Transcribed by:

Gretchen Stanek
Parkland College
Anthropology 101

© 2005 by the Center For Social Research, Parkland College

The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents



Secretary of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin

Vol. LX

The Imperial Press, Cleveland

p. 67

Miscellaneous Documents, 1675-77.
CXL. - De la Chapelle de Notre-Dame de Lorette en Canada. Martin Bouvart; [Lorette, Mars 1 et 2, 1675]
CXLL. - Lettre du P. Jean Enjalran à -; Sillery, 13e octobre, 1676
CXLK. - Recit d'un 3e voyage faict aux Ilinois. Claude Allois; n.p., [ca. 1677]

SOURCES: Doc. CXL, we obtain from L'Abeille (published by the students of the Petit Séminaire of Quebec), January March, 1879. Doc. CXLI. we publish from a transcriptc furnished us by Rev. A. Carrère, of Toulouse, France. Doc. CXLII. we have from the original MS. in the archives of St. Mary's College, Montreal.

p. 149

Narrative of a 3rd voyage to the Ilinois, made by Father Claude Allois.

A SUCCESSOR to the late father marquette was needed who should be no less zealous than he. To fill his place, father Claude alloues was chosen, who had labored, the leader in all our missions to the outaouaks, with Untiring Courage. He was engaged, at the time, in that of st. françois Xavier in the bay des puants, and was soon ready to set out. Let us hear what he says of his voyage.


DURING the time while I was making preparations for my departure, the weather not being as yet propitious, I paid some visits along the bay, where I baptized two sick adults, one of whom died the next day. The other lived a month longer; he was a poor old man who, as he was already declining and half deaf, was the jest of Every one, and an object of contempt to all, even to his own children. God, however, did not cast him aside, but granted him the favor of being placed in the number of his children through baptism, and of being received into his paradise, as I have every reason to Believe. On another visit, to the outagamis, I baptized six

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children, nearly all in a dying condition. I was much consoled at seeing a notable change in the spirit of these people; God visits them with his scourges in order to make them more amenable to our Instructions.

After these Trips, the weather being favorable for setting out, - it was toward the close of the month of October, 1676, - I embarked in a canoe with two men, to attempt to go to winter with the Ilinois. But I did not go far, for the winter had set in so early that year that, the ice overtaking us, we were compelled to go into camp, and wait until the ice was strong enough to bear us. It was not until the month of february that we began our voyage - a very unusual mode of navigation, for, instead of putting the Canoe into the water, we placed it upon the ice, over which the wind, which was in our favor, and a sail made it go as on water. When the wind failed us, in place of paddles we used Ropes to draw it along, as horses draw carriages. Passing near the nation of the poueteouatamis, I learned that a Young man had recently been killed by bears. I had, in times past, baptized him at the point of st. Esprit, and his parents were of my Acquaintance, which constrained me to go a little out of my Way, that I might console them. They told me that bears, having taken on fat during autumn, retain all winter, and even increase, their bulk, although they eat nothing, as naturalists have remarked. They sleep in the Hollows of trees - especially the females, to bring forth in them their young - or else they Sleep on the branches of fir-trees, which they break off for the purpose of making a bed of them upon the snow. This they do not leave all winter, unless Hunters

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discover them by means of their dogs, which they train to this sport. This Young man, having descried one of them on these pine-branches, discharged at it all the arrows in his Quiver; but the bear, feeling itself struck, although not by a deadly blow, rose up and sprang upon him, tore off his scalp, and disemboweled him, mangling and dismembering the entire Body. I found his mother in great distress. We said together the prayers for the departed; and although my presence had renewed her grief, she wiped away her tears and Consoled herself by saying to me: " It is paulin who is dead; it is the good paulin whom thou camest always to call to prayers."

Afterward, by way of avenging, they said, this death, the relatives and friends of the deceased went to make war on the bears while they were still in good condition, - that is to say, in winter; for in summer they are thin, and so famished that they eat even Toads and Snakes, The war was so successful that, in a short time, they killed over 500, of which they gave us a share, telling us that God delivered the bears into their hands as satisfaction for the death of that Young man who had been so cruelly treated by one of their nation.

At 12 leagues from the village of the pouteouatamis, we entered a very deep bay, from which we carried our Canoe through the woods as Far as the great lake of the Ilinois; this portage extends about a league and a half.[23]

The vigil of st. Joseph, patron of all Canada, finding us on this lake of the Ilinois, we gave it the name of that great saint; accordingly, we shall call it, from this time, the lake of st. Joseph.

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We embarked, then, on the 29th of march, and had to contend vigorously with the ice, which we were compelled to break before us in order to secure a passage. The water was so cold that it froze on our paddles, and on that Side of the canoe on which the sun did not strike. It pleased God to bring us through the danger in which we were placed upon landing, when a strong Gust of wind blew the ice against our canoe on one side, and pushed [it] on the other our Canoe against the ice that lined the shore.

