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into their favor, and were cordially invited to riched Huronia with their blood, and had exreturn with them to their homes on the con- perienced every vicissitude of missionary seryfines of the Great Lake, the charms of which ice and suffering. He had rejoiced in bapthey depicted in glowing colors. The mis- tizing many a convert on the banks of the sionaries, ever anxious to extend the domin- beautiful Cayuga, and bis seamed face attested ion of the cross, joyfully accepted the invita- the wounds he had received in the cause of tion. Charles Raymbault, a Father thoroughly truth. The frosts of many winters adorned his versed in the Algonquin language and customs, brow, and severity of toil and suffering had and Isaac Jogues, equally familiar with the somewhat broken his frame, but his spirit was Huron, were selected, and were the first who still strong and he was ready for the sacrifice. planted the cross within the limits of our Although not buoyed up by the enthusiasm of State. On the 17th of June, 1641, they started youth or inexperience, he not only did not recoil upon their adventurous voyage, and for seven- from the labor, peril, suffering and death which teen days plied the paddle on the clear waters he felt awaited him, but he cheerfully looked of the northern lakes and through the channel forward to a death of misery in the service of of the Ste. Marie River, gemmed by a thousand God as the truest happiness. Alone in August, beautiful islands. They were kindly and 1660, he leaves the haunts of civilization, puts hospitably received by the Chippewas at tbe himself into the hands of savage strangers. Sault, who urged them to remain with them They treat the aged priest with coarse bruthat they might profit by their word. They tality. From morning until night they compel told them of the Great Lake, of the fierce Da- him in a cramped position to ply the unwelcotahs, and of numerous other tribes of whom come paddle, to drag the canoe up the rapids, the Fathers had never before heard. But they and at portages to carry heavy burdens. He were compelled to return, and after planting is subjected to every form of drudgery, to the cross they left, hoping soon to be able to es- every phase of insult and contempt. Want, tablish a mission at this promising point among absolute and terrible, comes in to enbance the the docile Chippewas. Raymbault died with horrors of the royage. Berries and edible consumption the following year, and Jogues moss are exbausted, and the moose-skin of met a martyr's death among the Iroquois. their dresses is made to yield its scanty and
No further attempt was made to send the disgusting nutriment. Finally, with his bre. gospel to the great Northwest until 1656. viary contemptuously cast into the water, bareAfter the destruction of the Hurons, the foot, wounded by sharp stones, exhausted with Iroquois reigned in proud and haughty tri- toil, hunger and brutal treatment, without umph from Lake Erie to Lake Superior. Up- food or the means of procuring any, he is abanper Canada was a desolation, and even the doned on the shores of Lake Superior to die. route by the Ottawa River was not safe from But even savage cruelty relents. After a few the war-parties of these bold marauders. days, during which time he supports life on This year some Ottawas made their way to the pounded bones, his Indian companions return St. Lawrence. Two missionaries left to return and convey him to their winter rendezvous, with them, one the celebrated and devout which they reach October 15th, St. Theresa's Dreuillettes. They were attacked by the day, and from that circumstance he called it Iroquois. Father Gareau was mortally woun- St. Theresa's Bay (probably Keweenaw Bay). ded, and Dreuillettes brutally abandoned. An- Here, amidst every discouragement and privaother company of Otta was and other Algon- tion, and with no white brethren nearer than quins appeared in Quebec in 1660, and asked a Montreal, he began a mission and said mass, missionary.
which, he says, “repaid me with usury for all Missions bad now received a fresh impulse my past hardships.” For a time he was perfrom the pious Lalle, the first bishop of Quebec, mitted a place in the dirty camp of Le Bouchet, who came out in 1669, and Father Menard was the chief of the band--be who had so cruelly selected as the first ambassador of the cause on abandoned him, but he was soon thrust out, the shores of Gitchie Gumee, the Big Sea and this aged and feeble servant of God spent Water. The choice was a fit one. He had two long, bitter, cold winters on that inhospibeen a compeer of the noble men who had en- table shore in a little cabin of fir branches piled
one upon another, through which the winter was too great for his failing strength, and that winds whistled freely, and which answered the danger beset his path. He replied: “God calls purpose, “not so much,” says the meek mis- me thither. I must go if it cost me my life." sionary," to shield me from the rigor of the He started, and, at a portage, while his only atseason, as to correct my imagination and per- tendant was getting the canoe over, on the 10th suade me that I was sheltered.” Want, famine, of August, 1661, he wandered into the forest that frequent curse of the improvident tribes and was never more seen. Whether he took a that skirt the great northern lake, came with wrong path and was lost in the wood, or its borrors to make more memorable this first whether some straggling Indian struck him effort to plant the cross by the waters of Lake down, was never known. Superior.
