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To them America was supposed to be simply an outlying part of Eastern Asia, which had been known by repute and by tradition for centuries past. Finding, therefore, the tropical islands of the Caribbean sea with a climate and plants and animals such as they imagined those of Asia and the Indian ocean to be, and inhabited by men of dusky colour and strange speech, they naturally thought the place to be part of Asia, or the Indies.
The name 'Indians,' given to the aborigines of North America, records for us this historical misunderstanding. But a new view became necessary after Balboa had crossed the isthmus of Panama and looked out upon the endless waters of the Pacific, and after Magellan and his Spanish comrades had sailed round the foot of the continent, and then pressed on across the Pacific to the real Indies. It was now clear that America was a different region from Asia. Even then the old error died hard. Long after the Europeans realized that, at the south, America and Asia were separated by a great sea, they imagined that these continents were joined together at the north.
The European ideas of distance and of the form of the globe were still confused and inexact. A party of early explorers in Virginia carried a letter of introduction with them from the King of England to the Khan of Tartary: they expected to find him at the head waters of the Chickahominy. Jacques Cartier, nearly half a century after Columbus, was expecting that the Gulf of St Lawrence would open out into a passage leading to China. But after the discovery of the North Pacific ocean and Bering Strait the idea that America was part of Asia, that the natives were 'Indians' in the old sense, was seen to be absurd.
It was clear that America was, in a large sense, an island, an island cut off from every other continent. It then became necessary to find some explanation for the seemingly isolated position of a portion of mankind separated from their fellows by boundless oceans. The earlier theories were certainly naive enough. Since no known human agency could have transported the Indians across the Atlantic or the Pacific, their presence in America was accounted for by certain of the old writers as a particular work of the devil.
Thus Cotton Mather, the famous Puritan clergyman of early New England, maintained in all seriousness that the devil had inveigled the Indians to America to get them 'beyond the tinkle of the gospel bells. As late as in a London clergyman wrote a book which he called 'A View of the American Indians,' which was intended to 'show them to be the descendants of the ten tribes of Israel.
Even when such ideas as these were set aside, historians endeavoured to find evidence, or at least probability, of a migration of the Indians from the known continents across one or the other of the oceans. It must be admitted that, even if we supposed the form and extent of the continents to have been always the same as they are now, such a migration would have been entirely possible. It is quite likely that under the influence of exceptional weather--winds blowing week after week from the same point of the compass--even a primitive craft of prehistoric times might have been driven across the Atlantic or the Pacific, and might have landed its occupants still alive and well on the shores of America.
To prove this we need only remember that history records many such voyages. It has often happened that Japanese junks have been blown clear across the Pacific. In a ship of this sort was driven in a great storm from Japan to the shores of the Queen Charlotte Islands off the coast of British Columbia. In the same way a fishing smack from Formosa, which lies off the east coast of China, was once carried in safety across the ocean to the Sandwich Islands.
Similar long voyages have been made by the natives of the South Seas against their will, under the influence of strong and continuous winds, and in craft no better than their open canoes. Captain Beechey of the Royal Navy relates that in one of his voyages in the Pacific he picked up a canoe filled with natives from Tahiti who had been driven by a gale of westerly wind six hundred miles from their own island. It has happened, too, from time to time, since the discovery of America, that ships have been forcibly carried all the way across the Atlantic.
A glance at the map of the world shows us that the eastern coast of Brazil juts out into the South Atlantic so far that it is only fifteen hundred miles distant from the similar projection of Africa towards the west. The direction of the trade winds in the South Atlantic is such that it has often been the practice of sailing vessels bound from England to South Africa to run clear across the ocean on a long stretch till within sight of the coast of Brazil before turning towards the Cape of Good Hope.
All, however, that we can deduce from accidental voyages, like that of the Spaniard, Alvarez de Cabral, across the ocean is that even if there had been no other way for mankind to reach America they could have landed there by ship from the Old World. In such a case, of course, the coming of man to the American continent would have been an extremely recent event in the long history of the world. It could not have occurred until mankind had progressed far enough to make vessels, or at least boats of a simple kind.
But there is evidence that man had appeared on the earth long before the shaping of the continents had taken place. Both in Europe and America the buried traces of primitive man are vast in antiquity, and carry us much further back in time than the final changes of earth and ocean which made the continents as they are; and, when we remember this, it is easy to see how mankind could have passed from Asia or Europe to America.
The connection of the land surface of the globe was different in early times from what it is to-day. Even still, Siberia and Alaska are separated only by the narrow Bering Strait. From the shore of Asia the continent of North America is plainly visible; the islands which lie in and below the strait still look like stepping-stones from continent to continent. And, apart from this, it may well have been that farther south, where now is the Pacific ocean, there was formerly direct land connection between Southern Asia and South America.
The continuous chain of islands that runs from the New Hebrides across the South Pacific to within two thousand four hundred miles of the coast of Chile is perhaps the remains of a sunken continent. In the most easterly of these, Easter Island, have been found ruined temples and remains of great earthworks on a scale so vast that to believe them the work of a small community of islanders is difficult. The fact that they bear some resemblance to the buildings and works of the ancient inhabitants of Chile and Peru has suggested that perhaps South America was once merely a part of a great Pacific continent.
Or again, turning to the other side of the continent, it may be argued with some show of evidence that America and Africa were once connected by land, and that a sunken continent is to be traced between Brazil and the Guinea coast. Nevertheless, it appears to be impossible to say whether or not an early branch of the human race ever 'migrated' to America. Conceivably the race may have originated there. Some authorities suppose that the evolution of mankind occurred at the same time and in the same fashion in two or more distinct quarters of the globe.
Others again think that mankind evolved and spread over the surface of the world just as did the various kinds of plants and animals. Of course, the higher endowment of men enabled them to move with greater ease from place to place than could beings of lesser faculties.
Most writers of to-day, however, consider this unlikely, and think it more probable that man originated first in some one region, and spread from it throughout the earth. But where this region was, they cannot tell. We always think of the races of Europe as having come westward from some original home in Asia. This is, of course, perfectly true, since nearly all the peoples of Europe can be traced by descent from the original stock of the Aryan family, which certainly made such a migration. But we know also that races of men were dwelling in Europe ages before the Aryan migration.
What particular part of the globe was the first home of mankind is a question on which we can only speculate. Of one thing we may be certain. If there was a migration, there must have been long ages of separation between mankind in America and mankind in the Old World; otherwise we should still find some trace of kinship in language which would join the natives of America to the great racial families of Europe, Asia, and Africa. But not the slightest vestige of such kinship has yet been found. Everybody knows in a general way how the prehistoric relationships among the peoples of Europe and Asia are still to be seen in the languages of to-day.
