|Home||Francois Marguerie 1612* - 1648||Tree|
|A French Translator|
There is no record of Francois in Quebec before 1636, but some believe he was present as early as 1626, and was one of the seven that took refuge among the Algonquin after the destruction of Champlain's first colony by the English privateer Kirke. In any case Francois emerges firmly into history on 28 March 1636 when he was encountered by Jesuit missionaries among the Hurons as part of a party of four Algonquins led by the legendary chief Tessouat:
On the twenty-eighth of March, Francois Marguerie, who had gone to winter with the Savages of the Island, brought four of them to us. It was a great consolation to receive visits from Frenchmen at such a season and to hear news of Kebec and the three Rivers. We were also deeply astonished to see that a young man like him, only twenty to twenty-two years old, had the courage to follow the Savages, over ice and snow, and through forests, forty successive days, and for the space of some three hundred leagues, -carrying, dragging, and working as much as, and more than any of his band, for these Barbarians, having arrived at their halting place, made him get ready their meal, while they warmed themselves and rested.
Furthermore, he taught us a good lesson; for if, to satisfy a wish to see, he took so much pains, and endured such hardships in a season so, rude and over roads so strange,-surely Religious persons, urged on by a holy desire to win souls to, God, ought in no way to dread the roughness of the roads which the convenience of Canoes, the pleasantness of the Summer season, and the company of generally helpful Savages, render not only much less annoying, but even to some extent agreeable.
|The Mission to the Hurons|
At the top of the social hierarchy of Trois-Rivieres were the "lords" -- those who had received lands from Cardinal Richelieu's Company of the Hundred Associates. The oldest was Hertel, followed by the four Godefroy brothers, who established themselves not far from him. Francois de Chamflour was commandant of the most primitive of forts, representing the king. There was a Jesuit church, run by Father Jacques Buteux since 1634, and including a Father Ragueneau, supporting the missionaries in the interior.
Then came the interpreters and their families who were vital to the fur trade: Francois Marguerie and Jean Nicolet.
In February 1641 Francois and Thomas Godefroy were captured by Iroquois while hunting near the town. The Iroquois planned a great assault the following summer against the Algonquins and Hurons, enemies of the Iroquois and allies of the French. Francois and Thomas were to serve as pawns in negotiations with the French. The objective was to obtain additional guns from the French and make a separate peace with them so the Iroquois would be free to attack their enemies.
After the governor arrived and talks began, it became clear that the French were unwilling to either remain neutral in a war between the Iroquois and the Huron or provide the Iroquois with guns. In response the Iroquois attacked the governor's boat with a well-aimed fusillade from their guns. An answering broadside from the heavy cannon on the governor's boat put the Iroquois to flight, and the immediate threat to Trois-Rivieres receded.
The original full account of the incident is as follows:
Toward the end of Autumn about ninety men set out from their [Iroquois] country; they scattered themselves, some here, some there, by the little streams and by the rivers, where they know that our Savage allies go in search of beavers. About thirty of them having found their prey above Montreal, carried it away to their own country; the others came to prowl around the Settlement of the Three Rivers. Two young Frenchmen, -one an Interpreter of the Algonquin Tongue for the Gentlemen of New France, named Francois Marguerie; the other called Thomas Godefroy, who is brother to a worthy inhabitant of the country, having gone on a hunting trip, were discovered by these Barbarians, who, following the track of their snowshoes imprinted on the snow, approached them with stealthy steps during the night, and suddenly attempting to spring upon them, uttered frightful shrieks and howls.The danger to Trois-Rivieres averted for the present, on 23 August 1641, Marie Marguerie signed a contract to marry Jacques Hertel. Within a year she gave him a son, who was named Francois after her brother. It seems that Jacques raised Francois Hertel n the languages and ways of the Indians, for Francois' fame in this regard would surpass even that of his father and uncle, being known to history as the 'Hero of Trois-Rivieres'.
