The Publications of the Prince Society Established May 25th, 1858.
VOYAGES OF PETER ESPRIT RADISSON,
BEING AN ACCOUNT OF HIS TRAVELS AND EXPERIENCES AMONG THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS, FROM 1652 TO 1684.
TRANSCRIBED FROM ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS IN THE BODLEIAN LIBRARY AND THE BRITISH MUSEUM.
WITH HISTORICAL ILLUSTRATIONS AND AN INTRODUCTION,
BY GIDEON D. SCULL,
It may be regarded as a fortunate circumstance that we are able to add to the Society's publications this volume of RADISSON'S VOYAGES. The narratives contained in it are the record of events and transactions in which the author was a principal actor. They were apparently written without any intention of publication, and are plainly authentic and trustworthy. They have remained in manuscript more than two hundred years, and in the mean time appear to have escaped the notice of scholars, as not even extracts from them have, so far as we are aware, found their way into print. The author was a native of France, and had an imperfect knowledge of the English language. The journals, with the exception of the last in the volume, are, however, written in that language, and, as might be anticipated, in orthography, in the use of words, and in the structure of sentences, conform to no known standard of English composition. But the meaning is in all cases clearly conveyed, and, in justice both to the author and the reader, they have been printed verbatim et literatim, as in the original manuscripts. We desire to place upon record our high appreciation of the courtesy extended to the Editor of this volume by the governors of the Bodleian Library and of the British Museum, in allowing him to copy the original manuscripts in their possession. Our thanks likewise are here tendered to Mr. Edward Denham for the gratuitous contribution of the excellent index which accompanies the volume.
EDMUND F. SLAFTER, President of the Prince Society. BOSTON, 249 BERKELEY STREET, November 20, 1885.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
FIRST VOYAGE OF PETER ESPRIT RADISSON
SECOND VOYAGE, MADE IN THE UPPER COUNTRY OF THE IROQUOITS
THIRD VOYAGE, MADE TO THE GREAT LAKE OF THE HURONS, UPPER SEA OF THE EAST, AND BAY OF THE NORTH
FOURTH VOYAGE OF PETER ESPRIT RADISSON
RELATION OF A VOYAGE TO THE NORTH PARTS OF AMERICA IN THE YEARS 1682 AND 1683
RELATION OF THE VOYAGE ANNO 1684
OFFICERS OF THE PRINCE SOCIETY
THE PRINCE SOCIETY
PUBLICATIONS OF THE PRINCE SOCIETY
VOLUMES IN PREPARATION BY THE PRINCE SOCIETY
The author of the narratives contained in this volume was Peter Esprit Radisson, who emigrated from France to Canada, as he himself tells us, on the 24th day of May, 1651. He was born at St. Malo, and in 1656, at Three Rivers, in Canada, married Elizabeth, the daughter of Madeleine Hainault. [Footnote: Vide History of the Ojibways, by the Rev. E. D. Neill, ed. 1885.] Radisson says that he lived at Three Rivers, where also dwelt "my natural parents, and country-people, and my brother, his wife and children." [Footnote: The Abbe Cyprian Tanguay, the best genealogical authority in Canada, gives the following account of the family: Francoise Radisson, a daughter of Pierre Esprit, married at Quebec, in 1668, Claude Volant de St. Claude, born in 1636, and had eight children. Pierre and Claude, eldest sons, became priests. Francoise died in infancy: Marguerite married Noel le Gardeur; Francoise died in infancy; Etienne, born October 29, 1664, married in 1693 at Sorel, but seems to have had no issue. Jean Francois married Marguerite Godfrey at Montreal in 1701. Nicholas, born in 1668, married Genevieve Niel, July 30, 1696, and both died in 1703, leaving two of their five sons surviving.
There are descendants of Noel le Gardeur who claim Radisson as their ancestor, and also descendants of Claude Volant, apparently through Nicholas. Among these descendants of the Volant family is the Rt. Rev. Joseph Thomas Duhamel, who was consecrated Bishop of Ottawa, Canada, October 28, 1874.
Of Medard Chouart's descendants, no account of any of the progeny of his son Jean Baptiste, born July 25, 1654, can be found.] This brother, often alluded to in Radisson's narratives as his companion on his journeys, was Medard Chouart, "who was the son of Medard and Marie Poirier, of Charly St. Cyr, France, and in 1641, when only sixteen years old, came to Canada." [Footnote: Chouart's daughter Marie Antoinette, born June 7, 1661, married first Jean Jalot in 1679. He was a surgeon, born in 1648, and killed by the Iroquois, July 2, 1690. He was called Des Groseilliers. She had nine children by Jalot, and there are descendants from them in Canada. On the 19th December, 1695, she married, secondly, Jean Bouchard, by whom she had six children. The Bouchard-Dorval family of Montreal descends from this marriage. Vide Genealogical Dictionary of Canadian Families, Quebec, 1881.] He was a pilot, and married, 3rd September, 1647, Helen, the daughter of Abraham Martin, and widow of Claude Etienne. Abraham Martin left his name to the celebrated Plains of Abraham, near Quebec. She dying in 1651, Chouart married, secondly, at Quebec, August 23, 1653, the sister of Radisson, Margaret Hayet, the widow of John Veron Grandmenil. In Canada, Chouart acted as a donne, or lay assistant, in the Jesuit mission near Lake Huron. He left the service of the mission about 1646, and commenced trading with the Indians for furs, in which he was very successful. With his gains he is supposed to have purchased some land in Canada, as he assumed the seigneurial title of "Sieur des Groseilliers."
Radisson spent more than ten years trading with the Indians of Canada and the far West, making long and perilous journeys of from two to three years each, in company with his brother-in-law, Des Groseilliers. He carefully made notes during his wanderings from 1652 to 1664, which he afterwards copied out on his voyage to England in 1665. Between these years he made four journeys, and heads his first narrative with this title: "The Relation of my Voyage, being in Bondage in the Lands of the Irokoits, which was the next year after my coming into Canada, in the yeare 1651, the 24th day of May." In 1652 a roving band of Iroquois, who had gone as far north as the Three Rivers, carried our author as a captive into their country, on the banks of the Mohawk River. He was adopted into the family of a "great captayne who had killed nineteen men with his own hands, whereof he was marked on his right thigh for as many as he had killed." In the autumn of 1653 he accompanied the tribe in his village on a warlike incursion into the Dutch territory. They arrived "the next day in a small brough of the Hollanders," Rensselaerswyck, and on the fourth day came to Fort Orange. Here they remained several days, and Radisson says: "Our treaty's being done, overladened with bootyes abundantly, we putt ourselves in the way that we came, to see again our village."
At Fort Orange Radisson met with the Jesuit Father, Joseph Noncet, who had also been captured in Canada by the Mohawks and taken to their country. In September he was taken down to Fort Orange by his captors, and it is mentioned in the Jesuit "Relations" of 1653, chapter iv., that he "found there a young man captured near Three Rivers, who had been ransomed by the Dutch and acted as interpreter." A few weeks after the return of the Indians to their village, Radisson made his escape alone, and found his way again to Fort Orange, from whence he was sent to New Amsterdam, or Menada, as he calls it. Here he remained three weeks, and then embarked for Holland, where he arrived after a six weeks' voyage, landing at Amsterdam "the 4/7 of January, 1654. A few days after," he says, "I imbarqued myself for France, and came to Rochelle well and safe." He remained until Spring, waiting for "the transport of a shipp for New France."
The relation of the second journey is entitled, "The Second Voyage, made in the Upper Country of the Irokoits." He landed in Canada, from his return voyage from France, on the 17th of May, 1654, and on the 15th set off to see his relatives at Three Rivers. He mentions that "in my absence peace was made betweene the French and the Iroquoits, which was the reson I stayed not long in a place. The yeare before the ffrench began a new plantation in the upper country of the Iroquoits, which is distant from the Low Iroquoits country some four score leagues, wher I was prisoner and been in the warrs of that country.... At that very time the Reverend Fathers Jesuits embarked themselves for a second time to dwell there and teach Christian doctrine. I offered myself to them and was, as their custome is, kindly accepted. I prepare meselfe for the journey, which was to be in June, 1657." Charlevoix [Footnote: Charlevoix's History of New France, Shea's ed., Vol. II. p. 256.] says: "In 1651 occurred the almost complete destruction of the Huron nation. Peace was concluded in 1653. Father Le Moyne went in 1654, to ratify the treaty of peace, to Onondaga, and told the Indians there he wished to have his cabin in their canton. His offer was accepted, and a site marked out of which he took possession. He left Quebec July 2, 1654, and returned September 11. In 1655 Fathers Chaumont and Dablon were sent to Onondaga, and arrived there November 5, and began at once to build a chapel. [Footnote: Charlevoix's Hist. of New France, Shea's ed., Vol. II. p. 263.]
"Father Dablon, having spent some months in the service of the mission at Onondaga, was sent back to Montreal, 30 March, 1656, for reinforcements. He returned with Father Francis le Mercier and other help. They set out from Quebec 7 May, 1656, with a force composed of four nations: French, Onondagas, Senecas, and a few Hurons. About fifty men composed the party. Sieur Dupuys, an officer of the garrison, was appointed commandant of the proposed settlement at Onondaga. On their arrival they at once proceeded to erect a fort, or block-house, for their defence.
