Pictures and Illustrations.
Some time afterward, three men were seen, running in great haste, and uttering the cries for the dead. As they approached the fort, they were heard to say that all the Miamis were dead; that the Iroquois had defeated them at Chigagon, to which place they had been summoned [by] some Frenchmen; and that those who were left intended to take revenge on the latter. They were brought into the fort, and pipes were given them to smoke; and gradually they regained their senses. After they had eaten a good meal, and had painted themselves with vermilion, they were questioned in regard to all the details of this news; now see in what manner the youngest of them spoke in addressing Perrot.
"When thou didst make a present this autumn to Apichagan, the chief of the Miamis, he himself set out the next day to notify all the Miamis and our people of what thou hadst told him; and he made them consent to follow thee, after he had secured the promise of all the men. Two Frenchmen had sent presents to the Miamis, to tell them that Onontio wished them to settle at Chekagou. Apichagan opposed this, and said that his people had already been slain at the river of Saint Joseph, when Monsieur de la Salle made them settle there. The Frenchmen have been the cause of the death of those whom thou lovest as thy own children; whom thou didst not induce to come to thy house, and whom thou didst warn only not to trouble themselves carrying
14arms against those among whom thou wast going; and whom thou didst tell that if they went to Chigagon they would be eaten by the Iroquois. At that time he prevented his people from believing the Frenchmen, to whom he sent deputies a second time, to tell them not to look for the Miamis. The Frenchmen again sent some of their men, who declared to Apichagan on the part of Onontio that he would be abandoned if he did not obey Onontio's voice, which of course disquieted the chief. He said, nevertheless, ‘Follow Metaminens; if my people do not put their trust in him, they will seek death. Follow him; it is he who gives us life and who has prevented our families from being involved in the same ruin with those who have been at Chigagon.’ When the Miamis reached that place the Frenchmen told them to go hunting there; and our people began to regret that they had not followed Metaminens. They dispersed in all directions to carry on their hunting, and [then] returned to the fort which the Frenchmen had built, to ascertain what they required. Some families who could not reach the fort as the others did were surprised by an army of Iroquois; and in this encounter a chief of the Miamis was captured who, in his death-song, asked his enemies to spare his life, assuring them that if they would grant it, he would deliver up his own village to them; so they released him.
"Some hunters, belonging to those families who had not gone to Chigagon, on their way back to their cabins saw from afar a large encampment; they concluded that their people had been defeated, and fled to the fort to carry the news of this. The Miamis who were there consulted together whether they should resist an assault or take to flight. A Sokoki who was among them told them not to trust the French, who were friends of the Iroquois.
15The Miamis believed him, and fled in all directions. The Iroquois came to that place, under the guidance of that Miami chief who had promised to betray his village to them. They found there only four Frenchmen who came from the Islinois, whom they did not molest, the Miamis having deserted -- and even the commander of the French, who had been afraid to remain there. The Iroquois followed at the heels of the people of the village, and captured in general all the women and children, except one woman, and some men who abandoned their families."
The Ayoës came to the fort of the French [i.e., Perrot's], on their return from hunting beaver, and, not finding the commandant, who had gone to the Nadoüaissioux, they sent a chief to entreat him to go to the fort. Four Islinois met him on the way, who (although they were enemies of the Ayoës) came to ask him to send back four of their children, whom some Frenchmen held captive. The Ayoës had the peculiar trait that, far from doing ill to their enemies, they entertained them, and, weeping over them, entreated the Islinois to let them enjoy the advantages which they could look for from the French, without being molested by their tribesmen; and these Islinois were sent back to the Frenchmen, who were expecting the Nadoüaissioux. When the latter, who also were at war with the Islinois, perceived these envoys, they tried to fling themselves on the Islinois canoes in order to seize them; but the Frenchmen who were conducting them kept at a distance from the shore of the river, so as to avoid such a blunder. The other Frenchmen who were there for trade hastened toward their comrades; the affair was, however, settled, and four Nadoüaissioux took the Islinois upon their shoulders and carried them to the land, informing them that
16they spared them out of consideration for the Frenchmen, to whom they were indebted for life. The defeat of the Miamis at Chigagon was an event to be keenly felt by all the peoples of those quarters; and messengers were sent to the bay to ascertain the particulars of it, and to get some news of the colony. The Freshmen reported that what had been said about it was true, and that a hundred savages -- Miamis, Maskoutechs, Pouteoüatemis, and Outagamis -- had pursued the Iroquois, hatchet in hand, with so much fury that they had slain a hundred of the enemy, recaptured half of their own people, and put to rout the Iroquois, who even would have been destroyed if the victors had continued to pursue them. The messengers said that the Miamis were at the bay, and that they had very badly treated Father Alloüet, a Jesuit, who had prompted their going to Chigagon, as they imputed to him the loss of their people.
Monsieur the Marquis de Denonville, who was at that time the governor-general, desired to avenge these people, in order to remove the opinion that they entertained that we had the design of sacrificing them to the Iroquois. He sent orders to the French commandant who was among the Outaouaks to call all the tribes together and get them to join his army which was at Niagara, to the end that all might go against the Tsonnontouans.
The commandant of the west was also ordered to enlist the tribes who were in his district, mainly the Miamis. That officer, having put his affairs in order, made known to some Frenchmen whom he left to guard his fort the conduct that they were to observe during his absence, and proceeded to the [Miami] village that was down the Missisipi, in order to induce them to take up arms against the Iroquois; he traveled sixty leagues on the plains, without other guide than the fires and the
17clouds of smoke that he saw. When he arrived among the Miamis he offered to them the club in behalf of Onontio, with several presents, and said to them: "The cries of your dead have been heard by your father Onontio, who, desiring to take pity on you, has resolved to sacrifice his young men in order to destroy the man-eater who has devoured you. He sends you his club, and tells you to smite unweariedly him who has snatched away your children. They pitch their tents outside of his kettle, crying to you, ‘Avenge us! avenge us!’ He must disgorge and vomit by force your flesh which is in his stomach, which he will not be able to digest -- Onontio will not allow him leisure for that. If your children have been his dogs and slaves, his women must in their turn become ours." All the Miamis accepted the club,
This Frenchman, returning to his fort, perceived on the way so much smoke that he believed it was [made by] an army of our allies who were marching against the Nadoüaissioux, who might while passing carry away his men; and that constrained him to travel by longer stages. Fortunately he met a Maskoutech chief, who, not having found him at the fort, had come to meet him, in order to inform him that the Outagamis, the Kikabous,
18the Maskoutechs, and all the peoples of the bay were to meet together in order to come and plunder his warehouses, in order to obtain [fire] arms and munitions for destroying the Nadoüaissioux; and that they had resolved to break into the fort and kill all the Frenchmen, if the latter made the least objection to this. This news obliged him to go thither immediately. Three spies had left the place on the very day of his arrival, who had used the pretext of trading some beaver-skins; they reported at their camp that they had seen only six Frenchmen, and, the commandant not being there that would be enough to persuade them to undertake the execution of their scheme. On the next day, two others of them came, who played the same part. The French had taken the precaution to place guns, all loaded, at the doors of the cabins. When the savages tried to enter any cabin, our men discovered the secret of making them find there men who had changed their garments to different ones. The savages asked, while speaking of one thing or another, how many Frenchmen were in the fort; and the reply was, that they numbered forty, and that we were expecting every moment those of our men who were on the other side of the river hunting buffalo. All those loaded guns gave them something to think about, and they were told that all these weapons were always ready in case people came to molest the French; and likewise that, as the latter were on a highway they always kept vigilant watch, knowing that the Savages were very reckless. They were told to bring to the fort a chief from each tribe, because the French had something to communicate to them; and that if any greater number of them came near the fort, the guns would be fired at them. Six chiefs of those tribes came, whose bows and arrows were taken away from them at the
19gate. They were taken into the cabin of the commandant, who gave them [tobacco] to smoke, and regaled them. When they saw all those loaded guns, they asked him if he were afraid of his children; he answered them that he did not trouble himself much at such things, and that he was a man who could kill others. They replied to him, "It seems that thou art angry at us." The commandant answered "I am not angry, although I have reason to be. The Spirit has informed me of your intention; you intend to plunder my goods and put me into the kettle, in order to advance against the Nadoüaissioux. He has told me to keep on my guard, and that he will assist me if you affront me." Then they stood stock -- still and acknowledged to him that it was true; but they said that he was a very indulgent father to them, and that they were going to break up all the plans of their young men. Perrot had them sleep in the fort that night. The next day, early in the morning, their army was seen, part of whom came to cry out that they wished to trade. The commandant, who had only fifteen men, seized these chiefs, and told them that he was going to have their heads broken if they did not make their warriors retire; and at the same time the bastions were manned. One of those chiefs climbed above the gate of the fort, and cried, "Go no farther, young men; you are dead; the spirits have warned Metaminens of your resolution." Some of them tried to advance, and he said to them, "If I go to you, I will break your heads;" and they all retreated. The lack of provisions harassed them, and the French took pity on them; they had at the time only provisions which were beginning to smell, but gave these to the savages, who divided the food among themselves. The commandant made them a present of two guns, two kettles, and some tobacco, in order to
20close to them, he said, the gate by which they were going to enter the Nadoüaissioux country, contending that they should thereafter turn their weapons against the Iroquois, and that they should avail themselves of Onontio's bow to shoot at his enemy, and of his club to lay violent hands on the Iroquois families. They represented to him that they would suffer greatly before they could reach the Iroquois country, as they had no gunpowder for hunting; and they entreated him to give them some in exchange for the few beaver-skins that were left in their hands. For this purpose the chiefs of each tribe were permitted to enter the fort, one after another. All being quite pacified, the French undertook to call together as many of the tribes as they could, to join the French army which was going against the Iroquois. The Pouteoüatemis, the Malhominis, and the Puans willingly offered their aid. The Outagamis, the Kikabous, and the Maskoutechs, who were not accustomed to travel in canoes, united with the Miamis, who were to proceed to the strait which separates Lake Herier [i.e., Erie] from the Lake of the Hurons, where there was a French fort, in which they were to find supplies for going to Niagara.
The Outagamis and the Maskoutechs, having held their war-feast, went in quest of another small village of the same tribe which was on their route; they wished to invite its warriors to join their party. At the time some Loups and Sokokis were there, intimate friends of the Iroquois; they dissuaded the people from this enterprise. They said that Onontio intended to put them into the kettle of the Iroquois, under pretext of avenging the deaths of the Miamis; that three thousand Frenchmen would indeed be at Niagara, but that there was reason to fear that all of them would unite together with the Iroquois, and that, having unanimously sworn the ruin
21of the allies, they would unquestionably come to carry away the wives and children of the latter in all their villages. Those peoples blindly believed all that was said to them, and refused to expose themselves in a situation which seemed to them very dubious. The French pressed forward in their journey, and arrived at Michilimakinak, where they found the Outaoüaks, who had been unwilling to follow those who inhabited that quarter [i.e., the Sauteurs]; and of our men only a small number remained there, for the guard of the entrances [to the fort].
The Outaoüaks received the Pouteouatemis in military fashion; they assembled together behind a slope on which they made a camp. The fleet of the Pouteouatemis making its appearance at an eighth of a league from land, the Outaoiiaks -- naked, and having no other ornaments than their bows and arrows -- marched abreast, and formed a sort of battalion. At a certain distance from the water they suddenly began to defile, uttering cries from time to time. The Pouteouatemis, on their part, set themselves in battle array, in order to make their landing. When the rear of the Outaoüaks was opposite the Pouteouatemis, whose ranks were close to one another, they paddled more slowly. When they were at a gunshot from the land, the Frenchmen who were joined with the Outaouaks first fired a volley at them, without balls; the Outaouaks followed them with loud shouts of "Sassakoue!" and the Pouteouatemis uttered theirs. Then on both sides they reloaded their arms, and a second volley was fired. Finally, when the landing must be made, the Outaouaks rushed into the water, clubs in their hands; the Pouteouatemis at once darted ahead in their canoes, and came rushing on the others, carrying their clubs. Then no further order was
22maintained; all was pell-mell, and the Outaouaks lifted up their canoes, which they bore to the land. Such was this reception, which on a very serious occasion would have cost much bloodshed. The Outaouaks conducted the chiefs into their cabins, where the guests were regaled.
Although they gave them a friendly welcome, the Outaouaks did not at first know what measures to take in order to turn aside these newcomers from their enterprise, to the end of excusing themselves from joining the latter. They entreated the guests to wait a few days, so that all might embark together. Meanwhile a canoe arrived, which brought instructions from Monsieur de Denonville for the march, and for the junction of the French army with that of the allies. This canoe had descried some Englishmen, who were coming to Michilimakinak in order to get possession of the commerce; they had imagined that the French were indiscrete enough to abandon during this time the most advantageous post of the entire trade.
Three hundred Frenchmen, commanded by an officer, went out to meet them. The Hurons, when informed of this proceeding, without seeming to take notice of it, went to join the English, with the intention of aiding them; the Outaouaks remained neutral. The Chief Nansouakoüet alone took sides with the French, with thirty of his men. The Hurons, fearing that the Outaouaks, who were much more numerous than they in the village, would lay violent hands on their families, did not dare to fight as they had resolved; so that the French seized the English and their goods, and brought them to Michilimakinak. They had brought a large quantity of brandy, persuaded that this was the strongest attraction for gaining the regard of the savages -- who drank a
23great deal of it, with which the greater number became intoxicated so deeply, that several of them died. There was reason to fear that the rest of the brandy would be distributed to the Pouteouatemis; [in that case] there would have been a disorderly scene, which would have prevented the departure of all those savages, who longed for nothing more than to signalize themselves against the Iroquois. One of the Frenchmen who had brought them then said to them: "This is the time when you must show that you are courageous; you have listened implicitly to the voice of your father Onontio, who exhorts you to the war with the Iroquois, who wish to destroy you. Thus far you have not distinguished yourselves from the other tribes, who have made you believe whatever they have wished, and who have regarded you as much inferior to themselves. Now it is necessary that you make yourselves known, and the occasion is favorable for that. The Outaouaks are only seeking to delay matters, which will prevent them from seeing the destruction of the Iroquois. We are taking part in your glory, and we would be sorry if you were not witnesses of the battle which will be fought against the Tsonnontouans. You are fighting men; you can give the lie to your allies who are not so courageous as you; and be sure that Onontio will know very well how to recognize your valor. It is partly us Frenchmen, partly men of the Pouteouatemis and from the bay, and others of your own number, who urge you not to drink brandy; it fetters the strength of the man, and renders him spiritless and incapable of action. The Englishman is the father of the Iroquois. This liquor is perhaps poisoned; moreover, you have just seen how many Outaouaks are dead from [drinking] it."
The chiefs were well pleased with this discourse, and
24inspired among their young men great aversion for the brandy. The Outaouaks, however, deferred their departure, and imperceptibly beguiled those peoples. They assembled them together without the knowledge of the Jesuit fathers and the French commandant. They presented to them a keg of brandy holding twenty-five quarts [pots], and said to them: "We all are brothers, who ought to form only one body, and possess but one and the same spirit. The French invite us to go to war against the Iroquois; they wish to use us in order to make us their slaves. After we have aided in destroying the enemy, the French will do with us what they do with their cattle, which they put to the plow and make them cultivate the land. Let us leave them to act alone; they will not succeed in defeating the Iroquois; this is the means for being always our own masters. Here is a keg of brandy, to persuade you regarding these propositions, which we hope that you will carry out."
The warriors rose, with great composure, without replying, having left to the Outaouaks the keg of brandy; and they went to find two others of the principal Frenchmen who had accompanied them, whom they informed of all that had occurred. The latter went to address them the next morning before light, and encouraged them to persist in their good sentiments. The Outaouaks continually returned to the charge; they again sent the keg of brandy to the Pouteouatemis, who were longing to drink from it-for one can say that it is the most delicious beverage with which they can be regaled -- nevertheless, they did not dare to taste it. They went to find those Frenchmen, and related to them this new occurrence. The Frenchmen, annoyed at all these solicitations by the Outaouaks, entered the Pouteouatemi cabin in which the brandy was; and the savage
25therein asked them what they wished the savages to do with it. The Frenchmen answered, while breaking open the keg with a hatchet, "Look here; this is what you ought to do with it. You must do the same with the Iroquois when you are in the fight; you must beat them with your clubs, you must slay them without sparing [even] the infants in the cradle. Put pitch on your canoes this morning; we are embarking, and we wait for no one." The Outaouaks, seeing that the canoes were ready, asked for a day's time in order to join the expedition; but our people took no notice of them. The fleet of the Pouteouatemis therefore set out, in good order, always having scouts out, who protected the advance. [From this point (top of page 205) to the top of page 209, is briefly told the campaign against the Iroquois, which is more fully related by Perrot in the Mémoire -- ed.]
The French voyageurs who had been among the allies came to Montreal in order to purchase there new merchandise; and at the same time the news came that the church of the [Jesuit] missionaries at the bay, and a part of their buildings, had been burned. There were some Frenchmen who met great losses in this fire; Sieur Perrot lost in it more than forty thousand francs' worth of beaver-skins.
The auxiliary troops, returning to their own country, made the report of their campaign; and they imparted a great idea of the valor of Onontio, who had forced the Iroquois themselves to set fire to their villages at the first news of his arrival. The Loups and Sokokis, who had given so bad an impression about the French to certain peoples, adroitly retreated from these warriors, in order not to be themselves treated like the Iroquois; they went by way of a small river which empties into the Missisipi,
26and [thus] reached their native country. All those who had taken sides with them repented of having done so. One hundred Miamis set out with the deliberate intention of making amends for the fault that they had committed in not having taken part in the general march; they were sure that they would at least find, in a certain hunting-ground, some party of Iroquois weakened with hunger and misfortunes. They proceeded to the road going to Niagara, where they found the French garrison dead from hunger, except seven or eight persons; this mischance hindered them from going farther. They guarded this fort during the winter, until the surviving Frenchmen had been withdrawn from it.
Thirteen Maskoutechs, impatient to find out whether what the Loups and Sokokis had said to them also against the French were true, set out during the general march in order to obtain information as to the truth of that report; and they met three Miami slaves who, in the rout of the Iroquois, had made their escape. The Maskoutechs, returning with these women, found two Frenchmen who were coming from the Islinois, laden with beaver-skins; they slew these men, and burned their bodies, in order to hide their murder; they also killed the Miamis and burned them and carried away their scalps.
27uttered three cries for the dead, such as are usually made when they carry back [news of] some advantage gained over the enemy. They gave to their chiefs these three scalps, which they said were those of Iroquois, and two guns, which they did not acknowledge to be those of the Frenchmen. Those chiefs sent these things to the Miamis, who, in acknowledgment, gave them several presents. Other Frenchmen who came back from the Islinois recognized the guns of their comrades, and not having any news of the latter, accused the Miamis of having murdered them. The latter defended themselves, saying that the Maskoutechs had made them a present of the guns, with three Iroquois scalps. Then the Frenchmen made them profuse apologies for the suspicion that they had felt that the Miamis had caused the deaths of those two Frenchmen; and they supposed that their friends had fallen into the power of the Iroquois, whom the Maskoutechs had met on their way.
