This affair, which at one time appeared likely to produce disagreeable consequences, passed over without event, and some time after a party of Indians visited Quebec for the purpose of effecting a complete reconciliation. Thus, when Champlain left for France in 1618, the colony was secure.
Father Huet, who accompanied Champlain, was charged with many important missions, one of which related to the administration of baptism to the Indians. They were quite willing to be baptized, but they had no idea of the nature of the sacrament, and although they promised to keep their vows before the ceremony, they soon returned to their old superstitions. Their want of sincerity was a trial to Father Huet, and he desired to have the opinion of the Doctors of the Sorbonne to guide him in his future actions.
During the winter Father Le Caron went to Tadousac in order to continue the work of Father d’Olbeau, and he remained there until the middle of July, 1619. In the interval he had built a residence upon the ground donated by the merchants, and had the satisfaction of leaving one hundred and forty neophytes as the result of the labours of the mission. Father d’Olbeau had his residence at Quebec.
On his return to Canada Father Huet was accompanied by Father Guillaume Poullain, three friars and two labourers. Champlain did not return this year. The Recollets had received authority to build a convent at Quebec, and the Prince de Conde had contributed fifteen hundred livres towards the object. Charles de Boues, vicar-general of Pontoise, had also made a personal subscription, and accepted the protectorate of the convent, together with the title of syndic of Canadian missions. Other piously disposed persons had also contributed towards the maintenance of the religious institution.
The establishment of a convent in Canada was a ray of light amid the gloom which had hung over the settlement of New France during the past four years, but the rejoicing on this occasion was soon turned into mourning by the unexpected death of Friar du Plessis, who died at Three Rivers on August 23rd, 1619. There were two other deaths during this year which cast a shadow on the colony, that of Anne Hebert, and of her husband, Etienne Jonquest, who survived his wife only a few weeks.
The mission at Three Rivers was placed under the charge of Father Le Caron, and from this date it was the object of the most pastoral solicitude of the Recollets.
The earliest reference by Champlain to the fur trade in Canada, is contained in his relation of his voyage to Tadousac in the year 1603. During this journey he encountered a number of Indians in a canoe, near Hare Island, among whom was an Algonquin who appeared to be well versed in the geography of the country watered by the Great Lakes. As a proof of his knowledge, he gave to Champlain a description of the rapids of the St. Lawrence, of Niagara Falls and Lake Ontario. When questioned as to the natural resources of the country, he stated that he was acquainted with a people called the good Iroquois (Hurons) who were accustomed to exchange their peltry for the goods which the French had given to the Algonquins. We have in this statement proof that the French were known to the inhabitants of New France before the year 1603.