The Jesuits had played an important part in this undertaking. It was their Relations that had given the impulse, and the promoters of the colony had the able assistance of Father Charles Lalemant, whom we have already met as the first superior of the Jesuit order in New France. It was he who persuaded Jean de Lauzon to consent to surrender his grant, and it was to him that Maisonneuve first came to seek advice as to how he could best consecrate his sword to the Church in Canada. And it was largely on Lalemant’s recommendation that Maisonneuve received his appointment as leader of the colonists and governor of the colony. To Lalemant, too, came Jeanne Mance when she first heard the clear call to the new mission.
The promoters of the ‘Society of Our Lady of Montreal’ now set to work to collect recruits for the mission, provide supplies, and prepare vessels to transport the colonists to New France. All was ready about the middle of June 1641, and, while Dauversiere, Olier, and Fancamp remained in France to look after the interests of the colony there, Maisonneuve and Jeanne Mance, with three other women and about fifty men, set sail and arrived in Quebec before the end of August. Here they did not find the enthusiastic welcome which they expected. Maisonneuve had come with a special commission as governor of Montreal, and was coldly received by Montmagny, who was jealous of him, and who moreover believed, no doubt rightly, that a divided authority would not be in the best interests of struggling New France. The Jesuits at Quebec tried to persuade Maisonneuve to abandon his enterprise. There were, they said, no inhabitants on the island of Montreal, it was in the direct route of the Mohawks, who annually haunted the Ottawa and St Lawrence, and swift destruction would surely be the fate of the colony. But Maisonneuve could not be moved from his fixed purpose; he would go to Montreal even ’if every tree on that island were to be changed to an Iroquois.’