"While these things were passing at Onondaga, the Hurons on the Isle Orleans, where they had taken refuge from the Iroquois, no longer deeming themselves secure, sought an asylum in Quebec, and in a moment of resentment at having been abandoned by the French, they sent secretly to propose to the Mohawks to receive them into their canton so as to form only one people with them. They had no sooner taken this step than they repented; but the Mohawks took them at their word, and seeing that they endeavored to withdraw their proposition, resorted to secret measures to compel them to adhere to it." [Footnote: Ibid., Vol. II. p.278.] The different families of the Hurons held a council, and "the Attignenonhac or Cord family resolved to stay with the French; the Arendarrhonon, or Rock, to go to Onondaga; and the Attignaonanton, or Bear, to join the Mohawks." [Footnote: Relation Nouvelle France, 1657 and Charlevoix, Shea's ed., Vol. II. p 280.] "In 1657 Onondagas had arrived at Montreal to receive the Hurons and take them to their canton, as agreed upon the year previous." [Footnote: Charlevoix, Shea's ed., Vol. III. p. 13.] Some Frenchmen and two Jesuits were to accompany them. One of the former was Radisson, who had volunteered; and the two Jesuits were Fathers Paul Ragueneau and Joseph Inbert Duperon. The party started on their journey in July, 1657.
The relation of this, the writer's second voyage, is taken up entirely with the narrative of their journey to Onondaga, his residence at the mission, and its abandonment on the night of the 20th of March, 1658. On his way thither he was present at the massacre of the Hurons by the Iroquois, in August, 1657. His account of the events of 1657 and 1658, concerning the mission, will be found to give fuller details than those of Charlevoix, [Footnote: Ibid., Vol. III. p. 13.] and the Jesuit relations written for those years by Father Ragueneau. Radisson, in concluding his second narrative, says: "About the last of March we ended our great and incredible dangers. About fourteen nights after we went downe to the Three Rivers, where most of us stayed. A month after, my brother and I resolves to travell and see countreys. Wee find a good opportunity in our voyage. We proceeded three years; during that time we had the happiness to see very faire countreys." He says of the third voyage: "Now followeth the Auxoticiat, or Auxotacicae, voyage into the great and filthy lake of the hurrons upper sea of the East and bay of the North." He mentions that "about the middle of June, 1658, we began to take leave of our company and venter our lives for the common good."
Concerning the third voyage, Radisson states above, "wee proceeded three years." The memory of the writer had evidently been thrown into some confusion when recording one of the historical incidents in his relation, as he was finishing his narrative of the fourth journey. At the close of his fourth narrative, on his return from the Lake Superior country, where he had been over three years, instead of over two, as he mentions, he says: "You must know that seventeen ffrenchmen made a plott with four Algonquins to make a league with three score Hurrons for to goe and wait for the Iroquoits in the passage." This passage was the Long Sault, on the Ottawa river, where the above seventeen Frenchmen were commanded by a young officer of twenty-five, Adam Dollard, Sieur des Ormeaux. The massacre of the party took place on May 21, 1660, and is duly recorded by several authorities; namely, Dollier de Casson [Footnote: Histoire de Montreal, Relation de la Nouvelle France, 1660, p. 14.], M. Marie [Footnote: De l'Incarnation, p. 261.], and Father Lalemont [Footnote: Journal, June 8, 1660.]. As Radisson has placed the incident in his manuscript, he would make it appear as having occurred in May, 1664. He writes: "It was a terrible spectacle to us, for wee came there eight dayes after that defeat, which saved us without doubt." He started on this third journey about the middle of June, 1658, and it would therefore seem he was only absent on it two years, instead of over three, as he says. Charlevoix gives the above incident in detail. [Footnote: Shea's edition, Vol. III. p. 33, n.]
During the third voyage Radisson and his brother-in-law went to the Mississippi River in 1658/9. He says, "Wee mett with severall sorts of people. Wee conversed with them, being long time in alliance with them. By the persuasion of som of them wee went into the great river that divides itself in two where the hurrons with some Ottanake and the wild men that had warrs with them had retired.... The river is called the forked, because it has two branches: the one towards the West, the other towards the South, which we believe runs towards Mexico, by the tokens they gave." They also made diligent inquiry concerning Hudson's Bay, and of the best means to reach that fur-producing country, evidently with a view to future exploration and trade. They must have returned to the Three Rivers about June 1, 1660. Radisson says: "Wee stayed att home att rest the yeare. My brother and I considered whether we should discover what we have seen or no, and because we had not a full and whole discovery which was that we have not ben in the bay of the north (Hudson's Bay), not knowing anything but by report of the wild Christinos, we would make no mention of it for feare that those wild men should tell us a fibbe. We would have made a discovery of it ourselves and have an assurance, before we should discover anything of it."
In the fourth narrative he says: "The Spring following we weare in hopes to meet with some company, having ben so fortunat the yeare before. Now during the winter, whether it was that my brother revealed to his wife what we had seene in our voyage and what we further intended, or how it came to passe, it was knowne so much that the ffather Jesuits weare desirous to find out a way how they might gett downe the castors from the bay of the North, by the Sacques, and so make themselves masters of that trade. They resolved to make a tryall as soone as the ice would permitt them. So to discover our intentions they weare very earnest with me to ingage myselfe in that voyage, to the end that my brother would give over his, which I uterly denied them, knowing that they could never bring it about." They made an application to the Governor of Quebec for permission to start upon this their fourth voyage; but he refused, unless they agreed to certain hard conditions which they found it impossible to accept. In August they departed without the Governor's leave, secretly at midnight, on their journey, having made an agreement to join a company of the nation of the Sault who were about returning to their country, and who agreed to wait for them two days in the Lake of St. Peter, some six leagues from Three Rivers. Their journey was made to the country about Lake Superior, where they passed much of their time among the nations of the Sault, Fire, Christinos (Knisteneux), Beef, and other tribes.
Being at Lake Superior, Radisson says they came "to a remarkable place. It's a banke of Rocks that the wild men made a Sacrifice to,... it's like a great portall by reason of the beating of the waves. The lower part of that opening is as bigg as a tower, and grows bigger in the going up. There is, I believe, six acres of land above it; a shipp of 500 tuns could passe by, soe bigg is the arch. I gave it the name of the portail of St. Peter, because my name is so called, and that I was the first Christian that ever saw it." Concerning Hudson's Bay, whilst they were among the Christinos at Lake Assiniboin, Radisson mentions in his narrative that "being resolved to know what we heard before, we waited untill the Ice should vanish."
The Governor was greatly displeased at the disobedience of Radisson and his brother-in-law in going on their last voyage without his permission. On their return, the narrative states, "he made my brother prisoner for not having obeyed his orders; he fines us L. 4,000 to make a fort at the three rivers, telling us for all manner of satisfaction that he would give us leave to put our coat of armes upon it; and moreover L. 6,000 for the country, saying that wee should not take it so strangely and so bad, being wee were inhabitants and did intend to finish our days in the same country with our relations and friends.... Seeing ourselves so wronged, my brother did resolve to go and demand justice in France." Failing to get restitution, they resolved to go over to the English. They went early in 1665 to Port Royal, Nova Scotia, and from thence to New England, where they engaged an English or New England ship for a trading adventure into Hudson's Straits in 61 deg. north.
This expedition was attempted because Radisson and Des Groseilliers, on their last journey to Lake Superior, "met with some savages on the lake of Assiniboin, and from them they learned that they might go by land to the bottom of Hudson's Bay, where the English had not been yet, at James Bay; upon which they desired them to conduct them thither, and the savages accordingly did it. They returned to the upper lake the same way they came, and thence to Quebec, where they offered the principal merchants to carry ships to Hudson's Bay; but their project was rejected. Des Groseilliers then went to France in hopes of a more favorable hearing at Court; but after presenting several memorials and spending a great deal of time and money, he was answered as he had been at Quebec, and the project looked upon as chimerical." [Footnote: Oldmixon, Vol. I. p. 548.] This voyage to Hudson's Straits proved unremunerative. "Wee had knowledge and conversation with the people of those parts, but wee did see and know that there was nothing to be done unlesse wee went further, and the season of the year was far spent by the indiscretion of our Master." Radisson continues: "Wee were promissed two shipps for a second voyage." One of these ships was sent to "the Isle of Sand, there to fish for Basse to make oyle of it," and was soon after lost.
In New England, in the early part of the year 1665, Radisson and Des Groseilliers met with two of the four English Commissioners who were sent over by Charles II in 1664 to settle several important questions in the provinces of New York and New England. They were engaged in the prosecution of their work in the different governments from 1664 to 1665/6. The two Frenchmen, it appears, were called upon in Boston to defend themselves in a lawsuit instituted against them in the courts there, for the annulling of the contract in the trading adventure above mentioned, whereby one of the two ships contracted for was lost. The writer states, that "the expectation of that ship made us loose our second voyage, which did very much discourage the merchants with whom wee had to do; they went to law with us to make us recant the bargaine that wee had made with them. After wee had disputed a long time, it was found that the right was on our side and wee innocent of what they did accuse us. So they endeavoured to come to an agreement, but wee were betrayed by our own party.
