Page images

to Lake Superior near the present town of Bayfield. The Dakotas still harassed them, and about the year 1671 they again returned to Michil. imackinac, from whence they removed to Detroit and Sandusky. Dur. ing the period from 1615 to the present century they were ministered to from time to time by Jesuit missionaries.

Father Brébeuf, a missionary to the Huron tribes from 1626 to 1629 and from 1634 to 1649, suffered torture and death at the hands of those Indians in March, 1619. He was the first Huron scholar, and wrote a catechism iu the language of the tribe, published in 1632, and a gram. mar which has never been published.?

Father Ménard began his labors among the Ottawas on Lake Superior in 1660. Five years later Father Allouez started his mission at La Pointe, Lake Superior, and preached to Ottawas, Pottawottamies, Sacs and Foxes, Winnebagoes, Kickapoos, Miamis, and Illinois. He was suc. ceeded by Dablon. Druilletes and André were added to the work, and missions at Green Bay and Sault Ste. Marie were begun. In 1672 Marquette set out with Joliet on his voyage of exploration of the Mississippi. Galinée, a Sulpitian missionary, who visited the mission in 1670, remarks, that though the Jesuits had baptized a few Indians at the Sault, not one of them was a good enough Christian to receive the eucharist; and he intimates that the case, by their own showing, was still worse at their mission of Saint Esprit.”

The coming of La Salle and the Récollets brought dissension and jealousy; the French were at war with the Iroquois of New York, and called on their Algonquin allies for help, and the Ottawas sent warriors in 1677, accompanied by Father Enjalran, to aid Denonville against the Senecas. The Coureurs de Bois roamed through the country corrupting the Indians, with whom they vied in heathenism, and the soldiery added their demoralizing influences at the military posts which had been es. tablished, so that although Allouez, Albanel, De Carheil, and their as. sociates continued to labor, their influence gradually waned, and at the close of the seventeenth century the missions among the Ottawas and their kindred tribes were practically extinguished.

The Récollet friars who accompanied La Salle were Hennepin, the aged Ribourde, and Membré. Hennepin was sent by La Salle to ex. plore the Upper Mississippi. He fell into the hands of the Dakotas, among whom he remained until rescued by Du Lhut in the autumn of 1680. Hennepin does not appear to have attempted missionary work among them, unless his baptism of a sick child may be so called. The child presently died, “which," he writes, “ gave me great joy and satisfaction.95

In 1680 five hundred Iroquois warriors invaded the country of the Illinois, and the two missionaries, with the remnant of La Salle's colony,

1 Shea : Catholic Missions, pp. 195–201. 2 Ibid., p. 190 and note. 3 Parkman; Discovery of the Great West, p. 18. * Shea : Catholic Missions, p. 411, • Park map; Piscovery of the Great West, p. 243,


were compelled to flee. Ribourde was killed by Kickapoo warriors and thus ended the Récollet mission,

Allouez spent from 1681 to 1687 among the Illinois, Gravier from 1687 to the end of the century, and Rale 1691 and 1692. Gravier met with some success among the Kaskaskias. A woman married to a Frenchman named Acau was converted, and through her influence the missionary gained the confidence of the Indians.

When La Salle descended the Mississippi in 1682 he was accompanied by the Récollet friar Membré, who met his death in Texas. A year later Tonty, La Salle's lieutenant, having received a large grant of land on the Arkansas River, deeded to Father Dablon, superior of the Canada mission, a tract of land for the support of a missionary. “This mission was to begin in November, 1690, and the missionary was, among other things, to build two chapels, raise a cross 15 feet high, minister to whites and Indians, and say a mass for Tonty on his feast, St. Henry's day." No record remains of this mission.

In 1699 the Jesuits, Montigny and Davion, descended the Mississippi and began their labors among the Taenzas and the Tonicas on the Yazoo.3

New York.-Father Jogues, who was taken captive by the Mohawks in 1642, began to teach them Christianity. He was, however, tortured and mutilated, but laid the foundation of the Iroquois Jesuit mission. The Dutch at Fort Orange (Albany) assisted Father Jogues to escape, and he reached France in January, 1644, by the help of Governor Kieft. He returned to Canada in the spring of the same year, and met his death from a Mohawk two years later. No further missionary efforts were made among the Iroquois until 1653, when Le Moyne visited them, and was followed the next year by two missionaries from Quebec, accompanied by a dozen Iroquois converts.