Monsieur the Marquis de Denonville, who had humiliated the most haughty and redoubtable tribe in all America, had no thought save to render happy the people whose government the king had entrusted to him; he was certain that the [Indian] trade could not be better maintained than by sending back to the Outaouaks all the voyageurs who had left [there] their property in order to go to Tsonnontouan. He also despatched forty Frenchmen to the Nadouaissioux, the most remote tribe, who could not carry on trade with us as easily as could the other tribes; the Outagamis had boasted of excluding them from access to us. These last-mentioned Frenchmen, on their arrival at Michillimakinak, learned that
28the Hurons had defeated a party of forty Iroquois, the greater number of whom they had captured, but had spared their lives. All the peoples of that region were greatly alarmed at an attack which the Outagamis had made on the Sauteurs. The former people, having learned that the French were at the Bay of Puans, sent three deputies to Monsieur du Luth,
29came alongside of his boat with expressions so full of grief that he could not forbear from going to their village; the reply that he had made to the three deputies had caused so great consternation that they were inconsolable at it. It was to their interest to stand well in the opinion of the French, from whom they were receiving all possible assistance; and because they could only expect, as soon as the [French] trade with them had ceased, to become the objects of opprobrium and the victims of their neighbors. The commandant entered the cabin of the chief, who had a deer placed in the kettle; when it boiled, the kettle and some of the raw meat were placed before him, to regale all the Frenchmen. The commandant disdained to taste it, because this meat, he said, did not suit him, and when the Outagamis became reasonable he would have some of it. They understood very well the meaning of this compliment. They immediately brought in the three girls and the young Sauteur. The chief began to speak, saying: "See how the Outagami can be reasonable, and be minded as he is therein. He spits out the meat which he had intended to eat, for he has remembered that thou hadst forbidden it to him; and while it is between his teeth he spits it out, and entreats thee to send it back to the place where he seized it." The Frenchman told him that they had done well in preserving the captives; that he remembered the club that had been given to them in behalf of their father Onontio, and that in giving it he had told them that hereafter they should use it only against the Iroquois. He told them that they themselves had assured him that they would join the Frenchmen at Détroit; but that now they were using the club on his own body, and maltreating the families of the Sauteurs who had gone with the French to war. He warned them
30to be no longer foolish and wild; and said that he would once more settle this business. He told them to remain quiet, and said that the Sauteurs would obey him, since they had not killed any one, and were restoring the people of the Outagamis. He directed the latter to hunt beavers, and told them that, if they wished to be protected by Onontio, they must apply themselves to making war against the Iroquois only. Some Frenchmen were left with them to maintain the trade, and the rest embarked.
The Pouteouatemis cut across the country, to reach more quickly a portage
31to be highly pleased. But a very sad misfortune again befell them; this was, that when they had almost reached home some Outagamis who were prowling about attacked them, without knowing who they were. Terror overcame them, and caused them to abandon the three girls. The Outagamis did not dare to conduct the girls to the Sauteurs, for fear of being devoured; and, unwilling to expose them, alone, to losing their way in the woods, they carried the girls home with them, considering them as free.
As soon as the Nadoüaissioux saw that the rivers were navigable they went down to the post of the Frenchmen, and carried back the commandant to their village, where he was received with pomp, after their fashion. He was carried on a robe of beaver-skins, accompanied by a great retinue of people who carried each a calumet, singing the songs of alliance and of the calumet. He was carried about the village, and led into the cabin of the chief. As those peoples have the knack of weeping and of laughing when they choose, several of them immediately came to weep over his head, with the same tenderness which the Ayoës showed to him at the first time when he went among them.
32the Sauteurs and the Ayoës; and even these last named very often have disputes with them. Hardly does the day begin when the Nadoüaissioux bathe in their river, and they even do the same with their children in swaddling-clothes; their reason is, that thus they gradually accustom themselves to be in readiness at the least alarm. They are of tall stature, and their women are extremely ugly; they regard the latter as slaves. The men are, moreover, jealous and very susceptible to suspicions; from this arise many quarrels, and the greater part of the time they get into general fights among themselves, which are not quieted until after much bloodshed. They are very adroit in [managing] their canoes; they fight even to the death when they are surrounded by their enemies, and when they have an opportunity to make their escape they are very agile. Their country is a labyrinth of marshes, which in summer protects them from molestation by their enemies; if one [journeying] by canoe is entangled in it, he cannot find his way; to go to their village, one must be a Nadoüaissioux, or have long experience in that country, in order to reach his destination. The Hurons have reason to remember an exceedingly pleasant adventure which befell a hundred of their warriors, who had gone to wage war on those people. These Hurons, being embarrassed in a marsh, were discovered; they saw the Nadoüaissioux, who surrounded them, and hid themselves as best they could in the rushes, leaving only their heads above the water, so that they could breathe. The Nadoüaissioux, not knowing what had become of them, stretched beaver-nets on the strips of land which separated their marshes, and to these attached little bells. The Hurons, imagining that the night-time would be very favorable for extricating themselves from this situation, found themselves entangled
33among all these nets. The Nadoüaissioux, who were in ambush, heard the sound of the bells and attacked the Hurons, of whom none could save himself except one, whom they sent back to his own country to carry the news of the affair. They are very lustful. They live on wild oats, which is very abundant in their marshes. Their country has also the utmost abundance of beavers. The Kristinaux, who also are accustomed to navigation, and their other enemies often compel them to take refuge in places where they have no other food than acorns, roots, and the bark of trees.
One of their chiefs, seeing that very few French were left in the fort (which is near them) when all the tribes marched against the Iroquois, raised a party of one hundred warriors in order to plunder the fort. This Frenchman displayed, on his return, the anger that he felt because they had acted so badly during his absence. The [other] chiefs had not been concerned in that plan, and came very near killing that chief; he was regarded, at least after that, with great contempt. When the renewal of the alliance was made the Frenchmen went back to their fort. There was one of them who complained, on going away, that a box of merchandise had been stolen from him; it was quite difficult to ascertain who had committed this theft, and recourse was had to a very odd stratagem. The commandant told one of his men to pretend to get some water in a cup in which he had put some brandy. As it was evident that there was no [other] means of recovering the box, they were threatened with the burning and drying up the waters in their marshes; and to strengthen the effect of these menaces, that brandy was set on fire. They were so terrified that they imagined that everything was going to destruction; the merchandise was recovered, and then the French
34returned to their fort. The Outagamis who had changed their village [site] established themselves on the Missisipi after they separated (at the portages of the River Ouiskonch) from the Frenchmen, who had taken the route to the Nadoüaissioux.
The chief came to find the French commandant, in order to ask him to negotiate a peace with the Nadoüaissioux. Some of the latter tribe came to trade their peltries at the French fort, where they saw this chief, whom they recognized as an Outagami. The Nadoüaissioux seemed surprised at this encounter; and at the same time they formed the idea (but without showing it) that the French were forming some evil plot against their tribe. The commandant reassured them, and, presenting to them the calumet, said that this was the chief of the Outagamis, whom the French regarded as their brother ever since his tribe had been discovered; and that this chief ought not to be an object of suspicion, since he had even come to propose peace with them through the mediation of the French. "Smoke," said this Frenchman, "my calumet; it is the breast with which Onontio suckles his children." The Nadoüaissioux asked him to have this chief smoke, and he did so; but, although the calumet is the symbol of union and reconciliation, the Outagami did not fail to experience embarrassment in this situation. He afterward declared that he did not feel very safe at that time. When he had smoked, the Nadoüaissioux did the same; but they would not come to any decision, because, as they were not chiefs, they must notify their captains of this matter. They nevertheless expressed to him their regret that his tribe had been so easily influenced by the solicitations of the Sauteurs, who had corrupted them with presents, and who had caused the rupture of the peace which they
35had concluded. This negotiation could not be finished on account of the speedy departure of the French, who had orders to return to the colony. Just as they set out, the chiefs of the Nadoüaissioux arrived, and brought the calumet of peace -- which would have been concluded if our Frenchmen at their departure had dared to entrust to them the chief of the Outagamis. The Outagamis had always kept the three Sauteur girls of whom I have already spoken. Their dread of losing entirely the good graces of the French -- who were greatly displeased at the hostilities which that tribe had committed against the Sauteurs -- obliged them to forestall the latter by the relation which they made of all the circumstances attending the sojourn [among them] of the Sauteurs' daughters. It was evident that they were not to blame, and they were charged to convey the girls back to their own people.
The Iroquois, having been extremely harassed at Tsonnontouan by Monsieur the Marquis de Denonville, entreated the English to negotiate peace for them with him; and it was for the interest of that nation that no one should disturb the tranquillity of their neighbors. As peace still prevailed throughout Europe, the English did not dare to declare themselves in favor of the Iroquois; they felt, however, very deeply the manner in which the French treated those savages, without daring to take their part or support them. The French commander, who had in view only the tranquillity of his allies and of the peoples under his government, informed the English that he would willingly grant peace to the Iroquois on condition that his allies [also] should be included in it. He despatched his orders in every direction to the end that the club should be hung up, and that all the war-parties that might be raised against the
36Iroquois should be halted. Besides this, presents were sent to all the tribes, as a pledge of the good-will which the French displayed toward them in a condition of affairs which so greatly concerned their interests. The Outaouaks were so incensed against the Iroquois that they took no notice of these orders, and carried on war against them more than ever. The Islinois were more discreet, for as soon as they received the orders of Onontio they tied up the hatchet; and as they were not willing to remain thus in inaction they marched, to the number of twelve hundred warriors, against the Ozages and the Accances
37order to try to secure for the slaves exemption from the volley of blows with clubs to which the captives were usually treated on their arrival; but all their solicitations could not move the Outaouaks, and even served only to exasperate them. The canoes, which were close together, made their appearance; there was only one man paddling in each, while all the warriors responded to the songs of the slaves,
38a wand in his hand. There were special marks on each, to indicate those who had captured him. Gradually they approached the shore, with measured advance. When they were near the land the chief of the party rose in his canoe and harangued all the old men, who were waiting for the warriors at the edge of the water in order to receive them; and having made a recital to them of his campaign he told them that he placed in their hands the captives whom he had taken. An old man on the shore responded, and congratulated them in
39most complaisant terms. Finally the warriors stepped ashore, all naked, abandoning to pillage, according to their custom, all their booty. An old man came, at the head of nine men, to conduct the captives to a place at one side; there were five old men and four youths. The women and the children immediately ranged themselves in rows, very much as is done when some soldier is flogged through the lines. The young captives, who were very agile, quickly passed through; but the old men were so hardly used that they bled profusely. The former were awarded to masters, who spared their lives; but the old men were condemned to the flames. They were placed on the Manilion, which is the place where the captives are burned, until the chiefs had decided to which tribe they should be handed over. The Jesuit fathers and the commandants were greatly embarrassed, in so delicate a situation; for they feared that the five Iroquois tribes would complain of the little care which the French took of their people at the very time when there was discussion of a general peace. They sent a large collar of porcelain to redeem the captives; the Outaouaks insolently replied that they would be masters of their own actions, without depending on any one whatsoever. Sieur Perrot, who was at Michilimakinak with the three Sauteur girls, had a strong ascendency over the minds of those peoples; and he was called upon to make in person the demand for the captives. He went to the cabin of their council of war, with a collar, accompanied by those persons who had presented the first one. He passed in front of the Manilion, on which the prisoners, who awaited their fate, were singing; he made them sit down, and told them to cease their songs. Some Outaouaks roughly ordered them to continue; but Perrot replied to these that he intended that the captives
40should be silent, and he actually silenced their guards, telling the slaves that soon he would be the master of their bodies. He entered the council, where he found all the old men, who had already pronounced sentence; one was to be burned at the Bay of Puans, the second at the Saut, and the three others at Michilimakinak. Perrot was not disconcerted by that; he hung his porcelain collar to a pole when he entered, and addressed them nearly in this manner:
"I come to cut the cords on the dogs; I am not willing that they should be eaten. I have pity on them, since my father Onontio takes pity on them, and even has commanded me to do so. You Outaouaks are like bears who have been tamed; when one gives them a little freedom, they will no longer recognize those who have reared them. You no longer remember the protection of Onontio, without which you would not possess any country; I am maintaining you in it, and you are living in peace. When he asks from you a few tokens of obedience, you wish to lord it over him, and to eat the flesh of those people, whom he will not abandon to you. Take care lest you are unable to swallow them, and lest Onontio snatch them by force from between your teeth. I speak to you as a brother; and I think that I am taking pity on your children when I cut the bonds of your captives."
This discourse did not seem very compelling for obtaining a favor of this sort; nevertheless, it had all the success that one could desire. Indeed, one of the chiefs began to speak, and said: "See, it is the master of the land who speaks; his canoe is always full of captives whom he sets free, and how can we refuse him?" They sent word immediately to bring the captives, to whom they granted life in open council.
The liberty which these five old men came to enjoy
41was a result of chance, or rather of caprice. One must be very politic in order to manage those peoples, who so easily stray from their duty; they should not be flattered much, and likewise should not be reduced to despair. They are managed only by solid and convincing arguments, which must be gently placed before them, but without sparing those people when they are in the wrong; but it is necessary to keep them up with hopes, making them understand that they will be rewarded when they have deserved it.
As all the tribes were to send deputies to Montreal, to be present at the general peace, the Outaouaks thought it opportune to send to Monsieur de Denonville two of those liberated captives, to the end that so authentic an example of their generosity might shine in the general council. They desired that Perrot should let the captives be seen beforehand in their own country, in order thus to induce the Five Nations to commit no further act of hostility against them, but to be very cautious to use this means without the order of the general. He told them that he did not know of any open door among the Iroquois except that indicated by the ordinary road, which was the only one by which he could enter; and that ever since he had had access to the cabin of Onontio, and had warmed himself at his fire, he would go, if Onontio wished to open the door of the Iroquois, to carry his message to all of his villages if he should command him to do so. The Outaouaks were pleased with these arguments; they recommended to him the interests of their tribe, and entreated him to be their spokesman in the general council. They gave him Petite Racine [i.e., "Little Root"], one of their chiefs, who had orders only to make a report of all the deliberations; and they assured him that, if unfortunately he were killed on the
42journey through the Iroquois country, they would avenge his death, and that they would never consent to a peace until they had first sacrificed to his spirit many of the Iroquois families. This was in truth the most convincing proof of the esteem which they felt for him. But the affairs of the colony entirely changed their aspect; if the most powerful states are sometimes subject to revolutions, we say that distant countries, [even] the most stable, are also exposed to cruel catastrophes. Indeed Canada, which had never been so nourishing, suddenly found itself, so to speak, the prey of its enemies. All the tribes who heard the French name mentioned wished only for means of forming alliance with our nation; and those who were already known to us found that it was very agreeable to be under our protection. On the other hand, its enemies found themselves humiliated in the sight of an infinite number of peoples. Even the English, affected by the disaster to their friends, in some sort implored the good graces of him who had chastised the latter. Nothing, therefore, was more glorious for the Marquis de Denonville, but nothing was more touching than the occasion when he beheld utter desolation in the center of his government. It was then that the Iroquois came suddenly to the island of Montreal, to the number of fifteen hundred warriors; they put to the sword all that they encountered in the space of seven leagues.
43masters of the open country by using the cover of the woods; and no person could set foot on the land along the river who was not captured or killed. They spread themselves on every side with the same rapidity as does a torrent. Nothing could resist the fury of those barbarians, no matter what action was taken to furnish aid to those whom our people saw carried away [into captivity], or to resist the various parties of the enemy. The French were compelled to shut themselves at once within two wretched little forts; and if the Flemings had not warned them to be very careful to remain close to the forts it may be said that the enemy would have made an end of them with the same facility that they did of all the settlements that they ravaged. The open counry was laid waste; the ground was everywhere covered with corpses, and the Iroquois carried away six-score captives, most of whom were burned; but these are misfortunes which ought not to cause the least damage to the glory of a general. It is not surprising that the savages came to make incursions and raids into so vast a region. The skill of these peoples is, to avoid combats in open country, because they do not know how to offer battle or make evolutions therein; their manner of conducting battles is altogether different from that of Europe. The forests are the most secure retreats, in which they fight advantageously; for it is agreed that these fifteen hundred warriors would have cut to pieces more than six thousand men, if the latter should advance into the mountainous country where the savages were. There are no troops of the sort that are in Europe who could succeed in such an enterprise, not only in equal but even in far superior numbers.
La Petite Racine ["Little Root"], who had come [to Montreal] on behalf of his tribe to be a witness of all that should take place in the general peace council, found an altogether extraordinary change in the condition of affairs; he traded the peltries that he had brought down, and promptly returned home. Monsieur Denonville despatched with him a canoe, by which he sent his orders to Monsieur de la Durantaye, commandant at Michilimakinak. This chief, on his return, caused universal alarm. The Outaouaks informed all the tribes of the devastation that had been inflicted upon the French, and entreated all the chiefs to come to Michilimakinak, that they might consult together upon the measures that ought to be taken regarding the wretched condition into which they were going to be plunged. They resolved in their general council to send to Tsonnontouan some deputies, with two of those Iroquois old men whom they had set free, in order to assure the Iroquois that they would have no further connection with the French, and that they desired to maintain with the Iroquois a close alliance.
The Hurons feigned not to join in the revolt of the Outaouaks; the policy of those peoples is so shrewd that it is difficult to penetrate its secrets. When they undertake any enterprise of importance against a nation whom they fear, especially against the French, they seem to form two parties -- one conspiring for and the other opposing it; if the former succeed in their projects, the latter approve and sustain what has been done; if their designs are thwarted, they retire to the other side. Accordingly, they always attain their objects. But such was not the case in this emergency; they were so terrified
45by La Petite Racine's report that neither the Jesuits nor the commandant could pacify those people -- who reproached them, with the most atrocious insults, saying that the French had abused them. Matters reached so pitiable a condition that Monsieur de la Durantaye had need of all his experience and good management to keep his fort and maintain the interests of the colony -- an undertaking that any other man would have abandoned; for the savages are fickle, take umbrage at everything, are time-serving, and are seldom friends except as caprice and self-interest induce them to act as such; it is necessary to take them on their weak side, and to profit by certain moments when one can penetrate their designs.