One of the two Frenchmen had time to present his arquebus to the first one who endeavored to seize him; but by good luck, or rather by a providence of our Lord, it flashed in the pan. If it had taken fire, and he had killed this Barbarian, both of them would have lost their lives; he came off with only the stroke of a javelin which the enemy thrust into his thigh. The other Frenchman, having promptly risen at the noise, seized his sword; a Hiroquois shot an arrow at him, which passed under his arm. Another, intending to approach him, made a false step and fell into the snow; immediately the Frenchman presented his naked sword at his throat; the Hiroquois saw him do this without stirring, not one made a show of hindering him, or of killing him, for fear he might transfix his enemy whom he had at his feet.
At length this young man seeing that he would be massacred in a moment, if he went further, threw down his sword and surrendered, in order that he might have leisure to examine his conscience, although he had confessed and received communion the preceding Sunday, preferring to be burned, roasted, and eaten, to dying in this headlong haste without thinking upon God. Behold, then, these two poor victims in the hands of these Tigers; they bind them, pinion them, and take them away into their own country with shrieks and yells, or rather with the howling of wolves. Nevertheless, having recognized that they were Frenchmen, they did not treat them as they do the Savages, but used greater gentleness; for they neither tore off their finger-nails, nor mutilated them in any part of their bodies.
However, as they did not return on the day appointed, their friends began to suspect that some misfortune had happened to them; they were awaited some time longer, but as they did not appear, the French went to seek them in the place where they said they were going to hunt; they found a pole fixed in the snow, to which was attached a wretched paper, scribbled upon with a coal; they took it, read it, and found these words written: "The Hiroquois have captured us: go into the woods." They entered the woods, and found a large tree from which the bark had recently been removed, and on which were written these words with charcoal: "The Hiroquois have captured us tonight; they have not yet done us any harm, they are taking us away to their own country;" there were some other words which could not be read.
This happened about the twentieth of February. This blow somewhat bewildered our Frenchmen, who fervently commended to God these two poor captives; all possible ways were sought to deliver them, but none seemed feasible. Our neighboring Savages told us, that it was all over with them, that they had been boiled or roasted, and eaten; but God, who is pleased to grant the prayers of those who have confidence in his goodness, disposed of them otherwise; he restored them to us, and, from their own lips, we learned what follows:
"We arrived at the Village of those who captured us, after a journey of seventeen or eighteen days. At the report of our arrival, every one ran to see us, not only the neighboring Villages, but also the other Nations wished to have the satisfaction of seeing the captive Frenchmen; they made us stand up at all hours, that they might look us over from head to foot. Some derided us, others threatened to burn us, others had compassion on us; some Hiroquois who had been prisoners at Kebec, and at the Three Rivers, and who had been favorably treated by the French, looked kindly on us, and told us that we should not die. One among them, to whom Francois Marguerie had been very kind, and whom our Fathers had aided in his necessity, said aloud that the Frenchmen were good, and must not be put to death.'' An act of kindness is never forgotten by, God, he knows how to reward it in his own time; it is well to practice acts of charity and mercy, for the sake of his love.
A young Algonquin prisoner, whose life had been spared by the Hiroquois, recognizing our Frenchmen, said to them: "Take courage, you will not die; inasmuch as you know how to pray to God, he will not fail to succor you." I do not know whether that young man had any confidence in his sovereign Lord; but, at all events, he escaped from the hands of his enemies.
Notwithstanding all these declarations, these young men had every reason for fear, seeing themselves in the midst of barbarism and of cruelty, without help from any creature. The question was of nothing less than fire, and of the fury and teeth of these barbarians, who practice strange tortures on their prisoners.
Some Savages of the upper Nations, not wishing to irritate the French, made presents that these two poor captives might be set free. At length a council was held in the country, and they concluded to negotiate peace with the French; that being done, they promised the prisoners that in the Spring they should be taken back to the Three Rivers. In the meantime, they were given in keeping to two heads of families, who treated them like their own children. One of these, seeing that his prisoner prayed to God night and morning, and that he made the sign of the Cross before each meal, asked him what this sacred sign meant; having had for answer that the God who had made heaven and earth, the animals, and all the grains, preserved those who honored him and who had recourse to him, -"I wish then to do the same," responded he, "that he may preserve me and feed me."