The Indians insisted upon a permanent French colony at Onondaga, and accordingly in 1656 an officer, ten soldiers, thirty or forty colonists, four Jesuit priests, and two lay brothers arrived at Onondaga, where a fort and chapel were soon built. From this point the Cayugas, Senecas, and Oneidas were visited by the missionaries.

The ulterior object of the Onondagas seems to have been to gain possession of the Hurons, who six years before had taken refuge under the walls of Quebec. This object accomplished, they determined to destroy the colony. Their plot was revealed, and early in 1657 the colony was secretly abandoned, the people narrowly escaping with their lives.?

After the close of the war in 1667 the Jesuits again entered the field, and within a year established missions among the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas. Hostilities being again renewed, the field was abandoned about 1685, and Jesuit missions among the Iroquois of New York were never re-established.

1 Shea : Catholic Missions, p. 419. 2 Ibid., p. 439. 3 I bid., p. 440, 207. 6 I bid., p. 217, SI bid., p. 220, 1 Ibid., p. 329,

+ I bid., P.

The number of baptisms reported by the Jesuits in the eight years between 1668 and 1677 was 2,221. A large portion were of the dying or infants, "the mothers readily presenting their children when sick; so that here, and we may say everywhere, the number of baptisms is no criterion of the success of the mission."2

From 1650 the Jesuits labored to induce their Iroquois converts to abandon their homes in New York and emigrate to Canada. This enterprise was fostered by the civil and military authorities of Canada in the seventeenth century. Many belonging to the Iroquois tribes settled north of the St. Lawrence, where they were taught by the Jesuits, in the vicinity of Montreal by the Sulpitians, and at Quinté by the Récollets.

Near Montreal an Indian school was established about the year 1676 ; " the boys,

twenty-three from the first, learned to read, write, and chant, as well as various trades; the girls to read, write, sew, knit; and the government, which took a deep interest in the mission, sent out women to teach them to spin, knit, and embroider." 3

The granddaughter of a Huron convert entered the school and finally was “ made school-mistress, a post which she filled to the age of twenty. seven.'

A school was begun at Quebec in 1668, with eight French and six Indian pupils, in the old house of Madame Couillard; but so far as the Indians were concerned it was a failure.

Within the present limits of the United States the Jesuit missionaries did not establish any schools in the seventeenth century. “The missionaries began their instructions in religion at once; they did not seek to teach the Indians to read and write as an indispensable prelude to Christianity." 6

One hindrance to the success of the missionaries, and for which they were themselves measurably responsible, was the perennial state of warfare that existed between the different Indian tribes and between the French and their Indian allies on the one side, and the Iroquois and English on the other. Caring much for the soul, little or nothing for the body, the Jesuits seldom tried to mitigate the horrors of savage warfare in the seventeenth century; indeed, they sometimes instigated their savage converts and allies to cruelty. Such was the case at Mich. ilimackinac in 1690, when the Jesuits insisted that an Iroquois prisoner in the hands of their Huron allies should be put into the kettle," i. l., burned, though the captors desired to spare his life." At Quebec, in 1692, when Frontenac ordered two Iroquois captives to be burned, “one stabbed himself in prison; the other was tortured by the Chris. tian Hurons on Cape Diamond, defying them to the last.” 8 After the futile attack on Wells, Me., by the Canadians and the Christian Indians

i Shea: Catholic Missions, p. 293. 2 Ibid., p. 288. 3 Ibid., p. 310. 4 Ibid., 311. 5 Parkman: Old Régime in Canada, p. 102. 6 Shea: Catholic Missions, p. 300. 7 Parkman: Frontenac and New France, p. 205. 8 Ibid., p. 300.


in the same year, Villebon, the governor, gave his savage allies a prisoner to burn. “They put him to death with all their ingenuity of torture.”

The Abenaki chief Bomaseen, when a prisoner at Boston in 1696, declared that they (the French missionaries] told the Indians that Jesus Christ was a Frenchman and his mother, the Virgin, a French lady; that the English had murdered him, and that the best way to gain his favor was to revenge his death.