Soon afterward, Monsieur the Marquis de Denonville was recalled to court, his majesty having appointed him sub-governor to Monsieur the Duke of Bourgogne [i.e., Burgundy]. Monsieur the Count de Frontenac succeeded him, and arrived in Canada at the end of October, 1689. Monsieur de la Durantaye, who had remained at Michilimakinak, despatched a canoe to the new governor, to acquaint him with all the movements of the Outaouaks, and, as he held only a temporary command in the post which he was occupying, Monsieur de Frontenac sent Monsieur de Louvigni to relieve him. That governor was of opinion, at the outset, that it was desirable to make known his arrival to all the tribes; Perrot was the man whom he selected for that purpose; he ordered him, at the same time, to make every effort to pacify the troubles that the Outaouaks might have occasioned in those regions. He was accordingly despatched with Monsieur de Louvigni, who cut to pieces, at fifty leagues from Montreal, a party of sixty Iroquois; three of these he sent as prisoners to Monsieur de Frontenac,
46and another he took with him. He also carried away many scalps, in order to show them to the Outaouaks, in the hope of bringing about a reconciliation with them; but those peoples had already secured the start of him, lest they should draw upon themselves the indignation of the Iroquois. On the route the French learned, through the Missisakis, that La Petite Racine had gone as ambassador to the Iroquois with two chiefs; that nothing had been heard about them since, except that it was said that one of them was yet to depart. This news induced Monsieur de Louvigni to send Perrot with two canoes to Michilimakinak, to inform the French of his arrival. As soon as he came in sight of the place, he displayed the white flag, and his men uttered loud shouts of "Vive Ie Roi!" The French judged, by that, that some good news had come from Montreal. The Outaouaks ran to the edge of the shore, not in the least understanding all these outcries; as they were thoroughly persuaded that our affairs were in very bad condition, they were so politic as to say that they would receive in warlike fashion the French who were on the way. They were warned that our usages were different from theirs; we were unwilling that they should swarm into our canoes to pillage them, as is their custom in regard to nations who come back victorious from any military expedition, abandoning whatever is in their canoes; we preferred that they should be content with receiving presents. Warning was sent to Monsieur de Louvigni that he would be received in military array, with all the Frenchmen whom he was bringing; all sorts of precautions were taken lest we should be duped by those peoples, who were capable of laying violent hands on us when we were least expecting such action. The canoes came into view, at their head the one in which was the
47Iroquois slave; according to custom, he was made to sing, all the time standing upright. The Nepiciriniens who had accompanied the Frenchmen responded with them, keeping time, by loud shouts of "Sassakoue!" followed by volleys of musketry. A hundred Frenchmen of Michilimakinak were stationed, under arms, on the water's edge at the foot of their village; they had only powder in their guns, but had taken the precaution to place bullets in their mouths. The fleet, which proceeded in regular array, as if it were going to make a descent on an enemy's country, gradually came near. When the canoes neared the village of the Outaouaks,
The Hurons -- who, although they have been at all times very unreliable, had seemed greatly attached to our interests amid the general conspiracy of the Outaouaks -- demanded the slave, in order to have him burned;
48The Huron chiefs, who were very politic, after many deliberations warned their people not to put him in the kettle; their object in this was to render themselves
49acceptable to the Iroquois, in case peace should be made with that people, by the distinguished service which they would have rendered to one of their chiefs by saving him from the fire; but we very plainly saw their design. The Outaouaks, who were greatly offended, could not refrain from saying that it would be necessary to eat him. That Iroquois was surprised that a mere handful of Hurons, whom his own people had enslaved, should have prevailed on an occasion of such importance.
The father who was missionary to the Hurons, foreseeing that this affair might have results which would be prejudicial to his cares for their instruction, demanded permission to go to their village that he might constrain them to find some way by which the resentment of the French might be appeased. He told them that the latter peremptorily ordered them to put the Iroquois in the kettle and that, if they did not do so, the French must come to take him away from them and place him in their own fort. Some Outaouaks who happened to be present at the council said that the French were right. The Hurons then saw themselves constrained to beg the father to tell the French, on their behalf, that they asked for a little delay, in order that they might bind him to the stake. They did this, and began to burn his fingers; but the slave displayed so great lack of courage, by the tears that he shed, that they judged him unworthy to die a warrior's death, and despatched him with their weapons.
The chiefs of all the nations at Michilimakinak were
50summoned to meet at the house of the Jesuit fathers; and before each one was placed a present of guns, ammunition, and tobacco. Our envoy represented to them their short-sightedness in abandoning the interests of the French nation to embrace those of the Iroquois, whose only desire was for such a rupture. They were told that Onontio, who had every reason to abandon them, was nevertheless touched with compassion for his children, whom he desired to bring back to himself; and that he had sent the band of Frenchmen who had just arrived among them, striving to restore to the right path their minds, which had gone astray. That those houses burned on Montreal Island by the Iroquois, and the few corpses that they had seen in the unexpected invasion which the latter had made there, ought not to have such an effect on their minds as to persuade them that all was lost in the colony; that the Iroquois would not derive much profit from a blow which would far more redound to their shame than to the glory of true warriors, since they had come at that very time to ask for peace. That the French nation was more numerous than they imagined; that they must look upon it as a great river which never ran dry, and whose course could not be checked by any barrier. That they ought to regard the five Iroquois nations as five cabins of muskrats in a marsh which the French would soon drain off, and then burn them there; that they could be satisfied that the hundred women and children who had been treacherously carried away would be replaced by many soldiers, whom the great Onontio, the king of France, would send to avenge them. That since our Onontio of Canada, the Count de Frontenac, had arrived at Quebec, he had made the English feel the strength of his arms, by the various war-parties that he had sent into their country;
51that even the Nepiciriniens who had recently come up to Michilimakinak with Monsieur de Louvigni had given us no little aid in putting five large English villages to fire and sword; that Onontio was powerful enough to destroy the Iroquois, the English, and their allies. Finally, if any one of these tribes undertook to declare themselves in favor of the Iroquois, he gave them liberty to do so, but he would not consent that those who wielded the war-club to maintain their own interests should hereafter dwell upon his lands; that, if they preferred to be Iroquois, we would become their enemies; and that it would be seen, without any further explanations, who should remain master of the country.
The chief of the Cinagos, rising in the council, spoke in these terms: "My brother the Outaouak, vomit forth thy hateful feelings and all thy plots. Return to thy father, who stretches out his arms, and who is, moreover, not unable to protect thee." Nothing more was needed to overturn all the schemes of the malcontents. The chiefs of each nation protested that they would undertake no action against the will of their father. But, whatever assurance they gave of their fidelity, most of them, seeing their designs foiled, sought to thwart us by other subterfuges. They did not dare, it is true, to carry out their resolution -- either because they were unwilling to risk a combat with the French, who were only waiting for a final decision; or because they did not know how they could transport their families to the Iroquois country -- but all their desire was for the time when they could open the way for a large troop from that nation who could carry them away. They decided, however, in a secret conclave that they would send to the Iroquois the same deputies on whom they had previously agreed; and that, if their departure should unfortunately
52be discovered, the old men should disown them. This mystery was not kept so hidden that we did not receive warning of it. A Sauteur came to warn Perrot of their intention; one of their deputies entering his cabin a little later, he reproached him for it. But, as the savage is by nature an enemy of deceit, this man could not long disguise his sentiments; and he admitted that his brother was at the head of that embassy. Monsieur de Louvigni did not hesitate to call together all the chiefs, whom he sharply rebuked for their faithlessness. The Outaouaks thought that they could exculpate themselves by casting all the blame upon the man who was to go away. Messengers were sent for him, and never did a man seem more ashamed than he when he saw that he must appear before the council; he entered the place with the utmost mortification in his face. His brother said to him: "Our chiefs are throwing the stone at thee, and they say that they know nothing about thy departure for the Iroquois." Perrot took up the word, saying: "My brother, how is this? I thought that thou wast the supporter of the French who are at Michilimakinak. When the attack was made at Tsonnontouan, all the Outaouaks gave way; thou alone, with two others, didst second the French. At all times thou hast kept nothing for thyself; when thou hadst anything thou gavest it to the French, whom thou didst love as thine own brothers; yet now thou wouldst, against the wishes of thy tribe, betray us. Onontio, who remembers thee, has told me to reward thee; I do not think that thou art capable of opposing his wishes." He gave the man a brasse of tobacco and a shirt, and continued: "See what he has given me to show thee that he remembers thee. Although thou hast done wrong, I will give thee something to smoke, so that thou mayest vomit up or swallow
53whatever thou hast intended to do against him; and thy body, which is soiled by treason, shall be made clean by this shirt, which will make it white." That chief was so overcome with sorrow that it was a long time before he could speak; he recovered himself somewhat, and, addressing the old men, with an air full of pride and contempt, said to them: "Employ me in future, old men, when you undertake to plot anything against my father -- he who remembers me, and against whom I have taken sides. I belong wholly to him; and never will I take part against the French." Then turning toward Perrot, he said to him: "I will not lie to thee. When thou didst arrive, I went near thee, intending to embrace thee; but thou didst regard me unkindly. I thought that thou hadst abandoned me, because I had been to the Iroquois with La Petite Racine. When thou didst speak to the tribes, I withdrew, in order to divert them from the design that we all had of giving ourselves to the Iroquois. They did not dare to oppose thee; but at night they held a council in a cabin (from which they turned out all the women and children), to which I was summoned. They deputed me to return to the Iroquois, and I believed that thou hadst a grudge against me; those reasons constrained me to yield to what they demanded from me."
Those peoples could no longer maintain their evil design; the explanations that had just been made checked its progress; but they always kept up a very surly feeling against the French nation, and, although they saw that they were unable to compass their object, they did not fail again to stir up opposition against us, in order to annoy us. The jealousy that they felt because we made presents of a few gold-trimmed jackets to some Hurons, who had appeared to be our friends in this affair
54inspired in them a new stratagem. They knew that the Miamis, our allies, were at war with the Iroquois; and they resolved to attack the former, who did not mistrust their design, that they might force the Miamis themselves to make peace with the Iroquois. The Sauteur who had already ascertained that the Outaouaks had intended to send deputies to the Iroquois also learned that two canoes were to go to break heads among the Miamis; but we again broke up their plans, and prevented this act.
The Outagamis and the Maskoutechs, wishing to second the Outaouaks at the time when they took sides with the Iroquois -- who had sent them a large collar, in order to thank them for having restored to them five chiefs whom they had captured when on a hostile expedition against the Islinois -- resolved, to do the Iroquois, a pleasure, to massacre all the French who were coming down from the country of the Nadouaissioux. They persuaded themselves that they would, by such a massacre, attract to themselves the friendship of that haughty nation, who had appeared greatly pleased when the Outagamis had sent back to them five slaves of their nation, whom the Miamis had given to them to eat.
The arrival of the French at Michilimakinak was heard of at La Baye. The chief of the Puans, a man of sense, who greatly loved our nation, resolved to thwart the plot to kill our people. He went to find the Outagamis, and made them believe that Onontio had sent La Petit Bled d'Inde [i.e., Perrot] with three hundred Iroquois from the Sault, as many more Abenaquis,
55Nepiciriniens, and six hundred Frenchmen, to revenge himself for their evil project. The Outagamis precipitately quitted their ambuscade, and went back to their village. This chief, who was afraid that they would learn of his ruse, went to meet Perrot at the entrance of the bay; the latter promised to keep his secret, and presented to him a gold-trimmed jacket. A contrary wind compelled them to halt there for a time, and Perrot had an opportunity to become acquainted with all that had occurred at the bay. The Outagamis had taken thither their hatchets, which were dulled and broken, and had compelled a Jesuit brother to repair them; their chief held a naked sword, ready to kill him, while he worked. The brother tried to represent to them their folly, but was so maltreated that he had to take to his bed. The chief then prepared ambuscades, in order to await the French who were to return from the country of the Nadouaissioux. All the peoples of the bay had, it is true, good reason to complain, because our people had gone to carry to their enemies all kinds of munitions of war; and one could not be astonished that we had so much difficulty in managing all those people. Perrot sent back the Puan chief to the Outagamis, to tell them on his behalf that he had learned of their design against his young men, and would punish them for it; and, to let them know that he was not disturbed by all their threats, that he had sent back all his men, except fifty Frenchmen; that he had three hundred musket-shots to fire, and enough ammunition with which to receive them; that if he should by chance encounter any one of their tribe, he could not answer for the consequences;
56and that it would be useless for them to ask him to land at their village.
The Puan chief returned to the bay, where he exaggerated still further what Perrot had said to him. The Renard chief visited him expressly to ascertain the truth of the matter, and dared not wait for Perrot. He departed with eighty of his warriors to march against the Nadouaissioux, after he had given orders to the people of his village to assure Perrot in his behalf that he loved him, and to take great pains to entertain him well. He proceeded to the post of the Frenchmen who were sojourning in the country of the Nadouaissioux; as they were afraid of him, they gave him presents -- a gun, a shirt, a kettle, and various munitions of war; and he told them that Le Petit Bled d'Inde had resolved to recall them to the bay. This news, which was not very agreeable to them, induced them to quit that establishment; and they retired to a place eighty leagues farther inland, where they engaged the Nadouaissioux to go hunting, and to return to them in the winter. The Outagamis profited by this opportunity to attack the Nadouaissioux, of whom they slew many, and took several captives. The alarm was immediately given among the villages; the warriors fell upon them, and likewise slew many of the Outagamis, and took some captives. The chief fought on the retreat with extraordinary courage, and would have lost many more of his people if he himself had not made so firm a stand at the head of his band.
The Miamis, who had heard the report that Perrot would soon arrive at the bay, set out to visit him, to the number of forty, loaded with beaver-skins; when they
57came near the house of the Jesuits,
58spoke after this fashion: "My father, I come to tell thee that thy dead men and mine are in the same grave; and that the Maskoutechs have killed us, and have made us eat our own flesh. My three sisters, who were made prisoners in the year of the battle with the Tsonnontouans, seeing that the Iroquois were routed by Onontio [footnote, ‘The Marquis de Denonville’], escaped from their hands. Some Maskoutechs, whom they encountered at the river of Chikagon, found on their way two Frenchmen who were returning from the Islinois, and assassinated them. Their dread that the women would make known this murder led the assassins to break their heads; but they carried away the scalps, which they have given us to eat, saying that they were those of some Iroquois. The Spirit has punished those assassins by a malady which has caused them and all their children to die; at last one of them confessed his crime when he was dying. Those beaver-skins which thou seest on the other side tell thee that we have no will but thine; that, if thou tellest us to weep in silence, we will not make any move [against the Maskoutechs]."
Perrot made them several presents, and spoke to them in nearly the following words: "My brothers, I delight in your speech, and war is odious when you fight against the Maskoutech; he is brave, and will slay your young men. I do not doubt that you could destroy him, for you are more numerous and more warlike than he; but desperation will drive him to extremity, and he has arrows and war-clubs, which he can handle with skill. Besides, the war-fire has been lighted against the Iroquois, and will be extinguished only when he ceases to exist. War was declared on your account when he swept away your families at Chikagon; those dead persons are seen no longer, for they are covered by those of
59the Frenchmen whom the Iroquois have betrayed through the agency of the Englishman -- who was our ally, and upon whom we have undertaken to avenge ourselves for his treacherous conduct. We have also for an enemy the Loup, who is his son. Accordingly, we shall not be able to assist you if you undertake war against the Maskoutechs."
After he had delivered this speech to them he also made two heaps of merchandise; and, displaying these, continued thus: "I place a mat under your dead and ours, that they may sleep in peace; and this other present is to cover them with a piece of bark, in order that bad weather and rain may not disturb them. Onontio, to whom I will make known this assassination, will consider and decide what is best to do." The Miamis, then, had reason to be satisfied; since they begged him to locate his establishment upon the Missisipi, near Ouiskensing [Wisconsin], so that they could trade with him for their peltries. The chief made him a present of a piece of ore which came from a very rich lead mine, which he had found on the bank of a stream which empties into the Missisipi;
60would within twenty days establish a post below the Ouiskonche [Wisconsin] River. The chief then returned to his village.
All the Saki chiefs and the Pouteouatemis assembled near the Jesuit house. Perrot gave them presents of guns, tobacco, and ammunition, and encouraged them to deal harder blows than ever at the Iroquois, to whom no one was a friend; and he told them how utterly knavish the Iroquois were. He said that the allies should distrust their artful words and their fine collars, which were only so many baits to lure them into their nets; and that, if they should unfortunately fall into those snares, Onontio could not any longer draw them out. He told them that they had cause to be glad that they had continued in their fidelity notwithstanding all the foolish proceedings of the Outaouaks, who had tried to induce the allies to espouse their interests instead of his. He repeated to them the details of all that he had said to the tribes on Lake Huron; and also made them understand that, if they undertook to declare themselves in favor of the Iroquois, they could go to live among them, since we would not suffer them to remain upon our lands. They protested that they would never stray from their duty; and that, although the Outaouaks had always been their friends, they were resolved to perish rather than to abandon the cause of the French.
When Perrot had reached a small Puan village which was near the Outagamis, the chief of the Maskoutechs and two of his lieutenants arrived there. They entered Perrot's cabin, excusing themselves for not having brought any present by which they could talk to him, as their village was upon his route; the chief entreated him to sojourn there, as he had something of importance to communicate to him. Although we were greatly offended
61with both them and the Outagamis, who had sworn the ruin of the French who were among the Nadouaissioux, Perrot promised to stop at their village in order to forget the resentment that he felt toward them and to pardon them their error, which had been made only through the fault of the Renards.
The Sakis returned by way of the Outagamis, to whom they reported all that had been said to them. Perrot encountered two Outagami chiefs, who came to meet him; they approached him trembling, and begged him, in the most submissive terms, to land, in order to hear them for a little while. After he had landed, they lit a fire, and laid on the ground a beaver robe to serve him as a carpet, on which he seated himself; they were so beside themselves that for a time they could not speak. Finally one of them began to talk, saying: "The Outagamis have done wrong not to remember what thou didst formerly tell them. Since they became acquainted with thee thou hast never deceived them; and when they do not see thee they let themselves be carried away by the solicitations of the Outaouaks and others who try to induce them to abandon the French. I have tried to prevent our people from undertaking anything against thy young men; but they would not believe me, and I have been alone in my opinion. When they learned that thou wert coming, they were afraid of thee, and have begged me to tell thee on their behalf that they wish to see thee in their village, in order to reunite themselves to thy person -- which they have not altogether abandoned, since if they had carried out the scheme with which the Outaouaks inspired them against the French, they would have taken care of thy children. As for me, I have taken no part in their conspiracy; and on that account I have come to meet thee, to entreat that, if thou wilt not grant
62me anything for them, thou wilt at least not refuse to come and listen to them, out of consideration for me."
It was very difficult to obtain from those peoples all the satisfaction which we had desired. Their great distance from us prevents us from reducing them to obedience; and the blustering manner which must be assumed with them was the best policy that could be adopted to make them fear us. Perrot, who understood their character, yielded the point out of consideration for this chief, and promised to remain with them half a day, in order to listen to their words. The chief went away to console his people; he came back alone to meet Perrot, to ask him that he would land at the village. Another chief, seeing that the French did not leave their canoes, said that they were afraid. Our men answered that we did not fear them, and that the weapons of the French were able to make them repent, if they had the temerity to offer us any affront. The first-named chief was greatly incensed against this one, and said to his countrymen: "O Outagamis, will you always be fools? You will make the Frenchman embark, and he will abandon us. What will become of us? can we plant our fields if he will not allow it?" Throughout the village there were endless harangues, to quiet those who were seditious, and to induce the others to give Sieur Perrot a good reception. The head chief conducted him to his own cabin, where were present the most influential men of the tribe, who said to him "Welcome!" while offering him every token of kind feeling. Two young men entirely naked, armed as warriors, laid at his feet two packages of beaver-skins; and, sitting down, cried out to him, "We submit to thy wishes, and entreat thee by this beaver to remember no more our foolish acts. If thou art not content with this atonement, strike us down; we
63will suffer death, for we are willing to atone with our blood for the fault that our nation has committed." All these acts of submission had no other object than to procure ammunition and weapons for the peltries, foreseeing that he would refuse these supplies to them. Perrot made them understand that he had come to their village only to hear them; that, if they repented of their inconsiderate demands, he would pardon them; that, although they might escape from one hand, he would hold them tightly with the other; that he was holding them by no more than one finger, but that, if they would bestir themselves a little, he would take them by the arms and gradually bring them into a safe place where they could dwell in peace.
