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Theme 5 The Jesuit Relations


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Theme 5 The Jesuit Relations

  1. 1. Theme 5Theme 5 The Jesuit RelationsThe Jesuit Relations Kristi Beria
  2. 2. Introduction What are the Jesuit Relations?  The Jesuit Relations are reports by the French missionaries of the Society of Jesus, also known as Jesuits.  These reports consisted of news about colonization, epidemics, wars, and other events about the Indians of the Northwest.  The reports were sent annually to Paris where they were published from 1632 to 1673.  The Jesuits were sent in order to convert the Indians to Christianity.  The missionaries lived in the native villages, learned their languages, and got to know the Indians like no other Europeans.  These writings combine both a personal narrative and a ethnographic account of the customs and beliefs of an unknown civilization.  The missionaries often had a different view of the natives than did most Europeans.  They viewed the natives as “pagans” yet also had sympathies for them and the way that they were treated by colonists.
  3. 3. Introduction A History of the Jesuits  The Jesuits were part of a religious order, called the Society of Jesus, who took special vows of poverty and obedience.  Every Jesuit was educated and a college teacher at some point in their life.  They gave spiritual advice to laypeople and to kings.  One of the main goals of the Jesuits was to convert “heathens” everywhere.  Thousands were baptized in India, Japan, and China.  In Brazil, they denounced the slaughter of the Indians by conquering empires.  French Jesuits arrived in Canada near the St. Lawrence River in 1625.  They had contact with natives of the nations of the Iroquois and Algonquians.  Two earlier expeditions to the Acadian Coast and to Quebec were not successful.  The Jesuits returned to Quebec in 1632.  The goal for the first few decades was to convert the Montagnais, Algonquians, and the Huron.  In the 1640s many adult natives were converted.  Jesuits were involved in expeditions from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River in the late 16th century and the colonization of Louisiana in the 1700s.
  4. 4. Chapter 1-Montagnais Hunters of the Northern Woodlands On the Good Things Which Are Found among the Indians Paul Le Jeune  They are tall, strong, athletic, and people.  They are sharp of mind only lacking in education and instruction.  They are more clever than the peasants that live in European villages.  They are successful despite lacking what the European see as government.  They lack the greed or the desire to accumulate great wealth.  There is not a word to describe anger in their language as it is not a emotion that the Indians give into.  They are patient and go about their daily work in happiness.  The men and women don’t bicker over who does what chore and they work peacefully with each other. Father Paul Le Jeune writes about the physical and mental characteristics of the people of the Montagnais tribe.
  5. 5. Chapter 1-Montagnais Hunters of the Northern Woodlands How to Settle Disputes and Discipline Children Paul Le Jeune  A young French boy was playing the drum and hit an approaching Indian in the head causing him to bleed.  As is usual custom in the case of injury, the Indians demanded a present of the French, which would absolve the boy of any wrongdoing.  The French ordered the young boy to be whipped.  The Indians were shocked and asked that he be pardoned since he is just a boy and didn’t know what he was doing.  The French were still going to punish the boy.  An Indian threw his robe over they boy and asked to be whipped in his place.  The boy was let go without any punishment. Father Paul Le Jeune recounts a story about how an Indian saved a French boy from punishment.
  6. 6. Chapter 2-Jean de Brebeuf on the Hurons Of the Polity of the Hurons and of their Government Jean De Brebeuf  They live together in peace and friendship and should be praised for their gentleness despite being savages.  They develop great friendships and help each other during sickness.  Everyone may state his opinion to the council and is capable of expressing themselves very well.  The relatives of a murdered person prosecute and demand restitution from a murderer in the form of sixty presents.  Sorcerers can be punished by death if caught in the act itself.  If a person is caught with something that belongs to you, you may take it back along with anything else that you feel might be of value.  A person that discovers a trade is master of that trade and can give his permission to whomever he chooses to also participate in that trade.  They usually only go to war for a good reason, such as another nation not paying restitution for a murder.  Each village has one or several captains that deal with affairs of war or affairs of state.  The captains earn this position by showing intelligence, courage, and good conduct.  The captain’s decisions are based on what is good for the village and not upheld by force. Father Jean De Brebeuf writes about laws and government of the Hurons.
  7. 7. Chapter 2-Jean de Brebeuf on the Hurons Of the Solemn Feast of the Dead Jean De Brebeuf  The Feast of the Dead is a ceremony that the Huron’s use to honor those relatives and loved ones that have died.  All the nations are invited and preparations are made to transport bodies taken from cemeteries to the designated area.  The bodies are taken from the tombs in front of their relatives and left over skin and robes are thrown in a fire.  The bones are cleaned and placed into bags and wrapped again in fine robes.  The bodies are taken to the relatives cabins where a feast has been prepared.  Presents, such as robes, necklaces, or kettles are also made for the deceased.  Nations from all over bring their dead, wrapped in robes, and put them on display for all to see.  At a certain time the relatives all hang their dead on poles that have built over a large pit that has been dug.  The pit is lined with robes and the bodies are then placed in it and the relatives sleep and cook their meals at the graveside.  Some of the robes are then cut up and thrown to the gathered crowd. Father Jean De Brebeuf writes about the Huron Feast of the Dead.
