in traffic and to see the
savages. We arrived, at evening off Sainte Croix,  a place on the way
so called. Here we saw a shallop coming straight to us, in which were some
men from Sieurs du Pont Gravé and des Chesnes, and also some clerks and
agents of the merchants. They asked me to despatch at once this shallop to
Quebec for some merchandise remaining there, saying that a large number of
savages had come for the purpose of making war.
This intelligence was very agreeable to us, and in order to satisfy them,
on the morning of the next day I left my barque and went on board a shallop
in order to go more speedily to the savages, while the other, which had
come from Trois Rivières, continued its course to Quebec. We made such
progress by rowing that we arrived at the before-mentioned place on the 7th
of July at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Upon landing, all the savages with
whom I had been intimate in their country recognized me. They were awaiting
me with impatience, and came up to me very happy and delighted to see me
again, one after the other embracing me with demonstrations of great joy, I
also receiving them in the same manner. In this agreeable way was spent the
evening and remainder of this day, and on the next day the savages held a
council among themselves, to ascertain from me whether I would again assist
them, as I had done in the past and as I had promised them, in their wars
against their enemies, by whom they are cruelly harassed and tortured.
Meanwhile on our part we took counsel together to determine what we should
do in the matter of the murder of the two deceased, in order that justice
might be done, and that they might be restrained from committing such an
offence in future.
In regard to the assistance urgently requested by the savages for making
war against their enemies, I replied that my disposition had not changed
nor my courage abated, but that what prevented me from assisting them was
that on the previous year, when the occasion and opportunity presented,
they failed me when the time came; because when they had promised to return
with a good number of warriors they did not do so, which caused me to
withdraw without accomplishing much. Yet I told them the matter should be
taken into consideration, but that for the present it was proper to
determine what should be done in regard to the assassination of the two
unfortunate men, and that satisfaction must be had. Upon this they left
their council in seeming anger and vexation about the matter, offering to
kill the criminals, and proceed at once to their execution, if assent were
given, and acknowledging freely among themselves the enormity of the
But we would not consent to this, postponing our assistance to another
time, requiring them to return to us the next year with a good number of
men. I assured them, moreover, that I would entreat the King to favor us
with men, means, and supplies to assist them and enable them to enjoy the
rest they longed for, and victory over their enemies. At this they were
greatly pleased, and thus we separated, after they had held two or three
meetings on the subject, costing us several hours of time. Two or three
days after my arrival at this place they proceeded to make merry, dance,
and celebrate many great banquets in view of the future war in which I was
to assist them.
Then I stated to Sieur du Pont Gravé what I thought about this murder; that
it was desirable to make a greater demand upon them; that at present the
savages would dare not only to do the same thing again but what would be
more injurious to us; that I considered them people who were governed by
example; that they might accuse the French of being wanting in courage;
that if we said no more about the matter they would infer that we were
afraid of them: and that if we should let them go so easily they would grow
more insolent, bold, and intolerable, and we should even thereby tempt them
to undertake greater and more pernicious designs. Moreover I said that the
other tribes of savages, who had or should get knowledge of this act, and
that it had been unrevenged, or compromised by gifts and presents, as is
their custom, would boast that killing a man is no great matter; since the
French make so little account of seeing their companions killed by their
neighbors, who drink, eat, and associate intimately with them, as may be
But, on the other hand, in consideration of the various circumstances;
namely, that the savages do not exercise reason, that they are hard to
approach, are easily estranged, and are very ready to take vengeance, that,
if we should force them to inflict punishment, there would be no security
for those desirous of making explorations among them, we determined to
settle this affair in a friendly manner, and pass over quietly what had
occurred, leaving them to engage peaceably in their traffic with the clerks
and agents of the merchants and others in charge.
Now there was with them a man named _Estienne Brûlé_, one of our
interpreters, who had been living with them for eight years, as well to
pass his time as to see the country and learn their language and mode of
life. He is the one whom I had despatched with orders to go in the
direction of the Entouhonorons,  to Carantoüan, in order to bring with
him five hundred warriors they had promised to send to assist us in the war
in which we were engaged against their enemies, a reference to which is
made in the narrative of my previous book.  I called this man, namely
Estienne Brûlé, and asked him why he had not brought the assistance of the
five hundred men, and what was the cause of the delay, and why he had not
rendered me a report. Thereupon he gave me an account of the matter, a
narrative of which it will not be out of place to give, as he is more to be
pitied than blamed on account of the misfortunes which he experienced on
He proceeded to say that, after taking leave of me to go on his journey and
execute his commission, he set out with the twelve savages whom I had given
him for the purpose of showing the way, and to serve as an escort on
account of the dangers which he might have to encounter. They were
successful in reaching the place, Carantoüan, but not without exposing
themselves to risk, since they had to pass through the territories of their
enemies, and, in order to avoid any evil design, pursued a more secure
route through thick and impenetrable forests, wood and brush, marshy bogs,
frightful and unfrequented places and wastes, all to avoid danger and a
meeting with their enemies.
