The Makers of Canada: Champlain eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 242 pages of information about The Makers of Canada.

Champlain and Mahicanaticouche arrived in the meantime, whereupon a general council was held.  Champlain severely blamed the authors of this escapade, the consequences of which might be terrible.  It was resolved to send a new embassy to the Five Nations at once, composed of Cherououny called Le Reconcilie by the French, Chimeourimou, chief of the Montagnais, Pierre Magnan, and an Iroquois, adopted when young by a Montagnais widow.  The delegates left for Lake Champlain on July 24th.  One month after, an Indian came to Quebec with the news that the four delegates had been murdered by the Tsonnontouans.  Magnan had murdered one of his compatriots in France, and by coming to Canada had evaded justice.

This massacre put an end to thoughts of peace.  In September some Iroquois were known to be en route for Quebec, evidently with hostile motives.  It was just at this time that a number of savages were coming from a distance of fifty or sixty leagues to fish in the river St. Lawrence.  Nothing serious happened from the visit of the Iroquois, and Champlain was able to visit his habitation at Cape Tourmente without danger.  In his absence, however, a double murder was committed at La Canardiere.  Two Frenchmen, one named Dumoulin, and the other Henri, a servant of the widow Hebert, were found dead, having been shot with muskets.

The murderer’s intention had been to kill the baker of the habitation, and a servant of Robert Giffard, the surgeon.  Champlain was anxious to punish this murderer, but the difficulty was to discover him.  Champlain summoned all the captains of the Montagnais, and having set forth all the favours which he had bestowed upon the nation, contrasted them with the conduct which he had received at their hands since 1616.  There had already been four murders of which they were guilty.  Champlain therefore demanded that they should find and give up the guilty party.  One Montagnais who was suspected, was examined, but he denied everything.  Champlain, however, ordered him to be detained in jail until the real criminal should be found.

During the winter of 1628, about thirty Montagnais, miserable and hungry, came to the habitation, asking for bread.  Champlain took this opportunity of pointing out to them the evil of their race, and of the crimes they had committed.  They declared that they knew nothing whatever of the crime, and to show that they were not responsible they offered three young girls to Champlain to be educated.  Champlain accepted them and treated them as his own children, naming them Foi, Esperance, and Charite.

After having kept the Montagnais in jail for fourteen months he was released, as there was no proof against him.  Champlain learned soon after that he was not guilty, and that the real criminal was dead, being none other than Mahicanaticouche, one of the captains of the Montagnais.


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The Makers of Canada: Champlain from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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