The French and Italian languages are so alike that, if we did not know it already, we could easily guess for them a common origin. We speak of these languages, along with others, as Romance languages, to show that they are derived from Latin, in contrast with the closely related tongues of the English, Dutch, and German peoples, which came from another common stock, the Teutonic. But even the Teutonic and the Romance languages are not entirely different. The similarity in both groups of old root words, like the numbers from one to ten, point again to a common origin still more remote.
In this way we may trace a whole family of languages, and with it a kinship of descent, from Hindustan to Ireland. Similarly, another great group of tongues--Arabic, Hebrew, etc. Now when we come to inquire into the languages of the American Indians for evidence of their relationship to other peoples we are struck with this fact: we cannot connect the languages of America with those of any other part of the world.
This is a very notable circumstance. The languages of Europe and Asia are, as it were, dovetailed together, and run far and wide into Africa. From Asia eastward, through the Malay tongues, a connection may be traced even with the speech of the Maori of New Zealand, and with that of the remotest islanders of the Pacific. But similar attempts to connect American languages with the outside world break down.
There are found in North America, from the Arctic to Mexico, some fifty-five groups of languages still existing or recently extinct. Throughout these we may trace the same affinities and relationships that run through the languages of Europe and Asia. We can also easily connect the speech of the natives of North America with that of natives of Central and of South America. Even if we had not the similarities of physical appearance, of tribal customs, and of general manners to argue from, we should be able to say with certainty that the various families of American Indians all belonged to one race.
The Eskimos of Northern Canada are not Indians, and are perhaps an exception; it is possible that a connection may be traced between them and the prehistoric cave-men of Northern Europe. But the Indians belong to one great race, and show no connection in language or customs with the outside world. They belong to the American continent, it has been said, as strictly as its opossums and its armadillos, its maize and its golden rod, or any other of its aboriginal animals and plants.
But, here again, we must not conclude too much from the fact that the languages of America have no relation to those of Europe and Asia. This does not show that men originated separately on this continent. For even in Europe and Asia, where no one supposes that different races sprung from wholly separate beginnings, we find languages isolated in the same way. The speech of the Basques in the Pyrenees has nothing in common with the European families of languages.
We may, however, regard the natives of America as an aboriginal race, if any portion of mankind can be viewed as such. So far as we know, they are not an offshoot, or a migration, from any people of what is called the Old World, although they are, like the people of the other continents, the descendants of a primitive human stock. We may turn to geology to find how long mankind has lived on this continent. In a number of places in North and South America are found traces of human beings and their work so old that in comparison the beginning of the world's written history becomes a thing of yesterday.
Perhaps there were men in Canada long before the shores of its lakes had assumed their present form; long before nature had begun to hollow out the great gorge of the Niagara river or to lay down the outline of the present Lake Ontario. Let us look at some of the notable evidence in respect to the age of man in America. In Nicaragua, in Central America, the imprints of human feet have been found, deeply buried over twenty feet below the present surface of the soil, under repeated deposits of volcanic rock. These impressions must have been made in soft muddy soil which was then covered by some geological convulsion occurring long ages ago.
Even more striking discoveries have been made along the Pacific coast of South America. Near the mouth of the Esmeraldas river in Ecuador, over a stretch of some sixty miles, the surface soil of the coast covers a bed of marine clay. This clay is about eight feet thick. Underneath it is a stratum of sand and loam such as might once have itself been surface soil. In this lower bed there are found rude implements of stone, ornaments made of gold, and bits of broken pottery. Again, if we turn to the northern part of the continent we find remains of the same kind, chipped implements of stone and broken fragments of quartz buried in the drift of the Mississippi and Missouri valleys.
These have sometimes been found lying beside or under the bones of elephants and animals unknown in North America since the period of the Great Ice.
Not many years ago, some men engaged in digging a well on a hillside that was once part of the beach of Lake Ontario, came across the remains of a primitive hearth buried under the accumulated soil. From its situation we can only conclude that the men who set together the stones of the hearth, and lighted on it their fires, did so when the vast wall of the northern glacier was only beginning to retreat, and long before the gorge of Niagara had begun to be furrowed out of the rock.
Many things point to the conclusion that there were men in North and South America during the remote changes of the Great Ice Age. But how far the antiquity of man on this continent reaches back into the preceding ages we cannot say. Of the uncounted centuries of the history of the red man in America before the coming of the Europeans we know very little indeed.
Very few of the tribes possessed even a primitive art of writing. It is true that the Aztecs of Mexico, and the ancient Toltecs who preceded them, understood how to write in pictures, and that, by this means, they preserved some record of their rulers and of the great events of their past. The same is true of the Mayas of Central America, whose ruined temples are still to be traced in the tangled forests of Yucatan and Guatemala.
The ancient Peruvians also had a system, not exactly of writing, but of record by means of QUIPUS or twisted woollen cords of different colours: it is through such records that we have some knowledge of Peruvian history during about a hundred years before the coming of the Spaniards, and some traditions reaching still further back. But nowhere was the art of writing sufficiently developed in America to give us a real history of the thoughts and deeds of its people before the arrival of Columbus.
This is especially true of those families of the great red race which inhabited what is now Canada. They spent a primitive existence, living thinly scattered along the sea-coast, and in the forests and open glades of the district of the Great Lakes, or wandering over the prairies of the west.
In hardly any case had they any settled abode or fixed dwelling-places. The Iroquois and some Algonquins built Long Houses of wood and made stockade forts of heavy timber. But not even these tribes, who represented the furthest advance towards civilization among the savages of North America, made settlements in the real sense. They knew nothing of the use of the metals. Such poor weapons and tools as they had were made of stone, of wood, and of bone. It is true that ages ago prehistoric men had dug out copper from the mines that lie beside Lake Superior, for the traces of their operations there are still found.
But the art of working metals probably progressed but a little way and then was lost,--overwhelmed perhaps in some ancient savage conquest. The Indians found by Cartier and Champlain knew nothing of the melting of metals for the manufacture of tools. Nor had they anything but the most elementary form of agriculture. They planted corn in the openings of the forest, but they did not fell trees to make a clearing or plough the ground.
The harvest provided by nature and the products of the chase were their sole sources of supply, and in their search for this food so casually offered they moved to and fro in the depths of the forest or roved endlessly upon the plains. One great advance, and only one, they had been led to make. The waterways of North America are nature's highway through the forest.