"In the mean time the Commissioners of the King of Great Britain arrived in that place, & one of them would have us goe with him to New York, and the other advised us to come to England and offer ourselves to the King, which wee did." The Commissioners were Colonel Richard Nicolls, Sir Robert Carr, Colonel George Cartwright, and Samuel Mavericke. Sir Robert Carr wished the two Frenchmen to go with him to New York, but Colonel George Cartwright, erroneously called by Radisson in his manuscript "Cartaret," prevailed upon them to embark with him from Nantucket, August 1, 1665. On this voyage Cartwright carried with him "all the original papers of the transactions of the Royal Commissioners, together with the maps of the several colonies." They had also as a fellow passenger George Carr, presumably the brother of Sir Robert, and probably the acting secretary to the Commission. Colonel Richard Nicolls, writing to Secretary Lord Arlington, July 31, 1665, Says, "He supposes Col. Geo. Cartwright is now at sea." George Carr, also writing to Lord Arlington, December 14, 1665, tells him that "he sends the transactions of the Commissioners in New England briefly set down, each colony by itself. The papers by which all this and much more might have been demonstrated were lost in obeying His Majesty's command by keeping company with Captain Pierce, who was laden with masts; for otherwise in probability we might have been in England ten days before we met the Dutch 'Caper,' who after two hours' fight stripped and landed us in Spain. Hearing also some Frenchmen discourse in New England of a passage from the West Sea to the South Sea, and of a great trade of beaver in that passage, and afterwards meeting with sufficient proof of the truth of what they had said, and knowing what great endeavours have been made for the finding out of a North Western passage, he thought them the best present he could possibly make His Majesty, and persuaded them to come to England. Begs His Lordship to procure some consideration for his loss, suffering, and service." Colonel Cartwright, upon his capture at Sea by the Dutch "Caper," threw all his despatches and papers overboard.
No doubt the captain of the Dutch vessel carefully scrutinized the papers of Radisson and his brother-in-law, and, it may be, carried off some of them; for there is evidence in one part at least of the former's narration of his travels, of some confusion, as the writer has transposed the date of one important and well-known event in Canadian history. It is evident that the writer was busy on his voyage preparing his narrative of travels for presentation to the King. Towards the conclusion of his manuscript he says: "We are now in the passage, and he that brought us, which was one of the Commissioners called Collonell George Cartaret, was taken by the Hollanders, and wee arrived in England in a very bad time for the plague and the warrs. Being at Oxford, wee went to Sir George Cartaret, who spoke to His Majesty, who gave good hopes that wee should have a shipp ready for the next Spring, and that the King did allow us forty shillings a week for our maintenance, and wee had chambers in the town by his order, where wee stayed three months. Afterwards the King came to London and sent us to Windsor, where wee stayed the rest of the winter."
Charles II., with his Court, came to open Parliament and the Courts of Law at Oxford, September 25, 1665, and left for Hampton Court to reside, January 27, 1666. Radisson and Des Groseilliers must have arrived there about the 25th of October. DeWitt, the Dutch statesman, and Grand Pensionary of the States of Holland from 1652, becoming informed by the captain of the Dutch "Caper" of the errand of Radisson and his companion into England, despatched an emissary to that country in 1666 to endeavor to entice them out of the English into the service of the Dutch. Sir John Colleton first brought the matter before the notice of Lord Arlington in a letter of November 12th. The agent of DeWitt was one Elie Godefroy Touret, a native of Picardy, France, and an acquaintance of Groseilliers. Touret had lived over ten years in the service of the Rhinegrave at Maestricht. Thinking it might possibly aid him in his design, he endeavored to pass himself off in London as Groseilliers' nephew. One Monsieur Delheure deposed that Groseilliers "always held Touret in suspicion for calling himself his nephew, and for being in England without employment, not being a person who could live on his income, and had therefore avoided his company as dangerous to the State. Has heard Touret say that if his uncle Groseilliers were in service of the States of Holland, he would be more considered than here, where his merits are not recognised, and that if his discovery were under the protection of Holland, all would go better with him."
On the 21st of November a warrant was issued to the Keeper of the Gate House, London, "to take into custody the person of Touret for corresponding with the King's enemies." On the 23d of December Touret sent in a petition to Lord Arlington, bitterly complaining of the severity of his treatment, and endeavored to turn the tables upon his accuser by representing that Groseilliers, Radisson, and a certain priest in London tried to persuade him to join them in making counterfeit coin, and for his refusal had persecuted and entered the accusation against him.
To Des Groseilliers and Radisson must be given the credit of originating the idea of forming a settlement at Hudson's Bay, out of which grew the profitable organization of the Hudson's Bay Company. They obtained through the English Ambassador to France an interview with Prince Rupert, and laid before him their plans, which had been before presented to the leading merchants of Canada and the French Court. Prince Rupert at once foresaw the value of such an enterprise, and aided them in procuring the required assistance from several noblemen and gentlemen, to fit out in 1667 two ships from London, the "Eagle," Captain Stannard, and the "Nonsuch," ketch, Captain Zechariah Gillam. This Gillam is called by Oldmixon a New Englander, and was probably the same one who went in 1664/5 with Radisson and Groseilliers to Hudson's Strait on the unsuccessful voyage from Boston.
Radisson thus alludes to the two ships that were fitted out in London by the help of Prince Rupert and his associates. The third year after their arrival in England "wee went out with a new Company in two small vessels, my brother in one and I in another, and wee went together four hundred leagues from the North of Ireland, where a sudden greate storme did rise and put us asunder. The sea was soe furious six or seven hours after, that it did almost overturne our ship. So that wee were forced to cut our masts rather then cutt our lives; but wee came back safe, God be thanked; and the other, I hope, is gone on his voyage, God be with him."
Captain Gillam and the ketch "Nonsuch," with Des Groseilliers, proceeded on their voyage, "passed thro Hudson's Streights, and then into Baffin's Bay to 75 deg. North, and thence Southwards into 51 deg., where, in a river afterwards called Prince Rupert river, He had a friendly correspondence with the natives, built a Fort, named it Charles Fort, and returned with Success." [Footnote: Oldmixon, British Empire, ed. 1741, Vol. I. p. 544] When Gillam and Groseilliers returned, the adventurers concerned in fitting them out "applied themselves to Charles II. for a patent, who granted one to them and their successors for the Bay called Hudson's Streights." [Footnote: Ibid., Vol. I. p. 545.] The patent bears date the 2d of May, in the twenty-second year of Charles II., 1670.
In Ellis's manuscript papers [Footnote: Ibid., Vol. V. p.319] has been found the following original draft of an "answer of the Hudson's Bay Company to a French paper entitled Memoriall justifieing the pretensions of France to Fort Bourbon." 1696/7.
"The French in this paper carrying their pretended right of Discovery and settlement no higher then the year 1682, and their being dispossessed in 1684. Wee shall briefly shew what sort of possession that was, and how those two actions were managed. Mr. Radisson, mentioned in the said paper to have made this settlement for the French at Port Nelson in 1682, was many years before settled in England, and marryed an English wife, Sir John Kirke's daughter, and engaged in the interest and service of the English upon private adventure before as well as after the Incorporation of the Hudson's Bay Company. In 1667, when Prince Rupert and other noblemen set out two shipps, Radisson went in the Eagle, Captain Stannard commander, and in that voyage the name of Rupert's river was given. Again in 1668 and in 1669, and in this voyage directed his course to Port Nelson, and went on shore with one Bayly (designed Governor for the English), fixed the King of England's arms there, & left some goods for trading. In 1671 three ships were set out from London by the Hudson's Bay Company, then incorporated, and Radisson went in one of them in their service, settled Moose River, & went to Port Nelson, where he left some goods, and wintered at Rupert's River. In 1673, upon some difference with the Hudson's Bay Company, Radisson returned into France and was there persuaded to go to Canada. He formed severall designs of going on private accounts for the French into Hudson's Bay, which the Governor, Monsr. Frontenac, would by no means permitt, declaring it would break the union between the two Kings."