Thus ended the life of Father Menard, the But the good Father found sources of conso- first Christian missionary who labored within lation even here, and desired not to be taken the bounds of our Commonwealth. Without down from the adorable wood. “One of my striking qualities, by his fervent piety, by his first visits,” says he, “ was in a wretched hut, faithful and incessant toil, by his calm endudug out under a large rotten tree, which rance of suffering and hardship, by his noble sbielded it on one side, and supported by some Christian courage, by his earnest faith and fir branches which sheltered it from the wind. Christian hope, he had become one of the most I entered on the other side almost flat on my useful missionaries in the New World, comface, but creeping in I found a treasure-a poor manding the respect of his superiors, the love woman, abandoned by her husband and her of his equals, and the veneration of the Indians.
one about two and the other about three years cherish his inemory and seek to perpetuate a old. I spoke of the faith to this poor afflicted knowledge of his virtues; but as yet, not a creature, who listened to me with pleasure. stream, not a bay, not a headland, bears bis · Brother,' said she, 'I know well that our folks honored name, and on the shores of the great reject thy words, but for my part I like them lake where he first raised the cross, that emwell; what thou sayest is full of consolation.' blem of our faith, even his existence is hardly With these words she drew from under the tree known. a piece of dry fish which, so to say, she took Hardships, discouragements, persecutions from her very mouth to repay my visit. I and death seemed only to excite the Jesuits to thanked her, however, valuing more the happy renewed and more energetic effort to carry the occasion which God gave me of securing the gospel to the poor Indian. In 1665, Claude salvation of these two children, by conferring Allouez left Quebec to commence a Christian on them holy baptism. I returned some time mission on the shores of Lake Superior. He after to this good creature, and found her full may well be called the founder of the northof resolution to serve God; and in fact from western missions, the real pioneer of Christianthat time she began to come to morning and ity and civilization in the region bordering on evening prayers so constantly that she did not the great northern and western lakes. He fail once, however busied or engaged in gaining had not that cultivated intellect, that refined her livelihood.”. A pure and noble young man taste, that genial heart, that elevation of soul, also embraced the faith, and a few others gladly that forgetfulness of self, that freedom from received “the prayer."
Spring came and relieved the pressure of quette; but his was a strong character of daunt. suffering, and hopefully did the missionary less courage, of ceaseless and untiring energy, labor on. The band of partially Christianized full of zeal, thoroughly acquainted with Indian Hurons, who on the destruction of their nation character, and eminently a practical man, and had sought refuge from the Iroquois in these for a full quarter of a century he was the life northern fastnesses, were now at Bay de No- and soul of the missionary enterprise into Wisquet, and sent to Father Menard to come and consin and Illinois, and, to some extent, in see them and administer to them the rites of Michigan. religion. It was a call that he could not resist, In his voyage to the Sault he was subjected, although warned that the toil of the journey as was generally the case with the missionaries
until the arm of French power was distinctly notable family in the small but ancient and felt in those remote regions, to keenest insult stately city of Leon, in the North of France. and coarsest brutality from his Indian conduc- The family have for centuries been eminent for tors. He passed on beyond the Sault; for a devotion to military life, and three of its whole month he coasted along the shores of members shed their blood upon our own soil the great lake, and in October, at Chegoimegon, during the War of the Revolution. the beautiful La Pointe of our day, he raised T hrough the instructions of a pious mother the standard of the cross and boldly preached he became at an early age imbued with an its doctrines. The Hurons, in search of whom earnest desire to devote himself to a religious Father Menard lost his life, some of the con- life. At the age of seventeen he renounced the verts of Father Menard, and many heathen allurements of the world, and entered the bands, gathered around the solitary priest and Society of Jesus. As required by the rules of listened to bis words, yet tbey opened not their the order, he spent two years in those spiritual hearts readily to "the prayer.” He visited exercises prescribed by its great founder. Then remote tribes; and after seeing how broad for ten long years he remained under the rewas the harvest and how ripe for the sickle, markable training and teachirg of the order, he descended in 1667 to Quebec for more and acquired that wonderful control, that quiet laborers. Quickly he moved, promptly he repose, that power of calm endurance, that unacted. In two days after his arrival he was on questioning obedience to his superiors, that his way back to the beautiful northern field, thirst for trial, suffering and death that marked with an additional priest and a lay-brother in the Jesuits in this golden age of their power. his company.
