An Account of the Customs and Manners of the Micmakis and Maricheets Savage Nations, Now Dependent on the Government of Cape-Breton eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 74 pages of information about An Account of the Customs and Manners of the Micmakis and Maricheets Savage Nations, Now Dependent on the Government of Cape-Breton.

As to what concerns the missionaries to the savages, they cannot be suspected of using any connivence in all this, if justice is done to the conduct they have always observed amongst them, and especially in the time of the last war.  How many acts of inhumanity would have been committed by this nation, naturally vindictive, if the missionaries had not taken pains, in good earnest, to put such ideas out of their heads?  It is notorious, that the savages believe that there are no extremities of barbarity, but what are within the rules of war against those whom they consider as their enemies.  Inexpressible are the efforts which these same missionaries have employed to restrain, on such occasions, this criminal ferocity, especially as the savages deemed themselves authorized by right of reprisals.  How many unfortunate persons of the English nation would have been detained for ever captives, or undergone the most cruel deaths, if, by the intervention of the missionaries, the savages had not been prevailed on to release them?

They are even ready to prove, by their written instructions, the lessons they inculcate to the savages, of the humanity and gentleness they ought to practise, even in time of war.  It is especially ever since about seventeen years ago, that they do not cease declaiming against those barbarous and sanguinary methods of proceeding that seem innate to them.  On this principle it is, that in the written maxims of conduct for them, care has been taken to insert a chapter, which, from the beginning to the end, places before their eyes the extreme horror they ought to have of such enormities.  Their children particularly are sedulously taught this whole chapter, whence it comes, that one may daily perceive them growing more humane, and more disposed to listen, on this head, to the remonstrances of the missionaries.

[To this plea of innocence in the French missionaries, as to any instigation of the savages to hostilities against the English, we shall oppose the testimony of their own court, in the following words of the French ministry, in the very same year, 1751.

“His Majesty (the French king) has already observed, that the savages have hitherto been in the most favorable dispositions; and it even appears, that the conduct of the general C—­n—­ll—­s, with respect to them, has only served to exasperate them more and more.  It is of the greatest importance, both for the present and future, to keep them up to that spirit.  The missionaries amongst them, are more than any one at hand to contribute thereto, and his majesty has reason to be satisfied with the pains they take in it.  Our governor must excite these missionaries not to slacken their endeavours on this head.  But he should advise them to contain their zeal within due bounds, so as not to render themselves obnoxious to the English, unless for very good purpose, and so as to avoid giving handle for just complaints.”

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An Account of the Customs and Manners of the Micmakis and Maricheets Savage Nations, Now Dependent on the Government of Cape-Breton from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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