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The work of Father Louis Hennepin here given is the most graphic account of La Salle's course of exploration as far as illinois, and the only detailed narrative of Hennepin's own voyage up the hennepin003.djvu during which he visited and named the Falls of Saint Anthony.
Doubts thrown upon Hennepin by the evident falsity of a later work bearing his name, have led to a general charge of falsehood against him. In justice to him, it must be admitted that there are grounds for believing that his notes were adapted by an unscrupulous editor, and the second book altered even after it was printed.
His original work here given, in full for the first time in English, is supported to a remarkable degree by all contemporary authorities, by topography and Indian life. The charge made by Margry that it is a plagiarism is utterly absurd.
To bring together in English matter scattered in various volumes bearing on the questions in regard to Hennepin, I have added the account of the pretended voyage down the Mississippi in the Nouvelle Découverte; an account of Hennepin's capture from the Margry documents; the account given by La Salle in his letter of August 22, 1682; the account given in the work ascribed to Tonty, and lastly the Report of Du Lhut to the Marquis de Seignelay of his visit to the Sioux country in which he relieved or rescued Hennepin.
I must express my thanks for valuable aid received from Mr. H. A. Homes, George H. Moore, LL.D., and Gen. J. Watts de Peyster.
JOHN GILMARY SHEA.
ELIZABETH, June 12, 1880.
Notice of Father Louis Hennepin, Recollect Missionary.
Father Louis Hennepin was the first popular writer on the French in America. Champlain, Lescarbot, the Jesuits in their Relations had written indeed but their works found no currency beyond France. Hennepin's works caught the general fancy and were translated into almost all the languages of Europe. But for him the story of La Salle would scarcely have been known even in France.
Of his early life he gives us little information. He was born at Ath in Hainaut, as he assures us, although Margry on the faith of documents, says that he was really born at Roy, of a family which came from Ath.
While still pursuing his studies he felt "a strong inclination to leave the world and to live in the
10rule of pure strict virtue. With this view," says he, "I entered the order of Saint Francis, in order to spend my days there in a life of austerity. I accordingly took the habit with several of my fellow students, whom I inspired with the same design."
He made his novitiate in the Recollect Convent at Bethune in the province of Artois, where his Master of Novices was Father Gabriel de la Ribourde, a man eminent alike for his high social position and for a most exemplary life
"As I advanced in age," says he, "an inclination for traveling in foreign parts strengthened in my heart. One of my sisters who was married at Ghent, and for whom I entertained a very strong affection, used every argument indeed, to divert me from this project, while I was in that great city to which I had gone in order to learn
11Flemish. But I was urged by several of my Amsterdam friends to go to the East Indies, and my natural inclination to travel, supporting their entreaties, shook my resolution greatly, and I almost resolved to embark in order to gratify this desire."
"All my sister's remonstrances could not divert me from my first design. I accordingly set out to see Italy and by order of the General of our order, I visited the finest churches and the most important convents of our order in that country and Germany, in which I began to satisfy my natural curiosity. At last returning to our Netherlands, the Rev. Father William Herinx, a Recollect, who died not long since Bishop of Ipres
12to Artois, and was thence sent to Calais, during the season for salting herrings."
"In this place my strongest passion was to listen to the stories which sea captains told of their long voyages. I then returned to our convent of Biez by Dunkirk: but I often hid behind the tavern doors, while the sailors were talking over their cruises. While thus endeavoring to hear them the tobacco smoke sickened me terribly; yet I listened eagerly to all that these men told of their adventures at sea, of the dangers they had encountered, and the various incidents of their voyages in foreign parts. I would have passed whole days and nights without eating in this occupation, which was so agreeable to me, because I always learned something new about the manners and mode of life of foreign nations, and touching the beauty, fertility and riches of the countries where these men had been."
"I accordingly was more and more confirmed in my old inclination. With the view of gratifying it the more, I went as a missionary to most
13of the cities of Holland, and at last halted at Maestricht, where I remained about eight months. There I administered the sacraments to more than three thousand wounded. While there engaged in this occupation, I was several times in great danger among these sick people. I was even myself taken down with purples and dysentery, and was within an inch of the grave. But God at last restored me my former health by the care and aid of a very able Dutch physician."
"The following year, by an impulse of my zeal I again devoted myself to labor for the salvation of souls. I was then at the bloody battle of Seneff" (Aug. 11, 1674), "where so many men perished by fire and steel. There I had abundant occupation in relieving and comforting the poor wounded men. And at last after enduring great hardships and encountering extreme dangers in sieges of cities, in trenches and on the field of battle, where I exposed myself greatly for the salvation of my neighbor, while the soldiers breathed only blood and carnage, I beheld
14myself in a condition to satisfy my first inclinations."
Canada had become for a second time a field of labor for the Recollect missionaries. The Count de Frontenac, Governor General, was especially anxious to have them in the colony as a balance to the Jesuits and the Bishop, who with his secular clergy held very strict rules of morality, especially on the point of selling liquor to the Indians.
The King of France, Louis XIV, yielding to the appeal of the Count de Frontenac, wrote to him on the 22d of April, 1675. "I have sent five Recollect religious to Canada to reinforce the community of these religious already established there."
Father Hennepin was one of those selected. "I then received orders," he continues, "from my superiors to proceed to Rochelle in order to embark as a missionary for Canada. For two months
15I discharged the duties of parish priest two leagues from that city, because I had been requested to do so by the pastor of the place who was absent."
"At last," proceeds Father Hennepin, "I abandoned myself entirely to Providence and undertook this great sea voyage of twelve or thirteen hundred leagues, the greatest and perhaps the longest that is made on the ocean."
"I accordingly embarked with Messire Francis de Laval, just then created Bishop of Petrae a in partibus infidelium and subsequently made Bishop of Quebec the Capital of Canada."
The name of the vessel is not given nor the date of sailing.
Hennepin speaks of the perils of the voyage, engagements in the Turkish vessels from Tunis and Algiers which did all they could to capture his vessel, but which were defeated. He saw a combat between a sword fish and a whale, and was filled with astonishment when he beheld the fishermen of many different countries taking cod off Newfoundland.
"This sight," he adds, "gave great pleasure to our crew, who numbered about one hundred, to three-fourths of whom I administered the sacraments because they were Catholics. I performed the divine office every calm day, and we then sang the Iitinerary in French set to music, after we had said our evening prayers."
Besides the sailors he had another little flock. This was a number of girls sent over to settle in Canada. His zeal for their spiritual good led to an angry passage between him and La Salle.
"This charge one day obliged me, while we were at sea, to censure several girls who were on board and were sent to Canada. They made a great noise by their dancing and thus prevented the sailors from getting their rest at night; so that I was obliged to reprimand them somewhat severely, in order to oblige them to stop, and to observe due modesty and tranquility."
"This afforded the Sieur Robert Cavelier de la Salle an occasion of anger against me, which he never forgot. He made a show of wishing to uphold these girls in their amusement. He could not refrain from telling me one day somewhat angrily, that I acted like a pedant towards him and all the officers, and persons of quality who were on the vessel, and who enjoyed seeing these girls dance, since I criticised them for trifles; but Mgr Francis de Laval, created
18first Bishop of Quebec, who made the voyage with us, having given me the direction of these girls, I thought I had a right to reply to the Sieur de la Salle, that I had never been a pedant, a term which, as all the world knows, signifies a man of a foolish and impertinent turn of mind, and who affects to display on all occasions, an ill digested learning. I added moreover, that these girls were under my direction, and that I thus had a right to rebuke them and censure them as they took on themselves too much liberty.
"This answer which I made with no other view than to show the said Sieur de la Salle that I was doing my duty, made him livid with anger, and in fact he raged violently against me. I contented myself with telling him, seeing him thus disposed towards me, that he took things ill, and that I had no intention of offending him, as in fact it was not my design."
"Monsieur de Barrois, who had formerly been secretary to the French ambassador in Turkey, and who at this time filled the same post under
19the Count de Frontenac, seeing this affair, drew me aside, and told me that I had inadvertently put the Sieur de la Salle in a great passion, when I told him that I had never been a pedant, because he had plied the trade for ten or eleven years while he was among the Jesuits and that he had really been regent or teacher of a class, among these religious."
"I replied to the Sieur de Barrois that I had said this very innocently ; that I had never known that the Sieur de la Salle had lived in that famous order; that had I been aware of it, I should doubtless have avoided uttering that word pedant in addressing him; that I knew it to be an offensive term, that, in fact, men generally expressed by it an "ill polished savant" according to the French expression of the Gentlemen of Port Royal; that thus I should have avoided using that term, had I been better informed than I was in regard to the life of the said Sieur de la Salle.
To this affair Hennepin attributes a life long hostility of La Salle towards him, although we see no traces of it in his Relation of Louisiana.
On reaching Canada he assures us that Bishop Laval "considering that during the voyage I had displayed great zeal in my sermons and in my assiduity in performing the divine office, and had moreover prevented several women and girls, who were sent over with us, from taking too much liberty with the young men of our crew, to whose hostility I thus frequently exposed myself, these reasons and several others obtained for me the encomiums and good will of this illustrious bishop. He accordingly obliged me to preach the Advent and Lent in the cloister of the Hospital Nuns of St. Augustine, in Quebec."
"However, my natural inclination was not satisfied with all this. I accordingly often went twenty or thirty leagues from our residence to visit the country. I carried on my back a little
21chapel service and walked with large snow shoes, but for which I should often have fallen into fearful precipices where I should have been lost. Sometimes, in order to relieve myself, I had my little equipage drawn by a large dog that I took along, and this I did the sooner to reach Three Rivers, Saint Anne, Cap Tourmente, Bourg Royal, Pointe de Levi and the Isle of St. Laurent.
There I gathered in one of the largest cabins of these places as many people as I could. Then I admitted them to confession and holy communion. At night I had usually only a cloak to cover me. The frost often penetrated to my very bones. I was obliged to light my fire five or six times during the night for fear of being frozen to death; and I had only in very moderate quantities, the food I needed to live, and to prevent my perishing with hunger on the way."
"During the summer I was forced to travel in
22a canoe to continue my mission," "because there are no practicable roads in that country."
"I was sent as it were to try me, to a mission more than a hundred and twenty leagues from Quebec."
His voyage to Fort Frontenac is described in the following pages; but in the Nouvelle Découverte he says:
"I made several different voyages, sometimes with Canadian settlers, whom we had drawn to our Fort Catarokouy to live, sometimes with Indians whom I had become acquainted with. As I foresaw that they would excite the suspicion of the Iroquois in regard to our discoveries, I wished to see the Indians of their five Cantons. I accordingly went among them with one of our soldiers from said fort, making a journey of about seventy leagues, and both having large snowshoes on our feet, on account of the snow which is abundant in that country during winter. I had
23already some little knowledge of the Iroquois language."
"We thus passed to the Honnehiouts Iroquois and to the Honnontagez,
who received us very well. This nation is the most warlike of all the Iroquois."
"At last we arrived at the Ganniekezor Agniez.
This is one of the five Iroquois nations situated a good day's journey from the neighborhood of New Netherland, now called New York."
"We remained sometime among this last nation and we lodged with a Jesuit Father, born in Lyons, in order to transcribe a little Iroquois dictionary. The weather having cleared off, we one day saw three Dutchmen arrive on horseback who came to the Iroquois as ambassadors for the beaver trade. They had gone there by order of Major Andris." "These gentlemen
24mounted from their horses to make us get on them and take us with them to New Orange in order to regale me there. When they heard me speak Flemish they showed me much friendship. They then assured me that they would have been glad to see me reside among them for the spiritual consolation of several Catholics from our Low Countries, who were in their settlements. I would have done so willingly since they requested it, but I feared to give umbrage to the Jesuits, who had received me very well, and moreover I feared I might injure the colony of Canada in its beaver and fur trade with the Indians, whom I knew. We accordingly thanked these worthy Hollanders, and returned to our ordinary abode at Catarokouy, with less difficulty than in going."
From Fort Catarocouy his subsequent journeyings are given in the following pages which describe La Salle's expedition to Niagara, Michilimakinac, Green Bay, the Fort of the Miamis, and Crevecoeur. Then after La Salle's departure, his own expedition with Ako down the Illinois to the Mississippi and up to the falls of St. Anthony, descending then to the Wisconsin, thence by way of Green Bay back to the Saint Lawrence, and Quebec.
Taking passage to France he reached that country again in 1681 or 1682. He wrote the following work in the latter year. It was registered September 10, 1682, and the printing completed on the 5th of January, thereafter.
During this time he was apparently at the convent at St. Germain-en-Laye. After this he was Vicar and Acting Superior of the Recollects
26at Chateau Cambrésis, where he was visited by his old companion Father Zenobius Membré.
He was, he tells us in the Nouvelle Découverte, Guardian of the Recollects at Renti in Artois for three years, and during that time almost rebuilt the convent, but having declined to return to the American mission at the request of F. Hyacinth le Fevre, Commissary Provincial of the Recollects of Paris, who claimed jurisdiction as Royal Commissary over all the Recollects in the Netherland provinces captured from Spain, that Superior became his enemy. He prevented F. Hennepin from accompanying F. Alexander Voile, prominister of the Recollects of Artois to Rome to attend a chapter of the order, and then ordered him to return to the Recollect convent at St. Omer. This was followed by an order obtained from Mr. de Louvois, first minister of State, ordering Hennepin to leave French territory and return to the dominions of his own sovereign, the King of Spain.
Hennepin appealed to King Louis XIV,
27presenting a placet to him, detailing his trials, while the king was encamped at the chapel of Harlemont. Louis XIV, placed it in the hands of the Grand Provost of the Court and it was lost sight of.
After this Father Hennepin was, he tells us, Confessor of the Recollect Nuns (Penitents) at Gosselies. During his nearly five years' stay here, he states that he built a very fine church, doubly vaulted, a very convenient parlor, and several other edifices. This was attested, he declares, by a certificate of the nuns and by their letters to the General Chapter.
He was not however left in peace. F. Louis le Fevre wished to incorporate him in the province of Flanders, declaring that Gosselies was in French territory. This he denies and affirms that he was there by virtue of a lettre de cachet of the King of Spain.
He gained the friendship of Blaithwayt, Secretary of War to William III who obtained a safeguard for the nuns, which saved their convent from pillage on several occasions.
Blaithwayt wrote in the name of William III, to the Father Rennére de Payez, Commissary General of the Recollects at Louvain, asking him to send Hennepin to the American mission, but as there was no immediate response, Hennepin solicited the blessing of Monsignor Scarlati, internuncio at Brussels, and receiving it at Ath, proceeded to Louvain with a letter from Father Bonaventure Poerius, General of his order (Mar. 31, 1696), assuring the Father that the Commissary would do all that was fair.
The Commissary wrote to the Baron de Malquenech, and to Mr. de Coxis and sent Hennepin to the Recollect Convent at Antwerp, where Mr. Hill, envoy extraordinary of his Britannic Majesty, furnished him money to purchase the ordinary clothing of gentlemen.
Some allude to this as though Hennepin abandoned his order, but he seems to have acted with the express permission of his superiors.
He then set out for Amsterdam in company with a Venetian ship captain, but they were
29stopped between Antwerp and Mordick by six horsemen who robbed them of all their money. By the help of some friends he managed however to reach Loo, and the Hague, where he was very well received by Blaithwayt and had an audience with William III. He finally reached Amsterdam and endeavored to obtain a publisher, but the volume, that was to prove one of the most popular yet issued on America, did not seem a safe venture and with the consent of the Earl of Athlone, Hennepin journeyed to Utrecht. There William Broedelet undertook the work, and it appeared in 1697, in a duodecimo of 586 pages with an engraved title page, in which as though he claimed the nobility that La Salle obtained for all his men, he is styled Louis de Hennepin, although on the printed title he is still the modest commoner Louis Hennepin.
He dedicates the work to William III in terms of flattery as extravagant as those with which he placed his former volume under the protection of Louis XIV.
Willing now to return to America as a missionary, he sought the support of William III, not as the overthrower of the Catholic King of England, but as the ally of Catholic Spain and Catholic Bavaria, and the protector of the Spanish Netherland.
After publishing a third book at Amsterdam, in 1698, in which he complains of the hostility to him of some people in that city, he apparently made new efforts to return to Canada, as a dispatch of Louis XIV, to the Governor of the province in 1699, orders that officer to arrest Hennepin and send him back to Rochefort.
The last allusion to him now traced is in a letter of J. B. Dubos to Thouinard, written at Rome, March i, 1701, in which Father Hennepin is said to have been then at the convent of Aracoeli in Rome, and to have induced Cardinal Spada, whose favor he enjoyed to found a new mission in the Mississippi country, where Father Hennepin hoped to renew his earlier labors.
J. B. Foppens, a bibliographer of the last century in his Bibliotheca Belgica, Brussels, 1739 (vol. ii, pp. 832-3) says that Hennepin wrote also "La Morale Pratique du Jansenisme avec un Appel comme d' abus au Pope Innocent XII."
Researches in Belgium, Holland and Rome have failed to throw any further light on his personal history. The annalists of his order have gathered nothing, and the local histories of the places in which he passed an occasional term of years preserve no details as to him.
My own efforts, like those of the Hon. Henry C. Murphy some years since, have been fruitless.
Hennepin was from the first very freely attacked, and in our day scholars have impeached his character for truth with very little ceremony.
La Salle in his letter of August, 1682, which gives no very high idea of his own veracity, wishing to forestal any representations of Hennepin that would make him a prisoner among the Sioux rescued by Du Lhut, when he wished him to appear as an explorer of the Sioux country before
32Du Lhut, says: "It is necessary to know him somewhat, for he will not fail to exaggerate everything; it is his character;"
The eminent Sulpitian, the Rev. Mr. Tronson, writing to the Abbé Belmont at Montreal, speaking of Father Membré, says, in 1683: "I do not know whether men will believe all he says, any more than they will all that is in the printed Relation of Father Louis, which I send you that you may make your reflections on it."
Father Le Clercq refers to Hennepin and his first work in terms of praise in 1691; but De
33Michel, the editor of Joutel in 1713, says:
"Father Hennepin, a Fleming, of the same order of Recollects, who seems to know the country well, and who took part in great discoveries; although the truth of his Relations is very much contested. He is the one who went northward towards the source of the Missicipi, which he called Mechasipi, and who printed at Paris a Relation of the countries around that river under the name of Louisiana. He should have stopped there and not gone on, as he did in Holland, to issue another edition much enlarged, and perhaps not so true, which he dedicated to William III, Prince of Orange, then king of Great Britain, a design as odd as it was ridiculous in a religious, not to say worse. For after great long eulogies which he makes in his dedication of this Protestant prince, he begs and conjures him to think of these vast unknown countries, to conquer them, send colonies there and obtain for the Indians, the knowledge of the true God and of his worship and to cause the gospel to be preached. This
34good religious whom many on account of his extravagance, falsely believed to have become an apostate, had no thought of such a thing. So he scandalized the Catholics and set the Huguenots laughing For would these enemies of the Roman church pay Recollects to go to Canada to preach Popery as they called it? Or would they carry any religion but their own? And Father Hennepin, can he in that case offer a excuse."
Still later Father Charlevoix says of his works: "All these works are written in a declamatory style, which offends by its turgidity and shocks by the liberties which the author takes and his unbecoming invectives. As for the substance of matters Father Hennepin thought he might take a traveler's license, hence he is much decried in Canada, those who had accompanied him having often protested that he was anything but veritable in his histories."
In our own time and country, Sparks showed how the Nouvelle Découverte was made up from Le Clercq, and Bancroft, Parkman, and most of our historical students agree in impeaching his veracity. This charge rested on the Nouvelle Découverte, while the Description de la Louisiane was as generally received as authentic.
Thomassy, in his Géologie Pratique de la Louisiane gave a narrative of the voyage down the Mississippi as La Salle's, which coincided with that given by Le Clercq, as written by Father Zenobius Membré. Then Margry gives a narrative covering the whole ground of Hennepin's first book, which he ascribes to La Salle, and he says: "It is certain that Father Hennepin knew this document, from which he made many extracts, but this could be no reason for our not publishing it, first because the author of the Description de la Louisiane often intermingles error with his statements
36Cavelier de la Salle about twenty-two months before the time when our manuscript closes. There was moreover a real interest in verifying the plagiarisms of the man who was subsequently to attempt to deprive the discoverer of the honor of his labors," etc.
This charge that the Description de la Louisiane was copied from the document now given by Margry has been taken up in this country without sufficient examination: but it is really too shallow even for such an utterly uncritical mind as Margry's to be pardoned for putting forth.
This Relation des Descouvertes is anonymous and undated. Margry himself asks whether it was written by La Salle himself or "only by a
37learned ecclesiastic, by means of letters addressed by the discoverer to some one of his friends or associates." Elsewhere he gives his opinion that it is the work of the Abbé Bernou ; but as he was never in America, he could only be a compiler, and must have used Hennepin's work, and it is necessary only to read a letter of Bernou in Margry iii, p. 74, to see what an unscrupulous intriguer Bernou was. If we analyze this Margry document we find it forms three distinct divisions, is an account of LaSalle's operations down to his and Hennepin's departure from Fort Crevecoeur; 2d an account of Hennepin's voyage up the Mississippi and through the Wisconsin to Green Bay. 3d an account of La Salle's return to Fort Frontenac, his second visit to Illinois and his operations to 1681.
Now as Hennepin was with La Salle or his party during the first period, he was competent to keep a journal of events, that might be written out in one form as La Salle's official report, and in another as the missionary's report to his own
38superiors. As to the second part Margry asks us to accept the preposterous idea that La Salle possessed by some supernatural means the knowledge of all that Hennepin saw and did after leaving him at Fort Crevecoeur, that La Salle committed this knowledge to writing, and that Hennepin, instead of describing what he saw and did as an eye witness, stole his account from this wonderful document of La Salle. La Salle himself acknowledges the receipt of letters from Hennepin and insists on the reality of his discovery; and to uphold it as against Du Lhut insists that Hennepin exaggerated in making out that he was a prisoner. As La Salle himself admits that his knowledge of this part came from Hennepin, he has already refuted Margry's absurd idea that Hennepin stole this from him.
As to the third part, there is nothing of it in Hennepin, so that Margry's charge depends entirely on the first part; and he utterly fails to explain how Hennepin refrained from any plagiarism of the third part.
The reader will see in the following pages that Margry's document in the first part agrees pretty closely with Hennepin, omitting comparatively little, while it abridges the second part greatly.
The whole question is confined therefore to the first part, and as to that there is a simple test. If the narrative describes in detail events that befel the party while La Salle was absent and alludes briefly to what La Salle did, the narrative is Hennepin's; if on the contrary it follows La Salle's actions day by day and alludes generally to what the party was doing in his absence, it must be La Salle's.
Now the Margry Relation follows the party in which Hennepin was from Fort Frontenac to Niagara, gives La Motte's visit to the Senecas and then alludes briefly to La Salle's having been wrecked, but does not mention the fact that he had previously visited the Senecas and effected what La Motte had failed to accomplish. Every person of sense will admit that this is not La Salle's account but Hennepin's.
Later on La Salle's return to Fort Frontenac, his troubles with his creditors, his visit to the colony are all noticed briefly, while the affairs on the Niagara are detailed. This part is evidently not La Salle's.
The account of the portage leading to the Illinois river, where La Salle was separated from his party is not his personal account, but of one like Hennepin with the main body.
These cases and minor ones all tend to show that it is not La Salle's narrative but Hennepin's.
La Salle apparently took the Recollects to chronicle his doings. Hennepin kept a journal; Membré did also, as Le Clercq assures us; Joutel tells us that he seized and destroyed memoirs of Father Maxime le Clercq.
41undoubtedly was aiming at, when he landed in Texas, we can understand that the priests would help to relieve the expedition from suspicion, and prevent harsh measures on the part of the Spaniards, as the priests were all Spanish subjects.
Otherwise it is not easy to understand why, when Frontenac was appealing for Recollects to serve in the colony and be more indulgent spiritual guides than the Jesuits and the secular clergy, he should send five off to accompany an exploring expedition thousands of miles. While Canada was suffering for want of priests, La Salle's grand army of eleven men including himself and his valet, sailed from Green Bay with three Recollect priests, to minister to their spiritual wants.
Every view of the question confirms the opinion that the narrative is really Hennepin's; and that the document in Margry was compiled from it by an unknown hand.
Only one question remains, and that is whether Margry's anonymous compiler plagiarized from a document drawn up by Hennepin in America, or from his printed work.
Hennepin publishing his book at Paris, very naturally mentions the fact that his fellow traveler Antoine Auguelle, known by the soubriquet of Le Picard du Gay, was at that time actually in Paris, appealing as it were to his testimony in confirmation of his statements. Yet in the Margry Relation (i, p. 478), it mentions that the Picard "is at present in Paris." Now how could La Salle who did not see Hennepin or Auguelle after their return, know exactly in what part of France Auguelle was? The statement is perfectly irreconcileable with the idea that this document was written by La Salle in America ; and the fact that it appears in the Margry Relation seems to show that its compiler used Hennepin's book without giving credit, and used, not a draft or copy made in America, but the edition printed in Paris but had not the honesty to cite Hennepin and refer to him. A careful comparison of the first and second parts of Margry's Relation with Hennepin's Description de la Louisiane, 1683, will satisfy any one that the vaunted Margry document is a mere plagiarism from Hennepin's first work as far as it goes.
Now what is the credit to be given to Hennepin's work here given? It will not do to assert that it is not trustworthy and say that Margry's Relation is. They are so near alike that if one is not trustworthy, the other is not.
In the following pages references are made to documents of La Salle, Tonti and others relating to the same events. In not a single case is Hennepin contradicted or shown to be in error. Mr. Parkman alluding to the claims set up in the Nouvelle Decouverte says: "they are not in the early editions of Hennepin which are comparatively truthful." "Hennepin's account of the falls and river of Niagara, especially his second account on his return from the west, is very minute and on the whole very accurate." "His distances on the Niagara are usually correct," "Hennepin's account of the buffalo is interesting and true." "Fortunately there are tests by which the earlier parts of his book can be tried; and on the whole they square exceedingly well with contemporary records of undoubted authenticity. Bating his exaggerations respecting the Falls of Niagara, his local descriptions, and even his estimates of distance are generally accurate."
"As for his ascent of that river (Mississippi) to the country of the Sioux, the general statement is fully confirmed by allusions of Tonty and other contemporary writers. For the details of the journey, we must rest on Hennepin alone; whose account of the country and of the peculiar traits of its Indians afford, as far as they go, good evidence of truth."
Such is the testimony of Parkman given at various points of his work.
Hennepin is certainly the first who gave Dakota words: and he gives them accurately as will be seen by the reference to Riggs' Dakota Dictionary. Parkman who lived for some weeks in a Sioux lodge says that a variety of trivial incidents mentioned by Hennepin are perfectly in accordance with usage. In regard to Hennepin's Dakota terms he says: "These words as far as my information reaches, are in every instance correct." Even the word Louis, which Hennepin says signifies the sun, is no invention. "The Yankton band of this people, however, call the sun oouee" which, it is evident, represents the French pronunciation of Louis, omitting the initial letter.
The only charges that remain are that he was vain, boastful and exaggerated.
His vanity must be admitted. Not even superior of the little band of missionaries, he makes himself a kind of joint commander with La Salle: and his vanity leads him to exaggerate his own
42deeds. But except in the estimate of the height of Niagara Falls, where Tonty is equally in error, his figures are accurate.
The Description de la Louisiane is valuable, though we must bear in mind the real position of the writer.
His next book the "Nouvelle Découverte" contains the famous addition where he claims to have descended to the mouth, before going up to the Sioux country.
A careful examination of this volume, which is in the following pages compared closely with the Description reveals some points heretofore overlooked.
The book was not published, as originally printed, and seems to have been set up in two different offices. From page 313 where the account of his voyage up to the Sioux begins, the chapters have arabic numbers, while in the previous part of the book, they have Roman numerals: the line at the top of the page omits a letter and an accent, and the type generally seems more worn and the spacing is different. Practical printers and bibliographers alike agree that the two portions have every appearance of being printed in different offices.
Before this point there are ten pages all numbered 313; so that certainly these were printed after the book was complete, and there is nothing to show but what much more was printed as an afterthought.
This much is clear regarding the Nouvelle Découverte merely from the mechanical point of view.
Examining the matter, we find that the book introduces a great deal of personal detail and generally expands the narrative, but it substantially follows the Description de la Louisiane down to p. 216. Then with no apparent reason six pages are taken from La Clercq's Etablissement de la Foi (ii, pp. 173-181), when Hennepin himself could have given a better account. It then follows his first work to p. 247-8, where the pretended voyage down is introduced and the voyage described in terms taken from Le Clercq (ii, p. 216). This matter continues to the last of the pages marked 313, and may all have been printed after the book had actually been completed in its original form. On its very face Hennepin can scarcely be held absolutely responsible for a book thus tampered with.
Hennepin had been on the Mississippi and had heard reports of the lower river from the Indians, he might easily have drawn up a plausible account of a voyage down; he would have had no reason to take Membré's account and garble it. There are, moreover, actual errors in the book that Hennepin would not have made. He knew the country too well to make a nation Ouadebache, to give name to the river; he would not have made "sasacouest," the Algonquin word for warcry which the French had adopted, pass muster as a Chickasaw word meaning: "Who goes there?" Hennepin might like La Salle dispute Jolliet's priority, but he would scarcely make Jolliet disavow having sailed down the Mississppi. The place where he refers to his girdle as being worn as a cord of St. Francis would scarcely be written by a Franciscan.
This intrusive matter cannot therefore absolutely be ascribed to Hennepin, and he be called a liar because it is false.
Hennepin was disappointed in finding a publisher at Amsterdam, and at Utrecht may have been required by Broedelet to put his book with the additional matter into the hands of some literary hack to edit. The whole book has been rewritten and there are traces of another hand in various parts, in some cases making what is accurate and clear in the first book, unintelligible in the second. On p. 14 it reads: "I then embarked with Messire Francis de Laval then created Bishop of Petrasa in partibus infidelium." In the Avis au Lecteur it reads: "I was sent to Canada as a missionary in the year 1676." "I made it (my travels) in North America from the year 1679 to 1682, when I returned to Quebec." "I published a part of my voyage at Paris, in the year 1688."
Now he really came over in 1675; Mgr. Laval had just been made Bishop of Quebec, and as Hennepin came in the same vessel he could not forget the fact. He returned to Quebec in 1681, and published his first book in 1683. We cannot suppose that Hennepin himself could possibly make such a series of blunders. He would not apply the recognized Protestant term pasteur to a Catholic curé, nor would he have altered his accurate account of the cove where the Griffin anchored at Michilimakinac, so as to lose all value in the second book.
At this time English projects of expeditions to the mouth of the Mississippi were attracting attention,
That this addition really helped to commend it to public favor, will be readily seen by the result.
The Nouvelle Découverle was reprinted at Amsterdam in 1698, in French, and issued in Dutch in 1698 and 1699. The Nouveau Voyage under his name came out at Utrecht in the same year 1698, made up from Le Clercq and containing the Indian matter of the "Description de la Louisiane" omitted in the "Nouvelle Découverte."
The two books are embraced in the "New Discovery," of which two editions appeared in London in 1698, and another edition in 1699, in which year also a Spanish summary of the Nouvelle Découverte appeared.
To sum up all, the case stands thus: "The Description of Louisiana" by Father Hennepin, is clearly no plagiarism from La Salle's account, and on the contrary the so called La Salle Relation, is an anonymous undated plagiarism from Hennepin's book, and moreover the Description of Louisiana, is sustained by contemporary evidence and by the topography of the country, and our knowledge of the language and manners of the Sioux. It shows vanity in its author, but no falsification. So far as it goes it presents Hennepin as truthful and accurate.
A later work shows a suppression after printing, introduction of new and untrue matter, and the evident hand of an ignorant editor. For this book as finally published, Hennepin cannot be held responsible, nor can he justly be stigmatized as mendacious by reason of its false assertions.
The third book is evidently by the same editor as the second, and the defence which it puts forward in Hennepin's name cannot alter the facts, or make the original author responsible.
In view of all this, it seems that now at least the case of Hennepin should be heard with more impartiality; and we call for a rehearing in the view of documents now accessible, under the conviction that our earlier judgments were too hasty.
To the King.
I never should have ventured to take the liberty of offering to your Majesty the Relation of a new Discovery which the Sieur de la Salle, Governor of Fort Frontenac, my Companions and myself, have just made southwest of New France, had it not been undertaken by your orders, and had not the glory of obeying so glorious a Monarch, in an employment having in view the conversion of the heathen, led me into this enterprize.