He took for his model in life the great Xavier, He remained at La Pointe until Father Mar- and longed like him to devote bis days to the quette took his place in the fall of 1679, when conversion of the heathen, and like him to die he founded the mission of St. Francis Xavier in the midst of his labors in a foreign land at Green Bay. After Father Marquette's death alone. Although he had not that joyous he succeeded him in the Illinois mission, and hilarity of soul, that gay buoyancy of spirit, afterwards founded the mission of St. Joseph and that wonderful power over men, that so dison our own beautiful river of that name. It tinguished the Apostle to the Indies, he had does not fall in with our purpose to trace the much of that sweetness of disposition, that interesting career of this man, and point out genial temperament, that facile adaptation to his abundant labors and untiring zeal as a mis- the surrounding circumstances, that depth of sionary, or his valuable services as an explorer, lore, and that apostolic zeal, that belonged to as our own soil was but incidentally the field that remarkable man. Panting for a missionof his efforts.
ary life, at the age of twenty-nine he sailed for Of all the men whose names are connected New France, which he reached September 20, with the early history of our State, there is none 1666. Early in October he was placed under toward whom we turn with so warm a love, so the tuition of the celebrated Father Dreuilhigh a veneration, as to Father Jacques Mar- lettes, at Three Rivers, to learn the native lanquette. His cultivated mind, his refined taste, guage. After a year and a half of preparation his warm and genial nature, his tender love for he left for the Sault Ste. Marie, to plant the the souls in his charge, his calm and im- first permanent mission and settlement within movable courage in every hour of danger, his the bounds of our State. cheerful submission to the bitter privations There were then about two thousand Indians and keen sufferings of the missionary life, his at this point, the facility with which they could important discoveries, his devotion to truth, live by hunting and fishing making it one of his catholic faith, and last but not least, his the most populous places in the Indian territory. early, calm, joyous and heroic death, all en- They were Algonquins, mostly Chippewas, and title him to that high place in the regard of received the teachings of the good Father with posterity which he has been slowly but surely great docility and would gladly have been bapacquiring.
tized, but the wise and cautious missionary Marquette was born in 1637, and was of with beld the rite until he could clearly instruct gentle blood, being descended from the most them in Christian duty. In the following year
he was joined by Father Dablon, when the first discovery, were suddenly terminated by the Christian church on Michigan soil was erected breaking out of war. The fierce Dacotahs, But he was not long to remain in this first those Iroquois of the West, who inspired the field of his labors. In obedience to orders from feeble tribes about them with an overpowering his superiors, in the fall of 1669 he went to La awe, threatened to desolate the region of La Pointe to take the place of Allouez, who pro- Pointe. The Ottawas first left, and then the ceeded to found a mission at Green Bay. For Hurons—who seemed to be destined to be wana whole month, through much suffering and in derers on the face of the earth, without a spot constant peril of life, he coasted along the they could call their own-turned their faces shores of the lake, contending with fierce winds, toward the East. Their hearts fondly yearned ice, and snow. At La Pointe he found four or for that delightful home from which they had five hundred Hurons, a company of Ottawas, been so cruelly driven twenty years before, and some other tribes. The Hurons had mostly and we may well imagine that the devoted misbeen baptized, and, he says, “still preserve sionary longed to labor in that field made some Christianity.” Other tribes were, to use sacred by the blood of Daniel, Brebeuf, Lalehis own language, “proud and undeveloped," mant and others. But the dreaded Iroquois and he had so little hope of them that he did were too near and too dangerous neighbors for not baptize healthy infants, watching only for such an experiment, and with their missionary such as were sick. It was only after long at their head they selected for their home the months of trial tbat he baptized the first adult, point known as St. Ignace, opposite Mackinaw. after seeing his assiduity in prayer, his frank- Bleak, barren and in hospitable as this spot ness in recounting bis past life, and his prom- was, it bad some peculiar and compensatory ises for the future. Here an Illinois captive advantages. It abounded in fish, and was on was given to him, and he immediately com- the great highway of a growing Indian com. menced learning the language from the rude merce. Here, in the summer of 1671, a rude teacher, and as he gradually acquired a knowl. church, made of logs and covered with bark, edge of it his loving heart warmed toward the was erected, and around it clustered the still kind-hearted and peaceful nation, and he longed ruder cabins of the Hurons. Near the chapel, to break to them the bread of life.