Oldmixon says [Footnote: Oldmixon, Vol. I. p. 549.] that the above-mentioned Charles Baily, with whom went Radisson and ten or twenty men, took out with him Mr. Thomas Gorst as his secretary, who at his request kept a journal, which eventually passed into the possession of Oldmixon. The following extracts give some idea of the life led by the fur-traders at the Fort: "They were apprehensive of being attacked by some Indians, whom the French Jesuits had animated against the English and all that dealt with them. The French used many artifices to hinder the natives trading with the English; they gave them great rates for their goods, and obliged Mr Baily to lower the price of his to oblige the Indians who dwelt about Moose river, with whom they drove the greatest trade. The French, to ruin their commerce with the natives, came and made a settlement not above eight days' journey up that river from the place where the English traded. 'Twas therefore debated whether the Company's Agents should not remove from Rupert's to Moose river, to prevent their traffick being interrupted by the French. On the 3d of April, 1674, a council of the principal persons in the Fort was held, where Mr Baily, the Governor, Captain Groseilliers, and Captain Cole were present and gave their several opinions. The Governor inclined to move. Captain Cole was against it, as dangerous, and Captain Groseilliers for going thither in their bark to trade. [Footnote: Oldmixon, Vol. I. p. 552.] ... The Governor, having got everything ready for a voyage to Moose river, sent Captain Groseilliers, Captain Cole, Mr Gorst, and other Indians to trade there. They got two hundred and fifty skins, and the Captain of the Tabittee Indians informed them the French Jesuits had bribed the Indians not to deal with the English, but to live in friendship with the Indian nations in league with the French.... The reason they got no more peltry now was because the Indians thought Groseilliers was too hard for them, and few would come down to deal with him." [Footnote: Oldmixon, Vol. I. p. 554.] After Captain Baily [Footnote: Ibid., Vol. I. p. 555.] had returned from a voyage in his sloop to trade to the fort, "on the 30th Aug a missionary Jesuit, born of English parents, arrived, bearing a letter from the Governor of Quebec to Mr Baily, dated the 8th of October, 1673.
"The Governor of Quebec desired Mr Baily to treat the Jesuit civilly, on account of the great amity between the two crowns. Mr Baily resolved to keep the priest till ships came from England. He brought a letter, also, for Capt Groseilliers, which gave jealousy to the English of his corresponding with the French. His son-in-law lived in Quebec, and had accompanied the priest part of the way, with three other Frenchmen, who, being afraid to venture among strange Indians, returned.... Provisions running short, they were agreed, on the 17th Sept, they were all to depart for Point Comfort, to stay there till the 22d, and then make the best of their way for England. In this deplorable condition were they when the Jesuit, Capt Groseilliers, & another papist, walking downwards to the seaside at their devotions, heard seven great guns fire distinctly. They came home in a transport of joy, told their companions the news, and assured them it was true. Upon which they fired three great guns from the fort to return the salute, though they could ill spare the powder upon such an uncertainty." The ship "Prince Rupert" had arrived, with Captain Gillam, bringing the new Governor, William Lyddel, Esq.
Groseilliers and Radisson, after remaining for several years under the Hudson's Bay Company, at last in 1674 felt obliged to sever the connection, and went over again to France. Radisson told his nephew in 1684 that the cause was "the refusal, that showed the bad intention of the Hudson's Bay Company to satisfy us." Several influential members of the committee of direction for the Company were desirous of retaining them in their employ; among them the Duke of York, Prince Rupert their first Governor, Sir James Hayes, Sir William Young, Sir John Kirke, and others; but it is evident there was a hostile feeling towards Radisson and his brother-in-law on the part of several members of the committee, for even after his successful expedition in 1684 they found "some members of the committee offended because I had had the honour of making my reverence to the King and to his Royal Highness."
From 1674 to 1683, Radisson seems to have remained stanch in his allegiance to Louis XIV. In his narrative of the years 1682 and 1683 he shews that Colbert endeavored to induce him to bring his wife over into France, it would appear to remain there during his absence in Hudson's Bay, as some sort of security for her husband's fidelity to the interests of the French monarch. After his return from this voyage in 1683 he felt himself again unfairly treated by the French Court, and in 1684, as he relates in his narrative, he "passed over to England for good, and of engaging myself so strongly to the service of his Majesty, and to the interests of the Nation, that any other consideration was never able to detach me from it."
We again hear of Radisson in Hudson's Bay in 1685; and this is his last appearance in public records or documents as far as is known. A Canadian, Captain Berger, states that in the beginning of June, 1685, "he and his crew ascended four leagues above the English in Hudson's Bay, where they made a Small Settlement. On the 15th of July they set out to return to Quebec. On the 17th they met with a vessel of ten or twelve guns, commanded by Captain Oslar, on board of which was the man named Bridgar, the Governor, who was going to relieve the Governor at the head of the Bay. He is the same that Radisson brought to Quebec three years ago in the ship Monsieur de la Barre restored to him. Berger also says he asked a parley with the captain of Mr Bridgar's bark, who told him that Radisson had gone with Mr Chouart, his nephew, fifteen days ago, to winter in the River Santa Theresa, where they wintered a year." [Footnote: New York Colonial Documents, Vol. IX.]
After this date the English and the French frequently came into hostile collision in Hudson's Bay. In 1686 King James demanded satisfaction from France for losses inflicted upon the Company. Then the Jesuits procured neutrality for America, and knew by that time they were in possession of Fort Albany. In 1687 the French took the "Hayes" sloop, an infraction of the treaty. In 1688 they took three ships, valued, in all, at L. 15,000; L. 113,000 damage in time of peace. In 1692 the Company set out four ships to recover Fort Albany, taken in 1686. In 1694 the French took York, alias Fort Bourbon. In 1696 the English retook it from them. On the 4th September, 1697, the French retook it and kept it. The peace was made September 20, 1697. [Footnote: Minutes Relating to Hudson's Bay Company.] In 1680 the stock rose from L. 100 to near L. 1,000. Notwithstanding the losses sustained by the Company, amounting to L. 118,014 between 1682 and 1688, they were able to pay in 1684 the shareholders a dividend of fifty per cent. Radisson brought home in 1684 a cargo of 20,000 beaver skins. Oldmixon says, "10,000 Beavers, in all their factories, was one of the best years of Trade they ever had, besides other peltry." Again in 1688 a dividend of fifty per cent was made, and in 1689 one of twenty-five per cent. In 1690, without any call being made, the stock was trebled, while at the same time a dividend of twenty-five per cent was paid on the increased or newly created stock. At the Peace of Utrecht, in 1713, the forts captured by the French in 1697 were restored to the Company, who by 1720 had again trebled their capital, with a call of only ten per cent. After a long and fierce rivalry with the Northwest Fur Company, the two companies were amalgamated in 1821. [Footnote: Encyclopaedia Britannica.]
Radisson commences his narrative of 1652 in a reverent spirit, by inscribing it "a la plus grande gloire de Dieu." All his manuscripts have been handed down in perfect preservation. They are written out in a clear and excellent handwriting, showing the writer to have been a person of good education, who had also travelled in Turkey and Italy, and who had been in London, and perhaps learned his English there in his early life. The narrative of travels between the years 1652 and 1664 was for some time the property of Samuel Pepys, the well-known diarist, and Secretary of the Admiralty to Charles II. and James II. He probably received it from Sir George Cartaret, the Vice-Chamberlain of the King and Treasurer of the Navy, for whom it was no doubt carefully copied out from his rough notes by the author, So that it might, through him, be brought under the notice of Charles II. Some years after the death of Pepys, in 1703, his collection of manuscripts was dispersed and fell into the hands of various London tradesmen, who bought parcels of it to use in their shops as waste-paper. The most valuable portions were carefully reclaimed by the celebrated collector, Richard Rawlinson, who in writing to his friend T. Rawlins, from. "London house, January 25th, 1749/50," says: "I have purchased the best part of the fine collection of Mr Pepys, Secretary to the Admiralty during the reigns of Charles 2d and James 2d. Some are as old as King Henry VIII. They were collected with a design for a Lord High Admiral such as he should approve; but those times are not yet come, and so little care was taken of them that they were redeemed from thus et adores vendentibus."
The manuscript containing Radisson's narrative for the years 1682 and 1683 was "purchased of Rodd, 8th July, 1839," by the British Museum. The narrative in French, for the year 1684, was bought by Sir Hans Sloane from the collection of "Nicolai Joseph Foucault, Comitis Consistoriani," as his bookplate informs us. With the manuscript this gentleman had bound up in the same volume a religious treatise in manuscript, highly illuminated, in Italian, relating to some of the saints of the Catholic Church. [Footnote: I am under obligations to Mr. John Gilmary Shea for valuable information.]
VOYAGES OF PETER ESPRIT RADISSON.
The Relation of my Voyage, being in Bondage in the Lands of the Irokoits, which was the next yeare after my coming into Canada, in the yeare 1651, the 24th day of May.
Being persuaded in the morning by two of my comrades to go and recreat ourselves in fowling, I disposed myselfe to keepe them Company; wherfor I cloathed myselfe the lightest way I could possible, that I might be the nimbler and not stay behinde, as much for the prey that I hoped for, as for to escape the danger into which wee have ventered ourselves of an enemy the cruelest that ever was uppon the face of the Earth. It is to bee observed that the french had warre with a wild nation called Iroquoites, who for that time weare soe strong and so to be feared that scarce any body durst stirre out either Cottage or house without being taken or kill'd, [Footnote: In 1641-1645 Father Vimont writes: "I had as lief be beset by goblins as by the Iroquois. The one are about as invisible as the other. Our people on the Richelieu and at Montreal are kept in a closer confinement than ever were monks or nuns in our smallest convents in France."] saving that he had nimble limbs to escape their fury; being departed, all three well armed, and unanimiously rather die then abandon one another, notwithstanding these resolutions weare but young mens deboasting; being then in a very litle assurance and lesse security.