The bark canoe in which the Indians floated over the surface of the Canadian lakes and rivers is a marvel of construction and wonderfully adapted to its purpose: This was their great invention. In nearly all other respects the Indians of Canada had not emerged even from savagery to that stage half way to civilization which is called barbarism.
These Canadian aborigines seem to have been few in number. It is probable that, when the continent was discovered, Canada, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, contained about , natives--about half as many people as are now found in Toronto. They were divided into tribes or clans, among which we may distinguish certain family groups spread out over great areas. Most northerly of all was the great tribe of the Eskimos, who were found all the way from Greenland to Northern Siberia. The name Eskimo was not given by these people to themselves.
It was used by the Abnaki Indians in describing to the whites the dwellers of the far north, and it means 'the people who eat raw meat. The exact relation of the Eskimo to the other races of the continent is hard to define. From the fact that the race was found on both sides of the Bering Sea, and that its members have dark hair and dark eyes, it was often argued that they were akin to the Mongolians of China. This theory, however, is now abandoned. The resemblance in height and colour is only superficial, and a more careful view of the physical make-up of the Eskimo shows him to resemble the other races of America far more closely than he resembles those of Asia.
A distinguished American historian, John Fiske, believed that the Eskimos are the last remnants of the ancient cave-men who in the Stone Age inhabited all the northern parts of Europe. Fiske's theory is that at this remote period continuous land stretched by way of Iceland and Greenland from Europe to America, and that by this means the race of cave-men was able to extend itself all the way from Norway and Sweden to the northern coasts of America. In support of this view he points to the strangely ingenious and artistic drawings of the Eskimos. These drawings are made on ivory and bone, and are so like the ancient bone-pictures found among the relics of the cave-men of Europe that they can scarcely be distinguished.
The theory is only a conjecture. It is certain that at one time the Eskimo race extended much farther south than it did when the white men came to America; in earlier days there were Eskimos far south of Hudson Bay, and perhaps even south of the Great Lakes. As a result of their situation the Eskimos led a very different life from that of the Indians to the south. They must rely on fishing and hunting for food. In that almost treeless north they had no wood to build boats or houses, and no vegetables or plants to supply them either with food or with the materials of industry.
But the very rigour of their surroundings called forth in them a marvellous ingenuity. They made boats of seal skins stretched tight over walrus bones, and clothes of furs and of the skins and feathers of birds. They built winter houses with great blocks of snow put together in the form of a bowl turned upside down.
They heated their houses by burning blubber or fat in dish-like lamps chipped out of stones. They had, of course, no written literature. They were, however, not devoid of art. They had legends and folk-songs, handed down from generation to generation with the utmost accuracy. In the long night of the Arctic winter they gathered in their huts to hear strange monotonous singing by their bards: a kind of low chanting, very strange to European ears, and intended to imitate the sounds of nature, the murmur of running waters and the sobbing of the sea.
The Eskimos believed in spirits and monsters whom they must appease with gifts and incantations. They thought that after death the soul either goes below the earth to a place always warm and comfortable, or that it is taken up into the cold forbidding brightness of the polar sky. When the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, streamed across the heavens, the Eskimos thought it the gleam of the souls of the dead visible in their new home. Their abode was chiefly Newfoundland, though they wandered also in the neighbourhood of the Strait of Belle Isle and along the north shore of the Gulf of St Lawrence.
They were in the lowest stage of human existence and lived entirely by hunting and fishing. Unlike the Eskimos they had no dogs, and so stern were the conditions of their life that they maintained with difficulty the fight against the rigour of nature. The early explorers found them on the rocky coasts of Belle Isle, wild and half clad. They smeared their bodies with red ochre, bright in colour, and this earned for them the name of Red Indians. From the first, they had no friendly relations with the Europeans who came to their shores, but lived in a state of perpetual war with them.
The Newfoundland fishermen and settlers hunted down the Red Indians as if they were wild beasts, and killed them at sight. Now and again, a few members of this unhappy race were carried home to England to be exhibited at country fairs before a crowd of grinning yokels who paid a penny apiece to look at the 'wild men. Living on the mainland, next to the red men of Newfoundland lay the great race of the Algonquins, spread over a huge tract of country, from the Atlantic coast to the head of the Great Lakes, and even farther west. The Algonquins were divided into a great many tribes, some of whose names are still familiar among the Indians of to-day.
It is even held that the Algonquins are to be considered typical specimens of the American race. They were of fine stature, and in strength and muscular development were quite on a par with the races of the Old World. Their skin was copper-coloured, their lips and noses were thin, and their hair in nearly all cases was straight and black. When the Europeans first saw the Algonquins they had already made some advance towards industrial civilization. They built huts of woven boughs, and for defence sometimes surrounded a group of huts with a palisade of stakes set up on end.
They had no agriculture in the true sense, but they cultivated Indian corn and pumpkins in the openings of the forests, and also the tobacco plant, with the virtues of which they were well acquainted. They made for themselves heavy and clumsy pottery and utensils of wood, they wove mats out of rushes for their houses, and they made clothes from the skin of the deer, and head-dresses from the bright feathers of birds. Of the metals they knew, at the time of the discovery of America, hardly anything.
They made some use of copper, which they chipped and hammered into rude tools and weapons. But they knew nothing of melting the metals, and their arrow-heads and spear-points were made, for the most part, not of metals, but of stone. Like other Indians, they showed great ingenuity in fashioning bark canoes of wonderful lightness.
We must remember, however, that with nearly all the aborigines of America, at least north of Mexico, the attempt to utilize the materials and forces supplied by nature had made only slight and painful progress. We are apt to think that it was the mere laziness of the Indians which prevented more rapid advance. It may be that we do not realize their difficulties. When the white men first came these rude peoples were so backward and so little trained in using their faculties that any advance towards art and industry was inevitably slow and difficult.
This was also true, no doubt, of the peoples who, long centuries before, had been in the same degree of development in Europe, and had begun the intricate tasks which a growth towards civilization involved. The historian Robertson describes in a vivid passage the backward state of the savage tribes of America. To fell a tree with no other implements than hatchets of stone was employment for a month. Their operations in agriculture were equally slow and defective.
In a country covered with woods of the hardest timber, the clearing of a small field destined for culture required the united efforts of a tribe, and was a work of much time and great toil. The religion of the Algonquin Indians seems to have been a rude nature worship.
