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Christian or pagan, must carry about with him his house, his furniture, and his food. But the Jesuit succeeded in
winning the affections of the savages ; and, after a 1647.
pilgrimage of ten months, an escort of thirty conducted him to Quebec, full of health and joy.
Thus, in September, 1646, within fourteen years from the restoration of Quebec, France, advancing rapidly towards a widely-extended dominion in North America, had its outposts on the Kennebec, and on the shores of Lake Huron, and had approached the settlements round Albany. The missionaries, exalted by zeal, enjoyed a fearless tranquillity, and were pledged to obedience unto death.
The whole strength of the colony lay in the missions. The government was weakened by the royal jealousy; the
population hardly increased; there was no military
force ; and the trading company, deriving no income but from peltries and Indian traffic, had no motive to make large expenditures for protecting the settlements or promoting colonization. Thus the missionaries were left, almost alone, to contend against the thousands of braves that roamed over Acadia and the vast basin of the St. Lawrence. But what could sixty or seventy devotees accomplish amongst the countless wild tribes from Nova Scotia to Lake Superior? They were at war, as well with nature as with savage inhumanity, and had to endure perils and sufferings under every form. The frail bark of
the Franciscan Viel had been dashed in pieces, and
the missionary drowned, as he was shooting a rapid, on his way from the Hurons. Father Anne de Noué, in the depth of winter, leaves Quebec for the mouth of the Sorel, to shrive the garrison; and, losing his way among pathless snows, perishes by the frosts of Canada. No faithful Jesuit would allow an infant to die unbaptized; and the Indian father, interpreting the sprinkling as a device to kill his child, avenged his affections by the death of the missionary. Still greater was the danger which sprung from the hostility of the tribes towards the French, or towards the nations by whom their envoys were received. 1645, A treaty of peace had, indeed, been ratified, and, 1646. for one winter, Algonquins, Wyandots, and Iroquois joined in the chase. The wilderness seemed hushed into tranquillity. Negotiations also continued. In May, 1646,
Father Jogues, commissioned as an envoy, was hospitably received by the Mohawks, and gained an opportunity of offering the friendship of France to the Onondagas. On his return, his favourable report raised a desire of establishing a permanent mission among the Five Nations ;
and he himself, the only one who knew their dialect, was selected as its founder. “Ibo, et non redibo”-I shall go, but shall never return-were his words of farewell. Immediately on arriving at the Mohawk castles, he was received as a prisoner, and, against the voice of the other nations, was condemned by the grand council of the Mohawks as an enchanter, who had blighted their harvest. Timid by nature, yet tranquil from zeal, he approached the cabin where the death-festival was kept, and, as he entered, received the death-blow. His head was hung upon the palisades of the village, his body thrown into the Mohawk River.
This was the signal for war. The Iroquois renewed their invasions of the Huron country. In vain did the
French seek to engage New England as an ally
in the contest. The Huron nation was doomed; the ancient clans of the Wyandots were to be exterminated or scattered ; and the missionaries on the Matchedash shared the dangers of the tribes with whom they dwelt.
Each sedentary mission was a special point of attraction to the invader, and each, therefore, was liable to the horrors of an Indian massacre. Such was the fate of the village of St. Joseph. On the morning of July 4, 1648, when the braves were absent on the chase, and none but women, children, and old men remained at home, Father Anthony Daniel hears the cry of danger and confusion. He flies to the scene to behold his converts, in the apathy of terror, falling victims to the fury of Mohawks. No age, however tender, excites mercy ; no feebleness of sex wins compassion. A group of women and children fly to him to escape the tomahawk,
-as if his lips, uttering messages of love, could pronounce a spell that would curb the madness of destruction. Those who had formerly scoffed his mission, implore the benefit of baptism. He bids them ask forgiveness of God, and, dipping his handkerchief in water, baptizes the crowd of suppliants by aspersion. Just then, the palisades are forced. Should he fly? He first ran to the wigwams to baptize the sick; he next pronounced a general absolution on all who sought it,
and then prepared to resign his life as a sacrifice to his
The wigwams are set on fire ; the Mohawks approach the chapel, and the consecrated envoy serenely advances to meet them. Astonishment seized the bar. barians. At length, drawing near, they discharge at him a flight of arrows. All gashed and rent by wounds, he still continued to speak with surprising energy, -now inspiring fear of the divine anger, and again, in gentle tones, yet of more piercing power than the whoops of the savages, breathing the affectionate messages of mercy and grace. Such were his actions till he received a deathblow from a halbert. The victim to the heroism of charity died, the name of Jesus on his lips : the wilderness gave him a grave; the Huron nation were his mourners. By his religious associates it was believed that he appeared twice after his death, youthfully radiant in the sweetest form of celestial glory; that, as the reward for his tor: ments, a crowd of souls, redeemed from purgatory, were his honouring escort into heaven.
