In the Garden of the North American Martyrs Historical Context

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The Iroquois and the Jesuits

The Iroquois are the original inhabitants of the land on which the prestigious college now sits. The League of the Iroquois became a powerful force in colonial America because of the military prowess of its member nations, the Mohawk, Cayuga, Oneida, Seneca, and Onandaga. Although they once presided over most of what is now upstate New York, the remaining 11,000 Iroquois now own less than 80,000 acres.

The Iroquois are also remembered for their savage treatment of Jean de Brebeuf and Gabriel Lalemant. The two French Jesuit missionaries were captured near their mission in March of 1649 and tortured before being executed. They are known as the North American Martyrs and were canonized, or declared saints, in the Catholic church in 1930.

Academia

During the 1970s the job market for college and university professors began a steep decline. There were many more highly educated candidates than there...

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Short Stories for Students
In the Garden of the North American Martyrs from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.