It is in this thought, Sire, that I undertook so long and so painful a voyage, without fearing the greatest dangers. I even venture to assure your Majesty, that the bloody death of one of my Recollect companions, massacred by those savages, a captivity of eight months in which I have seen my life cruelly exposed, could not weaken my courage, having always made it a consolation amid my
44hardships, to labor for a God, whom I wished to see known and adored by these nations, and for a King whose glory and whose virtues are unbounded.
It is clear, Sire, that as soon as we have been able to tame them and win their friendship, the partial account we have given them of your Most Christian Majesty's heroic virtues, your surprizing actions in your conquests, the happiness and love of your subjects, has inclined them to receive more readily the principles of Gospel truths and to reverence the cross which we have carved on trees above your Arms, as a mark of the continual protection which you give the Christian religion, and to make them remember the principles which we have happily taught them.
We have given the name of Louisiana
45the earth watered by a river more than eight hundred leagues in length, and much greater than Europe, which we may call the Delight of America and which is capable of forming a great Empire, should henceforth be known under the august name of Louis, that it may thereby have some show of right to aspire to the honor of your protection, and hope for the advantage of belonging to you.
It seems, Sire, that God had destined you to be its Master, by the happy correspondence that there is between your glorious name and the Sun, which they call Louis in their language, and to which in token of their respect and adoration, they extend their pipe before smoking, with these words: Tchendiouba
46is every moment on their lips, as they do nothing till they have rendered homage to the Sun under this name of Louis.
After that, Sire, no one will doubt that it is a secret mystery of Providence which has reserved to your care and your piety, the glory of causing the Light of Faith to be borne to these blind ones, and of drawing them from the darkness in which they would always have lived, had not your Majesty, more devoted to the service of God and religion than to the government of your States, honored us with this pious task, while you labor successfully for the destruction of heresy.
I implore of heaven, Sire, that the happiness which attends the justice of your actions, may crown such noble, grand and holy undertakings. These are the prayers and vows which all the Recollects of your kingdom offer to God at the foot of the Altars, and especially myself, who only desire to have the happiness of continuing to render your Majesty the service which I vowed
47to you at the time of the Campaigns in Holland, where I had the happiness of following your sacred person as a missionary, my greatest passion being to worship my God, to serve my King and to give him marks of the zeal and the most profound respect with which I am, Sire,
Your Majesty's most humble, most obedient and most faithful subject and servant.
F. Louis HENNEPIN,
By the grace and privilege of the King, given at Chaville, September 36, 1682, signed by the King in his Council, JunquiÄres, it is permitted to the Widow of Sebastian Huré, late bookseller at Paris, to cause to be printed a book entitled Description of Louisiana, a Country newly discovered in North America, composed by the Rev. Father Louis Hannepin, Recollect Missionary and Apostolic Notary, for the time and space of twenty consecutive years, to date from the day when the printing of said book is completed for the first time. And prohibition to all publishers and others to print, sell and circulate, under any pretext whatever, even of foreign edition or otherwise, without the consent of the said publisher or her representatives, under the penalty of 3,000 livres fine, payable without deposits, by each offender, confiscation of copies, counterfeits, and all expenses, damages
49and interest, as is more amply set forth in said privilege.
Registered on the book of the Community of Booksellers and Printers of Paris, September 10th, 1682, according to the ArrÄet of Parliament, April 8, 1653, and that of the King's Privy Council, Feb. 27, 1665.
(Signed) ANGOT, Syndic.
Printing for the first edition completed January 5th, 1683.
A Description of Louisiana.
It is some years since the Sieur Robert Cavelier de la Salle was convinced from the information which he had derived from several Indians of various nations that important establishments might be made in a southwesterly direction, beyond the great lakes, and that even by means of a great river which the Iroquois call Hohio
52which empties into Meschasipi, which in the language of the Islinois means great river,
With this design he purchased a house on the Island of Montreal, at the spot called la Chine, where they embark to ascend higher up along the great river St. Lawrence; he subsequently imparted his idea to Monsieur de Courcelles, Governor of New France, who found it well grounded, and who for this reason encouraged him to carry it out; he made several voyages, sometimes with Frenchmen, sometimes with Indians, and even for a distance of a hundred leagues, to the end of Lake Frontenac with Messrs. Dolier and Galinée, priests of St. Sulpice, in the year 1669, but a violent fever compelled the latter to leave them as they entered Lake de Comty, and the former sometime afterwards were compelled by other unforeseen accidents to lay up among the Onttaouactz
53without their having ever since dreamed of carrying out their first design, the Providence of God having thus permitted it and reserved it to the religions of our order.
The Sieur de Courcelles and the Sieur Talon, the very vigilant Intendant of New France, wrote urging him to continue his discoveries, and a favorable opportunity offered.
After the Sieur Tracy sent by the King to Canada in 1665, had forced the Iroquois to sue for peace, he deemed it necessary in order to keep in check these savages, to erect some forts in the places by which the Iroquois had been accustomed to pass, in order to come and attack our settlements. With this view, Forts Sorel and Chambly were built on Richelieu river, which empties into the Saint Lawrence; and some years later Fort Frontenac was erected one hundred and twenty leagues further South near the outlet of
54Lake Frontenac or Ontario which means Beautiful Lake.
55his wise administration and his zeal for the King's service in his perilous canoe voyages, on which this illustrious governor has often risked his life for the good and defense of the country.
The command of Fort Frontenac falling vacant, the Sieur de la Salle, who had experienced great difficulties in ascending the frightful falls and rapids, which are encountered for more than thirty leagues between Montreal and Fort Frontenac, resolved to come to France to solicit this post from the King.
He arrived at Rochelle in 1675
56the grants to be issued to him,
As soon as he had returned to Canada, the Count de Frontenac proceeded to the spot, to aid him in demolishing the first fort, which was
This fort stands on the north side and near the outlet of Lake Frontenac on a peninsula, the isthmus of which he has dug through, the other three sides being surrounded by the lake and by
57a large harbor, where vessels of all kinds can anchor in safety. Lake Frontenac is eighty leagues long and twenty-five or thirty wide; it abounds in fish, is deep and navigable in all parts. The five cantons of the Iroquois live mainly south of this same lake, and some of them on the north.
The Count de Frontenac having gone several years in succession to the fort escorted by soldiers and by forty canoes, managed by men of great resolution in action, his presence has impressed fear and respect for the whole French nation on the mind of the haughtiest of these savages. He annually convened the most influential of the Iroquois in council, explaining to them the means they should adopt in order to embrace Christianity, exhorting them to hear the voice of the missionaries, giving them the bias that they should take to entertain friendly relations with him, and to maintain trade with the French, whom after the mode of expression of the Indians, he called his nephews, and the Iroquois his children. It
58is by these methods that this wise governor has preserved peace as long as he has been in Canada, making presents to the Indians in favor of the Missionaries.
The situation of this fort is so advantageous, that by means of it, it is easy to cut off the Iroquois on their raids or their return, or to carry the war into their country in twenty-four hours, during the time that they are out on war parties, by means of barks from Fort Frontenac; the Sieur de la Salle having built three, full decked, on the lake, has trained his men so well to manage canoes in the most frightful rapids, that they are now the most skillful canoemen in America.
As the land bordering on the lake is very fertile, he has cultivated several acres, where wheat, pulse and potherbs have succeeded very well, although the wheat was at first injured by grasshoppers, as generally happens in new clearings in Canada on account of the great humidity of the earth. He has raised poultry and horned cattle, of which he has now thirty-five head; and as there are very
59fine trees there fit for house and ship building, and the winter is nearly three months shorter than in Canada, there is reason to believe that a considerable colony will be formed, there being already thirteen or fourteen families and a mission
While the Sieur de la Salle was engaged in building his fort, men envious of him, judging by this fine beginning what he might be able to do in the sequel
60who by their disinterested life, were attracting several families which came to settle at the Fort, put forward the Sieur Joliet to anticipate him in his discoveries. He went by the Bay of the Puants to the river Meschasipi, on which he descended to the Islinois, and returned by the Lakes to Canada, without having then or afterwards attempted to form any post
At the end of the year 1678
61that fort had been to continue these discoveries in rich, fertile and temperate countries, where the trade merely in the skins and wool of the wild cattle, which the Spaniards call Cibola, might establish a great commerce, and support powerful colonies; that nevertheless, as it would be difficult to bring these cattle skins in canoes, he petitioned Monsieur Colbert to grant him a commission to go and discover the mouth of the great river Meschasipi, on which ships could be built to come to France; and that in view of the great expense that he had incurred chiefly for building and keeping up Fort Frontenac, he would deign to grant him the privilege of carrying on exclusively the trade in buffalo skins, of which he had brought one as a sample. This was granted him.
He set out from France in the month of July in the year 1678 with the Sieurs la Motte
62rigging for the barks which he intended to build, and the necessary arms and goods. At the close of September he reached Quebec, whence he sent on his men to transport the goods and provisions to Fort Frontenac. He brought
63table of the Count de Frontenac Governor of the country, who during the repast did us the honor to say to the company that he would report to the court the zeal of the Recollects and the courage of our undertakings.
We embarked to the number of three, in our little bark canoe with our portable chapel, a blanket and a rush mat which served as a bed. This composed our whole outfit.
The people on the banks as we passed between Quebec and Monreal, earnestly begged me to say mass for them and administer the sacraments, explaining to me that they could be present at divine service only five or six times a year, inasmuch as there were only four missionaries in a stretch of fifty leagues of country. At Saint Hour I baptized a child, giving notice to the missionary who was absent. We continued our route by Harpentinie
64for four men.
65and livres, with orders to proceed in canoes, and await us at the Islinois, who live in the neighborhood of Meschasipi, in order to begin by establishing there a good understanding with these Indians, and to prepare provisions and other things necessary for the continuation of our discoveries.
On the 18th of November 1678
66brigantine. The autumn winds and cold being then very violent, our men were afraid to embark in a craft of about ten tons. This obliged the Sieur de la Motte who commanded, to keep constantly along the north shore of Lake Frontenac so as to be sheltered from the Northwesters which would have driven us on the southern shore. On the 26th, our vessel being weatherbound two good leagues from land, we were compelled to anchor all night, with sixty fathoms of cable and in evident danger. At last the wind shifting from East to Northeast, we reached the upper end of Lake Frontenac at an Iroquois village called Teiaiagon, situated on the north about seventy leagues from Fort Frontenac.
67men and throw our ballast overboard, to extricate ourselves. We were obliged to cut away with axes the ice that would have locked us in the river. As a suitable wind failed us, we could not proceed till December 5th, 1678, and as we had fifteen leagues passage to make from the land at the extremity of the lake to Niagara, we succeeded in making only ten leagues towards the southern shore, where we anchored about three leagues
On the seventh we ascended two leagues up the river in a bark canoe,
The Sieur de la Salle not having been able to build a bark at Fort Frontenac on account of a portage of two leagues at the great Fall of Niagara, but for which, one might sail in a large bark from Lake Frontenac to the end of Lake Dauphin, through lakes which may justly be styled Fresh Seas.
The great river St. Lawrence takes its rise from several large lakes, among which there are five of extraordinary size and which are all badly portrayed on the printed maps. These lakes are, first, Lake Conde or Tracy ; second, Lake Dauphin or Islinois ; third, Lake Orleans or of the Hurons; fourth, Lake Conty or Erie, and fifth
70Lake Ontario, called Frontenac.
Lake Conde and Lake Dauphin are the most distant westward. The former which runs from East to West is one hundred and fifty leagues long, about sixty wide and about five hundred leagues in circuit. The latter which is situated to the north and south, is one hundred and twenty or one hundred and thirty in length, and forty to fifty leagues in width, and nearly four hundred leagues in circuit. These two lakes empty into that of Orleans, the former by a rapid full of rocks, which you cannot navigate and the other by the strait of Missilimakinac. Lake Orleans
71empties by a long, very beautiful and navigable channel into Lake Conty, so that as these two latter lakes, are about equal to Lake Dauphin and are not separated from each other by any inconvenient rapid, you can sail by bark from the extremity of Lake Dauphin for a distance of four hundred leagues to the end of Lake Conty, where navigation is interrupted by the great Fall of Niagara. Lake Conty empties into Lake Frontenac, but during ten leagues of this last lake it closes in
72places, and so rapid above the great fall, that it hurries down all the animals which try to cross it, without a single one being able to withstand its current. They plunge down a height of more than five hundred feet,
They thunder continually and when the wind blows in a southerly direction, the noise which they make is heard for from more than fifteen leagues. Four leagues from this cataract or fall, the Niagara river rushes with extraordinary rapidity especially for two leagues
It is at the mouth of Lake Frontenac, that a fort was begun, which might have been able to keep the Iroquois in check and especially the Tsonnontonans
74building there a house defended by palisades, which is called Fort de Conty
The great Fall of the River Niagara, compelled him also to build his bark two leagues above it, and six leagues from the mouth of this river. But
75say the same thing to our people. The Sieur de la Motte begged me to accompany him to the Iroquois, and during the whole time of his embassy; I begged him to leave me with the greatest number of our men. He answered me that he was taking seven with him, that I knew something of the language, and of the customs of the Iroquois, that these Indians had seen me at Fort Frontenac at the council which the Governor of the country had held with them;
76snow. We all carried our blankets with our little equipage, often passing the night in the open air, and as we had only some little bags of roast Indian corn, we met on the way Iroquois hunters who gave us some venison and fifteen or sixteen black squirrels very good to eat. After five days march we arrived at Tegarondies,
77skins, often with a pipe in the mouth, no senator of Venice ever assumed a graver countenance or spoke with more weight than the Iroquois sachems in their assemblies.
One of our men named Anthony Brassart who served as interpreter, told them that we came to visit them in the name of Onnontio (which is the name that all the Indians give the Governors of the French), and to smoke their calumets on their mat; that the Sieur de la Salle, their friend, was going to build a great wooden canoe, to go and seek goods in Europe by a shorter way than that by the rapids of the St. Lawrence, in order to supply them with them at a cheaper rate. He added several other reasons
The Sieur de la Motte before beginning the
78speech told the Iroquois, that he would not speak to them till they had caused a Frenchman
79each present from the first to the last, one of the sachems having begun at the top of his voice, all together ended the last syllable three times by a tone coming from the very pit of the stomach, "Niaova," which means, "See, that is good, I thank you."
All the reasons that we gave the Iroquois, satisfied them only in appearance, for entire indifference to everything is a maxim with these Indians; and a man among them would pass for an ill regulated mind, if he did not agree to everything, and if he contradicted the arguments made to them in council; even though one should go so far as to utter the greatest absurdities and nonsense, they will always say "Niaova." "See that is right my brother, you are right," but they believe only what they please in private. The greatest part of the Indians, of all those whom I have examined carefully, show that the indifference which they entertain for all the maxims of our Christian religion, as for everything else is the greatest obstacle to the faith which I have known among these Savages.
On the last day of our assembly, the Iroquois warriors brought in a slave whom they had taken from the Hontouagaha, which signifies in their language the Stammerers or great talkers;
81found out greater cruelty to exercise the patience of the martyrs, than the torments which the Iroquois make their enemies undergo. And as we saw that their children each cut a bit of flesh from the prisoner, whom their parents had put to death with unheard of cruelties, and that these little cannibals ate the flesh of this man before our eyes, we withdrew from the chiefs cabin, and would no longer eat there, and we retraced our steps across the forests to the Niagara river.
The Sieur de la Salle
82anchors and cables of the vessel. He also lost some canoes with a good deal of merchandize and had several reverses, which frequently would have made any one but him, abandon the undertaking.
After he had given his orders and transferred the workmen to the shipyard, which was above the great Fall of Niagara,
83second bark, being anxious, he returned to Fort Frontenac. He undertook this march of more than eighty leagues by land and on foot, with a little bag of roast Indian corn, and that even failed him two days march from the fort, where nevertheless he arrived safely, with a dog which dragged his little baggage over the ice.
The greater part of the Iroquois had gone to
84war beyond Lake Conty during the construction of our bark, but although their absence rendered those who remained, less insolent, nevertheless, they did not fail to come frequently to our shipyard, where they were working on the vessel, and to manifest their displeasure, but one of them pretending to be drunk wished to kill the blacksmith, but the resistance of the French and the preparations which they made to repulse the Iroquois, and the reproach which I made to these savages, compelled them to withdraw quietly. Some time after a woman warned us that they wished to set the bark on fire on the stocks, and they would have done so, had we not kept a very strict watch.
These frequent alarms, fear of running out of provisions, after the loss of the bark from Fort Frontenac, and the refusal of the Tsonnontouans Iroquois to give us Indian corn on our paying for it, astonished our carpenters,
85moreover suborned and solicited to leave us, by a dissolute fellow who had made several attempts to go over to the Dutch. He would beyond doubt have seduced our workmen, if I had not reassured them, by the exhortations I made them, after divine service on holidays and Sundays, showing them that our enterprise had in view purely God's glory, the good of the French colony and their honor; in this way I animated them to labor more diligently to banish these disquiets. Moreover the orders which they saw me give the Indians of the Wolf
86It was named the Griffin.
The Iroquois who stood wondering at this ceremony, shared in our rejoicing. A glass of brandy was given to all of them to drink, as well as to the French.
From this time we left our bark cabins to lodge in the vessel on water, where we slept in repose, and safe from insults of the Indians. The Iroquois on returning from their beaver hunt were extremely surprised. They said that the French were spirits
87canoe, although this vessel was only of about forty-five tons and which we might call an ambulant fort, and which made all the Indians tremble, who extend over more than five hundred leagues of country.
Meanwhile the envious seeing the bark finished, notwithstanding the difficulty of transporting the rigging across so many rapids and the opposition of the Iroquois, published that it was a rash enterprise, that we would never return, and many other things of the kind. By this talk they roused up all the Sieur de la Salle's creditors, who without consenting to await his return, and without warning him, seized all his property that he had in Montreal and in Quebec, even to his secretary's bed, and they had it adjudged to them at such price as they chose, although Fort Frontenac of which he is proprietor was alone enough to pay all his debts twice told and more.
He was then at Fort Frontenac, where he received tidings of these disorders, but as he deemed this misfortune past help, and that they had no other design than to compel him to forego an expedition, of which he had made the preparations with such pains and cost, he gave what orders he deemed necessary at the fort.
Our boat being in the water out of reach of insult, I proceeded to the fort by Lake Frontenac, in the little brigantine
89Recollects who resided there, in order to enjoy spiritual consolation with them, obtain wine for the celebration of masses, and make the Sieur de la Salle a report of affairs, and we proceeded with him,
90embarked to the number of thirty-two persons with our two Recollect Fathers who had come to join me, our people having laid in a good supply of arms, merchandise, and seven small iron cannon.
At last, contrary to the pilot's opinion we succeeded in ascending Niagara river. He made his bark advance by sails when the wind was strong enough, and he had it towed in the most difficult places, and thus we happily reached the entrance of Lake Conty.
We made sail the 7th of the month of August, in the same year 1679, steering west by south. After
91the nations on the prairies, situated more than five hundred leagues from their country, and these savages did not neglect to give a description of the size of our vessel to the Dutch of New York,
Our voyage was so fortunate
92diameter, which we called Lake St. Clare, on account of our passing through it, on that Saint's day.
The country on both sides of this beautiful strait is adorned with fine open plains, and you can see numbers of stags, does, deer, bears, by no means fierce and very good to eat, poules d'inde
We found the current at the entrance of this strait as strong as the tide is before Rouen. We ascended it nevertheless, steering north and northeast, as far as Lake Orleans. There is little depth as you enter and leave Lake St. Clare,
93especially as you leave it. The discharge from Lake Orleans divides at this place into several small channels, almost all barred by sandbanks. We were obliged to sound them all, and at last discovered a very fine one, with a depth of at least two or three fathoms of water, and
94half a quarter of an hour, at the end of which we entered Lake Orleans
The same day the bark ran along the east coast of the lake, with a fair wind, heading north by east, till evening when the wind having shifted to southwest with great violence, we headed northwest, and the next day we found ourselves in sight of land, having crossed by night a great bay, called Sakinam,
On the 24th we continued to head northwest
95till evening, when we were becalmed among some islands, where there was only a fathom and a half or two fathoms of water. We kept on with the lower sails a part of the night to seek an anchorage, but finding none where there was a good bottom and the wind beginning to blow from the west, we headed north so as to gain deep water and wait for day, and we spent the night in sounding before the bark, because we had noticed that our pilot was very negligent, and we continued to watch in this way during the rest of the voyage.
On the 25th the calm continued till noon, and we pursued our course to the northwest, favored by a good southerly wind, which soon changed to southwest. At midnight we were compelled to head north on account of a great Point which jutted out into the lake; but we had scarcely doubled it, when we were surprised by a furious gale, which forced us to ply to windward with mainsail and foresail, then to lie to till daylight.
On the 26th the violence of the wind obliged us to lower the topmasts, to fasten the yards at
96the clew, to remain broadside to the shore. At noon the waves running too high, and the sea too rough, we were forced to seek a port in the evening, but found no anchorage or shelter. At this
At this time the Sieur de la Salle adopted in union with us Saint Anthony of Padua as the protector of our enterprises and he promised God if He did us the grace to deliver us from the tempest, that the first chapel he should erect in Louisiana should be dedicated to that great Saint. The wind having fallen a little we lay to, all
97the night and we drifted only a league or two at most.
On the morning of the 27th we sailed northwest with a southwest wind, which changed towards evening into a light southeast trade wind, by favor of which we arrived on the same day at Missilimakinac
Missilimakinac is a point of land at the entrance and north of the strait, by which Lake Dauphin
98empties into Lake Orleans. This strait is a league wide and three long, and runs west northwest.
There are Indian villages in these two places; those who are settled at Missilimakinac, on the
99day of our arrival, which was August 26th, 1678,
100which these Indians catch with nets, which they stretch sometimes in fifteen or twenty fathoms of water, and without which they could not subsist.
The Hurons who have their village surrounded by palisades twenty-five feet high and situated
101to individuals, in order to render the one who had built her odious to the people.
The Hurons and the Ouattaoüactz form alliances with one another in order to oppose with one accord the fury of the Iroquois, their sworn enemy. They cultivate Indian corn on which they live all the year, with the fish which they take to season their sagamity. This they make of water and meal of their corn which they crush with a pestle in a trunk of a tree hollowed out by fire.
The Indians of Sainte Marie du Long Sault are called by us the Saulteurs on account of the place of their abode, which is near the Sault, and where they subsist by hunting stags, moose or elk, and some beaver, and by the fishing of white fish, which is very good, and is found there in great abundance, but this fishery is very difficult to all but these Indians who are trained to it from childhood. These latter do not plant any Indian corn as their soil is not adapted to it, and the fogs on Lake Condé which are very frequent, stifle all the corn that they might be able to plant.
Sault St. Marie and Missilimackinac are the two most important passes for all the Indians of the west and north who go to carry all their furs to the French settlements and to trade every year at Montreal with more than two hundred loaded canoes.
During our stay at Missilmakinac, we were extremely surprised to find there the greater part of the men whom the Sieur de la Salle had sent on ahead to the number of fifteen, and whom he believed to be long since at the Illinois. Those whom he had known as the most faithful, reported to him that they had been stopped by the statements made to them on their way at Missilimakinac; that they had been told that his enterprise was only chimerical, that the bark would never reach Missilimakinac, that he was sending them to certain destruction, and several other things of the kind, which had discouraged and seduced most of their comrades, and that they had been unable to induce them to continue their
103voyage; that six of them
The Sieur de la Salle was all the more provoked at this conduct of his men, as he had treated them well, and made some advances to all, among the rest having paid on account of one of them 1200 livres
104the Sieur de Tonty with six men who arrested them and seized all the goods which they had in their hands, but he could not obtain any justice as to the others. The
On the 2nd
The chief of this nation who had all possible affection for the Count, de Frontenac, who had entertained him at Montreal, received us as well as he could, had the calumet danced to the Sieur de la Salle by his warriors; and during four days' storm while our vessel was anchored thirty paces from the bay shore, this Indian chief believing that our bark was going to be stranded, came to join us in a canoe at the risk of his life and in spite of the increasing waves, we hoisted him with his canoe into our vessel. He told us in a martial tone that he was ready and wished to perish with the children of Onnontio, the Governor of the French, his good father and friend.
Contrary to our opinion, the Sieur de la Salle who never took any one's advice, resolved to send back his bark from this place,
106ordered the pilot to discharge every thing at Missilimakinac, where he could take them again on his return. He also put all the peltries in the bark with a clerk and five good sailors. Their orders were to proceed to the great fall of Niagara, where they
They set sail on the 18th of September, with a very favorable light west wind, making their adieu by firing a single cannon; and we were never afterwards able to learn what course they had taken, and though there is no doubt, but that she perished, we were never able to learn any other circumstances of their shipwreck than the following. The bark having anchored in the
107north of Lake Dauphin, the pilot
We did not learn all this till the next year, and it is certain that the loss of this bark costs more than 40000 livres in goods, tools and peltries as well as men and rigging which he had imported into Canada from France and transported from Montreal to Fort Frontenac in bark canoes.
108This would appear impossible to those who know the weakness of this kind of craft, and the weight of anchors and cables,
We set out the next day, September 19th,
We took our course southerly towards the mainland four good leagues distant from the island of the Poutouatamis.
On the 25th we continued our route all day, and a part of the night favored by the moon, along the western shore of Lake Dauphin, but the wind coming up a little too strong, we were forced to land on a bare rock, on which we endured the rain and snow for two days, sheltered by our blankets, and near a little fire which we fed with wood that the waves drove ashore.
On the 28th after the celebration of mass
We set out the first of October, and after making twelve
111of them would carelessly waste some of the goods, pushed on and we were obliged to follow him three leagues beyond the village of the Indians, notwithstanding the evident peril, and he saw no other alternative to take in order to land in safety than to leap into the water with his three canoemen, and all together take hold of the canoe and its load and drag it ashore in spite of the waves which sometimes covered them over their heads.
He then came to meet the canoe, which I guided with this man who had no experience in this work, and jumping waist high into the water, we carried our little craft all at once, and went to receive the other two canoes in the same manner as the former. And
112drenched as he was with water never failed to display an extraordinary cheerfulness.
As we had no acquaintance with the Indians of this village, the Commandant first ordered all the arms to be got ready, and posted himself on an eminence where it was difficult to surprise us, and whence he could with a small force defend himself against a greater number. He then sent three of his men to buy provisions in the village, under the protection of the calumet of peace which the Poutouatamis of the Island had given the Sieur de la Salle, and which they had previously accompanied with their dances and ceremonies, which they use in their feasts and public solemnities.
113braided in various ways, with
These three men with this safeguard and their arms, arrived at the little village of the Indians three leagues distant from the landing, but they found no one. These Indians, at the sight of our canoes, perceiving that we had not landed, on passing them, had taken fright and abandoned their village. Accordingly these men after using all endeavors in vain to speak to some one of these Indians, took what Indian corn they could carry from their cabins, and left goods there in place of what they appropriated ; and then took the road to return to us.
Meanwhile twenty of these Indians armed with guns, axes, bows, arrows, and clubs which are called
cassetÄtes, approached the place where we were. The Sieur de la Salle advanced to accost them with four of his men armed with guns, pistols and sabres. He asked them what they wished; seeing that they appeared perplexed, he told them to come on, for fear his men, who,
115them sit down at the foot of the rising ground on which we had camped, and from which we could watch all their movements. We began to occupy them with different things, to amuse them till our three men got back from the village. These men appearing some time afterwards, as soon as the Indians perceived the peace calumet which one of our men carried, they rose uttering a great cry of joy, and began to dance after their fashion. Far from being angry about the Indian corn which they saw and which had been taken from them, they on the contrary sent to the village to bring more, and gave us some also the next day, as much as we could conveniently put in our canoes.
It was nevertheless deemed prudent to fell the trees around and to command our men to pass the night under arms, for fear of any surprise. About ten o'clock the next day, the old men of the village arrived with their peace calumet and feasted all the French. The Sieur de la Salle
116and some masses of beads for their women's adornment, and left them very well satisfied.
We set out the same day, October 2d, and we sailed for four days along the shore. It was bordered by great hills running abruptly down to the lake, where there was scarcely place to land. We were even forced every evening to climb to the summit, and carry up there our canoes and cargoes, so as not to leave them exposed by night to the waves that beat the foot. We were also obliged by too violent headwinds, during these four days and very frequently afterwards, to land with the greatest hardship. To embark it required that two men should go waist high into the water, and hold the canoe head on to the wave, pushing it ahead or drawing it back as the wave rolled in or ran out from land until it was loaded. Then it was pushed out to wait till the others were loaded in the same way; and we had almost as much trouble at the other landings. The Indian corn
117sparingly and provisions failing us, our good old Recollect had several times fainting fits. I twice brought him to, with a little confection of hyacinth, which I preserved preciously. For twenty-four hours we ate only a handfull of Indian corn cooked under the ashes or merely boiled in water, and during all this time we were obliged to keep on towards a good country end to paddle with all our strength whole days. Our men frequently ran for little haws and wild fruit, which they ate with great avidity. Several fell sick who thought that these fruits had poisoned them. The more we suffered, the more God seemed to give me especially strength, and I often outstripped in paddling our other canoes. During this scarcity, He who cares for the smallest birds, allowed us to see several crows and eagles, which were on the lake shore. Plying our paddles with redoubled zeal towards these carnivorous birds, we found there half a very fat deer which the wolves had killed and half eaten. We recruited ourselves on the flesh of this animal, blessing Providence which had sent us such timely aid.
Thus our little fleet advanced toward the South where we found the country always finer and more temperate.
One the 16th of October we began to find a great abundance of game, and our Indian, a very excellent hunter, killed stags and deer, and our Frenchmen very fat poules d'inde. And at last on the 28th
We went out to scout, as we were accustomed to do in the woods and prairies. We found very good ripe grapes, the berries of which were as large as damson plums. To get this fruit we had to cut down the trees on which the vines ran. We made some wine
119on holidays and Sundays, one after the other. All the woods were full of vines which grow wild. We ate this fruit to make the meat palatable which we were forced to eat without bread.
Fresh footprints of men were noticed at this place. This forced the Sieur de la Salle to keep his men on their guard, and without making any noise. All our men obeyed for a time, but one of them having perceived
This noise revealed us to a hundred and twenty-five Indians of the nation of the Outouagamis,
120he placed a sentinel near the canoes, under which all the goods were placed to protect them from the rain.
This precaution did not prevent thirty Outouagamis, under cover of the rain which was falling in torrents, and through the negligence of the sentinel who was on duty, from gliding by night with their usual dexterity, along the hill where our canoes were, and lying on their bellies near one another, succeed in stealing the
121that it was an unseasonable hour, and that people did not come in that way by night except to steal or kill those who were not on their guard.
He replied that in truth, the shot that had been fired, had made his countrymen all think that it was a party of Iroquois, their enemies, as the other Indians, their neighbors, did not use such fire arms, and that they had accordingly advanced with the intent of killing them, but having discovered that they were Frenchmen whom they regarded as their brethren, the impatience which they felt to see them, had prevented their waiting for daylight to visit us and to smoke in our calumet with us. This is the ordinary compliment of these Indians and their greatest marks of affection.
We pretended to credit these reasons, and they were told to approach to the number of four or five only, because their young men were given to stealing and that our Frenchmen were in no humor to put up with it. Four or five old men having advanced we endeavored to entertain them
122till daylight; when day came we left them at liberty to retire.
After their departure our ship carpenters perceived that they had been robbed and as we knew perfectly the disposition of the Indians, and we knew that they would form similar enterprises every night, if we dissembled on this occasion, we resolved to insist on redress. The Sieur de la Salle at the head of our men ascended an eminence of peninsular form ; he tried in person to find some Indian off by himself. He had scarcely marched three hundred paces, when he found the fresh trail of a hunter. He followed him pistol in hand and having overtaken him soon after
123he showed him at a distance the one he already held as a prisoner, and sent him back to tell his people, that he would kill their comrade, if they did not bring back all that they had stolen during the night.
This proposition embarrassed these savages, because they had cut the lackey's coat in pieces, and taken some goods with the buttons
The next morning, 30th of the month of October, they all advanced arms in hand to begin the attack. The peninsula where we were encamped, was separated from the wood where the Indians appeared, by a long sandy plain two gun shots wide. At the end of this plain towards the wood we noticed that there were several small mounds, and that the one nearest to us commanded
124the others. This the Sieur de la Salle occupied and commanded five men who carried their blankets half rolled around the left arm to shield themselves against the arrows of the Indians.
There were only seven or eight who had guns, the others had bows and arrows only ; and during all these manoeuvres on both sides, we three Recollects were there saying our office, and as I was the one of the three who had seen most in matter of war, having served as King's chaplain under the direction of the Very Rev. Father Hyacinth le Fevre, I came .