All the chiefs begged him, one after another, to receive them under his protection, imploring him to give them ammunition for their peltries so that they could kill game to make soup for their children. He would not grant them more than a small amount (apres-dînÄ). A war-chief, who carried in his hand a dagger, thought that Perrot's clerk had not given him enough powder, and spoke so fiercely to him that the clerk yielded all he asked. Perrot was greatly irritated against them, and gave orders to have everything taken back to the canoes; but after some explanation he recognized that the chief had no bad intention. Those peoples are so brutal that persons who do not understand them suppose that they are always full of anger when they are speaking.
Their trading being ended, the Frenchmen reëmbarked; they did so very opportunely, for the desperate frame of mind in which the Outagamis found themselves the next day, at tidings of the defeat of their people
64by the Nadouaissioux, would have made them forget the alliance which they had just renewed; in the sequel, they made that feeling sufficiently evident. The French arrived at a place a little below the village of the Maskoutechs, where they encamped. The chiefs, accompanied by their families, came to receive Perrot on the bank of their river; they entreated him to enter a cabin; and by a package of beaver-skins they told him that they covered the dead whom their people had assassinated, including three Miami slaves who had escaped from the Iroquois. By another present, they begged that he would allow them to establish their village at the same place where the French were going to settle, saying that they would demonstrate to him their fidelity, and would trade with him for their peltries. Perrot told them that they had a right to settle wherever they pleased; but that, if he permitted them to come near the French, they must turn their war-clubs against the Iroquois only; that they must hang up the hatchet against the Nadouaissioux until the fire of the Iroquois should be wholly extinguished. He told them that since Onontio had undertaken war against the Iroquois (who was [formerly] his son) -- on account of the Miamis who had been slain at Chikagon, and of the Maskoutechs themselves, who had lost their families -- he could chastise the Nadouaissioux more easily than they were aware, when he saw that all his children were uniting their forces with his to destroy the common foe. On the next day they presented to the Frenchmen a buffalo and some Indian corn, and fire,
65them the project formed by all the tribes -- the Miamis, the Outagamis, the Kikabous, and many of the Islinois. All these tribes were to assemble at the Missisipi, to march against the Nadouaissioux. The Miamis were to command the army; the Maskoutechs also were under obligation to join them, in order to avenge the assassination of the Miami slaves. At that moment some Outagamis brought the news of the defeat of their people by the Nadouaissioux; and they secretly tried to induce the Maskoutechs to unite with them against the French, who had furnished weapons to their enemies. The Maskoutechs were careful not to embroil themselves with the French; and the difficulty which they had already experienced in reinstating themselves in the good graces of the latter hindered them from undertaking any enterprise which would displease the French. These Outagamis, who had got wind of Perrot's sending to the bay a canoe loaded with peltries, went to inform their chief of it; he sent out some men to carry it away. The Frenchmen in the canoe, hearing at night the noise of paddles, and suspecting that the savages were going to capture them, hastily slipped among the tall reeds, which they traversed without being perceived.
Perrot reëmbarked, with all his men, in good order; he encountered at the [Fox-Wisconsin] portage a canoe of Frenchmen who were coming from the country of the Nadouaissioux. He warned them not to trust the Maskoutechs, who would plunder them; but his warning was in vain. Some of that tribe, discovering them, bestowed upon them every kindness, entreating them to stop and rest themselves, on their way, at their village; but the Frenchmen had no sooner arrived there than they were pillaged. The other Frenchmen reached the Missisipi; Perrot sent out ten men to warn, in behalf of
66Monsieur de Frontenac, the Frenchmen who were among the Nadouaissioux to proceed to Michilimakinak. Perrot's establishment was located below the Ouiskonche, in a place very advantageously situated for security from attacks by the neighboring tribes.
67and prayed the Miamis to hasten to join them; but the latter had replied that they would do nothing without the Frenchman's consent.
The Tchidüakoüingoües, the Oüaoüiartanons, the Pepikokis, the Mangakekis, the Poüankikias, and the Kilataks, all Miami tribes,
The savage's mind is difficult to understand; he speaks in one way and thinks in another. If his friend's interests accord with his own, he is ready to render him a service; if not, he always takes the path by which he can most easily attain his own ends; and he makes all his courage consist in deceiving the enemy by a thousand artifices and knaveries. The French were warned of all
68the savages' intrigues by a Miami woman; all these hostile actions would have greatly injured Perrot's scheme that they should turn their weapons against the Iroquois -- who, moreover, were delighted that these peoples should be thus divided among themselves, for whatever discord could be aroused among them was the only way by which their plans could be made to fail. Perrot sent for the chief of the Miamis; he made him believe that he had just received a letter which informed him that the Maskoutechs -- jealous at seeing themselves obliged, by way of satisfaction, to join their war-club to that of their allies -- had won over the Outagamis, and that they would by common consent attack the Miamis while on the general march against the Nadouaissioux. The chief, believing Perrot's statement, did not fail to break up the band of his warriors, and sent them the next day to hunt buffalo; they also held a war-feast, at which they swore the ruin of the Maskoutechs. The Outagamis, who had displayed more steadfast courage than did the other allies, finding that they were advanced into the enemy's country, consulted the medicine-men to ascertain whether they were secure. Those jugglers delivered their oracles, which were that the spirits had showed them that the Sauteurs and the Nadouaissioux were assembling to march against them.
69devil had really spoken to these men (as is believed in all Canada), or the Outagamis were seized with fear at finding themselves alone, without assistance -- however that might be, they built a fort, and sent their chiefs and two warriors to Perrot, begging that he would go among the Nadouaissioux to check their advance, and thus enable the Outagamis, with their families, to take refuge in their own village.
The Miamis would actually have engaged in battle with the Maskoutechs, if the Frenchman had not dissuaded their chief from doing so. They received the Outagami chief with all possible honors; he told them that their people were dead. Perrot asked him how many the dead were. He replied: "I do not know anything positively; but I believe that they all are dead, for our diviners saw the Nadouaissioux assemble together
70in order to come against us; they are very numerous, and we are greatly troubled on account of our women and children, who are with us. The old men have sent me to thee, to beg thee to deliver us from the danger into which we have too blindly rushed; they hope that thou wilt go among the Nadouaissioux to stop their advance." Perrot told him that they ought not to place any confidence in their jugglers, who are liars; and that it was only the Spirit who could see so far. "Not at all," replied the Outagami; "the Spirit has enabled them to see what they have divined, and that is sure to happen." The Miamis were strongly in favor of advancing. The Frenchman, who felt obliged by the orders that he had received from Monsieur de Frontenac to keep everything quiet among the allies, concluded that it would be best to avert an attack so fatal to the Outagamis; their destruction would have been very detrimental to the Frenchmen who happened to be in those regions, because the savages, who are naturally unruly, would have taken the opportunity to vent their resentment against them. He made them understand, however, that since the safety of a band of their tribe was concerned, he would go to make some attempt at ameliorating their situation. He encountered on the voyage five cabins of Maskoutechs, a village which was preparing to go to the French establishment to trade there for ammunition. He told them the reason for his departure, and warned them not to trust themselves with the Nadouaissioux.
Perrot finally arrived at the French fort,
71he made known his arrival to the Nadouaissioux, whom he found, to the number of four hundred, ranging along the Missisipi in order to carry on some warlike enterprise. They would not allow his men to return to him, and themselves came to the fort, to which they flocked from all sides in order to pillage it. The commandant demanded why their young men appeared so frightened at the very time when he came to visit his brothers in order to give them life. A chief, arising, made the warriors retire, and ordered them to encamp. When their camp was made, Perrot summoned their leading men, and told them that he had come to inform them that the Miamis, the Outagamis, the Islinois, the Maskoutechs, and the Kikabous had formed an army of four thousand men to fight with them; that they were to march in three parties -- one along the Missisipi, another at a day's journey farther inland, but following the river, and a third at a similar distance from the second. He told them that he had stayed this torrent that was going to carry them away; but finding them by chance in this locality, he exhorted them to return to their families and hunt beavers. They replied with much haughtiness that they had left home in order to seek death; and, since there were men, they were going to fight against them, and would not have to go far to find them. They exchanged some peltries; when that was done, they sent to ask Perrot to visit their camp, and there manifested to him the joy that they felt at his saying that they would find their enemies, entreating him to allow them to continue their route. He tried all sorts of means to dissuade them from this purpose; but they still replied that they had gone away to die; that the Spirit had given them men to eat, at three days' journey from the French; and that Perrot had invented a falsehood to them, since
72their jugglers had seen great fires far away. They even pointed out the places where these fires were: one was on this side, and at some distance inland; another at some distance, and farther inland; and a third, which they believed to be the fire of the Outagamis. All these statements were true, for the five cabins of the Maskoutechs were at three days' journey from the French establishment; their village was on one side, the fort of the Outagamis opposite, and the Miamis and Islinois at a considerable distance farther. It is believed that the demon often speaks to the savages; our missionaries even claim to have recognized him on several occasions. There was much truth in what the evil spirit had communicated to their jugglers. Other expedients must be employed to stop them; to gain their attention, Perrot gave them two kettles and some other wares, saying to them with these: "I desire you to live; but I am sure that you will be defeated, for your devil has deceived you. What I have told you is true, for I really have kept back the tribes, who have obeyed me. But you are now intending to advance against them; the road that you would take I close to you, my brothers, for I am not willing that it should be stained with blood. If you kill the Outagamis or their allies, you cannot do so without first striking me; if they slay you, they likewise slay me; for I hold them under one of my arms, and you under the other. Can you then do them any wrong without doing it to me?" He was holding the same calumet which they had sung to him when he first made discovery of their tribe; he presented it to them to smoke, but they refused it. The insult which they thus offered was so great that he flung the calumet at their feet, saying to them: "It must be that I have accepted a calumet which dogs have sung to me, and that they no longer remember what they said to me. In singing it to me, they chose me as their chief,
73and promised me that they would never make any advance against their enemies when I presented it to them; and yet today they are trying to kill me." Immediately a war-chief arose, and told Perrot that he was in the right; he then extended it toward the sun, uttering invocations, and tried to return it to Perrot's hands. The latter replied that he would not receive it unless they assured him that they would lay down their weapons. The chief hung it on a pole in the open place within the fort, turning it toward the sun; then he assembled all the leading men in his tent, and obtained their consent that no hostile advance should be made. He then called Perrot thither, and sent for the calumet; he placed it before him, one end in the earth and the other held upright by a small forked stick. He drew from his war-pouch a pair of moccasins, beautifully made; then he took off Perrot's shoes, and with his own hands put the moccasins on the Frenchman's feet. Finally he presented to him a dish of dried grapes, and three times put some of the fruit in Perrot's mouth. After he had eaten these, the chief took the calumet and said to him: "I remember all that these men promised to thee when they presented to thee this calumet; and now we listen to thee. Thou art depriving us of the prey that the Spirit had given us, and thou art giving life to our enemies. Now do for us what thou hast done for them, and prevent them from slaying us when we are dispersed to hunt for beaver, which we are going to do. The sun is our witness that we obey thee."
Quiet was restored by the good management of Sieur Perrot, who returned to his establishment. He related to the Maskoutechs, who came to meet him, all that he had accomplished among the Nadouaissioux in favor of
74them and their allies; and compelled them to settle, with the Kikabous, at a place two days' journey from him near a Miami village -- in order that, if the Nadouaissioux should happen to break their promise, these tribes might be able to resist them. They sent a band of forty warriors against the Iroquois, and brought back twelve of their scalps.
The French discovered the mine of lead, which they found in great abundance; but it was difficult to obtain the ore, since the mine lies between two masses of rock -- which can, however, be cut away. The ore is almost free from impurities, and melts easily; it diminishes by a half, when placed over the fire, but, if put into a furnace, the slag would be only one-fourth.
The Outaouaks, seeing that all was quiet among the tribes of the south, rightly judged that now they could easily carry fire and sword among those peoples. The alliance which they desired to contract with the Iroquois continually possessed their minds; and however great the ascendancy that the Jesuits had gained over them, or the skill with which Monsieur de Louvigni managed them, in order to keep them in submission to Monsieur de Frontenac's orders, nothing could prevail over their caprice. They left Michilimakinak, to the number of three hundred, and formed two war-parties; one was to join the Islinois against the Ozages and the Kancas, and the other was to disperse into the country of the Nadouaissioux. Their course of conduct could only be very detrimental to the interests of the French colony, which would thus be prevented from receiving general aid from all the southern tribes against the Iroquois. When they had arrived at the Bay des Puans, they could not refrain from shouting that they found in their road a very precipitous place, which they did not believe they
75could scale or overturn. "There is Metaminens," they said, "who is going to stretch out legs of iron, and will compel us to retrace our steps; but let us make an effort, and perhaps we shall get over them." They remembered that he had restrained them at Michilimakinak when they, after the raid of the Iroquois upon the island of Montreal, declared themselves against the French. Their fear that he would exasperate the minds of certain tribes in that region made them speak thus. Monsieur de Louvigni had taken the precaution to inform them that Perrot had pledged the Outagamis to our cause, and knew that he could accomplish a great deal in circumstances of such importance. Perrot was prudent enough to say nothing to the Outaouaks about their enterprise; he only inquired from some of the war-chiefs if they had not some letters from Michilimakinak to give him. They told him that they had none, and that they were going to seek for the bones of their dead among the Nadouaissioux, hoping that he would consent to their project, as the Jesuit fathers and Monsieur de Louvigni had done. He treated them very affably, and had them smoke a pipe, without saying anything to them of other matters. Some one privately gave him the name of the chief who had hidden one of his letters; Perrot went to see this chief at night, and demanded why he had not given him the letter. "Dost thou not suppose," he said to him, "that the Spirit who has made writing will be angry with thee for having robbed me? Thou art going to war; art thou immortal?" The chief was, of course, somewhat surprised, imagining that the other had had some revelation in regard to the letter; he restored it to Perrot, and on the next day asked him to tell what he had read therein. The substance of it was, that he positively must restrain the Outaouaks; or, if he could not
76do that, he must render them objects of suspicion to the Outagamis. The chief of the Puans was extremely friendly to the French, to whom he offered any service that he could render; he was thoroughly convinced that, if the Outaouaks should advance, all the other nations would undoubtedly follow them, and that an army of two thousand warriors would be formed. All the prominent men of that tribe desired to hear the speech that Perrot was going to deliver to them; and it was in the following manner that he addressed them, holding his calumet in his hand, and having at his feet twelve brasses of tobacco: "Cinagots, Outaouaks, and you other warriors, I am astonished that, after having promised me last year that you would have no other will than Onontio's, you should tarnish his glory by depriving him of the forces that I have with much labor obtained for him. How is this? you who are his children are the first to revolt against him. I come from a country where I have hung up a bright sun, to give light to all the tribes that I have seen -- who now leave their families in quiet, without fearing any storms, while warriors are seeking to avenge the bones of their dead among the Iroquois; but you are trying to raise clouds there which will give birth to thunderbolts and lightnings, in order to strike them, and perhaps to destroy even us. I love peace in my country; I have discovered this land, and Onontio has given the charge of it to me; and he has promised me all his young men to punish those who undertake to stain it with blood. You are my brothers; I ask from you repose. If you are going to war against the Nadouaissioux, go by way of Chagouamigon,
77begun war with them. What will Onontio say when he learns of the measures that you are taking to deprive him of the aid that he is expecting from you, and from his other children, whom you are trying to seduce? You have forgotten that your ancestors in former days used earthen pots, stone hatchets and knives, and bows; and you will be obliged to use them again, if Onontio abandons you. What will become of you if he becomes angry? He has undertaken war to avenge you, and he has maintained it against nations far stronger than you. Know that he is the master of peace, when he so wills; the Iroquois are asking it from him, and it would be made if he did not fear that you would be made its victims, and that the enemy would pour out upon you his vengeance, to satisfy the shades of the many families that he has sacrificed on your account. With what excuses will you defend yourselves before him from all the charges that will be made against you? Cease this hostile advance which he forbids to you. I do not wash the blackened countenances of your warriors; I do not take away the war-club or the bow that I gave you on Onontio's behalf; but I recommend to you to employ them against the Iroquois, and not against other peoples. If you transgress his orders, you may be sure that the Spirit who made all, who is master of life and of death, is for him; and that he knows well how to punish your disobedience if you do not agree to my demands." He lighted his calumet, and, throwing to them the twelve brasses of tobacco, continued: "Let us smoke together; if you wish to be children of Onontio, here is
78his calumet. I shall not fail to inform him of those who choose to set him at naught."
He presented it to them, but there was one war-chief who refused it; the result, however, was more propitious than Perrot had expected. The Puans, seeing that the only question now at issue was to appease this man, offered to him the calumet, and made him a present of six kettles, with two porcelain collars. The next day, they made a solemn feast for the Outaouaks, and sang the calumet to them. At the time when these three hundred warriors set out to return to Michilimakinak, a young warrior, with several of his comrades, left the troop, in order to continue their march against the Nadouaissioux. The Outaouaks, who had fully decided to forget all their resentment, were so offended at this proceeding that they threw all the baggage of these men into the river, and dragged their canoe more than a hundred paces up on the land.
The only tribes who defended the interests of the colony in the midst of this great revolution were the Nepiciriniens and the Kikabous; they marched against the Iroquois, and brought back some scalps of the latter, which they presented to the commandants at Michilhmakinak. A few days later was seen the arrival of other canoes, who had carried away an Iroquois; he was released before they came ashore, which was contrary to the laws of war -- which require that a general council be held in order to deliberate on the death or the life of a prisoner. It was known that the Outaouaks were responsible for this proceeding; they had maliciously informed this freedman of several grievances which they
79had invented against the French people. He said that his people had fought a battle in the vicinity of Montreal, in which four hundred Frenchmen had been slain, and that Onontio had not dared to go outside the town. As this tale, mingled with insulting language, made evident the evil intentions of those peoples, it was [considered] proper to come to an understanding [with them] in regard to the many insolent utterances which were heard on every side. The more prominent chiefs tried to justify themselves, and in truth there were some of them who had taken no part in this dissension; the author of it was the man who seemed least opposed to our interests, but he nevertheless caused all these disorders. He assembled a general council, to which all the Nepiciriniens were summoned. They came to see the French, with five collars, and asked them by the first, to forget their error; by the second, they assured us that they had united themselves to the body of their father, never to be detached from him. By the third, that he would know them in the following spring, by the war-parties that they would send against the Iroquois; by the fourth, that they submitted to Onontio; and by the fifth, that they renounced the English and their trade.
