The Children of Aataentsic: A History of the Huron People to 1660

By Bruce G. Trigger | Go to book overview

Chapter 6 The Quiet Years

Introduction

The years 1616 to 1629 constitute a well-defined period of Huron history. It is indicative of the important role that trading relations with Europeans had come to have for the Huron that this period began with the conclusion of a trading alliance between the Huron and the French and ended with the latter’s first expulsion from Quebec. Unfortunately, the documentation for this period is neither as abundant nor as varied as the historian might wish. One very obvious gap is the lack of material dealing with the Huron in Champlain’s writings after 1618. Champlain never returned to the Huron country and his later writings are preoccupied with the administration of the tiny and ill-supported colony at Quebec, on whose success he saw his own future now depending. Even his interest in exploring the interior, and possibly discovering a route to the Pacific Ocean, appears to have declined in the face of this overriding concern. For example, the delineation of the Great Lakes region in his map of 1632 shows no advance over what was recorded by him in a map drawn up immediately after his return to France in 1616 (Wroth 1954) (plates 27 and 28). Gross inaccuracies in the representation of parts of the interior explored by Brûlé and others suggest little effective consultation with these men.

The only Indians with whom Champlain was in regular contact after his return from the Huron country were the Montagnais who lived around Quebec. Other tribes are referred to only in so far as Champlain found it necessary to confer with their headmen. Regular trading with the Indians was carried on by representatives of whatever company held the monopoly at Quebec. It is perhaps indicative of the smooth course of French-Huron relations during these years that none of the available documents suggests that Champlain had personal dealings of any consequence with the Huron after 1618.

A still more serious shortcoming is the failure of any other layman to record his experiences in the Huron country between 1616 and 1629. Everything that we know about such men who visited the Huron country at this time was recorded either by Champlain or by the clergy, both of

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The Children of Aataentsic: A History of the Huron People to 1660
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations xi
  • Illustrations xvi
  • Maps xxi
  • Preface to the 1987 Reprinting xxiv
  • Preface to the First Edition xxxviii
  • To Barbara, Isabel, and Rosalyn xliv
  • Chapter 1- Introduction 1
  • Chapter 2- The Huron and Their Neighbours 27
  • Chapter 3- The Birth of the Huron 105
  • Chapter 4- Alien Shadows 177
  • Chapter 5- Forging an Alliance 246
  • Chapter 6- The Quiet Years 331
  • Chapter 7- The Interregnum and - The New Alliance 455
  • Chapter 8- The Deadly Harvest 499
  • Chapter 9- The Storm 603
  • Chapter 10- The Storm within 665
  • Chapter 11- The End of the Confederacy 725
  • Chapter 12- Betrayal and Salvation 789
  • Chapter 13- Conclusions 841
  • Notes 851
  • References 857
  • Index 885
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