125see what figure our men made under arms and to encourage two of the youngest whom I saw grow pale, and who nevertheless made for all that a show of being brave and haughty as much as their leader. I approached in the direction of the oldest Indians, and as they saw that I was unarmed, they readily inferred that I approached them with a view to part the combatants and to become the mediator of their differences. One of our men seeing a band of red stuff, which served as a head band to one of these Indians, went and tore it off his head, giving him to understand that he had stolen it from us. This bold act of eleven armed Frenchmen against a hundred and twenty-five Indians, so intimidated these savages that two of their old men near whom I was, presented the peace calumet, and having advanced on the assurance given that they could do so without any fear, they said that they had not resorted to this extreme course, except from the inability
126they had taken it: that they were ready to restore what was whole, and to pay for the rest. At the same time they presented some beaver robes to the Sieur de la Salle to dispose his mind to peace, excusing themselves for the small value of their present, as the season was too far advanced. We contented ourselves with their excuses, they fulfilled what they had promised, and thus peace was restored.
The next day was spent in dances, in feasts and speeches,
127who have carried furs to the villages of the French have told us that that Onnotio
128war which the Iroquois made on them, had been advised by the French, who hated the Islinois. They added several like reasons which alarmed almost all our Frenchmen,
Nevertheless as he knew that these reason might have been have been inspired by those who opposed our enterprise and by the jealousy of the Indians to whom the Islinois were formidable by their valor, and who feared that they might become still more haughty, when by means of the French
129did not fear the Islinois, and that we would bring them to reason by friendship or by force.
The next day, the first of the month of November, we all reembarked and we arrived at the rendezvous, which we had arranged with
We were surprised to find no one there, because
We had resolved to make the Sieur de la Salle, see that he ought not to expose us unseasonably and not to wait for winter, to conduct us to the
130Islinois, because during that reason these nations in order to hunt more conveniently, break up into families or bands of two or three hundred persons each and that the longer we lingered in that spot, the greater difficulty we should find in getting there. That as the; hunting began to fail where we were, his whole party ran a risk of starving to death, and that among the Islinois we should find Indian corn for our food, and that we should live better, being only fourteen men by our route, than if we were thirty-two; that if the rivers should freeze over, we would not be able of ourselves to cany all the equipage, for a hundred leagues. He answered us that when the twenty men whom he expected had joined us, he would be able without danger to make himself known to the first band of Islinois whom he should find hunting, and gain them by kind treatment, and by presents, learning some tincture of the Islinois language, and that by this means he would easily form alliance with the rest of the nation.
131regarded his own will alone as reason; and he told us that if all his men deserted he would remain with our Indian hunter, and that he would easily find means by hunting to enable the three Recollect missionaries to live.
In this thought, he availed himself of the delay of the Frenchmen
There was at the mouth of the river of the Miamis,
132a redoubt forty feet long by eighty
The month of November was spent in these works,
133against the fat bear meat, and at their being deprived of liberty to go and kill deer to eat with the bear fat, but their aim all tended to deser tion.
We made a bark cabin during this halt, in order to say mass more conveniently, and on holidays and Sundays Father Gabriel and I preached alternately, chosing the most impressive matters to exhort our men to patience and perseverance.
From the commencement of the same month we had examined the mouth of the river. We had marked a sand bank there, and to facilitate the entrance of the bark, in case it arrived, the channel was marked out by two tall poles planted on either side of the entrance, with bear skinf pendants, and buoys all along. We had moreover sent to Missilimakinac two of our men, informed of all things to serve as guides to Luke
On the 20th of November, the Sieur de Tonty
135had to wait for the rest of the men whom the Sieur de Tonty had left behind, and to repair the fault that he had committed, he retraced his steps to make them come on and join us at once. On the way he wished to hold a little, and resist the highwind, against the opinion of Sieur Dautray
We embarked on the 3d of December with thirty men in eight canoes and ascended the river of the Miamis, taking our course to the
136southeast for about twenty-five
137most alert men to penetrate into the woods, and fire off their guns so as to give him notice of the spot where we were waiting for him. Two others ascended the river but to no purpose, for the night obliged them to retrace their steps.
The next day I took two of our men on a lightened canoe, to make greater expedition, and to seek him by ascending the river, but in vain, and at four o'clock in the afternoon we perceived him at a distance, his hands and face all black with the coals and the wood that he had lighted during the night which was cold. He had two animals of the size of musk rats, hanging at his belt, which had a very beautiful skin, like a kind of ermine, which he killed with blows of a stick, without these little animals taking flight, and which often let themselves hang by the tail from branches of trees, and as they were very fat, our canoemen feasted on them. He told us that the marshes he met with obliged him to make a wide sweep, and as moreover he was hindered by the snow which was falling rapidly, he was unable
138to reach the bank of the river before two o'clock at night. He fired two gun shots to notify us and no one having answered him, he thought that the canoes had gone on ahead of him, and kept on his way, along and up the river. After marching in this way more than three hours, he saw fire on a mound, which he ascended brusquely, and after calling two or three times, but instead of finding us asleep as he expected, he saw only a little fire among some brush, and under an oak tree, the spot when a man had been lying down on dry herbs, and who had apparently gone off at the noise which he had heard.
139remained standing, blocked the way, so that no one could approach him without making considerable noise, and awakening him. He then extinguished his fire and slept although it snowed all night.
Our Indian had remained behind us to hunt, and not finding us at the portage, he went higher up, and came to tell us that we would have to descend the river. All our canoes were sent with him, and I remained with the Sieur de la Salle, who was very much fatigued, and as our cabin
140was composed only of flag mats, it took fire at night and would have burnt us, had I not promptly thrown off the mat which served as a door to our little quarters, and which was all in flames.
We rejoined our party the next day, at the portage where Father Gabriel had made several crosses on the trees, that we might recognize it. We found there a number of buffalo horns and the carcasses of those animals, and some canoes that the Indians had made, of buffalo skins to cross the river with their load of meat.
This place is situated on the edge of a great plain, at the extremity of which on the western side is a village of Miamis, Mascontens
The river Seignelay
141Islinois (Indians,) rises in a plain in the midst of much boggy land, over which it is not easy to walk. This river is only a league and a half distant from that of the Miamis, and thus we transported all our equipage and our canoes by a road which
The river Seignelay is navigable for canoes to within a hundred paces of its source, and it increases to such an extent in a short time, that it is almost as broad and deeper than the Marne.
142winds about so, though its current is pretty strong, that after sailing on it for a whole day, we sometimes found that we had not advanced more than two leagues in a straight line. As far as the eye could reach nothing was to be seen but marshes full of flags and alders. For more than forty leagues of the way, we could not have found a camping ground, except for some hummocks of frozen earth on which we slept and lit our fire. Our provisions ran out and we could find no game after passing these marshes, as we hoped to do, because there are only great open plains, where nothing grows except tall grass, which is dry at this season, and which the Miamis had burned while hunting buffalo, and
143abandoned us, to strike inland and join the Indians whom we discerned by the flames of the prairies to which they had set fire in order to kill the buffalo more easily.
These animals are ordinarily in great numbers there, as it is easy to judge by the bones, the horns and skulls that we saw on all sides. The Miamis hunt them at the end of autumn
When they see a herd,
144distribute according to the wants of the families; and these Indians all triumphant over the massacre of so many animals, come to notify their women, who at once proceed to bring in the meat. Some of them at times take on their backs three hundred pounds weight, and also throw their children on top of their load which does not seem to burthen them more than a soldier's sword at his side.
These cattle have very fine wool instead of hair, and the females have it longer than the males. Their horns are almost all black, much thicker than those of cattle in Europe, but not quite so long. Their head is of monstrous size; the neck is very short, but very thick,
145these animals is very succulent. They are very fat in autumn, because all the summer they are up to their necks in the grass. These vast countries are so full of prairies, that it seems this is the element and the country of the buffalo.
These wild cattle or bulls change country according to the season and the diversity of climate. When they approach the northern lands and begin to feel the beginning of winter, they pass to the southern lands. They follow one another on the way sometimes for a league. They all lie down in the same place, and their resting ground is often full of wild purslain, which we have sometimes eaten.
146rivers and streams.
147frequently for three or four months of the year, and although they have no salt, they dry it so well that the meat undergoes no corruption, four months after they have thus dressed this meat, one would say on eating it that the animals had just been killed, and we drank the broth with them
The ordinary skins of these wild cattle weigh from one hundred to a hundred and twenty pounds. The Indians cut off the back and the neck part which is the thickest part of the skin, and they take only the thinnest part of the belly, which they dress very neatly, with the brains of all kinds of animals, by means of which they render it as supple as our chamois skins dressed with oil. They paint it with different colors, trim it with white and red porcupine quills, and make robes of it to parade in their feasts. In winter they use them to cover themselves especially at night.
148Their robes which are full of curly wool have a very pleasing appearance.
When the Indians have killed any cows, the little calves follow the hunters, and go and lick their hands or fingers, these Indians sometimes take them to their children and after they have played with them, they knock them on the head to eat them. They preserve the hoofs
These little animals might easily be domesticated and used to plough the land.
These wild cattle subsist in all seasons of the year. When they are surprised by winter and cannot reach in time the southern land and the warm country, and the ground is all covered with snow, they have the tact to turn up and throw aside the snow, to crop the grass hidden beneath. They are heard lowing, but not as commonly as in Europe.
These wild cattle are much larger in body than ours in Europe especially in the forepart. This great bulk however does not prevent their moving very fast, so that there are very few Indians who can run them down. These bulls often kill those who have wounded them. In the season you see herds of two and even of four hundred. Many other kinds of animals are found in these vast plains of Louisiana, stags, deer, beaver and otter
150pieces in the world for ship building which can be carried on upon the spot, and wood could be brought as ballast in the ships to build all the vessels of France,
151by countless lakes, rivers and streams, most of which are navigable. One is scarcely troubled at all by musquitoes or other noxious creatures,
This vast continent will be able in a short time to supply all our West India islands with bread, wine and meat, and our French buccaneers and filibusters will be able to kill wild cattle in greater abundance in Louisiana than in all the rest of the islands, which they occupy.
There are mines of coal, slate, iron, and the lumps of pure red copper which are found in various places, indicate that there are mines and perhaps other metals and minerals, which will one day be discovered, inasmuch as a salt and alum
We continued our route on the river Seignelay
152during the rest of the month of December; and at last after having sailed for a hundred and twenty or a hundred and thirty leagues from Lake Dauphin on the river Seignelay, we arrived at the village of the Islinois towards the close of the month of December, 1679.
153degrees of latitude in a somewhat marshy plain, and on the right bank of a river as broad as the Seine before Paris, which is divided
As we had foreseen.
154winter hunting in various places according to their custom. Their absence, nevertheless, put us in great embarrassment; provisions failed and we durst not take the Indian corn which the Islinois hide in trenches under ground to preserve it, and use on their return from the hunt for planting and subsistence till harvest. This stock is extremely precious in their eyes, and you could not give them greater offense than by touching it in their absence. Nevertheless, as there was no possibility of our risking a further descent without food, and the fire that had been set to the prairies had driven off all the animals, the Sieur de la Salle resolved to take twenty
The same day we reembarked with this new supply, and for four days we descended the same river, which runs south by west.
155discovering one of our deserters, of whom I have heretofore spoken, and that he had returned to us, only to seduce our men, who, moreover, were disposed to abandon us, through the fear they had of suffering hunger during the winter, I made an exhortation after the mass, wishing a Happy New Year to the Sieur de la Salle and all our party, and after the most touching words, I begged all our malcontents to arm themselves with patience, representing to them that God would provide for all our wants, and that if we lived in concert, he would raise up means to enable us to subsist. Father Gabriel, Father Zenobius and I embraced them with the most affectionate sentiments, encouraging them to continue so important a discovery.
Towards the end of the fourth day, while crossing a little lake formed by the river,
156Indians were cabined near there. In fact, on the fifth,
The Indians might have been routed in the disorder they were in; but as this was not our design, we halted in order to give the Islinois time to regain confidence. One of their chiefs who was on the other side of the river and who had observed that we had refrained from firing on seven or eight Indians whom we might easily have killed, began a harangue to stop the young men who were preparing to discharge arrows across the river. Those who were encamped on the side where we had landed, and who had taken flight at first, having understood the situation, sent two of the chief men among them to present the calumet from the top of a hill, soon after those who were on the other side did the same thing and then we gave them to understand that we accepted the peace; and
158were all trembling with fear; we manifested much affection for them, entering with the old men and the mothers
159children; that we had left our country which was beyond the sea to come and dwell among them, and to be of the number of their greatest friends. We heard a great chorus of voices, TepatouÄ Nicka, which means: "See what is good, my brother, you have a mind well made to conceive this thought," and at the same time they rubbed our legs down to the sole of the feet near the fire with bear's oil and buffalo grease to relieve our fatigue. They put the first three morsels of meat in our mouth with extraordinary marks of friendship.
Immediately after the Sieur de la Salle made them a present of tobacco and some axes. He told them that he had convoked them to treat of an affair, which he wished to explain to them, before he spoke to them of any other; that he knew how necessary corn
160impossibility of finding any game on the prairies, had obliged him to take a certain quantity of Indian corn, which he had in his canoes, and which he had not yet touched; that if they were willing to leave it in his hands, he would give them in exchange axes and other things which they needed, and that if they could not spare it, they were free to take it back; but that if they could not supply him the provisions necessary for his subsistence and that of his men, he would go to their neighbors the Osages,
He spoke to them in this manner, because he was well aware that the Is!inois would not fail to be jealons of the advantages that the French might give their neighbors, and especially that they
161would derive from a blacksmith, of whom they were themselves excessively in need. They accordingly accepted with great demonstrations of joy the payment that he offered them for their Indian corn. They even gave more and earnestly begged us to settle among them.
We answered that we would do so willingly, but that as the Iroquois were subjects of the king and consequently our brethren, we could not make war on them; that for this reason we exhorted them to make peace with that nation, that we would aid them to do so, and that if in spite of our remonstrances, that haughty nation came to attack them, we would defend them provided they permitted us to build a fort, in which we could make head against the Iroquois with the few Frenchmen that we had; that we would even furnish them arms and ammunition, provided they used them only to repel their enemies, and did not employ against the nations that lived under the protection of the king whom the Indians call the Great Chief who is beyond the great lake.
We then added that we also intended to brine over other Frenchmen who would protect them from the attacks of all their enemies, and would furnish all that they needed; that we were hindered only by the length and difficulty of the way. That to surmount this obstacle, we had resolved to build a great wooden canoe to sail down to the sea, and bring them all kinds of merchandise by that shorter and more easy way. But as this enterprise required a great outlay, we wished to learn whether their river was navigable to the sea, and whether other Europeans dwelt near its mouth.
The Islinois replied that they accepted all our proposals, and that they would assist us as far as I they could. Then they gave a description of the river Colbert or Meschasipi; they told us wonders of its width, and beauty, and they assured us that the navigation was free and easy, and that there were no Europeans near its mouth; but what most convinced us that this river was navigable, is that they named four nations to us, of whom there is mention in the Relation of the
163Voyage of Ferdinand Soto, in Florida; these are, the Tula, Casquin,
The next day one of the chiefs of the Miamis
165soon abandon us, and that they should not believe anything we might tell them.
After having said many things of the kind, the Miami chief returned by night with as much secresy as he came lest we might discover all this mystery.
Nevertheless one of the Islinois chiefs named Omaouha
166much detail and circumstantiality as though he had known us all his life.
This affair gave us all the more uneasiness because we knew that Indians are naturally suspicious and because many bad impressions had already been made on our men to induce them to desert, as
In the afternoon of the same day, Nicanapé, brother of Chassagouasse,
167which no one had ever yet done without perishing there, that its banks were inhabited by an infinite number of barbarous nations, who would overwhelm the French by their numbers, whatever arms and whatever valor they might possess; that this river was full of monsters, tritons,
168it is not the custom to interrupt Indians, and by doing so, we should only have increased the suspicion of our men, we let him finish his speech in peace, and then we replied without any emotion, that we were very much obliged to him for the information he gave us, and that we should acquire all the more glory, if we found difficulties to overcome; that we all served
169plans, although they were full of sincerity; that if the Islinois had any real friendship for us, they should not dissemble the grounds of their uneasiness, from which we should endeavor to deliver them, that otherwise we should have reason to believe, that the friendship they manifested for us on our arrival was only on their lips.
Nicanapé remained unable to reply, and presenting us food changed his discourse.
After the meal our interpreter
170"We were not asleep, brother," he added addressing Nicanapé, "when Monso spoke to you in secret at night to the prejudice of the French whom he depicted to you as spies of the Iroquois The presents that he made you to convince you of his lies are still secreted in this cabin. Why did he take flight immediately afterwards? Why did he not show himself by day, if he had only truth to tell? Have you not seen that at our arrival we might have killed your nephews, and that in the confusion prevailing among them, we might have done alone, what they wish to persuade you, we will execute with the help of the Iroquois, after we are settled among you, and have formed a friendship with your nation? At this moment that I am addressing you, could not our French, kill all of you, old men that you are, while your young men are off at the hunt; do you not know that the Iroquois, whom you fear, have experienced the valor of the French, and that consequently we should not need their help, if we intended to make war on you. But to cure your mind entirely, run after this imposter, whom
171we will wait here to convict and confound. How does he know us,
These words influenced them and induced them to dispatch runners after Monso to bring him back, but the heavy snow that fell by night before and which covered his tracks, prevented their overtaking him; nevertheless our Frenchmen who had been alarmed already, were not relieved of their false fears. Six of them who were on guard, and
172more certain than that which they sought to avoid.
The Sieur de la Salle having gone out of his cabin in the morning and finding no one on duty he entered the cabins of his men, and found one where there was only a single man left, whom his comrades had not notified, because he was suspected by them. He called them all together and asked for information in regard to these deserters. Then he expressed his displeasure that they should have deserted against the King's orders and all justice, and abandoned him at the time when they were most necessary to him, after he had done everything for them. To counteract the bad impression that this desertion might produce in the mind of the Islinois he ordered them to say that their comrades had gone off by his order, and said that he was well able to pursue and punish them as an example, but that he did not wish to let the Indians know how little fidelity there was among the French. He
173exhorted them to be more faithful to him than these runaways, and not to go to such extremes through fear of the dangers which Nicanapé had falsely exaggerated to them; that he did not intend to take with him any but those who would wish to accompany him willingly, and that he would give them his word to leave the others at liberty in the spring to return to Canada, whither they might go without risk and by canoe, whereas they could not then undertake it but with evident peril of their lives, and with the disgrace of having basely abandoned him, by a conspiracy which could not remain unpunished on their arrival in Canada.
He endeavored to reassure in this way, but knowing their inconstancy, and dissembling the chagrin he felt at their lack of resolution, he resolved to remove them from the Indians, to preclude any new subornations, and in order to make them consent without murmuring, he told them that they were not in security among the Islinois; that moreover such a stay exposed them to the
174arms of the Iroquois, who perhaps might come before
These reasons and some others of that kind which
175brought all to work with a good grace
177and for fear of any surprise, we planted a stockade around, the timbers of which were twenty-five feet long and a foot thick.
178singing Vespers on holidays and Sundays, and preaching after morning prayers.
The forge was set up along the curtain which I faced the wood. The Sieur de la Salle posted himself in the middle with the Sieur de Tonty; and
While they were engaged at this work, we were thinking constantly only of our exploration, and we saw that the building of a bark would be very difficult on account of the desertion of the pit sawyers. It occurred to us one day, to tell our people that if there was a man of good will among them, who was willing to try and make sheathing planks there was hope of succeeding, with a little more labor and time, and that at the worst we should after all only spoil a few. Immediately two of our men offered to work at it. The trial was made and they succeeded pretty well, although they had never before undertaken a similar piece of work. We began a bark of forty-two feet keel, and only twelve broad. We
179pushed on the work with so much care, that notwithstanding the building of Fort Crevecoeur, the sheathing was sawed, all the wood of the bark ready and curved
It is to be remarked that in the country of the Islinois, the winter is not more severe than in Provence, but that of the year 1679,
180lasted more than twenty days, which was an extraordinary surprise to the Indians, who had not yet experienced so severe a winter, so that the Sieur de la Salle and I saw ourselves exposed to new hardships, which will perhaps appear incredible to those who have no experience in great voyages and new discoveries.
In this extremity
181extraordinary as it was difficult to carry out, I to go with two men into unknown countries, where one is at every moment in a great danger for his life, and he to proceed on foot to Fort Frontenac itself, a distance of more than five hundred leagues. We were then at the close of winter which had been, as we have said as severe in America as in France, the ground was still covered with snow which was neither melted nor able to bear a man in snow shoes. It was necessary to load ourselves with the usual equipage on these occasions, that is to say, a blanket, a kettle, an axe, a gun, powder, and lead, dressed skins to make Indian shoes, which often last only a day, those which are ivorn in France being of no use in these western countries. Besides this he must resolve to push through bushes, to walk in marshes, and melting snow, sometimes waist high, and that for whole days, sometimes even with nothing to eat; because he and three others who
182accompanied him, could not carry provisions being compelled to depend for all their subsistence on what they might shoot, and expect to drink only the water they might find on the way. To conclude he was exposed every day and especially night to be surprised by four or five nations which made war on each other, with this difference, that these nations where he was to pass, all know the French, and that those where I was going had never seen Europeans. Nevertheless all these difficulties did not astonish him
183these remote nations, and one of them assured us of the beauty of the great river Colbert or Meschasipi. We were confirmed in it by the report of several Indians, and by a private Islinois, who told us in secret on our arrival that it was navigable. Nevertheless this account did not suffice to disabuse our people and completely reassure them. We wished to make the Islinois themselves avow it, although we had learned that they had resolved in council always to tell us the same thing. Soon after a favorable occasion presented itself.
A young Islinois warrior who had taken some prisoners in the direction of the south and who had come on ahead of his comrades, passed to our shipyard. They gave him some Indian corn to eat. As he was returning from the lower part of the river Colbert, of which we pretended to have some knowledge, this young man traced for us with coal, a pretty exact map, assuring us that he had been everywhere in his periagua; that there was not down to the sea, which the Indians call the great lake, either falls or rapids.
184But that as this river became very broad, there were in some places sand banks and mud which barred a part of it. He also told us the name of the nations that lived on its bank, and of the rivers which it receives. I wrote them down and I will be able to give an account thereof in a second volume of our Discovery.
We thanked him by a small present, for having revealed to us the truth, which the chief men of his Islinois nation had disguised from us. He begged us not to tell them, and an axe was given to him to close his mouth after the fashion of the Indians when they wish to enjoin secrecy.
The next morning after our public prayers, we went to the village where we found the Islinois assembled in the cabin of one of the most important who was giving a bear feast, which is a meat that they esteem highly. They made place for us among them on a fine mat of flags, which they spread for us. We told them through one of their men, who knew the language, that we wished to make known to them, that He who
185has made all, whom we call the great Master of Life takes a particular care of the French, that he had done us the favor to instruct us as to the condition of the great river, called by us Colbert, as to which we had difficulty in ascertaining the truth, since they had rendered it impossible for us to navigate, and then we informed them what we had learned the day before.
These savages thought that we had learned all these things by some extraordinary way; and after having closed the mouth with their hand, which is a way that they often employ to express their surprise, they told us that it was only the desire which they had to retain our chief with the Greygowns or Bare feet (as all the Indians of of America call our Religious of Saint Francis) to remain with them, had obliged them to conceal the truth. They confirmed all that we had learned from the young warrior, and have since always persisted in the same opinion.
This affair greatly diminished the fears of our Frenchmen, and they were entirely delivered
186from them by the arrival of several Osages Ciccaca and Akansa,
The Miamis came at the same time to dance the calumet to the Islinois, and made an alliance with them against the Iroquois their common enemy. The Sieur de la Salle made some presents to unite these two nations more firmly together.
Seeing that we were three Recollect missionaries with the few Frenchmen whom we had at Fort Crevecoeur, and having no more wine to
187say mass, Father Gabriel who had need of relief at his advanced age, declared that he would willingly remain alone at the fort with our Frenchmen. Father Zenoble
This Father who was only half a league from the fort, came to explain to us the subject of his troubles, telling us, that he was not yet accustomed to the ideas of the Indians, that nevertheless he already knew part of their language. I offered
188to take his mission, provided he would go in my place to the remote nations of whom we had as yet no knowledge, as that which the Indians had given us was only superficial. This set the Father thinking, and he preferred to remain with the lslinois, of whom he had some knowledge rather than expose himself to go among unknown nations.
The Sieur de la Salle left in Fort Crevecceur the Sieur de Tonty as commandant, with some soldiers and the carpenters who were employed building the bark intended for the attempt to descend to the sea by the river Colbert, in order to be by this means, protected from the arrows of the Indians in this vessel. He left him powder and lead, a blacksmith, guns and other arms to defend themselves, in case they were attacked by the Iroquois. He gave him instructions to remain in his fort, and before returning to Fort Frontenac, to go and get a reinforcement, cables and rigging for the last bark, which he left built up to the ribband,
189to take the pains to go and explore in advance the route which he would have to take to the river Colbert on his return from Canada,
The Reverend Father Gabriel de la Ribourde who had been my Father Master in the Novitiate, begged me to proceed, saying that if I died of this infirmity, God would be one day glorified by my apostolic labors. "It is true, my son," said this venerable old man to me; who had whitened more than forty years in the austerity
190of penance, "that you will have many monsters to overcome, and precipices to pass in this enterprise, which demands the strength of the most robust. You do not know a word of the language of these nations, whom you going to try and gain to God, but courage, you will gain as many victories as combats."
Considering that this Father had at his age volunteered to come and aid me in my second year of our new discovery, in the view that he had to announce Jesus Christ to the unknown nations, and that this aged man was the only male child and heir of his father's house, who was a gentleman of Burgundy, I offered to undertake this voyage to endeavor to go and form an acquaintance with the nations among whom I hoped soon to settle in order to preach the faith. The Sieur de la Salle told me that I gratified him. He gave me a peace calumet and a canoe with two men, one of whom was called the Picard du Gay, who is now in Paris, and the other Michael
Having received the blessing of the reverend Father Gabriel and leave from the Sieur de la Salle, and after having embraced all our men who came to escort us to our place of embarking Father Gabriel finishing his adieus by these words: Viriliter age et confortetur cor tuum,
The river Seignelay on which we were sailing, is as deep and broad as the Seine at Paris, and in two or three places widens out to a quarter of a
On the 7th of March, we found, about two leagues from its mouth, a nation called Tamaroa, or Maroa, composed of two hundred families. They would have taken us to their village lying west of the river Colbert, six or seven leagues below the mouth of the river Seignelay ; but our two canoemen, in hopes of still greater gain,
194preferred to pass on, according to the advice I then gave them. These
Soon after leaving these Indians, we came to the mouth of the river Seignelay, fifty leagues distant from Fort CrÄvecoeur, and about a hundred
195consequently one hundred and twenty or thirty leagues from the gulf of Mexico.
In the angle formed on the south by this river, at its mouth, is a flat precipitous rock, about forty feet high, very well suited for building a fort. On the northern side, opposite the rock, and on tha west side beyond the river, are fields of black earth, the end of which you can not see, all ready for cultivation, which would be very advantageous for the existence of a colony.
The ice which floated down from the north kept us in this place till the 12th of March, whence we continued our route, traversing
The River Colbert runs south southwest comes from the north and northwest; it runs between two chains of mountains, very small here, which wind with the river, and in some places are pretty far from the banks, so that between the mountains and the river, there are large prairies, where you often see herds of wild cattle browsing. In other places these eminences leave semi-circular spots covered with grass or wood. Beyond these mountains you discover vast plains, but the more we approach the northern side ascending, the earth did not appear to us so fertile, nor the woods so beautiful as in the Islinois country.
This great river is almost everywhere a short league
197the west northwest, seven or eight leagues from the Falls of St. Anthony of Padua.
On the eastern side you meet first an
198Thirty leagues higher up, you find the lake of Tears,
199both sides, and is full as wide as that of the Seignelay.
Forty leagues above is a river full of rapids, by which, striking northwest, you can proceed to Lake Conde, as far as Nimissakouat
Continuing to ascend this river ten or twelve
200leagues more, the navigation is interrupted by cataract which I called the Falls of St. Anthonv of Padua, in gratitude for the favors done me by the Almighty through the intercession of that great saint, whom we had chosen patron and protector of all our enterprises. This cataract is forty or fifty
201live there a part of the year. Eight leagues above St. Anthony of Padua's falls on the right, you find the river of the Issati or Nadoussion,
202a stock for part of the year, and to eat out of the hunting season.
Lake Buade, or Lake of the Issati, is situated about seventy
In the neighborhood of Lake Buade are many other lakes, whence issue several rivers, on the banks of which live the Issati, Nadouessans, Tinthonha (which means prairie-men), Ouadebathon
We scrupulously said our morning and evening prayers every day on embarking, and the Angelus at noon, adding some paraphrases on the Response of St. Bonaventure, Cardinal, in honor of St.
204Anthony of Padua. In this way we begged of God to meet these Indians by day, for when they discover people at night, they kill them as enemies, to rob those whom they murder secretly of some axes or knives which they value more than we do gold and silver; they even kill their own allies, when they can conceal their death, so as afterward to boast of having killed men, and thus pass for soldiers.
We had considered the river Colbert with great pleasure, and without hindrance, to know whether it was navigable up and down: we were loaded with seven or eight large turkeys, which multiply of themselves in these parts. We wanted neither buffalo nor deer, nor beaver, nor fish, nor bear meat, for we killed those animals as they swam across the river.
Our prayers were heard when, on the 11th of
206shore. We first presented them a piece of Petun or French tobacco, better for smoking than theirs and the eldest among them uttered these words Miamiha, Miamiha As we did not understand their language, we took a little stick, and by signs which we made on the sand, showed them that their enemies, the Miamis whom they sought had fled across the river Colbert to join the Islinois; when then they saw themselves discovered and unable to surprise their enemies, three or four old men laying their hands on my head, wept in a lugubrious tone, and I with a wretched handkerchief I had left, wiped away their tears. These savages would not smoke our peace-calumet. They made us cross the river with great cries, which all shouted together with tears in their eyes; they made us paddle before them, and we heard yells capable of striking the most resolute with terror. After landing our canoe and our goods, some part of which they had been already stolen, we made a fire to boil our kettle; we gave them two large wild turkeys that we had killed. These savages having called
207their assembly to deliberate on what they were to do with us ; the two head chiefs of the party approaching, showed us, by signs, that the warriors wished to tomahawk us. This compelled me to go to the war chiefs with one of my men, leaving the other by our property, and throw into their midst six axes, fifteen knives, and six fathom of our black tobacco, then bowing down my head, I showed them, with an axe, that they might tomahawk us, if they thought proper. This present appeased several individuals among them, who gave us some beaver to eat, putting the three first morsels in our mouth according to the custom of the country, and blowing on the meat which was too hot, before putting their bark dish before us, to let us eat as we liked; we spent the night in anxiety, because before retiring at night, they had returned us our peace-calumet. Our two canoemen were, however, resolved to sell their lives dearly, and to resist if attacked; they kept their arms and swords ready. As for my own part, I determined to allow myself to be killed without
208any resistance, as I was going to announce to them a God, who had been falsely accused unjustly condemned, and cruelly crucified, without showing the least aversion to those who put him to death. In our uncertainty, we watched one after the other, so as not to be surprised asleep.
In the morning, April 12th,
209seeing me move my lips said, in a fierce tone, Ouackanche;
210they nevertheless showed a kind of aversion, so that to accustom them to it, I chanted the Litany of the Blessed Virgin in the canoe with my book open. They thought that the breviary was a spirit which taught me to sing for their diversion for these people are naturally fond of singing.
The outrages done us by these Indians during our whole route were incredible, for seeing that our canoe was much larger and more heavily laden than theirs (for they have only a quiver full of arrows, a bow, and a wretched dressed skin, to serve two as a blanket during the night, which was still pretty cold at that season, always going north), and that we could not go faster than they, they put some warriors with us to help us row, to oblige us to follow them. These Indians sometimes make thirty or forty leagues by water, when at war and pressed for time, or anxious to surprise some enemy. Those who had taken us were of different villages and of different opinions as to us; we cabined every night by the young chief who had asked for our peace-calumet, and put ourselves under his protection; but jealousy arose
211among these Indians, so that the chief of the party named Aquipaguetin, one of whose sons had been killed by the Miamis, seeing that he could not avenge his death on that nation which he sought, turned all his rage on us. He wept through almost every night him he had lost in war, to oblige those who had come out to avenge him, to kill us and seize all we had, so as to be able to pursue his enemies; but those who liked European goods were much disposed to preserve us, so as to attract other Frenchmen there and get iron, which is extremely precious in their eyes; but of which they knew the great utility only when they saw one of our French canoemen kill three or four wild geese or turkeys at a single gun shot, while they can scarcely kill even one with an arrow. In consequence, as we afterward learned, that the words Manza Ouackangé,
212they pierce, rarely breaking the bones of those whom they strike, and consequently producing wounds more easily cured than those made by our European guns, which often cripple those whom they wound.