Reply was made, by five presents, to all that they had said; and it was represented to them that the trade with the English, which they so eagerly sought to obtain, would deliver them into the hands of the Iroquois, whose only endeavor was to deceive them.
The long stay made at Montreal by four canoes which had been sent thither to learn news of the colony made the savages suspect that [our] affairs were going ill; they made a feast in the village, which was attended by the chiefs only. A Frenchman who passed that way was
80invited to it, and the most distinguished among the chiefs said to him: "Thou who meddlest in thwarting us, cast a spell to learn what has become of our men whom thy chief sent into thy country to be eaten there." This savage had had secret connections with the English, in order to secure for them entrance into the beaver-trade; and he made them a present of ten packets of pelts, as a pledge for the promise that he had given them. All the allied tribes acted only by his order; he was the originator of all that was done among those peoples; and he had rendered himself so influential that whatever he required was blindly followed. In his childhood he had been carried away [from his home] as a slave. This Frenchman whom he told to play the juggler replied that "The Frenchmen were not in the habit of eating men; that if this man were a chief he would answer him, but he was a slave; and that it was not a dog like him with whom the Frenchman compared, he who bore the message of one of the greatest captains who had ever been heard of." This savage replied [to the other savages]: "You who are here behold the insults which I meet in your village from this man who is troubling our peace, when I am trying to maintain our common interest." All the guests began to show their discontent, and matters would perhaps have turned to the disadvantage of the Frenchman if he had not instantly found some expedient for rendering this very chief odious to them. He had been a slave of a man named Jason [sc. Talon] (of whom I have already spoken), who had been the first to go from the north to Three Rivers, the second government district in Canada, and who for all the services which he had rendered to the tribe had been chosen its head chief. At his death he left several children, who could not maintain that
81high position because this slave, who was freed, had by his ability acquired the general esteem of all those peoples. This Frenchman, I say, began to call out in the middle of the feast: "Where art thou, Talon? where art thou, Brochet?" (another head chief); "it was you two who ruled over all this country; but your slave has usurped your authority and is making your children his slaves, although they ought to be the real masters. But I will sacrifice everything to maintain their rights, and Onontio will favor us; he will know how to restore them to the rank that they ought to occupy." Hardly had he spoken when the sons and relatives of those two chiefs arose, and took the Frenchman's part, uttering threats against this seditious man; and it lacked little of their reaching the utmost violence of conduct. Those young chiefs, remembering what their ancestors had been, compelled this old man to render satisfaction to the Frenchman; and the fear which they also felt of being exposed to unpleasant results constrained them to entreat the missionary fathers to adjust all these matters.
The French themselves did not know what to think of the delay of those canoes; at last they arrived, after a three months' wait. They reported that a battle had been fought at the Prairie de la Madeleine, three leagues from and opposite Montreal, against the Iroquois and the English, in which we had gained all the advantage -- it might be said that the enemy had suffered extreme injury.
This news made some impression on the minds of the Outaouaks, but the Miamis of the Saint Joseph River easily forgot what they had promised to execute against the Iroquois; they no longer thought of anything except of opening the way to the Loups, who had opened a commerce with the English. Those of Maramek
82were somewhat unsettled; they were reminded that the bow and war-club of Onontio had been delivered to them in order to attack the Iroquois and avenge their own dead. The story of the battle at the Prairie, and of the raising of the siege of Quebec  by the English (who had come thither with all the forces of New England), was related to them. "Your father," it was said to them, "does not cease to labor for your peace; but you have always remained inactive since he undertook war against the Iroquois. The Spirit favors his arms; his enemies fear him, but he does not heed them." They were counseled to avail themselves of his aid while he was willing to favor them; and they were told that there was reason to complain of their indifference while he was sacrificing his young men. They promised to send out three hundred warriors, who would not spare either the Loups or the English. The Maskoutechs, who had seemed to have our interests so strongly at heart, gave very unsatisfactory evidence of their fidelity; they amused themselves with making raids into the lands of the Nadouaissioux, where they carried away captive some Puans and some Ayoës who had made a settlement there, without troubling themselves whether those two tribes were their allies. The jealousy which they felt because some Frenchmen had promised to barter merchandise among the Miamis in preference to them inspired them to send to that people ten large kettles, to warn them to distrust the Frenchmen, who were going to form a large band of Abenaquis and their [other] allies to deal a blow on the families of the Miamis after their men had set out on the march against the Iroquois. This present put an end to all their war-parties, excepting only their chief, who went away with eighty warriors. The Outagamis, who had been very quiet, not-withstanding
83the promise that they had given to join with that tribe against the common enemy, promised to do so when the Sakis, the Puans, and the Pouteouatemis should take the war-path. For this purpose an Iroquois scalp and a gun were given to them, and this speech was made to them: "Here is an Iroquois who is given to you to eat; this scalp is his head, and this gun is his body. We wish to know whether you are French or Iroquois, in order to send word to Onontio; if you go to war we shall believe that you are French, if you do not go we shall declare you an enemy."
The great distance which lay between us and all these allies was a hindrance in causing them to show all the activity that we could have desired. The French who went among them, either to facilitate their trading or to maintain them in entire harmony, were even exposed to many dangers. Perrot was on the point of being burned by the Maskoutechs, who had received from him so many benefits. That tribe, insatiable for all that they saw, sent to ask him to come to their village, to trade for beaver-skins; and a chief of the Pouteouatemis accompanied him. Hardly had he reached their village, with six Frenchmen, when the savages seized all their merchandise; and they displayed more inhumanity to him than to the meanest of their slaves. It is a rule among all the tribes to give to the captives the first morsels of what food may be eaten; but these savages would not give him any food. One of their chiefs could not refrain from complaining that he would not have the strength to endure the fire, if they did not take better care of him; they intended to sacrifice him to the shades
84of many of their men who had been killed in various fights, and they said that Perrot was the cause of their death. A warrior who came to him to pronounce his sentence told him that they had intended to burn him in the village, but that part of them would not be witnesses of this execution. He said to Perrot: "Thou wilt set out at sunrise, and wilt be closely followed, and at noon thou wilt be burnt on the plain. Thou art a sorcerer, who hast caused the deaths of more than fifty of our men, in order to pacify the shades of two Frenchmen whom we killed at Chikagon. If thou hadst taken revenge for those two alone we would not have said anything, for blood must be paid for with blood; but thou art too cruel, and therefore thou art going to be the victim who is to be sacrificed to them." Great steadfastness was necessary in so terrible an emergency. The Pouteouatemi chief also sang his death-song, on the eve of his departure, and they made him and Perrot set out the next morning from the village, with the other Frenchmen, who were lamenting their wretched fate. While the people in the village were amusing themselves with dividing all the property of the Frenchmen, the latter went forward a little distance on a beaten path, and then they bethought themselves to take several wrong directions without losing sight of one another. Some warriors were sent after them, who could not find their tracks; but the French do not know whether these men really could not discover them, or only pretended not to find them. However that may be, a Miami who had married a Maskoutech woman saw these warriors start, and immediately gave notice of it to his tribe, telling them that Perrot had been plundered and burned by the Maskoutechs. The chief of the Miamis was at that time at war with the Iroquois; and the Miamis were only waiting the moment of his arrival, in order to avenge
85this death. The tribes of the bay were also notified of it and desired to seize the war-club for the chastisement of those peoples. Perrot arrived safely among the Puans, where they immediately hung up some war-kettles, as if to go in search of what had been taken from him, and to kill some Maskoutechs; but as it was a question of holding together all those tribes in their desire to form a connection with the common enemy, he obliged them to suspend their anger, for the sake of the French nation.
On all sides hostilities were begun in earnest against the Iroquois. The Outaouaks sent out war-parties against them from all quarters, and during the summer killed or captured more than fifty of them. The Miamis of Muramik [sc. Maramek]
86separated into four bands, after having divided the powder among them. On the next day after their departure a solemn feast was made by order of Ouagikougaiganea, the great chief, to obtain from the Spirit a safe return. They erected an altar, on which they placed bear-skins arranged to represent an idol; they had smeared the heads of these with a green clay, as they passed in front of these skins, kneeling down before them; and every one was obliged to assist at this ceremony.
87They danced to the sound of drums and gourds; they formed, as it were, two hostile parties, who attacked and defended in a battle. They had for weapons the skins of serpents and otters, which, they said, brought death to those on whom they cast the spell, and restored life to those whom they wished [to live]. The director of the ceremony, accompanied by two old men and two women at his side, walked with serious manner, going into all the cabins of the village to give notice that the ceremony was to begin soon. They practiced the imposition of hands on all persons whom they met, who, by way of thanks, embraced their legs. Everywhere were seen dances, and one heard only the howls of the dogs which they were killing in order to offer the sacrifices. The bones of those which were eaten were afterward burned, as in a holocaust. The persons who had been killed, and whom the medicine-men brought back to life by the spell, danced separately, while the others remained as if dead. Men, women, girls, and boys of twelve years old, fell dead or were restored to life, as were even the jugglers, the medicine-men, and the sorcerers. Every one had offered the handsomest ornaments that he could. Some persons thrust down their throats sticks a foot and a half long, and as large as one's thumb, and feigned to lie dead; then they were carried to the medicine-men, who brought them back to life and sent them away to dance. Others swallowed feathers of the swan or eagle, then drew these out, and fell down, as if dead; and these also were resuscitated. In short, one recognized in their antics only diabolical contrivances.
The best thing in this festival was, that all the riches of the village were destined for the jugglers. The ceremonies lasted during five days, both day and night; at the latter time they were within the cabins, and by day
88in the public place -- where they approached from all sides, marching as if in procession. It was useless to represent to them that all this that they were doing was criminal before God; they answered that this was the right way to secure his favor, to the end that he should give some enemies to be eaten by their young men, who would die without that if they did not observe this solemnity. One of their war-parties arrived at the end of thirty days; they had killed many Iroquois, without losing one of their own men, and they said to the French: "Believe us, our sort of ceremony has made the Spirit listen to us." The other bands came back some time afterward, with a number of prisoners, and the Loups whom the men of Saint Joseph had made to turn aside.
While the Miamis were giving to Monsieur de Frontenac proofs of their fidelity, the Maskoutechs had openly declared hostilities against their allies the Ayoës, and had cut to pieces all the inhabitants of the Ayoës's main village. Some of them came to the Miamis and tried to induce Perrot to go among them, assuring him that they would make reparation for the pillage of his merchandise; but the Miamis, who knew that the Maskoutechs intended to eat him, sharply asked them if they thought that he was a dog, whom they could drive away when he disturbed them, and then bring him back at the first caress which they offered him. The Maskoutechs learned that all the peoples of the bay, with the Miamis and several other tribes, had intended to avenge the injury which the former had inflicted on Perrot; and they sent him two deputies to ask that he would not go away from Maramek, where they wished to confer with him. Their chief came in person, with a number of warriors, and entered the cabin of the Miami chief, where a meeting was called of the more prominent men
89of the tribe, and of the Kikabous. The Maskoutechs had carried away some Ayoës slaves, a woman and three children, whom they seated before Perrot, and said to him: "We have borrowed thy guns; they have thundered upon a village, which they have made us eat. See the effect which they produced, and which we bring to thee," at the same time displaying these slaves. They placed forty beaver robes before him, and continued their speech thus: "We have taken from thee a garment to dazzle the sight of our enemies and make ourselves feared by them, and we pay thee for it by this beaver; we do not pay thee for thy guns and merchandise. If thou art willing to receive us with forgiveness, we know where are some beavers, for we saw them on our road [to this place]. If we live a few years, thou shalt be satisfied; for we did not intend to plunder thee, and we have only placed thy merchandise to thy credit."
This chief was told that in order to appease the wrath of Onontio it was necessary to destroy a village of Iroquois; and that they must not attack people who had not made war on them; that they were easily forgetting their own dead [killed by the Iroquois], whom the French were continually avenging; that they would do well to send to Montreal one of their chiefs, in order to appease Onontio; that his fire was lighted, to receive all those who desired to warm themselves at it -- and even the Iroquois, although they were his enemies; and that they might be sure that we would have taken vengeance on their tribe, if we had not caused all the others to hang up their hatchets. A chief resolved to accompany that Frenchman [i.e., Perrot] to Montreal, in order to turn aside the resentment of Monsieur de Frontenac; and forty Miamis escorted him as far as the bay. When they arrived among the Outagamis, the latter dissuaded
90the Maskoutech from going farther; because they told him that the rule of the French was to hang thieves, without any pardon, and that he would for love of his people certainly suffer the same fate -- which caused him to return home.
The English, who had until then made all sorts of attempts to insinuate themselves among the Outaouaks, found the finest opportunity in the world for succeeding in this. As soon as they learned that the Iroquois had granted life to the son of a Sauteur chief, they procured his freedom; they had thought that, as his father was dead, he might succeed the latter, and that the ascendency which he possessed over the minds of his people would be an effectual means to facilitate to them some further entrance among the neighbors of the Sauteurs. The gratitude that this freedman felt (as they believed beyond doubt) for so great a benefaction must induce him to engage in any undertaking in favor of his liberators. Moreover, the Iroquois were planning also to obtain some advantage from this matter; and on both sides they gave the Sauteur collars and presents in order to persuade our allies to take sides and carry on trade with them. He met the Outaouaks out hunting, in the midst of the winter; they met together to hear the explanation of those collars, and at the same time concluded to keep the affair secret. They secretly sent, "under ground," many presents to the Sakis and to the peoples at the bay, to constrain them to withdraw from the war against the Iroquois; among those tribes many visits were made [by the Outaouak envoys], but they replied that all those solicitations were useless, and that they would die rather than abandon the interests of the French. The Sauteurs, who were beginning to realize that the Iroquois had spared their lives, declared themselves
91against our allies if they intended to continue war against the Iroquois. Nothing could make them go back from their decision; they said that they were men, capable of resisting whomsoever undertook to thwart them in what they had resolved. The commandant at Michillimakinak, when he heard of the friendship of the Sakis, sent word to them that he and his Frenchmen would die [for them] if they were attacked, even offering them his fort as a refuge. The Cinago Outaouaks, who had declared in favor of the Sauteurs, fearing that the Sakis would carry far the resentment which they had displayed against the latter, on the one hand undertook to reconcile them with the Sakis, and on the other did everything in their power to turn them aside from the Iroquois War. They made presents to the Sauteurs, and gave them a calumet which said that their dead lay together among the Nadouaissioux, and that, since they were relatives, they ought to hang up their hatchets this year -- but assuring them of no interference another year, if they wished to resume the war.
The Outaouaks faithfully kept the secret of the collar which the Iroquois had given to the Sauteurs, and, in order not to cause suspicion in the French, they asserted to Monsieur de Louvigny that they had received it for the sake of peace, and that they had been urged to become mediators with Onontio for that end. They tried to persuade that officer to accept this collar himself, since he was commandant at Michillimakinak; but he excused himself, and informed them that they must go to present it to Onontio. They did not hesitate to send envoys to him, who took advantage of the departure of the Sakis.
We may say that the Hurons and the Outaouaks were in extreme blindness about all that concerned the Iroquois
92whom they believed to be really their friends; for while they did whatever the latter wished, in order to give them substantial proofs of their friendship, the Iroquois sought, underhand, for occasions to take the others by surprise. After the departure of those envoys the Hurons captured two Iroquois, whom they sent back to their homes with many presents, as a pledge to their nation that the Outaouak people had no greater desire than alliance with them -- at the same time congratulating them on having spared the lives of the Sauteurs; but the Iroquois did not act in so good faith.
Dabeau, a Frenchman who had been a slave among them for several years, was with a band of warriors who went out to attack whomsoever they should encounter; being left alone with eight of their men and two women, he killed them all while they were asleep, and took the women to the first village of our allies that he could light on, when he found two Hurons hunting beavers. His fear of being himself slain by men who could have appropriated to themselves the exploit which he had performed constrained him to make them a present of the two slaves, and of the scalps which he had brought with him. He embarked with them for Michillimakinak. The arrival of these two women threw much light [on the designs of the Iroquois], and the [Huron] people felt indignation at finding themselves thus deceived. Immediately a war-party was sent out, who laid violent hands on thirteen Iroquois who were coming to make war on them; they killed five and captured seven of these, and only one escaped. As it was known that an agreement had been made between the Hurons and the Iroquois that they would on both sides spare the lives of captives whom they might take, our people observed that the Hurons were planning to act thus by these Iroquois
93Some Frenchmen, seeing them come ashore, killed two of the captives with their knives; the Hurons rescued the other five and took them into their village, and seized their weapons. General disorder arose; the Outaouaks remained neutral, and stepped aside to be spectators of the fracas. Nansouakouet, the only friend of the French, called his warriors together, in order to support the French in case fighting arose. The Hurons, who knew the generous nature of the French, incapable of doing harm to those who were in their power, hastened to our fort, in order to find an asylum there. The Hurons did not push their violent acts further; the old men entreated the commandant not to pay attention to the insolence of their young men, and brought to him the chief of the Iroquois band, to dispose of him as he should think best. Although the character of the French is opposed to inhumanity, it was impossible to avoid giving a public example of it [in this case]. The continual favors which were bestowed on the captives by our allies -- who at heart were more our enemies than were even the Iroquois -- only secured the continuance on both sides of the secret arrangements which existed between them; and, in order to exasperate at least the Iroquois, it was considered best to sacrifice this chief. For this purpose all the Outaouaks were invited "to drink the broth of this Iroquois," to express myself after their manner of speech. A stake was planted, to which he was attached by his hands and feet, leaving him only enough freedom to move around it; and a large fire was kindled near him, in which iron implements, gun-barrels, and frying-pans were made red-hot, while he sang his death-song. All being ready, a Frenchman began to pass a gun-barrel over his feet; an Outaouak seized another instrument of torture, and one after another
94they broiled him as far as the knees, while he continued to sing tranquilly. But he could not refrain from uttering loud cries when they rubbed his thighs with red-hot frying-pans, and he exclaimed that the fire was stronger than he. At once all the crowd of savages derided him with yells, saying to him, "Thou art a war-chief, and afraid of fire; thou art not a man!" He was kept in these torments during two hours, without giving him any respite; the more he gave way to despair and struck his head against the stake, the more they flung jests at him. An Outaouak undertook to refine on this sort of torture; he cut a gash along the captive's body, from the shoulder to the thigh, put gunpowder along the edges of the wound, and set fire to it. This caused the captive even more intense pain than had the other torments, and, as he became extremely weak, they gave him something to drink -- but not so much to quench his thirst as to prolong his torture. When they saw that his strength began to be exhausted, they cut away his scalp, and left it hanging behind his back; they lined a large dish with hot sand and red-hot coals, and covered his head with it; and then they unbound him, and said to him, "Thou art granted life." He began to run, falling and again rising, like a drunken man; they made him go in the direction of the setting sun (the country of souls), shutting him out from the path to the east; and they allowed him to walk only so far as they were willing he should go. He nevertheless had still enough strength to fling stones at random; finally they stoned him, and every one carried away [a piece of] his broiled flesh.