At an offspring of a village of three Rivers we consult together that two should go the watter side, the other in a wood hardby to warne us, for to advertise us if he accidentaly should light [upon] or suspect any Barbars in ambush, we also retreat ourselves to him if we should discover any thing uppon the River. Having comed to the first river, which was a mile distant from our dwellings, wee mett a man who mett a man who kept cattell, and asked him if he had knowne any appearance of Ennemy, and likewise demanded which way he would advise us to gett better fortune, and what part he spied more danger; he guiding us the best way he could, prohibiting us by no means not to render ourselves att the skirts of the mountains; ffor, said he, I discovered oftentimes a multitude of people which rose up as it weare of a sudaine from of the Earth, and that doubtless there weare some enemys that way; which sayings made us looke to ourselves and charge two of our fowling peeces with great shot the one, and the other with small. Priming our pistols, we went where our fancy first lead us, being impossible for us to avoid the destinies of the heavens; no sooner tourned our backs, but my nose fell ableeding without any provocation in the least. Certainly it was a warning for me of a beginning of a yeare and a half of hazards and of miseryes that weare to befall mee. We did shoot sometime and killed some Duks, which made one of my fellow travellers go no further. I seeing him taking such a resolution, I proferred some words that did not like him, giving him the character of a timourous, childish humor; so this did nothing prevaile with him, to the Contrary that had with him quite another isue then what I hoped for; ffor offending him with my words he prevailed so much with the others that he persuaded them to doe the same. I lett them goe, laughing them to scorne, beseeching them to helpe me to my fowles, and that I would tell them the discovery of my designes, hoping to kill meat to make us meate att my retourne.
I went my way along the wood some times by the side of the river, where I finde something to shute att, though no considerable quantitie, which made me goe a league off and more, so I could not go in all further then St. Peeter's, which is nine mile from the plantation by reason of the river Ovamasis, which hindered me the pasage. I begun'd to think att my retourne how I might transport my fowle. I hide one part in a hollow tree to keep them from the Eagles and other devouring fowles, so as I came backe the same way where before had no bad incounter. Arrived within one halfe a mile where my comrades had left me, I rested awhile by reason that I was looden'd with three geese, tenn ducks, and one crane, with some teales.
After having layd downe my burden uppon the grasse, I thought to have heard a noise in the wood by me, which made me to overlook my armes; I found one of my girdle pistols wette. I shott it off and charged it againe, went up to the wood the soffliest I might, to discover and defend myselfe the better against any surprise. After I had gone from tree to tree some 30 paces off I espied nothing; as I came back from out of the wood to an adjacent brooke, I perceived a great number of Ducks; my discovery imbouldened me, and for that there was a litle way to the fort, I determined to shute once more; coming nigh preparing meselfe for to shute, I found another worke, the two young men that I left some tenne houres before heere weare killed. Whether they came after mee, or weare brought thither by the Barbars, I know not. However [they] weare murthered. Looking over them, knew them albeit quite naked, and their hair standing up, the one being shott through with three boulletts and two blowes of an hatchett on the head, and the other runne thorough in severall places with a sword and smitten with an hatchett. Att the same instance my nose begun'd to bleed, which made me afraid of my life; but withdrawing myselfe to the watter side to see if any body followed mee, I espied twenty or thirty heads in a long grasse. Mightily surprized att the view, I must needs passe through the midst of them or tourne backe into the woode. I slipped a boullet uppon the shott and beate the paper into my gunne. I heard a noise, which made me looke on that side; hopeing to save meselfe, perswading myselfe I was not yet perceived by them that weare in the medow, and in the meane while some gunns weare lett off with an horrid cry.
Seeing myselfe compassed round about by a multitude of dogges, or rather devils, that rose from the grasse, rushesse, and bushesse, I shott my gunne, whether un warrs or purposly I know not, but I shott with a pistolle confidently, but was seised on all sids by a great number that threw me downe, taking away my arme without giving mee one blowe; ffor afterwards I felt no paine att all, onely a great guidinesse in my heade, from whence it comes I doe not remember. In the same time they brought me into the wood, where they shewed me the two heads all bloody. After they consulted together for a while, retired into their boats, which weare four or five miles from thence, and wher I have bin a while before. They layed mee hither, houlding me by the hayre, to the imbarking place; there they began to errect their cottages, which consisted only of some sticks to boyle their meate, whereof they had plenty, but stuncke, which was strange to mee to finde such an alteration so sudaine. They made [me] sitt downe by. After this they searched me and tooke what I had, then stripped me naked, and tyed a rope about my middle, wherin I remained, fearing to persist, in the same posture the rest of the night. After this they removed me, laughing and howling like as many wolves, I knowing not the reason, if not for my skin, that was soe whit in respect of theirs. But their gaping did soone cease because of a false alarme, that their Scout who stayed behind gave them, saying that the ffrench and the wild Algongins, friends to the ffrench, came with all speed. They presently put out the fire, and tooke hould of the most advantageous passages, and sent 25 men to discover what it meant, who brought certaine tydings of assurance and liberty.
In the meanewhile I was garded by 50 men, who gave me a good part of my cloathes. After kindling a fire againe, they gott theire supper ready, which was sudenly don, ffor they dresse their meat halfe boyled, mingling some yallowish meale in the broath of that infected stinking meate; so whilst this was adoing they combed my head, and with a filthy grease greased my head, and dashed all over my face with redd paintings. So then, when the meat was ready, they feeded me with their hod-pot, forcing me to swallow it in a maner. My heart did so faint at this, that in good deede I should have given freely up the ghost to be freed from their clawes, thinking every moment they would end my life. They perceived that my stomach could not beare such victuals. They tooke some of this stinking meate and boyled it in a cleare watter, then mingled a litle Indian meale put to it, which meale before was tossed amongst bourning sand, and then made in powder betwixt two rocks. I, to shew myselfe cheerfull att this, swallowed downe some of this that seemed to me very unsavoury and clammie by reason of the scume that was upon the meat. Having supped, they untyed mee, and made me lye betwixt them, having one end of one side and one of another, and covered me with a red Coverlet, thorough which I might have counted the starrs. I slept a sound sleep, for they awaked me uppon the breaking of the day. I dreamed that night that I was with the Jesuits at Quebuc drinking beere, which gave me hopes to be free sometimes, and also because I heard those people lived among Dutch people in a place called Menada [Footnote: Menada, Manhattan, or New Netherlands, called by the French of Canada "Manatte."], and fort of Orang, where without doubt I could drinke beere. I, after this, finding meselfe somewhat altered, and my body more like a devil then anything else, after being so smeared and burst with their filthy meate that I could not digest, but must suffer all patiently.
Finally they seemed to me kinder and kinder, giving me of the best bitts where lesse wormes weare. Then they layd [me] to the watter side, where there weare 7 and 30 boats, ffor each of them imbark'd himselfe. They tyed me to the barre in a boat, where they tooke at the same instance the heads of those that weare killed the day before, and for to preserve them they cutt off the flesh to the skull and left nothing but skin and haire, putting of it into a litle panne wherein they melt some grease, and gott it dry with hot stones. They spread themselves from off the side of the river a good way, and gathered together againe and made a fearfull noise and shott some gunns off, after which followed a kind of an incondit singing after nots, which was an oudiousom noise. As they weare departing from thence they injoyned silence, and one of the Company, wherein I was, made three shouts, which was answered by the like maner from the whole flocke; which done they tooke their way, singing and leaping, and so past the day in such like. They offered mee meate; but such victuals I reguarded it litle, but could drinke for thirst. My sperit was troubled with infinite deale of thoughts, but all to no purpose for the ease of my sicknesse; sometimes despairing, now againe in some hopes. I allwayes indeavoured to comfort myselfe, though half dead. My resolution was so mastered with feare, that at every stroake of the oares of these inhumans I thought it to be my end.
By sunsett we arrived att the Isles of Richelieu, a place rather for victors then for captives most pleasant. There is to be seen 300 wild Cowes together, a number of Elks and Beavers, an infinit of fowls. There we must make cottages, and for this purpose they imploy all together their wits and art, ffor 15 of these Islands are drowned in Spring, when the floods begin to rise from the melting of the snow, and that by reason of the lowness of the land. Here they found a place fitt enough for 250 men that their army consisted [of]. They landed mee & shewed mee great kindnesse, saying Chagon, which is as much [as] to say, as I understood afterwards, be cheerfull or merry; but for my part I was both deafe and dumb. Their behaviour made me neverthelesse cheerfull, or att least of a smiling countenance, and constraine my aversion and feare to an assurance, which proved not ill to my thinking; ffor the young men tooke delight in combing my head, greasing and powdering out a kinde of redd powder, then tying my haire with a redd string of leather like to a coard, which caused my haire to grow longer in a short time.
