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16 Frontenac shared the spirit of the hour. His first step was to survey his government. He talked with traders, colonists, and officials; visited seigniories, farms, fishing-stations, and all the infant industries that Talon had galvanized into life; examined the new ship on the stocks, admired the structure of the new brewery, went to Three Rivers to see the iron mines, and then, having acquired a tolerably exact idea of his charge, returned to Quebec. He was well pleased with what he saw, but not with the ways and means of Canadian travel; for he thought it strangely unbecoming that a lieutenant-general of the king should be forced to crouch on a sheet of bark, at the bottom of a birch canoe, scarcely daring to move his head to the right or left lest he should disturb the balance of the fragile vessel.He made no converts while a prisoner, but he baptized a Huron catechumen at the stake, to the great fury of the surrounding Iroquois. He has left, besides his letters, some interesting notes on his captivity, preserved in the Relation Abrge.
1665-1672. PATERNAL GOVERNMENT.Dispersion of the Hurons ? Sainte Marie abandoned ? Isle St. Joseph ? Removal of the Mission ? The New Fort ? Misery of the Hurons ? Famine ? Epidemic ? Employments of the Jesuits
It was on the day of the Assumption of this Queen of angels and of men that the Hurons took at Montreal that other famous Iroquois chief, whose capture caused the Mohawks to seek our alliance.As regards the character of the girls, there can be no doubt that this amusing sketch is, in the main, maliciously untrue. Since the colony began, it had been the practice to send back to France women of the class alluded to by La Hontan, as soon as they became notorious. ** Those who were
Now ensued a wonderful event, if we may trust the evidence of sundry devout persons. Olier, the founder of St. Sulpice, had lately died, and the two pilgrims would fain pay their homage to his heart, which the priests of his community kept as a precious relic, enclosed in a leaden box. The box was brought, when the thought inspired Mademoiselle Mance to try its miraculous efficacy and invoke the intercession of the departed founder. She did so, touching her disabled arm gently with the leaden casket. Instantly a grateful warmth pervaded the shrivelled limb, and from that hour its use was restored. It is true that the Jesuits ventured to doubt the Sulpitian miracle, and even to ridicule it; but the Sulpitians will show to this day the attestation of Mademoiselle Mance herself, written with the fingers once paralyzed and powerless. * Nevertheless, the cure was not so thorough as to permit her again to take charge of her patients. Often, especially among the Iroquois, the internal arrangement was different. The scaffolds or platforms were raised only a foot from the earthen floor, and were only twelve or thirteen feet long, with intervening spaces, where the occupants stored their family provisions and other articles. Five or six feet above was another platform, often occupied by children. One pair of platforms sufficed for a family, and here during summer they slept pellmell, in the clothes they wore by day, and without pillows.
For a year or two after De Tracy had chastised the Mohawks, and humbled the other Iroquois nations, all was rose color on the side of that dreaded confederacy. The Jesuits, defiant as usual of hardship and death, had begun their ruined missions anew. Bruyas took the Mission of the Martyrs among the Mohawks; Milet, that of Saint Francis Xavier, among the Oneidas; Lamberville, that of Saint John the Baptist among the Onondagas; Carheil, that of Saint Joseph among the Cayugas; and Raffeix and Julien Gamier shared between them the three missions of the Senecas. The Iroquois, after their punishment, were in a frame of mind so hopeful, that the fathers imagined for a moment that they were all on the point of accepting the faith. This was a consummation earnestly to be wished, not only from a religious, but also from a political point of view. The complete conversion of the Iroquois meant their estrangement from the heretic English and Dutch, and their firm alliance with the French. It meant safety for Canada, and it ensured for her the fur trade of the interior freed from English rivalry. Hence the importance of these missions, and hence their double character. While the Jesuit toiled to convert his savage hosts, he watched them at the same time with the eye of a shrewd political agent; reported at Quebec the result of his observations, and by every means in his power sought to alienate them from England, and attach them to France.