Our great difficulty was that, the rivers being still frozen, we could not enter them until the 3rd of april. We consecrated that into which we at last entered, during the season of holy week, by a large Cross which we planted on its bank, in order that a number of savages who resort there for their Hunting - some by Canoe on the lake and others on foot through the woods - might be reminded of the Instructions given them regarding this mystery, and, by the sight of it, be moved to pray to God.

The next day, we saw a rock 7 or 8 feet out of the water and 2 or 3 brasses in circumference, named " the pitch rock." Indeed, one could see the pitch Trickling down in little threads on the Side on which the sun was warming it. We took some and found it good for pitching Canoes; and I make use of it for Sealing my letters.[24]

We saw also, on the same Day, another rock, a little smaller, part of which was under water and part out. That part which was wet by the waves was of a beautiful red color, very bright and shining. A few Days afterward, we came across a streamlet that issued from the slope of a Hill, the waters of which appeared mineralized; the sand in

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it is red, and the savages tell us that it comes from a little lake in which they have found small pieces of red Copper.

We proceeded, continuing always to coast along the great prairies, which extend farther than the eye can reach. Trees are met with from time to time, but they are so placed that they seem to have been planted with design, in order to make avenues more pleasing to the eye than those of orchards. The base of these trees is often watered by little streamlets, at which are seen large herds of stags and hinds refreshing themselves, and peacefully feeding upon the short grass. We followed these vast plains for 20 leagues and repeated many times, " Benedicite opera Domini Domino."

After voyaging 76 leagues over the lake of saint Joseph, we at length entered the river which leads to the Ilinois. I met there 80 savages of the country, by whom I was welcomed in a very hospitable manner. The Captain came about 30 steps to meet me, carrying in one hand a firebrand and in the other a Calumet adorned with feathers. Approaching me, he placed it in my mouth and himself lighted the tobacco, which obliged me to make pretense of smoking it. Then he made me come into his Cabin, and having given me the place of honor, he spoke to me as follows:

"My Father, have pity on me; suffer me to return with thee, to bear thee company and take thee into' my village. The meeting I have had to-day with thee will prove fatal to me if I do not use it to my advantage. Thou bearest to us the gospel and the prayer. If I lose the opportunity of listening to thee, I shall be punished by the loss of my nephews,


whom thou seest in so great number; without doubt, they will be defeated by our enemies. Let us embark, then, in Company, that I may profit by thy coming into our land." That said, he set out at the same time as ourselves, and shortly after we arrived at his abode.


NOTWITHSTANDING all the efforts that we made to hasten our journey, it was not until the 27th of april that I was able to arrive at Kachkachkia, the great village of the Ilinois. I entered, at once, the Cabin in which father marquette had lodged; and, the old men being assembled there with the entire population, I made known the reason for which I had come to them, - namely, to preach to them the true God, living and Immortal, and his only son Jesus Christ. They listened very attentively to my whole discourse and thanked me for the trouble that I was taking for their salvation.

I found this Village largely increased since a year ago. Formerly, it was Composed of but one nation, that of the Kachkachkia; at the present time, there are 8 tribes in it, the first having summoned the others, who inhabited the neighborhood of the river mississipi. One cannot well satisfy himself as to the number of people who Compose that village, They are housed in 351 cabins, which are easily counted, as most of them are situated upon the bank of the river.

The spot which they have Chosen for their abode

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is situated in latitude 40 degrees 41 minutes. On one Side of it is a long stretch of prairie, and on the other a multitude of swamps, which are [render the atmosphere] unhealthy and often Covered with fog, - giving Rise to much sickness, and to loud and frequent Peals of thunder; they delight, however, in this location, as they can easily espy from it their enemies.

These savages are naturally high-spirited, valorous, and daring. They wage war with 7 or 8 different nations, but do not use guns, finding them too cumbersome and slow. They carry them, nevertheless, when they march against nations who do not understand the use of them, to frighten them by the noise and put them to rout. Usually, they carry only the club, the bow, and a Quiverful of arrows, which they shoot with such skill and rapidity as scarcely to give time to those who have guns to Take Aim. They carry also a large shield, made of the skins of the wild bison, arrow- proof, and covering the whole Body.[25]

They have several wives, and are extremely jealous of them, leaving them on the least suspicion. Usually these latter conduct themselves well, and dress modestly; not so the men, who feel no shame at their nudity.

