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defending the adjacent Huron village.1 Though the island was called St. Joseph, the fort, like that on the Wye, received the name of Sainte Marie. Jesuit devotion scattered these names broadcast over all the field of their labors. The island, thanks to the vigilance of the French, escaped attack throughout the summer; but Iroquois scalping-parties ranged the neighboring shores, killing stragglers and keeping the Hurons in perpetual alarm. As winter drew near, great numbers, who, trembling and by stealth, had gathered a miserable subsistence among the northern forests and islands rejoined their countrymen at St. Joseph, until six or eight thousand expatriated wretches were gathered here under the protection of the French fort. They were housed in a hundred or more bark dwellings, each containing eight or ten families.2 Here were widows without children, and children without parents; for famine and the Iroquois had proved more deadly enemies than the pestilence which a few years before had wasted their towns.3 Of this multi
1 Compare Martin, Introduction to Bressani, Relation Abre;/ei, '.18.
2 Hagueneau, Relation des Hurons, 1650, 3, 4. He reckons eight persons to a family.
8 "Ie voudrois pouuoir representer a toutes les personnes affectionnees a nos Hurons, l'etat pi toy able auquel ils sont reduits; . . . comment seroit-il possible que ces imitateurs de Iesus Christ ne fussent emeus a pitie à In veue des centaines et centaines de veuues dont non seulement les enfans, mais quasi les parens ont este outrageusement ou tuez, ou emmenez captifs, et puis inhumainement bruslez, cuits, dechircz et deuorez des ennemis." — Lettre de Chav monot d Lalemant, Sup&riiiir a Quebec, Isle de St. Joseph, 1 Juin, 1040.
"Vne mere s'est veue, n'ayant que ses deux mamelles, mais sans
508 tude but few had strength enough to labor, scarcely any had made provision for the winter, and numbers were already perishing from want, dragging themselves from house to house, like living skeletons. The priests had spared no effort to meet the demands upon their charity. They sent men during the autumn to buy smoked fish from the Northern Algonquins, and employed Indians to gather acorns in the woods. Of this miserable food they succeeded in collecting five or six hundred bushels. To diminish its bitterness, the Indians boiled it with ashes, or the priests served it out to them pounded, and mixed with corn.1 As winter advanced, the Huron houses became a frightful spectacle. Their inmates were dying by scores daily. The priests and their men buried the bodies, and the Indians dug them from the earth or the snow and fed on them, sometimes in secret and sometimes openly; although, notwithstanding their superstitious feasts on the bodies of their enemies, suc et sans laict, qui toutefois estoit l'vnique chose qu'elle eust peu presenter à trois ou quatre enfans qui pleuroient y estans attachez. Elle les voyoit mourir entre ses bras, les vns apres les autres, et n'auoit pas mesme les forces de les pousser dans le tombeau. Elle mouroit Bous cette charge, et en mourant elle disoit: Ouy, Mon Dieu, vous estes le maistre de nos vies; nous mourrons puisque vous le voulez; voila qui est bien que nous mourrions Chrestiens. I'estois diimnée, et mes enfans auec moy, si nous ne fussions morts miserables; ils ont receu le sainct Baptesme, et ie croy fermement que mourans tous de compagnie, nous ressusciterons tous ensemble." — Ragueneau, Relation des Hurons, 1050, 5.