Another time several of these Barbarians invited one of their prisoners to sing after the French fashion. "Then," answered he, "be respectful; for the God of Heaven and of earth, whom we honor by our voices and by our Hymns, could punish you severely, if you should begin any scornful actions;" they all promised not to laugh, and to conduct themselves discreetly. The Frenchmen intoned the Ave maris stella, to which they listened, their heads being bowed with much modesty and respect; they declared afterward that the song had pleased them. The blessed Virgin who caused that Hymn to be sung every day at Kebec for the deliverance of the prisoners, foresaw from that time their liberty, and perhaps also asked from her son the conversion of these tribes, who will very soon hear the clarion of the Gospel, if old France love the New, as an elder sister should love the Younger.
Now, these two poor Frenchmen being distressed by the severity of the cold, for, partly through force, and partly out of good will, they had given the best of their clothing to these Barbarians, one of them, having a knowledge of the English language, wrote to the Hollanders who have seized a part of Acadia, which belongs to the King, begging them to have pity upon their poverty; he used a beaver skin for paper, a little stick for a pen, and some rust or soot sticking to the bottom of a kettle, for ink. The Savage to whom the beaver belonged carrying it to the Dutch, they understood this writing, and, touched with compassion, they sent to these two poor prisoners a couple of shirts, two blankets, some provisions, an inkstand, some paper, and a short letter.
The Savage delivered all faithfully except the letter, saying that the writing of the French was good, but that of the Hollanders was worth nothing. Francois Marguerie, having paper, wrote the whole history of their capture; and, as they feared the Hollanders might not understand the French language, he inscribed his letter in French, and in Latin as he was able, and in English. He believed that it was carried; but he saw no reply, -the Hiroquois doubtless were not willing to deliver one. Neither would they ever permit them to visit the Dutch. "Those people," said they to them, "are cruel, they will put us into irons, they will plunder our Countrymen, if they come into these quarters to liberate you." The Frenchmen believed nothing of all this; besides, they did not wish to escape from the hands of these Barbarians, in order that, being with them, they might better incline them to an advantageous peace.
Toward the end of the month of April, the decision to seek this peace with the French having been made, five hundred Hiroquois, or thereabouts, set out from their country, well armed, taking with them the two Frenchmen. Some went back, others broke from the ranks in great numbers to go and meet the Hurons and the Algonquins, with the design of pillaging, killing, and massacring all those whom they could surprise; the remainder went directly to the Three Rivers.
On the fifth of June, at daybreak, twenty canoes appeared below the habitation of the French, all laden with well-armed men; others appeared in the middle of the river, equipped in like manner; immediately there was an alarm among the French, and among the Algonquins who dwell near us; these last cried out that all was over with their people who had gone to hunt beavers. At that moment, an Algonquin canoe, going out of the mouth of the stream which we call the Three Rivers, was taken by its enemies in the sight of the French and of the Savages, without any one being able to render it assistance. While we were in this alarm, another canoe appeared, guided by a single man, coming out from the quarter of the enemy and advancing toward the fort of the French; this canoe carried a little flag, as a sign of peace.
Canoes at Trois-Rivieres
We cast our eyes upon the pilot; in dress he appeared to be a Savage, but by the voice we recognized that it was, Francois Marguerie, one of the two prisoners. Having set foot on land, he was conducted to the fort, that he might pay his respects to the sieur de Chanflour, who commands there. Every one ran, each one embraced him, he was looked upon as a man raised from the dead, and as a victim escaped from the knife that was ready to sacrifice him, and from the fire that was ready to consume him; they made him abandon his rags, and reclothed him like a Frenchman.
All were full of joy, and treated him affectionately, and after the first caresses every one became silent, in order to listen to him. He said then, that the Hiroquois, desiring the alliance of the French, had treated them mildly; that they had set out from the country five hundred in number, of whom three hundred and fifty were seen prowling along the river, in sight of the fort; that they had deputed him to speak concerning peace with the French, but not with the Savages, the Algonquins, and the Montagnais, whom they hate unto death, and whom they wish to exterminate entirely.