We had some design of proceeding down to the mouth of the river Colbert, which more probably empties into the gulf of Mexico than into the Red sea; but these tribes that seized us, gave us no time to sail up and down this river.
We had made about two hundred leagues
213during the day. To oblige us to keep up with them, they gave us every day four or five men to increase the paddling of our little vessel, which was much heavier than theirs. Sometimes we cabined when it rained, and when the weather was not bad, we slept on the ground without any shelter. We had all the time to contemplate the stars and the moon when it shone. Notwithstanding the fatigue of the day, the youngest of these Indian warriors danced the calumet to four or five of their chiefs till midnight, and the chief to whom they went, sent a warrior of his family in ceremony to those who sang, to let them in turn smoke his war calumet, which is distinguished from the peace-calumet by different feathers. The end of this kind of pandemonium was terminated every day by two of the youngest of those who had had relations killed in war ; they took several arrows which they presented by the points all crossed to the chiefs, weeping bitterly ; they gave them to them to kiss. Notwithstanding the force of their yelling, the fatigue of the day, the watching by night, the old men
214almost all awoke at daybreak for fear of being surprised by their enemies. As soon as dawn appeared one of them gave the cry, and in an instant all the warriors entered their bark canoes some passing around the islands in the river to kill some beasts, while the most alert went by land, to discover whether any enemy's fire was to be seen. It was their custom always to take post on the point of an island for safety sake, for their enemies have only periaguas, or wooden canoes, in which they cannot sail as fast as they do, on account of the weight of their craft. Only northern tribes have birch to make bark canoes; the southern tribes who have not that kind of tree, are deprived of this great convenience. The result is that birch bark wonderfully facilitates the northern Indians in going from lake to lake, and by all rivers to attack their enemies, and even when discovered, they are safe if they have time to get into their canoes, for those who pursue them by land, or in periaguas, cannot attack or pursue them quickly enough.
During one of these nineteen days of our very painful navigation, the chief of a band by name Aquipaguetin, resolved to halt about noon in a large prairie; having killed a very fat bear, he rave a feast to the chief men, and after the repast all the warriors began to dance. Marked in the face, and all over the body, with various colors, each being distinguished by the figure of different animals, according to his particular taste or inclination; some having their hair short and full of bear oil, with white and red feathers; others besprinkled their heads with the down of birds which adhered to the oil. All danced with their arms akimbo, and struck the ground with their feet so stoutly as to leave the imprint visible. While one of the sons of the master of ceremonies, gave each in turn the war-calumet to smoke, he wept bitterly. The father in a doleful voice, broken with sighs and sobs, with his whole body bathed in tears, sometimes addressed the warriors, sometimes came to me, and put his hands on my head, doing the same to our two Frenchmen, sometimes he raised his eyes to heaven and often
216uttered the word Louis, which means sun, complaining to that great luminary of the death of his son. As far as we could conjecture this ceremony tended only to our destruction; in fact the course of time showed us that this Indian had often aimed at our life; but seeing the opposition made by the other chiefs who prevented it, he made us embark again, and employed other devices to get by degrees the goods of our canoemen, not daring to take them openly, as he might have done, for fear of being accused by his own people of cowardice, which the bravest hold in horror.
This wily savage had the bones of some important deceased relative, which he preserved with great care in some skins dressed and adorned with several rows of black and red porcupine quills; from time to time he assembled his men to give it a smoke, and he made us come several days in succession to cover the deceased's bones with goods, and by a present wipe away the tears he had shed for him, and for his own son killed by the Miamis. To appease this captious man, we
217threw on the bones of the deceased several fathoms of French tobacco, axes, knives, beads, and some black and white wampum bracelets. In this way the Indian stripped us under pretexts, which we could not reproach him with, as he declared that what he asked was only for the deceased, and to give the warriors. In fact, he distributed among them all that we gave him. By these feints he made us believe that being a chief, he took nothing for himself, but what we gave him of our own accord. We slept at the point of the lake of Tears, which we so called from the weeping and tears which this chief shed there all night long, or which were shed by one of his sons, whom he caused to weep when tired himself, in order to excite his warriors to compassion, and oblige them to kill us and pursue their enemies to avenge his son's death.
These Indians at times sent their best runners by land to chase the herds of wild cattle on the water side; as these animals crossed the river, they sometimes killed forty or fifty, merely to
218take the tongue, and most delicate morsels, leaving the rest with which they would not burthen themselves, so as to travel more rapidly. We sometimes indeed eat good pieces, but without bread, wine, or salt, and without spice or other seasoning. During our three years'
During the night some old men came to weep piteously, often rubbing our arms and whole
219bodies with their hands, which they then put on our head. Besides being hindered from sleeping hy these tears, I often did not know what to think, nor whether these Indians wept because some of their warriors would have killed us, or whether they wept out of pure compassion at the ill treatment shown us.
On another occasion, Aquipaguetin relapsed into his bad humor : he had so gained most of the warriors that one day when we were unable to encamp near Narhetoba, who protected us, we were obliged to go to the very end of the camp, these Indians making it appear to us, that this chief insisted positively on killing us. We accordingly drew from a box twenty knives and some tobacco, which we angrily flung down amid the malcontents; the wretch regarding all his soldiers one after another hesitated, asking their advice, whether to refuse or take our present; and as we bowed our head and presented him with an axe to kill us, the young chief who was really or pretendedly our protector took us by the arm, and all in fury led us to his cabin. One of his
220brothers taking some arrows, he broke them all in our presence, showing us by this action, that he prevented their killing us.
The next day they left us alone in our canoe, without putting in any Indians to help us, as they usually did; all remained behind us. After four or five leagues sail another chief came to us, made us disembark, and pulling up three little piles of grass, for us to sit upon, he took a piece of cedar full of little round holes in one of which he put a stick, which he spun round between the two palms of his hands, and in this way made fire to light the tobacco in his great calumet. After weeping some time, and putting his hands on my head, he gave me his peace-calumet to smoke, and showed us that we should be in his country in six days.
Having arrived on the nineteenth day of our navigation five leagues below the Falls of St. Anthony, these Indians landed us in a bay and assembled to deliberate about us. They distributed us separately, and gave us to three heads of families in place of three of their children who
221had been killed in war. They first seized all our property, and broke our canoe to pieces, for fear we should return to their enemies. Their own they hid all in some alders to use when going to hunt; and though we might easily have reached their country by water, they compelled us to go sixty leagues by land, forcing us to march from daybreak to two hours after nightfall, and to swim over many rivers, while these Indians, who are often of extraordinary height, carried our habit on their head ; and our two canoemen, who were smaller than myself, on their shoulders, because they could not swim as I could. On leaving the water, which was often full of sharp ice, I could scarcely stand ; our legs were all bloody from the ice which we broke as we advanced in lakes which we forded, and as we eat only once in twenty-four hours some pieces of meat which these barbarians grudgingly gave us, I was so weak that I often lay down on the way, resolved to die there, rather than follow these Indians who marched on and continued their route with a celerity which surpasses the power of
222Europeans. To oblige us to hasten on, they often set fire to the grass of the prairies where we were passing, so that we had to advance or burn. I had then a hat which I reserved to shield me from the burning rays of the sun in summer, but I often dropped it in the flames which we were obliged to cross.
As we approached their village, they divided among them all the merchandise of our two canoemen,
223not receive them, until they gave the full value of all that had been taken. And in course of time I have no doubt they will give entire satisfaction to the French, whom they will endeavor to draw among them to carry on trade.
These savages also took our brocade chasuble, and all the articles of our portable chapel, except the chalice, which they durst not touch; for seeing that glittering silver gilt, they closed their eyes, saying that it was a spirit which would kill them.
After five days' march by land, suffering hunger, thirst, and outrages, marching all day long without
224rest, fording lakes and rivers, we descried a number of women and children coming to meet our little army. All the elders of this nation assembled on our account, and as we saw cabins and bundles of straw hanging from the posts of them, to which these savages bind those whom they take as slaves, and burn them; and seeing that they made the Picard du Gay sing, as he held and shook a gourd full of little round pebbles and seeing his hair and face were filled with paint of different colors, and a tuft of white feathers attached to his head by the Indians, we not unreasonably thought that they wished to kill us, as they performed many ceremonies, usually practised, when they intend to burn their enemies. The worst of it was, too, that not one of us three could make himself understood by these Indians; nevertheless, after many vows, which every Christian ought to make in such straits,
225it to us in large bark dishes, which the Indian women had seasoned with whortleberries, which are black berries that they dry in the sun in summer, and are as good as currants.
On our arrival, which was about the Easter
226holidays in the year 1680,
Aquipaguetin's son, who called me his brother, paraded about with our brocade chasuble on his bare back, having rolled up in it a dead man's bones, for whom these people had a great veneration. The priest's girdle made of red and white wool, with two tassels at the end, served him for braces, carrying in triumph what he called Pere Louis Chinnien,
227afterwards ascertained "the robe of him who is called the sun." After these Indians had used this chasuble as an ornament to cover the bones of their dead in their greatest ceremonies, they presented it to some of their allies, tribes situated about five hundred
The day after our arrival, Aquipaguetin, who was the head of a large family, covered me with a robe made of ten large dressed beaver-skins,
228had a sweating cabin made, in which he made me enter quite naked with four Indians who all tied the end of their yard with white wood bark before beginning to sweat. This cabin he covered with buffalo-skins, and inside in the middle he put stones heated to a red heat. He made me a sign to do like the others before beginning to sweat, but I merely concealed my nakedness with a handkerchief. As soon as these Indians had several times drawn their breath very violently, he began to sing in a thundering voice, theothers seconded him, all putting their hands on my body, and rubbing me, while they wept bitterly. I began to faint, but I came out of the cabin, and could scarcely take my habit to put on. When he had made me sweat thus three times in a week, I felt as strong as ever.
I often spent wretched hours among these savages; for, besides their only giving me a little wild rice and smoked fish roes to eat five or six times week, which they boiled in water in earthen pots, Aquipaguetin took me to a neighboring island with his wives and children to till the
229ground, in order to sow some tobacco seed, and seeds of vegetables that I had brought, and which this Indian prized extremely. Sometimes he assembled the elders of the village, in whose presence he asked me for a compass that I always had in my sleeve; seeing that I made the needle turn with a key, and believing justly that we Europeans went all over the habitable globe, guided by this instrument, this chief, who was very eloquent, persuaded his people that we were spirits, and capable of doing anything beyond their reach. At the close of his address, which was very animated, all the old men wept over my head, admiring in me what they could not understand. I had an iron pot with three lion feet, which these Indians never dared touch, unless their hand was wrapped up in some robe. The women had it hung to the branch of a tree, not daring to enter the cabin where this pot was. I was some time unable to make myself understood by these people, but feeling myself gnawed by hunger, I began to compile a dictionary of their language by means of their children, with
230whom I made mysalf familiar, in order to learn.
As soon as I could catch the word Taketchiabihen,
231us; but as soon as he had looked at what is white (for they have no word to say paper), he answers us, and tells us his thoughts; that white thing," said they, "must be a spirit which tells Pere Louis all we say." They concluded that our two Frenchmen had not so much intelligence as I, because they could not work like me on what was white. In consequence the Indians believed that I could do everything; when the rain fell in such quantities as to incommode them, or prevent their going to hunt, they told me to stop it; but then I knew enough to answer them by pointing to the clouds, that he who was great chief of heaven, was master of everything, and that what they bid me do, did not depend on me.
These Indians often asked me how many wives and children I had, and how old I was, that is, how many winters, for so these nations always count. These men, never illuminated by the light of faith, were surprised at the answer I made them; for pointing to our two Frenchmen whom I had then gone to visit three leagues from our village, I told them a man among us could
232have only one wife till death; that as for me, I had promised the Master of life to live as they saw me, and to come and dwell with them to teach them
233These peltries they gave me to induce me to remain among them, to introduce me to strange nations that were coming to visit them, and in restitution for what they had robbed me of; but I refused these presents, telling them that I had not come among them to gather beaver-skins, but only to make known to them the will of the great Master of life, and to live wretchedly with them, after having left a most abundant country. "It is true," said they, "that we have no game in these parts, and that you suffer, but wait till summer, then we will go and kill buffalo in the warm country." I should have been satisfied had they fed me as they did their children, but they eat secretly at night unknown to me. Although women are, everywhere, more kind and compassionate than men, they gave what little fish they had to their children, regarding me as a slave made by their warriors in their enemies' country, and they reasonably preferred their children's lives to mine.
There were some old men who often came to
234weep over my head in a sighing voice, one saying "my grandson," another, "my nephew, I feel sorry to see you without eating, and to learn how badly our warriors treated you on the way; they are young braves, without sense, who would have killed you, and have robbed you of all you have. Had you wanted buffalo or beaver-robes, we would wipe away your tears, but you will have nothing of what we offer you."
Ouasicoudé, that is, the Pierced-pine,
235outraged us. This is what the brave chief showed to all his nation, as we shall see hereafter.
As I often went to visit the cabins of these last nations, I found a sick child, whose father's name was Mamenisi; having a moral certainty of its death, I begged our two Frenchmen to tell me their opinions, informing them I believed myself obliged to go and baptize it. Michael Ako would not accompany me, the Picard du Gay alone followed me to act as sponsor, or rather as witness of the baptism. I christened the child Antoinette in honor of St. Anthony of Padua, as well as from the Picard's name which was Anthony Auguelle. He was a native of Amiens, and a nephew of Mr. de Cauroy, procurator-general of the Premonstratensians,
236of an Indian who had stolen it from me, and put it on the body of the baptized child; for as I could not say mass for want of wine and vestments, this piece of linen could not be put to a better use, than to enshroud the first Christian child among these tribes. I do not know whether the softness of the linen had refreshed this newly baptized one because she was smiling the next day in her mother's arms, who believed that I had cured her child, but she died soon after to my great consolation.
During our stay among the Issati or Nadouessiou, we saw Indians who came as ambassadors from about five hundred leagues to the west. They informed us that the Assenipovalacs
237they are sometimes obliged to make fires with buffalo dung, for want of wood.
238southward with the great chief named Ouasicoudé,
239answer, seeing myself thus abandoned by
240leagues from the French settlements; that if they were well received in this country, it was only in consequence of my bleeding some asthmatic Indians, and my giving some orvietan
Four days after our departure for the buffalo hunt, we halted eight leagues above the Falls of St. Anthony of Padua on an eminence opposite the mouth of the river St. Francis; here the Indian women made their canoe frames, while waiting for those who were to bring bark to make canoes. The young men went to hunt stag, deer, and beaver, but killed so few animals for such a large party, that we could very rarely get a bit of meat, having to put up with a broth once in every twenty-four hours. The Picard and myself went to look for haws, gooseberries, and little wild fruit, which often did us more harm than good when we ate them; this obliged us two to go alone, as Michael Ako refused, in a wretched canoe to Oviscousin
242munitions, as he had promised us on our departure from the Islinois.
The Indians would not have suffered this voyage, had not one of the three remained with them-they wished me to stay, but Michael Ako absolutely refused. Our whole stock was fifteen charges of powder, a gun, a wretched little earthen pot which the Indians had given us, a knife, and a beaver robe, to travel about two hundred
243the men of our nation may pass here quietly without accident, that we may kill buffalo in abundance, conquer our enemies, and bring slaves here, some of whom we will put to death
A league below the Falls of St. Anthony of Padua, the Picard was obliged to land and get his
244powder-horn which he had left at the falls. On his return, I showed him a snake about six feet
As we descended the river Colbert, we found some of our Indians cabined in the islands, loaded with buffalo-meat, some of which they gave us, and two hours after our landing, fifteen or sixteen warriors of the party whom we had left above the Falls of St. Anthony of Padua, entered tomahawk in hand, overthrew the cabin of those who had invited us, took all the meat and bear's oil that they found, and greased themselves with it from head to foot; we at first took them to be enemies, but one of those who called himself my uncle, told me, that having gone to the buffalo-hunt before the rest, contrary to the maxims of the country, any one had a right to plunder them,
245because they put the buffaloes to flight before the arrival of the mass of the nation.
During sixty leagues that we sailed down the river, we killed only one deer, swimming across, but the heat was so great that the meat spoiled in twenty-four hours. This made us look for turtles, which we found hard to take, as their hearing is so acute, that as soon as they hear the least noise, they jump quickly into the water. We, however, took one much larger than the rest, with a thinner shell and fatter meat. While I was trying to cut off his head, he all but cut off one of my fingers. We had drawn one end of our canoe ashore, when a violent gust of wind drove it into the middle of the great river; the Picard had gone with a gun into the prairie to try and kill a buffalo; so I quickly pulled off our habit, and threw it on the turtle with some stones to prevent its escaping, and swam after our canoe which went very fast down the stream, as the current was very strong at that point. Having reached it with much difficulty, I durst not get in for fear of upsetting it, so I either pushed it before me,
246or drew it after me, and thus little by little reached the shore about one eighth of a league from the place where I had the turtle. The Picard finding only our habit, and not seeing the canoe, naturally believed that some Indian had killed me. He retired to the prairie to look all around whether there were no people there. Meanwhile I remounted the river with all diligence in the canoe, and had just put on my habit, when I saw more than sixty buffalo crossing the river to reach the south lands; I pursued the animals, calling the Picard with all my might; he ran up at the noise and had time to reenter the canoe, while the dog which had jumped into the water had driven them into an island. Having given them chase there, they were crossing back when he shot one, which was so heavy that we could get it ashore only in pieces, being obliged to cut the best morsels, while the rest of the body was in the water. And as it was almost twice twenty-four hours since we had eaten, we made a fire with the driftwood we often found on the sand; and while the Picard was skinning the animal, I
247cooked the pieces of this fat meat in our little earthen pot; we eat it so eagerly that we both fell sick, and had to stay two days in an island to recover. We could not take much of the meat with us, our canoe was so small, and besides the excessive heat spoiled it, so that we were all at once deprived of it, as it was full of worms; and when we embarked in the morning, we did not know what we should eat during the day. Never have we more admired God's providence than during this voyage, for we did not always find deer, and could not kill them when we would; but the eagles, which are very common in these vast countries, sometimes dropped from their claws bream, or large carp, which they were carrying to their nests. Another time we found an otter on the bank of the river Colbert eating a large fish, which had, running from the head, a kind of paddle or beak,
248eating this monstrous fish which we found very good.
While seeking the Oviscousin river, Aquipaguetin, that savage father, whom I had left, and whom we believed more than two hundred leagues away, suddenly appeared with ten warriors, on the 11th
249me alone came up, tomahawk in hand: I laid hold of two pocket pistols, which the Picard had got back from the Indians, and a knife, not intending to kill this would be Indian father of mine but only to frighten him, and prevent his crushing me, in case he had that intention. Aquipaguetin reprimanded me for exposing myself thus to the insults of their enemies, saying that I should at least take the other bank of the river for greater safety. He wished to take me with him, telling me that he was with three hundred hunters, who killed more buffalo than those to whom I had abandoned myself. I would have done well to follow his advice, for the Picard and myself
We had only ten charges of powder left which we were obliged to divide into twenty to kill wild pigeons, or turtle-doves ; but when these
250at last gave out we had recourse to three hooks which we baited with bits of putrid catfish dropped by an eagle. For two whole days we took nothing, and were thus destitute of all support when, during night prayer, as we were repeating these words addressed to St. Anthony of Padua, "Pereunt pericula, cessat et necessitas," the Picard heard a noise, left his prayers, and ran to our hooks which he drew from the waters with two catfish so large that I had to go and help him.
The next day the Indians whom we had left with Michael Ako, came down from
251river with their flotilla of canoes loaded with meat. Aquipaguetin had, as he passed, told how exposed the Picard and I had been while on our voyage, and the Indian chiefs represented to us the cowardice of Michael Ako, who had refused to undertake it, for fear of dying by hunger. And had I not stopped him, the Picard would have insulted him.
All the Indian women hid their stock of meat at the mouth of Buffalo river, and in the islands, and we again went down the river Colbert about eighty leagues way to hunt with this multitude of canoes; from time to time the Indians hid their canoes on the banks of the river and in the islands; then struck into the prairies seven or eight leagues beyond the mountains, where they killed, at different times, as many as a hundred and twenty buffaloes. They always left some of their old men on the tops of the mountains to be on the lookout for their enemies. One day when I was dressing the foot of one who called himself my brother, and who had run a splinter deep into his foot, an alarm was given in the camp,
252two hundred bowmen ran out; and that brave Indian, although I had just made a deep incision in the sole of his foot to draw out the wood, which had been driven in, left me and ran even faster than the rest, not to be deprived of the glory of fighting, but instead of enemies, they found only about eighty stags,which took flight. The wounded man could scarcely regain the camp. During this alarm, all the Indian women sang in a lugubrious tone. The Picard left me to join his host, and I remaining with one called Otchimbi, was subjected to carrying in my canoe an Indian woman more than eighty years old. For all her great age, this old woman threatened to strike with her paddle three children who troubled us in the middle of our canoe. The men treated me well enough, but as the meat was almost entirely at the disposal of the women, I was compelled, in order to get some, to make their children's tonsures about as large as those worn by our religious, for these little savages wear them to the age of fifteen or sixteen, and their parents make them with red hot stones.
We had another alarm in our camp : the old men on duty on the top of the mountains announced that they saw two
On the 25th
254who came to the Nadoussious, with five French soldiers; they joined us about two hundred and twenty leagues distant from the country of the Indians who had taken us;
We arrived at the villages of the Issati on the 14th of August, 1680. I found our chalice and our papers still there which I had hidden in the ground; the tobacco which I had planted, had
255been choked by the weeds ; the turnips, cabbages, and other vegetables were of extraordinary size. The Indians durst not eat them. During our stay, they invited us to a feast where there were more than a hundred and twenty men all naked. The first chief,
256who dwell three moons from this country, is more beautiful than that which you wear."
Toward the end of September, having no implements to begin an establishment, we resolved to tell these people, that for their benefit, we would have to return to the French settlements. ."
We stopped near Ouscousin river to smoke some meat; three Indians coming from the nations we had left, told us that their great chief
257named the Pierced-pine, having heard that one of the chiefs of his nation wished to pursue and kill us, had entered his cabin and tomahawked him, to prevent his pernicious design. We regaled these three Indians with meat, of which we were in no want then.
Two days after, we perceived an army of one hundred and forty canoes, filled with about two hundred and fifty warriors; we thought that those who brought the preceding news were spies, for instead of descending the river on leaving us, they ascended to tell their people. The chiefs of this little army visited us and treated us very kindly, the same day they descended the river and we kept down to Ouscousin.
258and crosses on the trunks of the trees.
We passed four lakes, two of them pretty large on the banks of which the Miamis formerly lived, we found Maskoutens, Kikapous, and Outaougamy there, who plant Indian corn for their subsistence. All this country is as fine as that of the Islinois.
We made a portage at a rapid called the Cakalin, and after about four hundred leagues sail from our leaving the country of the Issati, and Nadouessious, we arrived safely at the extremity of the bay of the Puans, where we found Frenchmen trading with the Indians."
259flagon, which enabled me to say mass; I had then only a chalice and altar stone; but Providence supplied me with sacerdotal vestments, for some Islinois flying from the tyranny of the Iroquois, who had destroyed a part of their nation, took the vestments of the chapel of Father Zenobius Membré, Recollect, who was with the Islinois in their flight. These savages gave me all, except the chalice, which they promised to restore in a few days for a present of tobacco.
I had not celebrated holy mass for over nine months for want of wine; I had still some altar breads. We remained two days to rest, sing the Te Deum, high mass, and preach. All our Frenchmen went to confession and communion, to thank God for having preserved us amid so many wanderings and perils.
One of our Frenchmen gave a gun for a canoe larger than ours, with which, after sailing a hundred leagues in the Bay of the Puants, we reached Missilimakinac, where we were obliged to winter. To employ the time usefully, I preached every holyday, and on the Sundays of
260Advent and Lent.
During this winter, we took whitefish in Lake Orleans, in twenty or twenty-two fathoms water. They served to season the Indian corn, which was our usual fare. Forty-two Frenchmen who were there trading with these Indians all begged me to give them the cord of St. Francis, which I readily did, making an exhortation at each ceremony.
We left Missilimakinac in Easter week,
262persons of whose family had died of starvation not having found a good fishery or hunting-ground This Indian told us that the Iroquois had carried off a family of twelve belonging to his tribe, and begged us to deliver them, if yet alive.
We sailed along Lake Conty, and after a hundred and twenty
The next day the Iroquois answered us by two
263other wampum belts, that the Outtaouactz had been carried off by some mad young warriors; that we might assure the governor of the French, that the Iroquois would hearken to him in all things; that they wished to live with Onnontio like real children with their father (so they call all the governors of Canada , and that they would restore those whom they had taken.
A chief named Teganeot, who spoke for his whole nation in all the councils, made me a present of otter and beaver-skins, to the value of over twenty-five
264about eighty leagues navigation on this lake, to Fort Frontenac where the dear Recollect Father Luke was very much surprised to see me, for it had been currently reported for two years that the Indians had hung me with our cord of St. Francis. All the settlers French and Indian, whom we had attracted to Fort Frontenac, gave me an extraordinary welcome, rejoicing at my return, the Indians calling me Otkon,
At the mouth of Lake Frontenac the current is strong, and increases in velocity as you descend. The rapids are frightful. In two days and a half we descended this river St. Lawrence, with so much speed that we reached Montreal, which is sixty leagues from the said fort,
265missionary, as he believed me killed, by the Indians, he was for a time thunderstruck, believing it to be some other Religious.
I made him an exact report of my voyage, and showed him the advantages to result from our new discovery.
While I was recruiting at Mr. de Frontenac's table, he received letters from Father Zenobius Membré, Recollect, whom I had left in the Illinois, who informed him that the progress of our discovery was interrupted by the Iroquois, and by an inexplicable fatility of some Frenchmen who had abandoned Fort Crevecoeur, that the commandant, the Sieur de Tonty, had left that post to go to the villages of the Islinois for Indian corn, and that during his absence, all the French whom he had left at that fort had deserted and abandoned the Recollect Father Gabriel, who remained alone on the bank of the river Seignelay till an Islinois, who was returning from the hunt took the good old man to his village.
The Sieur de la Salle before returning to Fort Frontenac had left the Miamis perfectly united with the Islinois, but the Iroquois who are cunning people, men of war and of deep designs, gained the Miamis by presents, which was accomplished just about the time that the French who had abandoned us at the Islinois, had taken refuge among the Miamis; the next Autumn
267the Iroquois with about eight hundred men armed with guns joined the Miamis and fell upon the Islinois who had only bows and arrows to defend themselves. The noise of the Iroquois guns so alarmed them, that these men who are great runners, took flight towards the river Colbert; in this confusion, it was not difficult for the Iroquois, joined to the Miamis, to carry off about eight hundred slaves, including women and young boys. These cannibals ate on the spot some old Islinois men, and burned several others, who were not strong enough to follow them to the country of the Iroquois, a journey of more than four hundred leagues.
A little before the great onset of these savages some young Iroquois warriors, seeing the Sieur de Tonty, who had remained among the Islinois, with Fathers Gabriel and Zenobius, Recollects, and two other young Frenchmen, rushed upon him, taking him for an enemy. They gave him a stab with a knife, the point fortunately meeting a rib; but the older Iroquois recognizing him as a Frenchman, separated them, and seeing
268him slightly wounded, made him a present of a wampum belt, in the Indian fashion, to heal his wound, and wipe away his tears, assuring the two Recollects that they did not wish to kill the children of Onnontio, that is, the Governor of the French; they asked from them a paper, in order to testify on their return to the whole French nation, the sincerity of their intention. They made the French embark to return to Canada. The Reverend Father Gabriel, Recollect, seeing the canoe loaded with beaver, threw several to the Iroquois, giving them to understand, that he was not there to amass furs; their canoe breaking, the French were forced to land about eight leagues from the Islinois and light a fire in order to repair it. Father Gabriel retired a little way into the prairie to say his breviary. A panic having seized the Sieur de Tonty, who thought he had the Iroquois at his heels, he made Father Zenobius and the two young Frenchmen embark with such precipitation, that he crossed from one bank of the Seignelay river to the other, which is wide at this point, and left that good old man on
269the other bank, doing nothing but fire a gun about eight o'clock in the evening as a signal, but in vain. Father Zenobius wrote to the Reverend Father Valentine le Roux, Commissary Provincial of the Recollects in Canada, that he had implored the Sieur de Tonty not to embark without Father Gabriel, and that he had replied, that if he did not embark who would answer for him to the Governor of the country. Father Zenobius not having vigor enough or words sufficiently strong to persuade the Sieur de Tonty to wait a little, he was forced to follow him, although they perceived no enemies. The next day they crossed the river to the spot where they had left him, they saw foot prints in the grass of those beautiful plains, and not finding that good old man who undoubtedly was looking for them, the Sieur de Tonty took up his route for Canada by way of the Bay of the Puants.
We have subsequently learned by investigations made by order of the Count de Frontenac, Governor of Canada, that the Onnontaguez Iroquois
270seeing the French canoe abandon this old man hid in the grass, fearing the guns which the French might have discharged at them, and as the canoe moved away, they advanced stealthily and tomahawked that man of God, whom we can style the Apostle of Louisiana.
Our Recollect Fathers informed me last year from New France, that the Islinois after their defeat, pursued in great haste after the Iroquois who were all returning home triumphant, and that they found the body of Father Gabriel with his habit, that they carried him to their villages and buried him in their manner, doing honor to him who had gone among them to preach the faith to them, and for their consolation. Others have wished to assure us that the Kikapous had killed him and carried off his habit of Saint Francis to the village of the Miamis; but the Count de Frontenac will give us all authentic information on his return.
271have been more than eight hundred leagues beyond the capital of New France, where I was for nearly eight months a slave among the Issati, and the Sieur de la Salle has succeeded in building three barks, the last two of which one of about fifty tons and the other of eighty, are distant from one another nearly five hundred leagues, — in advancing in canoes beyond the three great lakes which are fresh water seas, and in pursuing his enterprise with Fathers Luke Brisset, Zenobius Membré, Recollects, and about fifty men.
They wrote me this year (1682), from New France, that the Sieur de la Salle seeing that I had made peace with the nations on the north and northwest, situated more than five hundred leagues up the river Colbert, who were making war on the Islinois, and on the nations of the south, this brave captain, governor of Fort Frontenac, who exalts by his zeal and courage the names of the Caveliers his ancestors, descended last year with his force and our Recollects, as far as the mouth of the great river Colbert, and to
272the sea, and that he passed among unknown nations, some of which are somewhat civilized It is believed that he is on his way to France to give the Court an ample knowledge of all Louisiana which we may call the Delight and Earthly Paradise of America.
The King may form there an empire which will soon become flourishing, without any foreign power being able to prevent him, and his Majesty by the Religious Ministry of Saint Francis may easily extend the kingdom of Jesus Christ among those many nations, which have hitherto been deprived of the advantages of Christianity, and the French colonies may thence derive great benefits in future.
The Manners of the Indians.
Before entering here into details as to the manners of the Indians, it is well to say a word as to the fertility of their country; it can thus be judged how easy it is to found great colonies there. There are indeed many forests to clear, but these uncultivated parts are none the less advantageous. There are scarcely any in the world more fertile Nothing is wanting that is necessary for life; every thing is in abundance, the lands there are very well adapted for sowing. In the vast counties of Louisiana, beautiful prairies are discovered as far as the eye can see, and to enter a little into detail as to things which grow among the Indians, there are many grape vines, very much like those we have in Europe, which bear grapes, somewhat sour, but
274the wine goes very well with ours, it even prevents it from spoiling. In Louisiana and the southern country, the grape is as good as in France but the seeds are larger. In both parts are found hops, plums, cherries, citrons, apples, pears, nuts, filberts, gooseberries of all kinds and a thousand other fruits of that nature delicious in taste. In both parts grow Indian corn, French wheat, turnips, very fine melons, enormous squashes, cabbages and a host of other vegetables, of which I do not here recall the names. In the forests there are great numbers of wolves, monstrous bears, deer, stags, and all kinds of animals of which I do not know the names, among others wild cats, beavers, otters, porcupines, turkeys, and all these animals are of extraordinary size there. They catch there sturgeon, salmon, salmon trout, pike, carp, eels, armed fish, gold fish, bass, catfish, and all kinds of other fish.