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The Sun, as the great giver of warmth and light, was the object of their adoration; to a lesser degree, they looked upon fire as a superhuman thing, worthy of worship. The four winds of heaven, bringing storm and rain from the unknown boundaries of the world, were regarded as spirits. Each Indian clan or section of a tribe chose for its special devotion an animal, the name of which became the distinctive symbol of the clan.
This is what is meant by the 'totems' of the different branches of a tribe. The Algonquins knew nothing of the art of writing, beyond rude pictures scratched or painted on wood. The Algonquin tribes, as we have seen, roamed far to the west. One branch frequented the upper Saskatchewan river. Here the ashes of the prairie fires discoloured their moccasins and turned them black, and, in consequence, they were called the Blackfeet Indians. Even when they moved to other parts of the country, the name was still applied to them. Occupying the stretch of country to the south of the Algonquins was the famous race known as the Iroquoian Family.
We generally read of the Hurons and the Iroquois as separate tribes. They really belonged, however, to one family, though during the period of Canadian history in which they were prominent they had become deadly enemies. When Cartier discovered the St Lawrence and made his way to the island of Montreal, Huron Indians inhabited all that part of the country. When Champlain came, two generations later, they had vanished from that region, but they still occupied a part of Ontario around Lake Simcoe and south and east of Georgian Bay.
We always connect the name Iroquois with that part of the stock which included the allied Five Nations--the Mohawks, Onondagas, Senecas, Oneidas, and Cayugas,--and which occupied the country between the Hudson river and Lake Ontario. This proved to be the strongest strategical position in North America. It lies in the gap or break of the Alleghany ridge, the one place south of the St Lawrence where an easy and ready access is afforded from the sea-coast to the interior of the continent.
Any one who casts a glance at the map of the present Eastern states will realize this, and will see why it is that New York, at the mouth of the Hudson, has become the greatest city of North America. Now, the same reason which has created New York gave to the position of the Five Nations its great importance in Canadian history. But in reality the racial stock of the Iroquois extended much farther than this, both west and south. It took in the well-known tribe of the Eries, and also the Indians of Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac. It included even the Tuscaroras of the Roanoke in North Carolina, who afterwards moved north and changed the five nations into six.
The Iroquois were originally natives of the plain, connected very probably with the Dakotas of the west. But they moved eastwards from the Mississippi valley towards Niagara, conquering as they went. No other tribe could compare with them in either bravery or ferocity. They possessed in a high degree both the virtues and the vices of Indian character--the unflinching courage and the diabolical cruelty which have made the Indian an object of mingled admiration and contempt.
In bodily strength and physical endurance they were unsurpassed. Even in modern days the enervating influence of civilization has not entirely removed the original vigour of the strain. During the American Civil War of fifty years ago the five companies of Iroquois Indians recruited in Canada and in the state of New York were superior in height and measurement to any other body of five hundred men in the northern armies. When the Iroquoian Family migrated, the Hurons settled in the western peninsula of Ontario. The name of Lake Huron still recalls their abode. But a part of the race kept moving eastward.
Before the coming of the whites, they had fought their way almost to the sea.abetercordei.gq/map14.php
History of Nova Scotia, Bk1, Pt1, Ch3, Early European Explorers.
But they were able to hold their new settlements only by hard fighting. The great stockade which Cartier saw at Hochelaga, with its palisades and fighting platforms, bore witness to the ferocity of the struggle. At that place Cartier and his companions were entertained with gruesome tales of Indian fighting and of wholesale massacres.
Seventy years later, in Champlain's time, the Hochelaga stockade had vanished, and the Hurons had been driven back into the interior. But for nearly two centuries after Champlain the Iroquois retained their hold on the territory from Lake Ontario to the Hudson. The conquests and wars of extermination of these savages, and the terror which they inspired, have been summed up by General Francis Walker in the saying: 'They were the scourge of God upon the aborigines of the continent. The Iroquois were in some respects superior to most of the Indians of the continent. Though they had a limited agriculture, and though they made hardly any use of metals, they had advanced further in other directions than most savages.
They built of logs, houses long enough to be divided into several compartments, with a family in each compartment. By setting a group of houses together, and surrounding them with a palisade of stakes and trees set on end, the settlement was turned into a kind of fort, and could bid defiance to the limited means of attack possessed by their enemies. Inside their houses they kept a good store of corn, pumpkins and dried meat, which belonged not to each man singly but to the whole group in common. This was the type of settlement seen at Quebec and at Hochelaga, and, later on, among the Five Nations.
Indeed, the Five Nations gave to themselves the picturesque name of the Long House, for their confederation resembled, as it were, the long wooden houses that held the families together. All this shows that the superiority of the Iroquois over their enemies lay in organization. In this they were superior even to their kinsmen the Hurons. All Indian tribes kept women in a condition which we should think degrading. The Indian women were drudges; they carried the burdens, and did the rude manual toil of the tribe. Among the Iroquois, however, women were not wholly despised; sometimes, if of forceful character, they had great influence in the councils of the tribe.
Among the Hurons, on the other hand, women were treated with contempt or brutal indifference. The Huron woman, worn out with arduous toil, rapidly lost the brightness of her youth. At an age when the women of a higher culture are still at the height of their charm and attractiveness the woman of the Hurons had degenerated into a shrivelled hag, horrible to the eye and often despicable in character.
The inborn gentleness of womanhood had been driven from her breast by ill-treatment. Not even the cruelest of the warriors surpassed the unhallowed fiendishness of the withered squaw in preparing the torments of the stake and in shrieking her toothless exultation beside the torture fire. Where women are on such a footing as this it is always ill with the community at large. The Hurons were among the most despicable of the Indians in their manners. They were hideous gluttons, gorging themselves when occasion offered with the rapacity of vultures. Gambling and theft flourished among them.
Except, indeed, for the tradition of courage in fight and of endurance under pain we can find scarcely anything in them to admire. North and west from the Algonquins and Huron-Iroquois were the family of tribes belonging to the Athapascan stock. The general names of Chipewyan and Tinne are also applied to the same great branch of the Indian race. In a variety of groups and tribes, the Athapascans spread out from the Arctic to Mexico. Their name has since become connected with the geography of Canada alone, but in reality a number of the tribes of the plains, like the well-known Apaches, as well as the Hupas of California and the Navahos, belong to the Athapascans.
They were found in the basin of the Mackenzie river towards the Arctic sea, and along the valley of the Fraser to the valley of the Chilcotin. Their language was broken into a great number of dialects which differed so widely that only the kindred groups could understand one another's speech. But the same general resemblance ran through the various branches of the Athapascans. They were a tall, strong race, great in endurance, during their prime, though they had little of the peculiar stamina that makes for long life and vigorous old age.