  8. 8. Chapter 7-Martyrs and Mystics How Father Isaac Jogues was taken by the Iroquois and What He Suffered on His first Entrance into their Country Jerome Lalemant  Father Isaac Jogues and his traveling companions are ambushed and captured by the Iroquois.  The Father was beaten and stabbed for offering a fellow prisoner words of encouragement.  The Iroquois also tore out some of his fingernails with their teeth.  As the Indians were dividing up their booty, Father Jogues baptized as many captives as he could.  After a thirteen day journey the captives were lined up and sent through a gauntlet of Iroquois to be beaten with sticks or thorns.  The Father’s life was spared in order to make him a public spectacle.  The captives were placed on a stage and beaten, burned, and tortured again.  The captives were taken to different villages to be tortured and beaten by other clans.  After being taken back to the original village, Father Jogues had a finger cut off .  In the evening, they were staked to the ground and the children of the village were allowed to inflict pain and torture upon the captives.  Father Jogues’ friend and companion is killed by a hatchet to the head.  After many months of being held hostage, Father Jogues was able to escape to a Dutch settlement. Father Jerome Lalemant writes about the suffering that Saint Isaac Jogues suffers at the hands of the Iroquois.
  9. 9. Chapter 7-Martyrs and Mystics Catherine Tegahkouita: An Iroquois Virgin P.F.X. De Charlevoix  Catherine was a Mohawk woman who lost both mother and father when she was young.  She lived with her aunt and uncle, who was the chief authority in the village.  She had weakened eyesight due to having smallpox as a child.  She preferred to be alone and went about her daily chores without having to be told to do them.  She embraced Christianity after spending time with missionaries who came to her village.  Catherine shared her joy with a few fellow women after a visit from Father Jacques de Lamberville’s arrival.  She studied and prayed all winter in order to become a full Christian.  Her family was not happy with her conversion and tried to marry her off, which she refused.  She escaped to a Jesuit community called La Prairie de la Magdeleine.  There, she made prayers, work, and spiritual conversation her main goals in life.  After attempts again to marry her off again, she took a vow of virginity and to be the spouse of the Jesus Christ.  Catherine adopted different ways of self flagellation such as sleeping or rolling on a bed of thorns or burning her feet.  She soon grew ill and took very little help from anyone and ate very little.  Catherine died in 1680.  She was the first Native American woman to be given the honor of being venerated and beatified. Father Pierre Francois Xavier Charlevoix writes about a Mohawk woman who became a saint.
  10. 10. Chapter 8-Exploring the Mississippi Description of the Village of Makoutens; What Passed there between the Father and the Indians. The French begin to enter a new and unknown country and arrive at the Mississippi. Journal entries by Jacques Marquette  After leaving Green Bay and the Wild Rice People, Father Marquette and Louis Jolliet reach the “Fire Nation”.  This is the farthest that the French have gone in their explorations.  The village of Maskoutens is made up of three nations: Miamis, Maskoutens, and Kickapoos.  The father thinks that the Miamis are the most civil while the others are rude and no better than peasants.  The village had a cross erected in the middle of town and is decorated with offerings from the natives.  The elders were assembled and the natives were told that Monsieur Jolliet was there to discover new lands and that Father Marquette was there to illuminate the natives of the gospel.  Two guides were given to the travelers to help them on their journey.  The travelers went by canoe down the Meskousing River, also know as the Wisconsin.  Fertile lands, woods, and prairies were seen on the banks of the river.  There were many different types of trees such as oak and walnut.  The travelers also saw many deer and bison, which they called cattle.
  11. 11. Chapter 8-Exploring the Mississippi Of the Great River called Mississippi; Its most notable features; of various animals…Of the first villages of the Illinois , where the French Arrived. Journal entries by Jacques Marquette  The Mississippi current flows gently southward.  There are mountains on the right and plains of the left.  There were large fish that they hadn’t seen before.  The main game is wild turkey and pisikious, or wild cattle.  The cattle are larger than their domestic cattle and will feed many people.  Their hides are used by the Indians for robes.  They traveled for a long time without seeing anything other than animals and birds.  On June 25 some human tracks were spotted on the water’s edge.  After leaving two people to guard the canoes, Father Marquette and Monsieur Jolliet went off to explore.  A large village was discovered near the banks of the river.  They shouted to make themselves known and four old men were sent to speak to them..  The Indians stated that they were Illinois and gave the two men a calumet, or pipe, in friendship.  Father Marquette and Monsieur were invited back to the village of the Illinois.