The day following they prepared themselves to passe the adjacent places and shoote to gett victualls, where we stayed 3 dayes, making great cheere and fires. I more and more getting familiarity with them, that I had the liberty to goe from cottage, having one or two by mee. They untyed mee, and tooke delight to make me speake words of their language, and weare earnest that I should pronounce as they. They tooke care to give me meate as often as I would; they gave me salt that served me all my voyage. They also tooke the paines to put it up safe for mee, not takeing any of it for themselves. There was nothing else but feasting and singing during our abode. I tooke notice that our men decreased, ffor every night one other boate tooke his way, which persuaded mee that they went to the warrs to gett more booty.
The fourth day, early in the morning, my Brother, viz., he that tooke me, so he called me, embarked me without tying me. He gave me an oare, which I tooke with a good will, and rowed till I sweate againe. They, perceaving, made me give over; not content with that I made a signe of my willingnesse to continue that worke. They consent to my desire, but shewed me how I should row without putting myselfe into a sweat. Our company being considerable hitherto, was now reduced to three score. Mid-day wee came to the River of Richlieu, where we weare not farre gon, but mett a new gang of their people in cottages; they began to hoop and hollow as the first day of my taking. They made me stand upright in the boat, as they themselves, saluting one another with all kindnesse and joy. In this new company there was one that had a minde to doe me mischiefe, but prevented by him that tooke me. I taking notice of the fellow, I shewed him more friendshipe. I gott some meate roasted for him, and throwing a litle salt and flower over it, which he finding very good tast, gave it to the rest as a rarity, nor did afterwards molest mee.
They tooke a fancy to teach mee to sing; and as I had allready a beginning of their hooping, it was an easy thing for me to learne, our Algonquins making the same noise. They tooke an exceeding delight to heare mee. Often have I sunged in French, to which they gave eares with a deepe silence. We passed that day and night following with litle rest by reason of their joy and mirth. They lead a dance, and tyed my comrades both their heads att the end of a stick and hopt it; this done, every one packt and embarked himselfe, some going one way, some another. Being separated, one of the boats that we mett before comes backe againe and approaches the boat wherein I was; I wondered, a woman of the said company taking hould on my haire, signifying great kindnesse. Shee combs my head with her fingers and tyed my wrist with a bracelett, and sunged. My wish was that shee would proceed in our way. After both companys made a shout wee separated, I was sorry for this woman's departure, ffor having shewed me such favour att her first aspect, doubtlesse but shee might, if neede required, saved my life.
Our journey was indifferent good, without any delay, which caused us to arrive in a good and pleasant harbour. It was on the side of the sand where our people had any paine scarce to errect their cottages, being that it was a place they had sejourned [at] before. The place round about [was] full of trees. Heare they kindled a fire and provided what was necessary for their food. In this place they cutt off my hair in the front and upon the crowne of the head, and turning up the locks of the haire they dab'd mee with some thicke grease. So done, they brought me a looking-glasse. I viewing myselfe all in a pickle, smir'd with redde and black, covered with such a cappe, and locks tyed up with a peece of leather and stunked horridly, I could not but fall in love with myselfe, if not that I had better instructions to shun the sin of pride. So after repasting themselves, they made them ready for the journey with takeing repose that night. This was the time I thought to have escaped, ffor in vaine, ffor I being alone feared least I should be apprehended and dealt with more violently. And moreover I was desirous to have seene their country.
Att the sun rising I awaked my brother, telling him by signes it was time to goe. He called the rest, but non would stirre, which made him lye downe againe. I rose and went to the water side, where I walked awhile. If there weare another we might, I dare say, escape out of their sight. Heere I recreated myselfe running a naked swoord into the sand. One of them seeing mee after such an exercise calls mee and shews me his way, which made me more confidence in them. They brought mee a dish full of meate to the water side. I began to eat like a beare.
In the mean time they imbark'd themselves, one of them tooke notice that I had not a knife, brings me his, which I kept the rest of the voyage, without that they had the least feare of me. Being ready to goe, saving my boat that was ammending, which was soone done. The other boats weare not as yett out of sight, and in the way my boat killed a stagg. They made me shoot att it, and not quite dead they runed it thorough with their swoords, and having cutt it in peeces, they devided it, and proceeded on their way. At 3 of the clock in the afternoone we came into a rappid streame, where we weare forced to land and carry our Equipages and boats thorough a dangerous place. Wee had not any encounter that day. Att night where we found cottages ready made, there I cutt wood as the rest with all dilligence. The morning early following we marched without making great noise, or singing as accustomed. Sejourning awhile, we came to a lake 6 leagues wide, about it a very pleasant country imbellished with great forests. That day our wild people killed 2 Bears, one monstrous like for its biggnesse, the other a small one. Wee arrived to a fine sandy bancke, where not long before many Cabbanes weare errected and places made where Prisoners weare tyed.
In this place our wild people sweated after the maner following: first heated stones till they weare redd as fire, then they made a lantherne with small sticks, then stoaring the place with deale trees, saving a place in the middle whereinto they put the stoanes, and covered the place with severall covers, then striped themselves naked, went into it. They made a noise as if the devil weare there; after they being there for an hour they came out of the watter, and then throwing one another into the watter, I thought veryly they weare insensed. It is their usual Custome. Being comed out of this place, they feasted themselves with the two bears, turning the outside of the tripes inward not washed. They gave every one his share; as for my part I found them [neither] good, nor savory to the pallet. In the night they heard some shooting, which made them embark themselves speedily. In the mean while they made me lay downe whilst they rowed very hard. I slept securely till the morning, where I found meselfe in great high rushes. There they stayed without noise.
From thence wee proceeded, though not without some feare of an Algonquin army. We went on for some dayes that lake. Att last they endeavoured to retire to the woods, every one carrying his bundle. After a daye's march we came to a litle river where we lay'd that night. The day following we proceeded on our journey, where we mett 2 men, with whome our wild men seemed to be acquainted by some signes. These 2 men began to speake a longe while. After came a company of women, 20 in number, that brought us dry fish and Indian corne. These women loaded themselves, after that we had eaten, like mules with our baggage. We went through a small wood, the way well beaten, untill the evening we touched a place for fishing, of 15 Cabbans. There they weare well received but myselfe, who was stroaken by a yong man. He, my keeper, made a signe I should to him againe. I tourning to him instantly, he to me, taking hould of my haire, all the wild men came about us, encouraging with their Cryes and hands, which encouraged me most that non helpt him more then mee. Wee clawed one another with hands, tooth, and nailes. My adversary being offended I have gotten the best, he kick't me; but my french shoes that they left mee weare harder then his, which made him [give up] that game againe. He tooke me about the wrest, where he found himselfe downe before he was awarre, houlding him upon the ground till some came and putt us asunder. My company seeing mee free, began to cry out, giving me watter to wash me, and then fresh fish to relish me. They encouraged me so much, the one combing my head, the other greasing my haire. There we stayed 2 dayes, where no body durst trouble me.
In the same Cabban that I was, there has bin a wild man wounded with a small shott. I thought I have seen him the day of my taking, which made me feare least I was the one that wounded him. He knowing it to be so had shewed me as much charity as a Christian might have given. Another of his fellowes (I also wounded) came to me att my first coming there, whom I thought to have come for reveng, contrarywise shewed me a cheerfull countenance; he gave mee a box full of red paintings, calling me his brother. I had not as yett caryed any burden, but meeting with an ould man, gave me a sacke of tobacco of 12 pounds' weight, bearing it uppon my head, as it's their usuall custome. We made severall stayes the day by reason of the severall encounters of their people that came from villages, as warrs others from fishing and shooting. In that journey our company increased, among others a great many Hurrons that had bin lately taken, and who for the most part are as slaves. We lay'd in the wood because they would not goe into their village in the night time.
The next day we marched into a village where as wee came in sight we heard nothing but outcryes, as from one side as from the other, being a quarter of a mile from the village. They satt downe and I in the midle, where I saw women and men and children with staves and in array, which put me in feare, and instantly stripped me naked. My keeper gave me a signe to be gone as fast as I could drive. In the meane while many of the village came about us, among which a good old woman, and a boy with a hatchet in his hand came near mee. The old woman covered me, and the young man tooke me by the hand and lead me out of the company. The old woman made me step aside from those that weare ready to stricke att mee. There I left the 2 heads of my comrades, and that with comforted me yet I escaped the blowes. Then they brought me into their Cottage; there the old woman shewed me kindnesse. Shee gave me to eate. The great terror I had a litle before tooke my stomack away from me. I stayed an hower, where a great company of people came to see mee. Heere came a company of old men, having pipes in their mouthes, satt about me.
After smoaking, they lead me into another cabban, where there weare a company all Smoaking; they made [me] sitt downe by the fire, which made [me] apprehend they should cast me into the said fire. But it proved otherwise; for the old woman followed mee, Speaking aloud, whom they answered with a loud ho, then shee tooke her girdle and about mee shee tyed it, so brought me to her cottage, and made me sitt downe in the same place I was before. Then shee began to dance and sing a while, after [she] brings downe from her box a combe, gives it to a maide that was neare mee, who presently comes to greas and combe my haire, and tooke away the paint that the fellows stuck to my face. Now the old woman getts me some Indian Corne toasted in the fire. I tooke paines to gether it out of the fire; after this shee gave me a blew coverlett, stokins and shoos, and where with to make me drawers. She looked in my cloathes, and if shee found any lice shee would squeeze them betwixt her teeth, as if they had ben substantiall meate. I lay'd with her son, who tooke me from those of my first takers, and gott at last a great acquaintance with many. I did what I could to gett familiarity with them, yeat I suffered no wrong att their hands, taking all freedom, which the old woman inticed me to doe. But still they altered my face where ever I went, and a new dish to satisfy nature.