Their descendants of to-day still show the same facial characteristics--the low forehead with prominent ridge bones, and the eyes set somewhat obliquely so as to suggest, though probably without reason, a kinship with Oriental peoples. The Athapascans stood low in the scale of civilization. Most of them lived in a prairie country where a luxuriant soil, not encumbered with trees, would have responded to the slightest labour.
But the Athapascans, in Canada at least, knew nothing of agriculture. With alternations of starvation and rude plenty, they lived upon the unaided bounty of tribes of the far north, degraded by want and indolence, were often addicted to cannibalism. If we are to accept these official records, taken under oath, Oartier must have been born during the latter half of the year , between the 7th June and the 23rd December of that year.
Going back a little, it will be seen by the registers of St. Malo that Jehan Oar- tier was married to Guillemette Beaudoin, having six children, of whom the eldest, Jamet or Jacques, was born on the 4th December, He married Jeffeline Jansart, and had as issue, it is now thought, the celebrated Jacques Oartier.
As stated, the day of birth has usually been accepted as the 31st December, , the entry being as follows : " Le xxxi jour de decembre fut baptize un fils a Jamet Oartier et Jeffeline Jansart, sa femme et fut nomm6 par Gruillaume Maingart, principal compere et petit compere Eaoullet Perdriel. There are no particulars of his life, up to the time of his marriage, worthy of mention ; that is to say, it is all specula- tive : his early years were doubtless passed on the sea.
The date of his marriage has usually been set down as taking place in , and this because " avril " is interlined in the register of mar- riages just above the entry of Jacques Cartier and Oatherine his wife. The year began at Easter always at St. Malo, and taking into account the fact that Easter was on the 24th April of that year, it is almost certain that the date refers to the first day of April belonging to the year , according to the old style, but to according to proper notation Longrais' " Jacques Cartier," p. His wife was Catherine des G-ranches, daughter of Jacques des G-ranches, constable of the town, who was pos- sessed of considerable property.
Jacques Cartier left no issue. The name of Cartier's wife, " Kathe- rine," occurs in the account of the "first" voyage to Canada ; " first " refers to the voyage of which we have a description. That Cartier made other voy- ages previous to this cannot be doubted. In the recit of , pp. There is also a record dated the last day of July, , of the baptism of Catherine of Brazil. And Francis I. Before proceeding to give the accounts of the Canadian Voyages made by Cartier, I believe it advisable to give a few notes of these accounts them- selves, and to state that I have translated them from, and compared them with, the originals with much care and trouble.
The notes at the end of these translations, will, I think, be found of interest. To proceed: Whether Jacques Cartier wrote the accounts of his voyages himself or not would be somewhat difficult to prove one way or the other see note "Did Cartier," etc. The account of the first voyage of Cartier is to be found in Eamusio's " Collection of Voyages," the first edition of which was published at Venice in , followed by editions in , and This was adopted by Hakluyt and followed by Pinkerton and Churchill in their "Voyages.
It was published in French at Eouen in in a small octavo volume of 64 pages, under the title, " Discours du voyage fait par le Capitaine Jacques Cartier aux Terres-neufues de Canadas, Norembeque, Hochelage, Labrador, et pays adjacens, dite Nouvelle France, avec particulieres moeurs, Ian- gage et ceremonies des habitans d'icelle " reprinted at Paris by Tross in An account of the voyage will also be found in Lescarbot's " Histoire de la Nouvelle France " livre iii.
Michelaut and A. There are still further the valuable publications of the Quebec Literary and Historical Society. As to the account of the Second Voyage, it is the only one of which the French version is the first in print, and of this one copy alone is known to exist, printed at Paris in in an octavo volume of 48 pages, and now in the G-renville collection, British Museum.
This has been reprinted in at Paris. In Lescarbot's " Histoire " the account of the Second Voyage is interpolated with an account of Champlain's doings. Lescarbot followed what is known as the RofFet text. There are also at Paris in the Bibliotheqne Nationale imperiale or royal e three manuscript accounts of the second voyage.
Ter- naux-Compans collated the two first, and published a copy in , at the beginning of the second volume of the " Archives des Voyages. The account mentioned above as having been reprinted in was collated with all three manuscripts. Lescarbot speaks of one of these manuscripts as being tied with blue silk ribbon. The Third Voyage of Oartier is related in the collection of Eichard Hakluyt, of Oxford, in English, particulars of which voyage were obtained by Hakluyt during his residence in France from to They are not a complete account of the voy- age.
A letter from Jacques Noel, his grand-nephew, written from St. Hakluyt also gives Jean Allefonce's chart for leagues up the St Lawrence, and an unfinished account of Roberval's voyage to the 22nd July, ? There is no account of the Fourth Voyage — if it ever took place — except in Lescarbot, who says : " He took eight months to go and get him Eoberval after he had remained there seventeen months" Lescarbot, 6 , p. Captain Cartier, similarly to all the leading bour- geois of Saint Malo in the sixteenth century, owned in the banlietie of the town a " maison," of which he took his title, and where he reposed himself after his maritime expeditions.
He, in fact, bears the title of " Sieur de Limoilou" in the founding of an obit on the 29th November, , at the cathedral. This demesne of Limoilou, situated on the limits of the parishes of Parame and Saint Coulomb, a thou- sand metres about the hill, is a true navigator's sta- tion, established, like an observatory, at the cul- minating point of a hill mamelon , which falls away on one side to Saint Ideuc, on the other to the oce.
Knowing the fury of the west and north winds on the Brittany coast, Cartier had placed his living room upstairs, and had only one story sur rez de chaussee. Each floor had two rooms ; the lower a kitchen and a salle, the upper a reduit and the chamber of the captain. The wall of the east looked on the garden. To that of the west was attached a lower building used as a horse stable. In front, on the opposite side of the yard, was the barn, the pres- soir and the cow stable.
In the centre of the yard was a large square well, with a fine finish of granite, yielding plenty of water. Entrance was made into the yard by a large door charretiere , without any ornament except a shield held by two angels, in a prominent position. The field of the shield was simply an open quarter. They were " speaking arms. Malo museum, and which has been reprinted by [a Nantes litho- grapher , that this gateway was furnished with a double door with columns, one destined for foot travelers, the other for vehicles ; nor is it to be believed that the date of was cut on the key- stone.