275and other game in abundance. In Louisiana, besides all these animals, there are also wild cattle which the inhabitants of the country have never been able to exterminate entirely, on account of the great number of these animals which change their country according to the season. Several medicinal herbs are found there which are not in Europe, which have an infallible effect, according to the experience of the Indians' who use them daily to heal all kinds of wounds, for quartain and tertian fevers, to purge and to allay pains in the kidneys and other like troubles. There are also many poisons which these people employ for self destruction. Snakes are common, particularly the adders, asps and another kind of serpent, which has a kind of rattles on its tail, and is called on that account rattlesnake They are of prodigious length and bulk. They bite passersby dangerously; but wherever they are, there are found also sovereign remedies against their bites. Frogs are seen there too of strange size, whose bellowing is as loud as the lowing of cows. The same trees are found here as in
276Europe, and there are others also namely red pine, red cedar, spruce, cotton wood, ash, boisdier and others. All these trees strike root deeply and become extremely high, which sufficiently attests the fertility of the soil. The great river St. Lawrence
277which is now almost entirely abandoned, and which has been destroyed by the Iroquois. The first post which we have there is Fort Frontenac.
I am no longer surprised at the avowal of our historians, that they can not tell how the Indian country has been populated, since the inhabitants who ought to be the best informed, know nothing about it themselves. Besides which, if in Europe, we were like them deprived of writing, and if we had not the use of that ingenious art, which brings the dead back to life, and recalls past times and which preserves for us an eternal memory of all things, we should not be less ignorant than they. It is true that they recount some things about their origin; but when you ask whether what they say about it is true, they answer that they know nothing about it, that they would not assure us of it, and that they believe them to be stories of their old men, to which they do not give much credit. If all North America had been discovered, we might
278perhaps learn the spot where these persons came over to it, which would contribute not a little to throw light on some points of ancient history. A rather curious story is related among them. They say that a woman descended from heaven and remained sometime fluttering in the air, unable to find a spot to rest her foot. The fish of the sea having taken compassion on her, held a council to deliberate which of them should receive her; the Tortoise presented himself and offered his back above the water. This woman came there to rest and made her abode there. The unclean matter of the sea having gathered around this tortoise, a great extent of land was formed in time, which now constitutes America. But as solitude did not at all please this woman, who grew weary of having no one to converse with, in order to spend her days a little more agreeably than she was doing, a spirit descended from on high, who found her asleep from sorrow. He approached her imperceptibly, and begot by her two sons, who came out of her side. These two children could never, as time went on, agree,
279because one was a better hunter than the other, every day they had some quarrel with each other, and they came to such a pitch that they could not at all bear one another; especially one who was of an extremely fierce temper, conceived a deadly envy of his brother, whose disposition was completely mild. This one unable to endure the ill treatment which he continually received, was at last obliged to depart from him and retire to heaven, whence as a mark of his just resentment, he from time to time makes the thunder roar over the head of his unhappy brother. Sometime after the spirit descended again to this woman and had by her a daughter, from whom have come the mighty nation which now occupies one of the largest parts of the world. There are some other circumstances, which I do not remember, but fabulous as this story is, you can not fail to discern in it some truths. The woman's sleep has some analogy with that of Adam; the estrangement of the two brothers bears some resemblance to the irreconciliable hatred which Cain had for Abel, and the thunder
280pealing from heaven, shows us very clearly the curse which God pronounced upon that merciless fratricide.
The Indians are very robust, men, women and even children are extremely vigorous; for
281this reason they are rarely sick, they know nothing about treating themselves delicately, hence they are not subject to a thousand ailments which too great effeminacy draws down on us. They are not gouty or dropsical, gravel or fevervexed, they are always in movement, and take so little rest, that they escape maladies which beset most of our Europeans for want of exercise; appetite scarcely ever fails them, even when they are far advanced in years; they are as a rule so given to eating, that they rise in the night to eat, unless they have meat or sangamity near them, for then they eat like dogs without getting up. Yet on the other hand they undergo great abstinences, which would beyond doubt be unsupportable to us. They go two or three days without eating, when such an occasion befals them, without on that account discontinuing their work, whether they are engaged in hunting, fishing or war. Their children are so inured to cold, that in mid winter they run bare naked on the snow, and roll in it like little pigs, without being in any
282way injured, and in summer when the air is full of musquitoes, they also go naked, and play without feeling the stings of these little insects. I admit that the fresh air to which they are constantly exposed contributes somewhat to harden their skin to fatigue, but this great insensibility must also come from an extremely robust constitution, in as much as our hands and face are always exposed to the air, without being for all that less sensitive to cold. When men are hunting especially in the spring time, they are almost always in water, although it is very cold, and they return from it cheerfully to their cabins without complaining. When they go to war, they sometimes remain three or four days behind a tree, eating almost nothing. They are unwearied in their hunts; they run very fast and for a very long time. The nations of Louisiana run faster than the Iroquois, so that there is not a buffalo that they cannot run down. They sleep on the snow in a scanty blanket, without a fire and without cabin. The women act as potters, and have so much vigor, that there are few men
283in Europe who have as much as they. They carry burthens that two or three of us would find it difficult to raise. The warriors undertake journeys of three or four hundred leagues, as though it was only to go from Paris to Orleans. The women bear children without great pain, some of them leave the cabin and withdraw into the wood apart, and afterwards return with their children in their blanket. Others if labor comes on in the night, bring forth the children on their mats, without making the least noise, and in the morning rise and work as usual, inside and outside the cabin, as if nothing ailed them. Remark also that while they are pregnant, they do not cease to be active, to carry very heavy loads, to plant Indian corn, and squashes, to go and come, and what is a wonder, their children are very well formed, humpbacks are very rare among them. To conclude, they have no natural bodily defects, which leads us to believe that their mind would easily adapt itself to this external disposition, if they were civilized and had much intercourse with the French.
When they are weary they enter a vapor bath to strengthen their limbs, and if their legs or arms pain, they take a well sharpened knife and make incisions in the part where the pain is. When the blood flows they scrape it with their knives or a stick till it ceases to flow. Then they cleanse the wound and rub it with oil or the fat of some animals. This is a sovereign remedy. They do the same when they have a pain in the head or arms. To cure tertian and quartan fevers, they make a medecine with a bark which they boil and give to drink immediately after the fever. They know roots and herbs with which they cure all kinds of diseases. They have sure remedies against the poison of toads, snakes and other animals, but have none against the small pox. There are charlatans whom they call jugglers. These are certain old men who live at other people's expense, by counterfeiting physicians in a superstitious manner. They do not use remedies, but when one of them is
285called to a sick man, he makes them entreat him, as if it were for some affair of great importance and very difficult. After many solicitations he comes, he approaches the patient, touches him all over the body, and after he has well considered and handled him, he tells him that he has a spell in such or such a part, for example, in the head, leg or stomach, which must be removed, but that this can be done only with great difficulty, and many things must be done previously. This spell is very malicious, he says; but it must be made to come out at any cost. All the sick man's friends who fall into the trap, say "T. Chagon, T. Chagon, courage,
286child's life is at stake, so spare nothing, you must give a feast, to day," "give such or such a thing," or do something else of the kind. At the same time that these orders of this juggler are carried out, the men enter the vapor bath and sing at the top of their voice, rattling tortoise shells or gourds full of Indian corn, to the sound of which the men and women dance. Sometimes even they all get intoxicated, so that they make frightful orgies. While all are thus engaged, this superstitious old man is near the patient, whom he torments, holding his feet or legs, or pressing his chest, according to the spot where he has said the spell is, in such a way that he makes him undergo pain sufficient to kill him. He often makes the blood issue from the tips of his fingers or toes. At last after making a hundred grimaces, he displays a piece of skin or a lock of hair or something of the kind, making them believe it to be the spell which he has drawn from the patient's body, which is however, only a pure trick.
I one day baptized a little child which seemed
287to be in danger of death, but the next day, it was cured. Some days after its mother related to the others, in my presence, how I had cured her child. She took me for a juggler, saying that I was wonderful, that I knew how to cure all sorts of diseases by putting water on the forehead. They often have recourse to our medecines, because they find them very good, but when we do not succeed, they ascribe the cause to the medecine and not to the wretched state of the patient.
The Northern Indians, from the statement of their old men, have always been covered, and before they had ever had any intercourse with Europeans, for they dressed in skins, both men and women. They now still cover themselves sometimes with skins, but most generally they wear a shirt, a coat with a hood, a strip of cloth
288which covers them to the knees, and which is tied before and behind with a little belt, then they have footless stockings, which our French generally call leggins, and shoes which are merely of dressed skins. When they come in from their hunts in the Spring there are some who buy French body coats, shoes and stockings; some wear hats out of the respect they have for the French. Sometimes they carry blankets in which they wrap themselves, holding the ends in their hands. When they are in their cabins, they very frequently remain stark naked, even in winter time, except a single band of cloth with which they are girt. They daub their faces with red and black colors, they redden their hair which they cut in every fashion. The southern nations do not burn them except to the ears, and those of the North often let them hang down on one side, and cut them on the other according to their fancy. Sometimes they stick little feathers all over the head, and sometimes large ones behind the ears. There are some who make themselves crowns of flowers; others
289of birch bark, some of skins, very prettily worked.
The women are dressed like the men except a band of cloth, wrapped around like a petticoat, which they fasten to their girdle and which does not hang down below the knees. When they go to entertainments to dance, they take their fineries, and paint their temples and cheeks and the tip of the chin.
Young boys go naked till they are capable of marriage, and when they cover themselves, if they have no shirt, they always show what nature does not permit to uncover. Little girls at the age of four or five years, begin to gird a piece of cloth around them. When we went into their cabins to instruct them, we obliged them to cover themselves, which produces a good effect, because they now feel a little ashamed of their nakedness, and cover their persons a little more frequently than they did before.
Men and women, especially the young ones, wear on the neck beads and sea shells of all kinds of shapes. They have also some of these shells, as long as the finger, made in the form of a little
290tube, which are used as earrings. They have also belts, some made of beads, others of porcupine hair, some of bear's hair, others of both interwoven. The most important men among them wear on the back a small bag in which they carry their pipe, tobacco, steel and flint and other trifles.
They are skilful in making a kind of cloak with dressed skins of the bear, beaver, otter, squirrel, wolf, lion, and other animals, in which to appear in their assemblies.
The marriage of the Indians is not a civil contract because they have no intention of binding themselves, but they cohabit, till they disagree with one another. Girls are married at the age of nine or ten years, not for marriage, because they know well that they are incapable, but because the parents of this girl expect some profit from their son in law. In fact when he comes
291in from the hunt, the girl's father has the disposal of the furs and the meat, but on the other hand the girl carries the sagamity or porridge made of Indian corn, for all her husband's meals, although she does not live with him. Some act thus five or six years. On the day when they marry, they give feasts with pomp and rejoicing. Sometimes the whole village goes there, and every one makes good cheer. After the meal they sing and dance. Very frequently they marry without any noise, and for this only a word is needed, for the Indian who has no wife goes in search of a woman who has no husband, and says to her: "Will you come with me. You shall be my wife." She makes no answer at first, but thinks for sometime holding her head in her two hands. While she is thus thinking, the man holds his head in the same posture without uttering a word. When she has deliberated sometime she lifts up her head and says: "Niau, I am willing,"
292takes her hatchet, and goes to cut a load of fire wood; on reaching the door of her husband's cabin, she throws the wood on the ground, goes in and sits down near the Indian, who gives her no caress. When they have been thus long together without speaking, the man says to her: "Sentaony," "lie down,"
You see very few who make love like Europeans, laughing and flirting.
They leave each other very easily and without any publicity, for they have only to say "I leave you," and the thing is done. They then regard each other no more than if they had never met. They sometimes fight with each other before separating, but this occurs very rarely. Some have two wives, but it is not for a long time. When they separate the woman sometimes carries off all the goods, and all the furs; sometimes nothing at all but the short piece of cloth that forms her petticoat, and her blanket. They generally divide the children, if they have had
293any together, so that some follow the father and some the mother. Some leave them all to their wives, saying that they do not believe they belong to them. In fact they very often say the truth, because there are very few who are proof against a coat and any other present that may be offered. If these children are of a French father, you can detect it in the face and eyes. Those of the Indians are entirely black, and they can see further than Europeans, and they have a more piercing eye. If the Indian women were capable of contracting marriage, we might marry as many as we would to our Frenchmen, but they have not the necessary dispositions, they have not the faith necessary for that, nor the will never to separate from their husband, as experience teaches us, and the conversations they hold on the point, show us clearly. When a man who has no wife passes through a village he hires one for a night or for two according to his fancy, and the parents find nothing to censure in this; very far from that, they are very glad to have their daughters earn some clothes or some furs. Among them
294there are men of all kinds of dispositions as in Europe; some love their wives a great deal, others entirely despise them, some beat them and ill treat them; but this does not last, as the wives leave them. There are some too who are jealous. I saw one who had beaten his wife, for having gone to the dance with other men.
Those who are good hunters chose the handsomest; the others have only the ugly ones, and the cast-off. When they are old, they never abandon each other except in rare cases, and for grave reasons. There are some, although very few, who remain from twenty to thirty years with their wives. The women grow desperate when the husband who is a good hunter leaves them; they even poison themselves sometimes, as I saw one whose life I saved with treacle. When these Indians go beaver hunting in the spring, they often leave their wives in the village to plant Indian corn, and squashes, and hire another to go with them: when they return home they give her a beaver or two, and send her home in that way and go back to the first
295wife. If however the last pleases them better, they change the first without any ado. They are surprised that the Frenchmen do not act like them.
One day while the husband of one of our French women settlers had gone off twenty or thirty leagues, the Indian women went to see this woman, and said to her: "You have no sense, take another man for the present, and when your husband comes, leave this one." This great inconstancy and changing of wives, is a great opposition to the maxims of Christianity, which we wish to impart to the Indians, and one of the most considerable obstacles to the faith.
It is not the same with the southern nations among whom polygamy reigns, for in all the lands of Louisiana, there are Indians, who have as many as ten or eleven wives, and are often married to three own sisters, alleging as a reason that they agree better among themselves.
When a man makes presents to the father and mother of a girl, she belongs to him as his own for her whole life if he wishes; sometimes the
296parents take back children from their son-in-law restoring the presents which they have received from him, but this is very rare. If a woman should be unfaithful, her husband would cut off her nose, ear or would give her a slash in the face with a stone knife, and if he should kill her, he would clear himself by making a present to the dead woman's kindred to dry up their tears. I have seen several badly marked on the face, who had nevertheless children by some scurvy fellows. The men in the warm countries are more jealous of their wives than those of the north. The former are so sensitive in matters of this kind, that they wound and sometimes kill one another, through some love madness. The young warriors do not often approach women till they reach the age of thirty years, because they say that intercourse with women prevents their running. The men there go entirely naked, but the women are partly covered with very neat skins, especially at the dances and ceremonies. The girls curl their hair and the women wear theirs after the gypsy fashion.
They have several kinds of feasts, war, death and marriage feasts, feasts to cure the sick; they also have ordinary ones They formerly gave obscene ones, where men and women associated pell mell, but if they do so now, it is very rarely. When they wish to go to war, it is for some wrong which, they pretend, has been done them; sometimes in consequence of a dream, and often because this fancy has come to them, or because others ridicule them in these terms: "You have no courage, you have never been to war, you never killed a man." When they wish to go alone, in such a case they make no feasts, but they merely say to their wife: "Make me some meal, I am going to war." When they wish to have companions they go through the whole village to invite the young men to the feast. These take each his kettle or platter and go to the cabin of the one who has invited them, where he awaits them singing. His songs all
298turn on war. "I am going to war, I am going to avenge the death of my kinsman. I will slay I will burn, I will bring back slaves, I will eat men," and other things of the kind, which breathe only cruelty. When all have come the kettles are filled and they begin to eat. And while the giver of the feast continues his singing all the while, exhorting all to follow him, they do not say a word, and they eat all that they have without speaking, unless from time to time some one or other will say: "Netho,"
299sometimes give ten such feasts before setting out. Formerly they gave very obscene ones before going to war. For if a girl failed to give herself up to the one whom the leader of the party had prescribed for her, all the misfortunes that happened in the warlike enterprises was ascribed to her, so ingenious is the devil in matter of lust.
When they marry their children, they give no feasts; sometimes they do, when they observe certain ceremonies. The first thing they do is to think of the eating; for this purpose they fill great kettles with meat, according to the number of those whom they wish to invite, when the meat or sangamity is cooked, they go to invite their guests, saying as they place a little billet of wood in the hand: "I invite you to my feast." No sooner said than done, it is unnecessary to return a second time there. All proceed thither with their kettles and platters. The master of the house makes the distribution of the portions very fairly, and the giver of the feast or some other in his stead sings constantly, till all is eaten. After the meal they sing and dance, and each
300one returns home without uttering a word, except some who thank him who has invited them.
Feasts to heal a sick person are given almost in the same way.
The death feasts are sad and mournful. There no one sings or dances; but the relatives of the dead remain in deep silence, and show a downcast countenance, in order to move the invited to compassion. All who come to this feast bring presents and throwing them to the nearest relatives they say: "Hold, this is to wipe away your tears, to dig the deceased's grave, to cover him, to build a cabin. Hold, here is to make a fence around his grave." After they have thus given their presents, and emptied their kettles, they return home without saying a word. As for common feasts, they are conducted in all sorts of manners, according to their fancy.
They have games for men, for the women, and for the children. The most common for
301men are with certain fruits which have seeds black on one side and red on the other; they put them in a wooden or bark platter on a blanket, a great coat or a dressed skin mantle. There are six or eight players. But there only two who touch the platter alternately with both hands, they raise it, and then strike the bottom of the platter on the ground by this shaking to mix up the six seeds, then if they come five red or black, turned on the same side, this is only one throw gained, because they usually play several throws to win the game, as they agree among them. All those who are in the game, play one after another. There are some so given to this game, that they will gamble away even their great coat. Those who conduct the game, cry at the top of their voice, when they rattle the platter, and they strike their shoulders so hard as to leave them all black with the blows.
They also often play with a number of straws half a foot long or thereabouts. There is one who takes them all in his hand, then without looking he divides them in two. When he has
302separated them, he gives one part to his antagonist. Whoever has an even number, according as they have agreed, wins the game.
They have also another game, which is very common among little children in Europe. They take kernels of Indian corn or something of the kind, then they put some in one hand, and ask how many there are. The one who guesses the number wins.
They also play a game which they call in their language: Ounonhayenty. But it is rather a trade than a game. They get into two cabins six in one, and six in the other. Then there is one who takes some goods or furs, and what he wishes to exchange; he goes to the door of the other cabin and utters a cry. Those in the cabin give it an echo. The first approaches and says chanting, that he wishes to sell what he holds in his hands. Those within reply "hon, hon, hon, hon, hon, hon." The seller having ended his whole song, throws his merchandise into the cabin and returns home. Then the others having examined the prize, and asked the seller whether
303he desires in exchange a great coat, a shirt, a pair of shoes or some other thing of the kind, one of them goes to carry to the other cabin the equivalent of what has been thrown in, or restores the goods so thrown, if it does not suit him, or if it is not worth what he brings as exchange. These ceremonies are accompanied by songs which gladden both parties.
The children play with bows and with two sticks, one large and one small. They hold the little one in the left, and the larger one in the right hand, then with the larger they make the smaller one fly up in the air, and another runs after it, and throws it at the one who sprung it. This game resembles that of children in Europe. They also make a ball of flags or corn leaves, which they throw in the air and catch on the end of a pointed stick.
Adults both men and women, in the evening, around the fire, tell stories after the manner of Europeans.
The Indians trouble themselves very little with our civilities, on the contrary, they ridicule us when we practice them. When they arrive in a place, they most frequently salute no one, but remain squatting down, and though everybody come to look at them, they look at no one. Sometimes they enter the first cabin they come to, without saying a word. They take their place where they may happen to be, then they light their pipes and smoke some time without speaking. When they come into our houses, they take the first place. If there is a chair before the fire, they take possession of it, and do not rise for any one. Men and women hide only their private parts. They break wind before all the world without caring for any one. They treat their elders very uncivilly, even breaking wind in their very faces. There conversation whether among men or women is generally only indecency and ribaldry. As regards their intercourse with their wives, they generally conceal
305themselves, yet sometimes they do not. However they show no other marks of outward indecency either from hatred or caresses. And they never show countenances like those we see practised by Europeans.
They never wash their platters which are of wood or bark, nor their bowls or their spoons. When the women cleanse their children with their hands, they rub them slightly on a bark, and will then touch the meat they eat. They scarcely ever wash their hands or face. Children have little respect for their parents; fathers allow their children to beat them, because they say that if they punish their children, they would be too timid and would not be good warriors. They eat in a snuffling way and puffing like animals. As soon as men enter a house they smoke. If they find a pot covered they uncover it, they often eat from the platter where their dogs have eaten without washing it. When they eat fat meat, they grease their whole faces with it. They belch continually. Those who have intercourse with the French, scarcely ever wash
306their shirts, but let them rot on their backs. They seldom cut their nails. They rarely wash meat before putting it in the pot. Their cabins are ordinarily very dirty. They eat lice. The women make water before any one and in a full gathering. When their children make water on their blankets, they throw it off with their hands. They often eat lying down like dogs. In fine, they put no restraint on their actions, and follow simply the animals.
Amid all these incivilities, you find some courtesies. When any one enters their cabins while they are eating, they most frequently offer him their kettle. Some also offer us the best place in their cabins when we pay them a visit. Those who have had much intercourse with the French, salute us when we meet them. It is also a maxim of civility among them, to make a return when you give anything. Although they
307treat their elders uncivilly, they nevertheless respect their advice, which they very often follow, because they say that the old men have more experience and know affairs better. At feasts they often make a distinction between men of consideration and the others, for they give them the whole head of the animal and the most honorable portion. They make presents to one another, and very often give feasts. They also show deference to the old in allowing them to govern affairs, because this is honorable among them. There are some also, although very few, who salute us in French style. I have seen one who was called Garakontié, that is to say, "the sun which marches,"
308be instructed, said very civilly, "Onontio (this is what they call the governors of the French), you are the master of this girl, so do that she may learn to read and write well. When she is grown up, you will give her back to me or take her for your wife." I have seen another who was called Atreouati, that is to say the Big Throat (Grand Gueule)
The Iroquois pass for being the most warlike among the Indians whom we have known till now. They have in fact defeated several nations, and those which remain have been obliged to surrender to them. They have among them
309men of rank, who are, as it were, chiefs of bands. These are masters when they travel. They have nien under them, who follow them everywhere and obey them in everything. Before setting out, they get a supply of good guns, powder, balls, kettles, axes and other munitions of war. Sometimes young women and young boys accompany them. In this trim they often march three or four hundred leagues. When they approach the place where they wish to kill men, they march slowly and with much precaution, and never fire a gun at animals, but then employ a bow which makes no noise, and when firing they look all around for fear of being surprised. They send spies to discover the mode of entering villages, and to see where they shall begin the attack, or to watch when any one comes out so as to surprise him, and this is what generally happens. For they never strike, except treacherously, watching a man behind a tree as though they wished to kill a wild beast. It is by this they know good warriors, when they know how to surprise As soon as they have struck their
310blow, if they know how to get well off, they are incomparable. Their patience is wonderful for when they see themselves well hidden they very frequently remain two or three days behind a tree without eating, waiting for an opportunity to kill a man. Sometimes they march openly and fearlessly, but this is very rare.
When they were at war with the French one of their considerable men, called Atreouati, went with eleven or twelve others to kill one of the priests of the Seminary of St. Sulpice, who was in a village which is called La Chine. On arriving there he found some Frenchmen to whom he said: I am going to kill such a one. In fact he killed him some days after.
311that they had been in war as far as the lands of the Spaniards who are in New Mexico, because they relate that they have been in a country where the inhabitants gathered red earth which they took and sold to a nation, who sold them axes, kettles and other like things. This earth apparently was gold.
We are surprised at the cruelty of tyrants and hold them in horror: but that of the Iroquois is
312not less horrible. When they have killed a man they tear off the skin from his skull and carry it home as a sure mark of their trophies. When they have made a prisoner, they bind him and make him run. If he cannot follow them, they give a blow on the head with a hatchet and leave him after taking his head of hair or scalp. They do not spare even children at the breast. If the prisoner can walk, they bind him a night. They treat him the most cruelly they can. They plant four posts in the ground to which they tie his hands and feet, thus exposing him all night on the ground to the rigor of the season. I say nothing of a hundred other evils they wreak on him during the day. When they are near their villages, they utter loud cries by which their countrymen know that it is their warriors returning with slaves. At the same time men and women put on their best dress and go out to receive them at the entrance of the village, where they draw up in a double line to make the prisoners pass in the middle; but it is a pitiable reception for these wretched people,
313inasmuch as this rabble fall upon them like dogs on their prey, beginning at once to torment them, while the warriors pass in file quite haughty over their exploits. Some kick these poor slaves, others beat them with clubs, many give them slashes with their knives. Some tear off their ears or cut off the nose and lips, so that most succumb and die during this pompous entrance. Those who have most vigor are reserved for a greater torture. Nevertheless they spare some, but rarely; when the warriors have entered their cabins, all the elders assemble to hear the report of all that has occurred in the war, then they dispose of the slaves. If the father of an Indian woman has been killed by their enemies, they give her a slave in his place, and it is optional with this woman to grant him life or put him to death. The following is what they do, when they wish to burn them; they bind them to a stake by the feet and hands, then they heat red hot gun barrels, axes and other iron ware, and apply them from the legs to the head. They
314tear out their nails with their teeth, they cut off slices of flesh from their back, and often scalp them. Then they put live coals on the wound, cut out their tongue and make them undergo all the tortures that they can think of. After having tormented them in this style, if they are not yet dead, they unbind them and by blows of clubs compel them to run. It is related that there was a slave who ran so well that he escaped in the woods, without their being able to catch him, but who apparently died for want of help. What is moreover surprising is, that these slaves sing amid their tortures, which provokes their executioners immensely.
It is related that there was one who said to them: "You have no sense, you do not know the way to torture; you are cowards; if I had you in my country, I would make you suffer much more;" but while he was speaking in this way a woman heated a little iron skewer red hot in the fire and ran it into his private parts. Then he uttered a cry, and told her: "You have sense, you know, that is the way to do."
When the prisoner whom they have burned dies, they eat him and make their children drink his blood, in order to render them cruel and inhuman. Those whose lives they spare, are like slaves and servants among them, but in course of time, they lose their slave state, and are treated as belonging to the nation.
The Indians of the whole of Louisiana, which is more than 600 leagues from the Iroquois, particularly the Nadousiouz among whom I was made a prisoner, are not less brave in person. They also make all the surrounding nations tremble, although they have only bows and arrows. They run faster than the Iroquois, but are not so inhuman, and they do not eat the flesh of their enemies, being satisfied with burning them. Having one day seized a Huron who was eating human flesh like an Iroquois, they cut slices from his body, and told him: You who love human flesh, eat your own, to show your nation, that we look with horror on your
316maxims, for your people are like dogs that eat every kind of meat, when they are hungry.
What keeps the Iroquois up and renders them so formidable is their councils, which they hold continually for the slightest matter. For a mere trifle they assemble and reason together a long time, so that they undertake nothing rashly. If a complaint is made that any one of them has stolen anything, they first use every effort to find the one who committed the theft. If they cannot discover him, or he has not wherewith to make restitution, provided they are convinced of the truth of the fact, they make some presents to the injured party to satisfy him. When they wish to put any one of their own to death whom they deem guilty, in order that his relatives may have no ground for vengeance, they hire a man who drinks to excess, then when he has struck
317the blow, they give as the only reason, that he had no sense, that intoxication impelled him to do so. They formerly had another way of doing justice, but it is abrogated. They had one day in the year which might be called the Feast of Fools,
As regards trade, they are shrewd enough, they do not easily allow themselves to be deceived, but they consider everything attentively and study to know the goods. The Ounontaguez are more
318cunning than the others and more adroit in stealing and in doing other things of the kind.
For their hunts they observe the times and seasons. They kill moose and deer at all times, but especially when there is snow. They hunt wild cats during the winter and porcupines; beaver and otter in the spring and sometimes in the fall. They generally surprise moose or elk by a running noose. They kill bears on the trees when they are eating acorns. As for wild cats they cut down the trees on which they are, then their dogs spring on them and strangle them. The porcupines are taken almost in the same way, except that they are killed with blows of their hatchets, when the tree falls, because the dogs cannot approach them on account of their long pointed hairs like awls (quills) which can insensibly pierce a man's body. They kill dogs that attempt to strangle them, if these hairs are
319not taken out, which are longer and sharper than those of hedge hogs. These animals do not run fast, a man can easily run them down. As for otters they are taken in a trap or they are killed with gun shot, and very seldom with axes, because they are very cunning.
The Indians take beaver in winter under the ice. They first seek the lakes of these animals. The beavers have admirable ingenuity; when they wish to change their place, they select a stream in the woods, which they ascend till they find a flat country suitable for making a pond. When they have well considered the place in all directions, they set to work to make dams to stop the water, as strong as those of ponds in Europe. The dam being built of wood, earth and mud as high as is necessary to make a large pond, which is sometimes a quarter of a league in length, they build their cabins in the middle, on a level with the water, with wood, flags and mud, neatly plastered by means of their tails, which are longer and broader than a trowel. Their structure has three or four stories, full of flag mats, where they
320bear their young, which they engender by coition like all land animals. At the bottom of the water there are upper and lower places of exit When the ponds are frozen, they can only go under the ice; hence when winter sets in, they lay up a stock of aspen wood, which is their ordinary food; they put it in the water all around the cabin. There are sometimes three or four cabins in a lake. The Indians break the ice around their house, with an axe handle or a pole. They make a hole and sound the bottom of the water to know whether it is the path by which the beaver come out. If they really find that it is their passageway, they insert a net about a fathom long and two stakes which touch the bottom of the water at one end, while the other passes through the hole and is high above the ice. There are two cords fastened to the poles to draw the net when the beaver is taken; but that the cunning animal may not see the net nor their persons, they spread over the water rotten wood, cotton or some thing of the kind. An Indian remains on the watch near the nets with
321a hatchet to draw the beaver on the ice, while the others go to break in the cabins with great labor, because there is often a foot of earth and wood to be broken and cut by blows of the axe, the whole being frozen as hard as stone. And then they sound the lake in all directions: where they find a hollow, they break the ice for fear the beaver may hide, and in order that being forced to run from place to place, they may at last run into their nets. They labor with the same force, often from morning to night, without taking anything. Sometimes they catch only three or four. They also take beaver in the spring in traps in the following manner. When the ice begins to melt, they observe the places where they come out, and there they set a trap. The bait or lure is a branch of aspen, which runs from the trap into the water. When the beavers come to it, they eat it up to the trap, where they cause two heavy blocks of wood to fall which crush them. They take martins almost in the same manner except that they do not bait the traps.
322All the nations in the south or Louisiana are more superstitious in their hunts, than the northern tribes and the Iroquois. While I was there, their old men, six days before setting out to hunt the wild cattle, sent four or five of their most alert hunters on the mountains to dance the calumet, with as much ceremony as to the nations, to which they are accustomed to send embassies to form an alliance. On the return of their deputies they exposed to the sight of all the world for three days, one of the largest kettles which they had stolen from us, which they surrounded with leathers of all sorts of colors, with a gun of our French canoemen, which they placed across the top. During three days the first wife of a chief carried this kettle on her back in great pomp, at the head of more than 200 hunters, who followed an old man, who had fastened one of our Armenia handkerchiefs at the top of a stick in the shape of an ensign, holding his bow and arrows in his hand in deep silence. This old man made them halt three or four times to weep bitterly for the death of the cattle. At the last
323halt, the oldest among them sent two of their ablest to discover the buffalo. They whispered in their ears very softly. On their return before beginning the attack on these monstrous animals, they lit dry buffalo dung, and lit their pipes or calumets with this new fire, to make the couriers, whom they had sent, smoke, and immediately after this ceremony, a hundred men went behind the mountains on one side, and a hundred on the other to shut in the buffalo whom they killed in great confusion. The women boucanned the meat in the sun, eating only the poorest, in order to carry the best to their villages, more than two hundred leagues from this great butchery.
They catch all kinds of fish which they take with snares, nets and harpoons. As in Europe they also catch some with lines, but very few. I have seen them fish with snares in a very curious way. They take a little fork, at the end of which between the two points they fix a string
324almost in the same manner that they set them in France to take partridges. Then they put it in the water and when the fish pass, present it to them. The fish having gone in, they jerk it and the fish is caught by the gills. I taught them to take them by hand in the spring.
The most important of their fisheries is that of eels, salmon and white fish. The chief fishery of the Mohawks who are neighbors of New Jork is that of frogs, which they put whole into their kettles, unskinned even, to season their sagamity of Indian corn. They take white fish in great abundance at Niagara where Fort Conty stands. The salmon or rather salmon trout, are taken in several other places around Lake Frontenac. They take eels by night when it is a fair calm. These fish descend along the river St. Lawrence in great quantities. They put a large piece of bark full of earth on the end of a log and light it as a kind of torch, which makes a very clear fire, then a man of two at most, enter a canoe with a spear placed between the two tines of a little fork. When by the light of the
325fire they see an eel, they harpoon a very great quantity. They take salmon with spears and white fish with nets. The people of the south are so keen, although fish pass very quick in the water, they never fail to kill them with strokes of darts, which they send very far into the water with their bows, and they have pointed poles so long and eyes so sharp sighted that they spear and bring in large sturgeon and trout, which are seven or eight fathoms in the water.
