The Jesuit Missions : A chronicle of the cross in the wilderness eBook

Thomas Guthrie Marquis
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 100 pages of information about The Jesuit Missions .
supposed that different sets of white men had different gods.  True, the Calvinist traders troubled little with religion.  To them the red man was a mere trapper, a gatherer of furs; and whether he shaped his course for the happy hunting ground of his fathers or to the paradise of the Christian mattered nothing.  But they were wont to plague the Jesuits and Recollets at every opportunity; as when the crews of the ships at Quebec would lift up their voices in psalms purposely to annoy the priests at their devotions.  Lalemant, an alert-minded ecclesiastic, came to a swift decision.  The trading monopoly of the Huguenots must be ended and a new company must be created, with power to exclude Calvinists from New France.  To this end Lalemant sent Father Noyrot to France in 1626, to lay the whole matter before the viceroy of New France.  But from the Duc de Ventadour Noyrot got no satisfaction; the viceroy could not interfere.  And Louis XIII was too busy with other matters to listen to the Jesuit’s prayer.  The king’s chief adviser, however, Cardinal Richelieu, then at the height of his power, lent a sympathetic ear.  The Huguenots were then in open rebellion in France; Richelieu was having trouble enough with them at home; and it was not hard to convince him that they should be suppressed in New France.  He decided to annul the charter of the Caens and to establish instead a strong company composed entirely of Catholics.  To this task he promptly set himself, and soon had enlisted in the enterprise over a hundred influential and wealthy men of the realm.  The Company of New France, or, as it is better known, the Company of One Hundred Associates, thus came into being on April 29, 1627, with the great Richelieu at its head.

The One Hundred Associates were granted in feudal tenure a wide domain—­stretching, in intention at least, from Florida to the Arctic Circle and from Newfoundland to the sources of the St Lawrence, with a monopoly of the fur trade and other powers practically unlimited.  For these vast privileges they covenanted to send to Canada from two to three hundred colonists in 1628 and four thousand within the next fifteen years; to lodge, feed, and support the colonists for three years; and then to give them cleared land and seed-grain.  Most interesting, however, to the Jesuits and Recollets were the provisions in the charter of the new company to the effect that none but Catholics should be allowed to come to the colony, and that during fifteen years the company should defray the expenses of public worship and support three missionaries at each trading-post.

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The Jesuit Missions : A chronicle of the cross in the wilderness from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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