But, in spite of this great care, Brûlé and his savage companions, while
crossing a plain, encountered some hostile savages, who were returning to
their village and who were surprised and worsted by our savages, four of
the enemy being killed on the spot and two taken prisoners, whom Brûlé and
his companions took to Carantoüan, by the inhabitants of which place they
were received with great affection, a cordial welcome, and good cheer, with
the dances and banquets with which they are accustomed to entertain and
Some days were spent in this friendly reception; and, after Brûlé had told
them his mission and explained to them the occasion of his journey, the
savages of the place assembled in council to deliberate and resolve in
regard to sending the five hundred warriors asked for by Brûlé.
When the council was ended and it was decided to send the men, orders were
given to collect, prepare, and arm them, so as to go and join us where we
were encamped before the fort and village of our enemies. This was only
three short days' journey from Carantoüan, which was provided with more
than eight hundred warriors, and strongly fortified, after the manner of
those before described, which have high and strong palisades well bound and
joined together, the quarters being constructed in a similar fashion.
After it had been resolved by the inhabitants of Carantoüan to send the
five hundred men, these were very long in getting ready, although urged by
Brûlé, to make haste, who explained to them that if they delayed any longer
they would not find us there. And in fact they did not succeed in arriving
until two days after our departure from that place, which we were forced to
abandon, since we were too weak and worn by the inclemency of the weather.
This caused Brûlé, and the five hundred men whom he brought, to withdraw
and return to their village of Carantoüan. After their return Brûlé was
obliged to stay, and spend the rest of the autumn and all the winter, for
lack of company and escort home. While awaiting, he busied himself in
exploring the country and visiting the tribes and territories adjacent to
that place, and in making a tour along a river  that debouches in the
direction of Florida, where are many powerful and warlike nations, carrying
on wars against each other. The climate there is very temperate, and there
are great numbers of animals and abundance of small game. But to traverse
and reach these regions requires patience, on account of the difficulties
involved in passing the extensive wastes.
He continued his course along the river as far as the sea,  and to
islands and lands near them, which are inhabited by various tribes and
large numbers of savages, who are well disposed and love the French above
all other nations. But those who know the Dutch  complain severely of
them, since they treat them very roughly. Among other things he observed
that the winter was very temperate, that it snowed very rarely, and that
when it did the snow was not a foot deep and melted immediately.
After traversing the country and observing what was noteworthy, he returned
to the village of Carantoüan, in order to find an escort for returning to
our settlement. After some stay at Carantoüan, five or six of the savages
decided to make the journey with Brûlé. On the way they encountered a large
number of their enemies, who charged upon Brûlé and his companions so
violently that they caused them to break up and separate from each other,
so that they were unable to rally: and Brûlé, who had kept apart in the
hope of escaping, became so detached from the others that he could not
return, nor find a road or sign in order to effect his retreat in any
direction whatever. Thus he continued to wander through forest and wood for
several days without eating, and almost despairing of his life from the
pressure of hunger. At last he came upon a little footpath, which he
determined to follow wherever it might lead, whether toward the enemy or
not, preferring to expose himself to their hands trusting in God rather
than to die alone and in this wretched manner. Besides he knew how to speak
their language, which he thought might afford him some assistance.
But he had not gone a long distance when he discovered three savages loaded
with fish repairing to their village. He ran after them, and, as he
approached, shouted at them, as is their custom. At this they turned about,
and filled with fear were about to leave their burden and flee. But Brûlé
speaking to them reassured them, when they laid down their bows and arrows
in sign of peace, Brûlé on his part laying down his arms. Moreover he was
weak and feeble, not having eaten for three or four days. On coming up to
them, after he had told them of his misfortune and the miserable condition
to which he had been reduced, they smoked together, as they are accustomed
to do with one another and their acquaintances when they visit each
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