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[129] access to the immense regions of the west and the
Chap. XX.}
north-west, to the great multitude from all nations, whom no one can number; but the Jesuits were too
Relation 1640, p. 211.
feeble, and too few, to attempt the spiritual conquest of so many countries: they pray for recruits; they invoke the blessing of the Divine Majesty on their thoughts and enterprises.

At the various missions, Indians from the remotest points appeared. In 1638, there came to the Huron

Relation 1645-6, p. 86.
mission a chief of the Huron tribe that dwelt on the head waters of the Ohio; and we find constant mention of Algonquins from the west, especially from Green Bay.

In the autumn of 1640, Charles Raymbault and

Relation 1641, p. 12.
Claude Pijart reached the Huron missions, destined for service among the Algonquins of the north and the west. By continual warfare with the Mohawks, the French had been excluded from the navigation of Lake Ontario, and had never even launched a canoe on Lake Erie. Their avenue to the west was by way of the Ottawa and French River; so that the whole coast of Ohio and Southern Michigan remained unknown, except as seen by missionaries from their stations in Canada. In 1640, Brebeuf had been sent to the villages of the neutral nation which occupied the territory on the Niagara. Of these some villages were extended, on the southern shore of Lake Erie, beyond Buffalo; but it is not certain that Brebeuf visited them, or that he was at any time on the soil of our republic. His mission perfected the knowledge of the great watercourse of the valley of the St. Lawrence. ‘Could we but gain the mastery,’ it was said, ‘of the shore of Ontario on the side nearest the abode of the Iroquois, we could ascend by the St. Lawrence, without ’

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