"They have," said he, "thirty-six arquebusiers, as skillful as the French, the remainder are very well armed in Savage fashion; they are abundantly furnished with powder, with lead, with bows, arrows, and javelins, and with provisions. They are hoping that a present will be given them, of thirty good arquebuses; they are resolute people, whom you must trust only with reserve, since an Algonquin woman, who has lived for some time in their country, and from whom these Barbarians concealed little, warned us in secret that these people wished to use our bodies as a bait, in order that they might take all the Savages, our confederates, ruin the whole country, and make themselves absolute masters of the great River".
"I am commissioned," said he, "to return without delay; they have retained with them my companion as hostage, and I have given them my word that I will see them again as soon as possible." The sieur de Chanflour gave as answer, that, this matter being of great importance, it was necessary that the great Captain of the French should be notified of it, that they did not doubt he would approve of the pursuit of peace, that they were going to send Messengers to him, and that he would shortly be at the Three Rivers. Our prisoner, and a Frenchman who accompanied him, reembarked with this answer, set off by a quantity of provisions and little presents, in order to win these Barbarians.
They approved our procedure, but they did not neglect to fortify themselves well, while awaiting the coming of Onontio, it is thus they call Monsieur the Governor. They again sent back Francois Marguerie and Thomas Godefroy his fellow captive, beseeching the Captain of the Three Rivers to come and parley with them while awaiting the arrival of the great Captain. Father Paul Ragueneau and the sieur Nicolet, both well versed in the Huron Language, which is related to the Hiroquois Language, went to them instead of the Captain, who, with reason, was unwilling to leave his fort.
Having arrived at the rendezvous of these Barbarians, they stated to them that the French had had great satisfaction in seeing their Countrymen: that they all took pleasure in the news of peace; and that they themselves had been sent to learn what was desired from the Captain whom they had asked to come. They replied that they wished to talk, that is to say, that they wished to make presents, not only about restoring our prisoners, but about inviting us to make a Settlement near their country, to which all the Hiroquois Nations could come for their trade. They were answered, that they would be willingly heard, but that we were awaiting the great Captain, who had been informed of all that had occurred, They made long harangues upon the condition of their country, and upon the desire that all the Hiroquois Nations had to see themselves allied with the French; and, as evidence of their sentiments, they made a little present beforehand, while awaiting the coming of Onontio.
The next day three hostile canoes moved up and down before the fort, within hearing; one of the oldest men belonging to this squadron cried with a loud voice, speaking to the Savages: "Listen to me! I come to treat for peace with all the Nations of these parts, with the Montagnais, with the Algonquins, with the Hurons; the land shall be beautiful, the river shall have no more waves, one may go everywhere without fear." An Algonquin Captain, perceiving the knavery of this impostor, answered him in a louder voice, and in a harsh tone: "I represent, in their absence, all the Nations thou hast named; and I tell thee, in their name, that thou art a liar. If thou camest to treat for peace, thou wouldst deliver at least one of our prisoners, according to our custom, and thou wouldst commit no act of hostility; but every day thou art on the watch to surprise us, and thou massacrest all whom thou canst entrap." This being said, each one retired to his own quarters.
In the meantime, the canoe that had been sent to Kebec made all possible haste. Monsieur the Governor, having received the news, armed in a trite a bark and four shallops, took with him Father Vimont, our Superior, and voyaged against winds and against tides; but, seeing that the bark did not advance, he took the lead with his shallops, the sailors and soldiers rowing with all their might. At length they arrived at the Three Rivers, sooner than they had hoped.
As soon as the enemy perceived them, they withdrew into their stronghold; they were, however, so enraged against the Algonquins that, an hour before Monsieur the Governor went to them, they fell upon an Algonquin canoe, managed by two men and one woman; the latter was killed, one of the men was taken prisoner, and the other escaped. On the preceding day, Anerawi, a war Captain of the upper Algonquins, had escaped from their hands, having seen them far off at the mouth of the large Lake near the Three Rivers, all the avenues of which they guarded with a multitude of their canoes.