1 Eight hundred sacks of this mixture were given to the Hurons 'luring the winter. —Bressani, Relation Abrégie, 283.
their repugnance and horror were extreme at the thought of devouring those of relatives and friends.1 An epidemic presently appeared, to aid the work of famine. Before spring, about half of their number were dead. Meanwhile, though the cold was intense and the snow several feet deep, not an hour was free from the danger of the Iroquois; and, from sunset to daybreak, under the cold moon or in the driving snowstorm, the French sentries walked their rounds along the ramparts. The priests rose before dawn, and spent the time till sunrise in their private devotions. Then the bell of their chapel rang, and the Indians came in crowds at the call; for misery had softened their hearts, and nearly all on the island were now Christian. There was a mass, followed by a prayer and a few words of 1 "Ce fut alors que nous fusmes contraints de voir des squeletes mourantes, qui soustenoient vne vie miserable, mangeant iusqu'aux ordures et les rebuts de la nature. Le gland estoit ā la pluspart, ce que seroient en France les mets les plus exquis. Les charognes mesme deterrées, les restes des Renards et des Chiens ne faisoient point horreur, et se mangeoient, quoy qu'en cachete: car quoy que ics Hurons, auant que la foy leur eust donné plus de lumiere qu'ils n'en auoient dans l'infidelité, ne creussent pas commettre aucun peché de manger leurs ennemis, aussi peu qu'il y en a de les tuer, toutefois ie puis dire auec verité, qu'ils n'ont pas moins d'horreur de manger de leurs compatriotes, qu'on peut auoir en France de manger de la chair humaine. Mais la necessité n'a plus de loy, et des dents fameliques ne discernent plus ce qu'elles mangent. Les mères se sont repeuës de leurs enfans, des frères de leurs frères, et des enfans ne reconnoissoient plus en vn cadaure mort, celuy lequel lors qu'il viuoit, ils appelloient leur Pere." — Hagueneau, Relation des Hurons, 1650, 4. Compare Bressani, Relation Abrigie, 283
1649-50.] OCCUPATIONS OF THE PRIESTS. 505
exhortation; then the hearers dispersed to make room for others. Thus the little chapel was filled ten or twelve times, until all had had their turn. Meanwhile, other priests were hearing confessions and giving advice and encouragement in private, according to the needs of each applicant. This lasted till nine o'clock, when all the Indians returned to their village, and the priests presently followed, to give what assistance they could. Their cassocks were worn out, and they were dressed chiefly in skins.1 They visited the Indian houses, and gave to those whose necessities were most urgent small scraps of hide, severally stamped with a particular mark, and entitling the recipients, on presenting them at the fort, to a few acorns, a small quantity of boiled maize, or a fragment of smoked fish, according to the stamp on the leather ticket of each. Two hours before sunset the bell of the chapel again rang, and the religious exercises of the morning were repeated.2 Thus this miserable winter wore away, till the opening spring brought new fears and new necessities.3
1 Lettre de Ragueneau au General de la Compagnie de Jesus, Isle St. Joseph, 13 Mars, 1650.
2 Ragueneau, Relation des Hurons, 1650, 6, 7.
8 Concerning the retreat of the Hurons to Isle St. Joseph, the principal authorities are the Relations of 1649 and 1650, which are ample in detail, and written with an excellent simplicity and modesty; the Relation Abregee of Bressani; the reports of the Father Superior to the General of the Jesuits at Rome; the manuscript of 1652, entitled Memoires touchant la Mart et les Vertus des Peres, etc. j the unpublished letters of Gamier; and a letter of Chaumonot, written on the spot, and preserved in the Relations.
GARNIER. — CHABANEL.
The Tobacco Missions. — St. Jean Attacked. — Death Of Gar Nier. — The Journey Of Chabanel: His Death. — Uarbead And Grelon.
Late in the preceding autumn the Iroquois had taken the war-path in force. At the end of November, two escaped prisoners came to Isle St. Joseph with the news that a band of three hundred warriors was hovering in the Huron forests, doubtful whether to invade the island or to attack the towns of the Tobacco Nation in the valleys of the Blue Mountains. The Father Superior, Ragueneau, sent a runner thither in all haste, to warn the inhabitants of their danger. There were at this time two missions in the Tobacco Nation, St. Jean and St. Matthias,1 — the latter under the charge of the Jesuits Garreau and Grelon, and the former under that of Garnier and Chabanel. St. Jean, the principal seat of the mis
• The Indian name of St. Jean was Etarita; and that of St Matthias, Ekarenniondi.