Not a year elapsed, when, in the dead of a Cana1649.
dian winter, a party of a thousand Iroquois fell, before dawn, upon the little village of St. Ignatius. It was sufficiently fortified, but only four hundred persons were present, and there were no sentinels. The palisades were set on fire, and an indiscriminate massacre of the sleeping inhabitants followed.
The village of St. Louis was alarmed, and its women and children fly to the woods, while eighty warriors pre
A breach is made in the palisades ; the enemy enter; and the group of Indian cabins becomes a slaughter-house. In this village resided Jean de Brebeuf, and the younger and gentler, yet not less patient, Gabriel Lallemand. The character of Brebeuf was firm beyond every trial;
his virtue had been nursed in the familiar sight of death. Disciplined by twenty years' service in the wilderness work, he wept bitterly for the sufferings of his converts, but for himself he exulted in the prospect of martyrdom. Both the missionaries might have escaped ; but here, too, there were converts not yet baptized ; besides, the dying might, in the hour of agony, desire the ordinances"; and both, therefore, remain. They exhort the combatants to fear God: they bend over the dying to give them baptism, and claim their spirits as redeemed.
pare a defence.
Success was with the Mohawks: the Jesuit priests are now their prisoners, to endure all the tortures which the ruthless fury of a raging multitude could invent. Brebeuf was set apart on a scaffold, and, in the midst of every outrage, rebuked his persecutors, and encouraged his Huron converts. They cut his lower lip and his nose ; applied burning torches to his body; burned his gums, and thrust hot iron down his throat. Deprived of his voice, his assured countenance and confiding eye still bore witness to his firmness.
The delicate Lallemand was stripped naked, and enveloped from head to foot with bark full of rosin. Brought into the presence of Brebeuf, he exclaimed, “We are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. The pine bark was set on fire, and, when it was in a blaze, boiling water was poured on the heads of both the missionaries. The voice of Lallemand was choked by the thick smoke ; but, the fire having snapped his bonds, he lifted his hands to heaven, imploring the aid of Him who is an aid to the weak. What need of many words ? Brebeuf was scalped while yet alive, and died after a torture of three hours ; the sufferings of Lallemand were prolonged for seventeen hours. The lives of both had been a continual heroism ; their deaths were the astonishment of their executioners.
It may be asked if these massacres quenched enthusiasm. I answer, that the Jesuits never receded one foot; but as, in a brave army, new troops press forward to fill the places of the fallen, there were never wanting heroism and enterprise in behalf of the cross and French dominion.
It was intended to collect the scattered remnants of the Hurons in the Grand Manitoulin Isle, which was chosen to be the centre of the western missions. • We shall be nearer," wrote Rageneau, cheeringly, " to the Algonquins of the west ;" and, as the way to Quebec, even by the Ottawa and the St. Lawrence, was no longer safe, it was thought that, through the remote wilderness, some safe avenue might yet be opened. But the Hurons, destined to be scattered through the widest regions, hovered, for a season, round the isles that were nearest the graves of their ancestors; and the mission on the Grand Manitoulin was abandoned.
But the great point of desire was the conversion of the Five Nations themselves. Undismayed by barbarism, or
the martyrdom of their brethren, the missionaries were still eager to gain admission ; but the Mohawks, and the other tribes, having now, through commerce with the Dutch, learned the use of fire-arms, seemed resolved on asserting their power in every direction,-not only over the barbarians of the north, the west, and the south-west, but over the French themselves. They bade defiance to forts and intrenchments ; their war-parties triumphed
at Three Rivers, were too powerful for the palisades
of Silleri, and proudly passed by the walls of Quebec. The Ottáwas were driven from their old abodes to the forests in the Bay of Saginaw. No frightful solitude in the wilderness, no impenetrable recess in the frozen north, was safe against the passions of the Five Nations. Their chiefs, animated not by cruelty only, but by pride, were resolved that no nook should 'escape their invasions ; that no nation should rule_but themselves; and, as their Warriors strolled by Three Rivers and Quebec, they killed
the governor of the one settl ent, and carried off a
priest from the other. At length, satisfied with the display of their power, they themselves desired rest. Besides, of the scattered Hurons, many had sought refuge among their oppressors, and, according to an Indian custom, had been incorporated with the tribes of the Five Nations. Of these, some retained affection for the French. When peace was concluded, and
Father Le Moyne appeared as envoy among the
Onondagas to ratify the treaty, he found_there a multitude of Hurons, who, like the Jews at Babylon, retained their faith in a land of strangers. The hope was renewed of winning the whole west and north to Christendom.
The villages bordering on the settlements of the Dutch were indifferent to the peace ; the western tribes, who could more easily traffic with the French, adhered to it firmly. At last, the Mohawks also grew weary of the strife; and Le Moyne, selecting the banks of their river for his abode, resolved to persevere, in the vain hope of infusing into their savage nature the gentler spirit of civilization.
The Onondagas were more sincere; and when
Chaumonot, an Italian priest, long a missionary among the Hurons, left Quebec for their territory, he was accompanied by Claude Dablon, a missionary, who had