The Jesuits were literate and masters of the written word. Jesuits were members of a religious order known as the Society of Jesus and was founded by a Spanish ex-soldier Ignatius of Loyola in 1534. Every Jesuit was a college teacher at some point in his career. One of Loyola’s first disciples, priest Francis Introduction Xavier, baptized thousands of converts in India, Japan, and China. In two centuries, Jesuits dealt with almost every Indian nation of the Northeast America. French fisherman, explorers, and fur traders had established relations with the natives of the Northeast long before the Jesuits.
Jesuit missionaries had to work with the natives instead of dominate them. The natives welcomed the Jesuits because they valued the French as supplies of goods and allies in the war against the Iroquois. Many Algonquins, Montagnais, and Hurons converted to Christianity after suffering blows from disease, Iroquois attacks and economic dependency. During their eventful years of Canadian Introduction missions the Jesuits published annual Relations. European writing of the New World are divided into two genres: the travel narrative and the ethnographic description. The Jesuits never admit to compromising their European principles, but there is evidence of soul-searching and shifting points of view.
Father Paul Le Jeune was the first superior of the New France mission and his works were the first published of Jesuit Relations. Father Le Jeune followed a band of Montagnais hunting from the fall of 1633 to the spring of 1634. Montagnais They camped in twenty-three different Hunters of the places during the hunt; but always in the snow. Northern The Europeans lust for beaver pelts Woodlands provides the Indians with kettles, hatchets, swords, knives, and bread. Father Le Jeune observed their rituals which included a shaman inside a tent chanting different dialects.
Father Le Jeune appreciated the Indians physical features: tall, erect, strong, and agile. He compared the Indians to European peasants but admitted that the Indians were more clever than ordinary peasants. Montagnais The Indians displayed much more Hunters of the patience than Europeans and rarely expressed anger. Northern Indian men and women cooperate Woodlands admirably and the men allow the women to handle the household arrangements without interfering. The French believed in punishing children for wrongdoing while the Indians did not.
In contrast to the Europeans who kept their sick isolated, the Hurons kept their sick in the midst of the busy longhouse environment. Some of Indians believed games such as lacrosse was a cooling remedy to cure the sick. Others believed a gambling game called dish helped the ill, sometimes gambling away Disease and everything they had in the process. When Jesuit Jean de Brebeuf fell ill, the Medicine Indians wondered at the orderly way they cared for their sick and the regimen they put them on. Some Indians asked to be baptized when they were ill only to revert back to their old customs and superstitions when they recovered.
With disease ravaging the Hurons, an Algonquin captain told the Indians the French were to blame not the Devil. When smallpox struck in 1640, the Hurons believed the Jesuits were the greatest sorcerers on earth. The Jesuits spent days with Indians struck by Disease and smallpox, which lead the Hurons to believe death and disease followed the missionaries. Medicine The Jesuits were most welcome and baptized the greatest number of people where the greatest number died. Sometimes conflicts ensued between the Jesuits and Indians regarding proper treatment of the ill.
A Mohawk emissary named Kiotseaton, brought with him two prisoners to Three Rivers. Kiotseaton was treated well by the Algonquins and Montagnais; treatment he would not receive in his own country. He presented seventeen gifts and danced and Diplomacy rejoiced with the other Indians. After being presented with fourteen gifts by and War Monsieur the governor, Kiotseaeton returned home with good will. The truce was not to last and as Jerome Lalemant noted, “There are no hunters so eager for game as the Indians are when hunting men.”
In 1649 the Iroquois shifted their attacks further west which surprised and overwhelmed the Hurons. The Iroquois easily conquered the town of St. Ignace which had been abandoned by the majority of its people at the beginning of winter. They prevailed in their next attack in the town Diplomacy of St. Louis after a courageous battle by the and War villagers. The Iroquois bound and burned many of captives. Those who were not killed, mostly women, were taken captive and became adopted Iroquois.
The Iroquois had a treaty with the French which allowed the Jesuits onto their land. Fathers Fremin, Pierron, and Bruyas set out in 1667 to reestablish the missions in the Iroquois land that had been interrupted by the wars. The Iroquois feared a French invasion with the Missions to the arrival of a large French military force in Canada. Iroquois One of the major obstacles of the establishment of faith to the Iroquois was drunkenness. Father Jean Pierron had threatened a return to Quebec which might lead to an armed invasion of the Iroquois which unnerved them.
Some of the Mohawks sought security by linking with the English while others opted for the French. The Mohawks and Iroquois probably migrated to French settlements more out of distain of the English ideals than out of acceptance of Christianity. Missions to the The Jesuits tended to interpret the move as an Iroquois expression of religious idealism and submission to the French. Some of the young Indian women who accepted Christianity renounced marriage and devoted themselves to a life of charity, prayer, and “mortification of the flesh”