They live on indian corn and other fruits of the earth, which they cultivate, like the other savages, on the prairies. They eat 14 kinds of roots, which they find in the prairies; they made me eat some and I found them good and very sweet. They Gather from trees and plants 42 different kinds of fruits, all of which are excellent; and catch 25 sorts of fish - among them, the eel. They Hunt the


roebuck, the bison, the Turkey, the Wildcat, a species of tiger, and other animals; they Reckon up 22 kinds of these, and some 40 kinds of game and birds. I have been told that, lower down the river, there are saline springs, and that they make salt from them; I have not yet seen the experiment tried. I am also assured that, not far from their village, there is slate-stone as fine as ours. I have seen in this country, as with the outaouacs, red Copper - which is found, as elsewhere, in little pieces, on the banks of the river. And, lastly, they assure me that there are here rocks with pitch, similar to those which I saw on the shores of lake st. Joseph. The savages Cut them, and find silver - like veins; they pulverize these and make of them a very fine red paint, They also come across other veins, from which the pitch oozes; this, when thrown into the fire, burns like ours.

This is all that I was able to observe in this country, in the short time that I lived in it. What follows is what I did for the Christian faith.

As I had but a short time to remain here, - having come only to acquire the information necessary for the establishment of a complete mission, - immediately applied myself to give all the instruction I could to these 8 different nations, to whom, by the grace of God I made myself sufficiently understood. I went, for that purpose, into the Cabin of the Chief of the nation that I wished to instruct; and, there making ready a small altar, using the ornaments of my portable Chapel, I exposed the Crucifix; when they had looked at it, I explained to them the mysteries of our holy faith. I could not have desired a larger audience, or closer attention. They carried

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to me their smaller children to be baptized, and brought me the older ones to be Instructed. They themselves repeated all the prayers that I taught them. In a word, after I had done the same for all the nations, I had recognized, as a result, the same number of peoples to whom nothing more remained [I saw that nothing was lacking to all these peoples] save careful Cultivation, for them to become good Christians. This is what we hope hereafter to effect at leisure.

I have made a beginning in This mission, by the baptism of 35 children, and one sick adult; this man died a short time afterward, as did one of his children, to go to take possession of paradise in the name of the whole nation.

And, in order to take possession also of all these peoples in the name of Jesus Christ, on the 3rd of may, the festival of the holy Cross, we planted in the middle of the village a Cross 35 feet in height, chanting the " vexilla " in the presence of a large number of ilinois of all the nations. Of these I can say in truth that they did not regard Jesus Christ Crucified as a folly, or a scandal; on the contrary, they assisted at that ceremony with great respect, and listened with admiration to all I had to say regarding that mystery. The children even came devoutly to kiss the Cross, while the grown-up people Earnestly entreated me to plant it there so firmly that it might never be in danger of falling.

The time of my departure having come, I bade Adieu to these peoples, and left them eagerly anticipating my return as soon as possible - an expectation all the more willingly encouraged by me, inasmuch as on the one Hand I have great reason

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for thanking God for the little crosses of which, in this voyage, he granted me a share; and because on the other I see the mission quite ready, and very promising. Doubtless, the devil will oppose himself to it, and perhaps will profit by the war which the Iroquois intend to make against the Ilinois. I pray our lord to avert it, lest beginnings so glorious may be entirely destroyed.

[Postscript by Dablon: " In the year after, 1678, father aloués set out on his return to that mission, to remain there two consecutive years, that he might thus work more effectively for the Conversion of those peoples. We have since learned that the Iroquois have made an incursion thus far, but that they were defeated by the Ilinois. This will go far to foment war between these nations; and if God do not interpose, will do much injury to this mission."]

Thwaites Notes:

[23] (p. 153). - Reference is here made to the Sturgeon Bay portage (vol. lix., note 43).

[24] (p. 155). - Dr. W. H. Hobbs, professor of mineralogy in the University of Wisconsin, supplies the following information, which probably identifies for the first time the "pitch rock" here mentioned: "Allouez's statement that this rock was used for pitching the canoe and for sealing letters would indicate that bitumen is the mineral referred to. The geological formation which occupies the entire west shore of Lake Michigan from Sturgeon Bay to Chicago, with the single exception of a small area north of Milwaukee, is of the upper Silurian age, and no bituminous matter has been reported from it. The small area near Milwaukee thus excepted is of Devonian age, and sometimes contains bituminous matter. It would seem probable that the locality referred to by Allouez is a small exposure which rises above the waters of Whitefish Bay, a few miles north of Milwaukee, concerning which Chamberlin says (Geology of Wisconsin, vol. ii., p. 401): 'Along the lake shore, on Whitefish Bay, the formation rises slightly above the water level in a very limited exposure. . . . Angular cavities of moderate size are not infrequent, some of which are filled with semi-fluid, tar-like bitumen.' This description of an islet of cement rock seems to fit well Allouez's description."

It may be added that an extensive plant for the manufacture of cement has been in operation for a number of years, a few miles north of Milwaukee.

[25] (p. 161). - For description of shields and armor used by the Indian tribes, see vol. xiii., note 18; of their bows and arrows, vol. xv. note 2.