and enclosing the cabins of the Hurons, was “No one,” he exclaimed,“ must hope to es- erected a palisade, to protect the little colony cape crosses in our missions, and the best against the attacks of predatory Indians. Thus means to live happy is not to fear them, but in did Marquette become the founder of Mackithe enjoyment of little crosses hope for others naw, as he had before been of Sault Ste. Marie. still greater. The Illinois desire us-like In. Some of the Hurons were still idolaters, and dians—to share their misery, and suffer all that the Christians were wild and wayward, but he can be imagined in barbarism. They are lost looked upon them with parental love. “They sheep, to be sought through woods and thorns.” have,” he writes in 1672, "come regularly to Here it was, in the heart of this northern win- prayers, and have listened more readily to the ter, surrounded by his Indians, talking in a instructions I have given them, consenting to broken manner with his Illinois captive, that what I have required to prevent their disorhe conceived the idea of a voyage of discovery. ders and abominations. We must have patience He hears of a great river, the Mississippi, whose with untutored minds, wbo know only the course is southward. He says this great river devil; who, like their ancestors, have been his can hardly empty into Virginia, and he rather slaves, and who often relapse into the sins in believes that its mouth is in California. He which they were nurtured. God alone can fix rejoices in the prospect of seeking for this un- their feeble minds and place and keep them in known stream with one Frenchman and this his grace, and touch their hearts, while we Illinois captive as his only companions, if the stammer at their ears.” Indians will, according to their agreement, A large colony of Ottawas located near the make him a canoe. “This discovery," he says, mission, and though intractable, received his " will give us a complete knowledge of the faithful and loving attention. This stammersouthern or western sea.” But his further ing at their ears and trusting that God would labors at La Pointe, and his plans of present reach the heart, through privation, suffering,
and incessant toil, subject to every caprice, in spring. During that long, dreary winter on sult and petty persecution, the good father that desolate point, he spent his leisure time labored at for two years, cheered by the privilege in gathering from the Indians all possible of occasionally baptizing a dying infant, and information of the unknown region they were rejoicing in a simple, mournful, loving faith in about to visit, tracing upon the bark of the its death. Hearing of a sick infant he says, “I birch maps of the course of rivers, and writing went at once and baptized it, and it died the down the names of the tribes and nations innext night. Some of the other children, too, babiting their banks and of the villages they are dead, and are now in heaven. These are should visit. the consolations which God sends us, which On the 17th of May, 1673, in two bark canoes, make us esteem our life more happy as it is manned by five men, and stocked with a small more wretched.”
supply of Indian corn and dried venison, the Here again his attention was called to the two explorers left Mackinaw. “Our joy at discovery of the Mississippi, which he sougbt being chosen," says the great Father, “ for this that new nations might be open to the gospel expedition, roused our courage and sweetened of peace and good will. In a letter to his Su: the labor of rowing from morning till night,"' perior, after speaking of his field of labor, he and merrily over the waters of Lake Michigan says; “I am ready to leave it in the hands of did they ply the paddles of their light canoeanother missionary and go on your order to seek
“ And the forest's life was in it, new nations toward the South Sea who are still
All its mystery and magic, unknown to us, and teach them of our great
All the lightness of the birch-tree, God, whom they have hitherto unknown.” His
All the toughness of the cedar, fond wishes in this regard were about to be
All the larch's supple sinews ; gratified. The news of the great river at the
And it floated on the water westward, running to the South Sea, had
Like a yellow leaf in Autumn,
Like a yellow water-lily." reached the ears of the great Colbert, and through him of the great Louis XIV. himself. At Green Bay the Indians did all in their They did not fail to see the infinite advantage power to prevent the further progress of the of discovering and possessing this great element expedition. They pictured to the explorers of territorial power. ..
the fierce Dacotahs with their long black hair, The struggle between the English and French their eyes of fire, and their terrible tomahawks in America was then pending. If the English of stone, who never spared strangers; they told settlements, then feeble, scattered along the of the wars then raging, and the war parties Atlantic coast, could be hemmed in by a series on every trail; they described the dangers of of French posts from the great lakes to the navigation of frightful rapids and sunken southern sea, France would control the conti- rocks, of fearful monsters that swallowed up nent and the ambitious schemes of Britain be men and canoes together; of a cruel demon nipped in the bud. Colbert authorized the who stops the passage and engulfs the naviexpedition, and was ably seconded by the gator who dares to invade his dominion; of wise energy and sagacious forecast of Count excessive heats that would infallibly cause their Frontenac, Governor and Intendant of New death. The good Father told them that the France. Joliet, a young, intelligent, enter- salvation of souls was concerned, and that in prising merchant of Quebec, and Marquette, such a cause he would gladly lay down his life ; were appointed to execute the project. In the that of the dangers they described he had no fall of 1672 Joliet arrived at Mackinaw with fear. the joyful news. Marquette bad, as he says, On went the travelers, faithfully ascending long invoked the Blessed Virgin that he might the Fox River, dragging their canoes up the obtain of God the grace to visit the nations of rapids over sharp stones that lacerated their the Mississippi. He was enraptured at the bleeding and unprotected feet. In ten days good news that his desires were about to be from leaving Mackinaw they have passed the accomplished, that he was to expose his life for portage and launched their canoes upon the the salvation of those nations, and especially of waters of the Wisconsin, and commenced their the Illinois. They were not to leave until descent toward the Mississippi. For seven