I tooke all the pleasures imaginable, having a small peece at my command, shooting patriges and squerells, playing most part of the day with my companions. The old woman wished that I would make meselfe more familiar with her 2 daughters, which weare tolerable among such people. They weare accustomed to grease and combe my haire in the morning. I went with them into the wilderness, there they would be gabling which I could not understand. They wanted no company but I was shure to be of the number. I brought all ways some guifts that I received, which I gave to my purse-keeper and refuge, the good old woman. I lived 5 weeks without thinking from whence I came. I learned more of their maners in 6 weeks then if I had bin in ffrance 6 months. Att the end I was troubled in minde, which made her inquire if I was Anjonack, a Huron word. Att this I made as if I weare subported for speaking in a strang language, which shee liked well, calling me by the name of her son who before was killed, Orinha, [Footnote: Called Orimha, over-leaf.] which signifies ledd or stone, without difference of the words. So that it was my Lordshippe. Shee inquired [of] mee whether I was Asserony, a french. I answering no, saying I was Panugaga, that is, of their nation, for which shee was pleased.
My father feasted 300 men that day. My sisters made me clean for that purpos, and greased my haire. My mother decked me with a new cover and a redd and blew cappe, with 2 necklace of porcelaine. My sisters tyed me with braceletts and garters of the same porcelaine. My brother painted my face, and [put] feathers on my head, and tyed both my locks with porcelaine. My father was liberall to me, giving me a garland instead of my blew cap and a necklace of porcelaine that hung downe to my heels, and a hattchet in my hand. It was hard for me to defend myselfe against any encounter, being so laden with riches. Then my father made a speech shewing many demonstrations of vallor, broak a kettle full of Cagamite [Footnote: Cagamite, Cagaimtie, Sagamite, a mush made of pounded Indian corn boiled with bits of meat or fish.] with a hattchett So they sung, as is their usual coustom. They weare waited on by a sort of yong men, bringing downe dishes of meate of Oriniacke, [Footnote: Oriniacke, Auriniacks, horiniac, the moose, the largest species of deer. Called by the French writers— Sagard-Theodat, La Hontan, and Charlevoix—Eslan, Orinal, or Orignal.] of Castors, and of red deer mingled with some flowers. The order of makeing was thus: the corne being dried between 2 stones into powder, being very thick, putt it into a kettle full of watter, then a quantity of Bear's grease. This banquett being over, they cryed to me Shagon, Orimha, that is, be hearty, stone or ledd. Every one withdrew into his quarters, and so did I.
But to the purpose of my history. As I went to the fields once, where I mett with 3 of my acquaintance, who had a designe for to hunt a great way off, they desired me to goe along. I lett them know in Huron language (for that I knew better then that of the Iroquoits) I was content, desiring them to stay till I acquainted my mother. One of them came along with mee, and gott leave for me of my kindred. My mother gott me presently a sack of meale, 3 paire of shoos, my gun, and tourned backe where the 2 stayed for us. My 2 sisters accompanied me even out of the wildernesse and carried my bundle, where they tooke leave.
We marched on that day through the woods till we came by a lake where we travelled without any rest. I wished I had stayed att home, for we had sad victualls. The next day about noone we came to a River; there we made a skiffe, so litle that we could scarce go into it. I admired their skill in doing of it, ffor in lesse then 2 hours they cutt the tree and pulled up the Rind, of which they made the boat. We embarked ourselves and went to the lower end of the river, which emptied it selfe into a litle lake of about 2 miles in length and a mile in breadth. We passed this lake into another river broader then the other; there we found a fresh track of a stagge, which made us stay heere a while. It was five of the clock att least when 2 of our men made themselves ready to looke after that beast; the other and I stayed behind. Not long after we saw the stagge crosse the river, which foarding brought him to his ending. So done, they went on their cours, and came backe againe att 10 of the clocke with 3 bears, a castor, and the stagge which was slaine att our sight. How did wee rejoice to see that killed which would make the kettle boyle. After we have eaten, wee slept.
The next day we made trappes for to trapp castors, whilst we weare bussie, one about one thing, one about another. As 3 of us retourned homewards to our cottage we heard a wild man singing. He made us looke to our selves least he should prove an ennemy, but as we have seene him, called to him, who came immediately, telling us that he was in pursuite of a Beare since morning, and that he gave him over, having lost his 2 doggs by the same beare. He came with us to our Cottage, where we mett our companion after having killed one beare, 2 staggs, and 2 mountain catts, being 5 in number. Whilst the meat was a boyling that wild man spoake to me the Algonquin language. I wondred to heare this stranger; he tould me that he was taken 2 years agoe; he asked me concerning the 3 rivers and of Quebuck, who wished himselfe there, and I said the same, though I did not intend it. He asked me if I loved the french. I inquired [of] him also if he loved the Algonquins? Mary, quoth he, and so doe I my owne nation. Then replyed he, Brother, cheare up, lett us escape, the 3 rivers are not a farre off. I tould him my 3 comrades would not permitt me, and that they promissed my mother to bring me back againe. Then he inquired whether I would live like the Hurrons, who weare in bondage, or have my owne liberty with the ffrench, where there was good bread to be eaten. Feare not, quoth he, shall kill them all 3 this night when they will bee a sleepe, which will be an easy matter with their owne hatchetts.
Att last I consented, considering they weare mortall ennemys to my country, that had cutt the throats of so many of my relations, burned and murdered them. I promissed him to succour him in his designe. They not understanding our language asked the Algonquin what is that that he said, but tould them some other story, nor did they suspect us in the least. Their belly full, their mind without care, wearyed to the utmost of the formost day's journey, fell a sleepe securely, leaning their armes up and downe without the least danger. Then my wild man pushed me, thinking I was a sleepe. He rises and sitts him downe by the fire, behoulding them one after an other, and taking their armes a side, and having the hattchetts in his hand gives me one; to tell the truth I was loathsome to do them mischif that never did me any. Yett for the above said reasons I tooke the hattchet and began the Execution, which was soone done. My fellow comes to him that was nearest to the fire (I dare say he never saw the stroake), and I have done that like to an other, but I hitting him with the edge of the hattchett could not disingage [it] presently, being so deep in his head, rises upon his breast, butt fell back sudainly, making a great noise, which almost waked the third; but my comrade gave him a deadly blow of a hattchet, and presently after I shott him dead.
Then we prepared our selves with all speed, throwing their dead corps, after that the wild man took off their heads, into the watter. We tooke 3 guns, leaving the 4th, their 2 swoords, their hattchetts, their powder and shott, and all their porselaine; we tooke also some meale and meate. I was sorry for to have ben in such an incounter, but too late to repent. Wee tooke our journey that night alongst the river. The break of day we landed on the side of a rock which was smooth. We carryed our boat and equippage into the wood above a hundred paces from the watter side, where we stayed most sadly all that day tormented by the Maringoines; [Footnote: Musquetos.] we tourned our boat upside downe, we putt us under it from the raine. The night coming, which was the fitest time to leave that place, we goe without any noise for our safty. Wee travelled 14 nights in that maner in great feare, hearing boats passing by. When we have perceaved any fire, left off rowing, and went by with as litle noise as could [be] possible. Att last with many tournings by lande and by watter, wee came to the lake of St. Peeter's.
We landed about 4 of the clock, leaving our skiff in among rushes farr out of the way from those that passed that way and doe us injury. We retired into the wood, where we made a fire some 200 paces from the river. There we roasted some meat and boyled meale; after, we rested ourselves a while from the many labours of the former night. So, having slept, my companion awaks first, and stirrs me, saying it was high time that we might by day come to our dweling, of which councel I did not approve. [I] tould him the Ennemys commonly weare lurking about the river side, and we should doe very well [to] stay in that place till sunnsett. Then, said he, lett us begon, we [are] passed all feare. Let us shake off the yoake of a company of whelps that killed so many french and black-coats, and so many of my nation. Nay, saith he, Brother, if you come not, I will leave you, and will go through the woods till I shall be over against the french quarters. There I will make a fire for a signe that they may fetch me. I will tell to the Governor that you stayed behind. Take courage, man, says he. With this he tooke his peece and things. Att this I considered how if [I] weare taken att the doore by meere rashnesse; the next, the impossibility I saw to go by myselfe if my comrad would leave me, and perhaps the wind might rise, that I could [only] come to the end of my journey in a long time, and that I should be accounted a coward for not daring to hazard myselfe with him that so much ventured for mee. I resolved to go along through the woods; but the litle constancy that is to be expected in wild men made me feare he should [take] to his heels, which approved his unfortunate advice; ffor he hath lost his life by it, and I in great danger have escaped by the helpe of the Almighty. I consent to goe by watter with him.