Before the Europeans went to America, the Indians used, and all the nations of Louisiana still use to this day, earthen pots instead of kettles, sharpened stones having no axes or knives. They put small stones in a split stick, and a certain bone which is above the heel of the elk to serve as an awl. They have no firearms, but only bows and arrows. To make fire they take two little sticks, one of cedar and the other of a harder
326wood and by rubbing them between the two palms of their hands, the hardest on the weakest a hole is made in the cedar, from which a dust falls which is converted into fire. When they wish to make a platter, bowl or spoons, they trim the wood with their stone hatchets. They hollow it with live coals and then scrape them with beaver teeth to polish them. As for the northern rations, where the winters are long, they use raquettes to walk on the snow.
And those who are near Europeans, have now guns, axes, kettles, awls, knives, flints and steels, and other utensils like us. To plant their Indian corn they make wooden spades, but when they can get iron ones, they prefer them to the others. They have gourds in which they put their bear, wild cat and sun flower oil. There are none of the men who have not a little bag to hold their pipe and tobacco. The women make bags of Indian corn leaves, of linden bark or flags to hold their grain. They make thread of nettles, linden bark, and a certain other root of which I do not know the name. To sew their shoes they
327use only babiches or laces. They make mats of flags to lie on and when they have none, they use bark. They swaddle their children almost in the same way as women in Europe; they tie them to a board, in order to take
They bury their dead with much magnificence, especially their kindred. They give them all their best finery, and rub their faces with all sorts of colors. Then they put them in a coffin, which they arrange like a kind of mausoleum. If it is some child which they can easily put in their blanket or on a sled, in presence of all his relatives, in order thereby to elicit the presents, which are usually made to wipe away their tears. They put in the grave with him, all that belonged to him, even if it should amount to the value of
328two hundred crowns. They put there even his shoes, snow shoes, awls, a steel, an axe, belts of wampum, a kettle full of sagamity, Indian corn meat and other things of the kind. And if it is a man, they put also a gun, powder and balls, because they say that when he is in the land of the dead or the spirits, he will need all this out fit to hunt.
There are some among them more superstitious than others, especially the old men and the women, who adhere stubbornly to the traditions of their ancestors, so that when they are told that they have no sense, that they ought not to cling to such follies, they ask us: "How old are you? You are only thirty or forty years old and you pretend to know things better than our aged men. Begone, you do not know what you are saying. You may know very
329well what is going on in your country, because your old men have told you, but not what occurred in ours before the French came. We tell them in reply, that we know all by means of writing. These Indians ask: Before you came into these lands where we are, did you know that we were there. We are obliged to say No. Then you do not know every thing by writing, and it does not tell you everything.
There are many who do not believe what their aged men relate, and there are also some who do. I have already stated the opinions they entertain as to their origin, and the cure of their sick. They believe in the immortality of the soul, and they say that there is a very delicious country towards the west, where there is good hunting. There you can kill all kinds of animals, as much as you wish. It is to this place that the souls go, so that they hope to see each other all
331together there. But they are more ridiculous in saying that the souls of kettles, guns, steels, and other arms which they put in the graves of the dead, go with the dead to serve their use there. One day a girl having died after baptism, her mother saw one of her slaves at the point of death. She said: "My daughter is all alone in the country of the dead among the French, without kindred, without friends, and here it is Spring. She will have to plant some Indian corn and
332squashes. Baptize my slave that she may also go to the country of the French and serve my daughter." A woman being at the point of death cried out: "I will not be baptized, for the Indians who die Christians, are burnt in the country of souls by the French." Some say that we baptize so that we may have them as slaves in the other world. Others ask whether there is good hunting in the land to which we wish them to go. When we reply that men live there without drinking and eating. "Then, I do not wish to go there," they say, "because I want to eat." If we add that they will not feel any want of eating or drinking, they put their hand on their mouth, saying: "You are a great liar. Can any one live without eating?"
A man once related the following to us in these terms. One of our old men having died, and having gone to the land of souls, at first found French men who welcomed him, and gave him good cheer. Then he came to the place where the Indians are, who also received him very well. There were feasts every day, to which the French
333were almost always invited, because there are never any quarrels or wars between them. After this old man had seen all these countries he came back and related all to his countrymen. We asked this Indian whether he believed it. He answered no; that their old men said that, but that perhaps they lied. They recognize some sort of genius in all things. They all believe in a Master of Life, but apply the idea differently. Some have a crow which they always carry with them, and which they say is the master of their life. Some an owl, others a bone, a sea shell or some thing else of the kind. When they hear an owl hoot, they tremble and draw sinister omens from it. They put faith in dreams; they go into their vapor baths in order to obtain fair weather to take beaver, to kill animals in the hunt. They do not give beaver or otter bones to the dogs. I asked the reason; they answered me that there was a spirit in the wood which would tell the beavers and otters, and that after that they would take no more. I asked them what a spirit of this kind was. They replied
334that she was a woman who knew every thing, and was the mistress of all hunting. It must always be remarked that as I have said, most do not believe all this.
About two years ago an Indian woman had poisoned herself while on the hunt. The hunters had brought her back to her cabin. I went to see whether she was dead, I heard them talking with each other near the corpse, and say that they had seen on the snow the trail of a snake that had come out of the woman's mouth, and they related this very seriously. While they were discussing it, there was a superstitious old woman who said: Otkon: it is the spirit who killed her, who went that way.
I have seen a boy seventeen or eighteen years old who had dreamed that he was a girl. He gave such credit to it, that he believed himself to be one. He dressed like the girls and did all the same works as women.
The chief of our village
335Onontio, that is to say the Governor General of the French, the Count de Frontenac, will arrive to day, when the sun is at such a place. In fact he arrived at the very hour, of which however this old man knew no tidings, and I did not know what deduction to draw from this prediction.
There are several, both on the part of the Indians, and on that of the Dutch, the English and the Missionaries. On the part of the Indians their first obstacle to the faith is the indifference which they feel for everything. When we relate to them the history of our Creation, and the mysteries of the Christian religion, they tell you that we are right, and then they relate their fables, and when we reply that what they say, is not true, they retort, that they agreed to what we said, and that it is not showing sense to interrupt a man when he is speaking and to tell him that he lies. "This is all very well," they say,
336"for your countrymen; for them it is as you say, but not for us who belong to another nation." The second consists in their superstitions. The third is that they are not sedentary. The obstacle to the faith caused by the Dutch and English is that they reverse all our maxims and in general do before the Indians the very opposite of what they say, making no scruple to lying to them at every moment from a spirit of lucre. They endeavor maliciously to turn on us the hatred of these tribes, in order that they may give no credit to the truths which we preach them.
The obstacle found to the faith on the part of the missionaries, is first, the difficulty they have in learning the language of the Indians. The second consists in the different opinions concerning the method of instructing them and teaching them the catechism. The third obstacle which might also hinder the progress of the faith, would be the temporal traffic, which would render the missionaries suspected by the Indians, when they wish to carry it on against the laws of the church.
They have so great an indifference for all things, that there is nothing like it under heaven. They take great complacency in hearing all that is said to them seriously, and in all that they are made to do. If we say to them: "Pray to God, brother, with me," they pray and they repeat word for word all the prayers you teach them. "Kneel down," they kneel. "Take off your hat," they take it off. "Be silent," they cease to speak. "Do not smoke," they stop smoking. If one says to them: "Listen to me," they listen calmly. When we give them pictures, a crucifix or beads, they use them as adornments, just as if they were jewelry, and array themselves in them, as though they were wampum. If I should say to them: "Tomorrow is the day of prayer," they say "Niaova." "See, that is right." If I said to them: "Do not get drunk," they answered: "There, that is right, I am willing." Yet the moment they receive drink from the French or Dutch, these latter never refusing them liquor
338for furs, they inevitably get drunk. When I ask them whether they believe, they say "Yes," and almost all the Indian women whom some missionaries have baptized and married to Frenchmen according to the rites of the church, leave and often change their husbands, because they are not subjected to the ordinances of our Christian laws, and that they have all liberty to change. These tribes must absolutely first be civilized to make them embrace Christianity, for so long as Christians are not absolutely their masters we shall see little success, without a most special grace of God, without a miracle which he does not work in regard to all nations. These are my sentiments, from the experience which I have had with our Recollects in America, and the simple statement which I have made without intending to offend any one whatever, being bound to write the truth.
Those who come after us will know in time the progress of our new discovery; since this year 1682, they write me from America, that the Sieur de la Salle with our Recollects
339have been to the mouth of the river Colbert, as far as the South Sea. They have found the Akansa, Taensa, Keroas and the Ouamats civilized tractable nations, who have laws, a king who commands as a sovereign, with equitable, liberal and settled officers, these nations live on the banks of the River Colbert, which is more than 800 leagues in length 500 to our knowledge which we have acquired by ascending it, and 300 which the Sieur de la Salle has made descending. These last nations live in a country very fertile in all kinds of fruits. It is as warm as Italy. The corn ripens there in fifty days. The soil bears two crops a year. There are found there, palms trees, canes, laurels, forests of mulberry trees, a quantity of game and wild animals, and other like things of which we shall give the public some account more amply hereafter.
I pray God to give his blessing to our new discovery of Louisiana, and that the King may derive all possible benefit from it.
Approbations of the "Description of Louisiana,"
I the undersigned, certify that I have read and examined a book entitled the "Description of Louisiana," newly discovered southwest of New France, with the customs of the Indians of the same country, composed by the Rev. Father Louis Hennepin, Recollect Preacher and Apostolic Missionary, and that I have observed nothing therein contrary to faith and good morals ; but that it is full of various reflections and most useful marks, as well for laboring in the conversion of the Indians, as for the good of the state and the kingdom. Given at our convent of the Recollects of Paris, this 13th of December, 1682.
I have read a book entitled the "Description of Louisiana, newly discovered southwest of New France, with the customs of the Indians of that country," in which I have not only found nothing but what is conformable to the faith of the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church, the laws of the kingdom and good morals, but which moreover gives great light to establish the faith of Jesus Christ in that new world, and to extend the empire of our Invincible Monarch, over a great country abounding in all kinds of goods. Given at our convent of the Recollects of St. Germain-en-Laye, this 14th of December, 1682, and signed.
It is here, that I desire, that all the world know the mystery of this discovery, which I have concealed to the present, so as not to mortify the Sieur de la Salle who wished to have alone all the glory and all the most secret knowledge of this discovery. It is on this account that he sacrificed several persons, whom he exposed, in order to prevent their publishing what they had seen and that this should not injure his secret designs.
It must be avowed, that it is very pleasant and agreeable to repass in one's mind the hardships and labors one his undergone. I never think but with admiration of the very great embarrassment in which I found myself at the mouth of the river of the Illinois in the River Meschasipi, having only two men with me without provisions, in no condition to defend ourselves against insults to which we were incessantly exposed, and that in the design of going on to an unknown country and among savage nations, without feeling a secret joy in my heart to see myself escaped from so many dangers and happily returned from a voyage of so much difficulty and peril.
This river of the Illinois empties into the Meschasipi between the 36 and 33 degrees of latitude. At least this appears so to me from my observation at the time, that I passed there, although it is ordinarily put at 38. Those who make the voyage hereafter, will have more time than I had to take the altitude correctly, because I found myself enveloped by the conjuncture of the time in great and vexatious affairs both in regard to the Sieur de la Salle, and in regard to these two men whom I had with me, and who were to accompany me in my voyage.
I was assured in a manner that could not be doubted, that if I descended to the lower part of the river Meschasipi, the Sieur de la Salle would not fail to decry me in the mind of my superiors, because I left the route northward, which I was to follow, according to his request and according to the project which we had formed together. But moreover I saw myself on the eve of dying of hunger and of not knowing what was to become of me, because these two men who accompanied me, openly threatened to abandon me during the night, and carry off the canoe with all it contained, if I prevented them from descending to the nations who live on the lower part of the river.
Seeing myself then in this strait, I thought that I ought not to hesitate as to the course I had to adopt, and that I ought to prefer my own safety to the violent passion, which the Sieur de la Salle had to enjoy alone the glory of this discovery. Our two men, seeing me then resolved to follow them everywhere, promised me entire fidelity. Thus after clasping hands as our mutual assurance, we put ourselves on the way to begin our voyage.
It was on the 8th of March in the year 1680 that we embarked in our canoe, after having said our ordinary prayers. In this way we continued our customary evening and morning devotions according to the usage practiced among us.
The Issati who live up this river Meschasipi, often go to war even beyond the place where I then was. These nations, whose language I knew, because I had occasion to learn it, during the stay that I afterwards made among them, informed me that this river of the Osages and of Messorites was formed by many others, and that its source was found by ascending ten or twelve days journey to a mountain from which all these streams are seen flowing, that then form this river. They added that beyond this mountain the sea is seen and great vessels, that these rivers are peopled by a great number of villages, in which are found several different nations;
345that there are lands and prairies and a great hunt of wild bulls and beavers.
Although this river is very large, the river on which we then were did not seem increased by it. It bears in so much mud, that below its mouth the water of the great river, the bed of which is also full of mud, resembles real slime rather than river water. This continues to the sea for more than two hundred leagues because Meschasipi meanders in several places, and receives seven large rivers, the water of which is very fine, and which are almost as large as Meschasipi.
We cabined every day on the islands, at least when we could, and during the night we extinguished the fire which we had kindled to cook our Indian corn. You can smell in these countries a fire that is lighted according to the change of wind, as far off as two or three leagues. It is in this way that the Indian warriors know the places where their enemies are, so as to approach them.
On the 9th the ice which came down from the north, began to diminish a little. After about six leagues sail, we found on the southern bank of the river a village which we thought was inhabited by the Tamaroa
On the 10th we descended to about thirty-eight or forty leagues from the Tamaroa. There we found a river which the Illinois warriors had previously told us was situated near a nation which they called Oüadebache.
We accordingly remained all day in this place to boucan a wild cow, that we had killed, while this monstrous beast was swimming from land to land. The parts of this cow that we could not carry away, because our canoe was too small, we left there, and contented ourselves with
346some which we had smoked like strips of bacon, because we could not preserve this meat in any other way for want of salt.
We embarked on the 14th loaded with Indian corn and good meat which served as ballast, and on which we lived for nearly forty leagues. We could scarcely land in consequence of the great quantity of flags and mud that we found on both banks of the river. If we had been in a sloop, we should have slept on board, because it was very difficult to land on account of the mud, foam and quaking earth.
On the 15th we found three Indians on our way. They were returning from war or hunting. As we were in a condition to resist them, we met them and this put them to flight. One of them however after taking a few steps returned to us and offered us the calumet of peace which we received joyfully. This obliged the others to return to us. We did not understand their language. We named two or three different nations to them. One of them answered us three times Chikacha or Sikacha,
After sailing down two days, we found many Indians on the west side of the river. We had previously heard a dull sound like that of a drum and several voices of men, which called out Sasacoüest.
As we durst not approach, these Indians sent a periagua or large wooden canoe to us. These they make of the trunk of a tree hollowed out by fire like little boats or Venetian gondolas.
We presented the calumet of peace to them and the three Indians, of whom we spoke above, intimated to us by their gestures and their words, that we must land and go with them to their friends the Akansa. They accordingly carried our canoe and the goods of our men very faithfully.
These people regaled us after their fashion with many marks of friendship, They gave us a cabin to ourselves, beans, Indian meal, and boucannned meat. On our side we made them presents of our European goods, for which they shewed great esteem. They placed their fingers on their mouth to show that they admired them and especially our fire arms.
These Indians are very different from those of the North, who are generally of a sad, stern and severe disposition. These are much better formed, upright, liberal and very gay. Their young people are so modest, that they would not dare to speak before the aged, unless a question is put to them. We perceived domestic fowls among these people, poules d'inde in great numbers, and tamed wild geese like geese in Europe. Their trees already began to show their fruit, like peaches and other fruits of
Our two men began to relish the mode of acting of these people. If they had been able to get beaver skins and furs in exchange for their goods, they would have bartered them all and left me among these savages. But I made them see that this discovery was to the greater importance to them, than the return of their goods, and that so it was not yet time to think of trade. I accordingly advised them to look out for a suitable place to hide all the goods which they had brought with us in the canoe, till their return. They embraced my views, and we had no thought except how to carry out this plan.
On the 18th after several dances and feasts by our hosts, we embarked with all our equipage a little after noon. These Indians could not without regret see us carry off our goods. However in as much as they had received our peace calumet and had given us another, they allowed us to go with full liberty.
Descending the river we found a spot between two hills, which had a little wood on the east. We had a spade and a pick, which we used to dig a hole. We enclosed in it all our men's goods, reserving for ourselves only the most necessary, and what was suitable to make presents. After which we placed pieces of wood over this little cellar, which we covered with sods, so that nothing could be observed. We gathered all the earth which we had taken out and threw it into the river.
We re-embarked very promptly after completing this task, and we took off bark from three oaks and on a large cotton wood we made a figure of four crosses in order to recognize the place of our cache. We then arrived at (a spot) six leagues from the Akansa whom we had left, and
348there found another village of the same nation, and then another of the same, two or three leagues lower down.
It seemed that these savages had sent messengers to all these nations to notify them of our arrival. These people gave us the best reception in the world. Their women, their children and the whole village gave us loud acclamations, and showed every possible mark of joy. We gave them on our side marks of our gratitude by bestowing presents on them, which showed that we had come in peace and friendship.
On the 21st this nation took us in a periagua to a nation further on, whose name they made us learn by dint of repeating it to us. They were the Taensa. They accordingly conducted us to that place. These Indians live near a little lake, which the river Meschasipi forms in the land. Time did not permit us to consider several of their villages, by which we passed.
These people received us with much more ceremony than the Akansa. One of their chiefs came in state to meet us on the bank of the river. He was covered with a white robe or blanket, made of the bark of a tree which they spin in that country. Two of his men preceded him with a kind of blade or plate of copper which glittered in the sun like gold. They received our peace calumet with great marks of joy. Their chief held himself gravely in his posture, and all the men, women and children there rendered very great respect to him as well as to me.
These Taensa conducted us with all our equipage, while two of their men carried our bark canoe on their back. They placed us in a fine cabin, covered with mats of flat rushes, or polished canes. The chief regaled us with all that this nation could give us to eat, after which they performed a kind of dance, the men and the women holding their arms interlaced. As soon as the men had finished the last syllable of their songs, the women who are half covered in that country, sang alternately in a sharp and disagreeable voice that pierced our ears.
This country is full of palm trees, wild laurel and several other trees, which are like ours in Europe, as plum trees, mulberries, peach, pear and
349apple trees of all kinds. There are five or six kinds of walnut trees, the nuts of which are of extraordinary size. They have also several dry fruits, which are very large and which we found very good. There are also several fruit trees which we have not in Europe. But the season was not then far enough advanced to observe the fruit. We saw vines there which were ready to blossom. In a word the mind and disposition of this people seemed to us very agreeable. They are docile, tractable and capable of reason.
We slept among this nation and there received every good treatment that we could desire. I made our men put on their best clothes, and they armed themselves from head to foot. I showed them a pistol which fired four consecutive shots. The habit of St. Francis, which I then wore with the white girdle over it, was still almost all new, when I started from Fort Crevecoeur. These Indians admired our sandals and our bare feet. All this as well as our manner of acting, attracted alike the affection and respect of these people and impressed such favorable sentiments for us on their minds, that they did not know what courtesies to show us.
They would have
On the 22d, we left this nation and the chief of the Koroa accompanied us to his village. It stands ten leagues lower down in a very agreeable country. On one side there you see Indian corn, and beautiful prairies on the other. We presented to them three axes, six knives, four fathoms of Martinique tobacco, some awls and little packages of needles. They received them with great acclamations of joy. This chief presented to us a peace calumet of red marble, the stem of which was trimmed with leathers of four or five different kinds of birds.
During the banquet which this chief gave us, he showed us with a stick, by which he made various marks on the sand, that it was still six or seven days sail to the sea, which he represented to us as a great lake, where great wooden canoes were to be seen.
On the 23rd, this chief of the Koroa seeing us disposed to set out to go to the sea, he made several of his men embark in two periaguas to descend the river with us. He had made them take provisions with them, and this prevented our feeling any distrust.
But when I perceived the three Chikacha, whom I have mentioned who followed us among all the nations where we went, I warned our men to beware of them and to see that they did not lie in ambush to surprise us at our landings. We were then at Easter day, but we could not say mass, for want of wine, which had failed us at Fort Crevecoeur. We accordingly withdrew apart from these people, who always kept their eyes on us, in order to say our prayers and fulfil the obligation of true Christians on that solemn day. I exhorted our men to confidence in God, after which we embarked in the sight of the whole village.
The three Chikacha entered the periaguas of the Koroas who escorted us six leagues below their village. There the river Meschasipi divides
We there lost the Indians who accompanied us because their periaguas could not go as fast as our bark canoe, which was lighter than these periaguas. The current of this channel being very rapid, we made that day according to our judgment thirty-five or forty leagues, und were not then at the end of this island of which we have just spoken. We crossed the channel, and cabined on this island, leaving it the next day.
On the 24th after sailing again nearly thirty-five or forty leagues, we perceived two men fishing on the bank of the river, who took flight. Sometime after we heard some war cries and according to all appearances the roll of some drum. We afterwards learned that it was the nation of the Quinipissa,
We landed very late at a village on the bank of the river. They told us afterwards that it was the nation of the Tangibao. There is every reason in the world to believe that these last had been surprised by their enemies. We found in their cabins ten men killed by arrows. This compelled ns to leave their village promptly and to cross the river always advancing on our way to the great channel. We cabined as late as we could on the bank of the river, where we promptly built a fire of driftwood which we found at the water's edge. We then cooked our Indian corn meal and seasoned it with boucanned meat, after pounding it.
On the 25th the ten Indians killed by arrows having troubled us all night long, we embarked at the first break of day and after a sail that was even longer than that of the day before, we arrived at a point where the river divides into three channels.
Our two men were extremely afraid of being taken by the Spaniards of New Mexico, who are west of this river. They were in strange distress, and every moment told me, that if unhappily they should happen to fall into the hands of the Spaniards of this continent, they would never see Europe again. I did not tell them all that I thought. Our religious have twenty-five or thirty provinces in Old and New Mexico. So that even if I had been taken, I should only have felt consolation and joy to end my days among my brethren in so charming a country as this. I should thus have been guaranteed from a world of hazards and all the dangers that I afterwards had to encounter. I would even insensibibly have spent my days laboring for my salvation, in a country that may justly be called the delight of America; but the extraordinary trouble of our men made me adopt another resolution.
I do not profess to be a mathematician. However I had learned to take altitudes by means of the astrolabe. Monsieur de la Salle was careful not to trust me with that instrument while we were together, because he wished to reserve to himself the honor of everything. We have however subsequently ascertained that this river Meschasipi falls into the Gulf of Mexico between the 27th and 28th degree of latitude and as it is believed, in the place where all the maps place the Rio Escondido.
352Hidden river. The river Magdalena is between this river and the mines of Santa Barbara in New Mexico.
This mouth of the Meschasipi is about thirty leagues distant from the Rio Bravo, sixty leagues from Palmas, 80 to 100 from the Rio de Panuco on the coast nearest the Spanish settlements. According to this we judged by means of the compass, which has always been very necessary to us, during our whole discovery, that Espiritu Santo Lay is northeast of this mouth.
During all our route from the mouth of the river of the Illinois, which enters into Meschasipi, we almost always sailed south, and southwest to the sea. This river winds in various places, and is almost always a league wide. It is very deep and has no sand banks. Nothing interferes with navigation, and even the largest ships might sail into it without difficulty. It is estimated that this river runs more than eight hundred leagues in length inland from its source to the sea, counting the bends which it makes as it winds along. Its mouth is more than three hundred and forty leagues from that of the river of the Illinois. In fine as we have sailed from one end of this river to the other on our way up, we shall describe its source hereafter.
The two men who accompanied me felt great joy, as well as myself, at having endured the fatigue of our voyage. They felt however disappointed that they had not amassed furs for the goods which we had hidden. Moreover they were in constant fear of being taken by the Spaniards. They consequently did not give me the time that I would have desired to observe the place exactly where we were. They would never help me to build a cabin, which we might have covered with dry grass from the prairies. My design was to leave a letter there written with my own hand and sealed to make it fall into the hands of the people of the country. This obliged me for fear of irritating them, to tell them, that we would use all possible diligence to ascend the river northward, where they would easily be able to barter their goods. I made them always hope, that I would contribute in every thing to their success.
All that I could obtain of them before going up the Meschasipi again was that they should square a tree of hardwood, of which we made a cross about ten or twelve feet high, which we then planted in the earth, which fortunately was at that place a firm clay. To this we fastened a letter with my name and that of the two men who were with me, with a brief account of our rank and the object of our voyage. After which kneeling down we chanted some hymns proper for our design, like the Vexilla Regis and others and then we set out
During the stay which we made at the mouth of Meschasipi, we did not perceive a living soul. Hence we have not been able to know whether there are nations that dwell on the sea shore. We slept during that time only in the open air, as during all the rest of the voyage, when it did not rain. But during the rain we covered ourselves with our canoe, which we placed bottom up on four stakes. Then we fastened to it birch barks which we unrolled, hanging them lower down than our canoe to shelter us from the rain.
We set out at last on the first of April because our provisions began to diminish. It is very remarkable; that during all this voyage, God happily for us preserved us from the crocodiles which are found in abundance in this river Meschasipi, especially as you approach the sea They are much to be dreaded, when one is not carefully on his guard. We husbanded our Indian corn as well as we could possibly, because the lower river is extremely skirted by canes and landing there is very inconvenient. Accordingly we durst not hunt, because that would have made us lose too much time.
However our canoe being loaded only with a little provisions and some small presents drew ordinarily only two or three inches of water. By this means approaching the land as near as possible, we avoided the currents and the rapidity of the river. We used such diligence in order to avoid being surprised, that we reached the village of the Tangibao. But because we had always borne in mind those dead men pierced with arrows whom we had seen in their cabins, on passing there the first time, we contented ourselves with eating oar Indian corn meal steeped in water, and we had besides that, wild bull meat boucanned which we dipped in bear oil, that we kept for this purpose in bladders, in order to swallow more easily this dried meat. After having said our evening prayers, we sailed all night with a great piece of tinder or a lighted torch to put to flight the crocodiles, which might be encountered on the route, because they are extremely afraid of fire.
The next day, the 2nd, Michael Ako at daybreak as we advanced on our route called our attention to a very great smoke which was not very far from us. We believed that it was the Quinipissa
354charge of his gun into a flock of wild geese which showed themselves in the reeds. These four Indian women having heard the report, threw their wood on the ground, and beginning to run with all their might, arrived at the village before us and filled all with alarm.
The Indians affrighted at all this, because they had never seen firearms, began to flee. They thought that it was thunder, not understanding how it could be done, that a piece of wood and iron which they see in the hands of Europeans can belch out fire and go kill people at a great distance. Accordingly these savages, though all armed as they were in their fashion, did not hesitate to scamper off in great confusion. This obliged me to land, and show the peace calumet, which was the symbol of our alliance with them. We then ascended into their village with them, and they prepared us a repast in their fashion.
At the same time they notified their neighbors of our arrival. As we were engaged in taking our meal in the largest of their apartments, we saw several Indians enter in file, who gave us all the hearty welcome that they could conceive. Our two men had well nigh remained with this nation. Nothing but the goods that we had cached obliged them to leave this tribe, and this is also the secret motive which I had in hiding them, so that our men should think only of performing our voyage. These last Indians having given us as much provisions as we desired, we left them after making them some presents.
We set out on the 4th of April, and made great diligence on our voyage, because we had gained strength. We arrived at the Koroa. These Indians were not surprised at our arrival as they were the first time. They received us in a very extraordinary manner. They carried our canoe in triumph on their shoulders. There were twelve or fifteen men who marched before us, dancing with bouquets of feathers in their hands. All the women of the village followed with the children some of whom took hold of my cincture of white wool, which I wore as a Cord of St. Francis. Others caught hold of my cloak, or habit. They did the same to our two men, and thus they led us to the apartment set apart for us.
They adorned this place with flag mats, painted two colors, and white blankets spun very neatly with the bark of a tree, as we have already remarked. After we had satisfied our hunger with all that these people presented to regale us, they left us at liberty to repose in peace and refresh ourselves. We were surprised to see in this place that the Indian corn which was only two feet from the ground, when we passed the first time among this people, was already milky and fit to eat. We learned by the
355nations near, of their climate, that this corn ripens in sixty days. We also remarked other grain, which was already out of the ground, and three or four inches high.
We set out from Koroa the next day, April 5th, and if I could have made my men listen to reason, I would certainly have made the acquaintance of several different nations which live on the south side of this river. But their only thought was to reach the northern nations to pick up all the furs they could in exchange for the goods which they had left below the Akansa. Greed of gain carried the day, and 1 was constrained to follow them, because it was impossible to remain alone among so many nations far distant from Europe. I had then to take patience and keep up a good countenance. For all the efforts which I made to persuade them, that the public good should be preferred to the advantage of individuals, they got the best of me, and I was obliged to yield, being unable to do otherwise. We were not able to reach the Taensa, till April 7.
These Indians had already received couriers who had notified them of our coming. This caused them to summon several of their neighbors who lived far inland on the east, and west, in order to get some of our goods, if it was possible, because these savages never can weary admiring them. They have sent some to several other nations more remote, with whom they are allied.
They used every effort to retain us among them. They offered us one of their best lodges for our use, and calumets of black, red and jaspered marble. But our men had their hearts set on the spot, where they had cached their goods, so that they paid no regard to all their offers. They then told me that we must absolutely set out. If I had had with me all that was necessary, as I had my portable chapel, I should have remained among these good people, who showed me so cordial a friendship. But it has long since been said that our companions are often our masters. I was then obliged to follow the opinion of our men.
We embarked on the 8th of April, and some Taensa came to escort us in their lightest periaguas, because they could not paddle fast enough to follow our bark canoe with the others. Even with all the efforts that they made with their poles, they could not go fast enough. Thus they were obliged to leave us, and let us go on. We threw them two fathoms of Martinique tobacco to oblige them to remember us, and these Indians on leaving us wondered how we could shoot three or four ducks, with a single gun shot, which made them utter yells and cries of amazement. After our men had saluted them taking off their hats with great respect
356they redoubled their efforts at the paddle to show these savages, that they were capable of doing something more than they had yet seen them do.
On the 9th we arrived at the Akansa about two hours after sun rise, it seemed to us that after having been received with so much humanity by all these nations, which deserve the name of humane rather than barbarous nations, from their wonderful mildness, we had no ground for fear or distrust, and that we were in as great security among them, as though we had traveled through the cities of Holland, in which there is nothing to fear. Yet we were not free from uneasiness, when we came to the place where we had cached the goods of our men. The Indians had burned the trees on which we had made crosses to recognize the place of our cache. At first our two men turned pale from fear that their treasure had been swept away from them. They lost no time, and posted in haste to the spot in question.
For my part I remained on the bank of the river to gum over our canoe which leaked in several places. The Picard du Guay came in haste to seek me in order to rejoice with me, that they had found the cache again in good condition. He told me with great transports of joy, that all was just as we had left it. Meanwhile to prevent the Akansa who were coming to us in file, from seeing our men while busy in uncovering their goods, I took the peace calumet and stopped them to smoke. It is an inviolable law among them to smoke on such an occasion, because if one refused he would run the risk of being massacred by the Indians who have an extreme veneration for the calumet.
While I amused the Indians our two men came and took the canoe, which I had regummed and they adroitly replaced in it the goods which they had taken from their cache, and then they came to get me at the place where I was with the Indians. I entertained them by signs marking my thoughts on the sand, which I endeavored to make them understand in this way. I did not understand a word of their language which is entirely different from that of the nations with whom we had conversed before and since this voyage.
We ascended the river very gaily. We advanced by dint of paddling with such celerity that the Akansa who were marching by land, were obliged to double their steps to follow us. One among them more alert than the rest, ran to the village where we were received with even greater marks of joy than they had shown the first time. All this was done on their part with a view of profiting by our goods, which pass for great riches among these people.
