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‘ [130] danger, and pass free beyond Niagara, with a
Chap. XX.}
great saving of time and pains.’ Thus did Jesuits see
Relation 1641. p. 50.
the necessity of possessing a post in Western New York, seven years after the restoration of Quebec. At this time, no Englishman had reached the basin of the St. Lawrence. The country on the sea was held by the Dutch; that part of New York which is watered by streams that flow to the St. Lawrence, was first visited exclusively by the French.

But the fixed hostility and the power of the Five Nations left no hope of success in gaining safe intercourse by the St. Lawrence. To preserve the avenue to the west by the Ottawa, Pijart and Charles Raymbault, in 1640, on their pilgrimage to the Huron country, attempted the conversion of the roving tribes that were masters of the highways; and, in the following

1641. May 8.
year, they roamed as missionaries with the Algonquins
Relation 1642 p. 152.
of Lake Nipissing.

Towards the close of summer, these wandering

Ibid. p. 153.
tribes prepared to celebrate ‘their festival of the dead,’—to gather up the bones of their deceased friends, and give them jointly an honorable sepulchre. To this ceremony all the confederate nations were invited; and, as they approach the shore, on a deep
1641. Sept.
bay in Lake Iroquois, their canoes advance in regular array, and the representatives of nations leap on shore, uttering exclamations and cries of joy, which the rocks echo. The long cabin for the dead had been pre– pared; their bones are nicely disposed in coffins of bark, and wrapped in such furs as the wealth of Europe would have coveted; the mourning-song of the war-chiefs had been chanted, all night long, to the responsive wails of the women. The farewell to the dead, the dances, the councils, the presents,—all were

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