They (the priests of the mission villages) avoided all that might impair the warlike spirit of the neophyte, and they were well aware that in savages the warlike spirit is mainly dependent on native ferocity. They taught temperance, conjugal fidelity, devotion to the rights of their religion, and submission to the priest; but they left the savage a savage still.

In spite of the remonstrances of the civil authorities, the mission Indian was separated as far as possible from intercourse with the French, and discouraged from learning the French tongue. He wore a crucifix, hung wampum on the shrine of the Virgin, told his beads, prayed three times a day, knelt for hours before the Host, invoked the saints, and confessed to the priest; but, with rare exceptions, he murdered, scalped, and tortured like his heathen countrymen.”

The Indian captors of Hannah Dustan knocked out the brains of her week-old infant against a tree, but every morning and night in camp they regularly told their beads and said their prayers, as instructed by the priests.

Parkman, in The Old Régime in Canada, relates an incident that took place at Quebec in 1660. A Wolf: (Mohegan) prisoner was burned at the stake; the Jesuits could, if they desired, have saved him:

The truth was, they did not care to prevent the tortures of prisoners of war, not solely out of that spirit of compliance with the savage bumor of Indian allies which stains so often the pages of French American history, but also, and perhaps chiefly, from motives purely religious. Torture, in their eyes, seems to have been a blessing in disguise. They thonght it good for the soul, and in case of obstinacy the surest way of salvation. “We have very rarely indeed," writes one to them, “ seen the burning of an Iroquois without feeling snre that he was on the path to Paradise; and we never knew one of them to be surely on the path to Paradise without seeing him pass through this fiery punishment.” So they let the Wolf burn; but first having instructed him, after their fashion, they baptized him, and his savage soul flew to heaven out of the tire. "Is it pot,” pursues the same writer, "a marvel to see a Wolf changed at one stroke into a lamb, and enter into the fold of Christ, which he came to ravage?” 4

Parkman: Frontenac and New France, p. 356. 2 Ibid., pp. 376-377. See also Mather's Magnalia, II, 629, and Dummer's Memorial, Mass. Hist. Coll., 3rd series, I, 233. 3 Mather's Magnalia, II, 635. * Parkman quotes the Jesuit Relation of 1660.

[ocr errors]



The civil status of the Indian suffered little change during the first three-quarters of the century. The wars incident to the contentions and rivalries between England, France, and Spain brought no benefits to the Indian tribes. These were tossed upon the bayonets of the contending parties, courted as allies, used as scourges, and at all times disdained as equals. The hunting grounds of the Indians nearest to the settlements became more and more occupied by plantations and towns, and the Indians were forced by the farmer and the trader to fan back further and further. This threw Indians who had become pos. sessed of habits modified by contact with the whites upon the tribes still living in their ancient manner, and bred new tribal jealousies. The history of individual Indians who accepted the Christian doctrine of peace and good will, the result of the teachings of Wheelock, Brain. ard, and others, gives proof of the capacity of the Indian for education and Christian civilization. Their history also shows that the failure to have these teachings accepted by the entire tribe is due to the persecution of the white people, moved by the kindling of race prejudice or by the greed for gain. The Indian has tried; we have continually thwarted his efforts and made them abortive.


To more effectually isolate the Indian from the white population, the Assembly enacted in March, 1702, and repeated the enactmentin 1705, that Indians should not be allowed to hunt or range upon patented lands;? neither should any Indian hold an office in the county, nor be a capa. ble witness;3 and the more effectually to remove him from any of the legal privileges of the white race, the child of an Indian was to be deemed a mulatto. During this year, 1705, Indians, together with other slaves held in the Dominion, were declared to be real estate and not chattles, to descend to heirs, and also to be liable to be taken in execution for payment of debts. A slave's conversion to Christianity, it was decreed, would not alter the condition of servitude.

The difficulties in North Carolina made the Tuscarora Indians particularly unwelcome neighbors, and the Assembly sought to exclude them

1 Hening: Statutes of Virginia, Vol. III, p. 224. * Ibid., p. 251. ' Ibid., p. 298. *Ibid., p. 252. Ibid., p. 333. 6 Ibid., p. 447

« PreviousContinue »