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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/438

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MISSIONS


386


MISSIONS


of the western Maryhiml tribes. He also composed an Iniliaii catecliisni, still extant, ami a manuscript grammar of tlie I'iscataway language, now unfortu- nately lost, the first attempt at an Indian grammar by an Englishman aiul antedating Eliot's IMble by at least a dozen years. (See I'lscAr.vwAV Indi.vns.)

Nkw England. — The earliest Christian mi.ssion on the soil of New ICngland was that of Saiiil-Sauveur be- gun among the .Vbenakis in coiu\exioii with a French post on Momit Desert Island, Maine, by Father Pierre Biard and three oilier, h'suits in 1(513. Bothpostand mission were destroycvl a few months later by the English captain .\rgall. Brother Dii Thct Ix'ing killed in the attack and Fathers Biard and (iuciiiin carried prisoners to Virginia. In Itjl'.) the Recollrcts arrived to minister to the French fushermen .scattered along the coast, and gave attention also to the Indians, eliicHy in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. In lliiJiS tliey were succeeded by the Capuchins, who made their headquarters at Port Koyal (.Vnnapolis), NovaScotia, anil had stations as far south iis the Kennebec, the principal one being among the Penobscot, near the French Fort Pentagouet (Castine), at the mouth of the Penobscot. In 165.5 the post was seized by the English, and the resident missionary, Father De Crespy, carried off. .\lt hough restored to France by treaty in 16t)7, the mission languished, and in 1693 was consigned to the Jesuits, who made the new mis- sion of Saiute .Vnne (estal)lishe<l Ijy Father Louis Thury in 1684 higher up the river, near the present Oldtown) their chief residence among the I'enoliscot. The Capuchins had laboured also among the I*hclii'niin (see Mali.seet Indi.\ns) on the nortlicrn frontier of Maine, their chief station being at Medoctec on the Saint John, established by Father .Sim6on in 16SS and revived by the Jesuits in 1701. In 1646 the noted Jesuit, (iabriel Druillettes, was sent from Quebec, and established at Norridgewock (Indian Old Point) on the Kennebec the Assumption mission, which for nearly eighty years thereafter held its place as the prin- cipal of the Abenaki missions. The most noted worker at this post was .Sebastian Rasle (Kale, Kasles), who laboured with the utmost zeal from 1695 until his heroic death in 1724 at the age of sixty-six.

The chronic warfare throughout all this period be- tween the rival French and English colonies, in which the native tribes almost solidly took the side of the French, exposed the Indian missions to the constant attacks of the English and made the missionaries marked men, both as Catholic priests and as supposed agents of the French Government. In consequence many fugitives from the Abenaki bands retired to Canada, where they were joined by refugees from the Pennacook and other southern New England tribes, driven out by King Philip's War of 1675-76. In 1683 these were gathered by the Jesuit F'ather Jacques Bigot, into the new mission of Saint Francois de .Sales (.St. Francis) on the Chaudiere, near Quebec. In 1700 the mission was removed to its present location. In spite of repeated demands by the New England Gov- ernment (1698, 1701, 1712), the Abenaki refused either to send their missionaries away or to accept Protestant teachers. Realizing the danger, the Jesuits urged that the Abenaki Indians and missions be re- moved to a safer location in Canada, but the project was not favoured liy the Canadian Government. In 1704-5 two New England expeditions ravaged the Abenaki burning Norriflgewock, with its church, and looting the sacred vessels. In 1713 some Indians re- moved to the .St. Lawrence and settled at BtJcancour, where their descendants still remain. Norridgewock was rebuilt, and in 1722 was again destroyed by the New England men. .\s part of the phmderthe raiders carried off the manuscript .Abenaki dictionary (preserved at Han.ard and published in 1S33), to which Father Rasle had devoted thirty years of labour, and which ranks as one of the greatest monuments of our aborigi-


nal languages. Earlier in the year the mission village and fine church on llii' I'cncibseol , placed under Father Lauverjat, had been destroyed by another ))arly, fol- lowing which event Massaclius<'tls liad suiiiiuoiied the Indians to deliver up every pri<'sl among tlieni and had .set a price on Rasle's head. .Mtliougli repeatedly urged to seek .safety in Canada, he refused lo desert his flock. At la-st the blow fell. On 23 August , 1724, the New England men with a party of Mohawk In- dians surprisetl Norridgewock while most of the war- riors were away, killed several of the defenders, and l^lundered and burned the church .and village. The devoted missionary, now old and crii)pled, was shot down at the foot of the cross, scalped, his skull crushed and his body almost hacked in pieces. A monument to his memory was erected on the spot in 1833, the year in which the greater monument, his Abenaki dictionary, was published.

Mission work was continued in some measure, al- though under difficulties, among the Indians of the Penobscot and the .St. John, but most of the Norridge- wock band retired to.Saint Francis, which thus became one of the most flourishing missions in Canada. In 1759 it was attacked by a strong New England force under Colonel Rogers and completely destroyed, with its church and records, two hundred Indians bemg killed. The mission was re-established near the pres- ent Pierreville, Quebec, and still exists, ntrnibering about 350 mixed bloods, while B^cancour has about 50 more. The Abenaki bands which remained in Maine espoused the cause of the Americans in the Revolution, and in 1775 made application to the new Government for the retvirn of their French priests. The Massachusetts commissioners, although willing, were unable to supply them, but a later ap])lieation to Bishop Carroll resulted in the appointment of the Sul- pician Father, Frani^ois Ciquard, to the Penobscot at Oldtown about 1785. For nearly ten years he ministered to them and the Passamaquoddy, when he was transferred to the Maliseet on the .Saint John. After various changes the Maine missions reverted again to the Jesuits in the person of Father John Bapst, who arrived at Oldtown in 1848. The most distinguished of the later missionaries is Eugene Vetromile, .S.J. (d. 1881), author of several works on the Abenaki tribe and language. The two tribes are entirely Catholic.

III. New York and Pennsylvania. — A large part of what is now New York State was held by the five confederated tribes of the fierce and powerful Iroquois (q. v.), numbering nearly two thousand fighting men. Through the unfortunate circumstances of ( 'hamplain's allying himself with a party of their enemies in 1609, they conceived a bitter hostility to the French which they gratified with deadly effect after procuring guns from the Dutch thirty years later. For this reason, and from the additional fact that their territory was within the sphere of English influence, no permanent Catholic mission was ever established within their limits, al- though several attempts were made, and large num- bers were drawn off from the confederacy and formed into mission settlements under French control. So far as is known, the first missionary to enter this region was the Recollect father, Joseph de la Roche de Dail- lon, of the Huron mission in Ontario, who in 1626 made a perilous exploration of the country of the Neuter Nation, adjoining the Iroquois in western New York. In 1642 the heroic Jesuit, Isaac Jogues, was captured with two white companions and several Hurons by an Iroquois war party and taken to the Mohawk town of Caughnawaga (alias Ossemenon) near the present Auriesville, where the Hurons were burned at the stake, and the three Frenchmen cruelly tortured and mutilated, though not put to death. Father Jogues had his nails torn out, two fingers crushed by the teeth of the savages, and one thimib sawn off. One of his companions, the novice Ren6