Jesuit Relations: Natives and Missionaries in Seventeenth-Century North America / Edition 1

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As a 73-volume library, the original The Jesuit Relations has long been inaccessible to undergraduate students. Vitally important, the writings of seventeenth-century French Jesuits in Native North America tell the story of early American encounters. This new edition deftly binds them into a thematically arranged, 35-document sampler with a detailed introduction that provides background on these missionaries, the Indians, and their cohabitation in early North America. Colorful journal entries by such fathers as Paul LeJeune, Jean de Brébeuf, Isaac Jogues, and Jacques Marquette describe the Huron, Algonquin, Iroquois, and Montagnais peoples. Eleven images, two maps, a chronology, a bibliography, and questions for consideration supplement these firsthand accounts.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312167073
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Publication date: 2/28/2000
  • Series: Bedford Cultural Editions Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 226
  • Sales rank: 727,796
  • Product dimensions: 5.71 (w) x 8.01 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

ALLAN GREER is professor of history and vice principal of University College at the University of Toronto. Author of The People of New France (1997); The Patriots and the People: The Rebellion of 1837 in Rural Lower Canada (1993); Peasant, Lord and Merchant: Rural Society in Three Quebec Parishes 1740-1840 (1985), he is also the recipient of the John Porter Prize, the Prix Lionel-Groulx, the Sir John A. MacDonald Prize, and the Allan Sharlin Prize. He is currently working on a book on the seventeenth-century Mohawk "saint" Kateri Tekakwitha.

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Table of Contents




Introduction: Native North America and the French Jesuits

The Society of Jesus in Europe and Abroad

Iroquoians and Algonquians

The Colonization of New France

The Canadian Missions

The Jesuit Relations and Their Readers

Confronting the Other: The Problem of Cultural and Historical Difference

1. Montagnais Hunters of the Northern Woodlands

Paul Le Jeune Winters with Mestigoit’s Band, 1633-1634

Paul Le Jeune, Journal [of a Winter Hunt], 1634

Paul Le Jeune, On Their Hunting and Fishing, 1634

The Montagnais Described

Paul Le Jeune, On the Beliefs, Superstitions, and Errors of the Montagnais Indians, 1634

Paul Le Jeune, On the Good Things Which Are Found among the Indians, 1634

How to Settle Disputes and Discipline Children

Paul Le Jeune, What Occurred in New France in the Year 1633, 1633

2. Jean de Brébeuf on the Hurons


Jean de Brébeuf, Of the Language of the Hurons, 1636

Religion, Myth, and Ritual

Jean de Brébeuf, What the Hurons Think about Their Origin, 1636

Jean de Brébeuf, That the Hurons Recognize Some Divinity; Of Their Superstitions and of Their Faith in Dreams, 1636

Jean de Brébeuf, Concerning Feasts, Dances…and What They Call Ononharoia, 1636

Law and Government

Jean de Brébeuf, Of the Polity of the Hurons and of Their Government, 1636

Jean de Brébeuf, Of the Order the Hurons Observe in Their Councils, 1636

The Huron Feast of the Dead

Jean de Brébeuf, Of the Solemn Feast of the Dead, 1636

3. Disease and Medicine

Huron Medical Practices

Jean de Brébeuf, [Cure by Lacrosse], 1636

Jérôme Lalemant, [Cure by Gambling], 1639

Jérôme Lalemant, [Satisfying the Soul’s Desires], 1639

The Influenza Epidemic of 1637

François Le Mercier, The Malady with Which Our Little Household Has Been Afflicted, 1637

François Le Mercier, The Help We Have Given to the Sick of Our Village, 1637

François Le Mercier, Ossossané Afflicted with the Contagion, 1637

François Le Mercier, Of the Hurons Baptized this Year, 1638, 1638

Smallpox among the Hurons, 1639

Jérôme Lalemant, Of the Persecutions Excited against Us, 1640

A Medical Duel: Father Allouez and the Potawotamis

Claude Allouez, Of the Mission to the Potawotamis, 1666-1667

4. Diplomacy and War

Peace Negotiations at Three Rivers, 1645

Barthélemy Vimont, Treaty of Peace between the French, Iroquois, and Other Nations, 1644-1645

Iroquois Attacks on the Algonquians, 1647

Jérôme Lalemant, Some Iroquois Surprised after Defeating the Algonquians; A Woman Kills an Iroquois and Escapes, 1647

The Hurons Annihilated, 1649

Paul Ragueneau, Of the Capture of the Villages of the Mission of St. Ignace, in the Month of March of the Year 1649, 1648-1649

5. Writings on the Natural Environment

Montagnais Explanations of a Solar Eclipse

Paul Le Jeune, Of Their Customs and Their Belief, 1637

The Moral Qualities of Animals

Jérôme Lalemant, Various Matters, 1647-1648

Earthquakes, Comets, and Other Prophetic Signs

Jérôme Lalemant, Three Suns and Other Aerial Phenomena Which Appeared in New France, 1662-1663

Jérôme Lalemant, Universal Earthquake in Canada and Its Marvelous Effects, 1662-1663

François Le Mercier, Of the Comets and Extraordinary Signs That Have Appeared at Quebec and in Its Vicinity,

Nature as a Storehouse of Resources

François Le Mercier, Of the Condition of Canada over the Last Two Years, 1666-1667

6. Missions to the Iroquois

Mission to the Mohawk Country, 1667

François Le Mercier, Of the Mission of Ste. Marie among the Mohawk Iroquois, 1667-1668

The Mohawks Converted

Jean Pierron, Of the Mission of the Martyrs in the Country of the Mohawks, or the Lower Iroquois, 1669-1670

The Iroquois Mission of Sault St. Louis/Kahnawake

Claude Chauchetière, Letter of October 14, 1682, 1682

7. Martyrs and Mystics

The Ordeal of Isaac Jogues

Jérôme Lalemant, How Father Isaac Jogues Was Taken by the Iroquois, and What He Suffered on His First Entrance into Their Country, 1647

A Native Saint

P.F.X. de Charlevoix, Catherine Tegahkouita: An Iroquois Virgin, 1744

8. Exploring the Mississippi

Jacques Marquette, On the First Voyage by Father Marquette toward New Mexico and How the Idea Was Conceived, 1674


Chronology of Events Related to the Jesuit Relations (1534-1773)

Questions for Consideration

Selected Bibliography


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