All these are imaginings of the dessinateur, who, finding the gateway too modest, constructed one in his picture, and one belonging to a later period. He gives the shield and two angels a height of six feet. These might be the Cartier letters of nobility, which were granted him, it is said, by Francis I. This shield proves further besides the fact of the ennobling, if it be true, that Jacques Cartier did not belong to those Cartiers, sieurs du Hindret et de la Boulaye, who had arms of blue and silver with four blies on each and who were ennobled between 14'78 and It could be denied that all the buildings of the manoir go back to the time of Cartier.
Thus, the form of the openings of the logis, the mouldings of the woodwork of the doors and windows appear in part more modern than the sixteenth century, though the souche de Vedifice belongs to the primitive plan. It is necessary to say as much of the frames of painted glass which garnissant adorn the windows of the principal room to the east. These frames represent in the centre, in a circular medallion, St.
Bertrand and St. Julien, and round these, in small square divisions, landscapes, a fox hunting scene, trees, a chateau, a fountain, etc. These are treated in the manner of the end of the seventeenth century, and in a manner negligent. They are, as a whole, very mediocre works, and it is impossible to consider them in any way as souvenirs. In Eamusio, edition, Hakluyt adopted this in his edition of , and it has been followed by Pinkerton and Churchill in their voyages. Eouen, Chez Raphael du Petit- Val. Octavo, 64 p. In Lescarbot, edition Michelaut et A. Ram6, accompagngs de deux portraits de Cartier et de deux vues de son manoir.
Paris, Tross, Catherine, distant about five leagues to the south-southeast. Here we stayed ten days waiting for favorable weather, and during this time we fitted up and got ready our boats. How we arrived at the Island of Birds, and the large numbers of birds found there.
The twenty-first of May we set sail with a westerly wind and went north from Cape de Bonne-Veue to Isle des Oiseaux Bird Island , which was completely surrounded with ice, broken in pieces ; in spite of the ice our boats went there to get birds, which are present in incredible numbers as to seem to have been brought and soiun [sic expressly on the island, which is about a league in circuit.
The birds are, however, a hundred times more abundant around the island, in the air and on the water ; some are as large as magpies, black and white, and with the beak of ravens ; they are always on the water, being unable to fly high, as their wings are small, not larger than half a hand, with which wings, however, they fly on the surface of the water, as other birds do in the air. They are very fat, and are called by the natives apporrath.
Our two boats were filled with them in less than half an hour, as quickly as if we had been loading stones, so that on each ship we salted four or five casks full, without those we ate fresh. There is besides another kind of bird, which flies high in the air and on the surface of the water, smaller than the others, and is called godetz. They gather on this island and hide themselves under the wings of the large birds. There is another sort, larger and white, staying in another district of the island ; these are difficult of capture, as they bite like dogs ; they call them Margaux.
Though this island is distant fourteen leagues from the mainland, yet bears come there to eat the birds, and our men found one as big as a cow, white as a swan, which jumped into the water before them. Next day, Easter, as we were sailing towards the mainland, we met with this bear, swimming in the same direction as rapidly as we sailed ; we gave chase in our boats and took him by main force ; his flesh was as delicate as that of a two-year old heifer.
Description of the new land from Gape Mace to Gape Begrad. The district from Cape Eace to Cape Degrad forms the point of entry to the said gulf, which latter looks from cape to cape, to the east, north and south. All this part is full of islands, one after the other, between which there are small channels, by which one can go and come in small boats, and there are 14 also good harbors like Oarpunt and Degrad. From the highest of these islands can be seen clearly, by any one standing, the two low-lying islands near Cape Eace, from whichplaceitis twenty-five leagues to the port of Carpunt, and there are two channels, one on the east side, the other on the south, but it is necessary to beware of the east channel, as there are reefs and shallows, and it is necessary to go around the island to the west, half a cable's length or a little less, then turn south towards Carpunt, and be watchful of three reefs under the water and in the channel ; towards the island, on the east side, there is a depth of three or four fathoms and good bottom.
The other entrance looks to the east and on the west one can land. Of the Island named St. Leaving Point Degrad, at the entrance of the said gulf going west, care must be taken regarding two islands on the right, one of which is distant three leagues from this point, and the other seven leagues, more or less, from the first ; low and flat, and appar- ently part of the mainland.
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I named this island St. Catherine, in the eastern portion of which is a dry and sterile region of about a quarter of a league, to reach which it is necessary to make a little circuit. In this island is Castle Harbor, which looks lies north-northeast and south-southwest, and the dis- tance from one to the other is about fifteen leagues. From Castle Harbor to the Port des Grouttes, which is the district north of the gulf already spoken of, which lies east-northeast and west-southwest, the distance is twelve leagues and a half, and is distant two leagues from Port des Balances, and a third 15 part of this crossing is thirty fathoms deep.
It is well to give warning that to the southwest of Blanc Sablon there is a reef three leagues long appearing above the water and resembling a boat. Blanc Sablon is a place having no shelter from the south or southwest, but south-southwest of it are two islands, one called Isle of Brest, the other Bird Island Isle des Oiseaux , on which are a lg,rge number of godetz and ravens with red beaks and red feet, which make their nests underground, like rab- bits. Passing a cape a league from Blanc Sablon are found a harbor and channel named Les Ilettes, which is the best place of Blanc Sablon, and where there are excellent fishing grounds.
We stopped on one of the islands to pass the night, and found a very large number of ducks' eggs and those of other birds which nest here. James; of the garb and costumes of the natives of the island of Blanc Sablon. Next day we passed beyond these islands, and at the end of a multitude of them found a good harbor, which we named Port Saint Antoine, and beyond this we discovered, to the southwest, a small river, which is very deep, between two other districts, and there is a good harbor here. Two leagues further there is another fine stream, and larger, in which we caught many salmon, and named it Eiver St.
In this river we met with a large ship from La Rochelle, which had passed the night before beyond Port Brest, where they desired to fish, but the seamen did not know where it was. We went by the side of them and sailed together to another port, further to the west, about a league from the River St. James, which I believe to be one of the best harbors in the 11 world, and which we named Port Jacques Cartier.
If the land corresponded in value to the harbors, it would be a benefit, but it does not deserve the name of Newfoundland, consisting merely of stones and wild rocks suitable for wild animals only ; and in all the northern part I did not see enough soil to fill a cart, though I went ashore in several places. On the island of Blanc Sablon there is nothing but moss and small thorn bushes, dry and half dead ; in fact, I think this is the land that G-od gave to Gain. Here are men of fine shape and stature, but indomitable and savage. They wear their hair tied on the top of their heads like a bunch of hay, passing through it a small piece of wood, or something similar, in place of a nail pin , and they also attach there some bird's feathers.