Those savages who were most incensed quieted down after the departure of the deputies who carried to Monsieur de Frontenac the Sauteur's collar; and our people made various attempts to ascertain its real meaning, and
95what reply the Outaouaks and the other tribes made to the English and the Iroquois. At Michilimakinak there was a Frenchman who was an intimate friend of one of the principal council chiefs among our allies; he assured this chief of entire protection from Onontio. As man readily discloses his thought in the midst of joy, the chief, after being warmed by a little brandy, promised the Frenchman to meet him next day in the woods, where he would tell him in confidence the entire condition of affairs; and the two went to the appointed place. The Outaouak assured him that the English had sent to the tribes four collars. By the first they sent word that they would establish a post on Lake Herier, where they would come to trade; the second took the savages under their protection. By the third, the English ceased to remember the pillage, by the savages together with the French, from their warriors who were going to Michilimakinak; and by the fourth they promised to furnish their merchandise at lower prices than those asked by Onontio -- who was avaricious and robbed them.
As for the Iroquois, they had sent to these tribes eight collar. By the first, they said that they remembered the peace that they had made with La Petite Racine, and that they had not desired to break it, even though their brothers the Outaouaks should kill them every day; by the second, they buried all the dead whom their brothers had slain. The third hung up a sun at the strait between Lake Herier and Lake Huron, which should mark the boundaries between the two peoples, and this sun should give them light when they were hunting. By the fourth, they threw into the lake, and into the depths of the earth, the blood that had been shed, in order that nothing might be tainted with it. By the fifth, they sent "their own bowl," so that they might have but one dish from
96which to eat and drink. By the sixth, they promised to eat the "wild beasts" around them which should be common [enemies] to both. The seventh was to make them "eat together of the buffalo," meaning that they would unite to make war on the Miamis, the Islinois, and other tribes. By the eighth, they were to eat "the white meat," meaning the flesh of the French.
This chief told the Frenchman the replies of the Outaouaks, who consented to all these demands and sent return messages by means of collars, red-stone calumets,
The Miamis, continually occupied against the Iroquois, levied a force of three hundred warriors. Some Frenchmen who were in that quarter, looking only at their own interests, made the savages believe that Onontio desired them to hunt beavers for one winter, to trade these for ammunition, in order to undertake in the following spring an expedition against the common enemy; but this advice did not hinder them from sending out a war-party, who captured and tomahawked twelve Iroquois. Finding themselves pursued by a great number, in another encounter they killed sixteen of the enemy. The Sakis and their allies also displayed their fidelity to Onontio; and it was only the Outagamis and the Maskoutechs who broke all their promises. They were implacable against only the Nadouaissioux, whatever the peace which they had made together, and whatever the difficulty in which they had found themselves, from which they were only extricated through the mediation of the French. This passion for vengeance which dominated them could never be effaced from their minds, and they set out on the war-path, with all their families. They destroyed [a village of] eighty cabins of Nadouaissioux, and cut to pieces all who offered resistance; and they practiced unheard -- of cruelties on their captives. In this fight they lost fifteen men, and in revenge for this they burned two hundred women and children. Six Frenchmen went among them in order to redeem some of these slaves, and themselves narrowly escaped being consigned to the flames. The Miamis were deeply moved by all these disturbances of the peace; and they feared that the Nadouaissioux, desiring to take revenge, would attack them on their journey. As they had not
98been at all implicated with the Maskoutechs, they engaged Perrot to go to the Nadouaissioux, to assure them of the sympathy felt for them by the Miamis. Perrot encountered a band of Nadouaissioux who were coming as scouts against the Maskoutechs, who told him that at eight leagues above he would find sixty of their men, who formed an advance-guard to watch lest their enemies should return to the attack. He had no sooner reached that place than those men approached him, all bathed in tears, and uttering cries which would touch even the most unfeeling. After they had wept about half an hour, they placed him on a bear-skin and carried him to the summit of a mountain, on which they had encamped; this was done at the moment when he appeared deeply affected by their disaster. He asked them to make his arrival known at the French fort; and a few days later six Nadouaissioux set out with him, to go thither. He passed through the village, which was entirely ruined, and where nothing could be seen except melancholy remains from the fury of their enemies; the laments of those who had escaped from their cruelty were heard on every side. A Frenchman was there at this time who called himself a great captain; he had persuaded the savages, while displaying many pieces of cloth, that he was unfolding these in order to bring death on those who had devoured their families -- a deception which only served him to get rid of his merchandise more quickly. But when the Nadouaissioux learned that Perrot had arrived they came to find him at this village and conducted him to his fort; and he took advantage of so favorable an opportunity to present to them the calumet on behalf of the Miamis. It was in this manner that he delivered his message:
"Chiefs, I weep for the death of your children, whom
99the Outagamis and the Maskoutechs have snatched from you, while they told lies to me; Heaven has seen their cruelties, and will punish them for it. This blood is still too fresh to undertake vengeance for it at once. God allows you to weep, in order to incline him toward you; but he declares against you and will not aid you if you set out on the war-path this summer. I have heard that you are assembling together to seek your enemies; they form but one body, and are resolutely awaiting you. They have entrenched themselves in a strong fort; the Outagamis have with them the greater part of their prey, and will certainly massacre those captives if you make your appearance. I cover your dead, by placing over them two kettles. I do not bury them deep in the ground, and intend only to protect them from the bad weather until Onontio has heard of your loss; he will deliberate on what he can do for you. I will go to see him, and will try to obtain from him that he should cause the restoration of your children who are slaves among your enemies; it is not possible that he should not be moved by compassion. The Miamis, who are his children, obeyed him when I told them in his behalf to put a stop to the war which they were waging against you; they have heard of your affliction, and they weep for your calamity. See their calumet which they have sent you; they send you word that they disapprove the actions of the Maskoutechs and the Outagamis. They ask you to renew this alliance which exists between them and you; and, if you send out war-parties to go to find your bones, do not make a mistake by perhaps attacking their families on your way."
This discourse was followed by many bitter lamentations; only cries and songs of death were heard. They seized burning brands, with which they burned their
100own bodies, without making any display of pain, repeating many times this expression of despair, Kabato! Kabato! and they scorched their flesh, with wonderful fortitude.
Perrot, having allowed them time to yield to the natural emotions all that a just resentment could inspire in them, placed before them several brasses of tobacco, and said: "Smoke, chiefs! smoke, warriors! and smoke peacefully, in the expectation that I will send back to you some of your women and children, whom I will draw out from the mouths of your enemies. Place all your confidence in Onontio ["Monsieur de Frontenac"-La Potherie], who is the master of the land, and from whom you will receive all sorts of satisfaction." Then he gave them five or six packages of knives, and again spoke to them: "These knives are for skinning beavers, and not for lifting the scalps of men; use them until you have tidings from Onontio."
The Frenchmen who had detained them to trade for their peltries were obliged to come to the fort to sell their merchandise. He whom they had regarded as a great captain having arrived there, the savages went to find him, and told him that, since the goods which he had displayed to them would cause the deaths of the Outagamis and the Maskoutechs, they desired to sing to him and Perrot some "funeral calumets," in order that these might aid them in their enterprises. They said: "We have resolved not to leave our dead until we have carried away [the people of] a village, whom we intend to sacrifice to their shades. We recognize the Miamis as our brothers, and we are going to send deputies to make peace with them. We do not bear much ill-will to the Outagamis for their having carried away our women, for they have spared their lives, and did not
101pursue them when they ran away from them. Ten of the women have arrived here, who report to us that the Outagamis have good hearts, and that they take it ill that the Maskoutechs have eaten all their slaves. Here are three young men who have just arrived, who report that for one Maskoutech who was killed in the battle they have burned and put to death twenty of our wives and children; and that in their retreat their only food was our flesh."
This Frenchman said that he was ready to receive the calumet, if Perrot was willing to accept the other. The Nadouaissioux assembled in the cabin of the war-chief, where they went through the ceremonies connected with calumets of war; they made the two Frenchmen smoke these, and placed the ashes of the tobacco in the ground, invoking the [Great] Spirit, the sun, the stars, and all the other spirits. With difficulty Perrot refused this calumet, excusing himself as being only a child, who could not do anything without the consent of his father. He said that he had come to weep for their dead, and to bring them the calumet for the Miamis, who had had no share in the barbarous act of their enemies; and that if they would give him a calumet as a response to the Miamis he would carry it to them. But he could not declare against the Maskoutechs, who would distrust him because they would not fail to hear that the "funeral calumets" had been sung to him. He said that he had very strong reason to complain of them, since he had run the risk of being himself burned among them; but that everything must be referred to Onontio. The Nadouaissioux admitted that he was right, and said that they would hang up the war-club until they should have informed Monsieur de Frontenac of all that had occurred. The Outagamis would have been glad if the Frenchmen
102had conducted some Nadouaissioux to them to arrange for peace; they were much encumbered with their prisoners, and they were not ignorant that their proceedings had been contrary to the law of nations. The Nadouaissioux did not think it best to expose their deputies, alone [to danger], and to the number of thirty they set out for the Miami village; and they spent some time on the bank of the Missisipi, at a French post opposite the lead mine. Notice was given to the Miamis of the arrival of envoys from the Nadouaissioux, and forty of them set out to join the latter. The conference that took place between these two tribes was occupied with offers of service from one, and lamentations on the part of the other. The Nadouaissioux (according to their custom) poured many tears on the heads of the Miamis, who made them a present of a young girl and a little boy whom they had rescued from the hands of the Maskoutechs. They covered the dead of the Nadouaissioux by giving them eight kettles, assuring them of their friendship, and made the chiefs smoke -- promising them that they would obtain as many as they could of their [captive] women and children. They held secret conferences (unknown to the French) during one night, and the Miamis swore the entire destruction of the Maskoutechs. Our people sent word to a village of Miamis, established on the other side of the Missisipi, that we had something to communicate to them from Onontio; and they came, to the number of twenty-five. They were told that in the post where they were settled they were of no use for supporting Onontio in the Iroquois War; that they would obtain no more supplies for war unless they turned the war-club against the Iroquois; and that they ought to fear that the Nadouaissioux would fall upon them when that people should go to
103take vengeance for their dead upon the Maskoutechs. They promised to locate their fires at Maramek. They would have done so at the Saint Joseph River, at the solicitation of the chief of that district; but his refusal to furnish them gunpowder and balls gave them too unfavorable an opinion of his avarice to attract them to a union with him. The Maskoutechs got wind of the meeting between the Nadouaissioux and the Miamis that was brought about by Perrot; and they imagined that this could only be the result of his remembering the injuries that they had done him. [Accordingly] they immediately swore his ruin, and flattered themselves that, by plundering all the property of Perrot and the Frenchmen who were with him, they would have the means for taking flight more easily to the Iroquois country if they had to give way under the power of the [other] tribes. One night they tried to take him by surprise, but some dogs -- who have a very strong antipathy for the savages, who commonly eat them -- caused them to be discovered; and this obliged Perrot to put himself in an attitude of defense. The Maskoutechs, whose attack had miscarried, retreated without making any further effort; and their fear lest the French and the Miamis might form a league with the Nadouaissioux against them induced them to send one of their chiefs to Maramek, to sound the Miamis adroitly. He there encountered Perrot, with whom he had a private conversation. The savage is ordinarily politic and very pliant in behavior; this man said to Perrot with a smile, "Thou rememberest what I did to thee; thou art seeking to revenge thyself," and told him that he was sure that the tribes felt much resentment against the Nadouaissioux, who knew well that they were surrounded on all sides by their enemies; but that what was causing the Maskoutechs
104most regret was the seizure that they had made of all his merchandise -- for which, it would appear, he sought an opportunity to take revenge. It was a matter of prudence not to exasperate this chief too much, and unreasonable acts often cause ruinous results; and it might be that, if he were told that the French would find means to put a stop to all the annoyances to which they were continually exposed, the Maskoutechs would come and attack the Miamis, as people who no longer placed bounds to their conduct with any one whatever. Perrot contented himself with very concisely upbraiding the Maskoutech for all his tribe's acts of perfidy, in regard to not only the French but the Nadouaissioux. Meanwhile some young Maskoutech warriors came into their cabin, who told this chief that he was required at the village, and that their men had discovered the army of the Nadouaissioux at the lead mine. He was very ready to break off the conversation, and ran precipitately into the village, where he uttered shouts to notify his men, who were dispersed, that they must retreat to their own village in order to build a fort as quickly as possible.
The principal chiefs of the Miamis took advantage of the departure of the French, who were going back to Montreal, and nearly all the village escorted them as far as the Bay of Puans. The Sakis and the Pouteouatemis wished to be also of this party; and on all sides were heard many expressions of eagerness to go to hear the voice of Monsieur de Frontenac. The Frenchmen devoted themselves, while waiting for their embarcation, to the deliverance of the Nadouaissioux prisoners who were among the Outagamis. The latter had received as a present two Iroquois from the Miamis of Chikagon; and policy restrained them from burning
105these captives, because they hoped that, in case the Nadouaissioux came to attack their village, they could immediately retire with their families among the Iroquois, who would protect them from their enemies. They were persuaded [by the French] that all the peoples of these quarters desired their complete ruin; the Sauteurs had been plundered, the French treated in a brutal manner, and all their allies insulted. They had intended to send to the Iroquois one of their chiefs, with these two liberated captives, in order to invite that nation to join them on the confines of Saint Joseph River, and were inclined to ask the Maskoutechs to unite with them -- which would have enabled them to collect a body of nine hundred warriors, in order to attack first the Miamis and the Islinois. The son of the great chief of the Outagamis came to the bay, where he had a secret conversation with one of the most distinguished Frenchmen. It was no sooner learned that he had resolved to go down to Montreal than some men of his tribe did all that they could to hinder him from this; but he told them that he was very glad to visit the French colony. The French departed as soon as they had sent some Nadouaissioux, whom they had redeemed, back to their own country.
The Outaouaks at Michilimakinak conceived jealousy at the arrival of these newcomers, and did what they could to make them return each to his own country; it was suspected that they were still plotting something against the French nation. An Outaouak was adroitly sounded, in order to find out [if there were] new intrigues, and many presents were promised to him. He asked for a drink of brandy, intending to feign intoxication,
106so that he could make one of his companions talk who was actually in that condition; he told the latter, very angrily, that he would prevent the scheme of the Michilimakinak people from succeeding. The other replied that he was not able to prevent it; and there was much disputing on both sides. The Outaouak acknowledged, privately, that the Hurons had gone to the Iroquois, with a calumet ornamented with plumes, and several collars, in order to carry the message of the Outaouaks; the latter asked for full union with the Iroquois, and desired to abandon the side of the French, in order to place themselves under the protection of the English. Our people attempted to gain further and more thorough information by means of another Outaouak, who was the most influential man in that tribe; and he was regarded as the most faithful friend of the French. He said only this, that the Hurons, pretending to go to Sakinan in search of medicinal herbs, had really gone to the Iroquois country. Soon afterward it was learned that the Hurons were to bring some of the Iroquois with them to make arrangements, during the coming winter, for the place of rendezvous; but they did not fail to send chiefs to Montreal to beguile Monsieur de Frontenac. The Outagamis were very undecided over the conduct that they should observe in regard to the Iroquois, since the son of their chief had gone to visit our governor; whatever inclination they may have felt for the Iroquois, they concluded to await his return. The Hurons and the Outaouaks practiced all their tricks, as they had planned. Monsieur de Frontenac gave them several public audiences, at which they presented to him collars which assured him of their unshakable attachment. They returned home well pleased, and kept on the defensive in the river of the Outaouaks, not daring even to travel
107in the daytime for fear of the Iroquois -- who on the voyage down the river had killed one of their men, and wounded a Frenchman and the Huron chief Le Baron. We can say that all those peoples were strangely blind as to their own interests. There was [among them] only eagerness to become attached to the Iroquois, whom they believed to be their friends -- who, however, did not spare them when they could find an opportunity [to attack them]; but when it was a question of declaring in our favor they did so in the most indifferent possible manner.
Soon after their departure from Montreal, a rumor circulated that six hundred Iroquois were coming to ravage all our coasts; Monsieur de Frontenac made a general review of all his troops, and detached ten or twelve hundred men to resist the enemy at the start. The Pouteouatemis, the Sakis, the Malhominis, and that son of the great chief of the Outagamis undertook to go out themselves scouting as far as Lake Frontenac. The zeal that they displayed in this emergency deeply touched the governor, and he made them many presents on their return; and he assured the Outagami that, although his tribe had always been hostile to us, by plundering and insulting the French, they would be numbered with our allies.
Meanwhile the fleet of the French and the allies who were bringing their peltries arrived at Montreal; they informed us of the death of the famous Outaouak chief Nansoaskoüet, who had been slain among the Osages.
108He was the supporter of the French in his own country, and had been an opponent of the English, in spite of his tribe. He had gone to the Islinois the preceding autumn, at the solicitation of his warriors, who for a long time tried to deprive us of the succor which the tribes of the south were giving us in the Iroquois War. He had, I say, gone to the Islinois, to avenge the death of the son of Talon (who had died from sickness in the war which he had undertaken to wage on the Kancas and the Osages), and had induced all the Islinois to join his expedition. In the attack on a village they encountered sturdy resistance; Nansoaskoüet, who tried to storm it, pushed too far in advance [of his men] and was surrounded, and they pierced him with arrows, which caused his death. The Outaouaks who had come down in this fleet brought some presents and an Osage slave, by way of announcing to Monsieur de Frontenac the death of this great chief; he made answer to them that they ought first to take revenge against the Iroquois, who had slain his nephew (meaning Nansoaskoüet's), and that he would send his warriors against the Osages
109and the Kancas. This response pleased them little, because, as the savages are very capricious, they do not allow themselves to be easily influenced by mere promises. They went back, however, to Michilimakinak, as did all our allies, with the wife of the chief of the Nadouaissioux, who had been one of the prisoners whom the Outagamis had taken; she was sold to an Outaouak, and ransomed by a Frenchman who brought her to Montreal. There remained only one Nadouaissioux, who was kept there some time; our people were very glad to let him see the colony, in order that he might give his own people some idea of the power of the French. He had come expressly to arouse in Monsieur de Frontenac some compassion for their calamity.