Monsieur the Chevalier de Montmagny, having learned from the French prisoners, the mood of these Barbarians, and having discovered their malice by their actions, conducted himself with great prudence and tact. He cast anchor before their fort, within musket range; these Barbarians made, very adroitly, a salute of thirty-six or forty shots from their arquebuses. That being done, two canoes came from the Hiroquois to meet him, on board of which were put Father Ragueneau and the sieur Nicolet, that they might go and speak for the two prisoners, withdraw them from their hands, and hear the propositions for the peace which they came to seek.
All four then entered the stronghold or fort of the Hiroquois, whom they found seated in a circle, in very good order, without tumult and without noise. They had the two negotiators of the peace sit upon a shield, and the two prisoners on the ground, binding these as a matter of form, to show that they were still captives. Thereupon, one of the Captains, named Onagan, arose, took the Sun as a witness of the sincerity of his proceeding, and then spoke in these terms:
"These two young men whom you see, are Hiroquois, they are no longer Frenchmen, the right of war has made them ours; formerly the mere name of Frenchmen struck terror to our hearts, their look appalled us, and we fled from them as from Demons, whom one does not dare to approach; but at last, we have learned to change Frenchmen into Hiroquois. These two whom you see before your eyes were taken this winter by a squad of our young men. Finding themselves in our hands, they feared lest they should be ill treated; but they were told that the Hiroquois were seeking the alliance of the French, and that no one would harm them.
" 'If that be so,' said they, 'let one of us return to the French, to inform them of your good intentions, and let the other go away into your country.' We replied that it would be more to the purpose if both of them should come to comfort all the Hiroquois Nations by their presence, since these all had affection for the French. Indeed, the more distant tribes made us presents; in order to save their lives. Their attractions were not needed to inspire in us love and affection towards you, our hearts were already wholly inclined thereto; you will learn from them that they have been treated as friends, and not as slaves.
"As soon as Spring appeared, we set out upon our way to bring them back; they are still Hiroquois, but immediately they will be French; let us rather say that they will be French and Hiroquois at the same time, for we shall be only one people."
Saying that, he took the hands of Father Ragueneau, and of the sieur Nicolet, the delegates to negotiate peace, then touching them on the face and on the chin, he said to them: "Not only shall our customs be your customs, but we shall be so closely united that our chins shall be reclothed with hair, and with beards like yours.''
After some other ceremonies, he approached the captives, broke their bonds, and tossed these over the palisades of their fort, exclaiming: "Let the river carry these cords so far away that there may never be a remembrance of them; these young men are no longer captives, their bands are broken, they are now wholly yours." Then taking a Porcelain collar, he presented it to the Negotiators of the peace with these words: "Keep forever this collar, as a sign of their full and entire liberty."
Then causing two packages of beaver skins to be brought, "I do not wish," said he, "to restore you wholly destitute to your brothers; here is something to make for each of them a beautiful robe." He made then a number of presents, according to the custom of the country, in which the term "present" is called "the word,'' in order to make clear that it is the present which speaks more forcibly than the lips; he made four of these in the name of the four Hiroquois Nations, as a sign that they desired our alliance.
Lifting up a beaver robe, "Behold," said he, "the standard that you shall plant upon your fort, when you shall see our canoes appear upon this great river; and, when we see this signal of your friendship, we shall land with confidence at your ports." Taking another porcelain collar, he put it on the ground in the form of a circle; "See," said he, "the house that we shall have at the Three Rivers, when we come there to trade with you; we shall smoke therein without fear, since we shall have Onontio for a brother."
The peace Deputies expressed to these Barbarians a great satisfaction in all that had taken place in this council; they added that they were going to make a full report of the whole to Monsieur the Governor, who would not be able to speak to them until the following day, because it was already late; they carried away their presents, and took back the two liberated prisoners.