It would be useless to describe all the circumstances of what passed in the dances and feasts, which these Indians gave us. Our two men seeing that they could not enrich themselves by trading for furs with these people, because they have never traded with Europeans, and do not care either for beaver or deer skins, of which they do not know the use, pressed me to go with all diligence towards the northern nations, where they hoped to find these goods in plenty. And in fact the Indiana who live near the source of the river Meschasipi, were begining to go and trade in the direction of Luke Superior, among nations which have intercourse with Europeans. We left marks of our friendship with the Akansa by some presents which we made them.
We set out the 1st of April
We were only the more happy during our route, because we found plenty of game everywhere. However before reaching the place where the river of the Illinois empties into the said river, we found a band of Messorite Indians, who were coming from up the river. But as they had no periaguas to come to us, we crossed to the other bank on the east side and of fear of being surprised during the night, we did not stop at any place. We accordingly contented ourselves with eating roast Indian corn meat and boucanned meat, because we durst not make a fire for fear of being discovered by some ambuscade of Indians, who would undoubtedly have massacred us, taking us for enemies before they could recognize us This precaution made us happily avoid the danger, which but for that we should have run.
I had forgotten, while I sailed on the river Meschasipi to relate what the Illinois had often told us, and which we took for tales invented to amuse. It is that about near the spot called on the map Cap de St. Antoine, very near the nation of the Messorites, Tritons and Sea monsters are to be seen painted, which the boldest men dare not look at, because there is an enchantment and something supernatural there. These pretended frightful monsters are after all only a horse very badly painted with matachia of red color, and some deer daubed by the Indians, who add that they cannot be reached. But if we had not been pressed to avoid being surprised by the Indians, it would have been easy for us to touch them, for the said Cape of St. Anthony is not so steep or so high as the chain of mountains,
358which are along side the falls of St. Anthony of Padua, which is near the source of the Meschasipi. These savages added, moreover, that the rock where these monsters were painted, was so steep that passers by could not go there. And in fact the common tradition among these nations is, that there were formerly several Miamis drowned in this place on the river Meschasipi, because they were vigorously pursued by the Matsigamea. From that time the Indians, who pass by that place, are accustomed to smoke and present tobacco to these puppets, which are very rudely painted, and this, they say, to appease the Manitou, which according to the language of the Algonquins and of Acadie, signifies an evil spirit, which the Iroquois call Otkon, which is a kind of sorcery and wicked spirit, whose malignity they ignore.
While I was at Quebec I was told that the Sieur Jolliet had formerly been on this river Meschasipi and that he had been obliged to return to Canada, because he had not been able to pass beyond these monsters, partly because he had been terrified by them, and partly too because he feared he might be taken by the Spaniards. But I must say here, that I have very often sailed in a canoe with the said Sieur Jolliet on the river St. Laurence, and even in very dangerous times on account of the high winds, from which however we fortunately escaped to the great astonishment of all the world, because he was a very good canoeman. I there had occasion to ask him many a time, whether in fact he had been as far as the Akansa.
This man who had great consideration for the Jesuits who were by nation Normans, (because his father was from Normandy), avowed to me that he had often heard these monsters spoken of among the Outtaouats, but that he had never been as far as that, and that he had remained among the Hnrons and the Outtaoüats to trade in beaver and other peltries. But that these people had often told him that this river could not be descended on account of the Spaniards, whom they had made him dread extremely. I have given great credit to this statement of the Sieur Jolliet.
When one arrives at 20 or 30 leagues below the Maroa, the banks of this river Meschasipi are full of canes to the sea."
|Here follow general observations on the river, the prairies, forests, animals, trees, mines, Indian manners, prospects for missions, pp. 295-310.|
"But in order not to weary the reader, it is time to pursue our voyage to the source of the river Meschasipi. We embarked on the 24th of April and the Indian corn or large millet failing us as well as the boncanned meat, we had no other means of subsistence than hunting or fishing. Deer were very scarce in the parts where we then were, because the Illinois often come there and ruin the hunting. Fortunately we found some long beaked sturgeons, of which I shall speak hereafter. We killed them with blows of our hatchets or swords fixed in handles which we used on the occasion, in order to save our powder and lead. It was then the time when these fish spawn, and they are usually seen approaching the shore of the river in order to spawn. We accordingly easily killed them with blows of axe or sword, without going into the water and because we killed as many as we wished, we took only the belly and the most delicate morsels, and left the rest.
If our men had some pleasure in this abundant fishery, they were on the other hand in great fear of the people whom we had left at the fort of the Illinois or Crevecoeur. Although we were still more than a hundred leagues distant, which is a trifle, on account of the great speed that is made with bark canoes, they feared lest some of the people from the fort should come, and seeing that they had not bartered their goods with the northern nations, might seize their effects. I proposed to them to sail by night and to cabin by day on the islands with which the river is filled, and which we might find on our way.
The river is all full of these islands, especially from the mouth of the river of the Illinois to the falls of St. Anthony of Padua of which I shall speak hereafter. This expedient succeeded, and in fact, after having sailed during the whole night, we found ourselves far enough from this mouth approaching the north. On the whole the land did not seem to us so fertile nor the woods so fine, as those which we had seen in the countries which are on the lower part of the river Meschasipi."
Account from Margry. Account of Hennepin and the Sioux.
"They were ascending the river Colbert or Mississippi with great pleasure and without any obstacle when on the 11th of April, 1680, they beheld themselves invested by a hundred or hundred and twenty Nadouessious who descended in thirty-three canoes to make war on the Tchatchakigouas. Father Louis at once presented them the calumet, which they received, but they would not smoke it, which is a mark of peace, till after they hail made them cross to the other side of the river, whither they pursued them with loud cries, to give, according to their custom, some satisfaction to their dead.
Nevertheless these savages plundered them of some goods and although Michael Accault made them a present of two boxes of goods, they carried them off to their village to which they returned, this encounter having made them abandon tbeir voyage. They did not however give the French, who were not displeased at this opportunity to continue their discoveries, any other ill treatment than to make them march with them afoot from the great river for fifty leagues, with great hardship and very little food. It is true, nevertheless, that on approaching their village, they divided all the goods among them, half by consent, half by force. but they promised at the same time to pay for them; and the reason of this violence is that this band was made up from two different tribes, the more remote of which, fearing that the others would retain all the goods, when they got to their village, determined to take their share in advance.
In fact, sometime after they offered a part of the payment to Michael Accault, who would not take it until they gave him the value of all the goods, and the Sieur de la Salle does not doubt but that these Indians gave him complete satisfaction. They also stole Father Louis' chapel, except the chalice which they durst not touch, because seeing it shine, they said that it was a spirit that would kill them.
This treatment made the Father believe that they wished to put him to death, because they performed several ceremonies, which they are also accustomed to practice, when they intend to burn their enemies, and Michael Accault, who then did not understand their language, although he knew several others, could not converse with these Indians. Nevertheless they left the Frenchmen at perfect liberty in their village.
Three months after they went with the Indians on a buffalo hunt along
361the river Colbert, about 150 leagues from their village, where they met the Sieur du Luth, who was going to the Nadouessious, under the guidance of a soldier of the Sieur de La Salle named Faffart, who had deserted from Fort Frontenac. They went up again all together to the village of the Nadouessious, where they remained about four months, and at last they all
During the stay of Father Louis and the two Frenchman among the Nadouessious, they saw Indians come as ambassadors, who lived nearly 500 leagues to the westward, and they ascertained that the Assinipoualac, who are seven or eight days journey from the Sioux to the northwest ward, and all the other nations, who are known to the west and northwest live in immense prairies, where there are quantities of wild cattle and peltry, and where they are sometimes forced to make fire with buffalo dung, for want of wood."
Account of Hennepin's Exploration in la Salle's Letter if August 22, 1862. (From Margry, ii, p. 245.)
The river Colbert, called by the Iroquois Gastacha, by the Outaouas Mississipy, into which the river of the Illinois, called Teakiki, empties flows from the northwest. I caused it to be ascended by a canoe, conducted by two of my men, one named Michael Accault, and the other Picard, whom the Rev. Father Louis Hennepin joined, not to lose the opportunity of preaching the gospel to the nations that dwell above, And who had never yet heard it spoken of. They started from Fort Crevecoeur on the 28th of February in the evening, with a peace calumet which is a safeguard that the Indians of these parts rarely violate. The said Michael Accault, was tolerably versed in their languages and manners. He knew all their customs and was esteemed by several of these nations among whom I had already sent him, where he succeeded completely. He is moreover prudent, brave and cool. They had about a thousand livres worth of the goods most esteemed in these parts, which
362accompanied by the peace calumet are never refused by there kind of people who need everything. They first met a number of Islinois ascending their river to reach their village, who used every effort to induce them to turn back. Michael Accault who deemed his honor pledged to carry out the enterprise, animated by the example of Father Louis Hennepin who also desired to signalize his zeal, and also wishing to keep the promise he had made me to perish or succeed, encouraged his comrade, who was wavering at the words of the Indians, and made him see that the object of the Islinois was to get hold of their goods and deprive their neighbors of them, and that this should not change the resolution which they had taken. In fact they continued their way along the river Theakiki till the 7th of March, 1680, when two leagues from its mouth, by which it empties into the Colbert, they met a nation called Tamaroa or Maron, to the number of two hundred families or thereabout, who wished to take them to their village, which then lay on the west side of the Great river, six or seven leagues below the mouth of the Theakiki. They refused to follow them and arrived the same day at the confluence of these two rivers, about fifty leagues distant from Fort Crevecoeur, and ninety from the village of the Islinois. The river Téakiki is almost always of uniform width during these ninety leagues, approaching the width of the Seine before Paris, that is where it is confined to its bed; but in various place, as at Pimiteoui, one leauge east of Creveceur and at two or three other points lower down, it widens out to a league or two, and in many places where the two high grounds, which skirt it from the Islinois village down, recede for about a half a league from each other, the ground which they leave between them is marshy and often overflowed, especially after the rains which easily cause these rivers to leave their channels,
363an extraordinary degree, and often more than a pike high.
The ice which came down the Great river stopped them at the mouth of the Islinois till the 12th of March. On the south side it washes a steep rock about forty feet high adapted for building a fort, and on the other side it waters a beautiful prairie, of which the end cannot be discerned, very suitable for cultivation. This place seems to me the most suitable of all to settle, for many reasons which I have not time to deduce here, and I shall be able to make a post there as I return from my voyage.
From there to Pimiteoui the river runs almost south, so that its mouth is between 46° and 47° north latitude, and about 120 or 130 leagues from the north shore of the Gulf of Mexico. From Quebec to Montreal there is about 43 leagues difference east and west; from Montreal to Fort Frontenac 61 leagues; from the fort to Niagara, 65; from Niagara to the end of Lake Erie 122; from there to the mouth of the river of the Miamis 117; thence to the Islinois 52; thence to Pimiteoui or CrÄvecoeur 27; from CrÄvecoeur to Mississipi 18, which makes about 500 leagues, equal to about 24 of longitude. The Mississipi, going down, appears on leaving the Teatiki, to run south southwest, and ascending north northwest; it runs between two chains of pretty high mountains, much higher than Mont Valérien, which wind like the river, from which they sometimes recede a little, leaving moderate prairies between them and its bed, and sometimes they are bathed by the waters of the river, so that while on one
364side it is bordered by the spur of a mountain, it forms on the other a bay, the end of which is met by a prairie or a woody plateau. The slope of these hills, which are either of gravel or stone is covered from time to time with dwarf oaks or in other places with very small plants. The top of the mountains reveals plains of very poor land, very different from that among the Islinois, but which is pastured by the same animals. The channel of this great river, almost every where one or two leagues wide, is dotted all along by a number of islands covered with open woods, interlaced by so many vines that they can be traversed only with difficulty They
By following the windings of the Mississipi you find the river Ouisconsing, Misconsing, or Meschetz Odéba.
365with pines on the other. The place where the canoes are transported is marked by a tree, where there are two
At about 23 or 24 leagues north or northwest of the mouth of the Ouisconsing, which has also a rock on the south side and a beautiful prairie on the north side, near three beautiful basins or bays of still water, you find Black River, called by the Nadouesioux Chabadeba, by no means large, the mouth of which is lined by alders on both sides. Ascending about thirty leagues almost always towards the same point of the compass, you meet Buffalo river as wide at its mouth as the Islinois. It is called by this name on account of the number of these animals found there; it has been followed ten or twelve leagues, where it is always even and free from rapids, lined by mountains, which recede from time to time to form prairies. There are several islands at its mouth, which is lined by woods on both sides. Thirty-eight or forty leagues above, you find the river by which the Sieur Du Luth descended to the Mississippi. He had been for three years contrary to orders on Lake Superior with a band of twenty coureurs de bois; he had carried it boldly there, announcing everywhere that at the head of these braves he did not fear the Grand Prévost and that he would compel them by force to grant him an amnesty. The coureurs de bois, whom he was the first to induce to raise the mask have been and have returned to the settlements several times,
366loaded with goods and peltries, of which during that time they drained Lake Superior, every avenue of which they besieged, and this year they have prevented the Outaouacs from descending to Montreal.
At that time and while he was on Lake Superior, the Nadouesioux, invited by the presents which the late Sieur Randin had made them in the name of the Count de Frontenac. and the Sauteurs who are the Indians who bring most peltries to Montreal and who dwell on Lake Superior, wishing to obey the repeated commands of my said Lord Count, negotiated a peace to unite the nation of the Sauteurs to the French, and go to trade in the country of the Nadouesioux, about sixty leagues distant west of Lake Superior. Du Luth to cover his desertion took this occasion to give him some color, and passed himself off with two of his deserters for an envoy of the Count and entrusted with his orders to negotiate this peace, during which his comrades negotiated beaver still better. There were many conferences with the Nadouesioux and as he had no interpreters, he debauched one of mine named Faffart, then a soldier at Fort Frontenac. At last the Sautenrs having visited the Nadouesioux several times and returned, and the Nadouesioux the Sauteurs, seeing that there was nothing to tear, and that he could increase the number of his beaver, he sent this Faffart by land with some Nadouesioux and Sauteurs who were returning together. On his return this young man having made him a report of the quantity of beaver that he might have in that part, he resolved to endeavor to go there himself and led by a Sauleur and a Nadouesioux and four Frenchmen, they ascended the river Nemitsnkouat, whence after a short portage he descended into this one, where he says that he passed more than forty leagues of rapids, and having seen that the Nasouesioux were lower down with my people and the Father, who had descended again from the village of the Nadouesioux where they had already been, he came in seareh of them.
To know what the said Du Luth is, it is necessary only to inquire of Mr. DalÄra. Nevertheless he pretends to have made an important discovery, and to ask this country as (having) the advantage of the Islinois, which is amusing enough that he hopes a reward for his rebellion. In the second place there are only three ways to go there, one by Lake Superior, the other by the Bay of the Puans, the third by the Islinois and the lands of my commission. The two former are suspicious, and it would not be necessary to open the third to him to my disadvantage, he having incurred no expense, and having gained much without risk, while I have undergone great hardships, perils and losses; and by the Islinois there is a circuit of three hundred leagues for him to make. Moreover the country of the Nadouesioux is not a country which he has discovered. It has been long known, and the Rev. Father Hennepin and Michael Accault were there before him. The first one indeed of his fellow-deserters who reached it, having been one of my soldiers whom he seduced. Moreover this country is uninhabitable, unfit for cultivation, there being nothing but marshes full of wild rice on which these nations live, and no benefit can be derived from this discovery, whether it is ascribed to my people or to Du Luth, because the rivers there are not navigable. But the King having granted us trade in buffalo skins, it would be ruined by coming and going to the Nadouesioux by any other route than the Lake Superior one, through which the Count de Frontenac can send to obtain beaver, according to the power which he has to grant Congés. But if they go by Ouisconsing, where they make their buffalo hunt in summer, and where I have begun a post,
Still ascending the Mississippi, twenty
368hundred paces; and eight leagues above you find on the west side the river of the Nadouesioux, narrow at its mouth, and which waters a wretched land covered with bushes for about fifty leagues, at the end of which it ends in a lake called the Lake of the Issati, which spreads into great marshes, in which wild rice grows. Towards the mouth of this river the Mississipi comes from the west, but it has not been followed on account of an accident which befel the Rev. Father Louis, Michael Accault and his comrade.
369slaves who are taken in war to give them to understand that they must expect to be treated as the deceased was. Michael Accault unfortunately did not understand this nation, and there was not a single slave of the other nations whom he understood, which scarcely ever happens, all the nations in America having a number of those whose lives they spare in order to replace their dead, after having sacrificed a great many to them to appease their vengeance. As ft result of this, one can make himself understood by almost all nations, when he knows three or four languages of those who go furthest in war, such as the Iroquois, the Islinois, the Akanna, the Nadouesioux and Sauteurs.
They were well received there and at first feasted Accault who was in a different village from that in which the Rev. Father Louis and the Picard were, who were also well received, except that some wild young fellows having told the Picard to sing, the fear which he felt made him commit an act of cowardice, as it is only slaves who sing on reaching a village. Accault who was not there could not prevent it, but they had subjected them to no treatment approaching that given to slaves. They were never tied, and payment was at once promised for what the young men had taken, because Accault having found some by whom he could
370make himself understood, made them feel the importance of doing so; and two calumets were at once danced and some bearer robes presented to begin the payment; but as there was too little, Accault would not be satisfied with it. Six weeks after
All that Du Luth can say is, that having arrived at the place where the Father and the two Frenchmen had come hunting from the village whither he went for the first time with them, when they returned there, he facilitated for them the means of returning more speedily than they would have done, inasmuch as they had dissuaded the men whom I had sent from going there: but we should have gone for them the following spring, had we not ascertained their return as we did, during the winter, from some Ontagamis among whom they had passed, Accault finding himself so little a slave, that he chose to remain till he had received the payment promised him.
Several remarks, I have no doubt, will be made on this voyage.
1st. That I ought to have sent a man that understood the language. To this it is easy to reply, that I did not send Accault, to the Nadouesioux, but to ascend the Great river; that he understood the language of those who were nearest, as the Otoutanta, the Aiounouea.
371and Maskoutens Nadouesioux, among whom he was to pass first, and there get interpreters to proceed further, it being impossible to send one who understood all languages.
It will also be said that in the first voyages, they should not go with so many goods, which tempt the young men when disobedient to their elders, and leads them to acts which they would not commit, if they saw nothing to tempt them. To this I reply that sending to those nations with whom we made acquaintance among the Illinois, and by whom Accault was liked, because he had spent two winters and one summer there, during which time he had seen several of the most important villages, by which he was to pass, whom he had gained by little presents there was nothing to fear at least probably, there being no likelihood, that they were going to encounter a war party of Nadouesioux three hundred leagues from that country. In the second place these voyages being toilsome, those who undertake them do so only by the hope of gain, which cannot be made without goods. In the third place several of these Indians having come to the Islinois while we were staying there, and having seen the goods which we had, would have felt umbrage or jealousy, believing that their going to their country with little, showed a want of friendship or some ill design. Finally, wishing to allure them to come and buy our goods and to make them relish their use, it required a somewhat considerable stock.
I have deemed it seasonable to give you a narrative of the adventures of this canoe, because I have no doubt it will be spoken of, and if you desire to confer with Father Louis Hennepin, Recollect, who has gone back to France, it is necessary to know him somewhat for he will not fail to exaggerate everything; it is his character; and to myself, he has written me, as though be had been all ready to be burned, although he was not even in danger; but he believes that it is honorable for him to act in this way, and he speaks more in keeping with what he wishes than what he knows."
Account of Hennepin's Expedition in the Work Published in 1697, as by the Chevalier Tonty.
Mr. De la Salle "cast his eyes on Mr. Dacan to make an exploration of the lands which lie along the river Mississipi running northeast. To accompany him he selected the Recollect Father Louis with four Frenchmen and two Indians, supplied them with arms and necessary munitions, and gave them goods to trade with the nations whom they might meet.
373They embarked on the 28th of February in the year 1680 on the river of the Islinois, descended it to the river Mississipi, and pushed their trade while ascending this river, until 450 leagues northward, seven leagues from its source, striking off from time to time on one side of the river or the other, to reconnoitre the various nations who dwell there.
This river springs from a great fountain on top of a hill, which is skirted by a very beautiful plain in the country of the Issati, at 50° n. latitude. Four or five leagues from its source, it becomes so swollen by five or six rivers that empty into it, that it is capable of bearing boats. The surrounding country is inhabited by many nations, the Hanétons, Issati, Oua, Tintonbas, Nadouessans. Mr. Dacan was very well received by all these nations, traded with them, made several slaves, increased his party by several Indian volunteers, and two leagues from the source of this great river set up the King's arms on the trunk of a great tree in sight of all these nations, who recognized them as that of their prince and sovereign master. He also founded several settlements there, one among the Issati, where several Europeans who had joined him in his course, wished to take up their residence; another among the Hanétons; another among the Oua, and finally another among the Tintonhas or River men.
Charmed with the docility of these tribes, and moreover attracted by the great trade in peltries, he advanced inland to the lake of the Assenipoits. It is, a lake mere than thirty leagues in circuit. Fierce as this nation is it received him very humanely. He founded there a post for the French and another among the Chongaskabes or Nation of the Strong their neighbors."
Memoir of Sieur Daniel Greysolon du Luth
To Monseigneur the Marquis de Seignelay.
After having made two voyages from here to New France, where all the people there were there, did not believe it possible to discover the country of the Nadonccioux, nor have any trade with them, both on account of their remoteness, which is more than 800 leagues from our settlements, and because they were generally at war with all kinds of nations.
This difficulty made me form the resolution to go among them, a project which I could not then carry out, my affairs having compelled me to return to this country, where after having made the campaign of Franche Comté and the battle of Senef, where I had the honor of being a gendarme in his Majesty's guard, and squire of the Marquis de Lassay, our ensign, I set out to return to Quebec, where I had no sooner arrived, than the desire which I had already had to carry out this design increased, and I began to take steps to make myself known to the Indians. Who having assured me of their friendship, and in proof (hereof given me three slaves, whom I had asked from them only to accompany me, I set out from Montreal with them and seven Frenchmen on the first of September in the year 1678 to endeavor to make the discovery of the Nadouecioux and Assenipoualaks,
375unknown to us, and to make them make peace with all the nations around Lake Superior, who live under the sway of our invincible monarch.
I do not think that such a departure could give occasion to any one whatever to charge me with having contravened the orders of the King in the year 1676, since he merely forbid all his subjects to go into the remote forests, there to trade with the Indians. This I have never done, nor have I even wished to take any presents from them, although they have repeatedly thrown them to me, which I have always refused and left, in order that no one might tax me with having carried on any indirect trade.
On the 2d of July, 1679, I had the honor to plant his majesty's arms in the great village of the Nadouecioux, called Izatys, where never had a Frenchman been, no more than at the Songaskitons and Houetbatons, distant six score leagues from the former, where I also planted his majesty's arms, in the same year 1679.
On the 15th of September, having given the Agrenipoulaks as well as all the other northern nations a rendezvous at the extremity of Lake Superior to induce them to make peace with the Nadouecioux their common enemy. They were all there, and I was happy enough to gain their esteem and friendship, to unite them together, and in order that the peace might be lasting among them, I thought that I could not cement it better than by inducing the nations to make reciprocal marriages with each other. This I could not effect without great expense. The following winter I made them hold meetings in the woods, which I attended, in order that they might hunt together, give banquets and by this means contract a closer friendship.
The presents which it cost me to induce the Indians lo go down to Montreal, who had been diverted by the Openagaux and Abenakis at the instigation of the English and Dutch, who made them believe that the plague raged in the French settlements, and that it had spread as far as Nipissiugue, where most of the Nipissiriniens had died of it, have also entailed a greater expense.
In June, 1680, not being satisfied with having made my discovery by land, I took two canoes with an Indian who was my interpreter and four Frenchmen, to seek means to make it by water. With this view I entered a river which empties eight leagues from the extremity of Lake Superior on the south side, where alter having cut some trees and broken about a hundred beaver darns, I reached the upper waters of the said river, and then I made a portage of half a league to reach a lake, the outlet of which
376fell into a very fine river, which took me down into the Mississipi. Being there I learned from eight cabins of Nadouecioux whom I met, that the Reverend Father Louis Hennepin, Recollect, now at the convent of St. Germain, with two other Frenchmen, had been robbed and carried off as slaves for more than 300 leagues by the Nadouecioux themselves.
This intelligence surprised me so much, that without hesitating, I left two Frenchmen with these said eight cabins of Indians, as well as the goods which I had to make presents, and took one of the said Indians, to whom I made a present to guide me with my interpreter and two Frenchmen to where the said Reverend Father Louis was, and as it was a good 80 leagues I proceeded in canoe two days and two nights, and the next day at ten o'clock in the morning I found him with about 1000 or 1100 souls. The want of respect which they showed to the said Reverend Father provoked me, and this I showed them, telling them that he was my brother, and I had him placed in my canoe to come with me into the villages of the said Nadouecioux, whither I took him, and in which, a week after our arrival there, I caused a council to be convened, exposing the ill treatment which they had been guilty of both to the said Reverend Father and to the other two Frenchmen who were with him, having robbed them and carried them off as slaves,
Each one in the council endeavored to throw the blame from himself, but their excuses did not prevent my telling the Reverend Father Louis that he would have to come with me towards the Outagamys, as he did, showing him that it would be to strike a blow at the French nation in a new discovery, to suffer an insult of this nature without manifesting resentment, although my design was to push on to the sea in a west northwesterly direction, which is that which is believed to be the Red Sea (Gulf of California), whence the Indians who had gone warring on that side gave salt to three Frenchmen whom I had sent exploring, and who brought me said salt, having reported to me that the Indians had told them, that it
377was only twenty days journey from where they were to find the great lake of which the waters were worthless to drink. This has made me believe that it would not be absolutely difficult to find it, if permission would be given to go there. However I preferred to retrace my steps, manifesting to them the just indignation which I felt against them, rather than to remain after the violence which they had clone to the Reverend Father and the other two Frenchmen who were with him, whom I put in my canoes and brought them back to Michelimakinak, a mission of the Reverend Jesuit Fathers, where while wintering together, I learned that far from being approved for what I was doing, consuming my property and risking my life daily, I was regarded as the chief of a band, although I never had more than eight men with me. It was not necessary to tell me more to induce me to set out over the ice on the 29th of March in the year 1681 with the said Reverend Father and two other Frenchmen, having our canoe and provisions dragged along, in order to reach our settlements as soon as possible, and to make manifest the uprightness of my conduct, having never been in a humor to wish myself withdrawn from the obedience which is due to the King's orders.
I accordingly proceeded to our settlements three months before the amnesty, which it has pleased his majesty to grant to his subjects, who might have contravened his orders, had arrived, but the Intendant was unwilling to hear any request that I might have been able to present to him.
As to the manner in which I lived on my voyage, it would be superfluous for me to expatiate on the subject aud to annoy your grace by a one story, being convinced that thirteen original letters of the Reverend-Nouvel, Superior of the Outaouais missions, the Reverend Father Enjalran, missionary of Saint Francis de Borgias, the Reverend Father Bailloquet, missionary of Sainte Marie du Sault, and the Reverend Father Pierson, missionary of the Hurons at Saint Ignace, all Jesuits, will suffice on the whole to inform your Grace amply and fully."
Description of Niagara Falls. (Nouvelle Découverte, pp. 413-456.)
"We passed back by the hennepin378.jpg and employed ourselves during half a day in contemplating this prodigious cascade. I could not conceive, how it could be, that four great lakes the least of which is four hundred leagues in circuit, and which empty into one another, which all come at last massed at this great fall do not inundate this great part of America. What is more surprising in this is, that from the mouth of Lake Erie to this great fall, the land appears almost all smooth and level. You can scarcely perceive that one part is higher than another, and this for the space of six leagues. It is only the surface of the water, the current of which is very rapid, that makes it noticeable. What is still more surprising is, that from this great cataract to two leagues lower down proceeding towards Lake Ontario or Frontenac, the land appears as level as in the part above from Lake Erie to this prodigious fall.
Our admiration redoubled especially at there being no mountain in sight till two good leagues below this cascade. And yet the discharge of so much water, coming from these fresh water seas, centres at this spot and thus plunges down more than six hundred feet, falling as into an abyss which we could not behold without a shudder. The two great sheets of water which are on the two sides of the sloping island that is in the middle, fall down without noise and without violence, and glide in this manner without din; but when this great mass of water reaches the bottom then there is a noise and a roaring greater than thunder.
Moreover the spray of the water is so great that it forms a kind of clouds above this abyss, and these are seen even at the time when the sun is shining brightest at midday. No matter how hot it is in the midst of summer, they are always seen over the spruces and the tallest trees on this sloping island, by means of which the great sheets of water, I have mentioned, are formed.
Many a time did I wish that day that I had persons able to describe this great and horrible fall, in order to give a just and circumstantial account, capable of satisfying the reader, and enabling him to admire this wonder of nature; as fully as it deserves. But here is a description of this prodigy of nature, such as I can give it in writing, to enable the curious reader to conceive as true an idea as possible."
"From the issue of Lake Erie to the great fall, is reckoned six leagues, as I have said, and this continues the Great river St. Lawrence, which
379issues from all these lakes already mentioned. It is easy to conceive that in this space the river is very rapid, since it is the outlet of this vast mass of water, issuing from all these lakes. The land on both sides, east and west of this current, seem always level from the said Lake Erie to the great fall. The banks are not steep and the water is almost every where even with the land. You see indeed that the land below is lower, as in fact the waters flow with very great rapidity. This however is almost inperceptible during the six leagues mentioned.
After these six leagues of great rapidity the waters of this river meet a sloping island, about half a quarter of an hour long, and about three hundred feet wide, as well as can be judged by the eye, because it is impossible to cross over to this island in bark canoes without exposing oneself to certain death on account of the violence of the waters. This island is covered with cedar and spruce. Yet the surface is not more elevated than that of the two banks of the river. They seem even level down to the two great cascades which compose the great fall. The two banks of the channels, which are formed on meeting this island, and which flow on either side, all but wash the very surface of the land on this island, as well as that on the two banks of the river, on the east and west, descending from south to north. But it is to be noted, that at the extremity of the islands, on the side of the great sheets or water falls, there is a projecting rock which descends into the great gulf into which these waters plunge. Yet this projecting rock is not swept by the two sheets of water that fall on either side of it, because the two channels which are formed by meeting this island, rush down with extreme rapidity, one on the east, the other on the west, from the point of this island, and there the great fall is formed.
So after these two channels flow on either side of the island, they all at once come and hurl their waters in two great sheets, which fall compactly and are thus sustained by the rapidity of their fall without wetting this projecting rock. Then it is that they are precipitated into an abyss which is below at a depth of more than six hundred feet.
The waters which flow on the east, do not descend so impetuously as those that fall on the west. The sheet flows more gently because this projecting rock at the end of the island, rises higher on this side than on the west; and this supports the waters longer that are on that side. But this rock leaning more to the west and not sustaining them so long, causes them to fall sooner and more precipitately. This arises too from the fact
380that the land on the western side is lower than that on the east. Hence we see that the water of the sheet of water on the west falls in the form of a square making a third sheet, less than the two others, which falls between the south and north.
And because there is high ground on the north, which is before these two great cascades, there the prodigious gulf is much wider than on the east. Yet it must be remarked, that a man can descend from this high ground, which is opposite the two last sheets of water, which you find west of the great fall, down to the bottom of this frightful abyss. The author of this discovery has been there, and has witnessed near at hand the fall of the great cascades. There can be seen a considerable distance below the sheet of water which falls on the east, so that four carriages could drive abreast without getting wet. But because the ground east of the descending rock, where the first sheet of water plunges into this gulf, is very steep, almost perpendicular in fact, no man can on that side reach the spot where the four carriages could pass without getting wet, or can pierce this great mass of water which falls towards the gulf. Hence it is very probable, that it is to this dry part, that the rattle snakes retire reaching it by subterranean passages.
It is at the end then of this sloping island that these two great sheets of water are formed, with the third that I have mentioned, and it is thence that they plunge, leaping in a frightful manner into this prodigious gulf, more than six hundred feet down, as we have remarked. I have already said that the waters falling on the east plunge and descend with less violence, and on the other bond, those on the west descend all at once and form two cascades, one moderate, the other very violent. But finally these two last falls makes a kind of hook or bent form and descend from south to north and from west to east After which they meet the waters of the other sheet, which falls on the east, and then it is that they both fall, although unequally into this fearful abyss, with all the impetuosity that can be imagined in a fall six hundred feet high, forming the finest and at the same time the most awful cascade in the world.
After these waters have thus plunged into this frightful gulf, they resume their course and continue the great River St. Lawrence for two leagues to the three mountains, on the east side of this river, and to the great rock which is on the west and which seems to rise very high out of the water three fathoms from the land or thereabouts. The abyss into which these waters descend, continues thus for two leagues between two
381chains of mountains, forming a great rock-lined ravine, on both sides of the river.