Monsieur the Count de Frontenac had reason to believe that the Hurons and the Outaouaks had spoken to him with open heart in the audiences that he had given them; but he was much surprised to learn that the Hurons had sent ambassadors to the Iroquois, and the Iroquois to the Hurons. The French commandant at Michilimakinak did not doubt that the presence of these latter would cause a great disturbance, and tried to make the Outaouaks tomahawk them. Great disorder prevailed, and the savages generally took up arms against him; they were, however, obliged to send the envoys back to their homes, for fear of some accident. The Outaouaks departed, the following winter, in order to hunt game at the rendezvous that they had appointed, where they were to conclude a full and substantial peace. They had taken the precaution to leave at Michilimakinak a chief to keep up friendly intercourse with the French, and as a pledge of their fidelity to Onontio,
110without letting it be known that they had any premeditated design -- even asserting that, if they saw any Iroquois, they would gradually lure them on, in order to "put them into the kettle." The French affected not to distrust their fidelity, but sent an envoy to the Bay of Puans to induce our allies to send out meantime some bands who could hinder this [proposed] interview. At the bay were found only the old men-as at that time all the young men were out hunting except those who had gone down to Montreal, who had [not yet?] returned home -- and one chief, who was told that a favorable opportunity now offered itself which might secure for him recommendation to Onontio, from whom he would receive all possible advantages if he would go to persuade his people to fight the Iroquois at the rendezvous which the latter had granted to the Outaouaks. He promised that he would go gladly, for love of Onontio, and immediately set out without attempting to make a war-feast beforehand. The Outagamis were weaned from the ardor that they had had for going with their families to join the Iroquois. The son of their chief, who had returned from Montreal, made a deep impression on their minds by the account which he gave of the power of the French. The Sakis had always supported our interests during that time; they lost some men and various captives were taken from them, for they found themselves surrounded by six hundred Iroquois who were going to Montreal for war. It was this army (who had been discovered by our Iroquois of the Saut), whom the Outagami chief's son and our other allies had gone to reconnoiter at Lake Frontenac. These Sakis were taken to Onnontagué, where the ambassadors of the Hurons had arrived; and the Onnontaguais
111Hurons for coming to treat of peace while their allies the Sakis were killing the Iroquois. The Hurons replied that they did not regard the Sakis as friends or as allies; and for the purpose of confirming this assertion they immediately burned the hands and cut off the finger ends of the Saki prisoners. The Outagamis and the Sakis made every possible effort to form a peace with the Nadouaissioux. They promised the French that they would, if the latter would prevent the incursions of the Nadouaissioux, take the war-path against the Iroquois to the number of twelve or fifteen hundred men; and even that, if the Outaouaks made peace with that nation, they would strike higher up -- "in order to clear the road," they said, "which the Outaouaks would proceed to close against the French who should come to trade at the bay and with the southern tribes." All the Frenchmen who were in those quarters were called together; and it was decided that an attempt must be made to restrain the Nadouaissioux, to the end that the Outagamis might place in the field an expedition that would without fail be successful. The French bought six boys and six girls, the children of chiefs, besides the great chief's wife whom they already had; and they set out across the country to conduct these captives to the Nadouaissioux. Perrot was selected to transact this business; he also held special orders from Monsieur de
112Frontenac for other enterprises. He arrived in the country of the Miamis, who sent people to meet him and point out to him their village, having learned from some one of their people who had come from Montreal that he was coming to see them again. On his arrival he announced to them that Onontio gave positive orders that they should quit their [present] fires, and light them at the Saint Joseph River; for the execution of this order they gave him, on their part, five collars. He told them that he was going to make efforts to restrain the Nadouaissioux, and to return to them some slaves whom he had rescued from their enemies; and he admonished them all to be present in their village on his return thither. The Nadouaissioux had sent to the Miamis seven of their women, whom they had rescued from the hands of the Maskoutechs; and the Miamis made them presents of eight kettles, a quantity of Indian corn, and tobacco.
Twelve hundred Nadouaissioux, Sauteurs, Ayoës, and even some Outaouaks were then on the march against the Outagamis and the Maskoutechs, and likewise were not to spare the Miamis. They had resolved to take revenge on the French, if they did not encounter their enemies. These warriors were only three days' journey distant from the Miami village from which Perrot had departed; they learned that he was coming among them with their women and children and the wife of the great chief. This was enough to make them lay down their arms and suspend war until they had heard what he had to say to them. He reached his fort, where he learned these circumstances; he was also told that it was believed that the Miamis were already routed. As he did not know that the Nadouaissioux had the news that
113he was coming, he sent to them two Frenchmen, who came back the next day with their great chief. I cannot express the joy that they displayed when they saw their women. The remembrance of the loss of the other captives caused at the same time so much grief that it was necessary to allow a day's time to their tears and all the lamentations that they uttered. According to them, Perrot was a chief whose "feet were on the ground and his head in the sky;" he was also the "master of the whole earth," and they heaped on him expressions of joy and endearment, regarding him as a divinity. They were so busy in weeping hot tears on his head and on the captives, and in gazing on the sun with many exclamations, that he could not obtain from them any satisfaction. On the next day they told him that when "the men" arrived they would render him thanks; it is thus that all the savages are designated among themselves, while they call the French "French," and the [other] people from Europe by the names of their respective nations. They are persuaded that in all the world they are the only real men; and the greatest praise that they can bestow on a Frenchman whose worth they recognize is when they say to him, "Thou art a man." When they wish to show him that they have contempt for him, they tell him that he is not a man. The chief desired to bring up all his men near the fort, but the Sauteurs, the Ayoes, and several villages of the Nadouaissioux had made their arrangements for hunting beaver, and there were only two villages, of about fifty cabins each, who came to the fort. After the Nadouaissioux had encamped, this chief sent to ask Perrot to come to his cabin, with all the men who had accompanied him. His brother, seeing a Saki, exclaimed that he was an Outagami, saying, "Behold the man who has eaten me!" This Saki, knowing well that he was not safe, offered
114him his calumet, which the Nadouaissioux refused. A Miami, who also was with the French, took his own calumet and offered it, which he accepted. Perrot gave his own calumet to the Saki, and told him to offer it; the Nadouaissioux did not dare to refuse, and took and smoked it -- but with the cries and tears of an angry man, calling the Great Spirit, the Sky, the Earth, and all the spirits to witness that he asked to be pardoned if he received the calumet which his enemy offered him, which he dared not refuse because it belonged to a captain whom he esteemed. There was no one save a woman whom this very Saki had rescued from slavery who could prove who he was. He was so frightened that, if he had not felt some confidence in the outcome, he would have longed to be far away. During several days feasts were made, and the result of this conference was, that the Nadouaissioux were very willing to make peace with the Outagamis if the latter would restore the rest of their people; but in regard to the Maskoutechs they had, together with the Miamis, sworn to ruin them; and they parted, each according to his own side. The Miamis were advised not to rely on the Nadouaissioux, and they were more than ever attracted to the idea of abandoning Maramek in order to settle on Saint Joseph River, as Onontio had commanded them. They were given two hundred pounds of gunpowder in order to procure subsistence for their families while on the journey, and to kill any Iroquois whom they might meet. The Saki who had been so frightened in the cabin of the Nadouaissioux chief took to flight, and filled the Outagamis with such alarm that even the women and children worked, day and night, to build a fort in which they could make themselves safe. The arrival of one of their men, who was out hunting beaver, increased their terror.
115He had indeed seen the camp of the Nadouaissioux army, but had not been able to consider whether it was recently made. The alarm therefore broke out more wildly than ever; they made many harangues to encourage all the warriors to make a stout defense; and each vied with the others in showing the best way of ordering the combat. Word was sent to the bay to inform the tribes of the march of the Nadouaissioux, and at the same time to ask them to furnish aid to that people. Scouts went out in all directions; some reported that they had seen the fires of the army and some freshly-killed animals, at two days' distance; and others, who arrived the next day, said that the army was only one day's march from there. Finally, people came in great haste to say that the river was all covered with canoes, and that, from all appearances the general attack was to be made at night; nothing, however, was visible. Perrot, who was then among them, wished to go in person to reconnoiter; but they prevented him from this, in the fear which they felt, [imagining that] by detaining him the enemy would not come to surprise them. Some hunters, who had been bolder than the others, reported that the [alleged] camp had been made the preceding winter. Their minds began to regain confidence, and they no longer sought for anything save the means for sending back their prisoners in order to secure peace, and for making ready after that to march against the Iroquois; and they again entreated Perrot to be their mediator for peace. He went among them and proposed to them the above arrangement, which they accepted; and promised to conduct their people [to the Nadouaissioux country] in the moon when the [wild] bulls would be rutting. The savages divide the year into twelve moons, to which they give the names of animals,
116but which are similar to our months. Thus, January and February are the first and second moons, when the bears bring forth their young; March is the moon of the carp, and April that of the crane; May is the moon of the Indian corn; June, the moon when the wild geese shed their feathers; July, that when the bear is in rut; August, the rut of the bulls; September, that of the elk; October, the rut of the moose; November, that of the deer; December, the moon when the horns of the deer fall off. The tribes who dwell about the [Great] Lakes call September the moon when the trout milt; October, that of the whitefish; and November, that of the herring; to the other months they give the same names as do those who live inland.
117time of the bulls' rutting he would be present at the mouth of the Ouisconk [i.e., the Wisconsin River], where the peace was to be concluded. He sent word to the Outagamis to have the Nadouaissioux slaves all ready; the chiefs met together for that purpose, and placed all the slaves in one cabin. Then they suddenly heard death-cries from the other side of their river; they believed that the Nadouaissioux had defeated the Miamis, and immediately sent messengers to find out how affairs stood; and these reported that the Nadouaissioux had destroyed forty of the Miami cabins, in which all the women and children and fifty-five men had been killed. This act of hostility against people whom they regarded as friends made them suspect that the Nadouaissioux would not spare them [even] after they had sent back the people of the latter. Twelve Frenchmen immediately set out with Perrot in order to try to overtake the Nadouaissioux, and to induce them to give back the slaves whom they had just taken. They reached the French fort which is in the country of those peoples, and there they obtained information of everything. The French undertook to join the Nadouaissioux, in a village which was inaccessible on account of numberless swamps, from which they could not extricate themselves; and they traveled through the bogs, without food for four days. All these Frenchmen took refuge on a little island, except two who, still trying to find some exit, encountered two hunters, who conducted them to their village. The Nadouaissioux were unwilling to send for the other Frenchmen, not daring to let them enter [their village] on account of their fear lest the French
118would kill them in order to avenge the Miamis. The latter sent presents to the Outagamis, with entreaties to furnish them assistance and with them avenge their dead, by a general march [against the Nadouaissioux], which they would make in the approaching winter. The commandant of Michilimakinak, when he heard of the treachery of the Nadouaissioux, wrote to Perrot to make the Miamis hang up the war-club, so that he could go to the Nadouaissioux country and bring away all the Frenchmen, as he did not wish them to become the victims of this new war; and he had even resolved to destroy that people who had so injured our best friends. The Miamis, who had abandoned everything to escape from that furious attack, were destitute of ammunition and of many articles which they obtained only from the French, who exchanged these for peltries. The Outagamis were resolved to give their lives for the cause of the Miamis, in case the French would consent to this; the Kikabous also asked for nothing better. A general expedition was formed to go to join the Miamis, their women and children also going with them. Perrot met on the way four Miamis, whom the chief had sent to ask that he would come to their camp; and he left all that procession, to go thither. The allies, being in sight of the camp, fired some gunshots as a signal of his arrival; and all the Miami young men stood in rows, and watched him pass them. He heard a voice saying Pakumiko! which signifies in their language, "Tomahawk him!" and he rightly judged that there was some decree of death against him; but he feigned to take no notice of this speech, and continued his walk to the chief's cabin, where he called together the most prominent men among them. He set forth to them that, as he had not been able to secure a more favorable opportunity for
119giving them proofs of the interest which he took in the matters which concerned their tribe, he had engaged the Outagamis and Kikabous who were following him to take up arms to avenge the Miami dead against the Nadouaissioux. These words turned aside the evil design which they had formed against him, and they regaled him. At the same time there arrived a young man, who brought the news that the Frenchmen who were living in the Nadouaissioux country were at the portage. The chief assigned fifty women to transport their bales of peltries; but the young men, who had received a private order to plunder these, carried off everything that they could into the woods, and hid themselves there. The chief, being informed of this act, pretended to make a great commotion in the village, to the end that they should bring back what had been stolen; but there was one of the people who objected that this pillage had been made with the chief's consent, since he had even ordered them to kill the French; and very few of the peltries were brought back. A great tumult arose among the chiefs, who quarreled together, some taking the side of the French, and others that of the tribe. In that place were three different tribes: the Pepikokis, the Mangakokis, and the Peouanguichias
120and that, since his children had been eaten by the Sioux (who had formerly been his enemies), on whom the French had taken pity, obliging the Miamis to make peace with them, he would now avenge himself on the French. Four of his warriors immediately sang [their war-song], to invite their comrades to join all together in an attack on the French. Two other tribes, who had always had much intercourse with us, at the same time took up arms; they obliged the others to cross the river the next day, after reproaching them with having robbed themselves in pillaging the Frenchmen, who were coming to succor them. "It is we," they said, "who have been ill-treated by the Nadouaissioux, whom we regarded as our allies; why stir up an unseasonable quarrel with the French, with whom you ought not to have any strife?" Those who had been so well-intentioned requested from the French only four men to accompany them to the Nadouaissioux country, in order that, in case the enemy should be entrenched there, the Frenchmen might show them how to undermine the fort. They would not depend at all upon the rest of the Frenchmen,
121whom they even entreated to return to the bay. Orders were given to these four men to desert when they should come within a day's journey from the French fort, in order to give warning there to keep on their guard, and to inform the Sauteurs of the plans of the Miamis, who intended to slaughter them. The Miamis began their march, and crossed the river; only a few chiefs were left, who spent the night with the Frenchmen. At nine o'clock in the evening the moon was eclipsed; and they heard at the camp a volley of three hundred gunshots, and yells as if they were being attacked; these sounds were repeated. These chiefs asked the Frenchmen what they saw in the sky; the latter answered that the Moon was sad on account of the pillage that they had suffered. The chiefs answered, gazing at the moon: "This is the reason for all the gunshots and cries that you hear. Our old men have taught us that when the Moon is sick it is necessary to assist her by discharging arrows and making a great deal of noise, in order to cause terror in the spirits who are trying to cause her death; then she regains her strength, and returns to her former condition. If men did not aid her she would die, and we would no longer see clearly at night; and thus we could no longer separate the twelve months of the year."
The Miamis continued to fire their guns, and only ceased when the eclipse was ended; on this occasion they did not spare the gunpowder that they had taken from us. It would have been very easy for the French to bind these chiefs and sacrifice them to the Nadouaissioux, but the Miamis could have taken vengeance for this on our missionaries, on our Frenchmen at the Saint Joseph River, and on those at Chikagon; and our men took the road to the bay. They met three cabins of Outagamis, who were surprised at their return, and at seeing
122their canoes; they concluded that the Miamis had stolen these, but the latter were exonerated [by the French] from an act in which they had been suspected of taking part.
When these Frenchmen arrived at the bay they found one hundred and fifty Outaouaks, sixty Sakis, and twenty-five Pouteouatemis, who were going to hunt beavers toward the frontiers of the Nadouaissioux; these savages held a council, to ascertain the decision of the leading Frenchmen regarding their voyage from Michilimakinak. The Miamis of Saint Joseph River had informed the commandant of Michilimakinak of the hostile acts which the Nadouaissioux had committed on them, and demanded his protection. This commandant sent out despatches prohibiting the French in all those regions to go up to the Nadouaissioux country; and ordering those who had come thence to ask the Miamis to hang up the war-club until spring, as he was going to avenge them, with all the French who should be at Michilimakinak. The aspect of affairs had necessarily changed since the Miamis had pillaged the Frenchmen; the Outaouaks therefore held a council, to learn the final resolution of the latter. They set forth that they found no one at Michilimakinak, and that, if these Frenchmen did not choose to join them, they could prevent the ruin of the Sauteurs through the agency of the Outagamis; and the Frenchmen themselves were running a risk, in case they were not backed up, since the Outagamis had been displeased at the intercourse which the former had held with the Nadouaissioux in the past. These arguments were sufficiently strong to induce the greater number of the French to join the Outaouaks. They set out on the march across the country, and a few days later two Sakis were sent to notify the Outagamis
123of it, and to ask them not to go to Ouiskonch until this army had reached their village; they were also requested to inform the Miamis that Perrot was going to find them, without positively telling the latter, however, that he was coming to furnish them assistance in their war. These two Sakis reported that the Outagamis and Kikabous, having heard of the plunder of the French by the Miamis, were all dispersed through the country in search of means for subsistence -- having been unwilling, since that news, to take up the cause of these tribes against the Nadouaissioux; that they were grieved because Sieur Perrot had not gone to find them after that pillage, since they would have sacrificed themselves in order to secure the restitution of his goods; that they were going to send for all their people, so as to receive them on the shore of Ouiskonche, which they would not cross until everybody should arrive there. They said also that they had found the chief of the Miamis, with two of those Frenchmen who were to accompany them to the Nadouaissioux; this chief was urgently soliciting the Outagamis to march with the Miamis as they had promised, but the latter had replied that the Miamis could continue their course if they would not wait for the arrival of the French and the Outaouaks. The bad roads and the lack of provisions obliged the Outaouaks to remain [on the way] for some time; finally they reached the nearest cabins of the Outagamis, among whom they were well entertained. The chiefs of twenty-five [Outagami] cabins, and fifteen of the Kikabou cabins, becoming impatient because the Outaouaks did not arrive, had gone a little too far ahead, in order to gain Ouiskonch; the Miamis who met them constrained them to go to their camp, where they displayed little consideration for the newcomers. The latter sent in
124haste a Saki and a Frenchman to urge the Outaouaks to hasten their arrival as soon as possible, saying that meanwhile they would try to divert the Miamis and prevent them from beginning the march.
Two or three Frenchmen set out at once, and at night reached the cabin of the Outagami chief, who immediately had their arrival made public. The Miamis promptly made their appearance there, and demanded, "Where are the other warriors?" On both sides deputies were sent to fix the place for the general rendezvous, which was at the entrance of a little river. The Miamis, who numbered five villages, desiring to break camp, sent out some men from each group to kindle fires, which was the signal of departure; they built five of these, abreast, the Outagamis two, and the Kikabous one. When these fires were kindled the call to break camp was uttered; all the women folded up the baggage, and gathered at the fires of their respective tribes, at which the men also assembled. All the people being ready, the war-chiefs (with their bags on their backs) began to march at the head, singing, making their invocations, and gesticulating; the warriors, who were on the wings, marched in battle array, abreast, and forming many ranks; the convoy for the women composed the main body, and a battalion of warriors formed the rear-guard. This march was made with order; some Frenchmen were detailed to go to meet the Outaouaks. The latter, having arrived in sight of the Miami camp, began to defile, and fired a volley of musketry. The Outagamis refused to return the salute to them; on the contrary, they sent word to the Miami camp to make no commotion, for fear of frightening their brothers, the Outaouaks -- because the Outagamis feared lest the Miamis, already entertaining evil thoughts, might lay violent hands on them, under
125pretext of receiving them as friends. The Outaouaks having made their camp, their chiefs entered the cabin of the chief of the Outagamis, with two guns, twelve kettles, and two collars made of round and long porcelain beads; but they sent to call the Miamis, without making them any present. They asked from the Outagamis permission to hunt on their lands, intending to devote themselves only to the beavers and [other] quadrupeds, as they had come under the protection of the French. The Outagamis divided their presents into three lots; they gave the largest to the Miamis, the second to the Kikabous, and reserved the smallest for themselves.