As they were going away, this Captain called to them: "Say to Onontio that we beg him to conceal the hatchets of the Montagnais and of the Algonquins under his robe, while we are negotiating peace." They promised, on their part, that they would chase no Algonquin canoe, and that they would set no ambush for them; but their promise was only perfidy, for the Frenchmen had hardly withdrawn to the port of the Three Rivers before they pursued four Algonquin canoes, which were returning from the chase well laden with provisions and with pelts; the men were scarcely able to escape, all their baggage was plundered, and a poor woman, burdened with her child, was taken.
Monsieur the Chevalier de Montmagny judged from the report that had been made to him, and from the behavior that he had observed in this crafty and treacherous enemy, that the fear of the French arms made them desire peace with us in order that they might be able to massacre with more liberty, even before our eyes, the tribes which are our confederates; nevertheless, as he is prudent and skillful, he sought means of inducing these Barbarians to enter into a firm, universal peace with all the Nations which are allied to us.
The next day, the feast of Saint Barnabas, these Barbarians, who did not dare to approach the fort, for fear of the Algonquins, awaited with impatience Monsieur the Governor; but the winds and the rain detained him, so that it was not until the following day that he set out in his shallops, laden with seventy men, well armed. He came to anchor before their fort; but the bad faith of these Barbarians making them guilty, aroused in them distrust, based upon a day's delay which was caused by the bad weather, and upon the acts of hostility which they themselves had committed, suspecting with reason that we had knowledge of them.
We expected that they would come for the Deputies, to the peace, as they had already done, but their mistrust hindered them. They pushed an empty canoe towards our shallops, inviting Monsieur the Governor, Father Ragueneau, and the sieur Nicolet to embark and come to them; their design was to slay them, as a young Algonquin who had escaped from their hands told us afterward. This wholly brutal proceeding caused us to be more than ever on our guard. The Captains were invited to come and listen to our words, as we had listened to theirs; no news from that!
They were urged to send some Hurons, those who had been naturalized among them, and had become Hiroquois; to this they raised great objections. At last, two approached our shallops in a canoe; they looked around on all sides, to see if some Algonquin might not be concealed among us; but not perceiving any, three Hiroquois Captains embarked in another canoe; when they had approached within pistol-shot, they invited Onontio, that is, Monsieur our Governor, to speak, in other words, to offer his presents.
Canoes before Trois-Rivieres
I shall not relate the speech he made to them by, his interpreter; it will suffice to say a few words of the manner in which he offered his presents to them, in compliance with the code of these peoples; his gifts surpassed by far those of the Barbarians.
He made one as thanks for the good cheer that had been given to our Frenchmen in their country, he offered blankets, for the mats that had been spread under them during the nights; he gave hatchets, for the wood that had been cut in order to warm them in the time of winter; robes or hoods, for having reclothed them; knives, in the place of those that had been used in cutting off the heads of deer, of which they had made them feasts. Some other presents were for the Nations who sought our alliance, and others still, as a sign that they should see upon our bastions the standards of peace, and that they should find a house of security near us.
All these gifts were accepted by these Barbarians apparently with great evidences of affection; but as they saw no arquebuses, for which they have a strange longing, they said we had not spoken of breaking the bonds of our captives whom they had set at liberty. Thereupon, still other presents were made to them for having struck off these bonds; but as we did not mention firearms, which was the most ardent of their wishes, that incited them to speak again.
They then presented a porcelain collar as an invitation to us to make a settlement in their country; they gave a second one to serve as a conveyance, or as oars to our barks, that we might ascend thither; they offered a third one in the name of the Hiroquois youth, that their uncle Onontio, the great Captain of the French, might present to them some arquebuses; they brought forward a fourth one as a pledge of the peace which they wished to make with the Montagnais, with the Algonquins, and with the Hurons, our allies.
They produced some beaver skins, as security that on returning to their Villages they would call a general assembly of the most distinguished persons of all the Hiroquois Nations in order to publish everywhere the generosity and the liberality of the French; in short, they made a last present to declare that they would give a kick to the Dutch, with whom they no longer wished to have any intercourse, they said. Observe, I beseech you by the way, the procedure of these people and no longer tell me that the Savages are brute beasts; certainly they do not lack good training.