They wear skins, men and women, the latter being completely covered and girded at the waist which the men are not ; they paint them- selves with certain red colors. They make their boats of the bark of the boul tree, and take large quantities of seals. And since I came there I learned that this was not their place of habitation, but that they come by land from a warmer country to secure the seals and other things necessary for their sub- sistence. At the beginning of the gulf we took a sounding, and found a hundred fathoms on all sides.
From Port Brest to Cape Double the distance is about twenty leagues, and five or six leagues from there we took another sounding and found forty fathoms. This land looks northeast-southwest. The day previous, owing to the fog and dimness, we had seen no land, but in the evening we perceived an opening in the land which appeared to be the mouth of a river, amongst these Hut Mountains ; and to the southwest of us, about three leagues, was a cape without any peak or point all round the top of it, but jutting out into a point at its base ; it received the name of Cape Pointed. Next day, the seventeenth, we had wind from the northwest, and were obliged to leave the cape and make our way southwest till Thursday morning, sailing about thirty-seven leagues, and found ourselves among several islands shaped like pigeon-houses dove-cots , so they were named Pigeon-house Islands.
Julien is distant seven leagues from Cape Koyal, which is situated to the south-one-quarter southwest. South-southwest of this cape is another cape, all cleft underneath and round in shape on the summit. On the north is a small island half a league distant, and this cape was called Milk Cape. Between these two capes there are certain low lands which appear to have streams.
Two leagues from Cape Royal the depth of water is twenty fathoms, and there is excellent cod fishing here ; we took more than a hvindred in less than an hour, while waiting. Of some islands between Cape Boyal and Gape Milk. Beyond the low lands was a very deep gulf, in which there are several islands ; this gulf is shut in on the south side. The low lands form one side of the entrance and Cape Itoyal is on the other side, and the low lands run out into the sea more than half a league. The district is flat and sterile bad land ; in the middle of the entrance is an island. Of the Island St. From this day to the twenty-fourth of the month, the feast of St.
John, we were tempest-tossed, and 20 had such bad winds and dark weather that we saw no land till St. John's day, when we discovered a cape lying to the southwest of Cape Royal, distant thirty-five leagues ; but the mist was so heavy and the weather so bad this day that we could not land. And as this was the day of St. John, the cape was named St. Of the islands called the Islands of Margaulx ; the birds and ani- mals found there.
Of the Island Brion and Cape Dauphin. Next day, the twenty-fifth, the weather was still very unfavorable ; we sailed part of the day to the west and northwest, and in the evening we went across up to the time of the second watch since we had left, and then we ascertained by our quadrant that we were heading northwest-a-quarter-west, distant seven leagues and a half from Cape St. John ; and when we wished to sail on, the wind changed to the northwest, so that we ran to the south fifteen leagues, and came to three islands, of which two had coasts perpendicular like a wall, so that it was impossible to ascend them ; between them is a small reef These islands were more completely filled covered with birds than a field is with grass, which birds nest here.
On the largest island was a large number of birds that we called margaulx, which are white and larger than a goose gosling ; these fre- quent one portion of the island, and on the other portion were the kind called godetz ; but on the banks were the godetz and large apporrath, resem- bling those mentioned before. These islands received the name of Margaulx Islands. Five leagues to the west from here is another island, two leagues long and two wide ; here we stopped for the night to procure wood and water.
It is surrounded with sand, and there is a depth of six or seven fathoms. These islands were of the best soil we had yet seen ; in fact, one field here is worth the whole of Newfoundland. Full of large trees are these islands ; of fields of wild wheat, and of- peas as fine as in Brittany, which seemed to have been sown by hand ; there were also barberries, strawberries, red roses, grapes, and many sweet flowers and grasses.
There are large animals about this island, as large as an ox, having tusks like an elephant, and which live in the sea. We saw one sleeping on the water's edge, and went towards it with our boat, thinking to secure it, but as soon as it heard us it threw itself in the water. We saw bears and wolves also. This island was named Isle of Brion ; around it on the southeast and northwest are large marshes.
I think, from what I could make out, that there is a channel between the New Land and the Island of Brion. If this should be so, it would shorten the time and jour- ney, provided it could be done by this route. Four leagues west-southwest from this island is the main- land, which resembles an island surrounded with small islands of sand. There there is a fine cape, which we named Oape Dauphin, because it is the commencement of good lands.
The twenty-seventh of June we made a circuit of the lands lying west- southwest, which appear from a distance to be hills or mountains of sand, though they are low lands and of little depth. We could not approach them, much 22 less effect a landing, on account of the contrary wind. This day we made fifteen leagues. Of the island called Alezay and Cape St. The next day we coasted along these shores ten leagues to a cape of red earth, which is rough and indented, through an opening or cleft in which may be seen a low country to the north ; and there is a lowland between a sheet of water and the ocean.
From this cape and sheet of water to another cape is about fourteen leagues, and is shaped in a semicircle, consisting of sand like a ditch, over which can be seen marshes and sheets of water as far as the eye can see. Before arriving at the first cape there are two islands quite near shore. Five leagues from the second cape is an island to the southwest which is very high and peaked ; this latter we named Alezay ; the former cape we named Cape St.
Peter, as it was on his day we arrived there. Of the Cape Orleans.
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Of the Canoe River barques. Of Cape of the Savages ; the nature and temperature of the country. But as we wished to have more knowledge of these rocky bottoms, full of stones, we lowered the sails. Next day, the last but one of the month, the wind came from the south-one-quarter- southwest ; we sailed west until Tuesday morning, the last of the mouth, without discovering any other 23 land, with the exception that in the evening we saw some land, apparently forming two islands, lying behind us nine or ten leagues to the west and south, west. This day, till sunrise next morning, we made about forty leagues.
We thought the land appear- ing like two islands was the mainland, situated to the southwest and north-northeast, up to a beautiful cape called Cape Orleans. All this land is low and flat, and as fine as one can see anywhere, full of fine trees and prairies ; but we could find no harbor, as there is nothing but reefs and sand-bars.
We saw several canoes with savages crossing the river, but held no intercourse with them, because the wind came from the sea and blew on shore, so that we returned to the ships. We sailed northeast till sun- rise next day, the first of July, when a violent tem- pest arose, so that we had to lower the sails till about two hours before noon, when it cleared off", and we perceived Cape Orleans and another seven leagues distant to the north-a-quarter-northeast, which was named Cape of the Savages.