It is into this gulf then that all these waters fall with an impetuousity that can be imagined in so high a fall, so prodigious, for its horrible mass of water. There are formed those thunders, those roarings, those fearful bounds and seethings, with that perpetual cloud rising above the cedars and spruces, that are seen on the projecting island, already mentioned.
After the channel reunites below this horrible fall, by the two ranges of rocks of which we have spoken, and which is filled by this prodigious quantity of water, continually falling there, the River St. Lawrence begins again to flow from that place; but it is with so much violence, and it, waters lash the rocks on both sides with such terrible impetuosity, that if is impossible to sail there even in a bark canoe, in which however by sailing close in shore you can pass the most violent rapids.
These rocks and this ravine continue for two leagues from the great fall to the three mountains and great rock already mentioned. However all this diminishes insensibly as you approach the three mountains and the great rock; and then the ground begins to be almost even with the river and this continues to Lake Frontenac or Ontario.
When you are near the great fall and cast your eyes down this fearful gulf, you are filled with awe, and all who attempt to look steadily at this horrible fall get giddy. But at last this ravine diminishes and becomes a mere nothing, at the three mountains, the waters of the River St. Lawrence begin to flow more gently. This great rapid slackens, the river almost resuming the level of the land. It is thence navigable to Lake Frontenac, across which you sail to reach the new channel formed by its discharges. Then you re-enter the River St. Lawrence, which soon after forms what is called the Long Fall, a hundred leagues from Niagara.
I have often heard people talk of the Cataracts of the Nile, which deafen those who are near. I do not know whether the Iroquois who formerly dwelt near this fall and who lived on deer which the waters of this fall dragged with them, and which they hurled down such a prodigious depth, have retired from the neighborhood of this great waterfall from fear of losing their hearing, or whether this was induced by the danger they were constantly exposed to from rattlesnakes, which are found here during the great heats, and which retire to cavities in the rocks as far as the mountains two leagues below, where they cannot be attacked."
Bibiography of Hennepin.
1. Description de la | Louisiane, | nouvellement decouverte | an Sud' Ourst de la Nouvelle France, | Par ordre du Roy. | Atec la Carte du Pay: Les Moeurs | & la maniere de vivre \ des Sauvages. \ Dedie'e Å sa Majeste' |Par le R. P. Louis Hennepin, | Missionnaire Recollet & Notaire Apostolique. | Monogram A A | A Paris, | Chez la Veuve Sebastian Hure', ruë | Saint Jacques, Å |' Inage S. Jerôme, | prÄs S. Severin. | — | M. DC.LXXXIII. | Avec Privilege dv Roy. |
12° pp. (12), 312, Les Moeurs des Sauvages, pp. 107. Map by Guerard. Carte de la | Nouuelle France | et de la | Louisiane | Nouuellement decouuerte | dediée | Au Roy | l'an 1683 | Par le Reuerend Pere | Louis Hennepin | Missionaire Recollect | et Notaire Apostolique. |
Privilege granted Sept 3, 1682, registered Sept. 10. Printing completed Jan. 5,1683.
The map carries the Mississippi below the mouth of the Illinois, does not indicate the Ohio or Missouri: Pictures a tree with the French arms, and marks the spot near Lake Buade, and a church and "Missions des Recollects" near the Lake des Assenipoils, evidently to inform readers that a church indicated a Recollect mission.
2. Some copies of this edition with the same privilege and note as to printing, have on title, Apostolique, in a line by itself and, A Paris, Chez Amable Auroy, Proche la Fontaine S. Severin, | M.DC.LXXXIV.
The A A on the title is the monogram of Amable Auroy.
3. Title to A Paris as in No. 1. A Roman q. in Apostolique. Chez Amable Auroy, rüe Saint | Saint Jacques Å 1'Image S. Jerôme, | attenant la Fontaine S. Severin. | M. DC. L.XXXVIII | Avec Privilege dv Roy. |
12mo, pages as is No. 1. After privilege "Achevé d'imprimer pour la seconde fois, le 10. Mars 1688. De 1'Imprimerie de Laurent Rondet." Same map.
4. Descrizione | della | Lvigiana ; | Paese nuovamente scopcrto nel- | l' America Settentrionale, | sotto gl'auspicij | del Christianissimo | Lvigi XIV. | Con la Carta Geografica del mede | simo, Costumi, e manicre di | viuere di que' Saluaggi. | Del P. Lvigi Hennepin | Fraucescano Recolletto, e Missionario | Apostolico in questa Scoperta. | Tradotta del Francese, e Dedicata | al Reverendiss. P. D. Ludovico | de' Conti Gverra | Abbate Casinense de S. Proculo | di Bologna. | In Bologna, per Giacomo Monti, 1686. | Con Licenza de' Superiori.
12°, pp. 13, 396. Map.
Page 2 contains Vidit and Imprimatur. Then follows a Dedication by the translator Casimiro Freschot dated Jan. 21,1686. Bologna, 10 pp.
5. Engraved title. Untdekking van | Louisania | Door den Vader | L. Hennepin. | Benevens de Beschryving van Noord-America | door den Heer Denys. | t'Amsterdam by Jan ten Hoorn, 1688.
Printed title. Beschryviug | van | Louisania, | Niewelijks ontdekt ten Zuid-Westen | van | Nieuw-Vrankryk, | Door order van deu Koning. | Met de Kaart des Landts, en een nauwkeurige verhande- | ling van de Zeden en manieren van leeven der Wilden. | Door den | Vader Lodewyk Hennepin, | Recolletsche Missionaris in die Guwesten, en | Apostolische Notaris. | Mitsgaders de | Geographische en Historische Beschrijving der Kusten | van | Noord America, | Met deNatuurlijke Histoire des Landts. | Door den Heer Denys, | Gouverneur Lieutenant Generaal voor Zijn Allerchriste | lijkste Majesteit, en Eigenaar van alle de Landen en Eilanden gelegen van Cap de Campseaux tot an Cap des Roziers. | Verceirt metKopere Figuren. l'Amsterdam, | By Jan ten Hoorn, Boekverkooper over't Oude | Heeren Logement, in de Histori-Schryver. A, 1688
4°. Engraved title, pp. (4), 158, (5), map, 6 plates, pp. (4), 200 (4).
6. Beschreibung \ der Landschafft | Lovisiana, | welche 'auf Befehl des Konigs in Frank | reich' neulich gege Südwesten | Neu-Frankreichs | in America | entdecket worden. | Nebensteiner Land-Carten' j und Bericht. von den Sitten und | Lebens-Art der Wilden in Sel-1 biger Landschafft. \ In Franzosischer Sprache heraus | gegeben | durch | P. Ludwig Hennepin'Mission. Recoll. | und Notarium Apostolicum. | Nun abe- ius Teutgche ubersetzet | (ornament). Nurnberg' In Verlag Andreae Otto, 1689. |
12°, 425 pp, map. Hennepin ends on p. 352, then new title: Beschreibung einer sonderbaren Reise | etlicher | bisher noch unbekannter | Länder und Völcker | im Mitter-nachtigen America, | welche 1673 | durch P. Marquette, S. J. und Herrn Jolliet | verrichtet worden. | Aus dem Franzosischen ins Teutsche ubersetzet. Nürnberg, 1689.
7. Same. Nurnberg: Andreas Otto, 1692, 18°, pp. 427, map.
8. A Description of | Louisiana, By Father Louis Hennepin Recollect Missionary. | Translated from the edition of 1683, and compared with the Nouvelle Découverte, the La Salle documents, and other contemporaneous papers. | By John Gilmary Shea. | New York. | John G. Shea. 1880.
8°, pp. 408, map; facsimile of title of edition of 1683, view of Niagara from the Nouvelle Découverte, 1697.
1. (Engraved title) Nouvelle Decouverte | d'un tres grand | Pays | Situé dans 1'Arnerique |Par R. P. Lovis de Hennepin. | a Utrec | chez Guiliaume Broedelet.
(Printed title) Nouvelle | Deconverte | d'un tres grand | Pays | Situé dans 1'Amerique, entre | Le Nonveau Mexique, | et | La Mer Glaciale, | Avec les Cartes, & les Figures necessaires, & de plus 1'Histoire Naturelle & Morale, & les avantages, qu'on en peut tirer par 1'etablissement des Colonies. I Le tout dedie | Å | Sa Majesté Britannique. | Guillaume III. Par le R. P. Louis Hennepin, | Missionaire Recollect & Notaire Apostolique. | A Utrecht, | -; | Chez Guillanme Broedelet, | Marchand Libraire. MDCXCVII.
12°, pp. (70) 1-312, 10 pp. marked 313, 313-506. 2 maps, plate of Niagara Falls, p. 44 and of Bison.
This work begins wiih Epistre Dedicatoire 23 pp., Avis an Lecteur, 26 pp., giving details as to his trials and difficulties. Table de Chapitres, 19 pp. The test begins with some general remarks, and biographical details, and then follows the Description de la Louisiane, expanding it, to p. 200 when it copies from Le Clercq's Etablissment de la Foi, p. 153. From p. 249 to 312 is an account of a pretended voyage down the Mississippi. The star pages and most of the remainder are from the Description de la
385Louisiane enlarged. From 813 to end is in different type from preceding portion, the chapter heads have arabic figures, while in the earlier part they have Roman numerals, the head lines differ, being NOUVELL DÉCOUV. before 313 and NOUVEL. DECOUV. , after 313. The spacing is also different, all tending to show that it was set in another office and by other hands. The introduction of star pages shows that the succeeding portion was printed first. The type on last page is smaller than the body of the work. The work has been rewritten by some literary man, not versed in Canadian affairs or Catholic terms. The Moeurs des Sauvages is omitted. Whether all from 249 to the last 313 * was inserted after the work was printed in its original form is a question on which Hennepin's credit depends.
The map continues the Mississippi to the gulf, calls the Missouri, R. Otenta, puts the Chiquacha on the R. Tamaroa below it, the Akansa on a R. Ouma, and to two rivers below on the west absurdly gives the names Hiens and Sablonniere taken from La Salle's last voyage. It omits the tree with the French arms.
2. Nouvelle | Découverte | d'un trÄs grand | Pays | Situé dans 1'Amerique | entre | Le Nouveau Mexique, | et la Mer Glaciale, | Avec les Cartes, et les Figures nécessaires, et de plus | 1'Histoire Naturelle et Morale, et les avantages | qu'oa en peut tirer par 1'etablissement des Colonies |Le tout dedié | Å sa Majesté Britannique, | Guillaume III | par le R. P. Louis Hennepin | Missiouaire Recollect & Notaire Apostolique. | A. Amsterdam, Chez Abraham van Someren. MDCXCVIII.
12°, pp. (70) 506 Engraved title, 10 star pages 313 as before, 2 maps 2 plates. This edition corresponds page for page with the edition of 1697 including the star pages to p. 500, but is uniformly printed as regards headings. After that a little is gained on each page to bring it all in on p. 506 in the same type.
3 Voyage | on Nouvelle Découverte | d'un trÄs grand pays, | dan | VAmerique, | entre le Nouveau | Mexique | et la Mer Glacialc, | Par le R. P. Louis Hennepin, | Avec toutes les particularitez de ce Pais, & de celui connu sous le nom de La Louisiane; | les avantages qu' on en peut tirer par | l'elablissement des Colonies | enrichie de Cartes Geographiques. Augmenté de quelques figures en taille douce. | Avec' un | voyage | Qui contient une Relation exacte de 1'Origine, Moeurs, | CoutÅ±mes, Religion, Guerres & Voyages des Caraibes, | Sauvages des Isles Antilles de 1'Amerique, | Faite par le Sieur de la Borde, | Tirée du Cabinet de Monsr. Blondel. | A. Amsterdam, Chez Adriaan Braakman. MDCCIV.
12°, pp. (34) 604, (32). 493 printed 293. 2 maps, engraved title, 6 plates Niagara, Bison, the Building of the Griffin, Indians alarmed at a Monstrance, the Buffalo country, and Hennepin's companions taking goods from the cache.
Hennepin's voyage ends on p. 516.
4 Voyage Curieux | Du R. P. Louis Hennepin, | Missionnaire Recollect & Notaire Apostolique, | Qui contient une | Nouvelle Decouverte | | D'un TrÄs Grand Pays | Situé dans 1' Arnerique, | Entre le Nouveau Mexique & la Mer Glaciale, | Avec | Toutes les particularitez de ce Pays, & les avantages qu' on | en peut. tirer par 1'etablissement des Colonies, enrichi | de Cartes & augmenté de quelques figures | en taille douce necessaires. ! Outre cela on a aussi ajoÅ±té ici un | Voyage | Qui contient une Relation exacte de 1' origine, Moeurs, CoÅ±tumes, Religion, Guerres & Voyages | Des Caraibes, | Sauvages | des Isles Antilles del' Amerique, | Faite par le Sieur de la Borde, | Employé Å la Conversion des Caraibes, | et tirec du Cabinet de Mr. Blondel. A La Haye, | Chez Jean Kitto, Marchand Libraire. dans | le Spuy-Straet. | 1704.
12 Engraved title, pp (32) 604 (32) 2 maps, 6 plates, same misprint of 293 for 493.
5. Same A Leide, | Chez Pierre Van der Aa. 1704.
6. Voyages | Curieux et Nouveaux | de Messieurs | Hennepin & De la Borde, | Ou 1' on voit | une Description tres ParticuliÄre, d'un Grand Pays dans 1'Amerique, entre le | Nouveau Mexique, & la Mer Glaciale, avec une Relation Curieuse des | Caraibes Sauvages des Isles Antilles de |' Amerique, | leurs Moeurs. CoÅ±tumes, Religion &c. | Le tout accompagné des Cartes & figures necessaires. | A Amsterdam, Aux depens de la Compagnie, MDCXI.
Same as preceding, but with title printed oblong and folded in. Same misprint of 293 for 493.
7. Voyage | on Nouvelle Découverte d'un trÄs | grand Pais, dans |' Amérique, | entre le Nouveau Mexique | et la | Mer Glaciale. |...... . . Angmenté de quelques figures en taille douce | avec un voyage | qui contient une relation exacte de |' Origine, Moeurs, ContÅ±mes, Religion, Guerras et Voyages des Caraibes, | Sauvages des Isles Antilles de |' Amérique. Faite par le Sieur de la Borde. Amsterdam. Jacques Desbordes, 1712.
12°, Engraved title. Title, dedication (11) avis au lecteur (13) Table (9) 604 pp Table de matiÄres (30). Map, 6 plates.
8. Decouverte | d'un Pays | plus grand qne | l'Europe, | situe' dans | L' Amerique | entre le | Nouveau Mexique & la Mer Glaciale. | printed in Recueil de Voiages au Nord, Tome Neuviéme. A Amsterdam Chez Jean Frederic Bernard, MDCCXXXVII.
12°, pp (2) 464 (10). Map.
9. Nieuwe Ontdekkinge | Van een groot Land, gelegen, in \ America | tusschen nieuw Mexico | en de Ys-Zee. | Behelzende de gelegentheid der zelve nieuwe ontdekte Landen: de Rivieren en | groote Meeren in't zelve. Eu voor al van de groote Rivier Meschasipi genaamd. | De Kolonien die men by de zelve tot voor deel van dezen Staat, zo ten opzich | te van den Koophandel, als tot verzekeringe der Spaansche Goud-Mijnen, zou konnen oprechten. De nitneemende vruchtbaarheid van't Land; over- | vloed der Visschen in den Rivieren. De gedaanten, inborst, geloove en oeffe- | nuigen der Wilden aldaar woonende De vreemde Dieren in haare Rosschen en | velden. Met een Korte aanmerkinge oevr de 20 genaamde Straat Aniam; en | 't middel om door een korleweg, zonder de Linie AEquinoctiaal te passeeren, | na China en Japan te komen met veele curieuse dingen meer. Alles met goede Kaarten tot deze aanwijzinge nodig, en met Kopere Plaaten vercierdmet goed-vindinge van den | Koning van Engeland. | Wilhelmus deen III. | In't licht gegeeven : | En aan de Zelve zijne Majesteit opgedraagen door | Lodewyk Hennepin, | Missionaris Recollect en Notaris Apostoliek. | Tot Amsterdam, | By Abraham van Someren. 1699. |
4° pp (26), 220, (14). 2 maps, 2 plates.
10. Nieuwe Ontdekking | van een Groot Land, gelegen in | America, | Tusschen Nieuw | Mexico en de Ys-Zee. | Behelzende de gclegenheid der zelve nieuw ontdekte Landen, | de Rivieren en groote Meeren, en. voor al de groote Rivieren Meschasipi ge-/ naamd: | de Colonien die men by de zelve tot voordeel van dezen Staat, | zo ten opzichte van den Koophandel, als tot verzekeringe der Spaan- | sche Goud-Mijnen, zon. konnen oprechten ;.... Benevens een Aanhangsel, behelzende een Reize door een | gedeelte van de Spaansche West-Indien, en een Verhaal | van d'Expiditie der Franschen op Cartagena. | Door L. de C, | Tot Amsterdam, | By Andries van Damme, Boekverkooper . . . 1702. |
4° engraved title, pp. (24) 230. (14) 2 maps, 2 plates. 2nd part, pp. 47, map, plate.
11. Aenmerkelyke Voyagie | Gedaan na't | Gedeelte van Noorder America, | Behelzende een nieuwe ontdekkinge van een seer \ Groot Land, gelegen tusschen | Nieuw Mexico en de Ys-Zee. | Vewattende de gelegentheid der zelve nieuw ontdekteLan-/ den; de Revieren en groote Mccren in't zelve. | En voor al van de groote Revier Meschasipi genaamd-Die Kolonien die men by de zelve tot voordeel van dezen Staat, zo ten opzichte van den | Koophandel, als tot verzekeringe der Spaansche Goud Mijnen I zou konnen oprechten. De uitnemende vruchtbaarheid van't ! Land; cvervloed der Visschen in die Rivieren. De gedaanten, | inborst, geloove en oeffeningen der Wilden aldaar woonende. | De vreemde Dieren in Haare Boeschen en Velden. Met een | korte aanmerkinge over de zogenaamde Straat Aniam; en't /j middel om door een korte weg, zonder der Linie .AEquinoctiaal | te passeeren, na China en Japan te komen met veele au dere by | sonderheden meer. Door Lodowyk Hennepin, | Missionaris Recollect en Notaris Apostoliek. | Desen laasten Druk is niet alleen vercierd, met noodige Kaarten | maar ook met verschede Kopere Printverbeeldingen, | noyt te vooren soogesien. | Te Leyden, | By Pieler van der Aa, 1704. |
4° pp. (22), 210, (13), 2 maps, 6 plates: Niagara, Buffalo, Building of Griffin, Indians alarmed at Monstrance, Buffalo country, At the Cache.
12. Aanmerkelyke voyagie | gedaan na't | gedeelde van | Noorder America, | behelzende een nienwe ontdekkinge van een seer | groot Land, gelegen tuschen \ Nieuw Mexico en de Ys-Zee, | &c. Te Rotterdam, By Barent Bos, 1704. |
4°, pp. 22, (219.) 13. 2 maps, 6 plates.
13. De Gedenkwaardige | Wot-Indise Voyagien, I Gedaan door | Christoffel Columbus, | Americas Vesputius, | en | Lodewijck Hennepin, | Behelzende een naaukeurige en waarachtige Beschrijving | der eerste en laatste | Americaanse ontdekkingen, | Door de voornoemde Reizigers gedaen, met alle de ! byzondere voorvallen, het overgekomen. | Mits-gaders een | Getrouw en aenmaerkelyk Verhaal, &c. Te Leyden | By Pieter van der Aa. 1704.
4°, pp. 22 (219,) 13. 2 maps, 6 plates.
14. Nieuwe Onidekkinge, van groote Lande in Amerika, tusschen
389Nieuw-Mexico en de Ys-Zee..... Benevers een Aanhangsel, behelzende een Reize door een gedeelte van de Spaansch West Indien door L. de C. Amsterdam 1722.
15. Neue | Entdeckung | vieler-ehr grossen Landschafften | in | America zwischen Neu-Mexico und dem Eyss-Meer gelegen .... Ins Teutsche übersetzt durch | M. J. G. Langen | Mit Land-Charten and Kupffer Figuren. Bremen: Philip Gottfr. Saurmaris 1699.
12°-pp. (63), 382. Engraved frontispiece, map and two plates.
16. Neue | Reise | Beschreibung | uache ( America, | und derer | bisher noch unbekandten Län- | der und Vöcker, | vornemlich | von der Landschafft | Lovisiana, | und den Sitten und Lebens Art der Wil- | den in selbiger Landschafft. | Aus dem Französischem über- | setzt und mit Kupfern geziert. | Nürnberg. 1739. | Im Verlag Christ. Fried Feisze.
18°, pp. 425. 2 maps.
1. Relacion | de un pais | que nuevaumente se ha descubierto | en la | America | Septentrional | de mas estendido que es | la Europa. | Y que saca Å luz en Castellano, debajo de la proteccion de el Exmo Sr. Duque de el Infantado, | Pastrana, &c., el Sargente General de Batalla | Don Sebastian Fernandez de Medrano, Director de la Academia Rea | y | Militar de el Exercito de los Paises Bajos. | En Brusselas, | En casa de Lamberto Marchant, | MDC,XCIX. |
12°, pp. (8) 86, map, 2 plates.
2. A Discovery of a Large, Rich and Plentiful | Country | in the | North America; | Extending above 4000 Leagues. I Wherein, | By a very short Passage, | lately found | out, thro' the Mer-Barmejo into the South Sea ; by which a considerable Trade might | be carry'd on, as well in the Northern as | the Southern Parts of America. | London: Printed for W. Boreham, at the Angel in Pater-Noster Row. | |1720.| 8°, pp. (2) 22.
1. Nouveau | Voyage | d'un Pais plus grand que | l'Europe. | Avec les reflections des entreprises du Sieur | de la Salle sur les mines de Ste
390Barbe, &c. Enrichi de la Carte, de figures expressives, des moeurs, | & maniÄres de vivre des Sauvages du Nord, | & du Sad, de la prise de Quebec, Ville Capital le de la Nouvelle France, par les Anglois, & des | avantages qu'on peut retirer du chemin racourci | de la Chine & du Japon, par le moien de tant | de Vastes Contrées & de Nouvelles Colonies. | Avec approbation & dedié Å sa Majesté | Guillaume III. | Roy de la Grande | Bretagne | par le| R. P. Louis Hennepin, | Missionnaire Recollect & Notaire Apostolique. | A Utrecht | Chez Antoine Schouten, | Marchand Libraire, 1698' |
8°, pp. (70) (2) 389, 4 plates, 1 map.
2-3. Voyage | en on Pays plus grand | que | I'Europe, | Entre la Mer Glaciale & le Nouveau | Mexique. | Par le | P. Hennepin, | printed in Recueil | de Voyages | au Nord, | contenant | Divers Memoires trÄs utiles au | Commerce & Å la | Navigation. | Tome V. | Troisieme Edition | augmentée d'une Relation. | A. Amsterdam, | Chez Jean Frederic Bernard. | MDCCXXXIV. |
12°, pp. 197-370.
Also one called second edition, 1720.
The first edition of the Voyages au Nord in four volumes 1715-9, did not include Hennepin at all.
The second edition gave the Nouveau Voyage; the third edition, 10 vols., the Nouveau Voyage in Vol. V, and the Nouvelle Découverte in Vol. IX.
4 (Engraved title) Reyse | door | Nieuwe Ondekte | Landen | (Printed title) Aenmerckelycke | Historische | Reijs Beschryvinge j Door verscheyde Landen veel grooter als die van geheel | Evropa | onlanghs ontdeckt. | Behelsende een nauwkeurige Beschrijvinge van gelegentheyd, natuur, en | vrughtbaerheyd, van't Zuyder, en Noorder gedeelte van America; mitsgaders | de gedaente, aerd, manieren, kledingen, en't geloove der talrijke Wilde Natien, de Hoofstad van Cana | da, door de Englischen. De geivigtige aenmerkingen op de onderneminge van de Heer de la Salle, op de Goud-Mijnen van St. Barbara, met veel meer andere | waeragtige en selsdsame geschiedenissen. En in't besonder de aenwijsingen om | door een kotten wegh sonder de Linie Equinoctiael te passeeren, na China en | Japan te komen; en de groote voordeelen die men hier door, als mede door de | nieuwe Volckplantigen in dese vrughtbaare Landen sou konnen trecken. Alles | met een nette Kaert tot dese | aen wijsinge nodig, en kopere Platen
391verciert. \ Met Approbatie van | Wilhelmus den III. | Komnugh | van | Groot-Britanie. | En aan deselve sijne Majesteyt opgedragen | door | Lodewyck Hennepin, | Missionaris Recollect, en Notaris Apostolick. | Tot Utrecht, | By Anthony Schouten. | 1698.
4°, pp. (28) 142, last page misprinted 242, (18).
Map "Carte d'un Nouveau Monde entre le Nouveau Mexique et la Mer Glaciate. Gasp. Bouttats fecit."
5 Neue | Reise Beschreibung | durch viele Länder weit grosser als gantz Europa | --durch L. Hennepin. | Bremen: Phil. Gottfr. Saurmans, 1698.|
8°, pp. (64) 288, 4 plates.
6 Reisen | und seltsehme | Begebenheiten; Oder sonderbare Entueckung vieler sehr grossen | Länder | in Amerika. Welche biszhero noch unbekannt | gewesen, und an Grösse gantz Europa übertreffen, &c., Bremen : Nathaniel Saurmann, 1742. |
18°, pp. (24) 382, 2 maps, 2 plates.
1. A | New Discovery | of a | Vast Country in America, | extending above Four Thousand Miles, | between | New France and New Mexico; with a | Description of the Great Lakes, Cataracts, Rivers, Plants, and Animals. | Also, the Manners, Customs and Languages of the several native Indians; and the advantage of Commerce with those different Nations. | With a | Continuation, | Giving an Account of the | Attempts of the Sieur de la Salle upon the | Mines of St. Barbe, &c. The Taking of Quebec by the English; With the Advantages | of a Shorter Cut to China and Japan. | Both parts illustrated with Maps, and Figures, | and Dedicated to His Majesty K. William. | By L. Hennepin, now Resident in Holland. | To which are added, Several New Discoveries in North- America not published in the French Edition. | London, Printed for M. Bentley, J. Tonson, | H. Bonwick, | T. Goodwin, and B. Manship 1698. |
8°, Engraved title, pp. (20) 299; pp. (32), 178 (2), 301-355, 2 maps, 7 plates.
This is evidently the first English edition. The 299 pages of Part I contain a translation of the Nouvelle Decouverte, and supplementary matter embracing Marquette's voyage was printed in the same time and folied 301-355, 300 being blank. Then apparently, it was resolved to translate also the Nouveau Voyage, and this was printed in smaller type as Part II, making 178 pages with a catch word on last page, and in binding up the work, the supplemental portion of Part I was placed after this without regard to folios.
2. Same Title, but H. Bon- in imprint on the first line.
8°, Engraved title, title, pp. (20) 243 (32), 228. 2 maps, 7 plates. It is not a reprint of No. 1.
There are slight alterations on Part I, but Part II is entirely rewritten, and improved. This part in the first edition begins "Men ought to be satisfy'd": but in this one "Reason ought to rule": and in this edition two chapters are numbered XXII.
3. Same title as No. 1. otherwise apparently as No. 2 but without the error in chapter XXII.
4. A | New Discovery | of a I Vast Country in America; | Extending over Four Thousand Miles. | between | New France & New Mexico; | with a | Description of the Great Lakes, Cataracts, | Rivers, Plants, and Animals. | Also, the Manners, Customs, and Languages of the several Native Indians; | And the Advantage of Commerce with those different Nations. | With a \ Continuation | Giving an Account of the | Attempts of the Sieur de la Salle upon the | Mines of St. Barbe, &c. The Taking: of Quebec |by the English; With the Advantages of a | shorter Cut to China and Japan. Both Illustrated with Maps, and Figures; and Dedicated | to his Majesty King William. | By L. Hennepin. now Resident in Holland. | To which are added, Several New Discoveries in North America, not Publish'd In the French Edition. | London, Printed for Henry Bonwicke, at the Red Lion | in St. Paul's Church Yard, 1699.|
8°, Engraved title, pp. (20) 240, pp. (24) 216. 2 maps. 6 plates.
Reprint of No 2.
Hennepin here follows the general story of the La Salle party in regard to Joliet.
In the Nouv. Découv. p. 90, he mentions a second prisoner. "The other was of the nation of the Ganniessinga near whom there were English Recollect missionaries. The Iroquois spared the latter." No Franciscan mission in Maryland of that date was known till recently. I showed this to the Very Rev. Pamphilo de Magliano, Provincial of the Recollects in this country as a specimen of Hennepin's misstatements. In a visit to Europe he discovered some documents of the old Franciscan province in England, including the record of the annual chapters and they showed the sending of missionaries of the order to Maryland from Oct. 1672 to Sept. 1720. Facts that have since came to light convince me that the Franciscans extended their labors into Pennsylvania, and that Hennepin was correct. Up to this point Hennepin's narrative is of what Hennepin saw and La Salle did not see. To pretend as Margry does that the La Salle Relation, he gives, is the original and that Hennepin plagiarized from a man who did not see, an account of what he himself did see, is about as absurd an idea as ever entered the mind of man.
Tonty confirms this. Margry i, p. 578. The Nouv. Découv. says they found the Griffin anchored a league from Lake Erie, p. 112.
It is commonly supposed that La Salle dejected at the loss of the Griffin aid his increasing difficulties called this fort Crevecoeur, Broken Heart, on that account. The Tonty of 1697, so asserts; but at a moment when La Salle sought to encourage his men he would not be likely to do this. As Louis XIV, had recently demolished Fort CrÄvecceur, a stronghold in the Netherlands near Bois-le-Duc, captured by him, in 1672, Zedlcr's Univ. Lexicon vi, p. 1612-3, the name may have been a compliment to that monarch , and this would explain the omission of the name in the Nouv. Découverte published in Holland. Parkman, Discovery, p. 168, says that the site of the fort is still recognizable a little below Peoria. It was on the east side of the river. Franquelin's map.
Of his two companions, Michael Accault is deemed by some the real head of the party. After La Salle's force were ennobled by his discoveries, this man became the Sieur d'Accault, (d'Ako, d'acau, Dacan) just as honest Pierre You, blossomed out into Pierre You d'Youville de la Découverte. The Picard's real name was Anthony Auguelle. In this volume, printed at Paris, Hennepin very naturally mentions Auguelle's being there. The Margry document says the same, but La Salle would have referred to Hennepin, not Auguelle, had he known where they were.
The following letter of Hennepin to the Abbe Renandot, shows that he deemed himself ill treated by that gentleman who had apparently thrown doubts on his good faith: Monsieur, vous scavés qne je vous ai donné la premiÄre connoissance de nre descouverte i mon arrivée et que je vons ay prls pour 1'arbitre des pennes que j'ay essuié depuie quatreans. Néanmoins je vois que M. 1'abbé Bernou n'en a pas usé Å mon égard comme il le devroit. Il connoistra dans le temps et dans l'eternité la scincérité de mes intentions et vous, Monsieur, voirés un jour que je suis dans tout le respect possible
Le plus humble et le plus passioné de vos serviteurs
F. Louis Hennepin, Pauvre esclave des barbars
Sir: You know that I gave you the first intelligence of our discovery on my arrival and that I took you as the arbiter of the hardships which I had undergone for four years. Nevertheless I see that the Abbé Bernou has not acted in my regard as he should. He will know in time and eternity the sincerity of my intentions, and you, Sir, will one day see that I am in all possible respect,
The most humble and devoted of your servants,
F. Louis Hennepin, Poor Slave of the savages
Margry still possessed with the idea that Bernou who never was in America wrote the authentic account of what he never saw, the Upper Mississipi, and that Hennepin who actually made the voyage plagiarized an account of what he saw and did from La Salle or this clairvoyant Bernou, thinks Bernou's discontent legitimate at Hennepin's pretending to be able to tell what he saw and did. The manner in which La Salle here, and Bernou in the Margry Relation garble Hennepin's account, and deny his being a captive is evidently what Hennepin complains of, and his signature shows that this point of his slavery, was the one in which he insisted that they wronged him.
There is not a particle of evidence that Accault or Auguelle furnished La Salle any information, and Hennepin says they could not write. La Salle admits receiving a letter from Hennepin, who is therefore the primary authority.
In the last years of the first administration of Monsieur de Frontenac, the Sieur da Lut, a man of ability and experience, opened the way for missionaries and the gospel in several different nations, striking north of said Lake (Superior), where he even built a fort; be penetrated even to the Lake of the Issati, called Lake Buade, from the family name of Monsieur de Frontenac, planting the King's arms among several nations to the right and left, where missionaries are still doing their best to introduce Christianity," &c., Le Clercq, Etablissement, ii, p. 137-8.