Their design was to make a patched up peace with us, so as to be free from the dread they have of our arms, and to massacre, without fear, our confederates. Could they more artfully induce us to give them arms? could they more ingeniously insinuate themselves into our friendship, than by restoring to us our prisoners and offering to us gifts, than by indicating their willingness to be on good terms with those whom we protect in their presence, than by inviting us into their country, assuring us that they prefer us to the Dutch, extolling us above the generality of men? Such is their conduct, which lacks indeed the true Spirit of the children of God, but not the spirit of the children of the world.
Monsieur our Governor, more discreet and prudent than these simple people are crafty, asked the advice of the Reverend Father Vimont, and of Father Ragueneau, on the present occasion; but, they having excused themselves from speaking upon a matter of war, he concluded, after having gathered the opinions of the leading men who accompanied him, that he ought not to make peace with these people to the exclusion of our confederates, otherwise, we might enter into a more dangerous war than that which we wished to avoid; for if these peoples, with whom we live day by day, and who surround us on all sides, attacked us, as they might do, should we abandon them, they would give us much more trouble than the Hiroquois.
Moreover, if the Hiroquois had free access to our ports, the trade of the Hurons, of the Algonquins, and of the other tribes who come to the warehouses of the Gentlemen of New France, would be entirely stopped; I say still more, that from this very moment the trade is going to be ruined unless the inroads of these Barbarians be prevented. After all, neither Monsieur our Governor, nor any of the Frenchmen, could decide on throwing into the jaws of the enemy the new Christians who publicly profess themselves Frenchmen: it is also true that our good King, whom may God bless in time and in eternity, looked upon them and recognized them as his Subjects in the gift that he made of these regions to the Gentlemen of New France.
Monsieur the Chevalier de Montmagny, apprehending the force of these reasons, judged that it would be necessary to make the Hiroquois speak plainly; he gave notice to them that, if they wished a universal peace, it would be granted to them with great satisfaction by the French, and by their confederates; and that, if the present which they had made to the Algonquins for the purpose of entering into a peace with them were without pretense, they would immediately deliver one of the prisoners they had recently seized, such being the custom of friendly and allied nations.
They replied that on the following day they would cross the great river, in order to come and treat of this affair with the Algonquins in our fort, and that we should withdraw. Monsieur the Governor, seeing well that their design was to escape in the obscurity of the night, replied that he desired to take back with him an Algonquin captive in order to restore him to his allied brothers, as an evidence of the peace which they wished to conclude.
They pretended a willingness to give up one; but they finally replied that we should retire, and that, this affair being important, they would confer upon it among themselves during the night. Monsieur the Governor had them told that they might treat of it at their pleasure, but that he would not withdraw until he had seen the course of their resolution. While they were parleying, lo! seven Algonquin canoes, ignorant of the coming of the enemy, and filled with men, and game, and beavers, appeared above on the great river.
The young Hiroquois warriors, having perceived them, with difficulty restrained themselves, their hands itched, as one says; but the presence of our armed shallops and of the bark, which, not having yet been able to ascend, began to appear drawing toward us with its sails unfurled stopped them, and caused them to retire into their fort with some talk of setting at liberty, as soon as possible, an Algonquin captive.
The execution of their promises was awaited; a full half-hour slipped by in profound silence; then suddenly was heard so horrible and frightful an uproar and clashing of hatchets, a fall and wreck of so many trees, that it seemed as if the whole forest were being overthrown; and then we were more than ever aware of their knavery. Monsieur the Governor, wishing to put them completely in the wrong before coming to hostilities, decided to spend the night on the water with his bark and shallops, in order to prevent their flight, and to sound them yet once more on their opinions concerning peace.
