The Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century

By Francis Parkman | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXXI. 1650-1652. THE HURON MISSION ABANDONED.

FAMINE AND THE TOMAHAWK. -- A NEW ASYLUM. -- VOYAGF, OF THE REFUGEES TO QUEBEC. -- MEETING WITH BRESSANI. -- DESPERATE COURAGE OF THE IROQUOIS. -- INROADS AND BATTLES. -- DEATH OF BUTEUX.

As spring approached, the starving multitude on Isle St. Joseph grew reckless with hunger. Along the main shore, in spots where the sun lay warm, the spring fisheries had already begun, and the melting snow was uncovering the acorns in the woods. There was danger everywhere, for bands of Iroquois were again on the track of their prey.1 The miserable Hurons, gnawed with inexorable famine, stood in the dilemma of a deadly peril and an assured death. They chose the former; and, early in March, began

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1
"Mais le Printemps estant venu, les Iroquois nous furent encore plus cruels; et ce sont enx qui vrayement ont ruiné toutes nos esperances, et qui ont fait vn lieu d'horreur, vne terre de sang et de carnage, vn theatre de cruauté et vn sepulchre de carcasses décharnées par les langueurs d'vne longue famine, d'vn païs de benediction, d'vne terre de Sainteté et d'vn lieu qui n'auoit plus rien de barbare, depuis que le sang respandu pour son amour auoit rendu tout son peuple Chrestien." -- Ragueneau, Relation des Hurons, 1650, 23.

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