Northeast of this cape about half a league there is a very dan- gerous rocky reef. While near this cape we per- ceived a man who ran behind our boats as we coasted along, and made signs to us that we ought to return to the cape. Seeing his signs, we began to go towards him, when, seeing us come, he took flight. Landing, we placed before him a knife and a woollen waistband on a stick. We returned to our ships.
This day we went along this coast, turn- ing and winding nine or ten leagues, without find- 24 ing a good harbor, as all this country is low and full of reefs and sand bars. Notwithstanding which, this day we went on shore in four places to see the trees, which are beautiful here and very odorous ; there are cedars, yews, pine, white elms, ash, wil- lows, and others unknown to us, but all without fruit. The land, where there are no trees, is very fertile and full of peas, of white and red barberries, of strawberries, of wild wheat, like rye, which seems to have been sown and cultivated.
And the tempera- ture here is as favorable as one could wish, and very warm ; there are many thrushes, wood-pigeons and other birds ; in fact, nothing is lacking except jfood harbors. Of Gulf St. Lunaire and other noteworthy gulfs and capes; the nature and fertility of the soil. We named it Grulf St. We went to the cape on the north with our boats, and found the land so low that for a league there was not more than a fathom of water.
Seven or eight leagues northeast of this cape is an- other cape to the north, between which is a triangular gulf bay , very deep and running far up into the land ; it lies to the northeast. This gulf is sur- rounded with bars and shallows for ten leagues ; there are not more than two fathoms of water.
It is fifteen leagues between the two capes. Beyond these we saw a land and a cape, which lies north- a-quarter-northeast as far as we could see. All 25 night it was stormy and wild ; so much so that we were obliged to carry reefed sails till next morning, the third of July, when the wind blew from the west, and we were carried north, and discovered the land which was north-northeast of the low lands.
Between these low lands and the high lands is a large gulf and opening, of fifty-live fathoms in many places and about fifteen leagues wide. On account of the depth, size and character of the land here, we had hopes of finding a passage similar to that of Castle Gulf.
This gulf looks east-northeast, west- southwest. The soil on the south side is good enough and cultivable, and full of as fine prairies as we had seen, level as a lake ; on the north side are high mountains, covered with trees of various kinds, amongst others fine cedars and firs fit to make masts for vessels of three hundred tons ; and we saw no part here that was not covered with these woods, except two places where it was low ; these were fine prairies, with two beautiful lakes. Of Cape Hope. Of Bay staria St. Martin ; how seven canoes of the savages came to our boat, and being unwilling to go away, we frightened them by firing small cannon, so that they fled in great haste.
The cape of this land to the south was named Cape Hope, by reason of the hope we had of finding a passage. The fourth of July we went along this coast northwards to find a harbor, and went into a small place exposed to the south wind, which we thought it worth while to name St. Martin, and we stayed here from the fourth till the twelfth. Having come within about a half league of the point, we perceived two groups bands of canoes of savages going from one side to the other ; and there were more than forty or fifty canoes, of which a portion reached the point and jumped ashore, with a great deal of noise, making signs to us to land, showing us skins on pieces of wood.
But as we had only one boat, we were unwilling to do so, and went towards the others who were on the water. But as has been said we had only one boat and did not care to trust in their signs, and made them signs to go away from us, which they would not do, and came with great ado to us, so that our boat was soon surrounded with their seven canoes.
And because our signs to them to retire had no effect, we fired oS two small cannons over them ; this astonishing them, they went back towards the point, stayed there awhile, then again began, to come near us as before ; so that, when near our boat, we shot two of our darts amongst them, which frightened them so much that they fled in great haste and were not willing to return.
The next day some of the savages came in their canoes to the point and mouth of the bay whence our ships had gone. Knowing of their having come, we went with our boat where they were, but as soon as they saw us coming they fled, making signs they had come to trade with us, showing the skins of little value, which they wore. Seeing this, they landed and brought skins and began trading, show- ing great excitement and joy at possessing the knives and iron tools, dancing and performing antics, such as throwing themselves in the water on their heads with their hands.
They gave us all they had, re- taining nothing ; so that they were obliged to go away perfectly naked. They made signs to us they would return next day, bringing other skins. ITow some of the men went ashore with articles of trade and three hundred savages came, who were overjoyed ; of the nature of the country, its products and the gulf called the Gulf Say of Chaleur.
Thursday, the eighth of the month, as the wind was not favorable for us to go out with our ships, we got ready our boats to explore the gulf and made about twenty-five leagues this day. Next day, haA'ing good weather, we sailed till noon, when we had explored the greater part of the gulf and saw that beyond the low lands there was a high moun- tainous district. But, as we perceived there was no 28 passage, we coasted along, and as we sailed saw some savages on the shores of a lake in the low lands, making several fires.
We went there and found there was a channel from the sea into the lake, and we placed our boats on one of the banks of the channel. The savages approached us and brought us pieces of cooked seal, which they placed on pieces of wood and then retired, giving us to understand that they gave them to us. We sent men ashore with hatchets, knives, chaplets, and other articles, in which the savages took great delight, and they came all at once in their canoes to the shore where we were, bringing skins and other things they had to exchange for our articles, and there were more than three hundred of them — men, women and children.
A number of the women had stopped, remaining in the water to their knees, dancing and singing. Others, who had come to where we were, came familiarly rubbing our arms with their hands, then raised towards heaven and danced and made signs of joy ; and had so much confidence, that finally they ex- changed everything they had ; so that they found themselves stark naked, as they had given up all they had, which was of little value.
We perceived that these people could be easily converted to our Faith. They go from one place to another, living by fishing ; their country is warmer than Spain, as fine a country as one would wish to see, level and smooth, and there is no part too small for trees, even if sandy, or where there is no wild wheat, which has an ear like that of rye and the grains like oats ; there are peas as thick as if sown and cultivated, red and white barberries, strawberries, red and white roses, and other flowers of sweet and delightful perfume.
There 29 are also fine prairies, fine grasses and lakes filled with salmon. They call a hatchet in their language " cochi," and a knife "bacon. Of another tribe natione of savages, their customs, food and dress. Being certain there was no passage by way of this gulf, we set sail from St. Martin on Sunday, the 12th, to explore further. They are forbidden to leave the colony, thus ensuring that they will not reinforce the militias of New France. They are also needed to provide food to the British troops.
In , lieutenant Lawrence Armstrong begins to distribute lands to Boston colonists but refuses to do the same for the Acadiens whose population is growing quickly. New France is now strategically surrounded by British territories. French soldier.