The next morning, Monsieur the Chevalier de Montmagny had a canoe equipped with a flag, in order to invite the Captains to a parley; they despised the canoe, the flag, and the herald. They assailed us with jeers and barbaric yells; they reproached us that Onontio had not given them arquebuses to eat - this is their way of speaking, to say that he did not make them a present of these; they erected above their fort, as a flag denoting war, a scalp which they had taken from some Algonquin; they shot arrows at our shallops.
All these acts of insolence made Monsieur the Governor resolve to give them arquebuses to eat, but not in the way that they asked: he ordered to be discharged upon their fort the brass pieces of the bark, the swivel guns of the shallops, and all the musketry; all this was done by the French with such ardor, and so repeatedly, that although the enemy, by a stratagem that would not be expected from the Savages, indeed put themselves in safety, they nevertheless took such fright that, as soon as they were shielded by the darkness of the night, they carried their canoes through the woods, that they might embark a quarter of a league further above us and escape from our hands.
When this was discovered, we resolved to pursue them; the shallops were rowed with all force, but the adverse wind and tide hindered them. Some Algonquin canoes attempted to give them chase; but, as they were few in number compared with the Hiroquois, Monsieur the Governor called them back. A young Algonquin, who had been for two years among the Hiroquois, and who escaped in this retreat, reported to us that these Barbarians were afraid of our cannon, and that if we had been able to approach them they would have been defeated, that is to say, we should have put them to flight in the woods; for, as to killing many of them, that is something to which the French cannot pretend, inasmuch as they run like deer, they bound like harts, and they know better the ways of these vast and dreadful forests than do the wild beasts, whose dwelling they are; the French did not lightly venture to entangle themselves in these dense woods.
After their retreat we saw, more than ever, their cunning and ability; they had a fort rather near the shore of the great river, from which they spoke to us; they had another, hidden further within the woods, but so well constructed and so well supplied that it was proof against all our resources.
Now, mistrusting that we might come to hostilities with them, on account of the resolution they had made to continue war with our Savage allies, during the night they put their canoes in safety; they transported all their baggage to their second fort, to which they themselves secretly retired; and, to the end that we should believe them to be in the first one at which we were firing, having no knowledge of the second, they kept therein a fire continually burning.
They left there also their arquebusiers, who, after having fired some shots, came out to take closer aim at us, skulking behind trees and shooting very skillfully. They let loose their whole fury upon our bark, knowing that Monsieur the Governor was therein; and truly, if it had not been well shielded, they would have wounded and killed several of our men, a French sword, being visible above the screens, was carried away by an arquebus shot, many ropes were cut, and all the screens were filled with balls. They effected their retreat with good management, for they had charged their arquebusiers to fight valiantly, as they did, so that they might not be perceived while they carried across marshes and woods their baggage and their canoes.
When night came they made their escape...
On the 23rd, Amyot and Marguerie were drowned. The news of it was brought by the bark which came back from Montreal, bringing Mademoyselle d'Ailleboust and the news of the conference with the yroquois at Montreal ... On the 10th [of June], the body of Amyot was seen near Sillery, and that of Marguerie near Quebek; both were buried on the same Day-one at Sillery, the other at Quebek.Francois left no children. However his nephew and godson, Francois Marguerie, would become the greatest Indian fighter of early Canadian history. The Jesuits themselves gave him one epitaph:
I will finish this Chapter with the death of two young Frenchmen, who have been greatly regretted in this country on account of both their virtue and their knowledge of languages. One was named Francois Marguerie and the other Jean Amiot. While crossing the great River opposite three Rivers, in a Savage Canoe, they were drowned in sight of the French, without its being possible to render them any assistance. Both were brave and Skillful; and, what is to be prized above all, they led, in the opinion of the whole country, a most innocent life. A storm suddenly arose; their bark canoe, which was worthless, split open and caused them to lose their lives.and the Iroquois later another:
If Francois Marguerie and Thomas Godefroy had remained in our country, they would be married by this time; we would be but one Nation, and I would be one of youFrancois left his mark on the land with the Marguerie River, six leagues beyond Trois-Rivieres. However by the 19th Century it no longer carried that name, being known as Riviere aux Glaises.