The Miamis did not show to the Outaouaks the resentment which they felt at the affront which they had just received. They assembled about three hundred warriors to perform their war-dances, and in these they chanted the funeral songs, in which they named the persons who had been slain by the Nadouaissioux. They should, according to the custom in war, make the round of the camp while singing and dancing; it was their design [while doing so] to kill at the same time all the dogs belonging to the Outaouaks, in order to make a war-feast with them. The Outagamis, fearing that they would go to this extreme, came to meet them, so as to prevent the Miamis from acting toward the Outaouaks as they had done in regard to the Outagami dogs. The Outaouaks had already placed themselves on the defensive; however, everything went off without a disturbance.
After this last people had ended their council, the Miamis assembled at night with the Fox Outagamis; they imagined that the French -- [especially] two among them -- had come only to prevent the Outagamis from
126uniting with them. A war-chief, desiring to irritate his tribe against the Frenchmen, was urging his people to burn them; the report of this ran through the camp. An Outagami, hearing the discourse of this chief, went out and told the Miamis that after having eaten the Outagamis they would probably eat these two Frenchmen; he gave the alarm to the men of his tribe, who placed themselves under arms. Another Miami, addressing his people, said that it was absolutely necessary to burn them. All the night there was nothing but commotions on the part of the Miamis, who only longed for the moment to attack the Outaouaks -- whom they called friends of the Sioux and the Iroquois who had eaten them. The Outagamis did not pay much attention to all these incivilities; their only endeavor was to follow the wishes of the Frenchmen. When the day had come, the Miamis beat the salute, and denied in battle array, the Outagamis and the Kikabous remaining stock-still. The decision which the French advised the Outagamis to make was, to join their forces with the Miamis, saying: "Go with them; they mean to slay the Frenchmen who are in the country of the Nadouaissioux, without sparing the Sauteurs. Even though the latter may be your enemies, spare their lives; and prevent the Miamis from attacking them or insulting the French. Go, then, to assist them, rather than to wage war against the Nadouaissioux. If they engage in fighting, remain in the reserve force, and quit it only when the enemy shall take to flight." The old men of the Miamis had remained at the camp in order to know the final decision of the Outagamis; they came into the council cabin, where these Frenchmen were present. The eldest of them offered his calumet to one of the latter, who smoked it, and told the other that he had heard the
127clamor of their speech-maker, who was inciting all the Miamis to burn his body so as to put it into the kettle; and had heard this man's brother, who said that it was necessary to lay violent hands on the Outaouaks whom the French had brought, although they had come to avenge the dead of the Miamis. He said that, since he found in them so little good sense and was aware of their misconduct, the French would abandon their enterprise, and would join the four other Frenchmen who had been furnished to accompany them into the Nadouaissioux country. "Eat," said this Frenchman to the old man, "eat the French who are among the Nadouaissioux, but thou wilt no sooner take them in thy teeth than we will make thee disgorge them." Then every one arose; and all the Outagamis and the Kikabous had their bundles tied up by the women, so as to go to join the Miamis in their camp -- excepting the old men, and some people who were not very alert.
The first news that came after their departure was, that the Miamis had been defeated; that the Outagamis and the Kikabous had lost no men; and that the Outagamis had saved the Sauteurs and the French. Four of the Outagami youth arrived some days later, sent by the chiefs to give information of all that had occurred since the departure of the army. At the outset, they were heard to utter eight death-cries, but without saying whether they were Miamis or of some other tribe. A kettle was promptly set over the fire for them, and even before the meat was cooked they were set to eating. After they had satisfied their hunger, one of them spoke before the old men and some Frenchmen. He said:
A chief of the Chikagons having died from sickness, the Miamis made no present to his body; but our chiefs, touched by this lack of feeling, brought some kettles to
128cover it. The Miamis of Chikagon were so grateful for this that they told our chiefs that they would unite with them, to the prejudice of their allies -- who paid them no attention when they were dying, even though they had come to avenge them. A Piouanguichias also died, a little farther on; we went to bury him, and made him presents; but the Miamis again did nothing. I tell you, old men, that these two tribes would have turned the war-clubs of the Miamis against us if we had undertaken to do the same by them. When we arrived at one of the arms of the Missisipi, eight Miamis who had gone out as scouts brought to the camp two Frenchmen who were coming from the Sauteur country; it was planned to burn them, but our warriors opposed this, loudly declaring that we had set out to wage war on the Nadouaissioux. They kept one of the prisoners, and sent back the other, with some Miamis, to the Sauteurs, who received them well. This Frenchman remained there only one day; on the next day ten Sauteurs and Outaouaks accompanied him to come after the Miamis, to whom they made a present of twelve kettles. Our people were displeased that the Sauteurs were not divided between them and us in the cabins, and that they had presented to the Miamis seven kettles, while the Kikabous and we received only five; but what we considered extraordinary was, that at night the Miamis came to find our chiefs with the kettles of the Sauteurs, and other goods which they had added to these, to invite us to eat these ambassadors with them. It is true that our chief immediately drew out a collar which a Frenchman had given to him, without our knowledge, by which he asked our chief not to attack his people who were among the Nadouaissioux, or the Sauteurs, or any of the allies of Onontio. This collar, I say, restrained us all. Then
129they allowed the Sauteurs to go away; the latter pointed out the village of the Nadouaissioux, who had built a strong fort in order to take refuge in it in case of need. A part of the Miamis resolved to carry them away from it; but we also followed, so as to hold them back. The Oüaouyartanons and the Peoüanguichias, remembering the obligations which they were under to us for the care which we had taken of their dead, broke their camp, in order to thwart the designs of their allies. While they were making up their bundles, a young Sauteur arrived who had had some dispute with a Nadouaissioux; he said that he came to join our party; but a Miami immediately tomahawked him and cut off his scalp. This proceeding obliged us to pack our baggage and follow the Oüaouyartanons and the Peoüanguichias. The Miamis, seeing that they were not strong enough to attack the Nadouaissioux, broke camp as we had done, and followed us. At evening they concluded that it was necessary to go toward the Missisipi, where they would find more game than upon the road which they had so far taken. They sent forty of their warriors to the French fort, and imagined that they could enter it as they would one of our cabins. The dogs of the fort, discovering them, barked at them. The French, seeing men who were marching with hostile aspect, seized their arms and told them to advance no farther; the Miamis derided them, but the French fired over their heads and made them retire. The Miamis who had broken camp on the day after this detachment had set out took the same route as the latter. When we saw that they were going toward the French post we followed them, fearing lest they would go to make trouble for the French; the Oüaouyartanons and the Peoüanguichias refused to abandon us. We saw the arrival of the above-mentioned
130[Miami] detachment, who as they came cried out that the French had fired on them; and by that we knew that they had attempted to take the French fort by surprise. This was enough to make our chiefs reproach the Miamis for trying to ruin the land and redden it with the blood of the French. The Oüaoüyartanons stoutly supported us; we declared to them that we would go to visit the French, and that we felt sure we would be well received. At the same time our young chief set out with forty warriors; on arriving at the fort, they called out to the Frenchmen, and the chief had no sooner told his name than three of those who had been plundered with Metaminens recognized him. Immediately they made our people enter, who had a hearty meal, and whom the French loaded with Indian corn and meat -- also warning them to beware of the Miamis, who were planning treachery toward them. After they had eaten they came to join us at the camp, where they related the friendly reception which the French had given them; but when the Miamis saw that their design had been unmasked they acknowledged that they could no longer hope for any success -- that Metaminens was against them, and that Heaven seconded him. They gave up, therefore, their design of going to attack the French, but that did not prevent them from going afterward to encamp in the vicinity of the fort; the French defended its approaches from them by volleys of musketry, and even defied them to come on to the attack, asking us to remain neutral. The chief of the Miamis, however, asked them to [let him] enter the fort alone, which was granted. He asked the French to inform the Nadouaissioux that the Miamis were going to hunt, in order to make amends for the theft of merchandise which they had committed on the French; and to accompany them
131to the Nadouaissioux village, in order to obtain their women and children whom the latter were holding as slaves. What happened? the French were simple enough to send this message, believing that this chief had spoken in good faith. The Miamis encamped meanwhile at a place two leagues below the fort, and sent three hundred warriors, with forty of our men, to go among the Nadouaissioux. The French, who had done their errands, heard on their return many gunshots; they saw plainly that they had been deceived, and immediately suspected that the Miamis were under the guidance of a slave who had recently escaped. The French hastened to find again the Nadouaissioux, who were abandoning their fort for lack of provisions. When they knew of the Miami expedition, they went back into the fort, and on the morrow at daybreak they were attacked; a Nadouaissioux went out with the calumet, in order to hold a parley, but a Miami shot him dead, and his men brought him back to the fort. The Miamis came against the fort to cut it away, with great intrepidity; but they were charged at so vigorously that they were compelled to abandon the attack with much loss of men. We all withdrew from the siege, and after making a general retreat we separated, five days later. Our chiefs have sent us ahead, to give you the detailed account of all that I have just related to you; they have remained to set the young men at hunting, and will arrive in a little while."
The conduct of the Outagamis on this occasion was altogether discreet: for the Outaouaks who were in those regions were not attacked by the Miamis (who were seeking a quarrel with them), the Sauteurs escaped falling into the hands of their enemies, the French profited by the warning that was given them to be on their guard,
132and the Nadouaissioux were not worsted [in the fight]. The tribe, certain that Monsieur de Frontenac would be pleased at the services which they had just rendered him, sent him several chiefs, to whom he gave a most friendly reception. The Outaouaks, who were then at Michilimakinak, kept them there a fortnight, in order to entertain them. Everything seemed to turn to the advantage of the Colony, when an event occurred which was of infinite benefit to it; this was a great quarrel between the Iroquois and the Outaouaks, which resulted in overthrowing all the schemes of the former. After I have given an account of a battle that was fought on Lake Herier between these two peoples, I will also finish describing the disturbances which occurred among all those tribes.
Among the Outaouaks of Michilimakinak, who always joined with the Hurons in favor of the Iroquois, there were some chiefs who did not fail to support our cause manfully. One day, loud reproaches passed between the Hurons and our partisans, who told the former that Le Baron was, with impunity, deceiving Onontio with the protestations of friendship and alliance that he was again making to the governor, even while he was employing all sorts of stratagems to injure our allies and that it was very well known that the Hurons intended to go with the Iroquois to Saint Joseph River to destroy the Miamis. On both sides there were long explanations. The Hurons acknowledged their design; but, as they felt piqued, they told the Outaouaks that if they would accompany them they would together attack the Iroquois, for whom they cared very little to show any consideration. They also said that, in order that the Outaouaks might not think that they intended to sacrifice
133them, they would give up their women and children to them, and the Outaoüaks should be masters of these in case there were any treachery; they departed, accordingly, in equal numbers. In the middle of Lake Herier they found three canoes of Sakis, who were seeking refuge from a defeat which they had suffered from the Iroquois -- who had slain their chief, with two of his brothers and one of his cousins, while the Iroquois had lost on their side eight men. The Sakis joined the Hurons and Outaoüaks; they fired several gunshots, in order to notify the Iroquois [of their coming]; and, having descried a great cloud of smoke, they sent four men to reconnoiter, who marched through the woods. When they were on the shore, nearly where they could catch a glimpse of any one, they saw four men who were walking on the edge of the lake; they went back into the woods, from which they fired a volley at these Iroquois, and then immediately gained their own canoes. The Iroquois, who were at work making canoes of elm-bark (of which they had at the time only five made), numbered three hundred; they rushed into these, to attack the Outaouaks, with such headlong haste that they broke asunder two of the canoes, and then went in pursuit with the three others; the first contained thirty men, the second twenty-five, and the third sixteen. The Hurons, the Sakis, and the Outaoüaks, who had a like number of men, saw that they were on the point of being captured, but rallied, and resolved to endure the first fire of their enemies. The war-chief of the Outaouaks and a Huron were killed at the outset, but the others steadily advanced until they were close up to the Iroquois; then they fired their volley at the canoe of thirty men, of whom so many were killed that the dead bodies caused it to capsize, so that all the thirty perished-some by drowning, some by the war-club, some by arrows. The
134canoe of twenty[-five] met the same fate, but five of the braves were made prisoners. The great chief of the Tsonnontouans was mortally wounded in this encounter; they tomahawked him, and carried away his scalp. At last these prisoners arrived at Michilimakinak, and they appeared deeply hurt because their people had been duped by the Hurons, whom they were regarding as their best friends; see in what manner they complained of it:
"The Hurons have killed us. Last autumn they invited us by collars to be on hand near the Saint Joseph River, where they were to assemble. They had promised to give us the village of the Miamis there to eat; and after this expedition they were to take us to Michilimakinak to deliver to us the Outaouaks, and even their own people who might be there. For this purpose our chiefs raised the war-party that you have seen; but the Hurons have betrayed us. Believe us, we are among your friends. We know well that it is the Pouteouatemis who have drawn you in with them to attack us, when you have defeated us, ten cabins in all. We do not blame you, but them; and we have never plotted against you." This defeat of the Iroquois confirmed the Hurons and all our allies on our side. [End of volume II.]
135with the relations existing between the French and Iroquois -- and, more or less, those of the western tribes
136with both peoples -- during the years 1695-1701. The record is mainly one of hostilities with the Iroquois (who are, as usual, fierce and treacherous), varied by negotiations for peace, which is finally concluded in the summer of 1701. Much space is given to detailed reports of the various conferences held by Frontenac and his successor Callieres with the deputations of Indians who come to Quebec to settle their affairs with the governor; and the speeches on both sides are given in extenso. At one of these (in 1695) a Sioux chief named Tioskatin participated; he was the first of his tribe to visit Canada, conducted thither by Pierre C. La Sueur, who afterward made explorations on the Upper Mississippi. At the great conference of all the tribes held at Montreal, beginning July 25, 1701, the most noted of their chiefs were present and made speeches -- including the Ottawa Outoutaga (also known as Le Talon, and as Jean le Blanc); Chingouessi, another Ottawa; the Huron Le Rat; Ounanguicé, a Potawatomi, who spoke for all the Wisconsin tribes; Quarante-Sols, a Huron; Chichikatalo, a Miami; Noro (or "the Porcupine"), of the Outagamis; Ouabangué, head of the Chippewas of the Sault; Tekaneot, Tahartakout, and Aouenano, from the various Iroquois tribes. A general peace was concluded, after long discussion and much giving of presents, on August 7 -- an event which crowned the long efforts of Frontenac to end the Iroquois Wars, which had so long wasted the resources and population of the French settlements, paralyzed their industries, and interrupted the trade with the Indians on which almost their life depended. This peace was negotiated by Callieres, Frontenac having died on Nov. 28, 1698. -- ED.]
Dorsey in his "Migrations of the Siouan Tribes" (Amer. Naturalist, vol. xx, 211-222) says that the entire Dhegiha group lived together (before their separation above noted), near the Ohio River, and were called "Arkansa" by the Illinois tribes. "Accances" of our text is the same as Akansa, Akansea, Kanza, etc., of the early writers, especially Marquette; but these refer to the Quapaw, another tribe of the above group. They, with the Osage and Kansa, are now on reservations in (the former) Indian Territory. -- ED.
The Pepikokia are "an Algonquian tribe or band mentioned in the latter part of the seventeenth century as a division of the Miami. In 1718 both they and the Piankashaw were mentioned as villages of the Wea. That the relation between these three groups was intimate is evident. They were located on the Wabash by Chauvignerie (1736) and other writers of the period. They are spoken of in 1695 as Miamis of Maramek River, that is, the Kalamazoo. A letter dated 1701 (Margry, Découvertes, vol. iv, 592) indicates that they were at that time in Wisconsin. Chauvignerie says that Wea, Piankashaw, and Pepikokia ‘are the same nation, though in different villages,’ and that ‘the devices of these Indians are the Serpent, the Deer, and the Small Acorn.’ They were sometimes called Nation de la Gruë, as though the crane was their totem. They disappear from history before the middle of the eighteenth century and may have become incorporated in the Piankashaw, whose principal village was on the Wabash at the junction of the Vermillion. -- JAMES MOONEY, in Handbook Amer. Indians.
"Having read it very attentively, I have been surprised that it has so well fulfilled a project which, as it seemed to me, was very difficult to carry out successfully. He certainly must have taken much pains to inform himself of all that was necessary to disentangle the numerous intrigues of so many savage peoples, in relation to both their own interests and those of the French. He has assured me that after he had personally obtained a knowledge of the government of Canada in detail -- of which he has written a history, which he has had the honor of dedicating to his royal Highness Monseigneur the Duc d'Orleans -- he had intended to penetrate [the wilderness] to a distance six hundred leagues beyond; but as his health and his occupations had not permitted him to go through that vast extent of territory, he had contented himself with forming friendships with most of the prominent chiefs of the peoples allied with New France who came down to Montreal every year to conduct their trade in peltries. At the outset, he had made a plan of the present history; he has therefore had no trouble, in all the conversations that he has held with them, in gaining a knowledge of their manners, their laws, their customs, their maxims, and of all the events of special importance which have occurred among them.
"Sieur Joliet has contributed not a little to this end; for during the lessons in geometry which he gave to the author he informed him of all that he had seen and known among those peoples. The Jesuit fathers, who were excellent friends of his, have been very helpful to him. Sieur Perrot, who is the principal actor in all that has occurred among those peoples during more than forty years, has given the author the fullest information, and with the utmost exactness, regarding all that he narrates. Monsieur de la Potherie, to whom I expressed my surprise that he had been able to obtain so clear a knowledge of so great a number of facts, and reduce to order so many matters that were so entangled, avowed to me that all these persons had been of the utmost assistance to him. He said that he questioned them in order [of events], in accordance with his plan [for the book], and that he immediately set down in writing what the savages had told him, and then he read to them these notes in order to make proper corrections therein; and that it was by these careful means that he escaped from the labyrinth.
"I assure you, Monsieur, that I have read this manuscript with pleasure; and that I have learned from it things which I had not found in Lahontan, in Father Hennepin, or in all the others who have written about New France. I believe that every one will read it with the same satisfaction. . . In it we shall see the attachment of all those peoples for the French nation; and we shall admire the prudence and adroitness of the French in managing the minds of those savages, and retaining them in alliance with us despite all the intrigues of the English, and of their emissaries the Iroquois -- who exerted every effort to render them our enemies -- or in persuading them to wage war against those nations, and by that means to secure them in their own interests. We shall be surprised at the boldness and intrepidity of the French who lived among those barbarians, who were continually threatening to burn them at the stake or to murder them. We shall recognize that those peoples whom we treat as savages are very brave, capable leaders, good soldiers, very discreet and subtle politicians, shrewd, given to dissimulation, understanding perfectly their own interests, and knowing well how to carry out their purposes. In short, the French and the English have need of all their cleverness and intellect to deal with the savages."