In a short time wee came to the lake. The watter very calme and cleare. No liklyhood of any storme. We hazarded to the other side of the lake, thinking ffor more security. After we passed the third part of the lake, I being the foremost, have perceaved as if it weare a black shaddow, which proved a real thing. He at this rises and tells mee that it was a company of buzards, a kinde of geese in that country. We went on, where wee soone perceaved our owne fatall blindnesse, ffor they weare ennemys. We went back againe towards the lande with all speed to escape the evident danger, but it was too late; ffor before we could come to the russhes that weare within halfe a league of the waterside we weare tired. Seeing them approaching nigher and nigher, we threw the 3 heads in the watter. They meet with these 3 heads, which makes them to row harder after us, thinking that we had runn away from their country. We weare so neere the lande that we saw the bottom of the watter, but yett too deepe to step in. When those cruel inhumans came within a musquett shott of us, and fearing least the booty should gett a way from them, shott severall times att us, and deadly wounding my comrade, [who] fell dead. I expected such another shott. The litle skiff was pierced in severall places with their shooting, [so] that watter ran in a pace. I defended me selfe with the 2 arms. Att last they environed me with their boats, that tooke me just as I was a sinking. They held up the wild man and threw him into one of their boats and me they brought with all diligence to land. I thought to die without mercy.
They made a great fire and tooke my comrade's heart out, and choped off his head, which they put on an end of a stick and carryed it to one of their boats. They cutt off some of the flesh of that miserable, broyled it and eat it. If he had not ben so desperately wounded they had don their best to keepe him alive to make him suffer the more by bourning him with small fires; but being wounded in the chin, and [a] bullet gon through the troat, and another in the shoulder that broake his arme, making him incurable, they burned some parte of his body, and the rest they left there. That was the miserable end of that wretch.
Lett us come now to the beginning of my miseries and calamities that I was to undergo. Whilst they weare bussie about my companion's head, the others tyed me safe and fast in a strang maner; having striped me naked, they tyed me above the elbows behind my back, and then they putt a collar about me, not of porcelaine as before, but a rope wrought about my midle. So [they] brought me in that pickle to the boat. As I was imbarqued they asked mee severall questions. I being not able to answer, gave me great blowes with their fists. [They] then pulled out one of my nailes, and partly untied me.
What displeasure had I, to have seen meselfe taken againe, being almost come to my journey's end, that I must now goe back againe to suffer such torments, as death was to be expected. Having lost all hopes, I resolved alltogether to die, being a folly to think otherwise. I was not the [only] one in the clawes of those wolves. Their company was composed of 150 men. These tooke about Quebucq and other places 2 frenchmen, one french woman, 17 Hurrons, men as [well as] women. They had Eleven heads which they sayd weare of the Algonquins, and I was the 33rd victime with those cruels.
The wild men that weare Prisners sang their fatal song, which was a mornfull song or noise. The 12 couleurs (which weare heads) stood out for a shew. We prisoners weare separated, one in one boat, one in an other. As for me, I was put into a boat with a Huron whose fingers weare cutt and bourned, and very [few] amongst them but had the markes of those inhuman devils. They did not permitt me to tarry long with my fellow prisoner, least I should tell him any news, as I imagine, but sent me to another boat, where I remained the rest of the voyage by watter, which proved somewhat to my disadvantage.
In this boat there was an old man, who having examined me, I answered him as I could best; tould him how I was adopted by such an one by name, and as I was a hunting with my companions that wildman that was killed came to us, and after he had eaten went his way. In the evening [he] came back againe and found us all a sleepe, tooke a hattchett and killed my 3 companions, and awaked me, and so embarked me and brought me to this place. That old man believed me in some measure, which I perceived in him by his kindnesse towards me. But he was not able to protect me from those that [had] a will to doe me mischief. Many slandred me, but I tooke no notice.
Some 4 leagues thence they erected cottages by a small river, very difficult to gett to it, for that there is litle watter on a great sand [bank] a league wide. To this very houre I tooke notice how they tyed their captives, though att my owne cost. They planted severall poastes of the bignesse of an arme, then layd us of a length, tyed us to the said poasts far a sunder from one another. Then tyed our knees, our wrists, and elbows, and our hairs directly upon the crowne of our heads, and then cutt 4 barrs of the bignesse of a legge & used thus. They tooke 2 for the necke, puting one of each side, tying the 2 ends together, so that our heads weare fast in a hole like a trappe; likewayes they did to our leggs. And what tormented us most was the Maringoines and great flyes being in abundance; did all night but puff and blow, that by that means we saved our faces from the sting of those ugly creatures; having no use of our hands, we are cruelly tormented. Our voyage was laborious and most miserable, suffering every night the like misery.
When we came neere our dwellings we mett severall gangs of men to our greatest disadvantage, for we weare forced to sing, and those that came to see us gave porcelaine to those that most did us injury. One cutt of a finger, and another pluck'd out a naile, and putt the end of our fingers into their bourning pipes, & burned severall parts in our bodyes. Some tooke our fingers and of a stick made a thing like a fork, with which [they] gave severall blowes on the back of the hands, which caused our hands to swell, and became att last insensible as dead. Having souffred all these crueltyes, which weare nothing to that they make usually souffer their Prisoners, we arrived att last to the place of execution, which is att the coming in to their village, which wheere not [long] before I escaped very neere to be soundly beaten with staves and fists. Now I must think to be no lesse traited by reason of the murder of the 3 men, but the feare of death takes away the feare of blowes.
Nineteen of us prisoners weare brought thither, and 2 left behind with the heads. In this place we had 8 coulours. Who would not shake att the sight of so many men, women, and children armed with all sorte of Instruments: staves, hand Irons, heelskins wherein they putt halfe a score [of] bullets? Others had brands, rods of thorne, and all suchlike that the Crueltie could invent to putt their Prisoners to greater torments. Heere, no help, no remedy. We must passe this dangerous passage in our extremity without helpe. He that is the fearfullest, or that is observed to stay the last, getts nothing by it butt more blowes, and putt him to more paine. For the meanest sort of people commonly is more cruell to the fearfullest then to the others that they see more fearfull, being att last to suffer chearfuly and with constancy.
They begun to cry to both sides, we marching one after another, environed with a number of people from all parts to be witnesse to that hidious sight, which seriously may be called the Image of hell in this world. The men sing their fatall song, the women make horrible cryes, the victores cryes of joy, and their wives make acclamations of mirth. In a word, all prepare for the ruine of these poore victimes who are so tyed, having nothing saving only our leggs free, for to advance by litle and litle according [to] the will of him that leades; ffor as he held us by a long rope, he stayed us to his will, & often he makes us falle, for to shew them cruelty, abusing you so for to give them pleasure and to you more torment.
As our band was great, there was a greater crew of people to see the prisoners, and the report of my taking being now made, and of the death of the 3 men, which afflicted the most part of that nation, great many of which came through a designe of revenge and to molest me more then any other. But it was altogether otherwise, for among the tumult I perceaved my father & mother with their 2 daughters. The mother pushes in among the Crew directly to mee, and when shee was neere enough, shee clutches hould of my haire as one desperat, calling me often by my name; drawing me out of my ranck, shee putts me into the hands of her husband, who then bid me have courage, conducting me an other way home to his Cabban, when he made me sitt downe. [He] said to me: You senselesse, thou was my son, and thou rendered thyselfe enemy, and thou rendered thyself enemy, thou lovest not thy mother, nor thy father that gave thee thy life, and thou notwithstanding will kill me. Bee merry; Conharrassan, give him to eate. That was the name of one of the sisters. My heart shook with trembling and feare, which tooke away my stomach. Neverthelesse to signifie a bould countenance, knowing well a bould generous minde is allwayes accounted among all sort of nations, especially among wariors, as that nation is very presumptious and haughty. Because of their magnanimity and victories opposing themselves into all dangers and incounters what ever, running over the whole land for to make themselves appeere slaining and killing all they meete in exercising their cruelties, or else shewing mercy to whom they please to give liberty. God gave mee the grace to forgett nothing of my duty, as I tould my father the successe of my voyage in the best tearme I could, and how all things passed, mixturing a litle of their languag with that of the Hurrons, which I learned more fluently then theirs, being longer and more frequently with the Hurrons.
Every one attentively gave ears to me, hoping by this means to save my life. Uppon this heere comes a great number of armed men, enters the Cabban, where finding mee yett tyed with my cords, fitting by my parents, made their addresses to my father, and spak to him very loud. After a while my father made me rise and delivers me into their hands. My mother seeing this, cryes and laments with both my sisters, and I believing in a terrible motion to goe directly on to the place of execution. I must march, I must yeeld wheere force is predominant att the publique place.
I was conducted where I found a good company of those miserable wretches, alltogether beaten with blowes, covered with blood, and bourned. One miserable frenchman, yett breathing, having now ben consumed with blowes of sticks, past so through the hands of this inraged crew, and seeing he could [bear] no more, cutt off his head and threw it into the fire. This was the end of this Execrable wofull body of this miserable.